First World War veteran from Steyning

Stephen Frank Humphrey is pictured third from left on the back row
Stephen Frank Humphrey is pictured third from left on the back row

Stephen Frank Humphrey, known as Frank, was born early in 1879 in Steyning District.

The 1891 census, at Brookfields, Woodmancote Place, Woodmancote, showed him living with his parents, Frank and Christine Humphrey, and five younger siblings.

Stephen Frank Humphrey

Stephen Frank Humphrey

He was 12 and a scholar and his father was a road foreman.

By 1901 his father was still a road foreman and Frank was now 22 and a road labourer for the Rural District Council.

In 1911 he was boarding with the Peacock family at Sunnyside, Storrington.

He was now a road foreman himself, aged 32 and still single.

Frank served in the Great War.

His service record has not been found, but the medal index roll shows that he was a private in the Royal Sussex Regiment, before being transferred to the Northumberland Fusiliers.

He served in France from November 29, 1914, and also in India, and therefore merited the 1914/1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, which are now in the possession of his step-grandson.

At the end of 1920, when he was 41, Frank married Alice G. Scutt, who was 34.

Alice already had a son, John Henry Scutt, born in 1916, and the couple had no further children together.

Frank and Alice lived in Small Dole, where he continued to work as a roadman.

He was said to be an excellent cricketer, a fast bowler, even of county standard.

One day, when Henfield were due to play at Handcross, he walked to Henfield, only to miss the coach to Handcross.

So he walked from Henfield to Handcross in time for the second half of the match, bowled, and took three wickets after that long walk.

When he gave up playing he became an umpire for Henfield Second Eleven.

Frank died in 1957 in Chanctonbury District and Alice died in 1977 in Shoreham-by-Sea.