Bertie Cole

Census Address: 7 Phillips Yard, Water Street
Place of Birth: Stamford
Date of Birth: 1900
Enlistment Address: --
Regiment: --
Service Numbers: --
Place of Death: --
Date Died: --
Phillips Yard, Water Street

Bertie Cole

Betie was born Stamford in the autumn of 1899 and was still at school in 1911. He lived with father Robert (a brewery labourer at Phillips Brewery) and mother Ann at 7 Phillips Yard, the row of cottages rented to Phillips’ Brewery workers. He was the youngest of nine children, one of whom died and the rest had grown up and left, leaving just Bertie at home.

In 1918 he became an Air Cadet at Wittering Aerodrome. No 1 Training Depot of the Royal Flying Corps was established there in July 1917 to train airmen for the Western Front. Several local boys were inspired, like Bertie, to enlist there but the war ended before they could qualify for active service.

Bertie’s four older brothers had more involvement:

The eldest, Alfred born 1879, joined the Machine Gun Corps as Private 48062 and was badly wounded at Salonica.

Charles, born 1886, Corporal 8458 in the 1st Northants earned a Mons Star but died of wounds on 1 October 1914.

William born 1889 was a regular soldier who served in India with the Royal Engineers. He was wounded several times on the Western Front.

Ernest,  born 1891, was another regular soldier, Corporal 11669 in the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards, he also fought at Mons and was wounded three times in the first year of the war.

Their uncle Ernest Cole of 25 St Leonards Street submitted their details to the Mayor after the war.