The Alabaster Chronicle
The Journal of the Alabaster Society
NUMBER TWENTY-TWO, SPRING/SUMMER 2004
"News from Around the World"
by Laraine Hake - June 2004
A very warm welcome to Alabaster Chronicle Number 22. - As I type these words, I am aware that I will still not believe they contain any truth until it is actually posted. Within the past couple of months, I have lost everything on my computer, including all Alabaster data and all correspondence, not merely on one occasion, but on TWO! I have now managed to re-install, for the second time, a slightly old copy of the data, but much of the correspondence is lost. Hence, you may notice that this Chronicle's appearance is more sylphlike than you have been used to for the past several years, but even that is only thanks to those to whom I had already posted articles for proofreading, which served as an additional back-up when even the "back up disc" was corrupted! Thank you Ivor and thank you (twice!) to George and Millie, John and Angela!
On a positive note, I do hope that you will agree that the brevity of the journal is more than compensated by the 159 pages in the enclosed complimentary (to members) copy of
"A Closer Look at William Alabaster (1568-1640) Poet, Theologian and Spy?"
6th June 1944, D-Day: Alabaster Experiences of World War II
Compiled by Laraine Hake
When it was pointed out that this Summer is the 60th anniversary of DDay, it occurred to me to wonder what Alabaster members remembered: were they aware of any build-up to D-Day? what were their individual experiences of that time and of the war in general? As ever, I was gratified by the fascinating variety of responses I received. (Comments in italics are mine!)
Tony Moore (IIA)
Nan Criddle Kenyon (IIC)
Shirley and John Brian Alabaster (IV)
Tricia Dyer (nee Alabaster) (IIA)
Geoff Mansfield (IIA)
Evelyn Oram (IIA) (my mother!)
Angela Alabaster (IIA)
R. Cliff Alabaster (IIIA)
Cliff Alabaster received various awards. When Iasked him to specify what they were, his reply included a reminder
that we should remember that he was decorated because he was lucky enough to survive: "those who were killed
received nothing except a note in the obits !!
Philip Alabaster (IIA)
These are the pages of the logbook belonging to my Uncle Stan (Stanley Harvey) that include the night of 5th /6th
June 1944. He was with 51 Squadron, and was the wireless operator in a Halifax Mark 3. This plane appears to have
been one of the many bombers that flew over the Battery at Montfleury which was part of the section of the
Normandy coast named Gold Beach by allies as part of the D-Day landing strategy.
Millie and George Knox (W of W)
Not having been born until 1951, and thus having no memory of the war at all, I have found this article absolutely
fascinating to compile. The variety of experiences of the generation hardly any older than myself is so very interesting
and the opportunity to glimpse the different parts the Alabaster family played within these few years, has been
Sir Chaloner Alabaster (IIC)
by Angela Alabaster (IIA)
In 1840 a terrible tragedy hit a young family living in London. James Chaloner Alabaster and his wife Harriet both died
of tuberculosis within 3 months of each other, leaving three small boys: Charles aged 7, Henry 4 and Chaloner 18
months. Fortunately their aunt, Mary Ann Criddle, took the boys into her home and became a much loved mother to
them. Later, Mary Ann and her husband Harry had a son, Percy Criddle, who founded the Canadian branch of the
The Obituary of Chaloner Alabaster
taken from the North-China Herald, July 11, 1898, p. 59:
Sir Chaloner Alabaster
The older members of the British communities all over China will feel a sense of personal loss and really deep regret
at the news of the death of Sir Chaloner Alabaster. For some years he has passed out of our immediate sight; but so
marked a personality as his once known could never be forgotten; and he was so good and true a friend to those he
liked, while he was as good an enemy of those he did not like, that the impression he made on all those with whom
he came in contact was ineffaceable. It is only the colourless people that we forget when they have passed out of our
A Personal Postscript to Chaloner Alabaster
by Angela Alabaster (nee Preston) (IIA)
My grandfather, Donald Preston, moved to Bournemouth in the 1870s. It was an attractive, newly developing seaside
town, and he founded a firm of solicitors there. My father, Kerrison, was born in 1884; he already had two sisters
called Evelyn and Dorothy.
Chaloner Alabaster writes to his Aunt
This item is in addition to the Alabaster Chronicle. It was supplied by Nan Kenyon (IIC)
Aug 14 1880
My dear aunt
Laura got your kind letter in bed having just presented me with another son who is of course a remarkably fine baby, & who certainly does not cry much.
I write only a line for I am not very well having been a little overdone with work & worry but hope with cooler weather soon to be better and write you a long letter such as we used to exchange.
Believe me I love you as much as I used to and regret bitterly the cloud which gathered between us & for which I blame myself not you. I trust to get home next year and then we will once more revive old times. We are a queer lot we Alabasters but there is a good deal of good in all of us & in you more than I ever gave you credit for although I knew you were the best of us
Your loving nephew
Pictures: above left, the Arblaster shield on Chaloner`s writing-paper; above right, the first page of a letter written by Chaloner to his aunt, Mary Ann Rebecca Criddle (nee Alabaster).
Postscript and Index to
Abemathy, John, Bishop, 95
La Rochelle, 34, 59
by Laraine Hake
Almost every member of the Alabaster Society is descended from a common ancestor, John Alabaster baptised
Hadleigh, 20 September 1624, gt grandson of Thomas of Hadleigh.
112 Grove Road, Bethnal Green
This is the family of Edwin Stammers Alabaster and his wife Mary Ann (nee Rickard) (Branch I), gt grandparents of William Henry Elliott Alabaster, John Stammers Alabaster and Dorothy Howell. The wife of Edwin and Mary Ann's eldest son, Edwin Rickard Alabaster, had died in 1898, aged 33. It appears that Edwin had moved back to the family home with his three children. His son William, aged 11 at the time of this census, was to die in France on 5th April 1918, towards the end of the Great War. His war service was featured in detail in Chronicle 16 "Two Generations of Soldiers" by John Stammers Alabaster.
15 Driffield road, Bethnal Green
Thomas John Alabaster and his wife Alice Mary (nee Yeldham) (William of Woodford Branch) were the grandparents of Ian Alabaster. Ian's father, Thomas Ian, was not born until 1908. He was the second child of Thomas and Alice.
32 Chilton Street, Bethnal Green
Mary Ann was the second wife of James Alabaster (Branch IIB) who had died in 1894. They were the gt grandparents of Michael William Alabaster, James being Michael's grandfather. The second son, named William. was probably Mary Ann's son from her first marriage - she was a widow when she and James married.
17 Crondall Street, Hoxton
William and Annie (nee Summers) were the grandparents of Frank Nottage and Theresa Byrne (Branch IIIB), their mother, Elizabeth Florence Alabaster being born to William and Annie in 1909. William was the son of Elizabeth, (nee Rawlinson) by her second Alabaster marriage. 2 Interesting to note that the "Where Born" column is completed as "London, NK. (not known)" It is unlikely that this answer was supplied by William or Annie since their daughter had actually been born at 17 Crondall Street in 1899! Possibly the enumerator did not ask the correct question. .. !
10 Granby Row or Place, Bethnal Green
John (James) Alabaster and his wife Susan (nee Gibbs) were the gt grandparents of Denis Alabaster (Branch IIIB), Denis's grandfather being John, aged 17 according to the census return in 1901 (actually 19!) and a "cycle engineer" which was truly a sign of the times! Brothers John and James married sisters, Frances and Martha Agass in 1907 and 1911 respectively, Their children, Alfred Alabaster, the son of John and Frances, and Martha (Doll) Alabaster, the daughter of James and Martha, then married each other in 1934, causing quite a headache when research was first done on this side of the family - but that would hardly have been their number one priority!
104 Wentworth Street, Shoreditch
This is an interesting entry, and shows the fallibility of the census enumeration system! Mary Alabaster (nee Onions)
and six of her first seven children are shown here, the only problem being that the name of her husband was Alfred.
The age, occupation and place of birth of "Richard" are all correct for Alfred, so it appears that it could have been a
simple case of mishearing a name!
86 Bonner Road, Bethnal Green
Elizabeth and Ann Alabaster were the daughters of Charles Henry Alabaster and his wife Sarah (nee Mead), Branch IIA. From at least 1871 onwards, Elizabeth and Ann, along with their sister Sarah who died in 1881, appear as three elderly aunts who raised and gave homes to various of the offspring of their brothers and sisters. Even in 1901, their household still includes their niece, Mary Ann Mansfield, daughter ofWilliam James Mansfield and Mary Ann (nee Alabaster), gt grandparents of Geoffrey Mansfield and Margaret Evans. Also present was their nephew Henry, fourth son of their elder brother Charles who had died in 1872, appointing his sister Elizabeth as the guardian to his infant sons. Lastly, there was Albert Edward Alabaster, third son oJ Robert Alabaster and his wife Harriet (nee Harris), gt grandparents of Beryl Neumann, Philip Alabaster and Norman Alabaster.
131 St Johns Road, Shoreditch
Robert Alabaster and his wife Ellen, (nee Meads) were the gt grandparents of John Brian Alabaster and Marion Williams (Branch IV). Ellen has proved very difficult to trace, having given a variety oJ parishes oJ origin to census enumerators over the years. Two oJ her sons shown here, John, aged 16 and Bertram, 9, were killed in WWI.
47 Forest Road, Kingsland, Hackney
Albert Alfred Alabaster was the grandson of Roger Alabaster (Branch IIIA) iron founder of Hornchurch, Essex. This was the first generation of this branch to come to London. Their eldest son, Albert Henry Alabaster was the grandfather of Bryon Alabaster, gt grandfather of Clive.
11 Catternie Road, Tottenham
This Alfred Alabaster was the youngest grandson of William Alabaster "of Wood ford, Essex" as William memorably stated at his marriage in 1806! Alfred and Alice were the gt grandparents of Peter Robert Alabaster (WofW)
79 Brougham Road, Shoreditch
Another entry of particular interest to me! William Henry Alabaster was the eldest grandson of Roger Alabaster (1IIA) ironfounder, and so the older brother of Albert Alfred (above). William and Albert were two of the eleven children of WaIter Goddard Alabaster and his wife !-ouisa (nee Patten), eight boys and three girls. The brother who came between William and Albert in age was WaIter John Alabaster, a policeman, who had died in January 1901, 3 months earlier. WaIter was the grandfather of R. Clifford Alabaster and gt grandfather of Susan, Janet, Rob, John, and Valerie. Walter John's wife, Rosa (nee Rieple) had pre-deceased him in 1893 at the age of 36. Clifford H Rieple who was living in the household of William Henry in 1901, was thus the step-son of his deceased brother, Waiter John, half-brother to Waiter John's own sons who were living elsewhere at this time. William Henry and Elizabeth (nee Clifford) were the gt grandparents of James Christopher Alabaster (Jim) and the gt gt grandparents of David Parker.
Longfield, Salisbury Road, Moseley, Worcestershire
This is Arthur Alabaster(IIA} who with Thomas Wilsonfaunded the Company, Alabaster & Wilson, in 1887 in the heart
of the historic jewellery quarter in Birmingham. The company is still very much alive today, naw run by the third and
fourth generations; that is Peter Douglas Alabaster, his sons Paul and Stephen and daughter Wendy, son and
grandchildren respectively of Arthur S. Alabaster, all of whom are members of the Alabaster Society! It is they who
manufacture our silver and gold crossbow brooches - see inside front cover!
4 Frederick Terrace, Erith, Kent
Ernest was yet another descendant of Roger the irorifounder, he was the youngest of his grandsons. Interesting to note that he had an allied trade to "the family firm"! It is also of interest to see how much Ernest and Annie (nee Sitch) had moved about. At the comparatively young age of 32, they had moved from Essex to Leicester and were now in Kent. Nevertheless, the brothers still appear to have been in close contact with each other. Edward Clifford, "nephew", would appear to have actually been the nephew of Ernest's brother's wife, Elizabeth (nee Clifford), see previous page. Waiter was the grandfather of Lynn Alabaster whilst Kay Simon 's father, Albert Harry Alabaster, second son of Ernest and Annie, was born on 13th April 1901, precisely 13 days after this census was taken.
15 Willow Walk, Bermondsey
Frederick Alabaster and Louisa (nee Knight) were unusual for Alabasters living in London in that they had strayed south of the River Thames! Their son, Robert William, was the father of Colin Alabaster, grandfather of Martin.
25 Haroldstone Road, Walthamstow
George (W of W) was a gt grandson of William of Woodford. In addition to the five children shown here, he and his wife, Charlotte (nee Pritchard) went on to have a further seven children. Amongst those seven were the grandfathers of Josie Alabaster, Malcolm Alabaster and Brian Alabaster. Two other babies had died as infants making a total of 14 births spread over 26 years.
High Street, Hornchurch
Henry Hedges Alabaster (Harry)( Branch IIIA) was yet another son of Walter Goddard Alabaster, son of Roger the ironfounder. Harry's wife had been buried on 18th October 1900, five months before this census was taken, aged 33 years. She and Harry were the gt grandparents of Peter Chapman whose grandfather was Albert. Interesting to see that, once again, a maiden aunt appears to have been called upon to step into the breach.
Leigh Bank, Sutton, Surrey
Henry Alabaster (IIA) was the youngest son of James Alabaster, the publican. At the time of the 1901 census, his two children, aged 10 and 12, were away at school. According to the census returns, Henry had a varied career; in 1871, aged 24, he was listed as an "art student", in 1881, he appears to have been working in a library, then in 1891 he was a newspaper proprietor. 1 have a bound copy of "The Telegraphic Journal and Electrical Review" July-December 1889 which he apparently owned. Certainly the front page reads H Alabaster, Gatehouse & Co., 22 and 29 Paternoster Row. It makes fascinating browsing and includes such headlines as "WILL ELECTRICITY SUPPLANT STEAM ON CITY RAIL WAYS?" July 19 1889 and "WILL ELECTRICITY SUPPLANT GAS?" August 2 1889.
These are just some of the entries for the Alabaster family; they are certainly varied. Perhaps more will be traced at a later date and can be included in a future Chronicle.