Tragedy in 1938

The machine that John was moving with two other workmates.

Most families will have a tragedy somewhere in their family history. This happened for my family over 70 years ago, on the 28th February 1938. John Frank Edwin Lozuet (Aka Roy Davey) died at work while doing overtime. This is the course of events according to the many reports in the Jersey Evening Post:

THE STORE FATALITY – 1st March 1938

‘Mr. C. J. F. Petra said he was working with deceased last night. Vasse and Kean asked deceased if he would give them a hand to move the mixer. Witness did not notice anything more until he heard a shout and saw the deceased holding onto the machine with his two hands. Witness realised the machine was electrified when he saw Vasse, Kean and deceased struggling to free themselves from the machine. Witness called to the foreman to switch off and the three men collapsed to the floor.

By the Solicitor-General: There were three machines in the store and the usual rule was to switch off if the machines were moved for any reason. He had not actually had that order given up. Both witness and deceased were lorry drivers and worked overtime in the store in the evening. This had been going on for a month; deceased had worked on the machines before.

Mr. G. P. Davey said deceased was his adopted son, his name being John Frank Edwin Lozuet, born in St. Helier on August 5th, 1915. He saw deceased yesterday about 7pm; he was then in good health.”

The verdict of the inquest into John’s death was:

“That the death was due to electrocution at Messrs. W. A. Nicholls and Sons’ Store, 28 Commercial Buildings.” JEP 2 March 1938

Newspaper articles are invaluable for the amount of detail they give you. From this one piece I have already found out or confirmed the following;

  • John was known by two names firstly John Frank Edwin Lozuet, but mainly as Roy Davey. It  is very important  to find out if ancestors had nicknames when researching your family tree.
  • John’s occupation – a lorry driver
  • His father’s name was G. P. Davey (George Perchard Davey – my great grandfather)
  • John was adopted by my great grandfather George P. Davey – I knew that, but do not know who his real father is.
  • His birth date – 5 August 1915. He died at the young age of 23. His mother Clara Eliza Lozuet never got over his death.

The funeral details in the J. E. P.

I wonder if John had presumed the machine was already turned off and being tired from working so much overtime, he had not thought to check before he helped his workmates move it. The machine being moved was a Guano mixer. A Guano Mixer is “A device employed in fish-guano works for the purpose of thoroughly mixing the fish-scrap with mineral phosphates and sulphuric acid” (www.wordnik.com)

Below is a letter of condolence that Clara received in the post after John’s death.

A letter of condolence to John's mother, Clara Lozuet from the boys of the 'Dorset Tavern'. Dorset Street is where the family were living at the time of the accident.

Below is a photo of Roy doing one of his favourite past times, horse riding. I know very little about Roy’s horse riding except that it was thought that he trained/rode private horses for people.

Auxiliary female teachers during WW1

‘Our day’ – St. Ouen 1916

My aunty recently sent me the above photo cut out from the Temps Passe section in the Jersey Evening Post. It includes my father’s grandmother, Edith May Le Marquand.  I haven’t done a lot of research on this side of the family as I know that there has been a quite a bit of research done already.

Whenever you are passed a piece of family history it is always interesting, when it includes a photo of an ancestor it is like gold dust! My grandmother must have kept this in her belongings of treasured snippets of information. My aunty has come across it and kindly sent it onto me. And what a fascinating piece it is too!

Here are the words in the article that were written underneath:

In the J.E.P on 22 April 1997

This article gives you quite a few clues to explore further or details that may confirm what you already knew or were wanting to find out:

  • great grandmothers name – Edith Le Marquand
  • her job – she was an auxiliary teacher! I had heard it on the grapevine but had yet to see any evidence of this
  • the school – St. Ouen’s School (Primary) – this would make sense that she taught in St. Ouen’s parish as she lived there at Les Sixbulls when she married Alfred Boucheré. It would have been unlikely for auxiliary teachers to travel to a school on the other side of the island like they do now.
  • date of photo 1916 - as my grandmother was born c.1895, this would make her about 21 years old. Which doesn’t quite fit in with her being the lady on the far left as the article says. So which one she is exactly still remains a mystery…
  • the event ‘Our day’ – I hadn’t heard of this event before, so that is something new for me and my records. The flags are another lovely detail of how the day was presented
  • the returning War fiance – I know now that my great grandfather firstly went to war, and secondly where he was posted, Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia in Greek means ‘land between rivers’, and was the region now occupied by modern Iraq, eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and Southwest Iran.

Overview map of ancient Mesopotamia

To conclude, it makes you wonder how many more fascinating pieces of newspaper articles are out there, still hidden away in someone’s treasure box with some amazing snippet of information in them yet to be revealed.

Should any of this information be incorrect or you can provide more than please fell free to comment below or contact me. Anything extra from readers is always a bonus!