November 2018

On Sunday 11th November, exactly 100 years since the Armistice, we gratefully remember the 37 Cobbolds and their kinsmen who died in World War 1. It is entirely appropriate that we also remember the 11 Cobbolds and their kinsmen who gave their lives in World War 2

The Trust has a commemorative announcement in both the Daily and the Sunday Telegraph which can be seen (from Monday 12th), along with the Role of Honour at King & Country.

We have also made our customary donation to the Royal British Legion who place our dedicated cross in the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey

I’d like to tell you the story of one of our family members, Sgt. Sydney George Cobbold #9999 on the family tree. He was born in the little Suffolk village of Woolpit, with which the Cobbold family had a long clerical connection many years previously, on 12th September 1887. He was the 7th child and 2nd son of Maurice and Anna Cobbold. From early days he showed an interest in gardening and was employed by the local GP from the age of just 13 before going on to work at Sudbrooke Holme in Lincolnshire in 1805. Three years later he secured a job at Kew on the strength of glowing references from his previous employers who described him as ‘a most respectable young man’. From here, having passed all his exams at the leading botanical institution in the country he went on to Worsley Hall Gardens, Moorfield and finally Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire.

Moved by his highly developed sense of duty Sydney enlisted in June 1915, was in France by December and had been promoted Acting Sergeant by August the following year. How he survived September with the 8th Rifle Brigade, through hails of bullets, ‘friendly’ gas and horrendous casualties all around him, is a mystery. His luck did not hold. The dreaded letter from his CO claimed him as one of his very best soldiers who knew no fear and was liked by all. His death had been instantaneous and he had no pain. He and fellow riflemen Farr, Kittle and Gordon died together with Sgt. Aspden MM on 3rd October 1916. Sydney lies among comrades at Le Fermont Cemetery beneath a headstone engraved at his father’s request ‘His Country called – He Answered’.

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