Jack Alfred Larby

Jack Alfred Larby
Jack Alfred Larby
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

The Larby family lived in either Epsom or Ewell (mostly Ewell) for over a hundred years, beginning with an agricultural labourer named Thomas Larby, who was born in Puttenham, Surrey in about 1804 and married Mary Johnson of Epsom at St Martin's in 1829.

One of Thomas and Mary's children was Charles (c.1833-1890), who married Jane Narvill in 1856, and two of their children were Charles and John Richard. Charles Junior's family is dealt with elsewhere on this website.

John Richard Larby was born in Ewell in 1868 and went to work for the London and South Western Railway - which later became part of the Southern Railway - at Ewell West Station. He was initially a porter and, by 1911, a signalman; he remained at Ewell West throughout his working life. He was a keen gardener (as was his brother Charles, who gardened for a living) and tended an 'evergreen armchair' at the station for at least 28 years.

Ewell West Station c.1870
Ewell West Station c.1870
Image courtesy of W Saunders © 2012

John married Mayfair baker's daughter Annie Ellen Digby (born 1874, Chelsea) in 1897, and in 1911 they were living at 12 Chessington Road, Ewell. They had just two children, who were Jack Alfred (1898) and Constance Annie (1905). Constance married Francis Vere Lambert (1901-79) and lived in Hampshire, where she died in 1996 at the grand age of 90. John Richard died on 4 June 1930, still living at 12 Chessington Road, and Annie Ellen on 28 February 1952, by which time she had moved to 117 Chessington Road.

Jack was educated at Ewell Boys' School and followed his father on to the railway, but he started out there as a clerk. In the First World War he served as a Private in the Machine Gun Corps. In 1924 he married Dorothy Ellen Winifred Jones (born 11 February 1895 in Ewell); they had one daughter, Barbara Ann, born in 1925.

Mrs Dorothy Larby
Mrs Dorothy Larby
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Jack was Mayor of Epsom and Ewell from November 1943 to November 1944 and in 1958 he was awarded the honorary freedom of the Borough at a ceremony in the Epsom racecourse Grandstand. He retired from the railway in the 1960s and died on 26 August 1965. His last address was 39 Heatherside Road, West Ewell. Dorothy died in 1979.

Letter from James Chuter Ede to Jack Larby - click image to enlarge
Letter from James Chuter Ede to Jack Larby - click image to enlarge

Linda Jackson
November 2012



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