Moses Free was born on 20 October 1864 in Castle Camps, near Haverhill, in Cambridgeshire (where there was a large contingent of the Free family). He was the fourth of seven children born to Philip Free and Rebecca Free (née Wenham). His father initially worked as an agricultural labourer before becoming a hawker (a travelling salesman). His mother was a smock maker. The family grew up in Castle Camps on Bumstead Road, High Street cottages and then Haverhill Road. Moses married Flora Parish in 1887 in Cambridge.
Moses’ career as a policeman
Moses was already in Cambridge by 1887 when he married Flora. By 1891 Moses was a constable in the Cambridge Borough police force, living with his family at 33 Great Eastern Street (in Romsey Town ‒ with four other borough policemen in the street), until in 1895 he moved to 50 Covent Garden as a tenant in a ‛tied’ police house.
By 1901, Moses (wrongly named ‛Joseph Free’ in the census report – it is easy to see how that mistake could have arisen with recording done by word of mouth), had risen from the rank of constable to acting police sergeant, in 1911 to full police sergeant, and in 1918 to police inspector; by 1922/23 he was ‛ex-police inspector’, so had retired at age 57 or 58. After his wife Flora died on 24 June 1926 in Cambridge, Moses himself continued to live at 50 Covent Garden until his death on 4 June 1940 in Cambridge.
Lat Lon : 52.202985, 0.13652345 – click here for location
Parish : St Andrew the Great
Census records: 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 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
London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921
Spalding’s street directories
British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919
Cambridge Independent Press, Friday, 26 July 1918
Communications from family members, Marilyn Coetzee, and Becky Proctor
By Ian Bent and Emma Easterbrook with thanks to Judy Lester