Looking for chess king Ralph

CHECKMATE: Ralph Spencer, centre, playing chess

CHESS Scotland Alan McGowan is trying to find more information about Ralph Spencer.

Ralph, formerly known as Rolf Silberberg, was associated with the Glasgow Jewish Institute Chess Club.

Ralph fled Berlin in the 1930s, becoming a student in Paris, before ending up in Glasgow.

During the Second World War, he served in the British Forces, where he was known as Private Ralph Michel.

He was granted British naturalisation in 1947.

He obtained a degree in pharmacy and owned a chemist shop, likely in Glasgow.


Leap of faith

FAITH Kitsunezaki’s great-grandmother Annie Ray worked as a domestic servant to the Cushel family of Liverpool in the early-1900s.

Her daughter, Tilly, may have been a result of a relationship with the son of the house, Lewis.

The Cushals were from Poland and were tailors.

In the 1911 census, Annie Ray was a housekeeper, married to Germany-born Solly Goldberg, of 15 Brunswick Close, Halifax, with her daughter Tilly Ray Goldberg

The census says that Tilly is the adopted daughter of Solly Goldberg.

Faith believes Solly died around 1918 in Yorkshire, aged 37.

Faith cannot find a marriage certificate for Solly and Annie.

Her grandfather, George Jackson, was born in 1911, but Faith can’t find his or Tilly’s birth certificates.

Sometime after this, Annie used Jackson as her family name.

“I especially would like to know what it was like for immigrant tailors in those days and was it common for Jewish men to take in English unmarried mothers as house keepers?” Faith asked.



IAN McCracken is researching the Rent Strikes in Glasgow in 1915.

The sole surviving poster of an event is described as being “in the possession of Lou Rosenberg, Glasgow”, according to Joseph Melling’s 1983 book.

“I am keen to trace Mr Rosenberg or discover who now has this unique poster — and possibly other items about the Rent Strikes,” Ian said.


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