Keeble family, including Mrs Gladys Smith, nee Keeble

Notes on the Keeble family, including Mrs Gladys Smith, nee Keeble

For Herbert Keeble, see interview tapes 65 and 66.
For Mrs Gladys Smith, nee Keeble, see interview tape 31

Born: Herbert c 1898. Gladys 8 June 1905

Family came to Witham April 1906, father to replace person involved in rail crash of 1905.

Herbert said the person, called Pryke, was sacked, Gladys that he was killed. Herbert’s version seems more likely because (a) he has the exact name and (b) the one killed (Doole) was a porter whilst Mr Keeble was a labourer.

Family Lived in Guithavon Valley for a year.
Then to 53 Church Street

Herbert when married in 1925 lived at 15 Mill Lane for a time then Wendelbury, Hatfield Road [at the latter by 1947]. Then to 1 The Bungalows Mill Lane when he retired.

Gladys when married to Frank W Smith lived some of the time over the butcher’s shop in Templars Close, some in Silver End. At Michaeldene Chalks Road by 1943 and stayed there.

Parents of Herbert and Gladys
Mother Sarah born c 1867, died in 1928 at age of 61. Came from Fordham, helped on parent’s farm before married.
Father Jim died in 1951. Came from Lexden. His father ran the village shop, bakery and post office..

Brothers and sisters of Herbert and Gladys
Eleven children altogether, nine of whom were boys. Census shows the eldest, in order, were Louis (born c 1890), Charles (born c 1892), Mabel (born c 1894), James (born c 1896), Herbert (born c 1898), George (born c 1901). Seventh must have been Victor or Fred. Gladys said she was  the eighth, then below her Alf, Sid and another boy younger than her (must have been Victor or Fred).

National Schools, Guithavon Street.

Gladys, June 1932 to Frank William Smith of Kelvedon.


Herbert worked all his life at Pinkham’s glove factory, starting in 1911 at age 13 sweeping the floor, then learning cutting when the man there went to War in 1914. Herbert in army 1916-1919 then ‘went through the whole business’ including travelling salesman, and staying for 53 years and becoming managing director (except three years in army in First World War from 1916 on).

Gladys stayed at home to help mother after she left school, then to look after father after mother died. Later in life worked as mid-day assistant at Chipping Hill Infants school (with short time in middle probably at Templars Infants) till age of 71.

Children of Gladys

Three sons, the middle one Peter and the third one David.

Herbert 1 January 1990, Gladys 16 October 1987

Next of kin
Herbert’s son Ken, 17 Pitt Avenue. Gladys’s son Dave Smith, Michaeldene, Chalks Road.

Extracts from relevant documents

1901 Census
RG 13/1718, f.7, p.5, schedule 33, Porter’s Lane, Fordham, Essex
James W Keeble    Head    M    32    Labourer on railway    born Essex, Lexden
Sarah J Keeble    Wife    M    33        born Essex, Fordham
Louis Keeble    Son    S    11        born Essex, Fordham
Chas Keeble    Son    S    9        born Essex, Fordham
Mabel Keeble    Dau    S    7        born Essex, Fordham
James Keeble    Son    S    5        born Essex, Fordham
Herbert Keeble    Son    S    3        born Essex, Fordham

1911 electoral register, Church Street
Occupation electors – Keeble, James William

Essex Weekly News, 1 October 1915
page 5 (see xerox on file). ‘Presentation to Canon and Mrs Ingles. Parting gifts from Witham parishioners’. Long report. Presentations of gifts included Miss Keeble of Kelvedon on behalf of Witham GFS of which she is the oldest member, small clock,. This because Miss Edith Luard away.

1920 electoral register, Church Street.
Keeble, James William; Keeble, Sarah Jane; Keeble, Charles Henry; Keeble, James William; Keeble, Herbert George

1930 electoral register, 53 Church Street
Keeble, James William; Keeble, Alfred Thomas; Keeble, Mabel; Keeble, Gladys

1930 electoral register, 15 Mill Lane
Keeble, Herbert George; Keeble, Nellie May

Braintree and Witham Times, 23 June 1932
page 4. Wedding of Miss Gladys Evelyn Keeble, youngest daughter of Mr and the late Mrs J Keeble of Church Street, to Frank William Smith, of High Street, Kelvedon. At St Nicholas on Saturday. Miss Mabel Keeble, elder sister, Miss Marjorie Keeble of Ipswich, and Miss Phyllis Keeble of Harlow (cousins) and Miss Molly Cheek of White Notley, were bridal attendants. Her brother Herbert G Keeble gave her away. Seventy guests at the White Horse. Honeymoon in Ipswich. Gift from Lovedays butchers, where Mr Smith works. Also from Witham Wednesday Football Club.

Braintree and Witham Times, 4 October 1934
page 8, col 2. W Pinkham and Son of Witham held a celebration ‘at Dagenham glove factory to the completion of one year’s work there’. 55 employees and friends had tea. ‘Some of the girls gave a display of step-dancing and also sang’. Mr Pinkham congratulated the girls on their work. Presentation to ‘the manageress, Miss Keeble, the teachers, Misses Parker and Ager, and eight girls who started with them at the Dagenham factory’. Girls presented Miss Keeble with a ‘lovely brown snake-skin handbag and a filigree and pearl necklace’. Happy evening. Ended 10 o’clock.

1947 electoral register, Wendlebury, Hatfield Road
Keeble, Herbert G; Keeble, Nellie M; Rice, Charles W

1947 electoral register, Michaeldene, Chalks Road
Smith, Frank W; Smith, Gladys E; Keeble, James W

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *