Radcliffe on Trent village school, opened 1908

Photograph courtesy of Radcliffe on Trent Local History Society

Born: 1879 in Kirkby in Ashfield

Did not marry

Died: 4th February 1927 in Radcliffe on Trent

Before the war

In the 1881 census Eliza was two years old and living with her father William, age twenty-four, a police constable, mother Eliza, thirty, brothers Frank, five and John W. two months and sister Elizabeth, three. They were living at 110 Blidworth Road, Kirkby in Ashfield. Owing to her father’s job the family had to move around. Frank was born in Worksop, Elizabeth in Shireoaks and Eliza and John in Kirkby in Ashfield.

There is no trace of Eliza or her family in the 1891 census.

Eliza began her teaching career at Eastwood National School in 1897 as an assistant mistress and after a year she moved to the National School at Bingham where she again stayed for a year, leaving in 1900 to teach at Musters Road School in West Bridgford where she stayed until 1909. She moved to take over the headship of the Infants section at Radcliffe on Trent.

In the 1901 census she was a twenty-two year old school teacher living with her father William, who was now a Police Superintendent, her mother and a younger sister Nellie, age fifteen who was born in Skegby. They were living on Church Street, Bingham.

In the 1911 census Eliza is 32, single and a school teacher. They were now living at the Police Station in Bingham. Her mother (photograph below) had died on 25 June 1910.

Also living with them were her sister Nellie now 25, single and recorded as a housekeeper and a grand-daughter Nellie Martin, age 15 and born in Eastwood.

Her father was remarried in 1913 to Bertha E. Nicholson in Bingham.

Eliza took over the headship of the infant’s school in Radcliffe on Trent when Sarah Browne retired on 22nd December 1909. She earned much praise in the Inspectors report of 1913 – ‘The school has made steady and satisfactory progress in many ways: the children are receiving good training, and the teachers have been very well guided in managing their classes by the headteacher.’

During the war

She maintained her position as headmistress at the school. She was absent from school in July 1918 in order to see her brother who was home on leave. Many of her former pupils were on active service.

After the war

In November 1918 the school was closed due to the influenza epidemic and did not re-open until January 1919. Eliza was also absent suffering from influenza but fortunately survived and returned to her duties in mid March.

Article: The influenza pandemic and its impact on Radcliffe on Trent

Eliza is shown on the electoral rolls from 1918 as the occupier of one of the Twin Cottages on Bingham Road, Radcliffe on Trent.

1921 Census

Address: Visitor at The Vicarage, Car Colston

Employment: School teacher Radcliffe School

Household: The Taylor family, Herbert Taylor is an agricultural engineer.

She was the headmistress at the school up until she died in 1927.

Her will shows that she was living in Twin Cottages on Bingham Road, Radcliffe on Trent and that she died a spinster on 4th February 1927. Administration was granted to her father William, a retired Police Superintendent. She left effects of £704.2s.8d.

Marion Caunt

William Frear 1857-1935
Photographs of Eliza’s parents courtesy of the family

Article from The Nottingham Journal, Wednesday 9 February, 1927



Passing of Popular School mistress


The Radcliffe-on-Trent council schools have lost one of the best friends and teachers in the passing away of Miss. E. Frear, who has been headmistress of the infants’ department for the last 17 years.  The funeral took place yesterday at Bingham.

Miss Frear was very well known in the village for her kindness and won many friends in all classes.  She was actively associated with Radcliffe parish church and a prominent member of the Women’s Institute.  Miss Frear’s father was for many years police superintendent at Bingham.

The first part of the funeral service was held at Radcliffe Church and conducted by the Rev. R. C. Smith (vicar).  The surpliced choir chanted the Nune Dimittis and her favourite hymn, “The God, My Father, while I stray” was sung by the schoolchildren.  The church was crowded by parents who came to pay a last token of respect.  The organist was Mr. G. F. Perkins.

The family mourners included: Mr. and Mrs. Frear (father and mother), Mr. and Mrs. Martin (sister and brother-in-law).  Among others present were Mrs. C. Birkin. Mr. and Mrs. James Haslam, Mr. G. Norton (headmaster), Misses Barratt, Packwood, Cuthbert, Beaton, Green (teachers), and Mrs. Howell; Mr. and Mrs. A Rushton, Mrs. Parr, Miss. White, Miss. Green, Mrs. Smalley, Mrs. Fletcher, Mrs. Levi, Mrs. Lawrence, Mrs. Stevenson, and many others.

The wreaths included tributes from Col. and Mrs. C. W. Birkin; the school staff, the managers of the school; infants’ departments (two).  Mrs. Parr, Mrs. Rushton, Miss. White, Mrs. Smalley, Mrs. Fletcher and the Women’s Institute.