First World War One Hundred Years Ago People Uncategorized

100 years ago today: War Savings and Potatoes

On Thursday, 8 March 1917, the School Room played host to a meeting, the purpose of which was to start a War Savings Committee and organise the planting of village gardens and allotments with potatoes and other vegetables.

The main speaker at the event was Mr T H Bryant of Laxfield who spoke at length about the privilege of aiding the war effort, the benefits that could be had by investing in War Savings Certificates, management of gardens, and the necessity of all men joining the Volunteer Force.

Mr R Carley motioned a vote of thanks to Mr Bryant, and particulars of seed potatoes were then given. Mr J H King [John King, Wood Farm] was made honorary secretary and Mr R Carley [Richard Carley, The Red House] honorary treasurer. (Framlingham Weekly News; 10 March 1917; Page 4).

First World War One Hundred Years Ago People Uncategorized

100 years ago today: Decoration of Bessie Carley

On 3 March 1917, Miss Bessie Carley was decorated with the Royal Red Cross (2nd Class) by the King at Buckingham Palace in recognition of her work as a hospital nurse during the war.

Sister Carley was attached to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service and portraits of her reportedly appeared in the Sketch and Mail. (Framlingham Weekly News; 10 March 1917; Page 4).

[Edit, May 2021. Months after I posted a much more detailed history about Bessie Carley I stumbled across a post in a history group and recognised Bessie’s face! The FWN reported her photograph was in the Sketch and Mail but searching there has so far been fruitless. However, her image was in The War Illustrated on 7 April 1917, Page 92. Please contact me if interested and I can forward a copy of the page.]

Also honoured was Miss Ada Smith, of High House, Parham.

Later, in 1919, she further received the Royal Red Cross, 1st Class.

On 26 April 1920, at the age of 38, Assistant Matron Bessie Carley, RRC [Royal Red Cross], died at Guy’s Hospital after a brief illness, never regaining consciousness after being taken ill. She lies under a CWGC headstone in the churchyard at Badingham, her name recently added to the war memorial.  (Framlingham Weekly News; 1 May 1920; Page 2).

The local news recorded her family’s sorrow, losing her at the ‘Zenith of her career’. Bessie had trained at Warneford Hospital, Warwickshire and was in charge of Dovercourt Nursing Home before war broke out. She subsequently saw active service in France after a time at the 1st Eastern Hospital in Cambridge. She was apparently frequently in the danger zone and even under bombardment. After the war she went to work at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital before moving to Streatham Hill Nursing Home as Matron.

Her funeral took place at Badingham Church on 1 May 1920 and was attended by a very many people. The Carley family were of course well known locally and were chief mourners. Also in attendance were people from villages all around, as well as former colleagues, one of whom, Miss Macdonald, from the Suffolk Convalescent Home, had been with her in France. (Framlingham Weekly News; 1 May 1920; Page 2).

Note: many further records of Bessie Carley, who was born in Badingham in 1881, can be found at the National Archives.

Births, Marriages and Deaths Census People Uncategorized

On every census: Mary Ann Carley (1830-1918)

There can’t be many people that appear on each easily accessible census (1841-1911 inclusive) in the same parish, but Mary Ann Carley (also nee Carley) is one of them.

Born on 27 October 1830, she was baptised at Rendham Independent chapel (England and Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers; RG4; Piece Number 2356), the daughter of Richard and Mary Anne Carley. As the first name on the first schedule for Badingham in 1911, she has the honour of being individual 0001 on my master index!

The 1841 census places her with her parents (farmers) and her brothers and sisters: Samuel, Betsy, Sarah, John and Ellen. (1841 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 18; Page 3). Ten years later, at ‘Old Mill Road’, the family make up was the same but for the addition of Martha, Richard and Robert. (1851 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 10b; Page 4). Next came her marriage:

Marriages – On the 18th, at Rendham Chapel, by the Rev. G. Hinde, Mr Joshua Carley, to Miss Carley, both of Badingham.

(The Suffolk Chronicle; 29 October 1859; Page 2)

By 1861, the couple were farming 119 acres in the village. (1861 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 13c; Page 2). Ten years later the couple had the same acreage, on Laxfield Road, and were living with their 14-year-old niece Alice and a domestic servant. (1871 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 3, Page 3). 

The Chapel was an important part of their lives, and Mary Ann later appears in the Framlingham Weekly News at a bazaar raising funds for it –

“The refreshment tent was to the left of the entrance and this department was under the able management of Mrs Joshua Carley, of Badingham, the prices charged for refreshments being very reasonable and consequently satisfactory to the attendants.”

(Framlingham Weekly News; 6 July 1878; Page 4)

The 1880s show repeated mentions of Mary Ann’s husband Joshua in the local press as he was elected to be a Guardian for the parish of Badingham. In 1881 they remained farming 119 acres (1881 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 3; Page 2) and in 1891, their address was given as Beech Farm, Old Mill Road (1891 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 3; Page 2).

In 1901, Joshua (80) and Mary Ann (70), were enumerated at the White House – the first time it was explicitly recorded as such on the census. (1901 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 2; Page 8). It would be Joshua’s last census. He died on 4 January 1908 ‘having reached the great age of nearly 88 years’. His obituary in the Framlingham Weekly News noted that he had spent most of his manhood in Badingham, entering White House Farm from Mary Ann’s father almost 50 years before (Mill Road, if you turn left at the post box, becomes Laxfield Road, which may explain the census addresses).  The funeral, at Badingham, must have taken place during a period of bad weather as the obituary notes that many of his personal friends were prevented by illness and the ‘unpropitious state of the weather’ from attending. (Framlingham Weekly News; 11 January 1908; Page 4).

Mary Anne was enumerated on Schedule Number One as a farmer in her own right in 1911. She was living at the Old White House, where she had seven rooms (not including the usual exceptions) shared with her widowed sister Ellen Brock, her nephew Samuel Green Carley (the parish enumerator), and two other women. (1911 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 1, SN 1).

Ten years after her husband’s death, Mary Anne was still at the White House, where she died on 26 August 1918. Like her husband, she was nearly 88. (Framlingham Weekly News; 31 August 1918; Page 3).

How many other Badingham residents can claim a similar record of census entries – and most likely in the same farmhouse at that – remains to be seen.