Pat Allingham



Margaret Smith has researched the origins of a grave close to Winifred Fortescue's in Opio and provided the information below.


Opio Cemetery 2005

At the beginning all we knew of Pat Allingham was that he died on 29th November 1939 and was buried in the cemetery of Opio, nr Grasse in France, the marble headstone showing his name and date of death. So to find out more, a visit to the Opio Mairie was made to ask to see the death certificate.  The details revealed on this gave me the clues to find out more about him.  The first surprise being his name - not Pat but Arthur.

 Acte No. Huit   Décés No. cinq


Le vingt-neuf Novembre mil neuf cent trente neuf, dix heures, est décédé, en notre Commune

ALLINGHAM Arthur, né le quinze Mars mil huit cent soixante treize, à Londres (Angleterre) de Guillaume ALLINGHAM, et de BROWNING Louise tous deux decédés.

Dressé le vingt neuf Novembre mil neuf cent trente neuf, dix-sept heures, sur la déclaration de CASTELLI Auguste, cinquante ans, domicilie à Opio, non parent du dèfunt, qui lecture faite, a signe avec nous, Joseph CARLAVAN, adjoint au Marie, Officier de l'Etat Civil part delegation.

J. Carlavan                                             Castelli


(My rough translation)  On the twenty-ninth of November, one thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine, ten o'clock, died in our Commune ALLINGHAM Arthur, born on the fifteenth of March, one thousand eight hundred and seventy three, in London (England) of Guillaume ALLINGHAM, and of BROWNING Louise, both dead.

On the twenty-ninth of November, one thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine, seventeen hours, on the declaration of CASTELLI, Auguste, fifty years old, living at Opio, not a relative of the deceased, who read it, signed with us, Joseph CARLAVAN, deputy to Marie, Civil Status Officer share delagation. 

06-Ville D'Opio - Alpes Maritimes

Photocopie certifiee conforme a l'acte original.  Opio, le 09 Oct 2006

Pour L'Officier de l'Etat Civil delegate. 

Using the online research resources now available, such as ancestry, findmypast, the general record office, freebmd, some of his life could be found.   

But not the answer to the intriguing question of why he went to Opio - did he know Elisabeth Starr I wonder!?



also known as ‘Pat’


Arthur was born on 15 March 1872 (not 1873 as entered on the death paper) in Walworth, Surrey.  He was the 3rd child of 9 born to James William Allingham and Louisa Susan nee Browning who’d married on 10 October 1864 in the Parish Church of Christ Church, Spitalfields.  James was a bachelor aged 23, a clerk, and Louisa a spinster aged 26.  Their fathers were William Allingham, a gentleman, and John Hunwicks Browning, an upholsterer. 

His siblings were:

William Jackson (1866-1943)  He married Adelaide Beatrice Lewis (1877-1968) in 1922; they had no children.  William was an artist and poet according to The British Museum: they have prints by him dated 1917.  They also cite that “similar oval prints are held in the National Trust Collections”.  The NT website shows 12 pictures of his oval bucolic rural scenes. 

Herbert John (1868-1936)  He married Emily Jane Hughes (1879-1960) on 3 June 1903 in St. James’s Church, Gunnersbury.  They had 3 children Margery Louise (1904-1966), Philip William(1906-1969) and Emily Joyce (1913-2001).  He was a journalist and writer and was quite prolific.  (There is a biography written by Julia Jones of Fifty Years in the Fiction Factory)  The funeral notice in the Chelmsford Chronicle did not mention Arthur attending his brother’s funeral, so perhaps he and Florence were already in France.

Of course, Margery was also a prolific novelist who created the Campion books amongst many others.  Philip also wrote, his occupation being Journalist in the 1939 Register; he died in 1969 aged 63.  Apparently Joyce, as she was known, worked for him, didn’t marry and died in 2001 aged 88 (there is more about her on the website) 

Florence Jane (1870-1875)  The only daughter that James and Louisa had sadly died aged 5. 

Charles Claude (1874-1949) and Walter (1875-1940) married the Lukyn sisters - Gertrude May (1878-1944) and Theodora Rose (1873-1957)  Charles was an actor and was known as Claude, running his own company: for instance he advertised a tour of the play Motherless by Herbert Fuller in mid 1916 to various theatres in Liverpool, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Nottingham etc.    Walter travelled in fine art becoming a Fine Art Dealer by 1939.  Walter and Theodora had no children and Charles and Gertrude had one daughter.  

Albert Edward (1877-c1952)  Albert seems to have bucked the trend of writing or art and worked as a gardener on his own account.  It seems likely he went to Canada in 1911, but I have nothing definite after that, and without buying the 1952 death certificate I’m not certain it’s him. 

Philip (1879-1934)  Philip married twice, as his marriage in 1921 to Amelia Sims Whitecross (1883-1960) shows him as a widower.  He worked as an Advertising Agent along with his younger brother Ernest, following on from their father, having an office in Fleet Street. 

Ernest (1882-1958)  Ernest married Poppy Borroson (1897-1979) in 1934 and they had one son.  Ernest worked with his brother as an Advertising Agent.


At the age of 32 Arthur married 38yr old Miss Florence Jane Fisher on 9 January 1904 in the Parish Church, Chiswick.  (poignant that he should marry a Florence Jane)  Arthur’s brother Philip and Florence’s married sister Nellie were the witnesses.  Florence & Nellie’s father Henry had already died and their mother died later that year. 

Florence was born in December 1864 in Guildford Road, Kennington to Henry and Louise Ellen nee Fulcher, their 3rd child of 6, their 1st having died an infant.  Apart from Nellie who had no children, she had another sister Grace Amy (I can’t trace her after the 1891 census).  She also had 2 brothers who married but only Herbert had a child, a daughter Marie who in the 1939 Register was working as ‘Scribe, Illuminator, Painter, Artist’, so perhaps being influenced by her uncle Pat!  The other brother Percy Louis married at the age of 47 and had no children, his wife dying in 1926.  His claim to fame is that he was a well-known athlete and as the Vice President of the British Athletic Association he sailed to Canada for the Empire Games in 1930.  But it was on the voyage out that he’d a slight stroke and he developed ‘sleeping sickness’ from which he died in a Montreal hospital. 

In the 1911 census Arthur and Florence were living in 18 Union Road, Clapham where Arthur worked as an Artist on his own account at home.  (Googling his name as either Arthur or Pat doesn’t bring up mention of him)  They had no children.  

The next mention of them is in the London Electoral Rolls where in 1929/30 they’re in 41 Burlington Road, Chiswick, along with Florence's widowed brother Percy Louis. 

After that there is no trace.  Neither Arthur nor Florence is listed in the 1939 Register, so I presume they were already in France. 

Arthur’s widow Florence died aged 91 on 30 October 1955 in ‘Hollinghurst’, Sedlescombe Road North, St. Leonards, Hastings, Sussex, her niece Miss Marie Elsie Therese Fisher being the informant on her death certificate. 

It appears that neither Arthur nor Florence left a will. 


Arthur’s census details

1881 - 59 Upham Park Rd, Walworth - aged 9, with parents James W 40, an Advertisement Canvasser, & Louisa 41, and brothers Herbert John 13, Charles C 7, Walter 5, Albert 3 & Philip 1.

1891 - 365 Goldhawk Rd, Hammersmith - aged 19, an articled pupil Artist Etcher, with parents James W 50, Advertising Agent, & Louisa 49, and brothers William J 25, Artist’s Etcher, Herbert J 23, Journalist, Claude C 17, Albert E 13, Philip 11 & Ernest 9.

1901 - still at 365 - aged 29, Artist (Sculptor), with parents James W 60, Advertising Agent & Louisa 60, and brothers William J 35, Artist (Sculptor), Herbert J 33, Journalist, Claude B 27, Clerk in Advertising, Albert E 23, Printer’s apprentice, Philip 21, Advertising clerk, & Ernest 19, Solicitor’s Clerk.

The documents associated with this research, census forms etc, are available at this link.

 Margaret Smith, November 2017


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