Just as a way of reference, I will place any official documentary evidence we obtain on this page.
I have found the following references from the FreeBMD web site:
- Marriage of Harry Bensley (father to our Harry) and Susannah Elmer in September 1884 in Thetford. (By then, they already had several children, including our Harry)
- Marriage of Harry Bensley and Kate Green in September 1898 in Thetford.
The Copyright restrictions on some of the following original documents don't allow me to post the originals on an internet web page and I intend to honour that. But I'm sure I can supply a summary of any information my mother and I find, in my own format (but not the original documents). So here are the summarised details for various documents:
1901 Census Record for Harry Bensley
|Civil Parish: Croydon (part of)||Town: Croydon (part of)|
|34 Woodside Avenue||2||Harry Bensley||Head||M||25||General Labourer||Norfolk, Thetford|
|Alice S.||Daughter||F||1||Norfolk, Thetford|
|Lily E.||Daughter||F||7 Months||Norfolk, Thetford|
|Registration District Brighton|
|Death in the Sub-district of Brighton Outer in the County borough of Brighton|
|When and Where Died||Name||Sex||Age||Occupation||Cause of death|
|21st May 1956
42 Riley Road, Brighton
|Harry BENSLEY||Male||79 years||Of private means||I. Hypertension
II. Chronic Bronchitis
Extracts from Birth Certificate for my Grand Father
|Registration District Worthing|
|Birth in the Sub-district of Steyning in the County of Sussex|
|When and Where Born||Name||Sex||Father||Father's occupation||Mother|
|24th December 1908|
|Henry Claude||Boy||Henry Claude Beasley||Of independent means||Mabel Beasley formally Reed|
Unfortunately, this does not prove the link between my grandfather and Harry Bensley. But the explanation passed to my mother from her own father (Henry Claude, the child this document refers to) is that Harry gave a false name to distance himself from his illegitimate child.
As an aside, although my grandfather was christened Henry Claude, he was known as Jim for most of his life, and referred to as Jim in other places in this web site. In fact, to cloud matters further, the name on his death certificate is given as James Henry Beasley as this is what his (second) wife believed his official (christened) name to be!
Harry's Army Recruitment Record
Harry's Army Recruitment Record dated 19th November 1915.