Sons- & daughters-in-law of Walter and Alice Baggs

01. Elizabeth Wilson (Lizzie)

cal 1886 b. Midlothian, Scotland, daughter of John and Margaret (Noble) Wilson 1891 Scotland census, Parish: Leith North; ED: 16; Page: 14; Line: 20; Roll: CSSCT1891_363; ScotlandsPeople
1891 living with grandmother at Annfield 15, Leith, Midlothian 1891 Scotland census
1901 not found in census  
1925-08-08 schoolteacher, of Gowanlea, Church Street, Buckhaven, Fife; m. Walter William Baggs, at Gowanlea, Church Street, Buckhaven, Fife; after banns, according to the forms of the United Free Church of Scotland marriage register, on Scotlands People; National Probate Calendar

. . . refused to be called Mrs Baggs. She couldn’t see herself being able to uphold her dignity against the other mothers of Launceston, if she was Mrs Baggs. So she insisted, she would only marry him if he would agree to change his name. I don’t know why they took the name Pierson—whether it was her maiden name, or was a part of her family name. My mother didn’t feel it was quite right, I remember, but they had to accept it. You can understand—can be embarrassing. She was much more of a dominating personality, he was very quiet and retiring, and refined.

The Memoirs of Sidney Beck
1931-04-09 of 59 Dunheved-road, Launceston, Cornwall Western Morning News, 1931-04-08
after 1931 after her husband's death, went back to Scotland; d. The Memoirs of Sidney Beck; National Probate Calendar

02. Arthur Petts

1885 Q3 b. Guildford, Surrey, son of George William and Henrietta Elizabeth (Snusher) Petts GRO index; TNA: PRO RG 12/559 f141 p3; Trish's Tree
1891 scholar, living with widowed mother and five siblings, in Church Road, Stoke, Guildford PRO RG 12/559 f141 p3
1901 junior clerk (Pickfords), worker, living with mother, sister, and two boarders, at 14 Bedford Road, Stoke, Guildford RG 13/603 f114 p34
1911 manager, general carrier, worker, living with mother and one boarder, in nine rooms at 16 Orange St, Canterbury, Kent RG 14/4341 RD 58 ED 21 SN 87
1911 Q3 m. Alice Margaret Baggs, Medway RD information from Sidney Beck; GRO index; Ken Smallbone (2010) Baggs: The History of a Family. The Ancestors and Descendants of the Baggs Family of Hannington, Hampshire, England. Basingstoke: The Changing Seasons
1915-01-01 stoker on the Formidable, the battleship torpedoed and sunk by enemy action, with the loss of 547 lives, from a complement of 780 Western Times, 1915-01-13; Wikipedia
1915-01-09 gave evidence at an inquest in Brixham into the death of crew member of the Formidable, the battleship that had been sunk by enemy action on 1 January; he had been the last person to see the victim alive:

Arthur Petts, of Chatham, stoker, said on the last day of the old year the deceased was smoking on deck at about 8 o'clock in the evening. Witness jumped from the forecastle, and, getting into a boat, was landed at Lyme Regis.

Western Times, 1915-01-13
1920-04-12 carrier's manager, of Canterbury; initiated at the Royal Military Lodge, Canterbury Library and Museum of Freemasonry; London, England; Freemasonry Membership Registers; Description: Membership Registers: Country Q 1391-1482 to Country R 1486-1575; Reel Number: 48
1920-05-10 'passed' at the Lodge
1920-06-07 'raised'
1920-06-14 certificate
Children: Oliver A. (1921–1974), Clive William (1923–1996) information from Sidney Beck, GRO index
  had a brother George, who lived in Chatham The Memoirs of Sidney Beck

. . . was the manager of the Pickfords’ office—removal agents and travel agents—in Canterbury. I can’t remember seeing them, until I was about twelve, when I went to Canterbury to stay for a week, with Uncle Arthur and Aunt, and my two cousins; . . .

. . . was a much more well-educated, well-read, person, quite a strong character—he was very quiet, and I think very shy, in many ways. I remember my mother saying that her sister Margaret had had a quite unusual courtship with Arthur, that he used to declaim poetry to her, all the while they were out walking. He had a great memory for poetry, and very fond of poetry. He didn’t seem to take a great deal of interest in his children, Oliver and Clive, he left it all entirely to my Aunt Maggie. I think she found it a bit of a handful, having to manage them on her own, without any real assistance from Uncle Arthur, who was more interested in retiring to his room, and reading his books. He became very interested in Christian Science, and tried to convert her. He always took the Christian Science newspaper, and went to their meetings very regularly.

. . . They moved, later, to live over the office itself, or the shopfront, in the centre of Canterbury, not far from the Cathedral—very strategically placed for custom.



Can remember the bath room at the Pickfords’ office, with its old gas geyser. We had nothing like it at Gillingham. While staying at Pickford’s, during the holidays I was occasionally allowed to assist Uncle in the office, stamping dates on tickets etc. & arranging the brochures for holidays etc. for display on the counter. Fascinated by the photos of foreign places to visit. I remember the brochures advertising the Berlin Olympic Games were in the Office.



Uncle Arthur was a member of the Canterbury Players, and he acted in quite a number of their productions—they used to put on a play during the Canterbury cricket week—I think the first week in August was always the time when the Kent team had two very popular fixtures, at Canterbury, for the August bank holiday.

Uncle Arthur would take part of the theatre production during that week, for the visitors; and I remember he had taken a part in T.S. Eliot’s play Murder in the Cathedral, when it was first performed in Canterbury Cathedral. I can’t remember now which part he had, but certainly there were photographs of him in the part. He had a very good memory for poetry, and acting. A very keen Dickens fan. He gave recitals. I seen to remember a photograph of him as Uriah Heap wringing his hands. And he was always interested in the theatre. I remember, on a later occasion, when I was older (probably I was in the senior school, a prefect of the school) he came to stay overnight, with my mother, on his way back from Stratford—he’d been to the Shakespeare theatre at Stratford—soon after it opened, I suppose—and he was very full of what a wonderful theatre it was. Either then (or another occasion) he took me to a production of the local repertory company, in Rochester (they had a very good local theatre there), I think it was called The Dover Road—which I found very interesting.

When I stayed with them at the shop, in Canterbury, I remember he gave me a few odd jobs to do, in the office—I could do stamping up headed stationery with the address of the firm, and—doing odd little administrative jobs in the office—probably to keep me quiet, or—keep me occupied. In the afternoon I would go to the Kent cricket ground, and see the professional cricketers.

I remember spending one August Bank Holiday week at Canterbury visiting the Cricket ground most days, matching Tich Freeman, Leslie Ames, Chapman, Frank Woolley etc. & ‘Johnny Won’t Hit Today’ Douglas (J.W.H.T. Douglas—?Capt. Hants). Uncle took me to tea in the Rotarian’ Tent.

The Buffs band played under the trees. And I think on one or two occasions he took me to see the game, he came with me, it may have been his Wednesday afternoon off, and—he had a membership card for one of the tents, where we could have a sit-down meal, during the lunch-hour, and sit on the chairs in front of the tent during the game, and not have to go in with the hoi-polloi in the uncomfortable seats sitting around the ground.

He was a very sort of interesting person to listen to, talk to, and—away from the table—he probably wouldn’t say anything at the table, at all, if I remember, except say a few words of correction to keep the boys quiet, or something. There was never any sort of intellectual or any interesting conversation with my aunt, at the table. In his own study he would talk quite fluently, and talk about what he was reading, and tell me about Canterbury, and cricket, and the theatre.



My Uncle Arthur was removed from the office at Canterbury—there’d been a reorganisation nationally. New ideas had been brought in to the organisation of Pickfords’, and I think there was a general impression that the office at Canterbury wasn’t producing all the amount of profit that it could be, that they needed a younger man with new ideas, and—it’s possible that my uncle, with his obsession with Christian Science, had made it interfere with his working habits and contacts. I don’t know—but anyway, they decided to move him from Canterbury, and all his friends, and all his associations, and so on, to take charge of the Croydon office; and this upset his mental balance. He got so obsessed with the idea that he’d been very badly treated by the firm, he couldn’t adapt to the new surroundings, new people, he couldn’t adapt to making a new contacts with theatre people in Croydon, he wanted to go back to Canterbury and resume his contacts there; and it unhinged him. It made it very difficult for my Aunt Margaret; and eventually he had to have electromagnetic therapy, electric shock treatment, to try and clear his mind from this obsession. But it didn’t really have the effect hoped for on him, and he gradually got worse and died; I don’t quite know the actual medical details, but—it was a rather sad ending to him.

1939-09-29 manager, Pickford's Ltd, road transport ind., living with his wife at 20 St Margaret's St, Canterbury, Kent 1939 England and Wales Register (TNA: PRO RG 101)
1944-06-06 Vice-President of Canterbury Rotary Club; unanimously elected President for the coming year Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 1944-06-10

At the meeting of the Canterbury Rotary Club on Tuesday the retiring President (Rotarian Petts) thanked the members for their loyal support during the past year and extended a cordial welcome to the New President [ . . . ]

Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 1945-07-07
1949-03-18 of 5 Old Palace-road, Croydon, Surrey; d. at Warlingham Park Hospital, Chelsham, Surrey letter from Maggie Petts to Ruth & Sidney Beck, 1951-03-27, in my possession; GRO index; National Probate Calendar
1949-06-04 will proved in London by Henrietta Dorothy Petts, spinster; effects £1005 16s. National Probate Calendar

03. Reuben Alexander Beck

04. Grace Harriden

1883-06-09 b. St John's, Redhill, Surrey, daughter of George Harriden and his wife Sarah Jane parish register; GRO index; censuses; Ken Smallbone (2010) Baggs: The History of a Family. The Ancestors and Descendants of the Baggs Family of Hannington, Hampshire, England. Basingstoke: The Changing Seasons; RG14PN3228 RG78PN121 RD37 SD2 ED21 SN188
1883-08-19 bapt. St John's, Redhill parish register
1890-12-19 attending St John's School; tied for first place in Standard I, Girls' School Surrey Mirror, 1890-12-27
1891 scholar, living with family in four rooms at St John's, Redhill TNA PRO RG 12/578 f128 p14
1891-12-21 won first prize for Standard II, Girls; had attended 400 times out of a possible 401 Surrey Mirror, 1891-12-26
1892-12 won first prize for Standard III, Girls, as well as first prize for needlework, Standard III, Girls Surrey Mirror, 1892-12-31
1893-12 won first prize for general improvement, Standard IV, Girls; had attended 398 out of a possible 403 times Surrey Mirror, 1893-12-23
1894-12-20 won first prize, Standard V, Girls Surrey Mirror, 1894-12-21
1900-08-14 passed in the 2nd class for model drawing, in the Science and Art exams at Redhill Technical Institute and School of Science and Art Surrey Mirror
1900-10-19 junior pupil teacher, of St John's, Redhill; had passed in Class 2 of the examination in religious knowledge, of the Rochester Diocesan Board of Education, held at the Reigate Centre Surrey Mirror
1901 pupil teacher at elementary school, worker, living with family in four rooms at 5 Union Rd, Reigate, Surrey PRO RG 13/627 f94 p9
1901-04-22 at the prize giving of the Pupil Teachers' Centre Classes Church Schools' Union, Reigate, at St Mark's Lecture Room, Reigate, won a Diocesan Scripture prize, and a prize for domestic economy and needlework; had only missed one attendance Surrey Mirror, 1901-04-26
1901-08-06 in exams at Redhill Technical Institute, had passed geometrical drawing and model drawing, both in the 2nd class Sussex Agriculture Express
1902-04-29 in the Rural Deanery of Reigate, Centre Classes for Pupil Teachers, had passed Well in the Government examination in October last; had only missed one attendance; won a prize for success in the Government exam, as well as coming 2nd on the list for Domestic Economy, for successful work at the centre and at home Sussex Agricultural Express
1902-06 of Redhill St John's; had passed in the 1st class, winning a prize, in the Rochester Diocesan Board of Education exam Surrey Mirror, 1902-10-10
1902-07-18 had passed 2nd class for freehand drawing, in the recent exam at the Technical Institute Surrey Mirror
1903-05-04 at the AGM of the Church Schools' Union, in the Parish Hall, Reigate, had passed the King's Scholarship Examination the previous December, in the second class; in the religious knowledge exam the previous June had placed 10th on a list of 107 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, 1903-05-09
1903-09-12 in the Technical Institute exams, had passed in blackboard drawing Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, 1903-09-12
1904-04-04 one of five bridesmaids at the wedding of her brother Arthur J. Harriden and Esther E. (Hettie) Mercer, at St Paul's Church Surrey Mirror, 1904-04-08
1911 schoolmistress, Reigate Educ. Committee, living with family in four rooms at 5 Union Rd, St Johns, Redhill RG14PN3228 RG78PN121 RD37 SD2 ED21 SN188
1913-08-04 of 'Highfield', Knighton Rd, Redhill, Surrey; m. Frank Henry John Baggs, St Michael & All Angels, Southfields, Wandsworth, London; after banns parish register; information from Sidney Beck; GRO index; Smallbone (2010)
Child: (Christine) Nora Harriden (1914–1991) information from Sidney Beck; GRO index
1921/1927, 1929/1933 living with her husband at 42 Wincanton Road, Southfield, SW18 electoral registers
1935/1939 living with her husband and daughter at 42 Wincanton Road, London SW 18 electoral registers
1939-09-29 not found in 1939 Register 1939 England and Wales Register (TNA: PRO RG 101)
  "They had a pleasant house, in Wandsworth."

Moved to Broadstone, Dorset, during the war, when the school where John taught was evacuated. Never moved back to London.

The Memoirs of Sidney Beck

Aunt Grace was a very quiet, retiring sort of person. I always remember her as—no-rimmed spectacles, and—very, very pleasant person altogether, and quite a refined, educated type. I think she must have been a bit of an invalid, in many ways—she didn’t seem to be a very robust sort of woman. She had quite a long illness, before she died, and she went blind. She was blind, certainly for the last year before she died. She belonged to the talking book library, and Norah looked after her.

1944-11-05 husband of School House, Broadstone, near Wimborne, Dorset, at the date of his death National Probate Calendar
1945-02-23 administrator of her husband's will
1946-06 of Broadstone Sidney Beck's diary
1954-01-12 of 29 Dunyeats-road, Broadstone, Dorset; d. Poole RD information from Sidney Beck; GRO index; National Probate Calendar
1954-01-15 (late of) Dunyeats Rd, Broadstone; bur. Broadstone Sidney Beck's diary; parish register
1954-03-30 will proved at London by Christine Nora Harriden Baggs; effects £1296 10s. 11d. National Probate Calendar


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