top of page
logo original


 HOME PAGE              ABOUT and BLOG INDEX               CONTACT


Annie Josephine Jones (née Byrne)

If ever you have nothing to do you might like to visit my great, grandmothers grave in Cobham Cemetery:-

Referring to Google Maps or what3words (see links below) you will be able to locate Cobham Cemetery in Tilt Road.  The Chapel building is located at the western end of the Cemetery.  There is a small car park at the eastern end of the Cemetery but access can also be gained from the narrow track at the western end.  I sometimes park behind the Chapel.   Generally the cemetery is unused except for dog walkers and a few grave tenders and very occasionally Gary (Copus) and his team who look after the graveyards for Elmbridge Borough Council.  You may also find professional Stone Masons at work on a grave.  (I knew Gary's parents, Tom and Jean, Jean was Pete Redding's cousin.)

Standing with your back to the chapel looking east walk 20 paces east and you will find on your right Annie Josephine Jones (née Byrne's) grave (my great grandmother).  If you've reached the water tap you have gone too far.  I have placed a small plaque and covered her grave with mostly York stone crazy paving.  The plot No. is 847.  Or what3words link -

Annie Josephine Byrne was born in 1854 in an area on the south side of Dublin known as Rathmines.  Her exact date of birth has yet to be found.  Her father was Joannes (John) Byrne and her mother was Annae (Anna) Clarke.  Annie was possibly born and certainly lived in Cambridge Road, Rathmines.

Rathmines is next to an area of Dublin called Portobello where there is a Barracks currently called Cathal Brugha Barracks.  Sometime around 1870 John Jones (my great grandfather born in Shere in 1851) at the age of 19 joined the The Queens Royal Surrey Regiment 2nd of Foot and was posted to Portobello Barracks.  The regiments base was in Stoughton Barracks near Guildford.  John had signed up for 9 years plus 3 years in the reserve which was a requirement.  He was probably cheesed off with his father William 'scavenging' around Peaslake and Shere.

At some point around 1875 Annie met John, possibly at the local disco!  Their relationship led to their marriage on 8th February 1880 when John was 29 and Annie was 26.  They were married in the local Roman Catholic Chapel, Rathmines, which might have been Holy Trinity Church, Rathmines.

Sometime between 1880 and 1885 they returned to Stoughton and were living in New Cross Road, Stoughton, Guildford near the barracks.  On 19th October 1885 my grandfather John Percy (Jack) was born at home in Stoughton.  In 1889 Agnes Anne was born and in 1890 Daisy was born, presumably all at home in New Cross Road.

By this time John had left the Army and was looking for a job.  Somehow, he found out that John Early Cook was looking for brickmakers/labourers at the Oxshott Brickworks and around Christmas 1890 the family had moved into a cottage, supplied by his employer, in Little Heath Lane (not The Brambles).  For Christmas all employees got a goose, a bottle of brandy and a ton of coal as John Early Cook was a great philanthropist.

In 1891 a census was taken on 3rd April showing the family living in Little Heath Lane with John Percy now aged 6, his sister Agnes Anne aged 2 and Daisy aged 6 months.

Sadly, very sadly on 7th September 1891 Annie, at the age of 37, suffered from a brain tumour went into a coma and died.  She was buried here 3 days later on 10th September 1891.  I am pretty sure John's neighbours, the Bakers (probably John Baker's relatives) and the Clarks, and his employer helped out, they all looked tough cookies in those days. 

If you now begin to walk further east for another 80 paces (2nd right) turn right and look west you will see John and Eliza's graves also 'beautifully' crazy paved.

Sometime during 1891/2 John, probably looking for someone to look after the children, met a young lady (aged 41, the same age as John) called Eliza Pullen from Ockham who was a cook working at Coombe Bury House Kingston.  They were married on 3rd December 1892 in Park Road Chapel, Park Road, Esher, a Baptist Chapel.  It's still there.

At some point between 1891 and 1901 the family move into 2, The Brambles (now 36) Little Heath Lane.   John continued working at the Brickfield and his son John Percy now age 16 had also started work at the Oxshott Brickworks as a Labourer.   By 1911 John Percy had met and married (in 1909) Elizabeth Beatrice Hill (my grandmother) from Ockham and had two children, Alfred (born 6 months after they were married!) and Reginald (my father) was born 7th November 1910.  All living in The Brambles.  Their 3rd child Betty (Elizabeth Beatrice) was born in 1913.  John was registered blind in the 1911 census.

On the 8th February 1929 John, at the age of 78, died and 3 days later Eliza died, both are buried here next to each other in plot No's 1402 and 1393.  It is possible that my father Reginald dug the graves, he would have been 19 at the time, he was a gravedigger here at some point early in his 'career'.


In the early 1930's Reg got a job as a downstairs gardener for Sir Robert McAlpine who lived in Knott Park Oxshott.  Also in the early 1930's my mother Mabel Conway somehow found her way from her home in Darlington to Oxshott and got a job as an upstairs maid at Knott Park.  They met half way up the stairs and were married on 12th May 1934 at St Andrews Church Oxshott with the 'reception' in the garden at The Brambles.

The gardener at The Brambles as I write is none other than Annie's great, great grandson Daniel.

You will notice the large Mausoleum behind the Chapel next to the river with the delightful nude bronze sculpture of a young lady.  This is the family vault of Sir Robert McAlpine (or Concrete Bob), you will know it is the McAlpines only by the McA on the steel gate design.  Concrete Bob died at sea of a cerebral haemorrhage in 1934, he was 87. 

On 7th January 1939 I was born in Little Heath Farm Cottages, Steels Lane, Oxshott and in November 2023 at the age of 84 I discovered Annie, John and Eliza's graves 132 years after Annie died.

A mere 'tick' of the clock in the grand scheme of things.

Annie's grave 2.jpg

Annie's grave on 16th December 2023.

The sand infill came from her great, great, great, granddaughter Lottie's sand box.

john eliza grave.jpg

John and Eliza's grave on 16th December 2023.

A few more buckets of sand needed from The Sandpit!

24th January 2024.

With the help of Laurence Spring of The Surrey History Centre it would seem that John was not attached to The Queens Royal Surreys as previously thought.  He was more likely to be serving in The Royal Horse Artillery as, according to Laurence, they were stationed in Portobello Barracks at the time (1875/1880).

Below is a cutting from the Dublin Daily Express for 23 February 1880.

Portobello Barracks 1880.png

14th March 2024.

It would seem that we are never going to find out which regiment John was attached to.  The fact that he and Annie were living in New Cross Road, Stoughton, Guildford when the children were born suggests a connection to Stoughton Barracks and The Queens Royal Surrey's but the above suggests he was in The Royal Horse Artillery.  All we do know is that he was a 'Soldier' living in 'Portobello Barracks', Dublin when he and Annie were married.

marriage jpg.jpg

Annie and John's marriage certificate.

And if you've forgotten already poor young Annie died of a brain tumour after 7 months in a coma at the age of 37.

death certificate - Copy.jpg

Annie's death certificate.

For me, another interesting document is this 1891 Burial Certificate for Cobham Cemetery.  Annie presumably died in 'Knowle Hill House', Cobham which was a large house built, and lived in, by John Early Cook, John's employer.  Maybe Annie spent her last days here away from the children.  Another indication of John Early Cook's generosity to his employees.  Knowle Hill House became The Schiff Home of Recovery for the wounded.

Annie Jones 2.jpg
burial plaques.jpg
burial plaque.jpg






 HOME PAGE              ABOUT and BLOG INDEX               CONTACT

bottom of page