It is with sadness that I share, belatedly, the news of the passing of Bernard Pidd, an extraordinary man and a distant Warner cousin, who died on April 30, 2021.

PIDD, Bernard

22/02/1928 – 30/04/2021

Bernard Pidd has passed gently and peacefully on from this realm to the next.

He leaves an incredible legacy as father, grandfather and great grandfather to a growing multitude but also to the countless young people he nurtured in primary class rooms in both England and southern Tasmania.

He will be remembered as wonderful actor and director as well as being a staunch advocate and leader in the wider performing arts sector.

Bernard is survived by his wife Jean and children Colin, Deborah, Chris, Ian, David and John.

Funeral to be held in Melbourne at Tobin Brothers Funerals on Friday the 7th of May at 2pm see their website for details of on line access.

https://www.couriermail.com.au/tributes/notice/death-notices/pidd-bernard/5694411/, May 3, 2021

PIDD, Bernard

The Board and Members of the Hobart Repertory Theatre Society is saddened to note the passing of former President and life member Bernard Pidd.

Condolences to Jean and families.

https://www.couriermail.com.au/tributes/notice/death-notices/pidd-bernard/5697514/, May 7, 2021

James Bernard Pidd was born in Cleveland, North Yorkshire, England on February 22, 1928, and was the son of William Pidd (1895–1963) and Annie Elizabeth Levitt (1890–1971). On his mother’s side, he was a fifth great grandson of our common ancestors, William Warner and Elizabeth White who lived in Howden, Yorkshire in the late eighteenth century.

Bernard became a schoolteacher and was about 25 when he married his wife Jean, in Cleveland on Valentine’s Day in 1953. They and their five children emigrated to Tasmania in the mid-1960s under an Australian-government-subsidized immigration program known as “Ten Pound Poms” (for any non-Australian reading this, a “Pom” is what we Canadians would call a “Brit”).

A sixth child was born a few years later in Tasmania.

Jean and Bernard in April 2018, shortly after his 90th birthday. This photo, and the enlargement at the top of this post, are from an article on the website of the Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria. It is used with apologies over any possible copyright issues.

To understand just what an extraordinary man Bernard was, you may want to see and hear what his family had to say about him at his funeral. The streaming webcast is still available online.

Here are some photos that family and friends uploaded to the online “Tribute Wall” at the time of the funeral:

Credit: Phil Casey
Credit: the family of Bernard Pitt
Credit: Chris Pidd

At his funeral, his daughter Deborah talked about “Bernard’s love of a family tree.” That gives me hope that he would have enjoyed this chart, which shows how he is descended from Elizabeth Warner (1777–1872), who was the sister of my great great great great grandfather, William Warner (1789–?).

Elizabeth Warner married Thomas Rook and stayed in Yorkshire, as did many of her descendants, but her brother William emigrated to Canada in the late 1820s.

Click to enlarge

So Bernard and I are both descended from William Warner (1753–?) and Elizabeth White, who were married in Howden, Yorkshire on October 20, 1776. They are are Bernard’s fourth great grandparents and my fifth great grandparents, making us fifth cousins, once removed.

A few years ago Bernard decided to do a DNA test with Ancestry, as did my late father, Joe Warner. The tests showed that they shared 19 centiMorgans of DNA (less than one percent) . That result was one of the pieces of evidence that confirmed our family’s roots in Yorkshire (see my 2020 post explaining the documentary and DNA evidence for our descent from that couple from Howden).

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