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Brentford Families - George

Derek Birch provided the following notes:

Emily George was born in 1891 and my grandmother, Amy George, in 1900, both close to St Mary's Church in Ealing. The George family of 8 children had a hard upbringing - my grandmother never wanted to talk about her early days except for the sad loss of her closest brother, Dick, who died aged 16 in July 1914 after being run over by a horse and cart.

Their father John George, who was born in 1859 in Ludham, Norfolk, where there was a large George family, had deserted the family in 1912, emigrating to Australia, but their mother Mary Ann (née IRONS) was much loved and was apparently a highly regarded, if unofficial, midwife.

My grandmother married my grandfather Reuben S. BIRCH in 1923. Born in Brentford in 1894, he had served in the Middlesex Regiment during World War One, had been injured and honourably discharged, and then found work with the Gas Light and Coke Company in Brentford High Street.

My father, Ernest Birch and his older brother Reuben W. Birch, were born in Whitestile Road in the 1920s. The family moved to Willow Road in South Ealing, and many of their close relatives remained nearby - the SMITH family in Murray Road.

My father remembers his Dad spending days away during the blitz in the Second World War, working in the East End to help deal with bomb-damaged gas mains, returning exhausted. His health deteriorated further after the war and he died in 1947.

My grandmother continued working for much of her life - laundry worker, school dinner lady and cleaner - and eventually moved to Lindsey House in South Ealing when she enjoyed many comfortable years before passing away in 1990.

Emily and Amy George worked at the Crown and Jersey Laundry, Brook Road South, Brentford and are included in the works photo taken in 1933.


Page published July 2010; updated February 2018