Papers of the Hohenrein Family
- Admin History:
George Frederick Hohenrein came to Hull from Germany in 1848 aged just 16 and spent two years working for a German pork butcher G. H. Frederick. Two years later he opened his first shop at 7 Waterworks Street. George attended the German Lutheran Church where he met his future wife Katharine Mayer.
His butchering business prospered and a second shop was opened at 22 Princes Avenue. George became a naturalised British citizen. On his death [when was this?] his eldest son, George William took over the business. However his German wife was so ill that he agreed to return with her to her native Germany. Therefore, in 1907, the business passed to his younger brother Charles. The business exhibited hams and bacon at numerous international exhibitions and frequently secured gold medals and other prizes. He married a local girl, Lilian Agnes Westwood, in 1911.
At the outbreak of the First World War George William Hohenrein was interned in a German concentration camp as a foreign national. Meanwhile, in Hull, Charles Hohenrein was keen to do his bit for Britain. However, he was declared unfit for the army so served as a sergeant in a civilian corps.
There was a lot of anti German feeling in Britain during the war and Hull was no exception. The Hohenreins suffered numerous threats of injury to themselves and their property including their prosperous butchery shops. [especially in 1916 after the sinking of the Lusitania and the Zeppelin raids on Hull]. It was for this reason that Charles Hohenrein decided to change his surname to the more British sounding Ross. It was also for this reason that he decided to close his shops until the end of the war. After the war the shops re-opened and continued to prosper.
Charles Ross became an important businessman in the area and became a director of the "Royalty" cinemas in Hull in the 1930s. His company were responsible for the Regal Beverley and Hull and the Regis, Rex and Royalty in Hull. In 1946 Charles Ross retired and the shop was closed and sold, it was subsequently knocked-down as part of the post-war rebuilding as Waterworks Street was incorporated into Paragon Street.