Elizabeth Amelia Aburn

31 January 1853 - 28 February 1938

Elizabeth Webster (nee Aburn) at 73

An Adventurous Life Ended

Mrs. E. A. Webster’s Travels

Mrs. Elizabeth A. Webster, 9, Broomhill-road, Woodford Green, who had lived in Woodford for more than forty years, passed away peacefully on Monday, just a month after her eighty-fifth birthday.

She was the widow of the late Mr William Webster.

Her’s was a full life. When she was seventeen years of age, by the invitation of a relative, she left England with some other girls for a voyage to Australia in a sailing vessel. The journey took about 130 days. Her many friends wanted her to settle in Melbourne, but innocently and truthfully she referred to her sweetheart in England; she promised to return some day. The journey back to England took many days longer because the vessel becalmed for several days.

Fifty years later Mrs Webster again visited Australia, this time to stay with two of her daughters who had married and settled in Australasia, one in Tasmania, the other in Western Australia. She often described this voyage, by a modern liner as "not so good," because in the sailing vessel all the meat was fresh killed, not frozen. One portion of the ship was a veritable farmyard, consisting of chickens, sheep, cows etc.

Note: No record of Elizabeth's first voyage to Australia has been found. On the second voyage she travelled with her daughter May Ittner and family. They departed London on the 10th March 1920 on the Ormonde and arrived in Fremantle on the 2nd May.

She twice visited America and when eighty years of age travelled across Canada from Quebec to Vancouver, and stopping at Toronto and the Rockies. She stayed some months with her eldest daughter in Seattle, and whilst there toured extensively by motor car, including thousands of miles in California, and visits to Los Angeles and San Francisco, ultimately returning home via Chicago, New York where she attended a service at the original church of Christian Science.


She had nine children, five boys and four girls, all whom survive her – those eligible, including her son-in-law Charles T. Southwick served in the Great War, all came back except Sergeant Southwick of the Grey Brigade; he was reported missing early in the year 1915. His widow, Lily Southwick, has been a very devoted and self-sacrificing daughter, who patiently attended to the needs of her parents.

Mrs. Webster was a member of the Wesleyan Church, Derby-road, and the services were attended regularly by all the family until they grew up, married, and left the immediate district.

Mrs. Webster identified herself with politics, giving support to Sir John Simon when he was the Member of Parliament for Walthamstow which then included Woodford. She supported the Suffragette Movement and had strong views upon temperance.

Her great love was for the quiet charm of the Isle of Wight where she spent many summer months nearly every year.

The funeral will take place at High Beech, on Saturday, following a service at Derby-road Methodist Church, Woodford.

- From a Newspaper Cutting

Methodist Church, Derby Road, Woodford © Copyright Stuart Shepherd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Wesleyian (Methodist) Church in Derby Road, Woodford where Elizabeth Aburn worshipped. It was built in 1876-1877 and is still standing but currently seems to be used as a community centre.

One page in the series The Websters of Ashleigh