UPDATE: A postcard sent from Italy in 1910 to Henry LONGLEY in Tunbridge Wells and a link to a Vice-Admiral

Update: Last weekend I received a lovey email from a direct descendant of Henry LONGLEY whose mother had  come across my original blog post whilst browsing/searching the internet for family information.

Henry LONGLEY was her Great Grandfather and she was thrilled to read about the old postcard I had found and researched – the postcard has now been sent on to her and her family for their own archives.

They also very kindly shared three beautiful old family photographs with me of Henry LONGELY and his family that Paul has very kindly given me permission to include in this update of my original blog post:


Henry LONGLEY with his wife Susannah and his workers taken in Henfield in Sussex sometime in the late 1800s


This is a photograph of the christening of Paul’s grandfather Joseph A D  LONGLEY born in 1904 – Henry LONGLEY born in 1833 is to the far right and his great grandfather John (Jack)  A D LONGLEY born in 1873 is the younger man in the middle. The ladies are Jack’s wife Sara and two maiden aunts.


John Arthur Dick LONGLEY born 1873 – son of Henry and Susannah LONGLEY

A great outcome and many thanks to Paul and his family – I am so pleased to have found, researched and reunited this fascinating old postcard.

Paul also sent me this article from the Guardian newspaper that mentions Vice-Admiral Eric LONGLEY-COOK and his warning to Whitehall about Russia and US in the Cold War – the link is US was set to bomb Russia first….

Simon LAST – 1st May 2020


Sorting through some old postcards today I found this card sent from Rome in Italy in 1910 to Henry LONGLEY at Tower House in Tunbridge Wells in Kent – in these strange days of Coronavirus this postcard struck a chord with me as so so many people across the world are unable to travel at this time and very few postcards will be sent home to relatives and friends.

LONGLEY postcard front

What could I discover about the LONGLEY family and the sender of the postcard his loving Grandson Eric W L COOK?

LONGLEY postcard reverse

I was quickly able to find the 1911 census record as below which showed Henry LONGLEY as Father in  Law and a Widower aged 78 living at Tower House in Tunbridge Wells in Kent with his Son in law Herbert William COOK aged 40, his daughter Alice Gertrude COOK nee LONGLEY aged 42 and their children Eric William Longley COOK (the sender of the postcard) aged 12, Enid Margaret COOK aged 9 and Laurence Herbert COOK aged 1.

LONGLEY 1911 census

Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 4046; Schedule Number: 319 Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1911 England Census

Herbert William COOK’s occupation is shown as a Director of Education for the County Council – had his son Eric been on a school trip in 1910 when he sent the postcard as he would only have been aged 11 years?

The LONGLEY family originated from Henfield in Sussex and Henry LONGLEY had married Susannah Margaret DICK in the Chelsea Registration District in 1865 – they then had the following children including:

Susan Mary LONGLEY in 1867, Alice Gertrude LONGLEY in 1868, Lucy Margaret LONGLEY in 1870, John Arthur D LONGLEY in 1873, Frank Ernest LONGLEY in 1880 – the 1881 census record shows Henry LONGELY’s occupation as a Draper and Farmer of 28 acres employing 34 hands in Henfield in Sussex.

LONGLEY 1881 census

Source Citation: Class: RG11; Piece: 1105; Folio: 47; Page: 5; GSU roll: 1341260 Source Information: Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1881 England Census

Then I made an amazing discovery when researching Eric William Longley COOK further – he was born on 6th October 1898 and died on 20th April 1983 and he had a Naval career as shown on Wikipedia and became a Vice-Admiral as per the information here Eric Longley-Cook

On another website I have been able to find a photograph of Eric and further information about his Naval career during World War 2 at this link Eric Longley-Cook

Eric married Helga M LOWLES in the September quarter of 1920 in the Windsor Registration District and I will now investigate further to see if he had children.

As I always say to people you need very little information to get your family research started as this postcard very well proves!

My next mission is to try and reunite this lovely old postcard with a family member for their family archive – so if you have a connection please send me a message or email as I would love to hear from you.

Many thanks

Simon LAST








This entry was posted in COOK, DICK, DSO, Eric William Longley COOK, Henfield Sussex, LONGLEY, LOWLES, Military, One Name Study, Postcard, Social History, Tower House, Tunbridge Wells, Vice-Admiral. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to UPDATE: A postcard sent from Italy in 1910 to Henry LONGLEY in Tunbridge Wells and a link to a Vice-Admiral

  1. Paul Lott says:

    Hi Simon
    My mum and I were thrilled to find this posting
    As per my email Henry Longley was my great, great grandfather and my great grandfather introduced is sister to his best friend Cook – the two sons from this union added Longley to their surname and hence the Longley-Cook name came into existence and continues to this day on both sides of the Atlantic. I shall send you some photos of the family for your interest by email shortly.
    Kind regards
    Paul Lott

  2. Michael says:

    Wow! And that’s the power of the internet for you! Great post and connection, Simon.

  3. Oh I love those new old photos Simon, absolutely wonderful! Fabulous story👍😀xx

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