Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Battlefields of World War I, Part 2 - Veterans Day 2016

by Glenn N. Holliman


For Americans, we call November 11th Veterans Day.  On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, November 1918, the Great War ended in an armistice in Europe.  The British refer to this day as Remembrance Day when red poppies adorn the labels of the patriotic.

Mural on Passchendaele wall, 2016

So it is fitting on this anniversary to post an article on Ypres, pronounced by the locals as epers, with a long first e.  Contemporary British soldiers knew the city as 'Wipers'. This is a city in southwest Belgium which from 1914-1918 was the scene of on-going battles between British and German armies.  Hundreds of thousands died on both sides of this extended conflict.  Today the imagination shudders at such horror day after day, month after month, year after year.

Last August my neighbor, Russ Hoover and I took a day to investigate the city and the now restored country-side that at one time, like a moth to a flame, attracted and incinerated the male youth of the British Commonwealth and Imperial Germany.  

Below the Tyne Cot British Commonwealth cemetery for 11,00o identified bodies and tens of thousands of those 'Known Unto God'. 

While at Tyne Cot I perused the names on the memorial walls and found one Private Arthur Hollyman listed as a Royal Welsh Fusilier.  He died at the 2nd Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, his body no doubt obliterated by mud and shell fire over months of ruinous combat in the several hundred square miles of greater Ypres.

Curious to know more about this Hollyman who bore the name that Englishman Christopher Hollyman (1618-1691) brought to Virginia in 1650, my 7th great grandfather, I emailed Bob Hollyman-Mawson to seek his counsel. No stranger to these pages, Bob, who has invested hundreds of hours cataloging English Hollymans, did not disappoint!

From the research of Bob Hollyman-Mawson, an Englishman living in Wales:

"I've found additional information relating to Private Arthur Hollyman, 235552, RWF. KIA during 2nd Battle of Passchendaele. Medal Lists:1914-20: posthumously awarded British War Medal and Victory Medal. If you want to use images of these you can find them online.

Private Arthur Hollyman first joined the Monmouth Regiment with the official service number of 290949 after which he was transferred to the RWF under No. 235552.
And also this: 

Arthur Hollyman: WWI Soldier. b Bristol 1882 and kia 26 Oct 1917 aged about 35.
Arthur was a son of John Samuel Hollyman: General Carrier and Haulier, Hawker, and Porter of Cardiff. bpt Abbots Leigh 19 Aug 1849 and d Cardiff 1895 aged about 46
John Samuel = St James Parish Church, Bristol, 28 Oct 1872 to Mary Kate Parslow, b Pill, 1854. Daughter or sister of Joseph Parslow.Mary d Cardiff 1918 aged about 64.
John Samuel was a son of Reuben Hollyman: Butcher, Gardener, Abbots Leigh Census Enumerator in 1841, Beerhouse Keeper and a Grocer. b about 1819 and d 1871. In 1839 he married Mary Ann Locke: Dressmaker, Grocer and Domestic Servant. 1817-1900.
1872: "HOLLYMAN, Reuben, 'Merchants Arms', Merchants Place, Hotwells, Bristol, Beerhouse Keeper, d 14 Dec 1871 at the 'Merchants Arms', Administration Bristol 1 Feb to Mary Ann Hollyman, Widow. Estate under £50."
Reuben was a son of John Hollyman/Holliman: Farmer and Butcher of Abbots Leigh. circa 1786 to 1857. He married Ruth Adams: 1797-1867.
1867: "HOLLYMAN, Ruth, Abbots Leigh, Somerset, Widow, d 28 Feb 1867 at Abbots Leigh, Will Bristol 25 March to Reuben and Henry Hollyman, Gardeners of Abbots Leigh, her Sons. Estate under £300."
From notes of "Registered Philip Miles' Appointments Book and Tithes":
John the Farmer and Butcher  (circa 1786-1857) bought or leased "Leigh Farm", Long Church Road, Abbots Leigh, later known as "Hollyman Farm."
Hannah Hollyman/Holliman, bpt Abbots Leigh 11 Jun 1783, was John's eldest sister. It was she who married Benjamin /Benjamine Poole, Farmer of Laurel Farm, Kenn, who were both victims of the haystack burnings which I wrote about for your blog on the "Kenn Hangings."

John was a son of John Hollyman, Farmer and Butcher of Abbots Leigh: bpt Kenn 1760 and bur Abbots Leigh 1828 aged 68 who married Anne/Nancy Tagg:  b 1758/59 and bur Abbots Leigh 21 Jan 1838 aged 79. They both lived at Leigh Farm.
John, Farmer and Butcher, (circa 1760-1828), son of John Hollyman/Hollowman (1734-1766) aged about 31, 1766 married Hannah Emery ( bpt Wraxall 1734-?). They were married at Nailsea in 1754 when John was listed as a minor.
Bpt Clevedon and of Kenn, John was bur at Nailsea and may have been a base child of Hester Bave Hollyman but that is an issue which I will discuss at a later date.
John (bpt 1734- bur 1766) may have been the son of John Hollyman Junior: the Younger: Assessor and Collector of Land Tax (1698-1738) who married Martha (circa 1713-1737/38).
And his father was John Hollyman/Holyman Senior of Clevedon (circa 1662-1727/28)."

Left, young Bob Hollyman-Mawson when a member of Her Majesty's Royal Navy on the deck of HMS Albion, his commando aircraft-carrier, in 1968 whilst crossing the Indian Ocean from the Arabian Sea to the South China Sea.

Below, the 2016 Belgium village of Passchendaele with peace time balloons pointing in the direction of Tyne Cot Cemetery.

And if the balloons remind us that after war comes peace, even during war there can be ironic comradeship among enemies.  This statue near Ypres commemorates the Christmas Day truce of 1914 when British and German soldiers climbed out of their trenches to sing carols and play soccer together. The next day they resumed shooting each other and did so for another 3 years 11 months.  The figures in the statue were copied from a photograph taken that day so long ago.

A thank you Bob for your sharing of genealogical information, helping making Arthur Hollyman come 'alive' again to new generations this Veterans Day and this Day of Remembrance.

For information on Somerset and Welsh Hollymans please review blogs published July-September 2015 and August-September 2012.  Research is still underway to understand the origins of the Somerset Hollymans who 'appeared' in the Abbott's Leigh/Bristol area around the 1620s.  A direct male descendant is needed for a DNA test.  DNA testing has tied this writer, Glenn N. Holliman, of Pennsylvania and descendant of Christopher Hollyman (1618-1691) to Lindsay Holliman of England. Both Lindsay and I have common 16th Century great grandparents from Cuddington, Buckinghamshire, England. We also know that The Rt. Rev. John Hollyman of Cuddington was Roman Catholic bishop of Bristol, England from 1554-1558 during the reign of Mary Tutor.  Did Hollymans from Cuddington follow their uncle to Bristol?  To be determined....

Have questions about Holliman family history? You are invited to the Hollyman Family Facebook Page located on Facebook at "Hollyman Family". Post your questions and perhaps one of the dozens Holyman cousins on the list will have an answer. For more information contact Tina Peddie at desabla1@yahoo.com, the Facebook manager for Hollyman (and all our various spellings!).

Information is also available at the Hollyman Ancestry.com Tree maintained by Jeanette Holiman Stewart.  Over 30,000 Holliman and associated family names are located on this magnificent application. She can reached at  htreekeeper@outlook.com.

For a growing archive of Hollyman/Holliman/Holleman and associated family manuscripts, please visit www.bholliman.com .

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