The Sole Society, a Family History Society researching Sole, Saul, Sewell, Solley and similar names

Letters and Messages

from Members

This article was originally published in the December 2003 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society

From Trevor Saul

The good offices of the Sole Society paid dividends when a William Miles, of Bolton, got in touch with John Slaughter to say that he had picked up the article " A War to End all Wars" in the Dec 2002 edition, now on the web site.

This man is a King's Liverpool Pals fanatic. He informs me that 22248 Sgt Frank Saul was awarded the Military Service Medal for "Acts of Gallantry in the field”. I think that this citation was common to MMs.

From "The History of The Kings Liverpool", July 12th 1918: The 1st battalion went into the front line in the Ayette sub sector on the 12th, the same night Capt E.R. Mace, officers and NCOs of "D" company, with regimental scouts, went out and reconnoitred the enemy's posts in No Mans Land in preparation for the raid. This reconnaissance was continued on the night of the 13th. Orders were issued the same night; the objects of the raid were to secure identifications and capture material; the strength of the raiding party was to be four officers and 136 other ranks, with eight Lewis guns.

On this raid Sergeant Frank Saul was awarded the Military Service Medal

Further research by Bill Miles shows that Frank Saul attended the Regimental annual reunions in Liverpool regularly from 1921 until 1953.  He has also sent a copy of the invitation card and a typewritten letter of apology signed by Frank in 1931 when illness prevented Frank attending.


From Mo Loake - Lt Col Roland James Sewell MBE

In the August 2003 edition of Soul Search we mentioned that Warrant Officer Colin Paul Sewell was awarded an MBE in 2002. Sole Society member Mo Loake wrote to tell us of her brother Lt Col Roland James Sewell of the Salvation Army. Roland as a Captain in 1991 was awarded the MBE for services to the Salvation Army and to Oxfam.

Roland, a Civil Engineer and his wife Dawn, a nurse, are both Salvation Army Officers. They have spent many years living and working in dangerous conditions and disaster areas of the world, including Ethiopia, Sudan, the Middle East, Ruanda, and Bosnia. Roland is now working at the Salvation Army Headquarters in London.


From Sheila McInnes - Helen CLARK nee SOLE

Sheila has kindly provided these photos of her grandmother, Helen CLARK nee SOLE

Helen was born in 1879 at Budock, Falmouth, Cornwall the daughter of George and Elizabeth Ann (HALL nee PELLOWE) SOLE, one of our larger Sussex families. She married John CLARK, a stoker mechanic in the Merchant Navy, in 1901 at Sittingbourne, Kent and they had four children of whom Gwyneth Eileen Lisette was the mother of our member Sheila McInnes.

One of the photos is coloured and both can be seen in the photo gallery in the Sole Society web site


From Marjorie Wigginton - Henry Thomas Soale

Henry Thomas Soale age 4.


Marjorie has kindly provided us with four photographs for the web site photo gallery. The one shown here is Henry Thomas Soale age 4.

Marjorie still has the Tartan Sash which is being worn by her father in 1914.





From Trevor Saul

Here’s a shot of Captain SAUL who is probably French. Captain Saul is second from the left. It comes from the book “The International Brigades” by Vincent Brome, 1965. Do we have any Francophiles in the Sole Society?

The photo is a group of republicans, i.e. those fighting Franco’s rebels or nationalists and was probably taken in October 1936.



From Jennifer Ball - Colindale obit

When searching in the British Museum Newspaper Library at Colindale earlier in the year I came across the following lines in the Kebles Margate and Ramsgate Gazette, issue dated 7th April 1900.

In memory of Gracie Frances Sole who died April 3rd 1897 in her 9th year.

She sleeps with Jesus, free from pain.

Our loss, though great, to her is gain;

Beloved by all who knew her here,

And to her family none more dear.

A note at the bottom of the column stated that 'The usual In Memoriam notice if prepaid is charged one shilling but if verses are added, one shilling extra is charged for each verse of four lines.'

Kebles was published from 3rd March 1870 to 30th May 1908. I made a note in case the member who is researching the tree to which Gracie belongs had not seen this touching little verse which evokes her memory again after a span of over a hundred years and to revive too the name of Kebles Margate and Ramsgate Gazette for the benefit of members who may be interested.


From Alma Merritt - Transcribing Parish Records

Alma spends a lot of time at the Warwick Record Office transcribing parish registers for eventual publication by the Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry. I asked her if she had any tips on transcribing and this is her reply: Ed

It is really down to practice, although I did go to Madingley for a weekend course on the secretary hand as I found I needed the basics.

I do wish more people would take up transcribing; I think anyone who is good at crossword puzzles would find it absorbing and there is a real sense of achievement on working out a difficult patch. The paper has faded with age and is spotty and the ink varies in depth (I swear some of it was watered down). Some of the persons making the entries could barely write and they could not spell. Smith could be Smyth at the whim of the writer and spelt both ways in one entry. Ann or Anne and often there's a little squiggle at the end of a name which could be an "e". An entry could refer to John Adcock's child and you have Adcock becoming Adcocks. Recently I have had "Flew Allen" which was an attempt at Llewellyn. (More recently and to sidetrack, I have had Elijah turned to Eliza in the IGI.)

I would like to comment on marriage certificates after Hardwick's Marriage Act in 1754 and up to 1837 (that's the date up to which I transcribe). There are two witnesses and the names are unknown and you spend a lot of time trying to fit them into the family tree somewhere. But in a very great number of marriages those witnesses are church officials or someone who just happened to be there. No relation at all. There is often a difference in spelling between the official making out the certificate in the register and the signatories. For example - VOICE but the bride signed VAUX. I looked in our local telephone directory and there are entries for Voice and I wonder if they know it should be otherwise.

With regard to marriage certificates generally, my grandfather was illegitimate but when he was married in 1883 he gave himself a dad for the day and I think this must often happen – just another instance of an unknown person one tries to fit into the tree. On the other hand a bride or groom may appear to be illegitimate because there is no father's name. When asked for the latter the answer has been “I haven't got one", but it is not a case of their not having one, just that there has been a father but he has died.

Alma has also kindly provided a couple of short articles she has previously written and these will be included in a future edition of Soul Search - Ed

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