Once again, I have my academic cousin Peter Dickens to thank for the early Crumplin information - just as with the early Dickens info.

My great-great-grandfather Henry Crumplin was born in 1816 in Dogmersfield, Hampshire. In the 1851 Census of Hampshire, he was a carpenter, living with his wife Frances and had moved to the next village of Odiham which, as time was to tell, would become overflowing with Crumplins. Enough to give one the crump!

Now here is an amazing coincidence unearthed by Peter. He tells me that in 1881 nearly all Crumplins lived in Hampshire. Nothing amazing about that, one would say, but how about Peter's wife, Mary, having gone to the Odiham Grammar School in the 1950's and lived practically next door to where she lived in nearby Fleet (Hampshire), lived a Crumplin family. In all probability, one of our Crumplin relatives.

I don't know yet who Henry Crumplin married but he and his wife produced a son, my great-great-grandfather, Arthur Crumplin, who was born in Odiham about 1848 and at 18, on enlistment, went off to join the army. And once again, as Cousin Peter says, I find myself descended from army stock all round - which would, I suppose, account for my strong military 'attachment' and why my three sons used to call me their Sergeant Major.

Arthur had enlisted at Winchester, Hampshire in Feb. 1866, saying he was 18 but was more likel to have been 15 or 16, judging from earlier Census data. He was 5 ft 5 ins tall, complexion fresh, light brown hair and had hazel eyes. Wow! At last I discover where I got mine - everyone else in the family have the blues.

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