Grandad Beck died on 11 September 1947 in Poole, Dorset. From his will, dated December 1942 I encountered a few names that I hadn’t heard of, this was an opportunity to research Grandad Beck’s parents and siblings. Grandad Beck was brought up in Buckland Newton, a small village in rural West Dorset and was the middle child of five children, One older brother (Charles) who didn’t survive childhood, an older sister (Olive), a younger sister (Beatrice) and a younger brother (Ernest). Interesting to see that his sister Beatrice married a police constable and their son also joined the police, eventually becoming a Chief Constable. Grandad Beck’s younger brother joined the Metropolitan Police and later immigrated to America, I would like to find out more about Ernest and his family. Grandad Beck was the only one to remain in Dorset, near their parents.
Grandad Beck’s father was Eli Beck, son of Robert (labourer) and Eliza. Eli was baptised on March 20th 1852 at Buckland Newton – the church record is marked private baptised, received into the congregation April 10th 1852. One explanation for private baptism is that the baby was not expected to live and had been baptised previously by the midwife or a relation.
Eli married Frances Foot on 16 Feb 1870. He was 18 year old labourer and she was 21, at Buckland Newton, church. Frances’ father was listed as deceased on parish record. Frances was also born in Buckland Newton. Their first son Charles, was born in about September 1870, 7 months after the wedding. Unfortunately he was to die at 12 years old, in 1882.
By 1881 census Eli occupation is a gardener. He continues to be listed as a gardener, in the next 2 census 1891 and 1901. One possible large house he could have worked is Duntish Court (demolished in 1965) which had 18th century pleasure ground, including a lake, cascade and grotto – these still survive.
Eli and Frances (referred to as Fanney 1881 census and Fanny 1901 census) had 4 more children, Olive born approx. 1874, Percy (1881 census) baptised Arthur Percy (Grandad Beck), born 1875. Beatrice born approx. 1882 and Ernest approx. 1887
In 1911 (census) Eli and Frances were living at Rempstone Hall, Corfe Castle. Eli is now 59 years and working as a Caretaker/Domestic , Frances (listed as Frances Jane) is now 63 yrs. Guy Montagu Marston RN, inherited Rampstone Hall in 1901. Although outwardly respectable, Marston is better known for his friendships with the poet Rupert Brooke and the notorious occultist Aleister Crowley, who performed ritualistic magic at the house. Though Eli and Frances may have left by the time of this friendship.
Frances died 1919 in Poole (aged approx. 70 years) and Eli died 4 January 1934 (aged approx. 82) at Garland Road Poole. Eli left effects valued at £338 4s 7d, probate to Arthur Percy Beck superintendent of police.
Eli and Frances’ eldest daughter Olive is listed as a Servant/nurse (family of children, head vet) in Blandford on 1891 (Census). Which is were she may have met her husband Arthur John Westcott as he worked on the railways and would have travelled around the country. Olive and Arthur Westcott married on 13 September 1898 at Buckland Newton. Olive’s bother and sister, Arthur and Beatrice where witnesses to the marriage. Olive was 25 and her husband 24 from Southall, Biggleswade, Bedford. By 1901 Olive and Arthur Westcott where living in Bedford. Arthur, as a railway guard, wasn’t at home on the day the census was taken. Olive’s brother Ernest (14 years old, working as a furniture shop assistant) was living with them. There isn’t any record of they having any children.
On 24th June 1904 Olive was admitted to Three Counties Asylum, Bedfordshire. Lunacy Patients register shows this and her death in January 1905. There is no clue to why she was admitted. Arthur Westcott married Alice Jane about 2 years later and they had a son in 1911 The Census shows Arthur Westcott’s occupation as Station Master. Worth noting that both her sister Beatrice and her Brother Ernest named their daughters Olive.
Beatrice married Edmund George Legg (born 1878 aged 22) at Buckland Newton 31 May 1900. From the 1901 census they lived at Winton, Hampshire. Beatrice was aged 20 and Edmund 23 (born Puddletown). Edmund occupation was a Police constable. Their daughter Olive aged 1 was born at Queen’s Park, Bedford. Followed by two sons, Bernard Douglas was born about 1902, in Bournemouth, Hampshire and Harold Edmund was born about 1908, in Hampshire.
1911 census Beatrice and Edmund were at 20 High Street, Itchen, Hants Edmund’s occupation is Relieving Officer, South Stoneham Union. There daughter Olive married Sidney L Godwin September 1920 at South Stoneham. From Grandad Beck’s will they had a son Robert Godwin. Beatrice died in 1942 in Southampton, Hampshire, when she was 60 years old.
Harold Edmund Legg, Grandad’s nephew was executor of the will, in 1947 Harold was Superintendent of police living in Barsley. When correspondence between Harold and Marion (Grandad Beck’s only Granddaughter) was written in 1960 Harold was Chief Constable of Bootle Constabulary.
Ernest Beck, is interesting because he immigrated to America. In 1911 he was a constable in the Metropolitan police according to the Census of that year. 10 year earlier, aged 14, he was living with his sister, Olive and brother-in-law in Bedford. Ernest was working as a furniture assistant, as he was 14. At the end of 1911 he married Florence in Banbury, Oxfordshire. They had one daughter Nellie Olive born 1914 in Holborn, London. The family immigrated to Massachusetts, America in 1923.
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