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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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Byford

Selected Biographies

Byford, Charles – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1877.  Parents: John Byford and Elizabeth.  Home: Hall Street, Long Melford [1898].  Occupation: Labourer [1898].  Service Record: Charles enlisted in April 1898 as Pte.5136 with 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment.  His short period with the Battalion appears to have been troubled as he was discharged after only 56 days, being ‘incorrigible and worthless’.  It is not known if he saw service during the First World War as no definitive record has been found.[1]

Byford, Frederick – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 6.9.1868.[2]  Parents: Alfred Byford (Blacksmith) and Maria [née Rising].  Family Connections: Brother to William Byford [b1870]; also, uncle of Hubert George Byford [b1898] and Frederick William Byford [b1888], and cousin of Herbert John Byford [b1866] and George Byford [b1886].  Home: Westgate Street, Long Melford (1871 and 1881), 15 Moffatt Road, Croydon, Surrey (1901).  Occupation: House Painter (1881 and 1901).  Married: Henrietta.[3]  Service Record: Cousin to Herbert Byford [b1866 see below for military details] who joined the Bedfords on the same day.  Frederick was attested in 1886 as Pte.1990 with 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, posted to India from 1888 to 1894 and discharged in 1898.  It is not known if he saw service during the First World War as no extant record has been found.[4]

Byford, Frederick ‘Fred’ William – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 7.3.1888.[5]  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.[6] Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1971.

Byford, George – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 4.5.1886.[7]  Parents: George Byford and Hannah [née Pleasants] (Horsehair Weavers).  Family Connections: Brother to Herbert John Byford [b1866]; also, cousin of Frederick Byford [b1868] and William Byford [b1870].  Home: Westgate Lane/Street, Long Melford (1891 to 1939).  Occupation: Coconut Mat Maker for George Whittle (1911), Coal Merchant (1939).  Married: Laura Eva Sargent in 1911.  Service Record: George is recorded as a member of the Melford Silver Band in 1911 and 1914.[8]  He attested in 1913 as Pte.1739 with ‘D’ Company, 5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment [Territorial].  In the First World War he transferred as Pte.40877 to 2nd Battalion, Suffolks and was posted to France from 6.11.1916 to 24.4.1917 as part of 76th Brigade, 3rd Division.  He was wounded on three separate occasions, issued with a Silver War Badge, and discharged in February 1919.[9]  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1969.

Byford, Harold Ward – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 12.2.1898.[10]  Parents: Joseph William Byford   (Coal Merchant and Cartage Agent) and Ada Mary [née Ward].  Home: Guildhall Farm, Rodbridge, Long Melford (1901), Hall Street, Long Melford (1911), Bradley Hall Bungalow, Thorpe Green, Essex (1939).  Occupation: Manager in his father’s Coal Merchant and Cartage business (1911), Unemployed Cowman (1939).  Married: Olive Elizabeth Maud Keeble in 1917.[11]  Service Record: Harold was a member of the Long Melford Volunteer Training Corps in 1915.  At the Melford Military Service Tribunal in January 1917 his father asked that his son be exempted.  This was refused with the small proviso that one month grace should be given before conscription.[12]  He was attested before May 1917 as Pte.TR/5/62179 with 85th [Training Reserve] Battalion, posted to France and transferred as Pte.44881 to 11th [Service] Battalion [Pioneers], Durham Light Infantry as part of 20th [Light] Division.  He was later moved to 2nd Battalion, DLI and finally to 18th [Service] Battalion, DLI.[13]  Died: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire in 1967.

Byford, Harry John – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 5.9.1883.[14]  Parents: Alfred Byford (Coconut Mat Maker) and Eliza [née Skinner].  Family Connections: Brother to John Byford [b1886].  Home: Westgate Lane, Long Melford (1891), Cranmore Hill Cottages, Long Melford (1901 and 1911), 2 Bushey Lane, Sutton, Surrey (1939).  Occupation: Coconut Mat Maker (1901 and 1911), Jobbing Gardener (1939).  Service Record: Harry attested in 1915 as Pte.43864 with 9th [Service] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, transferring as Pte.321036 to 15th [Suffolk Yeomanry] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.  Both battalions at some stage saw service with the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front, the former from the autumn of 1915 to February 1918 and the latter from May 1918 to the end of the War.[15]  Died: North-eastern Surrey in 1958.

Byford, Herbert John – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1866.  Parents: George Byford and Hannah [née Pleasants] (Horsehair Weavers).  Family Connections: Brother to George Byford [b1886]; also, cousin of Frederick Byford [b1868] and William Byford [b1870].  Home: Westgate Lane, Long Melford (1871 and 1881), 110 Field Road, West Ham, Essex (1901).  Occupation: Labourer [1886], Bricklayer’s Labourer (1901).  Married: Mary Jane Savage in 1896.  Service Record: Cousin to Frederick Byford [b1868] who joined the Bedfords on the same day.  Hubert was attested in 1886 as Pte.1989 with 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment posted to India from 1888 to 1894 and discharged in 1898.  It is not known if Herbert saw service during the First World War as no extant record has been found.[16]

Byford, Hubert George – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 15.3.1898.[17]  Parents: Arthur William Byford (Foundry Painter) and Sarah Anne [née Whittle] (Horsehair Weaver).  Family Connections: Brother to Frederick William Byford [b1888]; also, nephew of Frederick Byford [b1868] and William Byford [b1870].  Home: Chestnut Cottage, Hall Street, Long Melford (1901, 1911) and [1917].  Occupation: Foundry Worker for David Ward [1917].  Service Record: Hubert attested as Pte.19990 with 9th [Service] Battalion, transferring to 11th [Service] Battalion, Suffolks and posted to France as part of 101st Brigade, 34th Division.[18]  Died: Hubert was killed in action in the Gavrelle sector near Arras on 31.5.1917.  He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial [bay 4], Faubourg d’Amiens British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France and on the Long Melford War Memorial.[19]

Byford, John ‘Jack’ – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 11.4.1886.[20]  Parents: Alfred Byford (Coconut Mat Maker) and Eliza [née Skinner].  Family Connections: Brother to Harry John Byford [b1883].  Home: Westgate Lane/St, Long Melford (1891 to 1911),[21] 3 Suffolk Square, Sudbury, Suffolk [1919], Hall Street, Long Melford (1939).  Occupation: Milkman on Farm [1915] Milkman and Carman for William Bigg of Burtons Farm, Long Melford [1916], Agricultural Labourer (1939).  Married: Alice Elizabeth Murrels in 1907.  Service Record: Attested on 10.12.1915 as Jack Byford Gnr.211101 with the Royal Field Artillery.  At the Melford Military Service Tribunal in June 1916 however, he was granted exemption for a period of six months, being brought again before the panel in November.  He was later conscripted and in 1917 was transferred to 10th [Tank] Battalion, Machine Gun Corps and posted to France from 17.8.1917.  In May 1919 Jack transferred as Pte.111919 to the Headquarters of 2nd Brigade, Tank Corps, at that time part of the Army of Occupation on the Rhine.[22]  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1945.

Byford, William – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 29.12.1870.[23]  Parents: Alfred Byford (Blacksmith) and Maria [née Rising].  Family Connections: Brother to Frederick Byford [b1868]; also, uncle of Hubert George Byford [b1898] and Frederick William Byford [b1888], and cousin of Herbert John Byford [b1866] and George Byford [b1886].  Home: Westgate Street, Long Melford (1871 and 1881), 17 Torrens Road, Stratford, Essex (1911).  Occupation: Train Driver for the West Ham Maritime Corporation (1911).  Married: Susan Emery in 1892.  Service Record: William attested in 1889 as Pte.8334 with the Medical Staff Corps and discharged in 1899.  It is not known if he saw service during the First World War as no extant record has been found.[24]

Related Biographies

Cadge, Thomas – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 15.1.1871.[25]  Parents: William Cadge (Agricultural Labourer) and Elizabeth [née Knopp] (Horsehair Weaver).  Family Connections: Brother to William Cadge [b1864].  Home: Back Meadow, Long Melford (1871 and 1881), Cock and Bell Lane, Long Melford (1891 and 1901), Church Walk, Long Melford (1911), Hope Cottage, Westgate Street, Long Melford (1939) to [1960].  Occupation: Coconut Mat Weaver for George Whittle to 1908, Soldier [1908 to 1914], Shopkeeper [1937].  Married: Laura Byford in 1901.  Service Record: Thomas is recorded as a member of the Melford Silver Band in 1900, 1911 and 1914[26] and was also a member of 2nd [Volunteer] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment and as L/Sgt.23 he served in ‘D’ Company, 5th Battalion, Suffolks [Territorial] from 1908 to 1914.  Thomas was re-called to 5th Suffolks on 13.8.1914 but discharged on 28.12.1914 as medically unfit.[27]  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk on 30.4.1960.[28]

Notes – [1] Chelsea Hospital British Army Service Record [WO 97]. [2] Date of birth from Baptism Register 6.12.1868, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford. [3] Spouse’s name taken from the UK Census for 1901, however no marriage record has been found. [4] Chelsea Hospital British Army Service Record [WO 97] up to 1898. [5] Baptism Register 1.4.1888, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford. [6] For the Tribunal’s ruling see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 11.10.1916. [7] Date of birth from Baptism Register 1.8.1886, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford. [8] My thanks to Tim Seppings of Sudbury for showing George’s connection to the Melford Silver Band. [9] For details of 2nd Suffolk’s movements during George’s period of service see War Diary [WO 95/1437/1] and Murphy, Lieutenant-Colonel C. C. R. The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927 [London: Hutchinson and Co, 1928], pp.219-21.  See also his Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363], Service Medal and Award Rolls, First World War, Silver War Badge [WO 329] record [ref: B122051], and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372]. [10] Date of birth from Baptism Register 9.3.1898, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford; the year of birth recorded on the 1939 Register for Tendring Rural District in Essex is 1897. [11] On 15.5.1917 Harold is recorded as a soldier at his wedding, see Marriage Register 14.5.1917, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford. [12] For Training Corps article see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 10.3.1915 and for the Tribunal’s ruling see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 10.1.1917. [13] Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372]. [14] Date of birth from Baptism Register 7.10.1883, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford. [15] For details of 9th and 15th Suffolks movements see War Diaries [WO 95/1625/1 and WO 95/3153/3] also various chapters in Murphy, Lieutenant-Colonel C. C. R. The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927 [London: Hutchinson and Co, 1928].  Also see his Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372]. [16] See his Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363]. [17] Date of birth from Baptism Register 1.5.1898, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford. [18] For details of the action see 11th Suffolk’s War Diary [WO 95/2458/3] and Murphy, Lieutenant-Colonel C. C. R. The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927 [London: Hutchinson and Co, 1928], p.251.  See also his Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372]. [19] Commonwealth War Graves Commission record and British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 file [ref: 516023]. [20] Date of birth from Baptism Register 6.6.1886, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford. [21] Recorded as Jack Byford on the UK Census for 1911. [22] For the Tribunal’s rulings see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 7.6.1916 and 29.11.1916.  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]. [23] Date of birth from Baptism Register 2.4.1871, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford. [24] Chelsea Hospital British Army Service Record [WO 97] up to 1899. [25] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 7.8.1887, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford. [26] My thanks to Tim Seppings of Sudbury for showing Thomas’s connection to the Melford Silver Band. [27] See also his Soldiers’ Documents and Pension Claims, First World War [WO 364]. [28] Date of death from the National Probate Calendar.

Children of Joseph William Byford in 1911
Harold Ward Byford & Olive Elizabeth Maud Keeble on their Wedding Day in 1917

Genealogical Tables

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2023

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