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A village with a big story
Little Holland cottages at top of Green no longer there
train
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Claypits Pond with Horses 1905
Long Melford Coronation fancy dress competition at the British Legion in Cordell road1953
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Bird

BIRD, Albert ‘Bertie’ William 1884-1944

Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 27.11.1884.  Parents: Henry Bird (Baker) and Ellen [née Downey].  Family Connections: Brother to Frederick Walter Bird [b1882] and brother-in-law of William Robert Malton [b1883].  Home: St Marys Street, Long Melford (1891), Park Terrace, St Marys Street, Long Melford (1911) to [1944].  Occupation: Baker (1901 to 1939).  Service Record: At a Melford Military Service Tribunal in June 1916 Bertie was granted a three month’s exemption.  In October his case was again before the Tribunal, where he was given conditional exemption if he joined the Long Melford Volunteer Training Corps.  Anecdotal evidence, however, suggests he was wounded during the Great War and although his unit is not known with any certainty, he may have served as Pte.35952 with the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment.  If this assumption is correct then he would have been posted to France and issued with a Silver War Badge and discharged on 2.7.1918, due to the effect of wounds.  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk on 7.10.1944.[1]

[1] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Long Melford.  Recorded as Bertie Bird on the UK Census for 1891 and 1901.  For the Tribunal’s rulings see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 7.6.1916 and 11.10.1916.  My thanks to Neville Tribe of Bury St Edmunds, who as a boy knew Bertie Bird, for information on his military service.  See also his Service Medal and Award Rolls, First World War, Silver War Badge [WO 329] record [ref: 415717], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  Date of death is taken from the National Probate Calendar.

BIRD, Frederick William 1881-1951

Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 20.4.1881.  Parents: Henry Bird (Baker) and Ellen [née Downey].  Family Connections: [b1884].  Home: St Marys Street, Long Melford (1891), lodging with Thomas Day at 21 St Marys Road, Colchester, Essex (1901), 73 Washington Avenue, Manor Park, East Ham, Essex (1911), 76 Third Avenue, Manor Park (1939).  Occupation: House Painter (1901), Gas Meter Collector (1911), Locomotive Fitter’s Mate (1939).  Married: Catherine Ethel Lowe in 1906.  Service Record: No definitive military record found.  Died: Wandsworth, London in 1951.[1]

[1] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Manor Park, East Ham, Essex.

BIRD, Harry 1896-1971

Born: Great Cornard, Suffolk on 9.3.1896.  Parents:  Harry Bird (Skin Dresser) and Agnes [née Crick].  Family Connections: Brother to William George Bird of Long Melford [b1895] and brother-in-law of Frederick Charles Byham [b1897].  Home:  Bures Road, Great Cornard, Suffolk (1901), Hall Lane, Little Oakley, Harwich, Essex (1911), 2 Brundon Mill Cottages, Sudbury, Suffolk (1939).  Occupation:  Agricultural Labourer [1914], Cowman (1939).  Married: Ada Hardy in 1925.  Service Record: Harry attested on 29.12.1914 as Pte.16665 with 3rd [Reserve] Battalion, Essex Regiment.  Private Bird was posted to France from 2.9.1915, joining 10th [Service] Battalion, Essex as part of 53rd Brigade in 18th [Eastern] Division.  On 1.7.1916, the first day of the Somme Offensive, Harry’s unit was part of the supporting wave during the Battle of Albert, going into action again on 19.7.1916 during the Battle of Delville Wood.  In fighting on the following day, he was buried by an explosion and, suffering from shell shock and concussion, was hospitalized in England for nearly three months.  He was re-posted to France from 8.2.1917 to 23.4.1917, transferring to 11th [Service] Battalion, Essex, as part of 18th Brigade, 6th Division.  On 23.4.1917 he received a gunshot wound to his left hand, being shipped back to England for several months of treatment and resulting in the amputation of one of his fingers.  Following his recovery, he was transferred in January 1918 as Pte.508510 to 684th [Agricultural] Company, Labour Corps, then as Pte.58705 to 435th [Agricultural] Company, Labour Corps, receiving his discharge in May 1919.  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1971.[1]

[1] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Sudbury, Suffolk.  For details of 10th and 11th Essex’s movements during Bird’s time on the Western Front see War Diaries [WO 95/2038/2] and [WO 95/1616/1].  See also his Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].

BIRD, Maud 1893-1986

Born: West Ham, Essex on 9.10.1893.  Parents: Harry Bird (Horsekeeper on Farm) and Sarah [née Wheeler].  Home: Purls Hill Cottages, Great Maplestead, Essex (1901), Kiln Farm, Long Melford (1911) to [1916], 16 Bull Lane, Long Melford (1939).  Married: George Parker in 1920.  Service Record: Maud was a volunteer with the British Red Cross Society from December 1917 to October 1918 working as a Scullery Maid at the Red Cross Hospital in Finborough Hall, Great Finborough, Suffolk.  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1986.[1]

[1] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Long Melford.  See also her British Red Cross Record Card.

BIRD, William George 1895-1981

Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 21.2.1895.  Parents: Harry Bird (Skin Dresser) and Agnes [née Crick].  Family Connections: Brother to Harry Bird [b1897] and brother-in-law of Frederick Charles Byham [b1897].  Home: Bures Road, Great Cornard, Suffolk (1901), Hall Lane, Little Oakley, Harwich, Essex (1911), Lower Barn, Little Oakley, Essex [1914].  Occupation: Agricultural Labourer [1914].  Service Record:  William enlisted on 29.12.1914 as Pte.16666 with 12th [Reserve] Battalion, Essex Regiment, transferring to ‘B’ Company, 10th [Service] Battalion, Essex and posted to France on 2.9.1915 as part of 53rd Brigade, 18th [Eastern] Division based at Albert.  On 12.3.1916 William was transferred back to 12th Essex, then briefly with 3rd [Reserve] Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, before being posted on 6.11.1916 to 2nd Cheshires as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force to Salonika.  Following the Battalion’s return to England in 1918 he was transferred as Pte.488593 to 302nd Company, then to 435th [Agricultural] Company, Labour Corps, being discharged in 1919.  Died: Chelmsford, Essex in 1981.[1]

[1] Date of birth from Admission Register 28.2.1898, Pot Kiln County Primary School, Great Cornard, Suffolk.  For details of 10th Essex’s movements on the Western Front see War Diary [WO 95/2038/1-2] and for 2nd Cheshire’s in Salonika see War Diary [WO 95/4917].  See also his Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329], and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  Recorded as George William Bird on his military records.

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2022

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