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Charles & Elizabeth Jancewicz | by Granpic
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Charles & Elizabeth Jancewicz

This imposing memorial to Charles Jancewicz and his wife Elizabeth, is in Ipswich Old Cemetery, Suffolk. Living in exile for most of his life, Charles was born in Warsaw in 1795 and, as the 'Ipswich Journal' headlined his obituary, had 'an eventful life'.

 

To quote the newspaper obituary ( always to be taken with a pinch of salt but it does sound basically convincing) :'

 

The deceased gentleman belonged to a noble family of Poland, before the subjugation of that unfortunate country by Russia. He was born in Warsaw and fought in the war against Russia as Major of the 2nd Regiment of Mazurs of the Polish army.

 

After the conclusion of the war in 1812, he went to France, where he joined the army of the great Napoleon, in which he served with some distinction, part of the time as an aide de camp. He took part in the disastrous campaign against Russia and was at Moscow when that city was burned. After that he experienced the miseries of the memorable retreat and, in addition to the great hardships of the retreat, he was taken prisoner .... but he soon made his escape and went back to the French army. He took an active part in Napoleon's wars and bore the scars of many wounds as evidence of his experience upon the field of battle. One scar was familiar to those who knew the deceased gentleman being the mark of a sabre cut across his face.

 

About 48 years ago he left France and took up his residence in London, from whence he removed to Jersey and he came to reside in Ipswich about 19 years ago, since which time this town has been his home. He was possessed of three medals.

 

He resided in this town till the day of his death, with a young lady whom he had adopted as his daughter and was well known and greatly respected. His rank in his own country was that of a baron'.

 

He and his Ipswich born wife Elizabeth ( 1810 - 1880) first appear in the British census of 1861 in St Helier, Jersey.

By 1871 they are in Alma Terrace, East Street, Ipswich and now, aged 77 and 60 respectively, have a 'daughter', Honora, aged 13, who, presumably, later erected the monument.

 

Charles appears on the Ipswich electoral roll from 1868 onwards and owned freehold property at various times in Fitzroy St, Beck St, Orford St and Anglesea Rd. He seems to have moved between houses ; sometimes occupying one and letting out another and sometimes reversing the situation on the same two properties. Definitely a colourful character!

  

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Taken on October 11, 2015