Whitehall Celebrates Women's History Month - Part 4

Mon 3-Apr-23

Whitehall Celebrates Women's History Month - Part 4

Written by Nicky Lawrence-Gravestock

Whitehall Celebrates Women's History Month Part 4


This is a fictional account of Maud Müller’s life in the early to mid 1930s at Whitehall recounted through the eyes of a domestic servant at Whitehall.



Last night, the Misses came in late, I dare say they were having fun at a dance.  Lily likes a bit of the Charleston, Stomp and even the Jitterbug when she gets a chance! (but I’m with Miss Maud who prefers the Walz). 


So today, Miss Maud has been sitting quietly at her desk, (maybe it was the after-effects of all that excitement, she did have to have a dose of Andrew Liver Salts just before she went to bed). I’ve hardly known she’s been home this morning and it makes a change from the hustle and bustle of visitors trooping in and out of the house. I suppose she has been writing out her personal history of Whitehall again in her beautiful handwriting.


Miss Maud belongs to Cheam Dramatic club and is in a production presenting “Mary, Mary”. She has a very small part, I know she’s not all that happy about it, because she keeps sniffing “that the leading lady can’t act for toffee”. However, I think, secretly she’s looking forward to it, as the Sutton and Epsom Mail as well as the Cheam Times Newspapers are going to cover the opening night.

Newspaper from 1930’s in the Attic, Whitehall Historic House

Newspaper 1930’s in Attic, Whitehall


Miss Maud and Miss Mary are always following with avid interest the careers of what they call outstanding women of the decade. They are always chattering about Amy Johnson, who in 1930 was awarded a CBE for being the first woman to fly solo to Australia from Croydon airport, (well that’s not far from us, just down the road). I agree with the sisters and think that Amy is marvellous!  


There was some excitement on Carshalton recreation ground last week, a pilot had to make an emergency landing just as some lads were playing cricket and all. It makes me queasy just to think about what could have happened!


Mr Thomas (well, he’s still here) is forever extolling the virtues of Mr Fred Perry at Wimbledon but Miss Maud’s favourite tennis star is Ermyntrude Harvey, according to her, a good ‘all-rounder’ winning on grass, clay, and indoor wood courts. Lily liked Suzanne Lenglen, she thought her games were always exciting.  What do I think?  Well, I’ve got better things to do than to stand around and chat ...


Miss Susan loves a murder mystery and has been reading that book by Agatha Christie, (it came out on new year’s day, you know its the one about a murder and lots of people on a train –  well, it’s all the rage.  Recently I got hold of “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” from the Public Library - well, who would have thought that the culprit was not whom you expected all along! I won’t spoil it for you, I’ll just say what a clever woman Mrs Christie must be.


Well, thank you for your company, despite all my ‘complainings’, I’ve really loved telling our stories, but must get back to my work now, the house doesn’t look after itself you know ...




Our sources tell us that Florence Gertrude Davey was aged 16 working on the Farm at the Manor House at Hagworthingham, Lincs which is where she was born.  She died at 56 years on 10th January 1941 at Middle House, Epsom.  Her burial place was at St Dunstan’s Church.  She never married.  Her personal effects included £480 7s 8d to (we assume) one of her relations, Spinster, (Lilian Louisa Davey). 


Mary and Maud Müller died in 1956 and 1959 respectively.   Both women never married.  Maud Müller died in a road accident on the way back from St Dunstan’s Church in 1959.  


Flo never did get her wish of a Vacuum Cleaner (or any other modern conveniences and labour saving devices such as Toaster, Fridge and Central Heating).  We assume that poor Lily had to carry on with a mangle for a while longer as the House did not get electricity installed until a month before Maud’s death. 


Mr Thomas Dunstan Hawes stayed at Whitehall for another 2 years … 

Many thanks to Whitehall’s Volunteer Geoff West, who not only provided me with a family tree of the Killicks and their ancestors that he had researched, but also copies of the 1911 Census and 1939 England and Wales Register designed to work out World War 2 ration books.  He also found out where Florence Davey was born.  I would also like to thank him for taking me on a tour of Cheam to witness the places that the sisters almost certainly might have frequented. 



Nicky is a Volunteer at Whitehall Historic House and a member of Sutton Writers.  Between September 2021 – December 2022 she enrolled on three courses for Writing for Wellbeing run by Sutton College located at the Museum.  She decided to stay … and as they say, the rest is history!


Sources and References:


Newspaper Articles about Harriett Maud Müller dated 1959  


1911 Census


1936 Household Register


Assorted Electoral Registers


Photos from Photo Album, Attic, Whitehall, 


Artefacts and personal effects from Attic, Whitehall


Newspapers from 1930’s, Attic, Whitehall