Samuel Cheshire Doubleday (d. 8th May 1918)

WWI & II Commemorative Calendar (2018)
WWI & II Commemorative Calendar (2018)

Samuel Doubleday (snr) was a butcher and farmer in Long Clawson.  On 4 October 1830 he married Hannah Daft from Hickling.  They lived in Long Clawson, where their eldest son, Samuel Daft Doubleday, was born in late 1841 or early 1842.  The younger Samuel at first stayed in Long Clawson with his family, and worked as a butcher.  In 1863 he married Elizabeth Stokes from Tythby in Nottinghamshire.

Samuel and Elizabeth first lived in Long Clawson although their first child, Samuel Stokes Doubleday, was baptised in Langar.  By 1871 they were living in Hickling, Samuel working as a grazier.  It is not known where they lived, but after Samuel died Elizabeth continued a farming and butchery business and we know that she was later doing this from Japonica House, so that was very possibly their home from the beginning.  In all, they had six children.  In 1874 Samuel died, aged just 32, from inflammation of the lungs, apparently arising from anthrax.  Elizabeth remained in Hickling until her death in 1927 aged 90.

Elizabeth and Samuel’s son, Samuel Stokes Doubleday, also worked as a butcher.  He married Alice Cheshire from Whittlesea, Cambridgeshire, in 1890.  Although the wedding was in Whittlesea, it made a splash in the Grantham Journal.  We are told that it “caused more than ordinary interest among the inhabitants [of Hickling]” and also that “the wedding presents, which were numerous and very much admired, testified to the general respect with which the bridegroom and his family are held in Hickling and the neighbourhood”.

It would seem that Samuel and Alice chose to settle first in Whittlesea.  Certainly they were there in 1891, Samuel working as a butcher’s assistant.  Their oldest child, a boy, was born there in 1892 and, following the by now established family tradition, he was named Samuel Cheshire Doubleday.  Also born there were their children Thomas William (William) in 1893, Alice Maud (Maud) in 1895 and Elsie May in 1901.  Kelly’s Directory for 1896 shows a Samuel Doubleday trading as a butcher in the town.  Samuel returned to Hickling, however, for the weddings of his sisters Ruth and Kate, giving them away since their father was no longer alive.

In the 1901 census Alice and the children are in the house of her stepfather, whilst Samuel is back in Hickling in his mother’s house.  There is, however, a Hickling school picture taken in 1900 which includes Maud, so it would seem likely that Alice and the children had just gone to visit her family.  The fact that Elsie May was born in Whittlesea the year later may indicate that Alice went back there to be with her family for the birth.  When Charlotte Eleanor (Lottie) was born in 1905 the family were living at Fern Cottage in Hickling.  Samuel worked locally, trading from his butcher’s cart.  We know that Samuel and Alice had one other child who did not survive, but have no further details.  It would seem likely that this child was born in the gap between Maud and Elsie while they were in Whittlesea.

By 1911 Samuel Cheshire Doubleday was living back in Whittlesea in the ten-room house of his uncle Thomas.  Thomas was a draper and Samuel his assistant.  His parents and two youngest sisters were still in Hickling and his brother Thomas was living with a baker in Thrussington and working as an assistant bread baker.  Some time after this Samuel joined the drapery business of Messrs Griggs and Co in Surbiton.

Following the outbreak of war Samuel enlisted in the East Kent (Buffs) Regiment on 13 July 1915 and received training at Purfleet, Canterbury and Colchester.  He was drafted to France and wounded in the battles of Hooge and Loos.  At one time he was a lance corporal and later a sergeant, but he relinquished this position when he left Belton Park, where he was in the gun section.  In November 1917 he last visited his family, one imagines in Melton Mowbray where they reportedly now lived, returning to France a few days later.  After that he spent time in a convalescent home recuperating from an attack of bronchitis.  Only shortly after this, on 8 May 1918, he was killed aged 26.  He is buried in the Nine Elms British Cemetery in the Ieper area, West Flanders.  Samuel’s will showed his address as 30 Whitmore Street, Whittlesea, the home of his uncle Thomas with whom he had lived and worked.  Thomas was also the executor.  Samuel’s mother Alice gave instructions for  “Loved and Remembered, Rest in Peace” to be inscribed on his headstone.  A memorial service was held for him in Hickling on 23 June 1918.  The report of his death in the Grantham Journal said: “He was a lad unassuming, quiet and thoughtful, and had made his mark in his profession as a draper, giving up a good position 3½ years ago to enlist at his country’s call.”

Samuel’s brother William also fought in the Great War.  In August 1918 he was reported wounded and in hospital.    In 1919 he married Ada Elliott in the Leicester district.  In 1939 William and Ada were living in Knossington, William still working as a baker.  There are also three closed records at this address, indicating the presence in the household of younger people who may still be alive.  No trace, however, has been found of any children being born to the couple.  Ada died in Knossington in 1941, aged 46.  It is thought possible that William then married a Violet Clarke.  William died in Oakham in 1971.

Alice Maud Doubleday married Ernest Samuel Bradshaw of St Ambrose Edgbaston on 2 June 1928 in Melton.  They had three daughters, Edna J in 1929, Sheila M in 1932 and Doreen M in 1935.  In 1939 the couple were living in Birmingham, Ernest running a general drapery shop, so the same line of business as that which was followed by Alice’s late brother Samuel.  There are three closed records at the address, almost certainly the daughters, and a young woman doing “paid domestic duties”, possibly as a live-in servant for the family, or she may just have been a guest.  Ernest died in Birmingham in 1946 aged 68.  Alice died in Sutton, Surrey, in 1994.  Perhaps she had moved there later in life to be near one of her daughters.  She was almost 99 at the time.

No further reliable trace has been found of Elsie May except that she took the principal role in a Hickling school pageant in 1916, for which effort she was presented with a box of chocolates!

Charlotte Eleanor (by now known as Eleanor, rather than the childhood nickname of Lottie) married Thomas H Newbery in Birmingham in 1931.  They had one child, Thomas A, born in 1937.  In 1939 they were living in Sutton Coldfield and Thomas was working as a printer’s salesman.  One record is closed so it may well be that the younger Thomas is still alive.  Also at the address was 78 year old Charlotte Cheshire, the unmarried sister of Charlotte Eleanor’s mother, perhaps a guest, or perhaps now living with the family.  Both Thomas and Charlotte Eleanor died in Birmingham, Thomas in 1965 when he was 66 and Charlotte Eleanor in 1980 when she was 75.

The parents of this family, Samuel Stokes Doubleday and Alice, moved to Melton Mowbray, where Samuel worked for many years as a butcher for Messrs Colin and Co.  According to the newspaper this was in 1915.  If this is correct then Elsie would seem to have been living with someone else when she performed in the school pageant in 1916.  In 1929, at which time they were living at 108 King’s Road in Melton, Samuel had to spend fourteen weeks in hospital.  He died a few days after returning home, aged 65.  With his death the trade of butcher came to an end in this branch of the family. 

The war memorial was unveiled at the village school in 1921.  The school was next to Japonica House, the home of Samuel Cheshire Doubleday’s grandmother, Elizabeth.