Postcards home from a Bucks. Hussar



The Royal Bucks. Hussars arrived in Ryburgh on November 17th 1914 and

left on April 7th 1915. During that time 8 of our postcard collection were sent

to the same address in Deanshanger,Stony Stratford Bucks. The majority of

the postmarks are difficult or impossible to read but these cards have been

arranged in an estimated chronological order:


Algy Canvin to his sister Beatrice Rose Canvin sent on

21st Nov. 1914 at 6.15 p.m.:


The message reads:

Dear Beaty

Hope you are getting

on alright I am very

comfortable here,

Have you heard from

Reg yet

Fondest love to all





Algy Canvin to his sister Beaty sent Nov or Dec 1914:



 Algy Canvin to his sister Beaty sent 5th Jan 1915:




Algy Canvin to his father Thomas sent Feb 1915: 


Lizzie is most likely to be Algy's fiance/wife Elizabeth Robinson. They were

married in the 1st quarter of 1915 in the Potterspury registration district of

Northamptonshire whilst the Bucks. Hussars were in the village.


Lizzie to Beaty sent March 1915:


This reads:

Dear B

The Bucks Yeomen are

moving abroad in a fortnight

so I shall not be home till

the end of next week. Wish

you were down here.We

are going in to Fakenham 

next week to have our photos

taken  Love Lizzie


Beaty to parents sent March 12th 1915:



This reads: 

Arrived safely Lizzie & Mrs Stewart

were at Wyndomham to meet


We do not know when

Algie goes away.

Hope you are both well

Love  Beatie


Algy to home sent early April:


Assuming Lizzie is called Betty by Algy in the card above the final card in

the series is from Algy's new wife to her sister-in-law Beaty?:


This reads:

Dear B

Shall be home

Thursday Coming as

far as Bletchley

with Mrs Jakeman

Love B


After starting my researches, one further card was made available to me by

Mitch Canvin, along with other photos and information on this page.

This was an image of "Canvin's Wharf", the house to where the cards were 

sent. Since "going live" with the page I have been in touch with Steven Canvin

who added two more images of the house to the rear, as Algy would have

known it:





But who was Algy Canvin?  To find out I searched the press and in the process

discovered a very interesting man with a life full of peaks and troughs. As Mitch

wrote in an email to me:



"Algy was a man that kept himself to himself when he returned from the war, this my dad has told me from stories from my uncle Tom. After the second world war my dad said he could never adjust to civilian life..... he used to drive on his coal cart still wearing his long white gloves from the Army."


But first, an image of the man, baptised James Algernon Canvin Dec. 31st 1862

at Wicken Northamptonshire:





However for my research it turned out that the best place to start was with

an obituary:


Northampton Mercury - Friday 10 February 1950 page 9



The funeral or Mr. Algernon J. Canvin, who died at the age of 68. took place at

Deanshanger. Native of the village, he joined the Royal Bucks Hussars in 1898

and served throughout the South African War. He was quartermaster-sergeant

at the outbreak of the 1914-i8 war and took part in various campaigns. He rose to

the rank of captain and was awarded the Military Cross and Territorial Decoration.

After the war he continued at headquarters till the regiment was disbanded.

In the 1939-45 war he was a member of the Home Guard. The coffin was draped

with the Union Jack, and and old comrades of the Bucks Hussars lined the path to

the church. Members of the British Legion also attended the funeral, service.

Among wreaths received were those from the Royal Bucks Hussars’ Association,

the British Legion employees of Deanshanger Iron Oxide Works, his employers

and Church members.



The details of probate show that administration was granted to his 59 year old

sister Beaty, now Mrs Beatrice Rose Blackwell and his effects amounted to

£382 3/- 1d.





His military record was unusual, as reported in the press report below,

rising through the ranks to finish as Q.M. Captain:



               Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press 

                                    Saturday 28 October 1922 page 5


Capt. A.J.Canvin. M.C., late of the Royal Bucks Hussars, has been awarded

the Territorial Decoration. This is unique, seeing that he holds the Long Service

Imperial Yeomanry Medal for service in the ranks, and now the Territorial

Decoration for long service as an officer.



His medal group is similarly impressive, complete  with a Military Cross:





He had a brother, 11 years his junior, Reginald Thomas who joined up

in Australia and also had a distinguished War record:




There seems to be some discrepancy in the reporting of the location of  

the winning of the M.C. with both Palestine and France cited in the papers,

however consultation of the London Gazette makes Palestine the candidate

although no specific citation has been sourced.

On pages 6588 to 6490 of the Supplement to the Gazette for 3rd June 1918,

all is made clear:




Back in Deanshanger between the Wars he became a J.P.



Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press


Saturday 05 April 1930 page 4

                             CAPTAIN A. J. CANVIN

Captain Algernon James Canvin, M.C.. of Deanshanger, who, as announced in

the columns last week, has been appointed County Magistrate is the son of

Mr. W Canvin, an old and respected Deanshanger family and has the distinction,

as a Territorial member of the Royal Bucks Hussars of having served in two

Wars—the South African campaign and the Great War. Capt. Canvin is probably

one of the oldest in length of service in the Bucks Hussars, and when the War

broke out he held the. rank of Quarter master-Sergeant. Before he left England

he was promoted to the rank of Lieut-Quarter master, and served in Egypt and

Palestine He was then transferred to France, where through his bravery under

fire was awarded the Military Cross and received promotion to captaincy. After

the close of the War he was for a short time at Buckingham resident Captain

and Quartermaster, but on the Regiment being disbanded, he took over a little

farm of 80 acres in his native village. Captain Canvin is Vice-President of the

Deanshanger branch of the British Legion, and an active member of the local

Northampton Hospital Fete Committee. In politics he is a staunch Conservative.



Eight year later things clearly hadn't been at all easy for Algy and the irony

of being Gazetted in an entirely different category must have been very

painful for him:







Northampton Mercury - Friday 14 October 1938 page 5








Warning that his bankruptcy prohibited him from acting as Justice of the Peace until he had secured his discharge and for five years afterwards unless he could get his bankruptcy annulled, was given Algernon James Canvin, coal merchant, of Church Wharf, Deanshanger, when he appeared for his public examination before Deputy Registrar Alsop, at Northampton Bankruptcy Court. Questioned by the Assistant Official Receiver (Mr. A. Pateman), Canvin said he was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire nine years ago. He had resigned the Buckinghamshire appointment because he did not live in that county. He enlisted in the Imperial Yeomanry in 1898, served in the Boer War and on August 4, 1914. was mobilised with Territorials, serving in Egypt, Gallipoli, and France, and securing commission. On demobilisation in 1921 he returned to the employment of his father, a coal merchant, receiving his Keep and from 10s. to £1 a week pocket money. With Army savings and gratuity he had accumulated between £7OO and £8OO when he started farming in 1925 at Home Farm, Deanshanger. He gave up the farm in 1932, when his capital had dwindled to about £5O, plus two horses valued £9O, and took over his father’s business. He made a living at first, but competition increased, he lost two horses through lameness, and his cartage expenses were increased in the last 12 months by the closing of a canal which ran past his yard. He scheduled unsecured liabilities of £172 4s. od., available assets of £47 10s, 7d.. leaving a deficiency of £124 13s. 5d. The examination was adjourned for closing to November 4.



I found two other press clippings relating to Algy, the first of which goes back

to the days of his childhood:


Buckingham Express Saturday 09 June 1894 page 5




The other is from 1940 and with no other details:

Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press


Saturday 10 August 1940 page 6


                                     Evacuee In Hospital

The following have been admitted to Northampton General Hospital :

John Cubitt (10), an evacuee staying at 145, Newport-road, New Bradwell. injury leg ;

Algernon Canvin (57), Deanshanger, injury to head and suspected injury to ribs ;





I have been sent two more images with which to conclude, and with them, our thanks

to members of the extended Canvin family who have generously made the story of

these village postcards come to life so vividly.




                                        Algy's father, William Thomas (Tom) Canvin


                 Beatrice Rose (Beaty) Canvin and her husband Reginald William Blackwell. 

Page last updated: Tuesday 5th May 2020 9:12 PM
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