Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Whitehead family of Derby

Image © and collection of Brett Payne Image © and collection of Brett Payne

These two cabinet card portraits from the studio of Pollard Graham of Derby and Burton-on-Trent were recent purchases on eBay. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when they arrived in the post and I read the inscriptions on the reverse.

Image © and collection of Brett Payne Image © and collection of Brett Payne
with E.A. Whitehead's Compliments Feby 1897
and, in an identical hand
with R.D. Whitehead's Compliments Feby 1897
A quick check of the census records confirmed my suspicions. Richard David Whitehead (1860-1928) and his wife Elizabeth Ann née Barnett (1860-1898) were the parents of the brothers Vincent, Cecil and Maurice Whitehead. They, in turn, are the subjects of a portrait in my Aunt Bunnie's family photograph collection (shown below), which featured in a previous post of mine at Photo-Sleuth.

Image © and collection of Barbara Ellison
Vincent (at back), Cecil (left) and Maurice (right) Whitehead
Large format mounted print (Mount 140 x 165 mm, Print 73 x 99 mm)
Taken by unidentified photographer, c.1914, probably at Derby

The question posed in the original article about the Whitehead family was to do with how they might be related to my Payne family. I'm really no nearer to finding an answer, but I'm writing about them here in the hope that some day a reader may be able to shed some light on the matter for me.

Richard David Whitehead was born in Manchester in early 1860, to a warehouseman David Whitehead and his wife Jane née Binks. As a young man he went into his father's profession, and is shown as a warehouseman after his marriage to Elizabeth Ann Barnett in the 1881 Census of Hulme. Over the next ten years, however, his career advanced most impressively. Their first three children Vincent (1881), Cecil Barnett (1884) and Minnie Burton (1888) were born in Manchester, but by the time of Maurice's arrival in late 1890 they had moved to Derby. Two more daughters Dorothy and Ethel were born in 1892 and 1895.

In Derby Richard was employed as a science teacher by the then recently formed Derby School of Art and Technical Institution, which shortly afterwards became the Derby Municipal Technical College.

Image courtesy of Google Books
Byzantine Capital from Sta. Sophia, Constantinople
from The Principles of Ornament by James Ward, 1899

In August 1891 The Derby Mercury reported that Richard D. Whitehead had,
... completed the Art Class Teacher's Certificate, which qualifies [him] to teach an art class under the Science and Art Departments ... receiving a commendation from the examiners at South Kensington,
and had submitted a series of drawings for the Art Masters Certificate, comprising
[an] outline drawing of a figure from the antique, outline design for a panel, sheet of diagrams showing the elementary principles of ornament, and a sheet of perspective problems.
In September 1895, he was awarded:
ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE SECTION. Technological Subjects.
Examinations held under the City and Guilds of London Institute - Brickwork and masonry: Honours Grade, First Class, and silver medal, highest positions in the Kingdom, Richard D. Whitehead.
Image © and collection of Barbara Ellison
Vincent Whitehead (1881-1925)

By the time the reports of prizes at the Municipal Technical College for 1896 were published, his eldest son Vincent had joined him, appearing in both the Elementary Art Examinations and the Engineering & Technological Section honours list. Richard was continuing with his own education, achieving a 1st class prize in Honours level Building Construction. Further entries appear until at least 1900.

Elizabeth Ann Whitehead died at Derby in late 1897 or early 1898, possibly in child birth. Richard remarried three years later, to Martha Ann Wheatcroft (1868-1939) who had been listed as a housekeeper in the Whitehead household in 1901.

Image © and courtesy of Brighton & Hove Trading Standards Service
Image © and courtesy of Brighton & Hove Trading Standards Service

The 1901 Census shows Vincent as a "Weight Adjuster Weights Office," which presumably refers to the Weights & Measures Offices, situated in the County Council Offices in St Mary's Gate, Derby. Vincent married Lily May Alcock (1880-1958) at Derby in 1904, and between the birth of the first son (also Vincent) in 1906 and their second (Eric) in 1909, they moved to West Bromwich. There he was employed by the Borough Council as an inspector of weights and measures. Vincent died in 1925, his wife Lily in 1958, both in West Bromwich. Their son Vincent Whitehead (1906-1950) married Viola Parker (1906-1979) at West Bromwich in 1931 and they later moved to Crewe in Cheshire, but it is not know whether there were any children.

Image © and collection of Barbara Ellison
Cecil Barnett Whitehead (1884-1937)

After a brief spell in the army (he was serving in the infantry at Chatham Barracks, Kent in 1901) Cecil married Lilian Perry (1885-1965) at Derby in 1909. They had at least two children, Frederick Richard (1910-1974) and Victor James (1918-1995).

Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons
Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons

The 1911 census describes Cecil as a railway gasman, presumably working in the goods staff department at Midland Railway. Frederick Richard Whitehead married Violet Lilian Taylor (1911-1973) at Derby in 1937.

Image © and collection of Barbara Ellison
Maurice Whitehead (1890-1917)

Richard and Elizabeth's youngest son Maurice Whitehead joined the Army in January 1909, attesting at Leicester, having previously been employed as a page, kitchen porter and waiter at the Midland Railway Hotel in St Pancras, London.

Image © Bernard Renshaw and courtesy of Military Regimental Cap Badges UK
Image © Bernard Renshaw and courtesy of Military Regimental Cap Badges UK

He was initially posted to Jersey, where he served in the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) at Fort Regent and Elizabeth Castle. Then, in January 1912, after having been based in Dover for three months, the regiment shipped out for India, where he remained until November 1914, stationed variously in Bombay, Lucknow, Lebong, Barrackpore and Calcutta. After returning with the regiment to England, he did not proceed with them in January 1915 to France, but was transferred to the 3rd Reserve Battalion, based in Southampton, and given a promotion to Lance Corporal a month later.

Image © and courtesy of North East Medals
Image © and courtesy of North East Medals

In August he was transferred again, to the 1st Garrison Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, based in Gibraltar, where he remained until July 1917. Yet another series of transfers sent him, via Rouen to join the 10th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, arriving "in the field" on 26 August, and immediately being promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

Image © Aerodata International Surveys and courtesy of Google Earth
West of Zonnebeke village, 8 April 2007

Soon afterwards, his unit, one of four in the 76th Brigade which formed part of the 3rd Division, must have been moved east of Ypres in preparation for a major attack on the German front lines. This took place on 26th September and resulted in the storming of what remained of the village of Zonnebeke, simultaneous with the Battle of Polygon Wood immediately to the south, conducted by two Australian Divisions. Some time during the attack, Maurice Whitehead was reported missing. His body was never recovered, but he was presumed killed during the assault somewhere immediately west of Zonnebeke village, probably in the area covered by the portion of satellite image shown above.

Image © The National Archives and courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk
1901 Census: 60-68 Normanton Road, Derby

I still haven't found the connection, if indeed there is one, between the Whiteheads and the Paynes. However, the 1901 Census record did provide an intriguing potetial clue. Living three doors away from the Whitehead family, at 62 Normanton Road, are the Hogg family. Constance May Hogg (1889-1918) married my grandfather Charles Leslie Lionel Payne (1892-1975) in November 1917, while he was home on leave from the war in France. He returned to duty with the 6th Brigade Canadian Machine Gun Company a few days later.

Image © and collection of Brett Payne
Constance "Con" May Hogg
, c.1917

"Con" died in my grandfather's arms during the influenza epidemic a year later on 20 October 1918, less than two months after he had been wounded by machine gun fire east of Arras, and while he was still recuperating. Although they had been married for almost a year, they had only spent a matter of days - a couple of weeks at the most - together during that period.

Was Con friendly with the Whitehead family? And did this photograph of the Whitehead brothers belong to her? Several of the Hogg children were similar ages to the Whitehead children, and it seems a distinct possibility.

References

British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920, Maurice Whitehead (1909-1917), 80 pages, National Archives, Courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk

England & Wales, Birth, Marriage & Death Indexes, 1937-1984, National Archives, Courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk

Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, War Office, Courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk

England & Wales, Birth, Marriage & Death Indexes, National Archives, Courtesy of FreeBMD

Anon (1891) 1891 Census of Derby, Derbyshire: Whitehead family, 53 Silverhill Road, Litchurch, NA Ref. RG12/2735/106/46/306, National Archives, Courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk

Anon (1891) Derby School of Art and Technical Institution. Examination Results & National Awards, The Derby Mercury, 26 August 1891, 19th Century British Library Newspapers, Gale CENGAGE Learning.

Anon (1895) The Derby Municipal Technical College. School of Art & Engineering and Science Sections, The Derby Mercury, 20 September 1895, 19th Century British Library Newspapers, Gale CENGAGE Learning.

Anon (1896) The Derby Municipal Technical College. School of Art & Engineering and Technological Sections, The Derby Mercury, 21 October 1896, 19th Century British Library Newspapers, Gale CENGAGE Learning.

Anon (1897) Municipal Technical College. School of Art & Engineering and Technological Section, The Derby Mercury, 15 September 1897, 19th Century British Library Newspapers, Gale CENGAGE Learning.

Anon (1899) Municipal Technical College. May Examinations, The Derby Mercury, 27 September 1899, 19th Century British Library Newspapers, Gale CENGAGE Learning.

Anon (1899) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire & Rutland, London: Kelly's Directories Limited, Courtesy of the University of Leicester's Historical Directories

Anon (1900) Derby Municipal Technical College, The Derby Mercury, 18 July 1900, 19th Century British Library Newspapers, Gale CENGAGE Learning.

Anon (1901) 1901 Census of Derby, Derbyshire: Hogg & Whitehead families, 62 & 68 Normanton Road, NA Ref. RG13/3213/81/37/249-252, National Archives, Courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk

Anon (1901) 1901 Census of Chatham, Kent: Chatham Barracks NA Ref. RG13/732/46/21/14, National Archives, Courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk

Anon (1911) 1911 Census of Derby, Derbyshire: R.D. Whitehead family, 39 Wilmot Street, NA Ref. RG14/20/9/03, National Archives, Courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk

Anon (1911) 1911 Census of Derby, Derbyshire: C.B. Whitehead family, 114 Yates Street, NA Ref. RG14/20/8/95, National Archives, Courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk

Anon (1911) 1911 Census of West Bromwich, Staffordshire: V. Whitehead family, 29 Law Street, NA Ref. RG14/17/3/16, National Archives, Courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk

Anon (2008) Battle of Polygon Wood, 26 September 1917, Australians of the Western Front, 1914-1918, Department of Veterans' Affairs and Board of Studies NSW.

Anon (2010) Railways, Staff Records: Appendix 2 - Staff trades and occupations, National Archives Research Guides

Baker, The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) and The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, The Long, Long Trail

McCarthy, Chris (1995) The Third Ypres - Passchendaele: The Day-by-Day Account, London: Arms & Armour Press, ISBN 1854092170

Ward, James (1896) The Principles of Ornament, London: Chapman & Hall, 224p, Google Books

3 comments:

T.K. said...

Wow, that was a pretty interesting ebay find! What are the odds of that happening? The Whitehead ghosts are working awfully hard to get a message through to somebody!

MuseSwings said...

Amazing information you have uncovered here! I've found several connections on census records - neighboring children who grew up and married into the family. One great-uncle was the census taker. He filled in the census sheet for his neighborhood - including his family. Unlike so many others, he had beautiful handwriting and spelled the family names correctly.

tony said...

Hi Brett.I Notice The Manchester Connection.I Live Quite Near The City & Often Visit There.Let Me Know If I Can Help You In Anyway With Your Research.Best Wishes,Tony.