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James W Bridle -born abt 1863 ? Arklow/?Ovaca/? Ballymacaw
I am trying to find evidence of the birth for this Coastguard who was, I believe, the son of another CG James W Bridle and his wife Ellen nee Harris. From records I have found James William Snr had 13 children, mostly born around the coast of Cork.However, I recently came across 2 records for the oldest of the children to have been born around Waterford at Ovaca and Arklow between 1860 and 1864 where I am assuming the family may have lived at that time.I am wondering if any one can advise or point me into the right direction to find out more, please? It is rather confusing as seemingly, there were 3 James W Bridles,possibly all coastguards at irish CG stations.
The first J.W Bridle,son of a Timothy Bridle and his wife Mary, was born 1810 at Dock,Devonport, married Jane Crocker 1834 (Stoke Dameral) died Penzance 1890. He was probably stationed in Kent between abt 1840 -1848 as 2 of his children( Elizabeth Ann and Edwin John) were born at Whitstable. His next posting may have been to Mousehole area as a daughter Hannah Maria was born there in 1849. He then had 2 sons (William Henry and Alfred Carter born 1851 an 1854 respectively)at Dirk, Ireland.
N.B There is some confusion abt the place of birth for the (second) James William. The parish records for Stoke Dameral for this period are not legible and to date there is no record for his birth in Launceston, (which was incidentally the birthplace of his mother Jane.) The naval records state that he was born in Launceston, Cornwall.. The family birthday book records his d.o.b as Jan 27th 1835. This James William (No 2) married Ellen Harrris at Kinsale in 1858 and the 1911 Irish census confirms that he was born in Cornwall in 1835. He died in Dublin in 1912 and his wife Ellen died there too in 1810, also Ellen, a daughter (born 1860).. James and Ellen had 13 children.. Martha Sara, John Henry Allyn, Catherine Georgina, Annie Isabelle all born at Unionhall between 1866 and 1871. Emma Lydia was born 1873 in Skibberean and died in 1882 in Kinsale. Edith Minnie and Alfred Edwin were born 1877/1878 at Waterford and Arthur Ernest was born 25th July 1882 in Kinsale (All the for these children are recorded in a tiny family birthday book lent to me by my nephew). Searching through some irish records recently, I came across an Ellen Bridle born abt 1860 at Ovaca and a James W. born at Arklow, Waterford, and also Rebecca Eliza born 1864 in Ovaca. (By my reckoning I am still 2 children short of the 13 recorded on the 1911 census!) I have a copy of his service history between years 1873 and 1890, serving on ships. Vanguard, Iron Duke, Topaz, and Belle Isle.
Finally James W Bridle No3! Born ?Arklow 1863, married Janet Rose Flower 1895 at Blean in Kent, had 3 daughters.In census 1881 he can be found aboard "Tenedos"1901 he was stationed at Gt Wakering, Essex, 1903 he was at Winterton in Norfolk where daughter Anabel was born, 1904 he was listed as chief boatman at Winterton. In 1911 he was stationed at Ramsgate- 2 daughters, Janet and Kathleen were born at Swalecliffe(1896 and 1897). At some date after this he was transferred to Holyhead , Anglesey where he died in 1935.
Thus it would appear from this lengthy account that there may have been 3 generations of Coastguards in our Bridle family. If only we could find out for certain who the parents of J.W No3 were? And also where to look for a more detailed service record of James W No 1?
Many thanks for taking the time to read this and my apologies for this lengthy epistle but if anyone can advise, I should be very grateful.
Hi Izzey,and welcome to the Forum.

I think I might be able to throw a little light onto your problem, also perhaps the same amount of doubt!

I undertook a research project to identify all those CG's who had served in the Navy during the Crimean War, amongst them was a JW Bridle, who, according to HMS Gladiator's ships description book, was born in Devonport around 1833. His Baltic medal was sent to Kinsale CG District in 1857. The problem for me was that in the CG Establishment Books for this period no JW Bridle was stationed in the district. However, your post has prompted me to look at the other men on Gladiator who received this medal, and a number of them were from Revenue Cruisers not land based CG Stations.

As a medal collector I had previously bought a Naval Long Service Good Conduct medal to a James Bridle born in Launceston in 1835. After some research I found he had entered the CG Service from Revenue Cruisers in the April of 1862. Having read your post I believe the man who received my medal, and the JWB above are the same man, and the reason I could not find him on land is that he was still serving in RC's in 1857.

Having now looked at again JWB (1st) I think my assumptions are wrong, and that I made a transcription error re his age. It is in fact he who was awarded the Baltic Medal, because Dirk Cove is in the Kinsale District.

More importantly for you is that RC JWB first posting as a land based CG was to Arklow. I'm therefore inclined to think that your JWB (2nd) was JWB (3rds) father.

You can view JWB's (2nd) Long Service medal here, awarded in 1875 when rated Chief Boatman in Charge.


I hope this all makes sense. As an aside I once lived in Great Wakering.


Merged on 19/01/2012 17:34:24:
Izzey you asked about JWB Snrs service. Using the CG Establishments Books I've constructed his CG career.

Nominated from HMS Jupiter (a troop ship) on 27 August 1835, with a first posting to Hastings on 3 Sept. 1835 (ADM 175/6 pdf 196). He was examined at Gosport.
18 Dec.1839 to Tillingham, Essex (ADM 175/6 pdf 671)
8 March 1841 to Whitstable - promoted Commissioned Boatman removed to Tankerton
26 March 1842 to Tankerton (ADM 175/6 pdf 70)
20 May 1846 to Whitenose - reason given 'Ill health' (ADM 175/7 pdf 71)
17 July 1846 to Portland
6 January 1847 to Preston
18 May 1847 to Mousehole (ADM 175/7 pdf 376)
16 February 1850 to Dirk Cove (ADM 175/7 pdf 509) Promoted Chief Boatman in Charge
18 June 1860 to Dunbeacon (ADM 175/19 pdf 120)
12 Feb 1863 to Dirk Cove

After this I cannot find him, but it cannot be long before he was pensioned.

Edited by crimea1854 on 20/01/2012 08:28
Martin, I cannot thank you enough for your patience and time in searching through all those records to try to sort out the confusion. I had no idea how I was going to find the records for JWB (1st ) and we have only been able to piece together some of the information from the dates and places of birth of his children. So to receive all the detailed information you sent re his naval service is fantastic. Many many thanks. It does seem likely that he would have retired sometime after 1871 because I have not found him on census then but he appears, retired,on 1881 census, living in Penzance with his family and there he died in 1890. It is interesting to note that his 4 sons, all pursued R.N careers. Would it have been customary for wives and families to move with husbands' postings? I notice that son, Edwin John born Whitstable in 1845 entered the Greenwich Hospital School in 1855 when the rest of the family was presumably in Ireland.
The Naval records show that JWB (no2) was born on 27th Jan 1835 and this tallies with the family birthday book,but despite attempts to find evidence of this in the parish records for Cornwall (Launceston) nothing has come to light so far. There is a record of a christening in Morice St, Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Devonport , Plymouth on 2nd Feb 1835 but with birth date 27th Jan 1835 and naming James W (no1) and Jane Bridle as parents. However this child was recorded as William Henry! No further records for this William Henry can be found and JW (no1) and wife Jane had another son named William Henry, born in Dirk in 1851!! Although I never like to make assumptions when tracing family history, it would appear that the name recorded for the christening may have been entered in error! But of course, it has added even more to the confusion!
Your information and picture about JW's medal is quite fascinating and I would be most interested to know how it came your way. It's good to know it is in safe hands.
I understand from the Naval records that in 1856 / 1857, JWB2 was serving on "Eliza". Would this have been a Revenue Cruiser and would you know where he would likely to have been based at that time? I found a record of his marriage to Ellen Harris at ? Rincurran, Kinsale in 1858.
I certainly shall follow up all the leads you have passed on to me, and am absolutely delighted to have found some more missing pieces in the family puzzle, thanks to your help..
I should also like to add that I think "Coastguards of Yesteryear" is an excellent website, offering such a mine of useful information and hints.

Hi Izzey

I'm pleased that the information was of interest.

One of the attractions of a man becoming a Coastguard was the ability to keep his family with him. In JWB Snrs time most men lived in rented accommodation, it was only in the 1860's that there was a major building programme of CG accommodation linked to the Stations.

Your assumption that Eliza was a Revenue Cruiser is correct. If you wished to try and trace her movements your best bet is to consult her Muster Book at the National Archives (ADM 119/36), unfortunately this can only be done in person.

Similarly if you wanted to know more about JWB Snrs career in the Navy, which commenced in 1821, you should order his pension application online from the National Archives (ADM 29/73/444 also ADM 29/50/73). Using their online ordering facility this takes about 3 weeks. If this were to confirm his entitlement to the Baltic Medal I would be grateful if you could let me know.

I note that Ellen Harris' father was a John Harris ( There was a John Harris working as a Coastguard in Kinsale District. Given the number of men who married into other CG families, I would not mind betting this is another instance, although I do conceed that Harris is quite a common name.

If a can be of any further help please come back to the Forum.

Edited by crimea1854 on 20/01/2012 17:14
It would appear that J.W.B 1 served as boatman on H.M.S Gladiator 1855/56 and was awarded a Baltic Medal, to CG at Kinsale 23/4/ 1857. (JWB2 served with "Eliza"from1853-1857.) And JWB3 would still have been just a "twinkle in his Dads eye" at the time of the Crimean War!
Thanks Izzey, I can now correct my database re JWBs 1. age. Can I ask how did you manage to establish this so quickly?

Hi Martin,
I recall a family conversation some years ago now when I was told that one of "our Bridle boys" in Ireland had received a medal for services in Crimea war. By chance I recently found the pertinent record and image of record can be tracked via Ancestry/UK, Naval medal and Award Rolls 1793-1792 but of course, I needed to confirm just which of the JW's it referred to.

Thanks again, Izzey
Pamela 62
Hi Im new to this forum my interst is James william Bridle born Aklow 4 Nov 1864 he married Janet Rose Flower in Hern Bay Kent [rg district Blean } could this be your no3 James Bridle your looking for
Regards PamSmile
Good Evening
The John Harris mentioned, I have a John Harris, coastguard, born Flushing, Cornwall abt 1808, he came off HM Packet Stanmer in 1832, to Lighthouse,Cork,Kinsale, 1839 Upper Cove,Cork,Kinsale,1860 How Strand, Cork,Kinsale, 1862 Upper Cove,Cork,Kinsale, then it gets vague in 1866 when he is transferred to Limerick....... he was married to Rebecca, no surname as yet, and I have found 7 children, of which the girls, including an Ellen all married in Rincurran, the boys alas joined the RN and married all over the place.................Hope this is of help
I would not mind betting this is another instance, although I do conceed that Harris is quite a common name.

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carole durix
I have a marriage certificate dated 22Feb 1858 for James William Bridle, Mariner son ofJames Bridle, Coastguard of Summer Cove and Ellen Harris, daughter of John Harris, Coastguard, Summer Cove. They were married after banns in Rincurran parish church.
I am trying to trace the whereabouts of missing medals that were awarded to my forefathers, while they were in RN or Coastguards and I noticed that Martin has the Long Service Good Conduct medal awarded to my great grandfather James William Bridle. But wondering if there is any way to track down who now has his Baltic medal?

Unfortunately all Baltic medals awarded to men in the RN were issued unnamed, so unless JWB had his medal privately engraved there is no way you will find the medal specifically awarded to him. As part of the work on my data base I try and record every extant medal to CG men who served during the Crimean War, this includes medals for both prior and later service i.e. the Naval General Service Medal or the LSGC Medal, but to date I have no knowledge of JWB's Baltic Medal.

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