Mm is for – Mysterious Musicians and Mariners

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge

Dad certainly had one fact about his mysterious father correct – Henry (Harry) Eden Crout was indeed a Musician, a Clarionet player, in the British Army. It seems unlikely, however, that he knew that many of his father’s Ancestors were Seamen, and Mariners of some note, for no doubt he would have regaled us endlessly with delightful tales of amazing adventures on “the High Seas”. I dedicate this Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge” to my dad, Harry Scarborough Crout and his paternal Ancestors, those “Mysterious Musicians and Mariners”.

Dad came to Australia, a sixteen year old lad, as part of the “Dreadnought Scheme”. He came for adventure, and to make his fortune “to take home to mam”, but events overtook him and he remained in Australia. Whilst he talked a lot about his mum, her family and growing up in Shipley, Yorkshire, he had litte information to share about his dad. He seemed reluctant to talk about his father saying he hardly knew him because he was away a lot with the Army. I also remember dad saying that the family’s, of both his mother and father, never “got along”.

My search for this “Mysterious Musician”, my Grandfather, began with a copy of the Marriage Certificate which both confirmed and confused. The best clue was the recording of his profession as “Private 2nd Dragoon Guards”. It didn’t take long to discover that the Regimental Band of the 2nd Dragoon Guards was stationed at Fulford, York, Yorkshire, England in 1899 which is the same year that he met and married my Grandmother, Marie Ogilvie a Yorkshire lass, in York. Henry (Harry) Eden Moody, whose name and his mother’s was changed to Crout on the 1891 Census, was born in Battersea, London, England on 21 March 1880.

How excited I was to see on-line, and to be able to purchase, a photo of the Band, taken that same year, despite knowing that none of the band members are named. However, I do have a description of Henry (Harry) Eden Crout taken from his “Attestation Papers” when he joined the “Canadian Expeditionary Force” on 20 July 1915. I keep trying to pick which of these strapping young blokes is my Grand-father, my “Mysterious Musician” but no luck. Maybe you can help?  He is 19 years old in the photo and described, 15 years later, as:

A Clarionet player, 5ft 7ins tall, dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair, girth when fully extended 36 ins (rate of expansion 2 1/2 inches). Three vaccination scars on left arm and 3 scars on right shoulder. A tattoo of a Heart and Arrow on left forearm and, on right forearm, a Cross and Anchor.”

 

Below is a picture of his son, Harry Scarborough Crout, at about same age.

Harry Scarborough Crout, riding pillion, aged 17 – 1929 (c) C.Crout-Habel

Harry Scarborough Crout aged 29years. (c) C.Crout-Habel

The Mysterious Mariners

Reading that my Grandfather had a Cross and Anchor tattoo, which I later discovered is a “Maritime Cross”, flipped me right back to that Marriage Certificate. Not only does he incorrectly name himself, and his father as Harry Edward Crout when both were Henry Eden Crout but also wrongly claimed his father to be a “Retired Seaman”. What is going on here?… thinks I. Many hours, days, weeks, months and now years of research are finally bringing the answers. He used his Grandfather’s name for himself and his dad, when marrying, and also his Grandfather’s profession. It is his Grandfather who is Henry Edward Crout (1814 – 1875) and he was indeed a Seaman, first going to sea at the age of 16.

The possible reasons my Grandfather gave mis-leading information is another story, for another day. Suffice to say their daughter, my dad’s sister Annie Ruby Crout, was born 22 Dec 1899 and just one month after they married. Soon after, he went off to the Boer War and I understand that the 2nd Dragoon Guards remained in South Africa for a further 8 years, as part of the occupying force. He was simply a Private. As I understand it, the Army would not accept responsibility for re-locating his wife, and child, because the Commanding Officer had not given permission for the marriage.

After answering a lot of questions, rattling round in my head, it was soon time to focus attention on the “Mysterious Mariners” … and what a revelation that’s been. The numbers keep growing almost daily but, to date, I’ve located the following Seamen/ Mariners to be amongst my dad’s Ancestors.

Henry Edward Crout (1814-1875) Seaman, Merchant Navy (Great Grandfather)
John Thomas Crout (1772-1841) Master, Navy (Great Great Grandfather)
John Thomas Crout (1810-1859) Master, Navy (Great Uncle)
Frederick Orlando Crout (1822-1902) Master Mariner (Great Uncle)
Henry Edward Crout (1842-1912) Seaman, Navy (2nd cousin?)
Frederick Orlando Crout (1847-1930) Seaman living/working Wales (2nd cousin?)

So there you have it. A few of the discoveries I’ve made, so far, about my “Mysterious Musicians and Mariners”. When telling my daughter about this aspect of her Ancestry, her comment was “No wonder Grandad was such an Adventurer, mum”. 

If you have any thoughts on which of those likely young lads may be my Grandfather, I’d be delighted to hear them.

Cheers, Catherine

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Copyright © 2012. C.A.Crout-Habel. “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family”

Dd – is for Delightful, Delicious & Delectable

FAMILY HISTORY THROUGH THE ALPHABET CHALLENGE

Researching and writing about the lives of family can sometimes make me sad. When this happens, there are a number of useful strategies which soon have me bouncing back. My “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” blog is aways a happy place to play. Trawling “You Tube” for fun, ridiculous and romantic songs is another favourite and sometimes writing about amusing incidents from childhood like “Dad, fencing and Nana”, which are passed on to my descendants through this blog, soon get the chuckles going again.

Needing comforting and cheering up after my latest two posts to “Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge”, one about “Baby Crout” and the other “Cousin Lizzie”, I mused over the letter Dd and immediately “Delightful, Delicious & Delectable” jumped into my head. It’s just a little story from childhood which brings back fond memories. Maybe it will trigger some happy thoughts for you too…

~~~~~~~~~

It’s 1950 in the working class suburb of Queenstown, South Australia, and just a couple of miles “up the track” from Port Adelaide where dad and grandpa worked “on the wharf”. Picture a large family kitchen with four hungry “tykes” sitting around the table, waiting for breakfast, and amazed to see their dad busy at the task. Why dad? … I have no idea. Maybe I do, but don’t want to think about it as it may bring back the sadness…

The four of us – 1950. (c) 2012 C.Crout-Habel

Anyway, dad put four bowls in front of us announcing They’re POBS – Mam used to make them for me.” Well, I’d never tasted anything so delicious and delectable in all of my four years. Sixty two years later, and still a feeling of calm envelopes me with the very thought. So, what were these magical “POBS” and what made them special? The breakfast dad put before us that day was simply a bowl filled with cubes of white bread, sprinkled with sugar and moistened with warm milk but oh so so delicious. Over the years, and on rare occasions, dad served us POBS but mum never did. Right from the start mum’s POBS were rejected… they just didn’t taste the same.

This South Australian girl knew no other person who ate POBS, or even knew what they were. I figured it was just a fun name that my Yorkshire born dad and his “mam” used for a bowl of bread, sugar and milk until, in 1995, I visited his home town of Windhill, Shipley, Yorkshire, England. Seeking the whereabouts of dad’s childhood home I met up with a delightful group of elderly people at the Windhill Community Centre, Church Street, Windhill. They named themselves the “Windhill Memories Group”, were amazed that Harry Crout’s daughter had come visiting, all the way from Australia, and happily shared their memories. Lillian Moorhouse was one who maintained contact and would sometimes send copies of her pencil drawings of  “Windhill of Yesteryear”. One day a booklet arrived titled “HOMECURES OF YESTERYEAR” and there on page 5, to my amazement, was a description for POBS – not a made up family name at all!…

HOMECURES OF YESTERYEAR by Lillian Moorhouse, page 5.

Years later, with a “search” on Wikipedia, I discovered that POBS are a traditional Lancashire dish. The internet also has many forums & discussion groups where talk about POBS arises. It was here I learnt that POB stands for “Pieces Of Bread” and also that a crushed up Oxo cube, sprinkled on bread and covered with hot water falls into the same category. What a surprise to discover that POBS were also enjoyed by others.

To ensure that this simple meal lived up to the title of “Delightful, Delicious & Delectable”  it had to be served in the appropriate dish – one of mum’s small, rimmed, white bowls which were dotted with tiny pink flowers and edged with gold.

So … a delightful, delicious, and delectable meal, of bread and milk, needed to be prepared by dad and served in the appropriate dish to make my day.  🙂 … happy memories.

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SOURCES: HOMECURES OF YESTERYEAR by Lillian Moorhouse © Lillian Moorhouse Reg. BB/818 No 33371. Published by: Windhill Memories Group. N.E.W.C.A. Church Street, Windhill, Shipley, Yorkshire, England.

Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

The House in Leeds

The wails of the newborn babe reverberate through the ward and down the passage of the Leeds Maternity Hospital, Hyde Street, Yorkshire, England as Marie (Ogilvie) Crout gives birth to her first, and only son, Harry Scarborough Crout. 

Over the years I’ve looked at dad’s treasured Birth Certificate and wondered why a child born on 4 March 1912, in Yorkshire, was not delivered at home? C. Lovegrove comments on “Leodis“,

“I believe this maternity hospital took the ladies who
were likely
to have difficult births.”

Maybe this is the explanation.  Further weight is given to this supposition when we learn that Marie temporarily re-located from her home in Shipley for the birth.  There on dad’s Birth Certificate is her address:

“10 Meanwood Street, Leeds” 

 

Curious about this house… dad’s first home, I did a search of the Leodis data base and was delighted to discover three photos taken, from different vantage points, before being demolished to make way for new road works.  Great excitement when the photos arrived.  It’s like touching the past.  My daughter, and I, went over them with a magnifying glass and decided that Marie’s abode at 10 Meanwood Street was on the left, at the rear of the building. 

Always questioning, I wondered why she stayed in this particular house?…  Was it the home of friends, or maybe relatives? The 1901 UK Census showed that eleven years earlier, Marie’s mum, dad and 5 younger siblings  were living at 34 Servia Road, so seemed unlikely to be the family home.  I let the question go and turned my attention to other matters.

A year, or so, later “the house in Leeds” became a matter of interest again. Delighted to be in contact with an Ogilvie 2nd cousin, from Leeds, I mentioned that my dad always said he had cousins in Western Australia but I had no idea who they were or where they were likely to be living. Finding them was especially complicated because it seemed their mum was a sister of Marie Ogilvie.  Was it a sister who emigrated?  If so, who was that sister? Did she marry?  If she married, what was her new name?  When did she come? … All were questions I’d mused over throughout the years, then John passed on one bit of information which changed everything.  He recalled that the relative was female and moved to Western Australia before WW1. Sadly he believed it unlikely she ever knew that her brother John had been killed in the War.

Well, that provided a time frame and certainly focused the attention.  Remembering that the 1911 UK Census had recently been released, I did a search to find out where members of the Ogilvie family were living in 1911, the year before dad’s birth, and there it was at last! … The answer to that ongoing and perplexing question was sitting there, shining like a sparkling jewel, just waiting to be picked up.

When Marie (Ogilvie) Crout gave birth to my dad, at Leeds Maternity Hospital, she was temporarily living with her widowed mum, sisters Maggie Ogilvie and Lucy Bartle, brother-in-law Walter Bartle and 4 year old nephew, Leslie Ogilvie, in the 5 roomed home at 10 Meanwood Street, Leeds.  Whooo Hooo!!!… puzzle solved at long last.

Further research revealed that 8 months later Maggie married John Henry Baxter.  They migrated to Western Australia the following year with John travelling on ahead and Maggie arriving at Fremantle, aboard the SS “Otrantra”, on 14 Oct 1913 but that’s another wonderful story to be told on another day.

Many thanks to my cousin for sharing his precious morsel of info which enabled the sidestepping of that particular “brick wall”.  It never fails to amaze how such seemingly inconsequential “rememberings” can make a huge difference when re-constructing the events of yesteryear.

Thanks also to Leeds City Council and the Leeds Library & Information Service for “Leodis”, its photographic archive of Leeds.  Containing 52,000 new and old images it’s a joyous treasure house to those, especially from across the seas, who are researching Family History.

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SOURCES:  “Leodis” http://www.leodis.net 
                      1901 UK Census
                      1911 UK Census

(c) Copyright. 2012. C.A.Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family