10.7 – Clara and Leslie Forbes

This grave has an initialled plot marker, T. F., but thanks to the sexton’s book we know some of the names buried here – Clara and Leslie Forbes. The T stands for Thomas, Clara’s husband and Leslie’s father. This is their brief story.

Clara Williams Hollinrake was born in August 1878. Her mother was Esther Ann Hollinrake, and her father is unknown – Esther never took him to court for bastardy arrears, so we have no record of him. It’s safe to think his surname was Williams as many unmarried women did this to signify the parentage of their child, since the child would have to take the mother’s surname legally.

Clara grew up with her grandparents, Joseph and Charlotte (Rawson) Hollinrake. Esther Ann got married in Bury in 1883 and didn’t take her daughter with her. There were other children in the elder Hollinrake household whose precise parentage is unknown and we haven’t yet got the funds in hand to order all their birth certificates to find out who belonged to who; regardless, Clara’s place was in Todmorden and she stayed in Todmorden her whole life. By 1901 she was living with her aunt and maternal uncle, Elizabeth and George Hollinrake at Knowlwood Road, and working as a cotton weaver.

In July 1906 Clara married Thomas Forbes. Thomas was a fitter who lived in Walsden, the son of Thomas and Ellen Forbes who are buried at 17.13 along with Samuel Grindrod, Thomas’s brother in law. Clara’s family were staunch Methodists but Thomas’s may not have been, hence the marriage taking place at St. Peter’s in Walsden. George, Elizabeth, and Clara’s aunt Mary Jane were living with the couple in 1911 but that may have been for either economic or emotional support. Because between 1906 and 1911, Thomas and Clara had had two children, and only one was still alive. Leslie Forbes was born six months after their marriage, and eight months after that he died. The child still alive in 1911 isn’t in the house which is curious – Dennis, whose birth was registered in March 1910. It turns out he was staying with Samuel Grindrod and his wife, Thomas’s sister Amy.

Thomas died in 1924 aged 43 and was buried at Christ Church. He could either be buried in this plot here or with his parents, but either way, it isn’t recorded on a stone or in the sexton’s book. By this time he, Clara and Thomas were living at 72 Wellington Road. Clara continued in the house until her own death in 1934, when she was buried here. Her estate was handed over to her son Dennis and Samuel Grindrod to disperse.

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  1. Pingback:17.13 – Thomas and Mary Forbes, and Samuel and Amy Grindrod – F.O.C.C.T.

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