Evelyn Mary Bowyer b. 1894
Eveline Mary Edmonds (nee Simonds, Bowyer)
1894 - 1979
Eveline Mary Simonds was born on 23 May 1894 at Kennetside, near Reading in Berkshire. Her birth certificate lists her mother as Annie Simonds (nee Symonds) and her father as Richard Simonds, biscuit factory labourer. However there appears to be no record of a marriage between two people with these names. It appears that Eveline’s mother was probably Annie Simmonds who was unmarried when she gave birth to Eveline and she has given her own father’s name and occupation as the baby’s father at the time of registering the birth. Annie Simmonds probably gave false surnames at the registration of the birth to make it appear she was married to the baby’s father and to avoid the social stigma of illegitimacy for Eveline.
On 28 April 1897 Annie married Henry Bowyer, a carpenter (born on 24 Nov 1867). Annie was described as a ‘spinster’ on her marriage certificate. Three year old Eveline was given her step father’s surname so she became Eveline Mary Bowyer. At the 1901 census Eveline was 6 years old living with her mother, step father and her baby half sister Emma at Milborne Cottages, Sunninghill, Berkshire. Henry Bowyer’s mother, Emma Bowyer (nee Slann ) aged 54 was a widow living next door with 3 of her 13 children, Benjamin aged 18, Frank aged 11 and Evelyn aged 16.
In 1907 Eveline’s baby half brother Frank Edward died the same year he was born.
At the 1911 census Evelyn is 17 years old working as a housemaid in the home of Dr Thomas B. Dakin at Henley-on-Thames, Berkshire, about 16 miles from her family home. She changed the spelling of her first name. Her parents were at home in Sunninghill with Evelyn’s younger half siblings, Emma 10, Margaret 8, Jonathan 6, George 2 and newborn Frederick.
In 1916 at the age of 22 Evelyn had a relationship with a married artillery officer, Captain Thomas Burtonwood who had just returned from the war on the Western Front. On 9 May 1917 Evelyn was staying at Privett Rd, Alverstoke in Hampshire when she gave birth to a baby boy she named Henry Evelyn Bowyer. She gave Henry up for adoption, possibly to the National Children’s Home named ‘Stokesmead’ at Alverstoke.
In 1918/1919 Henry was adopted by Percy Spencer Yates and Clara Eveline Yates (nee Rolley) from Sheffield, Yorkshire. Their only child William appears to have died some time after the 1911 census.
On 12 June 1921 Evelyn Mary married Frederick Edmonds at St Mathews Church, Brixton. Frederick was a Decorator. They had a daughter named Evelyn Florence born on 14 March 1922 at Wandsworth in London. Then they had a son Frank Henry born on 1 July 1926 at Epsom in Surrey.
Evelyn kept a photo her whole life of the baby boy she had given up for adoption. The photo was cryptically marked with his initials and his birthday ‘H.E.B. 9.5.17’. It appears she never told her husband or her children about him.
Evelyn Florence worked as an occupational therapist and married Dr Malcolm William Arthurton MD, FRCP on 15 July 1950 at Banstead, Surrey. They lived for about 4 years at Eccleston Rd, London SW1 until they moved to Dewsbury in Yorkshire. They had two daughters, Amanda and Isabel. Evelyn Florence died in 1995 in Lancaster.
Frank Henry married Vera E Smith in 1949. They had two sons Geoffrey and Brian. Frank died in 1997 in Nottingham.
Evelyn Mary was a widow living with her daughter Evelyn Florence and her son-in-law Malcolm Arthurton at Sefton Lodge, Station Rd, Baildon, Shipley when she died in hospital at Bradford on 15 March 1979.
Evelyn Mary’s half sister Emma May (b. 5 February 1900) married Frank Moore and migrated to Toronto, Canada. She died in 1999. They had 2 daughters.
Evelyn Mary’s other half sister Margaret Lucy (b. 24 Aug 1902) married Edward Henry Beasley on 27 June 1925 at Sunninghill, Berkshire. She died at Sunninghill on 18 September 1996.
Her half brother Jonathan Henry (b. 1904) married Florence Maud Clayton in 1935 at Windsor, Berkshire. He died in 1990.
Her half brother George Anthony (b. 1908) married Margaret Alice Ward in 1937 at Windsor, Berkshire. He died in 1986.
Her half brother Frederick Albert (b. 1911) married Violet M Williams in Herefordshire in 1944. He died on 4 December 1991.
Updated 6 May 2012