A family tree of the Randell family originating in North Norfolk
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Frederick Thomas RANDELL 1886

Frederick Thomas was the first child of John Ephraim Randell and Charlotte Phebe Durrant. He was born 19 December 1885, within weeks of the marriage of his parents. He was baptised 7 February, 1886 at St Peter and St Pauls, Cromer. He grew up in Cromer and appears to have spent at least some time living on the farm of his mother's sister 'Aunt Martha' and her husband farmer Henry Cook Ransom.
My understanding was that he never married and moved to Suffolk to work as a gardener. However, it appears he died 11 February 1919, aged 33 as a resident of Suffolk District Asylum. The Suffolk County Lunatic Asylum was at Melton, near Woodbridge, Suffolk. It was opened in 1829 and later became St. Audrey's General Hospital. His death certificate states his home address as Chesterfield Villas, Cromer leaving little doubt that he was there as a patient.
Cause of death on the certificate is stated as 'Cerebral Haemorrhage (3 days - no post mortem)'. A layman's interpretation of this, would apparently be that he suffered a stroke and died three days later.
Given that he died extraordinarily young and in an asylum, I tried to establish, by way of an explanation, if he had fought in the Great War. I was unable to find any evidence but this doesn't mean he didn't.
His mortal remains were evidentially returned to Cromer and buried in Cromer New Cemetery. Nine years later he was joined by his father who killed himself whilst presumably depressed. Significantly, in the years to come his brother James Albert shot himself and his sister Margaret Phebe gassed herself.

ANCESTRY ~ Thomas / John / John Ephraim / Frederick Thomas

James Ephraim RANDELL 1887

James Ephraim Randell was born 26 October 1887 and baptised 4 December 1887. He was the second child born to the couple but tragically he died within the year. He was buried aged 10 months, 4 September 1888 in Cromer Cemetery, on Holt Road directly down from the Randell family home.

ANCESTRY ~ Thomas / John / John Ephraim / James Ephraim

Ernest Henry RANDELL 1889

Ernest Henry Randell was born in Cromer, 17 September 1889, to John Ephraim and Charlotte Randell. He married Maude Gertrude Britcher in the season leading up to Christmas 1924. Maude was the daughter of Abraham Britcher and probably Ann Fox. That being the case Abraham and Ann married in 1877 in Horsham Saint Faiths, Norfolk. Maude, who was born when her mother was 36, appears to be an only child but niece Eva Chapman made an appearance at the family home in 1901. Abraham was a stable groom and general farm worker.
Quite by chance I found Ernest's War record. He enlisted with the Norfolk Regiment on 26 May 1915 at East Dereham. At the time he was working as a market gardener for E H Nockels in Cromer. He served three months of that year in the Gallipoli campaign with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. After which he was posted to India for almost two years and Bulgaria for six months.
Whilst in Madras he was hospitalised with Malaria leaving him, according to the army, 20 percent incapacitated. The cause of his Malaria, according to his medical record, was a toxic combination of Mosquito's and the oriental climate. He was subsequently treated in hospitals in Madras, Malta, Naples and Aberdeen. Despite this he went through the entire war and was demobbed in Exeter 24 May 1919 almost exactly four years after joining up.
Ernest and Maude lived out their lives in Cromer and are buried in a single grave in Cromer New Cemetery. Ernest died first aged 73, and was buried 11 December 1962 and Maude followed seven years later on 17 November 1969, aged 78.

ANCESTRY ~ Thomas / John / John Ephraim / Ernest Henry

Edith May RANDELL 1893

Edith May Randell was born in the April quarter of 1893, the fifth child of John and Charlotte Randell. Unfortunately, she was the second of their children to die.
Her death was formally registered by her father one day after her funeral, which took place Friday, 29 November 1895 in the Cromer 'Old Cemetery'. A note associated with the entry reads 'Daughter of the butcher, age two'. Reading the entry a hundred years later it seemed a curious obituary. It's worth reflecting that her brother William was born less than three weeks after her death.
Edith May died of Diphtheria, a serious upper respiratory infection, which in 1903 was incurable and swept away one in six of it's victims. Progress towards a cure started around 1880 following the death of three of Queen Victoria's granddaughters. An early vaccine appeared in 1913 but it was not until 1924 that fatalities finally ended.

ANCESTRY ~ Thomas / John / John Ephraim / Edith May

Pheobe Margaret RANDELL 1896

Even though Pheobe Margaret Randell lived until 12 January 1960 I'm unable to confirm much about her. My grandfather, her brother, spoke of her warmly and referred to her as Sissy, which was simply an affectionate version of sister.
Pheobe Margaret Randell was born in Cromer sometime in the October quarter of 1896 but wasn't christened in the local church. It appears after the fifth child, John Ephraim & Charlotte Phebe lost interest in baptising children and none of the later children appear in the register of Cromers, St Peter & St Paul's Church. Whatever their preference for baptisms, or lack of, the three children who had the misfortune to die where all buried under guidance of the said church.
In 1901 and 1911 Sissy was living with her parents at Chesterfield Villas, West Street, Cromer.
From her death certificate I established that she never married and was a retired Hospital Ward Attendant. Rather alarmingly, like her father and brother, she died at her own hand. Cause of death was recorded as "Coal gas poisoning, self administered whilst the balance of her mind was disturbed." An inquest was held on the 16 January 1960 and she was released for burial in Cromer New Cemetery, grave F75, on 18 January 1960.
An article in the local newspaper, Eastern Daily Press, added very little in explaining the cause of the events. The story included a mention of "Two cigarettes roughly broken into nine pieces" which P.C. Paul Kent said "were broken by rough handling". The implication being that she was in an agitated state prior to her fateful decision to light neither the cigarettes or the oven.
Mr George Emery, a neighbour, found Miss Randell. He said he went to the rear of the house and through the window he saw her lying with her head in the gas oven.
P.C. Kent said he search the house but found no note.
Sissy was aged 63 when she took her own life. She was living in a seemingly pleasant detached house called 'Malvern' in Stevens Rd, opposite the fields at the southern edge of Northrepps. My understanding from family stories is that she had worked for many years in a busy hospital in London and having reached the age of sixty had retired and returned to Cromer where inactivity, isolation and finally depression got the better of her. Of course this is entirely speculation.
Phoebe Margaret Randell left a Will, which recorded her death as 12 January 1960.
Probate was granted 2 March 1960 to Lily Mabel Randell (spinster) & Lewis James Emery, a retired Railwayman, presumably connected to 'Mr George Emery, a neighbour', in the newspaper report.
Her effects totalled £1218..16s..6d.

ANCESTRY ~ Thomas / John / John Ephraim / Pheobe Margaret

John Ephraim RANDELL 1898

John Ephraim Randell born in July 1898 and named after his father, unfortunately only seven months old he died. There must be something quite debilitating about loosing a child. I wondered if loosing a child named after you, was even more horrendous. Would you implant your hopes and aspirations in that child more that in the others. John Ephraim Randell, a baby, was buried in Cromer, 25 February 1899.

ANCESTRY ~ Thomas / John / John Ephraim / John Ephraim

Harold Walter RANDELL 1900

ANCESTRY ~ Thomas / John / John Ephraim / Harold Walter

Gladys Mary RANDELL 1903

ANCESTRY ~ Thomas / John / John Ephraim / Gladys Mary

Mabel Lilian RANDELL 1904

As far as I'm aware I have only had conversations with a very few of the people featured in this family history and one of them is my Great Aunt Lily, who was always known and loved in the family as Aunt Lily.
Like many girls of her era Lily went into 'service' at a young age. Domestic service in Britain, reached its zenith during the Edwardian period providing jobs to almost a quarter of the population. In large households, swarms of domestic workers, made up an elaborate hierarchy which unfortunately reflected the restricted social mobility of the time. Girls had limited opportunities and in 1915 a lady's maid or housekeeper appeared as an inspiring career path for a well spoken young lady.
Mabel Lilian worked as a housekeeper for the Hickman family for many decades. They maintained two houses, one in Guildford and a retreat in Sidmouth. In her later years she retired to Guildford but never married or produced heirs.
Mabel Lilian Randell born, 12 December 1904, died aged 94 in March 1999 in Guildford, West Surrey.
It also came to light that Aunt Lily was the sole beneficiary of her mothers Will. Charlotte Phebe Randell left her entire estate, such as it was, to Aunt Lily. In the process overlooking her other two daughters Gladys Mary & Pheobe Margaret. It could be argued that Gladys was 'married and settled' by the time her mother died but Pheobe Margaret was in an identical situation to Lily, both of whom never married.

ANCESTRY ~ Thomas / John / John Ephraim / Mabel Lilian

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