No.3 Roger Coutts-Smith

My father, Robin Coutts-Smith, was born in Urn Mount West, North Drive, in March 1911. I believe that most of his five siblings were born there as well. My family lived in several houses in the area, the first known location being Sandown Lane where my great grandfather Richard Charles Smith lived with his wife Annie. He was one of 12 children born to Theophilus Isles Smith (DOB 1782). Theophilus lived for many years in Oporto, Portugal, and was a noted Port Wine shipper (T.I.S.Smith & Sons). Most of his children were born in Portugal, and Richard could only speak Spanish until he was about 6 or 7. Richard and family moved to Wavertree from Madeira via London in the early 1860s, and they appear on the 1871 Census in Sandown Lane.

The family moved to Victoria Park (Urn Mount) and appear on the 1881 Census at that address. Richard Charles died in 1893, while at this address, and several of our family are buried at Holy Trinity under a common gravestone just a few paces in from the entrance gate. One of the family members buried there is Robert Ormerod Smith (brother to Richard Charles). He was a Sculptor and was responsible for the marble bust of Annie Smith shown in the picture below. He also did one of John Ruskin which is, I think, at the Liverpool Council offices.

In about 1913/14 my grandfather's (Richard John) side of the family moved to Monkswell where they lived until, I assume, the building was demolished. They then moved to The Gables, Menlove Ave, and sometime during WW2 moved to 4 Beach Lawn Waterloo. Monkswell was used as a nursing home for wounded soldiers and refugees during WW1.

My grandfather died in 1923, and I gather the family found things difficult financially. Consequently my father and two of his bothers immigrated to Australia in 1926 and 1927 (aged 16 to 17) under the Dreadnought Scheme. The boys settled down and married, and together with their older brother Matthiessen (migrated 1948) never returned to England for a visit, which is sad.

I have visited Wavertree several times. I lived in London from 1958-60, and as I had two aunts still living in Wavertree I used to visit the area. It would have been helpful to have had 'Discovering Historic Wavertree' at the time, to make a stroll around the area more interesting and enjoyable! My Aunt Dorothy died in 1988.

Roger Coutts-Smith lives in Queensland, Australia. He would like to find out whether his grandparents ever owned (rather than rented) Urn Mount West in North Drive. Please let us know if you have any information about the past ownership of this house.

Left: The marble bust of Annie Smith by Richard Ormerod Smith

Below: Monkswell House, Wavertree, the Smith family's home in the 1920s.

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