Friday, October 26, 2007

Cottingham and Kenward

As a result of information received from relatives I've updated the pages for the Cottingham brothers - Alfred Cottingham, Frederick Cottingham, George Cottingham, James Cottingham and William Cottingham - and also the page for John Walter Kenward.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Chailey National School 1899

The photo above shows pupils from Chailey National School and was taken in 1899.

The only child I've identified so far is five year old Frederick Bray who sits far right. I feel convinced though, that many of his classmates would also have gone on to serve their King and Country. For the time being though, they remain frozen in anonymity and the innocence that was society before the First World War.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Alfred Jenner & Douglas Uridge

I have updated the biographies for two more Chailey men: Alfred Jenner and Douglas Uridge. Both would have had interesting stories to tell.

Alfred joined the army as a regular soldier in 1915 and sustained a gunshot wound in 1917. It was a huge carbuncle on his shoulder however, which was to prove most troublesome to him and which would eventually lead to a sizeable army gratuity. Alfred's service record speaks volumes for the insanitary conditions in which men lived in the trenches. Besides his carbuncle, he was also hospitalised at various times as a result of conjunctivitis, trench fever and myalgia.

Douglas Uridge first joined the army on 1st August 1914. He was in Canada at the time but never sailed with his regiment. A kick in the head from a horse caused him to be discharged from the army. Undeterred, he sailed for England and finally succeeded in re-enlisting, this time with the Army Service Corps. Even so, he was discharged in 1917, a Medical Board noting that he was, "thin, weak. Slightly anaemic, narrow chest and poor physique generally."

Saturday, October 06, 2007

769654 Pte Horace Raymond Martin, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry

Chailey Parish Magazine notes in September 1916 that H Martin is serving with the Grenadier Guards in England.  In December 1916 it notes that he is serving with the 13th Grenadier Guards and this information is then repeated up to and including December 1917.  After this, there are no further references to this man.

According to his attestation papers, Horace was born in Newick on 2nd June 1897.  I think that this is a soldier's "white lie" however and that he was really born in the second half of 1898, his birth registered at Lewes district in the September quarter of that year.  He appears on the 1901 census living at Church Road with his parents and seven siblings.  The household comprised, William John Martin (head, aged 47; a self employed builder), his wife Adela Martin (aged 42) and their eight children.  In age order they are: William Henry Martin (an 18 year old carpenter), Florence Kate Martin (aged 15), Mabel Grace Martin (aged 13), Edith Cicely Martin (aged 11), Alfred Geoffrey Martin (aged ten), John Sidney Martin (aged five), Daisy Evaline Martin (aged four) and Horace (aged two).

There was of course, no “13th Grenadier Guards” but with the wisdom of hindsight and due acknowledgement to Horace’s headmaster at Newick, John Oldaker, it is possible to see how this error arose.

Horace’s brother John served with the 10th Royal Grenadiers, CEF and it appears that the Reverend Jellicoe got this information slightly wrong and then attributed the incorrect regiment to Horace.  In all likelihood both the boys were in Canada when war was declared because both joined Canadian units. 

Horace, who would only have been about 16 when war was declared, enlisted at Toronto on the 4th January 1916 (still under age) and was posted to the 124th Battalion of the CEF.  He was given the number 269654. His attestation papers note that he was born in Newick, Sussex and give his address as 26 McRoberts Avenue, Toronto, Canada. His next of kin is noted as his mother, Adela Martin, also of the same address.  Horace's trade is given as machinist. He was five feet six and a half inches tall, had a fair complexion, blue eyes and black hair.  A scar on his right ankle is also noted.

On 1st January 1917 Horace transferred to Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)  having already been in France with the 124th Bn CEF since 4th December 1916.  A note in the PPCLI roll of honour records that he was struck off strength on 7th February 1919.

The photograph that appears on this page, plus details of Horace’s enlistment are from John Oldaker’s collection of serving ex pupils from Newick School.  My thanks to Simon Stevens for this information.

Also see this post. Is it the same Horace Martin?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Midshipman Anthony Martin Kimmins, HMS Marlborough

Anthony Martin Kimmins was born on 11th October 1901, his birth registered at Hendon, north London in March the following year.  His mother, Grace Kimmins, (later Dame Grace Kimmins), co-founded Chailey Heritage Hospital (previously the Chailey Union Workhouse) with Alice Rennie the following year.  The following information is taken from East Sussex County Council’s page on Chailey Heritage Hospital:

“It is world-famous for its ground-breaking approach to orthopaedics. Originally it offered hospital treatment, education and training in craftwork to children with severe physical disabilities. Much of the philosophy of care derived from Grace Kimmins' husband, Dr C W Kimmins, who was an educational psychologist for the London County Council. Chailey Heritage was initially a private institution and relied heavily on donations for its survival. Grace Kimmins tirelessly and inventively raised funds for the hospital. She was well-connected and used her contacts to secure the patronage and support of royalty, the aristocracy, affluent businessmen and the press.”

Anthony Kimmins spent two years at Osborne and two terms at Dartmouth before first going to sea in HMS Marlborough.  He first appears in Chailey’s parish magazine as Cadet Captain A Kimmins, Royal Navy, in October 1916.  By April 1917 he is listed as A M Kimmins and by December that year is recorded as Midshipman A M Kimmins, HMS Marlborough.  This information is then repeated monthly up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919.
Anthony Kimmins joined the Fleet Air Arm in the inter-war years until retirement from the Royal Navy.  Immediately after, he entered the film world, starring first as an actor (his debut was in 1933 in The Golden Cage) and latterly as a director (from 1937).  He rejoined the Royal Navy during the Second World War, serving first as a naval broadcaster and latterly becoming a captain on the staff of the Director of Naval Intelligence.  After the war he went back to producing and directing films.  He wrote his autobiography – Half Time – in 1948 and died in 1964.

Anthony’s older brother Brian also served his King and Country during the First World War.

On a separate note, on this day 89 years ago, my grandfather's brother, John Frederick Nixon, was killed in action whilst attached to the 8th London Regiment (The Post Office Rifles). Jack has no known grave and is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois memorial in France. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

John BASIL Lee Jellicoe, RNVR

John Basil Lee Jellicoe was the eldest son of the Reverend Thomas Harry Lee Jellicoe of St Peter’s Church, Chailey and Bethia Theodora Jellicoe (nee Boyd).  His uncle, Arthur Hamilton Boyde OBE MC TD, who was also a clergyman in civil life, would have a distinguished career in the army during the First World War.

Basil Jellicoe was born on 5th February 1899.  He first gets a mention in Chailey Parish Magazine’s roll of honour in March 1917 where he is noted as Jellicoe, J B L, Univ OTC, Oxford.  By December 1917 he is noted as serving with the RNVR and in March 1918 is noted as assistant paymaster with the RNVR.  This information is then repeated monthly up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. 

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) has this to say about Basil Jellicoe: 
Jellicoe, (John) Basil Lee (1899-1935), housing reformer and Church of England clergyman, was born on 5 February 1899 at Chailey, Sussex, the elder son of Thomas Harry Lee Jellicoe, rector of Chailey, and his wife, Bethia Theodora, youngest daughter of Sir John Boyd, of Maxpoffle, Roxburgh, lord provost of Edinburgh from 1888 to 1891. His father was a cousin of J. R. Jellicoe, first Earl Jellicoe.

A few months before the end of the First World War he left Oxford to join the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and served for a short time in the Mediterranean.
In later life, he worked in Somers Town, north London, and campaigned tirelessly for better housing. He died prematurely, at the age of 36 in 1935 and is buried in St Peter's churchyard, Chailey. See photos of his grave here.
Basil's younger brother Christopher Theodore Jellicoe is also noted in Chailey’s Parish Magazine as serving his King and Country.

Monday, October 01, 2007

GSSR/649 Pte Obediah Wood, Royal Sussex Regt

Obediah Wood is another of Chailey’s men who does not feature in Reverend Jellicoe’s monthly roll call of serving parishioners. His attestation papers though, which survive at The National Archives, state that he was born in Chailey and that at the time of his enlistment at Hurstpierpoint on 21st September 1914, he was 40 years old. He also had previous military experience having served with Kent Royal Garrison Artillery for six years and Sussex RGA for one year and 31 days before being discharged at his own request.

He was five feet, five and a half inches tall and was passed fit for one year’s service with the Royal Garrison Artillery Special Reserve on 24th September 1914. Four days later however he was transferred to the 9th Royal Sussex Regiment at Shoreham and given the number GSSR/649; a number which really belonged with the Royal Sussex Regiment Special Reserve rather than a New Army battalion. He remained with the 9th Battalion until the 16th August 1915 when he was posted to the 10th Royal Sussex Regiment.

He arrived in France on 4th October 1915 and five days later was posted back to the 9th Battalion, remaining with this battalion on the Western Front until 5th August 1916. He then sailed for England and was posted, on arrival the following day, to the Royal Sussex Regiment Depot on 6th August 1916. Sixty three days later, on 7th October 1916, he was discharged from the British Army.

During his initial period in England, Obediah (who appears as Obed on all but one of his military documents), attended a Brigade Transport Training class at Colchester on 5th September 1915.

Obed was discharged from the army as a result of epilepsy, a condition he’d suffered from since he was 12 or 13. A Medical Board, convened on 23rd September 1916, noted that he used to fall down unconscious and that for the last three years he had had difficulty swallowing, although he had taken normal food in hospital without difficulty. The Board noted that his epilepsy had been aggravated by military service and awarded him a conditional pension of 20 shillings a week for the next six months. Subsequent Boards over the next two years increased his award which seems to have run until 31st December 1918.

On his papers, Obed Wood’s next of kin is given as Thomas Marriott of Small Dole (in what is now West Sussex), and his home address given in September 1916 given as New Hall, Small Dole, Sussex.