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A challenge for you all

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    A challenge for you all

    The Royal Navy is seeking the living relatives of Chief Gunner Israel Harding VC., and Sergeant Norman Finch VC.,to attend the opening ceremony of two new accommodation blocks at HMS EXCELLENT in Portsmouth, which have been named after the two men. The ceremony will take place on May 13th. If any reader can shed any light on the whereabouts of any descendant of the two men then please contact XXXXXXXXXXXXX

    That's all the information have.
    Zoe in London

    Cio che Dio vuole, io voglio ~ What God wills, I will

    Here's a start



      And another

      The Victoria Cross awarded to Norman Augustus Finch


        Copied from the Norrman Finch link Jackie posted:

        Norman Finch was born at 42 Ninevah Road, Handsworth, Birmingham on 26th December 1890 to parents John and Emma Amelia Finch, originally from Southport, Lancashire. He was educated at Benson Road Board School and Grove Lane Council School, Birmingham and on 3rd April 1919 married Elizabeth Jane Ross in Birmingham. In 1921 they had a son Jack who later lived in Portsmouth. The first record we have of Norman Finch living in Portsmouth is 1920 when he seems to have been in Lawrence Road, Southsea. There is stronger evidence for him living at No. 20 Lawrence Road in 1939 and thereafter at Kings Road and Haslemere Road. By 1960 he was living at 30 Chelsea Road which is the last known address before he died in 1966 at St Mary's Hospital. He was cremated at Portchester Crematorium and his ashes were interred at South Stoneham Cemetery, Swaythling, Southampton (Section 3).

        Above says he married in Brum, but he married in Portsmouth:

        Marriages Jun 1919
        Finch Norman A Ross Portsmouth 2b 1510
        Ross Elizabeth J Finch Portsmouth 2b 1510

        I think it's possible they have the "known as" name for the son, rather than his birth name.

        I think this could be the son they mentioned (born a year earlier than the details given):

        Name: Richard John Finch
        Birth Date: 27 Sep 1920
        Death Registration Month/Year: Dec 1993
        Age at death (estimated): 73
        Registration district: Portsmouth
        Inferred County: Hampshire
        Register number: A46A
        District and Subdistrict: 4971A
        Entry number: 245

        which matches this:

        Births Sep 1920
        Finch Richard J mmn Ross Portsmouth 2b 1016

        The death cert for Richard might provide a descendant. There's no obvious match for him on GR.


          1911 census, household in Portsmouth:


          HARDING / ISRAEL / M / 1834 / 77
          HARDING / EMMA ANNETTE / F / 1843 / 68
          HARDING / EMMA CASTORA / F / 1877 / 34
          HARDING / VICTORIA MAUD / F / 1884 / 27


            Israel Harding seems to have married twice:

            Marriages Mar 1853
            ELLIS Harriet Portsea 2b 451
            HARDING Israel Portsea 2b 451
            MITCHELL James Portsea 2b 451
            PHILLIPS Caroline Portsea 2b 451

            Marriages Dec 1873
            Harding Israel Woolwich 1d 1362
            Hiscock Frederick Woolwich 1d 1362
            Nunn Emma Annette Woolwich 1d 1362
            Tallett Jane Woolwich 1d 1362

            1891 he has a load of daughters from the second marriage (to Emma A Nunn):

            Emma C 13 b North Shields Northumberland
            Louisa C 12 ditto
            Annette A 11 b Portsmouth
            Victoria B 7 ditto

            I think the first marriage was to Harriet Ellis.

            1861 shows her with

            Sophia 4
            Joseph 2
            Harriet 11 months

            in Portsea. Harriet is RN Gunners wife which matches with his occ and I think the son (for whom I can't see a birth reg!) is called Joseph Israel Harding when he marries in 1880.

            On the 1871 there's also Sarah 8 and Alfred 2.


              If the son b 1858ish was Joseph Israel then this should be his marriage:

              Marriages Mar 1880
              Harding Joseph Israel Portsea 2b 594
              STEVENS Alice Portsea 2b 594
              Winter Ada Florence Portsea 2b 594
              Winter Albert John Portsea 2b 594

              I think it was to Alice Stevens.

              In 1901 there is Joseph and Alice together in Portsmouth and they have no blinkey children.

              Will check 1891 :(


                Hmmm...not so sure now as I cant see Alice in 1891 and Joseph is on a ship.


                  There's a whopping 16 trees on GR which include this Israel Harding!! lol


                    Possible marriage for Israel's daughter Victoria Maud:

                    Marriages Dec 1913
                    Harding Victoria M Stevens Portsmouth 2b 949
                    Stevens Henry P Harding Portsmouth 2b 949

                    There are four possible Stevens/Harding births in Portsmouth, and I can only see one matching death:

                    Stanley H Stevens / Jul Aug Sep 1920 / Portsmouth / Sussex, Isle of Wight

                    Stanley Herbert Stevens / 21 Sep 1920 / Mar 1989 / 68 / Southampton Hampshire


                      Hello I don't know if this is too late but I am the grand daughter of Victoria Maud Harding and Percival Stevens, my mother was their only daughter Mary Stevens.


                        Welcome to the forum, Annie.
                        Zoe (samesizedfeet), who posted this, doesn't visit the forum very often now. It might be a good idea to send her a message via the personal message system - just click on her name on the first post and you will see an option to send her a private message.


                          Hello How can I hlep. I am the granddaughter of Victoria Maud Harding who is the mother of Stanly H. Stevens, and Mary Stevens my mother. I have some family tree information if you need it...emal me at ... email address removed
                          Last edited by Elaine ..Spain; 01-02-10, 21:41. Reason: Removal of email address


                            Annie, it's never wise to post your email address on an open forum so I have removed it from your post.

                            If you go to the first message on this thread and click on the name samesizedfeet (just above her avatar in the left hand column) - you will see an option to send a private message. You can then send your email address in your message so Zoe can get back to you with any information she might have.