George & Symonia Tickelpenny


George and Symonia Tickelpenny were Salvation Army Officers with whom Ada worked in France. During their time there George rose from the rank of Adjutant to Lieut. Colonel. Ada remained in contact with them for some time after the war. On Armistice Day 1918 George and Symonia were appointed to the Salvation Army hut at Boulogne (possibly at Ostrohove), where Ada worked, and they stayed in France for three years. At some stage, probably in 1918, the Boulogne hut was dismantled and taken to Arras, where they became the first officers to begin War Graves Visitation Work. Ada worked with them again at this stage and there are several informal photographs of her with Mrs Tickelpenny.

Symonia (née James) spent her early days in Cornwall and Croydon, and was commissioned in Holloway in 1908. She then served as Staff Captain in south London, and married George Tickelpenny in 1912, . The couple commanded several well known corps in and around London, such as Deptford, Plumstead, Ilford and Leyton although records show they must have resided near Godstone in Surrey in 1912 as they had a son who was born and died there in that year.

George Tickelpenny was born into a working class family in Hull. The family then moved to Moss Side, Manchester, and at that time consisted of father, mother and five sons with another living elsewhere. George joined the Salvation Army at the age of 15 against family opposition. However his younger brother Richard appears to have joined too at some stage as he also signed Ada's autograph book in Arras in 1920.

Another younger brother James joined The King's (Liverpool Regiment) and was killed in Flanders on New Years Day 1917 aged 40 years.
He rests in Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery near Iper (Ypres).

George was awarded the Imperial War Medal for service during the war years although the official records have miss-spelled his name as "Ticklepenny".

After their service in France the Tickelpennys moved first to British Guiana, where they were Divisional Officers. They then did similar work in Trinidad before returning to the UK in 1928.

A postcard sized photo (right) in Ada's collection shows them against a backdrop of exotic plants.

George and Symonia Tickelpenny

George Tickelpenny then served as Divisional Officer for Manchester, then Birmingham and in 1934 was appointed Head of the International Investigation Department and Anti Suicide Bureau for the Men's Social Work Department, from which he retired in 1949. He was promoted to Glory in October 1950, Symonia following from her home in Bournemouth on May 16th 1963.

Do YOU know anyone who was or is called Tickelpenny? Some of the brothers changed their names to Clark and Thomson, but they seem to have stayed in the Manchester area.

Do you know anyone who was involved in graves visitation work, or who used the service?

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