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



WWI

Arthur Page

'line after line of dead men' 'line after line of dead men' Harrall on the Higham roll of honour City of Ely war memorial Page

Arthur Page The Reynolds family: 1918? Herbert Page

The Page brothers


My Family WWI Roll of Honour

Harry Anable click to view CWGC certificate
Percy Anable
William Anable
Frederick Cannon
Charles Cornwell
Herbert Cross
click to view CWGC certificate
Frederick Harrall
John Harrall
Frederick Knott
Joseph Mansfield
click to view CWGC certificate
Arthur Page
click to view CWGC certificate
Charles Page
Herbert Page
click to view CWGC certificate
John Page
Robert Page
Thomas Page
Robert Reynolds
Thomas Reynolds

 

It must be assumed that most of the men of my great-grandparents' generation fought in WWI.
Some records survive: service records, medal records, and anyone who was killed is to be found on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission index.
Conscription was introduced in 1916, but most of my family seem to have signed up before this. Perhaps poverty was the impetus for
some of them, but a few of my family were professional soldiers, signing up long before War was declared, in one case in 1895. So far I have traced
eighteen family men who fought, most of them in various battalions of the Suffolk Regiment, the local Regiment for Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely.
There must be others, and I will add them to this roll as I find them.

When War broke out in 1914 their ages ranged from 17 to 35. Six of those listed here were killed,
roughly average for any group of twenty or so men who went to fight in WWI. thirteen of them came home again.

Most of these men never knew each other. My grandparents, the next generation, were just children during the First World War.
This is the first time and the only place that their names have been recorded together.




                 
     
 

click to view CWGC certificate Henry Thomas 'Harry' Anable

The first name on the Dry Drayton World War I memorial (above), Harry Anable, was my great-great-uncle, the younger brother of my great-grandmother Alice Anable and an uncle of my grandmother Winifred Ellen Reynolds. Here he is on the 1911 census.The Cambridge Independent Press recorded on 12th March 1915 that 19 year old Harry Anable had enlisted that week. He signed up as a Private in the 11th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, the renowned Cambridge Battalion. He was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916. He was just 19 years old.

Harry Anable was one of the first soldiers to go over the top that day, and one of the first to die. The 11th Suffolks attacked at 7.32 am, and suffered terrible losses. They attacked with the 10th Bn of the Lincolnshire Regiment, the Grimsby Chums, at a place known as Sausage Valley, just south of
La Boisselle, to the east of the town of Albert.

 

Malcolm Brown, in The Imperial War Museum Book of the Somme, records that ...within two minutes of zero hour, before they had cleared the front trench, they had been raked by machine-gun fire. The Lincolnshires lost 15 officers and 462 other ranks, the Suffolk battalion 15 officers and 512 other ranks. An artillery officer who walked the ground later found 'line after line of dead men lying where they had fallen'.

Chris McCarthy, in The Somme Day-by-Day, notes that the 60,000 pound mine at Lochnagar south of La Boisselle exploded two minutes before zero hour: There was no surprise, and , ten minutes after zero, 80 per cent of the men in the leading battalion of the first column were casualties.... The 10th Lincolns with 11th Suffolks following received machine-gun fire from Sausage Valley, La Boisselle and the German front line trench, which inflicted severe casualties. On the extreme right a party which tried to storm Sausage Redoubt was burnt to death by flame-throwers and the Lincolns and the Suffolks were unable to cross the 500 yards of no man's land.

William Brooks and Allan Tack, also on the memorial, died alongside Harry that sunny morning. None of their bodies were ever identified, and they are remembered, along with almost 75,000 other young men whose bodies were lost on the Somme, on the Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval in northern France (right). He is also remembered on the Dry Drayton parish war memorial and on the memorial boards in St George's chapel in Ely Cathedral.

  Harry Anable

Harry Anable's big sister Alice is shown holding me on her lap on the day I was christened in 1961.




Percy Anable
Percy Anable was Harry's older brother, my great-great-uncle, a younger brother of my great-grandmother
Alice Anable and an uncle to my grandmother Winifred Ellen Reynolds, my mother's mother. Here he is with Alice on the 1891 census. He joined the 1st Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, and his medal record shows that he arrived in France on the 24th March 1915, when he would have been 29 years old. This probably means that he took part in the Second Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Loos. However, he appears to have avoided the long, relatively quiet occupation of Salonika in Greece, because his medal record suggests that he was discharged from service on the 31st October 1915, as the Battalion was setting sail from Marseilles. He survived the War.




William Anable
William Ernest Anable was Harry' and Percy's older brother, my great-great-uncle, an older brother of my great-grandmother
Alice Anable and an uncle to my grandmother Winifred Ellen Reynolds, my mother's mother. Here he is with Alice on the 1891 census. He enlisted as a Sapper with the Royal Engineers, and his medal record notes that he landed in France on the 21st May 1915, when he would have been 35 years old. He survived the War.




Frederick Cannon
Frederick Cannon was my great-uncle, the husband of
Catherine Cornwell who was the older sister of my grandfather Edmund Stanley Cornwell, my mother's father. His WWI service records survive. His full name was Frederick George Cannon. He signed up to the Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment at Bedford on the 19th October 1916, in the last days of the Battle of the Somme. He was 19 years 1 month old and 5 feet 9 inches tall. His chest measurement girth when fully expanded was 33 inches. His address was Butchers Yard, Offley, Hitchin, Herts. Frederick had to wait until July 1917 before he was called to depot at Abbeville on the Somme, and then in 1918 he was posted back in England, and transferred to the Royal Army Medical Corps. He survived the War. He remained in the forces until 1920. Catherine Cornwell married Frederick George Cannon on the 30th August 1919 at Hertingfordbury, Hertfordshire.




Clarence Charles Cornwell
Clarence Charles Cornwell was my great-uncle, the older brother of my grandfather
Edmund Stanley Cornwell, my mother's father. Here he is with Edmund Stanley on the 1911 census. Charles enlisted as a private soldier with the Cambridgeshire Regiment, but was transferred to become a Lance-Corporal in the Military Foot Police. His medal record shows that he landed in France on the 14th February 1915, when he was 29 years old. He survived the War, and remained in the forces, joining the Grenadier Guards. My mother remembers him visiting her family in uniform when she was a child in the late 1930s.




click to view CWGC certificate Herbert Cross
Herbert Cross is also remembered on the City of Ely war memorial. He was my great-great-uncle, the younger brother of my great-grandmother
Sophia Cross, and an uncle of my grandmother Phyllis Alice Page, my father's mother. Here he is with Sophia on the 1891 census when Herbert was 11 months old. Herbert's medal record shows that he signed up as a private soldier with the 11th Suffolks - that is to say, he signed up after the War began. As the Official History of the Suffolk Regiment records, At the outbreak of War, men of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely who enlisted for infantry were generally sent to the depot of the Suffolk Regiment at Bury St Edmunds. By the end of August, however, it was found impractible to accomodate any more recruits at Bury... From September 5th recruits instead of going to Bury were accordingly retained in Cambridge, being billetted in the Corn Exchange... within a few days the numbers had swollen to three hundred, the men being consequently transferred to the boys' county school. When I attended this school, now the Cambridge High School for Boys, sixty years later, the temporary huts installed to accomodate the recruits were still in use as classrooms. At last, on September 25th the Cambridgeshire Service Battalion, without regiment or number, was an accomplished fact, and three months later became the 11th Suffolk Regiment.

The Official History of the Suffolk Regiment continues The 11th Battalion remained in Cambridge until May 19th 1915, when it was sent up to Yorkshire, a large crowd assembling at the station to give parting cheers. At one point the 11ths were intended to take part in the action at Galipolli, but the retreat from Suvla Bay by allied forces put paid to this idea. Instead, it appears that the 5th Suffolks, who had taken part in the assault on Galipolli and suffered terrible losses, were reinforced from other Suffolk Regiment batallions, and so, probably before the end of 1915, Herbert Chapman Cross had been transferred to the 5ths, and was soon engaged in the defence of the Suez Canal in northern Egypt.

With the War in the east turning in the Allies' favour, on 1st February 1917 the Battalion left Egypt for Palestine. In April, they took part in the short but furious Second Battle of Gaza. They spent the first week of June at rest in an encampment by the sea, and the second week behind the Gaza line providing working parties for filling sandbags. During the third week of June, the Official History of the Suffolk Regiment records, the battalion moved to Samson's Ridge, the most prominent feature in that Sector, and offering an extensive view of the country beyond Gaza. Every afternoon the white houses of that town caught the sun, making them look like fairy dwellings to sand-weary eyes. Samson's Ridge naturally received a good deal of attention from the Turkish Artillery. And so here it was on June 18th that Herbert Chapman was killed. He died of wounds, and was buried in the Gaza War Cemetery in what is part of the Palestinian State. Unfortunately, the cemetery, though well-maintained, is currently not visitable from the West.

He is remembered on the City of Ely war memorial and on the memorial boards in St George's chapel in Ely Cathedral, although his name is curiously omitted from the Holy Trinity parish war memorial, also in Ely Cathedral.




Frederick Harrall
Frederick Harrall was the oldest son of Walter Harrall, the brother of my great-great-grandmother Mary Ann Waters née Harrall. He was my first cousin thrice removed. He lived at 3 Dairy Farm Cottages, Lower Higham, Kent. Frederick was a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery, later being promoted to tank corporal. His medal record suggests that he fought in the Middle East. He survived the War, and appears on the Roll of Honour in St Mary's church, Higham, Kent.




John 'Jack' Harrall
Jack Harrall was the second son of Walter Harrall, the brother of my great-great-grandmother Mary Ann Waters née Harrall. He was also my first cousin thrice removed. Jack was a private in the Kings Royal Rifles. His medal record shows that he arrived in France on 28th April 1915. He survived the War, and appears on the Roll of Honour in St Mary's church, Higham, Kent.




Frederick Knott
Frederick Knott was my great-great-uncle. He was the younger brother of my great-grandfather William Knott, who was the father of my grandfather Vincent Helgia Knott, my father's father. Frederick Knott was a professional soldier, and his service record has survived. He signed up to the Royal Artillery on March 15th 1895 at Dover Castle in Kent. He was 22 years and 10 months old. His height was measured as 5 feet 6 and 3/4 inches. He weighed 133 lbs. His chest measurement was 33 inches, increasing to 35 inches when fully expanded. His complexion was fair, his eyes blue-grey, his hair light brown and his religion C of E. He had a small scar on his right hand, and a tattoo on his left fore arm. His next of kin was his father, George Knott, of 58 Grange Road, Strood, Kent.

Frederick was in service for more than 22 years, almost entirely in India. He began his military career as a gunner, soon rising to Corporal. But in 1904, for reasons unexplained, he underwent a trial and was demoted to gunner. He fought in the North West Frontier expedition to the Punjab in the 1890s, and then spent much of the next twenty years garrisoned in India. In 1915 he formed part of the Eastern Mediterranean Expeditionary Force to Mesopotamia, the modern Iraq. His
medal record shows that he arrived in area 5G (Mesopotamia?) on the 29th August 1915. He was discharged as physically unfit on the 26th April 1917. He was 45 years old.

These are some surviving pages of his service record:

Frederick Knott's service record Frederick Knott's service record Frederick Knott's service record Frederick Knott's service record Frederick Knott's service record Frederick Knott's service record

click to view CWGC certificate Joseph Mansfield
A distant relative of mine: Joseph's grandmother Mary Mansfield was a cousin of my great-great-grandmother Eliza Mansfield, making him my third cousin twice removed. But Mary and Eliza were children together in the St Ives Union Workhouse on
the night of the 1851 census, which gives these two strands of the family a special bond. The Mansfields, from Needingworth in Huntingdonshire, are notable, not to say notorious, for producing generation after generation of large families while rarely bothering to marry.

At the time of the 1911 census, Joseph was a Private in the 2nd Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment stationed at Hamilton in Bermuda in the West Indies. He was killed in action near Ypres on the 19th April 1915, when he was 26 years old. He is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, as well as on the Needingworth village memorial and the Holywell-cum-Needingworth parish memorial.

click to view CWGC certificate Arthur Page

Arthur Page  

There are two Pages on the City of Ely WWI memorial, the brothers Arthur and Herbert. Arthur Page was my great-grandfather, the father of my grandmother Phyllis Alice Page, my father's mother. Here he is on the 1911 census. Arthur was a Serjeant in the 2nd Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, and his medal record shows that he arrived in France on the 26th January 1915.

The 2nd Battalion spent their first winter and spring bogged down in the trenches of the Vierstraat area of Flanders, before being returned to Billet at Westoutre on 11th April. They spent the latter part of the spring building the network of trenches in the Ypres salient,and then on June 16th they were part of the force which attacked and consolidated its hold in V Wood and Sanctuary Wood to the east of Ypres. It seems that the Battalion came under what were the first prolonged and sustained gas attacks by the Germans on British troops. During July they returned to billet in Ypres again, but spent the rest of the summer consolidating the hold on the splendidly named Spoil Bank and Bellyache Wood (see photograph, below right), again to the west of Ypres.

In general, the 2nd Suffolks seem to have spent an uneventful 1915 in Flanders, with few casualties, except for one major incident when, on September 8th, the battalion sustained more than a hundred deaths trying to capture a crater in Sanctuary Wood. Shortly after this, Arthur's brother Herbert was injured, and returned to England. He rejoined the Battalion at the start of 1916, when they were moved south towards St Eloi. Shortly after arriving in the area, Arthur's brother Herbert was killed.

In June 1916, the 2nd Suffolks were removed completely from the fighting and returned to depot at St Omer for training in open warfare. They did not know it, but the Generals were preparing for the Big Push, designed to distract the Germans from their assault on Verdun. It would be known as the Battle of the Somme. On July 1st, the first day of the battle, the 2nd Suffolks set out from St Omer for the Somme.

They arrived at the front on July 8th, and were placed in reserve, and then on July 14th they were moved into the southern end of Caterpillar Wood, to the east of Albert. Not far off, on July 18th, the Germans attacked and, at great cost to them, overran Delville Wood and part of the town of Longueval. Two companies of the 2nd Suffolks were sent to support the counter-attack, and among them was Serjeant Arthur Page.

  1915: Bellyache Wood

Shortly before first light on what would be a warm, sunny day, at 3.35am on July 20th, the Third Division of the British Army attacked Delville Wood. Chris McCarthy, in The Somme Day-by-Day, records that Early in the morning the Division made an attack on Delville Wood and village using 2nd Suffolks and 10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers. At 3.35 am the Suffolks advanced from the west, but the two leading companies were almost entirely wiped out. The Fusiliers went astray, and came under fire from a British machine-gun barrage, losing most of their officers, only to press home a fruitless attack.

The casualties in the 2nd Battalion were heavy, and among those killed in the attack was Arthur Page. He was 37 years old. It seems to have been a spectacularly foolhardy action: the two companies lost no less than ten officers in the attack, one of them, a Major Congreve, later being awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Arthur Page Arthur Page Arthur Page

Arthur's body was recovered, identified, and buried at Delville Wood cemetery in Longueval. We visited Albert in the summer of 2006, but I did not know about Arthur Page at that time, and so we did not go to Longueval. We will have to go back.

Arthur's widow Sophia is shown standing on the far left of my parents' wedding photograph in 1957. His youngest daughter Phyllis is shown standing on the left of the middle row on the day I was christened in 1961. He is remembered on the City of Ely war memorial, the Holy Trinity parish war memorial in Ely Cathedral, and on the memorial boards in St George's chapel, also in Ely Cathedral.



Charles Page
Charles Page was my great-great-uncle, the younger brother of my great-grandfather
Arthur Page and an uncle of my grandmother Phyllis Alice Page, my father's mother. Born in 1893, Charles was 21 when WWI broke out. He is mentioned as serving with the Suffolk Regiment in reports of his brother Herbert's death, but I have yet to find out more details.




click to view CWGC certificate Herbert Page

 
Herbert Page   Herbert Page was my great-great-uncle, the younger brother of my great-grandfather Arthur Page and an uncle of my grandmother Phyllis Alice Page, my father's mother. Here he is with Arthur on the 1891 census. Herbert signed up on 22nd July 1900 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 18. The reason may be that he was just four feet eight and half inches tall. His hair was brown, his eyes were grey, and he had a mole above his right buttock. He claimed to be a Wesleyan Methodist. However, in 1903 he was punished for being drunk on duty, and there would be six further charges of being either drunk on duty or absent without leave over the next four years.

When he officially reached the age of 21 in 1907 (in fact, he was 24) he re-enlisted with the reserve. Now, he claimed to be a member of the Church of England, and had a tattoo on each forearm! He was assigned to the 3rd Batallion of the Suffolk Regiment. Herbert married Eliza Woodbine in 1908 in Ely. They moved into a house in Back Lane and had four children in quick succession. On 5th February 1909 the Cambridge Independent Press reported that Herbert had been found guilty of drunkenness at Ely on 1st February. He is reported to have told the bench '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 sent to prison for seven days.

Married life seems to have quietened Herbert down. He worked as a labourer and played the drum in the Ely Silver Band, who performed concerts each Sunday evening in summer on the Market Square.

On 27th March 2014, as part of the centenary commemoration, the Ely Standard published a photograph of Ely Silver Band on the eve of the First World War. A diminutive Herbert sits on the ground far right in the front row:

Herbert was discharged from the reserve with a good character in January 1914, but re-enlisted with the Suffolks as soon as war broke out. A keen musician, he was a drummer boy in the 2nd Battalion (12th foot) of the Suffolk Regiment, the same Battalion as his brother Arthur. You can read details of the Battalion's actions in 1915 in the entry for Arthur (above). However, Herbert was wounded in October 1915 near Ypres.

He returned to England where he would spend the next few months joining the Battalion band. 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, 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. He is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, as well as on the City of Ely war memorial, the Holy Trinity parish war memorial in Ely Cathedral, and on the memorial boards in St George's chapel, also in Ely Cathedral.

Herbert Page Herbert Page

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. Her name was St Eloi Souvenir Felixstowe, a grandiloquent name for a child of the Waterside, but a perpetual memory of her father's final resting place, and perhaps a clue to his residence while recovering from injury the previous year - did Herbert and Eliza spend time 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's service record survives up to 1910. Here are some pages from it:

Herbert Page: 1900 sign-up 1900: Herbert Page's medical exam for sign-up Herbert Page: 1900 to 1914 service Herbert Page: 1908 to 1914 service Herbert Page: 1905 re-enlisting Herbert Page: 1910 reenlisting                     

Herbert Page: 1908 sign up for reserve Herbert Page: 1908 medical exam Herbert Page: 1908 next of kin Herbert Page: 1908 sign up Herbert Page: 1903 to 1908 punishments                  




John Page
John Page was my great-great-uncle, the younger brother of my great-grandfather
Arthur Page and an uncle of my grandmother Phyllis Alice Page, my father's mother. Here he is with Arthur on the 1891 census. John is mentioned on his brother Robert's service record in a list of next-of-kin as serving in the Suffolk Regiment, but I have yet to find out more details.




Robert Page
Robert Page was a professional soldier. He was the younger brother of Arthur, John and Herbert Page. He was my great-great-uncle, an uncle of my grandmother Phyllis Alice Page, my father's mother. Here he is with Arthur and Herbert on the 1891 census. He signed up to the Suffolk Regiment on April 8th 1902 when he was 18 years old. He was five feet four inches tall, his eyes were blue and his hair was brown. He claimed to be a member of the Church of England, but on 6th September 1906 his record was amended because he had become a Wesleyan Methodist (his brother Herbert made a move in the opposite direction). In 1905 he extended his service, joining the 2nd Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, becoming a Corporal. He was discharged in 1910, and the 1911 census shows him as a swine herdsman living in Norton, Suffolk.

He re-enlisted with the Suffolk Reserve in 1914, and was shortly after transferred to the Northamptonshire Regiment. He was wounded in 1916 and invalided out in 1917 when his discharge papers noted he was fit to work. He joined the Labour Corps after the War in 1919, being finally discharged as surplus to military requirements in March 1920, when he returned to Long Melford in Suffolk to live with his wife and children. In about 1920, a photograph was taken outside of Melford Hall of all the local men who had fought in the War and survived it, and it is likely that Robert is in this photograph.

More than sixty pages of Robert Page's service record survive. Here are a few of them:

Robert Page: 1902 approval to sign up at 18 Robert Page: 1902 sign up for reserve Robert Page: 1902 sign up description Robert Page: re-enlistment in 1914 Robert Page: 1902 to 1914 service record Robert Page: 1917 discharge

Robert Page: 1905 request to extend serviceRobert Page: 1916 hospital furlough Robert Page: Northamptonshire Regiment badge Robert Page: 1917 pension statement Robert Page: 1920 casualty note Robert Page: 1922 Victory Medal Robert Page: 1922 Victory Star

Robert Page: 1919 attestation Robert Page: 1919 re-enlistment Robert Page: 1920 completed service Robert Page: 1919 sign up statement Robert Page: 1919 short service sign upRobert Page: 1919 completed service record Robert Page: 1919 enlistment




Thomas Page
Thomas Page was the younger brother of Arthur, John, Herbert and Robert Page. He was my great-great-uncle, an uncle of my grandmother
Phyllis Alice Page, my father's mother. Here he is as a baby with Arthur and Herbert on the 1891 census. At the time of the 1911 census he was with the 3rd Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, which is to say the Suffolk Militia, in barracks at Bury St Edmunds. Thomas was 24 When the Great War broke out. He was recalled to the 3rd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment on the 13th August 1914, nine days after war was declared. His medal record shows that he entered the theatre of war on the 10th October. The Suffolk Militia were based at Felixstowe, and seem to have served mainly as a battalion of men transferred to supplement the losses of other battalions of the Suffolk Regiment. If Thomas entered the theatre of war on the 10th October, then he was probably one of the recruits sent to France to bolster the 2nd Suffolks after their losses at Le Cateau. These men spent most of the rest of 1914 waiting outside of Ypres, and they were among the troops inspected by George V, an event described by Henry Williamson in his Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight sequence. Also described in vivid detail by Williamson was the Christmas Truce of 1914, which he witnessed and which Thomas Page and the 2nd Suffolks would also have taken part in.

The early part of 1915 was relatively uneventful for the 2nd Suffolks, mostly engaged in waiting and trench digging near to the Menin Road. Thomas's medal records show that he was discharged on the 25th July 1915, the cause given as sickness - whatever it was, it was sufficient for Thomas not to be recalled at the start of general conscription in 1916, and he appears to have spent the rest of the War in Ely. It is notable that Thomas was awarded the roses clasp in 1935. Recipients had to apply for this, which was awarded to those who had served under fire or who had operated within range of enemy mobile artillery in France or Belgium during the period between 5 August and 22 November 1914.


Robert Reynolds
Robert Reynolds was the younger brother of my great-grandfather Tom Reynolds. He was my great-great-uncle, an uncle of my grandmother
Winifred Ellen Reynolds, my mother's mother. When War broke out, he lived in St Albans in Hertfordshire. On June 6th 1915, Robert signed up as a Private soldier with the Remount Squadron of the Army Service Corps. He was 33 years and 7 months old and stood 5 feet 4 and a half inches tall. Robert appears to have served throughout the War at the depot in Romsey, Hants, the only incident of note being that he was confined to barracks for 4 days in 1916 for being absent without leave on parade. He survived the War to be awarded a pension in 1919.



Frederick Thomas 'Tom' Reynolds

Thomas Reynolds with his daughter Abigail  

Thomas Reynolds was my great-grandfather, the father of my grandmother Winifred Ellen Reynolds, my mother's mother. When the First World War broke out, he enlisted as a Private soldier in the 1st Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment.

The 1st Suffolks were part of the 28th Division of the Army. The Long Long Trail website records that the 28th was formed at Hursley, Pitt Hill and Magdalen Hill Camp near Winchester in December 1914 - January 1915 and was rushed as a much-needed reinforcement to France. Shortage of some types of units were filled by Territorial units taken from other Divisions. It embarked at Southampton and landed at Le Havre on 16-19 January 1915 (Thomas Reynolds's medal record shows that his battalion arrived in France six months later, on the 8th of June) and then moved to concentrate in the area between Bailleul and Hazebrouck. The Division subsequently took part in the Second Battle of Ypres (but this was before Thomas Reynolds disembarked) and the Battle of Loos (where Thomas probably fought, and where the British first used poison gas on a large scale). The Division was ordered on 19 October 1915 to to prepare to sail. The first units left Marseilles for Alexandria (Egypt) five days later and all units were there by 22 November. The Division was then ordered on to Salonika and completed its disembarkation on 4 January 1916.

The Division spent the rest of the War in the Eastern Mediterranean, a much safer theatre than the Western Front in France. The Reynolds's youngest daughter was named Ruth Salonika Reynolds in commemoration of where her father was when she was born. In Thomas's photograph above, he wears four overseas service stripes. On returning, Thomas Reynolds and his family moved to Cambridge, where Thomas took a job with the Star Brewery on Newmarket Road as a drayman, delivering Tollemache Ales to pubs in Cambridge and the surrounding villages. He died at the relatively young age of 64 in 1944, and was buried at Dry Drayton.


     
 
       

 

 

 

 

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