William James Smeed was the second child of Edward Smeed & Sarah Ann Hayward born 1862 in East Grinstead and christened on March 30th, 1862 at St. Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead.
In 1871 William was living at Fairlight Cottage, East Grinstead with his parents & 4 sisters.
William was living at Fairlight Farm, East Grinstead in 1881 & along with his brother Edward was helping his father on the farm.
In 1891 William was working as a farm steward at Sling, Hampstead Norris, Berks. With his was his sister, Mary, described as a farmer’s daughter.
William married Jean Florence Hough on July 26th, 1897 at Horsham, Sussex. Jean was born in Shaldon, Devon & christened December 3rd, 1873 at West Teignmouth, Devon, the daughter of Jean Charlotte & Albert Hough who worked for the Indian Government.
In 1901 William was described as a farmer & living at North Sewage Farm, Tonbridge Wells. With him was his wife Jean & his parents.
The 1911 census shows William living on his own at Great Lodge, Tonbridge & described as farm manager. His wife Jean was living with her brother, Albert George Hough, an Indian Govt pensioner, & her parents at 87 Albert Rd, South Norwood, Croydon, Surrey. She was listed as married but having no children.
In 1914 William was bailiff for the Tonbridge Wells Corporation at North Farm.
William died suddenly in August 1918 at his home at North Sewage Farm, Tonbridge, aged 58. He was buried after a service at St Matthew’s Church in the Borough Cemetery. An obituary in the Kent & Sussex Courier of August 23rd, 1918 mentions his previous posts at Walthamstow, Newbury, Chilworth & Horsham where he had done sterling work in improving sewage treatment.
Widowed Jean Florence Smeed remarried in April-June 1931, the marriage being registered at Plymouth, Devon. Her new husband was Desmond Dalrymple Waller. Desmond was born January 25th, 1865 in Calcutta, India, the son of Emily Esther Shave & George Drayner Jellicoe Waller, assistant government employee in civil paymaster’s office. Desmond left India for England & in 1899 he obtained an appointment in East Africa. He received the Africa General Service Medal after serving as paymaster to the East African Rifles. He served with the troops during 2 punitive expeditions against troublesome African tribes in 1900. He was promoted to Director of Transport & Principal Immigration Officer in 1911 & retired on a pension in 1916.
Interestingly Jean Florence & Desmond were listed in the polling districts of Poundstock & Rame, Cornwall as husband & wife, surname Waller, from 1922 until at least 1930.
Jean died in April-June 1938 at Keti Kao, Cawsand, Cornwall, aged 64. Probate was granted to her widowed sister-in-law, Grace Marie Chester (nee Andrew, formerly married to Albert George Hough, then William Chester), & her effects were £468. Grace Marie was living at Keti Kao at the time of Jean’s death.
Desmond of Keti Kao, Cawsand, Cornwall died on October 4th, 1944 at St Michael’s Nursing Home, Liskeard, Cornwall. Probate was granted to Grace Marie Chester, widow, & his effects were £486.18s.6d.