Alice Sarah TRUSSELL (1886-1941)

Life story shared by Malcolm Gray

 Alice Trussell was born in Reading on 24 January 1886 to parents William and Cecilia. William Trussell was a general labourer from Epping Forest, who married Cecilia Ann Charity Clarke (born Hurst) in 1878 in Berkshire. After William Trussell died in 1892 Cecilia would marry again to Joseph Timms.

In 1901 Alice was living with her mother and stepfather (a general labourer) at 8 Buck Court Reading. She was working as a laundry maid.

On on 16 November 1907 at the age of 22 Alice married George Snow (see below) who was 21 years old at St Mary’s Church Reading . Both Alice (number 7) and George (number 28) were living in Soho Street Reading at the time.

Alice died in 1941 and is buried with her second husband Charles Bartlett (who died after her in 1948). Their grave has been located on the paper records but there is no surviving headstone to fully identify the grave nor to understand what inscription there may have been.

The slightly macabre situation is that Alice and Charles have been buried in a used grave, as the grave record shows three other names starting with the first one in 1876, none of whom are connected to the family.

George Sydney SNOW (Alice’s first husband)

The Snow family were a weaving family originally based in Reading but they relocated to the infamous New Nichol Street slum area of East London where George’s father, John James, was born. 

(John James’s parents were married at St Leonards Shoreditch – the church mentioned in the nursery rhyme “Oranges and Lemons” – ‘when I grow rich said the bells of Shoreditch’)

John James Snow would return to Reading and work in the local tin works as a stamper.

George Sydney Snow was born in Reading in 23 December 1885.

In 1911 George was working for the local gas works in Reading as a gas meter repairer and he and Alice were living at 39 Letcombe Road, Reading with their son George junior and Dorothy (who tragically would die the next year). They would have two further children – Lydia and Marcus.

Alice (with Lydia)    George     Marcus     and    George Junior

Also with them in 1911 were two of Alice’s sisters – Lydia and Victoria – who both worked at Huntley & Palmers and, in addition, Alice’s grandmother, Sarah Clarke. The extended family lived in 5 rooms.

The couple had moved along the road to 26 Letcombe Street by 1914.

George died in the First World War.

NameGeorge Snow
Death Date19 Jul 1916
Death PlaceFrance and Flanders
Enlistment PlaceReading
Battalion2/4th Battalion   Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire) Regiment
Type of CasualtyKilled in action
Theatre of WarWestern European Theatre

The memorial on wall at St Marys Church Reading shows George Snow and his brother Joseph as well as his brother in law William Eaton.

George Snow is remembered at Laventie military cemetery.

Charles BARTLETT (Alice’s second husband)

Charles was born in Reading on 16 October 1890. His father, Giles Bartlett, worked as a bootmaker.

The Bartlett family lived in Letcombe Street – at number 20 – and so the two families (as with Alice’s first marriage) were neighbours.

Charles married Alice Snow in 1918 in Reading and the new couple would continue to live at 26 Letcombe Street for many years.

In 1921 Charles and Alice had two new sons and he was working as a storeman at the Royal Ordinance Depot in Bramley. With them were the three Snow children – all seven people living in three rooms. The house was shared with George and Sarah Squibb (in two rooms). George Squibb also worked at the Bramley depot as a storeman.

In 1939 Charles was working as a gardener and now had a daughter (born 1923) to make three Bartlett children (step children to the Snow children).

Alice and Charles at the rear of 26 Letcombe Street with their neighbour (Minnie Arberry from number 37) handling the kittens.

Section 39, Plot 5961