Rayner - Page 3

Stephen Rayner (killed in action 1918) and siblings Edward John, Harry and May. A further brother Jabez is on Page 3. Their parents Henry and Mary Anne Rayner came to Flitcham before 1891 as described on the Rayner Page 1 (click here). There are more Rayner photos on Pages 4 & 5 (click here)

Stephen Rayner (below) was Henry and Mary Anne's sixth and youngest son, born 10th April 1882 and worked as a groom at Eaton Hall, Cheshire. In 1916 he enlisted with the Cheshire Regiment and later fought with the Royal Warwickshires. The photo below was taken just before he embarked for France in 1917.

Stephen was killed in action 23rd March 1918 and has no known grave but his name is recorded on the Pozieres Memorial just north-east of the town of Albert in northern France. He is commemorated on Flitcham War Memorial and on the memorial tablets in Chester Town Hall and also on the commemorative windows in St.Peter's Church at Chester Cross. (Photo kindly lent by his granddaughter, Dorothy Little, nee Rayner, who lives at Malpas, Cheshire).


Stephen married Sarah Few (known as Sally and sometimes as Sally Pugh) at Chester in 1909. It is believed Sarah was only 18 at the time although she gave her age as 21, presumably to avoid the need for parental consent. This may be why they came to live in Flitcham with Henry and Mary Ann - together with their baby daughter. The 1911 Census shows them living with Stephen's parents but by (c)1915 they had returned to Chester with their new son William.

(Below) Stephen's wife Sarah ("Sally") and daughter Dorothy, (b. 1909 d.1918) and mother-in-law Mary Anne Rayner. Photo probably taken at 12 Abbey Rd c.1913. Stephen's father, Henry Rayner, wrote to Sarah after Stephen's death, saying that to help her "I am sending a box of plums"! The Vicar from Flitcham also wrote enclosing a postal order for 5/- to assist. Little Dorothy also died in 1918.

Edward John Rayner (1873-1945), known as Jack, was Henry and Mary Anne's second son. He married Eleanor Grief and they had one child, a daughter, also named Eleanor. Jack and Eleanor lived for many years at 5 Stanley Street, King's Lynn.     (Photo kindly lent by Jack's grandson, Tony Pearce of North Wootton). Harry Rayner (1874-1959). Photo taken in Salonika c1917. Visited his brother William in California and lived there for some time, working as a gardener in Berkeley. He married Jane May Beckett in 1928. (Jane already had a son, Tony Beckett, who was living in Australia in 2008). Harry and Jane lived for many years at Marsh Lane, Gaywood.

May Rayner was Henry & Mary's youngest child and died in 1963. She married John Brazier (above right) at Flitcham in 1912 and they had two children (below): Basil and Elsie.