SIMMONDS Family History

The HALLIDAY branch

George Eley HALLIDAY and Elizabeth Jane née CAIN


George and Elizabeth née Cain

George John Halliday (b. c 1830 d. June 1858) was partner in a firm of publishers in Fleet Street. He married Mary (Eley) Halliday (b. c 1830 d. 1924) and they had one son, George Eley Halliday (b. 5 November 1857 at Heston, Middlesex; d. June 1922, Cardiff.) Mary was widowed at a young age but continued to live at their home Elm Lodge, Spring Grove, Isleworth, Heston, Middlesex.

George Eley Halliday, an only child, went to Uppingham School and trained as an architect in London. He was working in Cardiff on the restoration of Llandaff Cathedral and other churches in that part of Wales when he married. He was appointed Ecclesiastical Surveyor of Llandaff in 1893. George was a keen water colourist and frequent exhibitor in the architectural section of The Royal Academy. He was also author of ‘Llandaff Church Plate’, still highly regarded today and wrote many papers on archaeology. George Eley Halliday married Elizabeth Jane Cain. The marriage was registered 1880 in The Strand. George Eley would have been 23 years old and Elizabeth Jane 18 years.

Elizabeth Jane Cain (b. 11 May 1862 Bermondsey, Surrey d. 16 April 1941 Weston Super Mare) was brought up in Sydenham, one of six children and the youngest daughter of Edward John Cain (b. 1822 d. 1884) and Ann Sawney (b.1822 d. 1912). One of Elizabeth Jane's brothers Henry Frederic Cain was a solicitor who lived at 2 Adelaide Crescent, Hove, Sussex. When her daughter Vera, and her family lived in Worthing my mother Elizabeth, Vera's daughter, remembers visiting him frequently with her Granny. He had a rather grand house and Indian servants. After Elizabeth Jane was widowed she lived at The Warwick Club, 101 St Georges Square, London SW1. At the beginning of the war she moved out of London to be near her daughter Vera; first to Middleton, Sussex and then Weston super Mare.

George Eley and Elizabeth Jane lived at The Hermitage, Fairwater Road, Llandaff and had three daughters all born in Cardiff. They were;

  • Mary Halliday b. 26 December 1880 d. 7 May 1953 Bodmin, Cornwall
  • Marjorie Halliday b. 1884 d. October 1973 Juan Les Pins, France
  • Vera Halliday b. 26 September 1893 d. 18 October 1974 Henley on Thames

Mary Halliday the eldest daughter, went to live with her paternal grandmother Mary Eley Halliday in Heston, Middlesex at a young age - possibly around the time that Marjorie was born. No one seems to have known the reason why, even her sisters, in their life time, did not seem to know. Family have speculated that she went to keep her widowed grandmother company. Young Mary would have had lots of attention from Mary's sisters. She may have started school there and been happy. Elizabeth Jane being a young mother may have been unwell and unable to cope. It was not uncommon in those days for Granny to bring up one of the children. We may never know. Looking at the Census Records 1891 Mary was living with her grandmother and she was still there in the Census in 1901. We have few details of Mary's life after her marriage in 1905 but we have recently made contact with two of her great grand-daughters; Sue Dobson grand-daughter of Marjorie Hayes who lives in S. Africa near Johannesburg, and Anja Williams grand-daughter of Joan Phyllis Hayes now living in Bideford, Devon. Sue and Anja have very kindly sent us pictures of Mary Hayes née Halliday and her family.

MMary Halliday was just short of 25 years old when she married the 37 year old Thomas William Patrick Hayes on 23 November 1905 in Brentford, Middlesex. Both her parents were at the wedding and her sister Marjorie was one of her bridesmaids. Thomas Hayes was a medical Doctor who had been in the Seige of Mafeking during the Anglo Boer War. Thomas took Mary, whom he called Molly, back to Mafeking in S. Africa where he and his older half brother were army doctors, even after the war. Mary and Thomas had four children whilst they lived in Mafeking.

  • Marjorie b. 1906 d. 1984
  • Dennis Eley Colquhain b. 1907 d. 1998
  • William Halliday b. 1911 d. 1997
  • Joan Phyllis Mary b. 1916 d. 2005

During the 1st World War they were living in Simonstown where there was a Naval base. When Dr William Patrick Hayes retired the family returned to England. (c 1925) Mary died in 1953 and was buried in Newton Abbot, Devon. Her daughter Marjorie Hayes returned to South Africa where she married and brought up her family. Mary's younger son William Halliday Hayes was a doctor, like his father. In the 1980's he was living in Cornwall and Joan was living in Paignton, Devon.

Marjorie Halliday was nine years older than her sister Vera. They were brought up together at The Hermitage and went to Howells School in Llandaff. During the war she was a voluntary nurse in Exeter (possibly after being a nun for a short while). From 1915 until 1919 she served with VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) in places all over the UK as well as Malta and probably France. She met and married Eulampe Rybalka who called himself a ‘White Russian’ and who had sought refuge in France after the Bolshevik Revolution. Whether he was a Russian living in Ukraine or a Ukrainian is not currently clear.

They lived near Juan Les Pins in the South of France for the rest of their lives. They had one son Georges b circa 1927. Georges married a lady called Franca and they had one daughter Monique b. circa 1951. Georges and Franca separated and later divorced which caused Marjorie great distress. Monique married Silvano circa 1970. We think they may have moved to live in Italy.

Marjorie's mother, Elizabeth Jane, used to visit Marjorie in France every summer and stay for a while. My mother used to tell us how she travelled with a large trunk on boats and trains as if she were going for six months. After Elizabeth Jane had died Marjorie came over here most summers to stay with Vera and that is when we would see her. It was always fun and exciting her coming from France. She used to tell us about Petula Clarke who lived in a neighbouring house to them (do you remember the song ‘Down Town’?). She would bring us things which were the latest craze in France with Monique such as Scoobi Doo. Marjorie was a sweet person, full of life, and was very fond of Vera's children, Tom and Elizabeth. My mother kept up a correspondence with her until she died. Tom visited her often with his family and David, Jane and Vanessa also visited her in France on several occasions.

Vera Halliday used to tell us how as a young child she played with Ivor Novello who was the same age as her and lived near them. Madame Clara Novello wrote her book 'The Life I Have Loved' in which she mentions ‘Vera the Golden Haired Girl’. Vera married Stanley Hesketh 4 May 1915 in Fulham, London. See HESKETH 2

© 2020 Sally Linklater Custos Rotulorum.