The 1911 Census shows an entry for a Heygate family living in a 12-roomed dwelling. The Head of the Household is shown as Ralph Heygate aged 59, born in Newport Pagnell, his employment being a varnish manufacturer. Sharing the home with him was L E Heygate his wife aged 46 born in Nobottle, their two sons GR Heygate aged 24 (born March 1886), a varnish manufacturer, L W Heygate aged 21 an articled clerk and their daughter M I Heygate aged 18. All three children had been born in West Haddon. Also sharing the home was a housemaid aged 18 and a cook aged 17.
Only initials were given on the census form. I was able to obtain full names for the family members through the Register of Baptisms which showed Gerald Ralph Heygate baptised 11/4/1886 to parents Ralph and Lizzie Emma; Leonard William baptised 10/11/1889; and Margaret Irene baptised 7/5/1893. The entry for Margaret Irene showed her father as Richard Ralph and his employment as a “Gentleman”
A search was carried out of the Record of Births, Deaths and Marriages which confirmed the above baptism dates but it also showed the wedding of Ralph Heygate at Brixworth in January 1883 to a Lizzie Emma Heygate (3b 151). I had expected to see a different surname for Lizzie Emma prior to marriage and put Lizzie Emma Heygate, born in Nobottle in to the 1881 Census. I was intrigued to find the following entry for a Heygate family living at “Farm House” Nobottle:
The Head of the Household was named as Richard H Heygate aged 53 or 56 (undecipherable) a farmer of 436 acres born in Elkington. The home was shared with his wife Elizabeth aged 39 and seven siblings, all of them born in Nobottle. Among the siblings named was LIZZIE E a daughter aged 17 (born in 1864 so the age equates).
Lizzie Emma Heygate therefore remained Lizzie Emma Heygate on her marriage
Richard Ralph Heygate father of Gerald Ralph Heygate was clearly a man of means. Research discovered the following entry reporting his death: “HEYGATE, Richard Ralph of Avenue House, West Haddon died 25/8/1923, aged 71. Probate to Lizzie Emma Heygate widow, Gerald Ralph Heygate, varnish and polish (sic) manufacturer and Leonard William Heygate, farmer. Effects £10,585 1s 5d.”
The details available on the military career for Gerald Ralph Heygate show:
He was attested by a magistrate on 4/12/1915. His age at that time was 29 years 9 months. He was 5′ 6″ tall, had 33″ chest and weighed 131 pounds. His army number was 153722. He was placed in the reserve on 4/12/1915 and was mobilised on 4/9/1916. He was posted as a driver to P Battery RHA on 15/9/1916.
His military history sheet showed his service from 4/12/1915 to 4/12/1918 when his transfer to the ‘Army Reserve’ was approved “In accord with provision of ACI 327 (para 9a) 1917. He was discharged as “surplus to requirements having suffered impairment since entry” He was categorised Ciii. Cause of discharge ???hernia. He was to be employed by Ralph Heygate, West Haddon Farm
On 5/4/1929 Gerald Ralph Heygate married Kathleen Mary Squires (1896 – 1985) in St Mathews Church, Rugby. They had one child, a son, Michael John Heygate (1925-1977)
Gerald Ralph was clearly very much involved in the life of the village and local area in that there are numerous newspaper articles reporting on his work with charities, the management committee of the First Aid Association, the village May Celebration committee, various tennis tournaments and the judging of a fancy dress competition at which he and his wife decided the winning entrant was a Miss Mabel Gurney who dressed as Madame Pompadour!
In 1930 he and his wife were placed on the electoral roll of Hackney. They were at that time staying/living at 32 Valentine Road, Hackney
Gerald Ralph Heygate, living at Rokeby Cottage, West Haddon died on 1/2/1951 aged 64. Probate was to Kathleen Mary Heygate, Widow and Leonard William Heygate, Farmer (Brother). Effects totalled £12591 10s 2d.
(Jim Blakey 5th December, 2015)