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Whitaker (or Whittaker?) Family 1940s

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#1
Hi I am just new to this Forum. My father was a POW in Cheshire from approximately 1944 -1946. He worked on a farm in Cheshire which was run by a family named Whitaker. (Might be spelt Whittaker?) They had a daughter named Helen and possibly a daughter named Mary. My father became very close to this family and even kept in touch with them post war when he returned to Italy. They would have liked him to have stayed on. Does anyone know of this Whitaker family. I am pretty sure the farm was in Chester. Is the farm still there? I would love to learn more of my father’s time as a POW in England. Someone may even have some photos. Thank you for reading this post.
 

gibbo

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#2
Hi,

Not sure if this is of any help ... but it might help narrow things down a bit area wise maybe.

camp at Ledsham Hall, Ledsham, Wirral Cheshire for Italian POWs
 
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#3
Thank you for your reply. My understanding is that my father's POW camp was called Salem? I have searched for this camp on the internet for a long while but have never managed to locate it. Has anyone else ever of heard of this particular POW camp?
 

DaveHam9

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#4
POW camps in Cheshire - HERE and HERE

I'm seeking information about the Italian prisoners of war who were housed at the Bull's Head Inn in Holmes Chapel during the Second World War.

Where we lived near Tarporley there is now a race track called Oulton Park, it was an army camp in the war with French sailors based there. The locals coudn't believe that they ate anything that moved! The French sailors were then followed by Polish soldiers who used to buy a pig and turn the whole lot into sausages. Then the Americans came with american stockings. My brothers who were farmers also helped to drain the land near Birchwood Warrington to build the american air base there. We also had a POW camp with Italian and German POWs who were assigned to work on the farms.
 
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#5
I did a search for a birth of Helen Whittaker without luck, however a search for Helen Whittaker born 1935+/-20 in Cheshire gave one result born j/s 1938 Stockport. mother named Taylor. Other children to parents Whittaker/Taylor are, John 1935, Alan 1936, Brian 1937, Pamela 1942 and Robert 1943, all born Stockport.
There is a marriage of Leslie Whittaker to Edna Taylor, o/d 1935 Stockport.
this could be your family

dave

edit - list of pow camps http://www.islandfarm.fsnet.co.uk/LIST OF UK POW CAMPS1.htm
 
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#6
Thank you so much for all your replies and for the links to POW camps. I have visited these sites before but no camp called "Salem" there? Dave Lambert: I don't think it is the correct Helen Whitaker. The Helen my father spoke of was either in her late teens or early twenties. I am almost wondering whether her name may have been Ellen. My father had a strong accent and deep voice and I may have misunderstood. My father talked of Mr Whitaker as being the "governor" (of the land). Does this mean he owned the property or just looked after it like an overseer?
 
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#7
Governor is a term of endearment for the head of say a prison, or a team of workers etc.

Not much help but I can only find one Ellen Whit(t)ker born Cheshire 1925+/-20yrs to possible parents Thomas B Whittaker and Ethel Drury. They could have had children - Marion 1916, Thomas 1919, Arthur 1923, un-named child 1925 and Ellen 1927, all born Stockport. It is quite possible of course, Ellen/Helen was not born in Cheshire and without anything definite its all guesswork. Hopefully someone with knowledge of the family will see your post.
 
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#8
Thank you Dave. This is helpful. Two questions:

1. The "governor of the land" then might not have been the owner of the land. Is that correct?

2. This Ellen Whitaker born 1927. Were her parents farm owners?

Thank you for your help.
 
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#9
1, that's correct

2, The only way of finding out anything about Ellen would be to get her birth cert a/j 1927 Stockport ref 8a 33, or Thomas's marriage cert o/d 1913 Stockport ref 8a 143.

This may be him -Thomas Baines Whittaker born 1882, on 1911 census living with parents at Bredbury Fold Farm, Bredbury, Stockport

dave
 
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#10
Thank you for the quick response. It just may be the correct family although on thinking about it Ellen would still have been quite young. I'll see if I can get some more information from other family members. They might know things that I don't. Thank you again.
 
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#11
Hi I am just new to this Forum. My father was a POW in Cheshire from approximately 1944 -1946. He worked on a farm in Cheshire which was run by a family named Whitaker. (Might be spelt Whittaker?) They had a daughter named Helen and possibly a daughter named Mary. My father became very close to this family and even kept in touch with them post war when he returned to Italy. They would have liked him to have stayed on. Does anyone know of this Whitaker family. I am pretty sure the farm was in Chester. Is the farm still there? I would love to learn more of my father’s time as a POW in England. Someone may even have some photos. Thank you for reading this post.
I think the father of the family I am seeking is Harold S Whittaker and the farm was Wardle Bridge Farm in Nantwich. I have googled this farm and it looks like it may still be there. Can anyone please help me with any of the following:
1. Did Harold S Whittaker have a daughter named either Mary or Helen/Ellen?
2. Does anyone know whether the Whittaker family are still connected with this farm?
3. Does anyone else have any connections with POWs who may have worked at Wardle Bridge Farm in Nantwich?
4. Does anyone have any photos of Wardle Bridge Farm during the 1940s?
Any help or info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 
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#12
Would love some more help

I am still very interested to learn more of this family and my dad's time in England as a POW. I am still pretty sure that dad was somewhere in Nantwich. I have since my original post here found a photo of him which was taken by J L Hart, Grosvenor Studios, 52 Nantwich Road, Crewe, Cheshire. Does anyone know of this photography business. They are not there now but I have googled the street which I found interesting. It is a lovely little place.

I have also found some other bits and pieces which point to him being in Nantwich.

Thank you for any feedback. It would be most helpful.
 
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#14
Thank you for this. I've searched so many times for Harold S Whittaker but without any joy so this is the first one so far. I'll follow up on it and see whether or not he was associated with Wardle Bridge Farm or not. Thank you for your efforts.
 
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Thank you for this. I've searched so many times for Harold S Whittaker but without any joy so this is the first one so far. I'll follow up on it and see whether or not he was associated with Wardle Bridge Farm or not. Thank you for your efforts.
My mother (by her first marriage) was sister-in-law to Harold Stott Whittaker of Wardle Bridge Farm, having married his brother, Wilfrid. They also lived in Nantwich, at Heatley Farm, until he died in 1951. However, I don't think Harold and his wife, Marion, had any children but, according to the 1939 Register, they had 37 year -old Mrs Mary Simpson ("poultry and domestic duties"') and 9 year-old evacuee Mary Rossiter living with them, so might he have thought the little girl was their daughter - she would have been in her teens by the end of the war if she had stayed? However, no sign of anyone called Ellen or Helen, sorry, unless she too was someone staying with them but arrived after the 1939 Register was completed.

Sadly that line of the Whittaker family seems to have almost died out, my half-brother being the last one and also with no children. A Google search suggests the farm is now owned by someone called Williamson.
 
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#16
Thank you so much for your reply Somersheen. It does help. So W.G. Whittaker who is mentioned with H.S. Whittaker of Wardle Bridge Farm in the phone directories from 1929-1934 was possibly Wilfred Whittaker, married to your mother, and brother of Harold Stott Whittaker. Would that be correct? I have come across the name Mary Rossiter before, possibly in a different register. I wonder if she would still be alive. She would be 88ish so possibly not. I would really like to know more about her. She may have passed on memories abou the Italian POWs connected with Wardle Bridge Farm.

No I don't think Harold and Marion had children either. Marion was quite a bit older than Harold and she may have been married before. Not sure.

Thank you once again for the reply. Best to you with your own research.
 
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#17
That's right FamilyFocussed, W G Whittaker was Wilfrid George who was married to my mother. I have looked at the family tree I have done so far, but cannot see any females in the family around that time called Ellen or Helen to link to any other branches of the family either. Sadly my mother died a few years ago, and my brother was not born until 1949, so no-one to ask for any memories, sorry. Would the Imperial War Museum have any info on POW camps that might be helpful? I hope you manage to find out a bit more in time.
 
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#18
Thank you for taking a look at your tree for me, and also for confirming that W G Whittaker was one and the same Wilfred Whittaker, Harold's brother. That's really kind of you. I've been trying to work out how to send you a private message through the forum, but don't know how to do this. Hopefully I'll work it out. I have some photos that you might be interested in, you may know who the people are, and of course I would certainly love to know who the people in the photos are. Anyways, since my original posts here on this forum I have received my dad's POW records and now have a list of all the POW camps that he resided at which is really fantastic. I left this side of my research for a while after receiving his POW records and have recently got back into looking at my dad's time in various POW camps. Unfortunately, very little is known about the POW camps in the UK but I shall carry on. It has been really encouraging for me that you have made contact here. All the best with your research too.
 
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#19
Glad to hear you have been able to get a bit more info - to get your father's POW records must be quite special. The photos you have might show some of the Whittaker family my brother would recognise, but I am quite a bit younger so never met many of them, sadly. If you do wish to send a private message to anyone, you can click on their user name box to the left of their post, then an option should come up to "start a conversation" if that helps? Good luck with your ongoing searches, and kind regards.
 
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#20
Yes, it was very special. I'm so pleased I have this. I had to wait a year for it to arrive and it was well worth the wait.

I've just sent you a message. Thank you for the tip on how to do this.

Best to you too.
 

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