31 August 2018


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


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


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


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


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.

15 July 2018


Richard Henry (Harry) Culpin was the oldest son, and second of nine children, of Arthur Culpin & Frances (nee Heighton) and was born in Leicester in 1899.  He was not related to me but is one of my "collected" Culpins.  In 1901 the family was living in Wigston Magna, in Leicestershire, and moved to Kegworth, Derbyshire, by 1911.

He enlisted in the Leicestershire Regiment in the name of his brother Reginald, curiously, and was transferred at some point to the Durham Light Infantry.  He was killed on 15 July 1918 and has no known grave.  He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Cemetery Memorial.

We will remember them.

26 May 2018


Samuel John Free was born in 1893 in Corack, Victoria, Australia, the second child, and older son,of Samuel &, Fanny, nee Shepherd.  My fourth cousin twice removed, he was the older brother of Albert Free who died on 12 October 1917.

Samuel was a farmer in Lalbert, Victoria, who enlisted on 24 July 1916 in the Australian Machine Gun Corps, and was wounded in action taken to the 47th Casualty Clearing Station, he died of his wounds on 26 May 1918.

We will remember them.

8 May 2018


Harry Marshall, my third cousin once removed, was born in Huntingdon in 1887, second of the ten children of George & Mary Ann (nee Young).  He grew up in Huntingdon and married Elizabeth Warner in 1908 in the town.  In the 1911 census Harry is living with Elizabeth in Royal Oak Passage and he is shown as a brewer's labourer.

Harry enlisted, in Huntingdon, in the Bedfordshire Regiment and was killed in action today in 1918.  He is buried in Kemmel cemetery in France.

We will remember them.

16 April 2018


Clarence Howard Culpin, my second cousin three times removed, was born in 1879 in Stoke Newington, fourth of the six children of Millice & Hannah (nee Munsey).  In 1881 the family lived in Church Street, Stoke Newington, and they emigrated to Australia in early 1891, settling in Queensland.

Clarence went to the Central State School in Brisbane and then the Gatton Agricultural College before settling as a farmer, showing up the electoral roll in Eumundi in 1903.

He enlisted in the Australian Infantry on 1st May 1916, at the age of 36, and embarked with the 26th Infantry Brigade on 21 October that year.  He died one hundred years ago today and is buried in Dernacourt Cemetery on the Somme.

The Brisbane Courier describes the honours paid to Clarence and other Eumundi soldiers who fell.

A memorial tree planting ceremony under the auspices of the Eumundi Women's Patriotic Committee was carried out last Saturday, when 12 trees where planted by the nearest relatives of 12 Eumundi heroes who have recently fallen at the Front.  A procession of Boy Scouts, State school pupils, and a batch of returned soldiers marched from the State school to the School  of Arts, where a large crowd had assembled.  The Nambour Town Band was in attendance.  Before the tree planting commenced patriotic speeches were delivered by Messrs R Warren, Jill, Sharry and Chapman (chairmen of the Marrochy and Noosa Shire Councils respectively), Rev. Jas. Moorehouse, Mr W Brookes (Maroochy Shire clerk), and Sergeant Russell.  The Brisbane visitors included Dr Culpin, who planted a tree in memory of his deceased son Clarence.  In the evening a sacred concert was held in the School of Arts, and was well attended.  Eighteen trees in all have now been planted."

We will remember them.

30 March 2018


Richard Joseph Stocks was a distant relative on my "Culpin-side" and was born in Peterborough, then in Northamptonshire, in 1886, the second child and only son of Joseph and Betsy (nee Culpin).  Joseph was a solicitor's clerk in the town and Richard himself was working as a clerk on the railway by the 1911 census.

He enlisted in the 1st/5th Border regiment and, during his service, was awarded the Military Medal.  He died of wounds on 30 March1918, most likely at the 41st, 50th or 55th Casualty Clearing Stations and is buried in the Namps-au-Val cemetery.

We will remember them.

28 March 2018


Bertram Dimock was born in Stretham in 1890 and christened on 28 May in the village church of St James the same year.  Youngest of the four children of Joseph & Rebecca (nee Sennitt), he grew up in the village and in the 1911 census he was listed as a grocer's assistant.

By 1917 Bertram was living in Dalston, possibly tempted to the great metropolis by his brother Herbert who married in West Ham in 1907.  He married Elizabeth Sexton on 14 April that year, at St Philip, Dalston.

Bertram enlisted in the City of London Fusiliers in December 1917, signing up in Stratford, and was sent to France on 29 December that year.  He died on 28 March 1918 and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

We will remember them.

23 March 2018


Frank Staden was born in Cambridge in 1898, my second cousin twice removed.  Fifth of the twelve children of Alfred & Catherine (nee Derby), the family moved to the village of Steeple Bumpstead, just over the boundary into Essex,  and was there in the 1901 census where Alfred was a tailor.  Within a few years the family was back in Cambridge and Frank appears as a twelve-year old in the 1911 census. 

In 1915 Frank enlisted, joining the Suffolk Regiment as did so many of the lads from around here.  He served in France and was transferred to the Rifle Brigade and died one hundred years ago today, at the age of  19; later in the century this was to become the average age of US casualties in the Vietnam war, but somehow those who flocked to the colours in the Great War seemed to me to be much younger.

Frank has no known grave but is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial.

We will remember them.

9 March 2018


Thomas Henry Mace, to give him his full Sunday-best name, was born in 1898 in Mildenhall, Suffolk, fourth of the five children of Charles & Mary Ann (nee Fuller).  He grew up, along with parents and siblings, in Turnpike Road, Barton Mills and enlisted in the Suffolk Yeomanry.

He was transferred to the 5th Suffolks and was killed in action in Palestine one hundred years ago today.  He is buried in the Jerusalem War Cemetery in present-day Israel.

We will remember them.

15 January 2018


Percy George Beasley was my second cousin twice removed and was born on 19 August 1889 in Aldridge, Staffs, sixth of the seven children of William & Emma (nee Billington).  He grew up in Aldridge and went to work on the railways, following in the footsteps of his station-master father.  In 1915, he married Clara Perry in Wolverhampton.

The Walsall & South Staffs Chronicle takes up the story:

AB Percy George Beasley, youngest son of Mr W Beasley, formerly station master at Aldridge, is reported by a chaplain to have died in France on January 13, after three months active service with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.  A married man, 28 years of age, his wife resides at Station Road, Norfield, and before joing the Colours, in June last year, he was employed by the Midland Railway Company, at Northfeld.  His parents reside at Station Road, Aldridge, and as a boy he attended the Aldridge Endowed School.  A brother is servving in German East Africa. "

We will remember them.