Maud Mary Redhouse, Randolph Redhouse, and Archibald Redhouse

All children of Dr Shelley's father's maternal grandmother and grandfather. Notes prepared by Dr Shelley's late father

Auntie Maud (Maud Mary)

Born on the 8-7-1882 at Hambledon, Surrey. Mr John Redhouse, (Grandfather) left the army on 25th April 1882 and took up residence in a Public House, the Merry Harriers, Hambledon, Surrey, he having completed 21 years 21 days as a quartermaster instructor. He appears to have taken ever the public house, that was the Old Railway at Liphook a year later, and was the last licensee and finally moved to the then new premises opposite the station.

Aunty Maud was the fifth eldest and the third daughter. For a number of years, she helped her mother and father in the Railway Hotel, when she was old enough. She was one of the main stays that kept the Railway Hotel going and moved down to the new house, 'Homoko' in 1908. She then became the anchor pin for 'Homoko', the Redhouse home and helped with nursing Aunt Annie who died in 1908, and Grandfather, who died a widower after a long illness in 1913.

She then appeared to have run the place with the help of any of the rest of the family who were at home. It was a big house and she was fortunately healthy and energetic. Uncle Jack who died in 1917 was at home for some time during his illness and died at 'Homoko' a lot of care being devoted to him by Auntie Maud.

She got married to Edmund Johnson, known to us as Uncle Sonny in 1911. They had a daughter Ethel May born in 1913 at 'Homoko'. My uncle's arrival helped in the running of the house.

Mr mother, brother and I were at 'Homoko' frequently while my father was on leave, or moving about in the army and also for a long period during the 1914-1918 war. We met all our uncles staying for a short time or visiting, i.e. Uncle Jack and his illness, uncle Torn, Uncle Randy (Randolph) Uncle Archie, Uncle Harry and family on leave. Eventually 'Homoko' was sold in about 1918 and Auntie Maud moved to Longmoor Road and stayed there until her death in 1963. She had a son Edmund, Arthur in 1922.

My recollections of 'Homoko' and Auntie Maud were that being the only unmarried daughter for a time it fell on her to run the place. I remember arguments between Auntie Maud and Grandfather that on some occasions resulted in not having dinner together - Auntie Maud taking her plate and balancing it on her knees, sitting on the stairs. On one occasion it resulted in my Grandfather taking us (Tom and I) on a visit to a rather nice elderly widow who resided up a lane near 'Homoko'. I have since realised that the purpose of the visit was that we would inform our Auntie Maud who would draw the conclusion that Grandfather might form a liaison that might result in matrimony. I knew we were delighted as the widow gave us a wax taper each which we showed Auntie Maud with great pride. She was to say the least, very cross. I don' t think there was anything in it, but it was the sort of love hate war that went on between them.

RANDOLPH REDHOUSE (UNCLE RANDY)

born 8-l0-1887. at the Railway Hotel, Liphook, Hants.

Another favourite uncle. He always brought the two nibs, Tom and myself some toffees when he called. He was as the rest of the Redhouse family, good at sport. He was, I believe, in the Metropolitan water polo and billiard team when at Plymouth. He played in the village cricket and football teams. I have a picture showing him playing in goal for Liphook football club.

He helped his parents at the Railway Hotel and later went on the P&O Liner, 'Mootan' , as a bell boy on the London - Sydney Australian run. He evidently did this run there and back once, and that was enough. According to his description he spent all his time running from one end of the ship to the other answering bell calls and he considered he must have run a distance of several hundred miles during the voyages.

After a spell In which he tried his hand at being a butler at Lady Colvyn's, he joined the Metropolitan Police. He described one instance at Lady Colvyn's. Her Ladyship rang for him and said the jam was not fresh, she always wanted fresh jam for tea. So he took the jam and as it was a long way to the kitchen, when he had passed through the connecting doors between them and the servant's quarters, he stopped, thought, put his finger in the jam dish, stirred it round, sucked his finger clean, and having wiped it, returned to her Ladyship.

'That's much better, Redhouse and how quick you have been'.

This proves what training as a bell boy on the 'Mootan' or what cunning can do!

When he first joined the Metropolitan Police, his district was round a very rough quarter - the Blackwall Tunnel. He gave two instances of the type of adventure on his beat. Once he was called into a house as the husband was trying to murder his wife. Whereupon he went to arrest the husband and the wife picked up the oil lamp and threw it at my uncle. My uncle ducked and the husband caught it on the back of the head. Result was my uncle had to take the husband to the hospital to have several stitches put in his head. On another occasion he was set on by a mob of youths. He grabbed the ring leader by the hair, and fought the rest off with his truncheon. Evidently the arrested youth had lost nearly all hair by the time he got him to the station and got help. He got a ticking off by his sergeant for not releasing the strap on the neck of his cape he was wearing as they might have got hold of it and throttled him. He was told to take the line of least resistance. He should have let the youth go. He was transferred to Plymouth Dockyard when the Metropolitan Police took over the policing of H. M. Dockyards. This was a much more pleasant job. He evidently did some amateur boxing when at Plymouth. As my brother and I used to at times have fights, he bought us a present of two sets of boxing gloves and during his leaves he used to give us boxing lessons and very useful at school this used to be. On one occasion I took on the school bully and knocked him down and also in later years I boxed for my squadron in the R.A.F.

When he retired from the police, he did various jobs in Plymouth. He married a Miss Harriet Green in 1936. The went back to Liphook for a time and died in 1951.

UNCLE ARCHIE (ARCHIBALD REDHOUSE)

born on 6-11-1891 at Liphook. He was the youngest of my uncles, and I assume I had contact with him more than any other uncles. His father, John Redhouse, arranged for him to be apprenticed to Sam Redhouse, his brother at Stotfold as a building apprentice. Sam was a builder and built Homoko. He was renowned for the excellence of his buildings in Bedfordshire. According to a card of my grandmother written to my mother, he was going to be trained as an architect. From correspondence I have found he was not at all happy at Stotfold. There was no complaint about any individual, it was just the place. One can imagine he missed all his brothers and sisters and found it very dull. He evidently was in digs (not with the Redhouse family) and found the digs very comfortable. He finished the apprenticeship and came home to Liphook. The next I heard of him was working for the local builder Caesar & Son in the Liphook village. He left Caesar's and joined the Royal Engineers.

He was caught up in the 1914-18 war and was in the retreat at Mons. Arnongst his experiences he told me how two of them were sent to blow up a bridge, which they found was already in the hands of the Germans, and how for some time they were wandering around with 70 pounds of T.N.T. having lost contact with their own troops. A Uhlan (German Lancer) came galloping up the road and Uncle hid behind a hedge and as he passed he shot him in the back. 'That's for my brother you killed'. Wandering on through the wood he came across a dying German crying for water. Uncle had no water but his companion just emptied his on the ground and told the German to it up like the dog he was. (They were exhausted and the companion must have believed the propaganda about their enemies). Then they eventually came across the Guards digging themselves in across an apple orchard. They reported to the Guards C.O., who said he had no idea where the other regiments were and they had better join them. He knew a German regiment was about to attack. Evidently a mass of Germans appeared and the order was given, "Rapid fire." According to my Uncle there appeared to be hesitation at the thought of firing at real live men. Then a shell burst and someone shrieked out and all hell was let loose.

This was my uncle's baptism of fire. The attack was repulsed. After more perambulations he took seriously ill and although he recovered, he suffered the results of the physical and mental ordeal he went through for the rest of his life.

He was eventually discharged and joined the City of London Police.

He got married to Miss Lillian Collins in l9l6. They had three daughters, Doris, born in February 1920, Anne, born in June 1921, and Sybil born in in April 1929. I lived near them in lodgings for three years, when I worked at the Air Ministry. I was always made welcome. Uncle Archie and I periodically spent evenings together when we journeyed through and explored London. Sometimes going to the theatre, sitting in the gallery. London in those days was very safe, we never beard of muggings and the most serious crimes was pick pocketing, and that could be fairly easily guarded against if you took precautions.

Uncle Archie like his brothers cut a fine figure of a man in his City Police uniform. He played cricket for the police and was a champion at bowls.

Auntie Lill was always full of kindness and in those days when I lived in London had a very hard working life bringing up small children in a downstairs flat, with very few facilities in Albany Street. My digs in Redhill Street, quite near, were not all that bright. There were no such things as central heating, and the lighting was gas. There were no baths so we used the public baths. There was no hot water laid on. There were no washing machines and vacuum cleaners were not heard of.

It must have been much better for Aunt Lill when they moved to police quarters in Brixton. In those days Brixton was a place where a black face was unknown and it was full of excellent shops. Auntie Lill made a wonderful wife and mother and was kept fully occupied.

Uncle had the usual 1914-18 war medals and the Mons Star, and he fully earned them. It is hoped that whoever has them in the family will really value them or send them to the Royal Engineer's museum for safe keeping.

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