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A village with a big story
Little Holland cottages at top of Green no longer there
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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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Border

Selected Biographies

Border, Arthur Starling – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 27.3.1892.[1]  Parents: Charles Border (Plate Layer for Great Eastern Railway) and Ellen [née Starling].  Family Connections: Brother to David Border [b1881] and Frederick George Border [b1895]; also, cousin of Harry Edward Border [b1891], Frederick Charles Border [b1889] and David George Border [b1896], and brother-in-law of William James Debenham [b1878] and Frederick William Byford [b1888].  Home: St Catherines Road, Long Melford (1901), 34 Blandford Square, London (1911), St Catherines Road, Long Melford (1939).  Occupation: Waiter and Warehouseman for Spencer Turner and Boldero Drapery Warehouse (1911), Galenical Maker for Stafford Allen and Sons, Distillers of Herbal Oils (1939).  Married: Violet Todd in 1920.  Service Record: Arthur attested on 22.8.1914 as Dvr.85714 with 205th [Howitzer] Battery, Royal Field Artillery, part of LXV [Howitzer] Brigade, 12th [Eastern] Division, posted to France on 21.5.1915.  A year later Arthur’s unit was reorganised as ‘D’ [Howitzer] Battery, LXII [Howitzer] Brigade, seeing action during the Somme Offensive of 1916, the Battles of Arras and Cambrai in 1917, First and Second Battles of the Somme, and the Battle of the Hindenburg Line in 1918.[2]  Driver Border was transferred to the Army Reserve in February 1919.[3]  Died: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk on 12.7.1977.[4]

Border, David – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 4.7.1881.[5]  Parents: Charles Border (Plate Layer for Great Eastern Railway) and Ellen [née Starling].  Family Connections: Brother to Arthur Starling Border [b1892] and Frederick George Border [b1895]; also, cousin of Harry Edward Border [b1889], Frederick Charles Border [b1889] and David George Border [b1896], and brother-in-law of Henry Hines [b1874], Frederick Hines [b1878], William James Debenham [b1878] and Frederick William Byford [b1888].  Home: St Catherines Road, Long Melford (1891), Stafford Allen and Sons, Long Melford (1901), Hall Street, Long Melford (1911), St Catherines Road, Long Melford (1939).  Occupation: Vegetable Extract Maker (1901 and 1911), Galenical Maker for Stafford Allen and Sons, Distillers of Herbal Oils (1939).  Married: Emily Hines in 1901.  Service Record: David enlisted on 5.5.1914 as Pte.5331 with 1/4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, serving in France at Albert on the Somme in March 1917, as part of 98th Brigade, 33rd Division.  In 1917 he was issued with a new regimental number as Pte.202141.  The following year David’s unit was placed under the command of 58th [2nd London] Division as a Pioneer battalion, its companies split between the Division’s three brigades, and employed in digging and repairing trenches.  On the morning of 21.3.1918 the Division came under a ferocious bombardment from poison gas and high explosive shells, heralding the start of Operation Michael, the opening phase of the German Spring Offensive.  The lifting of the barrage was followed quickly by attacks from stormtroopers and wave upon wave of enemy infantry on the unit’s positions on the river Oise, the southernmost flank of the German advance.  Border’s unit was engaged in strengthening the forward trenches when the attack came, with pickaxes and spades being quickly swapped for rifles as every weapon was brought to bear in an attempt to stem the enemy onslaught.  The men held up the advance at the village of Tergnier until the following day, before being forced to join the general withdrawal.  This continued for more than a month with the Suffolks digging and abandoning trenches every few days.  However, by early April the main force of the advance had been spent, some 10 miles short of Amiens one of its major objectives.  It was on the eastern defence line of the city at the town of Villers-Bretonneux that the Suffolks found itself entrenched towards the end of the month.  On 24.4.1918 the Germans launched an attack on the town with tanks and infantry, which fell briefly before being re-captured after heavy fighting the following day.  The battalion remained in this sector throughout the summer, digging and reinforcing positions near Derancourt on the Amiens to Albert Road.  By the middle of July, the wider Spring Offensive had ground to a halt, leaving more than 1,500,000 German, French and British casualties in its wake.  On 8.8.1918 the tide of the War turned when the British Forth Army, of which Private Border’s unit was a very small part, spearheaded an overwhelming assault, supported by 500 tanks and nearly 2,000 aircraft.  The Battle of Amiens punched a hole 15 miles wide and 7 miles deep into the rear of the enemy front line, the power and speed of the attack catching the Germans completely off guard, resulting in the capture of 16,000 prisoners by the end of the first day.[6]  For David however the day was memorable for other reasons, receiving a shrapnel wound to his left thigh, which would effectively end any further active service.  Two days later he was moved to No. 41 Casualty Clearing Station at Pernois, 15 miles north of Amiens, then to No. 32 Stationary Hospital at Wimereux, near Boulogne-sur-Mer, before being invalided to Leicester Hospital in England for yet more treatment.  He was issued with Silver War Badge and discharged in April 1919 through illness, suggesting that by this time his wounds had healed.[7]  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1957.

Border, David George – Born: North Woolwich, Essex on 4.10.1896.[8]  Parents: Frederick Border of Long Melford (Electric Cable Maker) and Charlotte Margaret [née Pye].  Family Connections: Brother to Frederick Charles Border [b1893]; also, cousin of David Border [b1881], Frederick Charles Border [b1889], Arthur Starling Border [b1892] and Frederick George Border [b1895].  Home: 6 Dock Street, Woolwich, Essex (1901), 3 Wilton Street, Silvertown, West Ham, Essex (1911), 163 Elizabeth Street, North Woolwich [1918], 91 Roydene Road, Plumstead, Kent (1939) to [1969].[9]  Occupation: Office Boy at Electric Cable Works (1911), Cable Drum and Case Maker (1939).  Married: Mary Florence Emma Wood in 1926.  Service Record: David was conscripted on 15.4.1916 as Dvr.T4/088051 with the Horse Transport section of the Army Service Corps, receiving his discharge on 21.6.1918.[10]  Died: Plumstead, Kent on 2.1.1969.[11]

Border, Frederick Charles – Born: North Woolwich, Essex on 20.1.1893.[12]  Parents: Frederick Border of Long Melford (Electric Cable Maker) and Charlotte Margaret [née Pye].  Family Connections: Brother to David George Border [b1896]; also, cousin of David Border [b1881], Frederick Charles Border [b1889], Arthur Starling Border [b1892] and Frederick George Border [b1895].  Home: 6 Dock Street, Woolwich, Essex (1901), 3 Wilton Street, Silvertown, West Ham, Essex (1911), 163 Elizabeth St, North Woolwich, West Ham [1918], 68 Tormount Road, Woolwich (1939), 31 Priory Road, Hastings, Sussex [1972].  Occupation: Electric Cable Maker (1911 to 1939).[13]  Married: Clara Lottie Whittle in 1922.  Service Record: Although no definitive military record has been found, Frederick may have seen service in the Machine Gun Corps.  Died: Hastings Sussex on 8.9.1972.[14]

Border, Frederick George – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 5.8.1895.[15]  Parents: Charles Border (Plate Layer for Great Eastern Railway) and Ellen [née Starling].  Family Connections: Brother to David Border [b1881] and Arthur Starling Border [b1892], also cousin of Harry Edward Border [b1889], Frederick Charles Border [b1889] and David George Border [b1896], and brother-in-law of William James Debenham [b1878] and Frederick William Byford [b1888].  Home: St Catherines Road, Long Melford (1901 and 1911), Acton Lane, Sudbury, Suffolk [1917], 17 Lancaster Road, Ipswich, Suffolk (1939).  Occupation: Grocer’s Assistant (1911) to [1917], Forwarding Clerk (1939).  Married: Florence Ambrose in 1917 and Ellen May Smith in 1934.  Service Record: George was conscripted on 3.9.1917 as Aircraft Mechanic No. 236991 with the Royal Naval Air Service, transferring to the Royal Air Force on 1.4.1918, invalided home and discharged in May 1918.[16]  Died: Ipswich, Suffolk in 1946.

Border, Harry Edward – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 12.4.1891.[17]  Parents: Harry Edward Border (Coconut Mat Weaver) and Alice [née Wright] (Yarn Puller).  Family Connections: Cousin of David Border [b1881], Frederick Charles Border [b1889], Arthur Starling Border [b1892], Frederick George Border [b1895] and David George Border [b1896].  Home: Webbs Court, Long Melford (1881), Cross Street, Sudbury, Suffolk (1891 and 1901), 2 Playles Yard, Sudbury (1911), 42 York Road, Sudbury (1939).  Occupation: Labourer (1911), Hay Baler [1917], General Labourer (1939).  Married: Emma Elsey in 1916.  Service Record: Harry enlisted in December 1906 as Pte.7329 with 3rd [Militia] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, being discharged as medically unfit in March 1907.  He was conscripted on 12.10.1916 as Pte.26424 in the Forage Department of the Army Service Corps, receiving his discharge from the army on 19.9.1917.[18]  On the same day Harry moved to the Royal Flying Corps, being posted to France from 3.11.1917 to 4.4.1919 as an officer’s servant, transferring to the Royal Air Force on 1.4.1918 as Pte.96940 in the same role.  He was discharged in 1920.[19]  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1963.

Howard Border, Alfred [MM] – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 30.12.1896.[20]  Parents: Robert Francis ‘Frank’ Howard Border and Emma [née Byford].  Family Connections: Brother to John Howard Border [b1881] and brother-in-law of George Charles Rich [b1883] and Henry Thomas Martin [b1890].  Home: The Green, Long Melford [1896], 48 Swinbrook Road, Kensington, London [1938], The Grange, Mayfield Road, Dalston, London [1939], 28 Victor Villas, Cambridge Arterial Road, Edmonton, Middlesex [1951 to 1964].[21]  Occupation: Painter of Agricultural Implements (1911), Company Director [1965].[22]  Married: Florence Kathleen Davis in 1945.  Service Record: Alfred was conscripted on 8.8.1916 as Rfn.5664 with 1/17th [County of London] Battalion [Poplar and Stepney Rifles], London Regiment, posted to France from 3.9.1916, as part of 141st Brigade, 47th [2nd London] Division.  His battalion saw action during the Somme Offensive of 1916 and the Third Battles of Ypres the following year.[23]  By 1917 he had been issued with a new service number and as Rfn.572705 was awarded the Military Medal shortly before returning to England on 27.8.1917.[24]  His premature return may have been due to injury as he was subsequently issued with a Silver War Badge and discharged on 28.11.1918, due to wounds.[25]  Died: Enfield, Middlesex in 1967.

Howard Border, John ‘Jack’ – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 23.5.1881.[26] Parents: Robert Francis ‘Frank’ Howard Border and Emma [née Byford].  Family Connections: Brother to Alfred Howard Border [b1896] and brother-in-law of George Charles Rich [b1883] and Henry Thomas Martin [b1890].  Home: Cock and Bell Lane, Long Melford (1911 to 1939), Holy Trinity Hospital, Long Melford [1965].  Occupation: Carpenter (1911), Elevator and Dressing Machine Builder for David Ward, Agricultural Implement Manufacturer of Long Melford [1916], Carpenter for Ward and Company (1939).  Married: Kate Hannah Kersey in 1907.  Service Record: John is recorded as a member of the Melford Silver Band in 1911 and 1914.[27]  At the Melford Military Service Tribunal in June 1916 his employer David Ward applied for exemption on his behalf, which was granted temporarily to the end of September.[28]  It is not known if John Border was conscripted as no definitive military record has been found.  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk on 23.9.1965.[29]

Howard Border, William – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1888. Parents: Robert Francis ‘Frank’ Howard Border (Mat Maker) and Emma [née Byford].  Family Connections: Brother to John Howard Border [b1882] and Alfred Howard Border [b1896]; also, brother-in-law of George Charles Rich [b1883] and Henry Thomas Martin [b1890]. Home: The Green, Long Melford (1891, 1901). Service Record: William attested under the name William Howard as Pte.E/2200 with 17th [Service] Battalion [Empire], Royal Fusiliers [City of London Regiment] and posted to the Western Front as part of 5th Brigade, 2nd Division.[30] Died: Emma Howard, William’s mother received the letter that every parent dreaded: It is with great regret that I have to inform you of the death of your son.  He was killed instantly in one of our most advanced positions doing his duty, and I trust that this, combined with the fact that he did not suffer any pain, will be of some consolation to you in your great loss. He was buried near the spot where he fell, and the commanding officer was amongst those who attended his funeral.  He was a good soldier and a great favourite with both officers and men, and his loss is felt deeply in the battalion. I join with his comrades in expressing my deepest sympathy in your great grief.[31]  Private Howard was killed in action on 28.6.1916 and is buried in Canadian Cemetery No. 2 [grave ref: 7.A.14], Neuville-Saint-Vaast, Pas de Calais, France and commemorated on the Long Melford War Memorial.[32]

Related Biographies

Byford, Frederick ‘Fred’ William – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 7.3.1888.[33]  Parents: Arthur William Byford (Foundry Painter) and Sarah Anne [née Whittle] (Horsehair Weaver).  Family Connections: Brother to Hubert George Byford [b1898]; also, nephew of Frederick Byford [b1868] and William Byford [b1870], and brother-in-law of David Border [b1881], Arthur Starling Border [b1892] and George Frederick Border [b1895].  Home: Smaley Lane, Long Melford (1891), Chestnut Cottage, Hall Street, Long Melford (1901 and 1911).  Occupation: Baker (1911) to [1916].  Married: Ethel May Border in 1913.  Service Record: At the Melford Military Service Tribunal in October 1916 Mrs Alice Sillitoe a local shopkeeper, applied for exemption on Fred’s behalf.  This was awarded on the condition that he joined the Long Melford Volunteer Training Corps.[34] Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1971.

Debenham, William James – Born: Hartest, Suffolk on 31.8.1878.[35]  Parents: William Debenham (Butcher) and Sophia [nee Cook].  Family Connections: Brother to Walter Debenham [b1881]; also, brother-in-law of David Border [b1881], Arthur Starling Border [b1892] and George Frederick Border [b1895].  Home: North End, Hartest, Suffolk (1881), Hatch Lane, Hartest (1891), Military Barracks in Egypt (1911), Southgate Street, Long Melford [1919], St Marys, Long Melford (1939).  Occupation: Labourer [1896], Soldier (1911), General Labourer (1939).  Married: Clara Border in 1919.  Service Record: William enlisted in 1896 as Pte.4477 in 1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, stationed in India from 1898 to 1907, Egypt from 1911 to 1914 and Sudan in 1914.  In the First World War he was posted to the Western Front on the Ypres Salient from 16.1.1915 to 20.10.1915 as part of 84th Brigade, 28th Division.  During this period Private Debenham’s unit fought two bloody actions, the Battles of Frenzberg Ridge on 8.5.1915 and Bellewaarde Ridge on 24.5.1915.  In the first action the Battalion faced a devastating bombardment of high explosive and poison gas shells, losing over 400 men either killed or wounded, and on the second losing 140 men in a failed attack on Bellewaarde Farm.  On 21.10.1915 1st Suffolk was transferred to Salonika as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.  Here it was engaged in a three-year campaign against Bulgaria until that country requested an armistice at the end of September 1918.  Debenham returned with his battalion to England in February and was discharged in April 1919.[36] the end of September 1918.[37]  Debenham returned with his battalion to England in February and was discharged in April 1919.[38]

Martin, Henry James – Born: Strood, Kent in 1890. Parents: George John Martin (Foreman at Union Oil Mills) and Eliza [née Hulme]. Family Connections: Brother-in-law of John Howard Border [b1881], William Howard Border [b1888] and Alfred Howard Border [b1886] all from Long Melford. Home: Grove Road, Strood, Kent (1891 to 1901), 30, Thomas Street, Limehouse, Stepney, London (1911). Occupation: Seed Crusher at Union Oil Mills (1911). Married: Beatrice Howard Border of Long Melford in 1916. Service Record: Henry enlisted in 1909 as Dvr.187 with 1st Essex Battery, 2nd East Anglian Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (Territorials).  It is not known if he saw service during the First World War as no definitive record can be found.[39]

Rich, George Charles – Born: New Southgate, Middlesex on 27.3.1883.[40] Parents: Arthur Rich (Railway Goods Guard) and Esther Bethel [née Flint].  Family Connections: Brother-in-law of John Howard Border [b1881], William Howard Border [b1888] and Alfred Howard Border [b1886] all from Long Melford. Home: 3 Gordon Road, Tottenham, Middlesex (1891), 29 The Avenue, Friern Barnet, Middlesex (1901), 119 Lymington Avenue, Wood Green, Middlesex, 19 Western Road, Wood Green (1939) Occupation: Harness Maker (1901), Tram Conductor (1911), Trolley Bus Conductor (1939). Married: Gertrude Howard Border of Long Melford in 1915. Service Record: George enlisted on 11.5.1915 as Pte.TS/7371, working as a saddler with the Army Service Corps. He was posted to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on 16.10.1916 and saw service in Salonika with 115th (Horse Transport) Company as part of 26th Divisional Train. As a saddler he was responsible for maintaining and repairing the harness and leatherwork on the mule trains that carried ammunition and supplies to the front line.  He received his discharge in August 1919.[41] Died: Enfield, Middlesex in 1974.

Notes – [1] Baptism Register 2.6.1892, St Catherines Mission Church, Long Melford.  [2] For details of 65th Brigade and 62nd Brigade’s movements see War Diaries [WO 95/1838/3] and [WO 95/1836/3 and WO 95/1837/1-3].  [3] 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].  [4] Date of death from Arthur Border’s headstone in Holy Trinity Church graveyard in Long Melford.  [5] Baptism Register 7.8.1881, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [6] For details of the action at Amiens see 1/4th Suffolk’s War Diary [WO 95/2427/2] and Murphy, Lieutenant-Colonel C. C. R. The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927 [London: Hutchinson and Co, 1928], pp.293-4.  [7] Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363], Service Medal and Award Rolls, First World War, Silver War Badge [WO 329] record [ref: B293640], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [8] 1939 Register for Plumstead, London.  [9] Some addresses taken from the Electoral Register.  [10] Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [11] Date of death from the National Probate Calendar.  [12] 1939 Register for Woolwich, London.  [13] Some addresses taken from the Electoral Register.  [14] National Probate Calendar.  [15] Baptism Register 17.10.1895, St Catherines Mission Church, Long Melford.  [16] Royal Navy Registers of Seaman’s Services [ADM 188/362] and Air Member for Personnel and predecessors: Airman’s Records [AIR 79/2132].  [17] 1939 Register for Sudbury, Suffolk.  [18] Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363].  [19] Air Member for Personnel and predecessors: Airman’s Records [AIR 79/878] and RAF Muster Roll.  [20] Baptism Register 7.3.1897, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [21] See Electoral Rolls for Kensington and Dalston for addresses.  [22] The Will of his brother John Howard Border [National Probate Calendar, 1965] records Alfred’s occupation.  [23] For details of 1/17th London’s movements see War Diary [WO 95/2737/1], this Diary also records the issuing of a Military Medal ribbon to Rifleman Border on 20.7.1917.  [24] For official notification of his Military Medal see Supplement to the London Gazette, 16.8.1917, p.8418.  [25] Service Medal and Award Rolls, First World War, Silver War Badge [WO 329] record [ref: B74084], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [26] Baptism Register 3.7.1881, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [27] My thanks to Tim Seppings of Sudbury for showing John’s connection to the Melford Silver Band.  [28] For the Tribunal’s ruling see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 21.6.1916.  [29] Date of death from the National Probate Calendar.  [30] Medal Roll [WO 329] and Medal Index Card [WO 372].  [31] Long Melford Parish Magazine (August 1916), quoted in Elizabeth Wigmore and Richard Deeks A Melford Miscellany (1991).  [32] For details of 17th Royal Fusiliers movements see War Diaries [WO 95/1350/2 and WO 95/1363/1].  See also his Commonwealth War Graves Commission record, British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 file [ref: 314803], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [33] Baptism Register 1.4.1888, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [34] For the Tribunal’s ruling see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 11.10.1916.  [35] 1939 Register for Long Melford.  [36] Date of birth from 1939 Register for Long Melford.  For details of 1st Suffolk’s actions in Flanders War Diary [WO 95/2277/3] and Murphy, Lieutenant-Colonel C. C. R. The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927 [London: Hutchinson and Co, 1928], pp.76-80; for details of the battalions’ actions and travails on the Salonika Front see War Diary [WO 95/4916] and Murphy, pp.155-164 and 303-310.  See also his Soldiers’ Documents and Pension Claims, First World War [WO 364], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [37] For details of 1st Suffolk’s actions in Flanders War Diary [WO 95/2277/3] and Murphy, Lieutenant-Colonel C. C. R. The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927 [London: Hutchinson and Co, 1928], pp.76-80; for details of the battalions’ actions and travails on the Salonika Front see War Diary [WO 95/4916] and Murphy, pp.155-164 and 303-310.  [38] Soldiers’ Documents and Pension Claims, First World War [WO 364], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [39] War Office: Soldiers’ Documents, First World War [WO 363].  [40] 1939 Register.  [41] Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363], Medal Roll [WO 329], and Medal Index Card [WO 372].

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2022
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