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.

Gertude photographed in 1931
Gertude photographed in 1931
Beaumont Street, Toxteth, photographed in 1973
Beaumont Street, Toxteth, photographed in 1973


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.
37 Garrick Street, awaiting demolition
37 Garrick Street, awaiting demolition
82 Aspen Grove, Sefton Park
82 Aspen Grove, Sefton Park

Reginald moved with his children to Weston-super-Mare to escape the German bombardment of Liverpool during World War II.  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.

It would appear that 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 a house maid) and 34 Devonshire Road, Weston-super-Mare (her niece Mona's address) from 1950 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 at the County Mental Hospital, Rainhill near Liverpool.  She had been admitted on 29 May 1935.   The reason for her admittance has not been confirmed.

Gertrude (right) with Margaret Cecily Neville Woodforde (sister-in-law) and Mona Woodforde (daughter). Weston-super-Mare, 1933.
Gertrude (right) with Margaret Cecily Neville Woodforde (sister-in-law) and Mona Woodforde (daughter). Weston-super-Mare, 1933.
The Griffiths family grave at Toxteth
The Griffiths family grave at Toxteth

Gertrude 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.

Gertude's admission record at Rainhill
Gertude's admission record at Rainhill

Rainhill Hospital (formerly Rainhill Lunatic Asylum and later Rainhill Mental Hospital) was a large psychiatric hospital.   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.

Gertrude's grandson is the owner of this website.

Toxteth Park cemetery
Toxteth Park cemetery
Part of the former Rainhill Mental Hospital
Part of the former Rainhill Mental Hospital