Somewhere there is a letter looking for this 13 July 1924 envelope, at least, I hope so. To send only a name and address seems most curious given how chatty Mr. Witter tends to be. Hopefully the letter will appear among the boxes and boxes of letters I'm slowly making my way through.
As to the man on the paper, George J. Meadows Buried 7th Feb 1923 - the Meadows were family friends just referenced in the 1923 letter from Mr. Witter. (You can read it here.) Based on the burial date, George was born about 1846. According to the 1901 census, he was living at No. 1 Chenery St with his wife Mary and children Eliza K, Elsie M, Hilda M. along with his brother-in-law Frederick James Keeble and sister-in-law Eliza Keeble (boarders). This answers the question for me of who Kitty was of the K&E Millinery and also infers that George's wife Mary's maiden name was Keeble. And Chenery Street is the same street Alice, my great grandmother & her family lived at for a time before they immigrated to the U.S.
It's fun how it all comes together for these non-relatives of mine. If only it were so simple for the relatives. Now back to Jim Witter.
Holiday Greetings & News from Ipswich 1925
While I have, at present, no news from Ipswich 1924, there was a short letter dated December 1, 1925 bearing seasons wishes and news of more deaths of people I have never heard of and am not related to. Of course, that makes them no less interesting to me and all the more fun to see what I can discover.
1 December 1925
14 Chenery St.
My Dear Friends
We cannot let the season pass without wishing you the best of wishes for Christmas and best that the coming year will be free from sorrow for you all and that you many enjoy the best of health.
We are keeping as well as can be expected for old folks but my dear old girl has had a great deal of pain in her hips but is very plucky with it and keeps going. I keep about the same as usual which is something to be thankful for and we are pleased to say all our dear ones are well in health.
We are having very severe weather now. Snowstorms & bitter winds there is snow poured upon the ground now but around Lowestoft off the coast they have had floods and loss of life.
I suppose you heard we lost our good old Irene Alandra (sp?) & this next Thursday we bury one of our town counsellors Mr. Thurgur. A lot of old people have gone this winter. Our good old Town Clerk Mr. Bantoft who had only retired a couple of three months was run into on the Bucklehsam Road and killed upon the spot. He was a man liked by everyone. This happened on the Thursday. On the Monday previous I was chatting with him & he seemed so nice & happy.
There is nothing of great interest to give you this time. But hope this will find you all well. We join in fond love to you all. God Bless you.
Your ever loving Friends,
Jim & Polly
A quick search on Ancestry.com & FindMyPast.com researching the deceased led me to first William Thurgur in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966. So easy. Another quick search of the 1911 Census and there he was again located at 102 Finchley Road - Age 42 personal occupation General Post Office Postman, married to Emma Thurgur age 39 (born Norfolk, Stanhoe), son Charles Arthur Thurgur age 15 (born Norfolk, Wells) & daughter Constance Mary Thurgur age 10 (born Suffolk, Ipswich).
I thought perhaps it’d be that easy for the other two folks mentioned but I was mistaken. I searched their names & variant spellings in the National Probate Calendar and Census but could not find them. So, off to FindMyPast to search the England & Wales Deaths by year, district, county and death quarter - still no luck. Clearly, I was missing something.
Perhaps I was way off in spelling “Mr. Bauloft,” so I figured that someone being struck down in the road ought to show up in a paper somewhere. Off to search historical newspapers on Ancestry.com, nothing. So over to The British Newspaper Archive and voila. Numerous headlines popped up, “While out rabbiting near Ipswich yesterday, Mr ex-Town Clerk of Ipswich, was knocked own motor lorry and killed..”, “ex-town clerk killed,” “fatal expedition,” and “struck by a lorry.” The spellings of his name varied as Mr. W. Bantoft to Mr. Bairtoft, close, but not what I read as Mr. Bauloft.
I’d be rich if I had a dollar for every time I misread someone’s name. Such an easy mistake!
A quick search for Mr. W. Bantoft in the 1911 Census and Probate Calendar and tada! Mystery solved. Died 29 October 1925. 1911 Census lists him as age 62, Solicitor (Town Clerk) born Suffolk, Ipswich. Wife Ellen Jane Bantoft married 29 years, 8 children born alive, 6 children still living, 2 children who have died. Daughter Elsie Bantoft age 28. Son William Bantoft Engineer’s Apprentice age 26. Son Hugh Laurence Bantoft age 17 student. Daughter Ida Monica Bantoft age 10 student. Son Arthur Bantoft age 6 student. And 3 servants including a cook, housemaid and nurse.
Now on to the mysterious Irene Alendra or alondra or - honestly I have no idea. I’ve tried so many variations, guessed the name, searched the probate calendar and all 1925 deaths and for whatever reason, I just can’t make out this name properly. Can you?
Almost forgot, also in the envelope - a lovely Christmas card.