Determined mum unearths more of her Hartlepool past

A reader has unearthed even more of her family tree - three years after first sharing the fascinating tale with the Hartlepool Mail.

Wednesday, 4th January 2017, 11:31 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:11 pm
Susan Sharman as a child, standing far right. Also pictured, from left to right, are her mum Lorna, dad Frank and sister Alison

In January 2014, Australian woman Susan Sharman told us the tragic story of her ancestor Bridget Corner.

Bridget was one of the 58 people to die in West Hartlepool during the bombardment of December 16, 1914. She was living in Dock Street at the time.

Susan Sharman whose painstaking investigations are paying dividends.

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She was Susan’s great grandmother and Susan told how she had continued her research ever since unearthing the facts about Bridget.

“I have been busy still doing family research,” said Susan. “I found my dad’s cousin Mary who lives in Tudhoe Village, Spennymoor. Also a cousin Cyril who lives in Withernsea.”

She said Bridget and Patrick Scott had numerous children who were William, Francis, Patrick, Mary, Bridget (who was killed in the bombardment), Catherine, James and John.

Susan would love to know more about the streets in which they lived and they were Johnson Square, Temperance Street, and Chapman Street. She added: “I guess they have been bulldozed.”

Susan Sharman whose painstaking investigations are paying dividends.

Susan explained her own immediate links to England. Her parents were Frank and Lorna.

Frank left the UK in 1948 on the SS Maloja and headed for Australia. Three days out from Southampton, he met Lorna from Bearpark in County Durham.

Susan added: “My dad Frank Scott was born on July 10, 1919 at Howbeck House which was the workhouse and he was born to Alice who was one of Bridget’s daughters.”

Susan, from Canberra, came to England two years ago to find out more.

The former customer relations worker learned Bridget was killed outright by the German shells and her body was identified by her sister, Catherine Fidgeon.

In a cruel twist, Bridget’s husband, George Corner, was fighting with the Royal Field Artillery at the time that his own family was under attack.

Unbeknown to him, the German bombardment even had an effect on his three children, Alice, Mary and Nellie.

Half of Nellie’s left arm was blown off in the attack and all three children - now without a mother and with a father serving his country - were taken into an orphanage at Tudhoe in County Durham.”

Susan added: “Catherine Scott married Edward Fidgeon and they had James, John, Patrick, Katie, Mary and Alice.”

Who knows what happened to the streets Susan mentioned?

Get in touch if you can add to Susan’s family research. She would love to find out more.