Capturing Cambridge encourages people of all ages to
discover the fascinating and inspiring histories of our streets.
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specific place, or person, of
interest. We believe the best way though
is to explore our wonderful map. Go on, unlock a Cambridge
secret that you never knew!
In 1901 this was the home of William Henry Doe; in the 1911 census Sarah Doe is listed as householder and in the 1913 street directory, William Doe.
William Doe and sons were hide, skin and wool merchants. They traded in hides and skins, trimming and grading them before selling them for tanning. Their business must have depended on the existence of the cattle market.
Their business works lay at the back of the Swiss Laundry site, where British Glues and Chemicals used to be based. The latter company operated throughout the country processing bones and fat bought from butchers. These are sorted in the Cambridge depot and then sent to soap manufacturers and other businesses.
Marie Burrows, William Doe’s granddaughter, recalls his life and work in this interview (2016):
William’s sons were not initially conscripted in the First World War but as the shortage of manpower came desperate, the family were forced to let their sons go. Marie recalls the circumstances around her father joining the Royal Flying Corps:
William Henry Doe, b 1888, was a hide buyer living with his parents in 1911. In 1917 he had been refused exemption from military service because of business hardship. He later joined the Royal Flying Corps.
Frederick Thomas Doe b 1891 similarly applied for exemption in 1916 but was refused. The unit he joined is unknown.