A Brief Family Explanation

Most of you reading this blog with be family or friends, but even all of you may well get confused. As a family we seem very short of names: in the immediate Hall/Cragg/Fuller-Sessions families we have two Johns, two Chrisses, two Ruths, two Nicks, two Toms, two Josephs so as you can see there is plenty of scope for confusion. I will try to clarify things as best I can. 

Because I am writing most of the blog the explanation will inevitably appear rather self-centred…

 
Douglas and Rachel (nee Gartside-Tippinge) Hall were both born in 1909. They met in 1930, as undergraduates at Oxford, and were married in 1933 after my father had finished his first tour abroad. They spent nearly their whole ‘working’ life in what was then Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, ending with an 18 month stint in British Somaliland where my father was the last governor. In 1959 they retired permanently to Barnford, their house in Ringmore, South Devon.  They are both buried in the churchyard there, overlooking the sea and their house.
 
Douglas and Rachel had three children, Marion, Ruth and John in that order so when I say ‘my parents’ I also mean my sister Ruth’s and brother John’s parents. We were all born and brought up in NR/Zambia.
 
Ruth and her husband Tony Cragg have four children: Ann Latham, Steve, Chris and Tim. Steve and Jenny and their four children live in Cape Town; Ann and her husband Chris live in Wales; Chris and Sadie and also Tim and Pippa live in Hastings. Between them they have 17 children. 
 
John Hall has two sons, Thomas and Bernard known universally as Tom and Birdie. Birdie and Susie have two boys, Joe and Josh. 
 
 John and Marion Fuller- Sessions have three children, Ruth named after her aunt Ruth Cragg, Sara who lives in Australia with her husband, Derek, and their son Tom, and Nick. Nick married Samantha Raine (Sam) on December 3rd last year and their daughter, Nell, was born on August 9th (2017).
 
We are very lucky. We all seem to genuinely like each other’s company and get on well. We also have lots of cousins/second cousins of whom we are very fond.
 
And John and I also have quite a lot of really good friends from from work, school, university, and the various places we have lived and worked in over the years – Dublin, Bombay, Belfast, Scarborough and Parwich.
 
I trust you are not now even more confused than you were before.

4 thoughts on “A Brief Family Explanation”

  1. At long last I have a better understanding of your family tree!
    So loved looking at the beautiful wedding photos–the bride and groom looked so happy.
    We are in the process of down -sizing which is rather stressful , as you must know. Love to you both
    Tony and Frances

    1. Frances, hello! Glad the brief explanation helped. The family shortage of names does complicate things. When John and I got engaged, aged 22 or 23, an elderly aunt wrote a very stern and disapproving letter to my parents, criticising their foolishness in allowing my brother John – then aged about 17 and still at school – to become engaged!
      Good luck with the downsizing. Are you staying in Sherbourne? After the new year, when our one and only spare room is redecorated and ready for you, why don’t you come up for a weekend crash course on how not to! Or better still, we will none of us think at all about the disadvantages and perils of downsizing, and just enjoy ourselves!

  2. Hey..Mr Fuller Sessions,
    I don’t think you will remember me.
    Ashok Kurien.. cathedral school. Class of 65/66 and 67, having failed twice.
    Useless student..but I played Rugby.
    I’m now 70 and I’m sitting down to write my lifebook.
    The only thing I remember with joy about school was Rugby.
    I played till I was 44…and a bit more after a bad slipped disc.
    I just wanted to thank you for getting me onto that field.
    You changed my outlook to life…and there was nothing I enjoyed more.
    It even got me a free life membership to the Bombay Gym…paid for by expat Rugby players one night in the Gym Bar.
    From a poor student on a Church Choir free scholarship…drop out …and worse… now blessed beyond words.
    I hope you are well and enjoying your retired life.
    Thank you for so much.
    Warmest,
    Ashok

    1. Ashok, hello. I’m sorry for the delay – we have been away. John was so delighted to read your comments and will reply himself over the weekend. As a schoolmaster he always hoped his pupils would always find something to excel in and enjoy and you obviously did. It was very pleasing to read what rugby had done for you (sport brought him a great deal of pleasure and enjoyment (and success!) too.

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