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

Matthews, Alfred Jarvis – Born: Acton, Suffolk on 16.8.1887.[1] Parents: George Matthews of Cockfield, Suffolk (Agricultural Labourer) and Phoebe [née Jarvis]. Family Connections: Brother to Thomas Robert Matthews [b1883] and William Hyham Matthews [b1894]. Home: Spond, Acton, Suffolk (1891), Bull Lane, Long Melford (1901) to [1915], 28 Gregory Gardens, Sudbury, Suffolk [1918], 32 Gregory Gardens, Sudbury (1921), 14 Jubilee Road, Sudbury (1939). Occupation: Stockman on Farm (1911), Miller’s Labourer for S. B. Baker of Cornard Mills, Great Cornard, Suffolk (1921), General Labourer (1939). Married: Gladys Lilian Irene Hollingsworth in 1910. Service Record: Alfred enlisted in 1905 as Pte.7015 with 3rd [Militia] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, considered unfit for duty and dismissed three months later.[2] On 16.7.1915 he appeared before the magistrate at Sudbury Petty Sessions on a charge of marital desertion having allegedly abandoned his wife ten months earlier.  The case was dismissed.[3]  Matthews was conscripted on 6.11.1915 as Pte.22882 with 10th [Reserve] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, transferring on 16.6.1916 as Pte.25397 to 22nd [Reserve] Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers before being posted to the Western Front a week later and joining 17th [Service] Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, as part of 104th Brigade, 35th [Bantam] Division, seeing action during the Somme Offensive of 1916. Alfred Matthews received a gunshot wound to the chest, returning to England on 8.12.1916. After more than six months recovery he was deemed unfit for any further active service an in August 1917 transferred as Pte.219886 to 524th [Home Service Employment] Company, Labour Corps, before being issued with a Silver War Badge and discharged on 10.9.1918 as ‘being no longer physically fit for military service’ due to wounds received.[4] Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1964.

Matthews, Thomas Robert – Born: Acton, Suffolk on 18.2.1883. Parents: George Matthews of Cockfield, Suffolk (Agricultural Labourer) and Phoebe [née Jarvis]. Family Connections: Brother to Alfred Jarvis Matthews [b1887], and William Hyham Matthews [b1894]. Home: Spond, Acton, Suffolk (1891), Bull Lane, Long Melford (1901 to 1911), 7 Back Lane, Long Melford (1939). Occupation: Agricultural Labourer (1901 to 1939). Married: Kate Starling in 1923. Service Record: Thomas enlisted in 1901 as a Private with 3rd [Militia] Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, receiving his discharge later in the year.[5]  It is not known if he served during the First Word War as no definitive military record has been found. Died: Sudbury, Suffolk 1940.

Matthews, Walter Hyham – Born: Long Melford in 1894. Parents: George Matthews of Cockfield, Suffolk (Agricultural Labourer) and Phoebe [née Jarvis]. Family Connections: Brother to Thomas Robert Matthews [b1883] and Alfred Jarvis Matthews [b1887]. Home: Bull Lane, Long Melford (1901 to 1911). Occupation: Agricultural Labourer (1911). Service Record: William enlisted in Halstead as Pte.10130 with 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment, being posted to the Western Front as part of 12th Brigade, 4th Division. He landed in France on 22.8.1914, seeing action at the Battles of Le Cateau, the Marne, the Aisne and Messines. It may have been at this latter engagement in October 1914 that he fell into enemy hands and held at a Prisoner of War Camp at Wittenburg in Germany.[6] Died: William died on 20.4.1915 at Wittenburg.  In 1922 his body was reinterred in Berlin South-Western Cemetery [grave ref: XIV.A.2], Brandenburg, Germany. William Matthews is commemorated on the Long Melford War Memorial.[7]

Related Biography

Ashman, Oliver Josiah – Born: Chevington, Suffolk on 5.2.1880.[8]  Parents: Josiah Ashman (Woodman) and Caroline [née Garrod].  Family Connections: Father to Josiah Frederick Ashman [b1909].  Home: Weathercock Hill, Chevington, Suffolk (1881), The Street, Horringer, Suffolk (1891 to 1911), Woollards Gardens, Long Melford (1939).  Occupation: Stockkeeper on Farm (1901), Labourer (1911), Agricultural Labourer (1939).  Married: Eva Mary Dorling [d1918] in 1908, and Susan Ursula Matthews in 1923.  Service Record: Attested as Pte.16931 with 1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, being posted to France from 18.5.1915, as part of 84th Brigade, 28th Division.  Shortly after his arrival Oliver was thrown into the fray during a failed attempt to storm German positions at Bellewaarde Farm.  His unit was badly cut about by concentrated machine-gun fire leaving 140 men killed, wounded, or missing.  In September 1915 the Battalion was moved from the Ypres Salient to the Somme valley, where it was pitched against the near impregnable strongpoint of the Hohenzollern Redoubt. The attack began in the early hours of 2.10.1915 and was dogged by a series of delays, men got lost in the dark, with some units not actually making it to the start line.  Added to this, the expected artillery support did not materialize and despite intense displays of bravery, the affair ended in failure with the Suffolks alone losing 160 men.  By the end of November 1st Suffolks had been shipped with the Division to Salonika, where it was to stay until the end of the conflict.  Oliver received his discharge in May 1920 while serving as Pte.72871 with the Norfolk Regiment.  In the absence of an extant Service Record, it is not known if he was still serving with 1st Suffolks when it moved to Salonika, or at what date he transferred and to which Norfolk battalion he had belonged.[9]  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1944.

Notes – [1] 1939 Register. [2] Militia Service Records 1806-1915 [TNA – Wo 96]. [3] Register of the Court of Sudbury [BB508/1/16]. [4] Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363], Silver War Badge No. B5880 [WO 329], Medal Roll [WO 329], and Medal Index Card [WO 372]. [5] Militia Service Records 1806-1915 [TNA – Wo 96]. [6] Medal Roll [WO 329] and Medal Index Card [WO 372]. [7] British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 and Commonwealth War Grave Commission. [8] 1939 Register for Long Melford District. [9] For details of 1st Suffolk’s movements on the Western Front and in Salonika see War Diaries [The National Archives – WO 95/2277/3] and [TNA – WO 95/4916], and Lieutenant-Colonel C. C. R. Murphy, The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927 [London: Hutchinson and Co, 1928], pp.75-81, 126-29, 155-64 and 303-10.  See also his Medal Roll [TNA – WO 329] and Medal Index Card [TNA – WO 372].

Genealogical Table

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2023
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