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James Albert RANDELL 1891

James Albert Randell was born in Cromer, New Years Day, 1 January 1891. He was documented in both the 1891 and 1901 census as a child in Cromer, living with his parents, John Ephraim Randell and Charlotte Phebe Durrant.
He had the misfortune to fight in the Great War, enlisting in the Durham Light Infantry in 31 January 1916. He was 'discharged 17 April 1919, character 'Very Good', being surplus to military requirements'. On leaving the army he was awarded a small pension on the grounds of 'Trench Fever', an infection transmitted by body lice. It affected around a third of all serving troops.
Private 5109 James Albert served on the Western Front from 22 December 1917 until 5 May 1918, a total of 135 days, his remaining time in the army was spent in England. Despite his very good character he was reprimanded for not complying with an order given by the horrible Sgt. Thompson 27 October 1916. On enlistment, he was described as 5 foot 7 1/2 inches tall, aged 25 occupation footman at Capel in Surrey a picturesque village and one time home of Vaughan Williams and Josiah Wedgwood. Under the section 'distinctive marks', the army recorded 'anchor tattoo - left arm, mole right lower eyelid, complexion pale, hair fair, eyes blue'. James recorded his father as John Randell of 20 Chesterfield Cottages, Cromer. His address on leaving the army was 48 Grantham Road, the address of his brides family home. Whilst not recorded in his army record he married Ethel in 8 March 1919 when he was still a serving soldier. At the wedding he recorded his address as Seaham Harbour, County Durham. From September 1915 until the end of the war the 4th Battalion DLI were stationed at Seaham.
James re-appeared briefly as being present at the death of his mother Charlotte Phebe Randell in 1934. Following the death of her husband his mother had moved to live at 35 Gilmore Road, Lewisham. His address and name, which are the same for his own death, are recorded on her death certificate.

newspaperStreatham News - 1 December, 1950
Image supplied by Streatham Society Local History Group

Strangely his own death by suicide, is from a historic perspective at least, the most significant part of his life. His death certificate, states on the 22 November 1950 "James Albert Randell of 132 Downton Avenue, Streatham Hill, Greater London, died age 59". His occupation was recorded as "Clerk" with no reference to a wife or family. An inquest was held 27 November, which tabled the results of a post mortem. The inquest concluded he died from "Gun shot wounds to the head. Self inflicted. That he took his life when the balance of his mind was disturbed". His father took his own life, and his sister also committed suicide around ten years later.
James in keeping with many of his family members left a Will, which simply confirmed his details and noted effects worth £407 18s. 8d left to his widow Ethel.

ANCESTRY ~ Thomas / John / John Ephraim / James Albert

Ethel VIVIAN 1885

Ethel Vivian married James Albert Randell, 8 March 1919 at Saint Andrews Church, Stockwell, Surrey. Ethel Vivian, was 33 years old when she married, making her around four years older than her husband.
At the time of the wedding Ethel was living in the Vivian family home at 48 Grantham Road, Stockwell. A London suburb south of the river between Brixton and Lambeth. It’s quite central being around thirty minutes walk from the Houses of Parliament. The wedding certificate reveals that James Albert Randell was still in the army at the time of the wedding. He recorded his profession as 4th Durham Light Infantry Regiment, Seaham Harbour, Country Durham.
Ethel Vivian was the daughter of Richard Vivian, the London Manager of the "Hull Steam Fishing and Ice Company". Despite the seemingly provincial name Hull Steam Fishing & Ice was a large concern, connected to shipbuilding and other maritime operations. The company was formed in 1890, as it grew it became a national enterprise. It diversified but was still heavily involved in fishing. Hull Steam Fishing & Ice went into voluntary liquidation in 1936 but in a interesting arrangement it's fleet of about forty vessels were sold effectively to the original owners, who relaunched the business under a different name.
In the 1901 census Ethel Vivian lived with her father Richard, mother Louisa and younger brother also Richard, in Lambeth. Ethel's brother, Richard Albert Vivian was born in 1894 in Lambeth whilst Ethel herself was born July 1886 in Hull, Yorkshire, which gives some indication of when the family moved south.
Ethel’s' father, Richard Vivian was born in 1863 in Grimsby, Lincolnshire and his wife Louisa Watts, was born 1860 born in Hull, Yorkshire. They married in Hull in the summer of 1884, a very polite two years before the birth of Ethel.
Richard Vivian was recorded as the owner of several fishing trawlers and was the son of another Richard Vivian a 'Fishing Smack' owner. He was also listed as crew, ‘Owner - Richard Vivian’ on the SS Canada at a much earlier period. A series of hand coloured photographs from this period are available.
Ethels father, Richard Vivian died in hospital 15 May 1903, aged 40 years. In the 1911 census the Vivian family were still in Grantham Street. Richard’s death had left Louisa a widow, aged 50 years. Ethel was a young lady with no occupation whilst her brother Richard had taken a position with a Sanitary Engineer as a Clerk. Richard Vivian despite his untimely death left Louisa £1541 15s. 8d.
Louisa Vivian died 26 January 1915. At the time of her death she was still in Grantham Road and left £1904 4s. 8d. As Ethel married in 1919 James Albert would never meet either of his wifes parents.
Ethel Randell of 213 Maldon Road, New Maldon, Surrey died 12 July 1965 in Kingston Hospital. The current address of The Devonshire Aged Care Home is 213 Maldon Road, it seems reasonable to assume that it may have been a age care facility in 1965. Mrs Ethel Randell, aged 79, born 1886, left a Will distributing £4725.
My understanding is that James and Ethel did not have children.

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