Stamford Boys of 1911

Jean Orpin
Charles William Holmes


The research group spent 3 years investigating all the boys aged 11 to 16 listed in 6 parishes of the 1911 census.  There were eventually 450 ‘boys’ studied of whom 58 died in World War 1. Of the rest many served in the armed forces and a minority, for various reasons, stayed at home. 

Military Service

When war broke out many of the older boys enlisted, probably envisaging an exciting time away from the confines of Stamford.  A Drill Hall had been built in St Peter’s Street in 1913 and there was another at 42 to 43 High Street.  Others were conscripted later and there were numerous instances of several boys from one family going to war.  About 40% of the boys enlisted with the Lincolnshire Regiment but others joined a variety of regiments and quite a few entered the Navy.  Of those who didn’t serve the most likely causes were that they were unfit or were working in Stamford’s wartime industries. 

After the War

The group were always particularly interested in following the lives of those who survived the War whether or not they were in the Services and they were able to do this for a substantial number particularly those who continued to live in Stamford.  Some died comparatively young but a substantial number lived into the 1980s and a few into the 1990s so were known to people now living in Stamford.      

Many who served returned with life changing injuries unable to work and suffering mentally which must have had an effect on the town’s businesses.  Few in the town were spared the effect on family and neighbours.  Some were able to return and lead fulfilling lives. Some returned to family businesses and were well known in the town.  Some held public office and two became Mayors.  

Additions and Amendments

The Project has now been concluded and short biographies of the ‘Boys’ have been completed.  All the biographies are available online at our own website, www.stamfordboys.uk and also in 8 loose-leaf files which have been deposited in Stamford Town Hall Archive.  A booklet listing the 450 boys, their addresses and dates is available on request from the Stamford Boys Editor (on the website £3 incl p & p) or available to read at the Town Hall.

We have been pleased with the response from our website and continue to make additions and amendments when they are sent in.  Did you know any of them?  Was one of them your ancestor?  Some Stamford boys were working away or at boarding school, can you tell us about them?  We are sure many of you have more to add.  Please contact us at stamfordboys.editor@gmail.com