Charles William PONSFORD (1858–1892)
His sister Miss Jessie Avenell PONSFORD (1866–1940)
St Giles’s section: Row 6, Grave B32 (back): see also front

Charles & Jessie Ponsford



WHO DIED JAN. 16TH 1940,

R. I. P.


Charles William and Jessie Ponsford’s parents Edwin & Keturah Ponsford are commemorated on
the front of this gravestone: see separate page for more about them and the background of Charles and Jessie

(1) Charles William Ponsford

Charles was born at Worcester Place, Oxford in 1858 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 26 December. He was the eldest son of Edwin Ponsford, a bedmaker at Balliol College) and Keturah Avenell of Kirtlington, who were married at Kirtlington on 14 August 1855.

His father Edwin Ponsford died at Pusey Street (then called Alfred Street) in Oxford at the age of 42 on 23 December 1871: see separate grave.

By the time of the 1881 census Charles (22) was a newspaper reporter for the Sussex Daily News and boarding at 2 Mighell Street, Brighton.

On 17 December 1882 in London, Charles William Ponsford married Elizabeth Emma Allardyce, and the marriage was announced thus in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 30 December:

Dec. 17, at St. George’s-in-the-East Church, London, by the Rev. D. F. Quayle, Charles William Ponsford, of the Sussex Daily News, Brighton (eldest son of the late Edwin Ponsford, of Alfred-street, St. Giles’s, Oxford), to Elizabeth Emma, youngest daughter of Archibald De Lacy Allardyce, of St. George’s-street East, London, and late of Oxford.

They had five sons:

  • Archibald Charles Ponsford (born on 13 November 1883 at 25 Crescent Road, Princes Crescent, Brighton);
    died aged 1 year 4 months at 59 Stanley Road, Brighton on 16 March 1885)
  • Alan Allardyce Ponsford (born on 4 March 1885 at 59 Stanley Road, Brighton);
    died there aged 14 months on 1 May 1886)
  • Edwin Heinrich Alan Ponsford (born at Brighton, Sussex in 1886, reg. Steyning district fourth quarter)
  • Reginald Avenell Ponsford (born on 26 July 1888 at 20 Shaftesbury Road, Brighton)
  • Charles Allardyce Ponsford (born at Brighton on 4 July 1892).

The births of three of his sons (and the deaths of the first two) were announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal.

His mother Keturah Ponsford died at Pusey Lane at the age of 67 on 26 July 1890: see separate grave.

In 1890 when he dealt with his mother’s probate, Charles Ponsford was living at 45 Viaduct Road in the Preston area of Brighton, and he can be seen there in the 1891 census at the age of 32 with his wife Elizabeth (31) and their surviving sons (Edwin) Heinrich (4) and Reginald (2), and they had a 13-year-old servant girl.

Charles Ponsford died in Brighton the following year, and it is unclear if he was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, or just remembered on his sister’s grave:

† Charles William Ponsford died at Brighton at the age of 38 on 1 May 1892. His burial is not recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church, which suggests that he was buried at Brighton rather than in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery.

He never saw his youngest son, Charles, who was born later the same year.

In the fourth quarter of 1897 in Brighton, Charles’s widow Mrs Elizabeth Emma Ponsford married the widower Thomas Clough, who was a bootmaker, and their daughter Annie Elizabeth Rebecca Clough was born in Brighton in 1898. At the time of the 1901 census Elizabeth (40) was living at 20 North Road Brighton with Thomas (46) and their daughter Annie Clough (3), and the three surviving Ponsford children from her first marriage, namely Edwin (14), who was a pupil teacher, Reginald (12), and Charles (8). The situation was similar in 1911: Edwin (24) was now a handicraft teacher, Reginald (22) a motor mechanic, and Charles (18) an insurance clerk.

Surviving children of Charles William and Elizabeth Ponsford
  • Edwin Heinrich Alan Ponsford (born 1886) was living at 6 Alverston Avenue, Wimbledon at the start of the First World War. He served as a Leading Seaman in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and died in the Dardanelles on 4 June 1915. Probate was granted to his mother, and his effects came to £230.
  • Reginald Avenell Ponsford (born 1888) married Eva Lilian May Hurley, the daughter of the poulterer Thomas Gabriel Hurley, at St Luke's Church, Wimbledon on 20 September 1915: they were both then living at 87 Arthur Road, Wimbledon Park. Their son Edwin R. T. Hurley was born in Hampstead near the beginning of 1920. Reginald died at Worthing at the age of 82 in 1970.
  • Charles Allardyce Ponsford (born 1892) married Mabel E. Webb in the Brighton district in 1918. There are four children born to a couple surnamed Ponsford and Webb: Douglas and Mabel in Steyning (1919), George in Devonport (1934), and Malcolm in Plymouth (1939). Charles Allardyce Ponsford died at Torbay in 1976.

(2) Jessie Avenell Ponsford

Jessie, Charles’s sister, was born at Pusey Street, Oxford in 1866 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 1 April. She never married, and continued to live with her mother and her older sister Amy after her father’s death.

Her mother died on 26 July 1890, and at the time of the 1891 census Jessie (25) was working as a dressmaker and still living at the former family home at 2 Pusey Street (then called Alfred Street) with her sister Amy (26), who was described as a lodging house keeper as well as a dressmaker. The meteorologist George Augustus Rowell, who had boarded with their mother since at least 1881, was still living with them, and they employed a 16-year-old girl as a general servant.

Jessie took over the house when her sister Amy moved out following her marriage on 14 September 1896. In 1898 Jessie gave birth to an illegitimate son, Leonard Travis Ponsford: he was born in Islington, where her married sister Amy was living at the time. The name of his father is unknown, and he was probably given the middle name of Travis by the two people who agreed to bring him up, namely Charles James Travis and his wife Ellen.

At the time of the 1901 census Jessie was back in Oxford at the old house at 2 Pusey Street, living there alone with a 16-year-old servant. She described herself as a lodging house keeper, but any lodgers she had were away. She never married.

Jessie is hard to find in the 1911 census, but was still living at 2 Pusey Street in 1915.

By 1936 Jessie was living at Malvern Cottage, Bicester Road, Kirtlington, where she died in 1940. She was still living there at the time of her death according to the burial register; but she died in Gosford according to her probate record:

† Miss Jessie Avenell Ponsford died at Malvern Cottage, Gosford at the age of 74 on 16 January 1940 and was buried near her parents at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 20 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

Her effects came to £2,495 11s. 3d., and probate was granted to the Misses Jessie Mary and Louisa Avenell East.



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