SAMUEL REECE HOBBS (1897 - 1898)

In 2001, twenty six years after my Grandfathers death I received information that Clement was a twin. His brother Samuel had died on the 28th March 1898 aged three years old and was buried in the First Chapel ground 198 V, St Pancras Cemetery, Finchley, Middlesex. This was the first time I'd heard of this but given the time lapse involved it is perhaps not surprising.

Five years later in March 2006, a family member went to the Cemetery to locate the grave. The following photographs show that the area where Samuel is buried is totally overgrown and that even with the grave reference, there was little chance of locating the grave


However as the subject of SAMUEL had been brought up, I decided to check the details on the FREE BMD website. It was then that I discovered that SAMUEL REECE HOBBS had been three MONTHS old when he died and not three YEARS old.

Samuel did not appear in the births for September quarter of 1894 alongside Clem (Paddington Volume 1a Page 55) and so I was rather puzzled given that Samuel was supposed to be Clem's twin brother. However in the births for the December quarter of 1897 there is a record of a SAMUEL REECE HOBBS (Paddington Volume 1a Page 65) and in the following quarter there is a record for the death of SAMUEL REECE HOBBS (Paddington Vol 1a Page 43) age 0. The birth certificate was obtained and it was found that SAMUEL was born on 7th November 1897 at 16 North Wharf Road, Paddington, Middlesex, London, England

This was confirmed when further enquiries were made with Islington Council who run the Cemetery

"I can advise you that only Samuel Reece Hobbs is buried in  this grave on 28 March 1898 and he is recorded as being 3 months old.  I can 
inform you that James Hobbs bought the grave who I presume is the father. There is a record of a memorial but I have no idea of its condition although it is highly likely to be fairly good as the overgrowth does tend to protect the actual memorials by keeping the weather away from them"

And so SAMUEL was Clem's younger brother and not twin as was previously thought. SAMUEL died on 22nd March 1898 at 6 Alfred Road Paddington London, the house itself was demolished years ago. The cause of death given on the death certificate was Marasmus (one month) and convulsions (3 days) 

The condition basically is an inability to absorb food. Malnutrition associated with marasmus leads to extensive tissue and muscle wasting, as well as variable edema. Other common characteristics include dry skin, loose skin folds hanging over the buttocks and armpit. There is also drastic loss of body fat from normal areas of fat deposits like buttocks and thighs. The afflicted are often fretful, irritable, and voraciously hungry.

A tragic end to a young life

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This page was last updated on 02/05/12 09:44