Charles was born in December 1863 and baptized Charles Alderman Osborn in honour of his grandfather. He worked as a ‘boot clicker’ and by 1891 had moved with his wife, Emily (Hutton), to Walworth, a part of Southwark in London. They had married in Colchester in 1887, where their son, another Charles, was born in 1889.
Emily Elizabeth married a house painter (later a railwayman), Harry Manning. Harry's father, Charles, was an engine cleaner and his mother was called Zilpah; both were born in Lexden in Essex. The Mannings senior and junior lived in Bergholt Road in Colchester in 1891 but had moved to Albert Street by 1901. Emily and Harry had three sons: Harry Osborn, Charles Robert and George William, and two daughters: Eva Emily and Hilda May. Emily died in 1928.
Ada Mary married Arthur Hooker, another railwayman and son of a railway gate keeper. They lived in Long Melford and had a daughter, Ada, born in 1891, who remained unmarried and often stayed at Pond Hall. Another daughter, Maude Emma, was born in Colchester in 1890. They also had two sons, Arthur and Charles.
Lizzie Eleanor (born 1869) married Charles Kidman, who was a bandsman in the Somerset Light Infantry in 1891 but was probably medically discharged as he had been ill with TB for 3 years before his death at the age of 35 in 1902. Their eldest daughter Eleanor (known as Ella) was born in 1890 and, with her mother, was staying with her Osborn grandparents at the time of the 1891 census. Ethel, their second daughter, born in 1891, was grandmother to a very helpful Virginia – from whom much of this paragraph came, along with the photos of Lizzie and Ella. Lizzie married again after Charles’ death and she died in 1953. Virginia mentioned that her mother was astounded to hear of Lizzie’s brothers and sisters. She had not heard of them and only had a vague childhood memory of meeting ‘Uncle Tom’ in the street once. Lizzie's second marriage was possibly to a postman with a drinking problem - hearsay yet to be confirmed!Lizzie Lizzie with Ella & Ethel
Robert (Bob) married Anna Rebecca (Annie) Leatherdale from Earls Colne in Essex in about 1905. Before that he had been in the army, serving in Cyprus for 18 months, India for nearly 6 years and in South Africa throughout the Second Boer War. He worked as a "Permanent Way Labourer" by 1911 and they lived in Essex Street in Colchester. At that stage they had three children; Frank Robert, aged 4, Sidney, aged 1 and Leslie James of 2 months. Charles Clifford was born in 1913 and then Lillian Violet (Lily) in 1915. Bob was called up as a reserve in the First World War, although he remained a Territorial until his trade as railway 'platelayer' meant that he was compulsorily transferred from the Gordon Highlanders to the Royal Engineers' Railway Construction Depot in 1918 .... a stamp on one of his service papers quaintly announces him "Disembodied on Demobilization" shortly afterwards.
In 1965 Bob's wife Annie died and Lily wrote to Het to tell her the news.
Annie (born 1872) was the first of the family to be born in Colchester. However, by 1891 she was back in Northampton, living with her uncle Thomas Osborn and working as a shoe fitter. In late 1893 she married Louis George Busmer, the son of a German baker who lived in Southwark. Louis George was away from home in the 1901 census, but Annie was in the Peabody Buildings in Southwark Bridge Rd where Rosy used to visit her in London. (“I went in the 60s, in my regulation mini skirt. She gave it a quick appraisal and said, as if she was 18, “ I’m not going to shorten MY skirts”. Playing cool, I said, “Why not?” “Well, I don’t go out, do I?” She was nearly 100”.) In 1911 Annie was a widow with four children, the youngest of whom was 3, so Louis George must have died somewhere between 1907 and 1911, although no record can be found and Maud remembered that “George worked at Borough Market and [Annie] was an office cleaner in the City - walked across the bridge in the early mornings”. Their son, Louis James Busmer, served as a Private in the 18th London Regiment and was awarded the 1915 Star for service in France. Another son, George Christian Busmer, was born in 1897, married Ethel Harding in Bermondsey in 1919 and died in 1987. He also served with the 18th London Regiment.
Alice Mary (second from left in the photo, with her daughter Alice next to her) was born in 1877, so there was a five year gap between her and Annie, and she was a boot fitter by the time she was 14. In 1897 she married George Edward Cooley – seven years her senior and no doubt dashing in his Royal Field Artillery uniform. He was away in the Boer War for a year or so (and was at the relief of Ladysmith) followed by two years together in Britain - in 1901 they lived in Portsmouth. From 1902 to 1908 they were in Secunderabad (now a part of Hyderabad) in India and in 1911 they were in Leek, Staffordshire, where George was the Battery Sergeant Major. George was discharged “services no longer required” on 19th June 1913, only to be back in arms for the Great War. He was finally discharged “at his own request” on 11th July 1918– after 21 years’ service. Maud and Dorothy add some colour to him (though not necessarily a hue we might wish): “he had a roving eye and left her with, I think, five children. [“He also drank himself to death”. Dorothy]”. Whether he ‘left her’ in the dastardly sense or in the less deliberate way of going to his (Wesleyan) maker, is not known for certain. Alice died in 1940. Their children were Alice Vashti (pictured centre right above), George William, Edward James, Gwendoline Olive, Frank Victor, Henry Tom, Jack Osborn and lastly Phyllis.
Our own Het was next in line – her story is on another page, though of course her Henry James was George Edward’s younger brother, and she was a witness at Alice and George’s wedding.
James Frank (pictured left) came next in 1880. In 1901 and 1911 he was a boot clicker, unmarried, and living with his sister Annie Busmer in Southwark, so it seems reasonable to assume that he lived there in the intervening years, too. In 1914 he married Lucinda Harriet Dodson when they were both 34 years old. They had one son, Frank James, who was born a year later and who occasionally went to Pond Hall in school holidays. To avoid confusion with Frank Cooley, Frank Osborn was known as Jim when visiting.
The baby of the family was Harry Tom, born in 1885, and called just Tom. At the age of 16 he was a porter at a wine store but by 1911 he was a “Tinsmith Gas Fitter”, living at 12 Chapel Street Colchester, with his wife of less than a year, Maude Mary Barnes. They were living at 49 Morant Road in 1914 but moved to Winsley Square with Harry's father when Het and her children descended on them at the beginning of WWI. He is shown seated next to his sister, Het, in the photo, which was taken at Raydon in 1960.