Saturday, 5 April 2014

12 Ancestors - #1 Cecil Bertram James Hook

Cecil Bertram James Hook was my paternal grandfather. He was known as John. He was born on 7th December 1919 at 45 Meyrick Road, North End, Portsmouth. The house is a typical two up two down terrace.

He was the child of Walter Samuel Hook, 31, and Lucy Matilda Latter, 30. His father's occupation is Corporation Motorman on his birth certificate. At the time of his birth he had 5 siblings:
Elsie born 1911
Gladys born 1913
Sybil born 1914
Walter born 1917
Freda born 1918
He was followed by 9 more children:
Betty born 1921
Kenneth born 1923
Eric born 1925
Geoffrey born 1926
Alec born 1927
William born 1928
Leonard born 1929
Pamela born 1932
Robert born 1933
Walter, Kenneth, and Eric did not survive to adulthood.
He married Norah Patricia Johnson (known as Pat) in 1941 at Portsmouth Register Office. He was 21 and she was 24. They had two children: John born 1942; and Patricia born 1944. At the time of their marriage they were living at 5 Second Avenue, Cosham, Portsmouth and he was a labourer (fireman) at the P.A.D. Ordnance Depot in Portsmouth. Norah was a machinist at the HM Dockyard

This marriage broke down shortly after the birth of Patricia but I have been unable to find a divorce record to confirm the date. It costs about £65 to search for the divorce in the English Family Court.
 In 1955, at the age of 35, he married for a second time to Monica Marfleet who was 31.
By 1957 he was the landlord of the White Swan public house in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. He remained there until his death in 1973 at the age of 53.
He died on 29th July 1973 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury. His death certificate lists his occupation as "licensed victualler" of The White Swan, Walton Street, Aylesbury. The cause of death is listed as:
1a Intracerebral haemorrhage (stroke)
1b Low Prothombin efficiency (a clotting disorder)
1c Hepatic failure (liver failure)  
No known photos of him exist as he was estranged from my grandmother and it is thought she destroyed all his photos.

Athens Day 11 - Changing of the Guard & Amalia Gardens

The blog post for my last day in Athens has been a long time coming.

 Another beautiful sunny morning and the glorious view from the hotel window.

 Found this quaint church tucked under the corner of a modern building. I think it was a museum rather than a church now but amazing that it has survived under the 1970s concrete monolith above.

 So tempted to ring the bell, but somehow think that might have gotten me in trouble!

 More artwork on shop shutters.

 On to the changing of the guard at the Parliament building near Syntagma Square

 The guards are called Evzones, they are often selected for the Presidential Guard during basic training as they need to be 1.86m (just over 6'1" tall)

 They are wearing the winter uniform of Navy Blue, the summer uniform is light khaki.

 They perform the standard steps but in a slower and more stylized fashion.

 After standing out in the sun on what felt like a warm English summer day we went to Amalia Gardens next to the Parliament building to find some shade.

 Caught a glimpse of the Evzones heading back to their barracks after the changing of the guard.

 Notice on the gates of Amalia Gardens, glad we visited this time as when we go back later in the year they will be closed to the public to keep out protestors during the Greek presidency of the EU.

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