The Anguish of Clara Ann Bramall - Hillsborough Sheffield

The first form is from the 1891 Census and shows Clara living with her husband WILLIAM BRAMALL and baby daughter CATHERINE at 40 Leader Road Sheffield

Ten year later in 1901 the family have moved to 72 Minto Road Hillsborough Sheffield. WILLIAM and CLARA have three daughters ERNESTINE, GEORGINA and GLADYS 

In 1911 the family were still living at the same address but it is only on this Census form that you see the anguish that WILLIAM and CLARA experienced in their 21 years of marriage. Clara had given birth to nine children but only three survived childhood. Six had died  

I checked the BMD registers and found the following information

Catherine Elizabeth Bramall 18911894
Alfred Henry Bramall 18921894
Mary Kate Bramall 18931893
Frank Joseph Bramall 18991899
Maggie Alberta Bramall 19021903
Clara Eliza Bramall 19051911

Clara lost three children Catherine, Alfred and Mary within the space of two years 1893 - 1894 and then three more after the birth of Ernestine, Georgina and Gladys. 

But at least three daughters had survived to their teens but in 1915 tragedy was to strike the family again. This is from 29th March 1915 and refers to the death of their middle daughter GEORGINA MAY who had been missing from home since 5th January 1915. 


The Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 29th March 1915 carried a report of the inquest  

The headline really reflects the evidence that was placed before the inquest - it was quite literally "a drowning mystery." There is no indication that it was suicide and whilst foul play may have been a possibility, the length of time the body had been submerged in Dam Flask would have made such a conclusion speculative to say the least. There was just no clear evidence to determine the circumstances surrounding her death and so an open verdict was the only option. 


Luke Lane Wadsley - the home of the Bramall Family 1915

Georgina's Burial record - St Nicholas Church, Bradfield

It must have been a harrowing time for the family, losing yet another daughter in mysterious circumstances Her father WILLIAM died in 1926 and so it left Clara and her two daughters. As far as I can ascertain, neither of the daughters married. The next reference I found to the family was this probate record for the eldest daughter which states that she died in Hillsborough Park on 27th August 1947 and that probate was granted to her younger sister GLADYS 


But the burial record for ERNESTINE made for sobering reading.

Ernestine was buried on 1st September 1947 by "coroner's order" but because "this woman" committed suicide in the pond at Hillsborough Park, there was no service in church and the prayer book was not used. This was on the arch-deacons directions. The reason for this un-christian-like behaviour is that the coroner in recording a verdict of suicide did not add the rejoinder "whilst of unsound mind."  It also appears that the rector of the church Arthur King did not think it was appropriate to take what was left of the interment - the clergyman who committed Ernestine to the grave was from St Polycarps, Malin Bridge, Sheffield.

But worse was yet to come. Four months later Gladys was interred 

But because the verdict suicide added a rider to the effect that Gladys was of unsound mind, the rector Arthur King condescended to have the first part of the service in the church. 

I have been unable to find any information about the circumstances surrounding the death of both Gladys and her sister Ernestine. 

And so CLARA ANN BRAMALL outlived all the nine children she gave birth to. Six died in childhood and three drowned to death. Two were deemed suicide by the coroner and the other remains a mystery to all.

And so the last Bramall entry in the Burial record of St Nicholas Church is CLARA herself. It states by coroners order but there is no indication of anything untoward. She probably died of grief and old age. The irony being that the service was conducted by a certain Arthur King.



Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 29th March 1915

UK Census

Burial records - St Nicholas Church Bradfield Nr Sheffield

Free BMD

This page was last updated on 10/06/20 17:21

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