Why Bodmin, Thomas?

4 October 2015

During our travels of the weekend, I have managed to drive past many churches and cemeteries without stopping. Much as it has pained me, there is only so much graveyard trekking Mr FWL can cope with on our jaunts. However, during the course of our wanderings today, we walked almost smack bang into Bodmin Church. For no apparent reason – there were no family (or surname study related) burials known to have taken place in this area – this will be the only churchyard we have set foot in on this particular weekend away.

The churchyard – unfortunately – was very swiftly placed in my ‘Oh, no’ (most hated) category as the older stones had all been removed from their original placement and propped up against the outer walls of the churchyard. I suppose I should be thankful that they had not been placed down the central aisle of the church but hey, some might have been as I didn’t gain access to the church itself to find out.

A momentary flash of possibility arose when I thought there was a Pilfent recorded on one of the stones (a variation/deviation on the Sillifant/Pillifant theme) but it was actually a badly worn, Joseph Kent!

A surprising find was Thomas Isaac Cornwall Williams…. surprising, as he was born in Sydney, Australia and died in London! What on earth was he doing being buried in Bodmin? I’ll keep my opinion of Bodmin as clean and professional as possible by saying it’s not somewhere I would choose to live myself or perhaps consider visiting again…. So, what was Thomas’ connection with Bodmin?

Thomas was born in Sydney and his gravestone states he was the ‘son of Coleman Williams‘. There is a Geni tree including Thomas but it has no further details of his forebears, only his descendants. He was awarded a Croix de Guerre as a Major in the 10th Australian Field Artillery Brigade and his service record on Ancestry is incredibly detailed, stating his next of kin as ‘wife – Mrs Beatrice Kate Williams‘ and his regular occupation as a dentist.

One of many problems is that the NSW Births Transcription on FindmyPast state that Thomas’ father was Richard and his mother, Emily!? He dies in Marylebone Registration District in June quarter of 1967, so why is he buried in Bodmin? Where does his middle name of Cornwall come from? And who is his father?

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