|Census Year||Copy Found||Certificate Type||Copy Found|
|Horace and Francis at Grace's wedding.||The headstone inscription of Horace William, kindly sent in by Josie Peck. Sadly, the grave was lost during the creation of a car park at Walton Baptist Chapel in Maidstone Road.|
4 October 2003
Horace William is my paternal grandfather, and a key member of the family for me. Information obtained from various family sources tell me that Horace died in the early1920's, and was buried in the Methodist churchyard in Maidstone Road, Felixstowe. Unfortunately, that graveyard was disturbed when a car-park was built at the front of the church, and the headstone no longer exists, so dates cannot be easily obtained.
3 April 2004
A number of headstone inscriptions were sent in by Josie Peck, one of which was for Horace. It is reproduced above, and gives confirmation dates for Horace's death.
30 June 2004
A search through the register of deaths for the date of Horace's death has revealed an entry which ties in with all the known information about Horace's demise. A certificate will be obtained so the cause and place of death can be confirmed.
7 July 2004
A big research day for both Horace and wife Francis. Two certificates concerning Horace arrived today, his marriage and his death certificates.
His marriage certificate reveals that he was married in a Register Office, the first member of the family I have found to be married out of a church. The event took place in Woodbridge, on the 31st May 1897, with the certificate also showing that Horace was aged 27, was a bachelor, was working as a journeyman baker and was resident in Felixstowe at the time of the marriage. Francis was a bit younger at 23, she was a spinster and was working as a general domestic servant. She too was resident in Felixstowe at the time of the marriage. Her father was called John Watts, sadly at the time of the marriage he had already died, but his previous occupation was still shown, it being something unusual for this day, as he had been a pianoforte key maker.
The marriage was witnessed by two persons, one of whom is known and one who is not. The known witness is John Victor Pettit, Horace's younger brother. Although not shown on the certificate, John would have been around 21 years old, which could mean that the second and unknown witness on the certificate, Eliza Ellen Pettit, was his wife. This may not be the case, but it will be the first avenue to be pursued. This certificate has certainly given me some questions to be answered, not least if Horace's mother Susannah was in attendance. She is still proving to be very elusive and it would have been nice if she had been one of the witnesses. At the moment I still cannot be certain that she had not died sometime between the 1891 and 1901 censuses.
The second certificate received was the death certificate, the nature of which still has a sobering effect on me. It is so final, and ends a life in quite a blunt way. Horace died on the 29th February 1924, at home in Back Lane (now Seaton Road), Felixstowe, Suffolk. He was 53 at the time of his death, still quite young, especially as the cause of death was given as bronchitis. The death was reported by his wife Francis, and registered on the 4th March. Of particular interest on the death certificate was Horace's occupation, which was given as journeyman baker, a fact already known, as well as Royal Air Force pensioner, which was not. Stories circulating around the family indicated that Horace had been in the Army, but nothing firm was ever established. I hope, in the future, to contact the RAF records office in an attempt to see if Horace's service records still survive, in an attempt to add to the overall picture of Horace's life.
18 Oct 04.
The First World War Medal Index, now available online, was searched and turned up a likely entry for Horace. The medal card shows the name as Horace W serving in the (then) Army Ordnance Corps, later to become the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, then the Royal Logistics Corp. Horace was awarded the Victory Medal, together with the British War Medal, although no dates are given. His Regiment Number is shown as 022858, and he was a Private soldier. There is no entry on the card to show his service theatre, although the National Archives website says that this is not unusual for servicemen sent to France after 1916. An attempt will be made to find his service record, although indications are that, due to enemy action in the Second World War, there is only a 40% chance of finding some information. The repository was bombed and most records destroyed, and those that survived were damaged by smoke and water. The story may not be over however, as Horace's death certificate shows him as being an RAF pensioner, so he may have transferred service at some time. It would be interesting to conclude this matter, as by the end of the war Horace would have been 48 years of age, somewhat old to still be in the services, even given the circumstances of the country at the time.
Horace's medal card is shown below, subject to being authenticated. If it proves not to relate to the correct Horace W, it will be removed and the search will continue!
|The card provides the following details
(from left to right, top to bottom):
The birth certificate above reads:
|Name, if any||Sex||Name and surname of father||Name, surname and maiden name of other||Occupation of father||Signature, description and
residence of informant
|When registered||Signature of
|59||Ninth March 1870
Union Workhouse Nacton
|Horace William||Boy||Susannah Pettit||Susannah Pettit
Union Workhouse Nacton
|Eighteenth March 1870||William Seagon
Francis Mary Watts b 1876 - d 21st February 1956
|Certificate Type||Copy Found|
7 July 2004
Much of Francis Mary's life is inevitably intertwined with her husband Horace. Where the information relates to both parties it will appear on Horace's part of the page, as Horace is a direct descendant of the Pettit line. There is, of course, a large part of Francis' life which she spent on her own, particularly after Horace died in 1924. For some 32 years she remained as Horace's widow, never re-marrying.
16 December 2004
A newspaper cutting sent in by Josie Hall provides the following details:
GREETINGS TO THE FORCES
Once again we join in sending greetings to all local members of HM Forces wherever they may be serving, abroad, on the sea or at home. Names sent to me for ? this week include:
Six members of the family of Mrs Pettit, 48, Seaton Road: Driver Wm. H Pettit, RASC., at present in hospital in Northern Ireland (formerly employed at the Alderney Dairies, and hon. secretary of the Sea Scouts Football Club); Gunner Wesley D Pettit, RA, (formerly in the accountant's department of the Felixstowe UDC); Cpl Harold L Pettit, RASC., now in Iceland (former Sea Scout and employed by Mr C E Wiseman); Driver Stanley W Pettit, RASC, (formerly employed at the Health Stores and a member of the Marina Dance Band); Gunner Joe Peck, RA, (formerly employed by Messrs. Plant and Co.); and Lieut QM W Banks, Dorset Regiment, formerly with the Loyal Lancs Regiment 25 years.
The cutting is particularly helpful in that in pinpoints the exact address for Francis Mary. I have been aware for some time that Seaton Road was originally called Back Lane before being re-named as Seaton Road, that is the road in which Francis Mary was living in the 1901 census and would seem to have remained in for the rest of her life.