Gertrude Woodforde nee Griffiths
Gertrude Griffiths was born at 3 Beaumont Street in the Toxteth Park area of Liverpool in 1886, the daughter of Alfred Griffiths and his wife Phoebe nee Simpson.
She was baptised at St Clements, Toxteth on 27 April 1886. She married Reginald Fielding Marriott Woodforde on 17 March 1906 at St Bede's, Hartington Road, Toxteth. They lived at 82 Aspen Grove, Sefton Park in Liverpool, close to Gertrude's family home.
Gertrude and Reginald had three children:
- Kenneth Woodforde (1908-1981) who married Maud Bestwick.
- Mona Gertrude Woodforde (1923-2005) who married George John Butt.
- Robert Woodforde (1929-2018) who married Barbara Beck.
Reginald moved with his children to
Weston-super-Mare, allegedly to escape the German bombardment of Liverpool during
World War II, but the family stayed in the town on extended visits during the early 1930s. Reginald had been born in Somerset. His father, the Revd
Alexander John Woodforde had served as curate at St.John's Parish
Church in Weston.
Edith Griffiths, Gertrude's sister, moved with them. Her will records her former addresses as 35 Malvern Road, Weston-super-Mare (Reginald's later residence), then the rectory in Hutton, near Weston-super-Mare (where she worked as housekeeper) and latterly 34 Devonshire Road, Weston-super-Mare (her niece Mona's address after her marriage to George Butt) from 1949 until her death in 1958.
Edith's address in Liverpool, recorded in 1928, had been 37 Garrick Road, Smithdown Road opposite Toxteth Park cemetery.
Gertrude died on 6 January 1953 in the annexe of the County Mental Hospital, Rainhill near Liverpool. She had been admitted on 29 May 1935. The reason for her admittance has not been confirmed but the psychological symptoms of Mitral Valve Stenosis could have been a contributing factors.
Rainhill Hospital (formerly Rainhill Lunatic Asylum and later Rainhill Mental Hospital) was a large psychiatric facility in Liverpool. In 1900 the patient population had reached over 2000 and at the time Gertrude was admitted, there were more than 3000 patients. It was said at the time to be the largest psychiatric facility in Europe. The hospital closed in 1992 and the buildings were demolished to make way for a housing development.
Gertude died of Mitral Valve Stenosis which was probably caused by her having rheumatic fever as a child. The illness can be asymptomatic for many years and can cause depression, anxiety and psychosis.
She was buried on 16 January 1953 in Grave 284 in the consecrated area of Toxteth Park cemetery in the family plot where her grandfather, Charles Griffiths, her parents and younger brother, Alfred, were buried. The plot had been reserved for her sister Edith who agreed to transfer the Deed of Exclusive Right of Burial. Edith was subsequently buried in Weston-super-Mare cemetery. Toxteth cemetery documents record Gertrude's address as 82 Aspen Grove, not the Rainhill Hospital.
Gertrude's grandson is the owner of this website. He would like to acknowledge research by Joanne Wagner, who is a granddaughter of Gertrude's uncle, Henry Gordon Griffiths.
With thanks to Joanne Wagner for sharing her research into the Griffiths family