Military Project

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Golden Nehemia and Mary Prentice (nee Hailley) - the stories of two of their grandsons

Golden Nehamiah and Mary Prentice (nee Hailley) were married at Pirton, Hertfordshire in 1817 and had five children
  • Samuel - born 1819
  • Mary Ann - born 1821
  • George Hailley - born 1823
  • Emma - born 1824
  • Henry - born 1826
Both Samuel who was a Barrister and Henry who was a Vicar had sons who would serve their country during the Boer War in Africa and the Great War of 1914 - 1918, although their military careers would follow a very different course.  Herbert was the son of Samuel and Arthur William was the son of Henry

Herbert Prentice

Herbert Prentice was born in 1866.  He was the second son and fourth child of Samuel and Ann Eliza Prentice (nee Firmin).  At the time of his birth Herbert had an older brother called Ernest who was six years old and two elder sisters, Emma was five years old and Lizzie was three years old

The children of Samuel and Ann Eliza were:
  • Ernest Samuel - born 1859
  • Emma - born 1862
  • Lizzie Christine - born 1864
  • Herbert - born 1866
  • Leila Kathleen - born 1869
  • Alan - born 1871
  • Rose Margaret - born 1875
Samuel was baptised on  the 5th August 1866 within the parish of Paddington St Stephen, London when his home address was 42 Leicester Square and his fathers occupation was that of a Barrister of law

At the time of the 1871 census, Herbert was four years old and living with his parents, sister Lizzie who was then aged seven along with a new sister called Leila aged two and a brother called Alan who was aged six months.  The family were still living at 42 Leicester Square in London and had a cook, a housemaid and a nurse.  His older brother Ernest is not seen with the family as he is a boarder at Clifton College and his older sister Emma is not seen with the family although I have not found her elsewhere on the census she is probably a boarder at school or college 

Clifton College was founded in 1862, you can read more about Clifton College here.

At the time of the 1881 census, Herbert was fourteen years of age and was a boarder at Clifton College, this is the same college as his elder brother Ernest was attending during the previous census. In the meantime, Herbert's father does not appear on the 1881 census and his mother was found at Greystoke, Kingston, Surrey which is the new family home in the country.  Ernest is back home aged 21 and is a student of civil engineering while Emma aged 19 is also back home along with Lizzie aged 17, Leila aged 12 and a younger sister called Rose who is aged six and was born between the 1871 and 1881 census.  The family have a nurse, cook and parlourmaid.  Alan, aged 11 is a boarder at a school in Pevensey Road, Hastings

At the time of the 1891 census Herbert's father Samuel and mother Ann are both at home, Samuel is working as a County Court Judge.  Ernest is aged 31 and working as a Civil Engineer, Emma, Lizzie and Leila are also at home along with Alan.  The family have a domestic cook, parlourmaid and a housemaid.  Rose is at the Grassington Road Ladies College in Eastbourne, Sussex. 

Herbert was not found on the 1891 census of England probably because he was travelling with the Royal Engineers Regiment of the British Army or he was in India or Burma. He was a Lieutenant with the Royal Engineers and from the 10th Apr - 7th May 1891 he was in Burma for which he was awarded the India medal with clasp for Burma 1889-1892 

Herbert's father Samuel died in 1893 and Herbert married Hilda Mary Woodhouse on the 17th February 1898 at St Judes Church, Kensington, London

At the time of the 1901 census Herbert is listed as a soldier with the Royal Engineers and has the rank of Captain.  He has one child, Rachel Mary Prentice who is one year old

On the 29th Mar 1904, Herbert and Hilda have a son whom they called Derek George Prentice.  Derek was born in Krugersdorp, Transvaal, South Africa, one of the areas where the Second Boer War took place between 1900 and 1902 which presumably had a contingent of the British military remaining after the conflict ceased

On the 1st Apr 1911, Herbert was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel as per the announcement in the London Gazette Supplement of the 4th April 1911. 

At about the same time as Herbert was promoted to the Rank of Lieutenant Colonel the census of 1911 would have been taken.  It showed Henry as a Major in the Royal Engineers so maybe it was filled out just before the promotion.  Herbert is living with his wife Hilda Mary at Scarletts, Old Heath, Colchester, Essex along with their daughter Rachel Mary aged 11 and Derek George who is now aged 6.  To help within the household are a domestic cook, parlourmaid, housemaid and governess

The storm clouds were gathering for world war one which was declared by England against Germany on the 4th August 1914 and at this time Herbert would have been in Colchester.  His Medal Index card is a card on which any vital information about about service during conflict is recorded and Herbert's Medal Index Card reveals some interesting information

It tells us that he entered a Theatre of War for the first time during this conflict in 1915 and that the Theatre of War was France and it also tells us that he was the Commander of the Divisional Engineers for 8th Division.  The 8th Division, Divisional Engineers included 2nd Field Company, 15th Field Company, 1st (Home Counties) Field Company and 8th Divisional Signal Company

This Division remained on the Western Front of France for the entire war and Lt. Col. Prentice's correspondence address for the duration of the first world war was Waterford House, Hertfordshire

On the 19th Nov 1921 Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Prentice retired from the British Army and he died on the 4th Sep 1933 in Hertford

Arthur William Prentice

Arthur William Prentice was born in Holford, near Bridgewater, Somerset, England in 1869.  He was the son of Henry and Fanny Catherine Prentice (nee Lloyd) and at the time of his birth, his father was employed as the Vicar in the village of Holford

The children of the Reverend Henry and Mrs Fanny Prentice were:
  • Edith Prentice - born 1863
  • Edward Prentice - born 1865
  • Walter Prentice - born 1866
  • Reginald Prentice - born 1867
  • Arthur William Prentice - born 1869
  • Frank Linton Prentice - born 1875
The 1871 census shows that Arthur, aged two years old, continues to live with his parents at the Holford Rectory and no further children are born to the family.  Ten years later, the 1881 census shows that another child has been born called Frank Linton.  Arthur was then living away from home as a pupil of the Burgoyne Academy at 28 South Parade, Portsea, Hampshire.  The school was mixed and the head teacher was Mr George E Strickland

Arthur travelled to South Africa sometime between the census of 1881 and 1896.  He served with the British South African Police for twelve months during the Matabele rebellion in Rhodesia which ran from Mar 1896 - Oct 1897

Later, he saw service during the Anglo Boer War as Captain of the 2nd Brabants Horse (6 months) until discharged on the 9th Mar 1900.  Trooper mo. 504 & 27079 in Driscoll's Scouts (6 months) and in the Cattle Ranger Corps.  He enlisted with the Special Squadron of Steinackers Horse at Johannesburg on 7 Feb 1902 until the Squadron was disbanded on the 15th Jul 1902 when he was discharged at Pretoria

I can find no evidence that Arthur returned to England and so he presumably remained in South Africa.  He is described as a prospector, 6.3'', blue eyes, fair hair and his next of kin was his mother at St Mary's Lodge, Ashstead, Surrey.  His mother was not living at this address during the Boer War but was living at this address during World War One, this information would presumably have originated in his service record from World War One

Arthur would again see service when Britain declared war on Germany on the 4th Aug 1914 at the start of the Great War of 1914 - 1918 (also known as World War One).  Arthur joined the East African Transport Corps very early during World War One, with the rank of Corporal, service number 1581.  H entered a theatre of war for the first time on the 18th Nov 1914

Arthur died on the 26th Jul 1915 and is buried in Nairobi South Cemetery, Kenya

My grateful thanks to Bill Goldsworthy who supplied me with information about Arthur William Prentice

Steinackers Horse by Bill Woolmore

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