Ken

 On 16th August 1947 Ina, or rather Norah Theresa, Cordery stepped off the gang plank of the SS Rippingham Grange and followed Godfrey onto the dockside of Dársena D in the port of Buenos Aires. Her first home was c/ Jacinto Rosso 170 in the suburb of Temperley, named after George Temperley, a native of Newcastle-upon-Tyne who set aside part of his country estate here in 1870 to construct a railway community.

Temperley Station 1925

The British-owned, built and operated Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway ran south from its terminus at Constitución station in the city centre through Temperley and Banfield to the port of Bahia Blanca and on to Patagonia. BAGSR was the largest railway company in South America and at its height in the 1930s employed nearly 30,000 employees.

Advertisement for Urban Rail Map 1913

Temperley is situated south of the city of Lomas de Zamora and next to the huge rail yard at Remedios de Escalada. Most of the inhabitants were first or second generation British railway employees. Godfrey’s father, Kenneth, was one such.

Ken was born on 4th March 1894 at 44 Rollestone Street in Swindon, the son of Frederick and Flora. Frederick had been in service as a butler in Shipton Bellinger in Hampshire and Flora Rodwell was a nursemaid at a private house, The Knoll, in Dorking. Like his father Joseph, also a butler, Fredrick had married a fellow servant.

The Knoll, Holmwood, Dorking

They were married on 3rd January 1893 in Kingston-upon-Thames and a few weeks later, on 16th February Flora gave birth to a baby girl. Little Flora died later that same month. Fred and Flora opened a drapers shop on Plumstead High Street and Ken was born the following year. He went to Plumstead Primary School but left school at 14 and in 1908 joined the Great Western Railway in Swindon as an office boy. Having served as a corporal in the Army Service Corps during the Great War, Ken returned to Swindon and the GWR where he worked as a storekeeper until he handed in his notice on 29th March 1921. He had decided to exchange the workshops of the Great Western Railway for the pampas of Argentina.

Tourist cabin Highland Piper

A week later, on 7th April 1921, he boarded the refrigerated cargo ship SS Highland Piper in London and sailed to Buenos Aires where he found work as a clerk on the Buenos Ayres Great Southern Railway. He was a keen tennis player and joined the Mármol Tennis Club where he soon met Margaret, another enthusiastic player.

Marmol Tennis Club 1920

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