Reynolds Family History in North Essex A small site devoted to the Reynolds family history from in and around North Essex in England.

My Family History 1711-2010


The history of the Reynolds Family is centred on Bardfield Saling, a small village, then in the Freshwell Hundred of Essex. Somewhere between 1745 and 1751, James Reynolds (2) and Mary his wife, together with their children, James (3), John, and Thomas moved there from Great Easton. There was a continuous line of Reynolds's living there from at least 1750 until 1963. In our immediate line, the last person born there was Walter Reynolds'daughter, my aunt Maud, in 1909. Walters brother, Alfred Solomon Reynolds, known as Dill, died there in 1963, aged 87 years.

Noak_Hill_Farm_Cottage Walter_Reynolds_21 Annie_Reynolds_21 Little_Blankets_Cottage
North_Stifford_Cottage William_resting_on_ladder Barn at Southborough Hall

Click on images for a larger view and read more about each below!

James Reynolds of Little Bardfield born c1690 Family Tree James Henry Reynolds, born 1913, Family Tree Ann Halls, born c1881,Family Tree James Reynolds, born c1804, Family Tree Solomon Reynolds, born c1830, Family Tree
Various descendants through the Reynolds family - click image to view full size
More information can be found on individuals by clicking on (Show) on their titles below on the page.

It was in this general area that the family lived. Agricultural workers were hired by farmers and were supplied with housing as well as being paid a very meagre wage. They were hired annually , on lady day, 25th March. In England, Lady Day was New Year's Day up until 1752 when, following the move from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, 1 January became the start of the year. A vestige of this remains in the United Kingdom's tax year, which starts on 6 April.

A farm labourer who was seeking employment, would present himself as the local market. Farmers seeking to hire, would shout out who they wanted, and applicants would step forward and offer themselves for hire. Negotiations would then take place, a bargain was struck and then ratified over a glass of ale in the local ale house. When someone was no longer able to work because of old age or infirmity, he would often find himself jobless and home less. Unless a family member would take him in, he might well find himself in the local poor house.

Whilst schooling for children was not made compulsory until about 1875, there were schools in many places before that date. It is unusual that any family member born before the early 1800's could read or write. Those born later may have had an elementary ability. The Reynolds family could certainly sign their names. In the 1861 census, several children are shown as 'scholar' so they were attending school by that year.

In the 1800's, Bardfield Saling was a centre of straw weaving, a cottage industry that most of the inhabitants would have been involved in in some way.

White's History, Gazeatteer & Directory of Essex

From 1848 said the following:

    Bardfield Saling or Little Saling ,as it is also known, is situated NE of Dunmow and N W of Braintree. In some records is is called New Saling. It has 381 occupants. The Rev. B A Lampet is the lord of the manor and owner of most of the land. The remainder belongs to Wm Sandle esq, Guys Hospital and a few small owners. At Domeswday survey, the land belonged to Richard Fitz-Gislebert. St Margarets church is an ancient one, the present incumbent being the Rev. R.S.Dobson MA.

Two cottages and a half acrs of land, called Partridges Tenements, were given to the poor of the parish by an unknown donor and are situated at Careys Green.
  • James Branch shopkeeper
  • Henry Phillips Surgeon, Brook House
  • Pharaoh Turpin blacksmith
  • Beer Houses
  • Samuel Byford
  • Thomas Reynolds
  • Benjamin Staines
  • Henry Bretton
  • Samuel Bright
  • Samuel Byford
  • Thomas Reynolds
  • George Willis
  • John Wright
  • John Byatt
  • Thomas Mascall
  • William Savill
Note: I have discovered no evidence so far that either of the above Thomas Reynolds's are in our immediate family tree.

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales

by John Marius Wilson. circa 1866

    BARDFIELD (LITTLE), a parish in Dunmow district, Essex: on Blackwater river, 11 miles NW of Braintree r. station. It has a post-office under Braintree. Acres, 1,710. Real property, £3,082. Pop., 429. Houses, 90. The property is much subdivided. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester. Valus, £590. Patron, the Rev. M. Barnard. The church is good. Almshouses and other charities have £89.

Research details

Before 1837

The only real records available before 1837 are the registers of baptisms (not birth dates) , marriages and burials, kept in the local churches. Most of these records are now available on microfiche. Baptisms can be a problem as some people waited until they two or three children and had them all baptised together. In these cases, one can only guess the real year of birth. Some church books record the date of birth as well as baptism date. There are other records available, such as the hearth tax survey, but they are of very limited value.

After 1837

In 1837, central records began, but it never became compulsory to register births, deaths and marriages until 1875. These records are now available for public scrutiny. There are many geneology sites in the internet where one can search the indexes and when you have the reference, you can order the certificate from the National Records office. Many inaccuracies occur in these records. People did not know when, or sometimes, where they were born. Deaths may be registered in the deceased nick name rather than the name that he was christened with and there are many inaccuracies with the translations to databases of original records.

National Censuses

These are available on line and are extremely useful. Again errors occur. The original hand written entries have been copied and are now available to search. When you have found what you want, you can view and copy the original entry. I spent ages trying to trace Solomon Reynolds in the 1841 census, only to find his name had been typed as Sobomon and that he was, at that time, no longer living with his parents.

1841 census

The first national census since the Domesday Book. This was really a head count. Ages of adults were rounded, up or down, in no particular pattern, to the nearest five, except in the case of children, whose age was correct as far as the parents could remember. Place of birth was a yes-no answer, were you born in Essex, not where.

1851 census

This had a little more information, including occupation. Sadly the records for the Dunmow area, where the Reynolds family lived, have been lost. Therefore, I can not say whether our Thomas Reynolds was one mentioned in White's (see page 1). Thomas Reynolds was dead by the time the 1861 census was conducted.

1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 census

These show date and place of birth and the relationship of each person in the house, together with their occupation.

1911 census.

This is protected by the 100 year rule and will not be released for public scrutiny until 2011.

I have tried to follow the direct line of descent from the first entry of a Reynolds to the present day. Where I have, in my research, come across other relatives, I have included them for information but, have gone no further on that path. The records of the early 1700's are very patchy and in poor condition, with many gaps. The 1500's and 1600's are mainly in latin

Reynolds Family in Little Bardfield

James Reynolds of Little Bardfield

On 15th October 1711, James Reynolds (1) of Little Bardfield married Sussanah Fitch at Little Sampford. She was baptised on 10th December 1691 and her parents were Benin and Mary Fitch of Littlle Sampford.

James and Susan had two daughters, Ann and Susannah, and one son, James (2) He was baptized on December 8th 1715 at Little Bardfield. The family then moved to Great Easton, where James (1) died and was buried on June 21st 1734. Susan died eight months later and was buried on February 12th 1734. (This is because the calender ran from 1st April to 1st April until it was changed in 1752) I have discovered no other James Reynolds born in the area who could qualify as James's (2) father.

Reynolds family in Great Easton

James (2) Reynolds

James (2) Reynolds married Mary Jarvice at Lindsell on 14th October, 1735 and the family settled in Great Easton. They had six children; three, Elizabeth, James and Elizabeth who all died as infants. The three surviving children were sons, Thomas born in 1736, James (3) born in 1743, and John born in 1745. Their son James (3) was baptised on 19th June 1743. Some time later, the family moved to Bardfield Saling, where, in 1751, a further son, Simon was born.

James (2) Reynolds died in 1765, aged 50 years. He was buried at Great Easton. The church records there show that James Reynolds of Little (Bardfield ) Saling was buried on 5th September 1765. Why he was there, one cannot say. He certainly had relatives there or, perhaps he was working there. Mary survived in Bardfield Saling until 1806, where she died at the age of 94 years. She was buried on 25th April.

Reynolds family in Little Saling (Bardfield Saling)

James Reynolds (3)
James Reynolds (3) married Elizabeth Owers on 12th November, 1768 at Bardfield Saling. A John Reynolds was shown as a witness. (see appendix 1) (James had a brother named John, born in Great Easton in 1745.) An Elizabeth Owers, daugher of Jon and Sarah Owers, was baptised at Stebbing on March 28th, 1745.

James (3) and Elizabeth had four children, one named Thomas, who died in infancy, James, born 1775, Elizabeth born 1773 and Thomas, born 1779. (see appendix 2 ). Nothing more was recorded at Bardfield Saling regarding James, his first son, who must have married and moved to another village. (I have not searched the records of all the various other villages in the area after the date of his birth, as this would be an enormous task and would not affect our family tree.) Elizabeth died in 1791, aged 54 years. James Reynolds (3) died 0n August 1812, aged 69 years.

Thomas Reynolds

Thomas married Elizabeth Bencham ( born 10.12.1786) on 9th November 1803 at Bardfield Saling.(See appendix 3) His eldest son was named James(4), and he was born on 16th April 1804. (see appendix 4). The parish records show that Thomas Reynolds died in 1849. He was buried at Bardfield Saling on May 7th 1849, aged 70 years. Elizabeth, his wife, died two years later. She was buried on 18th September, 1851, aged 66 years.

James Reynolds (4) James (4) married Jane Overall,(who was born in Felsted, on 20th April 1826) at Bardfield Saling. (see appendix 5) James and Jane had five children (see page 10). Their son Solomon Reynolds was born at Stebbing on 5th November, 1830 and was subsequently baptised at Bardfield Saling. (see appendix 6) Jane died in 1837, aged 33 years. She was buried at Bardfield Saling. James died from typhoid two years later on 15th April, 1839. He was also buried at Bardfield Saling, on 21st April, aged 34 years. (see appendix 7) There was no death certificate available for Jane, as she died just before the introduction of death certifcates. The children were taken care of by their grandparents, Thomas and Elizabeth, which is where we found them, living together, in the 1841 census.

1841 Census

I started my research with what I knew, that my great grandfather was named Solomon Reynolds and was born c.1830.

The 1841 census was a good place to start. See appendix 8. I then worked backwards from Parish records, and forwards from Parish records, census forms and registration of births, deaths and marriages.

The 1841 census shows all the people living in a house at New Green, Bardfield Saling, Essex. Below I have transcribed details of these people and added the information that I have subsequently discovered, showing their relationship to Thomas Reynolds.

  • Thomas Reynolds 60. Head (Born 3.1.1779 at BS� son of James and Elizabeth)
  • Elizabeth Reynolds 50. Wife
  • Susanah (Sarah) Reynolds 20 Born 13.2.1817 mother of Arthur daughter
  • Susanah Reynolds 14 Born 9.11.1828 grand-daughter
  • Elizabeth Reynolds 13 Born 20.3.1828 daughter
  • Henry Reynolds 15 Born 5.5.1822 son
  • Joseph Reynolds 15 Born Joseph Alfred 23.5.1825 grand-son
  • Robert Reynolds 9 Born Robert Andrew 15.4.1834 grand-son
  • Simon Reynolds 14 Born 23.10.1826 son
  • Solomon Reynolds 11 Born 5.11.1830 grand-son
  • Thomas Reynolds 15 Born 5.5.1822 son
  • Arthur Reynolds 1 Born 20.12.1839 grand-son, son of Susanah
Thomas and Elizabeth had also had the following child:
  • James (2) (Born 16.4.1804 died 15.4.1839 of Typhus fever.
(James was the father of Solomon, Henry, Robert, Joseph and Susanah.)

Solomon Reynolds

Solomon was born in Stebbing, Essex, on 5th November, 1830, but subsequently baptised in Bardfield Saling. (see appendix 6) The church record show that the family was resident at that time in Stebbing.

In the 1841 census, he and his siblings are recorded as living in New Green, Bardfield Saling with Thomas and Elizabeth Reynolds, their grand-parents. Solomons father, James died on 16.4.1839 from Typhus fever. Jane, his wife died in 1837 at the age of 33. I suspect that she died of Typhus as well but as death certificates were not introduced until two years later, no cause of death is known. (See appendices 7 and 8)

The 1851 census records for the Dunmow area have, sadly, been lost.

In the 1861 census, Solomon is shown as the head of a house, living in New Green with Robert Reynolds, (his brother) shown as a lodger. Solomon is shown as aged 30 years, a thatcher and Robert is an agricultural worker. (Appendix 9)

On 12th September, 1868, Solomon married Martha Redgwell at Bardfield Saling. (see appendix 11) Martha was born on 2nd April, 1847 at Bardfield Saling. She was baptised on 16th April, 1847.

In the 1871 census, they are shown living together at New Green, Bardfield Saling with their one year old daughter, Anne. (appendix 12)

In the 1881 census, they are still living in New Green. The family has increased with Walter, Alfred and Alice. (Appendix 14)

In the 1891 census, the family is still together at Bardfield Saling, save Anne who is now married.

On 11th August, 1893, Solomon was working as a thatcher in Bardfield Saling, when he fell from a wheat stack and was seriously injured. He died two days later, on 13th august, An inquest was held on 16th and the certificate of death issued on 17th August. (see appendix 17) He was buried at Bardfield Saling.

In the 1901 census, Martha is shown as head of house and only Walter is now living there.

Martha Reynolds(Solomons wife)

Martha was born at Bardfield Saling on 2nd April 1847. She was baptised on 16th April 1847. Her father was Samuel Redgwell, an agricultural worker, and her mother was named Sarah. The family are recorded in the 1861 census as living at Crown Green, Stebbing.

  • Samuel Redgwell B 1801 (60) Head Agricultural Labourer.
  • Sarah Redgwell (44) Wife
  • Josiah Redgwell (20) son Agricultural Labourer
  • Martha (14) dau Scholar
  • Sarah (11) dau Scholar
From this entry it is clear that the two daughters are supposedly attending school and receiving an education, although when she married, Martha was unable to write her name and signed with a cross.

In the 1901 census, Martha is shown as living in New Green with her son Walter. The census form does not give a street number or house name, even if they had one. The entries were numbered by the censor official and do not appear to relate to the house number. What is interesting that the entries are listed:

  • 3. Parsonage Green
    William Reynolds 24 Head Horseman on farm Born BS
    Richard Reynolds 22 Brother Horseman on farm Born BS
  • 5. New Green
    Joseph Reynolds 41 Head Thatcher Born BS
    Mary A Reynolds 29 Wife Born BS
    Martha Reynolds 2 daughter Born BS
    This is Joseph, Solomons nephew, son of Joseph Alfred Reynolds, Solomons older brother.
  • 6 New Green
    Alfred Reynolds 25 Head Thatcher Born BS
    Ada Reynolds 27 Wife Born Terling
    May Reynolds 2 daughter Born BS
    This is Dill, Solomons son. He died in 1963 aged 87 years. At that time he lived in 1, Brick Cottages, New Green.
  • 7. New Green William Adams 35 Head Agr. Labourer Born BS
    (Walters sister)
    Anne Adams 32 wife Born BS

    Minnie Adams 10 daughter Born BS
    Alfred Adams 6 son Born BS Board School
  • 8. Ann Leonard 59 head Schoolmistress Cambs.
  • 9 New Green
    Martha Reynolds 58 Head Born BS
    Walter Reynolds 28 son Thatcher Born BS

This may give an indication that the house in which Solomon Reynolds lived, and where Walter Reynolds was born, was next door to the Board School. It could have been 2, Brick Cottages.

Martha died in May 1906 at Essex County Asylum, South Weald, Essex, having been moved there from the Workhouse at Dunmow. I presume that she had fallen ill and was moved to the workhouse where she would receive rudimentary care. She was buried at Bardfield Saling on 25th May, aged 60 years.

Robert Reynolds Born 15.4.1834

Robert Reynolds was Solomons younger brother. He is shown on the 1841 census as living with Thomas and Elizabeth Reynolds at New Green, as was Solomon.

In 1861, he was living in New Green with Solomon. He was then aged 27 and his occupation was an agricultural labourer.

In the 1871 census, he is shown living with his wife, Emma, who was born in Bardfield Saling in 1845. They are living in Church Road, Bardfield Saling. He has three children, Catherine, aged three, (Baptised 26th January 1868 at Bardfield Saling) Fanny, aged 2 and Julia who is 7 months old.

In the 1881 census, he is living in New Green, Bardfield Saling, Kate (Catherine) is now 13, Fanny is 12, George is 6,(baptised 14th June 1874) William 4 (baptised 26th November 1876) and Richard Alfred is 2. (Baptised 6th September 1885) There is no further mention of Julia, who has probably not survived. Two other children were baptised at Bardfield Saling, Arthur, born in 1870 and Walter, born in 1875. Neither are shown in the census, and presumably died as infants.

Henry Reynolds(known as Fiery) Born 1836

In 1841 Henry was about 5 years age. In the 1861 census he has married Caroline Savill, B 1840, and has three children, Ceselia B.1865, Tale B.1867, Herbert B. 1881 and Harry Born 1865. Henry fathered eight children. The other three were Joanna B1871, Hinson B.1873, Archibald B.1879. Archibald married Minnie Hammond B.1889. They had three children, Ivy Reynolds .B 1910, Ernest Reynolds B1914 and Alan B 1929.

Archibald was an oyster groom. He died in Suffolk in 1971. Minnie died in 1976. Their son Alan died in 2006. Joanna married Thomas Grubb B 1870, who died in 1930. Joanna died in 1953. They had two children, Ethel Grubb B.1892 Died 1964 and Daisy Grubb B.1895 died 1982.

Susannah Reynolds Born 9.11.1828

Susannah was born at Barfield Saling on 9.11.1828. In the 1841 census she was shown as 14 years old. She bore an illigitimate son, James Reynolds B. 8.7.1849.

In the 1861 census, she is living in Shoreditch St Leonards in the east end of London with a Mary Moore, aged 70 years. Susannah is shown as the head of the house and her occupation is needlewoman. There was a family connection to Shoreditch. A Robert Andrew Reynolds of Shoreditch married a Mary Ann Beddall at Bardfield Saling in 1812. He was also shown as a witness at a local wedding.

Joseph Alfred Reynolds Born 23.5.1825

In the 1861 census, he is shown as living in New Green, Bardfield Saling with his wife, Susannah, aged 24. He has three chidren, Elizabeth 4,(c. 1857) Alma 3, (c.1858)and Joseph 2.(c.1859) His occupation is shown as thatcher.

In the 1871 census, he had four extra children, Rose 9 (circa. 1872) Edith 8 (circa 1873) Septimus 3 (circa 1879) and Twin 1 (circa. 1880) Elizabeth is not shown at home. She is now 14 years of age.

In the 1901 census, Joseph is shown living with his wife, Susannah. She is 65 years of age and he is 76. His occupation is shown as thatcher and carrier.

Joseph died in May 1907 and was buried at Bardfield Saling.

Sussanah died 16.5.1929, aged 93 years at Cockridden Farm, East Horndon, Essex. Buried at Bardfield Saling.

( A Thomas Richard Reynolds died 4.2.1930 aged 55 years at Cockridden Farm, Herongate, which adjoins East Horndon. He was buried at BS on 11.2 1930. The only likely candidate as far as the records are concerned was Richard Alfred Reynolds, baptised at Bardfield Saling on 6th September 1885, son of Robert and Emma Reynolds.)

Annie Halls B. 1881

Annie Halls was born in Margaretting, in the sub district of Ingatestone, Essex, on 13th February, 1881. Her father was William Halls, a farm labourer and her mother was Eleanor Halls (formerly Cable). (Appendix 19) In the 1891 census, the family are shown as living at �n the Spred, Ingatestone'. She was christened Ann.

In the 1901 census, she is recorded as Annie Halls, single, aged 20, born Ingatestone, living at 64 Western Road, Romford, a lodging House owned by William and Marget Crossingham, where she is employed as a domestic servant.

On 29th September, 1901, Annie married Arthur Burton. Aged 29 years, (Born c. 1872) at Brentwood Parish Church. (Appendix 20) Their address was shown as 11, Essie Villas, North Road, Brentwood. On 25th January 1902, her daughter Ethel May Burton was born. The certificate (see Appendix 20) shows the parents as Annie Burton, formerly Halls and Arthur Burton, a labourer, of 6, Chase Road, Romford, sub district of Romford in the registration district of Billericay. which is also the address where Ethel was born. ( see Appendix 21) His father was shown as Ephraim Burton, an agricultural worker. There is only one Ephraim Burton in the records. The 1871 census shows the family living at Great Baddow.with eight children. The youngest is Arthur, spelled Author, who is 6 months old. Born c. 1870) Ephraim was born at Great Baddow, and his children were born variously at Great Bursted, Hutton and Sandon. This shows how frequently agricultural workers moved jobs and homes. Annie and Arthur moved to Wales, where he worked as a miner. On 28th July 1906, he died from enteric fever. (see appendix 22)

Arthur Burton had a pretty unlucky name. Whilst searching for his death certifcate, I found 42 Arthur Burtons who died in the 7 years between Annies two marriages, of these, 21 died before their first birthday, and a further eleven had died before attaining the age of 10 years. Only eleven survived into manhood.

In 1908, on 3rd August, at Barfield Saling, she married Walter Reynolds. At the time of the wedding she is shown on the marriage certificate as living in Bardfield Saling.

Annie died at 25 Pound Lane Orsett, on 31st August, 1958.

Walter Reynolds

Walter James Reynolds was born on 10th June, 1872. (appendix 13)

Walter married Annie Burton (nee Halls), a widow, on 3rd August 1908, at Little Saling. (Appendix 23) He moved around the county quite a lot, presumably as a result of his occupation as an agricultural thatcher. He was employed mainly on thatching and re-thatching hayricks for farmers, but would fill in between times thatching barns and cottages, especially during the summer when there was not much work on the farm, just before the harvest. He fathered four children, The eldest was Maud Violet Reynolds, born 1909 at Bardfield Saling. Then William Walter Reynolds, who was born on 11th April,1910. At Witham, Essex. (I have a post office savings book issued to Master William Walter Reynolds on 14th Sdpetember, 1910 with a deposit of one shilling. This was a prize he had won in the beautiful baby competition at Witham, and gives the address as Blunts Hall Cottages.

In 1913, the family was living in Noaks Hall Farm Cottages, Doesgate Lane, Bulphan and that is where James Henry Reynolds was born, on 2nd July that year. (Appendix 24) Daisy Annie Reynolds, according to her birth certificate, (appendix 25) was born on 8th May, 1917, at Garlertins Cottage, Bulphan. (This is now called Little Blanket Cottage)

Walter did not join the army during the first world war, being exempt from conscription because of the importance of his work on the farm. He owned a horse and a two wheeled trap for which he was licenced. He was issued a licence costing fiveteen shillings at Orsett Post Office in January 1925. This shows his address at the time as Bulphan Fen.

The family later settled at Orsett, in a council house at 25 Pound Lane. Walter died on 7th November, 1929, at the age of 57. Annie lived at Pound Lane until she died on 31st August, 1958, aged 77 years. They are buried together at Orsett churchyard.

Ethel May Burton

Ethel May Burton was born at 6, Chase Road, Romford on 25th of February, 1902. (Appendix 21) She married Richard Wakefield Shaw, born 1899 in Clapton, at Wycombe, in 1941. (Appendix 28) 'Dick' Shaw's father is shown on the 1901 census as John Shaw, a manager to a firm of Merchants, who lived at Grasmere, Boston Avenue, Prittlewell, a desirable suburb of Southend on Sea. There was another son, named John, and the family had a live in servant. In 1941, Dicks father had died and Dick was awaiting the arrival of his share of the proceeds of the sale of the house when he was called into the army. He was not enarmored by the military life, and when the cheque arrived, he and Ethel fled to High Wycombe, where they were subsequently married. They bought a house in which they could comfortably sit out the war.

The marriage certificate shows they married at Hazlemere Parish Church, a suburb of High Wycombe, on 1st February, 1941. On the certificate, he explained his lack of a job as being a man of independant means. His address was 131, Southfield Road, High Wycombe. The problem was that he had no job and no ration cards for food. The only way one could obtain food without a ration card was to buy a meal in a restuarant. They ate at the local hotel, frequented by high ranking officers of RAF bomber command nearby, who all became firm friends.

Dick, who was always smarty attired in a suit and tie, told them that he did 'something secret' in London. No questions were ever asked.After the war ended, they returned, penniless, to Orsett for Ethel to visit her mother, Annie. A neighbour fetched the local bobby, Harry Sach, who happened to be a cousin of Jims wife, Alice. Dick was arrested and served 6 months at Colchester Barracks for desertion. They eventually returned to Grays. In 1969, they were both killed in a road accident at Bulphan, Essex. They died childless.

William Walter Reynolds

William Walter Reynolds worked as a young lad with his father, thatching. After his father died, he had several jobs, finishing up at The Bata Shoe factory at East Tilbury.

He was conscripted into the army in July 1940 and served in the Army Catering Corp. Her was sent to Palestine, where he spent the whole of the war cooking for the Corp of Military Police. He was demobilised on 8th March, 1946, as a corporal. His army number was 2118244.

He never married, but stayed on at Pound Lane after his mother died. Bill, as he was known, had a girlfriend and they planned to marry. The problem was, there was nobody to look after his mother. and his sister Maud. During the war, he received a letter from his brother James, saying that he had married. When James became a father, Bill realized that he would have to stay at home and support them and could therefore not marry. He wrote to his girlfriend accordingly, and she eventually married someone else.

He returned to Bata after the war, where he worked until his retirement in 1975.( Although old age pensions had been introduced, his mother, Annie, was not entitled to a pension. She could have claimed Naional Assistance, as it was called then, but Bill was too proud, Years later, his old girlfriend was widowed, and they became firm friends again and went out together to the cinema and bingo on a regular basis. He died of cancer at Orsett Hospital on 23rd July, 1977. He was buried at Orsett churchyard with his parents.

Maud Violet Reynolds

Maud was a little slow on the uptake. She rarely worked.and Bill had to support her. After his mother , Annie, died on 31st August, 1958, Bill told Maud that he would no longer support her and that she must get a job. This she refused to do, and in 1961 she married someone who would keep her, James Dunbar Ashton. If Maud was slow on the uptake, he was considerably slower. He was a railway porter at Grays. His name on the marriage certificate is given as Thomas Duncan Ashton, born c. 1902, the son of a Police Inspector, (In the Indian Colonial Police Force, I believe) named James Alfred Ashton. Maud and Thomas lived together at 4, London Road, Grays until they died. She died childless.

Daisy Annie Reynolds

Daisy was born at at Bulphan on 8th May, 1917. On 9th July 1949 at Thurrock Registry Office, she married Herbert William Styles, born 6th October, 1902 . Herbert was a widower who already had several children. They lived at 34, Billet Lane, Stanford le Hope, Essex. Daisy bore one child, David Styles, who was born on 24th October, 1949. He now lives in Australia.

James Henry Reynolds

James never really took up thatching, as he was only sixteen when his father died. He had a variety of jobs as a young man, work being hard to come by and being even harder to keep when you found a job.. He did construction work on both the A127 London to Southend-on-Sea road and the widening of the A13 from Daneholes corner to Orsett.

He was conscripted into the army on 13th June, 1940 and was posted to Tewkesbury, firstly as a despatch rider and then as a driver with the Royal Artillery. He used to drive to the area headquarters at Coventry and was there during November 1940 to witness the plight of the inhabitants as they fled into the surrounding countryside every evening to escape the bombing that razed the city.

James married Alice Emily May Sach at Grays Parish Church on 29th September, 1940. Whilst he was away in the army, Alice lived with her parents at 29 Hathaway Road, Grays. Their first child, Brian James Reynolds, was born on 2nd February, 1942, at Lodge Lane, Grays, where Alice went to stay with family friends, away from the bombing, for the confinement. Roger Ernest Reynolds was born at Hathaway Road on 24th October, 1943.

In 1944, James came home on leave for a weekend. When he returned to camp, a friend had volunteered both himself and James for duty with the invasion forces in France. James was singularly unimpressed, and thus ended their friendship. He was transferred into the King's Shropshire Light Infantry and posted to Aldershot where the KSLI were billeted. The KSLI had suffered terrible losses on the initial landings, and men were being posted to bring the regiment back up to strength. He drove his lorry from Aldershot to Southampton where he embarked for the crossing to Arromanches. Once in France he was employed driving his lorry around the coast delivering supplies and new arrivals. After a while, he and his pals, were told to drive their lorries to Amiens, where they were told to park them, were issued with rifles. He was no longer a driver. He left Amiens in the back of a lorry and things were never quite the same again

He served in Belgium and Germany, finishing up at Flensberg on the Danish border. On one occasion his unit was halted at the River Maas in northern Belgium at a place called Blerick. One morning, James was sitting on a fallen tree trunk in a farmyard with some other soldiers. He was frying eggs on a fire when a german officer walked into camp with his arms raised in surrender and asked to see a british officer. The local HQ was in the cellar of the farmhouse and, as nobody seemed keen to go, James handed the frying pan to a mate and went down to fetch an officer. As he entered the cellar, a violent explosion shook the farm. A german 88 field gun had fired into the yard from a hillside some distance away, killing the german officer and all the soldiers who had been preparing breakfast. This was one of a number of lucky escapes that James had and is probably typical of any other soldier who survived that phase of the war. Sandra was born on 6th October, 1946.

James, whose army number was 1573891, was de-mobilised in late 1945 and returned to Hathaway Road to live with Alice and her family. Her father had died on 29th January, 1942, four days before Brian was born.

James and Alice were allocated a pre-fab at 4, Jesmond Road, Little Thurrock. These were temporary pre� fabricated bungalows, erected by the council to ease the chronic housing shortage and they had a life expectancy of 10 years. Many survived for nearly forty years before being eventually pulled down. David Robert Reynolds was born there on 8th November, 1947. As the family now numbered six, they were allocated a council house at 10, (later re-numbered 27) Heathview Road, Little Thurrock. James had returned to the job he had had immediately prior to joining the army which was a factory hand at Vandenburg and Jurgens at Purfleet, and he stayed there until he retired in 1976. James and Alice eventually bought the house from the council, and they lived there for the remainder of their lives. Alice died on 10th September, 1997, nine days before her eightieth birthday. She was buried in plot 298 at Chadwell Sat Mary Cemetery. James died on 10th february 1999 and was buried with Alice.

Brian James Reynolds (Born 02.02.1942)

Brian joined the Essex Plice in 1962 and became a detective in 1964. He transferred to The Metropolitan Police in 1965, where he rose to the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent. In 1985 he became Assistant Chief Constable in Kent and in 1989, Deputy Chief Constable in Thames Valley. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1995. In that year, he went to St Kitts and Nevis, in the West Indies, where he was Police Commissioner until 1998. He then moved to Trinidad, where he was the Director of the Caribbean Anti-Money Laundering Programme, combatting the movement of drug related money throughout the Caribbean Basin area. He retired in 2004.

Brian married three times. On 28th October, 1967, he married Christine Helen Green. This ended in divorce in 1974. On 3rd August, 1976, he married Paula Ann Harris and on 5th November, 1988, his son James Philip Reynolds was born. The marriage ended in divorce in 2004.

Brian married Jane Therese Ankenmann, a Canadian national, on 28th May, 2005, in Hawaii. They now live together at Camano Island, Washington, USA.

Sandra Ann Reynolds. (Born 02.10.1946)

Sandra worked in the Midland Bank. She married John Page and they had two children, Andrew John Page, born at Rochford on 5th September 1974 and Nicola Ann Page, born at Orsett on 3rd September 1977. The family live at 8, Connaught Avenue, Grays. Andrew married Evi Abela at Gerakini, Greece on 26th August 2007. John Page died quite suddenly on 23rd March, 2008.

David Robert Reynolds (Born 08.11.1947)

David became a television engineer. He married Susan Carol Moir and they had two children, Peter and Natalie. The family home was at 36, Marlborough Close, Grays.

Peter married Laura Offord on 2nd April 2005 at Horndon on the Hill Church. Their first child, Lewis Reynolds was born 12th April 2007. Natalie married Ben Francis at St Margarets Church, Stanford le Hope on 30th July 2005. Their first child, Bethan Mae Francis, was born on 20th January 2007.

Roger Ernest Reynolds (Born 24.10.1943)

Roger took a while to settle down. He eventually became a policeman in the Metropolitan Police serving in the east end of London. In 1980 he was transferred to the Royalty Protection Department and spent the rest of his service in that capacity. He was promoted to Inspector and was the personal protection officer for TRH's The Duke and Duchess of Kent. In 1993, he was awarded the MVO. He retired from the Police Force in 1997.

Roger married Veronica Ann Curtis on 19th September, 1964. Their first child, Shawn, way born on 28th October, 1965 at Orsett. Debbie Reynolds was born at Tilbury on 31st July, 1967 and Sarah Reynolds was born on 27th June 1975.

Roger and Veronica were divorced in 1999. In 2003, on 17th April, Roger married Monika Mint (nee Gosen) in Nottuln, Germany. They now live in Schapdetten, Germany.

Shawn joined the army for a while, serving in Germany, and then joined the City of London Police. He was promoted to Sergeant and then Inspector. He married Paula Heathfield on 22nd May, 2004 at Bishop Stortford. They live in Harlow, Essex. Paula is a police Sergeant in the Hertfordshire Police.

Debbie Reynolds became a nurse. She rose to become a managing sister in the Intensive Care Unit at Harlow Hospital. She married Mark Thomas b. 13.4.1968 on 7th September 1991. They have two children, Ellie Thomas b. 31.8.1995 and Sam Thomas b. 17.3.1999. They live in Harlow, Essex.

Sarah Reynolds worked as a sales assistant in various shops. She had a daughter, Danni Reynolds on 4th January, 1995. The father was Stephen Murray. She now lives with Patrick McCarry at Grays, Essex. Her second child, Joseph McCarry was born 14th November 2002.