Elizabeth Roger Proctor b1880

Eliza Roger Proctor

Eliza Roger Proctor was born to Rev William and Bathia Proctor at the United Presbyterian Manse at Oban in 1880. Her father moved with his family to Dublin in 1884, where he became minister at the Free Presbyterian Church in Lower Abbey Street. There are few details to be found of her life in Dublin. The 19911 census gives her as a "Domestic science teacher". She married at the age of 37 to Charles Grant in 1917, while he was home from leave on the Somme. Their only child, Alan Grant, was born in Dublin in 1918. Her husband moved to Belfast in 1922 after Irish independence, in order to carry on with his career in the Civil Service. It is a little unclear as to whether the marriage effectively folded at this time, or not. It would appear that she spent most of the next 20 years in England, and he husband in Belfast. Alan went to boarding school at Southsea, Hampshire, but spent his holidays with his grandfather Thomas in Dublin, rather than with either of his parents. Eliza is said to have been in poor health for much of this time, and spent long periods in hospital with chest complaints, which I assume to be TB (one of her sisters died of TB)

Jane Pugh 1915 Alan P Grant 1918 Charles Grant 1881 Bathia Steedman 1853 Rev William Proctor

1880. Eliza Roger Proctor born 15th March 1880 at the United Presbyterian Manse, Oban. Daughter of William Proctor, Minister of UP Church and Bathia Proctor (nee Steedman) who had been married on 2nd April 1874 at Stirling. William Proctor, father, was present. (certificated birth entry)

The UP Manse at Oban

1881 census shows her at Oban Manse with her mother. Her father is staying at his in-laws at Stirling that day with the eldest child Kate,

Little is known of her youth. Her father took the family to Dublin in 1884, when she was 4 years old, so her formative years were in Dublin. Her sister Bathia went to Rathgar School with the exception of one year at Stoneygate College, Leicester (an obituary of her sister states that all the Proctor sisters spent a year there, but it is difficult to see why they went from Dublin to Leicester. This school was founded in 1886.). One assumes the Elsie followed the same schooling. She liked to paint. We have one of her little paintings also a large pencil drawing with Lizzie Proctor Stage 5B March 1889 on the back. They both look like something she did in an art class.

She qualified as a teacher in domestic science, and was head of the domestic science department at Rathmines Technical College at the time of her marriage in 1917.

1917. Charles William Grant married Lizzie (or Elsie as she was known) Proctor, daughter of the Rev William Proctor and his wife Bathia Proctor of 28 Kenilworth Square, Rathgar, Dublin. Elsie and Charles Grant were married on 15th January 1917. Mr Proctor, assisted by several clergymen married them in the Church of Scotland Church, Abbey St, Dublin, of which Mr Proctor was minister for almost 40 years. Dorothy Bigger, a very old friend of both Elsie and Charles, was her bridesmaid, and Charley Bailey, adjutant of Charles's regiment, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, was the best man.

Charles Grant wrote "It happened that Charley Bailey was home on sick leave at the time. He was an old pal from my rowing days at the Dolphin Club. I had wired him “Will you do the needful for me?” from France. When I arrived home I heard that he had been to 24 Rathgar Road and had intimated his willingness, and also a wedding present, a silver jam dish and tray, on which he had engraved “from fed up”. He frequently used those words in France to all and sundry when he was busy. Also Charley Bailey is no longer alive. He died some two years after his demobilisation. After our wedding Elsie and I went to stay at the Ross’ Hotel in Kingston for two nights, after which she crossed to London with me. Here after one more night, we parted and I returned to France"

Within a week of his return to France, Charles Grant was hospitalised with shell shock, and after spending several months in nursing homes, was eventually invalided out of the army in 1918

Their only child, Alan Proctor Grant, was born on 27th July 1918 when they were living at 28 Earlsworth Terrace, Dublin. She was then aged 39, so perhaps it is understandable that she had no more children.

Alan Grant in Dublin 1919
Elizabeth Proctor with son Alan 1921
with son Alan circa 1924

She spent some time staying in Southsea near her son Alan's school and was a patient at King Edward VII Hospital Midhurst Sussex. Then a chest sanatorium (mainly TB). It closed in 2006.It became part of St Richards Hospital Chichester. It had verandas all around so that the patients could sit out in the sunshine. She was there when Alan was at school not far away at Southsea.

King Edward VII Hospital Midhurst Sussex

She also played the piano and she taught her daughter-in-law Jane how to cook. She was an accomplished needle woman. She made 2 needlepoint firescreens that were family heirlooms.The 2 Poker Players and a Peacock. Her daughter in law, Jane Grant, always said she was a really nice lady.

With son Alan circa 1932

It is not clear how estranged she was from her husband Charles Grant. It would appear that she did not move to Belfast in 1922 with him. There is a long period between 1922 and 1945. Where she lived in England is not clear, nor do we know how much of the time she spent in hospital. At some point during or just after the war, she returned to live in Holywood with her husband, and died there a few years later.

Elsie died on 15th January 1947 at Ardmore, Holywood, Co Down, where they had their home. Her remains were interred in the family grave in Holywood cemetery. Her widower, Charles Grant, re-married on December 2nd later the same year.

Elizabeth Roger Proctor in Proctor index