Cambrai 100: Remembering George Burlingham

Unlike Nicholas Robert Colman, who’s Cambrai story we published earlier today to mark the 100th anniversary of the battle, this story has a more positive ending and we thank Dave Cole for sharing his great-grandfather’s story with us. As ever if any of our readers can add more to the story then we’d love to hear about it.

George Burlingham

Dave writes:

my research began with the interest of my daughter in our family history. A part of that history was those men who served in WW1, based on a handful of photographs, and in the case of George Burlingham, a very small collection of papers relating to his Military service – most of which are pictured in the blog. The blog itself came about due to the desire to share the stories of those men with the wider family around the world, and a blog seemed the most concise way of preserving the story and memory in electronic shareable form.

Divisional Acknowledgement from Major-General Arthur B Scott

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Cambrai 100: Remembering Nicholas Robert Colman

NICHOLAS ROBERT COLMAN

Nicholas Robert Colman was born on the 30th September 1897, and baptised on the 18th January 1898 in Gunthorpe parish church, the son of Daniel and Catherine Colman.[1]

Figure 1: From the Baptisms Register, Gunthorpe, 1898

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Brock Family Letters – September – October 1917

George Edward Brock to Charles Edward Brock

Sept 9th 1917

Dear Charles,

Just a line to let you know I am across the channel and my address is 140238 Pte G E Brock, Norfolk Regiment, I.B.D., A.P.O., France.  We are having a good time and all the third line Yeomanry are out this time.  So it is much better than coming out with strangers.

I have been wondering how you are getting on and how do you like your job.  No doubt you have plenty of work to do and I should like to see you but of course I don’t know where you are at all.  The people seem very strange about here and I can’t make them out at all.  And I find you have to keep your eyes open when you are buying anything down here and this morning I bought some pears and apples and afterwards I found they were about two for sixpence.

I hope you are quite well and remember me to Milly when you write.

From

George


George Edward Brock to Charles Edward Brock

Sept 11th 1917

Dear Charles,

Just to let you know that I am in a new regiment.  My new number is 33695, 8th Yorks and Lancs so don’t write till you hear from me.

I am feeling fit and well and don’t mind being on foot after cavalry although everything seems strange and new.

Hoping you are quite well.

From your brother

George


George Edward Brock to Kate Maud Brock

Oct 3rd 1917

Dear Kate,

Thanks very much for your letter and it is jolly good of you to write because it cheers one so to hear from home and I feel rather lonely but now I am getting used to it.

I am glad to hear you are getting on alright and what do you think this morning I received a letter from Jimmy Muirhead so it shows I am not forgotten.

We are having some fine weather at present so it is one consolation and I hope it will keep on because it makes such a difference to us.

I don’t know what to write about only I am quite well and one thing I hope and that is to be back again soon so goodbye sis.  I hope you are quite well and glad to hear you are getting on alright at Dereham.

From

George

Please excuse dirty envelope.


George Edward Brock to Charles Edward Brock

Oct 4th 1917

Dear Charles,

Just to let you know I am quite well and we are just having a rest and sorry I could not answer your letter because I lost the address.

We are having some fine weather at present and glad to say we are in comfortable quarters now and of course you don’t know I am in a different regiment.  Well my new address is 33695 Pte G E B, No 5 Platoon, B Company, 8 York and Lancs, B E F, France.

The boys seemed very strange at first but I soon got used them and they are all jolly good fellows and I like them very much.

I had a letter from home to day and dad has got the steam plough for the land and J H G has let two of his men help so it is a good job for him.

You would laugh if you saw me now marching about in shorts like some boy scout and my knees felt very cold for the first week or two but I have got used to them by now and they are much better for marching.

I suppose you have plenty of work to do now and I wondered if you came across Mr. Wrench since you have been out because I wish you would remember me to him.

I don’t know what else to write about so remember me to Milly and the boy and I hope you are quite well.

From yours

sincerely George


Gertrude Rebecca Page (née Brock) to Charles Edward Brock

Keswick Mills

Norwich

Oct 21st 17

My dear Charles,

Have some sad news to tell you, poor old George was killed on the 13th Oct.  It’s a terrible blow to us all and am sure you will feel it too. I felt I must write and tell you, but I hardly know what to say nor how to write it as my heart so full.

We were very glad to have such a nice letter from you and wish it would soon be over so you could come home.

Alfred has been in bed for a week, he’s been queer.  I wish they would discharge him but no such luck, he’s gone down to C2.

We are having a nice spell of weather again now.

Mother and Dad are very much distressed and Dad didn’t want this just now, however we have to bear it and thousands have to do the same and will have to yet I am afraid.

Love from all at home.

Your affectionate sister Gert


A.P.O. =  Army Post Office

B.E.F.  =  British Expeditionary Force

I.B.D.  =  Infantry Base Depot

 

A Family in the First World War – The Brocks

Two of Henry Benjamin and Sarah Christiana Brock’s sons fought in the First World War: Charles Edward and George Edward.  Charles was born on 27th April 1891 and George on 16th August 1898.

Charles

Charles served as a private in the Army Veterinary Corps in France.  He was based in Subsection A, No. 12 Veterinary Hospital.  Whilst in France he received a telegram on 31st May 1917 saying that his son (Geoffrey Charles) had been born and both mother and child were doing well.

George

George joined the 3/1 (Third Line) Norfolk Yeomanry on 2nd December 1915.  In September 1917 he crossed the channel to France.  Within a few days of arriving he was transferred to No. 5 Platoon, B Company, 8th Battalion of the York & Lancaster Regiment (a move from cavalry to infantry).

His regiment (along with other British, Australian and New Zealand troops) took part in the First Battle of Passchendaele (in Flanders, Belgium) on 12th October 1917.  George was one of hundreds who lost their lives that day; he was listed as missing, killed in action.  He was 19.

His name appears on the Memorial to the Missing at Tyne Cot Cemetery near Ieper (Ypres) in Flanders.  His name also appears on war memorials at Keswick Church and Sprowston.

Both Charles and George were awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Victory Medal

British War Medal

 

Remembering Wilfred George Lake

The team from Wood Norton have shared some more research with us about a man appearing on their war memorial but while they’ve found out lots about Wilfred George Lake if anyone help tell the stories of his siblings it would be wonderful.

WILFRED GEORGE LAKE

Wilfred George Lake was the youngest son of William and Mary Ann Lake, born in Wood Norton and baptised on the 12th April 1896 at All Saints, Wood Norton (see Figure 1).[1]

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