My Paternal Family
Uncle: Jack Wray (born 1901)
Jack Wray was born on 20 July 1901 and baptized at St Martins, Preston, Herts three years later on 5 June 1904. He was Alfred and Emily’s eleventh child and sixth son.
He started school on 12 September 1904. Unlike his sisters, who were needed for household duties, Jack had such an impressive attendance record at school over five years that on 26 November 1913 he was rewarded with a watch:
The watches had been awarded by the County Council. However they didn’t give one to Fred Sharp who had a perfect attendance record for four years, but due to sickness had been absent during a fifth year. This was felt to be very hard on the boy, however, Mrs Priestley and Mr Seebohm offered to provide a watch for him.
On leaving school, Jack began what was probably a four-year gardener’s apprenticeship on the Temple Dinsley Estate at Preston. Jack was dismissed from his work for covering up the fact that he was playing football when he on his ‘half day’. As he is shown as being a gardener at Temple Dinsley in the 1921 census, this incident must have happened after June 1921. He then worked at The Cottage, Preston. Getting away from Temple Dinsley was ‘the making of Dad’. A succession of prestigious gardening appointments followed: Canford Cliffs, Poole; Perrins Estate, Malvern; Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire; Harrowden Hall, Wellingborough and finally, Flore House near Northampton. Gardeners often travelled some distance for work as they were recommended to prospective employers. He even applied for a position with Lord Roseberry but was unsuccessful as he did not have a degree in Latin (Latin was probably not included in the Preston School syllabus!).
Preston Football Team in the 1920s - with Jack circled
In the summer of 1933, Jack married Ella May Joyce in Denton, Northamptonshire.
Jack and Ella at Preston with (right) Phyllis Fountain and Nan Wray. Is Jack wearing The Watch?
As a young man, Jack played football and cricket for Preston and Flore village teams. He also enjoyed whist and dominoes.
1939 register - Flore Hill Lodge
Weedon Flower Show August 1949
Flore Show 1952
Flore Show 1953
Flore House, Flore near Northampton