For the descendents of Richard Dearie and his son John Russell

Hilda Gertrude Russell nee Mossop

15 March 1892 - 1 April 1985

By the time of the 1901 census the family have moved to "Caversham House", 12, Oakhill Road, Putney: Henry now 40, May 36, Madeleine 12, Kathleen 11, and Hilda G. aged 9, with a cook and a housemaid. Hilda attended Putney High School, which was and still is a girl’s public day school trust. It was started in 1893. Hilda recalled that they played Hockey on a slope.

Left above, a photograph of May with a child which may be Hilda since it was found amongst Hilda's possessions when she died.

Left: Hilda photographed at D. Nottle's studio 3, Clifton Terrace Beckenham. Her grandmother Annie Fox lived in Beckenham.

Hilda Gertrude Mossop was the third daughter of May Mossop nee Fox and Henry Mossop a solicitor. In 1891 the family lived at " Iddesleigh " No. 15, Earlsfield Road, Wandsworth and appear on the 1891 census: Henry ( 30) and May Mossop ( 24), and daughters Madeleine aged 2, and Kathleen aged 1, with a cook, nurse and a housemaid. Hilda was born on 15 March 1892, and baptised on 31 May 1892. The address given is "Montrose" Earlsfield Road.

Right: No. 15 Earlsfield Road photographed by Claire Grey in 2011.

Below right: Freda, Hilda and Madeleine photographed at Poole and Co's studio: 116 Upper Richmond Road Putney.

Above: Number 12 Oakhill Road photographed in 2011 by Claire Grey. The house is still called Caversham House. A much quieter street than Earlsfield Road although still near the railway. Perhaps her father Henry travelled from East Putney Station every day to his work at Lincolns Inn Fields? The family lived there until at least 1904.

Left: Hilda photographed on holiday at Walberswick in August 1905 when she was 14.



Two pictures from May's photograph album dated 1912, when Hilda was 20, left Freda and Hilda, right Freda May and Hilda. It is tempting to think that these well composed and staged photos might have been taken by Phil. Russell who had just proposed to Hilda.
Every Thursday afternoon her father Henry would have a billiard party. May had to prepare the food and Hilda would be roped in to hand round the sandwiches. Most evenings Henry spent with his friends drinking and smoking. He had little time for his children but Hilda felt she had been the most loved. Her father liked her because she was good at golf, and picked to play for the ladies club team.
Above left: studio portrait by Bassano Ltd , 25 Old Bond Street.
Above right: At her sister Madeleine's wedding in 1909 aged 18

In 1903 her mother had a fourth daughter called Theo. May was not pleased to have had another child and Theo was brought up by May's sister Gertrude Fox.

Right: Hilda standing behind her Aunt Gertie who is holding Theo.

Left: Freda, Madeleine, May and Hilda.

Right: In front of the Grange with a school friend. Hilda may have moved to another school or perhaps she caught the train from Ashford to Putney?
Hilda's mother May was happy when they lived in Putney but Henry insisted on buying a bigger house with a billiard room. By 1908 they lived at The Grange, Ford Bridge Road, Ashford, Staines, which also backed onto Ashford Manor Golf Club. See right.
Hilda's sister Madeleine married Philip's brother George Russell; the two of them had conspired to set Hilda up with Phil. In 1912 Phil proposed to her. At first she was not at all keen, she was 20 and he was 28. They were engaged for 2 years but a great deal of that time he must have been in Malaya. Below: Hilda's uncle Robert Fox on the left, possibly acting as chaperone for Hilda, third from right and Phil right.
Left: Hilda, Theo and May.
Above: This photograph appears to have been taken about the time of Hilda's marriage. One taken in the same studio has been used for the announcement in the Ladies' Field, left. The photographer was Opie Limited, Art Photographer, Redruth in Cornwall.

Their first child Anne was born on 15 October 1916 in Kuala Lumpur.

In February 1917 Hilda's father Henry visited them in K.L. Swan & MacLaren had offered to make Phil a partner and Phil and Hilda were about to move to Singapore. (See Henry's letters.) Hilda regretted having to move.

Right: A post card to Hilda from her sister Freda sent from Clapham at 9.15 on 10 November 1904. The front shows a painting of the windmill at Brixton. "Dearest Hilda, I expect you know where this p.c. comes from. I shall probably send you some more of Walberswick only as at present they are mine, you must promise to put them in my album. Love to all Freda." 1902 was first year that post cards with divided backs were made. This was the beginning of the post card collecting craze. Walberswick appears to have been a holiday destination for the young Mossops.
War was declared on 4 August 1914. In September 1914 Hilda sent her father this post card. Was he in Scotland for the golf? Two months later at the age of 22 she was married to Philip on the 14th November at St. Johns Church in Westminster. They spent their honeymoon in Cornwall. She and Phil then travelled to Kuala Lumpur.
Their second child Prudence was born on 1 November 1919 in Falmouth. Their address at the time appears to be Dorset Villa, Esplanade, Shanklin, Isle of Wight.
In May 1921 Phil had an operation for appendicitis. Their third child Robert was born at Lelant , Dalvey Road, in Singapore on 5 July 1921.

Hilda was told that during his operation the drainage tubes being put in wrongly had wrecked Phil's health. He had been supposed to recuperate in Switzerland, but he Hilda and Anne went to Australia in late August for a better climate. As soon as Phil had been diagnosed the other Russells told Hilda that her duty lay with her husband. She was doubtful about leaving Pru and Bobby behind. She took Anne with her, so Pru and Bobby were sent home to the UK and went to live with her sister Madeleine and George in Esher. On December 22nd 1921 Phil died aged 37 of tuberculosis of the throat.

Right: Robert with his nurse. Robert and Pru travelled back to England with an amah.
Left: Pru and Anne in a studio and at Port Dickson F.M.S. in 1921
Right: Anne with Hilda on board a ship in 1921.
Right: Madeleine, May, Hilda and Theo.