Lorenzo Cross was born in King's Norton, England on July 19, 1874, son
of William Hill Cross and Jane
Sarah Wheeler. (King's Norton later became part of Birmingham, the
steel city). George grew up in a good middle class family; his father
was a builder, and the family home at 1 Cannon Hill Road in Birmingham
was still standing in 1955. George, the eldest surviving son of William's
four boys and three girls (two of the boys died in infancy), became a carpenter,
and on November 19, 1900, age 26, he married Florence
Bradburn in Birmingham.
In 1913, George and his family--now consisting of son Neville Cross (b 1899) and daughters Doris Cross (1902) and Wendy Cross (1911)--emigrated to Canada, settling in Montreal. In 1915, a second son, Kenneth Cross, was born, completing the family.
Despite being over 40, George had decided to enlist in the armed forces by 1915. He was considered fit for service in the the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in 1916, and served in France during World War I as a private in the 242nd Batallion. In 1919, the force was demobilized and he was discharged, having returned home on the ship the Royal George. (George's younger brother, Bernard Cross, never emigrated to Canada, dying in Bloemfontein, South Africa, in the Boer War.)
A painter in oils, George worked from old postcards of his home country, England. Some of his works were sold through a Montreal dealer--until George found out that the dealer was artificially aging the paintings and selling them as "old". Being a man of great integrity, George would longer sell his works, but several remain in the families of his descendants.
Later in his life, Parkinson's disease overwhelmed George, and he died 23 December 1942, having that summer met the most recent of his then seven grandchildren, Lesley Dalrymple - daughter of Wendy Cross with her husband Ken Dalrymple. George's wife, Florence, lived with her daughter Doris in Montreal until 1969, dying in her 95th year.
By: Lesley (Dalrymple) O'Neil, August, 2002
George Lorenzo Cross ....... Lesley
Dalrymple O'Neil (granddaughter)
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