Love, loss and families in a Brighton backstreet

The 1905 and 1906 directories and electoral rolls for two houses show families (the Hyders and the Brackenridges) who were to be neighbours for 25 years. The 1911 census shows them in detail: John and Ann Hyder with their nine children (three in their twenties, three teenagers and three under 10); next door were George and Lydia Brackenridge with their five children. The Hyders were still there in the 1918 electoral roll but a John and Lydia Hyder are now living next door. What has happened?

The answer to this was in the Birth, Deaths and Marriages at ( shows a marriage in 1916 between John Hyder and Lydia Brackenridge. What has happened to George?

The First World Ward had really affected the lived in these crowded little houses. John Henry Hyder and three of his four brothers had all been soldiers. In 1911 he had been was a reserve in the 2nd Royal Sussex Army Reserves. During the war he may have been the John Hyder shown in the Royal Engineers or in the Middlesex Regiment, His brother Albert Edward was in the Army Service Corps and received the British War medal and Victory medal. Alfred Thomas was in the Home Counties Division Signals Company RE; and Victor George was also the 2nd Royal Sussex Army Reserve. All four brothers then survived the war

George Brackenridge was not so fortunate. Although he was 45 in 1915 George was enlisted in the army and had the rank of “Pioneer” in the 4th Labour Battalion of the Royal Engineers. He was killed on the 8th February 1916 on the Western Front. By the end of the year Lydia (at 39) had married John Hyder (29)

Sadly John and Lydia's marital happiness did not last for long. They were both on the electoral roll for 1918, but by the end of the year he is dead. Lydia stayed in the house with the children from her first marriage. She lived there with her son, Arthur Brackenridge and (later) his wife, until she died in 1947 aged 70.

Sadness next door as well. John and Ann Hyder had been replaced in 1929 by John Evans and his wife Alice. John Evans and Alice Maud Breden had been married since 1910. However John Evans died the following year leaving his wife and children in their new home. FreeBMD shows that Alice and John Evans had two children: Charles H was born in 1920 and Olive A in 1924. The children would not show up on electoral rolls until after the Second World War. Then Charles Evans is shown living with his mother between 1945 and 1947. In 1947 his wife also appears; he married Daphne D Andrew that year; (Olive Evans had married Frederick JE Alford in 1941).

After the Second World War Alice stayed in the house, with what appear to be boarders or lodgers, until 1968.