CFHS code : HT356p
Parish : Holy Trinity
Inscription : In Loving Memory of AGNES RADFORD 1877 – 1918 HAROLD GEORGE STEVENS 1910 – 1935 JOHN HERBERT STEVENS 1871 – 1936 EMILY HANNAH STEVENS 1870 – 1952
Monument : Ground slab
Above information amended from Cambridge Family History Society Survey
In Loving Memory of AGNES RADFORD 1877 – 1918
HAROLD GEORGE STEVENS 1910 – 1935
JOHN HERBERT STEVENS 1871 – 1936
EMILY HANNAH STEVENS 1870 – 1952
Relationship: Husband, wife, son and sister-in-law
Agnes Adelaide Docwra Radford (1877- 23 February 1918)
Agnes was the youngest daughter of Charles Docwra Radford (1836-) and Sarah Ann (née Law) and was born in Bourn. Charles was a bricklayer and Agnes grew up at Popal Row, Bourn. However from at least 1901 onwards she lived at 19 South Street, with her sister Emily and brother in law John Stevens. John was a dairyman/farmer and Agnes helped in the business. She died Addenbrookes Hospital and her funeral took place on 27 February 1918.
Harold George Stevens (1910- 4 April 1935)
Harold was the youngest son of John and Emily (née Radford). He died at 22 Brookside aged 25 years old and was buried at Mill Road Cemetery on 8 April 1935.
John Herbert Stevens (1871- 8 August 1936)
John was the son of John and Susan Stevens and was born and raised in Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire where his father was a grocer/baker. He married Emily Radford in early 1891 and they went to live at 31 Union Road (1891), where he was documented as a ‘dairyman and general shop’. They had three sons: Herbert Charles (1893-1969), Arthur Lawrence Victor (1900-1984) and Harold George. By 1901 the family had moved to 19 South Street, where they lived with Emily’s parents and sister Agnes. John was a farmer/dairyman and supplied milk to the town.
In the winter of 1918 there was a milk shortage across Cambridge. The price had been regulated at 9d per quart by the Local Food Control Committee, and there was a protest by the Cambridge Dairymen’s Associaton who ‘could not see their way to increase the supply’ whilst the price was fixed so low. The dairymen considered that they were losing money at the price and also objected that no one from the industry was on the Committee. As a result they were unwilling to drive to outlying small holdings to collect milk from just a few cows as they thought it unprofitable, and this in turn was contributing to depressed supply. Due to the shortage all milk retailers were directed to give priority to ‘households as have children or sick persons, to the exclusion, if neccessary of all other of their regular customers, until further notice’. A meeting was called in November 1918 and John spoke to say he thought the Committee now realised that they had fixed the price too low, and such was the rate of illness throughout the town that ‘in his neighbourhood the people now always had someone ill. They came to his premises with that tale in order to get milk’. The supply to Bradmore Street had been stopped completely by a competitor and John said that as a result ‘women came with babies in their arms and tears in their eyes, begging for milk’. It seemed that some milk sellers were priortising the more wealthier households who John said ‘got all they asked for, up to seven or eight pints a day and there was no illness in the family and a small family’.
The Ministry of Food took a country wide ‘milk census’ at the end of November 1918 due to ‘milk today (being) 15% below the normal winter supply, mainly due to the lack of concentrated feeding stuffs’. The Cambridge Independent Press requested that all healthy adults should reduce their consumption of milk in order to preserve supply to children, wounded men, invalids and those impacted by ‘the recent epidemic of influenza’. They reported that ‘the winter supply of milk is always considerably lower than the summer supply and the shortage of feeding stuffs will still further reduce it’.
There had been ongoing tension around milk pricing all year. In February ‘a letter was received from the milk contractor to the Asylum, stating tht it was not his intention to supply milk at the price the Food Controller had fixed. He was willing to supply milk at the rate which a producer might charge when supplying an institution’ and asked to be paid 2d per quart above the fixed price.
The price of milk was increased to 1s per quart in September 1919 due to the decreased yield of milk in wartime ‘owing to the retaining of foodstuffs’. In October 1919 a meeting of the Cambridge dairymen was held at the Lion Hotel, which John Stevens attended. The President of the Assocation reported that ‘it is pleasant to reflect that the supply of milk to Cambridge has been and still is, ample to meet all ordinary demands. Thanks are due to the much-abused dairy farmers for this – who ever else might have failed in their production the dairy farmers have delivered the goods, and plenty of them. If the babies are not saved no fault lies at their door. The Press and everybody else of late have all been clamouring for cheap milk – the number of people who believe themselves competent to fix the price at which milk should be sold is marvellous’.
In April 1918 John was appointed Councillor for Castle Ward. Alderman Dr. Dalton had moved that Mrs. Webber of Newham House, Newham be appointed to the position but was over ruled and John was elected instead by an overwhelming majority. Mr Papworth who seconded the proposal suggested ‘that the appointment of women to the Council should be left until the electors had an opportunity of expressing their desire to have more women on the Council’.
By at least 1920 John, Emily and son Harold had moved from South Street to live at 22 Brookside, and he also held farming land at Cambridge Road, Harston. His middle son Herbert moved to live at South Street and took over the day to day running of the dairy business. William was still living at Brookside in 1936 but died at 35 Highworth Avenue aged 65 years old.
Emily Hannah Stevens (23 April 1870 – 13 March 1952)
Emily was also born in Bourn and baptised there on 3 July 1870. She was the third daughter of Charles and Sarah Radford, elder sister of Agnes. She died at 22 Brookside aged 81 years old.
Parish burial records transcribed by CFHS
by Claire Martinsen
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