The Friends of St. Peter's Berkhamsted

Friends of St Peter's, Great Berkhamsted

The Spengler Family – August (1880 – 1956), Beatrice (1885 – 1959), Richard (1914 – 1932) and Dorothy (1917 – 2004)

Grave Number 236

August John Philip Spengler was born in Hackney on 4 June 1880. He was the eldest son of Peter August and Fanny née Thomas. His father was a sugar broker from Mannheim, Germany. His mother was born in Leominster, Herefordshire. Peter and Fanny lived with Fanny’s parents at 104 Rectory Road, Hackney when August was born. August had two sisters and a brother. By 1891 the family had moved to 23 Whitehill Road, Penge in South London where they remained until at least 1901. By this time August is employed as a merchant’s clerk. By 1911 August is still living with his parents now in Stroud Green, Finsbury Park, he is a merchant’s clerk dealing in Indian rubber. Early the following year his mother, Fanny, passed away aged 60.

Later in 1912 August married Beatrice Theodora Mary Brown in Hampstead. Beatrice was born in Enfield on 21 Nov 1885 to John Augustus and Mary née Dewen. She was the second of four children. Her father was a clerk to a water company. In 1911 Beatrice is living with her parents in West Hampstead and is a shorthand typist (out of work). It is interesting that August and Beatrice both came from relatively lower middle-class families, neither families had live-in servants.

Their first child Richard Philip Spengler was born in Hendon District on 16 November 1914. In 1916 August father died leaving him as the sole heir of probate amounting to £236.

The second and last child of August and Beatrice, Dorothy Beatrice Spengler, was born in Hendon District on 3 November 1917. The young family lived in Sussex Road, Harrow.

They moved to Berkhamsted in 1924, initially to a house called Redcroft in Kings Road but two years later they moved to a large house called “The Dyke” in Graemesdyke Road. On 16 November 1932 Richard died,  he was just 18 years old. He was the first to be buried the family plot, with the inscription “Our dear boy ’Dick’ Richard Philip Spengler”.

When war broke out in 1939 August and Beatrice are registered at “The Dyke” Graemesdyke Road, August’s occupation is listed as “Manager and Secretary to Raw Rubber Brokers”. Dorothy is 22 years of age and can be found as a trainee nurse at the Royal Sussex Hospital Brighton. She qualified there on 10 Jun 1942. In 1948 she qualified as a midwife. Her work as a midwife took her to a number of different hospitals. (1)

August died in 1956 at the National Hospital for Diseases of the Heart in Marylebone. He left his estate of £5458, to his daughter Dorothy and Beatrice moved in with her daughter at 25 The Walk, Potters Bar until her death in 1959, when she left a further £1263 to Dorothy.

In 1966 Dorothy was working as a Midwifery Advisor at Siriraj University, Bangkok, Thailand. She married Richard Stanley Hall in Barnet in the third quarter of 1967, she was 50 and Richard was 57. Dorothy and Richard moved to Peterborough where Richard died in 1996. Dorothy died there in 2004 and was the last of the Spengler family to be buried in the family plot.

  1. Nurses registers

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