The Corbett Family and Sparsholt, 5, Wedderburn Road, Malvern.
I have always been intrigued by a sentence that our Solicitor said to us when we were signing the agreement to buy our house at Sparsholt, 5, Wedderburn Road. “I hope you will be as happy as Mr Corbett must have been at Sparsholt”
Years later remembering this sentence I decided to find out more about Mr Corbett and him buying the house in the year of its construction in 1904.
John William Corbett was born in Malvern in the year 1876 to James and Mary Ann Corbett. James was a Baker and Grocer in Poolbrook and later the couple ran the Post Office also in Poolbrook. James is listed as the Sub-Postmaster in a 1905 directory. I also have an entry in a 1919 Malvern trade directory and they were still running the Post Office.
John was a Carpenter and I suspect he knew or worked for the builder, Mr William Hayes, who was to build Sparsholt and decided to buy the house in Barber’s Hill from him. The house name Sparsholt was named after the village in Hampshire where John’s wife Gertrude nee Goater was born in 1880. Her family had lived there for many years and her Father was also a Builder and they also ran the local Post Office.
This was and still is a charming village but with a new and more modern Post Office now. Parish records show that there are plenty of relatives with the name Goater living there, past and present.
John and Gertrude married in the bride’s parish of Sparsholt, Hampshire on 3 June 1903 and a few months later they moved into Sparsholt, Barber’s Hill where they lived until 1919. They had 4 children. The first three were Ronald William in 1906, Kathleen in 1909 and Louis. Another, G.Corbett, was born in 1913 and sadly died several months later in 1914. Then along came Hubert J. Corbett who was born in 1915. I believe that all four children were born in the house in Barber’s Hill.
It is well worth mentioning that George, one of John’s brothers, lived across the road for several years at the now number 3, Wedderburn Road. He moved into this house following his marriage in Malvern to Olave Mary nee Drew in 1907. This house was and still is named Inglefield. George‘s occupation was a bicycle repairer and in later years he also sold bicycles. He lived there with his wife Olave Mary and their two children who were Richard and Joan.
Meeting up with the Corbetts
Through my genealogy research I contacted several people who had Kathleen Corbett in their family tree and then narrowed it down to the daughter of a John William Corbett who was born in Malvern, Worcestershire.
I then contacted a person named Pamela Guy who lives in the Southampton area. Eureka! I came up trumps. We swapped various emails and information and it turned out that she was the granddaughter of my John William Corbett. Her mother was Kathleen Corbett, who was born in my house on 3 January 1909. She later married a Mr George Albert Frank White in 1935 in the area of Winchester registration district, which covers the village of Sparsholt.
John William, Getrude and the children left Barber’s Hill circa 1919 to go and live in Sparsholt, Hampshire to run the Post Office following the death of Gertrude’s parents.Pamela and I arranged a get together at Wedderburn Road. The weather that day in August 2012 was just great. It was tea and biscuits on the lawn and we listened to Pam’s memories of her time spent in Malvern. Her memories threw up lots of questions so a tour of Poolbrook and other parts of Malvern followed. She and her family took several photos of the outside and inside of the house. We later swapped photographs of her family via the internet and through the post, which I am very thankful for.
All this brought the history of my house to life and I am now working on other names which crop up in the deeds.
John William Corbett died on Valentine’s Day in 1953 and the death was registered at Southampton. Gertrude died on 10 December 1960 at Shirley near Southampton.
Kathleen died in 1992 and the death was registered again at Southampton.
Contributed by Alan Stone