It’s Monday and it’s episode 6 of Heir Hunters Series 8!
In today’s episode we see one of our most senior case managers, Amy Moyes, investigate the story of Raymond Wilfred Wild, who died on the 3rd May 2012.
Raymond was a 77yr old ex journalist who unfortunately passed without leaving any will. Advertised by the tresury, Amy was drawn to the name and later uncovers a fascinating but tragic story story of a family torn apart by two world wars.
Raymonds neighbours Dave and Bonnie first met their neighbour when he fell ill some years ago and they helped him to get to hospital. He even sent them a thank you note expressing his graditude. They remember him fondly as a smart, well dress gentleman, who always wore a red silk hankicheif in his pocket. Very classy!
Amy needed to first locate the death certificate in order to get the basic details of the case, but having not been able to obtain a copy, she had to expore other options. After accessing the local electrol register and marriage index, Amy was able to confirm that Ryamond had died a batchelor without any children.
Birth records showed both the names of Raymonds parents, but in the process what Amy had unwittingly discovered is a tragic story of how not one, but two world wars had effected one family through the generations.
Ryamonds father had 4 brother and sisters, and had been a bicycle maker in East London at the time the first world war began. His skills were brought to the attention of the war office, who then offered him a placement as a sheetmetal worker for the Army, where he was involved in the poduction of weapons for the army. John survived the war, but his siblings were not so lucky.
John’s brother Matthew served on HMS Inflexible and took part in many successful deployments. At the end of the final deployment celebrations were in full swing when tragedy struck. Matthew fell overboard on Christmas day 1914. And remains lost at sea!
6 months later, James (John’s other brother) was serving as a war time volunteer on the Royal Edward, when a torpeado hit and he lost his life.
After such sad times, happiness reigned when John married Elizabeth (Raymonds Mother) in 1921. And they went on to have 6 children – 3 boys and 3 girls.
Using the marriage index for surnames, Amy managed to locate potential addresses for 2 of the sisters and also had an address for one of the brothers, Bernard. Bernard was born in Somerset rather than London – which was not unusal for the time. John had evacuated his family to Somerset to avoid the continuos bombing of London during WW2! But what happened next is heart wrenching.
After some time passes, Raymonds father (John) and older brother (Cyril) head back into London to survey the damage to the family home, and whilst at the property a bomb dropped near by. John managed to push Cyril to safety but was killed by a fallen joist!
Such a sad tale of how both wars had a devasting affect on one family.
All in all, there were 6 siblings of Rymonds brothers and sisters, that all received money from Raymonds estate. He did not own his house, so the final estate was only worth £6k, but it means so much more that we were able to reunite the family with not only their inheritance, but each other!