[8] Clara Elizabeth Margaret Locke (1878-1956)

Clara Elizabeth Margaret Locke (1878-1956) was born in Erith in June 1878. She was aged 2 at the 1881 census, living with her mother and siblings at 15 Orchard Hill, Greenwich. She was known as ‘Margaret’, but little is known about her life. She was admitted to the Greenwich Union South Metropolitan District School, Brighton Road, Sutton, a Poor Law School for pauper children on 1st August 1882, five months after her father’s death. A possible record of her in the 1901 census is as a general servant in the Page household in Winchester, Hampshire. There was a 5-year-old daughter to be cared for and 'Margaret C. Locke', aged 23, born in Paddington, London, was recorded.

On 17th October 1903, the SS Kinfauns Castle sailed from Southampton for South Africa. The passenger list records that on board was a 'Miss C. Locke', a 25-year-old nurse, bound for East London. This was probably Margaret, as she went on to marry, as Margaret Clara Locke', a Scotsman, Edward Pilmer Thomson, on 23rd September 1907. The wedding took place at St George's Presbyterian Church in Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, when she was 28 and living at 70 Davies Street. Margaret probably went to South Africa in the aftermath of the Boer War, as there was a shortage of nurses at that time.

Margaret and Edward Thomson returned to the United Kingdom before the birth of a son. Edward Locke Thomson, in Glasgow in early 1912. They had three other children - James Locke Thomson (date of birth unknown, but living in S. Africa in 1955), Margaret Louise Thomson (b. ca 1910 in S. Africa) and Percival Gilmore Peter Grant Thomson (b. ca 1916 in Transvaal; d. Port Elizabeth in 1954.) The latter married Marjorie Gwyn Doline Pattrick and they had a daughter, Heather Margaret Thomson (b. 1 April 1947); they divorced in May 1948. Edward Locke Thomson was unmarried. Margaret Louise's married name was McCarthy.

'Clara Elizabeth Margaret Thomson' died in Cape Town on 25th October 1956. Her son, Edward Locke Thomson, died the same day, aged 44, in Port Elizabeth and it is likely that Clara died of shock upon hearing this news. Clara's husband died in Transvaal in 1961, aged 86; he was described as a retired carpenter.

South African Death Notice for Edward Locke Thomson with details of his parents and siblings