William FINK

William FINK b.10 Dec 1865, 14 Princes Street, Rotherhithe, Surrey, was the 6th child born to Peter Fink and Elizabeth WASH. His father was a Journeyman Baker. From the birth of his sisters and brothers we know that, as a child, William lived in Rotherhithe, Camberwell and Islington. At 16 years old William was employed as a Bakers Boy by Arthur BONE and lived with the family at 159 Caledonian Road, Islington, London.

On 3 June 1888 William married Annie OAKLEY at the Congregational Church in Bethnal Green. He was 22 and living at 21 Orchard Place, Clarence Road, Hackney. Annie was 17, living at 9 Spring Garden Place Stepney. Annie was the 2nd child of Thomas George Oakley and Mary Ann GOULD. Lizzie Oakley and Henry George Oakley, sister and brother of the bride were witnesses at their wedding.

In the 1891 census we find William and Annie living in Norfolk at 7 Queens Road, Attleborough, with their one month old daughter Grace Mabel born 11 Feb 1891. William’s occupation was, baker.

By 1893 the family were in Middlesex. The birth of their son, William Edgar, was registered at the beginning of 1893 in Paddington, followed a year later by the birth of Lionel Ernest, 1 Feb 1894 also in Paddington.

Seven year old William Edgar was killed in 1900. Family story says that he fell from the back of a cart and his death was witnessed by his sister Grace. This must have been a particularly difficult time for Annie as William was away at the Boer War and she was running a business as a baker and confectioner while living at 43 Mill Lane, Carshalton, Surrey. The family must have been well fed for as well as Annie’s baking, the lodger Herbert Gosling, who lived there with his wife Adelaide, was a fishmonger.

When William returned from South Africa the family purchased a bakery at 1 Harbour Street, Whitstable, Kent and it was here, 27 Jan 1903 that Wilfred Benjamin was born followed by Leslie Harold 18 Aug 1907 at 1 Harbour Street, Whitstable. On Wilfred and Leslie’s birth certificates William’s occupation is ‘Master Baker’.

The Fink family in Whitstable and William’s sister Margarethe Anderson kept in touch with their relations in Germany, and we know from letters that the family have, that Grace Fink and Grace Anderson both spent time with their 2nd cousin Anna in Germany and her brother Anton came to Whitstable. Anton and Anna and the two Graces were great granddaughters of Valentin Fink, Peter’s father.

The family ran the bakery for many years in Whitstable but the Fink name was not a good one to have during the war in England. William was an ardent Liberal and hated Lloyd George as he put Asquith out of power. 

William’s son Lionel jumped ship in NZ just as WW1 was declared and signed up almost immediately in the NZ army. Grace Mabel married Sibert CLOTHIER 3 June.1915 in Whitstable Kent and Sibert joined up too.

After the war Lionel suggested to his parents that they emigrate to New Zealand to go farming. Leaving from Southampton they travelled 3rd class to New Zealand on the Rimutaka, a ship which was used to carry mutton and dairy products to Britain from New Zealand after the war. While in England the ship was fitted out with removable fittings to enable it to carry passengers back to the Colonies. Mr W. Fink 54, Baker, Mrs. Fink 49, Mr W. B. Fink 17 and Mr L. H. Fink 13 arrived in Wellington, NZ in Aug 1920 after a voyage of six weeks.

Compiled by Alison BROOKS, wife of Roy who is the son of Jim Brooks and Florence (known as Bunty) who is Wilf’s eldest daughter .Sources.

  • Certificates
  • English census
  • A tape made by Grandpa Wilf3
  • Photos of Fink and Wash family lent by kind relatives, some now deceased.
  • NZ shipping records
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