The Craxford Family Magazine Red Pages

{$text['mgr_red1']} Cottingham 2 10a

Claypole: Onward into Northampton and Derbyshire

by Alan D Craxford, Charlotte Kiely, Carol Pugh and Judi Wood
With contributions from Janice Binley


Other articles within the website which relate to particular aspects of this story are noted within square brackets in the text. Links to these articles can be found in the table towards the bottom of column 2

This article completes the story of William Claypole and Elizabeth Shaw ("Claypole: from Great Easton to Kettering" [Article A.]). It concentrates on their second son James and the families of his offspring. Although much of the action again takes place in Northamptonshire, one branch made the perhaps unexpected transition to the Amber Valley district of Derbyshire and a completely unpredicted change of activity.

The family of James Claypole and Elizabeth Butler

St Giles

St Giles, Blaston (2)
A late 18th century engraving

James was the second son to be born to William Claypole and Elizabeth Shaw in Great Easton and was baptised there on December 3rd 1826. Little is known of his early life. He married nineteen year old Elizabeth Butler at St Giles Church, Blaston (2) on November 12th 1849. This rural hamlet lay about four miles north west of Great Easton and equidistant from Horninghold in the north and Medbourne to the south. Elizabeth was the third of nine children born to Robert Butler and Elizabeth Shellaker. Her younger sister Mary was to marry Thomas Burrows five years after her and their son Joseph Butler Burrows married James and Elizabeth's daughter Anna Maria.

After they were married, James and Elizabeth moved some four miles east across the border into Rutland and Thorpe by Water. This hamlet had a population during most of the nineteenth century which only ran into double figures although it registered 113 souls at the census of 1851. He gained employment as a watchman and gatekeeper for the London & North Western Railway Company which operated the Rugby to Stamford Branch Line built in 1850. In 1851 they occupied the Railway Gatehouse which stood adjacent to the old late sixteenth / early seventeenth century Manor House. Boarding with them were James' younger brother Alfred and ten year old younger sister Henrietta as well as Elizabeth's younger brother, Joseph.

James and Elizabeth were to have seven children: two sons (Alfred, born 1860 and John, 1871) and five daughters (Hannah, 1850; Mary Jane, 1853; Anna Maria, 1856, Emma Butler, 1861 and Fanny, 1865). In an apparent change of job, James and Elizabeth had moved to The Riding, Northampton by the middle of the 1860s where he took work as a shoe finisher. Ten years later they were settled in Hill Street, Raunds. James died on December 29th 1885. The death certificate merely records the diagnosis "paralysis" which probably means he had sustained a stroke. Elizabeth lived for a further three years, dying on February 12th 1889.

Hannah (1850 - 1932)

Their first child was baptised Hannah on April 6th 1851 at St Andrews Church in Great Easton. The story of her life and family with William Hands Underwood is recounted in the next section.

Mary Jane (1853 - 1934)

Second daughter Mary Jane was married twice and had six children. Theirs was a chequered family history which is told later in the article.

Anna Maria (1856 - 1939)

St Giles

St Giles, Northampton (3) (abt 1911)

Anna Maria was born in Thorpe by Water and became a shoe machinist. As noted above she married Joseph Butler Burrows, the daughter of Elizabeth's sister Mary Butler and husband Thomas Burrows, making the couple first cousins. The wedding took place on May 15th 1880 in St Giles Church, Northampton. They made their first home in the Duston district of Northampton before moving to Whitfords Yard in the Dallington area. Joseph became a drayman for a brewery. Joseph died in the winter of 1906. Anna Maria lived on, finally dying in the spring of 1939.

Joseph and Anna Maria had five children. First born was named Agnes Annie and arrived in 1881. She was baptised on September 23rd 1888. She also became a shoe machinist. She married Joseph Mills who came from the village of Hanslope near Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire and was a labourer at a gas works in the winter of 1908. They lived with their daughter, Elsie Agnes born in 1910, in Stanley Road, Northampton. Joseph died in Northampton in 1931; Agnes Annie thirty years after him.

Alfred (1860 - 1938)

His story appears in column 2 of this article

Emma Butler (1861 - 1947)

St Andrews

St Andrews Church, Great Easton (4)

Fourth daughter Emma was baptised in Great Easton on Christmas Day 1861 and given the second name Butler after her mother's family name. She moved with the family to Northampton and entered the shoe industry as a closer. She married Northampton born Walter Spence at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (one of only four surviving Norman round churches in England) which stands in Sheep Street in the town on March 26th 1882. They moved from their first home in Great Russell Street via Connaught Street to a property of Spencer Bridge Road by 1911. They had three children: Walter John (born 1883), Albert James (1885) and Violet Elizabeth (1888), Walter died in Northampton in the autumn of 1922. Emma died on March 20th 1947.

Holy Sep

Holy Sepulchre, Northampton (5)

Son Walter John was baptised at Holy Sepulchre on May 6th 1883. He became a bicycle mechanic. He married Susannah (also known as Susan) Betts on August 6th 1906 at All Saints Church, Northampton. By 1911 Walter John had become a machine fitter and the couple, still childless, were living in Countess Road. They had sisters Lily and Rose Morbey lodging with them. A daughter, Violet, was born on May 10th 1917. The family had moved to Loyd Road by the outbreak of the second World War. Walter John died on New Year's Eve 1957. Susannah died in Pitsford House Geriatric Hospital on the outskirts of Northampton on July 21st 1961.

Second son Albert James also trained as a bicycle mechanic. He married 22 year old shoe fitter Gertrude Edith Birch at St Paul's Church, Northampton on August 3rd 1909. Initially the couple lived with his parents in Spencer Bridge Road. Towards the end of the first World War Albert enlisted as 269006 with the Royal Air Force. He was noted to be 5 feet 2½ inches tall and had blue eyes and dark brown hair. He was posted to France between May 14th 1918 and March 21st 1919. His military record also noted him to belong to the Salvation Army. In the mean time Gertrude gave birth to a daughter, Phyllis, on December 1918. The family continued to live on Spencer Bridge Road. Albert died there in the early months of 1946; Gertrude, thirty years later.

Fanny (1865 - 1936)

St Kath

St Katharine's Church, Northampton (6)
from an old newspaper cutting
(See also [Footnote 1])

Last of the five daughters of James Claypole and Elizabeth Butler was born in Northampton in the winter of 1864. In her late teens she became a shoe machinist. She met William Mitchell, born in Raunds, a market town about 20 miles to the north east of Northampton, in 1861. They were married in St Katharine's Church the town on August 4th 1889 with her older sister Emma and her brother in law Joseph Burrows acting as witnesses. Their first home was in Abbey Street, Duston on the western outskirts of Northampton. Fanny gave birth to four daughters between 1890 and 1895. First born, Fanny, died within five hours of birth from convulsions, possibly from a brain injury or anoxia from a difficult delivery, on July 2nd 1890. William was not to survive for long and he collapsed and died at work at Mr Beeby's Yard on Derby Road on December 13th 1895. A formal inquest was held the next day before Mr N Tomalin, the Deputy Coroner for the Borough of Northampton when the cause of his death was registered as a rupture of an aneurysm of the aorta. Fanny moved with her remaining three daughters to Stanley Road by 1911. She died in the town in 1936 aged 71 years.

St Mary

St Mary the Virgin, Dallington (7)

Second daughter Rosetta was born on July 14th 1891 and baptised on September 3rd 1891 at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Dallington. She married Sidney Tandy in May 1919. He was born in Gloucester on December 18th 1882 and the couple moved back there after the ceremony. They had five children: three sons (William, born 1920; Sidney, 1923 and Kenneth, 1924) and two daughters (Constance, who was born in Northampton in 1922 but died the same year in Gloucester and Grace, 1926). The family home was in Victory Road, Gloucester and Sidney worked as a labourer in a corn mill. Rosetta died in the town in 1963; Sidney, three years later.

Last born daughter Emily Ada was born on July 25th and baptised on September 6th 1895, also at the Church of St Mary the Virgin. She married Douglas Ralph Logan in 1924 in Northampton. He was the son of tailor George Logan and his wife Ellen. Born on December 27th 1898, he was baptised at St Giles Church, Northampton on June 14th 1906 with his two siblings Gertrude Ellen (born January 19th 1886) and Leonard Victor Robert (born August 9th 1896). Douglas became a window cleaner and by 1939 they were living in Abingdon Street, Northampton. Lodging with them was Emily's middle sister, Helen May who was born on May 10th 1893 and baptised on June 25th 1893. She was a shoe machinist and ultimately a work checker in the closing room of a boot factory. She never married. Douglas died in Brixworth in the spring of 1961 at the age of 62 years. Helen died in the spring of 1974 and Emily followed her in the first quarter of 1977.

John (1871 - 1945)

All Saints

All Saints Church, Northampton (8)

Final son was born in the autumn of 1871 and was baptised John on April 3rd 1872. When old enough he began working in the shoe industry as a pressman. He married Frances (Fanny) Elizabeth Draper at All Saints Church in Northampton on May 13th 1894. His now married sister Emma stood as a witness. By dates, Florence was in the very early stages of pregnancy at the time of the wedding and she was duly delivered of a baby girl on Christmas Eve the same year. She was baptised Florence Lily at the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Dallington in Northampton on April 7th 1895. Two sons followed before the turn of the century: Arthur James, baptised on May 24th 1897 and Sydney John born on August 23 1899. Their first family home was in Greenwood Road in the Dallington district. By 1911, the family had moved on to Sharman Road in Duston, situated on the western edge of the town. In her mid 40s, Frances started to experience heavy bleeding which was diagnosed as due to uterine fibroids. She was admitted to Northampton General Hospital for surgery, presumably a hysterectomy, after which she developed pelvic sepsis from which she died on October 13th 1918.

John married for a second time at the Register Office in Northampton on December 24th 1919. His bride was 32 year old widow, Annie Green. Her details have not been confirmed conclusively but she was the daughter of now deceased William Field. A George and Annie Green were living in Exeter Road at the time of the census of 1911 and been married for about one year. That would correspond with a marriage in December 1910 in the Ampthill district of Bedfordhire and this Annie reported her place of birth as Sheep Lane, a hamlet in Bedforshire about 8 miles from Ampthill. In any event, it is not known what happened to Annie's first husband. Perhaps he was a casualty of the first World War. Annie was living with John in his house on Sharman Road by the time of their marriage. John died in Northampton in the winter of 1945.

Florence Lily

Florence trained as a bookkeeper. She married Albert Stanley Ellis in Northampton in 1917 before moving to London. They had a son, Ronald Stanley born in Stepney on July 23rd 1919. They then made their home in Roxy Avenue in Redbridge, Surrey where Albert worked as a merchantile marine onshore storeman. Florence was admitted to the Oldchurch Hospital, which had originally been the Romford Union Workhouse, where she died on June 17th 1960. Albert lived for another decade before he died in Ilford on February 17th 1972.

Arthur James

By 1911 Arthur was a worker in a shoe factory. At the outbreak of the first World War, Arthur enlisted as Private 200918 in the 2nd Battalion the Northamptonshire Regiment. He saw action in France where he was promoted to corporal. The Battalion was involved in the second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux between April 24th and 27th 1918 which was part of the German Spring Offensive east of the town of Amiens (9). Arthur was killed in action on the first night and is buried in plot II G 21 at Adelaide Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux. Arthur's name is also inscribed on the Abingdon Square War Memorial, Northampton and on commemorative plaques at Doddridge Community Centre and St James Church, Northampton.

Sydney John

As was most of the family's case, Sydney entered the shoe trade. During the first World War he enlisted for Army service first as private 52163 with the 27th Training Reserve Battalion on September 24th 1917 before being transferred to the 53rd Young Soldiers Battalion, the Bedfordshire Regiment on April 6th 1918. He was shipped out to France where he saw action in the field. He sustained a gunshot wound to the face on September 21st 1918 and was transferred back to hospital in England. He was transferred again, this time to the 3rd Lincolnshire Regiment on January 21st 1919 which was stationed in Cork, Ireland, before demobilisation in October of that year.

Sydney married Doris Annie Crisp, who was born on August 24th 1900 the daughter of Railway carman William James Crisp and his wife Minnie Bradshaw, in Northampton in 1924. The Crisp family had lived in Stanley Road, Northampton prior to the first World War. There is no evidence that Sydney and Doris had any children. By 1939 the couple were living in Sandhill Road in the St James area of the town. Both were destined to be long lived. Sydney died in 1990 aged 91 years. Doris survived until just short of her 95th birthday, dying on August 20th 1994.

The family of Hannah Claypole and William Hands Underwood

The oldest of the children of James Claypole and Elizabeth Butler, Hannah (also known as Annie) was born in Thorpe by Water on December 20th 1850 and was baptised in St Andrews Church in Great Easton on April 6th 1851. She grew up surrounded by an increasing number of siblings. In her teenage years she joined the boot and shoe trade as a shoe fitter, an occupation she would follow for most of her adult life. Sometime during the 1860s she moved into Leicester where she met William Hands Underwood. He had been born on July 23rd 1847, one of the four sons of unmarried Maria Underwood from Hinckley in Leicestershire who had worked in Leicester as a framework knitter. She had been suffering from the effects of pulmonary tuberculosis which had been developing for several months and died at the age of 33 years on May 14th 1855. She was buried in Hinckley on May 20th 1855. William and Hannah were married at the Leicester Register Office On October 7th 1869.

The Towers

The Leicester Asylum (from an old postcard)

Almost immediately the couple moved to Northampton where they established a home in The Ridings, a lane in the centre of town which ran west from St Giles Church. Originally trained as a cordwainer, William became a shoe finisher and then a boot repairer. During the course of the next 17 years, Hannah presented William with three sons (William, born 1871; Francis John, 1875 and Alfred, 1888) and five daughters (Ellen, 1872; Eleanor, 1880; Rose Elizabeth, 1881; Emma Butler, 1884 and Alice Elizabeth, September 1886). Of these, sadly, Ellen died at the age of 3 years on June 6th 1875 of pneumonia which was a complication of catching measles. She was buried at St Giles Church, Northampton three days later. Alice died in the first year of life of complications from pertussis (whooping cough) on May 27th 1887.

The last two decades of the nineteenth century were spent in a house in St Mary's Street before a move into a side street called Pike Lane. Over the years running up to and through the course of the years of the first World War, William's faculties began to fail him. Ultimately he had to be admitted to the Borough Mental Hospital (which became the Towers Hospital) in Humberstone, Leicester. He died there on March 22nd 1917, the formal diagnosis being "senile decay". Hannah lived on in Northampton for another 15 years, eventually dying in the town on April 10th 1932. She had caught an upper respiratory tract infection which had developed into bronchopneumonia. She was 81 years old.

William (1871 - 1962)

William and Hannah's first son was born on March 3rd 1871 (the date he himself entered on the 1939 Register for England and Wales) although his parents declared him to be two months old on the census which taken on April 2nd 1871. In his teens he followed the occupation route of his parents becoming a finisher in the shoe trade. William was married twice, the first union being tragically very brief.

Marriage with Mary Ellen Dickes

On October 29th 1888 the eighteen year old William married Mary Ellen Dickes in Northampton. Little is known of her history save that she was born at the tail end of 1871 in Kettering and that her mother's maiden name was Starmer. No other details of her early family life have been discovered. The sixteen year old girl was five months pregnant on her wedding day. The newly weds set up a home in the quaintly named Quart Pot Lane (which was subsequently renamed Doddridge Street) close to the centre of town. Mary's pregnancy did not fair well and as the weeks went by she became progressively sicker. She was delivered of a male child on March 2nd 1889 but suffered from repeated seizures. She died on March 4th 1889. The attending doctor recorded a diagnosis of "puerperal convulsions". This is an archaic term for eclampsia - a severe condition affecting pregnancy following on from pre-eclampsia and leading to high blood pressure, headaches, loss of kidney function, marked weight gain and fluid retention. It was more likely to occur in women over the age of 35 years or younger than 20 years. Rarely seen nowadays because of routine screening and preventative medication, Puerperal convulsions accounted for 2,692 (11.6%) maternal deaths between 1872 and 1876 (10). The baby boy was subsequently named Frank.

Marriage to Hannah Marie Coe

St Andrews

St Andrews Church, Kettering (11)

William was destined to remain single for only one year. He became attracted to eighteen year old machinist Hannah Marie Coe who was still living at home with her parents in Eastland Terrace, off Montague Street in Kettering. She was the fourth of the five daughters of James Coe, an iron furnace labourer from Desborough, and Fanny Bamford whose family originated in Middleton near Cottingham. Fanny's grandfather was Edward Jackson, named in the opening of "The Jacksons, my Middleton family" [Article B.]. The marriage took place at St Andrews Church in Kettering on May 26th 1890. After their marriage William and Hannah made their home in Weekley Road. At the turn of the century they had moved to Bath Road and by 1911 had settled into what was a new development in Avondale Road on the eastern border of Kettering. Their family now consisted of the three sons (William Albert, born 1892; Frederick Bamford, 1893 and Harold Edward, 1896) and four daughters (Alice Maud, 1890; Elizabeth Helen, 1898; Hilda Hannah, 1902 and Bertha, 1907) with Hannah, as well as William's first son, Frank.

St Mary the Virgin

Church of St Mary the Virgin, Kettering (12)

Oldest daughter Alice Maud married boot pressman George Wells at St Mary the Virgin Church on Fuller Street in Kettering in 1915. He had been born in the town on June 26th 1893 and had been living with the Underwood family in Avondale Road since at least 1911. The couple had moved to Hillside Terrace in Gas Street after the first World War. They were to have no children. During the late 1930s Alice became ill and as her condition deteriorated they moved back in with her parents in Cornwall Road. Also in residence were her two younger unmarried sisters, Hilda Hannah, who was registered incapacitated, and Elizabeth Helen. Alice died on August 29th 1939 from carcinoma of the breast with secondary spread to her lungs. She was buried in grave plot ZB/C/18 in London Road Cemetery, Kettering. George married Elizabeth Helen the following year.

The historical significance of marriage to a dead spouse's sibling is perhaps poorly understood. In the Victorian era such a marriage was highly irregular because it was prohibited under Canon Law although it was not necessarily uncommon. As church goers both parties would have been aware of the fact as tables of prohibited degrees of marriage could be found in every Prayer Book. Marriage with a deceased wife's sister was prohibited in England by a statute passed in 1835. Historically it only became legal for a man to be able to marry his dead wife's sister in an Act of Partliament of 1907 (13, 14). It was not until 1921 that women were given reciprocal rights, probably because of the huge number of widows with young families left after the first World War (15).


Hanham Baptist Church (16)

Of note amongst their childrens' marriages was that of William Albert to Sylvia May Horsley in Kettering in 1935. Hannah bore a distant relationship by marriage through the Bull and Chambers families to Samuel Claypole (1823 - 1891) who had lived in Middleton near Cottingham. Samuel was a second cousin twice removed to William's grandmother, Hannah Claypole. Frederick moved to Bristol where he married Kathleen Annie Bryant at the Baptist Church in the village of Hanham in March 1934.

After the second World War, daughter Hilda was first to die in June 1953. She was buried alongside her sister Alice in London Road Cemetery on June 29th 1953. Hannah died in 1955; William followed her on January 10th 1962. George Wells died early in 1961, his second wife Elizabeth survived him by 18 years until March 17th 1979.

Francis John (1875 - 1958)

St Michaels

St Michael & All Angels, Northampton (17)

William and Hannah Underwood's second son was born on April 6th 1875 and baptised in Northampton on April 19th 1876. As soon as he was able he followed the family into the shoe trade as a finisher. On February 24th 1895, Francis married 19 year old Emma Ethel, the daughter of David Edward Pittam and Mary Evans, at St Michael and All Angels Church in the town. Their first home was in Ambush Street which lay to the west of the railway station. In the first two years Emma bore two sons: Francis John, born in 1895 and Alfred Charles in 1897. Sadly Francis John died on March 29th 1900. The official cause of death was given as Membranous Croup: a term synonymous with laryngotracheobronchitis, a virus disease usually of children producing a thick inflammatory membrane around the upper respiratory tract and closely related to diphtheria. Five more children: two boys (John Thomas, 1905 and Francis Cyril, 1908) and three girls (Emma Ethel, 1900; Rose Elizabeth, 1902 and Phyllis Margaret in 1914) were to follow. By 1911 the family had moved to College Street, Wellingborough which was to remain their permanent home and Francis was now a foreman shoe hand. Emma was the first to die, on February 17th 1949. She was cremated at the Kettering Crematorium on Rothwell Road, Kettering two days later. Francis lived on in Wellingborough until February 3rd 1958 and his cremation service also took place at the Kettering Crematorium three days later.

Eleanor (1880 - 1949)




John Wallace

Second daughter Eleanor was born on February 14th 1880 in Northampton. The nineteen year old married John Wallace Pugh, the son of Emmanuel Pugh and Eliza Cornell, at St Katharine's Church in the town on July 16th 1899. The ceremony was witnessed by her brother William and her sister Rose Elizabeth. She was already heavily pregnant at the time and duly gave birth to a daughter on August 16th 1899. The baby was baptised Violet Olive Lilian on November 14th 1900. Eight more children were to follow: four sons (Llewellen John Wallace, born 1902; Leonard Bruce Emmanuel, 1907; William Oliver, 1910 and Philip Stanley, 1918) and four daughters (Eliza Jane Cornwell, born January 1901 - who sadly died on March 21st 1901 of "marasmus" and convulsions; Eliza Jane Cornwell (known to the family as Lilly and to youngsters of the next generation as Aunt Lilly), 1904; Rose Eleanor, 1912 and Margaret Joan, 1921). (Marasmus is a term which denotes severe malnutrition. It may be due to some form of malabsorption syndrome or from poverty or inability to feed the infant.)

Pugh family

The Pugh family. Left photo: Leonard (Lenny), William (Ollie), Sister Violet; Right photo: Rose, Joy, Margaret Joan, Lillian

John spent his working life as a machine operator in a shoe factory. Their first home at the beginning of the century was in Moulton Road in the Kingsthorpe District. Whether by pure coincidence it is not known but their next door but one neighbours were William Beadsworth and Emma Hooker whose story is told in [Article C.]. The Claypoles and Beadsworth families share many connections by marriage in both Leicestershire and Northamptonshire over the generations. Although not directly related William Beadsworth was Eleanor's first cousin once removed's wife's first cousin twice removed! John and Eleanor's residence in Mouton Road did not last long and they spent some time in Pike Lane with her parents before moving to Somerset Street prior to the outbreak of the first World War. During the war they moved again into Cloutsham Street, which was one street to the south and parallel to Somerset Street. This became their home for the rest of their lives.


Margaret Joan


Leonard in uniform


William Oliver

The 1939 Register shows that William, now a wireless trade operator, Rose, a skiver machine operator in the shoe trade and Margaret Joan were still living at home. Leonard Emmanuel joined the Army during the second World War. Rose left home to marry Harry Clark in the spring of 1940. Harry was a plumber who was the son, born on March 20th 1907, of Frederick Clark, a boot laster, and Mary Fox. The Clark family lived in Dunster Street in 1939, two streets south and parallel to Cloutsham Street.

John Pugh died on May 20th 1942. Son William was a brittle diabetic. In 1948 he sustained a severe haematemesis (vomitting of blood) from multiple stomach ulcers. He was admitted to Northampton General Hospital but died there on April 15th 1948. Eleanor survived her husband by five years, dying on May 24th 1949.

Violet Olive

Holy Rood

Chapel of Holy Rood Convent (18)


Sister Violet

Daughter Violet was also known to suffer from diabetes. She became a nun in the Church of England and by 1939 she was a Sister of Mercy at the Convent of the Holy Rood, Findon, a village just north of Worthing in Sussex. The building had been constructed in 1930 and was in use until 1967. Violet died on April 18th 1974 at the village of Lindfield near Hayward's Heath in Sussex. She was buried in plot 1072 of Finedon Cemetery, which stands alongside the Findon By-Pass and is the burial place for many of the nuns and patients of the Convent.

John Wallace

John was born in Northampton on August 17th 1902. By all accounts he was a headstrong and independent lad. As a schoolboy he was repeatedly in trouble with the law and had been taken to Court a number of times resulting in fines, probation and corporal punishment. He was also described as "soldier mad" and on several occasions had needed to be removed away from an Army camp which was sited at the racecourse. He had taken train rides without a ticket. At the age of 13 years in the middle years of the first World War he ran away from home and had stowed away aboard a ship from London bound for South Africa. There he met some Australian soldiers who smuggled him aboard a troopship which was bound for training on Salisbury Plain in England. He became a mascot and bugler for an Australian Army unit there which then served in France on the Somme. He sustained a gas injury during the Battle of High Wood and was returned to England for treatment and recouperation. Once discharged he obtained a ride with some New Zealand troops returning home and ultimately ended up in Melbourne in Australia. There he made speeches encouraging new recruits into the Army. He formally signed his attestation papers for a short term commitment in October 1917.


"Digger" Pugh


In "Wallabies" shirt

John Pugh

John Wallace Pugh

As a young man John took up boxing and became known as "Digger" Pugh. He developed an excellent fight record in Queensland, Australia and by 1922 had wide experience of the sport in Egypt, France, India and England. He became the flyweight champion of Australia. During the 1930s he set up a troupe of tumblers and dancers he called "The Four Wallabies". He was back in uniform again during the second World War touring with ENSA (the Entertainments National Service Association). At the end of the war his "Digger Girls" troupe was entertaining at the Theatre Marigny in Paris. In 1954 he introduced stock car racing to Britain. The sport had originated in America in 1944 and had already spread to France. John was married three times. His first wife was Hilda Elsie Kerr on December 7th 1923 in Geelong, Vicoria, Australia. His second wife was Sheila Harvey Smale in Clonmel, Ireland on April 29th 1933. He finally married Sheila Mcmahon in Hanworth, London on August 23rd 1954. John died in Stanwell, Surrey on February 1st and was buried on February 7th 1969 at Hanworth Cemetery.

Philip Stanley

John and Eleanor's youngest son Philip was born in the summer of 1918. He attended Kettering Road Intermediate School and then worked for a boot manufacturer. He enlisted with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve shortly after the beginning of the second World War on December 19th 1939 and was assigned to 90 Squadron. The squadron became Bomber Command's only unit equipped with the American designed Boeing Fortress B-17 four-engined heavy bomber on May 7th 1941 (19) and its first operational mission was on July 8th the same year. Philip was promoted to the rank of Sergeant-Pilot 944287 towards the end of 1940. He had flown several missions over enemy occupied countries.

At 5pm on July 28th 1941, he was a member of the crew and wireless operator of a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber, number AN534 which took off from the RAF Station at Polebrook, south east of Oundle. This was to be a high altitude test flight. Shortly after take off the plane entered an area of severe turbulance which caused the starboard wing to fail. It went out of control and into a dive. The plane broke in two and crashed midway between Wilbarston and Stoke Albany. All seven crew members were killed. One local resident who was born in Wilbarston at the start of the war remembers being told that the crash caused considerable interest and curiosity amongst the villagers. Many of the youths went to see the wreckage and brought back parachute silk for their mothers and sisters to make into underwear. Philip's mother Eleanor also visited the crash site and for a long time had a box of parts of the wreckage which she would take out from time to time and cry over. Philip is buried in the Billing Road Cemetery in Northampton and commemorated on Section A2 of the Screen Wall of the Military Monument there. There is also a memorial and plaque to the victims of the crashed Flying Fortress in the Church of St Botolph, Stoke Albany (21).

Rose Elizabeth (1881 - 1957)

William and Hannah's daughter, Rose Elizabeth, was born on April 5th 1881. By the turn of the century she was working as a machinist in a boot and shoe factory. She married John Allen, who had been born in Hull on November 3rd 1887, at St Katharine's Church on August 25th 1907. John worked as a moulder at an iron furnace. The couple lived in Lister Road, Wellingborough. They were to have three children (See also [Footnote 2]). Daughter Rose Annie Evelyn was born on November 15th 1914. Son John Allen was born on December 11th 1919 in Wellingborough but died within three days of gastrointestinal colic and "Atelectasis pulmonum". This latter Latin phrase refers to a condition where there is collapse or incomplete expansion of the lungs after birth leading to inadequate ventilation and hypoxia which causes brain damage. A second daughter, Joan Olive Irene, was born in May 1921 but died of "An inflammed naevus and cellulitis" on June 20th 1921.


Cherished memories

In April 1939, Rose wrote an In Memoriam note commemorating the death of her mother, Hannah, seven years before in a local newspaper (22). By the autumn 1939 John and Rose had moved to Hillcrest Bungalow on Union Lane Wellingborough. John had become a foreman at the steel works. Rose died in Wellingborough in the early months of 1957.

Emma Butler (1884 - )

Emp Britain

RMS Empress of Britain

Fourth daughter Emma was born in Northampton in the spring of 1884 (although oddly she was entered on the census return of 1901 as aged 12 years and still at school). She was given the second name of Butler in honour of her maternal grandmother. She was still living at home at the turn of the century in St Mary's Street, Northampton but sometime during that decade she decided to emigrate to Canada. She travelled out on RMS Empress of Britain from Liverpool on October 5th 1906 bound for Quebec arriving there seven days later. Built for the Canadian Pacific Steamship line by Fairfield Shipbuilding at Givan on the River Clyde, the vessel was launched in 1905. It had a complement of 1200 passengers and weighed 14,189 tonnes. It was scrapped in 1930. The passenger manifest for her journey has her listed as Emily.

She became established in the township of Hamilton which sits on the western tip of Lake Ontario. There she met machinist John Brown, an expatriot from Bolton in Lancashire. They were married at the local Methodist church on August 29th 1908 where her name was also entered as Emily. A daughter they named Olive was born on November 1st 1912. Beyond that date her history is unknown.

Arthur (1888 - 1976)

Last born son duly arrived on April 19th 1888. He stayed with his parents until his early adult years. By 1911 he had trained to become a bicycle accessory toolmaker. He married Ellen Eliza Gammage at St Katharine's Church on Christmas Day 1912. They were to have five children: son Alfred, born 1917 and four daughters (Nellie Frances, 1918; Rose Evelyn, 1919; Margery Irene, 1922 and Violet Olive, 1924). Nellie, a shoe machinist, married Sidney Herbert Wilkins in 1937. By 1939 Alfred, who was now a foreman motor mechanic, had moved to Uppingham Street, Northampton. All five offspring were still living at home including Nellie's baby daughter June. Sidney was not registered at that address. Ellen died in the summer of 1951. Alfred lived on for a further 25 years, finally dying on February 11th 1976.

The family of Mary Jane Claypole

All Hallows

All Hallows Church, Seaton (23)

Born in Thorpe by Water, Mary Jane was baptised on July 31st 1853 at All Hallows Church, Seaton, one and a half miles to the north. She moved to Northampton with the family and entered the shoe trade. At the time of the census of 1871 she was an in patient, for an unspecified condition, at the Northampton General Hospital. The following year she married Robert Jones, a shoe rivetter from Oxfordshire, in Northampton. They made their initial home in the Dallington district of the town.

The documentary records of most of their family are, to say the least, patchy and somewhat confusing. In the fifteen years between 1872 and 1887, Mary Jane had seven children and the family appeared to move frequently between Northampton and Leicester. The couple were residing in Main Road, Northampton at the time of the census of 1881. By 1891 Mary Jane was living with her five remaining children in Mere Road, Leicester and a widow. She was working as a shoe fitter. Robert had died at Johnson's Yard, Belgrave Gate, Leicester on February 2nd 1885. He had been suffering from the effects of pulmonary tuberculosis for some months. He was buried three days later in Section cE plot 1112 of Welford Road Cemetery. He was 36 years old.

Welford Cemetery 1840s
Welford Road cemetery today

Left: Welford Road Cemetery: an engraving from about 1850 (25), Right: Welford Road Cemetery today (26)

Continued in column 2...

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The family of Mary Jane Claypole (Continued)

Emily, Abraham, Florence, Robert and Gertrude Maud

St Margartet

St Margaret's Church (27)

First daughter Emily was born in Northampton in the autumn of 1873 (although appears as Emma in the birth registration indexes). She was baptised at St Margaret's Church in the Belgrave area of Leicester on October 5th 1874. The birth of second born son Abraham was registered in Leicester in 1875 and he too was baptised at St Margaret's Church on May 24th of that year. The family address for both these baptisms was given as Mansfield Street. In the late 1800s there were three boot manufacturers in operation in Mansfield Street alone. Abraham became a hosiery hand but nothing has been found for him after 1891. Third born daughter Florence Gertrude was born in Northampton in the autumn of 1880 and died there on April 26th 1881. She had developed bronchopneumonia and suffered from convulsions. Their fifth daughter was born in April 1884 and baptised Gertrude Maud at St Margaret's Church on February 9th 1885. The little lass died the later same year on August 31st 1885. The registered cause of her death was given as diarrhoea. Leicester in Victorian times was renowned for outbreaks of summer diarrhoea which, according to the Medical Officer of Health, Dr J Wyatt Crane, killed one in four infants under the age of one year annually. Although the causal organism was not known in those days, the most likely culprit was E. (escherichia) coli, the cause of so-called hamburger disease. (For more information about living conditions in Leicester at the turn of the last century see [Further Reading 2.]). Gertrude was buried in Welford Road Cemetery on September 2nd 1885 in the same plot as her father.

St Saviours

St Saviours, Leicester (28)

Emily married railway worker Walter John Arnett from Nottinghamshire at St Saviour's Church, Leicester on July 26th 1895. Walter was the oldest son, one of the five children of John Arnett and Elizabeth Ann Bishop. Although he was born in Nottingham in 1872, the family moved to Lord Street in the St Margaret's district of Leicester in the late 1880s. Walter and Emily lived initially at Dalby House Burnaby Avenue in Spinney Hills District. Their first child, a daughter they named Frances was born in June 1897 but died two months later on August 17th 1897. The cause of her death was gastroenteritis, not dissimilar to that of her aunt infant Gertrude twelve years before. Her death was registered by her grandmother, Elizabeth Arnett. She was buried alongside her grandfather Robert Jones in Welford Road Cemetery on August 21st 1897. Emily gave birth to a second daughter, Lilian Constance, in 1900. By the start of the first World War they had moved a few hundred yards north to a house in Mornington Street. They retired to Chestnut Road Glenfield where Walter died on May 5th 1949. He was buried in Section Ee, Plot 62 of Gilroes Cemetery, Leicester four days later. Emily lived for another 16 years before being finally interred along side her husband at Gilroes Cemetery on February 16th 1965.

St Matthew's

St Matthews, Leicester (29)

Daughter Lilian married John Fray in Leicester in 1917 before emigrating to Quebec, Canada on board RMS Montrose on May 30th 1924. Second son Robert was born in Leicester and baptised at St Margaret's Church on January 15th 1883. The family's address was listed as 6 Court C, Belgrave Gate. He became a shoe pressman. In 1901 he was lodging with his married sister Emily in Dalby House. He married Martha Ellen Thornton at St Margaret's Church on February 22nd 1902 before making their home in Catherine Street. Over their first twenty years of marriage they had at least nine children. By the early 1920s they had moved to Taylor Street on the St Matthews Estate. Martha died there at the beginning of November 1932. Her funeral service took place at St Matthews Church before interment at Gilroes Cemetery on November 9th 1932 in Section Ss Plot 683.

St Barnabas

St Barnabas, Leicester (30)

On December 24th 1905, Mary Jane married again, this time to widower and labourer Thomas Peter Winkless, in St Barnabas Church, New Humberstone. He had been a near neighbour of Mary Jane's married daughter Fanny Maria. Curiously the family does appear in the census of 1911, resident at 132 Melbourne Road, Leicester although Thomas is entered as Thomas Jones, wood sawyer. Also present was Michael Jones, who was presumably Thomas' son from his first marriage, and three granddaughters including Winifred, the daughter of Mary Jane's son Robert and Martha Thornton. John Winkless, Thomas' brother was their boarder. Little more is known of their married life together save for their move to Mornington Street during the 1920s. Mary Jane died there in May and was buried on May 5th 1934 in Section Ss Plot 828 at Gilroes Cemetery. Thomas died eighteen months later whilst an inpatient at the Leicester Workhouse on Swain Street and was buried in the same plot as Mary Jane on November 13th 1935.

Fanny Maria Jones

Second daughter Fanny was born in the autumn of 1874 and registered in Northampton. On this occasion it does not appear that she was baptised in Leicester. By 1891 she was living with her mother and siblings in Mere Road and had become a stock room hand in a shoe factory. There is considerable obfuscation in the records regarding her future destiny and the following details have been gleaned from various sources. The marriage index from the Leicester Registration District shows Fanny married Arthur Thomas Rouse in the spring of 1894. It seems likely that Fanny was already in the early stages of pregnancy at the time. She was duly delivered of twin boys in August of the same year who were named Arthur Thomas and Cyril Bertram. Initially they were living in Mere Road with her mother. The twins both sadly died in November 1894: Arthur on the 5th Cyril on the 8th, of bronchopneumonia, presumably a complication of one the childhood exanthems (epidemic viral diseases). They were buried together on the 10th November in Section uP plot 98 of Welford Road Cemetery. Buried in the same plot on September 3rd 1894 was one month old Charles James, the son of Arthur's brother William Rouse and his wife Sarah Jane Dobney. At the time of the 1901 census Arthur and Fanny were living in Eastbourne Road in New Humberstone. Their story has some similarities to another family living in the same district at the same time which is recounted in "Merridale Road, New Humberstone", [Article D.] It includes a contemporary eye witness account of Eastbourne Road.

Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity Church, Coventry (32)

L Badge

Royal Leicestershire Regimental cap badge (31)

Arthur Thomas Rouse gives a somewhat contradictory history. He was born in Coventry, the son of bricklayer's labourer George Rouse and his wife Ann, and was baptised at Holy Trinity Church in that town on October 13th 1875. Also baptised at the same ceremony were his siblings Alfred (born 1866), Elizabeth (1868), William (1870) and Annie (1872). The family moved to Green Lane in Evington, Leicester by 1891. Arthur has three engagements with the 3rd Battalion, the Leicestershire Regiment. The first enlistment started in October 1893 when he became private 5049. He bought himself out of this commitment in May 1896. By 1901 he too was working as a bricklayer's mate. He re-enlisted as Private 9035, third Battalion the Leicestershire Regiment in August 1904. He gave his address as Navigation Street, Leicester and also declared himself to be single. Physical examination showed him to be 5 foot 6 ⅜ inches tall weighing 10 stones 5 pounds. He had dark brown hair and hazel eyes and was noted to have lost the tip of his right ring finger. He attended for annual camps and was transferred to the Special Reserve in June 1908. He re-enlisted as Private 11621 in August 1914 at the start of the first World War, once again declaring himself to be unmarried. He was placed for a time at Cosham near Portsmouth. Whilst walking along a road on March 12th 1915 he was knocked down by a car and sustained a fracture of the right tibia and fibula. This was treated conservatively in a plaster of Paris cast. The fracture was subject to delayed union and a degree of deformity. He complained of difficulty walking for long periods. He was discharged unfit for further service on January 15th 1916. He went to stay with his married sister Annie Clarke in Rolleston Street.

Fanny Jones' name as such does not appear in the records after 1901. It would appear that Arthur and Fanny separated very early into the new century. It would also appear that Fanny went to live with her mother and new husband after the marriage in December 1905. She was boarding with them at Melbourne Road in 1911. Indeed, Fanny became known as Fanny Winkless and in the 1930s she too was living in Mornington Street. She was taken ill and was admitted to Leicester General Hospital where she died in October of 1937. She was buried in the same plot as her mother and step father in Gilroes Cemetery on October 23rd 1937.


Photograph A1 Eastbourne Road


Photograph A2 Melbourne Road

Annie Golby Jones

Last born daughter, Annie, arrived in Leicester on August 23rd 1887. This was two years after the death of Mary Jane's husband, Robert. Annie was given the second name "Golby". It was a not uncommon Victorian ploy to give an illegitimate offspring the surname of the putative father, so did this indicate that Mary Jane had an affair with an as yet undiscovered Mr Golby in the months after Robert's death? Post widowhood illegitimacy was also not unknown during this time frame (another example of multiple illegitimacies in the same widow is described in the section "Gretton Family 1: Wymant" in [Article E.]). Indeed there is no father's name entered on Annie birth certificate. She was with her mother in Mere Road in 1901 and had moved with the family to Melbourne Road by 1911 when she was working as an inspector of Gillette razor blades.

Annie married Australian soldier David Campbell Virgo in Leicester by special licence on May 19th 1917. David was born at Balaklava, South Australia on April 11th 1898. He initially trained as a clerk. Australian Military Records show that he had a colourful war history. He enlisted as a seventeen year old as Private 2487 with the 27th Infantry Battalion, 5th Corps of the Australian Imperial Force on July 16th 1915. His initial examination showed him to be 6 feet 2½ inches tall, weight 12 stones 6 pounds. There was a minor degree of reduced visual acuity (6/12) in his left eye. His declared denomination was methodist. His initial placement in January 1916 was in Egypt but was transferred to France in March 1916.


1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford (33)

Almost immediately he was hospitalised complaining of double vision. He spent three months there before being transferred to England. Initially he was placed in the Northern General Hospital, Leicester. After his discharge he spent two months posted to Weymouth before he was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford in Wiltshire, close to Salisbury Plain. This establishment catered predominantly for soldiers with Venereal Disease (VD). The Australian Army's losses to VD in the first World War were enormous. An estimated 63,350 VD cases occurred among the 417,000 troops of the 1st Australian Imperial Force (AIF). That is, one in seven of the soldiers who joined the AIF contracted VD at some stage of the war. (33, 34). David was an in patient there for 120 days and was discharged for duty on May 9th 1917. (For more information about these diseases see [Further Reading 2.]). Ten days later he married Annie in Leicester at which time she was still living in Melbourne Road.

David was discharged medically unfit from further active service in late 1917 because of defective eyesight. He and Annie embarked for Australia on December 21st 1917 and was formally demobilised in Adelaide on February 27th 1918. They made their home in Edithburgh, South Australia, a small town on the south east coast of the Yorke Peninsula about 30 miles across the Gulf of St Vincent from Adelaide. David received a war pension of 15/- (fifteen shillings) per fortnight whilst Annie received a pension of half that amount.

The couple had a daughter they named Antoinette Golby Virgo in 1933. Annie died on August 17th 1963 and was buried three days later at Centennial Park Cemetery in the Pasedena District of Mitcham City, South Australia. David lived for another fifteen years and was buried alongside his wife in Centennial Park Cemetery on December 5th 1978.

The family of Alfred Claypole and Emily Warren

St Alkmunds

St Alkmund's Church, Duffield (35)

The elder son of James Claypole and Elizabeth Butler was born in Thorpe by Water on May 29th 1859 and baptised Alfred in All Hallows Church, Seaton on July 31st the same year. Before his tenth birthday, Alfred had moved with the family to Northampton where their house was in The Ridings. He did not follow in the family's traditional occupation in the shoe trade but by the late teens he had become a fish dealer. Sometime during the 1870s he also made the transition to Derbyshire. He married 20 year old Emily Warren on June 6th 1880 at St Alkmund's Church in the village of Duffield. Located on the banks of the River Derwent and five miles north of Derby, it lies on the southern edge of the Amber Valley. This is an area of the county whose ecomony is partly agricultural and also contains the coal mining towns Belper, Heanor and Alfreton.


Hopping Hill and Holy Trinity Church

It is not known how Alfred met with Emily. She was born in Belper on November 3rd 1859, one of the daughters of George Warren and Elizabeth Allwright. George was a native of Buckenham near Norwich in Norfolk and was a cordwainer by trade. He had moved to Belper by the 1850s where he was married and had brought up his family. Alfred and Emily at first moved in with her parents at their home in Hopping Hill, Milford where Emily was employed as a chevener of stockings (a chevener was someone who ornamented and finished items of, particularly silk, hosiery). At the time Milford was a small village a couple of miles south of Belper. In the 1780s, Jedidiah Strutt built a water powered cotton mill in the village and some of the housing built for his workers still remains on Hopping Hill. In total, Emily was to give birth to fourteen children between 1881 and 1903: 9 boys (George Alfred, born 1881; John Herbert, 1884; James Thomas, 1886; Albert Edward, 1891; Walter, 1895; Ernest, 1896; Frederick, 1899; Arthur, 1900 and Edwin, 1903) and 5 girls (Kate Elizabeth, 1887; Frances, 1889; Florence Alice, 1890; Emma, 1894 and Eva May, 1898). Not all were destined to survive into adulthood. The six who died in infancy and childhood are listed in the table below.

George Alfred 19/10/1881 10 weeks Bronchitis
James Thomas 19/10/1890 4 years 4 weeks Congestion of the lungs
Albert Edward 22/07/1893 18 months Enteritis, convulsions
Walter 25/06/1897 20 months Diarrhoea for 13 days
Ernest 13/07/1897 6 months Bronchitis
Eva May 18/10/1898 7 months Diarrhoea for 14 days

TABLE 1: Survival times and certified causes of deaths of the six children who died between 1881 and 1898

There is no indication in the records of how Alfred and Emily became associated with the Rayner family ([Footnote 3]). There is a possible, but coincidental, link through the village of Milford itself. At any rate, the couple appear to have joined the Rayner Travelling Theatre troupe during the 1880s and by 1891 they had labelled themselves "actor and actress". The census of that year found them lodging in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire in Truman Street with the family of coal miner John Wigginton. This was a side street off Watnall Road where the main group of performers was staying. Alfred and Emily had with them their three young daughters: Kate, aged 3 years; Frances, 2 and Florence 6 months. It is noteworthy that each of their births were registered in a different district: Kate in Heanor, Frances in Milford and Florence in Riddings, South Derbyshire.


Babington House (36)

By 1901, Alfred and Emily were back in Hopping Hill with seven of their children and Emily's now widowed mother. Alfred is once again a fishmonger and Emily posted no occupation. Beyond that date, Alfred disappears from the records. By 1911 Emily had remained in Hopping Hill with six of her children. In the early 1930s her address was listed as Nottingham Road Belper. Both died during the 1930s, both seemingly having developed chronic degenerative diseases and both requiring admission to the Parish Workhouse, Babington House, Belper (which became Babington Hospital after the start of the National Health Service). Emily was first to die on July 7th 1936. She had been admitted to Babington House on June 5th 1936 and released six days later only to be readmitted on June 22nd 1936 for the last time. The cause of death was given as heart failure, an old hemiplegia (presumably from a previous stroke) and senile decay (dementia). She was described as the wife of Alfred Claypole, a general labourer. Her death was registered by her son in law, Harry Bower, her daughter Kate's husband. She was buried four days later in Belper Cemetery. Alfred was admitted to Babington House with his final illness on August 9th 1938 and died there on December 19th 1938 of senile decay. His previous address was given as Spencer Road, Belper and his occupation as sign writer. His death was registered by his son Frederick. He too was buried in Belper Cemetery on December 23rd 1938.

John Herbert (1884 - 1908)


Holy Trinity, Milford (37)

Alfred and Emily's second son was born on January 14th 1884 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church in Milford on September 26th 1886. As a teenager he took up work as a framework knitter. He married Flossie Cresswell at the Register Office in Belper in the autumn of 1905. Flossy was in the middle trimester of her pregnancy when the wedding took place. Flossy, the daughter of unmarried Louisa Cresswell, was born on November 1st 1885 and baptised at St Peter's Church, Belper on June 15th 1886. Louisa married nailor John Melbourne at St Alkmund's Church, Duffield on May 30th 1887 and for a time Flossy adopted his surname.

St Peters

St Peter's Church, Belper (38)

John and Flossy moved into a house in Short Street Belper. Their daughter Emily was born at the beginning of 1906 and was baptised on April 8th the same year. By this time John was beginning to feel unwell with a cough and chest symptoms. His condition continued to deteriorate and he died on September 12th 1908; the registered cause of death given as pulmonary tuberculosis and exhaustion. By 1911 Flossie had moved with her daughter to Kilbourne Road and had taken up employment as an embroiderer.

In the early spring of 1915, Flossie remarried to colliery underground worker George Shaw at St Peter's Church. They had two sons: George junior, born on August 19th 1915 and Arthur, born on May 23rd 1917. By the late 1930s the family had moved to Over Lane in the town. Their two sons were still single and were working as framework knitters. Flossie died in Belper in the spring of 1970.

Kate Elizabeth (1887 - 1963)

Their first daughter, Kate, was born in Heanor, Derbyshire, on October 5th 1887.She married iron founder George William Blount at St Peter's Church on February 29th 1908. He was the eldest son of coal dealer George Blount and his wife Rose Jackson. George and Kate settled into 17, St John's Road in Belper. She had two sons (George Alfred, born 1908 and Harold, 1911) and a daughter (Nancy, 1918). George started to feel unwell during the years of the first World War with loss of energy, a cough and increasing weight loss. By that time they had moved a few doors up the street to 29, St Johns Road. He died on February 15th 1919 of pulmonary tuberculosis and exhaustion. Kate married again in 1931 to Harry Bower, a colliery worker who was born in 1888. They continued to live at 29, St John's Road. Kate died in Belper on May 23rd 1963 and was buried in Belper Cemetery four days later. Harry survived her by ten years.

Daughter Nancy died at the age of one year on March 1st 1919. Her death certificate records that the little lass was exhausted from the rigours of pneumonia. Elder son George Alfred married Elsie Harrison, born in 1907, in the town in 1933. He was employed as a lengthsman for Derbyshire County Coucil. This was a person employed to keep a length of road, railway or canal border "neat, tidy and passable" with appropriate boundary markings. He also served as an ARP Warden during the second World War. In 1939 they were resident at 20, St John's Road. Younger son Harold married Clara Bamford in 1936 and followed his father into the iron and steel industry. Clara, born in 1913, was the daughter of furniture carter Thomas Bamford and his wife Harriet Hodgkinson who were from the village of Shottle near Wirksworth and who had moved to Belper in 1906.

Frances (1889 - 1977)

Frances was born in Milford on March 17th 1889. In her teenage years she became what is described as a net mender. She married painter's labourer John Maycock, born in Belper on May 16th 1888, in the last quarter of 1910. Curiously she was living with her mother and siblings in Hopping Hill at the time of the census of 1911 but John was not with her. They had one son they named Oliver on January 22nd 1917 who became a wood machinist. By the 1930s the family were settled in Spencer Road, Belper. John died in the town in 1970. Frances lived on until 1977 and was buried in Belper Cemetery on September 15th 1977.

Florence Alice (1890 - 1936)

Florence was born in the autumn of 1890 in the village of Riddings in Derbyshire which is situated midway between Swanwick and Jacksdale. The family were still on their travels with the theatre company as the 6 month old infant was lodged in Truman Street, Heanor at the time of the census in April 1891. She was living with her mother in Hopping Hill by 1911 and subsequently married John Taylor at Belper Register Office in the spring of 1916. The couple made their home in Victoria Terrace off Kilbourme Road in the town and had six children: (five sons: John Alfred, born 1916; Fred, 1918; Harold, 1919; Ernest, 1923 and Ronald, 1924 and a daughter Margaret Eleanor, 1921). Florence, whop had been complaining of some pain and swelling in her thigh, died on November 26th 1936 from exhaustion due to an osteosarcoma (malignant tumour) of the femur and was buried in Belper Cemetery 4 days later.

Emma (1894 - 1980)

Fourth daughter Emma was born in Milford on January 4th 1894. By 1910 she had joined her older sister Frances working as a net mender. She married Samuel Marsh, a packer at a colliery, in Belper in the spring of 1923. Their marriage was childless. At the outbreak of the second World War they were living in Nottingham Road, Belper. Samuel died in the town in 1953. Emma died in Derby in 1980.

Frederick (1899 - 1974)

Frederick, the seventh son of Alfred Claypole and Emily Warren was born in Milford on July 21st 1899 and baptised about a month later. By the time he was twelve years old he was working as a mill hand. On August 10th 1918 he married Edith Caroline Lewis at St Peter's Church, his sister Emma and his brother in law, John Maycock stood as witnesses. Edith was born on March 8th 1897 in Heage, Derbyshire, the daughter of 20 year old Kate Lewis, who subsequently married John Litchfield in Shardlow, Derbyshire in July 1906. At the time of his marriage Frederick had left the mill and was working as a collier. They were to have four children. Daughter Jessie was born on February 11th 1920. Of their three sons, Frederick was born in June of 1931 but significantly disabled through the presence of the birth defect, spina bifida. By the time he was fourteen months old he had been admitted to Babington House Hospital for his further care where he died on August 27th 1934. In time Frederick moved the family to 22, St John's Road, Belper, their three remaining children with them. Frederick was now working as a builder's labourer and also served as a night watchman during the second World War. Jessie had become a hosiery machinist but had been plagued by increasing ill health for a number of years. She finally died at home at the age of 20 years on September 20th 1940, exhausted from the effects of pulmonary and intestinal tuberculosis. Frederick died on December 23rd 1974 in the City Hospital, Derby from carcinoma of the stomach; Edith died the following year.



Edwin Claypole RN

Edwin was born on May 12th 1922 in Belper. He was still living at home at the outbreak of the second World War working as a store fitter but as soon as he could he joined the Royal Navy to become Able Seaman C/JX 192971. He was deployed as a rear gunner on the Russian convoy operations. He was able to return home on compassionate leave when his sister Jessie died. He had beautiful handwriting and wrote many letters to his future wife Violet Stone Payne. He was Mentioned in Dispatches for his services on December 8th 1942 and was awarded several medals including the Medal for Distinguished Battle Service on April 11th 1944. At the end of the war he married Violet in July 1946 and settled at Cherry House Farm, Kirks Lane, Belper. Bernard, their only child was born on February 17th 1947. As he grew older he developed Alzheimer's Disease and at the age of 65 years he was admitted to Babington Hospital. He died there aged 78 years on October 13th 2000. His cremation took place a week later at Markeaton Crematorium on the western edge of Derby.


Vernon was born in 1935. He was married twice, both times in Belper. His first wife, Sylivia Patricia Lancashire was born in Derby on September 13th 1940. The couple were married in Belper in 1958. They had three children (Jessie, born in 1958; Julie, 1962 and Steven, 1965) but their marriage ended in divorce. Sylvia's death was recorded in Derby in 1980. Vernon then married again in 1974 to Phyllis Lily Bartram who was about 10 years older than him. Vernon suffered from a skin condition which was eased by exposure to sunlight. This was probably in part the reason why they decided to emigrate to Australia. The Australian Electoral Rolls for 1977 show that Vernon and Phyllis were living in Arita Avenue, Wanneroo, a northern suburb of Perth in Western Australia and the Rolls for 1980 show that they had been joined by daughter Julie Claypole at the same address. He did make a surprise visit to England to the family and to see his brother before Edwin died. Phyllis died in Wanneroo in 2013; Vernon died in November 2020.

Arthur (1900 - 1977)

The penultimate son of Alfred Claypole and Emily Warren was born in Milford on December 19th 1900 and baptised Arthur on April 14th 1901. He married Alice Louise Robinson in Belper in July 1925. He became a steam turbine and power house attendant and by 1939 the couple were living at 41, St John's Road in the town. He died on October 23rd 1977.

Edwin (1903 - 1986)

Last of the fourteen children of Alfred and Emily, Edwin was born in Milford on May 14th 1903. There is an entry in the National Schools Register to show that he attended Milford School on October 16th 1912 but only stayed for two days and then left the district. He married Hilda White, who had been born in 1905, at the Parish Church of South Wingfield, Derbyshire on August 28th 1926. They had six children: Lawrence (born 1927), Bernice (1930), Peter (1932), Desiree (1937), John (1941) and David (1944). By the start of the second World War Edwin had become a lorry driver. He died in the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary on June 12th 1986.

Footnote 1: St Katharine's Church, Northampton

The Borough of Northampton comprises four parishes: All Saints, St Giles, St Peter and St Sepulchre. With the ever increasing population of the town, a new church was built in the Parish of All Saints and consecrated on October 10th 1839 to St Katharine. It was the first church to have been built in Northampton since the Great Fire of 1675 and was constructed over an ancient Chapel of Ease. It had a seating capacity for a congregation of over one thousand. St Katharine's maintained its own Parish Registers until 1912 after which time the records were amalgamated with those of All Saints Church although baptisms and marriages continued to be performed in the building after that date. During and particularly after the first World War attendances continued to decline. The living of St Katharine's was transferred to All Saints and the building was closed in 1945. The church was demolished in 1950 leaving just the cemetery in place. Also on the site is St Katharine's Memorial Garden.

Footnote 2: An Allen curiosity

When charting the children of John Allen and Rose Elizabeth Underwood in the birth indexes, an apparent confusion appeared. The birth indexes now show the mother's maiden name and listing those Allen births registered in Wellingborough with an Underwood mother between 1912 and 1922 total four, not three as described in the main text of the article. The fourth was John Thomas, born in the first quarter of 1913. Further searches failed to show a death in the relevant period for this child, so how many babies did Rose Elizabeth have? Would she have named a second son John while John Thomas was still alive? Is it likely that there was another Allen family, with a mother whose maiden name was Underwood in the Wellingborough area, having children at the same time? If there was, would this be another of those occasions where two brothers of one family had married two sisters of another family? Well, yes indeed there was a second family: Fred Allen married to Florrie Underwood. But no, not as far as we can tell were either parties to these marriages related to the others in the slightest.

However, when examining Florrie Underwood's past in more detail, another name cropped up which could well be of significance. Florrie's mother turned out to be Annie Elizabeth Croxford. This family appears to have come from the Daventry area of Northamptonshire originally. The line has been traced back so far to a William Croxford born about 1745 but things get rather cloudy prior to that. The reason this may be relevant to this website as a whole is that the variant Croxford is probably the strongest contender for where the Craxford surname originated back in the early 1600s. For a treatise on these possible origins of the surname see [Article F.]

Footnote 3: Teddy Rayner's Travelling Theatre

Edward (Teddy) Rayner was born in Mountsorrell, Leicestershire in 1851, the son of Samuel Rayner and Sarah Stevenson. Samuel Rayner had already set up a travelling theatre group which moved from town to town playing to working class audiences in a variety of venues. His wife Sarah used to act as door keeper taking attendance money. On the night of Sunday March 12th 1871 in Sneinton, Nottinghamshire she complained of feeling ill, collapsed and died (39). The census of 1871 has Teddy living in a caravan in Sneinton Market, working as a musician. He married Caroline Watson in Milford, Belper on October 14th 1872. Both his father and his occupation were registered at the time as confectioners. Ultimately Teddy took over the running of the theatre which performed a variety of melodramas including Sweeney Todd and the Murder of Maria Marten (the story of this notorious murder and trial in 1828 which became the subject of a very popular Victorian stage spectacle is told in [Article G.]). It is recorded that at Ilkley the Rayners wrote and performed a play about murderer Charles Peace just two weeks after he was hanged in 1879. They set up a base in Somercotes near South Normanton, Derbyshire. Samuel died in 1898. Teddy described himself as an actor and comedian.

One notable member of the audience in his formative years was the Derbyshire author and playwright D.H. Lawrence (1885 - 1930). He recalls seeing Teddy Rayner's Star Theare which travelled across the Midlands and set up at Eastwood statutes ground charging an admission price between two pence and sixpence. He also desribed "the travelling theatre putting on these bloodthirsty theatrical displays as gloriously named the 'Blood Tub'" [Further Reading 3.]


Photographs A.1 - 2 are copyright and were taken between 1967 and 1971 by Dennis Calow. They appear in the section "Vanished Leicester" in the My Leicestershire History website and are reproduced here under the terms of this Creative Commons Licence.

A.1 Rear of Eastbourne Road 1-27, 1970
A.2 Melbourne Road 58-82, 1967

Further Reading

The book The Slums of Leicester (2009) by Ned Newitt


The Pox


Lawrence Thetare


1: "The Slums Of Leicester": (2009), The Breedon Books Publishing Company Limited, Derby. ISBN: 978-1-85983-724-5
For an authoritative guide to the housing stock and the overcrowding which ensued in Victorian Leicester we recommend "The Slums Of Leicester" by Ned Newitt. The book comprises a photographic record of the dreadful conditions which prevailed in many of the streets and courtyards in the centre of the city prior to the slum clearances of the 1930s and early 1970s. It is illustrated with contemporary accounts of residents who lived there. Contemporary commentators of the time such as physician Dr John Barclay (1864) and Unitarian Joseph Dare (1872) were particularly critical of the trend for "inter-buildings springing up between the streets as originally laid out. Rows of small scamped tenements approached from the main street, through narrow arched passages, choke up what ought to be gardens and breathing spaces".

2: "The Pox: The Life and Near Death of a very social disease": Kevin Brown, Sutton Publishing Ltd, Stroud Gloucestershire (2006): ISBN: 0-7509-4041-7.
In this volume Kevin Brown has compiled an account of the history, the variety of symptoms, the challenges of diagnosis and treatment and the changing social and economical attitudes to one of the most fascinating, terrifying and misunderstood diseases to have inflicted mankind. As indicated elsewhere (40), "10% [of researchers] have a sporting chance of finding syphilis in their family tree" making this book an essential read for the family historian.

3: "The Theatre of D.H. Lawrence: Dramatic Modernist and Theatrical Innovator", (2015), Bloomsbury Publishing, London and New York. ISBN: 978-1-4725-7038-3
Author James Moran has produced an in depth study of the life and literary works of this Derbyshire born author and playwright. He includes mentioin of D.H. Lawrence's exposure to the travelling players of Teddy Rayner's "Star Theatre" in his early years. One notable comment from 1913 has the author sitting in a box in an Italian theatre commenting wryly "It's not like Teddy Rayner's"

Links to the articles mentioned in the text are in italic capitals below:

Article A: The family migrates from Leicestershire to Northamptonshire Claypole: from Great Easton to Kettering
Article B: All about the Jacksons The Jacksons, my Middleton family
Article C: A neighbour in Northampton Concerning the Beadsworth family in Leicester: Part 2
Article D: New Humberstone and a husband absent with the Army The Croxton Conundrum and Other Mysteries: The Pollard Girls
Article E: Fanny (Clipson) Wymant had multiple pregnancies after the death of her husband in 1874 See "Gretton Family 1: Wymant" (column 2) Craxford Lane: A Genealogy
Article F: Theories on the origin of a surname Who is the Craxford Elder Statesman?
Article G: Concerning "The Murder In The Red Barn" The Murder of Maria: From Red Barn to Lincoln's Inn


1. Family tree graphic: Freeware Graphics: Vintage Kin Design Studio, Australia
2. Late 18th Century engraving of St Giles Church, Blaston Leicestershire & Rutland Churches
3. Photograph from a history of the Church of St Giles, Northampton about 1911 by Robert Meyricke Serjeantson (1861 - 1916) no restrictions via Wikimedia Commons from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
4. Photograph: Great Easton, Leicestershire: St Andrews Church: © Kate Jewell, and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
5. Photograph: Northampton: Holy Sepulchre: © John Sutton, and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
6. "The Church Ghost": Chronicle & Echo Page 5 Wednesday August 4th 1976
7. Photograph: The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Dallington. Facebook
8. Photograph of All Saints Church, Northampton © Thorvaldsson; Permission for use granted under the terms of the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Licence by Creative Commons from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
9. History of the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux Military Wiki at
10. The Causes of Maternal Mortality: 1872 - 1876: Registrar General's Report for 1876 in Deaths in Childbed from the eighteenth century to 1935 by Irvine Loudon Medical History 30 1-41 1986
11. Photograph: St Andrews Church, Kettering (now hosts the Kettering Arts Centre): © David Dixon, and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
12. Photograph: St Mary the Virgin, Kettering A Church Near You
13. An explanation of The Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act 1907 wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
14. Text of Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act 1907 (7 Edw. 7, c. 47.) Pages 135 - 136
15. Deceased Brother's Widow's Marriage Bill 1921 (11 & 12 Geo. 5. c. 24) Hansard June 28th 1921
16. Old photograph of Hanham Baptist Church before the fire of 1958 in A history of Baptist Christians & The Hanham Baptist Church Hanham, Bristol From 1690
17. Photograph: St Michael & All Angels Church, Northampton: © Philip Jeffrey, and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
18. From an old postcard Chapel of Holy Rood Convent, Findon Sussex OPC: Online Parish Clerks for the English counties of East and West Sussex
19. History of No. 90 Squadron RAF Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
20. Photograph: Crash Memorial at St Botolph's Church, Stoke Albany © Chris Lowe, on Geograph and licenced for reuse under this Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence by Creative Commons
21. Commemorative plaque from Stoke Albany Church No 90 Squadron RAF
22. In Memoriam Hannah Underwood: Northants Evening Telegraph Page 2 April 10th 1939 The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.
23. Photograph: Church of All Hallows, Seaton: © Tim Heaton, and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
24. Map of the sections of Welford Road Cemetery, Leicester City Council
25. "After life's fitful fever, city's great and good sleep in pleasant spot". Lithograph of Welford Road Cemetery about 1849 Leicester Mercury October 14th 2013
26. Photograph: Welford Road Cemetery, Leicester Friends of the Welford Road Cemetery, Leicester Ancestors
27. St Margaret's Church, Leicester: The Churches of Great Britain and Ireland. From an old print about 1900 in George Weston's collection.
28. Lithograph: St Saviour's Church, Leicester from Spencers' New Guide to Leicester, 1888 in Charnwood Street, Leicester ... Memories of Charney
29. Photograph: East end of St Matthew's Church, Montreal Road, Leicester by R.Gill 1977: Leicester Historian 2004
30. Photograph: St Barnabas Church, Leicester Leicester Choirboy's Memories, LeicestershireLive
31. Photograph: Cap badge of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment Dormskirk; Permission for use granted under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.2 from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
32. Holy Trinity Church, Coventry: The Churches of Great Britain and Ireland. From Paul Brown's collection.
33. 1st Australian Dermatological Hosital (Bulford) in Medical Services (Home and Abroad) The Great War Forum
34. Australian soldiers' VD infection rates during World War 1 A Military Medical History During the Twentieth Century JMVH History Issue 27 No 1
35. Photograph: St Alkmund's Church, Duffield: © The Carlisle Kid, and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
36. Photograph of Babington Hospital, Belper © Dave Bebis; Permission for use granted under the terms of the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Share Alike Licence by Creative Commons from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
37. Photograph: Holy Trinity Church, Milford, Belper © Garth Newton; Permission for use granted under the terms of the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Share Alike Licence by Creative Commons from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
38. Photograph: St Peter's Church, Belper: © Neil Theasby, and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
39. "Death from Apoplexy": Nottingham Guardian Page 4 March 17th 1871.The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.
40. Genealogy: Does Syphilis Play A Part in Your Family Tree? Joanna Cake: Ezine@articles. January 23rd 2010

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