James Croucher (1860-1939)

Dates

Birth: 19 December 1860 Barford Mill, Headley, Hampshire, UK
Father: John Croucher (Crowcher) 1834-1905
Mother: Elizabeth Baker 1835-1909

Christening: 13 January 1861 St Mary the Virgin, Frensham, Surrey, UK

Marriage: June 1897 All Saints, Headley, Hampshire, UK
Wife: Ellen Fullick 1872-1943

Death: 11th October 1939 Fairfield, Churt, Surrey, UK
Buried: 13 October 1939 St. John the Evangelist, Churt, Surrey, UK

Children

Emily Kate Croucher 1897-1926
Ellen (Nellie) Elizabeth Croucher [Frampton] 1898-1991
William James Croucher 1901-1985
Frederick Croucher 1903-1973
Ernest Croucher 1906-1991
Ruth Croucher [Deadman] 1908-2007
Leonard Croucher 1916-1989

Notes

Birth and death from my father's records.

Birth of James Croucher in FreeBMD in January-March 1861 in Farnham (2a 88).

Christening of James Croucher in the IGI on 13 January 1861 at Frensham, parents John Croucher and Eliza. The same information is in Ancestry England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975.

Entry in Ancestry Surrey, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1912 for James Croucher baptised 13 January 1861 at Frensham, St Mary, parents John and Eliza Croucher. "Page 53 Vapptisms solemnized in the Parish of Frensham in the County of Surrey in the Year 1860 [...] 1861 Jany 13 No. 423 James parents John, a Dealer, and Eliza Croucher of Chert".

In the 1861 census as James Croucher, aged 3 months, born in Headley, and living with his parents (John and Elizabeth), brother (William), and (half)sister (Maria Croucher) at Barford, Headley, Hampshire. This must have been Barford Lower Mill which is just inside Headley by a few yards. His parents moved to Pond Cottage, Churt on 11 October 1870.

In the 1871 census as James Croucher aged 10, born in Chute (sic - in index, Churt in original), a farm labourer and living with his parents (John and Charlotte), four sisters (Ann, Caroline, Esther and Maria) and two brothers (Charles and William) at Frensham Pond (Pond Cottage), Surrey.

He commenced work at the age of 9 as carters boy at Frensham Mill. In his 'teens he did much hoeing, mowing, havesting in the fields around Chichester during the summer months. He also worked on the Portmouth Railway in its conversion into double track, and built goynes at Selsey. He was also engaged in building work at Arundel Castle.

Entry in Ancestry UK, Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Soldier Service Records, 1760-1920 for James Croucher aged 18, born in Frensham, Surrey and enlisted in 1879 as Gordon/739 in 39 Brigade.

He enlisted with his elder brother in the 75th Foot (1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders) in 1879 in Devonport. After being stationed at Dorchester, Aldershot and Chatham he embarked with his regiment for Malta with the expeditionary force sent to quell the rebellion of Arabi Pasha. He was at Alexandria soon after the bombardment and at the battle of Tel-el-Kebir, soon after which his brother died. He had cholera, but recovered. Cholera usually followed Ramadan - few recovered, death sometimes coming within two hours. Meat was hung in the open, and if a side turned black it indicated cholera, and the direction it came from. He served in the Sudan Expedition of 1884 (battles of Elteb and Tarmai) and the Gordon Relief Expedition of 1885, and held the Queen's Egyptian Medal with four clasps - Tel-el-Kebir, Souakin, Elteb and Tamai, Nile and the Khedive's Star. At Tamai the force advanced in two squares, the second being broken and many casualties taken, a hidden nullah having concealed a horde of fuzzy wuzzies who were fanatic in their hope to kill an infidel. The next year Gordon became surrounded in Kartoum. He was cut off at Kat-el-amaria on the Tigress. A strong force was sent from England and together with those already in Egypt moved up the Nile in boats. At the cataracts the boats were drawn through the rapids by ropes whilst the equipment was carried on land, and the re-loaded. A consignment of Shoes-H which the quartermaster had jealously guarded, presuming that H stood for Highlanders, found later to his dismay that it stood for Horse. Col. Stewart and his men were sent to certain death by trying to cut across the desert via Abu Klea. The regiment returned to Malta, and as he disliked the place he left the colours for the reserves in 1886. He received two medals - the Egypt Star and The Nile with 3 clasps for different battles.

He returned to live with his parents at Pond Cottage. He is not in the 1881 census because he was in Egypt.

In the 1891 census as James Croucher aged 30, born in Churt, single, a general labourer and living with his parents (John and Elizabeth), brother (Ernest) and sister (Carrie) at an unspecified address between Swiss Cottage and Hooks Cottage - this must have been Pond Cottage.

He married Ellen Fullick who lived less than a mile away at Field House in Headley with her mother and niece just a month before the birth of Emily Kate. Marriage of Ellen Fullick and James Croucher in FreeBMD in April-June 1897 in the Alton (2c 353).

James Croucher and Ellen Fullick (his future wife) were witnesses at the marriage of Kate Fullick and Alfred James Hutchings at All Saints, Headley on 12 December 1896.

Entry in Ancestry Surrey, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1933 for James Croucher aged 36, father John Croucher, and Ellen Fullick on 26 June 1897 at Headley, All Saints. "Page 3 [...] 1897 Marriage solemnized at the parish church in the parish of Headley in the County of Southampton No. 6 June 26 1897 James Croucher aged 36, a Bachelor and Labourer of Churt & Field House, father John Croucher, a Labbourer, and Ellen Fullick aged 25, a Spinster of Field House, Headley, father Henry Fullick, a Labourer, Married in the parish church according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church after banns [...] in the Presence of Albert Hutchings and Lily Hurst Fullick.

The marriage was far from popular in the Croucher family. They went to live with his sister Ann Croucher after leaving his parents at Pond Cottage.They then moved to The Barracks (actually a cottage now demolished just south west of the The Barracks) below Whitmore Vale Pond on the site of Barford Upper Mill.

In the 1901 census as James Croucher, aged 40, born in Churt, a general farm labourer, and living with his wife (Ellen), two daughters (Ellen and Emily) and son (William) at The Barracks, Churt, Surrey.

There are nine entries in Ancestry All Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1962 for James Croucher addresses The Barracks, Churt, Frensham, Guildford from 1901 to 1907, and Furze Hill, Churt, Frensham, Farnham, Guildford from 1908 to 1911.

His father died 11 October 1905, and he moved with his family back to Pond Cottage to live with his mother, but the owner, Mr Compton of Churt House, died shortly afterwards, and they were given notice to quit so moved to Copse or Coppice Cottage on the Furzehills where they lived for 6 years (his wife's parents had lived there during the 1870's and early 1880's). There was no running water - drinking water was fetched from the well at Simmondstone half a mile away while washing water came from the pond on the path between Copse Cottage and Field House.

For one whole spring and summer he was in charge of a road widening which entailed the removal of the high banks on the eastern side of the Farnham-Hindhead road (now the A287). He left home at 5:15 returning about 7:15 in the evening. He took his food (the upper half of a 4 lb cottage loaf, a hunk of cheese and a lump of pickled pork or bacon) and drink (a pint of cold tea and a pint of home brewed beer). Later he was employed digging gravel for the Rural Council at the rate of 6d per cubic yard.

In the 1911 census as James Croucher aged 50, born in Churt, a farm labourer and living with his wife (Ellen), three sons (Enrest, Frederick and William) and three daughters (Ellen, Emily and Ruth) in four rooms at Copse Cottage, Churt, Surrey.

Although he didn't keep pigs, he dried sides of bacon in the loft in the chimney. It would remain there for about 14-17 days, and required turning a few times during that period. Also the loft needed inspection least a bluebottle braved the smoke. Beneath the bacon loft was a bread oven. This was heated with brush wood, often furze wood left after a common fire, for that is almost smokeless. It made a big blaze in the oven. The right temperature was known by the colour of the bricks, the fire was withdrawn, the bread placed inside and the oven door replaced. The beer was made fortnightly, 4.5 gallons at a time. The malt was boiled in a big pot over a fireplace made in the garden. Being a 3 gallon pot, this necessitated two boilings. Hops were added for clearing and bittering. Brown sugar was used for sweetening and yeast added when it was placed in a big red earthenware pan for working. Later transfered to a barrel, it took a few days to clear before being used. It was drunk for breakfast and my father even took it to school to drink at midday.

There are five entries in Ancestry All Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1962 for James Croucher addresses Furze Hill, Churt, Frensham, Farnham, Guildford in 1912, and Mead End, Churt & Hindhead, Frensham, Guildford from 1913 to 1915.

He was head gardner at Beacon Hotel, Hindhead during the war, and was employed as gardener at Churt Vicarage by the Rev B H Bosanquet. The family moved to Moor Side Cottages in Jumps Road, and finally had Fairfield built in what is now called Hale House Lane where he died of throat cancer.

There are twenty four entries in Ancestry All Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1962 for James Croucher Mead End Cottages, Churt, Frensham, Farnham from 1918 to 1924, other occupants Ellen Croucher (wife?), and William James Croucher (son?) from 1920, and Fairfield, Churt, Frensham, Farnham from 1925 to 1938, other occupants William James Croucher (son?) to 1926, Frederick (son?) from 1931 to 1937 except 1925, Ernest (son?) from 1927 to 1929, Leonard Croucher (son?) in 1934, and Ellen Elizabeth Croucher (daughter?) in 1932.

In the 1939 England and Wales Register as James Croucher born 19 December 1860, married, a retired gardener, and living with Ellen Croucher (wife?) and Frederick Croucher (son?) at Fairfield, Hambledon, Surrey.

Death of James Croucher in FreeBMD in October-December 1939 aged 79 in Surrey SW (2a 930).

Entry in Ancestry Surrey, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1987 for James Croucher buried on 13 October 1939 at Churt, St John the Evangelist, with Rushmoor, Surrey. "Page 73 Burials in the Parish of Churt in the County of Surrey in the Year 1839 [...]James Croucher No. 583 of Fairfield, Churt on October 13th 1939 aged 79 Years".

He is buried in St Johns, Churt with his wife and daughter "In loving memory of James Croucher died 11th October 1939 aged 78 and his wife Ellen died 25 August aged 71, also Emily Croucher died 23rd October 1926 aged 29".

Entry in The Pastoral Notebooks of Wallis Hay Laverty, Rector of Headley 1872-1928 p582 Daughter of Henry Fullick and Martha Shrubb - Ellen - Mrs James CROUCHER (son Fred bapt 3.1.1904 at Churt) - "Miss E FULLICK" who is missus

There are 47 entries in Ancestry Public Member Trees for James Croucher.

Barford Mill was a flock mill owned by a Mr. Verstage, and worked by a Mr Reeves. A Mr. Copper and Mrs Harris worked there and Mr. Voller was the carter. Mr Verstage's wife was a daughter of Mr. Marden who owned the Pond Hotel, Frensham. The first mention of a mill at Barford appeared in the pipe rolls of 1264. Robert the miller was granted land out of the waste on the Churt side of the stream. The Barford stream, then known as the Shirebrook, fed Frensham Great Pond and was the boundary between the Surrey and Hampshire. Some 70 years later the mill was rebuilt on the opposite side of the stream and was therefore in a different manor, the manor of Sutton (now Bishop's Sutton). This mill, now known as Barford Mill, became the middle of three mills in close proximity on a small stretch of the stream. The upper and lower Barford mills dating from the 1730s were involved in papermaking. The lower mill or old mill was situated by the bridge. Though derelict in the 1860s it was re-equipped in the 1880s and in 1884 the miller is said to have had 50 employees and the largest waterwheel in Surrey! [Ref: Olivia Cotton]. However by my father's time in the early 1900s the lower mill was not being used. The sheds between the mill and the bridge were full of rags, mostly in sacks. It was lived in by Mr. and Mrs Verstage, an elderly couple, pleasent, but reputed to be misers. It became derelict after they left. In 1911 a cart shed was converted into a chapel and my father and his mother attended Sunday school there.

Relationship

James Croucher was my grandfather.

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