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MORIVAL, Louis

b.1886-d.1919

Having been born in France, Louis is living in London in 1901

In the 1901 Census, Louis A G Morival, (he is mis-transcribed as “Monical”), described as an errand boy aged 15, is living with his mother and step-father, Frederick C Davies.

Louis is described as a French subject, born in France about 1886. His mother, Hortense C Davies (née Morival ) aged 32, was also born in France. According to their given ages, she gave birth to him when she was about 17 or 18. Their address is 38 St. Georges Square, Regents Park, London.

Louis’ mother was born in Douai, Nord France region, on 12th April 1868. Her father was Oscar Morival and her mother was Zelie Amelie Dubois.

Hortense had married Frederick Charles Davies, a Textile Draper, in London in the March quarter of 1900. She is shown twice in the records as marrying Charles Davies, once as “Morival” and once as “Smith”.

Louis joins the army in Omagh, Ireland aged 19 in 1906

In October 1906,Louis joined the 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Omagh, Ireland. In his Attestation papers, he stated that he was a British Subject born in the Parish of St Paul’s London, aged 19. He was a porter and his religion was Roman Catholic. (The is no record of a UK Naturalisation Certificate for him).

Louis serves overseas in the army but his behaviour becomes erratic

His Service Record shows that he served overseas for about 4 years,
in Crete (1907 – 1908),
Malta (1908 -1909),
China (1909 – 1911) and then
Home service 1911 -1912.

However his Conduct Record is not good. In 1909, he forfeited his Good Conduct Badge for drunkenness, whilst serving in Tiensin, China. He was Court Martialled twice for insubordination; in November 1910, he received 21 days detention and in October 1911, he received 28 days detention.

In 1911, although in China, he appears in the UK 1911 Census as Louis Morival, aged 24, a rank of private, service number 8875, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers China, born 1887 in St Pancras.

Louis is discharged from the army described as “insane”

After serving 5 years and 99 days, Louis was discharged from the Army as “Insane”. At some stage in 1911 he became a patient in Netley Military Hospital.

This large hospital near Southampton in Hampshire had started being built in 1856 at the suggestion of Queen Victoria, who visited often, and its design had faced controversy, particularly from Florence Nightingale. The hospital was later used extensively during WW1.

Louis was discharged from Netley Military Hospital in January 1912 as medically unfit for further service. His intended place of residence is the “Union” St Pancras in London.

His conduct is described as “bad, insubordinate but has not really been responsible for his actions for the last 4 years”. In the space for comments is written “Insane”.

Not responsible for his actions

His Discharge Papers state that he was “not responsible for his actions for the last 4 years” i.e. since 1908. It remains a mystery why the Army did not discharge him earlier.

Louis is resident in the Workhouse and then Long Grove Hospital where he dies

Louis’ Soldier’s Effects Record show a credit of £8. Payments in March and June were made to the St Pancras Board of Guardians who were responsible for this Workhouse in which Louis was resident.

He was admitted to the St Pancras Workhouse on 12th January 1912, directly from Netley Hospital. He stated his occupation as a French Polisher (!).

A month later, on 12th February, he was discharged to Long Grove Hospital in Epsom. He died there aged 31 and was buried in Grave 2159A in Horton Cemetery on 23rd January 1919.


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