Ann Dye

(nee Melton)

Married Charles Dye in 1850, and is believed to have had 9 children; she lived to be 102 years old.

Charlie was an agricultural labourer in Bilney; he and Anne lived at Bilney all their working lives.

Records of her death have not been found; she does not seem to be buried in West Bilney churchyard.

(it is thought now that she might be buried at Pentney)

Ann Dye nee Melton. Born at West Bilney, daughter of John and Elizabeth.

The following is an extract from a newspaper published on the occasion of Anne's 100th. birthday.







Mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother to respective members of a Sheffield family, a remarkable woman living in Norfolk, celebrates her 100th birthday to-day.


The following are taken from two newspaper reports of 1930.

Anne Dye - Lynn Advertiser - Friday 31 October 1930.docx


She is Mrs. Ann Dye, mother of Mrs Frances Stothard, Lydgate Lane, Crookes, Sheffield, who is herself a great-grandmother. With the great-great-grandmother, of course, the family is one of five generations.

It was hoped that Mrs. Dye would be able to come to Sheffield to join her relations in a big birthday party but, although she is wonderfully active, it was thought that the long train journey with the changes at different stations, would be too much for her.

She is, therefore, celebrating her birthday with a daughter, with whom she lives, at Narborough, Norfolk.


Mrs. Dye has had nine children – four daughters and five sons – and she is proud of the fact that all her five sons, a son-in-law and a nephew, served in the Sheffield Police Force; they were..

The late ex-Constable William Dye, ex-Constable Josiah Dye, the late ex-Sergeant James Dye, the late Inspector Charles Dye, and ex-Constable Arthur Dye, of Nottingham (sons); ex-Sergeant James Stothard (son-in-law); and ex-Sergeant Robert Melton of Bradwell (nephew) All retired on pension.:

The five generations are represented by Mrs. Dye (age 100), Mrs. Frances Stothard (73), Mr James Stothard (49), Mrs. Marion Throssell (29), of 73, Stanground Road, Manor Estate, Sheffield and the latter’s daughter, Edith Throssell, aged eight.

Ex-Constable James Stothard is the husband of Mrs. Frances Stothard, and their son is Mr. James Stothard, junior.

Mr Stothard, senior, is 74. He is a Lincolnshire man and joined the Sheffield Police Force in August, 1875, retiring on pension in July, 1903.

He and his wife have had seven children, 22 grandchildren, and five great-grand-children.


Mr. And Mrs. Stothard told a “Sheffield Independent” representative that Mrs. Dye must have hundreds of grand-children, great-grand-children and great-great-grandchildren.

“My son counted to more than 120 the other day but there must be scores more, because we have lost touch with some of the family” Mr. Stothard said.

“Speaking of Mrs. Dye, he said she still possessed all her faculties and was remarkably active.

When she was 98 they hear of her dancing with a nephew at a Christmas party and when her grandson, Mr. James Stothard, junior, went to visit her, two or three years ago, she insisted on carrying his bag!

Mr. Stothard, senior, has some happy recollections of his association with the Sheffield Police Force. He was with the Broomhill Division during the whole of his service and must be well-known to hundreds of people for his special patrol duty in Endcliffe Park. He spent 4 ½ years on that work, living in what is now a gardener’s house in the Park itself, and he said that they were some of the happiest years of his life.

“At that time,” he said, “the ponds and rivers at Endcliffe used to be full of fish. There used to be some really fine trout.”


He had some amusing experiences in opposing the activities of poachers who, against the regulations, used to fish in the ponds and rivers at Endcliffe.

One morning about three o’clock, he said he saw the reflection of a rod and line in the river and skirting round the spot, saw a man fishing.

Mr. Stothard was in plain clothes at the time and asked; “Having a good sport?” The man, who, later, found himself in the police court, answered; “Well, not so bad – but keep quiet!”

Rochelle Jones.

(Above information has been provided by Rochelle Jones; Ann Dye is Rochelle's great, great, great Grandmother).

If you are able to add to this information we should be pleased to hear from you -please email


William Edward Dye – “Billy”

Ann’s Great Grandson, William Edward Dye served with the Royal Navy in submarines during the 2nd. World War.

He died in January 1943 when the submarine he was serving on, P311, disappeared off Sardinia. It is presumed that the boat struck a mine.

His service records shows that:- he joined the P311 from 17/06/42 when it was based

ein Dolphin, Gosport, from 04/08/1942 it was at Forth and 05/11/1942, Maidstone.

Naval history records that:-November 1942: Left home waters with HMS/MS Thunderbolt and Trooper to join the 10th Submarine Flotilla at Malta. All 3 submarines had been specially converted to carry Chariots.

28 December 1942: Left Malta carrying 'human torpedoes' for OPERATION PRINCIPAL, the attack on Maddalena Harbour, Sardinia. She apparently failed to reach the rendezvous as her 'human torpedoes' were never launched and took no part in the attack.

Wireless messages were received on 30 December but no other news was received.

Should have returned to Malta on 8 January 1943. It seems probable that she struck a mine.

No survivors were found.

Below is an extract from A S Evans’ book - 'Beneath the Waves'

“First away from Malta was P311 on 28 December. The next day Trooper and Thunderbolt left harbour. The outcome of Operation Principle (sic) was that the chariots from Trooper and Thunderbolt met with some success. For p311 the operation was a disaster. At 0130 on 31 December, P311 transmitted a signal in which she gave her position as 38deg10'N 11deg30'E, attributed as her position at 1830 the previous day. Nothing further was heard from her and she did not return to harbour. There is no evidence to suggest that her two chariots had been launched. It might be that P311 had safely navigated the east coast of Sardinia only to be mined in the Straits of Bonifacio on or shortly after New Year's Day. Apart from P311's crew, the ten skilled and adventurous chariot operators were also lost.”

The wreck was discovered in 2016.

It was nearly intact, and lay a few kilometers from the Gulf of Olbia. The P311 – 84 meters long and 8 meters wide – lies on the seabed, its resting place revealed after all these years.

More about the loss and discovery of the wreck of P311 may be seen here