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1869 Beginnings

The original English Women's Journal was a magazine issued by the Victoria Press in London between 1858 and 1864.'s_Journal

Lizzie's beloved great grandmother, Lotte Wiggins was born in 1869 and certainly would not have known about this ground breaking publication supporting women.  Lotte was born in South Harting in West Sussex, England to a family of blacksmiths and from an early age was in service at Uppark House in West Sussex.

For a short time she worked for the mother of H G Wells who lived there for some time.  When at home she was surrounded by loving aunts, uncles and cousins. 

She later married Walter Roelich, lived at 20 Lavender Street, Brighton and bore Walter five sons; Archie, Harold, Bertie and Percy and Lizzie's grandfather Reginald.  Harold, Bertie and Percy died within five days of each other (Grandmother Roelich returned from the two boys' funeral to find Percy dead in his cot.)  Archie died a year later.

Lizzie's grandfather Reginald was only saved by the kindness of his aunts in South Harting who took him away for his safety.

Please read more about Grandmother Roelich on her pages '19th Century Life for Lotte'.

Brighton to South Harting

A Life Saved 1901

I seek to find

The folk so kind

Who saved great grandpa’s life.

For his small brothers

Did cry to mother

Who could not save their strife.


Four died from home

A whimper, moan

Their bodies limp and cold

One cot still warm

Another gone

The tears on white cheeks told.


So very ill

My eyes now fill

With sadness for their mother

Who loved her boys

Hushed now their noise

Soft cloth their faces cover.


Joy, one to save

For Reg no grave

His aunt and cousin came

Then home they flew

Clean air, good food

South Harting the place name.


Twas for their act

I make a pact

To find out who lives on.

Some love to give

Because we live,

Their kindness is not gone.

This poem began Lizzie's search for the family of her great grandmother before she married, with some success.  Offspring still live in West Sussex.

Uppark House, in South Harting is now owned by the National Trust and open to the public.  Lizzie sat in the kitchens once, on an original stone bench where it is likely her greatgrandmother sat at a girl.