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Name: Mary Tilley

Burial Number: 0999

Gender: Female

Occupation: Lady's Companion

Born: 00/00/1882

Died: 06/08/1920

Buried: 11/08/1920

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Mary was born to Alfred and Maria Tilley. The family lived at 103 Croydon Road Penge Surrey where Alfred worked as a Grocer/Tea dealer. By 1901 Mary had moved with the rest of her family to 53 Springfield Road Brighton, Alfred has now retired.
Mary worked as a Lady’s companion and Teacher; she had 5 siblings one of which was Ethel Brett Tilley. Ethel was an accomplished piano player and taught piano playing. Ethel moved to ‘Kingsland’ Harrow Road Worthing with Mary and her other Sister Elizabeth Maria (their Parents and the other Siblings were living at Woodcote Road Wallington Surrey). Sometime before 1920 the Sisters then moved to ‘Beechwood’ Belsize Road Worthing.
On the 6th August 1920 Mary had a cycling accident on the Upper Brighton Road at the top of Broadwater Green; she was hit by a car and taken to Worthing Hospital but died of her injuries.

Researcher: Jackie Rooney

The Grave

No headstone image available

Location in Cemetery

Area: NES Row: 3 Plot: 9

Exact Location (what3words): shaped.jelly.hears

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



No description of the headstone has been added.


In affectionate remembrance of Mary Adeline Tilley the ... youngest daughter of ....Tilley who passed on August 6th 1920 "With Christ" Also of Alfred Tilley who .... to be with Christ on October 27th 1924 ......Jesus Christ

Further Information


Name: Mary Adelaide Tilley

Gender: Female

Born: 00/00/1882

Town: Unknown

County: Surrey

Country: England


Maiden Name: Not applicable

No marriage information is available for this burial record.

Information at Death

Date of Death: 06/08/1920

Cause of death: injuries sustained in bicycle accident

Address line 1: Worthing Hospital

Address line 3: Lyndhurst Road

Town: Worthing

County: Sussex

Country: England


No obituary has been entered.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: No value recorded

Current value of effects: Not calculated

Census Information


103 Croydon Road Penge Surrey
Alfred (Head) 47, Maria (Wife) 45, Ethel B (Daughter) 19, Elizabeth M (Daughter) 16, Annie L (Daughter) 14, Mary A (Daughter) 9, Harry B (Son) 6, plus 2 Servants


53 Springfield Road Preston Brighton
Alfred (Head) 57, Maria (Wife) 55, Ethel Brett (Daughter) 29, Elizabeth m (Daughter) 26, Annie Louisa (Daughter) 24, Mary A (Daughter)18, Harry B (Son) 16


‘Kingsland’ Harrow Road Worthing
Ethel Brett (Head) 39, Elizabeth Maria (Sister) 36, Mary Adelaide (Sister) 28

Miscellaneous Information

Postcard showing top of Broadwater Green

Worthing Gazette – Wednesday 11th August 1920

Lady Cyclist Killed – Collides with Motor Car – A Dangerous Corner at Broadwater – Warning Notice Needed

The importance of adequate warning notices of concealed turnings, and of the exercise of every care when approaching a corner, was illustrated by a sad fatality which occurred at Broadwater on Friday afternoon.

Miss Mary Adelaide Tilley, of Beechwood, Belsize Road, was cycling from Broadwater Green towards the lane up to the Waterworks, when she was knocked down by a motor car which was coming from the direction of Sompting, and sustained injuries to which she has succumbed in the Hospital an hour and a half later.

The West Sussex Coroner, Mr F.W. Butler, investigated the circumstances on Saturday afternoon, before a Jury, at the Hospital, when the evidence given was to the following effect:

A Careful Rider – Formal evidence of identification was given by Miss Ethel Brett Tilley, of Beechwood, Belsize Road, who deposed that the deceased was her sister, and that she was 38 years of age. She was a lady’s companion and teacher by occupation. She had ridden a bicycle for some years, and was a very careful rider. On Friday afternoon she left home about 20 minutes to three for a country ride.

Mr John Rutherford Parkin Postlethwaite, a District Commissioner and Magistrate for the Uganda Protectorate, at present staying at Selsey, stated that on Friday afternoon he was returning from Brighton, where he had been to fetch a nurse for his children. His wife and her sister were also in the car. He was approaching a sort of triangle, with a high wall on his immediate left, and although he saw a lane leading our on his right, he had no idea that there was this road from the left, which was entirely concealed by the wall. He was driving at quite a moderate pace, from 15 to 18 miles an hour; and just as he got to the end of the wall the deceased came out on her bicycle right in front of his car. He at once put on his brakes and pulled up within five yards, but it was

Too Late. – He ran in to Grove Lodge, where he was given permission to telephone two doctors, but both were out, and he then got assistance and brought the deceased to the Hospital. Witness had driven a car a great deal, and certainly looked on himself as a careful driver. The wall was about 10 feet high …..

Replying to Mr. N.N. Marsh (who pressed on behalf of the family), Witness said it might be possible to see the road from the left three yards from the corner; but had the deceased been on her right side of the road he might have avoided her. His impression was that his car struck the deceased at the same moment that he put on his brakes, and that she was carried along on the bonnet of the car until she fell.

To Mr. A. Buckland Dixon (representing Mr. Postlethwaite): Witness had his attention on the road that was joining his just in front of him, and was slowing down to go round the bend; and he had no idea that there was this road immediately on his left till he got to the end of the wall and saw the deceased.

A Very Dangerous Corner – Mr Alfred Mallandaine, of 3 Kingsland Road, Broadwater, said he was walking along the Findon Road, near the triangle, when he heard a crash; and on going round the corner he saw the deceased being carried forward, apparently on the left hand side of the car. She then fell to the ground, but he did not think the wheels went over her. The car was pulled up very quickly indeed, and the gentleman who was driving it did everything he possibly could after the accident. There was no danger signs, and it was a very narrow road – not wide enough for two cars to pass. The wall itself would prevent anyone from seeing what was coming from the left.

To the Foreman (Mr. A. Goble): Witness considered the corner a very dangerous one.

Mr Philip J. Le Riche, a member of the medical staff, stated that he saw the deceased soon after her admission to the Hospital. She was unconscious. There were two cuts on the back of the head, on of which might possibly have been caused by her being thrown on the road. there was also a depressed fracture of the base of the skull. Death occurred about half past four o-clock, and was due to the fracture of the skull and the consequential haemorrhage of the brain.

Worthing Gazette – thursday 12th August 1920

While cycling at Broadwater on Friday afternoon, Miss Mary Adelaide Tilley, of Beechwood, Belsize Road, who was well known in connection with the Congregational Church, came into a collision with a motor car and sustained such injuries that she died in the Worthing Hospital within a couple of hours. The accident occurred where the upper Brighton Road is crossed by what is know colloquially as Mud Lane, which is a good deal frequented, as it leads past the waterworks on the Downs and to Cissbury. the crossing is an exceedingly dangerous one, a high wall entirely blocking out the view at one corner. The motor car was driven by Mr J.R.P. Postlethwaite, district commissioner for Uganda, who is staying at Selsey. He was returning from Brighton, travelling at a very moderate speed, and had just reached the crossing when Miss Tilley was about to cross the main road. Apparently neither could have seen the other until the actual instant of the collision. The motorist at once took Miss Tilley to the hospital where she was found to have a depressed fracture of the skull, all and being unavailing. The motorist was exonerated from blame at the inquest on Saturday, when a verdict of accidental death was returned, and the suggestion was made that a warning notice of this dangerous corner and concealed turning ought to be erected – Cannot the wall be modified?