John Greaves Nash
John Greaves NashView full burial details
in the cemetery
JOHN GREAVES NASH (1858-1947)
John was born in Berkhamsted in 1858, the second illegitimate child of Sarah Nash of Leighton Buzzard.
He had one elder sister, Ellen who was also born in Berkhamsted in 1855.
On the evening of the 1861 Census, John, his mother and sister were visiting the Potton family – Thomas, his wife Ann and their children Charles and Sarah Ann – in Ravens Lane. John’s mother was a bonnet sewer.
The family resided in Ravens Lane over the next decade and John became a bricklayer’s apprentice, the beginning of an occupation he would have throughout his working life. His mother was now a haberdasher and recorded as being deaf. His sister Ellen was a bonnet sewer.
In 1877, John married Jane Mersham, daughter of James Mersham and Elizabeth Samms and by 1881, the couple were residing in Upper Kitsbury Road with their children, Edward John Greaves (1878-) and Matilda Elizabeth (1880-1953). Also in the household was John’s father-in-law, now a widower after his mother-in-law’s death in 1878.
Over the next decade, John and Jane welcomed four more children who would complete the family – Lewis William (1882-1930), Henry George (1884-1958), Albert (1885-) and Helena Charlotte (1887-1959). The family were all together residing in Ravens Lane at the time of the 1891 Census, by which time, son Edward was an errand boy and the rest of the children were attending school.
Still in Ravens Lane, the family resided at number 6 in 1901. Only three children were living with John and Jane at this time, Edward, who followed in his father’s footsteps in becoming a bricklayer; Albert, a brush factory hand and Helena.
By 1911, the family had moved to 10 Clarence Road. Son Lewis, now a gardener, returned to live with his parents and siblings, Edward and Helena and the family were joined by a lodger, Walter George Bushnell, a police constable from Kent.
In 1914, Jane and John’s eldest son Edward enlisted in the military. He served with the 8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment and named his father as next of kin. Edward’s military record shows the address for the family at this time was 1 Charles Street.
Sadly a year later, just before Christmas, Jane died on 23 December 1915, leaving John a widower. He never remarried and in 1930 would face tragedy again with the death of son Lewis.
The 1939 England and Wales Register shows John living with his daughters, Matilda and Helena at 99 Charles Street. He is recorded as a retired bricklayer with Matilda looking after the home and Helena, an Ovaltine Packer. Very likely, she would have worked at the Ovaltine factory in Kings Langley.
Berkhamsted was home to John all his life. He died in Hemel Hempstead on 28 January 1947 and is buried here in Rectory Lane with his wife Jane.