CFHS code : HT362

Parish : Holy Trinity

Inscription : In Loving Memory ALLISON ERNEST SHAW for 37 years Head Porter at Emmanuel College d July 3rd 1931 aged 67 also of EDITH GERTRUDE SHAW d September 17th 1958 aged 82

Monument : Headstone/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Shaw grave
Shaw headstone


Headstone with kerb stones, in the parish area of Holy Trinity, this grave is located beside the east path at its southernmost end.


‘In loving memory [of]
Allison Ernest Shaw
for 37 years Head Porter at Emmanuel College
died May 3rd 1931 aged 67 years’

‘also of Edith Gertrude Shaw
died December 17th 1958 aged 82’

Allison Ernest Shaw – Head Porter at Emmanuel College – see also Life Story page
Allison Ernest Shaw was born on 10 May 1863 in Newnham, Cambridge. His parents were Joseph and Thirza (née Allison) Shaw, and his father worked as a printer.  Aged 18 Allison was living with his parents at 28 Anderson Court and working as a seedsman (1881).  He married Isabella Samuel in 1887, and the same year was appointed under porter at Emmanuel College.  The couple lived at 28 Earl Street (1891) and later at 7 Victoria Street (1901).  By 1891 he was gate porter at Emmanuel, and by 1893 head porter. In 1891-93 he was also a University constable. His salary rose from £40 in 1887 to £252 12s in 1928.

Allison and Isabella had at least four children: Jack Allison (1888-1971), Fred William (1890-1919), Mabel Thirza De Freville (1892-1912) and Hilda Martha (1893-1924). Isabella Shaw died aged 42 in August 1905.

Allison married for a second time to widow Alice Unwin (née Bavey) in 1906.  The marriage was short lived as Alice died the following year aged 46 years old.

Allison’s third marriage was to Emma Avis (1962-1917) in 1909.   The couple were living at 28 Clarendon Road in 1911, with Allison’s four children from his first marriage.  Jack Allison Shaw, Allison’s eldest son married Harriet Avis, who was Emma’s younger sister in 1913.  Emma Shaw died on 5 September 1917 aged 54 years old.

He married for a fourth time to Edith Thomas in 1920. From at least 1930 onwards the couple lived at 40 Eltisley Avenue in Newnham Croft.  Allison died at Addenbrookes Hospital aged 67 years old.

Edith Gertrude Shaw (née Thomas) (5 September 1876 – 17 September 1958)

Edith was born in Cambridge and was the daughter of Richard and Ann Thomas. Her father was the gate porter of Kings College, and she grew up at the Porters Lodge on Kings Parade. In 1901 she was 24 years old and still living with her parents and siblings at the Porters Lodge, and working as a shorthand typist and clerk. By 1911 she had moved to live at 43 Lensfield Road with her two elder sisters and was working as a secretarial clerk at the Correspondance College in Cambridge.  She married the three times widowed Allison Shaw in 1920.  After his death she continued to live at Eltisley Avenue and ran a University Lodging House from her home.  She died in 1958 aged 82 years old.



Newspaper archives

Rachel Wroth, “Emmanuel College Servants in the 19th Century” (2001, typescript in College Archives)
Spalding Cambridge Street Directory; college records

By Amanda Goode, Archivist, Emmanuel College (with Ian Bent), further research by Claire Martinsen

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Allison Ernest Shaw; Edith Gertrude Shaw