Thursday 3 February 2011

Ashford, Middlesex, Wolsey Road c1912

Ashford, Middlesex, Wolsey Road circa 1912. Today's post commemorates the tragic death exactly 96 years ago of the publisher of this postcard, William Henry Applebee. He died on the 3rd of February 1915 at the age of 30 in Middlesex County Asylum in Tooting (also known as Springfield Asylum). His death certificate gives the cause of death as
(1) Exhaustion from mania, 17 days
(2) Heart failure. No post mortem.
Unfortunately it is not yet known how or why he suffered this terrible fate. I am still working on finding this out. It does seem extraordinary they allowed him to suffer seventeen days of mania without sedating him. His widow, Lucy Annie Applebee, lived until 1972. She never remarried and on her death certificate her occupation was given as 'widow of William Applebee, photographer'. She continued the postcard business until the late 1920s, assisted by William's step-brother, Charles Mitchell. Mitchell remained in the postcard business right up until his death in the mid 1960s.

This rather unremarkable postcard shows the road that Applebee lived in with his wife. They lived in a house called 'Woodbine'. Curiously, on his death certificate he is listed as living at the house next door, 'Wolverdene'. Another little mystery to be solved.

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Below: Middlesex County Asylum, Tooting, taken a few years after Applebee's death when it had been temporarily converted to a war hospital. Springfield University Hospital is still in use as a psychiactric hospital.

1 comment:

  1. The street is not much changed. I think poor Mr. Applebee would still be able to find his way home. I hate to think that he may have dies needlessly with a condition that could have been easily treated. Thankfully, he lives on through his photos.



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