One of the memorial cards I have had in my collection is to Rose Bourne, a 21 year old young woman who died in 1921 aged just 21 years old. When Rose Bourne was born in January 1900 in Eastbourne, Sussex, her father, Spencer, was 32, and her mother, Jane, was 30. She had four brothers and three sisters. The family lived at 15 Carlton Road in the town. The house still stands, a pretty well tended terraced house, minutes walk away from the seafront. Rose lived with her father Spencer, who on the 1911 census is listed as a refuse destructor. This role appears to literally mean he was responsible for the destruction of the waste after it's collection. Rose was an 11 year old at school on this census and there was no record of any disability for her. She must have been a normal happy young girl, with the fun of living at the seaside and lots of brothers and sisters to play with.
Rose died on the 31st May 1921 and was buried in the family grave at Ocklynge Cemetery, Eastbourne with her mother who only died the year before at the age of 50. It seemed all so sad but searching on Ancestry the large family seem to have produced many descendants to remember Rose. At a time in the country of the great loss of the First World War this family certainly seemed to have their own heartache.
I am lucky enough to have in my collection this photo of Alfred James Stubbs with his daughter Winifred, taken on 27th November 1959 at Great Witchingham Norfolk. The more I researched this elderly man the more impressed I became.
Alfred was born on the 28th March 1858 in Norwich, Norfolk. He was the tenth of 11 children of Charles and Sarah Stubbs (Nee Smith). The family lived at no 3 Woolpack Yard, Golden Ball Street, Norwich and Alfred's father Charles worked as a poulterer. After his father's death in 1878 Alfred took over the family business. In 1887 he married Jane Louisa Smith and the couple had six children, four surviving to adulthood. For nearly 80 years he ran the family business. When their home was bombed out during World War 2 and they moved out to Great Witchingham, Alfred continued to travel into work until he was 95.
The couples second daughter, Lucy Winifred is pictured here with her father in 1959. Lucy was born on the 25th Jan 1894. On the 15th August 1915, at 21, Lucy married Henry Chilvers, a 21 year old young man who also lived in Norwich. Henry had volunteered to become a soldier in the Norfolk Regiment during world war one and Lucy served herself in France during the war with the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. Tragically Henry was killed in action in France, less than two years after their marriage, on the 23rd April 1917. Like so many young widows at the time Lucy never remarried and she lived with her parents until her mother's death aged 95 in 1951 and with her father until he died on 12th December 1960 at the incredible age of 102. Because of his longevity Alfred had been quite a local celebrity giving interviews to local papers. Only retiring six years before his death he gave the secret of his long life to eggs and more eggs. So maybe that should be a lesson to us all! Lucy died four years after her father in 1964 aged 70 years old. This photo was taken outside their home at 2 King's Head Terrace, Great Witchingham Norfolk where the family lived in the final years of their lives.
Following on from the post two days ago, the other photo in my collection with identical writing on the back is this one of the Mayhew family. On the back is written "Mayhew family c.1900 Mother Edna (nee) Edwards". Edna Ellen Edwards was the elder sister of Alice Edwards and the third child of nine children of Harry and Kate Edwards (Nee Durden). She was born on the 30th March 1870 in Birmingham. On the 8th October 1898 she married Frank Martin Mayhew. Frank was a local man, being born in Birmingham in 1873, son of John Smith Mayhew and Caroline Mayhew (Nee Smith). In 1900 their son Harold Clarence was born, named after Edna's eldest brother Harry Clarence who was a colour sergeant killed on 14th May 1900 in the Boer War, and in 1904 the couple had a daughter Doris Edna.
Although it is written on the back c.1900. I think this photo would have been taken around 1906. Little Harold looks about six and Doris about two. In 1911 the family lived at 64 Doris Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham and Frank was working as a travelling salesman in the brass and iron industry. Frank died in 1924 aged 51 and Edna lived another 35 years as a widow until her death in 1959 aged 89. Harold remained unmarried and died in 1976 and although Doris married twice she died without any children aged 89.
I think this rather serious little family photo, typical of the time, was probably taken on a family holiday as the children are holding spades and there is a bucket on the floor. It has captured one tiny moment in their family life, that has now been preserved in the future.
Two of the photos in my collection have the same handwriting on the back and I have managed to work out the connection. The first photo, is of a young boy. On the back is written : Edward Bernard Butler b. 6th Sep 1919 Garfield Park Hospital, Chicago, USA. Son of Alice (Nee) Edwards.
When I started researching the little smiling boy in the photo I was amazed at what an interesting life he had led. I found out so much, but annoyingly there are still so many gaps I couldn't fill in. Edward's mother Alice Edwards was born on 7th March 1881 in Birmingham, England. She was the seventh child of nine children of Harry and Kate Edwards (Nee Durden) . In 1910 she married Bertram Alcock, also from Birmingham, and the couple emigrated to Chicago, Illinois where Bertram worked as a toolmaker. Sadly in 1917 Bertram died leaving Alice a widow at only 36 years old.
The following year, Alice married William Butler a 56 year old grocer, nearly twenty years her senior, who was also originally born in Birmingham, England and who had emigrated to Chicago in 1889. William was the eldest of seven children to Richard and Frances Butler (Nee Sneath). I love to think of them meeting at some sort of ex-pats group! How nice it must have been for them both to talk about home. In 1919, their son Edward Bernard was born and it should have been a new beginning for the little family, but tragically in 1925, at 44 years old and when her little boy was only 5 years old, Alice died too.
Poor William, alone in America with a five year old. By the following year he had returned to England with Edward, giving an address in Cleethorpes, where is younger sister lived, as his destination. It must have been a very different England to the one he had left in 1889.
The next reference I could find to the family is on the 1939 register, when William and Edward were still living in Cleethorpes. William had retired and Edward gave his occupation as a clerk at a fish merchants. The next document I came across was from 1943. It was a draft card, for a 24 year old Edward who had returned to America to join the army during WW2. He gave his father's address as 9, Prince's Road, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire and his occupation as a student at Hull University. What happened next to Edward I am unsure of. His father William died in Cleethorpes in 1946 but sadly I can find no other definite mentions of Edward after he joined the army. An Edward Bernard Butler with the same birthday died in Croydon Surrey in 2001. I wonder, could this be the little boy in the photo. I can find no other mention of this name in the area or any family links so I can't just presume. Even though I have moved on to the next family photo, I'm not completely giving up. I will keep going back to the records as I would love to complete the journey of the life of the little smiling boy in the photo.
I bought this framed certificate at our local charity saleroom recently for just a couple of pounds. It was presented to Frederick C Bowley on his retirement after 40 years five months service.
What a different time it was working for a company like London Transport in those days. The London Passenger Transport Board was formed in 1933 and unified services in the London area for the first time. The London Passenger Transport Act 1933 removed responsibility for 167.17 miles (269.03 km) of tram route from the London County Council, three county boroughs and a number of other local authorities in the Greater London area. It brought the UERL lines under the same control, and took over supervision of buses from the Metropolitan Police. The period also saw massive expansion of the tube network and was directly responsible for the expansion of the suburbs.
By 1948 The London Transport Executive had become the transport authority. This period saw the start of direct recruitment from the Caribbean and the repair and replacement of stock and stations damaged during the war as well as completion of delayed projects such as the Central line eastern extension. The AEC Routemaster bus was introduced in 1956. Trams were withdrawn in 1952 and trolleybuses in 1962.
Frederick must have witnessed all these changes in his career. I'm sure he enjoyed the stability of a long career after already suffering so much in his life. Frederick Charles Jesse Bowley was born on 21 June 1893 in Lambeth, Surrey, his father, Frederick, was 20 and his mother, Emily, was 19. He had one brother and five sisters. During World War One Fred went to France on the 15th March 1915 with the 24th London Regiment. He was wounded on the 29th October 1915 with a gun shot wound to his abdomen and was subsequently discharged from the army because of his wounds. A few years after this Frederick must have recovered enough to commence working at London Transport and he married Gladys Dyer in April 1923 in Willesden, Middlesex. In 1939 his occupation is listed as an Electric Motor Mechanic. The couple didn't appear to have any children and Fred died in June 1975. All those years of loyal service and the certificate sells for just £2. I really hope one day it can be reunited with family.