Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?

Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War - recruiting Poster
Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War – recruiting Poster – click for link to Wikipedia article

We have mostly not been a particularly military family, but several family members lives were more directly touched by conflict.

World War One (and its aftermath)

George Edward Lines

His official war record has its own page here. He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Walter Lines

Grandpa’s older Brother. According to Walter, having risen to the rank of Captain in the Royal Horse Artillery Company, was mentioned in dispatches. It is possible that this is his record at Lives of the First World War.

Arthur Edwin Lines (1892-1962)

Grandpa‘s younger brother, was in the Rifle Brigade, Regimental Number 211508, possibly from 18th August 1915 to 18th September 1916, and was an Acting Company Sergeant Major.  He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Edward William Wise Rebbeck

He joined the Kings Rifles, became a temporary 2nd Lieutenant, and died in a flying accident in 1916. He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Leopold Edward Rebbeck

He served in the Navy in both wars, starting as a Midshipman in 1914, and rising to Rear Admiral by the time he retired from the Navy in 1955. He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Margaret Ada Box

She served as a nurse in Serbia in 1918-19. She has a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Leonard Arthur Box

Served in the 2nd County of London Yeomanry (Regiment 1721) from 5th November 1914 as a private, and at some time was promoted to Sergeant in the Machine Gun Corps (Regiment 151206). He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War. Some of Margaret Box’s letters from Serbia mention him, though there is little about what he did, presumably because Margaret would not have known.

Harold James Cansdale

He was in the Merchant Navy during the war – He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War. He then went on to be the civilian in charge of the Officers Mess at Caterick Camp, where Michael Lines would go for his training, but would have retired before the Second World War.

William John (Jack) Webster

Other than that he fought in the First World War, and finished it as a Sergent Instructor there is very little record of his military career. There is a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Ernest Whiteside Huddleston

My Great Aunt Lorna Box , daughter of William Box, brother of John Robert Box, married Sir Ernest Huddleston in 1932. He was senior marine transport officer of Bombay during World War One, being promoted to Captain on 6th December 1918, and was commended in the London Gazette of  4th July 1919 (page 8384).

Captain Ernest Whiteside Huddleston, C.I.E., R.N. (Captain R.I.M.)
For valuable service as Principle Marine Transport Officer, Bombay and Karachi.

He first appears in the Navy Lists of the Royal Indian Marine as being promoted to Sub-lieutenant on 12th November 1895. He retired, then ranked Captain, on 11th December 1925. He was Knighted in 1939.

Arnold Freeman

Arnold Freeman was a Conscientious Objector during the First World War. There is a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

Frank Richard Freeman

The brother of Sir Ralph, Arnold, Peter, the more famous Freemans, he was a Civil Engineer in the 1911 Census, so it would be reasonable if he signed up to join the Royal Marines. If he is the right one then there is a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

James Harvey Bryson

The grandson of James Mackay Bryson (1824-1894), brother of Robert Bryson Junior. His father was also called Robert Bryson, and lived in Antigua. James is mentioned on the Bryson Family Grave at New Calton Cemetry.  He was a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery Unit Text: “Y” 24th Trench Mortar Battery, and fell in action on 20th October 1918. He has a brief record at Lives of the First World War. He is mentioned in the Caribbean WW1 Casualties Roll of  Honour.

Leonard Horner Bryson

The son of William Alexander Bryson. By 1901 he was a Physician and Surgeon. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, was promoted to Temporary Lieutenant on 1st June 1915, and ended the war as a Captain. He as a brief record at Lives of the First World War.

World War Two (and its aftermath)

Michael Lines

Trained at Catterick Camp, as a Radio Operator. He was a vegetarian, and was sent boxes of eggs from the hens my grandparents kept at Pickwick. He made good use of the record library at Catterick, and would write recommendations of records for my grandparents to buy.
He was posted to Netanya in Palestine for a while. He described the drive to Bagdad across the desert at the season when a little rain brings out the little flowers – a magical sight.
According to a conversation with my mother he developed sandfly fever during his time in the Middle East, which is presumably why he ended up in Mauritius.
Later he was stationed on Mauritius, where he enjoyed the abundance of fruit and other vegetarian food, and manned the communications across the Indian Ocean.
He returned in 1948, on the Empire Windrush, returning to England in May, which will have been one of the last voyages before the famous voyage which brought many British African-Caribbean people to Britain. He did not enjoy the voyage, due to seasickness. On their return Michael and Roger both went Croydon Polytechnic to refresh their school knowledge before going to University, like many other returning servicemen.

Roger Lines

Due to his public school education my father was sent, initially, for officers training, but when his technical aptitude was discovered the army wisely decided that his talents were wasted as a leader of men, and he trained as a Radio Operator instead. He served in India, and was wounded falling off a ladder while putting up the Christmas Decorations. More on his time spent serving his country in the armed forces can be found in another post.

Jeremy Lines

Due to his having just finished an apprenticeship as a boat builder, he was naturally send to be an aircraft mechanic with the Royal Air Force, some time after 1951 as his National Service did not start until his apprenticeship completed.

Tim Lines

Started his National Service in January 1951.

Harold Edward Cansdale

Was in the “Green Howards“, according to my mothers notes, and was killed in a truck accident in Egypt in 1948, aged 20. From the Suez Roll of Honour he was in the 3rd GHQ Signals. Regiment with army number 14072667.

George Roughton Braund

Note everybody participated by fighting – George Roughton Braund was a captain in the Entertainments National Services Association, entertaining the troops.

Other conflicts

General William Webster

An ancestor of the Webster branch of the tree was apparently General William Webster, a friend and admirer of General Burgoyne, who named his son William Burgoyne Webster.
He would have been active around the time of the American War of Independence.


  1. Hello John,
    I read parts of your blog with interest.
    I don’t suppose you have any info on Walter Lines wife, Henrietta Katherine Lines ( nee Hendry) .
    I am writing a history of my house, where Henreitte used to live with her father, William Cossar Hendry
    Best regards, Mark

    1. The initial source of much of the information on the Lines Family (apart from letters written by, or to, my Grandfather, Father, Uncles and Aunt) is the Family Tree compiled in 1978 by Sir Ralph Freeman, which contains only normal genealogical information, and I do not think Henrietta is mentioned in any of the letters.

      I do remember meeting their daughter, Peggy Lines, at Hamleys

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