Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: November 17, 2019
Webpage updated: November 19, 2019

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Mr William Henry Avery was born at Devonport on May 30th 1830 and baptised at Stoke Damerel Parish Church on July 16th 1830.  He was the son of Mr William James Avery.

He joined the South Devon Railway Company at Plymouth in 1854 and soon after entered the office of the then Traffic Superintendent, Mr Francis Pickersgill Cockshott (1824-1896), where his ability and zeal were quickly recognised and he was promoted to Chief Assistant.  He held that position until 1865.  Mr Cockshott became the Superintendent of the Great North Railway Company on April 4th 1865 and Mr Avery was appointed by the directors of the South Devon Railway Company as the new Goods Manager at Plymouth.  In 1876, when the South Devon Railway Company was taken over by the Great Western Railway Company, Mr Avery continued as Goods Manager for the Western District under the new owners.  Mr Avery retired from that post on December 31st 1890,when the officials and staff presented him with a handsome service of plate.

While resident for some reason in the Parish of Old Windsor, Berkshire, Mr William Henry Avery married Miss Fanny Louisa Harris Hammond at the Anglican Church of Saint George of Lydda, Martyr, East Stonehouse on August 19th 1860.  They had two sons, Jessep Avery, born in 1863, and Arthur Avery, 1869; and three daughters, Mary Avery, born 1863, Alice Avery, 1866, and Florence Avery, 1870.  The family lived at number 8 Caroline Place, East Stonehouse, at the time of the 1871 census, when they had two servants, 55-years-old Grace Frost and 14-years-old Elizabeth J Monnford.

Their eldest daughter, Miss Mary Avery, married Mr Richard Robinson Rodd at the Anglican Church of Saint George of Lydda, Martyr, East Stonehouse, on November 9th 1887.

Mrs Fanny Louisa Harris Avery died at the age of 40 years and was buried at the Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Cemetery on September 6th 1876.

William Henry Avery died at his home, number 81 Durnford Street, East Stonehouse, on Tuesday April 19th 1904.  He had suffered ill health for the past five years, which became more serious a week before he died.  He worshipped regularly at the Anglican Church of Saint George of Lydda,Martyr, East Stonehouse.  His funeral took place on Saturday April 23rd at the Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Cemetery.  The Reverends B B Liptroot, vicar of Saint George's, and R Hocking, the vicar of Pillaton Parish Church, officiated and Mr W Willoughby was the organist.  Among the large number of mourners were Mr James J Avery, the deceased's brother; Mrs Mary Rodd and Miss Florence Avery, his daughters; Mr Robert Robinson Rodd, his son-in-law; Messrs R R Rodd junior and W H Rodd, grandsons; Messrs Isaac Pearse and H J Bishop, chairman and vice-chairman of East Stonehouse Urban District Council; and representing the Great Western Railway Company were Mr C E Wildsmith, district goods manager, Plymouth, representing Mr L W Maiden, chief goods manager, Paddington; Messrs George W Quigley, Henry Quigley and Oswald Jones, of the Traffic Superintendent's office; Mr J Rooney, Superintendent of the Great Western Docks; Mr J F Nicholas, Deputy Superintendent of the Docks; and Inspector Scantlebury.  The service was attended by many other well known gentlemen from the Three Towns.