Jane Ellen Forbues was my 1st cousin, 4 times removed. We are both descended from Thomas Mungham and Elizabeth Wood who were my 4th Great Grandparents, and Jane’s Grandparents. Where I am descended from Thomas and Elizabeth’s son Henry, Jane is descended from their daughter, Jane Emma,
Born in Sittingbourne, Kent in 1858, Jane Emma, in her own way, worked in the brick making industry as did so many of her relatives, as by 1871, at the age of 16, she was housemaid to William Wood, manager of the brickfield in Milton, Kent. In 1873, at the age of 19, she married David Forbues and the couple set up residence in London. By the 1881 census, they had four children the youngest of which, born in 1880, being Jane Ellen, and Jane Emma was supplementing her husband’s income as a general labourer working as a charwoman, essentially a cleaning woman for hire. The couple had four more children between 1884 and 1892, making for a very busy household.
Jane Ellen was not living with her family at the time of the 1901 census, so it is possible that she, like her mother, had gone into domestic service. In 1903, she married William Frederick Hammond, and the two soon after had 2 children, Kathleen, born in 1904, and William, worn in 1908. By the 1911 census, Jane Ellen is listed as a patient in a local hospital, while William has the two children. Jane Ellen is listed as being employed as a laundrywoman. It seems whatever had her in hospital as patient resolved to the point that she could rejoin her family, as in 1915, they welcomed another child, Elsie.
It appears that Frederick had an early career with the Navy, but in 1916 enlisted in the Royal Scots. He was discharged so that he could re-enlist with the Royal Naval Division in 1917. This Division was pulled from naval reserves to fight in infantry capacity. In September of 1918, Frederick was with “Anson” Battalion, and participating in the Battles of the Hindenburg Line, a series of battles in which the allied forces were working to break the line and advance further east. The Battle of the Canal du Nord began on September 27 taking the German forces by surprise.
Although this was a successful push by the allied forces, Frederick William Hammond did not survive this battle, and died on September 28, 1918, one hundred years and two days ago. He was 37. He was buried at Sucrerie British Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France. I am honoured to share the commemorative certificate from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for my cousin’s husband here.
Jane Ellen was widowed with three children to care for, aged 14, 10, and 3. In 1921, she remarried to Charles King, a widower with children of his own, and this blended family lived out their lives in London. Jane, by the time of her death twice widowed, died in 1965 at the age of 84.