Gordon Boys Brigade: Surnames A-C

Albert Charles AMES (1887-1917)
Private (22916) 10 South Wales Borderers.
Albert was born on 5 June 1887 in Cheltenham, the son of Edward a bricklayer, and Mary nee Packwood who married in 1886. He started school at St Peter’s on 20 October 1893. The family lived at 4 Green’s Place, Tewkesbury Road in 1891 and 10 Weston Cottages, St Peters in 1901. He was a member of Mr Mortlock’s Bible Class. In 1906 Albert married Georgina Maud Pryer in Cheltenham. They had two children, Albert born 1907 and Gladys born 1914. Albert died on 30 July 1917 and he was awarded the Croix de Guerre (Belg). His widow, known as Maud, later married William Denchfield in 1920. Albert’s brother James was a Gordon Boy in the mid-1890’s and played rugby for the Gordon League. He was awarded the Military Medal during his service in WW1 with the Cheshire Regiment. It is likely Albert joined the Brigade early in the 1900’s.

Albert Edward BATES (1896-1917)
Private (23817) 10 Gloucestershire Regiment
Albert was born on 25 February 1896 in Charlton Kings, the son of William and Eliza, nee Ingles. They married at St Mary’s Parish Church, Cheltenham in 1883. The family lived at 5 Somerset Cottages, Charlton Kings in 1901. William died in 1907 aged 47. In 1911 they were living at Woodbine Cottage, Church Street, Charlton Kings and Eliza, also known as Jane, was working as a laundress. Albert first school was Charlton Kings Infants and then he went to Lyefield School on 1 May 1902. On 16 March 1910 he joined the Gordon Boys’ Brigade. Was Albert’s brother William Joshua Bates (1891-1917) also a Gordon Boy?

Albert Edward Bates

William Thomas BATES (1891-1914)
Private (10020) 1 Gloucestershire Regiment.
William was born in Cheltenham in 1891, the son of James and Agnes nee Wiggall. James died in 1896 in Cheltenham. In 1901 lived in a cottage behind 102 High Street. Agnes remarried in 1902 to Edward Ernest Walkling and they had three sons and four daughters. William joined the Gordon Boys’ Brigade in about 1905 and the family were living at 33 Duke Street in 1911. At this time William was working as a florist’s assistant and his brother, Herbert James (1893-1917) who may have been a Gordon Boy, was a gardener.

Herbert Edward BERRY (1896-1918)
Private (20391) 2 Gloucestershire Regiment.
Herbert was born in Tuffley in 1896, the eldest son of William cab-man driver and Kate Maria, nee Taylor, who married in 1895 at Gloucester. They lived at 3 Park View, St Stephens in 1901 and 3 Gratton Street, Cheltenham in 1911. He attended Naunton Park School prior to becoming a Gordon Boy in about 1911. In 1913 Herbert and a lad named Kenneth Gould walked to London in 3 ½ days. They were arrested there with burglars tools in their possession. Herbert was handed over to the Cheltenham police and was sent for trial on a charge of theft. He was charged with stealing £l.12.2d and money belonging to Messrs George’s Ltd., bakers. Herbert was employed at George’s shop in Monpellier Walk as an errand boy. At Gloucestershire Quarter Sessions, in April 1913, Herbert pleaded guilty to the charge. Supt Hopkins said the boy’s associates had been bad. He had been in trouble before but not convicted. The Bench sent Herbert to borstal for three years. However, in 1915 he enlisted in the 2 Gloucestershire Regiment and served in France before being sent to Salonica where he died in 1918. Herbert’s brother Norman (b 1897) was seriously wounded twice, once in 1916 and dangerously wounded on the Cambrai Front in 1918 – was he a Gordon Boy?

Herbert Edward Berry

Frederick J W BLOXSOME (1886-) GB
Frederick, who was born in Charlton Kings on 9 July 1886, was the eldest son of Walter, a general labourer, and Alice (nee Hopton). In 1891 the family lived at 4 Somerset Place and in 1901 at 3 Crab End Cottages. Frederick was a member of the Gordon Boys’ Brigade and in 1898 took part in the Brigade Sports Day to commemorate the recent retaking of Khartoum in the Sudan. There were nine children born in the family, 5 boys and 4 girls, but two sons died in infancy, one aged 3 days in 1896 and the other aged 2 weeks in 1899.

William John BLOXSOME (1889-1918)
Sapper (149284) Royal Engineers
William (his birth was registered as John William), was the second son of Walter, a general labourer, and Alice (nee Hopton). Besides brother Frederick, William may also have been a Gordon Boy as he worked for the GWR Engineering Department at Charlton Kings; the GWR were keen to employ boys who had been in the Gordon Boys’ Brigade.

William John Bloxsome

Arthur Ernest BLOXSOME (1894-1917)
Private (202719) 2/4 (Territorial) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Arthur, who was born in Charlton Kings on 9 January 1894, was the eldest son of Walter, a general labourer, and Alice (nee Hopton). He started school at Charlton Kings Infants when the family lived in Church Street. He was admitted to Lyefield School on 1 May 1900. Arthur was a member of St Mary’s Bible Class. Was he also a Gordon Boy?

William Joseph BOWLES (1896-1918) GB
L/Cpl (11747) 9 (Queen Alexandra’s Own Royal) Hussars
William was born 18 October 1896 in Cheltenham, the son of Joseph Edward (a coachman) and Sarah A (nee Harris) who married in 1893 at St Mary’s, Cheltenham. The family lived at 14 ½ Jersey Place, Hewlett Road in 1901, 5 Hewlett Place in 1902 and 5 Rosehill Street in 1911. William’s first school was St John’s Infants and on 3 November 1902 he moved up to the Juniors which he left on 11 November 1907 for St Luke’s. William had an older brother, Ernest, who was an apprentice printer and a younger brother John who was at school in 1911. His sister, Doris Leah, died in 1907 aged 1 month. His father also served in WW1. Were his brothers Ernest and John also Gordon Boys?

Albert Victor BRACHER (1887-1916)
Sgt (38) 25 Battalion (AIF)
Albert was born on 8 July 1887 at Norton Juxta Kempsey, Worcester, the son of Alfred, a coachman/groom, and Ann (nee Richardson). They married in 1884 at SS Philips & James, Leckhampton. They had a son, Alfred, born 1884 at Cheltenham and a third son Richard Percival born 1888 at Norton Juxta. The couple also had two daughters, Florence Annie born 1892 and Gertrude May born 1893 in Cheltenham. The family were living in Horsefair Street, Charlton Kings in 1895 and in 1911 were resident in Copt Elm Road. Albert started at the Lyefield Board School, Charlton Kings and moved to Holy Apostles School on 4 May 1896. He returned to Lyefield on 4 February 1898 leaving for work on 15 September 1899. Albert’s younger brother, Richard Percival (known as Percy), started school at Charlton Kings on 13 May 1895 and moved to Holy Apostles School on 4 May 1896. He and his brother returned to Lyefield on 4 February 1898. Percy went to work (Gordon Boy) on 30 April 1902. He died on epilepsy on 4 December 1904. It is very likely that Albert was also a Gordon Boy.

George William James BROOKER (1895-1917) GB
Private (10310) 7 Gloucestershire Regiment
George was born on 6 August 1895 in St Paul’s, Cheltenham, the son of Frederick George, a plasterer and Christiana (nee Gardner). They married in Cheltenham in 1888 and had 13 children, 5 boys and 8 girls. Two died in infancy, William E born 1901, died 1903 and Emily Elizabeth born 1902, died 1904. The family lived at 29 Rutland Street in 1901 and at 11 York Street in 1911. George left All Saints School on 18 September 1906 for the Practising School which he left on 1 September 1909. By 1911 he had joined the Gordon Boys’ Brigade when he was 14 years old. He had two brothers, William born 1904 and Joseph born 1907 – were they in the Brigade?

Harry Frank BROOKES (1894-1916) GB
Bugler (9825) 17 Kings Royal Rifle Corps
Harry was born on 11 October 1894 at Charlton Kings, the son of Jesse and Harriett (nee White). The family lived at Spring Cottage, Charlton Kings in 1901 and Harry started at Charlton Kings School before moving to Lyefield Board School on 1 May 1901. He left to go to work on 5 October 1908 and joined the Gordon Boys’ Brigade for two years. His brother Jesse was also a member of the Brigade. At the 1911 Annual Gordon Boys’ New Years Dinner, Major General Willoughby, the Committee Chairman, announced that one of the boys (Harry) had joined the 17 Kings Royal Rifles Corps in 1910 and four boys had left to work on the railways. In 1913 Harry had written a letter to the Brigade which was not unusual as the men had fond memories of the Gordon Boys and the Gordon League which was formed in 1897. In mid-1915 Harry had been injured and spent some time at Cheltenham Racecourse which was being used as a hospital. He died while engaged on a working party.

George William James Brooker

William Ernest Frank CARTER (1888-1916) GB
Private (241169/3431) 1/5 Gloucestershire Regiment
William was born in 1888 in Stonehouse, the son of Harry and Rosa (nee Harvey), who married in 1887 in Cheltenham. His father Harry, born in Littledean, worked as a porter on the railway. William attended the Parish Church School, Cheltenham and then joined the Gordon Boys’ Brigade. At the time of the 1891 Census William was 2 and the family lived at Woodcock Lane, Stonehouse. He had 4 sisters, Nellie Rosina born 1887, Daisy Mary born 1890, Dorothy Maud born 1894 and Rosa M born 1903. By the 1911 Census the family had moved to Bloomsbury Street, Gloucester Road, Cheltenham. William was a waiter at the Gloucester House Hotel at Edge near Stroud and by 1911 he was a resident waiter at the Grand Hotel, Leicester.

William Ernest Frank Carter

Frank CASEY (1878-1915) GB
Private (2543) 1 Gloucestershire Regiment
Frank, born on 5 May 1878 in St Peters, Cheltenham, was the son of George, a plasterer, and Sarah Ann (nee Hatherall) who married in 1868 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Cheltenham. In 1881 the family lived at 22 Townsend Place, in 1887 in Brunswick Street and in 1891 at Myrtle Cottage, Brunswick Street. By 1901 they had moved again to 31 Victoria Street and in 1911 they were at 4 Grosvenor Place. His father, George, died in 1909 aged 65 and his mother, Sarah Ann, died in 1902 aged 60. Frank went to Holy Trinity School then to St Peters School on 5 September 1887, leaving on 7 May 1888. He had three sisters and four brothers: Annie Maria born 1868, Mary J born 1870 and died in 1872 aged 1, twins Kate and Willie born 1873, Kate died aged 6 months, Charles J born 1875, Arthur W born 1881, George Leander born 1884 and died in 1887 aged 2. Frank was a Gordon Boy and as an Old Gordon Boy played at least four games of rugby in the Cheltenham Gordon League team between 1899 and 1904 against Cheltenham A, Hucclecote, Gloucester Gordon League and Painswick. Frank and his sister Annie regularly attended St John’s Church. Prior to the war he had worked for the Cheltenham Gas Company for 18 years. Frank left a soldier’s will which states he was killed in action. Administration with will Gloucester 19 June 1915 to Annie Maria Casey sum of £173.3s.6d. Annie was living at 4 Grosvenor Place on the 1918 Cheltenham Voters List. Frank died in the same battle which a brother survived. Another brother was in the Welsh Horse.

Frank Casey's will
Frank Casey’s will

Sidney Albert CAUSON (1895-1916) GB
Private (2473) 1/5 Gloucestershire Regiment
Born in Charlton Kings on 14 April 1895, the son of Joseph Edwin and Fanny (nee Martin). His parents married in 1882 at Charlton Kings Parish Church. In 1911 Sidney was living with his aunt and uncle, Fred (gas fitter & whitesmith) and Annie Martin. His parents were living in Gloucester where his father worked was a grinder in the wagon works. He had five siblings, Edwin born 1883, Gertrude born 1884, Eleanor born 1887, George born 1889 and Hubert born 1892 all in Charlton Kings. Sidney was a member of the Gordon Boys’ Brigade in 1911.

Sydney Albert Causon

George Ashley CHAPMAN (1890-1914) GB
Sgt (540) 1 Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
George was born on 13 December 1890 at Charlton Kings the son of Thomas William, a confectioner’s porter, and Eleanor (nee Martin) who married at St John’s Church, Cheltenham in 1889. His father died in 1899. His mother married Walter William Greening at Luke’s Church, Gloucester in 1905. In 1891 the family lived at 2 Ashley Manor Lodge with two boarders and in 1898 at Spring Bottom, Charlton Kings. He went to Charlton Kings Infants School and on 2 May 1898 to Lyefield School and left to go to work (Gordon Boys Brigade) in October 1903. He was a regular soldier in the Black Watch and he had a bright future in front of him as he had become a sergeant at the young age of 23 in this foremost Scottish Regiment which suggests he was a formidable character.

George Ashley Chapman's letter
George Ashley Chapman’s letter

Thomas CRISP (1879-1917) GB
Pte (57276) Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
(formerly (29861) Gloucestershire Regiment)
Tommy was born in Cheltenham in 1879, son of Walter (a cab driver) and Elizabeth (nee Jones born at Mold, Flintshire). They married in Cockermouth District, Cumberland in 1874. Walter and Elizabeth had five children, Alice born 1874 at Great Clifton, Cumberland, Walter G born 1875, William W born 1878, Thomas born 1879 and Alfred (also known as Fred) born 1881, all in Cheltenham. In 1881 the family lived at 8 Little Bayshill Terrace, Cheltenham and Walter was a billiard marker. By 1891 the family had moved to 24 York Street and then to Chalford Villa, Selkirk Street by 1901, when Walter had become a cab driver/groom. In 1911 Walter and his wife were living with his married daughter and two grand children at 21 Gloucester Place, Cheltenham (a house with 9 rooms).
In 1903 Tommy married Mabel Florence Watts at All Saints, Pittville and they had four children born in Cheltenham: Ivy Sybil born 1904, Dennis G born 1905, Olive M born 1909 and Cyril T born 1912. Tommy’s brother William emigrated to Brisbane, Australia in about 1910 and Fred also survived.

Thomas Crisp

William, Thomas and Fred were all members of the Gordon Boys’ Brigade after leaving school. At the Annual Old Gordon Boys’ Dinner in January 1912 he sang a song. Tommy worked as a compositor for Messrs Norman Brothers of Bennington Street. The Cheltenham Gordon League (OGBs) was formed for the 1897/98 rugby season and the team played in blue and white hooped jerseys. They played on a pitch at Naunton Park. William, Tommy and Fred were keen sportsmen playing rugby, cricket and whist for the Gordon League.
William probably began playing cricket for the League in 1898. In May 1899 he was in the winning team (75 to 27 runs)when they played H H Martyn & Co. The League entered the Cheltenham Cricket Challenge Cup Competition in 1899 and won their first match played at Sandy Lane (53 to 34 runs) against Christ Church. Unfortunately they lost to Cavendish, All Saints and Town A. William played with Tommy against the latter two teams. In 1900 the League’s first Cup match was against All Saints who were runners up in the Competition in 1899. Several officers of the Cricket Association were present and light refreshments were served by a bevy of fair ladies. The League lost again to All Saints scoring 21 to 80 runs. Charlton Kings were the next oppositon in the Cup. Charlton Kings scored 98 and the League had fielded smartly after the first 10 minutes. William made a fine running catch to remove Bee. Unfortunately two of the League batsmen were foolishly run out and Slade was out when he picked up the ball and given out for handling. Charlton Kings won by 54 runs. The next match in the Competition was against Cavendish who won. However, the League beat St Pauls’ Old Boys 53 to 36 runs. Friendly matches in 1900 were also played against Leckhampton and Charlton Kings when both Tommy and William were in the team. The next season brought another game against All Saints in the Cup Competition but the result was the same, unsurprisingly as All Saints were the Cup holders, which they retained. A hearty welcome awaited the teams and enthusiastic supporters of either team were ready to applaud any good play. A sumptuous tea for the teams and spectators was provided by the Rev P R Preston. The Gordon Boy’s Drum and Fife Band added to the enjoyment of the match. William played in friendly matches against Roseleigh A, which they lost, but won against St Pauls’ Old Boys. The League lost their last match in 1901 to Charlton Kings 89 to 43.
All three boys played rugby for the Gordon League, William playing against Gordon Wanderers and Naunton Park in 1899. The brothers were in the team which played Cheltenham A in November 1899 and St Pauls’ Old Boys in December 1899. William played many games as captain in 1900 including Cheltenham 2nds versus Cheltenham Gordon League, Barnwood, Charlton Rovers, Naunton Park, Barnwood A and Ryecroft when both Tommy and Fred also played.
In 1901 the brothers played four games together, the Gordon League beating Cheltenham A (when the admission charge was 6d and 3d plus 3d in the grandstand) 8 points to nil, St Paul’s Old Boys 1 try to nil, Cheltenham A 6 pts to 3 and losing to Berkeley and Sharpness 9 pts to nil. William (as captain) and Fred also played against St Pauls Training College, Gordon Wanderers and Charlton Rovers when Tommy also played. William also played against Barnwood. Fred played against Gordon Wanderers and Gloucester Gordon League in September and December 1903.
Whist was also played by the three boys in 1901. Tommy and William were in the winning team aginst All Saints 104 – 98, the three boys were in the team that lost to All Saints 142 – 118. William and Tommy were in the team that lost to the St Stephens Institute. In 1898 and 1899 William sang a song at the Old Gordon Boys’ Dinner in January and he emigrated to Brisbane, Australia in about 1910 when he wrote a letter to the Old Gordon Boys’ Dinner.


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