Family knowledge states that Percy Dodsworth BROWN married a certain Zella PURSER for a bet. My relatives can remember visiting Zella, who was apparently quite a character.
She is rumoured to have come from Petworth, and to have been Spanish.
Unfortunately, and possibly due to the sketchy information that is available, I have been unable to find Zella PURSER, or any trace of Percy's marriage.
What we do have is a copy of Percy DODSWORTH BROWN's birth certificate, which states:
1920 BIRTH in the Sub-distrct of: SALISBURY in the: COUNTY OF WILTS
When and where born: 26th September 1920, The Nursing Home, Harcourt Bridge Road U.D.
Name, if any: George Dodsworth
Name and surname of Father: Percy Dodsworth Brown
Name, surname and maiden..
..surname of mother: Zella Lilian Brown formerly Purser
Occupation of father: Captain Royal Engineers of Elmfield Carlton Road Thirsk Yorks.
Signature, description and...
... residence of informant: P.D. Brown Father Elmfield Carlton Road Thirsk Yorks
When registered: Fourth November 1920
Signature of registrar: Ernest Mould
This is interesting because I also found the following in the London Gazette archives
Gazette Issue 35600 published on the 16 June 1942. Page 6 of 6
(three lines up from the bottom of the first paragraph on the right hand column)
"QUEEN ALEXANDRA'S IMPERIAL MILITARY NURSING SERVICE RESERVE"
"The undermentioned are granted commns as Sisters:-"
"1st May 1942:-"
"Miss Zella Vera Dodsworth BROWN (230740)"
...I suppose it is possible that Zella had two middle names? In any event, I have had little joy finding Zella anywhere else.
HOWEVER, I did find an "Ella PURSER" in the 1901 census.
She was born Dec 1896, and her father was from Petworth:
The 1901 census lists the following Pursers in Fittleworth, West Sussex
John PURSER, age 34, born Petworth, Sussex, England.
Mary PURSER, age 41, born Kirdford, Sussex
Emma PURSER, age 10, born Kirdford, Sussex
Constance PURSER, age 8, born Kirdford, Sussex
Darcy PURSER, age 6, born Fittleworth, West Sussex
Ella PURSER, age 4, born Fittleworth, West Sussex
FREEBMD tells me:
I have yet to find any further records for either Percy or (Z)ella....