Elliott Family History, Ancestral Trees, Biographies, Photographs and Records.
Dorothy Caroline Dore (1895 - 1968)
Jan 1895 in Pimlico
Edward Henry Dore
Ellen Frances Webzell
Arthur James Elliott in 1918
Arthur Edward b. 1921
John James b. 1927
Aug 1968 in Poplar
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Dorothy Caroline Dore c. 1920

Dorothy Caroline Dore was born in Pimlico, West London on Thursday 24 January 1895 [1], the daughter of Edward Henry Dore, a merchant's clerk from Hackney, London and Ellen Frances Webzell from Poplar. Dorothy was born at twenty-two Moreton Terrace, Luper Street, Pimlico, West London, a property leased by her father's employers, Watney Combe Reid to house staff working at their Pimlico brewery. The area around Old Brompton Road, Pimlico which includes Moreton Terrace was constructed in the 1880's on land that was generally speaking horticultural, and was renowned in the seventeenth century for nurseries and market gardens. This part of West London, home to the more prosperous and well-off members of society, has always been considered 'genteel', especially compared to the working class area of East London where Dorothy lived most of her life.

Dorothy's father, Edward died of typhoid in 1899 [2] when she was four years old. Dorothy was convinced that he contacted typhoid through handling money from public houses. However, it is more likely that it came from contaminated food or water. At the time of Edwards death, the family had moved from Pimlico in West London to Tottenham Road, Hackney, presumably to be near to Edward's family. Shortly after Edwards death, Ellen and Dorothy moved to Canning Town where the 1901 census [3] shows them living with their cousin, Mary Webzell, also a widow with five children to support. Times must have been hard as both women were working to support their families.

Shortly afterwards, in June 1901, Dorothy and her mother Ellen moved back to Poplar and Dorothy was enrolled in Northey Street school (later renamed Cyril Jackson School) [4]. The family had found lodgings at 6 Three Colts Court, Poplar, but a few months later they were on the move again and Dorothy left Northey Street school in August 1901. Five months later Dorothy resumed her education at Northey Street school in December 1901, when the family were living at 55 Ropemakers Fields, Limehouse, bit this was only shortlived when Dorothy left Northey Street school for good in February 1902. It is not known where Dorothy completed her education.

(Click on image below to see a larger version)

Dorothy Caroline Dore (1895 - 1968)

Dorothy Caroline Dore's Immediate Family

Not much is known about Dorothy's early life. She would have been thirteen years old when her mother remarried in 1908, and she went to live with her step father and three step sisters, Florence, Lilian and Elizabeth Yule at number three Harrap Street, Poplar. Dorothy certainly got on well with her step sisters, and in later life would talk avidly about the times they spent together. It is known that she was in-service, i.e. working as a live-in domestic servant for a time, as the copy of her birth certificate issued when she was fifteen years old indicated that it was obtained for the purpose of obtaining work. The 1911 census for Poplar [5] shows Dorothy living at number fourteen Harrap Street, Poplar with her step father, Robert Yule, her mother Ellen and two step sisters, Lillian and Elizabeth. Florence, her eldest step sister, was away from home at this time.

In 1914 Dorothy was 19 years old and working as a domestic servant. The outbreak of the First World War had two profound effects on Dorothy's life; the middle classes need to economise and make-do without servants, and conscription of young men into the army resulted in women being required to work in munitions. Dorothy certainly saw this as a change in fortunes. In the early 1960s, whilst I was still at school, I remember visting her during half-term holidays. She recalled with nostalgia the time that she spent working on munitions at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, in-spite of the early morning start, which entailed catching the bus from Poplar to Woolwich at 4am, and the long hours spent performing tedious and dangerous work [6].

Towards the end of the First World War in Feb 1918 Dorothy married Arthur James Elliott [7] at All Saints Church, Poplar. The wedding photograph shows Arthur in his Royal Field Artillary uniform as he was home on leave at the time. Dorothy's side of the family shows her mother Ellen Frances Webzell sitting to her left. Back row, right-to-left, is believed to be her step-father Robert Yule, next to him is her step-sister Lil's husband Jim Crawford and then step-sisters Lilian, Elizabeth and Florence, then Dorothy's friend (possibly they worked together on munitions at Woolwich).

After the war in 1918, the family moved to number 27 Bloomsbury Street where their first son, Arthur Edward was born. Nothing is known about their life here, and in the winter of 1924 the family moved to a two-roomed flat in Quebec Buildings, Preston's Road, Poplar, a five storey tenement building constructed around the turn of the century. The building was one of six council blocks named after Canadian towns and provinces, the others being Baffin, Hudson, Ontario, Ottawa and Winnipeg.

In 1934 the family moved the short distance from Quebec Buildings to number three Harrap Street, Poplar taking over the tenancy (cat and lodger included) from Dorothy's step-sister Florence, where they lived until 1940. Living close to the port of London meant that they had to endure the Blitz (heavy bombing) during the early part of the second world war. From September 1940 until May 1941 there was sustained bombing as the Luftwaffe targeted the East and West India docks, which were located in the borough of Poplar. During this time they spent most nights in a communal air-raid shelter, located in a warehouse building in Quixley Street. One morning they emerged to find that their house in Harrap Street together with the shop opposite had been destroyed in the previous nights bombing, and they decided that it was time to leave Poplar in order to escape the continual bombing. After a short time in spent in Taunton, Somerset, they found a house in the suburbs in Hornchurch, Essex but their stay was short-lived as Dorothy missed the social life and friendship of the people in Poplar, so they moved back to Poplar to number ten Scouler Street.

Holidays for the family consisted of hop-picking in the Kent countryside. At the end of every summer the family would travel to Woodfall's Farm in Laddingford where they would spend the four weeks picking hops. Accommodation was very basic, consisting of corrugated iron huts arranged around communal washing and cooking facilities. The hopping huts had earth floors and there was no furniture, apart from straw mattresses. During the month of August Dorothy would collecting item of food and clothing to take down hopping. These were placed in which were placed in a large tea chest located in a cupboard under the stairs. At the beginning of September they would receive the letter from Woodhall's farm informing them of the time and date that they would be picked up, and the family with tea chest would head off to Kent for four weeks. On 3 September 1939 they were halfway to Kent when they stopped at a cafe and were informed that war had broken out with Germany. They would return home at the end of September, with the children having missed the first three weeks of the new school year.

I remember their house in Scouler Street which had an upright piano in the front room, where many a party was held. At Christmas the Dorothy's children and grandchildren would assemble on Boxing Day and spend the day in the back room of the Steamship pub in Naval Row. Boxing Day Christmas 1963 produced the heaviest snowfall for decades, and I can still recall the particularly tiring journey home after having spent a very enjoyable day with the family.

Dorothy spent her last days in Scouler Street, Poplar. The street was earmarked for demolition as part of Docklands Redevelopment scheme and most of the residents moved out in July 1968. Dorothy, however refused to move and the bulldozers were held at bay for a further two months until she died in August 1968 [8]. Dorothy is buried in East London Cemetery, Plaistow.

I have very fond memories of my grandmother, Dorothy who could always find time for her grandchildren. She lived through two world wars, and saw more changes than will probably ever be seen in any one lifetime.


[1] GRO Birth Certificate, Dorothy C Dore 1895
[2] GRO Death Certificate, Edward H Dore 1899
[3] National Archives, 1901 Census for England and Wales, Ref. RG13/1576 f42v
[4] Northey Street School, Admissions and Discharges, 1901
[5] National Archives, 1911 Census for England and Wales
[6] Conversations I had with Dorothy during visits to Scouler Street, Poplar in early 1960's
[7] GRO Marriage Certificate, Dorthy C Dore and Arthur J Elliott 1918
[8] GRO Death Certificate, Dorothy C Dore 1968