Alfred and Alice Cox

Author: Ian Ward
Date published: 15/07/2012
© Ian Ward

Alfred and Alice Cox ran a grocery business from 1891 at 91 Bartholomew Street, moving later to110 Bartholomew Street. Throughout the period 1891 to 1911 Alfred was also described as a Market Gardener. He and Alice retained the shop until circa 1928. It was then taken over by Nora Prestoe, daughter ofAlice’s brother Frederick J Prestoe. She is recorded in trade directories as being at 110 Bartholomew Street until c 1935. The shop then became C White Wireless Engineer. In 1930 Nora, or more properly Dorothy Nora L Prestoe, married Henry Charles White. The original building is no longer present as it was demolished amongst others and replaced with Maidenhead House, in the 1960s.

Alfred died suddenly on 17th March 1933 aged 69, and was buried in Newtown Road Cemetery on 22nd March 1933, from 46 Greenham Road. Alice continued to live there until she too died, on the 29th of August 1944 aged 80, and was buried on 1st September 1944, aged 80, also in Newtown Road cemetery. They are now at rest in the same grave. They had no children though they were married for over 40 years.

Alfred was the son of Daniel Cox, who was born in Newtown (then just in Hampshire). Alfred himself was born in Faversham Kent. Before his marriage Alfred lived in Faversham and then Newtown with his father Daniel, a master gun-maker, his mother, Mary Ann, and his sister Harriet.

Harriet became a monitress at the local school in Newtown by 1881 aged 19, and Alfred was a gardener at 17 in the 1881 census. Harriet married a Government Certified Schoolmaster, Ernest Richard Willis, in 1888, and went on to have three children with him, though one died young. The eldest Richard went on to become a student teacher. In 1911 he was lodging inBrighton.

Ernest taught in Petworth Sussex in 1891, by 1901 he was in Hambleden Buckinghamshire, and by 1911 was teaching in East Grafton, Wiltshire. Tragically, he died there aged just 44 and was buried in Newtown Road Cemetery on 1st March 1911. His wife does not appear to have been buried there according to the records. Perhaps as she remained in East Grafton she was buried there eventually.

Alice Cox was born Alice Prestoe, in Newbury in 1864. Her Father, Richard Allen Prestoe, his mother, Charlotte Prestoe and sister Charlotte Prestoe together with his wife, Elizabeth Ann, children, Annie Charlotte, Albert William and Polly Elizabeth were all buried in Newtown Road Cemetery together with Mary Jane Prestoe (Light), widow of Harry R Prestoe. Richard Prestoe was an Engine Fitter, originally millwright, like his father Richard before him.

Remarkably the Willis family, at least Ernest’s generation, and parents were all buried in the Newtown Road Cemetery. His Father, Thomas, mother, Hannah, brother William Arthur, who died at 9 months in 1855, are buried in the same grave. His brother, Thomas, and sister Mary Julia are also buried together in Newtown Road Cemetery. Both Thomas Senior and his son, Thomas were Bootmakers in Bartholomew Street, No.s 134 and 135, now disappeared under the Kennet Centre.

Of 24 relatives including Alfred and Alice Cox, 16, or two thirds, are buried in Newtown Road Cemetery, over a period 1855 to 1949.

It should be noted that some of those named may only be recorded on the relevant gravestone as according to the cemetery survey carried out by Margaret Patterson in the 1980s far fewer than are named appear to have had a burial service.

Ian Ward



Website designed and maintained by Paul Thompson on behalf of the Friends of Newtown Road Cemetery.

Administrator Login