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Ronald Basil Girdler

1925 - 2017


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Helene Girdler

1927 - 2020



Basil George (b1897)

Uncle Basil was born on 23rd August 1897 and enlisted for service in the First World War on 2nd September 1914 when he was only 17 years old. He was a L/S in the 3rd. Battalion, Rifle Brigade during the fighting in France and was badly wounded by a bullet in his side. He was later promoted to acting, Sergeant on 20th March 1919. After the war, he and my father spent a lot of time together, and visited racetracks all round England, making a meagre living with a "foolproof system" of betting until they saw the light and decided that it was time to get normal jobs. During this time, they stayed a lot with their sister, Alice, and brother-in-law, Joe, at 489, Fulham Road, and it was presumably during one of their journeys from here that they first met my mother and her sister Catherine (Kit) on Putney a meeting leading eventually to 2 brothers marrying 2 sisters.


Uncle Basil became an apprentice plumber with the Water Stove Co. Ltd, Farnham Road, Guildford, on 3rd October 1920, He later married Catherine Gorham on 14th June 1924 at Fulham Registry Office, he was 26 and she was 25. His occupation was given as a "hot water fitter". They moved to Shalford Surrey where they lived at No. 5, Juniper Terrace on Shalford Common, just 3 doors away from his parents. I have very happy memories of their house in Shalford, as we used to spend most of our holidays before the Second World War with Uncle Basil and Auntie Kit. Uncle Basil was captain of the Shalford Cricket Team and we used to watch the local cricket matches many times with great interest.


Uncle Basil and Auntie Kit had 4 children Fred (b. 31st December 1924) - Kath (b. 29th July 1930), John (b.1932) and Peter (b.1936) . My happy memories at Shalford include all the families and friends playing cricket on Shalford Common, having "tuffet fights" on the common, exploring Pea Pond at the end of Juniper Terrace, playing snooker with my father, Uncle Basil and my cousin Fred at Shalford British Legion Club, having "midnight feasts" of singer beer and peanuts with Fred, and visits to the Parrot Inn, where we watched the locals playing a game like quoits outside the inn, but using horseshoes instead of quoits.


Auntie Kit was always cheerful and liked a good laugh. She worked very hard and did some work for Harry Cordery's father at the Parrot Inn as well as looking after 4 children. Unfortunately, she died prematurely of a stroke in 1947 at the age of only 48 I remember being very shocked and sad when this happened. Uncle Basil was looked after by his daughter, Kath, and later moved into the Parrot Inn after Kath married. He used to help in the pub by serving behind the bar, He died eventually of cancer in 1972 at the age of 74. It was at his funeral that I decided to start my investigation into the history of the Girdler family.


Dealing in turn with the children of Uncle Basil and Auntie Kit, we have:

Fred married Elsie White at Shalford Parish Church in 1950 and they moved to Finches Rise, Merrow, near Guildford, where they had 2 children Marian (b. 1951) and Colin (b. 1953). Colin married Jackie Fowler in 1982 and they now live in Aldershot with their daughter Claire (b. 198b). Marian married Grahame Hitchens and they now live in Tregaller N. Devon, and have 4 daughters Kathryn and Natalie (twins-b. 1977), Laura (b. 1981) and Jennifer (b. 1989).


Kath married Harry Cordery, the son of the landlord of the Parrot Inn, in 1950. After the death of Harry's father, they took over the running of the pub for many years. They had one son, Ian (b. 1955), and now live in New Road, Chilworth. Ian recently married Diane Padwick (on 23rd Sept. 1989)


John married Catherine Avenal in 1953 and they had 2 sons Kevin (b. 1953) and Nick (b. 1957), Kevin married Chris Mowbray and they have 2 sons Stuart (b. 1975) and Paul (b .1978). Nick married Paula Rapley and they have 2 children Kelly (b. 1980) and Leah (1984).


Peter married Hazel Payne in 1961 and they lived at No. 5, Juniper Terrace, Shalford Common. They had a daughter, Debbie (b. 1961), and a son, Neil (b. 1971). Debbie has now married Dennis Overton and they have a son Adam(b 1985) and a daughter Kylie (b.1988), is still living in the same house in Juniper Terrace. Peter and his brother John started up a business together in the building and decorating trade.

 

Laura (b. 1900)

Married William Wilkinson and lived at "Wharfedale" Grosvenor Road, Seaford, Sussex, They had 3 children William(b. ) , Marie (b ) and John (b. ) . William died of emphysema when only in his 20's. Marie married Charles Gutsall and they have a son, Ian. John has been married twice, with 3 children from his first marriage and 1 from his second. Auntie Laurie worked as a receptionist in an optician's shop for many years. She died in 1983, aged 83, and her husband, who became blind in later life, died in 1984 aged about 90.


Arthur William (b. 1891)

My father was born at Shalford, Surrey. on 15th November 1891, and lived with his parents at No. 2 Juniper Terrace, Shalford Common. There were 10 children altogether in the family over a period of 18 years, and although one died at the age of 2 months, the house must have been quite crowded until the older children started to move away. The houses in Juniper Terrace were quite small, with 2 rooms downstairs, one of which was a kitchen with a coal-burning range and stove on which the kettle was boiled and the food cooked, and three bedrooms upstairs. The Shalford School records showed that my father became a pupil there on 1st November 1898 when he was almost 7 years of age. After leaving school he worked in insurance at Burgess Hill, Sussex, and spent some time there before the First World War. During this time he was friendly with a girl ( ----- Agnew) who was in some way related to his mother's brother-in-law, as his mother's sister, Alice Buxey, became Alice Agnew after her marriage.


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