George Thomas Sumner
George Thomas SumnerView full burial details
in the cemetery
Plot 1021 Vera, child of George and Elsie Sumner, born 2nd June 1913, died 28th December 1914
George Thomas Sumner died 22nd November 1959 aged 76.
George Thomas SUMNER
George Sumner was not a native of Berkhamsted. He was born in early 1883 in Marston St Lawrence, Northamptonshire. His parents were Thomas and Elizabeth (nee Bevis). Thomas Sumner was an agricultural labourer and George was the second child of what grew to be a family of seven children. George and his brother John grew up to follow their father and grandfather to be agricultural labourers and he was still living with his parents in Northamptonshire at the time of the 1901 census, when he was 18.
Six years later we first see George in Berkhamsted. In the summer of 1907 George married Elsie Riddle, a young dressmaker from a Berkhamsted family. Elsie was three years younger than George and before their marriage was living with her parents in Gravel Path near her father’s work as a foreman at the timber yard.
George and Elsie set up home firstly in Provident Place (now known as Waterside) and then in Holliday Street so they stayed near to Elsie’s family. George no longer worked on the land after he arrived in Berkhamsted and he became a checker at the goods depot at the station. The couple first child was a son called Bernard George, born a couple of years after their marriage. Their second child was a daughter called Vera who was born in June 1913 but sadly died eighteen months later.
There is no evidence that George had any military role during the First World War although he was 31 when war broke out. Perhaps his work on the railway was considered to be essential. Olive Christine was born in early 1916. By the end of the war George and Elsie had moved to 35 Castle Street and this is where their daughter Kathleen Elsie was born in 1921. They lived in Castle Street for the remainder of their lives. George continued to work on the railway, rising to the position of foreman at the goods yard.
Bernard grew up to become a book-keeper at a chemical works, probably Coopers in Berkhamsted. He married and lived in Northchurch. The two girls married within days of each other in late 1945 to men who worked in the printing trade.
On 22nd November 1969 George died in Berkhamsted. He was 76 years old. He is buried alongside his little daughter Vera in grave 1021.
George’s wife Elsie lived for another five years and died in Watford in 1974.