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  • Photograph courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Person Details
Thomas Richard Chetwynd was the eldest son of Thomas Stanley Birkin (later 2nd baronet) and his wife Margaret Diana Hopetown (née Chetwynd). His father Thomas Stanley, the son of Thomas Isaac Birkin (created 1st baronet of Ruddington Grange 1905), lace manufacturer, and his wife Harriet (née Tebbutt), was born in Nottingham in 1857, one of a family of nine. His mother Margaret Diana Hopetown was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1871, the daughter of Captain the Hon. Henry Chetwynd RN. His parents were married at St Peter, Eaton Square, Pimlico, London, in 1894 and had four children: Thomas Richard Chetwynd b. 1895, Henry/Harry Ralph Stanley b. 25 October 1896 bap. Ecclesall All Saints Yorkshire West Riding 26 July 1896, Margaret Ida Maud b. 1900 (reg. J/F/M) bap. Bestwood Park Emmanuel Church 25 March 1900 and Charles Archibald Cecil b. 1904. The family was living at Foxhall Lodge, Foxhall Road, Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, in 1901. On the night of the census only Thomas Stanley and two of his three children, Harry and Margaret, were in the home together with seven domestic servants: two nurse (domestic), a cook, kitchenmaid, two housemaids and a parlourmaid. Margaret Birkin and their eldest son Thomas were staying at the Metropole Hotel, Folkestone, Kent. It is possible that her lady's maid and Thomas' governess (nursery) were accompanying them. The youngest son, Charles, was born three years later. The family had moved to Aspley Hall, Nottingham, by 1911. All four children were in the home on the night of the census. The household included 16 staff: tutor (male), trained nurse, nurse, under-nurse, butler, cook, housemaid, two parlourmaids, three kitchenmaids, lady's maid, chauffeur and two other domestic servants. The family was living at Park House, Mapperley, when Thomas Richard was killed in 1917 but his parents later moved to Ruddington Grange, Nottinghamshire, probably on the death of his paternal grandfather, Sir Thomas Isaac Birkin, in 1922. Both Margaret Birkin and her daughter Margaret Ida, were volunteers with the British Red Cross Society during the war. Margaret snr. was Commandant (Nottinghamshire) from January 1915 to April 1919 and was awarded the Royal Red Cross (2nd Class) for her work. The Royal Red Cross (Second Class) ARRC [Associate Royal Red Cross) is a military decoration awarded in the UK and Commonwealth for exceptional services in military nursing. Her daughter served as a VAD from October 1917 to April 1919 during which time she worked 2,500 hours. Margaret Ida died in Geneva on 26 June 1923 aged 22. She was buried in the family vault in Nottingham Southern Cemetery (Wilford Hill) on 7 July. Lady Margaret Birkin died at Ruddington Grange on 24 July 1927, a month after the death of her youngest son, Charles, on 7 June in a motorcycle accident at Kirkmichael, Isle of Man. (See 'Extra information') The second son, Henry, served in the 7th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) then the Royal Artillery (second lieutenant) and later in the Royal Flying Corps/RAF (second lieutenant/lieutenant) when he served in the Middle East. He was invalided home on 28 May 1919 and resigned his commission on 30 July 1919. Henry married Audrey Clara Lilian Latham in 1921 (div. 1927) and they had two daughters. Henry inherited the title on his father's death in 1931 but died two years later on 22 July 1933 from blood poisoning, a result of minor burns suffered while taking part in the Tripoli Grand Prix. (See 'Extra information')
He was a student in 1911.
12 Jun 1917
53797 - CWGC Website
Park House, Nottingham.
25th Sqdn Royal Flying Corps
25th Squadron Royal Flying Corps. Formerly South Notts Hussars and 7th Dragoon Guards (Princess Royal's), Second Lieutenant Thomas served with the South Notts Hussars in Gallipoli and later in Salonika. He transferred to the Dragoon Guards, serving in France where he was attached to the Royal Flying Corps. He was killed in a flying accident on 12 June 1917 and is buried in Lapugnoy Military Cemetery, France (grave ref. IV. F. 9). Lieut. Birkin qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Lapugnoy Military Cemetery (extract): the village of Lapugnoy is 6km from the town of Bethune. 'The first burials were made in Plot I of the cemetery in September 1915, but it was most heavily used during the Battle of Arras, which began in April 1917. The dead were brought to the cemetery from casualty clearing stations, chiefly the 18th and the 23rd at Lapugnoy and Lozinghem, but between May and August 1918 the cemetery was used by fighting units.' (www.cwgc.org)
The Birkin lace manufacturing company was founded by Richard Birkin (1805-1870). His sons Richard and Thomas Isaac managed the company when their father retired and Thomas Isaac was left in sole charge when his brother retired in 1862. By 1893 the business was separated into two companies, Birkin & Co (fancy lace) and TI Birkin & Co (lace curtains). On the 1901 Census Thomas Stanley gave his occupation as lace manufacturer but as lace manufacturer (lace curtains) in 1911. Baronet of Ruddington Grange - new creation 1905. Thomas Isaac was created Baronet of Ruddington Grange in 1905 and on his death on 16 January 1922 the title passed to his eldest son, Thomas Stanley (known as Sir Stanley). The title passed to Thomas Stanley's surviving son, Henry, on 7 April 1931. On Henry's death in 1933 the title passed to his uncle, Alexander Russell Birkin (1861-1942). CWGC: 'Eldest son of Sir T. Stanley Birkin, Bart., and the Hon. Lady Birkin, of Ruddington Grange, near Nottingham.' Nottingham Evening Post, 15 June 1917: ‘The Roll of Honour. Killed. Lieut TRC Birkin. News was received in Nottingham this morning that Lieut. Thomas Richard Chetwynd Birkin, Royal Flying Corps, on of Mr T Stanley Birkin, Park House, Mapperley, and grandson of Sir Thomas Birkin, has been killed. Lieut. Birkin, who was 21 years of age, was formerly in the South Notts Hussars, and proceeded with that regiment to Gallipoli. He took part in the Suvla Bay landings and served on the peninsula for about 18 months. Later he was engaged in the Salonika expedition, and afterwards he transferred to the Dragoon Guards, finally becoming attached to the Royal Flying Corps. He was home on leave from France about a month ago.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 12 June 1918: ‘Birkin. In proud and ever-loving memory of Lieutenant Thomas Richard Chetwynd Birkin, Dragoon Guards and Royal Flying Corps, who was killed in action in France, June 12th, 1917, after having served in the Gallipoli Peninsula and Salonika.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 7 June 1927 (extract): Baronet’s Son Killed. Tragic Blow for Sir Stanley Birkin. Motor Cycle Crash. During Practice For Isle of Man Race’ The headline was followed by a report of the death of Charles Archibald Cecil who was in the Isle of man while practising for the Senior Tourist Trophy motor cycle competitions. ‘Mr Birkin’s machine crashed at Kirkmichael on the northern side of the island and he was killed immediately. It is is thought that he swerved to avoid a motor-car on the road. Mr Birkin, who was 22 years of age, was a director of the firm of McEvoy Motor Cycles (1935) Limited whose works are at Leaper-street, Derby.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) The Nottingham Evening Post, 22 June 1933, reported on the death of Sir Henry Ralph Stanley Birkin, 'racing motorist, who ‘died from blood poisoning set up following a burn to the arm by an exhaust pipe during the Tripoli Grand Prix.’ A coroner’s inquest recorded a verdict of ‘Accidental Death’. Sir Henry, who lived at Raynham Hall, Norfolk, was buried in the churchyard of Blakeney parish church, Norfolk. Details of Henry's war service and motor racing career were included in a report of his father's funeral in the Nottingham Evening Post, 8 April 1931.
Remembered on


  • Photograph courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    Thomas Richard Chetwyn Birkin - Photograph courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
  • Buried in Lapugnoy Military Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    Thomas Richard Chetwynd Birkin - Buried in Lapugnoy Military Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)