Hubert Banham, the son of a Chelmsford High Street butcher, served an apprenticeship as a coach-builder and joined the army. He was wounded seven days before the Armistice and died nine days afterwards. A brother also died.
Hubert was born in Chelmsford on 26th August 1899, the son of Daniel Youngs Banham and Alice Clara Banham (nee Harvey). Hubert’s father had been born in 1857 in Harwich; his mother in 1870 in Chelmsford. The couple had married on 8th February 1892 at St. John’s Church, Moulsham, when Hubert’s father was aged 33, a butcher of Chelmsford, and the son of John Banham, also a butcher. His mother was aged 22, of Baddow Road, Chelmsford, and the daughter of Walter Joseph Harvey, a warehouseman.
Hubert was christened at St John’s Church, Moulsham on 4th November 1899. At that time his father was a butcher of 44 High Street, Chelmsford. His siblings, all Chelmsford-born, included John Banham (born in 1894), Frank Banham (born in 1896) and William Banham (born on 21st February 1898).
The 1901 census found Hubert at 44 High Street, aged one, living with his parents three siblings an uncle and two servants. His father was a butcher (slaughter-man), while his uncle and one of the servants were butchers.
Hubert’s mother died in 1902. His father married Grace Mary Major (born in Brightlingsea c1865) in 1909.
Hubert entered King Edward VI’s Grammar School, Chelmsford on 28th June 1910 when aged ten, and remained there until 4th April 1912. His brother William was there for the same period.
During that time the 1911 census recorded 11 year-old Hubert living with his father, step-mother, three brothers, a servant and a cousin at 44 High Street. Hubert’s father was a master butcher. His brothers john and Frank were his assistants.
Hubert’s father died on 28th February 1917. The latter’s death was recorded in a family announcement in the Essex County Chronicle on 2nd March 1917:
“Banham. - At 44 High Street, Chelmsford, on Feb. 28th, Daniel Banham, aged 59 years, of heart failure. Funeral Monday afternoon, Borough Cemetery, 3 o’ clock. No flowers by special request.”
The same edition also reported:
“Death of Mr. D. Banham. - Mr. Daniel Banham, butcher of High Street, died on Tuesday night, at the age of 59, from heart failure. A native of Braintree, he came to Chelmsford about 40 years ago, and built up an extensive business. He was kind-hearted man, and a friend to the poor. Two of his four sons are serving at the Front. He was twice married, and his second wife survives him. The funeral will take place on Monday at the Writtle Road Cemetery at 3 p.m.”
A similar report was carried by the day’s Essex Weekly News:
“Tradesman’s death. - We regret to record the death of Mr. Daniel Banham, butcher, of High-street, which occurred on Tuesday night, The deceased. who was 59 years of age, was a native of Braintree, but had lived in Chelmsford for many years. He had been ill for about a year and had not been downstairs since Boxing-day. He leaves a widow and four sons, two of whom are in the Army. - The funeral will take place at the Borough Cemetery at three o’clock on Monday.”
Private, 7th (Service) Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment
Hubert’s father left a considerable estate, valued at £12,867 6s 5d.
Hubert enlisted at Chelmsford.
He was fatally wounded a week before the Armistice and died from his wounds on 20th November 1918 while serving as Private 52192 in the 7th (Service) Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment. He was aged 19. He is buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport, France (grave: IX. A. 5A). Le Treport, some 25 kilometres north-east of Dieppe, was an important hospital centre during the War.
On 15th November 1918 the Essex County Chronicle reported:
“Pte. Hubert Banham, Lincoln Regt., the youngest of the three sons serving in France, of Mrs. Banham, butcher, High Street, Chelmsford, was severely wounded on Nov. 4 and his mother has been sent for, He is wounded in both legs and the arm, while a piece of bullet pierced his lip and went down the throat."
Two weeks later the Essex Weekly News reported that he had died:
“Pte. Hubert Banham, Lincoln Regt., son of the late Mr. D. Banham, butcher, of High-st., Chelmsford, has died in France of wounds received on Nov. 4. In addition to injuries to both legs and an arm a piece of bullet pierced his lip and went down the throat. Deceased was only 19 years old and had been on service for 14 months. Prior to joining up he was an apprentice with Messrs. Munnion and Son. coachbuilders, Chelmsford. Shortly after he was wounded Mrs. Banham was sent for, and she was able to see him before he passed away.”
On 6th December 1918 the Essex County Chronicle and the Essex Weekly News included a family announcement of Hubert’s death:
“Banham - On November 20th , died in France, of wounds receuced in action, Hubert, the dearly loved youngest son of the late D. Banham, of 44 High Street, Chelmsford, aged 19 years."
The same edition of the Essex County Chronicle reported:
“Pte. Hubert Banham, Lincoln Regt., son of the late Mr. D. Banham, butcher, High Street, Chelmsford, has died in France of wounds. He received injuries to both legs and the arm, and a piece of bullet pierced his lip and went down the throat.Deceased was 19, and had been on service for 14 months. He was an apprentie with Messrs. Munnion and Sons, coachbuilders."
Hubert is commemorated on the Civic Centre Memorial, Chelmsford.
The 1918 register of electors listed Hubert’s brother, John and step-mother Grace Mary Banham at 44 High Street. Hubert’s brother William died from pulmonary tuberculosis in 1920.