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Professional Photographers in Hastings & St Leonards (W1)

Hermann S. Warschawski


Hermann Stanham Warschawski (born 1875, Brighton - died 1935, Bexhill, Sussex) [From 1903, Hermann S. Warschawski went under the name of Hermann Stanham]                

Photographer and Proprietor of a Photographic Studio in St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, from 1900 to 1938

Hermann Stanham Warschawski was born in Brighton in 1875 [birth registered in Brighton during the 3rd Quarter of 1875]. Hermann Warschawski was the son of Paul Isidor Johann Warschawski (born 1834, Osiecin, Poland) a Professor of Hebrew and German, and his second wife Harriet Stanham.

Paul Isidor Johann Warschawski, Hermann's father, was the son of Jochabed and Wolf Warschawski, a Polish rabbi. Paul Warschawski emigrated from Poland and had settled in England by 1855. Paul Warschawski married a woman named Bertha and fathered of a son named Richard Rawlinson Vivyan Warschawski (born 28th June, 1856, Liverpool). Bertha Warschawski, Paul Warschawski's first wife, died in Liverpool in 1860. Five years later, Paul Warschawski was living in Brighton with his eight year old son.  Although he was the son of a Jewish rabbi, Paul Warschawski converted to Christianity and on 15th November 1865, aged around thirty, he was baptised as a Christian at the Chapel Royal, Brighton, together with his son Richard Rawlinson Warschawski.

At the time of the 1871 census, Paul Warschawski was boarding at 43 Buckingham Road, Brighton with his 14 year old son Richard. Paul Warschawski is described on the census return as a thirty-eight year old widower. On the 1871 census return, Paul Warschawski gave his occupation as "Professor of Hebrew and German". Paul Warschawski was a Hebrew scholar and had authored works such as "Progressive Hebrew Course and Music of the Bible", which had been published in 1870.

On 25th July 1872, at St Nicholas' Church, Brighton, Paul Warschawski married Harriet Stanham (born 1836, Castle Bytham, Lincolnshire), a former Governess and the daughter of Catherine and Hugh Stanham, a Lincolnshire farmer. A son, Hermann Stanham Warschawski was born at Brighton in 1875.

Paul Warschawski appears to have become actively involved in The London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews. [Founded in 1809, The London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews employed missionaries to convert the Jewish inhabitants of England's large cities from Judaism to Christianity, by distributing bibles, tracts and prayer books, by setting up mission schools for Jewish children and establishing mission stations in poverty stricken areas]. The London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews had mission stations in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. It seems that Paul and Harriet Warschawski were working in Liverpool on behalf of the Society around 1877, because their second child Gertrude Catherine Warschawski was born in the area of Liverpool about this time. [The birth of Gertrude Catherine Warschawski was registered in the Lancashire district of West Derby during the 3rd Quarter of 1877].

In 1879, Paul Warschawski founded The Barbican Mission, "an agency for gospel work among the Jews conducted by Hebrew Christians". At the time of the 1881 census, Paul Warschawski, his wife Harriet, and their two children - Hermann, aged 5, and Gertrude, aged 3, - were living in London at 28 Winston Road, Stoke Newington. On the 1881 census return, Paul  Warschawski, the head of the household, is described in the census return as a "Missionary to the Jews".

By 1890, the Warschawskis had returned to Sussex. When the census was taken in 1891, Reverend Paul Warschawski was residing at 45 West Hill, St Leonards, near Hastings, and he is entered on the census return as a 56 year old "Missionary". On 17th October 1895, Paul Isidor Warschawski became a Naturalized British Citizen. By 1899, Rev. Paul Warschawski was living at 16 Warrior Gardens, St Leonards, where Harriet, his wife, ran a boarding house. When the 1901 census was taken, Paul and Harriet Warschawski were residing in Lewisham, where their married daughter, Gertrude, had just set up home. By this date, the Reverend Paul Warschawski was referring to himself as a "Minister", rather than a missionary.

Hermann S. Warschawski - Photographer in St. Leonards-on-Sea

On the 1891 census return, 15 year old Hermann Warschawski is recorded as a "Photographer's Apprentice". It is possible that Hermann Warschawski was learning his photographic skills in the St Leonards' studio of Jasper Weston & Son, a firm which had established a branch studio at 24 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea around 1887.  By 1891, Jasper Weston & Son had moved to 20 Grand Parade, the former studio premises of Henry Knight. From around 1900, Hermann Warschawski was the proprietor of the former Weston & Son studio at 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards on Sea. (A photograph by Hermann Warschawski dating from around 1900 has the words "Hermann Warschawski, Late J. Weston & Son. St. Leonards" on the reverse). At the time of the 1901 census, Hermann Warschawski was boarding at 16 Warrior Gardens, Hastings, a house that had previously been occupied by his parents. On the census return, Hermann S. Warschawski is described as a 25 year old "Photographer".

[ABOVE] Two early portraits by Hermann Warschawski of 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea. The photograph on the left is dated January, 1900, and the photograph on the right is inscribed "April, 1902".

[PHOTOS: Courtesy of Johnny Blomfield]

By 1913, Hermann Warschawski had opened a branch studio in Brighton at 43 Western Road. Warschawski's studio at 43 Western Road, Brighton continued until around 1924. The studio at 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards carried the name of Warschawski right through to the eve of the Second World War.

[ABOVE] The photographic studio of Hermann Warschawski at 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea (c1910)

[PHOTO : Courtesy of Linda Evans of Portsmouth]

[BELOW] 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea, photographed in 2006 when the building was being used as an Indian restaurant.


[ABOVE] A modern photograph of  20 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea, the site of  Hermann Warschawski's photographic studio.

[ABOVE] The trade plate of Hermann Warschawski, Photographer of 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea (c1910).

[ABOVE] The trade plate used by Hermann Warschawski during the 1930s

Hermann Warschawski's Life and Career after 1900 [NOTE: From 1903, Hermann Warschawski was known as Hermann Stanham]

[ABOVE] Captain Hermann S. Stanham (formerly Warschawski) pictured when he was serving as an officer in the Royal Horse Artillery during the First World War. Under the name of Hermann Warschawski, Captain Stanham had operated a photographic studio at  20 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea, but from 1903 (the year he changed his surname from Warschawski to Stanham), he had concentrated on his military career as an artillery officer. For some years Hermann's daughters were not aware of his involvement in professional photography.

[PHOTO: Courtesy of Nicolas Gray]


[ABOVE] The death of  Hermann Stanham Stanham (formerly Hermann Stanham Warschawski) reported in the Hastings & St Leonards Observer in October 1935. There is no reference in this article to Hermann's activities as a photographer. The original newspaper article appeared under the heading "OLD HASTINGS OARSMAN" and mentions that "in his younger days" Hermann "was a very well-known Hastings oarsman" who often rowed at local regattas. The bulk of the article is concerned with  Brevet Colonel Stanham's artillery career, mentioning his service as an artillery officer during the First World War and his subsequent activities with Territorial Field Artillery units in Eastbourne and Bexhill.

[NEWSPAPER ARTICLE: Courtesy of Nicolas Gray]

At the time of the 1901 census, Hermann S. Warschawski was a 25 year old "Photographer" operating a photographic studio at 20 Grand Parade, St. Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex. Early in 1901, Hermann's sister, Gertrude Warschawski, had married Julius Thomas Larzen (born 1875, Stoke Newington, London), a school teacher, and was residing in Lewisham, where her husband taught at a boys' preparatory school. (Under the name Julius Lawson, Gertrude's husband eventually became Vicar of All Saints Church, Clapton). Hermann's elder half brother, Richard Warschawski (born 1856, Liverpool), had adopted the surname Vyvyan in 1888, around the time he was ordained as a priest. In 1901, Richard Vyvyan (Warschawski) was serving as the Rector of Lydenburg with St Mary's in Transvaal, South Africa. Rev. Richard Vyvyan returned to England and in 1911 he married Evelyn Augusta Taylor (born 1878, London).

When the census was taken on 31st March 1901, Hermann S. Warschawski was working as a photographer in St Leonards-on-Sea and boarding at 16 Warrior Gardens, Hastings. Although he was a photographer by profession, Hermann Warschawski was also a volunteer officer in the Royal Garrison Artillery. A notice in The London Gazette, dated 26th June 1900, reported that Hermann Stanham Warschawski was about to be promoted to Second Lieutenant in the 2nd Cinque Ports Volunteer Corps in the Eastern Division of the Royal Garrison Artillery. On 21st April 1903, the War Office announced in The London Gazette that Hermann Stanham Warschawski, "late Captain, 2nd Cinque Ports, Royal Garrison Artillery" was to enter the Royal Field Artillery Militia with the rank of Lieutenant. His entry into the Royal Field Artillery, spurred Hermann Warschawski to give up his foreign-sounding name of Warshawski and adopt the surname of his English mother. In the Summer of 1903, The Times reported the following change of surname: "WARSCHAWSKI, H. S. to Hermann Stanham".

While nominally the proprietor of a photographic studio in St Leonards-on-Sea, Hermann Stanham Stanham (formerly Warschawski) rose through the ranks of the Militia Artillery. Hart's Annual Army List notes that H. S. Stanham had become a Captain in the 3rd Battery of the Lancashire Field Artillery on 6th October 1906. By the time the census was taken on 2nd April 1911, Hermann Stanham (formerly Warschawski) was serving as a Captain in the 118th Battery (Royal Field Artillery) at the Lille Barracks in Aldershot. Presumably, at this time, the Warschawski Studio at 20 Grand Parade, St. Leonards-on-Sea was staffed and operated by Captain Stanham's employees.

At the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, Captain Hermann Stanham was sent to France with the Royal Horse Artillery. According to newspaper reports Captain Stanham served with distinction in the Royal Horse Artillery and was "mentioned in despatches".

In 1915, Captain Hermann Stanham (formerly Warschawski) married Olive Florence Colgate, the daughter of Ethel Jolly and Dr Henry Colgate, a physician and surgeon based in Eastbourne. [The marriage of Hermann S. Stanham and Olive Colgate was registered in the London district of Hampstead during the First Quarter of 1915]. Captain Stanham's bride, Olive Florence Colgate was born in Eastbourne, Sussex, on 21st September 1887. At the time of their marriage, Captain Stanham was 39 years of age and his bride was 27. Dr Henry Colgate (1850-1940), Olive's father, was a medical practitioner at Kent Lodge, Seaside Road, Eastbourne. In 1880, Dr Henry Colgate (born 1850, Eastbourne) had married Ethel Dobell Jolly (born 1856, Bath, Somerset) and the couple had settled in the doctor's home town of Eastbourne.

The union between Hermann Stanham and Olive Florence Colgate produced three daughters** - Tania Stanham (born 1916, Eastbourne, Sussex), Patience Stanham (born 1917, Shackleford, near Godalming, Surrey) and Helen Stanham (born 1919, Shackleford, Surrey).

During the First World War, Captain Hermann Stanham served as an artillery officer on the Western Front and by 1919 he was commanding a brigade in Mesopotamia (Iraq / Kuwait / Syria). During his absence, the Warschawski Studios in St Leonards-on-sea and Brighton were managed by professional photographers employed by Captain Stanham.

In 1917, while her husband Hermann Stanham (Warschawski) was serving in the Royal Horse Artillery, Mrs Olive Florence Stanham became a Director of Warschawski Studios Ltd. alongside Miss A. Douch and Hugh Hutcheson Ramsay Vaughan-Arbuckle (born 1875, Shooters Hill, Kent), the wealthy son of a retired army officer.

Around this time, Captain Stanham rented Mitchen Hall, a grand house at Shackleford, near Godalming in Surrey. Mitchen Hall was home to Captain Stanham's wife and their three daughters while he served as an artillery officer in France and Mesopotamia. After his war service, Hermann Stanham returned to the South Coast of Sussex, eventually settling in Little Common, a small village that has now become a part of the seaside town of Bexhill.

Hermann Stanham (Warschawski) died at Sandhurst Lodge, Little Common, Bexhill, Sussex on 27th September 1935 at the age of 59. The funeral took place at St Mark's Church, Bexhill and was conducted by Rev. Julius Lawson, Hermann's brother-in-law and husband of Hermann's sister, Gertrude.

After Hermann Stanham's death from cancer in 1935, the Warschawski Studio at 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea, was taken over by the photographer W. G. Hearn, a former employee.

** Hermann's daughters: Tania Stanham (1916-2000) married the journalist John Midgley and under her married name worked as a photographer. Patience Stanham (1917-2005) is better known as the cookery writer Patience Gray. Hermann's youngest daughter Helen Stanham (1919-46) died in a skiing accident in 1946.

Studio Portraits by Hermann S. Warschawski of 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards

[ABOVE] A studio portrait of an unknown couple by Hermann Warschawski of  20 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea (c1918). Signed in pencil by the photographer at the bottom of the mount "Warschawski". On the reverse of the mount is a label with the words "Portrait by: Warschawski Ltd, 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards.  No 8305B"

 [PHOTO: Courtesy of Fiona Price]

[ABOVE] A postcard format portrait of  a well-dressed woman holding an opened book, photographed by Hermann Warschawski of 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea (c1912). The words "Warschawski, St. Leonards" appear on the bottom right-hand corner of the photograph.

[ABOVE] The trademark of Hermann Warschawski of St. Leonards which appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the postcard above

Outdoor Group Portraits by Hermann S. Warschawski of 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards

[ABOVE] An outdoor group portrait of  pupils and staff of Uplands School for Girls, St Leonards-on-Sea, photographed by Hermann Warschawski of 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea (c1910). The trademark "Hermann Warschawski, Grand Parade, St. Leonards on Sea" appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the photograph mount.

To view enlargements of sections of the above photograph and to read further details about Uplands School, click on the link below

School Group Photograph - Uplands School School for Girls, St Leonards-on-Sea

Studio Portrait taken by Hermann S. Warschawski of 43 Western Road, Brighton (1913-1924)

[ABOVE] A studio portrait taken at the Brighton branch studio of  Hermann Warschawski at 43 Western Road, Brighton. Signed in pencil "Warschawski, Brighton" in the bottom right-hand corner of the photograph. (c1920). The sitter is believed to be a member of the Gill Family of Hove, possibly Mrs Frances Clara De Havilland (1876-1921). Frances Clara Gill was born in Blackburn in 1876, the eldest daughter of Clara Augusta Boult and Robert Thomas Gill (1847-1927), a solicitor and later a barrister of Lincoln's Inn. At the time of the 1901 census, Frances Gill and her family were living at 60 The Drive, Hove. In 1903, Frances Clara Gill married Ivon Molesworth Charles Jordan De Havilland (1879-1905), a mechanical & motor engineer, brother of Geoffrey de Havilland (1882-1965), the famous aeronautical engineer and son of Reverend Charles De Havilland (1854-1920), a Church of England clergyman. Ivon Molesworth De Havilland, Clara's husband, died in the district of Brentford on 3rd December 1905, aged 26. After the death of her husband, the young widow returned to Sussex and settled in Brighton. In 1921, at the age of 46, Mrs Frances Clara De Havilland (nee Gill) died of a brain haemorrhage at her home at Flat No 9, Prudential Buildings, North Street, Brighton.

[PHOTO: Courtesy of Tony Hadland and Jose Bell]

Major Robert Bell (1805-1879)
Mrs Frances Clara De Havilland (nee Gill) was the grand-daughter of Robert Bell (1805-1879), a major in the Indian Army and also an artist and photographer. Further details about Robert Gill, Robert Thomas Gill and Frances Clara Gill can be found on Tony Hadland's Family History website (Click on link below).

Ancestors and relatives of Tony & Rosemary Hadland




Picture Postcards by Hermann S. Warschawski

You can see examples of Warschawski's picture postcards on Rendel William's Sussex Postcards Info website via the following link:

Hermann Stanham Warschawski

Portrait of Mrs May Hammond by Hermann S. Warschawski of 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards

[ABOVE] The photographer's label affixed to the reverse of the studio portrait of Mrs May Hammond (illustrated on the right). The label carries the printed information "Warschawski  Studios, Twenty Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea. Telephone - 599" and includes the negative number 3992 A.

[PHOTO : Courtesy of Chris Hammond]

[ABOVE] A studio portrait of Mrs May Hammond by Hermann Warschawski of  20 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea (c1932). Signed in pencil at the bottom of the mount is the photographer's signature "Warschawski". May, who was born in 1906, married her husband in 1925.

[PHOTO : Courtesy of Chris Hammond]



Thanks to Ian Tresman for providing information on this particular branch of the Warschawski Family. Thanks also to Johnny Blomfield and Fiona Price who both provided family photographs taken at the studio of Hermann Warschawski at 20 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex. Thanks to Tony Hadland and Jose Bell for providing the photographic portrait taken at Hermann Warschawski's Brighton Studio. Thanks to Chris Hammond for providing the photograph of Mrs May Hammond taken at Hermann Warschawski's Studio in Leonards-on-Sea. I am grateful to Nicolas Gray for information and material about Hermann Warschawski's life and career after the Hastings & St Leonards photographer changed his name to Hermann Stanham Stanham in 1903. Nicolas Gray is the grandson of Hermann Stanham Stanham (Hermann Warschawski) and is the son of the well-known journalist and food writer Patience Gray (1917-2005), Hermann Stanham's second daughter. Miranda Armour-Brown, Nicolas Gray's sister and grand-daughter of Hermann S. Stanham has kindly supplied family history information about Hermann's wife Olive Florence Colgate and the Colgate Family.
More information on the Warschawski Families who settled in England during the 19th Century and the early part of the 20th Century can be found at Ian Tresman's Warshawsky Family Home Page at the link below :

Warshawsky Family Home Page


Jewish Families in England and Photography

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