Jarman Family History

History Page 8


History Main Page

History Page 7

Family Tree - Main Chart





This page covers those of the children of Alfred John Jarman (1843-1904) who survived into adulthood:  Robert Alfred Jarman, Daisy Jarman, Harold Jarman, Gordon James Jarman, Jessie Jarman, and Lillian Jarman.   For Alfred John Jarman, see Page 7.



Robert Alfred Jarman (1871-1932)


Robert Alfred Jarman – known as ‘Alf’ Jarman[1] – appears to have had a breach with his father as a young man.[2]  He left home at an early age and, after a period living with his uncle, Jim Recknell,[3] he had joined the Royal Marines by April 1891.[4]   In 1892, however, Alf Jarman appears to have deserted from the Marines and enlisted in the Army – the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers – under the alias ‘Alfred Andrews’.[5]   It is not known why he did this, but, later in life, he wrote to his brother, Harold Jarman, strongly advising him not to join the Navy (the Marines were, and are, part of the Royal Navy): “I can assure you that sea life is a very rough one. It’s not as you picture it”.[6]


After six months’ service (and an early promotion to corporal) Alf Jarman was found out and put on trial for ‘fraudulent enlistment’.  The Army seems to have given him a second chance and his only punishment was to be reduced to the ranks and to have his previous 6 months’ service disregarded. He was not tried for desertion from the Marines. But a month later, in November 1892, he deserted again.  He was 20. By August 1894 he had given himself up (or was apprehended) and re-joined his regiment.  He was given a prison sentence of 84 days for desertion and, after release, returned to duty in November 1894.[7]


It is not known whether the breach with his father pre-dated these events or if his misconduct in the Marines and the Army was the reason for it.  In any event, neither his father nor sister were ever in contact with him again. Later, in 1903, he wrote:


“As regards our father I never hear from him. I wrote to him about 2 years ago but he never answered and I don’t suppose he ever will and it is just the same with our sister Daisy. The two of them know where I am but I am not in their line I suppose”.[8]


There seems to be an implication in this that it was more his fault than his father’s behaviour that caused the rift. He also wrote:


“never take it into your head that you know best.  I did that when I started in life, & see what it did for me.  I’ve wandered all over the world since and have never done anything good for myself.”[9]


The Tirah Campaign covered on the Front page of the London weekly, 'The Graphic' 22 Jan. 1898





After re-joining the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Robert Alfred Jarman spent the next 11 years serving with the 2nd Battalion overseas.  His first posting was India,[10] and would have been stationed mainly at Ferozepore (modern Firozpur), a major army base in north west India.[11]  In 1897 and 1898, he saw active service in the ‘Tirah Campaign’, a short war with the Afridi tribesmen on the turbulent North West Frontier.[12]


In January 1902 Alf Jarman was transferred with his Battalion to South Africa for the final months of the Boer War (which had begun in 1899).[13]   He was mainly stationed in the southern Transvaal,[14] but the Battalion took little part in the fighting and the war was over by May.  Alf wrote to Harold in July 1902 that


 “the Boers are all leaving the refugee camps and are going back to their farms with one or two exceptions, and you never hear them mention anything or criticize the war and seem to take kindly to their new government”[15].  



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Drawing of a Royal Inniskilling Fusilier,

by Alf Jarman in 1903 while in S. Africa                                                            



In October 1903 he was transferred with the Battalion to Egypt and was based in or near Cairo for the next three years. Eventually, he arrived back in England in October 1906 and, at the age of 35, obtained his long awaited discharge from the army at the end of that year.[16]


On his return to England he found employment as a clerk in Hertfordshire. Just three months after his return Robert Alfred Jarman married Lilian Jackson, a domestic servant. They were both living in Wheathampstead.[17]  They had no children of their own, but adopted a boy named Patrick William Gooley.[18]  It is not known how or why the adoption came about.


With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Alf Jarman re-joined the Army, having been in the Territorial reserve since 1911. He was not posted to the front in France (presumably because of his age: he was 43) and instead worked as a clerk in the 5th London regiment in various offices in South East England.  Having been promoted to Colour Sergeant, he was discharged from the Army because of ‘injury’:  in 1915, he suffered a hernia while opening a window in an army building. The sash broke and Alf strained himself catching the falling window.  A Court of Enquiry was convened to determine whether it was a ‘self-inflicted injury’ and determined that it was not, and that it had happened “during the performance of his duties”. He was therefore entitled to an army disability pension.[19]


After the war, he lived in Greenwich and worked as a night watchman.[20]  Although Alf had corresponded with Harold Jarman while he was abroad, he appears to have had little or no contact with the family on his return. He died in 1932 aged 60. Lilian outlived him.[21]



Blanche (Agnes ‘Daisy’) Jarman (b.1872)


Little is known of Daisy Jarman other than that she became a nurse.  In 1901 she was living and working at the Princess Alice Hospital in Eastbourne, Sussex[22]



The Younger Children


With the Recknell family 1900-1910


Alfred John Jarman’s younger surviving children - Ethel Lilian Jarman (‘Lily’), Harold Jarman, Gordon James Jarman (‘Don’), and Jessie Dorothea Jarman – had been taken into the homes of their late mother’s family, the Recknells, by at least 1901.[23]  Harold and Lily were living with their mother’s brother and his wife, James and Maria Recknell in Hackney in East London.[24]  James Recknell was an undertaker. Don and Jessie were taken in by their mother’s sister, Mary Ann (‘Aunt Polly’) Edis (née Recknell) in Herne Hill in South London.[25]


All survived into adulthood, although Lily Jarman who had not married, died in 1911 of heart disease aged 24.[26]


Since 1910


           Harold Jarman (on right) in France during WWI

Harold Jarman (known as ‘Jim’) worked for the Recknell undertakers' business.  In June 1914 he married Amy Godden[27] and, four months after the outbreak of World War I, joined the 83rd Company of the Royal Army Service Corps (Mechanical Transport) on 4 December 1914. He was sent to France to join the British Expeditionary Force seven days later. He served in France as a heavy vehicles' driver until 1919,[28] and his unit participated in some of the major battles of the war, including Paschendaele and the Somme.[29]


After the war, he became a pig and poultry farmer in Surrey. He died in 1967. Amy and Harold Jarman had two sons: Edmund Jarman (‘Ted’) and Richard Jarman (‘Dick’). Their descendants live in South East England. (See Family Tree 1 - Main Chart.)


Don Jarman joined the Army in March 1915 and served in Britain until 1917. At the end of 1915 he married Rose Godden,[30] Amy Godden’s sister.  On 1 August 1917 he was sent to France to join the British Expeditionary Force. However, he was sent back to Britain on 19 November 1917, having contracted ‘trench fever’.  He returned to France in June 1918 and remained there after the War was over - until May 1919. He was discharged the following month.[31]  After the War, he became a journalist with Associated Press and served as lobby and diplomatic correspondent in the 1930s. Don and Rose Jarman had three children: James Edwin Jarman (‘Jim’), John David Jarman, and Robert Geoffrey Jarman (‘Bob’). Don died of TB in 1939 and his wife and three sons emigrated to New Zealand, where his descendants now live.  See Family Tree 11.


In August 1915, Jessie Jarman married Henry Felix Mullan, a doctor serving in the Army Medical Corps. She was still living with the Recknell family at the time.[32]  They had one son, John Felix Mullan born in 1916.[33]  He also became a doctor and practised in Southampton.[34]   He died in 1989.[35] John Mullan had a number of descendants who continued to live in Southampton (see Family Tree 1 - Main Chart).




Harold and Amy’s Wedding, June 1914.

Standing (from left to right): Jessie jarman (probably), unknown woman, Gordon Jarman, unknown girl, William Godden (Amy’s father),

Clara Godden nee Ceeney (her mother), Rose Godden (her sister, who would marry Gordon). Unknown boy in the front.



History Main Page

History Page 7

Family Tree - Main Chart


[1] As he signs himself in letters to Harold from South Africa and Egypt 1902 to 1905

[2] Referred to in letters to Harold dated 11.7.1902 and 14.6.1903

[3] Referred to in his letter to Harold dated 23 Nov. 1902

[4] 1881 census: with the 1st Division, Royal Marine Light Infantry at Chatham (RG12/655 f.141)

[5] British Army pension records the National Archives (TNA) WO364: joined 16 April 1892 (Attestation)

[6] Letter dated 21.9.1903

[7] British Army pension records TNA WO364

[8] Letter to Harold dated 14.6.1903

[9] Letter to Harold dated 16.4.1904

[10] 8.2.95 to 28.1.02, pension records as above

[11] Overseas service of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers:  Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth (http://web.archive.org/web/20071117235701/www.regiments.org/deploy/uk/reg-inf/108.htm). Other locations in India were Chakratta and Dalhousie.

[12] He received a campaign medal with “2 clasps”: pension records, as above

[13] British Army pension records TNA WO364

[14] Pension records as above and letters to Harold written from South Africa 1902/1903. Locations: Vereeniging, Mafeking, Potchefstroom and Pretoria.

[15] Letter dated 11.7.02 from Vereeniging, Transvaal.

[16] British Army pension records TNA WO364; Letters to Harold 1903-1905

[17] Married 15 Jan.1907, Wheathampstead, Hertforshire (Marriage cert.)

[18] Born 17.10.1912, Bognor, illegitimate son of Madge Gooley a domestic servant.  There was no formal legal adoption process at this time.  Alf stated he had adopted Patrick  in documents dated 1917  included in his military pension records.

[19] Military pension records as above

[20] Same Greenwich address in pension records in 1920 as on his Death Cert.Occupation of  ‘night watchmen’ in Death Cert.

[21] Died 21 Jan. 1932, 14 Artizan Dwellings, Dutton St. (Death cert.)

[22] 1901 Census; TNA RG13/882 f.121. She is using the name Agnes at this point.

[23] They were living with these families at the time of the 1901 Census. See below.

[24] 46 Dalston Lane: 1901 Census RG 13/226 f.56

[25] 17 Mayall Road:1901 Census RG 13/430 f.154

[26] 25.2.1911 Death cert.

[27] 10 June 1914, All Saints, Haggerston, London (Marriage cert.)

[28] Army pension record at TNA WO364

[29] Memories of the 71st & 83rd Companies RASC MT 1914-1918 by S. J. Levy, published privately 1931

[30] 9 October 1915, All Saints, Haggerston, London (Army pension record at TNA WO364)

[31] Army pension record at TNA WO364

[32] 16.8.1915, Catholic Church of Our Lady & St Joseph, Tottenham Rd., Kingsland, Hackney (Marriage cert.)

[33] 10.8.1916, 66 Brooke Road, Stoke Newington

[34] Medical Register annually to 1974. He then retired to Cornwall.

[35] Quarter 4, Southampton (GRO Death index)