Fred Perry

July 7, 2009

Fred_Perry

National hopes of a Brit winning Wimbledon were dashed for another year with Andy Murray’s exit in the semi-finals last Friday. But Murray, at age 22, hasn’t reached his peak, so dreams that he will one day win the title still burn bright. It’s been 73 years since the last Brit won the men’s singles, and in the absence of a British successor Fred Perry remains highly revered.

Frederick John Perry was born in Stockport, Cheshire on 18 May 1909. Here is his entry in the findmypast.com birth indexes:

Fred_Perry_birth

 

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Here is the Perry family on the 1911 census. The head of the household is Fred’s father, Samuel Perry.  He is listed as a ‘cotton spinner’, but would later become MP for Kettering, Northamptonshire. When the census was taken Fred Perry was a month shy of his second birthday (click image to enlarge):

fred_perry_1911_census_sm

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Table-tennis champion to tennis virtuoso

Fred Perry initially made his name as a table-tennis player. He won the 1929 table-tennis world championships and only took up competitive tennis when he reached 18. His transition from table tennis to tennis would prove easy. His exceptional speed and hand-to-eye coordination suited him perfectly to both sports. 

He won the tennis US Open in 1933, 1934 and 1936, the Australian Open in 1934, the French Open in 1935, and Wimbledon in 1933, 1934, and 1936. To this day he remains the last Brit to win any of the four tournaments.

American tours

In 1937, after a three-year spell as world number one, Perry turned professional and spent two years engaged in lengthy tours with the American Ellsworth Vines. Here is Perry en route to the USA, aboard the Queen Mary in June 1937 (click image to enlarge):

Fred_Perry_bt27_18_jun_1937_NY

 

Ellsworth Vines appears on the list for the same voyage:

Ellsworth Vines_bt27_18_jun_1937_NY_Queen_Mary

 

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That year they played 61 matches in America: Vines won 32, and Perry 29. Back in England the Brit evened the score by winning six out of nine matches, which left them tied at 35 wins each.

Perry died in Melbourne, Australia on 2 February 1995. Even today, some tennis historians rate him among the greatest players of all time.

Unravel your Australian ancestry

If you have ancestors who emigrated to Australia, you may be able to trace their movements and perhaps those of their descendents using findmypast.com’s new Australian records. These new records include burials, funeral notices and memorial inscriptions for Victoria, which now form part of the findmypast.com Parish Records Collection. There are also records for convict arrivals and names in Victoria Government Gazettes (1858-1900), which have been added to the Other records section.

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Passenger Lists now complete with launch of the final decade

March 18, 2008

Search for ancestors from 1890-1960

The last decade of the Passenger Lists has now been added, allowing you to search from 1890 all the way up to 1960, for ancestors leaving the UK. There are now more than 24 million passengers, across 164,000 exclusive passenger lists.

The 1950s – Elvis, Egypt and Emigration

The 1950s is often seen as a conservative period, in relation to the more radical 60s. Despite this it saw the birth of the teenager, with Rock ‘n’ Roll music emerging from America, the ‘Beat’ writers and the seeds of the Civil Rights movement. The intensifying Cold War between the USA and the USSR was played out in a race for Space: by the decade’s end Sputnik I had been launched.

Britain’s prestige was dealt a blow with the Suez Crisis, in 1956. Rationing was slowly ending, National Service was in place, wide-scale rebuilding after the devastations of World War Two were bearing fruit and thousands of ‘Ten Pound Poms’ took the opportunity to start afresh in Australia. Commercial sea travel was in its last days, with air travel becoming more affordable and prevalent from the 1960s on.

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Notable passengers on board in the 1950s

There are lots of famous faces and notable names in the final decade of the Passenger Lists. One of Hollywood’s greatest stars, Gregory Peck, can be seen aboard the Queen Elizabeth in 1950:

Passenger Lists - Gregory Peck

Matt Busby, the manager of Manchester United for many years can be found travelling with his team in May 1950, where Manchester United undertook their first tour of the States. Busby, whose tragic ‘Busby Babes’ died in the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, led the club to success in the European Cup in 1968.

Passenger Lists - Matt Busby

Other notable passengers in the 1950s include Max Factor, Gloria Swanson, Cecil Beaton, Jack Buchanan and Bill Haley.

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Find your ancestors in the Passenger Lists

Search by person or by ship name alone. You can now also narrow your search with the name of a travelling companion. A comprehensive guide to searching the passenger lists can be viewed here

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Our premium Explorer Subscription offers you unlimited access to over 500 million records on findmypast, including the passenger lists, and costs £89.95 for 12 months – the equivalent of just £7.50 a month. The Voyager Subscription gives you 30 days’ unlimited searching of all the Passenger Lists for only £14.95. You can also view the Passenger Lists on a pay-per-view basis. It costs 10 units to view a transcription and 30 units to view, print and save the full-colour digital images.

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Arandora Star

February 13, 2008

On 2 July 1940 the Arandora Star was hit by a German torpedo and sunk off the coast of Donegal, Ireland. The ship was transporting 1,500 German and Italian men to interment camps in Canada. Over 800 people died in the sinking, a figure exacerbated by inadequate lifeboat provision.

The Arandora Star was built in 1927 and intially sailed under the name Arandora. The Arandora’s maiden voyage was on 22 June 1927 to Buenos Aires, and can be found in the exclusive Passenger Lists on ancestorsonboard.com.

Passenger Lists - Arandora maiden voyage

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Rebuilt and renamed in 1929, the Arandora Star continued to sail as a luxury cruise ship. Records from it can be seen in our Passenger Lists, by searching under ship name.

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An example of the journies undertaken in peacetime by the Arandora Star can be seen below, from a cruise made in March 1939:

Passenger Lists - Arandora Star Cruise

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The captain of the fateful journey in July 1940 was Edgar Wallace Moulton. He can be seen sailing her in 1939, in the Passenger Lists on ancestorsonboard:

Passenger Lists - Edgar Wallace Moulton

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A Canadian destroyer, HMCS Laurent, arrived to attempt a rescue mission, but it proved largely fruitless. Some of the scant lifeboats on board had been damaged by the torpedo, whilst others were unusable. Those internees that survived the sinking were still deported, sent on other ships as soon as possible to Australia.


New decade added to the Passenger Lists 1940 to 1949

January 31, 2008

Findmypast.com has added another decade of records to the UK Outbound Passenger Lists currently available. Records now include 20 million names within 137,000 passenger lists spanning 1890 to 1949.

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1940s – Horrors, Hitler and the aftermath

The first half of the 1940s was one of the darkest periods in history, with global war causing millions of casualties and the horrors of the Holocaust. Buoyed by the USA’s entry following the attack at Pearl Harbor, the Allies eventually secured victory in Europe. Victory in Japan came only after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Following Armistice the world looked once again to rebuild: the ‘Iron Curtain’ descended in the East leading to the beginnings of the Cold War. Thousands of women left their families and homes to start a new life in Canada, America and Australia with the soldiers they had met and married. ‘Home Children’ were sent away to Canada for a better life, with mixed results. Commercial travel increased, as did the possibility of travelling for business, to compete in sports and other events.

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Notable passengers on board in the 1940s

One man whose influence on the decade cannot be overestimated appears in the passenger lists, travelling to America in 1946. Winston Churchill M P, following defeat in the 1945 election as the nation looked toward the social reforms of Attlee’s Labour Party, can be seen with his wife, valet and maid on board the Queen Elizabeth:

Passenger Lists - Churchill

The American film star Spencer Tracy may be seen on the Queen Mary:

Passenger Lists - Spencer Tracy

Whilst the famous sculptor Henry Moore can be found travelling to New York:

Passenger Lists - Henry Moore

Other notable names include Walt Disney, Elia Kazan, Benjamin Britten and Joan Fontaine.

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Find your ancestors in the Passenger Lists

Search by person or by ship name alone. You can now also narrow your search with the name of a travelling companion. A comprehensive guide to searching the passenger lists can be viewed here.

Start Searching Now

Our premium Explorer Subscription offers you unlimited access to over 500 million records on findmypast, including the passenger lists, and costs £89.95 for 12 months – the equivalent of just £7.50 a month. The Voyager Subscription gives you 30 days’ unlimited searching of all the Passenger Lists for only £14.95.
You can also view the Passenger Lists on a pay-per-view basis. It costs 10 units to view a transcription and 30 units to view, print and save the full-colour digital images.

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Titanic passenger lists free to view at findmypast.com

December 20, 2007

With the Christmas Day special edition of ‘Doctor Who’ set on board the RMS Titanic, findmypast.com is making the original handwritten RMS Titanic passenger lists FREE to view during the festive season so viewers can discover if their ancestors travelled on the same journey as the intrepid Doctor. The original passenger list will be available to view online for free from Friday 21 December until Sunday 6 January.

View the free Titanic passenger lists

You’ve seen Kylie Minogue play fictional waitress Astrid Peth on the Titanic in Doctor Who. But what about real-life stewardesses on board the ill-fated ship?

Violet Jessop was 24 years old when she set sail from Southampton on the Titanic’s maiden voyage, working as a stewardess on board. She had already survived a collision on board one of RMS Titanic’s sister ships, the RMS Olympic, when it collided with HMS Hawke in 1911. Miraculously she also survived the sinking of the Titanic, just a year later, escaping in lifeboat number 16, and was picked up by the Carpathia after 8 hours.

During World War One Violet served as a nurse on board the RMS Britannic – the other sister ship of the Titanic and the Olympic. She was on board the night it sunk in the Aegean in 1916 after it hit a German mine. The ship sunk quickly and Violet was sucked under the ship’s keel, which struck her on the head. Yet again she managed to escape.

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Despite surviving three tragedies at sea, Violet was undeterred. She went on to work as a stewardess on cruise ships. You can see her listed in the passenger lists at findmypast.com age 45 in 1933 on board the Pennland.

She died, on dry land, in 1971 at the age of 84.  Was Violet the inspiration behind Kylie Minogue’s Dr Who character, Astrid Peth?


Evelyn Waugh

November 19, 2007

Evelyn Waugh is primarily noted for his novels satirising the upper echelons of English Society, such as Vile Bodies, A Handful of Dust and Brideshead Revisited. He was, however, also an avid traveller and writer of travel literature.

Waugh can be found twice in the current Passenger Lists on ancestorsonboard.com; once travelling to Tangier in 1933 and once to New York in 1938.

Here he is travelling to Morocco, listed as living at Brook St in London’s Mayfair.

Passenger Lists Waugh Tangier

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Here is Waugh, and his second wife Laura, travelling to New York in 1938. His brief marriage to his namesake Evelyn having ended in divorce in 1930.

Passenger Lists Waugh New York

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Among Waugh’s travel writing is 92 Days, detailing the time he spent in British Guyana and Brazil, a trip which inspired some of the novel A Handful of Dust.

Waugh also wrote about many other African, European and Near-Eastern places, including Abyssinia, Malta, Cairo and Constantinople.


One of the last two surviving Titanic passengers dies

November 12, 2007

Mrs Barbara Joyce Dainton (nee West) died on 16 October 2007 and was buried last week, in Truro, England.

Mrs Dainton was a passenger on the Titanic‘s ill-fated maiden voyage, along with her parents Edwy Arthur West, Ada Mary West and her elder sister Constance. She was 10 months old at the time of the sailing.

She can be seen with her family in the passenger lists

Titanic Barbara West

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Throughout her life Mrs Dainton shied away from all Titanic related press and publicity.

The last living survivor of the Titanic is Elizabeth Gladys ‘Millvina’ Dean.