William Stansfield Torbitt (May 15, 1873 – January 29, 1945) was the highly regarded director of education for the Municipal Borough of Ilford between 1903 and 1938. He was born in Ardwick, Lancashire, and studied at Peterhouse, Cambridge before becoming a teacher in Hull. In 1903 he moved to Ilford to take up his post with the local authority becoming a vicar’s warden at St Peter’s church, in Aldborough Hatch. The street was part of the Aldborough Grange Estate created by Ilford Borough Council in the 1930s on land acquired as part of a land swap with the Crown, which had held it since 1838. The William Torbitt Primary School, which was opened on Eastern Avenue shortly before his retirement also honours him. In May 2003 his gravestone at Barkingside Cemetery was rededicated. His grandson, also called William Torbitt, said at the time that his grandfather devoted his entire working life to education and described the school as his “living memorial”.
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