20 July 2017


Cecil Harold Blaydon was my fourth cousin three times removed and he was born in Mildenhall, Suffolk, in 1895, fourth of the five children of Sydney & Mary (nee Vale).  By 1901 the family was had moved to Fordham in Cambridgeshire where Cecil, at five years old, had presumably started school.  A further move took the family to the Luton area in Bedfordshire and 1911 showed Cecil, aged 15, a picker hand.

Enlisting in 1914 in Luton, Cecil joined the 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment and, by 1917 was serving in the Egyptian Theatre; he died on 20 July in Palestine.  The Luton News & Bedfordshire Times produced the following on 16 August:-

"Pte. C Blaydon
The war has taken heavy toll of the household of Mr and Mrs Blaydon, The Knapps, Toddington-road, Leagrave,  Official intimation has been received that their second son, Pte. C Blaydon, was killed in action on July 20th.  Since the outbreak of war he had been serving with the Bedfordshire Regiment, including the Dardanelles campaign.  He was a stretcher-bearer, and had seen considerable active service.  The youngest son, Pte. A Blaydon, was killed at Suvla Bay on August 15th, 1915, with the 1/5ths.  The eldest son, Percy, is serving in France with the RGA, and was recently in hospital suffering from shell-shock. but he has now returned to his battery.

A letter was received by his parents on Tuesday morning from his pal:- "I thought it my duty to write to tell you that your son Pte. Cecil Blaydon, is dead.  He was killed instantly while we were raiding the enemy's position.  He was like by everyone in his company, officers and men, and I was myself a great pal of his.  He was buried behind our line in a cemetery this morning. "

The eldest son, Bomb. P S Blaydon is back in hospital again with shell-shock. "

Cecil Blaydon was buried in the Gaza War Cemetery.

We will remember them.