WILLIAM SKIPPER PRATT

 

Born: 1869, Bramford, Suffolk.

Died: 12th July 1918; age 49; died of Bronchiectasis (unknown duration) & Heart Failure, at the Military Hospital, Grove Road, Richmond, Surrey.

No Post Mortem. Present at the death – Muriel Cross, of the Military Hospital, Grove Road, Richmond, Surrey

Enlistment Location: Ipswich.

Date of Entry Therein: 6th September 1915 – Balkans.

 

Rank: Private; Service: 22362

Regiment: Essex Regiment, 1st Garrison Regiment.

Formerly 3/9925, Suffolk Regiment.

 

Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1915 Star.

 

Grave Regerence:

XIII.C.4A.

Brookwood Military Cemetery,

Surrey.

       Images courtesy of Paul R Hughes

Relatives Notified & Address: Husband of Roberta Pratt, of 19, Turrett Lane, Ipswich.

 

CENSUS

 

1871   8, Beddels Court, Whitton, Suffolk.

William was a year old and living with his parents & brothers.

John Pratt, 40, a Blacksmith, born Bramford, Suffolk.

Sarah Ruth Pratt (nee Welham), 25, born North Shields, Northumberland.

Henry Welham Pratt, 6, born Claydon, Suffolk.

John Pratt, 4, born Bramford.

 

1881  Mount Edgcumbe’ Industrial School for Boys, River Tamar, Saltash, Cornwall.

William was 11 years old, an Inmate – School – Seamanship  on the industrial training ship.

 

1891   24, Union Street, Ipswich.

William was 22 years old, a Servant. He was living with his parents & sisters.

John, 60, a Blacksmith.

Sarah, 48, a Charwomen.

Harriet Pratt, 15, born Ipswich.

Ellen Pratt, 13, born Sproughton, Suffolk.

Evangelina Pratt, 4, born Ipswich.

 

1901   47, Cox Lane, Ipswich.

William was 31, a Quay Labourer. He was married and Head of the Household.

Roberta, 38, a Tailoress – own account – at home.

1911   H.M. Prison, Grimwade Street, Ipswich.

William was 43 years old, a Prisoner. He was a General Labourer and married.

William was found Guilty on the 18th March 1911, of feloniously stealing a lady’s serge jacket. He was sentenced to imprisonment with Hard Labourer for 3 calendar months.

 

In 1911, William’s wife, Roberta, was also a Prisoner, at the H.M. Prison, at Grimwade Street, Ipswich. A Charwomen and married.

Roberta was found Guilty of feloniously stealing 1 silk dress skirt, 2 cloth dress skirts, 1 muslin dress in the month of February 1911. She was sentenced to imprisonment with Hard Labourer for 12 calendar months.

 

William’s brother, Abraham Pratt, born 26th January 1884, Ipswich died from want of proper nourishment and want of milk, on Tuesday, 12th February 1884, at 27, Wellington Street. Weakly from birth, baby Abraham would not take the breast; he was fed bread sop and cornflour. Magnesia was also given a few days before he passed. A doctor was called on the Monday night, but refused to go as he had not received an order from the Relieving Officer. After an inquest held on Thursday evening, at the Bramford Road School Room, a jury verdict was return that the infant died from “debility accelerated by improper food.”

 

William’s father, John Pratt died 1895, Ipswich. His mother, Sarah Ruth Pratt died 1912, Ipswich.

 

On the 8th June 1895, St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich, 25 year old, William, a painter married 30 year old, Ellen Roberta Gray (nee Swan), born 1851, Gravesend, Kent – daughter of George Swan, a gardener. Married in the presence of George Dunthorne, the church verger, and Sarah Ann Dunthorne, a church attendant.

 

COURT APPEARANCES AND CONVICTIONS

 

A YEAR’S MARRIED LIFE – The Ipswich Journal – 2nd May 1896. At Ipswich Police Court, before Col. J.H. Josselyn and Mr. William Alexander, an application was made by Mrs. Roberta Pratt for a separation order from her husband, William Pratt, living at 27, New Street. They had been married barely 12 months, and according to Roberta’s statement she had been subjected to systematic ill-usage. Her husband had injured her with a knife on one occasion, and on another had “bashed” in her head with a knife so that she had to be treated in the Hospital. It was alleged by William that the quarrels occurred through petty jealousies and drink. The Magistrates dismissed the case, recommending that Roberta and William keep away from drink in the future.

 

The Ipswich Journal – 18th March 1879SCHOOL BOARD PROSECUTION At the Town Hall, on Monday, 17th March 1879, John Pratt, a labourer, of Bramford Lane, was summond before the Mayor (A.F. Nicolson, Esq.), and Admiral T.H. Mason, C.B., for neglecting to send his son William, aged 10, to school. Mr. Frederick Hammond, who prosecuted on behalf of the School Board, said that the father in this case must know that the boy attended very irregularly, as he had had 11 notices within the last 12 months. The mother of the lad, who appeared in the place of her husband, said that the boy always received the money to go to school, and, as the school was some distance off, she could not see him to it. John Pratt, who has been summonded for a like offence before, was fined 1s., and costs 4s.

The Ipswich Journal – 18th March 1884REFORMATORY CONTRIBUTIONS At the Town Hall, Monday, 17th March 1884, John Pratt, a Blacksmith, of Wellington Street, was brought before the Deputy Mayor (E.R. Tuner, Esq.), Admiral T.H. Mason, C.B., and D.H. Booth, Esq., on a judgment summons, issued at the instance of the chief constable (Lieutenant-Colonel Russell), who sought to recover £3 17s. 6d., weekly contributions and costs towards the maintenance of his son William in a reformatory. It was proved that John, who has been recently employed by Messrs. Packard and Co., received regular wages. The Bench adjourned the ease for a month on the understanding that John kept up the payments of 1s. per week and cleared off the accumulation at the rate of 3s. per week.

The Ipswich Journal – 19th April 1884NON-COMPLIANCE WITH A MAINTENANCE ORDER At the Petty Sessions, at the Town Hall, on the 19th April 1884, John Pratt, a blacksmith, of Waterloo Street, was summonded before the Mayor (John May, Esq.), Admiral T.H. Mason, C.B., and John Hunt, Esq., to show cause why he should not be committed to prison in default of the payment of £3 17s. 6d., including the costs of proceedings, due for the maintenance of his son William, who is now in a Reformatory. John was represented by his wife Sarah. The Magistrates again adjourned the case for a fortnight, and informed Sarah that John must then appear.

East Anglian Daily Times – 30th May 1884MAINTENANCE ARREARS At the Ipswich Police Court, at the Town Hall, on Thursday, 29th May, John Pratt, a blacksmith, of Waterloo Street, was summonded before the Mayor (John May, Esq.), Admiral T.H. Mason, C.B., G.G. Sampson, Esq., and John Hunt, Esq., to answer a claim for 18s. arrears due for the maintenance of his child William, who was in a reformatory, and 3s. costs, due to Colonel Inglis, Inspector of Reformatory schools. Police-constable Jennings said that John Pratt was addicted to drink, but John contended that he had lost a good deal of money lately by being out of work and illness. Order made for 2s. 6d. a week.

 

William was described as 5ft 3ins in height, fresh complexion, green eyes and dark brown hair. He was tattooed with a ‘H.G.’ on his right forearm and H.P.P. ANNIE’ and several dots on his left forearm.

7th August 1888 – at Ipswich Borough Petty Session – for stealing hay – convicted for 14 days or 17/10.

7th May 1891 – at Ipswich Borough Petty Session – for assaulting his father – convicted for 6 weeks’ with Hard labour.

13 Minor Offences – for drunkenness and obscene language, etc., from June 1892 and December 1906.

East Anglian Daily Times – 10th May 1892 – THE FIGHTING BROTHERSAt the Ipswich Police Court, Monday, 9th May, John Skipper Pratt, an Army Reserve Man, and William Pratt, a Sub-Marine Militiaman, brothers, residing at 25, Union Street, were before R.M. Miller, Esq. (chairman), Colonel J.H. Josselyn, and H.M. Jackaman, Esq., were charged with fighting in that street on Sunday evening. Police-constable Chenery proved the case. John said he had recently come home from India, his brother and he had words, and went out of doors to settle their differences. William said he was most to blame. John and William, who were in their shirt sleeves, were bound over in the sum of £5 to keep the peace for 6 months and pay 6s. 6d. costs, or 7 days’.

The Ipswich Journal – 27th July 1901 – SATURDAY NIGHT DISTURBANCESAt the Suffolk Police Courts, Ipswich, Monday, 22nd July, William Pratt, a labourer, of Cox Lane, was before Mr. John May (in the chair), Col. J.H. Josselyn, and Mr. R.D. Fraser, charged with disturbing the peace by shouting in Cox Lane on Saturday night. Police-constable Parker said he found William outside his house making a disturbance. He complained of two men wanting to fight him, but he would not remain indoors and be quiet, and he was taken into custody. Police-constable Aldous spoke to William behaving badly earlier in the evening. William said he had just been invalided home from South Africa. Two men entered his house on Saturday night, and he had to put them out. William asked for an adjournment till Monday to produce witnesses. The application was granted.

The Ipswich Journal – 3rd August 1901At the Suffolk Police Courts, Ipswich, Monday, 29th July 1901, William Pratt was back in after the adjournment, this time before Mr. George F. Josselyn (in the chair) and Mr. A. Wrinch, charged with disturbing the peace by shouting in Cox Lane on Saturday night. William was bound over to keep the peace, but let off the costs.

Between August 1897 and March 1904, William was convicted five times for assaults on his wife Roberta Pratt. In October 1897, a separation order was granted to Roberta.

8th April 1911 – at Ipswich Borough Quarter Session – before Mr. Frederick Low, Esq., K.C. Recorder – for feloniously stealing a lady’s serge jacket, the property of Lewis Moir, at Ipswich, on the 24th November 1910 – convicted for 3 calendar months with Hard Labour.

16th November 1911, before F.E. Rands, Esq., Mayor of Ipswich at the Ipswich Borough Petty Sessions, held on remand until the next Ipswich Borough Quarter Sessions.

20th November 1911at Ipswich Borough Quarter Session – before Mr. Frederick Low, Esq., K.C. Recorder – for feloniously stealing a glass jar and 16 packets of tobacco, the property of Samuel Stokes, at Ipswich, on the 15th November 1911 – convicted for 4 calendar months with Hard Labour.

4th January 1912 – at Ipswich Session – for larceny – convicted for 4 calendar months. Liberation date 13th April 1912.

 

ROBERTA PRATT:

Ellen Roberta Pratt was described as 4ft 9 1/2ins in height, ruddy complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair. She had a mole on the left side of mouth; fourth right finger contracted.

The Ipswich Journal – 2nd July 1870Before Mr. J.G. Sheppard, Esq. (chairman), and other Magistrates, Roberta Swan, 19, a servant pleaded guilty to stealing, at Framsden on the 18th March, one pair of boots, one chemise, and one petticoat, the property of Rebecca Wade, her fellow servant. Roberta had been in the service of Mr. Freeman, of Framsden, and she left on the day of the robbery, taking the property with her. Roberta was sentenced to 9 months’ imprisonment with Hard Labour.

19th May 1871, as Roberta Swan – at Ipswich Borough Petty Session – for stealing a shawl – convicted 3 months Hard Labour.

The Ipswich Journal – 23rd May 1871 – ROBBERY FROM A LODGINGAt the Ipswich Borough Petty Sessions, at the Town Hall, Roseanna Cattermole alias Roberta Swan, 21 years of age, was before G.G. Sampson, Esq. (Mayor), Thomas D’Eye Burroughes, C. Deane, E. Grimwade. C. Burton, and S.B. Chapman, Esqrs., charged with stealing a black shawl from a drawer in the lodging-house of Mrs. Harriett Jay, of No. 1, Thursby’s Lane. Harriett Jay said that Roseanna came to lodge with her on the 4th May. On Friday last prosecutrix called her up, and Roseanna went down stairs to finish dressing. Whilst she was there Mrs. Jay thought she heard a drawer open and asked Roseanna – who replied “It’s the door.” Prosecutrix came down stairs about 7:30, but Roseanna was then gone. Prosecutrix went to the drawer and missed the black shawl. She gave information to the police. Head-Constable W.C. Mason said he had made inquiries, and found that Roberta had been committed to gaol for 9 months for stealing some effects of her master’s while in service. The shawl had been pawned at Messrs. Frasers’. Mr. Roderick Donald Fraser proved taking the shawl into pledge from the prisoner, on Friday last. Prisoner gave the name of Rose Leggett, and said her address was No. 4, Carr Street. He gave her 1s. on it. Subsequently, it was given up to policeman Burroughes. He considered it would be worth about 1s. 6d. to his firm. Mrs. Jay said the shawl cost her 8s. 6d. Roberta pleaded guilty, and, when questioned by the Magistrates, admitted having been in gaol three times within the last two years. She was ashamed to go back to her mother when she came out of the County Gaol. The Mayor told Roberta that she was liable to be sent to penal servitude, but the Bench were disposed to deal with the case summarily, and the sentence was that she should be committed to the Borough Gaol for 3 months, with Hard Labour.

Between May 1892 – September 1906, as Ellen Roberta Gray alias Swan, Roberta and as Rosanna Cattermole – 7 minor offences (for assault, drunk and disorderly, etc.).

A YEAR’S MARRIED LIFE – The Ipswich Journal – 2nd May 1896. At Ipswich Police Court, before Col. J.H. Josselyn and Mr. William Alexander, an application was made by Mrs. Roberta Pratt for a separation order from her husband, William Pratt, living at 27, New Street. They had been married barely 12 months, and according to Roberta’s statement she had been subjected to systematic ill-usage. Her husband had injured her with a knife on one occasion, and on another had “bashed” in her head with a knife so that she had to be treated in the Hospital. It was alleged by William that the quarrels occurred through petty jealousies and drink. The Magistrates dismissed the case, recommending that Roberta and William keep away from drink in the future.

9th April 1906, as Roberta Pratt – at Ipswich Borough Petty Session – for stealing 3 gold pins – convicted 1 month Hard Labour.

Evening Star – 9th April 1906A COLONEL’S PROPERTY At the Ipswich Police Court, Monday, 9th April, Roberta Pratt, a married woman, living in Barnsley Place, was before the Deputy-Mayor (Alderman J.H. Grimwade), W. Alexander and G.F. Josselyn, Esqs., charged with stealing three gold tie pins, value £5, the property of Colonel Mercer, C.B., of the Royal Horse Artillery. The Colonel said he took apartments at Ipswich, in Berners Street, on the 7th March, was there joined later on by Mrs. Mercer, and left on the 27th March. Before leaving, he missed three pins, two belonging to him and one to his wife, which he identified as his property when they were brought to him on the previous morning by a police-constable. Roberta Pratt was employed as a charwoman at the house where he stayed. Henry Cole, of 63, St. Helen’s Street bought the pins as old gold from Roberta who said she was from Wickham Market, and added, when Henry had asked a question, that she had come by the pins honestly. She made out that she was in dealing line. Henry purchased the pins for 5s. 6d., and sold one for 5s. and gave the other two up to the police. Detective-constable James, who traced the stolen property, and apprehended Roberta, said she asked him to go to the Colonel and tell him that she took the things to make up for the rent money. The officer added that Roberta and her husband were very badly off, William having no work for a long time. William came up, and pleaded hard on behalf of his wife. The Bench seemed to know something about the pair, and Mrs. Roberta Pratt, who cried bitterly, was sent to gaol for a month.

30th December 1907, as Roberta Pratt – at Ipswich Borough Petty Session – for stealing a lady’s skirt – convicted 3 months Hard Labour.

30th December 1907, as Roberta Pratt – at Ipswich Borough Petty Session – for stealing a lady’s skirt – convicted 3 months Hard Labour.

Evening Star – 30th December 1907 – “ROBERTA” IN FURTHER TROUBLEAt Ipswich Police Court, Monday, 30th December, Roberta Pratt, a married woman, living in School Cottages, Smart Street, was before the Mayor (H.W. Raffe, Esq.), G.F. Josselyn, J.H. Grimwade, H.M. Jackaman, G.T. Moss, and R.D. Fraser, Esqrs., charged with having stolen a lady’s dress skirt, a pair of boots, and other articles, together value 9s. 9d., the property of William Henry Hicks. His wife, Mrs. Amelia Hicks keeps a second-hand clothes shop in St. Helen’s Street. Between the 16th December and the 23rd Amelia missed the articles in question, and it was ascertained by Detective-constable James that Roberta (who worked for Mrs. Hicks during the time) had sold some of the missing things to Mrs. Read, who keeps another second-hand shop in the Fore Hamlet. In reply to the Mayor, Mrs. Read said that Roberta regularly brought articles for sale at intervals, which she said had been given to her by the ladies for whom she worked. Roberta pleaded guilty, with many tears; but she is an old offender, and the Magistrates sent her to gaol for 3 months, with Hard Labour.

8th July 1909, as Roberta Pratt – at Ipswich Borough Petty Session – for stealing 3 neck wrappers – convicted 2 months Hard Labour.

Evening Star – 8th July 1909 – THEFT OF WRAPPERS At the Ipswich Police Court, Thursday, 8th July, Roberta Pratt, a married woman, of Payne’s Court, Tanners Lane, was before Mr. W. Alexander (in the chair), Mr. J.H. Grimwade, Mr. A. Gibb, and Mr. C.E. Tempest, charged with stealing three wrappers, value 1s. 6d., the property of Walter George Foster, clothier, of 52, and 54, Fore Street. The prosecutor said he gave Roberta some old clothing, and subsequently missed three new wrappers, which he identified when they were handed to him by Detective-Inspector Warner, who ascertained that Roberta had pawned them or endeavoured to do so. Roberta was sent to prison for 2 months.

8th October 1909, as Roberta Pratt – at Ipswich Borough Quarter Session, before Mr. Frederick Low, Esq., K.C. Recorder – for feloniously stealing a silk blouse, 1 cotton blouse, 1 night dress, 1 pillow slip, 2 pairs of boys knickbockers, and 1 pair of drawers, the property of William Algernon Frost, at Ipswich, on the 4th September– convicted 9 months Hard Labour.

 Evening Star – 20th September 1909 – CAN’T HELP MYSELF – IPSWICH WOMAN’S PITIFUL PLEA. At Ipswich Borough Police Court, Roberta Pratt, a married woman, living in St. Clement’s Church Lane, was before the Mayor (Mr. F.C. Ward), and other Magistrates, charged with stealing a silk blouse and other articles, value 5s., the property of Arabella Eliza Frost, of the Artillery Arms, Anglesea Road. Roberta (cried piteously throughout the hearing) had nothing to say, but handed in a closely-written statement which covered a sheet-and-half with a pitiful plea. “I thought it no harm to write a few lines to you, gentlemen. I am truly and truly sorry, and trusting in God that you gentlemen will go as lenient as you can, for I may tell you I will never be any more trouble to you. I have had great trouble during the time I have been married. I came out of prison on the 11th August. My home was sold up – everything I had was gone. Nobody had nothing to give me. I had nowhere to go, nothing to do.” Roberta added that nobody knew how hard she had been trying to do what was right. She was very miserable, because she couldn’t do what she ought to do. “According to my age,” she added, “I ought to try to do better, but I can’t help myself. I am truly sorry for myself, and can only call upon God to help me.” Roberta was committed for trial at the next quarter sessions for the borough.

Evening Star – 8th October 1909 – DRINK HER DOWNFALL. At the Ipswich Borough Quarter Session, at the Town Hall, Roberta Pratt, 52, a charwomen, was before the Recorder (Mr. Frederick Low, K.C.), charged with stealing a silk blouse and other articles, value 5s., the property of William Algernon Frost, of the Artillery Arms, Anglesea Road. Roberta cried and said it was trouble that had brought her to it. Inspector Warner deposed that drink had been the cause of the prisoner’s downfall. The Recorder (looking at the prisoner’s record), said she had been convicted time after time of these pitfering offences. She managed from time to time to get employment, it seemed, and took advantage of it to rob the people who employed her. No doubt, her conduct was largely due to drinking habits, and the best thing he could do was to sentence her to a term of imprisonment which would keep her out of such temptation for some time; the sentence was 9 calendar months’ imprisonment, with hard labour.

 

22nd March 1911, before A. Gibb, Esq., at the Ipswich Borough Petty Sessions, held on remand until the next Ipswich Borough Quarter Sessions. 8th April 1911, as Roberta Pratt – at Ipswich Borough Quarter Sessions, for feloniously stealing 1 silk dress skirt, 2 cloth dress skirts, 1 muslin dress, the goods of William George Clarke, at Ipswich, in the month of February 1911. Convicted 12 calendar months with Hard Labour. Liberation date 7th February 1912.

 

 

 

Essex Regiment, 1st Garrison Regiment

1st Garrison Battalion Formed in Denham, Buckinghamshire 21st July 1915.
24.08.1915 Embarked for Gallipoli from Devonport via Mudros 24th August 1915. Disembarking 3rd – 6th September 1915.

The Gallipoli Campaign (Dardanelles Campaign) 17th February 1915 – 9th January 1916
The aims of the Campaign were the capturing the Ottoman Empire capital Constantinople and the opening of a new front taking German and Turkish forces away from Europe and North Africa and Mesopotamia . Creating a safe sea route rout to Russia and the Black sea, enabling Russia to trade goods for arms. The campaign was an Anglo-French task force but is better known for the contribution and fierce fighting from the Commonwealth forces from Australian and New Zealand force the “ANZAC” (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps). The Campaign was to fail due to poor mapping and planning. The forces landing on beaches with steep cliffs and soon became bogged down with trench warfare. Supply routes we hampered by the enemy attacks on shipping. Equipment and water were limited. Disease and heavy shelling on the narrow beach heads caused thousands of casualties. The evacuation took place in January 1916.
It is estimated that over 50,000 British and commonwealth dead and over 100,000 wounded sustained from the campaign. With 8,709 dead from Australia and 2,721 from New Zealand.

The 1st Battalion was evacuated in early February 1916 from Gallipoli to Egypt gaining large casualties from combat, disease and the harsh weather.
The Battalion remained in Egypt until the end of the war.

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