Martha (nee Brighton) and Arnold Crane lived on Cargate Lane, Saxlingham Nethergate. Arnold was a labourer when their son John was born on 19 April 1886 but later on he became a roadman for the County Council. John was baptised in Saxlingham Church on 30 July 1886
By 1891 there were eight children in the family. Martha had had three children before she had married Arnold in 1884, Benjamin born in 1874, Elizabeth born 1876 and Mary born in 1878. Their surname was Brighton. Other children in the family were
Matilda born 15 November 1887
Leah Agnes Minnie born 5 July 1890
Barbara Emma Louise born 10 October 1891, died May 1893
Lily Marion born 31 August 1894, died 1915
In 1901 John was working as a domestic gardener’s labourer and was staying with Oliver Daniels, an undergardener, at Shotesham Park. It is presumed that John was also employed by the Fellowes family who owned Shotesham Park. This large estate is in the next village to Saxlingham Nethergate.
His sister Mary was a housemaid in the Imperial Hotel in Aldershot. His sister Elizabeth Brighton was living with his parents and had three children. One of whom George Henry Brighton was killed in the war in 1914.
By 1911 only John and his sister Leah were still living at home. John like his father was working as a roadman. Leah was employed as a domestic servant. Matilda was one of many servants working for a widow at 90 Portland Place in London. Lily was working as an under nurse for a family in Marylebone, London. Lily returned to Saxlingham and died there in 1915.
His sister Mary was married in London to Arthur Keel, a chauffeur, in 1912. In 1913 Elizabeth also married. She was married in Essex to Leonard Savage and went on to have several more children.
In September 1913 John married Arabella Louisa Moore at St. Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate. He was 27 years old and she was 21years old. She was born 31 October 1891. They had seven children.
Hilda Sophia Gladys born on 18 December 1913
Arnold George born 26 January 1916
Herbert John born 19 July 1918
John Lewis born 1920
Frederick Sydney born 4 March 1928
Joan M born 27 August 1932
Arthur C born 1935
In 1918 the family were living in The Street, Saxlingham Nethergate.
John enlisted in the Royal Airforce on 4 January 1918, Service number 116901. When he enlisted he was 5 feet tall with a 31inch chest. He was in France from 10 April 1918 till 22 July 1919. He was discharged on 30 April 1920.
In 1939 John was working as a bricklayer and lived on The Common, Shotesham, Norfolk. Also at the address were his wife Arabella (Isabella) and Frederick, Joan and Arthur.
When he died on 30 December 1972 John was living at 49 Russell Avenue, Sprowston, Norwich. His estate was worth £8895.
England & Wales, Birth, marriage, death index 1837-2005
UK Census Collection
British Army Medal Roll Index cards, 1914-1920
1939 Register- www.findmypast.co.uk
Norfolk Electoral Roll, Absent Voters List, Saxlingham Nethergate, Norfolk 1918-1920
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar 1858-1995
St Mary’s Church Saxlingham Nethergate, Marriage records (transcribed by Mary Muir)
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