Monday, February 23, 2009

John Oldaker's boys

Once in while, completely out of the blue, I am privileged to receive significant additional information concerning the men on the Chailey 1914-1918 site. The photograph I have posted here, certainly falls into this category.

Pictured here are John Oldaker, headmaster of Newick School, and the school cricket team. The photograph was taken in 1909. William Jared Brooks (Will Brooks) is seated second from left and it is his granddaughter who has sent me the photograph.

The photograph on its own is quite a find, but thankfully Will Brooks also wrote the names on the reverse. So, from the back row, reading from left to right: Charlie Hodges, Fred Smith, John Oldaker, Edgar Richards, Unknown. Seated: ? Martin, Will Brooks, Percy Elphick, Jim Reynolds, Sydney Smith, Alf Fuller.

George Brooks, known as Proey, is the boy in the front row.

The boy recorded as "Unknown" is probably the headmaster's son, John Oldaker, and I think that the boy seated to Will Brooks's right is probably Horace Raymond Martin. If it's not him, it would be his brother, John Sidney Martin. Click on the links to see photos of both the brothers in their army uniform during WW1.

Sydney Smith was killed at Gallipoli on 19th August 1915 and Fred Smith was killed at Loos on 26th September the same year. SD/1637 Private Charlie Hodges of the 12th Royal Sussex Regiment was killed at the Boars Head on 30th June 1916.

My sincere thanks to Sally Tinkler for sending me this photograph and additional information about her grandfather, and also to Simon Stevens for his inputs regarding John Oldaker and the boys who later died in the service of their King and Country.


smallfatcow said...

John Oldaker was my great-grandfather. None of his sons was called John (They were: Herbert, Bernard,Harry, Reginald, Norman and Arthur. He also had a daughter - Helena.) How lovely to see this photo.

Chailey said...

Thanks very much for commenting. Do you have a suggestion therefore, as to which one of his sons the boy could be, if of course it is son?