DATA BASE REF: I 1027
CLEMENT HENRY BULL
Clem Bull lives in Helpston Road Ailsworth, having worked for many years for the Fitzwilliam family at Milton
Clem was born on 14th November 1913 at Little Paxton, near St Neots. His father Edward Bull worked for Lady Esme Gordon of Paxton Park.
Edward Bull = Ethel Flint (from Aynesley)
William Rene Leslie Clement= Mabel Sidney George Ronald Louis
married at Mansfield May 1938
Michael Frederick Bull
Catherine Amanda Bull (now Ferguson, in Denver USA)
Early Working Life:
Clem started as a groom for four years, first in the stables at Priory Park, (all knocked down now) St Neots for the Rowley family, and then for Ousley Rowley at Morcott Hall. He then went back to Little Paxton, breaking horses for a local farmer, back to the Rowleys for a season, and then came to Peterborough to Mr Grimwade’s stables on Westwood Park Road (Longthorpe Manor, a Milton property). After the war, Clem returned there and worked for Mr Grimwade until Mr Grimwade died in 1955
In 1940 Clem joined the Essex Regiment, then went to the RAOC, then on their formation to the REME. His basic training was at Brentwood, then posted to Wales (nr Leominster), and then still with the Essex Regiment as CO’s driver with 2nd Essex (The Pompadours). Next came the Isle of White, then Swindon (still badged Essex) where he did a course as a motor mechanic, and then to Cardiff University where he did a fitter’s course, then, now badged RAOC, to Woolwich Arsenal. A posting to Northern Ireland followed, as a senior mechanic, now in the REME, where he took over a civvy garage in Larne, supporting the Royal Ulster Rifles, followed by a posting to working on tanks at Bovingdon.
Clem next went o Durban in South Africa (assembly work on armoured cars), and then 1942/43 he was promoted to Sergeant Fitter, now in India, and he took charge of a Depot called Cotton Green, Bombay. He was there for 12-18 months, but was blown up in the works. Transferred to Karachi, to 114 Mobile Workshop Recovery, working all over India. He was by this time a Staff Sgt in the RIEME. After working with the RAF, looking after their road vehicles, and a bit of flying helping on Halifax bombers (108 Sqn) Clem was repatriated, flying home in Jan 1946.
After the War :
He went back to the Grimwades’ at Longthorpe Manor, Peterborough. He looked after Mr Grimwade’s hunters, getting in a lot of hunting himself. His duties were groom and second horseman. He hunted regularly with the Fitzwilliam Hunt, often getting four days a week, plus the odd day at Burleigh, did a bit of whipping in for them (Tom Agutter was the Huntsman)
From 1932, Clem had played cricket for Milton Park. After Mr Grimwade died in 1955, Clem, went to work at Milton in 1956, when Earl Fitwilliam married Lady Fitzwilliam living at the Chauffeur’s Lodge. He was Lady Fitzwilliam’s chauffeur. At this stage he packed up hunting, and remained her chauffeur until she died. He moved to 4 Helpston Road, Ailsworth ( a Milton bungalow) around Easter 1995. His wife died the week they moved in.
He often drove to Wentworth with Lady F. It was a big place; he had been there in the 7th Earl’s day, with the cricket club, even before it was a college when it was run with a full staff. During the last Lord F’s day 2/3rds was rented out, but we had the West front, which was still bigger than Milton. There were two lampboys to fetch the lamps, trim them, as the house was lit by paraffin lamps, a railway under the house for moving provisions and loads around, and a big fish pond under the house where trout were kept. There was a massive underground cellar space and so on. The house was supposed to be haunted by Strafford’s ghost, and Mrs Beaumont always said there was a ghost in the yellow bedroom – Strafford sitting in a chair, in one piece!
At Milton, the Butler was William Horman who was Trudy Meadow’s father – he married Molly ?Emmett). William Horman had been Lord Fitzwilliam’s batman during the war, and came back to Milton as butler. As chauffeur, Clem visited and stayed in many famous houses, eg Alnwick Castle, Earl of Scarbrough’s, Major Mills in Suffolk, Blenheim Palace, Belvoir, Lord King at Wartnaby, Burghleigh ( but never stayed there, it was very close by), Buckingham Palace for a day trip, Windsor Castle for a day trip, Duke of Buccleugh in Scotland, Duke of Beaufort at Badminton, Haddon Hall (?Lord Manners), Lord Manton in York. In those days, people often travelled with their own servants and so on. So when they all arrived as a party to stay at another house there would be dozens of people for the host staff to feed, in addition to the house guests. Sometimes people comment about spending a life in service, but it was a wonderful life, with a high standard of living for some-one from a working class or country background, and one was well-looked after.
A Return to Morcott Hall :
Clem went back to Morcott Hall, (where he worked before the War) for a visit at the request of the Rowleys. Peter (who now lives in the States) rang up and came to see Clem. They had lunch together at Morcott, and they asked Clem what the Hall was like in the 20’s.
These notes were made by William Burke , while talking to Clem in September 2002 .