Notes on Beckwith Family
Generations 10 onwards -
Offspring of Thomas William Beckwith and Emily Gertrude Speaight
in Tree 2 Notes)
underlined are those which apply following marriage & carry through to
icon or mini-portrait to view photos of the person in the Picture
Beckwith - b
Jan 1891, died 1st Nov 1958.
Eric was responsible for much of the
early family history research work with Goldsmiths and, in a
letter to them dated Feb 1951 he says that he had recently
retired from "the executive establishment of the War
Office". In a letter
written by Nancy in Jan 1950 she mentions that Eric now had 'an easier job'
as 'an Architect in the War Office'.
WW1 he lived in the parental homes in the Hornsey and Crouch End
areas. A keen runner and cyclist in his teens but also, like
his sisters, Eric was a gifted musician, particularly as a
pianist, Gilbert & Sullivan operettas being one of the
on 22nd June 1922 Winifred Gladys DEXTER b 10th Sep 1897, d 11th May 1986.
She was the middle one of the three daughters of William Morton
DEXTER (a clerk in an advertising agency b1873 in St Pancras) and
Ellen Louisa MURPHY (b1875 in Islington), the other two being
Aldrea Ellen (b1896) and Nellie (b1900). In the 1911 census - the
first that householders completed themselves in their own fair
hand - William lists his daughter as 'Winnie Dexter', the
name by which she was later universally known in the family
because both Eric and 1st cousin Gerald married Winifreds so
there were two concurrent Winifred Beckwiths. (Aside - the
spelling of 'Aldrea' in 1911 is quite clear but she appears as 'Aldred'
in birth records.)
Eric & Winnie's marriage, the family moved to 'Crantock', 47 Grimsdyke
Crescent, Barnet, Hertfordshire (which Eric designed) and they remained there until Winnie's
death in 1986. Why the Cornish house name? Son
Roger explains ... "My father trained as an architect
before he went into the army, and though he did not afterwards
practise the profession because of the slump in house-building
which followed the First World War, he himself designed the house
in which we lived. He called it 'Crantock' because that was the
name of the village in
where he and my mother spent their honeymoon."
They had 3
children - Una, Roger & Lorna - See 11-10.1
Beckwith - b 7th
Sep 1897, died 18th July 1966
self-effacing and gentle personality, Ailsa was a devoted wife and mother.
Although very frail in health, she always thought of others before herself
and liked people, keeping in close touch with many friends and relatives
as well as helping an assortment of "lame ducks". She was keenly
interested in international affairs, strongly supporting the United
Nations, peace movements and organisations for alleviating world poverty.
Musically talented, she played the piano well and, in youth, the violin.
The whole family were closely connected with Park Chapel Congregational
Church in Crouch End, where she met her husband."
recall that her last years were spent at Whetstone
(south of Barnet), Herts
in Edmonton, Middx, on 6th Sep 1919 Frank BUTLER, b 9th March
1883 in Hastings, Sussex; died 7th April 1959
was educated at Tollington Park School, London N, where his father was
headmaster. Following medical training at Charing Cross Hospital, he
became a dental surgeon with a practice in the City which he ran for
nearly 50 years, broken only by First World War service in the Middle East
as a Medical Officer. A clever and artistic man of great originality and
many parts. Extremely musical, he played the piano well and the trumpet to
professional standard. Amongst his many interests were archaeology and
history; he was an expert on English church architecture and church
towers. Upon retirement he painted reproductions of old English church
stained-glass windows, most of which are now held by the National
Buildings Record for the benefit of students of stained-glass."
censuses bear out the earlier family background - in 1911 Frank
is shown as a 29 yr old dentist, son of Edward Albert Butler
(schoolmaster, born in Alton, Hants in 1845 but he is shown in
1891 specifically as 'Teacher Mathematics & Science; Author
Entomology"). Frank's mother was Lucy PORTER, (born in 1852
in Madras, India, but educated at a 'school for ladies' in St
Pancras thence lived with her widowed mother in Bedford). Edward
& Lucy married in Sep qtr 1877 in Hastings, where Edward
Butler was a schoolmaster at the "University Preparty Sch,
Hastings Holy Trinity aka Priory" (sic) until the mid
1880's, hence Frank having been born there as well as his two
elder sisters, Marguerite Lucy (b1879) and Constance Emily
In 1891 &
1901, the family were at 39 Ashley Road, Islington (just off the
south side of Crouch Hill, Crouch End) but by 1911 they had
switched over to the north side of Crouch Hill - to 56 Cecile
Park - which is in Hornsey borough, but still just a stone's
throw from the Mountview Theatre in Crouch Hill. Also in the
household are his two younger sisters who are both in their
mid-20's - Edith Mary (b1884 in Holloway) and Grace ('School
Secretary', b1885 also in Holloway) plus Beatrice Mary Fayers, a
20yr old servant from Suffolk.
in Nov 1945 about the effects of WW2 on various members of the
family, Nancy says "Ailsa had her home blasted and her
husband's surgery in Finsbury Square was destroyed. All his
valuable instruments and equipment were destroyed. The dental
chair cost over £200"
had 3 children - Margery, Sheila & Michael - See 11-10.2
- b 8th Nov 1900, died 27th Sep 1961
singer (and singing teacher) with a fine soprano voice, Silvia mainly sang
as soloist in major oritorios (notably the Messiah, Elijah and Merrie
England) in North London churches and concert halls. She broadcast several
radio recitals (9 o'clock Home Service mainly) both before and after the
1939-45 war whilst, during the war, she toured with ENSA entertaining
hospital patients. Her
premature death was attributable to a combination of a decline in singing
engagements and the then recent deaths of both her husband and elder son.
3rd qtr1923 in the Edmonton registration district, Silvia married
John Edward GABRIEL, b 1st Dec 1896 in Kentish Town,
London NW; died 29th May 1960. John ('Jack') was the
younger son of Frederick Gabriel (a 'Draper Shopkeeper' b1868 in
Pilton, part of Barnstaple in Devon) and Mary Elizabeth HANCOCK
(b1869 in the USA but a naturalised British subject) who had
married in Barnstaple in Sep qtr 1894. How come Mary was born in Massachusetts
when both her mother (Sarah Courtney BENHAM) and her father (John
Nicholas HANCOCK) and all her younger siblings were born in or
around Barnstaple ?
Anyway, in 1901, when
Jack Gabriel was 4, the family home was in Rathcoole Parade, 34
Tottenham Lane, Hornsey - presumably the draper's shop that they
ran; the Rathcoole Parade part of Tottenham Lane is down on the
41's close to Hornsey Railway Station. With him and his
parents were his elder brother - Frederick George Gabriel (b1895)
- and Mary's sister plus another member of the Hancock family
from Devon as drapery assistants. By 1911 the family had moved to
17 Park Avenue South, Crouch End, just across Priory Road
from Silvia Beckwith & co, the Gabriel family comprising only
Jack and his parents, his father now a 'cashier'.
known to most people (except his mother!) as 'Jack', was a keen horseman
and served during the 1914-18 war in the 16th Lancers. His very varied
career included periods in furniture sales, property management,
entertainment (serving with ENSA during the 1939-45 war and later being
part-owner of a concert party), printer, gardener, and chauffer. At the
time of his death he was a manufacturers' agent for a hardware company."
(Desmond Gabriel (JDG))
home was latterly in Mill Hill, N London. They had 2 children - Alan and
John Desmond - See 11-10.3 for
Offspring of Eric
Thomas Beckwith & Winifred
Gladys Dexter (10.1)
Beckwith - born
10th Sep 1925, died 24th July 1985 in Barnet, Herts.
letter written by Nancy in 1945 she says Una "has gained a
Science Scholarship at London University and is now at King's
born 21st July 1929. Became an Anglican priest (officiating at Nancy's
funeral near Worthing in 1956), latterly in Oxford.
Married on 6th
December 1958 Janette PULLIN, b 24th June 1939
Their 4 children
are Johnathan Thomas, Paul, Simon Matthew and Sarah - See 12-11.2
Beckwith - born
4th Feb 1931. Lived in Borehamwood (Herts) before moving in late 1980's to
Abingdon, Berks where she died in 22nd June 2009.
On 1st Sep 1979,
married William KELLAM, b 16th Nov 1905, died 1992
Offspring of Ailsa
Gertrude Beckwith & Frank Butler (10.2)
Constance Butler - b 16th
Oct 1920, died 25 Jan 2017. "Educated at Seager House boarding school,
Hayling Island. In Womens Land Army during WW2. Afterwards
trained as a full-time youth leader and did youth work in London
for some years then went back to secretarial and administrative
work, mainly in social welfare and, finally, at Kent Music School
in Maidstone. Interested in all the arts, particularly
music." (Margery's own words). Since the 1950s the
marital home was at Loose near Maidstone in Kent but after being widowed,
she travelled quite
extensively with sister Sheila. Her last homes were near Ashford and
finally Rochester. 'Peacefully passed away at Rochester Care Home on
the 25th January 2017, aged 96 years.'
On 6th May 1944,
married Andrew PEARS, b 13th Oct 1911, died 10th Jan 1975. "The
youngest son of Charles Pears, the marine painter, who was the
first president of the Society of Marine Artists. Andrew's
working life was much handicapped by frail health, but he had a
great love of writing reading and music." (Margery
Butler ('Sheila') - b 26th Sep 1922, died 2012 near Maidstone, Kent.
Tollington High School. Drama training at Central School of
Speech Training and Dramatic Art - acted in repertory for some
years. Then trained as a teacher of mentally handicapped and
Montessori training - taught children at first then transferred
to the Adult Centre for the Handicapped in Barnet, Herts.
Interested in all the arts, particularly alternative healing
therapy and, until her move to Kent, she was a member of the
Healing Group in Hendon."
Butler - b 21st
Jan 1924, died 16th August 2013 in Broadstairs.
"Educated at Tollington School and Bishops
Stortford College. Medical training at St Mary's Hospital,
London." Following the family move to Broadstairs in the late
1950's, was "Consultant General Surgeon at Thanet
District Hospital for 30 years and much respected for his skill,
kindness and dedication. Keen on all sports, particularly sailing
and skiing as well as gardening and music - became chairman of
Thanet Festival Choir." (Margery Pears)
On 31st May 1947
married Marjorie PARSONS, b 2nd March 1921, whose family originates from
Port Isaac in Cornwall "She served as a JP at Ramsgate Magistrates
Court and was a member of Thanet Festival
Choir and Ramsgate Operatic Society where she sang a number of
solo parts." (Margery Pears).
Marjorie died in Spring
2015 in Broadstairs.
They had two
children - for details see
Jack & Silvia Gabriel (10.3)
Frances Beckwith & John Edward Gabriel)
Gabriel - born 1st
June 1927, died 10th Jan 1957 in Mill Hill, N London.
developed a keen interest in acting and the theatre at an early age,
joining the Italia Conti Stage School and taking part in many productions
of their traditional show 'When the Rainbow Ends'. He too toured with ENSA
towards the end of the war, working with Donald Wolfitt (RSC) and in
'Thunder Rock' with Noel Johnson (later the BBC's 'Dick Barton - special
When 'resting' he worked in shoe retailing then, in his mid-twenties, he
moved into retail management. A keen churchman and Sunday School teacher,
he was engaged to marry a fellow teacher at the time of his sudden death
Gabriel ('Desmond') - born 28th May 1929. Died 1991.
On 30th March
1963 in Orpington, Kent, married Thelma
Patricia WILSON, b 8th Dec 1937.
inherited his mother's love of music and singing talent. In 1938 he became
a chorister at Westminster Abbey then, when that choir was disbanded due
to the war, transferred to the choir of New College Oxford in which he
sang as a treble solo during the regularly broadcast Choral Evensong.
After leaving Magdalen College School (1943-1948), where he was latterly
Head Boy, he was commissioned in the RAEC on National Service. In 1949 he
won a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford.
three years as a preparatory school teacher (1952-1955) and a flirtation
with the professional theatre in musical comedy and pantomime, he began a
25 year career in 1961 with the London County Council's Education dept
(latterly the ILEA) as a Youth Employment Officer/Careers Officer.
Bromley Girls Grammar School (where she was head girl), Thelma trained
then worked as an SRN at Guy's Hospital until marriage in 1963. Her
recurring back trouble required major surgery in the early 1970's but she
continued for a while to play an active part in church life (as a Sunday
School Supt and committee chairman) as well as work voluntarily for
Beckenham Citizens' Advice Bureau until precluded by the progressive
worsening of her back condition" (JDG)
couple had three children - Alison and twins John & Richard (see 12-11.22
for details) - and spent their married life in the Bromley/Beckenham area
of West Kent. Thelma has since re-married (Michael MILLER) and more recently moved to
Seaford in Sussex.
Offspring of Roger
Thomas Beckwith & Janette Pullin (11.2)
Thomas Beckwith - born 28th March 1961.
On March 22nd 1997,
he married Jane BEADLE
and they have two children - Joseph Thomas b1998 and Luke Anthony
- b 12th March 1963. Lives in Winslow
On 18th April 1987, he married Susan Jane
opthalmic optician. They have three children - Thomas Mark, b 9th April 1991,
Katherine Lucy, b1993 and Emily Clare, b 18th Jan 1995.
Beckwith - b 21st Sep 1965. Obtained a
degree in Law thence, c1990, his Masters degree.
He married Julie THOMPSON.
Beckwith - b 31st Dec 1967. She trained as a nurse
in Brighton (see item under Nancy Beckwith in Tree 2 notes) and became a fully-fledged
staff nurse in 1991.
She married Stephen JONES and they have two
children - Maisie Elizabeth b1994 and Eleanor Catherine, born in Brighton on 6th September
Offspring of Michael Butler and Marjorie
Christopher Michael Butler - born 13th July 1952. Educated at St
Lawrence College in Ramsgate then medical training at Westminster
Hospital, he followed his father into surgery and
achieved Master of Surgery in 1985.
On 15th May 1976, married Hilary BADGER, born 12th
They have two children.
Nigel Butler - born 10th June 1956. Also educated at St
Lawrence College in Ramsgate followed by medical training at
Westminster Hospital, he too entered the medical profession
becoming a GP in Essex.
On 12th July 1980, married Julia O'KELLY, born 18th
They have five children.
Offspring of John
Desmond Gabriel and Thelma Wilson (11.22)
b 24th March 1964
the family's musical tradition by showing early competence as a violinist,
winning a Junior Exhibition at the Royal College of Music and becoming a
leading violinist with Bromley Schools Symphony Orchestra. Following
school and initial training as an SRN at Guy's, she is currently training
in social work as part of a Social Sciences degree course at Middlesex
Poly." (JDG - 1987)
Gabriel - b 24th Nov
head boy at Ravensbourne School for Boys - now studying for B.Sc in
Management and Administration Studies at Aston."
(JDG - 1987)
Gabriel - b
24th Nov 1966 (twins)
a prefect at the same school as his twin brother - now studying for B.Sc
in Management Sciences at Warwick"
(JDG - 1987)
2003, married Fiona GIBBONS (b1969) and they
have one child, Kyle Aidan John (b 6th August 2006)
Return to Tree
Back to the top of
Continue on to
Return to Index
Copyright or other Intellectual Rights applicable to listed information
sources is hereby acknowledged.
original material is © 1985-2020 copyright Malcolm Surl, all rights
For permission to use any material from this site, please
apply to email@example.com
updated 8th Oct 2020