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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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Duce

Selected Biographies

Duce, Alfred ‘Fred’ – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 2.12.1886.[1]  Parents: John Duce (Coconut Mat Weaver) [d1893] and Harriett (née Parmenter) (Coconut Mat Maker) who married George Moss in 1906.  Family Connections: Brother to Bertram Duce [b1888], also, half-brother of Harry Parmenter [b1883], George Moss [b1899] and Jack Moss [b1900], and stepson of George Moss [b1870].  Home: Bull Lane, Long Melford (1891), Back Meadow, Smaley Lane, Long Melford (1901 to 1911), Hall Street, Long Melford (1921 to 1939).  Occupation: Errand Boy (1901), General Labourer (1911 to 1939).  Service Record: Although no definitive military record can be found, Alfred may have joined the 5th Battalion [Territorial], Suffolk Regiment with his brother Bert before 1914 as Private, later Sgt.262.  If this assumption is correct then he was posted to Gallipoli on 10.8.1915 with 1/5th Battalion, Suffolks and subsequently renumbered as Pte.70673.  He transferred to 1st [Garrison] Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) while stationed in Egypt.  Over the course of his career under arms he was also issued with other regimental numbers namely: 5820694, 203865 and 240022.[2]  Died: Sudbury in 1956.

Duce, Arthur – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 1.2.1890.[3]  Parents: Charles Duce (Coconut Mat Weaver) and Emily Jane [née Boggis] (Horsehair Drawer).  Family Connections: Brother to Charles Duce [b1880], Frederick Duce [b1885], Harry Duce [b1886], George Duce [b1888], Walter Duce [b1892], Bertie Duce [b1895] and Frank Duce [b1898]; also, uncle of Harry Frederick Duce [b1912]. Home: Westgate Lane, Long Melford (1891), Bishops Yard, Westgate Street, Long Melford (1901), Military Barracks in Malta (1911), 13 Tresco Road, Nunhead, London [1919], 41 Brooklands Road, Wandsworth, London [1920], 41 Landseer Street, Battersea, London [1920-1923].[4]  Occupation: Soldier [1905 to 1919], Plasterer’s Labourer (1921).  Service Record: Arthur enlisted in 1905 as Pte.189 with 3rd [Special Reserve] Battalion, Essex Regiment.  In 1908 Arthur was transferred as Pte.8821 to 2nd Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment and was posted first to Egypt from 8.1.1914 to 16.10.1914, then to France from 4.11.1914 to 10.5.1915 as part of 24th Brigade, 8th Division.  During his first period on the Western Front, he saw action at the Battles of Neuve Chapelle on 12.3.1915 and Aubers on 9.5.1915, where he received a shrapnel wound to his shoulder, being invalided to England for treatment.  While at home he was interviewed by the local press, the following extract is taken verbatim from the published article.  On March 12th his company, numbering about 60, advanced to the German sap, which they found full of dead [English and Germans].  They had to lie in front of the parapet, unable to move from daybreak to dusk, and under fire all the time.  Duce went to sleep with his rifle by his side, and when he awoke about 7:30 pm he tried to rouse the man next to him, in order to tell him he was going to get back.  He found the man was dead, and ongoing round to the others discovered that all were killed except one.  Under cover of the darkness the two survivors regained their trench in safety.  On examining his rifle, he found it had been twice struck by bullets.  Duce says that the fiercest fighting he took part in was at Aubers. Our men advanced at dusk from their trenches and dug a temporary trench, in preparation for the attack in the morning.  About daybreak the British artillery commenced bombarding the German trenches.  The infantry advanced at 4:45 am.  As soon as they got on to the parapet they were met with heavy fire from the enemy’s machine-guns and rifles, and before they had advanced ten yards the whole section had been knocked down by shrapnel.[5]  Arthur’s next spell in France from 20.4.1916 to 12.7.1916 passed without serious incident, the Battalion being placed in the Divisional reserve during the Battle of Albert, the opening phase of the Somme Offensive.  After six months in England, he was transferred to the Northamptonshire’s 5th [Service] Battalion and posted for a final time to France from 1.1.1917 to 8.12.1918 as Pioneer unit with 12th [Eastern] Division.  In April and May the Division saw action during the Arras Offensive and in November 1917 at Cambrai, followed by the First Battles of the Somme, the Battles of Épehy and the St Quentin Canal in September, and the Battle of the Sambre in November 1918, the last large-scale encounter of the War.  By the time of his discharge in September 1920 Arthur Duce had been promoted to the rank of Corporal.[6]  Died: Islington, London in 1938.

Duce, Bertie – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 23.12.1895.[7]  Parents: Charles Duce (Coconut Mat Weaver) and Emily Jane [née Boggis] (Horsehair Drawer).  Family Connections: Brother to Charles Duce [b1880], Frederick Duce [b1885], Harry Duce [b1886], George Duce [b1888], Arthur Duce [b1890], Walter Duce [b1892] and Frank Duce [b1898]; also, uncle of Harry Frederick Duce [b1912].  Home: Bishops Yard, Westgate Street, Long Melford (1901 and 1911), Glemsford [1920], 3 Falkland Cottages, The Green, Long Melford (1939) to [1972].  Occupation: Blacksmith’s Striker (1911), Blacksmith (1939).  Married: Bessie Gridley in 1920.  Service Record: Bertie enlisted in December 1914 as Pte.2838 with 5th Suffolk Regiment, transferring on 23.12.1917 to the Royal Flying Corps as a blacksmith.  On 1.4.1918 he was incorporated into the Royal Air Force as No. 406294, transferring to the RAF Reserve in April 1919.[8]  Died: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1972.[9]

Duce, Bertram ‘Bert’ – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 4.9.1888.[10]  Parents: John Duce (Coconut Mat Weaver) and Harriett [née Parmenter] (Coconut Mat Maker).  Family Connections: Half-brother to Harry Parmenter [b1883] and Jack Moss [b1900]; also, stepson of George Moss [b1870].  Home: Bull Lane, Long Melford (1891), Back Meadow, Smaley Lane, Long Melford (1901 and 1911).  Occupation: Maltster’s Labourer for Frederick Branwhite and Sons [1904 to 1915].  Service Record: Before the First World War Bert served in 3rd [Militia] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.  He is also recorded as a member of the Melford Silver Band in 1914.[11]  On 3.9.1914 he attested as Pte.2263 in ‘B’ Company, 1/5th Battalion, Suffolks and was posted on 10.8.1915 to Suvla Bay, Gallipoli.  Within hours of landing his unit was moved forward into frontline trenches on the south face of a steep and rocky hill called Karakol Dagh.  At dawn two days later the Suffolks and the three other untested battalions of 163rd Brigade were ordered to secure the heights to the east.  Advancing nearly a mile through a hail of Turkish artillery and machine gun fire, by the end of the day the enemy had been held at bay and a secure forward defence line established.  When the men were finally relieved by fresh troops after three gruelling days, they were found in a sorry state, having baked under the searing heat they had run desperately short of drinking water and been plagued by swarms of flies attracted by the dead and dying around them. When the Roll was called it was found the Suffolks alone had lost 186 men either dead or wounded with a further 150 laid low by dysentery.  During the next four months they were ravaged by illness, the majority falling sick from the effects of dysentery.[12]  He contracted pulmonary tuberculosis and was granted a pension in 18.5.1916.[13]  Died: Bertram died of tuberculosis on 3.9.1916 and is buried in Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford and commemorated on the Long Melford War Memorial.[14]

Duce, Charles – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 13.3.1880.[15]  Parents: Charles Duce (Coconut Mat Weaver) and Emily Jane [née Boggis] (Horsehair Drawer).  Family Connections: Brother to Frederick Duce [b1885], Harry Duce [b1886], George Duce [b1888], Arthur Duce [b1890], Walter Duce [b1892], Bertie Duce [b1895] and Frank Duce [b1898]; also, uncle of Harry Frederick Duce [b1912].  Home: Westgate Street/Lane, Long Melford (1881 to 1891), The Stables Cedar, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire (1921), The Lane, Easton-on-the-Hill, Oundle, Northamptonshire (1939), 9 Westhaven, Eastern-on-the-Hill [1963].  Occupation: Coachman (1921), Gardener at Easton House (1939).  Married: Eva Fanny Payne in 1916.  Service Record: Although no definitive military record has been found, Charles may have enlisted as Pte. G20725 with 21st [Service] Battalion, Duke of Cambridge’s Own [Middlesex] Regiment and if this assumption is correct, he was later transferred to 1st Battalion, Middlesex.  Both units saw action during the Somme Offensive of 1916.[16]  Died: Eastern-on-the-Hill, Northamptonshire on 15.6.1963.[17]

Duce, Frank – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 7.1.1898.[18]  Parents: Charles Duce (Coconut Mat Weaver) and Emily Jane [née Boggis] (Horsehair Drawer).  Family Connections: Brother to Charles Duce [b1880], Frederick Duce [b1885], Harry Duce [b1886], George Duce [b1888], Arthur Duce [b1890], Walter Duce [b1892] and Bertie Duce [b1895]; also, uncle of Harry Frederick Duce [b1912].  Home: Bishops Yard, Westgate Street, Long Melford (1901 to 1921), 14 Bull Lane, Long Melford (1939), Flat 9, Holy Trinity Hospital, Long Melford [1974].  Occupation: Assistant Hawker (1911), Bricklayer’s Labourer (1921), Bricklayer (1939).  Married: Ivy May Copsey [d1950] in 1927 and Alice May Harrington [née Wilby] in 1953. Alice was the widow of Charles Walter Harrington [b1889] [see under Harrington for his military details].  Service Record: Frank served as a Sailor in the Royal Navy during the First World War.[19]  Died: Long Melford, Suffolk on 18.9.1974.[20]

Duce, Frederick – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 9.3.1885.[21]  Parents: Charles Duce (Coconut Mat Weaver) and Emily Jane [née Boggis] (Horsehair Drawer).  Family Connections: Brother to Charles Duce [b1880], Harry Duce [b1886], George Duce [b1888], Arthur Duce [b1890], Walter Duce [b1892], Bertie Duce [b1895] and Frank Duce [b1898]; also, uncle of Harry Frederick Duce [b1912].  Home: Westgate Lane, Long Melford (1891), Bishops Yard, Westgate Street, Long Melford (1901), 33 Oakbank Terrace, Garscombe Road, Glasgow [1919], Red Hospital, Sudbury, Suffolk (1921).  Occupation: Soldier [1904 to 1919], Bootmaker (1921).  Married: Mary Brady in 1906.  Service Record: Frederick was a volunteer in 3rd [Militia] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment before 1904.  He enlisted in 1904 as Pte.8505 with 1st Battalion, The Cameronians [Scottish Rifles], transferring to the Army Reserve in 1907.  On 5.8.1914 he was recalled to his battalion and posted to France from 15.8.1914 to 16.11.1916 where his unit saw action at the Battles of Mons, Le Cateau and the Marne in 1914, Loos in 1915 and at the Somme in 1916.  Fred Duce saw little action during the opening days of the Somme Offensive his unit being held in reserve until it was moved to Bezentin le Petit, six miles northeast of Albert.  On the 17.7.1916 he took part in an abortive assault on the German held ‘Switch Trench’, the attack stalling due to concentrated fire from concealed positions in High Wood.  In an attempt to neutralise this threat, the Cameronians made a pre-dawn attack on the Wood, which met with stiff resistance.  An intense German artillery barrage followed, leaving 57 of Fred’s comrades dead and over 300 wounded or missing.  After three months respite his unit next saw action when it moved to Lesboeufs, four miles east of the earlier action.  At dawn on 29 October a large-scale assault was made on ‘Boritska Trench’ which was brought to a shuddering halt by hail of machine gun fire, inflicting over 100 casualties on Duce’s unit alone.  Two days later another attempt was made, briefly occupying Boritska before again being beaten back.  Boriska Trench was finally taken on 5 November.  After a period in England, he was posted again to the Western Front from 30.5.1917 to 15.10.1918.  He was promoted to Lance Corporal on 6.5.1915 and to Sergeant on 30.7.1917.  At the end of September 1917 his unit saw action at the Battles of the Menin Road Ridge and Polygon Wood, and during the spring and summer of 1918 took part in the Battles of the Lys and the Hindenburg Line.[22]  He returned to England on 15.10.1918, being issued with a Silver War Badge and discharged in February 1919.[23]  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1923.

Duce, George – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 17.4.1888.[24]  Parents: Charles Duce (Coconut Mat Weaver) and Emily Jane [née Boggis] (Horsehair Drawer).  Family Connections: Brother to Charles Duce [b1880], Frederick Duce [b1885], Harry Duce [b1886], Arthur Duce [b1890], Walter Duce [b1892], Bertie Duce [b1895] and Frank Duce [b1898]; also, uncle of Harry Frederick Duce [b1912].  Home: Westgate Lane, Long Melford (1891), Bishops Yard, Westgate Street, Long Melford (1901 to 1921), 5 Windmill Hill, Long Melford (1939).  Occupation: Maker of Coconut Matting covers for gas cylinders for George Whittle [1916], Mat Maker (1921), General Labourer (1939).  Service Record: At the Melford Military Service Tribunal in March 1916 his widowed mother applied on his behalf for his exemption from conscription.  She explained that she had five sons already serving in the armed forces and that George was the only one of military age at home supporting her by his cash and produce from his allotment.  Temporary exemption was granted in March 1916, which was made conditional six months later if he joined the Long Melford Volunteer Training Corps.  He appeared before the Tribunal no fewer than three more times before full exemption was granted in June 1918.[25]

Duce, Harry – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 26.12.1886.[26]  Parents: Charles Duce (Coconut Mat Weaver) and Emily Jane [née Boggis] (Horsehair Drawer).  Family Connections: Father to Harry Frederick Duce [b1912]; also, brother of Charles Duce [b1880], Frederick Duce [b1885], George Duce [b1888], Arthur Duce [b1890], Walter Duce [b1892], Bertie Duce [b1895] and Frank Duce [b1898]; also, brother-in-law of Harry March [b1874], Thomas George March [b1879] and William Ernest March [b1882].  Home: Westgate Lane, Long Melford (1891), Bishops Yard, Westgate Street, Long Melford (1901 and 1911), St Catherines Road, Long Melford [1918] to [1983].  Occupation: Coir Yarn Puller (1901), Horsehair Drawer (1911), Motor Mechanic [1918], Flax Mill Labourer (1921), Caretaker (1939).  Married: Ethel Emma March in 1912.  Service Record: Harry is recorded as a member of the Melford Silver Band in 1911 and 1914.[27]  He enlisted on 8.3.1915 as Pte.240921 with ‘A’ Company, 2/5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, transferring to 1/4th Battalion, Suffolks, then as Pte.235472 to ‘B’ Company, 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, as part of 62nd Brigade, 21st Division.  He was posted to France on 19.2.1918, moving into the front line at Épehy at the end of the month.  On 21.3.1918 his battalion was caught up in the first wave of the German Spring Offensive making a desperate withdrawal, which after four days had reduced the Lincolns to barely 220 fighting men.  By the beginning of April Harry’s unit had been moved from the Somme valley to Kemmel in the southern sector of the Ypres Salient, 65 miles to the north.  On 12.4.1918 the men were occupying trenches between Bogart Farm and Stanyzer Cabaret Crossroads when they were subjected to an intense bombardment which was to last for another three days, reaching its crescendo at 5:30 am on 16.4.1918.  Under the cover of dense fog enemy troops attacked both flanks of the Lincoln’s line, making it difficult to tell friend from foe until coming within a few feet of each other.[28]  During this confusion Harry fell into enemy hands.  He was held as a prisoner of war at Friedrichsfeld near Mannheim, later being taken to a hospital at Münster in Westphalia, Germany before his repatriation to England on 29.12.1918.  Upon his return he was sent to King George Military Hospital in London[29] for more treatment, where he was recorded as suffering from ‘Rheumatism and general weakness caused by exposure during prisoner of war’ [sic]. Harry appears to have spent six weeks under the hospitals care, receiving his discharge from the army in May 1919.[30]  Died: Long Melford, Suffolk on 11.2.1983.[31]

Duce, Harry Frederick – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 31.10.1912.[32]   Parents: Harry Duce (Horsehair Drawer) [see above for details] and Ethel Emma [née March].  Family Connections: Nephew of Charles Duce [b1880], Frederick Duce [b1885], George Duce [b1888], Arthur Duce [b1890], Walter Duce [b1892], Bertie Duce [b1895] and Frank Duce [b1898].  Home: St Catherine Road, Long Melford (1921), 3 Felbridge Court, Bredfield Street, Woodbridge, Suffolk [2006 to 2017].[33]  Married: Jessie Hinchcliffe in 1935.  Service Record: Harry enlisted in 1928 as Boy Sailor No. Jx131682 with the Royal Navy.[34]  Died: Woodbridge, Suffolk on 6.5.2016.

Duce, RobertBorn: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1828.  Parents: John Duce (Agricultural Labourer) and Anne [née Younger].  Home: High Street, Long Melford (1841), Military Camp, Scarborough, Yorkshire (1851).  Occupation: Soldier (1851).  Service Record: Robert enlisted in 1851 as Pte.2510 with 46th [South Devonshire] Regiment of Foot.[35]

Duce, Walter – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 5.11.1892.[36]  Parents: Charles Duce (Coconut Mat Weaver) and Emily Jane [née Boggis] (Horsehair Drawer).  Family Connections: Brother to Charles Duce [b1880], Frederick Duce [b1885], Harry Duce [b1886], George Duce [b1888], Arthur Duce [b1890], Bertie Duce [b1895] and Frank Duce [b1898]; also, uncle of Harry Frederick Duce [b1912].  Home: Bishops Yard, Westgate Street, Long Melford (1901 and 1911).  Service Record: Walter enlisted in September 1914 as Private, later L/Cpl.2507 with 1/5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, posted on 10.8.1915 to Suvla Bay in Gallipoli and evacuated in December and landed at Alexandria in Egypt.[37]  Here the Battalion joined the Egyptian Expeditionary Force and in February 1917 marched into Palestine, seeing action at the First and Second Battles of Gaza in March and April.[38]  During 1917 Walter was promoted and given a new regimental number as Sgt.240625.[39]  Died: Sergeant Duce was killed in action by shellfire on 3.11.1917 during the Third Battle of Gaza and is buried in Gaza War Cemetery [grave ref: VIII.F.10], Palestine and commemorated on the Long Melford War Memorial.[40]

Related Biography

Moss, George – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1870.  Parent: Harriet Moss (Horsehair Weaver).  Family Connections: Father of Jack Moss [b1900]; also, stepfather of Henry Parmenter [b1883], Alfred Duce [b1887] and Bertram Duce [b1889], and brother-in-law of Charles William Boar [b1877].  Home: Living with Harriet Moss (mother) and Samuel Moss (grandfather) in Bull Lane Cottages, Bull Lane, Long Melford (1871 to 1891), Back Meadow, Smaley Lane, Long Melford (1901 to 1911), Hall Street, Long Melford (1921).  Occupation: Coconut Mat Maker for George Whittle (1901 to 1921).  Married: Harriett Duce [née Parmenter] in 1900.  Service Record: George was a member of the ‘C’ Company band in 2nd [Volunteer] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment up to 1908, its successor ‘D’ Company band in 5th Battalion [Territorial], Suffolks and latterly with the Melford Silver Band.  In 1915 he joined the Long Melford Volunteer Training Corps.[41]  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1937.

Moss, George – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 17.9.1899.[42]   Parents: George Moss (Coconut Mat Weaver) [see details above] and Harriett Duce [née Parmenter, widow of John Duce 1864-1893] (Coconut Mat Weaver).  Family Connections: Brother to Jack Moss [b1900]; also, half-brother of Harry Parmenter [b1883], Alfred Duce [b1887] and Bertram Duce [b1888].  Home: Back Meadow, Smaley Lane, Long Melford (1901 to 1911), Hall Street, Long Melford (1921).  Occupation: Coconut Mat Maker for George Whittle (1921).  Married: Nellie L. Cornish in 1926.  Service Record: Although no definitive military record has been found George may have been conscripted on 8.3.1917 as Pte.21213 with the Royal Marine Light Infantry.[43]  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk 1933.

Moss, Jack – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 5.11.1900.[44]  Parents: George Moss (Coconut Mat Weaver) and Harriett Duce [née Parmenter] (Horsehair Weaver).  Family Connections: Brother to George Moss [b1899]; also, half-brother of Harry Parmenter [b1883], Alfred Duce [b1886] and Bertram Duce [b1889].  Home: Back Meadow, Smaley Lane, Long Melford (1901 to 1911), Hall Street, Long Melford (1921).  Occupation: Outside Porter [1918], Royal Navy Stoker (1921).  Service Record: Jack enlisted on 31.12.1918 as Stoker No. K55192 with the Royal Navy, serving beyond 1929.[45]  Died: Colchester, Essex in 1969.

Parmenter, Harry – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 10.3.1883.[46]  Parent: Harriett Parmenter [married John Duce in 1885 and George Moss [see under Moss for record] in 1899].  All parties were Coconut Mat Weavers.  Family Connections: Half-brother to Alfred Duce [b1887], Bertram Duce [b1888], George Moss [b1899] and Jack Moss [b1900]; also, stepson of George Moss [b1870] and brother-in-law of John Calton [b1875].  Home: Recorded as Harry Duce living with his mother and John Duce [stepfather] in Bull Lane, Long Melford (1891), recorded as Harry Parmenter living with mother and George Moss [stepfather] in Back Meadow, Smaley Lane, Long Melford (1901), St Catherines Road, Long Melford (1911) to [1917].  Occupation: House Painter (1901 and 1911).  Married: Margaret Ellen Calton in 1907.  Service Record: Harry was attested as Spr.180137 with No. 8 Depot Company, Royal Engineers.  Died: Sapper Parmenter died felo de se from wounds to his throat in the Military Hospital at Bangor in North Wales on 21.8.1917 and is buried at Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford and commemorated on the village war memorial.[47]

Notes – [1] 1939 Register.  [2] Medal Roll [WO 329] and Medal Index Card [WO 372].  [3] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 6.7.1890, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford, his Service Record gives his birth date as 3.3.1889. [4] Address taken from the Electoral Roll for Brixton and Kennington.  [5] For the full article see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 28.7.1915. [6] For details of 2nd Northamptonshire’s movements see War Diary [WO 95/1722/1-3], for 5th Northants see War Diary [WO 95/1842/1].  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]. [7] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 5.2.1896, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [8] Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329], Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372], Air Member for Personnel and predecessors: Airman’s Records [AIR 79/2993].  [9] For Bert Duce’s obituary see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 6.7.1972.  [10] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 2.10.1890, St Catherines Mission Church, Long Melford.  [11] My thanks to Tim Seppings of Sudbury for showing Bert’s connection to the Melford Silver Band.  [12] For details of 1/5th Suffolk’s movements in Gallipoli and Palestine see War Diaries [WO 95/4325 and WO 95/4658]. [13] 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].  [14] Commonwealth War Graves Commission record, see also the Tuberculosis Register of Notification from Medical Practitioners [Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk Record Office ref: EF501/4/23] and Burial Register 9.9.1916 of Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [15] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 1.8.1880, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [16] Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [17] National Probate Calendar.  [18] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 21.7.1898, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [19] I am grateful to Arthur Kemp of Long Melford for sharing information on Frank’s career in the Royal Navy.  The only extant Royal Naval record relates to a Frank Ernest Duce from Asheldham in Essex, while the only extant Army records are a Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372] referring to a Dvr.199544 with the Royal Engineers.  [20] Date of death from the National Probate Calendar.  [21] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 2.8.1885, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [22] For details of 1st Cameronians’s movements from December 1915 to 1919 see War Diary [WO 95/2422/2].  [23] Soldiers’ Documents and Pension Claims, First World War [WO 364], Service Medal and Award Rolls, First World War, Silver War Badge [WO 329] record, Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329], and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [24] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 5.8.1888, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [25] For the Tribunal’s rulings see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 15.3.1916, 27.9.1916, 28.3.1917, 5.12.1917 and 4.6.1918.  [26] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 6.3.1887, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [27] My thanks to Tim Seppings of Sudbury for showing Harry’s connection to the Melford Silver Band.  [28] For details of 1st Lincoln’s movements see War Diary [WO 95/2154/2].  [29] Sometimes referred to as Stamford Road War Hospital.  [30] For POW register see International Committee of the Red Cross [file ref: PA37576].  See also his Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363] and Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329].  [31] Date of death from the National Probate Calendar.  [32] Date of birth from his RN Record.  [33] Electoral Roll.  [34] Royal Navy Register of Seamans’s Services, 1848-1939 [ADM 362/47/182].  [35] [TNA – WO 12/5841] recorded under the name of Doce.  [36] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 1.3.1893, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford, however the Birth Index appears to suggest that he was born a year earlier in 1891.  [37] See the entry for his brother Bertram above for an account of the Suffolk’s first days after stepping ashore in Gallipoli.  [38] For details of 1/5th Suffolk’s movements in Gallipoli and Palestine see War Diaries [WO 95/4325 and WO 95/4650] and Capt. A. Fair [mc] and Capt. E. D. Wolton [compiled by] “The Suffolk Regiment”: the history of the 1/5th Battalion [London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1923], pp.13-107.  [39] Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [40] For the notification of Sergeant Duce’s death see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 12.12.1917.  See also his Commonwealth War Graves Commission record, British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 file [ref: 640259].  [41] Suffolk and Essex Free Press 10.3.1915.  [42] Date of birth based on his assumed military record.  [43] Transcription only available see [TNA – ADM 159/135/21213].  [44] Date of birth from his Royal Navy Record.  [45] Royal Navy Registers of Seaman’s Services [ADM 188/971].  [46] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 6.5.1883, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [47] Commonwealth War Graves Commission record and British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 file [ref: 519590] and Burial Register of 26.8.1917, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.

Emily Jane Duce nee Boggis 1855-1942, mother of Charles, Frederick, Harry, George, Walter, Bertie & Frank
Kate Duce b1878, daughter of Emily Jane Duce nee Boggis
Mary Ann Duce b1881, daughter of Emily Jane Duce nee Boggis
Elizabeth Duce b1883, daughter of Emily Jane Duce nee Boggis
Bessie Duce nee Gridley b1901, daughter-in-law of Emily Jane Duce nee Boggis
Bert Duce b1895 - (standing left) in hospital blues, convalescing durIng the First World War hospital
Bert Duce b1895 - working blacksmith in the1950s
Bert & Bessie Duce with George William in the mid 1920s

Acknowledgement – My sincere thanks to John Alecock for kindly sharing his photographs from the Duce family archive.

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2023
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