George Gaudie Stephenson was the first child of William George Stephenson & Margaret Jean Gaudie born December 29th, 1869 & christened January 29th 1870 at North Shields, Northumberland.
In 1871 George, his younger sister Gertrude & parents were living at Frank Place, Preston, North Shields where his father was a railway accountant. With the family was George’s widowed grandmother Margaret Gaudie.
By 1881 the family had moved to 64 Holgate Rd, York & George now had 3 younger sisters.
George was still living at home in 1891 at Holgate Crescent, York & he was now working as a banker’s clerk for Beckett's Bank. There were 2 younger sisters at home & also grandmother Margaret Gaudie (81).
George married Mary Winifred Eddison on June 1st 1898 at St Michael's Church, Headingley, Leeds, Yorks. Witnesses at the wedding were J Eddison, Maud Eddison & WG Stephenson. George was a bank cashier of York & Mary was a spinster of Headingley. Mary wore a dress of white satin trimmed with Honiton lace & her 3 bridesmaids - her sister Maud, & George's sisters Bertha & Muriel - were dressed in white & gold & wore gold cut bracelets, a gift from the groom. The couple honeymooned in London & Norway. Mary was born August 10th, 1876 & christened on August 22nd, 1876 at St George’s, Leeds, the daughter of Mary Best & John Eddison, a land surveyor. Mary had been born at 2 Osborne Terrace & her christening record shows that she was baptized as Winifred, but had taken her mother’s name later in life.
In 1901 George & Mary were living at 6 Cambridge Crescent, Harrogate & George had become a bank manager by this time. They had a 2 year old son George Eric B & a daughter Winifred M B who was just one week old at the time of the census. In the household there was also a monthly sick nurse, a domestic nurse, a cook & a housemaid.
George was still a bank manager in 1911 & he & Mary were still living at 6 Cambridge Crescent, now called The Bank House. They now had 4 children – George Eric Burdett, Winifred Margaret Burdett, John Keith Burdett (8) & Kathleen Mary Burdett (6). They employed a housemaid & a cook.
There is a record in the Supplement to the London Gazette of January 29th, 1917 of George being made temporary Captain in the Yorkshire West Riding Volunteer Regiment, 15th Battalion.
George continued to work as manager of the bank when Beckett’s Bank became incorporated with the Westminster Bank in 1921 & eventually retired in 1931. In 1933 he was appointed Justice of the Peace.
The 1939 register shows George & Mary living at 124 Duchy Rd, Harrogate & George was now retired. With them was daughter Winifred, a doctor’s secretary, & Amy G Eddison, aged 78.
In 1942 George was elected Mayor of Harrogate, a post he held for 2 successive years.
George pictured in 1942
According to the London Gazette of November 5th, 1918, son George Eric attended Wellington Cadet College from which he graduated as 2nd Lieutenant on June 31st, 1918. There is a record of George obtaining his flying certificate taken on a 60G Gipsy Moth at the London Aeroplane Club on July 31st, 1931. Intriguingly George was listed as ‘Charles’ Eric Burdett but the birth date & place of birth were correct. George’s address was given as c/o Lloyds Bank Ltd, 6 Pall Mall, London SW1 & his rank & profession was Captain in the Indian Army. George went on to become a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in April 1957 when his address was 124 Duchy Road, Harrogate. He wrote books on the Chinese Calendar & chronology.
Son John Keith is recorded as a passenger sailing from Madeira to Southampton on the ‘Saxon’ arriving May 27th, 1929. His profession was given as Indian Army & his address was 6 Pall Mall, London SW1. John also travelled from Cape Town, South Africa on the ‘Winchester Castle’ which arrived in Southampton on April 20th, 1931. His address on the ships manifest was 124 Duchy Road, Harrogate. John obtained his GB Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificate on June 14th, 1832 at Hampshire Aeroplane Club & at the time his profession was given as Royal Navy. On June 20th, 1940 he was ‘mentioned in dispatches’ for ‘daring, resource & devotion to duty in the 2nd Battle of Narvik’ which took place in a Norwegian fiord, whilst serving with HMS Warspite. After the end of WW2 he was awarded the OBE & when he retired from the Royal Navy he had reached the rank of Commander. John married Jane Henrietta Primmer, daughter of Dr & Mrs J B Primmer of Cowdenbeath, Fife, Scotland in a naval wedding on April 6th, 1933 at Cowdenbeath.
Another son, Peter, is recorded sailing for Sydney, Australia on January 26th, 1934 aged 21. His occupation was a miller & his address was 124 Duchy Rd, Harrogate. In 1950 Peter is listed as returning to Australia from England with his wife & 7 year old daughter. Their last address in England was given as 124 Dudley Rd, Harrogate & he was a milling engineer. Peter had married Joyce Bernice Massey in Ashfield, New South Wales, Australia in December 1939 & an article in the Sydney Sun mentioned that a cake which was made for their wedding by Mr Taylor of Harrogate had taken weeks to come from England, the couple fearing it might not arrive on time! Peter is known to have lived in Hunter’s Hill, Bennelong, NSW until at least 1980. An announcement in the Sydney Morning Herald gave Peter’s death on December 18th, 2000 stating that he was ‘the dearly loved husband of Mary & Joyce (deceased) & father of Terry John & Judy’.
Daughter Kathleen Mary became a missionary known as Sister Kathleen Mary of St Hilda’s Priory, Sneaton Castle, Whitby. She was recorded as travelling to Ghana on the Gold Coast of Africa in the 1930’s & 1940’s.
George, of 124 Duchy Rd, died on October 26th, 1946, aged 77, at The Imperial Nursing Home, Harrogate & was buried at Stonefall Cemetery & Crematorium, Harrogate, W. Yorks. Probate was granted to widow Mary & daughter Winifred, spinster, & his effects were £2,564 5s. 5d. George was obviously held in high esteem as evidenced by an obituary in the Harrogate Herald of October 30th, 1946 which was headed ‘Lifetime of good works ended’. It stated that George, known as G.G. became one of the best known & best-liked men of the town with his work for charitable, social & sporting organisations which was unparalleled in the history of Harrogate. George was associated with amateur theatricals for many years, raising money for local charities & took part in many productions. His funeral at St Peter’s, Harrogate was attended by a huge number of people reflecting all his manifold activities.
Mary of 124 Duchy Rd, died on December 26th, 1954, aged 78. Probate was granted to son George Eric, retired lieutenant colonel of the Indian Army & daughter Winifred. Her effects were £10,789 6s.7d.
The children of George Gaudie Stephenson & Mary Winifred Eddison were:
s,18.104.22.168.1 George Eric Burdett Stephenson born March 19th, 1899 at Bank House, New St, York; died Oct-December 1969 at Claro, Yorkshire
s.22.214.171.124.2 Winifred Margaret Burdett Stephenson born March 24th, 1901at Bank House, Harrogate & christened April 25th, 1901 at St Peter’s, Harrogate, Yorkshire; died April-June 1994 at Claro, Yorkshire
s.126.96.36.199.3 John Keith Burdett Stephenson born at Bank House, Harrogate, Yorkshire & christened June 3rd, 1902 at St Peter’s, Harrogate; died December 13th, 1981
s.188.8.131.52.4 Kathleen Mary Burdett Stephenson born June 10th, 1904 & christened July 14th, 1904 at St Peter’s, Harrogate, Yorkshire; died May 1986 at Whitby, Yorks
s.184.108.40.206.5 Peter Hamilton Burdett Stephenson born Oct-December 1912 in Knaresborough; died December 18th, 2000 in New South Wales, Australia