William Garrett KNIBBS, son of Henry KNIBBS and Annie Elizabeth GARRETT , was born bet. July and September, 1887 in Banstead, Surrey, England. He married Elsie Isabel TIDMARSH 01 May 1915 in Edgbaston, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. He died 17 January 1937 in Canvey Island, Essex, England. Elsie Isabel TIDMARSH was born 28 November 1884 in Birmingham District, Warwickshire, England. She died bet. October and December, 1972 in Poole District, Dorset, England.

Marriage Notes for William Garrett KNIBBS\Elsie Isabel TIDMARSH:

They married at S. Augustine's Church, in Ladywood Partish, Edgbaston, Birmingham, and is listed as one of "the Notable weddings" carried out there.

Notes for William Garrett KNIBBS:

William, probably taken in his early 40's (click to enlarge).

William's mother Annie Elizabeth Garrett died in childbirth when he was born.

William was a registered Mechanical Engineer.
1899-1900 St Dunstan's College, Catford
1900-1904 Mun,. Tech. Day Shool, Birmingham
1904-1908 Bellis and Morcom, Birmingham
1907-1908 Bellis and Morcom, Birminham Assistat, Testing Dept 8 months
1910-1923 Marine Engineer, Alfred Holt and Co., Liverpool. Working in repair shops and I/c watch Later obtained Chief Engineer's Cert.
1913-1914 Asst. Engineer, Chance and Hunt
1914-Onwards Works Engineer, Chance and Hunt, Oldbury, Birmingham. I/c whole executive work, power station and construct work, etc., various depts., 320 employed.

See the Proposal for William to be accepted for membership of The Instrition of Mechanical Engineers in 1921.


I understand that William and Elsie didn't have children.

William was a qualified Mechanical Engineer. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (Great Britain), Vol. 135 states that he received his education at Birmingham Municipal Technical College. At one time, he was the chief engineer in charge of the erection of the new tank farm and oil refinery on Canvey Island for London and Coastal Wharves Ltd.

We know that he also worked for J Lyons & Company, Ltd., almost vertainly at a senior engineering level. Lyons was involved in the production of tea (amongst many other things), and records show that in 1921, Lyons established their own tea buying organisation in India in the form of the subsidiary company, Lyons (India) Ltd. We know that William and his wife sailed to India in 1927, so perhaps it was to take up a position with them there?

In 1925, William was living at Woodlands, Old Slade Lane, Colnbrook, Buckinghamshire, England.

Between 1925 and 1926, we know that William successfully patented at least three devices, all of which were associated with manufacture of confectionary. One of the patents was applied for in association with J Lyons & Co. Ltd. of Colnbrook, Buckinghamshire. The others were applied for independently by William.

For full details of these patents, please go to the page dedicated to William Garrett Knibbs, within the Inventive KNIBBS section of the web site.

We can can see that William and his wife Elsie sailing from the port of London to Bombay, India in 1927, as identified in the following passenger list:
Name: Wm Garret KNIBBS
Date of departure: 2 September 1927
Port of departure: London
Passenger destination port: Bombay, India
Passenger destination: Bombay, India
Date of Birth: 1887 (calculated from age)
Age: 40
Marital status: Married
Sex: Male
Occupation: Engineer

The following people with the same last name travelled on this voyag
Mrs Elsie Isabel KNIBBS Page 4 of 16 View transcript

Official Number: 148119
Master's name: A M King
Steamship Line: Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co
Where bound: Bombay, India
Registered tonnage: 9278.88
Passengers on voyage: 523

P&O SS Ranpura

In 1930, we see William and Elsie sailing into Plymouth, Devonshire, England aboard the ship Simon Bolivar belonging to the Royal Netherlands Steamship Company. William and Elsie embarked at the island of Curaçao in the Dutch Antilles in the Southern Caribbean, off the Venezuelan coast. The arrivals document states that their last country of permanent residence was Venezuela.
Name of Ship: "Simon Bolivar"
Steamship Line: Royal Netherlands Steamship Company
Port of Arrival: Plymouth
Date of Arrival: July 13th 1930
Whence Arrived: Pto Limon
Port of Embarkation: Curaçao
Passenger Name: William Garrett Knibbs
Proposed UK Address: c/o L.M.Jones, Little Houghton, Northampton
Occupation of Passenger: Engineer
Age of Passenger: 43
Country of Last Permanent Residence: Venezuela

William was accompanied by his wife Elsie Isabel Knibbs, age 45

The address that William gave for his proposed UK address was that of his brother-in-law, Lionel Manfred Jones, who was married to William's sister, Annie Warburton Knibbs.

Simon Bolivar

William died aged just 49.

From Grace's Guiide to British Industrial History:
William Garrett Knibbs (c1887-1937)
WILLIAM GARRETT KNIBBS was chief engineer in charge of the erection of the new tank farm and oil refinery on Canvey Island, for London and Coastal Wharves, Ltd. He was born at Banstead, Surrey, and received his technical education at Birmingham Municipal Technical School. In 1904 he commenced a four years' apprenticeship with Messrs. Belliss and Morcom, Ltd., Birmingham; after this training he went to sea and sailed in the ships of Messrs. Alfred Holt and Company, of Liverpool. In 1913 he obtained a first-class Board of Trade Certificate. Shortly afterwards he was appointed assistant engineer to Messrs. Chance and Hunt, Ltd., chemical manufacturers, of Oldbury, Birmingham. He joined Messrs. J. Lyons and Company, Ltd., as experimental and maintenance engineer in 1924, but subsequently left for Venezuela, as resident engineer, Maracaibo, and as chief field engineer, of the Caribbean Petroleum Company. Later he became associated with Mr. N. A. Anfilogoff, M.I.Mech.E., and this led to his appointment with London and Coastal Wharves, Ltd.
Mr. Knibbs was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1922. His death occurred on Canvey Island on 17th January 1937, in his fiftieth year.


Knibbs William Garrett of Taifing Long-road Canvey Island Essex died 17 January 1937 Probate London 14 Paril to Elsie Isabel Knibbs widow and Bernard Robert Knibbs insurance clerk Effects £2118 13s. 3d.

Sources for William Garrett KNIBBS:

  1. 1901 British Census,
  2. GRO England & Wales,
  3. 1891 British Census, gave middle name of Garrett 
  4. Personal Contact with Helen Hitchins,
  5. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Birth Index: 1837-1983 
  6. Alan Jackson, gave date from probate of his will. 
  7. Ancestry.com. - England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966,
  8. Obituary,

Notes for Elsie Isabel TIDMARSH:

Elsie's parents were William Tidmarsh and Martha Elizabeth Edgar. They married in Shaftsbury District, Dorset, England in q2/1879

In 1881, they were living at Gas House Lane, Gillingham, Dorset, England:
William TIDMARSH Head M Male 26 Chelsea, Middlesex Certificated Elementary Teacher
Martha E. TIDMARSH Wife M Female 28 Gillingham, Dorset Certificated Elementary Teachers Wife
Edith M. TIDMARSH Daur Female 1 Gillingham, Dorset
Mabel A. TIDMARSH Daur Female 2 m Gillingham, Dorset
Elizabeth SALSBURY Visitor U Female 73 Chelsea, Middlesex
Bessie WILLIAMS Servt U Female 17 Gillingham, Dorset General Servant Domestic

We can see Elsie in 1891 living with her parents and siblings at 47, Johnstone Street, Birmingham:
William Tidmarsh Head Married M 36 Government Certificated Teacher School London Middlesex
Martha Tidmarsh Wife Married F 37 Gillingham Dorsetshire
Mabel Tidmarsh Daughter Single F 10 Scholar Gillingham Dorsetshire
Dora Kate Tidmarsh Daughter Single F 8 Scholar Gillingham Dorsetshire
Elsie Tidmarsh Daughter Single F 6 Scholar Birmingham
John Tidmarsh Son Single M 3 Birmingham
Evelyn Tidmarsh Daughter Single F 1 Birmingham
Emily Belsham Servant Single F 15 General Servant Bromsberrow Herefordshire

In 1901, Elsie's the family was living at 87 Gillott Rd., Birmingham:
William Tidmarsh Head M 46 Certified Schoolmaster Middlesex London
Martha E Tidmarsh Wife M 48 Dorset Gillingham
Mabel A Tidmarsh Daur S 20 Teacher Assistant Dorset Gillingham
Dora K E Tidmarsh Daur S 18 Pupil Teacher Dorset Gillingham
Elsie I Tidmarsh Daur S 16 Pupil Teacher Birmingham
Evelyn G Tidmarsh Daur 11 Birmingham
Marjorie M C Tidmarsh Daur 7 Birmingham
Nellie L B Down Visitor S 17 Pulip Teacher Dorset Gillingham
Charlotte Forrester Servant 14 General Servant Domestic Birmingham

Elsie's sister Edith died in Birmingham during q3/1889, aged just 9 years.

And then in 1911, Elsie was still living with her parents at 15 Holly Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, Warwickshire:
William Tidmarsh Head Married M 56 Certified Schoolmaster Head London Chelsea
Martha Elizabeth Tidmarsh Wife Married (31 years) F 57 Dorset Gillingham
Elsie Isabel Tidmarsh Single F 26 Certificated Teacher BA Bham Assistant Birmingham
Marjorie E M Tidmarsh Single F 17 School Birmingham
Sarah Jane Strong Servant Single F 16 General Servant Domestic Dorst Gillingham

Elsie married William Knibbs in 1915.

From the ship's passenger list when she and William travelled to Bombay, India:
Name: Mrs Elsie Isabel KNIBBS
Date of departure: 2 September 1927
Port of departure: London
Passenger destination port: Bombay, India
Passenger destination: Bombay, India
Date of Birth: 1887 (calculated from age)
Age: 40
Marital status: Married
Sex: Female

Sources for Elsie Isabel TIDMARSH:

  1. Personal Contact with Helen Hitchins,
  2. GRO England & Wales, from findmypast.com 
  3. 1901 British Census,
  4. 1911 British Census,