There is a Private C E Holmes of the Canadian Expeditionary Force who is listed on the war memorial inside the church at Tinwell, and George Phillips lists a Cecil Holmes among the fallen from the village but does not give a biography. So we have a mystery to unravel. The Holmes family had been established in the village from the 1830s when a Thomas Holmes married his bride Charlotte who lived there. They had many children, most of whom set up home and brought up families in the Tinwell area. One of their grandchildren, Charles Holmes, moved to Empingham around 1881 to work as a butcher's assistant but there is no record of him after that date, or whether he had any children. However, one name in the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission does fit. It has a Cecil Holmes, born in 1895, who was a farmer and fought with the Canadian Infantry. The Canadian attestation papers show he had a father called Charles and was born in England, although the place of birth is given as London and his father's address as being in the Old Kent Road. The missing bit of the jigsaw is how this Cecil, with no apparent link to Tinwell, appears on the war memorial unless his father moved back to the village sometime after 1914. Assuming we have the right Cecil, we have established he joined up on 22 September 1914, came over to England and was killed barely six months later in France. His original grave was in Fleurbaix churchyard but he now has a special memorial, 38, in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery with others whose graves have been lost. The memorial can be found at the far left of the cemetery, near the front wall. The plaque outside Tinwell church listing the men who served and came home includes a Lance Corporal W A Holmes, presumably a relative.
Do you know something about Cecil that hasn't been mentioned?
You can add any new information and images as a contribution at the bottom of this page.