Monday, March 16, 2015

M2/074635 Private Peter Bishop, Army Service Corps

Peter Bishop appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales at Lindfield, Sussex where it is noted that he is the head of the family, aged 24 (born in Chailey) and working as a market gardener.  With him on the census are his wife Esther Bishop (aged 22), his daughter, also Esther Bishop (aged three) and his son, another Peter Bishop (aged one).  Peter Bishop senior’s birth was registered in the December quarter of 1876 at Lewes. 

Ten years earlier, when the census was taken in 1891 he was living at Leylands Farm, Chailey, the household comprising his father, Peter Bishop (head, aged 48 and working as an agricultural labourer) and his wife Mary Anne Bishop (aged 49).  The couple had four children with them at the time: Peter (aged 14, also working as an agricultural labourer), Edward Bishop (aged ten), William Bishop (aged eight) and Barbara Bishop (aged six).

Ten years before that, Peter Bishop appears on the 1881 census at Bonners, Lindfield in Sussex.  He appears as the five year old nephew of the head of the household, Hannah Betchley, a widowed farmer aged 66.  With Mrs Betchley are her daughter Emma Betchley (aged 25) and another nephew, Joseph Bristow aged 27.

Chailey Parish Magazine reports in October 1915 that a Private P Bishop is serving with the ASC in France and I am presuming that this is the Peter Bishop who appears on the 1881 census and not his son as he would only have been around 16 or 17 years old.  His regimental number was M2/074635. Bishop, Pte P, ASC, features in Chailey Parish Magazine up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919.

Chailey resident Reg Philpott remembers that, “there were Bishops who lived at Leylands Farm and worked for my great grandfather Knight.  Peter Bishop lived here with his family and he was killed at Offham chalk pit; I don’t know how.  This would have been after the First War.  Peter Bishop and his family lived here about 1900.”  As there were at least three generations of Peter Bishops (mentioned above), I am uncertain at this point in time, which of them was killed at Offham. 

I believe though that the E Bishop listed in Chailey Parish Magazine as serving during the First World is Peter’s brother, Edward Bishop.

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