Sturgeon Family – the Pembury Years
|Arthur Edward Sturgeon (1873 – 1949)
Arthur was born on the 11 September, 1873 in Little Whelnetham,
Suffolk. He was baptised at St Mary Magdalene. His father was Edward
and his mother Sabina. Albert worked as a Coachman/Groom in Lavenham,
Suffolk, then at St John’s Wood and later, Brighton before
semi-retiring. The 1901 Census shows him living at Station Road, Horley,
Reigate. In 1907, the family moved to the then newly built house, 1
Canterbury Road, Pembury. Albert worked in Pembury as a Chauffeur and
Market Gardener, selling his produce to grocers and greengrocers In
Tunbridge Wells and local villages.
Albert died on the 23 September, 1949 at Ormond, Henwood Green Road
aged 76. His probate was given to Frederick Albert Sturgeon, mechanical
|Emily Sturgeon nee Byford (1872 – 1947)
Emily was born in Great Sailing, Essex. She was in service to
the Crittall family. She married Albert Edward Sturgeon on the 30 June,
1898 at All Saints Church, Marylebone, London. They had nine children
(see below). Emily died in 1947.
Photo above: Arthur E Sturgeon, Emily Sturgeon, son Frederick Sturgeon and daughter May Sturgeon.
Below: 1911 Census document (click image for detail enlargement)
|1: Frederick Albert Sturgeon
(1899 – 1981)
Frederick Albert was born in 1899 in St John’s Wood, Middlesex.
Fred married Marjorie Annie Poole in 1922. They had four children:
Ronald born 1923, Lionel born 1936, Norman born 1925 and Marjorie born
1931. Marjorie had a sweet/confectionary shop and they lived above the
premises at Three Ways, Hectorage Road, Tonbridge. Frederick died in
1981 in Worthing.
|Frederick Sturgeon is shown in the centre at the bottom of this
photograph. He is with the Poole family. At the back: Ernest Poole and
Grace Poole. At the front, Frances Poole, Frederick Sturgeon and Norah
|2 : May Ethel Sturgeon
(1901 – 1922)
May Ethel was born in Horley in 1901. She married Albert J Goulds in
1927 in East Peckham where they lived throughout their lives. They had
no children. Sadly, May was incapacitated. She died in 1948.Link below-
|3 : Edward Ernest Sturgeon
(1903 – 1968)
Edward Ernest Sturgeon was born in Brighton, 1903. He was known as
Ern.In the Courier, 7 November, 1930, Edward had to pay damages of £100
to a gentleman as a result of an accident. This payment appears to have
contributed to bankruptcy proceedings. He married Mabel N Neve from
Marden in 1931. They had two daughters, Pauline born 6 May, 1933 and
Gillian born in 1940. Gillian died in 1943. Ern also served as a
Special Constable and became a successful Haulage Contactor operating
his business from Pitts Farm, Henwood Green Road. The 1939 Register
shows the family at Pitts Farmhouse with other occupants Joyce R Kelley
(Willis), Barbara D Foley (Willis), Dorothy A Randall and two closed
records. Ern’s business was nationalised but a few years later, after a
change in Government, he was able to buy it back. He sold the business
to a company from Edenbridge who transferred the business there. He sold
his house and land and retired to Worthing, Sussex. He died in 1968.
|4 : George Stanley Sturgeon
(1905 – 1987)
George Stanley Sturgeon was born in Brighton on the 25 March, 1905. His
family having moved to Pembury in 1907, he went to Pembury School aged
4. George was a member of the Pembury Church Choir remembering after
morning service and lunch, the young choristers walked to Sunday School
at Kenward at 2.30pm and then sang evening song at the Old Church before
walking back for the evening service at the Upper Church. (He later
gifted many things to the Church including the tall flower stands.)
George left school at age 12 to work on a farm at Pembury Grange.
He later became an assistant in the Pembury High Street shop of
W.Hills (Butcher and Grazier) where they slaughtered the animals on the
premises. He later moved with his manager to open a new butcher’s shop
in Horley. In 1924, George joined the Royal Horse Artillery and took
part in two musical rides at the Royal Tournament. He always credited
his six years in the Army for enabling him to study and make up for the
education he lost through leaving school early.
He returned to Pembury in 1930 working in the Pembury Brickyard at 7d
per hour. In 1932, George married Margaret Ellen Rofe at Brenchley
Church. She was the daughter of Florence and Len Rofe of Walnut Tree
near Brenchley. Len’s work as a traction engine driver took him all over
Kent and Sussex. Margaret was known as Meg. George was earning £1.10s
per week when they were married. George and Meg had eight children:
listed in the right hand panel. The family lived at several addresses
in Henwood Green Road. See details lower down the page.
George started his coal business with a second-hand Chevrolet which
cost him £40 and raised his earnings to £5 per week. He spent much of
his life building G.S. Sturgeon, ploughing any profits back into the
business. Consequently, he was able to expand into Road Haulage, Road
Contacting and Civil Engineering. Sturgeon’s negotiated and completed
some major contracts locally and throughout Kent. He acquired his own
yard and offices on Henwood Green Road and built the family home,
Montrose, on site.
Five of George’s children, upon leaving school, worked in different
roles in the business. Stella, Gerald and Leo left to pursue other
careers. Rex and Nigel went on to become partners in G.S. Sturgeon.
In 1945, George began 27 years of service to Pembury Parish Council.
The Article “Families Leave as Gale Wrecks Homes”, 25 April, 1947 shows
George as owner of Red Row cottages. George also served on the Tonbridge
Rural District Council from 1957 and became Chairman of Pembury Parish
Council in 1969. George prepared the way for the amalgamation of four
Local Authorities into Tunbridge Wells District Council. He continued to
serve until age 75.
George was the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells from 1974-1975. His portrait
(see image right) hangs in the Tunbridge Wells Town Hall. His main
interest was in finance and housing. In later years, he played Bowls for
Pembury and The Grove in Tunbridge Wells. George died on the 16
November, 1987 at home in Montrose, Henwood Green Road, Pembury. His
sons Rex and Nigel took over the business trading as Sturgeon’s of
Pembury. His wife Margaret died at home in Montrose in 2003.
Above: Kelly’s Directory listing 1948
|5: Violet Elizabeth Sturgeon (1909 – 1924)
Violet was born in 1909 and died in 1924 of heart failure aged 14.
|6: Arthur Rex Sturgeon (1911 – 1933)
Arthur was born in 1911 and died in Tunbridge Wells General
Hospital as a result of head injuries sustained after he crashed his
motorbike on 19 May 1933 in Tunbridge Wells. He was 22. The tragedy had
a profound effect on the family especially his brother, George.
|7: Bertha Mabel (1913 – 1989)
Bertha Mabel was born in March 1913. She married Walter E
Williamson on the 5 December, 1937. They had a daughter, Erica. They
lived in Lamberhurst at Hill Cottage (1939 Register) initially and later
moved to The Oast House, 36 Henwood Green Road. Walter, known by
everyone as Ted, established a business as a small fruit farmer growing
Cherries. He also reared livestock mainly pigs, for which he collected
food waste from houses in Pembury. Bertha died in 1989.
|8: Laura Nelly Sturgeon (1915 – 1986)
Laura was born in Pembury in 1915. She married Joseph W Taylor
from Tunbridge Wells in 1939. The 1939 Register shows them living at 11
Standen Street. Joseph was a butcher working for Sainsbury’s. They had
two children, Jennifer and John. They moved to Southborough where Joseph
had a butcher’s shop. Sadly, Laura suffered a mental breakdown and
died in Cuckfield Hospital, Haywards Heath in 1986.
|9: Joan Muriel Sturgeon (1917 – 2003)
Joan was born in Pembury on 27 December, 1917. Joan married
Alan Herbert Baker in 1942.They had one child, Patricia Joan born 1946.
Alan became George Sturgeon’s office manager. The family moved to 29
Henwood Green Road. Their daughter, Patricia married a farm manager and
moved to Chichester. Joan died in 2003.
|Clarification of House names and residences of the Sturgeon family by Barry Sturgeon
The first house my parents lived in was Orchard Cottage, Henwood Green Rd.
They later moved to Montrose, Henwood Green Rd. ( I was born there in 1939)
Later, and after the end of WW2, my father built a new house next to his yard and office.
They then transferred the Montrose name to the new building. I think the
reason for keeping the Montrose name was to make it easy for him as he
received lots of business correspondence etc.
The first Montrose was sold to my father’s sister Joan Baker and husband who re named it Ormond.
Histroric details compiled from notes & research by Barry Sturgeon and Jane Grooms.
Web page compiled by Tony Nicholls
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