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Harry's Cross Widecombe

Harry's Cross Widecombe
Photo Janet King


From around 1920 the (Harry) Bird/Byrd family lived in Devon running Hotels
and businesses - many of the family have remained in the area or have returned for retirement.


We have been advised by the Byrd family that there are inaccuracies within these pages but have not been sent the corrections or amendments.
We therefore apologise for anything you may feel is untrue.

Family history is a wonderful excuse to pick up the phone or share a meal with siblings, grandparents and other loved ones. Use this time to ask your relatives about names, dates and places they remember from your shared heritage.
I see you have asked for corrections and complaining is no good without suggestions is it?
You have experienced adverse reaction to reasonable enquiries and this was entirely predictable with of course some hindsight! Newton (Childs)

Marquis of Granby Sleaford

Marquis of Granby Sleaford


Thomas Bird 52 Publican Marquis of Granby 65 Westgate Sleaford
Rebecca 51 Assisting in business
Jessie 19 Assisting in business
Florence Collinson 19 Barmaid

Harry Bird 28 Stationer Shopkeeper
Gertrude Wife 24 Assisting in shop
Thora baby 1
Living in 3 rooms, 215 Vauxhall Bridge Road Westminster

Edwin Bird 27 Manual Training Teacher
May wife 25 born Westminster
Edward Thomas Bird 7 months
Herbert Scowen 25 Accountant Visitor born Halse Somerset
All living at 44 Chatsworth Ave Croydon Surrey

Arthur Bird 60 Stone Mason
Mary Ann 71
53 Oakley Street Lambeth

Arthur had moved down to London between 1871 & 1881
He had 2 children Annie and Arthur

Arthur Bird 29 Sawyer
Annie Louisa 27 married 7 yrs
Edith Annie 6
Edward Thomas Frederick 2
Emma Emelia Stevens 8 Boarder Scholar

Joseph Newton Bird born 1878 in South Africa with family ( emigrated as a baby )

Joseph Newton Bird born 1852 and wife Lucy (Struggles) emigrated to South Africa c 1879

A daughter's birth showing Harry as William Wallace

A daughter's birth showing Harry as William Wallace

We are coming to the conclusion that he was a conscientious objector to World War One. He fled London with his young family in 1914 gradually moving along the south coast eventually settling in Torquay around 1920. He reverted back to Harry Bird in 1923.

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

Perhaps because he was a Vegetarian and the family used the Reform Diet. The people who followed this regime including Gandhi and George Bernard Shaw called themselves 'Wallaceites' after Mrs C Leigh Hunt Wallace a pioneer in Food Reform. Joseph Wallace had a Reform Bakery in London near to Harry's own shop. Dorothy throughout the first World War whilst she was giving birth to Harry's children was known as Mrs Wallace link to Family in WW1 section

He was also a Theosophist and their headquarters in India inspired him for the name of his first hotel in Torquay Devon
"A sprawling area of beautiful trees and shrubs in the heart of the bustling Chennai city, The Theosophical Society, in ADYAR, is a place one should not miss. Famous for its legendary Banyan tree (more than 5000 years old), underwhich JK (Jiddu Krishnamurthy) had given his world famous discourses."

Possibly the last time Harry & Dorothy used the Wallace name

Possibly the last time Harry & Dorothy used the Wallace name
We are uncertain as to whether anyone in the family changed their names officially
by Deed Poll as we have no records.

Apart from Florence Gertrude Ellen Mazasitisz Powell Wallace BIRD who never did...
See Stories and Articles page

Generally, anybody may call themselves by whatever surname they like. The surname may be changed at any time. There is no need for them to obtain permission before they change their surname. They need not adopt any formal procedure. However, the use of a changed surname must not be to deceive or cause financial loss to another.

Harry Bird prior to 1901 click to read story



London Telephone Directory Bird 1905

 London Telephone Directory Bird 1905
Harry Bird was first listed in the directory at the age of 23, four years before
marrying Gertrude Goldsmith
Two Printers were listed as being on the premises on various electoral roles after 1906

St Georges Westminster

St  Georges Westminster

Harry Bird from 1902 click pdf to read story

Harry Bird from 1902