Ancestors of Mandy Willard

Number of pages

in this site:


Please bear this in mind when you contact me, as I can not always remember what I've said where.  It would be really helpful if you could tell me the page title or URL you are contacting me about.


Links to other pages in this site or other websites are in BLUE or RED.


Family History is my hobby.  I am not a professional genealogist.


Thank you for taking the time to view my humble effort.  Also, a very BIG THANK YOU to all those who have kindly contributed information.


Please check the data for yourself against original sources.


Tip:  You may need to hit your F5 key to see any changes to the page since your last visit.



Benjamin BOURNER (1846-?)

and Ruth HONEYSETT (1848-?)


Benjamin Bourner and Ruth Honeysett married in the third quarter of 1867 in the Hailsham, Sussex registration district.  (They were not my direct ancestors, but they were the 2x Great Grandparents of my cousin Julie Willard.)

Benjamin Bourner was born in the third quarter of 1846 in Dallington, Sussex and baptised there on 16 August 1846.  He was the son of William Bourner (1822-?) and Eliza Tedham (1819-?).  At the time of the 1851 census he was 4 years old and living with his parents at Red Pale House Farm in Dallington.  In 1861 he was a 14 year old agricultural labourer and living with his parents.

Ruth Honeysett was born in the second quarter of 1848 in Warbleton, Sussex.  She was the daughter of David Honeysett (1818-?) and Hannah Burgess (1820-?).  At the time of the 1851 census she was 3 years old and living with her parents in Warbleton.  Her father was then an agricultural laboruer.

(For more details about David Honeysett and his ancestors please see:  (Hannah Burgess was the daughter of Michael Burgess and Ruth Barton.)

When the 1871 census was recorded the couple and 2 daughters were living in Bodle Street, within the parish of Herstmonceux.  Benjamin was a 24 year old agricultural labourer and Ruth was 23.

In 1881 the family were still living in Bodle Street.  Benjamin was a 34 year old agricultural labourer and Ruth was 33.  With them on census night were 4 of their children.

At the time of the 1891 census the couple and 4 sons were living at Boship Cottage in Hellingly, Sussex.  Benjamin was a 44 year old agricultural labourer and Ruth was also said to be 44.

In 1901 the couple and 2 of their sons were living in Churchyard, Hellingly.  Benjamin was then a 55 year old ordingary agricultural labourer and Ruth was 54.  The family also had 3 boarders living with them.

When the 1911 census was recorded the couple together with their sons Charles and Arthur, and his wife, were living in Hawks Road, Hailsham/Hellingly.  Benjamin was a 64 year old farm labourer and Ruth was 63.


Benjamin Bourner and Ruth Honeysett had 8 known children:

  1. Ruth Rebecca Bourner was born in the first quarter of 1868 in Warbleton.  She was 3 years old in 1871.

  2. Naomi Ann Bourner was born in the first quarter of 1870 in Warbleton.  She was a year old in 1871.  In 1881 she was an 11 year old scholar.

  3. William John Bourner was born in the second quarter of 1872.  He was an 8 year old scholar in 1881.

  4. Elizabeth Bourner was born in the second quarter of 1874 in Hailsham.  She was a 6 year old scholar in 1881.

  5. James Bourner was born born in the third quarter of 1876 in Herstmonceux or Warbleton.  In 1881 he was 4 years old.  He was a 14 year old agricultural labourer in 1891 and the eldest of his siblings living at home.

  6. Joseph Bourner was born about 1882 in Warbleton.  He was a 9 year old scholar in 1891.

  7. Arthur Bourner was born in the fourth quarter of 1888 in Hellingly.  In 1891 he was 2 years old.  He was a 12 year old worker in the rope factory when the 1901 census was recorded.  He died on 28 September 1916 and was buried in the Connaught cemetery, Thiepval, France.

    Arthur married Florence Kathleen Foord on 7 January 1911 in Hellingly.

    (Please see:

    Florence was born on 12 June 1887 at Starnash in Upper Dicker, Sussex and baptised in Upper Dicker on 17 July 1887.  She was the daughter of John Foord (1867-1907) and Elizabeth Ellen Mitchell (1866-1896).  She died on 3 June 1952.

    Arthur and Florence may have had the following children:

    1. Florence E. Bourner was born in the fourth quarter of 1911 in the Hailsham registration district.  She may have married Albert Angel in the third quarter of 1932 in the Hammersmith registration district.

    2. Rosanna Maud Bourner was born on 30 April 1913.  She died on 16 or 24 June 1986.

      Rosanna married Hubert Lawrence Streeter in the fourth quarter of 1937 in the Hailsham registration district.

    3. Lilian Rose Bourner was born on 16 April 1915 in the East Grinstead registration district.

    4. Dorothy Rose Bourner was born on 16 March 1917 in the Hailsham registration district.  She died on 6 February 1995.

      Dorothy married Ernest J. Doggett and Henry Dawson.

  8. Charles Bourner was born in 1891 in Hellingly.  He married Alice Cooper in 1913.  (They have their own page.)



1901 census (RG13/891, folio 55, page 1)

Churchyard, Hellingly, Sussex

Benjamin Bourner, Head, M, 55, Ordinary Agricultural Labourer, worker, born Sussex Dallington

Ruth Bourner, Wife, M, 54, born Sussex, Warbleton

Arthur Bourner, Son, S, 12, Rope Factory Pulling down, worker, born Sussex, Hellingly

Charles Bourner, Son, S, 10, born Sussex, Hellingly

Bert Pettitt, Boarder, S, 20, Journeryman Baker, worker, born Sussex Upper Dicker

Edward Dodd, Boarder, S, 22, Bricklayer, worker, born Sussex, Steyning

James Crawley, Boarder, S, 37, Bricklayer, worker, born London, Whitechapel


1911 census (RG14PN4881 RG78-N211 RD72 SD2 ED10 SN96)

Hawks Road, Hailsham/Hellingly, Sussex

Benjamin Bourner, Head, Married, M, 64, Farm Labourer, born Sussex, Hollington

Ruth Bourner, Wife, Married 45 years, F, 63, born Sussex, Warbleton

Charles Bourner, Son, Single, M, 20, Farm Labourer, born Sussex, Hellingly

Arthur Bourner, Son, Married, M, 22, Cowman on Farm, born Sussex, Hellingly

Florence Kathleen Bourner, Daugther in Law, Married under one year, F, 23, born Sussex, Hellingly



I have copied the following from (just in case the site disappears from the web)


Arthur Bourner, died 28 September 1916

Photograph courtesy of Mark Milton & John Streeter

Although Arthur lived for a time in Ringmer he was born in Lower Dicker and his parents Benjamin and Ruth had their home in Hellingly.  Furthermore it was to Upper Horsebridge, Hellingly that Arthur's wife Florence Kathleen moved after his death.  Indeed he is honoured on Hellingly War Memorial as well as on our own.

Arthur originally enlisted at Lewes into the Royal Sussex Regiment as a Private with number 10689.  He was transferred to the 7th Battalion of the Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) and given the new number G/24552.  It was not, however, until after 1915 that Private Bourner joined his unit as part of the 18th (Eastern) Division in France.  This limited his medal entitlement to the British War & Victory Medals.

A fairly quiet few months passed before the commencement of the Battles of the Somme.  On the opening day, 1st July 1916, the area attacked by Arthur Bourner's Division near Montauban was one of the few to be successfully breached and held.  The 7th Queen's 159 fatal casualties, with many more wounded, were considered 'light' when compared to other units.  No real let up occurred and the 18th Division fought several more desperate battles in July before being relieved during August.  The time was spent in intensive training for a major offensive during September against the fortified village of Thiepval.  The attack against there on 1st July by the 36th (Ulster) Division had been a costly failure and many brave Irish lads died in the attempt.  Now it was the turn of the 18th Division with Arthur Bourner in the 7th Queen's.  After two days desperate hand to hand fighting the remains of Thiepval were taken.  The next objective was a German strong point on the ridge overlooking Thiepval, 1,000 yards to the north, and known as Schwaben Redoubt.  It was a complex interlocking trench system well fortified for all round defence

The 7th Queen's formed up for the attack under the watchful eye of a German observation balloon, which rendered all attempts at surprise null and void.  Although supported by the exhausted Division there was only one other battalion in the first wave.  They moved forward at 1pm on 28th September 1916 and took intermediate defence lines with few casualties.  Inch by inch the ground up to the Redoubt was won and then a furious struggle took place for possession of the individual posts at the Schwaben Redoubt.  Many machine gun nests were bombed into silence by expert grenade throwing and sniping of exposed enemy heads.  Little by little the bastion was wrestled from the Germans during the course of that and the following day

The capture of Schwaben Redoubt cost the 7th Queen's some 395 casualties, many fatal, including Private Arthur Bourner.  He is buried in Connaught Cemetery, at the foot of the rise, the capture of which cost him his life at the age of 28.

Grave of Arthur Bourner, Connaught Cemetery, Thiepval, France

Adapted from Valiant Hearts of Ringmer by Geoff Bridger: Ammonite Press, 1993



This page was reviewed on 9 April 2012