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Karamazov
27-04-19, 14:55
David John Jackson Hill and Jane Maud (aka Dolly) Walford nee Hordern.

According to FreeBMD, q1 1915 Portsmouth D J J Hill marries Jane M Walford/Jane M Hordern.
At the time he would have been a Major. He was a widower whilst she was divorced so I assume this was a registry office wedding. Is there any way of checking, short of buying the cert?

She was member of the very prominent Hordern family of Sydney, Australia. There are literally hundreds of references on Trove re her social life so I find it odd that I can find no reference to this marriage in Australian newspapers.

However, in 1918, there are several references mentioning that she has married him in Natal, South Africa earlier in 1918 - no exact date given.
First ref published in June 1918:
News has come from England that the first Mrs. Leslie Walford (who was Dolly Hordern) was recently married in South Africa to Mr. David Hill - a man much liked by her family. Mrs. Hill is living in South Africa at present, where her sister, Priscilla (Mrs. Olivier), also lives. Her daughter, Phyllis Walford, is with her.

Then in August/September 1918 fuller info:
At Natal, South Africa, early this year, the marriage was celebrated of Colonel David Hill, D.S.O., Deputy Director of Ordnance Services in the British East African Expeditionary Forces, and Miss Jane Hordern, eldest daughter of the late Mr. Samuel Hordern, of Sydney.

As both the 1915 marriage and 1918 newspaper reports definitely refer to the same couple, what's the explanation? Why would they marry twice - if that is indeed what happened?

Can anyone find a newspaper reference (UK or Australian) re the 1915 or a South African marriage record that confirms the 1918 marriage?

Thanks,
Christine

Bertie
27-04-19, 16:43
Per FMP which has Portsmouth area parish records, the David JJ HILL marriage does NOT show a church marriage so safe to assume registry office I think

Olde Crone Holden
27-04-19, 17:45
Usually when military is mentioned, the reason for two marriages is because the man did not have permission from his CO to marry, but that hardly seems likely here.

Perhaps the family was religious and did not consider a RO marriage was respectable. Perhaps they were ashamed of the divorce. Do you know anything about the first husband, might he have died between 1915 and 1918 thus allowing her to marry as a widow. Whatever, it does smell of some sort of cover up on someone's part!

OC

Darksecretz
27-04-19, 17:47
If he didn't get permission from his C.O. then his 1st marriage wouldn't be counted, I had a similar experience with my grt grt grandad he had to marry my grt grt grannie twice! [didn't have permission from his CO]

Darksecretz
27-04-19, 17:48
snap OC! :smilee:

Karamazov
27-04-19, 19:41
Usually when military is mentioned, the reason for two marriages is because the man did not have permission from his CO to marry, but that hardly seems likely here.

Perhaps the family was religious and did not consider a RO marriage was respectable. Perhaps they were ashamed of the divorce. Do you know anything about the first husband, might he have died between 1915 and 1918 thus allowing her to marry as a widow. Whatever, it does smell of some sort of cover up on someone's part!

OC

OC - she was definitely properly legally divorced - decree absolute granted in Australia Feb 1914 where her first husband divorced her on the grounds of her desertion. They had a big society wedding in Sydney in 1902, and their daughter was born 1903. They seem to have lived more or less separate lives from about 1905 - she (with daughter) seems to have much preferred life in Europe. There were other divorces in her family - I don't get the feeling that shame played any part, or religion for that matter.
I can't see there being any sort of "cover up" - he would have been aware of her daughter, plus both her maiden and previous married names are recorded in the 1915 marriage index.
Christine

Karamazov
27-04-19, 19:49
If he didn't get permission from his C.O. then his 1st marriage wouldn't be counted, I had a similar experience with my grt grt grandad he had to marry my grt grt grannie twice! [didn't have permission from his CO]

How does that work then Julie? Can a superior officer "void" a marriage that has taken place with a registrar and witnesses present? Would it involve the marriage being legally annulled, even if that wasn't the wish of either party and there was no other impediment to their marriage?
Just a gut feeling, but I tend to agree with OC that not having permission seems fairly unlikely here...

Christine

PS - unless the senior officer had strong moral objections to one of his officers marrying a divorcee? But if permission was refused, wouldn't the superior officer have to present some more pressing military-based reason?

Olde Crone Holden
27-04-19, 20:12
No, the marriage would not be void because he did not get permission, but all sorts of punishments were dished out and privileges lost including loss of rank and therefore pay. Also the wife and any subsequent children would not exist as far as the military was concerned.

I meant that if the first husband died after the divorce, she could marry in church as a widow, but as no date is given for the alleged marriage in 1918, I wonder if it took place at all.

OC

cbcarolyn
27-04-19, 20:26
perhaps the 1918 was just the celebration, bit odd but maybe in 1915, he just went off to war, and no celebrations, by 1918 they had a big do?

No idea if this sort of thing happened, but wording could be read that way.

Darksecretz
29-04-19, 08:21
How does that work then Julie? Can a superior officer "void" a marriage that has taken place with a registrar and witnesses present? Would it involve the marriage being legally annulled, even if that wasn't the wish of either party and there was no other impediment to their marriage?
Just a gut feeling, but I tend to agree with OC that not having permission seems fairly unlikely here...

Christine

PS - unless the senior officer had strong moral objections to one of his officers marrying a divorcee? But if permission was refused, wouldn't the superior officer have to present some more pressing military-based reason?

I don't really know, Christine is the honest answer, Though I did find this


01 General
We want to get married; does my soldier need to ask permission?

You no longer have to ask formal permission to get married but some units do retain the tradition of asking the Commanding Officer for permission. It is probably best the soldier checks the form at their unit. The soldier does have to ensure that they update their details on JPA to let the Army know they are married and any change of address. They should also update their Next of Kin details.

https://aff.org.uk/advice/family-life/getting-married/

Karamazov
29-04-19, 15:19
I can't currently find anything other than the belated Aussie newspaper reports to back up the 1918 South African marriage. I have looked at South African marriages on familysearch, including Natal but it's not recorded there - I'm not sure how complete these records are.

Are there any other South African BMD or newspaper sites that I can investigate?

Christine