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Berkshire Family Historian
Main Page, March 2003
Berkshire Family Historian
March 2003

Help wanted about 'John Mildenhall' by David Mildenhall, Hampshire. Please respond to

My research into my great grandfather, John Mildenhall, has thrown up a number of problems that I’m hoping someone will be able to give me advice about. He had a short but colourful life, although he ultimately proved to be an unreliable husband and father. He was born in 1866 in Inkpen and became a professional jockey in 1887. About three years later he went to India to ride and married in Bombay Cathedral in 1898. He and his wife Elizabeth (nee Aylward) returned to England a year later, where they had three children. He became a publican, running public houses in Croydon, Kent, and East Ilsley. It proved a bad career move as he also became an alcoholic and abandoned the family. He died in Reigate in 1913. His two sons (including my grandfather) went into a Barnardo Home in London, as their mother was unable to support them.

I’ve discovered a little about his racing career in this country, but nothing in India. I also don’t know how to find out about his time as a publican, for example where he got his licence and whether or not breweries kept records. I’ve heard that Barnardo Homes don’t release records. Is this true? Any help will be gratefully received.

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