CFHS code : PL570

Parish : St Paul

Inscription : Sacred to the Memory of ELIZABETH EVANS ANN MARY beloved wife of GEORGE R KETT born at Islington Feb 9th 1860 died at Cambridge Oct 16th 1913 and of GEORGE ROBERT KETT OBE born at Cambridge Oct 14th 1860 died at Stapleford Cambridge July 1st 1933

Monument : Cruciform Coped stone (mourning woman at base)

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Elizabeth and George Kett
Elizabeth and George Kett tomb
The kneeling figure of Mary Magdalene on the tomb
The kneeling figure of Mary Magdalene on the tomb


This tomb forms a group with the other listed Kett, Rattee and Moyes’ graves nearby. It is a chest tomb, carved out of a single piece of York stone, with a cruciform top and coped edges. At one end, carved in high relief, is a kneeling figure of Mary Magdalene holding a jar. There is an inscription to Elizabeth, who died in 1913, and George Robert, who died in 1933.


‘Sacred to the memory of
Elizabeth Evans Ann Mary beloved wife of George R Kett
born at Islington Feb 9th 1860[,] died at Cambridge Oct 16th 1913’

‘And of George Robert Kett OBE
born at Cambridge October 14th 1860
died at Stapleford Cambridge July 1st 1933’

Flowers on Kett grave

The photograph was almost certainly that of the burial of Elizabeth Evans Ann Mary Kett on 16 October 1913.  Evidence for this is: (a) the latest inscription date is 1910 on the Bowyer grave at the left of picture; (b) the older Kett grave at the rear does not yet have the inscription for the death of Frederick James Kett in 1916; (c) the technique used for this genuinely colour-photographic image is most likely autochrome, invented in France in 1903, its use dying out in the 1930s as other colour processes were developed.

Elizabeth Evans Ann Mary Kett (née Coles) (9 February 1860 ‒ 16 October 1913)

Elizabeth Evans, mother of Elizabeth Kett c1860

Elizabeth was born  Islington.  Her parents were Thomas John and Elizabeth  Coles. Her mother Elizabeth [nee Evans] was from Grosmont in Monmouthshire, her father was from London.  In the census of 1851 Elizabeth was visiting Spring Street, which was in the same building as the Coles family, so presumably this is how they met.  They married on 3rd May 1859.

Elizabeth was born on 9th February 1860, and her mother died very soon after [presumably as a result of childbirth].  She was buried in All Souls Cemetery in Kensal Green on 17th February 1960 – eight days after Elizabeth’s birth. Elizabeth was baptised on 2nd May 1860 at St James’ Church in Paddington.

Aged one she was living living at 3 Spring Street with her widowed grandmother Ann Coles, who ran a bakery, and father Thomas who was a ‘warehouseman silk’ [sic]. Thomas Coles married for a second time in 1866 to Maria Hellier and went on to have two further daughters, who were Elizabeth’s half sisters – Charlotte [1869 -] and Kate [1874-].  He had a millinery and silk/crepe business on Oxford Street, London and died in 1886.

Elizabeth Evans Ann Mary Kett

In 1871 aged 11 years old Elizabeth was at boarding school at 1 Forest Place in Leytonstone.  In 1881 she was in Sutton in Surrey staying with her uncle Robert Evans, a stonemason. She married George Kett at St Mary’s Church, Bryanstone Square in London on 10th September 1884.

Elizabeth and George had three children: Catherine Elizabeth [1885-1947], Hilda  Mary [1887-1971] and George [1891-1970].  Catherine was born in Norwich, the other children in Cambridge, so the Ketts must have spent their early married life in Norwich.

Elizabeth Kett c1910

When they returned to Cambridge they lived firstly at 82 Hills Road [1891] where George’s occupation is given as ‘builder’.  By 1901 they were living at  Arundel Villas, 13 Station Road.  Elizabeth died at Station Road in 1913 aged 53 years old.

George Robert Kett (14 October 1860 – 1 July 1933)

George Robert Kett OBE came from a long line of George Ketts – he was the grandson of the George Kett who in 1843 co-founded the architectural wood and stone carvers Rattee & Kett, and the son of George Kett JP, three times mayor of Cambridge.

George Robert Kett

He was born in Cambridge and was the eldest son of George and Catherine Kett.  Aged 6 months old he was living with his parents at 1 Melbourn Place, and his father was a ‘builders clerk’.  Aged 10 [1881] he was living at Morley Lodge, Avenue Road [which later became known as Brooklands Avenue]. His father is described on this census as a ‘master carver and builder’.  Morley Lodge later became Cheshunt College.

In 1881 aged 20 he was living at 57 Baker Street in London, and was an apprentice chemist and druggist to Robert Fincham. He married Elizabeth Cole in London in 1884, and returned to the family building business. He was widowed in 1913.

During the war George ran the National Service Scheme and was also Executive Officer for the Cambridge Food Control Committee.  In the latter role he was responsible for the rationing, price control and communal kitchens which ran during the war.  There are numerous reports in the newspapers of the time about the committee discussing issues such as mutton supply, beef , sugar, milk, butter and general

George Kett c1910

grocery availability.  It would appear to have been a very intensive role involving deploying national guidelines and liasing with local trades associations. He was awarded an OBE for his work and services to the country  during the 1st World War.

He continued to live at Station Road, and then lived at 6 Rustat Road [c1925-1930] before moving to Granta View, London Road in Stapleford [1932 onwards].  He died there in July 1933 aged 72 years old.

His grandfather George Kett is also buried in Mill Road Cemetery.


Ancestry/Newspaper archives

Many thanks to the granddaughter of George and Robert Kett [Mary W] for photos of the family

Additional information by Claire Martinsen

Elizabeth Evans Ann Mary Kett; George Robert Kett