Victor James Seals

Gunner

Royal Garrison Artillery 72552 67 & 66 Company
20th & No 2 Siege Battery

Photo courtesyRichard Lynam & Wendy Frearson

Victor Seals

His left sleeve badge indicates he was a signaller.

Notes

Simon Johnson

Victor James Seals and his brother, Alfred and Curtis William were born at Parwich in Derbyshire and were the seventh, eighth and ninth children, respectively, of John Seals and Annie Watson. In total, the family consisted of eight boys and two girls. The family moved to the Crich area in 1901, settling at Dethick where John Seals became the tenant farmer at Manor Farm. Prior to their military service during the war, all three of the Seals brothers listed on the Roll of Honour had worked on their father’s farm. During the war years John Seals passed on the farm at Dethick due to economic problems and lack of skilled labour, and moved to Church Farm at Crich. The Seals name remains synonymous with farming in Derbyshire.

Victor James Seals was born on 19 July 1892. During the war he and his brothers Alfred and Curtis were attested for service at Matlock in February 1916 and Victor was posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery in March with the rank of Gunner. In April he was posted to the 67 Company which manned the outer defences at Portsmouth and in June was posted to the 66 Company which manned the unit at Kingston, Jamaica. A note on Victor’s ‘Employment Sheet’ in his service records, dated August 1917, describes him as a ‘Very good, intelligent, honest, sober, hardworking, and willing man [who] would make a good N.C.O.’ In June 1918 he was posted to the No. 2 Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade (S.A.R.B.), which was based at Catterick in North Yorkshire. Victor was awarded the British War Medal. As he served on garrison duty, and did not enter a theatre of war overseas, he was ineligible for the Victory Medal.

Victor was demobilised from military service on 20 January 1919 and returned to his family at Crich. He married Alice Smith in 1921 and moved to live with Alice’s family at Rakestones Farm at Ireton Wood, near Idridgehay in Derbyshire. Alice’s father George Smith had farmed at Ireton Wood for many years. Victor and Alice had no children, and they farmed at Rakestones Farm until the property was sold at auction in 1936.

After leaving Rakestones Farm, Victor and Alice purchased a smallholding at Alderwasley named Chapel Hill Farm and Victor resided there for the rest of his life. For a number of years he was the chairman of Alderwasley Parish Council.

Victor James Seals passed away in Derbyshire on 20 November 1976, aged eighty-four years.

1918 Crich voters
Victor James Seals, Common Farm; absent on military service.

Army Service Record
He attested at Matlock on 11/02/15 aged 23 years 7 mo, an unmarried cow farmer living at Manor Farm Dethick. He was C of E with a height of 5ft 10½in, weight 150lb and next of kin was his father John Seals of Manor Farm Dethick. He had slight deformity of the right hand small finger and left hand index finger. The address for pay was Common Farm, Crich. He was recorded as being very good, intelligent, honest, sober, hardworking and willing; would make a good NCO. Awarded the British War Medal In.1921 V. J.Seals address was Rake Stones Farm Idridgehay
11/02/16 Attested
16/03/16 Mobilized
18/03/16 Posted Royal Garrison Artillery as gunner
07/04/16 Posted RGA 67 as gunner
16/06/16 Posted RGA 66 as gunner
23/04/17 Gained 3rd class cert of education
22/06/18 S.A.R.B.
20/01/19 Demobbed

Medal Index Card

He was awarded the British War Medal.

 

Postcard from CACN collection

Postcard of Manor Farm, Dethick

The Seal family home at Manor Farm in Dethick

 

CENSUS INFORMATION

1901: Dethick

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
John Seals Head 49 Farmer Brassington
Annie Seals wife 45   Brassington
Thomas W Seals son 22 Farmers son Parwich
John Seals son 20 Farmers son Parwich
Mary J Seals daughter 18   Parwich
Francis R Seals son 15 Farmers son Parwich
Edmund Seals son 13 Farmers son Parwich
Emma E Seals daughter 11   Parwich
Victor J Seals son 8   Parwich
Alfred Seals son 6   Parwich
Curtis W Seals son 4   Parwich
Rob. H Seals son 5 mo   Parwich

RG13 piece 3235 folio 53 page 11

1911: Maonor Farm, Dethick

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
John Seals Head 59 Framer Brassington
Annie Seals wife 54   Brassington
Edmund Seals son 23 Horseman on farm Parwich
Victor James Seals son 19 Cowman on farm Parwich
Curtis William Seals son 14 Cowboy on farm Parwich
Robert Henry Seals son 10 School Parwich

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Victor Seals' brothers Alfred Seals and Curtis William Seals are also on the Roll of Honour.