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

Rackham, Oliver Charles – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1874.  Parents: George Rackham (Tailor) and Clementina [née Edwards].  Family Connections: Brother to Percy Herbert Rackham [b1876].  Home: Tailor’s Shop, Market Place, Saxmundham, Suffolk (1881), Military Barracks, Aldershot, Hampshire (1891), lodging with Dick Hannard (brother-in-Law) at 11 Gordon Road, Southall, Middlesex (1911).  Occupation: Butcher [1890], Soldier (1891) to [1919].  Married: Eva Louisa Smith in 1917.  Service Record: Oliver enlisted in 1890 as Pte.3368 with 1st Battalion, South Wales Borderers, transferring as Pte.10577 to the Regiment’s 2nd Battalion, posted to South Africa in 1900 and seeing action during the Second Anglo-Boer War.  Unravelling this man’s army career is problematic due to there being an interweaving of army records for two separate individuals: Oliver Charles Rackham born in Long Melford in 1874 and a Charles Walter Rackham born in the same village about a decade later.  As no census record can be found for the latter individual it is possible that Oliver attempted to re-enlist in the King’s Liverpool Regiment under an assumed name, while on home leave in 1907.  In 1912 Oliver’s unit was stationed at Tientsin in northern China, taking part in the successful Anglo-Japanese assault on the German naval base at Tsingtao in November 1914.  His next posting was to Gallipoli from 17.3.1915 as part of 87th Brigade, 29th Division, where he received a bullet wound to his right shoulder on 16.5.1915.  Following the evacuation from Gallipoli to Egypt at the end of the year, his unit was sent next to join the British Expeditionary Force in France arriving there in March 1916.  Private Rackham fought in two major actions during the Somme Offensive of 1916; at Albert in July and the Transloy Ridges in October; in 1917 during the Arras Offensive, the Third Battles of Ypres, and the Battle of Cambrai; and at the Battle of the Lys in April 1918.  In July he was transferred as Pte.567819 to 839th [Area Employment] Company, Labour Corps being issued with a Silver War Badge and discharged due to the effect of his wounds in March 1919.[1]  Died: Uxbridge, Middlesex in 1927.

Rackham, Percy Herbert – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 3.7.1876.  Parents: George Rackham (Tailor) and Clementina [née Edwards].  Family Connections: Brother to Oliver Charles Rackham [b1874].  Home: Tailor’s Shop, Market Place, Saxmundham, Suffolk (1881), 1 Haberdasher Street, Shoreditch, London (1891), 17 Moye Street, Haggerston, Shoreditch, London [1897],[2] 17 William Street, Marylebone, London (1901), 234 Higham Hill Road, Walthamstow, Essex (1911), 69 Park Road, Leyton, Essex (1921). Occupation: Tailor (1891), Tailor’s Cutter (1901 and 1911), Gentleman’s Tailor (1921).  Married: Edith Jane Perryman in 1897.  Service Record: Percy was conscripted as Pte.33811 with the Essex Regiment.  No extant Service Record can be found to expand further on his military record during the First World War.[3]  Died: Leyton, Essex in 1928.

Notes – [1] For details of 2nd South Wales Borderers time in Gallipoli and on the Western Front see War Diaries [WO 95/4311 and WO 95/2304/2].  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: B254265], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  Rackham appears to have had a chequered history during his twenty-eight years with the South Wales Borders, culminating in him being sentenced to three years hard labour in June 1917 for fraudulently selling army rations, which in the words of the Courts Marshal was ‘conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline’.  In the event he was incarcerated for only thirteen months being released from Military Prison No. 3 at Le Havre in July 1918.  [2] Address taken from Marriage Register 18.4.1897, St Marys Church, Haggerston, Shoreditch, London. [3] Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].

Genealogical Table

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2024
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