Ken & Teresa Ripper's Ancestors and Family

John Connor (1821 - ?)

Sergeant, 88th of Foot - The Connaught Rangers



Descent to Teresa Oldridge


John Connor (1821 - ?)


Ann Melsop nee Robinson (? - ?)

... their son

Lawrence Patrick Connor (1858 - 1911)


Sarah Elizabeth Eves (1864 - 1947)

... their daughter

Margaret Mary Connor (1885 - 1964)


Arthur Irving (1884 - 1943)

... their son

Leslie Basil Irving (1909 - 1973)


Alice Mary Cox (1909 - 2000)

... their daughter

Phyllis Mary Irving (1927 - )


Victor Oldridge (1922 - )

... their daughter

Teresa Mary Oldridge (1949 - )


Kenneth Robert Ripper (1949 - )




John Connor was born in Rogerstown, Drogheda in County Meath in Ireland on 28th March 1821, the son of Richard Connor. Detail of any brothers and sisters is not yet known



Army Service

24 Oct 1839

Enlisted as a labourer from Meath, being paid 1/1d (one shilling and one old penny) per day from that date

1 Jan 1840 to 31 Mar 1840

Absent from general muster whilst in General Hospital; no reason for this is given

15 Apr 1840

Muster book shows him as absent without pay, but no ensuing disciplinary action is recorded, such as loss of pay

4 Oct 1847

Awarded good conduct badge

9 Apr 1848

Promoted to corporal

25 Oct 1849

Awarded second good conduct badge

4 Apr 1854

Embarked with service companies for Malta for 5 years

10 May 1854

Promoted to sergeant

5 November 1854

Battle of Inkerman

6 November 1854

Surgeon's report states that his ring finger on his left hand was amputated

10 July 1855





John enlisted in Dublin on the 25th October 1839 with a stated age of 19 (probably overstated by six months) in the 88th Foot, the Connaught Rangers. Upon enlistment he made a mark, being unable to sign his name. His army number was #1402.


At the time he was 5' 8½" tall, had grey eyes, brown hair and was of pale complexion. The pay and muster books record that he was paid a bounty on enlistment of £3 17s 6d and the recruiting sergeant received 18s 6d.

Badge of the Connaught Rangers

Connaught Rangers Badge

John’s signature on his discharge papers

They also record his occupation as a baker of Drogheda. Throughout his career he is described variously as a baker and a labourer from Drogheda, Meath and Louth.


At the time of his enlistment the Connaught Rangers were stationed at Richmond Barracks, Dublin and John remained there for a year




Ireland (1840)

During this time John was selected as one of a group men under Corporal William Joyce escorting William Duddy, a deserter of the 64th Regiment from Londonderry to Boyle.


His colleagues were Private Michael Barry, Private Stephen German (who replaced Private John Grace at the last minute) and Private Jerome or Heron. Their part was the 4 day march from Dublin to Mullingar, which is 47 miles west north west of Dublin. The outbound march lasted from the 25th to the 28th of February 1840. The return trip was marched in the period from 29th February to 3rd March.


John went absent without leave (AWOL) on the 11th and 12th May 1840 for which he was deducted two days pay but no other disciplinary action seems to have been taken

Connaught Rangers on the Roads of Ireland

Connaught Rangers recruiting in Ireand


The incidence of AWOL seems high in the records and appears to be tolerated. In the third quarter of 1840 he was stopped two day’s pay whilst he was on board ship. The reason for him being on board ship has not been specified.


For 34 days in the months of October and November 1840 John was in General Hospital but the cause of this is not known.




Shortly after he was released from hospital the regiment left Dublin for Cork and John embarked with the second division for Malta on November 30, 1840, arriving in Valetta on New Year’s Eve.

In Malta, the Connaught Rangers occupied Fort Ricasoli for a few weeks and then moved to Fort Sant’ Elmo when the 92nd Regiment left. They moved back and forth between Fort Santa Elmo and Floriana for six years. They also spent one year during this time at Cottonera.

Fort Ricasoli

Fort Ricasoli

For the whole of 1841 and 1842 John was shown as being with the regiment. There are some occasional absences explained by hospital interment and guard duties.


During most of 1843 he is shown on detachment for unspecified reasons. This continues until March 1844 when he is shown in hospital again.


Fort Ricasoli

On March 18th he left Malta for home, without the regiment, indicating that his illness or his recruiting skills (or both) may have been the motivation behind his return.



West Indies

The 88th left Malta on the freight ship Herefordshire for the West Indies on January 14, 1847. Whilst in the West Indies the regiment lost a number of officers and men, women and one child, to yellow fever. In May 1851 the Service Battalion embarked on the freight ship Bombay and sailed to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada where they lost a large quantity of plate and valuable mess property during a severe fire at the old wooden barracks.



John Connor next appears in the records on October 3, 1844 at the Depot Battalion in Aberdeen where the battalion had just arrived from Paisley under the command of Major Jefferey.


Voucher No.52, to cover the expense of "one man from Chatham", is attached to Major Jeffrey's October 3rd record. This lends credence to John probably having arrived from Malta by troopship, docked at nearby Sheerness and he then being confined to the military hospital in nearby Chatham for the summer.


John moved from Aberdeen with the depot battalion in June 1845 to Boyle in Ireland.



Ireland (1845 - 1850)

John and the Depot Battalion of the Connaught Rangers found themselves returning to their Irish homeland at the start of the Great Potato Famine and they did not leave again until the end of the famine was in sight.


As soldiers of the British Army their usual diet was meagre, although during the years of the famine this food must have been welcome when compared with the hardships their parents and families were suffering. Standard daily rations consisted of a pound of bread, eaten at breakfast with coffee, and three quarters of a pound of meat, boiled for a midday meal in large cookhouse coppers.


The 88th spent their first year in Boyle, Co Roscommon and, during this time, John was detached to Sligo for unnamed reasons, but probably recruiting soldiers as this appears to have been his forte. John went on furlough from 17 December 1845 until 29 January 1846. He is then shown as recruiting at Maynooth. During April to June 1846 he was recruiting in Galway, apparently alone as a voucher is raised for "1 man to Galway". For the period from July to September 1846 he rejoined his depot battalion at Castle Barr and Birr. From these bases he travels around the local countryside recruiting for the regiment.


A writer in the United Service Gazette a few years later says of the Connaught Rangers of this period:

"Perhaps the whole world does not furnish a more striking instance of the influence of military discipline upon the Irish character than is supplied in the gallant 88th, the Connaught Rangers.


The regiment is composed entirely of Irishmen recruited for the most part in the county Galway, from among a people who have long borne an unenviable reputation for lawless conduct…. Yet, brought within the wholesome and humanizing influence of military discipline and placed under a commander in whom the suaviter in modo et fortiter in re are most felicitously combined (i.e. Colonel Shirley), these Galway men become the most docile as well as the most gallant troops – objects at once of admiration and envy.

Bringing out the dead during the Potato Famine

Bringing out the dead during the Potato Famine

It is a fact of which the glorious 88th may be proud, as it is of the laurels so gloriously earned in the Peninsula, that crime is totally unknown in the regiment."


Perhaps these comments should also be viewed in light of the famine as Galway, along with the other western counties, were the hardest hit when the crops failed.

Birr Castle

Birr Castle

Birr was possibly where John met his future wife, the widow Anne (Robinson) Melsop.


Anne’s first husband, Thomas Melsop was in the 16th Lancers and he may have been killed during the Sikh Wars of 1845-1846. Widows of men killed in action received no support but were expected to rely on charity – widows’ pensions were not introduced until the time of the Boer War, around 1900.


On October 4th 1847 John was awarded his first Good Conduct Badge and an extra penny a day in his pay.

Sometime later during the same October the Depot Battalion moved from Birr to Tralee, Co Kerry, and Anne Melsop must have gone with them.


On 30th October 1847 there is a marriage by licence at Tralee Registrar's Office of a Private John Connor (son of Richard Connor, a carpenter) of the 88th Regiment (bachelor of full age) resident at Tralee Barracks to Anne Mellsop (widow, servant) living at Well Lane, Tralee in Co Kerry. Her father is given as John Robinson, a trader. The marriage was witnessed by Margaret O'Sullivan and Patrick Sullivan.


It appears from later research that John was Roman Catholic and Anne was Protestant which may have been the reason for the Registry Office marriage.


According to the pay and muster rolls John Connor was promoted to Corporal on April 9, 1848.

Tralee Church


John’s firstborn son, Richard Connor, was born in Tralee and baptised at the Catholic Church on August 4, 1848.


On October 20, 1849 John Connor was awarded his second Good Conduct Badge and a second increase of one penny a day – he then received 2d. per day extra. As a Corporal, John’s basic salary would be 1s.6d. per day plus the two Good Conduct Pays of 1d. each. The Depot Battalion remained in Tralee until April 1850 when they moved to Castlebar where they remained until the end of the year and then left Ireland, for England.


Whilst in Castlebar, John and Anne had a second son, whom they named John and he was baptized at the Catholic Church on May 10, 1850. Unfortunately, young John must have died at an early age as the couple named another son John a few years later.



The Kerry Recruit

At the age of nineteen, I was diggin' the land
With me brogues on me feet and me spade in me hand.
Says I to meself, "What a pity to see
Such a fine Kerry lad footing turf in Tralee."


Chorus: To me Kerry-I-Ah, fa lal deral lay,
Kerry-I-Ah, fa lal deral lay.


So I buttered me brogues and shook hands with me spade
Went off to the fair like a dashing young blade.
A sergeant come up and said "Would ye enlist?"
"Sure, sergeant," says I, "Slip the bob in me fist".


Then up came a captain, a man of great fame,
Who straightways enquires me country and name;
Well, I told him before as I'd tell him again
That me father and mother were both Kerrymen.


Well the first thing they gave me it was a red coat
With a lump of black leather to tie 'round me throat.
The next thing they gave me --- I said "What is that?"
"Sure, man, a cockade for to stick in yer hat!"


The next thing they gave me they called it a horse
With a saddle and bridle, me two legs across.
Well, I gave 'er the whip and I gave 'er the steel
And, Oh Holy Mother! She went like an eel.


The next thing they gave me, they called it a gun,
So under the trigger I settled me thumb.
The gun it belched fire, and vomited smoke
And gave me poor shoulder the Divil's own stroke.

The next place they took us was down to the sea,
Aboard a great warship, bound for the Crimee,
Three sticks in the middle, all covered with sheet
She walked on the water without any feet.


We reached Balaclava all safe and all sound,
And tired and weary we lay on the ground.
Next morning at daybreak a bugle did call,
And served us a breakfast of powder and ball.


We whipped them at Alma and at Inkerman
But the Russians they foiled us along the Redan.
While scaling a rampart meself lost an eye
And a great Russian bullet ran away with me thigh.


All dyin' and bleedin' I lay on the ground,
With arms, legs and feet all scattered around.
Says I to meself, "If me father was nigh
He would bury me, sure, just for fear I might die."


But a surgeon come up and he soon staunched the blood,
And he gave me an elegant leg made of wood;
And they gave me a medal and tenpence a day
Contented with Sheelagh I live on half-pay.


Now that was the story my grandfather told,
As he sat by the fire all withered and old.
"Remember," said he, "that the Irish fight well,
But the Russian artillery's hotter than Hell."




The first six months of 1851 were spent in Bury, Lancashire, after which the battalion moved to Canterbury, Kent where they were reunited, in July, with the Service Battalion who had just arrived from the West Indies via Nova Scotia.


During the period 1851-1854, the regiment moved extensively around the south of England stopping for seven months in Canterbury then eleven months at Parkhurst Barracks at Newport on the Isle of Wight. On September 25, 1852 a fire broke out in some private premises in Carisbrooke Road, Newport, and the Rangers had a notable part in putting it out. Both the Mayor of Newport and the fire insurance office thanked the 88th for their "very valuable assistance which mainly contributed to arresting that which threatened to be a very serious conflagration".


 In February 1853 the regiment went off to Haslar and Fort Monkton at Gosport, and in May they moved again to both Cambridge and Anglesea Barracks at Portsmouth where John was detached to go recruiting at Weymouth. On July 14, 1853 the Connaught Rangers proceeded by route-march and rail to Chobham, Surrey where they formed part of a large force and undertook exercises in brigades and divisions – a form of military training not undertaken in Britain since the Peninsula War of 1809-1814.

The Connaught Rangers at Chobham

Connaught Rangers at Chobham

The regiment returned to Bury on August 20, 1853, taking the train from Staines and arriving in Bury at 9 p.m. "an excellent railway performance for that period". They remained in the Ashton-under-Lyne, Burnley, Stockport and Preston areas until the outbreak of the Crimean War on March 28, 1854.


The immediate political background to the Crimean War can be traced to November 30, 1853, when the Russians destroyed the Turkish fleet at the Black Sea port of Sinope, leading to public outcry in Britain and France. In March 1854, after Russia ignored their demand to evacuate Moldavia and Walachia, Britain and France declared war believing that their naval supremacy would bring a quick victory. They were later joined by the Italian kingdom of Sardinia which hoped to gain favour with Great Britain and France, to gain their help in expelling Austria from the smaller Italian kingdoms.


Military preparations began which directly concerned the Rangers towards the latter part of 1853, and in February 1854 it was intimated that the 88th would be included in an expedition then being organized for the Near East. The regiment left its scattered quarters at Bury, Burnley, and Ashton-under-Lyne, in the middle of March and moved to Fulwood Barracks, Preston, where the preliminary organization into Service and Depot companies was carried out. The Depot, now consisting of two companies only, was sent to Burnley and, this time, John stayed with the Service Companies.


John was with one of the two detached companies in Stockport, Cheshire for the January and February musters in 1854 and then, in March, he joined the regiment in Preston, Lancashire.


On March 28th war with Russia was formally declared and the 88th received orders on April 2nd to embark at Liverpool five days later on the following Tuesday. It is interesting to note that a number of women went with the men to the Crimea but Anne, John’s wife, was not amongst them – we shall see later that John remitted money to her at home during his time at war.

Niagara approaching Gibraltar

The Niagara off Gibraltar

At Liverpool a most enthusiastic reception was given to the Connaught Rangers, so much so that their march to the pier was very difficult.


John embarked on the Cunard steamer Niagara with the Service Companies (entire battalion) at noon on April 4, 1854 and set sail for the Crimea at 3 a.m. the next day.


The Niagara reached Malta on Good Friday, April 14th, after a pleasant voyage.

Leaving Malta the same night the 88th landed at Scutari, opposite Constantinople (now Istanbul), on the 19th and took up their quarters in the Turkish barracks, a large building that would subsequently become famous as the hospital where Florence Nightingale and her nurses tended the wounded and those who fell ill from rampant disease. John was to be an inmate of Scutari, as we shall see later.




The 88th joined forces with the 77th and 95th and became known as the "Yellow Brigade", all three regiments having yellow facings on the uniforms.

They shifted out of the barracks into tent camps to make room for more incoming regiments from Britain.


On May 10th, Corporal John Connor was promoted to Sergeant.


On May 29th the regiment embarked on the Cambria for Varna in Bulgaria.


The tent allowance was one tent for every fourteen men and the men’s kit (in knapsacks) was ordered to be reduced to a few necessities only.


"The remaining articles," wrote Colonel Stevens in an early history of the 88th "were left behind in those most useless of inventions, the squad-bags, which were confided to the care of a rascal at Pera, and were, I believe, never seen again: at least I never got back the articles which I left in his charge."

Connaught Rangers uniform at the time of the Crimean War

Connaught Rangers in uniform of the time of the Crimean war

Later, we shall see John’s discharge papers show he claimed for lost kit – at least we know what happened to it.

On June 1st the regiment was at Varna, Bulgaria where they were part of the Anglo-French force assisting the Turks against the Russians. At this time, according to the pay rolls, John sent £2 to his wife, Anne Connor. It was this note in the pay rolls that gave the first indication of the name of his wife, which had been unknown before this discovery.


The days in Varna were dull and monotonous broken up with a few impromptu race meetings. John would have gone out with the other men to drill every morning from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., which they found very trying due the heat and lack of food. Their commanding officer, Colonel Shirley, saved the 88th much discomfort by arranging for all the men to have coffee and bread before drills – an arrangement not made by the COs of other regiments.


The boredom came to a halt with the first outbreak of cholera on July 23rd. From then on their camping ground was frequently changed in the hope of counteracting the epidemic but the cholera spread throughout the Allied army and continued during the rest of the summer and autumn.


The situation of the war changed at this time and the Allied forces were ordered to return to the Crimea from Bulgaria. John and the rest of the Connaught Rangers, along with sixteen ladies, embarked on the Orient, transport No.78, on August 30th where they stayed until September 7th before the fleet set sail for Calamita Bay in the Crimea.


Between the end of July and the time they set sail the 88th had forty-nine deaths from cholera, two from fever and many men were left behind in hospital in Varna.


Many of the horror stories reported in the popular press of the day stem from the time that followed this landing back in the Crimea. There was trouble from the very first night and winter hadn’t started yet.


A writer recorded a description of the Connaught Ranger’s and John’s first night ashore which reads:

"This, our first experiment of lying down to sleep in the open air can never be forgotten. The officers had no baggage beyond such as each could carry, and the knapsacks of the men having been left on board the Orient each man had only a shirt and a pair of boots wrapped in one blanket, with three days’ rations of salt-pork and biscuit. It rained heavily all night and was extremely cold. As only grass and furze could be obtained no fires would burn more than a few minutes, thus nothing could be cooked and the few articles the men had brought were soaked."

The Battle of the Alma

The Battle of the Alma

Six days later was the Battle of the Alma (River) on September 20th. The Connaught Rangers’ casualties were very light due to the confusion that would become the hallmark of this war.


They immediately marched towards Sebastopol as siege operations had become necessary and they pitched camp near Balaklava.


John and his colleagues were still sleeping in the open until October 4th when an officer managed to obtain tents for the division from Balaklava. Cholera was still causing sickness but there were fewer cases than in Bulgaria and the daily routine is described by Colonel Stevens:

"Our days passed very much alike: after being under arms before daylight (exceedingly cold work), the remainder of the day, when off duty, was passed as best we could in camp visits or trips to Balaklava. Dinner came off at 3 p.m., regimental parade at 4 p.m., the evening being finished with a cup of tea, a pipe, a glass of grog, and then to bed, effected by lying on the ground in one’s clothes, wrapped in a blanket and cloak – the hardest of beds – this was accomplished at 8 p.m."

Sometime during this month John sent his wife, Annie, another £1 from his pay. John spent the rest of his time on 12-hour day or night sentry duties in the trenches or as a member of one of the working parties who were constructing a twenty-one gun battery in preparation for the Siege of Sebastopol.



The Battle of Balaklava

The first bombardment lasted six days until October 25th when an attack by the Russian army brought on the Battle of Balaklava in which the 88th, as a unit, was not involved. It was here that, through an error in the transmission of orders, the light cavalry brigade under Lord Cardigan charged massed Russian artillery in that most famous of all cavalry charges – The Charge of the Light Brigade. Also at Balaklava, the 93rd Foot, 2nd Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, immortalised themselves as the Thin Red Line. 31 men of the 88th who were in hospital at Scutari were "dragged out" as walking wounded to form part of that famous Thin Red Line. Only 31 men of the 88th, therefore, earned the clasp "Balaklava".



The Battle of Inkerman

The next day, the 26th, John saw action repulsing the Russians in the first Battle of Inkerman but the battles of the 25th and 26th were only preliminaries to an event vastly more serious. The great Battle of Inkerman, or "the Soldier's Battle", was now at hand.


The battle raged for almost the whole day, and was prosecuted in thick fog, heavy undergrowth, and with little if any generalship being shown on either side. As dusk fell, the British held the field (having received useful, if belated, help from the French). The numbers of the Russian dead left on the field exceeded the numbers of Allied troops that had been attacked.


The Battle of Inkerman was fought on November 5th and Sergeant John Connor was shot in the ring finger of his left hand. It appears from the records that John’s finger was amputated by surgeons at the battlefield.

Cannonballs lying on the Inkerman battlefield

Cannonballs pepper the battlefield at Inkerman

Removing the wounded from the Inkerman battlefield

Removing the wounded at Inkerman

The surgeon's report (WO116/64) gives this detail:

·          John Connor, Sergeant 88th Foot, age 34

·          Place of Birth - Rogerstown, Drogheda, Meath

·          Occupation - baker

·          Rate of pension - 1 shilling and sixpence per day

·          Foreign service - 3 years in Malta

·          Character - Good with 2 good conduct increments and no recorded offences

·          Surgeon's remarks - amputation of ring finger of left hand after gunshot wound at Inkerman

The Inkerman clasp was awarded to all those who were present on the battlefield, including many who were never engaged. On hearing of the selection criteria for the various clasps, at least one infantry officer railed at the powers that be for granting him a Balaklava clasp, which he felt belonged to the cavalry alone, and granting the cavalry, who never came under fire at Inkerman, the clasp for the latter battle, in which over 17,500 men (mostly infantry, and mostly Russian) were killed or wounded.




On November 7th John was sent to the hospital at Scutari, arriving on November 10th, where he remained until January 10th.


Scutari is where Florence Nightingale started her reforms of the nursing profession and hospital standards. She was there at the time of John’s treatment and it is possible that he saw her during his stay. Considering the horrendous standards of the time it’s surprising that he survived his treatment in Scutari and did not succumb like so many others. Figures show that the death rate in the Crimea hospitals was 88% and four men died from disease to every one killed by enemy action.



We must remember that John and the men of the 88th had had no change of clothing since mid-September when they left their knapsacks on the Orient. Their clothing and boots were constantly wet and infested with vermin and when the Orient finally arrived at Balaklava on November 24th the officers and men found their baggage had been extensively ransacked.


Due to much skill, and underhand deals, their Colonel and their Quartermaster obtained tents, rations and cooking pots which alleviated some of the suffering. Cholera, diarrhoea and frostbite were, however, prevalent and scurvy appeared by the spring of 1855 as the soldiers’ diet consisted entirely of salt meat.


Despite bloody victories over the Russians on the River Alma and at the Battles of Balaklava and Inkerman, the war dragged on, as the Russians refused to accept the allies' peace terms. Finally, on September 9 1855, Sevastopol fell, but only after Austria threatened to enter the war did Russia agree to make peace.


John was luckier than many and was sent home by troopship on January 10th 1855, whilst the rest of the regiment was preparing for the main Siege of Sebastopol.




After John’s arrival in England on March 13th, his records indicate that he stayed at the hospital in Chatham. He was declared unfit for service at the Invalid Hospital in Chatham on April 9, 1855 but continued undergoing medical treatment and examination until his final medical report in May 1855. 

Crimea Medal

Crimea medal with clasps

Chatham Dockyard


John was formally discharged from the Connaught Rangers, at Chatham, on July 10th 1855.


His discharge papers show some notes about pay discrepancies during the course of the Crimean War and he also claimed for the loss of his kit which, as shown above, was stored and ransacked at the start of the war.

He was discharged aged 34 years and 4 months old as a sergeant (trade as a baker) standing 5' 8½" tall. He is shown as having no distinguishing marks, despite being declared unfit for service following the amputation of a finger on his left hand, having served 15 years 260 days.


He served 8 years as a private, 6 years as a corporal and 343 days as a sergeant, earning 2 good conduct medals. John Connor may have been awarded the Crimea Medal (an example of which is shown here) with two clasps for Alma and Inkerman. Following his injury he was not present at Sebastopol.


Pension records for mid-1855 showed John Connor on the list of pensioners with a Kilmainham admission number of #1897.

There was a repeat of his medical record and he was awarded a disability pension of 1s.6d. per day. The space where the pensioner’s place of residence could be recorded was left blank. Kilmainham Hospital was the institution which administered pensions in Ireland, whereas this function was performed by Chelsea Hospital for the rest of Britain.




Twins were born to John and Anne and baptised Edward Inkerman Connor and Mary Anne Alma Connor on March 3, 1856 at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Drogheda, Meath, Ireland. The children were named after the battles in which John fought in the Crimea and it was because of these two children’s names that we were able to confirm the surname of John’s wife, Anne Robinson nee Mellsop. Sponsors at the baptism were - William McQuillan and Elizth Hannil for Edward & Ml Donaghy and Alice Gartland for Mary.


On 10th May 1858 at St Peter's Drogheda a John was baptised to John Connor & Anne Robinson. The sponsors were William Murray & Rose Nulty.


A Joseph was baptised in Drogheda on 9th October 1860 son of John and Anne Connor.


John and Anne were to have at least seven children – Richard (1848), John (1850), Lawrence Patrick (about 1854), twins Edward Inkerman & Mary Anne Alma (1856), another John (1858) and Joseph (1860). The last four children were all baptised in Drogheda, Co Meath, Ireland, where the family appears to have settled after John’s Army discharge.


The notes on John’s records are confusing as they show pension increments dated 1881 but, according to the marriage certificate of his son, Richard, John was deceased by 1876. Although the payments might have been to John’s widow this seems unlikely considering the fact the widows’ pensions were not introduced until around 1900. As yet the record of John’s death has not been found.



This biography is a joint effort. The collaboration of Kathleen Andersen, Teresa Ripper & Ken Ripper has brought this biography into existence.