In Sheffield's City Road Cemetery, there is the grave that is the last resting place of George and Rebecca King, and one of their daughters who died at the young age of 17 months. The burial record gives the following details  
KING, Elsie (Daughter of George, age 17mths).
Died at 5ct 6 Edward St; Buried on January 22, 1918 in Consecrated ground;
Grave Number 16662, Section DD of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.
KING, Rebecca (wife of George, age 49).
Died at 14 Stonecliff Rd; Buried on January 12, 1933 in Consecrated ground;
Grave Number 16662, Section DD of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.
KING, George (Grinder, age 60).
Died at City General Hospital; Buried on April 8, 1939 in Consecrated ground;
Grave Number 16662, Section DD of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.

The family can be found living in Headford Street in 1911. George and Rebecca had only been married nine years but had five children only two of which had survived. The two rooms they rented were in back to back properties on Headford Street. The photograph shows similar properties on the adjacent Hodgson Street. The housing and environment were typical of northern cities in late Edwardian Britain i.e cramped, dirty and squalid

Name Rebecca King
Relationship to Head of Household Wife
Condition / Years Married Married / 9 Years
Total Children Born Alive 5
Children Still Living 2 Children Who Have Died 3
Gender Female Age 28 Estimated Year of Birth 1883
Employed No Working at Home No
Place of Birth Yorkshire Sheffield
Enumerator Information
Address 6 Court 5 Headford St Sheffield Parish Ecclesall Town Sheffield
Type of Building Private House Number of Rooms 2 Rooms
Inhabited Yes Reference RG14PN27837 RG78PN1593 RD509 SD7 ED7 SN171
Administrative County Yorkshire (West Riding) Registration District Ecclesall Bierlow Registration Sub District Broomhall Enumeration District 7

The census just gives a snapshot in bare statistical and demographic terms but from the information provided George and Rebecca were just like many working class families prior to the First World War. They did have more children - I have found three including twin girls  in 1916

Births Jun 1912 King Edith Bagshaw Ecclesall B. 9c 1001
Births Sep 1916 King Elsie Bagshaw Ecclesall B. 9c  896        King Nellie Bagshaw Ecclesall B. 9c 896

but they must have found life a tremendous struggle. The reason why I can make this statement is as a result of a newspaper report in the Sheffield Telegraph and Daily Independent dated 5th April 1939 - the eve of the Second World War. It records an Inquest that was held at Sheffield's City General Hospital by the Sheffield Coroner Mr J Kenyon Parker

The verdict was that his death "from ulcers and septicaemia the result of an accident at his work 30 years previously. A more appropriate cause of death may have been medical neglect. George had suffered with a bad leg for many years but in mid March it must have become severely infected for George to go to the hospital. The doctors detained him and then amputated his leg but to no avail. The question is why did the doctors leave the decision to amputate so long?. It is apparent that this was a long standing injury that was progressively worsening. The only feasible solution, in the absence of anti-biotics, would have been amputation but when it was carried out it was too late. A more likely explanation for the delay in treatment lies in the fact that George had been unemployed throughout the 1930's, and so would not have been able to see a doctor on a regular or perhaps even on an intermittent basis. Prior to the advent of the National Health Service in 1948 he would have had to pay for any treatment for his bad leg , with money in all probability he did not have. There are people in the UK today who would prefer a Health Service that is based on the ability to pay rather than clinical need. You have been warned!    


Surname First name(s) District Vol Page
Marriages Jun 1901
BAGSHAW Rebecca Eccleshall B. 9c 633
KING George Ecclesall B. 9c 633

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This page was last updated on 15/02/12 12:59