Home Tours Trees Inventory Search About
Tours The Withers Family Tour
Chapter 1: Summary, from Henry to Cecil Withers: 4 generations
Chapter : From Henry to William Withers
Chapter : The Tiptons
Chapter 4: The Hopes
Chapter 5: The Greens
Chapter 6: Thomas and Cecil Withers
Chapter 6: Thomas and Cecil Withers
Thomas was born on 10 February 1873 at 38 Hill Street in St Pauls, Bristol. He was the fourth of 7 surviving children of William and Ann Withers. His siblings were: Henry, Margaret, William, Edward, Eliza, and George. He grew up to be a postman, and already at 19 he was delivering post while living at home with his father, grandparents and other siblings. It was while delivering post he met Louisa Hope who was working at an Inn facing the Common. Louisa was 2 years older than Thomas, and the eldest of the 9 children of William and Mary Hope. On 28 November 1894 Thomas and Louisa were married at St Matthew, Kingsdown, Bristol. They had 4 children: Archie, Elsie, Cecil and Hilda.
Some of the stories recorded by daughter-in-law Olive Withers (nee Gilchrist) include the delicious fruit that Louisa would grow and send by courier (a local man with horse and cart) to their grandchildren. Also recorded was that Thomas had a brother who was stationed at the barracks in Horfield Common (now demolished), but later killed in action in South Africa. Thomas and Louisa had a small number of formally posed family and individual portraits taken, one of which is shown here.
Thomas Withers, 1903
Cecil Thomas withers, 1917
Cecil Thomas Withers was born 23 June 1899 in Bristol to Thomas and Louisa Withers, the second youngest of 4 children (Archie, Elsie, Cecil and Hilda). He attended Moorfields school for 6 years and on leaving at the end of form VII in 1913 his report card stated: 'Can strongly recommend as a trustworthy and hardworking lad. Ought to do well.' With the outbreak of WWI, he enrolled for armed service with the Royal Warickshire regiment and became Private number 26824. He was sent to France, to be part of a Lewis gun team. But he was gassed on the Somme and during the Battle of Bapaume ( France), August 1918, in Cecil's first month of fighting in the trenches, an exploding German shell killed his comrades and badly wounded him. Cecil carried a piece of German shell in his head all through his life. The injury would cause him to be discharged and still be in hospital for the Armistice celebrations.
After the war there was little chance for employment. Cecil tried his hand at many things. When Cecil married Olive Wilson in 1927 they took off for Swindon selling Kleeneze brushes to make a living. After their son Allan was born in 1928 Cecil started work at The Bristol Aeroplane Company where he stayed until he retired at 65 in 1964. Together they had 4 children: Allan, Derek, Kathleen and John.