Thomas Percy Atchison
(28 July 1857, Kilburn – 12 May 1899, Folkestone, east Kent)
Thomas Percy was the son of Mary Foster (19 November 1821, Rosella Place, Tynemouth, Northumberland – 7 October 1906, 57 Carlton Mansions, Maida Vale) and William Atchison (14 October 1823, Malta-1901, St Pancras district), who had married on 22 June 1852 at St Mark’s Church, Marylebone. William’s father was Thomas Atchison (4 December 1787, Stourbridge, Worcestershire – 4 December 1877, St Paul’s Road, Manningham, Bradford). Thomas’ parents were William Atchison and Mary Kendall (1757-1827). Mary was the daughter of George Kendall of Acklington Park Northumberland, who later moved to Stourbridge and granddaughter of Edward Kendall (of the Austrey Estate near Tamworth and Old Swinford near Stourbridge) and Miss Cotton of Haigh Hall, south of Wakefield, related to the Cottons of Combermere, Cheshire. William was her second husband – her first had been James Judgson of Market Drayton, Shropshire. She is buried in the Old Dulwich Burial Ground in south London1.
Thomas became a Gentleman Cadet at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich on 2 February 1803 and was appointed to his first unit as a Second Lieutenant on 9 June 1804. He rose through the officer ranks, becoming a First Lieutenant on 5 December 1804 and Second Captain on 17 February 1814. In 1823 he was stationed on Malta, where he married Catharine Mozle on 21 January that year, at which point Thomas was a bachelor. She was already the widow of Captain Richard Tomlinson (died 22 July 1821), paymaster of the 28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot. Tomlinson, who had entered that regiment as Ensign (then the lowest commissioned officer rank) and Quartermaster on 19 February 1805 2, rising to Lieutenant on 3 April 18063. Commissions were purchased in this era but Tomlinson achieved his promotion from Ensign to Lieutenant without purchase, suggesting it may have been for gallantry. He fought at Vitoria in Spain and against the French offensive in the Pyrenees in 1813, but was still a Lieutenant when he was slightly wounded on 28th July 18134 He probably advanced into southern France with the regiment until Napoleon’s first abdication in April 1814 before being reduced to half-pay and sent back to England. He was not taken off half-pay when Napoleon escaped from Elba and unlike his regiment did not fight at Waterloo.
Tomlinson was finally recalled from half pay to be the regiment’s paymaster on 22 August 1816, at which time it was still part of the Allied force occupying France5. The regiment was transferred to the Mediterranean in 1818 and Tomlinson went with it, marrying Catharine on Malta in 1818 and making his will on Corfu on 16 June 18216. When he died less than a month after making his will they had one surviving daughter, Catherine Grace Tomlinson (7 September 1819, Corfu or Ireland – 1888, Langbar, West Yorkshire). She was living with her step-father Thomas Atchison in 1851, 1861 and 1871 and gave her occupation as “House Proprietor and Annuitant” in 1851. However, in 1872 she married the Rev Charles Lomax Thomas (1831-1875) in Bowling, now a suburb of Bradford. As we shall see, her step-father Thomas Atchison also had links with Bowling from 1849 onwards.
From a Welsh clerical family, Charles Lomax Thomas had been vicar of St James’, Bowling since 1868 and had inherited his father Ilstid’s copy of the 1632 second edition of the Folio of the works of William Shakespeare, though it seems to have left the family soon after his death. It had a slip pasted onto its flyleaf with an apparent Shakespeare signature7, but this was proven to be a forgery shortly after its purchase from a Nevada book dealer around 1886 by the wealthy Chicago confectioner, art collector and autograph-fanatic Charles F Gunther – it was even ignored by Mark Twain in his 1909 work ‘Is Shakespeare Dead?’, a failed attempt to disprove William Shakespeare as the author of the plays.8 On her husband’s death only three years after their marriage, Catherine Grace moved to West View in Langbar, a village 4 miles north of Ilkley in West Yorkshire. She was heading a household there in 1881 – it included her undergraduate son I Thomas (1859, Ireland), her school governess step-daughter Mary Thomas (1861, Ireland) and a single servant.
The 28th Foot and Atchison’s Royal Artillery unit were both in the Mediterranean to garrison Corfu, the other Ionian Islands and Malta. Corfu and the Ionian Islands had been under French occupation from 1807 to 1815, when they were made a protectorate of Britain, making them a semi-official part of the British Empire and a major army and navy base until their handover to Greece in 1864. Malta had also become a British protectorate in 1800, when a blockade had ejected a French force which had captured it from the Knights of the Order of St John in 1798. It was promoted to become a crown colony in 1813 and remained a major Royal Navy base for the next century and a half.
Prior to the French invasion, the Order of St John had ruled Malta since 1530 as vassals of the Kingdom of Sicily, using Vittoriosa (now known as Birgu) on the south side of the Grand Harbour as their capital. They expanded and fortified the city was expanded into a naval base for Spanish galleys protecting the island from the Ottoman Empire. The Order also used the existing parish church of San Lorenzo a Mare as their conventual church for their first forty years on Malta. The Spanish fleet brought with them religious traditions which long outlived their presence. These included the celebration of the feast day of Saint Lawrence (San Lorenzo) on 10 August – one contemporary English-language newspaper described the 1827 festivities:
The church, forts, houses and shipping were brilliantly illuminated with variegated lamps, transparencies with suitable devices, a very good display of fireworks; the Grand Harbour, Bighi Bay, Dockyard, Renella and Isola Creek were covered with the native boats and yachts and one distinct batch of barges, launches, yawls, cutters, Dockyard boats, deck punts, pontoons, pleasure boats with bands from the different regiments, the latter being taken in tow by the former, tables groaning with every species of refreshment, the night was delightfully cool and the heavens bespangled with stars which were reflected by the sea , together with the lights from fifteen hundred boats produced a blaze of splendour to what we read of the Venetian style, and extreme animating, catches, songs and glees in all languages and instrumental music of the highest description , rendered it altogether truly of the Arabian Nights first order… there must have been thousands assembled.”9
The British garrison troops were expected to take part in the festivities and so Acting Adjutant John Somerville wrote to Captain Thomas Atchison and Lieutenant George Francis Dawson on 9th August 1823 to give directions to set off fireworks from Fort St Angelo that day and the following day to mark the feast day. Atchison and Dawson both held Protestant beliefs, however, and felt the festivities to be idolatrous. Not only did they not put these orders into effect, they also wrote a letter to their commanding officer later on 9th August pleading conscientious objections to carrying out the order. As Atchison later argued, Roman Catholic Irish soldiers were already given similar leave of absence from more Protestant ceremonies and so he felt they had a legal case to refuse the orders. However, the military authorities disagree, holding that this letter was “hesitating and remonstrating against carrying the said order into effect”. Thomas’ first wife Catherine also died on 26 October 1823.
William Atchison and his twin brother Thomas were baptised on 5 January 1824. On 24 March that same year a court martial was convened to try their father and Dawson for disobeying orders in August the previous year. Thomas senior wrote a letter to the General Officer heading the court to complain that it had “stopped the second head of my Defence…. viz to convince the Court … that I have not been actuated by a spirit of bigotry or obstinacy, but that my conduct has arisen from such a rational and conscientious view of the things to which I objected, as would satisfactorily account for what I had done”. He moved that the court denied “[me] the right to my Protesting conscience”. All this was refused as “abstract matter” and he and Dawson were found guilty of disobeying orders and of “insubordinate and unofficer-like conduct … highly subversive of military discipline, and holding forth a most dangerous example to the British army”. He was thus dismissed from the Royal Artillery on 18 July 182510.
Thomas began a long campaign to be reinstated in the army, publishing the court’s proceedings and his protests in 1825 under the long title: “Trial of Captain Thomas Atchison of the Royal Artillery by a General Court Martial at Malta in consequence of having requested to be exonerated from firing Patteraro salutes and tolling a Roman Catholic bell for the church and image rites of Roman Catholic priests with an appendix, describing those rights of the Romish and Greek Churches which British Protestant troops, infantry as well as artillery, were required by the priests to attend and assist; also, the nature of the attendance and assistance consequently ordered to be given. With official orders on the subject.”
Thomas also seems to have returned to Britain almost immediately after his dismissal, since he remarried at St Paul’s Cray in north Kent in August 1828 to Lydia Simons (1796, St Paul’s Cray, Kent – 1860, Brighton), youngest daughter of that village’s rector John Simons (died 1836, St Paul’s Cray)11 Lydia’s father had been in post since 1779 and died in harness after a fit of apoplexy whilst preaching12. Thomas and Lydia initially settled in Chelsea. Their first children Thomas (1824, Middlesex), John Simons (1830, Chelsea-1875, Bangkok) and David (1833) were born there, but christened at their grandfather’s church in St Paul’s Cray.
Thomas had three of his letters and various official documents on the case published by the Record Newspaper and in 1830 as a book entitled “The Idolatrous Ceremonies of the Roman Catholic and Greek Churches at Malta, Corfu, and Zante, in which the Officers, Civil and Military, and Troops of the British Army are Commanded to Join, Described … in Three Letters from T. Atchison, Etc”. The following year “The Orthodox Presbyterian” carried a collection of letters regarding this and similar instances of “the shameful practices of making British Protestant Officers to take a part in the idolatrous and superstitious practices of the Church of Rome”, with a comment from its editor that Atchison and Dawson had “been robbed (we cannot use a gentler term) of their commissions and rank, because they had principle enough to beg to be excused. To these honourable Christian men no compensation whatever has been granted by the Government.”13.
Thomas’ struggle was still ongoing in 1832, when he published “Statement of Mr. Atchison, Late Captain in the Royal Artillery, in Defence of His Military Integrity, Resting on the Facts in Evidence, the Military Laws, Principles and Precedents Belonging to the Case Tried by General Court Martial at Malta, in the Year 1824: With Answers to Accusations Foreign to the Charge, and to Other Wrongs Still Used to Support the Prosecution and Sentence : and an Appendix of Official Documents and Official Statements in Parliament, Relating to the Religious Ceremonies in Question.”
John Pemberton Plumptre, MP for East Kent, also took up Thomas’ case and on 17 July 1833 presented the House of Commons with a petition from Thomas himself, which proved unsuccessful 14. Plumptre and George Finch, MP for Stamford, presented more petitions in his favour from clergy, gentry and inhabitants from Kensington, Chelsea and West Bromwich on 25 June 1834 – the House was more sympathetic, but still no immediate action was taken 15
Thomas and Lydia had two more children, Daniel (1836, Chelsea-1888) and Thomas Joseph (1837) and in 1841 were living at 5 Trafalgar Square (now Chelsea Square), Chelsea with their children Thomas, John and Daniel. Thomas senior was then working as a clerk, possibly for the army records HQ in Chelsea, though in 1849 he also became one of the founding partners of the Bowling Iron Company, based in Bowling, now a suburb of Bradford. He also served for many years as its auditor whilst his son Daniel also worked for it as an ironmaster and cashier16. John later became a lawyer in Singapore and on 27 September 1856 was married at Sturry, Kent to Annie Thornton Mackeson, elder daughter of Henry Scroop Mackeson – the service was taken by Robert Heap, incumbent of St James’ Church, Walthamstow, assisted by Sturry’s rector J Wharton17. Thomas and Lydia were living on Markhouse Road in the parish of St James’ Walthamstow in 1851, with John and Daniel.
In 1855, thirty-one years after his original court martial, Thomas Atchison finally gained a qualified victory, as reported in a contemporary newspaper:
Major Thomas Atchison, of the Royal Lancashire Militia Artillery, formerly Captain in the Royal Artillery, who was dismissed from the service in the year 1824, by sentence of a General Court Martial, has been restored to his former rank of Captain in the Royal Artillery, and permitted to retire upon the full pay of that rank, from 16th June 1855; but without any claim for arrears of pay, or to be restored to his original place in the Royal Artillery”18
He became the Royal Lancashire Militia Artillery’s Colonel by 1860 – he even gave this as his occupation in the 1861 census, when he was living as a widower at 18 Victoria Road, Charlton with his step-daughter Catherine Grace and two servants. His final ranks were as that unit’s Lieutenant-Colonel-Commandant and then its Honorary Colonel19 before he finally died on his ninetieth birthday. The whole affair is an intriguing contrast to his grandson Thomas Percy Atchison playing the organ at an Anglo-Catholic church only sixty years after the court martial. A possible relation is the Thomas Aitchison recorded in 1885 as organist at the Presbyterian Church in North Shields20.
Thomas’ son William became a merchant for the East India Company, appearing as such in the 1871 census. At the time of his marriage to Mary Foster in 1852 she was living at Carlton Hill, St John’s Wood. She was the fifth child of Ann King and Myles Burket Foster (1785-1861) 21, who had married at a Quaker Meeting at Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 11 April 1811. Myles’ father Robert Foster was the grandson and heir of Myles Birket (1697, Swarthmoor, Cumbria – 1785, Lancaster), owner of various houses and iron furnaces near Lancaster as well as Hebblethwaite Hall (then in the West Riding of Yorkshire, now in Cumbria). Ann and her husband moved their family to London in 1828, setting up in business in Marylebone as the beer bottlers and port merchants M B Foster and Sons. In 1839 Mary’s elder brothers John Harrison and Dodshon left the Society of Friends and were baptised into the Church of England. In 1841 she was boarding in the household of the brewer John Verey at Paddock House, Willesden and three years later she went on holiday to the Lake District with her brothers John and Birket. By the 1851 census she had moved back in with her parents at 14 Carlton Hill West, Marylebone, where she still was at the time of her marriage in 1856. Mary’s brother Myles Birket Foster (1825-1899) was a popular painter, whilst his son Myles Birket Foster (1851-1922) was another organist.
William Atchison was a merchant in the 1871 census but later seems to have followed his father into the iron industry, since he stated himself to be an iron and steel agent in 1881. With the Foster family’s ironworking connections, this might also have been how he and Mary met. Their first child was the short-lived Mary Catherine (1853-1854), followed by William Ernest (1854-1889), Thomas Percy himself and Mary Florence (1860-1907)22. The family were living at 2 Elm Bank, Marylebone in 1861, at 15 Greville Road, Marylebone in 1871 and 1881 and 29 Greville Road, Marylebone in 1891 and 1901. William had retired by 1891, by which date all their children had also moved out. Mary gave her occupation as ‘Fundholder’, indicating her independent means. Thomas Percy was with his parents on census night in 1861 and 1881, but on census night in 1871 he was away boarding at Brooklands School in Uppingham, Rutland.
On 1st June 1882 Thomas Percy Atchison married Mary Reynolds (1856, Carshalton). She was the great-great-granddaughter of the Quakers Mary Foster (1712, Southwark-1741) and Thomas Reynolds (1714-1771). It is not entirely impossible that this Foster family might be distantly related to that of Thomas Percy’s mother Mary Foster (1821-1906), which also had Quaker roots, but it seems unlikely since the former can only be traced as far back as 1712 and seems to have originated in Southwark whereas the latter has roots going back to the 1640s in County Durham23. Thomas and Mary Reynolds’ son was the linen bleacher Foster Reynolds (1736-16 December 1797, Croydon), who married Elizabeth Hayes around 1750. Foster and Elizabeth’s most notable child was William Foster Reynolds (9 December 1767, Kingston, Surrey – 1838, Epsom district), who was still a Quaker on 10 December 1794 when he married Esther Morris (1773-1851), daughter of Joseph and Ann Morris, in Guildford – they had ten children, including Mary Reynolds’ father Charles (1813, Clapham-1899, Marylebone).
Charles’ elder brother Foster (1795-1864) was son-in-law of the social reformer Elizabeth Fry. Charles himself gained a BA at Trinity College in Dublin, calling it the “Friends College” in one census. However, he seems to have shifted to the Church of England by 1839, since on 4 April that year he got married at St James’ Piccadilly to Simmonette Susan Brown (26 December 1819, Mile End – 9 November 1893, St John’s Wood). Simmonette had been baptised on 5 April 1823 at St Dunstan’s Stepney and was the youngest of the five children of Thomas Brown (1763-1841) by his second wife Susanna Drewett, daughter of Peter Drewett (died 1797) of Colerne near Bath. He also had two sons, Robert and John, from his first marriage to Lydia Pearce of Broadstairs, east Kent.
Thomas Brown married Susanna Drewett in 1806 and by 1819 they were living at New Grove, Mile End, named after the Brown family estate of Newgrove in County Clare in the west of Ireland, which passed to the Brady family after the death in 1864 of Eliza Browne [sic] (widow of a Thomas Browne [sic] who died in 184724). Thomas Brown had also owned the Belvidere [sic] estate on Antigua in the West Indies, later selling it and taking back a mortgage for £5000 – this entitled him to £1877 19 shillings and 3 pence in compensation for the enslaved people on the estate when slavery was abolished in 1833. He was possibly also a partner in John Straker and Company, a shipbuilding firm in Jarrow, Northumberland. He was buried at Holy Trinity, Mile End on 26 February 1841 and in his will disposed of estates in Barkwell and estates and collieries in Jarrow25. Susanna herself was still living at New Grove, Mile End in February 1845, when her former servant Julia Jessy Payne was sentenced to ten years’ transportation for breaking in and stealing a desk from New Grove26.
Simmonette owed her unusual name to her mother’s family, the Drewetts, who originated as Huguenots (French Protestants) who had fled to England in 1685 when Louis XIV made Protestantism illegal again in France. They settled in Colerne, Wiltshire, where it became a landowning and gentry family. Susanna Drewett’s sister Frances married Benjamin Grainger of Norwood, Surrey and later stipulated in her will that Simmonette’s elder brother Thomas Drewett Brown (1807-1870) should take the Drewett surname and coat of arms, which he was allowed to do by royal license in 186727. He worked as a barrister and inherited Jarrow Hall in County Durham from his father in 1841, though he shut down its associated coal mine ten years later28. Her other siblings were Frederick William (who inherited New Grove in Mile End), Lydia Frances (married John C Chaytor, a baronet’s son) and Margarette Ann (married George Lee of Garratt House, Surrey).
On Simmonette and Charles’ marriage certificate both their fathers stated their profession or status as “Esquire”, whilst Charles was a merchant living on Regent Street. The witnesses to the marriage were the bride and groom’s fathers as well as Frederick Brown, Ann Brown and Forest Decker. Another source for the marriage records Charles’ father as “the late W.F. Reynolds, esq. of Carshalton House”, which would account for Mary’s birthplace29. Simmonette and Charles had at least five other children – Charles (1840), Emily Susan (1842, Norwood), Ellen Frances or Eleanor Frances (1845, Worthing, Sussex), Elizabeth A (1847, Worthing), Margarette Alice (1851, Wallington, Surrey) and Francis or Frank G (1859, Wallington).
The couple were living at Beaulieu House in Croydon in 1841 with Charles junior, four servants, a coachman and the coachman’s wife and daughter. Charles senior and Simmonnette were still in Surrey in 1851, now at Rush Mead in Wallington with Eleanor, Elizabeth and Margarette as well as four servants and Charles senior’s brother Willliam Reynolds (1809, Clapham), then a “barrister at law (not practising)”. Charles senior had been working as a merchant in 1841 but gave no profession in 1851 other than his graduate status. By 1861 the couple were in Rushey Meadow, Beddington, Surrey with Mary and all their other children except Charles junior. They still had four servants and Charles senior again boasted about his BA. He also stated his occupation that year as “Proprietor of Iron Mines and Land and Estate Agent”. This might explain why his daughter Mary came into contact with Thomas Percy Atchison, whose father William was an iron and steel agent in 1881. Charles senior’s brother Foster had retired to Carshalton and was at Hack Bridge Lodge in 1861. Charles senior and Simmonnette later moved out of Surrey and in 1871 they were living with Emily, Eleanor and two servants at 21 Clifton Road, Lisson Grove, Marylebone. Charles was now working as some kind of agent, probably an estate agent as in 1861. They had moved to 102 Clifton Hill, Marylebone by 1881 and had their five youngest children living with them. Mary, Emily and Maragrette were all working as governesses and Francis/Frank was a tea broker, but Charles senior had reverted simply to stating his BA as his profession.
Mary and Thomas Percy had three children – Ethel Margaret (12 May 1883, Forest Hill, Hampshire), Charles Foster (22 September 1885, Hendon district) and Harold Percy Reynolds (21 March 1889, Willesden Green-1955). Ethel’s birthplace and presumably Thomas’ 1883 address was 22 Kemble Road, Forest Hill, whereas in 1891 and 1895 he was living at Wallington Cottage, Heathfield Park, Willesden Lane. Ethel was living with her father’s parents and her aunts Eleanor and Margarette in 1891 – they were still at 102 Clifton Hill in Marylebone. Also in Mary and Thomas’s household in 1891 were their sons Charles and Harold and a single Cornish servant.
Thomas Percy’s day job was as an insurance clerk, as evidenced by the 1881 and 1891 censuses. He was a friend of the assistant priests Hunter and Hooton, the latter of whom wrote Atchison’s obituary in the June 1899 parish magazine. He had first met Hooton on All Saints Day (1st November) 1881, when he was organist at St Philip’s Sydenham in south-east London at the time of Hooton’s arrival there as curate.
Thomas Percy succeeded Gustavus Dace as organist at St Michael’s in April 1884 and played several times in the old Mission House. He also took Hooton on his first visit to St Michael’s for Canon Bristow’s evening sermon preparatory to the 1885 Mission. Despite expressing a wish to depart in the June 1884 parish magazine, Atchison in fact remained at St Michael’s for thirteen years. Penfold stated in a sermon the Sunday after his death:
Occupied with other work in the world, [he wished] to take up some Church work, and use the special gifts which God has given him was, for Mr. Atchison, his greatest interest in life. He threw himself with all his heart into his work, there was a verve, a devotion about his playing of the Services, springing from real reverence and love for what he did, which drew out a response of sympathy from all who worshipped with him in the Church, and their praises it was his joy to lead.
Hooton added in his obituary:
“He had good judgement in selecting music of a suitable and devotional character; but I should say that his special power was in his playing, at least in his playing the Church music with a view to making the congregation sing heartily; he played for the congregation rather than for the choir. An old member of the Sydenham congregation writes to me in regard of his loss- “He certainly played in a most expressive and impressive way, and always made me feel devotional.” This is just what we felt at St Michael’s.”
Thomas Percy Atchison finally did resign from St Michael’s in February 1897 due to failing health “and though he kept on bravely at his office to the last, his strength gradually faded away.” Just over two years later he died at 15 Alexandra Gardens in Folkestone aged only 41. His burial record stated his occupation as “Clerk”, suggesting that either he was still well enough to work or more likely that this had been his occupation before the final fatal onset of his illness. His funeral was held on 16th May 1899 at Christchurch in the town, attended by Hooton and with a cross of flowers from St Michael’s. He was buried later the same day in Plot 3124, Section 22 of Cheriton Road Cemetery in the town – in his obituary Hooton noted that “[Atchison] was always very fond of Folkestone, and his friends think it was happier for him to die there, and be buried there, than in London.” Earth has now built up around the edge of his tomb, but its inscription is still legible as “In Loving Memory of Thomas Percy Atchison Taken To Rest May 12th 1899 Aged 41 RIP”.
The June 1899 parish magazine announced “an offer to complete the window in the Chapel” as well as an offer from “Some of his colleagues in the City … to put up a small Brass in the Church in his memory.” That brass was put up “on the wall near the door” (presumably meaning the main door) and still survives. It reads “In memory of Thomas Percy Atchison, late Organist of this Church, who died at Folkestone on 12th May, 1899, aged 41 years. This tablet is placed here by some of his official colleagues in London.”
A writer in the October 1899 parish magazine stated that he or she had “only seen the Cartoon” for the window, but the window itself had still been ready for its dedication before evensong on the eve of Michaelmas earlier that year. Thomas’ father William had retired and moved to 29 Greville Road with his wife by 1891, where they also appear in the 1901 census. Thomas’ widow Mary remained in Kent living on her own means and appearing at 35 Cheriton Road, Folkestone with her children Ethel and Harold in 1901 and at ‘Sycamore’ in Elham with Ethel and a cousin of Mary’s, Margarette Agnes Woodhams (1874, Wandsworth-1952, Ealing district), in 1911. Margarette’s probable parents were Robert Woodhams (1845, Lullington, Sussex) and his wife Margarette Emily Lee (1846, Tooting, Surrey), who had married in Wandsworth district in 1873 and had two other two children, Walter Lee (1876, Notting Hill) and Ethel May (1878, Notting Hill). The whole family had been living at 18 Shaa Road, Acton in 1891 and all but Margarette Agnes were living at 71 Madeley Road, Ealing in 1901 and 1911. Robert was a bank manager in 1891 and 1901 but had retired by 1911 – Walter was a stockbroker’s clerk in 1901 and a stockbroker in 1911.
Thomas Percy and Mary’s son Harold Percy Reynolds Atchison married Mary Regina Wright (1886-1920, Tynemouth district) late in 1913 in Elham then Margaret Barry in Surrey in 1949 – his children were Dorothy (born 1915; married Geoffrey Sawyer and had two children) and Percy Francis (1915-2001; married Barbara Turberville and had two children). Charles Foster Atchison married Katie Price in Wandsworth district early in 1914.
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