7 June 2010

Ernest Mendham

Ordinarily, you may recall, I don't commemmorate deaths; but in this case I will make an exception.

Ernest Tom Mendham was my third cousin four times removed and the eighth of nine children of Thomas & Mary (nee Freeman).  He was born in East Wretham, in Norfolk, in 1886 and, like so many of his generation, he went to war.

And, also like so many of his generation, he didn't come home again.  A librarian's clerk in the 1911 census, he enlisted in the 23rd London Regiment on 26 April 1915 and was promoted within two years.  He died today in 1917 and is commemmorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres.  From this, I would assume that he lost his life at the Battle of Messines which started on this day.  

I've just discovered some Army papers on Ancestry which relate both to his enlistment and also to his death.  The collection of seven pages include a receipt, signed by his widow, for the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal, both sent to her in 1922.  There is also a "Statement of the Names & Addresses of all the Relatives . . . ." which lists Ernest's wife & children, together with his parents & siblings.  Not quite sure why but, from a genealogist's perspective, it's gold-dust as the qualification is " . . . that are now living."

One thing I did notice was that whoever completed the form - and I think it was his wife Lily - made a point of entering all his siblings, even though his brother Bertie died just three weeks (I'll say that again, just three weeks) after him.

More soon.

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