Frederick William Wedge’s life-path was pretty well mapped out for him from the moment of his birth.
His father, Frederick William Wedge senior, was a self-employed bricklayer, in other words a builder (he is described as both on the 1911 census). Of the six children still living at home in 1911, there were three sons and three daughters. The sons are described successively as ‘Bricklayer’ (Frederick), ‘Labourer’ (Charles) and ‘Bricklayer’s Labourer’ (Frank).
However, Frederick, at least, seems to have had his own ideas about how he wanted to earn his crust, and that was by making it himself. When he signed up to the army three years later, on 10 August 1914, his occupation was listed as ‘baker’.*
Frederick, or Fred, Wedge was amongst those listed in the Andover Advertiser of 14 August 1914 as having gone ‘off to the war’ by that date.
The Wedges went back some way in the village, and had intermarried with the Goodyears, the Lakes and many others: In the following extract from the valley ancestry tree, Frederick is in the second row up, at the end on the left.
*Spoiler alert: Readers may like to know that Frederick returned safely from the war and by the 1920 Kellys Trade Directory is listed as a baker, while his father is still down as a builder.
It is interesting to note that Frederick’s brother-in-law, Ernest Alfred Rampton who married his sister Agnes, is listed as the village baker in the 1927 edition of Kelly’s, with Frederick Wedge junior no longer mentioned. Did the two perhaps go into business together? Incidentally, Ernest Rampton also joined the ASC, but is not listed on our roll of honour as he did not come to St Mary Bourne until after the war.
If you are having difficulty reading the fine print in the illustrations, try clicking or double clicking the images, which will then expand (temporarily) to fill your monitor and should be legible.