MemorialMatters.com Site Printout

Site address: http://www.memorialmatters.com/memorials.php?page=George-Raybould


In Remembrance of George Raybould

20 September, 1893 ~ 2 March, 1964
Newcastle–under-Lyme, Staffordshire, United Kingdom



Message from V. John Raybould:

" Memorial Tribute to George Raybould - written, put together by his son Vilven John Raybould "


Biography

IN REMEMBRANCE OF GEORGE RAYBOULD

Born 20th September 1893 at Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, England. Died 2nd March 1964 at Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England

Biographical Tribute on www. MemorialMatters.com to George Raybould,
compiled by his younger son, Vilven John Raybould and his wife Heather
in 2011, in association with George’s eldest grandson, John Lindsay Raybould,
and other members of the family. Everyone’s help is very much appreciated.

To illustrate George’s Life & Times this Memorial Tribute has over 100 varied
associated images with descriptive captions in a linked Picture Gallery that
you are invited to visit. Please click on “Photos.”
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

REMEMBERING GEORGE RAYBOULD (1893-1964)

Celebrating the Life & Times of a beloved English Gentleman.
Son, Brother, Boy Preacher, Soldier, Husband, Father, Grandfather,
and a noted, self-taught Horticulturalist and Florist

“Who loves a garden
Finds within his soul
Life’s whole;
And sees beyond his little sphere
The waving fronds of Heaven, clear.”
Louise Seymour Jones



INTRODUCTION

George Raybould, during his forty year career as a florist and horticulturalist working
in a number of leading firms in various English towns, including Yeovil, Brighton, Brentwood and London, helped many people to enjoy their gardens, drawing on his vast and practical self-taught knowledge of flowers, shrubs and trees, as well as through his patient and kindly manner in being so able and always very happy to explain things to young and old alike. He had a wonderful way of talking to people and he was an engaging raconteur all his life.

Born in 1893 and living until 1964, there were six Monarchs on the British throne during George’s lifetime, from Queen Victoria in the 1890s to Queen Elizabeth II from 1952.
During his life he lived through many momentous and defining events in the Twentieth Century.

This Memorial Matters Tribute to George has been created by his family as a photostory in words and pictures to celebrate his interesting life. Family sources for this Biography and the accompanying Picture Gallery include many original photographs, as well as a variety of George’s personal memorabilia and ephemera, including letters, vintage picture postcards, newspaper cuttings, prize books and school merit certificates.

Documents from his service to his country during the First and Second World Wars are included. And there are many pictures from his long career as a noted English florist and horticulturalist.

Many of the photographs of George and his various biographical memorabilia are kept by different members of his family. This is the first time that these treasured items have been assembled and made available for his family and friends to see in the Picture Gallery on this www.Memorial Matters.com website.

Also included in the Picture Gallery is a selection of historical, illustrated printed matter from the Raybould family collection to help put the years George lived through into their visual context, particularly for the benefit of younger visitors to the site for many of whom its contents will reach back to quite “far off days.”

We dedicate this Memorial Tribute to George Raybould’s family and friends who remember him with affection. In addition, we very much hope that future generations who will not have known him personally, will draw inspiration from this celebration of a life very well lived and appreciate the unique personal legacy that he left. .

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FORMATIVE YEARS AT NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME,
STAFFORDSHIRE, 1893-1911

George was born to Hannah Elizabeth and William Raybould on the 20 September 1893.
Their charming studio portraits in sepia are early features of the Picture Gallery.

The Raybould family lived at 13 May Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, a major town in the heart of the British “Potteries” where most of the china for the home and overseas markets was made from the early days of the Industrial Revolution in the later 18th Century onwards. George retained all his life a pleasant, readily-identifiable, local regional accent.

He had an older brother John William who was killed at age 22 in 1915, during the First World War, as a Royal Fusilier at the Battle of the Somme. His younger brother was Harold (Gertie.) George’s sisters were Mary Ann (Alfred Capey) and Lizzie (Jack Burke).

George attended Friars Wood Council School in Newcastle-under-Lyme, leaving in 1905 when he was twelve, which was the usual age at that time for most children to start working. While at School, George often received lovely chromolithograph-printed Certificates of Merit for his regular attendance and several are shown in the Picture Gallery.

He grew up in a strong Nonconformist family of Primitive Methodists, and as a young man in the early 1900s he was known as a “Boy Preacher.”

In 1907 he attended the important 100th anniversary meeting on Mow Cop, a hill about 1100 feet above sea level on the border between Staffordshire and the Cheshire Plain. The famous gathering was held to celebrate the so-called “Camp Meeting” at the very same location in 1807 that led to Primitive Methodism’s foundation by Hugh Bourne and William Clowes.

We are fortunate that much of the original memorabilia of George’s association with the Primitive Methodists has remained in his family, and there are some fascinating images of it in the Picture Gallery.

They include his certificate of attendance at Mow Cop on 31 May 1907, as well as his plate made by the Staffordshire pottery firm of Wood & Sons of Burslem to commemorate the occasion.

A few days earlier, on 28 May 1907, young George had been one of the Primitive Methodists’ 100th Anniversary Preachers at Yeovil in Somerset. This was a remarkable achievement for a 13 years’ old boy and it helps us understand how his character was formed at a very early age. His name appears in the Centennial Celebrations’ programme shown in the Picture Gallery.

The Primitive Methodists were evangelical Christians very much in the spirit of John Wesley, the 18th Century founder of Methodism. George’s early association with them would undoubtedly have influenced his later quiet and contemplative demeanour, often frequently found in gardeners and in those close to the soil. Eventually the Primitive Methodists joined mainstream British Methodism in 1932.

Some of George’s book prizes that he was awarded at Newcastle’s Higherland Primitive Methodist Sunday School are shown in the Picture Gallery.

George was a keen reader of newspapers, magazines and books all his life. A delightful book he received in 1901 is called “Memoirs of Bob the Spotted Terrier Written by Himself.” And one
he received in 1908 is about the life of the then reigning King Edward VII, perhaps a sign of young George’s early interest in the Monarchy.

Both books are featured in the Picture Gallery. George treasured these books all his life and after Amy died they were then passed on to his son, Vilven John.

Perhaps as a sign of his early determination to succeed, young George managed to continue his education by attending Hassell Street Evening School in Newcastle-under-Lyme, where he received a Certificate of Merit “For Distinction in Arithmetic, Reading and Book-keeping” in 1907.

His impressively-designed certificate is signed by Mr. Edward Mason, Head Master. George’s family remembers him speaking over 50 years later very favourably about Mr. Mason. Was he perhaps one of those delightful “Mr Chips-type” schoolmasters who often played influential roles in so many of their young pupils’ personal development?

After ending his formal education at 14, young George became what is now called a “didactic,” teaching himself like so many youngsters did then.

During his life he learned a tremendous amount through his wide reading, through the practical experience of “getting his hands dirty,” and, of course, through talking to and learning from the people in many walks of life whom he met during his long career in the horticultural world.

Always acknowledged to be a hard worker throughout his life, George said he was once rewarded by his employer with a “Sovereign” (a One Pound gold coin) which was a very large amount of money for a young lad in the early 1900s.

So his mother, unsure what to believe as to how he had come by so much money, walked with him all the way back to the shop to make certain he had been given it, which, of course, his employer said he had.

We are fortunate that the original has survived of a "Character Reference" letter for the 16 years' old George addressed "To all whom it may concern.” Reproduced in the Picture Gallery, we can see it was written and signed in beautiful copperplate hand-writing on 29 April 1910 by the Reverend John E. Leuty, the Minister of the Newcastle-under-Lyme Primitive Methodist Church. It reads as follows:

"Mr. George Raybould has been know to me for some years, and he is
a Youth of considerable promise. I can testify that he is capable and
industrious, trustworthy, honest, and alert. Whatever he takes in hand he
does it with his might and yet keeps his head. At any kind of business
he ought to make his way, and give satisfaction to his Master. I have heard
nothing but words of praise from his present employer. He is highly
respected by his companions for his integrity & uprightness; his qualities
of friendship and sociableness make him welcome everywhere. He is an
abstainer from intoxicating drinks and can be relied upon to carry out to
the best of his ability the duties allotted to him."

The Rev. Leuty's remarks about George are a good example of such letters echoing down the generations that geneaologists, biographers and all those interested in their family histories are really pleased to have.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FIRST WORKING EXPERIENCE WITH LOCKS, YEOVIL
1911-1916

Young George gained his early experience working in the horticultural trade before the First World War with Lock & Son, Farm & Garden Seeds Merchants at Yeovil in Somerset in the West of England.

On 13 July 1911, he sent a “real photograph” postcard of himself to his Grandmother Hall c/o his Mother at his home in Newcastle-under-Lyme. In the photograph shown in the Picture Gallery he can be seen standing in front of the door by Lock’s highly-decorated shop window.

George wrote on the back of the postcard: “Dear Grandma , Just a card to let you see what we did for the Coronation of King George V…. the window near the door all worked in seeds .…. please remember me to ‘One and All’, With love, George.”

Some 42 years later, he decorated in full style the outside of C. Rassell Ltd., the well-known Florists and Garden Shop in Kensington, London, (which still thrives), where he had become the Managing Director. This time it was to celebrate the Coronation in 1953 of Queen Elizabeth II, grandaughter of King George V.

It will sound quite “antiquated” to many of to-day’s Internet generation, but writing and mailing picture postcards was the most important means of communication 100 years ago between family and friends, not only in Great Britain but throughout Europe, and in Canada, the United States and elsewhere.

The great variety of subject matter of vintage postcards included comic ones, seaside and street views, celebrations of major annual events, including Christmas and Easter and, of course, people’s birthdays. Such cards are much collected to-day.

In what was known in the early 1900s as “The Golden Age of Picture Postcards” mailing postcards was an easy and economical way for people to keep in touch with each other.
George, his siblings and close relatives regularly sent picture postcards to each other, and some of the family’s still-surviving cards are shown in the Picture Gallery.

Ever-popular cards were “comic” ones sent from English seaside resorts such as Blackpool during families’ annual week’s holidays when whole industrial towns closed down for factory workers to travel by steam trains to enjoy what were known as “Wakes Weeks.”

For the tens of thousands of men and women, often quite young by our standards to-day, who worked long, low-paid hours in the often dreary factories in England’s industrial towns, their holiday week at the seaside was among the highlights of their year, along with the celebrations
of the annual religious festivals, such as Easter and Christmas, when families traditionally gathered.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MILITARY SERVICE DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR
1916 -1919

Already married to Lilian (Crozier), with a son George Jnr. born in 1914, George volunteered in 1916 to serve during the First World War with a group of some 22 lads from his neighbourhood in Newcastle–under-Lyme.

He was so keen to enlist that he told the Army his date of birth was “1887” and not 1893 (as his “Certificate of Transfer to Reserve on Demobilization” issued in 1919 confirms). A number of his wartime documents are shown in the Picture Gallery.

Horses were still very much used during the First World War and young George enlisted and saw action with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in Salonika in Greece in the so-called “Balkan Offensive.”

George fell ill there and he heard the nurses outside his tent saying he would be dead by the morning. But he told his family many years later he had said to himself “Oh no I won’t be!” and he lived on for nearly another 50 years.

Sadly, George told Heather, his daughter-in-law, that only two or three of the group of his friends who joined up together were to return. One, fortunately, was George.

He called himself “George Edward Raybould” during his War service. His son George Jnr. said in later years that “when his Dad joined the Army in World War One he realised that all his comrades had 2 initials while he only had one –‘G.’ So quick off the mark he soon invented a notional 2nd initial ‘E.’”

Therefore all his official documents shown in the Picture Gallery, such as his “Discharge Certificate” in 1919, as well as his “Statement of Account” (and even the receipt for handing back his greatcoat) all say “G. E. Raybould.”

George once said that his closest friend was tragically one of the last fatalities in 1918 on Armistice Day itself. And all his life, he lamented his elder brother John William’s death on
29 September 1915 at the Battle of the Somme. A soldier in the Royal Fusiliers, his large bronze Memorial Plaque and his signet ring are treasured possessions in George Raybould’s family.

John William’s death is commemorated in the Commonwealth Military Cemetery at Loos in North-East France and he is “Remembered with Honour” on the Loos Memorial: “Their Name Liveth for Evermore.” There is a photograph of John William’s Memorial at Loos in the Picture Gallery.

A very large part of a whole generation of young Britons was killed during the devastating First World War, ironically called “The War to End all Wars.” Will we ever learn? This awful loss of a generation of young men had an immense impact in many ways for many years on subsequent British life. In the following haunting yet comforting words, the poet Laurence Binyon wrote:

“They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

As well as a number of photographs and documents associated with George’s War service, his medals and his little brown “Dog Tag” are also treasured artifacts in his family’s possession.

His family still remembers that George always stood to attention when the British National Anthem was played. He was a staunch monarchist all his life. He was always very respectful
of the annual Remembrance Day with its One Minute Silence in Memory of the Fallen.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WORKING IN ENGLAND’S FLORAL TRADE AT
BRENTWOOD, CHELMSFORD & BRIGHTON, 1919-1930

In the early 1920s, after returning from War Service, George worked for David Russell & Son, Nurserymen & Seed Merchants at Brentwood in Essex.

Having survived the Great War, George tragically lost his first wife Lilian shortly after his return, when she passed away in childbirth in 1919, leaving him with his young, five years’
old son George Jnr. and a small daughter, Lilian Mary, born in 1916.

On 2 March 1922 George married Kathleen Amy (French) at All Saints’ Parish Church, Maldon, Essex. The lovely photograph in the Picture Gallery of their Wedding Party shows the bride and groom and their parents, and also George Jnr., who was the page boy and who celebrated his 8th birthday on the same day as his Father’s second marriage.

The 21 years’ old Amy had come into Russells shop one day and met George. Living at Marshalls Farm at Margaretting with her parents William and Elizabeth French, Amy was the youngest of their eight children, three girls and five boys.

How romantic to fall in love with a man working in a florist’s shop, because so many different flowers, as we all know, portray “The Language of Love.”

For some years the newly-married George and Amy Raybould ran their own florist’s and greengrocer’s shop on Moulsham Street, in Chelmsford, Essex, some 30 miles north-east of London.

George’s natural talents for creating elaborate floral arrangements can be seen in the photographs in the Picture Gallery, one of which is of an impressive display of bouquets and funeral wreaths he made for a local Flower Show in Chelmsford.

George’s and Amy’s daughter Jean Elizabeth was born in 1923. And sixteen years later in 1939, when they were living in South London, their son, Vilven John, was born.

In the later 1920s, George moved the family to the famous “seaside town” of Brighton on the South Coast by the English Channel. It is exactly 60 miles by train from London. Daughter Jean went with them, as did daughter Mary who attended Varndean School. However, George Jnr. stayed on in Brentwood to live with his Crozier grandparents so he could attend the Grammar School.

George worked at Balchins, Brighton’s leading florists. His talents enabled him to make not just basic floral arrangements, such as bouquets, garlands and wreaths, but also to design and make very complicated displays.

For instance, one year he masterminded the construction of a huge, award-winning floral windmill that dominated the Annual Flower Show held in Brighton’s magnificent, early 1800s’ 63 feet high, glass-roofed Dome.

George always said that the windmill was his major, lifetime floral display achievement. It is shown in all its splendour in the Picture Gallery.

For a Flower Show another year he made a large replica in flowers of Brighton’s War Memorial, which would have been very poignant for many people because the First World War had only recently ended.
“Flowers are lovely; love is flower-like;
Friendship is a sheltering tree;
Oh the joys that came down shower-like,
Of friendship, love and liberty,
Ere I was old!”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DISTINGUISHED CAREER AT RASSELLS IN KENSINGTON
1930-1954

All his excellent practical experience led to the self-taught George being appointed in 1930 the Buyer and Shop Foreman of the well-known firm of C. Rassell Ltd., Florists, Horticulturalists & Gardeners at 80 Earl’s Court Road in Kensington, London. -
The firm was run for many years by Miss Marjorie Rassell, the daughter of Charlie Rassell, the firm’s founder in the later Nineteenth Century. George eventually became Managing Director, the position he held until he retired in 1954.

George successfully helped steer Rassell’s business through the severe adverse economic aftermath of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Described at the time as “The Slump,” because that was what it was, it adversely affected millions of people and businesses in the United Kingdom and all over Continental Europe, as well as in the USA and Canada and in many other countries.

Around 1935, the Silver Jubilee Year of King George V and Queen Mary, George hired a teenager, Donald Rider, as his apprentice. During the Second World War, Donald served in the Royal Army Service Corps; he was one of the 380,000 soldiers who were remarkably evacuated in 1940 from Dunkirk in Royal Navy vessels and in a huge flotilla of dozens of small, privately-owned boats. This was the largest mass evacuation in British history.

Highly talented, Donald became George’s right-hand man for many years when he returned after the War. He later very successfully ran the firm with Miss Rassell after George retired in 1954.

During the Second World War from 1939 to 1945, as for so many millions of people living on what was known as “The Home Front” in Great Britain, life for the Rayboulds became very dislocated.

Because he was too old to serve in the War, George was directed to help the War effort by being an ammunition maker in a factory in North London during the nights. He still ran Rassells during the day and this double workload definitely damaged his heart.

George’s wife Amy had to perform War service, so she drove a lorry around London delivering oxygen cylinders to garages. On one occasion, the control cap on an oxygen cylinder she was delivering worked loose and the men at the garage where she later delivered it said there could have been a bad accident if she had driven much further.

Amy did all the family’s driving during their marriage because she was a very good driver. George never learned to drive and always said he was “unmechanical” … and he was! He always said he much preferred the world of Nature, of trees, plants and flowers, as well as the world of books and interesting collectibles, to the world of machines.

During the War, George’s elder son George Jnr. was a civilian in the Royal Navy, working on highly secret, state-of-the-art technical developments in communications. His elder daughter Mary continued working throughout the War at St. Thomas’s Hospital in the Children’s Ward.

George and Amy’s daughter Jean joined the WAAF (The Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) as a teenager and worked as a “plotter” at many airfields in England, as shown in the Picture Gallery.

Baby Vilven John was evacuated to a children’s home at Taplow by the River Thames in the early part of the War. However, he suffered from rheumatic fever and needed wheelchair help which his Mother Amy was able to provide, so he re-joined his family in Earls Court, first in their maisonnette in Sunningdale Gardens near Rassell’s shop, and then in the flat behind and above the shop which they moved into later in the War.

George very successfully managed Rassells during the traumas and dislocation of the Second World War, including through the devastation in London caused by the “Blitz.” German bombing between September1940 and May 1941 killed and wounded thousands of civilians
and destroyed or damaged two million houses in Britain.

The Picture Gallery has dramatic photographs illustrating the devastation, as well as a variety of Second World War pamphlets issued by the National Government to help people on “The Home Front” cope with the massive and traumatic changes in their lives during the War.

One such pamphlet shown in the Picture Galley is entitled “How to put up your Morrison Shelter.” Thousands of homes all over the British Isles had these bomb-proof shelters. The Raybould family’s split-level flat at Rassell’s shop had theirs in the tiny ground floor living area, where it doubled as the dining table.

When air raids occurred, the entire family would dive into the very strong steel shelter for protection. These shelters helped save thousands of lives when air raids took place as families such as the Rayboulds clambered into them.

After the War, George had the shelter moved into the back of the shop where it served as a handy-dandy “potting table” for plants for many years!

An “Anderson Shelter” was dug right into the ground under an ancient mulberry tree in the grounds of the shop to provide safety for the family, staff and customers in the event of German air raids. George’s son Vilven John remembered the shelter still being there many years later and finding the mulberries as delicious as ever!

Several bombs did drop close to Rassells during the War. There was never a direct hit on the building, but we think one or two fell in the grounds. During the War, George was an auxiliary fireman in the Royal Borough of Kensington, helping the 100s of regular firefighters and others protecting public safety.

Drawing on his extensive practical knowledge of gardening, George was one of the local organisers of the National Government’s “Dig for Victory” programme. This was a nation-wide campaign to get people to grow more food so the country could become much more self-sufficient feeding itself in case of a naval blockade of the British Isles by the Germans’ “U-Boats.”

As an article about him in The Kensington News put it “Mr. Raybould gave advice to many people of Kensington on the way to grow food in the (Kensington) Gardens and on bomb sites.” This was when sheep actually grazed on the grass in Kensington Gardens, a popular public park.

George was well-known and long-remembered for always wearing his dark blue gardener’s apron all year, with a “straw boater” in the Spring and Summer, and a bowler (derby) hat and smart leather “leggings” in the Autumn and Winter.

Particularly during the Second World War, George and Amy were devoted listeners to the BBC’s Nine-o-Clock News on the “wireless”, a word that has come back into use in the Internet Age. The radio was the only way that the United Kingdom’s wartime Government could quickly communicate with the nation. (BBC Television was suspended for the entire duration of the War).

Like many families all over London and the whole country, the Rayboulds often huddled for safety inside their “Morrison Shelter” to hear about the day’s events on BBC Radio.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill was a frequent broadcaster during the Second World War, informing the nation of the course of events and encouraging everyone never to give up.

One of the most famous photographs of Churchill was taken broadcasting to the Nation on VE Day “Victory-in-Europe Day” on 8 May 1945 and it is shown in the Picture Gallery. As The Daily Telegraph reported, Churchill said there had been “No greater day in our history.”

On VE Day George’s and Amy’s six years’ old son, Vilven John, joined many other local children in Abingdon Road very near Rassell’s shop at a “Street Party,” a traditional British celebratory custom with lots of jellies! Many of the children’s Mums and Dads and Aunties
and Uncles who organised the party were neighbours and Rassell’s customers.

There are some fascinating photographs in the Picture Gallery of the Street Party with all
the grown-ups and the children having a great time together in public after so many bleak years.

Miss Middlemore is shown in one of the photographs. She was a delightful lady who regularly came to Rassells where George and Donald helped her buy plants for her tiny, high walled garden, which young Vilven John thought was magical, out of a storybook!

After the War ended, George, and Donald pioneered the brand-new concept of the self-service “Garden Centre.” But in the early days, more conservative customers still preferred personal service by an assistant!

Plants and bulbs for sale were laid out in boxes in rows. Coloured pictures and beautifully hand-written descriptions by Donald gave customers a good idea of what they were buying would eventually look like.

George loved “Morning Glory” flowers and he played a big part in introducing London’s gardeners to them.

Interestingly, in the late 1960s, George’s eldest Grandson, John Lindsay, while working in a remote bush-station in Uganda, spotted some rampant “Morning Glory” flowers growing in the garden of an adjacent house. Before long, John Lindsay planted some seeds and they, too, grew majestically, so he successfully carried on his Grandfather’s tradition.

George enjoyed making asparagus beds in his various gardens over the years. He even laid out a small “model lawn” behind Rassell’s shop which no-one was allowed to walk on…but Juliet, the pussycat, paid no heed!

There was a covered “Mould Yard” behind Rassell’s shop where Mr. Langham (who was totally deaf and dumb and had a charming smile) prepared bags of earth for gardens and indoor plants.
When George retired in 1954 he asked Miss Rassell to let Mr. Langham stay on the staff until he did not want to work any longer. Of course, she agreed.

During the very bleak, austerity period when rationing still continued for a number of years after the Second World War ended in 1945, lots of colour and excitement was created by George’s and Donald’s huge, annual Fifth of November Guy Fawkes’ Night fireworks’ displays on the former tennis court at the back of Rassell’s shop in Pembroke Square.

They put on their very popular shows in association with Mr. & Mrs. Astley, proprietors of the adjacent, aptly-named, public house “The Pembroke Arms.”

George’s and Amy’s small son Vilven John’s annual job was to paint Guy’s face, and then the whole six foot figure stuffed with straw was hoisted onto the top of a 50 foot high bonfire,
which was lit to the appreciative accompaniment of the many oohs and aahs of the large assembled crowd of young and old alike leaning over the iron railings around the Square!

To digress, fortunately, George persuaded the authorities during the War’s “scrap drive”
not to remove the railings as it would mean people could easily get right into the grounds. Many London railings were taken down to be re-cycled for the War effort, but they were the wrong metal and rumour had it that thousands of them were thrown into the Regents Canal.

So Rassell’s firework displays attracted 100s of excited children and their parents (watching from behind the iron railings!) There was coverage in Rachel Ferguson’s charming book
“Royal Borough,” and even in a major national newspaper, The Daily Telegraph.

The local Kensington News’ report of the fireworks display on 5 November 1945 poignantly said:
“the great bonfire was lit, and the Guy flared up its centre,
until the flames cast a red glow on the houses surrounding
Pembroke Square, houses which had reflected such a glow
from other fires of terrible purpose in less happy days.”

In the later 1940s and early 1950s Rassells had many celebrated theatrical, entertainment and sporting personalities among its customers. They included Peter Scott, the famous artist and ornithologist son of the explorer “Scott of the Antarctic”; Joe Davis, the champion snooker player, and Terry-Thomas, the very popular comic actor and film star.

There is a great story that Terry-Thomas once went into Rassells, and (presumably tongue in cheek), complained to George that a plant he had bought had died. George promptly replied “Why not water it, Mr. Thomas?”

Other famous customers included David Lean, one of the U.K.’s most renowned film directors and his wife, the film star, Ann Todd. There is a photograph in the Picture Gallery of an amusing original letter from her to George about her garden. Do read it!

On 13 October 1951 George celebrated his 21st anniversary working at Rassells. A delightful ceremony was held in the shop in an early morning gathering in the peaceful, glass-roofed , conservatory–type building full of plants and flowers. The presentation was attended by George’s wife Amy, son Vilven John, Miss Rassell, Donald Rider and all the inside and outside staff.

Much unique material has survived among his family about George’s life -- what we call “ephemera,” (defined as interesting printed and hand-written matter specifically created for particular occasions). Much historical and family ephemera is shown throughout the Picture Gallery. We are fortunate that quite a lot has survived from George’s 21st Anniversary celebration in 1951.

Donald Rider proposed a 21st anniversary toast to Mr Raybould “in champagne!” according to a report in The Kensington News, which continued that Mr. Rider said “Mr. Raybould had been like a father to him and taught him all he knew about horticulture.” And the reporter then noted that “Mr. Robert Almond a veteran gardener of 82 spoke of his happiness in his work under Mr. Raybould.”

Miss Rassell presented George with a certificate recording her appreciation “of the inestimable services rendered by him over a period of 21 years.” The wording on the certificate continued “We the undersigned in expressing our esteem and goodwill trust that he may enjoy every happiness in the future.”

The certificate, hand-written by one of the Royal calligraphers who happened also to be a customer of Rassells, can be seen in the Picture Gallery.

The Kensington News report of the happy occasion continued “It is largely due to Mr. Raybould’s practical knowledge of Horticulture and his amazing capacity for work that the business is in such a flourishing state.”

Wouldn’t the Rev. Leuty, (who 40 years back in 1910 wrote the “Character Reference” for George, the words of which were reprinted earlier), have been pleased that his judgement of George’s potential had been proved so admirably correct.

The newspaper item and the original letter are shown in the Picture Gallery. In this electronic computer age they are lovely examples of the pleasure of reading and actually handling documents and cuttings relating to a loved one of many years ago. So one should never be too eager to throw away such first class biographical source material.

The inscribed, clockwork driven, gold Omega wrist watch that Miss Rassell gave George for his 21st anniversary with her firm is a treasured family heirloom, handed down from generation to generation.

For many years, George, as Rassell’s flower buyer, got up really early on many weekday mornings to go to London’s historic Covent Garden Flowers, Fruit & Vegetables Market to buy floral stock for the shop.

Amy often drove Rassell’s van in the narrow streets in the area, looking for parking so that George and the market porters could load the vehicle with his flowers’ purchases.

To commemorate George’s 21st anniversary at Rassells, many of the national floral trade wholesalers who sold flowers to him for many years at Covent Garden Market, (immortalised by George Bernard Shaw in his play “Pygmalion” and then later in the film “My Fair Lady”), sent George an ornate GPO congratulatory telegram because they thought so highly of him.

The telegram is featured in the Picture Gallery, as is a photograph of an architectural scale model made by Timothy Richards of the elegant glass and iron façade of the mid-Victorian Floral Hall that would have been very familiar to George for much of his career from the 1920s to the 1950s.

The Floral Hall, designed by E.M. Barry in the 1860s, was heavily influenced by Joseph Paxton’s design of the spectacular iron and glass “Crystal Palace” that housed the first World’s Fair, the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, held in London’s Hyde Park in 1851.

The beloved Palace survived in an enlarged form in South London until destroyed by fire in 1936. George, Amy and Jean visited it on numerous occasions, including one when Jean played her violin in a huge London School’s Orchestras’ concert in 1930.

Do look at the Picture Gallery for a lovely group of Raybould family snapshots and for original picture postcards on the spectacular Crystal Palace that was so popular with many generations of Londoners and other people from further afield.

What was known as “tree lopping” (heavy pruning) was a major part of Rassell’s regular outdoors work, particularly on the many fast-growing London elms, that thrived in the very smoky atmosphere resulting from hundreds of years of open coal fires in the Metropolis.

They were eventually all banned by the Clean Air Act of 1956, in response to the so-called “Great Smog” in 1952 that killed 12,000 people, an astonishing number. That year, Vilven John, as a 12 years’ old boy, remembered looking out of his bedroom window in his parents’ flat at Rassells onto the Earls Court Road below and seeing men with flaming torches leading slow-moving, double-decker red buses through the impenetrable gloom.

While George, Amy and Vilven John lived in Central London it was possible for them to make easy visits by car to George Jnr. and his and Ruth’s young family at Seven Kings. They also went to visit George’s daughter Mary and her friend Gwen in their staff quarters at Riddle House at St. Thomas’s Hospital, a short tram ride over historic Westminster Bridge, as the charming family photographs in the Picture Gallery show.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ABOUT CHRISTMASSES PAST, PENNY TOYS
AND
QUEEN ELIZABETH II’s CORONATION IN 1953

Rassells has been for many years a major supplier of Christmas trees for hundreds of homes
in Kensington and beyond. In earlier days, the trees came from forest plantations in the North
of England in the famous Lake District. Now they largely come from Scandinavia.

At Christmastime in the late 1940s and early 1950s George and his son Vilven John enjoyed visiting Hamley’s Toyshop, Bassett Lowke’s Model Railways Shop and Ellisdon’s Joke Shop, all in Central London. Amy always wondered what they would bring home! Often it was clockwork tinplate toys to add to their collection. George was an inveterate collector all his life.

George, having been born in 1893, was an authentic Victorian. As many readers will know, the origins of many of our Christmas customs to-day, such as decorating trees, sending greetings cards and “pulling” crackers, all go back to the time of Queen Victoria’s long reign which lasted from 1837 to 1901.

He would have heartily approved of what that eminent and prolific Victorian author, Charles Dickens, wrote in “WHAT CHRISTMAS IS AS WE GROW OLDER”
“Welcome Everything!
Welcome, … to your shelter underneath the holly,
To your places round the Christmas fire,
Where what is sits open-hearted.”

George was always an enthusiastic and irrepressible exponent of putting up extensive Christmas decorations and lights inside Amy’s and his many homes during their marriage.

There was friendly rivalry between George and his son George Jnr. as to which one of them could put up the most elaborate decorations. Father “scored” high on traditional paper chains, while the son “scored” high on electrical decorations because he was a skilled electrician!

People agreed that George was generally very placid. However, he once rather sadly said that one of his big regrets from his childhood was that, after he had left home to start his working life, his Mother got rid of his precious “Penny Toys,” lovely little, flat lead figures made in Germany. It is difficult to remember him complaining about anything else in his whole life.

So, when some fifty years later he and Vilven John went to the London Museum (then housed in historic Kensington Palace), George was thrilled to see a collection of charming little “flats” like his on display in a glass showcase.

George was a staunch Royalist and a loyal patriot. Like 1000s of shopkeepers the length and breadth of Great Britain, he made sure that the front of Rassell’s shop was suitably and elaborately decorated in 1953 to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the sixth British Monarch he had lived under.

Rassell’s illuminated clock at the front of the shop was a feature; it has always been a well-known landmark in the Earl’s Court Road.

The family later acquired off the City of Westminster one of the actual huge “plumed helmets” that stood on a tall pole decorating the Mall on Coronation Day! Alas, it eventually disappeared.

Along with Amy, George was a keen, regular reader of The Daily Telegraph, The Evening Standard and The Illustrated London News; he bought and avidly read local newspapers wherever he went on holiday in the UK.

He rarely went to the Continent saying there was too much to see and enjoy in England. From the time of returning from Salonika after his military service there during the First World War to dying in 1964, he only went again to the Continent twice.

Once was to Switzerland in the early 1950s on holiday with Amy and Vilven John. By one of life’s coincidences, Miss Rassell’s nephew, Raymond Elgar, sat in the seat in front of them on a coach tour of the mountainous Bernese Oberland.

Then George went to Holland in the early 1960s with Amy, Jean and her husband Grant, to see the bulb fields, something he always wanted to do.

George said that as a child in the early 1900s his favourite reading was the historical adventure stories written by the prolific Victorian author, G. A. Henty. In later life he liked reading the Richard Hannay stories by John Buchan, particularly the ever-popular “Thirty Nine Steps” that has been made into several movies, including one directed by the great Alfred Hitchcock.

George’s favourite musical composition was Pietro Mascagni’s haunting “Cavalleria Rusticana” (1890). Among his favourite singers in the 1930s and 1940s were the popular husband and wife team of duettists, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler.

Later he enjoyed listening to the bubbly pop singer, Alma Cogan, who had many record “Hits” in the 1950s and early 1960s, and an endearing “twinkle” in her voice!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FIRST RETIREMENT TO YELVERTON IN DEVON IN 1955

When George retired at Christmas-time 1954, Miss Rassell hosted the farewell dinner for him and Amy at the Milestone Hotel very near Kensington Palace situated in one of London’s most famous public parks.

One of Miss Rassell’s gifts to George was a whip for him to use in the horse and trap (buggy) that he always said he would buy when he retired and moved to the country. He did, in fact, acquire a two-seater trap but alas never got round to buying the horse! His eldest Grandson John Lindsay still has the stock of the whip.

So early New Year 1955, George, Amy, Jean, Vilven John and all their furniture and belongings went by large “pantechnicons” to an elegant 1900s’ stone-built house at Yelverton in Devon.

The small village is situated some 200 miles South West of London on the edge of Dartmoor, between the historic port city of Plymouth and Tavistock, an ancient “Stannary Town” that had been important in the Middle Ages during the days of tin mining and the tin trade.

The snow was so deep when George and his family arrived at Yelverton that the first thing they had to do was to buy shovels in order to dig their way into the house. Wild Dartmoor ponies crowded around with interest to see the new arrivals!

One of the delights for the Raybould family of History “buffs” was a genuine Victorian era, red-painted mail box solidly built into one of the stone gateposts in front of the house.

When the weather got better, a highlight of life at Yelverton was a Summertime visit by George Jnr. and Ruth and their four young children, John Lindsay, Helen, Christine and Barbara, George’s grandchildren.

All the young visitors and Vilven John enjoyed performing elaborate “theatricals” on the lawns in a quiet and very leafy rural setting, never to be forgotten by any of them. As Elizabeth Akers Allen poignantly wrote:

“Backward, turn backward O Time, in thy flight;
Make me a child again, just for to-night.”

Retirement for Amy and George at Yelverton was an idyllic life and he was very happy working in the heavily-wooded, large garden.

As the nostalgic snapshots in the Picture Gallery taken by Amy show, he kept chickens and enjoyed the company of his elkhound, Bodkin, who loved roaming in all weathers on Dartmoor, then, as now, called England’s “Last Wilderness.”

Vilven John, still living at home, went to Tavistock Grammar School each day on his Royal Enfield 125cc motorcycle! One year he was chosen to represent Devon at the Outward Bound Mountain School at Ullswater in England’s famous Lake District where George and his family had enjoyed a number of happy holidays. .

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

POPULAR LANDLORD OF “THE CROSS KEYS”
PUBLIC HOUSE, PANGBOURNE, BERKSHIRE, 1956-58


In late 1956, it must be said coming somewhat reluctantly out of retirement, George became the landlord of the ancient half-timbered “Cross Keys” public house at Pangbourne, located by the River Thames, near Reading in Berkshire.

He agreed to run it at the keen request of his and Amy’s daughter Jean because in those days women were not allowed to be licensees of public houses.

Prior to running “The Cross Keys” Jean had many years experience in the British hotel trade, so it was an ideal arrangement between her and her Father, who had been a businessman and accustomed to dealing with members of the public on a daily basis.

In those days, British pubs still had “Private” and “Public” Bars, in the latter of which the traditional games of Shove Halfpenny (sic) and darts were played. George’s wife Amy, a
keen tennis player in her youth, had a very straight eye so much to the amusement of the “regulars” (patrons) she scored many bulls-eyes and “double tops” in the Public Bar!

George, a lifetime teetotaler, was a born raconteur and conversationalist so he was a very popular landlord. The customers greatly enjoyed how he entertained them with stories about his interesting life. He gladly gave them gardening tips based on his many years’ experiences in the horticultural trade.

For many years after the War, he was a keen collector of musical boxes. They became a well-known entertainment feature at “The Cross Keys” because he enjoyed playing them for his customers, as well as for children, who always liked his company.

The star of the tuneful, old-time, huge mechanical spring-driven instruments was an American-made “Regina Record Changer” dating from the 1890s – of course the “discs” in those days were metal, not vinyl! There is a photograph of George standing by it in the Picture Gallery.

Cookham on the banks of the River Thames firstly, and then later Pangbourne, were the homes of the famous writer Kenneth Grahame who wrote the classic of children’s literature “The Wind in the Willows,” beloved by generations of children and adults alike since it was first published in 1908.

Mr. Grahame wrote the book as a diversion from his “day job” as Secretary of none other than the prestigious Bank of England where he had “risen through the ranks,” as the olde-worlde phrase put it.

Much of the delightful story of Mole, Ratty, Badger and the irascible (but still loveable!) Mr. Toad was set among the nooks and crannies of the banks of the nearby River Thames, familiar to George, his family and his customers, - one of whom, Terry, a barber, cut George’s hair. George retained a thick head of hair to the end of his days, but it went totally snowy white.

Jean, (with George’s and Amy’s help and that of Reg, the jovial middle-aged barman, who called Amy “Mummy”!), successfully ran the business side of “The Cross Keys” for several years.

Under Jean’s management it became what was known colloquially as a “Popular Watering Place” located on a small tributary of the Thames, with seating outside by the river, with hanging baskets full of flowering plants in the tiny garden. Every so often men from the Thames Conservancy Board wearing big waders would walk along the tributary’s bed clearing debris.

Eventually, and perhaps inevitably, the very long hours working in “The Cross Keys” became too much for Amy and George to cope with, particularly because of his poor heart condition. So in late 1958 he handed in his landlord’s licence, saw his name come down from over the front door, and he and Amy retired once again, to the considerable sadness of their many customers.

Jean moved on, to Kuwait following her marriage to Grant Nelson, and Vilven John started
at London University, so Amy and George were now on their own as their Ruby Wedding approached as he was reaching the seventh stage of Shakespeare’s “Seven Ages of Man.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FINAL RETIREMENT YEARS AT HASTINGS & HARPENDEN
1958-1964

George and Amy first lived on Fearon Road in Hastings, an historic town on the Sussex Coast by
the English Channel. As shown in the Picture Gallery, their house had a beautifully-terraced, large, quite heavily-wooded garden so George was in his element once more after leaving “The Cross Keys.”

By now he was approaching 70. He wrote to his daughter-in-law Heather and his son Vilven John a touching letter in 1963, not long before he died of angina in 1964. The delightful letter has survived and it is shown in the Picture Gallery.

In it, he wrote that Amy “seems able to do all the work, snow clearing, coal getter in and shopping and general factotum.” Because of his increasing weakness he was not able to do much work around the house, such as bringing in coal. In those days, like many families all over the country, the Rayboulds heated their house with coal fires because there was no central heating.

Because his health was already failing, George continued in his letter: “I manage to do a bit of dusting and fiddling about and playing.” But then he brightened up and said “I won three games of darts running the other day (against Amy, who had a very straight eye) and I have given myself a Certificate of Merit.”

He also enjoyed playing drafts (chequers) and a gentle game of ping pong. Right up until the end of his life he liked playing a very curious English board game called “Shove Halfpenny.”
There is a lovely photo in the Picture Gallery of him at his “Shove Halfpenny” board and under the image we attempt to explain the arcane rules of the game!

In 1963, George and Amy suddenly decided to make one more move to Hertfordshire to live near their daughter Jean and her husband Grant, who had retired from the Arabian Gulf. As many returning expats do, they had decided to take over a village stores and post office at Chipperfield.

But sadly Amy and George only lived for a year on Barnfield Road in Harpenden when he died suddenly there on 2 March 1964 of heart failure at the proverbial Biblical age of three score years and ten.

George’s death was exactly two years to the day after his and Amy’s Ruby Wedding Anniversary and, remarkably, also on his elder son George Jnr’s 50th birthday, and ten days before his younger son Vilven John’s 25th birthday.

Many members of his family and a lot of his friends came to George’s funeral service in Harpenden’s ancient Parish Church in 1964. He was buried in the Town Cemetery below a peaceful grove of shady trees.

His ever-loving wife Kathleen Amy is buried next to him. She passed away many years after him in Gosport, Hampshire in 2000 at the ripe old age of 98, still with most of her faculties intact. She played indoor and outdoor bowls for many years, and often won because of her straight eye and sporting tenacity!

Amy was a keen Scrabble player almost to the end, and loved watching snooker and tennis on television, as well as all the Party Political Annual Conferences, always making appropriate vigourous comments for and against!

Her ashes were placed on George’s grave in Harpenden by their son Vilven John and daughter Jean in the presence of many members of the family, during an inspiring, short open-air service one Sunday afternoon in 2000 that was conducted by Reverend Dr. Laurie Blaney, husband of Barbara, one of George’s six grandchildren.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

REMEMBERING GEORGE RAYBOULD’S FAMILY

Before we pay a farewell Memorial Matters.com tribute to George, we will briefly recall the later lives of his two children from his first marriage to Lilian, namely George Jnr., and Lilian Mary, and then of his two children from his second marriage to Amy, namely Jean Elizabeth and Vilven John.

Their early lives are chronicled in this Biography and covered over the years in the Picture Gallery.

GEORGE Jnr., GEORGE’S & LILIAN’S SON, WAS BORN IN 1914 AND DIED IN 1987.
Educated at Brentwood Grammar School, he then became a highly-skilled electrician and an enthusiastic wireless and television pioneer when they were in their infancy.

In the Picture Gallery there is a lovely photograph of him in the mid 1930s working on an early “wireless set” with all its myriad of valves.

As a result of his experience and talents, George Jnr. served as a civilian in the Admiralty during the Second World War as a technical “boffin” working on communications’ technology. His title was “Admiralty Inspecting Officer, Radio and Electrical Engineer.” Like many people serving their country he signed what was called “The Official Secrets’ Act” so his precise work would remain permanently confidential.

George married Ruth McKinnon on 27 December 1938 at Beeby, Leicestershire. Their son John Lindsay later reprinted the following charming little poem that George and Ruth wrote just before they were married:
"Drifting thoughts with sails unfurled
Drifting through my little world
With ebb and flow like the tide
Always near me by my side
With fragrant memories of bygone days
By a sunlight sea, amid Summer haze.”

In the 1930s George worked for and ran numerous electrical businesses and this continued after the War when the family lived at Seven Kings, Essex.

In their later years, George and Ruth ran a general store in Bocking, Braintree, Essex and then he managed the DIY department at Stebbings Ironmongers (hardware shop) in Attleborough, Norfolk.

Throughout his life, George Jnr. enjoyed making in his well-equipped workshop very ingenious electrical innovations, such as a set of electrical doorbells for his Father and a washing machine out of a metal dustbin for his family!

George’s and Ruth’s son John Lindsay married Janine Taylor; their daughter Helen married Tony Halil; their daughter Christine married Barry Thorne, and their daughter Barbara married Laurie Blaney.

---------------------------------0------------------------------

GEORGE Snr.’s & LILIAN’S DAUGHTER, LILIAN MARY, WAS BORN IN 1916 AND DIED IN 1996.
Mary was educated at Varndean School in Brighton. Fondly known by many in the family all her life as Cis, she had a lifetime, 60 years’ friendship with Gwen Lewis, who was born in 1911.

For their entire careers Mary and Gwen both worked and lived at the world-renowned, ancient St. Thomas’s Hospital in London, across the River Thames from the Houses of Parliament, a short tram ride over historic Westminster Bridge.

Mary eventually was appointed to be in charge of the non-nursing staff in the Children’s Ward. Gwen was Matron’s Personal Assistant for many years. There are some lovely photographs in the Picture Gallery of Mary’s and Gwen’s life at St. Thomas’s.

They were both highly esteemed for their dedicated service in the Hospital, especially during the Second World War when they helped to keep it open. Once, when it was being bombed during a visit of support by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Gwen told the Royal couple to hurry to the shelter! Mary and Gwen eventually became the oldest living St. Thomas’s pensioners.

In their retirement years near Farnham Royal in Buckinghamshire, Mary and Gwen continued their community activities until they were in their 80s. They were always ready to lend a hand, as well as to give a friendly ear (and a welcome cup of tea) at any time of the day or night to anyone in need.

Dedicated parishioners of Farnham Royal Anglican Church, at the suggestion of the Vicar, they formed the “Harmony Club.” Running it on a shoestring they brought immense pleasure, companionship and entertainment to dozens of Senior Citizens over many years.

----------------------------------------------------0-----------------------------------------

GEORGE’S AND AMY’S DAUGHTER JEAN ELIZABETH, WAS BORN IN 1923 AND DIED IN 2004.
Matriculating from Eltham High School in 1939 Jean worked for a short time in Southwark Library, in South London. She then served throughout the War in the WAAF, (the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force), as a “plotter” in operations rooms at major RAF airfields.

After the movements of Allied and enemy aircraft had been tracked by radar, the WAAFs’ plotting work enabled RAF Controllers to help Fighter Command’s senior officers plan the
air battles, vitally important when Great Britain was fighting alone in the Battle of Britain in 1940, and then on through the War after Russia and the USA joined the Allies to help defeat
the Nazis. There are photographs in the Picture Gallery of Jean’s Wartime service.

Like her half brother George Jnr., and so many people serving their country during the War,
Jean signed the Government’s “Official Secrets’ Act” so her precise activities would remain confidential. Many years’ later she enjoyed attending WAAF reunions.

A gregarious and always a popular person, Jean had an adventurous life in the years immediately after the War. This was followed by increasingly responsible positions in many aspects of the English catering trade, including Blooms in London, a noted Jewish Kosher Restaurant, followed by management positions at the Royal Foresters Hotel at Ascot and at The Elephant Hotel, Pangbourne.

Between 1956 and 1958, as described earlier, she successfully managed “The Cross Keys” public house at Pangbourne, Berkshire, in association with her Father, George.

By a turn of fate, Grant Nelson came into “The Cross Keys “one evening when he was on leave from the Kuwait Oil Company in the Persian Gulf where he ran the Publications Department. In 1959 Jean married Grant in Hastings at a small ceremony attended by close family.

After Grant retired from the Kuwait Oil Company he and Jean returned to England and eventually ran a small general stores and post office at Chipperfield, before finally retiring to Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire. Being active in the local Music Society gave Jean much pleasure.

George’s widow, Amy, lived for many years alone in nearby Gosport so Jean was able to keep
in close touch with her Mother, using public transport, because like many English women of her generation she never learned to drive.

------------------------------------------------0-----------------------------------------

GEORGE’S AND AMY’S SON, VILVEN JOHN, WAS BORN IN 1939.
Vilven John was educated first at St. Barnabas & St. Philip Primary School, five minutes from his home at Rassells in the Earl’s Court Road. One of his earliest memories was of a “one-man band” playing in the street outside the school!

Having passed his “11 Plus” Examination, Vilven John went to Westminster City School in London and then later to Tavistock Grammar School, after his parents retired to Devon in 1954. He was awarded a State Scholarship and studied Modern & Economic History at University College London, graduating in 1961.

Vilven John met Heather (Spyers) in 1958 at the Brussels Exhibition when they were both visiting it independently as students at London University. He always had a strong research, writing and lecturing interest in World’s Fairs, particularly in the first one, the Great Exhibition of 1851 held in London’s Hyde Park in Sir Joseph Paxton’s spectacular iron and glass “Crystal Palace” ….. so it was a nice happenstance how he met Heather!

Heather and Vilven John married on 22 July 1961 in the 13th Century Great St. Mary’s Church in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire in the presence of both sets of their parents and many members of their family and lots of their friends. There is a short 8mm home movie excerpt of the Wedding as part of this Memorial to George Raybould.

After both having graduated with Honours Degrees from London University, Vilven John and Heather decided to emigrate to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1964.

Heather initially worked in criminological research for the B.C. Government, and later in the Business Information Section in the Vancouver Public Library.

Vilven John worked initially in business research, and later specialised in economics publishing and marketing in various “think tanks” in Vancouver and London. In 2006 he received a special “Sir Antony Fisher Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

Sadly, because George died in 1964, he did not live long enough to see Heather’s and Vilven John’s two sons, Tim and Simon. However, George’s widow, Amy, lived many years after him until 2000, so she was able to spend time with them in both Canada and England.

In 1998 Simon married Caron Berry in Hertfordshire, England. and in 2008 Tim married Jody Wilson at Cape Mudge, off Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

--------------------------------------------0--------------------------------------

FAREWELL TRIBUTE TO GEORGE RAYBOULD (1893-1964)

The words of the reporter from The Kensington News who covered George’s 21st Anniversary presentation at Rassells thirteen years before he died in 1964 still resonate:

“George Raybould has never been a ‘desk man’ and hundreds,
if not thousands, of local people are familiar with his appearance,
in gardener’s apron, ready to advise on the ordering of a ‘park
load’ of plants or the purchase of a few packets of seeds.

With the true love of growing things that most gardeners possess he is
never happier than when passing on his knowledge to others and
infecting them with his enthusiasm.”

George’s words and actions, and wide interests and varied experiences throughout his lifetime, particularly during his long career as a leading horticulturalist, influenced and encouraged many people in many ways.

As the Reverend Leuty had written in 1910 about George in the Character Reference for him, even then he was “highly respected for his integrity and uprightness” and he lived by this Golden Rule all his life.

The memory of his kindly spirit lives on to-day. And, helped by this Memorial Matters’ photo-story Tribute, it will undoubtedly continue to do so for people in many future generations, even if they did not know him personally.

George and Amy Raybould are still greatly missed and fondly remembered by their family and friends. Their joint tombstone in Harpenden’s Town Cemetery is inscribed with the following touching words (capitalised) written in 1655 by Henry Vaughan, a renowned 17th Century Welsh metaphysical poet:

“They are all gone into the world of light!
And I alone sit lingering here;
THEIR VERY MEMORY IS FAIR AND BRIGHT,
And my sad thoughts doth clear.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------






Memories

Memory by John L Raybould   Apr 15, 2018
In Oct 2017 my Rotary Club of Beccles in Suffolk, England, hosted a ‘3 Club’ competition between ourselves and 2 local clubs, Bungay and Halesworth. The games included ‘Connect 4’, ‘Snakes & Ladders’ and ‘Darts’. I purchased 5 unused ha'pennies and took them with Grandfather Georges 'Shove ha'penny' board to the ‘Bear & Bells’ pub in Beccles along with a hard-copy of the rules. I forget whether or not I won my game! It was probably the 1st time the board had been used since 1962.

Memory by John L Raybould   Jan 26, 2013
Unbeatable at 'Shove ha'penny'! I have his board but need to buy some special ha'pennies, which are flat and smoothed on one side, from a Company of which I have, somewhere, a note. I am his eldest grandson with many other fond memories.

Memory by Barbara    Jun 5, 2011
I remember Grandad's smile and his kind and gentle manner - a true gentleman.

Memory by Simon   Apr 19, 2011
test test

Memory by Simons   Jan 9, 2011
It's a shame I never got to meet my grandad.




Candles & Flowers


Posted by Simon
Feb 17, 2014  

Wish I could have met you

Posted by Tim
Jun 5, 2011  



Posted by Simon
May 5, 2011  



Posted by Simon
Mar 10, 2011  

Rest in Peace, Granddad

Posted by Simon
Mar 10, 2011  



Posted by Simon
Mar 3, 2011  

RIP Granddad

Posted by John
Jul 30, 2010  



Posted by Simon
Jul 20, 2010  

RIP Grandad George !

Posted by Simon
Jul 20, 2010  

Flowers for Grandad George :)