Alan March’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back many generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Alan’s as (1)(1)

Monk Tree



WALTER JOHN MONK was the father of Patricia and Anthony Monk and the grandfather of Alan and Ann March.

He gives his birth date in the 1939 Register as 25 June 1908. But when he came to draw his pension he discovered that he was actually born on 10 July.[1]

Although he was born and died in Croydon, he had rural roots. His father came from a village 45 miles NW of there and his mother from one 95 miles north. He was the son of Henry Monk Evans from Waddesdon in Bucks, who throughout his adult life was known as Harry Monk.  His mother was Jane Elizabeth Beeken from Moulton Eaugate in Lincolnshire. She was usually known as Elizabeth.

Walter John was baptised at Selhurst, Holy Trinity, Croydon, on 29 Aug 1908, son of Harry and Elizabeth Monk of 21 Mayo Road. His father was then a labourer.

He was usually known as Jack, a diminutive of his middle name John.

He was the youngest of twelve childen, two of whom died in infancy before Jack was born.

We find him first as a 2-year-old in the 1911 census, where he is entered simply as John.

1911 Census. 21 Mayo Road, Croydon.Harry Monk       Head         48   Married  General labourer, Worker   Bucks, Waddesdon Hill
Elizabeth Monk                            Wife         47   Married                                             Lincs. Spalding
Gertrude Monk    Daughter   23   Single     Collar machinist. Laundry. Worker  Croydon
Jessie Monk         Daughter   22   Single                                                             Croydon
Gordon Monk      Son           20   Single     Carman (To Carrier)           Worker  Croydon
Harry Monk         Son           15                 Vanguard (To Carrier)        Worker  Croydon
Alfred Monk        Son           12                 School                                              Croydon
Esther Monk        Daughter   10                 School                                              Croydon
Ernest Monk        Son           8                  School                                              Croydon
Albert Monk        Son           6                  School                                              Croydon
John Monk          Son           2

In 1913 he was admitted to Ecclesbourne Road Infants School in Croydon. The family are then living at 20 Saxon Rd. He was transferred to another school, probably Ecclesbourne Road  Boys School, on 10 Apr 1916.

By then the family had moved to 266 Whitehorse Road, where Jack was to live for the rest of his life.

His father held a variety of jobs, being a labourer or a painter. Sometime between 1916 and 1921 he became an undertaker’s assistant.  Jack remembered bodies being laid out in their front room.

In the 1921 census, 13-year-old Walter John Monk is living at 266 Whitehorse Road and is the only one of the family attending school full-time. With him are his parents and four older siblings. His father is now an undertaker’s assistant, Gertrude is still a machinist at the laundry, and 16-year-old Albert has joined her there as a washhouse boy. Esther is a clerk for the LBSC Railway, and Ernest George is a baker’s roundsman – a job Jack also took on later.

Jack’s father was still renting 266 Whitehorse Road when he died in 1930. Jack was then 22. His older siblings had left home and Jack continued to live there with his mother.

He married Winifred the following year.White Horse, Croydon [2]



WINIFRED ALICE BELFIELD was born in South Norwood on 24 Aug 1907. Her parents were Charles Belfield and Hannah Towes.

In 1911 Winifred is the middle of three daughters living at 134 Clifton Road, South Norwood, Croydon. Her father is a 31-year-old plasterer’s labourer born in Croydon, and her mother Hannah, also aged 31 was born in South Norwood.

She began her schooling at Whitehorse Road. The family were living at 22 Sidney Road in 1914 when she transferred to South Norwood Infants School. She left on 31 March 1915, moving up to another school.


In the 1921 census, Winifred is living a few houses away from her previous address, at 148 Clifton Road, South Norwood. Her father is a builder’s labourer and her older sister Nellie is a waitress at Victoria Station.

Winifred’s name is entered as Winnie. She is aged 13y 11m, so nearing the end of her school days. She and three younger siblings, Violet, Freddie and Maisie (Lilian) are attending school wholetime. Her two-year-old sister Dorothy is also there.


On 4 April 1931, Winifred Alice Belfield, spinster, married Walter John Monk, bachelor, at Holy Trinity Church, Selhurst, Croydon. He was 22 and a grocer’s assistant. She was 23. Both were living at 266 Whitehorse Road. Jack’s father is given, surprisingly, as Harry Monk, gentleman (deceased).

Winifred’s is Charles Belfield, labourer. The witnesses were Ernest George Monk, Jack’s brother, and Maisie Lilian Belfield, Winifred’s sister.

The designation of Harry Monk as a gentleman is difficult to explain. The censuses describe him as a labourer, painter, or undertaker’s assistant.

The couple lived at Jack’s childhood home of 266 Whitehorse Road, with his mother.

They had two children: Patricia Nellie, born in 1932, and Anthony J, born in 1936. Patricia’s second name was that of Winifred’s elder sister.

Pat remembered her grandmother teaching her to read before she started school.

In 1937 Jack’s mother died.

Two years later, the 1939 Register shows the family still living at 266 Whitehorse Rd.

MONK  Walter J       25 June 08       Bakers Roundsman
MONK  Winifred A    24 Aug 07        Unpaid Domestic Duties

Below these are two redacted entries. These will be Patricia and Anthony, embargoed because they were born less than a hundred years ago.

Winifred’s widowed mother Hannah Belfield and her sister Dorothy are living a few doors away at No.278.

Jack was a baker’s roundsman for the Co-op for many years. He pulled a handcart to deliver the bread.

The 1939 Register was compiled to see what human resources were available in the event of war. Next to Walter John’s name, under “Instructions”, is written: “Metropolitan Special Constabulary, Z Div., No. 672.”

His duties would have included enforcing blackouts, combating black market activity, assisting in evacuations and air raids, and capturing deserting soldiers.

But it did not save him from being called up in 1941. The police were prime recruits for the forces, being physically fit and well-trained. Their numbers were severely depleted in the war.

Jack served in the army and spent time in India. He did not return home until 1946.

For much of their married life the Monks had rented the house in Whitehorse Road, but in 1950 Jack took out a twenty-year mortgage on it.


Winifred suffered a stroke in 1980. She died of a heart attack in March the following year. She was 73.

Jack’s granddaughter-in-law, Kate March, remembers him as a man with twinkling eyes and a keen gardener. He kept an allotment, as well as the garden at Whitehorse Road.

At Jack’s death in 1992, his birth date is correctly given as 10 July 1908. He died on 10 Sept 1992, aged 84.

He was still living at 266 Whitehorse Road.

His estate was not exceeding £125,000. This is the amount given for a number of people. It probably means that he died intestate and that the value of his estate was not sufficient to pay inheritance tax. There is no record of how much it actually was.


[1] Family anecdotes from Jack Monk’s granddaughter Ann.
[2] http://img01.beerintheevening.com/62/62cb2cec7ba5f4f77dd79bd674874eca.jpg





Monk Tree