Sarah Whiting 1886-1930

Parents: David Whiting and Emma Whiting (1)
Born: 1886 in Burton End, Haverhill.(1)
Baptised: 27th June 1886 in Haverhill.(7)
Married: Bertram Ford, 25, baker, of Myland, son of George Ford, cooper, on 24th December 1910 at St Michael's Church, Mile End, Colchester. Witnessed by George Henry Pledger and Ellen Ford (2,4,8)
Children: Russell George Ford b.1912, Phyllis Ellen Ford b.1913, Kenneth Bertram Ford b.1915 and Donald Jack Ford b.1920
Died: 7th May 1930 at 73 Burton End, Haverhill. (3,5)

Bio: Sarah was born around the time that parents David and Emma (both Whitings, though not closely related) got married. Most likely this was at the Royal Standard, which is where they were living at the time.

The 1891 census sees David and Emma remaining at the Royal Standard. David is a carpenter, Emma a factory hand, and Sarah is 4.

By the 1901 census, Sarah is working as an Army canvas bag maker. her grandfather George is a widower and is staying with her and her parents at 31 Burton End. David works as a carpenter and joiner and Emma still works at the factory.

Sarah was married to Bertram Ford in 1910 in the Colchester district. On the 1911 census they can be seen living at 11 Studds Lane, Colchester. Bertram is a baker, and they have no children at this stage.

From Bertram's Army service records for his participation in the Great War(4) it is possible to establish that they were at some point living at Colne Ford Hill, White Colne, Essex, but that Sarah must have moved back to Haverhill around the time of the birth of their first child Russell in 1912. Sarah's address is given as 31 Burton End (her parents abode) in this period.

Bertram attested as Private SLSR/1030 in the Army Service Corps on 30th August 1914. He was 5ft 4ins and weighed 128 lbs. He was in France with the British Expeditionary Force from 29th October 1914 to 29th November 1915, before having a month at home and then being sent to the Mediterranean on 30th December 1915. Bertram's service was undertaken with various Field Bakery units.

He was promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant before being reduced to Corporal after being convicted of drunkenness on 5th February 1918.

The notes on his character stated he was a good worker and intelligent but that 'His only trouble is that he periodically gets drunk, but has long intervals of complete sobriety.' It seems that whilst in Cairo, Alexandria and Palestine on service he was convicted of several misdemeanors including being 'In town without a pass', 'interfering with the military police during the execution of their duty' and 'drunkenness whilst on active service'. Bertram was reduced to the rank of Private at this point. He was demobilized on 23rd May 1919 and returned to the UK.

It seems that Sarah and Bertram had one more child, Donald, after he returned to England.

Probate records reveal Sarah died at 73 Burton End on 7th May 1930.(5) Bertram, a journeyman baker at the time, was granted £39 6s 13d by way of effects. It looks like he died in the Sudbury district in 1947.(6)


(1) Birth Register. 2nd Quarter 1886, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 535
(2) Marriage Register. 4th Quarter 1910, Colchester District, Volume 4a Page 1435
(3) Death Register. 2nd Quarter 1930, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 853
(4) National Archives, British Army WW1 Service Records, WO363,
(5), National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966
(6) Death Register. 4th Quarter 1947, Sudbury District, Volume 4b Page 913
(7) England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, index, FamilySearch, Batch No.103809-1, Film No.1657479
(8) Essex Record Office, SEAX, D/P 410/1/10 p.183, St Michael, Mile End, Colchester, Marriages 1837-1924.