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David William Verrant was the son of George Verrant & Mary Ann Dunston. He was at first in the Royal Navy, then he transferred to the Coastguard Service.

The Crimean War raged for two years between Russia on one side and Turkey, France, Britain and later Sardinia on the other. From 1854 to 1856 it transformed the balance of power and the political complexion of a continent - indeed it was the crucible in which modern Europe was formed. Four men became involved in this war - alongside many thousands of others. The four men I want to tell you about were all Coastguards - three of them being Kinsmen of mine.

1. DAVID VERRANT (a twin) and my Great Grandfather. He was born 30 March 1819 at Fareham, Hampshire, England. He joined the Royal Navy at an early age. The first ship that David went to sea on was the H.M.S Princess Charlotte, on the 9th March 1837, as a 1st Class Boy During his years in the Navy he served on two other ships before deciding to transfer to the COASTGUARD SERVICE:
His first appointment was at Teillen Station, Sligo Port, Port Rushine district on the 16th February 1849, in Co Donegal, Ireland, as a boatman. Here he met and married on the 16th July, at Killybegs to Mary Ann TORRIBLE. Over the years they had five children. Their fourth child was Charles John VERRANT, born: 11 November 1861.

2. WILLIAM HENRY TORRIBLE was Mary Ann's brother & therefore my Great-Great-Uncle.
Born: 14 January 1822 at Poole, Dorset, England.
William first went to sea as an apprentice in 1837. At the end of his apprenticeship he joined the COASTGUARD CRUIZER "RACER" on the 12th November 1845 which was attached to the Port Rushine District William's base had been Killybegs, Co Donegal. Ireland. He remained as a member "of the crew of "Racer" until 1853 when he transferred to a land based Coastguard Station.
Meantime he had married on the 1st September 1849 at Kilkeel. Co Down, Ireland to Jane DOWNING. They had ten children. William's Coastguard Station was at Port Rush, Coleraine Port, Ballycastle,. Co Londonderry.

3. GEORGE VERRANT brother of David Verrant (No.l) and my Great-Great-Uncle.
Born 4 February 1815 at Portsea, Hampshire, England. George joined the Royal Navy as a 2nd Class Boy at the age of 15 years in 1830. He served on three different ships over the years; the 3rd one being H.M.S Delight, he then transferred to the COASTGUARD SERVICE, twelve years later in 1842. His first station was at Hallsands, Torcross. Dartmouth Port on the 10th December 1842. He had married on the 4th July 1839 at Falmouth, Cornwall, England to Mary Ann DUNSTAN. They had eleven children.

4. PETER PASCO GREEN born 18 March 1812 at St Mawes, Cornwall. England.
He first went to sea as an apprentice in 1825, age 13 years. He then served in the Royal Navy for three years from about 1830 and then transferred to the COASTGUARD SERVICE on the 20th September 1833 as a boatman at Casemeats Coastguard Station, Dover Port, Folkstone District. Peter was sent to serve in Ireland at Belfast Station on 12 May 1834. I have not been able yet to find Peter's marriage to Eliza—..but I suspect that it could have been in Belfast. He was transferred to Ardmore Station, Cork Port, Youghal District in 1838. And it was here that their first child was born, a daughter given the name of FLORENCE.
The Crimean War proved a "time of trial* for the Royal Navy which was very short of trained seamen at that rime. So they drew on the Coastguard Service and drafted into the Navy every available man. In all 3,000 Coastguards served during that war and an official report stated that, "the Coastguards have proved of the greatest use in forming the untrained crews of many of our ships'. The Revenue Cruizers were also engaged in intercepting the enemy shipping.

Our four Coastguards were among the 3,000 men called up to serve on the Royal Navy ships. GEORGE VERRANT was detailed to join the crew of H.M.S. Edinburgh on the 6th March 1854, at Portsmouth, where the ships were assembled. His rank was AB (able-bodied seaman). H.M.S. Edinburgh was under the command of Rear Admiral Henry Ducie Chads, C.B. and Captain Richard Strode Hewlett. The ship carried 60 guns and was a steam vessel and one of the fifteen vessels in the first fleet to depart from Spithead on the 11th March 1854, their destination was the Baltic Sea.
PETER PASCO GREEN & WILLIAM HENRY TORRIBLE were both directed to join the crew of the H.M.S. Royal George, which carried 120 guns and was commanded by Captain Henry John Codrington. Peter Green entered the ship on the 15 February 1854 and William Terrible arrived a few days earlier on the 11th February.
The H.M.S. Royal George was also part of this first fleet, which left Spithead on the 11th March 1854. The Fleet was under the command of Vice Admiral Sir Charles Napier K.C.B. on board H.M.S Duke of Wellington.

DAVID VERRANT, our fourth Coastguard was directed to join H.M.S Prince Regent, 90 gun sailing ship. He joined the ship on the 17th March, the ship being anchored at Spithead. By the 7th April 1854 they were ready to set sail and left at 6am in the morning, in the company of six other sailing ships, to join up with the fleet already in Baro Sound, under the command of Napier. BUT this is not to be a story about the Crimean War, BUT about the four men who happened to be in the same place at the same time for the same purpose. I am sure that none of these men would have known that the others were there, with the possible exception of Peter and William. Because they had both come from Ireland and were on the same ship, they 'May' have met!!! In the period of time that we are talking about, seamen worked very hard and did not have time for relaxation AND they were at war. A seaman had absolutely No right to shore leave during his service on a ship. (So many deserted if they got the chance).
Briefly back to our four men in the Baltic. By the end of the year 1854 the Fleet was driven out of the Baltic by the winter ice and they went first to Plymouth, to refit and repair their ships. etc. Peter Pasco Green & William Henry Terrible remained on H.M.S. Royal George and returned to the Baltic early in 1855. George Verrent also remained on H.M.S. Edinburgh and returned to the Baltic early in 1855. David Verrent was transferred to H.M.S. Royal Albert on 22 November 1854 for transportation to the Black Sea & the Crimea and a transfer to H.M.S. Agamemnon.
The War ended early in the year of 1856 and our four men returned to their respective Coastguard Stations. Peter and William were discharged at the end of May. George was discharged on the 1st May. David was discharged on the 2nd July 1856.
Peter Pasco Green retired shortly afterwards, from the Coastguard and returned to St Mawes, Cornwall, with his family. David Verrent retired from the Service about 1870 & died in Ireland in 1900.
George Verrent retired in 1869 and went to live in Kingston, Devon. He died in 1881.
William Henry Torrible retired about 1870 & I do not know when he died

This is where SERENDIPITY comes in!!

Do you think that Peter Pasco Green & David Verrent would ever have believed that two of then-descendants would meet and marry - WELL! - It Did Happen.
Let me set the scene:
Peter Pasco Green's daughter Florence married in 1861 at St Just in Roseland, Cornwall;
They had four children born to them at St Mawes, Cornwall. The second son was Peter Pasco Green. Harvey, born 7 February 1864 at St Mawes. Florence and John Harvey with their four children emigrated to New Zealand, arriving on the ship "Waimea" at Wellington on the 4th October 1876. Another child, Minnie, was born during the Voyage.
PETER PASCO GREEN HARVEY born 1864 at St Mawes became a bootmaker in New Zealand. He married on the 23rd May 1885 at Wellington to: ESTHER BULL. They had six children - the 5th child being PERCY RONALD HARVEY born 31 March 1896 at Wellington.
PERCY RONALD HARVEY married 16 December 1919 at Newtown, Wellington, New Zealand,
To: CATHERINE HILDA McINNES. They had two sons. The second son was PETER ALEXANDER HARVEY born 3 1 December 1927 and died 20 March 1973.
DAVTD VERRENTS son CHARLES JOHN VERRENT married 13 October 1892 at Enniscoffey, Co Westmeath, Ireland, To: MARGARET FORBES.
They had six children born to them. The second son was WILLIAM GEORGE VERRENT.
born: 27 February 1895 at Kilboy, Co Tipperary. Ireland.
William George Verrent emigrated to Canada in 1920; hated the cold winters, so in 1923 he returned to Ireland to propose to his sweetheart - visit his parents, then board a ship, the Corinthic, to sail to New Zealand. Accompanying him was his brother Jack.
William established himself on a farm at Waikanae, in the North Island of New Zealand and in 1926 he was able to welcome his bride to be, BETSY IRELAND SYME GOW, from Ireland. They married on the 27th August 1926 on her arrival by ship in Auckland & they journeyed to Waikanae, by train.

They had four children bom to them;
l: Betsy Margaret Verrent born 11 December 1927
2:LiHian Jean Verrent born 26 January 1929;
3:William Charles Verrent bom:4 October 1930.
4: Nancy Isabella Verrent born 14 February 1932 & died 15 January 1952.
married: on 27 May 1950 at: Wellington, New Zealand. To the Great-Granddaughter of DAVID VERRENT ...... BETSY MARGARET VERRENT.
Peter and Betsy Harvey have one son... DAVID WILLIAM HARVEY born 10 August 1953.
Peter and Betsy Harvey have five Grandchildren: Joanne; Angela; Daniel; Sarah and Peter.
Peter and Betsy Harvey have one Great Grandchild: Krystal.
Hope you have enjoyed this Serendipity journey from 1812 through 1854-56 to 1950 & onward.
Yours in Kinship,

Betsy Verrent-Harvey. New Zealand

2 Comments · 23719 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on April 29 2007


#1 | magnz on 27/08/2010 03:35:54
Hi Betsy I couldnot beleive my eyes when I came across this Florence Daughter of Peter and Eliza is My great great grandmother how cool is this I just started doing some family research last year Please Contact me
#2 | limpylou on 18/02/2015 10:09:08
Oh my I too can't believe it I've stumbled upon this Betsy. You were communicating with my mum quite a few years back - I am a great grand daughter of Margaret Jane Harvey and was always fascinated with the Name Peter Pasco which kept popping up from time to time. Tks for posting this as it all makes more sense now for me - Irene Perry (Jnr)

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