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Close up of Tijou Screen at Hampton Court Palace

Tijou family   


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Part 8: Alfred Henry Tijou (1871 - 1963)


Working life and marriage to Annie Mellish

Alfred Henry Tijou was born in Southwark, London, 13 April 1871. He was the second youngest son of William Tijou Jr and Louisa Newman. His family later moved to Battersea where he started a milk delivery round (which probably involved two of his brothers James and Charles). In the 1890s he sold the round to one of his brothers and emigrated to Canada where he found work on the Canadian Pacific Railway. The transcontinental railway had been completed in 1885, only four years after work began, but the company had since diversified into steamships, tourism, mining and a variety of other industries. [1]

Alfred did not stay long in Canada. He may have been homesick or perhaps missing his girlfriend. Upon his return, he married Annie Mellish (1874 - 1946) 07 June 1897 in Putney Church and they lived in Wandsworth. Family stories say Annie was born in Ireland but her birth was actually registered in Lambeth, London. Alfred returned to the milk trade as a 'milk carrier', working for a dairy (not involving his brother though). He and Annie had nine children: Alfred, Charles, George, Albert, Walter, Annie, Ernest, William and Frank. Their only daughter died the day she was born, as did one of their sons, and another son died a year and 2 days after his birth.

Annie died in 1946 and Alfred in January 1963 at St James Hospital, Balham, Wandsworth. [2]


Alfred Henry Tijou, 1958


Children of Alfred and Annie

Alfred James (1899 - 1974) was born 19 January 1899.


Charles Henry (1900 - 1987) was born 05 April 1900.


George Arthur (1901 - 1902) was born 22 September 1901 and baptised 13 October the same year at St Stephen's Church, Clapham Park, Wandsworth. He sadly died a year later 24 September 1902 after suffering from measles for two months and a fortnight of diarrhoea and vomiting. Measles is highly contagious and the first measles vaccine was not developed until the late 1950s, with the first vaccination programs occuring from 1961. However it was not until 1968 that such a program was rolled out in the UK (the same year an improved measles vaccine was created which did not have severe side effects). [3]


Albert John (1902 - ?) was born 24 November 1902 and baptised 14 December the same year at St Stephen's Church, Clapham Park, Wandsworth.


Walter Wallace (1905 - 1955) was born 27 May 1905 and baptised 14 June the same year at All Saints Church, Wandsworth. He worked as window cleaner and later a gas fitter. He married factory worker Cecelia May Higgins (1909 - 1982). He died in 1955, aged 49.


Annie (1907 - 1907) was born and died 30 November 1907. She only lived 15 minutes according to the death certificate. The cause of death was congenital dropsy (edema: swelling).


Ernest (Ernie) Arthur (1909 - 1985) was born 08 May 1909 and baptised 02 June the same year at All Saints Church, Wandsworth.


William (1912 - 1912) was born and died 10 January 1912. He only lived 15 minutes and died from congenital anasarca (a massive edema, swelling of tissues). [4]


Frank Leonard (1913 - 1965) was born 05 December 1913.


Next: Tijou Descendants



[1] Canadian Pacific Railway website (

[2] Tijou family history researched by Charles Tijou.

[3] 'History of the measles vaccine', WHO website (; Measles, University of Oxford Vaccine Knowledge website  (

[4] Old disease names (