Birth Registration

UK 81 91 01 11 Census

Marriage Registration

Death Registration


UK 81 91 01 11 Census

Marriage Registration

Death Registration




John Alfred 1900-1917

Frederick 1902-

Alfred 1903-1905

Rosina 1905-1905

Caroline 1905-2003

Violet Louisa May 1907-

Ella Rosetta 1908-1908

Winnie 1909-


B  1875 Lympne, Kent

D  1955 Folkestone, Kent

Rosina TUDGAY  

B  1877 Bath, Somerset

D  1914 Elham RD, Kent

Marr 1899 Elham RD, Kent







Such an extremely sad story about this family.

John Alfred Shrubsole married Rosina Tudgay in 1899 in Elham rural district.
John was born in 1875 in Lympne, Kent and in 1881 he was living in Folkestone with his parents and siblings.  1891 sees him still with his parents in Folkestone and working as a Blacksmith's apprentice.
By 1901 John is a general labourer, so what happened to his Blacksmith's apprentice – did he ever finish it I wonder, or did he finish it & there wasn't the work;  I'll probably never know.  He is living in Folkestone still but by now is married and has one child.

His wife Rosina was born in Bath, Somerset, so it would be interesting to know where they met.  Rosina appears to have had a wretched life.  At the age of 4 she was in the workhouse in Wiltshire with parents and siblings.  By 1891 she was out of the workhouse and a general domestic live-in servant in Wiltshire and in 1899 she married John Shrubsole.
I wonder if she thought life had just got better and was looking forward to a new start in life as a wife & mother.  Well she certainly couldn’t have imagined what life had in store for her!  How sad for her because between 1899 and 1911 she had given birth to 8 children and lost 3 of them.  She was a cripple, (but at what stage of her life this occurred I know not) and in 1913 she was back in the workhouse with her five surviving children who were then aged 13, 11, 8, 6 and 4.  I have yet to discover if she ever did get out of the workhouse again & I must get a copy of her death certificate to find out where she died, but die she did the following year in 1914 at the tender age of 36/7, which left John with five young children to bring up.  If he was having difficulty when Rosina was alive I wonder what on earth life was like after her death.

I know that by 1917 Caroline was living in the Warren Farm School in Brighton - I need to do some more research to see if the other children were there too.  Those poor children - from poverty to workhouse to loosing their mother & then on to a school for paupers miles away from their father & grandparents!  I do hope the ones that survived ended up having a really good life once they were able to stand on their own two feet;  they certainly deserved to.

Warren Farm school for pauper children was erected in 1861-2 at Rottingdean, not far from the Race Hill workhouse. The school, whose operation depended on the completion of the well, opened on 14th August 1862 when 75 boys and 65 girls marched there in procession from the Dyke Road workhouse.
The building was broadly T-shaped in layout with boys accommodated at one side, and girls to the other. A separate infirmary was located at the south of the school, and an entrance lodge at the entrance to the site at the north-west.
In 1989, Mr Holland, a 71-year old local resident who remembered the school, recalled that it had a high wall around it and that there used to be cut glass on the top. The school's location was then 'in the middle of nowhere' but there used to be a small shop across the road that used to sell toffee apples. The school used to compete in marathons against local boys with which the locals used to win. However, when it came to boxing matches, the the Warren Farm boys would usually win.

[One of my aunt's could remember Carrie (Caroline) and Violet who were the children of her 'Uncle Jack'.  I just wish she'd told me more about them whilst she was still alive.]

I have found a couple of newspaper clippings about John deserting his family in the workhouse and of being 'repeatedly in public houses'.  I wonder which came first the chicken or the egg?   Was his bad luck caused by his drinking or did he end up in public houses at the end of his tether.  We'll never know now, so can't be judge & jury.  You will see in the report of how a visit to their home described no doors on the back of the house (used for firewood I wonder to keep warm?) and the children had to sleep on straw – apparently out of an old bolster.  These were difficult times and whatever the circumstances of John's employment or lack of it,  Rosina and the children certainly had it rough.  John died at the ripe old age of 79/80.

I am slowly trying to trace through this family to see if any of their children or grandchildren have any more information on their earlier life.  I know that Caroline married Alfred Ralph Tucker in Wandsworth, London and they had children so perhaps if one of them sees this they'd get in touch?  

The eldest son John Alfred b 1900 joined the Royal Navy at the tender age of 16 in 1916.  On 17th November 1917 he was killed or died as a direct result of enemy action on the HMS Calypso & was buried at sea.    You can see the details of the battle on the WWI Centenary pages.

P.S.  Since writing this, in September 2014 a grandaughter of Caroline Shrubsole & Alfred Tucker has been in contact - see Caroline’s page.

The newspaper cuttings are taken from the

Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate, and Cheriton Herald


March 15th 1913


July 26th 1913

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