WELCOME TO THE BAYLISS LINE. This blog has been created for my family. By "my family" I mean all those who are related to the Bayliss family either by blood, marriage or even relationship. There are, of course, other Bayliss families not related to us but this blog has at its heart a very specific family who had their origins in Gloucestershire. I am connected to that family because my mother was a Bayliss and it was her curiosity that started my research back in the early 1990's. So, what are you likely to see on this blog? Well, as it is a blog, I want it to be as entertaining as possible rather that a dry listing of facts (that is for Ancestry.com). I will, hopefully, be posting entries on our ancestors and relatives, on the places where they lived, and the historical times they lived through. I have an extensive collection of photographs of people and places which I will, of course, be sharing.

I'd like to ask anybody who reads this blog to give me some feedback. I'd really like this to be a two way thing. It sometimes unearths new information and, to be honest, it gives me encouragement. There will be two ways of providing feedback - either through the comment button (you will need a Google account for this) or via the e-mail address which appears on this page - alternatively, ring me. Now scroll down to read the latest entries.....and, of course, via Facebook.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

THE FAMILY AT WAR 1914 - 1918 : Part Six

At this point it is necessary to introduce a new family to our story.Their story is a very complicated one and at the time of their involvement in The Great War they were not related to the Bayliss family - indeed, they have never officially been related to the Bayliss line. But for me the connection is a strong one because it is my paternal line. The family I refer to are the Weaver/Catt family from Kent and Sussex.

As I said above their story is a complicated one and how I came to be related to them is one that I can leave for a later date.  To tell the story of the members of that family and their relatives it is necessary to go back quite a way into the previous century.

I need to begin with Jane Paine.  Jane was my great grandmother, born in Beckley in Sussex in 1855.  In those days (although it has hardly changed today) Beckley was a rural farming community not at all unlike those depicted in such popular television shows as CRANFORD and LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD.
Jane, at the age of nineteen, found herself unmarried and pregnant. In 1875 she gave birth to a daughter, Mary Ann Paine. The following year Jane married Amos Catt and together they had at least eight more children, one of whom, Merton Catt, served during the First World War with The Royal Garrison Artillery as part of the British Expeditionary Force in France from 1917.  Jane's daughter, Mary Ann was brought up by Amos as his own although she always kept her mother's maiden name of Paine.

My paternal great grandmother, Jane Paine
and her husband Amos Catt in later years.

The family moved to Wittersham in Kent and the story takes a rather bizarre turn.  At the age of sixteen, Mary Ann, like her mother before her, found herself pregnant. The father was never officially named but it was generally believed in the family that it was Tom Hinkley, the miller at one of Wittersham's two windmills.
The baby is born and given the name Amos Herbert Catt after his grandmother's husband and is brought up by Jane and Amos rather than by his own mother.

My grandmother and grandfather
Mary Ann Paine and Edgar Weaver
 You'd think that this story couldn't get any more complicated but you'd be wrong.  Four years after Amos Herbert's birth his mother married Edgar Weaver. Mary Ann and Edgar have a son, William. William grows up and has no intention of being an agricultural worker like his father and most of his relatives.  His head is filled with books and adventure and his ambition is to be a writer. Sometime before the outbreak of the war William joins the Royal Navy and after training at Chatham he is assigned to his first ship, HMS Calliope.

My father, William Weaver, in uniform, taken
after the war when he was serving on
HMS Repulse

Meanwhile, young Amos Herbert, known to everybody as "Chum" joined the Army and in 1916 goes to France with the British Expeditionary Force.  On 7th October 1916 his unit, 6th Battalion East Kent Regiment, famously known as "The Buffs", goes over the top at the Battle of Transloy Ridge on the Somme. They meet a withering barrage of enemy machine gun fire and Amos Herbert Catt is killed.  He is buried in France and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and on the Wittersham War Memorial. Amos Herbert Catt was my uncle.
My uncle, Amos Herbert Catt (1891 - 1916)
A few months before Amos Herbert's death, his half-brother, William (my father), aboard his ship, HMS Calliope took part in one of the great battles of the war. And there was to be an even stranger turn of events in the relationships within this family.
The Wittersham War Memorial


       TO BE CONTINUED.........


  1. The characters are almost coming alive, oh if we could only speak to them......

    Good to see the page view counter is back.