John Fardon - Chapter 18


Family Trees

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Chapter 18 ~ Q - John, son of Richard and Susannah

A very large branch. John moved from Temple Guiting to Bourton on the Hill, where he established a blacksmith business. This prospered under a son and grandson, and there was a Fardon presence in the village until the middle of the twentieth century. Another of John's sons set up as a blacksmith in Coventry; his sons moved to Nottingham, Warwick, London and Luton, where Fardon colonies were established; as well as some remaining in the Coventry area. Three of John's sons had large families (some 27 children in all) and there were many grandchildren. The result is that this is one of the larger Fardon branches, with representatives through southern England and the Midlands. The traditional Fardon occupation of blacksmith lasted through three generations in Bourton on the Hill. But elsewhere it did not go beyond the second generation, being replaced by light industrial skills. Members of this branch fought in World War 1 without loss, though with probably wounds. In World War 2 one was lost at sea, another perished at home on fire-fighting duty.

This is a large chapter, and for ease of navigation is organised and presented as follows:

Section 1 John and the move to Bourton on the Hill. Overview of children
Section 2 John's second son Charles, and the move to Coventry. Overview of children
Section 2A Charles' son John, and the move to Nottingham. John's descendants
Section 2B Charles' son Oliver and his descendants
Section 2C Charles' son Charles, and the move to Luton. Charles's descendants
Section 2D Charles' daughter Anne Lyne
Section 2E Charles' daughter Rebecca
Section 2F Charles' son William and his descendants
Section 2G Charles' son Arthur and his descendants
Section 2H Charles' daughter Florence
Section 2I Charles' son Harry and his descendants
Section 3 John's son Oliver
Section 4 John's son John F and his descendants
Section 5 John's daughter Anne
Section 6 John's son Oliver and his descendants

SECTION 1: ~Q - John - the move to Bourton on the Hill

John, son of Richard and Susanna, was born probably in Temple Guiting and was baptised at the parish church on 15th June 1806. Nothing more is known of him until his marriage around 1835 to Rebecca Packer, who was about the same age as John and born in Gloucestershire (the 1841 census, the only one available for Rebecca, is not precise for ages and places of birth). It may be that the marriage was in Bourton and that John had been living there before the ceremony, as Rebecca was the daughter of John and Hannah Packer; John Packer was later described in 1850 as a carpenter, 1851 as a blacksmith, in 1861 as a retired wheelwright, living in Bourton on the Hill. He had been born around 1782 at an unknown location, and Hannah at about the same time in Rissington, Gloucestershire.

John and Rebecca were living in Bourton-on-the-Hill in 1836, when the first of their children was baptised there (the residence on the baptism record is shown as "this place", ie Bourton), and this is where the family was registered in the 1841 census. Four more children were baptised in Bourton up to 1844 to give a total of four boys and one girl..

On 28th May 1845 John died at the early age of 38 and was buried in Bourton. His will was completed on the day of his death, witnessed by a surgeon and solicitor's clerk, both from Moreton-in-Marsh. The witnesses and their place of residence suggest that the will was written in knowledge of the possibility of John's imminent death, perhaps while he was under medical care in Moreton (the death was registered in Shipston-on-Stour, which is the registration centre for both Bourton and Moreton). In the will, detailed below, he left his whole estate, which was of value below £200 and which may have included property, to his wife Rebecca, who was the executrix of the will.

Five years later, on 16th July 1850, his widow Rebecca also died, aged only 43, in Bourton-on-the-Hill. From her will - see also below - it is clear that she had been continuing to run her late husband's [blacksmith] business. She gave instructions that the business was to continue for the benefit of her children until the eldest came of age, when it would be given to him. Her estate, to the value of less than £200 and probably without property, would be shared equally among her children, except for her clothes, which she left to a niece. In the event the oldest son, Charles, went off to Coventry to set up in business there, and it was a younger son, Oliver, who took over the business in Bourton.

Following their mother's death the children went to live with their maternal grandparents (the Packers), still in Bourton, where the four survivors were listed in the 1851 census and two in 1861.

The Will and Probate statement of John Fardon

His Will shows that John died on the 28th May 1845. The text of his will is as follows:-

This is the last Will and Testament of me John Fardon of Bourton on the Hill in the County of Gloucester Blacksmith. First I direct my just debts and my funeral and testamentary expenses to be fully paid and satisfied and subject thereto I give devise and bequeath All that my freehold Messuage or Dwelling house with the Shop Stable Garden and Appurtenances thereof belonging situate at Bourton on the Hill aforesaid and now in my own occupation And all other my real Estate whatsoever and wheresoever unto my dear Wife Rebecca. To hold to my said Wife Rebecca her heirs and Assigns for ever to and for her and their own use and benefit absolutely and I give and bequeath All my Stock in Trade and implements of Trade and all my Debts which shall be due and owing unto me at the time of my decease and all my household Goods and furniture ­ plate Linen and China and all other my personal Estate and Effects whatsoever and wheresoever unto my said Wife Rebecca her Executors Administrators and Assigns to and for her and their own use and benefit absolutely. And I nominate and appoint my said Wife sole Executor of this my Will hereby revoking all former Wills by me made. In writing whereby I have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand this twenty eighth day of May One thousand eight hundred and forty five.
Signed by the said Testator John Fardon as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us, present at the same time, who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses.
(signed) George Moore ­ Surgeon ­ Moreton in Marsh
E. Han Clerk to M Tilsley ­ Solicitor ­ Moreton in Marsh"

[Comment: Of the two witnesses George Moore appears in the Moreton censuses between 1851 and 1881, aged 42 in 1851, variously described as general practitioner, surgeon, MRCS and Eng LAC. The M Tilsley is presumably associated with Edwin Tilsley, who is listed in the Moreton censuses of 1851, aged 40, and also in 1871-1881, and described as solicitor, and once as landowner.]

The Probate statement is as follows:-
17 June 1845
Appears personally Rebecca Fardon of Bourton on the Hill in the County of Gloucester, Widow, and called upon Oath that this paperwriting contains the line original last Will and Testament of John Fardon late of Bourton on the Hill aforesaid Blacksmith deceased who died on the 28th day of May 1845 leaving Goods Chattels and Credits wholly within the Diocese of Gloucester and Bristol under the value of Two hundred pounds. That she is the sole Executor therein named. That she will well and faithfully perform the same and render an inventory and account fe. Wherefore She prayed probate

The Will and Probate statement of Rebecca Fardon

Rebecca's will states that she died on the 16th July 1850. The text of her will is as follows:-
The last Will and Testament of Rebecca Fardon of Bourton on the Hill
Firstly, I request that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid
Secondly, I appoint my Father and Mr John Phillips, of Bourton on the Hill trustees over my property. And in the event of the latter refusing to act, Mr Thomas Hathaway or Mr Caless ­
Thirdly, I leave the whole of my property, Freehold and Personal, excepting my wearing apparel, which I leave to my niece Ellen Whitford, to my trustees for the sole use and benefit of my children
Fourthly I request that the business be carried on for the benefit of all my children, until the Eldest son living comes of age, when the same is to be given up to him
Lastly I wish that the children receive their portions of the Property Share and share alike 'respectively' as they come of age.
Dated this 15th day of March 1850
(Signed) Rebecca Fardon
(Signed) Harry Marshall - John Berry
(Note on Will spine states: Testator died on the 16th July 1850)

[Comment: dramatis personae
John Phillips was presumably the person of that name listed in the 1851-1871 Bourton censuses as a farmer variously of 250 and 400 acres, and in 1881 as a retired farmer. He was aged 43 in 1851. The story of why he refused to act as executor, and why Rebecca though that this might happen, will probably now never be told.
Thomas Hathaway, who acted as trustee was presumably the farmer of that name listed in the 1861-1891 Bourton censuses. He was aged 49 in 1861. Interestingly, a Thomas Hathaway of the next generation (aged 13 in 1861) was resident at John Phillips's (see above) farm in 1861 and 1871, being shown as a farmer in the latter year. He was John Phillips's nephew.
William Caless, also a trustee and, also seen as Caliss, was the local baker in 1851. He may have lived next door to, or at least very close to the Fardons, as they appear together as households 58 and 59 in the census (see also John Berry below). He then left the village to become a farmer. He was farming in Lower Swell (208 acres) in 1861, in Wick Rissington (215 acres) in 1871 and in Whitchurch, Warwick (270 acres) in 1881. No doubt he was a friend of the family, for as late as 1891 (census day) 14-year-old Albert Fardon, Rebecca's grandson, was staying at the Caless farm at Crimscott, Warwickshire (see below).
John Berry, who witnessed the will, as a fellow blacksmith, aged 28 in 1851. He is listed in each Bourton census from 1851 to 1881. Like William Caless, he may have lived very close to the Fardons in 1851, as he is shown in the census as household 60, immediately after those of William Caless and the Fardons.
Harry Marshall. I do not have any information on this other witness.
Ellen Whitford, Rebecca's niece to whom she bequeathed her clothes, could be the person of that name who was in service in 1861, age 29, as lady's maid at the Manor House, Lower Slaughter, and born in Stow-on-the-Wold. She may have been the eldest daughter of widow Ann Whitford, and living at home in 1851, listed as Helen. It was perhaps her brother, Frances Whitford, then aged 17 and also born in Stow, who was visiting the Packer/Fardon household in Bourton on census day 1851.

The Probate statement relating to Rebecca is as follows:-
17 October 1850
Appeared personally John Packer of Bourton on the Hill in the County of Gloucester, Carpenter, the Father of Rebecca Fardon of Bourton on the Hill, widow, and William Caless of the same place, Baker, and alleges that this paperwriting contained the Last Will and Testament of the said Rebecca Fardon late of Bourton on the Hill aforesaid Widow. That they were two of the Executors according to the tenor of the said Will That they would well and faithfully perform the Trusts thereof and pay the debts of the deceased and render and inventory and account when required. That the goods chattels and of the deceased were under the value of two hundred pounds and that the deceased had no Leasehold Estate.
Wherefore they prayed probate.
Probate decreed ­ John Phillips having refused to act.

The children of John and Rebecca

There were five children, baptised at Bourton on the Hill in the years shown.

Q1 - Charles- 6th March 1836 Q4 - Anne- 19th February 1843
Q2 - Oliver- 21st January 1838 Q5 - Oliver- ?? June 1844
Q3 - John F- 1st September 1839

The first - Oliver survived only three years, and his name was used again for a later son. Anne was lost after the age of 18, presumably married. Each of the three surviving sons has a well-documented history. Charles went to Coventry, set up as a blacksmith, and from him arose a large number of descendants who spread to Nottingham and Luton among other places. John F ended up in Warwick, perhaps not successful in his career as a coachmaker. Oliver remained in Bourton, and he and his sons became quite a presence in the village as blacksmith, local innkeeper and school governor and teachers; Oliver also became a property owner.

SECTION 2 ~Q1 - John's first son Charles - the move to Coventry

Charles was baptised in Bourton in 1836 and was at home in 1841. He was only 14 when his mother died and in 1851 he and his siblings were living with their maternal grandparents, the Packers. Aged 15, he was working as a blacksmith, presumably with the aim of inheriting the business according to the terms of his mother's will. However, this did not come about as by 1857 he had moved to Coventry, where he established his own business. The Bourton business would fall to a younger brother, Oliver.

In 1857 Charles married Charlotte Shepherd, 26, in Coventry by licence at St Thomas Church. She also had been born in Bourton on the Hill, which begs questions as to why they went to Coventry to be married, and why by licence. In the event they remained in Coventry and he set up as a blacksmith.

He had a number of addresses in Coventry over the years. A comparison of all the sources (censuses, birth and marriage certificates, Kelly's directories) suggests the following, with different home and business addresses during the middle period:

home business
1857 Moat Street    
1859 Weston Street 1861-63 82 Spon Street
1871 Cheylemore 1866-72 Hertford Street
  1872-74 66 Spon Street
1875-1881 47 King William Street  
1891-1900 4 Douglas Terrace, Stoney Stanton Road (see below) 1884-96 Cow Lane
1901 9 Tube Terrace, Stoney Stanton Road (see below)    
1903 171 Leicester Causeway    
1911 163 Leicester Causeway (error for 168?)    

I do not find Weston Street and Cow Lane in the present street map. The other business addresses (Spon Street and Hertford Street) are within the present A4053 Ringway, in the centre of the city, as is residential address Cheylemore. Moat Street, King William Street, Stoney Stanton Road and Leicester Causeway are to the north, just outside the Ringway.

The pattern and list progression of addresses in the census indicate that 4 Douglas Terrace was probably the same as 175 Stoney Stanton Road, almost opposite the house of his Charles's son Oliver. And that 9 Tube Terrace was 307 Stoney Stanton Road. Leicester Causeway leads off Stoney Stratford Road.

Charles maintained the traditional Fardon trade of blacksmith to at least 1903. Between 1861 and 1900 he is listed as a blacksmith in the Kelly directories and with separate business and residential premises, perhaps suggesting that he had his own business. However, this is not altogether consistent with the censuses of 1891 and 1901 where he is shown as a worker (ie employed). In 1874 he was also described as a shopkeeper. By 1911, at the age of 74, he had retired, the census of that year showing his occupation as 'Nothing'.

Charles's wife Charlotte died in Coventry in 1898 at the age of 67, and in 1901 he was living as a widower with his daughter Anne who was presumably looking after him. There was also a lodger. As the oldest daughter Annie had also been at home in 1891, occupation shown as "household duties". Annie married the lodger in early 1903 (see under Anne Lyne below) and by the end of the year Charles was living round the corner at 171 Leicester Causeway. In December of that year he married Annie Cleaver, a 40-year-old spinster, and in 1911 they were apparently living at number 163 in the same street, with one lodger, though this could be in error for 168. Charles died in 1919 in Coventry at the age of 82; his second wife Annie, who was some 27 years younger than he, survived until 1940, when her death was registered at the age of 76 in Coventry.

The children of Charles Fardon and Charlotte

There were nine children, all born in Coventry. At least five of the six boys themselves had children, sometimes many, with the result that by the early years of the 20th century there were many Fardons in the city. But one son moved early to Birmingham, then Oldham in Lancashire, before settling in Nottingham. One who stayed in Coventry later joined the Salvation Army. Thereafter he lived a peripatetic existence in connection with his job, finally settling in Luton but returning to Coventry in retirement.

This was the generation which gave up the Fardon occupation of blacksmith. Only one of the sons took up the family trade of blacksmith, but this was only temporary as he was the one who joined the Salvation Army as a full-time preacher and officer. Others went into light engineering typical of the Coventry and Nottingham areas (the cycle and watchmaking industries). In the following table the date is the year in which birth was registered in Coventry.

Q1a - John 1859 watch finishing/-making
Q1b - Oliver 1860 watch finishing
Q1c - Charles 1862 shoeing smith, then Salvation Army officer
Q1d - Anne Lyne 1864 domestic duties at home
Q1e - Rebecca 1866 silk winder/dressmaker
Q1f - William 1868 cycle trade, later baker and confectioner, later cycle trade
Q1g - Arthur 1870 chemist, chemist's assistant, cycle storekeeper.
Q1h - Florence Mary 1873 elastic weaver
Q1i - Harry 1875 cycle trade, later engineer and fitter
Details of these and their descendants are shown in sections 2A to 2I below

SECTION 2A ~Q1a - Charles' first son - John (The Nottingham Fardons)

John lived his early life at home in Coventry. After marriage he moved away, first to Birmingham, then to Oldham in Lancashire, before finally settling in Nottingham. Most of his children remained in the Nottingham area, some descendants are still there. But after World War 1 there was the beginning of a move out of Nottinghamshire, particularly into Derbyshire and Leicestershire. After World War 2 descendants of one of the sons are found in Leeds, Yorkshire, and of another in the Llanelli-Swansea area of Wales

Neither John nor any of his descendants followed the traditional family occupation of blacksmith. John himself was a watchmaker, his sons had a variety of occupations, including watchmaker, tailor, electrician, fishmonger.

All four sons who would have been eligible to serve in World War 1 (a fifth died probably before he could be conscripted) are believed to have served, at least three of them volunteers. All returned from the war, though one with a disability. There are extant burnt documents for one, giving quite a full description of a rather strange series of experiences, as well as some useful personal information. In a later generation one of this family lost his life in action at sea in 1942, another as a firefighter during a German raid on Coventry.


John was born in late 1858 or very early 1859, very soon after his parents' arrival in Coventry. He was baptised in Coventry on 2nd February, 1859 and was still at home in the city in 1871, a 12-year-old schoolboy. In 1880 he was in Stoke, a western suburb, to marry Sarah Ann Wagstaff on Christmas Day. The following year he and his wife were living at 14 Coventry Street in Stoke.

The family then lived in Birmingham, then Oldham, with up to ten years in each city, before settling in Nottingham. Addresses associated with the family from birth and wedding certificates and from censuses were:

Coventry 1881 14 Coventry St, Stoke
Birmingham 1883-1891 306 Brierley Lane (1885)
    1 Coburn Terr, Gt Hampden St (1891)
    Aston district (1892)  
Oldham 1894-1901 75 Beaver St (1901)
Nottingham 1904-1934 38 St Bartholomew Road (1908-14)
    26 Bellevue Road (1915)
    4 Penrhyn Terr, Dane St (1918)

John's wife, Sarah Ann Wagstaff, was from Coventry. She was the same age as he, and a dressmaker at the time of their marriage. She died in 1914 at the age of 55. Four years later John married Florence Gertrude Washington Cordon at the Nottingham Register Office. She was a widow, ten years younger than he.

John's second wife Florence Gertrude Washington was the widow of Isaac Cordon, tripe dresser, one of whose sons, also Isaac, had married John's sister Florence Mary in 1901. She had been born around 1871 in Ilkeston as Florence Rose, daughter of Thomas Rose, road surveyor. She had been married to a Mr Washington, by whom she had a daughter Ethel in about 1895 (she seems to have added his name to hers, for in the 1918 marriage certificate she is recorded as Florence Gertrude Washington Cordon). Thus John was her third husband, some 10 years older than she.

John died in 1934, also in Nottingham, at the age of 75. I have not seen any record of Florence Gertrude's death or subsequent remarriage.

John did not follow the Fardon trade of blacksmith but like his younger brother Oliver (below) he went into the watchmaking industry. In his wedding documentation and in all the national censuses (1881 to 1911) he is shown as working in watchmaking. Interestingly, his father-in-law Joseph Wagstaff was also in the watchmaking industry at the time of John's marriage, as an escapement maker. It could have been through the industry that he met Sarah.

The children of John Fardon and Sarah Ann Wagstaff

There were at least twelve children. Years shown here are those of birth registration, except for Arthur, which is actual year from military records. There were a variety of occupations, with only John Edward following in his father's footsteps in the watchmaking business. This and the next generation spread out across Nottinghamshire, but John Edward returned to Oldham.

Ernest Charles 1881 Coventry
John Edward 1883 Birmingham
Millie Charlotte 1884 Birmingham
William 1886 Birmingham
Rhoda Annie 1888 Birmingham
Florence 1890 Birmingham
Oliver 1892 Birmingham
Arthur 1894 Oldham
Sarah Ann 1896 Oldham
Ada 1897 Oldham
Alice 1899 Oldham
Emily 1901 Oldham

Ernest Charles

The birth of Ernest was registered in 1881. He was the only one of the children to be born in Coventry before the family left there, and he then moved with the family to Oldham and then to Nottingham around the turn of the century. There is information on four further generations, showing that the family remained in Nottingham, including the northern suburb of Basford.

In 1907, in Nottingham, Ernest married Esther Swann by whom he had three children, Constance, Mabel and Ernest Charles. There is no evidence that he served in World War 1, but perhaps this was because of illness, for in the spring of 1916 he died in Nottingham General Hospital of meningitis at the early age of 34. During his married life he was known at three different addresses in Nottingham, in Meredith Street (1907), Coppice Road (1911) and Winchester Street (1916).

In 1901, when he was still in Oldham, at home and aged 19, he was working as a cycle-maker. In Nottingham he worked as an electrician from at least 1908 until his death.

His wife may not have remarried. She is likely to be the Esther Fardon whose death was registered in Nottingham at the age of 68 in 1954.

What little is known from public documentation of his children and grandchildren is shown in the attached Tree and Sources. They seem to have remained in Nottingham until at least the end of the century. Nothing is known of their occupations.

John Edward

John was the first of the children born in Birmingham following the family's move from Coventry, and he was taken back to Coventry for his baptism. He went into the watchmaking/jewellery business, later becoming a commercial traveller. He served in World War 1, in France during the last few months of, and immediately after the end of the war. During his life he lived at a number of addresses in the north of England and Norfolk, finally settling in Oldham. He was married and had children.

John Edward's birth was registered in Birmingham in 1883, he was baptised in Coventry, from where his family had come, at the end of 1885. He was at home in 1891 and 1901 (now Oldham), and will have moved with his family to Nottingham soon after the turn of the century. Here he married Anne Gregory in 1904 and the following year his daughter Hilda was born.

From here the various family events (births, marriages, deaths) together with information from the census and military sources, show a number of addresses in the north of England and Norfolk. Until he finally settled in Oldham the longest period seems to have been in Norfolk, but even here at least three addresses are known. The following is a summary taken from the various entires in the Sources supplement:

1904 Nottingham   married Annie Gregory
1905 Nottingham 6 Eleanor Terrace daughter Hilda born
1907 Far Cotton, Northants 60 Rothersthorpe Road son John Edward born
1909 Oldham 26 Pool Street son Clifford Richard born
1911 Norwich   daughter Annie born
1911 Norwich   census address 19 Swansea Road
1913 Gorleston, Nflk 31 High Street son George born
191x Norwich 23 Grosvenor Road wife's address
1917 Nottingham   daughter Florence born
1919 Norwich   son George died
1921 Oldham   son Arthur Raymond born
1926 Oldham   daughter Hilda married
1945 Oldham   son Edward married
1949 Oldham   Edward John died
1986 Oldham   widow Annie died

a. The period in Norfolk (1911-1919) covers the World War 1 years, during which John was registered for military service from mid-1916 and a serving soldier from at least early 1918 to early 1919. The birth of Florence in Nottingham could perhaps reflect the wish of Annie to have her baby with friends or relatives, if John was likely to be away from home.
b. The address 23 Grosvenor Road in Norwich was given as his wife's (next of kin) in army documentation. The document seen is dated 1919 but is likely to reflect the information given when John enlisted in 1916.

John joined the army in June 1916, or perhaps was conscripted, for this was the period that married men began to be called up. He enlisted in the Royal Army Service Corps in Norwich. How he was occupied during the next eighteen months is not shown in army records (see Appendix A), which showed him to be posted to duty in Norwich at the beginning of 1918. He was then sent to the RASC MT unit at Isleworth where he qualified as a driver of the Peerless lorry and was sent to France in May 1918. Here he saw out the last five months of the war in an RASC unit. He was still in France at the beginning of 1919, when he was injured in a bizarre accident involving a tea-urn in the trenches, in which he burned his hand. He was repatriated and spent a little time in Thorpe hospital near Norwich before being released home. An application for compensation benefit relating to his wound was dismissed.

In the period of his life before the war John followed his father by working in the watch-making/jewellery industry. He began as a watchmaker's assistant, perhaps working with his father, but at the time of his marriage has become a jeweller's assistant. By 1909 he had risen to jeweller's manager, which was his employment when he signed on for the army in 1916. Nothing is known of the immediate post-war period, but in 1934 he was a commercial traveller in an unknown trade; perhaps he was putting to good use the driving skills that he had acquired in the army.

John died in Oldham in 1949, aged 65. His wife Annie survived him by a quarter of a century and died in 1976 at the age of 90, also in Oldham.

There were seven children, their birthplaces reflecting the various places in which John lived :

Hilda 1905 Nottingham, Notts died 1971
John Edward 1907 Far Cotton, Northants died 1966
Clifford Richard 1909 Oldham, Lancs died 1940
Annie Elizabeth 1911 Norwich, Norfolk died 1989
George Ernest Austin 1913 Yarmouth, Norfolk died 1919
Florence Vera 1917 Nottingham, Notts died 2009
Arthur Raymond 1921 Oldham, Lancs died 1998

- Hilda. Hilda was born in 1905 in Nottingham. She presumably followed her family to the various addresses in the north of England and Norfolk, ending up in Oldham in 1926, where she married Harry Evison. She seems to have remained in Oldham, where children were born in 1927 and 1931. She later died in Lancashire in 1971 aged 66.

- John Edward was born in 1907 in Far Cotton, immediately to the south of Northampton. He joined the Royal Navy as a boy sailor on the day after his sixteenth birthday, at Devonport, Plymouth and trained on HMS Impregnable there. At some stage, perhaps when he reached 18, he signed up for an engagement of 12 years. Thereafter he served as an Able Seaman on a number of naval vessels (Valiant, Queen Elizabeth, Erebus, Durban, perhaps Birmingham), his base being the Royal Naval Barracks at Devonport, known then as HMS Vivid.

There is naval documentation up to 1929. John's annual assessments show that his character was generally marked Very Good, his ability variously Satisfactory, Moderate, Good.. He had brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion, was 5ft 3in when he joined, 5ft 7½in on his eighteenth birthday.

He is assumed to have served out his engagement, to the mid-1930s, and would no doubt have been required to serve in World War 2, though no documentation has been seen for this. The next documentary evidence we have is his wedding in Oldham to Cecily Mannion in 1945. There is no evidence of children. John died in Blackpool in 1966, aged 58, Cecily survived him for two more decades, her death in Blackpool in 1987 at the age of 91.

- Clifford Richard was born in Oldham in 1909, but he had returned to the Nottingham area by 1934, when he married Gladys Read at Old Radford. The marriage document shows the same address (5 Alice Terrace) for both. The following year the birth of a son, Clifford Raymond, was registered in Nottingham. At the time of his marriage he was a shop assistant, but by July of probably 1939, when he joined the Auxiliary Fire Service he was an agent for The Nottingham Trading Association.

In July of probably 1939 he joined the Auxiliary Fire Service in Nottingham - a press item of November 1940 says that he had joined "last July", in another item a colleague said that he had joined as a volunteer before the war, and when war was declared (September 1939) became a full-time officer. In November 1940 he was one of a team despatched to Coventry to help counter the effects of the German bombing there. During one raid he was fatally injured when a burning building fell on him. He was taken to Rugby, where he died on 15th November at the age of 31 in the hospital of Saint Cross.

According to press reports and photographs he was given a fireman's funeral prior to burial at Wilford Hill cemetery in Nottingham. Funeral Cortege of Clifford - click to see enlargement His body was carried on the pump on which he had been working when he received his fatal injuries, and which was drawn by an AFS tender carrying the wreaths. There was a very large presence, including senior officers, from the auxiliary services of Nottingham and surrounding districts, among them the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire, Captain A Popkess; also representatives of the Nottingham Trading Association, and family members (widow Gladys, father and mother, brother Arthur, and relations of Gladys).

Gladys probably remained in Nottingham, where in 1944, just before the end of the war, she remarried. The one son, Clifford Raymond, seems also to have remained in the Nottingham area, where four daughters were born between 1960 and 1972, Suzanne, Deborah E, Louise Margaret and Vanessa. Suzanne married Christopher Arculeo, but when the marriage was dissolved after four years, had two children, Hannah and Matthew, by long-term partner Matthew Sundquist. Suzanne still lives in Nottingham. Much of the information contained here about Clifford Richard, including press cuttings and photographs, has been provided by Suzanne. Her sister Deborah is twice married and has two children by her second husband.

- Annie Elizabeth. Annie was born in Norwich around two weeks before the 1911 census, which was held on 2nd April. She was shown in the census as "no name", but was later registered as Annie E. The next record is in 1942 in Oldham, when she married William Cunningham. She later had 4 children and continued to live in the area until her death in 1989 at the age of 78.

- George Ernest Austin. George was born in Gorleston, near Yarmouth in Norfolk in 1913. He died at the age of six in Norwich, Norfolk.

- Florence Vera. Florence was born in Nottingham in 1916. The family was living in Norfolk at the time, but father was in the army and perhaps his mother was staying with friends or relatives for the birth. In 1940, again in Nottingham, Florence married Frederick Albert Dunn. A son was born in 1941 and a daughter in 1949. In 1966 the family emigrated to Australia, by assisted passage to Canberra. Florence died in June 2009 in Sydney, Australia at the age of 92.

- Arthur Raymond. Arthur was born in Oldham in 1921 and appears to have spent his whole life there. He was in Nottingham in November 1940 to attend the funeral of brother Clifford Richard. He married Clara Lees there in 1951, and his death was registered in Oldham in 1998, he was 77.
In the following three years, after their marriage, they had two sons, Howard and Christopher. Howard was in Swindon in 1980 to marry Lynn Raffels nee Fowler and they had a son there Ben Jack, in the same year.

Millie Charlotte

Millie, the next child of John, was born in Birmingham in 1884, the first of the children to be born there, but died within six months


William's birth was registered in Birmingham in 1886. He was at home in 1891 and 1901 (now in Oldham), working as an assistant in a tailor's shop on the latter date. He moved with the family to Nottingham and in 1908 married Clara Elizabeth Cheetham there. The following year came the first of many children. William's sister Emily would later marry a Cheetham, but there is no evidence of relationship (see under Emily below)

He then remained in Nottingham all his life. In April 1911 he was living at 56 Ball Street with wife and daughter. Father- and mother-in-law Albert and Annie Cheetham were also there on census night, the former aged 48 and a steeple-jack. Son William was born at this address later that year. The only other address so far known is perhaps 15 Belper Road, from where his daughter Elsie was married in 1932. William died in Nottingham in 1959 at the age of 73.

William worked in the clothing industry throughout. From being a tailor's assistant in 1901 he became a tailor journeyman by 1908, was a "tailor maker" (as described) in 1911, and was a tailor in 1932.

William was about 28 when the First World War broke out and would presumably have been eligible to serve. There are two William Fardons listed without a middle name in the WW1 Medals list. One joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment as a private and later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, where he became a sergeant. The other was a driver in the Army Service Corps. Both of them served on the Western Front, and both went to France on different dates in 1915; they were thus volunteers. See below under the heading Nottingham Fardons in World War 1.

William had eight children, one of whom died in action in World War 2:

- Elsie was born in 1909 in Nottingham. In 1932 she married Ernest George Goldsmith, a grocer's assistant (his father was a grocer). She was living at 15 Belper Road, presumably the Fardon residence. The ceremony took place in Hyson Green parish church, one of the witnesses being William Fardon; this is more likely to have been Elsie's brother than father, since the second witness was Mabel Annie Chester, later to become the wife of William junior.
- William was born in 1911 at 56 Ball Street in Nottingham. In 1932 he was witness at his sister Elsie's wedding in Nottingham. His own wedding, to Mabel Annie Chester, took place in 1935, when it was registered in Basford, a northern suburb of Nottingham and one child was born there in 1938. The family was in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire in 1943 and 1945, when two further children were born. They may have moved to Hinckley, also Leicestershire, by the 1960s, for here two of the children were married, though a third was married in Leicester. William and his wife died in Hinckley in the 1970s. Birth of grandchildren suggest that one of William's sons moved back to Nottingham, while another went to Cuckfield in Sussex.
There were three children, William G, John Harry and Rita. At least William and John themselves had children, as listed in the Sources document
- Hilda was born in Nottingham in 1912., but the birth was registered in Holbeck, to the north of the county, rather than Nottingham city. There is no further information on her.
- Albert John was born in 1915. In 1932 he was witness at his sister Elsie's wedding in Nottingham. By 1938 he had moved to Basford, a suburb of Nottingham, where in 1938 he married Connie Hearson. A son Terence A was born in Basford in 1940 and a daughter Joan C in 1944. By the 1960's the family had moved to Hinckley, where Terence and Joan were married and where Terence's children were born. In 1891 the death of Albert's wife Connie was registered in Hinckley.
- Richard and Elizabeth were born in Nottingham in 1918. Their births were registered together, and they were thus twins. Richard died at or soon after birth (his death was registered in the same quarter of the year - the second - as his birth). Elizabeth survived, and married Les Hutchinson in Nottingham in 1936. There is no further information.
- Ernest Charles was born in 1920 in Nottingham. In the second quarter of 1942 his marriage to May Castle was registered in Nottingham, and some 18 months later (in the fourth quarter of 1942) the birth of a boy, William.
Ernest was lost at sea during World War 2. On 31st December 1942 HMS Bramble, a Halcyon-class minesweeper which was escorting convoy JW-51B to Russia, was sunk by German destroyer Friedrich Eckoldt in the Barents Sea. All 121 men on board were lost, including P/JX 274989 Able Seaman Ernest Charles Fardon, 22. He is remembered by a plaque in the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
Letters of administration in respect of his estate of £184 7s 1d were granted to his widow May at Nottingham on 26th May 1943, His address at time of death was shown as 13 Beckenham Road, Radford. At the end of the war May probably remarried. In 1945, a May Fardon, presumably Ernest's widow, was married in Nottingham to David Moseley. There is no further information on her or son William, though it is possible that William assumed his mother's new surname and thus dropped out of Fardon records.
- Kathleen, the last of William's children, was born in Nottingham in 1928, and was married in 1949 to Sydney Henshaw. There is no further information

Rhoda Annie

Rhoda was born in Birmingham in 1888, and was at home in 1891 and 1901 (Oldham). In 1908, still at home, now 38 St Bartholomew St in Nottingham, she gave birth to a son William. She was one of two sisters to give birth as a single mother this year (see Florence, below). At the time of the birth she was working as a lace mender. In 1911 she was living not at home, but with her three-year-old son William at the home in Sneinton, Nottingham, of James and Emma Mellors and their four children aged 10 to 23 (she was 23). The relationship of both to the head of household was shown in the census of that year as boarders, but under the heading of marital status William was shown as "GND SON". It is noted that the 1911 census was the first in which the forms were filled in by the family rather than an enumerator. Was James Mellor, the head of household, acknowledging that William was his grandson, and that one of his sons was thus the father? Perhaps this is reading too much into the facts, but it is interesting that it was to a Mellors (Albert, not one in the house on census day 1911) that Rhoda would be married in 1915. Also, James Mellors was a lace-maker and Rhoda was working in the lace industry both at the time of William's birth and in 1911. Rhoda remained in contact with her family, and was a witness at the weddings in Nottingham of her sisters Florence in 1914 and Sarah Ann in 1915. In the latter year she herself was married, to Albert Mellors. The pair remained in Nottingham, where four children are known to have been born, Dorothy in 1918, Annie (1920), Gladys E (1922) and Eric (1928/3).

- William was born in Nottingham in 1908 and was with his mother at the Mellors' in 1911. There is no information on his life, but he may have been the William Fardon who died in Nottingham in June 1985, aged 77.

Florence (Florrie)

Florence was born in Birmingham in late 1889 or early 1890 and was at home in 1891 and 1901 (Oldham) and in 1911 (Nottingham). Like her older sister Rhoda she became a single mother when, in 1908 in Nottingham, she gave birth to a child, Rhoda. The certificate shows her home address as being the Fardon residence (38 St Bartholomew Road), as with her sister, but unlike her sister the birth was at another address, namely 700 Hucknall Road. It seems that this was the address of what is now the Nottingham Hospital, but which at the turn of the century may have included the city workhouse; but also a maternity unit, since there are many records on the internet of children being born at this address at around this time. Having her child away from home could suggest potential complications. At the time of the birth of Rhoda, and also three years later in 1911 Florence was working as a cigar maker.

In 1914 Florence married Ernest Limb in Nottingham. Her home address was still 38 St Bartholomew Road, presumably still the Fardon home. The couple remained in Nottingham after their marriage and there were five children, two of whom died in infancy, between 1914 and 1929 (listed in the Sources attachment).

Her daughter Rhoda is probably the Rhoda Fardon who married Charles Buck in Nottingham in 1927. They also remained in Nottingham after their marriage, and had at least two children, Mary P, birth registered in early 1929 and Vera E, 1930.


John's next son Oliver was born in the Aston district of Birmingham in 1892,. He was at home in 1901 (Oldham) and 1911 (Nottingham). He lived in Nottingham until the early 1920s, but then moved to Derbyshire, where he spent the rest of his life (Belper and Ripley are known locations). His three sons moved away after marriage, one to Chesterfield, Derbyshire and on to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, one to Llanelli in Wales, one to Leeds in Yorkshire.

Oliver's marriage to Harriet Martin was registered in Nottingham in the first quarter of 1913. There followed a son, John Oliver, whose birth was registered six months later.

Oliver is almost certainly the Oliver Fardon shown in the medals records as having served the World War 1, initially as a private in the local infantry regiment (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Light Infantry) and then with the same rank in the Army Service Corps. He served on the Western Front. The date of his transfer to France - 28th February 1915 - shows that he was a very early volunteer, possibly one of the first in August/September 1914. He served a full term and was discharged in August 1919. See details below.

After the war Oliver returned to Nottingham, where son Ernest was born at 46 Harley Street in 1920. He (or at least his wife) was in Belper, Derbyshire, in 1926 and 1930 where daughters Ivy I and Beatrice E were born. Then in 1934 his wife gave as her address as Waingrove Road, Peas Hill, Ripley when she registered son Ernest's birth (see under Ernest, below). 28 Waingrove Road, Ripley, was the civilian address given by son Arthur on his marriage documents in 1944.

Oliver's death was registered in Belper in 1962, aged 70. His wife Harriet' death was registered in Derby ten years later. She was 80.

Oliver worked in carpentry, at least in the later years. In 1934 and 1937 he was a woodcutting machinist and in 1944 a carpenter.

- Son John Oliver was born in Nottingham in 1913. In 1937 he was in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, to marry Phyllis Hage. From 1939 they were living in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, where four children were born. Two of them later married and had children of their own, also in Mansfield. See the Sources listing for details. John seems to have followed his father into carpentry. The one reference seen was to a wood machinist in 1937.

- Second son Arthur was born in Nottingham in 1915. He was in Cuckfield, Sussex, on 10th June 1944, to marry Nina Bower at the parish church, when he gave his address as 28 Waingrove Road in Ripley, Derbyshire. He was a soldier in HM Army. Perhaps he was in Sussex in connection with the D-day landings in Normandy, which took place on 6th June that year.

After the war Arthur lived in Leeds, Yorkshire, where three children were born between 1948 and 1954 - Helen, George R and Graham Paul. They married or died in Leeds. Arthur died there in 1993 at the age of 78 and his wife Nina in 1998, aged 79. There is no information on Arthur's civilian occupation.

- Third son Ernest was born at 46 Harley Street, Nottingham, on 11th October 1920. It seems that no certificate was issued at the time and the birth was not registered. Instead a certificate was issued at Nottingham South West on 28th November 1934 on the authority of Ivor Jones, Registrar General, and registration followed. The father's occupation (woodcutting machinist) on the certificate and the Ripley address of mother Harriet, who registered the birth are likely to be current (1934) rather than those at the time of the birth fourteen years before.

Presumably Ernest fought in World War 2 but no records have been seen. After the was, in 1944, he was in Llanelli, Wales, for his marriage to Gwladys Couldrey, and there he remained. Children (Janice E and Geoffrey E) were born there in 1948-1950, and both married in Llanelli. Grandchildren were born in Swansea, where Gwladys died in 1991, aged 81. Ernest himself died in Llanelli in 2000 at the age of 80. Details in the Sources list. (Swansea and Llanelli are some 12 miles apart)

The births of the two final children, both girls, were registered in Belper, Ivy I in 1926, Beatrice E in late 1929 or early 1930. Both married in Belper, after which they are lost from Fardon records.


Arthur was born in March-April 1894, the first of the children to be born in Oldham. He was at home in 1901, a schoolboy, and also in 1911 (in Nottingham) when he was working as a butcher's assistant. By 1915 he had moved to a new address, 9 Handell Road, in Nottingham, probably the house of the Cordon family. One of a family of this name had married an aunt of Arthur in 1901, another would later marry Arthur's father (see above, under John). From this address Arthur was working as a fishmonger at the shop of a certain John Burton in nearby Smithy Row.

In 1915 Arthur enlisted in the army. A fair number of the "burnt documents" covering his war service, mainly medical documents and "statements of service", are extant, and from these a good account of his military career can be ascertained - enlistment, periods of service as an infantryman and machine-gunner in France, periods of sick-leave at home, and final discharge. A full account is given in Appendix A, with a narrative summary here.

Arthur was an early volunteer, enlisting in Nottingham on 15th September 1914, about a fortnight after war was declared, and joining the county regiment (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment, also known as the Sherwood Foresters). He was posted to a reserve battalion for his training and thence, in June the following year to the 1/7th battalion. This was one of the territorial battalions, known as the Robin Hoods. (One document states that he was first posted into the 2/7th, which was in Ireland, but this could be erroneous).

He joined his battalion in France, which was already there as part of 139th Bde of 46 (North Midland Territorial) Division, VII corps, 3rd Army. He will presumably have seen action in the battle of the Hohenzollen Redoubt in September-October 1915.

In February 1916 he was transferred as a gunner into the brigade's Machine-gun Company. Then, on 30th June 1916 Joshua sprained his wrist and the following day he was treated at 20 Casualty Clearing Station, Warlencourt. The next day he was at 16 General Hospital at Le Touquet, on the French coast south of Boulogne. In all cases the diagnosis was the same, sprained wrist. And on 4th July he was on his way home on the hospital ship Oxfordshire. All for a sprained wrist?

He remained on the strength of 1/7th Bn and it was two months before he was transferred to the Reserve Bn, where he seems to have remained until March 1917. This will probably have been the 5th Reserve Battalion at Saltfleet, Lincolnshire, for there is a record of his having gone absent in Saltfleet on 19th February 1917 "Overstaying leave from Tattoo Roll Call until 11am 27/2/17 (9 days). Punishment 21 days FP No2, forfeits 9 days pay." Before this, in January 1917 he had spent 18 days in the "Scabies Depot South", where he was being treated for Scabies.

On 9th March 1917, still in the Reserve Bn, he was posted again to France, arriving at 14th Infantry Base, Calais the following day. At the end of the month he joined the 2/7th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters. He will presumably have seen action at Passchendaele, in which his regiment was involved, but clearly survived.

Then, towards the end of September 1917 he was kicked by a mule. This caused contusion of the knee which led to synovitis, which was severe enough for him to be admitted to an Australian military hospital in Wimereux, near Boulogne and then invalided to England. Indeed it was severe enough for him to have to spend a lot of time in treatment in England - some six weeks in Northampton War Hospital in Duston, then 79 days in the Lancashire Military Hospital in Blackpool. At the latter hospital he underwent eight weeks massage treatment with a recommendation for a period of leave and then "Command Depot" for further treatment. He went on perhaps three weeks leave, and was then posted to the 5th Reserve Battalion of the Notts & Derbys Regt, awaiting a posting to No 2 Infantry Command Depot at Ripon, Yorkshire, where he then spent 63 days at medical category B2.

After that his fate was similar to others who were unfit for further action at The Front, but not sick enough to be discharged. He was first posted to the 5th Reserve Bn of his regiment at Saltfleet prior to transfer to the Labour Corps in September 1918. Then, in the Labour Corps he did service in a number of HS [Home Service] Employment Companies, including number 504, 506 at Grimsby, Lincolnshire, 527 and 525 probably both at Clipstone, Nottinghamshire. From here he was transferred to the Army Reserve on 20th March 1919 and was finally discharged on 18th April.

Before his discharge Arthur claimed a disability allowance in respect of his synovitis on account of continuing pain behind the knee. He was examined at Clipstone. The disability was acknowledged but given a weighting of under 20%, the lowest category. It was recommended that he be reexamined after twelve months. Meanwhile he was awarded a sum of five shillings and sixpence a week for 52 weeks only. There is no information on whether there was any further examination or subsequent award.

Arthur received the three medals due to him, namely the Victory and War Medals and the 1915 Star. In addition he qualified for the Silver War Badge, covering his period at home at the end of his active service in France.

Far less is known about his post-war life. At the end of 1923 or beginning of 1924 he was in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, to marry Lucy Brown. He seems to have moved there permanently, for his death was reported in Mansfield in 1964 at the age of 70. The death of Lucy, his widow, was registered there in October 1994. She was 90.

There are no records of any children.

Sarah Ann

Sarah's birth was registered in Oldham in the first quarter of 1896. She was at home in 1901 and in 1911 (Nottingham), when she was working as a net mender. In 1915 she married Leonard Key, a groom and son of a groom, at 19 the same age as she. She was living at the Fardon family home, 28 Bellevue Road, Nottingham, and was working as a plain net maker. One child is known from the marriage, Hilda M, whose birth was registered in Nottingham in 1916.


Ada was born in 1897 in Oldham and was at home in 1901 and in1911 (Nottingham). She married Harold Payne in Nottingham in 1922. The couple remained in the district, where a daughter Joan A was born in 1925, but they then seem to have moved to nearby Basford, where two further children Marjorie (late 1928/early 1929) and Harold A (1933) were born.


Ada was born in 1899 in Oldham, was at home in 1901 and 1911 (Nottingham). She married Charles J Kirk in Nottingham in 1924. A daughter Kathleen was born in Nottingham in 1925, but then, like sister Ada, she may have moved to Basford, where son Ronald was born in 1933.


Emily was born in 1901 at 75 Beever Street in Oldham and was at home in Nottingham in 1911. She married Ernest Cheetham in Nottingham in 1920. There is no evidence that Ernest was related to Clara Cheetham whom Emily's brother William had married. Indeed, the 1901 census shows that this was a very common name in the area. The couple remained in Nottingham after their marriage, four children were born to them there between 1921 and 1938. These were Emily D-1921, Ernest-1925, John W-1933, and Brenda-1938.

Nottingham Fardons in the First World War

The following details are taken from the World War 1 Medals cards held at the National Archives. There are candidates for Nottingham Fardons, sons of John, who fought in the First World War. The 1915 Star was given to those who saw action in a theatre of war in that year The SWB (Silver War Badge) was given to those who were returned home as unfit for further active service because of sickness or wounds. They would then normally have served in the Labour Corps or in a reserve unit of their own regiment or Corps.

Arthur, Oliver and William would have been volunteers. Their postings to France in early to mid-1915 indicates that they volunteered very early, probably soon after war was declared. There is not enough information to determine the status of John E in this respect.

name unit rank number star theatre/date into SWB discharge
Arthur Notts & Derby Pte 2589 15 France 28/6/1915 x 18/4/1919
  Lab C   644437        
John E ASC Pte M/352359        
Oliver Notts & Derby Pte 170 15 France 28/2/1915   5/8/1919
  ASC Pte S4/244647        
  ASC Pte T4/244647        
William ASC(T) Dvr 1133 15 France 28/2/1915   5/8/1919
  ASC Dvr T4/244646        
Remarks: NW/9/1925 (13) [meaning unknown]

Arthur is the Arthur Fardon born in Birmingham in 1894. This is confirmed from the burnt documents, which give some civilian details of his life (see above, and also Appendix A).. The award of the Silver War badge (at Appendix B) is consistent with the wounds described therein.

Oliver is likely to be the Oliver Fardon born Birmingham in 1892. Like Arthur he has joined the local infantry regiment as a volunteer, though earlier than Arthur judging by his regimental number and the date of transfer to the Western Front. At an unknown time he has moved to the Army Service Corps. There is a gap in Oliver's children between Arthur (1915 2nd quarter) and Ernest in 1920, which would be consistent with his absence overseas.

William (ASC) could be the William, born Birmingham 1886. He seems to have joined the Army Service Corps at the beginning. A possible link with Oliver comes in the two ASC service numbers, which are successive. (It is just possible, however, that this represents no more than an alphabetical allocation of numbers when the six-figure series was issued; and that there just happened to be two Fardons present who were not being brothers. But this is surely unlikely). Note that the two seemed to serve in the same unit in that they went to France on the same day and were discharged together after the war. William's children over the period consisted of Albert J 1915 3rd quarter and twins Elizabeth and Richard 1918 2nd quarter; implying home leave in mid-1917.

There is not enough information on John E to determine whether this is the same as the John Edward Fardon born in Birmingham in 1883.

SECTION 2B ~Q1b - Charles' second son - Oliver

This is a small group, with the Fardon name dying out, at least in England, after three generations.

Of the three sons of Oliver one lost his life in action in World War 1 before he married, another probably had no children, the third had at least one son but he emigrated with his family to Australia. An illegitimate son of one of Oliver's daughters, bearing the Fardon name, died in childhood.

Oliver was born in Coventry, his birth registered in the fourth quarter of 1860, and seems to have lived nearly all his life in the city. He was living at home up to at least 1881. He then married Sarah Jane Barton, also a native of Coventry, in 1883 and the first of six children was born the following year.

After his marriage the various sources show a number of addresses in Coventry:

1884 56 Queen Street (birth of first child)
1888 9 Shakespeare Terrace, Stoney Stanton Road (birth of daughter Lilly)
1891 184 Stoney Stanton Road (census)
1901 202 Stoney Stanton Road (census)
1909-11 38 Somerset Road (birth of daughter Lilly's baby, and census).

This is more stable than it might seem, for the 1888, 1891 and 1901 addresses refer to the same house. In 1891 number 178 was referred to 6 Shakespeare Terrace, which implies that 9 Shakespeare Terrace was the same as number 184, three houses along. In the 1890s there was a renumbering of the houses so that number 184 in 1891 became 202 in 1901. Oliver's father Charles also lived in Stoney Stanton Road during this period, in 1891 in the area of number 175, almost opposite Oliver, and in 1901 in the area of number 311, some fifty houses along the road.

Oliver's wife Sarah died in Coventry in 1939 at the age of 80. Oliver is probably the Oliver Fardon whose death was registered in Nuneaton, nine miles from Coventry, in 1946. He was 85.

Oliver did not follow the Fardon trade of blacksmith; this was left to a younger brother Charles. From the beginning he was in the watchmaking industry, like his older brother John, as a watch finisher in 1881 to at least 1901, "escapement doer" in 1911 and watchmaker in 1924.

Oliver's children

There were six children (year of registration of birth):

Violet 1884 Arthur 1891
Frederick 1887 William 1893
Lilly 1888 Florrie 1896

Violet died aged 2 and Arthur lost his life, as a young man, in action in France in World War 1. The surviving girls married and disappeared from Fardon records. The surviving sons, like their father, lived out their lives in Coventry. One grandson emigrated with his wife and son to Australia. The nature of the records after 1901 precludes much knowledge of occupations, but it is known that one daughter was engaged at one point in the watchmaking industry, one son in the cycle and motor industries.


Oliver's first child was born in Coventry in 1884, but lived just a little over two years before her death was registered in 1886.


Frederick's birth was registered in Coventry in early 1887, and he was at home in 1891 and 1901. On the latter date he was a 14-year-old cycle tool maker. He married Ellena Millicent Dowles in 1910 and had the first of two children the following year, when he was living in Jenner Street with occupation as motor machinist (according to his son's birth certificate) or grinder (according to the census entry). His wife died in 1914, aged 27, and two years later he married Charlotte Jane Hughes, but there are no records of any children by her.

Frederick would have been 37 at the beginning of World War 1, but no records have yet been found of war service. His death was registered in Coventry in 1954 at the age of 67. His wife survived him by nearly three decades, her death in Nuneaton, some eight miles from Coventry, in 1982 at the age of 92.

There were two children. Frederick, born in 1911, was next seen in Birmingham in 1941, where he married Gwynneth Rose Clifford. Presumably he saw service in the war. A son, Alan Mark, was born after the war, in 1947, in Merdien, midway between Birmingham and Coventry, and in 1951 the family took advantage of the assisted passages that were then being offered to emigrate to Australia.

Frederick Senior's second child was Hilda, born late 1911 or early 1912. She married Albert Price in Coventry in 1937 and drops out of the Fardon records.


Lilly was born in Coventry in 1888 and was at home in 1891, 1901 (shown in the census as Tilly) and 1911 (as Lily) . In 1909 she had a son Eric, but he died at the age of four. He was with her in 1911, when his relationship to the head of household was erroneously shown on the census form as nephew (rather than grandson). In 1901 she was working as a watch materials maker, presumably in conjunction with her father, but no occupation is shown in 1911.. Otherwise all that is known of her is that in early 1924 her marriage to Bertram Barnett was registered in Coventry and that at the end of that year a daughter Francis L was born to her, also in Coventry.


Arthur's birth was registered in early 1891 in Coventry, and he was at home in 1901. On census day (2 April) 1911 he was a patient, with brother William, in an institution, almost certainly the Coventry City Fever Hospital in Stoney Stanton Road. This is presumably the building or complex that would become Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital with an address in the same road. It is not known what was wrong with the brothers; on the available copy of the census sheet, which contains a list of 30 names, the final column, headed Infirmity, has been blanked out. The record does, however, show that Arthur worked as an engine fitter at the Daimler [car] works. See also William below.

The next information is from military records, which show that an Arthur Fardon served as a private in the local infantry regiment, the Royal Warwickshires, and that he was killed at the Battle of the Somme on 14th July 1915. A William Fardon joined the regiment at about the same time. The two must be the brothers Arthur and William here, especially as Arthur was not seen after the war.

Arthur was with the 1/7th battalion of the regiment, with regimental number 2568. This battalion was formed on 4th August 1914, immediately following the declaration of war, almost certainly staffed by volunteers. Regimental records show that after training it transferred to France at the end of March 1915. Arthur's record shows that he went to France at the same time, on 22nd March 1915, and is clear that he must have volunteered for service at or very soon after the formation of the regiment, trained and then travelled to the Western Front with them..

The Warwickshires remained throughout on the Western Front and took part in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. It was here, at La Boisselle, that Arthur lost his life, on 14th July. The following account of the day's activity is from the War Diaries of the 1/7 Bn Royal Warwickshire Regt, written at the time:

Arthur Memorial at Ovilleers, FranceMoved into position in trenches and were heavily shelled going into La BOISSELLE. At 7.30 A.M. after artillery preparation A & B Coys proceeded to assault. They reached their objective. Many casualties were resulted [sic] chiefly from machine guns the following officers being killed - 2nd Lt Bullock and the following attached officers of the 3rd. Dorset Regt. 2nd Lt Jones 2nd Lt Baker 2nd Lt Ferman. We held the trench for seven hours when we had to evacuate it on account of the enemy's heavy enfilade fire both shell and machine guns. Lieut Colonel Knox who lead [sic] the attack and who had shown the greatest bravery throughout was wounded later. Major Hanson then took command of the Battn. Our casualties estimated at 150 of whom 68 were reported killed.

Arthur is commemorated in plot I.E.16 in the Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovilleers-La Boisselle, France.


William's birth was registered in Coventry in 1893 and he was at home in 1901. In 1911 he was a patient, with his brother Arthur (see above) in probably the City Fever Hospital with an unknown illness. At the time he also was working at the Daimler works, as a machinist (motor). The next record is of William Fardon serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He must have joined at about the same time as his brother Arthur (Arthur's regimental number was 2568, William's 2605) as an early volunteer, presumably in the same battalion, and like Arthur he went to France on 22nd March 1915. However, at some point he transferred to the Machine Gun Corps with the new regimental number 24402. If William transferred when the Corps was formed in October 1915 he will not have been with the Royal Warwickshires at the battle where his brother perished. He survived the war, seems to have done well as he came out with the rank of sergeant.

After the war he returned to Coventry and married Lillian E Thompson, but there are no records known of children. Lillian died in Coventry in 1957 at the age of 60. William outlived her by some 35 years and died, still in Coventry, in 1992 at the age of 98.


The last child, Florrie, was born in 1896 and was at home in 1901 and 1911, her occupation on the latter date being "learning ribbon weavering". She was listed in 1911 as Flory. All we then know is that she was married, to Albert Arthur Edward Wale in Radford in 1924, and disappears from the Fardon records. There is no information about any children.

SECTION 2C: Q1c - Charles's third son Charles

Charles was born in Coventry and initially followed the family tradition as a blacksmith (shoeing smith) but later joined the Salvation Army as his full-time occupation. He then travelled widely as a preacher and organiser, finally settling in Luton. In the Salvation Army he rose to the rank of Commandant, and on his death in 1929 warm tributes were paid to him in Salvation Army literature. He was married and there were ten children, but there is no evidence that any followed his chosen career. Most of the family seems to have stayed in Luton, except for one son who moved to London and then Hertfordshire.


Charles was born in 1862 or 1863 in Coventry, and spent his first 40 years there, where he was at home in 1871 and 1881. In 1885 he married Hannah Haddon, born in Foleshill, Warwickshire, and by her had eight children by 1896. His address in 1891 was Coventry was Cobden Street, specified as number 24 in daughter Hannah's birth certificate in 1895. His occupation was shoeing smith.

In 1896 he joined the Salvation Army in Coventry and much of what we know about his subsequent career is from records and press cuttings which the Salvation Army kindly made available. He started as an agent in the Salvation Army Assurance Society in 1896, Commandant Fardonand by 1911 had risen to the position of Life Assurance Superintendent. He was promoted to oversight of the Coventry District in 1897, later becoming an officer. During the early years he worked as a Salvationist in Coventry, Stafford (his ninth child, son Bramwell was born in Cannock in 1898), Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent (where the family was living at 145 Frank Street in 1901) and Rugby.

In 1903 he was promoted to a post in London with the rank of Ensign, but not before a visit back to Coventry, where another child Bertram was born that year. In the following years he worked in London, Northampton (where his last child was born in 1905) and Worcester (1911), before his final posting in Luton, where he spent at least the last ten years of his working life. He retired in 1927 with the rank of Commandant and returned to live in Coventry. Here he continued his work for the Salvation Army, becoming Corps Sergeant-Major, until overtaken by illness. He was living at 27 Harefield Road when, on 30th September 1929, he died at the age of 66 in the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital, Coventry, following an operation. Probate was granted in Birmingham to his widow Hannah, the effects being £358 3s 11d.

His wife Hannah was a native of Stoke-on-Trent, and was herself active in the Salvation Army, joining in 1897 when her husband became an officer in the Coventry District. After Charles's death in Coventry in 1929 she returned to Luton, the location of her husband's final posting, no doubt to be near her children and grandchildren, and continued to work there for the Salvation Army. But she suffered a long period of ill health, and died there in 1937, aged 73. She also received a generous tribute in Salvation Army literature.

There were ten children, though Charles and Hannah experienced considerable sorrow in the loss of five of them during their own lifetimes - one as a baby, two as toddlers and two more in their thirties. Details below

From the tributes to Charles in Salvation Army literature following his death it is clear that he was a tall and imposing man, humourless but a hard worker who achieved much in the Salvation Army. It is not only the tributes after his death that bear witness to the regard of the Army for him and confidence in his abilities, but also the fact that he was sent to oversee "difficult" commands in the Midlands area. It will be noted that his funeral service was conducted by no less than a Brigadier in the Army.

Perhaps one of the more intriguing characters in the Charles Fardon story was a Salvation Army lady known as The Zulu Queen, and who would appear to be a cousin of Charles. Press reports of Charles's funeral mention that tributes were paid by Mrs Staff-Captain Pawson, also known as the Zulu Queen. She seems to have been a well-known figure in the Army, Marianne Pawson - 'The Zulu Queen'to the extent that not only was there a large and generous tribute in War Cry on her own death, but also a slim book written of her life (Marianne Pawson, the Zulu Queen, by Ruth Tracy). She had been born Marianne Faulconbridge and grown up in comparative poverty in Coventry, with a deeply religious mother and absent wastrel of a father. She had joined the Salvation Army and became one of their most active members. There was an observed association with the Fardon family as early as 1881, when Charles's younger sister Florence was staying with Marianne in Derby where the latter was listed as a Captain in the Salvation Army and where, according to Salvation Army literature, she had taken command of the Army's Corps the previous year. Marianne was 23. Of two female visitors, one was an Lieutenant in the Army. Florence Fardon, just eight years of age, as shown as Marianne's cousin; which must mean that Marianne was also Charles's cousin, though it has not been possible to establish the relationship line. But it does suggest a Salvation Army influence on the Fardons some 15 years before Charles himself joined.

Salvation Army sources for this account include the Salvation Army newspaper The War Cry for 12th May 1881, 13th October 1888, 25th December 1889, 23rd November 1929, 9th January 1937, 20th March 1943, Assurance (the magazine of the Salvation Army Assurance Society Ltd) of November 1929, and Marianne Pawson, The Zulu Queen by Ruth Tracy (date unknown). Initial research carried out by the Salvation Army.

Children of Charles and Hannah

There were ten children, the first eight born in Coventry between 1886 and 1896, one more while Charles was working at Staffordshire, and the last during a visit to Coventry in 1903. The dates in the following table are the years in which the births were registered:

Florence Gertrude 1886 Eva 1893
Charles Sydney 1887 Hannah 1895
Edith Annie 1889 Albert 1896
Eliza 1890 Bramwell 1898
Hettie 1892 Bertram 1903

Three of the children died young - successive girls Edith Annie and Eliza at age 4, and Hannah while still a baby. Hettie and Eva grew up, married, and are lost from Fardon files, though there is a family photograph of Eva.

Florence Gertrude and Charles Sydney died early, both aged 34, and Bramwell at 56. Albert's death date is not known, but Bertram bucked the trend by living to his 98th year

Two of those eligible to serve fought in World War 1, Charles Sydney as a Guardsman, Bramwell in the local infantry regiment. Both were released early from front line service because of wounds or illness. Another, Albert, may have served in the Red Cross.

There is no information on occupations from sources seen so far, which are mainly GRO records. Of the four boys the eldest returned to Coventry to live marry and died there. For the rest the tendency was for them and their descendants to remain in Luton. One lived to the grand age of 97, and died in Oxford. But one moved to London and then St Albans in Hertfordshire; on his death the family moved to Merton in Surrey.

Florence Gertrude

Florence was born in Coventry in 1891 and was at home with the family until at least 1911. She presumably followed her parents during their wanderings, and was last seen at Luton, where her death was reported here at the age of 35 in 1922. In 1911, although the oldest at 24, she was the only one of the adult children not to have an outside occupation, and it may be that, as was often the case with the oldest daughter, she helped run the large household as what was often termed "mother's help". She was unmarried.

Charles Sidney, also known as Sidney

Charles was shown as Charles Sidney in the official records of births, marriages and deaths, and in the military records and 1911 census, but as Sidney in the 1891 census and Sidney C in 1901. He was born in Coventry in 1887 and was at home with the family up to at least 1911, when he was working as a tramway motorman. He may have returned to Coventry before the World War 1 as his marriage to Ivy Overton was registered at Foleshill, a suburb of the city, in 1915. He would also return there after the war.

The marriage was registered in the fourth quarter of 1915, exact date not known, but was with a couple of months of the beginning of his military service. A Charles Sydney Fardon enlisted on 11th December of that year and served in the Coldstream Guards with regimental number 17768. Perhaps he was a late volunteer, but he would in any case have been conscripted by the middle of 1916. He was discharged on 5th September the following year after only nine months service, with chronic [record unreadable]tis of the knee. The discharge was under the provisions of paragraph 292 (xvi) of King's Regulations, which related to unit-level discharge of soldiers who were sick or unfit for further active service. Such discharges usually resulted in the solider being transferred to the Labour Corps or to a service battalion of their regiment, presumably for non-combat duties, and were released from the service after the war. The fact that Charles was released from the army in 1916 may suggest that his wounds or illness were serious enough to preclude any further occupation in the army, nit just combat duties. He seems to have been overlooked in the awarding of medals for he does not appear in the medals listing for the war. Instead, there is an undated, presumably post-war request for the medals, from which the details of his service were obtained.

After the war Charles was back in Coventry. In 1922 the birth of a daughter Marjorie L was registered at Foleshill. in the north-eastern suburbs of the city. At the end of that year or the beginning of 1923 Charles died at the age of 35, with the death registered in Coventry. No more records, either remarriage or death, have been found of his widow Ivy, but mother and daughter may have remained in Coventry, as it was there that daughter Marjorie was married in 1951. Strangely the record shows Marjorie's maiden name as "Robson or Fardon", which normally implies a previous marriage, but this cannot be substantiated.

Edith Annie and Eliza

Two children who died as toddlers. Edith was born in Coventry in late 1888 or early 1889, Eliza in 1990. They were both at home in 1891. Both were four years of age when they died, Edith in 1893 and Eliza in late 1894 or early 1895. Nothing is known of the cause of death. They are buried in the London Road Civic cemetery in Coventry.


Hettie was born in Coventry in 1892 and was at home until at least 1911, when she was working as a "machinist skirts". In 1916 she married Alfred Hooper at Luton, where the Fardon family was then living. This could be the man of that name whose birth was registered in Worcester in 1891, and whom she could have met when the Fardons were living there around 1911, for they appear to have gone to live in Worcester after the marriage. Three boys were born there in 1917-1926, and then a girl in Wolverhampton in 1929. Nothing further is known.

Eva Halliday nee Fardon Eva

Eva was born in Coventry in 1893 and was at home until at least 1911, when she was working as a wrapper (not further specified). In 1918 her marriage to Frank Halliday was registered in Luton. Nothing further is known, but from family sources she seems not to have had children. Eva is pictured here on the right.


Hannah was another girl who died in childhood, this time at only one year of age. She was born at home (24 Cobden Street, Coventry) on 30th May 1895, her death was registered in the fourth quarter of the following year. Like Edith and Eliza above she is buried in the London Road Civic cemetery in Coventry.


Albert was born in Coventry in 1896 and was at home in Stoke-on-Trent in 1901 and 1911. There is then no definite information until after World War 1. However, Albert would just have been old enough to serve in the war. The only person of that name in the medals register is an Albert H Fardon who served as a medical orderly with the British Red Cross Society. He transferred to France on 10th April 1915, and was thus an early volunteer. After the war he received the two war medals (British War and Victory) and also the 1915 Star in recognition of his service in France. There is nothing to say whether this is the Albert Fardon in question.

Albert was back in Luton by 1923 when his marriage to Eva Janes was registered. Two children followed, one of whom died at or shortly after birth. The birth of Edmund C was registered in early 1925, his death in the same quarter of the year. In late 1929 or early 1930 Jane A was born. In 1978, still in Luton, she married Sydney Gauntlett and drops out of the Fardon records.

No further documentation has been seen relating to Albert or Edith. for example the registration of death.


Bramwell Constance Fardon nee Scales This son was named after Bramwell Booth, son of the founder of the Salvation Army and Chief of Staff and later himself leader. Bramwell was born in 1898 in Cannock Staffordshire soon after his father joined the Salvation Army, and when his father had left Coventry for his ministry which included Cannock. Bramwell was at home in 1901 and 1911, still a schoolboy. The picture here is of Bramwell at about age 18.

In the war Bramwell was a private in the local regiment, the Bedfordshires, service number 41539. There is no information available on the details of his service, except that he was discharged after the war on 5th April 1919 with the Silver War Badge, which indicates unfitness for further military or reserve service through sickness or wounds. The normal pattern would be withdrawal from active service at some stage as unfit for active service, placement in a support role, and then discharge as normal after the war. He received the standard two medals (Victory and British War medals). The lack of a Star means that if he served abroad, as seems likely given the award of a Silver War Badge, he will have arrived after 1915.

There is as yet no firm evidence of where Bramwell was immediately after the war but in October 1923 he sailed from Liverpool for Quebec, Canada. Later that month he was in Montreal, a visitor and labourer. But he was back home in Luton by 1927, when he married Constance Scales (pictured here) and two children followed, in 1930 and 1934. There was another child in 1944, but he may have been adopted. Divorce soon followed the appearance of the last child, and Bramwell remarried in 1947, to Vera Buckingham. His ex-wife Constance remarried two years later. Bramwell died in Luton in 1953, aged 56.

The three children, and grandchildren, were all born in Luton. All that is known about them is birth and marriage information, from GRO records:

- Keith Bramwell was born in 1930, married in 1948, and there were children Kevin Stephen (1951) and Derry Elaine (1952). Kevin is married with two children Ben Kevin and Jodie Anne. Derry married in 1973, still in Luton.

- Kathleen C was born in late 1933 or early 1934 and married in late 1951 or early 1952. There were four children, all girls, the second of which lived for only two weeks.

- John B, also called Barry, was born in late 1943 or early 1944


Bertram was born in Coventry in 1903, Bertram and daughter Christineprobably during a visit there by the family following Charles's promotion to a post in London. He would have been too young to serve in the war. The next information comes with his marriage in 1925 in Luton, after which he remained in Luton to at least 1936, when his last child was born there. There is then a gap until 2001, when his death was registered in Oxford. He was 97. This picture must date from around 1937, as the child is his daughter Christine (born 1936).

There were four children and a number of grandchildren. One of his sons forsook Luton, moving first to London, later to Hertfordshire.

The first child, Ena F was born in 1925 and lived only one day (birth and death registered in Luton in the second quarter of the year).

Second child, Alan B, was born in 1927. He had moved to Battersea in London by 1948, where he married Mabel Gallagher and had three children - Lee P 1952, Sharon late 1957 or early 1958, Colin R 1959. By 1963 the family was in St Albans, where the fourth child Thomas A was born. Four years later Alan died in St Albans at the age of 39. At some stage after this the family moved to Merton in Surrey, where children Lee, Sharon and Thomas were married between 1982 and 1999.

Much is known about Bertram's third child Rex, who emigrated to Australia and has contributed to this document. He was born in Luton in 1934, married Jean Brazier on 21st March 1959 in Wandsworth in London. There were then three children Peter R 1960, Jane E 1961 and Sarah A 1963 born in Luton. At the time Rex was working at the Vauxhall car works at Luton (a subsidiary of the General Motors Corporation). In 1964 he emigrated with his family to Australia where he worked briefly at General Motors Holden in Melbourne and within seven months joined the Royal Australian Air Force. Three more children followed, Christina M (Melbourne 1965), Alison L (Sale, 1968) and Alan J (Melbourne 1970). Rex left the RAAF in 1989 with the rank of Wing Commander and joined the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators as their Executive Administrator, remaining with them until 1999. There had been an amicable divorce during this time, and Rex and his partner Robyn Wilkinson now purchased a bed-and-breakfast establishment in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, where they are today (2006) Rex's six children married and themselves had children, as listed in the Sources document. Rex's two boys have produced three children so far but, as of 2006, only one of them a boy to continue the Fardon name. Bertram's fourth child Christine M was born in 1936 in Luton. In 1957 she married Pip Howe in Luton, and had two sons, Graham S (1961) and Phillip L (1963). She and Pip, but not the boys, emigrated to Australia in 2003, where her brother Rex has been since the 1960s (see above) and live at Avoca Beach.


Charles's last child, Annie, was born in Northampton in 1905 and was at home in 1911, a schoolgirl. There is as yet no further information.

SECTION 2D : Q1d - Charles's first daughter Anne Lyne

Anne Lyne was born in Coventry in late 1864 or early 1865. The origin of the unusual second name is not known. Unlike her two surviving younger sisters, who had jobs by their mid-teens and were married in their mid-twenties, Anne remained at home without outside occupation until she was in her mid-thirties. This was no doubt because, as eldest sister, she had responsibilities relating to the running of the family, and indeed her occupation was shown in the censuses as household duties (1881) and assisting in the home (1891). And in 1901, with her mother dead and the rest of her siblings flown, she alone was living with her widowed father, presumably looking after him. .

There was then a change. In 1901 there was a lodger, one William J S Wilkinson, at 32 four years younger then Anne (though Anne had shown her age also as 32 in the 1901 census). He was a brasscaster from Birmingham. Two years later Anne and William were married.

Anne moved with her husband and three children to Canada. Anne travelled with the children in 1911 and William in 1910. She died in Selkirk, Manitoba in 1942 and is survived by grandchildren.

SECTION 2E : Q1e - Charles's second daughter Rebecca

Rebecca was typical in living at home until her twenties, with a light outside occupation, then getting married and leaving home. Her birth was registered in Coventry in 1866, and she was home until 1891, working as a silk winder in 1881 and an employed dressmaker in 1891. In 1892 she married William Eales in Coventry, and is then lost from Fardon records. A number of children with surname Eales were born in Coventry in the next decade, but more than can be attributed to one couple. Perhaps some were Rebecca's. William and Rebecca have not been found in the 1901 census for England.

SECTION 2F : Q1f - Charles's fourth son William

William lived and worked throughout in Coventry, though he died in the Warwick Registration District. His birth was registered in Coventry in 1868, and he was at home to at least 1891, when he was working as a 22-year-old cycle machinist. By December of 1891 he had moved to Butcher Row in Coventry, and it was from here that he married Sarah Ann Curzons. The following year the first of eight children was born.

The next record is in 1901, when he is a baker and confectioner, working at home and on his own account in Far Gosford Street, Coventry. This has all the patterns of his running a baker's shop, perhaps his own business, and indeed in 1904 he is listed in Kelly's directory as a shopkeeper. But this did not last. The following year he has moved to Alfred Road, and is now a baker journeyman, usually meaning working for someone else. In 1907, still at Alfred Road, he has returned to his occupation as cycle machinist. In 1911 he has moved again, to George Street in Coventry, and with new work as Iron Polisher, which he would still be doing in the 1930s.

There is then a gap until the 1930s. In 1933 his wife died and that year and in 1936 two of his children were married from an address in Wallace Road, Coventry. In 1933 he was listed as a polisher, in 1936 an iron polisher. William's death was registered in Warwick in 1942. He was aged 74.

There were eight children, all born in Coventry; the dates shown here are the years of birth registrations Just two were boys, and of these only one (Phillip Stanley) is known to have married and produced children. Thus the Fardon name continues here through just a single line. William and the family group about 1915

Ethel 1892 Aubrey William B 1900
Ada Charlotte 1894 Rose Sarah 1903
Nellie 1896 Marjorie Edna 1905
Emma C 1898 Phillip Stanley 1907

One of the girls, Marjorie Edna, died at or soon after birth. All the survivors were at home until at least 1911, when the eldest three, all girls, had work, almost certainly together and probably in the motor industry, as Examiner of Fuze Porter (Ethel, 19), Examiner of Motor Porter (Ada Charlotte, 16) and Lacquerer of Fuze Porter (Nellie, 14). Of the two boys only one is known to have married and had male children and thus to have carried on the Fardon name in this branch.

Ethel was born in 1892, was at home until at least 1911, when she worked outside the home (see above). She married Charles H Howe in late 1912 or early 1913, after which she moved to Solihull district, where two children were born, Edward in 1913 and Charles H in 1915. Charles died at or soon after birth. There is no further information. Any war service by her husband is not known. The National Archives lists six soldiers by the name of Charles H Howe who served in WW1.

Ada Charlotte was born in 1894 and, like her elder sister, was at home until at least 1911, when she worked outside the home (see above). She married Ernest C Harrison in 1921 and three children were born, all girls and all in Coventry, between 1923 and 1930/31: Olive B (Betty), Mavis J, Kathleen A.. Any war service by her husband is not known. The National Archives lists five soldiers by the name of Ernest C Harrison who served in WW1.

Nellie was born in 1896 and was home until at least 1911. when she worked outside the home (see above). Further information is sketchy. In 1917 she gave birth to a son Norman at Balsall; the birth was registered at Solihull. She was working as a tailoress at the time. The next information is of her death at the age of 63 in 1960 in Warwick district.

Emma C was born in 1898 and was at home until at least 1911 and probably beyond. She married Cecil Watts in Coventry in 1922, after which she lived at The Leys, Piors Harwick in Warwickshire. She died around 1982 at Woodford Halse, Northamptonshire.

Aubrey William Bradbury, the first son, was born in 1900 and was at home until at least 1911. Information is sparse, but family states that he spent the war years, 1940-1946 in Halifax, Yorkshire, after which he returned to Coventry. He then worked at the Standard Car Factory, at Banner Lane, Coventry. From 1946 to his death in 1981 he lived at 85 Wallace Road, Coventry.

Rose Sarah was born in 1903 and lived at home until at least 1911. The next information is of her marriage in late 1935 or early 1936 to William Woods. In 1941, while evacuated to Priors Marston in Warwickshire she gave birth to twin daughters Mavis and Josephine. She was back in Coventry for the birth of another daughter, Barbara, in 1943. Rose died in 1980 in the Daventry area, and for further information see Family Tree and sources.

Phillip Stanley was born in 1907. The next information is of his marriage to Doris Docker in Coventry in 1933. At the time he was a motor fitter. There were two children, Brian born in 1938 and Graham in 1943, both in Coventry. Phillip himself spent the war years (1940-1945) at Baginton near Coventry as an aircraft industry worker. Baginton, currently the location of Coventry Airport, then housed an RAF fighter unit and was also the home of the Armstrong Whitworth factory producing heavy bombers. Presumably Phillip was employed there. He died in Coventry in 1982 at the age of 75, as did his wife Doris in 1997 aged 88. For further information of the childrens' families see Family Tree and sources.

SECTION 2G: Q1g - Charles's fifth son Arthur

Arthur about 1952Arthur was born in and spent his early life in Coventry but ended up in Nottingham. His birth was registered in 1870 and he was at home probably until his marriage in 1897, when he married Sarah Elizabeth Harrow, still in Coventry. Sarah was also from the city, and in 1901, four years later, is listed as a watch polisher working from home. A daughter Florence was baptised on 7th December, within a few months of their marriage, which had been registered in the third quarter of the year; unusually the child's birth was nor registered until the first quarter of the following year.

After their marriage the couple may have moved into Sarah's mother's house at 10 Hertford Place, in the centre of Coventry (current CV1 postcode area). This was the address on their daughter's baptism record in 1897, and it was here that the family was in 1901, when the mother Elizabeth Harrow, 62, was head of household for purpose of the census, with her son John A, 17, also in residence. They were there in 1911, but Arthur was now head of household, mother-in-law also at the address but not her son John - perhaps he was the John A Harrow who was married in Rugby in 1907. Elizabeth Harrow died in 1913, but the Fardons were still there in 1928, for that was the address, shown as 10 Hertford Terrace, of Arthur's wife Sarah in the probate records following her death in that year.

Arthur was employed as a chemist in at least 1891 to 1897, and chemist's assistant in 1901. But by 1911 he had become a cycle storekeeper, perhaps is at the same place as brother-in-law John A, who had been a turner in a cycle store while living at home in Hertford Place. He was still a storekeeper (unspecified) in 1928. Arthur's wife died in 1928 and at some point after that he and his daughter moved to Nottingham, where they died in 1953 and 1952 respectively. He was 83.

A point of interest relating to wife Sarah's death in 1928 was that she left an estate large enough for letters of administration to be awarded to Arthur. These were issued in Birmingham on 7th June 1928, about three weeks after her death, for an estate worth £602 11s 1d. Perhaps she had a private income, or maintained a separate account from her occupation.

Arthur's one daughter Florence May (or just possibly Maud) was baptised in December 1897, only a few months after her parents were married, the birth registered early in 1898. The baptism document shows her second name as May, as would the registration of her death, but the birth registration was as Maud. To add to the confusion she was listed in the 1901 census as Florence H. Nothing is known about her life. She presumably remained at home in Coventry, then moved with her father to Nottingham, for she died in Nottingham in 1952, aged 54, a year before her father.

SECTION 2H : Q1h - Charles's third daughter Florence Mary

Florence's birth was registered in Coventry in 1873. She was next seen in 1881 staying on census day (3rd April) at the Derby home of Marianne Faulconbridge, a Salvation Army captain. This was the same as the later Staff Captain Mrs Pawson, the "Zulu Queen", who features in the life of Florence's elder brother Charles (see Q1c Charles, above). In the census record Florence is shown as Marianne's cousin, but the family line has yet to be traced.

Florence was back at home in 1891, working as an employed elastic weaver. In 1901 she had moved to Nottingham, where in March she was working as a silk weaver. In November of the same year she married Isaac Cordon who was related to the Florence Gertrude Cordon who became the second wife of John Fardon of Nottingham.

Florence then disappears from the Fardon records.

SECTION 2I: Q1i - Charles's sixth son Harry

Harry was born, lived, worked and died in Coventry. He was in the cycle trade, and then possibly the motor trade. He had nine children. One his sons moved to Rugby as did a grandson and, most unusual in this group, a grandson moved as far away as to London.

Harry's birth was registered in Coventry in 1875 and he was at home in 1881 and 1891, in the latter year working as a 16-year-old in the cycle trade. In 1894 he married Sarah Ann Robinson, two years older than he and also from Coventry. Their first child was born within two years.

From the 1901 and 1911 census records and also family events (birth, baptism and marriage of children), three phases emerge which show the family living initially in the city centre, then just to the northeast, and finally in the south west suburbs (Earlsdon). These moves perhaps reflect changes in occupations, initially in the cycle trade, then as a machinist, and finally as an engineer and fitter (motor trade?)

a - 1896 to 1901 living in St Thomas Street and 1902-1909 in George Street. These are both in the centre of the city, in the current CV1 postcode area, towards Spon End and off Stoney Stanton Road respectively. Both areas are associated with Harry's father, Charles, and both were served by St Thomas Church. In 1901 Harry was working in the cycle industry as he had been in 1891, now as a cycle polisher. Three children were born at the first address, five at the second.

b - 1911 in Marlborough Street, which is to the northeast of the city centre in the current CV2 postcode and probably served by St Martin's church. His occupation was machinist (no further detail). There is an anomaly in that son Herbert, who had been born in 1909 at George Street, seems to have been baptised same year at St Barbara's, Earlsdon, which is in an area only later associated with the family.

c - Then a gap in the records until 1927-1938, when the family was living at Earlsdon, a south-west suburb of the city, currently the CV5 postcode and served by St Barbara's church. Recorded addresses are in Stanley Road (1930) and Poplar Road (1938). Harry occupation variously shown as engineer and fitter.

The death of Harry's wife Sarah was registered in 1933. She was 61 years of age. Harry outlived her by two decades, his own death registered in 1955 at the age of 80. As with all the events described here, the deaths occurred in Coventry

There were nine children, all the births registered in Coventry in the following years. Lillian and Olive were registered together and were clearly twins. The children are shown variously at home in the 1901 and 1911 censuses:

Dorothy Nellie 1897 Olive 1904
Maggie 1898 Harry 1907
Winifred 1900 Herbert 1909
Frank 1902 Marjorie 1911
Lillian 1904

The six girls all married in Coventry, the details of these and their deaths are shown in the sources.

Frank was born in 1902 and baptised at St Martin's church in Coventry. His marriage to Phyllis Hiatt, in 1927, was on the same day and at the same church as that of his younger sister Lillian, perhaps in a joint ceremony. There were four children, Pamela (1930), Roger Antony (1936), Donald Adrian (1940) and Angela Lesley (1945), all born in Coventry except Angela in Barrow-upon-Soar, near Loughborough, Leicestershire. Barrow is likely to have been no more than a temporary address, as subsequent family events (marriages, deaths) took place in Coventry.

Phyllis died in 1948 at the early age of 41, Frank in 1983, aged 81. Frank had an engineering business during WW2 and later Donald appears as a draughtsman before moving into the music business.

All four children were married in their turn. Pamela and Angela Lesley then disappear from the records but Angela's death is recorded in Coventry in 1986 . Donald Adrian had children and grandchildren, but seems not to have remained in Coventry. His marriage (1964) was registered in Meriden, between Coventry and Birmingham and the birth of his son Richard (1965) was registered in Nuneaton. Richard was married (1988) in Rugby, his children's birth registered in the somewhat amorphous new district of mid-Warwickshire. Roger Antony married Valerie Rouse around 1962 and they had two boys, Paul Anthony in 1964 and Phillip John in 1966. Paul went on to marry and have two children. Curiously, in 2006, Roger's death is registered in New Jersey, USA. Perhaps he was visiting relatives.

Harry was born in 1907. He married Marjorie Liggins in 1930, and a daughter Delia was born in 1934, all in Coventry. At some stage the family must have moved to Rugby, for it was there that daughter Delia was married in 1955 and where Harry died in 1978 at the age of 71. His widow probably returned to Coventry, and her death was registered there two years later at the age of 74, The only information on Harry's occupation is from his marriage certificate in 1930, where he was described simply as a trimmer.

Herbert was born in Coventry in 1909 and probably spent his whole life there. He married Florence May Jones in 1938, and the births of three children were registered, Michael David in 1940, Dorothy G in 1944 and Anthony James in 1950, all in Coventry. Herbert's death was registered in the city in 1979, he was 70. All that is known of his occupation is that he was a heating engineer in 1973. There is no record of the death of his widow in Coventry, but the death of a Florence May Fardon of the expected age (95) was registered in North Devon in 2002.

Of the children, Dorothy was married in 1968 and is lost from the record. Michael D married Lorraine Shanks in Warwick in 1964 and then moved to Rugby. Two children were born there, in 1966 (David George) and 1969 (Amy); David lived for just three years. The family was in Northampton in 1972, where daughter Josephine was born, and in Daventry in 1975 for daughter Katie Helen's birth. But they were back in Rugby in the 1990s for the marriages of the surviving children

Herbert's third child and second son Anthony James moved to London, where he was married in Hampstead in 1973 to Toini Anneli Pesonen. A daughter Vanessa was born nearby in Islington the same year. Anthony and Toini separate and both re-marry in 1987. Anthony then appears in Russia where he marries Eleyna Naumova and they have a daughter Viktoria in 2005.

SECTION 3 : ~Q2 - John's second son Oliver

Oliver's birth was registered at the end of 1837 as an unnamed male, often the sign of a quick baptism of a child whose survival was doubtful. He survived into the following year and was baptised at Bourton on the Hill in January, and was at home in Bourton in 1841. However, the next year he died, aged 4, and was buried at Bourton. As is often the case, his name was given to a later boy.

SECTION 4 : ~Q3 - John's third son John F
Here the head of family became a coachbuilder rather than blacksmith, living first in Bourton, then Wellesbourne Hastings in Warwickshire and finally Warwick. He seems not to have prospered. There were ten children, but neither of the surviving sons is known to have produced a male heir, and the Fardon name thus disappears in this family group. A feature of the group is its dispersal. With the exception of one of the married daughters, whose outcome is not known, none of the children remained in Warwickshire, but are traced variously to Eastbourne, London (various boroughs), Totnes in Devon, Wokingham in Berkshire, Prestwich in Lancashire and Rochford in Essex. One son became a prison officer and moved around as part of this job. He is also the subject of a very large Home Office file in the National Archives and was the subject of a Question in the House (see below).

John F

John was born in 1839 in Bourton-on-the Hill and was baptised there in September of the same year. Following the death of his parents he was living with his grandparents in 1851 and 1861, his trade being coachbuilding in the latter year. Four years later, in London, he married Susannah Wemborn who had been born in Chislehurst, Kent. The following year he was back in Bourton, where five children were born, after which he moved to Wellesbourne Hastings, just east of Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, where five more children were born between 1872 and 1877. He was still there in 1881.
By 1891 he had moved to Warwick, where he would remain to at least 1901, when there were just himself, his wife and a lodger at home on census day. He remained a coachbuilder until at least 1904. After this he seems to have given up his home and to have moved, with wife and unmarried daughter Rosa, to Southall in Middlesex, to the home of his married daughter Bessie, her husband and three children. He was here in 1911, and although the documentation (the census) only gives a snapshot of the day, the context seems more like residence than a visit. It was also in the London area (Wandsworth) that his wife died five years later. The time and place of John's death are not yet known.
Unlike many other Fardons of his time, including his father and two brothers, John did not become a blacksmith but took up the trade of coachbuilding. In 1870 he was listed in Kelly as a coachmaker in Bourton, implying self-employment, and as a master coachmaker in the 1871 census. But things may have declined. In 1881 he was a coachbuilder's wheeler, and in 1891 and 1901, while still in the coachmaker trade, was working for others. It is also noted that daughters were working as servants at the age of 11 and his two sons took up apprenticeships funded by a charity supporting poor boys.

The children of John and Susannah

There were ten children, of which seven, including the first six, were girls. The dates here are of registration of birth

Q3a - Francis 1866 Q3e - Agnes 1871 Q3h - Henry 1874
Q3b - Annie 1868 Q3f - Rose 1872 Q3i - Rosa Alice 1876
Q3c - Bessie 1868 Q3g - William 1872 Q3j - Frank 1877
Q3d - Kate 1870

Three successive children, Agnes and twins Rosa and William, died as young babies, and Kate as a young woman of 26. The girls went into service when they left school and the two surviving boys were indentured into apprenticeships.

Frances and her children
Frances may have spent her life in service, latterly as a cook in high-quality households. She was born in Bourton in 1866 and was at home in 1871. Ten years later, at the age of 14, she was in service to William Henry Charles in Bourton, spirit merchant and farmer. In 1891 she was at home again, her occupation as an employed general servant, and in December of the following year, still at home at Wallace Street in Warwick, she gave birth to illegitimate twins Bertie and Percy. Bertie died at or very soon after birth, Percy not more than a few months later.
By 1896 she had moved to London and was employed as a cook to an unknown family at an address in Battersea, where she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter Elsie. In 1901 she was a cook in the household of a Maurice Stammers, 36, in Eastbourne, living on his own means. This was clearly an upper-class district, perhaps typically late Victorian, the neighbouring households also headed by people of independent means, mostly retired, and including a retired army officer and a Church of England clergyman. All had live-in servants, the others in the Stammers household being a housemaid and a nurse.She was still in service in 1911, again in a household of high social status, this time in Paddington, London. She was a cook in the household of a Henry Read who described himself as a director of public companies (he had been a bank manager in 1901), one of six servants which included a kitchen maid, two housemaids, parlourmaid and lady's maid. In the censuses of 1881 to 1901 she is listed as Fanny, rather than by her true name Frances, but was Frances again in 1911.
Her daughter was not with her on the two occasions where there are records (censuses of 1901 and 1911). There is no information on the earlier date, but in 1911 Elsie was in the household of Fanny's sister Bessie.There is yet no further confirmed information on Fanny or Elsie and no known registration of marriage. Perhaps she did not marry, for she is probably the Frances Fardon of the correct age (78) whose death was registered in Totnes in Devon in the third quarter of 1945 (see also her sister Rosa Alice below, who appears also to have moved to Totnes).

Annie was born in Bourton in late 1867 or early 1868 and was baptised there in May 1868. She parallels her older sister Frances, at home in 1871, a scholar, and in 1881, a general servant. But she had left by 1891, was working as a cook at 9 Richmond Villas in Islington, London. On 21st November 1894, she was back in Warwick to marry William Farmer, 27, a labourer and son of a labourer. Her father John acted as witness. Annie had probably returned to Warwick a little time before this as she is shown in the documentation as "of this parish".

It is noted that both Annie and her future husband had been in London in 1891, she in service at Islington, he a railway engine cleaner and lodging in Hendon. Perhaps they had met there. Thereafter, in 1901 and 1911 Annie was living at King's Newnham, near Rugby in Warwickshire at an unknown address with her husband and growing family. He was now a grazier and smallholder, working on his own account and from home. There were five children, four girls and a boy, born between 1896 and 1911, detailed here under the Sources section.

Annie's husband died at the end of 1917 at the early age of 52. She seems to have stayed at King's Newnham at least for a few years, as the three children known to have married did so in the village in 1922. Indeed, one of the children may well have spent his life there, dying there is 1998. There are no details yet of Annie's date and place of death.

Bessie was born in Bourton in early 1869 and baptised there later that year. She was at home in 1871, but may have left home by 1881 when, at the early age of 11, she was in nearby Wellesbourne Mountford, working as a servant to Mary Rachel, laundress.
She was married in 1890 in the Warwick district to James Jesse Pipe. He had been born in Suffolk, his birth registered in the first quarter of 1865 in the Wangford district (the area around Mildenhall and Lakenheath). Nothing is known about his early life, but certainly by 1911 he was a coach painter, in the same trade as Bessie's father. Given that the wedding took place in the Warwick area, perhaps he had been working there and the two met through the common trade.
The two moved to London probably immediately after the wedding and in 1891 were living in Battersea. Information on children's births and from the census records show that they moved around during the next 20 years, and not always in the London area - Battersea 1891, Paddington 1892, Aylesbury, Bucks 1898, Uxbridge/Southall 1910-1911.
Three children are known - two boys and a girl - all of them at home in 1911. The 1911 census also records that there had been two further children no longer alive, but nothing is known of these. On census day 1911 Bessie's father and mother, unmarried sister Rosa and niece Elsie were in the house, at least the first three perhaps residents rather than visitors. Nothing is yet known about the family after 1911.

Kate was born and baptised in Bourton in 1870, was at home in 1871 and 1881, a scholar in the latter year. She also left home to go into service, and in 1891 she was employed as housemaid to a Cuthbert Lee, a mechanical engineer living in Gleneagle Road, Streatham. There is no further confirmed information on her. However, the death of a Kate Fardon of the right age (26) was registered in Prestwich, Manchester, in 1897.

Agnes was the first of three children who died at or soon after birth. She was born in Bourton in 1871 and baptised there at the beginning of 1872. She died shortly afterwards and was buried, aged about six months, at the end of March.

Rose and William
A boy at last!. These twins were the first to be born after the move to Wellesbourne. Their births were registered together in the fourth quarter of 1872 and they were baptised together, at Wellesbourne, on 17th October of that year. However, they both died almost immediately, probably a few days apart, as William was buried on 22nd October and Rosa four days later.

Henry, the first of the boys to survive childhood, was born in Wellesbourne in March 1874 and was at home, a scholar, in 1881. In 1890, now living in Warwick, he was apprenticed to George Lacey, a printer there, and the following year was shown in the census as living at home with occupation compositor. For details of the apprenticeship see below.
It is not known whether Henry completed his apprenticeship, which was scheduled to run until he reached the age of 21 in 1895; nor whether he took a job using his skills as a printer. The next information is his joining the prison service in 1899 and going for training in Hull Prison School. There followed postings to Cambridge Prison as an assistant prison warder, during which time, in 1901, he was lodging at Chesterton in Cambridgeshire. Following a scandal he was transferred to Pentonville Prison, London, in 1901. While here he married Ethel Emma Dowling in 1902 at All Saints Church, King's Cross. She was a 30-year-old spinster, daughter of James, deceased, cook and confectioner. A daughter Rosa Ethel was born to them in late 1902. In 1904 he was in Caversham to be a witness at his brother Frank's wedding (see above). He was only four years at Pentonville before moving to Winchester Prison at his own request in 1906. He was listed here in the 1911 census, with his wife and daughter, living in prison accommodation as a Grade 1 prison officer. In 1923, still at Winchester, he was dismissed from the Prison Service for misconduct.
The story of Henry's dismissal is contained in a substantial file held at the National Archives at Kew. It contains correspondence covering the period 1923, when he was dismissed, to 1945, when the last appeal was heard. The file was then closed for 100 years (to 2045) but we were able to get it released in 2005 under the Freedom of Information Act. It contains internal Home Office minutes of meetings, memos and letters, and must be of wider interest in showing the internal workings of the Home Office in a case in which they were probably acting with doubtful legal justification. A quite detailed summary is given at the end of this section, but for the full detail the file can be consulted at National Archives under reference HO 144/22084.
It shows that Henry had had brushes with the prison authorities almost from the beginning. One in 1923 was the last straw and it is clear that the authorities were looking for ways of dismissing him. The pounced upon an alleged drug association with a prisoner, but could not make it stick (though, reading between the lines it would seem that there was some truth in the allegation). When they dismissed him on a lesser charge he appealed, but the appeal was dismissed. Henry then embarked on a series of formal appeals, with letters to Home Secretaries in 1924, 1929 and 1945, interestingly all Labour Party Ministers, and a petition to the King was lodged in the High Court by solicitors in 1925. All this provoked a flurry of correspondence involving the Home Office all the way up to the Home secretary himself, and this, including internal memoranda and minutes of meetings, is on file. Other manifestations included a letter to the Home secretary from 100 Labour members of parliament in 1925, a lot of publicity of the case in the Prison Officers' Magazine in 1925, and open letters and questions to the Home Secretary in the House of Commons. None of this to any avail, as the authorities did not budge.
Henry comes across as a somewhat doubtful character treading the fine line between what is and is not legal. He seems to have been rather less than an honest prison officer, but was never caught. The authorities wanted to dismiss him, but, as the internal correspondence shows, even they were admitting that they were on weak ground. But they persisted and Henry lost job and pension. But Henry himself was nothing if not persistent, trying to right into the 1940s what he saw as a wrong perpetrated against him. For details see the summary below, or the file at National; Archives.
There is no record how Henry earned his living after this. The correspondence shows him living in Holloway, London, at one address in 1924, another in 1925. There is no evidence of children; in fact, in one of the Home Office letters of 1924 it was stated that he was married but there was no mention of children. His wife Ethel died in Wandsworth in 1938 at the age of 67. Thereafter he was seen only in the West Country, in Ashcott, Somerset, in 1945, from where he wrote his last letter to the Home Secretary, and in Taunton, Somerset where his death was registered in 1949 at the age of 75.
There is no evidence from the medals lists that Henry served in the First Word War, but as age 40 in 1914 he may have been too old.

Rosa Alice
Rosa was born in Wellesbourne in late 1875 or early 1876.She was at home in 1881, a scholar, and in 1891. She is not at home in 1901, then in 1911, still unmarried, is at sister Bessie's in Southall, Middlesex, with her father and mother. Her occupation was domestic servant (unemployed). The next information is in 1963, when the death of a Rose A Fardon of the correct age (87) was registered in Totnes. Coincidentally, a person with the same name as her sister Frances also died in Totnes (see above). Did the two sisters retire to Devon in their advanced years?

Frank, the second surviving son, was born in Wellesbourne in 1877 and was at home in 1881 and 1891. In 1892, just before his fifteenth birthday, he was apprenticed to Charles Hill, coachbuilder, in Warwick, where the family had just moved. He would thus follow his father's occupation. For details of the apprenticeship document see below. He presumably completed the apprenticeship, which was due to continue until he reached the age of 21 in 1898, for in 1901 he was working as a coachbuilder in Wokingham, Berkshire. At the time he was in lodgings. Three years later, on 18th July 1904, he married Susan Charlotte Goodchild, 26, a carpenter's daughter. The wedding took place at the parish church in Caversham, Oxford, not far from Wokingham, with his brother Henry as a witness. Bride and groom gave their address as 4 Marsack Street in Caversham, perhaps her (and her father's) residence, and Frank's occupation was confirmed as a coachbuilder.
Nothing is yet known about Frank's subsequent life, except that at some stage he moved to Rochford, near Southend in Essex. The death of a Frank Fardon, 82, was registered there in 1960, and a Susan C. Fardon, 90, also in Rochford, in 1968. There was at least one child, Gladys Grace, born at Wokingham in 1905. The death of a Gladys Fardon of the correct age (81) was registered in 1986 at Southend. It may be that the whole family had been living in Southend, which was formerly in the Rochford electoral district.
Frank would have been 37 at the beginning of World War 1, 39 when conscription was introduced. However, there is no evidence from the medals listing that he served in the war.

The Apprenticeships
The indenture documents of Henry and Frank Fardon

The apprenticeship documents are held at Warwickshire Records Office, where they can be inspected under references CR1618/WA17/5/3A & B (for Frank) and CR1618/WA17/4/10 (for Henry). They are written in a standard format which required only the insertion of names and trade etc. In each case there were four parties to the indenture agreement, whose responsibilities were spelt out and each of whom signed the document:

- the proposed apprentice, who guaranteed to work responsibly, do what his "master" told him, be aware that absences for any reason at all, including sickness, would result in loss of pay. Henry Fardon in one case, Frank Fardon in the second.

- the person taking on the apprentice, who guaranteed to teach the apprentice the full details of his trade and to keep him up to the age of 21. George Lacey, printer and stationer for Henry, Charles Hill, carriage builder, for Frank.

- the apprentice's guardian, who guaranteed to find for the apprentice "good and sufficient Meat and Drink, Washing, Lodging, Wearing Apparel, Medical Aid, and all other necessities during the said term". In both cases this was John, the boys' father

- the solicitor, in both cases Brabazon Campbell of the Charity Estate of the late Sir Thomas Delves "for putting out poor boys [into] Apprenticeship"

The documents were dated and gave also the nearest birthday of each of the boys, thus allowing date of birth to be calculated:

doc signed age on nearest birthday thus date of birth

Henry 28 Apr 1890 16 on 15 March 1890 15 Mar 1874

Frank 4 Jun 1892 15 on 23 Jun 1892 4 Jun 1877

In the case of Henry this confirms the date of birth obtained from the Home Office documents relating to his dismissal from the prison service. For Frank the date is new information, but is consistent with the GRO entry.
There was a fee of £10. This was paid by Brabazon Campbell, solicitor for the Sir Thomas Delves Charity, on behalf of the charity.
A separate piece of paper pinned to each document specified rates of pay. These were the same for both, were age-based, and were presumably standard. They started at 3 shillings a week at age 14, then rose annually by one shilling a week to eight shillings at age 19, then a jump to ten shillings a week at age 20. Thus Frank, who began his apprenticeship at age 14, started at 3 shillings a week, Henry, who began at age 15, came in at 5 shillings.
John's home address, and thus presumably also that of the boys, was given as 4 Wallace Road in Warwick, which was the same as that shown in the 1891 and 1901 censuses.

George Lacey is presumably the person of that name who appears in the 1881 census at 8, High Street, Warwick. Aged 59, he is a bookseller and printer, and is married with a wife Sophia and 16-year-old daughter Millicent, also shown as bookseller and printer. There is one servant. I have not found him subsequently
Charles Hill is presumably the person of that name who appears in the 1881 census at 45 Warner Street, Warwick. Aged 32 he is a coach smith, and is married with wife Mary and sons John,1, and Charles, 6 months. No details in 1891, but he is still listed, as a coach builder, in 1901.

The dismissal of Henry Fardon from HM Prison Service
This is a summary of a substantial file held at the National Archives, Kew under reference HO 144/22084. It was originally closed for 100 years (to 2045) but was released on request when the Freedom of Information Act came into effect in early 2005.

First Phase (November 1923)(discussion about, and reason for dismissal)

20th November 1923
Minutes of a Prison Commission meeting re Officer Henry Fardon of Winchester Prison. Because of improper familiarity with a prisoner it is recommended that S of S [Secretary of State??] approve the dismissal of this officer. Although actual trafficking cannot be proved, there is clear evidence from prisoners and staff of improper familiarity. Fardon had a poor record, he was nearly dismissed in 1908 for discreditable conduct and had to be warned.

20th November 1923
Letter from the Prison Commission, Home Office, to the Under-Secretary of State, Home Office, recommends dismissal. It repeats the charges in the 20th November minutes, mentions the 1908 and 1910 incidents and ends "his services ought to have been dispensed with long ago".

23rd November 1923
Letter (carbon copy only, no signature) from unknown to Prison Commission approving of the dismissal.

Second Phase December 1923 (appeal by Fardon)

5th December 1923
Letter from H Fardon at 15 HM Prison Quarters, Winchester, to unknown.
Fardon complains that he was dismissed from the prison service on 24th November after 24 years service. He is innocent of the charge of trafficking with a prisoner. There was no proof, only grave suspicion. He says that a case must be proved before an officer can be dismissed.

5th December 1923
Minutes of a Prison Commission meeting concerning Fardon's letter. Reiterated that it was improper familiarity with a prisoner, not trafficking, that was the reason for his dismissal.

27th December 1923
Carbon copy of a letter, no signature, to Fardon telling him that he was dismissed for improper familiarity .

Third phase (1924)( letter from Fardon to Home Secretary, and exchanges between MPs and the Home Secretary)

18th March 1924
Letter from Henry Fardon at 29 Courtney Road, Drayton Park, Holloway, N7 to Home Secretary Henderson.
Long letter detailing and rebutting in detail the charges and inferences. Objection to being charged with one thing, and when this was not proved, being dismissed for another without fresh charges being made and heard. Last alleged offence was 17 years ago, since when he has had unblemished service. Reference in this letter to his being married (wife not named).

18th March 1924
Minutes of a meeting by the Prison Commission. Fardon has asked for the case to be reopened and the committee discussed it again. Some worries were admitted over the way in which things had been done, but it was felt that there was no reason to override the decision.

18th March 1924
Letter on House of Commons paper from J H Hayes [MP] to Home Secretary Henderson. Hayes has discussed the matter with Fardon and is not satisfied with the way the method of enquiry against Fardon was conducted. This is "another instance of the need for a properly constituted Appeal tribunal, with rules of evidence as fair as those for the criminal" .

8th April 1924
J H Hayes MP to Home Secretary Henderson chasing reply to letter of 18th March

15th April 1924
Home Secretary to J H Hayes MP. Sees no reason to override the previous decision.

15th April 1924
Mr Hayes asks question in Parliament about the case but the Home Secretary is adamant

29th May 1924
A Mr Haycock asks another question in Parliament about the case. Henderson again plays a straight bat, saying that there is no reason to reopen the case. He brushes aside a supplementary, asking for time, since he is commenting on the actions of a predecessor. Of interest is a clutch of internal memos discussing the case (obviously the question is known about in advance) and what advice the Home Secretary should be given. Ideal for those studying the work of government.

Fourth phase (June-July 1924)(involvement of Labour Members of Parliament)

2nd June 1924
Letter to Home Secretary Henderson signed by 100 members of the Labour Party (MPs). They are not satisfied with the way in which the Fardon case has been handled and are requesting that it be reopened. The letter, with the 100 signatures including that of George Lansbury, is on file.

4th July 1924
Letter from Home Secretary to Hayes, restating the reasons for Fardon's dismissal. If they are still not satisfied, "two of three of your number" were invited to come and meet the Prison Commissioners "so that they may become fully informed of the facts of the case".

Fifth phase (March to May 1925)(petition to the King)

17th March 1925
A petition to the King is lodged at the High Court by Fardon's solicitors Windybank, Samuell and Lawrence of London. Fardon's address given as 22 Bryantwood Road, Holloway. It claims wrongful dismissal with the loss of a salary of £4 a week, loss of pension and gratuity (24 years service giving 28 years pension). The petition requested reimbursement and compensation. Accompanying this was a very long and detailed account of the case running to several dozen foolscap pages. It also included Fardon's personal history, briefly summarised as follows:

* born 15th March 1874
* joined service as assistant warder 1st December 1899 (one case of drunkenness passed over in the acceptance process)
* went to Hull Training School
* posted to Cambridge Prison
* 1901 at Cambridge. The Chief Constable charged Fardon with "undertaking on behalf of a man charged with fraud a compromise of the sentence". A friend of Fardon named Burrows seems to have stolen a sovereign from a John Fenn, and this was being investigated. Fardon restored the sovereign from his own pocket if Fenn would take the case no farther. At which point Burrows absconded, much to the displeasure of the police. Fardon was reprimanded and transferred to Pentonville.
* In 1906 Fardon transferred at his own request to Winchester.
* In1908 two gentlemen complained about remarks made by Fardon while he was attending court on duty, saying that certain things were "contrary to justice". Fardon almost dismissed
* 1910 Fardon was accused of bullying prisoners

25th May 1925 Much discussion in internal Home Office papers on the petition to the King and how to react. In the end a letter from the Home Office to unknown stated that His Majesty cannot be advised to grant his fiat to this petition, as in law all crown servants hold their offices at His Majesty's pleasure; and in the particular instance of prison warders this is expressly provided by Rule 96 of Statutory Rules and Orders (No 322) of 1899. [the background to all this and the reasons for taking this line are contained in the copious internal papers, on file]

Sixth phase (August 1925)(The Trade Union attempt)

12th August 1925. A letter sent to Sir W Johnson Hicks, Home Secretary, asking for clemency in the Fardon case together with copies of the August 1925 issue of The Prison Officer's Magazine, the first five pages of which were given over to a discussion of the case in an article entitled When Might Is Right. A copy of this is also contained in the National Archives file

22nd August 1925. Reply from the Home Office: No.

Seventh phase (July - August 1929). New letter from Henry Fardon
An exchange of letters between A W Haycock MP and J R Clynes, presumably a Home Office official.
Haycock asks for the case to be reopened, Clynes says no.
Internal Home Office correspondence says that there is "nothing new here". The point was made that Fardon was now 55 years of age, the age at which prison officers retire.

Eighth phase (October 1945). Finale

12th October 1945
A letter to Home Secretary J Chuter Ede from Henry Fardon, who signs himself "aged 71 years and 6 months", from Normanton, Bridgewater Road, Ashcott, Som[erset]. In a new appeal Fardon repeats all the old arguments - the charges and his refutation of them - and asks for his pension to be restored.

20th October 1945
A brief reply from the Home Office, signed by Francis Graham-Harrison, states that the Home Secretary can find no grounds for any action on his part.

SECTION 5 : ~Q4 - John's daughter Anne

Anne's birth was registered in the first quarter of 1843 and she was baptised Bourton on the Hill in February of that year. Like her siblings she was at her grandparents home in 1851 following the death of her parents, and also in 1861. She was a scholar on the first occasion, no occupation shown on the second. In 1865 we find her marrying William Walters, a horse trainer, in Islington, Middlesex.

In the 1901 Census they are living in Pimperne Village, in Dorset. William appears to have a farming and horse training business there, and as well as four children, they employ 7 servant/grooms. In the 1911 Census they are living at 73 Paisley Road, West Southbourne, Hampshire, where it states they had 14 children children and 12 survived. At this time William is totally blind and died in April 1915.

Anne died possibly in 1924 or 1935 in the Dorset area.

SECTION 6 : ~Q5 - John's fourth son Oliver

[Bourton on the Hill is usually abbreviated here to Bourton; but not to be confused with the better known Bourton on the Water]


Another successful Fardon group. Oliver would maintain the family blacksmith business in Bourton on the Hill, and be successful enough to purchase a pair of cottages probably in the middle of the village. His eldest son Harry would continue with the business. During the first third of the twentieth century the family must have been a great presence in Bourton, for in addition one of his sons was landlord at the Horse and Groom Inn, his eldest son, who would take over the blacksmith business from him, was on the local school board of governors, his daughter-in-law and at least one daughter taught at the school.

Except for one son, who moved to London, the family either remained in the village or, if they went away, they came back to live there. There is little information on addresses before 1946, just an address for Oliver senior in Kite Street in 1891 and the Horse and Groom for Albert during the years at the beginning of the nineteenth century when Albert was landlord there. After World War 2 there were at least three Fardon households in the village - the then head of family Harry lived with wife and daughter in a house called Hillside, two of his unmarried sisters at The Croft and one separately at an unknown address.

Unfortunately only the son in London produced male heirs, so that by the second half of the twentieth century the Fardon name had disappeared from the village.

The present lack of census records after 1901 is balanced by the ready availability to the Gloucestershire researcher of local electoral registers, school records and commercial directories, all held at the county Records Office. A reasonably full account of Oliver and those of the family who remained in or returned to the county - the majority - is thus available until the family died out in Gloucestershire.


Oliver, bearing the name of the elder brother who had died as a child in 1842, was born and baptised in Bourton in 1844. He was orphaned early and like his siblings was living with his grandparents in Bourton in 1851, a scholar. He was still there in 1861, now a blacksmith, sixteen years old, living at home and presumably learning the trade from his grandfather. In April 1870 he was in Claines, Worcestershire, to marry Mary Ann Elsden, who had been born in Banbury. He was back in Bourton by census night (2nd April) 1871, with a month-old child, the first of nine.

Oliver c.1872 - click to see an enlarged image His mother's will had passed the blacksmith business to the oldest brother Charles, but with Charles's earlier departure to Coventry Oliver became village blacksmith in Bourton, and is shown thus in his children's baptism records and in all the censuses - as Master Blacksmith in 1871, 1881 and 1911, an employer in 1891 and self-employed in 1901 (the various censuses asked different questions). He is shown in the Kelly commercial directories as the Bourton blacksmith throughout this period, and indeed up to at least 1927, when he would have been over 80 years of age. By 1931 Kelly shows his son Harry in his place.

In 1896 Oliver paid £230 for the purchase of a pair of cottages in Bourton occupied by himself and a Mr T Davis, a tailor. In the 1891 census the Oliver Fardon and Thomas Davis households were listed as the first two in Kite Street, immediately after the Horse and Groom Inn in Main Street. In the 1901 census they are shown immediately after the school house but with no specific address within the village. Thomas Davis was born in Ford, Temple Guiting, which is where Oliver's family was from. Like the Fardons he was in Bourton on the Hill in 1851, living with Robert Simmons, master tailor and probably Thomas's step-father, whom he followed to become a tailor.

Confirmation of Oliver's status comes in the pre-World War 1 electoral registers, where Oliver is listed among the property owners, his qualification being that of the owner of a residential property. Post-war registers do not maintain the property-owner distinction, but he continues to be listed until 1931. He died on 8th April 1932 at the age of 87. Kelly had continued to show him as the village blacksmith up to 1927, when he was in his eighties, but in 1931 his son Harry had assumed this title.

A month after his death probate of his will was granted to his sons Harry and Albert in London. The effects were shown as £189 5s 3d, but this surely cannot have included the cottages (see next paragraph for the greater assets of his wife on her death five years later):

His wife Mary was born in Banbury. After her marriage to Oliver she appeared with her husband and children in each census from 1871 to 1901. She was listed in the Bourton electoral register in 1918 following women's emancipation, and then each year until 1936. She died on 14th February 1937 at the age of 84.. Probate was granted in Oxford to her sister-in-law Hilda Ella for effects at £505 18s 0d considerably greater than for her dead husband:

Oliver's children


There were nine known children, all born in Bourton. In the following table the date is the year in which the birth was registered at Shipston-on-Stour, the registration centre for Bourton on the Hill

Harry J 1871 Ethel Marion 1879
Frederick 1873 John Charles 1880
George Robinson 1874 Kate 1884
Edith Annie 1875 Hilda Ella 1885
Albert Oliver 1877

All grew up to adulthood except John Charles, who died before his second birthday. Of the boys, only the first three married and of these only Harry and George had children, and only George had male children. Except Edith, who emigrated to the United States, and George, who lived in London, they all either remained in or returned to Bourton to live.

Q5a Harry J

Harry remained in Bourton on the Hill all his life, taking over the blacksmith business from his father. He was also involved in community life in that he sat on the managing board of the local school and his wife taught at the school. He was married with three daughters.

Harry was born in 1871 in Bourton on the Hill, and was baptised there in the same year. He was at home to at least 1901, when he was a farrier, aged 30, working at home, presumably employed in the family business. In October 1906 he was in Shirenewton, Monmouthshire to marry Gertrude Emma Packer. She had been born there but at the time was a teacher at Blockley, two miles north of Bourton.

His first child was born in Bourton in October 1907 but Harry did not appear in the Bourton electoral register until 1909, for which he will have registered in the autumn of 1908. Perhaps they lived with his parents initially, or even at the Horse and Groom where his brother Albert was the landlord; in neither case would he have qualified as a householder for inclusion in the register. In all there were three daughters, born between 1907 and 1915. Although he will have had his own house in 1911 he is shown in the census as a blacksmith and "worker", ie working for someone else; presumably for his father in the family business.

Harry spent many years serving as a member of the local school management committee. The school log reports that at the management committee meeting of 20th November 1913 Harry was present and that this was his first committee meeting following his "election [to the committee] by the Vestry to the vacancy among the managers, caused by the resignation of Mrs Farquhar". His name then appears on and off throughout the years until at least 1950. He was in quite eminent company, other committee members, at various times, including the local vicar as School Correspondent, Sir John Harborough Parker, school manager, and Lady Dulverton, post not specified. Lady Dulverton will have been Victoria, wife of Gilbert Alan Hamilton Wills, 1st Lord Dulverton. He bought the Batsford Park estate, near Moreton-in-Marsh, from Lord Redesdale in 1919.

In the school logbook references to the committee are mostly confined to noting when it met and who was present, with rarely any mention of what was discussed. But it reports that at the committee meeting of 6-7 February 1919 Harry proposed that his wife Gertrude fill the post of supplementary teacher at Bourton school when it became vacant. This vacancy was obviously imminent for on 10th March Gertrude took up her duties as uncertified (ie second) teacher. Her sister-in-law Kate was also teaching at the school at this time. True, Gertrude had been a teacher before her marriage, and she would be very successful in the new post, but there seems to have been little sense of what today might be considered conflict of interest on Harry's part! Perhaps a more trusting and less suspicious age.

The electoral register shows Harry continuing to live the village to at least 1937 and still there after World War 2. There is no specific address shown until 1946. Then and in 1950, the two post-war years that I have sampled, he was living with his wife and youngest daughter Lena Clare at a house called Hillside.

In 1932 Harry had been joint executor with his brother Albert of the will of his father, who died in that year. By then he had taken over the family business, Kelly listing him as the village blacksmith from 1931 in place of his father, and indeed throughout the 1930s. Elsewhere (census, and school and parish records relating to his children, 1901-1932) he is shown as a farrier or shoeing smith. Harry died in 1962 at the age of 91. He had survived his wife by 12 years.

Gertrude his wife was born in Shirenewton in Monmouthshire, and became a schoolteacher. In 1901 she was teaching as an assistant teacher at Blockley, just north of Bourton. She returned to her birthplace to marry Harry, and the two then lived in Bourton. She was probably not teaching, at least in Bourton, during the period that her three daughters were born (1907-1915).

She became a teacher at the village school on 10th March 1919 following the recommendation of a committee member, her husband Harry (see above). She seems to have had a successful career here. There are references to her as Supplementary Teacher and Uncertified Teacher throughout the 1920s, and as the second in the hierarchy of three (the Headteacher was first). In 1934 she was appointed to run the school for three weeks in the absence of the headmistress, and this she did successfully. The following are the relevant extracts from the school log:.

8/1/34 The school reassembled in the regretted absence of [Headteacher] Mrs Keen who was incapacitated by having been knocked down by a reckless cyclist and was in hospital with an [unreadable] leg and fractured arm. The Correspondent instantly informed the Secretary of the County Education Committee and informed them that if it was agreeable Mrs Fardon and her daughter could manage the school until her return. To this he replied that he was well satisfied with the arrangement, and was pleased to hear of it on account of the difficulty of sending any support teacher from headquarters. [Signed] E T Murray, [the local priest on the school management board and "Correspondent"]

7/3/34 [part of the annual school inspection report] The headmistress was unfortunately absent from school from the beginning of term to February 1st. But her assistant was able to manage and it is to her credit that she did so quite satisfactorily.

Unfortunately the school log, which was maintained by the Headteacher, was not kept during Gertrude's tenure. Had she done so it might have told us more about her character and interests.

Gertrude retired from the school on 20th December 1934 after nearly 16 years. The reason given for her retirement was that she had reached pensionable age. She would have been 60 years of age. She died in 1950 at the age of 75.

The reference to "Mrs Fardon and her daughter" managing the school in the absence of the headmistress is out of context. There is no other evidence of a daughter on the school roll, but if there was then it could have been the third daughter Lena Clare, who would have been 19 at the time and the only one likely to have been in the village then (see below).

The children of Harry and Gertrude

Harry and Gertrude had three children, all girls, Esther Mary, Joan Audrey and Lena Clare. The Bourton school records show them passing through the village CofE school, two of them proceeding to grammar school with free places. Thereafter the eldest two disappear from the records, but the youngest remained in Bourton until after World War 2.

Esther Mary

Esther was born in 1907 and baptised in the village. She attended Bourton school from 1912-1917, after which she transferred to school in Blockley. She may later have left the village, as she does not appear in the Bourton electoral register from 1929, when she would have qualified for the franchise if still single. Perhaps she is the Esther M Fardon whose marriage to James Crook was registered in the North Cotswold district in 1945. There is no further information on her.

Joan Audrey

Joan was born in 1911 and was baptised in the village. She attended Bourton school from 1915-1922, when she obtained a free place at Campden Grammar school. As with her elder sister there are no further known records. She does not appear in the Bourton electoral register in 1932, when she reached her majority and I have not seen any record of marriage.

Lena Clare

Lena was born in 1915 and baptised in the village. She attended Bourton school from 1919-1926, when, like Joan, she obtained a free place at Campden Grammar School. She is next seen in 1936, just after she reached her majority and is listed in the Bourton electoral register. She is still there after World War 2, unmarried and living with her parents at Hillside in the village (in at least 1946 and 1950). There is no record of her employment, but it is just possible that she is the daughter of Gertrude who, from the rather cryptic remark of 1934. in the school log, was teaching at the local school (see under Gertrude above). The electoral registers for the time suggest that of Gertrude's three daughters only Clare was living in the village at this time.

Q5b - Frederick (Fred)

Frederick left home early to go into service, firstly locally as a footman, later in Devon as a butler. He married, but his wife died prematurely. Towards the end of his life he returned to Bourton where he would die.

Frederick c. 1910 - click to see an enlarged imageFrederick was born in 1872 in Bourton, and was baptised there in the same year. He was at home in 1881, a scholar, but in 1891 he had left home, though not the village, and was in service as footman to Algerus Rushout at Main Street in Bourton. This must have been a substantial household. Algerus Rushout was 48, had been born in Berkeley Square, London, and was living "on his own means". In the household were his wife, also from London, and a number of visitors; also cook, kitchenmaid, lady's maid, two housemaids, butler and footman (Frederick). Frederick was the only local member of staff.

By 1901 Frederick had moved on. He was still in service, but now a butler to Frank W Tonge at Glen Lyn in Lynton, Devon. Frank Tonge was a master mariner from Cheshire, aged 50 and living on his own means. It was a small household, including wife and three servants in addition to Frederick (lady's maid, cook and housemaid). He was still in service in 1911, at an unknown address in Lynmouth, Devon. His employer is not known, as only servants (he as butler, plus a housemaid and a parlourmaid) were in the house on census night.

The next record is of Frederick's marriage in 1922 . In December of that year Fred, as he seems now to be known, married Daisie Crocombe at Lynton in Devon, with his brother George Robinson as a witness He was 50, she 40. The certificate shows that he was still working as butler, but now at the Manor House, Lynmouth. The marriage lasted only five years, with Daisie's death registered in Barnstaple at the end of 1927. There are no reports of children. Frederick died in January 1944 at The Croft in Bourton-on-the-Hill,, which was the address of his unmarried sisters Ethel Marion and Hilda. There is no known record of him in Bourton before World War 2 and he must have arrived there in the early 1940s. Thus, like others of his family, he had returned to his roots at the end of his life. He had clearly continued in his preferred profession, his death certificate showing him as a retired butler.

One interesting fact in Fred's marriage was the listing of a G R Fardon as a witness. This must be George Robinson Fardon, Fred's brother who was living in Hammersmith, west London, and had been for over 20 years. This is good evidence that members of the Bourton family were in contact even after two decades of separation.

Fred's wife Daisie had been born in Lynton in 1881 and was at home in 1901. She was the daughter of John Crocombe, an officer in the merchant service (in 1922). As shown above, she died in 1927, aged about 45.

Q5c - George Robinson

George also left home, while still a teenager, and moved to Surrey, where he undertook an apprenticeship, then to London where he worked as an electrician. He married and had children and at least one grandchild. He lived his life in the Hammersmith area of west London, for the last 33 years at one address in Shepherd's Bush. There is good evidence that he kept contact with his family, as witnessed by the return to Bourton for the baptism of his daughters, and, some 20 years later, his visit to Devon to be witness at his brother's wedding.

George was born in 1873 in Bourton and was baptised there the same year. He was at home in 1881, a scholar. In 1891, still aged only 17, he was lodging at an address in Egham, Surrey, while an apprentice in brass finishing. In 1898 he was in West London, where his marriage to Mary Lilian Goodfellow was registered in the Fulham district in the fourth quarter of the year. He was probably living at address in Coulter Road, Hammersmith, which was then within the Fulham registration district, for this was the address given at the baptism of first daughter Edith in December 1899, ten weeks after her birth. The baptism, which took place on Christmas Eve, was in Bourton-on-the-Hill, and perhaps George returned to the family for that event and for Christmas.

On census day (31st March) in 1901 the family - he, Mary and daughter Edith - was at 42 Lena Gardens in Hammersmith. By the autumn of that year they had moved again, to 143 Percy Road, Shepherd's Bush, still in the same area of West London, and this would be George's residence for the rest of his life (he died in 1934).

Three more children were born in the first decade of the century and on census day (2nd April) 1911 they were with their mother at the Shepherd's Bush address in 1911. George himself was in Bristol on that date, lodging at an address in Brunswick Street and still shown as an electrician. Later in the year he may again have returned to Bourton for the baptism there in August of his second daughter Hilda.

The three London addresses - Coulter Road, Lena Gardens and Percy Road, are all in the same area to the north and northwest of the present Hammersmith flyover on the A4 trunk road. At least the first two consisted of multi-occupational houses; in Lena Gardens, for example, George's family shared the house with two other households, 80-year-old Mary Rowe (own means, living alone), and a self-employed photographer on wood George Warren and his wife Charlotte, both in their 70s. It was a working-class area, though tending to craft rather than unskilled work, most being employed workers. Neighbours included a lace worker, bank-messenger, butcher's assistant, wood carver, electrical engineer, photographer on wood, musician, railway guard, railway telegraph boy.

There are at present four later known documented references to George available nationally (in addition, no doubt to local records in London), three of them outside London. In early 1918 the birth of another child, James Edward, was registered in Hammersmith. In 1922 George was in Lynton, Devon, as a witness at the wedding of his brother Fred (see above). Then in 1934 he died, aged 60, at the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital in Aylesbury. Later, the probate record confirmed his address still at 143 Percy Road, Shepherd's Bush, where he had lived since 1901. Perhaps his death was unexpected, as there was no will. Probate was granted to his wife, Mary Lillian. The effects amounted to £956 7s 7d, a not inconsiderable amount for a working man in the 1930s.

George will have been aged 40 when the First World War broke out, 42 when conscription was introduced for married men. In the medals listing at the National Archives there is a George Fardon, who was a driver in the Army Service Corps and who served in Egypt, service dates 12th September 1915 to 8th May 1919. But there is nothing to say whether he is the same as George Robinson Fardon.

In spite of his apprenticeship in brass finishing George worked as an electrician probably throughout his working life. In the early days he was in an employed capacity, described as a journeyman (i.e. working for others). In 1911 he described himself as an electrical engineer, in 1927 as an electrical fitter.

There were five known children, three boys and two girls, the first three born in quick succession after George's marriage (Edith Lily 1899, Oliver George 1901, Robert Alfred 1903), the others after an interval (Gladys Hilda 1910 and James E 1918). As stated above, the two girls were taken back to Bourton for baptism.

Edith Lily

Edith was born in 1899 in Hammersmith, west London, and baptised the same year in Bourton on the Hill. She was at home with her father and mother on census nights of 1901 and 1911. The next record is in 1924, still in Hammersmith, when she married Albert V Cutler.

Oliver George

Oliver was born in Hammersmith in 1901 and was at home in 1911. He married Elsie Grimmer in Hendon in 1941 and there was one daughter Pamela, born in Paddington in 1947. His death was registered in the Brent district, Essex, in 1984. He was 82.

Robert Alfred

Robert was born in Hammersmith in 1903 and was at home in 1911. In 1927 he married Ruby Gertrude Hawksworth in Hendon. He was an accountant by profession. Two children are recorded. Robert was born in the Willesden district of London in 1927 but died at or soon after birth; Raymond G W in the Hendon district in 1930. The family seems then to have moved around (High Wycombe and Bedford feature), perhaps settling in Dorset. Raymond married Pamela H Kilby in High Wycombe in 1961, and a child, Margaret A, was born there in 1963. Margaret was married in Dorset in 1994. In 1965 the birth of Nicholas J M Fardon was registered in Bedford, mother's maiden name Kilby, perhaps a second child for Raymond. Perhaps the same as the Nicholas J Fardon who was married in North Dorset in 1982). For tabulated detail see the Sources listing.

A rare and interesting example of Robert's spare time interests, in this case campanology, comes in a report that in 1921 he was a member of the Ancient Society of College Youths at Shepherd's Bush. This had been founded in 1637 to promote the art of change ringing.

Gladys Hilda

Gladys was born probably in Hammersmith in 1910. Like her older sister she was taken to Bourton on the Hill for baptism but was back home for the census of 1911. In late 1933 or early 1934 (registration in the Hammersmith district in the first quarter of 1934) she married Hugh J Askew.

James Edward

James was born in late 1917 or early 1918 (the birth was registered in the Hammersmith district in the first quarter of 1918). I have no further information until the registration of his death at the age of 73 in the Hammersmith district in 1990.

Q5d - Edith Annie Edith Annie circa 1896 - Click to see an enlarged image

Edith was born in Bourton in late 1874 or early 1875 (the birth was registered in the first quarter of 1875) and she was baptised in the village. She was at home in 1881, a 6-year-old scholar, but not in 1891. She now disappears from the records in England and Wales, and has not been found in GRO marriage or death registrations. It is probable that she emigrated to the United States, perhaps in service. In 1890 a Miss Edith Fardon, spinster, of the right age (15) was a passenger on the SS Alaska, which sailed from Liverpool to New York via Queenstown, Ireland, arriving on 26th May. She was listed on the ship's manifest among a family of three, Mrs Emma Treble and her daughter Emma and son Leopold, who had originated in London but who had been in Chipping Norton, not far from Bourton, since at least 1868. Emma was described as 'matron', Leopold as 'gentleman', perhaps suggesting that Edith was in service with them.

Q5e - Albert Oliver

Albert was born in late 1876 or early 1877 (the birth was registered in the first quarter of the latter year) and he was baptised at Bourton. He was at home in 1881, a scholar. On census night ten years later, aged 14, he was visiting William Caless in Crimscot, the same man who had been the executor of his grandmother's will 50 years earlier and now a farmer. The reason for this visit is not known.

Ten years later, in 1901, The Horse and Groom, Bourton on the Hill. - Click to see an enlarged image.Albert was in service in London as a footman at 143, Piccadilly. See at the end of this item for details of a job which must have presented something of a culture shock for a boy from the country. But by autumn of 1906 he was back in Bourton, in time to register for inclusion in the electoral register for the following year. From 1907 to around 1927 he was the licensee of the Horse and Groom Inn in Bourton, as shown in the village electoral register, Kelly's directories and the Gloucestershire Pubs web site (

He seems to have lost, or given up the licence of the inn in 1927. From 1928 his entries in the electoral register change his status to that of non-householder. The way in which the Fardons, and indeed other families, are listed in the register, does not associated them by household, and there are no addresses. His abode is thus not known. But as a non-householder perhaps he went into lodgings or lived with his parents or sisters. He remained unmarried. In 1932, when probate for his father's will was granted to him and his brother Harry, he was described as a retired innkeeper, so presumably he was not in employment.

Albert's death was registered in the second quarter of 1935. He was aged 58.

The detail of Albert's London service is worth a pause, for what it tells about service at that time and perhaps the culture shock for a boy from the country. Number 143 Piccadilly was one of a number of large houses, presumably those overlooking Green Park and situated across Piccadilly from the park. Number 140-141 housed the Bachelor's Club. No club members were staying on census night, but there was a full staff. Most of the other houses had just a skeleton staff, presumably looking after the place while the owner or tenant was away. Such was number 143, with only eight servants listed - cook, kitchen-maid, scullery-maid, three housemaids and two footmen, one of the last being Albert. N one of them was listed as head of household.

Perhaps a picture of Albert's life when the "boss" was home is shown in the listing for number 144 next door. Here the householder is shown as a Wentworth B Beaumont, 71, no occupation, with his wife, 49, and a son (39 and clearly by a previous marriage, born in Piccadilly) who was a major in the 16th Lancers. Serving them were no less than 17 servants: secretary, butler, two valets, footman, housekeeper, two nurses, lady's maid, four housemaids, stillroom maid, kitchen-maid, scullery-maid, oddman.

Q5f - Ethel Marion

Ethel was at home in 1881 and 1891, baby and scholar. In 1901 she was working as a dressmaker in London, in New Bond Street, no less. She was one of eight working for a Maria Lovell at 66 New Bond Street, who described herself as Court Dressmaker. This address would have been for both working and living accommodation, as the those .living there included employer and employees, and also housekeeper, housemaid and servant. The address is in the same census parish as that of her brother Albert Oliver, who was a footman in Piccadilly, see above.

Ten years later, still unmarried, she is working as a dressmaker in Bournemouth, living in a lodging house with seven others in their 20s and 30s and of various occupations. Ethel then disappears from the records until 1929, when she is listed in the electoral register in Bourton. This is typical of an unmarried non-householder woman, who would not have received the franchise until 1929. She could have returned to Bourton at any time between 1911 and 1930 and been living there undetected in these records.

She is then in Bourton until at least 1937 at an unknown address, then in 1944 when she was living at The Croft in Bourton, where she was present at the death there of her brother Frederick. The two postwar records that I have sampled (1946, 1950) shows her living with sister Hilda, still at The Croft.. She died in 1965 at the age of 87, probably in Bourton (the death was registered in the North Cotswold district, which covered Bourton)

Q5g - John Charles

John was born in 1880 in Bourton, where he was baptised early the following year. He was at home for the census in 1881 (3rd - 4th April), aged five months, but died the following year, aged just 1 year 7 months, and was buried in Bourton..

Q5h - Kate

Kate would be a schoolteacher in Bourton, though retiring early on health grounds. She never married, but remained in the village until old age, but dying in Oxford. She was born in 1883 in Bourton and was baptised there later the same year. She was at home in 1891, a schoolgirl, and was still living there is 1901 (assistant schoolteacher) and 1911 (schoolteacher).

She is frequently mentioned in the Bourton school logs, where she is various referred to a Supplementary Teach and Infants' Teacher. She was the third in the hierarchy of three, which is consistent with teaching the infants. On one occasion cooking classes were cancelled because of the absence of the teacher. She was on sick leave at the time, and thus cooking classes may have been one of her duties.

It would seem that she did not enjoy good health, for virtually all of the many references over the years were to absences on sick leave, mostly unspecified but including mumps, sciatica, tonsillitis, various colds, and illnesses of her mother and father requiring her to stay at home. During the last two years of her employment the absences were ever more frequent and lengthy. In June 1922 the school management committee remarked on the difficulty of finding a replacement. during one illness. Finally Kate offered her resignation on 7th December 1923 because of the ill health, after serving for 25 years at the school. The management committee minutes of 2nd February the following year paid generous tribute to her work over the years

As a single woman, and not a householder or wife of a householder, Kate did not qualify for the vote in the first tranche of women's suffrage and thus does not appear in the electoral register until 1929. Thereafter she is listed each year in Bourton as an unmarried woman until at least 1937, and then again after World War 2. There are no addresses shown, and even after the war she is listed as living simply at Bourton, separately from her parents, who were at Hillside, and her sisters Ethel and Hilda and later brother Frederick, who were at The Croft.

Her death was registered at Oxford in 1972 at the age of 89. Her sister Hilda had also died there in 1967 and it may be that the two moved to Oxford during the 1960s.

Q5i - Hilda Ella

Hilda was born in Bourton in late 1884 or early 1885. She was at home in 1891, but in 1901, aged 16, she is in Nottingham, working as an assistant milliner for a Mary A Evans at 7 High Street. This was presumably a draper's shop as Mary is shown as self-employed and working from home. Mary may have been from Bourton, and perhaps knew Hilda there. She was a draper's assistant in 1891, visiting in Bourton, and may have been the daughter of widow Emily Evans, who had been grocer and draper in Bourton in 1881.

She was back in Bourton by 1911, when she was working as housekeeper to her older brother Albert, who was the licensee of the local inn, the Horse and Groom. It is not known how long she remained there because, as an unmarried non-householder woman, she would not benefit from women's emancipation in 1918 and she disappears from official records until 1929. But she would presumably have had to give up this work around 1927, when Albert lost or gave up the licence of the Horse and Groom. And indeed she appears in the electoral registers from 1929 at an unknown address in Bourton.

She remained at an unidentified address in Bourton to at least 1936 and probably longer. There is no confirmed information of her employment. However, in 1934 the local school records report that a Mrs H Fardon was absent, having slipped down some steps and hurt her leg. She would return after a week. There is no known Mrs H Fardon in Bourton at the time, and this is unlikely to be a reference to her sister-in-law Gertrude, who was a teacher there and is regularly referred to as simply Mrs Fardon, occasionally Mrs G Fardon. If the title was a mistake for Miss, then this could be Hilda working at the school, in which her eldest brother was a governor.

After the war (the 1946 and 1950 electoral registers have been sampled), she was living with her sister Ethel at The Croft in Bourton. Ethel died in 1965 and perhaps Hilda then moved to Oxford with sister Kate, where she died in 1967 at the age of 82, and where Kate would die in 1972.

This page was last Updated 16 January 2019