Lance Corporal Bertram Johnson: 31144 2/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters.

Lance Corporal Bertram Johnson: 31144 2/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters.

Lance Corporal Bertram Johnson: 31144 2/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters.

 

Lance Corporal Bertram Johnson

 

31144

 

2/6th Battalion the Sherwood Foresters

 

Bertram was born in the 3rd quarter of 1897 in Shelton. His mum was Ada Johnson and she was born around the end of March in 1880 at Flawborough. Bertram’s dad (at this time) is unknown.

In the 1901 census Bertram now aged 3 lived with his mum Ada aged 21 and described as single and two of his aunts (Rose aged 13 born in Orston and Beatrice aged 11 born in Kilvington) in his grandfather’s (Benjamin Johnson - aged 59) home in Shelton.

In the 1911 census Bertram is now aged 13 and described as a farm labourer, Ada his mum is now aged 31 and described as a ‘home helper’, his grandfather Benjamin is now aged 72 and head of the household. The census states that his grandfather and grandmother had 15 children of whom 12 were still alive.

Interestingly Bertram has been entered onto both of the censuses (1901 and 1911) as Benjamin. From his Last Will we know his preferred name is Bertram – and indeed that is the only name that is written by him on that legal document. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission also gives his name as Bertram Johnson. That said, ‘Find a Grave’ describe him as Lance Corporal Bertram B Johnson. It may be that the baptism records may show what Bertram’s full given names really are, if indeed he was baptised. (At this time I do not have PR for Shelton) Bertram’s birth certificate may also offer vital clues as to his given names and maybe the name of his father.

It is worth having a look at his grandfather’s big (15 children) family. Benjamin was born 4Q 1837 in Kirklington he died in 1Q 1922 probably in Shelton aged 83 years. Benjamin married Sophia Wilmot Stevens at St Michael and all Angels in Averham on 24 May 1864.

Sophia was baptised on the 4th December 1845 at St Michael and all Angels in Averham. Sophia died in 1896 and was buried at Kilvington 25 February 1896 – she was only just 50 years old, interestingly her last abode is given as Cotham.

In the 1871 census we find that Benjamin and Sophia living in Flawborough have 2 sons William 6 (1865) years old and Henry 4 years old (1867).

In the 1881 census we find that Benjamin and Sophia living in Flawborough have William aged 17 (1865) described as farm servant, Benjamin aged 9 (1872) and a scholar (education was probably not free), Annie aged 7 (1874) and a scholar, George aged 6 (1875) and a scholar, Joseph aged 4 (1877) and a scholar (?), Louisa aged 3 (1878) and a scholar (??), and Ada age 11moths (1880).

In the 1891 census we find that Benjamin and Sophia are living in Kilvington and have Annie aged 17 (1874) described as a domestic servant, Ada aged 14 (1880) and described as a scholar (?), Elizabeth aged 9 (1882) and described as a scholar (?), Arthur aged 7 (1884) and described as a scholar, Frederick 5 years old (1886), Rose aged 3 (1886) and Beatrice aged 9months (1890).

We know that Frederick enlisted into the Sherwood Foresters in 1916. He was honourably discharged due to medical downgrading in 1917 his military conduct was described as “Good”. It may be that he and Bertram went off to Derby together to enlist.

We know that Louisa Johnson married Walton Sentence on 17th May 1897 at St Michael in Cotham. We know from 1911 census that out their family of 7 children 6 still survived. We know that Louisa died in 3Q 1913 aged just 37 years leaving her husband Walton with their sons Harry (just 15 years old) and Arthur (only 10 years old) and their remaining 4 children are all under 10 years old. Arthur born in 4Q 1902, Dorothy born in 3Q 1904, Rose born in 2Q 1906, Beatrice born in 2Q 1908 and Edith born in 1Q 1910.

We know that Bertram’s mother Ada Johnson married Walton Sentence in 1Q 1914. Ada died in 1939 aged just 59, Walton died on the 5th May 1956 in Shelton aged 88. His probate went to William Ernest Antcliff on 24th July 1956.

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