ABSOLOM, Henry R. J.



































With permission 



ABSOLOM, Henry Richard James

Information found on Ancestry shows a life story that states Henry Richard James was born in Reading Berkshshire, England April 1893 to Charles age 39 and mother Catherine age 35. He had five brothers and three sisters. Father was born 1853 and died in 1902. Mother’s maiden name was Catherine Jane Susannah Povery, she was born 1857 and died 1902.

A 1901 English Census shows family in Reading, Berkshire with mother Catherine, father Charles as head of house, and the following family members Henry, son, Albert, son. Don’t know where Ernest is?

It is interesting to note that on that census there is also a Charles W. Absolom age 23 with wife Florence age 21 and a 3-month old child Charles living same address 12 Coley Street.

 Also on Ancestry there is a marriage record for Albert Edward Absolom age 21, born in Reading England, marrying Hazel Adelaide Townson in Haldimand County, Ontario Canada. 16 July 1919. He also came to Canada on the Dominion with his brothers Henry and Ernest (?).  As there are three children listed with the last name of Absolom on this ship.

Albert has numerous entries on the BHC site on LAC. Library Archives Canada.

1905, H. Absolom arrived with 433 children, including his brother A. E. Absolom, males to Toronto and Winnipeg.

On February 1, 1915, Henry Abslom, 22, farm labourer, returned to England on SS Scandinavian. 

Henry Richard James Absolom then enlisted in the English Army with the Royal Engineers 33rd Signal Division.

He died May 13, 1917 in France.

He is buried in the Boyelles Communal Cemetery Extension. On the data on the find a grave site it states he is the son of Charles and Kathleen Jane Absolom which is different than that found on the Census information and birth information.

He was awarded the British Military Medals the Victory and British War Medals.




With permission








From the BHCARA BHC Registry

A marriage was registered between Charles Absolom and Catherine Jane S. Povey: Year of Registration: 1876; Quarter of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec; District: Reading (1837-1974); County: Berkshire; Volume: 2c; Page: 889. 

A birth registration was found for Henry Richard J. Absolom: Year of Registration: 1893; Quarter of Registration: Apr-May-Jun; District: Reading (1837-1974); County: Berkshire; Volume: 2c; Page: 356.

In 1905, H. Absolom arrived with 433 children, including his brother A. E. Absolom, males to Toronto and Winnipeg; and the females to Peterborough. There were nine adults on the end of the list who were traveling with the group. Frederick Franks, a boy aged 7, was listed as going to Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

On February 1, 1915, Henry Abslom, 22, farm labourer, returned to England on SS Scandinavian. 

On May 13, 1917, Henry Richard James Absolom, 24, was killed in action in France, he was a driver and part of the Royal Engineers, 33rd Division Signal Company. He is buried in the Boyelles Communal Cemetery Extension. He was said to be the son of Charles and Kathleen Jane Absolom, born in Reading. Henry posthumously received the Victory and British Medals.

From his family:

The parents of Henry & Albert were as mentioned before Charles & Catherine Absolom. Charles was a chimney sweep in the town of Reading where the family lived. They had a number of children, Charles 1877, George 1880, Eleanor 1884, Mary 1887, (Catherine 1889-1889), Henry 1893, (Ernest & Victor 1896-1896) and lastly Albert 1897. The two oldest children were born in Stoke Row where the Absolom family first came from but the rest of the family were born in Reading, Berkshire.

 Charles Absolom died in 1902. His wife then went on to marry a John Hopson in 1903. There is a report written on the family from that time stating, that through the illness of the stepfather the family had been undergoing great privation and their deep poverty was the reason why a Miss M Reay wrote to ask for the admission  to Dr Barnardo’s for the two boys, Henry & Albert. The mother was also subject to fits so she was also unable to work. Henry had nearly finished his school term but was unable to get work as he had no proper clothes or shoes. It does seem strange with such a large family that none of the uncles or brothers could look after the boys, but I guess life was a struggle for them all at that time.

 The two boys traveled on the SS Dominion on 3rd August 1905 and arrived in Quebec on 12th August 1905. Henry went to stay with a W. Levi Kronk in Selkirk, Ontario on 2nd September while his brother  Albert was sent to a Roydan Barnhort in Lowbanks, Ontario on 10th October.

 Henry received a Good Conduct medal from Dr Barnardo’s

 At the beginning of 1914 Henry traveled back to his home town of Reading. He worked for Simonds Ltd, a very large brewery in the town before he went into the army. He served in the army for 18 months, 15 of which were served in France. The letter sent to my grandmother stated he was killed by an enemy shell which came suddenly and he was hit in the arm and chest. It was a lovely sunny Sunday morning and Henry had been taking care of his horse doing his work. He is buried at the Boyelles Communal Cemetery.




British War Medal


British Victory Medal