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Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Date: November 4,2017

In this brief article I feature a never before seen divided back postcard franked December 22,1903 in Tunbridge Wells showing a group of postmen assembled in front of a building on London road. In the background to the left can be seen a partial view of the Commons sloping up from London Road. Somewhere in this image is Charlie the postman who sent the postcard.

The back of the postcard  conveys Christmas greetings from "Charlie" to a Miss L. Blackwell at Gun Green Farm in Hawkhurst, Kent. From researching the Blackwell family it was determined that the Miss L. Blackwell referred to was Lilian Anne Blackwell (1873-1960) who was born December 1,1873 and was one of 11 Children born at Gun Green Farm between 1861 and 1883, the children of farmer James Blackwell (1834-1905)(who died at Gun Green Farm) and Rose Anne Blackwell, nee Rootes (1841-1910). 

Shown opposite right is group photo of the Blackwell family in which Lilian is the young lady shown
second from the right. To the right of her is her sister Edith Emily Blackwell and standing in the back is her brother Louis George Blackwell. On the far left is Lilian's parents and in the foreground are her younger siblings. Later photographs(after 1910), both interior and exterior views ,always show her wearing dark glasses, perhaps suggesting that she developed problems with her eyesight. One of these photos is shown opposite left with her dog companions. Lilian never married and died in Hawkhurst May 9,1960. A review of the Blackwell family was made to determine if Charlie ,who sent the photo, was one of her siblings ,or in any way related to her, but such a connection was not found. It was therefore concluded that Charlie was not a Blackwell and was a friend of Lilian's and perhaps had romantic feelings for her, feelings however that did not result in them getting married.

Shown opposite is a postcard view of the central post office in Tunbridge Wells located on the north west corner of London Road and Vale Road, and located south of where the group photo was taken.This view is a postcard by local photographer and postcard printer/publisher Harold H. Camburn, one of several hundred views of the town he produced as well as thousands of views of other places in Kent & Sussex over his long career. It is likely that Charlie was about the same age as Lilian, which at the time the postcard was mailed in 1903 would make him about age 29 and somewhere in the group photo of the postmen can be found the image of Charlie. A review of Tunbridge Wells postal workers in the early 1900's resulted in finding a number of men by the name of Charles but which one was "Charlie" could not be determined with any degree of certainty.  Since Lilian never lived in Tunbridge Wells it is most likely that Charlie and Lilian met in Hawkhurst. The postmen of Tunbridge Wells were despatched from the Vale Road central post office  to make their daily rounds delivering the mail. They also had to pick up the mail at the post boxes and sub-post offices and return it to the central post office for sorting and delivery. Postmen like Charlie worked in all kinds of weather and at Christmas time when Charlie corresponded with Lilian there would have been plenty of mail to pickup and deliver.

I wish to thank Chris Jones for confirming the location at which the featured image was taken and for clarifying who the group in the photo were, as the handwritten notation on the front is partially in error in describing the men.


Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date: October 26,2017


The Boulogne Fair, unlike the name suggests, was not a fair held in Boulogne , France but instead was a two day fair held in Tunbridge Wells from October 14 to 15, 1907.Shown opposite is a photograph of the event by local photographer Henry Jenkins. Since no other photographs of this event have been found Mr Jenkins photo is of historical significance, particularly since the event was held at the Emmanuel Church which was demolished in 1974.

The purpose of the fair was for the minister and congregation of Emmanuel Church to raise 200 pounds on behalf of various missions and also to pay for the spire of the church and heating apparatus, which had recently been renovated. To raise this large sum a bazaar, which took the title of a Boulogne Fair was held on Tuesday and Wednesday and proved to be a very novel, yet interesting event. The Lecture Hall of the church was transformed into a typical French scene representing the famous Boulogne Fair in France. The fair attendants were dressed in costumes, as can be seen in the photo above and the hall was decorated in flags and other ornamentation. As part of the event an Eastern Exhibition was held in the Vestry where many eastern curiosities were on view and lecturettes given at intervals explaining the exhibits. Among them  was a cabbage patch, a fish pond, a floral stall and refreshments, and many other stalls. There was even a cake weight guessing competition in charge of Mrs E. Gilbert (one of my relatives). The anti-room was converted into a dining hall and a third room served as a concert saloon where concerts were held throughout the evening. It was a grand event, and a great financial success with 230 pounds raised, the details of which are presented below from an account given in the Kent & Sussex Courier on October 15,1907.


Boulogne is a seaside resort town in France, just  a short boat ride across the English Channel, enjoyed by thousands of tourists annually. Dating well back into the 19th century two large fairs were held their annually each lasting 15 days and attracted thousands of visitors. A girl who went to one of these fairs in the 1890’s recounted her time at the fair as a little girl where she rode the roundabout and enjoyed the food and took in various sideshows. The fair was widely reported on in such publications as Vanity Fair in a 1896 publication. A publication called “Truth” dated August 18,1881 in part said “At this time of year there is the famous Boulogne Fair of pleasure and commerce”.  Shown opposite is a postcard of Boulogne by the well -known publisher L. Levi, a company which also produced a large number of postcard views of Tunbridge and other towns in England.


Henry Jenkins, a local photographer with a studio on Grosvenor Road, was on hand to capture in at least one photo the spectacle of the Boulogne Fair. Below is some information about him. Shown opposite is a photo of Henry seated in the front row  and his family.

Henry was born July 28,1838 at St Mary Street,Wallingford,Berkshire, the son of Thomas Jenkins(1815-1874) a performer and his wife Ann Jenkins, nee Embling(1808-1889). Henry was baptised August 26,1838 at St Mary le More Church in Wallingford. Thomas Jenkins and his wife would go on to produce 10 children. Henry spent his early years in Berkshire.

In 1851 Henry is a 13 year old student living with other students at what appears to be the Eweling Amonlaid school in Oxford,Oxforshire. In 1861 he was a single man living in Wallingford as a border with no occupation.

On March 30,1863 Henry married Elizabeth Barrett Payne at the Hale Leys Independent Chapel(now the  CongregationalChapel) ,Aylesbury,Buckinghamshire. Elizabeth was born September 8,1840,at the Post Office,4 Bourbon Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire  and they started a family.Elizabeth was the daughter of Samuel Payne and Elizabeth Barrett Postmaster of Aylesbury,Buckinghamshire.Henry and Elizabeth would produce 15 children between the years of 1864 and 1887.Henry's wife would later pass away in Tunbridge Wells March 31,1931 and was buried in the Tunbridge Wells cemetary on April 2.

Shown opposite is a Henry Jenkins photograph of a winter scene in Tunbridge Wells. His name is impressed on the front bottom right corner of the image. The location is most lively in the Commons.

A Wallingford directory for 1869 records that Henry Jenkins is a photographer operating his business on Fish Street and that at the same location is William D. Jenkins the printer and publisher of the 'Berks & Oxford Advertiser".Also at the same address was Thomas Jenkins(Henry Jenkins father)who has the interesting combination of professions of 'hairdresser,performer and bookseller".

In the 1871 census ,taken at St Mary's Street, Wallingford, Henry's wife was not present but with him was his son Harry,born 1867 at Wallingford and his daughter Poly born 1870 at the same place. In a 1876 Harrod's directory for Wallingford was recorded Mrs Ann Jenkins (Thomas Jenkins wife)as a stationer and fancy warehouse person with the business on St Mary's Street. Also at the same place was Henry Jenkins who was listed as a photographer,carver,gilder,picture frame maker and dealer in artist materials. Also there was William Daniel Jenkins ,who was identified before simply as William D Jenkins,who had the same profession  he had in 1869.

In the 1881 census taken at St Mary's Street,Wallingford was found 43 year old Henry Jenkins with the occupation of photographer and hairdresser.With him was his wife Elizabeth,their 17 year old daughter Annie E, who was working for her father as a photographers assistant;their 14 year old son Harry working for his father as a photographic assistant and a hairdresser.There were seven other children in the household( all scholars) and among them was the first appearance his son Samuel Payne Jenkins,born 1873 at Wallingford.I should mention here that at first glance the combined occupations of photographer and hairdresser seem strange but in the 1800's photographers who operated studios often were either hairdressers themselves or had someone in the family or on staff who was a hairdresser. The need for this was of course to ensure that the person sitting for their portrait would be looking their best and it was also customary at this time for the photographer to set the stage for the photo using furniture,plants,background scenery and other props and quite often the "stage for the performance" was very well decorated and the resulting photographic image was exceptional.How exceptional it was depended more on the skill of the photographer then the "natural" appearance of the sitter for a skilled photographer could make anyone look good and having a good hairdo was an important ingredient in the process.What often set one studio photographer apart from his competition was no so much his skill in taking photographs and developing/printing them but his expertise in setting the scene so it was a very important part of the trade.

By the time the 1882 Tunbridge Wells directory was published Henry Jenkins and his family had picked up sticks and moved to Tunbridge Wells and Henry's business premises were recorded in 1882 as being 40 and 40A Grosvenor Road with  Henry listed as a photographer and hair dresser. Henry started business at this location in 1882 by acquiring the photographic studio of David Robert Everest(1853-1925). Shown opposite is a CDV (front and back) showing the reference to Mr Everest.

The 1891 census taken at 40 Grosvenor Road recorded Henry,now 53 ,as a photographer and hairdresser.With him was his wife Elizabeth;their 26 year old daughter Kate,age 26,working for her father as a fancy shop assistant;son Harry,age 17, working for his father as a hairdresser assistant;daughter Polly,age 21,working for her father as a photographers assistant and Samuel Payne working as a photographers assistant and four more of their children.Also present were three employees,one a shop assistant ,one  a photographers assistant and the other a hairdresser assistant. Shown opposite is an advertisement for the business from Peltons 1896 guide.

The 1899 Kelly directory listed Henry Jenkins at 40 Grosvenor Road with the occupation of “ photographer and post office”. Listings for Samuel Payne Jenkins, who was Henry’s son,  appeared in directories of 1913, 1918 and 1922 with the occupation of photographer and post office at 20 Grosvenor Road.

By 1901 Henry relocated his studio to 20 Grosvenor Road and is found at that address in the 1901 census where living with him is his wife Elizabeth and four of their children. Their daughter Ellen E,age 29 and son Norman B,age 16 are both working for their father as photographic assistants. There are also three other non- relatives present as well as Henry's 12 year old grandson John H. Gardiner who was born in Australia. In the 1901 census Henry’s occupation was given as "photographer and post office" and he is still there in 1903 with the same occupation. In a 1904 directory Henry is at the same location but listed as "stationer retail". Henry's photo studio on Grosvenor Road was referred to as "Alpha House"A decendent of the family relayed to me the information that Henry produced a magazine called the Alpha House Gazette,setting his own type and competing with local printers by producing posters and notices so apart from his photographic business Henry had become also a journalist and a printer. Shown above is a photo of Henry’s Alpha Studio on Grosvenor Road. Shown below left is a photograph by Henry Jenkins taken 1905 in Tunbridge Wells showing Maypole Dancing , which is believe by the researcher to have been an image captured at the annual Children’s Festival held on the commons. Shown above right is a pair of photos by Henry of the General Hospital.

Shown here is a photo by Jenkins of the Commons taken circa 1908. Sometime before 1913 Henry Jenkins turned over his business to his son Samuel Payne Jenkins who was found in a 1913 directory at 20 Grosvenor Road with the occupation of"photographer & post office. Samuel was born 1873 at Wallingford so when he took over the business he was 39 years of age. His father Henry,a strict Baptist all his life, passed away July 5,1921 in Cape Town,Western Cape,South Africa. He died in South Africa while visiting two of his daughters.

Further details about the Jenkins family and the continuing story of Samuel Payne Jenkins can be found in my article ‘Jenkins- A Family of Photographers’ dated February 28,2012.  Henry was a prolific studio and field photographer and many examples of his photographic images can be found.


The Boulogne Fair in Tunbridge Wells was a two day fair held in Tunbridge Wells on Tuesday October 14 and Wednesday October 15, 1907 at the Emmanuel Church (photo opposite).The Emmanuel Church was built in 1867 to the design of Mr Wimble of 2 Walbrook. An image of the church appeared in Peltons Guide of 1896. The spire was 130 feet tall and was a conspicuous landmark in the town, visible in many old postcard views.This church was a replacement for an earlier chapel that had been built in the grounds of the old Culverden House, a structure connected to Lady Huntingdon. The church of 1867 was demolished in 1974 having stood in a commanding position facing London Road on Mount Ephraim and was taken down to improve access to the Kent & Sussex Hospital. The last photo in this section was taken in 1974 and shows the church being demolished.

The following information about the fair comes from an article that appeared in the Kent & Sussex Courier October 15,1907. The article is a long one and so what is given here is only part of a very interesting account. For those interested in all the details I would suggest viewing the entire article at the Tunbridge Wells Reference Library. A brief account of the event was given above in the ‘OVERVIEW’.

The purpose of the Fair was to raise 200 pounds to cover the cost of work that had been done on the church spire and the heating system in the church. In addition the funds were to be used to fund the churches mission work. The event was a great success with 230 pounds raised.

“The Lecture Hall of the Church was transformed into a typical French scene, representing the famous Boulogne Fair held annually in Boulogne, France. The article refers to “ the sweet faces and Oriental costumes of the fair attendants at the stalls, which were laden with every variety of fancy and useful articles, and the many vari-coloured flags which decorated the hall presented a very fantastic and attractive appearance. An additional feature of the event was an Eastern exhibition, which was held in the Vestry, where many eastern curios were on view, and lecturettes were given at intervals by Mr. T. Ashby Wood and the Rev. W.A.H. Legg,explanatory of many of the exhibits. Mrs Wiggs and her cabbage patch also formed a source of attraction, and praise should be given to the designer of the fish pond, which had many striking features, and also the floral stall and refreshments, which were well set out.”

“The Anti-room was converted into a well arranged dining hall, whilst a third room formed an appropriate concert saloon, where concerts were given at intervals during the evening. A special programme had been designed, and the assistance of the visitors, setting forth the various objects of interests, in which one and all were reminded of the words of the poet,’Yours not to make reply; Yours not to reason why; Yours but to come and buy. Raise the two hundred’.”

“At the opening ceremony on Tuesday morning, which was performed by Mrs Paget Hedges, the Rev. W.A.H. Legg presided, and among those also present were noticed the Rev. G.W. Cowper Smith,the Rev. A.E. Pearson …..(many others listed)”.

Rev. W.A. H. Legg , in his speech touched upon “the spirit of friendship which characterised these proceedings” and praised Mrs Hedges for coming to open the sale. He remarked that “a year ago we never dreamed that we would have to re-build twenty feet of the church spire” and that they were then heating the church at a cost of 175 pounds which the congregation had dug deep into their pockets to pay for. The church had been told that the decaying spire was a danger to all and that rebuilding it presented “ a large financial burden to face”. A member of the Royal Vale Weslayan Church gave 50 pounds towards the work and “within a short time 150 pounds had been raised”. Members of the boys and girls choir also gave money to the cause as did the Established Churches in the town.

Mrs Hedges next spoke and apologised for her husband not being present “having remained in America longer than he anticipated and was sailing on October 10th. She continued with comments about the benefit of the Fair and expressed her wish that it would be a great success. Mr Joseph Smith proposed a “hearty vote of thanks to Mrs Hedges” and her husband. Mr Woodsend seconded Mr Smiths comments.

“The sale was then proceeded with”. Among the stalls were (1) China and Fancy (2) Art and Needlework (3) Woolen and fancy articles (4) Needlework etc (5) Fruit, flowers and vegetables (6) Advertisment stand (7) Sweets (8) Refreshments (9) Eastern Exhibition  (10) Mrs Wiggs and her cabbage patch.

“There was also a weighing machine; cake weight guessing, in charge of Mrs E. Gilbert, the cake being presented by Mr. E. Peacock; cake making competition, in charge of Mrs E. Gillett, and judged by Mr Forster; needle threading for ladies and gentlemen; and telescope observations of the heavens (weather permitting) conducted by Mr. E. Overton”.

“ The Fair on Wednesday, opened with every sign of freshness…there was good attendance…the opening ceremony being performed by the Mayoress who was accompanied by His Worship the Mayor. Rev W.A.H. Legg extended a hearty welcome to His Worship and the Mayoress”. The Mayor was stated to have been “one of the first to encourage him when he first made an appeal,by which 150 pounds had been raised from outside sources”. The Mayor who was stated not to be in good health made a few introductory remarks and in part said “ In conclusion, I urge you to buy something, even if you do not want the article. You should purchase it as a souvenir to the Fair, and thus liquidate the amount require by the church”.

“The Rev Legg next called on the Mayoress to open the sale”. She made her comments  which were replied to by a vote of thanks by Mr. T.Manly which was seconded by Mr Charlton.

A section following in the article entitled “The Music” which in part stated “ A great source of attraction at the Fair was the excellent concerts which were arranged each evening. In the Church Parlour, tableaux concerts provided a unique success, and were arranged by Miss Evelyn Forster, Miss Dorothy Dennis and Miss Bessie Forster, and were represented in a  number of nursery rhymes “(list and details given for each).

“Each tableaux was well represented. Two concerts were held each evening, and were much appreciated by the large audiences in attendance”. A list of those performing was given for both days of the Fair. Mr J. B. Hurford was listed as “the director” with the accompanist being Mrs. A.W. Pierson.

After presenting the results of the fundraiser where “the fair realised the magnificent sum of 230 pounds of which 120 pounds was raised on Tuesday it was stated that the cake-weight guessing competition was won by Miss Bishop. A special thanksgiving service in connection with the success of the sale was to be conducted by Rev. Legg on Sunday evening. And so this was the end of a very interesting event in the town.



Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date: October 24,2017


William Samuel Andrews (1887-1916) was born in Norwich,Norfolk, one of two known children born to William Andrews, a chemists porter born 1846 in London, and Elizabeth Baker Andrews (1846-1887), nee Aldous, born  in Yaxham,Norfolk.

In 1881 the family consisting of William Andrews and his wife Elizabeth and their two sons William Samuel Andrews and George Ernest Andrews (1884-1962) were living on Culvert Street in Norwich where William was a chemists porter. Upon the death of Elizabeth in 1887 William and his two sons continued to live on Culvert Street in Norwich and were found at 86 Culvert Street at the time of the 1891 census. William senior was still working as a chemist’s porter at that time. At the time of the 1901 census William senior and his son George were still living at 86 Culvert Street where both were working as chemists porters.

William Samuel Andrews had left the family home on Culvert Street sometime after 1891 but before 1901 and was found in the 1901 census in Tunbridge Wells, living at a boarding house run by his 56 year old aunt Elizabeth Baker, and working in the town as a waiter domestic.

At the time of the 1911 census William Samuel Andrews and his father along with one servant and three lodgers were living at 11 Mount Sion at William Samuel Andrews aunts(Elizabeth Baker) lodging house. William senior at that time was not working and his son was employed as a photographic dealer on own account. Before this time in the early 1900’s William Samuel Andrews had worked as a chemists assistant for local chemists Dunkley & Rogers, who’s premises were at 55-57 High Street.

William Samuel Andrews was found in the 1913 Kelly directory as a dealer in photographic materials at 57A High Street but it is known from a photograph in 1912 (shown above) by him that he was also a local photographer. Examples of his photographic work are very scarce, so scarce in fact that in the last six years of researching photographs/ photographers of Tunbridge Wells only the one example of his photographic output was found. The image itself is of great historical significance and later in this article I present details about it.

William Samuel Andrews never married and on November 11,1915 he enlisted for service at Maidstone in WW 1. He was a private (G/11204) with the Queen’s Own RWK  regiment (1st Depot Btn). He remained at home from the time of his enlistment until his arrival in France with the BEF May 19,1916. He was badly wounded July 22,1916 laying some seven hours on the field of battle until finally being picked up by stretcher-bearers and taken to the field hospital for medical treatment. His injuries were so severe that he required treatment at Rouen and was then transferred to Belfast August 2,1916, at which place he died on August 13,1916. His body was returned to his family in Tunbridge Wells and was given a proper military funeral, as reported in the Kent & Sussex Courier of August 18,1916 and buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery. His loss was recorded on one of the plaques of the Tunbridge Wells War Memorial on Mount Pleasant Road; on a memorial window at St Peter’s parish church in Monks Horton, Kent, and on the cenotaph at Christ Church in Tunbridge Wells. From records pertaining to his disposition of effects mention was made that they were returned to his father in 1920. From the same record it was noted that William’s brother George Ernest Andrews was also serving in WW 1 as a private (32254) with the 14th Middlesex Regiment.

George Ernest Andrews, who had been born 1884 in Norwich, Norfolk lived with his mother and father and brother William on Culvert Street, Norwich from 1884 until his mother’s death in 1887. He then lived with his father at 86 Culvert Street, Norwich at the time of the 1901 census and at that time he and his father both worked as chemists porters. At the time of the 1911 census George was living at a lodging house for drapers assistants run by Emily Norton in Tunbridge Wells, where George was working at that time as an assistant draper. George’s service records in WW 1 were destroyed by a fire in London and the only reference to his service was that given above. It is known due to no mention of his demise in the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and the absence of his name on any war memorial, that he survived the war and returned to live and work in Tunbridge Wells for the rest of his life. In the 4th qtr of 1906 George married Ella Edwards (1888-1963), the daughter of Isaac Edwards, an upholsterer born in Frant 1863 and Eliza Edwards, born 1863 in Suffolk. She was one of three children born to her parents but one of them had died before 1911. The Isaac family were living at the time of the 1891 census at 23 William Street, Tunbridge Wells, where Isaac worked as an upholster. Census records of 1901 and 1911 record Eliza and her parents/siblings on Standen Street, Tunbridge Wells where Isaac was still working as an upholsterer. By the time of the 1911 census Ella was working as a drapers assistant and no doubt worked for the same shop as her future husband George, which contact led to their relationship and marriage in the 4th qtr of 1916. Probate records note that Eliza Edwards died in Tunbridge Wells while a resident of 19 Standen Street on March 21,1935, a widow, leaving her 240 pound estate to Ella Andrews (the wife of George Ernest Andrews). Death records note that George died in Tunbridge Wells in September 1962 and was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on September 10th. His widow Ella died in February 1963 and was cremated at the Kent & Sussex Crematorium February 12,1963.

In this article I present details about the Andrews family with a particular emphasis on William Samuel Andrews in terms of his life and career and final demise while serving his country. Also given is a detailed account about the photograph shown above taken by William in front of G. Stevenson’s Kent & Sussex Garage on London Road, for it is a most interesting and historically significant image indeed!


I begin my account with William Andrews, the father of William Samuel Andrews (1887-1916) and George Ernest Andrews (1884-1962). Nothing definitive was found regarding his parents and siblings but census records of 1901 and 1911 taken at 11 Mount Sion, Tunbridge Wells, identified Elizabeth Baker, born 1843-1845 in Herefordshire as the aunt of William Samuel Andrews and therefore the sister of William Andrews who was born 1846-1847 in London.

In the 4th qtr of 1880 William Andrews married Elizabeth Baker Aldous (1846-1887) at Norwich, Norfolk. Elizabeth was born in the 3rd qtr of 1846 at Yaxham, Norfolk. She was one of four known children born to Samuel Aldous (1817-1886) and Elizabeth Aldous, nee Baker (1817-1908). At the time of the 1851 census the Aldous family were living in Yaxham. The 1861 census, taken in Yaxham gave Samuel Aldous as a being born in Suffolk and working as a carpenter master employing his son. With him was his wife Elizabeth, born in Rumburgh,Suffolk; his son Walter S, born 1843 in Norfolk, a carpenter; his daughter Elizabeth Baker Aldous, in school; his daughter Sarah, born 1850 in Yaxham, in school and his son George Aldous, born 1855 in Yaxham who was also in school. At the time of the 1871 census Elizabeth Baker Aldous was living in Heigham, Norfolk.

The 1881 census, taken at Calvert Street in Norwich, Norfolk gave William Andres born 1847 in London and working as a chemist’s porter. With him was just his wife Elizabeth Baker Andrews, born 1847 in Yaxham, Norfolk. The only children known to have been born to this couple were there sons William Samuel Andrews (1887-1916) and George Ernest Andrews (1884-1962), both of whom were born in Norwich, Norfolk, however the 1911 census recorded that William Andrews had three children but only two were still living. It is expected that the third child died as an infant not long after its birth.

William’s wife Elizabeth Baker Andrews had a short life for she died at age at just age 41 at St Faiths, Norwich, Norfolk. The cause of her death was not established. She was buried in an unidentified local cemetery. After her death William and his two sons remained on Calvert Street in Norwich. The 1891 census, taken at 86 Calvert Street gave William Andrews as a widower born 1845 in Norwich and working as a chemists porter. With him was his sons George Ernest Andrews, age 7 and William Samuel Andrews, age 4. Also there was one domestic servant.

The 1901 census, taken at 86 Culvert Street gave William Andrews as born 1847 in London and working as a chemists porter. The only other person with him was his son George Ernest Andrews, age 17 who was also working as a chemists porter.

Sometime after 1891 but before 1901 William Samuel Andrews moved to Tunbridge Wells and sometime between 1901 and 1911 his father and brother also took up residence in Tunbridge Wells.  


The 1901 census taken at 11 Mount Sion where William Samuel Andrews,age 15, was working as a waiter servant and living with his aunt Elizabeth Baker (given as born 1845 in Herefordshire) with the occupation of lodging house keeper. Also there was one visitor; one servant; and seven lodgers.

No 11 Mount Sion was and still is an impressive multi-sty semi -detached home, finished in white, and located on the north side of Mount Sion. Shown above is a modern view of the home with No. 9 on the left and No. 11 on the right.

The 1911 census, taken at 11 Mount Sion gave Elizabeth Baker, a 68 year old widow, given as born “ 1843 Stagenhoe Pk Hertfordshire” as a boarding house keeper employer. With her was William Andrews, widower, born “ 1846 Dunboe, Londonderry” of no occupation and his son William Samuel Andrews, age 24 who was working as a “photographic dealer own account”. The 1911 census noted that William Andrews had three children but only two were still living.

The Kent & Sussex Courier of August 18,1916, that reported on the death of William Samuel Andrews stated “before joining up (for service in WW 1) the deceased was many years with Messrs Dunkley and Rogers, afterwards taking a business on his own behalf as a photographer”.

Dunkley & Rogers operated as chemists in Tunbridge Wells from 1889 to 1970 at 55-57 High Street and also at 3 Parade Southborough from 1886 to 1890. As Dunkley, Rogers & Cole they operated from 1890 to 1893 at 3 Parade Southborough. Shown below left is an early 1900’s postcard view of the High Street in the vicinity of their shop (on the right in the background) and below right is an early 1900’s postcard view of the Parade in Southborough, a part of London Road just north of the Imperial Hotel.  The bakery shown in this image was at No. 2 Parade and so No. 3 is next door to it just past the omnibus.

In addition to being chemists Dunkley & Rogers also manufactured and sold ginger beer,mineral water and other beverages  under the name of Edward Dunkley, chemist 57 High Street 1842-1889 and as Dunkley & Rogers, chemists, 55-57 High Street 1890-1920. Shown opposite are two advertisments for their business , the one on the left being dated 1885  which shows that in addition to having a shop in Tunbridge Wells on the High Street that they also had a shop at No. 3 The Parade in Southborough.

Below left is an example of one of their chemists pot lids and to the right is an example of one of their glass bottles and to the right of it are some stoneware ginger beer bottles. Further information and images pertaining to the business of Dunkley & Rogers can be found in my article ' The Mineral Water And Ginger Beer Industry of Tunbridge Wells' dated January 5,2013 but updated June 25,2014 as well as a more comprehensive article entitled ' Dunkley & Rogers-Chemists' dated November 6,2017 which covers all aspects of the business and provides a more detailed account of the companies history and those involved in the business in Tunbridge Wells and Southborough. The November 2017 article about this business can be found on this website on page 4.

The 1911 census taken at “2 Madlina Park, 4 Mount Pleasant Road,Tunbridge Wells” gave George Ernest Andrews as age 28, born 1883 in Norwich living as a lodger with Emily Norbon, age 41. George was working at that time as an assistant draper and was single. Also living in the “ house for drapers assistants”, as noted in the census, was fifteen other tailors and drapers assistants.  It is believed by the researcher that this is a reference to employees of the Weekes department store (photo opposite) on the corner of Mount Pleasant Road and Grove Hill Road.

Between 1911 and the time of his service in WW 1 (1915 to 1916)William Samuel Andrews operated his business as a photographer and dealer in photographic materials from premises at 57A High Street. A view of his shop location can be seen from the postcard view of the High Street given above. His brother George Ernest Andrews continued to work in Tunbridge Well as a drapers assistant from 1911 until his enlistment for service in the war in 1915.


Although thousands of military records for WW 1 were destroyed, or badly burned, during the bombing of London, the records of William Samuel Andrews have survived and it is from this prime source that the following information was obtained.

William enlisted for service at Maidstone November 24,1915.  Other records state he enlisted at St Pauil’s Churchyard, Whitehall, London. He was described as a small man being 5’-4” tall and weighing only 114 pounds, with brown hair and eyes and wore a denture. His medical records also noted “a large mole right buttock and Varose veins”. At the time of his enlistment he and his father were given as residing at 29 London Road, Tunbridge Wells and that William’s occupation was “formerly a chemists assistant”suggesting that by 1915 he had ended his photographer/ photographic dealer business. A 1913 Kelly directory gave the listing “ William S. Andrews, 57A High Street, photographic dealer own account”.

William was at home from November 20,1915 to May 18,1916  and served with the British Expeditionary Force f 1st Btn RWK from May 19,1916 to August 1,1916 . Posted August 1,1916 to England & Depot RWK Regiment August 7,1916. Was home from August 2,1916 to August 13,1916. He had been posted Depot, RWK Regiment November 26,1915; posted 3rd Btn RWK Regiment May 19,1916

He was a private (G/11204) with the Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). He was severely wounded in the hip while taking part in the great push on July 22,1916. He as taken to hospital in Rouen and then transferred to Belfast. A telegram dated August 7,1916 stated “ Seriously ill at Belfast Military Hospital. Kindly notify friends at Maidstone Depot”. Another telegram from Belfast gave “11204 Andrews died yesterday. Body being sent to relatives tonight”. His home address was given as 29 London Road,Tunbridge Wells and strangely his next of kin was recorded as “mother” which was an error and should have stated “ father”.

William died at the Belfast Military Hospital  on August 13,1916. The records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission mistakenly gave his date of death as April 19,1917.

The Kent & Sussex Courier of Friday August 18,1916 gave the following. “ Private William S. Andrews……Private William S. Andrews of the 1st Royal West Kent’s (Depot Btn), while taking part in the great push on the 23rd ult., was severely wounded in the hop and laid for seven hours on the field until succoured by the stretcher-bearers. He was taken to Hospital at Rouen, and transferred to Belfast, where he succumbed to his wounds last Sunday. The body was conveyed here on Tuesday, and the funeral took place on Thursday at the Cemetery (The Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery), the coffin being covered with the Union Jack and several lovely wreaths from relations and friends. The Rev. Storey officiated at the grave. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs E. Weekes ( of Weekes department store on Mount Pleasant Road who also provided undertaker services). Before joining up the deceased was many years with Messrs Dunkley and Rogers, afterwards taking a business on his own behalf as a photographer. He was closely connected with Christ Church, being Secretary of the C.E.M.S., Sidesman, and teacher at the Sunday School”.

His medal index card provides little information except to note that he was awarded the Victory and British medals.  A record of soldiers effects noted that his effects were sent to his father in Tunbridge Wells January 1,1920 and makes mention of Williams brother George Ernest Andrews (32254) as a private with the 14th Infantry Middlesex Regiment. More is given about George later.

From the Find a Grave website it was noted that William was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery in grave C.12.267. A photograph of his headstone is shown below as well as a plaque with his name on it at Christ Church, which church the Kent & Sussex Courier noted he was affiliated with.

William is also one of 801 men listed on the Tunbridge Wells War Memorial. Shown below is a photo of the war memorial on Mount Pleasant Road in front of the Civic Centre .This photograph was one of a series of views of the war memorial by local photographer and postcard printer/publisher Harold H. Camburn.  Names on this war memorial were submitted by relatives of the deceased and no doubt it was his father who submitted his name. Since the war memorial was not constructed and unveiled in 1923 one can conclude that William Andrew’s senior was still alive at that time. The only death record found was “ William Andrews, born 1845, died Tunbridge Wells 1931, buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery October 21,1931. His sister Elizabeth Baker died in Tunbridge Wells in the 4th qtr of 1925 and it is believed by the researcher that she is the same Elizabeth Andrews who was born 2nd qtr 1843 at Bromyard,Herefordshire who in October 1871 married John Baker, a widow at Westminster St Mary Paddington, London.

It was also interesting to note that while I was a member of the Tunbridge Wells Family History Society (TWFHS)that Janet Powell the Hon. Secretary of the Folkestone & District Family History Society contacted the TWFHS regarding research she was undertaking of men on the Folkestone & District war memorials and that on one of them was recorded the name of William Samuel Andrews who was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery (grave C12.267)having died August 13,1916 in Belfast who was with the RWK Regiment. Roy Thompson of the TWFHS who relied to the inquiry gave details to Janet about his grave. A website referred to Janet and others in connection with a proposed memorial arch which was to have placed on it the names of all those connected to Folkestone. The name of William Samuel Andrews was to be included on this memorial. Regarding the proposed arch Janet said “No we didn't build a memorial arch. I think it was funded by the Heritage Lottery or similar. It's on the Leas, close to the cenotaph (why they call it that rather than the War memorial I don't know)  It is a great big thing, looks like half of the McDonald's arch. It is in stainless steel with odd lights in it. It was opened by Prince Harry on August 4th 2014 with parades of soldiers etc. It was initiated by a group called Step Short to commemorate all the thousands of men who marched down there to embark for France.If you Google war memorial arch Folkestone you'll see all about it. In the opinion of many of us a great waste of money.With working with about 1500 men we could only do brief lives. i.e. parents, siblings & if they married wife & children. We tried to obtain a photo of the grave or memorial plus a photo of the cemetery or the ship if naval”.

Janet Powell did not indicate in her inquiry to the TWFHS which war memorial in Folkestone and District William’s name was on but my research  found a website of those who fell in the Great War with the following entry for a memorial window at St Peter’s parish church in Monks Horton. Janet later confirmed that I had found the correct war memorial. On this memorial is given “ Five men of this parish who gave their lives for God, King and Country in the Great War 1914 to 1918, this window was erected in gratitude by the people of Monks Horton 1920. Grant them O Lord eternal rest and may light perpetual shine upon them”. The names of the five men are given including “Andrews W.S….Private G11204 William Samuel Andrews. 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). Died 13th August 1916, aged 29 years. Born Norwich. Enlisted St Paul’s Churchyard London. Resided Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Son of William and Elizabeth Andrews. Buried Tunbridge Wells Cemetery, Tunbridge Wells, Kent”. Shown below left is a photo of the memorial window and to the right is a photo of St Peter’s Church in Monks Horton.

Monks Horton is located in the Folkestone & District .It’s a small civic parish in the Shepway District of Kent about 3 miles north of Hythe. From my research of William Andrews and his family no definitive information was obtained that would connect William Samuel Andrews with Monks Horton but A 1901 census in Monks Horton did turn up an Alfred Andrews,age 57 with his wife Matilda and eight children who were born at Monks Horton. Whether there is a connection between this Alfred Andrews and those who are the subject of this article was not determined despite researching a possible connection. It was also noted that there was a Monks Horton Convalescent Hospital for soldiers of WW 1. It is highly likely that the name “W.S. Andrews” on the Monks Horton memorial is not the same soldier as William Samuel Andrews that is the subject of this article. War memorials are notorious for errors and the full name of the soldier is not given (his first name may not be William and the “S” may not stand for Samnuel. I also noted from the Commonwealth War Grave website other Andrews men with the initials “W.S” and it may be one of them that is the person referred to on the Monks Horton memorial.


The birth of George Ernest Andrews was registered in the 1st qtr of 1884 at Norwich, Norfolk. He was baptised April 20,1884 at Norwich at St George at Coleyate, Norfolk and given as the son of Elizabeth Baker Andrews and William Andrews. He was the older brother of William Samuel Andrews. In the previous sections I have given his details up to and including the time of the 1911 census when he was working in Tunbridge Wells as a drapers assistant and was single at that time and living in a lodging house or drapers assistants  4 Mount Pleasant Road. As stated earlier the large firm of Weekes occupied large premises on the north east corner of Mount Pleasant Road and Grove Hill Road and it is likely that George worked for Weekes.

It is known from records of his brother’s,dated 1920, that George served in WW 1 as a private (32254) with the 14th Infantry Middlesex Regiment. Thousands of war records were burned or completely destroyed during the bombing of London and George’s records have not survived. It is known that he survived the war and returned to civilian life in Tunbridge Wells where he resumed his work as a drapers assistant. It is expected that George enlisted for service in 1915 and remained in service until the end of the war. No death record for him was found on the CWG website or in other accounts of those who died in the war and his name does not appear on the Tunbridge Wells War Memorial.

While at home during the war George married Ella Edwards in the 4th qtr of 1916 in Tunbridge Wells. Ella Andrews was found in census records of Tunbridge Wells which noted she had been born in Tunbridge Wells in the 1st qtr of 1888 and that she was one of at least three children born to Isaac Edwards, an upholsterer, born 1863 in Frant, Sussex and Eliza Edwards, born 1863 in Thurlow,Suffolk. At the time of the 1891 census Ella was living with her parents and brother Ernest at 23 William Street. In 1901 she was at 15 Standen Street living with her parents and brother Roland. In the 1911 census, taken at 19 Standen Street Isaac Edwards was an upholsterer and undertaker worker at 6 Grosvenor Road. With him was his wife Eliza; his daughter Ella who was working as a drapers assistant at a shop on Camden Road and his son Roland who was working as a bootmakers apprentice at a shop on St John’s Road. Shown opposite is a modern photo of the home at 23 William Street, being the one on right behind the “google” logo. Shown below left is a photo of the home at 21 Standen Street (being the right half of the house) and to the right is the home at 15 Standen Street, being a brick home in white render on the immediate right of the image.

A 1922 Kelly directory for Tunbridge Wells gave “George Ernest Andrews , photographic material dealer, 7 St John’s Road”. It appears from later directories that he continued in this business for several years.

Death records recorded the death of George Ernest Andrews (born 1884) in Tunbridge Wells in the 3rd qtr of 1962 and that he was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on September 10,1962. His wife Ella was cremated at the Kent & Sussex Crematorium February 12,1963. Probate records gave Eliza Edwards of 19 Standen Street, Tunbridge Wells, widow, who died March 31,1935. The executor of her 240 pound estate was Ella Andrews (wife of George Ernest Andrews).


Shown in the ‘OVERVIEW’ is the only photograph by William Samuel Andrews found by the researcher in the past 6 years, which strongly suggests that he was not a prolific photographer. On the bottom left corner of the image is impressed “ Wm S. Andrews 57A High Street”. Since it was very common for chemists in the early 1900’s to sell photographic materials employed for the processing of photos and since William began his working career as a chemists assistant in Tunbridge Wells with the chemists Dunkley & Rogers at 55-57 High Street it would make sense that William would strike out on his own to set up his own business as a photographer and according to a 1913 Kelly directory as a dealer in photographic materials.

The photo itself appeared in the Kent & Sussex Courier of Friday July 5,1912 along with the image opposite by H. Seammell of the Granville Studio in Mayfield which photo has the caption “ Mr McLean’s aeroplane resting at Mark Cross on Wednesday on the return journey from Eastbourne”.

William’s photo is interesting and historically significant for three reasons (1) It’s a rare image by William (2) It provides a good view of G. Stevenson’s Kent & Sussex Garage on London Road (3) It shows Mr. McLeans’s partially disassembled airplane in front of the garage and a nice assortment of early motor cars with a large crowd gathered to view the airplane.

G. Stevenson’ garage was located at 14,15,16 and 22 London Road in 1918. Details about G.Stevenson and this business were given in my article ‘ The Kent & Sussex Garage’ dated February 21,2014 which was posted to my website in April 2017.

The Courier article of July 5,1912 had this to say about this interesting event. “ AN AEROPLANE AT TUNBRIDGE WELLS…On Wednesday afternoon the residents had their first opportunity of making a detailed examination of an aeroplane locally. It will be remembered that some days ago the aeroplane which is being used to take submarine photographs of the “Oceana” off Eastbourne flew over Tunbridge Wells in the early morning. It is now making the return journey from the coast by road, owing to an accident to its propellers, and yesterday afternoon a halt was made at Messrs Stevenson’s garage in London Road while the aviator in charge lunched at the Grand Hotel. The opportunity was taken by a large crowd to inspect the machine, the forepart of which was attached to a motor car, while the rear part with the motor ran on its own wheels. With its planes folded, the aeroplane did not look the graceful thing which it does in flight, but the opportunity of a close view of its construction highly delighted a large contingent of the juvenile population of the town, amongst whom the news that an aeroplane had arrived, spread with the greatest rapidity”. Credit for the photo of the aeroplane was given in the caption below the image to “Andrews, High Street Studio, Tunbridge Wells”.

Upon my initial viewing of this Andrews photo, which was recently offered for sale on ebay, I was both pleased and surprised to find it and to obtain as much information as I could about the “strange” looking object featured in the image. My first, and correct assertion, was that it was an aeroplane and that it looked like some bombs were on top of it. To solve the mystery of what it actually was I solicited assistance from my associates at the Sussex History Forum, among whom are several people very knowledgeable about WW1 aeroplanes and below is what I found out.

First of all, a book about the well-known Tunbridge Wells aviator Lt Col Francis (Frank )McLean confirmed that the aeroplane in the photo was a S.36 which was used for aerial photography of the wreck of the SS OCEANA ( photo opposite) and that what I thought might be bombs were actually inter-wing emergency flotation bags used to keep the aeroplane afloat in the event of it having to be ditched at sea. The book also gave the following explanation as to why the aeroplane was in Tunbridge Wells. “ McLean set out from Eastbourne on 2 July to fly back to Eastchurch, but encountered rain and fog. He therefore landed at his family home in Tunbridge Wells, and the S.36 was dismantled by Shorts on the 4th and returned to Eastchurch by road. During his 300 foot pass over the OCEANA he had encountered blown spray, and the engine had to be overhauled, the fuselage recovered, and the wings were found to be waterlogged and had to be replaced”. The title of this book is ‘Frank McLean: Godfather to British Naval Aviation’ by Philip Jarrett.

Short Brothers was an aerospace company based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Shorts was founded in 1908 in London, and was the first company in the world to make production aircraft. It was particularly notable for its flying boat designs manufactured into the 1950s. Shown opposite is a photo of one of their S.36’s.

Another member of the Sussex History Forum reported “ The Mr McLean referred to was Lt-Col Sir Francis McLean (1876-1955). According to his Wikipedia entry, he had been using the aeroplane in order to take, with the assistance of Hugh Spottiswoode, photographs of the wreck of the SS OCEANA (beneath the surface of the water) off the coast of Eastbourne. Later that same year he achieved notoriety for being, on 10 August 1912, the first man to fly between the spans of Tower Bridge and under London Bridge (See photo below right) He owned sixteen different aircraft between 1909 and 1914, all but one of which was built by the Short Brothers. He is said to have been their unofficial test pilot in the pre-war years. That he owned and flew so many Short Brothers aeroplanes was not altogether surprising as he owned the land on which Leysdown and Eastchurch aeroplanes were situated and Shor Brothers had their factory at Leysdown. The S.36 in the Andrews photo was built by Short Brothers for Francis McLean in 1911 and was first flown by him on January 10,1912.

As reported by me in various articles including ‘ The Early Aviation History of Tunbridge Wells’ dated February 6,2014 the McLean family were long- time residents of Tunbridge Wells, living initially on Pembury Road and later in a grand home on Langton Road, where Francis had his own private airfield. Mr McLean senior was a noted astronomer who had a large telescope at his home for viewing the heavens and although his son Francis has been reported on extensively in various books etc his father also received notoriety for his astronomical accomplishments. In the referenced article and others I have written you will see several photos of the McLean family residences, telescopes and aeroplanes of Mr McLean and several family photographs of the McLean clan . Shown above left is a photo of  Frank McLean.

The SS OCEANA was a P&O passenger liner and cargo vessel, built in 1888 by Harland and Wolff of Belfast. Originally assigned to carry passengers and mail between London and Australia, she was later assigned to routes between London and British India. On March 16,1912 the ship collided in the Strait of Dover with the Pisagua, a 2,850 GRT German-registered four-masted steel-hulled barque. As a result Oceana sank off Beachy Head on the East Sussex coast, with the loss of nine lives. Further information about both ships involved in the collision can be found on such websites as ‘Wikipedia’.  


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