CFHS code : PL348

Parish : St Paul

Inscription : In Loving Memory of WILLIAM SAINT d Nov 23 1924 aged 73 also of MATILDA JANE SAINT wife of the above d Sep 4 1944 aged 84 In Loving Memory of WILLIAM JOHN son of WILLIAM & MJ SAINT d Feb 11 1888 aged 2_ also of JOHN & FRANK GERALD who died in infancy In Loving Memory of WILLIAM DOUGLAS SAINT of the 5th battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force (son of WILLIAM & MJ SAINT) died on Salisbury Plain Jan 2 1915 age 23 In Loving Memory of EDWARD TWELFTREE SAINT killed in action in France Aug 1918 age 33

Monument : Stone cross/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon: 52.202093, 0.13708071 – click here for location

Saint grave
Saint monument


Large stone cross on triple plinth all in polished grey granite (probably sourced from Aberdeenshire), standing on a concrete or stone base, with kerb stones, this monument is located in the parish area of St Paul, on the west side of the central path. It bears inscriptions on all four faces. William Douglas Saint’s inscription appears on the west face.

The epitaph for William Douglas Saint is the Latin ‘Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’, a line from the Roman poet Horace’s Ode III. 2. 3., meaning ‘It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country’. The line was inscribed on the wall of the chapel of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in 1913, and was much quoted during the First World War. (The British first-world-war poet Wilfred Owen, himself killed in action in France on 4 November 1918, used the line as the title of a poem written in 1917, which concludes ‘The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est / Pro patria mori.’)


[east face:]
‘In loving memory William Saint
who entered into rest Nov. 23rd 1924 aged 73 years.
Also of Matilda Jane Saint wife of the above
who died September 4th 1944 aged 84 years’

[north face:]
‘In loving memory of William John son of William & M. J. Saint
died Feby 11th 1888, aged 2½ years.
Also of John & Frank Gerald who died in infancy.’

[west face:]
‘In loving memory of William Douglas Saint
of the 5th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force
(son of William & M. J. Saint)
died on Salisbury Plain Jany 2nd 1915, aged 23 years.’
“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”

[south face:]
‘In loving memory of Edward Twelftree Saint
killed in action in France August 1918 aged 33 years.’

William Douglas Saint (1891–1915)WW1 soldier – see also Life Story page

William was born on 5 July 1891 in Cambridge. He was the eighth of the eleven children of William Saint and Matilda Jane Saint (née Freemantle). William was a pupil at The Perse School, Cambridge, where he was admitted on 13 January 1902. He became an articled clerk to a chartered accountant at Tribe, Clarke, Painter & Co. in London. He had also spent four years in the Officers’ Training Corps (OTC).

William emigrated to Canada to take up a position as an accountant there. He travelled on the steamship Victorian and arrived in Quebec, Canada on 20 August 1913. A year later, on 31 August 1914, he was passed fit, and enlisted on 17 September 1914 at Valcartier, Canada. He was accepted on 20 September 1914 and so became Private (13798) in the 5th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force, Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment).  He died on 2 January 1915 at No 1 Canadian General Hospital, Bulford, Wiltshire.

William Saint advert
William Saint advert

William Saint (1851–1924)

William was born in 1851 in St Ives, Huntingdonshire (now Cambridgeshire). He was one of at least nine children born to John Saint and Mary Ann Saint (née Birtchnell). William’s father was a bricklayer and stonemason, whose business grew to the point where it employed 59 men and 10 boys. William’s family lived at the Pond and then the Sheep Market, St Ives. William eventually became clerk to another successful builder called Edward Twelvetrees in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire before becoming a builder himself. This is probably where he met his wife, Matilda Jane Freemantle. Matilda was brought up by Edward Twelvetrees and his wife, Susan Twelvetrees (née Carter). Susan was Matilda’s maternal aunt.

William married Matilda in 1882 in Biggleswade. The couple had eleven children including William John Saint, John Saint, Edward Twelftree Saint, William Douglas Saint and Frank Gerald Saint. They brought up their family at Redholme, 65 Devonshire Road, Cambridge. William worked from a number of locations within Cambridge including his Head Office at the Railway Building works on St Barnabas Road. His company specialised in a number of areas including electrical engineering, pipe, tile and brick manufacturing, joinery, church work, sanitary work, and shop fronts and fittings. He was contractor to H. M. Office of Works, Admiralty, Home Office and Ministry of Munitions. William died on 23 November 1924 in Cambridge.

Matilda Jane Saint (née Freemantle) (1860–1944)
Matilda was born on 23 January 1860 in Richmond, Surrey. She was the youngest of the three children of George Freemantle and Matilda Freemantle (née Carter). She was baptised at Richmond Hill on 19 February 1860. Matilda senior died within a few months of giving birth to Matilda junior. Matilda junior was sent to live with her maternal aunt, Susan Twelvetrees (née Carter), in Stratton Street, Biggleswade, Hertfordshire. This is probably where Matilda met her future husband, William Saint.

Matilda’s aunt Susan died in 1887 and Edward Twelftree remarried to Fanny Elizabeth Hull in 1889 in London with whom he had his only child: Edward Dudley Twelvetrees. Both Edward Dudley Twelvetrees and two of Matilda’s sons (Edward Twelftree Saint and William Douglas Saint) died in the First World War. Even more tragically Edward Dudley Twelvetrees’ son, Arthur Edward Godstone Twelvetrees, who was born a few months before his father’s death in 1918 then died himself as a result of an accident during the Second World War. Matilda died on 4 September 1944 in the Leys School, Addenbrooke’s Annex, Cambridge.

Edward Twelftree Saint (1884–1918) WW1 soldier – see also Life Story page

Edward was born on 8 November 1884 in Cambridge. He was the second of the eleven children of William Saint and Matilda Jane Saint (née Freemantle). Edward was a pupil at The Perse School, Cambridge, where he was admitted in the summer term of 1892. Edward, together with his brother, George, followed their father into the builder’s trade, although Edward later became a motor car agent. Edward married Ida Elsie Muirhead in 1909 in Cambridge. She was known as Elsie. They had two children: Joan Marjorie Twelftree Saint (1910–1994); and Hugh Edward Twelftree Saint (1912–2003). The family lived at 6 St Barnabas Road, Cambridge. Edward joined the 1st Battalion of the Cambridgeshire Regiment. Edward was wounded on 28 August and died a day later on 29 August 1918. He is buried in Plot VII. A. 43 in Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

William John Saint (1885–1888)

William was born in 1885 in Cambridge. He was the third of the eleven children of William Saint and Matilda Jane Saint (née Freemantle) and the twin brother of George Freemantle Saint. William died on 11 February 1888 in Cambridge, aged 2 ½ years.

John Saint (c1887–1888)

John Saint was born in about 1887. He was the fifth of the eleven children of William Saint and Matilda Jane Saint (née Freemantle). He died in 1888 in Cambridge aged 1.

Frank Gerald Saint (1895–1896)

Frank was born in 1895 in Cambridge. He was the tenth of the eleven children of William Saint and Matilda Jane Saint (née Freemantle). He died in 1896 in St Ives, Huntingdonshire (now Cambridgeshire) before he was 1 year old.

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
Kelly’s Directory
Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865–1935
Canada, CEF Commonwealth War Graves Registers, 1914–1919
Web: International, Find a Grave Index
The Times, 6 September 1918
London Gazette, 15 March 1915 (Supplement to London Gazette 22 June 1915)
London Gazette, 1 January 1916
London Gazette, 30 December 1918
For King and Country: Officers on the Roll of Honour, Illustrated London News, 28 September 1918
The Pelican Magazine, The Perse School, Cambridge (March 1915, July 1915, September 1916, March 1917, October 1917, July 1918 and July 1919)
Admissions Register, The Perse School, Cambridge
Information kindly provided by The Perse School, Cambridge

By Emma Easterbrook, Robin Mansfield and Ian Bent

Edward Twelftree Saint; Frank Gerald Saint; John Saint; Matilda Jane Saint; William Saint; William Douglas Saint; William John Saint