Someone brought a box of coins in today. It contained various cupro-nickel crowns, some decimal sets (as given out to every British schoolchild when we went decimal), a selection of creased ten-shilling notes and a few foreign coins. They were worth about £8. Fortunately there was a sovereign in the box, which is worth around £300 at the moment. You would have thought they would be pleased, but no, not a flicker. Not a hint of a ghost of a smile. They took all the stuff away.
Fortunately the day improved when I turned WordPress on and read a message from a new cousin who has found me via my family history posts. I really must get my family history stuff sorted out.
I’m now watching the Great British Bake Off, and have offered to make Julia a cake to celebrate our 31st Wedding Anniversary. She laughed. Ironically. It’s possible she remembers the last time I baked. You may remember the Courgette Cake from a few years ago. I’m trying to forget it. Anyway, we agreed that we could probably celebrate the anniversary without cake.
In the morning I looked up the recipient of a medal someone had brought into the shop yesterday. He had joined up in 1914 and served in France with one of the public school battalions – they were like Pals Battalions but composed of men from public schools. In early 1916 his battalion was disbanded and they were sent off to get commissions. He returned to France, won the Military Cross and was killed in action in early 1917. The address on his medal card shows his father as next of kin, though there is a pension record card, implying that he was married. There is also a record of him sailing to America in 1912, though he was obviously back by 1914 to enlist.
It all becomes clear when you look into the newspaper archive. He has a distinctive name and it crops up in three newspapers in 1912. It seems he was in a sanitarium with TB and became very friendly with one of the nurses, very friendly…
When she became pregnant he promised to marry her but instead, left for the USA. The three newspapers carried details of court proceedings where he was ordered to pay three shillings and sixpence a week for his daughter’s maintenance until she was sixteen, which explains the military pension.
It just goes to show what you can find, even if the story is over 100 years old.