Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Auntie Nellie's Birthday Book - D. Orkney

My Great Auntie Nellie's Birthday Book is an absolute treasure to have, and I feel so lucky to have it in my possession. The book itself is now 102-years-old, closer to 103 in fact. It was given to Auntie Nellie on her 17th birthday, 10 February 1913.

Auntie Nellie Metcalf
The book has the birthdays of numerous family members, as well as friends close to the Metcalf family. I have given myself the task of trying to trace the families of Auntie Nellie's friends. The next person I want to research is the puzzling D. Orkney.

D. Orkney's entry in the Birthday Book.

The entry for D. Orkney appears on 2 June, and is the only Orkney in the book. As the Metcalf family were living in the Morpeth district of Northumberland throughout this time, I concentrated my research there. A simple search for a D* Orkney in the Morpeth district brought up only one result; a man named Daniel Kinghorn Orkney, born in 1888. 

Daniel Kinghorn Orkney was born on 2 June 1888 at Choppington, close to Bedlington, Northumberland. His father was George Orkney, a coal miner, and his mother was named Elizabeth Russell. Daniel had two older siblings, Alexander and Mary Ann, as well as a younger sister named Hannah

As a child Daniel, or Dan as he was known, went to the local Infant School, before moving up into Barrington County Primary School. His father George was well-known locally, being the secretary of the Barrington soup kitchen committee, as well as serving the same role on the Choppington society benefit. 

When Dan came of age, he followed his father into the local coal mine. He enlisted in the British Army on 2 September 1915, joining the Royal Army Medical Corps. Dan's brother Alexander joined the Northumberland Fusiliers and was wounded. He was taken to a war hospital in Boulogne, where he later died. 

After the war, Dan married a woman named Elizabeth Simm at Choppington, but had no children. Like his father, Dan was on local committees and was vice-chairman of the Sleekburn British Legion. 

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