SSFR - Southend Great War Trail


Miss Elizabeth Sumner Bannester

Service or Civilian:


Rank or Occupation:

Headteacher, Alexandra College, Westcliff

Birth Details:

Barling, Essex, 1864


Alexandra College, Crowstone Road, Westcliff

Known Relatives:

Abel Bannester, Father, Retired Farmer
Ann Bannester, Aunt, 91 years old in 1911

Francis and Hannah Bannester, Grandparents

Death Details:

2nd December 1914 at the age of 50

Burial Location:

Sutton Road Cemetery, to be confirmed

Southend Connection:

Headteacher of local school and Southend's first female councillor

Story Summary:

Born in Barling, Essex in 1864, Elizabeth Bannester lived with her Grandparents and sister. Elizabeth went to London University and won a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1890 and was listed in the 1901 census as a Private School Mistress and 1911 as Head of Alexandra Private School.

Additional Details:

Elizabeth Sumner Bannester was born in the village of Barling, Essex in 1864. From census records her family were farmers who lived at 'The Cottege', Barling. Elizabeth lived with her parents and grandparents at The Cottage. 

Some years later, Miss Bannester gained a place at London University where she studied the arts and in 1890 was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the university.

The 1901 census has Elizabeth Bannester listed at the head of household at 5 Avenue Road, Prittlewell and her occupation at Private School Mistress.

In 1910 Elizabeth was elected to Southend Council for the Westborough Ward - the first time a lady had been elected for the council.

1911 has Miss Bannester listed as the Principal of Private School at Alexandra College, Westcliff-on-Sea. The college was a private school for young ladies.

Sadly the story comes to an end in 1914 as Miss Elizabeth Bannester died on the 2nd December 1914. We know that she left £521 6 shillings as a notice for probate was posted naming Rose Brown - who seems to have been a long time colleague as she was listed on both 1901 and 1911 census records as living at the same address with the same occupation.



Elizabeth Sumner Bannester
Elizabeth Bannester Newspaper entry
Alexandra College Postcard
Alexandra College - Eagle House - Current View
Alexandra College Interior View
The Garden Alexandra College Postcard
Alexandra College 1911 Census Record
Elizabeth Bannester Probate Notice
Bannester 1881
Bannester 1891
Bannester 1901