THE WHITING FAMILY OF PELDON
The picture above is taken outside the front (North West corner) of Games Farmhouse, Lower Road, Peldon, it was passed on by Tony Baldwin whose grandmother, Anna Whiting, is on the left of the picture.
From left to right are Anna Whiting, and daughters Rhoda, Ruth and Beatrice.
Ruth was born in 1914 and in the picture she looks about ten years old so the picture could date from about 1924.
Interestingly, the doorway the family are posing in is no longer there although the outline of the frame can be seen from the interior. It was common to have multiple occupancy of buildings, previous censuses show this to be the case with Games Farm, and it is likely this was still the case at the time of this photograph in the 1920s.
Anna Whiting née Sheldrick (1872 - 1934) married George William Whiting (1861 - 1922) in 1894. She was born in Little Wigborough, and her father was John Sheldrick. Her husband, George, was born in Peldon and his father was George Whiting. Both fathers were labourers.
Anna and George were to have five daughters and three sons.
We find Anna before her marriage, aged 18, working as a servant in the house of farmer Charles Hutley in Brick House, Great Wigborough in the 1891 census. The Sheldricks have been elusive in any other censuses.
Anna and George's daughter, Rhoda Anna Whiting, (1895 - 1966) was a postwoman and married to Albert French (1896 - 1941).
PRESENTATION A meeting of parishioners was held in the Schoolroom to make a presentation to Miss Rhoda Whiting on her approaching marriage.
A collection had been made by Mrs George King at the houses where Miss Whiting had delivered letters, and a cheque was handed to her by Mrs Felix
King of the Post Office. Congratulatory speeches were made by the Rev A A Giles and Mr C Smallwood, of Colchester Post Office, and Miss Whiting
was heartily thanked for her willing service Essex County Standard 23/12/1932
30.12.1932 The WEDDING took place at Peldon Parish Church of Mr Albert French, elder son of Mr and Mrs Sam French, Plum House, West Mersea with Miss Rhoda Ann Whiting, eldest daughter of the late Mr George and Mrs Whiting, Whitaker's Cottages, Peldon. The bride was in pale blue georgette, with fawn picture hat, and carried pink carnations and lily of the valley. The bridesmaids, Miss Ruth Whiting (sister of the bride) and Miss Mollie King were in lemon-coloured soft satin, with brown hats and bouquets of azaleas. Mr Charles Baldwin was best man. The Rev A A Giles officiated and Miss Mollie King was at the organ. The hymns were 'Lead Us Heavenly Father' and 'The Voice That breathed O'er Eden'. The numerous presents included a cheque to the bride from Peldon residents to whom she had delivered letters.
Essex County Standard 30/12/1932
Ruth Ellen Whiting was born 6.3.1914 and died aged 84. She married Percy Edward Hutton on 2nd September 1939 who died in 1949. She was in domestic service and he was a policeman. On their marriage certificate she is 25 and her address given as Butchers View, Peldon. He is 26 and living at High Road, Layer de la Haye. The profession of his father, George, is given as agricultural labourer. Ruth's brother Victor signs the document as witness.
Beatrice Ena Whiting was born on 27th May 1906 in Little Wigborough 1907 and died 17.3.1988 aged 81 years. She married Harry Austin born 1901 died 20.10.1964 aged 63. Around 1923, she took over from her sister Florence Daisy who was working as a nanny at Layer de la Haye.
Not in the picture, Florence Daisy Whiting was born on 25th November 1900 in Little Wigborough and christened by The Rev F Theobald.
Upon her marriage to Charles Baldwin in 1923 she relinquished her job as nanny at Layer de La Haye, and her sister, Beatrice, took
over the post. She also had another sister Edith May and three brothers Victor John, Albert Edward and Arthur George Whiting.
Anna and George's oldest son was Arthur George Whiting and his name is one of the eight Peldon man commemorated on the World War 1 memorial plaque in Peldon Church.
Arthur George Whiting was a Private in the Worcestershire Regiment 1st/8th Battalion. Service number 260181 and he enlisted in Colchester. In 1914 he would have been 16 years old. Arthur's regiment arrived in Boulogne on 31st March 1915 and made their way to the Western Front. As of 15th May the formation became the 144th Brigade, 48th Division and was to serve with distinction on the Western Front until 21st November 1917. It was involved in the Battle of Albert (first phase of the battle of the Somme 1916.
In Worcestershire Regiment in the Great War Volume 1 by Captain H FitzM. Stacke which was published ten years after the end of the war, a detailed account of what happened to Arthur's formation is given.
Throughout the years 1914 - 1918 each unit and formation in the British Army kept a day by day War Diary. Together with eye-witness accounts the story of what happened on the night before Arthur's death on 27th August 1917 emerges.
The night of August 26th/27th was one of heavy rain and intense darkness, broken only by the blaze of bursting shells; for the enemy kept up a heavy and continuous bombardment of the British forward lines.
Arthur's mother kept the letter written by Captain Charles Ridley Pawsey, Arthur's Captain, only aged about 23 himself, informing the Whitings of what happened to their 19 year old son.
Dear Mr Whiting,
I have purposely delayed answering your letter for a few days, in the hope that you would hear from your son in some hospital.
He was known to have been badly wounded on Aug 27th and I fear now he must have died of wounds almost at once. It is of course possible that he may be in some hospital but as a month has elapsed since the date he was wounded I do not think it at all likely.
I hope you have not thought me indifferent for not answering your letter before but as you see I could not tell you anything definitely. Your son always did his duty most gallantly and cheerfully. I feel certain that he was too as good a son as he was a soldier, and can understand fully what your [mischance?]...has been.
I am certain of one thing, that he could not have lingered long. All ground was most carefully searched and all the wounded were brought in - He was either taken almost at once to the Nursing Station or else died almost at once.
O C C Coy
[this may be Officer in Command of C Company]
It is likely this letter found its way to Games Farm for in the electoral roll of 1918 George and Anna are resident in 'Games Barn'.
Within five years Anna had lost her husband as well, for George died in 1922. In the electoral register for 1929 the widowed Anna is living in
Whitakers Cottages next to the village shop on Lower Road with both Beatrice and Rhoda. It is clear from Rhoda's wedding entry in the County
Standard (above) that Anna was still living in Whitakers Cottages in 1932.
After an illness of only five days, Mrs Whiting of Whitakers Cottages, passed away in Colchester Hospital and much sympathy is extended to her sons and daughters. The deceased was the widow of Mr George Whiting (who died suddenly 12 years ago) and was held in high esteem in the village, being always willing to render assistance in cases of sickness. The funeral was at the Parish Church on Monday, the Rector, the Rev A A Giles officiating. The mourners were: Mr and Mrs Victor Whiting, son and daughter-in-law; Mr and Mrs French, Mr and Mrs Charles Baldwin, Mr and Mrs Paterson, Mr and Mrs Austin, Miss Ruth Whiting, sons-in-law and daughters; Mr Albert Whiting, son.
Essex County Standard 10/8/1934
George and Anna are buried in St Mary's Peldon graveyard. Their son, Arthur George, is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Cemetery. The memorial there now bears the names of almost 35,000 officers and men whose graves are not known.
Peldon History Project
Appendix: Whiting family tree
George William Whiting married Anna Sheldrick from Great Wigborough whose father also was an agricultural worker and they were to have five girls and three boys. George is listed as a horseman on a farm in 1901 and 1911 and the family seems to be living in a cottage in Little Wigborough on the main Maldon Road.
George's parents were George (born in Peldon circa 1840) and Rhoda (née Snell). Born in Bentley in Suffolk, Rhoda is listed as a tailoress in both
the 1881 and 1891 censuses. In 1881 their family address is Church Road, Peldon, where George is listed as a farmer of 20 acres. In 1891 they are
in Peldon Street [which I suspect is Church Road] and in 1901 Mersea Road, Peldon. They have another son Maurice.
George William's grandfather was James who was born in 1801 in Layer-de-la Haye and appears in Peldon in the 1851 census working as an agricultural labourer married to Mary Ann with two sons James and George.
Arthur George Whiting Memorial Profile by E.J. Sparrow