Webpage created: February 23, 2017.
Webpage updated: June 12, 2018
WILLIAM THOMAS BROWN (1857-1931)
When the Plymouth, Devonport and South-Western Junction Railway between Lidford (sic) and Devonport was opened in 1890, the London and South Western Railway Company, who were responsible for managing the line, appointed Mr William Thomas Brown as the Station Master at Ford Station.
William was born in 1857 at Alverstoke, Gosport, Hampshire, to Henry and Rosetta Brown, chemist, of North Cross Street. He joined the railway in 1871 and married Miss Alice Pidgeon, from Axminster, Devon, in 1878 while serving as a telegraph clerk at Exeter. Her father was a tailor in South Street, Exeter. Their first five children were all born at Exeter: Nellie Brown, 1879; William Henry Brown, 1880; Percy G Brown, 1883; Arthur B Brown, 1884; and Victor Thomas Brown.
Following his move to the Station House at Ford Station, he and his wife had another three children in Devonport: Kathleen Brown, 1891; Bernard John Brown, 1893; and Dorothy Alice Brown, 1896.
William remained at Ford Station until he retired in 1920 and appears to have continued to live in the Station House until his death because in 1939 his widow was still living there with their daughter, Dorothy Alice and her husband, Mr John Charles Nicholas, an engine fitter, whom she had married at Saint Mark's Church on August 4th 1920.
During his time in the area he had been an active member of the Ford Conservative [Constitutional] Club in Cambridge Road, and had been its chairman for ten consecutive years. He only resigned from that position when he took a holiday in South Africa but kept up his interest and support until just before his death.
Mr William Thomas Brown died at the Wingfield Nursing Home, Devonport, on Wednesday February 25th 1931 at the age of 73. The funeral service was held at the Anglican Church of Saint Mark by the vicar, the Reverend W G Harris. The mourners included his widow, three of their sons, Percy, Victor and Bernard; and three of their daughters, Mrs T Berriman, Mrs S J Wright, and Mrs J C Nicholas. The Southern Railway was represented by Mr F Stretch, Station Master at Devonport; Mr A H E Stevens, former Station Master at Devonport; Mr F Sims, former Station Master at Tavistock; Mr F Labdon, from Devonport Station; Mr H Snell and Mr S Tubb, station staff at Ford Station; Mr B Sleep, from the railway's engineering department; and Mr W Smalldon, Inspector. Members of the Ford and Keyham Barton Conservative Clubs and Saint Mark's Church and Sunday School were also in attendance. He was laid to rest at Weston Mill Cemetery.
As previously stated, his widow remained living at the Station House until she passed away in 1945. She was buried with her late husband at Weston Mill on January 6th 1945.
Compiled with the assistance of the
Devon Family History Society.