The MOLEs’ of Framlingham – an unexpected WW2 connection

When in Framlingham during the recent Heritage Open Day I took part in the tour of the town’s cemetery led by John Bridges and as always took a few photos of any graves that caught my eye.

One of these graves was for Walter MOLE who died on 24th February 1956, Annie MOLE who died on 15th April 1959 and Nancy Ismy who died on 26th April 1986.

MOLE Grave

Being quite an unusual surname I decided to investigate further to see if this was a family that had lived in the town for many years or who had moved there in more recent times.

I started by looking at the 1911 census and found Walter James MOLE aged 43 living with his wife Annie aged 41 and three children Gwendoline Rosalie aged 14, Colin Frostick aged 8 and Nancy Ismy aged 7 months. The family were living at Albert Road in Framlingham and George’s occupation was an Insurance Superintendent for Prudential.

MOLE 1911 census

Source Citation Ancestry: Class: RG14; Piece: 10911; Schedule Number: 29

George was born in West Mersea in Essex and Annie in Great Barford in Bedfordshire and they had been married for 16 years in 1911 – further research found that George MOLE and Annie TATMAN married in the April quarter of 1895 in Great Barford.

The 1901 census shows them living in Bures St Mary, so they must have moved to Framlingham after that time.

MOLE 1901 census

Source Citation Ancestry: Class: RG13; Piece: 1742; Folio: 52; Page: 5

I then looked in the Framlingham Weekly News records online and found several mentions of this MOLE family, including mention of Mr Colin MOLE being appointed organist and choirmaster in Wickham Market dated 11th July 1925.

FWN 11 7 1925

And also a wedding report from 14th April 1934, in Wickham Market, which mentioned a Colin MOLE from Framlingham presiding at the organ – did he ever play the organ in Framlingham church I wonder?

FWN 14 4 1934

I then decided to research Colin further and sadly found that Aircraftman Colin Frostick MOLE 1626905 of the Royal Air Force Reserve died on 31st August 1942 and is Remembered with Honour at Ippollitts (St Ippolyt) New Churchyard in Hertfordshire.

CWGC Colin Frostick MOLE

Colin attended Framlingham College between 1914 and 1918 and is remembered on the memorial to those Old Framlinghamians who lost their lives in World War 2, which is on the west wall of the College Chapel.

WW2Memorial  The College Framlingham

Colin had married Gwendoline Mabel BARNES in the July quarter of 1932, had three children Phillip, Mary and Sheila and settled in Hertfordshire.

However I was still intrigued by his middle name FROSTICK and have found that this was his paternal Grandmother Hannah’s maiden name and discovered that his MOLE ancestors have a long history associated with West Mersea in Essex.

MOLE and FROSTICK Marriage   George and Hannah Mole

George and Hannah MOLE (nee FROSTICK)

(Many thanks to Ancestry tree members for the use of this document and photo)

I now plan to try and discover more about Colin’s war service and how he died in World War 2 and will keep you updated with any developments.

Simon Last   

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