Like many of his generation, Charles Frederick Emptage lied about his age when he enlisted in 1909, probably to escape the poverty many of people in England suffered. He saw service in Singapore and India and on the outbreak of war in 1914 he returned to England and was posted to Belgium early in 1915.
Sydney was a law clerk in Margate and was great friends with his older cousin, Herbert George Robins who lived and worked in South Africa. He jumped at the chance when Herbert asked him to join him in South Africa, to help run his game reserve. However, as the war in Europe progressed, he joined the Royal Engineers Signal Unit.
William lied about his age when he joined the Kent Militia and then the 3rd Battalion East Kent “The Buffs” Regiment. He was a career soldier, serving in South Africa, Persia and Singapore. When he left the army he settled in Singapore where he married.
A difficult childhood and an army career in which he obtained three good conduct badges. But his conduct as a civilian was questionable, as one young lady was to find out. But was there a happy ending?
Edward enlisted as a private in the South Eastern Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance, part of the Royal Army Medical Corps, in August 1914. The Field Ambulance was a mobile front line medical unit manned by troops of the Royal Army Medical Corps. Edward saw service in Gallipoli, and France, working in unimaginable conditions.
Following the death of his mother and the incapacity of his father, when Stanley was just eight years old he found himself in a Boy’s Industrial Home in Lewisham, south London. He suffered under its very harsh regime and was removed to the Training Ship Exmouth.
Although there was discipline, it wasn’t harsh and the boys were taught skills which would fit them for their future lives. Stanley thrived and was able to develop his music skills and make music his career.