THOMAS WILLIAM III (1873-
The third holder of these Christian names was my grandfather, usually known as Will or Father. (The proliferation of Thomas Williams, William Thomas and many Williams -
Thomas William, the third son of John and Ellen, was born at 11 Albert Street, South Hackney on 28th December 1873. As explained above, this road was near Victoria Park Road. His marriage to Elizabeth Yull took place in St.Marks Church, Bow on 11th July 1892. He was 19, she 20, and both gave their address as 224 Victoria Park Road, which was near its junction with Wetherell Road. They were still there a few months later, and so this may have been John's home at that time. Witnesses at the wedding were J. and A.Cormack. Will and his wife remained at Victoria Park Road for about another three years before moving to Walthamstow, which was "out in the country" ! Priory Avenue near Hoe Street Station was their first address, followed by Woodbury Road (off Church Hill) and then No.125 Orford Road; this was at the Hoe Street end of Orford Road.
Thomas William and Elizabeth had six children, of whom the first two, Cyril Francis and Wilfred John were twins. They were born towards the end of 1892 and Gladys Alice came along in mid-
Will had intended to become a civil servant and he spent some of his early Walthamstow years in studying for the appropriate examination. Unfortunately, an attack of scarlet fever prevented him from sitting the exam and so the opportunity was permanently lost. In 1892 he described himself as a "fancy warehouseman", probably in some branch of the haberdashery trade. Later he worked with John Cormack (Jack's father) as an agent in textiles. He had served an apprenticeship with an importer of Indian goods. In 1898 Will joined "Uncle Mac" as a partner and then finally took over the business completely when John Cormack died in 1910. Cyril Francis, his son, joined him and they remained together in business as a manufacturers' agent for another thirty years or more from about 1910. They later took premises in Lawrence Lane, near London's Guildhall. During this time Wilfred John, Cyril's twin brother, joined them on two separate occasions 1912 and in the 20's -
When the family moved to Wanstead about 1912 they took a large modern house at 12 Lake House Road. This was immediately opposite the western side of Wanstead Flats, a large public apace extending for a mile to Manor Park and Forest Gate. The house proved ideal for family gatherings at Christmas time in the 20's and 30's when it became the custom, on Boxing Day, for all the sons and daughters of Will and Bessie to bring their own children for a very enjoyable day together. The party was invariably enlivened by the additional presence of "Aunt Nellie" Cormack with her son Jack and his family. The total number catered for could be as many as 22! As the grandchildren grew up these visits became less regular and finally ceased during the War about 1940.
This last event had the unfortunate result that No.12 Lake House Road was ruined by bomb blast. Luckily there were no casualties. Will and Bessie moved to No.30 Stone Hall Avenue, Ilford, where they remained while their house was being rebuilt after the war. Elizabeth died in the spring of 1947 before the rebuilding was finished but Thomas William eventually returned to Lake House Road with his son Kenneth and the latter's wife and infant daughter. "Will" died towards the end of 1955.
Thomas William III had six sisters. They were Alice Maud, Elizabeth Harriet known as Lizzie, Ellen Sophia or Nellie, Florence Maud who preferred her second name, Ada Gertrude and Agnes Beatrice (Aggie). His brothers were Jason Henry, Charles Ernest and Edwin John.
All the sisters remained unmarried except Ada who married Harold Shearsmith in 1911. She lived to the age of 82. Severa1 of the others were over eighty when they died, Lizzie being 95. These brothers and sisters were born over a period of twenty years. The daughters of John and Ellen mostly lived with their parents at Woodland Gardens, Muswell Hill, but they moved to Dukes Avenue nearby in 1931 after the death of their mother. The last personal record we have of them was a letter from "Aunt Maud" written on 25th May 1966. Their deaths are entered as having taken place in Edmonton, Wood Green, etc., which could refer to the location of hospitals where they were patients. Ellen Sophia's last address was 12 Toxteth House, Woodberry Down, near Manor House.
Of Thomas William's brothers Jason Henry (note the name Jason again) married Mary Iceton at Hackney in 1889. He was a mercantile clerk who died at the early age of 33 in Stoke Newington (Leswin Road), only a year after his son Stanley Reginald was born. Stanley has told us how he was brought up in Alexandra Orphanage, Hampstead, while his brother went to Readham Orphanage at Reading and his sister to yet a third place. At the age of 14½ he started work with Marshall and Snelgrove in London's Oxford Street, where he lived in. When he was 16 he went to Canada and worked on a farm for three years. He said he thought his mother came from the north of England (like so many of the characters in our history!), probably Hull. She was known as Peggy. Stanley was born in Leswin Road and then grew up, hardly ever meeting his mother, brother or sister. The only relatives he seems to have had any contact with were his Uncle Charles and Aunt Maud, with whom he used to spend Christmas when a boy.
Another brother was Charles Ernest, born in 1870 after John and Ellen had moved to Hackney. He married Alice Maud Warwick in Wandsworth in 1895 and spent much of his life at Leigham Court Road, Streatham. His will was administered by his son, Harold Arthur, an organist. Alice Maud survived her husband for a further seven years, living at Holmwood Road, Streatham.
The other brother was Edwin John (Uncle Eddie) who married Ada Elizabeth Littlechild in 1908, also in Wandsworth. He died in Salisbury at the age of 85, having raised two sons.They were Percy Edwin (1908-
Volume 2, Chapter 11
Family groups at Wanstead.
A Christmas party gathering at Wanstead. (ca.1938)
N.B. Jack Cormack was a family friend who witnessed the marriage of Thomas William and Elizabeth Yull, in July 1892.
Picture above was taken at 12 Lakehouse road, Wanstead, home of Thomas William Daggett and Elizabeth Yull.
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