Mansbridge, William Charles

William Charles Manbridge was born in 1880 in Halkyn. His father was John Mansbridge and he was a teacher and his mother was Alice K Manbridge. They were both born in Mold. In the 1881 census, William was 9 months old and their only child.

Birth certificate ref William Charles Mansbridge
Qtr Sept
District Holywell
Vol 11b
Page 260

At the next census in 1891 10 year old William was living in The Swan cottage, Gwernymynydd with his grandfather – John Mansbridge a lead mine agent and his aunt Caroline Davies.  The rest of William’s family were still in Flintshire – living in Ffordd Las, Mold. John was still a schoolteacher and the family had grown as there were now four more children – Caroline K 7, Mabel E 5, Eva A 3 and the baby of one year who had the lovely name of ‘Pleasant’.

By the 1901 census this family had moved to Derbyshire. John now 46 was no longer a teacher, he was a gardener. His wife Alice was 45 and there were more children. Living with them were Eva A 13, Pleasant 11, Florence 9, Jasper 6 and Hilda 3. We cannot find William Charles on the census. He was 20 by then. Where was he?

William Charles Mansbridge married Alice Mary Spence in 1905 in South Stoneham Hampshire. The 1901 census had recorded Alice Mary Spence (born in Brackley, Northants) working as a Charge Nurse at An Isolation Hospital in Mousehole Lane, In Shirley, Southampton.

In 1911 William Charles Mansbridge was the licencee of the Swan Inn at Gwernymynydd. He was 30 years old and was married to Alice Mary (from Northants) who assisted in the business. They had two children Jack was 3 and Mabel was 2.  (Both of these children had been born on The Isle of Wight) Also living with them was Hilda, William’s sister who was 13.

William joined the Merchant Navy at some point but so far it has not proved possible to pinpoint the date.  He died as the result of an accident on the ship ‘Anchises’ which was in dock at Cape Town, South Africa in 1916 and he was buried there.

William left a will. The England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1858 – 1995 tells us  that William Charles Mansbridge of Swan Cottage, Gwernymynydd, Storekeeper on board Troopship, died 19th September 1916 in Cape Town. Probate St Asaph 4 November to Alice Mary Mansbridge Widow. Effects £328 .. 19sh ..2d

The Midwives Roll 1926 lists Alice Mary Mansbridge of Swan Cottage Gwernymynydd, Mold,  who was enrolled as a midwife on the 9th February 1918 having passed the CMB Examination. She would have been 49 years old.  Seems that nursing was in her blood.

Jack, the only son of William and Alice Mansbridge  has a story that sadly echoed his father’s story.  He married Elizabeth Marie Leporcq in 1932. (We believe she was of French  parents though born in Ormskirk on the Wirral).   Jack and Elizabeth made their home in Birkdale, Southport. Jack, like his father became a merchant seaman.  During WW2 he served as a Steward on the ‘Albosso’  (Liverpool). This ship was built in 1935 and it was the flagship of the Elder Dempster Lines. In peacetime she ran scheduled services between Liverpool and West Africa. In  WW2 she became a troop ship, running between the UK, West Africa and South Africa. She was sunk by a German submarine in 1942, killing 362 of the 393 people aboard.  Jack Mansbridge was one of those who lost his life.

Jack is listed on Panel 2 of the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s Tower Hill Memorial, to Merchant Seamen.  His inscription reads

Mainsbridge Jack, Steward  Merchant Navy MV  ‘Albosso’ Liverpool. 29 October 1942 Age 35, son of William Charles and Alice Mary Mansbridge. Husband of Elizabeth Marie Mansbridge of Birkdale Southport , Lancs.

Jack left a will. England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1858 – 1995 includes an entry for Jack Mansbridge

Born in 1908 in Freshwater, Isle of Wight , England Jack Mansbridge of 7 Trafalgar Rd, Birkdale, Southport, Lancs, died on or since 20th October 1942 at sea. Probate Liverpool 16th April to Elizabeth Marie Mansbridge widow – effects £333 .. 13sh .. 8d. 

The saddest piece of evidence is the grave of Alice Mary Mansbridge.

In Loving Memory


Alice Mary Mansbridge

The Vicarage Bryneglwys

(Late of Gwernymynydd)

Laid to rest here June 14th 1949

And her husband 

William Charles Mansbridge

(Merchant Navy)

Buried at Cape Town September 1916

Also of Jack Mansbridge their son 

(Merchant Navy)

Lost at sea October 1942

“Thy will be done”.

A final  piece of military history that we have found concerns William’s little brother Jasper. He signed up to the Australian Imperial Force on 23rd January 1915 when he was 20. He named as his next of kin  brother William Mansbridge of Gwernymynydd Mold, North Wales.


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Mold Urban Memorial

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