The Lloyd Tragedy

A tragic death of a mother ...

The THS was contacted by Jane whose 2x-great-grandparents, Robert and Matilda Lloyd, and one of their daughters have memorials in St. Mary's churchyard.

  • Robert d. 28 Mar 1899
  • Matilda d. 19 Feb 1906
  • Mary Jane d. 18 May 1883

Jane's connection to this family is through her grandmother, Rosa Matilda Lloyd, granddaughter of Robert and Matilda and sister to Robert and Christopher referred to below.

A day or two later a further email arrived which contained the following:

"... Basically, my Great Grandmother, Harriet Lloyd was killed by one of her sons in a dreadful accident, in April, 1906. I had two Great Uncles, both her sons. One, Robert E Lloyd (born 1895) shot his mother when he was 11 years old, accidentally with a shot gun and I have tracked down the inquest report in the paper. Apparently he wanted to shoot a pigeon on a roof and was told he was not to touch his father's gun. However, boys being what they are, he got the gun and it must have gone off accidently, killing his mother Harriet Lloyd immediately. ..."

Google and Ancestry searches gave several references to newspaper articles about the shooting, one of which was in the The Befordshire Advertiser and the Luton Times on Friday, 20th April 1906.

The tragedy was reported in many newspapers all over the British Isles. All the reports found have named Tharston incorrectly, as Thurston, so it can be assumed the source of the information was common to all accounts.

The inquest was held on 17th April 1906 which concluded 'accidental death' but did chastise the father for leaving a gun loaded when not in use and for not being able to properly control his children. A transcript of a newspaper article, Eastern Daily Press dated 18th April 1906, is available here.

No record for Robert beyond the 1901 Census and the newspaper report was initially found. Help from others raised the issue that Robert's birth being 1895 and his parents' marriage in 1900 might mean that he was probably known as Robert E Aldridge. Records have been found for the military career of a Robert Edward Lloyd Aldridge whose date and place of birth was 26th December 1894 in Wacton. Everything from these records point to this being the correct person including his next of kin being Frederick and a reference to Halesworth (see below).

If this is the correct person, when living at 9 Pritchard Road, Gilfach Goch, Glamorgan, he enlisted in the Welsh Regiment (Service No. 22782) in 17 Dec 1914, served in WW1 being wounded twice (in shoulder 18 Aug 1915 and head 6 May 1916) and medically discharged in 15 Aug 1916. He later re-enlisted on 11 May 1921 in the Glamorgan Fortress R.E. (T.A.), (Service No. 2204352), promoted through Lance Corporal to Corporal to Sergeant, leaving the service on 30 Apr 1929 with a trade of painter.

The email also contained:

... The other son, my other Great Uncle, was Frederick Christopher Lloyd. He was killed in World War one, on 7th August 1918. He started off in the East Surrey regiment, Army No 38389, and when he was killed he was with the 11th Batallion the Royal Fusiliers, Army no 78817) He is buried at Beacon Cemetary, at Sailly Laurette near Amiens, France. We visited this cemetary a couple of years ago and I felt proud to have been able to lay a small poppy wreath on his grave. I was probably the only person to do so since he was killed as I know of no other relatives of his. I wonder if his name is on the war memorial in Tharston? I have two photos of him, one in his army uniform and one of him driving a horse and cart in 1917, before he joined up, he would have been about 17 years old. ...

The following is a military summary of his death:

Name : Frederick Christopher Lloyd
Birth Place : Tharston, Norfolk
Residence : Halesworth
Death Date : 7 Aug 1918
Death Location : France & Flanders
Enlistment Location : Ipswich
Rank : Private
Regiment : Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
Battalion : 11th Battalion
Number : 78817
Type of Casualty : Killed in action
Theatre of War : Western European Theatre
Comments : Formerly 38389, 4Th East Surrey Regt.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has a record for Frederick and for the Beacon Cemetery, Sailly-Laurette where Frederick is buried.

Below are two pictures which are parts of postcard images of Frederick, the first is in uniform.

On the rear of the postcard above - to Miss R. Lloyd, Witton Rectory, Norwich - was written; "Dear Rose, Just a line, this is my photograph. What do you think of it. Not very nice is it. Will write in a day or so. From Brother Fred xxx"

The second is Frederick driving a cart when about 17 years old. The name on the cart looks like Woods (see enlargement) and from the military description above saying he lived in Halesworth, maybe this was a local business. Kelly's Directory of 1900 gives a George Woods having a butcher's business in Halesworth Market Place; is this a clue? Anyone got any ideas?

Frederick Christopher Lloyd is not found on the Roll of Honour in St. Mary's Church but it is assumed that he should have been listed there. Some THS members are looking into the Roll as part of the WW1 celebrations and will be researching this. The other place he might have been named is Halesworth, but does not appear to be there either.

In trade directories (1879, 1883 and 1892) there are Lloyds shown as farmers and machine owners but no reference in the Kelly's Directory for Norfolk, 1912. Lloyds are also found in all Tharston Census Returns from 1871 to 1911 and the "oldest" Lloyd family members probably moved from Wacton where they are found on the 1861 Census.

It is hoped that more information on the lives of Mary Jane Lloyd (d.1883), Robert Lloyd (d.1899), Matilda (d.1906) and other members of the Lloyd family will be added in time.

Some extra Lloyd information

Photograph of William Lloyd, born 1853 (app) in Wacton and died in 1933 (app) in Aslacton. He was the brother of Robert referred to above. He was living with his brother as shown in the 1881 Census and was listed as being a blacksmith. In the family tree the earlier Lloyds are listed as Lord. Local rumour has it that they were told to change their name, which they did from Lord to Lloyd, to appease the vicar of Burgh Apton. The Lord family wanted a service which said there was only one Lord and he didn't come from Norfolk. The vicar said that if the Lords wanted to enter his church they would have to change their name. Over time some of the family retained the Lloyd name whilst others reverted to the original Lord surname.

As part of here research into the Lloyd family Jane visited Tharston in July 2018 and was shown around St. Mary's Church and the churchyard by members of the T.H.S. Below are some photos of her visit. (Click on a photo for a slideshow.)

She also visited the house where her family lived.

Page last updated: 3 Sept 2018