George Richard Guy Woodhurst


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Brief biography

George Richard Guy Woodhurst was born in 1865 to parents Richard William (1) Woodhurst (RWW) and his second wife Matilda. The birth certificate [Birth Index: Birmingham 6d 187, 1865 (Dec)] states that he was born at "Court Summer Lane" in the St. George subdistrict of Birmingham on November 5th 1865, and so his third forename reflected that he was born on Guy Fawkes Night. The address is more accurately rendered as (one of) the Courts that were associated with Summer Lane. The informant was his father, of the same address, named in full and described as a dyer journeyman. No Woodhursts were at that address at the time of the 1871 Census.

The 1871 Census finds him at age 5 living with his parents at 8, Back [of?] 29, Stoke Street in the St. Thomas ward of Birmingham.

The 1881 Census finds him at age 15 living with his parents at 41, Howbury Road in Camberwell, Surrey. His birthplace is given as Birmingham and he was still attending school.

He married Elizabeth Ellen Lewey in 1890. The marriage certificate [Marriage Index: Edmonton 3a 466, 1890 (June)] states that they married at the Holy Trinity Church in Tottenham Parish on May 26th 1890. He is described as a bachelor aged 24 occupied as a boot laster, and she as a spinster aged 23. Their place of residence was cited jointly as Page Green in Tottenham. His father RWW is described as a hatter and hers, Frederick Henry Solomon Lewey, as a foreman. The witnesses were her father and her sister Florence Emily Lewey.

Elizabeth was born in Bethnal Green on December 12th 1866 [Birth Index: Bethnal Green 1c 221, 1867 (March)]. Her mother was Celestine Sarah (nee) Pariser, born in 1845 [Birth Index: Bethnal Green 2 58, 1845 (June)], possibly at 44, Durham Street in Bethnal Green [descendant's report]. She married Frederick in 1866 [Marriage Index: Bethnal Green 1c 608, 1866 (March)]. The 1871 Census finds them with their children living at 41, John Street in Bethnal Green and describes Frederick as a cigar sorter and handler. The 1881 Census finds them at 4, Hamilton Road in Bethnal Green and describes Frederick as a cigar maker.

George and Elizabeth appear to have moved to Leicester soon after marrying, for that is where their first son Richard William (4) was born in 1891. The 1891 Census finds them living at 129, Syston Street in which there were two households. One of them, occupying three rooms, was that of Henry and Mary Hant (or perhaps Hart or Hunt - the record is hard to read) together with George's brother William (2), classed as a visitor. The other household, occupying two rooms, was that of George and Elizabeth and their one-month-old baby Richard William (4). George, aged 25, was employed as a boot maker and Elizabeth, aged 24, as a cigar maker (so following in her father's footsteps).

Their second son Leonard George (1) was born in Leicester in 1894.

George died on January 16th 1895. His death certificate [Death Index: Hackney 1b 416, 1895 (March)] describes him as a boot maker aged 29. The cause of death was certified as "Pernicious Anaemia 6 months, Gastritis & Vomiting 5 days, Exhaustion 12 hours". He died at 81, Glyn Road in Lower Clapton, Hackney. The informant, apparently residing at the same address and present at the death, was his brother William (2). It is likely that his married sister Annie (1) was also in Glyn Road at that time, since she was living there at No. 89 just a few months later when her son Thomas Richard Bone was born. It is not known why George was in Clapton at the time of his death. He may have been just visiting his siblings, or may have already moved his family from Leicester back to the London area.

Later in 1895 Elizabeth remarried to a widower Eustace Charles Collins [Marriage Index: Whitechapel 1c 528, 1895 (Dec)].

Much of the following information comes from a descendant's report. Eustace Charles was born at Friars Entry, St. Giles Parish in Oxford on March 12th 1854 [Birth Index: Oxford 3a 525, 1854 (March)] of parents George Collins - a grocer's assistant - and wife Ann Susan. He was christened at St. Mary Magdelene Parish, Oxford on May 14th 1854. He first married at St. Botolph Parish, Bishopsgate in London on February 8th 1880 [Marriage Index: London C. 1c 52, 1880 (March)] to Mary ("Marion") Maria Scott, who was born in Dorking, Surrey [Birth Index: Dorking 2a 116, 1858 (March)]. He was then living at 77, Bishopsgate Street and occupied as a grocer, whilst she was living at 136, Bishopsgate Street. Her father, Robert Scott, was then a plasterer. She was registered at birth as "Mary Maria" but in her adult life she occasionally presented herself as "Marion Maria". The 1881 Census finds Eustace and Mary Maria living with their first son Eustace Frederick, aged 2 months, at 14, Enfield Road South in Hackney, he being occupied as a grocer's assistant. The 1891 Census finds them living with 7 young sons at 52, Old Gravel Lane in St. George East [Stepney], he being occupied as a traveller and she as a grocer and cheesemonger. Also in the household was her brother Alfred Scott, aged "25" and born in Dorking. Mary Maria died aged "36" at West Ham in early 1894 [Death Index: W. Ham 4a 19, 1894 (March)]. After remarrying, Eustace produced four more children by Elizabeth. By 1896 he had become a tea grocer manager. Around 1905-06 he moved the family to Montreal in Canada where he and Elizabeth later ran two boarding houses in Mountain Street. Their last child Margery Celestine was born in Montreal around January 1910 and died 11 months later on December 4th 1910. Eustace died there on November 19th 1918, and Elizabeth died there on January 26th 1937. They are interred at the Mount Royal Cemetery in Hawthorndale in Grave 95, Lot 12. Their daughter Doris Florence died there on August 5th 1916 from spinal meningitis and is interred in the same grave. Their son Edgar Guy died in Vancouver, British Columbia on July 20th 1967, and their other son Francis died in Kamloops, British Columbia on November 8th 1984.

The 1901 Census finds the family living at 56, Ropery Street in Mile End Old Town, with Eustace Charles occupied as a grocer's manager. His sons William Charles Henry N. and Cecil Bertram O. were working as a pawnbroker's assistant and a warehouse boy, respectively.

Some of the above was related independently to the site author by his grandmother Maud Ethel Bone (MEB), who was one of RWW's grand-daughters. She stated that George had married "a Jewish woman" - Lewey is indeed a Jewish family name - and she knew that this woman produced two sons by George and another two by a subsequent husband. She knew also that the family had eventually moved to Canada, but thought they had settled in Ottawa. She also knew that one of the sons had entered the Salvation Army. Her most interesting, though so far uncorroborated, anecdote, was the following:

During the Great War, she saw in a national newspaper a photograph of King George V decorating all four boys, as servicemen, at a military hospital somewhere in England, the caption referring to their mother as "the little mother".

The Canadian descendants of George Richard Guy have been unable to confirm this account, but report that Elizabeth had been presented with a commemorative bar bearing eight maple leaves each denoting a son who had served overseas. Of these, five were actually her step-sons born of Eustace's first marriage, two were her sons by George Richard Guy and the last was her son Edgar Guy by Eustace. (Her other son Francis has been too young to serve in the Great War.) It appears that if there was a presentation of the kind claimed by MEB then it was made not to any of Elizabeth's own sons, leaving only the possibility that it was to four of her step-sons; but there is as yet no independent evidence for that either. Still, MEB was very clear in her own mind of her sighting of a newspaper photograph and of its pertaining to Elizabeth.

The same descendants have very kindly supplied to the site author copies of a most remarkable collection of photographs, being the only ones known to have survived depicting RWW, his wife Matilda and many members of their progeny. These appear to have been variously brought to Canada by Elizabeth or sent there through the contact maintained in later years with her brother-in-law Richard (1).

His children by Elizabeth Ellen Lewey

  1. Richard William (4) Woodhurst
  2. Leonard George (1) Woodhurst

Elizabeth Ellen's children by Eustace Charles Collins

  1. Edgar Guy Collins - born November 10th 1896 at 50, Rowsell Street, Mile End Old Town [Birth Index: Mile End 1c 547, 1896 (Dec)]
  2. Francis Henry Arthur Collins - born February 18th 1899 at 50, Rowsell Street, Mile End Old Town [Birth Index: Mile End 1c 555, 1899 (March)]
  3. Doris Florence Collins - [Birth Index: Mile End 1c 485, 1903 (Dec)]
  4. Margery Celestine Collins - born in January 1910 in Montreal

Mary ("Marion") Maria's children by Eustace Charles Collins

  1. Eustace Frederick Collins - born in Kingsland, London [Birth Index: Hackney 1b 508, 1881 (March)]
  2. George Joshua C.P. Collins - [Birth Index: Cambridge 3b 480, 1882 (Sept)]
  3. William Charles Henry N. Collins - [Birth Index: Cambridge 3b 490, 1884 (Dec)]
  4. Cecil Bertram O. Collins - [Birth Index: Camberwell 1d 532, 1886 (June)]
  5. Harold Victor L. Collins - [Birth Index: Chesterton 3b 467, 1887 (Sept)]
  6. Ernest Sidney A. Collins - [Birth Index: Cambridge 3b 512, 1889 (June)]
  7. Robert Alfred A. Collins - born in Wapping, London [Birth Index: St. Geo. East 1c 346, 1890 (Dec)]

Robert Alfred A. was not with his parents in the 1901 Census and is presumed to have died in childhood. He probably died aged "4" in 1895 [Death Index: W. Ham 4a 11, 1895 (June)] in West Ham (where Marion had died the previous year).