The Titanic & F.G.Bealing & Sons Ltd

Last week we went to the super Shepton Giant Fleamarket at the Bath & West Showground & among a couple of job lot old photos I bought I found these very interesting ones, the first is of course obviously named FG Bealing & Son Ltd on the van, and it didn’t take me long to find out more about the family & the company, more about the company later! The family first…   I believe the couple standing beside the van are probably Raymond Anthony Bealing & his wife Grace looking at the era it was taken, they were both born in 1920 & the third generation in the business.


The second photo is a CDV & thankfully written on the back is Francis George Bealing Snr b1865 as a young man.

Francis George Bealing was born in Oct 1865 in Gillingham, Dorset, England as the second child of George Bealing and Eliza Ann Thorne, they had married in Shaftesbury, Dorset in 1862. He had one sibling that I found, Charles. He died on 01 May 1943 in Southampton, England. Are these two photos below of him too? What do you think?

When he was 22, he married Harriett Emily Batchelor, daughter of Henry Batchelor and Elizabeth Rogers, in Apr 1888 in Southampton, Hampshire. Harriett’s Father & Grandfather were both Boatmen who worked in Southampton Docks.
Francis George Bealing was baptized on 25 Dec 1865 in Gillingham, Dorset, England. He lived in Sixpenny Handley, Dorset, England in 1871 (Relationship: Son). Before his marriage the family moved to live in Southampton St Mary, Hampshire, England here in 1881 (Relationship to Head: Son)Francis was a Porter as was his brother, but his father was now a Gardener! He again lived in St Mary Extra, Hampshire, England in 1891 But here he is a Florist..the beginning..(Relation to Head: Head). He lived in St Mary Extra, Hampshire, England in 1901 (Relation to Head of House: Head). He lived in South Stoneham, Hampshire, England on 02 Apr 1911 (Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Head).

Francis George Bealing and Harriett Emily Batchelor had the following children:

1. Amy Bealing was born in 1888 in Southampton, Hampshire, England (BEALING, AMY BATCHELOR Order GRO Reference: 1888 D Quarter in SOUTHAMPTON Volume 02C Page 37 ). She died in the same quarter in 1888 in Southampton, Hampshire, England.
2. Francis George Bealing was born on 18 Mar 1890 in Bitterne, Hampshire, England (BEALING, FRANCIS GEORGE BATCHELOR Order GRO Reference: 1890 J Quarter in SOUTH STONEHAM Volume 02C Page 56 ). He died on 23 Oct 1981 in Southampton, Hampshire, England. He married Margarita A Helmsby in Sep 1918 in Romsey, Hampshire, England.
3.Reginald Henry John Bealing was born in 1893 in South Stoneham, Hampshire, England (BEALING, REGINALD HENRY JOHN BATCHELOR Order GRO Reference: 1893 J Quarter in SOUTH STONEHAM Volume 02C Page 44 ). He died in 1893 in South Stoneham, Hampshire, England (Says age 7, but must mean 7 Months……..BEALING, REGINALD HENRY JOHN 7 Order GRO Reference: 1893 D Quarter in SOUTH STONEHAM Volume 02C Page 33 ). Without the Census 1911, I would never have known of the sad fact that the couple had had two other children…

Francis George Bealing and Margarita A Helmsby (b Abt 1895, Have been unable to find Margarita’s  family or birth date, other than what is stated at death in 1934, need a marriage cert to help I think if you are family doing research) They had the following children:
1. Raymond Anthony Bealing was born in 1920 in Christchurch, Hampshire, England. He died on 21 Mar 2015 in Southampton, Hampshire, England. He married Grace E Ward in Dec 1941 in Southampton, Hampshire. Interesting that she had lived very close to the Nursery in the 1939 Register & was working as a florist, I’m assuming in the family nursery, that is obviously where they met.

Grace Ward
Grace E Ward & her Family 1939 Register

I had a job finding the Bealing Nursery with the family in the 1939 Register & ended up trawling through the streets of Southampton! They had been transcribed as BEAKING!


Raymond & Grace Bealing still lived in Southampton, Hampshire, England in 2012 (Electoral rolls 2002-2012 the couple lived at 15, Stoneham Lane, Southampton, Hampshire, SO16 2NN. So I am assuming they have both passed away since then & that’s why I found the photos.)

* Found this via Googling….Raymond Anthony Bealing died on 21st March 2015. If you have a claim against his estate or an interest in it you must write to us with particulars before 28th January 2016. Unless you do so the estate will be distributed without regard to your claim or interest. (This notice is given under Section 27 Trustee Act 1925).
Messrs Abels of 6 College Place London Road Southampton SO15 2XL
Solicitors for the Executors*

Raymond Anthony Bealing and Grace E Ward had the following children
1. Deanne Elizabeth Bealing was born on 26 Aug 1945 in Southampton, Hampshire, Berkshire. She died in Oct 2000 in Stroud, Gloucestershire, England. She married Colin W Boydell in Sep 1972 in Southampton, Hampshire.

Colin W Boydell and Deanne Elizabeth Bealing had the following children:
One Boy & one Girl. They both married and had two children each, sad they didn’t want to keep their family photos……This is their very basic Family Tree with Raymond as the home person…..Link here to the Tree I have compiled on Ancestry.. Bealing Family Lynns Waffles


Above…This is another photo of Raymond, I think! Certainly looks like the chap by the van, the other two photos must belong to this family too, one in a greenhouse with Daffodils & another at a flower competition. This next photo is lovely of a lady outside a house & that says on the back ‘Deannes great-grand-ma at Sholing House’ I think this is Harriett Emily Batchelor b1862 as she was born in Sholing & the family lived there in 1891 & 1901 before moving to 230 Burgess Road, Southampton before the 1911 Census.

Now we can explore the Company that Francis George Bealing founded, FG Bealing & Son Ltd became a fairly well-known Nursery company in Southampton, founded I think in about 1890 & they supplied flowers & potted plants first of all to the Union Line, later after 1900 known as the Union Castle Line, for their ships, I found a mention of “In those early days first-class male passengers might also find a ‘Bealing’ buttonhole by their place in the dining saloon”   Bealing & Son began to supply the White Star line in 1907, so by the time of the Titanic were very well established.

White Star Line obtained their flowers & potted plants from F G Bealing & Son, nursery & horticultural florist, on Burgess Road, Highfield. On the evening before the Titanic sailed, the flowers & plants were taken to the dock by mule cart and then laid out firstly on a tarpaulin in one of the foyers. Mr FG Bealing (I believe he was known as Frank) & his foreman Bill Geapin then took the potted plants (3-400 in number) to their final locations, which were partly determined by Frank Bealing’s own suggestions. The cut flowers were stored in ‘cool rooms’ maybe in the one labelled ‘Passenger Fruit & Flowers’ in the food storage area on G Deck and ‘Fruit Flowers’ near the galley for the A la Carte Restaurant on B deck, all for later use as needed. There was also lots of greenery used in the main reception room on D deck, the restaurant reception room on B deck, the reading & writing room and also on the private promenade decks of the suites in first class. The walls of the Cafe Parisien & the Verandah cafe were also trained with climbing ivy. It all sounds very plush & exotic.

I have found one mention of the company going out of business in about 1963, I don’t know why.

Here are some snippets taken from a more recent local news report in 2012 on the 100 Anniversary of the disaster & they are quoting from the book ‘Titanic Voices’ written by D. Hislop & published on 17th October 1998.

File 21-10-2017, 10 14 39

File 21-10-2017, 11 07 33
A wonderful account by May Futrelle who tragically lost her husband Novelist Jacques Futrelle in the disaster

The  ‘American Beauty’ Rose This rose was bred in France by Ledechaux in 1875 & very popular for its looks & fragrance. It was the rose most frequently sold by florists until 1920. So as a nursery FG Bealing would have supplied many of these I’m sure, even though it was early in the season.  The rose bush produces round-shaped buds that open into large, pink carmine-coloured flowers. The roses have blooms that are formed by 50 rose petals. The long & stiff stems & the strong rose fragrance are the reason for it’s commercial success as a cut flower.

In Memory of the 1,503 passengers & crew who died

Till next time then…………………………….

UPDATE… After reading so many snippets about the Titanic online from the book ‘Titanic Voices’ I found one on Ebay for sale for under £3 inc postage & it’s arrived & so glad I did, super being able to read the pages where the Bealing family Company were mentioned, just wonderful! So here they are for you to read.





As you can see from the above-scanned pages the book has some really interesting photos & accounts from different people involved with the Titanic. I would highly recommend it to read…I’m looking forward to it.

Till next time then…….


  1. Thanks, ,Lynn, for your wonderful history of my late wife’s family which I will pass on to our two children John (born 1975) and Helen (born 1979) for them to keep and cherish

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Colin
      I’m so glad you enjoyed reading about the family…Would you like to have the photos to keep for the family, I’m sure we can sort something out..Please email me at the ‘contact me’ address at the top of my blog.
      I would love that they were returned to family who will cherish, Kind Regards Lynn


  2. I really enjoyed this! Found this by googling titanic potted plants and never expected to find anything with much depth. Really brings it alive, the mule and cart is something I would not have imagined, and great photos too. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Found by accident, what a great early Christmas present. Our family’s connection is through the Thornes, F. G. Senior’s mother’s family. So interesting to read your account of the Bealings and see their faces, and to see their florist business fleshed out, as we only had outline details. Thank you very much for writing your interesting account, and for preserving and sharing these photographs for posterity.

    Liked by 1 person

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