Charles Halliburton Thomson 1880-1954

Charles was born on 7 January 1880 at 3 Lethbridge Road, Lewisham the son of John Hallyburton Thomson and Ellen Lucretia Nodder

In the 1911 census Charles is listed at 70 Greenwich Road with his brother-in-law Joseph J Pitarc as head. They are both credit drapers but Joseph Pitarc is listed as an employer and Charles is working on his own account. They occupied six rooms.

On 17 April 1913 at Holy Trinity, Worthing, Charles married Gertrude Susannah Lelliott the daughter of Joseph Lelliott. Charles's occupation was draper and his address was 70 Greenwich Road, Greenwich. Both fathers were witnesses.

wedding of Charles Thomson to Gertrude Lelliott

Wedding of Charles to Gertrude Lelliott
Photo taken at the back of Imrie, High Street, Worthing


Charles and Gertrude's son, Joseph, was born in February 1914 and by December of that year they were living at 28 Tyrwhith Road, Brockley, Kent. In World War I married men were not called up until 1916 and Charles enlisted in June of that year. He was called up for service in April 1917 and was posted to France at the end of August 1918. His army record shows that he was exceptionally tall for that time, being 5 feet 11¾ inches in height.

Charles inherited from his father the leasehold house at 132 Greenwich Road and he was listed on the electoral register there in 1918. The telephone directories from 1920 onward list this address as a 'Ladies and Gents Tailor'. The business thrived and the family moved in 1928 to a large late Victorian double fronted detached house at 12 Bromley Road, Catford, Kent where they employed a succession of live in maids. They also owned a car although Charles could not drive, 'Parker' who was employed to drive the company van also acted as a part-time chauffeur. From 1941 to 1943 in the telephone directory the business is listed as Thomson C.H. & Sons Drapers and Clothiers.

During the war the house in Catford was hit by an incendiary bomb, which was put out by an air raid warden who threw an aspidistra plant, which stood in a large pot on the landing, at it. Charles and Gertrude moved to 6 West Park Lane, Worthing to escape the bombing and the Catford house was requisitioned and converted into four flats.

Charles died on 23 September 1954 at Worthing. Probate was granted in London and also in Edinburgh. He left the Worthing house to his wife, his drapery business in Greenwich to his son Joseph and his house in Catford to his daughter.

Gertrude moved to a rented first floor flat above Meads the drapers in Goring Road, West Worthing. Later after a couple of falls, she moved to one of the flats in her old house in Catford to be near her daughter. She died on 20 May 1974 aged 87 in a nursing home at Beckenham, Kent.


  1. Joseph Haliburton Thomson born 3 February 1914 Greenwich
  2. In 1947 at Worthing he married Margareta Frederica Helzel who was from Vienna, Austria. Joseph had a drapers shop in Greenwich High Road and lived in nearby Lee. They then moved to Orpington, Kent and later retired to Polgate, Sussex. There were no children. Joseph died on 23 March 1998 and Margaret on 16 September 2003, aged 92.

  3. Daughter Private