Life story retold by Malcolm Gray
Charles James Sedgbeer was born in 1881 in Yeovil. His parents, William Henry Sedgbeer and Florence Mary Ann Milton, married in Bristol in 1877. They were both originally from Somerset.
Charles married Florence Alice Waite in 1904 in Reading and the year before Charles died they had celebrated their golden wedding – as reported below from the Reading Standard (Friday 6th August, 1954):
“Local Old Pensioners
The weekly meeting of the Reading Central branch of the National Federation of Old Age Pensions Associations was held in the St. John Ambulance Hall, Chatham Street, on Thursday last week, when 131 members and guests were entertained by the Spencers Wood branch concert party. The programme included a short sketch. Birthday honours were sung for Mr Helmsley, aged 84, and Mr and Mrs Charles Sedgbeer were congratulated on their golden wedding day.”
In 1911 the couple were living at 144 Great Knollys Street, no doubt very convenient for Charles’s job on the railways. They would remain in the same area and by 1921 they were living just down the road in number 193, where they continued to live until the end of their lives.
Charles would live close to his mother (Florence Mary Ann) and brothers in Great Knollys Street as the Electoral Register from 1920 shows:
Charles had followed his father, William, in working for Great Western Railways and both, having served their time doing other railway jobs, would become train drivers. Charles started his railway career in Swindon and again, like his father, would move eastwards with the railway.
Charles andFlorence had five children. Their son, Albert, who died in childhood is buried with them. Charles died in Reading in 1955.
Florence (WAITE) SEDGBEER
Florence outlived her husband by nine years and would die in Reading in 1964.
Florence’s parents were Thomas and Sarah (Stevens), both from Reading. They got married at St Mary’s Church, Reading on 17 August 1874.
Florence was also born in Reading on 19 December 1881 and was baptised at St Mary’s Church, Reading on 9 March 1882.
Thomas Waite was a general labourer, who in 1891 was living with the family at 17 Coley Place Reading. He was working for the Board of Health.
By 1901, the family had moved to 10 Box Court, where Thomas, Sarah and Florence lived in three rooms. Although almost 20 years old, Florence is not shown as having a job.
Florence’s paternal grandparents were also in the Coley Courts having lived for many years in Fir Court. The Waite grandparents (Joseph and Thirza) had married at St Mary’s Church, Reading on 25 December 1845.
In addition to Florence, the Waites had at least three more children.
Florence and Charles’s grave inscription reads:
IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR DEAR FATHER
CHARLES JAMES SEDGBEER
died July 2 1955 aged 73 years
FLORENCE ALICE SEDGBEER
died April 6 1964 aged 82 years
ALBERT RONALD SEDGBEER
died Oct 11 1927 aged 13 years
Section 72, Row E, Plot 12