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Brentford Families - Mann

Michael Maddock wrote in November 2013: 'As part of the First World War commemoration, the Sandford History Group and Crediton Area History and Museum Society are preparing details on those local individuals who died during the course of the war. Sandford is a village about 2 miles north of Crediton in Devon.

Among these individuals is James Rice Mann about whom we have very few details - indeed were it not for a comment written against his baptism entry in the St Swithun's, Sandford, Parish Register, he would not have been included.

I note from your website that " J Mann" appears on the West Brentford War Memorial, and given that his last known address in our research, per the 1911 Census, was 14 Mafeking Avenue, Brentford, taken together with the comment in the Parish Register that he "Died in Russia 1917 on Service", there would appear to be a possibility that he is one and the same. His occupation in 1911 is given as "Tramway Labourer" and unfortunately the name is not uncommon.

I attach what we have on him, which please feel free to use as you see fit, and would be very grateful to receive any information that you may possibly have on him in Brentford'.

If you can supply any more information please get in touch.

The following details were supplied by Michael:


Mann: James Rice.
Baptised 3 April 1874, St Swithun’s, Sandford, son of William & Eliza Mann, of Bagborough, Labourer. (Source per subsequent entry in Baptism transcript): “Died in Russia 1917 on Service”.

No Service details
Nat Arch: Too many of this name

His parents: William Mann married Eliza Rice registered Crediton September 1860. The family had moved from North Tawton to Bagborough, Sandford c.1870.
The 1881 Census records William Mann, H, age 43, born Witheridge, wife Eliza age 42, Born Morchard Bishop, and 5 children including 4th son James R aged 7, born Sandford, living at Bagborough, Sandford.
The 1891 Census records James Mann aged 17, Servant – Hall Boy, born Bagborough, in the household of Francis Baston late Capt 7th Dragoon Guards, at Paschoe House, Colebrooke.

The 1901 Census records William Mann, H, aged 63, Carter on Farm, born Witheridge, wife Eliza aged 62, born Down St Mary, and 2 daughters, Bessie aged 20, and Ada aged 16 both born Sandford, living at Bagborough, Sandford. (These are the parents and sisters of James Rice Mann).
(The 1901 Census also records the family of William Mann’s 2nd son William born 1863, (see also 1871 Census) – William Mann, 38, Carter on Farm, born Worlington, wife Eliza 39, Morchard Bishop, and 4 children, living at Newbuildings. This family was at Burnham, Sandford, in 1884/5).

James Mann married Emily Harland registered Brentford September 1900.

The 1901 Census records James Mann, H, age 27, born Sandford, Devon, wife Emily age 25, born Melton Mowray, Leicestershire, and daughter Dorothy Edith age 0, born Chiswick, living in Chiswick, Middlesex.

1911 Census records James Mann, H, age 37, Labourer Tramway, born Sandford, Devon, wife Emily age 35, born Milton Mowbray, Leicestershire, and daughters Dorothy Edith age 10, born Chiswick, Mabel Lena age 8, born Brentford, Middx, living at 14 Mafeking Avenue, Brentford, Middlesex.

No record found CWGC. He would have been aged c.43 at death 1917.

‘Mann J’ is listed (no.103, 3rd column) on the West Brentford 1914-1919 World War 1 Memorial.


Research Notes

I attempted to answer some of the questions raised by Michael:

I checked electoral registers on ancestry and found James Mann recorded at 29 Mafeking Avenue in 1905, 6 & 7.
In 1910: 24 Mafeking Avenue; in 1912-1915: 14 Mafeking Avenue. I am not sure whether he moved to different homes in the same road, or if there was some renumbering.

His widow Emily Mann appears to have remained in the area and was at 63 Enfield Road, Brentford (electoral register of 1918); she remained at this address until 1931 and Mabel Lena Mann was at the same address in 1931 (possibly earlier, I did not check all years); then in 1937 Emily Mann was recorded at the same address with Mabel Lena Andrews.

I noticed other Manns in the 1900s electoral registers for Brentford but they may be coincidences.

Michael noted'My thoughts were that he had possibly joined the merchant navy - but this is highly unlikely given his age and probable lack of sea experience. I cannot think what sort of 'service' a Tramway labourer in his early 40's could provide, short of being a sapper - but in Russia? There does not appear to be a CWGC memorial, and I wonder how the news of his death got back to Sandford to permit the vicar to make the entry'.

Picking up Michael's cue regarding the merchant navy I checked records on the CWGC site and found the Royal Marine Labour Corps had a number of men who died in their 40s and even 50s. Those recorded on the CWGC site died in Europe (there may be no Russian memorial and thus a gap in the records available). I also tried searches of newspaper articles 1917-1920 on findmypast, but no success.

Please email if you can help.

Page published January 2014