25 November 2017


Frederick Henry Pates was my second cousin three times removed, and was born in Basford, Notts, in 1890, oldest of the five children of William and Rose (nee Scrivens).  Christened on 10 February that year, the family moved to Papplewick by the time of the 1901 census and Frederick was at school.

In 1911, by now the head of the household after the deaths of his parents, Frederick was head horseman in Bestwood, Notts.  In 1914 he married Florence Bailey and they begat two children.  He enlisted in the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) and died of wounds in Flanders on 25 November 1917.  He is buried in Dozinghem Military Cemetery.

We will remember them.

24 November 2017


Henry Culpin was born on 14 September 1895 in the small Cambridgeshire village of Little Downham, the youngest of the five children of Henry & Hannah (nee Stevens), and was christened on 23 October in the same year at the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Ely.  By 1901 Henry was living in New Barns Road in Ely, along with his mother & siblings (his father having died a few months before Henry was born).  In 1911 he was a farm labourer, living with his mother in Deacon's Lane, Ely.

When war came, Henry enlisted at Bury St Edmunds, into the 7th Battalion the Suffolk Regiment, becoming a Lance Corporal by the time of his death.

He died of wounds one hundred years ago today and is buried in Tincourt New British Cemetery. 

We will remember them.

12 November 2017


On this Remembrance Sunday let me introduce you to my third cousin once removed George Hills.  He was born in Chatteris, Cambs, in 1886, the second of ten children of George and Naomi (nee Wadlow).  In 1891 the family was across the county border in the Huntingdonshire town of Ramsey but by 1901 they were back in Cambs, living in Doddington.

George was clearly a regular soldier as he was serving as a private with 2nd Beds in 1911, stationed in Bermuda/Jamaica, a much better billet than his final one.  As his second cousin Benjamin Langford also served with 2Beds, we know that they arrived in Belgium in October 1914.  The Regiment's War Diaries (http://bedfordregiment.org.uk/index.html) fill in the details. 

George died on 12 November 1917 and is buried in Bailleul  Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord.

George's younger brothers Charles and Horace also lost their lives in the Great War.

We will remember them.