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Francis Newstead was born in Newark, birth registered 1879 (J/F/M Newark), and was the son of William and Hannah Newstead née Spilsworth. His father William was born in 1843 at Newark and his mother Hannah Spilsworth was born in 1850, also in Newark. They were married in 1867 (J/F/M) in Newark. Eight children were named on the census between 1871 and 1901, all of whom were born in Newark: Mary Ann birth registered 'Spelworth' 1867 (J/F/M Newark), John b. abt 1871, Hannah b. 1873 (A/M/J Newark) d. 1890 (J/F/M Newark), Louisa b. 1875 (J/A/S Newark), Francis birth registered 1879 (J/F/M Newark), Elizabeth (Lizzie) birth registered 1884 (J/F/M Newark), Eliza birth registered 1887 (J/F/M Newark) and Edward b. 5 October 1888 (O/N/D Newark). In 1871 William (29) and Hannah (22) were living on Appletongate, Newwark, with their daughter Mary Ann (4). By 1881 William (38), a bricklayer's labourer, and Hannah (31), a charwoman, were living at 1 Cawkwells Yard, Newark, with their children Mary (14), John (9), Hannah (7), Louisa (5) and Francis (2). Elizabeth, Eliza and Edward were born in the following seven years. The family has not yet been traced on the 1891 Census. William Newstead died in 1900 and his widow, Hannah (53), a charwoman, was still living in Cawkwell's Yard in 1901 Only Eliza (14), a dressmaker, and Edward (11) were in the home on the night of the census. None of the other children have yet been traced on the 1901 Census. Francis, though, joined the Leicestershire Regiment in August 1901 and named his mother and sister Eliza of 1 Cawkwells Yard, Newark, as his next of kin. Francis was discharged from the Leicestershire Regiment to the Army Reserve and in the 1911 census is shown living at 14 St Pauls Street, Radford. He is a porter for the Midland Railway is 32 yrs of age and living with his wife Florence Newstead 38 yrs, (b. 1873 Essex) a laundress in a steam laundry. He states that they have been married for 5yrs and have had no children. Correspondence in his service record shows that Florence was Mrs Florence Kent, his 'unmarried wife'. Francis arranged for a separation allowance to be paid to her during the war and he also made a Will in her favour. According to correspondence in Francis' service record, Florence was living at 17 St Paul's Street, Radford, by 1914 and was still at this address in 1920 when she received his medals. Florence completed a form for the Army in June 1919 listing Francis' surviving blood relatives. She entered her own name on the form, Mrs Florence Kent, describing herself as 'dependant', and also listed: Mother: Hannah Newstead, 40 Beacon Hill Road, Newark Brothers: John (48) 13 Chapel Street, Monk Bretton, Barnsley, and Edward (30) 54 North Gate, Newark Sisters: Eliza Cree (32) 40 Beacon Hill Road, Newark, and Lizzie Best (35) 25 St Paul's Street, Old Radford, Nottingham Niece: Lucy Hallam (29) 119 Commercial Square, St Ann's Well Road, Nottingham There is a record of a Hannah Newstead (63 b. Newark), a widow, on the 1911 Census living-in as a general domestic servant at the Red Lion Inn, Brant Broughton, Newark, inn keeper Elizabeth Hall. The census records that she had had 15 children of whom only 5 were still living. If this is a correct identification of Francis' mother, then the surviving children would be John, Francis, Elizabeth, Eliza and Edward for whom later records have been traced. In 1919 Hannah was living at 40 Beacon Hill Road, Newark, the same address as her married daughter, Eliza Cree. A Hannah Newstead b. abt 1849 died in April 1931 (A/M/J Newark), buried 21 April. Of William and Hannah's other children: Mary Ann has not yet been traced after the 1881 Census. John was probably living at 13 Chapel Street, Monk Bretton, Barnsley, Yorkshire in 1919. Hannah died in 1890 (J/F/M Newark) aged 16. Louisa may have married in 1897 (A/M/J Newark). Elizabeth married Harry James Best in 1905 (A/M/J Nottingham) and in 1911 they were living at 6 Navigation Square, Canal Street, Nottingham. Harry (35 b. Chard Somerset) was a railway porter. In 1919 they were living on St Paul's Street, Old Radford, Nottingham. Eliza married Francis Thurman Cree in 1907 (O/N/D Newark) and in 1911 they were living at 40 Beacon Hill Road, Newark, with their son Francis (1). Francis snr. (25) was a malster's labourer. In 1919 she was living at 40 Beacon Hill Road, Newark, the same address as her widowed mother. Edward married Emma Chapman (b. 23 January 1891) in 1908 (A/M/J Newark). In 1911 Edward (22), a mineral water filler, and his wife Emma (21) were living at 4 Porter's Yard, Newark, with their two children Edith (2) and Elsie May (u/1 year). He and Emma were living at 54 North Gate, Newark, in 1919. They were still living in Newark in 1939; he was working as a general labourer/porter. Edward probably died in 1970 (J/A/S Bingham).
He was working as a labourer when he enlisted in the Militia in 1898. He served in the Leicestershire Regiment from May 1901 later transferring to the Army Reserve. In 1911 he was a porter with the Midland Railway (Nottingham Goods Station). He was moblised in 1914.
27 May 1919
1465974 - CWGC Website
He enlisted in Newark in the Militia and subsequently in the Leicestershire Regiment
1st Bn East Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of York's Own)
Francis served in the Militia, enlisting in Newark on 13 April 1898 in the 4th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment). He was 18years 3months old and employed as a labourer by a Mr King. He was released from service with the Militia (4th Bn Sherwood Foresters) when he attested in the Leicestershire Regiment (6204 Private) on 16 August 1901 on a Short Service Engagement (7 years with the Colours and 5 years Army Reserve); he was required to serve to 12 August 1908 with the Colours. Francis was 22 yrs and 7 months of age and working as a labourer He served in South Africa during the Boer War (1900) and was awarded the South Africa Medal and bars (Orange Free State and Cape Colony); he remained in South Africa until 4th February 1902. Francis must have extended his 7 years regular service beyond 1908 as he was reduced to the ranks for drunkeness after a Field Court Martial on 5 February 1910. Correspondence later that month refers to an application by the regiment for Francis to be transfererd to the Army Reserve. He clearly left regular army service around that time as by the time of the census in 1911 he was living in Nottingham and working for the Midland Railway. He completed his Short Service Engagment (Colours and Army Reserve) on 24th February 1913 and re-engaged. There are discrepancies in his service documents with the date he first served in France, but it is likely that he embarked with a draft of 3rd Bn Leicesershire Regiment from Portsmouth on 8th November 1914, disembarking Le Havre on 9 November. He spent three weeks at Le Havre before joining the 1st Bn Leicestershire Regiment on 1st December 1914. He returned to England on 16th October 1915 and was posted to the East Yorkshire Regiment the same day. Francis served at home with the East Yorkshire Regiment until 19th February 1916 then on 20 February was drafted to India to serve with the Regiment's 1st Garrison battalion. He died on 27th May 1919 at the British Station Hospital, Lucknow; his death was the result of the effects of heat. He was buried in Lucknow Cantonment Military Cemetery and commemorated on the Madras 1914-1918 War Memorial, Chennai. Francis served a total of 17 yrs and 286 days. He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Francis' army service records survive. The documents contain references to Mrs Florence Kent as his 'unmarried wife'. There is also extensive correspondence before and after his his death addressed to her at 17 St Pauls Street, Radford. In one of Florence's letters to the Army administration she explains that she lived with Francis and was dependent on him although they were never married.
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