I found this photo of Mr Grice in one of my Great Aunt Joy’s albums and thought he looked like an interesting character. I have managed to find a little bit about him – so this won’t be a particularly wordless post!
I know the photo was taken in either Bournemouth or Poole, so I searched for the surname Grice in those areas of Hampshire and Dorset. The candidate who seems closest in age to the man in the photo is John Grice, who, in the 1939 register, was living at 29 Alyth Road, Bournemouth, with his wife Dorothy and son Thomas. John is a director of a drapery store and Thomas is working as his assistant.
John was born on the 12th September 1858 in Yorkshire – I found a possible GRO reference for his birth on the FreeBMD site in Driffield, Yorkshire. A search on Ancestry revealed a baptism at Helperthorpe on the 24th October 1858 – John’s parents were William and Mary Ann.
In the 1861 census, John is living with his parents and older siblings William and Mary in West Lutton, Yorkshire; his father is an agricultural labourer. The family have moved to Cookes Grange in Pickering by 1871 and William is described as a farmer – so he may have moved up in the world. Along with William, Mary and John there are three other siblings; Elizabeth, Isabella and George.
John has moved to Barton-St-Peter in 1881, he was working as a draper’s assistant in Martin Jubb’s shop on George Street. The shop looks to be quite a large concern as Martin also employs a milliner, a dressmaker, two assistants including John and an apprentice.
John Grice married Eliza Jane Ward in the September quarter of 1887 and in 1891 he is living with his wife and two children, Thomas and Percival in Malton, Yorkshire; still working as a drapers assistant.
By 1901 the family have moved to Leicester, John is listed as an employer, so he must have had his own drapers. There are two more children, Arthur and Walter, and a cousin, Isabel, who is working as a milliner. They are still in Leicester in 1911; Percival has left home, but Thomas, working as a journalist, Arthur, a drapers assistant, and Walter are still living in the family home.
Sadly, Eliza died in the June quarter of 1933 aged 71. Following his wife’s death, John moved to Bournemouth and in 1934 married Dorothy Cross. From Joy’s photo it looks like he was a member of the Royal Observer Corps during WWII.
John Grice died in 1956 at the age of 97.