Frances  Mary Holford Hardman (née McMahon), born 1867

1888: Thomas McMahon's daughter, Frances Mary Holman McMahon (named after her mother who probably died in child birth) married John Wreford Julian Hardman (born January 1863) in Kensington in 1888 when she was aged 21.

Frances Hardman (née McMahon)
(See below for explantion)
The Belfast News-Letter, Wednesday, January 4, 1888  

L-R Frances M Hardman (née McMahon), Frances J Hardman,
JWJ Hardman (standing), Frederick Hardman, Sir Horace McMahon, unknown c1896
(Photo credit: Brenda Whitmore [née Bancroft])

I found this rather faded, damaged and bent small photo (shown full size on the left) in an old envelope of transfer prints of the McMahon family still held by Brenda Whitmore [nee Bancroft], the step granddaughter of Sir Horace McMahon. I managed to clean up the photo using Photoshop after scanning at 400dpi. The seated gentleman third from the right is definitely Horace and I estimate that this sepia family photo dates from around 1897-8. We have no other evidence of who the other people in the photo are, but I am confident  that the woman seated on the left is his sister, Frances Mary Hardman (née McMahon), the young girl is her daughter Frances and the boy is Frederick McMahon Hardman. The standing man could be John Wreford Julian Hardman, Frances's husband. We are not sure who the girl standing on the right is - she maybe a nanny or J W J Hardman's sister?

The reason we are confident is because there was no other McMahon sibling with children at this date (or any other) so we are confident that this attribution is correct though I will never be able to prove it unless I can turn up other photos. They also look very much like brother and sister!

1891: According to the 1891, Frances (aged 24) and John were listed as living in Stirling house in Alexander Road in Farnborough - together with six servants. Living at 5 Stirling Villas was Sir Thomas McMahon's gardener, George Marshall.

John hardman was born January 1863, educated at Harrow, and entered the 6th Dragoons August 1885, being transferred to the 1st Dragoons October 1885...

1895: The London Gazette, 8 January 1895, Francis Yorke McMahon had resigned an appointment in the 1st Dragoons and and J W J Hardman was promoted to Captain. The following announcement was found in the London Gazette:

The London Gazette, 8 January 1895

Note: It is an interesting fact that through this announcement we realised that J W J Hardman actually knew General Sir Thomas McMahon's son (now his brother in law) , Francis York McMahon. Francis committed suicide two years later in 1897.

Captain Hardman held the post of adjutant to his regiment from December 1894, to December 1898, and was appointed Recruiting Staff Officer (Class II) London Recruiting District, May 1899, which appointment he held till October when he rejoined his regiment in order to proceed to South Africa. 

He then served with the Natal Field Force in Boer war and was present at the battle of Colenso (15th December 1899) and the relief of Ladysmith (2nd November 1899 to 27th February 1900).

The Times, Thursday, Feb 15, 1900

The Times, Tuesday, May 22, 1900

The Princess Christian Hospital at Pinetown Bridge in Natal South Africa
Photo credit:
The South African Military History Society

The Times, Tuesday, May 26, 1900

1900: Unfortunately, John Hardman died of enterec (typhoid) fever in the The Princess Christian Hospital at Pinetown Bridge in Natal South Africa in the Boer war on May 30th 1900 aged 37. According to the link below, only 19 died in the hospital.

The Times ©, Tuesday, Jun 05, 1900

I was searching the Internet looking for anything about JWJ Hardman and after typing 'Princess Christian Hospital' into Goggle I was amazed to see a picture of a memorial to him in South Africa  in the St John's churchyard, Pinetown . I sent an email to the church and was rewarded with a long phone call where we talked about the Boer war and the hospital and a promise that Rob Niemeyer would send me some photos of JWJ's grave. The photos duly arrived and I can't thank Rob enough.

John Wreford Julian Hardman grave and the Boer War memorial in St John's church, Pinetown, South Africa
(click the small memorial picture to see all dedications)
JWJ's grave with St John's church in the background The Fairydene old age home (was Princess Christian Hospital)
The current Sarnia station. (previously Pinetown Bridge where the Princess Christian Hospital Train halted) St John's church, Pinetown c1900
(Photo credit: Rob Niemeyer and St John's church, Pinetown SA)


The Times, Tuesday, Nov 13, 1901 St John the baptist, Dunton Green
Photo credit:
North West Kent family History Society

From  Burke's 'Roll of Officers who fell in South Africa 1899 - 1902 (1921)

1901: By the 1901 census Frances and her two daughters were living in Kent.

After WWI Frances was living at The Lattice House (Castleton) Sherborne, Dorset.

1926: Frances Mary Holford died on the 18th June 1926 in Sherborne district aged 59.

The Times ©, Saturday, Jun 19, 1926

  Sherborne Abbey

Frances and John had three children:

Frances Juliet Hardman (Daughter, born in 1889)
Frederick McMahon Hardman (Son, born 1890)
Aubrey Annie Hardman (Daughter, born 1894)

Back L-R: Unknown, Unknown, Prince Alexander Gagarine, Aubrey Annie Hardman and
Frances Juliet Hardman Sitting: Primrose Bancroft, Unknown, Unknown
(Photo credit: Brenda Whitmore [née Bancroft])

The photo above is another very interesting negative obtained from Mrs Brenda Whitmore, the granddaughter of Horace McMahon by marriage. Although we have no 'hard evidence' we believe that that this photo shows Prince Alexander Gagarine (middle back), Aubrey Annie Hardman (second from right at the back) and Frances Juliet Hardman (back far right). The person in the deckchair is definitely Primrose Bancroft, step daughter of Sir Horace McMahon. There is also a similar photograph that includes Sir Horace McMahon sitting in the deckchair -shown on the left.

We do not know who the other two men standing and the couple sitting down with the baby are.
The reasons we believe the above attributions are correct are:

  • We judge the photograph to have been between 1926 and 1928 by looking at other photos of Horace and Primrose.

  • All the McMahon photos in the possession of Brenda Whitmore seem to only include relations of Horace McMahon.

  • Assuming this to be a family photo and considering the fact that Sir Horace McMahon had no other living relatives other than Frances and Aubrey, then it can be conjectured that the photo shows these two cousins.

  • The other negatives show that the location is in [south of] France.

  • Aubrey Annie Hardman married Prince Alexander Gagarine in September 1927 in Canne and Frances Juliet Hardman travelled to South Africa as a missionary in November 1928 so they could not have been seen together after that date.  Their mother, Frances, died in 1926.

  • Prince Alexander Gagarine would have been aged around 60 at the time of this photo (this fits the photo), Aubrey Annie Hardman would have been aged around 32 (this fits the photo) and Frances Juliet Hardman would have been aged around 38 (this fits the photo).

  • Prince Alexander Gagarine in photo has the possible affectation of a German / Russian Prince in his stance and the way he holds his cigarette.

Of course, this could all be incorrect!

Frances 'Juliet' Hardman

1925: Mr E J Luxford travelled out to Mozambique as a missionary on the steamship Guildford Castle leaving on 23rd April 1925. According to his obituary states that he was ordained in 1925.

Passenger list of the Guildford Castle leaving the UK on 23rd April 1925

1927: The first mention of 'Juliet' Hardman was in the Times in 1927 when she attended the funeral of her aunt Frances (sister of her father J W J Hardman) in Lynton, Devon.

The Times, Monday, Dec 12, 1927

1928: According to passenger records on the Kildonan Castle (click on picture to enlarge), Frances Juliet Hardman aged 39 was listed as being on a "Universities' Mission to Central Africa" (UMCA) - for permanent residence in South Africa. The Reverend B. Higgins accompanied her. (There is also an Archdeacon Hallett on the ship).

Note: Her father was buried in South Africa and she is emigrating two years after her mother died. It is interesting to conjecture whether Frances visited her father's grave in Pinetown, one can only suppose she did - I hope so...

Nov 16th 1928 passenger records on the Kildonan Castle (

1933: Frances got married in Nyasaland (now known as Malawi) to Edward Luxford.

The Times, Friday, Jun 23, 1933

This is interesting if you consider: "The Universities Mission to Central Africa (UMCA) would only accept single people to work in their society for they discovered the value of staff who were not limited by family ties and who because they were free, could easily be moved from one station to another with ease. They could also live on less pay."

1934: According to on-line BT phonebooks and his obituary, E T P Luxford was back in the UK living in Gillingham before moving to The Vicarage in Moorlynch [Moorlinch] in 1938. We later discovered him living (at least he had a phone number) in Sutton in 1934, the year after marrying Frances.

1964: Frances's husband Edward died aged 63 in Moorlinch in Somerset in 1964 and was cremated.

The Times, Friday, Aug 07, 1964

St Mary's church Moorlinch (credit: Geograph & Barbara Cook)

According to his obituary in the 14th August 1964 Yeovil edition of the Western Gazette, Edward Luxford returned to the UK in 1934 as we suspected. More importantly, the obituary stated that he "left a wife" who we assume to be Frances!

Western Gazette, 14th August 1964

1974: Further investigation shows that Frances died aged 85 in Brighton 1974:

Frances's death record, October quarter 1974 (

Frances moved from Somerset to Brighton which is where her sister Aubrey Annie Hardman lived as well (or vice versa). I wonder if they lived together at the Woodmanscote address as shown in Aubrey Annie Hardman section below.

Further research has shown that Frances could have moved to Terry's Cross, a home for retired clergy in Woodmancote, West Sussex. This is likely as this is the address used by her sister Aubrey when she died in 1981.

Indeed, a visit to to Terry's Cross elicited that both Frances and Aubrey, her sister, both lived at 2 Gatehouse after the death of their husbands until they died. Frances was cremated and Aubrey was buried at the local church - see below. A retired warder remembered them both very well. It's pleasing to find out that they shared the same house for the latter part of their lives.

Note: When time permits, I may study the records of the "Universities' Mission to Central Africa" (UMCA) held in the Bodleian library in Oxford to see if I can find any further information about Frances while she was in South Africa.

Frederick 'Freddy' McMahon Hardman

1912: Frederick was promoted to be a Second Lieutenant (on probation)

London Gazette
- 2nd August 1912

1914: Frederick was confirmed as Second Lieutenant

The Times, Wednesday, Jan 14, 1914


August 7th 1914:
Letter from FMH to John Tresidder Sheppard in August 1914 in the King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge.

August 8th 1914

My Rev[?] Sheppard,

It was awfully nice of you to write and a very nice letter too as you really know. This is a wonderful war isn't it? And as the newspapers so aptly remark "no one can see the end". You know I was rather invisible at first. I thought our cause was a bad one and that we ought not to fight  at all. Grey's[?] correspondence with all these diplomats has converted me. [?] must be exploded. Perhaps this will really lead ultimately to the reduction of armaments and such[?]. Situation[?] of common sense, the inept look on it as a little surgical[?] enquiries[?]. You mustn't think that I am converted to militarism for its own sake. But I think William must go and his war party with him. The quicker we get the dirty war over the better. We are very busy here making preparations. You would scarcely believe what a curious business it is. Old bus-drivers, gardeners, professors, tradesmen, all sorts being drawn in uniformed and armed. We know no more of our future movements than what you can read in the papers  but I expect we get away soon. I look to you to pursue my notoriety in xxxxx-ation[?] with a view to that luckless dissertation; otherwise I shall be forgotten. Cambridge I should like to see in its warlike mood. I am afraid this is a bad letter, it doesn't say at all what I want to. But that you must as cure[?] to my 'education' or want of it; I don't mean education technically; failure of expression perhaps. Please write again and I will try and write to you. If I don't you will know it is because I am too busy.

Wish me luck. Yours

                     FWM Hardman

Letter from FWM Hardman to J. M. Keynes at Kings College
(the original letter is held in the Archives of Kings College, Cambridge, document JTS/2/91)

October 14th 1914: This looks to be one of Frederick's final letters as he was killed within two weeks of quickly writing this letter. It is scribbled on a piece of notebook paper in pencil.


Dear Maynard

Just a time to thank you for your letter and your article - you must have made waves by it in the banking world.

So far I have not been hurt or had any chance of it, only been frightened.

As ever in great haste.

                           FWM Hardman

Letter from FWM Hardman to J. M. Keynes at Kings College
(the original letter is held in the Archives of Kings College, Cambridge, document JMK/PP/45/131)

October 25th 1914: In reply to the above letter, J.M. Keynes wrote a long letter. I will only quote the the first paragraph here as it is so poignant in the fact that it was returned unopened and marked 'Killed' on the 25th October 1914.

Kings College

25 October 1914

My dear Freddie,

It is was very nice to hear that you were still undamaged on October 14. I hope that holds good for October 25 too.

[The rest of the letter concerns general comments about the war.]

                        Yours JMK

Extract from letter from J. M. Keynes at Kings College to FWM Hardman
(the original letter is held in the Archives of Kings College, Cambridge, document JMK/PP/45/131)

1914: Frances's only son Freddy, Frederick McMahon Hardman - born 1890 - was killed on the 27th October 1914 in the first World War aged 24.

"Second lieutenant 4th Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers. 3rd Division. Killed in action near Neuve Chapelle 29 October 1914. Aged 24. Son of Captain J.W.J. Hardman (Late 1st Royal Dragoons) and Mrs Frances Hardman of ‘The Lattice House” Sherborne, Dorset. Included on the Town War Memorial, Sherborne".

The Sphere, 5th Dec 1914, page 251 (Credit: Robert Smith)

Langton Matravers, Durnford School War Memorial
Photo, text and thanks credit: Roll of Honour.

Here is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. Frederick's memorial is on Panel 6 of the Le Touret Memorial.

There is a King's College obituary in the 1914 annual report (Thanks: Kings College archivist)

"Frederick McMahon Hardman, Scholar, 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Fusiliers, was killed in Action on October 25-27, while leading his men in street-fighting: he was aged 24 years. He was the son of Captain Hardman of the Royal Dragoons, who fell [this is crossed out and annotated 'died from enteric fever'] in the Boer War. Admitted Scholar from Eton in 1909 he took his degree in the Classical Tripos, Part I, in 1912, and obtained a 1st Class. In the following year he took the 2nd part of the Economics Tripos and was placed in the 1st Division of the 2nd Class. He joined the Special Reserve of the Royal Fusiliers in 1912. His friends in the College, and they were many, both old and young, hoped and expected for him a useful and distinguished career, and though these hopes have been frustrated by his early death, they cherish the memory of a loveable nature, a fresh and independent mind, a delightful and engaging personality."

Nov. 9th 1914: Letter from Frances Hardman to John Maynard Keynes (the brilliant and original economist whose ideas later became known as 'Keynesian' economics) in August 1914 in the King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge. Note: In World War I the Sherborne Castle house was used by the Red Cross as a hospital for wounded soldiers, so the use of headed paper probably means that Frances was working there during the war.

Sherborne Castle Hospital

Nov 9th 1914

Dear Mr Keynes,

It is most kind of you to write, I very much appreciate your sympathy in my great sorrow. Nothing can ever make up for me for Freddy's loss, and all that is left is his endure.

He was leading his men in a house to house attack; they had driven the enemy from the house, and were just advancing to another, when he was hit; he only lived a few minutes and thank God was spared much suffering.

He had been fighting hard for some days, and on these previous occasions bullets had gone through his clothes. I am very very proud of my boy, but it is difficult to give him up.

    Yours sincerely

                 Frances Hardman

Letter from France Hardman to J. M. Keynes at Kings College
(the original letters are held in the Archives of Kings College, Cambridge, documents


Courtesy of the trustees of the Fusilier Museum London


Aubrey Annie Hardman

1927: In 1927 Aubrey Annie Hardman married Prince Alexander Gagarine in Nice.

The Times ©, Friday, Aug 05, 1927

The Times ©, Saturday, Sep 17, 1927

1939: In 1939 Alexander and Aubrey went to the USA on the S.S. Conti de Savoia where we assume she stayed for the duration of the war although they say they were only intending to stay for six months (click to see the passenger list) (Note: there are no children accompanying Alexander and Aubrey, this would suggest that they had no children) (Picture credit: ).

April 19th 1939 S.S. Conti de Savoia passenger list (

1966: Alexander died in Canne in 1966:

The Times ©, Friday, Mar 11, 1966

We are not yet sure when Aubrey returned to the United Kingdom, as she did not seem to have a BT telephone number unfortunately.

1982: Princess Aubrey died on 24th September 1981 aged 87:

Deaths registered in July, August, September 1981 (

The London Exchange, 5th November 1981

Latest Wills: The Times ©, Thursday, Dec 03, 1981

Aubrey Annie Gagarine's grave in St Mary's Church in Woodmancote, East Sussex .

We are not sure whether Aubrey had any children as she was living in France. Also, her will did not mention any children.