Land Clan

The Lands of Eltham

2009-08-01 – 11:40:35

1. The Land-Wyatts of Eltham

At the tail end of 1987 a discussion with my mother threw up some more information on her side of the family. Here is a more organised set of notes from those scribbled down at the end of the eleventh journal.

My mother, Ethel Winifred Land, was born at an infirmary in Southwark on July 15th 1915 as the fourth child of James Land and Louisa Wyatt. Her father had a brother Len, a sister Florrie and another sister Hilda Land who is still alive and living in Bognor Regis with another Land (May).

On her father’s side (through her father’s mother) there are the family names of Hogg and Crump. My mother never knew her mother’s mother but did know something about her father’s mother who had the Crump name and was somehow ‘mixed up with gold mining in South Africa’. Her mother Louisa Wyatt…my maternal grandmother…had two sisters who ‘went into service’, one of them in a large house in Blackheath. Apart from this sister, my mother remembers nothing of her mother’s people and does not remember having anything much to do with them.

My mother’s memory of my grandfather’s family centres on two characters. There was her own grandfather James Land who was ‘mixed up with show business’ and was in charge of a big annual charity concert at the London Palladium. And then there was the memorable Aunt Priscilla and a Lylie Hogg of whom she told me a little.

Aunt Priscilla was ‘mixed up with the Crumps’ and ‘had pots of money’. She lived in a big old Victorian house in the Old Kent Road, shopped at Harrods and ‘had shares in a South African diamond mine’. My mother and her brother Ted used to love going there and she has many memories of ‘fun and mischief’. ‘Everything in the house was musical’. My mother once showed me a photograph of her. She was a ‘big woman’…large, stern and dressed in black in the way of Victorian portraits. Her husband John is dominated by his wife in the photograph.

My mother has vivid memories of John and Priscilla. ‘Dear John,’ Aunt Priscilla would say, ‘go down to the basement and fetch some wine. Go straight down. Don’t touch a thing. And come straight back!’ When Aunt Priscilla died John threw open the house and the wine cellars to the whole of the Old Kent Road…and drank himself to death in four days flat! Attempting to accommodate this into a family tree leaves us with something like this:

Land-Wyatt-Crump-Hogg

The Lands of Eltham

My mother’s marriage to my father, William Franklin Etherden, was her second. Her first was to Les Rash from Bow in London’s East End who was reported missing and eventually presumed dead in the disastrous 1941 invasion of Greece…there is a record at the allied cemetery in Piraeus.

On the mantelpiece in my mother’s (and my father’s) bedroom was a photograph of her first husband mounted upon a camel with the pyramids as a backdrop…the invasion force for the Greek Campaign had been recruited from Montgomery’s Eighth Army. During the 1950s my mother would travel across the River Thames once a month to visit ‘Nanna Rash’…her mother-in-law.

We knew my mother’s siblings and their families. But apart from them, the only relatives we knew well…because they lived close to us on Dumbreck Road in Eltham was another of my mother’s aunts…Florrie. She was my grandfather’s sister and emigrated to Canada after her marriage to Will Woodstock, who survived her by many years well into his late eighties.

A visit to Aunty Florrie and Uncle Will was obligatory at Christmas. We had afternoon tea and always came away with half a crown each. Aunty Florrie played the piano fairly well, playing from sheet music many of the Tin Pan Alley musical favourites of the early years of the century…songs like ‘How much is the doggie in the window?’ are ingrained in my memory as a perennial feature of Christmas at Aunty Florrie’s. She had a dog…a white fluffy scotch terrier…and was the only relative I remember that had any animals in her house…a dog and a budgerigar.

Peter Etherden

2nd June 1989


Hoggs & Hailshams

Famous ancestors on my father’s side of the family are few and far between. The Australian branch of the family can be traced back to Benjamin Etherden who was apprehended in Lamberhurst for stealing a pair of shoes, sentenced to death and then transported to Botany Bay; and the last century saw Etherdens serving with distinction in the London Fire Brigade and the Royal Mint.

But otherwise, except for a Chair Bodger [1] in Sussex…an honourable profession in the 17th century…and a Thames Barge skipper or two freighting bricks from the River Lea to the London Docks, the Etherdens’ and Eatherdens’ have distinguished themselves mainly by keeping out of harm’s way and maintaining their ancestral line.

However there have been hints that my mother ‘married beneath her’. As such judgements still carried meaning in the middle of the last century, my search for distinguished ancestors has now turned to the matrilineal line where we have the names of Wyatt, Crump and Hogg…and specifically a Lylie Hogg who married a Crump.

It was Lylie Hogg’s daughter who married my great grandfather James Land. The Lands, Hoggs and Crumps then joined geneological forces with the Wyatts when James’ son…also James…married Louisa Wyatt. In the fullness of time they became known to their grandchildren growing up in the 1950s just inside the London County Council border with the County of Kent as Nanna and Grandpop. [2]

Grandpop was a supervisor at the London Docks with a house at 23 Greenvale Road in Eltham Park and an allotment on the other side of the Eltham Road…just opposite the bus stop for the number 21 bus to Sidcup and Farningham. He worked his allotment every Sunday so one of the more enduring memories I have from my childhood is of Grandpop arriving home for Sunday lunch loaded up with produce from the allotment.

After lunch he would play shove ha’penny and dominoes with his grandchildren before retiring into a corner to smoke his pipe. Grandpop died of cancer at a relatively young age of 67 and was the only person I knew who smoked a pipe. After her husband died Nanna moved to Penhill Road in Bexley and lived to the grand old age of 93, although blind for her last ten years.

My mother was born in 1915 so I calculate that my grandparents would have been born around 1880…my mother was the youngest of four children…and Lylie Hogg two generations prior to this around 1830. So this is where the search for my Hogg connection will commence.

The Hoggs have come closest to becoming the great British political dynasty of the 20th century [3]. In the House of Lords, the highest office is that of Lord Chancellor, a position held by Douglas Hogg (Lord Hailsham) in 1928-9 and 1935-8, and by his son Quinton (Lord Hailsham) from 1979 to 1987.

Neville Chamberlain and Douglas Hogg were considered to be contenders to succeed Baldwin as Tory leader in 1927. Some thirty years later, in 1963, his son relinquished the Hailsham title to fight for the party leadership.

The third generation continued this involvement in Conservative Party politics with Douglas Hogg as Agriculture Secretary in John Major’s government and his wife, Sarah, heading up the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit.

Notes

[1] A bodger was a skilled craftsman that made chair legs and braces. The craft of bodging goes back about five hundred years and demonstrations of bodging can still be seen at many traditional craft fairs. In the towns and cities repairing chairs was a common profession for injured or retired sailors. They would often set up shop in a quiet alley and send their wife or a child out to solicit work. The name Bodger may have derived from Badger, as the life of a bodger was similar in many ways as they spent the whole day in the wood only coming out in the evening.

[2] The exact address was 124 Crookston Road, which is at the newer end of the street where the Bilton Estates houses built in 1936 back onto Oxleas Woods on the slopes of Shooters Hill.

[3] This judgement comes from Graham Stewart, author of Burying Caesar: Churchill, Chamberlain and the Battle for the Tory Party (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London, 1999, ISBN 0 75381 060 3).

The Philpott Letters 

sue phillpot

2006-03-06 @ 14:44:57

Dear Peter
You may not remember me, but we met many moons ago at the house of your Aunt Freda (Tup) in Weston-super-Mare.

I was married to your cousin Bill for many years, and we had 3 children. Now I am a grandma and I am creating the family tree for the children. I am trying to find out about the LAND side of the family – can you send details of their history?

I remember your mum well as she used to visit with Freda often – and I also remember your Grandma LAND and Auntie Florrie. But as to other names, dates, etc, I have no idea, and Bill doesn’t seem to know anything either.

I hope you can find time to reply.

Yours
Sue
irene-jack@wanadoo.fr

Peter Etherden

2006-04-08 @ 14:59:28

At the tail end of 1987 a discussion with my mother threw up some more information on her side of the family. Here is a more organised set of notes from those scribbled down at the end of the eleventh journal.

My mother, Ethel Winifred Land, was born at an infirmary in Southwark on July 15th 1915 as the fourth child of James Land and Louisa Wyatt. Her father had a brother Len, a sister Florrie and another sister Hilda Land who is still alive and living in Bognor Regis with another Land (May). On her father’s side (presumably through her father’s mother) there are the family names of Hogg and Crump. My mother never knew her mother’s mother but did know something about her father’s mother who had the Crump name and was somehow ‘mixed up with gold mining in South Africa’. Her mother Louisa Wyatt…my maternal grand mother…had two sisters who ‘went into service’, one of them in a large house in Blackheath. Apart from this sister, my mother remembers nothing of her mother’s people and does not remember having anything much to do with them.
My mother’s memory of my grandfather’s family centres on two characters. There was her own grandfather James Land who was ‘mixed up with show business’ and was in charge of a big annual charity concert at the London Palladium. And then there was the memorable Aunt Priscilla and a Lylie Hogg of whom she told me little. Aunt Priscilla was ‘mixed up with the Crumps’ and ‘had pots of money’. She lived in a big old Victorian house in the Old Kent Road, shopped at Harrods and ‘had shares in a South African diamond mine’. My mother and her brother Ted used to love going there and she has many memories of ‘fun and mischief’. ‘Everything in the house was musical’.  Aunt Priscilla was a ‘big woman’. I have seen a photograph of her as the archetypal Victorian aunt. Her husband John was completely dominated by Priscilla as he stands alongside her in the photograph. My mother has vivid memories of John and Priscilla. ‘Dear John,’ Aunt Priscilla would say, ‘go down to the basement and fetch some wine. Go straight down. Don’t touch a thing. And come straight back!’ When Aunt Priscilla died John threw open the house and the wine cellars to the whole of the Old Kent Road…and drank himself to death in four days flat! My mother’s marriage to my father was her second. Her first was to Les Rash from East London who was reported missing and eventually presumed dead in the disastrous 1941 invasion of Greece…there is a record at the allied cemetery in Piraeus. My mother kept a photograph of him on a camel by the pyramids in her (and my father’s) bedroom for as long as I can remember. She used to travel across the river to the East End once a month in the 1950s to visit ‘Nanna Rash’…presumably her mother-in-law. The only relative we knew well…because she lived close to us on Dumbreck Road in Eltham was another of my mother’s aunts…Florrie. She was on my grandfather’s side of the family, had lived for many years in Canada and was married to Will Woodstock who survived her by many years well into his late eighties. A visit to Aunty Florrie and Uncle Will was obligatory at Christmas. We had afternoon tea and always came away with half a crown each. Aunty Florrie played the piano fairly well, playing from sheet music many of the Tin Pan Alley musical favourites of the early years of the century…songs like ‘How much is the doggie in the window?’ are ingrained in my memory as a perennial feature of Christmas at Aunty Florrie’s. She had a dog…a white fluffy scotch terrier…and was the only relative I remember that had any animals in her house…a dog and a budgerigar.
written in June 1989 and updated in April 2007

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