Following my Framlingham War Memorial World War 1 book launch in November 2011, an article appeared in the East Anglian Daily Times about the launch and I was contacted by a lady in Chelmsford, whose 96 year old mother Ruby was the daughter of Reuben Meadows who was featured in the book.
East Anglian Daily Times newspaper 3rd March 2012
Ruby Meadows was born on 16th September 1916, 12 days before her father was killed during the Battle of the Somme on 28th September 1916, so she never knew him and she was given her Christian name in memory of him.
I always wonder if Reuben had heard that his daughter Ruby had been born before he died?
Reuben was the son of Reuben and Elizabeth Meadows (nee Banthorpe) and had four siblings Ernest , Ellen, Ethel and William. The 1901 census shows the family living at Vyces Road in Framlingham with Reuben aged 16 working as a Gardener’s Assistant. His father’s occupation is shown as Miller’s Carter.
Service Details: Private G/21183 – 7th Battalion The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment
Place of Death: France & Flanders
Place of Burial: No Known Grave
Commemorated: Thiepval Memorial – France
Thiepval Memorial France
Sadly Reuben’s brother Ernest and his brother in law Walter Thompson (married to his sister Ellen Meadows) were also killed, so Ruby’s Grandmother lost three members of her family in World War 1.
I met up with Ruby in February 2012, in Martlesham in Suffolk, to talk about my research and she said that the book had brought back many memories to her of her early life in Framlingham and she had really enjoyed seeing all the old photographs. Following my visit Ruby took a trip back to Framlingham with her daughter to see all the familiar landmarks.
Ruby Meadows talking to me about my book
It was a real honour and a privilege to meet Ruby, who was so closely linked to Reuben, and whom I had come to know during the research for my book and as I walk the 100kms of the World War 1 Frontline through France and Belgium between the 5th to 9th October 2016, I will be remembering Reuben who died on 28th September 1916 and thinking of my visit to his daughter Ruby in 2012.
We Will Remember Them
My walk will be raising funds for ABF The Soldiers Charity and if anyone would like to make a donation or find out more information about my 2016 challenge the link is www.justgiving.com/simonlast