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1914-1918 First World War Centenary

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4 November 2018

“DEARLY LOVED SON OF J.C. BLADEN OF BASFORD STOKE ON TRENT”    

Eustace Clement Bladen was born on 9 November 1896 to Easter Gertrude Bladen and Joseph Clement Bladen, a chartered accountant.  He was baptised at Bedworth, Warwickshire.  Two brothers, Herbert and Vincent are also listed in the 1901 census when the family was living at Sydney Street, Wolstanton, Staffordshire.

He attended Denstone School and entered Harper Adams Agricultural College on 9 October 1913, aged 17, for the Agricultural Diploma course. He left in July 1914 with the intention of taking up a career in farming but by 1915 was serving with the 11th Battalion, attached to the 8th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment). His promotion to temporary Second Lieutenant was reported in the London Gazette on 5th January, 1915, as was his elder brother Herbert [recorded as Hubert] Cleverley Bladen recorded on the next line.

Eustace died of wounds on 4 November 1915, age 18 and is remembered with honour at Hill 10 Cemetery (Cemetery/memorial reference: I. F. 11.) in Turkey.

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/607001/bladen,-eustace-clement/

The eight month campaign in Gallipoli, 1915, was fought by Commonwealth and French forces in an attempt to force Turkey out of the war, to relieve the deadlock of the Western Front in France and Belgium, and to open a supply route to Russia through the Dardanelles and the Black Sea.

Hill 10, a low isolated mound to the north of the salt lake, was taken by the 9th Lancashire Fusiliers and the 11th Manchesters on the early morning of 7 August 1915. The cemetery was made after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from other sites.

There are now 699 servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 150 of the burials are unidentified.

https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/2000111/hill-10-cemetery/

 

And what of Eustace’s brothers? Herbert survived the war and married in 1922.  At the time of the 1939 register he was living in Leek, Staffordshire and following in his father’s footsteps as a chartered accountant.

Their younger brother Vincent, born in 1900, was destined for a quite different path in life. His obituary touches briefly on his upbringing, which he shared with Eustace – “from my bedroom I looked down on the Etruria works of the Wedgwoods, and beyond it to the slag heaps of the Iron and Steel company” [this quote may be from Vincent Bladen’s autobiography Bladen on Bladen, 1978]

https://www.jstor.org/stable/134784?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

However Vincent was too young for military service in 1914 and was destined to go to Balliol, Oxford to study history, specialising in economics.  His name appears in the passenger lists on the Empress of France, bound for Quebec in 1921. He was travelling to Toronto in 1921 to take up an 8 month appointment in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Toronto where he lectured every year until his death in 1981.  He appears in passenger lists again in 1927 on the Regina bound for Montreal, this time describing himself as a university lecturer.

Vincent went on to a long and distinguished academic career in Canada including acting as a government advisor and founding the Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science.

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/vincent-wheeler-bladen

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