JEPPS/PENN, Watton area, late 19th century

June, 2013




Denise Longfield-Penn ( wrote from Hertford:  You have 2 postcards on your website that are either to or from my Great Grandfather Sergeant Herbert Alfred Penn or his wife Ada Penn.  One postcard to Ada shows Watton at Stone High Street and the other to Herbert shows Fore Street, Hertford. I'd like to know what is written on the Watton postcard as the message is not shown. Do you have have any more postcards? Where did you get the postcards from?

Herbert Alfred Penn  (1882-1961)

(Family tree on Ancestry)


I had not noticed the connection between the cards - and reproduce both of them here. Unfortunately there was no message on the Watton Card - and I brought both of them at different time on ebay, so do not have any more.

Post card of the High Street, Watton at Stone, Hertfordshire  

Watton, High Street


Copyright "The Watton Series" No. 4 . Posted 1905


The Bull Inn can be seen in the distance


Card posted by Ada to No 3704 Sergt. H. A. Penn, C Company, 1st Northamptonshire Regt., Jullundur, Punjab, India

The H A Penn referred to [in the above] is my Great Grandfather, Ada was his wife. He served in the Northamptonshire Regiment for 21 years. Discharged in December 1912, he married in early 1913, having my Grandad in October the same year. He re-enlisted in December 1914 and served almost another 4 years until he was wounded by a gas shell on the 1st day of the German Spring Offensive (21st March 1918).  Herbert and Ada had a further two sons and eventually moved to Bengeo where my Grandad lived for the rest of his life.  (from comment on Newsletter)

Ada Jepps

Ada Jepps was born at Watton, on 1st December 1885, and baptised on 11th April 1886, the daughter of George and Mary Ann Jepps. George was a tailor, born 1849 at Shillington, Bedfordshire, while his wife Mary Ann Lumbus was born in Hitchin in 1855. [Married Ippollitts Banns 1873] They had a large family and in 1881 they were living at Gosmore, Ippollitts, moving to Watton prior to the birth of Jane in 1884. George and Mary Ann were still living in the Village Street, Watton, in 1901 and 1911.

In 1901 Ada and her older sister Agnes were working as domestic servants for Stephen Paget, a surgeon living at 70, Harley Street, St Marylebone, London. In 1911 Ada was a parlour maid working for Kate Cotton at Payne's Farm, Woolmer Green, Knebsworth. She married Herbert Alfred Penn in 1913
Fore Street, Hertford, Herts - Hertfield Series - circa 1903 picture  

Hertford: Fore Street No 3 - "The Hertford Series" No. 17. - Style/back suggests circ 1903

Posted 10 April 1906 to Dr Mr Sgt Penn, 1st Northampton Regiment, Samasata, India and then forwarded to Jullundur.

Part of continuing message  ... Jack his still on the steady and there his another young Peson come to town a girl. The job his still going on at the school and hope he will continue for some time yet. We have our Militia up now for there annual training and they make the town a little more liveler, continues No 4 ....

In 1911 Sergeant Herbert Alfred Penn (aged 40, born at Watton, Herts) was in barracks with the Northampton Regiment at Northampton. However his Family tree on Ancestry suggests he was born in London but his family had a strong connection with the adjacent parish of Aston.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.

June 2013   Page created