Charles Whiting 1891-1962

Parents: Joseph Whiting and Annie Maria Cracknell
Born: 20 January 1891 in Haverhill, Suffolk.(1)
Baptised: ?
Married: Fanny Ellen Rayner, servant, of Fordham, daughter of John Thomas Rayner, bootmaker (deceased), on 20th August 1914 at Haverhill Independent Church.(6,11)
Children: Leonard Charles Whiting b.1917 and Cecil Joseph Whiting b.1927
Died: 15 October1962 at 99 Butt Road, Colchester(4, 13)

Bio: Charles was born on 20 January 1891 according to the 1939 Register (12), most likely at 6 Bumpstead Road, and like his younger sister may well have been baptised at the Independent Church. He appears on the 1891 census as a 2 month year old boy living in Bumpstead road with his parents.

On the 1901 census at the age of 10 he is living at 37 Duddery Row with his parents and sister Hilda. In the intervening year between this and the next census Charles had grown up and found employ as a clerk. He'd also moved out of Haverhill, and 1911 finds him living as a boarder at the house of 73 year old widow Susan Stow in Colchester Road, West Bergholt, Essex. Also living here is her daughter Maud Stow, 34, a thread worker. Charles is working as a clerk at a Brewery.

What's not clear is how he came to end up in West Bergholt, but it is almost certain that he and Susan Stow's late husband Christopher, who had been a brewery labourer, both worked for Daniell & Sons Brewery which was a famous feature of the village and surrounding area at this time.(2)

At this point the First World War was only three years away, and as his job was not a protected occupation Charles was to join up.

Charles' marriage to Fanny Ellen Rayner coincided with the onset of war. She was born in Ford Street, Aldham (a village just to the west of West Bergholt), in 1890 (7) - the daughter of John Thomas Rayner, a bootmaker, and Jessie Osborne. Fanny's father died in 1891,(8) and she appears living with her widowed mother in Hemps Green, Fordham on the 1901 census before turning up on the 1911 census as a domestic servant working at the house of Frank and Bertha Holton at 93 North Station Road, Colchester. It is not hard to imagine how Charles and Fanny might have met up considering the proximity of West Bergholt to both Colchester and Fanny's mothers house in Fordham.

A rather interesting discovery whilst browsing the web threw further light on Charles' life after marriage.

Staying on the brewery theme, I'd searched for lists of employees of Daniell & sons but had had no joy. Then I looked on a webpage of the Brewery History Society(3) and hit the jackpot. On the page for West Bergholt - Daniell & Sons Breweries there was a picture of the brewery building long after it had been taken over by Truman's in 1958, but just below was something that caught my attention. A picture of a plaque that read: 'To the honour of the men from Daniell and Sons Breweries West Bergholt and Colchester who served with the British Forces in the Great European War 1914-1918.'

The photo showed a list of names, and when I zoomed in I could just make out 'Charles Whiting' near the end of the list - tantalizingly, there was what looked like the name of a regiment too but it was impossible to make out.

So he had served in the war. I got in touch with Bernard at the West Bergholt History Group, and he was very helpfully in describing to me where the plaque was located.

A trip to Maltings Park Road, West Bergholt (where the old brewery buildings have been converted into residential housing) resulted in a photo that shows all the names and accompanying details clearly enough to read. The plaque is situated in a gated area between the Colchester road and the front of the housing estate.

It turns out Charles had been a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery, and was fortunate not to have been killed or wounded during the war.

Charles had a son, Leonard Charles(9), in 1917 as the war was drawing to a close and he was later to have another son, Cecil Joseph in 1927.

Charles looks to have returned to work with Daniell & Sons after the war, because his name is mentioned in The Times of 6th January 1926 as a beneficiary in the will of Mr Thomas Brett Daniell, onetime managing director of the Brewery, who had died that year aged 87. He was left 10 shares in Daniell & Sons Breweries along with another clerk, Henry Taylor.(5)

On the 1939 Register, Charles and Fanny are shown living at Sutcliffe Villa, West Bergholt, Essex. He was working as a brewers clerk(12).

Further clues about his later work history appear in the will of Fanny Ellen, who died 7th July 1957. He is listed here as a retired transport manager - whether this was still with the Brewery is unclear. They were still living at Sutcliffe Villa (a property owned by Daniell & Sons?), West Bergholt, at the time of Fanny's death. Effects of £539 6s 11d were granted to Charles on 13th August.(10)

It seems that Charles remained in the West Bergholt area for the remainder of his life.
He died on 15 October 1962 at 99 Butt Road, Colchester (4). Probate with effects of £3621 was granted at Ipswich on 28 November 1962 to Leonard Charles Whiting, company director, and Cecil Joseph Whiting, head waiter. (13)

Many thanks to Ian Parker, Jason Whiting and John Orchard for information about Charles' marriage and offspring, and later life.


(1) Birth Register. 1st Quarter 1891, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 695
(3) Brewery History Society - interesting and useful resource for those with ancestors in the industry.
(4) Death Register. 4th Quarter 1962, Colchester District, Volume 4a Page 612
(5) The Times, Wednesday 6th January 1926, pg.15, issue 44162
(6) Marriage Register. 3rd Quarter 1914, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 1966
(7) Birth Register. 4th Quarter 1890, Lexden District, Volume 4a Page 527
(8) Death Register. 4th Quarter 1891, Lexden District, Volume 4a Page 312
(9) Birth Register. 2nd Quarter 1917, Lexden District, Volume 4a Page 1279
(10) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966
(11) Marriage announcement, South West Suffolk Echo, Saturday 22nd August 1914.
(12) 1939 Register. Sutcliffe Villa, West Bergholt, Essex.
The National Archives; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/1580b. Ancestry
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. Ancestry