Saturday, 11 January 2014

#52 Ancestors: #1 - Cyril Francis Prince 1920 - 1991

This is the first of 52 blogs this year, one a week, that will be about an ancestor of mine or my husbands. A lady called Amy Crow, from set a challenge to blog about one ancestor a week for a year, and quite a few people around the world have accepted the challenge, including me.

The person I'm going to start this challenge off with is my maternal grandfather, who was a wonderful man and loved by all who knew him.
Cyril Prince 1942
Cyril Francis Prince was born on Sunday 13th July 1920, at 44 Bridge Road, Northam, Southampton, Hampshire, England, to parents William Charles Prince and Annie Frances nee Cox. He was their 2nd child, his brother, Charles William Prince being 2 years older than him.
He was baptized at St James (Docks) Southampton on 22nd August 1920. The record states that his father was a seaman and the family were still living at 44 Bridge Road.
He grew up in the Chapel/St Mary's area of Southampton, with his dad often away at sea. When Cyril was 4, his dad dropped his brother at school one day, then disappeared from their lives. A year later his mum Annie met another man, George Richard Wight, and in May 1926, Annie and George had the first of 5 children.
At the start of WW2, Cyril joined the Royal Air Force and was stationed at a base at Little Rissington in the Cotswolds. It was a training school for airmen as well as a maintenance unit, and Cyril's job was as part of the maintenance crew who fixed all the aircraft, so our airmen could go back out to fight.
One day, Cyril was on the bus to the market, when he met a beautiful young woman called Joan Coombes. Her father Walter ran a pub, The New Inn, in a nearby village called Nether Westcote. A lot of the men from the base went to the pub, as it was the nearest to the base.
Joan and Cyril courted throughout the rest of the war, then in 1945 Cyril was set to be posted to Singapore, so they got a special licence and married on Saturday 18th August 1945. Then suddenly, wonderfully, the war ended and Joan soon found out she was pregnant. She had a number of problems throughout the pregnancy which ended more than 2 months prematurely, when she haemorrhaged badly and nearly died, along with the baby. Collin was born in the pub, but they were both rushed to the hospital and treated, and survived. The following year, the young family moved back to Cyril's hometown of Southampton, Hampshire and were housed by the council in a pre-fab in Sholing, until the council houses had finished being built. By the time they were given a 3 bed roomed council house in Bitterne, Joan & Cyril also had a little girl, Ann (my mum) and in 1950 they had another little girl, Janet. In 1952, Joan became pregnant again, but like with Collin, she had terrible problems which ended with a premature birth and another haemorrhage, but this time the baby boy died.
Me, Nan & Gramps 1977
Cyril found a job in security, working for the council in the museums and council buildings around Southampton. With an interest in the city's history, he soon learnt all he could from the different museums and became a guide as well as a security officer.
Me & Gramps 1980
In 1972, aged 51, Cyril became a grandfather for the first time, when Collin and his wife had a baby girl. The following year I was born and Collin had a son around 1979. As Collin and his wife had moved out to New Zealand with their daughter in 1974, and very rarely came back to the UK, I got to spend a lot of time with my grandparents, especially as my parents ran a pub and needed someone to look after me on weekends. I got my love of history from Gramps as well as my love of books.
Joan & Cyril Prince, December 1987
In the early 80's he developed stomach cancer and it took a long time for him to be clear from it, and he had several stomach problems after. As an adult he was a small man, barely 5ft 6in and always very slim built. We've recently found out my mu has coaeliac disease, and it's most probable that's what was wrong with Gramps as well. After Nan died in November 1988, he gave up on life, they were absolute soul mates, perfectly made for each other and couldn't live without each other. Nan was only 64 and had a sudden stroke that took her right away and it's something that Gramps, Mum, Aunty Jan and I never got over. Gramps just seemed to waste away, and the cancer came back with a real force, this time it couldn't be stopped. But just as he was diagnosed and given 3 months to live, I found out I was pregnant, and he determined to hold on to see the baby. My son was born on Wednesday 13th February 1991, we went to see Gramps on Sunday 17th, by which time he didn't recognise anyone in the family, but he knew who I was and that I had his first great grandchild. We spent about an hour with him before he was too tired, and when we got home the hospice called to say he'd slipped into a coma. He died on Thursday 21st February 1991, just 8 days after my son was born, but he'd kept his promise and stayed to see my baby, so he could tell Nan all about him.
Gramps and my son 17th |Feb 1991

Intro Blog

Hi, my name's Kirsty, I live in Hampshire, UK, am married with 5 kids aged 15 -23, all of whom are on the autistic spectrum to varying degrees, as are my hubby and I. We have our first grandchild on the way, due in June, which we're all very excited about. 

We also have 2 dogs, Rosie, a border collie and Radar a black lab. Rosie's a bit of a freak of nature, as they are from the same litter, born in the same sac so are actually supposed to be identical twins, but look like 2 completely different breeds! The mother was a pedigree lab who coupled with her own son, also a pedigree lab, and no-one can explain why Rosie came out a border collie! They can't be parted or they just pine for each other. Radar has epilepsy and Rosie can always tell when a fit is coming, which is good for us. They're getting on a bit now as they're 10 1/2 and Radar also has arthritis, so can't run around or play ball in the field anymore, which he loves almost as much as food! He's a typical black lab and loves food, playing ball and water. Rosie likes food, will only play ball if she's walked on her own and will only paddle in water unless you throw her ball into it!

As well as the kids & dogs, we have 3 cats. We got our eldest cat in June 2010 at 6 weeks old, after my beloved 15 year old Tilly-Anna had to be put to sleep after a long illness. I'd always really wanted a female silver tabby called Bella-Donna and was so pleased to find one. I went out and bought a pink bed, collar and loads of pink toys and she was SOO cute! However, 2 weeks later we discovered she was a HE!! I was really upset but we were all so in love we couldn't even think of sending him back, so spent hours coming up with a new name. In the end we chose Osiris, though everyone calls him Ozzy or Oz. He was really cuddly as a kitten and would always curl up on me, but after a few months he stopped and doesn't curl up on anyone. He's quite skittish and shy around people and stopped being playful until we got our 3rd cat. He can usually be found on his bed at the top of the stairs, and insists on a fuss whenever anyone walks past. If he's feeling particularly friendly, he'll put his front paws on your shoulder and rub his head all over yours, but beware, you'll get wet as he's a dribbler!

Our 2nd cat, Isis (Izzie) came to stay with us in November 2011 when she was 12 weeks old. She originally came as a favour to a friends daughter while she was between homes, but she ended up staying for good. She then surprised us 5 months later in April 2012 by having a litter of 6 beautiful kittens, when I thought she was too young to get pregnant! Izzie is quite a small cat, with a big attitude and thinks she's a dog! She has extremely fluffy black fur, with a small white bib and one white back toe. She's playful but vicious with her claws; climbs well, gets into anything and everything and eats almost as much as the dogs! She's always pinching food and you can't leave anything unattended if she's in the house. She's even run off with a half eaten sausage with the fork still in it, and taken chops from under the grill while they were cooking!
In her surprise litter, she had 2 pure smokey grey kittens, 2 pure white and 2 pure black. Unfortunately she had quite a traumatic labour, and needed a lot of help. Once they'd been born she wouldn't feed them so they had to be hand-reared. Giving them all names was opened to the children, my neice and the friends daughter. The first one born was the male grey and as he'd done really well to survive he was called Trooper, which meant the female grey was called Super! The white male was called Snowball and the female was called Wiggles as she was the most active. The black female was called Aconite, and we asked our then 18 year old daughter to name the black male and she called him Default Dave! By the end of the day they were born, we'd sold all 6 of them to friends and family! However, sadly, they died one after the other in the first few days, only the black ones hung on. Aconite's name was changed to Lister and I spent every night hand feeding them every 4 hours, but then we lost Lister at 2 weeks as well. 

When Dave survived, none of us could let him go, especially me, so he became our 3rd cat. At first he was really loving and fell asleep curled up on whoever had fed him (usually me) but as he's got older, it's very rare he'll curl up with anyone, although he does like a fuss and purrs as soon as any of us touches him, and he has a very loud purr. He's extremely playful but vicious like his mum and is hardly ever in, unless its really cold. As he grew, there was a bit of a power struggle between Dave and Ozzy, with Dave trying hard to be top cat, but Izzy soon showed them both who's boss in this house! 

What can I tell you about me? I'm 40, have ADHD and several OCD's, am really into history, murder mysteries, genealogy and crafting. I love reading and have a library/craft room instead of a dining room. I have a hugely hyperactive imagination that never stops, and have written some short stories, started a series of children's stories as well as several novels. However, I lose interest quite quickly, get bored with sticking to one thing at a time, so have never finished any of them, except one I wrote when I was 15, and I ended that by suddenly killing everyone as I'd got bored with it! I also have several other ideas for novels swimming around in my head that I haven't even started putting on paper yet, but am constantly thinking about and working on in my head.
My crafting really took off about 10/11 years ago when my mum-in-law taught me how to cross stitch. At first I was stitching small things and making cards with them, then I started doing more to the cards and was soon making cards without the cross stitch. I also like photography and as a way of displaying my photos I got into scrap-booking as well. In 2004 I created my own company, Celtic-Rose Designs, but never really tried to sell my cards, just made them to give my family & friends. Now money's tighter than ever, and with our first grandchild on the way, as well as having a ton of stuff to make cards with that's just sitting there, I've decided it's time to try and make cards to sell, so am currently building a website. On it I'll be selling cards, prayer cards, cross stitched bookmarks and I've recently started making jewellery as well. 
One of my other main interests, is genealogy. I find it so absorbing and its like being a detective trying to find out about all the different people, connecting the dots and making sure you have the right information. I started in 1993, when there wasn't much internet and most records were on paper. I stopped doing research for a few years, but got right back into it about 9 years ago, and have now taken several of mine and my husbands lines back to 16/1700's. Part of my husband's tree goes right back to the year 545AD as he's a direct and legitimate descendant of King Edward 1st! That branch has been so much fun to research, and with so many records now online it's been quite easy to find people, but takes a lot of research to make sure everything is true.
One of the things you'll find on my blog, will be entries with titles like "52 Ancestors: #1 name". This is part of a challenge set by an American genealogist, for people to blog about 52 ancestors in 52 weeks, so 1 ancestor each week. If you're interested in taking part, please go to her website; for details. 

Anyway, this is my first blog, so please be patient with me as I learn what I'm supposed to be doing, no doubt I'll make mistakes along the way! I hope you enjoy reading them.