Monday, 7 May 2012

George William Ivall (1880-1934), bus conductor and caretaker

George William Ivall was my grandfather. He was born on 8 November 1880 in Somers Town, an area of North London between Euston and St Pancras Stations. His parents were George (1853-1932, a cabinet maker) and Alice Ivall (1856-1935, maiden name Newman). They had five children : Alice Elizabeth (1877-1939), George William (1880-1934), Rosa (1884-1884), Rose Lily (1885-1965) and Albert David (1889-1960).

The 1881 census shows George (aged 27), Alice (25), Alice (3) and George (5 months) living at 5 Stebbington Street, St Pancras. School records show that in 1885 George (aged 4, address 47 Drummond Crescent) was admitted to St Matthew’s National School, St Pancras. The family had moved to 51 Freeling Street, Islington by 1889, when Alice Ivall (George’s sister) was admitted to Gifford Street School. In 1891, the family was living at 51 Freeling St and consisted of George (aged 38), Alice (36), Alice (13), George (10), Rose (5) and Albert (2). School admission records for Albert show that the family was living at 33 Boleyn Road, Dalston in 1896 and 61 Spencer Road, Hackney in 1899.

On 26 January 1899, George (then aged 18) joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry as a Private. His enlistment papers give his trade as French polisher, his height as 5’7”, hair brown, eyes hazel. He was discharged on 20 November 1902 “having paid the regulated amount of £20” to leave early. He had spent 3 years 299 days in the Marines of which 2 years 149 days was service afloat. This included from 4 Sep 1900 to 30 Sep 1902 aboard HMS Nymphe. He was awarded a good conduct badge and his service record describes his character and ability as very good. He did not take part in any military engagements. My mother was told that he went to South America when a marine.

George may have participated in a football match in Brazil because on May 18, 1901 the "Sport Club Rio Grande" football team from the port town of Rio Grande played against the sailors of the British gunboat "Nymphe". The result was a draw of 2-2. A second match was held, this time with Brazilian victory by 2-1. It is likely that these were the first international friendlies of a Brazilian football club.

George married Emma Armitage (b 1883) on 26th August 1906. He was 25, a bus conductor, and she 23. They married at St Matthias Church, Stoke Newington. George’s address on the marriage certificate was 5 Mall Road, Hammersmith. This is a road near Hammersmith Bridge. Their first daughter Florence Rose (known as Flossie) was born on 21 June 1908 in S Hammersmith.
Marriage of George William Ivall to Emma Armitage

George is listed in the 1911 census aged 29, a motor omnibus conductor living at 11 Mall Road, S Hammersmith. His wife and daughter are listed at her mother’s address in Stoke Newington – they must have been staying there on the day of the census.
George, working as a bus conductor

Flossie caught pneumonia when a child which resulted in damage to her heart. She became an invalid needing a wheelchair and she died on 20th August 1922, aged 14. Their second daughter, Grace Evelyn, was born on 20th January 1922. By then the family were living at 9 Linkfield Road, Isleworth. Electoral registers for 1919 to 1924 show Emma and George living at this address with Emma’s younger brother George Henry Armitage (1898-1936, an international footballer).
George William Ivall

George served in the First World War as a Gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery. I have his campaign medals, which were the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was made deaf in one ear as a result of his war service. This made it difficult for him for to continue working as a bus conductor after the war, although the birth certificate of his daughter Grace shows that this was still his occupation in 1922. In 1926 he got a job as the caretaker of the Licensed Vehicle Workers’ Sick Benefit Club at 30 Brixton Rd, Kennington (near the Oval cricket ground). The family lived on the top floor of the premises. I have a letter dated 20th January 1933 from the secretary of the club saying that the following resolution had been passed by the club committee :
“That a vote of thanks be accorded to Mr &Mrs Ivall for the care and conscientious manner in which they have carried out their duties, and the increased revenue from lettings is noted with great pleasure.”

His father passed on cabinet making skills to George who spent a lot of his spare time creating furniture and doll’s houses for various people. Our family has several items made by him.

George’s health was generally good, but in August 1934 he suddenly developed severe pain in his abdomen, having been well the previous day. The doctor diagnosed the problem as colic but it did not respond to treatment. That evening George was admitted to hospital but by then it was too late and George died soon afterwards on 16th August 1934, aged 53, of acute peritonitis in St Giles Hospital, Camberwell. His funeral was held at St Mark’s Church, Kennington on 20th August and he was buried in Isleworth Cemetery in the same grave as his daughter, Flossie.

George’s will (made in 1931) left everything to Emma, his wife, except his gold chain to William Armitage (Emma’s eldest surviving brother), his tools and the contents of his workshop to George Armitage (Emma’s youngest brother), his clothes to Albert Ivall (George’s brother) and £10 to each of his parents. George owned 5 Linkfield Rd, the tenants of which were Mr and Mrs Lewis, who my mother remembered as an elderly couple. The gross value of the estate was £497-19-1.

George was much liked and had a good sense of humour. His family were devastated by his early death. However, his wife continued as the caretaker at Brixton Rd until 1939 when she re-married and moved to Cambridge. She died in 1970.

1 comment:

Moises Cunha said...

George William Ivall pode ter participado de um jogo de futebol no Brasil pois em 18 de maio de 1901 o "Sport Club Rio Grande", time de futebol da cidade portuária de Rio Grande jogou contra os marinheiros da canhoneira inglesa “Nymphe”. O resultado foi um empate de 2 X 2. Um segundo jogo foi realizado, dessa vez com vitória brasileira por 2 X 1. É provável que esses tenham sido os primeiros amistosos internacionais de um clube de futebol brasileiro. Meu e-mail é