CFHS code : AL97
Parish : St Andrew the Less
Inscription : In Loving Memory of my dear husband ROBERT FELSTEAD Lieut Quarter Master 2nd Suffolk Regiment who departed this life the 9th November 1902 aged 37
Monument : Headstone
Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey
Robert Felstead (1866 – 9 November 1902)
Robert was born in Cambridge and baptised on 4 March 1866. He was the son of William and Hannah (née Fendyke) Felstead and grew up at the Sign of the Volunteer, 8 Green Street (1871) and then 89 Gwydir Street (1881). Aged 15 he was working as a carter and enlisted in the army aged 17 (1883). He married Jane Charlotte Calton (1865-1895) in Bury St. Edmunds and they had four sons: Arthur George William (1886-1923) and three others who have not yet been traced.
Robert served in Eygpt from 1886-1888 and then went to India with the army in 1889 returning only in 1901. Jane died in Tirumalagiri, Hydrabad in April 1895 aged 30 years old.
Robert married for a second time to army widow Elizabeth O’Neill (née Humphreys) (1869-1943). Elizabeth was Welsh and had been married to army band seargent Edmond O’Neill, with whom she had had three sons: William Edmond (1890-1917), Arthur Cecil (1893-1966) and Albert Morgan (1894-1954). Edmond died in Tirumalagiri in Auugst 1895. No date of the marriage has been found, but Robert and Elizabeth had three daughters together: Maud Elizabeth Hannah (1897-1980), Dorothy Alice (Dolly) (1899-1954) and Edith Ceinwen (1903-1978). Edith was known as Ceinwen and was born after her father’s death.
Robert served with the 2nd Suffolk Regiment as Quarter Master Sergeant and was promoted to Quarter Master with the honoury rank of Lieuteant in July 1899. He came back to Cambridge in September 1901 on sick leave and died at Woodbine Cottage on East Road. He was buried at Mill Road Cemetery and was ‘of a military character and ecited a great deal of sympathy and interest’. Members of the Regiment accompanied the coffin from Woodbine Cottage to the Cemetery playing Handel’s ‘Dead march in Saul’. The coffin was draped with a Union Jack flag and Robert’s sword, helmet and pouch were placed up on it. ‘After the service at the graveside three volleys were fired after which the Last post was rendered by the buglers’.
Robert’s son Arthur also joined the army and served as a drummer boy with the 3rd Batallion Grenadier Guards (1911). Elizabeth Felstead returned to live in her native Wales with her daughters and died there in 1943.
by Claire Martinsen
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