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Person Details
Louth, Lincolnshire
Somerville Reade Stubbs was born in 1897 at Louth, Lincolnshire (J/A/S Louth), and was christened at St James's Church, Louth, on 28 August 1897. His mother's first name was recorded as 'Martha' (Stubbs), father's name not given. However, it is possible that Somerville's father was Thomas Grimston Willingham, whom his mother later married, although the CWGC record gives only details of his mother: 'Son of Mrs. M. Willingham of 13 Wilson Street, Newark, Notts.' Martha Stubbs was born in Lanercoates, Lincolnshire, on 8 May 1873 (A/M/J Louth Lincolnshire, mother's maiden name Sutton). Thomas Grimston Willingham was born in Keelby, Lincolnshire, on 19 November 1859 (O/N/D Caistor, Lincolnshire), the son of George Willingham. His first wife was Mary Elizabeth Stark, the daughter of Thomas Stark, who was born in 1860 (J/A/S Caistor, mother's maiden name Cook). They were married in the parish church at Keelby, where they were both living, on 8 November 1880 (O/N/D Caistor). They had at least three children: Harry b. Keelby birth registered 1882 (J/F/M Caistor), Frances Eilizabeth b. 1884 (O/N/D Caistor) and Florence May b. Grimsby 31 May 1886 (J/A/S Caistor). The only record for the Willingham family in the period 1881-1891 is Mary Elizabeth who appears on the 1881 Census, the year after her marriage, as a visitor at Sanderson's Row, Caistor, in the household of the widowed John Smith and his children. No record has yet been found of the death of Mary Elizabeth, but by 1901 Thomas Grimston was living with Martha as his wife. Apart from Somerville who was described on the census returns as Thomas' son, they had three other children who were all born in Lincolnshire: Cyril Willingham b. Croft 24 February 1899 (J/F/M Spilsby) bap. 12 May 1901 Swineshead, Frank b. Leanowhead 16 April 1901 (A/M/J Boston) bap. 12 May 1901 and Edith (also Edith Maud/Maud Edith) b. West Ashby 1 March 1903 (J/F/M Horncastle). All three records of their births give their mother's maiden name as Stubbs. There appears to be no marriage between Thomas and Martha listed on the BMD record until the registration of the marriage of Thomas G Willingham and Martha Stubbs in 1936 (O/N/D Grantham). However, we find Somerville named Somerville Reade Willingham in the 1901 census when he was living with Thomas Grimston Willingham at Fen House, Swinhead, Boston. The family is shown as Thomas Willingham 41 yrs a groom and gardener, Martha Willingham 27 yrs and four children, Henry Willingham 19 yrs an agricultural labourer, Florence Willingham 14 yrs, Somerville Willingham 3 yrs and Cyril Willingham 2yrs. In the 1911 census we find the family living at 2 Blytons Yard, Millgate, Newark, shown as Thomas Willingham 51 yrs a nurseryman's labourer who is living with his wife Martha Willingham 37 yrs and their children Somerville 14 yrs a grocer's errand lad, Cyril 12 yrs a scholar, Frank 12 yrs a scholar and Edith 8 yrs a scholar. Also in the household is their granddaughter, Eleanor Willingham, aged one year (Eleanor Elizabeth Willingham birth registered 1910 J/F/M Sleaford Lincolnshire). On this census Thomas has stated that they have been married for 14 yrs (c.1897, the year of Somerville's birth) and have had four children. The CWGC record gives Martha's address as 13 Wilson Street, Newark, and they were still living there at the time of the 1939 England & Wales Register. Both were described as old age pensioners. Thomas Grimston died in 1946 (A/M/J Newark) aged 85 and Martha in 1957 (J/F/M Newark). Of Thomas's children by his first wife, Harry and Frances Elizabeth have not been traced other than as above while Florence may have married Cyril W Woodhouse in 1912 (O/N/D Newark) and later lived in Grantham, dying in 1953 (O/N/D Grantham) aged 67. Of Somerville's siblings: Cyril also served in the war (see 'Extra Information'). He married Emily Wear (b. 11 July 1899) in 1925 (J/A/S Newark) and in 1939 they were living at 15 Marton Road, Newark; Cyril was working as a machinist for a ball bearing manufacturer. He died in 1988 (J/F/M Newark). Frank married Annie E Cook (b. 8 January 1901) in 1923 (A/M/J Newark) and in 1939 they were living at 53 Smith Street, Newark. Frank, like his brother Cyril, was working as a ball bearing machinist. Also in the household was Mavis Willingham (later Kelly) b. 20 April 1925, a dressing gown finisher. Frank died in 1978 (J/A/S Newark). Edith, also Edith Maud/Maud Edith, married William E Derbyshire (b. 2 March 1905) in 1926 (O/N/D Newark) and in 1939 they were living at 10 Wilson Street, Newark. William died in 1961 (J/F/M Newark) aged 55 and his widow married Charles A Olivant in 1964 (O/N/D Newark). Edith Olivant died in 1983 (J/A/S Newark) at the age of 80.
In 1911 he was a grocer's errand boy
26 Jun 1917
562862 - CWGC Website
1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Drummer Somerville Read Willingham enlisted at Newark and served with the 1/8th battalion Sherwood Foresters Regiment. He was killed in action on 26th June 1917 at Loos and is buried at Loos British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
Personal inscription CWGC headstone: 'He had a better work to do in the great beyond' His brother Cyril, born 24th February 1899, enlisted on 11th November 1914 at Newark, he gave his age falsely as 17yrs and 11 months he was posted to the 8th battalion Sherwood Foresters. He embarked Folkstone on 27th February 1917 arriving at Boulogne the following date. By the 23rd May 1917 his true age was discovered and on 6th June 1917 he was returned to England from Calais, he was transferred to the training reserve. He eventually became a Sergeant in the West Yorkshire Regiment and was demobilised on 26th February 1919 aged 19 yrs . Article published 21st July 1917 in the Newark Herald :- Son of Mrs M. Willingham, 13 Wilson Street, Newark. Attended Christ Church School as a boy and afterwards worked for Mr T. Galvin, French polisher. He was a member of the Charles Street Bible Class and a Patrol Leader in the 5th Newark Troop (B.P.) Scouts. Joined the local battalion of the Sherwood Foresters on Feb. 5th, 1916. Killed by a shell on June 26th, 1917 (see also obituary for James Fox). A younger brother is serving in the Sherwood Foresters. Mr & Mrs Willingham have received a letter of sympathy from Reverend J.H. Bateman, Secretary of the Wesleyan Army & Navy Board, who is well known to members in this circuit.
Remembered on