Eliza Victoria Barnes headstone at Selham
George Edward Barnes & Sarah Dundas
Eliza Victoria Barnes
On 15 April, 2011 - the first of a number of emails was received from Janet G. in Hertfordshire. A condensed summary of those messages is shown-
I was researching a branch of my family and Selham in 1901 was the last place I spotted them. I was very moved to find the excellent photo of Eliza Victoria Barnes' gravestone, and if anyone can tell me any more, I'd love to hear, such as who was the loving friend who raised the stone. She was the niece of my great grandmother.
Her father, George Edward Barnes, was born 21 Feb.1852 and brought up by his grandparents on a small 7 acre farm in Spooner Row, a Norfolk hamlet.
He was a sergeant in the British Army, and spent twenty-odd years travelling the globe and helping to make the map pink before he settled in Selham. Which explains why Eliza Victoria was born in Singapore - 24th May 1883.
Edward, as he preferred to be called, enlisted between 1868 and 1871 in a regiment then called the 27th [Inniskilling] Regiment of Foot. It was an Irish regiment, dating back to 1689, and in 1868 had just returned to England from a 14 year stint in India where it had helped quell the Indian Mutiny and had served on the North West Frontier. Edward is there on the 1871 census, aged 19, when the regiment was in Colchester.
In 1881 the regiment amalgated with the 108th Foot to become the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, its garrison depot Omagh, Co. Tyrone.
About that time Edward was promoted to sergeant and married an Irish girl a couple of years younger than himself, Sarah J. Dundas, from Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh. They married in Belfast and the photograph shown left, depicts Edward in sergeant's uniform, Sarah in bustle and flounces. A copy of this he sent to his sister, my great grandmother.
The buff facings on Edward's coat were the colour of the 27th Foot. When they amalgamated with the 108th Foot to become the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 1881 they changed to royal blue facings. So the wedding was before 1881. Edward's 2 little curls, one at each temple, were apparently typical of their time.
The 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the ex 27th Foot, then departed for Hong Kong, 1881-1883. Sarah seems to have gone with her husband, for in 1883-86 the 1st Battalion was in the Straits Settlements and the Crown Colony of Singapore, the Lion City, where Eliza Victoria was born.
In 1886 when Eliza Victoria would be 3, the Battalion moved to South Africa, returning to England in 1889. Eliza Victoria must have spent the first 6 years of her life in foreign lands.
In 1891 she and her parents are living in Chichester, at Litten Terrace in the town, not in barracks. On her father's discharge from the army they went to live at Selham, in the Malt House near the Rectory. Edward began farming, though sadly he didn't live to enjoy Selham for long, dying in 1904 aged 52. Sarah's mother, Eliza Dundas, was with them in 1891 in Chichester, but is not on the 1901 census in Selham and may be buried there.
I think Eliza Victoria may have left Selham after her father, Edward, died in 1904. For in 1911 there are no Barnes in Selham. Maybe Eliza Victoria loved the place so much she asked to be buried there, and with her family. Eighty-eight when she died, she never married
The 1891 Chichester census records- [All living Litten Terrace, Chichester.]
BARNES Edward, 39, thus b 1852, NFK, 'Army -Sergt.'
Sarah J., his wife, 35, thus b. <1856, Lisnaskea Ireland [Co. Fermanagh]
Eliza V., daughter, 7, thus b. <1884, Singapore, 'Scholar'.
DUNDAS Eliza, mother-in-law, 60, thus b. <1831, Roslea Ireland
[Co. Fermanagh] 'Living on own means'.
Sarah Jane Barnes is recorded dying in Chichester 1908
Eliza Dundas is recorded dying in Midhurst 1898