Helen Charlotte Hutchins
Helen Charlotte HutchinsView full burial details
in the cemetery
HELEN CHARLOTTE HUTCHINS; 1871 – 1945
Helen was born on 9th September 1871 in the Lincolnshire village of Stamford Le George. She was baptised in St George’s church in the village a month after her birth on 8th September. Her parents were Orlando and Mary Edmonds. Helen was the fourth of six children born to the couple. The oldest child, Edith was born in about 1865, followed by Maud in 1867, Agnes in 1868, then Helen in 1871, followed by the only son, Charles, born in 1875 and finally Alice, who was born in 1880.
Helen’s father was a banker and evidently well to do. The family lived in an imposing property, Northfield House and in 1881 the Edmonds family employed four domestic staff, a house maid, a cook, a nurse and an under nurse. Helen was then 9 years old and was attending school, being noted in the census as being a scholar. Ten years later, having finished her schooling and 19 years of age, she was still living at Northfield House.
Helen married on 29th November 1898. Her husband was Herbert Leonard Hutchins, a Major serving in the Indian Army and 16 years her senior. How the two of them met is not apparent, but Herbert returned to England where the marriage took place in Lincolnshire in the same church in which Helen had been baptised, St George’s. Notice of the marriage published in “The Gentlewoman” in December 1989 tells us that no less than three clergymen celebrated their marriage, “…The Rev. Canon Williams, M.A. uncle of the bride, assisted by the Rev J.F.Camm LL.D, Rector of the Parish, and the Rev. A.G. Hutchins, M.A., brother of the bridegroom.”
Herbert and his bride returned to India after the marriage. Helen gave birth to their first child, a daughter, Marjorie Frances Page Hutchins. Marjorie was born on 4th December 1899 in Bangalore, South India. Herbert and Helen were to have five children and all but the youngest child were to be born in India. Herbert Reginald Page Hutchins was born on 8 January 1901 in Bangalore. Phillip Perceval Page Hutchins was born in 1903 and Hugh Arnold Page Hutchins was born 12 Sept 1905, both in Ootacamund. Herbert retired from the Indian Army in 1908 and the family returned to England, settling in Berkhamsted, and it was in Berkhamsted that the youngest child, Graham Edward Page Hutchins, was born in 1910. In 1911 the Hutchins family were living at “Littledean” in Kings Road. As well as Herbert, Helen and the five children, three domestic staff were also living at the property, a maid, cook and nursemaid.
Neither Herbert or Helen had any apparent connection with Berkhamsted, but it may be that they moved to the town to provide an education for their children. The boys all attended Berkhamsted School. The brothers were in Swifts House, which was a day boy house, but Graham was also a boarder in Incent’s house. Herbert was a House and School Prefect (1917-18) and Quartermaster Sergeant in the Officer’s Training Corps. Hugh was a Senior Prefect and also a member of the Corps. Marjorie attended Berkhamsted Girls Grammar School (as it was known then).
Three of the four boys all followed their father’s military career and all three of them rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Herbert became a Lieutenant-Colonel of the Royal Engineers. Graham was a Lieutenant- Colonel in the Royal Leicestershire Regiment and was awarded the D.S.O for his outstanding command of the 1st battalion of the regiment in 1952 during the Korean War. Hugh was a Lieutenant- Colonel of the Royal Artillery and died in an air accident in Karachi, Pakistan in 1947. Phillip was the only one who did not follow a career in the Army. He returned to India where he became a tea planter.
A further connection with the school came about in 1919 when Helen’s younger brother Charles Edmonds, a school teache, joined Berkhamsted School as an assistant master. He was to remain teaching at the school until 1936 when he retired at the age of 60. He died in Berkhamsted in 1946 and, like both Helen and Herbert, was buried in Rectory Lane cemetery.
Herbert died on 13th June 1925. He had been admitted as a patient to St Andrew’s Hospital for Mental Diseases for the Upper and Middle classes in Northampton where he died of heart disease. He was buried in Rectory Lane Cemetery three days later on 16th June.
We know from the Electoral Rolls up to 1930 that following Herbert’s death, Helen remained living at Littledean and her son Phillip was living with her, certainly up until 1930. Phillip, however, returned to India where he had been born to become a tea planter and he married in Assam in 1936. Living with Helen in 1939, and no doubt looking after her, was Helen’s daughter in law, Mary Hutchins, her son Graham’s wife.
Helen died in West Hertfordshire Hospital in Hemel Hempstead on 6th December 1945. She was buried in Rectory Lane Cemetery close to the grave in which Herbert had been buried in 1925. The memorial marking her grave matches that marking Herbert’s grave.