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Remembered Today:

Private Henry Sandford (and mother)


stephen p nunn
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Not far from where I live is the village of Tillingham. There are just two CWGC headstones in the churchyard there.

One of these is to: Private Henry Sandford (15766) of the 24th Battalion Training Reserve.

Henry grew up on Jerries Farm, south east of the church. He was one of ten siblings and his father (Henry snr.) worked as a horseman on the farm.

When he turned 18 in 1917, Henry enlisted and was assigned to the 24th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. He was taking part in infantry training throughout the summer months, but sadly died of pneumonia on July 15 that year.

He was buried at Tillingham St Nicholas churchyard in the same grave as his mother, who died only two days after him of a broken heart.

The inscription reads: “ALSO MARY ANN SANDFORD MOTHER OF THE ABOVE DIED JULY 17TH 1917. AGE 57”.

A sad story and, I guess, unusual for a CWGC headstone?

Regards.

Stephen (Maldon).

 

Edited by stephen p nunn
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Thank you for that intriguing detail Stephen.  Ever since I was a boy and taken by my father around the churchyards that we visited around Britain, I was always encouraged to look at CWGC headstones and I’ve never seen one with a civilian family member also mentioned.  Henry seems to have been extraordinarily unlucky to die of Pneumonia in high summer and I can’t help but wonder what the circumstances were.  Pneumonia is often associated with complications after a cold or flu in winter, and is sometimes heard of after getting wet through and struggling to dry out in a cold environment.  Perhaps it was a bacterial complication following some other illness, but on the surface of things it seems odd as it stands, given his youth and relatively healthy country lifestyle that he probably led. 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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7 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

Thank you for that intriguing detail Stephen.  Ever since I was a boy and taken by my father around the churchyards that we visited around Britain, I was always encouraged to look at CWGC headstones and I’ve never seen one with a civilian family member also mentioned.  Henry seems to have been extraordinarily unlucky to die of Pneumonia in high summer and I can’t help but wonder what the circumstances were.  Pneumonia is often associated with complications after a cold or flu in winter, and is sometimes heard of after getting wet through and struggling to dry out in a cold environment.  Perhaps it was a bacterial complication following some other illness, but on the surface of things it seems odd as it stands, given his youth and relatively healthy country lifestyle that he probably led. 

Yes Frogsmile - I think there is more to this than meets the eye.

Regards.

Stephen (Maldon).

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