While tracing records for my family history we came across an unknown member of the Light family. Originally we thought there were only 3 children of Arthur Percy Light and Marion Hudson, however a fourth first-born child born in 1898 was shown in the 1901 census as well as birth certificate records.

Depending on the source he was either known as Richard Arthur Owyn Light or Richard Arthur Onyx Light and was born in Tendring Essex. The Light family moved to Walmer Kent soon afterwards. Arthur Percy Light of Gillingham Kent died in 1914 on HMS Hogue but his wife Marion Hudson (below, seated) lived until 1956.

Richard Arthur Onyx Owyn Light seems to have been disowned by his family and moved around the country quite a lot. There are various records of criminal convictions in different places - Totnes, St Albans, Nottingham, Margate and Camborne Dorset where he seemed to be involved in selling ice creams.

The mystery begins in 1919 when it was reported that Richard Arthur Light left his home in Rock Avenue at 6.30pm on 3rd March 1919 and wasn't heard from afterwards. The Courier newspaper reported the "Mysterious Disappearance" on 11th April 1919. He was described as a Boy Writer at Chatham Dockyard, 5'8" tall with fair hair and complexion and had served during the War in 19th County of London Regiment. He drew out £10 from the Post Office and to visit his sweetheart in Rochester. He drew the money and nothing more was heard from him.

It is unclear if he ever returned home or if the family ever knew what had happened to him. He next appears in records in Nottingham in 1920 where he married  Florence E Quarton in 1920 where they had at least one son.  His name was Reginald W Light who was registered in Nottingham 2nd quarter 1927.  Volume 7b Page 619.

The next record that appears for him is in 1928 when Richard Arthur Light is recorded as being charged with stealing £7 15s from Exeter Ice Cream Dairy company in Exmouth and spending the spoils of the theft in Cornwall. He also asked for a similar offence in Weymouth to be considered as well as a non payment of maintenance arrears at Nottingham to be dealt with. The Nottingham connection presumably refers to his wife Florence E Light.

There is a record of a marriage to Lilian Annie Adams of Broadstairs on 12th June 1935. At the time they were living at 2 Laurel Cottages, Reading Street, Broadstairs and Richard Arthur Light was listed as a Hotel Chef. It seems that later he moved north and was living in Preston

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