I got the following from the Ellis Island Immigration records. The website address is http://www.ellisisland.org/http://www.ellisisland.org/ I found information on Commander, Irene, Gt. Britain, English. Her place of residence was Sheffield, England. She arrived May 09, 1921, 17yrs, Female, Single on the SS Cedric from the Port of Liverpool, England, UK. With her on the same day and same boat from the same port of departure was Commander, Elizabeth, Gt. Britain, English, and her residence was also Sheffield, England. Her date of arrival was May 09, 1921. She is described as 45yrs, Female, Widow. I wonder who they were going to meet.
As these two ladies came from Sheffield. It would mean that they came from the Midland Branch of the Commander family, which means you are definitely related to me somewhere along the line.
The are two branches of the Midland family mine and Lewis Commander's both originate from Bishop's Tachbrook, Warwickshire. Lewis Commander has got his branch back to about 1660, drat, but his branch of the family left the village about 1795 and went to Rowingon, which I think is in Worcestershire. I could be wrong there. I have got mine back to about 1700. I am looking for a marriage between Thomas Commander and Anne or Ann about that time. My own grandfather, George Commander, left the village about 1845 to become first a baker's apprentice, in Birmingham. I know this from his marriage certificate, when he married Sarah Bates at St. Phillip's, Birmingham, which was then in Warwickshire, but is now in the West Midlands. He was then a Police Constable according to the census of 1861 in Aston Village.
Now I am armed with more information about Irene and Elizabeth I will go back to the Family Record Centre at Myddleton Place, London, or their website and try and find the birth certificates for you. Elizabeth Commander being a widow, there is strong possibility that her husband was killed in the First World War. Hold a minute. I'll go off to the Commonwealth War Graves site and see if there is a death for Commander about 40 years old.
There were three Commanders killed in the First World War, so far, one should bear in mind that the site is being continually updated. One was 20 years old, so that counts him out. I do not know the age of the first, BERT COMMANDER, Private, No. 2478, 1st/8th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who died on Saturday, 1st July 1916. Commemorative Information
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France
Panel Number:Pier and Face 9 A 9 B and 10 B
Location:The Thiepval Memorial will be found on the D73, off the main Bapaume to Albert road (D929).
Historical Information:On 1 July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1 July. Attacks north and east continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Somme finally ended on 18 November with the onset of winter. In the spring of 1917, the German forces fell back to their newly prepared defences, the Hindenburg Line, and there were no further significant engagements in the Somme sector until the Germans mounted their major offensive in March 1918. The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive and a small cemetery containing equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at the foot of the memorial. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 31 July 1932. The dead of other Commonwealth countries who died on the Somme and have no known graves are commemorated on national memorials elsewhere.
And then there is the following. In Memory of GEORGE COMMANDER, Private, No. 9257,2nd Bn., Leicestershire Regiment, who died on Friday, 7th January 1916.
Memorial:BASRA MEMORIAL, Iraq
Panel Number:Panel 12
Location:The Basra Memorial was originally sited within Basra War Cemetery but in 1997 the Memorial was moved by presidential decree. The move, carried out by the authorities in Iraq, involved a considerable amount of manpower, transport costs and sheer engineering on their part, and the Memorial has been re-erected in its entirety. The Basra Memorial is now located 32 kilometres along the road to Nasiriyah, in the middle of what was a major battleground during the Gulf War.
Historical Information:The Basra Memorial bears the names of more than 40,500 members of the Commonwealth forces who died in the operations in Mesopotamia from the Autumn of 1914 to the end of August 1921 and whose graves are not known.
If either of the above is the husband of Elizabeth Commander then you have it made. You can contact the regiments concerned and have them look up their records of service. If Elizabeth's husband was killed in the First World War then one of these two would be your bet.
There is a London branch of the Commander family, which has lived there as far as I know since about 1545 around St. James Garlickhithe and St. Giles Cripplegate, and as London is only about 98 miles from Bishop's Tachbrook. I should think there is a strong possibility that this branch is related. Lewis does not agree.
I will try and find the births of Elizabeth and Irene, and the Marriage of Elizabeth. Irene being 17 years old. I will search for marriage about 1903 and the birth of Elizabeth upto twenty years or more before 1903, which would be about 1883, or thereabouts. I will let you know.
I did not realise so much time had passed. I must away to my bed.