This page sets out the key events of Richard Rapson’s life, with detailed references. See the bottom of the page for automatically generated links to blog posts which refer to this page.
|Born:||6 July 1877||At:||Winchester|
|Birth registered:||2nd quarter 1877||Winchester Registration District|
|Married:||22 May 1901||At:||Christ Church, Colliers Wood|
|Marriage registered:||2nd quarter 1901||Croydon Registration District|
|Birth of daughter:||10 May 1903||Mitcham|
|Daughter:||Maud Ruth Rapson|
|Birth of daughter:||3rd quarter 1906||Kingston Registration District|
|Daughter:||Ethel Lydia Rapson|
|Birth of adoptive son:||15 November 1906||47 Haydon’s Road, Wimbledon Home of the Southwark Diocesan Association for the Care of Friendless Girls|
|Adoptive son:||Arthur Tidman|
|Birth of daughter:||14 August 1910||Wimbledon|
|Daughter:||Florence Bertha Rapson|
|Birth of daughter:||15 March 1917||Wimbledon|
|Daughter:||Winifred Agnes Rapson|
|Death registered:||4th quarter 1952||Surrey North Eastern Registration District|
|Learnt to ring:||Mitcham?, c1908||Association membership:||Surrey Association||Elected:||c1908?||Peals:||None known, at least 3 quarter peals||First, 1908|
|Occupation (1891):||Boy clerk|
|Service:||Naval Service||Rank:||Private||Enlisted:||Before 4 December 1914|
|Regiment:||Royal Marines Engineers|
|Deemed to have enlisted:||24 June 1916|
|Called up:||5 April 1918|
|Demobilised:||24 March 1919|
|On||26 February 1876||Parents’ marriage||Richard Rapson (27) and Bridget Augusta Abraham (30) married at Weeke Parish Church, near Winchester, on 26 February 1876. The marriage was registered 1st quarter 1876, Winchester Registration District.||FreeBMD-1; FreeBMD-2; FMPEnglandMarriages|
|Before||30 June 1876||Birth||George Henry Rapson’s birth was registered in the 2nd quarter 1876, Winchester Registration District.||–; Census1881|
|On||6 July 1877||Birth||Richard Rapson was born in Winchester on 6 July 1876 according to his service record and the 1939 Register. However his birth was not registered until 3rd quarter 1877, Winchester Registration District, and combined with the fact his brother was born in 1876 suggests that his true year of birth was 1877.||FreeBMD-4; ADM 157/3504/8; Census1881-1; 1939Register-1|
|On||18 January 1881||Burial of mother||Bridget Augusta was buried in the churchyard at St Mary’s, Wimbledon, on 18 January 1881. She was 33, and her residence at death was 10 Alan Cottages, Gladstone Road, South Wimbledon. The death was registered in the Kingston registration district in the 1st quarter 1881.||SurreyParish-1; FreeBMD-5|
|On||3 April 1881||Census||At the 1881 census Richard Rapson was living with his aunts, Eliza Baldwin (29) and Fanny Abraham (28), his cousin Henry J T Baldwin (3) and his brother George H (5) at St Mary’s Street, Northwood, Isle of Wight. Both aunts are listed as married, but neither husband is present. The widowed Richard Rapson senior was lodging with Cole family at 23 Gladstone Road, Wimbledon. His occupation is given as foreman railway porter.||Census1881-1Census1881-2|
|On||5 April 1891||Census||At the 1891 census Richard Rapson and his brother, now listed as Henry George were back living with their father at Graham Road, Wimbledon. Both boys are listed as boy clerks, while their father is now a railway inspector. Their aunt Fanny is also living with them as a housekeeper, again she is listed as married, though her husband is not present.||Census1891|
|On||15 January 1900||Death of father||Richard Rapson senior died in a railway accident at Wimbledon Station on 15 January 1900. He tried to cross the tracks behind a stationary train and was hit by a light locomotive. He was buried in the churchyard at St Mary’s, Wimbledon, on 20 January 1900. He was 49, and his residence at death was 74 Graham Road, South Wimbledon. The story of his death, and the subsequent inquest, was picked up by several newspapers around the country, probably following initial stories in the Pall Mall Gazette and Morning Post respectively. The death was registered in the Kingston registration district in the 1st quarter 1901.||FreeBMD-6; SurreyParish-2; BritishNewspaperArchive-1BritishNewspaperArchive-2|
|On||31 March 1901||Census||In 1901 the head of the household was now his aunt Fanny. Richard was now a plumber. Also present was another nephew of Fanny’s, William H Rapson (17), born Cork, Ireland, a messenger, plus two lodgers. They were living at 74 Graham Road, Wimbledon.||Census1901|
|On||22 May 1901||Marriage||Richard Rapson (23) and Maud Miller (25) married on 22 May 1901 at Christ Church, Collier’s Wood (recorded at the time as Mitcham). The marriage was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1901 in the Croydon Registration District. Richard’s occupation is given in the register as plumber, his father’s as inspector (deceased). Maud’s father, Alfred, was a carpenter. Richard’s address is given as 74 Graham Road, Maud’s as Palestine Grove.||FreeBMD-7; FreeBMD-8; SurreyParish-3; ADM 157/3504/8|
|On||10 May 1903||Birth of daughter||Maud Ruth Rapson was born on 10 May 1903 and baptised at Christ Church, Collier’s Wood, on 28 June 1903. The family were then living at 61 Latimer Road. The birth was registered in the 2nd quarter 1903 in the Kingston Registration District.||FreeBMD-9; SurreyParish-4; 1939Register-2; ADM 157/3504/8|
|Before||30 September 1906||Birth of daughter||Ethel Lydia Rapson’s birth was registered in the Kingston Registration District in the 3rd quarter 1906. No baptismal record has been traced.||FreeBMD-10|
|On||15 November 1906||Birth of adoptive son||Arthur Tidman was born on 15 November 1906. He was the son of the (unmarried) Ethel Louisa Tidman. He was baptised on 30 December 1906 at All Saints’, South Wimbledon. Ethel was then living at 47 Haydon’s Road, the address of the Wimbledon Home of the Southwark Diocesan Association for the Care of Friendless Girls from 1901-21.||FreeBMD-11; SurreyParish-5; MuseumOfWimbledon|
|In||1906?||Learnt to ring||First recorded ringing that’s been found is in 1908, so he probably learnt sometime around 1906.||BN1908|
|Before||31 March 1907||Death of daughter||Ethel Lydia Rapson’s death was registered in the Kingston Registration District in the 1st quarter 1907. No burial record has been traced.||FreeBMD-12|
|On||17 May 1908||Quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles||“Mitcham (Surrey).— On Sunday evening. May 17th, at Christ Church, a quarter-peal of Grandsire Doubles. E Broadbridge, A M Parslow, W T Saker, A Miller conductor, E A Taylor, R Rapson. Tenor 7¾ cwt.” Although listed as Mitcham, the fact it’s listed as Christ Church shows it was rung at what is now known as Collier’s Wood. Arthur Malcom Parslow and Alfred Miller are also recorded on the roll of honour as Collier’s Wood ringers.||BN1908|
|On||15 May 1910||Quarter peal of Bob Minor||“Mitcham. On Whit-Sunday, for evening service, a quarter-peal of Bob Minor in 45 mins. E Broadbridge, R Rapson, T Lewis, A Miller, W Saker, A Smith conductor.” Listed just as Mitcham, it’s impossible to tell if this was rung at the parish church, SS Peter and Paul, or at Christ Church (now known as Collier’s Wood).||BN1910-1|
|On||15 May 1910||Quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles||“Mitcham. On Friday, May 20th, after the memorial service to the late King Edward, a quarter-peal of Grandsire Doubles, in 45 mins. J W Parslow, E T Broadbridge, A Miller conductor, W Saker, R Rapson, H Jennings.” Again listed just as Mitcham, it’s impossible to tell if this was rung at the parish church, SS Peter and Paul, or at Christ Church (now known as Collier’s Wood). However John William Parslow and Alfred Miller are also listed as Collier’s Wood ringers on the roll of honour, as well two men named Jennings (though neither has the initial H), which perhaps points towards Christ Church.||BN1910-2|
|On||14 August 1910||Birth of daughter||Florence Bertha Rapson was born on 14 August 1910 and baptised at Christ Church, Collier’s Wood, on 25 September at Christ Church. The family were then living at 35 Norman Road, Wimbledon. The birth was registered in the 3rd quarter 1910 in the Kingston Registration District.||FreeBMD-13; SurreyParish-6; ADM 157/3504/8|
|On||2 April 1911||Census||The family were still living at 35 Norman Road at the 1911 Census. Rapson is still described as a plumber. Although later records indicate that Arthur Tidman had been adopted in 1910 he is described in the census only as a boarder.||Census1911|
|On||24 June 1916||Deemed to have enlisted.||At this point those of his age and marital status were all deemed to have enlisted. However, virtually all would have been assigned to Army Reserve Class B, for subsequent individual call up.||ADM 157/3504/8|
|On||15 March 1917||Birth of daughter||A fourth daughter, Winifred Agnes Rapson, was born on 15 March 1917. No baptism record has been traced.||FreeBMD-14; ADM 157/3504/8|
|On||6 January 1918||Medical board||Rapson was called to Camberwell Baths for a medical examination to establish his capacity to serve. He was apparently placed in Grade 3.||ADM 157/3504/8|
|On||2 February 1918||Called to further medical board||Despite his earlier examination, on 16 January, Rapson was called to a further board on 2 February 1918 at Bishopsgate Institute. He seems to have been somewhat annoyed by this as he wrote back to the National Service, London Region, Area Recruiting Office at Newington Causeway on 22 January, explaining the situation and that he could not afford either further time off work or the fare. It does nto appear he attended on 2 February, but his file also contains two letters written that day from the Wimbledon Military Service Tribunal, one to Rapson himself, and the other to Mr F Challenor of Durnsford Road School, on behalf of the Wimbledon Education Committee who were appealing for Rapson’s exemption from service. These letters say that his case is being adjourned to the next sitting so that he can go before a medical board.||ADM 157/3504/8|
|On||14 March 1918||Medical board||Despite the wrangling, it seems that Rapson did have to go before a board again, on 14 March 1918 at Camberwell Baths. He was again classed Grade 3.||ADM 157/3504/8|
|On||5 April 1918||Joins up||Rapson was ordered to report for duty on 5 April 1918. It appears it may have been delayed until 8 April as there still seem to have been issues with the documentation around his medical status. On 12 April he attended the “Tradesman Distribution Centre” and was passed as a fitter and posted to the Royal Marine Engineers and he joined them the following day. This corps was raised to work on Admiralty construction projects, chiefly on the south coast, but also in other locations. There is no specific information given in his record as to where he served.||ADM 157/3504/8|
|On||24 March 1919||Demobilised||On 24 March 1919 Rapson’s service ended with demobilisation.||ADM 157/3504/8|
|On||24 January 1924||Adopted son emigrates||Arthur Tidman (now 17) emigrated to Australia, setting sail from London on the Bendigo on 24 January 1914 for Sydney. It appears he may eventually have settled in Queensland, with a couple of electoral roll entries and a death recorded in 1936 appearing to match.||PassList; AusRecords|
|In||1928||Daughter’s marriage||Maud Ruth Rapson married William Barnard Ball in 1928, the marriage was registered in the 3rd quarter 1928 in the Kingston Registration District. It seems they may have had seven children from the marriage. In 1939 and 1940 Ball is recorded as an evangelist so was presumably working for a church. In 1944 he is recorded as a civil defence worker. In 1939 they were living at 19 Evelyn Road, Wimbledon. No children were with them, so had presumably been evacuated.
Ball is also listed as a Wimbledon ARP warden.
|FreeBMD-15; FreeBMD-16; FMPBirths; 1939Register-2; Probate-1; Probate-2; Probate-3|
|In||1936||Daughter’s marriage||Florence Bertha Rapson married James C F Austin in 1936. The marriage was registered in the Surrey North Eastern Registration District in the 4th quarter 1936. In 1939 they were living at 69 The Crescent, Welwyn, Hertfordshire. James is recorded as a baker. They seem to have one child with them and four lodgers. The child was presumably Beryl F Rapson, born in 1937. It appears another daughter was born much later, Margaret G Austin, in 1951.||FreeBMD-17; FreeBMD-18; FreeBMD-19; FreeBMD-20; 1939Register-3|
|On||8 May 1938||Touch||Ringing to mark the death of fellow Wimbledon ringer Edgar Baker, and for service on Sunday 8 May 1938 a touch of 960 Grandsire Doubles: W Arthur Taylor (conductor) 1, F Hopgood 2, J Tomsett 3, H V Lintill 4, A Taylor 5, F Pearmain 6, R Rapson 7, R Underwood (longest length) 8.||RW-1938|
|On||21 September 1939||1939 Register||In 1939 the Rapsons were still living at 35 Norman Road, Wimbledon. The Household now comprised Richard, Maud and Winifred. Winifred’s surname has been crossed through and amended to Oliver, indicating her subsequent marriage. Richard is now described as a painter.||1939Register-1|
|In||1941||Daughter’s marriage||Winifred A Rapson married Ernest J Oliver in the Surrey North Eastern Registration District. The marriage was registered in the 1st quarter 1941 so may have taken place towards the end of 1940. They had at least one child Richard M Oliver whose birth was registered in the Surrey Mid Eastern Registration District in the 2nd quarter 1942.||FreeBMD-21; FreeBMD-22; FreeBMD-23|
|In||1952||Death||Richard Rapson’s death was registered in the 4th quarter 1952 in the Surrey North-Eastern Registration District.||FreeBMD-24|
Birth and death registrations can also be found on the General Register Office (GRO) website (free but registration required) which will typically give more details such as mother’s maiden name and all forenames, but it is not possible to link to individual entries there. The details cited for FreeBMD should also allow you to find the GRO entry. Marriage indices are not currently available from GRO.
- FreeBMD-1: Marriages Mar 1876 – Rapson Richard. Winchester, Volume 2c, page 147.
- FreeBMD-2: Marriages Jun 1888 – Abraham Bridget Augusta. Winchester, Volume 2c, page 147.
- FreeBMD-3 Births Jun 1876 – Rapson George Henry. Winchester, Volume 2c, page 102.
- FreeBMD-4: Births Sep 1877 – Rapson Richard. Winchester, Volume 2c, page 103.
- FreeBMD-5: Deaths Mar 1881 – Rapson Bridget Augusta. Kingston, volume 2a, page 180.
- FreeBMD-6: Deaths Mar 1900 – Rapson Richard. Kingston, volume 2a, page 295.
- FreeBMD-7: Marriages Jun 1900 – Rapson Richard. Croydon, Volume 2a, page 539.
- FreeBMD-8: Marriages Jun 1900 – Miller Maud. Croydon, Volume 2a, page 539.
- FreeBMD-9: Births Jun 1903 – Rapson Maud Ruth. Kingston, Volume 2a, page 386.
- FreeBMD-10: Births Sep 1906 – Rapson Ethel Lydia. Kingston, Volume 2a, page 435.
- FreeBMD-11: Births Dec 1906 – Tidman Arthur. Kingston, Volume 2a, page 394.
- FreeBMD-12: Deaths Mar 1907 – Rapson Ethel Lydia. Kingston, Volume 2a, page 311.
- FreeBMD-13: Births Sep 1910 – Rapson Florence B. Kingston, Volume 2a, page 420.
- FreeBMD-14: Births Mar 1917 – Rapson Winfred A. Kingston, Volume 2a, page 661.
- FreeBMD-15: Marriages Sep 1928 – Rapson Maud R.(Ball) Kingston, Volume 2a, page 1514.
- FreeBMD-16: Births Sep 1928 – Ball William B (Rapson) Winfred A. Kingston, Volume 2a, page 1514.
- FreeBMD-17: Marriages Dec 1936 – Rapson Florence B (Austin). Surrey NE, Volume 2a, page 251.
- FreeBMD-18: Marriages Dec 1936 – Austin James C F (Rapson). Surrey NE, Volume 2a, page 251.
- FreeBMD-19: Births Dec 1937 – Austin Beryl F.(Rapson) Hitchin, Volume 3a, page 1394.
- FreeBMD-20: Births Dec 1951 – Austin Margaret G (Rapson). Hatfield, Volume 4b, page 51.
- FreeBMD-21: Marriages Mar 1941 – Rapson Winifred A (Oliver). Surrey NE, Volume 2a, page 260.
- FreeBMD-22: Births Mar 1941 – Oliver Ernest J. (Rapson) Surrey NE, Volume 2a, page 260.
- FreeBMD-23: Births Jun 1942 – Oliver Richard M (Rapson). Surrey NE, Volume 2a, page 182.
- FreeBMD-24: Deaths Dec 1952 – Rapson Richard. Surrey NE, Volume 5g, page 593.
Surrey Parish Records (via Ancestry.co.uk)
These parish records are held at Surrey History Centre, Woking. The digitised versions are available through Ancestry (subscription required). Free access may be available via local libraries.
- SurreyParish1: P5/1/16 page 32. Burial of Bridget Augusta Rapson (33) on 18 January 1881 at Wimbledon, St Mary, Surrey, England. (subscription required)
- SurreyParish2: P5/1/19 page 22. Burial of Richard Rapson (49), on 20 January 1900 at Wimbledon, St Mary, Surrey, England. (subscription required)
- SurreyParish-3: P40/100/11 page 91. Marriage of Richard Rapson (23) and Maud Miller (25) on 22 May 1901 at Mitcham [Collier’s Wood], Christ Church, Surrey, England. (subscription required)
- SurreyParish-4: Mitcham [Collier’s Wood] Christ Church baptismal register, 1903, page 18. Baptism of Maud Ruth Rafson [sic – Rapson] on 28 June 1903 at Mitcham [Collier’s Wood], Christ Church. Father: Richard Rafson [sic – Rapson], mother: Mau Rafson [sic – Maud Rapson].
- SurreyParish-5: Baptismal registers of All Saints’, South Wimbledon, 1906, page 54. Baptism of Arthur Ledman [sic – Tidman], born 15 November 1906, baptised 30 December 1906 at South Wimbledon, All Saints, Surrey, England. Father: Jones Ledman [sic – father not actually stated, forename a mistranscription of mother’s first forename, Louisa], mother: Ethel Ledman [sic – actually Louisa Ethel Tidman
- SurreyParish-6: Mitcham [Collier’s Wood] Christ Church baptismal register, 1910, page 39. Baptism of Florence Beittia [sic – Bertha] Rapson, born 25 September 1910, baptised 14 August 1910, at Mitcham [Collier’s Wood], Christ Church, Surrey, England. Father: Richard Rapson, mother: Maud Rapson.
Subscriptions are required to access these records. Most will also be available via alternative sites such as ancestry.co.uk (also subscription). Free access may be available in local libraries. The citation should give sufficient information to identify the identical record on those alternative sites. I’ve accessed the British Newspaper Archive via FindMyPast, but direct access is also available.
- FMPEnglandMarriages: Record Transcription: England Marriages 1538-1973. Richard Rapson and Bridget Augusta Abraham, Weeke near Winchester. 26 February 1876.
- FMPBirths: Search for possible children of William Barnard Ball and Maud Ruth, nee Rapson.
- Census1881-1: RG 11/1172, Folio 93, Page 22 – Baldwin household, St Marys Street, Northwood, Isle of Wight, Isle of Wight & Hampshire, England.
- Census1881-2: RG 11/831, Folio 29, Page 53 – Cole household, 23, Gladstone Road, Wimbledon, Kingston, Surrey, England.
- Census1891: RG 12/605, Folio 96, Page 49 – Rapson household, Graham Road, Wimbledon, Kingston, Surrey, England.
- Census1901: RG 13/659, Folio 152, Page 13 – Abraham household, 74, Graham Road, Wimbledon, Kingston, Surrey, England.
- Census1911: RG 14/2948 RG 78/102 Registration District 31 Subdistrict 2 Enumeration District 3 Schedule Number 84 – Cook household, The Street, Ashtead
- 1939Register-1: RG 101/1404A/002/30, Letter Code: CNQB. Ball household: 35 Norman Road, Wimbledon M.B., Surrey, England.
- 1939Register-2: RG 101/1404D/004/15, Letter Code: CNQE. Rapson household: 19 Evelyn Road, Wimbledon M.B., Surrey, England.
- 1939Register-3: RG 101/1675A/004/16, Letter Code: DFWA. Austin household: 69 The Crescent, Welwyn R.D., Hertfordshire, England.
- BritishNewspaperArchive-1: Pall Mall Gazette, 15 January 1900, page 8, column 2. “Railway Inspector Killed”.
- BritishNewspaperArchive-2: Morning Post, 18 January 1900, page 6, column 4. “Familiarity breeds contempt”.
Where two page links are given for a single year, it may be quicker to use the functions of your PDF reader to move between them, rather than completely loading the PDF which covers a whole year again.
- BN1908: Bell News, 27 June 1908, p201 in original numbering (p267 of online PDF).
- BN1910-1: Bell News, 4 June 1910, p214 in original numbering (p284 of online PDF).
- BN1910-2: Bell News, 5 November 1910, p471 in original numbering (p633 of online PDF).
The Ringing World
Passenger lists and Australian records
From FindMyPast (may also be available on Ancestry). Subscription required, free access may be available via local libraries. Original passenger records held by The National Archives.
- PassList: BT 27/1054. Record Transcription:
Passenger Lists Leaving Uk 1890-1960: Arthur Tidman(17), left London for Sydney aboard the SS Bendigo on 23 January 1924.
- AusRecords: A search of the Australian and New Zealand records in the collections of FindMyPast finds a possible death record for Arthur Tidman in Queensland in 1936, with electoral register entries in Townsville and Cloncurry in Queensland in 1934.
Museum of Wimbledon
This catalogue entry from the manuscript holdings of the Museum of Wimbledon shows that 47 Haydon’s Road was the base of the Wimbledon Home of the Southwark Diocesan Association for the Care of Friendless Girls from 1901-21.
- MuseumOfWimbledon: Museum of Wimbledon, collections, manuscripts, Acession number: LDWIM000415. Records of the Wimbledon, Merton & Morden Moral Welfare Association. (also Southwark Diocesan Association for the Care of Friendless Girls, Wimbledon Home, and Haygarth-Witts Memorial Home for Mothers & Babies, and Moral Welfare Association for London Borough of Merton).
Records of the Probate Registers in England and Wales. Freely searchable at https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/
- Probate-1: Grant of Probate for Mary Lydia Ball, Woodside, Green-lane, Leatherhead, Surrey (wife of William Joseph Ball), died 20 December 1939. Granted 6 March 1940 to William Barnard Ball, evangelist.
- Probate-2: Grant of Probate for William Joseph Ball, Woodside, Green-lane, Leatherhead, Surrey (wife of William Joseph Ball), died 16 May 1944 at The Crossways, Ermyn-way, Ashtead, Surrey. Granted 21 June 1944 to William Barnard Ball, civil defence worker.
- Probate-3: Grant of Probate for William Barnard Ball, 82 High Street, Horsell, Woking, Surrey, died 26 February 1965. Administration (with Will) granted 14 May 1965 to Maud Ruth Ball.