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Harald Edwin RANDELL 1898

Harald Edwin Randell was the eldest of two children born to Edwin Mullenger Randell and Hester Rackham. He was born in Ixworth, 10 December 1898. His name was recorded in both the birth register and the 1901 census as Harald. This spelling is unusual but not unique and is generally regarded as a Scandinavian interpretation of Harold. King Harald Finehair, was the first Viking king of a united Norway.
It's not an entirely inappropriate name, as like the Norse adventurers of old, Harald set sail to worlds unknown. According to an immigration card completed around thirty years after his arrival, Harald first stepped onto Canadian soil 14 April 1914. If both dates are accurate he was 15 years and 4 months old when he arrived.
Until recently, when I was contacted by his great nephew, most of the information I was able to access about Harald came from official documents.
Harold, crossed the border into Buffalo, New York on two recorded occasions, 4 April 1935 and 24 April 1944. The associated documentation confirmed the details above and that his permanent address was Toronto, Canada. In 1935 he was 'in transit New York to England'. In 1944 the border crossing was work related, he could be contacted at the Roosevelt Hotel, Madison Avenue, New York City.
Both crossings revealed that Harold was married to Olive Beatrice, who was not with him on either occasion. His occupation was stated as Manager of Book and Stationary Repository on the 1935 card and Buyer in 1944 but Harald's great nephew has filled in some of the blanks. He remembered Harold affectionately as 'Unkie - a great influence on my life - one of the kindest people I've known'. He recounted that his great uncle was the Department Manager of the Book Department for Eaton's. Eaton's became a Canadian institution. Founded in Toronto 1869 and it grew to become the biggest chain of Department Stores in Canada.
Harald's nephew continued, 'Harold and Olive loved all of the children in their lives but had no children of their own. They also took care of Olive's younger sister Marjorie who was unable to live independently.'
'Harold and Olive lived close to Olive's brother, Leonard and his wife Gertrude and their daughter married World Champion and Olympic figure skater Wally Diestelmeyer who were very close to Harold and Olive. Harold loved to garden and was an avid lawn bowler. During retirement, they spent the winters in Florida'.
Another family story relating to 'Uncle Harold' was that he may have arrived in Canada as a stowaway. I looked into this and found his immigration card very specifically stated he arrived in Quebec, Canada, 14 April 1914 on a ship called "Angania". Unfortunately no ship of that name, sailing between England and Canada existed but it helped me to find an immigration record showing Harold E Randell of Ixworth, Suffolk arrived on the 'Alsatian', 11 April 1914 in Halifax. The Alsatian may have continued up the St Lawrence having cleared customs on the coast. This would give the later date but also worth recalling the Titanic sank 14 April 12.
The immigration documents showed Harold to be a'Gardener'. His future in-laws the Wrinch family also arrived as Gardeners. As neither of them were ever likely to be Gardeners, you have to imagine it was a ruse to comply with the restrictions placed on entry. Harold was also recorded to be in possession of twenty five pounds of assets. This was a considerable sum for the period and a veritable fortune for a fifteen year old ex-Gardener so I assume he was financed by his father.
When Harald arrived in Canada he was following the steps of his Aunt Ellen Cubitt. She was Harold's father's sister and she had emigrated to Canada with husband Samuel Pye Cubitt and their family in 1912. Harald and his two cousins Michael and Douglas Cubitt were essentially the same age and there is no doubt that the families were close.
Harold was also recorded visiting England on at least three occasions. Harold and Olive Randell arrived in London 25 April 1928, stating their intended destination as Ixworth Post Office. They sailed on the 'Ausonia' and stated their home address as Heather Road, Toronto, a few minutes walk from his Aunt Ellen Cubitts home. They returned to Canada 22 June 1928 on the 'Andania'.
Harold Randell made at least two other voyages to England. In 1935 he sailed alone on the 'Olympic' and arrived 12 April 1935 at Southampton. He recorded his occupation as Manager and his destination as 60 Seymour Gardens, Ilford. He returned to Canada two weeks later 25 April. Given the length of the stay and London address I wondered if his visit included the annual 'London Book Fair' held each April at the Olympia Exhibition Hall.
His final voyage was on the "Queen Mary", arriving in Southampton, 4 April 1951. Appropriate to the style of travel, he used his full name Harald Edwin Randell and recorded his occupation as Manager.

ANCESTRY ~ Thomas / Nathaniel / Edwin Mullenger / Harald Edwin

Olive Beatrice WRINCH 1893

The RMS Ausonia, launched in 1921, was one of Cunard's six 'A-class' ocean liners designed and built for the Canadian service. It provide a handful of first class upper deck suites, a slightly larger number of second class cabins and many below decks steerage rooms. On 25 April 1928 the Ausonia hand delivered Harald and Olive Randell to England in second class bliss. They had the advantage of a small private bathroom, two beds and a fully functioning porthole.
Canadian privacy laws restrict easy access to Births, Deaths and Marriages but a small detail recorded on the passenger list of the 'Ausonia' directed me to Olive Beatrice Wrinch as Harald's wife. The ships manifest shows Olive to be six years older than Harald and a housewife but it also states her place of birth as Diss, Norfolk and that she entered Canada in 1915.
A check of the passenger lists from 1915 revealed, that Olive Wrinch arrived in Quebec, 17 August 1915. She travelled with her younger sister Marjorie and her mother Kate Beatrice Wrinch on the 'SS Corsican'. Her father and younger brother were also on the ship but listed completely separately, indicating a bunk bed dormitory arrangement. The details provided by the ships passenger list show mother Kate was born in Ipswich, her two daughters were born in Diss, Norfolk.
All three girls described themselves as Domestic Servants but with very few exceptions the entire ship was 'previously employed' as either Gardeners or Domestic Servants. It seems wave after wave of Gardeners and Domestic Servants flooded across the ocean into Canada in the years before the Great War.
In 1895 the Canadian government developed a plan to encourage healthy woman of good character to migrate from the British Isles. Canadian agents travelled through England delivering lectures and distributing pamphlets extolling the benefits of Canada. They offered immigrant women, free accommodation and steady employment mostly as cooks, housekeepers, maids, and cleaning women but the more industrious found work in hotels and restaurants.
Which ties in comfortably with the 1911 UK census shows the Wrinch family living and running the Temperance Hotel, 29 - 31 Burrell Street, Ipswich. Walter Godfrey Wrinch aged 44, was the proprietor and his wife of the last 19 years was Kate Beatrice Wrinch. Four children were at home, Olive Beatrice, Leonard George, Marjorie Enid & Hubert Godfrey. All the children were born in Diss, Norfolk and more specifically Olive Beatrice in March 1893 making her a perfect match with Olive Beatrice Randell in Canada.
Further research confirmed, 18 August 1925 Harald Edwin Randell married Olive Beatrice Wrinch at St. Cuthberts Church, Toronto. St Cuthberts was also the venue for the marriage of Michael Cubitt two years earlier. Details of marriage '4433-25' reveal Harald to be aged 26 years, a Clerk, born Ixworth, whilst Olive was aged 30, a Stenographer, born Ipswich. Both parties lived at Leaside, Toronto and Olive was the daughter of Walter Godfrey Wrinch and Kate Beatrice Hines. The witnesses to the service were Olive's father Walter and brother Leonard, who coincidentally lived in Millwood Place, the same street address as the Cubitt family.
Olive Beatrice and Harold Edwin Randell were destined never to have children.


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