|Photograph taken about 1906 inscribed on the back:
Mrs Pegg (right) Grandma
Mrs Voss left grannie
Bertie Voss son
Bertie finished his schooling in Eastborne, where his parents had moved as his father Albert was Manager of the Devonshire Club there. He then worked as a furniture salesman in Eastborne, where he must have met Edith who was the book keeper in the store. They married in 1902 when he was just 20.
Their daughter Gladys Mary “Mollie” was borne ca. 1903 in Jersey, in the Channel Islands. Their son Geoffrey Herbert Donald was born in Sydenham, London in 1905, when Bertie was still a furniture salesman.
After this Bertie & Edith seem to have almost disappeared.
Edith and Mollie were recorded in the 1911 census in Ryde, Isle of Wight, staying with Thomas Thompson, surgeon. What were they doing there? If on holiday, it is unlikely that a surgeon would have been running a boarding house. It seems more likely that they were visiting relatives, although whether Thomas was a relative or family friend is not clear. Interestingly, Elizabeth S M PEGG (Edith’s mother-in-law) was borne in Ryde.
In April 1916 Geoffrey aged 11 was sent to King Edward’s School, Witley, Surrey by his grandmother, Bertie’s mother. The admissions register states that he had been abandoned by his parents. In September 1921 at the age of 16 he was discharged back into the care of his grandmother, Within a year he had gone to Australia where he later entered the church.
I have found no other trace of Mollie in the UK, but have a letter from her to her aunt by marriage Mona, written from Flemington, near Sydney, Australia in January 1940 acknowledging news of the death of grandmother Elizabeth. In it she refers to her husband, and three sons Geoff the eldest, Donald and John aged 5.
So both of Bertie’s children went to Australia, and Geoffrey almost immediately after leaving school. It would be reasonable to assume that their mother, at least, had emigrated, leaving Geoffrey behind for schooling. Perhaps Bertie’s mother felt rather abandoned by him and hence made the comment to the school. We know too that Bertie’s mother was herself taken to Australia when she was aged 2 but the family returned when she was about 21, so Bertie would have heard about Australia from his mother who had spent her formative years there.
However, Marilyn Wilkes, Archivist for King Edwards School, has been unable to find Bertie and Edith on the passenger lists to Australia.
Did Bertie & Edith both emigrate to Australia? Australian records need to be researched. And if they did not, what happened to them?