Diane Richards’ Great Grandmother
My name is Diane Richards and I’ve lived in Hoby for 18 years. On clearing out our study recently I happened upon a newspaper article which reminded me that my great grandmother Mrs Elizabeth Butler unveiled the war memorial on Victoria Park in Leicester.
My mum lives in Rearsby now and it was her father’s mother to whom the newspaper article reproduced below relates. Mum tells me that originally the unveiling was due to be performed by Lord Beatty of Brooksby – another local connection. He was made the First Sea Lord in 1919 and was created 1st Earl Beatty, Viscount Borodale and Baron Beatty of the North Sea and Brooksby, also in 1919. Apparently he was ‘indisposed’ at the time and it was decided to ask these two local ladies who lost seven sons between them. Elizabeth lost four sons, Arthur who served with the Northumberland Fusiliers was killed in France in November 1916, six months after he enlisted; Bert was also killed in France, he was 20 years old; Jack was discharged from the army with consumption which he caught in France and died in January 1918 and Ephraim was killed in France in September 1918. Her four other sons also served but fortunately returned. After the ceremony my great grandmother and grandfather were invited back to Brooksby and made to feel most welcome. My grandfather had a protected job on the trains.
My grandfather on my father’s side, Ernest Billings, also served in the First World War in the Royal Artillery in Mesopotamia (now Iraq). My grandmother, May Victoris, did the embroidery of the Royal Artillery cap badge that is pictured here.
|The original exhibition display: Elizabeth Butler|