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Revised June 2008

Written in the first person by Dr. Middlemiss.

Rosalind April Bearman (23rd April 1929 - 14th March 2000) read Social Science at the University College of Hull, where she met her husband-to-be, Robert Hammond. She worked as a Child Care Officer in London, married in 1953, and after living in Hoddesdon, Hemel Hempstead and Basildon, settled in Keyworth, near Nottingham. Robert taught Geography at Trent Polytechnic (now Nottingham Trent University) and Rosalind taught in a primary school for thirteen years. Their main interests in retirement, apart from travelling the world, are research into local history and promoting social justice - particularly in relation to Third World Countries - through Oxfam and similar institutions. Rosalind died of cancer in March 2000.

Ruth Jane Hammond (June 1958- ) took a degree in Social Science at Hull University and later trained as a teacher at Bradford. She taught for three years at the Tibetan Children's Village at Dharamsala, India, for Tibetan refugee children. Later she taught English to Tibetan monks and Chinese doctors in Llasa. She met her Danish husband-to-be, Anders Laugesen, a radio journalist, in Llasa. Their two sons Benjamin and Adam, were born in 1990 and 1991 respectively. Ruth and Anders were divorced a few years ago.

Peter Frederick Boyd Bearman (11th April 1932- ) is an art teacher. He married Margaret Roberts, also an artist, by whom he had two children, but they eventually divorced and he later married Sheila. Margaret married again but died in September 1991. Peter and Sheila live at Heathfield, Sussex.

Penelope (Penny) Bearman (1958- ) has inherited from her parents the artistic genes in the family, which were already possessed by her great-aunt Elsie. Penny settled in Deal, where she is a busy professional painter of portraits and murals, a teacher of adult art classes and a well-known figure in the town. She lived for some time with Mike Somers, a photographer, by whom she had her daughter Lucy Paloma Somers (1989- ). In 1997 she married Gerry Cavell, a member of that old Deal family. Unusually, he elected to adopt his wife's maiden name and to be known as Gerry Bearman. They had a son, Reuben Bearman, in 1998 and a second son, Jacob Bearman, in January 2001.

Jonathan Boyd Bearman (1960- ) married Michelle Taylor, who already had a daughter Carla (born 1986). They subsequently had a son, Callum Jordan Ashley Bearman (born 1995) . They live in Gillingham, Kent.

Joseph and Leah Sandell (married 1846). There is a family tradition that the Sandells descended from a Norman knight, John de Sandell, who came over with William the Conqueror. Joseph was a school master who founded a school in Oxford which closed only in 1975. Joseph died in 1866 and Leah then brought her young family to Hackney.

Elizabeth Sandell (born 1848) married a wealthy optician, Robert Farmer in 1870. In 1881, they were living at York. In the later 1880s they lived in a big house called "Hillcrest" at Marple, Cheshire. My mother stayed there for a while when she was a child, and found the atmosphere a little overawing.

Hadajsah Sandell (1849-1935) married John Jones, a builder, in 1878, and hence was always known as "Auntie Jones". In 1881, they were living in Lower Clapton. From 1905 she lived first at Southwall Road, Deal, and finally at de Burgh Hill, Dover.

John Bertram Jones (? -Oct. 1947) and his wife Eunice kept a draper's shop in High Street, Dover, for many years before the 2nd World War. Members of the family staying at Beach Crest always made a point of buying something in their shop. Bert was very fond of music but of somewhat limited tastes; he loved Handel and Haydn but could not see much in Bach or Mozart. At the beginning of the War they had to give up the shop as it did not pay and, in late middle age, Bert managed to obtain an uncongenial clerical job in the post office in Birmingham, where they lived in unsatisfactory lodgings. Eunice died suddenly of a stroke in May 1941, leaving Bert all alone in a strange land. However, in December 1943 he married Anne Sumner, the supervisor in the post office where he worked. They lived at Sparkbrook and he died four years later.

Ernest Jones lost his job and his home and he and his wife lived in a hotel room while looking for lodgings. After a hard day's searching they came back to their hotel room and sat on the floor exhausted and she died in his arms. He died soon afterwards.

Rhoda Sandell (1855 -19th December 1943) married John Howson in 1877 and they had four children, Rhoda, Emily, Winifred and Wilfred . During the last 20 years of the 19th century, they lived at Peckham.

Rhoda Howson (1878 - 1953) married Ernest Southernwood in 1904. They lived at

158, Waller Road,
New Cross,
South-east London.
They had no children.

Emily Howson (18th Sept. 1879-Nov. 1961) married Mr. Mitchell (died 1937) , a man a good deal older than herself and she was a widow for many years, living at Lee, south-east London. They had no children. She died suddenly in November 1961. I was told that this was the result of being caught between two trams and crushed (but were there any trams in the London area in 1961? Another story is that she was knocked down by a car).

Winifred Howson married Basil Banks and they lived in a house called Winbas at

18, Exford Road,
London, SE12.
(Note that nearly all this part of the family was concentrated in south-east London). In later years Winnie moved to Hythe. She suffered with arthritis and was not very mobile. Winnie and Basil had two children, Winifred Jnr. and Beryl. Winifred Banks married a man named Cooke, and they had a son Clive Vincent Cooke, born 29th August 1943. Beryl Banks, with her sister and parents, used to stay at Beach Crest in the 20s.

Beryl was just a little on the plump side and Tom Stutchbury Jnr. christened her "Barrel". In August 1940 she married Mickey McCarthy, who worked at one of the film studios. At the wedding she was described as "looking quite her old saucy self". Their daughter Carol Antonia McCarthy was born on 13th August 1943. In September 1968, Beryl and Antonia visited us at Beach Crest; Tonia, as they called her, was then "in show business".

Wilfred Howson emigrated to Canada on the 8th March 1913. He married and had two daughters.

Ida Sandell (1884 - 1963) married William Malcolm on the 25th July 1908. From early in the 2nd World War they were living at

3, Sandringham Road,
opposite the Stutchburys, where William died in 1949. My wife Florence and I inspected the house in 1954 with a view to buying it, but we decided not to. Ida and William had three children, Frank, Alan and Kathleen.

Frank Malcolm (1912- 1975) was an infantry officer during the 2nd World War and was wounded in Italy in 1943. He married Joan Hutchins and had three children.

Alan Malcolm was a conscientious objector during the 2nd World War. His wife was called Gwen Curl and they had a son Ian Robert Malcolm born 6th March, 1944 and a second son, Richard Martin Malcolm born 19th July 1946.

Kathleen Malcolm (1920 - ) is my exact contemporary. In 1921, when I could just walk and she had not yet learned to do so, I held her hand while she took her first steps. At the age of 20 she was engaged to a Theology student, a year older than herself, whom she met at college. She was described at the time as "looking no more than sixteen". In September 1942 she started teaching in a boys' grammar school at Brentwood, Essex, and was married in the summer of 1943. Her husband was called Kenneth Oram. He had a successful ecclesiastical career, eventually becoming bishop of Grahamstown, South Africa. After Kenneth's death, Kathleen lived at Worthing.

Charles Sandell Jnr's wedding (1915) was attended by Don Bearman.

Kezia Sandell (June 1862 -1948) was born at Headington, near Oxford. In 1911, she married a Thomas Coles and they lived in Newbridge, Monmouthshire. Sadly, before they had been married long, he had an accident. I was told that he walked in the dark into a machine - I think it was a lawn mower - and suffered injuries from which he died. Auntie Kiz, as she was always called, spent the rest of her life in domestic jobs and lodgings. According to the 1881 and 1901 censuses, she was living with the Bearmans at 8, Tudor Road on both these dates. She had a room in our house at Canterbury Road, Leyton, for a time, when I was a small child. In her last years she had rooms in Granville Road, Walthamstow.

Like most of her sisters, she was a woman of forceful personality and strong opinions, fiercely conservative in her views. Like so many people originating in the 19th century, and like some characters in Dickens, she had a special dread of having to go into the workhouse. In 1934, when for some illness she had to spend some time in St. Margaret's Hospital, Epping, we had to be very careful that she did not find out that it had formerly been the workhouse. For some reason she always seemed particularly fond of me. In February 1941 it was reported that she was using her precious ration coupons to buy extra food ready for my next leave.

Clara Bright Sandell (Sept. 1863-1952) was the only one of Joseph and Leah's children who was not given a biblical name. As they already had a Kezia, named after one of the daughters of Job, they intended to call their youngest after another of Job's daughters, Keren-Happuch, but when they arrived at the font neither of them could remember the name. So, quite on the spur of the moment, looking at his daughter's typical Sandell red hair, Joseph decided to call her Clara Bright. Clara Sandell later, as a young woman, emigrated, quite alone, to Canada and then the USA. There she married three successive husbands, of whom the last was a wealthy orange grower at Anaheim, California. She died in California in 1952.

Note on the names of Joseph and Leah Sandell's children. All these children had biblical names, with the sole exception of Clara Bright.

The daughters were:

Elizabeth - mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1, 13)
Hadajsah - Esther's original name (Esther 2,7)
Keturah - Abraham's second wife (Genesis 25, 1)
Rhoda - -the girl who answered the door to Peter when he was released from prison (Acts 12, 13)
Kezia - one of the three beautiful daughters of Job. The other two were Jemima and Keren-Happuch (Job 42, 14-15)

Ebenezer, Nathaniel, Phoebe and Phyllis Kevan were all cousins of Thomas Bearman 111 on his mother's side and Nathaniel, in particular, was a life-long friend of his. In 1881 the Kevan family was living at

10, Tudor Road,

next door to the Bearmans, where 20 years later, the Middlemiss family were living.

Nathaniel Kevan (1844/45 - ?) settled at Deal, where he had a house in Blenheim Road. He became a well-known f igure in the town and can be seen on many old photographs taken on the beach, the pier or the Parade. He married his cook , Elizabeth (1841/42 - ?) who, I understand, was a shy person and always kept very much in the background. They had just one daughter, Caroline, generally known as Doris, who married but I never heard whether she had any children. The sisters Phoebe and Phyllis lived in the Blenheim Road house for many years after Nathaniel died.

They also were a well-known sight in Deal - two old ladies in black, always together. The interior of their house was, in the 30s, still a cosy Victoriana museum, with big aspidistras and knick-knacks. Phoebe (1852/53- 1939) was an upright lady with a strong, somewhat gaunt face, a deep voice and a precise way of speaking. She appeared to be the dominant sister; Phyllis(1857/58- ?) was a round-faced, more compliant sort of person.


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