Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich)

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Notes on Henry Ernest Kersey (1876-1948)

Life Events

Census Returns

Entries in Kelley's Trade Directory

Below, look for the "Kersey" name to the left of the tram on the building of 45 St. Nicholas Street, Ipswich.


Professional Optical Life

Henry Ernest Kersey FSMC, FBOA, qualified as an ophthalmic optician via the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers in July 1909 and, additionally, as a Fellow of the British Optical Association in 1923. In 1923, and up to 1946, he was listed as practicing at 10 St. Nicholas Street, Ipswich. By 1927 he was also optician by appointment to the Ipswich Education Committee. His BOA membership subscription was altered to "non-practicing" during the year 1945-46 and he was listed as deceased by September 1948. An obituary notice for him was published in "The Optician", 17 September 1948. This is even briefer and reveals only that he died on 09 September and that he was "for many years...a well-known and greatly respected figure in optics in Ipswich".

As professional qualification was not a compulsory pre-requisite to practice, these dates do not necessarily reflect when they first started work. References are made to specific dates due to the incomplete nature of the surviving records.

Neil Handley, MA, AMA+, FRSA,
Curator, British Optical Association Museum
The College of Optometrists

Everett M Finter took over the business and continued to trade under the "Kersey" name. To this day, the business still trades in Tacket Street.


Records of local societies and of the BAA provide the following insight into Kersey's astronomical activities as follows.



JBAA, vol. 47, no. 2, p. 94, December 1936.


JBAA, vol. 47, no. 3, p. 138, January 1937.


JBAA, vol. 48, no. 7, p. 270, May 1938.


JBAA, vol. 59, no. 8, p. 222, October 1949.


JBAA, vol. 59, no. 8, p. 233, October 1949.


Email correspondence between Bill Barton and Bob Marriott, Director of BAA Instruments and Imaging Section, 24-25 October 2016.

Bill Barton, FRAS