A Wakefield Family brief history

A Wakefield Family – 1859-1961

This narrative lists some of the main events concerning the family of Austin William Wakefield & Lucy Ellen Gray.

Austin William Wakefield (1859-1905)

Austin was the son of Austin William Wakefield (b.1838) who married Martha Emma Glover (b.1842) at Bethnal Green on 26 September 1859.

Lucy Ellen Gray (1863-1912)

Lucy was the daughter of James Martin Gray (b. 22 Feb 1835) and Lucy Jane Maynard (b. 29 Dec 1837) who married at St. Saviours, Southwark about Jan-Mar 1858.

1859: Austin William Wakefield was born 29 October in Clerkenwell,  Middlesex (now London). He was baptised on 3rd December in the Parish of Saint Dunstan, Stepney, Middlesex (now London).

1862: Austin William appears to have been baptised a second time with his brother Henry. This took place at the Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalen in Bermondsey on 30 July. The family then resided in Alice Street.

1863 Lucy Ellen Gray was born about Jul-Sep and the birth was registered at St George in the East, Middlesex (now London).

1884: Austin William Wakefield married Lucy Ellen Gray in Wanstead, Essex on 7 December and the marriage was registered in West Ham, Essex (now London).

1885Lucy Emma Wakefield was born 21 October at Homerton and the birth registered in West Ham district, London.

1887: Austin William Wakefield was born 3 November at Bethnal Green and baptised 27November in the Parish of St James the Great, Middlesex (now London). The family lived at 22 Baxendale Street.

1890:  Reuben Herbert Wakefield was born 13 March 1890 at Homerton and the birth registered in West Ham district, London.

1891: According to the census & school records the family lived at 41, Chambord Street. Lucy Emma & Austin William were admitted to Virginia Road School 1st Jul 1891.

1892: James Robin Wakefield born 28 March at Homerton and the birth registered in Bethnal Green district, London.

1894: Reuben Wakefield was enrolled in Virginia Road School 29 Aug 1894. Walter Ashley Wakefield was born 18 October at 34, at Chambord Street.  He was baptised on 4 Nov in the Parish of St. Paul, Bethnal Green. (Note that the child’s name was given as Henry but his proper name was used on the official registrations – this also happened with William Walter in 1896.)

Unfortunately, Walter Ashley died in late December – his death was registered in Bethnal Green district, London.

1895: Walter Ashley was buried 3 Jan in Manor Park Cemetery. James (Robin) Wakefield was admitted to Virginia Road School 2nd Apr 1895 and by this time the family had moved to 52, Chambord Street, Bethnal Green, London.

1896: William Walter Wakefield came into the world 13 February and was baptised on 1 March at St. James the Great, Bethnal Green. (Again, as with Walter Ashley, Henry was used as the given name but the official registration at Bethnal Green was in his correct name.)

Austin William Wakefield shows up in the admissions for Virginia Road School from 1st Jul 1896 until 20 Jul 1900.

1898: Lily Florence Wakefield was born 29 March at Homerton, London. She was baptised in the Parish of St. Paul, Bethnal Green on 17 April but died late August that year. She was buried 5 Sep 1898  in Manor Park Cemetery.

1899: Ada Florence Wakefield born 14 June and registered in Bethnal Green District. She was baptised 2nd July in the Parish of St. Paul, Bethnal Green (date looks like 20th but is probably 2nd judging from date order in the  Baptism record book).

William Walter Wakefield followed his siblings into Virginia Road School on 28 Jun 1899. The Electoral Register shows the family still resident at 52, Chambord Street.

1900: Ada Florence Wakefield died in October and was buried 9 Oct in Manor Park Cemetery.

1901: On 1901 Census and the Electoral Register the family lived at 52 Chambord Street. Lucy (listed as ‘Louisa’ like her mother) aged 15 was a French Polisher learner and William Walter was listed as ‘Henry’ just like his baptism record in 1896.

Jane ‘Jennie’ Wakefield was born 14 May at Homerton, London and registered in Bethnal Green District.

1902: Around this time they lived for 5-6 months at Turk Street, Brick Lane and then moved to 28, Punderson Gardens.

1904: Laura Wakefield born 28 February at Homerton, London and registered in Bethnal Green District.

1905: The Electoral Register for this year showed the family at 28, Punderson Gardens. Austin William Wakefield (father) died on 20 April – aged 46 years at Bethnal Green Infirmary, London and was buried 22 April in Manor Park Cemetery.

1906: Austin William Wakefield (jnr) enlisted into 7th Foot Battalion Royal Fusiliers 19th February. Lucy Ellen & family lived at 13, Punderson Gardens, off Bethnal Green Road, Middlesex. Austin William had been a Vanguard working for Great Eastern Railway at their Goods Depot, Bishopsgate, London. By the end of the year they had moved the family home was 12, Artillery Lane, Bishopsgate.

1909: Reuben Herbert Wakefield applied for assistance from the Poor Law Union at Shoreditch 21 May having lived at 65, Angrave Street for 7 prior weeks – it was refused. Reuben died 19th Jun aged 19 years old – he had been in hospital for two years. He died in the National Hospital, Queen Square, London from Spinal Claries – TB of the spine. He was buried 28 Jun 1909 in Manor Park Cemetery.

James Robin Wakefield died 20 August aged 17 years old. He fell off the top of a horse drawn furniture van and landed on his head. He was buried 30 Aug in Manor Park Cemetery.

Lucy Emma Wakefield married William Henry Mason on 20 June at All Saints Anglican Church, Haggerston, London. She listed ‘Lucy Ellen Emma Wakefield’ as her name and lived at 65, Angrave Street. They had a son, William Henry F. Mason, in 1909 but sadly he died early 1910 and was buried in Manor Park Cemetery.

1911: Lucy Ellen, Henry (William Walter), Jennie and Laura lived at 12 Artillery Lane, Bishopsgate on the census for 2 April 1911. Lucy Ellen was a ‘char lady’ and William Walter a ‘vanguard’.

Also on this 1911 census Austin William Wakefield was recorded serving as a soldier (rank of private) with 3rd Battalion Royal Fusiliers and was stationed at Vacoas on the island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. 

1912: Lucy Ellen Wakefield (nee Gray) died at Whitechapel Infirmary on 26 Mar 1912. The cause was Ulcerative Colitis (a bowel disease) & Exhaustion. She was buried in Ilford District. Daughters Jane and Laura were sent to the Cottage Home at Grays, Essex.

Lucy Emma (nee Wakefield) & William Henry Mason emigrated to Canada, sailed from Bristol aboard ‘Royal George’ on 12 June, arriving at Quebec 19 June.

1913: William Walter Wakefield worked for a Jewish family before he enlisted on 23 December. Gunner 75295 William Walter Wakefield joined 27th Brigade Royal Field Artillery and was stationed in Ireland.

1914: Austin William Wakefield was stationed at Lucknow, India on 4 August and became the bantam-weight boxing champion of ‘All India’. When the regiment returned to England in December 1914, before being sent to France, Austin found his whole family had seemingly disappeared – he never had contact with them again.

William Walter Wakefield was sent to France with his regiment at the outbreak of WW1.

1916: Austin William Wakefield arrived in Dublin, Ireland to recover from the war injury he received at the Battle of Loos, France.

1918: After meeting through a Lonely Hearts club William Walter Wakefield and Jennie Eastwood married about Jan-Mar at Groombridge, Sussex and settled in Hastings. They had three children William James (1919-2008), Harry Frederick (1920-2004) and Joan (1922-1999).

Austin William Wakefield married Margaret Lily Wilson on 15 May at St. George Parish Church, Dublin. His address was Linden Convalescent Home in Dublin, presumably still recuperating from his war injury. Once married, Austin William  got a job on a large estate near Oldcastle, Meath as a handy-man. He later rose to the position of cook and chauffeur, eventually becoming Steward over the estate. They had two children Eileen Florence Wakefield (1922-2001) and William Austin Wakefield  (1924-2007).

Jennie Wakefield left the Cottage Home at Grays and went to work in Hampstead, London.

William Henry & Lucy Emma Mason had a daughter, Irene Elizabeth Mason, born 22 Jun in Waskada, Manitoba.

1919: William Walter Wakefield was discharged from military service on 3 April having earned the entitlement to wear the Victory medal, British War medal and the 1914 star.

1920: In January Laura Wakefield was moved to a Bernardo’s Home in preparation for emigration to Canada. She sailed from London on SS Sicilian (see picture below) on 11 March and arrived at Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada on 29 March, en-route to Peterborough, Ontario.

1922 William Henry & Lucy Emma Mason had a second daughter, Laura Christina Mason, born 22 Apr in Waskada, Manitoba. Laura passed in 2014.

1925: Jennie Wakefield worked as a domestic servant. On 14 December she gave birth to a son, Ronald George Wakefield, at 67 Denbigh Street, Pimlico, London and the birth was registered in Lambeth Registration District of London.

1927: Austin William Wakefield’s wife, Margaret Lily, died 9 August  at Crossdrum, Oldcastle, Meath, Ireland aged 42 years.

1928: Jennie Wakefield married George Thomas William Till about Oct-Dec in Hastings, Sussex. 

Laura Wakefield married David Spence Bell in York County, Ontario, Canada in 1928. They had three children Helen (1928-1986), Margaret (1933) and Heather (1935). David Spence Bell died in 1989.

1930: Austin William Wakefield married Mary Anne Masterson on 26 February at Oldcastle, Meath, Ireland. Mary Anne was also a nurse.

1935: George Till, husband of Jennie Till (nee Wakefield), died 11 February at St. Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex from sclerosis of the liver.

Jane ‘Jennie’ Till (nee Wakefield) became ill with bone cancer. She was nursed by Jennie Wakefield (wife of William Walter) until she died on 16 December at Hastings, Sussex. She was buried at  the Church in the Wood, Hollington, Hastings. She left her house to William Walter and bequeathed money to her son Ronald George Wakefield when he became 21 years old. 

William Walter Wakefield and family adopted Ronald George Wakefield following the death of his mother. Ronald George Wakefield eventually moved to Australia and died in Sydney in 2013.

1942: William Walter’s wife Jennie (nee Eastwood) died about March aged 50 years at Maidstone, Kent.

1943: William Walter Wakefield married Gladys Ward about Jan-Mar at Maidstone, Kent. 

1950: Austin William Wakefield died 30 Oct at Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland aged 63 years. He was buried in Loughcrew Cemetery, Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland near his first wife. 

1958: Irene Elizabeth Johnson (nee Mason) died in August in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Mary Anne Wakefield (Masterson), wife of Austin William Wakefield, died 25th November, aged 80 years, in County Wexford, Ireland.

1959Lucy Emma Mason (nee Wakefield), wife of William Henry Mason, died at Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada aged 74 years.

William Walter Wakefield married Ivy Dorothy Kathleen Baker about Jul-Sep at Maidstone, Kent.

Laura Bell (nee Wakefield) died 14 December aged 55 years at Toronto, Canada. 

1960: William Walter Wakefield died in Maidstone, Kent on 2 March 1960.

He left his estate to his wife Ivy Dorothy – she passed away in 1975.

1961: William Henry Mason, husband of Lucy Emma Mason, died in Manitoba, Canada.




Registration Districts

The Registration Districts of England have changed quite a lot especially around the Home Counties/London. Many places that were once considered part of the Counties of Middlesex or Essex (for example) in the late 19th or early 20th centuries were eventually to become parts of Greater London.

For more information about Registration Districts go to Registration Districts of England & Wales (1837-1974) which provides a useful listing of district changes.

London map

The map below shows  a general overview of some of the places mentioned above. At the time they would be part of the Counties of Middlesex or Essex etc but today they form part of Greater London.


Last updated: 23 Jan 2020 Billy Wakefield