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

Turner, Alfred William – Born: Wickhambrook, Suffolk on 27.1.1881.[1]  Parents: Charles William Kiddy Turner of Wickenbrook, Suffolk (Agricultural Labourer) and Charlotte [née Avis] (Tailoress).  Home: Genesis Green, Wickhambrook, Suffolk (1891), Parsonage Farm, Long Melford (1911), Bixbys Yard, Westgate Street, Long Melford [1920 to 1952].  Occupation: Agricultural Labourer (1911), Bricklayer’s Labourer (1921), General Labourer (1939).  Married: Ellen Sansum of Long Melford in 1913.  Service Record: Alfred enlisted in 1904 as Gnr.33919 with the Royal Artillery, mobilized on 5.8.1914 to 146th Battery, Royal Field Artillery and posted to France on 19.8.1914 with 42nd Brigade, RFA.  With the end of the War his was sent to Salonika serving from January to May 1919 with 39th Battery, RFA, receiving his discharge in March 1920.[2]  Died: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1952. 

Turner, Arthur James – Born: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1882.  Parents: William George Turner of Ballingdon, Essex (Foreman at George Whittle’s Coconut Matting Factory in Long Melford) and Susan [née] Barber] of Borley, Essex.  Family Connections: Brother to William George Stephen Turner [b1878].  Home: St Marys Street, Long Melford (1891), Guards Barracks, Chelsea, London (1901), 2 Chapel Green, Little St Marys, Long Melford (1911), 15 School Street, Sudbury, Suffolk [1914].  Occupation: Regular Soldier (1901), Steam Roller Driver (1911).  Married: Jessie Emma Fenton in 1910.  Service Record: Arthur enlisted in November 1900 as Pte.3984 with 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, being posted to South Africa and seeing action in Cape Colony during the Second Anglo-Boer War.  During the Great War he was posted to France, arriving on 26.8.1914 as part of 4th [Guards] Brigade, 2nd Division, seeing action at the Battles of the Marne and the Aisne in September.[3] Died: Guardsman Turner was listed as missing presumed killed in action near Polygon Wood to the east of Ypres, on 12.11.1914 and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial [panel 11], Ypres, Belgium and the War Memorial in Long Melford.[4]

Turner, George Turner aka Otley – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1831.[5] Parents: Maria Otley [nee Bird] (housekeeper to John Turner who was also his father).  Family Connections: Half-brother to Elijah Otley [b1824].  Home: Westgate Street, Long Melford (1841), Hall Street, Long Melford (1851).  Occupation: Hand-Loom Weaver at John Churchyard’s Horsehair Factory (1851).  Service Record:  George enlisted as a Private with No.1 Company, 11th Battalion, Royal Artillery being posted to Balaklava during the Crimean War.  A letter to his parents, which was reprinted in the local paper, gives his graphic account of the operations around Sevastopol.[6]  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1863.

Turner, William George Stephen – Born: Sudbury, Suffolk on 21.2.1878.[7]  Parents: William George Turner of Ballingdon, Essex (Foreman at George Whittle’s Coconut Matting Factory in Long Melford) and Susan [née] Barber] of Borley, Essex.  Family Connections: Brother to Arthur James Turner [b1882].  Home: Workhouse Row, Sudbury Suffolk (1881), St Marys Street, Long Melford (1891), lodging with James Bagley at 20 Tarn Street, Newington, London (1901), emigrated to Canada [1907], 8 Allendale Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario [1915], 219 Bellwoods Avenue, Toronto, Ontario [1918].  Occupation: Post Office Boy (1891), Tram Conductor (1901), Chemical Worker [1915].  Married: Esther Louisa Bobby in 1906.  Service Record: William enlisted on 20.8.1915 as Pte.193202 with 92nd Battalion [48th Highlanders], Canadian Expeditionary Force, posted to England on 20.5.1916, the unit providing reinforcements to the Canadian Divisions in France.  He was posted to the Western Front in March 1916, where he received a gunshot wound, the battalion however is not recorded.[8]  Died: British Columbia, Canada in 1948. 

Related Biography

Otley, Elijah – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1824. Parents: William Otley [transported to Van Dieman’s Land in 1825] and Maria [née Bird].  Family Connections: Half-brother to George Turner Otley [b1831].  Home: The Green, Long Melford (1841).  Occupation: Agricultural Labourer (1841).  Partner: Matilda Palmer née Mitchell c1865.  Service Record: Elijah enlisted in 1842 as Pte.3248 with 94th Regiment of Foot, being posted to India, transferring to 43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot, a light infantry unit in 1854, and taking part in the suppression of the Indian Mutiny of 1857/1858.  He was discharged in 1862 due to a medical disability and returned to England.[9]  Died: Long Melford, Suffolk on 6.7.1867.[10]

Notes – [1] 1939 Register.  [2] 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].  [3] For details of his battalion’s movements see War Diary [WO 95/1342/3].  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] Commonwealth War Grave Commission record and British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 [ref: 254718].  [5] Baptism Record of 19.11.1844 for Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [6] The Bury and Norwich Post and Suffolk Herald 12.9.1855, reprinted in Long Melford Historical and Archaeological Society Newsletter September 1992.  [7] Date of birth taken from his Attestation Papers.  [8] Canadian Service Record see Library and Archives of Canada [ref: RG150/281866].  [9] Royal Hospital, Chelsea: Regimental Registers of Pensioners, 1713-1882 [WO 97/1523].  [10] National Probate Calendar.

Eye-Witness account of the Siege of Sevastopol from Private George Turner in a letter to his parents of 1855

W Field Battery, Royal Artillery, Balaklava, Crimea, 20th August 1855

My dear Mother and Father

We had a great fight last Wednesday.  The enemy attacked the French and also the Sardinians very fiercely and we went over to help them, but none of the English could get into action, neither cavalry infantry nor artillery, but one 32lb field battery, the only heavy field battery we have got.  It slaughtered the Russians by hundreds.  The French and Sardinians fought very bravely and made the Russians fly back again.  The Russians lost about 8,000 killed, wounded and prisoners, while the Allied Armies lost about 800 altogether.  We are turned out at a moment’s notice day or night, for the fear of them trying to take the place.  The siege has been open three days now and we have been firing tremendous hard at them, and the Russians fire scarcely any.  Some say we had taken some of the best batteries.  We expect to storm it every night, but we don’t know the night it will be done.  I believe we shall take the town this time.  The cholera is quite gone, and the diarrhoea is fast leaving us, and we are pretty well off now.  The Sardinians are very fine soldiers as good as ever drew a sword.  I am sure the French also are good and brave ones too; and the Turks will often fight well but not so well as the other two.  But our Army, English is better than any of them, so we care not for the Russians or anybody else, as long as we are well in health.  Give my best respects to all my old friends, relations and acquaintances and believe me to remain your affectionate son.

George Turner

No.1 Company, 11th Battalion, Royal Artillery

[Author’s note: The siege of Sevastopol lasted from October 1854 to September 1855]

Genealogical Tables

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2024
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