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Researched by Rob Poole, Up Hatherley, Cheltenham, via email 2019
Private Ronald William Bass
Known as 'Bill'

medals medals
His 2 WWI medals - Norfolk Regiment service & WWII Home Guard medal.

Ronald William Bass was the son of Stephen and Margaret Bass (both died in Rushden, in 1934) and he was born in Riseley, Beds on 18th August 1898. Originally the family were still in Riseley in 1911, but moved to Rushden in the Great War - their address was 71, Harboro Rd, Rushden, as shown on his Army record. He served as a Private in 3 different regiments in WWI, enlisting in August 1916, (Norfolk Regiment, Suffolk Regiment and 1st Bedfordshire Regiment). Most of the action he saw was with the Bedfordshire’s and in 1917 his major Battles as a Lewis Gunner, were in the battle of Polygon Wood and the mud and carnage of the Second Battle of Passchaendaele. In 1918 he was in the Battle’s of Hazebrouck, Albert, Bapaume, Hindenburg Line (Canal Du Nord) and Sambre.

He was discharged late in 1919 and went back home to Harborough Road. He is shown in a group photo in the Rushden Temperance Band in 1922, front row 3rd from right. There is also a tailor's card accompanying the photo, mentioning the piped red stripe on the band uniform trousers.

the band Bill in 1922
1922 photograph of the Temperance Band - 3rd from right front
R William Bass

ARP Badge
ARP Badge
Ronald William 'Bill' married Millicent Bailey in June 1929 in Wellingborough. He is on the 1939 Register described as an Auto Setter in the Boot and Shoe Finishing Dept, residing with his wife at 164, Cromwell Road, Rushden. One of the items among his belongings is a male ARP badge in its red box (blue for female) and it was very common for people, even in a reserved occupation, to carry out Air Raid Precaution duties even before the start of the last War. It was also very common for the men to transfer to the LDV (early Home Guard) as the war progressed. I am assuming this is what happened to Ronald as the red box also included a Home Guard lapel badge and on the WWII Defence Medal, it is privately inscribed "PTE. R. W. BASS. H.G. (HOME GUARD)".

Ronald William died in March 1961 aged 62, and Millicent died in February 1995 aged 94.

They are buried in Rushden Cemetery Grave L 15 with the inscription: In loving memory of Ronald William (Bill) BASS died 19th March 1961 aged 62. At rest. Also his beloved wife Millicent died 6th Feb 1995 aged 94. Re-united.

The point of all this is really to try and gain any information whatsoever, of his ARP service and 8th Battalion (Rushden) Northamptonshire Regiment - Home Guard service, as it is so sparse. Unfortunately some months ago when photographing some of his paperwork, including some WWI papers, I have mislaid his WWII named basic Home Guard certificate, so cannot provide it at the moment, it is most likely mixed up with one of my many collections, hopefully anyway. I think it is very important to try and find out more about people who gave service in both world wars, it is also a very interesting part of Social history.

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