The HARDYMAN family – Corporal HARDYMAN, Albert Edward (1884-1951)

Frederick William Hardyman (1858-1913) married Easter Helen Santer (1860-1931) in Leicester in 1883.  Not long after, their first child Albert Edward was born and Frederick took over the management of his father’s cheese, bacon and general provisions business at 5 Victoria Parade.  Albert was baptised at St Peter’s on 24th August 1884.  Frederick and Easter had ten children, eight surviving past early infancy:  Albert Edward (1884-1951); Frederick William (1887-1960); Edith Helen (1885-); Lilian (1888-); Florence Muriel (1891-1983); Louisa (1894-1975); Margaret Emily (1897-1898); Mildred Agnes (1900-1992); John (1902-1903) and Mary Eugenie (1906-1982).  The family connection with St Martin’s seems to have begun with the baptism of Louisa on 28th December 1894 – thereafter all the children were baptised at St Martin’s.  Frederick, Easter and Albert Edward all attended St Martin’s as worshippers in 1909. After the death of Frederick’s father in 1908 he took over the business at 5 Victoria Parade, but the family always lived elsewhere.  Frederick knew William Stafford of 2 Victoria Parade as in 1890 he witnessed Frederick’s will.

The family lived Firstly at 2 Portland Terrace, (number 4) Melton Road then from 1897 at 8 Fosse Road, moving to number 31 Fosse Road in 1900.  In 1902 an advertisement appeared in the Leicester Chronicle – “Hardyman: The Only Cheesemonger in Leicester”.  Around 1905 Frederick went into partnership with Sidney Lowe and the shop at 5 Victoria Parade was styled “Hardyman & Lowe” from that time onwards.

Albert Edward did not intend to follow his father into shop keeping.  Instead, he served an apprenticeship in the boot and shoe trade.  From at least 1909 and certainly by the time of his marriage to Lily Amelia Whitfield (1887-1947) at St Martin’s on 5th December 1910, he was living independently in Town Hall Lane (now known as Guildhall Lane).  They moved in together at 23 Stuart Street and Albert continued working as a foreman finisher.  The following year their first child Enid Mary (1911-1967) was born on 18th June 1911.  Lily must have been about three months pregnant at the time of her marriage.  Enid was baptised at St Martin’s on 20th August 1911.

Frederick William Hardyman senior died in 1913 aged 55.  The business of Hardyman & Lowe continued, perhaps managed by Frederick junior, until around 1941. Mother Easter gave Albert and Frederick £200 and £250 respectively – taken from their future inheritance – to set themselves up. At this time Albert Edward moved away from the shoe business and became a fruit merchant for John E Walker Ltd, keeping his position until he had risen to the position of Director by 1947.  Their offices were at 46 Halford Street. Albert and Lily lived at 60 Evington Road, remaining there until c1930.  Mother Easter lived nearby at number 56 until 1927, when she moved to Kennington, Westleigh Avenue.  She died there in 1931.

At the outbreak of war Albert was 5’7” tall, weighing 165lbs.  He was already a skilled motorcyclist at a time when this was fairly unusual, so understandably he joined the Motorcycle Corps, Royal Engineers Special Reserve CMC Section.   He joined a special Service rest camp at Bletchley.  Albert landed in France in June 1916 and was promoted corporal soon after, in November 1916.  Albert demobbed on 20th July 1919, claiming no disability or illness.  He returned to Leicester and to 60 Evington Road.

Albert and Lily’s son John Anthony (1923-1946) was born in 1923 and baptised at St Martin’s on 1st April 1923.  In the same year Albert’s sisters Mary Eugenie and Mildred Agnes were confirmed at St Martin’s.  The family moved to Woodlands, Glen Hill, Blaby c1930 and remained there until at least 1941.  In 1933 the Hardyman family must all have been affected when a woman successfully claimed over £9000 damages from Albert’s older brother Frederick William – a very large sum – for the death of her husband who had been run over and killed by the manager of Frederick’s car spares business, Stanley George Bingham.

By the time of Lily’s death in 1947 she and Albert lived at 113 Leicester Road, Blaby.  Albert died on 12th April 1951 at Kirby Muxloe.

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