Issue 47

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Herbert Samuel Stentiford House Hunters


Some time ago, we went over to North Tawton to photograph the War Memorial there and were extremely puzzled to find the name of Herbert Samuel Stentiford on it. The World War 1 website of the Imperial War Graves Commission did not list him as a casualty. Was there an error? Had he been omitted by them in a mistake? It was Doreen Norton who solved the mystery for us, bringing back a copy of his Short Service Record which her eagle eye had spotted at Kew. It transpires that Herbert Stentiford did not die in the Great War but afterwards, but that when the names were collected  in North Tawton, local people  clearly thought his name deserved a place on their Memorial. You will have to decide for yourself if you agree with them.

Over the past five years, we've managed to trace dozens of dwellings in which not only Stentifords lived, but which were the homes of members of the other families - Stuttafords, Stedifords Stedefords and so on - as well. Some of the buildings go back centuries and you can make out the original shape and identify bits which have been added on. But not in Plymouth. Bombs were dropped all over Devon and did much damage but fires raged throughout that City on many occasions so that fire fighters were utterly overwhelmed. Consequently the destruction there, and the loss of life, were devastating.

We've often had cause in the past to thank Steve Johnson for the use of his  photo collection but what a wonderful thing he has done by putting his unique collection of old Plymouth photographs in the public domain for use in articles like ours. We may not be able to see the original homes anymore but Steve's pictures enable us to see what our ancestors saw, warts and all. He has given us an invaluable means of exploring the places in which they lived and worked and we'd like to thank him yet again.. 


Keep in touch,

Muriel and Richard


Link to Office of National Statistics for information on how to obtain copies of Birth, Marriage and Death certificates.

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Herbert Samuel Stentiford House Hunters


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