Edith Emily Pinnock of Caversham 1887 - 1946
I am the direct descendant (grandson) of Edith Emily Pinnock. Edith was born the second of four children to (My Great grandfather Ahnentafel 17) Thomas Pinnock (1860-1905)and Ellen Elizabeth Fuller (1859 - November 22, 1939) on December 29, 1887 in Caversham, Oxfordshire. Caversham at this time, was being transformed from a small village opposite the Berkshire Town of Reading, by the construction of the Railways.
The river has long dominated the activities of those living around there - millers, boat-builders, ferrymen and more, all depending on the river for their livelihood. Sadly, to the immense shame of the town's Councils over the years, most of Caversham's history, interesting as it may be, can't be seen today. (The same applies to Reading as a whole too.) All the mills have long gone and only some street names recall them; there are bridges over the Thames rather than ferries and many historic buildings have been demolished. There are still boatyards in Caversham, but they don't have the importance they once did.
Reading station opened on the 30 March 1840 as the temporary western terminus of the original line of the Great Western Railway. At a stroke the time taken to travel from London to Reading was reduced to one hour and five minutes, less than a quarter of the time taken by the fastest stagecoach. The line was extended to its intended terminus at Bristol in 1841. As constructed, Reading station was a typical Brunel designed single-sided intermediate station, with separate up and down platforms situated to the south of the through tracks and arranged so that all up trains calling at Reading had to cross the route of all down through trains.
In 1860 a new station building, in Bath Stone and incorporating a tower and clock, was constructed for the Great Western Railway. In 1898 the single sided station was replaced by a conventional design with 'up', 'down' and 'relief' platforms linked by a pedestrian subway.
As a foot note - T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) lost the 250,000-word first draft of his Seven Pillars of Wisdom at the station when he misplaced his briefcase while changing trains in 1919. Working from memory, as he had destroyed his notes after completion of the first draft, he then completed a 400,000-word second draft in three months.
But it is the enlargement of the railway in and around the town that brought Ellens family into the town from frurther downstream towards Henly. They were railway workes, and Thomas who served in the Royal Marines, probally met his bride travelling on the Great Western home to Melksham.
Indeed Edith met her furture husband at a wedding. Her elder brother Tomas Carey Pinnock (1883) - the eldest son of Thomas Pinnock- in June 1903 married Ada Launchbury. Her family had just moved to Reading to work on the railways, and chose to live opposite the station in the Oxfordshire part of the town. Edith met Ada's younger brother, David Launchbury at the wedding, and they started courting.
David was born the third child of Frederick Launchbury (10 Nov 1856 – 1932) and Hannah Carter (1856 – 1932) on April 02, 1882. He was born in North Hinksey, and like his father started work for the Great Western Railway Company.
Edith’s father Thomas Pinnock (1860-1905) had suffered from a slight alcohol problem, and had packed himself off to Canada to cure it, well the cure worked too well, for it killed him, and the estate was frozen by Canadian law firms for the next 30 years. Thomas’s wife, Ellen Elizabeth Pinnock (nee Fuller) was left with a young son and a teenage child to support.
The 1901 census returns for both grandparents are interesting. David is seen living at his fathers address at 15 Kings Rd, Caversham, which was then part of ‘Southern’ Or ‘Henley’ Oxfordshire.
(RG13/1371 : Henley : Caversham : 6 Folio: 124 Page: 46 schedule number: 254. St Peter Caversham Oxfordshire)
Edith can be found in her fathers address (RG13 1371 84 15 104 South Oxon Caversham St Peters Oxfordshire) on St Johns Rd, Caversham
Thomas Pinnock Head M 41 M Navvy Worker Wilts
Helen Pinnock Wife M 44 F Laundress Wash Worker Oxon Standlake
Edith Emily Pinnock Daughter 13 F Undefined Oxon Caversham
Ethel May Pinnock Daughter 10 F Undefined Berks Reading
Helen was carrying William her youngest child at the time, and Thomas, who had been a farmer for a while, was doing recruiting work for the Navy, as he had been a gunner in the Royal Marines Artillery on HMS Minatour.
The death of Thomas brought about a drastic change on the family. David Launchbury married Edith on November 10, 1906 in Caversham Parish Church (St Peters). He had returned from military service, where he had been serving as a Cook, in the notorious Black & Tans regiment over in Ireland.
The Marriage Licence of David and Edith Emily Launchbury reveals quite a bit of detail. Certificate, number 122, of page 61 of the Parish Church of St Peters in Caversham, David was 24 years old, and his bride Edith Emily was 20. David was employed by the Great Western Railway as a railway Porter. David was living at 46 Bryant’s Avenue, in Caversham, and Edith at Blenheim Cottage in Star Lane. David’s father, Frederick Launchbury was a Foreman Porter, and Edith's father Thomas was a Farmer, (Deceased, The wedding was witnessed by Thomas Rushart, Dorathy Pinnock and Ethel Pinnock. The Assistant Curate was Walter Bolden.
When Thomas died in Canada whilst trying to be cured of alcoholism, Helen had been forced to move to a small house on Gosport Rd. Edith is with the extended family of Charles Carter, at no 10 Star road. Charles is the brother of Hannah, David’s Mother, and this may have been arranged by Thomas Carey and Ada, who lived just down the road. Indeed, David’s parents moved a few doors away in Star Rd after Frederic retirement- until his death in 1914. They moved into 40 Bryant’s avenue, and with the arrival of her first child, took in her younger brother William as well.
David and Edith had 10 children in total,
REGINALD DAVID LAUNCHBURY, b. March 23, 1907, Caversham; d. 1972, Hayes,
DOROTHEA HELEN MAY LAUNCHBURY, b. 1908, Caversham,; d. 1973, Caversham,
EVELYN VIOLET LAUNCHBURY, b. September 15, 1911, Caversham; d. 1980, Caversham.
RONALD CECIL LAUNCHBURY, b. Bef. July 1914, Caversham, d. June 28, 1920, Caversham.
CAREY FREDERICK LAUNCHBURY, b. March 09, 1916, Caversham, d. 1981.
WILLIAM HENRY LAUNCHBURY, b. May 21, 1919, Caversham; d. 1970, Caversham.
MAURICE LESLIE LAUNCHBURY, b. 1922, Caversham, d. 2004.
PHYLLIS AMELIA LAUNCHBURY, b. April 20, 1924, Caversham, d. March 13, 1993, Bridgwater (my Mother).
LIONEL DENNIS LAUNCHBURY, b. April 12, 1926, Caversham, d. August 24, 1976, Woodley.
ROYSTON DESMOND LAUNCHBURY, b. October 18, 1928, Caversham -
Edith died first on June 28, 1946, and as well as a laundress, she was a local midwife, so had delivered half of Caversham at that point. Edith carried a little book with her during her visits as a midwife, "the life and memoirs of Henry Jenkins' containing 907 recipes for common ailments. Before her death, she was in the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Her younger sister Ethel wrote a letter to he on the 11 September 1945, from 20 Lennox St, Weymouth in Dorset (2.5D postage), but I do not know her married name.
David’s retirement from the Great Western happened in 1947, where over the 49 years he had risen up to the position of the Goods Foreman of Caversham Coal Yard. Most of his sons also worked at some time for the Great Western as well. However, David never really got over the death of Edith, and lasted until May 24, 1963, where he died in the new house built at Woodley, 15 months before I was born there. They had brought a plot in Caversham cemetery for their son (Ronald) to be buried in (June 24 1920) and both of them were buried in the same plot.