For some time now I have been curious about my family tree after watching several episodes of the BBC programme Who Do you Think You Are. http://www.bbc.co.uk/whodoyouthinkyouare/welcome.shtml
Not so long ago I learnt that on my mothers side of the family we have a few interesting characters, two men that were relatively well known in their time.
In a two part blog I’d like to introduce you to them both and hope that you find our find interesting to read. The information I have obtained is from research in to my family tree though family members and other sources. I hope that you enjoy this first blog, I aim to add pictures and footage where possible.
Joe Beckett was born in April 1892 in Hampshire to Joseph Boyce and Charlotte Birch. As far as we know Charlotte Birch came from a Romany Gypsy family and owned a boxing booth that moved around the country. Joe Beckett grew up moving around with the boxing booth and learnt how to box.
Joe Beckett went on to become a great boxer in his time. Out of the 61 fights that he fought, he won 49 he lost 11 and drew 1. Joe became British Heavyweight title in in December 1918 defeating Bombardier Billy Wells (commonly known as the gong man at the beginning of old films)
Also here is some footage courtesy of British Pathe and YouTube. It’s a fight between Joe Beckett and Dick Smith in 1920 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOOxS8xmbvk
Joe Beckett is my great grandmothers second cousin. I’m not an expert in genealogy so I’m not too sure what that makes me to Joe Beckett but it’s so interesting all the same. To know that a someone in my family was the British Heavyweight Boxing Champion amazes me.
Joe Beckett is also mentioned in the infamous American TV series, Broadwalk Empire, which just amazes me.
If you ever have the chance to research your family tree, please do it, it’s truly rewarding and takes you on a really interesting journey in to you family’s history.
Thank you for reading 🙂