||Henry George Duke
was born in Sompting, Sussex, in 1853, the second eldest son of
Eliza and Frederick Duke (born c1821, Arundel, Sussex), a carter who had
settled in the village of Sompting shortly after his marriage to Eliza
Foard in 1850. As a boy, Henry George Duke worked as a shepherd, but by
the time he was 18 he was employed as a labourer by a local market gardener.
In the March or April of 1883, Henry George
Duke married Annie Staplehurst (born 1858, Fletching, Sussex),
the daughter of Matilda and John Staplehurst (born c1836, Fletching), a
beer-house keeper who ran The Royal Oak public house in the Sussex
village of Newick. Before her marriage to Henry George Duke, Annie
Staplehurst was employed as an "Under Laundry Maid" at 'Sompting
Abbotts', a manor house belonging to Henry Peter Crofts
(c1819-1890), Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant of Sussex.
The union of Henry George Duke and
Annie Staplehurst produced 9 children - Harry Duke (born 1883 -
died 1884); Laura Matilda Duke (born 1885); Alfred John Duke
(born 1887); Annie Eliza Duke (born 1889); George Frederick Duke
(born 1892 - died 1892)); Lilian Emily Duke (born 1893); Jesse
Duke (born 1896); Gladys Duke (born 1899) and May Alexandra
Charlotte Florence Pollard (who was later to marry Alfred
John Duke) was born at Ardingly, Sussex, in 1889 and baptised at
the local church on 27th October 1889. In the baptism register, Charlotte Florence Pollard's
mother is named as Sarah Jane Pollard, who at the time of her child's
birth was an unmarried domestic servant in her early twenties. Sarah Jane
Pollard, who was born in Pyecombe, Sussex, in 1866, worked as a 'Cook'
in domestic service. Charlotte Florence Pollard, who was known as 'Flo'
by family and friends, was brought up by her grandparents, William Edward
Pollard (born c1834, West Hoathly, Sussex) and Mrs Mary Pollard -
formerly Mary Stedman - (born 1838, Brighton). In 1898, Flo's mother,
Sarah Jane Pollard married a 37 year old widower Joseph James
Caesar (born 1861, Brighton), who worked in Brighton as a 'Grainer'
and 'House Painter'. By 1911, twenty-one year old Charlotte
Florence ('Flo') Pollard was employed as an "Under
Housemaid" at 'Sompting
Abbotts', the country house where Mrs Annie Duke once worked. It was
probably while working at 'Sompting
Abbotts' that 'Flo' Pollard met local market gardener labourer Alfred John Duke
(born 1887, Sompting). Alfred John Duke
married 'Flo' Pollard in 1917. Alfred J. Duke's wife gave birth to a
baby boy named Alfred Henry Vincent Duke on 10th June, 1920.
[ABOVE] Henry George
Duke (born 1853, Sompting, Sussex) and his wife Mrs Annie Duke (born 1858, Fletching, Sussex)
in a postcard portrait photographed
by Otto Brown of 2 Chapel Road, Worthing (c1916).
Duke died in 1917, aged 64.
[ABOVE] Mrs Annie
Duke, formerly Annie Staplehurst (born 1858, Fletching, Sussex)
in a postcard portrait produced
by Otto Brown at his Chapel Road studio in Worthing (c1914). At least
five of Annie's children had their portraits taken by Otto Brown.