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Where did my GGrandfather go????

(23 Posts)
Tas1 Tue 19-Aug-08 20:05:40

A few of you helped me the other day with my family tree, thank you.

I have a new problem which I hope you may be able to shed some light on.

Around 1921/1922/1923, my Great Grandfather disapeared. He left my Great Gran saying he was going to look for work and would send for her but he never did.

The last contact she had was an undated telegram which read;

Dear Elsie
I am sorry but I could not get down to see you.
I had to buy a suitcase to take my things in so will you please accept £1 this week and I will see what can be done as soon as I get over there. I am going tonight at 9.30 from Euston. Best love to you all, your loving husband, Bill.

She never heard from him again.

His name was William Thomas Powe (Pow) and was born in london 1890. He married Elsie Rebecca Borrett (Bailey) in Tonbridge, Kent 1918.

Where could he have gone? How can I find out. Have tried but cant see him.

Can anyone help please.

OP’s posts: |
Wallace Tue 19-Aug-08 20:43:38

How fascinating (but must have been awful for your great gran )

I wouldn't have a clue where to start, but someone else might.

Where did they live? And any idea where was he going from Euston? Have you tried death records?

Tas1 Tue 19-Aug-08 20:51:34

They lived in Sevenoaks, Kent.
He then went to London and worked as a waiter in a hotel in Richmond while my GGran stayed in 7/oaks. He was sending money to her each week and came down to visit when he could.

His family did not approve of my GGran and always said he had married beneath himself, rumour has it, they had something to do with him disapearing.

We have no idea where he was going.
I have tried to find a death cert but no luck so far.

OP’s posts: |
Wallace Tue 19-Aug-08 21:04:58

Sorry if you have this info already, but is this him?

Name: William Powe
Age: 9
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1892
Relation: Son
Mother's Name: Elizabeth
Gender: Male
Where born: Walworth, London, England

Civil Parish: Southwark St George The Martyr
Ecclesiastical parish: St George the Martyr Southwark
County/Island: London
Country: England

Street address:


Condition as to marriage:


Employment status: View Image

Registration district: St Saviour Southwark
Sub registration district: Kent Road
ED, institution, or vessel: 2
Neighbors: View others on page
Household schedule number: 119
Household Members: Name Age
Elizabeth Powe 43
Ellen Powe 14
Mary Powe 12
William Powe 9

Wallace Tue 19-Aug-08 21:08:59

Can't find his death cert either.

THe plot thickens. I hope somebody has suggestions for what you could do.

justkeepswimming Tue 19-Aug-08 21:10:39

Just wondering 2 things:
did he go from Euston to a ferry port and head off to somewhere (Ireland?/France?) for work?
did he enlist?
could this be him? not much info on there tho sadly.

The more i think, the second option sounds likely. he needed a suitcase to travel somewhere, was going 'over there'...
train from Euston to one of the SE ports to go across to France in time for the end of the war? or the tidying up that must have gone on afterwards?

good luck!
oh and your poor GGran

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Tue 19-Aug-08 21:15:00

Something similar happened to my great grandfather.

He was Irish, married my great grandmother (English) who was miserable and difficult according to my grandmother. They emigrated to New Zealand (where my grandmother was born). My great grandmother moaned that she didn't like New Zealand and wanted to go back to England. So they did. Then she changed her mind and wanted to go back to New Zealand. He went on ahead, my grandmother and great-grandmother were meant to follow. Except my great grandmother left the £75 for boat tickets in a dress shop.

Never heard from my Great Grandfather again. My grandmother used to say she reckoned he took the opportunity to scarper and get away from my great grandmother.

I have seen photos of her - she does look rather stern.

wheresthehamster Tue 19-Aug-08 21:20:44

Wouldn't you go north from Euston? Ireland seems a good bet. Or Liverpool for the States maybe?

Wallace Tue 19-Aug-08 21:21:31

I have found an article in the times from wed 13 oct 1920 about an unknown body found in Richmond park with a gunshot wound to the head which was not suicide. It says the body had prob lain there for 6 months.

Hope it isn't him! Prob not as it is a bit earrly.

wheresthehamster Tue 19-Aug-08 21:22:04

Are Ellis Island records on-line? Obviously if he went to the States he would have gone through there.

Tas1 Tue 19-Aug-08 21:24:32

Hi Wallace - yes thats him, I have that info already, thank you.

Hi Justkeepingswimming - I didnt look on your link as it looks as though in doing so I would use some of your credits you have paid for.

I'm thinking maybe he went to Ireland/America etc but dont know how to check.

On his son's birth cert it gives his rank as Private, 9th Battalion, Royal Fusileirs and then in brackets Hotel Waiter.

Although we dont know when he went, my nan always said it was while my GGran was pregnant with her, she was born in 1922.
He never got to see my nan.

OP’s posts: |
Wallace Tue 19-Aug-08 21:27:14

phew that can't be him then in the article.

midnightexpress Tue 19-Aug-08 21:31:10

I'm not much of an expert but I would have thought that if you have some info about his military career that might be the best place to start - I think they probably have good regimental records that might be helpful.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Tue 19-Aug-08 21:31:33

Can't find him on Ellis-Island records.

Tas1 Tue 19-Aug-08 21:40:36

The sad thing is, I think he realy loved my GGran but his family pushed him to dissapear. My GGran was lovely, she was a midwife.

OP’s posts: |
wheresthehamster Tue 19-Aug-08 21:42:18

No I can't find an exact match on Ellis Island records but there are a few William Powells. The website mentions a good point which is when searching records to also look at close matches e.g. Powell Paul

Good luck!

justkeepswimming Tue 19-Aug-08 21:42:30

Tas - i have a subscription so it shouldn't use credits, give it a try.
anyway, it must be him as it says:

Name: POWE, William T
Corps: Middx R Fus
Rank: Pte
Regtl No: 20/294 GS/98798

Medal: Roll: Page:
Victory TP/104 B42 4947
British do do

Nothing else filled in, hth

justkeepswimming Tue 19-Aug-08 21:44:58

thought of looking on the commonwealth war graves site, the only poss i could see was this, not a great match tho.

justkeepswimming Tue 19-Aug-08 21:45:23

doh, died too early, ignore me!

Mercy Wed 20-Aug-08 11:39:22

Tas1, have you looked at this website Ancestors on board?

I had a quick look but didn't see a match but perhaps you could have a good trawl through. I found dh's greatgrandfather on a passenger list!

Tas1 Wed 20-Aug-08 19:50:59

Thanks Mercy, I had already looked on here.

OP’s posts: |
Mercy Wed 20-Aug-08 19:54:50


Do you know where he worked? Any well known hotels?

Tas1 Thu 21-Aug-08 11:05:09

Hi Mercy

I dont know which hotel, just that it was in Richmond.

OP’s posts: |

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