1911 – London

Nearly a half of all the Reffell family were living in London in 1911. It had been centred on London for many years and would continue to be so until some twenty years later as people moved out to the suburbs

Henry Hatch Reffell and his wife Rebecca Burchatt had died a number of years before in 1860 & 1864 respectively. Of their nine children only three were alive in 1911; Elizabeth Rebecca, Mary Ann (Polly) and Susan Matilda. Elizabeth Rebecca outlived her two husbands; Etienne Ernest Magloire Masset & Peter William Armstrong. The only remaining child was Leonie Ernestine, who was married to Richard Ernest Cadisch and living at 97 Fairholt Road in Stoke Newington. Of Swiss descent, Richard was listed as a general merchant, but his company was to become very important in the blossoming motor trade. Henry’s widow Sarah was still at the family home of 10 Roderick Road in Kentish Town, with her two unmarried daughters Amy and Gertrude. Her other unmarried daughter Alice was working in the dairy trade and living at 54 Eynham Road Wood Lane. Her son Harry (Henry) James Valentine and family had emigrated to Australia in the 1880s.

John William had died in 1897 from pneumonia as a consequence of working as a cab driver in the smokey London air. His wife Mary Ann was living at 88 Portnall Road in Paddington and working as a domestic cook. After John William’s death the three surviving children were put into the West London School at Ashford Middlesex at a very early age. Now aged 19 & 16, Mary Ann (Cissie) and Arthur Edward were now back with their mother, both working as clerks in an office. The other child, also a John William was never to return home and in 1911 was living at 4 New Church Road in Bexleyheath Kent as a tailor. This was an occupation that he would continue for the rest of his life. Unmarried sisters Susan Matilda & Mary Ann (Polly) were living together at Burwood in Caterham Valley Surrey with their cousin Albert Henry Goldsmith Burchatt, who was a manager of a photocopier company. Edward had died two years before and his widow Emily and is believed to have gone back to her family in Scotland by this time. None of their four surviving children are in the England & Wales census. George Edward was working in the Near East and soon to enlist in the Royal Flying Corps. Reginald Victor was a pupil at Millfield House in Silver Street Upper Edmonton.

Richard Alfred Reffell had married Emma E Noble in 1875 and died in 1902. Of their seven children only three of these were still around, although it is likely that another one, Florence had gone to New Zealand. The eldest and only surviving son William Alfred was working as a taxi driver and living with his wife Ethel Elizabeth Dawson at 24 Sutherland Street in Belgravia. With them were their five children to date; the eldest son Fitzroy Alfred who was to join the Royal Artillery as a despatch rider and be killed in early 1918, Esther Thornton Dawson, Wilma Ethel, Jack Arkaway and Richard Noble. There were two other daughters of Richard and Emma, Maude Mary and Alice Lilian. Ernest Charles William Reffell and his wife Gertrude Louise Box were living in Palmers Green at 77 New River Crescent. Ernest was a private secretary and with them were their three children to date; Ernest Colin, Ronald Charles & Norman Eric.

Both originally from the Buckinghamshire farmers branch, cousins Percy Albert and Herbert William were now in London with their families. Only child Percy’s father had died some while ago, but his mother Charlotte Ellen Hunt was living with him at 26 Chelsham Road in Clapham. He was working as a railway porter and was living with his wife Clara Creama Macathy and their three children; Marjorie Elaine, Stanley Albert & Vera Irene. Herbert William was to have a much bigger family of eventually sixteen children, which however was much filled with sadness as incredibly they had lost four children in the space of only six days during 1900. In 1911 he was still working as a butcher at the family home of 10 Sunnyhill Road in Streatham. With him was his wife Amelia Ellen Coulter and seven of their children; Dorothy Ellen, Ivy Rowena, Edwin Herbert Joseph, Horace Leon Cedric George, Amelia Patricia, Gwendoline & Mary Alexandra Victoria.

Edward Forrester Reffell had led a very interesting life and had died in 1889. Due to his and his father’s military connections, their children were to have interesting naval names, a tradition that existed up until recent times. His wife Sophia Collins had died in 1900. Eldest daughter Ellen Blanche was living with her husband of 26 years, Harry James Osborne a vegetable salesman. They lived at 32 Carlyle Road in East Ham with their unmarried daughter Vera. Eldest son Edward Henry and second daughter Florence Elizabeth and her husband of seven years William Henry Prosser were at 1 Southchurch Road in East Ham, where he worked as a coach painter for the local council. With them were their first three children; Geoffrey Forrester, Gwendoline Vera & Oswald Henri and Florence’s mother’s sister Susannah Ellen Nicholas Thomas. Second son Horatio Nelson Reffell was living at 32 Richmond Road in Barnesbury with his wife Gertrude Eliza Thornton. He was working as a travelling brewer with the Watford Brewery. Their three children were also there; Leonard Nelson, Horatio Archibald & the eleven month old Beatrice Ellen.

Emma Barrett, the servant to the Sambourne Family, had married William Reffell in 1881. After living with them for most of her working life, by 1911 William was dead and she was still with them at 18 Stafford Terrace in Kensington. As the house keeper supervising two other servants, she looked after Mary Anne Sambourne and her unmarried son Roy. There were no children from Emma’s marriage and she probably remarried later in the year.

James Reffell, the Waterman of the Bermondsey branch and his brother Emanuel Reffell had a number of children who also became watermen, however within a generation of their passing there was no one within the family who was connected with the river. James had married Mary Ann Waghorn and her unusual surname was to be reflected as a child’s middle name for many generations to come. James John Reffell was a baker living at 51 Fawcett Road in Deptford with his wife (who was born with the Reffell surname and was a first cousin) Alice Maud. Eight of their ten children were there; Florence, Henry, Annie, Alfred, Albert, Gladys and Leonard. The eldest son William James was also married and living there His occupation was as a stationery engine driver with the South East & Greenwich Railway. Together with their young son William it must have been a very busy household. The eldest daughter Alice Maud had married Edward Miles in 1903.

Henry and Alfred above were both apprentice compositors and this may have been due to the influence of their uncle Frederick George Jager who was a qualified compositor. He had married Elizabeth Maria Reffell and was living at 4 Cranswick Road in Rotherhithe. Also a compositor by trade, Albert Rowland Hill had married Caroline Hilda Reffell the previous year and they were living at 42 Dale Road in Finsbury Park. Also with them was Caroline’s sister Florrie Amelia who was working as an examiner in an International School. Ellen Reffell had married George William Smith in 1907, but unfortunately had been widowed the previous year. Helping her bring up their two young children Ellen & Elizabeth was her unmarried sister Emma. They lived at 82 Ilderton Road in South Bermondsey where the two sisters both worked in the clothing trade.

James Waghorn Reffell was working as a jeweller and living at 1 Albion Grove Albion Road in Stoke Newington with his wife of ten years Edith Mary Balls. Also there were there children; James Edward, Edith Alice & Frank. his mother Mary and brothers George and Charles were nearby at 25 Noel Street Calebroke Row in Islington. The brothers were both diamond moulders by trade. James Waghorn’s brother John Henry was also a jeweller and living at 76 Kings Court Road in Streatham. Also there was his wife Margaret Wilkinson and children; Margaret Mary Wilkinson, John Robert & Alice Hilda.

The son of George Bush Reffell, William Henry was living at Four Marks in Alton Hampshire with his wife of twenty nine years Ellen Bond. He was living on his own means with their second son Sidney Guy. Eldest son Frederick William was a manger of a beer bottling works and living at 91 Bostoke Avenue in Northampton. With him was wife Edith Carradine and young daughter Eileen Constance. The only daughter Edith Beatrice was with her carpenter husband Ernest Lockton at 4 Rosehill Road in Wandsworth. Henry Waghorn Reffell had emigrated to Canada in November 1867, and his youngest son Charles James Reffell was to be the only one who remained there to be shown in the 1911 Canadian census.

Robert (Bobby) Abel‘The Guv’nor’ to his many fans, was living at 43 Handforth Road in Clapham, although he was not shown as being there on the night of the census. Despite a long career as a professional cricketer, he had been forced to give up first class matches some seven years before due to health and eyesight problems. He was in fact staying with friends Henry & Abigail Bartlett at Spring Farm House in Fletching Uckfield in Sussex, where his occupation is shown as an athletic outfitter. Henry was also in the cricket bat manufacturing business and also came from south London. Actually living at 43 Handforth Road are his wife Sarah (nee Reffell) and ten surviving children; Robert Henry, William John, George Albert, Thomas Ernest, Alfred Charles, Albert Edward, Ada, Alice Emily , Lillian Agnes and Violet Annie. It must have been a full house. The first three sons are listed as professional cricketers, whilst Thomas’s occupation is cricket bat handle maker, which would probably not have been in the family business of Abel & Son as that had failed by that time. He may have possibly been working for Henry Bartlett above. Alfred is an office lad, again possibly in this business.