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.

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