The 'Tong' Family

1928 - Joan Edna
1938 - John Henry
1940 - Lewis
1945 - Jean Anne
1947 - Sandra
1953 - Christina
1964 - Deborah Jayne
1966 - Alison
 

 

 

 

John Harold Tong
1897 - 1967
 
 

Husband:

John Harold Tong  

Born:

August 18, 1897 Brighton
Died: October 06, 1967 West Norwich Hospital Norwich - age 70
Buried: 1967 City Crematorium
Parents John Henry Tong
&
Ann Elizabeth Turrell
 

Wife:

Blanche Victoria Parke formerly Howell  

Born:

1897 Norwich - Sept quarter (4b 179)
Died: 1964 age 67
Buried:    
Parents Walter Charles Howell
&
Emiline Poll/Pole
   
 

Married:

June 10, 1939 Register Office, Norwich

 

Children with Blanche: None


File Information:

1901: Census - 6 Nicholls Building, Barrack Street, Norwich
John Henry Tong - Head - age 36 - Groom - born Charring Kent
Ann E. Tong - Wife - age 30 - born Norwich
John H. Tong - Son - age 3 - born Brighton
Lillian M. Tong - Dau - age 2 - born Brighton

1911: Census - 120 Bull Close Road, Norwich - The surname had been transcribed as 'LONG'
John Henry Long - Head - age 46 - Coal Porter - born Charring, Kent
Ann Elizabeth Long - Wife - Married 18 years - age 40 - House Duty - born Norwich
John Hearld Long - Son - age 13 - At school, News Boy - born Brighton, Sussex
Lillian May Long - Dau - age 12 - At school - born Brighton, Sussex
Arthur Frank Long - Son - age 7 - At school - born Norwich, Norfolk
Edna Maude Long - Dau - age 4 - At school - born Norwich
Gladys Gertrude Long - Dau - age 1 - born Norwich, Norfolk

(Age 24)
1921:
March 12, Postcard from brother Arthur Frank Tong - John was working at the Burlington Hotel, Sheringham

John was a trained Chef and also worked in a large hotel in London.

(Age 34)
1931: John took over the tenancy of his parents Terrace House at 120 Bull Close Road

(Age 41)
1939:
He was registered blind and would attend the Blind School which was on Magdelen Street it is thought that it was here that he met Blanche. at this time his occupation was a Basket Maker which was the trade most patients had at the Institution.

1938: Electoral Roll - Fry Bridge Ward - 120 Bull Close Road - John Harold Tong

1939: Electoral Roll - Frey Bridge Ward - 120 Bull Close Road - John Harold Tong

The Hospital and School of the Indigent Blind in Magdalen Street was founded in 1805. In 1804 Thomas Tawell Esq, of Norwich an iron merchant of considerable property, who was threatened if not already afflicted, with blindness, purchased a mansion in Magdalen Street for £1050, at the time inhabited by Lord Bradford together with four acres of garden ground attached, and generously offered it to the community as the basis of an institution for the benefit of the Indigent Blind in Norwich and Norfolk. On December 31st 1834 there were in the hospital 10 aged blind, and in the school 40 pupils that were instructed and employed in the manufactor of baskets, rope mats, lines for sashes, linen, clocks, blinds, stockings &c. At that time the pupils remained only three years, or could leave as soon as they has gained a sufficient knowledge of their trade. It was rebuilt in 1891.
At this moment in time we are unsure of the date John attended but the institution was now called 'The Norwich Institution for the Blind. It consisted of workshops and a retail outlet for the products the inmates produced. The gardens had long gone for housing development.

(Age 41)
1939:
June 10, Marriage at the Register Office, Norwich
John Harold Tong - age 41 - Bachelor - Basket Maker of 120 Bull Close Road, Norwich
Blanche Victoria Parke formerly Howell - age 41 Widow - of 3 Roland Yard, Norwich
Fathers; John Henry Tong (deceased) - Coal Porter & Walter Charles Howell (deceased) - Fish Merchant
Witnesses; William Samuel Wilde & E. A. Hansel
John Harold signed and Blanche Victoria made her mark
Entry 67 - information from file certificate

We have a mystery - No one can ever recall Blanche living with John after their marriage, infact the story goes that the family all believed that John never married Blanche (although records state otherwise). We do know that in 1939 John was alone on the Electoral Roll and then in 1945 Blanch is recorded. There are no records between those date because of the war, so we have to assume she was in fact living with John although the family only have knowledge of her in the 1950's.

1940: July 19. At about 6.15am a lone enemy raider dropped a stick of bombs which damaged or destroyed the following places- 78-80, Bull Close Road; - John lived at 120 Bull Close Road - What a near miss.

John became virtually blind and very death in his later years, as a boy I remember meeting John in the street and he would produce a big 'hearing horn' which he would put to his ear so he could hear what you were saying. Because he was deaf he would shout at you saying "What did you say" which made everyone near by turn their heads. - Ray Taylor

1945: Electoral Roll - 120 Bull Close Road - John Harold Tong - Blanch V Tong

1964: As mentioned above Blanche came on the scene in the early 1950's and it is is believed that Blanche died about 1964

(Age 70)
1967:
John Harold Tong died - At the time of his death he was still living at 120 Bull Close Road, Norwich. Shortly after this time a few of the terrace houses (120 being one) were compulsory purchased to make way for access to the Norwich inner link road.

1967: October 12, We have a invoice from the Norwich Co-Operative Society for John Harold's funeral and cremation sent to his sister Edna Maud Wiseman formerly Tong of 14 Rolleston Close, West Earlham, Norwich, and paid by his brother Arthur Frank Tong, of 33 Cavell Road for the amount of £67 4s 6d. We would assume that Arthur and Edna shared the cost of John's cremation.

 

More on Blanche Victoria Howell

Blanche's parents
1883: Marriage record - Walter Charles Howell married Emiline Poll/Pole at Norwich - Sep quarter (4b 207)

1897: Birth record - Blanche Victoria Howell at Norwich - Sep quarter (4b 179)

Blanche's father
1910: Death record - Walter Charles Howell at Norwich - Jun quarter (4b 8_5) age 51

1911: Census - 66 Cherry ST Norwich Norfolk
Emmeline Elizabeth Howell - Head - Widow - age 47 (1864) - Fish Dealer - born St Julians Norwich
Ethel Ellen Howell - Daughter - Single - age 21 (1890) - Blue Packer - born Lakenham Norwich
Thomas Henry Howell - Son - Single - age 17 (1894) - Last Finisher - born Lakenham Norwich
Blanche Victoria Howell - Daughter - age 13 (1898) - School - born Lakenham Norwich
Frederick Howell - Son - age 9 (1902) - School - born Lakenham Norwich

(Age 28)
1925:
Blanche had a daughter under her maiden name, no father was recorded

Gladys O. Howell (1925) - Norwich - Jun quarter (4b 227)

(Age 34)
1931:
Norwich - Mar quarter (4b 243)
Blanche Victoria Howell married William Parke

A search of free BMD birth records have not turned up any children of this marriage.

(Age 41)
1939:
June 10, Marriage at the Register Office, Norwich
John Harold Tong - age 41 - Bachelor - Basket Maker of 120 Bull Close Road, Norwich
Blanche Victoria Parke formerly Howell - age 41 Widow - of 3 Roland Yard, Norwich
Fathers; John Henry Tong (deceased) - Coal Porter & Walter Charles Howell (deceased) - Fish Merchant
Witnesses; William Samuel Wilde & E. A. Hansel
John Harold signed and Blanche Victoria made her mark
Entry 67 - information from file certificate

Blanche was not known to the Tong family until about the early 1950's. According to the surviving family members John and Blanche were never married. It is said that the family always believed that John did not want to get married but that they were pushed together by people at the Blind Institution where they met. Why was the marriage kept secret and why did John and Blanche never live together until the early 1950's

(Age 67)
1964: Blanche died about 1964 age 67

It is apparant that Blanche's daughter Gladys retianed her birth name (Howell) even though Blanche married William Parke in 1931 when Gladys was 6 and John Harold Tong in 1939 when Gladys would have been 14.

Child of Blanche Victoria Howell (1897) with unknown father
1947:
Sept quarter - Norwich - Gladys O. Howell (1925) married Stanley G. Cooper
Gladys and Stanley devorced in about 1966
Gladys remarried a man called Victor (unknown)
Gladys died about 1977, Victor shortly after
Gladys O. Howell and Stanley G. Cooper had children:-

1/ Martin John Cooper - born June 1948 at Norwich - Sep quarter (4b 855)
2/ Myles James Cooper - born November 1950 at Norwich - Dec quarter (4b 717)
3/ Mark Jeremy Cooper - born May 1960
4/ Morgan Jason Cooper - born March 1962 at Norwich Mar quarter (4b 1201)

Martin and Myles where last known to be living in the Cambridge area
Mark was known to be living in Scarborough

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   

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