Thomas Ford

Family life

Thomas Ford was born on 1st February 1886 in Ringmer, East Sussex. His birth is registered at LewesThomas appears in the 1891 Census as a 5 year old. He is living at the family home in Bishops Lane, Ringmer, East Sussex along with his parents and siblings.

Home life

Thomas appears to be the second child of John and Eliza Ford. His father was a Bricklayer. John Ford and Eliza Stoner married in the Lewes registration area in 1882. Thomas has one elder sister, Eliza, an elder brother John and a younger brother Joseph.

The 1901 Census finds the family complete. They are all living in the same house in Bishops Lane, Ringmer, East Sussex. John, the father is now a Foreman Bricklayer. There are now 8 children. Tom has 3 more sisters Edith, Harriet and Ellen along with one more brother Ernest. Thomas is a Bricklayers Labourer.

The 1911 census shows that the family has started to fly the nest. Only 3 children John, Ernest and Ellen remain at home.

Thomas is living with his sister Eliza and her husband at 123 Gloucester Road, Brighton. Thomas Joined Brighton Borough Police on 16th November 1910 with George Hemsley and George Chisnall. Thomas is now 25 years of age.

On 11th August 1917 Thomas Ford married Grace Lintott. Thomas is shown on the wedding certificate as 31 years of age, a bachelor, Police Officer (Sussex Yeomanry).

Grace Lintott is the younger sister of PC Richard Lintott MM. Grace is 23 years old, a spinster living at Fisher Lane, Chiddingfold.

Military career

Thomas Ford appears on both WW1 Plaques within The Old Police Museum Cells at Brighton. He is shown to be with The Sussex Yeomanry as well as the Warwickshire Regiment.

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Police Cell Plaque

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Sussex Yeomanry Cap Badge

Sydney Barrow received permission from Chief Constable William Gentle to join the Army from the then Chief Constable Mr. William Gentle on 19th May 1915. He left the Police on the same day as Herbert Boxall, Sidney Barrow, Ernest Griggs, Henry Hayter, Charles Moorey and George Sutton.

No information of any certainty has been forthcoming with regards to Thomas’ military career apart from his wedding certificate which shows him as a Police Officer (Sussex Yeomanry) in 1917.

The Chief Constable William Gentle reported to the Brighton Police Watch Committee that Thomas Ford had reported back for Police duties on 13th February 1919 along with Charles Moorey and George Hibbs.

No information with regards to The Royal Warwickshire Regiment or any awards he may have received have been found.

Post war

It is known that Thomas Ford was a member of the Brighton Borough Police after the war.

The question that is to remain unanswered at present is “What happened to Thomas Ford during the war years? Did he go to war? Or “Did he remain with Brighton Police and at home with the Sussex Yeomanry? There is no trace of him within the Military Police. 

The 1939 Register is our next insight to Thomas and Grace. They are both living at 17 Dale Crescent, Brighton. Thomas’ date of birth is shown as 1st February 1886. He is a retired Police Officer. Grace is born on 4th August 1894. There is no trace of any children being born.

Thomas Ford died aged 70 years on 30th June 1956 at the Brighton General Hospital, Brighton. Probate as seen below was awarded to his Widow.
Grace survived her husband by another 17 years. She died on 5th October 1973 in Surrey.

ford.png

Research problems 

The frustration of not having any Army records.

William Clinch

Family life

William Clinch was born on 24th March 1895 in Pagham, West Sussex. His birth is registered at Westhampnett, West Sussex. Westhampnett was the registration area for the Bognor Regis area until 1835 when it was consumed by the Chichester Registration District. William was baptised on 21st April 1895 in Pagham.

William is found in the 1901 Census as a six year old boy living with his parents and his siblings at Bognor Road, Pagham. His Grandmother Fanny Madgwick is also at the house at the time of the Census.

Home life

William appears to be the third child of his father William and mother Eleanor (Ellen) Clinch. His father was an Agricultural Labourer and his mother was a Laundress. William senior, and Eleanor Matilda Madgwick married in 1892. The marriage is registered in Westhampnett.

William has two elder sisters, Nellie and Lillie, and two younger brothers and sister Henry, Leonard, and Edith.

The 1911 census found William, who is now 16, as a Gardener. He is still living with his parents although the family has moved to Old Barrack Lane, Aldwick, Pagham, West Sussex. His parents have now been married 19 years. The elder girls have left the family home and six other additions have been made. His new brothers and sisters are Frederick Enos, Bertie Edwin, Alfred Ernest, Millicent Elsie, Albert Edward and Violet Matilda. The grandmother is still at the premises. William Senior is a Farm Labourer.

On 16th October 1914 William became a Police Constable with the Brighton Borough Police Force. It is not known where he was living at the time. 

Military career

William Clinch appears on both WW1 Plaques within The Old Police Museum Cells at Brighton. He is shown to be with The Royal Sussex Regiment.

William applied to the then Chief Constable of Brighton Borough Police William Gentle for permission to join the Army. With others, Jack Cheesman, Sydney Millen, Richard Lintott, Sidney Waylan, and Frederick White permission was granted to leave on 11th May 1815.

William Clinch attested on 11th May 1915 at Brighton, Sussex along with Jack Cheesman, Richard Lintott, Sid Millen and George Catt for the Royal Sussex Regiment. William declared his age to be 20 years and one month. He declared his father William Clinch of Hall House, Barrack Road, Aldwick, West Sussex to be his next of kin.

William Clinch stated his home address was 10 Terminus Street, Brighton.

On 21st May, along with PC Avis and PC Catt and PC Cheesman he was posted to 10th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment for training at Colchester until 13th September 1915. He was allocated service number GS/6815. His record shows the number prefixed with the letters “GS”, which was used to signify that the soldier was conscripted for “General Service”.

On 8th September William passed a course of instruction in stretcher bearing and first aid. Catt, Avis, Cheesman and Millen were also on this course. After initial training William was posted to Shoreham Depot between 13th September 1915 along with Catt, Cheesman and Avis.

On 23rd September 1915 he was posted to France to join the 9th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. On 28th September he was promoted to a Lance Corporal. On the same day he embarked for France at Folkestone.

The 9th “Service” Battalion was raised at Chichester in 1914. At the time the 9th Battalion was already in France and had been so since 1st September and had moved up to the battle trenches at Vermelles on 25th September. The 9th had joined up with other battalions to become part of the 24th Division. William would have joined up with the 24th.

The 24th Division was a completely untried unit and although it is unclear exactly what day William would have caught up with the Division he was probably thrown into “the thick of it” at Vermelles where they were ordered to advance on “Fosse 8”, a large and conspicuous mining slag heap. The Fosse was to be held at all costs despite several German attacks from heavy artillery and machine gun fire and a lack of food and water. The 9th Battalion held on until withdrawn to Sailly-Labourse during the night of 27th.

The following months found the 9th Battalion at Proven near Ypres after several days of marching, trains and lorry journeys. The rains were constant and the trenches were flooded. The Battalion was busy filling in excess of 200 sandbags daily, a total of 5000 were required to stem the flooding. The men were exhausted and were receiving little respite from the trenches and training.

The whole of December was spent in Houlle, some 35 miles west from the fighting zone. Intensive training continued. Christmas and the New Year were spent safely in that quiet area of France.

January 1916 found William still with the 9th Battalion in France.  It was at this stage that George Catt had joined the Battalion when they entered the trenches at Zouave Wood on the 18th where significant enemy shell and sniper fire was experienced for four days until relief arrived. The Battalion was so close to the enemy line that gas masks had to be worn day and night.

The Battalion Heavy shelling continued into February near Hooge where the 9th were still occupying trenches. On 13th February the Germans put down a tremendous bombardment over the British front line causing a great deal of damage. 30 casualties along with several fatalities were recorded. 

The 6th July brought the Battalion out of the trenches for a period of rest only for them to return on 11th where on 20th they were relieved and moved by buses and trains away from the Ypres area and travelled to Montagne.

August continued to see the 9th Battalion in the thick of it, and was involved in hand to hand fighting in the village of Guillemont where over the course of two days casualties amounted to 7 officers and 183 other ranks. After 7 days rest they were again in the trenches where they were attacked by the Germans after heavy bombardment on 31st August. The 9th managed to hold on and repulsed the attacking party. 30 men were killed and 80 injured. The problem was exasperated by the complete lack of food and water during continued attack.

During the first week of October three men died from wounds while the Battalion held the line in front of Souchez, north-west of Arras prior to returning to trenches in Loos.

On 27th October 1916 The London Gazette published the following in a special supplement: “His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the field to the undermentioned non-commissioned Officers and men:-

Page 10477 6814 Cpl.J Cheesman R. Suss. R.

Page 10477 6815 L./C. W. Clinch R. Suss. R.

Page 10481 6812 Cpl. R. Lintott R. Suss. R.

The Sussex Daily News on 1st November 1916 published the following

Honours for Brighton Policemen, in the list of NCO’s and men of the Royal Sussex Regiment awarded the Military Medal which appeared in Saturdays Sussex Daily News, the names of Corporal R Lintott, Corporal J Cheesman, and Lance Corporal W Clinch were included. It is interesting to learn that these gallant men were all in the Brighton Police Force.

It can now be proved that the Trio of Cheesman, Clinch and Lintott were together at the time of an amazing act of bravery between the three of them, which earnt them the Military Medal each.

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Military Medal

November and December were quiet months considering the history of the rest of the year. The Battalion remained around the Loos area either in the front line or in reserve and enjoyed a Christmas dinner. The beginning of 1917 found William on leave in the United Kingdom between 15th January to 25th January. February was also relatively quiet. The Battalion was at Hesdigneul, where they had “moved out” to rest.

March found the 9th Battalion back in the thick of it, returning to the line in the area of Arras where an enemy attack was thwarted. The German bombardment caused several casualties.

April came in with a blast of cold weather, snow blizzards and fighting. In full action on 12th and 13th the British attacked the German positions in Bois-en-Hache. At the cost of 60 Battalion casualties, through a snow blizzard, the enemy’s first and second lines were taken. The ground had been churned up through shelling activity and snow into a sea of mud. The Battalion finally was given a well-earned rest falling back to Estree Blanche for a week of reorganisation which ended with a forced march to Houchin where during May they rested, trained and integrated new men.

June 1917 saw one of the most successful British attacks of the war at the Battle of Messines Ridge. The 9th were fully involved on the 7th despite gas attacks and shelling. The battalion suffered 134 wounded with 3 men missing. This action was the prelude to the 3rd Battle of Ypres.

On 13th June 1917 William along with others was transferred as a Corporal to the Military Foot Police under Army Council Instruction No. 1733. The instruction is long and tedious but in short explains that the system of policing such large numbers of soldiers at home and abroad required trained Police Officers. As a result it would appear that soldiers who were Police Officers prior to the war were being transferred to either the MMP (Mounted Military Police) or MFP (Military Foot Police).

The General Duties of a Military Police Officer include:

  1.  The detection of crime, and the arrest of offenders.
  2. The maintenance of order under all circumstances.
  3.  The surveillance and control of all civilians and followers within the area occupied by their formations.
  4. Assisting in maintaining march discipline of troops and transport and in regulating traffic.
  5.  The collection of stragglers.
  6.  The custody of prisoners of war until their transfer to railhead or to a P.O.W. working company.
  7. The protection of the local inhabitants against acts of violence on the part of soldiers or followers.

In addition there were numerous special duties they were expected to see to, amongst which were :—

  1. Taking measures to prevent troops getting into contact with undesirable characters—prostitutes, enemy agents, provocateurs, etc.
  2. Ill-treatment of animals.
  3. Civilians found within the lines without passes or identity cards.
  4. Plundering, marauding and looting.
  5. Ill-treatment of inhabitants.
  6. Soldiers and civilians trafficking in rations or Government property.
  7. Unauthorised cameras and photography.
  8. Collecting and returning of horses.
  9. Careless talk and the apprehension of anyone giving military information.
  10. Arrest of suspicious individuals.
  11. The shooting of dogs found unattended near the forward lines, and search of the bodies for messages, etc.
  12. Seizure of carrier pigeons.
  13. Surveillance for means of communication with the enemy.

William was temporarily transferred to the Military Foot Police for the duration of the war.

On 12th December 1917 he joined up with the 2nd Army at the Adjutant-Generals Office in Rouen, probably for training. William is still a Lance Corporal. He remains until 8th December 1917 where he joins the 3rd Army in the field. The same date that Jack Cheesman also joins the 3rd Army.

William is on leave in the UK during February 1918. He is still with the 3rd Army on 1st June 1918. On 11th January 1919 William is sent on leave to the UK until 7th February and although not stated probably returns to the 3rd Army.

William was medically examined on 25th 1919 where he signs that he has no disabilities. William is transferred to Class Z reserves at Aldershot on 29th August 1919 having arrived at the dispersal unit Crystal Palace on 2nd August 1919. His address on demobilisation is 2 North View, Chichester Road, Bognor Regis. He notifies the Army that although the Bognor Regis address is his home address he permanently lives at 2 Quebec Street, Brighton. 

William was awarded the Military Medal along with the 1914-1915 Star, The British War Medal and Victory Medal. The medals below are not the actual medals issued to Clinch.

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1914- 1915 Star

1380778063-victory_medal3-original

Victory Medal

British War Medal

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British War Medal

Post warIt is known that William rejoined the Brighton Borough Police after returning from the War. The Chief Constable of Brighton Borough Police, William Gentle reported to the Brighton Watch Committee that the William Clinch had reported for duty on 28th August 1919.

At some stage William Clinch is promoted to Sergeant and becomes a Detective Sergeant. He is a Detective Sergeant in July 1931 where he is mentioned in the Kent and Sussex Courier as a Brighton Detective Sergeant investigating a Golf Club burglary.

He was a Detective Sergeant until his promotion to Uniform Inspector on 21st May 1937 as reported below by the Brighton Post on 26th May 1937.

The 1939 Register is our next insight to William and finds him living at 129 Overhill Drive, Brighton. William is shown as being born on 24th March 1895. He is shown as a Police Inspector. William is living with wife 45 year old Cecilia Croke who he had married in 1922 at Brighton.

Also living at Overhill Drive was his son William K Clinch born 1923 along with a daughter Maureen E Clinch born 1932.

No death certificate for either William or his wife can be found. It may be that they emigrated but no records can be found with regards to their possible travel.

Copyright Researched and reported by

Ian Borthwick 2017 Retired Sussex Police Officer AB579, Served between Nov 1976 to March 2007.

The Orange Lilies film

The orange lilies website
Film maker Tracey Gue has made a lovely little evaluation film for our just completed project The Orange Lilies – Brighton & Hove in the Somme.
 
You can watch it here on the Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage You Tube channel, along with other project short films made by young people for the project:
 
HLF

George Edward Spencer Shirley Catt

Family life

George Edward Spencer Shirley Catt was born on 20th October 1892 in Ore, which is now part of Hastings East Sussex. George is first found in the 1901 Census as a seven year old schoolboy living with his parents and his younger brother. The family appears to be living in a cottage which is part of the Grange School in Ore.

Home life

George was the first child of his father George and mother Ellen. His father was a jobbing gardener. Leonard, his younger brother was born in 1900 in Whitstable, Kent although apart from the birth record no reason can be found to explain the location of the birth.

The 1911 census found that George, who is now 17 and is working as a market gardener. His father is still a gardener. Leonard is still at school and George has a new brother Freddie who was born in 1908 in Ore.

On 1st April 1914 George became a Police Constable with the Brighton Borough Police Force. It is not known where he was living at the time. It is interesting to note that he joined Brighton Borough Police on the same day as Jack Cheesman.

Military career

George appears on both WW1 Plaques within The Old Police Museum Cells at Brighton. He is shown to be with The Royal Sussex Regiment.

George applied to the Chief Constable William Gentle for permission to leave the Brighton Borough Police Force which was granted. His leaving date was 10th May 1915. George attested on 11th May 1915 at Brighton, Sussex, along with William Clinch, Jack Cheesman, Richard Lintott and Sid Millen.

George declared his age to be 21 years 9 months. On 21st May along with PC Arthur Avis, PC Jack Cheesman and PC William Clinch he was posted to 10th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment for training at Colchester until 13th September 1915.

George was allocated service number 6819. His record does not show the number prefixed with the letters “GS”, which was used to signify that the soldier was conscripted for “General Service”.

After initial training George was posted to Shoreham Depot between 13th September 1915 to 25th November 1915. He was promoted to being a paid Lance Corporal.

On 25th November 1915 he was posted to France to join the 9th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. The 9th “Service” Battalion was raised at Chichester in 1914.

January 1916 found George still with the 9th Battalion in France. The Battalion first entered the trenches at Zouave Wood on the 18th where significant enemy shell and sniper fire was experienced for four days until relief arrived. The Battalion was so close to the enemy line that gas masks had to be worn day and night.

Heavy shelling continued into February near Hooge where the 9th were still occupying trenches. On 13th February the Germans put down a tremendous bombardment over the British front line causing a great deal of damage. 30 casualties along with several fatalities were recorded. It was as a result of this action that George received a gunshot wound to his right shoulder.

George was sent the same day to 72nd Field Ambulance This was a mobile medical unit, not a vehicle. Each British division had three such units, as well as a specialist medical sanitary unit. The Field Ambulances provided bearer posts but also established main and advanced (that is, forward) dressing stations, where a casualty could receive further treatment and be put in such a condition where he could be evacuated to a Casualty Clearing Station. Men who were ill or injured would also be sent to the Dressing Stations and in many cases returned to their unit after first aid or some primary care.

On the following day he was taken to number 10 Casualty Clearing Station at Poperinghe and then onwards to number 15 Casualty Clearing Station. He was discharged from the clearing station after 7 days and returned to duty.

April and May and June were relatively quiet until the 17th June when the Germans gas bombed the Battalions position. The Battalion was moved away after a tirade of shelling and enemy fire, only to return to the trenches on 20th June.

The 6th July brought the Battalion out of the trenches for a period of rest, only for them to return on 11th where on 20th they were relieved and moved by buses and trains away from the Ypres area and travelled to Montagne.

August continued to see the 9th Battalion in the thick of it, and was involved in hand to hand fighting in the village of Guillemont where over the course of two days casualties amounted to 7 officers and 183 other ranks. After 7 days rest they were again in the trenches where they were attacked by the Germans after heavy bombardment on 31st August. The 9th managed to hold on and repulsed the attacking party. 30 men were killed and 80 injured. The problem was exasperated by the complete lack of food and water during continued attack.

September saw the Battalion moved by trains and lorries to Camblain-l’Abbe  and finally on 24th to Villers-au-Bois. George is wounded after a Howitzer was fired in his close proximity on 25th September 1916. There is no detail in the war diary to explain the injury; however he was suffering from Otitis which is an inflammation of the ear. He was sent to 73rd Field Ambulance and onward to number 23 Casualty Clearing Station where he remained until 26th September 1916. His condition did not improve. On 27th September he was transferred to the 18th General Hospital at Camiers which is situated south of Boulogne. On 30th September 1916 George was transferred to one of the Auxiliary Hospitals in Exeter. He is suffering from nervous debility (Neurasthenia or in modern days “Shell Shock”)

Whilst in hospital George is posted to 3rd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment Depot. He is discharged to duty on 25th October 1916. It is uncertain where he went at this time, but he is shown at the Command depot on 8th December 1916.

On 11th December it would appear that George was still suffering from shell shock and was sent from the depot in Newhaven to Hospital. The sequence of events are unclear at this point however because on 15th January 1917 George was once again in hospital with phimosis. He is at the Eastern Hospital until 14th February 1917 when he was transferred to Summerdown Camp, Eastbourne until 21st April 1917 having undergone a circumcision. He was discharged to duty back to 3rd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. Reserve Battalion.

On 18th July 1917 George is transferred to The Kings Own Scots Borders. His new service number is 32130. George is posted to Farm work to assist his recovery between 7th August 1917 to 6th September 1971 when he returned to Depot

On 19th January 1918 George was once again in hospital. He was still complaining of Neurasthenia (a medical condition characterised by lassitude, fatigue, headache and irritability, associated chiefly with emotional disturbance). He was sent to King George Fifth hospital in Dublin until 8th February 1918 which was a Red Cross Hospital. On 8th February he was discharged from the hospital. The recommendation was for him to find work within the Army or to be discharged permanently as unfit to serve.

On 22nd February 1918 George is transferred to 11th Royal Scots Fusiliers. His new service number is 51966. On 20th March 1918 George had a septic heel and was with the 330th Field Ambulance in London. He received treatment and was returned to duty on 2nd April 1918.

George returned to the Fusiliers and had some leave between 10th July and 14th July 1918. On 27th July he was promoted back to a paid Acting Lance Corporal and on 22nd August he was promoted to a paid Lance Corporal.

On 30th November he was posted to the 13th Royal Scottish Fusiliers School of Musketry at Hythe, Kent and on 17th November was posted to the Royal Scottish Fusiliers depot as an instructor at Gailes barracks.

On 11th December 1918, George was posted to the dispersal centre at Wimbledon where due to his previous Police experience he became a “Dispersal Demobiliser” (Police).There is no information that he became an MFP or MMP. On 10th January 1919 George was posted to Class Z reserves and was demobolised  from the Army. His home address is still shown as “Over Bennet Works, St Helens, Hastings.

George received The 1914-1915 Star along with the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

300px-ww1_1914-15_star

1914- 1915 Star

1380778063-victory_medal3-original

Victory Medal

 

Post war

On 27th December 1918 George Edward Spencer Shirley Catt returned to Brighton Borough PoliceThe 1939 Register is our next insight to George and finds him living at 2 Colbourne Avenue, Brighton.

George is shown as being born on 20th October 1894 a 45 old. He is employed as an Engineering Works Watchman and Timekeeper. George is living with wife 47 year old Irene Millicent Allen who he had married in the third quarter of 1917 at Hastings.

Also living at 2 Colboune Avenue was his daughter Eileen M Catt born 10th September 1920 along with a son George Peter Catt born 21st August 1924

George died in 1967 at 62 years of age. His death is registered in Brighton.

Irene Catt died in 1981 aged 89 years.

 

 

 

The Orange Lilies film shorts

shot_1493220388754.jpgJust to let you know about the new four short films we’ve created with young people from Brighton & Hove about life in the city in WWI supported by film maker Tracey Gue for The Orange Lilies – Brighton & Hove in the Somme project.

They’re a talented bunch!

You can see them online on You Tube, link here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEhJKbkBIHqf4dJQ7mnptzYi_qqn3yp2O

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Our final event!

20170630_170652-e1499443215907.jpgWe marked the end of our The Orange Lilies – Brighton & Hove in the Somme project with a big community history event on 30th June 2017 at Jubilee Library in Brighton.

It was a roaring success with a great variety of speakers and around 150 visitors to the drop in day, listening to presentations, visiting stalls and exhibitions at the venue, followed by the unveiling of a memorial stone to those who fell at The Battle of Boar’s Head on 30th June 1916.

Just to say a huge thank you for your support and delivery for The Orange Lilies project since June 2016.
Your time and expertise has really served to make the project happen and is so very much appreciated. I really can’t thank you enough for your involvement!
We are still uploading research to the project website, so things won’t end right away, but in terms of project delivery we are now complete.
I must say it’s come round far too soon and I feel in some ways like we’ve just got started, so am sad to finish, but on to projects new for now.
We’ve had great feedback from visitors for the day in general and also each specific session. The day was a real success and we had around 150 visitors ongoing through the day to hear your presentations. I hope you enjoyed it too!
‘I was glad to catch Geoffrey Mead’s talk. Fascinating!’
‘The speakers were of an extremely high standard’
‘Chris Kempshall’s talk was my favourite part’
‘A fascinating day, thank you!’
‘Really enjoyed it’
‘The speakers were all inspirational, amusing, entertaining, relevant and inspiring’
‘It was an illuminating and fascinating day of events’
‘All the presentations (including the Q+A) were of an extremely high standard’
‘Many congratulations on a superb project’
If you’d like to join the Strike a Light mailing list for future project activities and events, do let me know and I’ll add you to the newsletter. 
To keep up with us in other ways you can ‘Follow’ the Strike a Light website – https://strikealight.org/
or on Twitter – @strikerlight

 

Herbert Henry Boxall

Herbert Henry Boxall was born on the 26th March 1884 in Bury, West Sussex. He died in 1975 at Worthing living 91 years. His regiment was the Sussex Yeomanry.

 Home life

Herbert was the third child to Walter and Harriet Boxall. Herbert had two elder brothers Louis b.1879, Walter b.1882. He also had a younger sister Edith b. 22nd May 1990. In 1891 all the children were attending the local school.

In 1901 all three of the boys are following in their father’s footsteps as Blacksmiths.

On 7th April 1909 Herbert became a Police Constable with the Brighton Borough Police Force. It is not known where he was living at the time but within the 1911 Census, three years later; it is revealed that he was living as a boarder at 82 Coventry Street, Preston. (This is Preston Village, Brighton).

Military career

There appears to be no traceable Military records available for Herbert Boxall at this time although this matter will be reviewed. It is known that Herbert Boxall applied for permission to join the Army and was given permission to leave Brighton Borough Police by Chief Constable William Gentle on 19th May 1915.

Other Police officers that were given permission to leave the Brighton Borough Police Force on the same day included Sidney Barrow, Thomas Ford, Ernest Griggs, Henry Hayter, Charles Moorey and George Sutton.

It is not known at present whether Herbert went to war or remained with the Yeomanry.

Post war

It is known that Herbert rejoined Brighton Borough Police on 14th August 1919 along with Richard Lintott, Sydney Millen, Jack Cheesman, Christopher Gaston, Clifford Gaston, and Arthur Avis.

It can be presumed that Herbert Boxall did his bit for King and Country but it is not known where. The 1939 Register is our next insight to Herbert’s life which finds him alive and well living back at his parent’s home at Bury Gate. Herbert is living with his 87 year old mother Harriet along with his sister Edith.

Herbert is shown as a retired Police Inspector. (No trace can be found of his promotions). He is single and appears never to have married.

Herbert died on 11th April 1975 at 95 years of age at Swan Cottage, Rackham, Pulborough. His death is registered in Worthing.

Probate was registered in London on 23rd June 1975. Herbert’s estate was valued at £4018.

Copyright Researched and reported by Ian Borthwick 2017, Retired Sussex Police Officer AB579. Served between Nov 1976 to March 2007.

Charles Beesley

Charles Beesley was born in 1879 in Brighton. Charles died on the 30th of June 1916 at the Battles of Boar’s head in France at the age of 37 years. His regiment was the Royal Sussex Regiment, 13th Battalion. His service number was SD/3289.

Family and Home life:

Charles’ father Thomas Beesley was born in Oxford in 1840 and married Mary Bayliss of Woodstock, Oxfordshire in 1863. By 1871 they had five children and were living at 33 Marston Street, Cowley in Oxford and Mary’s mother Maria and Mary’s sister Adelina aged 15 years were living with them. Thomas was working as a college servant. Charles’ grandfather Richard Beesley, who was born in 1810, had also worked as a college servant.

Mary died in 1871 at the age of 29 years. At some time after the 1871 census Thomas moved to Brighton.

On 28/04/1878 in St Peter’s Church he married Lucy Comfort, who was born in Rotherhithe in about 1839 and was the fourth child of George Comfort and his wife Mary.

The Mathieson Brighton Suburban Directory of 1870, shows that Lucy was working as a milliner and dressmaker at 22, Bloomsbury Place and the 1874 Post Office directory shows she was a milliner working at 101 St George’s Road. Dressmakers would have been in high demand at this time in fashionable Brighton.
It is possible that Lucy may have learnt her trade at school or her father may have paid for an apprenticeship. He had at the time of the 1871 census worked as a clerk, but by the time of Lucy’s marriage was an accountant and therefore possibly of some means.

Charles’ birth was registered in Brighton between October and December 1879. The 1881 census showed him to be living with his parents and half sister Edith, who had been born in Oxford in 1870, at 33 Great College Street Brighton. Thomas was working as a waiter in a hotel and Lucy as a dressmaker.

Charles’ half brother Frank, in 1881, at the age of 13 years was working as a servant at 7 Regency Square in Brighton. Frank in 1887 joined the Royal Artillery and served for 21 years. He married twice.

Thomas’ other children, from his first marriage, in 1881 were living with relatives, Mary Maria born in 1866, with her Uncle Richard and Aunt  Annie in Oxford and  Emily, born in 1867,  with her Aunt Fanny in Battersea, but it is not clear where Tom, who was born in 1864, was living.
Thomas Beesley died in 1890. The 1891 census records Lucy to be a widow living at 9 Eastern Road with Charles who is aged 11 years; Lucy was the head of the household and continued to work as a dressmaker. There was another family of four living at the same address.

Lucy died in 1892 aged 53 years and so Charles, aged 12 years was an orphan.

In 1901 Charles was single, 21 years old and a boarder of Maria Dudman, living at 12 George Street Gardens. He was working as a printer’s compositor.

A compositor was the person who inset each letter of a word into the frames for printing. It needed the ability to read in mirror image, which apparently comes easier to those who are naturally left handed.

On January 10th 1903 in Hurstpierpoint, Charles at the age of 23 years, married Adelaide Wren, who was born in East Grinstead. They had two children, Charles Edward born on 29/09/1903 and Rosie Doris born on 10/02/1909.

In 1911 the family were living at 17, Terminus Road, Brighton and Charles was still working as a compositor and letterpress printer at an aerated water company.
There were seventeen Mineral Water Manufacturers in business in Brighton in 1901.

Military Career 

Charles enlisted at Brighton with the Royal Sussex Regiment, 13th Battalion. His regimental number is SD/3289 suggesting he was one of Lowthers Lambs. There appears to be limited information about Charles’ military career. He was killed in action on 30/06/1916 and is buried at Cabaret- Rouge British Cemetery, having been exhumed from Edward Road No 4 (Factory Trench). He was identified by his disc. Many of the soldiers found with Charles were not identified and came from other regiments.

He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

His effects totalling £1 15s 6d was sent to his wife as was his war gratuity of £6.

Post War

Adelaide did not remarry. The 1939 register showed her to be living in Rochford, Essex with her daughter Rosie D McRobert, who had married Alec J McRobert in 1935. Adelaide died in Essex in 1945. Rosie died in 1975.

Adelaide’s son, Charles Edward Beesley, in 1939 lived in Ealing, Middlesex with his wife Elsie and son Michael who was born in June 1936. Charles died in 1991 and is buried in Greenford Park Cemetery.

Sydney Barrow

Sydney Barrow was born, 13th October 1885 at Berwick, East Sussex. He died on the 11th October 1962 in Brighton. At the age of 77 years. His Regiment was the 2/1st Sussex Yeomanry and his rank was Acting Corporal, Service number: 171267.

 His profession pre-war was Brighton Borough Police Officer and his profession post-war was Bailiff at Brighton County Court.

He married in 1919 to Nellie Durden in Eastbourne.

Family life

Sydney Barrow was born 13th October 1885 in Berwick, East Sussex where his ancestors appear to have lived for several generations.

Home life

Sydney was the younger brother of Herbert who was born in 1884. Sydney and Herbert attended Berwick School.

The picture below shows the two boys with their parents Frederick and Ellen. Sydney is on the left.

syde

By 1901 Sydney was working on a farm as a worker. He is still living in Berwick.

On 11th March 1908 Sydney became a Police Constable with the Brighton Borough Police Force. It is not known where he was living at the time but within the 1911 Census, three years later; it is revealed that he was living with his Uncle Benjamin John Woodall at 41 Kings Street, Brighton. Woodall had married Isabel Barrow. 

Military career

The Military records are very sketchy for Sydney Barrow, only two documents have been found. Upon the two WW1 Plaques within The Old Police Museum Cells at Brighton, Sydney appears to be with two units, The Sussex Yeomanry and The Northumberland Fusiliers.

Sydney Barrow received permission from Chief Constable William Gentle to join the Army from the then Chief Constable Mr. William Gentle on 19th May 1915. He left the Police on the same day and according to the “Silver Badge” records attested to join the Army the same day.

Other Police Officers that had applied for permission to join the Army that were released from the Police on the same date as Barrow are shown below:-

Herbert Boxall, Thomas Ford, Ernest Griggs, Henry Hayter, Charles Moorey and George Sutton.

The first record from the UK, WW1 Service Medal and Awards Rolls, 1914 -1920 shows that he qualified for the British War Medal along with the Victory Medal. He was Acting Corporal in the Sussex Yeomanry and his service number was SY 171267. The medal form which is dated 1920 also shows Sydney as a Lance Sergeant with the Northumberland Fusiliers, service number 237027.

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Victory Medal

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British War Medal

 

Within the Silver War Badge Roll transcription held at ‘Find my past an entry is found which records Sydney as having enlisted on 19th May 1915. At some stage unknown he received a Gun Shot wound and was discharged from the Army due to injury on 13th December 1918 aged 33yrs as a Lance Sgt. Sydney was awarded a Silver War Badge number B/65986.

Post war

Sydney Barrow eventually returns to Brighton Borough Police Force on 9th October 1919. It is not known where he has been since his discharge. A picture below is undated. The 1939 Register is our next insight to Sydney’s life which finds him alive and well living at 187 Ditchling Road, Brighton.  Sydney married Nellie Durden at Eastbourne in 1919. The couple appear to have four children;

Kathleen Mary Barrow born 25th April 1920 Brighton.

Norah Phyllis Barrow born 19th December Brighton.

Audrey Ellen Barrow born 1924 Brighton.

Hilda A Barrow born 1927 Brighton.

Sydney is shown to be employed as a Bailiff at Brighton County Court

Sydney died in Brighton on 11th October 1962 aged 76 years at Brighton General Hospital. Probate register shows that he was still living at 187 Ditchling Road.

Nellie Barrow died on 7th August 1981 aged 90 years.

Research problems-

The only research problem was a lack of army service records. Copyright Researched and reported by Ian Borthwick 2017. Retired Sussex Police Officer AB579. Served between Nov 1976 to March 2007.

Lance Corporal Charles Edward Ball

Charles Edward Ball was born in 1882 in Hastings Sussex. He died on the 3rd of September 1916 in Beamont Hemal, France at 29 years.  His Regiment was the Royal Sussex Regiment, 13th Battalion. His service number was SD/3521. His profession before the war was a barman.

Family Life:

1901 Census  shows that Charles’ mother Jane had re-married  to a Jerimiah Delay. The census therefore shows Jane’s children with the name Ball.

Military Career:

Lance Corporal Charles Ball fought at Ferm Rue De Bois where he earned a Military Medal for bravery.   He survived this battle and was sent to Beaumont Hemel where he died in action.

His wife was awarded the medal posthumously, the following was recorded in a local newspaper. (Ref GWF)

‘At Preston Barracks in Lewes Road Brighton 700 hundred people were present when Col Rodmell awarded to Lance Corporal Charles Ball’s widow with her small son Bernard present, a medal for bravery.

The official record states:-  ‘The attack became rather disorganised in the darkness and smoke. Lance Corporal Charles Ball got together a party of men  and pushed on with them and gained a footing in the German trench. He held this ground until every man was a casualty. This was  in July 1916. Lance Corporal Bell  survived this battle was killed in action three months later.’

Brother Robert was present wearing a blue uniform, as a wounded soldier. He was also in the Royal Sussex Regiment 13th Battalion.  He was the second son of  Jane Delay  who by this time had died. He was also brother to Carrie Morris who resided in Manitoba Canada. (Neither Carrie or Robert were mentioned in the 1901 Census.)

Lance Corporal Bell is recorded on The Sussex Roll of Honour and is buried at Beaumont Hamel Military Cemetery

RESEARCH DIFFICULTIES.

I was unable to find a military record for Charles Ball and assume this was destroyed in a fire with many others. It was also impossible to trace his Regiment to  The Battle of Beaumont Hemel as the record for the regiment ceased in 1916. Therefore it is not known how Charles Ball died.