Search

A life spent fighting for his country

10:43 17 March 2014

Ted Pack holds some of his grandfather

Ted Pack holds some of his grandfather's First World War medals.

Archant

As a child, Ted Pack had always been told his grandfather was a born soldier.

He hadn’t realised what that meant until he began to research his family history, unearthing information about a man who had lived and died in the military.

Ted Pack's grandfather,Henry Edward Pack, in his militar uniform at the age of 25.Ted Pack's grandfather,Henry Edward Pack, in his militar uniform at the age of 25.

Henry Edward Pack was born in Gibraltar in 1877, the son of a soldier, William Pack, and his wife Hannah.

When they were old enough, Henry and his older brother, also named William, were sent to study at the Duke of York’s Military Asylum in Chelsea.

“It was a military school,” explained Ted, 69, “even though it was called an asylum.

“He spent all his childhood training to be a soldier, and when he left school he enlisted in the army.”

A certificate issued in the 25th of September 1914 by the Ministry of Pensions address to Henry Pack's vidow after his death.A certificate issued in the 25th of September 1914 by the Ministry of Pensions address to Henry Pack's vidow after his death.

The school was established in 1803 and was intended to educate the children of soldiers. In 1909, it relocated to Dover, where it still exists today called the Duke of York’s Royal Military School.

After leaving the school, Henry and William joined the same regiment as their father, the King’s Own Fourth Battalion Infantry.

“My grandfather fought for them for about 20 years before joining the reserves.

“About two years after he left them, he was called up to fight in the First World War.”

Some of Ted Pack grandfather's war medals.Some of Ted Pack grandfather's war medals.

Corporal Pack, as he was then, lost his life aged 39 on March 27, 1917.

He was buried at Sarigol Military Cemetary in Kriston, Greece. His widow Mildred was given a map with his grave marked on but the family could not afford to visit it.

It wasn’t until recently that any of Henry’s family visited the grave. Ted’s son James, 27, made the trip to Kriston where he took a rubbing of the gravestone to bring home.

Despite travelling the world fighting for their country, the Packs have several generations of links to the borough.

“My great-grandfather is recorded as living in West Ham in the 1888 census,” said Ted, who lives in Plaistow.

Henry Pack is also recorded as having a home in Canning Town at the time of his death.

He left behind a son, also named Henry, who was the third generation of the family to join the military.

He was part of the Kent Guards during the Second World War.

“My mother and I used to go and visit him sometimes,” said Ted.

“The first toy I remember having was an elephant made by German prisoners of war.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Brenda Lawley selling poppies  in Morrisons Stratford (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Step into a station, supermarket or shopping centre in the two weeks leading up to Remembrance Day and chances are you’ll come across a poppy seller.

A computer-generated image of the phase two development from Barking Road

Months before its completion, the second phase of a major housing development has sold all of its homes.

Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Firefighters on strike at East Ham Fire Station last year

Firefighters are preparing to go on strike as part of a long-running dispute with the government over pension reforms.

Most read news

And it’s said to be revolutionising access to donor sperm throughout the country.

Many people now feel they have to move jobs to better their career and get ahead.

‘Go get him’ said the police officer, and that’s just what the dog did.

It’s deforestation, but not as you’ve seen it before.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition