Biography Walter (Bob) & Ellen Harman

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

 

WALTER known as BOB WAS BORN ON 31ST AUGUST. 1883 AT PACKHAMS HILL AND WAS BAPTIZED AT THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST DENYS ON 11TH NOVEMBER 1883.

 

GEORGE GROOMBRIDGE. A LOCAL FARMER, WHO WAS A MEMBER OF ANOTHER LARGE FAMILY IN ROTHERFIELD, HAD A DAUGHTER. ELLEN SOPHIA WHO WAS BORN ON 17TH JANUARY. 1886 AND IT WAS SHE THAT WALTER MARRIED ON 25TH AUGUST. 1906 IN ST DENYS CHURCH.

 THEY HAD A LARGE FAMILY. MOST OF WHO WERE BORN AT SHERNFOLD MEADOW COTTAGE IN FRANT WHERE THEY MOVED TO FROM 'CACKLE ROW' NEAR TOWN ROW IN ROTHERFIELD.

 

ELLEN HAD A VERY HARD LIFE, AS DID MOST MOTHERS AT THAT TIME. DURING THE HOP PICKING SEASON, SHE WOULD LOAD THE CHILDREN ON TO A PRAM AND WALK MILES OUT TO PADDOCK WOOD, PICK HOPS ALL DAY AND THEN WALK ALL THE WAY BACK HOME TO COOK THE TEA ON THE LITTLE VALOR STOVE.

 

AFTER THIS SHE WOULD DO THE OTHER HOUSEHOLD CHORES LIKE WASHING THE CLOTHES AND CLEANING THE HOUSE. THE MONEY EARNED FROM HOP PICKING WOULD BE ADDED TO THAT EARNED BY THE CHILDREN WHO DID LITTLE JOBS BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL TOGETHER WITH THEIR PAY FOR SINGING IN THE CHURCH CHOIR, AND WOULD BE USED TO BUY BOOTS AND CLOTHES FOR THE CHILDREN AS SOMETIMES, ESPECIALLY DURING THE WINTER.

 

 THEIR FATHER WOULD ONLY BE ABLE TO WORK FOR TWO OR THREE DAYS IN THE WEEK. WALTER WAS A VERY TALENTED MAN AND, ON LEAVING SCHOOL STARTED HELPING HIS FATHER IN HIS BUILDING TRADE. HE QUICKLY GAINED THE SKILL OF BRICKLAYING AND, IN LATER LIFE, WAS WELL-KNOWN FOR HIS EXPERTISE IN ALL FORMS OF BRICKWORK. HE ALSO HAD A TALENT FOR WATER DIVINING AND IT WAS WITH THIS EXPERTISE THAT HE BUILT A WELL WHEN HE WAS WORKING FOR MESSRS LUCK AND CO AT WADHURST.

HE ALSO BUILT A WELL AT HIS HOME, SHERFOLD COTTAGE. WHICH WAS SIXTY FEET DEEP AND WAS BRICKED UP AS IT WAS DUG. ANOTHER OF HIS SPECIALIST SKILLS WAS IN BUILDING OLD-FASHIONED STONE WALLS, WHICH HE LEARNT FROM HIS FATHER. AT THAT TIME THERE WERE VERY FEW PEOPLE WHO COULD DO THIS CRAFT AND SO HIS SERVICES WERE IN VERY GREAT DEMAND.

 

 IN FACT, HIS FAME SPREAD TO LONDON WHERE SPECIAL WORK NEEDED TO BE DONE AND HIS FIRM WAS ASKED IF THEY COULD LOAN HIM TO CARRY OUT THIS WORK. THEY OBLIGED AND SO HE BUILT UP HIS REPUTATION FAR AWAY FROM SUSSEX. LATER HE WORKED FOR THE FIRM OF HARRY FIELD IN FRANT.

 

WHEN HE WAS SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE. HE RAN AWAY AND JOINED THE ARMY TO SERVE IN THE BOER WAR SAYING THAT HE WAS EIGHTEEN. HE MADE IT TO THE WAR, BUT HIS TRUE AGE WAS FOUND OUT AND HE WAS SENT TO BERMUDA WHERE HE WAS CHARGED WITH HELPING TO LOOK AFTER THE PRISONERS THAT WERE SENT THERE. LATER HE SERVED IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR AS A SAPPER IN THE ROYAL ENGINEERS AND WAS WOUNDED IN THE TRENCHES. HE DID ACTIVE SERVICE IN FRANCE AND BELGIUM.

ON HIS RETURN FROM THE WAR, HE TOOK UP HIS TRADE AGAIN AND HELPED TO BUILD CROWBOROUGH WATERWORKS AMONG OTHER PLACES. HE WAS A BUSY MAN WITH ALWAYS MORE WORK IN HAND THAN HE COULD COPE WITH. WHEN HE WAS FIFTY-FOUR YEARS OLD HE WAS TAKEN VERY ILL AND WENT INTO HOSPITAL FOR A MAJOR OPERATION. HE RECOVERED.

 

 ALTHOUGH THE ILLNESS NEVER FULLY LEFT HIM. A FEW MONTHS BEFORE HE DIED IN 1942, HE SUFFERED ANOTHER BOUT OF ILL HEALTH WHICH LED TO HIS DEATH. WALTER (OR BOB AS HE PREFERRED TO BE CALLED) AND ELLEN HAD EIGHT CHILDREN - ONE DAUGHTER AND SEVEN SONS.

 

HE WAS A HARD MAN AND HIS DISCIPLINE WAS VERY STRICT. THE CHILDREN WERE CERTAINLY NOT ALLOWED TO LAUGH OR GIGGLE AT MEALS AND THE BIGGEST CRIME WAS TO MAKE ANY NOISE ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON WHEN HE ALWAYS HAD A SLEEP.

 

FRANT LOSES RESIDENT

 

DEATH OF MR. "BOB" HARMAN

 

FRANT HAS LOST A WELL-KNOWN AND HIGHLY RESPECTED RESIDENT BV THE DEATH OF MR WALTER ("BOB") HARMAN, OF SHEMFOLD MEADOW COTTAGES. WHICH TOOK PLACE ON SUNDAY.

 

MR. HARMAN, WHO WAS 59, HAD PUT UP A PLUCKY FIGHT AGAINST ILL HEALTH FOR MANY MONTHS. FIVE YEARS AGO HE UNDERWENT AN OPERATION OF SO SERIOUS A CHARACTER THAT FEW PEOPLE RECOVER FROM IT. HE NOT ONLY RECOVERED, BUT REFUSED TO CONSIDER HIMSELF AN INVALID. HE WENT BACK TO DUTY. THOUGH THIS INVOLVED WORKING OUT OF DOORS IN VERY SEVERE WEATHER AND. FOR SEVERAL MONTHS. WALKING TO PEMBURY AND BACK.

 

ROTHERFIELD FAMILY

 

IT IS 30 YEARS SINCE MR. HARMAN, A MEMBER OF A VERY OLD ROTHERFIELD FAMILY, TOOK UP RESIDENCE AT FRANT.

A BRICKLAYER BY TRADE, WIDELY KNOWN FOR THE FINE QUALITY OF HIS WORK, MR. HARMAN HELPED TO BUILD AMONG OTHER PLACES, CROWBOROUGH WATERWORKS, AND BEFORE THE 19I4-I8 WAR1 HE DIVINED WATER AND BUILT A WELL FOR MESSRS LUCK, AT WADHURST. HE WAS AN EXPERT IN THE OLD-FASHIONED STONE WALL WORK - A BRANCH OF THE CRAFT WHICH MODERN BRICKLAYERS GET FEW CHANCES TO LEARN - AND FOR THIS REASON WAS AT ONE TIME "LOANED" TO A LONDON FIRM FOR SPECIAL WORK.

 

EARNED WIDE RESPECT

 

MR. HARMAN WAS A MAN WHOSE WORD WAS KNOWN TO BE AS GOOD AS HIS BOND, AND HIS HONESTY AND OUT-SPOKEN NESS EARNED THE RESPECT OF MANY.

 

HE HAD SEEN MANY PLACES OUTSIDE HIS OWN COUNTRY, FOR HE SERVED IN THE FORCES IN THE BOER WAR AND HELPED TO LOOK AFTER PRISONERS AT BERMUDA.

 

IN THE GREAT WAR HE AGAIN SAW ACTIVE SERVICE IN FRANCE AND IN BELGIUM.

 

HE LEAVES A WIDOW, A DAUGHTER AND SEVEN SONS.

 

THE ELDEST SON, MR. ROBERT HARMAN, IS IN THE EAST SUSSEX CONSTABULARY WAR RESERVE. THE SECOND, R.S.M.  SIDNEY HARMAN, HAS SPENT SIX YEARS WITH THE ARMY IN INDIA.

 

TWO SONS IN ROYAL .WEST KENT'S. THE TWO SONS, HERBERT AND BERNARD, ARE TWINS, AND BOTH JOINED THE ROYAL WEST 'KENT'S. HERBERT WAS REPORTED MISSING AFTER DUNKIRK, BUT SIX MONTHS LATER NEWS WAS RECEIVED THAT HE WAS A PRISONER.

 FREDERICK, ANOTHER SON, IS IN THE R.A.F. AND JESSE IS IN THE MERCHANT NAVY.

THE YOUNGEST SON, JOHN, JOINED THE ARMY WHEN HE WAS 15 AND WENT TO THE ARMY TECHNICAL SCHOOL AT CHEPSTOW. UNFORTUNATELY HE CONTRACTED A SERIOUS ILLNESS AND WAS DISCHARGED TO PENSION. HE HAS HOWEVER, MADE A SPLENDID RECOVERY AND IS NOW A MEMBER OF THE HOME GUARD.

 

THE FUNERAL TOOK PLACE AT FRANT CHURCH YESTERDAY, THE SERVICE BEING CONDUCTED BY THE REV. E.M. BALD. THE CHIEF MOURNERS WERE MR. HARMAN'S WIDOW, HIS DAUGHTER AND THREE OF HIS SONS, THE REST BEING UNABLE TO ATTEND BECAUSE OF THEIR DUTIES.

 

WALTER’S WIFE ELLEN REMARRIED ABOUT 18 MONTHS AFTER THE DEATH OF HER HUSBAND BOB.

 THIS TO A MR. HOLE. THE EXACT DATE OF THE WEDDING IS NOT KNOWN. I AM LED TO BELIEVE THAT BY CORRESPONDENCE WITH HER SON FREDERICK JOSEPH, THAT THE BOYS WERE NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS, AND DISLIKED THE MAN SHE MARRIED. HOWEVER ELLEN HERSELF WAS FAR FROM WELL, AND DIED AFTER A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME IN THIS MARRIAGE.

EXTRACTS FROM LOCAL NEWS PAPER SUSSEX & KENT COURIER.

 

LATE MRS. HOLE. OF FRANT

 

THE DEATH OCCURRED ON SATURDAY OF MRS. ELLEN HOLE. OF SHERNFOLD COTTAGES. FRANT, AGED 59. SHE HAD RESIDED IN FRANT FOR OVER 30 YEARS. AND BEFORE THEN AT ROTHERFIELD. SHE LEAVES ONE DAUGHTER AND SEVEN SONS. THE FUNERAL SERVICE WAS CONDUCTED BY THE REV. M. BALD ON WEDNESDAY. THE CHIEF MOURNERS WERE MR. R. HOLE, MRS. A. COX,

 MR. B. HARMAN, MR. H. HARMAN, AND MR. J. HARMAN. MESSRS S. F.AND J. HARMAN WAS UNABLE TO ATTEND THROUGH WAR SERVICE.

 

WREATHS WERE SENT FROM MISS M. ORR, "A TRIBUTE TO A FRIEND WHO ALWAYS THOUGHT OF OTHERS BEFORE HERSELF"; MR. ROBERT HOLE (WIDOWER); DORIS AND BERT (DAUGHTER AND HER HUSBAND); AND FROM THE FOLLOWING SONS, WIVES AND THEIR FAMILIES: BOB AND DOROTHY; HERBERT AND KITTY; AND BERNARD AND EFFIE. ALSO FROM HER SONS SERVING OVERSEAS, SID, FRED AND JESSE, AND FROM JOHN AND HIS FIANCÉE JOYCE.

 

FROM MOTHER AND SISTER MARGE; BROTHER BERN, WIFE AND FAMILY; BROTHER FRED, WIFE AND FAMILY; BROTHER GEORGE AND WIFE; BROTHER AMOS AND WIFE; MISS ORR; MR. AND MRS. KENT AND PHIL; MRS. AND MISS NORTH; MRS. LEWIN AND MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL M.U.; MR. AND MRS. HALIWARD AND MR. AND MRS. F. HARMAN (RUSTHALL); FROM HER TEN GRANDCHILDREN, WITH VARIOUS SPRAYS FROM HER OWN FLOWER GARDEN;

 

MR. ROBERT HOLE (HUSBAND), MRS. A. COX (DAUGHTER), MR. BOB HARMAN, MR. HERBERT HARMAN, AND MR. JOHN HARMAN (SONS), ALSO ON BEHALF OF SID, FRED AND JESSE (SONS), SERVING OVERSEAS, WISH TO THANK ALL THE MANY FRIENDS WHO SO APTLY EXPRESSED THEIR SYMPATHY WITH FLOWERS, WHICH SHE ENJOYED SO MUCH. "THE LOVELIEST FLOWER OF ALL - THE PERFECT MOTHER."

 

MR. AND MRS. OTTERWAY (STAINES); WIN AND JACK BRISTOL); MR. AND MRS. COUSINS AND FAMILY; MR. AND MRS. MANKTELOW; MR. AND MRS. J. STEVENS AND FAMILY; MRS. F. WATTS (JUNIOR); MRS. WALLIS (SENIOR); MRS. WARD; & DR. MRS. AND MISS MIDWOOD; MISS B. GRINHAM; MRS. BEAUCHAMP (VIRGINIA WATERS); AND MISS ROSE EXCELL.

WALTER & ELLEN'S DAUGHTER NELLIE DORIS

 

NELLIE DORIS - BORN ON 19TH SEPTEMBER. 1907 AT TOWN ROW, ROTHERFIELD. MARRIED ALBERT NILSON COX, A BUILDER AND DECORATOR IN 1930 AT CHERTSEY, SURREY REGISTER OFFICE.

 

HE DIED ON 25TH JUNE, 1969 OF CANCER AT WINSTON HOSPITAL.

ALL MARRIED WITH CHILDREN

 

DOREEN WAS BORN AT THORPE BY CANDLELIGHT ON 27TH NOVEMBER, 1934. WAS MARRIED AT EGHAM REGISTER OFFICE AND SHE HAS 2 BOYS AND 1 GIRL.

 

ROBERT IS A BUILDER AND DECORATOR WHO TOOK OVER HIS FATHER'S BUSINESS WHEN HE DIED. HE WAS BORN ON MARCH 12TH, 1937 AND IS MARRIED WITH 2 GIRLS. ONE OF WHOM IS MARRIED, AND 1 BOY.

 

FREDERICK SYDNEY WAS BORN ON 10TH APRIL. 1941 AND HE DIED OF LEUKEMIA AGED TEN YEARS ON 25TH JULY. 1951.

 

PATRICIA WAS BORN ON 28TH JULY. 1946 AND WAS MARRIED AT WOKING REGISTER OFFICE. SHE HAS THREE BOYS. ONE. AGED 21 IS STONE DEAF. ONE AGED 20 YEARS AND ONE AGED 14 YEARS.

 

WALTER & ELLEN'S SON ROBERT GEORGE

WALTER & ELLEN'S SON ROBERT GEORGE TREE 5/31A1

 

ROBERT GEORGE - THE ELDEST SON WAS BORN ON 19TH SEPTEMBER. 1909 AT CATT'S COTTAGES. MARK CROSS.

 

TWO MONTHS LATER HE WAS BAPTISED AT ST DENYS. ROTHERFIELD ON 14TH NOVEMBER 1909

 

IN 1935 HE MARRIED DOROTHY WHITE AND THEY HAD THREE CHILDREN

 

JOHN ROBERT BORN IN 1936. JILL ANNE, WHO LATER MARRIED WILLIAM DONNE. IN 1939 AND JENNIFER MARY WHO WAS BORN IN 1942 AND MARRIED  WILSON.

 

 

IN 1942 SERVED IN THE EAST SUSSEX CONSTABULARY WAR RESERVE. HE LIVED AT 10. WARREN RIDGE. FRANT AND HAD HIS OWN BUILDING BUSINESS.

 

ROBERT GEORGE  DIED AT HOME ON 16TH JANUARY. 1953 aged 74 AND IN HIS WILL REQUESTED THAT HIS ASHES BE SPREAD OVER HIS BELOVED FRANT VILLAGE GREEN.

 

WALTER & ELLEN'S SON SIDNEY FRANK.

 

SIDNEY FRANK - THE NEXT SON WAS BORN ON 24TH DECEMBER. 1911 AT TOWN ROW, MARK CROSS AND HE WAS BAPTISED ON 11TH FEBRUARY. 1912 AT ST DENYS PARISH CHURCH. HE WORKED IN HIS EARLY YEARS ON VARIOUS ESTATES AS A FOOTMAN, THEN IN 1932 HE JOINED THE ROYAL ENGINEERS AND TRAINED AT ALDERSHOT AS A BRICKLAYER AMONG OTHER TRADES AND IN 1933 HE WAS SENT OVERSEAS TO INDIA AS A SAPPER.

 

WITHIN A VERY SHORT TIME, OWING TO THE HUGE EXPANSION OF THE INDIAN ARMY

 HE ROSE THROUGH THE RANKS TO MAJOR.

 

WHEN HIS RETIREMENT TIME ARRIVED IN 1946. HE IMMIGRATED TO NEW ZEALAND WHERE HE WORKED AS A BRICKLAYER FOR HIMSELF. HE RETIRED FROM WORK AT THE AGE OF SIXTY-FIVE AND BUSIED HIMSELF BY HELPING ELDERLY PEOPLE BY SUCH THINGS AS COLLECTING SCRAP FIREWOOD FROM THE DUMP AND DISTRIBUTING IT TO THEM. HIS EARLY VEGETABLES WERE NEARLY ALWAYS GIVEN AWAY.

 

AGE FORTY. HE MARRIED MARION READER AND THEY ACTED AS GUARDIANS TO THREE WELFARE DEPARTMENT BOYS. THEY HAD NO CHILDREN OF THEIR OWN. HE WAS A VERY ACTIVE MAN AND WELL THOUGHT OF IN THE METHODIST CHURCH. HE DIED OF A HEART ATTACK IN 1954 AGE 73.

 

WALTER & ELLEN'S SON HERBERT TREE 5/3A1B

 

HERBERT JOHN AND BERNARD OWEN - THE TWINS WERE BORN OVER MIDNIGHT ON 13TH NOVEMBER 1913 AND WEIGHED JUST 2 LBS EACH.

THE TWO OF THEM WOULD SWOP GIRL FRIENDS, AND WERE IN THE TERRITORIAL'S,AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR THEY WERE SEPARATED TO DIFFERENT REGIMENT'S HERBERT TO FRANCE AND BERNARD TO MIDDLE EAST.T

HERBERT JOHN - THE ELDEST OF THE TWINS WAS BORN AT MIDNIGHT ON 13TH NOVEMBER 1913. SERVED IN THE ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. HE WAS REPORTED MISSING AFTER THE BATTLE OF DUNKIRK, BUT SIX MONTHS LATER NEWS WAS RECEIVED THAT HE WAS A PRISONER IN STALAG 8 FOR NEARLY FIVE YEARS.. HE MARRIED TWICE, FIRST TO KATE E..M. STEVENS IN 1936. SHE DIED ON 21ST DECEMBER 1973. HIS SECOND WIFE WAS LILLIAN J. CARTER WHOM HE MARRIED IN 1974. BY HIS FIRST MARRIAGE THERE WERE THREE CHILDREN

 

BRYAN JOHN, WHO WAS BORN ON 24TH JULY. 1937 AND MARRIED SUSAN CHAMPION IN APRIL.

1959. THEY HAD ONE SON, PETER JOHN, WHO WAS BORN ON 22ND JULY. 1959. HE DIVORCED IN 1961 AND THEN MARRIED ROSALIE MAYNARD BY WHOM HE HAD A DAUGHTER. ANGELA WHO WAS BORN

IN JULY. 1964.

 

DAVID W. J. WAS BORN ON 18TH JUNE, 1939 AND MARRIED SUSAN HAWKINS IN 1963. THEY HAD THREE CHILDREN - DAVID BORN ON 25TH SEPTEMBER.  1961, SERENA BORN ON 4TH FEBRUARY. 1965 AND ANITA ELIZABETH BORN ON 26TH SEPTEMBER. 1968.

 

THE THIRD CHILD WAS CHRISTINE M. WHO WAS BORN ON 12TH DECEMBER, 1948. SHE MARRIED MARTIN E. FINN IN 1970 AND HAD THREE CHILDREN - KAREN RACHEL BORN ON 21ST AUGUST. 1977. HELEN LOUISE BORN ON 29TH JULY. 1979 AND STACY CLARE BORN ON 11TH MAY. 1982.

BEFORE RETIRING, HERBERT WAS A CHAUFFEUR AND GARDENER.

 

HERBERT JOHN DIED IN 2001 AGE 87.