Henry William Colgrave was born in Colmworth on 23rd June 1881, the youngest of 7 children of George Colgrave, a farm labourer, and his wife Emma, nee Rowles, a lace maker. The family lived at Chapel End. His mother Emma died on 12th June 1899, and by 1901 Henry was working as a carter’s labourer and boarding at 42 Edward Road in Bedford. In 1911 he was living at 12 Hill Street in Kettering, working as a furnace labourer. By this time he had married, but was already separated from his wife and child. At the time of his death his daughter Ellen was living in St Michael’s Home in Leamington, and her guardian was named as Nurse Carter of 105 St Peter’s Avenue, Kettering.
He joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on 19th October 1916, giving his occupation as coal carter, and was drafted to the British Expeditionary Force on 14th January 1917. He served with the Nelson Battalion, part of the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division, between 26th February and 22nd April before suffering a gunshot wound to the left chest. He rejoined the Nelson Battalion on 19th May before being killed in action on Monday 22nd October 1917 when based at La Brique Camp near Ypres.
He was buried in St Julien Dressing Station Cemetery, Langemarck, and also shares a gravestone in Colmworth Churchyard with his father George.
ALSO OF HARRY,
YOUNGEST SON OF THE ABOVE,
WHO FELL IN ACTION IN FRANCE,
OCTOBER 22ND 1917,
AGED 36 YEARS.
Sidney Charles Draper was born in Colmworth in 1897, one of 5 children of John Draper, an agricultural labourer, and his wife Ada, nee Hartop, who also had 2 sons from her previous marriage to William Watts. The family lived in Church End, in a cottage where the Tudors now stands, and Sidney worked as a farm labourer.
He enlisted in the Bedfordshire Regiment and joined the 7th Battalion. He was killed in action at Glencorse Wood during the Third Battle of Ypres (often known as Passchendaele), on Friday 10th August 1917.
He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial and was entitled to the British War and Victory Medals.
Archie Herbert Pell was born in Colmworth in 1899, one of 5 children of George Pell and his wife Fanny, nee Peet. At the time of Archie’s birth, George was the innkeeper of the Swan public house, but by 1911 was living at Church End in one of the Home Close cottages and working as a farm labourer.
Archie became a rifleman in the 13th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own). Villager Hector Colgrave recalled that his mother told him that she and Archie’s mother waved Archie goodbye and he waved and said: “See you old gits soon”. He never returned as he was killed in action during the Battle of Albert on Friday 23rd August 1918.
He is commemorated on the Vis-En-Artois Memorial and was entitled to the British War and Victory Medals.
Victor Stringer was born in late 1924, the son of Archie Stringer and his wife Mona, nee Wilson.
Victor was a flight engineer with the rank of Sergeant in 625 Squadron of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. On 23rd October 1944 he took off in a Lancaster bomber LM691 at 16.31 from RAF Kelstern in Lincolnshire on a bombing raid to Essen. When returning to base about 21.00 there was a mid-air collision with a Halifax bomber and both planes exploded, with the wreckage being scattered over fields 2km south-east of Aachen. There was only one survivor, Squadron-Leader C.W.C. Hamilton, the other 6 crew losing their lives. Victor was later re-interred in Hotton War Cemetery in Belgium.