20 July 2017


Cecil Harold Blaydon was my fourth cousin three times removed and he was born in Mildenhall, Suffolk, in 1895, fourth of the five children of Sydney & Mary (nee Vale).  By 1901 the family was had moved to Fordham in Cambridgeshire where Cecil, at five years old, had presumably started school.  A further move took the family to the Luton area in Bedfordshire and 1911 showed Cecil, aged 15, a picker hand.

Enlisting in 1914 in Luton, Cecil joined the 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment and, by 1917 was serving in the Egyptian Theatre; he died on 20 July in Palestine.  The Luton News & Bedfordshire Times produced the following on 16 August:-

"Pte. C Blaydon
The war has taken heavy toll of the household of Mr and Mrs Blaydon, The Knapps, Toddington-road, Leagrave,  Official intimation has been received that their second son, Pte. C Blaydon, was killed in action on July 20th.  Since the outbreak of war he had been serving with the Bedfordshire Regiment, including the Dardanelles campaign.  He was a stretcher-bearer, and had seen considerable active service.  The youngest son, Pte. A Blaydon, was killed at Suvla Bay on August 15th, 1915, with the 1/5ths.  The eldest son, Percy, is serving in France with the RGA, and was recently in hospital suffering from shell-shock. but he has now returned to his battery.

A letter was received by his parents on Tuesday morning from his pal:- "I thought it my duty to write to tell you that your son Pte. Cecil Blaydon, is dead.  He was killed instantly while we were raiding the enemy's position.  He was like by everyone in his company, officers and men, and I was myself a great pal of his.  He was buried behind our line in a cemetery this morning. "

The eldest son, Bomb. P S Blaydon is back in hospital again with shell-shock. "

Cecil Blaydon was buried in the Gaza War Cemetery.

We will remember them.

28 June 2017


Bertie John Mendham, to give him his full Sunday name, was born on 22 May 1884 in East Wretham, Norfolk, seventh of the nine children of Thomas & Mary (nee Freeman).  He was the older brother of Ernest Tom Mendham, who I remembered three weeks ago.

Christened on 5 July 1884 in East Wretham, Bertie was my third cousin four times removed. and he moved with the family to Streatham, London, by 1901.  By the age of 16 he was a porter and the 1911 census shows him working as a printer and living in Upper Tooting.  Towards the end of that year he married Daisy and they begat two children - Daisy, and Albert who was to die in the next war.

He enlisted in the Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment and died on 28 June 1917.  With no known grave he is commemorated, along with his brother, on the Menin Gate memorial.

We will remember them.

22 June 2017


Today I remember a man who has already had a mention in this blog in 1914: Albert Pridmore, my sixth cousin a few times removed, was born in Wittering, near Peterborough, in 1879.  He was the second of the eleven children (nine boys, two girls) of William & Sarah, nee Culpin, who moved to the Sheffield area soon after he was born.  After schooling in the town, Albert worked as a labourer.

In 1913 he married Margaret Richardson in Sheffield and they begat five children before Albert enlisted in the Yorks & Lancs Regiment and was sent to France & Flanders to join the Expeditionary Force from January 1916.  He was wounded in action on 2 May 1917 and repatriated to Bradford Military Hospital.

Where he died one hundred years ago today.  He was buried in Burngreave cemetery in Sheffield.

We will remember them.

7 June 2017


Ernest Mendham was born in 1886 in East Wretham in Norfolk, eighth of the nine children of Thomas and Mary (nee Freeman).  Christened in the local church on 8 August that year, he was next "seen" in the 1901 census, with the family in Streatham, south London.  In 1909 he married Lily Hudson and the family lived in Upper Tooting in 1911; he was a librarian's clerk.

In 1914, or thereabouts, he enlisted, at Clapham Junction, in the London regiment.  He died in Flanders on this day in 1917 and has no known grave.  Along with thousands he is commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial.

We will remember them.

2 June 2017

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: Charles William Rumbelow

Charles William Rumbelow was my fifth cousin twice removed, the eldest of five children (four boys & one girl) of George and Laura (nee Mace).  Born in 1897 in the village of Wicken in Cambridgeshire, he seems to have lived in the village all of his short life.  Aged only three in the 1901 census, he was at school by 1911 - then living with his grandparents.

And that is all I know about him; other than that he died one hundred years ago today, in Birmingham, having been serving with the Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment.  He is buried in the churchyard in Wicken.

We will remember them.

25 May 2017

Great War Centenary: Percy Poulter

Percy Poulter was my 5th cousin three times removed (our mutual ancestor was Richard Culpin, born circa 1685) and was born in Shillington, Beds, in 1883.  The fifth of eight children of Thomas and Emma (nee Culpin), he was working on the family farm in Campton, near Shefford, in 1901 but joined the Royal Lancers before 1911.  The census of that year very helpfully gives his location as "Egypt, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Sudan"..... so I have no idea where he was!

Sadly I do know that he died of wounds in France on 25 May 1917 and is buried in Tincourt New British Cemetery.

We will remember them.

21 May 2017

This little piggy went to........

A chance find in the BURY FREE PRESS of 12 February 1954: 

One of five pigs which were thrown out of a ten cwt. Van taking them to the Elmswell Bacon Factory met premature death in a crash on the ice road near Rougham Estate Office on Monday.  The two vehicles involved were a van driven by Mr Reginald Staden, baker, of 41, Out Westgate, Bury St Edmunds, and a British Road Services lorry, drive by Mr Arthur Tyre, of “The Lilacs”, Mendlesham Green, Stowmarket.

All the pigs were thrown out of the van and one of them sustained a broken leg and had to be destroyed.  Both the drivers had minor injuries – facial cuts and bruises.

I am resolutely not laughing......

More soon.

Source:  www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk