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The Great War in St John’s Parish: Rock Road

World War One - Rock Road

Rock Road was still growing at the outbreak of WWI. There just over 40 houses. Of 13 men who saw service, approximately 7 were in front-line units. Two were killed in action.
No. 39 [previously 3/4]: Miss Hobday [probably their daughter Dora b. 1890] volunteered for the Red Cross from 1916-1918 and worked at the Huntley Auxiliary Hospital in Herschel Road as a ward maid.

No. 8 Brunholm (formerly 30): Hugh Ziegler, corporal 34170 3rd C R Q Sig. Coy. Royal Engineers. He was living in Rathmore Road in 1911. A motor engineer and joined the Suffolk Regiment initially in April 1915. He was reprimanded once for being late on parade in July 1915 but was discharged in January 1916 for no apparent reason. In 1911 he had been a student at St Saviour’s College, Haywards Heath. Hugh was born in Rangoon in 1896 and his father Hugo was a British subject born in India in 1873.

No. 16 Rensburg: William Dean, b 1869 and his wife Ellen Emma Dean, born 1868, had six children. In 1911 they had lived at no.4 Victoria Terrace, Cherry Hinton. Ellen worked at the First Eastern General Hospital as a volunteer for the Red Cross from 1916-1919. She had been a seamstress and came to Cambridge where she found work in one of the colleges where she subsequently met her husband.

William Scott, an ordinary seaman from 8 South Street, Cambridge, he married their eldest daughter Elizabeth Daisy b. 1892 on 10/2/1917 at St John’s.  She volunteered with the Red Cross as kitchen orderly at Wordsworth Grove hospital 1916-1919.

Violet Esther Dean, b 1888, was also kitchen orderly with the red Cross at Wordsworth Grove from 1916-1919.

Nellie May Dean married Reginald Hubert Tolley, b.1893 from Oxfordshire, at St John’s on 26/12/17. He was private 14905 of the Royal Sussex Rifles and then 301399 RAF. He was stationed at Newhaven.

No. 18 Edendale: Hannah and Gladys Taylor both volunteered for the Red Cross. From 1915-1919 Hannah worked at the 1st Eastern General. From 1916 Gladys was a pantry and ward assistant at the Huntley VAD hospital.

No. 50 Eildon: Alexander Cosser born 1888, sergeant 514606 of the 14th Bttn London Scottish. He was a bank clerk married to Mary Ann. From 1914-1917 he volunteered for the Red Cross on hospital, convoy and air raid duties and became quartermaster. He joined up in 1917 and by October was suffering from trench fever.

James Cosser, born 1854, private 23611 Army Service Corps. He joined up in 1915 and when discharged in January 1918 at the age of 64 there can have been few in service of his age. His reference describes him as ‘honest, sober and industrious.’

George Newbury, staff sergeant major. He married Emma Collier of Northwich 18/2/1915 at St John’s.

No. 54 Branksome: Ronald Thomas Davey, born 1886, private 515632 14th Bttn London Scottish Regiment. He was bank cashier who in 1911 was living in Little Thurrock, Essex, married to Dora. He was killed on 24/11/1917 in the Battle of Cambrai.

No. 56 Nelghyl: Herbert Victor Rhodes, born 1884, private 204283 1st Beds and Hertford Regiment. He was a warehouseman. In 1916 he was shot in the right shoulder and judged 20% disabled. In May 1919 he was found dirty on parade (unshaven) and confined to barracks for four days.

John Cosstick, born 1884, gunner 211157 24th Res. Batt. Royal Regiment of Artillery. He was married to Lily with one daughter. He enlisted 1915. In July 1917 his wife wrote asking the whereabouts of her husband and was told the location of his present unit was uncertain but that letters could be sent to R.A. Rouen.

No. 60 Eccesford:

Claude Leopold Beaumont: born 1880, lance sergeant 550540 with the City of Westminster Rifles, 16th London Regiment. On 1st July 1916 in the Battle of the Somme he was reported missing believed dead. His body was recovered in 1928 and identified by a locket.

2nd Lt. O P Beaumont of the Middlesex Regiment was reported 15/5/1917 to have been seriously wounded and in a hospital in Rouen.

Edgar Beaumont served with the Salonica Force.

No. 70 Allensdale: Arthur Cransfield, born 1883, private 377495 in the Signal Service Royal Engineers. He was a post office fitter and was called up in December 1917 and discharged December 1918.

No. 72 Jersey House: Mrs Mansfield worked from 1916-1918 as a Red Cross volunteer at the First Eastern General Hospital. This is probably Ethel Mansfield b 1876, who was living in 1911 in Cowper Road with her husband, harry, a carriage and wagon examiner.

No. 65 Percy Miller Ayres, born 1877, sergeant 8960 Army Pay Corps and Suffolk Regiment. He was manager of an insurance company and married Henrietta Mabel Hall at St John’s Church 16/5/1917. He joined up in October 1916 and was demobilised August 1919.

No. 21 Cromer Villa: John Edward Plant, born 1900, pioneer 334888 with Royal Engineers (Spec. Brigade). He was a chemist’s apprentice and this is probably the reason he was selected to join the section of the Royal Engineers that handled gas. On 17/8/1919 on active service he overstayed his leave from 6.30 hrs 17/8/1919 to 06.30 hrs 18/8/1919, and was fined 4 days pay.



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