Sherren's of the World - Page 26 to 50


fractures of the feet amongst other injuries. This reminds me of one of the worst few moments I remember at sea. We were discharging cargo into lighters at Durban. In those days, ships drawing more than about 15 ft. couldn't cross the bar. We were rolling heavily and we were discharging dynamite from the fore-hatch, when a sling of cases got taken up to the derrick-head and slipped and fell into the bottom of the lighter. Now, although we knew a detonator was necessary, the fact of time taken in falling was an anxious time!

It was off the East Coast of Africa that I contracted the severe malaria that, to my lifelong regret, severed my connection with the sea for so many years.

During the time I was away from the sea I kept in touch with many old shipmates, when I was surgeon at the Poplar Hospital and traveled by tram, I often met old shipmates goings down to the E. India Dock, and I could see my old ships from the Hospital windows. The rare occasions when I was "off" the telephone was when I had dinner with old shipmates. I also met some as patients. Then there was an emergency appendix operation on the daughter of the Managing Director of the Line.

One night during an I was called to the telephone and a voice said "Is that you Mr. Sherren?" I said "Yes, Sir". It was Captain Cringle whom I was with in steam! I still trembled at the sound of his voice. I was with him as 3rd mate and he used to come onto the bridge at 8 a.m. and nothing was ever right. However, I pleased him this time as I was able to get him a nurse for his wife. Before this, when he was Marine Superintendent, he was nearly responsible for my leaving London and going to Calcutta. Cringle is still alive. He figures in a book on the sea-serpent recently published. He was fortunate enough to report sighting one in 1894 and was still alive last year when the book was written (1925). On another occasion a boy was brought to me by his father and when the consultation was over I said to him "Do you remember what happened New Year 1892 when you were 2nd mate of the Inyoni ?" He stared at me in amazement before recognition dawned. We had had a very hilarious evening with the officers of a German E. India boat. He was now the very austere captain in Rennie's beautiful Aberdeen Line to Natal. Like all Aberdeen products that he to do with the sea, they were perfect. Unfortunately, the company has gone out of existence years ago. I saw the death of J. T. Rennie in the papers last week

It can fall to the lot of few to be able to return to their first love, and it was with great gladness that in 1926 I realized that I was in a position to do so. Accordingly, I gave up all my appointments and sold my London house. I have never, not even for a moment, regretted it. Ten days after leaving London I

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found myself a member of a ship's company again. It did not take long to wean me from my shore-going habits - as the officers put it. I was fortunate in that all the senior officers were sail-trained and life was carried on as in my early days in steam. The differences were very small. We had wireless and an improved sounding machine, but direction finding was in its infancy and we had no gyroscopic compass, so navigation was much as it was when I left. I could have taken my watch on the bridge with the greatest confidence. She was one of the older ships of the Line - a ship and not a perambulating luxury hotel. In her, I saw the advent, of the first wholly steam-trained officers in that Company. Hitherto, they had insisted on square-rigged Master's certificates for all their officers. They were good men, but their whole outlook was different. They were good men and navigators but useless in handling seamen. I thought "God help us in emergencies at sea if we have to rely on steam-trained officers." One can only learn the ways of the sea in sail. The great difference was in the crew. The quartermaster and bo'sun were old sailing ship men and real sailors. The A. B. s were paint washers - ship's housemaids. One of them came to the Dispensary to say he had been knocked down by a sea and would like some medicine in case he caught a cold! Most of them were quite incompetent and it was laughable to see them fumbling with ropes and wire. Although their food was good and more varied than the average working man ashore, their health was not as good as that of the sailing ship man with his hard open air life and scanty food. Neither were they the self reliant cheery souls that the sea used to breed. I was fortunate in starting again in a company that had kept its individuality; a company in which relatives of mine had served in days of sail and steam- the only remaining company to be carried on by direct descendants of original ship owners who ran it so successfully in the great days of sail. There was still esprit-de-corps and the personal touch with managers and officers. Whatever its medical faults, this line has a very warm place in my heart. The only other big Line carried on by direct descendants is the Blue Funnel, which is still a family concern. Same old house flags and names may remain but they are part of the soulless combines Brocklebank of Liverpool, now part of Anchor Cunard combine, Union Line, once the pride of S'hampton, now Union Castle - the Royal Mail, with which the beautiful Aberdeen White Star has merged. Combines undoubtedly spoil the harmonious touch between ship and shore that is so essential to happy conditions - tradition means so much at sea. There is a general leveling down, unfortunately, not a leveling up.

When I was at Algoa Bay 2 years ago, I was talking to the young pilot who took us in and said "I suppose you were Union Castle", he said "No, Aberdeen White Star. " I said "Whatever made you give up?" and he replied, "They

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formed the combine, wages went down and conditions grew worse. " Their passing was a tragedy. The Thermopoly was one of them. She made a record passage of 63 days from Gravesend to Melbourne - 60 days pilot to pilot. They also built a series of beautiful iron sailing ships and also steamers.

During my later days at sea I have been in Australian, Canadian and New York mail ships. I have cruised to the West Indies and round the world from New York. The latter was most interesting apart from the passengers. If you really want to get to know the Americans, take a trip with them as ship's surgeon! But I can't seriously advise this. One got some relief in India, Egypt and South Africa when they went up-country. Cook's representatives tried to tempt me in all sorts of ways to go with them but I managed to stay quietly in the ship. During that voyage we visited places I hadn't seen since my youth. Mauritius had changed least of all. The population was still half French, half Indian. At Durban we moored in the same berth, opposite Shed A that we had left in 1894. How the harbour has changed! Now the Mail Boats go right in. I asked the pilot if there was anyone left of those of '94, and he told me that Mr. S. was still Manager of King & Co., our Natal agents, although the Company was now merged in Union Castle. I went to see him and he was kindness itself, and remembered one of our old officers very well. He brought lily history up to date and I had a memorable lunch with two old ship mates. A lunch, by the way, responsible for my last appearance before a B.M.A. gathering. I had, after leaving Mauritius, a wireless from Professor Saint at Cape Town asking me to operate for them at Somerset Hospital, but this I felt I had to refuse. Then, on arrival at Durban, I had a letter from B.M.A. asking me to address them. This I also meant to refuse, but the President paid me a visit which coincided with my lunch party. After lunch, I accepted! It was a great success apparently.

These voyages enabled me to gain an insight into medical conditions afloat in most of the shipping companies. I'm sure you will wish me to say something on this subject. I can assure you that from the medical standpoint, these conditions are little short of appalling. There are one or two notable exceptions where a real attempt is made to create an efficient medical service, but even these, in spite of the self-sacrificing and noble work of the medical superintendents, the surgeons are still "tolerated" and even the very best conditions are such that I cannot imagine a well educated, self-respecting young medical man taking it up as a career. In home ports, interference by lay clerks and captains, fees subject to approval of captains and, in some cases even now, bills have to be seen and initialed by captains. In one well known Line the doctor is not permitted to have a game of Bridge with the passengers, and in one ship I was in recently,

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there was a new doctor and the captain told him that he would not allow him to have any alcoholic drink though he was a respectable member of society, perhaps the result of experiences of others, but things of this sort are degrading to the profession. Yet the best Companies do offer a means whereby a medical man may supplement his pension, but except possibly in the few large trans-atlantic mail boats, it is not possible for the surgeon if he is married to bring up his son in the medical profession. I have been told that the salary is inclusive of board and lodging at sea, but he still has the expense of a house ashore. Of course, we have the matter in our own hands, and if the medical profession really desired it, they could soon make it a branch of the profession worthy of the name. I am going to illustrate by instances from my own experience how ships surgeons are received by captains, crew and passengers. In my first ship, the captain, as in all ships of that Company, was very aloof and had no friendly dealings with me at all until after arrival in Fremantle. I went up on to the bridge to see the perfect Australian sunrise and met the pilot who said "Have you seen the paper Doc.?" and handed me one with a lurid account of my career - "Sailor becomes Harley Street Specialist and returns to Sea again.'' Judge of my amazement when, at 10 that morning, I had a visit from the Captain's Servant - Captain's compliments etc. He asked me to have a drink - the first time it had ever happened, and to go ashore at Perth and play golf. I had had the donkeyman under my care with retention from a prostate and 1 had told him he would have to go into hospital at Melbourne for operation, and I would pick him up on the way home. He said "When I get to Melbourne I'm going to see a proper doctor." However, the day after leaving Fremantle, he called me back and said "May I speak to you, sir". I said "What is it donkey?". "Will you do the operation yourself, sir?"

On the following Australian voyage I noticed the name of a young lady in the passenger list whose gangrenous appendix I had removed. She was travelling with a nurse and remained most of the time in her cabin and never went on to A or promenade decks, only on C. It is the rule of the Australian Port Authorities that the doctor examine every person on board within 48 hours of arrival, so I called; when she saw me she said "What a shame", I said "What is?" She replied "That you haven't been to see me." I told her that if she had wanted a medical visit she should have sent for me. She said "Oh, no! My doctor (meaning someone I knew quite well in Town) told me on no account to call in the ship's doctor.

Again, there is still gross interference by the captain with his surgeon's professional work, which does not help their status among the crew. I know of many cases in which the doctor has put a patient off work and the captain has turned the man to again, but this has never happened to me, although on two occasions at least I have stopped gross interference,

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On my first voyage out to Australia, I examined emigrants at Naples and turned down some of the applicants who suffered from gross disabilities - the Australian Government are very strict in the matter. The captain told me that he wanted them taken. I said "Very well"' and wrote out a note saying that I considered it inadvisable but that he had ordered it done and asked him to sign - he refused. In another ship of the same Company, we were embarking third-class passengers to Colombo. The rules of the Company are very strict with regard to vaccination, and I was asked to take certain people and vaccinate them on board. I agreed, but on going to my room found a letter from the Agent enclosing a Company's Order that no one was to be embarked unless they had been vaccinated within three years and not later than a week previously. Of course, I then refused and again the Captain intervened and again I told him to put his orders in writing, and I won.

My first ship, still on the sail run, had a small room for the doctor in which there was no desk but a small flap table between bunk and wardrobe. When one was seeing a patient it was impossible to examine him as there was no room. The dispensary was a tiny place in a house on the after deck and opening out on deck in full gaze of the emigrants promenading. It was difficult, but at last I got permission to rope off part of the deck during surgery hours.

Drugs were the minimum Board of Trade scale. Altogether, everything was most unsatisfactory. I made only one trip in her and then joined the last new ship of the Company, but here again things were by no means satisfactory. The dispensary adjoined the doctor's cabin and there was no desk and nowhere to sit down and write. The doctor had to see sick passengers in his own cabin - a very common practice, and a most disgusting and disagreeable one. A doctor at sea wants a private room where he can smoke and see his friends and he should have a decent consulting room. It was on this ground that I left that Company, although the people were delightful. The medical accommodation was thoroughly bad - not only was it insufficient but the room adjoined the purser's and, as I said in my report, the cabins, except for vision, were practically one. When I was in this ship, she carried 650 passengers, 1200 emigrants and a crew of 430, she was full and I was the only medical man. The only hospital provided was that required by the Board of Trade for emigrants - so much cubic space per 100. This was right aft over the ship's laundry and the propellers with two doors opening directly onto the third class promenade. There was no hospital for the crew and none for the saloon passengers; truly a lamentable state of affairs.

On this ship I had the Managing Director with me and I pointed out many things to him, and on my return was able to go before the Directors and get certain improvements carried out - increased pay, increased fees to saloon passengers - it was 2/6d. - carrying assistant surgeons, also nurses, which I organized for them, but

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they were adamant on the question of satisfactory surgeon's accommodation and crew's hospitals, but I left them the best of friends. I have since been able to help them medically more than once, but even though in that ship and sister ships since built, the number of saloon passengers carried is reduced - and even in the latest ship built which from the passenger standpoint is at present the finest out of London - there is still no consulting room and inadequate hospital accommodation. I then went on to another Company which, in their treatment of their surgeons was the best in England, they were on a yearly increasing salary, even the smallest ships had a consulting room and so, far from keeping to the B.O.T. scale and having to pay for anything over out of one's own pocket and being told so, in the Company, the doctor could order whatever drugs he wanted. But this is very exceptional.

One has many amusing and interesting experiences that make one proud of one's race and of the English medical profession. The sound honest qualities of them as evidenced by the British port medical officer - efficiency and no fuss. Abroad it is just the opposite: New York is terrible and just at present the one idea of the medical officer seems to be to get a drink from the emigrant medical officer.

The emigrant Medical officers that board one at Father Point in the St. Lawrence are not of the standard we should have here, and the Canadians seems to have modeled their service on the American, and I think Canadian officialdom as a class is the most insolent and inefficient you are likely to meet. A very amusing incident was at Kobe. I had been told of difficulties here and that on the last world cruise they had insisted on a specimen of everyone's faeces and that available ?jam jars had run out. So I met the chief medical officer and asked him what I could do for him and he said I want some Three Castle cigarettes and gramophone records. These I got from the second steward and all was well. In one South American port we had no at all on board. I had gone through the papers with the M.O. and I thought all was clear. About a quarter of an hour later the staff captain came in and said " You're holding the ship up, the Doctor won't give us ? pratique unless you give him $5." I said "Pay it yourself that's not my work." I don't know what happened - anyhow the yellow flat came down before long.

Sea sickness is a visitation that may occupy much time. I'11 say at the outset that there Is no cure. Last year a happy party crossed to New York in the Carmania to study it. They had a good time but know no more than they did. It's purely a nervous condition, using that in it's widest sense. I have known people sick at a station before getting into a boat train and in the smooth waters of the St. Lawrence ? Seaway, but these classes are those who have experienced it before.

Mankind falls into three groups. First, the smallest - those who have never been seasick. Second, those who are able to compensate, and much, but not all, depends on will-power; for instance, a deck-boy vomiting and getting on with his work or a laundress having to be landed at Toulon. This is the great majority, but

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there are a few who, with the best will in the world are always sick or feel ill In bad weather. There is no cure for sea-sickness - faith is the great thing, and common sense as in most other conditions. The one thing and the only certainty to stop an attack is an adequate dose of morphia.

In conclusion, I want to speak of what should be done to improve medical conditions at sea. I am strongly of the opinion that the sea should offer a satisfactory and honourable means of livelihood, one compatible with the dignity of the medical profession. Unfortunately, in the majority of instances this is not the case.

I am going to exclude from all that I have to say those ships that carry surgeons although not legally bound to do so. I refer to Holt, all of whose purely cargo ships carry them and such as the C & D Line who carry 12 passengers and give a doctor a trip. These are ships that give a medical man a chance of seeing the world and I should not like to criticise them.

The ships I wish to speak of are those who carry more than 100 souls and must carry a surgeon. Theoretically, the doctor is responsible for all health matters on shipboard, but in most cases the captain and the managers resent active work and attention being called too obvious deficiencies in accommodation, ventilation, cleanliness of galleys, pantries and lavatories. The captain looks on it as infringing his rights and the managers shelter themselves behind the ? unnecessary requirements of the Board of Trade. There is a B.O.T. scale laying down Drugs and Instruments - I am glad to say that the new scale that comes into force this year will be efficient. We had a committee of whom all but one - the representative of the Royal College of Physicians - had practical experience of the sea and we have, after a year's work, a scale in which everything necessary for treatment of any ordinary disease and sufficient instruments to perform any operation likely to be required, and for the first time adequate arrangements for the treatment of ? disease. All else that the B.O.T. requires concern emigrant ships: if a ship does not carry emigrants she is not subject to B.O.T. inspection and need have no hospital accommodation whatever. If she carries emigrants so much cubic space and the isolation hospital must be on or above the uppermost passenger deck - an archaic rule dating back to sailing ship days. No hospital accommodation is required by them for saloon passengers, consequently in those ships it is not provided nor for the crew of maybe 300-500 and the same applies here. It is surely time that this question is taken up together with that of personnel. I have great hopes that a further move will be made this year and that the committee I mentioned will be allowed to investigate this important question. Important not only for the crew and the travelling public, but for the medical profession. I have no hesitation in sailing that every ship carrying a surgeon should provide him with a private cabin for living

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and sleeping and that he should not be compelled to see passengers in their cabins. There should be an efficient dispensary where patients can be seen comfortably. Where only emigrants are carried, this could be used as a casualty room, but where saloon passengers or two classes are carried, there should be a consulting room for them as well, and hospital accommodation for crew and all classes of passengers, and the hospital should not be in actual communication with the surgeon's quarters, as in the P. & 0.

With regard to personnel in all large Lines there should be 3 responsible Medical Superintendent under whom the surgeon should work. Companies with Medical Superintendents are few and far between and most come under the Catering Department. In one Company the Dispenser was only responsible to the second steward, and the Company I have induced to carry Nurses placed them on a par with and dressed them as stewardesses. I managed to draw up standing orders giving them the status of officers with meals in the saloon. It has amazed me to find that many owners interested in and on the Boards of Hospitals ashore, show so little enthusiasm for efficient hospital treatment of their staffs and passengers at sea.

If the status of ships surgeons is to improve, there should be a yearly salary and a pension and no paying-off on arrival in port. Again, we are behind other nations. In these days of large ships, qualifications beyond those of the practitioner ashore are necessary. Certain countries, Spain, France and Italy, require him to pass an examination in Naval hygiene. In Germany there is no diploma but a special course at Hamburg. I am much in favour of the establishment of a diploma which must be voluntary, but if established I feel sure that owners of large fleets would insist on it at least in their large ships. There is a Committee in being considering the provision of postgraduate courses for ships surgeons. This, I think is the wrong way to begin - establish the diploma first. Study leave should be given ever so often on full pay and the practitioner could do his work where he wished, and obtain instruction in ship construction, sanitation, hygiene water supply and sewage. Another method would be to establish RNR surgeons who would undergo the medical course at Haslar.

It should be laid down that ships carrying over a certain number of passengers should have an assistant surgeon and a nurse. Medical men, particularly medical superintendents, when they are available, should be consulted in ship construction and layout and if they were possessed of special diplomas they would be able to bring their weight to bear. In all cases of new ships which have to carry surgeons the plans for medical accommodation should be passed, and it ought not to be left to the B.O.T. Inspector when the ship reaches her first port - if she is to carry emigrants - to pass it.

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I have made contact with Mrs. Edna Barnett (nee Sherren) who lives in Crawley, West Sussex. She wrote me with some details of her family chain. At this time I have not been able to determine exactly where they fit in but I hope to do so very shortly.

The information she provided me came from a family bible in her possession which has recorded events commencing around 1850. It appears there may be more information recorded but unfortunately some pages are missing.

Without further information about them such as occupations, hobbies, physical characteristics, etc., it will be hard to determine their origin. However, by working with Edna I hope to fit yet another piece into the family puzzle.

Some possibilities are that this family comes from John (1808 -1856), son of James who, left for London as a young man. It is possible he had a son who in turn raised the nine children starting with Henry George, who are detailed on the following pages.

Another possibility is that they are descendents from another John (of Whitcombe) whom I believe was a brother or cousin of James in Weymouth. This John also had a son John.

There was a James Sherren in the County of Surrey who married Margaret and had at least five children in the early 1800's, among them were John, Henry, and James. It is possible that this family is from one of these children (perhaps Henry).

The first records of this family chain is the birth of Henry George, who was born on September 30, 1850 at 124 Westbourne Mews in Crawley. Unfortunately, as with many of the earlier members of this family, we have no further information on Henry

The next in line was William Sherren, who was born November 27th, 1854 at Abbots Langly in Herefordshire.

Charles Sherren, born March 20, 1856 at Abbots, Langly.

Louisa Mary Ann, born January 7, 1859 at William Mews.

Albert Edward, born February 16th, 1861 at 17 William Mews, Lowndses Square, Knightbridge, London.

Agnes Elizabeth, born August 29, 1862 at 17 William Mews. It is believed that she married a Newman from Torquoy, Devon.

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We now come to Arthur Thomas, who was born January 27th, 1865 at William Mews. He worked as a poulterer at J. Sainsburys and Herrods of London. It is also reported that he was a head coachman and this is perhaps why they resided in the Mews. It is also believed that his hobby was horse racing, an activity common to other generations in the family. He died in January 1944.

He married Hannah Matilda Nicols from Lowestoft. She died in 1957. Their children were:

Louisa Kate, born April 24th 1901 and died in March 1986. She worked as a domestic help and shop assistant at a grocers. She loved to read and spend time in her gardens and for a time worked at a florist. She was also 'potty about horses' and was close to her father.

Although she never married, she formed a spousal unit with a gentleman named Alfred E. Leggett, and gave birth to five children who were raised by the name "Sherren" She was a devoted mother who remained very close to her children. The children of Louisa Kate Sherren were:

Olive Hanna, was born on July 15th, 1923 in Brighten, Sussex, who held a variety of jobs. She married an Australian airman named Harrison during the war, and afterwards moved to Australia. She returned to England in 1953 and was divorced seven years later.

She had three children from this marriage, Shirley John and Carole. She later married Maurice Russel from Lewes, Sussex who was on the Council and is now retired.

Alice Edna, known as Edna, was born May 12, 1925. She worked as an accountant until her retirement. Her hobbies consist of gardening, knitting, reading and classical music. She loves the country and is most happy when by (or on) the sea.

In 1954 she married Arthur Robert (Bill) Barnett, from London who was an electrical engineer with the Civil Aviation Authority.

Their two children are William Arthur, (May 4, 1957) and James Robert (July 21, 1963). William started work with the same grocer as his grandfather, where he is an assistant. He spends much of his spare time at woodworking and is a pilot with the Search Rescue squad in the RAF at Gatwisk.

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Arthur and Hannah Sherren

Arthur Thomas Sherren and his wife Hanna Matilda Nicols

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Arthur Edward Kenneth, was born on January 19th, 1928. He works as a labourer and enjoys a number of sports, in particular, horse racing.

He married Jean from London who works with ICL. They have two children Mark Richard (October 31, 1963), and Carole (May 8, 1966).

Evelyn Gurtrude, born February 19, 1930, worked as a clerk for the London Electricity Board. She likes to travel and spends her leisure time sewing and gardening.

She married John P. Fitzgerald from Fulham, London who works for the local Coal Board. He was a member of the Royal Air Force and has since retired. Their children are Ann, Jane, Timothy and Hilary.

June Pamela, born on June 23rd, 1931, worked as a shop assistant. She married William H. Higgins from London, an electrical engineer who died in 1984. Their three children are; Susan, Gillian and Martin.

The second child of Arthur and Hannah was a son Henry, who died as an infant (11 months) due to pneumonia.

The third was Thomas Albert, born in July of 1917, who lives in the area of Leeds and worked as a Publican. He married a Monica from Ireland.

Their children are Constance, Rene, Daniel, Jeanette and Mary. We have traced Thomas to be living in Leeds but have had no reply to correspondence.

The only son of Thomas Albert Sherren is Daniel Thomas. He joined the navy when he was only 15 years old and is still in service. When he retires in six years time he will have spent 35 years in the navy. He lives in Portland Dorset.

The youngest in the family of Thomas and Monica, a girl, Jeanette Hannah Julia, and known as Jennie, was born on June 19th, 1948. She is a great animal lover lives in Norfolk and spends her time breeding dogs, looking after horses and racing greyhounds.

The last of the brothers and sisters of Edna, the eighth was, Frank, who was born on March 02, 1867, and the youngest was Jessie, born June 6th, 1869.

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Edward Richards Sherren was born in London in the 1800's. He became a Veterinary Surgeon with a long standing Veterinary practice and kennel business known as the Kingsdale Boarding and Quarantine Establishment which was mainly for dogs. It was located in Kingsdale, Great Stanmore in the County of Middlesex, England.

At this time we are not sure who his parents were, but it is possible that he was also the son of John (1808 - 1856), who moved from Weymouth in the early 1800s. One reason for this belief is that so many descendents of James went into either the medical profession or the printing business, and many had distinguished military careers.

Also, I am not sure at this time if the Sherrens in Africa are directly linked to the Sherrens in Sussex, Sherrens in Weymouth or the Sherrens in Broadmayne. This is another open question, which will require more research in order to answer.

Unfortunately we have very little information on Edward other than the aforementioned, and that he was married to Elizabeth Olivia (formerly Woodman).

He had at least one son, Edward Hebert, born on December 4th, 1897. He became an Army Officer with the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, serving in France among other places. After the war he agreed to stay on and help clean up the administrative mess, so his wife Gladys Mary joined him there.

After this was complete, Edward pursued a career in the publishing business and commercial journals and had offices just off Fleet Street in London. He died in 1950.

Edward and Gladys had two sons :

Peter Denis Wray Richards Sherren, born August 16, 1920 in Wimeraux, France. While he was still a young man his family returned to England and lived in London.

After completing his education Peter left England as a teenager to live in Rhodesia and joined, what was known at the time as, the British South Africa Police serving for over 40 years on this Force. During this time he was seconded to the British Middle East Forces during World War II serving in the Dodecanese Theater and the Greek Islands.

After his retirement he remained on as a member of the Police service Commission for Zimbabwe. He also served for over eleven years as Chairman of the country's Board of Censors.

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Peter and his wife Francesca have three sons:

Stephen Wray, born on November 10, 1946, has worked for many years with the Shell Oil Company in south Africa and is now posted in their headquarters in London and lives in Sevenoaks in Kent County.

He became an international squash player, representing this country, and was awarded the national colours for South Africa.

He is married to Pamela from Johannesburg, and has two children, Peter and Catherine.

Anthony John, born on August 3rd, 1950, was educated at the University of South Africa and is now a senior member of Staff at Kingswood College, Grahamstown, South Africa.

He is married to Doreen and has three children, Natalie, Nicola and Michael.

The third in this family is Michael Vere, born April 15, 1957. He was educated in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and the University of Capetown.

He represented the University at tennis and squash and was the past holder of the Zimbabwe squash championships He played professional squash in Europe after obtaining his degree.

He diversified into the import and export business in sports equipment and manages the leading Squash Club in The Hague, Holland.

He is married to Adriana, born in Zimbabwe, and has two children, Calvin and Tanya.

The second son of Edward and Gladys and younger brother of Denis is John Ori Sherren, born in 1923. He remained a bachelor throughout his life and enjoyed his passion travelling. He is retired now, and lives in Jersey in the Channel Islands during the summer. For the rest of the year spends his time travelling the Mediterranean and Creek Islands in his rather large motor cruiser.

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Peter, who supplied much of this information is also retired and enjoying this time with his wife and is still playing on the tennis league. During his younger years, in 1937, he has played at Junior Wimbledon and has obviously managed to pass on this gift of athletic skills to his sons.

I have been able to contact the aforementioned families in Sussex and in Africa, as well as others by sending numerous letters addressed to "Any Sherren Family" to many different countries all over the world. As a result I received a number of responses which I have been able to incorporate into the book in their respective families.

However, I received some which I have not been able to place. One of those was from a Michael J. Sherren who is living in London, England at "18 Curlew Close, Thameswood"

The only information he was able to provide me was that his Grandfather was an Alfred Sherren, who had four sons, Edward, (Michael's father), William, Frederick (all three of whom are now deceased) and a Sidney who resides at 20 Shaftersbury Rd. Watford Herts, London.

Michael was an only child and is now married with two children, Gareth (who is 18 in 1990), and Debra (who is 15).

His Uncle Sidney also had two children, Valery and Patricia with whom I hope to make contact. This ends the section on the English/Africa families. We will now go to the families from Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Australia and then back to England to the County of Broadmayne.

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Every Man is His Own Ancestor

And Every Man is His Own Heir.

He Devises His Own Future

And Inherits His Own Past.




Prince Edward Island


Map 1


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The documented history for Prince Edward Island extends back to July 1, 1534, when Jacques Cartier claimed the Island for the King of France. For ten thousand years before this date, however, this peaceful land had been occupied by the Micmac Indians. They gave the Island the name "Abegweit", which means "cradle of the waves".

Although Cartier's discovery occurred on the North Shore, the first white settlers established themselves on the southern side of the Island at Port Lajoie. This early settlement was located right across the Harbour from Charlottetown, the capital city, and is known today as Fort Amherst "National Historic Site".

In later wars, possession of P.E.I. changed hands between the British and French several times. In the culmination of these historic conflicts in 1758, Britain finally regained possession, and changed the name from Isle St. Jean to St. John's Island. The British ushered in one of the darkest periods in the Island history as most of the French Acadian settlers were deported.

At the Charlottetown conference in 1864, one of Canada's most significant historic events occurred. This meeting was held to discuss both a Maritime union and a larger Confederation which would later form Canada as a nation. The Conference was attended by various delegates from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. The future Prime Minister of Canada, Sir John A. MacDonald was one of those in attendance.

Although numerous problems existed as a blockade to confederation, the most serious was probably the isolationist position of the Maritimes. In the case of Prince Edward Island, for example, there was deep rooted provincialism. The Island maintained political independence and economic self-sufficiency because of its agricultural and fishing products were being sold in Europe, the West Indies and especially the United States.

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There are other interesting facts regarding Prince Edward Island. For example, at one time it had a free trade agreement with the United States. However, the arrangement was found unsuitable and prompted a writer from Crapaud, George Fall, son of Mary Sherren (pen name Gene Autumn) in 1931 to write the following:

"Now in the first of the 19th Century, the United States invaded Canada. It caused a great war with Canada, and the United States, in the year 1812. The war lasted two years and when peace was proclaimed, America wanted free trade with Prince Edward Island. We were willing, and then we had free trade for a little while. The Yankees wanted our fish and pine lumber and timber -- the best pine in the world. The Yankees were too sharp for us. They flooded our Island with worthless goods and sold us grass seed mixed with daisy seeds and they had agents all over the Island selling us trashy goods. Our Liberal friends, at that time put a stop to it, and free trade was buried.

Another little known fact, is that the world's very first automobile was built in Charlottetown in 1866. This vehicle was a single seated steam engine owned by the Rev. Father Belcourt of Rustico, and was usually seen being pulled by horses throughout the Village.

Prohibition ended in 1948, when the Temperance Act was passed, but permits were still needed for the purchase of spirits until the late 1960s.

Of all the history for which Prince Edward Island is noted, the one thing of which most people even at an early age are aware, is that Prince Edward Island is the home of "Anne of Green Gables". The author, Lucy Maud Montgomery was born and raised on the Island. Her books are read by people all over the world. People from all over, even children from Japan come to see the live performances on stage in Charlottetown at the Confederation Centre, of the renowned musical "Ann of Green Gables", the little girl with whom they grew up.

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Map 3

Survey of Crapaud. Dated 1852.

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The name of the village on Prince Edward Island where the original Samuel Sherren settled, when he emigrated from England is called Crapaud.

The place was originally called "Rivoir aux Crapaux", which when literally translated means River of Toads. This is particularly interesting since the Westmoreland River, or Brocklesby River as it was known then, was overrun with frogs.

The name was later shortened to just Crapaud, which is pronounced: ( KRA - PO ).

Crapaud is located on the Trans Canada Highway, just half way between Charlottetown and Summerside. Over the years this little Village has been noted for it's ship building industry, farming of grain, oats and potatoes, milling, furniture making and a fine creamery.

Crapaud is still a great place to live and is very well known around the Maritimes and parts of the United States for its annual Country Fair and Tractor Pulling contest.

* Sherren's Pond:

On East Branch Westmoreland River, Lot 29, Meacham 1880 shows Jas. and Jno. Sherren in the area, and Cummins 1925 has Wm. D., Harold and David Sherren near the pond. In 1967 the name was placed in error at Ives Pond, 4 miles West on NTS 11 L/5.

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In 1823, after arriving on P.E.I., Samuel Sherren and Ann Trowsdale were married. Ann was born in Yorkshire, England in 1803 and came to Prince Edward Island on a ship called the "Valliant" with her father Joseph, her mother her four brothers and two sisters.

There is a strong possibility that Samuel and his brother William who stayed in Newfoundland also came on this ship which was transporting builders from the UK who were being offered free passage if they agreed to help rebuild the Town of St. John's after the "Great Fire" of 1816. We can assume that Samuel met Ann on the long voyage and was inspired to continue on to Prince Edward Island with the Trowsdale family instead of remaining in Newfoundland as he was supposed to do.

Since Ann would have been very young (approx. 15) their marriage would have been put off for a few years.

The couple then established a homestead in Crapaud on the property located above Stordy's Mill which was later owned by Charles and Edward Fall. As can be seen on a survey of Crapaud which was done in 1852, it is possible that Joseph Trowsdale severed this parcel from a piece of his land for the newly-weds.

Samuel and Ann had seven children:


1824 - 1893


Page 50.


1826 - 1906


Page 60.


1828 - 1910


Page 114.


1832 - 1880


Page 48.

Sarah Ann

1837 - 1864


Page 48.


1838 - 1924


Page 48.


1842 - 1869


Page 48.


Samuel a furniture maker who had apprenticed in England and was noted for his fine finishing work. A piece of his work, a Communion Table, is still in use today located at the United Church in Crapaud. There are also some items which he made that are still in homes around the Crapaud area and in the possession of his descendents.

Although Samuel probably started his religious life as a Methodist, all descendents in Crapaud became very strong members of the Church of England or the United Church. A possible clue as to when this transition took place can be found in the writings of George Fall (Grandson of Samuel).

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In a piece written for the Guardian Newspaper referring to Methodism in Crapaud dated November 1931, George Fall, pen name "Gene Autumn" states :

"Now these good people fell away from Methodism and got a longing for Presbyterianism. So they did away with their class meetings, and kneel - down meetings, and revivals, and love fests, and gave their Methodism name away, and buried all the Methodists in Crapaud. And they have lost their love for John Wesley. And we that knew them once shall know them no more.

It is also known that the English Church opened in Crapaud in the 1841. As well, the Methodist Church of the 1800s in Crapaud eventually became the United Church. The members of these churches for the most part were once members of the Methodist Congregation.

It is also known that John Welsey, who was the founder of the Methodist (new method) Church, and associate of James Sherren (grandfather of Samuel), never relinquished his membership in the Church of England.

Samuel died in 1864, and his wife, Ann in 1872. They are both buried in St. John's Church Cemetery in Crapaud. Detailed information regarding Samuel and Ann Sherren's three older children, Mary, James and John, will follow in the proceeding chapters.

Three of Samuel's younger children, Hanna, Sarah Ann and George were never married and all died as fairly young adults.

Their youngest daughter, Amelia, became the second wife of Joseph MacDonald (Sr), who lived over the hill behind the Fred Sherren property on the MacDonald Road. Joseph and Amelia did not have any children.

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View Family Tree of Samuel Sherren and Ann Trowsdale, - Page 48 -

Samuel Sherren

Samuel Sherren

Samuel Sherren, born in England sailed to Canada

with his Brother William in early 1800's.

William stayed in Newfoundland while Samuel

continued on to Prince Edward Island.

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The eldest daughter of Samuel and Ann was Mary, she was born in Crapaud in 1825. She stayed at home and helped her parents on the farm until her marriage to James Fall in 1844.

James' family originated in Alderborough, England. They came to Canada in 1810 and first settled in Cove Head. After his father passed away, James and his mother moved to Crapaud and lived on what was know as the Sherren Road.

James' mother was Elizabeth Rouston who was regarded as a "women of culture" and was instrumental in the founding of the Crapaud Elementary School. She began by teaching small groups of ladies and further expanded it to include other subjects of an academic nature.

After the death of Mary's younger brother George, she and James then moved to the Sherren homestead which had been established by her father, Samuel. All the Falls in the Crapaud area have descended directly from this couple.

James and Mary had three children:


1849 - 1933


Page 52

John S.

1853 - 1896


Page 57.

Mary Ann

1858 - 1918


Page 50.


Mary passed on in 1893 at the age of 69. James died two years later, in 1895, when he was 75 years old. Both are buried in Crapaud in the St. John's Anglican Church cemetery.

Their youngest daughter Mary Ann, married Mark Trowsdale in 1893. They remained in the Crapaud area and had four children whose names are Harry, Edward (Eddie), Henry and Frank.

James and Mary's oldest son was George, who was born in 1849. George became very noted for his writings under the pen name of "Gene Autumn". He wrote about early life on Prince Edward Island and in particular about settlers in the Crapaud area.

Although he was basically uneducated in the academic sense he showed an uncanny depth of knowledge and had an ability to portray the true feelings of the people and presented graphically many of the events that were happening during the time. Even by today's standards his writings display a great wisdom and philosophy about them. Much of his writings were printed in the Charlottetown Newspaper during 1929 and some were also recapped in the book "History of Crapaud" which was written by the Crapaud Women's Institute in 1957.

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Sherren's of the World

Presented by: Dave Hunter, The Island Register, and Joseph C. Sherren.

Last Updated: 5/23/99 5:50:40 AM
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