1696 later 105211 Private Godfrey Bunn, Hertfordshire Yeomanry
Born on 10th April 1894 in Little Gaddesden
Died on 30th June 1965 in St Paul’s Hospital, Hemel Hempstead
Godfrey Bunn was born in Little Gaddesden, the seventh of the 11 children of Godfrey Goward Bunn and Ellen née Cooling.
His father was Coachman to the Hon. Alfred Talbot at Little Gaddesden House and the family lived at Home Farm Lodge.
Godfrey’s siblings were:
- George Edward, who died aged twenty, born in 1884
- Sidney Bunn, born 10th August 1885
- Edith, born in 1887
- Elsie Emily, born 15th November 1888
- Ellen or Nellie, born 22nd April 1890
- Walter Louis Bunn, born 8th September 1892
- Margaret, born 21st February 1896
- Louisa or Louise, born 10th November 1898
- Edward Charles Bunn, born 29th January 1900
- May, born 3rd July 1902
On 10th May 1897 Godfrey Bunn, an Infant aged 3 years and 1 month, started at Little Gaddesden School. An epidemic of Mumps affected the school that autumn, to which Ellen succumbed on 10th November and Godfrey on 1st December.
Little Gaddesden School had an annual Diocesan Inspection, during which the children were examined in Religious Knowledge. The children who distinguished themselves in this examination in January 1901 included Godfrey and his sister Elsie.
Prizes for School Attendance 6
Attendance Prizes were sometimes awarded at Little Gaddesden School. In March 1902, Walter Bunn was awarded 2/6d, Ellen 2/- and Godfrey 1/6d. Others awarded prizes that year included Horace Ruffett 2/6d, William Wells 2/6d, Reginald Purton 2/6d and Sidney Hart 1/6d.
In March 1903 and March 1904, Godfrey and Walter Bunn were again awarded 2/- attendance prizes. Others named included Horace Ruffett, Archie Wells and William Wells in 1903 and Victor Collier, Bernard Phillips, Arthur Whitman and Archie Wells in 1904.
On 28th May 1907 Godfrey Bunn and Victor Collier passed their Exemption Paper (Certificate of Proficiency), enabling them to leave school and go out to work. On 3rd June, Godfrey Bunn aged 13 years and almost 2 months and Victor Collier aged 13 years 8½ months left school.
The 1911 Census records that Godfrey, aged nearly 17, was a Stable Helper at Churchill, Hemel Hempstead, in the household of Mr Edward Alfred Mitchell Innes, Barrister-at-Law.
The Bunn Family in 1911 5
Only Godfrey’s mother and four youngest siblings Margaret, Louisa, Edward Bunn and May were at Home Farm Lodge, Little Gaddesden on Census night, 2nd April 1911. His father Godfrey and brother Walter Bunn were in London – as were their employers the Talbots. His brother George had died in 1904. However, all his other siblings had left home for work: Sidney Bunn at Mr Austin’s Motor Works in London, Edith as a Housemaid in Exning, Newmarket, Elsie, also a housemaid, at Old Abbey, Leiston, Suffolk and Ellen a Domestic Nurse in Berkhamsted.
Godfrey volunteered at the outbreak of War, serving with the 1/1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Yeomanry. They sailed for Egypt on 10th September 1914 where, according to his Medal Roll Index Card, Godfrey served in Egypt from 5th November 1914. On 19th January 1915, the Battalion joined the Yeomanry Mounted Brigade in Egypt but that August they moved to Gallipoli as dismounted troops. Then, in December 1915, they withdrew from Gallipoli and returned to Egypt. However, in March 1916 the Battalion was split up into four squadrons, so further details of Godfrey’s service cannot be determined, as only his medal records have survived. For his War Service, Godfrey was awarded the 1914 – 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.
Returning to Little Gaddesden 10
By Autumn 1919, Godfrey had been disembodied (demobilised from the Territorial Force) and was again living at his parents’ address, Home Farm Lodge, Little Gaddesden.
Men who have answered their country’s call in defence of a “Scrap of Paper”
Godfrey Bunn is named on the Roll of Honour, which hangs in St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden and lists 119 men from Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Hudnall who served in the 1914 – 1918 War. His entry reads Bunn Godfrey, Hertfordshire Yeomanry. He is similarly shown on the Centenary Revision of the Roll. Also listed on the Rolls are his three brothers Sidney Bunn, Walter Bunn and Edward Bunn and his brother in law Charles Short, who had married Godfrey’s sister Elsie in 1913.
Rolls of Honour photos: Jane Dickson, Michael Carver
Godfrey’s parents remained in Little Gaddesden until 1920. They then moved to Great Gaddesden, where his father became Landlord of The Cock and Bottle Inn. From 1921 – 1926, Electoral Register entries show Godfrey living with his parents at The Cock and Bottle Inn.
In 1928 (2nd Quarter) Godfrey Bunn married Lily H Saunders. The marriage was registered in the Hemel Hempstead District. Between 1928 and 1930, Electoral Registers show that Godfrey and Lily lived at 33 Cotterells, Boxmoor. Their daughter Pamela M Bunn was born on 16th January 1930.
However, by 1931, they had moved to 56 Talfourd Road, Camberwell, Southwark. By 1936 they had moved again, to 1 The Parade, Epsom, Surrey where, in the 1939 Register, Godfrey was recorded as a Club Steward and Lily a Club Stewardess. Pamela was then at school. They remained in Epsom until at least 1954 and their last few Electoral Register entries name the Club as the Comrades Club.
However, Godfrey and Lily later moved back to Hertfordshire and, at the time of Godfrey’s death, lived at 196 Cotterells, Hemel Hempstead. 71 year old Godfrey Bunn, a retired Club Steward, died on 30th June 1965 as the result of bronchopneumonia and a stroke. He also suffered from severe osteoarthritis. His widow Lily was the informant of his death.
3. Little Gaddesden Baptism Register 1813 – 1947
6.Little Gaddesden School Log Books 1887 – 1906 and 1906 – 1934
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Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson