We record here the lives of people who have made a difference to the history of Hallow.

BOULTON, John Charles (1895-1976)     
WWI soldier.  Read more about him here

BROWNE, Frederick Cyril (1904-1965)   
He was an active member of Hallow's community - read more here 

BULLOCK, Philip Harold (1923-2017)

Churchwarden at Grimley, Campanologist at Grimley and Hallow, Parish Councillor, Civil Defence Volunteer and former Secretary of Hallow British Legion who died on May 26th 2017 aged 94.

Phil was born on April 14th 1923 to parents Lillian and Albert and spent his early childhood in St. John’s coming to our Benefice in the late 1930s to Pound Farm and then to The Cottage in Sinton Green where his parents would live for the rest of their lives. The family origins were in Sinton Green where his Great Grandfather and his Grandfather had been Blacksmiths. Their Blacksmith business can be traced back to the 1700s.

In WW2, he became part of the Allied Special Forces (the equivalent of today’s SAS and known then as the Chindits) – a unit that operated behind enemy lines in North Burma which they reached by glider and pack mule.

To read more about Philip, click here

COURT, Jim (1938-2012)    
Farmer, Greenhill Farm, read more here

CROWE, Peter Alan (1935-2015) 
Known as Pete, he was a popular member of Hallow's community, and beloved husband of Janet.  Pete was born at Yew Tree Villas, and lived in Hallow all his life.  Read more about him here

Mrs Anne HOLLAND lived at Hallow Park for a short while c. 1838 to 1841.  To read the research, click here

MARSHMAN, George (24 June 1920 to 6 March 2008)
George was born at Thorngrove, Grimley on 24 June 1920.  His parents were Frederick, who was head gardener at Thorngrove, and Esther (nee Morgans) who was originally from Pembrokeshire.   He was a much loved husband and father, and was also a former Hallow shoe repairer, postman and school caretaker – to read his son David's recollections, please click here.          

MASON, Robert (Known as Bob) (1931-2015)      
Village Bobby.  To read about him, click here

PENNEY, Thomas George (1896-1917)   
WWI soldier.  Read more about him here  and his postcards home, view here

PEPYS, Reginald Whitmore (1883-1914)    
WWI, Captain.  Reginald was born in the Hallow Vicarage, the youngest son of Rev. Herbert Pepys.  Read about him here

PRATT, Emily Violet (1887-1987)   
Known as Violet, and daughter of Henry and Edith of the Royal Oak Inn.  Violet was a nurse.  Read about her here

RICHARDSON, Frederick Charles (Born in East Comer, Worcester 1895)   WWI soldier, Frederick lived in Park Lane (1911).  Read more about him here  

STALLARD, Alice May (1893-1918)     
Alice was a WWI V.A.D. nurse, having previously taught at Hallow School.  Read more here



A picture of life in Hallow and Worcester 100 years ago is revealed through a diary kept by Mrs. Henry Stevenson, whose husband was Rector of Grimley with Hallow from 1845 to 1853.  She was formerly named Mary Bland, born 1808, daughter of a Newark solicitor who had been Mayor of his town.  Husband Henry was an Honorary Canon of Worcester Cathedral, and examining chaplain to Bishop Pepys, and on his mother’s side of the family he was a first cousin of Sir Robert Peel, Prime Minister (1834/5 and 1841-1846).

Mary began keeping her diary in 1850 after 22 years of marriage, and continued until 1892, by which time her entries had become brief and few. 

As was recalled by her grandson Lt.-Col. John Stevenson, Mary’s last surviving daughters, Misses Cecilia and Edith lived in Barbourne and they died long before the start of the Second World War.  John said that of his grandparents 13 children, two died in infancy and none of the seven daughters married.  Only two of the four sons had children of their own.

The first diary entry was August 18, 1850 and recalled the re-opening of Hallow Church “after a thorough cleaning”.  A new alter cloth, pulpit cushions etc. had been provided by parishioners as a testimonial of respect to the pastor who was also the Rector at Grimley, and officially Perpetual Curate of Hallow, and was “even referred to occasionally as the Vicar.  The Church was not the one familiar today, but its chapel-like predecessor, without tower or aisles which was built in 1830, was taken down in 1869 to make room for the present Church”.

Mary’s domestic detail is fascinating i.e. her husband preaches whilst suffering toothache, its removal undertaken days later “under the influence of chloroform”.  She has her eyes treated with laudanum, and one of her children is ill and has leeches applied.

In October 1850 Mary and Rev. Stephenson set off by train “an arduous undertaking to Manchester and Fleetwood” where he was to preach, and she was to visit friends.  “A luggage train broke down immediately before us and we were detained two hours”.  They had a narrow escape for “six or seven carriages were broken to pieces and fragments of glass and iron were thrown in all directions.”  On their return to Hallow “with much joy and thankfulness” Mary was delighted with Fanny Kemble’s reading of Shakespeare.

On November 5th there was a great bonfire on Hallow Green, and December 2nd she briefly mentioned  ‘Women’s Club at Hallow and Broadheath’.  This may have resembled the WI or perhaps been a religious gathering.

One of Mary’s duties was to attend funerals and comfort mourners.  She also played the church organ and the churchwardens and parishioners presented her with a gold watch and chain valued at £25 (app. £2850 equiv. 2016) as an acknowledgement of two years’ service and she notes “such testimonials shew a due and proper reciprocity of feeling between a pastor, his family and flock”.

Mary (mama), Rev. Stevenson (papa) and ten children had their photograph taken on the Vicarage Lawn by the Daguerreotype process, and two months later the eleventh child was born.

Mary was a member of a cultured circle, chiefly clerical and medical and she went to many parties including those given by Sir Charles and Lady Hastings at their home in Foregate Street.
Sir Charles was the founder of the British Medical Association and was knighted in 1850.  He also founded the Natural History Society whose meetings the Rev. and Mrs. Stevenson often attended.  Mary went to the Three Choirs Festival but did not comment on the music, she also enjoyed sketching and painting and wrote about beginning to paint a picture for a friend’s birthday gift.

One Boxing morning she discovered that “a certain Ann Jones had stolen her black silk, part of which was recovered from the pawnbrokers!”

May 1851, Mary recorded the opening of the Great Exhibition which she was unable to attend as she was still recovering from the birth of her last child.

In July 1851 Mary noted the establishment of Hallow Cricket Club and on September 8th 1852 she wrote “Grand cricket match between Hallow and Crowle clubs.  Hallow won!”

Mary’s boys were fond of swimming in the river and she mentioned the death by drowning (on separate occasions) of two of their young friends.

In September 1852 there was a terrific storm which “tore up trees, washed away bridges and 1,400 sheep drowned at Powick.”  Two months later the Stevensons attended a money-raising concert in Worcester (in aid of those affected). Over the 40 years of keeping a diary Mary recorded that the Severn froze over twice, and on one occasion she went on it in a sledge.

In February 1853 the Vicar returned 10% of his tithes to the tithe payers, and “they were so gratified that they sent him an address signed by the heads of 54 families, and a purse containing £15 5s. (app. £1740 equiv. 2016).  This sum was expended on a Bible, cabinet, and dressing case”.

June 24th 1853, Rev. Stevenson died suddenly having been ill “off and on” for some time and he had been treated for a nervous complaint by Mr. H. Carden, a member of a famous local medical family and an intimate friend of Sir Charles Hastings.  An inquest followed, and a funeral at Hallow Church.  Mary had to find her husband’s will and she visited her father in Newark “probably to seek his legal advice”.  Many friends were kind and generous donating monies ranging from £50 each (app. £6300 equiv. 2016) from the Bishop and Dean of Worcester to “a few shillings from humbler friends”.  The Dean and other clergy used their influence in procuring places for her children in charitable schools and orphanages.  Mary’s hopes went up and down as “one son is elected to the College School, another fails to obtain a place in an orphanage, then a daughter enters the Clergy Daughters’ School”.

Mary moved to a new home in St. George’s Square, Worcester with the help of neighbours who “lent wagons and workpeople” and she sold “much furniture and books”.  At Hallow her household had numbered 16 but now her children were leaving one by one to institutions, and “she kept only one or two maids instead of four, and live very quietly.”  The Bishop, Dr. Henry Pepys visited her in her new home.  In January 1854, “in bitter weather, she went to London to place her daughter Rosa in the Adult Orphan Institution, and stayed with cousins taking occasion to visit panoramas, museums, bazaars, the National Gallery and St. Paul’s.”  On her return, she just mentions the great events of the outer world – a day of fast and humiliation in connection with the Crimean War, the visit of the French Emperor and his Consort to Queen Victoria, and in 1856 the coming of peace.  “One feels she was more interested in a certain Maria entering her service at £6 a year, or in the wedding of Sophy, daughter of Warren Hastings, or the death of Sir Charles Hastings’ father at the age of 101, or even in St. George’s schoolchildren’s feast on the green.”

In 1859 she had to call in Sir Charles Hastings to attend her daughter Nelly (Helen Pepys Stevenson) who was ill with a “low nervous fever” but within a short time Nelly died.

In 1874, Mary noted the reopening of Worcester Cathedral after “the great restoration of Dean Peel’s reign”.  She also noted quite fully how a man snatched from her open bag a purse containing £20 (app. £1950 in 2016), just drawn from the bank in the High Street.  The man dropped the purse in the canal and it was recovered, but he escaped and was arrested there some time later.  He was sentenced to 12 months hard labour by Worcester Magistrates.”

Towards the end of her diary it becomes a brief sad list of the deaths of old friends, lightened only by marriages of two sons and the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to Witley Court.
Almost her last entry states “I have been ill a month today.  Am very comfortable, very weak, but every comfort”.  The courage which had enabled her to face her bereavement was evidently with her to the end.


WEBB, Algernon (1892-1940)    
WWI & WWII soldier.  Read more here



Charles Wheeley Lea, born in 1827, was the son of John Wheeley Lea who along with William Perrins founded Lea and Perrins, Worcestershire sauce.   Charles had four brothers and a sister, three brothers emigrated and one died in infancy and he was the only son to join the business.

In 1866 he purchased the two fields named Parkfield bordering the main road from Worcester to Hallow and began building his mansion.  

In January 1867, at the age of 40, Charles married Amy Mary Jacomb.  She was 33 and a daughter of a Yorkshire solicitor.

The property, his only substantial country house, was designed by W. J. Hopkins.  It had huge bay windows, a massive entrance tower and banded roofs.  Of Hopkins’s work there survives the long brick wall to the road, the south lodge with timbered gables, pierced bargeboards, fish-scale roofs and typically chunky gate-piers. 

The mansion house took almost two years to build.  The interior was extremely opulent and ornate, on a magnificent scale typical of the Victorians. 

Most of the wood carving, marble and stone work was carried out by William Forsythe, a Scotsman who with his brother James worked on many ecclesiastical projects all over England.  Locally they crafted the font in Hallow church, the beautiful granite pulpit in Worcester Cathedral, many memorials in churches across the county, including John Wheeley Lea’s tomb at Powick, and in 1860 James’ most prestigious work, the Perseus and Andromeda fountains at Witley Court.

The house was finished in 1868 and Charles and Amy settled in with up to 14 servants at any one time.   Ten years later they built properties for their staff, two black and white cottages, again designed by Hopkins, on the main road opposite.  They purchased, what was then Workhouse Lane, and built a bailiff’s house within a walled nursery where their produce was grown, a laundry on the site of the demolished workhouse and three other cottages adjacent.   Workhouse Lane was then renamed Parkfield Lane.

Charles like his father before him, was a generous benefactor to many organisations and projects within the County.   Worcester Royal Infirmary depended heavily on his many donations and a bequest of £10,000 so enhanced the Infirmary’s finances that a ward was named the Wheeley Lea Ward in his memory.   He was interested in education especially science; and constantly assisted the Worcester Public Library and Victoria Institute contributing over £4,000 to the building of the latter.  His generosity was recognised by his name being given to one of the art galleries.   He died at Parkfield in 1898 and was interred in the family tomb at Powick.  Amy Mary Wheeley Lea became a widow at the age of 64. 

Charles left £100,100,136 and after family bequests Amy, now a very wealthy widow spent the rest of her life carefully considering how to put this huge amount of money to good use.  She considered carefully what would be of real permanent service, she wanted to leave a legacy that would be of benefit to many and often took positive steps to conceal her generous donations. 

As a memorial to her husband, Amy paid for the erection of the spire to Hallow Church.  The 150 foot tall spire was added complete with a peal of eight bells and a clock with three dials and chimes.  This had been included in the original design by the architect Mr. Hopkins, but due to lack of funds it did not go ahead when the church was built in 1869.   The tower had been added in 1879, the cost of £2,800 being borne by Mrs. Lord widow of Hallow Park, Charles Lea and the Earl of Dudley.  

She continued to be a great benefactor to the Royal Albert Orphanage following Charles bequest of £10,000 in his will.  She refurbished Church House on The Cross in Worcester for the Diocese; she helped financially with the building of the Girls’ Friendly Society Lodge and donated to many church schools in Worcester, to Worcester Girls’ School and the Alice Ottley girls’ school.  

In the early 1900s she bought the old Plough Inn and cottages to the North of Hallow Green and rebuilt the properties we see today.    Hallow Green House, now called Lea Cottage was built as a residence for the nurse and for a Parish Meeting room.  The two reception rooms had large sliding doors which could be drawn back to accommodate meetings.  

Below: 1890 and 1905

She then bought and demolished the Malthouse replacing it with Barley Mow Cottages.  In 1914 Amy acquired Hallow Park from Lord Beauchamp and completely rebuilt it.   Her interest in and generosity to the hospital and City and County Nursing Association culminated in her buying Southbank and offering it as a nursing home.  

Amy died peacefully on Christmas Day at her home in London at the age of 82. 

She left strict instructions that her funeral was to be the simplest possible and that no-one be present except her immediate relatives and friends.  She did not want to be placed in the family tomb at Powick but in her beloved Hallow Church yard. Several of her staff acted as pall bearers.  Her grave can be seen to the right of the South door.

Amy Wheeley Lea’s simple grave

Amy had built up a large empire and in her will she left various bequests to family, servants and charities.  Property in Claines she left to her brother; to her nephew property in Broadheath, to include Eastbury Manor and farm.  She made the Bishop, the Rev. Huyshe Wolcott Yeatman Biggs the sole executor giving him the power to use his discretion in disposing of the residue of over £360,000, 130 acres of land and Parkfield House together with most of her Hallow properties, apart from Hallow Mount, which she bequeathed to her solicitor Arthur Lord.

By the end of 1917 the Bishop had sold almost everything, serving notices to many of the tenants to quit.  Properties that weren’t sold – and Parkfield House was one of them - he rented out.  He renamed the house Bohun Court, which on its demolition in 1932, when the house had fallen into disrepair, the local newspaper wrote ‘mercifully the change of name had hidden the identity of a truly remarkable piece of Victorian Architecture.’   A couple of years later the present Parkfield House was built.

(We wish to thank our group member, Joy Fulcher, for her contribution of this item  She is currently working on writing a book about the Wheeley Leas, and we look forward to reading more about them when it is published.)


WHEATLEY, Albert (1889-1914)   
Born in Broadheath. WWI First Class Stoker, killed in action.  Read more here


In December 2016, Neville Wilde contacted us initially to provide more information about his grandfather's service in WWI, which can be read on our WWI page (Service Personnel from the Hallow area).  He was also able to provide additional details about his family which are of great interest, and we include here:

"I was born in Oak Cottage, which was one of (now demolished) half timbered thatched cottages that were next to the Royal Oak Pub -  what vandalism!  I went to Hallow School for a while but moved from Hallow in my early childhood, say 1942-ish.  I am now 83 and live in Berkshire but I still have my roots in Hallow, and I was thrilled to see my grandfather's name on your website.

Charles Wilde was my grandfather who had 10 children, and he served in WWI.  He had an interesting time in the army for a village lad, from the trenches in France to Greece (Salonica) and Macedonia via Alexandria.  He returned on the hospital ship Wandilla and was very active in the Hallow British Legion.  I have a memory of him carrying the banner on the march to church.  His wife, my grandmother, lived and was active up to her 100th birthday party held in Grimley Village Hall.

My own father was a master cooper at the Vinegar Works in Worcester, and was a great friend of Len Vale Onslow.  He bought Len's first bike.  I had the wonderful experience of meeting Len who told me my father used to race one of his SOS bikes at Maddison Avenue. I also had a chat with Len in his shop in Birmingham whilst he was rebuilding a Villiers engine - he was in his 90s and was still sharp as a tack.

The Wildes have a long history in Hallow."

(By kind permission of Neville Wilde, December 2016)


MRS.  ALICE  WILDE  (1880 -  1980)

Alice celebrated her 100th birthday on 1st January 1980, with the bells of Hallow Church ringing in her honour.

She was born at at 3, New Street, Aston Birmingham, as Alice Hewitt and she attended Lozell’s Road School, Aston.  She left school at the age of 13 and worked with a firm making safety pins, working from 8.00 a.m. until 6.00 p.m., six days a week.  Her reward for these long hours was 1s 6d per week (app £8 today).  After 9 months of making safety pins in many and various shapes and sizes, she went to work in a chain-making factory, and although conditions were harsh, her pay was marginally better.  Later she left this factory to work in her parents’ shop, before finding employment at White’s Ginger Beer Factory, where she stayed until she married Charles.

They were married on 9th January 1900 at St. Clement’s Church, Birmingham, with seven other couples, in the one ceremony.  Before placing the rings on the fingers of their respective brides, the grooms clinked the wedding rings together.  Her marriage was a fruitful one for they produced 10 children, five sons and five daughters.  All the daughters were still alive in 1980, but regrettably only two of her sons survived to enjoy her 100th birthday.  She also had 31 grandchildren, countless great grandchildren and numerous great, great grandchildren.  Inevitably they were dispersed far and wide throughout Britain.

During the First World War, Mr. Wilde served as a Royal Artillery gunner in Salonica and Malta and  whilst he was away on active service, Mrs. Wilde did her bit by serving as Hallow’s Post Lady.  After the war and the troops were demobilized, both Mr. & Mrs. Wilde became actively involved in the newly formed British Legion with Mr. Wilde becoming secretary to the Hallow Branch, and Mrs. Wilde an enthusiastic helper.  She maintained her interest in the Legion throughout the rest of her life.

During the Second World War, Mrs. Wilde served as a nurse at Worcester Royal Infirmary and her husband was an air raid warden.  Unfortunately, he died in 1945 and tragically was buried just two days before his son came home from the war, a very sad home-coming indeed.

When interviewed in 1980, Mrs. Wilde did not seem to remember much about the Great War, although she did recall helping to plant one of the oak trees on the Green.  In contrast her memory of the Boer War was vivid.  She remembered clearly the celebrations which followed the Relief of Mafeking and the great victory celebrations.  She described in detail the enormous bonfire which was built and the effigy of Kruger perched on its top - when Kruger went up in flames, the onlookers cheered.

Mrs. Wilde had always been used to hard work.  Even at the age of 78 she used to go fruit picking at Broadheath from early morning to late afternoon.  When she had time to spare, she used to like to knit and crochet, at which she was most accomplished.

From about the age of 83 she lived with her daughter at Bromsgrove, moving to Hallow when she was 97 to live with her youngest son and daughter-in-law at 2 Heath Close, Hallow.  She was no stranger to the village as she had moved to Shoulton Lane in 1902 with her husband.  (The census of 1911 records they were living in a four roomed dwelling, and had 3 daughters and two sons, aged between 2 and 10 years.)   She later recalled the roads in Hallow were cobbled and the buildings were drab.  Despite her advanced years, Mrs. Wilde was still very active.  In May 1979 she visited the highly successful flower festival held in Hallow Church to celebrate its 110th anniversary, and in that spring, she also attended a wedding at Bromsgrove, and a few weeks later, the wedding of her granddaughter at Hallow Church.

Alice passed away aged 100, and was buried at Hallow on 22nd September, 1980.
 (This item is based on an article in a Parish Magazine of 1980, an issue of which is held in the Records Office of The Hive, Worcester.  Other data is taken from the 1911 census shown on


WINDERS, (Christopher) Horace (1900-1990)    
Horace was a well-known character who until his retirement in 1975, ran a successful timber yard, Moseley Sawmills.
Read more here