1914 Shaftesbury Grammar School Athletics Team

Henry Godwin Pratt

Surname: Pratt
Other names: Henry Godwin
Other people in this story:
Arthur Godwin Pratt
Alice Mary Pratt née Cooke
Charles Henry Tovey
Locations in this story:
Pokesdown, Christchurch, Hampshire
Shaftesbury, Dorset
Bristol, Gloucestershire
Brighton, Sussex
France
Russia
Baku, Azerbaijan
Newport, South Wales

Story:
Henry Godwin Pratt was born in Pokesdown, Christchurch, Hampshire, on 23rd August 1897 and baptised there on 14th September 1897 at St. James' Church, the son of Arthur Godwin Pratt and Alice Mary Pratt (née Cooke).  Regrettably Henry's mother died within weeks of his birth in 1897. In September 1909 he became a pupil at Shaftesbury Grammar School, Shaftesbury, Dorset. The 1911 Census shows that he was a boarder. He represented the school at football in 1913, cricket in 1914 and was part of the athletics team that won the 1914 Dorset Inter-School Sports. On leaving school in July 1914 he entered employment at an engineering works in Newport.

In 1915 he joined the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps and by February 1916 he had been awarded a Commission with the 3rd Battalion of the Welsh Regiment. He kept in touch with his old school, regularly writing letters to the headmaster Dr. Tovey. In the 1918 edition of the Grammar School magazine it was reported: "Godwin Pratt has recently been wounded in France, in the right hand and back; we are happy to be able to say the wounds are not serious. We hear he has applied for a transfer to the R.F.C."

He was transferred to the Royal Air Force on 5th April 1918 and served with the 62nd & 63rd Wings.It is not known in which theatre of war he served before the armistice but the June 1919 edition of the school magazine notes: "When we last heard of Godwin Pratt he was at Petrovsky, 150 miles N. of Baku."  He was Mentioned in Despatches on two occasions and was awarded the Victory and British War medals. Following his discharge on 19th September 1919 he rejoined his old engineering firm at Newport. The November 1919 edition of the school magazine shows that he "has been spending a few days at the School. We offer him our heartiest congratulations on being "Mentioned in Despatches" for good work done in South Russia. He has been with a sea-plane squadron on the Caspian Sea." 

By the time of the 1939 Register he was living at 1 Wolferton Road, Bristol, Gloucestershire, described as a Commercial Traveller but also serving with the No. 11 Balloon Barrage (929 Squadron) as an Aircraftsman Class 2 (Service No. 861233).  His death was recorded in Brighton, Sussex, in 1970.

A "First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces" was produced by Shaftesbury Grammar School in September 1915. It shows the regiment in which Godwin served and the date and term in which he left school. Throughout the was a hand-written list was also compiled of Shaftesbury Grammar School old boys serving in the armed forces. The board is now at Gold Hill Museum.

Printed Sources:
First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, October 1914
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, October 1915
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, February 1916
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, March 1918
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, June 1919
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, November 1919
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, June 1920

Images:
  • 1913 Shaftesbury Grammar School Football Team
  • List of Old Shastonians 1
  • List of Old Shastonians 4
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys. P

Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives
Shastonian
PN63

Arthur Mervin Belbin

Surname: Belbin
Other names: Arthur Mervin
Other people in this story:
John Belbin
Clementine Amelia Belbin née Maidment
Elsie Maud Belbin née Wingfield
Frederick Percy Walter Belbin
Harold John Belbin
Rosa Belbin née Guti
Locations in this story:
High Street, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Blandford, Dorset
Guildford, Surrey

Story:
Arthur Mervin Belbin was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 29th April 1897, the son of John Belbin and Clementine Amelia Belbin (née Maidment).   He lived his early life with the family at 63 High Street, Shaftesbury.  He enlisted originally with the Territorial Force of the Dorsetshire Regiment as a Private on 14th November 1915 (Service No. 3679).  He was promptly discharged a day later on 15th November 1915 on the grounds he was unlikely to make an efficient soldier.  He tried again and re-enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps on 25th April 1916 (Royal Air Force from 1st April 1918) (Service No. 26798).  He rose to the rank of Corporal Mechanic with 204 Squadron.  It is not known where be served but he was discharged on 28th March 1919.  He qualified for the Victory and British War medals but no record can be found.  He married Elsie Maud Wingfield in Blandford, Dorset, in 1922 and they had three children.   By the 1939 Register he was living at 18 Woodside Road, Guildford, Surrey, and was described as a Registered Master Builder.  It is not known why his marriage ended but he re-married, to Rosa Guti, in Guildford, Surrey in 1948.  He died in St. Luke's Hospital, Guildford, Surrey, on 12th June 1964.  His brothers, Frederick Percy Walter Belbin and Harold John Belbin, also served in the conflict.

Images:

Links to related web content / sources:
Frederick Percy Walter Belbin
Harold John Belbin
The National Archives
Coppice Street, Shaftesbury

Victor Sidney Taylor

Surname: Taylor
Other names: Victor Sidney
Other people in this story:
Sydney Taylor
Kate Taylor née Case
Matilda Sarah Ann Taylor née Ingle
Locations in this story:
Cann, Shaftesbury, Dorset
France & Flanders
Surrey
Fitzroy Square, London
Willesden, Middlesex
North Dorset
Coppice Street, Shaftesbury
Bimport, Shaftesbury

Story:
Victor Sidney Taylor was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 2nd April 1893 and baptised at St. Rumbolds Church, Cann, Shaftesbury, on 11th May 1893, the son of Sydney Taylor and Kate Taylor (née Case).  He lived his early life with his family at 16 Coppice Street, Shaftesbury.  He enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps on 14th January 1916 (the Royal Air Force from 1st April 1918) as an Aircraftsman 1 (AC1) (Service No. 18341).  He was employed as a fabric worker and served in France and Flanders.   He married Matilda Sarah Ann Ingle, first at a civil ceremony on 14th November 1917 in Surrey and then, by licence, on 18th November 1917 at St. John the Evangelist Church, Fitzroy Square, London.  They went on to have six children.  Victor was discharged from the RAF on 8th May 1919 and awarded the Victory and British War medals.  By the time of the 1939 Register he was living at 51 Kings Road, Willesden, Middlesex, and was working as a Tailor on his own account.  It is recorded that by 1955 he had returned to Shaftesbury and was living at Alcester House, Bimport, Shaftesbury.  His death was recorded locally on 8th May 1977.

Images:

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The National Archives
PN145

Arthur Edward Sidney Coaker

Surname: Coaker
Other names: Arthur Edward Sidney
Other people in this story:
Charles Coaker
Mary Ann Coaker née Weatherdon
Lottie Coaker née Longley
Locations in this story:
Coppice Street, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Canterbury, Kent
Malta
Weymouth, Dorset
Victoria Street, Shaftesbury

Story:
Arthur Edward Sidney Coaker was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 5th December 1897 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 9th January 1898, the son of Charles Coaker and Mary Ann Coaker (née Weatherdon).  His early life was spent at home either at 11 Victoria Street or, from 1911, 8 Coppice Street, Shaftesbury.   He enlisted and joined the Royal Flying Corps (Royal Air Force from 1st April 1918) on 29th March 1917 becoming an Aircraftsman 1 (AC1) (Service No 69036).  It is not known where he served during the war period but he was posted to Malta for a short time in 1919.  He had married a Lottie Longley in Canterbury, Kent, on 23rd April 1919 and gave 14 Palace Street, Canterbury, Kent, as his address.  There were possibly two children of the marriage.  Arthur was discharged on 10th February 1920.  There are no obvious medal records in this case.   By the 1939 Register he was living at Berkley, Shaftesbury, Dorset and was working as a Motor Transport Driver.  His death was recorded at the Weymouth, Dorset, Registry in 1959.

Images:

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The National Archives

Thomas Allen Mitchell

Surname: Mitchell
Other names: Thomas Allen
Other people in this story:
George Henry Ernest Mitchell
Katherine Mitchell née Gould
Mary Mitchell née Philp
Locations in this story:
Bell Street, Shaftesbury, Dorset
France & Flanders
Russia
Southampton, Hampshire
Dundee, Scotland
St. James' Church, Shaftesbury

Story:
Thomas Allen Mitchell was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 11th March 1899 and baptised at St. James' Church on 9th April 1899, the son of George Henry Ernest Mitchell and Katherine Mitchell (née Gould).  He lived his early life in the family home at 15 Bell Street, Shaftesbury.  He enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps (later the Royal Air Force) on 15th March 1917 becoming an Air Mechanic 2. (Service No. 66831).  He served in France and Flanders with the 58th Squadron until, following the end of the war, he was posted to Russia for a short period.  Whilst serving he married Mary Philp at St. Andrews Church, Dundee, Scotland, on 4th September 1920.  He was eventually discharged on 14th March 1925 giving 14 Avenue Road, Southampton, Hampshire, as his forwarding address.  He was entitled to the Victory and British War medals.  On the 1st February 1939 he re-enlisted in the Royal Air Force as a Corporal.  His death was recorded at the Southampton, Hampshire, Registry in 1963.

Images:

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The National Archives
Salisbury Street, Shaftesbury 2

Frederick James Tanswell

Surname: Tanswell
Other names: Frederick James
Other people in this story:
Albert Tanswell
Mary Tanswell née Hunt
Ellen Tanswell née Massicks
Locations in this story:
Shaftesbury, Dorset
France & Flanders
Sturminster, Dorset
Salisbury Street, Shaftesbury
Layton Lane, Shaftesbury

Story:
Frederick James Tanswell was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 28th July 1877 and baptised there on 26th August 1877, the son of Albert Tanswell and Mary Tanswell (née Hunt).  He lived all his life, apart from Military Service, in the Shaftesbury area.    He married Ellen Massicks at Holy Trinity Church, Shaftesbury, on 1st April 1907 and set up home at 32 Salisbury Street, Shaftesbury.  They went on to have five children. 

Frederick enlisted and joined the Army (details unknown) but transferred the the Royal Flying Corps on 23rd August 1917.  (The Corps became the Royal Air Force on 1st Apr 1918.)  He became an Air Mechanic 2 (Service No. 93022).   He served in France and Flanders and was eventually discharged on 5th April 1919 and awarded the Victory and British War medals.   His wife, Ellen, died in 1937 and by the time of the 1939 Register Frederick was living at 2 Layton Lane, Shaftesbury, Dorset, and was described as incapacitated.   His death was recorded the the Sturminster, Dorset, Registry in 1961.

Images:

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The National Archives

William Alexander Stewart Blucke

Surname: Blucke
Other names: William Alexander Stewart
Other people in this story:
Harry Frederick Stokes Blucke
Elizabeth Harriet Blucke née Collins
Jessica Blucke née Huxford
Frederick Charles Blucke
Locations in this story:
Donhead St. Andrew, Wiltshire
Cann Lodge, Cann, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Wandsworth, London
Southwark, London
France & Flanders

Story:
William Alexander Stewart Blucke was born at Donhead St. Andrew, Wiltshire, on 24th July 1895 and baptised there on 17th August 1895, the son of Dr. Harry Frederick Stokes Blucke and Elizabeth Harriet Blucke (née Collins).  William, whose father was the local Doctor, lived in Donhead St. Andrew for his early years until, by 1911, the family had moved to Cann Lodge, Cann, Shaftesbury, Dorset.  

William enlisted on 24th November 1914 and joined the 3rd Battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment and held the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.  He transferred on 29th June 1918 to the Royal Flying Corps (later the Royal Air Force) as an Observer with the rank of Lieutenant.  He served in France and Flanders and on his discharge on 4th November 1919 he was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He was attached for sometime after to the ADRIC (Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary) in Ireland.  He married Jessica Huxford in 1932 and by the time of the 1939 Register they were living at 27 Christchurch House, Wandsworth, London, he was described as a Company Secretary and Director with a Commission Agent.   He died, aged only 47, on 5th May 1943 and was buried at Southwark, London, on 12th May 1943. 

His brother, Frederick Charles Blucke, also served in the conflict, with the Royal Garrison Artillery.

Images:

Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives
Frederick Charles Blucke
St. James' Church

Harold George Stainer

Surname: Stainer
Other names: Harold George
Other people in this story:
George Theodore Stainer
Jane Stainer née Young
Kate Mary Stainer née King
Locations in this story:
Shaftesbury, Dorset
St. James, Shaftesbury

Story:
Harold George Stainer was born on the 30th September 1888 in Shaftesbury, Dorset and baptised at St. James' Church on 28th October 1888 the son of the George Theodore Stainer and Jane Stainer (née Young).  He lived his whole life, apart from during Military Service, in St. James, Shaftesbury.    He married Kate Mary King at St. James Church, Shaftesbury, on 10th October 1914.  There are no records of any children.   He enlisted on the 7th June 1916 but was not mobilized until 12th March 1917 when he joined the Devonshire Regiment (Labour Company) as a Private (Service No. 59879).  Shortly after he was transferred to the Labour Corps 3rd Reserve Battalion and was posted to the 303rd Labour Company (Service No. 290276).   On the 13th October 1917 he was transferred to the 191 Training Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps (which became the Royal Air Force on 1st April 1918) (Service No. 104964).  He held the rank of Air Mechanic II and was employed as an Aero Rigger.   He was discharged, having served the whole time in the UK, on 12th April 1919 as being unfit for further service and received the Silver War Badge.  There are no other medal records.   By the 1939 Register he was living at 18 Layton Lane, Shaftesbury, and working as a Cabinet Maker and Upholsterer.   He died in Shaftesbury on 1st April 1955 and was buried in St. James Churchyard on 6th April 1955.

Images:

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The National Archives
Bell Street, Shaftesbury

Frederick John Bown

Surname: Bown
Other names: Frederick John
Other people in this story:
Frederick John Bown
Ellen Bown née Wareham
Violet Annie Bown née Courtney
Locations in this story:
Bell Street, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Fishertone Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire
Blandford, Dorset
France
Gigant Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Story:
Frederick John Bown was born on 13th March 1895 in Shaftesbury, Dorset, the son of Frederick John Bown and Ellen Bown (née Wareham). The family lived at 8 Bell Street, Shaftesbury, moving, by 1911, to Park Road, Blandford, Dorset. Frederick enlisted on the 23rd February 1916 and joined the Royal Flying Corps eventually holding the rank of Corporal (Service No. 23420). On 23rd March 1918 he was compulsorily transferred to the 6th Battalion of the King's Royal Rifle Corps (Service No. 46196) quickly followed by a further transfer to the 5th (Reserve) Battalion of the Guards Machine Gun Regiment (Service No. 2155) finally holding the rank of Sergeant. Whilst with the RFC he had served in France; otherwise he was based at home. He was demobilized on 18th July 1919 and took up residence at 161 Fisherton Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire. He was awarded the Victory and British medals. He married Violet Annie Courtney in 1925 and they went on to have three children. By the 1939 Register the family had moved to 125 Gigant Street in Salisbury, Wiltshire, where Frederick was employed as a Motor Engineer. He died in Salisbury on 16th January 1970.

Images:

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The National Archives
Bimport, Shaftesbury 2

Howard William Highman

Surname: Highman
Other names: Howard William
Other people in this story:
George Highman
Elizabeth Highman
Florence Amelia Agnes Highman née Hyde
Locations in this story:
Fieldings, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Bournemouth, Hampshire
Stour Provost, Dorset
Gillingham, Dorset
Salonika, Greece
Egypt
Bimport, Shaftesbury

Story:
Howard William Highman was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 27th January 1897, the son of George and Elizabeth Highman. He lived at 25 Bimport, Shaftesbury, up until he volunteered for war service. He enlisted on 8th December 1915 and joined the Dorsetshire Regiment (7th Reserve Battalion) as a Private (Service No. 17605). He transferred shortly after to the Royal Irish Rifles (Service No. 10074). Having served in Salonika he returned to England and transferred to the Royal Flying Corps on 2nd January 1918 (later the Royal Air Force from 1st April 1918) (Service No. 138549) and served in Egypt. He achieved the rank of AC1 and remained until demobilized on 21st May 1920. He was awarded the Victory and British medals. He re-enlisted in the RAF (Service No. 138519) on 18th April 1931 and served through until placed on Reserve on 18th April 1939. He had married Florence Amelia Alice Hyde in 1928 (Bournemouth District Register). There were possibly two children of the marriage. The family lived at 12 Fieldings, Shaftesbury at the time of the 1939 Register and, once no longer serving with the RAF, Howard became an Automobile Association Road Patrolman. He died in Gillingham, Dorset, on 8th December 1976.

Images:

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The National Archives