Everyone has their best hats on for the occasion of this wedding on the 5 June 1912, most are adorned with flowers and just look at the bride, Emily’s bouquet is so beautiful. Very appropriate too as the groom Percy Henry Mountford was a Gardener🌸
It makes such a difference when you look at an old photo and you know exactly who they were doesn’t it. Although in this family’s case unfortunately it was not a happy tale. But I may have found a glimmer of a happy ending, for Emily at least!
I was so pleased to find more details about the marriage via the records on Find My Past, Kent Marriages And Banns: Percy Henry Mountford. Father’s occupation Bailiff. Spouse’s father’s occupation Foreman. First witness F Mountford. Second witness E Trull. Occupation Gardener. Archive Medway Archives. Marriage date 05 Jun 1912. Archive reference P358B/1/2. Marriage place Swanley, St Paul. Register type Marriages. Spouse’s name(s) Emily Trull. The spouse’s father’s name is Richard Trull. Year range 1861-1907. Page 147. Father’s name is Henry Mountford.
Percy Henry Mountford was born in April 1887 in Halstead, Essex, his father was Henry (1853-1924), and his mother was Hephzibah Wilsmore (1852-1928). Percy was the youngest of six children born to Henry and Hephzibah, Frank Charles 1875-1951, Edith Martha 1876-1943, Sarah Ann born April 1878, Frederick William 1880-1930 and Kate Emily 1882-1940.
Percy and Emily had two children during their marriage Emily Edith b1913 and Percy Henry b1914.
Tragically Percy died as a young father in the March quarter of 1918 in Dartford, Kent, at the age of 30. Leaving Emily as a widow with two young children. Now despite the fact that several trees on the various sites have this Percy Henry Mountford being in the first world war and dying in action on various dates including 1915 and 1918 and also 1944 in the second world war, I have gone through all the Military records I am able to on the sites I have subscriptions for and free sites and cannot find a match to this particular Percy Henry Mountford but obviously without the death certificate for the first quarter of 1918 for Dartford, Kent I do not know why he died at the young age of 30. I have also searched the newspaper archives and again found nothing.
The first record after Percy’s death for the family is on the 1921 census, see below for Emily and her two children.
It’s also interesting to note that Emily apart from her two children Edith aged 8 and Percy aged 7, has two Boarders, one is a single young working man aged 29 called Frank Sutch and also a young boy aged 7 called Zenith Horace Mude (1914-2000) and visiting is Samuel Horace Mude (22 Jul 1886-Apr 1977) aged 34 a house decorator, who I’ve found out was Zenith’s father.
Zenith’s mother was Samuel’s wife Ethel (Curtis) (2 Jul 1889-Jul 1977) the couple had married on 23 June 1912, just a couple of weeks after Emily and Percy. Ethel was a Milliner by trade on the 1939 register, but why wasn’t her son living with her? did she have to work all week? or was it just a weekday arrangement? The 1921 census was taken on Sunday 19 June 1921 (101 years ago today) So was he back in Emily’s home ready for school Monday? Did Samuel bring him and stay over? I found Ethel on the 1921 census living in Hampstead and hovering over the record on Find My Past it also showed another person at the same address Mabel, so who was Mabel? and would this record give me more information than I had already had?
After a while I couldn’t help myself I had to know, so I paid up to view the original image and I’m so very glad I did, if you look below you will see she had written on the record that she was married and separated! Something that Samuel hadn’t mentioned on his record. So did Samuel have custody of Zenith? What a super nugget of information. All this information I would never have found without the 1921 census. Ethel is working from home as a Milliner for a Mrs Hunt, Harrow Road, Paddington. The Mabel who I was curious about is her Boarder, not a relative, a young lady from Great Yarmouth, Mabel Mudditt (8 May 1889-Jan 1977) who was a counter assistant for the Express Dairy Company. Samuel had still been living with his wife in 1920 at 13 Maygrove Road, Hampstead according to the electoral register records, so this separation was a fairly recent happening.
Later on the 1939 Register both Ethel Mude and Mabel Mudditt were still living at 13 Maygrove Road, Hampstead, London. Although it seems later in 1939 that Mabel moved out according to the electoral register records. Ethel Mude continued to live at the same address right up to the 1965 electoral register records, she died in 1977 in Hampstead.
So what had happened to our bride Emily by the time of the 1939 register? On 15 October 1931, her father Richard died. Then sometime before 1935 Emily and her two children had moved to 138 Courthill Road, Lewisham. In 1936 her daughter Emily Edith, known as Edith had tragically died aged just 23 years old at this home in Lewisham. She was buried on 19 September 1936 at Hither Green Cemetery, Lewisham. Percy Henry, Emily’s son was still living at home then and also at the time of the 1939 register and was a Painter and Decorator like Samuel Horace Mude. Samuel’s son Zenith also became a painter and decorator, living in Dartford, Kent in 1939.
It seems that Samuel may have had an on off relationship with his wife Ethel during the 1930s as he is living at Hampstead in 1930, away in 1931 then 1934 and 1935 he is with his wife and also with Emily on the records! From 1936 onwards he is with Emily but I don’t know for how long after the 1939 register. On 24 February 1941 Emily’s Mother Eliza died leaving her money, £380 (equivalent to about £20,000 today)to her widowed daughter Emily. I believe Emily must have moved down to Hastings after this and may have used the money to buy a house there. She was certainly living in Hastings in 1944 when World War two claimed her son Percy Henry who had joined the Shropshire Regiment as a Gunner. The regiment was serving in Italy when Percy was tragically killed on the 20 October 1944, he was just 29. The records below at the time of his death show Emily as living in Hastings, Sussex.
In 1952 Emily’s eldest brother Richard John died aged 70, he had remained single all his life and left Emily over £2,000. Emily had four brothers Richard John, Thomas, Albert and Edgar.
Were Emily and Samuel a couple? I’d like to think they were so that maybe Emily found some happiness in her life after all the sadness. Emily died on 25 October 1965, she was 78. Samuel Horace Mude lived till the age of 90, his death was also registered in Sussex in Chichester in April 1977. Ethel, Zenith’s Mother died in the following quarter of 1977 in Hampstead aged 88.
Although Emily died in Littlehampton, Sussex she was brought back to Lewisham and buried 4 days later with her daughter. This record below I found on Deceased Online. I haven’t found where Percy, Emily’s husband was laid to rest.
I was puzzled as to who John Evans was on this record and then I recalled seeing the name Evans on the 1939 register. So I looked through again and at the same address as Emily were a married couple John Evans b 7 May 1892 and Eva Doris Evans b 19 May 1912, John was her neighbour living at the same address, they were obviously close friends. Record below.
So what happened to Zenith Mude? Registered and Baptised Horace Zenith Curtis Mude. He was born on 6 June 1914. He went on to marry Lucie Else Frieda Schultz (1913-1991) in 1948 in Horsham, Sussex and a year later they were blessed with Twins a boy and a girl. Zenith died on 1 February 2000 in Sidcup, Kent.
On the anniversary of the 1921 Census, just these little nuggets of extra information I found on the records were crucial in being able to hopefully add a happy ending to my story of Emily. Are these families on your family tree? I would love to know more of their story, only because I’m nosey ha ha. Leave a comment here or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s the direct link to the small tree for the Trull and Mountford families on Ancestry: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/family-tree/tree/183150569/family?cfpid=252387979134
Till next time then………