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The Great War in St John’s Parish: Cherry Hinton Road (south side)

World War One in Cherry Hinton Road

Cherry Hinton Road was first created as a track in 1810. It was surfaced in 1895.

A slow walk up and down Cherry Hinton Road would show that the great majority of houses from the time of the Great War have survived. The western end has seen the greatest change with the loss of a few old properties; other significant changes have taken place around the Normanhurst residential home and at the far eastern end of the road. At the time of World War there was a scattering of properties beyond the line of the then non-existent Mowbray Road as the new parish of St John the Evangelist reached the boundary with its parent, St Andrew’s Cherry Hinton.

The 1913 Cambridge town guide lists all residences; house numbers are less common than house names but on the edge of town only the names of the residents are used to identify properties so in such a location as the east end of Cherry Hinton Road the matching of existing houses with the 1913 description is difficult. Being such a long road with many residents involved in the great conflict, I shall in this article follow the listing of the 1913 city guide and cover just those from the south side of the road. It is not always clear how permanent these addresses in Cherry Hinton Road were. Some of those mentioned may only have lodged for a short time while on service.

Number 34, Dresden Villa, was the home of Samuel Pope, a retired glass and china merchant. His daughter Olivia Victoria, b. 1898, married Charles Stanley James, a 2nd Lt. in the 10th Suffolk Regiment who served in France in 1916.

50, Edward Roper Elworthy, b. 1883, was a commercial traveller, whose father, Isaac, was a coal merchant in Cherry Hinton. Edward married Lilian Beatrice in 1908. They had one daughter, Ruth. He was enlisted into the Royal Veterinary Corps and based at their hospital in Aldershot. He also served in Italy and was reprimanded for being unshaven on parade in November 1916 by 3 days confinement to barracks but later promoted to corporal. Like many others who enlisted we also know details from his medical examination on enlistment. Edward had dark brown hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. He was 5 feet 10 and a half inches tall and weighed 128 lbs. He died in 1961.

72, Warwick House, James Robert Cullin, b. 1891, son of Isaac, a painter who in 1911 was living with his family in Newmarket and specialised in horse racing scenes. He was a musician and when he enlisted his address was given as The Empire Theatre Chester. He was promoted to corporal in the 22nd Durham Light Infantry. He arrived in France on 16th June 1916 and was killed in action on 23rd Oct 1916 on the Somme. In his service will he bequeathed a Florentine Intaglio ring from the third finger of his left hand to an Evelyn Zara Philpott. His mother Frances received ₤11 18s 5d War Gratuity.

106, (In 2015 Shahi Balti restaurant). In 1911 the Burr family, Thomas and Fanny, were greengrocers. They had three children, Stewart Alfred, b. 1895, Stanley Thomas b. 1896, and Donald b. 1906.

Stanley Thomas Burr joined up as a Sergeant in B Coy 1st Cambridgeshire Regiment. He went to France in 1915 and was wounded twice. He was taken prisoner on 27th March 1918 and mentioned in despatches in December the same year.

Stuart Alfred Burr was acting Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant in the 1st Cambridge Regiment. He served in France 1915.

114, Rosemont: Charles Theodore Bedwell, son of George Bedwell, piano tuner. Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment. Killed in action 12/4/1918. Arrived France 2/9/1916. Commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

130, Dinedor, Emily Branch, born 1878 and unmarried daughter of a retired college servant, volunteered from 1916 – 1918 for the Red Cross. She worked at the First Eastern General making and mending on needlework work parties.

136, Eagle Cottage (the oldest house in Cherry Hinton Road). In 1911 the Papworth family had lived in Oxford Villa, Hinton Avenue. They were Edward, a railway clerk, his wife Mabel and their three children, Constance Ruth b. 1896, occupation ‘lady’s companion,’ Oswald Jack b. 1898, and Gladys Mabel b.1899. They later moved to 175 Cherry Hinton Road.

Oswald became a L.Cpl. in the 9th Coy Machine Gun Corps. He died 13th April 1917, possibly during the First Battle of the Scarpe during which his unit were active. His death was reported 18/5/1917; there is no known grave.

Stanley William Williamson, sergeant in the RAMC at 1st Eastern General Hospital Cambridge. Born in 1893, in 1911 he was living at 8 Coronation Place Cambridge and working as a laboratory assistant. He enlisted in 1914 and married Constance Papworth in 1918 at St John’s.

140, Colebrook. Joscelyn Hugh Rawes b.1896, son of Rev. and Mrs Francis Russell Rawes, had been a pupil at the Perse School where he had been Head Boy 1913-14. He won an exhibition to St Catherine’s College Cambridge but enlisted in September 1914. He went to France as a lieutenant with the 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment in July 1915. He led D company in an assault on no-man’s land on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916, starting at 7.29 am. He immediately came under machine gun fire and fell before his men arrived at the first of the German trenches. His body was recovered and buried at Carnoy.

His brother, Francis Arthur Montague Rawes, b.1882, served in the Boer War in the 1st Battalion Imperial Yeomanry where he was wounded in 1902. He married Lucy Ward in the Transvaal in 1907 and returned to England in August 1915. He served as a lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery and as a captain in the Royal Flying Corps. He died in 1960.

150, Windermere, Mrs Gamlen volunteered for the Red Cross from 1915-1919. The father Edwin Robert died in January 1914. This is most likely to have been one of the Gamlen daughter, either Evelyn Foster (1879-1950) or Linda Beatrice.

152, Vale House, Alice Squires volunteered for the Red Cross in 1915 as a ward help. In 1917 she went to France as a nurse in a military hospital.

152, Vale House, Mrs Squires volunteered for the red Cross from 1915-1919 at the 1st Eastern.

168, Douglas House. Robert Charles Leech, b. 1879, served as a sapper with the Royal Engineers. He had been a stonemason, married Agnes in 1901 and had two children. We know that he contracted boils and psoriasis because of the damp conditions he had to live in.

174, Silverhill. William Hesson Scott, b. 1884, Lance Corporal Military Foot Police Company. In 1911 he was living in Lymington. By 1916 he was a Police Constable. In 1919 he was discharged as 20% disabled with malaria after service in East Africa.

222, (3 Whitehall Cottages). Senior Pierson volunteered for the Red Cross 1915-1918 at the 1st Eastern General.

226, (5 Whitehall Cottages). Albert John Randall, b.1885, served with the Royal Garrison Artillery as a shoeing smith. He had been the domestic gardener for Dr Gardiner of 45 Hills Road. He contracted pleurisy and influenza on service in 1919, lost 12 teeth and was awarded a pension. He had married Elsie at St Paul’s in 1910, had two children and died in 1966.

232, (8 Whitehall Cottages). Maria Ann Pierson [Pearson] b. 1882, volunteered for the Red Cross and work from 1915-1918 as a cook at the 1st Eastern.

254, Edenburg (Eden Lodge), Agnes Brown, b. 1869, wife of Harvey, a bricklayer, volunteered for the Red Cross from 1916-198 at the First Eastern General Hospital.

258, Hayes Villa, Mary Ann Frost, born 1857, wife of George, a college servant, volunteered for the Red Cross from 1916 – 1919 at the First Eastern General.

262, Summerfield. Percival Ralph Sampson served in the 11th Bttn King’s Royal Rifles. Born 1884 in Linton, son of Alice and (by 1911) the deceased college servant Ralph Sampson, he died on 30 November 1917 probably during the German counter attack on the Cambrai operations of that month. In 1911 he had been living at 152 Blinco Grove and in 1912 married Annie in West Ham. His widow received a War Gratuity of ₤6.

264, Springfield Sidney. Herbert Blows, b.1894, was a domestic gardener born in Trumpington and in 1911 living in Southacre Cottage, Latham Road with his parents and five siblings. He was posted with the 7th Border Regiment to France on 2nd September 1914. He was appointed Lance Corporal 10th December 1915 and was killed 6 days later, probably in the Hooge/Sanctuary Wood area of the Ypres Salient. After his death his father wrote to question why, out of a watch and chain his son had had with him, only the chain had been returned.

His brother, George, b. 1891, in 1911 was working as a compositor. He served as a Sergeant Major with the 87th Field Ambulance Army of the Rhine Germany from 1915 until 1919. This Field Ambulance unit served with the 29th Division in Gallipoli, then at the Somme and elsewhere in Flanders. At the Armistice they marched into Germany to occupy the Rhine bridgehead.

270, Ebor House (householder was the headmaster of Morley Memorial School). Fred Edgerton Warren was born in 1883 in Cumberland. He was a schoolmaster who married Agnes in Glasgow in 1915. He served as a Lance Corporal in the Grenadier Guards from March 1917 and was wounded in the left thigh in July. He was discharged in 1919 for the purpose of being appointed to a temporary commission in the Border Regiment.

274, Simla. Henry Weaver, soldier, baptised his son at St John’s 27/1/1918.

276, Clevedon. Herbert Allen Dockerill, b.1894 Babraham, was jobbing gardener living in 1911 with his parents and four siblings in Uxbridge. He married Elizabeth in 1913 in Norfolk. He baptised his son 22nd June 1916 and enlisted in the RAMC the same month. A further son, Allan, was baptised at St John’s in July 1917. He was called up in April 1917 and discharged May 1920.

280, Waterfield House, Mary S Apthorpe, b. 1847, wife of James, carpenter, volunteered for the Red Cross from 1915-1919 at the First Eastern General.

324, Stanley John Conder, b.1892, was living in 1911 with his parents at 31 Cherry Hinton Road and worked as a clerk in the Civil Service. He enlisted 14.7.1915 in the Motor Machine Gun Service and the Tank Corps.

Edith Conder, b. 1871, was the wife of John, a horticultural builder. She volunteered for the Red Cross from 1915-1918 and worked at the First Eastern General Hospital.


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