Biography Frank & Doris Harman

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JOHN & RHODA'S SON FRANK. TREE 5/3A

 

FRANK HARMAN - OF COTTAGE HILL WAS BORN ON 6TH JULY, 1851. HE WAS A SON OF JOHN HARMAN AND RHODA MARTIN. A VERY WELL TO-DO MASTER MASON AND BUILDER 'WHO WAS VERY WELL KNOWN IN THE ROTHERFIELD DISTRICT AMONGST HIS PROJECTS WERE ROTHERFIELD SCHOOL AND THE BRICKYARD CHIMNEYS AT JARVIS BROOK OR ONE OCCASION HE DID SOME INTERIOR STONEWORK AT WADHURST HALL. AT THAT TIME HE 'LIVED AT COTTAGE HILL. HE MARRIED DORIS MOON. THE DAUGHTER OF JOHN MOON (DECEASED). ON 4TH APRIL) 1872 IN THE PARISH CHURCH ST DENYS AT ROTHERFIELD. AROUND 1892.

THEIR FIRST BORN CHILD WAS OWEN THOMAS. THE ELDEST SON BORN 2 Feb 1872.

 

RHODA ELIZA WAS THE ELDEST DAUGHTER 1ST JULY. 1875 AT TOWN ROW. ROTHERFIELD.

 

DORIS. BAPTIZED ON 9TH DECEMBER, 1877 AT ST DENYS WAS BURIED AT ROTHERFIELD JUST SIX MONTHS OLD.

 

ANNIE WAS BORN AT TOWN ROW ON THE 26 Mar 1881

.

WALTER. THE NEXT CHILD. WAS BORN AT PACKHAMS MILL ON 31ST AUGUST. 1883.

HERBERT WAS BORN AT TOWN ROW AT ROTHERFIELD ON 12TH OCTOBER. 1885.

 

FREDERICK EDWIN. THE NEXT SON WAS BORN AT PACKHAMS MILL ON 12TH NOVEMBER. 1887

 

LUTHER WAS THE NEXT CHILD TO BE BORN AND THAT WAS ON 24TH MARCH. 1890.

 

FRANK HERBERT BORN 11 Jan 1880

 

JAMES SYDNEY WAS THE YOUNGEST SON AND WAS BORN ON 3RD DECEMBER 1892.

 

ELSIE WAS BORN ON 22ND DECEMBER, 1895 AT PACKHAMS HILL.

THEY HAD TEN CHILDREN.

 

FRANK HARMAN AND DORIS SUFFERED A TRAGEDY OF HAVING THREE DAUGHTERS SUFFERING FROM TUBERCULOSIS ,AND BEING NURSED AT HOME.

 

FIRSTLY DORIS.  SUFFERED A  DEATH BY TUBERCULOSIS SHE DIED AT THE YOUNG AGE 0F 18 YEARS OF AGE AND WAS BURIED AT ROTHERFIELD ON 21ST MARCH. 1896.

ANNIE WAS BORN AT TOWN ROW. SHE DIED AT THE AGE AT 18 YEARS OF TUBERCULOSIS AND WAS BURIED AT ROTHERFIELD ON 30TH MARCH. 1899.

RHODA ELIZA SHE DIED AT THE YOUNG AGE 0F 24 YEARS. UNMARRIED. OF TUBERCULOSIS AND WAS BURIED AT ROTHERFIELD ON 6TH APRIL. 1900.

THUS IN THE SPACE OF FOUR YEARS, FRANK AND DORIS SAW THREE OF THEIR DAUGHTERS DIE OF THE SAME DISEASE.

FRANK & DORIS  RAN A PUBLIC HOUSE AT BELLE MEAD. A LARGE HOUSE AT PACKHAMS HILL IN ROTHERFIELD. THE VENTURE WASN'T VERY SUCCESSFUL AND HE LOST HIS MONEY.  FRANK WAS BURIED ON 2ND FEBRUARY. 1925.AT ROTHERFIELD  AGE 75

DORIS  DIED TWO YEARS AFTER ON THE 24 Aug 1927.AT ROTHERFIELD  AGE 75.


 

 

FRANK & DORIS SON OWEN THOAMS TREE 5/3A

 

OWEN THOMAS MARRIED MARY ANN HILLMAN.
 THEY HAD A SON CYRIL . IT IS BELIEVED THAT THIS SON DIED. IT IS POSSIBLE  THAT MARY ANN HIS WIFE COULD NOT HAVE ANY MORE CHILDREN & THEY ADOPTED A DAUGHTER ' HER NAME WAS EDITH  HARMAN  MARRIED A ROBERT WALKER IN 1924.
 MARY ANN HILLMAN.WAS THE daughter of WILLIAM HILLMAN and ELIZABETH REEDS.BORN 1869 The Lodge Farm, Piddinhoe, Sussex, CHR:10 OCT 1869
DIED 11 MAY 1939 Western Road Jervis Brook Age 68.

OWEN WAS A BRICKLAYER BY" TRADE AND HE .DIED IN WALSH MANOR NURSING HOME AT CROWBOROUCH ON 9TH FEBRUARY. 1942 AGE 70
PRIOR TO HIS DEATH IN THE NURSING HOME HE LIVED AT 1. FERNDALE COTTAGES IN WESTERN ROAD AT JARVIS BROOK.
IN HIS WILL HE LEFT ALL HE OWNED TO HIS ADOPTED DAUGHTER EDITH

 

ON MY FIRST VISIT TO ROTHERFILD I WENT TO JERVIS BROOK & TO THE HOUSE MY FATHER WAS BORN. A BROTHER & SISTER WHO LIVED IN THE SAME ROW OF COTTAGES INVITED ME INTO THEIR HOUSE. THESE HAD LOST THEIR PARENTS AT A VERY EARLY AGE . BUT MANAGE TO SURVIVE WITH THE HELP OF OWEN & HIS WIFE

  

FRANK & DORIS DAUGHTER TREE 5/3A

 

RHODA ELIZA WAS THE ELDEST DAUGHTER AND SHE WAS BORN ON 1ST JULY. 1875 AT TOWN ROW. ROTHERFIELD AND BAPTIZED ON 8TH AUGUST. 1875 AT ST DENYS CHURCH IN ROTHERFIELD. SHE DIED AGE 24 YEARS. UNMARRIED. OF TUBERCULOSIS AND WAS BURIED AT ROTHERFIELD ON 6TH APRIL. 1900.

FRANK & DORIS DAUGHTER TREE 5/3A

 

DORIS. THE SUFFERED THE AS HER SISTER DEATH BV TUBERCULOSIS6 SHE DIED AT 18 YEARS O4 AGE AND WAS BURIED AT ROTHERFIELD ON 21ST MARCH. 1896 HAVING BEEN BORN ON 29TH OCTOBER. 1877 AT TOWN ROW' AND BAPTIZED ON 9TH DECEMBER 1877 AT ST DENYS.

 

FRANK & DORIS DAUGHTER TREE 5/3A

 

ANNIE WAS BORN 26 Mar 1881 AT TOWN ROW. CHRISTANED 8 May 1881 SHE DIED AT THE AGE AT 18 YEARS OF TUBERCULOSIS AND WAS BURIED AT ROTHERFIELD ON 30TH MARCH. 1899.


 

WALTER, THE SON OF FRANK AND DORIS HARMAN. TREE 5/3A1

 WALTER known as BOB.(See Biography)

  

FRANK & DORIS SON Herbert TREE 5/3A

HERBERT WAS BORN 12 Oct 1885 AT TOWN ROW AT ROTHERFIELD ON 12TH OCTOBER. 1885 AND BAPTIZED ON 18TH DECEMBER THE SAME YEAR AT ST DENYS PARISH CHURCH.HIS FATHER FRANK WAS LISTED IN THE BAPTIZE REGISTER AS A BRICKLAYER. HERBERT IT IS BELIEVED MARRIED A MARY POPE.

IN  1919.

 HERBERT DIED AFTER TWO YEARS AFTER THE END OF FIRST WORLD WAR IN 1920.

  

FREDERICK EDWIN. THE THE SON OF FRANK & DORIS. TREE 5/3A

 

FREDERICK EDWIN. WAS BORN AT PACKHAMS MILL ON 12TH NOVEMBER. 1887. THREE MONTHS LATER HE WAS BAPTIZED AT ST DENYS ON 12TH FEBRUARY, 1880.

 

HE FOLLOWED THE TRADE OF HIS FATHER AND WAS A BRICKLAYER. IN 1926 HE MARRIED HETTY  BURCHETT AT ST DENYS AND THEY HAD ONE SON.

 

 STANLEY FREDERICK, WHO WAS BORN ON 26TH MAY, 1927. HE MARRIED GWENDA H. CRAWT ON 2ND APR 1956 AT ST MICHAEL'S CHURCH JARVIS BROOK AND DIED ON 30TH JULY 1987 AGE 60.

HE & HETTY HAD NO CHILDREN THEY LIVED AT 3. MONASTERY GARDENS ROTHERFIELD.

 

HE WAS A KEEN GARDENER AND A LONG-STANDING MEMBER OF THE ROTHERFIELD HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY. HE WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE ROTHERFIELD BONFIRE SOCIETY', AND A SUPPORTER CF THE CROWBOROUGH ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY.

 

DURING THE WAR HE SERVED IN THE ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORP:  FOR THREE YEARS AND FOR 17 YEARS WORKED FOR THE FIRM NITROVIT.

 

STANLEY HAD A RATHER UNUSUAL FUNERAL IN THAT. IN ACCORDANCE WITH HIS WISHES, CROWBOROUGH SILVER BAND PROVIDED THE MUSIC FOR THE FUNERAL SERVICE AND THE COFFIN WAS CARRIED FROM THE CHURCH TO THE TUNE OF 'SUSSEX BY THE SEA', PRECEDED BV THE: CONGREGATION BEING INVITED TO JOIN IN A RENDERING OF 'LAND OF HOPE AND GLORY'.

HIS FATHER FREDERICK EDWIN DIED AGED 50 YEARS IN 1938. HIS WIDOW HETTY LIVING FOR ANOTHER THIRTY-TWO YEARS AND DYING IN JUNE. 1970 AGE 81.HETTY NEVER REMARRIED.

 

FRANK & DORIS SON LUTHER. TREE 5/3A

 

LUTHER WAS BORN AND THAT WAS ON 24TH MARCH. 1890. THE BAPTISM AT ST DENY WAS ON 11TH MAY. 1890. THE  REGISTERS SAYING THAT THE FAMILY WAS NOW BACK AT TOWN ROW.

LUTHER JOINED THE ARMY THE  REGIMENT  THE 11TH HUSSARS. HE MARRIED ELSIE MINNS ON 17TH SEPTEMBER. 1919.

AT THE TIME OF HIS MARRIAGE, LUTHER'S ADDRESS WAS ALSO GIVEN IN THE REGISTERS AS SPRINGFIELD COTTAGES. TOWN ROW.

 

WHEN THE END OF THE WAR CAME. HE TOOK A JOB IS A LABOURER AT THE CONVENT IN MARK CROSS HOPING THEREBY TO BE ABLE TO GET A COTTAGE.

 

BEING STILL IN ARMY RESERVE. HE WAS CALLED UP AGAIN FOR SERVICE DURING THE NATIONAL STRIKE IN 1926. WHILE LUTHER AND ELSIE WERE LIVING AT MARK CROSS THEY HAD TWO CHILDREN -

FRANK HERBERT. BORN IN I920 AND VERA MARY 2 YEARS LATER IN 1922.

 

FRANK HERBERT MARRIED BETTY J. GRINHAM IN JULY. 1949 AT FRANT AND STILL LIVES AT NEW ROAD, ROTHERFIELD. NO CHILDREN FROM  MARRIAGE.

 

VERA MARY MARRIED WILFRED HUMPPHREY NO CHILDREN FROM  MARRIAGE.

 

IN 1930 THE FAMILY MOVED TO A HOUSE NAMED 'HIGHBURY' AT NEW ROAD. ROTHERFIELD WHERE. ON 24TH  MAY, 1935 LUTHER  DIED FROM A BRAIN TUMOUR AGE 45. BURIAL FOLLOWED FOUR DAYS LATER AT ROTHERFIELD. TWENTY'-FIVE YEARS LATER. HIS WIDOW ELSIE DIED ON 23RD NOVEMBER, 1958. AGE 68.

 

THEY ARE BURIED TOGETHER THE MEMORIAL STONE READING

 

IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR FATHER LUTHER HARMAN DIED 24TH MAY 1935 AGE 45.

AND

DEVOTED MOTHER ELSIE DIED 23RD NOVEMBER 1958 AGE 66.

 

ELSIE LIVED ALSO AT TOWN ROW BUT THERE ARE NO DETAILS OF HER FATHER AS  SHE 'WAS ILLEGITIMATE AND SHE WAS BROUGHT UP BY AND AUNT AND UNCLE. MR. AND MRS. BAKER WHO, IN LATER LIFE LIVED AT 2, SPRINGFIELD COTTAGES AT TOWN ROW .

ELSIE MINNS. Born 1890 TOWN ROW. Died 23 NOV 1958 TOWN ROW AGE 68.

 

She married LUTHER HARMAN. Born 24 MAR 1890 TOWN ROW ROTHERFIELD. Died 24 MAY 1935 ROTHERFIELD AGE 45.

Children of ELSIE MINNS and LUTHER HARMAN are:

 

1.   Frank Herbert   HARMAN . Born 1920 MARK CROSS.

2.        FRANK HERBERT MARRIED BETTY J. GRINHAM IN JULY. 1949 AT FRANT AND STILL LIVES AT NEW ROAD, ROTHERFIELD.

3.         

4.        VERA MARY  MARRIED WILFRED HUMPHREY FROM EDENBRIDGE IN KENT IN

MARCH, 1954.. VERA MARY HARMAN. Born 1922 MARK CROSS.

5.   SEE FAMILY TREE FRANK & DORIS 5/3A

 

FRANK & DORIS SON SYDNEY. TREE 5/3A3

 

JAMES SYDNEY WAS THE YOUNGEST SON  OF FRANK & DORIS AND WAS BORN ON 3RD DECEMBER, 1892 AND BAPTISED AT ST DENYS ON 12TH FEBRUARY, 1893. THE FAMILY REGISTERED AS LIVING AT BELLE HEAD WHICH WAS A VERY  LARGE HOUSE AT PACKHAMS HILL. IN HIS TEENS HE WAS 'CLAIMED' BY HIS ELDER BROTHER LUTHER. INTO JOINING THE REGIMENT OF THE 11TH HUSSARS.

 

DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR HE SERVED IN FRANCE WHERE HE WAS WOUNDED. ALTHOUGH NOT SERIOUSLY AND WAS ONE OF THE 'OLD CONTEMPTIBLES'.

HE REMAINED IN THE ARMY RESERVES FOR SEVERAL YEARS. DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR HE SERVED AS A CORPORAL IN THE HOME GUARD.

 

AFTER THE 1ST WAR HE CAME BACK TO LIVE AT ROTHERFIELD WHERE HE MET AND MARRIED LILY FLORENCE POOLEY. THE DAUGHTER OF JAMES POOLE';. A CARPENTER OF HAYFIELD, IN ST MARKS CHURCH, MARK CROSS ON 20TH JANUARY 1923.

 ON THE MARRIAGE REGISTER HE WAS ENTERED AS BEING A PLATE LAYER.

 

ONE OF THE WITNESSES AT THE WEDDING WAS JOHN JOSEPH COOMBER. THE HUSBAND OF HIS YOUNGER SISTER ELSIE AND HIS COUSIN ELSIE MARIA. DAUGHTER OF SAMUEL AND EDITH.

AT THIS TIME THEY WERE LIVING AT 4, SPRINGFIELD COTTAGES, BLETCHINGLY LANE, TOWN ROW WHERE THEY HAD TAKEN OVER THE OLD HOME THAT THEIR GRANDFATHER AND GRANDMOTHER, FRANK AND DORIS, LIVED.

 

JAMES SYDENY  & LILY'S HIS FIRST CHILD BORN WAS DONALD FRANK WAS BORN ON 6TH JULY, 1923,  AND THEIR SECOND A GIRL PAMELA PATRICIA ON 28TH MARCH. 1931.

 

JAMES WAS PROMOTED TO A GANGER AT GROOMBRIDGE STATION, THE FAMILY MOVED FROM TOWN ROW TO No 6. THE RIDGE GROOMBRIDGE.

JAMES CARRIED ON WORKING IN THIS CAPACITY UNTIL HE WAS WELL OVER 65 YEARS OLD.

 

JAMES  died 19 Apr 1979  No THE RIDGE GROOMBRIDGE. AGED 86

 

LILY FLORENCE POOLEY. Born 1892 MAYFIELD. Died 1973 6, THE RIDGE GROOMBRIDGE AGE 81. She was the daughter of JAMES POOLEY.

THEIR SON DONALD FRANK MARRIED MARGARET JOAN DEAN IN 1954. AND THEIR DAUGHYTER PAMELA PATRICIA, MARRIED MICHAEL HERBERT MILLER 13TH SEPTEMBER, 1952.

 

LILY HAVING DIED IN 1973 AT THE AGE OF 81.

 JAMES DIED AT HOME ON 19TH APRIL, 1979. A WIDOWER  AGED 86.


FRANK & DORIS DAUGHTER ELSIE TREE 5/3A2

 

ELSIE WAS BORN ON 22ND DECEMBER 1895 AT PACKHAMS HILL AND WAS BAPTISED IN ST DENYS PARISH CHURCH ON 4TH APRIL. 1896. ON 11TH MARCH. 1919 SHE MARRIED JOHN JOSEPH COOMBER A LEADING SEAMAN IN THE ROYAL NAVY WHO LIVED AT CORNER COTTAGE IN ROTHERFIELD. HIS FATHER, WALTER WAS DEAD AT THE TIME OF THE WEDDING. BUT HAD BEEN A RAILWAY SIGNALMAN. HER BROTHER LUTHER GAVE HER AWAY AT THE WEDDING. IN 1923 SAW THE BIRTH OF A SON WHOM THEY CALLED HERBERT WALTER.

 

JUST AS 1923 WAS A JOYOUS YEAR FOR ELSIE, THE FOLLOWING ONE WAS A VERY SAD ONE. HER HUSBAND JOHN. WHO HAD BEEN PROMOTED TO PETTY OFFICER IN 1921 AND WAS SERVING AWAY FROM HOME IN H.M.S. CHAMPION. WAS TAKEN ILL EARLY IN THE NEW YEAR AND WAS TAKEN TO THE ROYAL NAVAL HOSPITAL AT HASLAR IN GOSPORT HAMPSHIRE. HIS CONDITION DIDN'T IMPROVE AND. AT THE BEGINNING OF JUNE DETERIORATED VERY RAPIDLY'. HE DIED ON 19TH JUNE OF PULMONARY TUBERCULOSIS. HIS BODY WAS TAKEN BACK TO ROTHERFIELD WHERE HE WAS BURIED FOUR DAYS LATER ON 23RD JUNE. THE EVENTS OF THE YEAR SHATTERED ELSIE AND FOR SOME TIME AFTER SHE LIVED A VERY QUIET LIFE DEVOTING HERSELF TO HER SON.

 

ELSIE MARRIED AGAIN TO AN EDUCATED ROTTER, HARMAN GEORGE BICKERS AND, ON 31ST DECEMBER 1930. WHEN HER SON HERBERT WALTER WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD.

 

 SHE BORE TWINS WHO WERE NAMED DORA MARGARET AND EDWARD~ HARMAN. THEY WERE BORN AT ROTHERFIELD. WHEN THE TWINS WERE TWO YEARS OLD THE FAMILY MOVED TO NAYLOR'S FARM AT MAYFIELD. FOUR YEARS LATER.

 

WHEN THE TWINS WERE SIX AND A HALF YEARS OLD THEY CONTRACTED TUBERCULOSIS FROM DRINKING UNPASTEURISED MILK. MARGARET WAS SENT TO A PLACE CALLED CHAILEY HERITAGE CRAFT SCHOOL WHICH WAS NEAR LEWES

 

SHE REMAINED THERE FROM 1937 UNTIL EARLY 1940. EDWARD WAS SENT SOMEWHERE ELSE. DURING THIS PERIOD THEY DIDN'T SEE ONE ANOTHER 'AT ALL.

 

 ELSIE DEVELOPED CANCER AT THIS TIME AND SO SHE WAS ILL A LOT OF THE TIME AND COULD ONLY PAY A VERY FEW "VISITS TO HER DAUGHTER AT CHAILEY.

 HER STEP-BROTHER ALSO PAID A FEW VISITS TO SEE HER.

 

IN 1938 WHEN HE WAS FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. HERBERT WALTER JOINED THE ARMY AS A BUGLER IN THE ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS AND HARMAN BICKERS JOINED THE ROYAL SUSSEX REGIMENT.

 

IN 1940, MARGARET WENT HOME AND WAS ABLE TO MEET HER TWIN BROTHER AGAIN. HAVING BEEN APART FOR SUCH A LONG TIME. THEY HAD TO GET TO KNOW ONE ANOTHER AGAIN.

 BECAUSE ELSIE WAS STILL ILL. A LOT OF THE TIME THE TWINS WAS SPENT WITH VARIOUS AUNTS AND UNCLES. SADLY. WHEN THEY WERE TEN YEARS OLD. THEIR MOTHER ELSIE DIED IN APRIL. 1940.

 

THE TWINS WERE FOSTERED FOR A WHILE WITH A COUPLE WHO TOOK IN WAR REFUGEES. NOT LONG AFTER. THEIR FATHER TOOK THEM TO TUNBRIDGE WELLS WHERE THEY LIVED TOGETHER UNTIL 1945 WHEN. WITHOUT ANY WARNING:

 HE SUDDENLY DISAPPEARED. THE POLICE TRIED TO TRACE HIM. BUT FAILED. AND WITH MONEY VERY SHORT, THE LADY WITH WHOM THEY HAD BEEN LODGING COULD NOT AFFORD TO LOOK AFTER THEM. SHE INFORMED THE COUNCIL OF  THIS  AND SO THE TWINS WERE UPROOTED ONCE MORE. NOT ONLY TO GO TO AN ORPHANAGE BUT TO BE SPLIT UP YET AGAIN..

 

DURING THIS TIME HERBERT WALTER HAD TRANSFERRED TO THE GLIDER PILOT REGIMENT SO DID NOT KNOW' ANYTHING OF WHAT HAD BEFALLEN HIS STEPBROTHER AND SISTER UNTIL THEY WERE ABLE TO WRITE AND TELL HIM.

THIS TIME THE STAY IN THE ORPHANAGE LASTED FOR TWO YEARS. BUT AT LEAST THE TWINS WERE ABLE T0 SEE ONE ANOTHER OCCASIONALLY AT SCHOOL. NOTWITHSTANDING HAVING TO STAY IN AN ORPHANAGE, THEY RECEIVED SHATTERING NEWS ONE DAY THAT THEIR STEP-BROTHER HAD BEEN KILLED IN ACTION ON ONE OF THE LAST FEW DAYS OF THE WAR. HE HAD BEEN SHOT DOWN IN A GLIDER WHILE CROSSING THE RHINE. THIS WAS ON 24TH MARCH. 1945. HE WAS BURIED IN THE REICHWALD FOREST WAR GRAVE CEMETERY AT KLEVE IN GERMANY. THEY FELT AS IF THE END OF THE WORLD HAD COME BECAUSE THEY HAD NOBODY AT ALL LEFT THEY COULD CALL THEIR OWN.

 

THERE WAS SOME GOOD NEWS FOR THEM A YEAR OR SO LATER, WHEN IN JULY 1946 AT THE AGE OF FIFTEEN. A MIDDLE AGED COUPLE OFFERED TO ADOPT THEM. SO THE TWINS WENT TO LIVE AT MINSTER NEAR RAMSGATE THANET WITH CHARLES AND ELIZABETH HARTWELL. THE HARTWELL'S HAD. A SMALL RESTAURANT CALLED 'THE LITTLE SHIPS' IN RAMSGATE HIGH STREET AND IT WAS HERE THAT MARGARET HELPED OUT WHILE EDWARD WENT TO SCHOOL AT ST GEORGE'S SCHOOL. THEY STAYED THERE FOR ABOUT A YEAR DURING WHICH TIME THEY HAD FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO SETTLE DOWN AND SO EDWARD EXPRESSED A DESIRE TO GO TO SEA AND, AFTER LEAVING SCHOOL WORKED FOR A FEW MONTHS ON A LARGE MOTOR YACHT, THE MYS SOU WESTER WHICH WAS MOORED FOR THE WINTER IN RAMSGATE HARBOUR. MARGARET ALSO EVENTUALLY LEFT HOME TO TAKE UP NURSERY NURSE TRAINING AT MIME BAY. THERE WAS STILL NO NEWS OF THEIR FATHER AND THE POLICE AT TUNBRIDGE WELLS HAD HELD A WARRANT FOR HIS DESERTION IS SEVEN YEARS.

 

MARGARET WANTED TO FIND HER FATHER AND SO CONTACTED THE SALVATION ARMY TO SEE IF THEY COULD TRACE HIM. ONE DAY SHE GOT A LETTER FROM HIM AT ALDERSHOT WHERE HE WAS WORKING AS A CIVILIAN CHEF AT THE ARMY' BARRACKS THERE. SHE MADE ARRANGEMENTS TO GO UP TO LONDON TO SEE HIM. HE WAS LIVING IN A CONVERTED Nissen hut AT LAMBETH WITH HIS THIRD WIFE SINCE HE HAD DISAPPEARED. HE WAS DRUNK FOR QUITE A LOT OF THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS SHE WAS THERE AND SO LEFT FOR HOME, VERY UNHAPPY AT WHAT SHE HAD SEEN. SINCE THEN. SHE NEVER WANTED TO SEE HIM AGAIN.

 

EDWARD, MEANWHILE HAD SPENT SIX MONTHS AT THE PRINCE OF WALES' SEA TRAINING HOSTEL NEAR STALHAM IN NORFOLK WHERE HE LEARNT THE RUDIMENTS OF SEAMANSHIP. IN AUGUST. 1947 HE JOINED HIS FIRST SHIP. THE PACIFIC IMPORTER

WHERE HE SERVED AS A JUNIOR ORDINARY SEAMAN. ON THIS SHIP HE VISITED MALTA. ALEXANDRIA, JAFFA, TEL AVIV, HAIFA AND BEIRUT AND THEN THROUGH THE SUEZ CANAL TO SUEZ. THEN DOWN THE RED SEA TO MOMBASA. BEING RE-ROUTED THE SHIP WENT ON ACROSS THE INDIAN OCEAN TO NEW ZEALAND. AFTER SPENDING HIS 17TH BIRTHDAY': IN WELLINGTON, THE PACIFIC IMPORTER THEN SET OFF ACROSS THE PACIFIC OCEAN. UP THROUGH THE PANAMA CANAL, ACROSS THE ATLANTIC OCEAN AND SO BACK TO LONDON DOCKS. 'SUCCESSIVE TRIPS TOOK HIM TO SUCH PLACES AS THE CARIBBEAN, VENEZUELA COLOMBIA AND THE WEST COAST OF AMERICA. HIS LAST 'VOYAGE TOOK HIM TO GIBRALTAR. ALGIERS, THROUGH THE SUEZ CANAL TO ADEN AND THENCE TO AUSTRALIA. AFTER CALLING IN AT MELBOURNE, SYDNEY, BRISBANE, PORT PINE, GEELONG AND FREEMANTLE, IT WAS-OFF ACROSS THE INDIAN OCEAN. THROUGH THE SUEZ CANAL AGAIN, THROUGH THE DARDANELLE'S AND BOSPHORUS TO ODESSA. RUSSIA IN THE BLACK SEA AND BACK TO PORT IN ENGLAND AT LIVERPOOL.

 

WHILE HE HAD BEEN AT SEA HE HAD BEEN STUDYING FOR HIS 2ND MATE'S CERTIFICATE THROUGH A MESSAGES COURSE WITH THE COLLEGE OF NAVIGATION AT WARSASH IN HAMPSHIRE. BUT ABANDONED THIS ON LEAVING THE MERCHANT NAVY.

 

DURING HIS CALLS IN AUSTRALIA, EDWARD HAD MET SEVERAL ADOPTIVE RELATIVES AND FRIENDS AND DECIDED THAT HE WANTED TO EMIGRATE THERE. HOWEVER, DURING HIS LAST VOYAGE HIS ADOPTIVE PARENTS HAD MOVED TO YORK BECAUSE CHARLES HAD DEVELOPED PARKINSON'S DISEASE AND IT WAS SUGGESTED BY ELIZABETH THAT HE CHOSE A TRADE IN THE REGULAR' ARMY INSTEAD OF DOING NATIONAL SERVICE WHICH MIGHT ENABLE HIM TO ACHIEVE HIS AIM.

 

 OFF HE WENT FOR A MEDICAL BUT FAILED BECAUSE OF HIS CHILDHOOD T.B. THIS MEANT HE HAD TO ATTEND A NATIONAL SERVICE MEDICAL WHICH HE ALSO FAILED. ASPIRATIONS OF AUSTRALIA WERE FADING FAST. SO HE HAD TO LOOK FOR WORK THAT WAS NOT EASY AND SO PERIODS ON THE DOLE AND CASUAL POTATO PICKING; HAD TO OCCUPY HIM FOR SEVERAL MONTHS.

 

THEN HE GOT A JOB AS A TRAINEE LANDSCAPE GARDENER WITH AYORK BACKHOUSE NURSERIES WITH WHOM HE WAS INVOLVED IN LAYING OUT NEW GARDENS MAINLY IN THE HULL AREA. DURING THE 1950~51 WINTER HE FELT UNWELL MORE THAN ONCE AND HAD RECURRING BRONCHITIS.

 

IN APRIL 1951 HE WENT TO WORK FOR YORK CORPORATION PARKS DEPARTMENT, BUT ALMOST IMMEDIATELY FELT UNWELL AGAIN. AFTER COUGHING UP BLOOD HE HAD TO VISIT THE CHEST CLINIC WHERE HE WAS TOLD THAT HE HAD PULMONARY TB VERY BADLY AND WAS TOLD THAT HE WOULD HAVE TO GO TO BED IMMEDIATELY AND BE LAID UP FOR AT LEAST EIGHTEEN MONTHS. ALL THOUGHTS OF AUSTRALIA WERE NOW DEFINITELY DOOMED.

 

EDWARD HAS WORKED FOR THE BBC FOR MANY YEARS AS AN ENGINEER AND IS NOW IN THE BBC TECHNICAL AUTHOR DEPARTMENT AT CRAWLY AND IS UNMARRIED.

 

MARGARET MARRIED HAROLD DAVIS ON 23RD AUGUST, 1952 AND HAD TWO CHILDREN - ANNE MARGARET BORN ON 26TH OCTT3BER, 1953 AND KEVIN EDWARD WHO WAS BORN ON 26TH JULY, 1957. BOTH CHILDREN ARE NOW MARRIED.

ANNE TO JOHN HALLETT AND THEY HAVE THREE CHILDREN - CARL MICHAEL WHO WAS BORN ON 9TH SEPTEMBER. 1973.

NIGEL ADAM ON 28TH JUNE. 1979 AND GARETH WILLIAM ON 4TH DECEMBER. 1980. KEVIN WAS MARRIED TO SHAUN SULLIVAN ON 27TH JULY, 19:5.

 

WAS ANYTHING ELSE EVER HEARD OF HARMAN GEORGE BICKERS THE TWINS' FATHER?

 

 

 

ALTHOUGH STILL SURROUNDED IN MYSTERY, THERE ARE SOME FURTHER DETAILS. IN SEPTEMBER. 1950 AN INQUEST WAS HELD BV THE POPLAR LONDON CORONER RECORDED A VERDICT THAT HARMAN GEORGE BICKERS, 59, A CLERK, DIED FROM ASPHYXIA DUE TO DROWNING, HAVING KILLED HIMSELF WHILE THE BALANCE OF HIS MIND WAS DISTURBED.

 

 HOWEVER IN A NEWSPAPER REPORT OF 11TH JANUARY. 1951, A DETECTIVE CONSTABLE DRURY TOLD THE CORONER THAT HE WAS CERTAIN THAT THE MAN PRESUMED TO BE HARMAN GEORGE BICKERS WAS, IN FACT. STILL ALIVE AND HAD BEEN CONFIRMED BY, FINGERPRINTS MADE AT SCOTLAND YARD. HE ALSO ADDED THAT BICKER'S WIFE. MRS. FLORENCE ANN BICKERS, HAD TOLD A MAGISTRATE A FEW DAYS EARLIER ON 5TH JANUARY, THAT SHE HAD SEEN HER HUSBAND. HE HAD LEFT HER IN. 1949 AFTER MARRYING HER AT BRIXTON IN 1946. THE DETECTIVE ADDED THAT BICKERS LIVING AT ALDERSHOT IN HAMPSHIRE.

 

AT THE ORIGINAL INQUEST BICKER'S ADDRESS HAD BEEN GIVEN AS CAMELLIA STREET, LONDON S.W, BECAUSE OF THE NEW SITUATION, THE CORONER ORDERED THAT THE PAPERS REFERRING TO THE DEATH OF HARMAN GEORGE BICKERS BE CHANGED TO READ THAT IT WAS THE BODY OF AN UNKNOWN MAN.

 

THE EVENTS FROM 1943 WHEN HARMAN GEORGE BICKERS DESERTED HIS CHILDREN ARE CERTAINLY SHROUDED IN MYSTERY, A MYSTERY WHICH PERHAPS MAY NEVER BE SOLVED.