“Also an Infant”


This summer I took a series of photos at the East Side Cemetery in Wentworth, New Hampshire. They are of the graves of four members of the Stevens family – John, his wife Louisa (Glines), and sons John O and Daniel S. At least I thought there were four.

When reviewing the photos I discovered a sad detail on the gravestone of Daniel (who died at the age of 9 months). At the bottom of the stone, after a dividing line, the last line of the inscription reads “Also an Infant”.

Home at Last


Bertha Alice (Ratcliffe) Bence and her son Staff Sergeant Raymond Everett Bence Jr.

In World War II Raymond served in the 445th Bomber Group, 8th Air Force as a nose-gunner in a B-24 Liberator. He was shot down over Germany on September 27, 1944 during the infamous “Kassel Mission”. He spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner-of-war, first in Stalag Luft IV and then on “The Black March”.

This photograph accompanied an article in the Quincy Patriot Ledger on Raymond’s first visit home to Braintree, Massachusetts. At the time of his liberation in May of 1945 he weighed less than 100 pounds. A few months later he still appears to be very gaunt.

Throstle Piecer

Edward Baines. The History of Cotton Manufacture

Ann Gaskell was born about 1827, in Disley, Cheshire, England. She married William Bence on September 3, 1848 at Saint James, Didsbury, Lancashire, England. Their first child Peter Gaskell Bence was born in 1849. A daughter Ellen died in infancy in 1852.

In the 1851 English Census, William is listed as a “Power loom weaver” and Ann is listed as a “throstle piecer”.

Ann died in 1853 in Heaton Norris, Lancashire, England, at the age of 26. In 1854, William Bence immigrated to Fall River, Massachusetts with his son Peter and his second wife, Sarah Jane Hudson.

throstle, n.

  1. A thrush; esp. the song-thrush or mavis, Turdus musicus.
  1. A spinning-machine for cotton, wool, etc., a modification of that originally called a water-frame; differing from a mule in having a continuous action, the processes of drawing, twisting, and winding being carried on simultaneously. As to the reason of the name see quot. 1877.

1877   E. H. Knight Pract. Dict. Mech. (at cited word), The throstle derived its name from the singing or humming which it occasioned.

piecer, n.

  1. a person whose occupation is the joining together of pieces or threads, as in textile work.


Edward Baines. The History of Cotton Manufacture (1835). http://spartacus-educational.com/IRpiecers.htm (accessed: 22-jun-2015).

throstle. OED.com. Oxford Unabridged Dictionary. Oxford University Press, 2015. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/201375?redirectedFrom=throstle#eid (accessed: 22-jun-2015).

piecer. Dictionary.com. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/piecer (accessed: June 21, 2015).

Peg & Jean – Friends ’til the end

There was always laughter when these two got together.

Peg & Jean scoping out their husbands – 1947

Mary Margaret “Peg” (Shepardson) Bence
April 12, 1926 – September 21, 2011

Patricia “Jean” (Hevenor) Porter
September 19, 1926 – September 11, 2015