Constance Mary Helsham Heath-Caldwell (nee Helsham-Jones)
of Linley Wood, Talke, Staffordshire
Constance was born in India in 1868 while her father was stationed there in the Army. Her mother, Elizabeth Jane Jones, gave birth to a boy the following year but sadly both died leaving Constance to be bought up by her father, Col Henry Helsham Helsham-Jones. They moved back to England and for some time Constance lived in Woodbridge with her father the doctor Richard Jones. In 1889 Constance married Frederick Crofton Heath who she had presumably met through her father as both Frederick, and her father Henry, were officers serving in the Royal Engineers. Constance and Frederick lived in a number of places including Vigo Farm in Holmwood where her first son Cuthbert was born. Constance gave birth a few years later to a second son called Martin, but she did not have any more children after that.
Constance Mary Helsham Jones
In 1909 they appear to have been living in a place called West Ham but I am not sure where this was. In 1913 her husband inherited the Caldwell family estate of Linley Wood in Staffordshire but they did not take up permanent residence until he retired from the Army. Sadly in 1915 her younger son Martin was killed in France fighting in World War 1.
Cuthbert survived the war and on 5th May 1919 he married Violet Mary Palmer at Armagh Cathedral, in Ireland. They went on to produce four grandchildren (Patricia, Diana, Rosamond and James).
Life at Linley Wood was no doubt rather privileged. The estate had been run down by Frederick's aunts the Miss Marsh-Caldwells and needed a lot of money spent on it. Constance's father had died in 1920 leaving her approximately £18,000 and Frederick's father had also left them money earlier when he had died in 1907. Their grand daughters came to stay in the late 1920s while Cuthbert and Violet were living in Hong Kong. Many photographs still exist indicating that the granddaughters all had quite a good time living at Linley Wood. Constance was also involved in a number of local community activities which also included the Girl Guides.
Winifred Joyce Holden (known as Joyce) moved in with the family around 1930 originally to help look after the grandchildren but also to help look after Frederick who's health was slowly deteriorating. She became a very close family friend and through the family, she met her husband to be, James Derek Poole (known as Derek) a young solicitor who worked with the local firm of ???. Joyce and Derek were married at Linley Wood in 1936 and stayed on living at Linley Wood very much as part of the family.
In 1945 Frederick's life came to an end when he died peacefully, having a snooze in his arm chair. He departed this life so quietly that everyone thought he was asleep and his passing was not noticed until some time later in the afternoon.
Constance continued to live at Linley Wood for a few years more with the help of Joyce and Derek Poole whose family had by now increased with the addition of two children, Timothy and Julia. For a long time Constance had hoped that her son Cuthbert would eventually move to Linley Wood and this would have given her much needed support. In 1949 she finally came to the realisation that this was never going to happen. Now 80 years old she bowed to the inevitable and agreed to move out and join her son who was living a relatively reclusive life in a thatched cottage 'Pound House' in the small village of Cattistock in Dorset. The Linley Wood estate was sold together with the majority of the contents of the mansion house. From the proceeds, Constance bought a small house in Cattistock, 'Cattistock Lodge'. She lived a further 8 years and died in 1957 aged 88.