Cricklade WW1 letters of Local boy, Sidney Hamblin Hewer (in 1911, a grocer’s assistant) was brought up by his Grandmother, Hannah Hewer in Church Street, Cricklade. During WW1, he served with the British Red Cross mainly in France. He was very worried about leaving his 80-year-old Grandmother on her own, but was reassured by promises of friends that she would be well looked after in his absence.
Family History: Sidney, born in 1888, one of at least 8 children, to Charles Hamblin (a Hackney Carriage Proprietor) and (Harriet) Jane Hewer, living with Charles’ Parents, Frederick and Hannah, at the Kings Head Inn, High Street, Cricklade (now closed, but it was on the corner of Church Lane), where Frederick was a “Licensed Victualler” (i.e. the Landlord). Sidney was baptised at St. Sampson’s, Cricklade (almost next door), By 1901, Sidney’s Grandfather had died and his Parents and siblings had moved away to Manchester Road Swindon, leaving Sidney living on his own with Hannah in Church Lane.
During the war, in which he served as an orderly in the British Red Cross Society & Order of St John (29.9.14 – 15.1.17), he was awarded the Victory, British War and Mons Star Medals.
After the war, Sidney safely returned to England, and on 19th July 1931 married Elizabeth Maney Ellam also in St. Sampson’s. Elizabeth, nee Everett, had previously married Alfred O. Ellam in 1916, but been widowed in 1927. His Grandmother Hannah, lived on after the war, dying in 1927, aged 94.
He died in Swindon, in 1971, aged 85. We have found no trace of any children born to the couple.]
A collection of their correspondence (60-plus letters/envelopes, plus one photograph) throughout the war have been withdrawn from sale by the Eype History Society. The auction of these items were to be held on January 5th 2015 at the Bridport Auction House. The good news is that they have been purchased privately and will be given to the Cricklade Museum/Cricklade Historical Society, to join their collection of materials on this local man. the Eype History Society decided to withdraw them because they will now be in the public domain, so that everyone who is interested will be able to see them, instead of selling to the highest bidder, who would possibly keep them in a private collection of wartime ephemera, and possibly wouldn’t have any connection with Sidney.
A great result from one historical society to another.
Informant details: Janet Allen, Eype History Society.