They Also Served: G – L

Those Who Also Served (Surnames G to L):

The following are short biographies of the men of Ruskington who enlisted during the Great War with surnames beginning ‘G’ to ‘L’.

Remembered on this page are:

scroll down buttonSCROLL DOWN – to read more about these Ruskington men

 

Garratt JLance Sergeant 231885 Joseph GARRATT – was born at High Street, Metheringham, Lincolnshire, (1891 Census RG 12/2588) 31 August 1885.

He was the only child of William (Farmer) and Jane (née Pattinson) Garratt of ‘Westcliffe’, Ruskington. William died in February 1929 and Jane in October 1946. They are buried together in Grave 31, Old South Border, Ruskington Cemetery.

Joseph was educated at ‘Barton School’, Barton Lane, Wisbech, [see below] where he was a boarder (1901 Census RG 13/1555) before returning to Ruskington to take up a partnership with his father, “Assisting on Farm” (1911 Census RG 14/19618).Joseph enlisted in the 2/1st Lincolnshire Yeomanry on 23 November 1914 and did his training at Lincoln.

The Battalion was attached to the 2/1st North Midland Mounted Brigade, and bearing in mind where he lived, Joseph would have been in ‘C’ Squadron: Lincoln (Sleaford, Gainsborough, Market Rasen, Wragby).

In July 1915 he was stationed at Sprowston, near Norwich. The 2/1 Lincs Yeomanry did not, however, serve abroad during the War and this could be why he sought a transfer to see action overseas.

Another Ruskington man, Lt. William Morley, initially enlisted in the 2/1 Lincolnshire Yeomanry. He was reported missing and therefore presumed dead on 24 March 1918.

button_read-more-blue … about the 2/1st Battalion on William’s page on this site.

war_badgeJoseph transferred into the Corps of Hussars and finally into the 1/1st Dorset Yeomanry (Queen’s Own), from which he was discharged on 17 March 1919 under King’s Regulation 392 (xvia) –  “Surplus to military requirements (having suffered impairment since entry into the service)“.

Joseph was granted the Silver War Badge, No. B.337465, but without his Service Papers it is not, at present, possible to say where and when he received his wounds.

button_read-more-blue … about the Silver War Badge and Kings Certificate of Discharge.

The Queen’s Own had landed in Gallipoli in August 1915, but Joseph’s Medal Index Card shows he was not with them then. The Battalion withdrew to Egypt in December 1915, and spent of the rest of the War in the Middle East, ending the War in Palestine.

It seems that Joseph died in Grantham in the December quarter 1964, aged 78. No record can be found of him marrying and the 1939 Return shows that he had retired to live with his widowed mother, Jane, at ‘Greenhill’, Barrowby Road, Grantham.

 

Garwell APrivate Albert GARWELL – was born on 18 September 1895, the son of William Cheavin (Platelayer on Railway) and Elizabeth (née Barber) Garwell.

They had eleven children, Annie Mary (born 1875), Sarah Elizabeth (b. 1877), William Henry (b. 1879), Rose Helen (b. 18818), Ellen (died as a baby in February 1882), Herbert (b. March 1884), Fanny (b. December 1885), Frederick (b. 1887), Arthur Edward (died, aged 2, in March 1892), Ernest (b. 1891) and Albert (b. September 1895)  (Census Returns).

In February 1901 Elizabeth died and was buried in Grave A 218, Ruskington Cemetery. Her newborn son, George, died at the same time, aged 5 days (Grave C 110) and no doubt the two deaths were related. [Another son of the family, Arthur Edward, had died in March 1893, aged 18 months – Grave C 72.]

[N.B.  L/Cpl. Ernest Garwell, was killed in action on 8 July 1915 serving with the Yorkshire Light Infantry. He and brother Frederick had moved to Royston, Barnsley, in the early 1900s.]

The Census of 1901 (RG 13/3048) widowed William is living in one of the Priory Cottages, Ruskington, with children, Rose, Frederick and Albert. About six months later – December quarter 1901 – William re-married, Eliza Elizabeth Marrows. He died in October 1923 and was buried in Grave B 191.

The photograph above identifies William’s son with just the initial ‘A’, but as elder brother, Arthur, died, aged 2, in March 1892 [Grave C.64] ‘The Lincolnshire Chronicle’ must have been referring to the younger son, Albert.

‘The Lincolnshire Chronicle’ also states “He [Albert] emigrated to Canada some years ago. “, and that when War was declared he enlisted in the Canadian Army and in July 1915 was said to be in the Philippines Islands. Maybe their father re-marrying so soon after their mother’s death served to break up the family.

No trace can be found of Albert Garwell on the Register of Canadian Soldiers. However, a Medal Index Card exists for a “Albert Garwell” who enlisted in the Army Ordnance Corps (Private 022295), but date is unknown.

Albert was in England in the December quarter 1919 when he married Annie Parrish. The following year they were living at 88 Snydale Road, Hemsworth, Yorkshire. Their daughter, Margot, was born in the September quarter 1922. The 1939 Return shows them living at 18 Lincoln Flats, Skegness, Lincolnshire.

Albert died, aged 88, at Spilsby, Lincolnshire, in the September quarter 1983.  Annie died two years later, also at Spilsby.

 

Private 54371 William GLENN – was born on 4 September 1894, probably at Nottingham. The 1911 Census (Class RG 14 Piece 19681) shows him living at Clay Fields Farm, Ruskington, Occupation: “Helping on Farm”. The full Census entry shows William living with his father: Joseph Glenn, aged 41, (Farmer); mother: Eliza Glenn, aged 40, and two younger brothers Joseph, aged 15, (Farm hand) and Henry, aged 5.

The 1901 Census (Class RG 13 Piece 3047 Folio 151 Page 8) shows the family living at Main Street, Dorrington. However, William is listed as William LUNN, the Nephew of Joseph, NOT his son. In the December quarter 1891 Joseph (Snr.) [born September quarter 1869] had married Eliza Lunn [born in the March quarter 1871], in Newark, Notts.

As William was born after Joseph and Eliza married it is almost certain that he was the son of one of her siblings, but as yet his natural parentage has yet to be determined. Certainly in all his subsequent records, Service Papers, etc. he names Joseph as his father.

Just before her marriage Eliza was living with her widowed father at 29 Ger Street, Newark. Joseph meanwhile was lodging at 25 Ger Street, working as a ‘Maltster’s Labourer’. He died in Ruskington on 30 September 1936 (buried on 5th October) and Eliza died on 3rd August 1947 (buried on 6th).  Joseph and Eliza Glenn are buried side by side in New Plot, Section D, Graves 56 and 57, Ruskington Cemetery. (photo below)

The 1939 Returns show that William, still single, was living with his widowed mother, Eliza, on Fen Road, Ruskington, working as a ‘Boot and Shoe Repairer’.

N.B. Parish burial records show that William Glenn (possibly after Cremation) is interred with his father/uncle in Grave D.56. (right)

He died aged 94, on 7 February 1989 (buried on 18th). Probate Records show that he was living at Bonner House, Sleaford, when he died and left assets: “Not exceeding £70,000”.

war_badgePrivate 54371 William Glenn enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derbyshire Regiment) on 11 December 1915 at Sleaford, and was discharged on 29 January 1919, aged 24, “.. being no longer fit for War Service”.

In total he served 3 years 50 days with the Colours. He was wounded in action and was awarded the ‘Silver War Badge’ No. B.102,386.

When he enlisted William stood just 5 ft. 1½ ins. [1.56 m.] tall and weighed 7 st. 6 lbs. [47.2 kgs.] and was initially posted to the 19th (Reserve) Battalion – in view of his height, a ‘Bantam’ Battalion. Before seeing active service he was posted to the 10th Battalion.

The 10th (Service) Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters were formed at Derby in September 1914 as part of K2 (Kitchener’s 2nd New Army) and came under orders of 51st Brigade in 17th (Northern) Division. They moved to Wool and on to West Lulworth in October 1914, returning to Wool in December. They moved to Winchester in June 1915.

The Battalion landed at Boulogne on 14 July 1915 to join the B.E.F. William was ‘posted for duty’ on 25 June 1916 and ‘mobilised’ the next day. He joined his Battalion in the field on 15 June 1917. William was wounded at Langemark on 18 November 1917, receiving a “Gun Shot Wound to Right Leg – the site of the wound was about 3 ins. above the knee.

At the time William stated that he received his wound: “whilst entering the trenches”. He amplified this later, stating: “Whilst relieving the front line trenches I was caught in a barrage and received shrapnel wounds in the right leg.

The Battalion War Diary for the day William was wounded reads:

The Battn. Moved out of BRIDGE CAMP to relieve the 7/Yorks. Regt. on the front line Y.7.a. – Y.14.b. at 9.15 a.m.

Relief of the front line was completed by midnight. The Battn. was somewhat heavily shelled en route to the front and lost – killed 4 Other Ranks. Wounded – 14. During the 3 days in the front line the situation was normal.

William was treated initially at the 42nd Casualty Clearing Station at Aubigny before being moved to the 8th Stationery Hospital, Wimereux. He was evacuated to Grange Street Hospital, Manchester, then on to the Victoria Hospital, Stretford, finishing in the Grangethorpe Orthopaedic Hospital, Rusholme.

The Sleaford Gazette” (12 January 1918) reported The Hon Secretary of the village Tuck Box Fund had received a large number of acknowledgments from the “boys” for the 10/- note [50p.] which had been sent to them for Christmas 1917 by the inhabitants of Ruskington. William was one of those who had sent his thanks, adding: “Thank you all who took such a great interest in sending such a lovely Xmas gift of 10/-, and for their kindness.”

In total William spent 409 days in Hospital. Medical assessment stated a 50% disability for at least 12 months. With effect from 30 January 1919 he was awarded a Pension of 13s 9d per week [£0.68 has an equivalent value of about £45 p.w. today – 2023].

jane-glenn-portraitRe: Jane Glenn: Jane was William’s cousin. During 1918, after her father bought her a Diary, she kept an account of life in the village, including news of William’s wounding and subsequent treatment.

Sadly, Jane did not survive to see her cousin return. She died on 12 December 1918 in the Influenza epidemic of that year and is buried in Ruskington Cemetery, Old Plot, Grave A. 296.

The Sleaford Gazette” of 21 December 1918 reported on Jane’s funeral:

DEATH. On Thursday in last week Jane Glenn, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. R. Glenn, of Poplar Farm, Ruskington, died at the early age of 34 from bronchitis following influenza. Although she had been in indifferent health for a long time it was the epidemic at present scourging the country which caused her death. The funeral took place on Saturday, a short service being held in the Wesleyan Reform Chapel, which was conducted by Rev. F. Challice, of Sleaford (Primitive Minister) owing to the enforced absences through illness of Rev. N. S. Lohb (circuit minister).

The principal mourners were Mr. and Mrs. H. R. Glenn (parents), Mr. T. H. Glenn (brother), Mrs. H. Silson, the Misses E. and L. Glenn (sisters), Mr. and Mrs. J. Glenn (Uncle), Messrs. Joe and Henry Glenn (cousins), Mr. H. Bilson, Mrs. Abbott, Mrs. O. Pattinson. Mr. J. W. J. Baldock, Mr. Arnold, Mr. George and Miss Ruth Silson, Mr. G. Harsley, Miss N. Phillips, Sister Hope, Miss Cunnington, Mr. G. Phillips, Miss Semper, Miss T. Hammond and Miss H. Johnson. The bearers (all local Preachers) were Messrs. G. A. Couling, W. Kelly (Ruskington), J. Couling (Dorrington), O. Dixon (Leasingham). A large company of friends had assembled in the Chapel, a number of whom followed the funeral procession to the Cemetery, to pay their last respect to the deceased. Some beautiful wreaths were sent.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. Geo. Phillips. Miss Glenn led a most strenuous life in connection with the Wesleyan Reform Union and was held in the highest esteem by a large circle of friends. She was perhaps best known in connection with her work with the Sleaford Circuit of the Wesleyan Reform Union having taken part in most of its activities. She was organist at the Ruskington Fen Chapel and was also for a considerable number of years a Sunday School Teacher and a most acceptable local jane-glenn-diary-cover-comppreacher. Her loving and faithful service endeared her to all.

Sources: ‘The Diary of Jane Glenn’, Transcribed and Introduced by Derrick Wood, Re-printed by Richard Kay, Sleaford, 1996, [ISBN 0902662473] is available from a limited number of sources.

 

Private G/63175 Abraham GRAY – was born on 4 September 1888. He was the son of Francis (Horse Dealer) and Jane (née Smith) Gray. He had an older sister, Sophia (born in 1879), and a younger brother, Harold (born 28 May 1894 – see below). Another brother, Ernest, died in 1891, when just a few weeks old.

In 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) the family was living at North Searle, Ruskington. Ten years later (1911 Census RG 14/19618) they had moved to Westgate, Ruskington, and Abraham was assisting in his father’s horse dealing business.

On 26 February 1913 Abraham married Maud Mary Corby in All Saints’ Church, Ruskington. They had one son, Francis Abraham, born on 21 September 1914.

Abraham enlisted in the Middlesex Regiment on 10 April 1918. “The Sleaford Gazette” of 7 September 1918 reported that : “Mrs. Abraham Gray has received notice that her husband, Pte. A. Gray, London Regt., son of Mr. Francis Gray, has been admitted to a London Hospital suffering from wounds in the chest received during the recent fighting in France. He had been at the Front only about three weeks. We wish him a speedy recovery.

His wounds, however, were serious and he was discharged on 19 January 1919, suffering from “G.S.W. Chest penetrating“. His Pension took effect two days later. They were living at Pinfold Lane at the time, but later moved to High Street, Ruskington.

The 1939 Register shows Abraham and Maud living at 41 Hillside Estate, Ruskington, next door to their and his wife, Ivy Mary. Both father and son were working as Butchers at the Lincs. Bacon Factory.

Abraham died in June 1955, aged 66, and was buried on the 25th in Grave D.234, His widow, Maud was 99 when she died on 2 January 1988. She was buried next to Abraham four days later, Grave D.235. His parents are also buried in the Cemetery, in Graves 66 and 68 of the Old Plot, East Border. Francis died on 28 February 1929 and Jane on 14 July 1941 

 

Private 21696 Harold GRAY – was born on 28 May 1894. He was the son of Francis (Horse Dealer) and Jane (née Smith) Gray. He had an older sister, Sophia (born in 1879), and an older brother, Abraham (born 4 September 1888 – see above). Another brother, Ernest, died in 1891, when just a few weeks old.

In 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) the family was living at North Searle, Ruskington. Ten years later (1911 Census RG 14/19618) they had moved to Westgate, Ruskington, and Harold was assisting in his father’s horse dealing business.

In the June quarter 1931 Harold married Dorothy Page, in All Saints’ Church, Ruskington. They had no children and in 1939 (Register) they were living in the Council Houses, Ruskington, with Harold’s widowed mother, Jane. Harold was employed as a “Dairy Farmer“. Dorothy was born in Ruskington, but was adopted by John and Mary Woulds, of High Street South.

It is not known when Harold enlisted in the Lincolnshire Regiment. His Medal Index Card indicates he was not posted abroad until 1916. The ‘Service Medal and Awards Roll’ shows he was posted first to 7th Battalion, then to the 10th and finally to the 2nd. “The Sleaford Gazette” of 30 June 1917 reported that he had “.. been slightly wounded in the wrist“.

Harold died, aged 66, on 6 June 1960 at 40 Westcliffe Road, Ruskington. He was buried on 9 July in Ruskington Cemetery, New East Border, Grave 80. His widow, Dorothy, was 78 when she died on 15 July 1976, and was buried next to Harold in Grave 79.

His parents are also buried in the Cemetery, in Graves 66 and 68 of the Old Plot, East Border. Francis died on 28 February 1929 and Jane on 14 July 1941.

 

Grist J H

Private 9938 James Harold GRIST – was born on 22 August 1889, the younger son of James Hubbard (Joiner) and Selina (née Radd) Grist, He had an older brother, Percy Ernest [see below], and in 1891 (Census RG 12/2577) was living on Post Office Street, Ruskington.

Ten years later (1901 Census RG 13/3048) the family had moved to Manor Street, Ruskington, but a year later, in June 1902, Selina died and was buried in Grave A 238, Ruskington Cemetery. The 1911 Census (RG 14/19618) shows father and younger son at the same address, but Percy had moved on and does not appear on the Census.

James enlisted in the 6th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, as an Army Butcher, in August 1914. The 6th (Service) Battalion had been formed at Leicester in August 1914 as part of K1 (Kitchener’s First New Army)and attached as Army Troops to 9th (Scottish) Division. In April 1915 it transferred to 110th Brigade, 37th Division. James was trained at Aldershot and was posted to France, with his Battalion, on 29 July 1915.

Without his Service Papers it is not possible to state where and when James saw action, but his Battalion fought in some of the major Battles of the Great War, including The Battle of Morval in which the Division captured Geudecourt.

At Christmas 1916 James was in receipt of one of the 87 ‘Tuck Boxes’ sent out to serving men from Ruskington. “The Sleaford Gazette” (23 December 1916) reported that he was one of those who had sent his thanks, saying: “It was a great surprise to me, and I am delighted to know that I was not forgotten by the inhabitants of Ruskington. The contents, which I enjoyed immensely, reminded me of the good nature of the kind friends in the village, who are doing their utmost for the comfort of the British Tommy.”

The Gazette” of 13 October 1917 reported that James was home on leave from France for 10 days and that “He has been on active service for over two years“.

In 1917 his Battalion was in action during The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, the Arras offensive, the Third Battles of Ypres and The Cambrai Operations. In 1918 they fought on The Somme then moved north and were in action during the Battles of the Lys, the Battle of the Aisne, The Somme, the Battles of the Hindenburg Line and the Final Advance in Picardy.

On 1 June 1919 James was returned to the “Z Reserve“, authorised by an Army Order of 3 December 1918. In case Germany did not adhere to the Armistice, soldiers who were being demobilised, particularly those who had agreed to serve “for the duration“, were at first posted to Class Z. They returned to civilian life but with an obligation to return if called upon. The Z Reserve was abolished on 31 March 1920.

After he was finally discharged from the Army, James married Florence Annie Purnell, a neighbour on Manor Street, Ruskington, in the March quarter 1920. They had seven children, James, John, Rita, Emmeline, Cynthia, Ralph and Harold.

The 1939 Returns show that the family were living at Rectory Lane, St Neots, Cambridgeshire, and James was employed as a ‘Butcher – Journeyman’. He died in the March quarter 1970, at Hounslow, Middlesex, aged 80. Florence died, aged 84, in the March quarter 1984.

 

Grist PStaff Sergeant S3/026815 Percy Ernest GRIST – was born in the December quarter 1888, the elder son of James Hubbard (Joiner) and Selina (née Radd) Grist, He had a younger brother, James Harold [see above], and in 1891 (Census RG 12/2577) was living on Post Office Street.

Ten years later (1901 Census RG 13/3048) the family had moved to Manor Street, Ruskington, but a year later, in June 1902, Selina died and was buried in Grave A 238, Ruskington Cemetery. The 1911 Census (RG 14/19618) shows father and younger son at the same address, but Percy had moved on and does appear on the Census.

However, in the December quarter 1911 Percy married Mary E, Beet in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire and they had two children, both born in Melton Mowbray, Leics., Mary Selina (born June quarter 1912) and Gladys (b. March quarter 1914).

Percy enlisted in the (Royal) Army Service Corps at the start of the War in August 1914, and was promoted to Sergeant in January 1915. He was posted to the Dardanelles where he was wounded by shrapnel in the legs. The local press reported that in July 1915 he was: “… at present in England, recovering from his wounds.” However, the Medal Index Card states he was posted to France on 1 June 1915.

meritorious_service_medal_msmAt some stage later in the War Percy was posted to East Africa and on 29 August 1918 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal: “.. in recognition of valuable services rendered with the Forces in East Africa during the present War. ” (London Gazette, 29 August 1918)

As this is only awarded after 21 years continuous service, it is likely that Percy was a serving soldier or reservist at the time War broke out.

Larger memorial image loading...On 14 April 1927 Percy and his family emigrated to Canada, sailing, 3rd Class, on the ‘Montrose‘, from Liverpool to Quebec, where they arrived on 22 April. Percy’s occupation at the time was a ‘Butcher’ and their address on leaving was at Barrowby, near Grantham.

Percy died in 1971, aged 83, and is buried at Elnora, Red Deer Census Division, Alberta, Canada.

 

Hague A

Corporal 3330 Arthur HAGUE – was born in the June quarter 1899, at Westcliffe Road, Ruskington, the eldest son of Thomas (Farmer) and Mary (née Gresswell) Hague (1901 Census RG 13/3048).

He had two younger brothers, Thomas Sidney [see below] and John Gresswell, and two younger sisters, Mary Florence and June (1911 Census RG 14/19618). [Twin boys, Cecil and Harold, had also been born to the family in June 1904. Both died, Cecil aged 10 days and Harold a week later. They are buried side by side in Plot C, Graves 130 1nd 131, Ruskington Cemetery. A sister, 2 year old Florence, died in November 1907 and lies near her brothers in Grave 147.]

In 1911 11 year-old Arthur was living with his 79 year-old widowed grandmother, Ann Hague, no doubt to take care of her, e.g. he completed the Census Form on her behalf.

Despite his age (15) Arthur attested on 16 November 1914 on a 4 year Territorial Force engagement (or for Duration of the War) with the 1/4th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment. He gave his age as 15 years 7 months. However, his Medical Form shows a ‘Declared Age’ of 19 years. At that time he stood 5 ft. 8 ins. [1.73 m] tall and weighed 9 st. 5 lbs. [59.4 kgs.].

The Battalion landed at Le Havre on 1 March 1915, as part of 138th Brigade, 46th (North Midland) Division. Arthur’s Medal Index Card states that he joined his Battalion in France on 25 June 1915 and remained there until 15 January 1917, when he returned to England.

At Christmas 1916 Arthur was in receipt of one of the 87 ‘Tuck Boxes’ sent out to serving men from Ruskington. “The Sleaford Gazette” (13 January 1917) reported that he was one of those who had sent his thanks, adding:

I thank the people of Ruskington for the tuck box. I am sure the contents were enjoyed most of any I have ever received since I have been in France. They were in splendid condition. This is the second Christmas I have spent in France, but I think it will be the last.

The next entry on Arthur’s Service Papers reads: “Granted Farm Furlough 23-1-1917” – for a month, presumably to help his farmer father back home. This was twice extended for a further month, before, on 16 October 1917, Arthur was transferred back to his 1/4th Battalion.

On 10 November 1917 Arthur was transferred to the West Yorkshire Regiment, and re-numbered 204276, before being posted to the 3rd Battalion. He joined the Battalion on 12 February 1918 and returned to France on 1 October 1918 with the 2nd Battalion. He was promoted to Acting Corporal on 1 November 1918 and a month later confirmed as a Corporal.

Arthur was disembodied to the 2/4th Lincs. Regiment on demobilisation, on 25 February 1919, and returned to his family home at Mill House Farm, Ruskington. By 1921 he had moved to Post Office Street, no doubt after his marriage to Gertrude Ellen Pacey in the June quarter 1919. They had three sons, Thomas, in 1920, and twins, George and John, two years later, in January 1922. Like his own twin brothers, Arthur’s twins only survived 5 and 6 days and are buried together in the village Cemetery, Grave C, 185.

Arthur died in October 1932, aged just 33 years. He is also buried in Plot D, Grave 19, Ruskington Cemetery Extension.  His wife, Gertrude, re-married Sidney Bates in the September quarter 1938. She died in the December quarter 1965 in Basford District, Nottingham.

 

Trooper 27** (Thomas) Sidney HAGUE – “was the youngest son of Thomas Hague, Dorrington Road, Ruskington. He was employed by Mr P. Brown of Dorrington. Sydney enlisted in the 3/1st Lincolnshire Yeomanry in July 1915 and was trained in Lincoln.”

N.B. This short report appeared in ‘The Lincolnshire Chronicle’ [27 November 1915] with no photo or further details. Thomas (Farmer) and Mary (née Gresswell) Hague did have a son, Thomas Sidney, but he was not born until 2 August 1900, so would have only been 15 years old when the above was reported, and only 14 when he is said to have enlisted. He had an older brother, Arthur [see above], and also a younger brother, John Gresswell, and two younger sisters, Mary Florence and June (1911 Census RG 14/19618)

However, in view of the youth of his brother, Arthur, it is not impossible that this is the Sidney referred to in the newspaper article. However, at present no Military Service Record can be found for him. Bearing in mind where he lived, Sydney would undoubtedly have joined “C” Squadron which covered the Sleaford area.

The 3/1st Lincolnshire Yeomanry were formed in 1915 as a “third line” (training, draft-supplying reserve for the 1/1st and 2/1st). In 1916 it affiliated to 12th Reserve Cavalry Regiment at Aldershot, and early in 1917 was absorbed into 1st Reserve Cavalry Regiment at the Curragh.

button_read-more-blue  Another Ruskington man who was died whilst in action was Pt. Frederick William Start, also of the Lincolnshire Yeomanry.                        His Service history tells us more about the period in action of this Regiment.

In the March quarter 1954 “Thomas S. Hague” married Hilda Parker in Blackpool, Lancashire. [It has yet to be confirmed that this is the same man. However, his younger brother, John Gresswell, died in Blackpool in 1985 – so there is some link.] If this is our man, born 2 August 1900, he was living at 6 Stirling Road, Blackpool, Lancs., in 1939, working as a ‘Lorry or Coach Driver’.

Thomas Sidney died in The Lady Park Nursing Home, Bingley, West Yorkshire on New Year’s Day 1993, aged 92.

 

Private 21118 Jack HARRISON – was born in the September quarter 1892, at North Searle, Ruskington, the only son of Walter (Joiner) and Sarah (née Woulds) Harrison. He had an older sister, Mary, and four younger sisters, Annis May, Dorothy, Lizzie and Hilda. In 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) the family were living on High Street, Ruskington, and 10 years later (1911 Census RG 14/19618) were at the same address and Jack was employed as a “Joiner’s Apprentice”.

Jack originally enlisted in the Lincolnshire Regiment (Private 21118) before transferring to the Gloucestershire Regiment (Private 37163). “The Sleaford Gazette” of 2 December 1916 reported that: “WOUNDED. – News has been received by his parents that Pte. Jack Harrison, of the Gloucester Regt., has been wounded in the hand, and is suffering from septic poisoning. He is in a base hospital.” On 2 August 1917 Jack transferred again to the Royal Flying Corps (Private 93819).

In the June quarter 1915 Jack married Ethel Clara Sanders, in Grimsby. They had four children, Edward Arthur, Walter Frederick, Alice M. and Lily Mary. Edward (Service No. 1129675) joined the RAFVR and was killed in action on 13 April 1944 when his Short Stirling III, EF162, crashed at Fourdrain, NW of Laon, France, flying a mission for the Special Operations Executive, to drop supplies ahead of the  D/Day invasion. He is buried in Grave 22, Laon (St. Just) Communal Cemetery, France.  

 

Private 28121 Arthur HEADLAND – was born on 13 February 1897, the fourth son of William (Sawyer) and Ann (née Fletcher) Headland. He had 10 older siblings, John, Thomas (see below), Harriett, Ellen, Jessie Robert, Rose Mary, Elizabeth Ann, William Henry (see below), Gertie and Florence, and 1 younger sister, Alice.

In the June quarter 1900 Arthur’s mother, Ann, died, and his father remarried Mary Jane Jackson (?) soon after. The 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) the family was living on High Street North, Ruskington. William’s father and step-mother had moved to Station Road, Ruskington, by 1911 (Census RG 14/19618), with only Arthur and Alice still living at home. Arthur was working as a “Farmer’s Boy“.

The Sleaford Gazette” of 21 December 1918 reported that Arthur had joined the East Yorkshire Regiment (11th Battalion) on 17 May 1916, and after finishing his training at Grimsby went to France in September of the same year.

During The Battle of Arras he was wounded in both thighs, and lay on the battlefield for 12 hours before being picked up by a German Officer. His first prison camp was at Cassell, and later he was at Crossen-an-der-Oder. “The food was very poor, and had it not been for the parcels from England which were frequently received, would often have been starving.” “The Sleaford Gazette” of 23 June 1917 reported that he been taken prisoner:-

PRISONERS OF WAR. A short time ago Pte. Walter Cock (Duke of Wellington’s Regt.) and Pte. Arthur Headland (East Yorks.) were reported missing. Cards have now been received through the War Office by the respective parents of these boys from the Detention Camp, Cassel, Germany, proving that they are prisoners of war. Cock’s message is brief but reassuring: – “I have just arrived here,” while Headland, to relieve the anxiety of his friends no doubt, says:- “Have just arrived here; am very well; don’t worry.” It is satisfactory to learn that these brave lads are safe, and everybody will sympathise with them in the hard luck which consigns them to a German detention camp, with its attendant hardships and privations. Perhaps the officials of the local tuck box fund will bear them in mind.” Both were captured on the same day.

I.C.R.C. (Red Cross) PoW Records show that he was taken prisoner at Arras on 3 May 1917. Casualties on “The Bloody 3rd May 1917” were the heaviest of the whole Battle of Arras, with over 6,000 officers and men killed in action; of these nearly 5,000 of them are commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the Missing.

Among the many stories from 3rd May 1917 is that of the men from the Hull Pals Battalions of the East Yorkshire Regiment. On this day they made an attack on Oppy Wood and suffered terrible casualties. It was discovered after the war that the majority of the Hull Commercials had been taken prisoner during the attack, but had advanced as far as Oppy village. [The Hull Commercials were officially the 10th (Service) Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment (1st Hull) – maybe this was Arthur’s Battalion.]

The Sleaford Gazette” of 7 July 1917 carried further news of the Ruskington men taken prisoner at Arras on 3 May 1917.:

PRISONERS OF WAR. Letters have been received from Pte. Walter Cock and Arthur Headland by their parents from the Prisoners of War Camp, Cassal, Germany, which reveal that both lads have been wounded but have now either recovered or are making good progress.

Each apologises for delay in writing and warns his [Cock’s] parents that they must not expect to hear from him often, as they are only permitted to write occasionally. Headland’s letter was more of a domestic character but stated that he was pleased to say that his wound in both legs were getting well, and that he was able to walk again, also that he was quite happy.

Another letter from Pte. W. Cock was received on Wednesday, in which he expressed his surprise to find that Arthur Headland was in the same camp, and had discovered he was taken prisoner on the same day as himself. They mostly went for a walk together each day.

The Sleaford Gazette” of 21 December 1918 reported: “The first prisoner of war to return to Ruskington was Pte. Arthur Headland, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Headland, Station Boad, who reached home on Monday last. He looked somewhat thin but was otherwise to good health and much better than would have been expected after being a prisoner in Germany for over 18 months. There was great rejoicing amongst the prisoners when it was known the Armistice was signed. He left the Camp at Crossen for England on 8 December, arriving at Leith on the 13th, eventually being sent on to Ripon.”

At Ripon he received a letter from the King: “The Queen joins me in welcoming you on your release from the miseries and hardships which you have endured with so much patience and courage. During these many months of trial the early rescue of our gallant officers and men from the cruelties of their captivity has been uppermost in our thoughts. We are thankful that this longed for day has arrived and that back in the old Country, you will be able once more to enjoy the happiness of a home and to see good days among those who anxiously look for your return. “GEORGE RI

Beyond two operations for the wounds he got when captured, it was said that Arthur had not been in bad health, although in August 1917 he had an attack of Spanish ‘flu. To make his home-coming more enjoyable his elder brother Tom, of the Royal Engineers, arrived home the same day from France on a 14 days furlough

Arthur was discharged on 8 October 1919, suffering from “Otitis media” (another name for a middle-ear infection) attributable to War Service. He was awarded a Pension of 8 shillings per week (£0.40 – equivalent to about £25 p.w. today – 2023).

In the December quarter 1924 Arthur married Gladys Mary Wing in Glanford Brigg, Lincolnshire. They had one daughter, Sylvia E., born 11 September 1931. In 1939 (Register) they were living at Trewyn House, Newark Road, Lincoln, and Arthur was working as a “Steel Sawyer Motor Worker“.

Arthur died in Lincoln in the March quarter 1969, aged 71. His wife, Gladys, had died in Lincoln in the March quarter 1968, aged 68.

 

Private 202899 John Harvey HEADLAND (served as ‘Harvey’): –   was born on 18 October 1887, the son of John (Bricklayer) and Emily (née Reast) Headland. He had two older  sisters, Sarah Emily and Lily, and 5 younger siblings, Lizzie, Maud, Taylor Reast, Walter (see below) and Norman (1901 Census RG 13/3048 and 1911 Census RG 14/19618). Both Censuses show the family living on Silver Street, Ruskington.

Harvey enlisted in the 5th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, on 11 December 1915, and at that time stood 5ft. 3½ins. [1.61 m] tall and weighed 8 st. [50.8 kgs.] On 17 April 1917 he was admitted to the 1st Canadian General Hospital, suffering from “Flat feet“. He was diagnosed with “Deformed feet” with blisters forming when walking.

Harvey was transferred to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (Private 038927) before being discharged on 1 May 1919. His Pension was awarded from the following day, “c/o Mrs. Hubbard, New Leake, Boston“.

In the September quarter 1919 John married Lucy Young in Lincoln. The 1939 Register shows him back living with his parents at Station Road, Ruskington, and serving in the R.A.F. as a Batman at RAF Cranwell. He was designated as ‘Single’, however, and Lucy was  registered as a ‘Widow’, lodging at the Oxley house, School Road, Gainsborough.

John died on 11 April 1953, aged 65, and was buried in Grave NB.25, Ruskington Cemetery (right). Lucy died in Spalding in the December quarter 1965.

 

Pioneer 133314 Thomas HEADLAND – was born at High Street, Ruskington, on 1 February 1879, the second son of William (Sawyer) and Ann (née Fletcher) Headland. He had 1 older brother, John, and 10 younger siblings, Harriett, Ellen, Jessie Robert, Rose Mary, Elizabeth Ann, William Henry (see below), Gertie, Florence, Arthur (see above) and Alice.

In the June quarter 1900 Thomas’ mother, Ann, died, and his father remarried Mary Jane Jackson (?) soon after. The 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) the family was still living on High Street North, Ruskington.

In the December quarter 1904 Thomas married Rose Ellen Jackson, probably at All Saints’ Church, Ruskington. They had seven children, Rose Ellen (1903 – 1929); Cyril Jackson (1908 – 1989); Ursula (1911 – 1933); Donald Victor (1914 – 1984) and Gladys Verdine, who died as a baby in 1918, aged 14 months. [She was buried in Grave C 174, Ruskington Cemetery, Old Plot.].

In 1911 (Census RG 14/19618) the family was living on Post Office Street, Ruskington (now Church Street). Thomas was employed as a “Bricklayer”.

Thomas must have enlisted early in the War as he was posted to France on 20 November 1915. The only reference found is in “The Sleaford Gazette” of 21 December 1918 when he was reported as arriving home from France on a 14 days furlough the same day his brother Arthur arrived from his captivity as a prisoner of war. He was discharged to the ‘Z’ Reserve on 16 March 1919.

Rose died on 9 September 1931 and Tom on 17 March 1936. They are buried together in Grave East Border 35, Ruskington Cemetery.

Thomas’ son, Private 4809709 Beresford Neville Headland, was killed in action on 22 April 1943, aged 23, whilst serving in Tunisia with 6th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment.

 

Private 40395 Walter HEADLAND – was born on 23 November 1896, the son of John (Bricklayer) and Emily (née Reast) Headland. He had six older brothers and sisters, Sarah Emily, Lily, John Harvey (see below), Lizzie, Maud and Taylor Reast and a younger brother, Norman (1901 Census RG 13/3048 and 1911 Census RG 14/19618). Both Censuses show the family living on Silver Street, Ruskington.

Walter originally enlisted in the 2nd Battalion, South Staffs. Regiment (Private 25157) before transferring to the 4th Battalion (later 1st Battn.) Worcestershires. It is not known when he enlisted but his Medal Index Card indicates he did not serve abroad until at 1916. “The Gazette” of 20 April 1918 reported: “….. Pte. Walter Headland, of the Worcesters, has been wounded in the foot.

[N.B. Walter’s older brother, John Harvey Headland, served as a Batman in the RAF at Cranwell in World War 2]

In the September quarter 1924 Walter married Florence Jane Epton. There is no record of them having any children. The 1939 Register shows them living at Station Road, Ruskington, and Walter was working as a “Joiner”.

Walter died on 1 March 1988, aged 91, and Florence on 14 December 1994, also aged 91, at Greenacres Nursing Home, Cameron Street, Leeds. They are buried together in Ruskington Cemetery, New Plot, North Border, Grave 18.

John and Emily, Walter’s parents, celebrated their Diamond Wedding on Sunday, 11 November 1939:

“ … with a family party. Mr. and Mrs. Headland, who are both enjoying good health, were born in the village, and have resided there all their lives. Mrs. Headland is still very active, doing her own housework, and Mr. Headland is a familiar figure in the village streets, taking his daily walk”. [The Sleaford Gazette’ 17 November 1939]

John died two years later, aged 83, and was buried on 6 November 1941 and was buried in Grave NB25, Ruskington. Emily was buried next to him, Grave NB27, after her death on 22 July 1944, also aged 83.

 

Headland WCorporal 16475 William Henry HEADLAND – was born on 6 January 1892 (Baptised 7 February, All Saints’ Church), the third son of William (Sawyer) and Ann (née Fletcher) Headland. He had 7 older siblings, John, Thomas (see above), Harriett, Ellen, Jessie Robert, Rose Mary and Elizabeth Ann, and 4 younger siblings, Gertie, Florrie, Arthur (see above) and Alice.

In the June quarter 1900 William’s mother, Ann, died, and his father remarried Mary Jane Jackson (?) soon after. The 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) the family was living on High Street North, Ruskington. William’s father and step-mother had moved to Station Road, Ruskington, by 1911 (Census RG 14/19618).

William had, however, left the family home and was boarding with the Clark family (Farmers) employed as a ‘Waggoner‘. (Census RG 14/19618)

William enlisted in the 3rd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, in March 1915. He completed his training at Grimsby and the local press reported that he: “ … is expecting to be sent on active service very shortly. “

His Service Number shows that he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (R.F.C.) on 19 April 1915. His Medal Index Card shows that he was posted to France on 4 October 1915. William was later to transfer to the Royal Air Force (No. 126718), which came into being on 1 April 1918 when the Royal Flying Corps merged with the Royal Naval Air Service. At that time he stood 5 ft. 6½ ins. [1.69 m.] tall. He was promoted to Corporal on 14 May 1918.

The Sleaford Gazette” of 6 April 1918 reported that on Wednesday, 3 April 1918: “… a military wedding was solemnized at the Parish Church the contracting parties being Corpl. Wm. Headland, of the R F.C., fourth son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Headland, Station Road, and Miss Marguerite Bell, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bell, of Swathmore, nr. Alverston, Lancashire. The Rev. E. Carrick performed the ceremony.

The 1939 Returns show that at that time William was employed as a ‘Canteen Assistant’ at Thoresby Park Refreshment Canteen, Southwell, Nottinghamshire.

William was living on Carholme Road, Lincoln, when he died in the in October 1949, aged 57. He was buried on 10 October in Grave E.40, Canwick Road New Cemetery, Lincoln. His widow, Margaret, was buried with him on 10 September 1971, aged 82.

William’s nephew, the son of his brother, Thomas, Private 4809709 Beresford Neville Headland, was killed in action on 22 April 1943, aged 23, whilst serving in Tunisia with 6th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment.

 

Hudson WSapper 547511 William Falla HUDSON – was born on 12 June 1896, the eldest son of Robert Eyre (Draper and Grocer) and Martha Marion (née Falla) Hudson.

He had a younger brother, James Myler, and the family lived on High Street North, Ruskington (1901 Census RG 13/3048). Their family and address were unchanged 10 year later (1911 Census RG 14/19618).

Before enlisting William was an apprentice draper in Grantham. From their father’s Will in 1952, it seems that the two brothers maintained the family grocery business in later life.

Robert died in June 1952, aged 85, whilst Martha lived until she was 98, dying in June 1966. They are buried in adjacent Graves 49 and 51, New Plot, West Border, Ruskington Cemetery.

William joined The Red Cross Society in March 1915 and was reported to be serving in Netley Hospital. The Royal Victoria Hospital, or Netley Hospital was a large military hospital in Netley, near Southampton, Hampshire.

Netley Military Hospital

Netley Military Hospital

During World War I, a large Red Cross hutted hospital was built at the back of the site, which expanded Netley Hospital to accommodate around 2,500 beds.

Many of the staff was Red Cross volunteers, as most of the regular staff was overseas. Some 50,000 patients were treated at Netley during the war.

However, on 19 May 1917 “The Sleaford Gazette” reported: “WOUNDED. – Mr. R. Hudson has received letter from his son Signaller W. F. Hudson, R.F.A., stating that he has been wounded by shrapnel in the shoulder, and be is progressing favourably. The gallant lad is in the Canadian Hospital at Salonica.

After being wounded in Salonica William had transferred to the Royal Engineers. “The Sleaford Gazette” of 26 January 1918 published a letter to his parents from him, headed “News From Palestine”. In his letter he said: “We seem to be doing well now. I expect you have read in the papers all about our little ‘do’ out here. Old Johnny Turk got the wind up this time, and did not stop, to argue, I can tell you.

The ‘little do’ was the Southern Palestine Offensive, began on 31 October 1917 with the Battle of Beersheba. There followed three weeks of hard fighting in the Judean Hills before Jerusalem was captured on 9 December 1917. During 5½ weeks of almost continuous offensive operations, the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) captured 47.5 miles (76.4 km) of enemy territory.

Much of the rest of William’s letter was about hunting jackals in the desert, in comparison to foxes in the fields around Ruskington, and how plentiful the oranges were!

A Pension claim in the name of “c/o Mrs Wells, North Kyme, Lincs” stated he had been suffering from “Malaria” and had been discharged on 17 August 1919. The Pension took effect from 28 June 1920. This source indicates he served with the Royal Engineers.

After the War William returned to live a work in the village and in the June quarter 1934 he married Maggie Cock. The 1939 Returns show that at that time William was running a Grocery store on Ruskington High Street and that he and Maggie had a son, John, born  2 March 1935.  William was also “Special Constable 3861”, Lincolnshire Constabulary.

William died in the June quarter 1984, aged 87, in Horncastle, Lincolnshire. Maggie, his widow, died on 6 August, the following year.

 

Privates (2729) George (James) HUTCHINSON –  At Christmas 1916 “G” and “T” Hutchinson were each in receipt of one of the 87 ‘Tuck Boxes’ sent out to serving men from Ruskington. “The Sleaford Gazette” (23 December 1916) reported that they were some of those who had sent their thanks.

Pte. G. Hutchinson added: “I wish you to thank the inhabitants of Ruskington on my behalf for their kindness in sending me such splendid gift. The parcel contained just the things we wanted: We are having some awful weather out here, wet and cold, and it is not very nice in the trenches.

However, the identity of these two young men has not been fully established, even though ‘G’ was clearly serving in the trenches.

It is thought that they were the older brothers of Pte. 14392 Bertram Hutchinson, killed in action earlier in the year, on 17 September.

If so, George was born on 22 October 1890 at Belgrave Terrace, Ruskington, Lincolnshire, the son of Thomas (Building Contractor) and Ellen (née Naylor) Hutchinson. (1891 Census RG 12/2577) He had three older siblings, Ellen, Thomas and Florence and a younger brother, Bertram. In 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) the family was living at Wolesley Villa, Jubilee Street, in Ruskington.

In 1911 (Census RG 14/19618) George was still living at home with his widowed mother and siblings, Florence and Bertram, at Station Road, Ruskington.

A Medal Index Cards search show the most likely man to be Pte. George J. Hutchinson, Middlesex Regiment, posted to Egypt on 1 September 1916. Further details have not been found.

In the June quarter 1922 George married Mabel Arnold, in Lincoln, and they had a daughter, Marjorie, born 23 May 1923, and a son, Kenneth Thomas, born March quarter 1932, who died, aged 11, in July 1942. In 1939 (Register) they were living at 5 Allison Place, Larger memorial image loading...Lincoln.

George died on 19 February 1951 and his widow, Mabel, in October 1984. They are buried with their son, Kenneth, in Grave M.274, Newport Cemetery, Lincoln.

 

Private (14622) Thomas HUTCHINSON – At Christmas 1916 “G” and “T” Hutchinson were each in receipt of one of the 87 ‘Tuck Boxes’ sent out to serving men from Ruskington. “The Sleaford Gazette” (23 December 1916) reported that they were some of those who had sent their thanks.

Pte. T. Hutchinson said: “The whole of the contents are exceedingly welcome, and together with the pleasant thought that those at home have not forgotten us, will help considerably in alleviating that most unpleasant feeling which one invariably has when spending Christmas away from home.

The following year, “The Sleaford Gazette” (12 January 1918) again reported that The Hon Secretary of the village Tuck Box Fund had again received a number of acknowledgments from the “boys” for the 10/- note [50p.] which had been sent to them for Christmas 1917 by the inhabitants of Ruskington. Tom was one of those who had sent his thanks, adding: “Kindly accept my very best thanks for once again sending such a splendid Xmas box. It is pleasant at this season of the year to know that those at home are still remembering us.

However, the identity of these two young men has not been fully established, although it is thought that they were the older brothers of Pte. 14392 Bertram Hutchinson, killed in action earlier in the year, on 17 September.

If so, Tom was born on 18 May1885 at Belgrave Terrace, Ruskington, Lincolnshire, the son of Thomas (Building Contractor) and Ellen (née Naylor) Hutchinson. (1891 Census RG 12/2577) He had an older sister, Ellen, and three younger sibling, Florence George and Bertram. In 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) the family was living at Wolesley Villa, Jubilee Street, in Ruskington.

The most likely of the many ‘Thomas Hutchinsons’ serving with HM Forces seems to be Pte. 14622 Tom Hutchinson, serving with the Machine Gun Corps, after transferring from the West Yorkshire Regiment (Private 3/422371). A Pension Ledger entry shows he received a “Gun Shot Wound – Right Thigh” and was discharged on 8 February 1919, At the time he was living at 9 Aylesford Avenue, Leeds.

In 1939 (Register) Tom was living at ‘The Poplars’, George Street, Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, working as a “General Clerk”.

 

Jackson TCompany Sergeant Major 59500 Tom JACKSON, D.C.M. was born on 18 November 1889, the son of Charles William, Relieving Officer, and Harriett (née Evison) Jackson.

Harriett died on 25 November 1889, possibly from complications following Tom’s birth a week earlier and she was buried in Sleaford Cemetery.

By 1891 (Census RG 12/2578) Charles was listed as ‘Widowed‘ and 1 year old Tom, his older brother, Harold (born 6 February 1887) [see below] and his older sister, Alice, born 28 August 1888, were living with their father at 3 Market Place, Sleaford.

In the September quarter 1896 Charles re-married, Fanny Ernestine Marlow.

The 1901 Census (RG 13/3048) shows Charles and his wife, Fanny, living at Eastbridge House, High Street, Ruskington (modern picture – 2014 – left).

Two more daughters had been added to the family, Dorothy Ernestine (b. 1897) and Dora May (1900). A brother, John, was born in 1903.

Tom’s older brother, Lance Corporal 29461 Harold JACKSON, served with the 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. He was Killed in Action on 7 February 1917 –  the day after his 30th birthday.

When Tom left school he commenced his career as a baker at Hanthorpe, near Bourne, with his grandfather. Tom emigrated to Canada in November 1911, moving to York, Ontario. When he enlisted in Canada in 1914 Tom gave his occupation as ‘Baker and Confectioner’. At that time he stood 5 ft. 6 ins [1.68 m.] tall, had brown eyes, light brown hair and a ‘dark‘ complexion. He gave his religion as Church of England. He was posted to  ‘E’ Company, 21st (Eastern Ontario) Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division, on 4 November 1914.

He had previous military experience with the 59th Storemont & Glengarry Regiment. On 4 December 1914 Tom was promoted to Corporal, but on 9 February he was admitted to Kingston (Ontario) Hospital with infected skin. Five days later he was healed and discharged to duty.

Metagama 1927.jpgOn 1 May 1915 Tom was promoted again, appointed to rank of Lance Sergeant with pay. Tom left Canada with his Battalion on the RMS Metagama (left) from Montreal, Quebec, on 6 May and arrived in England on 15 May 1915, disembarking at Devonport and proceeded to West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent, where it finished its training.

After being promoted to Lance Sergeant on 17 May, Tom was promoted to Sergeant on 7 September, a week before the Battalion left for France from Folkestone for Boulogne on 15 September 1915 on board the steamer St. Seiriol.

The Sleaford Journal” (15 January 1916), under the heading: “CHRISTMAS IN THE TRENCHES”, published a letter from Tom:

You want to know how we spent Christmas out here. In the first place I have to say it was the quietest day since we arrived. Our Company was not in the firing line, but in reserve, and I was in charge of a Guard which forms part of our defences. This was a coincidence as last year in Kingston (Canada) I was in charge of the guard, but we managed then to have a fairly good time.

We went up to the front line for the New Year, and as we were very close to Fritz we were able to exchange a few greetings, not all, of course, being very complimentary.

We had our first taste of gas the other day, but it was very slight owing to the wind changing and sending it back to the Huns.

On 29 April 1916 “The Sleaford Journal”, under the header “FROM THE FRONT”, published another letter from Tom:

I am sorry, but I was not able to answer your letter sooner, but you will see by the papers we have had a little “scrap” with Fritz, and it was very “hot times” for a week with us. We were successful in gaining our object. The cigarettes were never more acceptable, as hardly anybody had any left owing to us being longer in the trenches than we expected. I took part in a bombing attack on the crater, which was quite exciting.

Talk about one of Brock’s firework displays they are nothing to Fritz’ lights when he knows we are after him. My regiment has been thanked for its bravery and achievements during the past trying week. We are out of the trenches resting, and I should have been at home by now, but all passes are again cancelled, so I have got to wait. All the same it is very disappointing.

The “.. little scrap …” referred to by Tom was The Battle of St. Eloi Craters, fought from 27 March to 16 April 1916. The attack over the soggy terrain of Belgium to retake craters formed by the Allied bombardment was the first major engagement for the 2nd Canadian Division and was a disaster for Canada and its Allies.

At Christmas 1916 Tom was in receipt of one of the 87 ‘Tuck Boxes’ sent out to serving men from Ruskington. “The Sleaford Gazette” (23 December 1916) reported that he was one of those who had sent his thanks, saying: “I assure you that the contents are highly appreciated, and will in due time be heartily enjoyed by brother Sergeants and myself.

Tom was again mentioned in “The Sleaford Gazette” on 14 July 1917 when it reported: “PROMOTION. Sergt. Tom Jackson (21st. Canadian Battalion) has been promoted Company Sergeant Major and informs his father (Mr. C. W. Jackson) that he has received the heartiest congratulations of his officers and men. This is the sixth rank held by our gallant townsman since joining up at Cornwell, Ontario, in September 1914, his advancements being steady and sure. He has during the past two years seen much active service both in France and Belgium, and his many friends will wish to add their congratulations to those he has already received, with the hope that he may be spared to win still further laurels.”

On 28 July 1917 another letter from Tom was published in the local press under the heading: “FRITZ KNOWS ALL ABOUT AIR RAIDS“. He went on to report:                      “We are just out from our first trip to the line after our rest, which I am pleased to say was a fairly quiet one for the front we are on at present The newspaper rumours of a big offensive on the Belgium coast have reached us. You can bet it’s going to be all offensive from now, onwards, as we all know it is not policy to allow the Hun to dig himself in in any position The last air, raid on London was a very bold affair showing people at home very clearly how the Germans are trying to regain the mastery of the air but there is no need for alarm: our R.F.C. [Royal Flying Corps] is more than wonderful. If only everyone could see them out here, they would know, as Fritz knows, that they are over his lines watching his every move. And don’t worry, they, too, know full well what air raids are like? The weather here is glorious, and the country where we are at present maintains its beauty in spite of the ravages of war. Yesterday my platoon Sergts. and I found a garden in which strawberries and other fruit in profusion so you can guess we had a good feed.

jackson_t_DCMDuring the War Tom’s Battalion earned 21 Battle Honours, and Tom himself was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (below) on 22 October 1917:

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in an attack against the enemy trenches“.

[The full citation from The London Gazette is shown on the left.]

D.C.M.

On 12 November 1917 Tom was wounded in left ankle (“foot almost amputated by shrapnel“) and admitted to No 9 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance). He was transferred to No 3 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) where his left leg was amputated just above the ankle. On 5 February 1918 a further amputation took place just below the knee.

On 27 April 1918 “The Sleaford Gazette” published an update on him:

The Granville Canadian HospitalOn Monday evening last Company Sergt. Major Tom Jackson, D.C.M., of the Canadians arrived home from the Granville Canadian Special Hospital, Buxton, on a month’s special convalescent leave. [right]

On November last he had the misfortune to lose his left leg below the knee in the fighting at Passchendaele and has since been in hospital. He is looking extremely well the change of air and home comforts will still more build him up.

After visiting his family in Ruskington, Tom was invalided home to Canada on 6 June 1918, where further hospitalisations and operations were performed. In a letter to his father from the Military Hospital, Toronto, Tom wrote:- “H.R.H. The Prince of Wales visited the hospital and shook hands with me, asking how I was progressing, also congratulating me on my D.C.M.” (Published in ‘The Sleaford Gazette‘ – 18 October 1919)

Tom married Maud Beatrice Chambers (originally from Ramsey, Essex) on 22 May 1919 in St Andrews St Marks United Church, Stormont, Ontario, Canada. They had at least 3 sons, William, born in 1920, Allan and Eric (born in 1922).

The 1921 Census of Canada shows them living at 2 Pine Hill, York Township, York South, Ontario.

Tom died on 5 September 1937, aged 47. He is buried in Prospect Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario.

button_read-more-blue … about Tom’s War Service

A very brave son of the Village of Ruskington

On 13 October 1944 “The Sleaford Gazette” reported that Trooper Eric Jackson, Tom’s youngest son, had been killed in action in Italy on 31 August while serving with the Canadian Tank Corps. (The elder son, Flying Officer Allan Jackson, was serving in the Canadian R.A.F.).

 

Sergeant Mark Henry JEFFERY – On 18 August 1917 “The Sleaford Gazette” carried the following entry in its ‘Ruskington’ section:

RAPID PROMOTION. Farrier Sergt. Instructor M. H. Jeffery joined the Army at Lincoln on April 11th last and was sent to the Woolwich Army Veterinary Corps for his trade test. He entered the School of Farriery on the 15th April last for course of instruction, and passed his final examination on the 9th of the present month. He has now been appointed Sergt. Instructor in the above school and is to be complimented on his rapid rise. His apprenticeship was served with Mr. C. T. Rushby.

Mark Henry Jeffery was born in Ruskington, probably at Pinfold, on 24 December 1875, the second son of Jesse Robert (Bricklayer) and Harriett Anne (née Clipsham) Jeffery. He had an older brother, Jesse Robert (Jnr.), born 14 May 1874.

By 1891 (Census RG 12/2577) the family had moved to North Searle, Ruskington, and Mark was working as a “Blacksmith’s Apprentice“. On 15 June 1897 Mark married Lizzie Silson, at All Saints’ Church, Ruskington. They moved to live on High Street North where their son, John Henry, was born on 5 December 1900. (1901 Census RG 13/3048)

Apart from the reference in “The Sleaford Gazette” above, there is no further record of Mark’s military service – no Medal Index Card or Pension Record. As reported above he had enlisted on 11 April 1917 and joined the Army Veterinary Corps. Presumably he spent his War Service training others who were posted abroad.

The 1939 Register shows Mark and Lizzie living at Victoria Cottage, Chestnut Street, Ruskington. Lizzie died 10 years later, on 22 February 1949 and was buried in Grave B.135, Ruskington Cemetery, alongside her father-in-law, Jesse Robert, who had died on 23 July 1903.

In the December quarter 1949 Mark re-married, Harriett Worsley and when Mark died, aged 93, on 7 September 1969, he was buried in Grave D.267, Ruskington Cemetery, next to Harriett, who had died on 5 August 1957.

 

Private 568 Walter JOYCEJoyce Wwas probably born on 2 October 1894, the only son of Walter (Butcher and Farmer) and Elizabeth (née Baldock) Joyce of High Street, Ruskington. He had a younger sister, Elizabeth. (1901 Census RG 13/3048)

Ten years later (1911 Census RG 14/19618) the family had moved to ‘The Limes’, Ruskington, and Walter, Jnr. was employed by Messrs. C. Sharpe and Co.’s Seed Warehouse, Sleaford, as a ‘Clerk – Seedsman’s Office’. Another sister, Una Susie, had been added to the family. Walter was living at the same address in 1939, with his widowed mother, Elizabeth, and employed as a ‘Grazier and Farmer’.

Larger memorial image loading...Parents Walter Snr. and Elizabeth are buried side-by-side in the New Plot, West Border, of Ruskington Cemetery, in Graves 45 and 47. Walter died in September 1936 and Elizabeth in January 1951.

Walter probably died in Grantham in February 1985, aged 90. He was buried on the 19th with his parents in Ruskington Cemetery. His sister, Elizabeth, was buried in the same grave on 17 December 1996.

“The Sleaford Gazette” of 3 October 1914, in the Ruskington local news section, reported that: “Mr. Walter Joyce, junr. [sic] has joined the “Chums” Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regt. [i.e. 10th Battalion], and on Wednesday went into training in the camp near Grimsby. We wish them good luck and a safe return, and share with their parents the feeling of pride that they have responded to their country’s call.

Walter enlisted in the Grimsby Chums Battalion (10th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment) on 14 September 1914 and trained at Grimsby. In November 1915 he was stationed at Andover, Hampshire.

His Medal Index Card shows he did not join the BEF in France until after the end of 1915, as he was not eligible for the 1914-15 Star Medal. His Service Papers do exist but are extremely difficult to read, being in very poor condition.

Another Ruskington man, Private 1431 John Thomas (Jack) REAST, enlisted in the 10th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment at Gainsborough on 6 April 1915. On 12 May 1917 Jack Died of Wounds and is buried in Étaples Cemetery.

button_read-more-blue … more about the 10th Battalion’s War History on Jack’s page.

 

Corporal A. KELLY – At Christmas 1916 Cpl. Kelly was in receipt of one of the 87 ‘Tuck Boxes’ sent out to serving men from Ruskington. “The Sleaford Gazette” (23 December 1916) reported that he was one of those who had sent his thanks, saying: “I am sure no better or suitable box could ever be packed for the boys out here than the one I received, as everything was in the best of condition, and nothing could be more tasty than the contents of this box.

Other than that no reference has been found in BMD, Military or Census Returns to identify this man.

 

Air MC(1) 26064 Bernard KIRTON – Bernard was born on 20 May 1888, probably at Codds Lane, Ruskington. (1891 Census RG 12/2577). He was the son of John Thomas (Tailor) and Mary Elizabeth (née Wainer) Kirton.

Bernard had three older brothers and sisters, Thomas, Rebecca Annie and Hugh, and six younger brothers, John Edgar and Charles Herbert, twin younger brothers, Frederick and Wainer (killed in action 21 October 1916), and two more younger brothers, Frank and John. (see below)

By 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) the growing family had moved to Silver Street, Ruskington. In 1911 (Census RG 14/19618) the family were at the same address, and Bernard was employed as a “Tailor – Maker”, probably employed in his father’s business.

In the September quarter 1913 Bernard married Florence Eliza Gibson, a ‘District Nurse‘, living at Vine Cottage, Silver Street, Ruskington. They had three children, Annie (born 5 April 1918), Clifford (b. 6 May 1919) and John William (b. 17 May 1921).

During World War 2 Annie and Clifford volunteered to serve as Air Raid Wardens in Ruskington. 

When Bernard enlisted in the Royal Navy on 4 January 1917 he stood 5 ft. 8 ins.[1.73 m.] tall, had brown (‘tinged grey‘) hair, grey eyes and a ‘pale’ complexion. His first posting was to HMS President, a “stone frigate”, or shore establishment of the Royal Naval Reserve, based on the northern bank of the River Thames near Tower Bridge, London.

The Sleaford Gazette” (12 January 1918) reported The Hon Secretary of the village Tuck Box Fund had received a large number of acknowledgments from the “boys” for the 10/- note [50p.] which had been sent to them for Christmas 1917 by the inhabitants of Ruskington. Bernard was one of those who had sent his thanks, adding: “Please convey my warmest thanks to the friends responsible for the generous gift received. I very much appreciate this expression of the kindly thought of the folks who are at home.

Other shore establishments followed before a posting to Royal Naval Air Station Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus), one of the primary shore airfields of the Fleet Air Arm, on 27 February 1918. This did not work out, however, and Bernard was discharged a month later on 31 March 1918.

Bernard’s mother, Mary Elizabeth, died, aged 65, on 26 May 1921, and John his business to Post Office Street, Ruskington, where the family were living by 1930. Mary is buried in Ruskington Cemetery, Old Plot, East Border, Grave 59.

Larger memorial image loading...About a year after Mary died, John had re-married, Ellen Elizabeth Daubney, and after her death in January 1930, she was buried in the adjacent Grave 61. When John Thomas died at the age of 82 on 3 February 1940, he was buried in the same Grave (photo right).

The 1939 Register shows Bernard and Florence living at 10 Church Street (new name of Post Office Street) where he was employed as a “Tailor Out Fitter“. He was also volunteering as a “Special Constable“, nor doubt to help the War effort.

Larger memorial image loading...Bernard was still living at 10 Church Street when he died on 15 February 1960, aged 71.

He was buried in Ruskington Cemetery (New Plot), Grave D.302. When his widow, Florence, died on 13 June 1964, aged 84, her cremated remains were interred with him.

 

Kirton CLance Corporal 2960 Charles Herbert KIRTONCharles was born on 22 August 1892, the son of John Thomas (Tailor) and Mary Elizabeth (née Wainer) Kirton. He had six older brothers and sisters, Thomas, Rebecca Annie, Hugh, Bernard and John Edgar, twin younger brothers, Frederick and Wainer (killed in action 21 October 1916), and two more younger brothers, Frank and John. (see below)

In 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) they were living on Silver Street, Ruskington, Lincolnshire.  In 1911 (Census RG 14/19618) the family were at the same address, however, Wainer was employed as a “Seedsman (shop Assistant)”, before moving to Derby (same trade) prior to enlistment.

‘The Lincolnshire Chronicle’ [27 November 1915] reported that Charles and his brother, L/Cpl. Wainer Kirton, had enlisted together in the 2/4th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, in October 1914. Wainer was Killed in Action on 22 October 1916.

Older brother, Air MC(1) Bernard Kirton, served in the Royal Navy between 4 January 1917 and 31 March 1918. (see below)

war_badge

Charles’ Medal Index Card shows that this was, in fact, 14 October 1914.  His Medal Index Card also shows, however, that he was discharged on 9 October 1916, under King’s Regulation 392 (xvi) – no longer fit for War Service – in this case due to ‘Sickness‘. He was awarded the Silver War Badge, No. 18800.

button_read-more-blue … more about the Silver War Badge

button_read-more-blue … about Charles’ possible Service History on his brother, Wainer’s, page.

KIRTON, Charles H., Lucy & Eileen‘The Sleaford Gazette’ (26 February 1915) reported that Charles married Lucy Lintin, at St. Michael’s Church, Heighington, on Saturday, 19 February. Lucy was a teacher at Ruskington National School. After a short honeymoon Charles returned to his Regiment.

The following year their daughter, Eileen, was born. A son, Donald Wainer, followed in 1918. The photo – left – from a family history site, shows Charles, with wife Lucy and daughter, Eileen, probably at the baby’s christening at St Michael’s Church, Heighington, Lincolnshire, after her birth on 16 October 1916.

Larger memorial image loading...After the War Charles’ father had moved to Post Office Street, Ruskington. Charles’ mother, Mary Elizabeth, died, aged 65, on 26 May 1921, so possibly John moved after his wife’s death. Mary is buried in Ruskington Cemetery, Old Plot, East Border, Grave 59.

About a year after Mary died, John had re-married, Ellen Elizabeth Daubney and after her death in January 1930, she was buried in the adjacent Grave 61. When Charles’ father, John Thomas, died at the age of 82 on 3 February 1940, he was buried in the same Grave.

In 1939 Charles and Lucy were living at 31 North Parade, Sleaford and he was employed as ‘Head of Department – Seedsman’. Charles was living at 95 Grantham Road, Sleaford, when he died on 5 May 1979, aged 86. His wife, Lucy, was 82 when she died on 21 January 1970.

 

‘Officer’ Frank KIRTON – Frank was born on 20 May 1898 the son of John Thomas (Tailor) and Mary Elizabeth (née Wainer) Kirton. He had eight older brothers and sisters, Thomas, Rebecca Annie, Hugh, Bernard and John Edgar, twin younger brothers, Frederick and Wainer (killed in action 21 October 1916), and a younger brother, John. (see above)

In 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) they were living on Silver Street, Ruskington, Lincolnshire.  In 1911 (Census RG 14/19618) the family were at the same address. 12 year old Frank was still at school.

The Sleaford Journal” (29 January 1916), named “RECRUITS –  Of the single men attested under Lord Derby’s scheme, Messrs. C. Cutler, A. Wainer, F. Kirton and R. Trimingham have this gone into training.

When Frank enlisted in the Royal Navy on 15 June 1916 he stood 5 ft. 10 ins.[1.74 m.] tall, had brown hair, grey eyes and a ‘fresh complexion. His first posting to Royal Naval Air Station Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus), one of the primary shore airfields of the Fleet Air Arm.

On 7 October 1917 Frank was posted to HMS President, a “stone frigate”, or shore establishment of the Royal Naval Reserve, based on the northern bank of the River Thames near Tower Bridge, London, before returning to HMS Daedalus on 1 February 1918. He was, however, discharged two months later on 31 March 1918.

Larger memorial image loading...After the War Frank’s father had moved to Post Office Street, Ruskington. Frank’s mother, Mary Elizabeth, died, aged 65, on 26 May 1921, so possibly John moved after his wife’s death. Mary is buried in Ruskington Cemetery, Old Plot, East Border, Grave 59.

About a year after Mary died, John had re-married, Ellen Elizabeth Daubney and after her death in January 1930, she was buried in the adjacent Grave 61. When Frank’s father, John Thomas, died at the age of 82 on 3 February 1940, he was buried in the same Grave.

In the March quarter 1921 Frank married Winifred Lizzie Hickling, originally from Alma House, Billinghay, Lincolnshire. There is no record of any children. The 1939 Register shows them living at 11 Church Street, Ruskington, and Frank was working as a “Baker and Confectioner“.

They were at the same address when Winifred died on 10 April 1975, aged 79. Frank died in St Georges’ Hospital, Lincoln, on 12 August 1979, aged 81.

 

Lilley F SPrivate Fred Sinclair LILLEY‘The Lincolnshire Chronicle’ [27 November 1915] reported that Fred was “… the son-in-law of S. Parkes of Manor Street, Ruskington.” and that:

He enlisted in the Army Service Corps as a ‘Farrier’ in March 1915. He was trained at Woolwich before being posted to Latham Park, Ormskirk, Lancashire.

Fred was born on 31 July 1876  at Sea View Terrace, Wainfleet, Lincolnshire, the second son of Walter John (Plumber) and Catherine (née Sinclair) Lilley.

He had an older brother, also Walter John (born in 1875), and 8 younger siblings, Ada (b. 1877), Evelyn ((b. 1879), Dennis Herbert (b. 1881), Alfred (b. 1883), Esther (b. 1884), Thomas Henry (b. 1886), Arthur (b. 1887) and Raymond (b. 1890).

The 1881 Census (RG 11/3257) the family was living at Sea View Terrace, Skegness, Linolnshire. By 1891 (Census RG 12/2604) the family had moved to Roman Bank, Skegness, and were still there in 1901. By 1911, however, Fred’s parents, William and Catherine, with their two youngest children, had moved again to Cavendish Road, Skegness.

Fred had married Eleanor Jane Parkes in the September quarter 1900, probably in Ruskington. She was the daughter of William (Cottager) and Susanna Parkes of Church Lane, Ruskington.

The 1901 Census (RG 13/3039) shows that the newly married Fred and Eleanor were living at Star Cross, Holbeach, Lincolnshire, where Fred was employed as a ‘Journeyman Blacksmith‘. By the time of the 1911 Census (RG 14/) Fred and Eleanor had two daughters, Dorothy and Mary, and were still living at ‘The Ferns’, Star Cross, Holbeach.

In view of his peace time occupation, it is not surprising that Fred joined the Army Service Corps as a “Farrier“. However, no reference can be found for him on the Medal Rolls which suggests he did not serve abroad.

In the June quarter 1931 Fred’s mother, Catherine, died in Spilsby, Lincolnshire. Her widowed husband, Walter John, died in Newark, Lincolnshire, in the June quarter 1935.

ARP BadgeIn 1939 the limited Census Returns of that year show that Fred and Eleanor were living on Manor Street, Ruskington, and he was still employed as a ‘Blacksmith (Heavy Work)’.

He was also serving the War effort as an Air Raid Precautions Warden.

It seems that Fred and Eleanor remained living in Ruskington until they died, Eleanor, aged 82, in March 1964 (buried on the 7th), and Fred, aged 89, in February 1966 (buried on the 16th).

They are buried side-by-side in Graves 357 and 358, Plot D, Ruskington Cemetery Extension. As the photo right shows they have no grave marker or headstone.

 

 

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