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Messages - nicdigby

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Other Countries / Re: Can you help to solve an Indian mystery?
« on: Thursday 22 July 21 10:50 BST (UK)  »
From the GRO army deaths index:

Thanks Shaun, this is the record we found earlier and tried to apply with this info but there is no actual GRO reference on there.

Other Countries / Re: Can you help to solve an Indian mystery?
« on: Thursday 22 July 21 09:57 BST (UK)  »
Using info given by mckha489, on GRO site click Place an Order [3rd down in menu on right], click Overseas, then Death, then Year 1928, Yes you know reference, enter name, put 229 in reference box then pay - worked for me [though I didn't pay.....]

I ordered the death cert for Louis Coley exactly as per these instructions. It's just bounced back to me, saying that the GRO reference is incomplete and they've taken £3.50 for the privilege of looking :(. This is exactly what I didnt want to happen. Can anyone find me a GRO reference for his death please as I cannot find it.

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / What is his job title please?
« on: Thursday 22 July 21 00:08 BST (UK)  »
Hi, I can't make out what his job title is. It's from the 1861 census in Yorkshire and refers to the male head of the family. (pls scroll to the right...."Fingerie something'?)

Other Countries / Re: Can you help to solve an Indian mystery?
« on: Wednesday 21 July 21 23:20 BST (UK)  »
Still following this fascinating story
Can someone do a summary of findings so far ..have you had. Any photo finds and DNA
And would anyone like indian stamos from the era
Im saving spares from inherited albums and will do a Time Travel DETECTIVE work shop specifically about indian relatives . eventually
Pm me for links

Thank you.

I've found Barbara's son and spoken to him so I'm sorted with her. He also confirmed that the sibling Audrey never married or had children so am sorted with her.

I am still stuck with David, can find NOTHING about him at all. There must be a tale to be told; disappeared in India, came back into the family life 55 years later, in England, saying he'd been in prison for murder in India while he was in the British Indian Army there. I suspect the story has been subject to Chinese Whispers changes - or has it?! Surely it would have been in some newspapers in India at least? I can find nothing but don't have subs to

His sister Audrey never believed it was him who returned after a 55 year absence, but his other sisters did. Where did he go? Who did he murder, if that's even true?! Or was it an army accident he was blamed for but he wasn't convicted of murder?? How did he get back to England as there are no passenger ship records I can find and air travel would have been out of his means for decades.

Can anyone help?!

David Walden Coley. Surname changed to Horne as a boy but as a man he used COLEY.

b 17 Dec 1927, India. Gorakhpur or Poona, Bengal.  Son of Louis Coley and Agnes Cristabel Ellen Coombs.
Went to Lawrence Military School, Sanawar, Simla Hills, India.
Then disappeared as a 16 year old on a train to Bombay.
Turned up in England mid 1990s I believe.
Died in England 2014.

A quick internet search puts a man by the name of Ambrose Firby Johnson as keeper of the Cross Roads Public House, Wainstall, Halifax in 1928 and 1929

Added.  I think its Mast(er) after fishmonger, CaroleW

Thank you, I had found that record and another which relates to it. It looks like he came back from India, then was the landlord of a pub but by the early 30s heís moved south and is a (master) fishmonger. Would love to find something that confirms the fish and chips rumour.

Have just edited my reply above.  Web site for will is

Thanks for your help. Iíll check his Will. I see your point about the ďfirstĒ fish and chips shop. I wonder what the actual truth is?! 

Have you downloaded a copy of his will?  Probate was granted to James Frederick Johnson - civil airline pilot.  Effects £733

Not yet, but that makes sense, thatís his eldest son (now deceased himself). Thank you, Iíll look for the Will as it may give some clues. Can you remind me where I should look as I have forgotten!  :-[

Other Countries / Re: Can you help to solve an Indian mystery?
« on: Tuesday 20 July 21 21:32 BST (UK)  »
And finally, David Walden Coley. Surname changed to Horne as a boy but as a man he used COLEY.

b 17 Dec 1927, India.

Last seen as a teenager on a train to Bombay. Turned up 50 years later in England having tracked down his sisters (all of them - and him - now deceased) and said he had been in the army in India (probably British Army), got sent to prison for murder and disowned by the parents. Have no idea about whether this is correct but that's apparently what he said.

Died in England.

I have found his birth and death. That's all. Cannot find ANY record of him leaving India. And wondered if anyone could find a record of the murder - I don't have a newspaper subscription and nothing that I can see on FindMyPast, Ancestry, FS or google about it.

Many thanks for any help.

I have found the living relative of the sibling Barbara so no longer need any help with her, but would be very grateful for help with David - the questions above. Still at a brick wall.

Many thanks

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