Author Topic: No Death Registration on GRO or the Irish equivalent in 1912  (Read 1061 times)

Offline Chapbrook

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No Death Registration on GRO or the Irish equivalent in 1912
« on: Sunday 02 July 17 22:07 BST (UK) »
Hi, I hope someone can advise me on this.

Briefly. I've traced my great uncle Albert Edward Chaplin bn 10 Mar 1888 Redhill through to his time with the Royal Engineers (he enlisted in Aldershot 27/9/1902) through to his discharge 14/4/1912. His online army records state that he attempted suicide 19th Jan 1912 at Ashtown Lodge, Castleknock on 19th Jan 1912.

He was subsequently discharged from the army on 14 Apr 1912 as unfit for further service. At some point between his suicide attempt and discharge he was committed to Richmond Lunatic Asylum in Dublin where he died (I think on 19th May the same year). I'm not sure if this was due to injuries resulting from the original attempt of if there was a second suicide attempt.

I have discovered that the asylum records for that period are still intact and can be sourced and I've been in contact with the National Archive of Ireland. However the Freedom of Information act requires me to satisfy several conditions, all of which I can do EXCEPT that of submitting his death certificate - but I just can't find one!

I've checked the GRO indexers, Ance*try, Family Search, FindMyP*st, Irish Genealogy etc but with no joy. This is deeply frustrating as I'm so near to being able to discover more about the circumstances of his commital, treatment and death plus details of where he was buried, yet unable to access them because I cannot obtain his death registration.
 
Can anyone suggest why this might be. He was English and had been serving in the British Army in Limerick/Cork - which I'm sure was part of Grt Britain at the time. Could it be that as he'd been discharged, the army no longer had responsibility for him but if that's so who would then be responsible for registering the death. My grandfather was his named next of kin but there is nothing in family papers to throw any light on this.

Can anyone help please?

Kind regards
Spence Chaplin

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Offline Sinann

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Re: No Death Registration on GRO or the Irish equivalent in 1912
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 02 July 17 22:25 BST (UK) »
There is a death of an Albert Chaplin in 1958 age 70, British Army, in Grangegorman mental hospital address Ashtown.
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/deaths_returns/deaths_1959/04365/4132217.pdf

Maybe he didn't die when you thought...poor man if he was there all that time.

http://www.grangegorman.ie/Archive.html


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Offline Chapbrook

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Re: No Death Registration on GRO or the Irish equivalent in 1912
« Reply #2 on: Monday 03 July 17 13:43 BST (UK) »
There is a death of an Albert Chaplin in 1958 age 70, British Army, in Grangegorman mental hospital address Ashtown.
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/deaths_returns/deaths_1959/04365/4132217.pdf

Maybe he didn't die when you thought...poor man if he was there all that time.

http://www.grangegorman.ie/Archive.html

Hi Sinann (hope I have your name right)

!!!???!?!! Well, I'm absolutely shocked to discover this.

Firstly let me thank you for taking time and trouble in replying and sending me this bombshell!

I'd been on the Civil Records part of the website this came from but wouldn't have thought to check on the church records tab, I suppose as Albert wasn't local I assumed somehow that his family (my grandfather in fact) would have arranged for his body to have been returned to England. As it was none of this could apply as he was still alive!


Not only was it a false assumption on my part (assumption is a cardinal sin I know in Fam History research!) but also the online army records also incorrectly recorded that he had died. I suppose there is still a remote chance that the church record refers to someone different but everything does point to it being the same person.

Thanks to your digging I am now able to satisfy the final requirement of the Freedom of Information Act that should enable the authorities to release the asylum/hospital records.

For the last two years I've sat with the 'knowledge' that Albert had died in 1912 following his suicide attempt but as you say, the poor man was in hospital for almost 50 years! On the last page of his online army record a scrawled pencil note says 'Temporarily insane'!

If indeed it does transpire that he lived all these years I'll probably never find out why he languished there so long. I have no memory of my grandad ever mentioning anything of this sort although I doubt as a child anything would have been said in front of me but then my father never mentioned it either and I'm sure he would have done - perhaps he didn't know himself. I'm really hoping that the released papers will unlock some of these 'secrets'.

Once again many thanks to you for unearthing all this

Regards Spence Chaplin
 

Offline Sinann

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Re: No Death Registration on GRO or the Irish equivalent in 1912
« Reply #3 on: Monday 03 July 17 15:16 BST (UK) »
It's a Civil Registration record not a church record (see the top of the image), the words church records always comes up in the address I think because it links into the captcha which is held in the church records part of the site.

It is very sad if it turns out he was there for so long, but you have to bear in mind at that time there was a terrible stigma attached to any sort of metal illness and he had committed a crime so his family wouldn't have been allowed to help him. They may even have been told he was dead. He would have been better off going to prison at least then he had a chance of release at some point but it's highly likely once he was in the mental hospital he became institutionalized.
Sadly he is likely buried in Grangegorman, the graves are I believe unmarked.
I hope the records answer your questions and it turns out he only returned to the hospital later in life.

Offline Chapbrook

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Re: No Death Registration on GRO or the Irish equivalent in 1912
« Reply #4 on: Monday 03 July 17 16:22 BST (UK) »
Hi

Sorry yes, I see now it was a civil registration.

Interesting what you say about the possibility of the family being kept in the dark about his confinement. As it happens my grandad (Albert's brother) spent the majority of his working life as a mental orderly in Asylums first on the IOW and then his adopted city of Sheffield which adds a touch more pathos to all this.

As you say those times were much less enlightened than ours vis a vis mental health. Depending on how revealing the papers prove to be, I may provide an update on this thread.

Once again many thanks for your interest and assistance.

Offline Chapbrook

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Re: No Death Registration on GRO or the Irish equivalent in 1912
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 03 August 17 14:28 BST (UK) »
It's a Civil Registration record not a church record (see the top of the image), the words church records always comes up in the address I think because it links into the captcha which is held in the church records part of the site.

It is very sad if it turns out he was there for so long, but you have to bear in mind at that time there was a terrible stigma attached to any sort of metal illness and he had committed a crime so his family wouldn't have been allowed to help him. They may even have been told he was dead. He would have been better off going to prison at least then he had a chance of release at some point but it's highly likely once he was in the mental hospital he became institutionalized.
Sadly he is likely buried in Grangegorman, the graves are I believe unmarked.
I hope the records answer your questions and it turns out he only returned to the hospital later in life.

Hi

Just wondered if you might be interested in hearing how my enquiries panned out.

Through FOI, I applied for and have now received copies of various records from Richmond Asylum/Grangegorman concerning my Grt Uncle, Albert Chaplin.

Sadly, he did indeed remain in Grangegorman and other mental hospitals until his death in 1958. That's an incredible 46 years after his committal. Amongst the papers were details of his next of kin along with their addresses. There was a copy of a rather sweet note my grandfather had written to the Asylum in 1915 enquiring about the progress of his brother. I imagine he received a reply but there is no record of it.

Then almost 20 years later letters were sent to my grandad and my grandad's sister informing them that Albert was temporarily being moved to another hospital ( I suspect for an operation on a hernia - the writing is quite faint). Then there are copies of 3 envelopes that had been marked and returned as either 'Gone Away' or Not Known at this address'. These were sent to the addresses they'd held from 20 years earlier! Unsurprising.

I can only conclude from this that the family had ceased making enquiries about him, if they had then surely more up to date addresses would have been held on his medical record.  I'm puzzled and troubled by this as it isn't a very nice thought to contemplate that the family had abandoned him.

There was no reference amongst the papers of burial/cremation details.

Whilst I'm pleased to have discovered as much as I have (and thanks once again to you for setting me on the right path) I'm saddened to think of this man's lonely plight.

Cheers, Spence   

Offline josey

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Re: No Death Registration on GRO or the Irish equivalent in 1912
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 03 August 17 15:32 BST (UK) »
How sad a tale is that; but your great uncle may have been severely ill and not felt lonely. Thank you for sharing that, Spence; everyone loves to find out what resulted from a query.

Josey
Seeking: baptism Philip Murray 1813 nr Chatham Kent, death Ralph James Dunn b 1808 1861 - 1868 in Newington 1861
IRE: Kik DRAY[EA], PURCELL, WHITE: Mea LYNCH: Tip MURRAY, SHEEDY: Wem ALLEN, ENGLISHBY; Dub PENROSE: Lim DUNN[E], FRAWLEY, WILLIAMS.
87th Regiment RIF: MURRAY
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Offline Andrew Tarr

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Re: No Death Registration on GRO or the Irish equivalent in 1912
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 03 August 17 15:38 BST (UK) »
This thread is reminiscent of the tale of a very old friend of mine (still alive) who believed for much of his adult life that his father was dead.  He had also been institutionalised for a very long time, though at least the son did get to meet him before he died.
Tarr, Tydeman, Liversidge, Bartlett, Young

Offline Sinann

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Re: No Death Registration on GRO or the Irish equivalent in 1912
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 03 August 17 17:17 BST (UK) »
Thank you for coming back and telling us what you found.
Very sad, but we have to remember it was very different times back than.
His illness if known could have affected his nieces and nephews marriage prospects.
As his family couldn't be contacted at the time of his death it's very likely he was buried in the hospital's cemetary
You have given him back his place in the family, which I always think is one of the best things about doing genealogy.