Cemeteries and graveyards, full of love, betrayal, tragic deaths, murder, and suicide. What will you find?

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Outram - Behind Every Stone Is A Story

All Saint's Cemetery,
Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK.

"Jessie Outram, born 7th December 1884 - died 17th October 1912 aged 27 years (after much suffering) and of Private Alexander Robert Outram of the 22nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, born 9th October 1878 - died 17th February 1917, killed in action in France aged 38."  

Such a tragic loss of two young lives, leaving behind their son Alexander Joseph Harold Outram who also died at a young age, 32 in Westminster London.

Jessie Outram was born Julia Maclean Le Sueur on 7th December 1884 in St Helier, Jersey, to parents Clement Francis Le Sueur, an Ironmonger and colourman (a person who deals in paints), and Eliza Le Marinel.  Jessie first appears on the 1891 Channel Islands Census, living with her parents and siblings in St Helier, Jersey.

In 1901 Jessie is still living with her family in St Helier, Jersey in a house called Mayfield.

Alexander Robert Outram was born on 9th October 1878 in Tanca Peru to parents Joseph Outram and Julia Margarita MacLean. Joseph Outram died in Tanca Peru on 21st November 1878, it was after this that Julia his wife returned to England with Alexander and his siblings. The 1901 Census finds them living at 22 Cleveland Square, Paddington, London, where 22-year-old Alexander is listed as being a banker's clerk. 

On 23 October 1904 in Jersey, Alexander Outram married Julia (Jessie) Le Sueur. Their Son Alexander Joseph Harold Outram was born on 11th July 1907 at Cleveland, Boyn Hill Avenue, Maidenhead.

In 1911 the family can be found living at 8 Western Esplanande, Hove, Sussex. A row of beach front properties.  Alexander Snr is listed as living by private means.  Visiting the family is Lilian Le Sueur, Jessie's younger sister.

Western Esplanande Villas being built.

Jessie was to pass away on 17th October 1912, aged just 27. Her gravestone mentions that she died, "after much suffering". I haven't been able to find any news reports or records of her death that would explain what that suffering may have been. 

In 1904 Alexander Sr joined the Volunteer Reserve and later The Royal Fusiliers on 7th June 1916 . He served with the Expeditionary Force in France from 1st December that year and was reported missing in action on 17th February 1917 after fighting near Petit Miraumont, France. He was later known to be killed in action on that date.

Pvt Alexander Robert Outram

On Wednesday 12th December 1917 the Maidenhead Advertiser reported as follows:

"A Requiem Mass - In connection with the death of Mr. Alexander Outram of "Cleveland," Boyne Hill avenue [sic], Maidenhead, (reported in out last issue), a Requiem Mass was celebrated at St. Joseph's Church, Cookham-road, on Monday last, the celebrant being the Rev. Father Curtin. Mr. Outram was a widower, with a son of eleven years. His wife pre-deceased him a few years ago, and her remains rest in Maidenhead Cemetery." - Maidenhead Advertiser, Wednesday 12th December 1917.

Alexander Robert Outram was buried in the Regina Trench Cemetery in Miraumont, France.  An officer wrote of him:

"He had always proved himself and excellent solider and comrade," and that, "his loss would be keenly felt by his fellow-soldiers."

Young Alexander Joseph was orphaned at the age of 11 years and was sent to live with his paternal grandmother Julia Outram, who was to pass away on 22nd October 1929. The next record I can find of Alexander Joseph is from 1931 of him marrying Bertha Vivien Pearce in St Martin, London. Sadly, it doesn't seem the union was to last as by the 1939 Register Alexander is listed as divorced, living at Flat XVIII in the City of Westminster. Not long after, on the 7th January 1940, Alexander Joseph was to pass away at 18 Shepherd House, Sherpherd's Market, London, at the age of 32.

I wonder what brought them from Peru to Jersey and then to my hometown in Maidenhead. Why were they and their young son all fated to die so early and were they happy during the brief time they had together?


  1. A terrific photo - especially with the leafless trees in the background.
    I guess the figure is an angel, but she seems to have a very contemporaneous haircut - is that right, or am I seeing somethign that is not there(!)?

  2. It is an angel, with a very short haircut. But it seems to be the normal sytle for angels to have in this cemetery


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