James Justice TURNER

Gravestone of JJ Turner and family. It reads: In loving memory
Elizabeth Ada Turner 
who passed away Nov 29th 1897
in her 14th year
Also of
James Justice Turner
who passed away May 20th 1928
in his 76th year
also of 
Fanny Elizabeth Turner
wife and mother of the above
died Feb 22nd 1939, aged 79.

Life story retold by Wendy Niven

James Justice II was born at 8pm on 17 September 1852 in Nonsuch Lane, Wokingham, Berkshire. His parents were James Justice Turner and Mary Ann Loader.

Reading Mercury (24 October 1868) wrote that the trustees of the Archibishop Laud’s Charity met at the council chamber on Monday and distributed apprentice premiums to a number of boys including James Justice who was 16 at the time.

Ancient Order of Foresters photo with the banner in the background. It includes adult men and a group of young  and teenage boys.
James Justice II 5th face from right side.

James Justice married Jemima Burton on 13 May 1877 in St James Church in Croydon, Surrey. Until May 1877 they lived in Gloucester Road, Croydon and then they moved to 99 Canterbury Road, Croydon. Jemima died giving birth to their daughter Jemima in 1879. I visited Croydon in 2018 to search for the home but was no longer standing. It had recently been pulled down along with a few other homes. They were part of a typical row houses (small two-storey joined homes) most still standing on each side. At the time James Justice and Jemima lived there they would have been fairly new. The church they married in was still standing but it was turned into apartments for seniors. The grounds, fence and trees all still retained. All grave stones had ben removed.

James Juctice married Fanny Elizabeth Fowler on 13 March 1881 in St Michael’s Church, Highgate, Middlesex and the same year the couple moved to 52 Cardigan Road, Reading. James Justice was 28 by then and Fanny 25. His occupation is recorded as saddler and harness maker in 1881.

James and Fanny had 5 children (James George, Elizabeth Ada, Ernest, Herbert Edward and Alice Louisa). In January 1882 James George’s birth certificate gave his father occupation as saddler. In 1891 James Justice is recorded as general labourer. Their address is now 35 Mundesley Street, Reading.

Four family photos of JJ Turner and his wife and children. One of them shows him on his bike.

I have attached the information for the Turner family buried in the Cemetery. My Turner great grandparents are buried there as well as my great great grandparents. I was born in Reading but my family migrated to Canada when I was 4 years old. On visits to England I have visited the cemetery and was glad to see that the family plot and stone is still in good shape. A cousin who lives in Reading checks up on it from time to time. It is near the back on the left side next to the wall.

James Justice died on 20th May 1928. He was 76. He is buried in Reading Old along with his wife Fanny, who died on 22nd Feb 1939, aged 79 and their daughter Elizabeth Ada who died at the age of 14 years.

He was a member of the Ancient Order of Foresters (AOF), one of the oldest Friendly Societies and elected Chief Ranger of the Court ‘Sherwood Forest’ (the oldest in the Reading district) in January 1892.

Ancient Order of Foresters photo with the banner in the background and 11 members sitting down. They are of all age.
James Justice II 7th from the left sitting.
Dear Mrs Niven,
I enclose a photocopy of the obituary notice of Brother J.J. Turner from our journal, The Miscellany, for 1928. In 1892, the year he was Chief Ranger of Court 'Sherwood Forest' (the oldest in the Reading District), the meeting place was the Foresters' Hall in West Street. The meting place later changed to the Assembly Rooms in Bridge Street.

Looking in the Directory for 1934, W.E. Brunsdon is recorded as Secretary of 'Sherwood Forest' and E.S. Brunsdon was Secretary of Court 'Robin Hood' No. 4265 which met at the Foresters' Hall in London Street. W.E. stoppe being Secretsry some time during the War and E.S. some time betewen 1958 and 1961. There may be obituary notices about them, but indexing for the appropriate periods has not yet been done. If I find any obits I will send them to you.
Yours sincerely,
Audrey Fisk.
Sever loss to 'Sherwood Forest'
It is with sincere regret we have to record the death of an old and enthusiastic worker Bro. J.J. Turner, which occurred at his residence on Sunday 20th May, after a short illness, at the age of 75. He was first taken ill on the Wednesday previous, but did not take to his bed until Friday with a severe attack of influenza. Unfortunately, pneumonia intervened and all hopes of his recovery disappeared. He has been an active worker for Forestry for many years. He was elected Chief Ranger of the Court in January 1892, and had been continuously in office since that date. He was a Past District Chief Ranger of the Reading District, was Secretary to the Past Officers' Court prior to its disbandment, was Treasurer to the Reading Friendly Societies Council, and was a delegate from the Court to the R.A.F.S. Medical Association, of which he was a Past President. Ever fearless in debate he won the admiration of all for his fairness and was greatly respected. A large number of members of the Court and District were present at the Funeral Service, which was held at St Mary's, Castle Street, Reading, the internment taking place in the old Reading Cemetery. The Foresters' Service was feelingly read by Bro, E.B. Deadman (Executive Councillor), and amongst the numerous floral tributes were those from the Court, the District, the R.A.F.S. Medical Association, and the Reading Friendly Societies Council.

I’d also like to tell you what a nice man James Justice was.

Dad’s father had immigrated to Canada after he left the British Army. He married there and my dad was born there. WW1 began and my Grandad was called back to England to fight in the Army. Grandma and Dad followed and finally returned to Canada when the War ended. Two sisters of my Dad were born in Reading. All survived the War and returned to Canada. Grandad became a farmer.

The schooling there was not good.  Grandfather James Justice sent a letter suggesting my Dad go to Reading so he could get a better education. At age 10 Dad went alone by ship to stay with his grandparents. Dad didn’t want to go home when the education was over. He married in Reading and my sister and I were born there. After the war ended we came to Canada.

The executor of James Justice’s will was nephew William Edward Brunsdon, also a Forester. All possessions were left to wife Fanny (Probate June 22, 1928 at Oxford). Amount left 278-16-0 pounds. This amount would be worth about £9,290 or $16,636 in 2009.

Eddie Turner remembers James Justice had a boot shop on Southampton Street, Reading. The shop was near St Giles’s Church. The building has been demolished. He lost the business because he took too much credit from poor customers. On Sundays AM he went to Church and then went with son Herbert to the pub and then home for dinner. James had a bad leg but he still rode a bike in later years.

Great Grandfather James Justice must have been a very nice man because my Dad was a lovely man.

medium shot of JJ Turner's grave stone showing a stone vase.

Buried in Section 60, Row A, Number 35