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Charlton Marshall Village HistorySun, 21st July 2019

Charlton Marshall Village History

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2005: Tombstones and Memorials

I knew that the White family who lived in Charlton House in the early 19th century had links with Poole and the Newfoundland fishing industry. What I didn’t know was that the Streets who owned it before them, had likewise been in the Newfoundland business. One Saturday morning this summer I went into the church and found Marjorie there talking to two men; one of them was from Newfoundland and was researching the Street family, to whom he was related. He was interested in the big oval monument on the north wall and we then found that some of the table tombs near the door of the church belong to this family too.

The current interest in Family History means that people come looking for tombstones, or in some cases just wanting to see the place where an ancestor lived. The notes that they put in the Church visitors’ book sometimes lead to new information about the village, and sometimes this allows me to give people family links of which they were not aware. My email address is also on a flyer in the church and this has produced some useful contacts.

Charlton House became Clayesmore Preparatory School in 1937, and moved to Iwerne Minster in 1974. We get a significant trickle of former pupils coming through the village, and get such comments in the Church Visitors’ Book as ‘I used to pump the organ here’.

One of the most interesting discoveries was of Henry Mayor who before moving to Blandford in the 1860s, lived in one of the cottages near the church. Again the link came through someone looking for a grave. I subsequently discovered a lot of information in microfilmed copies of the Blandford Express from the 19th century in Poole Local History Centre. There were links with Kingston Lacy, with the National Agricultural Labourers’ Union, with the Temperance movement, and with the chapel in Gravel Lane. The highlight, one summer evening, was to go into Blandford with the person who had made the original contact, and quite ‘by accident’ find Henry Mayor’s workshop; we were just able, in the evening light, to make out his name embossed in the plaster.

Around this time last year, hidden away, I found a beautifully oak-framed Roll of Honour from the first world war; it lists not just those who died, but every man from the village who joined the services - and what a roll call of local names it is. It went on show in the church at the time of the Remembrance Day service last year.

Local people have shared their memories with me, some have loaned me photographs, and some have allowed me to look at old house deeds etc. If you’ve got anything to share, however insignificant it seems, please get in touch; it is probably something that nobody else has mentioned yet. It’s our story of our village.

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