I’m glad that my analysis has opened up other avenues to your research.
The following website might give an idea of how difficult it could be to obtain a pension, and might give an idea of how your grandmother fared:
I feel that your family story, concerning your grandfather, was gradually watered down, due to being rarely mentioned at the risk of upsetting your grandmother.
English law generally assumes a person is dead if, after seven years:
• There has been no evidence that they are still alive.
• The people most likely to have heard from them have had no contact.
• Inquiries made of that person have had no success.
Bob, without proof of her husband’s death, your grandmother must have felt in limbo; without a body, she couldn’t rest or give up hope, similar to the many women, after receiving the ‘missing, presumed dead’ card from the War Office.
Bob, I think, without realising it, you know how your grandmother felt about the ‘not knowing’, as I believe you feel exactly the same now. Now you’re still left with the family mystery, and it’s against our nature ‘not to know’, especially in today’s society, where mysteries are always shown to be solved.
Maybe, one day, James Stephenson Noble might appear on the list of persons lost to the San Francisco earthquake, and then you will have closure.
Keep on looking, my friend, as the case is still open.
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