George ALDERSON 1869 – 1965 – Chelsea Pensioner

Researched by Annette Edwards with help from Judy Roberts of Chirk and Christine Smith.

GEORGE ALDERSON  1869 – 1965

George was born in Baswich, Staffordshire on 1 December 1869, he was the son of Thomas Alderson a gardener and Jane Blakeman.

George enlisted in the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry 24 February 1888 when he was  aged 18 years and 2 months.  His address was Beaumaris Road, Newport, Salop and he was a Groom working for Rev P Roberts of Bridgnorth, Salop.

On 24 July 1889 George Alderson, a groom, married Emily Lamb at St Giles in Wrexham and in 1891 they are in Sesswick, near Holt with sons Thomas aged 1 and George who is just 2 months.

Emily was also from Staffordshire and the daughter of Edwin Lamb, a coachman who had come to Wrexham to work.

By 1899 they were in Market Street in Wrexham and  Emily had a little girl named Ethel who sadly died aged just 1 month old in November and was buried in Wrexham Cemetery.

 By 1901 they have more children, Edward 6, Alice Ellen 3 and baby Mary just 1 month old.

On 8 May 1907 Emily died at home, she was only 39, she was buried with her daughter Ethel.   She had very recently given birth to a daughter, also named Emily who sadly died aged 2 days and was buried on 7 May 1907 in a communal grave.

In 1909 George married again to Emily Hughes who was a widow from Wrexham. Emily`s maiden name was Smith. 

In 1911 he was an insurance agent living in Holt Street. Three of his own children are there,  Edward 17 and Nellie 13 and Mary  aged 10.  Hetty (Harriet) Hughes 13 and Ivy Hughes 10 are his step daughters. Their father was Frederick Hughes a carter who had died in 1904.

George joined the Army and served in the Kings Liverpool Regiment from February 1915 to October 1917 when he was discharged due to rheumatic fever.

When George and Emily left Wrexham isn`t know but in 1939  a George  Alderson born   1 December  1869   is living at 373 High Rd , Brentford , Middlesex. He is a retired gardener and also an ARP warden. His wife Emily and her daughter Betty Hughes born 1 April 1898  and working as a shorthand typist are also there. Emily Alderson   died in 1956 in Ealing, she was aged 84.

The Sphere Newspaper of 28 December 1963 published a photograph of 94 year old Chelsea Pensioner George Alderson at a cake cutting ceremony.

An annual tradition at the Royal Hospital is the Christmas Cake Ceremony, which commenced in 1949. It is a symbol of the enduring friendship between the UK and Australia and takes the form of a Christmas cake being presented to the Hospital from the Australian Returned and Services League, with each Australian state taking it in turns year by year. A pensioner at the Royal Hospital cuts the cake with a sword.

George Alderson died on 22 March 1965 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea aged 95 and is buried in Wrexham Cemetery. It`s not been able to find how George came to be admitted to Chelsea, but it`s possible he did some sort of service in WW1. No records have been found.

 He did make a will and left effects of £191.  Probate was to Doris Lilian Carter, married woman.

George was buried with his son Edward who died on 18 July 1961 at Meadowslea Hospital in Penyffordd, he was aged 67. No marriage has been found. He made a will which states his address was “The Caravan”  Marchwiel. Probate was to his father George Alderson who was a Chelsea pensioner.

Researched by Annette Edwards with help from Judy Roberts of Chirk and Christine Smith. June 2019.

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery L-03363.