Sunday, 31 July 2011


The only thing I have of any of my grandparent’s possessions, apart from a few photos, is my maternal grandmother’s Identity or Aliens Book.

This was probably issued to her in 1914 at the start of the First World War. According to this she was unable to write and signed it with a cross and a thumbprint. Whether she was actually unable to write anything, or just unable to write in English we will never know. The Book was also used after the war and during World War 2.

According to her Book she was born Cecelie Walbaum to Woolf and Sara Walbaum in Bialystok in Russia (now in Poland) probably in 1877. She married Lewis Feinson in about 1899 in Russia and came to England in about 1904 with her husband and 2 children. My mother the youngest child was born in England, as were 2 other children.

How they got to England I do not know, but in all probability they came by boat via Libau in Latvia or Hamburg in Germany.

Again according to her Book she came to England on a Russian passport, number 2176, issued by the Russian Police in Bialystok in 1904.

Aliens were required to register with their local police every time they left the area overnight and register with the local police in the area they were staying.

The 1911 Census shows the family living at 56 Lindon Buildings, Bethnal Green. In 1912 when my mother was born, they were living at 7 Whitby Street, Bethnal Green. In 1934 the family moved to 50 Graham Road, Dalston, London, E8 and in September 1940 my grandparents moved to 34 Springfield Road, Windsor where my parents and I also lived. On 8th December 1940 my grandmother was given permission to visit 50 Graham Road until 14th December.

She died on 18th December 1940 in the King Edward Vll Hospital in Windsor from Cerebral Haemorrhage and Hypertension, when I was 4 years old.

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