NEWBERY, George Dunster
Died 25 April 1943, aged 69
George was born on 9 April 1874 in Chardstock, Devon to Alfred and Elizabeth Newbery. Alfred had been born in Tatworth, Somerset. He was a carpenter, and had married Elizabeth in Chardstock Q3 1869. (Her maiden name was Dunster, hence their son George's middle name. The Dunsters were a long-standing Chardstock family, but of relatively modest means: Elizabeth's father was a shepherd.)
George continued his father's carpentry trade, and moved to Epsom. On 13 July 1901, he married Maud Mary Elsey in Christ Church Epsom Common. Maud was born Q2 1879 in Greenwich but, only a couple of years later, was recorded by the 1881 Census, as living - together with a couple of older siblings - with her grandparents James and Mary Elsey on Epsom Common. She was still there for the 1901 Census - shortly before her wedding - and working as a laundrywoman. (Her grandmother was, by then, a widow.)
George and Maud had four children:
- Mary Elizabeth - born 23 April 1904;
- Margaret - born 7 April 1906;
- Alfred George - born 8 August 1915; &
- William - born 1 January 1918
all of whom were baptised at Christ Church Epsom Common, where (for the last two) the church records noted the family's address as 111 Church Side, Epsom Common.
(It may well be that George was the George Newbery that records show served during at least part of WW1 as Engine Room Artificer 4th Class with the Service Number M.13154. In any event, he then reverted to his trade as a carpenter and joiner.)
Maud died in mid-1936 and was buried in Epson Cemetery on 2 July. By the time of the 1939 Register, George was still living at 111 Church Side. However, he was no longer listed as the head of the household. That designation went to William O'Sullivan, recorded as married to Margaret, George's second daughter (although the marriage registration records list the wedding as having been in Q2 1946). Also in the household were William and Margaret's two young children and George's two sons - of whom the younger, William, was (like his father) listed as a "Carpenter and Joiner", while Alfred was recorded as a "Builder's Labourer".
As described in the separate article, Alfred Newbery
served in WW2 as a Gunner in the Royal Artillery's 5/3 Maritime Regiment and, aged 28, was lost at sea when his ship was torpedoed on 10 March 1943.
Within two months of that, the 69 year old George was also dead, dying at 11 Church Side on 25 April. He was buried in Epsom Cemetery (Plot O332, which no longer has any visible grave marker) on 30 April. As illustrated below, George is listed in the Borough's Book of Remembrance (immediately under his son's name) as a civilian casualty, having died as a result of "Enemy Action".
However, his Death Certificate is quite clear that the cause of death was a combination of heart failure and chronic bronchitis. His final deterioration may have been accelerated by news of Alfred's death, but that does not match "Enemy Action".
Nor is George's name among the 67,000 commemorated in the WW2 Civilian War Dead Roll of Honour, located near St. George's Chapel in Westminster Abbey, London - and names on which are in the database searched via The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website. That Civilian Roll contains only four Newberys for the whole of WW2 - and the only one who died in 1943 was the 86 year old William Newbery, a retired shoemaker, was killed during a "tip & run" air raid by four Focke-Wolfe Fw 190s on his home town of Ventnor at 4.45pm on 1 April 1943.
Roger Morgan © 2017
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