Paul Torpey (1921 - 1929)

Author: Ros Clow
Date published: 29/06/2012
© Ros Clow

Paul Torpey (1921-1929)


Paul was the elder son of Henry and Sylvia Torpey. He had two older sisters Ruth (born 1916) and Joan (born 1918). They moved into a new house 29, St George’s Avenue, built under the ‘Homes for Heroes programme after WW1. Paul was always sickly and had spent some time in Newbury District Hospital before he died there in October 1927. Hid father used to cycle to visit him every morning on his way to work. His death certificate reveals that he died of ‘tuberculous meningitis’{link to certificate}

We know more than usual about Paul and his life as his sister Joan wrote an excellent book about her childhood, in which she refers to herself as Jane and Paul as Peter. Joan’s mother Sylvia went on to have another son Patrick in 1928, but having had TB herself for many years never fully recovered and died in 1930. Only Paul is buried in our cemetery.

Henry Torpey was a gifted amateur photographer and many of his photographs appear in Joan’s book

Sylvia and Paul with new baby, Nora {link to photo}

Joan reading to Ruth and Paul {link to photos}


Further reading

Booker, J. (1982) A Newbury Childhood. Newbury; Berkshire County Library


Ros Clow


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