Monday, 12 February 2018

#52Ancestors week 7 "Valentine"

As I have no-one born or married on 14th Feb I decided to think laterally Valentine = Love

The marriage of my paternal Grandparents Charles Henry West and Dorothy Evelyn Mitten

Back row Charles Mitten; Maria Wood; ? ; Helen Mary Briggs; Henry Charles West
Front row Edith Mitten; Dorothy Mitten; Charles Henry West; Elsie Mitten

Charles and Dorothy were married on Boxing Day 1923

Dorothy was born 08 March 1900 in St Leonards, she lived with her parents Charles and Maria (nee Wood) sisters Bertha and Elsie along with her  Grandfather John George Mitten, Grandmother Sarah Ann (nee Laws)  and their other children Fanny and Alfred and stepson Alfred Latham at 24 Western Road, St Leonards in 1901. The 1901 census shows Charles, Maria and their 3 children living in just 2 rooms in Western Road.   By 1911 the family had increased in size with a total of 7 children and they have moved to 1 Cornfield Terrace, St Leonards, where according to the census there are 4 rooms, the kitchen is counted as a room, so 9 people in 3 rooms, it must have been  cramped.  Family rumour says that she was in service and worked in a nursing home and nursed a famous writer before her marriage.

Charles was born on 5th February 1899 in Hastings.  The 1901 census shows him living at 4 West Hill Cottages, St. Clements, Hastings with his parents Henry Charles and Ellen Mary (nee Briggs) and sisters Nelly and Daisy. By 1911 his family have moved to 105 St Georges Road, Hastings and he has 2 brothers and 2 more sisters.  Charles at the age of 17 ½ enlisted on 16th Sep 1916.  18th March 1918 and Charles is shipped to Egypt as part of the Royal Army Service Corps as an infantryman.  His records show that he was working as a newspaper reporter with Southern Publishing in Hastings before his enlistment.  Charles was discharged due to ill health in March 1920 due to recurrent malaria; the first bout was November 1918 just 8 months after he arrived in Egypt.

Charles and Dorothy had 5 children, Keith Charles who was born 1925 in Hastings, John Robin who was born 5 years later in 1930, Jean Margaret in 1935 who unfortunately did not survive,  Sheila 1936 and finally Michael Alan in 1940.  Charles at some stage after demob had a change of occupation changing from a reporter with the Evening Argus to working at the Tax Office (Inland Revenue) and in 1937/8 was transferred from the Hastings office to Brighton.  Initially he stayed in digs in Bates Road before finding the house in Waldergrave road and bringing his family to Brighton. 
After the family moved from Hastings to Brighton in 1937/8 they  lived at 148 Waldergrave Road and Charles, Dorothy and Michael lived there for the rest of their lives.

Memories from John West (son) “ I remember that Keith and Sheila got the train with Mum to Brighton as Sheila got car sick, I went in the removals van.  The company that moved us was Dengates.  There was a carnival in Hastings on the front, Dad’s office overlooked the sea and we used to watch the carnival from his office window.”

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