Reg Mayhew's Family History


I've traced my Mayhew ancestry back to my 4 x Great Grandfather, John Mayhew, a Mayfair hairdresser, who married Anne Hill at St. George's, Hanover Square, London on 7th June 1819. In the 1820's they lived at various addresses in Mayfair including Chapel Street (later Aldford Street), Mount Street and Hertford Street, off Park Lane. John and Anne had 5 children - George, Mary, Louisa, Sarah and John.

Where John senior originated from is currently a mystery. The 1841 Census, in its uniquely frustrating way, tells us that John was not born in Middlesex but gives no clue to where he was born, c1801. By the time of the 1851 Census (which would have identified John's birthplace), he was deceased. In 1851 his widow Anne was residing in Chelsea where she remained, at various addresses, until her death in 1887.

My 3 x Great Grandfather was John and Anne's first child, George, born on 12th September 1820 and baptised in October at St. George's Hanover Square. George married Mary Ann Wilkins on 11th June 1843 at Kensington Parish Church. They had 7 children.

My 2 x Great Grandfather was George and Mary's eldest son, George Walter, born on 4th December 1848 in Chelsea. George Walter married Louisa Rampling (of Lowestoft) on 26th December 1870 at St. Mary Abbots, Kensington. They had 12 children, including my Great Grandfather, Arthur John.

My Great Grandparents, Arthur John Mayhew and Louisa Jane Ainsby were married at St. Lukes, Chelsea on 31st July 1898. They had 9 offspring, including my paternal grandfather, Arthur William Mayhew.

"The Edwardian era (1901-1919) stands out as a time of peace and plenty. There were no severe depressions and prosperity was widespread. Britain's growth rate, manufacturing output, and GDP per capita fell behind its rivals the United States, and Germany. Nevertheless the nation still led the world in trade, finance and shipping, and had strong bases in manufacturing and mining." Wikipedia

The year 1914 was to see the glorious Edwardian 'summer' ended by the nightmare of the Great War. Britain declared war on Germany on 4th August. Later that year, on 28th December, at the age of 37, Arthur John enlisted, voluntarily, in the Army. His Service Record tells us that he was 5 feet 5 inches tall, with a chest measurement of 37 inches (fully expanded). He had distinctive marks on both forearms in the form of tattoos.....

Shortly after hostilities ceased in the 1st World War, the National Publishing Company attempted to compile a brief biography of as many participants in the War as possible. Entitled "The National Roll of the Great War", it provides a pen picture of the war service of well over 100,000 men and women.The vast majority of entries refer to combatants who survived the Great War but it also includes civilians involved in war work. There are entries for both Arthur and Louisa.

Arthur's entry reads "Private, 5th Middlesex Regiment. He volunteered in August 1914 and, after his training, served at various stations on important duties, such as guarding prisoners. He rendered valuable services, but was not successful in obtaining his transfer overseas on account of physical unfitness, and was demobilised in April 1919." However, he continued to play his part in the war effort at home as a Private (393045) 583 (H.S.) in the Labour Corps (Employment Co.).

Louisa is described as a "Special War Worker" and her entry continues "This lady was engaged on work of National importance at Messrs. Blake's Munition Works, Hurlingham (Fulham). Her duties, which were in connection with shell-filling, were carried out with efficiency, but owing to ill-health, resulting from the effects of the powder, she was forced to give up her duties".



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