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A picture of the family approx. 1919. Click to open a larger version.

Westmoreland Road,

< Click to open - Picture of the family approx. 1919.

Pre-1900 to approx. 1925

Number 106 Westmoreland Road, Walworth in South East London was the birthplace and home of several members of our family.

Our maternal grandfather, Charles John Hobbs, was born 22nd February 1838, at 29 Francis Place, Southwark. He died on the 14th May 1916 at Kings College Hospital, London, following a road traffic accident at Camberwell Green, Walworth on the previous evening.

Our maternal grandmother, Mary Ann Hobbs, née Nash, was born 24th August 1856 and she died on the 10th January 1929 at East Dulwich Hospital.

Mary Ann was living at No. 104 Westmoreland Road with her elderly parents, Forven and Mary Nash. Mary Ann had been widowed from her first husband, Henry Woodgates, and was left with three young children, Harry, Ernie and Nell.

Living next door at No. 106 was a Widower, Charles John Hobbs, a carpenter by trade. He had seven children, but only two living at home: Charlie, the eldest, who was also a carpenter, and the youngest son Joe, still at school.

In October 1889 Mary Ann Woodgates married Charles John Hobbs and she moved from No. 104 into his house at 106, taking with her the three Woodgates' children. Together they had three more children.

Picture of the Hobbs' family tree

Mary Ann's six children were...

  1. Henry Stephen Woodgates (known as Harry) was born 17th January 1879 at East Street, Walworth. Harry married Lil and they had five children. The first two, Gwen and Harry junior were born at Westmoreland Road, whilst the three other children, Reg, Gladys and Les were probably born at Peckham, where they later moved. Harry senior was later a bus conductor on the "Thomas Tilling" horse buses in Peckham; then he became a professional soldier, serving in the Boer Wars and later in the Great War. By the end of that war he was a Corporal serving in the Field Ambulance Unit of the Royal Army Medical Corps Mounted Brigade.

  2. Ernest Thomas Woodgates (known as Ernie) was born 29th January 1881 at Inville Road, Walworth. Ernie married Bess and they had about ten children, but only five boys and two girls survived, the others having died in their infancy. It is not known how long this family stayed in Westmoreland Road, but they later moved to Peabody Buildings, Pages Walk, Bermondsey. Ernie apparently worked in the London Docks, but later became a professional soldier in the Boer Wars and later in the Great War. Ernie had a long and distinguished career in the army, his regimental records showing that: "Corporal Ernest Thomas Woodgates, No. 8061 of the 7th Battalion Rifle Brigade, fought in the Battle of Arras in France in 1917 and was awarded the Military Medal".

  3. Eleanor Martha Woodgates (known as Nell) was born 2nd March 1883 at Mann Street, Walworth. Nell married Jesse Riches and they lived at No. 104 Westmoreland Road after they married. They had one daughter, Winifred, born 14th May 1906 at No. 104, and they later moved to Dulwich. After Jesse died, Nell married Max Burg, a Chiropodist, and they made their home at Mitcham Lane, Streatham.

  4. George Hobbs was born around 1891 at No. 106 Westmoreland Road. He married Lil Walters and they lived at Forest Hill in London. They had three children, George, Percy and Edna. During the Great War, George senior served with the Royal Garrison Artillery.

  5. Mabel Hobbs was born around 1893 at No. 106 Westmoreland Rd. She married Harry Flood and they also lived at No. 106 where their only child, Gladys, was born. During the Great War Harry served in the Royal Artillery.

  6. Florence Elizabeth Violet Hobbs was born on 30th August 1894 at No. 106 Westmoreland Road.

Mike says: my dad came across a photo which seemed to be from 1919 {see thumbnail above} of the family including his mother, Florence, aged approximately 25. It shows some family members in their Great War (WW1: 1914-1918) uniforms and is a curious sepia/colour mix.
Click here
to see a larger copy of the photo.

She married John Alfred Allen at St. Stephens Church, Walworth, on 19th December 1920.

They lived at No. 106 and had three children; the first two, Alfred and Frederick, were born at No. 106, whilst the youngest, Derek, was born later at Downham, Kent.

Before he married, John Alfred lived with his widowed mother, Lotta Mary-Ann Allen, née Mansfield, at No. 122 Westmoreland Road. Prior to that he was boarded for 7 years at the Licensed Victuallers' School at Kennington Oval. During the Great War he served in the 9th London Regiment, Rifle Brigade, in France.
Click here for the Allen family tree.

Their two sons born at 106 Westmoreland Road, were:

Birth certificate of Alfred Douglas Allen. Click to see larger version. < Click the image for a larger view of Alf's birth certificate.
ALFRED DOUGLAS ALLEN born 2nd August 1921,
and Frederick Charles Allen born 22nd March 1924, whilst Derek Max Allen was born at Downham, Kent on 19th November 1929.

As a point of history, in 1921 the total population in Great Britain was 42,767,530, an increase of 2 million since 1911, and of these 7.4 million lived in London. There were almost 2 million more women than men.
The British Legion was formed in 1921 and the price of bread was 1/- (£0.05, €0.08) for a 4lb (1.82kgs) loaf.
In 1922, the BBC made their first regular news broadcast from London and in 1923 the House of Lords discussed the possibility of introducing Driving Tests.
In January 1924, J. Ramsay MacDonald became Britain's first Labour PM and in 1925 the Ministry of Transport introduced white painted lines and traffic lights in London.
In 1925 the "Charleston" dance came to Britain.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Text by Alf Allen 1999. Edited and spell-checked by Mike Allen 2003.
Most photos taken by Alf and most illustrations drawn by him; scanned from his albums, etc., now in my possession and digitally edited 2003-2005.
Yes, yes, the photos and layout need updating - the website was first designed in "dial-up days", before any sort of broadband, and everything had to be small so it uploaded and downloaded fast. Work to do, I know.

Website produced 2003-2013 by Mike Allen - a fatuous platitudes production.

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