Blows, Horace, 280, Police Constable.

Paul Watts

Herts At War

Early Years.

Horace Blows (alternative spellings of Blose or Blowes have been recorded) was born on 23rd August 1889 at Royston and baptised on 17th November 1889 at Royston.

His father John Blows, who was a Stone Mason journeyman, and his mother Louisa married in 1876 at Chesterton, Cambridgeshire. They had 10 children, although 3 died prior to the 1911 census, Horace was the sixth eldest.

In the 1891 census the family were living at The Warren, Royston and on 27th March 1893 Horace was admitted to the Royston British School. During the 1901 census they are still living at the same address, but by the 1911 census they have moved to Back Street, Royston, although without Horace who was employed as a Labourer and living at 314, Liverpool Road, Lower Holloway, Islington, London where is staying with his cousins, the Dauglass family.

Police Service.

His Police Service Record has not survived but the following is known from General Order 40 of 17th June 1912. This states that a number of Probationers had been appointed to the strength of the Force from 30th May 1912 inclusive and were posted to Divisions for duty. They included PC 280 Blows who was stationed in E Division at Letchworth.

It is not known when or what the circumstances were when he left the Police but on 17th July 1915 at the time of his marriage to Gertrude Nellie Morrice, he was living at 24, Rochester Avenue, Upton Park, West Ham and employed as a Motor Car Porter. On 28th May 1916 they had a daughter Mayden Gertrude.

Military Service.

His Army Service Record has also not survived but the following is known. At the time of his enlistment on 27th August 1915 his address was given as Upton Park Essex. He enlisted at East Ham, Essex into the Royal Field Artillery as Gunner L/39838 and was posted to X 2nd Trench Mortar Battery. On 9th January 1918 whilst in action he was severely wounded by an exploding bomb dropped from an enemy aircraft. He underwent four operations during which 9 pieces of shrapnel were removed but he died from his wounds on 20th January 1918.

Clearly there was a delay involved as on 4th February 1918 his name appeared on the War Office Daily List No. 5483 where he was listed as wounded. Subsequently on 15th February1918 War Office Daily List No. 5493 stated whereas he had previously been reported as being wounded, he was now reported as having died of his wounds.

He is Remembered with Honour at Bois-Guillaume Communal Cemetery Extension in Rouen, Plot 1 Row D Grave 27A. The extension adjoins Bois-Guillaume Communal Cemetery. It was begun in March 1917 and most of the burials came from No.8 General Hospital, which was quartered at Bois-Guillaume in a large country house and grounds and may possibly be where he was treated. He had authorised his effects to be sent to his wife. He was awarded the Victory and British War medals.

In 1920 his widow Gertrude Nellie Blows married a Charles O’Keefe. She had 4 sons with him. In 1939 they were living at 45, Clarence Gardens, St Pancras, London with Mayden.

Henry John Blows, the brother of Horace was also killed on 21st November 1917 aged 20 years. He had been a Private in the 2nd/4th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding).

This page was added on 23/12/2019.

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