Albert Ebenezer Priest
DescriptionAlbert was one of the town’s most distinguished residents. Noted for his smart attire and copperplate handwriting he served solicitors, Cooke, Cooper & Barrie for a record 65 years. The second youngest of the seven children of William Priest (1844-1907), postman, and his wife Charlotte (1840-1921), Albert commenced as an office boy at the age of twelve and rose to the position of managing clerk within twenty years.
Educated at St. Paul’s School, Albert was a member of the church choir for forty years. He was also churchwarden and treasurer for the Parochial Church Council.
He married Florence Jane Corbishley (1877-1973), daughter of Henry William Corbishley (1849-1930) and Jane (1849-1937) in July 1905. Shortly afterwards Albert and his wife moved to Ingleside at 36, Sturges Road. They had three children: Vera Florence (b. 1908), Ivor and William Ebenezer Corbishley (b. 1911).
In his youth Albert was a lieutenant in the Boys’ Brigade,—Wokingham 1st Company and, in later years, was vice-chairman of the local Boy Scouts’ Association. During the First World War he was the organiser of the borough’s National Savings movement for which the Prime Minister, Mr. Lloyd George, commended him.
A keen sportsman, Albert was honorary secretary of the Wokingham Cricket Club. Among his most treasured possessions was a solid silver cricket bat presented to him by ‘the sportsmen of his native town’. He was captain of the Howard Palmer Bowling Club for several years and, as Mayor, he officially opened the club. He was also chairman of the Wokingham Club and captain and secretary of the Wokingham Football Club.
Albert was president of the Wokingham Hospital Committee for many years and was mainly responsible for the £1,000 target being reached for endowing a hospital bed. In 1984 he was made an honorary life governor of the hospital.
Albert died on the 9th of January 1957 at the age of 78. His funeral service was held at St. Paul’s Church, Wokingham after which he was cremated at Reading Crematorium. Priest Avenue was named in his memory.
SourceFormer Mayors of Wokingham from 1885 - 1946, by J Bell.
“Albert Ebenezer Priest,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed August 7, 2020, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0145.