Lewis Instone

Born 2 March 1885 Birmingham died 26 June 26 1913 Lake Krupel, Senzig, Berlin, Germany
Occupation: Jeweller, Goldsmith
Married Gertrude Somers July 29 1908 St Johns Church Sparkhill

Born at 132 St Pauls Road Kings Norton Birmingham the son of Thomas Instone and Maude Mary Lang and the eldest of 7 boys. He was extreemly artistic and went to the Vittoria Street school of art where aged 20 he won various prizes, gaining a special mention for memory drawing, a goldsmiths award of 5s for 2nd place, a 2s award for progress in his goldsmiths work and the headmasters prize for two weeks for the weekly exercise in memory drawing. He also won the messenger prize (£10) for a brooch in metal in 1905.

In 1908 aged 23 he married Gertrude Somers and moved from the family home in Stanley Rd to 28 WIlson Rd Handsworth to start his married life where 17 April 1909 their first child Lewis Archibald was born followed 2 years later by a daughter Marjorie. By July that year he had been appointed by his old school as an Assistant Teacher of Metalwork, teaching classes on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. He is described in the staff book as 'Excellent Metalworker' and having gained a First Class honours in Goldwork and a silver and bronze medal from City and Guild London in Silversmiths work. He taught classes relating to 1909-10 Raising, Chasing and Repousse, and 1910-12 Mounting, Setting, Carving and Saw-Piecing.

Lewis worked at Vittoria Street until 1912 (his address was listed as 11 Shaftmoor Lane) when he was selected by the Berlin Court goldsmith Emil Lettre to go to Berlin to work as a silversmith ( leaving Birmingham in November 1912 and returning on January 12 1913) 5 months later he died in a tragic diving accident whilst living at 2 Ravenestrasse, Berlin (either on holiday of permanently?); he dived into a lake off a rock and never surfaced (death certificate). His family were with him in Germany when he died and anecdotelly he was on a tour of Germany with his brother Bernard to 'set Europe alight with their talent'.

Saturday November 5
Left Birmingham (New Street) 4 o’clock Harwich 9.30. Boat to Hook of Holland 10 o’clock. Hook of Holland 5 o’clock a.m. November 6. Train to Berlin arriving at 7 o’clock p.m. met herr Lettre at Friedrichstrasse station and went with him to Pension Wallraff, Karlstrasse 5a.11 introduced to about 20 Foreign people, some French some Dutch, Japanese, Russian, Hungarian, German and others. I was the only English subject among them felt very strange and was glad to be shown my room and get to sleep being very tired


Thursday January 12
breakfast 7.30 Packing up 8 till 9, had a difficult job to get all my things in having to use all my might and strength to get the Portmanteau together. Then went and bought something to read on the journey, paid my bill at the Pension and gave Frau Walbroff and her sister a small handbag each which they were very pleased with; then went a walk around and bought a few presents and cigars etc and went to say goodbye to Herr Lettre and his men; left him in quite a nice manner saying he hoped i should come again and that he intended coming to England next month and said he would come and see me. It was a peculiar feeling saying goodbye; then went to pension and said goodbye to Frau Wallraff and her sister then took cab to station about 15 minutes to wait and off I started my homeward journey, very lucky in getting a carriage with only one gentleman in and he an Englishman, and for 4 hours without a break kept me shamously interested telling me about his experiences in St. Petersburg, where he is an anylyst to an Oil and Colour Mills and of the hriley & Counesotion that goes on there

Maybe he was actually there on holiday having finished his time over there? His brother Bernard was out in Germany at the time working for Lettre, maybe Lewis had gone out to visit him?

In his will he left £266.14/6d to his wife Gertrude and his address was stated as 19 Adria Road which seems strange as it is understood he was living elsewhere with his young family. his family