The Danes family of
I expect that you are not speaking to me anymore, as it has taken me about eleven months to reply to your last letter, when you were wondering if I wanted to contribute to your updated web site with my findings about the Danes at Everton and their family connection with the Morimores, one of which was stationed at Tempsford during the war. I am really sorry that it has taken so long to get back to you on this subject. Would it be a feeble excuse to say that it just overwhelmed me. I was and still am quite new to genealogy and every time that I wrote out a 'rough' about the Danes connection with my family, I seemed to come up with another connection, even now, I feel that I have made a
pretty poor job of writing about their time in Bedfordshire. If the material that I have sent to you is of any value, please feel free to use your more literary skills to hone it up a bit. I have more details about the children of the children of the children but it all seems to get too complicated. I do however find it fascinating how my family seems to have become involved with the area over the years. I was speaking to my brother in law the other day, he used to live in the Mill Cottage at Tempsford and work on the Estate, on the carpentry side, the water mill was still a working saw mill at the time. I was asking him about Waterloo Farm and he remembers going to work there at odd times. Working at Tempsford was his first job after coming out of the Air Force, but I dont think even he realized what had been going on there during the War. Which brings me to the point of my writing, apart from sending you the Danes connection, which you could perhaps link in with the 'When once a Garden Smiled' and the Everton Cricket club. One of the reasons I have been late in sorting this out is that I have been spending much of my spare time writing letters, seeking forms etc to try and establish once and for all why my father became ill whilst stationed at Tempsford. Re reading, as I have several times, your book on Tempsford Airfield, I wonder if you perhaps have more information on the matters brought up on page 6, -'A concrete radio transmission station was erected on the top of the hill .............'. I have found out that the time that my father spent at Tempsford was from October 1941 until he was invalided out in March 1942. Carpetbagger Aviation Museum at Harrington mention Oct 1941 as when the airfield was nearing completion, and was handed over to No3 Group RAF responsible for Special Duty Operations. Dec 1941, Wellington ICs of 110 Operational Training Unit move in on a temporary basis. January 1942 HQ and Wireless Development Flights of 109 Squadron moved in with Wellington 111's to begin trials with Oboe. My father was admitted to Henlow Hospital 14/01/42. On his service record it says he was sent to S.H.Q Tempsford, reason-HH. A family friend, not long before he died let slip that my father sustained the Kidney damage that eventually killed him in 1948 from coming back in a 'Shot up' Wellington, ie, extreme cold in a geodesic framed aircraft with holes in, I believe that he should not have mentioned it, but the friend, a vet said that if you are up calving in the middle of the night
you sometimes say things that would otherwise go un-said, and he[the vet] would not elaborate. This Spring people were invited to submit the details of the war dead of WW2 for inclusion on an updated War Memorial at Christchurch Meadows, next to the Thames and Reading, this is where my father came from, but so far his name has not been included, firstly because he died after and not during the war and secondly because they require more evidence of why he died, a scroll from George V1 is not enough. This is all proving to be extremely difficult. If there is any way that you can help me, if there are any details of what went on around this time, I would be extremely grateful, and I am very sorry that the following has taken so long to get to you.
He was called ‘Old Danes”, because there were two Danes, father and son farming in Everton at the time.
Old Danes was Jerome, born in 1801 in Finedon in Northamptonshire, he married my Great great grandmother Maria’s elder sister, Jane Parker who was born in Medloe, Huntingdonshire in 1805. “Young” Parker Danes was their eldest son, born in Everton in 1833. He remained single, but for most of his adult life had his Aunt Susannah Parker as his House Keeper, yet another, the youngest of Jane’s sisters born in Medloe. Aunt and nephew were together in Everton in 1871, farming 148 acres, employing five men and two boys. Susannah was a border and he a visitor at his
brother Parish’s home, “Friends Charity Farm’, in Yelling, Huntingdon at the time of the 1881 census. Parish named his children Jerome and Susannah and his wife Mary, born in Warfield in Berkshire in 1845, married in St Neots in 1867, was the daughter of one of Jane Parker’s brothers, George. Young Jerome became a groom in service, in his adult
life in Alconbury and Oakham.
The 1891 and 1901 census have Parker and his aunt Susannah together again and by now down in Hertfordshire at an intriguingly called Deanswick or Dainswick Farm at St. Stephens, south west of St. Albans which in 1861 was farmed by a widowed George Danes who was born again in Northamptonshire in 1801.
So when the troubles struck Everton, first Old Jerome and then Parish left for Hertfordshire but not before the latter lent his grounds at Woodbury Park to the locals for the first ever match of the Everton Cricket Club.
‘Old Danes died of a broken heart for parting with the land he had farmed for 40 years’. His family certainly was a presence in the area in the farming community. It would appear that he had at least two brothers also born in Finedon, George born in 1795 and Stephen in 1805.George married Ann from Bugden, Hunts, they can be found farming 54 acres in Marchants Lane, Rounds, Northamptonshire at the time of the 1851 census, with them are Charles aged 20yrs, Elizabeth aged 15yrs. and Thomas aged 12yrs, at least two other children were born to the couple William born
Finedon in 1827 and Laura or Sarah Ann born in Catworth, Hunts. In 1830. George was at Vicarage Farm in Waresley, Hunts by the time of the 1871 census, with his wife and Thomas who by then was given the age of29yrs, born in Great Catworth. Later Thomas married Sarah from Wareham in Norfolk and by 1991 the two of them had move to the village of Eltisley in Cambridgeshire, they appear not to have had any children but in 1991 they had their niece Maud Danes, born 1875 ,a daughter of Georges brother Charles, living with them as a Domestic Helper and they were still farming.
William, Thomas’s eldest brother puts his birth place as Buckden, his mothers home, in the 1891 census, in ’71, ’81 & ‘01 he records bring born in Finedon, Northants, and gives an age consistent with having been born in 1827. He married in 1848 in the St. Neots district of Bedfordshire to Jane Kidman, born 1830 in Tetworth. They both died in
Thrapston, William at the age of 71yrs. in 1897, and Jane aged 61 yrs in 1892. As far as I can tell, they had nine children all born inThrapston, Huntingdonshire. William was a butcher and then became a Shepherd. /(Often the first child in a family is born at the wife’s parents home, for understandable reasons, so William could have been
born in either place. I have more details about the children.)
Charles, George and Ann’s second son was born in 1829 in Finedon, Northants. He married Ann Page from Waresley in 1869 and their five, possibly six children were born, the first in Waresley and the rest in Tetworth, sadly three of these children died in their early to mid thirties in 1903 and 1910. Charles was farming 140 acres at Manor Farm,
Tetworth in 1871, but by 1881 he had made the move to Wood Farm, 238 acres, in Waresley, just down the road from his father and Thomas. In 1881 he had his sister, Sarah (Laura) Ann Portress staying with him along with her two young children Jessie and James. Records say that a Charles Danes died in the December quarter of 1888, aged 56, in Huntingdon (ref v 3b page 147) the dates do not add up, however by 1891 Ann was a widow and an Inn Keeper running the Royal Oak in Sawtry.
The third Dane to be born around the beginning of the nineteenth century in Finedon, Northamptomshire was Stephen, born in 1805. He married Alice Arnold who was christened in Eaton Socon in March 1818; they were married there in December 1837. Here we awaken a mystery, as the first child that I can find a record of was Sarah Ann, born in Colmworth in late 1841, the next two, sons were born down in Great Gaddesden in Hertfordshire/ (more of this village later)/. Jerome was born in 1843, and Stephen Joseph in 1845, Alice, Frances Mary and Henry were all Christened on 18^th April 1851 back in Colmworth in Bedfordshire are also possibly their children. Stephen like his brothers was a farmer but when retired can be found in London staying with one of his daughters and later in Yorkshire where his son Stephen settled, married and brought up a family. Son Stephen was first a Hawker and then a dealer in China and Glass, which could mean one and the same thing. The thread of names continues with two of his children being called Jerome and Beatrice. There is another Finedon Dane worth noting, again a farmer, Richard who moved to Cambridgeshire.
To return to ‘Old’ Jerome and his wife Jane Parker, they had three more sons after Parker and Parish, came Jerome, Stephen and Lot, with one daughter, Ellen as their second child, I do not think that she ever married. Son Jerome born in 1837 married Elizabeth Sutton, the daughter of Joseph an innkeeper from Blunham. Their daughter Jane Angelina Danes later worked for her uncle, another Joseph Sutton as an assistant at the ‘Hounds’ in Sandy. She later married Frederick George Spring and had several children. Her only brother continued the use of the family name, by being called Parker. He was born in 1860 in Everton and married Jane Sergent in 1881 at St. Mary’s Bedford, they had two sons, Thomas and Joseph, one dying in childhood. This Parker was another Farmer but also a Dealer, proudly calling himself a Yeoman in 1901 he lived along the Cambridge Road near Sandy. Jerome and Elizabeth were farming at Langford End in Tempsford in 1871 but moved to a farm in Kempston village south of Bedford before moving back to Blunham and combining Inn Keeping and farming at the ‘Old Horse Shoes’ where they could be found in 1891. Then
we find Jerome there on his own as a widower by 1901, living on his own means.
The next and fourth son of Jerome and Elizabeth was yet another Stephen, and interestingly he married a girl from Hertfordshire and farmed at Elm Tree Farm, Great Gaddesden. Is this the same farm in Great Gaddesden where his uncle Stephen lived and had two of his children, I do not know? He seemed to prosper and had two daughters Florence and Alice.
The youngest and fifth son of ‘Old Jerome and Jane, came along a little late in 1851, when his mother would have been 47 or 48 years old, possible but one wonders. Lot married Beatrice Mortimore in Cookham, Berkshire in 1876; she had been born at Hall Place Farm in Tilehurst, just outside Reading in 1840. On the night of the 1841 census when she was in her first year, her parents Henry William Mortimore and Maria nee Parker had two visitors. The eldest was Maria’s father Samuel Harley Parker, but his wife Elizabeth had double booked him at their then home, Jealottes Hill Farm in Warfield Berkshire, where they must have moved to from Medloe. With his wife was their son George, later to be father to Mary in 1845, who married Parish Danes, and Susannah who spent most of the rest of her like with Parker. The second visitor was Jerome Danes, later to become Beatrice’s father-in-law, and then Marisa brother-in-law. All three men called themselves Yeomen on the census form. As another point of interest Beatrice has eight brothers, Edwin my great grandfather but also a Parker and an Arthur Medloe.
To end this tale and explain my interest in the Danes, my father was Edwin Allin Mortimore, another farmer; born in 1911 in Berkshire, he was Jane Parkers great great nephew. He volunteered to join the Air Force in 1940 and trained as a wireless operator and air gunner. He was posted to Tempsford in October 1941 before the airfield was totally operational, but after it had been handed over to the Special Operations Squadron, and was for a brief period of time to be the Headquarters of 109 Squadron’s Wireless and Developments flight. He was invalided out of the Air Force from there in March 1942 and subsequently died from Kidney damage contracted at that time. I am still trying to find out what happened that resulted in his being sent to Henlow hospital in January 1942, for although as a family we have a scroll to commemorate him having given his life for his country, he had from a records point of view, the misfortune of having died after and not during the years of conflict, it is therefore more complicated to have his contribution
I learned to drive on the then disused Tempsford runway in 1972, taught by my brother-in-law, Roy Goodall who with my sister and their family moved to Tempsford in the late 1960, staying there until the mid 1970’s. I lodged with them and briefly before that at Cold Arbor Farm, beyond Langford End, whilst I taught Art & Crafts at Sandy Place econdary
Modern School for a few terms.
It is a very small world that travels in circles around the sun, as we, even smaller, in successive generations make inter connecting circles around the country. ‘Old Jerome farmed at Waterloo Farm and Parker at Woodbury Park; the Airfield at Gibraltar Farm was between them.
I apologies for any inaccuracies in this tale, many of the details were aken from census forms, the dates could be a year or two out, and the relationships confused, it is just one persons wanderings amongst a family that touched her own. Any information that anyone can add to this account would be gratefully received, especially with regards to that short space of time when my father was there. He died a few days after my first birthday so I was unable to ask him in person.
Hoping that the world is well with you, kind regards, Liz Leech