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Although Joyes was quite a common name in Petworth, the first Joyes from our family to live there was Ernest Albert Joyes. Originally born in Dorking, Surrey his family moved to Fittleworth where Ernest was to meet his future wife Beatrice Squire the daughter of a butcher. He went out to South Africa in 1907 and his fiancee joined him the following year. It is thought that the purpose of the visit was to search for diamonds. A brave decision considering the difficulties involved in travelling across such a lawless wasteland.

They were married in Germiston, near Johannesburg, in 1908 and returned to Sussex in 1910 with baby Ruth Elizabeth (born 1909) and went to live at Petworth. We can only assume that they were unsuccessful in their search for diamonds as on their return they opened a poulterer’s shop in Petworth !!!

Joyes' Poulterers, Petworth

Ernest Albert Joyes served with the Royal Garrison Artillery during the 1914-18 war, when he is thought to have been wounded, and with the Home Guard during WW2.

On a more light-hearted note, Ernest would have been considered a bit of a lad in his teens and was hauled before the beak on several occasions. On one such, the 29th day of August 1904, he was charged as follows:

During the period between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise did ride upon a certain carriage called a bicycle without having attached to such carriage a lamp so constructed and placed as to exhibit a light in the direction in which he was proceeding and so lighted and kept lighted as to afford adequate means of signalling the approach or position of said carriage contrary to Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1888.

Ernest was fined 5/- or 7 days in Portsmouth prison. (Travel to Portsmouth being at the prisoner's own expense !!)

On 21st April 1895 John Henry Skinner aged 25, farmer and bachelor of Petworth, applied for a licence to marry Emma JOYES, age 25, daughter of Henry JOYES, the miller of Fittleworth.

During 1909 Una Joyes was employed in a drapery business at Petworth. Illustrated below is a view of Petworth at the time on a postcard she sent to her brother.

Petworth postcard c1909

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In his will, dated 1907, Henry Joyes of Fittleworth, Ernest's grandfather, left to each of his two grandsons, Ernest Albert and William Henry (Ernest's brother) the sum of £200. It is thought that this money would have given Ernest and William the opportunity to go diamond hunting in South Africa. William though did not return with his brother and was to spend the rest of his life in and around Germiston.