Interesting Stories involving KIRKMANs Interesting Stories involving KIRKMANs
Page last modified Monday, 23-Aug-1999 08:21:02 MDT

17 FEB 1915: Charles E. KIRKMAN, accomplice of tire thief Wm. MILLER arrested by Wm. MILLER for stealing Wm. MILLER's tires.  [all MILLERs are different people], New York Times

News of the Tragic death of Mr. Kirkman, who was a well driller by trade and had lived in Sheridan for several years, reached Sheridan Saturday night in press dispatches. It appears that the train in which he was riding had been stalled in
the Cascades by a small slide. The snow had just been shoveled away and the train was ready to proceed, when a second slide came, carrying the dining and chair cars into a deep ravine and overturning the smoking car. Mr. Kirkman was among those in the chair car. When his body was recovered, life was extinct. His identity was established by papers on his person.

Several other passengers were killed or injured at the same time.

Mr. Kirkman is survived by a wife and six children, all of them small. He left Sheridan but a short time ago in search of a
new location. It is said that he had had a premonition of evil before leaving and almost abandoned his plan. The thought of
danger stuck with him even after leaving and two accident insurance policies, each paying $5000 in case of death, were
taken out by him in favor of his wife. One policy was taken out in Sheridan, the second in Spokane.
- from Sheridan Post, Tuesday, January 25, 1916, page 1

Kirkman, John (1741-1780) of College Hill, London. b. 1741 son of Joseph Kirkman, silkman, of Coventry and London. m. Maria, daughter and coh. of Robert Marsh, sometime governor of the Bank of England.  John Kirkman was an alderman of London from 1768 until his death.  He died on 19th September 1780, six hours before the close of the poll, his name was returned as one of the duly elected members of the House of Commons.
[I don't know if that was the first time ever that a dead person was elected to the House of Commons, but it surely is interesting!]
[no source, added to web page 9-AUG-1999]

[Some follow up to the above story from Tony Kirkman, 17-Aug-1999]

I'm interested because I have a reference to the same John Kirkman in one of the family trees I have concerning Kirkmans from Twyford (Twyford is in Derbyshire, England, not far from Leicestershire where most of my ancestors come from) The information is:

John Kirkman b1719, son of John Kirkman (b1680) and Mary Bowler.

John and Mary's grave is in St Andrews Churchyard, Twyford.

John Kirkman (b1719) is probably the Kirkman referred to referred to in the introductory note on page 57 of the Twyford Parish (1657 to 1812) Register at the Derby Public Records Office:

"Amongst notable families mentioned are the Kirkmans of Twyford of whom it is related that one family had three boys with only one hat, in consequence of which only one could go out of doors at a time. One went to London about 1780 and became Lord Major, and was knighted"

The library at the London Guildhall (tel 0171 606 3030) who provided the following information:

There were no Kirkman Lord Mayors of London in the eighteenth century. However, one John Kirkman was elected to be an Alderman (this is a senior council member) for the district of Cheape in the City of London in 1768. He subsequently became Sheriff Elect in 1780, but died before he could begin his term of office. The office of Sheriff is an essential precursor to becoming Lord Mayor. Since many Lord Majors are knighted, perhaps the desire became the reality in local folklore. The same John Kirkman was also a member of the of Fishmongers Company. There are many such clubs in London,
which are normally the preserve of rich or dignitaries. This doesn't necessarily mean he was a fishmonger, even at that date. (Source - Guildhall Library, London).

Further information could be obtained from the Corporation Records Office tel 0171 332 1251.
[Tony Kirkman, added to web page 23-Aug-1999]

Captain Robert Kirby Kirkman (b 1891) - First World War Ace

Like many British fliers, Robert first served in Western Front trenches during the war's early years -- in his case with the Leicester infantry regiment. He transferred to the RFC in the summer of 1917, was posted to the 20th Squadron and piloted two-seater Bristol fighters, an aircraft equipped with machine guns that fired fore and aft. During the last half of 1917,
Robert and his rear-seat gunners shot down four Germans, then two more in January 1918 and two on March 23, 1918. After his seventh and eighth victories Robert was awarded the Military Cross and promoted to Captain and Flight Commander.

On March 27, 1918 Robert and his rear-seat gunner, Capt. J.H. Hedley, ran into Rittmeister Manfred von Richtofen's gaudily painted Flying Circle over Foucaucourt, France, and Robert's plane was riddled by German ace Karl Gallwitz. The Brisfit crashed behind Germans lines and Robert and Hedley were captured, uninjured, by German infantrymen.

Several von Richtofen biographies allege Kirkman and Hedley were the Red Baron's 72nd victory, but the British World War Association reports they were gunned down by Gallwitz, a 10-victory member of the Baron's Jagdgeschwader (combat group).

Family lore holds Robert and Hedley met von Richtofen at his airdrome before they were shipped to a P.O.W. camp. Robert and his gunner were repatriated to England on Dec. 17, 1918.

Robert was the son of William Kirkman of Cosby, Leicestershire. One of his brothers, Two of his medals are family treasures held by his cousin Tony Kirkman of Solihull, West Midlands. Robert's decorations are the Military Cross, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, and Victory Medal.

One of Robert's brothers, James William Parry Kirkman b 1895 emigrated to Canada, and some of his relatives today live in Edmonton.

[Tony Kirkman, added to web page 23-Aug-1999]


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