Nina Rosina Berger
The First Burial

Return to Stories page  Print This Page Print This Page

Nina Berger was born in Mildmay Park, London, in 1888. She moved to Leicester with her family some time between 1889 and 1890 and died in July 1902 at the age of 13. Nothing else could be found about Nina but as hers was the first burial in Jewish Gilroes the family deserves acknowledgement here.

The Braham Sisters

Nina’s mother, Elizabeth Rosa Braham, was born in 1865 in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. She had two sisters and all three Braham sisters seem to have arrived in Leicester at about the same time. Her sister, Rachel, married Henry De Solla and Julia married Leopold Wacks whose family became prominent in Leicester in the early 1900s (see separate story). Nina had three brothers and a sister and, together with a nurse, Sarah Dodson, they lived at 42 St Peters Road, Leicester.

The Successful Business Man

Nina’s father, Frank Louis Berger, was born in 1864 in Liverpool.Frank Berger50pc
On his marriage certificate he refers to himself as Francesco Luigi. He is featured in a book called ‘Men of the Period’ where he is referred to as Louis Berger, owner of Messrs. E. Berger & Co, a successful Wholesale Clothing Manufacturers in Rutland Street, Leicester. The article tells how Louis was educated in a private school in Liverpool and built up his business from a small workshop in North Evington to “The Famous” specialist suppliers of boys’ sailor suits. The article says that the firm stocked “over one thousand different styles in Boys’ Sailor Suits in Velvets, Plushes, Serge, Tweeds, Worsteds, &c.” He was active in the early days of the Leicester Hebrew Congregation and is mentioned in the minutes of a number of meetings including the Cheder (Sunday School) Committee.

The Bankruptcy Courts

After further research it appears that Frank Berger arrived in Leicester owing £470 and being pursued by a number of debtors. In the Leicester Chronicle and Leicestershire Mercury on Saturday July 23rd 1892 he is quoted as telling the court that he was “at my tether’s end” because he was unable to keep his wife and children on a small salary. In London he had been a clerk in the East India Merchants’ Office and worked as a bookkeeper to a cigar merchant in the evenings. He tried to go into business as a cigar/shipping agency but he had no capital and soon got into problems. He set up a cigar shop, “Berger and Co”, in London’s Haymarket followed by the wholesale “London Cigar Company”. He then took on two cigar shops but his debts kept mounting and so, he told the court, he came to Leicester to escape his creditors.

Shortly after Nina died, the family moved back to London and in 1908 her mother, Elizabeth, died.