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William Frank Essex of Lydney.


Peter wrote: "... Lydney's top cop! William Frank Essex lived about half his life in Lydney from his teens onwards. He arrived after running away from home in Cheltenham and working briefly on the railway at Bullo. In Albert Street, he met Frances Sterrey, marrying her also at Lydney in 1913. But by then, having already been Sunday School secretary at Springfield Road chapel, he had joined the Metropolitan Police, where he rose to high rank. The photo shows him at Paddington in the uniform of a London borough commander as the position would now be called. When he retired in 1938 and returned to Lydney, he lived in Allastone Road, Forest Road and, after the death of Frances, Bathurst Park. For much of the period 1946 to 1961 he was a rural district councillor. He was also a Methodist steward and choirmaster, president of Primrose Hill cricket club, civil defence organiser, and performer of numerous other activities such as selling tickets for the rugby club grandstand at Regentsholme. Photographs and mentions in several connections are on this site. He died of a heart attack in 1961 while helping a blind lady on council business at her house in Forest Road. Having campaigned for pedestrian wicket gates at Hill Street level crossing, he was commemorated by a plaque on the restored gates. His ancestors, now traced back to the 1640s, had come from beyond the Severn at Avening and Minchinhampton, but to him Lydney was home".

Kelly Imm added: "... The blind old lady was my Great Aunt, May Powell originally from The Laurels in Alvington. I believe she had asked him for help with a council form as she was partially sighted. She left him to make a cup of tea and when she came back he had passed away. She was on my nan's side, nee Davis from Alvington You already have photos Sam Davis her father. Strangely, her sister, my nan, married a Sterry but not in this family".

Peter added: "... If you go back far enough the Sterrys/Sterreys here were all the same family. Kelly Imm's nan Violet Davis the sister of May Powell whose house my Grampy died in married William John Sterry who was a son of Richard Sterry 1879-1952 who appears in the photo of 31 Tutnalls Street on this site. That Richard was a son of William Sterry c. 1856-1933 who was a son of Richard Sterry c. 1823-1894 by that Richard's second marriage. By that Richard's third marriage there was a son Henry Sterrey as the spelling became. He fathered Frances Sterrey my grandmother the wife of this 'ere copper. Kelly and I have a common ancestry going back to an earlier Richard Sterry who got married at Minsterworth in 1794".

Does anyone recall the "Essex Gates" that used to be in place at the level crossing on Hill St, Lydney?.

Peter added (October 2012): "... We have now discovered that London got another top cop from Lydney and that he was distantly related to W F Essex. In about 1946 a young Bob Sterry living in Lydney went to see Mr Essex at Primrose Hill for advice about joining the Metropolitan Police. He took the advice and eventually retired as Chief Superintendent for Hillingdon Borough Uxbridge. Bob Sterry died very recently. His great-great-grandfather Richard Sterry 1823 Blakeney - 1894 Lydney was also the grandfather of W F Essex's wife Frances Sterrey. Bob Sterry's mother was the teacher who appears in the 1958 and 1959 photos of Lydney C of E School on this website".

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