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    1914-1918 First World War Centenary

    7 November 2018

    John Leslie Colbourne, baptised on 3 December 1899 at Lancing, Sussex, was the son of Ethel Maude Colbourne and Charles Edward Colbourne.  In 1901 he and his parents were living at the Butchers Shop, Lancing, Sussex. His father, Charles, was a master butcher and eventually established a chain of 25 butchers shops throughout Sussex. A photograph of Colbourne's horse-drawn butcher’s cart may be seen here:

    In the 1911 census John was boarding at The Grammar School, Hurst Road, Horsham his parents were living at 5 Broadway Tarring Road, Worthing, Sussex. There are no other children listed at that address and his mother is described as an assistant in the business (rather than unpaid domestic duties) so it seems that John Leslie may well have been an only child. 

    By way of contrast his father was one of eleven surviving brothers (of 13 children) born to his grandparents John and Mary Jane Colbourne.  His grandfather John was a baker and grocer and by the end of the 1880s, also listed in local directories as a grocer, baker, draper and general provisions merchant with a shop in South Lancing.  Several brothers (John Leslie’s uncles) went into the business as grocers, butchers or in the meat trade.

    In 1905 another uncle Arthur George Colbourne started to publish picture postcards from his the grocery store in South Lancing under the name of "A. G. Colbourne & Co." Arthur continued to operate the post office and newsagents shop in South Street and the drapery side of the business was being run by Arthur’s brother, Walter Henry Colbourne.

    Arthur Colbourne’s family shop in Lancing may be seen here.

    John Leslie Colbourne entered Harper Adams Agricultural College, aged 16, on 11 October 1915, for the Agriculture Certificate course. He was also registered for the Autumn Term 1916 aged 17. 

    Whilst serving with the 16th Training Squadron Royal Air Force he was killed in a flying accident on 4 July 1918 and is remembered with honour at the Heene (St. Botolph) Churchyard in Worthing, Sussex.,-/



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