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Photo of Agnes Mary Maude Sparkes  

Agnes Mary Maude Sparkes  

Member of the Women’s Police Service


Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by): Agnes Mary Maude Sparkes


Gender: Female

Date and Place of Birth: 29th December 1874, West Wittering, Sussex

Date and Place of Death: 7th January 1954, The Poplars, Chobham, Woking

Nationality: British

Childhood: One of at least 8 children

Parents: Robert Henry and Georgina nee Souter

Parent’s occupations: Farmer and miller employer


Schools / universities attended and years of attendance: N/K


Occupation: Teacher, Companion, WPC at Gretna

Place of residence at Gretna: WP Barracks, Eastriggs

Job title at Gretna: Police constable.


Marital status: Unmarried

Children: None known

Travels: N/K

Awards/recognitions: N/K


Trivia / any other information:

Agnes Mary Maude Sparkes was born at West Wittering, Sussex on 29th December 1874 to Robert Henry and Georgina nee Souter.


1881- living at Mill House, West Wittering. Father a farmer and miller of 150 acres employing 5 men and 2 boys. Agnes the 5th of 6 children.


1891-Belmont, Woking. Father now an agent for cakes and manures. Now 8 children. Agnes a teacher.


1901- Barnsbury Farm, Woking. Father a commercial traveler. The census indicates that Agnes was a teacher.


1911- companion to a 90-year-old in Woking


1918/19 – employed as a Woman Police Constable at H M Factory Gretna living a WP Barrcks, Eastriggs (Electoral Register)


1921 – Agnes Maude Mary, Caroline and Ethel Fanny are on the record in Woking.


7th January 1954- died at The Poplars, Chobham, Woking aged 80.



Agnes was born on 2nd December 1874 to Robert and Georgina Sparkes. The family were living in West Wittering, Sussex and Agnes had nine other siblings although sadly Harry died within a year of birth.

When Agnes was 16, the 1901 census indicates she was a teacher, but the family by then had moved to the Woking area of Surrey.

At the time of the 1911 census, she was employed as a companion.

Agnes first appears on the 1917-1918, HM Factory Gretna valuation roll, living at No1 Women’s Police Barracks. A year later, she was based at Eastriggs Women’s Police Barracks. However, both spell her name as Sparks but the 1918-1919 electoral roll for Gretna gives her name as Sparkes.

After serving at Gretna until 1919, she returned to Woking and resumed working for Caroline Ball who on the 1911 she had been companion. By the 1921 census, Caroline was over 100 years old and both Agnes and Ethel, her sister, were looking after her. Caroline passed away in 1922.

By 1939 and the gathering of information for the registration document, Agnes and two sisters were Smallholders whilst Ethel was incapacitated. It is likely that the smallholding was part of the land known as The Poplars. Historically the Sparkes family had lived on this site since around 1905. On 17 January 1954, Agnes died leaving Bertha as the major beneficiary. Bertha died in 1977, but had moved away from The Poplars.

Additional information supplied through Research Project led by Nigel Crompton.



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