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Denys Horton [h.1.7.3.1]

Denys Horton was the first child of Richard Horton & Martha Elizabeth Stone born October 9th, 1879 at Bilhay St, West Bromwich.

In 1881 Denys was with his parents at 60 Old Meeting St, West Bromwich.

By 1891 the family had moved to 232-234 High St, West Bromwich where his father was a grocer. Denys now had 4 younger brothers & a younger sister. In January 1891 Denys & his brother, Henry Norman, started at Christ Church school, West Bromwich & Denys left there in December 1893. Previously he had attended Great Bridge Wesleyan School in West Bromwich.

Denys trained to be a school teacher at Cheltenham Training College.  He became assistant master at Fox Street Council School, Birmingham from 1901-1902.  He then went on to teach at the Municipal Secondary School, West Bromwich from 1902.

Denys married Gertrude Wall at St Philip, West Bromwich on August 7th, 1907. At the time of their marriage Denys was living at 2 Carters Green & Gertrude was at 43 Hope St, West Bromwich. Witnesses at the wedding were Richard Horton, Denys’ father, his sister Margaret Amelia Horton & Gertrude’s father Paul Thomas Wall. Gertrude was the second child of Paul Thomas Wall & Louisa Freeth born April 19th, 1883 at Litchurch, Derby.

Left to right: Richard Horton, Martha Horton, Sydney H Horton, Margaret A Horton, Henry N Horton (back), ?, Ellen Pritchard, Denys Horton, Gertrude Wall, ?, Paul T Wall, Louisa Wall, Thomas Wall, Oscar Horton, Alfred Horton (seated)

 

In 1910 Gertrude & Denys were living at Newlyn, Dagger Lane, West Bromwich where their first child, Frances Mary (known as Molly), was born on May 2nd. Also in 1910 Denys was initiated into the Dartmouth Lodge, West Bromwich, according the Freemason Register (1750-1921) of the United Grand Lodge.  He was a member until at least 1921.

At the time of the 1911 census Denys, Gertrude & Molly were living at 74 Dagger Lane, West Bromwich & Denys was assistant master at the Municipal Secondary School. Their house had 6 rooms.

Denys taught maths & music & became senior master at West Bromwich Grammar School where he was also an organist & conductor of both boys & girls choir.

Their second child, Denys (known as Peter), was born on April 4th, 1918 at 74 Dagger Lane, West Bromwich. They lived here until at least 1941 when son Denys was married. During WW2 Denys' school was evacuated for a term & the 1939 register shows Denys & another school teacher boarding at 34 Wigginton Rd, Tamworth. They & their pupils were temporarily based at Tamworth Girls High School. The register shows wife Gertie living in Troed-y-Bryn, Arthog, North Wales (see below). Living with Gertie in 1939 was her widowed mother, Louisa Wall (nee Freeth) who was described as incapacitated.  Also at Troed-y-Bryn was Denys & Gerties’ daughter, Molly (then married to Charles Holt) & her daughter.

Denys senior retired from teaching on October 31st, 1941.

Denys & Gertie bought a house named Troed-y-Bryn, (meaning foot of the hill) in Arthog, North Wales which lies beneath the Cader Idris range & is set in the beautiful estuary of the River Mawdach. It seems likely that they bought Troed-y-Bryn in the 1930s since daughter Molly was married in Merionethshire in 1936. Denys & Gertie were to live out their retirement here. Troed-y-Bryn became a focus for family holidays for daughter Molly & son Denys & their families, & other family relatives. Nearby Fairbourne beach was a great family attraction.

Fairbourne beach c1946 - from left Judith Holt, Molly, Gertie, David Horton, Denys jnr, Margaret Holt, John Horton, Denys snr.

Denys was active in church activities at Arthog & was the church organist.

Gertie died December 6th, 1952 at Arthog. Probate was granted at Bangor on May 11th, 1953 to husband Denys & her effects were £3,145.2s.5d.

Denys continued to live at Troed-y-Bryn after the death of Gertie & was lovingly cared for by housekeeper Ann Morgan, who lived in Arthog village.

Left: Denys, Ann Morgan, housekeeper & grandson John c1963. Right: Troed-y-Bryn 2005

Denys died, aged 86, on August 20th, 1966 at Troed-y-Bryn, Arthog & is buried at Arthog church. The probate value of his estate was £6,756.

The children of Gertrude Wall & Denys Horton were:

h.1.7.3.1.1 Frances Mary Horton born May 2nd, 1910 at West Bromwich, died November 18th, 2005 in London
h.1.7.3.1.2 Denys Horton born April 4th, 1918 at West Bromwich, died March 26th, 2003 at Lincoln

 

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