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Brentford Families - Davis & Harrison

Roger Davis writes

The Frank Davis at 276 High Street was my grandfather. He was also at 53 High Street being the chief of the Fire Brigade: my father and his younger siblings were brought up in the Fire Station. Frank's funeral in 1948 was photographed and features the shops opposite the Fire Station including the Chemist.

My grandmother and Frank's wife was Agnes Mary Taylor born 1865 Marylebone / St Johns Wood, to Thomas Taylor and Mary Elizabeth Horne.

In the 1871 census my gg aunt Rebecca Davis was living next door but one to the 'One Tun'.

Also in the 1851c my ggfather a sawyer was at 118 High Street and between 1933 and 1936 (at least - probably longer) My uncle Harry F was at No. 12.

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My mother Rose Harrison was born at 411 High Street in 1913 "between the gas works and the water works" as she still delicately describes it.

It was interesting to see in your records that the rooms above the shop had stables, because her father James was a blacksmith and farrier who had forges in several undefined locations in Brentford.

Research notes: Davis

In 1871 Frank Davis was a 9 year old scholar, living with his parents George and Louisa Davis on Windmill Lane, Old Brentford. He had an elder brother Harry, aged 10. His father was a Brentford-born carpenter.

In 1891 Frank and his wife Agnes were living at 97 Windmill Lane with their sons Harry (2) and George (1). Frank was a bricklayer.

By 1901 Frank had moved into the living quarters of the fire station, although he still gave his occupation as 'bricklayer'. Three children were recorded: George (11), Grace (2) and Bertie (1).

The 1913 trade directory records Frank Davis as 'resident fireman' at the Brentford Fire Brigade Station. In 1920 he was 'resident superintendant'; in 1928 'superintendant' and he is also recorded at no. 276, across the road from the Fire Station: 'Frank Davis & Son, builders & contractors'; in 1933 two Davis were recorded at the Fire Station: Frank,'captain' and T. superintendant.

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When Frank Davis died in 1948 the funeral procession along Brentford High Street was photographed and Roger has kindly forwarded scans of (1) the procession, with numbers 26* - 276in the background and (2) the salute, showing numbers 284 to 290in the background.

Other references to Davis on the High Street: Roger's gt gt aunt Rebecca Davis: a widow aged 72, lived at no. 251 in 1871 with her unmarried son Richard, 44 a sawyer and daughter Annie, 32, dressmaker. Richard and Annie were born in Brentford, their mother, who was a shopkeeper, was born in Lambeth.

In 1861 Rebecca's husband was alive: Richard Davis, aged 63, a sawyer, born in Lambeth. Three sons were recorded at home (which was Spring Gardens, off the High Street): Richard (34) a sawyer, James (25) retired from the Army & John (19) a sawyer.

There are several other references to Davis on the High Street, including H F Davis, builder at no. 118 in 1933 and 1940.

See for links to other pages about Brentford Fire Service.

Research notes: Harrison

Roger Davis's mother was born at no. 411, the last house on the High Street before Kew Bridge Road, in 1913. He noted 'her father James was a blacksmith and farrier who had forges in several undefined locations in Brentford'.

I have not come across any records of him on the High Street, but a search of the Historical Directories web site came across a possible reference in Kelly's Ealing, Hanwell, Brentford & Southall Directory, 1914:

Harrison, James farrier, Kew Bridge Road, Brentford

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Published May 2009