The EVANS family – Sergeant EVANS, Edward Dare (1875-1915)

Edward Dare Evans was born on 21st February 1875 at 88 London Road.  His father, William Evans (c1831-1921), was a corn miller and merchant and his mother Isabella Dare (1837-1894) had children: Caroline (1862 -); Isabel Clara (1863-1936); William Arthur (1865-1942); Mary Martha (1873-); Edward (1875-1915) and Robert (1878-1920).  They moved to New Parks House in about 1883, remaining until 1894 when they settled for over ten years at number 6 St Martin’s. Evans 6 St Martins

Edward probably had a comfortable childhood and adolescence, until his mother died when he was 19. The following year his father remarried, to Agnes Archer Kilgour who had been born in Tasmania.  Edward was in partnership with his father in the corn factors business A & W Evans at Soar Lane.  On 15th January 1903 Edward married Alice Mabel de Legh (c1873-1947) at Paignton, Devon.  Alice was the daughter of a doctor.  The couple lived firstly at 9 The Crescent, then 9 de Montfort Square.

De Montfort Square
9 de Montfort Square

They had a daughter, Mary Isabella de Legh Evans (1904-1984) who was baptised at St Paul’s on 29th August 1904, but the marriage was difficult.  Relations between the two were “strained” and after a time Alice refused to live with her husband, requesting a deed of separation which Edward resisted.  Alice consulted George Archibald Toller (1880-1918), a local solicitor, and on 7th January 1910 a deed was executed.  Edward and Alice did not see each other for a year, but then Alice wrote to Edward asking for money and confessing that she had been living with George Toller, and that her second child Anthony Legh Evans (1909-1966 – he later became known as The Reverend Anthony Legh Toller) was George’s and not Edward’s as he had presumably thought.  Edward divorced Alice in 1911 and was awarded custody of their daughter Mary Isabella.  Alice married George Toller in London early in 1912.

Edward first returned to live at home with his parents at 6 St Martin’s for the next three years, bringing Mary Isabella with him.  Edward and Isabella lived in a separate household at 6 Seymour Street after 1904.  Perhaps Edward’s stepmother influenced his decision to emigrate with his daughter to Brightwater, Nelson, New Zealand, or perhaps it was the stress of living under the cloud of notoriety and shame.  It was as a New Zealander that Edward joined the Expeditionary Force, Canterbury Regiment Infantry Battalion.  He embarked on 14th February 1915, served in South Africa and later died of wounds on 30th May 1915 at Egypt, probably on board a hospital ship.  He is commemorated at Alexandria (Chatby) Military Cemetery.  Mary Isabella was left as a ward of William Vernon Rout, a barrister and solicitor in Nelson and seems to have remained in New Zealand.

George Toller also died in the war, in April 1918.  Alice Mabel nee de Legh remarried in 1932, to Walter Storr.  She died in 1947.

Edward’s father William and stepmother Agnes continued to worship at St Martin’s.    Agnes contributed to fundraising activities such as the congregational tea in 1915 and helped with the St Martin’s stall at the Mayor’s Bazaar in 1917.

William died in 1921 at Tudor House, Abingdon Road.  Agnes died in 1924, whilst living at Cheltenham.  William had made provision in his will of 1911 to bequeath a share of his estate to his son Edward or his children in the event of Edward dying.  For reasons unknown, almost immediately after Edward’s death he added a fourth codicil which revoked this.  Instead, he bequeathed a fixed sum of just £100 to Mary Isabella on attaining her 21st birthday, from his estate of over eleven thousand pounds.  To speculate, perhaps the child reminded William too much of her mother or of the painful circumstances of her parents’ marriage.  Or perhaps the passing of years and thousands of miles had severed any feeling of connection between grandparent and grandchild.

The FLUDE family – Private FLUDE, Arthur Ernest (1887-1957) and Private FLUDE, Richard Harold (1892-1956)

Arthur Ernest (1887-1957) and Richard Harold (1892-1956) Flude were the two surviving sons of Ernest Flude (1858-1938) and Fanny Elizabeth Warner (1859-1928) who married in Leicester in 1886.  They also had a daughter, Alice May (1888-1967) and another son, Henry Cecil Simmons (1890-1893) who died in infancy.  Ernest was an umbrella manufacturer for the wholesale market.  He registered several patents for umbrellas in the 1890s under the name of E Flude Ltd.  From the time of Arthur’s birth Ernest Flude had a factory in Charles Street and the family lived at 22 Clyde Street.  The exact location of the factory premises within Charles Street was to change several times throughout the course of the business, but by 1908 the registered office was at 8 St Martin’s

Flude 8 St Martins
8 St Martin’s, registered office of E Flude Ltd

and the family had moved to Roseleigh, 185 Narborough Road where they would remain until the mid 1920s.  Once they reached adulthood Alice May and Richard Harold worked for their father, Alice as bookkeeper.  Ernest was elected sidesman in 1909 and served until at least 1931.  Both he and Fanny Elizabeth also served on the PCC during the 1920s.

Richard Harold Flude was born on 3rd December 1891 and baptised at St Matthew’s on 31st January 1892.  In 1905, aged 14, he was awarded honours in a first grade piano exam.  On leaving school he joined his father’s umbrella works. We know that at some point during the war Richard served as private in the Royal Army Service Corps, where he worked in mechanical transport.  Unfortunately no service record survives.  After the war Richard resumed working for the family umbrella manufacturing business.  He married Jessie Edith Medcalf (1896-1978) at St Chad’s, Derby, in 1922.  Jessie and Richard lived at 143 Upperton Road from 1925 when daughter Margaret (1925-) was born, until 1932, when they moved to a brand new house – Abbeydale, 117 Carisbrooke Road.

Just before the second world war they moved again, to 21 Shirley Avenue not far away.  During the war Richard served as a dispatch rider with the South Battalion Leicester Home Guard.  Afterwards Richard and Jessie settled at 80 Stoughton Road, where Richard died on 15th December 1956.  Jessie lived another twenty-two years.

Arthur Ernest Flude was born on 27th March and baptised at St Matthew’s on 29th May 1887.  After leaving school he worked as a warehouseman for well-known hosiery manufacturers Messrs Pool, Lorrimer and Tabberer of 35 King Street and in June 1914 took part in a cricket match between the firm’s Leicester and Coventry offices.

Arthur married music teacher Edith Emily Hubbard (1888-1967) at St Margaret’s on 22nd July 1915.  Edith wore a garnet cross.  Arthur’s address was then 11 Devonshire Street but the couple soon moved into 4 Evesham Road.  A daughter, Sheila (1916-), was born almost exactly a year later and baptised at St Margaret’s.  By this time Arthur had been promoted to manager.

Some time after the wedding, Arthur joined the Rifle Brigade as a private soldier.  His service record does not survive but on May 20th 1918 The Leicester Mercury reported that “Private A E Flude, Rifle Corps, is wounded and at a German hospital – wife resides at Evesham Road.”  Arthur recovered and returned Evesham Road, where daughter Barbara May (1918-1993) was born a few weeks before the end of the war.  They remained at Evesham Road until 1932 and Arthur worked as a commercial traveller.

Between 1933 and 1941 Arthur and Edith lived at “Hutton”, 38 Ring Road and by now Arthur worked with his brother as an umbrella manufacturer, moving during the Second World War to 36 Knighton Road and finally during the 1950s to 68 Holmfield Road where he died on 22nd February 1957. Edith lived on in Holmfield Road for a little longer before dying in Yorkshire in 1967.

The FORREST family – Lieutenant FORREST, Robert Featherstone (1882-1919)

Robert Featherstone Forrest was born on 16th June 1882 in Leicester, the only son and eldest child of Matthew Adey Forrest (1853-1928) and Mary Elizabeth Featherstone (1859-1929).  He was baptised at the Wesleyan Chapel, Stamford, where his parents were married, on 16 July 1882.  The following year sister Ethel Mary (1883-1975) was born, and then followed two more sisters, Gladys Margaret (1885-1922) and Dorothy Constance Betty (1894-1922).  Robert attended Wyggeston Boys’ School from September 1891.

From at least 1882 until around 1894 Matthew was a coal merchant.  The family were very respectable: By 1887 the family lived at The Grange, Humberstone, and Matthew was recommended by Josiah Gimson for the board of Humberstone School.  Two years later he was appointed overseer of the parish.   Between 1895 and 1899 Matthew was the manager of Humberstone Brick Company, and living at 6 Saint Peter’s Road, but by 1901 Robert and the rest of the family had moved to Gwendolen Road and Matthew was working as a coal merchant’s manager. Matthew was also elected sidesman at St Martin’s in 1905, remaining such throughout the First World War and beyond.

By the age of 19 Robert was working as a manufacturing chemist’s clerk.  Either work or interest took him to Africa for the first time in 1911.  While the rest of his family were living at 38 Glenfield Road, Robert set sail from Liverpool to Lagos, Nigeria.  Again in 1912 Robert travelled from England to Nigeria, this time to Forcados.

When war broke out Robert’s local knowledge and experience made him ideal for military service in Africa.  He joined the Nigeria Regiment and served with the 1st Battalion, 1st West African Frontier Force (known locally as the West African Service Brigade), as lieutenant.  He served in Cameroon between May 1915 and May 1916 and then returned to England.  He sailed from Liverpool with a handful of other officers bound of Lagos on 6th September 1916.  In September 1917 Robert was granted the temporary rank of Captain and the command of a company.  On 31st July 1918 he was to make the final journey from Liverpool to Lagos, travelling first class as always.  Within six months he was invalided out of the army due to Malaria contracted whilst on active service and he died, in Nigeria, on 14th January 1919 of a complication, Malarial Hemoglobinuria.  He is commemorated at Zania European Cemetery.

An article was printed in the Bucks Herald on 22nd March 1919, which read:

The following article from the “West Africa Newspaper”, March 8, will interest the wide circle of friends in this neighbourhood who knew the late Mr R F Forrest, nephew of Rev J R C Forrest , vicar of Swanbourne: News of the death of Lieut Robert F Forrest, 2nd Nigeria Regiment, from backwater fever, while on demobilisation leave at Zaria, has been received with the greatest grief by his relatives and friends at home.  This promising young officer was well-known on the coast before the war, notably at Ibadan and Logoja, where he worked for the British Cotton Growing Association.  At these places he was loved by a wide circle of friends, to whom news of his death at Zaria came at a great shock.  He was regarded as a worker of the finest type on the coast, to which he was greatly attached, and he had a firm belief in the future of West Africa.  Lieut Forrest…..was among the first in West Africa to volunteer in the Nigeria Regiment, immediately war broke out and before volunteers were called for.  He served actively for four years with the Nigerans in the Cameroons’ campaign and then in East Africa, and was demobilised on 31 December last year.  He was ready to take up his work again with the BCGA at the time of his death.

Meanwhile, by 1919 the Forrest family moved to 19 Sandown Road (Robert gave this as his home address).  Matthew worked as a timber importer’s agent and Robert’s two older sisters worked as teachers.  By the time Robert’s medals were sent to Matthew and Mary Elizabeth in 1922 they had lost three of their four children – Robert in 1919, Gladys and Dorothy both in 1922.  Only Ethel was to outlive her parents, dying unmarried in 1975.  Matthew and Mary Elizabeth lived on at Sandown Road until 1928 and 1929 respectively.  It was presumably Ethel who organised the gravestone for her parents at Welford Road Cemetery.

The FOX family – Private FOX, Samuel Ernest (1895-1969)

Yarn drier Samuel Fox (1868-1949) married shoe machinist Esther Thurman (1871-1941) on Boxing Day 1892 at St Michael’s Belgrave.  They had 4 boys and 2 girls: Samuel Ernest (1895-1969), William (1904-1981), Albert (1907-1990), Stanley (1909-) and Lily (1897-1968), Edith (1899-1981).  They lived at 35 St Bernard Street between 1900 and 1903 and moved to 2 Mellor Street in 1911.  The Fox family were members of the St Martin’s congregation in 1909; by now Samuel senior worked as a warehouse man for a worsted spinner.

Samuel Ernest was born on 7th April 1895.  By age 15 he worked as a chamois leather dresser.  He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps as a private soldier at some point during the war – no service record survives.  After the war he returned to live with his parents, who moved to 27 Belgrave Avenue before 1918.  He married Gladys May Dilks (1899-1971) at 2.30pm on Christmas day 1919, at St Peter’s, Belgrave.  He worked as a leather dresser.  Gladys was then 3 months pregnant with their son Roy (1920-2001).

St Peters Church
St Peter’s Church, where Samuel and Gladys married in 1919

Samuel and Gladys moved to 144 Checketts Road in 1937, which was then a brand new house.  They remained living there for the rest of their lives.  Samuel worked as a hosiery interlock machinist and Gladys as a hospital charwoman, perhaps at the Towers hospital which was nearby.  Samuel died in in December 1969 aged 74.  Gladys died 18 months later.  Both were buried at Belgrave Cemetery along with Samuel’s parents Samuel and Esther.  Son Roy was also buried with his parents, in 2001.

The FRANKLIN family – Commandant FRANKLIN, George Cooper (1846-1919) and Lieutenant FRANKLIN, Harold Gordon Cooper (1885-1957)

George Cooper Franklin (1846-1919) married Lucy Hannah Denne (1851-1930 in 1876).  George was a surgeon with his own practice and was also senior surgeon at Leicester Royal Infirmary.  They had five children:  George Denne Franklin (1877-1915); Maud Elizabeth Franklin (1878-1960), Roger William (1880-1900); Lucy Rowena 1882-1963 and Harold Gordon Cooper (1885-1957).  The three boys all attended Stoneygate School, which had been founded by their grandfather George Barton Franklin, and all were choristers.  The family home between 1879 and 1882 was at 5 Welford Road, then from before 1885 at 39 London Road, where they remained until George’s retirement.

Born in Leicester in 1846, George Cooper Franklin was the son of George Barton Franklin (1815-1893) and Elizabeth Cooper (c1812-1874) who married at Harvey Lane Baptist Church in 1841. George and his family lived at 4 London Road where his father kept a small school – of which George was pupil – before settling in 1859 in what remain the premises of Stoneygate School.  George first served as an apprentice to a Nottingham dentists before studying medicine at London University, from which he graduated in 1867 whilst also working at St Thomas’s Hospital.  In 1873 he was admitted as a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and took up a post as resident medical officer of the Chest Hospital, Victoria Road, London.  In 1876 George married Lucy, who was the daughter of a workhouse surgeon, at Eastbourne.

They settled in Leicester and joined the congregation at St Martin’s.  George was sidesman from 1882 and Churchwarden in 1894-1897 and again in 1909.  He also served as a Borough Magistrate.  In 1905 he was elected president of the British Medical Association and oversaw its application for a Royal Charter.  In 1910 George retired from medical practice and he and Hannah moved to Hampshire, due to George’s failing health.

Nevertheless in 1914 George returned to medical work as Commandant and Medical Officer of Hawkstone Red Cross Hospital and Medical Officer of two other hospitals in Hampshire that had become medical hospitals. These weren’t military hospitals, though wounded soldiers were sometimes treated there, but George’s service enabled younger and fitter doctors to work in more taxing environments including at the Front.  He also served on the local medical board of the Ministry of National Service.  For this he was one of the first people to be awarded the MBE, in 1917.  George’s obituary in The Hampshire Telegraph later described his service at Hawkstone as “most patriotic and devoted…He was not only held in the highest regard and affection by the other members of the staff, but the wounded soldiers who from time to time were patients in the hospital were unanimous in their appreciation and thanks.”

George and Lucy returned to Fareham, Hampshire, where George died on 2nd June 1919.  He was buried at Fareham cemetery, the funeral service having first taken place at the parish church, where George was a sidesman.  Lucy lived at Fareham until her death in 1930.

Harold Gordon Cooper was born in Leicester on 15th January 1885 and baptised at St Martin’s on 10th March 1885.  He attended Stoneygate School and was captain of the cricket team in 1899.  Unlike brother George, Harold did not follow his father’s medical footsteps but instead joined the Royal Navy on 15th January 1900, rising to midshipman in June 1901.  He was promoted to sub-lieutenant in 1904.  By 1906 he was a lieutenant and was appointed in command of first-class torpedo boat TB65 in May – but was cautioned for grounding due to “want of caution.”  Nevertheless on 30th November 1914 Harold was promoted Lieutenant-Commander.  He served aboard the dreadnought HMS Queen Elizabeth, flagship of the home fleet, from 25th January 1917 to 7th January 1918.  During this period Harold was promoted Commander.  The Queen Elizabeth did not take part in any significant action during that period.  He then served aboard the battlecruiser HMS Lion 9th January 1918 to 23rd December 1918 which conducted patrols of the North Sea.  On 23rd March the Lion sortied to pursue German destroyers but the Germans were too far ahead and no shots were fired.

Harold married Helen Elizabeth Constance Durnford-Slater (1903-) at Instow Parish Church on 12th December 1923.  As the bride’s family was well known in the area, the town and front of the church was gaily decorated.  Harold’s best man was Lieutenant G L Clarke of HMS Barham.  Harold and Helen honeymooned in the south of France.  As Harold was so often away, Helen lived close to her family at The White House in Instow.  At some time during the 1930s they moved a few miles away to Endycross, Northam, which Helen described as an “easy, modern house” with “help 3 times a wk” whilst advertising for a cook-general in 1947.  Immediately before the war Harold and Helen had two live-in domestic servants.  Their son Richard Durnford Franklin (1925-1999) was born in Barnstaple, Devon in 1925 just as Harold was promoted Captain.  Daughter Elizabeth (1928-) was born in 1928.  He was described as “Good looking, of fine physique and magnificent presence. A very nice fellow though noisy in speech.”  Harold was placed in command of HMS Emerald in 1927 and light cruiser Curacoa in 1929, but spent the last few years before his retirement in 1936 as Captain Superintendent of Training.  On the day before his retirement Harold was appointed Rear Admiral.

The outbreak of another world war brought Harold out of retirement. He returned to active duty in May 1940.  Admiral Dunbar-Nasmith, under whose command he worked until May 1941, stated that Harold had “taken a very great interest in his duties but is inclined to worry over molehills which he turns into mountains.  Rather highly strung and temperamental.”  During 1942 and 1943 Harold worked as Naval Officer in Charge of landing base HMS Appledore in Devon, which was very close to his home in Northam.  His commanding officer wrote that “Appledore is now becoming a more important sub-command and Admiral Franklin is well up to the work and is working well in conjunction with our American Allies.  A very pleasant personality and very loyal. Well placed and should continue in his present appointment.”  The United States Government obviously agreed as they awarded Harold the Legion of Merit (Degree of Officer) in 1946.  Despite his duties Harold found time to write the foreword to a short book telling the story of Ilfracombe Harbour, which was sold to raise funds for the RNLI in 1943.

Helen and Harold lived together at Endycross until Harold’s death on 30th June 1957 at Bideford and District Hospital aged 72.  Helen moved to Rotorua, New Zealand, where she died in 1987.

The GOODMAN family – Company Sergeant Major GOODMAN, George Walter (1884-1918)

George Walter Goodman portrait
George Walter Goodman

George Walter Goodman was born in Leicester on 2nd July 1884 and baptised at St Martin’s on 13th July 1886 along with his new baby sister Lucy Jane who died shortly afterwards.  His parents were Walter Thomas Goodman (1859-1935), a boot riveter foreman, and Jane Ann Stanton (1862-1941), who married at St Martin’s less than four months before his birth.  They had four surviving children: George Walter was the oldest, then three girls Lucy Rhoda (1888-1977), Gertrude “Gertie” (1891-) and Ida Evelyn (1901-1981).  Two other children died in infancy.  All of the children worked in the boot trade, George Walter as a riveter.  In 1886 the Goodmans lived at 13 Great Holme Street, moving to 36 New Park Street by 1892.  In 1901 they moved away, probably to Marstown Avenue, Glen Parva where they lived in 1911.

George served in the Leicestershire Volunteers, Q (Wigston) Company before the war.  In 1906, when he was Lance-Corporal, he scored a respectable 22 in the company shooting competition at Syston shooting range.

In 1911 George Walter Goodman married Grace Eveline Florence Caroline Holland (1885-1953) who was born in Leicester in 1885 and who worked as a shoe machine operator.  The service took place at St Thomas’s church in South Wigston on 10th June 1911.  Grace wore a dress of “Quaker Grey” trimmed with silver embroidery.  Bridesmaids were Winnie, a sister of Grace’s, and George’s sister Gertrude.  The best man was Mr W Buncher, presumably a friend of George’s.  George and Grace then lived together at 79 Kirkdale Road and had two children, Florence Grace (1912-1939) who was baptised at St Thomas’s on 11th August 1912 and Evelyn who was born in the spring of 1918.

When war was declared, George was in demand as a trained soldier.  He joined the 10th (Reserve) Battalion Leicestershire Regiment and in January 1915 the vicar of St Thomas’s, Wigston read out George’s name as one of the Wigston men who were serving at the Front.  The 10th Battalion was redesignated the 53rd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers in October 1917.  George delivered instruction and prepared soldiers for fighting.  He rose to the rank of Company Sergeant Major.  As the 53rd Battalion remained at Home for the duration of the war, it is unlikely that George saw any further fighting action.  So when he died of pneumonia on 20th Nov 1918 at Clipsham Military Hospital, Nottinghamshire, it was most likely as a result of Spanish Influenza.  He was buried at Wigston Cemetery.

Goodman, G W grave
The grave of George Walter Goodman, Wigston Cemetery

After the war Grace remained living close to her parents.  Between 1924 and 1929 she lived at 59 Clifford Street, South Wigston, moving to another address in 1929.  She died in 1953.  George’s parents continued living in Glen Parva after the war.  Walter died in 1935 and Jane in 1941, while living at Malabar, Blaby Road, Glen Parva.  However, Jane lived for at least the last two years of her life at Carlton Hayes Hospital, which cared for people with mental health problems.

The GOODRICH family – Sergeant GOODRICH, Harry (1874-1947) Private GOODRICH, Albert Edward (1876-1965) and Battery Quarter Master Sergeant GOODRICH, Arthur William (1881-1967)

Henry Goodrich (1844-1893) and Sarah Ann Blankley Lister (c1841-1918) married at Christ Church, Leicester in October 1871. They had three sons – Harry (1874-1947), Albert Edward (1876-1965) and Arthur William (1881-1967) and three daughters, Caroline Jane (1876-1959), Gertrude (1879-1961) and Eliza Lister (1882-1965). At the time of their marriage Henry was a Corporal in 77th (East Middlesex) Regiment, living in barracks at Portsmouth.  Soon after he returned to civilian life and settled with his family in Leicester.  From circa 1876 to 1879 Henry was a grocer and beer seller with his own premises at 51 Gresham Street, moving to at 23 Checketts Road and obtaining a beer license in October 1879.  He remained a shopkeeper there for at least a couple of years, but the business appears to have failed and so by at least 1891 and probably as early as 1889 Henry was working as a shoe finisher.  Having been born in Leicester, Henry may have worked in the shoe trade before becoming a soldier.  From at least 1891 the Goodrich family lived at 8 Chandos Street.  However, Henry died in 1893.  All of Henry’s sons joined the army – Harry in 1893 and Albert Edward in 1895.  Arthur William remained with his mother, living together at 19 Curzon Street until his marriage.

Although she had not married at St Martin’s or had her children baptised there, Sarah was a member of the St Martin’s congregation in 1909.

Arthur William Goodrich was born in Leicester in 1881.  In 1901 aged 19 he was working as an engine cleaner on the railway and living alone with his mother at 19 Curzon Street.  He moved to 124 Upper Conduit Street shortly before marrying domestic servant Mary Jephson (1880-1970) at St Peter’s on 17th July 1909.  Their daughter Gertrude Elizabeth (1910-1917) was born in 1910 and baptised at St Peter’s on 26th May 1912.  Arthur continued working for the railway and lived at 124 Upper Conduit Street for the rest of his life.  By 1909 he was a loco fireman for the Midland Railway.  During the war he served as Battery Quarter Master Sergeant in the 7th Brigade Royal Field Artillery (no 910775), enlisting on 11th May 1915.  He served throughout the war but was invalided out of the army on 1st July 1919 and was awarded the Silver War Badge.  He suffered sickness which precluded him from future service.  Sadly Gertrude died at Leicester Royal Infirmary in August 1917, aged seven.  She was buried at Welford Road Cemetery.  It is possible that Gertrude died whilst Arthur was away on active service.

Mary and Arthur do not appear to have had any more children together after Gertrude, but they were joined at Upper Conduit Street by Arthur’s mother after the war and until her death.  Arthur died in Leicester in 1967, Mary in 1970.

Albert Edward Goodrich was born on 25th March 1876 and baptised at St Peter’s, Belgrave, on 12th July 1883 along with sisters Eliza and Caroline.  After finishing school he began working as a tailor’s cutter and then, like his older brother, enlisted into the 1st Leicestershire Regiment, in 1895.  He served in South Africa 1899-1900 and then settled back in Leicester, where he married Annie Green (c1877-1954) at St Leonard’s on Christmas Eve, 1903.  Both gave their address as 6 Harrison Street.  Albert and Annie had four surviving children – Lawrence Edward (1903-1965), Horace Edward (1905-1993), Albert Leonard (1908-1990), Gladys Annie (1910-1995) all born in Leicester and living at 150 Surrey Street in 1911.  Albert returned to his civilian job as a tailor’s cutter.

When the new 11th (Midland Pioneers) battalion was raised in 1915 Albert joined, enlisting on 18th November 1915 aged 38.  He was then in “A1” health.  Albert landed in France on 26th March 1916, serving there until March 1919 with a 15 day break in 1918.  He and his comrades carried out road building and trench construction, often under fire, and was part of the Advance in Flanders.  He was a good soldier who committed no recorded offences during his service.  During active service he contracted bad teeth meaning that he needed dentures, which were themselves in poor condition upon leaving the army.

After demobilising in 1919 Albert returned to 150 Surrey Street and to work as a tailor’s cutter.  In time their daughter Gladys’s husband moved in and they both remained with Albert and Annie until Albert’s death in 1965, Annie having died eleven years previously.  Son Horace also married and moved in next door with his new wife, remaining until after the death of his parents.  Albert died in October 1965 aged 85 and was buried at Welford Road Cemetery.

1stBatLeicsReg_FullHarry Goodrich was born in Leicester on 30th September 1874.  He began his career as an apprentice in the shoe trade, serving for four years under Mr Rawson before becoming a shoe clicker, but in 1893 joined the 3rd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, aged 19 with a height of just 5’3”.  In 1910 he served with the 1st Battalion.  By the time Harry ended the first term of his engagement in May 1913, he had achieved a good level of education and served in South Africa and India.  He was a good soldier, never drunk on duty and reprimanded only once for drunkenness in barracks, in 1897, and was decorated with both a host of medals and several tattoos.  In 1913 Harry was given a reference which described him as “honest, sober, industrious, intelligent and always a good disciplinarian…..will make a good clerk.”  By October 1915 Harry was a warrant officer.  Between 1906 and 1915 he served at home, for example he was based at Aldershot in 1911.

1st Bttn Leicestershire Regiment in 1910 – the Officers and Men who were with the battalion during the siege of Ladysmith. Taken at Talavera Barracks, Aldershot. Harry is 3rd from the right, 3rd row.

Harry married Ada Mary Bristow (1873-1955) in Ealing in 1909.  Ada was born in Lincolnshire and was a housemaid in Leicester in 1891 – perhaps Ada and Harry had been sweethearts for a long time.  They had three children – Lilian Evelyn (1910-1996) who was born in Aldershot and twin boys Eric Montague (1913-1981) and Leonard Roland (1913-1936) who were born in Leicester on 17th April and baptised at St Thomas’s Wigston on 25th May 1913.  Father Harry’s address at that time was Glen Parva Barracks.

In November 1915, aged 41, Harry joined the 11th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment (Midland Pioneers) and shortly afterwards, in March 1916, set sail from Southampton for France, where he served until October 1919.  He was eventually demobilised for the last time in March 1919 with the rank of acting Regimental Sergeant Major.  He returned to Leicester Road, Oadby and then moved to 71 St Saviours Road East, Leicester.  Despite many years of active service Harry claimed no disability or ill health.

After the war Harry set up as a tobacconist – in 1922 still at 71 St Saviour’s Road, moving in around 1931 to number 329 St Saviour’s Road.  After the death of his son Leonard in 1936 Harry retired and moved to 111 Scraptoft Lane, where he died on 3rd July 1947 aged 72.  Harry and Leonard are buried together at Welford Road Cemetery.  Ada lived on until 1955 and was not buried at Welford Road, though she is commemorated on their gravestone which reads:

Goodrich 4In Loving Memory of/Our dear son/Leonard Roland Goodrich/Who died March 26th 1936 in his 23rd year/At rest/Also Harry Goodrich father of the above/Who died July 3rd 1947, aged 77/Ever in our thoughts/also Ada Mary Goodrich/Beloved wife of Harry/and mother of Leonard/Died Jan 10th 1953 aged 81 years/Always in our thoughts/Reunited