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Monday, 8 February 2016

An Australian winner at Westminster School on Shrove Tuesday, 1913? A post for Trove Tuesday

Today being Shrove Tuesday, I decided to search Trove for some relevant item, and came across this small article in the Geelong Advertiser in 1913. According to the article, the boy who won the prize for securing the largest piece of pancake at the annual tossing of the pancake event at Westminster School was an Australian named Ealand, who had cunningly thrown himself down on the pancake as it fell.

Article from the Geelong Advertiser, 7 Feb 1913,  snipped from Trove web site

Here is a more detailed report of what occurred, published in the Manchester Courier and Lancaster General Advertiser, and it  gives the boy's name as V F Ealand. 
Manchester Courier and Lancaster General Advertiser, 5 Feb 1913 (from
British Newspapers Archives via Findmypast web site)  Unfortunately the photograph did not accompany the article

 Just for fun, I searched Findmypast for VF Ealand, and located him in the 1911 England Census as follows:

Victor Ealand, grandson, Student Westminster School,  aged 15 born 1896 in Hertfordshire Tuckridge

14 Sheengate Gardens Mortlake Surrey England

residing with grandparents Thomas and Annie Coad

I then found him, Victor Fawsit Ealand, in the 1901 Census, aged 5,  living with his parents Hugh Fawsit  Ealand and Eva Agnes Cochrane Ealand at 5 Castle St, Farnham, Surrey. His father Hugh's place of birth is recorded as being Holloway Middlesex and that of his mother Eva as Newcastle on Tyne. Hugh Ealand married Eva Agnes Cochrane Coad  in Wandsworth London in 1984. Hugh's parents were Frederick and Elizabeth Ealand. Both sets of Victor's grandparents were also born in England. 

  This leads to the rather unsurprising conclusion that you can't believe everything you read. Someone at  the Geelong Advertiser apparently thought it would be a good idea to add interest to the article by claiming the victorious young Victor as Australian, and that none of their readers would ever know that this was not the truth. Little did they know!

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