Roll of Honour

The Saines Brothers

Arthur Saines

Grave of A. Saines
Arthur Saines first enlisted with the Essex Regiment as Private soldier 12141.

He transferred to become Private soldier 28213 with the 11th Battalion the Border Regiment.

Arthur  Saines was serving with the Border Regiment near Nieuport on the Belgian Coast. This was the extreme end of the Western Front, which stretched from the Belgian coast to the borders of Switzerland. This had been a relatively quiet sector of the front but on 20th June 1917, XV Corps relieved the French Forces on a 6 kilometer front from the Belgian Coast to a point south of Nieuport. The British immediately began improving the defences, but the German Army observing the works expected an assault and increased their bombardment.

It was during this bombardment that Arthur was killed age 23 on 27th June 1917. He is buried at the Nieuwport Communal Cemetery.

The Essex Weekly News of 13th July 1917 included the following item in its Roll of Honour:

Mr. and Mrs. Saines, of Stebbing Ford, Little Dunmow, have received news that their second son, Pte. Arthur Saines, Essex Regt.,(sic) was killed in action instantaneously by a shell on June 27. Three other sons are serving.

Cap Badge of Border Regiment

Percy 'William' Saines

Percy 'William' Saines was born in Finchingfield in 1896.

On his enlistment to the army on 24th February 1917 his occupation was given as Stockman.

He is described as being 5' 10" tall 140 pounds, with a chest size of 34". His age at enlistment is given as 20 years and 9 months.

Cap badge of the Northamptonshire RegimentHe joined the army as Private soldier 35969, with the Essex Regiment but was soon transferred to the Northamptonshire Regiment as Private soldier 40397.

His training lasted until 18th May 1917, and he arrived in France on 19th May 1917.

He is remembered at Little Dunmow as being a Private soldier with the 11th Battalion the Northamptonshire Regiment. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records that at the time of his death he was serving with the 2nd Battalion.

He died age 21 on 13th October 1917 at the Number 2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station. His records showing he had suffered compression fractures to the skull, shoulder and neck.

He is buried at the Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerk, Nord France.

His father was notified by telegram on 18th October 1917.

A footnote to his record states "Substitution case replaced Pte. C. Purkiss A. Company 5th Battalion, Essex Regiment." Working in agriculture was largely a reserved occupation but a certain quota of men were called up from the farms. When Private Purkiss was deemed unfit for military service he returned to the farm and William was selected as his replacement.

The Essex Weekly News of 26th October 1917 includes the following item in its Roll of Honour:

Pte. P. W. Saines, Northampton Regt., third son of Mr. and Mrs. Saines, the Ford, Little Dunmow, has died of wounds, Oct. 13 age 21 in a casualty dressing station. This is the second son Mr. and Mrs. Saines have lost in the war within four months. Two other sons and a son-in-law are serving.

Grave of PW Saines
Grave photographs courtesy

Both were sons of John and Mary Saines.

In 1901 the census records this family as living at Burnthouses, in Stebbing Road, near Brook Farm:
John Saines, age 33, born Finchingfield, Occupation: Horse-keeper on Farm.
Mary A. Saines, age 32, born Finchingfield.
Kate R. Saines, age 14, born Finchingfield, Occupation: General Domestic Servant.
Frederick Saines, age 13, born Finchingfield, Occupation: Agricultural Labourer. (Served with the 8th Battalion, the Royal Fusiliers.)
Daisy Saines, age 10, born Finchingfield.
Martha Saines, age 8, born Finchingfield.
Arthur Saines, age 6, born Finchingfield.
William Saines, age 4, born Finchingfield.
Ernest Saines, age 3, born Finchingfield. (Served with the 5th Battalion the Essex Regiment.)
Francis "Frank" Saines, age 1, born Felstead. (Served with the Machine Gun Corps.)

In 1911 the family is living at The Ford, Little Dunmow:
John Saines - age 44 - Farm Labourer - born Finchingfield.
Mary Ann Saines - age 42 - born Finchingfield.
Martha Saines - age 18 - born Finchingfield.
Arthur Saines - age 16 - Farm Labourer - born Finchingfield.
William Saines - age 14 - Farm Labourer - born Finchingfield.
Ernest Saines - age 13 - Farm Boy - born Finchingfield.
John Francis Saines - age 11 - at school - born Felstead.
Hubert Saines - age 8 - born Felstead.
Victor Saines - age 7 - born Felstead. Victor Saines joined the Essex Regiment as Private Soldier 11837 on 1st March 1920 aged 18 years 43 days and was discharged on 29th February 1932.
George Saines - age 5 - born Little Dunmow.
Ivy Saines - age 2 - born Little Dunmow.

Another son Stanley Saines was born in 1914

The Essex Weekly News also reported on 11th January 1918:

Sergt. F. Saines, Royal Fusiliers, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Saines, The Ford, Little Dunmow, was reported missing on Nov. 30. His wife has received a letter from his Commanding Officer, in which he informs her that her husband went into action with the Company and was with a party who were surrounded by the enemy and unable to rejoin them. it is believed the whole party were captured.

Then on 15th February 1918 a further report stated:

Sergt. F. Saines, Royal Fusiliers, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Saines, of The Ford, Little Dunmow, who have recently lost two sons in the war, has written to his wife at Eye, Suffolk, to say that he is a prisoner of war and wounded in the right arm, but going on satisfactorily and is well treated. Previous to joining up Sergt. Saines was in the Essex Constabulary and was stationed at Witham.

The Saines boys are commemorated at Little Dunmow and on the United Reformed Church Honour Roll, Felsted.