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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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Braithwaite

Selected Biographies

Braithwaite, Francis Joseph – Born: Great Waldingfield, Suffolk on 5.12.1872.[1]  Parents: Reverend Francis Joseph Braithwaite (Rector of Great Waldingfield) and Mary [née Hopkinson].  Family Connections: Brother to Mary Elizabeth Braithwaite [b1874], William John Braithwaite [b1875], Margaret Dorothea Braithwaite [b1878], Richard Edmund Braithwaite [b1883], Thomas Miles Braithwaite [b1880] and Humphrey Layland Braithwaite [b1885].  Home: The Rectory, Church Street, Great Waldingfield (1881), living with Reverend Hopkinson (Uncle) at Sutton Grange, Sutton, Northamptonshire (1891), living with Lieutenant Colonel Walter St George Burke RE (Father-in-Law) at The Auberies, Bulmer, Essex (1911), Kingsley, Southwold, Suffolk [1914].  Occupation: Soldier [1891 to 1914].  Married: Norah Rachel Burke in 1906.  Service Record: Francis was commissioned in 1893 as a Second Lieutenant in 2nd Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, by 1911 he had risen to the rank of Major, seeing service in both South Africa and India.  Early in the First World War he was part of an 8,000 strong invasion force sent from India to seize the busy seaport of Tanga in German East Africa.  The amphibious landing on 3.11.1914 went largely unopposed allowing Braithwaite’s battalion and a detachment of Ghurkhas to occupy the port’s principal buildings.  The bulk of the force numbering around 6,000 Indian troops were landed three miles to the east of the town but did not start their attack until the following day.  This delay allowed the small contingent of German defender’s time to bolster their numbers with a thousand locally raised Askari troops.  The assault by the Indian force ran into trouble almost from the start when they tried to attack through a mangrove swamp and were met by salvos of well-aimed rifle and machine-gun fire.  The unexpected ferocity of the Askari’s defence quickly halted the British led advance.  Any chance of an orderly retreat was quickly turned into one of utter panic, when a colony of bees was kicked over in the confusion.  This complete collapse to the east of the town allowed the German commander to order bayonet charges to complete the rout.  The troops released from this front were swiftly moved against Braithwaite’s battalion at the port, which surrendered the next day.[2]  Braithwaite was not among the survivors and was only identified by his gold fillings when his body was reburied at the end of the War.[3]  Died: Francis Braithwaite was killed in action on 4.11.1914 during the German counterattack and is buried in Tanga Memorial Cemetery, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.  He is further remembered on the Roll of Honour of Winchester College and in the parish church of St Lawrence, Great Waldingfield as well as on the Long Melford War Memorial.[4]

Braithwaite, Humphrey Layland – Born: Great Waldingfield, Suffolk in 1885.  Parents: Reverend Francis Joseph Braithwaite (Rector of Great Waldingfield) and Mary [née Hopkinson].  Family Connections: Brother to Francis Joseph Braithwaite [b1874], Mary Elizabeth Braithwaite [b1874], William John Braithwaite [b1875], Margaret Dorothea Braithwaite [b1878], Richard Edmund Braithwaite [b1883] and Thomas Miles Braithwaite [b1880].  Home: 17 Grand Parade, Brighton, Sussex (1891), Paisley Newark House, Bath Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (1901).  Occupation: Post-Graduate student at Champion Reef mines in India [c1906], Manager of York Harbour Mines in Newfoundland [c1908], Chief Assayer and Surveyor at the Ouro Preto Gold Mining Company in Brazil [1911].[5]  Service Record: On Humphrey’s return to England after four years in Brazil, he enlisted and immediately applied for a commission, an earlier application to receive exemption from conscription being withdrawn at the Melford Military Service Tribunal in March 1916.[6]  In view of his mining expertise, he joined the War Office Special Officers’ Training Corps, passing out in May as a Second Lieutenant in the Tunnelling Section of the Royal Engineers.[7]  He was posted to France a month later.[8]  Died: Humphrey was killed in action on 10.7.1916 and buried in Berkshire Cemetery Extension [grave ref: I. E. 6], Ploegsteert, Belgium.  He is also commemorated on the Roll of Honour of Cambourne Mining School in St Martin and St Meriadoc Church, Cambourne, Cornwall, and on the Long Melford War Memorial.[9]

Cambourne School of Mines Rugby XV in 1906 – Humphrey Braithwaite (middle row far right)

Braithwaite, Miss Margaret Dorothea – Born: Great Waldingfield, Suffolk in 1878.  Parents: Reverend Francis Joseph Braithwaite (Rector of Great Waldingfield) and Mary [née Hopkinson].  Family Connections: Sister to Francis Joseph Braithwaite [b1874], Mary Elizabeth Braithwaite [b1874], William John Braithwaite [b1875], Richard Edmund Braithwaite [b1883], Thomas Miles Braithwaite [b1880] and Humphrey Layland Braithwaite [b1885].  Home: The Rectory, Church St, Great Waldingfield, Suffolk (1881), 17 Grand Parade, Brighton, Sussex (1891), Acton Place, Acton, Suffolk (1901), 78 Gloucester Place, Marylebone, London (1911), Brook House, Hall Street, Long Melford [1919].  Occupation: Nurse [1914 to 1919].  Service Record: Margaret first entered nursing as a trainee at St Leonard’s Hospital in Sudbury in August 1914.  In September she was sent to Felixstowe Pier Hospital before moving to Brettenham Park Red Cross Hospital, near Bury St Edmunds from 13.12.1914 to 10.3.1915.  From 15.5.1915 she became a Nursing Member of the British Red Cross Society taking up a position at 3rd London General [Military] Hospital as an Assistant Nurse with the Voluntary Aid Detachment.[10]  In March 1917 the local paper noted that Nurse Braithwaite had been Mentioned in Official Despatches for her valuable services rendered.  Died: Margaret died of septic pneumonia at 3rd London General Hospital in Wandsworth, London on 3.3.919.  She is buried in Great Waldingfield [St Lawrence] Churchyard, Suffolk and is commemorated on the Memorial Plaque in St Lawrence Church, and on the Long Melford War Memorial.[11]

Braithwaite, Miss Mary Elizabeth – Born: Great Waldingfield, Suffolk on 23.4.1874.[12]  Parents: Reverend Francis Joseph Braithwaite (Rector of Great Waldingfield) and Mary [née Hopkinson].  Family Connections: Sister to Francis Joseph Braithwaite [b1872], William John Braithwaite [b1875], Margaret Dorothea Braithwaite [b1878], Richard Edmund Braithwaite [b1883], Thomas Miles Braithwaite [b1880] and Humphrey Layland Braithwaite [b1885].  Home: The Rectory, Church St, Great Waldingfield, Suffolk (1881), 17 Grand Parade, Brighton, Sussex (1891), Acton Place, Acton, Suffolk (1901), 78 Gloucester Place, Marylebone, London (1911), Brook House, Hall Street, Long Melford [1919 to 1952].  Occupation: Artist (1911), Justice of the Peace [1925] to (1939).  Service Record: Miss Braithwaite was an enumerator during the National Registration of 1915 and a ‘canvasser’ in 1917.  She also acted as chairperson to the Women’s County Agricultural Committee for West Suffolk from March 1916 and was a member of the Melford War Agricultural Sub-Committee 1916 to 1919 and was a founder member and Vice President of the Long Melford Women’s Institute when it was formed in May 1918.  After the War Miss Braithwaite sat on the Long Melford War Memorial Committee in February 1919 and served as a County Magistrate at the Melford Petty Sessions.  Died: Long Melford, Suffolk on 11.2.1952.[13]

Brook House, Hall Street in the 1930s

Braithwaite, Richard Edmund – Born: Great Waldingfield, Suffolk on 2.7.1883.  Parents: Reverend Francis Joseph Braithwaite (Rector of Great Waldingfield) and Mary [née Hopkinson].  Family Connections: Brother to Francis Joseph Braithwaite [b1872], Mary Elizabeth Braithwaite [b1874], William John Braithwaite [b1875], Margaret Dorothea Braithwaite [b1878], Thomas Miles Braithwaite [b1880] and Humphrey Layland Braithwaite [b1885].  Home: 17 Grand Parade, Brighton, Sussex (1891), Stoughton, Foxhall Road, Rushmere St Andrew, Ipswich, Suffolk [1925],[14] Larch Grove, East Bergholt, Suffolk [1933].  Occupation: Master Mariner.  Married: Mary Catherine Davidson in 1916.  Service Record: Richard was certified as a Master Mariner in 1913, serving throughout the First World War in the Mercantile Marine.[15]  Died: Clays Hall, Monks Eleigh, Suffolk on 20.10.1933.[16]

Richard Braithwaite’s Ships Masters Certificate

Braithwaite, Thomas Miles [MA, LLB] – Born: Great Waldingfield, Suffolk on 8.9.1880.  Parents: Reverend Francis Joseph Braithwaite (Rector of Great Waldingfield) and Mary [née Hopkinson].  Family Connections: Brother to Francis Joseph Braithwaite [b1872], Mary Elizabeth Braithwaite [b1874], William John Braithwaite [b1875], Margaret Dorothea Braithwaite [b1878], Richard Edmund Braithwaite [b1883] and Humphrey Layland Braithwaite [b1885].  Home: The Rectory, Church Street, Great Waldingfield, Suffolk (1881), 17 Grand Parade, Brighton, Sussex (1891), Acton Place, Acton, Suffolk (1901), 55 Friars Street, Sudbury, Suffolk (1911), 59 Station Road, Sudbury [1916], 13 Friars Street, Sudbury [1925], Brook House, Hall Street, Long Melford [1931 to 1936].[17]  Occupation: Solicitor (1911), Solicitor and Partner with Bates Wells and Braithwaite [1917 to 1936].  Service Record: In 1916 Thomas is recorded as a Commissioner of Oaths, Clerk to Sudbury Common Council Lands Trustees and Sudbury Municipal Charities, Deputy Clerk to the Justices, Coroner to Sudbury District of West Suffolk, Clerk to Sudbury and Melford Old Age Pension Sub-Committee, and Clerk to the Melford War Agricultural Sub-Committee.  He was elected Mayor of Sudbury for 1911 to 1912, held the position of Town Clerk from 1917 and was later the Chairman of the Long Melford Society.  Died: Long Melford, Suffolk on 15.11.1936.[18]

Braithwaite, William John – Born: Great Waldingfield, Suffolk in 1875.  Parents: Reverend Francis Joseph Braithwaite (Rector of Great Waldingfield) and Mary [née Hopkinson].  Family Connections: Brother to Francis Joseph Braithwaite [b1872], Mary Elizabeth Braithwaite [b1874], Margaret Dorothea Braithwaite [b1878], Richard Edmund Braithwaite [b1883], Thomas Miles Braithwaite [b1880] and Humphrey Layland Braithwaite [b1885].  Home: The Rectory, Church Street, Great Waldingfield (1881), Winchester College, Winchester, Hampshire (1891), Russell House, 71 South End Road, Hampstead, London (1911), Brook House, Hall Street, Long Melford [1938].  Occupation: Civil Servant in the Inland Revenue.  Married: Lilian Grace Duncan in 1908.  Service Record: William helped draft the National Insurance Act of 1912 as Personal Assistant to David Lloyd-George when Chancellor of the Exchequer.[19]  No military record has been found.  Died: British Hospital, Port Said, Egypt on 14.3.1938.[20]

Notes – [1] Date of birth from Francis Braithwaite’s entry on the Winchester College website https://winchestercollegeatwar.com. [2] For an in-depth study of the debacle see Ross Anderson The Battle of Tanga 1914 [The History Press, 2002]. [3] Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372]. [4] Braithwaite is recorded in de Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-18 Vol.2, p.37.  See also his Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. [5] Occupation information taken from his obituary in the Cheltenham society magazine The Looker-On 22.7.1916. [6] For a report on the Tribunal’s proceedings see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 29.3.1916. [7] For notification of his commission see the Supplement to the London Gazette 8.5.1916 p.4532. [8] Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372]. [9] Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. [10] British Red Cross Record Card. [11] Commonwealth War Graves Commission file.  See also the obituary in Suffolk and Essex Free Press 19.7.1916.  Date of death from the National Probate Calendar. [12] Birth date from the 1939 Register for Long Melford. [13] Date of death from the National Probate Calendar. [14] For his address see Kelly’s Directory Suffolk 1925. [15] For his Masters’ ticket see Board of Trade Certificate No. 006714. [16] Date of death from the National Probate Calendar. [17] Address and occupation from Kelly’s Directory for Suffolk 1912, 1916 and 1925. [18] Obituary in the Bury Free Press 21.11.1936.  Date of death from the National Probate Calendar. [19] For a fuller account of Braithwaite’s career as a prominent civil servant see the John Simkin’s article published in https://spartacus-educational.com.  See also the article entitled ‘A Victim of Flattery’ by Christopher Hollis, The Spectator 5.9.1957 p.25. [20] Date of death from the National Probate Calendar.

Genealogical Table

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2022

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