Florence Mary Alberta Fisk and William Mummery

Monday, January 6, 2020 8:52 PM

My maternal great-grandfather William Mummery was born on the 25th of July 1860 in Kent, England, the son of John George Mummery (born 1828) and Sophia (Ellis). His Mummery ancestors had been living in Kent for at least 11 generations before he was born. They had lived in Deal, Caldred, Folkestone, Great-Chart and Ashford, all places just a matter of a short distance apart over this 400 year period.  

William Mummery married Florence Mary Alberta Fisk, born 28 April 1859 at St. Hanover Square, Pimlico, London, England on the 17th of September 1887. Florence was the daughter of Herbert Stevenson Fisk and Sarah Ann Fell.

This was Florence Fisk’s second marriage. She had previously been married to Edward O’Leary, born 1855 at St. Pancras, London, England. Edward was with the Royal Artillery, stationed at Tilbury Fort in 1881. They had four children: Edward Herbert (born 1879), Kathleen Frances Margaret (born 1881), Elizabeth (born 1883 at Malta), Frederick William (born 1886) at Woolwich. Edward O’Leary died in 1886 at Colchester. Edward was a full time soldier and it has been assumed he was living at Colchester Barracks, leaving Florence with 4 children.

Florence and Edward’s youngest child, Frederick William O’Leary went on to join the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1903. Frederick served overseas in WWI, in 1916 receiving the UK Silver War Badge at Dover Castle and being discharged from the service due to shell shock. He had received a wound in the head and had shrapnel remaining in his head. He lived with a lot of pain and was paralyzed on his right side as a result.

Frederick O’Leary and Eva Ann Horne

Frederick married Eva Ann  Horne in 1910 and had two children: Molly Frances (born 1912) and Herbert Edward O’Leary (born 1913). Eva was heavily pregnant in the fall of 1918 with their third child when she contacted the Spanish Flu and died on 22 October 1918. At the time Frederick was living at 20 Percy Road, just a few houses away from his mother,  Florence Fisk, and her second husband William Mummery, who were living at 39 Percy Road. Florence was tending to Eva, her daughter-in-law when she died. The pain for Florence and the family was not over, just 12 days later on the 3rd of November 1918 Frederick and Eva’s youngest child  Herbert Edward O’Leary die of the Spanish Flu. Again Florence was nursing him at his death in her own home at 39 Percy Road.

So, by 1918 Florence Fisk had lost her first husband, her daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. Then her son Frederick could no longer take the pain and he took his own life in 1921.

Florence had 6 children with her second husband William Mummery: Florence (born 1889); Reginald (born 1890); Bertha Amy (born 1892, she moved to Canada);  Edgar Walter (born 1895); Cecilia Ruth (born 1897); and, Leslie William (born 1900, my grandfather).

I just discovered that William Mummery served with the “Border Regiment” for about a year and 6 years and 202 days with the Lancashire Fusiliers. I haven’t completed the research as yet, but I believe the Lancashire Fusiliers served at least that period of time in India. William likely serving in the 1880 or 1890s.

In 1914 Great Britain was again at war. William was 54 and was a shoemaker working out of his own abode in Canterbury. William and Florence’s live's were about to be turned upside down. A Sergeant Manderville “gave him notice” and he signed up to the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment on 1 October 1914. Maybe it was because he had spent time in India? His regiment were assigned to the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force, mainly made up of forces from India and they headed to the Persian Gulf that fall.  

William Mummery died on the 8th of May 1915 and is commemorated on the Basra Memorial Cemetery (Panel 19).

William’s Dead Man’s Penny


So, Florence lost her second husband! 

My mother had great love for Florence. My grandfather, Leslie William Mummery, came down with asthma in the 1930. He was a tool and instrument maker and had 7 children with his wife Mary Barnes. As her sons family was struggling, Florence moved all her worldly goods into one room and my grandfather’s family moved into his mother’s house. My grandmother took my mother to church as a child and was compassionate on her family. In the fall of 1940 my grandfather passed away. His mother had by this time lost two husbands, two sons and two grandchildren.

My mother describes the wrenching experience of seeing Florence being taken to the hospital, she also remembers her laying on a bed in the hospital with long beautiful white hair. Florence died in the fall of 1941.

Florence (Fisk) Mummery




             Corfe Castle