ALL ABOUT
TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Page 5

 

THE KILLICK FAMILY OF SOUTHBOROUGH

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

Date: August 10,2018

OVERVIEW

The Killick clan that is the subject of this article came from an agricultural background, specifically as dairyman. For the purposes of this article the patriarch of the family was Albert Gorringe  Killick, born 1852 in Rotherfield, Sussex. His wife was Catherine Killick who was born 1851 in Westerham,Kent. The couple had at least four children between 1876 and 1881.

At the time of the 1881 census taken at Anerley Road in Penge, Surrey, Albert was a dairyman and living with him was his wife Catherine and their three children, among which was Norman Albert Killick, born November 14,1876 in Oxted,Surrey and was baptised December 23,1876 at St Mary Church in Oxted.

When the 1891 census was taken at Elms Farm in Sevenoaks Kent, Albert was listed as a farmer. With him was his wife Catherine and the same children from the 1881 census. Both this sons Harold and Norman were working for their father as farmers assistants.

The 1901 census, taken at Sevenoaks gave Albert as a dairyman. With him was his wife Catherine and two of their children, including their son Norman Albert Killick who was working as a drapers warehouseman.

In the 2nd qtr of 1905 Norman Albert Killick (1876-1947)married Lilian Charlotte Walker (1875-1952) at Maidstone. Norman and Lilian went on to have four children between 1907 and 1917, all of whom were born in Southborough.  Later at least two more daughters were born.Among these children, of special note, is the youngest child Evelyn Catherine Killick (1917-1995) who became a nurse and midwife and during her time in Tunbridge Wells worked at the Tunbridge Wells and District Maternity Home at 10-12 Calverley Park Gardens. She was also a respected member of the Tunbridge Wells branch of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs of which she served as president from 1967 to 1969, for which she was presented with a pin marking her service.

Norman Albert Killick established a dairy in Southborough on London Road  and was found at 69 London Road at the time of the 1911 census. With him was his wife Lilian and three of his children all born in Southborough between 1907 and 1910. The family were still at this address when Evelyn Catherine Killick was born in 1917.

When Norman ended his business and retired he and his family moved to Mount Carmel at 66 Yew Tree Road in Southborough. He died there December 4,1947 leaving an estate of over 4,000 pounds with two of his children as executors.

A Nursing Register of 1948 recorded that Evelyn Catherine Killick was of 66 Yew Tree Road, Southborough and that she had qualified in nursing 1943-1947 at The County Hospital in Pembury and became a registered nurse July 25,1947.  Evelyn and her widowed mother continued to live at 66 Yew Tree Road for several years. Evelyn’s mother died there in 1952. 

Evelyn Catherine Killick later took up residence at 12 Regina Court on Molyneux Park Road in Tunbridge Wells and served as a director and secretary of the Regina Court Residents Association from 1990 up to the time of her death at 12 Regina Court in 1995. Evelyn was cremated at the Kent &Sussex Crematorium on November 23,1995.

In this article I present information about the Killick family with a concentration on events while living in Southborough and Tunbridge Wells. Particular emphasis is given to Norman Albert Killick and his dairy business and the life and career of his daughter Evelyn Catherine Killick.

THE EARLY YEARS 

I begin my account of the Killick family with the 1881 census taken at Anerley Road in Penge, Surrey where the head of the family was Albert Gorringe  Killick, a dairyman, born 1852 in Rotherfield, Sussex. With him was his  wife Catherine Killick who was born 1851 in Westerham,Kent. Also there were their children (1) Harold L. Killick born 1876 in Oxted,Surrey (2) Norman Albert Killick born November 14,1876 at Oxted, Surrey. Norman was baptised December 23,1876 at St Mary’s Church, Oxted,Surrey. An image of this church is shown opposite.(3) Tracey Killick, born 1879 in Anerley (4) Ethel C. Killick born 1881 in Anerley. Also there was one dairy assistant and two domestic servants.

THE MOVE TO SEVENOAKS

The 1891 census, taken at Elms Farm in Sevenoaks, Kent gave Albert Gorringe Killick as a farmer (dairy farm). With him was his wife Catherine and their children Harold (a farmers assistant); Norman Albert (a farmers assistant) and two daughters Tracey and Ethel who were both attending school.

The 1901 census, taken in Sevenoaks gave Albert Gorringe Killick as a dairyman. With him was his wife Catherine, one visitor and their two children Ethel and Norman Albert Killick who at that time was working as a drapers warehouseman.

By 1905 Norman Albert Killick left the family home in Sevenoaks and in the 2nd qtr of 1905 married Lilian Charlotte Walker at Maidstone. Lilian had been born 1879 at Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.

NORMAN ALBERT KILLICK AND FAMILY

After the marriage of Norman Albert Killick in 1905 he and his wife moved to Southborough where he established his dairy at 69 London Road (image opposite).  At the turn of the century there were many small dairies, producing milk and cream. Milk was sold from the churn and was delivered by bowler hatted roundsmen carrying the old yoke and pails or by push carts and horse drawn carts. The bottling of milk did not begin until the 1920's although cream could be bought in small pottery jugs during the Victorian era.

Norman and his wife had at least six children, all born in Southborough between 1906 and 1917. Among these children , up to 1917 ,were (1) Hubert Everest Killick (1906-1983) (2) Douglas Norman Killick (1907-1982) (3) Dorothy L. Killick who was born in 1909 (4) Evelyn Catherine Killick who was born August 32,1917.  Hubert Everest Killick went into banking and was a bank clerk when he married Mary Philippa Sutherland in the 3rd qtr of 1935  at Sanderstead,Surrey. As the eldest child and eldest son in the family he became the executor of his parents estates.
(insert London Road Southborough)

The 1911 census, taken at 69 London Road, Southborough gave Norman as a dairyman. With him was his wife Lilian and their children Hubert, Douglas and Dorothy. Also there was a 24 year old woman who as assisting in the business. The census recorded that they were living in premises of 7 rooms and that they had been married five years and had three children all of whom were still living.

A 1939 directory for Southborough gave Norman Albert Killick as a dairyman proprietor at 69 London Road. With him was his wife Lilian and their three daughters (1) Evelyn Catherine Killick, born August 31,1917 Southborough with the occupation of “business and household duties” (2) Elsie Lavinia Killick, born January 19,1920 with the occupation of “shorthand typist”.She died in 1987. (3) Genevieve R. Killick born December 22, 1933 who was at school. Also living with the family was one domestic servant.

Around 1940 Norman retired from the dairy business. He and his wife and his youngest daughters took up residence at ‘Mount Carmel’  66 Yew Tree Road (image opposite), Southborough.

A 1947 Nursing directory recorded that Norman’s daughter Evelyn Catherine Killick was living at 66 Yew Tree Road.

Probate records for Norman Albert Killick gave him of ‘Mount Carmel’ 66 Yew Tree Road when he died December 4,1947. The executors of his 4,134 pound estate were his children Hubert Everest Killick, bank clerk, and Elsie Lavinia Killick, spinster. The solicitors who acted on behalf of the executors were Cheale Son & Mitchell of 3 The Priory Tunbridge Wells. An announcement of the probate of the will was given in the London Gazette of December 19,1947.

Norman’s wife Lilian continued to live in Tunbridge Wells after the death of her husband. Her death was registered in the 2nd qtr of 1952 in Tonbridge.

EVELYN CATHERINE KILLICK (1917-1995)

Of all the children of Norman Albert Killick perhaps the most interesting was Evelyn who had been born in Southborough August 31,1917.  From the time of her birth up to about 1939 she lived with her parents at 69 London Road and attended a local girl’s school.

A 1939 directory gave the Killick family at 69 London Road which included a listing for Evelyn with the occupation of “business and household duties.

Evelyn decided upon a career in nursing and her name appears in Nursing Registers throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s. Evelyn never married.

As noted in the previous section she was living with her parents and two sisters at ‘Mount Carmel’ 66 Yew Tree Road in 1947. A UK and Ireland Nursing Register of 1948 gave Evelyn of 66 Yew Tree Road, Southborough having been registered as a nurse July 25,1947. Her qualifications were given as “The County Hospital Pembury, Tunbridge Wells 1943-1947 by examination”.  Shown opposite is a view of the Pembury Hospital.

The Roll of Practicing Midwives of 1959 gave Evelyn Catherine Killick at the District Maternity Home at 10-12 Calverley Park Gardens, Tunbridge Wells. She was registered as No. 123579 with a date of enrollment of July 1,1949. Her qualifications were given as “ C.M.B. exam”. Details about midwives of Tunbridge Wells can be found in my article 'Call The Midwife' dated July 2,2017.

Details about this Maternity Home were given in my article “ The History of 10/12 Calverley Park Gardens’ dated January 26,2016. Given here is the ‘Overview’ from that article.  “ No. 10 and 12 Calverley Park Gardens were two semi-detached homes located on the south side of the road  and was the fourth main house west of Pembury Road. This 2sty building was finished in stone and white render and was situated on large landscaped grounds. Built in 1860’s as a pair of private residences it was occupied by a number of wealthy residents until after WW II. In 1935 both sides of this building became the Tunbridge Wells& District  Maternity Home and later in the 20th century an east and west wing was added of matching exterior finish and became Highlands House, sometimes called Highlands Hospital, a home for seniors, and continues by this name and use today.” Shown below left is a view of the maternity home and to the right is a view of Highlands House.

 










Evelyn became active as a member of the Tunbridge Wells branch of The National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This national organization was founded in Britain November 12,1938. Today this organization is in 110 countries. Its mandate is to develop the business, professional and leadership potential of women on all levels through education, advocacy, networking, mentoring, skill buildings, economics, empowerment programs etc.

Shown opposite is the front and back of a sterling silver and enamel pin once worn by Evelyn Catherine Killick noting that she had been a past president of the Tunbridge Wells Club of the aforementioned organization for the years 1967-1969.  Like most pins and medals this one, measuring 40mm by 30mm was made in Birmingham and recently appeared for sale on ebay.

Later in life Evelyn became a resident of 12 Regina Court on Molyneux Park Road, Tunbridge Wells (image opposite). Regina Court was a purpose built multi-sty building of flats.  Evelyn was listed in the records of the Regina Court Residents Association (02496347) as having been a director and secretary of this association from 1993 to 1995.

Evelyn died in Tunbridge Wells while a resident of 12 Regina Court on November 11,1995. She was cremated at the Kent & Sussex Crematorium on November 23,1995.

 

THOMAS BUSS OF ELM CROFT

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

Date: July 18,2018

OVERVIEW 

Thomas Buss was born 1853 in Horsmonden, Kent, one of three children born to Benjamin Buss (1827-1901), a farmer of some 500 acres in Horsmonden, and Mary Matilda Buss (1832-1901), nee Cheesman.

Thomas became a solicitor by 1881 and later also a coroner,  having worked as a solicitors articled clerk in Horsmonden before moving to Tunbridge Wells in the late 1870’s and establishing his legal practice.

In about 1880  he had a fine 2sty home designed for him by the architects Alfred Cox and Cocksev, which he named ‘Elm Croft’. This home was located at 30 Mount Pleasant Road on Mount Pleasant Hill, north of the SER station, and was a home that remained in the Buss family until 1952. The name of this home is given variously in records as either Elm Croft or Elmcroft but most often as Elm Croft.

At the time of the 1881 census, Thomas was single and living at 30 Mount Pleasant Road and working from home as a solicitor.

In 1882, in Tunbridge Wells, Thomas married Minnie Maria Hodgskin (1861-1952) but the couple never had any children. Minnie had been born in Tunbridge Wells and was one of five children born to Alice Hodgskin and her husband William Hodgskin who was a master grocer with a shop on the High Street in the town of Tonbridge.

In 1888 Thomas Buss and Charles Duncan Murton (1866-1919), a solicitor in Cranbrook, Kent formed a partnership, operating as Buss & Murton, a firm which still exists today with its head office at Wellington Gate 7-9 Church Road, Tunbridge Wells, with branches elsewhere. Details are given later in this article about Charles Duncan Murton who was also known as Major Charles Duncan Murton, the son of Sir Walter Murton, Kt, C.B. of Langton Green and the husband of Alice H. Murton of Cranbrook Lodge, Cranbrook, Kent.

At the time of the 1891 census, taken at 30 Mount Pleasant Road, Thomas was a solicitor , a commissioner of oaths and a coroner for the county of Kent (Tonbridge Division). With him was just his wife Minnie and one servant. They were still at the same address at the time of the 1901 census. The 1911 census, taken at Elm Croft, a 10 room residence on Mount Pleasant Road, gave Thomas as a solicitor. With him was his wife Minnie and three servants. Local directories for Southborough from 1891 to 1914 record that Thomas Buss also had an office initially at 2 Sheffield Place on London Road and later at 67 London Road.

On September 13,1913 Richard Henry Levett (1883-1916) became a partner to Thomas Buss with the business operating under the name of Buss & Levett. In February 1915 Richard and his younger brother E,G. Levett joined the Inns of Court O.T.C. and in 1915 both obtained commissions to serve in WW1. Richard became a second Lieutenant with the 3rd Reserve Btn of the Queens Own RWK regiment. Due to ill health Richard had to relinquish his commission July 11,1916 and died at the Military Hospital in Chatham on August 20,1916. He was buried in Brenchley with full honours. Details about Richard are provided in this article.

Probate records gave Thomas Buss of Elmcroft, Tunbridge Wells when he died April 12,1919. The executors of his 20,865 pound estate were his widow Minnie and his brother Benjamin Buss (1856-1925).

Minnie Maria Buss continued to live at Elmcroft for the rest of her live. Probate records gave Minnie Maria Buss of Elmcroft who died February 18,1952 at 77 London Road, Tunbridge Wells. The executors of her 28,776 pound estate were Rev. Philip Cheesman, John Christopher Honnywill, a lawyer and Claude Longhurst,a solicitors clerk.

A companion article providing information about the Buss family and other related families was dated April 16,2017 and entitled ‘The Row Family During WW 1”. Extracts from that article are included in this more comprehensive article about the Buss family.

THE BUSS FAMILY –THE EARLY YEARS 

I begin my coverage of the Buss family with the parents of Thomas Buss, the central figure in this article.

Thomas Buss was born July 23,1853 in Horsmonden, Kent (image opposite). Horsmonden is a village in the Tunbridge Wells district of Kent, England. The village is located in the Weald of Kent. It is situated on a road leading from Maidstone to Lamberhurst, three miles north of the latter place. The nearest railway station is Paddock Wood.

Thomas Buss was one of three children born to Benjamin Buss(1827-1901) and Mary Matilda Buss, nee Cheesman (1832-1901). Thomas’s siblings were Benjamin Buss (1856-1925) and Edwin Buss (1859-1922).

Benjamin Buss was born in Salehurst, Sussex in 1827. He was from an agricultural background and became a successful farmer in Horsmonden, who by 1871 had a farm of some 550 acres.

At the time of the 1861 census, Thomas Buss was a pupil in a private school at No. 6 Down in Lamberhurst. It was a small school and at the time of this census Thomas was there with four other students. The school was run by Ann Couchman, age 45 with Isabella Thompson, age 23 the Governess.

The 1871 census, taken at Horsmonden gave Benjamin Buss as a farmer of 550 acres employing 25 men and 8 boys. With him was his wife Mary Matilda Buss who was born 1832 in Stone. Kent. Thomas at that time was living with his parents and had the occupation of “ solicitors articled clerk”. Also there was Thomas’s brother Edwin Buss (a scholar) and two domestic servants.

Sometime before 1881 Thomas moved to Tunbridge Wells and started his law practice there. The continuing story of Thomas Buss is given in the next section. No attempt was made by the researcher to investigate and report on the lives and careers of his siblings.

Although Thomas had moved to Tunbridge Wells he and his wife reappear in Horsmonden at the time of the 1901 census as visitors to Thomas’s parents. Listed in the census was Benjamin Buss, a retired farmer and his wife Mary. Also there was Thomas’ brother Benjamin who was working the family farm. Also there were three domestic servants and a male nurse hired to look after Benjamin.

Benjamin Buss died in Tunbridge Wells July 3,1901 and his wife Mary died in Tunbridge Wells the same year.

THOMAS BUSS IN TUNBRIDGE WELLS

When exactly Thomas Buss came to Tunbridge Wells was not established. It is known that at the time of the 1871 census that he was living with his parents and brother Edwin on the family farm in Horsmondon. It is also known that from the 1881 census, taken at 30 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells that Thomas was single and working as a solicitor from his home. With him in the census was Jane Park, his housekeeper. It is speculated that Thomas came to Tunbridge Wells in the later 1870’s.His residence at 30 Mount Pleasant Road was called Elm Croft but sometimes given as Elmcroft in various records such as his and his wifes probate record. It is however most often given in records, such as local directories as “ Elm Croft” which is believed by the researcher, based the preponderance of evidence to be the correct name.  Details about this residence, including an image of it from the publication “ The Builder” is given in a later section of this article.

An indication of the place of residence and business premises of Thomas Buss can be seen in the following list of local directories.

1)    1882 Thomas Buss, solicitor, 30 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells.

2)    1891 Thomas Buss, solicitor and commissioner to administer oaths, 2 Sheffield Place, London Road, Southborough

3)    1891 and 1899 Thomas Buss, solicitor, commissioner for oaths, coroner for Kent (Tonbridge Division) 30 Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells

4)    1899 and 1913 Thomas Buss, Elm Croft, Clanricarde Gardens, Tunbridge Wells

5)    1913  Thomas Buss, solicitor, commissioner for oaths and coroner for Kent County (Tonbridge Division) Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells.

6)    1899 and 1913 and 1914 Thomas Buss, solicitor, commissioner to administer oaths and coroner for Kent (Tonbridge Division) 67 London Road, Southborough

7)    1914  Buss & Levett, solicitors, 67 London Road, Southborough.

8)    1914 Thomas Buss, solicitor and commissioner of oaths and coroner for Kent (Tonbridge Division) Elmcroft, Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells. This listing appeared by street address and gave it under the heading “ here is Lonsdale Gardens west side of Mount Pleasant Road”.

9)    1914 Buss & Levett, solicitors, Elmcroft Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells.

In 1882, in Tunbridge Wells, Thomas Buss married Minnie Maria Hodgskin (1859-1952). Minnie had been baptised January 1,1860 in Tunbridge Wells and was one of six children born to William Hodgskin (1833-1907) who had been born in Tunbridge Wells, and Alice Hodgskin, nee Dibley. William and Alice were married in Frant, Sussex September 6,1866. Alice was born in Frant April 1,1831. As you will read later there is an interesting series of letters from members of the Row family during WW 1 which makes reference to the Hodgskin and Buss families. Details about the Row family and their connection to Alice Hodgskin, nee Dibley and by way of Alice’s daughters marriage to Thomas Buss were given in detail in my article ‘ The Row Family During WW1’ dated April 16,2017. Some extracts from that article are given in this Buss family article. Thomas Buss and his wife Minnie never had any children, as noted in the 1911 census.

Minnie Maria Buss, nee Hodgskin was living at the time of the 1861 census with her parents and siblings at the grocers shop of her father on the High Street in Tonbridge. A postcard view of the High Street is shown opposite.  In the 1861 census Minnie’s father was a master grocer. With him in that census was his wife Alice and his daughters Ada, Elizabeth and Minnie. Also there was one grocers assistant, one servant and one visitor. At the time of the 1871 census Minnie was living with her parents and siblings at her father’s grocer shop on the High Street in the town of Tonbridge. Minnie was still living at that shop with her parents , one visitor, one servant and two shop assistants at the time the 1881 census was taken and it is expected she remained there up to the time of her marriage to Thomas Buss in 1882.

The Law Journal of May 21,1884 gave “ Mr Thomas Buss of Tunbridge Wells has been elected Coroner for the Tunbridge Wells District of Kent vacated by the death of Mr Joseph Rogers, late of Tonbridge. Mr Buss was admitted in 1876”.

The 1891 census, taken at 30 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, gave Thomas Buss as a solicitor and county coroner,. With him was his wife Minnie and one domestic servant. Shown opposite is a CDV showing Thomas Buss and his wife taken at the photographic studio of George Glanville who in 1881 had his studio at 12 Mount Pleasant and in 1891 at 2 The Broadway on Mount Pleasant Road opposite the SER station. Details about the life and career of George Glanville were given in my article ‘Glanville, Skinner & Wyles Photographers’ dated March 21,2012.

The 1901 census, taken at Elphics, Horsmonden gave Thomas Buss as a solicitor and coroner. He and his wife Minnie were living with Benjamin Buss, a retired farmer , and his wife Mary and Thomas’s brother Benjamin who was operating the family farm. Thomas and his wife were listed as visitors with their permanent residence at 30 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells. As noted before also at the farm was a male nurse and three servants. Soon after the census was taken Thomas and his wife returned to Tunbridge Wells.

The 1911 census, taken at Elm Croft (given in error as Elen Croft), a residence of 10 rooms, was Thomas Buss, a solicitor; his wife Minnie and three servants. The census recorded that the couple had been married 28 years and had no children.

Probate records gave Thomas Buss, late of Elmcroft, Tunbridge Wells, who died April 12,1917. The executors of his 20,865 pound estate were his widow Minnie and his brother Benjamin Buss, gentleman.

After Thomas’s death, his wife Minnie continued to live at Elm Croft as noted in local directories up to the year 1952. These directories gave the listings as “ Mrs Buss, Elm Croft, Tunbridge Wells. There is also some evidence that in the 1920’s she also had a residence on Algarve Road in Wandsworth, London. Shown opposite is  the headstone for the Buss family. Thomas and his wife were buried at Horsmonden Churchyard (St Margarets) Horsmonden.

Probate records gave her of Elmcroft, Tunbridge Wells, a widow, when she died at 77 London Road, Tunbridge Wells on February 18,1952. The executors of her 28,776 pound estate were John Christopher Honnywill, solicitor; Claude Longhurst, solicitor’s clerk; and Rev Philip Cheesman, clerk.

THE BUSINESS PARTNERS

[1] CHARLES DUNCAN MURTON  

The website of the law firm Buss Murton, who’s head office can be found today at Wellington Gate, 17-19 Church Road  (image opposite)makes mention of Thomas Buss. The Times of Tunbridge Wells dated December 31,2016 reported that “Buss Murton had been established for over 300 years which business was founded by an attorney at law who opened a practice in Cranbrook in 1713 which was subsequently acquired by Charles Murton who gave his name to the firm along with Thomas Buss who set up the practice in Tunbridge Wells in 1888”. And so the name of Thomas Buss lives on!”.

The Charles Murton referred to above was Charles Duncan Murton who was born 1865 in London.He had been baptised December 28,1865 at Paddington St Saviour Westminster.He was the son of Walter and Mary Murton and had at least four siblings all born in Paddington between 1862 and 1875.  The 1871 census, taken at Paddington gave Charles living with his parents and silbings and four servants in Paddington.

Charles went on to graduate from Oxford University having matriculated October 11,1884 at age 18 with a BA of 1888 and a honours in law in 1888.

The 1891 census, taken at Meadowcroft in Chislehurst, Kent gave William Murton as born 1837 in Ashford, Kent and working in civil law as a solicitor to the Board of Trade. With him was his wife Mary, born 1838 in Canterbury, Kent. Also there was Charles Duncan Murton who was an articled clerk to a solicitor; two of his siblings and four servants.

The 1899 Kelly directory gave “ Charles Duncan Murton, solicitor and clerk to justices and to the visitors of asylums and the coroner for Cranbrook Distict (firm of Philpot & Murton), The Hill, Cranbrook. Another directory for 1899 gave Charles at Cranbrook Lodge in Cranbrook.

On June 29,1901 Charles Duncan Murton , a solicitor of Cranbrook, Kent, and son of William Murton (Knight, CB) married Alice Hope Bradbury, a spinster of Oak Lodge Nightingale, London and daughter of William Hardwick Bradbury (deceased gentleman). The marriage took place at Balham Hill Ascension, Wandsworth.

The 1911 census, taken in a 11 room residence called Cranbrook Lodge in Cranbrook, Kent, gave Charles Duncan Murton as a solicitor. With him was his wife Alice Hope Murton and two servants. The census recorded that the couple had been married 9 years and that they had no children.

A 1913 directory gave the listing “ Charles Duncan Murton , solicitor and commissioner of oaths , Cranbrook, Kent (see Murton & Clarke, solicitors.

The Kent and Sussex History Forum noted that Charles went by the name of Major Charles Murton of Cranbrook, Kent and that he held the positions of District Coroner, Registrar of the County Court; Clerk to the Justices; Member of the firm of solicitors Messrs Murton, Clarke and Murton-Neale’ Secretary of The Cranbook Water Company’ Clerk to the parish council; clerk to the Income Tax Commissioners and a Major in the Cranbrook Company, territorial Battalion, The Buffs. He has an entry in the CWGC and was known as Major Murton, His wife was Alice Hope Murton MBE. He was with the Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 5th Btn. He died September 7,1919 aged 53 years and buried in Cranbrook Cemetery (grave ref. G.58). He was the son of Sir Walter Murton, Kt, C.B. of Langton Green, Kent and the husband of Alice Hope Murton of Cranbrook Lodge, Cranbrook. The Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser of September 12,1919 reported “ Sudden death of Major C.D. Murton-The whole district was grieved on Sunday by the news that Major Charles Murton had suddenly expired at his residence at the age of 52 years. His health had not been good and he was receiving medical treatment, but his death took place with painful suddenness. Major Murton was one of our most respected residents, and during over 30 years held  the posts ( list as above). Until compelled by the state of his health to retire, he commanded the Cranbrook Companty of the Territorial Battalion of The Buffs, and on retirement he received the honorary rank of Major for his valuable services. His loss will be deplored by all as an upright and conscientious professional man and a keen and able official. The deepest sympathy is felt for Mrs Murton in her bereavement. The funeral took place on Thursday at Cranbrook Cemetery amid many marks of respect.” Shown above is a photo of his grave.

Probate records gave Charles Duncan Murton of Cranbook Lodge, Cranbrook ,Kent when he died September 7,1919. The executors of his 8,466 pound estate were his widow Alice; Walter Herbert Murton, solicitor and Ernest Murton, engineer.

[2] RICHARD HENRY LEVETT

From the directory listings given above it was noted that the 1914 directories for Southborough and Tunbridge Wells gave the firm of Buss and Levett. The Mr Levett referred to was “Richard Henry Levett, the elder son of Mr and Mrs George Levett of High Firs, Brenchley, Kent. From the history of the Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment is was noted that Richard, during WW1 was a second lieutenant with the 3rd Reserve Btn, of the Queens RWK regiment and that he died August 20,1916, having been born August 3,1883. He is commemorated at Brenchley All Saintgs, Churchyard, south boundary, left of gate, Brenchley”. Temporary Second Lieut. Richard Henry Levett to be Second Lieut, dated April 29,1915 as given in the London Gazette dated November 11,1915.  “

Richard entered Tonbridge School in May, 1898, and left at the age of 17 in July, 1900. Entering the legal profession, he was first with Mr G.P. Hinds, solicitor, Goudhurst, and lated became managing clerk to Messrs. Lee, Ockerby and Everington, London. He had been admitted a solicitor in 1906, and on September 1st, 1913, he entered into partnership with Mr Thomas Buss, solicitor, Tunbridge Wells, and Coroner for the district. For a time he acted as Deputy Coroner. In January 1915, he and his younger brother, E.G. Levett, joined the Inns of Court O.T.C. (T.F.) and both obtained commissions on April 29th, 1915, R.H. being gazetted to the Royal West Kents and E.G. to the Essex Regiment. The latter, to his great regret, had to relinquish his commission on account of ill health on July 11th, 1916. 2nd Lieut. R.H. Levett died at the Military Hospital, Chatham, on August 20th, 1916, after a brief illness, an attack of blood poisoning being followed by Pericarditis and double pnuemonia, and was buried at Brenchley with full military honours.

Those for whom or with whom he had worked in his professional career have testified to his worth and promise. "I shall always remember," wrote one "what a pleasure it was to work with him at all times, as he was in his quiet way one of the very best." The vicar of Brenchley in his address testified to the consistency of his life as "a christian gentleman."













For some time he had been acting as Assistant Adjutant, and his first C.O., on relinquishing the command of the Battalion, had left a memorandum that in the event of the Adjutancy becoming vacant and no Regular Officer available, he strongly recommended that 2nd Lieut. Levett should be appointed. After acting as Adjutant for several weeks he was appointed to the post on July 29th, and his predecessor afterwards wrote:- "I left with the utmost confidence that the post would be thoroughly well filled by him. He was a most excellent Assistant Adjutant and a real hard worker. His loss is a severe one to the Battalion."

His C.O., writing on behalf of the Regiment said:- "Your son was one of our most valuable Officers, always doing his duty without considering his own convenience. I was looking forward to working with him as Adjutant a position he had well earned by his work as Assistant Adjutant. He was most popular with all ranks and his loss is deeply felt by us all. clergyman in his address in Church expressed better than I can what we all felt about him...... I cannot speak too highly of your son. I have lost a friend as well as a very good Officer." Shown above are photographs of his headstone.

THE ROW FAMILY CONNECTION

Details of the Row family were given in my article ‘The Row Family During WW1’ dated April 16,2017.  Several members of the Row family served in WW 1 and although the family originated in Frant, Sussex John Row senior had emigrated to Canada. He and his sons (who were born in Canada) ended up in England during the war before being sent to the front and while on leave John Row junior made a trip to Tunbridge Wells in search of relatives, most notably of the Dibley and Hodgskin clan of whom Thomas Buss’s wife Minnie Maria Hodgskin was connected. Given below from the aforementioned article is an extract referring to the Buss and Hodgskin families. The maiden name of Minnie Maria Hodgskin  was Alice Dibley.

Alice Dibley who married William Hodgkins in Frant September 6,1856 had been born April 1,1831 in Frant,Sussex. She was baptised in Frant April 1,1831.Alice Dibley was one of eleven children born to Henry Dibley (1803-1854) and Elizabeth Dibley,nee Manser (1809-1877) among which was a sister Amelia Dibley (1837-1898) born December 14,1837 in Frant. Amelia married John Row (1839-1920),a Baptist minister,in Tunbridge Wells in 1864. Alice lived in Tunbridge Wells with her husband and children from the time of 1861 census up to at least the 1881 census and had six children (all daughters).

The letter below was one of 70 letters written by John Row that is part of a collection of  123 Row family letters held by Archives Canada.
(insert ‘T.Wells central station’)

“ Dear Grandad…………..I received your very welcome letter the latter part of last week. I was very pleased to get such a prompt answer to my letter. Well we all went to Tunbridge Wells and enquired after the Hodgkins but found they were all dead. We however met an old timer who told us of this Mrs Buss the coroner's wife in Tunbridge Wells whom you mentioned in your letter. We got her on the phone and she told us to come up in the evening. We then went further up the street and saw a Mr. Gale who had a shoe store about opposite the building that used to be the old chapel where your father used to preach. His brother married a Miss Bessie Row, a kind of 42nd cousin of ours. After supper we took the train to Tunbridge Wells. When we got into "the Wells" we went to Grosvenor Street (Road) and saw the house where Aunt Lucy was born and the place where Dad used to go to school. We then went down and saw the fishmonger. I forget his name but his brother stayed with you in Montreal. He treated us like kings. We then went up to see Mrs Buss. She was a little stiff and sent the butler to ask our rank but she made quite a fuss of us when she found out who we were. The rest of the family came down including her husband and their nephew and his young lady, at least I think she was as he seemed pretty badly smitten. The nephew had been at the front a while, just long enough to make him worse than if he had stayed at home. He is a young subaltern in Kitchener's army and had a very bad case of the swelled head, however Dad put him in his place. Mrs. Buss treated us fine and we had a very good evening. The young lady wanted to know all about Canada and I told her and a little more too. They wanted to put us up for the night but I had met a fellow that I used to work with in Winnipeg. He had come home and enlisted and was one of the military police, so we got lodgings at the house where he was billeted. We had a glorious sleep in and a real bed as well as supper and breakfast for the sum of 2 shillings per head. The following morning (Sunday) we went down to the Pantiles and took the waters according to regulations. We then hit the road for Frant and visited the old church and spoke to the old sexton who remembered Great-grandad Dibley and Grandad Biggins's sister who used to be schoolmistress there. We saw Great-grandad Dibley's tombstone, also tombstones of several other Dibleys, to say nothing of the Tooths."

 









"We walked to High Rocks and looked them over, had supper there and walked back to "the Wells" and took the train home.We see Dad every Sunday when we go to Shorncliffe or Folkstone. He is still on hospital duty and looking well on it. There is not much news to tell as training goes on in the same old way. Everyone is in A1 condition. We have about an equal amount of sunshine and rain with a bathing parade in the ocean once a week. We are about 5 miles from Romney Marsh.Be sure and give love from all to all....Your Grandson...John Row....P.S. Written with a YMCA pen. “

THE ELM CROFT RESIDENCE

The 1911 census was taken at ‘Elm Croft’  30 Mount Pleasant Road  described the home as a 10 room residence. The location of this residence is established from a review of the order in which the 1911 census was taken for on one side of No. 30 Mount Pleasant was Dr J. Elliott on Clanricade Road and on the other side of Thomas Buss’s residence was Albert Wood at 13 Lonsdale Road. This establishes Elmcroft as one of the homes near the intersection of Mount Pleasant Road, on Mount Pleasant Hill and Lonsdale Gardens on the west side. Shown opposite  is a view of Mount Pleasant Hill.

An architects plan of this home appeared in The Builder of September 2,1883 but is believed to have been built in the late 1870’s or at least by 1881 for the 1881 census gave Thomas Buss at this home. The plan (shown opposite) shows that the architects of the home were Alfred Cox and Cucksev of 19 Crown Street. More about the architects are given later. The image presents the home as a large 2 sty residence with developed attic space on a road frontage that slopes, indicating that it conforms to the slope of Mount Pleasant Hill. The floor plan of the main floor at street level shows the configuration of the rooms and indicates that the private residence entrance was into the main hall from the rear of the home. The plan also shows that Thomas used this residence as his law office for from the street is shown the entrance to his office and  his law clerks office.

The Dictionary of Scottish Architects gave the following information about the architect Alfred Cox (1868-1944). Alfred practised in London. In 1893 he operated from premises at 19 Crown StreeT, Stand, London but by 1905 was at 4 Adam Street, Adelphi, London and in 1914 at 34 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London. Those working with him were Edward William Mountford, an assistant and from 1890 to 1893 Henry Louis Florence was his apprentice. He designed several buildings including submitting a design for the Inglis Memorial Hall and Library in 1896 located in Angus, Scotland . Sometime before 1893 Mr Cucksev became his partner, The obituary for Alfred Cox was published in The Builder September 22,1944. His R.I.B.A nomination papers are held in the RIBA Archive at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Alfred was articled to Henry Louis Florence 1887-1890 and then was assistant to Edward William Mountfird 1890-1893. He travelled in France and Italy. He was admitted FRIBA June 5,1905. He commenced independent practice in 1893 forming a partnership with Frederick Ernest Williams in 1912.

 

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