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THORPE MALSOR WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © Jean Buswell 2013

The Thorpe Malsor memorial is to be found within the parish church of All Saints', Churcfh Way, Thorpe Malsor, Kettering, Northants. It takes the form of a wall plaque with a crucifix and an elaborately carved surround, inside All Saints Church, Thorpe Malsor. There are 6 names listed for World War 1 only.

Photographs Copyright © Jean Buswell 2013

PRAY FOR THE SOULS OF
Frederick Blackwell
Frank Blackwell
Walter Earl
Frederick Goodman
Albert Rickards
Charles Smart
WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES IN THEIR COUNTRY’S NEED
IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918

BLACKWELL Frederick

Gunner 27487, 35th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, 2nd Division Expeditionary Force, Killed in action on 31 October 1914 in France & Flanders, aged 24. Son of Daniel and Eleanor Blackwell of Thorpe Malsor. Born in Broughton, Enlisted in Desborough. No known grave. Commemorated on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 9.

Extract from Kettering Leader 11 December 1914:

KILLED IN ACTION
Thorpe Malsor Gunner Falls at the Front


GUNNER F BLACKWELL

Quite a gloom was cast over Thorpe Malsor when the news came to hand that Gunner Fred Blackwell, No 27487, Royal Garrison Artillery, 35th Heavy Battery, 2nd Division Expeditionary Force, had been killed in action on October 31st.
The unfortunate young fellow, who was 24 years of age, had served 5½ years in the Army, and about two years ago came home and joined the Reserve. He was in London on holiday when the war broke out and immediately upon seeing a mobilisation notice outside a post office, with his usual gallantry, came home to bid good-bye to his mother, brothers and sisters, and off he went to join his old regiment. He was of a most kindly disposition and greatly respected by everyone who knew him.

Another sad feature in connection with the family is that the fiancé of Miss Olive Blackwell, the deceased’s sister, who belonged to the Royal Artillery, has also been killed in action.

There is another brother, Frank, in Kitchener’s Army, at the present time stationed at Sunderland, who expects to go to the front before long, having volunteered for such service when at Weymouth.

Much sympathy has been expressed with Mrs Blackwell and family in their bereavement.

A similar announcement in the Evening Telegraph of 3 December 1914 adds the information that Gunner Blackwell was captain of the Thorpe Malsor football team.

Frederick Blackwell is the brother of Frank William Blackwell (below)

BLACKWELL Frank William
Private 12856, 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment. Killed in action on 27 August 1915 in France & Flanders, aged 21. Son of Daniel and Eleanor Blackwell of Thorpe Malsor. Born and resident in Thorpe Malsor, (Previously a last maker for the boot & shoe trade). Enlisted in Kettering. Buried in Vermelles British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Plot I. Row B. Grave 32.

From Evening Telegraph, Wednesday September 8th, 1915

THORPE MALSOR “STEELBACK” KILLED

Mrs Blackwell, Park View, Thorpe Malsor, has received letters conveying the sad news that her son Private Frank Blackwell, 12856, “A” Company, 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, was killed in action (somewhere in France) on August 27th, 1915. He joined Lord Kitchener’s Army on August 30th 1914, and was wounded on May 9th, 1915, in the trenches, but after a few days was able to rejoin his regiment.

Mrs Blackwell had previously lost her son Fred, who was a reservist in the Royal Garrison Artillery, and was killed in action shortly after the war started. By a strange coincidence, the fiancé of her daughter Olive was killed in action on August 27th 1914.

One of the letters received is from Alfred Warner*, 12611, “A” Company, 1st Battalion, Northants Regiment, under date August 28th. He says:

“Dear Mrs Blackwell,

I do sincerely hope and trust that this will find you and your family quite well. I hardly know how to bring it again to you about your dear boy Frank, but I do hope that you have been told by now the worst. Believe me, it was so sudden that poor Frank and his mate, a fellow named Smith**, could not have felt the least of any pain whatever. That is one consolation to you, although it would appear at first to be a small one. It happened yesterday morning at about eight o’clock, as they were having breakfast. It was a shell. Poor Frank was laid to rest yesterday in an English soldiers’ cemetery, and buried with full military honours, at Vermelles.

A box of cigarettes came last night from his young lady, and I will give them to his friends.

You will be pleased to know that Frank was a very popular soldier, always happy and bright, and his loss is deeply felt by all his friends, including myself and George Holland***, who wrote yesterday to ask his brother to break the sad news to you. I know one of your daughters and one son just by sight, Blanche and Dan, and I expect they just remember me, being ‘Vic’s’ mate at Cransley. I trust you will keep up a good heart.

With my deepest sympathy to you all.
Alfred Warner.”

Mrs Blackwell’s husband was an ex-soldier and died about three years ago, and the husband of her eldest daughter, Jessie, is a sergeant-instructor.


*Alfred Warner who wrote the letter to Mrs Blackwell, was himself killed in action on 29 September 1915. His medals were sent to a Mr A Warner at 48 Clausentum Road, Southampton. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

** “His mate, a fellow called Smith” who was killed at the same time was Private Robert Smith 6935, Northants Regt. 1st Bn, born Plaistow, enlisted Warley, Essex. Buried in Vermelles British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Grave I. B. 31, next to Frank Blackwell (Grave I. B. 32)

*** Private George Holland, 12794, Northamptonshire Regt. 1st Bn., from Cransley Nr Kettering, was killed in action on 3 April 1916. Buried in St Patrick’s Cemetery, Loos, Pas de Calais, France. Plot III. Row J. Grave 21.

EARL Walter Thomas
Rifleman 59412, 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own). Killed in action on 5 June 1920 in Mesopotamia (Iraq), aged 20. Son of James and Mary Louisa Earl of Thorpe Malsor. Born at Chester Farm, Irchester/Wellingborough. Resident in Thorpe Malsor. Enlisted at Northampton. Buried in Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Baghdad, Iraq. Plot XIX. Row F. Grave 16.
GOODMAN Frederick William

Lance-Corporal 228238, 1st (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers), London Regiment. Killed in action on 22 September 1917 in France & Flanders, aged 29. Son of Fred and Ellen Priscilla Goodman of Thorpe Malsor.
Husband of Maud Amelia Goodman. Born in Thorpe Malsor. Previously a boot laster. Enlisted in Northampton, originally as a Private in the Royal Sussex Regiment, 201771. No known grave. Commemorated on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 52.

Photo from Roll of Honour in Kettering Leader, 23 November 1917

RICKARDS Albert James
Private 12952, 2nd Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment. Killed in action on 9 May 1915 at the Battle of Aubers Ridge, aged 30. Son of John and Fanny Ann Rickards of Thorpe Malsor. Born in Chelsea, London, Resident in Thorpe Malsor. Previously worked as a Gardener, a Clicker (boot and shoe trade) and immediately before joining the army he was an Engineer’s Turner at Messrs Salmon, Whitfield & Co, Victoria Street, Kettering. Enlisted at Kettering. No known grave. Commemorated on Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium. Panel 7.

(Albert’s brother Fred Clariss Rickards was also killed in the Great War, in 1917 – he was living at Peterborough at the time so is not included on the Thorpe Malsor memorial. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial under the incorrect name of ‘Private F C Richards’)

SMART Charles James
Private 14399, 2nd Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment. Killed in action on 14 March 1915 at Neuve Chapelle, aged 21. Son of James and Annie Maria Smart of Thorpe Malsor. Born and resident at Thorpe Malsor. Previously worked as a Farm Labourer. Enlisted at Kettering. No known grave. Commemorated on Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 28-30.

Last updated 18 November, 2020

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