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

James Arthur Hempstead 1859-1933

Hempstead, Alfred Arthur – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 18.12.1885.[1] Parents: James Arthur Hempstead (House Painter) and Annie Elizabeth [née Cooper].  Home: Bridge View, Hall Street, Long Melford (1891 and 1901), Military Barracks in India (1911), Aurora House, Hall Street, Long Melford (1939) to [1978].  Family Connections: Cousin of George Wilfred Hempstead [b1891].  Occupation: House Painter (1901), Soldier (1911), Plumber and Glazier [1937], Master Decorator, Plumber, and Ironmonger (1939), Proprietor of a DIY Shop in Long Melford [1963].  Married: Alice Irma Reynolds in 1913 in Mhow, India.  Service Record: Alfred enlisted in 1900 as a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery, posted to South Africa and seeing action during the Second Anglo-Boer War.  By 1911 he had been posted to India as a Bombardier with 5th Divisional Ammunition Column, RFA.  During the First World War he held the rank of Sergeant, later Staff/Sgt.31069 in the RFA being posted to France from 12.12.1914.[2] He was Mentioned in a Despatch of 13.11.1916 to Field Marshal Haig for his ‘gallant and distinguished services in the Field’.[3] In 1917 Alfred is recorded as a member of the Corps of Military Staff Clerks.  He remained on the Army Reserve up to 1939, holding a Captain’s commission during the Second World War.[4] Died: Long Melford, Suffolk on 30.4.1978.[5]

James Arthur Hempstead 1859-1933
Sergeant Alfred Arthur Hempstead in 1914
Commendation from General Sir Douglas Haig in 1916

Arthur Hempstead in France in 1917

Hempstead, George Wilfred – Born: Sudbury, Suffolk on 5.11.1891.[6] Parents: Harry Hempstead (Gardener) and Florence [née Martin] (Silk Weaver).  Family Connections: Cousin of Alfred Arthur Hempstead [b1885] and brother-in-law of Herbert Ernest White [b1888] and Philip Charles Hancock [b1896]. Home: Patient in St Leonards Hospital, Sudbury, Suffolk (1901), 15 Croft Row, Sudbury (1911), Rodbridge, Long Melford (1939).  Occupation: General Labourer (1911), Agricultural Labourer (1939).  Married: Ethel Lizzie Mason of Long Melford in 1918.[7] Service Record: Recorded as a ‘Soldier’ at his marriage in January 1918, regrettably his unit is not given.  Although no definitive military record has been found, George may have attested as Pte.45628 with 9th [Service] Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment.  If this assumption is correct then he was transferred as Pte.41892 to 6th [Service] Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, then as Pte.579077 to 986th Company, Labour Corps, and finally as Pte.GS/104344 to 43rd [Garrison] Battalion, Royal Fusiliers.[8] Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1965.

Selected Notes – [1] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Long Melford and corroborated by the Death Index.  [2] For details of 5th DAC’s movements see War Diary [WO 95/1533/3-4].  [3] For notification of being Mentioned in Despatches see the Supplement to the London Gazette 4.1.1917, p.262.  See also his Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [4] For notification of his commission see the Supplement to the London Gazette 27.6.1941, p.3661.  [5] Date of death from the National Probate Calendar.  [6] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Long Melford.  [7] For military status in 1918 see Marriage Register 16.1.1918, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford, Marriage was also announced in Suffolk and Essex Free Press 16.1.1918.  [8] Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].

Related Biographies

Hancock, Philip Charles – Born: Limehouse, London on 25.4.1896.[1] Parents: John Cornish Hancock (Chemical Works Labourer) and Mary Ann [née Smith].  Family Connections: Brother-in-law of George Wilfred Hempstead of Long Melford [b1891]. Home: 30 Church Road, Limehouse, London [1896], 39 Garford Road, Limehouse (1901), 146 Campbell Road, Bow, London (1911), 264 Barking Road, Plaistow, London [1917], 55 Bradgate Road, Catford, Kent [1934]. Occupation: Greengrocer’s Assistant (1911), Asbestos Worker [1916], Greengrocer’s Assistant [1917]. Married: Alice May Hempstead of Long Melford in 1921. Service Record: Philip was conscripted on 5.3.1917 as Pte.G48962 with 24th Infantry Labour Company, Queens [Royal West Surrey Regiment]. Posted to France and transferring briefly to 8th Infantry Labour Company, Northamptonshire Regiment before its conversion to 146th Labour Company, Labour Corps. Over his army career he was given other regimental numbers, namely Pte.35976, Pte.78792 and Pte.87210. He received his discharge in 1920.[2] Died: Princess Alice Hospital, Eastbourne, Sussex on 12.9.1934.[3]

White, Herbert Ernest – Born: Soho, London on 17.6.1888.[4] Parents: William White (Police Constable) and Harriet [née Hall] of Shimpling, Suffolk.  Family Connections: Brother-in-law of George Wilfred Hempstead [b1891] of Long Melford.  Home: 249 Sandringham Buildings, Soho, London [1888 to 1896], York Villas, Clarence Road, Sudbury, Suffolk (1901), 25 Golden Noble Hill, Colchester, Essex (1911), 264 Barking Road, Plaistow, London [1918].   Occupation: Grocer’s Assistant (1901, 1911). Married: Florence Dora Hempstead of Long Melford in 1914. Service Record: Herbert was conscripted as Pte.4329, later Pte.203459 with 5th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, being posted to France on 25.4.1917 with the regiment’s 9th [Service] Battalion, transferring as Pte.225102 to 12th [Service] Battalion, Royal Fusiliers [City of London Regiment] from 12.5.1917 to 29.1.1918, as part 24th Division and seeing action at the Third Battle of Ypres. On the disbandment of this battalion in January 1918 he was transferred to 15th Platoon, ‘D’ Company, 11th [Service] Battalion, Royal Fusiliers as part of 54th Brigade, 18th [Eastern] Division.  He was wounded in action near St Quentin on 22.3.1918, falling into enemy hands the following day.[5] Died: Herbert died of his wounds at the Prisoner of War Camp hospital in Germersheim, Germany on 24.4.1918 and is buried in Neiderzwehren Cemetery [grave ref: IV.J.11], Kassel, Germany. [6]

Related Notes – [1] Date of birth from Baptism Register 13.9.1896 for St Annes, Limehouse, London.  [2] First World War Service Records ‘Burnt Documents’, WO 363, Medal Roll [WO 329] and Medal Index Card [WO 372].  [3] Date of death from the National Probate Calendar.  [4] Date of birth from the Baptism Record 17.6.1888 for St Anne, Soho, London.  [5] For more information on the various Divisions engaged on the Western Front see http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/.  For his military career see also his Medal Roll [WO 329], Medal Index Card [WO 372] and World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923. For his brief time as a POW see also International Committee of the Red Cross [file ref: PA27711].  [6] British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 and Commonwealth War Grave Commission

Genealogical Tables

All photographs courtesy of Ian Sandham, grandson of Alfred Arthur Hempstead.

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2022
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