Avis Emptage had a difficult and complicated life but in 1913 she married Harold Harding and could have hoped for years of happiness to come. Alas, it wasn’t to be.
For more than 100 years, child migration schemes removed children from their families and friends and the places they knew. The children were sent to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Rhodesia. Supposedly to give children with poor lives a better chance, it was also a means of increasing the population of these still new countries. At least three of the children were Emptages.
We honour the memory of all our ancestors who played their part in World War One at home or away.
So we are pleased to present short biographies of all those whose names we have found in the military records.
Henry Thomas Emptage lied about his age when he enlisted at only 16. He had already lost both his parents and no doubt saw a life in the Army as a way out of poverty and an opportunity for travel and excitement and it may have helped him deal with an very tragic personal life. His career in the army saw him serve in two wars before being called up to serve again at the outbreak of WW1.
Like many of his generation, Charles Frederick Emptage lied about his age when he enlisted in 1909, probably to escape the poverty many of people in England suffered. He saw service in Singapore and India and on the outbreak of war in 1914 he returned to England and was posted to Belgium early in 1915.
Emily Sophia Wallis married Walter Dansy Emptage in 1920 when she was 22.
My mother had told me that Emily was adopted and I thought that there was little chance of finding her birth mother. However, thanks to the resourcefulness of Joan Leary, a member of Team Emptage, I was able to trace Emily’s birth.
Given her adoption, I expected Emily’s birth to be a sad event but I found the circumstances were even more upsetting than I expected.