Welcome to Part 3 of Alex’s old photos and the stories they tell. This is all about a Miss Bernice Garton Greenway, known as Babs to Alex and most defininately a cherished person in his life.
This next photo must have been taken when her brother Frederick Charles Greenway was home on leave, he was killed in July 1916 at the Somme, more later.
Amazingly I have found someone has a photo of this very same Tennis Court for sale on Ebay! This is a quick screenshot:
Bernice Garton Greenway was born on 3 November 1897 to parents Frederick Greenway 1865-1923 and Florence Augusta (Garton)1865-1956. Her father Frederick’s occupation was a ‘Stone Quarries Manager & Builder’ on the 1911 census. Bernice had two brothers, firstly Frederick Charles Greenway 1896-1916, who was tragically killed in WW1, fighting with the 8th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment in the Battle of Bazentin Ridge 14–17 July 1916, it was part of the Battle of the Somme (1 July – 18 November 1916) on the Western Front in France. I found a really nice photograph of Frederick Charles Greenway on a public tree on Ancestry, so thank you to that member.
Bernice’s younger brother was Vernon Garton Greenway 1900-1952 and on the 1939 register, it says he was a Tobacconist and Confectioner. It also says in the right-hand column that he was an Ex RAF PILOT in 1918.
I haven’t found an earlier marriage for Vernon but found that he married Jean Alice Dedman 1904-1987 in 1950, just two years before he died.
Bernice herself was firstly married in 1918 to Anthony Fred Lawry 1899-1988. They had two sons during their marriage, both born in Keynsham, Somerset. Things obviously didn’t work out between them as after their sons were born, they must have divorced, as I found that Anthony married again in April 1930 in York, Yorkshire to Constance Maud Gardner, they had two children Jean and Brian. His occupation in the 1939 register was ‘Invalid Wood Manufacturer’ he and his family lived in Sandbach, Cheshire. Sometime later they emigrated to Canada, the Saratoga Beach area of Vancouver Island. The couple both died there in 1988.
Bernice also married again, in January 1930 to Major Hugh de Landulph Sprye 1885-1931, sadly he died just over a year later.
Next, I found that Bernice married for a third time in April 1938 to Alfred Christopher Wiley 1881-1957, in the 1939 register Alfred is at home in Bristol, while Bernice is a patient at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Arthur died in 1957 in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. I don’t know if they stayed together till his death.
Bernice died on 27 December 1960 at 83 Runswick Road, Bristol. Maybe at a friend or relatives home? It gives her home address of 88 Church Road, Soundwell, Bristol.
Bernice’s two sons both served in WW2, I found these records:
First name(s) John Cyril
Last name Lawry
Service number 1429672
Regiment The Royal Regiment Of Artillery
The year 1938
Country Great Britain
View the original source View the record’s source
Original source Royal Artillery Attestations 1883-1942
Recordset World War 2 Allies Collection
First name(s) Robert Cecil
Last name Lowery
The enlistment year 1942
Regimental number 2156173
Regiment Royal Engineers
Recordset British Army, Royal Engineers 1900-1949
John Cyril Greenway Lawry 1918-1972 John died on the Isle of Wight and Cecil Robert Garton Lawry 1921-2005 Cecil died in Keynsham, Somerset.
This is the small Public Family tree I have compiled on Ancestry for Bernice: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/family-tree/tree/177694743/family?cfpid=432308956964&fpid=432307420016
“Bernice Greenway” The only girl I think I ever really loved. How great were the hours I spent with her. The long summer days by the lazy River and the Flower decked meadows. There was something terribly sad and pathetic about her whole life. Torn with Volcanic Passions, she had the power to love many which was not her fault. The tramps at night to Bitterwell with the rest of our family to hear the Nightingales and all the wonderful hours I spent with her will always linger in my dreams.
Bernice certainly made a huge impression on Alex from an early age didn’t she, it’s quite evident from reading what he wrote on the back of the old photos that he adored her. Why oh why didn’t he ask her to marry him? Or maybe he did & she refused him? What do you think? My thoughts……I think he never plucked up the courage to ask and he never told her he loved her. She saw him just as a very good friend. Then in 1918 she married Anthony Lawry and he knew she would never be his and he’d lost his chance. I hope they kept in touch with each other, I feel they might have as he speaks of her loves in life or maybe he just heard through the grapevine.
Part 4 to follow shortly……….
Till next time then……..