For no good reason (as ever) Chris and I went to Piercebridge last Sunday. It was a bit chilly. It’s just on the north side of the Tees, about five or six miles west of Darlington. In its cemetery was a most unusual memorial stone:
And here’s the other side:
A bit of trawling through ancestry.com and FreeBMD makes clear that this reads
“In memory of HANNAH, aged 17 years,/WINIFRED MARY, aged 15 years,/GENEVIEVE, aged 14 years/
the beloved daughters of / BENJAMIN T and HARRIETT ORD/ OF PIERCEBRIDGE/ ALSO OF/ETHEL MAY aged 14 years/BELOVED DAUGHTER OF/THOMAS WILLIAM and ELIZABETH STOKELL/OF HARTLEPOOL/WHO WERE DROWNED IN THE TEES/
ON SUNDAY MAY 2 1897″
(WINIFRED seems tohave been spelled WINIFREDE)
The Stokells were living in Whitby in 1891; they had two sons; he was a painter and brick manufacturer. The younger son had died two years earlier (the elder survived till 1957).
Ord was a photographer from Bishop Auckland; he had one elder and one younger daughter, and a younger son in 1891 (when they were living in Piercebridge). He died in 1899, aged 52. In 1901, Harriett Ord is still in Piercebridge, and is a poultry farmer. Her younger daughter and son are still with her. In 1911, she is still in Piercebridge, ‘of private means’. She is listed as having lost four of seven children.
It is very odd that a tragedy like this has not slipped on to the internet. Ord – was his early death cause and effect? – was a photographer at a time when it is almost inconceivable that there will have been no photos taken of the girls. And the Northern Echo must have reported it (an inquest seems likely). So, to honour these poor lasses, I’ll keep at this one.
Sorry for my 18 month-plus hiatus. I’ll answer the queries posted as soon as I can. I’m back …