Our Family History

Condensed History
the Descendants of Walter and Rebecca Barnett.

by By Brian Jones

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Walter and Rebecca's eldest son Ernest John Frederick Barnett was born in 88 Goodinge Road, Islington on the 19th January 1895 he was given the names John Frederick after his uncle.  He began his academic life at Hungerford Road School where he stayed until he started work on the railways in about 1909.

Ernest stayed with railways until 1916 when he enlisted in the Royal Marines. After his basic training he was sent to the trenches of Belgium and France where he saw action and was eventually taken prisoner, being held in a German POW camp. It was during his enforced stay with the Hun that he contacted the life threatening disease mastoiditis, an inflammation of the mastoid process at the back of the ear.  He often spoke of this period and the German doctor who successfully treated this illness and saved his life. In 1918 Ernest returned home from the war and took up his deferred employment on the railways.  He received the following medals for war service; British War Medal and Victory Medal.

During the period prior to 1923 he started courting Fanny Gittus a young lady who was also born in Islington starting her life in 1894. She was brought up in a family of two brothers and four sisters.

On finishing primary and secondary education Fan, as she was known, was employed as a kitchen maid in one of the bigger houses of London.  This type of work didn't suit her so she opted for a job in Maples, the large London department store, where she was taught bead embroidery and dress making.  This job lasted her until hostilities began with the Germans in 1914, when she got employment with the War Office in Whitehall, London now called the Ministry of Defence.  Fanny stayed with the War Office until her marriage to Ernest Barnett in 1923. They started their married life in the St Pancras area of London.

In the late 1920's Ernest and Fanny bought a house and with their two daughters, Irene and Betty, moved to Queensbury Road, Kingsbury, a suburb of Northwest London.   As time went by Ernest gradually climbed the greasy pole of the railway hierarchy reaching the management position of Inspector by the time the railways nationalised in the middle 1940's.   Ernest died suddenly from a heart attack in 1949 at the young age of 54 years and is buried in the cemetery at St Andrews Church, Kingsbury.  Left a widow at the age of 55, Fanny lived with her eldest daughter until she died from a stroke in 1984 aged 90 years.

Ernest and Fanny Barnett's eldest daughter, Irene, was born in Leighton Road, St. Pancras, London in 1924.  She moved with her parents and younger sister to Queensbury Road, Kingsbury in the late 1920's.

Kingsbury at this time was still quite a rural area of London, so on reaching school age Rene had quite a hike to the nearest school situated near the Red Lion Public House on the corner of the Edgware Road and Kingsbury Road. In the early 1930's Fryent School, Kingsbury was built so this brought her schooling closer to home. On reaching secondary school age Rene moved on to the Kingsbury Senior Girls School where she stayed until her mid teens.  Her top subjects at this time were history, cookery and handicrafts. On leaving school Rene took up an apprenticeship with a florist called Landscape Nursery.  This job was brought to a premature end when she contracted rheumatic fever in the late 1930's, which caused her to take a year off from full time employment.  This illness may have been the cause of her heart attack in 1975, when she was 50 years old. On the outbreak of World War Two Irene was employed at war work at Smith's Clocks of Cricklewood and then at GEC North Wembley.  It was during this period that she corresponded with her penpal and future husband, William Parnell who was serving in Burma with the army. A year after Bill's demob from the British Army they were married on the 26th January 1946 at St. Andrews Church, Kingsbury.

Irene and Bill have a daughter Maureen Parnell born 1947 and a son Michael Parnell born 1950. Irene has various interests, which include embroidery, gardening, landscape painting and sequence dancing. She has won several awards for landscape painting and has been performing at sequence dancing for about 26 years. At the time of writing Irene and William Parnell are living in retirement at Carpenders Park, a suburb of Watford in Hertfordshire.

Renee and Bill's daughter Maureen married David Amies in 1969 and they have two children, Lisa and Matthew. Lisa and Darren Josling have a son, Luke.

Renee and Bill's son Michael married Patricia Tracey in 1976, they have three children, Darren, Kerry and Amber. Darren and Sue Parnell have three children, Rowan, Brynn and Connor.

Irene's younger sister Betty was born on the 11th December 1927 in St. Pancras, London.  Like her sister she was initially educated at Fryent School, Kingsbury but on reaching the age of 12 years Betty moved to Roe Green Senior School where she passed a scholarship to study shorthand and typing at Pitman's College, Kilburn, London.

Betty's first job on leaving college at the age of 15 years was as a shorthand typist with The Amalgamated Press on Farringdon Street, Central London, which was situated close to the Holborn viaduct and Hatton Garden, the centre of the British Diamond Industry. The journey to work for Betty during 1942 - 1944 must have been quite a daunting adventure, as this was the period of Adolph Hitler's blitz on London. After two years with AP Betty moved to a job with Frigidaire's on the Edgware Road, closer to her home in Kingsbury.

Betty married John Shave on the 1st January 1949 and on the 27th February 1951 she gave birth to her eldest child, John Andrew Shave.  It was at this time that she gave up full time employment. In 1963 she resumed work and was employed until her husband's retirement. On the 4th May 1953 Betty gave birth to a daughter, Susan Shave.

Betty and John are living in retirement on the Isle of Wight at the time of this writing.

Betty and John's son Andrew Shave married Ann Sheehee on the 12 July 1972, and at the time of writing he is a director with Bollems Paints.  Andrew and Ann have three children Emma, Elliot and Julia. Emma and Paul Reeve have three children, Jack, Samuel and Luke.

Betty and John's daughter Susan at the time of writing is an auxiliary nurse at St. Mary's Hospital, Newport, Isle of Wight. She married to John Vickery on the 28th July 1976.  They have three children Thomas, Clare and Lynsey.

Walter Percy Barnett was born at 88 Goodinge Road, Islington, London on the 25th November 1897, the second eldest son of Walter and Rebecca Barnett.  He attended Hungerford Road School were he received his primary, elementary and secondary schooling until the age of 14.  On completion of this period of his education Percy, as he was known, started work as a wood sawyers mate.

On the 3rd February 1914 Percy started his Royal Naval career as a boy seaman 2nd class, with a twelve-year engagement, at HMS Vivid, a shore establishment at Devonport, Devon.  After his basic training of about three months he was posted to HMS Carnarvon, an Armoured cruiser of the Devonshire Class.  On the 5th May 1914 he passed his seamanship exams and was promoted to boy seaman 1st class.  On his eighteenth birthday and on reaching adulthood, Percy was inducted into Royal Navy man-service as an ordinary seaman.

Towards the winter of 1914 the Carnarvon was dispatched to the South Atlantic where on the 8th December 1914 it took part in the Battle of the Falklands against a German fleet returning to their home waters from the Far East.  This German Far East Fleet had already defeated the British at the Battle of Coronel, just off Chile in the Pacific Ocean.  The Carnarvon rendezvoused with the Battlecruisers Invincible and Inflexible off the Brazilian Coast and then they sailed for Port Stanley, Falkland Islands.  Just before 8am on the 8th December a signal was received "Enemy in sight".  By the afternoon of the 8th the battle was over with the Germans taking heavy losses. 

Now a fully-fledged rating and with his first experience of battle, Percy stayed with HMS Carnarvon until the 15th August 1915 after which he was posted back to HMS Vivids. He stayed with this shore establishment for five months, where he was probably undertaking advanced seaman's courses.  He left Vivids and joined HMS Valiant on the 13th January 1916 where he was promoted to able seaman in the July of that year. The Valiant was at this time part of the 5th Battle Squadron under the command Rear Admiral Hugh Evans-Thomas whose flagship was HMS Barnam. 

In the spring of 1916 Valiant, skippered by Captain Woollcombe, was serving with the battle squadron in the North Sea when orders were received to steam to an area of the North Sea just off Jutland.  It was here that Able Seaman Percy Barnett would see action, yet again, in the epic Battle of Jutland, which took place at the end of May 1916.  Although Valiant would only receive splinter damage, many British ships were lost at this battle, some of the notable names being the Battlecruisers Indefatigable, Queen Mary and Invincible.  Although the British Navy hoped that this would be another Trafalgar, it never turned out that way.  This battle was a material and moral victory for the German High Seas Fleet, whilst being a strategic victory for the British Grand Fleet.  The Germans had inflicted heavier losses on the numerically superior British Fleet and had escaped near destruction but they also failed to break the British blockade or control the North Sea and had not altered the balance of the power in any meaningful way.

Between 1917 and 1922 Percy served on various ships and shore bases among them being HMS Vivids, Pembroke, Blake and Columbine.  It was during this period that he passed the necessary education for the rank of Petty Officer.    On the 24th January 1922 Percy went to sea again, this time aboard the Iron Duke Class Battleship Marlborough where he was taken ill with TB in the May of that year. He was medically evacuated to the Royal Navy Hospital Haslar at Gosport on the 6th June 1922, where he stayed until his medical discharge on the 19th September 1922.

During Able Seaman Walter Percy Barnett's naval career his superior officers thought highly of him and gave exemplary reports on most of his personal inspections. On 95% of the reports Percy's character was put down as very good and his ability as superior.  It has been said that whilst on leave he didn't conform to civilian standards; as a ex-regular Army man myself I must stand up for and sympathise with Percy, as I found it hard and boring to take to civilian life, even on the short spells of leave that I had to take.  He received the following medals for war service: 1914 - 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

On leaving the Royal Navy, Percy went home to 49 Gooding Road where on the 1st December 1923 he died from Pulmonary TB at the age of only 27 years.  His mum Rebecca was present at his death, which was certified by Dr. D.W. Wright.

If you are interested in reading about the Battles of Falklands and Jutland there are some well written article links at the website http://www.worldwar1.co.uk/

It was on the 7th October 1898 that the third son of Rebecca and Walter was born at 88 Goodinge Road. They named him Albert George Barnett.  On completion of  his schooling at Hungerford Road School at age 14 years he went to work on the London and North Western Railway at Camden Town.  On the 4th December 1915 Albert was working near Upgoods Arrival Road in Camden Goods Yard when he was struck by a railway truck and killed.  At this time he was employed as a railway shunter number taker.  According to the result of the inquest and to quote from the death certificate he received  " Shock and haemorrhage, sever abdominal injuries and injuries to leg.  Run over by railway trucks.  Accidental."  The inquest, which was held on the 6th December 1915, was presided over by Mr W Schroder, Coroner for London.

Edward Victor Barnett was the first child of Rebekah and Walter Barnett to be born in the 20th century when he arrived at 36 Goodinge Road on the 22nd of March 1901. He was also the first Edwardian; he was born two months after the death of Queen Victoria who passed away on January 22nd 1901.  I wonder if Ted was named after the new King Edward VII, and his second name of Victor because of the so called victory of the British in the Boer War.

Edward like his brothers before him was educated at Hungerford Road School where he stayed until he finished his secondary education at age 14 years. On leaving school Edward started an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker. He stayed with this employment until the 1919 economic depression, which was caused by the return of all the First World War soldiers to the workforce. It was at this time that he lost his job. His father advised him in no uncertain terms that none of his sons were going to be out of work.  So off he went and got job on the railways like his father and elder brother, Ernest.

It was in the 1920's that Edward met Rose Gamby who was born on the 21st of September 1903 in West Tottenham.  Rose was a member of a large family of many brothers, sisters, stepbrothers and stepsisters. On leaving school she, like most of her contemporaries, went into domestic service getting employment as a maid to a family who lived at Hyde Park Mansions, St. Marylebone. Prior to their marriage on the 30th December 1927, Edward and Rose scrimped and saved for a deposit on a house in Sunnymead Road, Kingsbury. Unfortunately the house was not ready to move into until the March of 1928, so the two newlyweds had to move back in with their respective parents until building work was completed.

For the duration of the Second World War Edward served with the Home Guard and Rose opened her house as a school.  This meant children and a schoolteacher coming in a few days per week for classes. By the time of the nationalisation of the railways Ted had reached the rank of Inspector and by 1957 he was taking promotional exams. This was brought to a dreadful stop when Edward suffered a heart attack and died suddenly on the 12th December 1957 at Edgware General Hospital, at the relatively young age of 55 years.

Rose and Edward had lived together at Sunnymead Road for 30 years and Rose would live there for another 25 years for total of 55 years in the same house. She became ill in 1982 and moved to Borehamwood, Herts where she died on the 2nd of December 1984.

Edward and Rose Barnett had two children, Victor and Tessa.

Tessa Barnett was born at the Ashley Nursing Home, Kenton Lane on the 29th September 1933. On reaching school age Tessa attended Fryant School until the outbreak of World War Two, when she was educated at home. When the air raids over London started to get intense, Tessa, together with her brother Victor and cousin Betty, were sent to Great Barford to stay with their great aunt Charlotte and her son Mossie. In 1945 Tessa attended Kingsbury Girls School where she stayed until starting full time employment with Nevetts, a book binding company, this was the time when she met her first husband, John Penny. On the 24th March 1957 Tessa and John married at Holy Innocence Church, Kingsbury, NW London. (This marriage was dissolved in September 1981). They have one daughter, Christine, who was born 7th March 1962.

When Christine started her schooling at Fryent School in 1967 Tessa worked there as a lunchtime supervisor, a job that she had for ten years.

Tessa's next job, which was to last until being made redundant in 1986, was with the firm of Alfred Gilbert & Sons of Colindale. Four years prior to her redundancy from this firm she married Edgar William Root (Bill) on the 29th January 1982.   On the retirement of Bill in 1988 they moved to Cumbria. On the 17th November 1992 Bill died suddenly.

Victor Barnett was born in the front room of 31 Sunnymead Road, Kingsbury on the 1st June 1935. He was educated at Fryent School and the Secondary boy's school in Colindale. On completion of his education he took up employment as a printer. At about age 18 years he was called up for National Service for his two years stint. On his return to Civvy Street he went back to his previous trade as a printer. He met his future wife, Margaret Jacobs on a blind date and they were married on the 29th October 1960. They have two children, Caroline and Peter.

Caroline is married to Stephen Howells.

In the December of 1997 Tessa moved from Cumbria to Suffolk to be near her daughter and granddaughters.

Tessa's daughter, Christine was born on the 7th March 1962 at Kingsbury Maternity Hospital.  She went to Fryent School, the same school her Mother, Uncle Victor and her two second cousins, Irene and Betty Barnett attended. It is interesting to note, if my facts are correct, that the first Barnett child attended Fryent School when it was first built in the early 1930's and the last attended in the middle 1960's a total of 30 years of loyal Barnett service. After finishing her primary education, Christine attended Kingsbury High School until 1978.  On leaving school she went to Westminster College, Battersea to train as a Hotel Receptionist. After leaving college in 1979 Christine went to work for Alfred Gilbert & Sons until being made redundant in 1986, after which she got employment with Remploy Ltd. of Colindale. In 1988 she went to work for MFI Head Office, Colindale, where she met her husband, Simon Farnish. After the birth of their first child, Charlotte Rose 11th June 1991, they moved to Suffolk. They were married in Suffolk on the 8th of August 1992 and have one other daughter, Hannah Jayne who was born on the 23rd December 1996.

The next child to be born to Rebecca and Walter was Cecil Harold.  Cecil like his brother Edward was born at 36 Goodinge Road.  He was to go on to have a short life being born on the 25 March 1903 and dying on the 14th August 1904 aged 16 months.  He died from pertussis (whooping cough) after suffering the acute cough for 35 days.

The youngest son of Walter and Rebekah was Horace Adolphus Barnett who was born on the 5th May 1905 at Goodinge Road, Lower Holloway, Islington. Like his older brothers he attended Hungerford Road School until he was 14 years old. On leaving school Horace trained as an Electrician, a trade he stayed with until the General Strike of 1926 when, like his father, he got employment on the railways as a train guard. In the early 1930's Horace's sister, Mabel, introduced him to a Welsh lass, Gwladys Mason who was working as a chambermaid with Mabel who was the pastry cook in one of the big houses of London.  Gwladys was born at Dannabryne, Troedyrhiw near Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales on the 24th May 1907. On the 8th of October 1933 Gwladys and Horace were married at St. Lukes Church, Lower Holloway where Horace's parents were married nearly 40 years before. They set up home initially in Hampstead until Horace's brother, Edward, purchased his house in Sunnymead Road, Kingsbury, at which time Horace and Gwladys moved in with him as lodgers.

On the death of their infant son John Walter, Horace and Gwladys moved to West Hendon where they stayed until the early 1970's.

On the outbreak of World War Two Horace together with a mate attempted to join the Royal Navy to be told that as he worked in a Reserved Occupation he would be unable to join any of the armed forces. The story has it that they were escorted home by the local police. Gwladys managed to get work at Tilley Lamps throughout the war. On the cessation of hostilities she started new employment with the Edgware General Hospital as an Auxiliary Nurse, where she stayed for 27 years, until retirement in the early 1970's. Horace stayed with the railways until the early 1960's when got a job with Desouters at Colindale. He stayed with this firm until his retirement in 1970. On retirement Horace and Gwladys moved to a flat in Colindale not to far from the old Hendon Aerodrome, which is now the RAF Museum. They stayed there for a few years until their final move to a flat in Golders Green, NW London.

Horace died on the 14th April 1984 aged 79 years and Gwladys died on the 26th August 1995 aged 88 years. Both passed away at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead.

John Walter Barnett, the first born of Horace and Glwadys, was born at the Mason family home in Troeyrhin, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales on the 4th April 1934, unfortunately he died at the infant age of 8 months on the 14th December 1934 at Edgware General Hospital.

On the 31t December 1935 Gwladys Barnett gave birth to her second son, Terry, at their home in Brent View Road, West Hendon, London.

Terry's schooling started at Algernon Road School in 1939, the school where his Uncle Stan and Aunt May where the caretakers. He stayed here until he moved to Brent Modern Secondary School, which was situated, on Sturgess Road, Hendon. On leaving school at age 15 years Terry took up employment as an apprentice plumber, and during this period of apprenticeship he attended day courses at Willesden Technical College. In 1953 he was called up for National Service and joined the infantry, serving with the Dorset Regiment.  After finishing his basic training he was posted to the United Nations Forces in South Korea.  Whilst in Korea he took R & R in Hong Kong and Japan, and on his move back to Blighty on a troopship in 1955, he had stopovers at Singapore, Bombay, Aden and Malta. his last 2-3 years in the army were spent in England and Germany as a regular soldier. He was demobbed in 1958.

On his arrival back in civvy street Terry got a plumbing job with J Sainsbury's at Blackfriars, London. This job lasted until just before his marriage to an Irish Colleen named Mary Cullen at the Roman Catholic Church in Burnt Oak, NW London on the 23rd of March 1963. Mary Cullen was born in 1942 in the Eire town of Kilkenny. She came from a large family of sixteen children.  Her father James Cullen and mother, Catherine Cullen nee Sutton a lady who was born in the USA, ran a farm of some 106 acres in Kilkenny, County of Leinster in the Republic of Ireland. She arrived in London, England in 1959 at the age of 16 years.

On their marriage, Mary and Terry Barnett moved to a flat on Church Road, Kingsbury where they stayed until a move to Edgware in the middle to late 1960's. It was in 1962 that Terry got work as a charge hand with the Signals Maintenance Department of the London Underground, a job he would stay with for about nineteen years.  In 1973 Mary and Terry, together with their son Derek Mark Barnett who was born in 1965, moved to Luton, Bedfordshire. Terry had various jobs from 1981 until being made redundant from Coulter Electronics in 1998 a firm he was with since 1984. Terry's hobbies are Military Modelling and Gardening.

At the time of writing Terry and Mary are still living in the town of Luton, which is just some 20 miles South of where this story began.

It is with great sadness to say that Derek Mark Barnett passed away on the 25th November 1990 at the very young age of only 25 years.

Walter and Rebekah's eldest daughter, Mabel Grace Becky Barnett was born at 49 Goodinge Road, Islington on the 22nd July 1907.  She attended Hungerford Road School until reaching the age of 14 years when she went into domestic service.

Mabel often used to speak about her childhood in and around Upper Holloway especially market days down at the Caledonian Road Market.  On some market days the bulls, on smelling the blood coming from the slaughterhouse, would panic and escape from their drovers, stampeding up and down the streets.  This must have been quite a spectacle in the heart of London!  Also there was the sight of seeing some unfortunate London Bobby, who ventured around the Brecknock Road area on his own, stuffed down a street drain. I have this sight in my mind of some poor chap wearing a cobble stone collar!  She also told the story of drunks falling over when they came out of public houses like the Brecknock and dropping their money all over the pavement. This caused all the local kids to fight over the proceeds whilst the poor old drunk was having trouble getting up. I suppose this was a form of olden days mugging?? A typical music night in the Barnett household on Goodinge Road would entail Mabel vamping on the mouth organ, brother Ted playing the melody on a harmonica, Horrie on the Jew's harp, Ernie on the spoons, and Mum, Dad and the rest of the family singing along.

Between the years 1921 to 1931 Mabel progressed from scullery maid to head cook serving in several households including Lord and Lady Horlicks of the nightime drink and a Harley Street eye surgeon at which time she was living at Portland Place, London. It was when Mabel was visiting Hyde Park in the late 1920's, that she met her future husband William Stanley Jones a soldier in the Welsh Guards, serving at Knightsbridge Barracks.

William Stanley was the son of Isaac William Jones and Eleanor Jones nee Evans.  He was born in Llwynypia. South Wales on the 29th December 1904. When he was just 14 months old his mother died and he was shipped of to relatives in North Wales. On his father's remarriage William returned to the valleys where he attended the local school where he managed to pass a scholarship to the grammar school.  Due to insufficient family funds he was unable to take up his place at the grammar school, so at age 12 years he was forced to find work down the local coalmine. William stayed with mining until reaching the age of 20 years when he enlisted in the British Army, seeing service in London, Windsor and Egypt. While he was stationed at Knightsbridge Barracks he had a white horse that he named Mabel in honour of guess whom? William and Mabel were married at the Register Office, St. Marylebone on the 6th of April 1929.

On leaving the army in 1931 Stan, as he was known, found employment with Frigidaires Factory along the Edgware Road at Burnt Oak. Then in the mid 1930's William and Mabel secured a job as caretakers of Algernon Road School, Hendon where they stayed for close to 35 years. They retired in 1969 to a flat in old Hendon.

William Jones died 1980 and Mabel died 1982 they both were put to rest at Golders Green Crematorium.

They had two children Peggy Mildred Jones born 20th January 1930 and Brian Jones born 24th August 1939.

Peggy Jones was born in Goodinge Road, Islington and christened at St. Luke's Church, Holloway.  This was the church where her grandmother and grandfather, Rebekah and Walter Barnet were married some 36years previously. Peggy was a good student and passed a scholarship to Coptall County when she was 11 years old. Unlike her father she was able to take up her place at a grammar school where she stayed until passing several matriculations and a move to Hornsey Art School at age 16 years.  On leaving Hornsey Art School and after several unsuccessful attempts in getting employment in the commercial art industry, she joined the Metropolitan Police.

Peggy stayed with the police until reaching the rank of inspector when she decided a change in occupation was in order. So in her early forties she attended an adult training college where she graduated as a primary school teacher in the late 1960s.  On completion of her college course Peggy got a job with Colindale Primary School, NW London, which was the school she attended when an infant. She stayed with teaching for about 15 years until she took early retirement from full time work, although she still taught on a casual basis.

Peggy's currently fully retired and living in Oxhey a suburb of Watford, not to far from her cousin Irene Parnell.

Peggy's young brother Brian Jones started life just a couple of weeks before the outbreak of World War Two, on the 24th August 1939.

He was a sickly child, having Scarlet Fever when a two year old and TB and Rheumatic Fever when he was 8 years old.   He progressed through an ordinary childhood and teens till he joined the British Army in 1959, where he saw service in Europe, Near East, Middle East, Far East and North America. He was awarded the following campaign medals; GSM Malaya, GSM Borneo, GSM South Arabia plus Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

Whilst in Canada in 1975 he met and married Diane Elizabeth Spencer.

Brian left the army in 1978 and worked for machine tool importers as a management accountant until 1981. He and Diane moved back to Canada in 1981 where Brian and Diane both worked for the Canadian Government.  In 1984 they returned to England when they bought a shop in Worthing, Sussex. He and Diane are currently running a newsagents in Bristol where they have been since 1988.

Brian Jones has completed a more in-depth story of his life.

The youngest member of Walter and Rebekah Barnett's family is Ivy Barnett who was born in Islington in 1914. According to reliable sources, as she was the baby of family, she was thoroughly spoilt by all the male members of the household. On leaving school she was placed, much against her will, into domestic service as a nursemaid. She eventually settled into the post of kitchen maid at the London home of the Bankes family. They were wealthy landowners from Dorset, so for several months each year Ivy worked at their country estate at Kingston Lacy in Wimbourne, Dorset. (This is now a National Trust property) It was here that she met her future husband William Frank Bates, who was employed as a footman and trainee butler. They married in 1935, at which time they left service and settled in Fulham, where William started up his own window cleaning business.  World War Two put an end to this potentially successful business and Ivy and her three children were eventually evacuated to Frome, Somerset. She spent the next 56 years in Frome, until at the age of 84 she sold her bungalow and moved to her Granddaughter's farm in Seend, Wiltshire.  Ivy is currently living in sheltered accommodation in Bromham, Wilts.


William Frank Bates was born in Fulham, London in 1908.  He was the third son in a family of 4 boys and 1 girl. He showed great educational promise, passing the scholarship for entry into a Grammar School a year younger than was usual. However, due to the customary hardship working class families suffered at that time, William was unable to take up the scholarship and subsequently left school at the age of 14.  Long periods of unemployment then occurred during which times he spent many a happy hour reading in the British Library.  In search of a better life he emigrated to Canada in the 1920's, but with the Depression in full swing employment was just as difficult to find there.  He returned to England and eventually found employment with the Bankes family, which led to his subsequent marriage to Ivy.  He was conscripted into the army in 1940 and spent the next 5 years abroad, serving in Malta and Egypt.  He was demobbed in 1945 and reunited with his family and settled in Frome for the rest of his life. William died in 1976 from a stroke. 

William and Ivy Bates had three children: Edwin Bates, Joan Bates and Iris Bates.

Edwin George Bates was born on the 28th September 1936 at his grandmother's house, 49 Goodinge Road, Islington. In 1940 he moved to Frome with the rest of the family. In 1947 he passed a scholarship to Frome Grammar School and on completion of his schooling joined the Civil Service, where he spent his working life. In 1995 Eddy took early retirement. He married Elizabeth Anne Hawkins in 1960.  They have three children; Nicola Bates born 28 November 1962, Richard Bates born 8 June 1964 and Alison Bates born 19 July 1970.

Joan Bates was born in Fulham on the 26th October 1937. Like Eddy she spent her childhood in Frome. After completing her schooling she worked as assistant housemother in a children's home in Shirley Croydon. She married Colin Stokes in 1968. They had four children; Helen Stokes born 1969 died 1969, Victoria Stokes born 12 August 1970, Robert Stokes born 19 June 1972 and Andrew Stokes born 2 June 1974. Joan sadly died prematurely in 1989.

Iris Bates was born in Hastings, Sussex on the 7th July 1940. She was educated at Frome Grammar School. She did general nursing training in Bristol and midwifery training in Croydon.  She married first Peter Harper in 1964 and divorced in 1971. They have one child; Catherine Harper born 10 June 1965.   Iris Bates married secondly John Brown in 1972. They have four children; Clare Brown born 13 October 1971, David Brown born 13 February 1973, Rachel Brown born 29 November 1976 and Rebecca Brown born 10 January 1978.

 Authors Note;

I am now fairly sure, by the process of elimination, that the coronary heart disease that is prevalent amongst the 20th Century Barnetts and their descendants, was brought into the family by Emma Dilly (1825 - 1890), the mother of Walter Barnett (1868-1932).

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