Monday, March 13, 2006

Glemsford's Own GC

Marion Hebblethwaite has been in touch with me several times about an incident that occurred in Glemsford duing the Second World War, which resulted in the awarding of the George Cross.

These are the bare bones.

Frederick John CRADOCK, GC - 4th May 1943, Glemsford, Suffolk

No/Rank/Unit/Occupation: BoilermanDoB - DoD: 1886, Acton, London - 4th May 1943, Glemsford, Suffolk

Biography: Frederick J Cradock served in First World War, enlisting in late 1915 in the Royal Field Artillery as No. 245358, with the rank of Driver. He served in France and Belgium from early 1916 with 156th Brigade (Territorial)/R.F.A. He was discharged in the summer of 1919 when his Army number was 885763.

TLG/Citation: 10th September 1943

The KING has been graciously pleased to award the GEORGE CROSS to: -Frederick John Cradock (deceased), Boiler Man, Glemsford, Suffolk.

An explosion occurred, with the result that a boiler house was filled with scalding steam and water, and a man was trapped in a well between the furnace and the boiler. Cradock, who was on top of the furnace, could have jumped to safety on the side away from the steam, but he refused to do so and, calling for a ladder, turned into the escaping steam and attempted to get down into the well to haul out his workmate. Before he could do so he was overcome and severely scalded. He staggered away from, the steam and at this point could still have jumped to safety but, despite his terrible injuries, he returned to make a second gallant effort to get down into the well.He died in making the attempt. Cradock showed outstanding heroism and gave his life in an endeavour to save his workmate.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to add anything to the story, except for an entry from the Foxearth website, itself taken from the Haverhill Echo, May 5, 1943:

The story of how a Glemsford man who lived at Thurston End gave his life to try and save his workmate was told at an inquest last week.
The victims were Frederick Craddock aged 57 of Thurston End, Glemsford and Albert Sterry of Brook Street, Glemsford.
Sterry had been in charge of a East Anglian boiler room for two years and Craddock was his assistant, they had been engaged in " blowing out the boiler" an operation they carried out twice a week when the boiler exploded killing both men, a piece of metal had lodged in the valve which made it unable to open properly.
The chairman said Craddock lost his life because he tried to save his mate.
Accidental death.

Marion has now informed me that one of a series of books on the awarding of the GC, including that to Mr Cradock, has now been published.

All books are available through the website or by request through your bookshop.

Meanwhile, if anyone knows anything more, please let me know. It seems like a story well worth the re-telling.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Celebrity Status

Many of us have been fascinated by the "Who Do You Think You are?" series on the dear old beeb, and particularly by Clive Paine's revelations about Mr Paxman's humble Suffolk roots.
The fact that members of the family travelled north in the middle of the 19th Century, almost as part of an enforced migration, is interesting in itself.
But the Glemsford censuses reveal several other examples of a somewhat similar movement later in the Century.
Skerton, part of Lancaster, in Lancashire was one town that received migrants from Glemsford (and other Suffolk towns, like Lavenham) some time in the 1870s. "Matting weavers" are to be found on the 1881 Census for that area, on Earl Street and Lune Street.
Families such as Brown, Debenham and Middleditch can be identified - they were in Glemsford in 1871, in Skerton in 1881 and (mostly) back in Suffolk by1891. There were, apparently, 2 matting factories in Skerton at that time.

Why and how the families moved , and why they mostly returned, would make a fascinating historical study.
Anybody up for it?

Oh, and the Brown family involved can be read about in more detail here:

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Dare to ask a question ...


I am looking for anyone who might be a distant relation.
My Great Grandfather was Henry Thomas Dare, who left Suffolk in the early part of the 20th Century.


David in Hampshire

As always, any responses via me, and I'll pass them on to David


Sunday, March 05, 2006

A Suttle Question

Rose Sillett has a question, aimed at Janet Jarmin, but which others may be able to help with, too:

"I understand that you may have some information on the name of Suttle. My Grandfather Wilfred Suttle was born in 1898 and died aged 35 yrs, due to malaria caught whilst serving in W.W.1.He had 2 brothers (possibly 3) and a sister.His father was David b.1863.and his father John b. 1831 married to Hannah b. 1834. My grandfather's brother who was his best man at his wedding on Aug.4th 1924 to Ada Brown at the Parish church Glemsford. Was in the W.W.1 but what happened ?
That's all I know.....Rose."

So: can anyone help?

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