George, Henry

Henry George was born on the 30th June 1911, and baptised on the 12th July 1911, the son of Thomas & Elizabeth Annie George (nee Swan).   They had married on the 26th March 1895 in St. Mathew’s Church, Bootle, Lancs.   Thomas George was 19, a bachelor and Labourer.   His address was 10, New Street and his father  was David George, a Gardener.    Elizabeth Annie Swan was 19, a Spinster and her address was 18, New Street.   Her father, James Swan was a Fireman.   Their witnesses were Richard Carrington & Margaret Carrington.

Two other baptisms were found in the St. Mathew’s Church Parish Registers as well as Henry’s baptism, where incidentally his father is seen as a Mariner and they lived on Denbigh Street:-­

Born 1st September 1899  Bapt. 27th February 1899  Grace d/o Thomas & Bessie Ann GEORGE, 52, Flints Street, Labourer.

Page 75 No. 596 Born 20th February 1896, Bapt.4th March 1896.   David s/o Thomas & Elizabeth Annie GEORGE, 22, New Street, Fireman.

Thomas & Elizabeth Annie are seen on the 1901 census living at 52, Flint Street, Bootle cum Linacre, Lancashire.   Thomas George was 25 and a Seller (sic) Man (Gas Works) and had been born in Bootle, Lancs.   Elizabeth Annie was also 25 and had been born in Liverpool, Lancashire.   Their children, David, 5, Thomas, 3 and Grace, 1, had all been born in Bootle, Lancashire.   Living with them was Elizabeth Annie’s brother, David Swan.   He was 14 years old and was a Pawnbroker’s Assistant and born in Scotland.

By 1911 the family had moved to 2, Denbigh Street, off Irlam Road, Bootle, Liverpool, Lancs. (3 Rooms).   Thomas George, 35 and a Sea-going Fireman tells us that he had been married for 16 years.    Elizabeth Annie, 35, tells us that 8 children had been born alive, but sadly 5 had died.   The children from the 1901 census were still in the household.   David, 15 was a Scaler on Ships (Ships Boiler) (Cunard Line).    Thomas, 13, was an Errand Boy (Green Grocery).   Grace, 11, was in School.

Elizabeth Annie was pregnant with Henry at this time, the census was taken on the 2nd April 1911 and he was born on the 30th June 1911.

I found Thomas George and his brother-in-law, David Swan on the Crew Lists of the Empress of Britain in 1912.   They are listed as such : –

Thomas GEORGE, age 36, Bootle, 1, Holywell Steet, Last ship – Victorian, Fireman.

David SWAN, age 25, Bootle, 18, Brisbane Street, Last Ship – Victorian, Fireman, promoted to Greaser.

I do not know of Henry George’s early or teen age years, so any information would be gratefully received.

Henry’s father died in the December quarter of 1923 age 47 years. (Registration District: West Derby, Inferred County: Lancashire.  Vol. : 8b  Page: 394).

However we do know that Henry met and married Annie Chapman in the September quarter of 1939 in Liverpool. (Liverpool N. Vol. 8b Page  1013) and I find them living at 1 Richard Martin Road, Litherland, Lancashire on the 1939 National Register which was taken on the 29th September 1939.   This is a little confusing as it states that Henry George is head of the household, but his surname George is crossed out and “Jones” written in, probably by an Enumerator.    This source gives the dates of birth and what the occupation is for each entry.

Henry is described as a General Labourer – Unemployed, he was married, and written next to his entry was –  Mercantile Marine War Service List Reg. No. 19225.   His wife Ann George, born 29th June 1914 was a Switch Board Wirer (Telephone).    Henry’s mother Elizabeth Annie was born on the 11th May 1875 and was a widow.  She was described, as most married or widowed women who didn’t have a job, as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.“    May George, again her surname of George was crossed out and “Jones” written was born on the4 15th January 1920, was single and a Rubber Boot Maker.   Dorothy G. Davies* also had that crossed out and “McBinnie” written down.  Thomas George was born on the 10th October 1934 and was under School Age.   There was a Closed or Redacted record**

*This usually meant she had married at a later date to a gentleman called McBinnie, but that doesn’t explain Henry’s entry.

**For individual people, records remain closed for a century after their birth (the 100-year rule), unless it can be proven that they passed away before this milestone.

So we know that although Henry was at home on the 29th September 1939, he must have been involved with the Merchantile War Service but we don’t know when he enlisted or was conscripted for certain.

He was to find himself as Naval Auxiliary Personnel (Merchant Navy) on H.M.S. Tynwald on the 12th November 1942.

SS Tynwald (1936) – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

TSS (RMS) Tynwald No. 165281 was a passenger vessel which served with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company from 1937 until she was requisitioned for war service at the end of 1940. She was the fourth ship in the line’s history to bear the name. Tynwald was sunk in November 1942 off the Algerian coast.

Please click on the links to read what happened:-

HMS Tynwald (D 69) – Anti-Aircraft ship – History            

Completed in June 1937. Displacement: 2376 GRT Armamant: 6 4″ AA guns (3×2), 8 2pdr AA (2×4)

In the early morning of 12 November 1942, HMS Tynwald (Capt. (retired) Philip George Wodehouse, DSO, RN) was at short notice, ready to sail from 0445 hrs onwards, in the expectation of an Axis air raid at dawn. She was anchored next to monitor HMS Roberts.

A scant 30′ later she was hit by 2 torpedoes fired by Italian submarine Argo (Lt. Pasquale Gigli), which had penetrated the roads. Tynwald settled rapidly in 7 metres of water with 10 dead, survivors were rescued by HMS Roberts and corvette HMS Samphire. TYNWALD, BRITISH AUXILIARY ANTI-AIRCRAFT VESSEL. Tynwald [+1942]

S.S. Tynwald and the “Jewel” – Thanks once again to WW2talk and their fantastic Forum from 10 years ago, I found commentary on the Tynwald, which was fascinating as the ship had taken part in Dunkirk.  Please click on the link.

Annie Chapman  had married Henry George in 1939, she was to suffer the loss of her husband in 1942 and then, in 1944, her brother John Gordon Chapman was also killed and he is remembered on the Sandycroft WW2  and Hawarden WW2 Memorials, please click on the link to read his story.

Annie was later to remarry Creswell Dixon and they had two children together. She died in 1983 in Clwt, Denbighshire, Wales, at the age of 68.  Many thanks to Fiona Ridges, whose family also helped so much on the story of Henry George and John Gordon Chapman.

Fiona sent me a link to a website that a gentleman from Ancestry had sent her : –  – I have added some of the photographs below, many thanks to Fiona and the mysterious gentleman.

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