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IDIENS (née SOUTH), Alice – emigrated 1913

Between the years 1911 and 1913, eight members of the Idiens family (John and Alice and seven of their eight children) emigrated to Canada.  Alice and John, together with their two younger daughters, Edith and Doris were the last to go.

Alice South (1852-1933) was born at Tettenhall, Staffordshire, the third of seven children of William Harris South and his wife, Mary.  She was baptised at St Michael & All Angels, Tettenhall, on 14th March 1852.

Alice married John Idiens at Tettenhall on 30th September 1879.  Alice went to live in Evesham where John was working.  They had four sons and three daughters, all born at Evesham:  Harold John (1880-1953), Albert William (1883-1953), Alice Marguerite (1885-1946), Edith Mary (1887-1981), Walter Cyril (1888-1973), Doris Ruth (1889-1972) and Stanley South (1891-1980).  At the time of the 1881 and 1891 census, John and Alice were living in High Street, Evesham.  In 1881, John’s mother was staying with them, and they had a servant and a nursemaid for their baby son.  By 1891 they employed a Governess and two servants for their growing family.  Alice’s widowed mother, Mary South, was also staying, presumably in anticipation of assisting with the birth of their last and final child, Stanley.

At the end of the 19th century, the Idiens family became tenants at Wickhamford Manor where they were living at the time of the 1901 census.  They became involved in the local community.  In November 1900, Mrs Idiens was involved with a Sale of Work for Wickhamford Church and in March 1905 a subscription for a dance for the Clock Fund.  In April 1910, Mrs Idiens presented 12 volumes to the Parish Library. 

In June 1901, the Idiens family played host to the author, Rider Haggard, who came to stay for a few days at Wickhamford Manor whilst looking at agriculture in the Vale of Evesham.  The following year, a book, Rural England: Being an Account of Agricultural and Social Researches Carried Out in the Years 1901 and 1902, was published.  The Vale of Evesham featured in pages 343-362 of the book, and Mrs Idiens was mentioned for her recipe for preserving fruit in bottles.

They were also very friendly with the Sladden family of Badsey and Mrs Idiens is mentioned in several of the Sladden letters

The Idiens family lived at Wickhamford until 1906 when George Lees-Milne bought the Manor from J P Lord’s Trustees.  By 1911, they were living in Poole, at a house on The Promenade called Kiabra.

Alice and John emigrated to Canada in 1913, following in the footsteps of four of their children.  On 2nd April 1913, they boarded Royal Edward at Bristol, bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia; their daughters, Edith and Doris accompanied them.  They went to live at 2625 Roseberry Avenue, Victoria.  In Canada, they remained friendly with the Osler family whom they had known when living in Wickhamford.  Their grandson, John Foljambe Idiens, married

Alice died at Comox in 1933 and John in January 1939. 

See also John Idiens and family of Bowers Hill and Wickhamford Manor.