Stretching a connection to the grave

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, for some reason, has never made it to my bookmarks before today. On reading the Death Records feature in the current issue of Who Do You Think You Are? magazine (out in the shops today) I realised it was time for a look.

The site has a very useful “Debt of Honour register” {2}, which has a reasonable search facility and connections to further details of the war cemeteries listed. I haven’t found any previously unknown WW1 deaths here (although there are a number of not very close relations of the right age who have not appeared in the civilian death records yet). But out of the eight such military deaths already spotted via, it is strange to find 3 all died in the same “theatre of war” at about the same. They come from three separate family branches, but at a stretch these could be seen as another instance of the remarkable ties between the Cullum and Beasor tribes, noted in The Beasor Connection a few weeks ago.

Here are extracts from the relevant CWGC register entries, with the addition of a location note from other records.

Herbert James Fake

Nephew of 2 x great grandmother’s husband William Bishop Cullum.

Died 2 Nov 1917, Palestine. Private, Norfolk Regiment 1st/4th Bn, Service No: 200024. Grave/Memorial Reference: XXIV. B. 5.  Gaza War Cemetery.

Henry Gladstone Price

Great uncle of sister-in-law.

Died 2 Nov 1917, Palestine. Private, Essex Regiment, 1st/7th Bn, Service No: 301015. Grave/Memorial Reference: XXIX. D. II. Gaza War Cemetery.

Additional information: Son of Henry Belton Price*  and Francis Amelia Price, of 5, Henniker Rd., Stratford, London. {* That should be Betton Price}

Thomas Harold Briselden

‘Cousin-in-law’ to half cousin twice removed, Frederick Cullum.

Died 31 Oct 1917, Palestine. Private, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment), 10th (R. East Kent and West Kent Yeomanry) Bn. Service No: 270780. Grave/Memorial Reference: M. 5. Beersheba War Cemetery.

Additional information: Native of Lewisham, London. Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Briselden, of “Langleybury,” 24, Bromley Rd., Catford, London.


  1. Thomas is also recorded on his parent’s gravestone at Ladywell Cemetery (FindAGrave website).
  2. The CWGC website has had a major revamp since this article was written. At 2016, it has much more material and good search facilities.

5 thoughts on “Stretching a connection to the grave

  1. Hi,

    I’m currently researching two Great War Memorials in Norwich, (St Stephen Church and the Methodist Church, Chapelfield Road), both of which feature a Herbert J Fake. I believe him to be the Private 200024 Norfolk Regiment that you have listed here. From the birth registration and the 1911 census I believe him to be Herbert James Fake. Born in the first half of 1889, his parents were James Stephen and Alice. The earliest address I have for him, (1891 census), is 22 Union Street.

    What may interest you is that the Norfolk County Archive has a picture of a Private Herbert “John” Fake, born 21st March 1889 at 22 Union Street, Norwich. Parents were J.S. and A Fake. He is stated to have died on the 2nd November 1917 on his way to Palestine.,1

    The Chapelfield Road Church already has a web-site with a page dedicated to the WW1 memorial. It also includes summary details from the church newsletter of the time.

    “Two former Sunday school scholars, Herbert Fake and his brother-in-law, George Fitt, who had been gassed in France earlier, were also killed at Gaza, both on the same day. Four more men were reported to be wounded.”

    I’m struggling to establish how George Fitt was Herbert’s brother-in-law. The additional information given on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site was that George was married to a Louisa. He was 26 when he died.,%20G
    As far as I can tell, Herbert did not have a sister Louisa, and if George was a widower, I can’t find a trace of an earlier marriage. I don’t suppose your investigations can shed any light on this?


  2. Hi Peter, and thanks for that information. Sounds like there was some confusion of those Fitt/Fake details. Herbert had a sister Florence May who married a Sidney Charles Fitt in late 1915 (Oct/Dec quarter). At 1911 census, Sidney was in army barracks in Aldershot – as he is hardly a close relative I haven’t recorded much more but have the other census records (via Family Tree Maker). He has a brother George W Fitt, about 2 years younger than himself, so born 1890/91.

    Perhaps ‘brother-in-law’ was a close enough description.

    1. A couple of additional points after looking further at my notes. Herbert and George’s mother was Emma Rebecca, nee Bishop (the Bishop line is my connection). Their oldest sister was either Alice Emma or Emma Alice.

      And if you are interested, I found indications that the Fitt family ended up in Barnsley (with a possibility of grandsons David, John or Michael still being there).

    2. Ah, so brother of the actual brother-in-law :-) Kind of makes sense.

      I’m pretty convinced that Herbert James and Herbert John are one and the same person – its just so much of the additional information on the County Archive web-page is wrong its difficult to rely on the bits like the address and birthdate that would seem common.

      However, at least for me, having a face to go with a name makes it all more realistic.

      If you have an interest in George William Fitt as well, he too can be seen on the County Picture Archive.,5
      To quote the additional information
      Son of Mr & Mrs Fitt, 3 Harrod’s Buildings, Union Street, Norwich; born 31 March 1891 at Chapel Street, Union Street, Norwich; enlisted 8 September 1914; killed 2 November 1917

      The additional information on CWGC is
      Son of Charles Fredrick and Nellie Fitt, of Norwich; husband of Louisa Fitt, of 27, Long Row, Waterloo Rd., New Catton, Norwich

      I can confirm that George William Fitt is on the Roll of Honour in Christchurch, New Catton, (another one on the to do list, pictures taken, its finding the time to research the names !)

      The church of St Stephen and the Methodist Church of Chapelfield stand at either end of one of the cities main shopping area’s – St Stephen’s Street. Union Street lies just beyond the Methodist Church and the other streets that the Fake’s lived in, (33 Newmarket Street – 1901 Census and 12 Brunswick Terrace – 1911 Census), are both to be found in the area beyond Union Street.

      My interest is the War Memorials of Norfolk rather than specific families but its always good to be able to share and find this sort of family history stuff a good home.

      Thanks for getting back so quickly,


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