There were six children of Obed Edward and Louisa Thurston. Click here to read about Obed and Louisa
Photographs of several members of the family can be viewed in the Thurston family album accessible from the Family Albums page. Click here to view these photos. We are always grateful to receive more photos!
Edward John Holwell Thurston – baptised on 24th August 1852. Edward died aged 9 and was buried on 7th July 1862.
Charlotte Margaret Thurston – baptised on 31st October 1855. On 5th January 1882 she married Robert Colquhoun Twyne, a clerk in holy orders from Kenton in Devon and the son of William Twyne, a clerk in holy orders of Whiteparish, Wiltshire. In the 1891 census the family were living at Cockwood near Dawlish in Devon. Robert was the vicar of Cofton. They had three children: Alis M. L. aged 7, Millicent M aged 4 and William W aged 2. Robert died 9th July 1893 aged only 41 whilst at Hawkwell Rectory, Essex where he and Charlotte had been living for about 2 years. The newspaper article said he had suffered from a weak heart and had been medically attended.
In the 1901 census she was living at 5 Fosseway, Clifton, Bristol. She was described as living on her own means. She had two daughters living with her: Alis M aged 17 born in Kenton and Millicent M aged 14 born in Coxton, Devon. In 1907 Charlotte was living at 9 Manilla Road, Clifton. Charlotte died in Gloucester aged 85 on 29th November 1939.
Henry Privett Thurston – born on 22nd July 1858 and baptised on 20th September 1858. The 1871 census shows Henry attended Milton Abbas Grammar School in Dorset. An announcement in the Bristol Mercury of February 1881 said that Henry had passed his final examination at the Incorporated Law Society in Chancery Lane. By the 1881 census he had become a solicitor’s clerk, presumably in his father’s business. He continued to live with his parents throughout their lives. The 1889 trade directory shows he has become a solicitor, again presumably working for his father. He was also listed at this time as being a Captain, the Commandant of the Gloucester Regiment 1st Volunteer Battalion (Thornbury Detachment G Company) whose drill ground was in the covered tennis court in Thornbury Castle.
Henry was a keen sportsman and he was known to been instrumental in setting up and playing in Thornbury teams playing rugby and football. The family photo album on this website shows a photo of Henry when playing in the rugby team about 1885. We know from Pat Casey of Clifton Rugby Club that Henry also played for that club. ‘Harry’ was also heavily involved with cricket in Thornbury (see boxed text below).
Like his father, Henry also took on several other roles in Thornbury. He was Mayor of Thornbury in 1882-83. He is listed as Clerk to the Guardians of the Poor, Superintendent Registrar of the Thornbury Union, Clerk to Assessment and Attendance Committee and Thornbury Rural District Council, Clerk to the School Board and Clerk to the Thornbury Pension Sub-Committee, President of the Rifle Club and a member of the Parish Council and Thornbury Town Trust.
His obituary also mentioned that he had been churchwarden for 18 years, a choirmaster, a manager of the Church School, a member of the Ruri-decanal Diocesan Conferences and of the Diocesan Board of Finance.
One of his main interests was music and he was the founder and the conductor of the Thornbury Society of Gleemen for 25 years. In 1896 at the annual dinner of the Thornbury Society of Gleemen he was presented with a silver mounted baton and an illuminated address in which small portraits of various members of the Society surrounded a central photo of ‘H. P.’ in the centre. This wonderful presentation is now displayed on the wall of the reception room at 14 The Plain. The silver baton can be seen by prior arrangement in Thornbury Museum.
We are grateful to Les Summerfield, Thornbury Cricket Club and Mike Grace for allowing us to see the documents written by Edgar Mervyn Grace on the history of the Cricket Club. These included the following interesting references to ‘Harry’:
H. P. Thurston – a beloved humourist and a very useful cricketer; a very good batsman, who made several centuries for Thornbury during his long career. As a fielder he was apt to stray from the actual position allotted to him so that E.M. had frequently to call him to attention, saying ‘Harry, you have moved four or five yards from where I placed you on the boundary’. One occasion, however this was too much for him, so he picked some dirt to mark the spot where E. M. had put him, and the next time that E. M. said he’d moved, he called him over and pointed out the exact spot where he’s placed the lump of dirt.
He was a very successful batsman for the Castle Club after 1880, and for several seasons played for both clubs.
Henry Privett Thurston came from a very old and esteemed family, whose residence was at Kineton House, and he and his ancestors practised as solicitors with an office in the upper part of the High Street, which is now used by Pat Setchell, a partner in the firm.
Harry occupied Close House adjoining for many years, and on E.M.’s death in 1911 moved into Park House, where he lived as a batchelor with his brother, Lawrence, until he died in 1917. He made at least 6 centuries for Thornbury; one of them not out, and his most treasured memory was his unbroken fifth wicket partnership of 266 with E. M. against Chewton Keynsham in 1876 when, as we have already seen, the Little Doctor took out his bat for 327 while Harry’s contribution was a modest 55 not out.
Following his father’s death in 1899, he carried on his father’s solicitor’s business in conjunction with Lewis Jolly. He also carried on living at 40 High Street. In August 1911 he bought Park House for £1400 following the death of Edward Mills Grace and the 1914 trade directory and 1916 Prewett’s Almanack show that Henry and his brother Lawrence moved to live there.
Henry died at Park House on 7th November 1918 aged 60. In his will dated 20th July 1916 he devised all his property to his brother, Lawrence Thurston Thurston.
Hugh Champneys Thurston – born on 14th March 1862 and baptised on 20th June 1862. One source says Hugh joined the old Bristol Medical School in the late 70s where he took a prominent position in the prize lists as well as in the the football field. He took the L. R. C. P. (Lond) and M. R. C. S. (Eng) in 1884. A different source mentions he was educated at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
We are grateful to Pat Casey of Clifton Rugby Club who has told us that Hugh played rugby for the club in 1884-85. He is shown in a photo of the team taken in 1885 which is available on the Thurston family photo album available on this website .
In 1884 he became a assistant resident officer and pathologist at the Bristol Infirmary showing himself at once to be a practical and energetic man. During 1884 and 1885 he paid special attention to pathology and in 1919 the Infirmary museum was said to contain many excellent specimens collected and mounted by Hugh. He was a great favourite in the wards and was said to be much missed in Bristol when in 1887 he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps as a surgeon.
He served in Burma in 1891 with the Wuntho Field Force under Sir General Wolsley and received the Indian Frontier Medal with a clasp.
Hugh married Susie Steele at St Paul’s Church, Clifton in February 1896 in a double wedding ceremony involving Susie’s eldest sister. Susan had been born on 23rd December 1870, the daughter of the late Charles Steele, M. D. F. R. C. S. of Clifton. They had two children, Ursula Frances Margaret born in Colchester in 1899 and Hugo John Steele Thurston born 1904.
Hugh was promoted Major in 1899 and served throughout the Boer War between 1899 and 1902. He was present at the Relief of Kimberley and took part in many other operations there. He was mentioned in dispatches and received the Queen’s medal with five clasps and the King’s medal with two clasps and honoured with the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (C.M.G.).
Thornbury Museum is lucky enough to hold a letter from Hugh Champneys Thurston written from Heidelburg during the Boer War (in fact dated 28th October 1900). This letter gives a very graphic account of the scenes around him.
“My Dearest Mother
…We arrived here yesterday mid-day after an eventful march. All the men are well. My Sergt. Major has gone away rather ill. I am well and fit…….
During the march we lost over 1000 oxen from exhaustion left on the veldt or dead and 60 ox wagon. These last were burnt to prevent them falling into the Boers’ hands. The country through which we passed from Machadodorp to Carolina, Ermelo, Bethal was and is very unsettled. Bands of Boers being about who bully those people who have taken the oath, saying they must either turn out and fight or be shot. Then they beat them and threaten to burn their farms but I have not heard that they have done so. We burnt a lot of farms coming along from which the enemy fired or in which munitions of war were stored. From Bethal a sick convoy of 16 ox carts was sent off to Standerton under Major Copeland RAMC. No escort. The Boers came and took 8 wagons, stuffing the sick into the other 8 and 4 families so they must have been very full up. The thunder and lightning has been very bad- storms coming on during the past few days late in the afternoon. One day 2 natives & their horses, scouts, were killed by lightning. The horrors of war are more evident here. The women and children suffering. Some have little food and most seem very poor……
Trusting you are well & the boys. Very good of you to have Susie & Ursula to stay with you.”
Hugh became Deputy Assistant Director General at the War Office from 1904 to 1908. In 1907 Hugh was living at 66 Searsdale Villas, Kensington. In 1908 he presided at the Bristol Medical dinner when a very large company attended to greet him. Hugh was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 13th June 1911 and Colonel on 1st March 1915. In the First World War he served in France, was frequently mentioned in dispatches and received the Companion of the Most Honourable Order of Bath (C.B.) on 4th June 1917. He retired after the end of the War on 1st March 1919.
The photograph on the right shows Hugh with his daughter, Ursula.
He died in St Margaret’s Babbacombe in Devon on 17th August 1919 after a very short illness. We have a copy of his will dated 15th April 1896 in which he left his estate for the benefit of his wife during her life or widowhood and it was then to be shared between their children.
In 1931 Hugh’s son, Hugo died in the British Military Hospital in Lucknow, India. His home address at the time was the home of his mother, 8 Evelyn Court, Lansdown Crescent, Cheltenham. Susan died in Cheltenham on 29th February 1940 aged 69.
Ralph Neville Thurston – baptised on 11th July 1866. In 1881 Ralph was a pupil at a private school in the Rectory at Shipham near Axbridge. We don’t know anything else about Ralph except he died on 18th March 1916 living in Shanghai. The probate record shows that administration was granted to his brother, Henry, in London so we assume that he had never married.
There is story in the Weekly Standard and Blackburn Express of August 12th 1899 about a man called Ralph Thurston. We suspect it may have been fiction but it is tempting to hope it could have been about this Ralph Thurston. It is a romantic tale of his love for Isabelle Delanor in Samoa. He had a rival in the form of Samuga the Samoan. Ralph and Isabelle were in a boat that was attacked by a shark. Ralph saved his own life and left Isabelle in peril. Samuga dived into the waves and tackled the shark. He was killed, although by doing so he saved Isabelle’s life. The fair lady never married Ralph and left him broken hearted. We would love to hear if this could possibly be the story of Ralph Neville Thurston. In 1907 Ralph was described in an indenture dated 1907 dealing with his father’s estate as being a ‘Gentleman’ living in Shanghai.
Lawrence Thurston Thurston – Lawrence was born on 4th May 1870 and baptised on 23rd May 1870. Lawrence was admitted to Thornbury Grammar School on 1st October 1882. The School report of 1883 shows Lawrence was an average student, coming 5th of the ten boys in the younger group (then referred to as the ‘2nd Division’). He was quite good at French, coming 3rd out of the ten boys, and 4th in Divinity. He came bottom of the five boys taking Latin and bottom of the nine boys in Arithmetic and Algebra where he only managed 8 points out of a total 79.
The 1891 census shows that he was still living with his parents at 40 High Street and he had started working as a merchant’s clerk. However by 1901 he had taken up farming, although still living with his widowed mother at 40 High Street. In 1911 census he was still farming, now sharing 40 High Street with his brother Henry Privett. He appeared to move to Park House with his brother, Henry, in 1914 and in 1916 was still there.
On 27th March 1920 Lawrence sold 40 High Street, the coach house stables and premises at the rear to William Richardson Watson, a veterinary surgeon for £1200.
On 23rd August 1919 Lawrence married Hilda Mary Hardy in Ringwood, Hampshire. Hilda was the daughter of Thomas Barker Hardy who was a clerk in holy orders deceased. They settled to live in Kington House where Lawrence was a gentleman farmer. They remained there for many years. We don’t know when Hilda died but she is missing after the 1938 electoral register. Lawrence died in Thornbury in 1952. He was aged 81 and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 29th April 1952.