11 April 2010
My wife is researching our family history and has come across your webpages for Blackmore. I believe the C Pratt you are looking for on the War Memorial is my great uncle, Cecil Pratt.
Christened Arthur Cecil Pratt, but known as Cecil, he was the son of Charles and Laura Pratt, one time residents of Hay Green Farm, Blackmore. His grandparents were Charles and Charlotte Pratt, whose son Rowland Richard Pratt, Cecil's uncle, is also mentioned on your pages.
Cecil was born in 1885 and we know from the 1901 census that he was in Ipswich training to be an engineer. We also know he was injured in the First World War and died in 1918 from injuries sustained during that time, at the age of 33.
Hope this information is of help to you but please do not hesitate to get in touch if we can be of any further help.
13 April 2010
Many thanks for contacting me. My notes (some published on the website, some not) show a succession of Pratt family members at Hay Green Farm. Firstly Charles (with Laura and a growing family by 1881), then Sidney (1891 census) then Rowland (in 1911) but no family members present on the 1914 Electoral Roll. I could not find Arthur Cecil on my list of Blackmore baptisms but know that your forebears were churchwardens. Can you confirm his whereabouts in 1891 and whether he was a Blackmore resident?
Are you able to confirm whether Arthur Cecil served in the RAF?
13 April 2010
Thanks for your email.
Charles and Laura Pratt were Arthur Cecil's parents and Sidney and Rowland were his uncles. The family lived first at Hay Green Farm and then moved to Castle House in Ongar. Arthur Cecil was born at Castle House Farm.
In 1891 he was just six years old and living with his parents at Castle House Farm, although he did later study at The Oakham School, Kingsley, Hants, as did most of his siblings. We know that he preferred to be called Cecil rather than Arthur.
As far as we know he served with the Royal Flying Corps, not the RAF, which was formed later. We have not as yet had the time to be able to verify this with actual documentation although we do have a photograph of him in uniform.
15 April 2010
Thanks for your e mail. I have found Charles Pratt recorded in the 1890 edition of Kelly’s Directory as a farmer at Castle Farm and Home Farm. I also have found an entry for Charles Pratt on the 1918 Electoral Roll for Chipping Ongar, residing at Castle Farm.
There were no Pratts, as far as I know, living in Blackmore in 1918. The problem I have is linking Arthur Cecil Pratt to Blackmore, particularly since he was born in Ongar and may have not lived in Blackmore, unless you have any evidence to the contrary.
I could not find a commemoration to A C or C Pratt on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.
However it would be wrong of me to dismiss this name as the possible entry in the War Memorial because of the strong connection which existed at the time between Grace Pratt, who married Herbert Brown and then Stanley Petrie, the son of the Vicar of Blackmore. We also see the placing of a contemporary memorial window in the church to the memory of her parents and of her late husband. C. Pratt is listed as a survivor, as someone who served who was connected with the parish. Arthur Cecil Pratt could be that connection, even if to my mind somewhat tenuous. There were no laid down rules as to who should and should not be included on parish war memorials. It was a matter of local discretion, that’s why we see names both duplicated and omitted when memorials are listed and compared.
My inclination is to record Arthur Cecil on our list but with a question mark.
What do you think? I would be interested to see whether there is any evidence I am not aware or have missed.
Thanks for your interest and contact.
15 April 2010
Odd that they should include him as a survivor. If he died in England, there are two candidates:
Deaths Dec 1918 Pratt Arthur C 33 Romford 4a 1052
Deaths Mar 1922 Pratt Arthur C 32 Medway 2a 1173
Only the first has the correct age, so we can only assume that the news had not reached the committee by 1919, when the carving was commissioned.
15 April 2010
Did you find these on CWGC? If so I must have only looked at 1918. I responded to Ian (see above).
16 April 2010
CWGC does not show him as a casualty. Ancestry only lists army records. So there’s not a lot of help available from these sources.
The RAF Museum holds RFC/RAF WW1 records. The address of the RAF Museum is:
The Royal Air Force Museum, Grahame Park Way, Hendon, LONDON NW9 5LL
Tel: 020 8205 2266
I have submitted the question “Sgt./Mec. [Arthur] Cecil PRATT RAF appears on Blackmore war memorial as a survivor, but we think he may have died 1918 from wounds. Do you have any records on him?”. I will let you know if I receive a reply.
18 April 2010
I think it is because we know the Pratts had such connections with Blackmore that made me feel that this could possibly be Cecil but quite understand your concerns. Sadly we have no further information at present. However, if the memorial was originally shown with C Pratt my feelings are that this should remain. If it should prove to be Arthur Cecil Pratt, I do know that he was always known as Cecil and not Arthur, even as a young lad.
We still have lots of research to do with regard to our family tree and feel we have just scratched the surface. However, I am not sure if you are aware but Peter Fry, who is also listed as a church warden for Blackmore church, was the brother-in-law of Charles (married to Laura), Rowland and Sydney. Although originally from Somerset, he married Charlotte, sister of the aforementioned and son in law to Charles and Charlotte Pratt.
I do hope this is of some help to you.
19 April 2010
Thanks for your e mail. Just in case I might have given a misunderstanding please be assured that C Pratt will be recarved on the War Memorial when it is refurbished this summer. There are no plans to add or delete names. The Group is keen that names, where faded are properly recorded.
A member of the Project Group is following up other possible leads. If we turn up anything we will write to you.
I was not aware of the connection of Peter Fry with the Pratt family.
21 April 2010
Thanks for your email.
If we discover any more we will also let you know.