Compilation of previous posts:-
Gertrude Browning (my grandmother), born 12 December 1882, Limehouse Middlesex
Parents: Sarah and John Browning (died 1922 and 1920, respectively)
Married: Lennox Harper Hall 25 December 1904, a chemist and druggist
Son (their only child): Lennox Gordon Hall (my father), born 27 December 1905
Lennox Harper Hall, died 9 May 1909 of tuberculosis in Bournemouth
Lennox Gordon Hall emigrated to Australia in 1927 after marriage
In the 1911 England census returns, Lennox Gordon Hall was living with his grandparents, and Gertrude was working as a Lady’s Help in Kensington.
I recently found records compiled by the Red Cross
On checking the index I found a record card for a Mrs Gertrude Hall who volunteered as a VAD Nurse, was resident at The Limes, Denville, Hampshire, and between 1914-1919 worked at Langston Towers Auxiliary Hospital, Havant also in Hampshire.
I’m not sure if this is ‘my Gertrude’ but like the 1911 census, there’s plenty about it that would make sense for the following reasons:
A. The record indicates a Kensington address – this would tie in with the 1911 census. When I checked, the address should actually read as 84 Kensington Church Street. Looking at a map indicates that this is the other side of Holland Park to 76 Elsham Road, and really no great distance away!
B. This Gertrude Hall was recorded as nursing in Hampshire ... ‘my Gertrude’ had lived in Hampshire during her marriage, so perhaps this was an area she knew?
If this is maybe ‘my Gertrude’, this would take us up to 1919 – but what happened to her after that? This is where a report about her parents John and Sarah Browning's funerals would be useful! (but unfortunately I haven’t been able to find!).
Thereafter, Gertrude seemingly ‘disappears’ from any official records. There is one ‘sighting’ through her mother Sarah’s will in 1922 as Gertrude Hall is included as a family member due to receive a legacy. Sarah wrote her will just 6 months before she died – Gertrude Hall is included, perhaps this is an indication that she was still alive and had not re-married, but no address is given.
I have checked all the ‘usual avenues’ to try and locate her; electoral rolls, wills, newspapers for obits, accounts of funerals and weddings, including the 1939 Registration for Identification Card, but have found nothing.
The ‘family tradition’ is that Gertrude may also have died of tuberculosis but there is no evidence to confirm this assertion. I have searched the indices for BMD entries that may be Gertrude Hall, but have found nothing. I am wondering if her death has been mis-indexed.
The family tradition is that my father Lennox Gordon Hall was brought up by his grandmother Sarah Browning during his early years, and then later by an uncle.
It is not known whether he had any contact with his mother after 1909.
The Browning family were not aware at the time of my father’s departure to Australia that he had married, they thought he left with his 'girlfriend'. This points to a very quiet, almost ‘secret’ marriage; it was in a registry office and none of their relatives acted as witnesses. The marriage certificate shows that they both 21 and his residence was given as the YMCA Tottenham Court Road. He married just two months after his 21st birthday, his wife was two months older than him, and they left for Australia a month after they married.
I’ve looked at the Death Duty Registers held at the National Archives. I was wondering if Duty had been paid on Gertrude’s parents estates, then there might be a list of other disbursements which may have indicated if Gertrude did receive any money from her mother Sarah’s will and therefore, Gertrude was still alive in 1922.
I found that after 1903 the Inland Revenue changed their recordkeeping and the registers were replaced with a system of individual files which were destroyed 30 years after being closed. There are therefore no registers from after 1903... grrr!
I would really be grateful for any suggestions of further avenues of research that might lead me to finding Gertrude’s death!