Saturday, 16 May 2009
Herbert Felix Cruse 1863-1921
Kit Elliott has sent me this lovely photograph of his ancestor Herbert Felix Cruse, who was more usually known by his middle name Felix. The photograph was taken in the garden of the family home at 3 Newby Terrace, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, and was sent by Felix as a Christmas greeting, presumably to family members, in 1915. Herbert Felix Cruse was the son of Edward Cruse (1807-1879) and Hannah Mary Brown (c.1826-1891). His father Edward was in his day a well-known organist and composer. Felix was born on 3rd August 1863 at 39 Buckingham Road, Brighton, Sussex. We understand that Felix was named after the composer Felix Mendelssohn. He also had an older brother named John Sebastian Cruse after J S Bach! The house in Brighton was known as Bach House for obvious reasons! Felix clearly inherited his father's musical talent and by the age of 17 he was working as an organist. Some time before 1891 Felix was appointed as the organist of St Peter's Church in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham. The church was also the venue of Felix's marriage to Katherine Brown in 1894. Felix and Katherine had just one child, a daughter called Joan, who was born in 1896 in Stockton-on-Tees. Felix must have struggled to make money as an organist and by the time of the 1901 census he had taken on a job as a teacher of music to supplement the income from his organ playing. Felix died at his home at 3 Newby Terrace, Stockton-on-Tees, on 13th December 1921 at the age of 58 years. At the time of his death he was described as a chartered accountant's clerk. The reason for his change of career is not known.