John Goodridge Hawke

John Goodridge Hawke

Male 1869 - 1921  (52 years)

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  • Name John Goodridge Hawke 
    Born 10 Feb 1869  Montfleury, Grenoble, FRA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Buried 1921  Queens Rd Cemetery, Thornton Heath Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 14 Aug 1921  Thornton Heath, SRY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I281  CATH UK
    Last Modified 21 Mar 2016 

    Father John Andrew Hawke,   b. 16 Feb 1839, Bodmin, Cornwall Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Oct 1877, Lyons, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Sarah Jane Norrish Goodridge,   b. 03 Feb 1839, Sandford, Devon (Copy of cert.) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 06 Nov 1917, Stoke Cottage, London Rd., Norbury, Surrey Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Married 09 Feb 1867  Aveton Gifford, Devon. Witnesses John Andrew, Ann Elizabeth Hawke (Marr. cert.) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F130  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Jenny Louisa Girardot,   b. 15 Jun 1875, Montfleury, Grenoble, FRA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Feb 1952, Croydon, Surrey Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years) 
    Married 20 Jul 1898  Meylan, Grenoble, FRA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • John and Jenny

      Jenny Girardot fell in love with John Hawke when she was twelve years old. And she pushed him into the piece d'eau.
      I'm not saying that love was born at the tinkle of that surprising splash - for him perhaps? But for her I believe it had already happened for she thought him so strong that it never occurred to the diabolical child that if she lurched against him as he stood poised at the rim of the pond - goldfish baiting? fountain admiring? just stirring after-lunch coffee? - caught off balance he would fall in. Such a pillar of strength, such a marvellous young man could not fall. Well, he did. No doubt she wanted to be noticed and no doubt she was. How they must have exclaimed and cried out! English though they mostly were, French mannerisms are contagious ... ah non alors! mais voyons! .... And how they must have laughed. He would have been immaculate, for he always was (military in bearing), and probably they had all been to church. I imagine it after Sunday lunch at the Goodridges' at Mont Fleuri where one sat to watch the sunset?
      When, half a century later I sat with Mother and her godfather to watch sunset on the Alps, did she say, that was the pond? She found everything so changed, naturally ... it was. But I caught the afterglow of what had been their paradise and knew that paradisal it had been.
      The Hawkes lived in another pleasing house a walking distance up the mountain in the then-village of Mont Fleuri. They had four children: John, Jim, Willie and Dot who was so tiny at birth she was never known by any other name though christened after her Mother, Jane, my grandma Hawke, who was born in 1839 Sarah Jane Norrish Goodridge. Her father, William, was a corn merchant in Devon. She was the daughter of his second marriage. William Snow Goodridge of the house in Mont Fleuri was her half brother and my grandpa Hawke's will names him as guardian for his children should they be orphaned. William Goodridge married a French woman, Elise Vallet. They had no children.
      The Hawkes were descended from millers in Cornwall, and then in the wool trade, and in one of England's flourishing periods were making their way up admirably, but how John Andrew was with Morley's, a well-known clothier, as their representative in Grenoble I don't know. Probably William Goodridge (doubtless in gloves) got his brother-in-law Hawke a position out there. Anyway it was all set to be a happy and prosperous life for all of them. And then, on a business trip back to England, John Andrew dropped dead on the station platform in Lyons. He was not forty. He left his adoring wife with four children under ten.
      Grandma Hawke was a terribly reserved person. She must have been absolutely shattered and even English Mary Girardot (a "woman to whom you felt you could tell anything" a cousin told me, years after) could not get near her. John Andrew Hawke was never spoken of by his widow and never known to his children. All we ever heard was that he enjoyed fishing which was an infliction for his eldest son, having to be quiet, sitting there drowning worms. Was that young John's only memory of the ten short years they knew each other? Jane Hawke did not go back to Devon where, presumably, her parents were still alive. It was many years before she moved from the French house John Andrew left her.
      The elder Hawke boys were sent to school in England, and John and Jim spent holidays with cousins on the farm - the Leighs at Kennerleigh Manor. There was their love for life, their enchanted memories, but cum manhood John was placed with Fothergill and Harvey, clothiers of Manchester. He became manager of the Bow Street office in London and took Jim in with him. John detested his office. He did not whine. He saw it as an opportunity to establish himself well and eventually for buying a farm in Devon. He understood business. He worked hard.
      Meantime in La Tronche Jenny waited.... Tante Elise (William Goodridge's French wife) predicted she would marry John because, after those Sunday lunches, it was always in his cup the child chose to dip her sugar for her coffee "canard". If anything else ever encouraged Jenny to cling to her belief in their united destiny she never mentioned it. He was seven years older, a popular young man living in England. Grandmère gave her a ring of turquoise and pearls. She made it her talisman for happiness, certain if she wore it, it would bring her her love. The dream grew as she grew. Languid in her teens she was taken to the doctor. English Mary was incensed by the question, "Is she perhaps in love?" These French and their ideas! Her daughter hardly more than a child....
      Jenny flirted with John's youngest brother Willy - the darling whom his mother could not bear to send away - it kept her secret safer, and she never flirted, so she insisted, other than in fun, never to be misunderstood, never to hurt. Girls can do such damage she told us over and over again. As children all the English colony went up to Mont Fleuri where Mrs Hawke gave them lessons with her own Willy and Dot. Willy was a nasty spoilt little bully, he swung on Flo Benson's fair plaits and made her cry, but never bullied Jenny, "I would not have cried." Teaching must have been thorough for when they went on to school, lessons were the last thing Jenny bothered with. Extremely entertaining, she clowned, good-hearted and popular. "I had no memory", so higher learning she dismissed as a waste of life, as for her it probably was, knowing so precisely what she wanted, touching her turquoise and pearls.
      At her eighteenth birthday her photo was taken. In it she wears a pin brooch in the shape of a dragonfly, tiny turquoise again. Dot gave it to her. And Dot had the photo on her dressing table. John stole it to take back to England. His incensed sister told Jenny sternly not to start trifling with that heart.
      Jenny was past master at saying nothing with daunting dignity. She never trifled with any heart. Gaston Cambefort loved her all his life, and so did Georges, the young officer. Another far more splendid officer had asked for her hand before she was eighteen. Nothing ever altered what she knew: that John Hawke was her destiny and she his.
      He proposed as they walked together from Les Ombrages up to the Hawke's house at Mont Fleuri. She was nineteen and her parents would not hear of their marrying before she was twenty-three. That was not a long engagement for those days (Dot was to be engaged twelve years), "and we were not together," said Mother, "engagements are all right if you are not on top of each other."
      Grandmère was not pleased that her Jenny was to marry an Englishman, and it occurs to me that in all the odd fragmented memories that is all we have of la fameuse Pauline not one suggests that she were ever stupid. What indeed was Jenny Girardot doing, French as she was and born in the Alpes, following a young Englishman whose heart was in the damp Devonshire she hated, who worked in fog-bound London and gave her a home in suburbia? How strange is love.
      They married on a broiling hot day in July 1898 and honeymooned at La Grande Chartreuse, in a hotel (not the monastery...) where Jenny objected to English John's cursory ordering of the waiters, "it is not how we speak in France". He changed his tone completely; s'il vous plait, and veiullez bien, and, surely merci beaucoup - for any bread roll or lump of sugar so that they were served before anyone else and bowed round like nobody else, perhaps because of his teasing her but where and when do the French not love young lovers?
      John chose a house in Thornton Heath where he had been living, chose it facing a green that had trees on it, not noticing the neighbourhood, only hoping the trees and the dusty green would give a country atmosphere. They did not replace the Alpes, nor had the people anything in common with the community at La Tronche. Jenny for all her liveliness was extremely shy and totally déplacé. Her loneliness was appalling until her child was born and they moved to Norbury where she flouted convention by proudly pushing her own pram.
      Eda was a most beautiful baby and a radiant little girl. She was clever, she was lively. Every photo shows a lovely child. The baby that came soon after her when Eda began to talk she called her little titta, from which, somehow, Helen Mary was renamed Cis for life. Eda talked all in a rush: "Titta has-ou cleaned ous goffsticks?" bouncing on the end of Auntie Sunny's bed, polishing the brass bed knobs with her nightie, and Cis, who drawled, "Noah, Edaaa."
      When Jack was born Jenny contracted puerperal fever, the children were taken to Les Ombrages, Tiwi came to Norbury, and when they gave up hope Nurse Coker arrived. Jenny recovered. They wheeled her in the bath chair to see the first non-horsedrawn trams go by on the London road. The children came home. "But," Mother would tell us when we were very little, "Dad had lost all his curly hair and I had only married him for that you know."
      John and Jenny's youth was over, but they were all together and well again - friends in and out, kindly 'aunts', boisterous 'uncles....
      A year later Eda caught a chill, was ailing. They took her to Hastings to benefit from change of air, to get well. And there Eda died (of meningitis?) in the December of her fifth year. The eyes do not cry but the heart cries all the time.
     1. Eda Dorothy Hawke,   b. 21 May 1899, Thornton Heath,SRY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Dec 1904, St Leonards on Sea of (?) Meningitis Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 5 years)  [Natural]
     2. Helen Mary ''CISSIE or TITTA'' Hawke,   b. 24 Jul 1900, Thornton Heath, SRY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Dec 1994, Bosham, SSX Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 94 years)  [Natural]
     3. John Girardot ''JACK'' Hawke,   b. 03 Feb 1903, Norbury, SRY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 02 Mar 1983, Croydon, SRY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)  [Natural]
     4. Irene Louise Hawke,   b. 16 Jul 1911, Norbury, SRY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 02 May 2005, Bosham, SSX at 3.30 a.m. Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93 years)  [Natural]
     5. Lorraine Pauline Hawke,   b. 21 Jan 1915, Thornton Heath, SRY [Croydon 2a 551 Q1] Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 06 Jul 1996, Stow-on-the -Wold, Glos [PRO N. Cotswold 4851/16a 279 - July] Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)  [Natural]
    Last Modified 21 Mar 2016 
    Family ID F7  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    John Goodridge Hawke [1869-1921]
    John Goodridge Hawke [1869-1921]

  • Notes 
    • Boyhood memories

      Mother had been a little girl - we knew all about that - but suddenly, during a midday dinner, came the revelation that Daddy spent boyhood holidays on his cousins' farm. "I worked with the men!" Up before six - breakfast with the labourers in the long kitchen - and later, if one got hungry, just pull up a turnip and munch that. All day in the fields (never knew if it were raining and it always rains in Devon, said Mother) or with the shepherd learning to work sheepdogs. Dogs and ponies! The Alps were flattened, no romance was ever more romantic than the farm! We couldn't wait (thank God we could not wait). We dragged him to his special reclining deckchair in the garden where the sun always shone, and swarmed over him as he told with absolute delight about the horses and the dogs of boyhood. "Never thrash a sheepdog. Nellie rolled in dung and I thrashed her. I could never work that dog again." The recollections were endless but clearest of all I remember his telling of the pony with the ticklish back. She was easy to catch and would stand to be saddled but then one must mount neatly - into the saddle without brushing her, else she was all over the place and you grovelling. One day with foot in stirrup, John made a clumsy movement and she was up and off and everywhere like a ballerina on fire, "But Daddy was on her!". The triumph still in his voice.

      PROBATE OF WILL 1922
      HAWKEJohn Goodridge of The Hermitage Dunheved Road South Thornton Heath SURREY and 4 Bow Lane Cheapside LONDON died 14th August 1921 at The Hermitage Probate LONDON 10 January 1922 to Jenny Louisa Hawke widow. Effects £22162 0s 5d.