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stephen p nunn

Pte. C.W. Old (16768) 2nd Essex

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stephen p nunn

Evening all - I am pleased to report that another Maldon casualty is "coming home". By that I mean that it has been my mission for the past 15 plus years to track down the medals, plaques and photographs relating to the 248 men on our Town War Memorial. I am greatly assisted in this by a friend who alerts me to them and another who bids for me. In addition to those good mates, you (supporters on the GWF) give me valuable hints and information about the soldiers in question. So here is the latest (a medal pair - Star missing) to: 

 

CHARLES WILLIAM OLD

 

Birth & Early Life

 

Born in Handsworth, Sheffield, Yorkshire  in 1884 - son of John William Old and Rhoda Old (née Youle).

 

In 1891 living with parents and two sisters (Harriett and Jane) in Park Lane, Handsworth. Father was a Nursery Foreman. Charles a 6 year old scholar.

 

In 1901 family still all together in Handsworth but had moved to 8 Bernard Street. Charles a 16 year old Nursery Propergator.

 

Maldon

 

In 1911family had relocated to Maldon and were at 25 High Street. Both father (John) and son (Charles) were Market Gardeners. Number 25 was a Florists and Fruit Shop. The Olds were there from 1910 to 1933.

 

 

 

Military Service

 

Enlisted at Chelmsford as Private (16768) Essex Regiment (2nd Battalion).

 

First served in France 25/5/1915.

 

Invalided home with enteric fever.

 

Wounded

 

Severely wounded on 14/4/1917 in head, arms and leg.

Report in the Essex Weekly News Friday 22 June 1917 says: “Pte C. Old, Essex Regt., of Maldon, who joined up soon after the outbreak of war was severely wounded on April 14th in the head, arms and leg and is now in Lady Forester’s Hospital, Much Wenlock, Shropshire. His leg was amputated above the knee on June 6th and he is now progressing favourably. He had previously been invalided home”.

Death & Remembrance

 

Died of Wounds (in Lady Forester’s Hospital) on 25/6/1917 (aged 32)

 

Buried Maldon Cemetery (44.45)

 

 

 

Also on Maldon Town War Memorial, All Saints Roll of Honour and has a Tree (T64) in the Avenue of Remembrance on the Promenade.

 

Entitled to the 1915 Star Trio.

 

Can anyone add anything please? Many thanks in advance.

Stephen (Maldon).

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clk

Hi Stephen,

 

His Star Medal was issued against the 2nd Bn Roll (- Link), but his CWGC record and Soldiers' Effects record indicate that he was a 1st Bn man when he died. 

 

1 hour ago, stephen p nunn said:

...joined up soon after the outbreak...

 

Using Craig's calculator, the amount of War Gratuity paid in his Effects record is indicative of service counting from circa January 1915. Looking at surviving papers for some near number Essex men (16757 Moore; 16773 Bush; and 16775 Brown) they all appear to have 'joined up' on 4th January 1915. 

 

16768 Old and 16757 Moore appear on the same Star Roll page, both with a disembarkation date of 25.5.1915...

image.png.1439d2f667ad0cd3a34c042499e9d13b.png

 

image.png.682567011bbed36d540c3276fde60544.png

Images sourced from Ancestry. co.uk

 

However, the service record for 16757 Moore indicates that he was posted to France to serve with the 2nd Bn on that date from the 3rd Bn, arriving there on 26.5.1915, before joining the 2nd Bn in the field on 30.5.1915. My guess would be that Charles may have followed the same initial service path.

 

image.png.7bc79e580b6c37ca5e046292a090880c.png

Image sourced from Findmpast

 

Regards

Chris

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stephen p nunn

Brilliant Chris - thank you so much.

This is his CWGC grave in Maldon:

 

oldhs2.jpg

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stephen p nunn

This was the family business.

IMG_20191123_0001 (2).jpg

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stephen p nunn

The Old's shop was dead ahead in the block to the right.

Corner High St  Silver St Maldon (3).jpg

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stephen p nunn

I don't suppose anyone knows what the 2nd. Essex were up to on 14/4/1917 do they please?

 

Thanks.

Stephen (Maldon)

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stephen p nunn

Picked the medals up today. They consist of the BWM and VM. Unfortunately the Star and Plaque are missing.

Regards.

S.

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Mark1959

War diary indicates in the line North of St Nicolas in far NW France. Remarks for 14/4/17 say 21 OR to FA - assume means that many men to Field Ambulance. Casualties recorded daily. 
Refers to Square G11 that I assume is a trench map ref.

Edited by Mark1959

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stephen p nunn

Great - thanks Mark.

Regards.

S.

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stephen p nunn

This is the Old's shop today (bay extreme right of Maldon Books).

DSCF2888.JPG

Edited by stephen p nunn

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Steviebullsatatter

That is just brilliant!

100 years plus ..everyone gone but these little things are what keeps their memories alive.

 

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stephen p nunn

Thanks Stevie.

Regards.

S.

OLD & SON

Life and Death at 25 High Street

 

by

Stephen P. Nunn

 

What a great job they have done restoring the block of buildings that are today 21 to 25 High Street (formerly Thomas Cook travel agency). Number 21 was always supposed to be the original (pre-1576) Moot Hall, but I notice that Maldon Society has removed their Blue Plaque to that effect. The restoration work has highlighted that adjacent numbers 23 and 25 were originally one three storied building, with three windowed range, projecting bows and ground floor shop(s) with carved fascia, cornice and panelled pilasters. That All Saints facing façade is officially listed as early 19th century and the space has been in continuous commercial use since at least that time. The left hand part (23) was, from 1882 to 1894, a Corn and Seed Merchants, at first trading as Stephen Cross & Son and then simply as Alfred Cross. In 1899 William Riche, Watchmaker and Jeweller, took over and it continued to be a jeweller’s shop through to the 1970s – Bernard French  (from 1902), Herbert Ives (1912-22), J. Graham (1922-26) and E. Cartwright (from 1929). It was then a greengrocers before forming part of the travel agents. The right hand part (25), on the other hand, was a tobacconists in 1894 (G.D. Haws). It then became a florists and continued as such, variously combined with fruit and veg. Initially the florist was George Pyman, but he was succeeded by John W. Old.

The Old family hailed, not from Maldon, but the village of Handsworth, a suburb of Sheffield, in South Yorkshire. John, a Nursery Foreman, was married to Rhoda (née Youle) and they had three children –  a boy, Charles William (born in 1884) and two girls (Harriett and Jane). They all appear in the 1891 Census for Handsworth, living in Park Lane, and again in 1901 at 8 Bernard Street. At that stage, son Charles was a 16 year old Nursery Propergator. In 1910, however, the family relocated to Maldon and by the time of the 1911 Census were at 25 High Street - both father (John) and son (Charles) were Market Gardeners and had a Florists and Fruit Shop on the ground floor, whilst they all lived in the rooms above. They doubtless had distinctive Yorkshire accents, but seem to have been accepted by the townsfolk and their business flourished. Then in 1914 war broke out and Maldon lads began to answer the call. Son Charles enlisted at Chelmsford in January 1915 and became Private (number 16768) in the 1st Battalion, the Essex Regiment. He left for France with the 3rd Battalion four months later, on 25/5/1915, arriving on the 26th. A further transfer on the 30th took him to the 2nd Battalion in the field, near Ypres.

We can only imagine the horrors that he experienced on the Western Front, but what is sure is that it was a far cry from the beauty of nurturing and selling flowers. The 2nd Essex were in front line positions alongside the Yser canal (near to the famous Advance Dressing Station at Essex Farm). In August 1915 they moved to France and took part in the initial stages of the Battle of the Somme from 1/7/1916. They then returned to Ypres, but by September 1916 were again on the Somme for another big push. Constant rain throughout November 1916 turned the tracks and fields to mud, resulting in high levels of sickness amongst the men. After a while things took their toll and Charles was invalided home with enteric (typhoid) fever, typically spread by contaminated food and water that were a feature of the poor hygiene and sanitation of trench life. Doubtless with the love and support of his mother and sisters, Charles soon recovered, but they must have despaired when it was time for him to return to the front.

The next we hear of Charles, he is listed as a “casualty” of the Battle of Arras. A contemporary account in the Essex Weekly News for Friday 22 June 1917 reads: “Pte C. Old, Essex Regt., of Maldon, who joined up soon after the outbreak of war was severely wounded on April 14th in the head, arms and leg and is now in Lady Forester’s Hospital, Much Wenlock, Shropshire. His leg was amputated above the knee on June 6th and he is now progressing favourably”. Sadly, that progress was short lived and he succumbed to his wounds just three days later. He was 32. His parents had his body repatriated to what they, by then, called home and Charles lies buried in Maldon’s Municipal Cemetery, where his Commonwealth War Grave headstone can still be seen. The Olds continued with their business until 1933 and the surviving family members must have regularly followed the well-trod route between their shop and the cemetery with flowers in hand. They also must have been in the crowd when, at 3pm on Sunday May 8th 1921, the War Memorial was unveiled by General Horne to the sound of a muffled peal from the All Saints bells. After prayers, a dedication, three hymns, a blessing and the sounding of the Last Post, wreaths and flowers were laid on the steps. Some of those floral tributes would have been supplied by a certain nearby florist who, despite the sign above the door, was no longer “Old & Son”.

Numbers 23 and 25 are now the new shop – ‘Maldon Books’.

The author has recently obtained Charles Old’s posthumous medals.

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