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Mrs. B. Fletcher Robinson (1879 - 1946) PDF Print E-mail

On 21st January 1907, 36 year-old Bertram Fletcher Robinson (hereafter BFR) died at his London home at 44 Eaton Terrace.   Three days later, he was buried at St. Andrew's Church in Ipplepen nearby his beloved Devon home (see the series of 'Blogs' entitled 'Ipplepen and Fletcher Robinson).  BFR's 27 year-old widow, Gladys Hill Robinson, arranged for a large and expensive monument to be placed on the site of his grave.  She also had the headstone inscribed as follows:

IN
LOVING MEMORY OF
BERTRAM FLETCHER
ROBINSON,
THE BELOVED HUSBAND OF
GLADYS HILL ROBINSON,
OF PARK HILL, IPPLEPEN,
WHO DIED 21ST JANUARY 1907,
AGED 36 YEARS,
“DO WELL, O LORD: UNTO THOSE THAT
ARE GOOD AND TRUE OF HEART.”

On 25th January 1907, a Westcountry newspaper entitled The Western Morning News reported that Gladys had been too distressed to attend her husband's funeral service.  Instead, she was comforted by the wife of Lord Alfred Harmsworth (BFR's employer).  Gladys did however send a floral tribute that was accompanied by the following message:

                                   To my dear husband, in loving memory

On 30th January,  Harold Michelmore (BFR's friend and solicitor), travelled to London from Devon in order to administer BFR's estate and to provide further comfort to the grieving Gladys.  That same day he wrote the following letter to another bereaved client in which he refers to both BFR and Gladys:

Dear Miss Taylor


Your telegram was forwarded to me at Chudleigh last night and I can not tell you how sorry I am to hear of your Aunts’ death.  I know that she was getting up in years but when last I saw her she looked so well and was obviously devoted to Miss Trimble and yourself that I am sure the death must be a great shock to you both.


I am just starting for London in connection with the death of one of my oldest friends Mr. Fletcher Robinson the editor of the World whose death you may have noticed in the paper last week but if I can be of assistance to you in your sorrow before the funeral I will return at once.  I had arranged to stay at 49 Wimpole Street W [the home of his in-laws] and a telegram there will find me at once.


I have appointments until Monday [4th February 1907] when I intended coming back but if I can help you please send me a wire and I will cancel them until next week and come back.  In any event please let me know when and where the funeral will be as I should like to attend it if I can under the circumstances. 


I should cancel my visit so I can and not start were it not that Mr. Robinson’s Widow who is distinctly in much sorrow is expecting me.

 

                                                                  Yours most sincerely,

                                                                        Harold G. Michelmore.

On 16th February 1907, BFR’s estate was proved at £35,949 3s 0d net and Michelmore was granted probate. BFR left £2,000 each to Michelmore and several cousins (the sons of Mrs. Holt née Hobson from Birkenhead). He also bequeathed £1,000 in-trust to Newton Abbot Hospital for a 'Fletcher Robinson Bed' and £2,000 in-trust to 'Newton College' for a 'Fletcher Robinson Modern Languages Scholarship' (both BFR and Michelmore were 'Old Newtonians'). Gladys inherited the remaining balance of BFR’s estate.

During 1909, Gladys sold both 44 Eaton Terrace and Park Hill House (to one William Maxwell and one Sidney King Eldridge respectively).  Thereafter, it appears that she emulated both her late father and husband by paying an extended visit to mainland Europe [see 'BFR Chronology' and 'Philip Morris (1833 - 1902) and Family'].  Sometime during WWI, Gladys met a Royal Artillery officer called Major William John Frederick Halliday.  He was born in London during 1882 and was affectionately referred to as 'Fred'. The following marriage announcement was published in The Times newspaper on 15th January 1918:

HALLIDAY : ROBINSON. –  On the 7th  Jan., 1918,

at the British Embassy in Paris.  MAJOR WILLIAM JOHN 

   FREDERICK HALLIDAY, D.S.O., R.F.A., to MRS GLADYS
 
   FLETCHER ROBINSON, daughter of the late Mr. Philip
 
Morris, R.A.
 
It is perhaps a measure of the grief that Gladys evidently felt about BFR's death that she should have elected to wait for almost 11 years before remarrying.  It is also ironic to note, that her second marriage should take place within the very same city where BFR had contracted the disease that reputedly caused his death (see 'Diocese Petition').  Sometime thereafter, the newly-weds relocated to 'Northend', 82, St. Mark's Road, Henley-on Thames, Oxfordshire.

On 8th January 1946, 66 year-old Gladys Hill Halliday died following treatment for a pulmonary condition at the London Chest Hospital in Victoria Park.  Her death was announced in The Times newspaper as follows (10th January):

HALLIDAY.– On Jan. 8, 1946, suddenly at Northend,

St. Mark’s Road, Henley.  GLADYS, dearly loved wife

of  MAJOR F. HALLIDAY, D.S.O.

On 14th June 1946, the estate of Gladys Hill Halliday was proved at £23,779 8s 3d net and probate was awarded to Harold Michelmore.  Her husband, Major William John Frederick Halliday, was the sole beneficiary.  Gladys also stipulated that, upon his death, any residue should pass to a nephew called "Lieutenant-Commander Peter Withers, R.N., D.S.O., D.S.C.".  Gladys never bore any children of her own.

Shortly thereafter, 63 year-old Major Halliday became engaged to 47 year-old Honor Nesta Macnamara.  The following announcement was published in The Times newspaper on 12th September 1946:

MAJOR W. J. F. HALLIDAY AND MISS

H. MACNAMARA 

The engagement is announced between

Major William John Frederick (Fred)

Halliday, D.S.O., late Royal Artillery, of 82,

St. Mark’s Road, Henley-on-Thames, and

Honor Macnamara, of 15 Gordon Place,

London, W.8, youngest daughter of the late

Mr. and Mrs. H. V. Macnamara, formerly of

Ennistymon House, County Clare, Ireland.

On 5th November 1946, Major Halliday and Honor Macnamara were married.  The following  announcement was published in The Times newspaper on 15th November:

HALLIDAY : MACNAMARA. – On Nov. 5, 1946,

quietly, in London, MAJOR W. J. F. HALLIDAY, of

82, St. Mark’s Road, Henley-on-Thames, to HONOR

MACNAMARA, of 15, Gordon Place, London, W.8.

The fate of Major Halliday and his second wife are still being researched.  However, an article published in The Times newspaper (13th September 1950) reported that one "Major W. J. F. Halliday" had attended a centenary dinner for 100 old-boys at Orley Farm School on 9th September.  Another article published by the same newspaper (23rd July 1986) reported that 87 year-old Honor Nesta Halliday had died in Berkshire on 21st July.

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By Paul Spiring © 2007.

 
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