Frederick J. Woodall


The Square, Burwash

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High Street, Burwash. Woodall published collotype cards of Burwash, Etchingham, Shortsbridge, Ticehurst (Witherinden Hill), Hurst Green, Stonegate and Robertsbridge, which he presumably supplied to local shopkeepers. Some of the cards were printed in Saxony, and were labelled "F. J. Woodall, Burwash" or "Woodall Bros. Burwash", while others, marked "F. J. Woodall's Series", were printed in England. The pictures are mostly sepia tinted and borderless, but a few black and white cards are known, some with basal borders. Both summer and winter views are represented. Postmarks start in 1903. The cards seem to have remained on sale for at least eight years.

Woodall, one of seven children of John and Fanny Woodall, was born at Burwash in 1879. The 1901 census records that he was a rural postman. His father, who ran the post office in Burwash, had been born in 1843 at Cawood in Yorkshire. His mother had been born in 1841 or 1842 at Burwash, which was where all his brothers and sisters were born, with the exception of his youngest brother, William Rumble Woodall.

John Woodall was still in charge of Burwash Post Office in 1905, but by 1915 Francis Daunt had taken over. The 1911 census records that Frederick J. Woodall was still a postman in Burwash, and had been married seven years. His wife, Nora, who came from Skibbereen in County Cork, had borne him three sons (Frank Arthur Woodall, George Fleming Woodall and Bernard Woodall) and two daughters (Eileen and Fanny Margaret Woodall). A fourth son, Frederick Woodall Jnr., was born in 1915 and died in 1996.

In 1915 Frederick J. Woodall's eldest sister, Gertrude Helen Woodall (born 1873), who was unmarried, had a stationer's shop in Burwash, and a younger brother, James Fleming Woodall (born 1882), was a cycle agent in the village. There is no record of Frederick himself, who may possibly have been away fighting in France, though if so he survived, and went on to live to be 86. The Hastings Registrar recorded his death at St Helens Hospital on 12 October, 1965. His estate was valued for probate at £4148.

Acknowledgement: Grateful thanks to John Woodall for supplying information about his late grandfather, Frederick Woodall Jnr.

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