YCFHS code : AL497
Parish : St Andrew the Less
Inscription : ROBERT JAMES THOMPSON 10 years a member of Cambridge Borough Police d May 4 1902 aged 30 also his son BENJAMIN ROBERT 11th Suffolk Regt wounded at La Boiselle died in the military hospital Whalley Lancs Aug 4 1916 aged 20 and of his daughter GERTRUDE ALICE the beloved wife of CYRIL BROWN d July 23rd 1931 aged 33
Monument : Stone cross (base only)
Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey
Lat Lon : 52.203935, 0.13768131 – click here for location
This grave is located in the northerly part of the parish area of St Andrew the Less, to the west of the footpath leading from the Norfolk Street entrance to the central path. It comprises an engraved triple pedestal and kerb stones, all in white marble, and an engraved stone urn. The grave originally had a cross surmounting the pedestal, also in white marble. The pedestal bears inscriptions engraved on its front and right panels.
[In loving memory of]
‘Robert James Thompson
10 years a member of Cambridge Borough Police
died May 4 1902 aged 30’
‘also his son Benjamin Robert
11th Suffolk Regt wounded at La Boiselle
died in the military hospital Whalley Lancs
Aug 4 1916 aged 20 years’
“Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends”
right side panel:
‘and of his daughter Gertrude Alice
the beloved wife of Cyril Brown
died July 23rd 1931 aged 33 years’
Benjamin Robert Thompson (1896-1916) – WW1 soldier – see also Life Story page
Benjamin Robert Thompson served with the 11th Battalion the Suffolk Regiment (known as the ‛Cambs Suffolks’) during the First World War, and was wounded by a shell at La Boiselle on the second day, 2 July, 1916, of the Battle of the Somme. He died of his wounds on 4 August 1916, at the age of 20.
Robert James Thompson (1872-1902) – policeman – see also Life Story page
Robert was born in Papworth St Agnes, a village due west of Cambridge, in 1872. His father, Henry, was a farm worker, born in Papworth St Agnes about 1833, and his mother Jane was born not far away in Grafham, Huntingdonshire in about 1838. By the age of 19, Robert was working on the land like his father.
However, four years later, in 1895, Robert had left village life and was living at 24 Hooper Street (Sturton Town), Cambridge as a constable in the Borough Police Force and by 1901 he was living in the neighbourhood of Vicarage Terrace, in the St Matthew’s area of Cambridge.
Alice Elizabeth Thompson (née Smith)
Alice was born in Elsworth, Cambridgeshire, the second of eight children of Benjamin Smith and Amelia Frances Smith (née Lawson). Her father was a farmer. Robert and Alice had three children: Benjamin Robert (1896–1916); Gertrude Alice (1898–1931); and Walter Edward (1901–73). Note that the first two children were given their parents’ first names as their middle names. Robert died at the early age of 30 in 1902, having served in the Police Force for ten years.
After Robert’s death his widow, Alice, remarried to another Cambridge police constable, Francis Holmes, in 1906 in Cambridge. They lived at 21 Stockwell Street and then 23 Madras Road (both in Romsey Town), Cambridge. Alice died on 18 June 1945 in Cambridge.
Robert and Alice Thompson’s daughter, Gertrude, married Cyril Ernest John Brown (1894–1967) in 1921 in Cambridge. Cyril was a timber merchant’s clerk from Bath, Somerset. Gertrude died on 23 July 1931 in Cambridge.
Census returns for England: 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911
England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837–1915
England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837–1915
England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index, 1837–1915
England & Wales, Death Index, 1916–2007
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858–1966
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914–1919
London Gazette, issue 29719, p. 8364, 22 August 1916
By Emma Easterbrook and Ian Bent