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.


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.”


Latest News Stories

40 minutes ago
London City Airport

Attempts to expand London City Airport are continuing, with plans unveiled to take it into the water.

Boris Johnson
Saulius Urbanavicius, 24, has been charged with murder

A 24-year-old man will appear in court today charged with murder after a body was found in Canning Town.

Canning Town
Junior doctors at a rally in central London last month

Junior doctors will not strike today after the British Medical Association (BMA) reached an agreement with the Government to resume negotiations.

Stratford resident Arthur Francis receives his hamper from Cllr Mas Patel, Sir Robin Wales and Cllr Ken Clark

Christmas cheer is set to come early to nearly 3,000 of the borough’s elderly residents.


Most read news


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Read more
Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

Read more
MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder