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Lost Grandfather

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Lost Grandfather

Postby Sucher » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:35 pm

We are trying to find what happened to my wife's grandfather.

This is what we know:
Name: Thomas William J Nicholson
Born 1881, Eastbourne, Sussex
Married 1902 to Florence Chandler - they had six children
Enlisted 9 April 1915 Royal Engineers - sapper
Demobbed 19 December 1919

After 1919, the trail goes cold and the whispers in the family indicate a violent end/altercation. We have tried matching age at date of death with birth year on FreeBMd but no luck. Florence was killed in an air raid 4 January 1945 where she is described as widow of Edward T Nicholson although that may be a transcription error.

Any advice as to where to look next would be much appreciated.

Thank you
Sucher
 
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Re: Lost Grandfather

Postby meekhcs » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:45 pm

Ancestry have two public trees with photos. One tree suggests he dies in 1960 in Thurrock but there is no confirmation. It may be worth contacting the tree owners to compare notes.
Fmp has his discharge records. The record consists of a dozen pages or so.
Nothing jumps out as a death record.
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Re: Lost Grandfather

Postby meekhcs » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:55 pm

There is a death and probate record for a Thomas William James in Essex . Death 2 Dec 1960 Hadleigh Essex. Probate 1961 to Louisa Edith Nicholson widow and Olive Louisa Nicholson spinster. Have you discounted this? If his wife died in 1945 perhaps he married again?
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Re: Lost Grandfather

Postby meekhcs » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:13 pm

OK there was another Thomas William James Nicholson bn 1893 in West Ham area and the death/ probate record appears to relate to him.This means that the Family Tree on Ancestry is wrong with his date and place of death.
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Re: Lost Grandfather

Postby ianbee » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:41 pm

Florence Nicholson in some trouble, N.S.P.C.C. involved. Reported in the Eastbourne Gazette, 1st March, and 8th March 1916. Husband away at the Front.
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Re: Lost Grandfather

Postby MayHam » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:47 pm

It might be worth writing to the Royal Chelsea Hospital who paid for all Army pensions until 1955.
http://www.chelsea-pensioners.co.uk/tracing-ancestors

Their website says all out-pensioner records are held by the National Archives at Kew.
It appears most of the digitized ones are only up to 1913, though.
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/
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Re: Lost Grandfather

Postby Sucher » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:39 am

Thank you to everyone who replied, very much appreciated.

We discounted the Thurrock death in 1960 because the age is wrong and the death likely relates to an individual born in West Ham. It's been copied to Thomas William J Nicholson born in Eastbourne in a number of Ancestry trees. The photo of Thomas on Ancestry originates from us, we shared it with a fellow researcher and it's since done the rounds.

The accounts from the Eastbourne Gazette are a bit of an eye-opener but from what I read, the case was inconclusive and one of her character witnesses was a policeman. From what we know of Florence, she was a caring mother who had six young children, the youngest was just two in 1916. She was also religious, a Baptist. A family photo taken around 1915 shows Florence with her kids, all clean and respectable. She died visiting her youngest daughter Eva in Lambeth, she was also visited by my wife's mother on the same day, fortunately she left before the V2 struck.

FindmyPast isn't a resource we've tried before so will try to find the discharge papers in case they provide a clue. Will also look at the Chelsea pensioner site.

The grown ups, Thomas's children also hushed up when their children were around and both my wife and her cousin seem to recall hearing about a brawl. In the last few days, we've managed to flesh out the story but what happened to TWJ Nicholson is still eluding us.

Thanks again.
Sucher
 
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Re: Lost Grandfather

Postby Sucher » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:18 am

"[b]Fmp has his discharge records. The record consists of a dozen pages or so.
Nothing jumps out as a death record"
[/b]


Hi meekhsc

Wonder if you would be able to supply a link to the FMP page, I've drawn a blank so far.

Thank you

sucher
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Re: Lost Grandfather

Postby ianbee » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:56 am

Have you got his birth certificate?
March 1881 Eastbourne 2b 73
Nicholson, Thomas William James
mother's maiden surname Carter

Having his exact date of birth might come in handy.
Well, his army record says he was born 8th Dec 1879 - make that 1880.
Address in 1919, 1 Penthouse Cottage, Pevensey.
Ian
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Re: Lost Grandfather

Postby Sucher » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:36 pm

Hi Ian

I think we should get the birth certificate. I found his discharge records on Ancestry and also the December 1979 birth date. Odd that, unless his parents left it a year to register his birth. The other odd thing is his address in Pevensey in 1919, according to the newspaper cuttings, Florence was living on the Lower Road, Eastbourne in 1916. Maybe their estrangement had taken place before he left the Army or the Army didn't record the change of address.

According to his Medal Card, his medals were returned, perhaps as undeliverable.

Thanks for your input.
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