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A village with a big story
Little Holland cottages at top of Green no longer there
train
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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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Shelley

Selected Biographies

Shelley, Clifford James – Born: Ipswich, Suffolk on 8.1.1901.[1]  Parents: James Shelley (Blacksmith) and Mary Jane [née Drury] of Long Melford.  Family Connections: Brother to Robert Frank Shelley [b1890] and George Alfred Shelley [b1892] both of Long Melford, and Edmund Charles Shelley [b1895]; also, cousin of Sydney Arnold Shelley [b1896], and brother-in-law of Percy Lee Squirrell [b1892] and William James Goldfinch [b1888].  Home: 65 Bulwer Road, Ipswich, Suffolk (1901), 23 Wilberforce Street, Ipswich (1911), 115 Bolingbroke Road, Coventry, Warwickshire (1939).  Occupation: Motor Engineer [1918], Motor Coach Painter (1939).  Married: Florence Lucy Lucas in 1926.  Service Record: Clifford was conscripted on 7.5.1919 as Gnr.1031933, formally Gnr.292197 with 36th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery stationed in Kildare, Ireland in 1921, transferring to the Army Reserve in 1925.[2]  Died: Coventry, Warwickshire in 1975.

Shelley, Edmund Charles – Born: Ipswich, Suffolk on 18.8.1895.[3]  Parents: James Shelley (Blacksmith) and Mary Jane [née Drury] of Long Melford.  Family Connections: Brother to Robert Frank Shelley [b1890] and George Alfred Shelley [b1892] both of Long Melford, and Clifford James Shelley [b1901]; also, cousin of Sydney Arnold Shelley [b1896], and brother-in-law of Percy Lee Squirrell [b1892] and William James Goldfinch [b1888].  Home: 65 Bulwer Road, Ipswich, Suffolk (1901), 23 Wilberforce Street, Ipswich (1911) to [1966].  Occupation: Hairdresser (1911 to 1939).  Service Record: Edmund was conscripted on 2.3.1916 as Gnr.651705, later Gnr.176507 with CCCLXXVIII Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, and posted overseas and issued with a Silver War Badge and discharged on 10.5.1918 due to wounds.[4]  Died: Ipswich, Suffolk in 1966.

Shelley, George Alfred – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 19.9.1892.[5]  Parents: James Shelley (Blacksmith) and Mary Jane [née Drury] of Long Melford.  Family Connections: Brother to Robert Frank Shelley [b1890], Edmund Charles Shelley [b1895] and Clifford James Shelley [b1901]; also, cousin of Sydney Arnold Shelley [b1896], and brother-in-law of Percy Lee Squirrell [b1892] and William James Goldfinch [b1888].  Home: 65 Bulwer Road, Ipswich, Suffolk (1901), 23 Wilberforce Street, Ipswich (1911), Red Lion Inn, School Street, Woolston, Warwickshire (1939).  Occupation: Coach Painter (1911), Publican (1939).  Married: Doris M. Small in 1961.  Service Record: George enlisted as Pte.1269 with 1/1st Norfolk Yeomanry, being posted on 8.10.1915 to Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, transferring as L/Cpl.56156 to the Machine Gun Corps.  He was granted a commission on 21.6.1918 as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force.[6]  Died: Rugby, Warwickshire in 1972.

Shelley, Robert Frank – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 14.9.1890.[7]  Parents: James Shelley (Blacksmith) and Mary Jane [née Drury] of Long Melford.  Family Connections: Brother to George Alfred Shelley [b1892], Edmund Charles Shelley [b1895] and Clifford James Shelley [b1901]; also, cousin of Sydney Arnold Shelley [b1896], and brother-in-law of Percy Lee Squirrell [b1892] and William James Goldfinch [b1888].  Home: High Street, Long Melford (1891), 65 Bulwer Road, Ipswich, Suffolk (1901), Royal Oak, Wrecclesham, Farnham, Surrey (1911), 23 Wilberforce Street, Ipswich [1914], 46 Marlborough Road, Ipswich [1977].  Occupation: Motor Trimmer (1911), Coach Trimmer [1914].  Married: Mary Elizabeth Smith in 1913.  Service Record: Robert enlisted on 22.9.1914 as Pte.1729 with 1/1st Norfolk Yeomanry, posted to Anzac Cove, Gallipoli from 8.10.1915 until his evacuation to Egypt in the following December.  He transferred in January 1917 as L/Cpl.320141 to 12th [Norfolk Yeomanry] Battalion, Norfolk Regiment, as part of the newly formed 230th Brigade, 74th [Yeomanry] Division.  With this unit he saw action as a Lewis Gunner, during the campaign in Palestine: at the Second and Third Battles of Gaza in 1917 and the Battle of Tell ‘Asur in 1918.  At the end of April 1918 his unit was posted to France, moving into the front line at Melville in July.  By September his battalion had been moved to La Petite Munque Farm near Bailleul where on 11.9.1918 Robert received a shrapnel wound to his left thigh.  He was released from hospital on 29.11.1918 when he transferred as Pte.23171 to 3rd [Reserve] Battalion, Norfolks, receiving his discharge in March 1919.[8]  Died: Ipswich, Suffolk on 25.7.1977.[9]

Shelley, Sydney Arnold – Born: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1896.  Parents: Aylmer Shelley (Baker) and Rose Evelyn [née Game].  Family Connections: Cousin of Robert Frank Shelley [b1890], George Alfred Shelley [b1892], Edmund Charles Shelley [b1895] and Clifford James Shelley [b1901].  Home: 89 East Street, Sudbury (1901), Hollands, The Green, Long Melford (1911), High Street, Long Melford [1916].  Occupation: Pupil Teacher at Long Melford School [1916].  Service Record: Sydney went before the Melford Military Service Tribunal in March 1916 and asked for a delay to his conscription to allow him time to sit a teaching exam.  Fourteen days exemption was granted.[10]  He attested in 1916 as Pte.6595 with 1/15th [County of London] Battalion [Prince of Wales’s Own Civil Service Rifles], London Regiment and was posted to France from 20.8.1916 as part of 140th Brigade, 47th [1/2nd London] Division.  Within weeks of joining his unit in the field, Private Shelley was advancing across no man’s land as part of an attempt to capture enemy positions in the village of Flers, a mile north of Deville Wood.  This action was one of the opening moves of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, the first-time tanks were ever used in battle.  On 7.10.1916 his unit was again in action attacking German lines at the Butte de Warlencourt.  The assault was stalled by concentrated enemy machine-gun fire, killing and wounding nearly 300 men including Private Shelley.[11]  Died: Sydney was killed in action on 7.10.1916 and is buried in Warlencourt British Cemetery [grave ref: I.J.37], Pas-de-Calais, France; he is also commemorated on the Long Melford War Memorial.[12]

Related Biographies

Deeks, Clair Spencer – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 25.2.1918.[13]  Parents: Spencer Albon Deeks of Clare, Suffolk (Saddler and Harness Maker) [see his details elsewhere] and Emily Constance [née Shelley].  Family Connections: Nephew of Harry James Bowyer Deeks [b1887].  Home: Saddler’s Shop, The Posting House, Hall Street, Long Melford (1921 to 1939).  Occupation: Organ and Piano Tuner (1939).  Married: Dorothy Shelley in 1942.  Service Record: Clair was an Ambulance Driver in Long Melford during the Second World War.[14]  Died: Walnut Tree Hospital, Sudbury, Suffolk on 20.8.1972.[15]

Goldfinch, William James – Born: Whitstable, Kent in 1888.  Parents: Thomas Goldfinch (Oyster Dredger) and Mary Ann [née Chandler].  Family Connections: Brother-in-law of Robert Frank Shelley [b1890], George Alfred Shelley [b1892], Edmund Charles Shelley [b1895] and Clifford James Shelley [b1901].  Home: Essex Street, Whitstable, Kent (1891 to 1901), Gloucester House, Gloucester Road, Tankerton, Whitstable (1911), Military Barracks, 54 Goldhawk Road, Wormwood Scrubs, London (1921), 18 Grundisburgh Road, Woodbridge, Suffok (1939), 128 Rushmere Road, Ipswich [1968].  Occupation: Architect and Surveyor (1911), Civil Engineer in Accra, West Africa [1923 to 1931], Civil Engineer (1939).  Married: Ida Marian Prior [d1920] in 1910 and Eveline Ivy Shelley of Long Melford in 1920.  Service Record: William enlisted as Spr.2660, later A/Cpl.554055 with the Royal Engineers.  He was quickly promoted and posted to France in January 1917, being awarded an officer’s commission on 28.10.1917.[16]  He continued his service after the war and in 1921 was with 1st London Divisional Engineers Defence Force.  During the Second World War he was the Air Raid Precaution Service Organiser for Woodbridge and from November 1943 placed on the Special List for Service with the Suffolk Army Cadet Force.[17]  Died: Ipswich, Suffolk on 11.1.1968.[18]

Squirrell, Percy Lee – Born: Bildeston, Suffolk in 1892.  Parents: William Squirrell (Corn and Seed Merchant) and Ellen ‘Nellie’ [née Clover].  Family Connections: Brother-in-law of Robert Frank Shelley [b1890], George Alfred Shelley [b1892], Edmund Charles Shelley [b1895] and Clifford James Shelley [b1901].  Home: Bildeston House, Bildeston, Suffolk (1901 to 1911), Shurlocks, Bildeston [1918], The Street, Woolpit, Suffolk (1921), Hall Farm, Cosford, Suffolk (1939), White Lodge, Bildeston [1968].  Occupation: Coal Merchant’s Manager (1921 to 1939).  Married: Gertrude Ellen Shelley of Long Melford in 1917.  Service Record: On 28.3.1917 Percy was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant with the Lincolnshire Regiment.  He was posted to France and in 1918 was awarded the Military Cross for ‘conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.  When the attack was nearly over, finding himself in command of the battalion, he went round the whole position regardless of the heavy shelling.  On the following day, when the situation was obscure, he went out in daylight to the front line.’[19]  Died: Bildeston, Suffolk on 13.3.1968.[20]

Notes – [1] 1939 Register.  [2] RA Attestation Record.  [3] Baptism Register 6.10.1895, St Matthew Church, Ipswich, Suffolk.  [4] Service Medal and Award Rolls, First World War, Silver War Badge [WO 329] record [ref: 363602], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [5] Baptism Register 6.11.1892, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford. [6] Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372] shows Gallipoli date incorrectly as September 1916.  A second Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] appears to be connected to George Shelley showing him as Pte.1722 of the Norfolk Yeomanry and L/Cpl.56166 of 209th Battalion, MGC.  Both MRs show him being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the RAF.  For his RAF commission see also London Gazette 16.8.1918, p.9579.  [7] Baptism Register 2.11.1890, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford. [8] For details of 1/1st Norfolk Yeomanry in Gallipoli see War Diary [WO 95/4325], and for 12th Norfolk Yeomanry’s movements in France see War Diary [WO 95/2366/2].  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]. [9] National Probate Calendar.  [10] For the Tribunal’s ruling see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 29.3.1916. [11] Both actions mentioned were part of the wider Somme Offensive.  For details of the actions see 1/15th London’s War Diary [WO 95/2732/1] and Chris McCarthy, The Somme: The Day-by-Day Account [London: Brockhampton Press, 1998], pp.105 and 128.  See also his Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [12] Commonwealth War Graves Commission record and British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 file [ref: 396815].  [13] 1939 Register.  [14] 1939 Register.  [15] National Probate Calendar.  [16] Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [17] 1939 Register and Supplement to the London Gazette 21.1.1944.  [18] National Probate Calendar.  [19] Supplements to the London Gazette 17.12.1917 and 23.4.1918.  See also his Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [20] National Probate Calendar.

Genealogical Table

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2024
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