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George Bliss 1837

George Bliss b 1837 in Harrow, the son of James Bliss and Ann Foster had a job as a Harrow print seller in 1861; However he joined the family business and we see home working in their salubrious Lower Seymour Road wine and spirits shop in the West End of London.

He married Esther Maria Standen  (bap 7 Nov 1852 St Marylebone Christchurch) at St Stephens Hammersmith 18 Mar 1875. On his marriage certificate his occupation is Gentleman. His address was 94 Westbourne Park Road.


Esther’s father was Matthew Standen, Gentleman (who made his money as a butcher). The pictures show where George lived.  This is a huge house for just 4 people so he must have done alright for himself.

By 1871 he has retired and the family have moved down to Hastings on the south coast. In 1881 they lived at Tower House, Priory Road, Hastings St Clement, Sussex

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George died 26 Sep 1883 in St Leonards and is buried in Hastings Cemetery. He was only 49.


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After George died, we find that Esther took over as the the proprietor of a lodging house at 1 Undercliffe, Hastings in 1881. She probably didn’t own the house (I could be wrong.  No 1 is to either the building behind the van or the one to the left of it.


In 1891 Esther was a restaurant keeper at 31 Western Road, Hastings.. Both her children are living with her and working in the restaurant. The building that she occupied has not stood the test of time and there are vacant blocks and modern buildings on this street now.

1901 and we find that Esther is is at 30 Western Road Hastings with both her children. She is running a restaurant (the location has been flattened so no trace of the house).

Esther was a talented girl because 10 years later she is a hospital nurse and living at the Eardens Lodge, Hatch Lane, Lewes. I believe this was the brand new hospital Lewes Hospital opened in 1910. By 1939, just before the Second World War broke out she is at at 71 Dyke Road, Brighton and age has caught up with her and she is incapacitated.


















George and Esther had

Estine Jennie Bliss b 1876 Paddington.  Estine learned her trade in managing a boarding house and helping to run a restaurant in Hastings. In 1901 she was helping her mum run their restaurant. In 1911 she is living by herself and working the manageress of a wine merchant business at 26 England Lane, Haverstock Hill.  The 1939 register is very useful because we find that she aged 52 and was still single but has returned to Brighton to look after her mum at 71 Dyke Road.

Estine died 15 July 1950 in Worthing and is buried Hastings Cemetery

Note about Haverstock Hill: In the 1880s and early 1890s the entire Belsize estate west of Haverstock Hill was occupied by people classified as living 'in comfort'. Mews, in Lancaster Road, north of England's Lane, and especially in the centre of Belsize Lane, were occupied by the 'fairly comfortable', such as coachmen, gardeners, tradesmen, and craftsmen, but most of Belsize Park was 'upper middle- and middle-class, wealthy' and the other estates to north and south were 'middle-class, well-to-do'.

Note this area was developed by Edward Bliss. Bliss, a self-made man, began developing the 14 a. fronting Haverstock Hill soon after 1815. In addition to the single and paired villas like Devonshire House, probably built by Basil Woodd in 1826, there were terraces like the Grecian-style Haverstock Terrace (in 1986 nos. 26-38 Belsize Grove), built in 1825-6, and Devonshire Place. Almost all the 38 houses on the estate had been built by 1830, with stabling and occupied by 'persons of quality'. Bliss made the land available, on underleases to his lease for lives, both to individuals and to speculators like George Crane of Cheltenham, who built Bedford, Oak, and Gilling lodges in addition to Haverstock Terrace.


No idea if this Edward Bliss was a relative.

George Harold Bliss, b 20 July 1882 in Hastings, son of James and Esther helped mum in the boarding house, and then got a job as an architect’s assistant in Hastings. He served his time and became a surveyor. He was 33 at the outbreak of World War 1. So he joined the Army on 20 Nov 1915. He joined the Royal Monmouth Royal Engineers. Sadly the army records are in poor condition and don’t show his particulars but he gave his address as something Villas, Windsor. His number was 388381. He was given an examination to assess his competence and was found to be a “very superior surveyor” and recommended for the pay of two shillings a week from 10 Feb 1917. 


After completing basic training George was shipped out and arrived in France with ??? coy RMRE on 11 Jun 1917. Appointed to Acting Corporal 4 Dec 1917. Admitted to 76 Field Ambulance 27 Dec 1917 (Battle of Passchendaele). Discharged 4 Jan 1918. Promoted to corporal 4 Dec 1917. Joined the HGCE Rear Lane Defences of the 3rd Army (Rearguard Defences No 1 28 Mar 1918 and promoted to sergeant. On the 15 September 28 Mar 1918  he was given two weeks leave and returned to England.


He was then transferred to class Z (Army Reserve) 18 Mar 1919. Home is given as 12 Sifton Pl, Hew Ferry, Birkenhead.  He was demobbed 18 Mar 1919. For an explanation of the Royal Engineers see Appendix 2 .


George never married and died 15 Jan 1968 at Lower Eastburn House, Dawlish Road, Teignmouth Devon. His estate was valued at £2572 (£47,000 in 2022).

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