Rob Forsyth


Thanks to Ronan O'Quigley, his G Grandson, who scanned it, David Hancox's notebook can be read in entirety by clicking on the cover image (l). The contents fall into a number of apparently different sections  between which there is some repetition. They can be individually accessed via the links below.  Titles in "quotes" are David's; others are mine.The numbers in brackets are the pdf page numbers of the double page scans in each of the linked section.

  • Key Events 1857-1931
    David  started to compile his note book and diary on 27 June 2017 (1).Thisfirst section is a record of some key events in his life starting with his birth and marriage and places he lived and worked at (2), repairs to bells, bell ringing for the relief of Mafeking (3), his son Rufus starting work at Franklins & another son Walter having a fight with Archie Hutt (4), becoming a Special Constable, sons Rufus, Arthur and Walter joining the Army, Walter and Rufus both being killed in action (5)* and Franklins sale in 1917 (6)*
    * Just visible on the RH side of (5) there is a rough rectangular tear through which the ruled lines of (6) can be seen. On the LH side of (6) a blank has been placed behind the tear before scanning.

  • Notes on a "Claim for total relief from Income Tax"

  • "Reminiscences of my life" This section is written in the third person recounting about young David growing up. In it we learn about his grandfather, his schooldays, starting work at Franklins and his interests of bell ringing - "master of the tenor bell at the age of ten" -  cricket & football, beekeeping and bowls

  • "List of Ellas furniture"
    This would be his eldest daughter b.1882 who married George Champ and died in 1944

  • Grandmother's and her son's births & his mother's death

  • " Copy of Births from old Family bible from Tysoe "
    This title and start of entries has been crossed out and the two pages are otherwise blank

  • "Copy of Births"
    Contains the dates of birth of "our children", deaths of their three sons in action and death of their eldest child, daughter Ella.

  • "A few notes from 1887 from small note book" (21-31)
    This section is a mixture of notes and diary type entries from 1887 through to 1933. The following gives a flavour but is by no means comprehensive:
    1890 He seemed concerned with his weight (1).  
    1903 He had 7 weeks at home following an operation on his veins by Dr Jones (2)
    1910 He had trouble getting his father Elijah to sign a codicil to his will.The need may have been because of his father's travels away to Vancouver (3)
    1912 There is reference to 'John' (probably Adkins his son-in-law) being "here from Vancouver" and Powers of Attorney being granted to others (4).
    1914-17 Matters concerning Elijah's gravestone, will and effects. This would have been following Elijah's death in April 1914 (5 & 6)
    1920 - 29 May  He 'Fixed War Memorial in church'.This would have been the one he hand-carved for the three sons  because the brass plaque in the church did not get up till 1921 and the War Memorial in the churchyard in 1922 (7)
    1922 Cheques for work and matters to do with their house Grove Lodge (8 & 9)
    1928 - 4 August  "Went to France & Belgium". We know this was to find the graves of their sons (10)
    1933 - 7 Nov  "Had cerebral haemorage & again later" (10)

  • Birth dates of his grandmother and father

  • "A Record of some of my jobs while working for Mr HR Franklin"
    He first worked for the firm from December 1884 to March 1885 but returned again in April 1886 for the next 33 years.This section is a comprehnsive list of all the work David was involved with whch were quite far afield. Apart from most of the local churches a f,ew of the more notable are: Bosworth Hall near Leicester & Magdalen College in Oxford (3 & 4), Ham House in Richmond (4), Hanmer Church in Wales (5), St Pauls In London - Bishop's Throne & Sedilia (6 & 7), St Giles in Oxford (9 & 11)

    There is an interesting historical note inserted into this section about his G GrandfatherThomas who, on return from working on a plantation in Jamaica in 1770, was 'seized by press gang at London and had to go for a sailor' (11). (Ed's note: An unnacceptable word today describing plantation slaves has been obscured)

    Most notably, Franklins were commissioned to make a pulpit and rood screen for Hobart Cathedral in Tasmania. Work on this was completed in January 1916 (13).

    As recounted in Franklins of Deddington , the firm became bankrupt in 1917 due to a failure to meet the correct specifications for a War Office order for stretchers. David's last day of working for them was 13 February 1917 (13).

  • Work carried out subsequent to his leaving Franklins
    Several entries refer to working at Aeroplane works & Aerodromes (1) - presumably wooden structure parts of aircraft. He doe not seem to have been short of work initially but from 1923 entries are noticeably fewer with the last being for the Cleveland Bridge & Engineering CO from June 1925 to the final entry 'Completed' May 1926 (4).