William James Croucher (1900-1985)


Birth: 28 October 1906 The Barracks, Barford Upper Mill, Churt, Farnham, Surrey, UK
Father: James Croucher 1860-1939
Mother: Ellen Fullick 1872-1943

Christening: 12 November 1900 St John the Evangelist, Churt, Surrey, UK

Marriage: 12 February 1927 All Saints, Vange, Essex, UK
Wife: Ella Marion (Marian) Cowles 1906-1951

Marriage: 1st October 1954 SW Surrey, UK
Wife: Lina Mina Louise Krumfuss 1910-1997

Death: 30 November 1985 Ingledene, Churt, Farnham, Surrey, UK
Cremation: 5 December 1985 Guilford Crematorium, Surrey, UK. Ashes in front garden of Ingledene (now Foxwood), Hale House Lane, Churt, Surrey, UK


Sylvia Marian Croucher [Barton, Botell] 1928-a2015
Edward James Croucher 1946-a1982


Birth of William James Croucher in FreeBMD in October-December 1900 in Farnham (2a 131).

Entry in Ancestry Surrey, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1912 for William James Croucher on 12 November 1900 at Churt, St John the Evangelist, with Rushmoor, Surrey, parents James and Ellen Croucher. "Page 67 Baptisms solemnized in the Parish of Churt in the County of Surrey in the Year One Thousand Nine Hundred and [blank ...] Privately Baptised Recd into Church Dec 1 1900 1900 Nov 12th No. 536 William James, parents James, a Labourer, and Ellen Croucher of The Barracks Churt".

In the 1901 census as William Croucher aged five months and living with his parents (James and Ellen), and two sisters (Ellen and Emily) in two rooms at The Barracks, Churt. (This was a cottage, now demolished, on the right of the track leading to the Barracks which were a teraced row built below the dam of Barford Upper Mill pond).

The family lived there until 1905 when they went to live with his grandmother at Pond Cottage when his grandfather died. However they were given notice to quit soon afterwards when the owner, Mr Compton of Churt House, died, and then moved to Copse or Coppice Cottage on the Furzehills where they lived for 6 years. He started at St John's School, Churt in June 1905.

In the 1911 census as William Croucher aged 11 and living with his parents (James and Ellen), two brothers (Ernest and Frederick), and three sisters (Ellen, Emily and Ruth) in four rooms at Copse Cottage, Churt, Surrey.

He was employed at Barford House from 7:40 to 8:40 am earning 2d, and from 4 to 5:30 pm earning 3d in the week, on Saturdays from 7 to 4:30 earning 1/- and also did one hour on Sunday mornings earning 3d. He cleaned boots, knives, fetched coals, kindling wood etc. and was a garden boy on Saturdays. His brother was born at Mead End Cottage on 24 January 1916. By 1917 he was working with his father at the Beacon Hotel, Hindhead. Soon afterwards he joined the 4th Bn Royal Rifle Brigade Prince Regents Own, but in 1918 he nearly died from Spainish Flu and pneumonia, and subsequently was transfered to a wing of the Wellingboro' work house. After a spell at North Camp they went to the North West Frontier, being stationed near Quetta. He returned to Gibralter in 1922 where he explored the old military tunnels, and then home on SS Huntsgreen (this was the ex German passenger ship Derfflinger which was captured in 1914 at Port Said and operated as troopship until 1923 when it was sold back to previous German owners and eventually scrapped in 1932). He left the army and he took various casual jobs at bars in London and Horsham, Sussex where he worked at the Kings Head while living at Broadbridge Heath. In 1925 he was back in Churt employed in laying out an orchard for Mr Ainslie of The Chase at the rate of 6/- per 8 hour day. He met his future wife here, and spent some time in Vange helping her brother Arthur and Wally Heavers with their building company. He helped his father build Fairfield.

In the 1921 census as William James Croucher born in Farnham, Surrey in 1901 and in the Army.

There are eight entries in Ancestry All Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1962 for William James Croucher addresses Mead End Cottage, Churt, Frensham, Farnham from 1922 to Spring 1925, other occupants James and Ellen Croucher (parents?), Fairfield, Churt, Frensham, Farnham in Autumn 1925 and 1926, other occupants James and Ellen Croucher (parents), and Frederick Croucher (brother?) in 1926, 1 Furze Hill Cottages, Churt, Frensham, Farnham in 1927, and Outmoor, Churt, Frensham, Farnham in 1928.

Final banns in Churt 30 Jan 1927 : William James Croucher and Ella Marion Cowles of P. of Vange, Essex.

Marriage of William J Croucher and Ella M Cowles in FreeBMD in January-March 1927 in Billericay (4a 763).

Entry in Ancestry Essex, England, Church of England Marriages, 1754-1935 for William James Croucher aged 26, father James Croucher and Ella Marian Cowles on 12 February 1927 at Vange, All Saints.

His daughter was born in Churt in 1928.

Ingledene was built in front of Fairfield in 1928, cost £380, both houses having a common garden. There was no electricity or bathroom (the latter being built in the early 1950s). Gas was used for cooking, and there was a gas copper in a shed which was used for washing clothes, and heating water for the bath which was in the same shed. There was an outside earth closet, later a WC. There was no gas lighting because of the unsightly pipes, and so waited for electricity which came in the 1930s - in the mean time they used huricane (paraffin) lamps. His earlier building experience was used in building a front porch, larder and back porch.

He was a witness at the marriage of his brother Ernest on 14 September 1929 in Churt.

There are ten entries in Ancestry All Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1962 for William James Croucher address Ingledene, Churt, Frensham, Farnham from 1929 to 1939, other occupant Ella Marion Croucher (wife?).

In the 1939 England and Wales Register as William J Croucher born 28 October 1900, married, a gardener in private service and a B.R.C stretcher bearer, and living with Ella M Croucher (wife?) and two others (daughter? and Michael E Meadows? wife's nephew) at Ingledene, Hambledon, Surrey.

He joined the Home Guard at the start of the Second War, but then joined the airforce, and spent the rest of the war at pilot training bases in the Isle of Man and Scotland. A hedge had been planted to separate Ingledene from Fairfield when that was sold following the death of his father in 1943. Before and after the war, complete gardens were opened as part of the Churt flower show, and he also entered produce

His son was born in Haslemere in 1946.

There are nine entries in Ancestry All Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1962 for William J Croucher address Ingledene, Churt, Frensham, Farnham from 1946 to 1960, other occupant Ella M Croucher (wife?) until 1951.

A bathroom was built in 1951 on my sandpit. The old black stove was removed from the kitchen which now became a living room, and the scullery now became the kitchen with a Rayburn which provided hot water.

His wife died in Haslemere in 1951. He was working as a gardener at Horwood House, Hatch Hill (for Mr Levy), and he met his second wife here (she was working in the house).

Marriage of William J Croucher and Lina M L Krumfuss in FreeBMD in October-December 1954 in SW Surrey (5g 1303).

When Mr Levy died, he worked for Mr Noble at Old Barn (converted by Lloyd George). He finally worked at a house on the hill from Hindhead down to Shottermill where he had a heart attack in 1966. He retired, and did a lot of walking with the local ramblers. In the winter they would go to the whist drive in the village hall. In the mid 1960's he wrote about life in Churt in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and some fifty short stories.But his main interest right to the end was his garden.

Entry in the Register of Deaths for William James Croucher, born 28 October 1900, in December 1985 in Surrey SW (17 1142).

Farnham Herald Personal Announcements Croucher, Wiliam James. On Saturday, November 30th at his home aged 85 years. Cremation took place at Guildford on Thursday. Donations in memory to the Royal Bristish Legion, c/o Mrs Botell, Ingledene, Churt.

Entry in Ancestry England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 for William James Croucher died 30 November 1985 in Farnham Sy, probate London 21 March 1986. "Croucher, William James of Ingledene Churt Farnham Sy died 30 November 1985 Probate London 21 March £63426".

There are twenty seven entries in Ancestry Public Member Trees for William James Croucher.


My father on the Little Lawn at Ingledene about 1965.


William James Croucher was my father.

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