The Craxford Family Magazine Red Pages

{$text['mgr_red1']} Gretton 1.4.1

The Gretton Craxfords: Chronicles II - Enos and Caroline

by Alan D. Craxford, Donald Brett, Alison Shannon and Alexandra Stafford


St James

St James Church, Louth (1)

The previous article in this series The Gretton Craxfords: Chronicle I - The Tangled Trees is the story of the children and grandchildren of John Craxford, who was born in the village in 1795, and his wife Jane Ashby. Although their first born daughter died in infancy, their three sons went on to produce sixteen children between them.

Introduced in that article is Caroline, the second daughter of John and Jane's oldest son Robert Craxford and his wife Catherine Waterfield. Under the subheading 'Twice Married Caroline', it told of the tragic events which befell her in 1865 when, within a few short months she became pregnant, married, gave birth to a baby son and was widowed when her husband was killed in a works accident. Caroline left her son to be brought up by his grandparents and in 1871 had sought work as a cook and housekeeper at Uppingham School. This new article follows her into her second marriage and what became of her second family.

It is not known how or where Caroline met her future husband, Enos Jackson, or why she left her employment in Rutland. They were married in Louth, Lincolnshire on May 20th 1873. This parish church, dedicated to St James (the son of Zebedee), is renowned for having the tallest spire (at 295 feet and completed in 1515) of any medieval church in England. Most of the present church dates back to the 15th century and is the third building to have occupied the site, replacing 11th- and 13th-century structures.

One of the witnesses at their wedding was a Harriet Jackson. She is not a known relative of either Enos' family from Lincolnshire or from another and unrelated Jackson family known to Caroline back home in Northamptonshire.

Lincolnshire to Gloucestershire via Hertfordshire

Enos Jackson - a retrospective by Donald Brett

My mother's grandfather, always known to us as Granddad Jackson, lived throughout the time of my childhood in Gloucestershire. But he was not a Gloucestershire man by birth. Enos Jackson was born in Lincolnshire in the small village of North Ormsby in 1847, the seventh child of Zaccheus Jackson (born Gayton-le-Marsh 1800) and Elizabeth Kirkby. His father had died when he was a boy of 8 years. In his teens, Enos entered domestic service and spent some time in Welton le Wold, a small village 4 miles west of Louth. During this time he appears to have developed an interest in horticulture (2) which would provide him with employment and hobbyist activities throughout his life.

The move to Welwyn

Enos and Caroline

Enos and Caroline Jackson

After the wedding ceremony, Enos took Caroline back to Welton le Wold where they made their home for the next two years. During this time their first two children were born: John Robert in the Spring of 1874 and my grandmother Gertrude on August 8th 1875. Then in 1876, he moved his young family including baby Gertrude the 125 miles south to the town of Welwyn, Hertfordshire where he took up a job as domestic servant and gardener for Edmund Smyth, a retired colonel in the Indian Army. The family settled into a cottage in the grounds of The Grange on Codicote Road. Within a few months, Caroline was pregnant again and gave birth to her next daughter, Carrie, on November 10th 1876. Two more daughters, Ethel on January 21st 1879 and Lydia on October 21st 1881 followed by a final son, William, appearing in January 1885 completed the family.

Raymond John Howgego has given a fair account of Smyth's army life (3). He retired from the army whilst enjoying a long furlough at home in 1868 and did not return to India. This followed soon after his marriage to Frances Maria Gardner at Almorah, N.W. Province, India in July 1866. Indeed in 1871 he and his wife are to be found as visitors in La Quinta in Dawlish, Devon the residence of a fellow retired 'Col. of the Bengal Staff'. He is still listed in Welton le Wold in the Lincolnshire Directory of 1876 but, as indicated by the birth of Enos' second daughter, Edmund was by this time resident in Welwyn.

The arrangement between Enos and the Smyth family could be explained by the proximity of their respective geographies. Although Colonel Smyth himself was not born in Lincolnshire several members of his family were settled in the county, some being recorded as JPs in earlier Censuses and Directories. Edmund's father, The Rev. Edmund Smyth became Vicar of North Elkington, Lincolnshire, following the resignation of his brother The Rev. William Smyth in 1823. North Elkington is a village two and a half miles north of Welton le Wold and about six miles distant from Gayton le Wold. The two brothers were born in Great Linford, Buckinghamshire, William in 1791 and Edmund in 1793, the sons of The Rev. William Smyth, Rector of Great Linford, and his wife Susanna Ray. The Smyth family were, however, long established in Hertfordshire since the purchase of the manor of Kinsbourne Hall, or Annables, by Christopher Smyth in the mid 1500s. The Rev. William Smyth of Great Linford succeeded to the Manor of Annables in 1789. The 1881 Census shows us that three of Smyth's house servants, including the Cook, had also been recruited from Lincolnshire.

Whilst in Welwyn, Enos became friendly with Thomas Bates Blow who lived at The Chalet in Digswell, a hamlet on the border of the town, through their mutual interest in beekeeping. Thomas was about seven years younger than Enos. He was the son of carpenter James Blow and in the census of 1881 he listed his occupation as a photographer. He was already a member of the Hertfordshire Bee Keepers Association and had been appointed as their chosen expert. He had undertaken lecture tours around Britain and had spent some time touring the eastern Mediterranean (particularly Cyprus and Palestine) in search of new supplies of queen bees. He had been made a judge for national competitions and was an agent for the British Bee Keeping Journal. With another inventor he introduced the Anglo-Cyprian Hive in 1883, although this had caused controversy as to whether it was a completely new design. On the strength of these activities he established a manufactoring plant in Welwyn in 1885.

Enos joined the Association soon after his arrival in Welwyn. He had first been exposed to bee-keeping during his early employment in 1870. In Welwyn he entered the annual competition for honey production in 1881 in the Cottager Class. He continued to look after hives as part of his work on the Smyth Estate and maintained a small business selling honey, bees and equipment. He helped with the improvement of the design of the bar-frame beehive that was successfully exploited by Blow at his factory. Although Enos may have been a bit put out at not receiving proper credit for this, he and Blow remained friends and we have some souvenirs of this friendship, in particular prints of some photographs taken by Blow in Italy and Spain. Enos wrote an amusing account of his beekeeping in Welwyn and this was published in The British Bee Journal in 1888.

Honey bee

Left: The Anglo-Cyprian hive (4): White Sweet Clover (5), Right: Italian (Ligurian) honey bee (6)

Blow's factory continued to prosper into the 1890s until a catastrophic fire destroyed the building and most of the stock in 1896. After reconstruction the business did continue as E.H. Taylor of Welwyn into the 1980s. In later life, Thomas Blow continued to travel and lecture around the world and was to receive a number of honours and awards. He was awarded the Légion d'Honneur by the French for his service during World War I as an ambulance driver on the front line despite being in his sixties. Thomas lived on at The Chalet into his retirement and died in 1941 at the age of 87 years.

Onward to Gloucestershire


Carved box

In 1889 the Smyths removed to Theescombe in the village of Amberley near Minchinhampton in Gloucestershire taking Enos and his family with them. Colonel Smyth is listed in Kelly's Gloucestershire Directory for 1894 at Theescombe House, Amberley, where he is described as 'JP for Herts and Lincs' and Lord of the Manor of Annables. Colonel Smyth had had a very eventful life in the army but from all accounts his latter time in India gave him plenty of opportunities for exploring and shooting wild animals. We can find several accounts in newspapers of his exploits, such as an report in the Hereford Times following the 1859 trip to Tibet which included '55 head of really large game' (7)

Edmund and Frances had no children of their own but adopted Maurice and Winifred Barclay, the young children of Rev. Joseph Barclay the late Bishop of Jerusalem who had died suddenly in 1881. The children were with Frances at Theescombe in 1891.

Sometime around the close of the century Colonel Smyth chose to retire to Italy or take up a Diplomatic Appointment there. It is understood in our family that Enos and his wife could have accompanied him but they declined. There was obviously a very close bond between them and they kept in touch. My grandmother had a small, carved box like a matchbox that I now have in which she kept postage stamps. She said it came from Bordighera. I never asked how that came about or why we have a collection of Italian coins from the 1890s! The revelation came when I found Smyth's death notice, for he died in Bordighera, on the Italian Riviera in October 1911.

Enos in garden

Left: Enos in the garden: Right: First Prize Run Honey

Colonel Smyth and Granddad Jackson clearly enjoyed their joint efforts in the garden and greenhouse because they frequently presented flowers, fruits and vegetables at the local horticultural shows. And Granddad continued to produce his First Class honey!

When the Smyths moved from Theescombe, Enos and family left the cottage at Amberley. By 1901 Enos was employed by the Stanton family of The Lodge, Eastington near Stroud but he eventually left Eastington and took up residence in Acre Place, a lane off Ruscombe Road near the Sister Elsy Poonoly More Hall Convent in Pagan Hill, Randwick. At some time during the following years he also had a shop in Stroud from where he sold much of his own produce including herbal remedies and home-made Embrocation! His final employer was Mrs Lort-Philips at Stratford Park in Stroud. During the Great War Stratford Park was used as a hostel for Belgian refugees and after they left, Enos was employed as Caretaker whilst the place was put in order prior to its sale.

St John the Baptist

St John the Baptist, Randwick (8)

Enos and Caroline were both devoutly religious and Enos played the organ at their local church. My mother and her sister spent long periods of their childhood with their great-grandfather at Stratford Park and at Acre Place before and during World War I. Caroline had been subject to bronchitis for some time. She became acutely ill with breathing problems and severe fits of coughing due to a chect infection and collapsed and died on December 11th 1916. Enos lived until February 18th 1940. They were both interred at St John the Baptist Church, Randwick. A simple square stone marks the grave bearing the inscription "In loving memory of our dear parents Caroline Jackson Enos Jackson Reunited."

I have only a single memory of meeting Granddad Jackson and that was in his old age around 1937-8. I had contracted Scarlet Fever when I was about 6 or 7 years old and my brother was taken to stay in Gloucestershire so that I could be nursed at home and not sent to the Isolation Hospital. After I had recovered, I accompanied my mother to Gloucestershire to bring my brother back home. Although I had met some of these Gloucestershire relatives on their occasional trips to London, I believe the visit following my illness may have been the only occasion I met these folk at home in Gloucestershire until my teens, when I took myself off to The Mendips and Cheddar Gorge to do some botanizing and was able to stay with grand-aunt Carrie in Abbots Leigh. As a young child I had no reason to think these relatives were anything but genuine Gloucestershire folk!

Two Sons

Enos and Caroline Jackson had three sons, John, Ernest and William. Ernest was born on March 15th 1883 in Welwyn, but died within a month. The boys who lived were their oldest and youngest children, separated in age by ten years and by four girls.

John Robert (1874 - 1951)

John Jackson

John, about 1900

First son John was born in Wetton le Wold, Lincolnshire on April 28th 1874, just a month before Enos and Caroline's first wedding anniversary. His childhood was spent as the older brother to a succession of younger sisters. In his mid teens, John followed his father into work as a gardener, first in Minchinhampton and then Wheatenhurst in Stroud. By the time of the census of 1911, he had left the family home and was boarding at The Box, Minchinhampton with Hannah Grant and her family.

John married comparatively late in life at the age of 53 years on April 13th 1927 at St John the Baptist Church, Randwick. His bride was 39 year old Lottie Elizabeth Harmer from Whiteshill, a village about two and a half miles to the north west of Stroud although both gave their residence as Acre Place at the time of the marriage. Lottie was the tenth of eleven children (the fourth of five daughters) of George Harmer and Elizabeth Pearce. The couple had lived most of their married life in the house in Bread Street from where George was employed as a labourer at an iron works. Lottie and her sisters worked in various capacities at a woollen mill. They were still at home at the time of the 1911 census. Elder brothers Walter and William were both married with young families and lived in adjacent properties. George Harmer died in the village in the winter of 1924 in his 77th year. Sadly, Lottie's' mother died just a couple of months before the wedding took place. The service was witnessed by Lottie's older brother Alfred and by Elsie Lilian, the daughter of married brother, William.

John set up a business as a kitchen gardener. By 1939 the couple were still settled at Acre Place which was just a couple of miles south of Bread Street. They had no children. Lottie suffered from ill health including crippling arthritis and chronic anaemia for a number of years. In the 1920s and early 1930s the treatment of the latter consisted of taking at least half a pound of raw liver or liver juice every day. (The active ingredient, Vitamin B12 did not become routinely available until the 1950s) (9). Lottie died at home on September 11th 1943. John followed on February 3rd 1951.

William (1885 - 1947)

Younger son William was born in Welwyn, Hertfordshire on January 5th 1885. As a teenager he too spent time working with his father as a gardener. During the first decade of the new century, he moved to Birmingham where he gained employment in a grocery shop.

William married Annie Emily Tisdell at St Mary's Church, Aston, Birmingham on December 24th 1911. Annie had experienced a checkered upbringing. She was born on March 13th 1889 in Ashton under Lyne near Manchester, the daughter of Frederick John Tisdell, a stencil cutter, and Ann Maria Lardner. Initially the family had lived in Astley Street, and she had been baptised in St Mark's Church, Dukinfield. Her parents were married in 1887 and a son, also named Frederick, had been born and died the same year.

Annie's father, Frederick, presents something of a mystery. He has not been found in the records after Annie was born. Annie's mother was the daughter of Thomas Lardner and Emma Beck. Thomas was a wood sawyer who had moved from Oxford to Birmingham. Frederick was the son of William Tisdell and Anne Roache. Both families came from Walsall and were heavily involved in various aspects of the leather currier and bridle making trades. In the early 1870s, all three families (Tisdell, Roach and Lardner) were living in the courts (blocks of small dwellings built around a central courtyard) behind Lower Essex Street in the city where Frederick and Ann Marie grew up together.

By the time of the 1891 census, Ann and Annie had moved from Manchester and were living with the now widowed Thomas. Shortly after this Ann Maria took up residence in one of the courts behind Irving Street in Birmingham. The same year, Ann Maria became pregnant again and a second boy, William George, was born in the early months of 1892. At the turn of the century Ann Marie, whose status is now recorded as 'widow', and William George were still living in Irving Street Courts but Annie had been sent to stay with her uncle Harry Roach (who was the brother of Frederick's mother). Annie remained in Lower Essex Street, learning a trade as a tailoress until her marriage. William and Annie's first born child was a son they named Sidney in the early spring of 1913. Sadly the little boy died within six months. On November 7th the following year, Annie presented William with a daughter, Winifred May.

At the outbreak of war, the Jackson family were living at 279 Balsall Heath Road, about a mile to the north of the Warwickshire County Cricket Ground at Edgbaston. William continued to work as a grocery store manager. On December 11th 1915 at the age of 31 years 11 months, he signed his Attestation Papers for a Short Service Enlistment in the Army. He became private 104041. His physical examination showed him to be 5 feet 10½ inches tall.

For the next fourteen months he remained at home on the Reserve List. Then, on March 3rd 1917 he received his mobilisation orders and was transferred to the 174 Company, the Labour Corps. The Corps was founded in January 1917 and by the end of the war grew to just under 400,000 men. Although the army in France and Flanders was able to use some railways, steam engines and tracked vehicles for haulage, there was an immense amount of effort required in the building and maintenance of the huge network of roads, railways, canals, buildings, camps, stores, dumps, telegraph and telephone systems as well as the moving of supplies. The Labour Corps was manned by officers and other ranks who were rated medically below the 'A1' reqiured for front line service. William embarked at Folkestone for France on March 19th 1917. On May 19th 1917 he was appointed unpaid lance corporal. The initial posting was to the First Army on the Belgian border north of Vimy Ridge. In September it was transferred to the Fourth Army and then the Second Army in the Ypres Salient. He was finally demobilised in July 1919. At the end of the conflict he was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.

After his return home, William went back to his prewar occupation. Another son, Geoffrey, was born on February 11th 1923. During the 1930s William moved the family to 49, College Road, Birmingham. At the outbreak of World War II both children were still at home. Winifred May became the manageress of a wallpaper shop. She married insurance clerk George Alan Stafford at Emmanuel Church in the Alum Rock district of Birmingham on June 5th 1940. Upon his retirement, William and Annie moved to a house at 45 Underhill Road, Alum Rock. That is where he died on March 22nd 1947. Annie Emily survived him by fifteen years before she was taken ill and died in Dudley Road Hospital, Birmingham on June 29th 1962.

Gertrude (1875 - 1953)

Gertrude Jackson

Gertrude (about 1893)

Gertrude, the first of Enos and Caroline's four daughters, was born on August 8th 1875 whilst the family were still living in Welton le Wold. As noted above, she was still an infant when her father made the long journey south to Gloucestershire. She spent her childhood at The Grange, Welwyn and as a teenager she was sent into domestic service. At the age of 16, she was employed as an assistant nurse at The Vicarage of Holy Trinity Church in the village of Amberley, about a five minute walk from where her parents lived. The incumbent, Rector Bryan Brown Willoughby, had five young children, including an eight month old daughter. Gertrude had joined the staff which included a cook, a nurse and a housemaid.

At the age of 22, Gertrude found herself pregnant. In the later stages she was sent from Gloucestershire to Northamptonshire for the confinement. It seems likely that Caroline had kept in touch with her son (and Gertrude's half brother), Jesse Claypole who was, by this time, married, living in Corby and working as a foreman at an ironstone works. The baby, a daughter, was born in that town on May 18th 1899. She was named May Young Jackson. No father is named on her birth certificate although the family belief is that her given second name is a pointer to the identity of that person. One suggestion is that Gertrude had been involved with a sailor named Young when on a visit to Bristol. Another possibility is a link to the family in Bread Street. Lottie Harmer, who subsequently married Gertrude's brother John Robert, had an older brother, Walter George Harmer who married Alice Ellen Young in Stroud in 1904.

Gertrude did not return home to Stroud immediately after the birth. At the time of the census of 1901 she was working as a waitress in the employ of 81 year old widow Gertrude L Everett in Clarendon Crescent, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. She was part of a household which included a lady's maid, a cook, a housemaid and a 'between' maid. Gertrude had left the infant May in the care of Samuel and Ann Clarke who lived in Gretton. Samuel was a bricklayer. His wife Ann's brother, Thomas Coles was married to Gertrude's aunt, Mary Ann Craxford. Mary Ann was known to have practiced as a maternity nurse and midwife in her later years. Three doors away from the Clarkes lived Thomas and Henrietta Pollard. Thomas' brother, Joshua, figures prominently in the another part of this story: The Croxton Conundrum and Other Mysteries: The Pollard Girls. Gertrude's sojourn in Warwickshire was short lived. She married William Hexter at the church of St Martin's in the Fields, London on September 14th 1903.

Marriage to William Hexter

W Hexter

William Hexter

William Charles Hexter was born on July 24th 1877 in Upper Norwood in the south east portion of London, the son of John Hexter and Margaret Morton. He spent his boyhood at Northwood House and stables where his father was employed as a gardener. William was their oldest child and had two brothers and two sisters. In his late teens he gained employment as a grocer's assistant. Then, on September 16th 1895 he enlisted as private 4950 with the King's Liverpool Regiment. His attestation form shows him to be a relatively small man at 5 feet 5½ inches tall, weighing 8 stones 10 pounds. He had brown eyes and dark brown hair.

For nearly the next three years he was based on home service. He attended classes at the Royal Hibernian Military School and was promoted to the rank of lance corporal on July 20th 1896, full corporal on March 7th 1897 and sergeant on May 1st 1898. He served with the Regiment in the South Africa campaign between 1899 and 1902 gaining the Queen's African Medal with three clasps and the King's Medal with two clasps. William was transferred to the Army Reserve list at the beginning of 1903. His record notes that his younger brother George also served in the Army with the Royal West Surrey Regiment.

Boer War
South Africa (Boer War) Medals
WW1 service

Left: Boer War service: William is front centre: Centre: The Queen's and King's War Medals Right: WW1 service

It is not known how Gertrude and William met or why she was in London. After he left the Army, he worked briefly for the Corps of Commissionaires who were based at 419 Strand, London which is where he resided prior to his wedding. Gertrude was living at St John's, Croydon. After the ceremony they moved into a house in Mortimer Road, Hackney where their daughter Dorothy was born in 1904. At this time too, May was unofficially adopted by William and became known as May Hexter. William also found work as a timekeeper for the Whitbread Brewery, Chiswell Street in the City of London. On July 8th 1907, William was re-engaged by the Army for home duties, finally being discharged on September 15th 1911.


Dorothy at Acre Place

Despite the distance involved, Gertrude maintained close contact with her parents. Her two girls, May and Dorothy, spent several years living with Enos and Caroline at Acre Place. They attended a local school which involved crossing fields in all weathers and often getting muddy. Sundays were strictly adhered to but May always remembered Enos with fondness and his love of nature, gardens and birds stayed with her through her whole life. William had by this time moved the family to a house in Defoe Road, Stoke Newington and it was there where Gertrude gave birth to a son, Willian George Hexter, on April 13th 1913. Soon after this, they moved again to 55 Bloxhall Road, Leyton, which was to remain the family home for the rest of their lives. At the outbreak of war, William re-enlisted with the King's Liverpool Regiment. His first posting was to the Seaforth Battery, Liverpool but by January 1915 he had been transferred to the Officers' Training Corps at University College Bangor, North Wales, as an instructor. During this attachment he was promoted to the rank of sergeant major. After the war, William returned to his post at the main gate of the brewery until his retirement.

Daughter Dorothy married Stephen Brett, who had been born in Hackney in 1899, on July 23rd 1927 at All Saints Church, Shooters Hill, London. By the early 1930s they had two sons, Maurice and Donald. The family made their home in Penrhyn Avenue, Walthamstow; Stephen working as an industrial sewing machine mechanic, servicing machines in garment factories. The family were on holiday in Saltdean, Sussex when war was declared and Stephen thought the boys would be safer there than in London. He arranged accommodation with a couple at Telscombe Cliffs (which lies between Saltdean and Peacehaven east of Brighton), an arrangement which only lasted until that Christmas. The local school there arranged morning classes for evacuee children.

William Hexter died on December 29th 1948: he was 71 years old. Gertrude survived him by five years. After his death she began to exhibit some psychic abilities. She would suddenly announce to anyone present "Will's here" which was enough to make the room go cold. She was able to perform automatic writing which would unnerve her daughter, Dorothy and even persuaded her son William to try it. Gertrude died in Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone on July 18th 1953.

Family Group Photographs

Gertrude's family

Gertrude with May, Dorothy and William

Four generations

Four generations in 1929. Enos Jackson, Gertrude Hexter, Dorothy Brett, Maurice Brett

Jackson sisters

The Jackson sisters in 1950. L to R: Ethel, Gertrude, Carrie and Lydia

Continued in column 2...

Added: May 1st 2016

May and Percival Powell

Family recollections by Alexandra Stafford

May Hexter

May Hexter

Percival Powell

Percival Powell

Percival Henry Powell was born on January 1st 1897, the son of John Thomas Powell and Roseina Toveni and was the youngest of three boys. John was a carpenter and joiner. John had been married previously to Emily Jones in 1879. They had a daughter, Hilda Emily, the same year. Emily had died in 1881. Although sounding Italian in origin, Roseina had been born in Circencester, Gloucestershire the daughter of a London-born photographic artist. John and Roseina were married in Stroud in 1885. A son Alfred and a daughter Queenie Roseina (who died aged 2 years) were born before the end of the decade. They made their family home in Horns Road on the eastern side of Stroud at the turn of the century. As a boy, Percival was a pupil at the Stroud and District Craft School and attended Holy Trinity Church in the town. By 1911, Percival's next older brother, Leslie, had become a reporter on a local newspaper, a trade which Percival was to follow too.

Percival signed his Attestation to a Short Service enlistment with the Royal Regiment of Artillery, The Royal Garrison Artillery on October 26nd 1915. His records show him to have been 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 10 stones. He spent the next twelve months in service in England with the 190 Home Battery reaching the rank of bombadier. In November 1916 he was due to be assigned to the British Expeditionary Force which was engaged in the Salonica campaign in Greece. In the meantime, Percival applied to be admitted to an Officer Cadet Unit with a view to an appointment to a temporary commission in the Regular Army. His old headmaster, Harry Roberts, and vicar Reverend Edward H. Hawkins signed for his good moral character. He graduated with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant (10).


Percival on graduation day
Courtesy of Dick Flory


12 inch rail mounted howitzer (11)

He was posted to the 343 Siege Battery which was stationed near Ypres in Flanders (12). The battery consisted of two rail mounted 12 inch howitzers which regularly engaged in devastating artillery duels with the enemy. Shortly after his arrival at the front line he was blown up by a shell which killed two men who were with him. He was admitted to hospital on January 18th 1918 with a diagnosis of shellshock and D.A.H. (Disordered Action of the Heart). He was noted to have anaemia and tachycardia (an abnormally fast heart rate). Upon his discharge from hospital he was found fit to return to general duties by a Medical Board sitting at Lézarde Valley Camp, Le Havre on April 12th 1918. He was posted briefly to the 198 Siege Battery. In July he was transferred to the 2nd Army Signal School as an instructor where he spent four months. His last posting in May 1919 was to the 544 Siege Battery. He was demobilized from active service on July 31st 1919 and placed on the Special Officer Reserve list. He relinquished his commission on November 24th 1920.


Ebrington Road

When hostilities had ended Percival initially returned home to Stroud. May and Percival were married on September 17th 1920 at St Pancras Church, which stands on the corner of Euston Road and Upper Woburn Place in London. The ceremony was witnessed by their fathers. Percival gave his address as the Bloomsbury House Club in nearby Cartwright Gardens and his occupation as journalist. May was still living at home in Bloxhall Road. They made their first home at 86 Delancey Street which was close to the north east corner of Regent's Park. They had one daughter, Betty Andrea Powell, who was born on July 21st 1921.

By the 1930s, Percival, May and Andrea had moved to a house in Ebrington Road, Harrow. Percival continued working as a journalist and moved to the London based newspaper The Star. Over the subsequent years, Percival, whose strap line was P.H. Powell, became internationally renowned as his copy was syndicated to newspapers in America and around the world. In November 1942 he set sail from Liverpool on the Cunard White Star vessel RMS Sarpedon bound for the United States where he became the New York correspondent of The Star. He took up residence at 24 W 45th Street New York City.

He was a member of the Foreign Press Association and later rose to become president of the organisation (13). He reported on a variety of subjects including politics and sport. Towards the end of the Second World War, the United Nations Conference on International Organization was held in San Francisco, California between April 25th and June 26th 1945 to draft the Charter of the United Nations and the Statute of the International Court of Justice. Percival was one of a number of guest speakers invited to take part in a radio panel discussion about the aims of the conference. This was given the title "Wounded Mankind" and was broadcast a few days before the conference started. He was quoted for predicting (wrongly) that Adlai Stevenson would beat Dwight Eisenhower in the 1954 American Presidential elections. On a lighter note, he was sent by his newspaper to report on the wedding of a London girl to an American airman in Idaho.

At the beginning of the next decade, Percival turned his hand to a different form of writing. His first book No Moonlight was published in London by W.P. Nimmo, Hay & Mitchell in 1950. Another seven novels followed; later murder mysteries featuring his creation Superintendent Gaden of Scotland Yard. It is perhaps surprising to see how expensive fiction was in those days. The issue price of his second novel Only Three Died (published in 1951) was 9/6d (9 shillings and 6 pence), which in today's money would be about £14 55 pence. He also wrote a couple of plays including the three act The Haunted Years which appeared in 1960.

P.H. Powell's Novels

Percival lived in Central Park West, New York during the 1950s. He filed a petition for Naturalization as an American citizen which was granted by the US District Court on May 11th 1959. He rarely spoke of his experiences in the first World War, merely telling his family that he had lost some hearing in one ear from cannon fire. This was sufficient to bother him on a daily basis. He enjoyed listening to classical music and in later life he made adaptations the speakers on his stereo system to improve his appreciation of the sound. When he retired from journalism, he moved to California. He bought a house in the Sherman Oaks district of north west Los Angeles where he established a new career as a financial investor. Ultimately he moved to an apartment in North Hollywood where he died on March 23rd 1984. After a short cremation ceremony his ashes were scattered by a tree overlooking a lake in the mountains outside Hollywood Hills.

May and Betty Powell

In school, May had been given two choices for her final subject: sewing or cookery. She chose the former and became an expert seamstress. One example, a small lace-like jacket, which would have fitted a child or an early teenager remains with the family. It has very involved and intricate stitching. During World War II, May was appointed an Air Raid Precaution (ARP) warden. She would have been issued with a kit including a steel helmet, gas mask and rattle (14). Her functions included supervising the local blackout, making sure everyone was aware that a warning had been sounded and helping people into and out of the air raid shelter. She also checked on the state and fit of people's gas masks. This kept her very busy around the Kenton area of London during the Blitz.

In Uniform

Betty in ATS uniform


Bletchley Park Roll of Honour (15)

Mary and Percival's daughter, Betty Andrea Powell, first attended Northwick Park Grammar School and then Wentwood Hall Boarding School. Between 1938 and 1940 she attended the Slade School of Art, part of the University of London. In her early 20s, she worked as a photographer for Kodak UK Ltd. When war broke out, Betty was enlisted in the Auxilliary Territorial Service (ATS) of the Royal Corps of Signals. She was required to sign the Official Secrets Act. She was ultimately employed at Forest Moor near Harrogate in Yorkshire as an intercept operative. Forest Moor was one of a chain of sites known as Station Y intelligence stations. They fed data to the central Station X at Bletchley Park which was where the German Enigma machines were being worked on. She is listed in the Bletchley Park Roll of Honour (15). Later in life Betty's military training undoubtedly aided her in her ability in solving crossword puzzles and learning such skills as shorthand and typing.

Betty was married twice. During the war she met Emil Lumir Cuhel, an American GI. Emil was also a photographer came from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He proposed to her before he returned home and Betty flew out from London on September 2nd 1946 bound for New York. Betty and Emil were married five days later. They settled initially in Mount Vernon Avenue, Cedar Rapids. In May 1947 the couple moved to Los Angeles, California where Betty worked for a boutique as a fabric painter and Emile had a photographic studio. Betty was granted American Naturalization on December 9th 1949.

The marriage to Emil ended in divorce in 1951. There were no children. Her second husband was Douglas Walworth Crane who she married on July 12th 1952 in Las Vegas, Nevada. At this time, Percival Powell and Douglas' mother, Ivy Crane Wilson were both with the Hollywood Foreign Press. It seems likely that the couple were introduced at one of the many Hollywood parties that both parents attended. Within three years Betty had three children, two girls and a boy. Douglas was also a journalist and worked for many years with Playgoer magazine. Their marriage ended in divorce too in August 1968.

May and Percival's marriage ended in divorce in 1946. May flew out from London on July 12th 1947 to join Betty in Cedar Rapids. When Betty moved to California, May moved too. She bought a little house with a studio and pretty garden in Hollywood Hills not far from the famous Hollywood sign. Betty too had a small art studio built behind her garage in which she spent many hours after her retirement. At the end of the 1970s, Betty was diagnosed with cancer. In the late 1980s she became progressively unwell and required chemotherapy treatment. May died on August 15th 1989. She was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Los Angeles in Lot 5892 (Map F14) in the Loving Kindness area, a young tree close by the graveside. Tragically, Andrea died just three months later on November 18th 1989. Her ashes were placed in a crypt at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Columbarium of Remembrance & Radiance, the site marked by a commemorative plaque. The Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills is one of six Forest Lawn cemeteries in Southern California. It has over 119,000 graves and is the place of rest of many of the stars of stage, screen and entertainment (16)

Carrie (1876 - 1959)

Second daughter, Carrie, was born in Welwyn on November 10th 1876. By the turn of the century Carrie was still living at home at the Upper Lodge, Eastington near Wheatenhurst. At the census of 1901 her father was working as a gardener for James T Stanton, a Justice of the Peace, who lived at the main house 'The Leaze' on the estate. Now aged 24 years, Carrie was employed as a housemaid. When Enos and Caroline had moved to Acre Place, Carrie was working as a laundress.

Carrie's cottage

The cottage, Abbot's Leigh

Carrie married Frederick Charles Wheare on May 20th 1911. Frederick was born on December 23rd 1880, the fourth son of William and Mary Wheare who lived in the village of Abbot's Leigh in the northern part of Somerset and which was about five miles west of Bristol. William had started his working life as an agricultural labourer but by 1890 had turned his hand to domestic gardening. As his sons, including Frederick, became teenagers, they too followed in their father's footsteps. In 1891 their home address was Burnt House No.1 in the village. William died before the turn of the century. Mary continued to keep house and, with her daughter, Ellen, earned a living from taking in washing. When he reached adulthood, Frederick was 5 feet 9¼ inches tall and weighed 10 stone 6 pounds. He was still living in Abbot's Leigh with his younger brother, Reginald, at the time of the wedding which took place at St John the Baptist Church, Randwick. Enos Jackson and Frederick's brothers George and Reginald signed the register.

Carrie's family

Carrie's family

Frederick took Carrie back to Abbot's Leigh after the ceremony. Their son, Robert Charles Wheare was born on August 28th 1912. On June 9th 1916 Frederick enlisted with the Reserve Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment. In October of that year he was transferred to the Labour Corps and was assigned to the 86th Prisoner of War Company. This was one of 47 companies which used prisoners of war as part of the workforce. He spent 28 months on duty in France. It is noted that he suffered a right groin rupture in November 1916 for which he was fitted with a truss in Rouen. Frederick was a member of the Independent Order of Rechabites (17), a friendly society founded in 1835 as part of the temperance movement. He obtained health care benefits from the organisation. He was demobilised on February 6th 1919. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.

Back in civilian life, Frederick returned to his regular peacetime trade as a gardener. At the end of the 1930s the family were living at 1 Manor View, Manor Lane, Abbot's Leigh. After the second world war, Frederick and Carrie moved to Hardwick Road, Pill, a village about two miles north west of Abbot's Leigh. It was there that Frederick was taken ill. He was taken to Southmead Hospital, Bristol but died on September 20th 1958. Carrie survived him by six months before dying in neighbouring Easton-in-Gordano on March 13th 1959.

In 1939, son Robert Wheare was still living at home. He was working as a Local Government clerk in the Electricity Department. He married Phyllis Joyce Trott in the winter of 1939 at Weston-super-Mare. Phyllis had been born in Abbot's Leigh in the early months of 1918. Robert served with the Royal Air Force, based on the North West Frontier in India. Phyllis died whilst on holiday in Florence, Italy in 1982, drowned in a swimming accident. Robert died in the Bristol Infirmary in October 1998.

Ethel (1879 - 1970)

Third daughter, Ethel, was born on January 21st 1879 in Welwyn. She too entered domestic service and towards the end of the century she was part of the staff to the family of solicitor Alfred E Smith who lived at The Hollies, Nailsworth. This had been a short walk away from Amberley although by time of the census of 1901 Enos and the rest of the family had moved away to Eastington.

Ernest William Blanch, who was born on June 26th 1879, was the second son of Thomas and Sarah Blanch. Thomas was a bricklayer and in 1901 the family were living at Maypole Terrace off Ruscombe Road in Pagan Hill which was half a mile away from Enos' final residence at Acre Place. Ernest followed in his father's trade, as did his older brother Sidney. Younger brother Walter trained as a stonemason. Ethel married Ernest at St Paul's Church, Whiteshill near Stroud on March 24th 1906. Her father, Enos, and niece, May Hexter, signed the register.

The couple set up home in Bread Street, just a few doors away from the Harmer family whose daughter Lottie Elizabeth would eventually marry Ethel's older brother John Robert. In the first ten years of their marriage they had four children. The couple were to remain in Bread Street for the rest of their lives. Ernest died in 1963; Ethel on January 17th 1970.



Ernest and Ethel's daughter, Grace Blanch, was born on September 30th 1907. She was known to the family to be 'a very clever lady'. She trained as a legal secretary and spent her working life in London. The 1939 Register which was taken on September 29th 1939 records Grace working as a legal shorthand typist. Her address was given as Westside House, Stamford House, Wimbledon. This was part of a group of substantial 18th century properties along the western side of Wimbledon Common. She was also employed as a part time ARP telephonist. The Air Raid Warden, Charles Haller, lived next door in White House Cottage where ARP Post 28 had been set up.

Grace never married. She was a great believer in theosophy (essentially a philosophy to understand the mysteries of the universe and its relationship with humanity and the divine (18). She was also a follower of Annie Besant, a prominent socialist, theosophist and women's right activist (192). After retirement she returned to the family home in Gloucestershire. She died at 'Lark Rise', Bread Street in 2006.

Eldest son Cyril was born on September 12th 1906. He married Lily Elizabeth Clayfield in Stroud in 1937. Lily was the daughter of Percy Henry Clayfield, a bricklayer, and Florence Watkins. The family lived in Ruscombe Road at the time. Second son Philip was born on May 20th 1910. He married Alice Sarah Pride, the daughter of domestic gardener John Herbert Pride and Blanche Butt in Stroud in 1935. He became a master baker and at the outbreak of the second World War, they were living in Bread Street, five doors away from his parents. Youngest son Kenneth was born on October 14th 1917. He was still living at home in 1939 and was employed as an aircraft woodworker. Kenneth was an avid rugby enthusiast, playing for several local teams including the Stroud Exiles. He had captained the Cainscross Rugby XV in 1938. He sustained a broken leg in a motorcycle accident when he collided with a lamppost during the blackout in December 1939 (20). He married Gertrude Herbert in 1940.

Lydia (1881 - 1979)

Lydia's line by Alison Shannon


Oliver Barrett



Youngest of Enos and Caroline's daughters, Lydia, was born on October 21st 1881 while the family were still living in Welwyn. She was baptised on December 4th 1881. She moved with her older sister, Carrie, and younger brother, William, to Eastington. As a teenager she became proficient at needlework and in her later years she spoke of often working at 'The Big House' (Stratford Park) making and repairing clothes for the ladies. In the census of 1901 she was earning a living as a seamstress and dressmaker.

The family

Lydia and Oliver with baby Ronald

On September 12th 1906, Lydia married Oliver Ankerville Barrett, a 25 year old carpenter from the city of Gloucester. Oliver was born on May 15th 1881, the oldest of three sons of Robert Arthur Barrett and Sarah Haynes. Robert was also a carpenter and joiner. The origin and circumstance of Oliver's second given name remains a mystery to the family. After the ceremony Oliver and Lydia set up home in Vauxhall Road, Gloucester which was just under half a mile away from the old Barrett family home. Their son, Ronald Barrett was born on September 28th 1911. Soon after they moved a couple of streets south to Falkner Street.

Oliver was a time served apprentice and worked his way to becoming a master carpenter. He was employed in one of the aircraft factories in Bristol during the first World War, a reserved occupation, building the wooden frames for the early biplanes. He made most of his own furniture and the bedroom and dining furniture for his son after Ronald had married. He built a doll's house and a set of replica furniture which remains with the family.

After the war, Lydia was very active in local politics on behalf of the Labour Party. She was never at home at the end of the school day, an experience which left a mark on the growing Ronald. She was a lifelong spiritualist, often demanding a paper and pencil as a message came to her whilst reading as a light appeared under the letters. The messages were always 'sensible' to her. Back in civilian life, Oliver returned to his carpentry which remained his occupation throughout his working life. They were still living in Falkner Street at the outbreak of the second World War.

Ronald and Phyllis

Ronald married Phyllis, the daughter of Wallace Morris and Myra Haines. Phyllis was born in Hereford and shared the same birthday as Ronald. The pair had grown up together, the Morris family living around the corner in Midland Road, and had attended the same primary school. Phyllis left school at 14 years to become a nanny in a private home whilst Ronald went on to Gloucester Grammar School. Phyllis' parents moved to Worcester in 1928. Wallace was working as a goods checker for the Great Western Railway on the Birmingham to Bristol line based in that town. Ronald became an apprentice in retail in Gloucester. He became a qualified pharmacist and gained admission to the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Phyllis and Ronald had lost touch with one another but acquaintance was restored after she saw the announcement of his achievement in The Telegraph. Ronald was a hospital pharmacist all his working life, firstly at Gloucester Royal Infirmary, then the Buchanan Hospital, Hastings. By that time Phyllis was with a family in Sedlescombe, just outside Hastings. They were married at St Johns Church, Worcester on October 9th 1937.

Ronald and Phyllis had three children during the 1940s. After the war, an opening arose at the Royal Infirmary Kingston upon Hull and Oliver moved the family there. He eventually became group Pharmacist of the East Riding Group of hospitals and oversaw the pharmacy section of the rebuilt Royal Infirmary. He had the honour of escorting the Queen around when she officially opened the new building. He took the Diploma in Public Administration qualification at night school so that he could talk on equal terms with the various committee members he had to meet with at the Group.

Lydia and Oliver spent most of their latter years living with the family in Hull returning to Gloucester for only a few weeks at a time. Oliver died in Gloucester on June 21st 1965. As she became more frail Lydia moved into a home on the coast at Withernsea, about 18 miles east of Hull. She did not like the North Sea air. As her eyesight failed, she moved to a care home in Chard Somerset in her 94th year. She died there on January 20th 1979.

Golden Wedding

Lydia and Oliver's Golden Wedding portrait taken at Thornton Valley studio, Kingston upon Hull, September 1956
Back Row: Phyllis, Martin and Ronald Barrett; Middle: Alison, Lydia and Oliver Barrett; Front: Nigel Barrett.

Further Reading

Hertford People
Jackson History

The covers

A: The section of this story about Enos Jackson has been adapted from an article 'Lincolnshire to Gloucestershire via Hertfordshire: A Gardener's 19th Century Progress' by Donald Brett which was published in Hertfordshire People, The Journal of the Hertfordshire Family History Society No 124 March 2013.
The Hertfordshire Family History Society has a website which is designed to educate and inform about genealogy with its focus on the county of Hertfordshire.
B: Alison Shannon has an ongoing project writing the illustrated history of the Jackson family from 1732 to the present day. For more information please contact us through the link below, The current version is available for logged on family members .

A vote of thanks

The authors would like to express their thanks for the help, comments and suggestions from the following in the construction of this article: Contributors to the Gloucestershire Forum (including KGarrard) at RootsChat.Com; Dick Flory at The Great War Forum for the photograph of Percival Powell's graduation from the RGA Officer Cadet School.


Alan Craxford shares two relationship lines with Caroline (Craxford) Jackson: (1) they are third cousins twice removed; (2) Caroline is the wife of Alan's third cousin three times removed - both lines running through the intermediary Claypole family (although, paradoxically not the family of her first husband, Jesse Claypole). Donald Brett is Gertrude Jackson's grandson. Alexandra Stafford is the great granddaughter of Gertrude Jackson via May Young Hexter. Alison Shannon is Lydia Jackson's granddaughter.

Alan Craxford
Donald Brett
Alison Shannon
Alex Stafford

Alan Craxford, Donald Brett, Alison Shannon, Alexandra Stafford


1. Photograph: St James Church, Louth: © Richard Croft, and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
2. Large Gourds: Latest Intelligence - Louth: Stamford Mercury Friday September 27th 1872: The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.
3. Edmund Smyth, English Explorer An occasional article by Raymond John Howgego
4. Blow's Anglo-Cyprian Hive. Artist's engravings internal and external views (Figs 2 - 3): The British Bee Journal Page 3-4 May 1st 1883
5. White Sweet Clover (Melilotus leucantha) Contemporary description in Supplement to the English Botany of the Late Sir J. E. Smith and Mr. Sowerby by Sir William Jackson Hooker, Sir James Edward Smith, William Borrer, John William Salter J. D. C. and C. E. Sowerby Page 2689 July 1852 Longman & Company, and Sherwood & Company 1831
6. Photograph: Italian (Ligurian) Honey bee at Placed in public domain by Ken Thomas
7. Sporting in Tibet: An extract from a letter of Captain Edmund Smyth, dated July 27 - Sporting Intelligence, Hereford Times Page 4 Saturday October 29th 1859. The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.
8. Photograph: St John the Baptist Church, Randwick, Gloucestershire: © Vincent Jones, and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
9. Vitamin B12 deficiency or Pernicious Anaemia wikipedia.
10. "Lieutenant Percival Henry Powell - Royal Garrison Artillery": Officers' Service, First World War, War Office, Armed Forces. Ref: WO 339/79200. The National Archives
11. Photograph of 'Hilda' a Mark I 12 inch railway howitzer at wikipdeia
12. Army Troops - 73 Brigade Royal Garrison Artillery: First World War and Army of Occupation War Diaries; Part 1 France, Belgium and Germany, Fourth Army. Ref: WO 95/476/1 The National Archives
13. Piers H. Powell. Past President It continues 1967-1993 ... The Foreign Press Association
14. An illustrated account of 8 Objects Used By Air Raid Wardens During The Blitz by Ian Kikuchi, Imperial War Museum
15. Bletchley Park Roll of Honour Betty Andrea Powell Bletchley Park web site
16. Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Forest Hills California, at wikipedia
17. Healthy Investment A Glorious History The Independent Order of Rechabites
18. Theosophy a definition. wikipedia
19. Annie Besant (1847 - 1933). wikipedia
20. Stroud Accidents. Rugby Player's Leg Broken. Gloucester Citizen Monday December 18th 1939. The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.

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