This is a sad story of a child born in a poor area of London. Throughout his life he was in and out of various institutions and spent his last ten years in Long Grove Asylum.
Walter’s father, William Mannock was born in Lancashire in 1833. In 1841 he is living at Lower Moor, Oldham Above Town with parents, John and Mary and his brothers Thomas and Charles.
In 1861, William (aged 24) is found at Army Barracks, in Wootton, Isle of Wight.
William and Mary (Walter’s parents), married on Christmas Day, 25th December 1866. William is a soldier and Mary’s father is a Sailor.
In the 1871 Census, Mary Mannock (mis-transcribed as Mannocks/Maunocks) and two children were living at 6 Mary Street, Lambeth. Mary Mannock (Walter’s mother) was described as mother, married, age 25 and a laundress born in Frome, Somerset. Her children were Alice age 3, born in Lambeth, and William 10 months old, born in Lambeth. There were ten people living in the house but no record of William, Walter’s father, is shown at the address.
Alice’s Baptism record shows their father was in 5th Company 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards.
Walter Mannock was born on 2 or 22 June 1876 and he was registered in the September quarter of 1876, reference Chelsea 1a 282. There are discrepancies in the day of the month he was born in later admission/discharge from workhouse records.
There is an admission to the Royal Chelsea Hospital for William Mennock, Grenadier Guards, on 30th Jan 1873, he was discharged on 10th Feb 1873, his character was described as ‘BAD’.
In the 1881 Census, Walter’s family was living at 14 Milman’s Street, Chelsea. Those present were William Mannock (mis-transcribed as Maunock), Walter’s father, the head of house, age 48 and a labourer born in Haywood, Lancashire; his wife Mary (Walter’s mother) age 48, born in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, Alice (Walter’s sister) age 14 and a scholar born in Lambeth, William (Junior), Walter’s brother age 8 and a scholar born in Lambeth, John (Walter’s brother) age 7, and a scholar born in Lambeth, Walter himself age 4, born in Chelsea, and Alfred (Walter’s younger brother) who was 1 month old and born in Chelsea.
There were 21 people living in the house. Milman’s Street was in the World’s End district of Chelsea and was a notorious Victorian slum area.
On 1 January 1884, Alice Mannock (Walter’s sister) was discharged from the Chelsea Workhouse to the infirmary.
In the June quarter of 1884, William Mannock (Walter’s father), born 1834, died age 50, reference Chelsea 1a 205.
Between 1884 and 1890, Walter was moved at least 11 times between four institutions. Those institutions were the Chelsea Workhouse, schools in Hammersmith and Banstead, Surrey, and the Training Ship “Exmouth”. His brother Alfred was with him for several of the moves. On at least one of these occasions, Walter was “given up to [his] mother” for as short a time as a month before his next admission.
The Poor Law Board needed to find places for new admissions to workhouses. One way was to send pauper boys from the workhouse to training ships. These ships were moored on the Thames. Pauper boys lived on the ships. They learned how to wash and mend clothing, make sails and ropes. The boys were also expected to complete ordinary schoolwork. The Training Ship “Exmouth” could house 500 boys.
The Kensington and Chelsea School District was founded in 1876, comprising the Poor Law Unions of Kensington and Chelsea. It established a facility at Banstead in Surrey. This took the form of small family houses, school buildings, with workshops and recreation facilities.
The 1891 Census was taken on 5th April. The entry for 33 Dartry Road, Chelsea had Mary Mannock as the head of house, a widow, age 43, born in Somerset, William, her son, single, age 21, John, her son, married, age 20, Alice, her daughter, single, age 24, Walter, her son, age 14, and Alfred, her son, age 10. There were also two lodgers. There were 23 people living in the house.
On 15 August 1891, Alice Mannock, age 24, married Alfred Lewis, age 30, at Christ Church, Chelsea. Her father was given as William, a labourer. Presumably, this is Alice’s brother William as her father William passed away in 1884. Alice could not write her name.
On 24 July 1907, Walter Mannock, a painter born in 1877 (this differs slightly to other records which state 1876), was admitted to the Chelsea Workhouse. He was described as a lunatic and was discharged to Long Grove Asylum.
Walter was admitted to Long Grove Asylum on 26 July 1907. The Lunacy Patients Admission Register is marked “Discharged 1 November 1907 – Recovered”.
On 6 May 1908, Walter was again admitted to Long Grove Asylum. The handwritten “private 6 June” probably refers to the person above as notes were always written under the patient details. He died there on 7 October 1918, age 41, and was buried in Horton Estate Cemetery in Grave 472b on 11 October 1918, reference December quarter Epsom 2a 84.
Family after the death of Walter Mannock
On 21 May 1908, Mary Mannock (sometimes mis-transcribed as Maunock) was admitted to the Chelsea Workhouse. She was discharged on 11 June 1908 at her own request. However, she was re-admitted on 12 June 1908 and discharged again on 17 June, again at her own request.
On 8 March 1921, she was admitted to Chelsea Workhouse again, from the infirmary, and discharged on 21 March, at her own request.
She was admitted again on 30 April 1921 and died in the workhouse, age 77, on 8 October 1921, reference Chelsea 1a 473.