[2GGP] Walter Charles MAYHEW & Elizabeth FINDING

My 2nd Great Grandparents were Walter Charles MAYHEW and his wife Elizabeth FINDING.

Walter Charles MAYHEW was born on 6th Oct 1860 in Kempston, Bedfordshire. He was the fifth of nine children born to John MAYHEW, an agricultural labourer, and Louisa BARKER1, a lace maker. Elizabeth FINDING was born on 19th Jun 1861 in Marston Moretain, Bedfordshire. She was the sixth of nine children born to Ebenezer FINDING, an agricultural labourer, and Eliza BARKER2, a lace maker.


When the 1881 census was taken on 3rd Apr, Walter (age 20) was lodging about 30 miles away in the village of Scaldwell, Northamptonshire with the Woodford family and working as a labourer. Walter’s two elder brothers had married and moved to Northampton by this time, which may be the explanation for his whereabouts. Elizabeth was visiting her married sister Mrs Emma KING in Kempston who lived one cottage away from Walter’s parents. Elizabeth may have been a couple of weeks pregnant at this time.

Walter and Elizabeth married on 12th Oct 1881 in Kempston when they were aged 21 and 20. Elizabeth was seven months pregnant by now and gave birth two months after the wedding. They had eleven children together between 1881-1906 in Kempston, my great-grandfather Ernest being their third in 1885. Sadly, four of their children died in infancy or childhood.

  1. Albert Frederick Mayhew (17 Dec 1881 – 24 Sep 1889); died aged 7 from tuberculous meningitis
  2. Walter Charles Mayhew (23 Jul 1883 – 1 Nov 1951); married Alice Day in 1905; sheet metal worker
  3. Ernest Benjamin Mayhew (19 Jul 1885 – 30 Jan 1961); married Amelia Alice Cowely in 1907; groom and domestic chauffeur
  4. Joseph William Mayhew (Feb 1887 – 20 Jun 1888); died aged 16 months from bronchitis and convulsions
  5. Rose Elizabeth Mayhew (1889 – 4 Jan 1932); married Maurice Edward John Pearl Inskip in 1912
  6. Blanche Ellen Mayhew (23 Oct 1892-1964); married Frederick Joseph Edward Nichols in 1918
  7. Daisy Winifred Mayhew (1896-1901); died age 4
  8. Frank Edward Mayhew (1899 – 3 Oct 1918); unmarried; died age 19 serving during WWI in Belgium
  9. Louisa Lilian Mayhew (25 Jul 1901 – 1959); married Neville Francis Noah in 1921
  10. Arthur Reginald Mayhew (1903-1904); died age under 1 year
  11. Evelyn Maud Mayhew (11 Apr 1906 – 19 Jun 1977); married Cyril Sidney William Gilbert in 1926

Walter and Elizabeth’s firstborn child died on 24th Sep 1889 at Bell End, Kempston. Albert was 7 and had been suffering from tuberculous meningitis.

Walter worked as a general labourer and gravel digger, and Elizabeth was a lacemaker like both her mother and mother-in-law. All three of their surviving sons enlisted in the army during WWI. Walter Jnr joined in 1915 aged 32 and was transferred a few times before being discharged due to health reasons in 1917 (he never saw active duty abroad). My great-grandfather Ernest joined the Royal Army Service Corps in 1915 and received the Victory and British War medals. Frank enlisted towards the end of the war aged 18 as a Private in the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, 11th Battalion. He was tragically killed in action on 3rd Oct 1918 in Belgium and is commemorated in Tyne Cot Cemetery.

Elizabeth at home died from a stroke in King Street, Kempston, Bedfordshire on 7th July 1920 age 59 with her husband present. By 1926 all surviving children had married and by 1929 there were twenty grandchildren born.

Walter died at home due to senility on 13th Nov 1943 aged 83 with his youngest daughter Evelyn present. Evelyn and her family lived with her parents until their deaths and continued to live in the same house until she died in 1977.

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