Colonel Charles Woodfall, born on 15th May, 1804, christened on 7th February 1807 at St. Mary, Lambeth, Surrey, was a member of the Honourable East India Company Army based in Madras, where he attained the rank of Colonel. He was invalided on the 5th October, 1855, and retired 31st January, 1865. He died in Kent, England on the 7th February, 1867.
He is officially listed as being married three times, these being to:
Mary Ann Lynch, born 1809, married on 3rd September, 1844 at Leamington Priors, Warwick, England
His second wife was:
Rhoda M. Willan, born 1822, married in 1852 and she died in 1852.
His third wife:
Anna Hale, born 9th January, 1831, married 18th April, 1854 she died on the 22nd October, 1871 at Surrey, England. With Anna they had the 5 children listed below..
There are no children listed from either of his first two marriages, according to his Army records, although it is possible that his second wife may have died during childbirth.
One of the most interesting aspects of this sort of research is the fact that little gems that present themselves, but can not be verified, one of these being that Sir Cliff Richardís Biography states that his grandmother was a Woodfall, and that possibly her mother was a Burmese Princess. Then out of the blue, one Phillip Prager contacted me, with the statement that his grandmother was a Woodfall, and he was quite sure that he was connected to our family. Lo, and behold, this was the link that could verify the details from Sir Cliffís Biography.
It appears that our Colonel Charles was quite a lad in his earlier days, and he had at least one son by a mother unknown, now whether this was really a mysterious Burmese Princess or really an indigenous local Indian, we really will never know, but it was not uncommon in those days for the sake of so called íracial purityí that the records of mixed unions, were in fact deleted from all records.
This son was James Woodfall, born 1836, eight years before Colonel Charles first listed marriage, but at this stage Colonel Charles was 32. Now James himself grew up and studied in Germany, he served as Chief Clerk in the Locomotive Superintendentís Office, South Indian Railway at Negapatam, from 17th August, 1860 until 20th February, 1874. During this period he married one Elizabeth Rogers, with whom he had 5 children, she died 1st August, 1871 in Negapatam, there is no information of these 5 children. On the 15th August, 1872, James married Gertrude Moran, born 1854, daughter of Dutch Navy Captain Baron Joseph Jensen, son of Admiral Jensen. At the age of 18 Gertrude was a widow, they were married at St. Peterís Church, Negapatam.
James and Gertrude had 7 children, these being Lancelot Andrew Robert, Donella Eugenie, Joshua Edmund Walter, Mabel Rhoda, Gotlieb Emanuel Jensen, Albert Reginald, and Benjamin.
Joshua Edmund Walter Woodfall, born 17th September, 1876 in Negapatam, and christened on 11th October, 1786
Mabel Rhoda Woodfall, born 4th July 1879 in Negapatam, and christened on 27th August, 1879.
Gotlieb Emmanuel Jensen Woodfall, born 2nd January, 1881, christened 11th May, 1881 and died on 4th May, 1883 in Negapatam
Albert Reginald Woodfall, born 20th July, 1882, christened 13th December, 1882 and died 4th May, 1883 in Negapatam
It is interesting that both Gotlieb and Albert both died on the same day, one must assume as a result of an accident of some description.
Benjamin Woodfall, born 22nd November, 1883, and christened on 6th January, 1884
Donella Eugenie Woodfall, born 5th February, 1875 at Negapatam, christened 26th March, 1875, known as Dewy, married Frederick William Webb in 1896 in Woolwich, they had one known son Rodger Oscar Webb, born 1904 in Rangoon, who married on 26th April, 1939 at St. Paulís Church, Asanol Dorothy Marie Dazely, born 1920 in Lahore, they moved to the north west town of Dehra Dun. To them a son was born at Kingís English Hospital, Lucknow on 14th October, 1940 Harry Rodger Webb now known as Sir Cliff Richard.
Lancelot Andrew Robert Woodfall, born 27th May, 1873 at Negapatam, christened 26th December, 1873. He was employed as an Inspector of Engineering Department in Indian Railways.
On the 11th July, 1898 at St. Matthais Church, Vespery, he married Ethel Maude Cranston (of Egmore), daughter of William John Cranston, granddaughter of Captain Erskine, I.M.D., she was born in 1874, and died of pneumonia in childbirth on 4th May, 1919 in Madras, buried at St. Markís Cassimode Cemetery. Together, they had 10 children, Irene Woodfall, Eileen Woodfall, Selina Woodfall, Roxana Woodfall, Ennys Tulip (Auntie Girlie) Woodfall, Jensen Oscar Woodfall, died 1997, Lancelot Algernon (Dickie) Woodfall, died 8th February, 1940 in a Railway Accident, Joan Woodfall, Vida Elena Woodfall (youngest), and
Maud Hyacinth Woodfall, born 19th October, 1911, she married on the 8th June, 1937 at the Church of Mary Magdalene, Lahore, Donald Raymond Wight, Police Sergeant, Punjab Police, they had 4 children Raymond Cecil Andrew Wight, born 12th December, 1938, Maud Louisa Ann Wight, born 13th September, 1940 at St Lukesí Hospital, Punjab, Kathleen Monica May Wight, born 30th January, 1943 at Lady Reading Hospital, Simla, christened in Christ Church, Simla on the 27th October, 1943, and Jean Nora Amy Wight, born 22nd March, 1946 at Holy Families Hospital, Rawalpindi.
Lancelot Andrew Robert Woodfall, married on 3rd January, 1924 Ruth Emily Elizabeth Elder (of Bangalore), daughter of James George Ross, she had 4 children from a previous marriage, these being Lorna Elder, Ivan Elder, Barney Elder and Aubrey Elder. Together with Lancelot they had 4 children Llewelyn Andrew (Bobby) Woodfall, Melville Andrew Woodfall, born 22nd July, 1931, christened 8th September, 1931, Daphne Woodfall, and Ramona Woodfall, deceased in childbirth, at the same time Ruth Emily Elizabeth Elder also died.