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38 Abbey Walk

A police constable and a cab driver

38 Abbey Walk is one of a terrace of six houses built in the 1890s and referred to as Rosa Terrace in some early census records.

1901 census for 1 Rosa Terrace, Abbey Walk

Robert Thompson, head, 29, police constable, b. Papworth St Agnes, Cambridgeshire
Alice Thompson, wife, 28, b. Elsworth, Cambridgeshire
Benj R Thompson, son, 5, b. Cambridge
Gertrude A Thompson, daughter, 3, b. Cambridge

Robert Thompson died in May 1902, aged 30. In August the Police held a fete for the benefit of Alice and the children (Cambridge Independent Press, 15 August 1902, page 5), of which there were now three. Alice later married Francis Holmes, another police constable.

1911 census for 38 Rosa Terrace, Abbey Walk

Albert Abbs, head, 40, cabman, b. Longstanton, Cambridgeshire
Nellie Abbs, wife, 32, b. Bluntisham, Huntingdonshire
Cecil Abbs, son, 9, b. Cambridge
Hilda May Abbs, daughter, 7, b. Cambridge
Gladys Maud Abbs, daughter, 5, b. Cambridge
Married 15 years, 3 children

1921 census for 38 Abbey Walk

Albert Abbs, head, 50, painter’s labourer, Kidman & Sons, Abbey Walk, b. Long Stanton
Nellie Abbs, wife, 42, home duties, b. Bluntisham, Huntingdonshire
Cecil Abbs, son, 19, foreman, Great Eastern Railway, b. Cambridge
May Hilda Abbs, daughter, 17, shorthand typist, [??] College, Burleigh House, b. Cambridge
Gladys Maud Abbs, daughter, 15, apprentice to Mrs Legge, dressmaker, Gwydir St, b. Cambridge
Ronald Arthur Abbs, son, 6, b. Cambridge

1939 England and Wales register

Albert Abbs, 20 Nov 1870, married, builder’s labourer
Ellen Abbs, 18 Mar 1877, married, unpaid domestic duties
Ronald A Abbs, 27 Nov 1914, married, lorry driver, builder’s
Peggy L Abbs, 7 Dec 1918, married, unpaid house duties
One child [closed record]
Sidney T Boot, 30 Aug 1904, married, motor engineer’s clerk
Gladys M Boot, 23 Aug 1908, married, unpaid house duties

In 1939 38 Abbey Walk was a three-generation household: Albert and Ellen Abbs, two of their children – Ronald and Gladys – with their spouses, and a grandchild. In the same year Albert and Ellen’s son Cecil and his wife and son were living along the street at #33.

Albert Abbs died in 1950. In the early 1960s Ellen was still living at 38 Abbey Walk, with Cecil and his wife at #33 and their son Ramon and his wife at #36. Trade directories from 1965 either list the house as empty or omit the number entirely; it may have been used as part of the premises of Foister & Jagg, printers.


UK census records (1841 to 1921), General Register Office birth, marriage and death indexes (1837 onwards), the 1939 England and Wales Register, electoral registers, trade directories, and local newspapers available via


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