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Selena Harriet GARDINER (1843-1918)

Grave of Selena Harriet Gardiner in Hastings Cemetery.
Grave of Selena Harriet Gardiner in Hastings Cemetery.
Biographical Details

Selena Harriet Gardiner (1843-1918) was the sister of Caroline Florence Mourilyan (née Gardiner), who was the sister-in-law of Eugénie Sladden (née Mourilyan). 

Selena Gardiner was born in 1843 at Bath, Somerset, the third of nine children of George Gregory, a Clerk in Holy Orders, and his wife, Frances Mary (née Touchet).  She was baptised on 26th May 1943 at Walcot St Swithin, Somerset.  The family then lived at 12 Cavendish Place, Walcot.

When she was eight years old, the family moved to Bonn when Reverend Gardiner was appointed the English chaplain.  In 1859 the family moved to Paris, where Reverend Gardiner had accepted a post as Chaplain of the English Protestant Chapel in Avenue Marboeuf.  The Siege of Paris, which lasted from 19th September 1870 to 28th January 1871, put an end to the Gardiners’ time in Paris.  They left Paris in a hurry, shortly before the capture of the city by Prussian forces which led to French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the establishment of the German Empire as well as the Paris Commune. 

At the time of the 1871 census, Selena was staying with her aunt, Mary Gardiner, and cousins at Kingscote Cottage, Kingscote, Gloucestershire.  By 1881 she was living with her parents at 2 West Hill Terrace, Hastings, where her father was Rector of St Leonard’s Church.  After the death of Reverend Gardiner in 1890, Selena and her mother moved to 31 Marina, Hastings.  During this period, Selena was superintendent of the Girls' School for many years, and did many things to benefit the young in the parish.

Following her mother’s death in 1900, Selena and her cousin, Louisa Lancaster, were boarding in a house on Royal York Crescent, Bristol.  By 1911, the two cousins lived at 8 The Fosseway, Clifton, Bristol.

In the first year of the Great War, Selena’s sister and brother-in-law, Caroline and Fred Mourilyan, stayed for a time at The Fosseway, as they had had to flee from Belgium when war started.

Selena died on 20th November 1918 at Clifton, aged 75.  She was buried in Hastings Cemetery.

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