Alfred GregoryView full burial details
in the cemetery
Alfred was the seventh and youngest child born to Amos and Emma Gregory. Alfred was born in Hendon in London on 4th June 1877. His father, Amos, was a provisions dealer. Amos died at the age of 39 in 1878, the year after Alfred was born, His mother, 36 years old, remarried the following year. She married William Buckingham, a meat salesman, who was 60 years old. Emma went on to give birth to two more children, William Buckingham in 1880 and Percy Buckingham in 1883.
The 1881 census reveals that the family was at that time living at 91 Elmfield Road, Edmonton, London. In 1901, the family was living at 30 Chesterton Road, Kensington. Alfred’s step father must have died by then as he does not appear in the 1901 census return and Alfred’s mother is described as the head of the household. She was working on her own account as a dressmaker. Alfred, then aged 23, and his younger half-brother, Percy, were both working as butcher’s assistants.
By the time of the 1901 census, Alfred’s bride to be, Ada Reading, was living at 39 West Terrace North, Paddington, London. One of Ada’s sisters, Sarah, who was five years older than Ada, had married Alexander Brinkman and Ada had moved to live with them at their home in London. Alexander was a Butcher’s manager and Ada worked as a cashier. Presumably he and Ada met through Alexander. Alfred and Ada were married in Kensington at the Church of St Michael of all Angels on 31st January 1904.
The couple had three children, all boys. The eldest, Laurence, was born on 27th February 1905, the second, Stanley Charles, born on 17th November 1906 and the third and youngest, Harold, born in 1909.
In 1911 the family was living at 65 Blythe Road, Hammersmith. Alfred was no longer working as a butcher. The 1911 census discloses that both Ada and Alfred were working as confectioners and that they were working from home on their own account. Ada died on 25th July 1921. Her death certificate tells us that whilst she died at the home of her parents, 4 Shrublands Road, Berkhamsted, her address given on the certificate was 4 Gibbon Road, Nunhead (Camberwell and Peckham in London). She is noted on the certificate as being Alfred’s wife and Alfred is described as a “Butcher (master).” It must therefore be the case that at some time between 1911 and Ada’s death in 1921, Alfred and Ada had given up their work as confectioners and had moved to 4 Gibbon Road in Camberwell where Alfred had resumed work as a butcher.
Alfred and Ada’s youngest son Harold died five years later in 1926 at the age of 17 years. He died at 4 Gibbon Road and Alfred is again noted on Harold’s death certificate as a “Butcher (master)”.
We know from the 1939 Register that Alfred was then registered as resident at 3 Suddeley Street Brighton, together with Beatrice Gregory and her two children Renee and Ivan. Beatrice was Alfred’s daughter in law, having married Alfred’s son, Laurence. Laurence was registered in 1939 as being resident at 4 Gibbon Road, Nunhead, and was working as a butcher. Presumably Laurence was running the family business.
The 1939 Register was compiled on 29th September 1939, shortly after Britain had declared war on Germany on the 1st September. By August 1939 the government had decided to evacuate school children and expectant mothers from cities which faced the risk of bombing by moving them to areas thought to be less at risk. Operation Pied Piper, which began on 1 September 1939, officially relocated 1.5 million people. It is probable that Beatrice and the two children were upon outbreak of war evacuated from London to Brighton and that the seventy-seven year old Alfred joined them there. Brighton may not have proved to be a particularly safe haven as in June 1940 a second wave of evacuations began from towns on the south coast in light of fears of a German invasion. It was however certainly safer than Peckham was to prove in 1944 when V1 flying bombs and V2 rockets starting to fall on London. Peckham was one of the most of the heavily hit areas; 29 V1s and 3 V2s fell on the district between June 1944 and February 1945. The first V1 fell on 15th June 1944 coming down in Gibbon Road. 4 people were killed and extensive damage was caused.
Alfred died on 10th April 1949. The Probate Calendar entry in respect of his estate explains that he died at the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton. But, intriguingly, the probate calendar also gives us a further link between Alfred and Berkhamsted; although he died in Brighton, Alfred’s address is noted as 51 Cross Oak Road Berkhamsted.
“GREGORY Alfred of 51 Cross oak-road Berkhamsted Hertfordshire, died 10 April 1949 at the Royal Sussex Hospital Brighton. Probate London 10 August to Laurence Alfred Gregory and Stanley Charles Gregory, Butchers. Effects £1,728 8s 4d”.
We know that when the 1939 Register was compiled, Alfred was registered as living in Brighton. The same register tells us in 1939 that 51 Cross Oak Road was empty and we don’t know when Alfred acquired the property.
Whenever he acquired Cross Oak Road, following his death he too, was buried in Rectory Lane Cemetery, but that in itself also raises a question. Ada on her death in 1921 had been buried in plot 769. Harold, their son, joined her in the same plot when he died in 1926. One might have expected Alfred to have joined them in the same grave, yet he didn’t. Albert was buried in the same cemetery, but he was buried in a separate plot, number 1052. It cannot have been for lack of space in plot 769 as both Stanley, who died in 1979, and his wife Hilda, who didn’t die until 1995, were buried in plot 769 alongside Ada and Harold. Yet Alfred, who had died before both of them, was buried separately on his own.