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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Stanislaus Calhaen


Gareth Davies

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Yes, I saw that but thought best to ignore it.....

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Did anyone have a look at Richard Lionel Calhaem (1893 - 1973)? Is his middle name & surname a coincidence?

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Different family I think Gareth, hailing from Wales.

1911 Census courtesy FMP

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In 1914 he was working for Customs and Excise so I think we can rule him out

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Numerous records post ww1 have him returning to work for Customs and Excise

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Thank you. Yes, I saw quite a lot of that online. But the fact that he and his son were Lionels made me wonder.

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Thought I would take a look at the war diary and found this for 31/7/1917.

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My questions arising from this are was he wounded on 31/7/1917 or killed? How is it he is only commemorated on a memorial as no known grave?

I note they spelt his name correctly whilst CWGC does not...

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Found an earlier entry in the diary confirming Calhaem S killed on 31/7/1917 

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Strangely there is also a 3 Battalion Light Tank War Diary for the same period - same information but in this case Calhaem is definitely recorded as "Wounded"

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I’m feeling very foolish as I couldn’t find him in the C Bn war diary. Good find, thank you.

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Here’s the Bray citation.

4EE5E9EB-B7A3-43D0-AE2E-F6D697D2FA83.jpeg

4A44C140-C4D7-4733-8D38-4E88B9E673AB.jpeg

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I noticed from the earlier posted MIC that our man was previously 3369 18Bn London Regiment. According to that great online resource Army Service Numbers 1881-1918: 18th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (London Irish Rifles) that number was issued between 6th May 1915 and 7th June 1915.

Are there any resources we haven't tried in that direction?

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13 hours ago, Gareth Davies said:

I’m feeling very foolish as I couldn’t find him in the C Bn war diary. Good find, thank you.

I have a transcript. They had transcribed his name as Calbaem. I am not feeling quite as foolish now.

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12 minutes ago, Gareth Davies said:

I have a transcript. They had transcribed his name as Calbaem. I am not feeling quite as foolish now.

You shouldn't feel that way at all.

FMP have mis transcribed Calhaem as Calbaem 7 times, and as Calnaem once, but none of them are our man - one is his brother Thomas' address in 1893. 

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Further to the 1915 enlistment date in the London Regiment the same website suggests he transferred between 22/12/1916 and 31/12/1916.

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I have checked the 1/18 London Regiment War Diary and there is no mention of men being transferred to the Tank Corps within the dates mentioned above. Actually the diary is one of the poorest for information I have seen for a long time.

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At last some concrete evidence around Edna Gordon / Etna Gadon etc. An Essex Newspaper article from 1917 reported her aged 18 sentenced to 6 weeks imprisonment for child neglect. The child was ~1 year old. Eric Gordon was born in 1916 to a mother whose maiden name was Cholmondeley (or rather recorded as such). [Image courtesy FMP].

The only problem is I can find no birth record for Edna / Etna Cholmondeley nor a marriage record to someone with the surname Gordon.

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I think Gordon was one of her pseudonyms and has no connection to a marriage (and that Maj Gordon is made up). But I can't prove that.

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Just now, Gareth Davies said:

I think Gordon was one of her pseudonyms and has no connection to a marriage (and that Maj Gordon is made up). But I can't prove that.

Similar thinking my end too.

I wonder if she was just a waif picked up by Roma etc or if she really was her daughter. If the latter then I would think Lionel would be a candidate as the father - would tie in with the letter written re the will. Now if we could only find her birth...

I briefly considered getting Eric's birth certificate but I am guessing it wouldn't be worth the money (the cheap digital image option isn't available).

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Gareth

Another potential lead on the origin of the war memorial name - Lionel Calhaem. The letter below was published in The Stage on 11 October 1928. Further investigation shows that The Actors' Church Union has now morphed into Theatre Chaplaincy UK - still active today. Might it be worth an email to them to see if they have any archive information? About | Theatre Chaplaincy UK [Images courtesy FMP]

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What is also interesting is that the original memorial was unveiled in February 1919 so I wonder if Lionel's name appeared on that one or was added at a later date. The answer to that is also found in The Stage of 20 February 1919 - he was on the original. Full article here The British Newspaper Archive | findmypast.co.uk

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Thank you. I spoke with the Theatre Royal Drury Lane last week. They seemed interested in our quest and they were going to get their archivist/historian/vaguely interested person to contact me but I haven’t heard anything yet. I will try the Chaplaincy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update:

I have heard no more from TRDL. I have however had a reply from the Theatre Chaplaincy. They don't know what they have in their archive (it's actually just a few boxes of random stuff) but they will have a look.

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