CFHS code : AL297

Parish : St Andrew the Less

Inscription : In Loving Memory of EDWARD MORRELL who departed this life suddenly Sep 21 1901 aged 61 also of ALICE wife of the above d March 14 1919 aged 79 also of EDWARD son of the above d April 29 1908 aged 46

Monument : Headstone/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Morrell grave
Morrell headstone



Edward Morrell (1840 – 21 September 1901)

Edward was born in Epping in Essex, and baptised at All Saints Church in Theydon Garnon on 18th October 1840.  He was the son of Edward and Elizabeth Morrell and grew up in Newport in Essex, where his father was a rail porter (1851).  He married Alice Matthews in Cambridge in 1861 when he was 21 years old.  Edward and Alice had seven children: Edward (1862-1908), George Frederick (1864-). Alice Elizabeth (1867-1963), Esther Emily (1873-1921), Maud Ruth (1883-1973) and two further children who died as infants.  The family lived at Gwydir Street (1871 to at least 1891) and then at 33 Perowne Street (1901).  Edward was a railway guard, who became a railway yard foreman by at least 1891.

Edward died in a tragic accident on the railway aged 61 years old.  His death was covered extensively in the newspapers of the time.  At 11.35pm he was performing his duty at the north end of Cambridge station, standing with a lamp between the railway lines.  He was struck by and knocked under a moving train. Witnesses saw his lamp fall as he fell and was crushed by the train, with death said to be instantaneous.  At the following inquest his son Edward testified that his father had worked for  the Great Eastern Railway (G.E.R.) for over 40 years, and was not ‘feeble for his age and (not) liable for fainting attacks’.  Edward’s role at the Railway was to supervise the shunting operation, and his hours of work were 8pm to 6am. He had to see that the trains were properly marshalled and left the station on time.  ‘The jury returned a verdict of accidental death and the Foreman suggested that the (G.E.R) Company should make some improvement to minimise the danger at that corner’.

Alice Morrell (née Matthews) (1839 – 14 March 1919)

Alice was born in Great Wilbraham and was the daughter of Robert and Ann Matthews. Her father worked as an agricultural labourer, and she grew up on the  High Street in Great Wilbraham. She was baptised at St Nicholas Church in the village on 18th August 1839.  Aged 21 she was working as a servant to hosier/glover Josiah Savill and living at 8 Kings Parade in Cambridge (1861).  She married Edward Morrell later that same year.

After being widowed she lived with her daughters Alice and Maud at 2 Norwich Street, which they ran as a Lodging House (1911).  She died aged 79 years old at her home of 24 Fitzwilliam Street.

Edward Morrell (c.1862 – 29 April 1908)

Edward was the eldest son of Edward and Alice Morrell.   He worked briefly as a lino printer in London (1881), but returned to live in Cambridge to live with his parents.  He worked for G.E.R. like his father and was a fitters labourer (1891) and then a steam engine fitter (1901). He gave evidence at the inquest into his fathers death.

Edward seems to have died in equally tragic circumstances at Addenbrookes Hospital aged 46 years old.  Edward was living at 9 Ashover Terrace, Blinco Grove at the time of his death.  The fitting shop at G.E.R had closed for the Easter week, and Edward had been off work. He was due to return to work on the 23rd April, but complained of feeling ill and thought he had a cold in his throat.  He gradually got worse and his sister Esther took him to the chemist’s for medicine.  After no improvement in his condition Dr Roper and Dr Wherry were called for.  He was sent to Addenbrookes Hospital, where he had difficulty in breathing, swallowing and his lower jaw was firmly locked. They thought he had lockjaw, but next day he became worse, could hardly breath and died of asphyxia.    The cause of death was tetanus, and the infection was thought to have been started via ‘a small knock’ which Edward had received to his forehead some three weeks before. He had made little of the event at the time, and barely mentioned it to anyone, but at the inquest this was thought to have been the cause of his  tetanus infection.  The symptoms of tetanus most often develop 4 to 21 days post infection, and the most common symptoms are lockjaw, muscle spasms which make breathing difficult, a high temperature, sweating and a high heartbeat.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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Alice Morrell; Edward Morrell
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