Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ernest William Gimson

Ernest William Gimson was born on 20 Dec 1916 at home at Claremont, 44 London Road in Sawston, Cambridge, England during World War 1. He was the first born child of Ernest Reynolds Gimson and Gladys Hilda Wakefield. Their next child, Roy Gimson, only lived a day. Over the next few years, three girls completed this tight knit family.

In February, 1927, when Ernest (Ernie) was 11 years old, their family immigrated to Australia. They sailed there on the S.S. Berrima and landed in Fremantle. After World War 1, the Australian government looked to Great Britain for immigrants and encouraged those willing to consider resettlement in Australia by offering them assisted passage. Additionally, British immigrants were also eligible to receive land grants and encouraged to settled in rural areas. Their family settled in Babakin, Western Australia as his father purchased land with a store and a home on it.

Everyone in the family helped with the store and Ernie was a great help to his father in running a grocery story and maintain a farm in Western Australia. At 19 years of age, he joined the Royal Air Force in England in 1935 and was just finishing his education when World War II broke out.

Even though Ernie was away from home, he would always remember his sisters and mother at Christmas time and send them jewelry from England. Once World War II started in 1939 he was only able to continue that tradition for a couple more years. While in the Air Force he developed a love for soccer and was able to stay in touch and visit the many relatives still living in England.

Unfortunately, Ernie was reported missing off the coast of Sicily on 25th June, 1941. The family was notified by letter which stated they were part of an attack on a ship and the plane that Ernie was in didn't return from the raid. Various reports state there was a flash from the ship that may have hit the plane causing it to crash. The end result is that he was never seen again and presumed to have met with disaster. To this day he is still listed as "Missing in Action". In the News & Reviews, Cambridge, Sawston 1940-45 Newspaper Cuttings, the following statements were made:

"29th October 1940   Gallant Sawston Man. A bar to his D.F.M. has been awarded to Sergeant Ernest Gimson of 107 Squadron RAF. Sert. Gimson was born at Sawston, but his home is at Babakin Western Australia.  Before joining the RAF he was a shop keeper’s assistant.  He was awarded his DFM in February of this year in Air Operations.”

     The Malta Family History has a "Commonwealth Air Force Memorial" on their website dedicated to the airmen of the Commonwealth who died during World War II in the Mediterranean area but have no known grave. Their entry states:

The actual Malta Memorial is situated in the area of Floriana and is easily identified by the Golden Eagle which surmounts the column and stands outside the main entrance to Valletta. Ther memorial honors almost 2,300 airmen who lost their lives during this war. He was a member of the 69th squardron whose motto is "With Vigilance We Serve", this he did with his life for his country.

Those who knew him miss him and those who have come to know of him also wish they could have enjoyed the company of Ernest William Gimson, a hero to his family, friends and his country.

Ernest William Gimson, 541685, Flight Sergeant, D.F.M. and Bar, Royal Air Force, 69 Squadron, died 26th June 1941, aged 25 years.  Son of Ernest R. and Gladys H. Gimson, of Pendle Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rose DeLima Limoges Theroux Paquin

          Rose DeLima Limoges and her six daughters

Rose DeLima Limoges was born  3 Nov 1859 in Lake Champlain Valley, Quebec, Canada to Benjamin Limoges and Catherine Aubin (Lambert).  She was the 3rd child in a family of 8 children and loved the water.

She married Alberic Theroux on 16 Apr 1882. Alberic was very athletic and for the first few years of their marriage they lived aboard a friend's yacht as he was employed as the captain of the yacht.

After the loss of her first child, they settled in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and had nine additional children; 6 girls and 3 boys with 2 of the girls being a set of twins, Annetta and Henrietta, known as Anita and Rita.

Rose was a very intelligent woman and became a midwife delivering many of her own grandchildren. She was considered to be a healer and would often be sent for in an emergency rather than a doctor.

She believed in education and snet her children to "french" and "public" schools to make sure all of her them knew both languages fluently. In addition she loved music and made sure they all had music lessons. This love of music has passed down through to the current generations and will surely continue with many who play various instruments as well as participate in various types of choruses.

Her last pregnancy was overshadowed by the untimely early death of her husband who use to fix the looms in the cotton mills. He suffered a heart attach on his way home from work and remained unconscious for several days before passing away on 26 Jan 1902. A couple of months later, her last child was born on 14 March 1902 but only lived till 24 Aug 1902. It was a difficult time for her as she was now responsible for the remaining 8 children, no husband and having to deal with the loss of another child.

She was an excellent seamstress and would do all she could to make ends meet. Many of the children got odd jobs to contribute to the family's survival and survive they did. Many of her children went on to become successful in a variety of fields and all had many children. She remarried later in life to Alcide Paquin who also preceeded her in death.

After living a life of service to all she passed away on 7 Jun 1942 and is buried with her daughter Lovina Theroux and her husband Alphonse Marotte along with four of their children in Pawtucket, RI.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Claire Virginie Marotte Brisson

Claire Virginie was born on 8 April 1927 to Alphonse Arthur Marotte and Lovina Theroux, she was the 9th and last child in their family who settled and lived in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Besides being my mother, through the years she developed many talents that included a love for education, playing the piano, barbershop singing, knitting, crocheting, playing Scrabble and various card games along with spending time at the beach with family and friends.

She also was involved in many organizations as a treasurer, secretary or whatever the group needed, and was there to help. In spite of all this, her love besides her family of six children was nursing and she passed that love onto many of her children. She graduated from high school in 1945 and went straight into nursing at St. Joseph's School of Nursing which was in Providence, Rhode Island. She completed her studies and graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1948. Besides working at St. Joseph's Hospital, she also worked at Pawtucket Memorial Hospital for many years before retiring.

When she was very young, she lost her sister Rhea in 1931. Her mother passed away in October, 1945 and another sister, Blanche, passed away June, 1952 and her husband, Omer J. Brisson, passed away 16 Mar 1984. In spite of these losses, she built good relationships with her siblings and her children and lived a very full life.

After a long battle with cancer, she passed away on September 13, 1998 leaving six children and 16 grandchildren and to date 21 great-grandchildren who have been able to go on and accomplish much, as if often said, "Descendants are a living legacy of those gone on before."

It will be 12 years ago on September 13th since her passing, she is dearly missed by all who knew and loved her. To uplift the sadness of the day, one of her grandchildren was born on her 1 year anniversary, so as we remember her with tears in our eyes, we also celebrate the 11th birthday of her grandson, Phillip the II.

8 April 1927 - 13 Sep 1998

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Omer Joseph Brisson, Sr.

          Omer Joseph Brisson, Sr. was born on 14 January 1891 in Ottawa, Carleton, Ontario to Elzear Brisson and Marie Florentine Soucy and baptised on 15 January 1891 . Although he was baptized as Joseph Omer Brisson according to his baptismal records, however, he had an older brother whose name was also Joseph and so he is listed in the census records as Omer along with Draft Registration cards. He immigrated on September 14th, 1893 according to his father's naturalization records. Most likely this family, like most, crossed the border at St. Albans, Vermont. Unfortuately, copies of the boarder crossings don't begin till 1895 and so his naturalization record stands as his statement of entry into the United States.
          The 1910 US Census was taken on 27 April 1910 and Omer is listed as a clerk in a grocery store. Later that year on halloween he marries Julia Anne Plante. The World War 1 draft registration entry dated 5 Jun 1917 he lists himself as a carpenter at the American Wollen Company in Olnyville with 3 children. The 1920 census so states the same employement and they now have 4 children, however, by the 1930 census he is again listed as a clerk for a market and has 11 children together with his wife Julia living in their home in Providence on Manton Ave.
          World War II Draft Registration taken on 27 April 1942 is referred to as the "Old Man's Registration" as all had to register. Omer did just that and is listed as working for I.G. LeFrancois on Westminster St., Providence. A check of the 1942 Providence City Directory shows this to be the Idola G. LeFrancois Meats Retail Establishment where he was a butcher. While he was too old to serve, some of his sons did serve in World War II honorably. Together they had 54 grandchildren and many great children.
          Omer's wife Julia died in 1954 and he died in 1959. They are buried in St. Ann's Cemetery in Cranston, Rhode Island. Their children and their grandchildren are spread out all over the United States and many have advanced their careers in many different fields.

Omer Joseph Brisson, Sr. 1891-1959

Friday, July 2, 2010

Alice Laura Hemestretch Nicholls

"Auntie Laurie" as she was so fondly known by her family in Australia was born 2 July 1900 in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, England. She is the daughter of Arthur Edward Hemestretch and Alica Charlotte Holes. She was the first of three children, Ethel May and Arthur Edward were her siblings. Unfortunately, her mother died when she was 5 years old. In the 1911 census her father and her sister, Ethel, are living with her father's brother James and her younger brother is living with her father's sister Laura Sims and her husband Stephen.

During her lifetime she cooked for many prominent people including Queen Elizabeth II. On July 2nd, 1945 she married William David Nicholls as a war bride. As he was still in the military at the time of their marriage he rejoined his military unit and later Laurie arrived in New South Wales on a 'War Bride Ship" to join her husband along with many other women at that time. I'm sure this ship with its precious cargo of 'young war brides' was well received by the many military soldiers anxiously awating their arrival!

They never had any children and resided in New South Wales, Australia to be near family. Over the years Auntie Laurie and Uncle Bill became the focus of many family gatherings as he would have war stories to share and she would tell of times she cooked for the queen. Of course her cooking skills were always admired as she prepared many a meal "fit for a queen" whenever you would visit their lovely apartment. She never forgot her "English" heritage and was very proper in every way.

She always had time to cook and chat and be a part of all the family gatherings where she would always bring a great culinary treat to share. Our young children had a special relationship with them and we would have them over for dinner. 

Here is a picture taken Christmas, 1979 with Auntie Laurie on the left, Grandma Gimson in the middle and Uncle John Nicholls (brother-in-law of Laurie) on the right with all six of our children. All had a wonderful time together. 

In 1982 she became seriously ill and while she had the best possible care, she passed away on 29th October. I had the opportunity to visit her before she passed away. It was a somber time, she shared knowledge of her parents, siblings, and such so it would be written down into the family history.

She had a way of making everyone feel like they were a queen or a king and her kindness and love will be remembered forever.
She will always be in our hearts!

2 July 1900 - 29 October 1982

Updated 11 December 2020

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ernest Reynolds Gimson

Ernest Reynolds Gimson was born 23 May 1888 in Linton, Cambridge, England to Joseph William Stallabrass Gimson and Elizabeth Ann Reynolds. He was the youngest member of their precious family. His story is truely an amazing one as he was a remarkable man who not only served his country in World War 1 but was a dedicate father and grandfather who would do anything to help anyone in need, he truely exemplified service to ones fellow men.

He married Gladys Hilda Wakefield on 30 September 1915 in the Congregational Church of Sawston, Cambridge, England. Soon after their marriage World War 1 began and he was part of the Gun Section, 1st Cambridgeshire Regiment. He was wounded in this war and received two war medals, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. These have been passed down to his descendants and are a reminder of his dedicated service.

Together with Gladys they had five children, two boys and three girls, unfortunately, their 2nd son, Roy only lived a few hours. They stayed in England for awhile after the war but eventually immigrated to Western Australia in 1927 and settled in Babakin where Ernest purchased a piece of land that had a general store on it. This store was their lively hood for many years and is still standing today. Ernest's talents were many and he was handy at just about everything he needed to know to run the general store and raise his family, he was a man of many talents and a well respected member of his community.

They stayed in Western Australia until 1944 when their 1st son Ernest William Gimson was listed as Missing in Action off Malta in 1941. Ernest sold his property and joined his brother Robert in Pendle Hills, New South Wales and lived on the property next to his brother. Together with his brother they managed a poultry farm for a number of years. In 1959 he bought property and settled in Guildford, New South Wales. He loved gardening and had a rockery and built a shed on the property. Unfortunately, he only lived for a couple of years on this property and died on 2 August 1961 leaving a wife, three children and three grandchildren. His love for life and dedication to serving others lives on today through his descendants which are many.

He is remembered with deep reverance and precious memories. 

In addition, Memorial Day is tradionally celebrated in the United States on May 31st. It is a day set aside to honor all those who have died serving their country. Consequently, we think of Ernest's service to his country in World War 1 and his son, Ernest, who died while serving his country in World War 2. May we never forget them.

Ernest Reynolds Gimson: 23 May 1888 - 2 August 1961

Saturday, April 10, 2010

William Moir Banks

William Moir Banks was born on 14 April, 1897 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland to James Simpson Banks and Jane Neil Lockhart, he was the 12th child in a very large family. According to the 1901 Scottish census, his father was a plasterer and they lived on Wheatfield St. in Edinburgh where he grew up.

His attestation papers state he enlisted in the Gordon Highlands Corps at the age of 19 1/2 years in 1915. We are fortunate to have a copy of his papers as many of these records were destroyed in World War 2 and this is part of the "burnt" collection that survived. At the time of his enlistment, he stated that he was a painter. He was a Private assigned to the 2nd Battalion and on 22 April 1917 was killed in action.

According to an article in Wikipedia we learn that the Gordon Highlanders was a British Army Infantry Regiment that recruited from Aberdeen and the North-East of Scotland. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commision, William is buried in the Croisilles British Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France.

In commemoration of recognizing those who have lost their lives through war, the International Wargraves Photography Project was created in September,2005 and is published on William Moir Banks is listed in this Find a Grave reference for those who are buried in the Croisilles British Cemetery along with many other veterans. Learn about their project here.

As part of his family, we are grateful for all the veterans who have faithfully served and paid the ultimate price to provide the freedoms we enjoy today.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Alphonse Arthur Marotte

Alphonse was born 5 Aug 1882 in Pawtucket, RI to Theodore Marotte and Eliza Audette and was the 3rd of 6 children, the first boy after two girls, Albena and Cora. Both his parents were born in Canada and his mother died days after the birth of their 6th child along with the child, Henry. His father eventually remarried and had 2 additional children with Adeline Ratte while living in Central Falls, RI. Later, his father, Theodore and 2nd Adeline settled in Burlington, VT, his father Theodore, died in 1921 and is buried there.

Alphonse stayed and settled in Pawtucket, RI. He was an individual with multiple talents and did whatever was necessary to provide for his large family. He married Lovina Theroux on 24 Jun 1907  in Pawtucket, together they had 9 children. Unfortunately, 2 of them died as children from diphtheria. He was the first one to own a home of the five remaining siblings.

The picture above was an advertisement for the New England Bakery where he worked as a salesman. He also use to deliver blocks of ice to homes on the back of a flat bed type hand drawn cart. Over time he started the Woodlawn Credit Union and remained the honorary president and director for many years after he retired. The Woodlawn Credit Union takes its name from the area and exists today on Main St. in Pawtucket. He was  a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and a 50 year member of the Societe Jacques Cartier both organizations placed a high value on the importance of home, family and community.

His wife died on 20 October, 1945, he died on 6 May, 1972 which is a lengthy time to be a widower. When he died he had 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. His legacy is filled with accountants, musicians, nurses, seamstresses, teachers and many other fields that are useful in today's society.

Alphonse Arthur Marotte: 1882-1967

Updated 5 August 2019