'A Devon family that has branched out Globally'






Speare - From Devon to East London 

compiled by Paul Speare


Edgar Augustus Thomas (1875-1946)


Edgar married Mary Ann Hatton towards the end of 1902 (around the same time as the wedding of his sister, Jessie).  Their first child was Edgar William W (Bill), born in 1903, Bethnal Green. The next four children were registered in Romford, Essex; Violet in 1904, who died in infancy, aged 1; their second daughter, Lilian Violet (b.1906) was presumably so named in her memory.  A second casualty of infant death was Robert John (b.1907, d.1909).  Sidney (b.1909) was the last to be registered in Romford.  The first of two further children to be registered in Bethnal Green was Beatrice (b.1910, and another unfortunate infant mortality), followed by Edward (b.1912).  The youngest two children, Jessie and my father, Reginald (born 1915 and 1916 respectively) were both registered in Hackney, by which time Edgar and Mary were living in Morpeth Road, near Victoria Park.  It appears that Edgar may have named Jessie after his long-lost sister, and I would love to know if they remained in contact by letter, or ever met again, during the many years of their separation (they were, after all, no more than four and six years old when their parents moved to London, leaving Jessie behind in Ashburton).


Edgar’s carpentry work spanned a range of applications, including shop fitting, fitting out ships and being a "journeyman carpenter" (travelling to jobs elsewhere, as and when necessary). 


Sadly, Edgar took his own life on 17 December, 1946 and was buried, with his wife, Mary, at Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington.  The grave is still there and a commemorative oak tree was also planted in 2000.

Edgar with grandson, Alan (son of Edward).  Bedfordshire c.1946

Edward and Louisa’s wedding, 1934. 

(L-R standing): Edgar, Harry Mellor, Jessie Mellor (born Speare), Edgar William W (‘Bill’), Edward (‘Ted’), Ethel, Louisa (‘Lou’), Sidney, Mary (no relation), unknown

(L-R seated): Mary (Edgar’s wife), Stanley, Edna, Lou’s mother




Contact thomas.peeke@googlemail.com