Rayner family timeline

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Presumably JERS sent this to me; the file I have is dated 2004-03-19. JERS's niece Rosalind clarified the context a bit in 2022:

This is a timeline which Ben constructed for us (with some really nice photographs), after our cousin Rosamund had done family research and produced a detailed family tree. [...] You will see that it is mostly concerned with Daphne and Eric. Ben included some extracts from a handwritten memoir which Dad wrote and which my nephew Cassius now has. Unfortunately Dad did not keep it up and it goes not much further than the WWII sections you can see. I don't think I knew it existed until after he had died. The Sutclliffes and Du Canes are my cousins in Pilley Bailey near Lymington in the New Forest, nearby East Boldre is the small village where Ben was born and where Dad's ashes were scattered. Ben told me he had put this timeline on the net somewhere, which is obviously where Woozle came across it.


1992 Catherine Ryan christened at St John's Boldre Hampshire 1996 Nov 22 Charles Edward Byron Du Cane dies at Forest Cottage Pilley Bailey Hampshire aged 86 March, Glenn & Louise Sutcliffe purchase Greenacre, Wooden House Lane, Pilley Bailey, Hampshire from Leslie John Du Cane.
1861 Montague Stephens born
1871 Edith Bailey born
1892 MS @Jersey&Gorey
1894/5 MS @Rio/Montevideo/Belem
1896 Montague Stephens marries Edith in Falkland Is.
1896-99 M&E@Canobie Canada
Maurice born
1899 Feb 2 Biddie born in Esquimault BC
1902 Sept 30 Eric Rayner born Thaton Burma
Clive born (?)
1903 Oct 27 Phyllis born at Saltash Cornwall
1905 Stephens'@Bermuda
1909 July 23 Daphne born Whitchurch Tavistock Devon
1918 October E.'s father dies (Stella Lodge 49th.St.Rangoon)

"When I saw him I had a shock. I hadn't seen him since the previous Christmas holidays when I had made a bullock-cart trip with him to Shwegyin, to which he had just been posted - our last cart-trip together...now he was gaunt with a wasted smile and a weak voice.."

"He was buried the next morning...in the Cantonment Cemetary. I carried one corner of the coffin. I remember that the sun shone and that I thought how odd it was that I should be helping to bury my father, to whom only the day before I had been reading the war news out of the morning paper. He was thirty-nine at the time of his death." [quotes from E's "Journal" written between 1939 and 1942]

1921 Jan E.starts teaching at Church School in Mandalay then to family in Rangoon
1922 July 1 Biddie marries Captain John Hamilton Maxwell Staniforth Leinster Regiment at Hayling Island, Hampshire.
1923 Edith & Monty seperate
1925 April E.to Calcutta to join "The Statesman"
1928 April 4 Rosamund Ann Staniforth born
1929 October E.marries Elma Glassup (Bonnie) in Calcutta
  • May : E.to England(with Bonnie)
  • July 28: Phyllis marries E.P.Appleby in Trincomali
  • Sept.16:
    • D. to Colombo(with Elizabeth Kenning to visit her mother)
    • E. to Calcutta - both on board B&I Domala: "The people on board were the usual crowd on any India-bound ship - sahibs and memsahibs, with a sprinkling of sahibs and memsahibs to-be, people going out for the first time, to jobs or to be married. It was deadening, till I met Daphne. We usesd to sit near each other on the deck, without speaking...then one day when we were in the Red Sea I spoke to her and after that we were always together...we knew each other for ten days on that ship and at the end of that time we had decided that we had to make a new life together."

"She came to me as an equal. I was 31 unsatisfactorily married with a consciousness of intellectual gifts that were wasting in a society I hated and despised...I sneered..inevitably.. I posed. But Daphne cut through all these barbed-wire entanglements that surrounded me..[we] wanted to be with each other always."

"The obstacles seemed so great and we were seperated, that was the worst to bear, the seperation."

"We had made a decision, she and I, and it was a decision that had to be carried out in the face of all obstacles...It never occured to either of us to think of wavering."

"When I think of that time now[Sept 17th.'39]my feelings are a mixture of wonder and fear and gladness..."

[D in a letter to Marjorie]

Commisioner's House Trincomali Oct 1933

On the top verandah..it is fairly cool & undisturbed, though the people going by along the road are rather distracting. I can see the sea, a placid whitish blue & a hot strip of sand. The house is hemmed in by trees & mother has a regular jungle of shrubs in pots. I have had a bathe this morning before breakfast & Elizabeth has been sketching. She is very brave: the other day we went to the market with Augustine the cook & she started sketching. The whole market rose as one man & clustered round at her elbow! Augustine came along & let out a few oaths & the crowd thinned a bit.......We dined on board the Colombo their last night. Elizabeth & I feel like film stars trailing up & down companion-ways & in & out of launches with masses of handsome(?) white clad officers saluting all over the place!

  • Jan.: D.returns UK [March 6 Craven Hill Gdns?]
  • July 22: E.returns UK on the Comorin from Bombay arr.Portsmouth via Marseilles (in his journal he recalls: July 22. Then "The Orchard" Hotel nr. Marble Arch for 6 days, "How wonderful London was that July!" Then at the end of the month to D's cottage at Vron).
  • April: Edith&Solomon take house in Bromley
  • May 26: Claire Appleby born
  • June 25: Applebys to Woodcote Close Epsom
  • Sept 28: D&E retn London Sydney St?
  • Easter-June: D&E @ "Cornerways" Thorns Beach (Easter Ros&Bids visit)
  • by August: D&E @ "Ivyroost" East Boldre
  • Sept: Bids & Max & Rosamund at "Foundry Cottage" Haslemere
  • December 4: Benedick born in East Boldre
  • Aug 19: Daphne & Eric Rayner married @Wandsworth Registery office "But the day we took as our wedding day is the 22 July 1934 when our new life began.."
  • August 29: James Appleby born
  • [Oct Dulcee&Irene Rayner arr.UK from Rangoon]
  • Oct: D&E&B @ KingswoodRuffs,Greyshot nr.Hindhead
  • [Jan 1 D&I take Lavender Cottage]
  • Sept 25: D&E&B @ 20 Greville Place
1938 B & M & Rosamund @ The Potteries Graffham nr.Petworth
  • Sept 23: Phyl,Ambrose&James to Colombo
  • Oct 9: Clare Appleby dies
1939 D&E&B @ Upper Park Rd
  • March 2: Applebys retn UK
  • Sept 1: Ben evacuated to Timsbury nr.Bath
  • Sept 3: WW2 declared

"I had visualised swarms of bombers, showering death and destruction on London and thought gladly of Benedick safe in SDomerset. We had waited in the hall downstairs, the apprehension in our hearts. A lorry driver had stopped his lorry in the street outside and came in to shelter in the hall. He had said, "I didn't think Hitler would start as soon as this". Later we had walked across Hampstead Heath to Jack Straw's Castle to catch the bus, feeling very self-conscious with our new gas-masks in their cardboard boxes slung across our shoulders. Hampstead Heath had looked much as it had always looked on a Sunday. The anti-aircraft guns, the allotments, the rubble of London's bombed buildings filling the sandpits by the Spaniard's Road were yet to come."

  • November: Ben back to London then to December - Aspley Guise
  • June: D&E&B @Liverpool,Croxteth Grove,Sefton Park. then D&B @Vron

"that was a wonderful summer, it was difficult to imagine the horror of the war. But the army had taken over part of the New Brighton beach, there were hundreds of French sailors in Liverpool's streets looking a bit forlorn; there were tank barriers and barbed wire on the roads to Chester and into Wales and later in the streets of Liverpool itself, round the docks and the Mersey Tunnel entrance. We went to a fire station to hear a short lecture on fire bombs and to learn how to use a stirrup pump. (Benedick liked working the hose!) One night the sirens went and we sat in the cellar of the house - Benedick enjoyed that too! - feeling a little tense and helpless and not knowing quite what to expect. A plane droned somewhere and we waited...and then the sirens sounded the all-clear and we went to bed. Yes, the sun shone that summer on the yet unmarked face of England. The force that had smashed the face of Europe was gathering for the crowning blow.. but we did not know... the vicious strength of that blow nor the inadequacy of our own strength. How could we? The sun had shone on England so long and we were warm with it, drugged. Our awakening was to come." (April 25 1942)

  • August: D&E&B @Canfield Gardens, Finchley Road
  • Sept 6th.: move to 15 Cannon Place, Hampstead.

"The next day the Germans flew up the Thames and set the London docks ablaze...There were sometimes vapour trails patterning the London sky, and once or twice we stood in the streets and watched British fighters flying regimented and purposeful in the autumn sunlight."

Staniforths @Bognor Regis

  • Oct 22: Annabel Rayner born, Staniforths @Flimwell
  • November: Rayners move to Well Walk Hampstead
  • Maurice "Molly" Stephens dies
  • James to Cleeve Crt prep-school Malvern Wells
1945 Rosamund @Well Walk
  • Sept: Ben to PR at Gorehambury St Albans
1946 Sept 22 Rosalind Rayner born; Staniforths @Bexhill
1947 Feb10 Applebys move to "Windyridge" Reigate
1948 Feb 28 Linda Appleby born
1949 Sept Ben to Bryanston; James to Eastbourne College
  • Dec 10: Edith Grundy dies at Redhill
  • Dec 19: Montague Stephens dies at Bexhill
1951 Staniforths @Sixpenny Handley
  • July 28: Rosamund Ann Staniforth marries Charles Edward Byron Du Cane,(known as Tony).
  • March 12: Leslie Du Cane born at Forest Cottage Pilley Bailey Hampshire
  • May 6: Ben starts National Service
  • May: E to BBC
  • June: B to BAOR
  • Sept 29: James starts NS (RASC)
  • May: Ben de-mobbed
  • Aug 7: Jane DuCane born at Forest cottage,Pilley Bailey, Hampshire.
  • Sept: James de-mobbed
  • Oct: Ben to Technicolor
    Rosalind to Sth.Hampstead High School
1958 May 29
  • Daphne to Italy with Elizabeth Kenning
  • B. to Worldwide(Clapham)
1959 & Summer of the 17th.Doll
1960 James to Philippines
  • March 26 Louise Sarah Du Cane born at Forest Cottage, Pilley Bailey, Hampshire.
  • [Jan 14: Carol Corbett to Well Walk]
  • Aug 26: James Appleby & Esther married in Manila
    Linda Appleby dies
1962 June 29 E&P move to "West Point" Reigate Hill
1963 July B to Lonsdale Sq. Islington
  • Sept.21: Ben Rayner marries Kate Leahy at St.Mary's, Lewisham
  • Feb: Aaron born to AR
1965 April 30 Emma born to RR
1966 Sept 3
  • Rosalind marries Christopher McClure at Christ Church, Hampstead
  • Rosalind & Chris to Compagne Gdns
  • James&Esther rtn UK - Horley Surrey
1967 D&E move to Maze Hill Greenwich
1968 B&K "on location" in Paris; R&C to Knockholt
  • June 29: Vanessa McCure born
  • August: B&K to Rippingale
    James starts at British Olivetti
  • Jan: R,C&V move to Plumstead
  • March 25: Biddie dies at "Greenacre" Wooden House Lane, Pilley Bailey, Hampshire.
  • May 8: D&E to Corby Glen
  • Feb 17: Rachel McClure born
  • May 26: Cassius Rayner born
  • August: B&K&C to 4 Kingswood Rd Shortlands
  • Dec ?: Bel to Spitalfields
1972 Jan 6 Vanessa Appleby born
1973 B&K&C to South Street Greenwich
1974 J,E & V move to Pound Hill Crawley
  • June 16: Charlotte Rayner born
  • October 10: E's mother Irene dies in Cricklewood
  • Oct/Nov: (B @120 Palace Rd.Tulse Hill)
    James starts at Southern Water
  • July 17: Leslie John Du Cane marries Alison Noel Carus at Harborne nr Birmingham
  • August 9: D&E move to Spitalfields
  • Sept 10: Eric Rayner dies (London); D.writes in her diary - brief & to-the-point as usual: "SAT 18 left 7.30am for E Boldre, scattered the ashes on moor opposite Ivyroost. Back by 6"
  • October 18: Daphne moves to Ramsgate (50 Addington St)
    B&K divorce
    Kate,C&C to Hastings
1977 B.to Glenton Rd.
  • E&P move to "Cedar View" Reigate
  • R,V&R move to Addington St Ramsgate
1979 James starts at Honeywell Hemel Hempstead and moves to Caddington nr Luton
Rosalind & Chris divorce
1980 July B starts "Dance Craze"
1981 Feb? B.back to BFCS
1982 May 1 Louise Sarah Du Cane marries Glenn Sutcliffe (of Mansfield Woodhouse) at Boldre
1983 Annabel marries Daniel Swain @ Limehouse
1984 Ben to Deptford (and "Blue Pearl" bought)
  • June 25: Daisy born
  • Dec 26: Max Staniforth dies at Hawkhurst, cremated at Tunbridge Wells and buried alongside Biddie at St Johns, Boldre, Hampshire.
    R,V&R move to Bradley Rd Ramsgate
1987 July B.leaves BFCS
  • Jan 20: Daphne dies at Margate
  • Oct 8: Ambrose Appleby dies
  • Dec 5: B.starts @Lexington Post
  • March 4th Evie(?)[1] Sutcliffe born in Queen Victoria Hospital Bournemouth,
  • June 11th Evie(?) Sutcliffe christened at St John's Boldre.
1991 Nov 7 Jane Du Cane marries Terence Michael Ryan at St John's Boldre, Hampshire.
1995 Jan B.lvs.Lex.Post and moves(partly)to The Gambia
1997 Jan Rosalind moves to Albert Rd Ramsgate
1998 Oct. B.returns to UK
1999 June 8 Esther dies
2000 August 8 Phyllis dies


  1. Changed from birth name in 2021 or 2022; Rosalind is not sure of new name.