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3 Ainsworth Street

WW1 Soldiers, Engine Driver and the Ancient Order of Foresters

Number 3 Ainsworth Street is one of a terrace of three houses on the west side of Ainsworth Street.


William Robert Pilgrim, stationery engine driver, lives at number 3 with his second wife Mary and five of his six children. The eldest is 17-year-old William Robert, a tailor. The others are Edith (13), Sarah (9, she’s a scholar), Henry Morris (2) and 10-month-old Valentine George.  The family previously lived at 63 Sturton Street.

William Robert PILGRIM with unknown lady.  Used with permission from descendant.

William and Mary married on the 12th July 1886.  William gave his address as Ainsworth Street.

The previous Census shows that William was working as an engine driver at the Coprolite Mill. By the next Census the family has moved to Fulbourn and he’s an engine driver at the pumping station.

Henry will become a Lieutenant in the Army.

Valentine will become a Corporal in the Army and marries Emily Rolph at the Congregational Church in Fulbourn on 10th August 1918.

1901 – 1905

Alfred James Herring, printer and compositor from Grantham in Lincolnshire and his wife Alice have moved here from Sturton Street.  They have a 5-year-old daughter, also called Alice.

Alfred (or Brother Herring) was a member of the Ancient Order of Foresters and held the role of “Poor Man’s Friend”, which he appears to have taken on in about 1900.


Head of household is Charlotte George, a 62-year-old widowed charwoman. She is living there with her youngest son, 26-year-old Arthur Robert, a florist’s assistant. They have one boarder, Frances Chapman, a tailoress.

1914 onwards

The 1914-15 Electoral Register shows Harry Walter Maltby, who married Martha Mary Maltby (nee Diver) in 1910.  (They previously lived at number 14 in 1911.)  Harry is listed on the 1918 register as a “absent voter / naval or military voter”, he serves as a Driver in the Royal Field Artillery during WW1.

The 1921 Census records Harry as a painter and decorator working for S. Pauly, Plumber, Painter & Decorator of Quay Side, Cambridge.  The couple have a nine year old daughter named Doris.

In 1931 they are joined by Emma Alice Blanden (a butcher’s widow who has moved from James Street).

The Maltby’s have moved to Kendal Way by 1935 and Emma Blanden remains at number 3 living with Florence Upton.  Emma dies in 1940, aged 82.

Sources : UK census records (1881 to 1921), General Register Office birth, marriage and death indexes (1837 onwards), the 1939 England and Wales Register, Cambridge Independent Press, 18th Oct 1901 / 17th Jan 1902 and Cambridgeshire, England, Electoral Registers, Burgess Rolls and Poll Books (1905, 1914, 1918), WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920


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