FINCHAM, Ellis Robert

No.43643, Private, Ellis Robert FINCHAM
Aged 35

9th Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
formerly No.S/39620, Middlesex Regiment
Killed in Action on Friday, 12th October 1917

Ellis Robert Fincham was born in Soham on 4th February 1882 (Newmarket Q1-1882 3B:543), baptised in Soham on 8th March 1882, son of Robert and Emma Frances FINCHAM (née PALMER).

1891 census...Aged 9, he was at Green Hills, Soham with his widowed aunt Eliza FINCHAM [32] born Soham, his cousins Ada [10] born Fordham, Herbert [8] and Lily [5], both born Soham; his father Robert FINCHAM [32] farm labourer; his mother Emma [30] and sister Alice [12]. All except Ada were born in Soham.

1901 census...Aged 17, a railway porter, he was lodging at 2 Exmouth Road, Station Terrace, Walthamstow, London with John and Jane FONTSHAM. His parents were still at Green Hills, Soham.

In Cambridge in Q2-1905 (Chesterton 3B:1003) he married Ethel Constance BALDOCK. (b. 8-9-1874)

1911 census...Aged 29, he was farm labourer at Green Hills, Soham with his wife Ethel Constance [34] born Cambridge, their son Robert Edward [5] born Cambridge and daughter Alice Emma Mary [3] born Forest Gate, London. His parents were still living at Green Hills, Soham. A further son, Frederick Baldock Fincham [1914-1956] emigrated to Australia.

The pension card records the children as Robert Edward (21-3-1906); Alice Mary (1-8-1907); William Ellis Frank (16-6-1911); (Frederick Baldock (23-9-1914) and Verdun (30-3-1916). Their son William Ellis Frank is recorded as attending a special school in Gorleston which quite likely means he was deaf or blind. The family then were at 52 Cowper Road, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge.

He enlisted in Newmarket .
12th October 1917, the 1st day of the 1st Battle of Passchendaele. The weather had changed for the worst, heavy rain falling on ground already churned up by artillery fire. In most accounts of the battle it was the weather that was mentioned more often than the enemy. Men were known to drown at their post, horses, men and equipment were swallowed up in the rain filled craters. 14 of the 9th Cameronians died on the 12th, none have an identified grave.

Local press report:-
An official communication has been received by Mrs.Ellis Fincham, of Cambridge, late of Brook Street, Soham, to the effect that her husband, Pte. Ellis Fincham, Scottish Rifles, was killed in action on the 14th inst. The late soldier leaves a widow and four little children to mourn their loss, and also a father, who resides in Brook Street, and a brother and sister.

Ellis Fincham is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial, Belgium, panel 68-70 & 162/162A
also on the Cambridge St John's memorial and the Cambridge Guildhall memorial.

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details