Dorothy Harry and Gertrude were 'Wallaceites' after the Food Reform Movement . They served Reform and Vegetarian Food in their Hotel and Guest House Restaurants
Harry changed his name to William Wallace from 1914 to 1921 and Dorothy called herself Mrs Wallace. Five of their children carried Wallace as their names. This distinguished Dorothy from Gertrude who was the real Mrs Bird. No one possibly guessing that Harry Bird and 'William Wallace' were the same man.....
So many stories could have been concocted (of which there were) as to the relationship of the two women. Dead husbands on either side, which was perfectly feasible to the outdsider as so many men's lives were lost in the Great War
There were always two Mrs Birds in the family.
NOM DE GUERRE
Is a name used by an individual as an alternative to their true name.
In most legal systems, a name assumed for a nonfraudulent purpose is a legal name and usable as the person's true name, which is however preferred or required for various official purposes. The most common example is when a woman assumes her husband's surname without resorting to the formal statutory process
If you were a conscientious objector or a deserter in WW1 it was a common tactic to change your name and move around the country, having an alias helped, most of these men moved out of London as their names were published weekly in the London Police Gazette. It published a weekly list of 'Deserters and Absentees from His Majesty's Service', covering all branches of the armed forces. The lists contained detailed information, arranged alphabetically by surname, relating to an individual's place and date of enlistment and desertion, regimental details, and, in some cases, a physical description including age, height, complexion, hair and eye colour, and distinguishing marks.
Some conscientious objectors did not want to fight but were keen to 'do their bit'. These people were willing to help in weapons factories and some went to the trenches to become stretcher bearers etc., though not to fight. Other C.O's refused to do anything that involved the war - these were known as 'absolutists' Those who claimed to be conscientious objectors had to face a tribunal to argue their case as to why they should not be called up to join the army. It was very tough and often appeals failed. Only Quakers were exempt.
Deserters if discovered were shot.
See the Family in WW1 click to read section for more information
Harry changed his name to William Wallace in 1914 and started moving the family around the south of the country , reverting back to Harry Bird in 1923. He last appeared in the London Telephone Directory in 1914 at his shop in Vauxhall Bridge Road, Tel no Victoria 4576. Dorothy during this period became Mrs Dorothy May Wallace. Places the family stayed in along the way were - Brighton, Hayling Island, Shoreham, Southampton,Wellington and Cannington, finally settling in Torquay.
1910 Stationer Newsagent - Harry Bird - London
1911 Master Stationer - Harry Bird - London
1913 Master Stationer - Harry Bird - London
1914 Electrical Engineer - William Wallace - Pinner
1916 Mechanical Engineer 'Munitions' - William Wallace - Brighton
1918 Electrician - William Wallace - Hambledon Hants
1919 Electrician journeyman - William Wallace - Cannington Bridgewater
1921 Conductor on Motorbus - Harry Wallace Bird -Torquay
1923 Booking Clerk Motor Garage - Harry Bird - Torquay
Many of these men became munitions workers in the vast factories together with those who were exempt on medical grounds. It has been reported by one of his sons, that Harry Bird only had one lung
After consulting an expert RR we had the following reply
" I think his views point strongly to a conscientious objection to WW1. Perhaps he realised that the Tribunals were very likely loaded against people like him and decided to lie low. "
When the family set off they had four babies under four and by the time they settled in Torquay they had seven with another two following shortly afterwards. They must have been desparate to have been on the move for the whole of the war years. Things were very hard and there were many shortages. Dorothy certainly would have needed Gertrude's help! Were they on the run?
Ian and I lived in Cannington in the early 1960s for three years . He was house master & biology master at the Brymore boarding school in what was the home of Pym the Parliamentarian. Ian replanted the pink and white chestnut aveune which led to the red sandstone big house. The boys grew them from Conkers in pots. I gave birth to Tom in our flat above the Work shops/ carriage house/ stables. The district nurse became a good friend. She lived in a cottage facing the ford in the small river which ran through the village.In the course of our family research we have discovered that Thalia Ideane Mazasitisz Wallace (Bird) my aunt was born in that cottage in Gurney Street in 1919 where I used to have a cup of tea with the distrct nurse. Thalia Campbell