Hilda Agnes Irene Whiting 1893-1949

Parents: Joseph Whiting and Annie Maria Cracknell(2)
Born: 15th August 1893 at 37 Duddery Road, Haverhill, Suffolk.(1,2)
Baptised: 23rd June 1893 at Haverhill Independent Church.(2)
Married: James Albert Farnsworth, policeman of Hertford, son of Mr and Mrs A J Farnsworth, on 21st October 1922 at London Road Congregational Church, Chelmsford.(3, 7)
Children: Living Relatives
Died: 18th June 1949 in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire.(4)

Bio: Hilda was born on 15th August 1893 at 37 Duddery Road, Haverhill. She was baptised on the 23rd June at the Independent Church, and the transcribed records suggest that this happened along with Stanley Charles Whiting, who is listed as her brother. However, Stanley Charles is known to be the son of Joseph's brother Frank and his wife Priscilla. He certainly does not appear on any further censuses with Joseph and Annie's family. Unless further information comes to light, I think we can assume that this is a mistaken entry.

On the 1901 census at the age of 7, Hilda is still living at 37 Duddery Row with her parents and elder brother Charles.

The next census in 1911 shows Hilda, 17, working as a domestic servant at the home of Emma Gurteen, 68 year old widow of Daniel the owner of the clothing manufacturers, at 'The Duddery', Haverhill. Also present in the house are Agnes Ada Selina Cracknell, 38, a parlour maid, and Minnie Eliza Dearsley, 35, a cook.

Agnes Cracknell, the parlour maid, was Hilda's aunt - maybe she pulled a few strings to get her a job in a household that would have been very well respected locally.

Whether Hilda stayed working for the Gurteens is unclear, but we know that around ten years later she was to marry James Albert Farnsworth, 25, a policeman serving in Hertford, the son of Arthur and Sarah Farnsworth of Little Waltham, Essex.

The West Suffolk Echo of 28th October 1922 gives an account of the ceremony: "FARNSWORTH-WHITING. An interesting wedding was solemnised at the London Road Congregational Church, Chelmsford, on Saturday last, with the Rev. Page officiating, between P.C. J A Farnsworth, of Little Waltham, and Miss Hilda A. J. Whiting, only daughter of Mr and Mrs J Whiting, of Chelmsford, late of Haverhill.
The bride, who was given away by her father... was attended by two bridesmaids, Miss May Ives (cousin of the bride) and Miss Florrie Farnsworth (sister of the bridegroom)... Mr George Perry was best man
" (7)

James' first world war service records survive, so we get to see that he joined up as a driver with the Royal Army Service Corps, T2 No.13052, on 13th September 1914 at Chelmsford.(5) He was eventually discharged on 27th March 1919 with a hernia he'd received in France. James had been a mechanic before the war, and his medical upon enlistment tells us was 5ft 8in, weighing 131 lbs with grey eyes.

He had a long war, spending almost all of it in France. He was there from 9th November 1914 to 6th March 1918.

On the 1939 Register Hilda and James can be seen living at 9 Chenies Road, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire. James is a Police Constable, and Hilda is a housewife.(6)

It seems that Hilda and James set up family in the Royston area of Hertfordshire where they had two children. Hilda died on 18th June 1949 in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire. She was buried at Christ Church, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire(4, 8)


(1) Birth Register. 3rd Quarter 1893, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 703
(2) Baptism at Haverhill Independent Church, http://www.haverhill-uk.com/genealogy/baptisms/hav-uk_baptisms/haverhill_independant_church_baptisms.htm
(3) Marriage Register. 4th Quarter 1922, Chelmsford District, Volume 4a Page 1351
(4) Death Register. 2nd Quarter 1949, Watford District, Volume 4b Page 255
(5) First World War Service records, National Archives, WO364, Piece 1175. Ancestry.com
(6) 1939 Register, Ref: RG101/1603E/006/38 Letter Code: DEEC, www.findmypast.co.uk
(7) West Suffolk Echo, 28 Oct 1922.
(8) Findagrave, Ancestry (picture of gravestone)