Perfect vision

A new decade awaits us now it’s 2020. I hate to think what will befall the world in the next ten years. The last ten were pretty dire. From the highs of the London Olympics to the lows of rabid nationalism and mass xenophobia. From the smart to the stupid.

I guess we’ll just have to see what happens. Fascism has been defeated before after a few million deaths and, I guess, it can be defeated again.

Speaking of pointless deaths, I spent another day mostly doing research. I’m working on the Caterham memorial. I’ve never been to Caterham. In fact I didn’t know where it was until I started their memorial.

One of the things I’ve discovered about Caterham is the number of illegitimate children that seemed to appear at the turn of the 20th century. More than the towns I’ve completed before Caterham anyway.

I’ve had a number of lads who went away with the same surname as their mother’s maiden name and not the name of the man she went on to marry. Most curious is the case of Ernest John Pearce.

Ernest’s mother was Alice. She was born Alice Lemm and married a man called George Pearce. George died in 1889 leaving her a widow with two children (Charles and Lillian).

Then, along comes a carpenter called Walter Goodman. In 1901 he claims to be Alice’s husband and Alice has had two children by him (Ernest and Walter junior). Ernest was born in 1893 so, obviously George wasn’t his father. And, according to the 1901 census, his surname is Goodman.

Moving on to 1911 and suddenly Alice is once more the Widow Pearce and Ernest has taken the Pearce surname. Walter Goodman, meanwhile, is now a lodger in their house.

When Ernest joined the army at the outbreak of the war, he enlisted as Pearce and died as Pearce. There was no mention of Goodman.

All very confusing and it took some unravelling but I managed to clear up the name issue.

My assumption is that Walter took up with Alice but they didn’t marry. When Ernest was old enough he realised he couldn’t really be a Goodman so he reverted to his mother’s married name. By 1911 Alice and Walter decided that they shouldn’t pretend they were married and told the census taker that Walter was just a lodger.

Of course, my ‘assumption’ is not fact so I can only mention it here. On the SGW website, the facts will remain as simply facts.

Having rested my knee for yet another day, I feel I’ll be ready to tackle the shopping tomorrow. I hope the weather is better than the last time I went in.

The last time I was in Farnham it was a bit grime
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