CFHS code : AG204

Parish : St Andrew the Great

Inscription : Sacred to the Memory of HENRY WALTER CAVE d April 1914 age 16 also ADA CAVE d March 1915 age 48 also CHARLES CAVE d Jan 28th 1928 age 70

Monument : Headstone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202977, 0.13643528 – click here for location

Cave grave
Cave headstone


This limestone Gothic pointed headstone with elaborate carving of two doves and foliage, and with metal lettering, in the parish area of St Andrew the Great, is situated on the west side of the western path, in line with the path to the centre circle.  It stands three rows from the western boundary wall with Anglia Ruskin University.


Sacred to the memory of
‛Henry Walter Cave who passed away April 1914 aged 16 years’
‛Also Ada Cave who passed away March 1915 aged 48 years’
‛Also Charles Cave who passed away Jan 28th 1928 aged 70 years’

“A little while tho’ parted
Remember, wait, and love
Until he comes in Glory
[……….] meet above.”

Henry Walter Cave (1897‒1914)

Henry Walter Cave was born on 24 June 1897 and baptised on 8 July of that year in Karachi, India (since 1947 Pakistan), the son of Charles Cave, Army Warrant Officer, and his wife Ada.  Little is known of Henry, other than that as a child he was raised in British Army barracks in both Karachi and Quetta, with his many siblings, until 1901.  His sister Emily’s birth was registered in Quetta in 1901.  When about five years old, he presumably came with his family to live in Cambridge, England, as this is where his next sibling Percival was born in 1903.

The 1911 Census confirms that Henry Walter, by then 13 years old, was living with his parents and four siblings, May Whittlesea (17), Alfred Ernest (12), Emily Amelia (10), Percival George (8) and Muriel Ida (3), at 29 Abbey Road, Cambridge. He was attending school, perhaps at Brunswick Boys’ School (which lay between Maids’ Causeway and Midsummer Common).

Henry Walter died during April 1914 in Cambridge, England, and was buried on 21 April in the parish area of St Andrew the Great in Mill Road Cemetery.

Ada Cave(née Childs) (1866‒1915)

Ada Childs was born during the fourth quarter of 1866 to parents James Childs and his wife Mary Ann (née Butler) of Stock, Essex, and was baptised in Stock on 27 January 1867.  Her father was an agricultural labourer.  Some of her siblings were: Mary Ann, Eliza, Clara, Joseph, William, Walter, Celia, Julia and Ann.l

By 1881 Ada’s mother had died, and her father James had moved into a workhouse dwelling off Downham Road, Stock.  Ada, now 14, lived with butcher Arthur Clapham, his wife Elizabeth and six children at 18 Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, where she worked as a general servant.

Ada Childs married Charles Cave on 20 March 1889 at Christ Church St. Margaret, in the London registration district of St George Hanover Square.  By that time, Charles had already served with the 1st Battalion the Scots Guards for ten years in Egypt, Sudan and Cyprus, had risen through the non-commissioned ranks to the prestigious position of his regiment’s Colour Sergeant, and had since 1885 been stationed at Wellington Barracks in London.

Between 1889 and 1907, Charles and Ada  had fourteen children, of whom by 1911 six had died and eight were still living.  Soon after the marriage, Charles joined the 62nd Wiltshire Regiment, and was subsequently posted to Ireland, then Aldershot, then the East Indies (more precisely modern Pakistan).  Ada and their growing family travelled with him on all of these postings, hence many of their children were born overseas.

Their first child, Charles Watson, was born in London in November 1889.  Ada then gave birth to two sets of twins, Malcolm Ethelbert and Arthur Cecil Winifred in 1891, and Albert and Lilian Violet in 1892 ‒ all four while based in the barracks at Naas in Curragh, County Kildare, Ireland.  After the next posting, to Aldershot (Hampshire), May Whittlesea was born in 1893.  While Charles was serving in Pakistan a third set of twins was born, Cecilia Constance and Sidney Oliver in 1896 (he died in infancy), then Henry Walter in 1897 (see above), all three in Karachi; and Alfred Ernest in 1898 and Emily Amelia in 1901, both in Quetta.

Ida, Charles and Ada Cave (c1910/11)
Ida, Charles and Ada Cave (c1910/11)

Charles having received his discharge in May 1901, the family returned to England, where the last three children were born: Percival George in 1903, another possible child in 1905, and Ida Muriel (or Muriel Ida) in 1907, all three in Cambridge, where the family was living at 29 Abbey Road.

Ada Cave died on 8 March 1915 (date not specified in inscription) and was buried with her son Henry Walter Cave in the parish area of St Andrew the Great in Mill Road Cemetery on 13 March (date not specified in the burial register), aged 48. (Both dates are supplied in the Ada Cave : funeral notice.)  Albert (1910, aged 17) and Malcolm Ethelbert (1911, aged 19) had also been buried in the St Andrew the Great area of the cemetery, but the whereabouts of their burials is not know.

Charles Cave (1857‒1928) — see his lifestory page

10 Gwydir Street (2016)
10 Gwydir Street (2016)

Charles was born in the fourth quarter of  1857 in the town of either March or St Ives, Cambridgeshire, the son of Charles Cave and his wife Martha (née Whittlesea), and was baptised on 14 November at the parish church of St Wendreda, March.  At a time prior to his third birthday, Charles’s parents moved from March to Cambridge, where his father worked as a carpenter and joiner; and the 1861 census lists the family as living at 2 Princes Street (between Coronation Street and Union Road, in the New Town area) with their children Watson (9), Emma (5), Charles (3), all in school, and Ann (1).  By 1871 they were living at 10 Gwydir Street (Petersfield), and also in 1881 with an additional daughter, Elizabeth (4).

In 1879, at the age of 21, Charles joined the army.  At that time his physical description was: 5 feet 8½ inches tall, fresh complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair.  In all, he was to serve for just under twenty-three years, rising from the rank of private to that of Warrant Officer ‒ the most senior non-commisioned rank and a figure of central importance to a regiment.

He served first for twelve years with the Scots Guards, and during that time fought in Egypt and three years later in the Sudan.  He then had ten years, 1885‒95, back in England.  During this time, he married Ada Childs on 20 March 1889 at Christ Church St. Margaret, in the London registration district of St George Hanover Square.  Their first child, Charles Watson, was born on 27 November and baptized 11 December 1889.  On 1 April 1891 he transferred to the 1st Battalion the 62nd Wiltshire Regiment, with which he served for ten years, including postings to Ireland (1891‒92), and to Karachi (1895‒97) and Quetta (1898‒1901) in the East Indies (specifically modern Pakistan).  He received his discharge on 26 May 1901.  During his twenty-three years of service he had received the Medal for Egypt 1882, the clasp for Tel-el-Kebir [1882] and Suakin 1885, the Khedives Bronze Star, and a good conduct and long service medal 1885.

By 1903, the family were living in Cambridge.  The 1911 England census records that Charles Cave, 53 years old, retired army Warrant Officer, was now working as a clerical assistant in the Cambridge University Engineering Laboratory.  He was also involved with the Cambridge University Engineering Aeronautical Society.  He and Ada (44) lived at 29 Abbey Road, with May Whittlesea (17), Henry Walter (13), Alfred Ernest (12), Emily Amelia (10), Percival George (8) and Ida Muriel (3).

Charles Cave died on 28 January 1928, aged 70.  He was buried on 2 February in the grave that he had commissioned for his son Henry Walter in 1914 and his wife a year later in 1915, in the parish area of St Andrew the Great in Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge.  (See report of his funeral.)  The probate of his will was approved on 3 April to Sidney George Rule, a pattern maker instructor, and his brother Arthur Frederick Rule, printer, family friends.  His personal effects were valued at £902 9s 1d.  The house at 29 Abbey Road, at which Charles had lived from at least 1911 to 1928,  continued to be the home of the Cave family, with its head of house named from 1929 until 1935/36 as “Cave, Miss”.


England Census reports 1861‒1911
England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837‒2008 (
Church of St Andrew the Great, Cambridge, burial register, grave book
St Wendreda Church, March, Cambridgeshire, baptismal register
62nd Wiltshire Regiment deployment:
Wiltshire Regiment memorial at Quetta:
British Battles
Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records (WO97)
Cambridge Independent Press, 19 March 1915, p. 6 (Ada’s funeral)
Cambridge Daily News, 3 February 1928 (Charles’s funeral)
Documents kindly supplied by Glennis Willmer (descendant)

By Keith Rees and Ian Bent

Ada Cave; Charles Cave; Henry Walter Cave