Eric & Belinda Newns of Bootle

Eric during his army service period
Eric Newns - 1940s

George Eric Newns, son of Henry and Mary Newns, was born at 16 Augusta Street, Pendleton, Lancashire, on 26 November 1911.

He went to school in Liverpool, won a scholarship to Grammar School and gained a degree in French at Liverpool University in 1932. He then spent a year studying for a Diploma in Education and following a year as a probationary teacher at Norris Green Secondary School he was appointed to one of the two new ‘Roscoe’ council schools in Ballantyne Road. In 1938 he transferred to Anfield Road Junior Boys, and at the start of the war in 1939 the school was evacuated to mid-Wales, where he taught in a church hall in Ponterwyd, near Aberystwyth.

He enlisted in the Royal Ordnance Corps in 1940 and was eventually posted to India where he served in an ordnance depot outside Poona. He then transferred to the Indian army and served in various places in Northern India (now Pakistan), learning Urdu and progressing to the rank of Captain.

Belinda at Bangor Normal College - ca.1930
Belinda Parry - ca.1930

Belinda Davies Parry, the youngest child of Price and Pheobe Parry, was born at 55 Westminster Road, Broughton, Denbighshire, on 24 December 1908. She went to Brynteg School in Moss, trained as a teacher in Bangor and started teaching at Roberts Primary School in Bootle in 1933.

George and Belinda met in about 1936 while attending an evening course. Although they lost contact when Eric joined up, Belinda made enquiries through the NUT and they then remained in contact during the remainder of the war. They married on 12 April 1946 at Norris Green Methodist Church, Liverpool, and had a daughter, Valerie.

Marriage of George Eric Newns to Belinda Davies Parry in 1946
17 April 1946 - Norris Green Methodist Chapel, Liverpool
Left to right: Dora Newns - Walter Negus - Sarah Newns? - Henry Newns - Ethel Roberts - George Eric Newns - Belinda Newns - Llewelyn Parry - Mary Peters - Gwendolyn Parry - George Peters - Ethel Parry - Hilda Maddocks

After the war Eric initially returned to Anfield Road School but soon transferred to Kilrea Road Special School. In 1949 he was given the headship of St George’s Special School in Widnes and the following year he became the head of Stoneycroft Special School in Liverpool where he stayed until 1957. He then moved to St Paul’s Special School in Bootle where he was the headmaster until he retired in 1971. He regularly played the organ at St Phillip’s Church and sang in the choir for several years.

When they were first married they lived in Belinda’s flat in St Catherine’s Road, Bootle, until they bought their first house in Ranelah Avenue, Litherland. Later they bought a house in Litherland Park where they lived until 1982, when they moved to a bungalow in Cubbington, Warwickshire, to be near their daughter.

Belinda died in Leamington on 15 April 1994 and was cremated.

Eric continued to live in their bungalow in Cubbington until a fall, in December 2005, followed by a bout of pneumonia. After this he moved to a nearby nursing home where he died on 7 August 2006 aged 94.

  • Valerie married Peter Hunnisett in 1970 and they lived in Coventry until moving to Sussex in 2013.