Autobiography of James Tilbury (1881-1972)

Additional Information

Being both students and choristers and, in the latter capacity, obliged to sing at one choir practice and two services daily (except Wednesdays), the school curriculum had to be adjusted accordingly for the choirboys, hence non-essentials, Latin for instance, had to be omitted. Even so, most evenings we had to study for at least two hours.  Nevertheless, we had time for cricket, football etc., and for long walks through the lovely countryside and over the Downs, always accompanied, of course, by an under-master.



My Father, Edward Tilbury, originally an accountant, was an executive of the London & South Western Railway Co. In 1960 he was due to retire as he would then be 60 years of age - the Railway Co's age limit. However, because of the tremendous expense of bringing up 17 children (there were still seven younger than me around) he asked the Company to permit him to carry on for another 5 years, and, because of an excellent reputation, and over forty years service, also the unusual-circumstances, they willingly agreed. He and Mother both lived to be 75 years of age and died within months of each other during the First War.



ATLANTIC OCEAN I have crossed this particular ocean 23 times. Eight times` on business, Fifteen times on purely pleasure trips (visiting relatives etc) With the same object, my wife has crossed 33 times.
PHOTOGRAPHS etc. We have several albums full of photographs and picture postcards, taken or bought in most of those parts of the world visited, and also numerous family photographs.



ENTERTAINMENTS, POETRY etc. During my lifetime I have written lots of verses many of which have been used at Concerts, Entertainments etc. A book of humourous verses applicable to the Executives Association of Philadelphia, were written by me when I was their Vice President. They decided to print it and to send copies to other Executive Associations in various parts of the U.S.A.



GILBERT & SULLIVAN OPERAS I have participated in the following performances of Gilbert & Sullivan operas, as an amateur, of course.

AGEDATEOPERAROLEPLACE
181899The GondoliersAntonioSouthampton, England
201901The MikadoPish-TushSouthampton, England
281909Yeomen of the GuardSergeant MeryllShanghai, China
551936Pirates of PenzanceSergeant of PoliceBala, Cynwyd, Pa. USA
561937The GondoliersDuke of Plaza ToroBala, Cynwyd, Pa. USA
751956Trial by JuryJurymanBournemouth, England
""Pirates of PenzancePolicemanBournemouth, England

THE SCATTERED TILBURYS. It might be of interest to mention that around the years 1913-1914 the surviving members of our family, viz.,(in age order)  Fred, Sophie, Maud, Florry, myself, Ted, Ella, Charles, Gus, Ernest and Dorothy, were living in the following Countries and places:-

COUNTRYNAME1913 - 1914 WHERE-ABOUTSCITY (IF KNOWN)
S. AFRICAFREDMember of Durban Town CounciDURBAN, NATAL.
ENGLAND.SOPHIELiving at home with Father & MotherSOUTHAMPTON.
S. AFRICAMAUDMarried and living with familyJOHANNESBURG.
PHILIPPINESFLORRYMarried and living with familyMANILA.
UNITED STATESTEDP.T.M.Royal Mail Steam Packet Co.NEW YORK CITY
FRANCEELLATravelling on the Riviera
N. BRAZILCHARLESSt.John Del Ray Gold Mines.
CANADAGUSWhite Star Line officeWINNIPEG
PORTUGALERNESTRoyal Mail Steam Packet CoLISBON
CHINA.DOROTHYMarried and living with familyHANKOW
CANADA.JAMES (myself)Married and living with familyVANCOUVER
SUBSEQUENT MOVEMENTS OF THE ABOVE.
S.AFRICA.FREDNo change
 SOPHIEJoined Maud and familyJOHANNESBURG
 MAUDNo change
FRANCE.TEDP.T.M.Royal Mail S.P.Co Paris (Later transferred as Mgr of R.M.S.P.Co office) Prague, Czechoslovakia.
CANADA.ELLA"Earlscourt" Guest House. (Later moved to Pasadena, California,U.S.A.)VANCOUVER
UNITED STATES.CHARLESNew York City-Boston-Philadelphia-ENGLAND-LONDON
CANADA.GUSImmediately on outbreak of War he volunteered his services (Aug:1914)and left Winnipeg for London. Was later killed.
UNITED STATES.ERNESTPhiladelphia-France-Denver (own travel business) finally settled in Pasadena, California.
ENGLAND.DOROTHYReturned to England account Jap-China war,later went back to Hankow. Left again (another war)ret'd to England second time.Now living with family at Bransgore,near Christchurch,Hants.
CANADA.SELF(JT)From Vancouver Dec.1913 to New York. Subsequently as indicated in the auto-biography.

I might add that I have already lived in the reigns of 6 British Sovereigns.
They are:- Queen Victoria who died in 1901, King Edward VII died 1910, King George V died 1936, King Edward VIII Abdicated 1936.  King George VI died 1952,  Queen Elizabeth - the present Queen.
 


COUNTRIES VISITED & PLACES SEEN BY J.TILBURY BETWEEN 1890 and 1964.

ENGLAND,SCOTLAND & WALES. Towns and Villages too numerous to mention.
BETWEEN 1906 & 1909. CHINA. Shanghai (2 1/2 years). Tientsin (6 months). Pekin (Peiping). Hongkong. Hankow. Chinkiang. Wuhu. Nanking. Kiukiang. Shanhaikwan. Mukden. Harbin.
JAPAN. Kobe. Nagasaki.    Osaka.    Myajima.    Inland Sea.
RUSSIA. via TransSibarian Railroad September 1909. Irkutsk. Lake Baikal. Ural Mountains. MOSCOW.
POLAND. Warsaw. GERMANY. Berlin. HOLLAND. Hook of Holland en route to England.
CANADA. Between 1910 and 1915.
Vancouvor.B.O. (2 1/2 years). Victoria. New Westminster. Nanaimo. Sicamous. Vernon. Lake Louise. Banff. Toronto. Thousand Islands. MONTREAL. QUEBEC. Murray Bay. Tadousac. St.Lawrence and Saguenay rivers.
NOVA SCOTIA. Halifax.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 1913 to 1964.
NEW YORK STATE. New York City (1 year). Lake Champlain. Lake George. Buffalo. Saratoga Springs. Auzable Chacm. Niagara Falls etc.
PENNSYLVAN IA. PHILADELPHIA (49 years). Cities eta too numerous to mention. MASSACHUSETTS. BOSTON (1 year). Salem. Cape Cod
MAINE.    Bar Harbor. Bath.    Portland.
VERMONT. Burlington. Stowe.    Manchester.
OHIO.    Findlay.
NEW HAMPSHIRE.    Franconia. Hanover.
NEW JERSEY.    Atlantic City.Asbury Park.Cape May.Beach Haven,Ocean City etc.
CONNECTICUT.    Bridgeport.
FLORIDA.    St Petersburg.(2 winters).Palm Beach(1 month).Miami.St.Augustine.
Daytona. Tampa. Silver Springs. Jacksonville etc.
LOUISIANA. New Orleans,, TEXAS. San Antonio. Tyler. GEORGIA. Savannah. Smoky Mts.
ILLINOIS. CHICAGO. MARYLAND . Baltimore, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. WASHINGTON.
MINNESOTA. St. Paul. Minneapolis. NEW MEXICO. Albuquerque. MISSOURI. St.Louis.         
WASHINGTON. Seattle. MEXICO. Tia Juana.
ARIZONA. GRAND CANYON. Apache Trail. Phoenix. Globe (Cliff dwellings) CALIFORNIA. San Francisco. Del Monte. Santa Cruz (Big Trees). Santa Barbara.
Los Angeles. Pasadena. San Diego. Altadena. Riverside. Monterey
Santa Monica. Hollywood. Beverly Hills.Glendale.
PANAMA. Cristobal.Colon. Old Panama by train one ways retg through Canal by steamer.
BERMUDA. Several visits.
WEST INDIES. Haiti. Martinique. St.Lucia. Antigua. JAMAICA. VirginIslands. St.Thomas. St.Croix. Grenada. Trinidad. St.Kitta. Barbados (2 months).
SOUTH AMERICA. Cartagena. Barranquilla. Puerto Colombia.
MADEIRA.  Funchal.
SPAIN.  Cadiz. Algeciras. Grenada (Alhambra). Seville (Alcazar)
GIBRALTAR. For one day. on 1926 visit. ALGERIA. ALGIERS and Blidah in. 1924. TUNISIA. TUNIS and CARTHAGE (ruins) in 1924.
MALTA. Visited in 1906.
SICILY.    Palermo. Catacombs etc. 1925.
ITALY.    Naples. Ruins of Pompeii. Sorrento. Capri. ROME. Florence. Venice. Milan.
Lake Como.
GREECE.    Phaleron Bay. Mara Hill. The Acropolis. ATHENS.. Stadium etc. Visited 1924.
TURKEY.    Dardanelles. Constantinople (Istanbul).Black Sea. 1924-5-6-
EGYPT    Alexandria. CAIRO (Sphinx,Pyrarmida etc) LUXOR (King Tutankahmenis tomb) .1924
Thebes. Karnak. Edfu. Eanah. Komombo. Asauan (Dam & Philae). Port Said. Red Sea.
PALESTINE. Jerusalem. Bethlehem. Mt of Olives. Garden of Gethsamene. Jericho. Dead Sea. Jordan river. Bethel. Nazareth. Capornaum. Tiberias. Lake Galilee. Mt.Carmel. Haifa.Acre(Syria)
STRAIT SETTLEMENTS. Penang. & Singapore (Visited in 1906)
SWITZERLAND. Geneva. Lucerne. Interlaken. Lausanne. Montrmux.
CHANNEL ISLANDS. Guernaey visited in 1899.
FRANCE. PARIS, Versailles, Lyons, Vichy, Marseilles, Nice, Monaco, Monte Carlo, Avignon, Tours(Chateaux) Dinard, St.Lunaire, Deauville, Cherbourg, LeHavre, Honfleur, St.Malo.


CATHEDRALS & CHURCHES IN WHICH JAMES TILBURY SERVED AS CHOIRBOY, BASS AND / OR CHOIRMASTER

1889-90St. Mary's P.E. Church. Southampton, Hampshire. UK.Soprano
1890-97Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, Hants. England."
 Chichester Cathedral. (Loaned by Winchester for Festival Services)"
1898St. Mary's P.E. Church, Southampton, Hants. UK.Bass
1899-1903St Paul's P.E. Church, Southampton, Hants. UKBass
1904-6St. John's P.E. Church, London. S.W. EnglandBass
1906-9The Cathedral. Shanghai, China.Bass soloist
1910St. John's Church, Wilton Rd, London. S.W. EnglandBass
1911-2St George's P.E. Church. Vancouver, B.C. CanadaChoirmaster & Bass
1912Georgia Street. Methodist Ch. Vancouver, B.C, Canada.Bass
1913Christ Church, P.E. Vancouver. B.C. Canada.Bass
1914-5Trinity P.E. Church. Brooklyn, New York USA..Bass
1915St. James's P.E. Ch. 52nd & Kershaw, Philadelphia, USA.Choirmaster & Bass
1916St. James's P.E. Ch. 22nd & Walnut, Philadelphia.Bass
1916Grace P.E. Church. Mt. Airy. Philadelphia.Choirmaster & Bass
1917Grace Lutheran Church. Wyndmoor. Philadelphia.Choirmaster & Bass
1918-23Trinity P.E. Memorial Church, Ambler, PA. (Absent 1 year in Boston)Choirmaster & solo Bass
1924St. Paul's P.E. Church. Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.Bass
1926St. Martin's -in-the-field, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.Bass
1927Tenth Presbyterian Ch. 17th & Spruce, Philadelphia.Bass substitute
1928Calvary P.E. Church, Germantown, Philadelphia.Bass
1928-45St. Mark’s P.E. Church, Frankford, Philadelphia.Choirmaster, solo Bass & Lay reader
1945All Saints P.E. Church, Beverly Hills, California..Bass
19453rd Presbyterian Church. Chester. PA.Choirmaster & Bass
1946Old Christ Church,2nd & Market, Philadelphia 
1948First Congregational Ch. St. Petersburg, Florida.Bass
1949Baptist Church, Altadena, California. USA.Choirmaster & Bass
1949St. Mark's P.E. Church, Altadena, California. USA.. 
1952St. Andrew's P.E. Church, Christchurch, Hants. England.Bass
1952-3Old St. George's Methodist Ch. Nth. 4th St. Philadelphia.Choirmaster & Bass
1954St. Peter's P.E. Church, St. Petersburg, Florida. USA.Bass
1955St. Augustine’s P.E. Church. Bournemouth, Hants.Bass
1959Church of the Good Shepherd, Germantown, Philadelphia. USA.Bass

December 30th 1963

 


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Comments

  • April Boothe1 year ago

    Thank you so much for posting this autobiography of my great grandfather, James Tilbury (1881-1972)! My dad told me many of these amazing stories about his grandfather over the years. It was such a blessing to find them here, print them out & share them with my dad who is now 76. I have one picture of myself as an infant with my great grandfather. My dad (James Tilbury Nutter of Connecticut/Texas)has even more info on the family, but alas, he is not a big fan of modern technology.

    • linden1 year ago

      My pleasure April, glad it's been useful. Perhaps you could digitise all your father's gems of information? Cheers, Linden

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