Skip to main content

Muckleston Family History Group

researching all references to the surnames Muckleston, Mucklestone, Muckelston and Mackleston please get in touch via the contact us page with any additional information or to correct any errors.

Home
About Us
Contact Us
Site Map
Member Login
Censuses
Family Mysteries
Family Members
Family Stories
Wales to Winsconsin
Family Photographs
Obituaries
Main Family Tree
Bedfordshire Branch Tree
Beds Tree 1
Beds Tree 2
Beds Tree 4
Beds Tree 5
Beds Tree 6
Beds Tree 7
Beds Tree 8
Beds Tree 9
Beds Tree 10
Beds Tree 11
Beds Tree 12
Beds Tree 13
Beds Tree 14
Beds Tree 15
Beds Tree 16
Beds Tree 17
Beds Tree 18
Beds Tree 19
Beds Tree 20
Beds Tree 21
Beds Tree 22
Beds Tree 23
Beds Tree 24
Beds Tree 25
Beds Tree 26
Beds Tree 27
Beds Tree 28
Beds Tree 29
Beds Tree 30
Beds Tree 31
Beds Tree 32
Beds Tree 33
Beds Tree 34
Beds Tree 35
Beds Tree 36
Beds Tree 37
Beds Tree 38
Beds Tree 39
Beds Tree 40
Beds Tree 41
Beds Tree 42
Beds Tree 43
Beds Tree 3
London Tree A
Mackleston Tree
Muckelston Tree
Wills
Continued

32.CECIL COLLINGS5 MUCKLESTON (ANN4, GEORGE3, WILLIAM2, EDWARD1) was born 05 Aug 1880 in Toddington,Bedfordshire., and died 22 Jan 1918 in France and Flanders (War death).He married LAURA EVELYN HARE 1908 in Amersham Bucks, daughter of WILLIAM HARE.She was born Abt. 1883 in Beaconsfield Bucks.

Notes for CECIL COLLINGS MUCKLESTON:

1881 Census Rg11/1639

Address, Cottage, Parsonage End, Beds.

George Muckleston, Head, M , 53, Builder employing 4 men b Harlington

Mary Muckleston, Wife, M, 52, b Toddington Beds

Annie Muckleston, Dau, U, 25, Hat and Bonnet Sewer, b Toddington

Maria Muckleston, Dau, U, 17, Pupil Teacher, b Toddington

Alice Muckleston, Dau, 15, Dressmaker, b Toddington

James Muckleston, Son, 12, Scholar, b Toddington

Sarah Muckleston,Dau, 9, Scholar, b Toddington

Cecil Muckleston, Grandson, 8m, b Toddington

1891 Census

Parsonage End, Toddington, Beds

GeorgeMuckleston, Married, Head, 63

Mary Muckleston, Married, Wife, 61

MariaMuckleston, Unmarried, Daughter, 26,National School Teacher

JamesMuckleston, Unmarried, Son, 22, Builder

SarahMuckleston, Unmarried, Daughter, 18, Dressmaker

CecilMuckleston, Unmarried, Grand Son, 11,Scholar

FlorenceMuckleston, Unmarried, Grand daughter, 4, Scholar

1901 Census entry reads:

RG13/3204 63 pg 10

Donington Hall, Castle Donnington, Leicestershire.

John Humber, Married, Head, 57, Gamekeeper, bn Kingston Doreset

HarrietHumber, Married, Wife, 51, bn Ladywood, Warwicks

Cecil CMuckleston, Unmarried, Lodger, 20, Gamekeeper, bn Toddington Beds

1911 census...

Outfields, Chalfont St Giles, Amersham, Bucks (RG14PN7818)

Muckleston, Enid Collins HeadMarriedM 29 Gamekeeperb Toddington Bedfordshire

Muckleston, Laura EvelynWife Married F 27b Beaconsfield Bucks

Muckleston, Gladys EvelineDaughterF 1b Chalfont St giles Bucks

Martin, Henry BoarderSingle M30Gamekeeper b Brockenhurst Hants

(should be Cecil not Enid)

Years Married 3 (Cecil and Laura)

Birth certificate available - no fathers name entered.

According to his marriage certificate which Sylvia Allen has obtained his father was given as Alfred Collings Muckleston a plumber? On the 1881 census there is an Alfred Collings working as a butler at the mansion Posingford, Suffolk, England - could this be his father?

Cecil Colling(s) Muckleston, at Buntingford, enlisted as a Gunner in the 154th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, which was based in Hampshire, during the First World War. His Regimental number was 353125. He died of wounds in France on Tuesday 22nd of January 1918 aged 37 years. He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. His grave reference number is XXXI. F. 19A.

In Overseas Registers of War Deaths:

Muckleston, Cecil C, Rank Gunner, Number 353125, Unit RGA, Year 1918. [Ref A.6 308]

In WW1 Medal Rolls: Cecil C Muckleston RGA Gnr 353125 Victory & British CTF/RGA/116B pg 1621.

In Toddington St George Roll of Honour and on Toddington War Memorial.

Debt of Honour Register

In Memory of

C C MUCKLESTON

Gunner

353125

154th Heavy Bty., Royal Garrison Artillery

who died on

Tuesday 22 January 1918 . Age 37 .

Additional Information:Husband of Laura Evelyn Muckleston, of 27, Micklethwaite Rd., Fulham, London. Native of Toddington, Beds.

Cemetery: ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERYPas de Calais, France

Grave or Reference Panel Number: XXXI. F. 19A.

Location: Etaples is a town about 27 kilometres south of Boulogne. The Military Cemetery is to the north of the town, on the west side of the road to Boulogne.

Historical Information: During the First World War, the area around Etaples was the scene of immense concentrations of Commonwealth reinforcement camps and hospitals. It was remote from attack, except from aircraft, and accessible by railway from both the northern or the southern battlefields. In 1917, 100,000 troops were camped among the sand dunes and the hospitals, which included eleven general, one stationary, four Red Cross hospitals and a convalescent depot, could deal with 22,000 wounded or sick. In September 1919, ten months after the Armistice, three hospitals and the Q.M.A.A.C. convalescent depot remained. The cemetery contains 10,769 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, the earliest dating from May 1915. Hospitals were again stationed at Etaples during the Second World War and the cemetery was used for burials from January 1940 until the evacuation at the end of May 1940. After the war, a number of graves were brought into the cemetery from other French burial grounds. Of the 119 Second World War burials, 38 are unidentified. Etaples Military Cemetery also contains 658 German burials and a few war graves of other nationalities. The cemetery, the largest Commission cemetery in France, was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Her father was George Smith, a Standon man, who met her mother, Laura, when she was living in Norfolk Road, Buntingford. Laura's first husband was Cecil Mucklestone, who served in France during the Great War. When he was wounded, she was helped by the Salvation Army to go to France and he died whilst she was there. (He is remembered on the Buntingford War Memorial). Laura had three young children and in order to support her family she became a postwoman in Buntingford. She married George Smith at Layston Church in about 1919 and had three more children, Beryl being the youngest. Beryl's brother, Maurice, was the only boy amongst five girls.

?andaughter Sylvia allen supplied some info. She says that Cecil was living in Castle Donington and Laura was working in Kennington London and she is not sure how they met.

Laura was of Outfields, Chalfont, st Giles - her father was William Hare a farm labourer although he is shown as a chairmaker and hay dealer in some censuses.

On his marriage certificate he gives his father as Alfred Collins Muckleston whose proffession is a plumber. There was never a Muckleston with these two first names and I cannot find a Alfred Collins on the 1881 census.

More About CECIL COLLINGS MUCKLESTON:

Military service: Bet. 1914 - 1918, Gunner

Occupation: 1901, Gamekeeper at Donnington Park

Notes for LAURA EVELYN HARE:

1911 census...

Outfields, Chalfont St Giles, Amersham, Bucks (RG14PN7818)

Muckleston, Enid Collins HeadMarriedM 29 Gamekeeperb Toddington Bedfordshire

Muckleston, Laura EvelynWife Married F 27b Beaconsfield Bucks

Muckleston, Gladys EvelineDaughterF 1b Chalfont St giles Bucks

Martin, Henry BoarderSingle M30Gamekeeper b Brockenhurst Hants

(should be Cecil not Enid)

Years Married 3 (Cecil and Laura)

Beryl Smith was born on the 12th January 1928 at Alperton, near Wembley. Her father was George Smith, a Standon man, who met her mother, Laura, when she was living in Norfolk Road, Buntingford. Laura's first husband was Cecil Mucklestone, who served in France during the Great War. When he was wounded, she was helped by the Salvation Army to go to France and he died whilst she was there. (He is remembered on the Buntingford War Memorial). Laura had three young children and in order to support her family she became a postwoman in Buntingford. She married George Smith at Layston Church in about 1919 and had three more children, Beryl being the youngest. Beryl's brother, Maurice, was the only boy amongst five girls.

The family moved to Fulham and then to Alperton, where Beryl went to the local infants school, later moving on to Barham School, which was named after Lord Barham who was Lord Mayor of Wembley. The teachers were quite strict and there was no talking allowed in class. At Barham, Beryl sat the 11+ but did not pass and so went back to Alperton senior school to complete her education, where she can remember ringing the hand bell which summoned children to their lessons.

Beryl's family lived near to the Grand Union Canal, and Beryl remembers going fishing for tiddlers and gudgeon. Nearby Horsendon Hill, with its steep slopes, was great for tobogganing in winter and children went down on anything that slid! There was a big log in the back garden of Beryl's home where they used to sit. Beryl says her mother used to give them a jam jar filled with warm water and a piece of soap, which they stirred up, and blew bubbles through a clay pipe. It was good if you blew out but not if you sucked in by mistake!

Beryl and her family occasionally came to Buntingford for holidays, staying at the White Hart pub in the High Street (which is now a private house called "White Hart House"). At the time the pub was run by Dorrie Woodley and her mother and Beryl can remember that there was a barrel organ in the bar. Dorrie used to take her to Royston Heath on Wednesday to the paddling pool.

During the War, Beryl remembers the air raids and the sirens, the barrage balloons, searchlights in the sky at night and guns firing at the enemy planes. Gas masks had to be carried everywhere and some factories were draped in camouflage netting. Sweets were rationed and they used to buy Ovaltine tablets and malted milk tablets to eat. Beryl says that in those days Lunch was what you took to school to eat at playtime, dinner was the midday meal, and tea was in the afternoon when you came home from school. One Christmas during the War Beryl remembers cycling to Iver in Buckinghamshire to get some holly. She got very cold and could not face the journey home. At Uxbridge station she asked if she could take her bike on the tube to Alperton, and they said she could. When she got off, the ticket collector was very surprised to see Beryl coming down the steps with her bike. Some evenings during the War, Beryl used to do voluntary work with her sisters at the British Restaurant. This was open when all others were closed, mainly for people working late.

When Beryl left school at 14 the War was still on and it was easy to get a job. Her first job, for which she was paid 17 shillings and 6 pence per week, was supposed to be as a trainee telephonist, but she found herself making tea and ordering stationery. It turned out that the job was only temporary and she stayed only for two or three weeks. Next, she worked at the Glacier Metal Company at Alperton on what was classed as "essential war work" making bearings for tanks, ships and aeroplanes. The pay was 5½d. per hour and the hours were long - 7.30 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. plus Saturday mornings. They were paid an extra 4/4d per week war bonus plus, because Beryl worked in the line shop, she received a line bonus depending on how many bearings passed inspection. Tax was taken from the wages as this was before P.A.Y.E. was introduced. Beryl still lived at home at this point, although she did not see much of her father as he was away for most of the War.

Beryl then took a live-in job at a large house in Woldingham, for £1 per week plus her board and washing done. Her duties were to look after three goats, chickens and rabbits. She must have got quite fond of the goats and when she called out "Hello, goats" to them they used to bleat back. She used to take them for walks on the hard road to wear their hoofs down. One day a horse in a field neighed and the goats were frightened and bolted. Beryl had to run after them until they slowed down. One of the white goats gave birth to two kids, and Beryl had to watch whilst they were taken from their mother and drowned one by one. All they were interested in was the milk. Beryl left after that incident.

The next job was at Laleham on Thames working on a Government Scheme, picking spinach, de-budding chrysanthemums, picking them and also asters. The bunches all had to be the same colour. The girls lived in bell tents, three to a tent, and in their spare time they spent a lot of time on the river. She then went to work at a nursery at Saunderton, near Princes Risborough, and finally for London Transport at Neasden Power Station, where she worked in the canteen.

Beryl then joined the Womens Land Army in the late 1940s, and went to Bolnhurst in Bedfordshire. She stayed in the old army barracks with 40 girls, and they had to take it in turns to have a bath (there were only 4) and to use the iron. A familiar cry would be: "Who's on the iron tonight?" It sounds as if this was a really happy time for Beryl, where she made many friends and had a really good time. On Sundays they would lie in and play their records on a wind-up gramophone, but they worked hard during the week. Each morning after getting up, they would make their sandwiches and then find the trucks which would take them to the work for the day. All the work was for the War Agricultural Board, working on the farms in Bedfordshire, and helping with hay making, harvesting, and even tractor driving. The girls worked in gangs, with long "slashers" used for ditching and cutting down the weeds. They followed the tractors after the mangel-wurzels had been spun up and collected the vegetables and cut off the tops. Beryl can remember on one occasion practically slicing off the top of her thumb instead and she had to go to the doctors for a tetanus jab!

Sometimes soldiers would come from Colchester Barracks for dances; or, on Saturdays the girls would go by truck to Bedford and go to Marks and Spencers, have a knickerbocker glory and go to the pictures; or sometimes they would catch the Birch bus to Kings Cross to go home. Whilst she was at Bedford, Beryl met Ken Rhodes, who belonged to the Beds Road Club and was a keen racing cyclist.

When the hostel at Bolnhurst closed, Beryl applied for a job at Turnford working for Joe Rochford. She stayed at Covent House, Turnford, a large detached property which is no longer there, and shared a bedroom with 4 other girls. When the tomatoes were ripening, they were asked if they would start at 5.30 a.m. to pick them as they wanted to get them off to market. In the evenings they would often be asked to do overtime, which they did not mind doing as it meant extra money. They did not have much spending money, as their board was taken from their wages. Once, whilst watering in the tomato house, the hose came off the hydrant and the water shot up into the air. They couldn't get near enough to turn it off until a man threw his coat over it!

Beryl and Ken married on 3rd December 1949. They could not get a house so bought a new caravan on a site behind the White Horse at Pirton, near Hitchin. There was no mains drainage and they had to dig soakaways. There was one toilet behind the pub and they had to take it in turns with other people on the site to scrub this out.

When Ken left the Army he worked for the Post Office and the telephone company for a while and then worked for I.C.L. Beryl worked on a nearby farm and drove a Ferguson tractor, which she said had similar gears to a car. In their spare time they spent a lot of time cycling, staying at various youth hostels and the Cyclists Touring Club. Beryl then got a job at a nursery in Henlow and then took on a housework job at Hitchin. She used to cycle backwards and forwards and people would say: "Here comes the Pirton Express".

Beryl's son, Stephen, was born on the 1st September 1952 and she and Ken began to look round for a house. They moved to their house in Garden Road, Buntingford, in 1953. When they moved in, the house had two rooms upstairs and two rooms downstairs. There was no bathroom, no kitchen, and no running water in the house. Although there was electricity, there were hardly any plugs and nowhere for a cooker.There was a flush toilet in the back garden, and a shed with a sink in it.

When Beryl and Ken first came to Buntingford, there were a lot more small shops and you seemed to know everyone. Of course there was the station, and Beryl says they sometimes used to catch the 6 o'clock milk train, change at St Margarets by simply crossing the line and then get on a train to London. Beryl and Ken's neighbour at that time was Mrs Cooper, whose husband Tom was one of the last Managers of the Cosy Cinema before it closed down (it is now Benson Hall). Further along Garden Road lived Fred and Dorrie Stoten, and of course Beryl remembered Dorrie from when she used to stay at the White Hart pub when she was a child.

Beryl's daughter Pamela was born at home in 1954, a tiny 7 month baby weighing only 3¼ pounds. She was taken to Herts County Hospital the same day and put in an incubator. She came home when she weighed 5 lbs. She had cerebral palsy and had a lot of seizures. She had to be fed every three hours and each feed took an hour. When she was 6 months old she would not take a bottle anymore so all the milk had to be spoon fed. Beryl had to take her backwards and forwards to the hospital in Bishops Stortford and later Great Ormond Street, and she also gave her physiotherapy at home. This all had to fit in with the housework, shopping etc. as well as looking after Stephen. Beryl was offered a Home help but this cost 2/9d. per hour for the first 30 hours and she could not afford it. She had no help at all with looking after Pamela and when Dr Wigfield asked if she would like Pamela taken into hospital, Beryl agreed. She was well cared for and they visited her regularly. Beryl's second daughter Annette was born in August 1959. It was when her son went down with measles that Beryl first started writing poems to cheer him up.

As soon as they could, Beryl and Ken took out a mortgage and had a kitchen built on to the house. Ron Surridge did the bricklaying and Ken did the labouring. They paid Ron the same rate which he earned at work and halfway through the building work their money ran out, so Beryl went out strawberry and pea picking to help out. After nearly 5 years at the house, they eventually had running water inside - "Hooray!" said Beryl. However, the toilet was still outside and, after a very cold winter when the tank in the toilet froze up for several months, they decided to have a bathroom built on and another bedroom for Stephen. It was proposed that the new extension and the kitchen would be enclosed in a conservatory, otherwise the doors would have opened into the garden. They applied to the Council for a grant for bathroom fittings but were refused because they did not have a larder as such. The old one under the stairs was used as a broom cupboard. The cupboards in the kitchen did not count as a larder, so Beryl and Ken had to pay for everything themselves. In 1962 the bathroom and bedroom extension was finished.

For about fourteen years, Beryl helped at the W.I. market which used to be run from the cellar in The White House, when the house was in the ownership of the Misses Taylor. It was a good market selling home-made produce: doughnuts, pies, cakes, jam and - a particular speciality - Eccles cakes. At the time when there was speculation about London's Third Airport, there was a local campaign against Nuthamstead being picked. Nuthamstead was full of posters with the slogan "Save Our Village". The proceeds from the sale of plants and produce helped to to pay for a Barrister to put their case. When the W.I. market had to leave The White House, for a while it continued in an alleyway further up the High Street, but the location was not so central and the market had to close because it was not making a profit. Beryl continued to sell her plants and flowers once a month from a stall at the side of 59 High Street and she says she got to know a lot of people during this time.

When Smiths Garage was in Buntingford (on the site of the present Co-Op), Beryl remembers that during the summer they ran weekly coaches to Clacton. Mrs Smith used to take senior citizens on Mystery Tours, which ended up somewhere with a tea provided free of charge. Beryl also used to enjoy going to the Auctions which were held each week at Royston Market, which used to be much bigger than today's market. On Wednesday mornings, livestock would be auctioned; chickens, rabbits, game birds, etc. as well as vegetables, fruit and plants. In the afternoons it was all types of furniture and bric a brac. At Christmas they used to auction fowls and Beryl remembers one Christmas when Ken came home with two 24lb turkeys which he had bought "because they were cheap"! They had no fridge and the oven was barely big enough to take such a large bird. On another occasion, Beryl went to the Auction instead of Ken. She made a bid for what she thought was two turkeys and ended up coming home in a shared taxi with two geese, which did not go down too well at home! Luckily, Jeff Pigg's mother had one of them.

When Sainsbury's opened the depot in Buntingford, Ken applied for a job and, because of his experience in the Army, they took him on and he stayed there until his retirement. Sadly, he died suddenly in June last year when he was 79.

Beryl's son Stephen makes tablets for a pharmaceutical company at Potters Bar and lives in Hertford. Stephen has inherited his father's love of cycling. Beryl has been back to Wembley once with Stephen and that was to see the Skol Six. Beryl's daughter Annette also lives in Hertford and works for Foscos. Annette has been a great help over the past year since Beryl's husband died.

Pamela was cared for in hospital until it closed and she then went to St Albans where she still lives in a family group in the community. She is well looked after and very happy but the seizures from which she has suffered all her life seem to get worse as she gets older. Beryl continues to visit her every month and if for any reason she is unable to go, Annette goes to visit her sister.

Beryl has joined the Friends of Orchard Surgery and regularly goes to their fund raising events. She also enjoys the monthly Christian Aid lunches at the U.R.C. Hall. She still enjoys gardening, growing flowers and most of her own vegetables. I must say, the freshly picked runner beans which she gave me went down a treat!

I would like to thank Beryl very much for talking to me.

Val Hume

More About LAURA EVELYN HARE:

Occupation: Abt. 1918, Postwoman

Children of CECIL MUCKLESTON and LAURA HARE are:

i.GLADYS EVELINE6 MUCKLESTON, b. 1909, Chalfont St Giles Amersham Bucks; m. BERTIE GANNON, 1939, Hendon.

Notes for GLADYS EVELINE MUCKLESTON:

911 census...

Outfields, Chalfont St Giles, Amersham, Bucks (RG14PN7818)

Muckleston, Enid Collins HeadMarriedM 29 Gamekeeperb Toddington Bedfordshire

Muckleston, Laura EvelynWife Married F 27b Beaconsfield Bucks

Muckleston, Gladys EvelineDaughterF 1b Chalfont St giles Bucks

Martin, Henry BoarderSingle M30Gamekeeper b Brockenhurst Hants

(should be Cecil not Enid)

Years Married 3 (Cecil and Laura)

73.ii.EDITH MAY MUCKLESTON, b. 1911, Amersham, Buckinghamshire..

iii.FRANCES W. MUCKLESTON, b. 1914, Royston, Hertfordshire.; m. HENRY J. ENDERSBY, 1947, St. Albans, Hertfordshire..