Monday, 27 April 2015

WW1 - Sidney James Giddings


Sidney Giddings was born near Andover in 1883 but by 1891 (aged 8) was living with his parents, William and Mary and two sisters at “Baker’s Farm” (ie one of the two cottages at Baker’s Corner) and he would have attended Kingsley School.
Baker’s Corner c 1970
 His father was a farm labourer and probably worked at Lode Farm (the cottages belonged to Lode).
Lode Farm
 However by 1901, when he would have been 18, he had moved away and in the 1911 census he was recorded as a gardener at Crawley in Oxfordshire.


Just after the outbreak of the war he married Kate Plumley from Kinson in Dorset in November 1914 and enlisted, for the duration of the war, at Banbury in December 1915 six months before his only child, Elsie May was born.
At that time he was gardener at Bodicote near Banbury, Oxfordshire. By 17 June 1916 his Approving Officer at Cowley Barracks attested that “he is correct and properly filled up” and appointed him to the Oxford and Bucks. Light Infantry ( as Private no. 24261).
His records show he was 6ft 0.25” tall, 140 lbs in weight and with a chest measurement of 37”.
However he transferred to the 3rd Battalion Base Depot (Camiers) Machine Gun Corps in November
1916 (as no.81712) and crossed to Boulogne February 1917.
He must have contracted pneumonia or pleurisy later that year as, whilst he was stationed at the base depot, Camiers, he was sent to the nearby hospital at Camiers, (which was next to Le Touquet, south of Boulogne) on 18 February 1917 and he died of Lobar Pneumonia there the same day.
He was buried at Etaples Cemetary (part 3 UK, XXI G10A).

By May 1917 his widow Kate was living in Winton, Bournemouth (perhaps to be near her own family) with her daughter Elsie May and acknowledges receiving Sidney’s personal effects. She was still there in May 1922 when she took receipt of his British War and Victory medals. Kate and her daughter received a pension of 18/9d per week from 27 August 1917. This is six months after her husband had died so she could well have suffered from severe financial hardship before then, like many war widows at that time.
Sidney is also remembered on the War Memorial at Bodicote in Oxfordshire.
His parents continued to live on at Baker’s Corner. A friend of Ena Mitchell’s mother, (Mrs Bayley), told her that she had “dressed a terrible face cancer on Mr Giddings’ face” and had nursed Mrs Giddings, whose will, after her death, was registered in 1936.

WW1 - Frederick Walter Fullick

Frederick Fullick was born in Kingsley in December 1889, to George and Jane (nee Burningham) Fullick.
His oldest brother, Harry had joined the Army Service Corps just one year after Walter’s birth and was finally discharged, having served in South Africa, in 1902. The 1911 Census shows Frederick living at Deane Bridge (below) with two of his brothers (though not Harry)
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Deane Bridge c 1905
and sister, a nephew and a lodger. Both Frederick and his brother Thomas may have worked for Mr James Knight, at Dean Farm next door, as they are both described as “farm labourer” and “houseman on farm”  respectively.
Dean Cottages today
 Frederick enlisted at Alton on 1st November 1915 for “Short Service” (ie for the duration of the war), aged 24, as a Gunner and became 62612 Gunner Fullick with the 79th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. He listed his oldest brother, Harry, as next of kin. His Enlistment Descriptive Report noted that he was 6ft. 0.25 inches tall. He would have embarked from Avonmouth on 27th April 1916 and arrived in Boulogne the next day. He never went home again.

As a gunner he would have been using heavy howitzers which sent large calibre high explosive shells in high trajectory, plunging fire and used to destroy or neutralise enemy heavy artillery. In March 1917 the 79th Battery was transferred to the 1st Army and remained with them until November 1918 and he was wounded in the back and on the leg on 23rd August 1917, probably at Paschendale in Flanders. On the 24th August he was admitted to the No. 9 Red Cross Hospital at Sangatte, Calais where he was making a good recovery until he was wounded again (probably by bombing at the hospital) and he died on 30th September 1917.

His sister Jane received three letters one when her brother was wounded the second time and another dated 5th October 1917, from the Duchess of Sutherland.
Dear Miss Fullick
I am very sorry indeed to have to tell you that your brother has died of wounds in hospital here. We did all we possibly could to make him comfortable, but he was very badly wounded. He has been buried in a little cemetery, just outside Calais, beside many more of our brave men who have, like your brother, laid down their lives so nobly for King and Country. Please accept my deepest sympathy in your great sorrow.
Yours sincerely, with many thoughts
MILLICENT (Duchess of) SUTHERLAND

A third letter, dated 16th October, was from, I suspect, his Commanding Officer, who wrote that he thought that Fred’s absence from the Battery would only have been temporary- so he expressed his shock at hearing of Fred’s death. 
This feeling, I can assure you, is shared also by all the men in the Battery, for he was respected by all. ………
But it must be remembered that all these happenings are witnessed by the eyes of the Maker, who does all things for the best.
I was in charge of the party of men who carried him to the dressing station and I can certainly assure you he was perfectly calm and collected. He was known as the coolest man in the Battery………….
G.COLLINS
These letters received by Jane Fullick, were subsequently printed in the Alton Gazette.
Frederick was buried in the newly-opened Les Barraques Cemetery (1C6) at Sangatte.

A letter dated 6th June 1919 was sent to Harry Fullick, c/o Rev. CA Mason at Kingsley Vicarage requesting information about his living relatives and eventually his effects, medals and memorial plaque and scroll were sent to his sister Jane.
His surviving siblings were Harry, aged 50 who still lived at Dean Cottages with Thomas and Jane, and Alfred, George, Eliza and Ellen who lived locally.
He is also listed on the Bordon Roll of Honour.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

WW1 - Harry Betteridge

Harry Betteridge was born in 1882 in Chipping Norton Oxfordshire, one of six children. He married Eva Hodges in Kensington London in 1904 and by 1911 was identified as a “Domestic Butler” at Grange Lodge near Banbury. At this time he had four children aged under seven. In 1913 the family moved to Hampshire as Harry became the butler at Headley Park. This was the home of the McAndrew family, Charles and his American wife Florence and his three sons.

Mr. McAndrew owned a shipping line and had purchased the estate in 1902.
Headley Park today
Harry was probably conscripted, despite being a married man with four children, after the Military Service Act extended conscription to married men in May 1916. He enlisted into the Hampshire Regiment, “C Company, 1st Battalion as Private 25069 and fought in France and Flanders, probably at Arras, in the 1st and 3rd Battles of the Scarpe.

He was killed in action, whilst an Acting Corporal, on 13 May 1917, aged 35. His young 19 year old master, 2nd. Lt. Charles Arthur McAndrew, who had also enlisted, had been killed just seventeen days earlier.
Presumably his family had to move from Headley Park – and appear to have rented or lodged in Kingsley.
The Rev. Laverty of Headley noted “He killed in the war – she went away to The Straits.”
Harry’s death is recorded on the Arras Memorial (Bay 6), he is remembered on the Chipping Norton Roll of Honour and he is also on the war memorial at Headley where the Rev. Laverty listed him, in a booklet he wrote in the autumn of 1919 as “one of our Soldiers and Sailors whom we lost in the Great War.

Writing in the Parish Magazine of June 1985 Mrs Winifred Barnes refers to Corporal Betteridge as “the first man from the village killed in 1WW – and that help for the family was asked for at that time.”
Beatrice Mary Betteridge, the six year old daughter, was admitted to Kingsley School in December 1917, with the parent listed as Eva Betteridge.

Ena Mitchell (nee Bayley) who attended the school between 1924 and 1929 remembers a Fred Betteridge who had no father. I can find no reference to the other two children who would have been 12 and 13 in 1917 – perhaps they found work elsewhere.
There is a reference in the Alton Gazette of 17 October 1917 to Eva Betteridge (a widow) being fined 5/6d at the Whitehill Petty sessions for riding a bicycle without a front light. Eva Betteridge died in Winchester in 1936 aged 50.
So although it would appear that Harry Betteridge never actually lived in Kingsley his family certainly did.