Frederick Whiting 1878-1951

Parents: Thomas Whiting and Emma Barber
Born: 1878 in Haverhill.(1)
Baptised: ?
Married: Clara Brazier, 18, spinster of Tottenham, daughter of Luke Brazier (deceased), on 20th November 1899 in the Edmonton District.(3)
Children: Frederick Whiting b.1900 died aged 3, Alice Whiting b.1909
Died: 7th December 1951 at 23 Hamlet Road, Haverhill. Cremated on 11th December 1951 at Cambridge and Counties Crematorium, Dry Drayton. Ashes scattered in crematorium garden.(7,10)

Bio: Frederick was the second son of Thomas and Emma. He is present with them on the 1881 census living with the Page family in Crowland Road, Haverhill. After Fred's mother died in 1886 he and his brothers were effectively orphaned as his father Thomas was in Melton Asylum for several years around this time.

On the 1891 census we see Fred and his younger brother Arthur staying as boarders with Susan Shipp, a widow of 68 who was their great great aunt - Her sister Lucy Whiting was their father Thomas' grandmother. They are living at 1 Parsons Yard, Haverhill, along with Harry Shipp, 10, who was a grandchild of a relative of Susan's late husband.

In 1895 Frederick joined the Militia and attested as a gunner in the 3rd Battalion Suffolk Regiment on 28th February.(2) We get a description of Frederick from his medical - he was 5ft 7 and 1/10 inches, of fresh complexion with blues eyes and brown hair. He weighed 113 pounds with a chest measurement of 31/33 inches.

He was at least a few inches taller than most of the other Whitings with military records that I have examined. Most probably, though, he was only around average height for the time - Sir Francis Galton (Victorian anthropologist and half-cousin of Charles Darwin) gives a figure of about 5ft 6ins as an average.(8)

For the Militia, Fred signed up for 6 years service but only had to train for various periods during each year. Presumably he carried on with his job at other times during the year and we can see at the time of enlistment he was working as a labourer for Mr Boreham in Haverhill.

Whether he moved to London at some point over the next few years is unclear, but he was married in Edmonton in 1899 to Clara Brazier, whose mother Rebecca Darkin was originally from Helion's Bumpstead.

On 27th February 1901 Fred was discharged on termination of his engagement with the Militia.

We see Frederick and Clara on the 1901 census at 25 Reform Row, Tottenham. Fred is working as a bricklayer's labourer and he and Clara have a son, Frederick Jnr. They are living nextdoor to Clara's mother Rebecca who is now a widow.

Frederick Jnr died in 1903 whilst his parents were still living in Tottenham.

In 1907 Frederick and Clara decided to go to Canada. The reason behind this sudden change of surroundings is unclear, but luckily the passenger records still survive so we can trace their journey. On the 15th June 1907 they arrived in Montreal having sailed on the Sardinian from Liverpool. Frederick's occupation is given as carman.(6)

We have a record of the birth of their daughter Alice, in Brantford, Ontario, Canada on 28th July 1909. Frederick is working as a labourer, and they are living at 138 Marlbro Street.(5)

Not long afterwards Frederick, Clara and his daughter Alice returned to England from Montreal on the passenger ship Megantic, of the white star line, and arrived on the 18th September 1909 in Liverpool.(4)

On the next census in 1911, Frederick and Clara are living in Haverhill, at 2 Crowland Yard. Frederick is working as a marine store dealer, which was the occupation of his late brother Harry. Their daughter Alice is present, with birthplace confirmed as Ontario, Canada.

Probate records show that Clara died first, on 11th January 1945 at Addenbrookes Hospital. The couple were living at 23 Hamlet Road, Haverhill at the time.

Administration was granted on 5th March 1945 to Frederick, who is listed as a retired metal dealer. Effects were £254 13s.(9)

The records of Cambridge and Counties Crematorium, Dry Drayton, reveal that Frederick died on 7th December 1951 at 23 Hamlet Road, Haverhill, and was cremated on 11th December. His ashes were scattered in the crematorium garden.(7,10)


(1) Birth Register. 4th Quarter 1878, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 501
(2) National Archives, Militia Service Records 1806-1915, WO96.
(3) Marriage Register. 4th Quarter 1899, Edmonton District, Volume 3a Page 849
(4) Board of Trade: Commercial and Statistical Department and successors: Inwards Passenger Lists, The National Archives, Class: BT26; Piece: 375; Item 8
(5) Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Births and Stillbirths – 1869-1913. MS 929, Reel 3
(6) Passenger Lists, 1865–1935. Microfilm Publications T-470. Library and Archives Canada
(7) Death Register. 4th Quarter 1951, Newmarket District, Volume 4b Page 851
(9) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966
(10), records of Cambridge and Counties Crematorium, Dry Drayton, no.4744