Wilfrid Loveday Hales

Date of birth: 24th February 1888
Place of birth: Fitzhugh, Southampton
Date of marriage: 16th December 1914
Place of marriage: Insert data
Service No.: 25838
Rank: Private
Regiment / Division: Hampshire
Died: 25th October 1918
Death location: Cambrai, France


Life before the War
Wilfrid was born in Milton Road, Fitzhugh, Southampton on February 24th 1888.     His parents were William and Fanny Jane Hales (nee Cudlipp).

William was born in the village of Boreham, near Chelmsford in Essex in 1836.  He moved to Hampshire when he was a young man in the employ of Harriet Haselfoot.  Fanny Jane was born in Bursledon, Hampshire in 1852.

In the 1871 census William and Fanny Jane were both servants working for Harriet Haselfoot at Moorhill House at West End to the east of Southampton.  William was the butler and Fanny Jane the kitchen maid.  They married in the parish church at Bursledon on October 27th 1881.

William died of natural causes a few months before Wilfrid was born.  William’s death certificate records that he died on October 3rd 1887 at 103 Milton Road, Fitzhugh, Millbrook, Southampton aged 51.  At the time of his death his occupation was described as a Grocer’s Assistant.  So Wilfrid’s mother, Fanny Jane Hales was left with two little girls: Fanny Rosina who was almost 5 years old (she was born in November 1882), Mabel Elizabeth who was only just over a year old (born August 1886) and she was expecting Wilfrid in 4-5 months.  A baby boy, named William after his father, had been born to William and Fanny Jane in August 1884 but sadly he died when he was 4 weeks old.

Wilfrid was baptised at All Saints Church, Southampton in July 1888.  Here is a copy of his Baptism card:

Baptism card

At the time of the 1891 census the family is still at 103 Milton Road. Fanny Jane is described as a Shopkeeper.  The children are now aged 8, 4 and 3 – all born in Southampton -and there is a young woman of 19 who is described as a companion.

In 1892 Fanny Jane married George Miller, a joiner, who had been born in Sherfield English, Hampshire.  Fanny Jane continued to run the grocery shop.

Wilfrid was confirmed at St Marks church in March 1903 and took his first Communion at the church on Easter Day.  After he left school Wilfrid worked in the shop with his mother.  The following photograph shows Wilfred and his mother outside the shop in Milton Road:


In the 1911 census Wilfrid is described as a Grocer’s Assistant, Fanny Jane as a Grocer Dealer, his stepfather George Miller as a retired Joiner and his sister Mabel as an Assistant Teacher in an Elementary School.  There is also a young woman servant , a General Domestic Help. Fanny Rosina is not in the household.  She is married and expecting her first child.

Wilfrid married Ethel Lily Butler on December 16th 1914 at St Marks church when he was 26 and she was 23.  On their marriage certificate Wilfrid is recorded as a Grocer:  Marriage Certificate

Ethel was living at 77 Milton Road. Her parents were George and Ann Butler (nee Cobb) both of whom were born in Dorset.  Ethel was the youngest of their 7 children. George was a Stonemason.

Wilfrid and Ethel’s son Bernard Wilfrid Loveday Hales was born on November 8th 1915 at 101 Milton Road.  On Bernard’s birth certificate Wilfrid is described as a Master Grocer.

War Service
The indication is that Wilfrid enlisted towards the end of 1916.  The family still has the copy of the New Testament that was issued to him with Lord Roberts’s message to the troops printed inside the front cover.   On the opposite page Wilfrid has written ” W.L. Hales 25838 Nov 1916 “.


Book of the New Testament 1                           Book of the New Testament 2

Inside the back cover is printed “I HEREBY PLEDGE my allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour and King, by God’s help to fight His battles, and bring Victory to His Kingdom “.

Spaces are left for personal details and the page has been filled in by Wilfrid as follows:

Name                             W.L.Hales          Pte  Pioneer
Regt & No                   11th Hants        25838        B.E.F France
Home Address          45 Milton Road, Southampton
Date                               Nov 1916          England

Wilfrid was wounded on October 23rd or 24th 1918 and died on October 25th 1918 at Cambrai, France.

Dead Man's Penny with Wilfred Loveday Hales's name.

Dead Man’s Penny with Wilfred Loveday Hales’s name.

He is buried in the Ramillies British Cemetery, Nord, France.  On his gravestone it is recorded that he was in the 1st Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment at that time.

Ramillies is a village approximately 3 kilometres north-east of Cambrai.  Wilfrid is one of the 175 WW1 casualties buried in this cemetery who were identified, only 5 remain unidentified.  Wilfrid was 30 but his age is not recorded on his gravestone. It is listed as “unknown”. He was entitled to the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

When Wilfrid was killed, his wife Ethel was 27 and his son Bernard was nearly 3.  Ethel and her siblings had been born in Southampton and continued to live in the area.  Ethel had a great deal of help and support from her family, from Wilfrid’s mother Fanny Jane and from Wilfrid’s sisters – especially when Bernard was young.  Sadly, Ethel was a widow for more than 57 years, living until 1976 when she was 84.

The Memorial Plaque was issued after the First World War to the next-of-kin of all British and Empire service personnel who were killed as a result of the war. They became known as the Dead Man’s Penny. Use this link to read more:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Plaque_(medallion)

On the inside cover of a book of postcards that Wilf sent home there is a message to his wife:

The book of postcards in which Wilf has written a message to his wife Ethel. Message from Wilf to his wife








Researcher: Pam Mold, Granddaughter of Wilfrid Hales
Published.: 22nd April 2014
Updated: Insert dates here



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