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Shuthi NNLOB Smart/Dulcie Lilian Barshell Smart

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Clem Report 27 Aug 2011 03:30


I am looking for information on my grandfather, Shuthi Nandi Napoleon Oswald Banerjee Smart or his mother, Dulcie Lilian Barshell Smart.

Dulcie was an actress in the British theatre, she listed that as her occupation on the 1911 census. She was living with her mother and grandmother at 55 Windsor Rd. in Ealing at the time.

I'd be interested in any suggestions about her, I have no knowledge of British theatre, or where she may have been working. We believe it is possible she may have gone by the name of Lilian Barshell while on the stage.

As for my grandfather, Shuthi, he was illegitimate, and so the details of his birth, and his father, were hidden from us. (There are two different fathers named on a couple of different documents, his grandfather was listed as his father on his marriage certificate, and the other we believe to be a ficticious name that may have been used on his school records/military service records to make him and his mother "respectable." There is no father named on his birth cert and he was given his mother's maiden name as his surname.) Shuthi was with the RAF and died 3 Mar 1942 when his plane was shot down over Germany.

Family rumor has it that Shuthi's father was a prominent Indian. And my mother, Shuthi's daughter, knew Dulcie but knew her as Auntie Lilian, not as Shuthi's mother.

Dulcie married a man named John Joseph O'Connor in 1933 and they had a daughter named Mary Ann.

Any suggestions about where I could find out about British theatre, how I could find out about a birth with circumstances like my grandfather's, anything about these two relatives, just anything would be appreciated. We are a little desperate as that line of our family dies out with Shuthi if we can't figure it out.

Thanks you.



BatMansDaughter Report 27 Aug 2011 06:49

Hi Clem,

Have you tried looking for Dulcie on the "The" if you put archives after the name it should bring it up. Cost is £5.00 for the day.

Good luck,

Dee x


Dea Report 27 Aug 2011 08:24

There are 5 trees on Ancestry with this person on - are you in touch with the people who own them?

Dea x

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 27 Aug 2011 08:29

I've been trying different combinations of her name in The Times, as theatre adverts often bring something up, but nothing found I'm afraid...
(also tried Dolcy, her name on FreeBMD birth)

Chris :)


Dea Report 27 Aug 2011 08:34

One of the trees suggests the father was Satyendra Prasanna Sinha - 1st Baron Sinha of Raipur.

Born 1863 in Raipur Calcutta - died 1928.

Does this match the info you have?

Dea x


Dea Report 27 Aug 2011 09:22

There is LOADS of info on this family if you google !

What was the ficticious name on the school records for his father?

Can you give us ALL the details that you have and we can try to help.

Dea x


Cynthia Report 28 Aug 2011 18:42

Hello Clem and welcome to the boards.

There are some people on this site with those names in their tree. If you put the names into the Search Trees box above (in the dark green bar) you will see what I mean. You can contact the tree owners for further info - should they have any of course! Regards. Cx


Clem Report 28 Aug 2011 19:32

Thanks for all of the replies.

First, I have tried making contact with anyone who has Dulcie in their family tree, I got one response saying yes I am related and that she hoped I could tell her more about this remarkable lady - I hope to correspond more with her, but it doesn't sound like she knows more than about her. I have yet to hear back from any of the others I've tried to contact.

Dee - I haven't tried ""because I didn't know about it, thank you for that tip.

Chris - thank you for trying, the listing for Dolcy is her, of course, and is a typo. She is also listed on the 1911 Census on the individual sheet as "Dulai" (an obvious misreading of the name) and she is listed on the group sheet along with her mother, grandmother and cousin (as Dulcie).

Dea - the name we believe to be fictitious is Satyendra Mohan Banerjee. It is the name listed as father when you look up Shuthi on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. We have some reason to believe that Shuthi's real father put him through school - we are trying to find out where - and in order to hide the connection to him, and make Shuthi "legitimate" they listed this name as the father. And then used this name as father when he joined the RAF. I would imagine you would have to show school records when you joined the RAF and if they listed Banerjee when Shuthi went to school, it would have carried over to his RAF records. When Shuthi married in 1933, he listed Frederick Smart as his father, but Frederick is his mother's father.

Most of the information when you Google has been put out by my family trying to find information. As for the listing showing Satyendra Prassana Sinha (Lord Sinha), I am afraid that is probably something my aunt posted. We have reason to believe my grandfather's father may have been one of the Sinhas, but we don't have proof and we don't know which one it might have been. That is why I didn't actually say the name in my original post. My aunt was convinced for a while that it was Lord Sinha, but it makes more sense to me that it may have been one of his sons.

Family rumor has always been that my grandfather's father was someone in the Sinha family. While my grandfather was living, extravagant packages used to come to the family from someone in India, but after Shuthi died in 1942 all contact from India stopped. My grandmother, Shuthi's wife, used to go around wearing a tiara and calling herself Lady Sinha - mind you she was a bit crazy, and I don't mean clinically crazy, just way out there. We always assumed that meant she thought Lord Sinha was the father - but now it seems plausible to me that she would have thought his son's would also carry the title and then Shuthi. (That isn't exactly how it works, and since my grandfather was illegitimate he would be excluded anyway, but I can see where she came up with the idea.)

And then when I found the 1911 Census on this site, I found that Dulcie, Shuthi's mother, was living just houses away from Lord Sinha's brother, NP Sinha, and that Lord Sinha's middle son, Sirsir, was also living there at the time, and his other two sons, Arun and Sushil, were living nearby. That certainly gives the whole story some credibility.

I want to be careful, because I don't want to say it was Lord Sinha or NP Sinha or Arun Sinha, as all three were married at the time, and I don't wish to make claims that might hurt people. But with them living in the vicinity of my great-grandmother, Dulcie, the same year she got pregnant with my grandfather, well, it certainly makes it seem more possible that the family rumors could have some truth.

I really don't care who Shuthi's father is - I just want to know who he is so we can trace our family.

Thanks again for all of the replies.



Lynski Report 30 Aug 2011 23:57

Related thread -


chrissiex Report 31 Aug 2011 00:33

Does Shuthi have any male descendants - i.e. did your mother have a brother and if so and he is deceased did he have a male child ? ... yes a birth search shows that he had a son 1937 ... I don't see any further record of him ...

If so it could be worthwhile to have a DNA analysis put on record somewhere so that it would be available for matching if you have someone to match it against in future

do you have any idea where any of Shuthi's names came from ? for example what do 'NP' stand for ? ... edit, found in 1911 census ... Narendra Prasnna ( at least as transcribed ) ... born c1859 ... there is a son born c1891

in the common pattern for a child of unmarried parents the father's surname is indeed the last given name, do you know where 'Banerjee' in his name came from ?

re your post on Living Relatives, it does not really make sense to have two threads about basically the same thing even if they are not technically 'duplicates', as you see it does lead to duplicated effort ... if you would direct people from that thread to here instead it would be appreciated


chrissiex Report 31 Aug 2011 01:02

if I were you I would fix the records at Ancestry for good measure

1901 Civil parish: Ealing

Charlotte A Marshall 52 it says Marshall but it's Barshell ?
Lottie Smart 25 put her full name and birth name
Dalus Smart 8 Dulcie
the rest are boarders, Charlotte Sr is a boarding house keeper
Mary Ann Moyer 38
Albert Apps 14
Charles J Jones 23
Richard J Bugh 20
George Henry Guyon 22

that way anyone searching for them ( not likely but you never know ! ) would be able to find you

you can also put 'postems' on entries at freebmd with your email address giving information


chrissiex Report 31 Aug 2011 01:13

I have a theatrical ancestor too, a generation or two earlier, and have been fortunate to find playlists with the name

searching with google for theatres in Ealing ( and filtering out 'movies' and 'Questors' a theatre from a later date ) there is this one

Ealing Hippodrome

Theatre ID 2428
Built?/?Converted 1899
Dates of use 1899 - 1958
Current state Demolished
Current use demolished
Address 22 Ealing Broadway, Ealing, London, W5, England

the sign on a 1922 photo says 'Refined Entertainments Twice Nightly'

searching the database at that site there seems to be no other theatre in the vicinity that was built by 1911

some more info about the Ealing Theatre

oh well ... it seems that by 1911 it was a movie theatre

In 1906 the Theatre was reconstructed when it became part of the Water Gibbons Circuit, some say to the designs of the well known Theatre Architect Bertie Crewe, and reopened under the name of the Ealing Hippodrome with a slightly lower seating capacity of 1,800.

Only 2 years later, in 1908, it was converted for Cinema use and reopened as the Broadway Cinema in November the same year. In 1913 a new entrance was constructed by Edward A. Stone and the Theatre reopened on the 16th of March the following year, 1914, as the Broadway Palladium Cinema with a reduced capacity of 1,260.

I would search around the Theatres Trust site for possibilities in the general area though


Clem Report 31 Aug 2011 06:13


My grandfather, Shuthi, had one son, Eugene Timothy John Smart. Unfortunately my Uncle John died in the late eighties. And he did not have any children.

I will search the theatre sites you found. I appreciate that. Dulcie listed her occupation as an Actress/Theatre on the 1911 census and when my grandfather was born in June 1912 she listed her occupation as "Actress on Stage" on his certificate.

As for that extraordinary name - Shuthi Nandi Napoleon Leslie Oswald Banerjee Smart - we've no idea where those names came from. It seems impossible that there is not deeper meaning to all of those names. And it seems at odds that a woman who would later try to hide the fact he was her son would give him such a string of names. It could hardly go unnoticed.

The only lead we have on a father are the family rumors that it was someone in the Sinha family. I don't know where Banerjee came from. There is a name listed with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, as his father, Satyendra Mohan Banerjee. But there isn't any other reference to that name anywhere, nor does any of Shuthi's children remember anyone by that name. We have a theory where it came from, but that's all.

I didn't mean to cause twice the work, sorry about that, you may have seen my post on the other thread, it was a misplaced attempt to try to be sensitive to anyone that might have a connection to Mary Ann, on the off chance they don't know about Shuthi. If they didn't know about Shuthi, I thought the chances were less that they'd tie that post to this one.

But I really think anyone doing genealogy work on Mary Ann's family would have to know about him.


chrissiex Report 31 Aug 2011 23:43

I just wanted to add Shuthi's birth record since it isn't here

Births Sep 1912
Smart Shuthi N N L O B Smart Brentford 3a 424

and for info,_1st_Baron_Sinha

born 1863

he is the brother of the person shown in 1911

SINHA NARENDRA PRASNNA 1859 52 Brentford Middlesex
wife Bana Sundari

and he was succeeded by son Aroon Kumar Sinha who in 1911 is

SINHA AROON KUMAR 1888 23 Kensington London
wife Marcia Minnie ( Thornborrough, married 1911 Kensington )

I am sure you are very familiar with the Sinha family lines ... just for those of us who aren't :-)

you've researched young son Sushil? ... 1911

SINHA SUSHIL M 1896 15 Fulham London ( boarding school it seems )

Sinha, Sushil Kumar, was born in India on 9 June 1895 at Calcutta ( the article also says 1894 ). He came to this country as a student in 1907. His first school was at Colet Court, Kensington, London, from June 1907 to July 1909. He attended his second school, St. Paul's School, West Kensington, London from September 1909 to July 1913, and he matriculated in October 1913.

He was also a student at Balliol College, Oxford 1913-17, where he finished his BA. He completed his ICS classes at Pembroke College, Cambridge, 1917-18. He used to reside at 24 Florence Road, Ealing with his uncle Major N. P. Sinha.

He was married in 1917 to a white woman, (unable to trace her maiden name) who was living with her mother at Merrington Villa, Cutnall Green, Droitwich. They had a baby in early summer 1918.

... According to The Times newspaper on 10 December 1919, the Hon. Mrs S K Sinha, daughter-in-law of Lord S. P. Sinha, died on 9 December 1919 at the age of 20. She was the elder of the two daughters of Mr A. C. Chaterjee, ICS. She was the second wife of S. K. Sinha. The cremation took place at Golder's Green. They got married in October 1919 at Brentford (General Register Office Reference: December 1919 Quarter, Volume a. Page 498). We have been unable to find records on what happened to his first wife.

There's no first marriage in the GRO index. This seems to be the birth:

Births Jun 1918
Sinha John C mother:Sandy Droitwich 6c 299

then the 'second' marriage

Marriages Dec 1919
Sinha Sushil E Chatterjee Brentford 3a 498
Chatterjee Vera R Sinha Brentford 3a 498

Deaths Dec 1919
Sinha Vera R 20 Brentford 3a 165

.......... but

Births Mar 1920
Sinha B[eo]tty C Sandy Upton 6c 334

so if those births do belong to Sushil he was not married to the mother ( the marriage took place while the mother of the child born 1920 was pregnant )

possibly also of interest is this death for which there is no birth (or any other Sandy or Nancy birth to match in the vicinity)

Deaths Mar 1921
Sandy Nancy 3 Upton 6c 166

there is only one person named Sandy in Droitwich in 1911

SANDY SARAH 1852 59 Droitwich Worcestershire
only one older woman living with her, named Hadley
( I cannot identify her in 1901 )

the address given is probably now
Merrington House, 9 The Green, Kidderminster Road, Cutnall Green, Droitwich WR9 0PW, United Kingdom
currently commercial use

I do not see any marriages or deaths for John and Betty ( as Sinha or Sandy )

........ but they are each in a tree here at GR ... I would want to know who their parents were, lol ... I don't understand how the article writer knew where the mother was living but not who she was ...

is there any chance that Shuthi is a nickname ? not of your Shuthi, but for ... Sushil ? It doesn't seem to be the world's most common name ...


Clem Report 2 Sep 2011 03:38

We haven't been very successful finding out much about Aroon, Sirsir or Sushil Sinha. You have found much more than I, so I will definitely note your sources where I can.

What I found when I accessed the 1911 Census here is that Shuthi's mother was living at 55 Windsor Rd. in Ealing, not at all far from the home of NP Sinha, Lord Sinha's brother, which, as you mentioned, was at 24 Florence Rd. in Ealing, and the middle Sinha son, Sirsir, was also living there at the time. (Aroon was living in Kensington and had just married Marcia Minnie and Sushil was at Colet Court, which was at Hammersmith [?].) All three of the sons lived very near Shuthi's mother in 1911 - and that was the year she got pregnant with him. He was actually born in June 1912.

It could even have been NP Sinha. I don't wish to malign him, he was married at the time, but it is a theory, as well.

While this doesn't prove anything, of course, it did add credibility to the rumor about the Sinhas. They lived right down the road, and as they were all apparently involved with or married to white women at some point (that is not meant to be a racial statement, just clarification) and Dulcie was, by all accounts, an attractive woman, she was an actress and could have been a known, albeit maybe a bit notorious, figure in the area, well....

You've given me so much to sort through.

I like the idea Shuthi might have been a nickname.


chrissiex Report 2 Sep 2011 21:15

I would really look into those Sinha-Sandy births !

the certificates might provide a wealth of information for very little cost :-)

... but an inquiry to that tree owner might give the answer

it is interesting that the on-line biography somehow had information that the first birth was a child of Sushil but did not have the mother's name although it gave her address, that is just very odd since the mother's name and address should be on the birth certificate

there is certainly no marriage of any name resembling Sinha to a Ms Sandy ... but given the time period Ms Sandy could have been a young widow and married under a different name ... I wonder what status Sushil reported on his marriage to Ms Chatterjee ... there just is no other Sushil Sinha marriage ...

hm, who is this person ?

Name: Chandi C Sinha
Spouse Surname: Howes ... Mollie E Howes
Date of Registration: Jul-Aug-Sep 1918
Registration district: Fulham
Inferred County: London
Volume Number: 1a
Page Number: 925

( one birth to the marriage, Dartford 1924 )

I can't find a Mollie E Howes birth or a marriage of a Mollie E to a Howes ...

and of course when I check the image I see she was Mollie H or possibly Nellie N ... !!! but in any event the initial E belongs to the next person on the list, not her

a Nellie Rosina Howes was born in Fulham in 1896, that's possible

anyway do you know who Chandi was ? I can't find a Chandi ( or, say, Chandrakumar ) connected with Sinha ... the marriage was in Fulham where half the clan was in 1911 ...


chrissiex Report 2 Sep 2011 21:52

here's a theory about the Sandy just because I can't resist, note the location of the marriage

Marriages Mar 1916
Lincoln Richard M /Sandy Upton 6c 311
Sandy Grace M /Lincoln Upton 6c 311

Initials: R M
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Unit Text: 1st Bn.
- Date of Death: 03/05/1917
Service No: 1652
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Bay 3.

Births Jun 1894
Lincoln Richard Morris Southam 6d 653

but there's no birth of a Grace Sandy to fit or marriage of a Grace M to a Sandy ... or any Grace Sandy to fit in the 1911 ... no births to the couple, no remarriage for her ... but possibly

Name: Grace Mary Lincoln
Birth Date: 20 Oct 1893
Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1974
Age at Death: 81
Registration district: South East Hampshire
Inferred County: Hampshire
Volume: 20
Page: 1563

... too young for the 1916 marriage but the dob could be inaccurate ... no other Grace M married a Lincoln before 1945

She looks like a candidate for the mother of the two Sinha children

oh am I right or am I right

the same people who have Betty Sinha 1918 and John Sinha 1919 in their trees also have Grace Sandy 1893 Ireland :-D

(I think the Nancy Sandy who died in 1921 must have been Betty Sinha ? )

I would really definitely contact them !

could be a red herring but could be a useful clue.


Madmeg Report 2 Sep 2011 23:00

Wow. All this is so interesting. Is it possible that as your g grandmother was on the stage, so were some of her family, and some of these names are stage names?

I have an ancestor born Bertram Rodgers, but by the time he died he had become Hilton Horton Betram De Cardonel Rodgers, and that was as a result of blowing a trumpet during the summer season in the Isle of Man!


chrissiex Report 3 Sep 2011 01:48

my theory bears more fruit and how silly of me not to have done the search ... the people who have Grace Sandy and the two Sinha-Sandy children in their trees also have Sushil Sinha.

it does seem that Grace was his first partner at least ... she being from Ireland, possibly they married outside England ... again, those two tree owners would know more

the fact that she was pregnant with one of their children ( if that they were ) at the time he married Ms Chatterjee does suggest that she and he were not married

Hilton Horton Betram De Cardonel Rodgers :-D

from what I gather there is a trail of real names back from Dulcie, in the censuses and such, and no other evidence of stage struckness

she was quite young still when she became pregnant, more likely still a player of small parts I would think

some more little dribs and drabs

outgoing passenger lists

SINHA Sushil K 1895 M 1957 Liverpool India Bombay
SINHA Sushil Kumar 1895 M 1952 London India Bombay
SINHA Sushil Kumar 1895 M 1960 London India Bombay
SINHA S K Unknown M 1913 London India Bombay
SINHA S K Unknown M 1913 London India Bombay

SINHA C C 1895 M 1920 Liverpool India Bombay
- Chandi C who married in 1918? ... no other Sinha travelling with
SINHA [first name]? 1895 M 1922 Southampton USA New York

and whose child is this Sushil? Did Sushil 1895 marry again in India maybe?
SINHA Sushil Kumar 1928 M 1950 Southampton India Bomba
SINHA Sushil Kumar 1929 M 1960 Southampton India Bombay
marriage and death?
Sushil K M B Sinha /Sidhu Apr-May-Jun 1980 Brent
Sushil Sinha 1928 Oct 1991 Fulham London

another probable pure coincidence

Historic Farnborough
Census returns 1891 - RG120954 Farnborough 2 - St Peters
Reproduced courtesy of the Freecen project and Dave and Sybil Philpot (Hampshire co-ordinators)

on Camp Rd, born Soho:
HOWES Eliza - Lodger S F 26y - Actress
HOWES Lucy - Lodger S F 26y - Actress

on Somerset Rd, born Norfolk
BARSHELL Charlotte A - Head W F 46y - General Grocer
BARSHELL Charlotte U - Dau S F 21y - Grocer's Assistant

the Howes name and the actress occupation just caught my eye ... ( I was googling for Barshell actress and that was the coincidental find ) ... but anyhow there are the Barshell women being ordinary :-)


Clem Report 7 Sep 2011 04:24

Sorry not to reply for a few days - I don't want to appear to be ungrateful. Simply swamped at work and then out of town for a three day weekend visiting my father and other family so I am just getting back.

I do not know who Chandi is.

However, I believe my Aunt Virginia (Shuthi's daughter) connected with the daughter of Betty Sinha a few years ago and I had forgotten until I saw the name here. I can't remember what she had to say but I will find out.

We were trying to research Shuthi three years ago, but my precious son was killed in an accident about that time, so all of that time period is a bit of a blur for me and it brought our searching to a halt for a while. I've really just taken up the search again to try to occupy my mind.

I will see what Aunt Virginia found out from her - although my vague memory is that she didn't know much beyond the fact Sushil was her grandfather.

Also, in case you wondered, my Aunt Virginia was very young when her father died, she just has a few vague memories of him.

I will go through each thought and lead above and follow them.

Madmeg - we just don't really know anything about my gr-grandmother, but I get the impression that she was unique in the family. And if you mean the names she gave my grandfather, I just don't know, but I surely wish that did. It seems impossible that there is not some specific reason behind the names she gave to him.