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15. Edwin Chapman Cosstick

The Family of John Cosstick and Hannah Best
John Cosstick was baptised at Seaford, Sussex on 27 September 1794. He married Hannah Best at Seaford on 14 April 1818.

John and Hannah had ten children: Elizabeth in 1818; Edward in 1820; Susannah in 1822; Daniel in 1825; Thomas in 1827; William in 1829; Edwin 1832; Ann 1835; Emily 1838; and Walter in 1842. All were born at Seaford, Sussex. The families of these children are shown in the accompanying descendant charts.

Edward Cosstick - born 1820

Their first son Edward Cosstick, born in October 1820, married Frances Elizabeth Payne and had one child, Elizabeth Ann Cosstick in 1843 before Frances died. Edward's second wife was named Mary Anne and they had ten more children - William, in 1845, Sarah in 1848, John Walter in 1850, Walter, 1852, Thomas, 1854, Emily Edith, 1857, Richard James, 1859, Eliza Jane, 1862, and Charles born on 7 June 1866 at Seaford, Sussex. In 1851 the family of Edward and Mary Ann Cosstick lived at 4 Sutton Cottages in Seaford.

In 1866 Edward and Mary Anne's daughter Sarah Cosstick married David Walter. In 1873 her brother John Walter Cosstick married Louisa. In 1899 Sarah's son Ernest Walter married her cousin, John's daughter Eliza Louisa Cosstick, both of whom were born in 1875.

In 1881 the youngest of the family Charles Cosstick, aged 14 was living at the family home at North Sutton Cottage near Seaford with his father and mother, Mary Ann, then aged 56, and his unmarried 22 year old sister Emily Cosstick and her 8 year old daughter also called Mary Ann Cosstick. Charles was working as a farm labourer, as was his father Edward.

In 1887 at the age of 21 Charles, by then a bricklayer living at Church Street, Seaford, married his first cousin Olive Hanna Down (or Bryant) (daughter of his aunt Ann Cosstick) at Seaford and subsequently had a son named Charles Edward Cosstick born on 30 November 1889. At the time of the birth of their son Charles Cosstick was working as a bricklayer and the family was living at 9 Commercial Road, Clayton, in Sussex.

The son of Charles and Olive, Charles Edward Cosstick also became a bricklayer at Burgess Hill. He married Elizabeth Turner in Uckfield, Sussex, then after a brief time at Tunbridge Wells, he left London to emigrated to Sydney, Australia in 1913 at the age of 23. According to the passenger list he was accompanied by a 29 year old unnamed female Cosstick - probably Elizabeth. Charles and Elizabeth had three children including Ronald William Cosstick born in 1913. Charles Cosstick died at Wodonga in Victoria on 22 March 1957

Ronald William Cosstick subsequently had a son Ronald Charles Cosstick (b.1944).

Many of the descendants of Charles Edward Cosstick live in various parts of New South Wales and often get confused with the descendants of Samuel Cosstick, a well known cricket player, who came to Australia in 1856 with his five brothers. Sam Cosstick's descendants also live largely in New South Wales. The common connection between the two branches of the family goes back to Thomas Cosstick (or Coulstick) who was born at Alfriston in Sussex in 1757 and married Mary Green at St Leonards, Seaford in 1788. Sam Cosstick's line is descended from the son Samuel Cosstick (or Caustick) born in 1792, while the lines of Edwin and Edward are descended from Samuel's brother John Cosstick born in 1794.

Edwin Cosstick - born 1832

The seventh child of John Cosstick and Hannah Best was Edwin Cosstick. He married Sarah Ann Chapman. They had a son, Edwin John Cosstick in 1856, however Sarah died towards the end of 1858. By 1861 Edwin had married Charlotte Howell and subsequently had seven more children: Margaret in the latter half of 1861; Walter in 1863; Elizabeth in 1868; Louisa in 1870; Louisa Charlotte in 1874; Alice Jane in 1877; and William in 1881.

At the time of the 1881 Census the family was living at 6 Cinque Port Cottages in Seaford. Edwin’s occupation was a coachman. At home were his wife Charlotte, 17 year old son Walter, a Groom; daughters Edith,11, and Louisea, 7, both at school; four year old Alice; and 4 month old son William.

His first son Edwin John Cosstick, born at Seaford in 1856, married Louisa Smith and they had eight children, all of whom were given the middle name Chapman in memory of his father's first wife. The eight children were: Winifred; Edwin John Chapman born at Faithley, Waterford, Ireland on 21 October 1892; Daisy Dorothy in 1894; Charlotte; William; Gertrude; Edward (known as Ned); and George.

The 1911 Census of Waterford lists the family as being: Louisa Winifred C. Daughter Aged 19; Edwin John C. Son 18; Charlotte C. Daughter 12; William C. Son 7; Gertrude C. Daughter 6; Edward John C. Son 5; George C. Son 2(Born in England)*.

Edwin John Cosstick was later described by his son George as clever man, "good with his hands, making furniture, but also with his head, as when he joined the Royal Navy he was a ships' writer." He served with the Navy for 22 years then joined British Coastguards and was posted to Schull in south west Ireland. By 1894 he was posted to Strangford Loch in northern Ireland where his third child Daisy was born.

By 1914, by which time he would have been aged fifty-eight, Edwin had retired from his work with the coastguard and took a position as lockkeeper at a salmon farm at Knockboy near Waterford in south east Ireland.

Daisy Cosstick

Daisy Dorothy Cosstick was born at in Ireland in 1894 and her youngest brother, George, later recounted that as a girl Daisy used to open and shut the lock gates for her father. The cottage the family lived in still remains, albeit in ruins.

Daisy is not listed with the family in Waterford in the 1911 Census when she would have been aged seventeen. However in 1914 Daisy, then aged twenty, travelled to Sussex where she gave birth to a daughter, Beryl at Crossways House, Hellingly, Sussex on 12 December 1914. She registered the father as John Charles Costan a Domestic Coachman of Muddles Green and her own name as Daisy Costan of Chiddingly. Muddles Green is only about one mile from Chiddingly. Hellingly is several miles to the south-east of both. It appears that Daisy was not employed at the time for if she was she would have indicated her occupation on Beryl's birth certificate, as she later did for her second daughter.

Who was John Costan? Where did they meet? Were they even married? No record of marriage has been located. There are several possibilities.

If they were married it is possible that Daisy and John had found lodgings at Chiddingly while he worked at Muddles Green. If they were not married then anything is possible and Daisy may have falsified her name to make the relationship appear more respectable.

As for John Costan's work, many reasonably well-off families were able to employ a coachman and the occupation was not uncommon at the time. Some lived with their employers while others went to work from home each day. It is not known what John Costan did.

When and where did they meet? No other records of John Charles Costan have been found. However, people by the name of Costin did live around Waterford in Ireland and it is possible that John was a member of the Costin family of Waterford. No record of a marriage, if any, has been located, although many Irish records were destroyed in 1918. We could speculate that Daisy met John Costan, or Costin, at Waterford when she was eighteen or nineteen. She became pregnant and they returned to Sussex to have the child. It was certainly not uncommon. There was also a family that included males with the name of John Charles Costin living in Kent around the same time.

But married or not, John Charles Costan was not on the scene for long and soon Daisy was on her own. She sent young Beryl to be brought up by her grandparents in Ireland and went to London to work as a cook and housekeeper in Twickenham.

In 1921 Edwin and Louisa returned to Sussex from Ireland because of the Irish uprising and bought a house called Oak Cottage at Golden Cross near Chiddingly where the youngest son George, then aged 13 continued his schooling.

George was only six years old at the time of Beryl's birth in 1914, and he grew up thinking Beryl was a cousin. Beryl was never spoken of in the family as being Daisy's daughter and in later life Beryl was reluctant to talk about her parentage. The precise nature of the relationship between Daisy and the mysterious John Costan is therefore unknown.

Who was John Costan? Daisy had written her own name as Daisy Costan which suggests she was married to John Costan. But what if she wasn't married and her name was still Cosstick? And what if John Costan's name was also really Cosstick? A cousin perhaps. There were plenty of Cosstick cousins living in Sussex. Hardly the thing to talk about in the family. Although this is purely speculation it was certainly not unheard of and little George's belief that Beryl was his cousin may have had an element of truth in it.

While working in London Daisy became pregnant once again and gave birth to a second daughter, Elsie Kathleen Joan at 50 Kingston Hill, Kingston-Upon-Thames, in 1916. This time she did not register the name of the father at all and gave her own name as Daisy Cosstick and occupation as Domestic Cook of 139 Church Road, Teddington.

Daisy looked for another family to look after the baby. She found a couple who were willing to take the child and sent money to them from time to time but eventually ceased contact with the family. All efforts to trace her were unsuccessful. Kathleen, as the girl became known did not discover that the couple were not really her parents until she was thirteen.

On 13 April 1920 Daisy married Robert Morton who was some years older than her. Daisy was living at 28 Parkland Road, Hassocks (near Keymer) in Sussex, at the time of her marriage.

Robert Morton had been in the army and subsequently obtained a job as a gardener with the War Graves Commission. He was sent to France after his marriage to Daisy and their children were all born there. They were Gertrude in 1921; Tom in 1922; twins Yvonne and Bob in 1924; triplets Louisa, and two girls who died at birth in 1925; and finally two more twins Wilfred (known as Bill) and May in 1927.

Daisy's father Edwin John Cosstick died and was buried at Chiddingly in 1929. His wife Louisa died at Chiddingly in 1942.

In the early 1930s Daisy contracted TB and died in Hazebrouck in Northern France in 1932 aged thirty eight.

After Daisy's death Robert Morton brought a cousin over from Ireland to manage the children and eventually married her. It appears that Robert was something of a harsh disciplinarian and beat the children if he thought necessary. When the second world war approached, the girls were sent to a convent in Ireland and the boys to the Duke of York's Military School in Dover. They never lived as a family again.

Edwin John Chapman Cosstick

Daisy's older brother Edwin, born on 21 October 1892, emigrated to Canada in about 1910. Apparently he had decided to leave England and either to go to Bolivia or Canada because of an asthma condition and had heard that the western plains of Canada were high and dry. Although there seems to be no record of this voyage in 1910, there is a record of a 28 year old female, E.K.Cosstick, leaving Liverpool for Montreal, Canada in 1914; 31 year old female M.Costick leaving Liverpool for Quebec also in 1914; 23 year old male G.Costick also leaving liverpool for Quebec in 1920; and some others heading for Boston, New York, and for Sydney.

Edwin spent about a year employed in Ontario, and later at the "Home Bank" in Lethbridge, Alberta. It is reported that he was there in 1911 and worked as a junior accountant. It is reported that he had a very colorful life leaving the bank, becoming a minor official for a coal company in the Crowsnest Pass in the Rockies.

Edwin Chapman Cosstick's WWI RecordHe married in 1914 in the mining town of Blairmore, Alberta, but soon enlisted as a commissioned officer in a locally recruited batallion bound for England and France. His wife soon followed and a son Edwin Alex Cosstick was born in Shoreham-by-Sea, near Brighton, Sussex in 1918.

Before returning to Canada after the war Edwin took his family to Ireland to visit his relatives. Twins Kathleen and Frances were born were born in Canada on 28 November 1915*. Alex was born April 1918 and Dorothy Isobel was born at Crowsnest Pass on 3 September 1919*.

Edwin Chapman Cosstick died at Crowsnest Pass on 15 October 1987. His wife Ella Hastie (born 12 October 1893) died there on 30 November 1981.

Edwin Alexander Inglis Cosstick, born 1918, died on 2 July 2008.

COSSTICK, Edwin Alexander Inglis "Alex" Peacefully, with family by his side, Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at the age of 90. Predeceased by his parents Edwin Chapman Cosstick and Ella Hastie and his sisters, Frances, Kathleen and Dorothy. Faithful husband of Ruth, his wife of 63 years. Devoted father of Frances, Barbara (John Henderson), Cathy and Ted. Grand-dad of Sarah Henderson (David Westdal), Jeff Henderson (Liz McDermott), Adrian Cosstick, Emily Cosstick, and great-grand-dad of Finley Henderson. Ed leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, long-time neighbours and his many good friends at the Gloucester Senior Adults' Centre, to mourn his passing and celebrate his life. Ed lived a full and vibrant life distinguished by a strong devotion to his family, 25 years of proud service with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (including service with the No. 1 Provost Company overseas during World War II) and subsequent government service with the National Research Council of Canada. Ed was a profound lover of music, possessed a great tenor voice, and sang in many local choirs. He was dedicated to community service and traveled extensively for pleasure in Canada and abroad. Visitation will be at Rothwell United Church, 42 Sumac St., Ottawa on Thursday July 10 at 10 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at 11 a.m. Sincere appreciation to the caring staff at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, with special thanks to Gail, Elizabeth, Beth, Matina and Allan. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Ottawa Hospital Foundation or Salvation Army would be appreciated by the family.
Published in the Ottawa Citizen from 7/7/2008 - 7/9/2008

[Canadian researchers should note that while many Cossticks now living in Canada are descended from Edwin Chapman Cosstick, there are also many descended from Charles Cosstick who travelled from England to Australia during the 1850s, then to New Zealand and Canada during the 1860s.]
George Cosstick and HMS Ramillies

Daisy’s youngest brother, George, turned thirty in 1928. He had been working as a chauffer for R.C. Burton Rowe who was with Lloyds in London, but joined the navy at the approach of war and was stationed for the duration of the war on the old Royal Sovereign Class battleship HMS Ramillies.

HMS Ramillies had been built at Beardmore, completed at Cammell Laird, and launched on 12 September 1916. During the Second World War HMS Ramillies took part in the bombardment of Bardia on 18 August 1940. She also took part in the Battle of Cape Teudada. Ramillies had a crew of 1146 and was armed with eight 15-inch Guns, twelve 6-inch guns, eight 4-inch AA Guns and sixteen 2 pounder AA guns and one aircraft. The ship had a displacement of 29,150 tons and a top speed of 21.5 knots.

As a member of the crew of the Ramillies George was involved in Operation Ironclad on 7 May 1942 on the island of Madagascar and aimed at taking the base at Diego Suarez from Vichy French control. The operation itself was a success and the facilities at Diego Suarez were then used to service Allied vessels in the Indian Ocean

On 29 May 1942 HMS Ramillies, HMS Karanja, HMS Genista, HMS Thyme, HMS Duncan, HMS Active, the hospital ship Atlantis, the merchant ship Llandaff Castle and the tanker British Loyalty, were anchored at the port of Diego Suarez. Also in harbour was a fully loaded ammunition ship waiting to be off-loaded.

Unknown to the British fleet at Diego Suarez, a few weeks earlier the 1st division of the Japanese 8th Submarine Flotilla commanded by Rear Admiral Noboru Ishizaki had been instructed to sail into the Indian Ocean. There were five Fleet Submarines, three of which carried a Type "A" midget submarine, while two others carried a Yokosuka E14Y Reconnaissance Seaplane. Their mission was to attack as many Allied ships as they could find and to use their midget submarines to attack enemy warships in harbours wherever they could be found.

At about 4.20 a.m. on 30 May 1942 a Curtiss-type single-float biplane, was sighted as it flew over the Man-of-War anchorage in Sydney Harbour. It circled USS Chicago which was lying in the harbour, then departed due east.

Within an hour of the Sydney Harbour sighting, a similar aircraft circled HMS Ramillies lying at anchor in Diego Suarez Harbour, Madagascar. It was 10.30 p.m. on 29 May local time at Diego Suarez. It was not known that the aircraft was from Ishizaki's flagship and some thought it may have come from the Vichy controlled part of the island. Nevertheless an alert was issued and the Ramillies weighed anchor, steamed around the bay for a short time, then anchored again at a different berth.

A short time later, unknown to the British, at least two midget submarines were launched from the Japanese submarine fleet now lying ten miles from the Diego Suarez harbour. One was crewed by Ensign Katsusuke Iwase as Captain and Petty Officer Takazo Takata as the navigator, both single men. The other was crewed by Lieutenant Saburo Akieda as Captain and Petty Officer Takemoto as the navigator. Both were married men with families.

After sunset on 30 May the night was a clear and a full moon was in the sky. Crewmembers on both the tanker British Loyalty and HMS Ramillies out on deck to enjoy the evening reported seeing the conning towers of two small submarines in the harbour. At eight twenty-five HMS Ramillies was hit by a torpedo and a hole ten metres wide was blasted in her port bulge. This caused major flooding to a number of decks as well as power and communication failures. Luckily there were no deaths and injuries were relatively minor.

The torpedo that hit HMS Ramillies had passed close by the stern of British Loyalty and the Master of British Loyalty ordered his crew to make the lifeboats ready and to raise the anchor and prepare to move to a new position.

Nearly an hour passed since the attack on HMS Ramillies when Signalman Harry Barnet, watching from the deck of HMS Ramillies saw the track of a second torpedo heading directly towards his ship. At that very moment the British Loyalty, moving astern from her original position, moved straight into the path of the torpedo.

It was twenty past nine when the tanker took the full blast of the torpedo that had been aimed at for the Battleship which, already severely damaged, would certainly have sunk if hit by a second torpedo. The stern of British Loyalty began to sink immediately and the order to "Abandon Ship" was given.

While the British Loyalty sank to the bottom of the harbour in sixty-seven feet of water, the crew of the Ramillies' were being kept busy stopping the flow of water through the damaged hull, pumping out the flooded decks, and removing bombs, shells and bullets from the flooded ammunition stores. We might imagine George Cosstick in the midst of all this.

After the attack, the crew of the midget submarine tried to leave the harbour but ran aground on a reef. They swam ashore and started to walk to a previously arranged rendezvous point with their mother submarine near Cape Amber. They were eventually found by a British patrol, but would not surrender and fought with pistols and a sword, killing one British soldier and wounded four others before being killed themselves. Documents recovered on their bodies revealed the details of their mission.

The crew of the second midget submarine also failed to return and the Japanese Navy posted both miniature submarines as missing on 3 June 1942.

HMS Ramillies left Diego Suarez on 9 June 1942 bound for Durban after the crew managed to get steel cables wrapped around the ship to stop the armour plating falling away.

It was reported that, as most of the food on board had been lost the crew of over 1146 went hungry, however the battleship was escorted on the first part of the journey by the cruiser HMS Emerald, three destroyers and a tug, and on the second part by HMS Jasmine and HMS Fritillary.

Despite much apprehension about the safety of journey due to the extensive damage and the gaping hole in her side she arrived safely after nearly two weeks. After being repaired to a seaworthy state she left Durban for Cape Town and the UK on 6 August 1942. HMS Ramillies arrived back at Plymouth on 8 September 1942 for further repairs at the Devonport Dockyard.

After being out of service for nearly a year HMS Ramillies returned to the Indian Ocean to carry out convoy duty and later took part in the bombardment of German positions during D-Day as well as bombardment of Southern France. She was scrapped at Cairn Ryan on 23 April 1948, with the final scrapping of the Ramillies hull taking place at Troon in October 1949.

George Cosstick was on the Ramillies in the Indian Ocean when his son Richard was born on 30 November 1943.

Most of what happened at Madagascar was not reported in the British press. During May the British Government issued extremely vague press releases, stating only that: After two days fighting, the port of Diego Suarez on Vichy-held Madagascar surrendered to British troops as Operation Ironclad secured the convoy route around Africa to Suez. Nothing was reported of any casualties, or of any survivors. However the Germans announced, via Lord Haw Haw, that Ramillies had been sunk with all hands.

Meanwhile... back home…

A few months before Operation Ironclad, in February 1942 and while George was at sea, his mother Louisa Cosstick had died at Chiddingly. A few months later, believing that George was dead, and having no news from the Royal Navy to contradict this assumption, George’s brother Bill, being the eldest brother at home at the time, decided that the family home, Oak Cottage, should be sold and the proceeds divided between the rest of the brothers and sisters.

£67.00 was given to each brother and sister and Edwin, in Canada, being the eldest received £69.00. Bill disposed of the remainder of the property and after his death, his wife having no interest in Cosstick heirlooms, disposed of what remained.

In the meantime, George had not been lost at sea. He returned home to find the family inheritance had been divided and that he had missed out. As the youngest son of the family he had lived with his mother since his father’s death in 1929 looking after her, the house and garden, and had continued to live there after marrying. It became his assumption that when his mother died the house would be left to him and it was something of a shock to return home to find the property sold and the proceeds divided among his brothers and sisters. It has been suggested that Edwin, in Canada, renounced his share of the inheritance.

After the war George resumed his job as chauffer for R.C. Burton Rowe and continued until about 1958 when the Rowe died and the “big house” was sold. He worked at the same place for the new owners, as gardner as well. He retired in 1973.

George’s older sister, Charlotte worked on the stage with her first husband, who was known as The Great Como. Her second husband worked for the newspapers, as a proofreader.

Edward (Ned), like George, joined the Royal Navy in February 1921 as a volunteer and was there for 22 years, spending much of his time on the Destroyer HMS Ajax. As his daughter Sylvia relates, "During his time in the Navy he served on many types of ships, also serving his Country in many parts of the World until he retired from the Royal Navy in 1946 after serving 25 years. In June 1946 he became a Temporary Postman until becoming a Permanent Employee until his Retirement in 1971."

Read more about the HMS Ramillies here.

Based on information provided by Richard Cosstick, Edwin Alex Cosstick, Caroline Bull and others 2002 and additional research. *Some details provided by Jane Pogue, grandaughter of Edwin Chapman Cosstick, April 2008. *1911 Census details provided by Sylvia Bedford, June 2008. Additional details about Edward (Ned) Cosstick supplied by Sylvia Bedford July 2014.


mdp_1976 said...

This is great info. Edwin Chapman Cosstick was my Great Grandfather. His youngest daughter, Dorothy Isobel was my grandmother. She passed away a few years ago. She married Robert John (Bob) Pogue and had 3 children together. I am the oldest of their grandchildren (there are 6 of us). All their children (Robert John Geoffrey, Tony and Pamela Jane) are still alive and well and still living in Alberta.

Michelle Pogue

Douglas W said...

Thanks Michelle. If you can send me an email I will get back to you. Doug

joanna said...

Daisy Dorothy was my grandmother, its great to read all about her.
London England

Douglas W said...

Thank you Joanna... could you send me an email as I would like to get more details. Doug

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. I have been looking into Daisy Cosstick for a friend of mine. Thank you,


Suzie said...

My husband is a grandson of Louisa Charlotte, daughter of Edwin Cosstick and Charlotte Howell. My husband is from Surrey and didn't know his family were from Seaford. We only live about 7 miles from Seaford so have visited St Leonards church etc. This website has been an invaluable source in researching our family histories. Thank you so much for sharing it all.

Anonymous said...

Hi Suzie, I am a grand daughter of Daisy, Like you I found the web site invaluable. I live in London and made the trip to Seaford, and Chiddingly were Edwin John and his wife Louisa (my great grand parents)are buried.

Douglas W said...

Thank you for your comments Suzie and Theresa. Pleased you found the information useful. Am slowly working on a new edition of the book.

annie annieqpr said...

Hi there, Daisy was my Great-Grandmother, I see my mother Theresa has already commented on here. We met up with other members of the family on Friday, and I was told I look like a Cosstick cos I had quite "hard" looks, charmed I'm sure ha :)

annie annieqpr said...

So Joanna and my mother Theresa must be cousins if Daisy were both their Grandmothers :)