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George DOWDESWELL
and
Elizabeth JONES

George Edward DOWDESWELL was born to George Thomas DOWDESWELL and his wife Mary Ann at Mount Pleasant, Blaina, Monmouthshire in April 1893. He was one of eight children. By the time he was seven, the family were living at River Row in Blaina. The river - now underground - flowed along the path of the grass seen in the photograph below.

This is a photograph of River Row, showing the row of houses on the right and in front of them a grassed area where the river Ystruth was. It now flows underground.

This photograph shows River Row in 2006.


George attended the Blaina Infants' School before being admitted to the Blaina Boys' School in August 1899. In 1899 he moved up to Garn School.

After leaving Garn he became a colliery clerk - which was considered to be a job with good prospects - rather than being employed in the tin works with his father. He was employed by John Lancasters Limited - a company which owned several coal mines in the area - working in the office until he joined the R.A.M.C. in 1914.

This is an old monochrome photograph of J. Lancaster's office standing alone in the road.

The Old Company Office of John Lancaster Ltd.
By kind permission of Malcolm Thomas from his book "Brynmawr, Beaufort & Blaina in Photographs".



At the time of his marriage to Elizabeth JONES in 1912, he was living at Alma Street, Newport, Monmouthshire but they set up home together at Alexandra Street in Blaina. He was nearly 19 at the time of the marriage though the marriage certificate states 21.
This is a photograph of Alexandra Street.

This photograph shows Alexandra Street in 2006.





***

Elizabeth, Ann, Maud JONES was born in October 1893 to Robert Henry and Elizabeth, Ann JONES at Bolt Street in Newport, Monmouthshire. She was one of a family of six children. She was always known as Maud rather than Elizabeth.

This is a photograph of Bolt Street.

This photograph shows Bolt Street in 2007. The original houses are no longer here.



Maud was only four when her father died at the age of 37 from tuberculosis, a disease which frequently was fatal before the discovery of antibiotics.

When Maud was ten, her mother married Walter LE-VESCONTE a coal hewer. The family were Methodists and Maud taught at Sunday School.

***

In April 1912, Maud married George at St. Paul's Parish Church in Commercial Street, Newport.

This is a photograph of St. Paul's Church.

This photograph shows St. Paul's Parish Church in 2011.


Following the marriage they lived in Blaina the town in which George had been born. It was here in June the following year that their first child Adela was born.

In 1914 world war started and George joined the RAMC; a choice, no doubt because he was, like his father, a member of The St. John Ambulance Brigade. He received shrapnel wounds and some pieces stayed in his body for the rest of his life.

This is a photograph of George in R.A.M.C. uniform sent as a postcard. This is the back of the postcard.

This photograph sent home as a postcard shows George in RAMC uniform.


After he returned from the war, the family moved to Risca in Monmouthshire where he worked in the Pearl Insurance office. Eleven years after the birth of Adela they had a second daughter, Lily.

George was promoted and the family moved to Glamorgan where he became the manager of the Pontypridd area office. They lived in a newly built house in Hawthorn which is south of Pontypridd.

This is a photograph of Hawthorn Road.

This photograph shows Hawthorn Road in 2007.


In 1940 Adela married Brynmor MORRIS, a pattern maker in the iron foundry, and moved to live in Pontypridd. Lily married Peter SEVIER, a bus conductor, but they shared the house in Hawthorn. Later George gave Peter a job as insurance salesman. He later worked his way to promotion as Area Manager.

George was retired because of ill health in the 1950's and soon after he, Maud, Lily and Peter moved to Southsea in Hampshire, England where George and Maud had spent several holidays in the past. They lived at Allens Road not too far from the sea front. The house was divided into two flats with George and Maud upstairs and Lily, Peter and their young son Paul downstairs.

This is a photograph of Allens Road taken in 2011.

This photograph shows Allens Road taken in 2011.


George enjoyed his retirement happy to go to cricket matches or sit by the sea with Maud who by now had taken an interest in cake decoration and taught the subject at evening classes.

This is a photograph of George and Maud.

This photograph of George and Maud in Southsea.


In August 1959 George died suddenly from a stroke at the age of 66.

Three years later Maud, Lily and family moved to Chequers, Whitwell Road in Southsea which Maud and Lily ran as a guest house in the summer seasons.

This is a photograph of Chequers, Whitwell Road taken in 1999.

This photograph shows Chequers, Whitwell Road taken in 1999.


Some years later they moved to Penk Ridge, Bedhampton in Hampshire. Maud died in October 1985 during a surgical operation at the age of 92.

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