Born in 1850, Mary Ann Benham (nee Mitchell) died on 18th November 1936 aged 86 years, and is buried in Chobham Cemetery with her husband FREDERICK WALTER BENHAM, also born in 1850 and who died in 1929. They had five children.
FRANK, married but had no children
TOM 1887-1952 married Cora Sutton who died in 1970 and had one son, Frederick Walter 1916-2002.
ERNEST 1889-1977 married Gladys Armstrong who also died in 1977. They had three sons, Jack who died in Iran in 1941 during WW2, Deryk and Alexander (known as Peter) who died in 1996.
HANNAH (known to the family and others as “Sis”) born 1880, was educated at St. Catherine’s School, Bramley and then worked for her father. She married Albert Wood and continued to live in Vicarage Road, Chobham until she died in 1965. They had no children. She and her husband are buried in Chobham Cemetery.
MABEL born 1884 was also educated at St. Catherine’s School. She eventually emigrated to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada to marry Frank Hall, originally from Chobham. They had no children. They later moved to Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia, where they are buried.
The first of the Medhurst family came to Chobham from Windsor in 1845. He ran a printing business over the stables in the High Street but in 1902 he sold up to a firm in Woking. He was one of the shareholders of the village gas works. It stood at the entrance to Lesley Road, but in 1856 it was closed down when the secretary ran off with all the money and the firm was crippled by the financial loss.
His Chobham-born son, W. A. Medhurst, was a registered chemist and ran a chemist and newsagent business in the High Street. It was W.A Medhurst who published the wonderful collection of postcards of Chobham at the turn of the Century. William End of Sunningdale was the usual photographer.
One of the big annual events of those days was the Chobham show, ‘WA’ was show secretary for 35 years. He also entered teams in the ploughing matches. The Medhursts lived in a large villa called ‘Hillside’ in Windsor road. They had 11 children.
Walter Stanley (‘Jum’) Medhurst, born in Town House, Chobham High Street, on 17th February, 1880, lived in the village all his life.
Jum Medhurst was sent as a lad to the Christ Hospital, Blue Coat School in Newgate Street, London.
After leaving school he worked for his father’s business for 20 years. He said: “We used to work six days a week then from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and none of this half-day business”. Mr Medhurst (who retained his childhood nick-name “Jumbo” – he was a big baby!) got 1 shilling. per week plus his food and clothing. When he reached 21 he was paid 7s. 6d. per week, but had to clothe himself. As his uncle owned the drapers he got his clothes at cost.
Jum’s favourite pastime was cycling. He and his friends used to cycle to the sea on a Sunday-Portsmouth or Brighton and back in a day, usually on solid tyres.
On Empire Day, 1908, over 400 children dragged the Chobham cannon down the street, and stood it where the war memorial stands today. The original foundation stone on which the cannon was placed, which is now part of the war memorial, contains Jum’s name on a scrap of paper in a bottle, His brother-in-law, the builder, placed it there. Jum also believed that his name is in the monument to Queen Victoria, erected to commemorate her reviewing the troops of Crimea on Chobham Common.
In his youth, Jum used to be quite a keen photographer, and his father had many of the photographs he took made into postcards to sell in the newsagent section of the business. Returning from battle-torn France in 1919 he found that his father had suffered a stroke and died some months later. His mother gave him the business and property. In 1920 he was married.
He and his wife ran the newsagents until 1946 when he sold out to E. R. Goodchild of Chobham. His wife died in 1954 aged 69; Jum died in 1977 aged 97. They had no children.
Once a keen cricketer, he was a lifetime member of the Chobham Cricket Club.