My Paternal Family
Uncle: Arthur Wray born 1883
Arthur was the first-born son of Alfred and Emily Wray born on 13 February 1883 at Preston, Herts. In 1901 he was described as a cowman and domestic gardener. Then, on 5 July 1902, Arthur (aged nineteen) was included in a Preston cricket team which played Kings Walden:
According to the 1911 and 1921 cenuses, Arthur and Lilla were living at Gosmore. There, they had two sons, Arthur William (Bill) (born 1907) and Charlie (born 1910). Charlie once wrote that he was born at Gapin’ Row (aka Letter Box Row) Gosmore, (shown below):
Arthur was employed as a gardener all of his working life and was working for for Major J E Murray- Smith of Gosmore House in 1921:
Whilst there, sometime after 1914, Arthur suffered an appendicitis and his employer paid for him to go to London for a ground-breaking operation that had been performed on King George VI in 1914 ( Arthur then went to Bognor to recuperate.
He married Lilla Maud Langham, the daughter of the horse keeper/ploughman, Charles Langham, at the parish church of Kings Walden on 1 December 1906. Arthur’s occupation was given as a gardener. Florence Smart (who was probably his cousin) was a witness.
This team was a mix of gentlemen (Pryor and Barrington-White), tradesmen (Ashton and Robinson) and labourers, such as Arthur.
Arthur and Charles Langham around 1915
Arthur, Lilla and Charles Langham
Arthur and Lilla had moved to 59 Townsend Place, Ippollitts in around 1927 and were living a few doors away from Arthur’s brother,Frank Wray. By 1939, Arthur had been appointed head gardener at Biddlesden Park, Bucks near Aylesbury (shown below) and was living in the Gardener’s Cottage. He was also an air raid warden.
L to r, Lilla, Rodney, Elaine, Charlie, Judith and Arthur Wray - four generations in 1960
Arthur and Lilla celebrating their sixtieth wedding anniversary
Left to right: Charlie, Arthur, Lilla and Arthur William ‘Bill’ Wray
When Arthur retired, he and Lilla lived at Ickleford, near Hitchin. He died at Rosehill Hospital, Letchworth, Herts on 17 September 1971 leaving an estate of £971.
In 1939, Arthur and Olive were residing at 13 Balmoral Road, Hitchin. Arthur was employed as a tailor/cutter and Olive was a ledger clerk at a general drapers and outfitters.