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
|My father, William Weaver, in uniform, taken|
after the war when he was serving on
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)|
|The Wittersham War Memorial|
CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE BATTLE OF TRANSLOY RIDGE
TO BE CONTINUED.........