The ‘Ghost’ of Reading Cemetery
Cemetery Junction entrance (courtesy of cemtereyjunction.org.uk)

The ‘Ghost’ of Reading Cemetery

SHOCKING SUICIDE – A man named Robert Ghost, lodging at a cottage in Brook-street, committed suicide on Tuesday afternoon by cutting this throat. He was a pensioner, and latterly had been in a low desponding way, but it was not anticipated that he would lay violent hands upon himself. He partook of a hearty dinner on the day in question and was left alone in the house about half-past two o’clock

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What did You do in the Great War?
Edith Blackwell Empire Day Certificate (J Barrett)

What did You do in the Great War?

This phrase was often used to shame men who didn't fight in the Great War, but what of the women and children in those times? I have already researched the exploits of my Berkshire male ancestors in the Great War (BFH vol. 39 December 2015) but when I was recently handed a certificate given to a young girl in 1916, this set me thinking about what children did to help the war effort in those times.

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Henry Marriage Wallis – a Reading Benefactor
HM Wallis (Courtesy of Reading Local Studies Illustrations Collection)

Henry Marriage Wallis – a Reading Benefactor

Henry Marriage Wallis – although a name likely to be unknown to many – had several prominent roles during his time in Reading. Henry died on 10 November 1941 leaving his substantial estate (£27436 11s 9d – equivalent to over £1million in 2018) to his three surviving children.

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Ancestors in Debt
Marshalsea Gates by Russel Kenny (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Ancestors in Debt

Debt has at least as long a history as the concept of money: long before personal banking became the norm, every community has had a few individuals who lent out money to their friends, family and associates.

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