Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Strouds of Barley Hall

The reality was not nearly so dashing

It's been a while since the last post, and while I have not been recording the information here, I have little by little garnered more family history from many lines. The Biggles stories, written from the 1930s until quite recently, concern the exploits of a heroic aviator. Captain W. E. Johns, the author of the series, was a Royal Flying Corps pilot during World War One, and so some firsthand experience is evident. However, the series was written to entertain adolscent boys with stories of adventurous exploits. They are dated in language, and in their use of national and racial stereotypes, neither of which caught my attention when our elementary school teacher read us some Biggles back in the 1970s. We just looked forward to Friday afternoons.

My previous post for this side of the family was Sailing Three Generations, in which I looked at the lines Parks, Hardman and Hatt. Here I will begin with the Strouds. Today's entry, still on my father's side, is looking to his mother's ancestors. Unity Gwendolyn Stroud was known by many as Una, and to me as "Nan Stuart". Her parents are Henry Stroud and Edith Violet Parks. I never knew the former, but the latter was "Nan-mum". Shortly before she died, she returned various small gifts to those who had given them. Since my father had already died, she returned to me a gift that he had given her.

I begin with the marriage certificate of my great grandparents, for their marriage at St James Chapel, Aldborough Hatch on 28 October 1916 (BMD Marriage Index Dec1916 Romford 4a 975):
     Groom's name:                     Henry Stroud
     Groom's age and condition:  28  Bachelor
     Groom's occupation:             2nd Lieutenant R.F.C.   
                                                   [Royal Flying Corps]
     Groom's residence:                Barley Hall, Little Heath
     Groom's father/occupation:   Robert Stroud Contractor & Builder
     Bride's name:                        Edith Violet Parks
     Bride's age and condition:     23  Spinster
     Bride's residence:                  69 S. Alban's Road, Seven Kings
     Bride's father/occupation:     George William Parks Waterman
     Signed:                                 Henry Stroud/Edith Violet Parks
     Witnesses:                            Arthur Stroud/George William Parks/Dorothy Amy Parks

Arthur Stroud, as we will see, is a brother of Henry, while George William Parks is Edith's father, and Dorothy Amy Parks is her cousin.

Just as for Ardeshir Kapadia and Zoe Young Hanrott, there are three census returns for the family of Robert Parks and Charlotte Norris.

First, the 1891 England Census at 1 Sams Green, Ilford
     Robert Stroud Head  M   35  Sewer Contractor Builder  Middlesex, Hanwell
     Charlotte         Wife   M  33                                             Worcestershire, Dudley
     Robert             Son           7  Scholar                                Surrey, Battersea
     Lottie              Daur          6  Scholar                                Surrey, Battersea
     Benjamin        Son            4                                              Essex, Ilford
     Henry             Son            2                                              Essex, Ilford

Then, the 1901 England Census at Little Heath House, Aldborough Hatch, Ilford, Essex
     Robert Stroud Head  M  45   Contractor   Employer    Middlesex, Homwell [sic]
     Charlotte         Wife  M  43                                           Shropshire, Dudley
     Robert             Son         17                       Worker        Surrey, Battersea
     Lottie              Daur        16                       Worker        Surrey, Battersea
     Benjamin        Son          14                       Worker        Essex, Ilford
     Henry             Son          12                                           Essex, Ilford
     Arthur             Son          9                                             Essex, Ilford
     George            Son          8                                             Essex, Ilford
     Edith               Daur        4                                             Essex, Ilford
     Elizabeth         Daur        1                                             Essex, Ilford
          and servant Louisa Braner

And lastly, the 1911 England Census at Barley Hall, Goodmayes, Ilford, Essex.
     Robert Stroud  Head  55 Married  Builder Brickmaker Farmer  Hanwell, Middlesex
     Charlotte         Wife    53 Married                                               Dudley, Worcestershire
     Benjamin         Son     24 Single    Son assisting in the business
                                                            (Farm Work)                         Ilford, Essex
     Henry              Son     22  Single   Son assisting in the business
                                                            (General Office Work)         Ilford, Essex
     Arthur              Son    19 Single    Son assisting in the business
                                                            (Brickmaking Work)            Ilford, Essex
     George William Son  18 Single    Son assisting in the business
                                                            (Farm Work)                        Ilford, Essex
     Edith              Daughter 14           School                                   Ilford, Essex
     Elizabeth       Daughter  12           School                                   Ilford, Essex
          and two servants plus a servant's wife.

Robert and Charlotte had been married 28 years, had 11 children of which 8 were still alive (with six of those still living at Barley Hall in 1911).

Here is some BMD data and, in some cases, more for the children of Robert and Charlotte:

Robert Benjamin George Stroud
     BMD Birth Index Jun1883 Wandsworth 1d 713
     Baptised at St Peter Battersea 2 September 1883
          (date of birth 5 June 1883)
     BMD Marriage Index Sep1909 Ongar 4a 872 (Florence Stafford)
     1911 census at 66 Cambridge Road, Seven Kings
     BMD Death Index Dec1953 Ilford 5a 339 Age: 70
     National Probate Calendar 20 January 1955
          (date of death 26 December 1953)

Lottie Stroud
     BMD Birth Index Dec1884 Wandsworth 1d 679
     Baptised at St Peter Battersea 26 October 1884
          (date of birth 19 September 1884)
     BMD Marriage Index Dec1908 W Ham 4a 430 (to William Jameson)
     1911 census at Green Lane, 4 Broomhill Market, Goodmayes, Ilford
     BMD Death Index Mar1963 Braintree 4a 572 Age:78 (as Lottie Jameson)
     National Probate Calendar 23 May 1963
          (date of death 3 March 1963)

Benjamin Stroud
     BMD Birth Index Dec1886 Romford 4a 337
     BMD Marriage Index Sep1911 Lambeth 1d 457 (to Alice Maud Turner)
     Married at St Paul Brixton 4 July 1911 to Alice Maud Turner
     BMD Death Index Mar1945 Romford 4a 717 Age:58
     National Probate Calendar 1 August 1952
          (date of death 13 March 1945)

Henry Stroud
     BMD Birth Index Sep1888 Romford 4a 327
     BMD Marriage Index Dec1916 Romford 4a 975 (to Edith Violet Parks)
     BMD Death Index Dec1952 Ilford 5a 470 Age:64
     National Probate Calendar 15 Jan 1955
          (date of death 18 December 1952)
The National Archives have records for 2nd Lieut Henry Stroud Royal Flying Corps WO 339/61990 (not digitized), and Air Ministry records AIR76/488/154 (digitized) have his date of birth as 20 August 1888.

Arthur Stroud
There are several Arthur Strouds born around this time; the one in Romford makes the most sense. The death record is for a Stroud of the right age, but could be one of a few. However, several public trees do have the 9 July 1945 date of death. The BMD Death Index for Ethel Maud Stroud has her age at 33, although, if his wife, I suspect this is a misprint for 53 from the original death certificate.
     BMD Birth Index Sep1891 Romford 4a 379
     BMD Marriage Index Mar1917 Romford 4a 733 (to Ethel M Porter)
     BMD Death Index Sep1945 Stepney 1c 67 Age:54
     National Probate Calendar 22 Jan 1947
          (date of death 9 July 1945 - and Ethel Maud Stroud of same address,
           13 Epsom road, Seven Kings had died 4 July 1945)

George William Stroud
There are not many George William Strouds, and these are the most likely birth and corresponding death records. No obvious candidate for a marriage record without more information.
     BMD Birth Index Mar1893 Romford 4a 419
     BMD Death Index Mar1970 Newham 5e 2204 Age:77
          (date of birth 13 February 1893)

Edith Stroud
     BMD Birth Index Jun1897 Romford 4a 442

Elizabeth Stroud
     BMD Birth Index Dec1899 Romford 4a 521

Searching the BMD Death Index for young Strouds in the Wandsworth and Romford registration districts yields many possibilities for the three children who had died before the 1911 census.

Barley Hall
Barley Hall sounds grand, and it was, with 11 rooms, including the kitchen, but not scullery, lobby, halls or bathroom; plus another 3 rooms in the housekeeper's cottage. Over the twenty years, 1891 to 1911, Ilford grew in population from about 11,000 to 78,000. The bulk of these commuted by train to London, and lived in new suburban housing. The chief developer was Archibald Cameron Corbett, a Liberal M.P., who, in 1911, was created 1st Baron Rowallan. The major contractor was Robert Stroud. Google search results for"Robert Stroud Barley Hall Ilford" indicate that he was a Justice of the Peace for Essex, and a retiring County Councillor in 1913. At his death in 1925, the National Probate Calendar reckons his assets to be worth 55,000 pounds - the measuring worth calculator rates this at between 2.5 and 18 million pounds in today's money!

Henry Stroud died at his house "Rowallan", Little Heath, Chadwell Heath on the 18th December 1952, according to the National Probate Calendar. This is also the address of Barley Hall. Looking at the site of Barley Hall, there is a Strouds Close nearby, and also Rowallan House nursing home, all evidence of the relationship between Corbett, Stroud and the building of Ilford.

Returning to the marriage record for my great grandparents, Henry Stroud's occupation is given as 2nd Lieutenant Royal Flying Corps, this being two years into the Great War. The National Archives hold service records for our Henry Stroud. As well as his name and rank, AIR76/488/154 gives his address as 23 Barley Gdns, Barley Lane, Ilford and the person to be informed of casualty as Mrs. E.V. Stroud.

After extensive, at least time-consuming, training at 2 School of Aeronautics Oxford, Central Flying School, and with reserve squadrons. In October 1916, he was married, and shortly after that my Nan Stuart was conceived. There is a period in February and March 1917 when he was not medically fit for service. Declared "fit GS" (General Service) on 2 April 1917, 2nd Lieutenant Henry Stroud found himself on the Western Front in time for the allied offensive on Arras (9 April to 16 May) in which the Royal Flying Corps was heavily involved. A note next to this service indicates that he flew in BE2e two-seater biplanes, probably in a reconnaissance role, since this was the specialty of 16 Squadron to which he was assigned.

The picture (from wikipedia) shows an intelligence officer briefing a crew of an RE8 prior to a reconnaisance mission, posed perhaps, but more recognizable to Henry Stroud than the Biggles cover!

This time became known Bloody April due to high losses in aircrew. Arriving 18 April, Henry Stroud was likely a replacement pilot. By May 1917, reports, 16 Squadron was re-equipped with the RE8, a slightly more modern airplane. By June, he had been reassigned to 4 Squadron - also flying RE8s - in time for the Battle of Messines (4 to 14 June 1917).

Henry Stroud's service with the Royal Flying Corps came to an abrupt end shortly thereafter, being wounded on 17 June. After several months of medical boards declaring him unfit for service, his record concludes chronologically with the remark that on 21 May 1918, that he "relinquished his Commission on account of ill health caused by wounds and is granted the Hon rank of Lieut".


  1. Hallo Alan -Stuart Tilley,
    I was amazed to find your splendid blog on the Stroud and Parks families. Henry & Edith Stroud were your great grandparents and my
    grand parents ! I am the son of Audrey P. Stroud daughter of Henry & Edith , who married Maurice Harper. I was given to adoption ( as my father was not Maurice ) and have the name Wilson now. All the same, your researches have given me a wonderful insight to my ancestors on my Mother´s side. Quite amazing the lineage.
    We must be related somehow and I suppose you must be the nephew of either Unity, Olive, Audrey, Myrtle, Ian, Patricia or Henry Stroud ????
    Congratulations again on your research skills. I only found my Mother last year after many years of research but she passed away this year at age 92.
    I would appreciate to hear from you !

    Best regards,

    Peter Wilson
    Hamburg, Germany

  2. Hi Peter,
    I'm so pleased you found the blog, and contacted me. You can send an email to, and I can share more information. Unity Gwendoline Stroud is my grandmother, which makes us 1st cousins 1x removed.
    I'm sorry your mother died only a year after you found her, and hope you found your reunion meaningful.

  3. Hi Alan,
    I was very interested to find your blog on Henry Stroud, as I have little information on my Grandfather. Henry & Edith Stroud were my Grandparents.
    Ian Stroud being my father, Una ( Unity ), Olive, Audrey, Myrtle, Pat & Henry being my aunties and uncle.
    So that must make you and Peter my cousins too.
    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or information for me.

    Warmest Regards,

    Stephen Stroud

    1. Hi Stephen,
      Great to hear from you. You may have found this already, if you click on the Stroud, Parks, etc. label on the right hand side bar, you will find posts on previous Stroud, Parks, etc. generations. Also, there is a link to a page describing the pedigree of my Father's maternal Grandparents.
      Feel free to email me at
      Kind regards,

    2. I only just saw your message to Alan today. We are indeed cousins as Ian Stroud was your father and my mother Audrey, his sister.
      If you are interested , please contact me at
      Best regards, Peter Wilson

  4. Hi Alan

    My connection is through Benjamin Stroud who married my first cousin twice removed, Alice Maud Turner. Do you know why Robert Stroud's wife's (Charlotte Norris/Beldom) father changed the family name to Beldom and then back to Norris?


    1. Hi Rosemary,

      Thank you for getting in touch.

      You raise a very good question to which I do not know the answer. If anyone out there has any ideas, I'd be interested to hear from you. Also, stay tuned, because I am preparing a post that at least lays out the documentary evidence for this Norris/Beldom mystery.


    2. Hi Rosemary,

      I have now posted - belatedly - on this topic.

      Best regards,

  5. Hello Alan

    Robert Stroud is my maternal great great grandfather. Benjamin is my great grandfather. I really enjoyed reading your blog.


  6. Hi Alan,
    I am following your blogs with great interest. I am Rebecca Perchard (nee Harper) - youngest daughter of Maurice & Audrey Pamela Harper (nee Stroud). My maternal grandparents were Henry Robert Stroud & Edith Violet Stroud (nee Parks). Stephen Stroud (commenter above) is my cousin and Peter John Wilson (commenter above) is my eldest brother. You are my 1st cousin 1x removed.
    Regarding our family's genealogy, I have very little further information, but I have found my
    great uncle Arthur Stroud's gravestone (amongst many others in Aldeborough Hatch, Ilford) and can confirm that he died on 9th July 1945 at age 55. He is buried with his wife. The gravestone states she was "Ethel nee Porter who died 4th July 1945 aged 54 years".

  7. Hi Alan,
    I've just come across your blog whilst helping my son (Harry - named after Henry Stroud!) do is Family Tree homework! Henry Stroud was my grandfather (Patricia Stroud being my mother). Peter, Stephen and Becky are my cousins - we are all in touch! I will spend some time reading your blog and will show Mum, who will be really interested. We have further information on Henry, which Becky may have already filled you in on. I started a profile on him on the Lives of the First World War website but I've not had time to complete it as yet. Best wishes, Pippa

    1. Hello Pippa. We are related in some way I cannot determine without a family tree. Benjamin was my great grandfather.