Tuesday, 11 May 2021

It's the Pits Again!

 A few of the birds at Paxton today.  The cormorant looked as if it had lost its punt!

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Takeaway Grub

 Our female woodpecker has made several visits to the feeders today.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

St Andrew's, Girton

 The next parish to Oakington, Girton also has a church of Saint Andrew.  That's five in the district.  He got about a bit, did Scotland's patron saint!  This is the most crenellated church in the area, and neat but austere inside.  Refurbishment took place in 1853, and signs of repair can be seen on the north side.  Above the porch is a small room for private prayer; it is accessed by a steep and dangerous staircase lit by a quatrefoil window seen in pic. 5.  It was full of junk, including painted wood triptyches.  The churchyard is open to the world - no fence or wall.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

St Andrew's, Oakington

 A church that makes a lot of music from the look of the amplifiers and music stands scattered around.  The chancel ceiling is painted rather than embossed.  Some lovingly-crafted woodwork adorns the church, especially the clever folding chairs beside the altar.  The east window shows St Andrew and St Ethelreda (holding a model of Ely Cathedral). 

Friday, 30 April 2021

St Andrew's, Orwell

 The third church of Saint Andrew in South Cambridgeshire.  It has a prominent position on the hill at the top of Town Green Road.  It has two side aisles and the chancel looks to have been added or rebuilt after the nave.  It has a beautifully-decorated wooden ceiling.   The royal coat of arms looks as if it really does date from 1686.  

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Memorials at Harlton Church (2)


The first plaque commemorates William Ellison, M.A., who died in October 1922, aged 69 (so born in ?1853).  He was a chaplain of the Bengal Ecclest: Est.  from 1883 to 1902, then rector of Papworth Everard 1902 to 1908 and finally rector of Harlton 1908 to 1922.  His M.A. suggests he was educated at Cambridge, due to his location on his return from India.  Bengal had a large number of Christian churches and a cathedral, St Paul’s, but I can find no trace of a ‘Bengal Ecclesiastical Establishment’ as an entity.  At least three of his children were born in North-West India, a long way from Bengal.

The second plaque commemorates Mary Ellison, born in Ealing 13th November 1864, who died at Cambridge on 2nd July 1953, aged 89.  No maiden name is given, but the wording states she was the mother of nine children.  Her husband’s plaque says it was ‘a token of love from his wife and eight children’, so presumably one had died before 1922.

Another pair of plaques commemorate the service in the Great War of four of the Ellison sons.  The oldest of these was John Ellison, born in Jullundur (Jalander) in NW India on 31st October 1886, when his mother would have been just short of her 22nd birthday.  He qualified as a doctor from Cambridge University, served in the RAMC at Gallipoli and later became an obstetrician and FRCOG.  He died at Barton-le-Clay (Bedfordshire) on 19th October 1939, aged 52.  

The next mentioned is William Julius Ellison, born at Dalhousie in India (not far from Jalander) on 26th June 1891 and educated to M.A. level, presumably at Father’s alma mater, Cambridge.  He served in the Royal Field Artillery and was wounded at Gallipoli in 1915 and later in France in 1917.  He reached the rank of captain.  He died in Geneva on 28th September 1931, aged 40.

Also in the Royal Field Artillery was Arthur David Ellison, born at Dunga Gali, India, on 2nd June 1894.  Dunga Gali was a sanatorium town in the hills during British rule, and is now in Pakistan.  He gained a B.A., so either he did not go to Cambridge, or he was unable to stay the extra year for his M.A.  He was wounded in France in 1917, reached the rank of major and was awarded the M.C.  He died in Bangkok, Siam, on 22nd January 1924, aged 30.

Eighteen months after the birth of Arthur, on 4th November 1895, Mary Ellison gave birth to Harold Summerhayes Ellison.  The birth took place in Ealing, so presumably Mary was at her parents’ home for some occasion, or for health reasons.  Why he has a family name as a second Christian name is a mystery.  He perhaps did not go to university, as after army training, 1916 found him on active service and wounded twice, aged only 20.  He was wounded again, in France, in 1917, but reached the rank of major and was awarded the M.C. and the Croix de Guerre.  He died in Tandjong Bringin, Sumatra, on 18th July 1923, aged just 28.

So William Ellison did not seem to have been in Bengal very long, perhaps leaving after his marriage, which would have been around October 1885, with Mary just 21.  Henry Jan (or Ian) Ellison was born in 1902, presumably in England, and died in 1984, aged 82.  As his mother was 38 years old at his birth, perhaps he was her youngest child.  He carved the Madonna and Child that now adorns the churchyard, as well as the twelve Apostles behind the altar.  Of female children there is no mention.  There would surely have been a child between John and William Julius?   The service records are on the Roll of Honour because even the oldest child was only 16 when William senior became rector of Harlton, so they had all lived in the village.  They seem to have been the only officers from the parish.  I wonder whether their wounds contributed to their early deaths?  

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

On The Feeder

 A female Great Spotted Woodpecker is a frequent but wary visitor to the suet cage.  The Rook is even more wary but proves that wings can overcome squirrel guards.