Voices of Hickling:  The Sweet Shop - Frances Fox

Page created 3/9/19

There is a sadness to Frances's story which may indeed have made her appear a little odd to a child. She had 3 sons and a daughter. She was immensely proud of Harry Fox who won a scholarship to Cambridge in 1913, only to be killed in action 3 years later in a diversionary battle prior to the Battle of the Somme. A scholarship from Hickling village school with limited access to books must have been quite an achievement in 1913. The other two sons, Leonard and Bernard, also served and suffered injuries as a result of the War with both of them dead by 1923. 


This left Millie, who was perhaps ‘resented’ as the lucky/unlucky survivor of the 4 children. To make matters worse, Millie chose to marry Jack Boulter from a family of gardeners and agricultural workers, although most of his siblings were employed in How Hill. [Jack's father Daniel Boulter is referenced in the How Hill books as helping Lord Boardman to design and plant the gardens]. 


Frances considered this to be a step down the social ladder and didn't particularly approve of the Boulter family.  At that time, there was a shortage of young men to go round as the local villages were decimated by the loss of young men in WW1.   


Millie may not have had many other options on whom to marry. Her cousin James Fox, son of Peter and Thirza Fox, also died in the conflict. 


There was apparently some bad feeling at the time of Frances’ death in 1952, enough that a headstone was never erected for the grave of Frances and her husband Josiah.