George Edward Lines was my Grandfather. He was the son of Joseph Lines and Jane (née Fitzhenry).
A poetic summary of his life can be found in ‘Ode to a Nonagenarian‘
He was a prolific letter writer, and I have inherited some of the ones he wrote, which I have used to piece together some of his life story.
In the following OSM links are to OpenStreetmap maps.
He was born in Islington (OSM) on 28th January 1888.
Before the war he went to Germany looking for work there.
- He was a Royal Engineers Volunteer from 1904 (when he would have been 16) to 1907
- He did an Engineering apprenticeship at Clayton and Shuttleworth from 1907 to December 1911.
- Some time between 1911 and 1913 he is in Bristol, where he meets the Stevens family.
- 14 August 1913 – writing from Cologne
- 11th December 1913 (11.12.13) he writes a postcard with a picture from Schwartzwald, but the stamp is Swiss – and I think the postmark says Winterthur.
- He found lodgings with a Swiss family (and wrote about it) and started work at the Schweizerische Lokomotiv- und Maschinenfabrik some time between August 1913 and May 1914.
- Shortly after Ascension Day (probably 1914, which would make it just after 21st May 1914) he wrote about climbing the Rophaien – which is near Lucerne in Switzerland. (and about his dislike of Spring Cleaning !)
- He went on holiday to Bellagio with some members of the Freeman family, some time before July 1914.
- He was back in England by September 1914, when he joined the army.
- 11th February 1915 – training at Bury (OSM)
- Date unknown – Back in Armentières (OSM)
- Possibly early 1918 – writing about rats and shells
He married Doris Joan Stevens, my Grandmother, on the 19th August 1922.
After the war he farmed at Grove Farm, Box (OSM) for a while, and their first son, Michael, was born there on 16th March 1924. A combination of the Depression and his father’s need for his help with the family business sent him back to London some time between 1924 and. The death of his mother, Jane Fitzhenry on 7th June 1925 probably also contributed to this decision.
After the death of his father he worked for Lines Brothers, the toy company founded by his brothers, until he retired.
He, and my grandmother, were living at 225, Fox Lane (OSM), in the parish of Southgate, in 1925, where they (or at least my grandfather – see below) show on the Register of Electors. Michael, Roger and Jennifer would have been living there too, and his widower father was living at 141, Lordship Road. My Grandfather is on the 1925 Electoral roll at that address, and similarly for 1926 to 1929, as the sole elector, probably because until the 1928 Registration of the People (Equal Franchise) Act, my Grandmother, as a woman under 30 would not have been eligible to vote.
The Cottage, 55, Anne Boleyn's Walk, Cheam, Surrey Tel. Sutton 3081
They moved into Pickwick, Warren Drive, Kingswood, Surrey (OSM) in 1935 – they had it built – and were still living there in1957.