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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium.  Photograph courtesy of Murray Biddle
Person Details
Ely Cambridgeshire
Ralph Franklin was the the son of Tom Gunton Mills and his first wife Harriet (née Franklin). His father Tom Gunton was born on 6 July 1863 (J/A/S Cambridge), the son of James Mills, a bricklayer, and his wife Emma Elizabeth. He was baptised at Cambridge St Andrew the Less on 18 October 1863. His mother Harriet was born in Old Chesterton, Cambridge, in about 1864, the daughter of William and Annie Franklin. She was baptised at Chesterton parish church on 2 October 1864. Tom and Harriet were married in 1887 (J/A/S Chesterton Cambs.) and had two sons, Tom Gunton b. Cambridge on 22 April 1889 and Ralph Franklin b. Ely 1895 (J/A/S Ely). In 1901 Tom, a stonemason, and Harriet were living in Euclid Place, Exning, Suffolk, with their sons Tom (12) and Ralph (5). By 1911 the family was living at 97 Forest Street, Sutton in Ashfield. Harriet was listed on the census along with her sons Tom, a cotton patent frame hand, and Ralph who was a theatre property maker. However, her husband's name and details were included but then crossed out on the census return. Also in the household on the night of the census were Bessie Curtis (22 b. Chesterton) a hosiery machinist, described as a niece, and two visitors, Frederic Adderley (50 b. Wolverhampton) a theatre manager, and Eva Rosslyn (25 b. London) a theatrical musical artist. Tom and Harriet were still living on Forest Street when Ralph was killed in 1915. Harriet died in 1918 J/A/S Mansfield and Tom married Eliza A Hurt in 1932. In 1939 he and Eliza (b. 17 August 1887) were living on Penn Street, Sutton in Ashfield; Tom was a retired roads foreman. He died in 1944 (J/F/M Mansfield). Ralph's brother Tom married Harriet Brown (b. 17 August 1887) in 1917 (J/F/M Mansfield. In 1939 they were living in Sutton in Ashfield; he was a hosiery knitter. Tom died on 5 April 1964; he and and his wife were still living in Sutton in Ashfield. The probate record gave his alternative first names: 'Thomas Gunton otherwise Tom Gunton otherwise Tom Gunton'.
He was a theatre property maker.
05 Jun 1915
19
155401 - CWGC Website
959
Private
1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Private Ralph Mills, served with the 1/8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment). The battalion was in the area of Kemmel in 1915 and early in June 'took over more of the J and K trenches, with the reserve company at Siege Farm and Battalion Headquarters at Rossignol Farm.' ('History of the 1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters 1914-1919', Capt. WCC Weetman) Ralph was killed in action on 5th June 1915 and is buried in Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium (grave ref. D. 59).
Mansfield Reporter, 11 June 1915: ‘Two more Suttonians Killed. Pc. Kerry Sutton in Ashfield. We regret to report that two more Suttonians have been killed at the front. They are Pc. Kerry, who was stationed at Sutton for five years before joining the colours. He was a native of Smalley, and was a very efficient officer and was highly respected. The other Sutton soldier who has been killed is Private Ralph Mills, aged 19, who lived in Forest Street.’ (ww. britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: His mother Harriet was his sole legatee but a payment was made later to his father, Tom, presumably after Harriet's death in 1918.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium.  Photograph courtesy of Murray Biddle
    Ralph Franklin Mills - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium. Photograph courtesy of Murray Biddle