Thursday, April 16, 2015


Welcome to the Laws Family Register. 


A Child of the Twenties

A suburban childhood of the Twenties 

seen from the Ninteen Nineties

by John Robert Laws 1921-2008

Part 23

Further Afield Part 3

The highlights of the Naples visit were the late evening view over the lights over the city, from a highpoint on the northern edge with Vesuvius in the background. The ascent of Vesuvius itself and seeing the excavated city of Herculaneum. 

The volcano was pretty well behaved at that time and having gone up by the funicular rail car we were able to descend into the enormous crater where a constant roman candle of lava blobs was building a new central cone. Intrepid Italian entrepreneurs were busy pushing coins into the little blobs before they cooled and selling the resulting souvenirs to tourists.

In contrast to the lively volcano, Herculaneum was many centuries’ dead. With its heavy shroud of volcanic ash shovelled and swept away its slab paved streets peopled with a few groups of tourists were not for me evocative  of the crowds of shoving and successful citizens who thronged its streets until the Reaper came with his volcano. 

For the same reason it was not depressing either, it was another museum with fine examples of a Roman town complete with arts and crafts collected on the spot.

Why do I not remember the long journey back, it was just unmemorable or were there too many little bottles with our packed lunches so that we dozed on the wooden seats. Perhaps we just got tired, almost unthinkable in ones teenage years.


The Journey to Norway was different. We went on an old troopship and it was boys only, a big party hundreds strong from many schools, no hotel this time we slept in hammocks slung above the tables where we ate by day. It was hot and we had the occasional chance to sleep on deck instead of in the hammocks. The hard deck was just as impossible as the sagging hammocks. At least we learnt that a bed is a luxury.

Bergen was the first port of call. The ship tied up along the long quay where the town faces out over the water and which seemed to us to be the town centre. The funicular railway took us up to the view point above the town from which the town and its harbour and the fiord running out towards the sea are laid out like a green map with blue water and red roofs with toy boats at rest in the harbour. 

We also went into the mountains by way of the railway which climbs its way over to Oslo. The railway the like of which we had never seen before, as it clambered through the steep ascent with the aid of a central rack rail and crawled through tunnels and across rock faces to take us up  and out onto the high land. There we walked and saw the ski runs and the big wooden structure of the ski jump all stranded in grass with not a flake of snow in the hot sunshine.

Despite the rocky terrain, rich grass seemed to be the predominant colour of the countryside as we sailed along the coast and into Sogne Fiord where our ship was dwarfed to a toy again between the towering mountains on either side. Here and there tiny fields of hay were patched into the forest on the mountain waterside. 

High prowed boats rowed with long oars used the water as a highway from farm to farm and field to field. At the end of the fiord we went ashore in the ships boats and walked up the valley beside the bubbling bouldered river to the foot of the glacier which feeds it. A mountain of rather grubby ice in the blazing hot sunshine turning into sparkling clear water with which we quenched our thirst on the walk back.

The furthest North we went was Trondheim, a little stone town on a hilly site beside the water. No doubt used to visitors, despite the infancy of tourism, the peace did not seem disturbed by the invasion of a few hundred English schoolboys. They had done their share of invading Britain a few centuries ago and were themselves to be invaded by less welcome visitors only two or three years later.

On the ship our amusements were simple, I seem to remember the old English sports day pastime of jousting astride a slippery pole over a canvas pool of water and we had a few home grown concerts and sing-along’s to disturb the quiet of evening at sea. Not that the North Sea was quiet all the time, there were moments when we lost all interest in food and spent time admiring the view over the rail. It was certainly different from all our other trips,

The End 

Starting Tomorrow - 
                                     One Man’s War – A bit about the RAF 

                                         John Robert LAWS 1921-2008

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Family Events from our database for today April 16

1671 - Christen: Anne LAWES-1120, West Acre NFK UK
1786 - Baptism: James LAWS-47488, Portsea HAM UK
                                     Nelsons 'Victory' moored in Portsea Naval Dockyard

1815 - Christen: John Henry LAWS-8511, Southwark SRY UK
                                                           Southwark Cathedral SRY

1835 - Marriage: Mary LAWES-2285 and Gideon ELLIOTT-2286, St.George Hanover Sq MDX
1835 - Baptism: John LAWS-55392, Copdock SFK UK
1846 - Birth: Isabella LAWS-39145, North Timberland NBL UK
1847 - Birth: Matilda LAWS-33933, Costessey NFK
                                                            Costessey Norfolk

1852 - Death: John LAWS (Master Mariner) -51080, Bus Creek, Southwold SFK UK
                                                                 Southwold SFK

1859 - Miscellaneous: Robert LAWS (HEICS Senior Supplementary Clerk) -38594,
1870 - Marriage: Richard William LAWS (Clerk to Copper Mining Company) -4609 and
           Louisa WHITE-8660, Battersea SRY UK
1871 - Birth: Horace Colville LAWS (Sugar Sales Director) -45841, Peckham SRY UK
1871 - Birth: Leah Bathsheba LAWS (Infant 1 mth) -29109, Hainford NFK
1875 - Death: George Wing LAWES (Draper) -1749, Wood Green, Breamore HAM
1889 - Marriage: Alfred Ernest LAWES (Engine Fitter) -670 and Julia WOOD-47817,
           East Stonehouse DEV UK
1891 - Birth: Lizzie W LAWS-125501,
1899 - Birth: Arthur Edwin LAWS-167367, Hammersmith MDX
1899 - Birth: Caroline Mabel S LAWS-120345,
1908 - Burial: Stephen C LAWS-36143, Wareham DOR UK
                                                                Wareham Dorset
1909 - Birth: Percy William Herbert LAWES (Railway Officer) -1305, Portsmouth HAM UK
1913 - Birth: Helen K LAWS-122251, IL United States
1913 - Marriage: Arthur James LAWS-37752 and Ada Matilda WINDUS-37753, Molong NSW                    Australia
1915 - Discharged: Harry LAWS (Cowman) -116795, Norwich NFK UK
                                                            Norwich Cathedral Norfolk

1918 - Death: Arthur George LAWS (4yr 6mo) -29023, Great Yarmouth NFK
                                                            Great Yarmouth Norfolk

1923 - Miscellaneous: John Newton LAWS (Motor Fitter or Plumber) -45855,
1926 - Birth: Donald Frank LAWS-42310,
1935 - Birth: Doreen LAWES-118782,
1941 - Death: Harry LAWES (Civilian War Dead) -44998, Westminster MDX UK
1941 - Death: Bertha Mary LAWES (Civilian War Dead) -44903, Westminster MDX UK
1941 - Death: Arthur LAWS-40907, San Joaquin CA USA
1943 - Death: W R LAWS (RAF Sergeant Aircrew 102 sqdn) -115757, may have survived
1944 - Death: Arthur LAWS-122934, Gillingham KEN UK
1947 - Marriage: Richard Bernard LAWES (Cost Accountant (retired) -35204 and Jean Mary                        WOOD-46906, Bargoed GLA UK
1948 - Miscellaneous: Charles Cecil LAWES (Farm Manager) -24406,
1948 - Will  Proved: Henrietta LAWES (Spinster) -186,
1951 - Birth: Jerry Richard LAWS-40313, TX USA
1952 - Birth: Josephine M LAWES-115951, North Marston BKM UK
1952 - Death: Willard LAWS-41418, Kanawha WV USA
1954 - Birth: Phillip LAWS-54693, Gunedah, NSW AUSTRALIA
1956 - Death: Alice LAWS-42435,
1957 - Death: Thomas John LAWS (Grocer) -38409, Broken Arrow, Tulsa OK USA
                                                                Broken Arrow OK USA

1958 - Birth: Mark David LAWS-125266, QLD AUSTRALIA
1958 - Birth: Alison Jane LAWES (Company Director) -46427,
1975 - Cremation: George William LAWES-53566, Kent & Sussex Crematorium
1976 - Death: John W LAWS-99979,
1981 - Divorce: Gerald Theodore LAWS-114928 and Constance Mae BARKER-114929, San Diego            CA USA
1982 - Birth: Jennifer Aubrey LAWS-40695, TX USA
1988 - Birth: Alexander LAWES-115957, Aylesbury BKM UK
1989 - Birth: Stacie Ann LAWS-40805, TX USA
1992 - Death: Low Fuman LAWS-119071, Swepsonville, Alamance Co NC USA
1994 - Marriage: Mark LAWS-37580 and Maria TIPPETT-37581, Shadforth DUR UK
2003 - Burial: Willie Maynard LAWS-31111, Hillsborough NC United States

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