Muriel Nellie BRAYBROOK (1915-2004)
Muriel Nellie BRAYBROOK was my maternal grandmother. She was born on 17 January 1915 at 37, Milton Road, Old Fletton, County of Soke of Peterborough1. Her parents were John George BRAYBROOK and Emma Elizabeth GARFOOT. Her father died when she was just two and a half years old. She lived in Fletton with her mother and siblings throughout her childhood.
At some point, the family moved to 1 St Margaret’s Road, Fletton. It was also know as ‘Edithville’.
Muriel became a teacher and moved to Luton. In the 1939 register, she was living at 50 Claremont Road, Luton. She was living in the household of Rose WOODS. Her occupation was recorded as a School Teacher. Another teacher, William K AYERS, was also living there2. While she was in Luton, she met Arthur John BENJAMIN who was also a teacher. She was a talented artist and seamstress. An article appeared in the Luton News and Bedfordshire Chronicle on 2 February 1939. It read:
Velvet Bolero And Bangle
LADIES’ fashions showed originality, and ranged from fluffy picture frocks of very young “old girls” to more sophisticated gowns. An unusual dress was worn by Mrs. Brightman, who came with her husband, Mr. H. G. Brightman, a School governor. Of black moire, the bodice was appliqued with green, mauve and gold brocade. Mrs. Frank Head wore a black lace dress over green, with wide black lace dress over green, with wide black velvet banding the bodice and hem. An original feature of a plain white velvet dress worn by Miss Muriel Braybrook was a vivid bolero of red and dark green horizontal stripes with a wide bangle bound with velvet to match.
Muriel also painted sets for the school productions. This was Pirates of Penzance.
On 13 July 1940, Muriel and John married at St Margaret’s Church, Fletton, Huntingdonshire3. Muriel was given away by her brother Jack (John George Robert Garfoot BRAYBROOK). The bridesmaid was Muriel’s friend also Muriel (BUTLER). Muriel BUTLER later married her younger brother Benjamin Victor BRAYBROOK. Howarth KIRKHOLM was the best man.
Shortly afterwards, Arthur (known as John) was away serving with the Royal Air Force however he did manage to return periodically. Muriel and John had their first child in 1942 (a son). Muriel and her son lived with her mother at 1 St Margaret’s Road for the first few years of his life. At the end of the war, Muriel and John had their second child in 1946 (a daughter).
The BENJAMIN family lived in Sutton-on-Sea, Lincolnshire. Muriel named the house Carlton Cottage. It also had the nickname ‘the Doll’s House’ as it was the smallest, in height (by some way), house in the street.
Muriel taught at primary schools in Sutton-on-Sea and then Mumby, a nearby village. For a number of years, they moved out to Markby to live in the vicarage (John was a lay reader and, as there was no incumbent vicar, they took the living).
Muriel enjoyed travelling within Europe and the UK. However she never flew as she was worried how it would affect her tinnitus. When her daughter moved with her family to the USA, she overcame her fear and hence spent the rest of her life travelling the world.
Muriel lived out her life in Sutton on Sea, Lincolnshire. Sadly she lost her husband, John, in 1996. She wrote wonderful letters in beautiful calligraphy. When I first started researching my family history in 1994, it was her family I concentrated on. We had lots of correspondence and I think one of my favourite presents I ever gave her was a family history book for Christmas 1999. Needless to say there were mistakes in there but it is now back in my possession and sits proudly on my genealogy bookshelves.
She produced illustrated children’s books for her grandchildren. One of her alphabet pages was copied to form the cover of her death notice. She died on 9 August 2004 at Dalton Nursing Home, Sutton on Sea. She was buried on 20 August 2004 at St Peter’s Church, Markby5 alongside her husband.
Gran-Gran will not be forgotten.
Blog posts mentioning Muriel can be found here.
- England & Wales Birth Certificate. BRAYBROOK, Muriel Nellie. March quarter 1915, Peterborough Registration District, Volume 3b Page 378. Certified copy issued by General Registry Office on 17 April 2015 held by Amelia Bennett.
- 1939 England & Wales register. BRAYBROOK, Muriel (BENJAMIN). 29 September 1939. Bedfordshire, Luton MB, Enumeration District DPNG; Image: 10; https://ancestry.co.uk. The National Archives Reference: RG101/1982D.
- England & Wales Marriage Certificate. BENJAMIN, Arthur John and BRAYBROOK, Muriel Nellie. September quarter 1940, Huntingdonshire North Registration District, Volume 3b Page 1111. Certified copy issued by George A GREEN, rector on 13 July 1940 held by Amelia Bennett.
- England & Wales Death Certificate. BENJAMIN, Muriel Nellie. 9 August 2004, Lincolnshire District, District number 609/1, Register number Q2D, Entry number 257.
- Order of Service for Funeral. BENJAMIN, Muriel Nellie. 20 August 2004, St Peter’s Church, Markby, Lincolnshire. Original copy held by Amelia Bennett.