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  Bulmer & District History Group

Memories of Ethel Mary Eaves

August 23rd 1893 - February 16th 1979

(Over 100 years ago)

Told by her Granddaughter Jenny Wicks nee Cansell in 2018)













Ethel was born in Bulmer, Essex, the baseborn daughter of Eliza Eaves, who was the 4th Child of William and Eliza Eaves of Bulmer Street.


The other children of William and Eliza were in age order Charlotte, Walter, Charles, Eliza my Gt. Grandma, Emily, Hannah, James, twins Samuel and Peter and Ellen known as Maud who married Sydney Rowe (his second wife).


Remembering the way that she used to speak, as if her Aunts and Uncles were her brothers and sisters, it was very likely that she was brought up by William and Eliza and possibly with the help of Walter and his wife Lizzie as my father (Walter Cansell) always called Lizzie, nanny!


Ethel left school at the age of 13 years with a Labour Certificate from the Local Education Authority Showing to their satisfaction that she was beneficially employed.

While at Bulmer School she was given a silver brooch. These were given by a member of the Burke family, to those pupils who had not missed a days schooling for a whole year.


Grandma went to Sunday School and was confirmed at St Andrew's by the Rev. Arthur Pidgeon Pannell in May 1909 .


A domestic servant she was in service at Borley Lodge in 1910 but could have been there earlier?


By 1911 Ethel had moved to Surrey to work in the house of Mr W. Fairclough alongside her Aunt Hannah, and where she stayed for a number of years.


On 22nd June 1921 Ethel married John Cansell from Gestingthorpe, at St. Andrew's Church, their wedding photograph was taken outside Brickwall Cottages, Bulmer Street the home of Walter and Lizzie.


They lived in Smeetham Hall Lane, where Ethel took in washing and John worked as a horseman on the farm. Their son Walter was born there on 25th June 1924 and they were still living there in 1930.


John and Ethel had many moves one being to Stisted Essex. This is where their son Walter met my mother Margaret Pilgrim. They were married at Stisted Church on 22nd September 1945.


John and Ethel's last tied cottage was in Halstead Road High Garrett, when grandad worked with horses, for George Linfoot. The 1950s saw the introduction of tractors and the horses were obsolete so grandad found a job at Wethersfield airbase and they moved to council accommodation in Braintree.

















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At the age of 9, Ethel was awarded a  badge for attending school for a whole year without any absence.

(Click the image to view a

larger picture)

On leaving school, Ethel obtained a certificate to confirm she had attended school until the legal age and was now able to be employed.


(Click the image to view a larger picture)

Maude Rowe? outside Borley Lodge, where Ethel commenced employment aged 13 years old. On the back is written,

Dear Ethel I am sending you this photo just so that you should not forget it, I am afraid its not a very good one. Cheer up for Xmas this is all I have to say just now, wishing you a merry Xmas and bright New Year Maude.

(Click the image to view a

larger picture)

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Presented to Ethel by Bulmer Sunday School in 1905

Presented to Ethel by Bulmer Sunday School in 1914

Presented to Ethel by Bulmer Sunday School, note the title of the book!

Ethel & John Cansell on their wedding day in 1921 outside Brickwall Cottages, the home of Walter & Lizzie Eaves

Click on the images for a larger picture