Four Young Men drowned near All Cannings

On Sunday the 27th of December 1846 at about 6 o’clock five strapping young men left All Cannings on a walk to Stanton St Bernard, via the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath, a distance of about one and a half miles. The canal was frozen over, and the lads walked part of the way on the ice. They were fine young men, all about six feet tall. Continue reading Four Young Men drowned near All Cannings

Pte Stafford Hope Venton

Pte Stafford H Venton
Pte Stafford H Venton

Stafford Hope Venton was born in Taunton, Somerset, in 1892. He was the only child of William Venton and Beatrice Maud, nee Pidgeon, but he may also have had a half sister, Alice, who was born before Stafford’s parents married. Thus far I have been unable to trace a birth registration for her, but she appears with the rest of the family in the 1901 census. At that time the family were living at 16 Eastbourne Road, Taunton. His father was working as a railway labourer, and his mother as a button hole maker in a factory. Continue reading Pte Stafford Hope Venton

Sarah Gerrish, cake seller, drowned near Semington in 1862

Sarah Gerrish was born in Clonmel, Tipperary, Ireland, in about 1807. Her father may have been serving or training at the British barracks in Clonmel, which had recently been extended in anticipation of an invasion by Napoleon. During the Napoleonic wars the barracks were largely occupied by militia units, such as the Armagh and North Cork militias, while the regular Regiments fought in the wars. I have not yet found out what brought her to Wiltshire, but it seems likely that it was her father’s home. Continue reading Sarah Gerrish, cake seller, drowned near Semington in 1862