One hundred years ago, Nurse Edith Cavell was executed by the Germans for helping Belgian and French soldiers escape Brussels. I found this postcard in my Grandmothers (Ada Greenwood) photo collection. I have recollections of talking to her about Edith Cavell and watching the B&W film with her on a sunday afternoon, probably in the late 1950’s. As a family we used to go around to our grandparents house after afternoon sunday school. We went for sunday tea and to watch the TV. They had a television, we didn’t, so Sunday was the day. We probably watched the Black and White film Nurse Edith Cavell from 1939 starring Anna Neagle as Edith and George Saunders as the German Officer.
This card was probably sold during the war and is printed on fabric. It was taken before the war, she sits in her garden in Brussels with her two dogs. The dog on the right, “Jack” was rescued after her execution.
Edith Cavell was definitely one of my Grandmothers heroes.
Grandfather Jack Greenwood was a member of the Methodist Church close to where he lived in York. He married Ada there in July 1921, a romance that had taken them through the World War. Ada had her shop just down Cemetery Road from the church, although it is remarkable that she married at the Methodist chapel as she was from an Irish Roman Catholic family. Jacks parents had married across York at St. Paul’s Parish church, close to Mary’s home. They didn’t appear to be Methodists then! So I took a trip to the Borthwick Institute in York, where they keep the records for Melbourne Terrace. I wanted to see if Jack, or his parents, were as active at that church, perhaps as they were at their chapel later on in Middlesbrough. First surprise was that many of the records are restricted as they may relate to people who are still alive. They cannot release records naming people until 100 years have passed. So unfortunately, I was restricted to public documents. I did find that the Church was of course an important part of the community, particularly between the wars. They held large Bazaars, taking over the church and school hall for a few days every few years. In November 1932 the theme was “Ye Olde English Village Bazaar”. On the third day of the event, the prayer was given by a Rev H Greenwood (no relation I think), with a Musical Opening given by the young people of the church. Amongst the list of people taking part was Irwin Greenwood who was 6 at the time. The Greenwood’s didn’t appear to involved in the organisation of the Bazaars, nor are they listed in the Leaders minute books, where the church groups got together for their all important Methodist meetings. So they weren’t involved in the organisation of church life in York as far as I can tell. So its fair to say that they moved to Middlesbrough sometime between 1932, when Irwin was coming up to seven and 1941 when they were living at Rockliffe Road.
When they moved to Middlesbrough the family became members of the Avenue Methodist Church in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough. One of the great things about the Methodists is that they do transfer membership to new chapels when families move, so they must have helped the Greenwood’s settle into Middlesbrough. Grandfather became Choir Master and Chairman of the Scout group. Gran was in the Womens Guild, choir and flower group. So their active church life started when they moved. Melbourne Terrace was requisitioned by the army during the second world war. It was damaged by bombs and the neighbourhood was afterwards left to decline. The premises were demolished in 1986 to make way for the current church. The rest of the site was demolished, along with most of the terraced houses along Cemetery Road and Ada’s shop. Modern houses now line the road overlooking the cemetery, all that is left is the Melbourne Hotel Terrace pub.