Ernest Richard Baldry was born 9 May 1883 in Saxlingham Nethergate. At the time of his birth his father was a store keeper. However by 1901 his parents Richard and Elizabeth Baldry (nee Rix) were running the Bowling Green Tavern in the Street in Saxlingham Nethergate . As well as running the tavern Richard was also a fowl dealer.
Ernest had a sister Alice Mary Baldry born in 1888 and a brother Harry Charles Baldry born in 1890. He also had two step-sisters, Ella Hook born in 1877 and Ellen Hook born in 1878. His mother was a widow when she married Richard Baldry. Her husband William Hook had died 21 August 1878.
Ernest was also known as Richard.
In 1901 Richard was still living at home and aged 17 years he was a dealer in fish and fowl. His stepsisters had left home.
His father died in January 1910 and in 1911 his mother was running a business as a dealer in butter and eggs. Richard was assisting her in the business and his brother Harry was working as an assistant blacksmith.
In his spare time Richard was a bell ringer at St. Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate. He is in a photograph taken in 1899 outside the church when the bells were rehung. He rang in the second peal rung on the new bells on 6 November 1905. Two extra bells were added in 1908 making the tower a ring of eight. The Rector Reverend Pitt was a keen bell ringer and funded the adding of the two new bells. Richard rang in the first peal on the new bells by an entirely local band on 13 October 1910.
Richard rang 17 peals on the bells but none between 4 December 1911 and 23 July 1926. He may have rung peals elsewhere. He rang his last peal at Saxlingham on 3 April 1931.
He enlisted in the Army in 1915 and served in the Royal Garrison Artillery, 94th Siege Battery, where he was a gunner. His service numbers were 5079 and 280079. He served in France from 31 July 1915. The Norfolk Diocesan Ringing Society report of 1919 states that he received two wound stripes but does not specify when and what for. The person had to sustain a substantial injury to qualify for the award. He was demobbed on 22 July 1919.
It may be that the injuries he received during the war made it difficult for him to ring peals.
In 1920 he was living with his mother and sister in the Street in Saxlingham Nethergate.
By 1939 he had moved to live at 25 Distillery Street, Norwich. His brother Harry had married Sophia Reynolds in 1913 and they had 5 children. Harry died in 1933. In 1939 Richard was living with his sister in law’s family and working as a gardener. His mother had died and his sister, who was also single, was still living in the Street in Saxlingham Nethergate.
Richard Baldry died in 1957 and he never married.
England & Wales, Birth, marriage, death index
UK Census Collection
British Army Medal Roll Index cards, 1914-1920
1939 Register- www.findmypast.co.uk
Absent Voters List, Saxlingham Nethergate, Norfolk 1918-1920
Norwich Diocesan Ringing Association Annual Report 1919
Jeff Fox, History of Peals and Ringers of Saxlingham Nethergate
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