Meddows, Harold Thomas, Died 26th Mar 1919

Harold Thomas MEDDOWS was born in 1898 in Newbold-on-Avon, Rugby; registered in Q2, 1898; and baptised in Newbold, on 22 May 1898.  He was the fourth of five sons of William Henry Meddows (b.c.1863 in Newbold) and Mary Ann, née Sharp, Meddows (b.c.1861 in Copston, Leicesteshire).  They had married on 21 August 1888 at St Oswald’s church, New Bilton.

In 1891, William Henry Meddows was a ‘Carrier and Post Office keeper’ at the Old Woodyard in Newbold on Avon, and by 1901, his son Harold was three years old.  The family was living in Newbold at the Grocers shop, where his father, William Henry, was both the ‘Postmaster and Grocer’.  Harold’s mother, Mary Ann, was the Post Mistress.

In 1903 Harold’s mother died, and she was buried on 12 March 1903 in St. Botolph’s churchyard, Newbold on Avon, leaving children aged from 2 to 13 years of age.  In 1911 the family were still living in Newbold and Harold’s father was enumerated as a ‘Carrier and Sub-postmaster’.

Harold’s Service Record has not survived but his Medal Card shows that he joined up initially as a Private, No.21114, in the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.  His later Silver War Badge record stated that he had joined up on 10 August 1916.

It would have been some time before he was trained and sent to France, probably not before the end of 1916.  The 3rd Battalion had fought …
… During later 1916 in the Battle of Delville Wood, (15 July – 3 September 1916); the Battle of Guillemont, (3-6 September 1916); and in the Operations on the Ancre.  Then during 1917 they were in action during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line; the Arras offensive; the Battle of Polygon Wood; the Battle of Broodseinde; the Battle of Poelcapelle and the Second Battle of Passchendaele (26 October and 10 November 1917).

At some date probably in, say, mid 1917, it appears that he was wounded, and later transferred to the Labour Corps as No.353050.  It seems that he was also gassed – which may have provided the classification ‘wounded’.  He had been transferred to the 364th Reserve Company Royal Warwickshires when he was discharged because of sickness under Clause xvi (a) (i)[1]No longer physically fit for war service’ on 4 December 1917, when he was aged 19.  He may have still been in hospital at that date, after being gassed.

He was awarded a Silver War Badge, on 22 January 1918.  The Silver War Badge was given to men discharged from active service, due to wounds or illness, and was in part provided so that they were not accused of avoiding service, as it showed they had served and been wounded.

It is assumed that he was home in Rugby, and possibly in hospital there, when he died, aged 20, on 26 March 1919.  His death was registered in Rugby in Q1, 1919.  The CWGC record states that he ‘Died of phthisis[2] following wounds (gas)’.

He was buried in Plot: G. 286. at the Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.  The CWGC contact when he was buried was ‘Mrs G. Creed, 27 Graham Road, Rugby’.  Mrs. G Creed, was his sister, Elsie, whose marriage with George Creed had been registered in Q3, 1915, soon after Harold and Elsie’s father’s death on 2 February 1915, when he was 52 years old.  Elsie Creed was later buried with her brother in Clifton Road Cemetery.

The family added the inscription ‘Greater Love Hath No Man Than This Who Giveth His Life For His Friends’.

Harold Thomas MEDDOWS was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.  He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates; on his CWGC gravestone at Clifton Road Cemetery, and also on the Newbold War Memorial at St. Botolph’s Church.

His brother, Albert Edward Sharp Meddows, also served in WWI with the Army Service Corps, the Royal Engineers and latterly with the 5th HQ Signal Company, attached to the 34th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.  He was killed in action on the third day of the First Battle of Passchendaele on 14 October 1917, together with three other Rugby men.  He is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Ypres.  He left a wife and two children.

His brother Horace also served, with the Worcestershire Regiment, from March 1916 to January 1919, when he received a Silver War Badge.  He married in 1922 and lived until 1950 and died in Rugby, aged 56 years.

Fuller family details are given in the biography of Harold’s brother, Albert Edward Sharp Meddows.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Harold Thomas MEDDOWS was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson.  Thanks are given to Marian Evans, the author of the biography of Harold’s brother, Albert Edward Sharp Meddows, who died on 14 October 1917[3] for the use of some of her information and confirmatory material.  This biography is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, October 2018.

[1]      At a slightly later date, possibly when his records were being updated: (a) would refer to ‘during a period of war or demobilisation’, (i) would refer to ‘If the soldier is a patient in hospital’.

[2]      Whilst the term ‘phthisis’ is no longer in scientific use, it described tuberculosis, involving the lungs, and a progressive wasting of the body.  It could be brought on by the gasses used in the war.

[3]      https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2017/10/14/meaddows-albert-edward-sharp-died-14th-oct-1917/.

 

Meddows, Albert Edward Sharp. Died 14th Oct 1917

Albert Edward Sharp Meddows was born in the third quarter of 1889 and was baptised 1st November 1889 at St. Botolph’s Church, Newbold-on-Avon, Warwickshire. He was the first child of William Henry and Mary Ann Meddows. His father’s occupation is put as a Carman. The small family appears on the 1891 census and their address is Old Wood Yard, Newbold on Avon, Rugby William Henry is a Carrier and Post Office Worker. By the time of the 1901 census the family has grown with the addition of five more children, Percy Samuel, Horace Charles, Elsie Mary, Harold Thomas and finally in 1900 William Henry. Their address is Grocers Shop, Newbold Village, Newbold on Avon, Rugby, Warwickshire, and William is down as a Postmaster Grocer, working on his own account, Mary Ann is Post Mistress and the children are all at school.

In 1903 Mary Ann died, and was buried 12th March 1903 in St. Botolph’s churchyard Newbold on Avon leaving children aged from 2 to 13 years of age. 1911 census gives William as a widower, with Percy assisting his father in his business. Horace and his sister, Elsie, are wheeling daub to the drying shed at the cement works. Albert is not with the family, he is living at Ashton Hayes, Near Chester. On the census paper the first name Albert is slightly smudged and you can only see the “lbert” Edward Sharp Meddows born Newbold- on-Avon, Warwickshire. He is working as a Stableman/Groom and is 21 years old.

William Henry the father died 2nd February 1915 aged 52 years, leaving a will; probate was granted to John Martin the elder, farmer 23rd February, Effects £327 16s 6d.

Albert E. S. Meddows married Constance Foster in Richmond, Surrey in 1914. Two children were born, Albert V. Meddows 1914 and Edward Meddows 1916 registered in Richmond, Surrey, mother’s maiden name Foster. Albert enlisted at Bristol in 1914 giving his place of residence Mortlake, Surrey.

Albert served with The Army Service Corps, Royal Engineers and the Royal Field Artillery

Albert has service numbers R40/87534, 202420 and number313019. At the time of his death Albert was a sapper with 5th HQ Signal Company attached to the 34th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery. He is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Ypres (Ieper), Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen) Belgium.

Grave Reference: Plot: V. A. 46.

He was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal. His name is on both the Rugby Memorial Gates Hillmorton Road and on the Newbold War Memorial at St. Botolph’s Church Newbold on Avon

Albert’s two younger brothers Horace and Harold both served in WW1.

Harold Thomas was baptised at St Botolph’s 28th May 1898, and he also served in the war with the Royal Warwickshire Regt., Service Number 21114. He enlisted 10th August 1916 and was discharged 4th December 1917 due to sickness and received the Silver War Badge 22nd January 1918.   The Silver War Badge was given to men discharged from active service, due to wounds or illness. Harold died 26th March 1919 aged 20 years, and was buried in Clifton Road Cemetery Rugby. He has a Commonwealth War Grave Headstone which also has written on it “also his sister Elsie Mary wife of George Arthur Creed 13th June 1968 age 73”. The British War Medal and The Victory Medal were also awarded to him.

Harold Thomas is on both the Newbold War Memorial at St. Botolph’s Church and on the Rugby Memorial Gates Hillmorton Road Rugby.

Horace Charles was born in 1894 and was baptised 13th May 1894.   Horace was with the Worcestershire Regiment, enlisted 2nd March 1916, Service Number 35171. He was discharged 29th January 1919.   He was 24 years old, and received the Silver War Badge 3rd March 1919, and also the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. He married Frances D. Doyle in 1922. He lived until 1950 and died in Rugby, Warwickshire aged 56 years.

The youngest brother of all, William Henry, born 8th August 1900, baptised 16th September 1900. William enlisted the Royal Air Force 22nd August 1918, Service Number 287077; and on his entry papers his next of kin was Elsie M Creed, his sister. He died in 1971, his death registered in Kidderminster.

Percy Samuel married Annie L. Redgrave in 1919, marriage registered in Medway, Kent. On the 1939 Register they are living at 35, Churchfield Road, Bexley, Kent and Percy is a Police Constable with the Metropolitan Police Force. He died at the age of 68, his death registered at Sidcup Kent.

Elsie Mary, the only sister, married George Arthur Creed 24th July 1915 at Newbold-on -Avon and is buried with her brother Harold in Clifton Road Cemetery. Rugby.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM