Edward Oscar Wallis

Brother Athol married Hannah (nee Thompson), a Quaker in 1947. They had no children. They came from a big Quaker family in a village near Penrith. They met at a FAU Unit in Southern Scotland. Hannah was a dietician in the hospital and Athol was in an FAU team stationed at that hospital


Arnold from the Sidcot school archive (2nd in from the left I think)

Sister Ruth. She married John Lidster, museum curator in Scarborough John’s uncle Harry (mother’s brother) had been a sailor and had a bungalow with a lookout over the sea. John’s mother Nana (who bought up John on his own after John’s father died) made artificial flowers and gave A&O a present of a box of them which flew off the roof rack on the dual carriageway. John made a wartime cartoon documentary about the dangers of mosquitos. John’s first wife ran away, and he had a son Robin. Robin is a retired museum curator. John and Ruth have 3 children; Peter, Simon and Sue Lidster. Sue loves gunieapigs.

Oscar’s father (‘dad’) was Edward Arnold Wallis. He was a marvellous naturalist and had collections of bird eggs and butterfies and freshwater shells in little drawers. Dad only visited A&O in Cirencestor once, which was just before he died, and he was excited to find an edible Roman snail. He smoked heavily and died young in 1954 of pleuracy. When he was dying (which happened very rapidly) he said to mother ‘am I dying’ and she said ‘yes darling’. Annette found that story very moving.

Dad ran Wallis & Blakeley, a grocer’s shop in Westborough, Scarborough. It was a general food store with a bakery and cake shop. It had money spinning round on an overhead sending system. He took grocery orders, farm to farm in North Yorkshire after the shop and bakery closed down during the Depression. He went round with the order book in an old Jowett.

Oscar’s mother was Gladys Wallis nee Gregson. She had a relative who was employed in Tiptree jams and they received a box of big stone jars of Tiptree jams at Christmas. A memory of Oscar’s is of one jar was faulty and was mostly stoneware with little jam. Her father was a minister in the Anglican church. Gladys went to Polam Hall School in Darlington. Annette remembers her as slightly stout, businesslike, brisk, knowing her own mind, cheerful, delightful, a bit bossy. She was excited that Oscar was the most spiritually inclined of her children.

Gladys was the baby of the family, born in 1881. She was born in Hornsea in East Yorkshire. She and Arnold got engaged but couldn’t get married until after the war. Her eldest sister Isabel was the Headmistress of a girls grammar school in Harpendon. She married Professor Meiklejohn, a well known oceanographer who established Meiklejohn atlases that were taken over and became Bartholemews atlases.

Arnolds brother Arthur Wallis (Oscar's Uncle) became a Christian Scientist, and his whole family became Christian Scientists. He was a partner in the shop. They had 4 children, one of whom, Oscar’s cousin Joy Wallis died tragically - she went out with a young man as a missionary to West Africa, and caught elephantitis, an African disease. Joy’s sister Margorie Wallis, one of Arthur’s children married Roy Dickson who was a professional photographer in Birmingham. They had a brother, Oscar’s cousin Roger Wallis who was a great contemporary and friend of Athol and Oscars. Roger Wallis married Eileen Wallis who had twin girls, Ann and Jill (she became Gill Rutter). One of the girls had greenish eyes and mousy hair, and the other had curly fair hair and blue eyes and a fairylike build. Roger Wallis became a mechanical engineer and he invented one of the early shock absorbers for a motor manufacturing company (Austin?).

Oscar’s father had a Rowntree connection.

Oscar’s Aunt Elsie Wallis was Arnold’s eldest sister and she ran the cake shop. She never married. She said 'wasn't that a lovely outing' at Oscar's fathers' funeral in Hull back in 1953/4 when she was losing her marbles.

Aunt May Wallis, Arnold’s youngest sister was the nursing sister at The Mount School where she ran the San. She never married either. She and her sister on retirement lived together in Newby on the Scarborough Road and A & O’s grandfather clock was in originally in their hall, and before that in Oscar’s grandmother’s house in Scalby.

Oscar also had an Aunt Dorothea Wallis. She was Arnold’s sister who married Herbert George Wood (HG Wood), who was Director of Woodbrooke College for many years. and a biblical scholar. They lived in Bourneville. Dorothea had 2 boys, Duncan Wood and Ross Wood. Oscar visited them as a child, and when you went up and down the stairs there was a switch at the top and bottom; you could turn the light off at either switch. Ross Wood travelled the world for Cadbury’s, and was Cadbury’s buyer for cocoa beans but said privately that Cadbury’s didn’t buy the best and should be avoided.
On Oscar’s mother's side of the family was Uncle Tom Gregson, and architect in Bombay, India. Uncle Tom had children. His firm designed the railway station in Bombay. He lived in Slights in Yorkshire and lost his memory eventually. His wife was Dolly who lived with Hannah and Athol for a bit after Tom had died.

Tom’s son was John Gregson who lived in New Zealand. John got the George Cross for bravery during WW2 when he jumped into the sea to save a drowning person after the ship was torpedoed. John was in the Malta convoy, and after the war was a ships captain with the New Zealand Shipping Company. John was frequently invited back to the UK for formal occasions due to his medal.

Uncle Tom's daughter was Elizabeth Halstead (nee Gregson) and she married John Hastead who was a professor in London. He was totally devoted to peace, wrote peace songs and came to Molesworth with Bridie and Tim.

Oscar had an Uncle Athol Gregson (his mothers brother), a batchelor who was a Chartered Accountant in Hull, working in an old fashioned Dickensian office in the street of Green Ginger (in the dockland area of Hull) with Miss Harsley, a lady housekeeper (no scandal implied). Uncle Athol liked fly fishing with Arnold on the rivers in Scotland.

Aunt Isabel Gregson had four children who were named Mickeljohn - her husband was Professor Mickeljohn. There was Maury Mickeljohn, Peter Micheljohn and Jack Mickeljohn and one daughter Jane Micheljohn. One went to Newfoundland. Jane worked at Roehampton research lab where she was a plant biologist and they also lived in Harpendon, Herts. Peter and Jack were both Professors; one was at Harvard, the other one went to Canada. Maury was a batchelor, and a leading ornithologist, very close friends with Athol and with Duncan.

Nb. Oil painting of Pic of Gladys and Isabel

Oscar’s cousins include Duncan Wood, Ross Wood, and cousins Audrey Wood and Margaret Wood (who were sisters). Margaret was the head of a national School of Midwives in London and quite eminent. Ross Wood had the house in Borth and Jo and Alf lived there for some months while Alf was taking a degree (the student accommodation was awful). A dress suit of Alf’s was damaged in a storm and Ross Wood had them dry cleaned. Ross Wood’s children are Andrew and Richard.

Oscar’s grandfather was Francis Wallis of Scarborough, who ran the shop before Arnold. Oscar never met him. There was an Edward Wallis (Oscar’s great grandfather).

Oscar’s great aunt was Priscilla Wallis who married George Rowntree of Scarborough. Malcolm Rowntree ran the Red Lea Hotel in Scarborough. Howard Rowntree ran the Rowntree’s shop and offered a flat on the South cliff for mother and dad and left 2 Park Avenue for Athol and Hannah to live in. Mother was a bit of a housekeeper for Howard because Howard’s wife Nora was incurably insane and was in The Retreat. Griselda Rowntree was one of their children. After dad died mother went to live in Quaker sheltered housing in Ravensworth Lodge where Ruth and Athol lived.

Oscar’s grandmother was Annie Johnson, and Oscar remembers her. Annie was from Northern Ireland. Oscar has a picture of her outside Wallis and the Blakeley shop in Scalby. A Johnson relation became the Head of the Friends School in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

Oscar’s father's cousin was Francesca Wilson (There is a wonderful photo of her among the family slides) although we don’t know the connection – Arnold claimed that Laura Wilson was his aunt. The Wilson’s were from Newcastle. Francesca was possibly also related to Priscilla Wallis. Francesca went out to look after refugee children in Serbia after WW1 and went to help refugees in the South of France after the Spanish Civil War. Her book Aftermath about the Balkan War became quite famous. Then there was Professor Barcus who lived in Germany. Francesca's younger sister married Barcus (he was Francesca's brother-in-law). Their daughters were Enid and Rosalind. Enid and her husband Walter Bloomfield who died of cancer in New Zealand lived in Woodford, North London where A & O visited them first.

Bridget Minor's mother was Dorothy Wilson, although she was unrelated to Francesca. Dorothy married Francesca's youngest brother, Maurice Wilson. Dorothy owned Crow Cottage. She lived in Regents Park and was very wealthy. Maurice was the youngest, very adored but died before Bridget was born. Francesca called Dorothy ‘la belle soeur’.

June, Bridget's older sister married the Royal physician, John Horder. Both were doctors. June nursed Mutti almost to the end. They lived in Primrose Hill. June's daughter Annabelle had the boat named after her.

There was a middle sister of June and Bridget who was Annette, who married Nigel someone, Clawson? an architect. They lived in Bath. She was on an Oak Dragon camp with Ross two or three years ago. Bridget and Annette co-owned East Point (now owned by the Freud family, and Richard Curtis was there recently. Iris (the film about Iris Murdoch with Kate Winselt and Dame Judy Dench was taken at East Point, and Kate answered a note to Freya that was pinned on the rafters.

Creek Cottage was owned by Enid and Rosalind Priestman, both nieces of Francesca).

Hugh Wallis a Quaker was an arts and crafts era coppersmith who has something of a reputation in the world of antiques – is he a relation?

There is a Joseph Southall, who was sort of on the fringes of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood, and has quite a lot of work in the City

Gallery in Brimingham.