A Little Bit of Switzerland

The Togni Family

Oliver Togni and family came to Canvey round about 1920s, Oliver and his wife Elizabeth can be found in the 1929 Electoral Roll at ‘Helvetica’, Rosewinkle Avenue. (now May Avenue)

Oliver was born in 1885 in Putney, the son of Louis Togni and Celia Legg. Louis Togni was born on 1855 in Switzerland which is where the Swiss flag comes in.

‘Helvetia’. This picture was taken in the 1930s and shows the Swiss flag

Oliver married Elizabeth Weet in 1915. Their main residence was in Paddington London as recorded in the Electoral Roll. He died in London in 1953.

Their son, also called Oliver, was born in 1909. He was adopted by the couple sometime after their marriage in 1915. Oliver too was recorded in the London Electoral Roll for Paddington in 1932.  He had married Gladys Bateman in Paddington in 1932. Although we have no written record of the couple living on the Island their granddaughter Sally Yorke-Wade tells us they lived in the bungalow. Oliver snr. and Elizabeth are recorded as living there in 1928. Both Gladys and Oliver are buried in St Katherine’s Churchyard.

By the 1950s the bungalow had been greatly extended

With grateful thanks to Sally for the photos. Perhaps you can fill us in a little on your family’s life on Canvey.

Comments about this page

  • Oliver the adopted son was my godfather and that is why my middle name is Oliver (born 1953)

    I remember going to Canvey and visiting a house he had built. Think it was more modern than the ones in the photo near the Big Dipper in the amusement park. I think he was also involved in government.

    By William Oliver Togni (15/03/2017)
  • The first Electoral Roll for the TOGNI family is the Spring 1925 living at “Helvetia”, near Pavilion, Leigh Beck

    TOGNI, Oliver

    TOGNI, Elizabeth Maud 

    The First Poor Rate Book is the one dated 16th May 1924 living and owned “Helvetia” next to WOOD, rear Hartfields Pavilion.

    By 8th November 1924, he also owned another property described as “rear pavilion”.


    By Martin Lepley (23/03/2017)
  • O.TOGNI had permission approved to reconstruct Helvetia (No 105) on 5 June 1935, and a Garage 2 June 1937. A Store shed in 30 July 1948, and finally Drains in 16th August 1950.

    By martin lepley (14/02/2021)

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