Herbert Ransom was born at 11:40am on 1st December 1885 to parents James and Mary Ransom. His father is listed as a wholesale confectioner. He was born at 27 Orchard Road, Brentford.

27 Orchard Road, Brentford – 2021

He was baptised at St. Paul’s church, Brentford on 21st February 1886.

St. Paul’s church, Brentford – 2021

The next we hear of Herbert is 6 years later on the 1891 census where we see the family have moved to Linden House, 23 The Butts, Brentford. His father James is listed as a confectioner. By 1911 Herbert had moved out of home and was living in Birmingham – at 101 Angelina Street, Balsall Heath and his occupation was a confectioner (baker).

Herbert was married to Maud Taylor on 4th May 1912 in Wrexham. He was listed as living at 41 baron’s Road, Wrexham. Maud was pregnant before they got married. They ran off to Wrexham to get married. We have heard from others in the family that JWE Ransom, Herbert’s Dad did not like Maud and disapproved of the relationship. It is hard to know why however his apparent strong links to the church – he was a preacher type at church, he would perform some of the service – maybe that caused him to not be happy that Maud was pregnant. Whatever the truth we know that a few years later Herbert would take Beat if not some of his other children to see his father in Brentford so the falling out was not absolute. The marriage was also the first use we see of Herbert using his middle name Sidney – which was not on his birth certificate. It is said that he also went by the name Sidney and this seems to be true as on his son Sidney’s and daughter Doris’s school admissions form he is listed as Sidney Ransom (father).

On 4th January 1913 Herbert and Maud welcomed the birth of their daughter Beatrice Maud Ransom (Beat) at 15 Baron’s Road, Wrexham. Beat was baptised on 13th February 1913 at 27 Nelson Street, Wrexham.

By 1917 the family had then moved back to Birmingham living at 2 back of 156 Balsall Heath Road. As 1920 arrived Thomas Taylor, brother of Herbert’s wife Maud was living with them. 1925 marked the first time Maud registered to vote. As 1935 rolled by the family were still living at 2 back of 156 and their daughter Beat was now registered to vote.

“You asked questions about Doris and her dad. I think it is important first for you to understand that Doris was only 11 years old (and I suspect a young 11-year-old) when her father died and he had been ill for a while. Doris was the baby of the family, a good deal younger than her siblings, she was, by all accounts also, “daddy’s girl” and a tad spoiled. Billy Lunt, I believe, may have been in their lives for a while before their mum (Herbert’s wife Maud) married him. He certainly sent postcards to Maud while he was in the army, and according to an old neighbour I spoke to a number of years ago, Maude went to the pub with Billy of an evening, leaving her husband sick in bed at home. I suspect the neighbour didn’t appreciate the difficulties of nursing a terminally ill cancer patient, especially when the form of cancer also causes Alzheimer’s. Also, the neighbour may not have been aware of the true situation, this was a time when cancer was hushed up, an unmentionable disease, something to be ashamed of in the family. I was left in no uncertainty that this neighbour did not like Maud so I am unsure how much weight you can put on this as evidence, especially as she was a child herself at the time and is probably repeating things she overheard or perhaps that Doris told her.
Doris described her dad as small and quietly spoken and very loving towards her. She said he had a “posh accent” and insisted they all used good table manners. According to Doris, her dad owned a toffee factory which she used to pass on the bus every day. Doris attended the open-air school, so I am assuming that is probably the route the factory was on. Doris says they went bankrupt and the factory was sold and later moved to premises in Marston Green. (it’s my suspicion that the factory went bankrupt BEFORE Herbert married Maud.)
Herbert was known as Sidney, he used Herbert for official documents only. Doris didn’t even know his name was Herbert and on her Marriage certificate she gave his name as Sidney Ransom. She knew your grandad; Sid, was named after her father. So, the story goes, Herbert was working in Birmingham when he met Maud (Who is Lillian Maud) and got her pregnant. Herbert told his family he was going to marry Maud and they were horrified and told him to get rid of her. Instead they ran away to Wales and were wed.”

From Christine Cole, wife of Alan Cole (Doris’s son, Herbert’s grandson).

On the 1921 census Herbert is listed as working as a wood machinist in the furniture trade at Gordon & Co. on Bradford Street, Birmingham. You can read a full account of the Gordon family here.

Herbert Ransom and family on 1921 census.

Herbert died on 14th June 1938 of Lymphoma at 1b Raddlebarn Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham. There are 3 various addresses used on BMD certificates by registrars for Kings Norton workhouse were 1a, 1b or 2 Raddlebarn Road. Originally it was part of Kings Norton Workhouse but later moved to be part of Selly Oak Hospital. Previous to this registrars would use one of the above 3 addresses rather than putting place of death ‘workhouse’. Dying in the workhouse carried a stigma and it was a nicer way of putting the place of death. When the building became part of the hospital – it became a terminal illness ward but the registrars continued to use the 3 addresses as place of death as they had done before. As for his cause of death, Lymphoma which means cancer of the lymphatic system. In Hodgkin lymphoma, it is cells in the lymph nodes that have become cancerous. The lymph system is an important part of our immune system. It plays a role in fighting bacteria and other infections.

On his Death Certificate his job is a machinist at the aircraft factory. This could have been at the Austin Longbridge or Rover Solihull.

On 18th June 1938 Herbert was buried at Brandwood End Cemetery, Birmingham. Herbert’s Grandson Raymond Sydney Coley who died on 15 December 1940 aged 5 Months, was later buried with him. Also in 2021 Herbert’s parents James and Mary were interred with them in the same plot. Position B16, Row D, Grave 4720.