Transports of Delight

As a family we have travelled far, and in many ways. This post describes some of the notable ways that family members have used to get from place to place – as well as being a nod to the CD by Flanders and Swann, whose comic songs, many on a transport theme,  were part of the musical accompaniment of my childhood.

A roadside stop in Brittany in 1948, with Uncle Michael, my Grandparents, and my father, Roger – Jeremy is the photographer.

The Primus stove at the verge allowed the family to make tea wherever they were.
The Morris belonged to my Grandfather, while the motorbike and sidecar was probably Michael’s – the one he took to the cottage at Birling Gap, and possibly the same one my Grandmother used to deliver eggs from the farm at Box.

An engaging couple – Roger Lines proposal to Jane Box

My father proposed to my mother on Westminster Bridge so that he was in a convenient place to throw himself off if she said “no”. Fortunately  she said “yes”.  I think the actual proposal might have been on Christmas eve 1955, as my father was in Scotland and my mother in England for most of the run up, however they were clearly keeping in touch, not only with each other, but with the wider family and some of the letters have been preserved.

My father wrote this postcard in Tarbert Waiting Room (B.R.) on Thursday 10th November 1955, to send to my mothers parents.

Dear Mr and Mrs Box,
By now Jane will have let you know our intentions. As I want to ask Jane to marry me to her face it is rather premature to ask for your reactions, as we shan’t  see one another till Christmas Eve. That I love Jane more than anything else in the world will, I hope, be apparent to you. You probably also realise that I cannot offer her riches, though I think I can promise that she will not starve. Fortunately she and I think alike on the essentials, and our love hasn’t blinded us to the demerits of the other. Its just that one half of my life now lives 400 miles away in the South. I hope you will forgive this scrawl and the muddled midnight thoughts.
With Love to you both


The plantations on the st. are Nevis Forest (F.C.)

 My father’s family must have known what was going on as my Grandfather, George Lines, wrote him this letter.


Wednesday Nov. 9th

My dear Roger/

This is certainly a Red letter day ! I am delighted at your news (however much under a hat at the moment).

Frankly I have always had a tender regard for Jane & admire your taste. Having known her a

    lot longer

than you have – I’m sure you’ll both the very happy. While I think you’re a very fortunate chap, I can’t help feeling that Jane will have a very sweet lad, Mummie and I feel very happy about it all.

We are all very thrilled at the idea of the house hunting – I can let you have the money back any moment you like.

Won’t stop for more now as its rather late  but

with much love

Yours ever Daddy.

My aunt Jennifer, his sister, also sent her congratulations.

Dear Roger,
We are feeling so delighted with The News. I really couldn’t be more pleased, I’ve always liked Jane so much. I’m afraid I can’t help spreading your engagement-to-be about, so if you really want it kept a bit dark at the moment you’d better let me have a list of those not to be told, or the “real thing” will be a bit stale!
If you could send me a note again of what you spent on Nora and Marjorie I would be pleased to settle up with you before I begin thinking of  your wedding present!
We have been much amused at all your financial arrangements, and Daddy is still puzzling over your Income Tax.
The Fiat should be very smart for you at Christmas, (or are you bringing the S.8. ?) and I’m looking forward to having it back. It should be ready before the weekend. I have been going in Miss Large’s S.8. every day and I’m afraid I shall miss the heater.
Don’t write specially, but if you could tell me about the money when you send your washing or something I will get a warrant for you.

Heaps of love,


Nora and Marjorie were college friends of Jennifer’s at Froebel, also housed in The Row, whereas my mother was in Templeton. Nora was from Edinburgh and she and Marjorie were in year below Jennifer and my mother.

The Fiat

Jennifer had the old model Fiat 500 Topolino,

Fiat Topolino – however Jennifer’s was originally pale blue, still with the red wheels, and was repainted green.

The reason Jennifer would miss the heater in Miss Large’s Standard Eight, is that her Fiat did not have one. At some point her brother,  Jeremy, put a funnel behind the radiator with a 2″ hose to the inside. In the summer Jennifer would put a duster into the pipe to turn it off. The main modification Jeremy made was to put an alloy pudding basin over the distributor, as previously, when it rained the car stopped. It worked very well.
The car had a starting handle, and was nominally a two seater, but had a “kind of shelf” where two further passengers could perch, although all passengers might need to disembark if a steep hill was encountered.
Miss Large was head of Juniors as Ashford, the second school Jennifer taught at, and was giving Jennifer a lift to school at this point.

Standard Eight

My father had a Standard Eight, which he probably needed as he travelled the cournty a lot , looking at forests, though earlier he had used a motorbike, and in those days he could also reach places by train.

Standard Eight

Jeremy cleaned my father’s Standard Eight at Pickwick on the morning of my parents wedding.

A foray into fashion

Foray – A brief excursion or attempt, especially outside one’s accustomed sphere
Fashion – To make, build or construct, but also styles of clothing (Nineteenth Century Fashions)
My Great Uncle George Braund was born in Lawhitton in Cornwall on 28th April 1812. His father, William Braund (1766-1840) was also from Lawhitton, and his mother, Mary Badcock (1772-1843) was from Landrake, also in Cornwall.
What took him to Dartford, as a Silk Mercer – a dealer in cloth – in Dartford, by 1851 we do not know, although his sister, Christiana had married a Linen Draper, Joseph Williams, in Dartford in 1825, when George would have been 13, so he might have gone to Dartford as an apprentice to his brother in law.
If this was the case he repaid the favour by taking in his niece, Anne after her parents both died in 1834.
He progressed from selling cloth made by other people to being a manufacturer of hosiery, and by 1871 he had a factory making hosiery in Loughborough, employing 50 men, 120 women, 20 boys and 30 girls.

Advert for the firm of George Braund in Loughborough – from the Museum of the Braund Society – click the image for more items from the society museum

George married Ann Roughton, daugher of wine merchant James Roughton (1992-1873). She was born in Oporto, Portugal in 1831.

George Percival Braund (1865-1933)

He was educated at Charterhouse School, appearing in the 1881 census there,

A mystery

A man called John Seal of Burton on the Wolds, died on 25th September 1914, with probate to George Percival Braund hosiery manufacturer and Frank Henry Toone solicitor. He was a retired farmer and grazier, with effects of £182 6s 10d. Normally if someone is named in a will this is a clue to some kind of family connection, so I investigated, thinking he might have been married to a Braund sister at some point, but I have not found any connection.

Fire !

Huge Fire at Braund’s factory – from the Loughborough Echo. Click the picture for the article

Fire broke out in the George Brand Ltd Factory on Tuesday 28th September 1965, after the deaths of both George Brand, who founded the company and George Percival Braund, who had continued to run it.
“A major tragedy for everyone” was how Mr Reg Hallam, managing director described the disastrous fire which ravaged the factory of Messrs George Braund Ltd in Factory Street. (from the Loughborough Echo of October 7th 2015 – in its Looking Back section)

The Shepshed knitwear factory caught fire 50 years ago and the building was completely destroyed on Tuesday, September 28, 1965.
Michael Wortley, of Shepshed, contacted the Echo to share his memories of that devastating night.
He said: “We could see the glow in the sky from the top of Leicester Road, and knew it could only be one place – George Braund’s Factory.
“Both my wife and I had worked there over the years, and the workers were always fearful of fire as the old floorboards (the factory was built c1830) were soaked in machine oil.

From the Loughborough Echo of November 18th 2015.
The building was completely destroyed, putting 550 people out of  work, but was rebuilt within  a year.

Only three weeks after completing the 2.25 millions purchase of Woodfdrds (Leicester), Nottingham Manufacturing is bidding for a second Midlands knitwear group, Geo. Braund. The offer, two non-voting A ” Nottingham shares ” for every nine Braund, values the company at 1.35 millions.

From The Guardian of 30th December 1969.
At some point  the business was folded into Mansfield Hosiery Mills, and the firm’s records can now be found a the Leicestershire County Records Office. In the early 1960’s Mansfield Hosiery Mills were the principle suppliers of knitted outerwear to Marks and Spencers.
Fashion, in the sense of the creation of objects, in this case clothes, which in turn was controlled by the invention of technology and the economics of supply, and fashion, in the sense of what people wanted to wear – continue to influence each other.

From knitting and weaving to computers

If you look at the image of the Geo. Braund Limited jumper above you will notice that none of  the pieces are simple squares, but narrow or widen as needed.



The widening and narrowing operations were controlled by punched cards, similar to those in the Jaquard loom.
Jacquard loom punched cards

These cards influenced Charles Babbage (1791-1871), in his pioneering work on early computing.
Portrait of Ada by British painter Margaret Sarah Carpenter (1836)

Lada Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), daughter of the poet, Lord Byron, met Charles Babbage in 1833, and quickly grasped the concept and possibilities. Her notes on Babbage’s Analytical Engine are recognised as the world’s first computer program. She is buried at the church of St Mary Magdalene, Hucknall, about 22 miles Barrow upon Soar, where George Braund would build his factory.

George Braund – The Biggest Thing In Magic

My Great Great Aunt, Anne Williams, was looked after by her Uncle George Braund (1812-1901), who had a son, George Percival Braund (1865-1933), and he in turn had a son  – George Roughton Braud (1903-1961).
On 28th July 1931 he married Kathleen Honor Mary Sessions, daughter of Harold Sessions.
Like his father and grandfather George Roughton Braund  might have started off in the hosiery business,  though by his marriage in 1931 he was a manager for British Petroleum. However  his hobby and interest was in magic. He was persuaded to turn professional by Russell Swann, as described in the George Baund entry in Magicpedia.
He was a member of the Magic Circle.
A frequent performer at Magic Circle concerts, he played then in the character of a bumbling clergyman.
He continued as a magician with the services throughout the war (through which he was a Captain) performing for the Entertainments National Services Association.

E.N.S.A Poster for Captain George Braund – The Biggest Thing In Magic

He was on the BBC Television programme ‘Stars in Your Eyes‘ – broadcast at 15:00 on 14th July 1947.

He was on the BBC Television programme “It’s Cabaret Time at the Top-Hat Rendezvous” – broadcast at 20:00 on 29th March 1952.

The Chiswick Empire – from Click the image for more information about the building.

He appeared in the Chiswick Empire for a a week in 1952, starting Monday 30th June, alongside Jill Ireland, and Alfred Marks. Julie Andrews was originally billed to appear, but was replaced by Kay Cavendish.
In the 5th February 1955 issue of Billboard magazine, Bill Sachs wrote that

George Bruand, the London comedy magician, and and Julius Sundman, Finish wizard, who was over here last year, engaged in a magic session recently in Helsinki, Julius’ home town.

In the 4th June 1955 issue of Billboard magazine, Milbourne Christopher wrote

First magician I saw in London was my old friend George Braund at Oddenios’s. He patters along with vanishing cane, rope and silk tricks and a prediction on a ball of wool.

He was on the BBC Television programme “The Caravan” – Broadcast on 26th August 1959
My mother told me he was told off by the BBC for product placement during his act on television.
He died on 18th June 1961, with an obituary in Abracadabra magazine on 28th July 1961.

Whatever happened to the Williams sisters ?

On 13th February 1825, in Dartford, Kent –  Joseph Williams, born around 1798 (but I don’t know where), married Christiana Badcock Braund, born on 2nd April 1803 in Lawhitton, Cornwall. She was the daughter of William Braund (1766-1840) and Mary Badcock (1772-1843).
He was a Linen Draper
They had three daughters, Rosina, Annie and Christiana, all born in Dartford.
Rosina Williams was baptised on 27th November 1825.
Anne (or Ann) Williams was baptised on 12th July 1829.
Christiana Braund Williams was baptised on 29th August 1834.

Tragedy Strikes

In September 1834, when their daughters were nine, five and one month, both parents Joseph and Christiana Badcock fell ill.
Joseph wrote a will on 7th September 1834, leaving everything to Christiana Badcock Williams. It appointed her, and her brother, William Braund as executors. It was witnessed by Ann Northall, who appears to have been a neighbour in Dartford. Joseph died on 17th September and the will was proved on 26th September.
Christiana wrote a longer will on the 13th October 1834, when she was already a widow – using William Braund, watchmaker, and Charles Northall (brother of Ann Northall above), as trustees, until her children reached twenty one. It was witnessed by two more of her brothers, John and Thomas Braund, and by Mary Cartwright. Christiana died on 16th October 1834.
What followed this tragedy is the story of a family pulling together, all over the country, to look after three little orphan girls.

Introducing the Braund brothers

Christiana Badcock Braund was one of  the nine children of William Braund and Mary Badcock, all born in Lawhitton in Cornwall. She had two older sisters, and two older brothers, and three younger brothers, and a younger sister, putting her neatly in the middle. As most of the brothers will crop up in the story of her children I will introduce them here.

William (1798-1890)

The eldest brother (though having two older sisters), in 1834 he was probably a watchmaker, living in Dartford Kent, and married to Elizabeth Sim. with a young son, William. In October 1841 Elizabeth died, leaving William with his son William, then aged nine, another son, James, then aged six, a daughter, Elizabeth, then aged four, and another daughter, Jean aged two. What happened to them is a whole other story, but he later remarried twice.

John (1800-1882)

He was drawing teacher and artist, and in 1834 was probably already living in London, married to Elizabeth Theodisia Cartwright, with a one year old son, John Joseph. His wife, Elizabeth, died in 1841, after leaving him with John Joseph, now aged eight, and a daughter, Elizabeth Theodissia, now aged four.

James (1806-1887)

He was a farmer, farming 200 acres, in Boyton, Cornwall. In 1834 he was married to Hannah Pring Lang, and had a daughter, Maria, only just born.

Thomas (1808-1843)

He was living in Launceston with his mother, Mary nee Badcock in 1841, his father having died in 1840. Thomas died on 6th March 1843, and his mother also died around March 1843.

George (1812-1901)

George was a Silk Mercer in Dartford, Kent, like Joseph Williams, at least in 1851, which is the first time I can find him in the census, but described as a Linen Draper in 1861. By 1871, George Braund, he was a manufacturer of hosiery, employing 50 men, 120 women, 20 boys and 30 girls, and had moved to Barrow upon Soar, Liecestershire. He married Ann Roughton and had a son George Percival and daughter Agnes Mary. He continued to live there, at Strancliffe Hall, until his death on 9th June 1901, when he left £7706 to his widow Ann.

Strancliffe Hall, Home of George Braund Click the image for article from Loughbrough Echo


So, what did happen to the Williams sisters ?


In 1841, aged 6, Christiana was staying with her uncle, Thomas Braund, in St Stephens, Cornwall, along with his mother (her grandmother), Mary Badcock. Thomas died in 1843, as did Mary, so Christiana would have had to move on.
In 1851, Christiana, aged 16, was staying with her uncle, William Braund – a watchmaker, employing 8 men, in Bexley near Dartford, along with his son James and daughters Elizabeth and Jean , and his nephew, William Peardon – also a watchmaker. William’s wife, Elizabeth Sim, had died in 1841.
By 1861 Christiana was staying with her sister Rosina, who was now married to William Braund Box, in Highgate.
She had moved on again by 1871, to stay with James Braund, her Cornish farming  uncle, now a widower, as his wife Hannah, died in 1868. Also living there are James’ daughter, Maria and son, John Bernard Lang.
Christiana clearly got on well with her cousin John, as they married in early 1879.
Unfortunately John died on 23rd October 1900, and it looks as if she continued running the farm until she died on 8th September 1907 at St Thomas, Launceston, Cornwall, leaving £986 12s 11d to William Williams Box, solicitor.

This should be a map showing where Christiana Braund lived – I am still working on this bit. She does go back and forth across the country several times before she settles down.


She was staying with her uncle, George Braund in the 1851 Census, and continued to stay with him, acting as his housekeeper, through 1861, when at least during the census, they were being visited by my Great Grandfather, John Robert Box, then aged 11. She moved with George to Barrow upon Soar, Liecestershire, by which time he has a wife, Ann, and son George, aged 5, and daughter, Agnes, aged 3.
Anne continued to live with George Braund until at least the 1901 Census, but I do not know what happens to her after George’s death on 9th June 1901.


Rosina married William Braund Box on10th February 1845. I think she may have lived, like her other sisters with George Braund immediately after the death of her parents. It may seem a strange co-incidence that Rosina should marry someone with a middle name of Braund,  but the eldest of the Braund siblings, Elizabeth Braund (1793-1849) married John Box (1788-1849) on 9th June 1818, and they had a son, William Braund Box in 1815. They were my Great Great Grandparents, and one of their eight children was John Robert Box, my Great Grandfather.

Information from Great Aunt Rose

In a letter from my Great Aunt Rose Box, to my mother on 5th February 1967 she writes

Now about Christianna Badcock Braund. I have looked in the family bible and see that she died in 1834, aged 31, so she must have been born in 1803. Her husband, Joseph Williams, died a month later to they probably had an infectious disease, maybe typoid ! They lived and died at Dartford, Kent, where he had a drapery (?) shop. Her younger brother, George Braund took their three girls to his home and Rosina became his housekeeper until she married her cousin, William Braund Box. Then Anne was housekeeper to her uncle and Christianna married her cousin John Braund and lived at a farm at Newton near Launceston. I remember all three quite well. Rosina was my dear grandmother with whom I often stayed at Highgate. I stayed for a time with Aunt Chrissie at Newton while I was on a visit to Uncle Arthur Box at Launceston, when I was 9. Little Auntie Annie often stayed with Grannie Box at Hampstead.. She did beautiful needlework. I think George Braund had a business in South London and so was Christianna’s nearest relative when they lived at Dartford. Later he had a business at Loughborough and a big house somewhere near. I went one day to see Aunt George while I was staying with Aunt Janet at Syston. when I was 16. Your father could tell you more about the Braunds as he had to go to Cornwall to trace next of kin to Ann Peardon who died without a will and left some money. Her mother was Mary Braund and sister to Christianna.


John Braund, referred to above it John Burnard Lang Braund, son of James Braund. He and Christianna lived at Newton Farm, Boyton. (OSM)

Aunt Elwina was (probably) born Elwina Joyce in about 1853, in Hinkley, Leicestershire, and married Arthur Williams Box about 1884.

Visit to uncle Arthur Box when I was 9

Great Aunt Rose was born in 1865, so this would have been about 1874. Arthur Williams Box (1853-1940), was  living in Hornsey in 1871, and in Canterbury in 1881, when his occupation is listed as Jeweller. I do have a note which says that he bought the Foundry at Maramchurch from his cousins, Edward and Henry. He would have been 21, which does seem quite young. His occupation, by 1911 is shown as Iron and Brass Founder, and his business as Kitchen Range Manufacturer.

Visit to Aunt Janet at Syston when I was 16

In 1881 I cant find who would have been Aunt Janet. Aunt George would be George Braund’s wife, Ann – presumably called Aunt George due the number of Anns in the family. I will update this post if I find out more.

Answering the call – the Military and National Service of 14773046 – Signalman Lines R.

My father, Roger Lines, on reaching the age of 18 in May 1944, was conscripted into the Army, under the terms of the National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939.


He was initially send for Officer Training in Northern Ireland, but was not bossy enough, so was sent to train at Catterick as a Radio Mechanic (Signalman). He was in the General Service Corps from 1st June 1944 to 15th November 1944 – this may have been when he was training. He was transferred on 16th November 1944 to the Royal Signals, where he remained until 4th February 1948.


He sailed to India on the Empress of Scotland, which had been Empress of Japan until October 1942, when she was renamed. (My notes say renamed to Princess of Canada, but I suspect this is because she belonged to Canadian Pacific).
I am not sure of the date order of some of these snippets as they come from notes from conversations with my mother, rather than some documented narrative.
He was responsible for the big transmitters which covered all of India when he was attached to GHQ in Delhi.
He spent some time at Quetta, up in the hills.
Tim thinks he may have been at Simla as well.
He fell off a 30′ bamboo ladder while putting up Christmas Decorations and received a scar, which was his war wound.
He went to a Gandhi meeting.
He met Pamela Mountbatten, daughter of Lord Mountbatten, serving coffee in the canteen.
He became a Methodist in the Army, as he had to attend services with some denomination, and they had the best singing.
On being sent to a senior officers house, to mend the radio there, he, along with two Indian servants, was offered refreshments, and in the interests of equality, took one of what looked like a couple of pastries, rather than the nicest looking western cake. It turned out to be a curry puff, and the experience left him with a suspicion of curry from that time on.
He also went trekking in the Himalayas with Martin Grey ? and employed porters to carry luggage.

Discharge and return home

His release from the army is dated 20th November 1947, but as he did not leave the Royal Signals until 4th Febuary 1948, I supect it took him this long to return to England. He told me he spent a long time, with many others, in a holding camp in India waiting for space to be available on a ship.
According to Tim

Pretty sure he didn’t return home until demobbed, and when he did he brought chocolate with him, probably unobtainable in the UK and anyway rationed, but in the Indian heat or perhaps on the boat it had all melted and resembled Aero when it re-congealed.



My father wrote several letters home, some of which have been preserved, and these give some information about what life was like.

He also wrote a letter to the BBC, through me, around 31st December 2005, which I reproduce here.

Dear Sirs, I was recently watching a TV Program inviting people to write in or relate their War Time experiences.
I was called up on my 18th birthday and reported to the Beds and Herts camp. I was then posted to Northern Ireland (thankfully more or less peaceful then).
I enjoyed this period and got to know and like the Ulster folk. I was then posted to Catterick Camp to train as a Radio Mechanic. This lasted about 15-18 weeks. My next posting was to GHQ signals in Quetta (Balochistan). Unfortunately I fell onto a concrete floor of the Barracks and thus spent my first Christmas in Quetta Hospital.
Our boat was the first to go to India after the war ended1 and we were not sure whether the Japanese submarines knew that the war had ended.
At Quetta I had the amazing luck to be present at the last Tribal Durbar (which had gone on unchanged since the rule of Queen Victoria.) The Durbar is held out in the desert so no tribal chief is able to take precedence over the others. The first day of the Durbar is devoted to ceremonial. The Governor General is in full Diplomatic dress, his chest is covered in gold braid and his silver sword gleaming. Each chief bows to the Agent to the Governor General, representing the Crown (George VI at the time). The Indian Army laid on a parachute drop – no doubt to impress the local tribes. The next two days were given over to local sports such as camel, horse and donkey racing, tent pegging etc. It was quite obvious that these second two days were for fun, and quite subsidiary to the first day. That is why they were all gathered together here.
From Quetta to Delhi by train I saw quite a bit of North West India, and later managed to have three short holidays in the foothills of India, as far North West as Sandakphu (13,000 feet) and saw much in the way of Buddhist temples.
I was in Darjeeling when Indian Independence Day took place with much celebration as this area is largely Hindu.
I greatly enjoyed my time in India and fortunately escaped the worst of the communal violence. It was only many years later that I read a full account. During this period when I was back in Delhi I went to one of Gandhi’s Prayer Meetings and was able to take photographs of him quite close up.
Shortly after this I was posted to Deolali Transit Camp and so back to Britain after two and half years in India.

Roger Lines


First Boat

The first sailing of the Princess of Scotland, to go to India after the end of the war was:

  • From Liverpool on 3rd October 1945 to Taranto on 9th October – 2616 miles
  • From Taranto on 9th October to Port Said on 11th October – 964 miles
  • From Port Said on 12th October to Bombay on 19th October – 2973 miles
Other Notes

I noted these asides while the main letter was being written.

  • he left school at 17 and worked for a year as a forest worker before being called up.
  • he spent as much time as he could Youth Hostelling, while training in Northern Ireland.

Christmas letter from Roger in India, 18th December 1946

This letter, shown as number 15 of the ones my father, Roger Lines, wrote to his parents, referred to as M&D. Unfortunately I do not have the others, which would have given some better record of his National Service. Most of the information I have relies on anecdotes from others.

18th ? December – letter 15

The Usual



Dear M and D,

The reason why you are getting this letter is that I am on Duty Clerk again tonight, and the light is rather poor to read with. Incidentally it is also to thank you very much for your Christmas card and letter of the 9th. In reply to your queries, I have now got my spectacles, but have heard no more about the watch, so I shall wait a few more days before I liven them up. As to this business about presents I shall certainly send some home, as clothes are not yet rationed here. If you don’t think I can afford to pay for things, then say what you need most and when I send it home you can pay the price into my P.O. account. In this way you can get some things cheaper via Quetta, than buying them in London. I recently bought a nice pair of gloves which have a fur lining right down to the finger tips for 12 chips. In England they cost at least 45 shillings. The other lads buy fancy brass ware, cigarette cases and fancy table cloths which are more for looks than use. If you do not write and tell me what you need most, bearing in mind the restrictions of a previous letter, I shall send you a large size brass elephant which can be used to get in ones way and collect the dust.

Woollens and silks, especially the latter are the most expensive things out here, and a made to measure tweed suit cost about 100 chips without a waistcoat. You can get sheets, pillow slips, English Morley socks, towels, dress lengths, silk pyjamas, scarves etc. here, but films are bad and so are rubber goods such as hot water bottles.

The new shoes I have got are quite comfortable, though I only wear them on special occasions, as although shoe repairs take 2 days it costs 7/6d to have a pair soled and heeled with good leather. I sold the others to a fellow here who they fit quite well. Richard wrote to me yesterday and also sent a Christmas card, so I must write back to him as soon as I have finished this letter. He has been over Battersea Power Station, where he was much impressed by the quiet and the way that everything, even the boilers were remote controlled. Quetta is in a plain of roughly circular shape, the size of this plain being about 10-12 miles across. All around is a ring of hills, mountains you would call them, which have about three gaps in the circle. through these passes come the roads from Persia, the Indus basin, and Fort Sandeman. The latter being about 300 miles from here, and one of our outposts. There is a towering range of hills behind the camp and about three miles from it called the Murdar Ghar. At present this range, which is nearly 11,000 ft high is covered with snow, and it is expected to stay like this until next spring, when I shall try and climb it, if I am still here. The weather is colder now and there is much more cloud. Formerly we used to have clear blue skies all day long, but now it is much more like England, although mostly the few rainstorms we have had, come at night. Thank you very much for the description of the Bhotan Pine which I read with great interest. Here’s hoping the pen arrives sometime. I have now got quite a row of Christmas cards, – two from Michael, yours, one from Richard and one from Tyrell-Green. I shall always remember his kindness to me while I was at the Holtons.

Very little of importance has happened since I wrote last except for two things (i) A walk into the hills with Luckock and (ii) My work.

(i) On Sunday afternoon I started out with Luckock across the desert plain towards the hills. It is very difficult for me to describe what we did and where we went without a map, so I shall try and make a rough sketch-map in my next letter. I will also spend part of my time in sketching, although I may not send the results home as they will probably be too awful. We walked across the desert for 2 miles or so, then started up a narrow valley, which rapidly grew narrower, until we were walking along in a narrow chasm, only about six feet wide, and with vertical or overhanging rocky walls going straight up for 80-500 ft on both sides. This crack in the rock, for it was hardly more than that continued for ¾ of a mile until eventually we came out into the sunshine, like moles coming out of their tunnels. We were only a quarter of a mile from the dam wall of the Hanna Lake reservoir. This artificial lake is dried up, but was once a mile square. Now all that is left is the cracked muddy bottom, the marks made by the high water level all around the dam. There is a proper cart track down from the lake, and we were soon on the road back to camp. As we walked along this, four Pathars or whatever they were, jumped off their bicycles and said “Salaam Sahib” (Good Day) so we said Salaam back and we soon engaged in a long discussion in Urdu. They wanted to act as guides while we went out on a hunting expedition (safari) and I tried to explain that we were not “burra sahibs” but just poor Signalmen who couldn’t afford such things. Further down the road another man tried to sell us enough wood (lakfri) for 60 men. They can’t distinguish between the B.O.Rs and the Officers I’m afraid. It all helps to improve one’s Urdu however. I am now in charge of the brigade workshops and they expect all sorts of weird things which didn’t come on the course. If I make too many mistakes I expect I may either get down graded in trade or posted to another unit or both. So wish me luck as need plenty of it. You are probably in the middle of Christmas festivities now so Happy New Year, love Roger.


Richard Lines

Richard Lines was my father’s cousin, he was the son of Arthur Lines, the younger brother of my Grandfather, George Lines.

Bhotan Pine

This is also known as Bhutan Pine, is native to the Himalayas, and shows that even before he went off to study Forestry at Bangor my father had a keen interest in trees. Indeed many of the pictures he took in India were of trees.


My father clearly occupied him time in India learning Urdu, something which I had not known, though I know my Grandfather encouraged learning languages.

Happy Birthday, Tim – letter from Jalapahar, 29th August 1947

My father, Roger Lines, was posted to India for his National Service. I don’t know how much, if at all, he managed to return home during this time, but he did write several letters, some of which I have. This one is to his youngest brother, Tim to wish him a Happy Birthday.

29th August

14778046 SIGMN. LINES



Dear Tim,

This will probably be a bit early, but better early than late, and it will be the last opportunity for writing till I get back from the trek on the evening of the 6th September. Anyhow before I forget what this letter is about – Happy Birthday ! I suppose you will be going into long trousers soon and then I shan’t recognise you. Have you started growing yet ? or have you decided that chess and the county cricket championship are more important activities. After laboriously working it out on my fingers I see you will have attained the great age of fifteen, only another year and you’ll be able to get married ! if you want to.

As for a birthday present I seem to have got so much out of touch with you that I don’t know what your tastes are, so I shall just have to see if I can pick up something suitable to what I was like at 15. If I can remember that far back.

 I suppose that now you are the only one left at home you are having to do all the chicken feeding, washing up, carrying coal (when there is any) which normally would have been done by one of us, Hard cheese !

I hear that you are all traipsing off to Poole this year, I hope you have a good time and are not too seasick in Jeremy’s sailing dinghy. I suppose you also have a go at making dams and river systems in the traditional Lines spirit, as has been done in the past, and doubtless will be done in the future.

Have you got any plans for the future ? The best thing is to stay on at school as long as you can do as you won’t be able to get such a good start anywhere else; however I am sermonising which is useless on one’s birthday.

So in spite of the ration cuts, eat drink and be merry for tomorrow who knows ? You will also have the doubtful pleasure of seeing my face some time before Xmas so till then I will just say All the Best

from Roger

p.s. I include some snaps.


Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?

Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War - recruiting Poster
Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War – recruiting Poster – click for link to Wikipedia article

We have mostly not been a particularly military family, but several family members lives were more directly touched by conflict.

World War One (and its aftermath)

George Edward Lines

His official war record has its own page here. He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Walter Lines

Grandpa’s older Brother. According to Walter, having risen to the rank of Captain in the Royal Horse Artillery Company, was mentioned in dispatches. It is possible that this is his record at Lives of the First World War.

Arthur Edwin Lines (1892-1962)

Grandpa‘s younger brother, was in the Rifle Brigade, Regimental Number 211508, possibly from 18th August 1915 to 18th September 1916, and was an Acting Company Sergeant Major.  He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Edward William Wise Rebbeck

He joined the Kings Rifles, became a temporary 2nd Lieutenant, and died in a flying accident in 1916. He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Leopold Edward Rebbeck

He served in the Navy in both wars, starting as a Midshipman in 1914, and rising to Rear Admiral by the time he retired from the Navy in 1955. He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Margaret Ada Box

She served as a nurse in Serbia in 1918-19. She has a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Leonard Arthur Box

Served in the 2nd County of London Yeomanry from 5th November 1914 as a private, and at some time was promoted to Serjeant in the Machine Gun Corps. He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Harold James Cansdale

He was in the Merchant Navy during the war – He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War. He then went on to be the civilian in charge of the Officers Mess at Caterick Camp, where Michael Lines would go for his training, but would have retired before the Second World War.

William John (Jack) Webster

Other than that he fought in the First World War, and finished it as a Sergent Instructor there is very little record of his military career. There is a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Ernest Whiteside Huddleston

My Great Aunt Lorna Box , daughter of William Box, brother of John Robert Box, married Sir Ernest Huddleston in 1932. He was senior marine transport officer of Bombay during World War One, being promoted to Captain on 6th December 1918, and was commended in the London Gazette of  4th July 1919 (page 8384).

Captain Ernest Whiteside Huddleston, C.I.E., R.N. (Captain R.I.M.)
For valuable service as Principle Marine Transport Officer, Bombay and Karachi.

He first appears in the Navy Lists of the Royal Indian Marine as being promoted to Sub-lieutenant on 12th November 1895. He retired, then ranked Captain, on 11th December 1925. He was Knighted in 1939.

Arnold Freeman

Arnold Freeman was a Conscientious Objector during the First World War. There is a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Frank Richard Freeman

The brother of Sir Ralph, Arnold, Peter, the more famous Freemans, he was a Civil Engineer in the 1911 Census, so it would be reasonable if he signed up to join the Royal Marines. If he is the right one then there is a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

James Harvey Bryson

The grandson of James Mackay Bryson (1824-1894), brother of Robert Bryson Junior. His father was also called Robert Bryson, and lived in Antigua. James is mentioned on the Bryson Family Grave at New Calton Cemetry.  He was a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery Unit Text: “Y” 24th Trench Mortar Battery, and fell in action on 20th October 1918. He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War. He is mentioned in the Caribbean WW1 Casualties Roll of  Honour.

Leonard Horner Bryson

The son of William Alexander Bryson. By 1901 he was a Physician and Surgeon. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, was promoted to Temporary Lieutenant on 1st June 1915, and ended the war as a Captain. He as a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

World War Two (and its aftermath)

Michael Lines

Trained at Catterick Camp, as a Radio Operator. He was a vegetarian, and was sent boxes of eggs from the hens my grandparents kept at Pickwick. He made good use of the record library at Catterick, and would write recommendations of records for my grandparents to buy.
He was posted to Netanya in Palestine for a while. He described the drive to Bagdad across the desert at the season when a little rain brings out the little flowers – a magical sight.
According to a conversation with my mother he developed sandfly fever during his time in the Middle East, which is presumably why he ended up in Mauritius.
Later he was stationed on Mauritius, where he enjoyed the abundance of fruit and other vegetarian food, and manned the communications across the Indian Ocean.
He returned in 1948, on the Empire Windrush, returning to England in May, which will have been one of the last voyages before the famous voyage which brought many British African-Caribbean people to Britain. He did not enjoy the voyage, due to seasickness. On their return Michael and Roger both went Croydon Polytechnic to refresh their school knowledge before going to University, like many other returning servicemen.

Roger Lines

Due to his public school education my father was sent, initially, for officers training, but when his technical aptitude was discovered the army wisely decided that his talents were wasted as a leader of men, and he trained as a Radio Operator instead. He served in India, and was wounded falling off a ladder while putting up the Christmas Decorations. More on his time spent serving his country in the armed forces can be found in another post.

Jeremy Lines

Due to his having just finished an apprenticeship as a boat builder, he was naturally send to be an aircraft mechanic with the Royal Air Force, some time after 1951 as his National Service did not start until his apprenticeship completed.

Tim Lines

Started his National Service in January 1951.

Harold Edward Cansdale

Was in the “Green Howards“, according to my mothers notes, and was killed in a truck accident in Egypt in 1948, aged 20. From the Suez Roll of Honour he was in the 3rd GHQ Signals. Regiment with army number 14072667.

Other conflicts

General William Webster

An ancestor of the Webster branch of the tree was apparently General William Webster, a friend and admirer of General Burgoyne, who named his son William Burgoyne Webster.
He would have been active around the time of the American War of Independence.

Robert Bryson and Sons of Edinburgh

Robert Bryson (1778 – 1852) was a Clock and Watch Maker of Edinburgh, as well as being Clock and Watchmaker to Queen Victoria and Co-Founder of what would become Heriot Watt University.
He had four sons and two daughters

  1. Alexander Bryson (1816-1886)
  2. William Gillepsie Bryson (1818-1906)
  3. Robert Bryson (1819-1886)
  4. Margaret Muir Bryson (1821-1873)
  5. James Mackay Bryson (1824-1894)
  6. Helen Cockburn Bryson (1826-1912)

His third son, Robert Bryson junior, married Mary Ann Braund Box (1817-1899) on 10th July 1843 – possibly at St Cuthberts, Edinburgh (although some records suggest the same date, but at her home town of Launceston,  Cornwall).
Mary Ann Braund Box was the daughter of John Box (1788-1849), who was also a Watch and Clock Maker. He was also my Great Great Great Grandfather. John Box’s son William Braund Box (1815-1891), Mary’s elder brother, was also a watch and clock maker.  There was clearly a close and ongoing connection between the Box and Bryson families.
Christina L. Box, eldest daughter of William Braund Box and his wife Rosina (nee Williams) was born in Holland , Edinburgh in 1848 – when her parents were probably visiting the Brysons (I am not sure where Holland in Edinburgh was). The birth was attended by Dr Simpson, after whom the Simpson Memorial Ward of the Royal Infirmary  (where I was born) was named.
My Great Grandfather, John Robert Box, lived  for three years with Robert Bryson junior, and John’s aunt Mary at their house in Edinburgh in the 1870s, and is recorded as a visitor there in the 1871 Census.

Traveling to Edinburgh

Traveling by Stagecoach. Click for Historic UK page about Stagecoaches

I suspect the 1843 marriage between Robert Bryson junior and Mary Box took place in Edinburgh, as they would have then set up home together. Whether it was the bride or groom who traveled, it would have been by stage coach, or possibly mail coach as the East Coast Main Line was not completed until 1846, and the Caledonian Line did not reach Edinburgh until 1848.
According to the Georgian Index web site the mail coach took about 60 hours to reach Edinburgh from London

Robert Bryson senior (1778-1852)

Robert Bryson 1778-1852, Chronometer and Clockmaker, photographed in 1843 – portrait in the National Gallery of Scotland.

Born 25th August 1778 in South Leith, the son of Alexander Bryson (1740-1823) and Helen Cockburn, he married Janet Gillepsie (1788-1858) on 29th December 1815 in the parish of North Leith.
They were living at 5, South Bridge in 1816 when their eldest son, Alexander, was born.
According to Smith’s (1903) A Handbook & Directory of Old Scottish Clockmakers from 1540 to 1850 A.D.

The clock he made for the Observatory, referred to above can now be seen at the Old City Observatory on Calton Hill, in its Clocks collection.

There are pictures of one of the clocks he made at

Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

He was proposed as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh by Thomas Brisbane, 6th Governor of New South Wales, and Astronomer (after whom Brisbane, in Australia was named).

Connection with Herriot Watt University

According to the Edinburgh University History site on Leonard Horner

In 1821, Horner founded the School of Arts in Edinburgh, for the teaching of mechanics. He had been inspired by a conversation with Robert Bryson, a respected Edinburgh businessman, and owner of a watchmakers shop. The two men fell into conversation, and, prompted by a question from Horner, Bryson expressed some frustration that young men entering his trade hardly ever received any mathematical education, and that this had a negative effect on their daily lives.
Horner had an idea that a means might be devised of providing such education for the working classes. His outline of a proposed school was circulated to selected master mechanics, in order that they could gauge interest amongst their workmen. Only a month after the conversation in Bryson’s shop, a committee had formed with the purpose of bringing the plan into fruition. The first institution specifically designed to provide practical technical education for the working classes, the: School of Arts of Edinburgh for the Education of Mechanics in Such Branches of Physical Science as are of Practical Application in their several trades opened, in October 1821, in Niddry Street, Edinburgh. It was an immediate success. Probably the first institution founded specifically for the technical education of the artisan classes, the School of Arts heralded a new era in the history of education in Britain. As a result Lord Cockburn described Horner as ‘indirectly the founder of all such institutions’. Horner was also one of the founders of the Edinburgh Academy.

According to the Heriot Watt Universiy site

The lack of technical and scientific education available for workers was becoming a problem. One day, linen merchant and social reformer Leonard Horner discussed the problem with his friend clock maker Robert Bryson who was finding it difficult to obtain classes for his apprentices. They decided to solve the problem themselves, and with the support of wealthy Edinburgh citizens such as Sir Walter Scott, Lord Cockburn and the Craig family of Riccarton who agreed to give annual subscriptions to help pay for the cost of classes, set up evening classes with fees that working men could afford.
On 16th October 1821 the School of Arts of Edinburgh “for the instruction of mechanics in such branches of physical science as are of practical application in their several trades” held the first lecture in chemistry at St Cecilia’s concert hall in the Old Town. Despite criticism from the establishment fearing educating the lower classes would lead to revolution, the School also received support from The Scotsman, and within a month 452 students had enrolled. Within 30 years there were 700 Mechanics Institutes in Britain and the movement had also developed in American and Australia.


He is buried, along with several other members of the family at New Calton Burial Ground. The Find a Grave site has an entry for him.

Robert Bryson junior (1819-1886)

Sculpture of Robert Bryson, junior, by William Brodie, click for link to William Brodie article

He lived at 17, Bruntsfield Place (OSM) from at least the 1861Census until his death on 20th March 1861.
Like his father, he was a clockmaker, employing 16 men and boys in 1861, and Clockmaker to Her Majesty (Queen Victoria) in 1871.
John Robert Box is listed as a visitor in the 1871 Census.
I inherited a silver fruit knife from him.

Robert Bryson’s obituary in The Scotsman on 22nd March 1886 reads

The late Mr. Robert Bryson – Edinburgh has lost a worthy citizen by the death of Mr. Robert Bryson, watch and clock maker, Princes Street. Mr. Bryson, who had been suffering for some time from a painful disease, had been practically laid aside from business for the last two months.His death, which was not unlooked for as the termination of his illness, took place on Saturday afternoon as his residence, 17 Bruntsfield Place. In public life, Mr. Bryson was chiefly associated with the Merchant Company, of which for the last twenty-eight years he was an active member and office-bearer.Four years after his admission he was elected an Assistant, and held that office from 1861 to 1864.In the latter year he was called to be Master of the Company, and filled that position with ability for three years.Of the George Watson, James Gillespie, and Daniel Stewart Trusts, which are managed by the Company, he was a Governor.Of the Merchant Maiden Hospital he was a Governor for twelve years.To its affairs he devoted much time, particularly to the management of the Peterhead estates.In this connection he took much interest in the improvement of the harbors, and in promoting the movement for a National Harbour of refuge at that port.For five years (1874-9) Mr. Bryson was one of the trustees, and for two years honorary collector, of the institutions in which he took a kindly concern was James Gillespie’s Hospital, of which for six years he acted as treasurer with the view of saving expense in the management at a time when the income was not so large as it is now.The welfare of the old people who resided in the Hospital was near to his heart, and he did much to promote their happiness and comfort.The feuing arrangements of the hospital property were also to him a subject of consideration, and he had not a little to so with the negotiations which led to the formation of the Colinton Road bridge. But, indeed, there was no department of the Company’s business which did not benefit by his advice and labours.One other scheme which may be specially mentioned as having his active support was the Provisional Order under which the splendid schools of the Company were organized.When he retired from the Mastership in 1877, a cordial and unanimous vote of thanks was awarded to him “for the great interest he has taken in the affairs of the Company, and for the efficient manner in which he had fulfilled the duties of the chair. ”Since 1876 he has been the Company’s representative at the Leith Dock Commission, and has taken a full share of the work of management of the port and harbour of Leith.At other public boards he was also useful and welcome member.He was one of the managers of the Infirmary, appointed by the contributors, chairman of the Royal Asylum, chairman of the Scottish Trade Protection Society, a director of the Watt Institution and a life member of the Heriot-Watt Trust, a governor of Trade Maiden Hospital, a manger of the Savings Bank, a J.P. for the city, one of the Council of the Dean Guild Court, and for some years auditor of the city accounts.By all with he was associated in these public offices he was held in regard, and his death will be mourned not only by his family, but by a wide circle of friends.

Bryson Road (OSM) in Edinburgh was named after him.

BRYSON ROAD   After Robert Bryson, watchmaker, member of the Merchant Coy. Master of the Merchants Coy. 1874-76. Superiors of the grounds.


He is buried at Warriston Cemetery, along with Mary, in section A2 #538, with a monument by Thomas Stuart Burnett. Unfortunately his monument has been vandalised, as there was presumably some sculpture, which is now missing.

The inscription on the main part of the monument reads








BORN 27TH MAY 1817


Also in the base of the monument are other inscriptions related to other family members.

Elizabeth Box, died 16th August 1852, aged about 26, was the younger sister of Mary Ann Braund Box, and lived with her and Robert at 65, Princess Street in the 1851 Census.
Elizabeth Box Bryson (27th January 1853 – 9th January 1916) was the daughter of  Robert and Mary Ann Bryson. She died, a spinster, aged 62.
Alfred Box Bryson (21st April 1855 – 7th December 1931) was the son of Robert and Mary Ann Bryson. He was a writer and Solicitor, and married Edith Baldwin, having a daughter, Elizabeth S. Bryson in 1894. He died in South Africa, aged 76, four years after Edith died.
Edith May Baldwin (1857 – 27th May 1927) was the daughter of Charles Almon Baldwin of Richmond, Virginia, and was born in the US.

Above is a rough map of how to get to the monument, next time I go I will make a more detailed track.  Basically go in the entrance

and turn off at a path looking like this to the left.

Looking back should look like this

and the way ahead should look like this, but this is the main cemetery road which you turn off from.
Follow this wide path towards the north of the cemetery. Then turn right when you reach  another wide path, and then right again. You should be able to find the monument, to your right, less than ten monuments along.

Sale of Bryson and Son to Hamilton and Inches

In 1893 Hamilton and Inches acquired established clock makers Robert Bryson & Sons.  Hamilton and Inches, established 1866, started as a goldsmiths and jewellers, and by 1893 were at 87,88 Princess Street. They are still in business, and are now Silversmiths and Clock specialist by Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, and based at 87, George Street.

Alexander Bryson (1816-1866)

Alexander Bryson married three times.
His third wife was Jane Thompson (1836-), and they had a son, Leonard Horner Bryson, presumably named after Leonard Horner, so presumably they maintained a connection. I think Jane Thompson remarried William H Hardie (1832-), a farmer, and Leonard Horner Bryson (who became a surgeon), lived with them in the 1881 Census.

William Alexander Bryson (1855-1906)

The  fifth child of Alexander Bryson by his first wife, Elizabeth Waterstone Gillespie, was a William Alexander Byson, born 2nd March 1855. His mother died 10th April 1855, and by the 1861 Census, Alexander Bryson was a single parent, with daughter Margaret Gillespie, aged 8, William Alexander, aged 6 and Donald Cuthbert, aged 2. By the 1871 Census. William Alexander is, probably,  a scholar at Abbey Park, in St Andrews, aged 15. This was a boarding school run by the father of Donald MacKenzie Smeaton, who became MP for Stirlingshire. By the 1881 census, William Alexander is living with his uncle, Archibald Richie Gillespie in Leith, and his occupation is Marine Engineer.  He married Edith Agnes Smith (born 1866), and they had a daughter, Alice S.M. Bryson, born about 1890.  He was the creator of the public electric lighting system in Leith in 1897 (one of the first in the world).
Like Robert Bryson senior and Alexander Bryson he was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. One of his proposers was William Thomson (Lord Kelvin). He was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 2nd April 1888.  There was a probate record for a “William Alexander Bryson of 37, Park Road, Leith, who died 9th July 1906, confirmation of Edith Agnes Smith or Bryson widow, sealed, London.”, but 37, Park Road Leith is occupied by Paul Helm, Retired Supervisor Inland Revenue in the 1901 Census. (William Alexander Bryson, and Edith Agnes Bryson, and Alice were living at 9, Stanley Road, Kinseroft, Leith North, in the 1901 Census.
There is a vandalised monument (which I have not found) to him, (died June 11th 1906) in Warriston Cemetery.
There is a sketch of him by John Lavery in Glasgow Museum’s resource centre.