The Flux and Hill families of Hambrook
and the price they paid in the First World War.
By Judith Pike - granddaughter of Charles Flux
Winterbourne Family History Online...
The White Horse Inn, Hambrook - possibly 1870s
The proprietor was Mary Ann Hill, great great grandmother of Judith
Mary Ann and Frederick Hill
The Flux and Hill families were cousins, living a few hundred yards apart in the early 1900s. The Flux family lived in the White Horse Inn, Hambrook, while the Hills lived at the Crown Inn, just up the hill. The Flux children numbered five, and there were six Hill children, all very fond of their grandmother Mary Ann Hill, licensee of the White Horse.
Walton Farm, Hambrook, which stood where the Hambrook traffic lights are now.
The children are Betty & Bob Flux - 1930s
Mary Ann Hill died in 1901 and over the next few years both families moved away.
The Flux family, Alfred William and Emily, moved into the farmhouse, Walton Farm, which stood where the Hambrook traffic lights are now. The farm had been built by their grandfather James Flux in about 1851. The Hills moved to a house in Downend. The families remained close. At the outbreak of the First World War two of the Flux boys, Alfred and younger brother Charles, were quick to sign up. The oldest son Tom remained at home to run the farm. The Hills sent three of their boys into action too. All went to the Somme.
Walton Farm, Hambrook - 1960s
Charles Flux and his sister Kit Flux
Emily Flux with children at Walton Farm, Hambrook - c1896
Kate Flux standing, born 8 June 1891
Emily, nee Hill, aged 37, wife of Alfred William Flux
Albert Tom standing, born 3 August 1889
Alfred Ernest sitting, born 21 April 1893
Baby Charles, born 19 June 1895, grandfather of Judith
A later child, Mabel Emily, was born in 1897
Link to school photographs c1900...
In August 1915 while Charles Flux was in a military hospital, wounded and dangerously ill, his older brother Tom, back at the farm, died of peritonitis.
Charles survived and was soon back at the front, but exactly a year later the families at home again faced tragedy. The youngest of the Hill boys, Harold, was killed, aged just 20, in August 1916. He was one of five young men to die at the Front who had been members of the lst Downend Boy Scout group. The scout group later paid for a small war memorial to remember their comrades which still stands in Downend, (near the new Sainsbury’s Local shop) .
Harold had sent home a postcard just before his death describing the night-time bombardment, likening it to a huge firework display - the sky vivid with light.
Shortly after this came the news that Harold's older brother Arthur had also been killed in action.
Then, in Flanders, 21 March 1918, Alfred Flux was killed.,,,
Alfred Ernest Flux
Alfredhas no known grave, but is remembered on the Winterbourne Memorial and the Pozieres Memorial to the missing of the Somme.
Strange to relate, in 2010 the Frenchay Village Museum was contacted by Jeremy Banning, a researcher with Channel 4's Time Team. While exploring some man-made caves beneath a church at Bouzincourt, Picardy, he found some graffiti clearly made by Alfred.
It reads - Bdr A Flux Hambrook
. Glos RFA Bristol
Geoff Hedditch, son of Mabel Flux (see below) visited the caves in 2012
At the end of the war only two of the five cousins came home. They were Charles Flux and Frederick Hill.
Charlie took over the running of the farm from his elderly parents and lived there until it was bulldozed for the ring road in the 1960s. Frederick Hill returned to Downend but soon emigrated to Canada. He was following in the footsteps of an older brother who had emigrated before the war - and although that brother did not see action he later suffered his share of tragedy. His son became a pilot in the Canadian air force - and was killed in action during the Second World War.
Kate Flux and possibly Mabel Flux
(Note the name Flux on the delivery cart)
Mabel Flux married Norman Hedditch. Mabel Hedditch OBE became Mayor of Portland, Australia
For a biography of Mabel on the Australian Dictionary of Biography - follow this link - [this is an internet site]
For a further biography from the Australian Womens Register - follow this link - [this is in .pdf format]
Mabel's homestead and the children setting off for school
The sisters all remained at home during these troubled times, Kit Flux is thought to have lost a sweetheart in the war - and never married. Arthur Hill's fiance also never married. Mabel Flux married an Australian soldier, Norman Hedditch. She and Amy Hill, the youngest girls of the two families both emigrated to Australia. Mabel became Mayor of Portland, and was awarded the OBE by the Queen. Mabel's son Geoff Hedditch recently returned from Australia to pay his respects to his mother's favourite brother, Alfred, at the Whiteshill Common War Memorial. He also visited the caves in Bouzincourt (see above).
This story of two local families and the suffering and loss they endured is unfortunately typical of so many other stories that people could tell of that time - and reminds us to pay our respects to the lost generation each November.
Judith Pike - granddauglrter of Charles Flux
Thankyou for your contributions to this page, Judith