Alfred Edward Woodhurst

Home Page Root Page Census Records GRO Records Parish Records Names Directory

Brief biography

Alfred Edward Woodhurst was born in 1898 to parents Alfred (3) Woodhurst and his second partner Eliza Gilbey. His birth certificate [Birth Index: Hampstead 1a 661, 1898 (Sept)] states that he was born on August 22nd 1898 at his parents' address 9, Netherwood Street in Kilburn. His father was occupied as a milk carrier and the informant was his mother.

The 1901 Census finds him living at age 2 with his parents and grandmother at 1, Kelson Street in Kilburn.

He married Annie Meikle Paterson in early 1924 [Marriage Index: Mile End 1c 423, 1924 (March)]. She was born in Glasgow on January 28th 1897 to parents John Paterson and his wife Mary (nee Gunn). On December 27th 1918 she had first married in Possilpark, Lanarkshire to a boiler stoker Jeffrey McDougall. At that time she was employed as a drysalter's forewoman. Jeffrey subsequently disappeared and was presumed by Annie to be dead, although in reality he was not. Her marriage to Alfred Edward was therefore inadvertently bigamous. In May 1928 she pleaded guilty in court for the offence of "marrying Alfred Edward Woodhurst, her husband being then alive" and was sentenced to two days imprisonment without hard labour.

The following was kindly supplied by Alfred Edward's son Alfred John.

Annie was born in Glasgow and first married a Scottish seaman named Jeff (Jeffrey) McDougall who went away to sea. Subsequently hearing nothing from him for over five years, Annie presumed he was dead and remarried, to Alfred Edward. Alfred John was born to them in May 1924. However, Jeff eventually reappeared and therefore Annie's second marriage had been bigamous. Around 1928 a judge ordered that Annie and her son should leave Alfred Edward, whereupon they returned to Jeff in Glasgow. Annie and Jeff produced three children there - twin girls Lily and Sadie, and a son Jeffrey. Sadie died at age 13 months, and a week later so did Lily - both from gastro-enteritis. Alfred John travelled on the hearse with them to their funeral. Just 15 months later, in the middle of 1930, Jeffrey picked up a splinter in his leg from crawling around on a carpetless floor and died from ensuing blood poisoning.

In 1930 Alfred Edward remarried to Ellen ("Nell") M. Fryer [Marriage Index: Stepney 1c 534, 1930 (Dec)], who was born on July 25th 1901. By her he produced a child Edward James Woodhurst. In 1933 his older son Alfred John, now 9 years old, was sent back to London from Glasgow to live with him in Redman's Road, just south of Mile End Road in Stepney. Living there also was Ellen's brother Andrew Fryer. A few years later they were living in Pelling Street in Limehouse, and perhaps later on in Bethnal Green.

Annie later returned from Glasgow to London to live with Alfred Edward who by then had separated from Ellen. Together with Alfred John, they remained in London until the 1940s. After the outbreak of WW2 Alfred Edward, having been a member of the Territorials, went away with the army in the 7th London Fusiliers regiment, seeing service in France and ending up in Iceland. Annie and Alfred John continued in London until they were bombed out of their home, whereupon they moved to Bingley in Yorkshire to live with one of Annie's sisters.

At some point in the post-war years, Alfred Edward went his own way and by the time he retired he was living in Morecambe, Lancashire with a third partner whose previous surname had been Hethering [actually Herrington?]. The last occasion on which he made contact with Alfred John was in the 1960s when he sent a letter from Preston station (but without giving an address) to say he was intending to return to London, his latest partner having died.

Electoral Registers show that during 1924-26 Alfred Edward was living at 93, Oxford Street in Mile End Old Town; during 1932-33 he was living at 8, Garden Street in Stepney with Ellen Mary Fryer.

The National Register for England and Wales 1939 finds Alfred Edward living at 32, Granby Street in Bethnal Green and occupied as a house decorator's labourer. He seems not to have had a partner living with him.

Electoral Registers show that during 1951-58 he was living with Fred Cartwright Herrington and Fred's wife Sarah Ann ("Annie") at the Mill House, Dowley Gap in Shipley, Yorkshire West Riding. Fred (born in 1892) and Sarah (born about 1898) had married in 1917 [Marriage Index: York 9d 133, 1917 (Sept)], she being named simply as "Annie Ward". During 1959-62 Alfred Edward was still living with the Herringtons but at 65, Airedale Avenue in Shipley.

Fred died aged "71" in 1963 [Death Index: Worth Valley 2c 8, 1963 (June)] and very soon afterwards Alfred Edward married Fred's widow Sarah Ann [Marriage Index: Worth Valley 2c 73, 1963 (Sept)]. This is confirmed by an annotation made to Sarah Ann's entry in the 1939 National Register. Oddly, the GRO marriage index names her as "Sarah Holmes", evidently an indexing error. This marriage was bigamous as his former wife Ellen was still alive in London. Just a few years later Sarah Ann died aged "68" [Death Index: Worth Valley 2c 26, 1966 (Sept) - indexed as "Sarah A. Woodhurst"].

Meanwhile Jeffrey McDougall had died in Glasgow on March 20th 1945. After Annie and Alfred Edward parted she remarried to an ordnance worker Thomas Davenport. She was found dead in Glasgow as "Annie Meikle Davenport" on March 29th 1963, having last been seen alive on March 27th. The cause of death was registered as "natural causes: myocarditis".

If Alfred Edward did "return to London" then he did not remain there, for he died in Lancashire in 1978 aged 80 [Death Index: Lancaster 40 1649, 1978 (Sept)].

Ellen died in 1986 [Death Index: Tower Hamlet 0786 14 1147, 1986].

His child by Annie Meikle Paterson

  1. Alfred John Woodhurst [Birth Index: Mile End 1c 483, 1924 (June)]

As a child in Glasgow Alfred John, together with another small boy, was injured at age 8; his lips had been burned when he had placed them in contact with a bottle of corrosive fluid which a girl companion was carrying. This accident was reported on August 25th 1933 in The Scotsman newspaper.

Alfred John married abroad to Marmit Rose Sada. She was known familiarly as "Molly". In February 1947 she disembarked - as "Marmit R. Woodhurst" - at Liverpool from the Blue Funnel Line's steamship "Antenor", which had sailed from Rangoon. The ship's manifest describes her as a housewife of 5, Brook Street in Bingley, Yorkshire whose last country of permanent residence had been India. Alfred John and Marmit Rose thereafter lived in Yorkshire; Electoral Registers show that for at least the period 1947-1962 they lived there in Bingley. They produced five children - John R. (1947), James B. (1950), Simon T.S. (1953), Gail R. (1956) and Julie C. (1960). Alfred John died aged 78 at Bingley on February 4rd 2003 [Death Index: Bradford 081/1F Register No. F65A, Entry 129]. His obituary was published in The Bradford Telegraph & Argus. Marmit Rose died aged "82" in 2007 [Death Index: Keighley 082/1B Register No. B57C, Entry 112].

His child by Ellen Mary Fryer

  1. Edward James Woodhurst [Birth Index: Stepney 1c 336, 1931 (Dec)]

Edward James married Lilian Sheila Houghton in 1953 [Marriage Index: Shoreditch 5d 857, 1953 (Dec)]. She was born in 1933 [Birth Index: Hackney 1b 536, 1933 (Dec)] to parents Christopher J. Houghton and Isabel (or Isabella) (nee Edwards) who had married the year before [Marriage Index: Poplar 1c 669, 1932 (Dec)]. Electoral Registers show that Edward James and Lilian Sheila were living in 1958 at 51, Cherbury Street in Shoreditch and during (at least) 1960-1962 at 4, Fulcher House in Shoreditch. They produced two children: Alan J. Woodhurst [Birth Index: Shoreditch 5d 573, 1954 (Sept)] and Ronald E.J. Woodhurst [Birth Index: Shoreditch 5d 573, 1960 (Dec)]. Edward James died aged 37 in 1969 [Death Index: Poplar 5d 682, 1969 (March)]. In 2007 Lilian Sheila was living with her son Ronald in Islington.

His children by Sarah Ann (née Ward) Herrington

  1. apparently none ...

Annie M. Paterson's children by Jeffrey McDougall

  1. Lily McDougall
  2. Sadie McDougall
  3. Jeffery McDougall