The Knife Angel

The Knife Angel is a sculpture designed to show how bad knife crime and violence is within the UK. Standing 20 feet tall and made with 100,000 knives surrendered in the UK, it is the work of artist Alfie Bradley and took four years to create.  The sculpture aims to show how bad knife crime is in the UK and also hopes to bring about the introduction of new knife amnesties.

The Knife Angel
The Knife Angel, outside of Chester Cathedral, November 2019.

With permission of the  Home Office, surrendered knives and weapons were collected from all 43 police forces across the UK. The project also involved anti knife crime charities, action groups, ex-gang members and families that have been directly affected by knife crime.

The focal point of the sculpture is the angels wings. In order to create theses, each blade’s handle was removed to give a feather like appearance. Some of the blades are inscribed with the names of the lost loved ones of the 80 or so families who have supported the project, some with messages of disbelief at how bad knife crime is in the UK, others with messages of forgiveness and messages of regret from ex-offenders who now strive to work against knife crime.

The Knife Angel on tour

In 2019 the Knife Angel visited the City of Chester, where it stood outside of Chester Cathedral for the full month of November. Chester was the eighth city to host the Angel since its UK tour began in December 2018.

The Angel was greeted and blessed by the Bishop of Chester, Peter Foster, followed by a number of civic speeches conducted by members of the group who helped get the monument to the city. Also present were a number of families who have been affected by knife crime.

Whilst in Chester, it was hoped the Angel would act as a catalyst for educational workshops to be conducted for  regional youth, focusing on the negative effects of violent and aggressive behaviour.

Further information

Graduation

In June 2009 I graduated with a BSc from the Open University.  For someone who didn’t enjoy school and was painfully shy, never wanting to put her hand up in class to give an answer or ask a question, for fear of drawing attention to herself, this felt like a huge achievement.

tonimum

I always tried hard in school but the grades I got for effort, never matched my attainment grades, which were often disappointingly low. I left school at 16 years of age having convinced myself that it wasn’t the place for me but when I told my English teacher I was going out to work, she told me I could do better for myself than that. It was as I recall, a short exchange of words but it was the first time anyone had indicated they thought I could achieve anything – the words stayed with me, niggling way, until eventually I embarked on my first course of study, some 15 years after I had left school.

I began with a short course about The Human Genome, a subject I was interested in because I am diagnosed with a genetic condition. The course was only for a few weeks long but it gave me a chance to get back into learning and also get into distance learning, which is quite different to studying in a classroom and requires much more discipline.

Having passed the Human Genome Course, I began a second short course, this time to study essay writing, which I decided would be valuable if I was committing to long term study.  Then I studied social sciences, computing, Leonardo da Vinci, religion, media and my final course was innovation in which I gained a distinction for the my project to design an all terrain wheelchair. I created a blog for the duration of the project which can be viewed below.

Steps and a shiny floor are not a good combination for someone with a neuromuscular condition and as I watch the film my my dad took of me graduating, it really shows but I was so proud of myself that day and even more so when I watch the film and hear my dad shouting as I collect my award – I didn’t hear that on the day, as we were sat miles, although I see me looking for him and having safely reached the foot of the stairs I remember turning and giving him a big wave, as I now knew he was sat somewhere up in the Gods.

It took me six years to get my degree while working full time and it wasn’t easy for me but in terms of personal development it was an amazing thing to do and something no one can take away from me.  The skills I learned will last a lifetime.

Toni’s graduation: 5 June 2009, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

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Arthur Shortland and Frances Milbah Polle

Arthur Shortland was one of 12 children born to Richard and Eliza Shortland.  Further information about Richard and Eliza can be found below.

The information below was give to me by Linden Kilby who is the great great grandson of Arthur Shortland and Frances Polle.

Arthur Shortland  Frances Shortland.

Linden told me:

The details you have provided about Richard Shortland pretty much match with the details of what I know about him. He was in the army and stayed on in Australia. He ran a successful freight operation in Sydney, his company would transport goods by dray from the ships in Circular Quay to the warehouses in the city from what I know.

Eventually, as the younger generations took over, the business was forced to fold. However, the children didn’t do too badly either. I believe one was a judge and another owned a music shop.

My great great grandfather was Arthur Shortland. He was born in Sydney on 10 February 1867 and he was married to Frances Polle who was born on 29 February 1868 in Redfern. They married on 23 April 1900 at St. James Church, Sydney. Arthur died in Turramurra on 21 June 1945 and Frances in Hornsby on 30 August 1955.

The Shortlands were not a close family, so not all that much is known about them. For Frances this would have been a big difference, because the Polles were a very close family. It is known that Arthur was a quiet man whose occupation was a draftsman – he was listed as a Government Official on the Electoral Rolls..

Arthur and Frances had three children, Milbah born in 1901, Arthur born in 1902  and Elma born in 1909. Milbah was the family member who everyone admired, for she won honours at Sydney Girls’ High and completed two University degrees. She matriculated with honours, graduated BA, Dip. Ed. from Sydney University and entered teaching at Cootamundra. Stan and Milbah had five children. In order of birth they were Helen, born 1927, Ruth, born 1928, Stanislaus, born 1930, Patricia, born 1931 and Denis, born 1936.

Arthur and  Frances were reasonably wealthy and when Stan Riley married Milbah, the wedding was held in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.  Milbah was forced to resign from teaching at this time as married women were not employed  in those days. However, during world war two, with most men at the war, women were re-employed. She became a French teacher at Cooks Hill High School (Newcastle), then Wollongong.

At age 80, Milbah became interested in music and because she couldn’t understand the names or lyrics of German Classical songs, learnt German and in one year was conversing and corresponding fluently with German nationals.

At age 82, Milbah was diagnosed with stomach cancer and rather than die a slow, painful death, she starved herself to death. She died peacefully at home with all her children in attendance.

A brilliant woman, who due to the customs of her time who never reached her full potential.

 

Eliza Butts

Eliza Butts was the wife of Richard Shortland who came from England to Australia in 1841. I found myself researching Eliza, as it seemed learning about Richard and Eliza, may lead me to learn more about the story I have been told, that my family is descended from Lieutenant John Shortland but she turned out to be interesting in her own right and I have now amassed quite a bit of information, which is published here.

Richard and Eliza married on 15 November 1847, at age 16 in Armidale, New South Wales and they had 12 children – their marriage certificate records Eliza as being a minor but that she is marrying with the consent of her father. Eliza passed away on 19 March 1910, at age 79 in Sydney.

A search of the My Heritage website found that Eliza was born on 5 December 1830, in Bisley, England, to Jacob Butt and Ann Butt.  I have also learned that Eliza’s father Jacob was a clothier named Robert Butt. Eliza’s mother Ann was also the daughter of a clothier named Moses Smart.

Further information about Jacob can be found on the Wiki Tree website below.

The website explains that after they married, Jacob and Ann lived in France Lynch, just north of Chalford where there were mills. However, in the 1830s the industrial revolution had an impact and over a third of the people were unemployed. Many were starving. The Bisley vestry records show that Jacob occasionally obtained financial assistance to enable his family to survive.

In 1837 the Rev Thomas Keble was involved in raising funds to enable 68 people to emigrate to Australia on The Layton. Jacob, his wife Ann and children were chosen. Sadly there was an outbreak of measles on this journey and some of the children died at sea.

An economic history of Bisley can be found below.

Information about the Rev  Thomas Keble can be found on the National Archives website.

The Butt family appear to have been assisted immigrants. Assisted immigrants were able to travel to Australia through the financial assistance of the government, organisations, or wealthy individuals.

Jacob, Anne and their family were among the first group of 13 families (68 people) to leave Bisley in England and travel to Australia, arriving in January 1838 aboard The Layton. I have located information about the family on the WikiTree website below.

The website explains that the barque Layton left Bristol on 8 September 1837, and arrived in Sydney in January 1838. It was carrying 122 emigrants and 110 children. An outbreak of measles caused the deaths of 70 children.

A copy of the passenger shipping records can be found below.

The arrival of the ship in Australia was reported in the Sydney Gazette.

Pam Taylor (nee Shortland)

Pam Shortland is the daughter of Percy Douglas Shortland. Percy was born in 1880 and married Edith Ramsay in 1919. The couple had three children, Pam, John and Judith. Percy died in 1954 and is buried in Rookwood cemetery, Sydney.

Pam’s grandparents were John Shortland and Louisa Douglass who were married in Richmond, New South Wales in 1878. John is thought to have been the fourth son of Richard Shortland who came to Australia from England in 1841 and married Eliza Butts.

Pam told me:

‘Eliza Butts came from England when the spinning industry went bankrupt and proceeded to have I am told 12 children. Richard must have worked hard because he succeeded in buying up many houses and hotels which he left to his children although the girls seem to have been provided with money. The story I heard was John raised his family on the rent he collected from his houses. Richard died in 1887 or there abouts. The family talked about these aunts and uncles but I can’t remember meeting them.’

‘After a fair amount of research I haven’t been able to go much further except to discover Richard’s father was the eldest of the family and he joined the army when his father died at quite a young age leaving a number of dependant children. His father was also called Richard and Richard’s wife was Mary. I cannot recall her surname.’

Stories about both Richard and Eliza can be found on this website.

Faber family pedigree

While searching for information about Henry Grey Faber  I found images online showing the sword of Captain H G Faber, described as ‘The sword of Captain H G Faber of the 5th Battalion, who departed for France in 1915. He was present at the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915, The Somme 1916, Arras and Passchendaele in 1917. Became a Major in 1918. Blade of 32 1/4 inches engraved with Family Crest and H.G.F., Royal Arms, Crowned ER VII, foliage and retailer – Samuel Brothers, and back edge with – London Made and numbered 1115. Plated hilt with Crowned ER VII and wire bound fishskin grip complete. Sword bag marked with H.G. Faber, Norton-On-Tees, 10th Oct 1906.’

The seller of the sword explained the reference to 1897 is the pattern of the sword, which is when this style of sword and hilt started to be used and is still used today. The images of the sword on this website, are used with the permission of Jemswords. I have also located an image on the My Family Silver website, which shows the same crest that appears on the sword . Written under the image it says ‘Hamilton S., Esquire, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.S., of St. George’s Hospital, Hyde Park Corner, London, S.W.’

These finds led to me contacting the College of Arms to learn more and Christopher Vane, Chester Herald at the College of Arms, explained as follows.

‘Arms belong to lines of descent and not surnames. Two branches of the same family may have quite different arms while others branches may not be entitled to arms at all.
At all times significant numbers of people have just assumed “arms” irregularly and without lawful authority. This may be a matter of regret to the heralds but it is a fact of life. The heralds have always had difficulty controlling the irregular use of arms. Such irregular use of arms is often of historical interest. In practice where “arms” are just assumed it is not uncommon for a family to assume “arms” which are similar or even identical to the arms of another family with the same or a similar surname.

We have at the College of Arms an extensive pedigree for the Faber family which was recorded in 1902 by Hamilton S. Faber, the man whom you mentioned in your email of 28th February. He was the first cousin of Henry Grey Faber’s father.

There were two branches of the Faber family with different coats of arms and crests. The arms to which Henry Grey Faber was entitled were granted in 1928. They were granted on the application of Hamilton S. Faber’s widowed mother to the descendants of her late husband’s father, Thomas Henry Faber. Henry Grey Faber was the grandson of Thomas Henry Faber and thus he became entitled to the arms by descent.

The arms were thus granted sometime after the sword was manufactured. The crest could have been engraved on the sword at a later date. Alternatively it may be that the relevant branch of the Faber family had been using the arms informally prior to the grant in 1928: see paragraph 2 above.

The arms and crest so granted in 1928 can be blazoned as follows: coat of arms Or a Rose Gules barbed and seeded proper on a Chief Azure two Mullets Argent and crest Issuant out of a Coronet composed of three Roses Or a dexter Cubit Arm in armour the hand proper grasping a Rose Gules barbed seeded and slipped and encircling the wrist a Wreath of Oak also proper fructed Gold.

There was another branch of the family, which had rather different arms. This branch of the family included two peers, the first and last Lord Faber and the first and last Lord Wittenham. The pedigree recorded at the College of Arms is headed by William Faber of Leeds (d.1775). He had a son, Rev. Thomas Faber (1729-1821), Vicar of Calverley, Yorkshire, who is shown as having four sons. Henry Grey Faber was descended from the third son, Thomas Henry Faber of Bishop Auckland. This Thomas Henry Faber was the father of the Thomas Henry Faber to whom I referred earlier. Lords Faber and Wittenham were descended from Rev. Thomas Faber’s second son, Charles David Faber.

Pedigrees for the family can be found in the 1952 and 1972 editions of Burke’s Landed Gentry, but I think that these entries will still be in copyright. Your great aunt appears in the entry in the 1972 edition.

Frederick William Faber (1814-1863), the hymn writer, was the fourth son of the elder Thomas Henry Faber.’

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Hamilton S Faber

I learned about Hamilton S Faber when researching the Faber family arms.  I was advised by the College of Arms that they hold an extensive pedigree for the Faber family which was recorded in 1902 by Hamilton S. Faber and that he was the first cousin of Henry Grey Faber’s father.

They also advised that there were two branches of the Faber family with different coats of arms and crests. The arms to which Henry Grey Faber was entitled were granted in 1928 on the application of Hamilton S. Faber’s widowed mother, to the descendants of her late husband’s father, Thomas Henry Faber. As Henry Grey Faber was the grandson of Thomas Henry Faber, he became entitled to the arms by descent.

The information I have learned about Hamilton S and his family can be found below.

1881: Hamilton Stanley Faber, aged 2, is recorded at living at 1, Esplanade, Teignmouth East, Newton Abbot, Devon, England, with his parents Edward G Faber (a wine merchant), Edith  M Faber, Edward G Faber, Ernest M Faber and Evelyn A Faber.  Also, a governess and two nurses.

1901: Hamilton S Faber, aged 22, is a medical student, living at 95, Fordwych Road, Hampstead, London & Middlesex, England, living with parents Edward G Faber (retired from owning ironworks), Edith M Faber and Ernest W Faber aged 24 (member of the London Stock Exchange).

1911: Hamilton Stanley Faber, aged 32, is working as Doctor Mp Mrcs Lrcp and living at 28 Chichele Road Cricklewood NW, Willesden, Middlesex, England with his mother Edith Maria  Faber (now a widow), Edward Jocy Faber and Ernest Waddington Faber. Also two servants.

1939: Hamilton S Faber is working as a medical practioner and living at 25 Chichele Road , Willesden M.B., Middlesex, England with Jean (Caslow) Faber and three others.

Edward G Faber

Hamilton’s father Edward G Faber was born in 1836 and can be found on 1841 census.

1841: Edward, aged 5 (born in Durham 1836), is recorded as living at High Street, Stockton, Durham, England with parents Thomas Henry Faber aged 35 (born 1806) and Eleanor Faber aged 36 (born 1805 in Durham). Also siblings Ann, Eleanor, Frank, Edward, Elizabeth and Mary.

Thomas Henry Faber and Eleanor Faber (nee Grey)

I believe that Thomas Henry Faber married Eleanor Grey in 1827 in Stockton, although there are two similar entries.  The first one shows a Eleanor Grey married Thomas Henry Faber on 26 April 1827 in Stockton, Durham and the second ones shows Eleanor Grey married Thomas Henry Weber of Stockton-on-Tees, Durham on 26 April 1827.

I have also located a baptism entry for a Eleanor Grey in Bishop-Wearmouth, Durham on 14 December 1806, to parents James Grey and Ann Hudson Grey and a second baptism entry for the same date and place but showing the mother as Ann Hudson.

1851: Eleanor, aged 46, is living at High Street, Stockton, Durham, England with daughters Elizabeth, Mary, Emma and Caroline and is described as a Widow – her occupation is given as Annuitant

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The Faber family

My great aunt Dorothy (my grandmother’s sister) married Henry Grey Faber in 1960. Dorothy was his second wife.  Although Henry and his family are not a direct ancestors, I was interested to learn more about the family, as I have a very clear memory of being told by my great aunt that the family appeared in Burke’s Peerage and I wanted to learn more about this.

Henry Grey Faber and 5th Durham Light Infantry

Henry served in the 5th Durham Light Infantry. He appears to have started army life in the Volunteer Forces in 1905 before becoming a Colonel in later life. I have been fortunate to learn much about his time in the army and have a number of wonderful photos too.

Jo Faulkner who worked for a time at Preston Hall Museum in Stockton on Tees advised me that ‘Colonel Faber was a senior officer in the Durham Light Infantry. Colonel G O Spence who is also in the photograph was a prolific collector of arms and armor and bequeathed his collection to Stockton Council, it is in the Preston Hall Museum collection. I also remember that Colonel Faber donated a few objects, one of them being a Georgian sedan chair. I did look after the collections at this museum but no longer work there so I am unable to check the details for you. After WW1 Spence lived in a house built at Far End Farm near Yarm and Faber lived at Worsall Grove, which was just a little further along the road towards Worsall, so I think they remained friends. My great grandparents lived on the neighbouring farm ‘Morley Carr’. My great uncle (born 1931) says that when he was a small boy at Worsall school Colonel Faber would have all the children doing drill outside. Yes, I believe Faber was a partner in a solicitors practice, I’ve come across his name in local history studies from time to time.’

Christopher Young at Preston Park Museum and Grounds also provided help and very generously allowed me to display the photos he sent on this website.  The following photos are used with his permission.

The document below shows Henry’s  official posting as an Officer and appears to have been signed by the King.

Official posting as an officer

Henry can be seen in the photo below, taken at Windsor in 1909.  He would have been 22 at the time.

Photo showing presentation of colours at Windsor 19 June 1909.

Further information about Presentation of Colours can be found below.

I subsequently learned that The Royal Collection Trust displays a painting on its website by Jean Baptiste Édouard Detaille of the above event. The painting marked the culmination of significant army reforms that had been taking place, instigated by the Secretary of State for War, Richard Haldane (1856-1928). They grew out of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act of 1907, which saw the abolition of existing Volunteers and Yeomanry and the establishment of a Territorial Force of fourteen infantry divisions, fourteen cavalry brigades all financed by local organisations, but liable for service under War Office command. The reforms were an attempt to prepare England for a possible attack by Germany and the King played active part in the discussions.

The painting depicts a moment, towards the end of the ceremony, when the two hundred newly blessed colours were drooped in salutation as the National Anthem was played. The King then stepped forward into the square and gracefully acknowledged the homage of his Territorial Army.

The painting and further information about this can be found on The Royal Collection Trust website below.

Henry is also pictured on the front row of the photo below, second from the right, which shows Officers of the 5th Battalion of The Durham Light Infantry, taken on the eve of the battalion’s departure for France in April 1915.

Officers of the 5th Battalion of The Durham Light Infantry.

I first came across the photo on the Flickr page of Steve Heimerle who also has an interest in the 5th Battalion.

Interestingly, on the ground, far right, a second man, Second-Lieutenant E W Faber is named. I believe Henry and Edward were cousins, sharing a grandfather, also called Henry Grey Faber. On checking the 1901 census on the Find My Past website, I located an Edward W Faber, aged 6, born in Eaglescliife, Durham in 1895 – he is recorded as being the son of Charles (a solicitor born in Stockton) and Edith Faber.  On the 1911 census, I again located a Edward W Faber, aged 16 living with Charles and Edith and a brother, aged nine called Charles, with the middle name of Grey, the same as Henry.

Durham County Record Office hold information about both Henry, Edward and the Durham Light Infantry,  including:

  • a copy letter from Second Lieutenant H. [sic] Faber, The Cottage, Eaglescliffe, describing how he was wounded in Belgium and how his life was saved by a cigarette case
  • a newspaper cutting concerning a silver cigarette box and hair brushes, formerly belonging to Lieutenant Faber of The Durham Light Infantry
  • notes compiled by the son of Lieutenant E W Faber, concerning his late father’s military career, and his connection with Corporal Pennock, and Colonel H Faber.
  • letter from ‘Hal’ [Lieutenant-Colonel H.G. Faber] to his mother describing a trip to Windsor, Berkshire, June 1909
  • battalion orders by Major H.G. Faber, officer commanding the 13th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, 2 November
  • newspaper cutting concerning the annual sports day of the 5th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, at Hipswell Camp, Catterick, Yorkshire, 1922
  • group photograph of officers of the 5th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, in service dress, at Ripon Summer Camp, Yorkshire, 1924

The above information can be found on the Durham County Record Office website.

The photo below is dated 1919 (Henry is thought to appear on the top row, fourth from the right). Again the photo is used with permission of  Preston Park Museum and Grounds, who also guided me to references of H G Faber and E W Faber which appear in a book about the Durham Light Infantry.

Henry Grey Faber and the 5th battalion 1919.

Further information

Further information about the Durham Light Infantry and about Durham during the war can be found below.

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Joseph Charles Abram and Lucy Thompson

Lucy Thompson was the first wife of my great grandfather Joseph Charles Abram.  Lucy and Joseph, a Corporal in the Army Service Corps residing in Aldershot, married on 16 April 1906 in Northampton.

Lucy’s life was short – born in Northampton in 1880, Lucy was the daughter of William and Harriett. She died in Farnham, Surrey in 1907. After Lucy’s death, Joseph re-married. His second wife was my great grandmother, Millicent May Bowers.

I have been able to trace Lucy on census returns. On the 1881 census, Lucy can be found aged one, living with her parents and sisters Emily, Annie and Alice.  Living in the same house is Lucy Munns (described as mother in law).* In 1891, Lucy, aged 11,  can again be found living with her parents and sisters at Great Russell Street.  Her father William is now recorded as working as a Gentleman’s Gardener. Finally, in 1901, Lucy, aged 21, is no longer at home with her parents but is working as a servant for a widow, Elizabeth Peach, at 25 Margaret Street, Northampton.

I have been able to find William and Harriet on the 1901 census. William is recorded as a market gardener and Harriet a greengrocer shopkeeper. The are still living at Great Russell Street. In 1911, William, now 72, is still recorded as a market gardener, living at Burns Street with Harriett.

I am interested to learn more about Lucy and her family, as she has been described to me as ‘a dark skinned lady’ and I have discovered that Northamptonshire has a significant black history, with people of Asian, African and Caribbean origin, residing in the county over many centuries.

* I have located a Lucy Munns on the 1851 and 1861 census returns. She is recorded as having been born in Riseley in Bedfordshire and is married to George Munns.  The couple have a daughter called Harriett.