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West Chiltington

At 19 Sarah Joyes married 31 year old James Sadler, a farm worker from West Chiltington. The wedding took place in Billingshurst shortly before the birth of their first son George in 1817 and seven more children were to arrive at regular intervals until 1835. They were William, Hannah, James, Luke, John, Mary and Jane .

Going by church and census records, the Sadlers appear to have spent their entire lives in West Chiltington.

St Mary's Church West Chiltington

Interior of St Mary's

Sarah's husband James Sadler died and was buried in the West Chiltington churchyard in 1855. Sarah herself earned money as a charwoman and lived on to a good age but became very deaf. This disability lead to a tragic ending of her life, as told in an article from the Hampshire and South of England Advertiser in 1868 below. She was also buried at West Chiltington but none of the family graves are marked with tombstones.

Of Sarah's children we know that

William Sadler died at age 45 at the Thakeham Union Workhouse.

James Sadler, her grandson, was aged 20 a militia man at the Chichester Barracks. His marriage to Alice Hankins was registered at Petworth in 1884. Births of a daughter Annie 1884 and a son William 1886 were registered at Loxwood. In 1891 his occupation was 'domestic servant and gardener' in Pagham and by 1901 'a domestic groom' at Merston.

Luke Sadler, a farm worker, married Sarah Bristow on the first of December 1855. They lived in West Chiltington in East Lane with Luke's widowed mother until her death in 1869. They had three children Jane, James and Mary. Before daughter Jane's marriage to Joseph Luff, a warehouseman, she had a son named Ernest Sadler born in Warnham. In the 1901 census Ernest, age 23, is found to be living in a boarding house at Southborough, Kent. He was employed as a grocer's assistant at the time.

The son James Luff aged 20, was a militia man at the Chichester Barracks in 1901

John Sadler died at around 3 years.

Nothing yet is known of the lives of Sarah's other children.

Hampshire and South of England Advertiser in 1868.


A shocking accident occurred at one of the crossings near to Billingshurst on Friday last. An old woman, named Sarah Sadler, was crossing the line as the train leaving Ford at 8.57 am approached and although the engine driver whistled and did all he could to attract her attention she did not move away, and was killed by the concussion. The particulars will be gleaned from the inquest held on Saturday last at Hadfold House, Billingshurst. William Grinstead, of Hadfold Farm, said: "The deceased, Sarah Sadler, was a widow, aged about 74 years. She lived in a cottage in the parish of West Chiltington. She was very deaf; I don't know that I ever spoke to a person more deaf.. She called at my home yesterday morning and said she was going to Purbrook to see her sister. She left about 9.40 and to go to Purbrook, she would have to cross the line of the railway. Just after she went from here I heard an up train coming on the line, and I heard the whistle of the train blow very sharp. A child came indoors to me and called me out. I found deceased lying on the west side of the line: her feet were about a foot from the metals, and her head was towards the water course. I picked her up, when she appeared to me to breathe three times, and then she was quite dead. She did not move hand or foot after I got to her. One of her shoes was torn, and there was a great deal of blood under where she laid. The train stopped apparently as soon as it could, and the guard and others came back to me.- Caroline Longhurst, who lives with Mr Grinstead, said she saw Mrs Sadler leave this house and go up the road and through the gate on to the line of the railway. She heard a train coming and ran as fast as she could to stop her. It was no use hollering to her as she was so deaf. The train appeared to be about 50 yards from the crossing just as the deceased was going on to the line. The whistle was blown directly she went on; she seemed frightened by the whistle, and threw up her arms. Witness was not more than three or four steps from the gate when the train passed the crossing. After it had passed witness looked and saw deceased lying by the side of the line. Deceased was much injured in the side and leg, and a good deal of blood came from her.- William Heasman said " I am a stoker in the service of the Brighton Rail Company. Yesterday I was on an engine drawing an up train from Ford on the Mid Sussex Line. We passed here about 9.45 am, and when the engine was about 50 yards from the crossing I saw a woman stepping on to the line on this side as if to cross. We were going at that time at about 30 miles an hour. I blew the whistle and put on the brake. My mate blew the whistle when I went to the brake and he shut off the steam. She went straight across the line and did not look up; she did not seem to me to take any notice of the train or whistle. I was on the right side of the engine and could not see what had happened on the other side. My mate told me the engine had run against her. We stopped as soon as we could and ran the train back. We whistled first a continuous whistle and then my mate puffed it. When I first saw the woman she was stepping on to the down line. As there was no fault attributable to anyone, the jury at once returned a verdict of "Accidentally killed"

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