Emma Perring and Frederick William Dyson

Emma Perring was my first cousin four times removed.  We are both descended from James Perring and Emma Law who were my 4th Great Grandparents, and Emma’s Grandparents.  As I detailed in earlier posts on this branch of my family, at some point between 1841 and 1851, James and Emma Perring and their family were committed to the Saffron Walden Union Workhouse.  In the 1851 census, the couple and four of their children are listed as “inmates” at the facility.  Charles, Emma’s father, was born in 1855, so it is possible that he was born at the workhouse, or soon after the family left.  At any rate, by the 1861 census, when Charles was 5, the family’s fortunes had improved enough that they were living in their own home, with James and his three oldest sons working as agricultural labourers, and his daughter Mary working as a house servant.

By the 1871 census, Charles, like his father and brothers was also working as an agricultural labourer, and three years later, at the age of 19, he had left Essex, and married Sophia Elizabeth Gray in London, after which they settled in Clapton in the east London borough of Hackney where Charles worked as a coachman and a groom. In 1876 Emma Sophia was born, the second child born to Charles and Sophia.  By 1891, Emma was no longer living with her parents, which I suspect means that she was a live-in servant elsewhere by the time she was in her mid-teens.  This would be consistent with her sisters Florence, Edith, and Daisy, all of whom were in service at some points as young women.

In 1903, at the age of 27, she married Frederick William Dyson, also 27, in Paddington.  Frederick worked as a milk carrier for a dairyman. They had two sons, in 1906 and 1908 respectively.

Frederick’s war records are not available, presumably burnt; therefore, I don’t know exactly when he enlisted.  He was a member of the 15th battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment, which was formed in late 1916, and was a transport battalion that spent the war in England, mostly in Southampton.  Frederick was a Lance Corporal with the unit, so had some leadership responsibilities.  The records I do have state that he died at the University War Hospital in Southampton on October 21, 1918, one hundred years ago this past week.  He was 41 years old: the same age I am now. I do not know whether there was an accident or an illness that resulted in his death, but the result was that my cousin Emma lost her husband, and she was left, also at 41, with her two young boys.  Emma lived the rest of her life in Paddington and passed away in 1939 at the age of 62. I am honoured to post the Commonwealth War Graves Commission commemorative certificate for my cousin’s husband here.

 

George Arthur Saggers

George Arthur Saggers was my first cousin three times removed.  We are both descended from Henry John Mungham and Eliza Francis Ing who were my third great grandparents and George’s Grandparents.  Henry and Eliza were both born in Kent to families making their living in brick making. They married in 1871 when Henry was 24 and Eliza was 18. They lived at least the first 12 years of their married life in Kent where Henry also worked as a brick maker, and where they were living when their first five children were born, including my 2nd Great Grandfather, Harry, and George’s mother, Rosetta.

Sometime between 1883 and 1886, the family relocated to Essex, where Henry (as well as my 2nd great grandfather Harry) continued his trade in brick making.  Henry and Eliza went on to have 5 more children in Essex.

Born in 1877, Rosetta Mungham was the third child of Henry and Eliza.  She is not listed as living with her family at the time of the 1891 census, at which time she would have been 14, so it is possible that she had taken work as a servant in her youth.  In 1899 at the age of 22, she married Alfred George Saggers a general labourer from Essex, and their first child, George Arthur, was born the following year.

Being born in 1900, George was too young to join the war effort at its outset, but in the summer of 1917, 17 year old George enlisted in the Royal Navy for the duration of the war.  Hi occupation at the time was listed as an engine cleaner, and his rank was a stoker.  He trained at a shore establishment in Devonport (Plymouth), and on December 6, 1917, he was assigned to HMS Aurora, a fairly new Arethusa Class light cruiser.

HMS Aurora

HMS Aurora

Aurora had already see her fair share of significant action in the war, taking part in major battles and the sinking of some significant targets. In 1918, soon after George would have been assigned to her, she was reassigned to the 7th Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet.  HMS Aurora was one of the ships present at the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet, in November 1918.

The role of a stoker was one of the most difficult and thankless of the Navy.  As is outlined in a 2013 PhD thesis for the University of Exeter, stokers were regarded as the lowest class of men, yet without them, the great ships of the fleet would never have left port.

George served aboard Aurora until March of 1919, and there is little record of his life after the war.  He passed away in Essex in 1966 at the age of 65.

 

Ernest James Perring

Ernest James Perring was my first cousin four times removed.  We are both descended from James Perring and Emma Law who were his grandparents, and my 4th great grandparents.  James Perring was an agricultural labourer who lives the entirety of his life in Essex.  He and his wife Emma had twelve children of whom I could find record: one daughter and eleven sons.  Of these sons, one was my third great grandfather, Walter Perring; one was Joseph Perring who lied about his age to enlist in the war and whose sons, Edmund and Alfred, have also been part of this project; and another was James Perring, Ernest’s father.

Ernest James Perring 2

Abbreviated family tree of James Perring and Emma Law

 

At some point between 1841 and 1851, James and Emma Perring and their family were committed to the Saffron Walden Union Workhouse.  In the 1851 census, the couple and four of their children are listed as “inmates” at the facility, including three year old James. Fortunately, this wasn’t a permanent situation for them, and by 1861, the family’s fortunes had improved enough that they were no longer in the workhouse.

By the 1871 census, James had married his first wife, Mary Ann Wilkinson, and was working as an agricultural labourer.  At some point in the following several years, his first wife died, and in 1878, he married Mary Ann Palmer with whom he raised his two children from his first marriage as well as the five that they had together.  By the 1881 census, the family had relocated to Edmonton, Middlesex (London area), and James was working as a “platelayer” which was a railway employee whose job was to inspect and maintain a section of track.

Ernest was born in Edmonton in December of 1883.  By the age of 18 he was working as a clerk, and in 1909, at the age of 25, he married Ada Isabel Cresswell.   Four children soon followed, as did a change of career, as by 1917, he is recorded as being a “steam bus driver.”  Steam busses were common in London and elsewhere as a form of transportation.  This experience served him well, as in 1917, he enlisted in the Royal Navy as an Air Mechanic.  Upon the formation of the Royal Air Force on April 1, 1918, he was transferred into their service, also as an air mechanic where he served for the duration of the war and through to 1920.

Ernest and Ada lived the duration of their lives in and around London, and Ernest passed away in 1963 at the age of 79.