The SATCHELL family – Private SATCHELL, Frederick Marsh (1883-1963) and William Harold Satchell (1886-1953)

Robert William Satchell (1849-1923) and Florence Elizabeth King (1858-) married in Shropshire where Florence grew up, in 1881.  By 1884 Robert and Florence lived at Kington in Herefordshire, where their children were born:  Frederick Marsh (1993-1963);

Satchell 19 Glenfield Road
19 Glenfield Road

Nellie (1884-1949); William Harold (1886-1953); Philip Warner (1887-1915); Dora Mildred (1888-1921); Margaret “Hattie” (1899-1982).  They moved to Leicester in 1897.  The family lived at 17 Fosse Road briefly around 1898 before moving to 19 Glenfield Road.  In 1910 they moved to Newtown Linford.

Robert William was a bookseller.  He began in Leicester working at Clarke & Hodgson, stationers, at 5 Gallowtree Gate.  Shortly afterwards he went into partnership and the business became Clarke & Satchell – booksellers, stationers, printers and news agents – in June 1898.  This is how things would remain until 1922.  Increasingly the business concentrated on book selling. Robert described his business in 1903 as “fair….expenses are heavy and profits small” and himself as “a relatively poor man.”  Robert William was sidesman at St Martin’s in 1909 and the family continued its link with St Martin’s throughout the war, despite having moved house.

Frederick Marsh Satchell was born in Kington, Herefordshire, on 18th August 1883.  He was given a second name in honour of his paternal grandmother, whose maiden name had been Marsh.  He attended Wyggeston Boys’ School and was awarded second class honours in theoretical chemistry in 1899.

In 1901 Frederick was boarding at a house in London and working as a bookseller’s assistant.  By 1911 he was back with his parents who were by now living at Newton Linford.  He worked in his father’s bookshop.  When Frederick joined up the Highlanders in Leicester on 8th December 1915 he was 5’6” tall, unmarried and had previously served in the 1st Leicestershire Volunteers.  He was 32 years old. On 12th May 1916 he transferred to the 1/9th Royal Scots. He married Beatrice Mary “Mary” Swift (1895-1962) at St Philip’s on 2nd September 1916, whilst stationed at Terling in Essex.  Mary was the daughter of a lithographic artist and it is possible that the two families were friendly through the Clarke & Satchell business.  She was thirteen years his junior.

Frederick passed signalling tests and qualified as a 1st class signaller on 1st May 1917.  In November he transferred to the 264 Signals Squadron, part of the Royal Corps of Signals, who provided dedicated communications support to 22 Special Air Service.  In order to achieve this Frederick needed to pass the Special Forces Communicator selector course.  He was wounded on 4th December 1917 and was treated at 2nd C Central Hospital, Bristol but was back in France on active service a month later.  In May 1918 he suffered a mild infection of the right knee joint – possibly connected to his previous injury – and admitted to number 11 stationary hospital at Rouen.  After recovering again Frederick returned to fight and again he was wounded, this time by a gun shot on 8th August 1918.  This was enough to return Frederick to England, where he was cared for at Cheltenham Voluntary Aid Hospital.  He was discharged no longer physically fit for service on 18th November 1918 to address 20 Normanton Road Leicester – his wife’s parents’ home – and was awarded a pension of 13 shillings and ninepence for at least a year, as well as a Silver War Badge.

After the war Frederick returned to his father’s business, living with his wife and her parents until 1921.Their first two children, Philip Ronald (1919-1980) and Geoffrey Harold (1921-2000) were born here.  John Eric (1923-2003), Monica Margaret (1926-1987) and Alison Mary (1927-2002) were born elsewhere.

Satchell shop Granby street
Granby Street shop – possibly with Frederick Satchell outside

In April 1922 Frederick and his father were fined for printing “certain books” without including their name and business address.  Robert died at the end of 1923 and Frederick became the sole owner of Clarke & Satchell.  He moved premises to 78 Granby Street by 1925 and the business continued there for over ten years before moving even closer to St Martin’s, at 8 Hotel Street.  Frederick and Mary’s home address in 1924 was Fosse Road, Syston where they seem to have lived with a Mrs Olive Satchell.

In 1939 the Satchells lived at 75 Leicester Road, Blaby.  During the second world war Frederick was an Air Raid Warden for the Glen Parva district.  Frederick was chairman of the East Midlands branch of the Associated Booksellers but resigned in 1949 on doctor’s advice.  Perhaps his old wounds were troubling.  Frederick and Mary moved to 7 Old Wells Road, Shepton Mallet in Somerset, where Mary died on 19th October 1962.  William died on 25th September 1963 at a nursing home.

William Harold Satchell was born in Kington, Herefordshire on 2nd February 1886 and baptised at the parish church of St Mary’s Kington. He attended Wyggeston Boys School and was confirmed at St Paul’s Church on 23rd March 1899. After school his father trained him as a printer, but William was never employed in the trade.  Instead, he entered St Augustine’s Missionary College in Canterbury, between 1903 and 1908, first spending nine months teaching at a Sunday school.  As William’s father was not able to pay his tuition fees, he successfully applied for The Leicestershire Missionary Studentship.  He was described by the Vicar of St Michael’s, who supported his application, as “not brilliant but plodding.”

St Augustines
St Augustine’s College, Canterbury

In 1904 William suffered an illness requiring an operation, but recovered sufficiently to obtain his License in Theology from Durham University on 23rd June 1908 – though he does not seem to have come into residence at Durham at all, as his time at St Augustine’s was allowed to count for the residency requirement of his LTh.  He was ordained Deacon in 1908 and priest in 1909, after which he worked at the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) Logsdail educational mission at Chaibasa, India between 1909 and 1914.  In 1910 he passed a Hindi language exam and was able to preach in the local language.

When war came, William served as a Sergeant in the Royal Army Medical Corps (no 60254), beginning in 1915 and continuing until 1919.  Sadly his service record does not survive.  In 1919 he served a two year curacy at St Wulstan’s, Bournbrook, in the Selly Oak area of Birmingham, living at 78 Bournbrook Road.  On 7th July 1921 he sailed from Southampton to South Africa on “The Star of Japan,” travelling third class with a group of emigrating farmers, engineers and engineers.  On arriving at Cape Town he made his way to St Saviour’s Cathedral in Maritzburg, remaining until 1924.  Whilst at Maritzburg William was chaplain to the Mountain Rise Gaol and launched many “whirlwind enterprises.”  During this time he visited the homes of tuberculosis sufferers with Lily Peters, who together established the Friends of the Sick.  Lily’s son later recalled “He spent ten years in India before coming to South Africa and was fluent in Hindi.  You can imagine the effect that had on the locals.

William left Maritzburg to take up the position of Vicar of Holy Trinity, Newcastle, South Africa for six years.  In 1930 he became Priest in Charge of St Aidan’s Indian Mission in Durban, South Africa, helping to establish a new hospital.  Here he also co-founded the Friends of the Sick Association. He also published an influential booklet of three poems, Starving Like Hell in 1940, which detailed the suffering of Indians.  Along with fellow clergyman Michael Scott he played a vital part in the 1946 Passive Resistance against apartheid.  Both were arrested at Bagwandeen and imprisoned.

In 1947 William gave up home and salary to “supervise the building of a mud & thatch hut…the first beginning of an Ashram” in India.  He founded the Friends of South Africa.  William Harold was killed by a falling tree which broke his skull, on 11th November 1953 in the grounds of the Ashram at Pune, Maharashta, India.

Mother Florence Elizabeth and sister Hattie Margaret both died in Cape Town, South Africa.

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