CFHS code : PL316

Parish : St Paul

Inscription : In Loving Memory of WJT TYLER d May 9 1904 aged 20 also GLADYS SWANN daughter of J & E TYLER d May 5 1918 aged 27 also JAMES TYLER d April 4 1926 aged 75

Monument : Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



James Tyler (1850 – 4 April 1926)

James was born in Stansted Montfitchet, Essex and baptised at St. Mary the Virgin and St. John the Evangelist Church in the village on 28 July 1850.  He was the son of John and Susannah Tyler and grew up at the Station Yard in March, Cambridgeshire where his father worked as a platelayer on the railway. By the age of 21 James was working as a carpenter and still living at home.  He married Charlotte Ethel Brookes (1855-1942) on 29 August 1877.  Charlotte seems to have been known by her middle name of Ethel, and indeed most of their children were also known by their middle name.  They had four children: Florence Maude Ethel (1881-1965), William James Tayer (1884-1904), Millicent Gladys (1890-1918) and George Victor (1893-1965).  In 1881 the family were living at March Station Yard  with domestic servant Caroline Burn, and James was working as an Inspector of Way and Works for the Great Eastern Railway.

By 1891 they had moved to Cambridge and were living at Vernon House, 126 Mill Road.  James continued to work as a ‘Way Inspector’ for G.E.R. – Way Inspectors had the responsibility for the condition of the railway track and associated embankments within a set area of jurisdiction. (i.e. the “Permanent Way”). They would make physical inspections of the track – sometimes on a push trolley. Sometime after 1911 James and Ethel moved to 18 Hinton Avenue and he died aged 75 years old.

William James Tayer Tyler (1884 – 9 May 1904)

William was the eldest son of James and Ethel Tyler, and was born in March, Cambridgeshire.  His unusual middle name of Tayer, was from his maternal grandfather  – William James Tayer Brookes. By the age of 17 (1901) he was working as an assistant time keeper on the railway but died aged 20 at Addenbrookes Hospital.

Millicent Gladys Swann (Gladys) (née Tyler)  (1890 – 5 May 1918)

Gladys was born in Cambridge and was still living at home with her parents and brother Victor in 1911. She married Percy Walter Swan (1889-1956) at St John’s Church, East Dulwich on 28 June 1916.  Percy was a school teacher from Trumpington Street in Cambridge, but was a soldier by the time they married and Gladys’s address was given as 12 Nigel Street on the marriage certificate. She committed suicide in Cambridge aged 27  and the death was subject to an inquest.  Her body had been found on the railway line at 6.30am on Sunday morning.  Percy Swann testified that Gladys had left their home at 20 Trumpington Street to visit her mother at 7.15pm on the Saturday night, but had seemingly never arrived.  He said she had been in normal spirits on that day, but had been in poor health since January 1918 when she had suffered a nervous breakdown.  He also told the inquest that the couple had previously been living in London and that ‘it was quite probable that air raids had upset her’.  Her father James told the inquest that she ‘suffered from very bad pains in the head at times, and had been attended to by Dr. Coombes who said she was to be looked after generally and not to be left alone too much.’  Percy Swann had been wounded in the War and hospitalised for five months through 1917, which James also said had preyed on Gladys’ mind.  A verdict of ‘suicide whilst of unsound mind’ was returned.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

[If you have any information about this family, please contact us at]

Gladys Swann; James Tyler; William James Tayer Tyler
Tagged on: