Friday, April 11, 2014

Lieutenant Vivian Donald Berry Collins


Lieutenant Vivian Donald Berry Collins   

What we do know about you


You were a friend of my family, my ancestors the Slater family of 19, Vernon Street, Derby, and the Smith family of Highfield Road, Derby. We have your photograph in a family album, the album of Charles Sydney Smith, but we no longer know anything of your family.

You were a lieutenant in the 2nd or 13th Battalion The Sherwood Foresters in March 1915, and you were killed on May 9th 1915 when leading an attack near Richebourg. You remain in France with no known grave, and are commemorated at Le Touret Memorial. You were 30 at the time. You were the son of William Andrew and Emma Collins.

We know you were at one time in the King Edwards Own Gurka Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles). We are not sure if this was an attachment made in 1915 from the Sherwood Foresters, or if you had joined The Sirmoor Rifles before your return from the Indian sub-continent in 1914-15.

Before the war you were a member of The Survey of India. In 1911 you surveyed the Siachen Glacier and Mountains Of East Karakoram and Teram Kangri , and you also wrote a paper “The Triangulation up the Hunza River and Gorge"

Your Derby friend Major Charles Sydney Smith MC, Sherwood Foresters and Machine Gun Corps, survived the great war but died of influenza in November 1918. His only son Victor Sydney Smith was born in July 1919. His younger brother ( Lt. in 1915) Frank Wooley Smith OBE, DFC, Sherwood Foresters and Royal Flying Corps, survived the war and served in WW2 in The Assam Light Horse, on the Ledo Road  and related airlift operations. His elder brother, Private Joseph Arthur (alias “Pete”) Smith, joined the Canadian Engineers, 259th Battalion, in Ontario in 1918, and served in the Canadian Siberian Expedition.

If any descendant or family member or researcher reads this post and knowns anything about this special friend of my ancestors, please get in touch with me.

Nigel S. Aspdin
19 Vernon Street
Derby DE1 1FT
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1332-345342 *
Mobile Tel: +44 (0)7751-278376 *
* Please use voicemail if unavailable
Email: aspdin@gmail.com



-End-


Monday, April 7, 2014

Alan Lindsay Bull (1918-1997) RAAF


Originally from Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia.

41 Squadron RAF, June-August 1941.


Sergeant Alan Lindsay Bull. RAAF.
41 Squadron. RAF. Photo July 27th 1941.


What is this post?

This post is written just to catch the attention of any family of Alan Bull, in the hope they may be interested in contacting me if Alan was their father or grandfather, uncle, or just a friend. However although I have been told that he did marry, a June Harding (elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Harding. Bairnsdale) in 1946, I do not know the extent of his descendants, if any.


Why am I interested?

I know from my late mother's papers that Alan was shot down over France in August 1941, and from there he corresponded with my  mother whilst he was a prisoner. They had been friends for a short time in 1941 when they were both posted at the same RAF base in England. I have photographs and other material that would almost certainly interest Alan Bull's descendants and which they may have never seen.

Mary Lavender Wallis (married name Aspdin) 1920-2010
WAAF


Letter from Alan Bull in POW camp


Acknowledgements

I am very grateful for assistance I have received so far from Steve Brew, historian of 41 Squadron and author of Blood, Sweat and Valour, 41 Squadron RAF, 1942-1945. His great uncle Sergeant Pilot William A Brew was a close friend of Alan Bull, a fellow 41 Squadron pilot, also shot down, a fellow POW, a fellow escaper and fellow survivor.


http://brew.clients.ch/bsv.htm



Contact me

Please contact me by email preferably at aspdin@gmail.com

Nigel S. Aspdin
19 Vernon Street
Derby DE1 1FT
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1332-345342 *
Mobile Tel: +44 (0)7751-278376 *
* Please use voicemail if unavailable



-End-


Other search words connected to Alan Bull:
This text is intentionally left to be indexed by search engine web crawlers.

SGT A.L. BULL (AUS. 400219)

P.O.W.

POW. Stalag III. Stalag IIIe. Stalag IIIE. Stalag 3e. Stalag Luft III. Sagan. Żagań 

Searches of the internet suggest that Alan's father was named Robert Bull, living in
Chisholm, Victoria in 1949, Higgins Victoria 1963-1972.


Mother: Alice Evelyn Bull,


Bairnsdale High School

(Hey guys at Bairnsdale Secondary College....you will be the first to have found this post on a search; send the link to your history teacher and friends and make it a project to track Alan Bull's descendants !!)
East Bairnsdale
Gippsland

Royal Australian Air Force

R.A.A.F.   RAAF.
Steve Brew
41 Sqn RAF
41 Squadron RAF

Mernda


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Congratulations to Sepia Saturday 200th edition






Congratulations to Sepia Saturday 200th edition, and a special thank you to all those administrators who keep it running so smoothly.

I am sorry I have been away for the summer. I bought 3 packets of tomato seeds and got 33 seeds. With love and care each seed produced a beautiful plant, but the sheer attention to these plants has kept me in the garden and away from any blogging. Today as I write the clocks have gone back, a storm is brewing in the Atlantic, and the last tomato has to be picked. So maybe I will be back blogging soon....who knows?

It was hard to chose my favourite blog, so I just chose the one with the most comments, and it has some of my favourite sepia family photos. It also starts with the tones of the coming winter, and include some of my sillier ideas !!










I recognised him immediately. Being trained in observation from an early age as a Cub Scout was only part of it. What really made me jump was the connection with an inheritance from my grandmother, Granny Aspdin, (yes, the wife of my cycling bank clerk of a grandfather about whom I wrote last week). The inheritance is the only first edition book I have on my shelf, and were it not in less than mint condition I dare say it would be worth a bob or two.
My treasured first edition.





The book is very well known, and I will be surprised if I am the only one this week to have recognised Jerzy Fröwn, discretely standing there. His subtle choice of black on a snowy day is reflective of his early days training in the Czech navy, and quite possibly explains why he was fatally shot. [See 3rd line of page 2].

It was an unfortunate start to de-coding the message from Q his cell had received the day before, S370HSSV-0773H. He he never did realise he was reading it upside down.










But............... I know readers really want to know about my Granny Aspdin and English winters, so here she is in the 1930s in an era when we had genuine weather in Derby, and when water froze, those awful days before we finally succeeded in our quest to warm Earth sufficiently to stop us East-Midlanders having anything more than mud, fog  and grey skies in winter.

The nee Slater girls, Granny-Evelyn Aspdin right and
 sister Beatrix Smith left. The Mundy Paddling Pool,
 Markeaton Park, Derby, circa 1930, and today, below.




Granny Aspdin had married my grandfather Bertie Aspdin in 1914.



The "going away"....

....Vernon Street, Derby, 1914....woops !


 They must have had the wedding reception here at home, the family home where I now live, as photo evidence shows it did not entirely go without a hitch when they came to leave. Granny had a good life and lived into her 80s, but she always seemed jinxed on such occasions by unreliable transport. I remember that after the church funeral in 1966 all my family climbed into the big black limousine provided by the undertakers, only to find that the battery was flat. With my father telling me to get out and help push ( I refused out of embarrassment as a 16 year old) all the mourners put their shoulders behind the limo' for a jump start. A smooth purr later from the Rolls Royce engine and off we went, following Granny in the hearse to the crematorium.

(Photo 1904)  Granny Aspdin's father William Slater had built the house in
1895 for his family, below....

William Slater's children, Beatrix, the youngest and Evelyn (lower seated),
 with Alice, William and Harry. Can you recognise Evelyn and Beatrix
 on the skating photo?  Circa 1891


My great-grandfather William Slater with skating daughters Evelyn
(left) and Beatrix, outside the kitchen door. Circa 1899


Me with my daughters, Alice  (left) and Fiona, same pose,same place,
 just over 100 years later ! 2003.

Oh!...its Alice's 20th birthday Tuesday, I think I will post this early, she's away at University and I need to send her a card, this post can be her card, that will save a couple of quid.

 Happy Birthday AL !!
 Love Daddy xxxxxxxxxxxxx




The End


PS

I scanned an image from page 2 of the book for you.




















Thursday, July 18, 2013

What a ghastly photo !!



This photo is the Sepia Saturday prompt this week. We bloggers try to follow the theme, in some vague way, as a seed in our thoughts. Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images. Click here to learn more.



There was a Celt queen named Boud'ca
Whose armour did never quite suit her
The heat of her body
Left her feeling quite soggy
A sense not unknown to Madonna.




The end
(It's all I can manage this week due to an unusual British heatwave !!)





Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dangerous Manhole Covers of New York



This photo is the Sepia Saturday prompt this week. We bloggers try to follow the theme, in some vague way, as a seed in our thoughts. Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images. Click here to learn more.

A chic young dame of New York
In the rain she loved to walk
Only the China-man knew
That one spark from her shoe
Would blow the damp dame to chalk




The End


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Louis's Breakfast


This photo is the Sepia Saturday prompt this week. The plaque is in Arbois, France, on a pillar dedicated to Louis Pasteur and his achievements.We bloggers try to follow the theme, in some vague way, as a seed in our thoughts. Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images. Click here to learn more.



An official apology

I am afraid it is Wimbledon week and I have little time to think about Louis Pasteur. Anyway, he is French, and it is considered polite in English society just to ignore the French (the men anyway...), as they love to attract attention.

So I am afraid I have not had any time to look for photos this week, but please..........do watch this Youtube, and you may hopefully feel extremely educated about this simple French discovery....






Vive Bartoli !!!!!!



Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Wombles of Wombeyan.....



This photo is the Sepia Saturday prompt this week. We bloggers try to follow the theme, in some vague way, as a seed in our thoughts. Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images. Click here to learn more.



The Wombeyan Caves were first inhabited by..........

Wombles
During the late 18th and 19th centuries, large numbers of criminal Wombles were transported from Wimbledon Common to the various Australian penal colonies by the British government. One of the primary reasons for the British settlement of Australia was the establishment of a penal colony to alleviate pressure on their overburdened prison regime for these irritatingly tidy creatures. Over the 80 years more than 165,000 Wombles were transported to Australia. [Source: Wombedia]





All was well for many years with this population until.....




....one socialist thinking Womble got stroppy in 2013.

"Oi mate!.. (he wrote to the nice lady Australian Prime Minister)....."I need a new scarf"




And like every good Labour Prime Minister.......


She set about knitting one for him...........
(She has Wild Welsh Womble blood it is alleged, how could she refuse this mis-shapen request from a distant cousin?)


After all......

....she had a little wool left over from her own scarf.



But in politics such nepotism is dangerous...

Her best friend Kevin had only received a rather cheap polysester school tie  after being ousted as Prime Minister.

He got mighty mad......


and sulked ........

and sulked......


Until he eventually got his own way.......

Now everyone is unhappy in Australia....except of course... The Warm Wombles of Wombeyan Caves.



The End