Ethel Churm

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Born: 19 Sep 1892 Died: 26 June 1968 Married: Ross Syed Mother: Annie Stoppard Father: William Churm Descendant: Philip Syed
Census 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921


Ethel Handforth Churm was born on the 19th September 1892 in Manchester. Her parents were William Joseph Churm and Annie Stoppard, a shop keeping family (with four shops in Manchester). She was born at 24 Alexandra Grove, Chorlton-on-Medlock, this was where her parents were living in the 1891 census and was what was reported in the newspaper at the time:

From the Manchester Evening News, 20th September 1892:

CHURM.- On the 19th inst., at 24, Alexandra Grove, Chorlton-on-Medlock, the wide of W.J. Churm, of a daughter.

By 1901 her family had moved to 65 Palatine Road, Northenden, Manchester, Cheshire.

Birth Registration:

Ethel Handforth Churm, December Quarter, 1892, Chorlton, Lancashire (Volume 8c, Page 847) 

The Chorlton registration district consisted of many villages including Chorlton on Medlock,.

Interestingly "Handforth" is also a place just south of Manchester...

In April 1916 she volunteers to help the British Red Cross, rank "business girl", as a Nurse and kitchen helper of the Ches. 144 V.A.D. (Voluntary Aid Detachment). Her address was given as Clevelands, Charlton Drive, Sale.

On the 19th June 1921 she is still living with her parents, now at 2 Clevelands, Charlton Drive, Sale, Cheshire, which is just outside Manchester. She is 28 years old (and 9 months) and works as a consultant with her father's business called "M. Handforth, Provision Merchant", at 9 Shudehill, Manchester


She married Hossain Iqbal Syed, who changed his name to Ross Syed.

Iqbal Hosain Syed married Ethel Handforth Churm on the 2nd October 1922 at St. Anne's Church in the parish of Sale, in the county of Chester (Manchester, Cheshire).

Iqbal was 31, a bachelor, and a Doctor of Medicine in residence at Duff House, Horwich. His father was given as Mir Hosain Syed (deceased) a Judicial Minister.

Ethel was 29, a spinster, and lived at Clevelands, Charlton Drive, Sale. Her father was William Joseph Churm a Provision Merchant.

Marriage IqbalHosainSyed EthelHandforthChurm 1922 crop small.jpg

A photograph of her son at Abbotsholme school in 1935 was sent to her as "Mrs Syed, Derwent House, Horwich"

She worked as a temporary nurse during the war years.

In the 1939 register she is living at 305 Chorley New Road, Horwich, Lancashire. The residents were:

  • Iqbal H. Syed, born 8th March 1890, Medical Practitioner (Deputy Medical Practitioner, First Aid, A.R.P.)
  • Ethel H. Syed, born 19th September 1892, Unpaid Domestic Duties (Ambulance Driver, A.R.P.)
  • Winifred A. Donald, born 24th August 1903, Unpaid Domestic Duties (married)
  • Lilian Hatton (Hart), born 23rd February 1916, Domestic Servant (single)
  • two closed entries (persons born after 1914).

The Winifred A. Donald is most likely her sister.


They had two children.


She died, aged 75, of heart trouble on the 26th of June 1968, and was cremated on the 3rd July.

Probate stated: SYED Ethel Handforth of Alder Hall Back La Charnock Richard Chorley Lancs died 26 June 1968 Probate London 27 November. £12425.


Ethel was a figure skater, and the family has some kind of medal relating to this.