Henry (1) Woodhurst

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Brief biography

Henry (1) Woodhurst was born in 1906 to parents William (8) Woodhurst and his wife Mary Ann (nee Downey). His birth certificate [Birth Index: Lambeth 1d 289, 1907 (March)] states that he was born at his parents' address 12, Marlborough Street near Gray Street in the Waterloo subdistrict of Lambeth on December 28th 1906. His father is described as a journeyman cabinet maker. The informant was his mother who registered the birth on February 18th 1907 at the Lambeth Register Office.

It appears that very soon after this registration his parents changed their address and that his mother decided to re-register his birth. She did this at the Southwark Register Office on February 27th. The corresponding certificate [Birth Index: Southwark 1d 11, 1907 (March)] gives her address as 51, Commercial Road in Lambeth and her husband's occupation as cabinet maker (journeyman). She gave the date of the birth as December 28th 1906 but its location as 12, Boundary Row. Boundary Row is contiguous to Gray Street and lies almost exactly on the boundary between Lambeth and Southwark boroughs but just marginally within Southwark. It was probably synonymous with Marlborough Street. She was apparently in some state of confusion at the time, as she gave the child's name as "Frederick". [The possibility that she had given birth to twins, registered their births at different offices and different dates and named one of them identically to her earlier (and still living) child Frederick (1) seems untenable, and finds no corroboration among Henry (1)'s descendants.] Her reason for re-registering Henry (1) is unknown, but it may be that she or her husband realized that - given the location of Boundary Row - the birth was technically required to be registered in Southwark.

Henry (1) married Lydia May Greenhill in 1928 [Marriage Index: Southwark 1d 137, 1928 (Dec)]. She was born in 1907 [Birth Index: Southwark 1d 40, 1907 (Sept)].

A descendant reports the following: Henry (1) ran away from home at age 14 owing to difficult conditions there; he was eventually accommodated by a local grocer who taught him the trade, and thereafter he ran various businesses, including an off-licence in Ebury Street; he and Lydia May produced the two children listed below; upon the outbreak of WW2 he joined the Royal Army Service Corps and gained promotion to Captain; after the War he rose to a senior position in the N.A.A.F.I., until being made redundant by reductions in the armed forces; he took up business again as a grocer, running the Bridge Stores near Sunnyside Road in Epping until his death from cancer at Epping Hospital in 1969 [Death Index: Epping 4a 1877a, 1969 (June)]; Lydia May later married Eric Harrington, a farm worker, and lived with him at 3, Woods Cottages in Hatfield Broad Oak until her death.

His children by Lydia May Greenhill

  1. Gertrude May Woodhurst [Birth Index: Lambeth 1d 277, 1930 (Dec)]
  2. David Victor Woodhurst [Birth Index: Berkhamsted 3a 210, 1942 (Dec)]