Wartime heroism and tragedy – Hartlepool woman digs up 150 years of intriguing ancestry

THE Taylor family in 1905 with Stanley pictured second left. Also pictured are his siblings, from left to right, Alf, Venetta, Percy, Bert and Jack
THE Taylor family in 1905 with Stanley pictured second left. Also pictured are his siblings, from left to right, Alf, Venetta, Percy, Bert and Jack

A WOMAN is researching her Hartlepool ancestry and has come up with more than 150 years of history – including tales of wartime heroism, tragedy and dogged determination.

Tadcaster-born Adrienne North, 60, who now lives in Germany, has been researching her past.

Fred Stanley Taylor in around 1908

Fred Stanley Taylor in around 1908

It has taken her back to the 1800s but also to relatives who served their country in the First World War – or at least tried to.

One member of the family was Stanley Taylor.

Adrienne said: “Stan was in a reserved occupation during the First World War, and although he ran off to war two or three times, he was always sent back to the shipyards.

Stanley, born Fred Stanley Taylor, was born on April 10, 1889 in West Hartlepool. He married Mary Elizabeth Johnson on September 14, 1912, at the Grange Road Wesleyan chapel in Middlesbrough.

Adrienne North

Adrienne North

He was a shipyard worker and a coppersmith. He died on February 16, 1963.

Adrienne’s grandfather Charles North was born in 1894 and served with the Durham Light Infantry. He was a brass moulder by trade and lived through the conflict. He married Florence Smith and they lived in Mayfair Street.

But another member of the family was Joseph North, who was not so lucky in the great conflict. He died aged 27 in 1916.

He had been a resident of Everett Street in Hartlepool but was clearly a man of skill. He was serving an apprenticeship as a trainee draper in London when he was called up to serve his country as a rifleman.

He was serving with a London Regiment when he went to war. He was with the 12th (County of London) Battalion (The Rangers) service and went over the top at Flanders on October 10, 1916.

It was to cost him his life and he was buried in France, at the Grove Town cemetery, in Meaulte.

Adrienne’s parents were Harry North, born in 1919 and Eileen Taylor, born in 1928. They were both from Hartlepool and married in 1947.

Her father died in 1986 in Stevenage and her mum in 2000 in Blackpool. Harry served in the Royal Air Force from just before the outbreak of the Second World War and was part of the drama at Dunkirk.

She said: “He retired from the RAF around 1972 and they had three children.”

The first child was called Anthony and was born in Aden in around 1948. He died just six months later. The second was Lea Angela, born in 1950 in Nottingham and who died in 2010. The third was Adrienne.

But this is a family tale which is also about wartime heroism on both sides of the family.

Adrienne said: “My maternal grandfather was Alfred Taylor who lived from 1886 to 1961. He married Rachel (Watson) Aldus in 1910.”

Alfred served in the First World War and in civilian life, he worked as a joiner with Furness Withy and Co, and lived in Acclom Street in Hartlepool.

We would love to hear from more people willing to share their family history and their research by calling Chris Cordner on (01429) 239377 or emailing: chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk