The Life & Times of Haidee Atkin
1895 - Present
The following events are drawn from both official records and personal memories.

Haidee Fox born 3rd March 1922 (daughter of Lillian Fox (nee Boseley) & George T Fox at Brighton, Sussex.  Married Robert Atkin 1943 (son of Benjamin & Edith Atkin) at St Andews Church, Burgess Hill.

Bruce Robert Dudley Atkin born 5th September 1944.
Virginia Jane Atkin born 4th March 1950.

1895: 4th February:  Lillian Boseley (aka Dear/Dolly) born (daughter of George Ernest Boseley & Sophia Maria Thornhill) at Uxbridge, Middlesex.
BC: Uxbridge YC230901: Reg: Feb Qtr Vol 3a Page 39.
1913-1920:  Between these years Lillian known to have borne child (Peggy) out of wedlock.  Father unknown.  Peggy later married Eddie Churcher and they had a daughter, Sharon.  Sharon went on to marry Michael and she pursued a career in journalism and became a lead columnist for the Sunday/Daily Mail.
1921: September:  Lillian Boseley marries George T Fox (son of Alfred & Rosa Fox) at Brighton, Sussex.  George known to have run a tailoring business in Brighton.
MC: Brighton 1921 Jul/Aug/Sep Qtr Vol 2b Page 648.
1922: 3rd March:  Lillian Fox (nee Boseley) gives birth to daughter, Haidee Fox at the Brighton Infirmary.  BC Brighton Vol 2b Page 308.
    *The Brighton Infirmary in the early 1920's was considered a workhouse hospital catering for the poor and destitute.
1922 -1927:  The marriage of Lillian & George was loveless marriage mainly due to George having to marry after making Lillian pregnant. George was a drunkard, beating & abusing Lillian.
1926:  Lillian gives birth to son, Anthony Fox at Brighton.  BC Brighton Jan/Feb/Mar Qtr Vol 2b Page 259.
1927:  Haidee starts school at St Marks, Brighton.  [Photo] Haidee relates: "I remember starting at the school as on the first day I got my knuckles wrapped for being late.  The school was very foreboding, being a large Victorian building with two floors and I remember it had a large gas works just behind the school playground".
1927 - 1929:  Lillian started a clandestine relationship with Clement Maxwell sometime during this period.  Clement was a qualified dentist with a practice at 47 Grand Parade in Brighton.  Clement was believed to be illegitimate - son of McNeash & Jenny (Secretary).  McNeash believed to be a Kings Councillor at Lincolns Inn.
Clement was reared in Reading by a hired nurse (the Robinson's) and attended Edinburgh University and later Oxford University.
1929:  Lillian deserts George Fox & son Anthony.  Nothing is known of what became of George & Anthony after this time.
Events related by Haidee state: "Mother packed a few things in a suitcase, put my coat on and took me to Brighton railway station.  She told me to sit down and not talk to anybody and she disappear for a time.  I was frightened and she seemed to be gone for ages.  When she eventually returned, we took a train to London then onto Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.  Clement Maxwell was waiting for us and took us to a big hotel in the town.  I remember the room had a huge brass bed with knobs on each corner".  She went to say: "Mother went to get changed to go out to dinner, when she returned she was dressed in a beautiful shell pink dress and looked utterly wonderful.  I was left alone while they went to dinner and feeling bored, took all the brass knobs off the bed.  I did put them back afterwards."
1929:  Clement finds rooms at a bed & breakfast guest house and moves Lillian with Haidee, then returns to Brighton.
1929:  Lillian loses baby through mis-carriage.  Event related by Haidee state: "My mother was in great pain and stress and told be to go along the street till I found a brass plaque with doctors name on.  I fetched the doctor back and was sent out of room.  Later, I found the bed linen cover in blood but doctor told me not to worry, he would sort it out.  At the time, I was unaware that my mother had suffered a mis-carriage".
1929/30:  Clement moves Lillian & Haidee to hotel in Earls Court in London.
1930: Clement buys brand new home in Guildford Way, Wallington, Croydon with Lillian with Haidee and sets up home.  Haidee relates memories:  "I remember this house as it was brand new and other houses were still being built.  One day I saw the workmen making tea right up on the roof of a house being built and wondered how they could do that.  When they went home, I climbed up on the roof but missed my footing and fell.  Lucky enough, a pole sticking out from the house broke my fall.  I thought I was all right but suddenly blood started pouring from my head but when I saw the blood I started to cry and ran home to mother.  Obviously, they were not very pleased that I had been climbing on the new houses but Clement patched me up".  Haidee went on :  "Another time, I was walking down the road when a big Alsatian dog jumped over a wall and bite me.  I screamed and managed to get away and ran home to tell mother and Clement.  Clement immediately contacted the police and when they got to the house they discovered the man in the house was a burglar and the house was full of stolen property.  They arrested the man and he was taken away".
1931: 4th June:  Lillian gives birth to Judith Rosemary Maxwell (aka Jay) at Beddington, Croydon.
1932: Clement declared bankrupt and looses everything included the house and all their effects.  Clement abandons family goes into a monastery leaving Lillian totally destitute and nowhere to live.  Events related by Haidee state: "Although I did not really understand what was going on, I knew that we had to get out of the house quick.  Mother packed a few clothes in an old suitcase, put my sister in the pram (the pram being the only thing they allowed us to take) and we left.  We seemed to walk for miles till we came to Norwood.  Mother went to the Salvation Army who looked after us for a while before findings us a couple of cheap rented rooms in Kitto Road, New Cross."  She went on to say: "We must have lived there for about two years but were very poor.  My mother took any type of job going,  mostly housework to earn enough money to keep us.   Mother somehow got Jay (Judith) into a nursery school - The MacMillan Nursery at Deptford which I had to take her each morning in her pram.  I remember it was a very long walk to the nursery, about mile and half which I then had to walk back to go to school myself.  After school I had to return to the nursery and pick Jay up and walk her home again.   We were really poor at this time, our clothes coming from the Salvation Army and other charity organisations.  I remember mother had to put cardboard inside my shoes to stop the water coming in.  Mother would give me a penny a day so I could buy soup, this being the only thing I had to eat on some days".
1934 - 1940: Clement reappears.  Clement moves Lillian with Haidee & Jay to Wimbledon where he rents a fine large house and they set-up home.  Haidee relates the event: "When Clement suddenly turned up he was shocked to see how we were all living and immediately moved us to Wimbledon where he rented a house.  This was the first of two houses at Wimbledon which we did not stay in for long due to being very wet.  I can't remember where the water was coming from.  The next house we moved into was lovely, a great big place on the corner of the street.  Clement went to work at a local hospital.  This was the first time I could remember in my life when we were all happy and content".
1940: WWII: Bombed out of house in Wimbledon.  Family return to Lillian's mother Sophia Scrase (nee Boseley) living at Dorney, Burgess Hill in Sussex.  Haidee relates the event:  "We suddenly heard this very loud roar followed by a terrible crashing sound which shook the whole house.  A few seconds later there was a massive explosion not very far away and immediately ran outside.  Although we did not know what had hit the house we were told that a damaged German bomber had hit the roof of our house, then crashed into another house a few streets over completely destroying it.  When we looked at our house it had a huge split right down the middle with most of the roof  missing.  People were rushing about all over the place to see if we were all right then a man spoke to Clement that we should not go back inside as it might fall down at any moment.  I don't remember much after this but we ended us in Burgess Hill living with my Grandmother."
1941: Lillian & Clement buy house in Leylands Road, Burgess Hill.  [Photo] Haidee now aged 19 goes to work at Gatwick RAF station as a chaser for bomber repairs.  During this period, Haidee has an affair with married man and subsequently has to leave Gatwick.
1942: Haidee meets Robert (aka Bob) Atkin, a soldier stationed in Keymer Road, Burgess Hill  with the Royal Pioneer Corps at dance at St Johns Institute.
1943: 16th October:  Haidee Fox marries Robert Atkin (son of Benjamin & Edith Atkin of Grimsby, Lincolnshire) at St Andrews Church, Burgess Hill.
MC: Ref Cuckfield: D3 392487
1943:  Robert Atkin medically discharged from army due to stigmatism.
1943 - 1944: Haidee and Robert move up to Grimsby, Lincolnshire.  Robert finds employment in local hospital.  Haidee on discovery that she is pregnant, leaves note for Robert that she has gone back to her mother in Burgess Hill.  Robert follows a few weeks later.
1943 - 1949: Haidee & Robert reside with Lillian at Leylands Road.
1944: 5th September:  Haidee gives birth to son, Bruce Robert Dudley Atkin at Greenhedges, Westminston, Ditchling, Sussex.
1946: Clement Maxwell killed at Wivesfield railway station under mysterious circumstances.  Naval connection established from wedding certificate of Robert Atkin to Haidee Maxwell (Fox) where Clements occupation during WWII recorded as Naval Nurse.  It is thought that Clement carried out possible Naval intelligence work during 2nd World War (Admiralty cheque received some time after the war, without explanation).  Death (1946) under strange circumstances as related by Haidee Atkin (nee Maxwell).  "An Inspector Brown of Burgess Hill police arrived at house (Leylands Road - Burgess Hill) very late one night and after a whispered discussion, Clement informed family he had to go out urgently.  By 4:30am the following morning he was found dead at Wiversfield railway station without any explanation of how he had died".  She went on to say: "Looking back, there was always a mystery as to what Clement did during the war.  He would disappear from the family home for weeks on end without any explanation.  I remember one time finding his Gladstone bag and looked inside while he was out of the room and finding a gun.  He came back into the room and caught me and was extremely cross, telling me never to go through his things again."
1946:  Clement Maxwell buried at West Street Cemetery, Burgess Hill, Sussex.
1949:  Robert & Haidee move into brand new council house at West Park Crescent, Burgess Hill, part of governments new homes building program following the end of the war. [Photo]
1950:  4th March:  Haidee gives birth to Virginia Jane Atkin born at Buckingham Road Hospital, Brighton.
1950:  Virgina Jane Atkin christened at St John's Church, Burgess Hill.
1954:  Judith Maxwell (Haidee's half sister) is thought to have married Manuel P Gomez-Carrillo in Burais, Argentina.
1955:  Haidee finds employment with isolation hospital Goddards Green as care assistant.
1957:  Robert finds employment as warden at St John's Institute, Burgess Hill (coincidence in that he first met Haidee here in 1942) and family move from West Park to Downham. [Photo]
1958:  Haidee contracts pneumonia and is seriously ill.
1959:  Bruce Atkin leave home and joins army as Junior Leader at the Apprentice Collage, Blackdown.
1962:  Robert Atkin goes back to collage and obtains degree in Social Sciences at Goldsmith Collage, London.
1962:  Family move from Burgess Hill to Robertsbridge as Robert takes over as the new community leader.  Initially move into cottage in East Street then shortly after to Woodlands View.  [Photo]
1967:  Bruce Atkin marries Brenda Winifred Allam at St Mary's Church, Salehurst, Robertsbridge, Sussex and moves to Holland with the army.
1968:  Haidee & Robert leave Robertsbridge and move to Greenwich, London and take over West Greenwich House community centre.  [Photo] Haidee related memories from this period: "Leaving Robertsbridge was a big wrench for the family as we had all been very happy there but this was a big career opportunity for Bob.  When we arrived at Greenwich, the Council had provided us with a lovely three floored Victorian house in Devonshire Drive, [Photo] including the basement although this was sub let to an old lady.  We found West Greenwich House rather run down and shabby when we first arrived but over time Bob built the membership up to over 4000 by the time Bob retired in 1982.  Bob worked really hard during this time, and was recognised as having the best community centre in the whole of Greenwich/Woolwich area.  One of Bob's most notable achievements was to provide a lift within the centre for disabled people.  Through various means, Bob raised the money and the lift was installed.  If you go to West Greenwich House today, look about the lift and you will see a plaque dedicated to Robert Atkin".
1969:  Virginia Atkin marries James Holzman at St John's Church, Burgess Hill, Sussex and moves to Seattle, USA.
1971: Judith sells family home at Leylands Road and moves her mother up to Suffolk into old cottage.  Haidee discovers her mothers plight.  Haidee relates the event:
"Although I knew my sister had sold the house at Leylands Road and moved my mother up to Suffolk, I did not realise how my mother was now living until I received word that she was ill.  Bob and I went immediately to Suffolk where we found my mother living in an old damp and draughty caravan.  Obviously we were furious and took my mother straight back to Greenwich where Bob found her a nice house in South Street for her stay at.  At the time I didn't know if I could ever forgive my sister for letting mother live like this and it was only later that we discovered just how unhappy and depressed Jay actually was".
1973:  Judith (Jay), Haidee's half sister tragically takes her own life at aged 41.
1982:  Robert Atkin retires after 45 years working as a community leader and moves to Hastings, Sussex.
1986:  Lillian Maxwell dies at aged 91 at Greenwich General Hospital.  Buried in Charlton Cemetery.
1993:  October:  Haidee & Robert celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.
2006:  Robert Atkin dies at aged 88 at Conquest Hospital, Hastings.  Ashes scattered at Newhaven, a beloved and favourite family location with many happy memories.
Present:  Haidee continues to live in the family home in Hastings.

 Return to Atkin Family Tree
Click on image for larger view

St Marks School, Brighton
Leylands Road
West Park 
Woodlands View
Devonshire Drv
West Greenwich