I’d like to introduce…

Edward George "Ted" Turner

Edward George Turner, known affectionately to his family and friends as Ted, was a kind hearted, gregarious, right jolly English gent, loved by all who knew him. He was born on the 27th of June 1911 at Blake Cottage, Horn Street in Winslow, Buckinghamshire, where his father was employed as head groom to Mr Gosling of Blake House.

And His Lovely Wife…


Miss Phyllis Mary Collins, daughter of William Collins, publican of the George Inn in Winslow, which is where Ted met her one fateful day in the 1930s

Leonard Turner of Great Marlow Bucks

Leonard Turner and Lorrie Esther Baker

My maternal grandparents on the Turner side married on 6 September 1909 at Holy Cross, the parish church in Hoggeston[1]Witnesses were Lorrie’s father, Harry Baker, and her oldest sister Elsie.


Photo: Turner Baker Wedding Party


(courtesy of Mrs Jean Barker)


Lorrie and Leonard are seated between her parents, Harry Baker and Annie Imogen Emily Meadows. The other women in the photo are Lorrie’s sisters and perhaps two of the men are Leonard’s half brothers from his father’s second marriage.

Leonard was born on 26 June 1878 in Great Marlow, Bucks [2] His mother died of complications following the birth of his youngest sister, when he was only 3. His father Henry Turner remarried in 1884 and Leonard spent the rest of his childhood in Caversham, Oxon. He appeared there in the 1891 census living at 26 Queen’s Road, with his father, step-mother Rose, his sister Dora, two step-brothers, and a step-sister. [3] By the time Leonard married, his only brother and father had both died.


Photo: Leonard in Whaddon 1926

      Leonard had a real gift with horses and in 1901 he was a stable lad for a wealthy land owner at Foxhill House in Wanborough Wiltshire, about 60 miles from Great Marlow. [4] William T Robinson kept a huge stable with a very large staff and trained race horses. Sometime before his marriage, Leonard left Foxhill Stables and moved to Winslow where he took the position of Head Groom for Edward Lambert Gosling, a stock broker originally from Hertfordshire who lived at Blake House on Horn Street. Mr Gosling was the third son of Francis Gosling, a member of the landed gentry who owned Wellbury Park in Offley Herts. Francis kept an enormous stable of hunters and Edward was also very active with the Whaddon Chase Hunt and kept a large stable which Leonard oversaw. According to the 1911 Winslow census, Mr Gosling employed quite a large number of live-in servants and groomsmen in addition to Leonard, but as head groom Leonard had the privilege of living in his own home on the Gosling estate: Blake Cottage. [5]

In 1927, 56 year old Edward Gosling married 23 year old Lady Mary Constance Hamilton FitzMaurice , the only child of the 7th Duke of Orkney. Edward died in 1960.

While searching for Leonard on the 1911 Winslow census, I discovered that Henry and Emma Sellar lived just a couple doors down from Blake Cottage. Henry was the sister of Lorrie’s grandmother and it occurs to me that Lorrie might well have met Leonard on a visit to see her great uncle.

Leonard and Lorrie’s first child, daughter Gladys Evelyn, was born at Blake Cottage on 10 February 1910, followed a year later by our Ted. Family tradition holds that Ted was born in the tiny village of Hoggeston, so it is somewhat surprising to see that the official birth certificate indicates Winslow. It’s possible that Lorrie delivered her second child at her parent’s house, as they were still living in Hoggeston in 1911, but the birth was recorded in Winslow where she and Leonard lived.

While Leonard had been busy working with the race horses at the Foxhill Stables, his older brother Frederick had been 30 miles away training and preparing for battle with the Royal Field Artillary Hampshire Regiment at the Aldershot Military Base, Stanhope and Wellington Lines. Frederick enlisted at the age of 14, and served in India during the second Boer War. In 1902, he was back at his home base of Aldershot where he had just re-enlisted for another fifteen years, when he was killed while fighting another soldier on the base. The exact cause of death was a ruptured spleen on 26 December 1902.[6] Curiously, Leonard chose to take his brother’s name after his death and was thereafter known as Fred Turner. The earliest record of Leonard’s name change appears to be his marriage certificate.         

Leonard was 36 when Britain entered the Great War, and on 24 November 1915 he enlisted with the Fenny Stratford Signal Depot Royal Engineers in Bletchley, Bucks, leaving Lorrie and their two children behind at Blake Cottage.[7]From the records I was able to find on Ancestry.com, it appears he trained for about five months and was then re-mustered with Haynes Park Signal Depot as a “pioneer with effect” on 24 April 1916. His rank was Driver and he served in India and South Africa for three years. Germany signed the armistice with the Allies on 11 November 1918, marking the official end of WWI, and a few weeks after the January peace conference in Paris Leonard was demobilized and returned home to Blake Cottage. His demobilization records dated 20 February 1919, noted that he’d incurred no medical disability as a result of his active duty. His eyes were brown and he was 5’5″ tall. Although faded and difficult to read, this excerpt from Leonard’s enlistment papers shows his address as Blake House, Horn Street and includes his marriage date and birth information for their first two children. Their third child, daughter Jean Olive, was born at Blake Cottage in November 1927.


A page from Leonard’s enlistment


In early 1928, Leonard and Lorrie left Blake Cottage and moved their family to Whaddon, a hamlet about 5 miles from Winslow, where Leonard took over as landlord of the Lowndes Arms pub and stables Following his retirement circa 1950, the couple settled in Bletchley. Leonard died of “peritoneal carcinomatosis with metestatic liver” on 20 October 1957. He was 79. Although he passed away at Northampton General Hospital, he and Lorrie were still living in Bletchley, at 62 Whitley Crescent. Lorrie died 12 years later.

I had this bit in an email from Leonard Barker, grandson and namesake of our Leonard:

 ”…It was his wish to be scattered in sight of the pub and in the village which had been such a large part of his life. Church Hill, as its names suggests is alongside Whaddon Church and is grazing land for animals. Originally, there were a few trees there, but at the time of his death, only one remained. Jean and Ted went to scatter the ashes and asked permission of the landowner, a Mr Bill Taylor, if this could be done. As Bill was a regular at the pub, he couldn’t have been more obliging and his parting comment was that he would be able to say “Good Morning, Fred” or “Good Night, Fred” as he passed by! This remaining tree is itself no longer there so it is not possible to pinpoint the exact location.”


Leonard in his later years

The Lowndes Arms is still in operation today in Whaddon, although the old stables have been converted into rooms for rent.  Blake House and Cottage can still be found on Horn Street in Winslow. After Mr Gosling left, the new owners renovated the property and connected the cottage to the house, making one large manor home, some time in the 1930s. The tiny village of Hoggeston a few miles southeast of Winslow doesn’t look as though it’s changed a bit since Ted was a child.Leonard in his later years










[1] Winslow, Buckinghamshire marriage certificate for Frederick Leonard Turner and Lorrie Baker, 1909; given at GRO, citing Jul-Aug-Sep, Winslow, vol. 3a:1975; copy held by author.

[2] England, birth certificate, Leonard Turner, 1878; Jul-Aug-Sep Wycombe, 3a/537/40; General Records Office, Kew.

[3] “1891 England Census,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 February, 2009), entry for Henry Turner, Caversham, Oxfordshire; citing TNA microfilm RG11, piece 1158, folio 66, p. 32; GSU roll 6096268.

[4] “1901 England Census.” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 February, 2009), entry for Leonard Turner, Swindon, Wanborough; citing TNA microfilm RG13, piece 1904, folio 28, p. 9.

[5] “1911 England Census,” database, findmypast.co.uk (http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 20 May 2009), entry for Frederick Turner, Winslow, Buckinghamshire; citing TNA microfilm RG14 PN7968 RG78PN400 RD147 SD1.

[6] The National Archives, “British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920,” (http://www.findmypast.co.uk), Database accessed on: 25 October 2010, Fred Turner, Caversham; citing WO97 / 6114 / 77.

[7] “British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920,” database, Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed in February 2010) Original Data, War Office: Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ (microfilm copies); (The national Archives Microfilm Publication WO363); Records created or inherited by the War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General; entry for Frederick Turner, record #142370, Royal Engineers; citing images 83157-83181.

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