Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Private Timothy Cambers

Army Form D.436 [X550/2/56]

Thursday 17th September 1914 (Wilstead): Mrs Cambers of Littleworth, Wilstead has received the following letter notifying her of the death of her husband Timothy [1]:
Infantry Record Office
9 District
Warley Essex Station
16th September 1914
 It is my painful duty to inform you that a report has this day been received from the War Office notifying the death of (No.) …8213… (Rank) …Pte… (Name) …T. Cambers… (Regiment) …1st Bn Bedford Regt… which occurred in France on the …(not stated)…, and I am to express to you the sympathy and regret of the Army Council at your loss. The cause of death was …Killed in action… .
 Any application you may wish to make regarding the late soldier’s effects should be addressed to “The Secretary, War Office, Whitehall, London, S.W.,” and marked on the outside, “Deceased Soldiers’ Effects.”
 I am, Madam
Your obedient Servant,
G FitzGerald, Captain
For Officer in charge of Records
9 District
Source: Army Form B 104-82 [X550/2/57]

[1] Timothy Cambers was born at Cardington and joined the 1st Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment in February 1905 when his age was given as 18 years and one month. In fact his birth was registered in 1889, suggesting he had lied about his age to join up. He was transferred to the Army Reserve on 14 July 1911. His conduct and character had been exemplary and he was described as “a thoroughly steady and reliable man”. Most of his army service had been spent in the UK, apart from two years in India from 1907-1908. His service record shows that he was mobilised as part of the reserve on 5 August 1914 and arrived in France on 14 August. He had married Lillian A Dixon from Willington, Kent at Woolwich in 1910 and by 1914 they had two children, William (born 1911) and Rose (born 1913). The birth of a third child, Lilian, was registered at Dartford, Kent in the spring of 1915, so Private Cambers’ wife must have been in the early stages of pregnancy when she received this letter. [X550/2/56 and online sources]           

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