Kenneth and Carl Huxley: After World War One

A postcard of Unicorn Hotel, Stratford on Avon thought to be between 1910 and 1919, but with Carl as proprietor, more likely to be in the later 1920s.
Photo courtesy of Warwickshire County Record Office. Ref PH352_172_223

After his time serving in the Royal Engineers during the First World War, Kenneth returned to Stratford.

Back to the family home and business 

Kenneth married Eva in 1925 with a daughter being born in 1925. Sadly, Eva died ten years later aged just 35. In the 1939 register Kenneth is shown to be living with his mother, two sisters and his daughter at his parents’ family home and business address in Shottery Road Stratford, and he is once again working in the family business as a plumber and decorator.  Kenneth did not live to see the birth of his grandson as he died on 20th September 1953 aged 61. He left £274 11s, about £7,700 in today’s terms, to his daughter. 

Carl meanwhile had been fortunate to avoid military service. His 1916 exemption was overturned in 1918 and he was due to commence military service in January 1919. During the war Carl seems to have continued to work in the family business and in 1918 Carl told the Tribunal that his father aged 73, his mother aged 61 and his sister who was 41 and in poor health, were all dependent on him. It appears that, at 36, Carl himself was not in great health as he was only passed C1 at his medical examination.  

The Unicorn Hotel, Stratford 

In 1922 Carl, then aged 42, married Grace, a widow aged 45. Grace was the daughter of a publican and in the 1911 census is shown living at the Swan’s Nest Hotel in Stratford upon Avon. In 1924 Carl is listed in Kelly’s local business directory as the proprietor of the Unicorn Hotel in Stratford. 

Carl’s spell as a hotel proprietor seems to have been relatively short lived, however and in 1939 he and Grace were living in Tiddington Road, Stratford. Their household included a domestic servant, suggesting a fairly prosperous life, and Carl was working as a master builder. It is not clear whether he was working at the family business, which was still based at Shottery Road, Stratford and now apparently run by Kenneth after his father’s death or had started his own building business. 

Carl died in Stratford on 5th December 1955 aged 74 and is buried in Stratford Cemetery. He left £19,246 10s 11d (worth more than £500,000 today).  

Both brothers survived the war, but it appears that Carl, the older brother, spared from military service by his younger brother, perhaps had the more outwardly successful life, living to a greater age and leaving a significantly larger estate on his death than his younger brother. 

This story is part of the Warwickshire Bytes ‘After the Tribunals’ project, which ran from 2019 to 2020. 

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