Charles Returns to Widnes

What became of Charles, Sarah Jane and family in Widnes?

This question was raised by Val (Gandy) Reid, granddaughter of Harry and Bertha Jane Gandy and daughter of Walter Gandy. She has provided much information about Charles and descendants for the website.

The decisive clue to the whereabouts of Charles in Widnes was the address given on the record of his return voyage from New York in 1919, 19 Violet Street Widnes – in West Bank. Violet Street lies about 500 yards north of Cromwell Street and Marsh Street in West Bank, where older brother Ike Gandy and sister-in-law Elizabeth Stevens lived.

Sarah Jane was still living at 19 Violet Street with four of their children when Charles returned from Canada in 1919, leaving son Bill behind in Canada. Sarah Jane died in 1935 age 66 years and is buried in Widnes Cemetery. Charles died four years after Sarah Jane, in 1939 age 77 years. At the time he was living at 2 Lancaster Road, Farnworth with his unmarried daughter Cordelia May.

Widnes Borough Cemetery, Farnworth

I checked for burials in Widnes using a CD issued by the L&SWLFHS and to my surprise found the grave of both Charles and Sarah Jane in Widnes Borough Cemetery, in the village of Farnworth.

Widnes Cemetery Chapels
Widnes Cemetery Chapels, Farnworth
Widnes Cemetery
Entrance Widnes Cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

The grave inscriptions on the left- and righthand kerbs of the grave read respectively:

In loving remembrance of Sarah Jane “Till the brightest of all meetings”

Also Charles Gandy the beloved husband “Peace perfect peace”.

No dates are given for Sarah Jane or Charles on the grave, which has become a family grave for several generations of the Gandy family.

Gandy grave
Gandy Family Grave, Widnes. Photo Barry Appleton
Others who lie in the Gandy grave

Daughter Cordelia May was buried in the same grave in 1984, age 87 years.

Sarah Jane and Charles’ son Charles Edward, Cordelia May’s younger brother, who lived nearby in Alder Avenue, Farnworth, died in 1959 age 60 years and lies in the Gandy grave,together with his wife Mary Elizabeth (Ciss) who died in 1980 age 79 years.

Bertha Jane Gandy, wife of Harry Gandy, passed away on December 10th. 1975. At the time she was living at 5 Deacon Place Widnes She is also buried in the cemetery, in the GANDY grave described above. However we have not located any inscription for Bertha Jane. No grave has been located for her husband Harry Gandy either. He died at home at 112 Alder Avenue Widnes in 1957.

Widnes Cemetery also contains the grave of Ike’s first son William Stephen Gandy (my grandfather) by his first marriage to Elizabeth Stevens, and William’s wife Mary Agnes Gandy. Some members of the two sides of the family – that is Ike’s and Charles’ descendants, were thus united in Farnworth, Widnes, after passing away.

Cordelia May Gandy

Daughter Cordelia May was buried in the same grave in 1984, age 87 years. She has two inscriptions; a book inscribed: “In loving memory of Cordelia May (Auntie May)” and date.

Cordelia May
Gravestone for Cordelia May Gandy. Photo Barry Appleton

The grave also contains her name and dates on the front kerb, together with an inscription for her friend Ethel Mary Hampson, who lived with Cordelia May in Lancaster Road. She was buried in the grave in 1966, age 69 years. The inscription reads: “Treasured memories of a dear friend. She loved her kind.”

Grave kerb
Grave Kerb. Photo Linda Skilky

 

 Charles Edward and “Ciss” Gandy

Sarah Jane and Charles’ son Charles Edward, Cordelia May’s younger brother lived nearby in Alder Avenue, Farnworth, together with his wife Mary Elizabeth (Ciss). They married in 1922 and had six children: William Stanley “Bill” born 1924, Charles Francis born 1925, Daisy born 1926, Alan born 1928, Edward born 1935 and Enid Sarah born 1937. Below we see Charles and Ciss with one of them. Read more about Bill and Daisy here.

Charles Edward and Ciss with baby. Photo courtesy Dylis Lloyd Johnson Collection
Charles Edward and Ciss with baby. Photo courtesy Dylis Lloyd Johnson Collection

Charles Edward Cordelia May’s younger brother who lived nearby in Alder Avenue, Farnworth,died in 1959 age 60 years and lies in the Gandy grave.  together with his wife Mary Elizabeth (Ciss) who died in 1980 age 79 years.

Charles Edward
Gravestone for Charles Edward & Mary Elizabeth “Ciss” Gandy. Photo Barry Appleton

I recall that I actually visited Charles Edward and Mary Elizabeth in Alder Avenue when I was a young lad in the village of Farnworth, without knowing who they were! My father sent me off bearing a small brown paper bag containing a few fresh eggs from our hens. It must have been in the early 1950’s, and as a reward for the eggs I was invited to watch their TV-set. A rarity in those days.

Others who lie in the Gandy grave

Bertha Jane Gandy, wife of Harry Gandy, passed away on December 10th. 1975. At the time she was living at 5 Deacon Place Widnes She is also buried in the cemetery, in the GANDY grave described above. However we have not located any inscription for Bertha Jane. No grave has been located for her husband Harry Gandy either. He died at home at 112 Alder Avenue Widnes in 1957.

Widnes Cemetery also contains the grave of Ike’s first son William Stephen Gandy (my grandfather) by his first marriage to Elizabeth Stevens, and William’s wife Mary Agnes Gandy. Some members of the two sides of the family – that is Ike’s and Charles’ descendants, were thus united in Farnworth, Widnes, after passing away.