Last Edited: 10/05/2008


Stories My Grandfather Told Me - Page 1

The housing estate near where my Grandfather lived was built in 1975 by a company called A E Jukes & Sons - he said they were related to us. I have investigated this family and have found no connection so far, back to the 1780's! This family is described as Southampton Jukes under 'Other Jukes Families'. I have recently been contacted by two descendants of this family and have been able to extend my knowledge of the farthest back family.

His uncle Charles, who was a corporal in the Royal Garrison Artillery, was said to have been on a troop ship crossing the Mediterranean with his (pregnant!) new wife (Jessie Elizabeth), when he disappeared. The story is that he had rebuked some crew members for gambling and they had killed him, dumping the body down the coal hole. His widow was put ashore at Malta and gave birth to a daughter at the Marguerite Hill Hospital. The daughter was named Marguerite Hilda after the hospital. This story is true in as much as the daughter was named as such on her birth certificate, and there was a hospital of that name in Cospicua, Malta (it's now a convent)! Apparently, she later married an American and emigrated. I've yet to check on the killing story. Just recently I've discovered that Jessie Elizabeth remarried in 1910 to Charles's cousin William Sawyer Jukes!

This story has just developed a sad twist. I've recently discovered that Marguerite Hilda Jukes died and was buried on Malta in 1901, aged 1 year. Where the story of her marrying an American comes from, I don't know. I have also just found there is no overseas death registration for him . This could indicate no body was found. Presumably he was later declared dead so that his 'widow' would be free to marry.

His uncle Walter was said to have been on the Titanic and survived, been on board a ship which was mined off Whitby during the FWW - and survived. He then went to America where he got into trouble, fighting with police and was imprisoned. Later he emigrated to Australia where he married a policeman's widow. A James Henry Jukes was a crew member on board the Titanic, but was killed. There was a hospital ship which was mined off Whitby in the FWW but I don't have any information that he was on board (this was HMHS Rohilla in Oct 1914). I don't know about America, but he did go to Australia and married a policeman's widow. I have found his FWW army records when he served in the Australian army in France as a baker! He later sponsored the immigration of one of my Grandfather's sister's when they went to Australia. My Grandfather said he was a 'bit of a drunken so and so'! He died near Sydney aged 82 in 1958. I've recently been contacted by a descendant of the widow he married. He has sent me some photos which now appear on this site.

His father had told him that at one time every village in The New Forest had a Jukes as a blacksmith. Whilst not strictly true, there were a lot of blacksmiths in the family on the edge of The New Forest during the 19th century.

His uncle George married in Romsey, later in life, to a teacher who 'made his life a misery'. He escaped this 'misery' by committing suicide, hanging himself from his bed-post! This story is in the main true. He did marry in Romsey in 1910 aged 32 (hardly "late in life") and died in 1916 from "Asphyxia, caused by strangulation. Suicide whilst of unsound mind". I cannot comment on the 'made his life a misery' remark, but I have now found the newspaper reports both of the death and the inquest. These bear out the story that he was found by his wife, strangled on the bed with a rope around his neck which was tied to the bed posts! I would like to trace what happened to the widow subsequently.

His first job as a lad was to work at the local brewery in Dorchester, removing dead rats from the vats of beer!

He later joined the London & South Western Railway and was sent to London (alone, aged about 14) during the FWW to have a medical. He was walking down the street when a siren went off. Some man grabbed his arm and shoved him down a shelter. When he emerged there was a crater in the street where he'd been. A Zeppelin had flown over and dropped its bombs!

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