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Kenneth Young interview: Family origins

I was born 11th February 1914 at West Hill, Wandsworth. My father moved to Wimbledon in 1919 after the war. We lived at Invergowrie, 83 Wimbledon Hill Road, in a big house now gone. When I arrived at the age of five there were only houses on the left hand side of the road with very few on the right. There were a lot of gaps still to be built on.

My father was in sailing ships, he never got on to steamships. His firm John Stewart & Co ran sailing ships to Australia, tea clippers and so on. He was a ship-owner’s manager. When my uncle - who owned the business – died, my father took it over. He concentrated on import and export business, mainly to South Africa and Australia. He got rid of his last sailing ship in 1927. I remember going down to the docks and watching one of them coming in.

My mother was born Amy Shelmerdine, my father George Gilfillan Young, named after the minister who baptized him in Dundee where he came from originally. I had one sister and two brothers, all now dead. We all lived at Invergowrie until getting married. My sister Muriel always lived in Wimbledon, staying in Merton Park. My younger brother Douglas played cricket at university as an Oxford blue and was taken on by Surrey. On the outbreak of the Second World War he was commissioned in the Seaforth Highlanders (51st Highland Division) and was sent to France. He was taken prisoner at St Valerie in 1940 and spent the remainder of the war in German prisoner of war camps. After the war he was appointed a master at Wellington College in Berkshire. My elder brother, Angus, was a chartered accountant like me. After marriage in Wimbledon he moved north, working in Barrow-in-Furness and Newcastle-on-Tyne.