Photograph (Jack right-most)
Name on Plaque
Connection with Effingham
He was not native to Effingham and nor were his parents. However, his parents were living here at “Hill Crest” in Orestan Lane before the War and were still at this address after the War.
His grandfather David James Longhurst was born in Great Bookham to parents David and Mary in 1861 [GRO Ref: Epsom 2a 18, 1861 (Q2)] and was baptised there on June 6th 1861 [IGI: Batch C069761].
In 1888 David James married Mary Ann (née) Greathurst [GRO Ref: Epsom 2a 2, 1888 (Q3)]. She had been born to parents William and Sarah in West Horsley in 1865 [GRO Ref: Guildford 2a 50, 1865 (Q3)] and baptised at East Clandon on October 15th 1865 [IGI: Batch C104883].
David James and Mary Ann produced three daughters before producing in 1892 their first son David James (Jnr.), who was followed by Harry – the future father of Jack – on 23 May 1895. Harry was apparently registered as “Henry” and his birth reference is either [GRO Ref: Epsom 2a 17 1895 (Q2)] or [GRO Ref: Epsom 2a 27 1895 (Q3)]. Here is the family in the 1901 Census, living next to another Longhurst household:
Near [the] Common, Great Bookham, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG13 Piece 586 Folio 114 Page 5
William Longhurst : head : widower : 53 : gardener domestic : Great Bookham, Surrey
Arthur Longhurst : son : unm : 25 : carter on farm : Great Bookham, Surrey
Louisa Longhurst : dau : unm : 21 : — : Great Bookham, Surrey
Emma Longhurst : dau : unm : 18 : — : Great Bookham, Surrey
Stanley Longhurst : son : unm : 9 : — : Great Bookham, Surrey
David [James] Longhurst : head : mar : 39 : platelayer (railway) : Great Bookham, Surrey
Mary [Ann] Longhurst : wife : mar : 36 : — : West Horsley, Surrey
Edith Longhurst : dau : unm : 11 : — : Little Bookham, Surrey
Alice Longhurst : dau : unm : 10 : — : Great Bookham, Surrey
Ellen Longhurst : dau : unm : 7 : — : Great Bookham, Surrey
Harry Longhurst : son : unm : 5 : — : Great Bookham, Surrey
David [James] Longhurst : son : unm : 9 : — : Great Bookham, Surrey
Harry’s future wife was Ethel Ann (née) Saunders, born in Horley, Surrey on 23 November 1888 to parents James Saunders and his wife Emily Agnes (née Johnson) [GRO Ref: Reigate 2a 181, 1888 (Q4)]. Emily had been born around early 1862 [GRO Ref: Greenwich 1d 599, 1862 (Q1)] and had married James in 1884 [GRO Ref: Reigate 2a 285, 1884 (Q4)].
In 1891 the Saunders family was living in Limpsfield, Surrey:
Cottage, Grubb Street, Limpsfield, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG12 Piece 583 Folio 80 Page 13
James Saunders : head : mar : 29 : gardener : Lindhurst [sic – Lyndhurst], Hampshire
Emily A.[Agnes] Saunders : wife : mar : 29 : — : Deptford, Kent
Agnes E.[Emily] Saunders : dau : unm : 5 : scholar : Horley, Surrey
Reginald J. Saunders : son : unm : 3 : — : Horley, Surrey
Ethel A.[Ann] Saunders : dau : unm : 2 : — : Horley, Surrey
Alice G. Saunders : dau : unm : 4 months : — : Limpsfield, Surrey
By 1901 they had moved to Sutton:
The Lodge, Sutton Common Road, Sutton, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG13 Piece 580 Folio 142 Pages 47-48
James Saunders : head : mar : 39 : gardener domestic : Lyndhurst, Hampshire
Emily Saunders : wife : mar : 38 : — : Deptford, Kent
Reginald Saunders : son : unm : 13 : — : Horley, Surrey
Ethel [Ann] Saunders : dau : unm : 12 : — : Horley, Surrey
Alice Saunders : dau : unm : 10 : — : Limpsfield, Surrey
The 1911 Census finds Harry still living with his parents in Great Bookham, whilst Ethel Ann had left her parental home and was in service in Carshalton:
Shaftesbury Cottages, Great Bookham, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG14 Piece 2978 Schedule 155
David [James] Longhurst : head : mar : 49 : platelayer : Bookham, Surrey
Mary [Ann] Longhurst : wife : mar : 46 : — : Bookham [in error – West Horsley], Surrey
[David] James Longhurst : son : unm : 19 : saw mill hand : Bookham, Surrey
Nellie [Ellen] Longhurst : dau : unm : 17 : dressmaker : Bookham, Surrey
Harry Longhurst : son : unm : 15 : gardener boy : Bookham, Surrey
“Tarana”, The Ridgway [sic – Ridgeway], Carshalton, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG14 Piece 2924 Schedule 93
Ernest Phillips [sic] Humphrey : head : mar : 39 : merchant colonial soft goods : Hampstead, London
with his wife and 2 servants, including:
Ethel Ann Saunders : servant : unm : 23 : housemaid domestic : Horley, Surrey
Harry and Ethel Ann married in 1917 [GRO Ref: Epsom 2a 48, 1917 (Q3)]. Their marriage certificate states that the wedding took place at the Parish Church of Little Bookham on August 15th and was officiated by the Rector of Fetcham, W.H. Caldwell. Harry is described as a bachelor and munition worker whose father (named only as “Longhurst”) was occupied as a railway platelayer. Ethel Ann is described as a spinster, then residing at St. Margaret’s in Plumstead, whose father (named only as “Saunders”) was occupied as an inn keeper. The witnesses were her unmarried sister Agnes Emily and “James” Longhurst; the latter may have been her brother David James who, as the 1911 Census showed, was known simply as “James”.
Their son Jack Longhurst was born on 12 May 1920 [GRO Ref: Epsom 2a 95, 1920 (Q2)].
They may also have produced an unnamed daughter in 1921 [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 306, 1921 (Q4)] who appears to have died in infancy [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 219, 1921 (Q4)].
Harry’s father David James died aged “65” in 1926 [GRO Ref: Epsom 2a 89, 1926 (Q4)].
Ethel Ann’s mother Emily Agnes died aged “72” in 1934 [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 346, 1934 (Q1)].
The 1935 Electoral Register for Effingham evidently finds James Saunders and his (still unmarried) daughter Agnes Emily living at “Westmoor” in Orestan Lane. As explained on the page for Peter James Patrick Nicholls, it has been claimed that in this period the Saunders family was living at Old Westmoor Cottage opposite The Plough and that James was the latter’s inn keeper.
The 1939-40 Electoral Register finds James and Agnes Emily still at Old Westmoor Cottage. Harry and Ethel Ann were also living in Orestan Lane, at “Hill Crest”, together with Jack who was then occupied as a plumber.
It appears that James died, aged “78”, in 1940 [GRO Ref: Surrey S.W. 2a 890, 1940 (Q3)].
Jack served as a stoker in the Navy during the War. The photograph below shows him (on the right) with his friend Peter James Patrick Nicholls, taken in London when the latter was visiting a relative. Although he is seen here out of uniform, it is understood that he had already joined the Navy.
Jack died on November 10th 1942 whilst serving on HMS Ibis. This ship was one of the Black Swan, or Modified Egret, Class, typically used for convoy support and hunting submarines, but at this time she was escorting the North Africa landings and fending off aircraft attacks.
H.M.S. Ibis during the War (attributed to Graham White).
On November 10th the ship was off Algiers, with 350 men on board. She was attacked by enemy aircraft carrying air-launched torpedoes. Three of these aircraft were shot down by Ibis. Having evaded three torpedoes, she was struck near the engine room by a fourth one. Following the explosion the ship was filled with scalding steam and choking fumes. She capsized in 5 minutes and sank. Men in the water suffered from extreme cold and oil inhalation. Several hours later survivors were rescued by H.M.S. Scylla. Altogether 101 men from Ibis, Jack included, lost their lives.
Jack’s aunt Agnes Emily died in 1944 aged “58” [GRO Ref: Surrey S.W. 2a 591, 1944 (Q2)] and was buried with her parents in St. Lawrence churchyard:
In Loving Memory of
beloved wife of James Saunders
Died March 16th 1934 aged 72
“Peace Perfect Peace”
Also James Saunders
Died 10th Sept. 1940 aged 78 years
Agnes Emily Saunders
daughter of the above
Died 28th June 1944 aged 58 years
The 1945 Electoral Register finds Harry and Ethel Ann still living at “Hill Crest”. Ethel Ann’s mother Mary Ann probably died in 1946, aged “82” [GRO Ref: Surrey Mid.E. 2a 511, 1946 (Q1)].
It appears that Ethel Ann died aged “74” in 1964 [GRO Ref: Surrey Mid.E. 5g 249, 1964 (Q4)] and that Harry died aged “75” in 1970 [GRO Ref: Surrey Mid.E. 5g 275, 1970 (Q4)], registered (correctly) as “Henry”.
1. Service Record – not yet available
2. Commonwealth War Graves Commission Record
Date of Death
Stoker 1st Class
Royal Navy, H.M.S. Ibis
Son of Harry and Ethel Ann Longhurst, of Effingham, Surrey.
CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL