Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby KTL16825 » 22 Mar 2021, 19:12

A fascinating set of photos, EWW. :D
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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby KTL16825 » 22 Mar 2021, 19:31

baobab wrote:The General Register Office has Arthur Alfred Elder, died aged 36, and born in the St Faiths registration district, in the 4th quarter of 1876. His mother's maiden name was Poll.

The St Faiths registration district covers a wide area north of Norfolk, from Morton on the Hill in the west to Wroxham in the east.


John Elder, a gamekeeper, married Sarah Ann Poll, a domestic servant, at St. Gervase & St. Protase Church, Plumstead Parva on 31st May 1875.
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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby KTL16825 » 22 Mar 2021, 19:35

Note the marginal annotation in the attached extract from the Plumstead Parva baptismal register of 1875. Contrary to what was written, Arthur Alfred Elder seems to have survived until he committed suicide in 1913.

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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby EWW » 22 Mar 2021, 20:30

Cannot make out what is written in the margins. Anyone?
I do not want thanks for any research I am able to help out with. I just love doing it.
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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby Tresagreen » 22 Mar 2021, 20:56

Looks like ' died infant' PB in the left margin, means private baptism ( the child was not expected to survive, but if it did, it was received into the church at a later date) BB in the right margin, means Base Born, in other words illegitimate.
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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby baobab » 22 Mar 2021, 23:01

Thank you, everyone who's added to the thread. Fascinating reading.
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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby EWW » 22 Mar 2021, 23:18

Thanks for that Ms Green.
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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby Tresagreen » 22 Mar 2021, 23:29

:smt023
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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby KTL16825 » 23 Mar 2021, 10:29

Tresagreen wrote:Looks like ' died infant' PB in the left margin, means private baptism ( the child was not expected to survive, but if it did, it was received into the church at a later date) BB in the right margin, means Base Born, in other words illegitimate.


"Died inft" (i.e. infant) is correct. I'm afraid I didn't realise it would be so difficult to decipher in reproduction.
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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby KTL16825 » 23 Mar 2021, 16:46

KTL16825 wrote:In the 1911 census Arthur Elder was living at the Pheasantries on the Sandringham estate; his wife Alice Staines Elder (nee Munson) was with her brother George's family in Gedney Hallgate, Lincolnshire (her birthplace).


In the 1901 census Alice, an assistant schoolmistress, was living at Church Hill, West Newton, where she was boarding with John & Alice Habberfield. I can't find any record of Arthur in that year, so presumably he was in (or en route to or from) South Africa.
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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby EWW » 23 Mar 2021, 17:13

This is Church Hill. The club up on the right.

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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby nickc » 23 Mar 2021, 19:27

The following is from my e-book called The Dark Side of West Norfolk which is for kindle. Information sourced from a multitude of newspaper reports with just a touch of artistic licence in order to fit into the book.

George Ives had been happy at West Newton. Originally from further afield in Norfolk, he had married Dersingham girl, Grace Rainbow. The couple had two young children and lived at “The Kennels”, on the Sandringham Estate. George was employed as a groom, but his father-in-law had a much more unusual job. Each day, Joseph Rainbow travelled from his home, at “The Retreat” in Dersingham, to Sandringham where he worked as a tapissier, working with the tapestries at Sandringham House.

Recently George Ives has not been quite so happy. Arthur Elder has taken over as gamekeeper from Mr Pugh and moved into “The Pheasantries”, next door to George Ives and his wife Grace. At first the neighbours all got along and to an outsider it would appear that they still do. Arthur Elder is married, but his wife, Alice, doesn’t seem to be at home too much. She is allegedly away on holiday now and when I was in these parts a couple of years ago she and her sister were staying on her brothers’ farm at Gedney, just over the border in Lincolnshire. It seems to me that there is something odd about the Elder household.

Arthur Elder served with the Grenadier Guards in South Africa and I know that he suffered an injury whilst on active service. I suspect that he may also be suffering from what would now be referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD]. That is not what concerns George Ives though. He is concerned about the looks that Arthur Elder gives to his wife and he and Grace have argued about it on more than one occasion.

It was on a Saturday night in August 1913 when things came to a head. George Ives left his home at around 6 o’clock in the evening, leaving his wife there. He was only gone for quarter of an hour, but when he returned Grace was no longer at home. George thought that he knew where she was, but he didn’t go looking for her. Instead, he hung around by his front gate for nearly 2 hours and his patience was rewarded as at 8 o’clock he watched his wife come walking along Arthur Elder’s front path. George kept his thoughts to himself and they didn’t argue, but Grace went straight upstairs and got undressed as though she was about to go to bed.

George needed to go out again, but he waited for 20 minutes and still not hearing anything from his wife he assumed that she was asleep. If you ask me she was just laying there with her eyes shut and her ears open.

George went out and it was 10.30 before he returned. That was when he discovered that whilst the front door was locked, the back door was wide open. Initially unconcerned, George locked the door, took off his boots and went upstairs to the bedroom. It was then that he realised his wife wasn’t there. George was pretty certain that he knew where to find Grace, but he kept his temper as he was yet to directly accuse his neighbour of anything and in fact could not even be certain if there was anything specific to accuse him of.

Despite the late hour, George boldly knocked on Arthur Elder’s door and was let into the house without any problem. That is when things turned nasty. Elder locked the door behind George and as he followed him through to the sitting room he locked that door too, putting the keys in his pocket. George saw his wife sitting in an armchair, looking very pale and unwell. “What’s wrong with her?” he asked, to which Elder replied “She’ll be all right directly and so will you!” Then he rushed at George and started throwing punches at him, very quickly blacking his eye and causing cuts and grazes to his face. George backed away and heard his wife screaming and groaning. He asked Elder to open the door so that he could fetch a doctor for Grace who didn’t seem at all well. Elder refused and fearing another attack, George made his escape through the window.

George was in turmoil, but he knew that he needed help and went to his father-in-law’s house in nearby Dersingham. His father-in-law was not at home, but Grace’s brother was there and he set off for Elder’s house with George. On the way they knocked at police Sergeant Bowers door in West Newton and he accompanied them, initially back to George Ives’ house to check whether Grace had returned. She hadn’t.

It was midnight when they arrived at Elder’s house and the sergeant told George’s brother-in-law to wait by the gate. He then approached the house with George, who knocked at the door. There was no answer so the two men went to the rear of the property. The back door was open, but before attempting to go inside the sergeant shone his torch through the kitchen window and could see straight through to the sitting room. From the torchlight he saw Grace sitting in the armchair and Elder lying on the floor beside her. George could see over the sergeant’s shoulder and exclaimed “My God, he has shot her and himself too!”

Rather than go back to the door, the sergeant entered the property through the window, moving some plants off of the windowsill to make more room. Elder was lying on the floor with his head close to Grace’s legs. A double barrelled shotgun was across his thighs and it was apparent that Elder had used it to shoot himself in the left side of his head. Grace had been shot in the head too with the blast removing most of her face.

A search revealed a bottle and four glasses, which smelt of spirits, on the table. There was also a note. This was in Grace’s hand writing apart from the last word, which was in Elder’s. The note read “In death not divided, please bury us together. Grace and Arthur.”
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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby baobab » 23 Mar 2021, 21:53

Wow!

Many thanks for sharing that with us, Nick. Some great research and writing there.
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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby EWW » 23 Mar 2021, 22:16

Yes, I echo that nick. It bought the whole sad tale to life.
I do not want thanks for any research I am able to help out with. I just love doing it.
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Re: Double tragedy in the King's Lynn area, August 1913

Postby nickc » 23 Mar 2021, 22:46

Baobab and EWW, thank you for your comments!
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