samedi 23 avril 2016

My grandmother's parents : Hilda May Todman (& Alfred Harold Booth)

HILDA MAY TODMAN was born on 18th March 1892 in Croydon, Surrey. Her birth was registered in June quarter 1892 (source : Free BMD - district Croydon, volume 2a, page 229).

 On the 1901 census, aged 9, she is living with her parents at 21 Gladstone Road, Croydon, Surrey.

On the 1911 census, Hilda was an unmarried 19-year-old general domestic servant at 19 Morland Road, Croydon

She married ALFRED HAROLD BOOTH in 1915 in Croydon, Surrey. (source : Free BMD). Family members always called him Harold.

He was born in September quarter 1891 in Croydon (source : Free BMD, district Croydon volume 2a page 270 ). He was born 8 Aug 1891 at 6 Tavistock Grove, Croydon. His parents were Frederick William Booth and Jane Wood.

Alfred was born in Croydon Surrey, and upon enlistment was living there although he enlisted at Kingston upon Thames on 16 October 1916. His given address was 18a Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon. His Birthplace is given as Croydon, age was 25years and 2 months, Height 5ft 8ins, Weight 126lbs Occupation Grocer. Regiment: Huntingdon Cyclists 2/1st Battalion. (Even his chest measurement is given !)

He initially served as a Hunts. Cyclist before being transferred into the 1st Bedford Regiment where he was allocated the Army number 291381. The record of his HCB number is also the same as his Bedford one. All records show him as a private.

Alfred was killed on active service in France just three years later on 12th May 1918, leaving Hilda a widow with child. Croydon and the Great War, the Official History of the War Work of the Borough and Its Citizens from 1914 to 1919, published in 1920, has the following entry :
Booth, Alfred Harold, Pte., Beds. Regt. b., 82 ; y.s., Mr. Mrs. F. W. Booth, 18a Lr. Addis. Rd., Croydon. Married. D., of wounds reed. 12 May, 18.

He is buried in grave II-J-24 at Aire Community Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. (Thanks to Hunts Cycles website)

He is listed on the Roll of Honour ( :
Surname: BOOTH
Forenames: Alfred Harold
Born: Croydon, Surrey
Enlisted: Kingston-on-Thames
Resident: Croydon
Serial No: 291381
Rank: Private
Manner of death: Died of wounds
Comm. or Buried: Aire Communal Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France
Comm or Burial Ref: Grave II J 24
Theatre: France & Flanders
Date of death: 12 May 1918
Battalion: 1st

Their daughter, Barbara Joyce Booth, was born in July 1919 and on her birth certificate, her mother was named as Hilda May Todman formerly Booth. She was a nurse, according to family knowledge, and Barbara's father was supposedly a doctor (source ; family knowledge). As Alfred was never a doctor, there has always beensome speculation as to whether her father was, in fact, Alfred or a doctor at the hospital where she worked. If Alfred died in May and Barbara was born in July, that would have been an incredibly long pregnancy !

The child of Hilda May Todman :

BARBARA JOYCE BOOTH was born on 15th July 1919 in Croydon (at 42 Kemerton Road – as per birth certificate). Her father was killed on service in the First World War while her mother was still pregnant. She was given up for adoption by her mother, HILDA MAY TODMAN, formerly BOOTH, a maternity nurse, living at 21 Gladstone Road, Croydon (source : birth certificate and family knowledge) and was brought up by the CLARKE family at Isfield. Barbara was evacuated /sent to Hastings and was asked by a judge if she wanted to stay in Hastings? or return to Croydon , she opted to stay put. (source : family knowledge)

Census returns for Hilda May Todman :

1901 census :
address - 21 Gladstone Road Croydon

William Todman, 46, head, house decorator, born Croydon, Surrey
Louisa Todman, 37, wife, born Essex
Frederick W Todman, 22, son, single, Machinist Steam Saw Mills,  born Croydon, Surrey
Lily E Todman, 13, daughter, born Croydon, Surrey
Alice M Todman, 10, daughter,  born Croydon, Surrey
Hilda M Todman, 9, daughter, born Croydon, Surrey
Grace M Todman, 7, daughter, born Croydon, Surrey
Susie B Todman, 5, daughter, born Croydon, Surrey
Ellen F Todman, 1, daughter,  born Croydon, Surrey

1911 census :
address - 19 Morland Road Croydon

Augustus Ashcroft, 67, head, born London Commercial Rd E, married (27 years), coal merchant
Elizabeth Ada Ashcroft, 55, wife, born Bucks Aylesbury
Hilda May Todman, 19, servant, general domestic servant, single, born Croydon, Surrey

Census returns for Alfred Harold Booth :

1901 census :
address - 6 Tavistock Grove, Croydon

Frederick W Booth, 48, head, married, coachman domestic, born Wimbledon Surrey
Jane Booth, wife, 49, born Essex Sosh Hill
Albert W Booth, 19, son, single, warehouseman, born Storwood Surrey
Louise M Booth, daughter, 11, born Croydon Surrey
Alfred Harold Booth, 9, son, born Croydon Surrey

1911 census :
address - 18a Lower Addiscombe Road Croydon

Frederick William Booth, 58, head, married, Italian warehouseman, born Wimbledon Surrey
Jane Booth, wife, 59, born Essex Stanford Rivers, year of marriage 1874 (married 37 years), children born 6, still living 6
Louise Margery Booth, daughter, single, 21, born Croydon Surrey
Alfred Harold Booth, 19, son, single, printer's clerk, born Croydon Surrey

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