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  • ID: I11
  • Name: John Philip KELLY
  • Given Name: John Philip
  • Surname: Kelly
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 6 SEP 1894 in Douglas,Isle of Man
  • Death: 29 NOV 1970 in Grays Hotel,Portobello,Edinburgh,Scotland
  • Burial: Edinburgh,Scotland
  • Note:
    School at Douglas High (Isle of Man), highly recommended as physics student; Trained in physics at Manchester University under Ernest Rutherford; Served before and during Great War as assistant to Rutherford; University Lecturer in Electrical Engineering, Bangor (Wales) then Heriot Watt College, Edinburgh (Scotland)

    1901 Census: Conchan Parish
    Isabella Clague abt 1857 Douglas, Isle of Man, Isle of Man Head Conchan Isle of Man
    Annie Harvey abt 1871 Patrick, Isle of Man, Isle of Man Servant Conchan Isle of Man
    Elizabeth G Kelly abt 1870 Douglas, Isle of Man, Isle of Man Sister Conchan I of Man
    Harold F Kelly abt 1890 Douglas, Isle of Man, Isle of Man Nephew Conchan I of Man
    John P Kelly abt 1895 Douglas, Isle of Man, Isle of Man Nephew Conchan Isle of Man
    Thomas P Kelly abt 1868 Douglas, Isle of Man, Isle of Man Brother-in-law ConchanIoM

    JOHN PHILIP KELLY 1894-1970: from some notes by his daughter in law:

    "Jack Kelly, was born at Marine View, Broadway, Douglas, Isle of Man on the 6th of September 1894. On the birth certificate his father, Thomas Philip Kelly, is described as a post office clerk, His mother was Elizabeth Gelling Clague. As far as I know, (though probably one should look this up) no other children appeared until Harold Frederick (old Clague was called Frederick) in 1900.

    "Jack must have been a bright child and undoubtedly his Mother's pride and joy. This continued throughout life. The younger boy never stole the limelight from Jack. Harold, who, if not equally intelligent, must have been well above average, never got the educational opportunities that Jack had. He bore no grudge, because he was a pleasant tempered man.

    " Jack was an exceptionally able pupil at Douglas High School. He boasted that, at the time of the scholarship exam, he was first in
    arithmetic, not only for the Isle of Man, but for the whole of North West England as well.

    "He had an outstanding physics master at the High School. This I heard from a friend of ours, Dr. Jack Walker, whom we met during the sixties in India. Though younger than Jack Kelly by about four years, he too had been at Douglas High School in the years immediately preceding the first world war and he, like our Jack, had been launched on a career in science with a flying start thanks to this master, whose name I have forgotten.

    "Jack went to Manchester University to study physics. There, under Professor Ernest (later Lord) Rutherford , he took an honours degree in physics, in 1916. He went to France as an ordinary private, but was plucked from the trenches by Rutherford himself, to help with the work, which led to the splitting of the atom. He went on to help with experiments to counteract the magnetic mine. [There are several letters from Rutherford].

    "After the war he finished a college apprenticeship at Metropolitan Vickers, then went as a lecturer in electrical engineering to the University College of North Wales at Bangor. Within a few years he took up a post as lecturer in electrical engineering at the Heriot Watt College, Edinburgh, where he eventually became senior lecturer. He remained there until he retired. He was extremely highly thought of and remembered with affection and gratitude by countless students over the years. Several of his students found themselves ultimately in managerial positions in the electrical industry. They often came back to see him.

    "In August 1921, in Stoke-on- Trent, Jack Kelly married Ivy May Evans. And thereby hangs a curious tale. They met while she and her parents and younger brother were on holiday in Grandma Kelly's boarding house in Douglas. Many people from Stoke went to the Isle of Man for their holidays at that time. (See Arnold Bennet's "Anna of the Five Towns") Ivy was known as Topsy, because she had a mop of dark curly hair. Her family were employees of the railway. She and Jack fell in love and naturally wished to marry. They must have published the banns in Stoke, but not in the suburb where the Evans family lived. Neither set of parents knew anything about it. On August 12th 1922, in the absence of Topsy's parents, Jack went to Stoke and they got married. Later that month the Evans family were staying at Grandma Kelly's boarding house in Broadway. To her great terror Jack was all for sneaking up to Topsy's room! Nobody found out. By March the following year Topsy found that she was expecting a baby. She told her Father, who immediately sent her cheerfully packing to Edinburgh to join her husband.

    "Why this odd behaviour? You may well ask! Jack told us this story himself without explanation. I have also heard it from Topsy's younger brother who died aged 90. My guess is that it was partly to do with money and partly, one would imagine, fear of father, Thomas Kelly. To us nowadays and even to me forty five years ago, it seems peculiar. It does tell us something, however, about Thomas Kelly.

    "Philip Harry Kelly was born in November 1923 in Stoke -on-Trent. Topsy went back to her parents house for the birth. Two and a half years later she made the same arrangements for John's birth and within four days of the event she died of peritonitis. It was a tragedy. Although Grandma Kelly forced her husband to withdraw fifty pounds from the bank to take to help Jack, everyone was at a loss as to what to do with the baby. Grandma Evans offered to keep Philip, but Grandma and Grandpa Kelly declared they were too old to take on a new baby. They were going to arrange to foster him out to some family in the Isle of Man who already had ten children. Nurse Bailley, who had been the midwife on the case, lost patience with all their prevaricating. She said, "I'll take him!"

    "And so John lived with her in Stoke until his father married again in 1934. When I discussed this in later years with Auntie Win, Nurse Bailley, she insisted that of course the Kelly grandparents were not too old at that time, it was just that Grandpa Kelly was "a funny-tempered man" and selfishly refused to have his life disrupted by a demanding infant. I must say that Jack Kelly was also "a funny-tempered man". He mellowed towards the end of his life, but there was a lot of carping criticism before that.

    "Jack Kelly's second wife was Elsie Waterson from Douglas Isle of Man. They had one child Ronald Brian Kelly. Philip died in 1938 of rheumatic fever. Elsie died in 1941 of cancer. It seems as if Jack had more than his share of tragedy.

    "Jack was meticulous about writing to his parents every week without fail. He was scrupulously neat and conscientious about his work. His writing was small and close. He was better at casual relationships than at close ones within the family. He was not very tactful. As a boy he had been athletic as well as academic, but later in life he smoked constantly and occasionally drank too much. He became a frequenter of pubs and clubs. He was diagnosed as diabetic in his early seventies. He died of a heart attack, although latterly he kept to a very abstemious regime. Had he not smoked so much, I am confident he would have lived at least as long as his father."
  • Change Date: 8 NOV 2003 at 16:14:01

    Father: Thomas Philip KELLY b: 10 JAN 1868 in Douglas,Isle of Man c: 2 FEB 1868 in St Barnabas,Douglas,I.o.M.
    Mother: Elizabeth Gelling CLAGUE b: 1870 in Douglas,Isle of Man

    Marriage 1 Ivy May EVANS b: 26 JAN 1899 in Hanford (Staffs) England
    • Married: 12 AUG 1922 in Stoke-on-Trent,Staffs
    1. Has No Children Philip Harry KELLY b: NOV 1923 in Stoke on Trent,Staffordshire
    2. Has Children Living KELLY

    Marriage 2 Elsie WATERSON b: in Douglas,Isle of Man
    • Married: 1934
    1. Has No Children Living KELLY
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