LIFE GOES ON: AN INTRODUCTION

MY GRANDPARENTS - I - MY GREAT-GRANDPARENTS - I - MY GREAT-GREAT-GRANDPARENTS - I - MY GREAT-GREAT-GREAT-GRANDPARENTS

THE SIXTEEN FAMILIES

KNOTT - I - BOWLES - I - WATERS - I - HARRALL - I - PAGE - I - WISEMAN - I - CROSS - I - CARTER

CORNWELL - I - HUCKLE - I - MORTLOCK - I - MANSFIELD - I - REYNOLDS - I - CARTER - I - ANABLE - I - STEARN

CHRONOLOGY - I - DRAMATIS PERSONAE - I - WHERE PEOPLE CAME FROM - I - CALENDAR

MAP OF ELY - I - MAP OF MEDWAY
MAP OF CAMBRIDGE AND DISTRICT

THE WORKHOUSE

WORLD WAR I - I - WORLD WAR II

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LIFE GOES ON

Herbert Page
born Ely, Cambridgeshire 12th February 1883
died St Eloi near Ypres, France 2nd March 1916

on the Page family tree
part of the
Page and Wiseman family stories

married to Eliza Woodbine

brother of Arthur Page, Henry Page, Robert Page and Thomas Page

son of
Henry Page
and
Alice Wiseman

Herbert Page

Herbert Page (1883-1916). My Father's Mother's Father's Brother. My Great-Great-Uncle..

Herbert Page was the younger brother of my great-grandfather Arthur Page. The Pages were a large family, and lived in the Back Hill area of Ely. Notable for his short stature, Herbert seems to have made up for this by a maverick attitude and a somewhat unruly lifestyle, but he more or less settled down at the age of 25 when he was married. He was killed on the 2nd of March 1916 at St Eloi, on the Ypres Salient in Flanders, while engaged in bomb-throwing duty. He was 33 years old. His brother Arthur was also killed in WWI.

1883: Herbert was born on the 12th February at Annesdale, Ely, Cambridgeshire and baptised in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral on 14th March.  
 


1891 census:

Broad Street

Herbert was seven years old at the time of the 1891 census. The Page family were living in Broad Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

Herbert's father Henry is shown as a labourer. He was 38 years old. His mother Alice was 36 years old.

Herbert was the fourth of seven children at the time of the 1891 census. Henry was 16, Arthur was 12, John was 9, Robert was 5, Susan was 3 and Thomas was 10 months.

Herbert was born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, as were his siblings and his mother. His father Henry's place of birth is given as Shelford, Cambridgeshire. The transcript for their entry is here.

 
 

1900: Herbert's army service record survives, and shows that on 22nd July he signed up as a Boy in the Reserve of the 4th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, when he claimed to be a month short of his 15th birthday. In fact, he was nearly 18. The reason for this strange anomaly is probably that he was just four feet eight and half inches tall and was thus too short to be signed up at his real age as an adult soldier. Herbert weighed ninety pounds, his hair was brown, his eyes were grey, and he had a mole above his right buttock. He claimed to be a Wesleyan Methodist. He enlisted for six years. Herbert's service record shows that he spent most of 1900 in Dover, Kent, and returned to Ely in October when his reserve regiment was disembodied. He would be called up annually to the reserve until the First World War began.

1901: On 29th March, the Cambridge Independent Press reported that Herbert's father Henry Page, a labourer of of Willow Walk in Ely, was charged at Ely Petty Sessions at the instance of Inspector Dixon of the NSPCC with cruelly ill-treating his children - Susan (aged 11), Thomas (aged 9), Charles (aged 7), Sarah (aged 6) and Nellie (aged 1) by wilfully and unlawfully neglecting them. Herbert and the other adult children living in the household were not mentioned in the report. Henry Page pleaded not guilty. The charge was brought because he had failed to provide money for the family despite his 7 payoff for six months with the Suffolk Militia. Alice had been able to look after the family while he had been away, but on his return she had been forced to live apart from him because he ill-treated her from time to time and was unkind to the children. He demanded from her the money she earned as a charwoman, leaving her with only a few coppers, and she was unable to provide enough food for the children. Henry Page was given an exemplary sentence of six months with hard labour.

1901 Census:

Broad Street

Herbert was eighteen years old at the time of the 1901 census. The Page family were living in Broad Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

Herbert is shown as an errand boy. His mother Alice was 44, and is shown as a charwoman. Herbert's father Henry was in prison at the time of the 1901 census.

Alice had seven children at home at the time of the 1901 census. John, an agricultural labourer, was 20, Herbert, an errand boy, was 18, Susan was 14, Thomas was 10, Charles was 8, Sarah 6 and Helen 1.

Alice was born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, as were all the children. The transcript for their entry is here.


1903: On 21st May, Herbert was found drunk on duty while on call up to the reserve of the 4th Batallion Suffolk Regiment. His service record notes that he was fined two shillings and confined to camp for three days.

1905: On 3rd June, Herbert was found to be absent from the tattoo roll call, and then at 11.05pm that night he was found drunk in the town. He was brought before the Bounty Board and confined to camp for four days.

1906: On 5th May, Herbert was found guilty of improper conduct in camp, and confined to camp for five days. Hardly was this punishment over when, on the 12th May, he was found drunk in the line of march, and then absent from a tattoo roll call, for which he was fined a total of two shillings and sixpence and confined to camp for six days.


1908: On 22nd May, Herbert was absent from roll call and was confined to camp for three days. This appears to have been his last disciplinary action while a serving soldier.

1908: Herbert married Eliza Woodbine in Ely, probably at St Mary's church, in the 4th quarter of the year. They moved into a house in Back Lane. Their first child was called Herbert after his father. He was born in Back Lane, Ely on the 12th December, and baptised in Holy Trinity parish on the 20th January 1909, probably in St Peter's.

1909: The Cambridge Independent Press reported on 5th February 1909 that Herbert had appeared before Ely magistrates on 1st February on a charge of drunkenness. The newspaper noted that he admitted the offence, and asked the bench to send him to prison: If you please, can't I go to Cambridge? That will do me a bit of good, and teach me a lesson. Then I will try and be better. He was sentenced to seven days in Cambridge Gaol.

 
 
1910: Herbert and Eliza's second child, Charles Henry, was born in Back Lane on 29th May, and baptised in St Peter's on 22nd June.

1911 census:

Herbert was twenty-eight years old at the time of the 1911 census. The Page family were living in Harlocks Lane, Ely.

Herbert is shown as a farm labourer. His wife Eliza is 30 years old.

There were two children at the time of the 1911 census, Herbert aged 3 and Charles aged 10 months. The whole family were born in Ely. Also present on the night of the census was a visitor, William Newby, a 29 year old farm labourer, born at Haddenham.

1912: Herbert and Eliza's third son, Harry, was born in Harlocks Lane on 14th June, and baptised at St Peter's on 6th July. He was named after Herbert's father, by now a resident of the Ely Workhouse.

1914: Herbert was discharged after 14 years of service with the reserve of the Suffolk Regiment in January. Herbert and Eliza'a first daughter, Alice, was born in Harlocks Lane on 5th May, and baptised at St Peter's on 27th May. Alice was named after Herbert's mother, who had died two years previously. Her cousin, my grandmother Phyllis who was born the previous year, also had Alice as a middle name. At this time, Herbert was a member of the well-known Ely Silver Band, and on 27th March 2014 the Ely Standard publish a century-old photograph of the band on the Market Hill, Ely, which can be seen at the top of this page. The diminutive Herbert sits beside his drum bottom right. As soon as War broke out, Herbert re-enlisted, this time as a drummer boy with the 2nd Battalion (12th foot) of the Suffolk Regiment, and he was wounded in the foot in October 1914 at the First Battle of Ypres. He was repatriated to England.

1915: Herbert appears to have been returned to Flanders after recovering from his injury, because Patrick Ashton's book Remembering Ely: a history of Ely's war memorial and men of the Great War (2018) records a letter that Herbert wrote in March 1915 from Lincoln Hospital, in which he informs the recipient W McFall I have been here about 18 days, being accidentally wounded three weeks this Wednesday while up in a loft at the back of the firing line. He goes on to describe Ypres, presumably the place his accident happened, as a beautiful city, but is now ruined. Every place is shelled, and all around there were some of the finest buildings I have ever seen in my life. After recovering, Herbert joined the Battalion band in Ely.

1916: By early 1916, Eliza was pregnant again, but Herbert was called back to duty in France. I have heard a story from several sources that, the night before embarking, Herbert did the rounds of the pubs of the Waterside, drumming out a tattoo on the tables to say goodbye to his friends. It was the last time they would see him. Returning to Flanders for a third tour of duty, he was killed on the 2nd of March 1916 at St Eloi, on the Ypres Salient in Flanders, while engaged in bomb-throwing. He was 33 years old. He is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres.

On the 1st September 1916, almost exactly six months after his death, Herbert and Eliza's daughter was born in Springhead Lane, Ely, home of the Woodbine family. She was given the name St Eloi Souvenir Felixstowe. This was a grandiloquent name for a child of the Waterside, but it was a perpetual memory of her father's final resting place, a reminder that the French word souvenir was brought back by soldiers and entered the English language at this time to mean a memory or keepsake, and also perhaps a clue to Herbert's residence while recovering from injury the previous year, which may well have been a convalescent home at Felixstowe on the Suffolk coast. St Eloi was baptised in Holy Trinity parish on the 20th September 1916, two months to the day after Herbert's brother Arthur had been killed in the Battle of the Somme.

Herbert Page Herbert Page

 


   

 

LIFE GOES ON: AN INTRODUCTION

MY GRANDPARENTS - I - MY GREAT-GRANDPARENTS - I - MY GREAT-GREAT-GRANDPARENTS - I - MY GREAT-GREAT-GREAT-GRANDPARENTS

THE SIXTEEN FAMILIES

KNOTT - I - BOWLES - I - WATERS - I - HARRALL - I - PAGE - I - WISEMAN - I - CROSS - I - CARTER

CORNWELL - I - HUCKLE - I - MORTLOCK - I - MANSFIELD - I - REYNOLDS - I - CARTER - I - ANABLE - I - STEARN

CHRONOLOGY - I - DRAMATIS PERSONAE - I - WHERE PEOPLE CAME FROM - I - CALENDAR

MAP OF ELY - I - MAP OF MEDWAY
MAP OF CAMBRIDGE AND DISTRICT

THE WORKHOUSE

WORLD WAR I - I - WORLD WAR II

simonknott.co.uk I home I e-mail

LIFE GOES ON