My Great-grandfather, Henry Glover, was born in April 1887 in Plymouth, Devon. His father Walter Glover was a mason and his mother Emily Keast Glover was a housewife. Both had been married to other people before so in addition to his nine brothers and sisters he knew two half-brothers from Emily’s previous marriages.
He married Florence Selina Dolton in 1908 and they had five children of their own: Bill, Jim, Bertha, Walt and Harry.
When he was younger Henry worked as a horse driver in the draper industry, but later he worked as a docker. He lost his job in 1925 with the fall of the ‘Geddes Axe‘ [Government cuts], but later found work again. However, this was a mixed blessing as he was injured in an accident at the docks.
Henry had a reputation as an amateur vet so people would ask his advice about their animals. The family bred racing dogs which needed a considerable number of long walks but the only dog allowed in the house was a lurcher called Toby. They also had a cat called Smokey Joe – whenever the children stroked this bad-tempered cat their hands would come away filthy.
The family also had rabbits and pigeons. Henry was the secretary of the local pigeon club and he had a special clock which worked off the pigeons race number for clocking the flying time of each pigeon for races. Henry was also skilled at mending clocks and would fix other people’s clocks for them when they stopped working.
Their children were also keen sports fans, with success in boxing and in football. He also encouraged their participation in the Scouting movement, a lifelong love for his youngest son Harry.
Other passions of the family were the Co-operative Movement and politics, and they hosted Lady Nancy Astor’s 1929 re-election campaign from their living room [see Fuelling Nancy].
Henry died in March 1949 and is buried in Efford Cemetary, Pymouth, with Florence.
© Text copyright Lynne Black 18 June 2014