Every family has its black sheep, and if you dig deeply enough its heroes (often forgotten heroes). This Article is dedicated to ordinary people who through their own personal achievements have left their mark on society in some small way. People like Thomas Arthur VC who fought in the Crimean War and won the Victoria Cross and George Burgess who made his mark in society (but not in the history books) for his lifetime dedication to Phrenology. And in not forgetting the millions of forgotten heroes of war this page also pays tribute to them.
Thomas Arthur VC (1835-1902)EditThomas Arthur VC (c1835-1902), aka Thomas McArthur, fought in the Crimea War as Rank Gunner & Driver in the Royal Regiment of Artillery and won the Victoria Cross at Sebastopol.
In June 1855 twenty-year-old Gunner and Driver Thomas Arthur, a member of the Royal Artillery Regiment, was serving with his artillery battery in an advanced position at Sebastopol. The British were attacking the Russians in an endeavour to capture the Quarries. Thomas Arthur was in charge of the ammunition magazine but his deeds went well beyond that call of duty. The fighting was intense and he realised that infantry of the 7th Fusiliers were short of ammunition. Despite having to cross open ground, under fire from the enemy, he made repeated runs carrying supplies of ammunition. Eleven days later, he volunteered to lead a party to spike the guns of the Russian artillery who were positioned at the Redan, a fortified gun position. And on numerous other occasions he left the trenches to bring in wounded officers and men. It is for this combination of heroic actions that he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
- Born of humble background c1835 at Abbotsham, Devon as Thomas Arthur. Thomas Arthur and Ann Goddard (c1833-1915) married in 1859 while Thomas Arthur VC (c1835-1902) was serving in the British Army. However, c1868 while living in India (and still serving in the Army), he and his wife changed their names to Thomas McArthur and Britannia McArthur respectively!
George Burgess, Phrenologist (1829-1905)EditGeorge Burgess (1829-1905) Practiced Phrenology in the Arcades, Bristol from 1861 to 1901.
Born of a humble background in 1829, Staple Hill, Bristol George Burgess travelled to America with his brother-in-law when they were teenagers to finish their apprenticeship as Stone Masons; his brother-in-law died out there.
George returned to Bristol, England three times to see his ailing mother. He never returned to America after his third visit a decision he ever regretted. It was while in America he learnt about Phrenology and on his final return to England set up his own practice as a phrenologist in the shopping Arcades in Bristol from where he practiced his profession for forty years until his retirement in 1901.
As a Phrenologist he published at least two books on the subject, wrote his own poems and diary. He also kept a scrapbook of newspaper articles covering most of his working life from the 1850's to 1900's which gives insight into his life as a person.
Lillian Maud England (1879-1958)EditLillian Maud England (1879-1958) For dedication to the poor and needy children.
Lillian from a prominent Quaker family, the daughter of William George England, married Frederick Thomas Jenner (a Quaker wedding) on the 1st January 1901. After their wedding she adopted and religiously followed her newly wed husband's faith; the Salvation Army.
In life she was the pillar of society. She was a local Liberal candidate who for her active adult life consistently worked in the local community and for the community doing whatever she could to help the poor and needy; especially the children. With eight children of her own she also took in waifs and strays (children in need) and brought them up in the Salvation Army faith as part of her own family. Lillian was a very prim and proper person who was very particular on how she brought up her children and the children in her care.
Florence Eveline Jenner (1901-1994)EditFlorence Eveline Jenner (1901-1994) aka Eva Baglin the daughter of Lillian Maud England and Frederick Thomas Jenner, a family of some prominence and wealth. She had an ordinary childhood and led an ordinary life. Her father volunteered to fight in the first world war although he didn't have to because he was in a reserved occupation and her mother worked in the local community supporting the poor and needy, especially the children.
However, because Eva was the oldest of eight she was destined to care for others from childhood. She had to look after her seven siblings (and sometimes other children) on the occasions when her mother was in hospital. And in adulthood she ended-up looking after both mother and mother-in-law in their old age; and an uncle (Arthur Edward England) who visited for a weekend and stayed until he died.
She also dedicated her life to the Salvation Army (Staple Hill, Bristol, Corp) where over many years she did her own sermons in the Home League. She was the Songster Leader, became responsible for catering and involved herself in the forget-me-not club; and as a dedicated Salvationist worked within the community and for the community visiting the elderly and sick in hospitals.
Grace Enid Baglin (1933-2006)EditGrace Enid Baglin (1933-2006) was inspiration to her family for her flair for writing her everyday life experiences.
Grace was the daughter of Florence Eveline Jenner and Edward William Burgess Baglin (Florence being the daughter of Lillian Maud England and Edward the grandson of George Burgess).
Although born into a respectable family she was a square peg in a round hole! She found life at home too prim and proper (a rebel at heart) and married young as a means of escape and although her marriage was a reasonably happy one it didn't last!
Like her father she was a socialist supporting Labour most of her life but switching to the Liberal party when Labour became New Labour. She suffered illness most of her life due to diabetes and having split from her husband survived on a meagre income.
However, she was a happy-go-lucky person looking on the bright side of life (most of the time), and with a great sense of humour and a vivid imagination she had a flair for writing, no doubt inherited from her great-grandfather (George Burgess).
She wrote in one of her letters "When you have your little ones, encourage them to use their imagination and instincts. If these gifts are smothered, by forcing them to “conform to society” too much, you will be doing them a great disservice."
Arthur Allan Bang (1922-2004)EditArthur Allan Bang (1922-2004) Rang the Bells of St Andrew's Church of England, Lutwyche, Brisbane, Australia for over 50 years.
Arthur, born in Brisbane on the 8 March 1922, the son of Hans Bang (1897--1972) and Clara Anna Bertha Andersen (1897-1968), married Patricia Helen Stickler (1932-1995), the great-great granddaughter of Thomas Arthur VC, is to be remembered by his family and the local community for his dedication to the local church. Notably, For over half a century Arthur rang the Bells at St. Andrews. The Bells being the largest in the Southern Hemisphere until Queen Elizabeth put a slightly larger one into service in a Canberra church in 1970.
The Forgotten HeroesEditThe Unknown Soldiers; The many millions who perished in battle and not identified
and Kenneth Jenner (1924-1944) who died of TB in hospital, but he also died a war hero!
Kenneth Jenner died of TB in hospital, but he also died a war hero. He was discharged from the Royal Marines on the 26th November 1943 on the grounds that he was "Physically unfit for Royal Marine Service". According to his sister (Eva Baglin) and his niece (Grace Russ) he was hit in the shoulder by a sniper while on active duty and was sent back to England to recover in hospital. While in hospital recovering from his war wound he contracted TB and a year later (on the 26th October 1944) he died of TB.
Ken's name, with many others who died fighting for their country, is on the war memorial in Page Park, Staple Hill, Bristol, England.
- Ordinary People with personal achievements List on Squidoo of ordinary people in history with personal achievements.