Effie Irene Pearce

Effie Irene Pearce

b: 18 AUG 1899
d: 26 JAN 1996
'All being well'
(Submitted by me [Alan] to St. Giles Cripplegate with St Luke Parish Magazine, Barbican, May 1994, and published by them in two parts - as below under this heading, but from Early Days below in the first person, as if they were my mother's words, edited and re-arranged under the heading 'Only Yesterday' )

"Saturday 5th February was a red-letter day. For me, because I felt that there could after all be life after sciatica. Equally important, for my mother, because she discovered trifle in the Balcony Cafe at the Barbican. They don't know it, but from now on they are going to sell more trifle. As a matter of fact she was in very good form on Saturday 5th February. I think it was the sun, more than anything. She wondered whether the pattern on the floor had Greek origins and where the 'Dung' in Dungeness came from.

At 94 she finds life is often so difficult in the smallest matters as to be hardly worth it. She can't hear anything unless both hearing aids have batteries in working order, are switched on, and turned to full volume. These are a lot of difficult technical conditions to be met if your memory span is half a minute or less, as hers is now. Also, she can hardly see and (she says) spends most of the day looking in her room for things she has lost.

My brother and I are privileged to have a remarkable mother. I wish I knew more about her early life but unfortunately my desire to know a lot came late, when she seemed herself to have forgotten much of the detail of it. Her younger brother, now 80, comments that she seemed to enjoy being anti-establishment at least into late middle age. By being a socialist when all around her where not. By favouring all manner of alternative medical techniques when they were anathema to the medical establishment with which she had to deal. By having feminist attitudes before feminism was invented. By marrying an artist, becoming bohemian and poor - goals not shared by her brothers, her parents or their friends and relatives. She was certainly tough, a single parent who brought up three small boys alone on very little money during the war after my father died in 1941, and probably before as well, for I doubt if his work brought much income.

My memory is not good, but some things stick in the mind - enough to know that she didn't have an easy time. She has survived it all, and has a great sense of humour and an optimistic nature which has seen her through all her problems, though she finds near-blindness and total deafness (when without her hearing aid) a very trying combination. She has very devoted friends and family, and is constantly amazed by their care for her.

She loves an argument and can swiftly reduce me to near incoherent and passionate indignation, for her dialectic often follows no logical pattern that I can discern whereas I (of course) try always to establish a logical case. She is, as she sometimes reminds me, a Victorian, and her views on matters of race and colour are those of her class and generation, though I fancy that she is at last coming to terms with multi-racial London.

In her own estimation the best thing she ever did was to set off round the world aged 65+ with no more than the clothes she wore and a knapsack and various other bags piled on her 'push-along'. One of her most treasured possessions is a tattered photograph showing her and the pushalong in front of a sunlit wall which could be anywhere. China? Japan? Africa? America? She sticks it with sellotape to the dry-wipe board on which we (her family and helpers) write messages for each other and to her. Each time I tidy it away it comes back again.

I wish she had written more about her travels, for she has many good stories to tell and the memory of them has sustained her through many less exciting years since. She also took a huge number of photographs which could do with being put in order. But writing has never come easily to her. Now and again I hear from her of a river boat on the Nile laden with goats and and all manner of livestock and the captain's wish to share her cabin; of an imposing man walking in the bush in a business suit with an umbrella followed at a respectable distance by his wife balancing a pot on her head; of her unintentionally causing a Japanese gentleman to lose face; of sleeping on mattresses that were black with dirt; and of the YWCAs in Chicago and New York, though where they fit in to her travels I don't know.


Early days

She was born on 18 August 1899, in Fitzjohns Avenue in Hampstead but spent her early years in Sidcup in Kent, where her father was the headmaster of his own preparatory school. It was mainly a day-school, though there were a few boarders and half a dozen girls, and this was where she received her early education. Right from the start she was surrounded by boys and I am sure it affected her attitude, as did the experience of having a headmaster as a father. She has always enjoyed a good argument, trading strong opinions but without rancour. Sadly, a lot of the boys fought in the 1914/18 war, and did not return from Flanders. The school, Merton Court, is still there and still functions as a school. We found it again a few months ago, but we didn't go in.

She was the eldest in a family of four children. Her brother Edward died only two years ago at 89. He was a QC who became a High Court Judge and was elevated to the peerage as Lord Pearce, becoming chairman of the commission set up by the England government to look into the question of Rhodesian independence, to take soundings and determine the wishes of the population. Her other brother Jack, who visits her from time to time, was a solicitor and lives in London and Italy with his Italian wife. Her younger sister Phyllis also married an artist but died in middle age.

Of course Sidcup in those days was very rural and was quite separate from London. Where row upon row of houses now stretch for miles fields of corn glistened in the sunlight and woods carpeted with bluebells echoed with the songs of the nightingale. She loved riding along the lanes and bridle paths with her mother but one day, aged about thirteen, she was thrown from her horse. As a result she was in a coma for about a week and still remember quite vividly today the sensation, when unconscious, of travelling along a very dark tunnel at the end of which was a blazing light which she desperately wanted to reach. Eventually she did and then saw people she knew who had died, incandescent and radiant. Perhaps the strangest thing was that when she recovered consciousness not only was this vision indelibly impressed on her memory but she felt (she says) an overwhelming sense of sadness. (Other people close to death have had similar out-of-body experiences and The Daily Telegraph of 30 January reported that the Institute of Psychiatry is setting up a research project into them - Ed)

In her later years at Sidcup she went to school at Blackheath, cycling there and back every day.


A very romantic playwright

After the 1914/18 war her parents moved to Brighton and she was sent to a boarding school at Hastings [Winchester House School]. All the pupils were girls but though she didn't admit it at the time they apparently seemed silly creatures to her, having been brought up with boys. She wrote a play called "The Scarlet Pimpernel", full of adventure and high romance. When it was performed the girls liked it.

While at Brighton she fell in love with a boy who had been at Merton Court and who in later life became a well known doctor (Charles Harris) holding a senior position at Barts Hospital. It seems astonishing now, social attitudes having changed out of all recognition, to think how repressed they were. They never even talked of their love to each other. It was not until fifty years later that she learned from her mother that - aged nineteen - the boy asked her father for permission to get engaged to her and was refused. Shortly after this he left for America and they lost touch with each other, but she still speaks of him often, though he died some years ago.

She dearly wanted to be a doctor, following the example of her cousin, Ulla Chaplin, who was one of the first woman doctors. Fortunately her parents supported her ambition though women medical students were still a rarity, and she enrolled at St Mary's Hospital Paddington. There was only one other woman student (Ruth Brittain), who became a lifelong friend and godmother to her children and grandchildren. The women were not treated gently by the male students: on one occasion at least the men played catch with a human liver over their heads while they were reading. The lecturers enjoyed causing maximum embarassment to the women and one in particular described in prodigious detail the intimate parts of the human anatomy.

Whether for these reasons, or because she found the course too demanding, or just changed her mind I don't know, but she transferred to physiotherapy and found it much more enjoyable. She can't remember now how her parents' reacted to the change of plan but in those days fathers were much more interested in the careers of their sons, the girls were second class citizens. ["The Leaflet", probably a publication of the Hastings school, mentions her engagement to an artist, and that she was at that time doing massage training at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Kemp Town, Brighton].


Chelsea, Essex, Cornwall and Kent

On 12 February 1926 in Brighton Registry Office my mother married an artist, Raymond Ray-Jones, who became a well known painter-etcher in his time. He had won his way by scholarships from Ashton-Under-Lyne where he was born, to the Royal College of Art, which recommended him to her brother Edward when he wanted to commission a portrait of his father. Eventually he made portraits of most of the members of the family.

They first lived in a studio flat in Chelsea but were too poor to entertain. Later they moved to Woodham Walter in Essex and after that to St Ives in Cornwall, living partly on rents from the Chelsea flats. My father was very precise and accurate, with a gift as an architectural draughtsman at a time when Picasso was leading the post-impressionists in quite a different direction. He worked slowly and sold rather few pictures. Some of their best times were spent abroad in France and Italy before the 1939 war: many of my father's pictures are of those countries. My mother spoke fluent French, and both my parents were enthusiastic Francophiles.

I was born in 1930 at St Mary's Hospital Stratford and my mother tells me that my birthday was the happiest day of her life. I grew up in St Ives, Cornwall until my father died there in 1941, after which we moved to Lambourn in Berkshire and then to Tonbridge in Kent while the doodlebugs flew overhead. Some things she has told me stick particularly in the mind. The Cornish are a superstitious people. On parting and arranging to meet again they would always say "all being well", as if being too definite about it might tempt fate. She still says it every day when we part.

I eventually became an architect and now divide my time between my wife in Somerset and my mother and my work in London. My mother's second son Philip is an accountant and lecturer and lives in Tufnell Park. She visits him and his family every Sunday and his daughters often come to see her.

Her greatest tragedy was the death at the age of thirty of her youngest son Tony Ray-Jones, who was brought back from America by air to die of leukaemia in London in March 1972. He was a gifted photographer who has become internationally known since his death. His widow Anna, who lives in New York, still keeps in touch.


The last thirty years

Life really opened up for my mother when she was sixty five. She decided to travel - not in a luxurious way which was anyway out of the question - but more as a gypsy with all her possessions in a push-along, sleeping in tents and at YWCAs. Many friends thought her mad but she had a wonderful time travelling across communist Russia to Peking, to Japan, Australia and New Zealand, Africa, USA, Canada and South America (not all on the same trip).

After her wanderings she lived for some years in Hampstead at South End Green, then moved to Notting Hill Gate where she very kindly allowed me to share her very small flat from 1976 to 1989 provided that I never put any meat in her refrigerator. Which brings me to her views on food.

She is about the same age as the Queen Mother. Her grandmother lived to be 93, her mother 89 and her father 86. Admittedly her sister died in middle age and her youngest son died when only 30. I would say that the family is pretty long-lived but all these deaths were due to cancer and for many years she has been a keen vegetarian in the belief (now supported by some conventional medical opinion), that fruit and vegetables help prevent the disease or even that meat may encourage it.

Her staple foods nowadays are herb tea, yoghourt, bananas and seedless grapes, with occasional cheddar cheese and chinese leaves. She believes that meat is unnecessary and that most people eat far too much food anyway. She never cooks but admits to enjoying her occasional visits to the Waterside Cafe and the Balcony Cafe at the Barbican.

My mother lives now in a large studio flat overlooking Aldersgate. When she came here in 1989 from Notting Hill Gate she could see St Pauls from her balcony and was very sad indeed two years later when a huge new office block neatly obliterated the whole of her view of the dome. She thinks it is outrageous that new buildings are allowed to go higher and higher. Until 1991 she could see more than fourteen cranes from her window but most of them have gone now. She loves her huge window and one reason she gives for not going into a Home is that she doesn't believe they could provide such a window. And even though she has lived in various parts of England she cannot understand why anyone should want to live in the country if they could live in London.

Before 1989 she went regularly to classes on all sorts of subjects - weaving, jewellery, woodwork etc at the City Lit and elsewhere. Even when she came to the Barbican she went out every day, often to Selfridges to window shop and have lunch. Now, though she travelled the world on her own, she feels frightened of going into Aldersgate, let alone into central London! She thinks it seems very stupid. Sometimes she gets in the wrong lift and almost forgets how to get home. The furthest she gets by herself is to Cranks at Smithfield for lunch, and then only sometimes. She often get very lonely and even feels that her room is a sort of prison. But the Corporation of London can arrange for elderly people to go to a day centre and my mother hopes to try it, at least once. Who knows, perhaps it will lead her to new friendships and a new chapter in her long life."

Alan Ray-Jones, February 1994


'Two thousand miles down the Nile in June 1965' (published in St. Giles Cripplegate with St Luke Parish Magazine, Barbican, Feb 1994)

My mother said, without hesitation, that the best part of her life was the time she travelled the world, and in particular her journey down the Nile in 1965. I tried in vain to get her to write about her travels generally, but fortunately she found the text below, which only needed some editing: [see c:\alan\nile]

Effie Irene Ray-Jones, by her friends, 1996

She was a great lady..... I will always remember my trip to London with my husband Jim, brother Donald and his wife Mary. She entertained us royally and proudly displayed her talents in jewellery making, carpentry (the doll's house) at her apartment. It was always a delight to receive her letter at Christmas... I certainly admired her zest for living and her delight in travelling. She was always interested in what my family was doing here. Mary Gillespie, Ontario, 9 March 1996

I heard the sad news about your dear mother yesterday via a telephone call from Anna. We are so very sorry for you and us losing such a great lady - part of 'my' London since 1966. M was born in the same year as Runa's late father - two personalities to miss in a sense as much for the age they represented as for themselves. M was/is the embodiment of my idea of a great lady - independent, active adventurous - leading her own interesting interested life whilst serving as the matriarch of a talented, interesting and accomplished family. Her influence on you all must indeed have been and remains a very positive thing. We shall always maintain our fondness for your mother and miss her dearly. Ed and Runa Mackenzie, New Zealand, 28.1.96

We admired Effie's enthusiasm and zest; she appeared to have boundless energy and certainly in her younger years, was eager to expand her horizons through what seemed to be a quite challenging travel agenda.... She has left a remarkable legacy; we share with you many fond memories and join you in celebrating her life. Marion and Jack Sarjeant, Toronto, 13 February 1996

I ... was happy for her really, knowing that her wonderful spirit is now released and is no longer weighed down with a body which had ceased to function properly. I have kept all her Christmas letters for many years and enjoy re-reading these from time to time. (In her) 1988 letter .... she says 'I wish that I were younger and could travel in the hard way again which was such fun'. I hear more and more people say that the person who has passed on is at the funeral in spirit and knows exactly what's going on. In that case, your mother would really have enjoyed that Gilbert and Sullivan music! I am grateful... particularly for the friendship and correspondence I had with her over a period of 33 years. Stella W Green, Australia 29 March 1996

What good memories your mother leaves for us all.... She and my mother wrote to each other through the years, so 'Cousin Effie' was a name firmly woven into the background fabric of our lives. Memories are vague of her pre-war visit to us in Bexhill with, I think, two sons, you and either Tony or Philip? But we did thoroughly enjoy her visit to Alberta in the fifties, and I have many affectionate memories of that time. Effie was such a gallant lady, and now that eager enquiring mind is undimmed and free in her new life in God's love. How lucky you all were to have her in person, and still to have her love with you. Tom and Rene join in affectionate greetings to you and your family. Nancy Wright, British Columbia, 8 Jan 1996

She certainly had a long and eventful life, and was an active and contributing person to many with her interests and involvement in peoples lives. I know she was very special to me, sharing, and discussing. I think, rather I know because she said it 'you Americans are so uneducated' - I think she loved to teach me history, particularly related to the United Kingdom! I always will treasure my times with her - she had such spirit! Susie Davis, Seattle, 13 February 1996

I just wanted to express my sadness at M's passing, also to acknowledge the blessing, and the amazing person that she was. I have so many happy childhood memories of going skating, to the Commonwealth Institute, the National Geographic, and to the club! And as an adult of a 'tour de force', someone who loved a good argument, and enthused about oriental rugs at 87 - and as for eating meat.....! We'll all miss her, she was very special. Sue Blackwell, England, March 1996

It was a great shock and I was very sad. I liked M a lot. Even in her dotage she was such a no-nonsense kind of woman. ..... I hope you're doing OK, despite the relief it must surely be, it's still awful sad to lose such a fine old lady, specially when she's your mum. Lynda Kane, New Zealand, 6 February 1996

Sorry to hear about M.....though I bet she feels better now. No doubt she would have appreciated the Gilbert and Sullivan and the tea party. I remember going to see Danny la Rue (as Widow Twanky) with her . She obviously appreciated the risque jokes, which I thought was pretty cool for my granny! She also gave me her "travelling towel" - a small, threadbare oblong - when I first went to Germany....probably the vibrations in it are the reason we've wound up in New Zealand. M also introduced me to my first knickerbocker glory and gave me her "Violet Ray" healing machine, to which I later discovered a reference in a book about bizarre inventions....which may have led to my producing a few bizarre inventions of my own. I recall once accompanying M to one of her clubs - the V&A - where she was more than happy to order sweetbreads for me. After I'd had a few bites she volunteered the information that I was eating a sheep's brain....I don't think I finished that particular meal. However, she was probably instrumental in my subsequent interest in other foods considered weird in those days, such as muesli and yoghurt, which led to a job at Community Foods in London - hauling sacks of grains and nuts up the staircase of a squat in Chalk Farm.

M was also quick on the ball in the joke department - when we discovered that my normal blood temperature was slightly below normal she opined that this probably explained my reptilian nature .......well I've always assumed this was a joke....

M often allowed herself to be dragged along to various movies at Leicester Square as well as newsreels at Baker Street, with the Woody Woodpecker cartoon (with a bit of luck) being the highlight. Unless she had an inordinate liking for films that usually involved a lot of yelling and bullets she was a great stoic.

I shall always remember M's extraordinary wood-working skills, her great travelling spirit, (although she preferred museums and ancient ruins while I was more interested in the bazaars and back alleys) and her insightful and ironical observations of human behaviour....I doubt she would have had much time for the platitudes of the Age of Political Correctness. David Ray-Jones (alias Stephen Kane), New Zealand, 6 February 1996

I wrote the enclosed article for the church magazine.... It came from the heart as I loved your mother and we were such fond friends for more than twenty years:

" 'A Tribute to a Friend: Effie Irene Ray-Jones, 1899 - 1966'

Dear Effie,

I went to your funeral on a cold but sunny February afternoon, and was greeted at the door of St Giles' Cripplegate by the cheerful music of Gilbert and Sullivan, which music you loved so much and was being played on the organ. I knew immediately that this was going to be no ordinary funeral but one that befitted such an extraordinary woman as you were.

The sheet that I was handed detailing the order of the service said that it was to be a 'Service of Thanksgiving' for your life, and as it progressed I sensed that the feelings of the whole congregation were indeed of gratefulness and joy for such a life as yours. The sadness that we had felt at the beginning was soon diminished by the joyous tunes, the happy choice of hymns and the heartfelt words of your son, Alan, and the Rector.

When we were singing 'All Things Bright and Beautiful', I was reminded so vividly of the pleasure that you took in looking with me at the flowers in the Barbican gardens and nearby parks. You were, by then, nearly blind, but how you loved to see the bright colours of the daffodils, tulips, pansies and roses! In the middle of these feasts of colour, we 'talked' to the pigeons, cats and dogs that we met; you loved them all. When unsure, you asked me, like a little girl might ask her teacher, the name of each bloom; you could see its shade but not its shape. We called those occasions our 'Nature Walks', and I shared your joy and childlike enthusiasm with a touch of sadness in my heart at the thought that you, already of great age, had such a little time left in which to admire on this earth God's wonderful works.

You were cheerful and excited when, sometimes, I rang you up announcing 'a surprise outing' and you often demanded to know where we were going - to which I would say, 'Effie, it would be no surprise if you knew that'. We embarked on our 'adventures' with all the anticipation of schoolgirls out to see, learn and admire. We took day trips by train; we went to art exhibitions, concerts, plays; we lunched in restaurants and pubs (our favourite, as journeys began to tire you, being 'The Shakespeare' in Aldersgate Street, close to your flat), or we simply enjoyed a cup of tea and shared a piece of cake in the Barbican cafeteria. Often people sitting near us (we spoke rather loudly because of your deafness since birth) would join in our conversations asking me your age and admiring your vivacity; few could believe that you were born in Victoria's reign.

Your words were always interesting, witty and full of wisdom; I was privileged to share not only your present life but, even more, your exciting past. With you, dear Effie, I travelled in my imagination on the Trans-Siberian Railway, 'hard class' all the way to Vladivostock; I saw sunsets on the Nile; I met your travelling companions and the unusual people who crossed your path; I visited Australia and felt your fear of the poisonous spiders and snakes that you encountered; I lived vicariously what was still vividly alive in your memory, and joined you in your lone journey around the world, your luggage consisting of a small handbag containing the barest necessities. I also shared, in part, your sorrows, particularly the early death of your youngest son, Tony, for whom you still grieved.

Knowing you has been an enriching experience. I do not expect to meet another human being who had such courage and sense of adventure. You were, indeed, a true Victorian. So this is 'goodbye', dear friend - or should I say 'au revoir'?

Vally Amis, February 1996

Edward Holroyd Pearce was very fond of his sister and wrote several poems which were addressed to her and were provided to those attending her funeral. One is given below, the others are in an email from Philip Ray-Jones dated 6 September 1999 and c:\alan\family\ep_poems:

To Effie - medical student

When tender maid to thoughts inclines
Of guts and tubes and intestines
And leaves her socks and downs her knitting
For heavy smells and gases splitting
Takes up in fact the whole gamut
Heart calls to heart and gut to gut
Leaving the feminine arts
To women of less sterling parts
How can she fail to make relations
Feel conscious of her innovations?

Pa who once lived in blessed ease
And brushed his clothes just when you please,
Now daily scrapes from off his togs
The guts of effervescing frogs.

And Ma has got to bear her part
And help her hubby's harrowed heart.
She fishes ganglia from the broth
And wipes amoeba off the cloth.
"A boiled oesophagus egad!
In father's soup - this is too bad!"

In Edward's room a perfect blizzard
Of pipes and pulses gut and gizzard.

Peg stands the strain with level head
And sorrows slightly for the dead.

Jac likes to follow with the tide,
Besides it gives him where to hide.
Hid 'neath a heap of rotting flesh
He slips from bedtimes greedy mesh.

So all and each we find affected
In ways we couldn't have expected
All, all except our dear Euphemia,
Who glories as the house grows steamier.


ENVOI

Can such things last? Go take your smell.
There lies a bower. 'Tis builded well.
There, there pursue your godless tasks,
Nor make your family wear masks.
There rot the putty from the sills
Perusing the pursuit of PILLS!!!!!!
Steam incense to the vasty void
Thro' wrecking roofs of Ruberoid!!!!!!!!!!!

From autobiographical notes by Edward Holroyd Pearce (Lord Pearce) 1989:

My sister and I played many a game of 'Red Indians' in the copse, and became adept with home made bows and arrows. A real red Indian outfit from our grandmother in Canada incited us to further efforts. Eventually an accident with an arrow that nearly cost my sister the sight of an eye put these activities under a cloud.

Her red covered photo album/scrapbook:

Started at Brighton, Christmas 1923 before she got married and continued most of her life, it gives a good idea of some of her interests. Lots of family photos but also many poems, particularly by her grandmother and brother Edward. Her younger brother Jack said she was a Bohemian who made her own life quite unnecessarily difficult. The book includes non-family items with a feminist slant, much about play-acting, much about the first world war, and many press cuttings about family members in the public eye - she was undoubtedly a snob but I'm so glad she kept these cuttings.

Friends included are the Goldsmiths (Janet, and Felix an Architect, from Merton Court days, friends of Charles Harris); E H Lowndes - a teacher and friend of her father; friends from Winchester House School; Dr Goodrich - Little Baddow; the Beadles particularly Helen also from Merton Court days - Gerald was Director of BBC Television, when it moved into White City (built by Norman Dawbarn also from Merton Court!); Helene de Schonen and family from a chateau (Bourgagney?) I think from the south somewhere. Her brother Albert was a French Ambassador in the 50's he was at Brussels. One of his daughter's married a Hapsburg (later dissolved by the Pope)]; Fred Tindall - Brighton, Cosmo Clark, R.C. Robertson Glasgow, cricketer friend of Edward's.

Other friends included Rosewarne, Gresty and Leach families in Carbis Bay, Marjorie Baker and Connie Lugg in Essex, travel friends, Dr Ruth Brittan (perhaps her best friend long term), B. Nixon and her daughter Jane, Eily Turrell, Vally Amis at the Barbican and kind neighbour Norman Dudley.
Extrovert, tough, bohemian, positive outlook, socialist but later conservative, died from 'old age'.
Biography
'All being well'
(Submitted by me [Alan] to St. Giles Cripplegate with St Luke Parish Magazine, Barbican, May 1994, and published by them in two parts - as below under this heading, but from Early Days below in the first person, as if they were my mother's words, edited and re-arranged under the heading 'Only Yesterday' )

"Saturday 5th February was a red-letter day. For me, because I felt that there could after all be life after sciatica. Equally important, for my mother, because she discovered trifle in the Balcony Cafe at the Barbican. They don't know it, but from now on they are going to sell more trifle. As a matter of fact she was in very good form on Saturday 5th February. I think it was the sun, more than anything. She wondered whether the pattern on the floor had Greek origins and where the 'Dung' in Dungeness came from.

At 94 she finds life is often so difficult in the smallest matters as to be hardly worth it. She can't hear anything unless both hearing aids have batteries in working order, are switched on, and turned to full volume. These are a lot of difficult technical conditions to be met if your memory span is half a minute or less, as hers is now. Also, she can hardly see and (she says) spends most of the day looking in her room for things she has lost.

My brother and I are privileged to have a remarkable mother. I wish I knew more about her early life but unfortunately my desire to know a lot came late, when she seemed herself to have forgotten much of the detail of it. Her younger brother, now 80, comments that she seemed to enjoy being anti-establishment at least into late middle age. By being a socialist when all around her where not. By favouring all manner of alternative medical techniques when they were anathema to the medical establishment with which she had to deal. By having feminist attitudes before feminism was invented. By marrying an artist, becoming bohemian and poor - goals not shared by her brothers, her parents or their friends and relatives. She was certainly tough, a single parent who brought up three small boys alone on very little money during the war after my father died in 1941, and probably before as well, for I doubt if his work brought much income.

My memory is not good, but some things stick in the mind - enough to know that she didn't have an easy time. She has survived it all, and has a great sense of humour and an optimistic nature which has seen her through all her problems, though she finds near-blindness and total deafness (when without her hearing aid) a very trying combination. She has very devoted friends and family, and is constantly amazed by their care for her.

She loves an argument and can swiftly reduce me to near incoherent and passionate indignation, for her dialectic often follows no logical pattern that I can discern whereas I (of course) try always to establish a logical case. She is, as she sometimes reminds me, a Victorian, and her views on matters of race and colour are those of her class and generation, though I fancy that she is at last coming to terms with multi-racial London.

In her own estimation the best thing she ever did was to set off round the world aged 65+ with no more than the clothes she wore and a knapsack and various other bags piled on her 'push-along'. One of her most treasured possessions is a tattered photograph showing her and the pushalong in front of a sunlit wall which could be anywhere. China? Japan? Africa? America? She sticks it with sellotape to the dry-wipe board on which we (her family and helpers) write messages for each other and to her. Each time I tidy it away it comes back again.

I wish she had written more about her travels, for she has many good stories to tell and the memory of them has sustained her through many less exciting years since. She also took a huge number of photographs which could do with being put in order. But writing has never come easily to her. Now and again I hear from her of a river boat on the Nile laden with goats and and all manner of livestock and the captain's wish to share her cabin; of an imposing man walking in the bush in a business suit with an umbrella followed at a respectable distance by his wife balancing a pot on her head; of her unintentionally causing a Japanese gentleman to lose face; of sleeping on mattresses that were black with dirt; and of the YWCAs in Chicago and New York, though where they fit in to her travels I don't know.


Early days

She was born on 18 August 1899, in Fitzjohns Avenue in Hampstead but spent her early years in Sidcup in Kent, where her father was the headmaster of his own preparatory school. It was mainly a day-school, though there were a few boarders and half a dozen girls, and this was where she received her early education. Right from the start she was surrounded by boys and I am sure it affected her attitude, as did the experience of having a headmaster as a father. She has always enjoyed a good argument, trading strong opinions but without rancour. Sadly, a lot of the boys fought in the 1914/18 war, and did not return from Flanders. The school, Merton Court, is still there and still functions as a school. We found it again a few months ago, but we didn't go in.

She was the eldest in a family of four children. Her brother Edward died only two years ago at 89. He was a QC who became a High Court Judge and was elevated to the peerage as Lord Pearce, becoming chairman of the commission set up by the England government to look into the question of Rhodesian independence, to take soundings and determine the wishes of the population. Her other brother Jack, who visits her from time to time, was a solicitor and lives in London and Italy with his Italian wife. Her younger sister Phyllis also married an artist but died in middle age.

Of course Sidcup in those days was very rural and was quite separate from London. Where row upon row of houses now stretch for miles fields of corn glistened in the sunlight and woods carpeted with bluebells echoed with the songs of the nightingale. She loved riding along the lanes and bridle paths with her mother but one day, aged about thirteen, she was thrown from her horse. As a result she was in a coma for about a week and still remember quite vividly today the sensation, when unconscious, of travelling along a very dark tunnel at the end of which was a blazing light which she desperately wanted to reach. Eventually she did and then saw people she knew who had died, incandescent and radiant. Perhaps the strangest thing was that when she recovered consciousness not only was this vision indelibly impressed on her memory but she felt (she says) an overwhelming sense of sadness. (Other people close to death have had similar out-of-body experiences and The Daily Telegraph of 30 January reported that the Institute of Psychiatry is setting up a research project into them - Ed)

In her later years at Sidcup she went to school at Blackheath, cycling there and back every day.


A very romantic playwright

After the 1914/18 war her parents moved to Brighton and she was sent to a boarding school at Hastings [Winchester House School]. All the pupils were girls but though she didn't admit it at the time they apparently seemed silly creatures to her, having been brought up with boys. She wrote a play called "The Scarlet Pimpernel", full of adventure and high romance. When it was performed the girls liked it.

While at Brighton she fell in love with a boy who had been at Merton Court and who in later life became a well known doctor (Charles Harris) holding a senior position at Barts Hospital. It seems astonishing now, social attitudes having changed out of all recognition, to think how repressed they were. They never even talked of their love to each other. It was not until fifty years later that she learned from her mother that - aged nineteen - the boy asked her father for permission to get engaged to her and was refused. Shortly after this he left for America and they lost touch with each other, but she still speaks of him often, though he died some years ago.

She dearly wanted to be a doctor, following the example of her cousin, Ulla Chaplin, who was one of the first woman doctors. Fortunately her parents supported her ambition though women medical students were still a rarity, and she enrolled at St Mary's Hospital Paddington. There was only one other woman student (Ruth Brittain), who became a lifelong friend and godmother to her children and grandchildren. The women were not treated gently by the male students: on one occasion at least the men played catch with a human liver over their heads while they were reading. The lecturers enjoyed causing maximum embarassment to the women and one in particular described in prodigious detail the intimate parts of the human anatomy.

Whether for these reasons, or because she found the course too demanding, or just changed her mind I don't know, but she transferred to physiotherapy and found it much more enjoyable. She can't remember now how her parents' reacted to the change of plan but in those days fathers were much more interested in the careers of their sons, the girls were second class citizens. ["The Leaflet", probably a publication of the Hastings school, mentions her engagement to an artist, and that she was at that time doing massage training at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Kemp Town, Brighton].


Chelsea, Essex, Cornwall and Kent

On 12 February 1926 in Brighton Registry Office my mother married an artist, Raymond Ray-Jones, who became a well known painter-etcher in his time. He had won his way by scholarships from Ashton-Under-Lyne where he was born, to the Royal College of Art, which recommended him to her brother Edward when he wanted to commission a portrait of his father. Eventually he made portraits of most of the members of the family.

They first lived in a studio flat in Chelsea but were too poor to entertain. Later they moved to Woodham Walter in Essex and after that to St Ives in Cornwall, living partly on rents from the Chelsea flats. My father was very precise and accurate, with a gift as an architectural draughtsman at a time when Picasso was leading the post-impressionists in quite a different direction. He worked slowly and sold rather few pictures. Some of their best times were spent abroad in France and Italy before the 1939 war: many of my father's pictures are of those countries. My mother spoke fluent French, and both my parents were enthusiastic Francophiles.

I was born in 1930 at St Mary's Hospital Stratford and my mother tells me that my birthday was the happiest day of her life. I grew up in St Ives, Cornwall until my father died there in 1941, after which we moved to Lambourn in Berkshire and then to Tonbridge in Kent while the doodlebugs flew overhead. Some things she has told me stick particularly in the mind. The Cornish are a superstitious people. On parting and arranging to meet again they would always say "all being well", as if being too definite about it might tempt fate. She still says it every day when we part.

I eventually became an architect and now divide my time between my wife in Somerset and my mother and my work in London. My mother's second son Philip is an accountant and lecturer and lives in Tufnell Park. She visits him and his family every Sunday and his daughters often come to see her.

Her greatest tragedy was the death at the age of thirty of her youngest son Tony Ray-Jones, who was brought back from America by air to die of leukaemia in London in March 1972. He was a gifted photographer who has become internationally known since his death. His widow Anna, who lives in New York, still keeps in touch.


The last thirty years

Life really opened up for my mother when she was sixty five. She decided to travel - not in a luxurious way which was anyway out of the question - but more as a gypsy with all her possessions in a push-along, sleeping in tents and at YWCAs. Many friends thought her mad but she had a wonderful time travelling across communist Russia to Peking, to Japan, Australia and New Zealand, Africa, USA, Canada and South America (not all on the same trip).

After her wanderings she lived for some years in Hampstead at South End Green, then moved to Notting Hill Gate where she very kindly allowed me to share her very small flat from 1976 to 1989 provided that I never put any meat in her refrigerator. Which brings me to her views on food.

She is about the same age as the Queen Mother. Her grandmother lived to be 93, her mother 89 and her father 86. Admittedly her sister died in middle age and her youngest son died when only 30. I would say that the family is pretty long-lived but all these deaths were due to cancer and for many years she has been a keen vegetarian in the belief (now supported by some conventional medical opinion), that fruit and vegetables help prevent the disease or even that meat may encourage it.

Her staple foods nowadays are herb tea, yoghourt, bananas and seedless grapes, with occasional cheddar cheese and chinese leaves. She believes that meat is unnecessary and that most people eat far too much food anyway. She never cooks but admits to enjoying her occasional visits to the Waterside Cafe and the Balcony Cafe at the Barbican.

My mother lives now in a large studio flat overlooking Aldersgate. When she came here in 1989 from Notting Hill Gate she could see St Pauls from her balcony and was very sad indeed two years later when a huge new office block neatly obliterated the whole of her view of the dome. She thinks it is outrageous that new buildings are allowed to go higher and higher. Until 1991 she could see more than fourteen cranes from her window but most of them have gone now. She loves her huge window and one reason she gives for not going into a Home is that she doesn't believe they could provide such a window. And even though she has lived in various parts of England she cannot understand why anyone should want to live in the country if they could live in London.

Before 1989 she went regularly to classes on all sorts of subjects - weaving, jewellery, woodwork etc at the City Lit and elsewhere. Even when she came to the Barbican she went out every day, often to Selfridges to window shop and have lunch. Now, though she travelled the world on her own, she feels frightened of going into Aldersgate, let alone into central London! She thinks it seems very stupid. Sometimes she gets in the wrong lift and almost forgets how to get home. The furthest she gets by herself is to Cranks at Smithfield for lunch, and then only sometimes. She often get very lonely and even feels that her room is a sort of prison. But the Corporation of London can arrange for elderly people to go to a day centre and my mother hopes to try it, at least once. Who knows, perhaps it will lead her to new friendships and a new chapter in her long life."

Alan Ray-Jones, February 1994


'Two thousand miles down the Nile in June 1965' (published in St. Giles Cripplegate with St Luke Parish Magazine, Barbican, Feb 1994)

My mother said, without hesitation, that the best part of her life was the time she travelled the world, and in particular her journey down the Nile in 1965. I tried in vain to get her to write about her travels generally, but fortunately she found the text below, which only needed some editing: [see c:\alan\nile]

Effie Irene Ray-Jones, by her friends, 1996

She was a great lady..... I will always remember my trip to London with my husband Jim, brother Donald and his wife Mary. She entertained us royally and proudly displayed her talents in jewellery making, carpentry (the doll's house) at her apartment. It was always a delight to receive her letter at Christmas... I certainly admired her zest for living and her delight in travelling. She was always interested in what my family was doing here. Mary Gillespie, Ontario, 9 March 1996

I heard the sad news about your dear mother yesterday via a telephone call from Anna. We are so very sorry for you and us losing such a great lady - part of 'my' London since 1966. M was born in the same year as Runa's late father - two personalities to miss in a sense as much for the age they represented as for themselves. M was/is the embodiment of my idea of a great lady - independent, active adventurous - leading her own interesting interested life whilst serving as the matriarch of a talented, interesting and accomplished family. Her influence on you all must indeed have been and remains a very positive thing. We shall always maintain our fondness for your mother and miss her dearly. Ed and Runa Mackenzie, New Zealand, 28.1.96

We admired Effie's enthusiasm and zest; she appeared to have boundless energy and certainly in her younger years, was eager to expand her horizons through what seemed to be a quite challenging travel agenda.... She has left a remarkable legacy; we share with you many fond memories and join you in celebrating her life. Marion and Jack Sarjeant, Toronto, 13 February 1996

I ... was happy for her really, knowing that her wonderful spirit is now released and is no longer weighed down with a body which had ceased to function properly. I have kept all her Christmas letters for many years and enjoy re-reading these from time to time. (In her) 1988 letter .... she says 'I wish that I were younger and could travel in the hard way again which was such fun'. I hear more and more people say that the person who has passed on is at the funeral in spirit and knows exactly what's going on. In that case, your mother would really have enjoyed that Gilbert and Sullivan music! I am grateful... particularly for the friendship and correspondence I had with her over a period of 33 years. Stella W Green, Australia 29 March 1996

What good memories your mother leaves for us all.... She and my mother wrote to each other through the years, so 'Cousin Effie' was a name firmly woven into the background fabric of our lives. Memories are vague of her pre-war visit to us in Bexhill with, I think, two sons, you and either Tony or Philip? But we did thoroughly enjoy her visit to Alberta in the fifties, and I have many affectionate memories of that time. Effie was such a gallant lady, and now that eager enquiring mind is undimmed and free in her new life in God's love. How lucky you all were to have her in person, and still to have her love with you. Tom and Rene join in affectionate greetings to you and your family. Nancy Wright, British Columbia, 8 Jan 1996

She certainly had a long and eventful life, and was an active and contributing person to many with her interests and involvement in peoples lives. I know she was very special to me, sharing, and discussing. I think, rather I know because she said it 'you Americans are so uneducated' - I think she loved to teach me history, particularly related to the United Kingdom! I always will treasure my times with her - she had such spirit! Susie Davis, Seattle, 13 February 1996

I just wanted to express my sadness at M's passing, also to acknowledge the blessing, and the amazing person that she was. I have so many happy childhood memories of going skating, to the Commonwealth Institute, the National Geographic, and to the club! And as an adult of a 'tour de force', someone who loved a good argument, and enthused about oriental rugs at 87 - and as for eating meat.....! We'll all miss her, she was very special. Sue Blackwell, England, March 1996

It was a great shock and I was very sad. I liked M a lot. Even in her dotage she was such a no-nonsense kind of woman. ..... I hope you're doing OK, despite the relief it must surely be, it's still awful sad to lose such a fine old lady, specially when she's your mum. Lynda Kane, New Zealand, 6 February 1996

Sorry to hear about M.....though I bet she feels better now. No doubt she would have appreciated the Gilbert and Sullivan and the tea party. I remember going to see Danny la Rue (as Widow Twanky) with her . She obviously appreciated the risque jokes, which I thought was pretty cool for my granny! She also gave me her "travelling towel" - a small, threadbare oblong - when I first went to Germany....probably the vibrations in it are the reason we've wound up in New Zealand. M also introduced me to my first knickerbocker glory and gave me her "Violet Ray" healing machine, to which I later discovered a reference in a book about bizarre inventions....which may have led to my producing a few bizarre inventions of my own. I recall once accompanying M to one of her clubs - the V&A - where she was more than happy to order sweetbreads for me. After I'd had a few bites she volunteered the information that I was eating a sheep's brain....I don't think I finished that particular meal. However, she was probably instrumental in my subsequent interest in other foods considered weird in those days, such as muesli and yoghurt, which led to a job at Community Foods in London - hauling sacks of grains and nuts up the staircase of a squat in Chalk Farm.

M was also quick on the ball in the joke department - when we discovered that my normal blood temperature was slightly below normal she opined that this probably explained my reptilian nature .......well I've always assumed this was a joke....

M often allowed herself to be dragged along to various movies at Leicester Square as well as newsreels at Baker Street, with the Woody Woodpecker cartoon (with a bit of luck) being the highlight. Unless she had an inordinate liking for films that usually involved a lot of yelling and bullets she was a great stoic.

I shall always remember M's extraordinary wood-working skills, her great travelling spirit, (although she preferred museums and ancient ruins while I was more interested in the bazaars and back alleys) and her insightful and ironical observations of human behaviour....I doubt she would have had much time for the platitudes of the Age of Political Correctness. David Ray-Jones (alias Stephen Kane), New Zealand, 6 February 1996

I wrote the enclosed article for the church magazine.... It came from the heart as I loved your mother and we were such fond friends for more than twenty years:

" 'A Tribute to a Friend: Effie Irene Ray-Jones, 1899 - 1966'

Dear Effie,

I went to your funeral on a cold but sunny February afternoon, and was greeted at the door of St Giles' Cripplegate by the cheerful music of Gilbert and Sullivan, which music you loved so much and was being played on the organ. I knew immediately that this was going to be no ordinary funeral but one that befitted such an extraordinary woman as you were.

The sheet that I was handed detailing the order of the service said that it was to be a 'Service of Thanksgiving' for your life, and as it progressed I sensed that the feelings of the whole congregation were indeed of gratefulness and joy for such a life as yours. The sadness that we had felt at the beginning was soon diminished by the joyous tunes, the happy choice of hymns and the heartfelt words of your son, Alan, and the Rector.

When we were singing 'All Things Bright and Beautiful', I was reminded so vividly of the pleasure that you took in looking with me at the flowers in the Barbican gardens and nearby parks. You were, by then, nearly blind, but how you loved to see the bright colours of the daffodils, tulips, pansies and roses! In the middle of these feasts of colour, we 'talked' to the pigeons, cats and dogs that we met; you loved them all. When unsure, you asked me, like a little girl might ask her teacher, the name of each bloom; you could see its shade but not its shape. We called those occasions our 'Nature Walks', and I shared your joy and childlike enthusiasm with a touch of sadness in my heart at the thought that you, already of great age, had such a little time left in which to admire on this earth God's wonderful works.

You were cheerful and excited when, sometimes, I rang you up announcing 'a surprise outing' and you often demanded to know where we were going - to which I would say, 'Effie, it would be no surprise if you knew that'. We embarked on our 'adventures' with all the anticipation of schoolgirls out to see, learn and admire. We took day trips by train; we went to art exhibitions, concerts, plays; we lunched in restaurants and pubs (our favourite, as journeys began to tire you, being 'The Shakespeare' in Aldersgate Street, close to your flat), or we simply enjoyed a cup of tea and shared a piece of cake in the Barbican cafeteria. Often people sitting near us (we spoke rather loudly because of your deafness since birth) would join in our conversations asking me your age and admiring your vivacity; few could believe that you were born in Victoria's reign.

Your words were always interesting, witty and full of wisdom; I was privileged to share not only your present life but, even more, your exciting past. With you, dear Effie, I travelled in my imagination on the Trans-Siberian Railway, 'hard class' all the way to Vladivostock; I saw sunsets on the Nile; I met your travelling companions and the unusual people who crossed your path; I visited Australia and felt your fear of the poisonous spiders and snakes that you encountered; I lived vicariously what was still vividly alive in your memory, and joined you in your lone journey around the world, your luggage consisting of a small handbag containing the barest necessities. I also shared, in part, your sorrows, particularly the early death of your youngest son, Tony, for whom you still grieved.

Knowing you has been an enriching experience. I do not expect to meet another human being who had such courage and sense of adventure. You were, indeed, a true Victorian. So this is 'goodbye', dear friend - or should I say 'au revoir'?

Vally Amis, February 1996

Edward Holroyd Pearce was very fond of his sister and wrote several poems which were addressed to her and were provided to those attending her funeral. One is given below, the others are in an email from Philip Ray-Jones dated 6 September 1999 and c:\alan\family\ep_poems:

To Effie - medical student

When tender maid to thoughts inclines
Of guts and tubes and intestines
And leaves her socks and downs her knitting
For heavy smells and gases splitting
Takes up in fact the whole gamut
Heart calls to heart and gut to gut
Leaving the feminine arts
To women of less sterling parts
How can she fail to make relations
Feel conscious of her innovations?

Pa who once lived in blessed ease
And brushed his clothes just when you please,
Now daily scrapes from off his togs
The guts of effervescing frogs.

And Ma has got to bear her part
And help her hubby's harrowed heart.
She fishes ganglia from the broth
And wipes amoeba off the cloth.
"A boiled oesophagus egad!
In father's soup - this is too bad!"

In Edward's room a perfect blizzard
Of pipes and pulses gut and gizzard.

Peg stands the strain with level head
And sorrows slightly for the dead.

Jac likes to follow with the tide,
Besides it gives him where to hide.
Hid 'neath a heap of rotting flesh
He slips from bedtimes greedy mesh.

So all and each we find affected
In ways we couldn't have expected
All, all except our dear Euphemia,
Who glories as the house grows steamier.


ENVOI

Can such things last? Go take your smell.
There lies a bower. 'Tis builded well.
There, there pursue your godless tasks,
Nor make your family wear masks.
There rot the putty from the sills
Perusing the pursuit of PILLS!!!!!!
Steam incense to the vasty void
Thro' wrecking roofs of Ruberoid!!!!!!!!!!!

From autobiographical notes by Edward Holroyd Pearce (Lord Pearce) 1989:

My sister and I played many a game of 'Red Indians' in the copse, and became adept with home made bows and arrows. A real red Indian outfit from our grandmother in Canada incited us to further efforts. Eventually an accident with an arrow that nearly cost my sister the sight of an eye put these activities under a cloud.

Her red covered photo album/scrapbook:

Started at Brighton, Christmas 1923 before she got married and continued most of her life, it gives a good idea of some of her interests. Lots of family photos but also many poems, particularly by her grandmother and brother Edward. Her younger brother Jack said she was a Bohemian who made her own life quite unnecessarily difficult. The book includes non-family items with a feminist slant, much about play-acting, much about the first world war, and many press cuttings about family members in the public eye - she was undoubtedly a snob but I'm so glad she kept these cuttings.

Friends included are the Goldsmiths (Janet, and Felix an Architect, from Merton Court days, friends of Charles Harris); E H Lowndes - a teacher and friend of her father; friends from Winchester House School; Dr Goodrich - Little Baddow; the Beadles particularly Helen also from Merton Court days - Gerald was Director of BBC Television, when it moved into White City (built by Norman Dawbarn also from Merton Court!); Helene de Schonen and family from a chateau (Bourgagney?) I think from the south somewhere. Her brother Albert was a French Ambassador in the 50's he was at Brussels. One of his daughter's married a Hapsburg (later dissolved by the Pope)]; Fred Tindall - Brighton, Cosmo Clark, R.C. Robertson Glasgow, cricketer friend of Edward's.

Other friends included Rosewarne, Gresty and Leach families in Carbis Bay, Marjorie Baker and Connie Lugg in Essex, travel friends, Dr Ruth Brittan (perhaps her best friend long term), B. Nixon and her daughter Jane, Eily Turrell, Vally Amis at the Barbican and kind neighbour Norman Dudley. Extrovert, tough, bohemian, positive outlook, socialist but later conservative, died from 'old age'.
Facts
  • 18 AUG 1899 - Birth - ; Yarth House, 93 Fitzjohns Avenue, London NW3, England
  • 2 FEB 1996 - Burial - ; Islington Crematorium. Her ashes were scattered on the other side of the road, opposite the gate, looking down the path
  • 26 JAN 1996 - Death - ; Royal London Hospital Whitechapel (Tower Hamlets), London, England
  • FROM 1930 TO 1942 - Residence - ; Woodham Walter, then Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall
  • 1942 - Residence - ; Lambourne, Berkshire
  • FROM 1943 TO 1947 - Residence - ; Tonbridge, Kent
  • FROM 1946 - Residence - ; Little Baddow, Essex
  • FROM 1948 - Residence - ; London
  • (btw 1st and 15th Aug 1964) - Fact -
  • 24 MAY 1911 - Medical -
  • FROM 1917 TO 1923 - Note -
  • 1922 - Fact -
  • FROM SEP 1964 - Travel - ; Moscow, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Nairobi, Cairo (see "2,000 miles down the Nile"),
  • FROM 1905 TO 1914 - Education - Educated at her father's school, Merton Court, then at Blackheath, cycling from Sidcup dai
  • FROM 1914 TO 1916 - Education - Winchester House School, St Leonard's on Sea
  • 1923 - Education - St Mary's Hospital ; Paddington, London
  • Nationality - British
  • Occupation - Physiotherapist
  • FROM 1930 TO 1942 - Residence - ; Woodham Walter, then Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall
  • 1942 - Residence - ; Lambourne, Berkshire
  • FROM 1943 TO 1947 - Residence - ; Tonbridge, Kent
  • FROM 1946 - Residence - ; Little Baddow, Essex
  • FROM 1948 - Residence - ; London
  • Nobility Title - Mrs
Ancestors
   
Henry Edward Pearce
15 SEP 1843 - 7 DEC 1927
 
 
John William Ernest Pearce
4 APR 1864 - 25 JAN 1951
  
  
  
Harriet Georgina (Hattie) Hurst
25 AUG 1842 - 11 MAY 1920
 
Effie Irene Pearce
18 AUG 1899 - 26 JAN 1996
  
 
  
Holroyd Chaplin
17 MAR 1840 - 23 DEC 1917
 
 
Irene Kate Chaplin
1 MAR 1873 - 22 JUN 1962
  
  
  
Euphemia Isabella Skinner
7 JUN 1847 - 10 SEP 1939
 
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) John William Ernest Pearce
Birth4 APR 1864Wellington Place, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Death25 JAN 1951 South Villa, Vale of Health, Hampstead, London, England
Marriage16 APR 1898to Irene Kate Chaplin at St. Annes? (corner of Church St & Kensington High St.)
FatherHenry Edward Pearce
MotherHarriet Georgina (Hattie) Hurst
PARENT (F) Irene Kate Chaplin
Birth1 MAR 1873Westbourne Park Villas, Paddington, London, England
Death22 JUN 1962 Hampstead, London, England
Marriage16 APR 1898to John William Ernest Pearce at St. Annes? (corner of Church St & Kensington High St.)
FatherHolroyd Chaplin
MotherEuphemia Isabella Skinner
CHILDREN
MEdward Holroyd Pearce , Lord
Birth9 FEB 1901Merton Court, Sidcup, Kent
Death27 NOV 1990Crowborough, Sussex, England
Marriage9 APR 1927to Erica Priestman at Dallinghoo, Suffolk
FPhyllis Margaret Pearce
Birth8 FEB 1910Sidcup, Kent
Death6 JUN 1973
Marriage1939to Edward Douglas Eade at North London
MJohn Allan Chaplin Pearce
Birth21 OCT 1912Sidcup, Kent
Death15 SEP 2006Italy
Marriage18 NOV 1948to Raffaella Elisabetta Maria (Lella) Baione at Florence, Italy?
FHelen Nugent Pearce
Birth22 NOV 1917Merton Court Preparatory School, Sidcup, Kent (probably)
Death6 APR 1920Brighton (probably)
FEffie Irene Pearce
Birth18 AUG 1899Yarth House, 93 Fitzjohns Avenue, London NW3, England
Death26 JAN 1996Royal London Hospital Whitechapel (Tower Hamlets), London, England
Marriage12 FEB 1926to Raymond Ray-Jones R.E., A.R.C.A. at "In Brighton, quietly, Raymond Ray-Jones RE, ARCA to Effie Irene Pearce, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs J.W.E Pearce of 2
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Raymond Ray-Jones R.E., A.R.C.A.
Birth31 AUG 188681 Uxbridge St., Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire, England
Death26 FEB 1942 Wheal Speed, Chyangwheal, Carbis Bay, St. Ives, Cornwall, England. Death certificate is in Penzance Book 5c, Page 537 fo
Marriage12 FEB 1926to Effie Irene Pearce at "In Brighton, quietly, Raymond Ray-Jones RE, ARCA to Effie Irene Pearce, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs J.W.E Pearce of 2
FatherSamuel Shepley JONES
MotherMartha HULME
PARENT (F) Effie Irene Pearce
Birth18 AUG 1899Yarth House, 93 Fitzjohns Avenue, London NW3, England
Death26 JAN 1996 Royal London Hospital Whitechapel (Tower Hamlets), London, England
Marriage12 FEB 1926to Raymond Ray-Jones R.E., A.R.C.A. at "In Brighton, quietly, Raymond Ray-Jones RE, ARCA to Effie Irene Pearce, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs J.W.E Pearce of 2
FatherJohn William Ernest Pearce
MotherIrene Kate Chaplin
CHILDREN
Private
Birth
Death
Marriage25 JUL 1953to Private at Castleton Church, Sherborne, Dorset, England.
MHolroyd Anthony Ray-Jones
Birth7 JUN 1941At Wookey Hole, near Wells, Somerset
Death13 MAR 1972Royal Marsden Hospital, London
Marriageto Anna Coates
Private
Birth
Death
Marriage1959to Joanna Baring
Marriage16 SEP 1967to Private
Picture Gallery
 
 
 
 
 
 
Descendancy Chart
Effie Irene Pearce b: 18 AUG 1899 d: 26 JAN 1996
Raymond Ray-Jones R.E., A.R.C.A. b: 31 AUG 1886 d: 26 FEB 1942
Holroyd Anthony Ray-Jones b: 7 JUN 1941 d: 13 MAR 1972