Now we are well on the way to putting a face to Harry NICHOLS I have another puzzle to solve.
Harry was the 9th of 10 children of Edmund NICHOLS & Eliza HAIN. The 4th child - also called Edmund was born 4 Mar 1872 in Congresbury. He is the one who disappeared! In 1881 he is with his parents in Puxton, in 1891 (as Edwd NICHOLS) as a farm servant in Wick St Lawrence and in 1901 with his wife and 3 of their children in Bristol as a Lumber Carter.
He married Anna Jane DAVIS about 1895 and they had 5 children in total - they were all baptised on the same day 2 Sep 1906 in the Worle Circuit of the Methodist Church (non-Conformist which is why I probably can't find the marriage). The records state that they were living in Hewish at this point. After this we lose him.
Anna Jane is on her own in the 1911 census but still stated as being "married". Still living in Hewish. In 1921 (yes I paid for it - it's the only one I done so far) she is with her daughter (as Hannah NICHOLS) - still "married" Only in 1939 she is recorded as being widowed.
So what happened to Edmund - anything is possible looking at the family history.
Of the 6 boys the other 5 were in the military at some point. Harry just for WWI. The oldest, George was a Corporal in the Royal Scots Fusiliers before being busted - went to Australia and was found dead after 6 weeks with his throat cut. Twins William & James both joined up in 1895, James died of gangrene in Mhow, India in 1895, William survived his stint in the Grenadier Guards & lived to the age of 76. Another twin, John (there were two sets) also joined up in 1895 and lived to the age of 78 although spent some time in Wells Asylum before WWI.
Of the girls John's twin sister Sarah Ann spent nearly 50 years in Wells Asylum, the 2nd eldest Eliza was a drunk who had 12 children with at least 3 different men (only 2 were husbands). She had quite a few spells in prison with the kids being brought up in the Glamorgan Cottage Homes. Another sister died at the age of 18.
So death, emigration, running off with another woman (or man I suppose), long term jail, asylum, long military service - anything is possible. I cannot find anything for an Edmund or Edward of the right age.
Any thoughts - however radical, gratefully received.