Sunday, August 26, 2007

Albert Malthouse & Edward Manville

Thanks to the availability of pension records on-line, I've been able to update the pages for Albert Malthouse and Edward Manville.

Albert was an old soldier who'd first enlisted with the Royal Sussex Regiment in 1885 and was 48 years old when he enlisted for a further period with the National Reserve during the First World War. Edward was conscripted into the army in 1916 but was clearly unfit, heart trouble causing him to be discharged from the army in 1916.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

George & Harry Cottingham

I have updated the profile for George Cottingham and added an additional page for Harry Cottingham whom I had previously inadvertently omitted from the Chailey website. Both men's service records survive at The National Archives in Kew. Harry's record is interesting in that he served nineteen years with the Royal Artillery and then Royal Field Artillery and despite having seen service during both the Boer War (one year) and First World War (five years) he received no medals having done all of his soldiering in England.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Horace Coley - try, try again

Horace Henry Coley is another of Chailey’s men who does not appear on Reverend Jellicoe’s monthly roll call of men connected to the parish. The omission is understandable as Horace appears to have left Chailey parish some while before the start of the First World War and was settled in Walsall, near Birmingham, when he enlisted.

He was born in Chailey around September 1872 and appears on the 1881 census living with his family in Chailey village. The household comprised 46 year old John Coley, a market gardener born in Newick, his wife Hannah aged 44 (born in Hove) and five children: Margaret Coley (aged 20), Frederick Coley (aged 13), Emily Coley (aged 10), Horace (aged seven) and Edith Coley (aged four). All of the children had been born in Chailey; Margaret is also noted on the census as being deaf.

By the time the 1891 census was taken, the family had moved to the village of Barnham in the district of Westhampnett in Sussex. The address is noted as Fruit Farms and as before, John is noted as a market gardener although also noted as “neither employer nor employed”. Mary is recorded as domestic servant (although her deafness is not recorded) while Frederick and Horace are both noted as market gardeners. Emily is recorded as a laundress and Edith, a 14 year old scholar. There is also another sibling: Ernest F Coley, aged nine, also born in Chailey.

Ten years further on and the household has shrunk dramatically. The 1901 census sees the family living at Lingfield in Surrey. Hannah is now a widow and with her are Horace, noted as a married, 27 year old soldier, and Edith, a domestic servant. Horace’s profession reads “Part H W Service (Soldier)” and I am at a loss to make sense of the initials. I am guessing that the W could stand for War as the Boer War would have been current at the time. Nevertheless, he was certainly newly married and in uniform. He had married Alice Elizabeth Hall on 26th December 1900 at Lingfield although she does not appear on the same census return as her husband.

By the time the First World War started, Horace was 42 years old. Nevertheless, on 1st September 1914 he enlisted with the Black Watch at Walsall. His attestation papers state that he was a time expired soldier with the Black Watch; also that he was a miner by trade and that he was five feet nine and a half inches tall, weighed 154 lbs, had a fresh complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. His next of kin is given as Alice Elizabeth Coley (wife) of 4 Brownhills Road, Walsall Wood, Staffordshire.

Horace was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion on 2nd September and given the number 3432. His service though, was short-lived. On 24th October 1914 he was discharged “in consequence of having been found not likely to become an efficient soldier.” Although physically fit, Horace had an eye condition – nystagmus – which was the reason for his rejection. Undeterred, he tried again. On March 17th 1915 he travelled to Lichfield and enlisted with the North Staffordshire Regiment. This set of attestation papers gives a little more detail. It notes that he has previously served 16 years with the Black Watch and that his home address is King Street, Walsall Wood. A daughter is also recorded on his papers: Florence Georgia Wood born on 13th June 1902 in Atherstone, Warwickshire. Horace was quite heavily tattooed; something the authorities had neglected to record on his 1914 papers. The details though, are all there on the March 1915 papers: “two dancing girls on breast, both arms covered and a woman’s head underneath back knee.” Horace was posted to the regimental depot and given the number 17156. Again though, his service would be short-lived and he was discharged on 23rd June the same year. This time the medical notes report, “a very large enlargement of thyroid gland causing [unclear] and consequent inability to march.”

It’s a shame that Horace’s service record during his 16 years with the Black Watch does not appear to have survived. The fact that 16 years’ service is indicated in 1915 and also that he was vaccinated in 1898, suggests that he enlisted in this year. He was obviously a committed soldier and it must have been a very great disappointment to him that he was unable to serve his country again during the First World War. It certainly wasn’t for the want of trying.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Charles Moon - nineteen years in the army

Charles Patrick Moon does not appear in Reverend Jellicoe’s roll call of serving Chailey parishioners but he was born in Chailey in 1875 and so is included on this blog. Although the family had moved away from the parish by the time the 1881 census was taken, the Moon family was well established in Chailey, Charles’s grandfather Simeon having been the village blacksmith during the mid 1800s. The 1881 census return though, notes Charles living at Farnborough, Hampshire. The household comprised Chailey born Thomas Moon, head, married, a 42 year old army pensioner; his wife Mary, aged 28, born in Ireland, and their four children: Thomas (aged nine, born in Cork), Charles (aged seven, born in Chailey), Harriet (aged four, born in Plymouth) and Elizabeth (aged one, born in Guildford, Surrey).

By the time the 1891 census was taken, Charles was a seventeen year old at Gordon Boys’ Home in Chobham, Surrey. The home, built in 1885 as a memorial to Major-General Charles Gordon, maintained 240 boys who were trained for civil, naval or military life; according to their preference. Charles’s brother Thomas was living in Chailey at this time. He appears on the census as the 18 year old nephew of James and Esther Smith. The boys’ parents and siblings were still living in Farnborough. The household, located at Smith’s Cottage, York Road, now comprised Thomas and Mary (Thomas is recorded as “pensioner and fish dealer” and Mary as “fish hawker”) and five children: Harriet Agnes Moon (aged 14), Elizabeth E Moon (aged eleven), James Moon (aged eight), Caroline Annie Moon (aged six) and Simeon Moon (aged 20 months). The last three children had all been born in Farnborough.

It would seem likely that Charles’s spent his time at Gordon Boys’ Home preparing for a life in the army, as on 17th December 1898 he enlisted in the Oxfordshire Light Infantry in London for a period of seven years with the Colours and five years on the Reserve. His stated aged was 23 years and three months and he gave his trade as labourer. He was already a serving member of the 3rd Hampshire Regiment, a militia outfit, at the time of his enlistment in the regular army, and was five feet three inches tall and weighed 122 lbs. He had a medium complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. Distinctive marks are noted as tattoos of anchor and flags on his left forearm and a bugle and “A” on his right forearm. He joined his regiment at Oxford on 20th December 1898 and was given the service number 5985.

On 8th April 1899 he was posted to the 1st Battalion and the following year, on 7th December, posted to the 2nd Battalion. He was posted back to the 1st Battalion on 15th October 1903 and on 1st April 1904 extended his service to complete eight years with the Colours. He was granted his first Good Conduct Badge on 26th December 1904 and the following September extended his service again to complete 12 years with the Colours. Having been posted back to the 2nd Battalion and then again to the 1st, he received his second Good Conduct Badge on 26th December 1906.

During his time in the army, Charles Moon was extremely well travelled. He was in England from the time of his enlistment in December 1898 until 22nd December 1899 when he sailed for South Africa and the Boer War. He remained there until 30th May 1900 when he returned home, staying in England until December that year. He then set sail for India where he remained for nearly four years, returning home to England in November 1904. In October 1905 he sailed for India again, spending a further 38 months in that country. He then travelled over the border to Burma, arriving there on 6th December 1908 and remaining there until 25th September 1910. Then it was back to India for a further four months before he returned to England at the end of January 1911. For his service during the Boer War he was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with clasps for the Relief of Kimberley and Dreifontein.

On 20th February 1911, Charles was placed on the Army Reserve but was recalled to the colours when Britain declared war on Germany in 1914. He was certainly in France during the first year of the war but was returned to England on 16th December 1914 with dental caries. (His medical record notes that he’d already been supplied with artificial dentures at Government expense when he was in Burma). Although his service record is not clear on when he transferred to the 1st Garrison Battalion of The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, he was certainly discharged from this unit as a time-expired soldier (number 13939) on 19th February 1916. In the intervening months he had been abroad again, this time to Egypt, where he had arrived on 20th August 1915.

Charles’s next of kin was originally noted as his mother, Mary Moon, of 4 York Road, Farnborough, Hampshire but on 6th January 1912 (by now on the Army Reserve), he married Ann Udey (spinster) at the Wesleyan Chapel in Farnborough. Three children are also noted: Mary Kathleen, born 3rd October 1912 in Farnborough and Elizabeth Agnes Caroline Ann, born 25th April 1915, also in Farnborough. Sadly, his second daughter died on 23rd October 1915. A son, Charles, was born on 8th November 1916.

In March 1915, Charles’s address is noted as 12 Government Buildings, Camp Road, Farnborough, Hants. Nevertheless, he re-enlisted at Oxford on 5th August 1916. He served overseas with the BEF from 21st October 1916 until 12th October 1917 and then returned home to England until his discharge on 22nd May 1918. Army Form B.179 (Medical Report on an Invalid), dated 1st May 1918 notes that Charles was suffering from chronic bronchitis which originated at Rouen, France in October 1917. It reads, “He states he was quite well until he had an attack of bronchitis for which he was admitted to No 6 General Hospital, Rouen. From there he was sent home to hospital in England – in hospital six weeks, discharged 24.11.17 since then has done very little duty and has had a cough and been shortwinded.” The report notes that his bronchitis was attributable to service due to exposure to wet and continues, “Prematurely aged man. Some ankio-sclerosis. Has scattered coarse rhonchi both sides. Chest altered by coughing… cough loose and rattling.” The following page notes, “chronic emphysema” and concludes by assessing him at 30 per cent disability.

At the time of his discharge, Charles was serving as WR40707 Pioneer Charles Moon with a Roads and Quarries company of The Royal Engineers. He was 42 years old and was certainly awarded a pension until May 1920. He received a further allowance of 11/8, reduced to 3/6, for each of his children. Charles Moon’s discharge papers note that his military character was very good and that his character awarded in accordance with King’s Regulations was “very satisfactory”. In total, he had served eighteen years and eleven months in the British Army.

Medal index cards courtesy of Ancestry.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Charles Craddock - twenty one years a soldier

Charles Craddock's service record survives at the National Archives; so does that of his brother Walter. Both men were regular soldiers who enlisted in the army long before the First World War was declared.

I see that my web hosts are closed for the weekend for essential maintenance. Therefore, as a stop-gap measure until I am able to update his page entry on the site, I am pasting his service history here:

Charles Stephen Craddock, first noted by Chailey Parish Magazine in October 1914 as serving his King and Country, was born in Lewes, Sussex in 1879; his birth registered in the September quarter of that year. He appears on the 1881 census of England and Wales as a one year old infant living at North Place, Lewes, Sussex. Also noted at the household are Elizabeth Craddock (head of the household, married, aged 23 and noted as a general labourer’s wife) and her eldest son William G Craddock.

Ten years later, by the time the 1891 census was taken, Elizabeth is still noted as the head of the household (and now living at No 6, Cliffe Square, Lewes) but is recorded as being a widow earning her living as a washerwoman. William, aged 13 is working as a farm boy and Charles (12) is recorded as a scholar. However, there are two more mouths to feed: Walter Craddock (aged ten) and Annie Craddock (aged four).

Charles does not appear on the 1901 census because he’d enlisted in the army in 1898 and was fighting the Boers in South Africa. His brother Walter was also in uniform and appears on the census as a 19 year old soldier stationed at Grand Redoubt, Eastbourne.

Charles’s army service record survives in the WO364 Army Pension series at the National Archives in Kew, and it makes fascinating reading. He joined the Royal Sussex Regiment at Chichester on 10th January 1898 and was given the service number 5510. He was already serving part time with the 3rd (Volunteer) Battalion of the Sussex Regiment when he joined the regular army, his stated trade or calling being labourer. He was aged 18 and 11 months, stood five feet, five and a half inches tall and weighed 122lbs.

On 22nd February 1898 Charles was posted to the 1st Battalion and appears to have served with this unit until 1st March 1902 when he was posted to the 2nd Battalion. He had originally joined up to serve seven years with the colours and five on the reserve but he extended his period of service to eight years (on 1st April 1904) and then again to twelve years on 26th January 1906. In common with many army service records of the time, Charles’s record is full of entries granting, and then forfeiting, good conduct pay or badges. Between 1900 and 1907 there are no less than fourteen entries as he was first awarded a good conduct badge or pay and then lost it again due to some minor misdemeanour.

Charles was stationed in England until September 1899 and then five months in Malta. He was then sent out to South Africa in February 1900 and remained there for just over two years. His next posting was to India in March 1902 and he spent eight months there before returning to England. He was at “Home” between December 1902 and June 1904 and was then posted out to Malta again, remaining there for eleven months. He then spent 22 months in Crete before returning to England in March 1907 where he then remained until discharged to the Army Reserve on 9th January 1910; exactly twelve years after he first enlisted.

At some point during his service, his mother Elizabeth, noted as his next of kin, moved from Cliffe Square in Lewes to Sheffield Park which falls within Chailey Parish.

On 25th January 1910, Charles married Elizabeth Burns (spinster) at the register office in Maresfield, Sussex and July the following year, their daughter Lily Elizabeth was born. Three years later in March 1914 the couple would have a son, Charles Joseph Craddock, who much later, would serve as a regular soldier with the Grenadier Guards.

Charles senior however, was not yet finished with military life. In October 1911 he attested for service with section D of the Army Reserve. His previous period of service on the Reserve had expired on 9th January 1910 and his re-enlistment into Section D effectively meant that if required, he could be recalled to the colours. He was then aged 32 years and appeared to have grown two and a half inches as his height is given as five feet, eight. He had a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. He was tattooed on both arms and on his chest. Charles gave his trade as railway labourer and his address as 2 Market Lane, Lewes.

He then presumably settled down to civilian life for three years but was immediately recalled to the colours when Britain declared war on Germany, being mobilised on 5th August 1914.

Charles did not serve overseas with the Royal Sussex Regiment but instead remained at the regimental depot in Sussex. He was transferred, very briefly, to number 608 Home Service Employment Company of The Labour Corps in 1917 but then transferred back to The Royal Sussex Regiment on 30th November that year as “not suitable”. He was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, on 2nd May 1918.

By this stage, according to his service record, he was living at Railway Cottages, Sheffield Park, Sussex. As Sheffield Park falls within Chailey Parish, this is why he appears on the Reverend Jellicoe’s list of Chailey serving parishioners. In October 1915, the parish magazine had noted that Pte C Craddock was serving with the 2nd Royal Sussex Regiment in England and had repeated this information every month up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. He was certainly in England but with the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion rather than the 2nd. He was finally demobilised on 11th March 1919, his address now given as c/o Mrs Hobden, Plumpton Green, Plumpton, Sussex.

Charles Craddock died of TB at 40, Valence Road, Lewes on 13th March 1945. He was 65 years old and his profession noted as retired railway platelayer.