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Local Heroes - Your streets were their streets Local Heroes - Your streets were their streets

The names of 197 local men who lost their lives in World War I are
inscribed on the bells of the Memorial Community Church in Plaistow. They are our local heroes

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James Henry Ivory

Private
Northumberland Fusiliers
Born
Islington, London - c 1880
Died
France and Flanders - 14 October 1918
Age
38
Death
Killed in action
Served in
Northumberland Fusiliers
Awards
Unknown
Memorials
Unknown
Lived
3 York Street, Canning Town, London, E16 1JH

James Henry's story

ethellaServed previously in France from June – October 1917, being wounded in the foot in September 1917.

Children: James Frederick, Florence Gertrude, Queenie Rosina.

Thanks to Heather Wright, who commented (below), “On my mother’s side of my family James Henry Ivory is my 1st cousin twice removed. I was fascinated to find out he was a tattoo artist, married to a tattooed lady.”

This photo (taken from an online auction catalogue) appears to be of Ethel Ivory, tattooed by her husband. It would be interesting to know in what way they were connected with a Baptist church. From correspondence from his widow regarding his medal, it appears she emigrated to Australia after his death.

And thanks to Bria Membry for this additional information on Ethel and their children:

“Ethel Florence Ivory did migrate to Australia with her three children, arriving in Melbourne in October, 1921 via s.s. Berrima. She took up residence at 15 Milton-street, Preston (shown in Commonwealth War Graves Commission records), but switched to 6 Milton-street in the late 1920s. She died there in 1940 … “IVORY.— On July 21, at her residence, 6 Milton-street, Preston, Ethel Florence, beloved wife of the late James Henry, and loved mother of Ethel (Mrs. Holt), William, James, Florence (Mrs.
Bradshaw) and Queenie (Mrs. J. Moate), aged 71 years, interred Preston General Cemetery”.

I have seen no record of the William mentioned in the Notice, presumably the eldest and perhaps remaining in England.

Her late husband, James Henry appears on the Australian War Memorial Commemorative Roll which records deaths of Australians who were serving in armed forces of other countries, but I can find no trace of his birth in Oz and it may be that whoever compiled the Roll assumed a local birth based on his widow’s later address.”

Service Number
82532
Mother
Eliza
Father
James
Spouse
Ethel Florence
Buried
Dadizeele New British Cemetery, Belgium
No photos found for James Henry Ivory

Do you know anything about James Henry?

Perhaps James Henry Ivory was in your family, or a friend of someone in your family? If you have any information at all we'd love to hear from you. Post a comment using the form below and we'll be in touch.

12 comments

  1. Heather Wright
    May 14, 2015
    3:02 pm

    I have only just found James Henry Ivory, on my mother’s side of my family. He is my 1st cousin twice removed, if I have done my calculations correctly.
    I have found the same documents on ancestry.co.uk and was fascinated to find out he was a tattoo artist, married to a tattooed lady! I wonder how one researches his profession…

    • Mav Mess
      September 13, 2017
      8:13 pm

      Hello Mrs Wright,
      I’m a tattooist in the US. I’ve been trying trying to find out about James Henry as well. This is the most info I’ve seen thus far. I’ll be asking some friends in the U.K. As well(tattooists). Hopefully someone may know something. I’ve the lovely “ethella” card which led me to find out more . I enjoy researching and reading about the Great War as well as tattooist’s history so this was nice connection. I am sad however that Mr. ivory fell a month before the armistice. That’s nice his name is on the bell. Best regards to you, Mav Mess

  2. Deb sheers
    November 30, 2016
    9:57 am

    My grandmother Ruth Young (Ward) was Ethel’s neice from what I can figure, I do remember Aunty Queenie who was Ethel’s daughter

  3. July 4, 2017
    8:59 pm

    Hello. I am Ethellas great, great grandson. She did emigrate to Australia. We have hugely squiggly family history surrounding her. It seems that she was a surrogate for her sister. She birthed my great grandmother Ethel. Paternal controvorcy lingers. I will do my best to clear this up soon if you stay in touch. I am a direct descendant from Ethella.

  4. July 4, 2017
    9:14 pm

    Baptist church? Really. I will keep investigating.

  5. July 4, 2017
    9:24 pm

    Baptist church? Really. I will keep investigating.

    Ethella’s father was William Stanley who was a co creater of the theatre house in Newcastle on Tyne.

  6. July 4, 2017
    9:36 pm

    Whoops. That was George William Stanley. From the Tyne theatre.

  7. March 23, 2018
    7:14 am

    Ethel Florence Ivory did migrate to Australia with her three children, arriving in Melbourne in October, 1921 via s.s. Berrima. She took up residence at 15 Milton-street, Preston (shown in Commonwealth War Graves Commission records), but switched to 6 Milton-street in the late 1920s. She died there in 1940 … “IVORY.— On July 21, at her residence, 6 Milton-street, Preston, Ethel Florence, beloved wife of the late James Henry, and loved mother of Ethel (Mrs. Holt), William, James, Florence (Mrs.
    Bradshaw) and Queenie (Mrs. J. Moate), aged 71 years, interred Preston General Cemetery”.

    I have seen no record of the William mentioned in the Notice, presumably the eldest and perhaps remaining in England.

    Her late husband, James Henry appears on the Australian War Memorial Commemorative Roll which records deaths of Australians who were serving in armed forces of other countries, but I can find no trace of his birth in Oz and it may be that whoever compiled the Roll assumed a local birth based on his widow’s later address.

    • hilary
      April 5, 2018
      11:15 am

      Dear Bria

      Thank you so much for this additional information. I’ll update the website. Can I ask what your connection is, are you related?

      It is interesting that James Ivory appears on the Australian War Memorial Commemorative Roll because we have a record that he was born in Islington (north London) around 1880, and then lived in Canning Town. All of the heroes on the commemorative bells of the church have a link with the church, it wasn’t just that they were geographically close.

      I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

      Regards

      Hilary Colston

  8. Deanna
    June 9, 2018
    1:18 am

    Hi, my name is Deanna and I, like Tim, am Ethella’s great granddaughter. Family story has it that Florence Ethel (known as Ethel and referred to hereon as Ethella) and her 2 sisters were raised in prosperous circumstances while their father was doing well in the Tyne theatre business in Newcastle. He went broke from gambling and by the time the girls were young women, the family had slid down the social scale to all living in one rented room in London. To earn a living, the three young ladies formed a trio that played banjo and clog danced all across Europe. Ethel won an international clog dance competition in London in the 1890’s of which we have an original cutting and photograph from a London paper. There is a great family tory of the trio performing for the Russian Tsar.

    By that time, the trio had lost one sister and picked up a man (Dixon?). He became the unwed father of Ethella’s eldest two children – Ethel (Tim Holt’s great grandmother) and William (Bill)- the latter being more commonly known in Melbourne as the prominent theatrical figure, Denver Dixon. (He would joke that his father was the Tsar of Russia!)

    James Ivory met Ethella in her trio on the Vaudeville Victorian theatre circuit. James wanted to make it as a singer/song-writer much to his father’s disgust. He owned a jewellery box factory in London and wanted Jim to take on the business (I think Jim had only one sister – Gertrude. I’ve tried chasing the ‘Ivory’ line of the family but have had little success).Family story has it that Jim started singing on the circuit and became besotted with this woman 13 years older with two illegitimate children, and that they eventually married. They had a further three children (James, Florence and Queen).The tattoing started as Ethella got older. Her and Jim would make money by her displaying tatts and other curiosities. I think he was self taught in the tattoo trade.My grandmother, Florence, remembers the family – prior to WW1 – travelling the British countryside in a horse drawn cart doing rep theatre type shows in the summer and retreating to rented accommodation in the East End during the Winter, living off the season’s earnings.

    Ethella’s sister, Blanche, supposedly could have no children. She and her husband were migrating to Australia prior to WW1 and story has it she wanted to take the Ethel and Bill. With 5 children, James was having trouble making ends meet and supported Blanche. Ethella was not keen but relented and Blanche took the eldest two to Melbourne while Ethella remained living in the East End with Jim’s three children while he fought and died in France just before war’s end. They came to Melbourne in 1921, supported by Blanche. We still have the single wooden trunk they brought our from England with all their worldly possessions. Upon arrival, Ethella took up washing to make money. She was a great personality and was very well-liked. She was always cautious to keep her neck and arms covered in society. No-one in Milton Street would have seen those tattoos! Her greatest concern was whether she would go to heaven when she died as she had had two (actually I suspect five ) illegitimate children. Maybe she was Jim’s Baptist church connection!

    • hilary
      June 18, 2018
      10:57 am

      Deanna

      Thank you for such a vivid account, which I’ll upload onto the website. It’s humbling to think of the hardship people endured.

      Thanks again.

      Hilary Colston
      Church Secretary

  9. Bethany
    July 5, 2018
    9:58 am

    James was my 1st cousin 2x removed of husband of great-aunt. I have been absolutely fascinated by the incredibly detailed information I found on this website. Thank you for sharing!

    Bethany
    Australia

(will not be published)


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