Woolwich & Districts
Hume’s Family Story
in 2005 we managed to locate my mother's younger sister Amy
who was born in 1928 in Bristol, (my Mother was born in 1905
of mother and my brother, John Robert, 21st December 1931.
A precious picture of my mum with my older brother John
Robert. I had no memory of my Mum and believed that I
would never know what she looked like.
was amazed as she thought that I had also died with my family
in 1944, and she managed to give us much information about the
family and also had a precious picture of my Mum with my older
brother John Robert. I had no memory of my Mum and believed
that I would never know what she looked like. (see photo above)
Sadly Aunt Amy has now developed Alzeimer’s Disease and
her memory is deteriorating, it was a miracle that we found
her when we did.
managed to piece together many parts of the family history which
have taken us to Scotland, Southern Ireland, New Jersey USA,
and have now found many relatives in Queensland Australia, and
British Columbia, Canada.
story starts ...
I was born
on 6th June 1939 at the British hospital in Samual Street, Woolwich
and at that time my family lived at 4 Brookhill Row, Plumstead.
We later moved to 83 Barnfield Road, and then due to enemy bombing
moved to 140 Eglinton Road. Together with my older sister Mary
and older brother Geoffrey, we were evacuated to a small village
called Ugborough, South Devon, in the summer of 1944.
recent research into my family and their history, my wife Chris
and I have discovered that it was a V2 rocket that made a direct
hit on our house at 02.30 am on 1st November 1944.
Mother, Father, Grandmother, Brother and Aunt were all killed
and we learnt the awful truth from the headmaster of the school
at Ugborough the following day.
war had finished we came back to live at 76 Vernham Road in
Plumstead with an elderly Aunt and Uncle, but owing to the trauma
of the death of my parents, most of my young childhood memories
had been erased, and it has been only recently that our research
has identified the history and background of my family which
we have now documented fully. The elderly Aunt and Uncle we
lived with were regular church goers to The Peoples Hall, The
Slade, and we attended services and Sunday School as well.
to Plumstead in May 1944 from Dartington Hall, in Devon which
is where my brother and I were sent to after the death of our
family, I attended Plum Lane Primary School which was just a
short distance from 76 Vernham Road.
1946 I went to Conway
Road School until 1951 when, having passed the 11+ exam,
I went to St Olave's and St Saviour's Grammar School at Bermondsy,
London. Whilst at Conway Road School I played in the School
John Hume having been demobbed from the Royal Artillery at the
Woolwich Barracks, initially went to live at 29 Sandyhill Road
in July 1888, and worked at the Royal
Arsenal as a Foundry labourer until he died in 1922.
I have written
life histories of my mother, father, grandfather and grandmother,
piecing together all the information we have obtained to date,
although to this day I only have a very sketchy memory of my
HUME 1898 - 1944
father was born on the 6th December,1898, at the family home,
101 Barnfield Road, Plumstead, S E London.
my grandmother, was Mary Hume nee Gorey. She was born in Pleberstown,
Thomastown, in the County of Kilkenny in Southern Ireland on
4th January, 1858, and his father, my grandfather, was John
Hume who came from Melrose in the Parish of Roxburgh, Scotland,
and was born on 22nd July 1851.
were married at St John’s Parish Church, in the city of
Kilkenny on 8th February 1881, while my grandfather was stationed
there with his regiment in the Royal Artillery. Grandfather
was aged 29 years and grandmother was aged 24 years.
At the time
of my father’s birth, my grandfather had been demobbed
from the Army some ten years, and was aged 47 and my grandmother
was aged 41. My father’s family at that time consisted
of six sisters and one brother.
the eldest sister, aged 15, Margaret was 12, his brother William
Thomas was 10 years old, his sister Mary Ellen was 8, Kate Elizabeth
6, and Isabella was 4, and finally his youngest sister Annie
Louisa was just fifteen months old.
sister Mary, who was born in Fermoy, Southern Ireland on 9th
October 1881, died when she was only 6 years old on 30th December
1887, and a brother John Thomas, died when he was just over
a year old on 3rd April 1886, a few months before his sister
Margaret was born, on 27th Oct. 1886.
house at 101 Barnfield Road, Plumstead, was a modest two up
and two down terraced property, and space must have been very
had worked at The Royal Arsenal as a Foundry Labourer, since
he was demobbed from the Army in July 1888, and financially
the family must have struggled hard to make ends meet.
8th January in 1899, my father was baptised at All Saints Parish
Church, in Herbert Road, which was within a short walking distance
from the family home.
22nd 1901, Queen Victoria died.
Census conducted on the 31st March identifies the family, as
previously outlined, still residing at the Barnfield Road address.
15th March 1902, my grandmother gave birth to a son, Charles
Wallace at home. He was baptised at All Saints Parish Church
on Wed. 23rd April, but sadly died later that year on the 10th
November The cause of death was recorded on the death certificate
12th 1903, my Fathers Cousin, William Hume, married his bride
Helen Walker, at Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland. William was
aged 23 years and Helen was aged 19.
28th November 1903, my grandmother gave birth to a son, Frank
Hume at home. He was subsequently christened at All Saints Parish
Church on 5th January 1904. This was her last child, and she
was aged 46 years when Frank was born.
In May 1910
King Edward V11 died, and the following year 1911, on June 22nd,
it was the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary.
1914 England was at war with Germany.
day 1914, My father’s sister Kate Elizabeth, aged 22 years,
married Herbert George Surridge, aged 25 years, at All Saints
Parish Church, Plumstead.
3rd March, 1915, my father enlisted in the Royal Horse and Royal
Field Artillery, aged just 16yrs 3 months. His Army No.971379.
He was attached to 3 Section, 60th Divisional Ammunition Column
(DAC) and his rank was that of Gunner. His Army record shows
that he stated his DOB as 6th Dec, 1896, when it should have
been 1898. At this time the age limit to enlist in the Army
was a minimum of 18 years.
September 1915, his brother William Thomas aged 27, married
Ethel May Farracee, aged 25, at St Marks Parish Church, Victoria
Docks, West Ham. His sisters Agnes and Isabella signed the marriage
certificate as witnesses.
18th Ocober. 1915, a son was born to Kate and Herbert Surridge,
Gordon Herbert. Their address was 163 Belsize Road, Hampstead.
This was my grandparents first grandson.
June 1916, my father’s Regiment, 60th Divisional Ammunition
Column RFA, left Bryton Camp in Wiltshire, to travel to France.
In December the Battalion moved to Salonica where they stayed
until May 1917. During 1916, 400,000 British troops were killed
in the first battle of the Somme.
31st May 1917, a daughter Marjorie Constance was born to Kate
and Herbert Surridge.
1917, to July 1919, my father was serving overseas in Egypt,
and was awarded the British War Medal, European Campaign, and
the Victory Medal.
13th, 1917, my father’s uncle, Thomas Hume, died aged
63 years, at his home in Galashiels, Scotland. His son William
Hume reported his death.
On the 11th
November 1918, Armistice Day was declared.
4th August 1919, my father was demobbed from the Army; he was
aged 20 years and 8 months old.
On Wednesday 9th February 1921, my father’s sister Margaret
died from Meningitis, at the London County mental Hospital Dartford.
She was aged 34 and was buried at Woolwich Cemetery.
22nd, 1921 my father’s cousin, William Hume, son of Thomas
Hume, died at his home in Bathgate, Linlithgow, aged 41 years.
The cause of death was stated on the certificate as Acute Laryngitis.
The brother of his wife Helen, Robert Walker, reported the death.
My father and his brother Frank played football
for the Woolwich and Plumstead Fellowship Football Club, and
theabove picture shows the 1921/1922 team. Dad was aged 23 (Middle
row, second in from the right) and Frank aged 18 years (third
from the right).
6th April 1922, my grandfather John Hume died aged 71 years.
The cause of death stated on the death certificate was Cancer
of the throat; it also stated that his son Frank was present
at his death. My grandfather’s previous occupation was
listed as a Royal Arsenal labourer, and that he was also an
Army pensioner. His body was borne to his grave at Woolwich
Cemetery, from 101 Barnfield Road, on a Royal Field Artillery
gun carriage as a mark of respect for his long service with
1923, Ethel May Hume died at the Cottage Hospital, Kidbrooke.
She had been married to William Thomas, for just eight years,
and was aged 33 years. The cause of death stated on the death
certificate was, Sub Acute Nephritis. William Thomas was present
at her death. The address on the death certificate was, 90 Rochdale
3rd May 1923, just over a year after his father died, my father
enlisted with the 2/3 Battalion Grenadier Guards at Whitehall.
Army No. 2609048. His basic training was carried out at the
Guards Depot, Caterham Surrey. His initial period of service
of 3 years was later further extended to 7 years. He was mainly
stationed at Barrosa Barracks, Aldershot, and was trained and
qualified as a Machine Gunner. His rank was Lance Corporal.
record of my dad identifies that he was six feet tall, with
a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. It also states
that he had a tattoo of a horse’s head on his right forearm,
probably he had this done during the first World War.
19th January 1924, my dad’s brother Frank aged 21 years,
was married to Marie Violet Kemp aged 20, at All Saints Parish
Church. My father and his sister Agnes signed the marriage certificate
as witnesses. At that time Frank was still living at home in
Barnfield Road, and Marie was living at her home at No 55 Barnfield
Road. His job was recorded as a Butcher on the marriage certificate.
He worked at Smithfield Market in London, as a meat cutter.
May 17th 1924, a second daughter Brenda May was born to Kate
and Herbert Surridge, at the British Hospital, Samual Street,
Woolwich. Their address at this time was listed as 76 Princes
Road, and Herbert’s occupation was recorded as Canteen
Steward, Metropolitan Police.
my father’s uncle, Robert Hume died, aged 77 years, at
Innerleithen in Peebles.
Strike was in 1926.
4th January 1927, William Thomas, married Edith Agnes Sherbourne
at the Woolwich Register Office. Both Thomas and Edith were
aged 38 years. For both of them this was their second marriage.
His address was listed on the marriage certificate as 101 Barnfield
November 1928, David Scott Hume, son of grandfathers youngest
brother William, married Isabella Jane Melrose, in Galashiels,
in the County of Selkirk. David was aged 31, and Isabella 27.
2nd May 1930 my father was demobbed from the Grenadier Guards.
He was aged 32 years 5 months.
August 1930, a son John Edward was born to William and Edith.
He was born at home, 39 St Jame’s Place, Plumstead.
3rd Nov 1930, my father married Kate Parslow, known to the family
as ‘Queenie’, at the Woolwich Register Office. My
father was aged 32 (although the marriage certificate states
34) and my mother was aged 25 years. My father’s occupation
was listed as Gas Stoker, and my mother’s as Domestic
Servant, the address of 228 Blackfriars Road was her place of
employment, at that time. Dad’s brother Frank and his
sister Isabella signed the marriage certificate. Dad’s
home address was listed as 101 Barnfield Road, Plumstead.
26th January 1931 their first son John Robert Hume was born
at 101 Barnfield Road, and was registered on 14th February by
1st March, John Robert was christened at All Saints Parish Church.
14th Nov 1932, their first daughter, Mary Agnes Isobel, was
born at the British Hospital, Samual Street, Woolwich. My mother
registered the birth on 6th December The family home at this
time was still with Grandmother at 101 Barnfield Road.
Tuesday 21st March 1933 Kate Elizabeth Surridge died from Pulmonary
Tuberculosis. Herbert was present at the death. Their address
was listed as 4 Brookhill Row, Herbert Road. Kate was just 40
years old. Kate was buried at Woolwich Cemetery. About this
time, or maybe just before Kate died, Marjorie and Brenda,
(See photo right or Brenda holding Tiger in the back garden
67 Vernham Road 1947) went to live with Aunt Agnes and
her friend, Miss Miskin. They lived at 76 Flaxton Road, Plumstead.
Miss Miskin was a Teacher at Ancona Road School. At times, Brenda
was in Miss Miskin’s class. Their brother Gordon went
to live with his Grandmother at 101 Barnfield Road.
11th November 1934, my Mother gave birth to a second son, David,
he was born, at British Hospital, Samual Street, Woolwich. The
address on his birth certificate identifies that the family
had now moved to 4 Brookhill Row. Herbert Road, a short distance
from the previous family home in Barnfield Road. My mother registered
the birth on 21st Dec.
13th January 1935, David was christened at All Saints Parish
11th, King Edward V111 Abdicated the Throne, and on December
12th King George V1 Ascended the Throne.
20th March 1937, my mother gave birth to a third son, Geoffrey
Allan Hume. He was born at the British Hospital, Samual Street,
Woolwich. My mother registered the birth on 30th April. On Wednesday
30th June, Geoffrey was christened at All Saints Parish Church.
The family home was still at 4 Brookhill Row, Plumstead.
2nd May 1937, a son Malcolm was born to Marie and Frank, at
64 Barnfield Road. Uncle Frank registered the birth on 11th
June. Malcolm was christened on Sunday 30th May at All Saints
1937, Coronation King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth.
6th June 1939, I was born at the British Hospital, Samual Street,
Woolwich, and the family were now living at 83 Barnfield Road,
Plumstead. Dad’s occupation was that of Electrician, ‘Jointer’s
mate’. My mother registered my birth on 17th July.
July 2nd 1939, there were two baptisms carried out at All Saints
Church. My sister Mary and me. I was just under one month old
and Mary was just over six and a half years old.
Mary Hume nee Walker died, aged 80 years, wife of William Hume
(deceased), this was my Fathers Cousin who lived in Kelso, Roxburgh.
1939, England declared war on Germany.
16th December 1939, Gordon Herbert Surridge aged 25 years, my
father’s nephew, married Eileen Nora Kennedy, aged 22
years, at the Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels, Plumstead.
Their addresses were listed as No. 11 and No. 13 Congress Rd.
March 1942, My fathers sister Agnes Hume, aged 59, a spinster
who had been living with her friend Miss Miskin, at 76 Flaxton
Road in Plumstead, married a widower, Arthur Henry Wood aged
60, at The Peoples Hall, The Slade, Plumstead. Auntie Agnes
married on her birthday. My fathers Sister, Annie Louisa, signed
the certificate as a witness.
April, 1942, My father’s nephew Gordon Herbert Surridge,
aged 26, died in hospital at Rends, Denmark, as a result of
wounds sustained in air operations. He was buried in Aabenraa
cemetery, Denmark. His rank was Sergeant, and he was a Wireless
Operator/Air Gunner in the RAF. Service No 1376704, with No.
On the 16th
July, 1944, Mary, Geoffrey, and I were evacuated to a small
village, called Ugborough, in Devon, to escape the enemy bombing
in London. This was under a Government evacuation programme
called ‘Rivulet’, which was the final evacuation
of 1944 for children to escape the ‘Flying Bombs, the
Buzz Bombs, the V1 and V2 rocket attacks’ which were mainly
targeting London. At that time, we were living at 140 Eglinton
Road, Plumstead, together with grandmother Mary, having been
bombed out of our previous address. In total there were 42 children
that were evacuated in our party. One of my earliest childhood
memories was waiting to board the train at Paddington Station,
with Mary and Geoffrey, carrying a brown carrier bag with a
gas mask slung over my shoulder and an identification label
tied on my coat. I don’t remember much about the journey
down to Devon, apart from eating sandwiches and munching biscuits
for our lunch on the train, but I do remember boarding a single
decker bus that took us from the railway station when we arrived
and dropped us off in Ugborough Village Square. The next thing
I remember was waiting in the village church along with the
other children, for someone to pick us out and take us to their
In the end,
I think we were some of the last children to be taken care of.
If I remember correctly the reason nobody picked us out initially
was because I wouldn’t stop crying and was probably kicking
up quite a fuss. After what seemed like an eternity we were
finally picked out and went to stay with a Mr and Mrs Hine,
‘Winnie and Jack’. They were an elderly couple and
were unable to cope with all three of us in their small terraced
cottage, in Fore Street, just off the main village square, and
so Mary went to stay with a Mrs Alice Heath in Donkey Lane,
just opposite the church, and only a short distance from us.
We all attended Ugborough Village School during our stay.
remember that a German plane had crashed into the recreation
field just opposite the village school one night, and the following
day all of us children were scrambling over it, stripping silver
foil from the wings & fuselage and breaking off pieces of
perspex from the windscreen.
with my brother Geoffrey, who was two years older than I, we
spent a lot of time exploring the area around the village, and
on one occasion came across Jack Hine, who we were staying with,
working on a road repair gang, and I remember that there was
a steamroller there too. He obviously worked for the local council
were at Ugborough, my father came to visit us just once, by
himself, and I remember him, walking with me down a country
lane, holding my hand.
That is the only memory I can recall of my Father, and was the
last time we ever saw each other.
I also remember on one occasion gathering hob nuts from the
hedgerows, as we were in the village during the harvest season,
playing in the haystacks during gloriously long hot sunny days.
The local blacksmith was a very kind man, a Mr George Trout,
and I used to spend hours watching him shoeing horses, and talking
to him. Often he would give us children small bars of chocolate,
which would have been very difficult to come by during the war.
12th August 1944 my fathers sister Isabella, married, Herbert
George Surridge, who had previously been married to one of his
other sisters, Kate Elizabeth, prior to her death in March 1933.
The wedding took place at the Register Office in Woolwich, and
my mother and father both signed the Marriage Certificate as
witnesses. Their listed address was No 2 Brookhill Road, Woolwich.
Herbert was 54 years old, and Isabella was 50.
area in South East London was being bombed very heavily, especially
Plumstead and Woolwich, as the Woolwich Arsenal was a prime
target. On 30th August 1944 the Parish church of All Saints
was bombed, in Herbert Road, although miraculously the church
registers were recovered, which is how the details of my families
christenings and some marriages have been identified and recorded.
On 1st November
1944, at 2.30 am, a V2 rocket made a direct hit on our family
house at 140 Eglinton Road, in Plumstead, My mother Kate, father
John Robert, grandmother Mary, brother John Robert, and auntie
Isabella, were all killed.
news was told to us children at Ugborough on Saturday 4th November
1944 by the Headmaster of Ugborough Primary School, a Mr William
George Beare, and shortly after that Mary went to live with
a family at Hope Cove in Kingsbridge, Devon. On 27th November
1944, Geoffrey and I went to stay at Dartington Hall, in Devon.
We probably left Ugborough as we were now classed as Orphans
rather than Evacuees, and either the London County Council or
the Local Devon, Totnes Council were now responsible for us.
A day or
two after the V2 rocket struck our house, a policeman called
at the house of my grandparents, who lived in Bristol, to tell
them the sad news. My grandmother Kate wanted to go to London
straight away, but the policeman said that there was nothing
left of the house or the street, as the explosion had destroyed
for my family took place at the Woolwich Cemetery on Monday
6th November, with a memorial Service at The Peoples Hall, The
Slade, Plumstead. All the graves were unmarked. An article in
the local newspaper covering the event printed the following
account of the funerals.
last, November 6, in Woolwich Cemetery, were laid to rest,
the bodies of Mary Hume; her fourth son, John Robert Hume;
his wife Kate (Queenie); John, their eldest son, and Isabel
Surridge (nee Hume), wife of G.H.Surridge, the victims of
recent enemy action. The cortège left the home of her
eldest daughter, Mrs Wood, 67 Vernham Road, Plumstead. The
children from Plum Lane School formed a guard of honour in
memory of their school chum John, aged 13 years. A number
of other friends, unable to attend the cemetery, lined the
pathway for several yards. The Rev Russell-Jones, pastor of
The Peoples Hall, The Slade, conducted the service, first
at 67 Vernham Road and then at Woolwich Cemetery, where the
five bodies were taken into the chapel which was filled to
it’s utmost capacity.
hearing a most sympathetic address by the Pastor, the cortège
proceeded to the new section of the cemetery where first were
laid to rest, Mrs Mary Hume in the grave of her late husband
and daughter, Then in a nearby new grave were laid Isabel
Surridge, Kate, John Robert and their son John. The chief
mourners were Agnes, William, Nellie, Cissie, Frank (sons
and daughters); Mr Herbert Surridge (son-in-law); Marjorie
and Brenda Surridge (grandchildren); Mrs W.Hume; Mrs Frank
Hume, Malcolm Hume (grandson); Mr Arthur Wood (son-in-law):
Miss McPherson (friend), and a Mr Mills. Among others present
were members of the Civil Defence, representatives from the
milling shop, Royal Arsenal; E 68A Canteen, Woolwich Arsenal:
Messrs, Siemans Bros, Ltd., and many friends to show their
sympathy and to pay their respects.
tributes were sent by Aggie and Arthur; Dan; Mary, David,
Geoffrey and Michael (children), Willie, Edie and John; Nellie,
Cissie and Margaret, Frank, Marie Malcolm and Andy; Marjorie
and Brenda; Grandson John Edward; Grandson Malcolm; Misses
M and E Miskin; Mr and Mrs Kennedy, Noreen and Eileen; Supervisors
and staff of E68A Canteen; fellow workmates in the rolling
mills and other branches of the Royal Arsenal; 2 wreaths from
Siemans Brothers Employees, Woolwich; Children and staff of
Plum Lane School; Mrs Barnett and family; Mr and Mrs West;
Mr and Mrs Manning; Mr And Mrs Fowler; Gladys Reid and Iris
Sanderson; Mrs Taylor and family; Mr and Mrs Wells; Mr and
Mrs F Anderson; Mr And Mrs Gale; Mr and Mrs F Batley ;
Dorothy (John’s school chum); Friends at Barclays Bank;
Staff of Shooters Hill Fire station; E Whitehead (school chum):
Mrs. A Clark; Mrs G Coton and Gordon Coton, Mrs Hatton; Grasselys
(Woolwich Market); Mr and Mrs Barry and family; Mr And Mrs
Edwards and Family; Mr And Mrs Belcher; Mr And Mrs Pepper
and others brought to the cemetery.
desire to thank all friends for floral tributes and letters
of sympathy especially those expressed for the four remaining
children evacuated. If any friends have been omitted from
the floral list, the family ask them to please accept their
All communications should be addressed to Mr A H Wood of 67
Vernham Road, Plumstead.
July 1985, having identified the unmarked graves, Chris and
I organised a simple marble memorial stone to be erected, in
loving memory to our dear loved ones who so tragically lost
Hume Born 6th Dec. 1898 Plumstead, S. London
Died 1st November 1944 Aged 46 years, Plumstead, S. London
Born 18th January 1905 Long Ashton, Somerset
Died 1st November 1944 Aged 39 years, Plumstead, S. London
Hume Born 26th Jan. 1931 Plumstead, S. London
Died 1st November 1944 Aged 13 years, Plumstead, S. London
Isabella Surridge Born 13th March 1894 Plumstead, S. London
Died 1st November 1944 Aged 50 Years, Plumstead, S. London
with our Uncle & Cousin Marjorie in the back Garden of 67
age 10, Mary, 14, Michael 8 in 1947.
In back garden Vernon Road, Plumstead.
My aunt Agnes
Hume wedding to Arthur Wood at the
Slade Mission, Plumstead. 1942.
Emma Miskin, on the occasion of my aunt Agnes Hume wedding to
Arthur Wood at the Slade Mission, Plumstead. Mara, known as
aunt Mitt to the family, was 69 at the time.
She was born in 1873 in Woolwich and was one of eleven children,
seven girls and four boys.
Her parents names were James and Mary Miskin.
Aunt Mitt was a school teacher, which seemed to run in her family,
as three of her sisters and one brother were also school teachers.
Aunt Mitt and aunt Agnes lived together at 76 Flaxton Road,
Plumstead, with Marjorie and Brenda Surridge until aunt Agnes
was married. Marjorie and Brenda had previously gone to live
with aunt Agnes and aunt Mitt in Flaxton Road at the beginning
of 1933, just before their mother Kate Elizabeth (my aunt) had
sadly died in March of that year when aged just 40 years old.
Following this marriage aunt Agnes and Arthur
Wood went to live at 67 Vernon Road, Plumstead, and aunt Mitt
continued living at Flaxton Road on her own. She attended all
the Sunday services at the Slade Mission regularly and was a
deeply religious person and a devout Christian.
Aunt Mitt remained single all her life and died in May 1965
at Margate 1946.
Uncle, Michael aged 7, Mary 14, Aunt Aggie, Geoffrey 9, and
myself and brother Geoffrey in the garden of 67 Vernham Road,
Plumstead in 1947.