Leicestershire Antills and Connected Families

Roots mainly in the Mountsorrel and Rothley area, but have spread to Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand

Lamsdorf Death March Route

Over 80 years ago on 12 Jun 1940, my father was part of 51st Highland Division which, unable to be evacuated due to bad weather, surrendered at St Valery 8 days after the evacuation at Dunkirk was completed. He was a guest of the Nazis until Jan 1945 nominally in Stalag VIIIB in Lamsdorf (now Lambinowice), Poland. Much of the time he was in Working party E201 and based at Dirschel (now Dzierzyslaw), Poland working in a sugar beet farm and gypsum mine. With the Russian army closing in he was force-marched from the Oberglogau (now Glogowek, Poland) Sugar Factory 375 miles into Germany over the Czech mountains arriving in the spring before VE day. We thought that this map marks the route which was recorded by one of my father's fellow POWs, but recent research by the family suggests a more westerly way.

A record of his journey and many others can now be found at:


Clicking on the map above will open up the Lamsdorf POW web site where there is a gallery of photos from his POW days found in my late father's effects and some notes made of places encountered on his Long March to Freedom.

It was on May 8th 1945 that my father woke to find no German prison guards and so he with his friends made their own way to meet up with USA military and then to return to England. My father never knew his father in law (search for Thomas William Bamford on this site), who rests in peace having been killed in action on 16 August 1917 during the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Ieper) known also as Passchendaele. With my brothers we attended on 31 Jul 2017 the UK Government's official commemoration event for this Battle which was held in the presence of Belgian and British Royalty at Tyne Cot Cemetery, where my grandfather's grave can be viewed.

Welcome - by John Antill

Welcome to my web site! Although this site started with my antecedents, spreading out there are now a number of well-known names on it that are connected (through many marriages) to me, my late wife (who was a brilliant co-researcher) and sisters in law.

All UK Monarchs From Elizabeth II back at least to William the Conqueror with Oliver Cromwell, a few French Kings, US President J F Kennedy and both Presidents Bush; Hillary Rodham Clinton and husband Bill. Former Prime Ministers Winston Churchill, Robert Walpole, James Waldegrave, the Duke of Wellington, William Gladstone, Robert Jenkinson, Lord North, William Lamb, Robert Peel, Charles Grey, Herbert Asquith, Arthur Balfour, Neville Chamberlain, (Maurice) Harold MacMillan, Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron.

Politicians: Airey Neave; and party leader Jo Grimond; Stafford Cripps, Chancellor of the Exchequer, post WWII; William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania; Lord Henry Plumb, formerly President of the National Farmers Union; MPs Alfred Arthur Denville the founder of the Denville Home for actors and abolitionist William Smith.

Military: Sir Francis Drake; Admiral Nelson; Admiral Maitland, who accepted Napoleon's surrender at Waterloo; Crimean War commander Field Marshal Sir John Pennefather; Polar explorer Robert F Scott and his son - Mr Slimbridge - Peter; Sir Nicholas Carter, lately the UK Chief of the Defence Staff. VC holders Bernard Fryburg, John Bythesea, Hugh Burgoyne, Claude Dobson, John Graham, Alfred Jones, Henry Percy, Francis Maude, John Milbanke and William Peel.

Science/engineering: Nobel laureates Dorothy Hodgkin and her husband's cousin Sir Alan Hodgkin; "Origin of the Species" Charles Darwin; zoologist Bob Golding; African explorer John H Speke; Professor Stephen Hawking; Sir Francis Galton who coined the phrase "Nature versus Nurture"; Professor Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin; Sir Bernard Lovell; W O Bentley, joint founder of Bentley Motors; Logarithm inventor John Napier; Sir (Herbert) Nigel Gresley who designed steam locomotive engines; William Henry Fox Talbot, photography pioneer; Thomas Andrews, the designer of the TITANIC and who perished with the ship; Richard Arkwright, the inventor; radio pioneer Marconi; the inventor of the fuel cell without which the Apollo 11 moon landing would not have been possible, Francis Bacon.

Industrialists: the Strutts and Josiah Wedgwood line; the iron founding dynasty headed by Abraham Darby; Jethro Tull (lawyer turned agriculturist); the aircraft designer Sir Geoffrey de Havilland; Elizabeth Fry, the penal and social reformer and her relatives who founded the J S Fry chocolate empire with Barbara Fry marrying into the Robertson jam line; John Stephenson Rowntree, director of the chocolate etc company; and his competitor John Cadbury, the founder of the Cadbury chocolate brand; the founders of the Clarks shoe company, Bass and Fullers breweries; Ralph Allen, the postal innovator and Bath quarry owner; the founders of the Haig (Scotch Whisky) firm and the Jameson (Irish Whiskey) firm plus Arthur Guinness; Thatchers cider found William; Sir Edwin Lutyens; the Rothschild who built Waddesdon Manor; the shipping magnate Edward Cunard; the cricket bat manufacturer William (Billy) Gunn; the inventor of the mining man engine, Michael Loam; the founders of William Pilkington & Sons, glass manufacturers and Peter Greenall, Brewer; John J Sainsbury, founder of the Sainsbury supermarket chain; Samuel and George Palmer who their surname into Huntley & Palmers; in the Bristol area, the tar manufacturer William Butler and Alfred George the brewer and the Finzel sugar refining dynasty; the Taylor bell founding family from Loughborough. From the oil industry and now the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Health: Nurse Edith Cavell; Edward Janner (smallpox); W G Grace, more widely known as a cricketer; Florence Nightingale; the Elephant Man Joseph Carey Merrick.

The Arts: Poet laureate William Wordsworth; Ralph Vaughan Williams, the composer; Sir Reginald Thatcher, musician; Cenotaph architect Edwin Lutyens; the diarist Samuel Pepys; playwright Richard Sheridan; W H Auden; Lord Byron and his lover Lady Caroline Lamb; gardener Gertrude Jekyll; Humphrey Lyttleton; authors Gavin Maxwell, Vita Sackville-West, Norman Mailer and Joanna Trollope; Wind in the Willows author Kenneth Grahame; poets Samuel T Coleridge and Robert & Elizabeth Browning; illustrator of Narnia books Pauline Bayne; BBC presenters Clare Balding, Kate Silverton, Cherry Healey and Jilly Goolden, and Archers actor Earl of Portland (David Archer); actors Helena Bonham Carter and her second cousin Anna Chancellor, Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland; actor Derek Nimmo; actors Vivian Leigh nee Hartley, Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright; property guru Kirstie Allsopp: the actor Dame Peggy Ashcroft and her first husband's son by his second marriage, Adam Hart-Davis the scientist and TV presenter; Miranda Hart, actor, comedian, writer; MP and journalist Malcolm Muggeridge and his relatives by marriage the daughters of Richard Potter MP, including Beatrice Webb; actors Benedict Cumberbatch and his mother Wanda Ventham; (Dorothy) Rowena Cade, creator of the Mynack Open air theatre in Cornwall and her sister, author Katherine Burdekin; adventurer and TV presenter, Edward Michael (Bear) Grylls; Black Beauty author Anna Sewell; Composer and WW1 hero George Butterworth; the writer Virginia Woolf (née Adeline Virginia Stephen).

Local Bristol Heroes: John Chiddy who lost his life successfully preventing an express train from being derailed; Cliff Britton, England international footballer.

Namesake: Trevor John Antill who created the long distance walk - The Monarch's Way and wrote guides to it.

This site contains my ancestors Antills (Leicestershire) and Bamfords (Northamptonshire)), plus lines of Westons, Merrimans, Saundersons, Needhams, Trueloves, Tyackes and Swinnertons all connected at living level. I try to ensure that details of anyone living are not uploaded unless the data has been made publicly available on the internet or in another medium. With over 180,000 names, decades of work have been put into the research and documentation of these ancestors.

Searching. Many Swynnertons are referred to in records as De Swynnertons but I have indexed all as surname Swynnerton. Additionally there are various spellings of Swinnerton, Swinerton, Swynnerton etc, so it may pay to search all varieties. I hope you will benefit from the information I present here.

Thanks: Particular thanks for help, research and data go to: Antill data - my Mother and elder brother, Terry, Wayne, my fifth cousin Ann Jones (search for Ann Lawrence on this site), Greg Hunter, Roy, Barbara, Danny, Lindsay, Cassandra, Peggy, Sally, Cheryl, and Bob; Weston data: Geoffrey, Joy, Adele, Beverley and Paul; Stewart: to Ann and clanmacfarlane web site; Hinds: Ken and rootsweb; Truelove and Tyacke: Margaret; Swinnerton: Margaret and Iain; Stock: to Derek Stock and his fellow researchers - see http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~essexstock/index.htm; Britton: to Gladys Britton Spilsbury for her book "The Brittons of Kingswood Chase and some Gloucestershire Connections" as updated by Andrew Plaster's research; Rod for southern hemisphere Brosters; Lyn Paterson for Paterson/Moncrieffe information and George Seton's 1890 book House of Moncrieff; David for Pattison and Graham info; olivercromwell.org for his information; Kay Borsberry and Bert for some Davis information; some Thatcher data from theislandwiki.org/index.php/Descendants_of_John_Thetcher and Lynne who has connected me to my cider manufacturers Thatchers of Sandford. Thanks also to Jen at leicestershire.webs.com for parish records. Some of you live in other continents and so I know that the sun is always shining on at least one one of you somewhere.

Air Commodore E W (Peter) Merriman CBE, DFM

Peter, my late wife's uncle, started his RAF career in World War II flying a Spitfire in Douglas Bader's big wing and took part in the fighter escort to the bombing raid that parachuted replacement prosthetic legs to Bader's prison camp. In 1966 Peter flew Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith to Gibraltar for the independence talks with British Prime Minister on HMS Tiger.