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Zulu Cottages plaque, Catharine Street

148 Catharine Street, Zulu Cottages

History of 148 Catharine Street

Zulu Cottages seem to have been built by Mrs K S Wallis (and possibly her husband). She certainly owned the cottages in 1911. The name of the cottages were linked with her husband, Surgeon Major Kenneth Serjeant Wallis’s service in Africa including the Zulu War of 1879.

Catherine (Katherine) Matilda Paine was born in Gamlingay in 1866. She married Kenneth Sergeant Wallis, son of a farmer on Barton Road, Grantchester, who had 450 acres, on 3rd October 1888 at St Martin in the Fields, Westminster.

We find the couple next in the census of 1901 when he has retired as Lt Colonel in the RAMC, aged 48;Katherine is 33 and they have a young son. They are living at 10 Dorset Road in Bexhill.

It seems likely that the Zulu Cottages were either a gift to her or some kind of ‘dowry’ on the occasion of her marriage in 1888 though possible she had inherited money from her father who had died a few years earlier. She may well have travelled abroad with her husband after their marriage and the cottages would have provided an income.

Surgeon Major Kenneth Serjeant Wallis (Cambridge press 5/9/1890)

In 1881 John Merryweather was living near Catharine Street in Butts Row

1891 (unnumbered)

John Merryweather, 43, bricklayer’s labourer, b Stow

1901 (148)

John Merryweather, 57, labourer, b Longstowe


Albert Hayden, carpenter

1939 not listed [?]


Carlo Bruno


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