Charles Woof

Author: Deirdre Duff
Date published: 24/01/2021

Charles Woof

He was born in 1846 (4Q) in Greenham: his parents were Joseph Woof and Lydia, née Bellinger.  He was the brother of Joseph Woof who is buried in the Cemetery.

In 1851 Charles was recorded in the census at the age of 4 living with his parents and siblings on Greenham Common. His father’s occupation was agricultural labourer.  He started working life at the young age of 13 as a carter boy employed by John Pocock, a farmer of 820 acres at Upper Bothampstead, Hampstead Norris (Norreys).

He married Jane (born Mary Jane) Dowling in 1868 (4Q); marriage registered in Newbury. The following year they had a son George.  Between 1871 and 1881 he was employed by the Great Western Railway Company as a railway labourer, and Charles and Lydia had 5 more children: Eliza (b. 1871 2Q), Henry John (b. 1873 2Q), William Charles (b. 1875 4Q), Louisa (b. 1878 1Q) and Fanny (b. 1879 4Q). In 1881 the family is recorded living at The Common Cottage, Greenham.  Another daughter Alice was born in 1882 (2Q).

The years 1884/5 proved challenging.  Their fifth daughter Ellen Rose was born in 1884 (3Q) but died aged 9 months and she was buried on 4 April 1885 at St. Mary’s Church, Greenham.   Then on 3 December 1884 whilst working with a group  of gangers loading trucks with metals near Blunsdon’s Lock, between Kintbury and Hungerford,  the weight of the metals overbalanced and he sustained a lacerated wound on his right leg and a smashed ankle  – see newspaper reports below.  Two of the gang - George Fisher and Arthur John Haines – died from their injuries.

Charles recovered from his injuries and continued to work for GWR as a plate layer and railway packer.  Their last child Arthur was born in 1886 (2Q).  The family moved to 9 Greenham Mills.  His 2 sons Henry John and William Charles later worked for the Railway.

He died aged 71 years on 24 October 1917 and he was buried on 27 October 1917.  His wife Mary Jane died in 1921 aged 76 years and she was buried in the same private grave with her husband on 31 December 1921.

Mrs. P. LS(G) 9a, page 145

Sources:  Birth Index 1846 (4Q); Marriage Index 1868 (4Q); 1851 to 1911 census;  Death Index 4Q 1917.


Sources:as above

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