8 October 2018

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: Ernest Culpin

Ernest Henry Culpin, to give him his full name, was born in Littlehampton, Sussex, in 1886, second of the six children of Henry & Charlotte (nee Fielder).  The family moved to Odell in Bedfordshire in the next year or so and Ernest was shown as a five-year old scholar in the 1891 census.

Ten years later he was in Burton Latimer, Northants, boarding out, and working as a railway clerk, and by 1911 he was working on his grandfather's farm in Egleton, Rutland.  Come the war he enlisted at Oakham into the Northamptonshire Regiment and was sometime transferred to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

The Grantham Journal  of 26th October 1918 has more detail: 

"Pte E H Culpin, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, of Oakham
The death as the result of being wounded, which necessitated the amputation of an arm, took place at a Casualty Clearing Station, in France, on the 8th October, of Pte. Ernest Hy. Culpin, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, second son of Mr and Mrs Culpin, of 14, Ashwell-road, Oakham.  The usual official notice, from the Infantry Record Office, at Dublin, was preceded by a War Office telegram, notifying Pte. Culpin had died of wounds after the left arm had been amputated, and the following letter has also been received:- “12th CCS, BEF, France.  11/10/18.  Dear Mrs Culpin, I write to express my sincere sympathy with you on the death of your son.  He was admitted to hospital on the 8th and died the same day, at 2.45pm.  I don’t think he suffered much, as he was unconscious most of the time.  I buried him in the British cemetery here.  May he rest in peace, and may God accept the noble sacrifice he has made in the war.  My heart goes out to you poor mothers.  God help you.  Yours truly, H A Griffiths, Chaplain.”  

Pte. Culpin, who was 32 years of age, was home on leave some six weeks ago, after a long absence, during which period he been seen service in Salonica, Egypt, and Palestine, and was one of the first to enter Jerusalem afters its capture, being in the city when General Allenby rode through it on horseback.  He afterwards came to the Western front.  Deceased had been in the Army three years, being previously herdman for Lord Lilford, at Lilford Hall, Northants.  A brother, Corpl. A Culpin, of the MTS, is at the present time attached to the Servian Army, while a brother-in-law, Pte F E Garner, RAMC, of Oakham, died on service two years ago."

Ernest was buried in the Tincourt New British Cemetery.

We will remember them.

21 September 2018

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: Blaydon Pilbrow

Blaydon Edward Pilbrow was born in Hinderclay, Suffolk, on 20 July 1899, the only child of William & Laura (nee Blaydon).  By 1901 he & his parents had moved to Ipswich, where his father was a jobbing gardener; in 1911 they had returned to Hinderlay, to Walvert Tree Farm.

By 1917 Blaydon was a student teacher and at the age of 17 years & 359 days (as shown in his Army records), he enlisted, at Ipswich, in the Middlesex Regiment.  Sent to join the BEF in France on 2 April 1918, he was reported missing just three weeks later.

As a Prisoner of War Blaydon died of paratyphus on 21 September 1918 in a hospital in Metz.  His grave was finally found and its location reported to his parents in 1920.  He was buried in the Chambieres French National Cemetery in Metz.  He was just 19 years old.

We will remember them.


31 August 2018

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: George Pridmore

George Harry Pridmore was a distant cousin of mine and was born in Sheffield in 1896, eleventh of the thirteen children of William Thomas & Sarah Jane (nee Culpin).  By the age of fourteen, he was a chemist's errand boy.  In 1917, George married May Foster.

He and five of his brothers served in the Great War.

The Sheffield Daily Telegraph takes up the story:  "Second-Lieutenant G H Pridmore, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, who was 22 years of age, and lived at Walkley, Sheffield, has been killed in action.  Two of Lieutenant Pridmore's brothers had previously been killed, and one had died of wounds.  There are still two other brothers serving with the forces - an excellent family record.  Writing to Mrs Pridmore, one of Lieutenant Pridmore's officers says: "I know how great your sorrow will be, but you will, I hope, take comfort from the knowledge that he died taking charge of his men, and cheerfully doing his duty."

We will remember them.

22 August 2018

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: James Steward

James Wilson Steward was my third cousin once removed and was born in Sutton, Cambridgeshire in 1895. The ninth of eleven children of Robert Steward & Lucy (née Whiting), I next found James in Halstead working on the family farm in the 1911 census.

The Chelmsford Chronicle tells us that he joined the Royal Horse Artillery in 1914, possibly with three of his brothers, and died of wounds on 22 August 1918. He is buried in St Sever Cemetery in Rouen.

We will remember them.

16 August 2018

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: William Pates

William Henry Pates was my second cousin three times removed, was born in Birkenhead in 1893 and lived the rest of his 'normal' life in Rock Ferry in Cheshire.

The Liverpool Echo Roll of Honour on 2 September 1918 says it better than I can:

"Pates - August 16, Killed in Action, aged 25 years, William Henry Pates, 11th East Lancashire Regiment, the dearly-loved only son of Anne Jane and Thomas Pates, 6 Nelson-road, Rock Ferry."

We will remember them.

6 August 2018

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: Ernest Haddow

Ernest Haddow was born in 1893 in Biggleswade, Beds, second of the five sons of James & Ellen (nee Milton).  Christened in the Parish Church on 1 June that year, he was my half-cousin twice removed.  By 1902 the family had moved to King's Walden in Hertfordshire, moving again before 1911 and ending up in St Albans.

Shortly after this, on 19 December 1911,  Ernest, aged 18 years and 9 months, and a mere 5 feet tall, enlisted in the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment, signing on in Mill Hill.  He served in the UK until 1913 when he was sent out to the East Indies; returning home in November 1914.  The regiment was plainly sent to the Western Front in 1915 and Ernest served in the trenches, barring a few months at home recovering from a gunshot wound, until his death.

He died of wounds on 6 August 1918 and is buried in the Wailly Orchard Cemetery.

We will remember them.



31 July 2018

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: Harry Lowton

Let me introduce you to Harry James Lowton, my second cousin twice removed, who was born in Southwark in 1899, the only son and second of four children of Thomas & Eliza (nee Hinson).  His father died the next year and Harry, together with his mother and siblings, ended up in the St Olave union workhouse when his mother became destitute in 1908.

Discharged after a month, the family returned to live in Magdalen Street in Bermondsey, moving by the time of the 1911 census to Lancaster Street, Southwark.  The next sighting of Harry is in the  Church of England Confirmation Records which show the family back in Magdalen Street again,. Harry was confirmed on 11 March 1915, at the age of 15, at St John's Church, Larcon Street.  Poignantly, there is a Cross drawn by his name with the words "Killed in Action" in the next column.

Harry enlisted in Rotherhithe, presumably when he reached the age of 18 in 1917, in the Rifle Brigade, 2/10th London Regiment, and was killed on 31 July 1918.  He is buried in Dernacourt Communal Cemetery Extension.

We will remember them.