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Name: Alice Byng

Burial Number: 0707

Gender: Female

Occupation: Teacher

Born: 00/00/1862

Died: 21/03/1913

Buried: 25/03/1913

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Alice was born in Coombe Down near Bath, the daughter of Robert Thomas Ford and his wife Jane. Both parents were teachers. Alice followed them into the profession and by 1881, was teaching in London. On 8th September 1885, she married George Wilford Byng a professor of music, at the parish church in Whalley Range, Lancashire. Their son Wilford was born on 16th June 1886. A second son David was born on 22nd October 1897. The family lived in London where George carried on his career as a composer. On 13th December 1911, Alice petitioned for divorce accusing George of adultery with her sister Agnes whilst she was in South Africa the previous year. The couple had separated in October 1910 and although Alice had asked George to return to her, he had refused. (see petition below). The petition was dismissed in February 1912. In 1913, Alice was living at 57 Fitzjames Avenue, West Kensington. On 21st March 1913, Alice was visiting her sister Kate who lived in Shakespeare Road, Worthing, when she collapsed and died. Probate was granted to Samuel  James Randle bank official of the London and South Western Bank. Effects £1699 2s 1d.

George Wilford Byng was a conductor, composer and arranger. He was musical director at the Alhambra Theatre in Leicester Square, London and worked as a conductor for HMV until about 1930. From 1914-1916, he was conductor at the Gaiety Theatre. He was well known for co-operating with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. He committed suicide at an asylum in Gloucester in 1932.

Researcher: Carol Sullivan

The Grave

Photograph of headstone for Alice Byng

Location in Cemetery

Area: EB Row: 1 Plot: 29

Exact Location (what3words): dates.rooms.draw

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



No description of the headstone has been added.


In loving memory of my devoted wife Alice Louisa Bulkley Byng who died suddenly at Worthing 21st March 1913 "Till we meet"

Further Information


Name: Alice Louisa Bulkley Byng

Gender: Female

Born: 00/00/1862

Town: Combe Down

County: Somerset

Country: England


Maiden Name:Ford

Marriage Date: 8/9/1885

Spouse First Name: George

Spouse Second Name: Wilford

Spouse Last Name: Byng

Town of Marriage: Whalley Range

County of Marriage: Lancashire

Country of Marriage: England

Information at Death

Date of Death: 21/03/1913

Cause of death: Heart Disease

Address line 1: Whyteleafe

Address line 3: Shakespeare Road

Town: Worthing

County: Sussex

Country: England


Worthing Paper
Visitor’s Sudden Death – Good Friday Incident – Distressing Occurrence in the Street
The sudden death on the morning of Good Friday of a visitor named Mrs. Alice Bulkley-Byng, of 57, Fitzjames Avenue, West Kensington, who had been staying with a married sister at Whyteleafe, Shakespeare Road, formed the subject of an investigation by the West Sussex Coroner (Mr F.W. Butler) on Saturday afternoon, the Inquiry taking place at the Holy Trinity Mission Hall.
Waiting for Assitance – William Dell, a bath chairman living at 101, Clifton Road, deposed that he went to Whyteleafe on Friday morning to take out the deceased’s sister in a bath chair. Deceased herself was walking at the side of the chair. They were going very slowly, and had nearly reached the corner of Winchester Road, when Mrs Day, deceased’s sister, called to him to stop. He pulled his chair in to the kerb, but before he could get to her the lady fell. He raised her head and did what he could for her, but it was nearly ten minutes before he could get anyone to come to his assistance, and then the people came out of Church, and he had about two hundred round him “in no time”. Deceased never spoke after she fell, and the only thing he heard was a slight gurgling noise in her throat. He took her back to Mrs Day’s house in the chair.
The Sister’s Evidence – Mrs Kate Day, of Whyteleafe, Shakespeare Road, explained that the deceased was the wife of a Musical Director, and was fifty years of age. She had been suffering from influenza and laryngitis, but had quite recovered when she came to visit witness last Thursday. She seemed quite herself when they went out on Friday morning. As they were going towards the Front the deceased suddenly called out “Oh! my head!” and witness asked her bath chairman to stop, and tried to get out of the chair, but before she could do so her sister had fallen.
Dr. Morton Palmer said he saw the deceased in the front garden at Whyteleafe about twenty five minutes to one on Friday, but she was then quite dead. He made a post mortem examination that day. There was a small scalp wound and considerable bruising on the back of the head, but this might have been caused by her falling. The brain was congested , but presented no signs of injury or haemorrhage, and the bones of the skull were unbroken. In the chest the most prominent thing he noticed was the fatty degeneration of the heart. The other organs were fairly healthy, but there was considerable deposits of fat about the body. Witness had been in communication with Dr. MacLaren, the Deceased’s Medical Attendant in London and he had told him that he had attended her as recently as a fortnight ago for influenza, but he had not anticipated death in this way. Death was due to the diseased condition of the heart. The recent attacks of influenza would have a weakening effect on the heart.
The Jury, of whom Mr Hewitt acted as Foreman, returned a verdict of “Death from natural causes” in accordance with the medical evidence.
One of the Jurymen, Mr Jack Burgess, failed to answer to his name, and the Coroner announced the he should impose a fine unless a satisfactory explanation were forthcoming.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: £1699 2 s 1 d

Current value of effects: £100234.00

Census Information


School House, Eversley, Hants.
Robert T aged 46, schoolmaster. Jane aged 44, schoolmistress. Henry aged 10. Louisa (Alice) aged 8. Florence aged 6. Ada aged 4. Alfred aged 2. Agnes aged 6 months.


52 Maddox Street, Hanover Square, Westminster.
Alice l aged 18, school teacher, living with her cousin George Sutton, a solicitor’s managing clerk. Her sister Florence was also living there


8 Barum Topp, Halifax, Yorks.
George W aged 31, professor of music. Alice L aged 28. Visiting Jane Taylor, widow, shopkeeper and family


“Roanoke” 6 Queen Anne’s Place, Edmonton.
Alice aged 38, visiting her sister Agnes and brother-in-law Edward Low


67 Longridge Road, Earl’s Court.
George aged 50, professor of music. Alice aged 48. David aged 13. Plus 2 servants.

Miscellaneous Information

In the High Court of Justice – Probate Divorce and Admiralty Division (Divorce) – In the matter of the Petition for Restitution of Conjugal Rights of Alice Louisa Byng.
I, Alice Louisa Byng of No. 58 Hamlet Gardens Ravenscourt Park in the County of Middlesex the Petitioner, make oath and say as follows:-
1. Paragraphs one to five inclusive of the said Petition are to my knowledge true.
2. No proceedings previous to the filing of the Petition herein have been instituted by or on behalf of either party to the marriage.
3. That on Tuesday the 1st day of August 1911 a written demand for cohabitation and restitution of conjugal rights was in my own handwriting made by me upon my husband George Wilford Bulkley Byng by causing same to be posted on that date at the Post Office 30 Victoria Street, Westminster in a prepaid registered letter or envelope addressed to the said George Wilford Bulkley Byng at the Alhambra Theatre, Leicester Square London, where he is employed as Musical Director. The following is a true and correct copy of such demand.
“At Barrow Hill, Uttoxeter, July 31st 1911 – Dear George, I have had many sad letters to write to you of late but this is the most sad and trying one to me of all my life. We have been married 27 years in September and most of that time have been good pals. It is many months now since you lived with me and my health has suffered severely in consequence. I feel this separation and estrangement cannot continue and I must formally call and request you to return to me at our flat at 58 Hamlet Gardens Ravenscourt Park within a reasonable time say 10 days from this date and resume our relations as man and wife. There is our boy David who must think it very strange that although you are his father you do not live at home with me and how am I to explain? I feel under all the circumstances you must return to me or let me know what your intentions are, Your faithful wife, A.L. Bulkley Byng”
A letter will find me here until the end of the week”
The said George Wilford Bulkley Byng has not replied to such communication or has in any way complied with aforementioned demand and cohabitation and restitution of conjugal rights are still withheld from me to him.
Sworn at No 28 Victoria Street in the City of Westminster, this 24th day of August 1911 before me, ??? R. Porter – A Commissioner for Oaths