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

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Taphophile Tragics - Emmeline Ford, Frederick Thomas Ford, Iris Emmeline Ford Spooner and Michael Max Spooner - Paper Manufactorers

Monument to Emmeline Ford, Frederick Thomas Ford, Iris Emmeline Ford Spooner and Michael Max Spooner.  St James the Less Churchyard, Stubbings, Berkshire

"In Loving Memory of Emmeline.  Beloved wife of  Frederick Thomas Ford.  Who passed on January 28th 1935.  And of Frederick Thomas Ford.  Who passed on January 26th 1936.  And In Dearest Memory of their daughter Iris Emmeline Ford Spooner B. 1892  D. 1965.  And of her son Michael Max. B. 1933  D. 1965."

Emmeline Ford was born Harriette Emmeline Shepherd on 24th August 1866 in Paddington London to James Shepherd, a stock broker, and his wife Mary Alexa Williams.

Emmeline first appears on the 1871 Census aged four years old, living with her parents, elder sister Mary and younger siblings Blanche, James and Edward at 24 Queen's Gardens in Marylebone, London.

I have been unable to trace Emmeline or her parents on the 1881 census.  However in 1891 Emmeline and her parents have moved to 19 Lancaster Gate in Paddington London.

On 30th April 1891 Emmeline married Frederick Thomas Ford.

Frederick Thomas Ford was born on 22nd February 1859 in Loudwater, Berkshire to Thomas Burch Ford, a blotting paper manufacturer, and his wife Elizabeth Slade.  Frederick first appears on the 1861 Census aged two years old, living with his parents and elder sisters, Mary Ann, Fanny and Ada Helen in Loudwater, Berkshire.

In 1871 twelve year old Frederick is boarding at Richmond House School, 59, Castle Street, Reading, Berkshire.  By 1881 the twenty two year old Frederick had left education to help in his father's paper manufacturing business.  On the 1881 Census Frederick can be found living with his parents, elders sister Mary Ann and Ada and younger sister Agnes at London Road in  High Wycombe.

I am unable to locate Frederick on the 1891 Census.

In 1892 Frederick and Emmeline celebrated the birth of their first child, a daughter Iris Emmeline Ford.  Vera Marjorie Ford was born in 1893, followed by Frederick Victory Russell Ford in 1897 and finally Cynthia Alexa Ford in 1901.

By 1901 after the death of his father Thomas in 1892, Frederick  was now the managing director of the blotting paper business.  Frederick and his family have moved to Kimbers House in Braywick, Berkshire.

In 1911 Frederick and Emmeline are still living in Kimbers House in Braywick, Berkshire, along with Iris and Cynthia.  I am unable to locate either Vera or Frederick Victor on the 1911 Census.

Towards 1929 Frederick and Emeeline's health began to deteriorate, something they strived to improve with recuperative cruises and staying at spas.  Sadly Emmeline passed away on 28th January 1935 after a long illness.  Frederick was devastated by Emmeline's death and passed away nearly a year later on 26th January 1936 in a nursing home in London.

Frederick and Emmeline's obituary, reported in the Buck's Free Press -

“The news of Mr Ford’s death was received at Loudwater with special regret because not only was he thoughtful and considerate to his employees at Snakeley Mill, but also he did a great deal of good for the village. He carried on a family tradition of paying attention to the welfare of his workpeople, and they in turn responded with warm affection for him.”
On Frederick's funeral the Buck's Free Press commented -


"The pleasant riverside church of Bray, Berks with its ancient yews in the churchyard and quaint houses was the setting for the funeral on Wednesday afternoon. The bad weather did not prevent large numbers of people attending the service to pay a final tribute to the late Mr Ford."
In 1932 Iris Emmeline Ford married Frank Vivian Spooner in St Martin, London.  They had their only child, a son Michael Max Ford Spooner in 1933,  Sadly Michael battled with depression, this was made worse when in 1956 he was involved in an serious motorcycle accident which left him physically and mentally disabled.  He eventually took his own life on 8th April 1965, leaving behind his wife of a few months, Barbara.
Iris took the death of her son hard and began drinking heavily, sadly Iris was to die from severe burns she received after falling asleep with a lit cigarette whilst under the influence of alcohol on 11th December 1965.

Taphophile Tragics



  1. As always, very interesting --- although it's very sad what happened to Michael, and then Iris.
    Thanks for sharing this on Taphophile Tragics!

  2. Frederick Ford was my great uncle; his sister Edith was my grandmother. Her son Philip was my father and he became Managing Director of Fords. I have a full history of the Ford family and the paper making business.


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