Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Wrenford Rayment, the son of Thomas Butler Rayment, a painter, and his wife Sarah Ann Rayment née Davies, was born on 5th April 1889 in Kneesworth, a small village just a mile north of the town of Royston in Hertfordshire. The third of five children, he lived in the Cambridgeshire side of Royston (before the county border was moved) and after leaving school he worked there as a gardener.
It was on 7th June 1915 that, at the age of 26, he enrolled to serve in the First World War as a Private in the Cambridgeshire Regiment, before later joining the Machine Gun Corps.
On 5th April 1916, which was his 27th birthday, he was sent out to France but wasn’t on active duty for long because on 31st July that year he was injured by a shell blast and a week later he was returned home, where he had to have his left foot amputated just above the ankle.
Writing on 6th August from the General Military Hospital at Edmonton, North of London, he says: “Just a few lines to let you know I am getting on all right. Just beginning to feel myself again. I had a nasty shake and you have only to thank God you will have the pleasure of seeing me again, for I know he has heard your prayers and my own. A shell burst just by the side of my foot, we lost several men, I am sorry to say. So I am more lucky than they, for after all life is sweet, and I may be able to get about well when I am set up.“
Wrenford was not the only one of his family to have served in the forces during the Great War, his younger brother James having joined up soon after its outbreak but being discharged in mid-1916 as being medically unfit.
Having, like his brother James, managed to survive the war, Wrenford remained in Royston for the rest of his life. In 1929 he married Elsie Rosa Pearce and on 22nd March the following year their only child, a daughter named Katharine, was born.
Although he was war disabled, Wrenford worked for many years as a club steward before his eventual retirement.
He died aged 85 in his home at 33 Mill Road, Royston, on 6th September 1974, being survived by his wife Elsie Rosa Rayment (who died some three years later) and his daughter Katherine Wedd née Rayment (who died, sadly without having produced any offspring, on 30th July 2004). As a matter of interest, Mill Road appears in a DVD given the title “Royston – A Town at War” which features 2nd World War veteran Cyril Rayment recounting that he was living in the road when it was machine-gunned by a German aircraft during the War.
It is somewhat troubling that Wrenford was rumoured to have kept a diary covering his exploits during most of the period before he was married, including his time in the army, but nobody now seems to know what happened to it. Apparently the last time that it was seen was some time before Katherine died and so if anyone knows its current whereabouts, the Rayment Society would be very grateful to hear from them.
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