Finished for now – Morton War Memorial Pages

Well a three year quest to document the names on the Morton War Memorial is over. By over, we mean that all the soldiers now have their own pages on our web site.
The research that we have done so far gives each soldier, his family history and a potted military history. This information should be enough to allow relatives, the people of Morton, interested parties and my generation in general to understand the conditions, hardships and final sacrifice these men chose to make.

In places some of the research is limited due to lack of current records but this research will be ongoing and we are looking forward to other records, such as those now purchased by the Western Front Association to become available in the future.

The last name to be added to the website is that of James Wright, this is a work that has come full circle for us as James Wright was the first soldier we did basic research on in February 2010. He was also the first of the Morton men to be named in the Remembrance Sunday service at Morton church in November 2010. He also has family ties with our extended family, as with so many of those Morton men that come from the old families from the village.

To view the research please visit to view the men of the Morton War Memorial.
We have been fortunate enough to visit the graves and memorials of all but one of these men and our photographs can be viewed on the following to Sue’s Flickr site.

I suppose I had better find something else to be my main focus of Great War research, suggestions on a postcard please.  🙂


The mystery of the Peterborough War Memorial, unsolved.

The following conundrum has been haunting us for many years and even though we had another go at solving this tonight, we are still no closer to a solution.

My family stories have always suggested that my Great Grandmother Martha Lawrance (Nee Mould) had two brothers that fought in The Great War. We always assumed that by fought they also meant died as we have never been able to trace them since this time.
The name Mould has been variously transcribed as Mould, Mold and Moulds a fact that has confused the story somewhat as both Mould and Moulds families (no relation as far as we know) both lived in Peterborough around the early 1900’s. We also have Martha’s Uncle James Mould and wife Ruth living in Peterborough at the same time as her parents John Thomas Mould and wife Martha.

Something that ties in with the story of the soldier brother’s of Martha, is the list of names on the Peterborough War Memorial. The following extract from their website shows what is believed to our missing brothers, Jesse and Samuel William amongst other Mould and Moulds:-

153, Huntley Grove, 12985, Private, 6th Northamptonshire Regiment.
Killed in action 31.7.18 on the Somme, France. Buried in Heath Cemetery,
Harbonnieres, Grave VIII.B.19. near Bray-sur-Somme. 1914-15 Star.  
5, Russell Street, 18147, Private, 2nd Kings Own Scottish Borderers.
Killed in action 3.9.16 at Falfemont Farm, France.  Commemorated on
Thiepval Memorial, Panels 4a/4d.
5, Russell Street, 31812, Private, 5th London Regiment. Killed in
action 8.11.18. Buried in Cambrai East Military Cemetery, Grave II.B.14.
26, Duke Street, 12851, Private, 1st Northamptonshire Regiment. Killed
in action 23.7.16 on the Somme, France. Buried in Thiepval Cemetery,
Grave I.J.01.
26, Duke Street, 321314, Private, Army Service Corps. Died of sickness
4.11.18 in Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich. Buried in Peterborough
(Broadway) Cemetery, Grave 7.3.2374.

The last documented evidence we have of the brothers is on the 1911 census where they are both listed as prisoners in Lincoln Prison. Samuel William aged 30 a labourer in an Iron Works born in Langtoft and Jesse aged 26 a rope maker born in Helpstone, both single men.

In order to determine if we had the correct people, we had to look to see if there were any other Moulds with the same names. There is only one Samuel William Mould to be found in Peterborough but we have two people named Jesse Mould. The first born about 1882 was the son of James and Ruth Mould and born in Peterborough, the second born 1884 was the son of John Thomas and Martha Mould hence the brother of my Gt Grandmother Martha. John Thomas and James Mould were in fact cousins both being born of two brothers from Helpringham, Lincolnshire whose father originally came from langtoft.
Upon closer inspection the older Jesse Mould can be found on a passenger list heading for Canada, arriving on the 30th April 1906. Jesse’s Uncle Charles Mould was already living in Toronto Canada before this date and we can only assume that this is where Jesse headed for.
A Jesse Mould came back to the UK in 1947 as a first class passenger on the Cunard White Star ship Aquitania with wife Mary and daughter Joan, arriving in Southampton and  listing their onward address as 23 Windmill Street Peterborough. We cannot find a return journey but there is also a death record for Jesse Mould in Toronto Canada.
Anyway this just about proves that any Jesse Mould we find in England from 1906 onwards is most likely to be our Jesse, Martha’s brother.

OK, so on with the mystery of the Peterborough War Memorial, lets start with Jesse.

Jesse Mould can be found on an attestation record, enlisting at Litchfield  into the North Staffordshire Regiment on 12th August 1914. What is most interesting is that Jesse attested that he had previously served for 3 years and 326/365 in the Northamptonshire Regiment. If we work back the dates then we can see that around September 1911 he must have joined the army for the first time, possibly straight after coming out of prison.
The only thing on the paperwork that does not work out correctly is that the date of birth written in the margin was 2nd July 1886 and indeed on another page his age is shown as 28 years and 41 days. In reality we have found his birth registration in the september quarter 1884 and so something is not right with the listed year.

By 22nd October 1914 Jesse was discharged from the Army and his paperwork is marked with the comment “Not likely to become an efficient soldier”. This would then question why he had previously been a soldier for nearly 4 years and more so why he left the army.

This leaves us with another problem, who is George (Jesse) Mould and why is he on the Peterborough Memorial.

The Peterborough Memorial records gives us the following:-
MOULD, GEORGE (JESSE), 5, Russell Street, 18147, Private, 2nd Kings Own Scottish Borderers. Killed in action 3.9.16 at Falfemont Farm, France.  Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Panels 4a/4d.

The address of Russell Street ties in with the right area of Peterborough as this is around the corner from Bright Street, a previous home of both the Mould and Lawrance families, but we only have the memorial listing with this address.
There is no Jesse Mould listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission registers but we do find George Mould with the right regimental number and regiment to tie in with the Peterborough Memorial information;
 Initials: G
 Nationality: United Kingdom
 Rank: Private
 Regiment: King’s Own Scottish Borderers
 Unit Text: 2nd Bn.
 Date of Death: 03/09/1916
 Service No: 18147
 Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
 Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 4 A and 4 D.
 Taken from Commonwealth war graves commission

The above information also ties in with the Medals Roll of the Great War in that;
 Medal card of  Mould, George
 Corps: King’s Own Scottish Borderers
 Regiment No: 18147
 Rank: Private

The next official record we can look at is the Soldiers Died In The Great War, entry for George Mould;
 Name:     George Mould
 Birth Place:     Helpastone, Lincoln
 Residence:     Pontefract, Yorks
 Death Date:     3 Sep 1914
 Enlistment Location:     Peterbourg, Yorks
 Rank:     Private
 Regiment:     King’s Own Scottish Borderers
 Battalion:     2nd Battalion.
 Number:     18147
 Type of Casualty:     Killed in action
 Theatre of War:     Aldershot

As you can see this final record has one or two facts that would indicate that this could be our Jesse but quite a few that don’t work especially the one about the death in 1914 when this should be 1916.

Samuel William Mould does not appear to have any attestation record available via normal sources. It could be that any record was destroyed in the blitz, what is known as the burnt records.
Unfortunately that only leaves us with three source records for Samuel William Mould.

The first record we have seen above is the listing for the Peterborough War memorial that would indicate that Samuel William was living at the same address as Jesse.
The listing would indicate that Samuel William Mould was a Private in the 5th London Regiment and killed in
action 8.11.18.
So if this is taken at face value then Samuel William and George (Jesse) should be brothers. Unfortunately the only listing for a Samuel William Mould on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site is as follows:-

SAMUEL WILLIAM;  Lance Corporal 318122 08/11/1918  28 London Regiment
(London Rifle Brigade) United Kingdom II. B. 14. CAMBRAI EAST MILITARY

If we look at extra information from the CWGC then the following statements throws an even darker shadow on the validity of the information from the Peterborough Memorial.

 Initials: S W
 Nationality: United Kingdom
 Rank: Lance Corporal
 Regiment: London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade)
 Unit Text: 5th Bn.
 Age: 28
 Date of Death: 08/11/1918
 Service No: 318122
 Additional information: Son of William H. Mould; husband of Louisa Mould, of 14, Wade St., Poplar, London.
 Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
 Grave/Memorial Reference: II. B. 14.

 The Medals Roll tells a similar Story with Samuel William Mould of the 5th London regiment, the 21st London Regiment etc., with several regimental numbers ending up with the last entry as 318122.

I thought that Samuel William would have been easier to prove than Jesse and all was going well until the bombshell of a father and wife’s name has appeared on the CWGC site. A quick check tonight on cannot throw up a Samuel William being born to a William H Mould in London and so this is another line that will need to be investigated in order to prove or disprove the family history of Samuel William Mould of the London Regiment.

Well as you can see, there appears to have been some transcription errors plus some jumping to conclusions over the years and in reality very little in the way of concrete, documented, proof that the Peterborough War Memorial is correct. 

I would like to say that in all probability the family story stand and that My two Gt Gt Uncles were both killed in the Great War, but are they really the ones listed on the Peterborough Memorial.

I guess we will probably be discussing this point for many years to come, who knows we may have to wait until the release of the 1921 census to really discover our missing relatives.


Messages from the front, Bourne and thoughts of Rippingale.

Messages from the front reveal a yearning for home and family – Local – Bourne Local

This is an interesting local article by Rex Needle I found whilst browsing the Bourne Local website searching for an article about the Rippingale war memorial. Not what I was looking for but then again I am used to going off at a tangent when doing research.

The letters home article interested me as the first letter was written by Samuel Tipler of Bourne. The name Tipler is one that attached to my extended family tree many years ago through another family name. At the time we did not look too closely at them but I remembered that we added a couple of generations. Samuel unfortunately did not appear in my extended tree but some very quick research shows that he was born in Windsor and that his father, also Samuel was born in Bourne. It would appear that the family moved back to Bourne when Samuel junior was aged 5. The 1911 census shows Samuel working on a farm in Tongue End only a few years before entering service during the Great War.
The second letter was written by Percy Lunn, not a name that I have had to look into before but one that I remember being a local surname from my youth.

My interest in the Rippingale article was aroused because after researching the men named and thinking he had finished his work, the author was then alerted to the fact that there are other men with links to Rippingale that do not appear on the memorial.
One such name was John Thomas Taylor, a person we had only researched a few weeks ago. This John Taylor was born in Rippingale and then moved via Morton to Edenham before getting killed in the Great War. We have previously researched John Thomas Taylor in an effort to disprove that he could have been the John Taylor was who is listed on the Morton War Memorial.
Now all that remains is to find out where John Thomas taylor is remembered if it is neither Morton or Rippingale. Perhaps a trip to Edenham Church will reveal the answer.

I still need to find the article from the Bourne Local about the Rippingale memorial if it was online but at least I now have a paper copy to study.


John and Joseph taylor – Morton War Memorial

John and Joseph taylor – Morton War Memorial

Two more Morton soldiers identified and written up.

John and Joseph taylor have taken some investigation in order to prove who they were.

The issues have been that Joseph Taylor, the eldest son of Joseph Parker Taylor was possibly registered   2 years after he was born thus only registered at the time of the marriage of his parents.

Joseph’s mother had died before the 1911 census and on the census return all of the siblings of Joseph Jnr have incorrect ages listed. In order to prove the age of Joseph it was necessary to find him on the 1911 census. When this was found his age was listed correctly as 18.

John Taylor was likewise an issue to prove. Again the age was mis represented on census returns by his father. This meant that there were two possible John Taylor’s that were born at similar times both registered in the Bourne district.

The only way to prove that the John Taylor that was listed on the Morton memorial was John Taylor brother of Joseph was to find what happened to the other John Taylor.
The second John Taylor was found to have been born at Rippingale and eventually found his way to Edenham via Morton. In reality this John was John Thomas Taylor but this alone was not enough proof of the true identity.

Searching the databases we could not find out what happened to John Thomas Taylor. There appeared to be no marriage or death records for this John Taylor and so it was not possible to separate him from the other John Taylor.

Eventually we managed to find what happened to John Thomas Taylor and found him on the CWGC database as killed in WW1. Luckily the database entry lists his family as living in Scottlethorpe (Edenham). This ties him to the Rippingale family and therefore eliminates him as being the John Taylor on the Morton War Memorial.

That leaves us with John Taylor the brother of Joseph Taylor as, we believe, the correct John Taylor on the Morton war Memorial.

The unfortunate side to this investigation is that we now believe that Joseph Parker Taylor, after loosing his wife and having to bring up his family alone, was then faced with losing two sons in the war.

     Joseph Taylor                                                                                                             John Taylor


Sgt Arthur Bates – Lincs Regiment 1914

Sgt Arthur Bates – Lincs Regiment 1914

Today has been another interesting diversion from what we set out to research.
We had some time ago posted the military history of Arthur Bates onto our website but had never been able to work out who he was to write his family history. Today has been an interesting search where we found Arthur Bates on the 1911 census for the first time. Armed with his age and a rough date of birth we managed to find his family on previous census returns but without his father present after 1881. The reason for this was that his mother was listed as a widow from 1891 onwards.
Using the wonderful British Newspaper Archive now available through Find my Past we found a listing for the death of an Edward Bates of Morton in November 1886. This was the final piece of the jigsaw allowing us to piece together the family history of Arthur.
Collating all of the information was another matter. The method of collating information from various records over a 50 year span is an interesting prospect and the easiest for us is to create a family tree. Using Family Tree Maker and the Ancestry website tends to work for us but we don’t really like to create online trees just for this purpose. As luck would have it, one of Arthur’s cousins was married to a Needham from Morton and this family has already been added to the “Jamie Lawrance Ancestry” tree already online through
In order to start adding Arthur’s ancestors to the tree meant revisiting some research we added to my tree years ago when we were asked to research the Scotney family for a friend. Making the link between the Needham family we had and the Bates family Needham link was fairly simple and once this was added to the on-line tree the rest of the Bates family could be added to create a complete immediate family tree for Arthur Bates. This now puts my extended on-line family up to 4564 people.
We are aware that descendants of this Bates family are still living in Morton and this made researching the descendants of Edward Bates even more important to us as any extra Morton research is always of interest.
What we have established today is that the Arthur Bates we visited in the cemetery at Frameries last year, was actually a career soldier working his way up to the rank of Lance-Sergeant, before becoming part of a rear guard action that certainly saved the lives of many soldiers caught in one of the earliest actions of the Great War.
                                     Jamie     1.12.12