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When Samuel Abbott and Robert Treacher arrived in Woolwich (see below), it was a large town in Kent and was home to the Royal Arsenal, the Royal Artillery and Woolwich Dockyard and other establishments. With the formation of the London County Council (LCC) in 1889, Woolwich became a London Borough. In 1963, the LCC was abolished and Woolwich became part of the London Borough of Greenwich, although it remained as the administrative hub of the Borough.
(For a full account of our ancestors in Woolwich see the Narratives > Woolwich Family page.)
The family association with the Woolwich Common area came about because both of my maternal great grandfathers, Samuel Abbott, from Suffolk, and Robert Treacher, from Hertfordhire, became gunners in the Royal Artillery, which had its headquarters in Woolwich. The frontage of the Royal Artillery Barracks looks out on the northern end of Woolwich Common, and our ancestors lived either in the barracks or close by, to the east of the Common. Not surprisingly, censuses show that there were many soldiers from the Royal Artillery and their families living in the same area.
Robert Treacher, who enlisted on 9 September 1870 in Watford , had his medical examination at Woolwich on 12 September 1970, but his first stay here was very short as on 10 October 1870 he was posted to Leith Fort, near Edinburgh. He then had a couple of years at Newcastle, where he appeared on the 1871 census. He was back at Woolwich for another short period between 1873 and 1875. He than had spells in Coldharbour and India and was posted back to Woolwich on 19 March 1884, where he remained for the rest of his life. Robert and Jessie's first three children were born in India between 1879 and 1883, and he and his family are therefore missing from the 1881 census. At the 1891 census, he was in Woolwich, where he lived until the end of his life, but the birth certificate for his daughter, Agnes, shows he was in Woolwich in 1888.
Samuel Abbott joined the Royal Artillery in Ipswich and was there at the 1881 census. His medical records show that he was in Woolwich on 24 May 1881. His marriage however took place in Suffolk in 1883 so it is not clear whether he and his wife decided to get married where they had previously lived or his spell in Woolwich in May 1881 was temporary. He was in Woolwich from the 1891 census until the end of his life.
Samuel Abbott's daughter Rose Ellen, born in Woolwich, married Robert Treacher's son, Frederick, born in Plumstead, in Woolwich in 1911, and they settled in Woolwich Common after Frederick was discharged from the Royal Navy in 1919. Frederick died in 1936 and his wife continued living in Woolwich Common until Mum and Dad moved into Lakedale Road and she moved in with them.
Mum was born in Woolwich in 1918 and lived there until she married in 1941.
41 Ritter Street, Woolwich
Robert and Jessie Treacher (née Flaws) and Frederick Treacher were here at the 1891 census.
22 Ritter Street, Woolwich
Jessie Treacher (née Flaws) and Frederick Treacher were here at the 1901 census.
Jessie Treacher (née Flaws) was here at the time of the 1901/2 and 1902/3 Electoral Register (Local Elections). The register only shows eligible voters)
Grand Depot Barracks / Cambridge Cottages, Woolwich
Samuel and Clara Ann Abbott (née Scarlett) and Rose Ellen Abbott were here at the 1891 census.
Cottage at rear of 30 Green's End, Woolwich
Samuel and Clara Ann Abbott (née Scarlett) and Rose Ellen Abbott were here at the 1901 census.
19 Engineer Road, Woolwich
Rose Ellen Abbott was here at her marriage on 11 Feb 1911.
26 Engineer Road, Woolwich
Jessie Treacher was born here on 8 June 1918.
15 Engineer Road, Woolwich
Frederick and Rose Ellen Treacher (née Abbott) were here on all of the Electoral Registers from 1927/8 1934/35.
16 Kempt Street, Woolwich
Rose Ellen Treacher (née Abbott) moved here shortly before her daughter, Ivy, died in April 1942.