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Person Details
Cossall Nottinghamshire
Lily Cecilia Holmes, known as Cissy, was the daughter of Graham Gordon Holmes and Mary Elizabeth Holmes (née Fletcher). Her father Graham Gordon was born in Beeston in 1849, the son of John Holmes, an auctioneer and valuer, and his wife Mary. The family was living in Greasley in 1871 when Graham was an assistant to his father. Her mother Mary Elizabeth was born in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire, in 1858, the daughter of Joseph and Martha Fletcher. Graham and Mary were married at Cossall St Catherine in April 1880 and according to the information provided on the 1911 Census, they had had six children, one of whom had died. However, the census between 1881 and 1911 provides a record of only four children who lived in the family home: Sybil May b. 1886 bap. St Catherine February 1886; Mabel Victoria b. 1887; Douglas Graham birth registered 1890 (J/F/M) bap. St Catherine February 1890 and Lily Cicely (as birth registration) b. 1893 who were all born in Cossall. The child who died in infancy may have been Hilda Dorothy b. 1891 (J/A/S) d. 1892 (A/M/J). In 1881, the year following their marriage, Graham and Mary were living in Cossall. They and their three children, Sybil, Mabel and Douglas, were still living in the village in 1891; also in the household was an eleven year old general servant, Elizabeth Marsh. By 1901, Graham an auctioneer and licensed victualler (own account), and Mary were living in Greasley with their four children, Sybil, Mabel, Douglas and Cicily (sic). Douglas and Mary employed a general domestic servant. The family had moved to Cantelupe House, Watnall, by 1911. In the home on the night of the census were Graham Gordon, Mary Elizabeth and their children, Mabel Victoria, no occupation listed, Douglas Graham (21) an auctioneer's clerk and Lillian Cecilia a dressmaker. The eldest daughter, Sybil, had married Claude Raynor, a contractor and surveyor, at Nuthall St Patrick in February 1910. Grayam Gordon Holmes died in April 1923 and his widow Mary in February 1937; both were buried in Nuthall St Patrick churchyard. Administration of Mary's Will was awarded to her son Douglas and her two married daughters, Sybil Raynor and Mabel Stevenson (m. William Leonard Stevenson, Greasley St Mary 1915). In 1939 when the England & Wales Registers was compiled, Douglas Graham Holmes and his second wife Ruby (née Hunt, m. 1927) were living at Cantelupe House, Watnall. Note: The Barony of Canteloupe was created in 1299 and although the barony expired c.1375, the Watnall part of the parish of Greasley was held partly by the Canteloupes and partly by the Chaworth families. Parts of the village are still known as Watnall Canteloupe [Cantilupe] and Watnall Chaworth. Douglas Graham Holmes served in the war with the South Notts Hussars (1171 Corporal) but later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (164672 A/Sergeant). He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal. Mabel Victoria's husband, William Leonard Stevenson, attested on 11 December 1915. He transferred to the Army Reserve the following day and was not moblised until 10 February 1917, posted 13 February 1917. William served in the Royal Engineers (Pioneer, later Sapper, 334th Company) and embarked for BEF France on 1 March 1917, landing at Le Havre the following day. He was selected for retention with effect 1 February 1919 but was admitted to hospital on 23 March and medically evacuated to England on 12 April following which he transferred to another unit of the Royal Engineers. He was probably discharged from the army in 1919.
1911 - dressmaker
04 Nov 1918
2749835 - CWGC Website
Women's Royal Air Force
Lily Cecilia Holmes enlisted on 4 January 1918 in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), later renamed Queen' Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps, which had been established in 1917 to facilitate the release of soldiers for front-line service. Lily either volunteered for, or was transferred to, the Women's Royal Air Force (WRAF) when it was established on 1 April 1918 (disbanded 1920). Lily died of pneumonia on 4th November 1918 at Lincoln Hospital and was buried in Greasley St. Mary Churchyard and Cemetery on 7 November (grave ref. 8.26).
Registration of birth: 'Lily Cicely' CWGC and Lives of the First World War: 'Lilian Cecilia Holmes' WAAC Enlistment Form: 'Lily Cecilia Holmes' Greasley St Mary grave and headstone: In loving memory of Lily Cecilia 'Cissy' Holmes (-) who died November 4th 1918 aged 24 years. ‘She gave her life for her country.’ Also Evelyn Grace, the beloved wife of Douglas Graham Holmes who died May 4th, 1920 aged 21 years.' Note: Douglas married Evelyn Grace Smith (21) at Nuthall St Patrick in June 1919; she died less than a year after their marriage. Nottingham Evening Post, 'Roll of Honour,' 6 November 1918: 'HOLMES. - On November 4th, at Lincoln Hospital, of pneumonia, Lilian Cecilia, W.R.A.F., aged 24, dearly loved youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Graham Holmes, Cantilupe House, Watnall, Notts. For King and country.'
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