Monday, 31 December 2007

Daglish Corner, UpHolland

On 23 December a small ceremony took place to dedicate a memorial, quiet garden at the church of St. Thomas the Martyr, UpHolland, near Wigan in Lancashire.

The space is also known as “the Daglish corner”, and there has been a long association between the local Daglish family and the church. The dedication ceremony was attended by Richard Daglish, who writes:

“I was warmly greeted by a lay reader who is well versed in the story of Robert Daglish's early locomotive, the Yorkshire Horse, and is involved in the East Lancashire Railway (a volunteer preservation group that runs services with old stock in the Bury/Manchester area).

The church was completing its 700th anniversary celebrations since its foundation as a Benedictine monastery, and was decorated not just for Christmas but for the anniversary as well. One event had been a Christmas Tree Festival a week earlier, with 45 decorated and lit trees, entered by a range of organisations, church-based and otherwise, down the side aisles.

After the main service at which the Bishop of Warrington, David Jennings, was the guest preacher, the congregation was asked to stay in the church while the bishop, rector, lay readers, churchwardens and assorted helpers, and I left to walk to the outside area which had been cleared, paved and generally made a more welcoming space, with a good wooden bench.

A few prayers were said in rather an icy wind and we adjourned back to the church for coffee and mince pies.”

Richard learned that the building did not become the parish church until around 1880, about the same time that Robert Daglish, junior (1808-1883) contributed to the costs of building the chancel and, a little later, for a new East window. He also arranged for the remains of his parents Robert Daglish, senior (1779-1865) and his wife Margaret to be reinterred at UpHolland.

My thanks to Richard for the story and photos. Richard is the great, great, great grandson of Robert Daglish, senior.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Blum, Ray & Daglish - Houston, Texas

Here is an envelope from 1923 from the company Blum, Ray & Daglish, a hardware company from Houston in Texas.

Research has shown that this was George Daglish, born in Brantford, Canada, in 1871, one of twins - the other was his sister Georgina - the children of Joseph Daglish (born England, about 1825, died Brantford, Canada, September 1884) and his wife Sarah Ann Marshall.

The 1920 US Census shows that George Daglish entered the US in 1877 and was naturalised in 1879. He married Allie Fitzgerald (nee Bryan) in November 1896, and they lived in Houston, Texas.

The 1930 US Census shows that George Daglish was President of the company. George died in September 1938 and his wife Allie died in February 1958. I do not believe the couple had any children.

My thanks to Constance Peck for help with details of this family. If anyone has any further information, please let me know.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Wills in England and Wales after 1858

I have added details extracted from the National Probate Calendar index for the name of Daglish for the period 1858 to 1998 into the Daglish Archive.

Since 1858, all wills in England and Wales have been administered through the civil courts; prior to this, the proving of wills came under the jurisdiction of the Church. This article is concerned with wills proved after 1858.

The Court will issue a Grant of representation which enables the person(s) named to deal with the assets and belongings (the Estate) of the deceased. There are three types:

Probate: granted to the executors named in the Will;
Letter of Administration [with Will]: granted to someone other than an executor when the deceased left a valid Will;
Letters of Administration: granted when the deceased did not leave a Will. In such cases, as there is no Will the only details provided are details of who was granted administration.

The Grant is usually a single page giving the details of the deceased and the executors or administrator – this is an example for John Daglish of Bell’s Close, Newburn who died in 1862:

The will itself can often give interesting insights into the family – the following is a short extract from the will of John George Daglish of Gateshead, who died in 1913; in it he sets out his personal possessions to be shared between his sister Mary Ann and his brother Robert:

It is possible to buy a copy of any will for a fee of £5.00. To do this you need the name of the deceased person, the name of the court and the date on which probate was granted.

To find these details a search of the National Probate Calendar is usually necessary. This is an index of Wills and Admons proved in each year. Prior to 1973, these are in book form; after this they are on microfiche and more recently held on computer. A project is underway to digitise these records to improve access to the indexes, and eventually to make it possible to order online.

For now, the only complete set of indexes from 1858 to date is held in the public searchroom at First Avenue House in Holborn, London. I spent some time there last year extracting the details for Daglish, and these are now included in the Daglish Archive for the period 1858 to 1998.
Local District Probate Registries usually have indexes covering the last 50 years.

The amount of detail shown in the index has changed over the years, but every entry shows the full name and address of the deceased, the date of death, the type of grant, the date of grant and the Registry at which it was issued, the gross value of the Estate.

Wills can be purchased either by:
- A personal visit to Court of Probate at High Holborn (which offers a one-hour service, or a 7-day postal service);
- From your local District Probate Registry;
- By post from the Probate Registry at York (which includes a four-year search).
More details can be found on on the H.M. Courts web site.

News update

Two recent news stories caught my eye.

The first concerns Toby Daglish from New Zealand, a professor at the Victoria University in Wellington.

Toby was previously at the University of Iowa in the United States, and whilst there he was one of three finance academics who foresaw the looming U.S. subprime mortgage crisis at least three years before the problems started to become public early in 2007.

Late in 2004 he bought a house in Iowa City and arranged a mortgage through a small regional bank. “I was thinking I was going to have to pay mortgage insurance there - but the lady from the bank said, “Oh, we’re having a promotion this month, and you don’t have to buy mortgage insurance”. I remember thinking that’s not a very sound way to run your business.”

This experience led to the study which highlighted concerns with sectors of the US mortgage business.

Full story here.

The second story comes from Visilia, a city in central California, where Dr. Thomas Daglish has been named as Tulare County Physician of the Year. Dr. Daglish has lobbied tirelessly to improve health provision.

The report notes that Dr. Daglish came to Visalia from Canada in 1979. He started an obstetrics practice that eventually evolved into the Visalia Family Practice Medical Group. He now practices general medicine.

"There's always new challenges," he said. "And there's always somebody coming up with some strange legislation that is going to impact the delivery of health care."

While he said his work in organized medicine has made a positive impact over the years, Daglish admitted that "in politics, you never get 100 percent what you want." He said he will not stop lobbying to improve the public's health.

"As long as I'm capable of doing it, I think it's worth it to keep fighting," Daglish said.

Full report here.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Seasons Greetings

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas.

This is a wood engraving by my father, Eric Fitch Daglish, entitled The Mistle Thrush - which was used as a Christmas card many years ago.

I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog during the year. If you have any stories or pictures that could be posted on the blog, and a few spare minutes over the Christmas break, please e-mail me - the address can be found on the Profile page.

Daglish patents

This week I was sent a Patent registered by Harry Bolton Daglish in 1908. Harry Bolton Daglish (1857-1934) came from the Lancashire engineering family connected with the St. Helens (or Daglish) Foundry - for more detail see the article from April 2007 below.

Patents can give an interesting insight into the people that registered them, who may be scientists, engineers or in some cases untrained people with brilliant minds and ideas. Many patents can now be searched for online.

The major database is Espacenet, the European Patent Office gatway. Containing data on up to 60 million patent documents from around the globe, this free service is described as one of the world's biggest technology databases, and draws information from many nations' separately maintained databases.

Pre-1918 British patents cannot yet be researched online, but many can be researched by a personal visit to the patent section of the British Library.

The US Patent and Trademark Office has an online database with a full-text search of patents issued since 1976.

Google has begun to create an independent OCR-based index of the US patent images for the period 1790 to 1975.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

William Daglish, Methodist minister

During the time that I have been studying the Daglish name, I have received several enquiries about William Daglish, a well known Methodist minister. I was delighted this week to receive a photo of William as a young man.

William Daglish was born on 26 October 1901 in Kyo, Co. Durham, the son of John Daglish and Mary Addison. The following tribute is from the the Minutes of the Methodist Conference following his death in February 1960:

As the youngest son in a large Methodist family whose men were all engaged in the mining industry, it seemed natural that he should join them in working at the pit. He accordingly joined the staff in the colliery office and applied himself assiduously to his work.

At eighteen he was given a Note to Preach, and at twenty was accepted for the Ministry, to which he had incessantly heard a call from his early youth. Two years at Hartley College and probationary years at Harringay and Finchley, Pocklington and Eyemouth, were followed by terms at East London Mission, Buckley, Stockton, Hull, St. Helen's, Brandon, Deerness, and Stanley, his home circuit, where he will long be remembered with gratitude and affection.

As a preacher he was expository and devotional; he always had a sound message, and gently led his flock into the pastures of fuller truth. As a pastor he gave himself with that strong tenderness, modesty and fidelity which befit a man of God. He had a flair for administration and had disciplined himself in thoroughness, neatness and efficiency. In 1959 the enlarged Newcastle District called him to be Secretary for Chapel Affairs.

He had an affectionate and warm-hearted nature, and enjoyed sharing his truth, sympathy, and humour with every man. His friendships, increasing and ripening as he travelled, were as solid as his frame. He used the gifts with which he had been bestowed to glorify God along ordinary paths. He slipped peacefully away from this life on 25 February 1960, in the fifty-ninth year of his life and the thirty-sixth of his Ministry.

My thanks to William's daughter Audrey and to Louise for sending the photo. If you have any memories or information about William, please let me know.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

R.P. Daglish, pawnbrokers of Liverpool

This painting of R.P. Daglish Ltd., pawnbrokers, on the corner of Ellison Street and Great Homer Street in Liverpool, is by Billy Schwartz and appears on his page on the Scottie Press site, which covers the local area.

Billy's first job was working in the shop at the age of ten and he posts his memories of the shop as it was in the early 1960s:

The shop was split into two. The front shop sold jewellery, watches, bedding, linen, rugs, pumps (shoes) and all kinds of household goods. The back shop was dark and dingy - and very Dickensian. This was the pawnshop, and every Monday morning ... all manner of items were pawned by the less fortunate ... - and then when Friday afternoon or Saturday morning came around they would be redeemed for the weekend.

The place was like and Aladdin's cave with rooms upstairs crammed to the ceiling with all kinds of stuff. There was a rope and pulley, and trap doors in the floors from the top of the building to the bottom, and this was how all pawned items were transported to the storerooms.

The business had been founded in the nineteenth century by two brothers, Robert Pemberton Daglish and John Henry Daglish, the sons of John Daglish of Wigan (engineer, coal owner and farmer). It is Robert's name that appeared over the shops, and in historical directories he is described as a clothier and outfitter and pawnbroker.

By 1895 the chain of shops had extended as far as St. Helens, and the high point was reached in the early years of the twentieth century when there were two dozen branches around northern and eastern areas of inner Liverpool, with more throughout the wider area.

Robert died in 1904 and on 25 April the Liverpool Echo reported:

Mr Robert Pemberton Daglish, who during many years carried on an extensive business in Liverpool and St Helens as a pawnbroker, died yesterday morning, at his residence, 19 Falkland Road, Liscard. Mr Daglish was sixty-five years of age. His health for some months past had been the cause of grave anxiety. Early yesterday morning he suddenly became worse, and death supervened about four o'clock. The deceased, who was unmarried, was a Conservative, but although approached on several occasions to become a candidate for municipal honours declined to enter public life.

After his death the business continued in his name run by a syndicate of other pawnbrokers. By 1971 the chain had shrunk to one shop in Goodison Road, Everton, and two in West Derby Road, and the business was finally wound up soon after.

Robert is buried at Anfield cemetery in Liverpool with an ornate memorial markerd "RPD" at each corner. This picture was taken in 1991.

In his Will, Robert left money to several local charitable organisations and also for two memorial windows to be erected in Christ Church, Everton - one for his sister Ann Abigail who had married Thomas Abbay and died in 1897 and the other in his own memory. Christ Church was destroyed by bombs in May 1941, leaving no trace of the windows.

This is abbreviated from an article prepared by Richard Daglish, a second cousin three times removed of the brothers John Henry and Robert Pemberton Daglish. If you are interested in more details, or have any memories of the shops, please let me know and I will be happy to put you into contact with Richard.

Steve from the Friends of Anfield Cemetery has kindly sent me an updated photo of the memorial as it is today. Steve writes: "Shame it is starting to fall apart and taken over by the tree. The inscription is hardly readable."

June 2009:

Since the above picture was taken, work has taken place to clear the monument (see below). Thanks to Martin Doherty, the cemeteries manager, and the Glendale the ground staff and also to Steve for the further update.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

New Australian and US online records

I am a relative newcomer to family history, having started in 2005. Even during the short time from then to now, an amazing amount of new data has become available online, including the entire UK census details from 1841 to 1901. Before this, researchers often had to travel to local libraries and archives and spend hours looking at microfiche or other copies. I realise how fortunate I am - and how dedicated those who have been researching their family trees for years and "doing it properly" have been!

With the main sources now available, the companies which provide this online data are challenged with what new material they can provide to keep people subscribing to their services.

This week Ancestry made available two new sets of data - one from Australia and the other from the US.

Australia Electoral Rolls 1901 to 1936 are useful because under Australia's privacy laws no census records are available to researchers. Nearly 42 million names appear on the rolls, although coverage for some states is currently patchy. Details shows include names, addresses and occupations.
There are many Daglish families listed - below is a sample from 1936 in Yarra, Richmond County, Victoria:

The rolls can be found on Unfortunately you must be a subscriber of or of's "World Deluxe Membership" to access the Australian Electoral Rolls.

It is interesting to note that women have had the right to vote in Australia since the beginning of the 20th century. Compulsory voting was introduced in 1924 after the voter turnout of those registered to vote in Australia was as low as 47%. Since voting was made compulsory by the Federal Government, voter turnout has remained around 94-96%.

The other new set of records is US Passport Applications from 1795 (when the US began issuing passports) to 1925. These details had previously been available through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Unfortunately there are only three Daglish applications in this collection - these are for William John Daglish (1883-1945), his wife Mabel and his widowed mother Agnes.

The applications show that John worked for the US Shipping Board and spent much time overseas. The family lived in the Panama Canal Zone from 1916 to 1921, where his daughters Elizabeth and Marion were born. In 1921 William is applying for a passport for a 2 year stay in Europe, including England, France, Spain and Belgium and during 1922 his wife and mother are applying to join him in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Passport Applications can be found on Again you must be a subscriber of or of's "World Deluxe Membership" to access these details.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Tynemouth Coronation Medal, 1902

Here is a lovely medal from the coronation of King Edward VII and his wife, Queen Alexandra in June 1902. At this time, Jacob Daglish was the Mayor of Tynemouth.

Jacob is also remembered on a statue of Queen Victoria in Tynemouth which reads:

"Erected by public subscription to the memory of our late beloved Queen Victoria by the inhabitants of the Borough of Tynemouth during the Mayoralty of Alderman Daglish J.P. 1901-02 and unveiled by the Mayoress October 25th 1902".

Jacob was a brewer and had founded Duncan & Daglish, the Newcastle brewers and wine and spirit merchants. There is more information about Jacob Daglish and the company below - see article posted on 3 March 2007.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Westminster Field Of Remembrance

On Thursday, the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in London was opened. This year a record number of 29,000 crosses are laid out in memory of the dead from two World Wars and other conflicts, including Iraq.

Amongst them are these three crosses remembering some Daglishes who fell in the First World War whilst serving in the Northumberland Fusiliers:

Robert Daglish, died 20 November 1915, aged 20 - the son of James Daglish (1857-1924) and Honor Godwin of Forest Hill, London

Alexander Daglish, died 5 February 1916, aged 20 - the son of Alexander Daglish (1861-1943) and Mary Ann Postle of Browney, Co. Durham

Arthur Ernest Daglish, died 26 October 1917, aged 27 - the son of Charles Pearson Daglish (1854-1934) and Margaret Henzell Yellowley of Newcastle upon Tyne.

The Westminster Field of Remembrance is open until next Thursday, November 15th.

X Factor

In recent weeks, some of the the local papers in County Durham have been keenly following the fortunes of local “budding pop star” Charlie Mole, who is appearing in the TV show “X Factor” with her group called Hope.

This week comes news that Charlie and her boyfriend Lee Daglish are planning to get married.

The Shields Gazette reports that Lee proposed to Charlie on her 23rd birthday - also the day she found out she had got through to the live final stage of The X Factor.

Good luck to Lee and Charlie ... maybe if Hope win the contest, we shall have a Daglish pop star!

Story and photo from The Shields Gazette - full story here
Also from the Sunderland Echo here

Update: December 1 - Having reached the final five, Hope were eliminated from the competition, but announced that they intend to continue as a group. Good luck!

Sunday, 4 November 2007

The Guardian and Observer Digital Archive

The Guardian and The Observer UK newspapers have just launched their own digital archive.

For the launch, a 24-hour free trial is being offered until the end of November - details are on the site under Introductory Offer. After this, there will be a charge - although access may be available from some libraries in the same way as The Times Digital Archive.

The site gives the following details:
This archive will eventually contain the digital reproduction of every page, article and advert published in the Guardian (since 1821) and the Observer (since 1791 – the oldest Sunday paper in the world). For this launch the archive covers the period of 1821-1975 for the Guardian and 1900-1975 for the Observer as we are still working on digitising the remaining material. From early 2008 onwards the entire archive up to 2003 will be available – more than 1.2m pages covering all major historic events over 212 years as reported at the time.

The Guardian was originally The Manchester Guardian and the coverage of North West England is particularly good.

A search on "Daglish" produces 204 results - a mixture of news articles, announcements and adverts. One news article covers the inquest into the unfortunate death of Adelaide Daglish in 1905.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

The Daglish DNA Project

An item in the morning news today prompted me to write about the Daglish DNA Study, which began about a year ago.

Fathers pass to their sons, via the Y-chromosome, DNA markers which remain virtually unchanged generation after generation.

These markers can be compared with the markers for other individuals to establish relationships that may have been impossible to find by documentation alone.

The objectives of the Daglish DNA Study are:
  • to determine which of the many Daglish families can can be linked back to a common ancestor. For example many Daglish families in County Durham can be traced back to Whickham parish - but even from the extensive parish registers we do not know if they all shared a common ancestor. Other Daglish families can be traced back to Northumberland. Are these separate from the County Durham Daglishes - or are these linked by a common ancestor? This will help the usual question 'are we related' and will also give a greater insight into the history of the Daglish name.

  • to test whether there is a link between DAGLISH and other similar names: in particular DALGLISH and DALGLIESH. The standard reference works on surnames show that Daglish is derived from these names - but this is not clear so far from currently available data.
So far we have 11 members of the Daglish DNA study - and some interesting results.

There are five matches for a group of distinct Daglish families which trace their origins back to the parish of Whickham in County Durham. This suggests that these families share a common ancestor, probably around 500 years ago. At this stage there is no known link between these families through the paper records, so this provides an interesting challenge for further research.

It is worth noting that the chances of getting a random match is several times less likely than the chances of winning the UK lottery - so I believe that these results are significant.

The results for Daglishes whose histories go back to ther parts of North East England are less conclusive at this stage.

The news story that prompted me to write about our study is that it has been announced that the web site is offering DNA testing for family historians; the story is can be seen here.

This is likely to be a significant step forward in the use of DNA as a tool for genealogy. Ancestry is by far the largest commercial family history web: it already offers online access to the England & Wales census 1841-1901, birth, marriage and death indexes and much more. Although home access to Ancestry is by subscription, the site can be accessed free from most major libraries.

One common concern with DNA for genealogy is that the test is medically informative and can identify someone as an individual. In fact, the test is made on a part of the DNA structure which has no medical value and is completely different from the tests used as a ‘forensic’ profile by the police. Put simply, we are interested in what people share in common with their ancestors, not what makes them unique.

The value of testing is to find matches with others. If you would be interested in joining the DNA Study, please let me know. Your surname will be Daglish or Dalglish or other close variant - and you must be male! The biggest barrier to DNA research is the cost of the tests - but it is worth noting that tests ordered within the Daglish DNA Study receive a discount.

For more information about DNA and how it can be used in genealogy, please see the following sites:
Genetics & Genealogy - An Introduction
International Society of Genetic Genealogy

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Armed Forces Memorial

Yesterday the Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales attended the dedication of the new Armed Forces Memorial.

The £6m stone circle is located at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, and bears the names of 16,000 service personnel who have died since World War II. There is room for 15,000 more names to be carved on the Portland stone walls.

The memorial will open to the public on October 29. It was designed by architect Liam O’Connor.

Photo: Press Association (PA)

The names of those commemorated on the new memorial can be searched on the Armed Forces Memorial web site under The Roll of Honour. There is one result for Daglish.

Richard Daglish was born in Catterick in October 1944 and was killed in April 1964 in Brunei, whilst serving with the Royal Signals. He was 19 years old. The site shows that he is buried in Singapore. Richard was the son of John Henry Daglish and Ann Birkett.

Friday, 12 October 2007

At last - a Daglish clock!

For some time I have been looking for a photo of a Daglish clock - and this week I was delighted to receive an e-mail from Simon and Jane, who kindly sent some of their clock.

Simon and Jane bought the clock in the late 1980s. They think it may originally have had a pediment at the top but that perhaps it was too tall for some past owner's cottage. They report:

It is keeping excellent time (has an eight day movement) and chimes the number of hours, it has a lovely mellow chime which we can hear throughout the house.

As shown in an earlier post, there were three generations of clockmakers working in Alnwick, Northumberland, between the 1740s and 1840s - all called Joseph Daglish. Simon and Jane's clock was probably made by the younger Joseph (1775-1843).

The premises were in Peakes Lane in Alnwick, close to the centre of the town and near the Town Hall. It is now known as Paikes Lane - and, although there is no surviving clues as to the location of the business, I took the photos below on a recent visit.

My grateful thanks to Simon and Jane for providing the photos of their clock.

If you have any photos of objects with a Daglish connection, I would be very pleased to hear from you.

Update - June 2008:

Peter Fenwick kindly sent me a photo of a clock by Joseph Daglish that he saw for sale. This one has a rare and magnificent dial by the dialmaker Richard Hipkiss, who was making dials in the period 1805 to 1811.

Peter writes that in the dial centre, to the right of the number 9, are the words "Nile, Copenhagen, Trafalgar" on the drape held by the cherub.

The arch shows a country house with a boating lake. The clock is housed in a typical Northumbrian oak case.

My thanks to Peter for the photo and details.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Nonconformist church records online

In recent weeks, some records of baptisms have been made available online. These are from nonconformist churches (that is, those not belonging to the Church of England) - in particular Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians.

The records are from the National Archives in association with a commercial company under the name BMD Registers. There is a free search, but it costs £2.50 to download a scanned image.

The documents are useful as they are mostly before 1837 – the date of the introduction of civil registration in England and Wales. Although these have previously been available to researchers, this is the first time they have been fully indexed and searchable by name. The first release (the RG4 and RG5 series from the National Archives) apparently covers up to six million individuals – of which there are 36 records for Daglish.

At first, I found the indexing on the web site to be inaccurate. I knew that the files included three baptisms for my own family which, at the time, was living in Spaxton, Somerset. Shown below is the baptism certificate for James Daglish from the Wesleyan Methodist Registry 1818-1838.

I was therefore interested that the index listed a fourth Daglish baptised in Somerset – could this be a long lost ancestor! Unfortunately when I downloaded the image, I found it had been wrongly indexed - and the baptism was in fact for a family in Newcastle upon Tyne. I also found another record with the wrong location - so reported these errors to the web site and these have now been fixed.

The details provided vary from location to location. Some are certificates - such as the example above - while others are pages from registers.

One interesting record shows a James Daglish being born in the Tower of London:

James, Son of James Daglish, Royal Artillery, in the parish of Woolwich & County of Kent and of Elizabeth his wife, was born in the Tower of London Augt 15th 1807 and Baptized Sept 14th 1807 by me. John Blythe

This is a mystery to me. I have no other record of this family, and wonder whether this is really Dalglish (although the entry on the document is clearly written as Daglish), as the baptism took place in the Scots Church, Woolwich. I contacted the Tower of London - but they have no record of either a Daglish or Dalglish in the records.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Simon Daglish: the Numis Polar Challenge

On 14 January 2006, Simon Daglish was part of a four man team that reached the South Pole, after a 170-mile trek across the Antartic. In the Numis Polar Challenge, the team re-anacted the final stage of Captain Scott's 1912 expedition - with the aim of raising £1,000,000 for charities.

The 17-day journey was completed using the same methods and kit as used by Scott. Heavy wooden sledges lashed together with flax, gut and leather carried their reindeer-skin sleeping bags and canvas tent. Skis were made of birch and hickory and they steered by traditional theodolite and sextant navigation. In their kit, the team made an unusual sights and Simon reported on their arrival:

We were greeted by two Swedish scientists from the American Amundsen-Scott base who skied enthusiastically up to us and radioed back to the South Pole calling out: “The Brits are here!”.

We marched on, chatting to the first signs of human life we had seen for 17 days – it was wonderful. As we approached the Pole, scientists, technicians and workers from the Scientific Centre poured out, all with cameras to take photos of a sight which hasn’t been seen since Captain Scott and his team approached the Pole on 17th January 1912. For me, the approach to the Pole, having hauled almost 200 miles across the most inhospitable land in the world, was full of emotion – hard to summarise but my goggles filled up with emotion and I couldn’t see.

Simon’s team mates were friends James Daly, Ed Farquhar and Roger Weatherby. They were accompanied by polar guide Geoff Somers. Unfortunately the million pound target was missed – but just under £900,000 was raised; a remarkable achievement. Upon their return, the team gave a series of lectures around the country including the Royal Georgraphical Society in London.

Captain Robert Falcon Scott set sail for the Antartic in 1910 with the aim of being the first person to reach the South Pole, and to plant the British flag on Earth’s last great wilderness. The expedition developed into a “Race to the Pole” with Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who had a head start. After delays, Scott and his team reached the Pole on January 17, 1912 (see picture below) – but found they had been beaten by the Norwegian. On the journey back, Scott and his team succumbed to starvation and extreme cold.

Simon’s primary motivation for the Polar journey was to raise money from the charity Tommy’s. His youngest son was born more than three months early and suffers from cerebral palsy. Whilst his son was under treatment in intensive care, Simon was struck by how many premature babies die and wanted to raise money for research into the causes of premature births and their prevention. Simon also had a keen interest in Scott. He was bought up believing Scott was a hero – but in recent years some books and commentary suggested ineptitude and even a lack of bravery in Scott. Simon felt this was unfair and probably inaccurate.

Simon’s team mates were friends James Daly, Ed Farquhar and Roger Weatherby. They were accompanied by polar guide Geoff Somers. Unfortunately the million pound target was missed – but just under £900,000 was raised; a remarkable achievement. Upon their return, the team gave a series of lectures around the country including the Royal Georgraphical Society in London.

This has not been Simon’s only adventure. In 2003 he rowed a boat across the Irish Sea, also to raise money for Tommy’s, and has ridden a bicycle across the Stony Desert in Australia. He plans to lead an expedition to the North Pole in 2009.

** UPDATE **
Simon is involved with the Walking With The Wounded Arctic Expedition 2011.

Friday, 14 September 2007

The Tower Hill Memorial, London

The Tower Hill Memorial in London commemorates Merchant seamen from the two World Wars who have no known grave, apart from the sea. The memorial is located opposite the Tower of London and in front of Trinity House.

The 1914-18 monement was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and consists of a vaulted corridor with 12 bronze plaques engraved with 12,000 names. The World War II memorial was designed by Sir Edward Maufe in a semi-circular sunken garden with 24,000 names. All names are arranged in alphabetical order under the names of the ships that they were lost on.

There are two Daglish names on the memorial.

Chief Engineer Officer Edward Daglish died on 16 May 1943, aged 51, on the S.S. Aymeric (Glasgow). The Aymeric was torpedoed and sunk by U.657.
Edward was the son of Joseph Daglish and Frances Elizabeth Green, and he married Hilda Crumpton in 1919. The couple had four children. Edward was a Member of the Institution of Marine Engineers.

Steward James Daglish died on 11 August 1940, aged 20, on the S.S. Kirnwood (Middlesbrough). James was the son of James Daglish and Elizabeth Horn Garvock of South Shields.

The main inscription on the monument reads:

The Twenty-Four Thousand of The Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets whose names are honoured on the walls of this garden gave their lives for their country and have no grave but the sea.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Trip to the North East

I spent the last few days this week in the North East – enjoying some wonderful, sunny weather and the opportunity to meet some Daglishes.

The main reason for the trip was to be at Gibside, the National Trust property, which has been open for free this weekend as part of the Heritage Open Day scheme, under the theme “Your History Matters”. I was there trying to help others who are interested in starting family history search and want to know where to begin. There was a steady flow of visitors all day – some of whom were already experienced researchers with their “brick walls” that they wanted solved!
The highlight of the day for me was meeting Mr & Mrs Bill Daglish, who came to meet me after their son saw details of the event on the blog – an unexpected pleasure!

I also had the pleasure of meeting Louise and her husband Nigel, and Vera and her husband Allen. Louise has been researching her Daglish line for over 20 years, and has got back as far as 1583 in Whickham. Louise told me about her dismay when she found that one of her family headstones in a local cemetery had been flattened – apparently done to making mowing easier.

This started some thoughts about how gravestones and headstones are in danger of being either flattened, damaged or even removed, and I thought it might be useful to create an archive of photos of Daglish graves and other memorials.

With this in mind I went out to look for some. One in Newcastle Cathedral is for John Daglish (1793-1837), a chemist and druggist. He is recorded as being the son of William Daglish of Gateshead and whose mother was a descendent of Henry Maddison, sixth of the ten sons whose effigies are on the extraordinary Maddison Monument, also in Newcastle Cathedral.

John Daglish is reported to have been "of a philanthropic and benevolent disposition, a promoter of infant and Sunday schools, and a warm hearted friend of the young, the helpless and the suffering. " He was twice married, first to Catherine Wilson (who is buried with him) and later to Mary Wilkinson. One of his sons William Stephen Daglish (1832-1911) became a prominent solicitor in Newcastle, whilst another John Wilkinson Daglish (1828-1906) was a mining engineer and Justice of the Peace.

The only danger to this stone is probably from the hundreds of pairs of feet that must walk over it every day, most without taking time to read the inscription.

If anyone has their own photos of headstones or memorials connected to the Daglish name that they would be willing to let me have copies of I would be very grateful. Also it would be very useful to know the locations of any Daglish graves or memorials - much easier than finding them by chance! Living as I do in the south of England, it was a thrill to be able to go into a churchyard or cemetery and find a Daglish grave.

I have posted some other photos that I took on this trip on a flickr site (a way of sharing photos).

I also visited another National Trust property, Wallington, to try to locate the Daglish clock that my wife and I remembered seeing there some 15 years ago. My wife remembered that it used to be in the upstairs restaurant – but it’s no longer there. I spoke to a lady who worked in the restaurant at that time, who confirmed that the clock was indeed there at the time but she thought it was now held as part of the private collection. The person who would know was not there on the day I visited – but I left details and hope to hear from Wallington soon.

My thanks to Louise and Nigel, and to Vera and Allen, for their kind and generous hospitality.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Operation Epsom: new book by Ian Daglish

Just a quick update on the latest book by Ian Daglish, "Operation Epsom" (see full story below: June 23).

The book has now been published after a short delay which, according to Ian, "is almost all my fault, since the publishers allowed me several stages of proofing before I let it go to print".

This is a book that has been in Ian's mind for some ten years, and follows his earlier books on other Normandy campaigns.

"Operation EPSOM, the first of Montgomery's major set-piece Normandy battles, marked a turning point in the Normandy campaign. Before EPSOM, there remained the chance that a German counter-strike in Normandy might seriously threaten the bridgehead. After EPSOM, the Allies retained the strategic initiative through the liberation of France and Belgium".

The book is a hardback with 272 pages, illustrated with photos, including aerial photography of the battlefield, and period Army maps. It is published by Pen & Sword at £19.99 (but can be found cheaper on some online sites, including Amazon or direct from the publisher).

Friday, 10 August 2007

The Times Digital Archive

The Times newspaper is a valuable resource tool for researchers. The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985 can be accessed online from many libraries in the UK, with the possibility to search news articles, obituaries, editorials, features as well as classified advertisements. Searching for "Daglish" I found announcements of many births, marriages and deaths, together with some more general news items.

One entry under News In Brief caught my eye. This notes the death of Henry Edward Daglish in 1951 - the event appears to have been deemed newsworthy because Henry was apparently 7 feet 7 inches (The Times, March 16 1951). Henry was the son of Christopher John Daglish and Beatrice May Hambidge from Swindon, and his grandfather, John Daglish, had moved to Swindon from South Shields.

In the years 1968 and 1969, James Daglish wrote for The Times, with many articles showing that he was part of the Political Staff. I have so far been unable to identify who this James was - if anybody can help, please let me know. The article below is from August 1968 concerning one of the hot political stories from the time.