Found this website whilst researching for a man KIA in the 39 AA in October 1944.
Glad to say it had helped give a rough idea of where they were at the time
Keep up the good work

John Melling

Thanks for your comments John. It is possible to get a service history of individuals, I only know about the Navy but I'm sure the same would apply to the Army.
Very interesting reading how our families are linked, and helping me with some family tree gaps. The picture of Frank with my father and his brother was nice to see.

Simon, I can remember Dad telling us about meeting with his cousins at Greywood in the summer holidays. Evidently he would be blamed for most of the mischief and scrapes that they got themselves into, who knows maybe he was the instigator some of the time! In spite if getting into trouble he obviously remebered his time with his cousins fondly. Barbara, Frank's daugher
Hi I have just stumbled across your web site, via a FB post and it would seem that our families are linked via Mercy Ashdown, Also what was Grace Ashdown's middle name, as this might be another link. My full tree is available on 'find my past'.

Hello Simon, we visited Hope Chapel back in March 2010 and cleaned Grandad and Grandma Thomas headstone as well as Kate's, his first wife. While there we took some photos, having checked the photos, Grace is the only name on the headstone. We used to visit Greywood on a Sunday afternoon and can only ever remember Grandma Thomas as an old lady upstairs in bed. I have no paper records to refer to and Mum and Dad are no longer with us to question. Barbara, Frank's daughter
I would just like to update you on some information for the family tree.
Sadly Brian Berry who was Grace Berry's younger son passed away on the 12th January 2019 and Roy Berry his elder brother passed away on the 4th March 2020 this year. They were both first cousins of Frank's.
Thanks very much for the info Denise. Barbara.
We lived in Harebeating Drive, Hailsham for a few years when I was a child aged about 9. I recall my parents being friendly with a couple who farmed, from memory, somewhere near or just off the Battle Road. My father worked for a transport company so maybe that's how they met, or my mother may have met Mrs Pratt in church possibly. I don't know. I do recall vividly Mrs Pratt, who had greying hair in a bun and who would invite us all to tea regularly. She made scones which were lovely. Got a feeling they may have sold eggs as well. Sadly, my father changed his job and we moved back to Kent but I remember Mrs Pratt so well, although I'm afraid I have no recollection of Mr Pratt. Does this match any of the history as far as you know?
Best wishes...
Hello Tony, thanks for your post, unfortunately I do not recall any Pratts in Hailsham although they could have been part of this very large family. I left Halland in 1958 and left Uckfield in 1964 and other than visiting direct family lost contact with most people in the area. Barbara, Franks daughter.
I have just read about your dad and the 39th LAA, my dad Leonard was also in the 39th and I have a photo of a group of them in Bizerte. There are others in N. Africa presumably the same area. I have always been interested in the movements of the 39th but sometimes find it confusing to follow with all the amalgamations of different brigades. I know he told me of him going to Italy after Africa and spoke of Monte Casino although he spoke very little of the war only now do I understand why. I have the same photo's of when they were disbanded as the one you show. He and another two friends decided which brigade to join after they had disbanded 1 joined the infantry he and his other friend joined the Black watch the one who joined the infantry said he was going to join them as they had the least chance of being posted as it was he was posted within a few days. A far flung chance but what a coincidence it would be if they knew each other. My dad passed away 1985 and would be 101 this year.
Thanks for the email Graham. My father-in-law didn't keep in contact with anyone after he left the Army. He only mentioned very few names of people he met during the war. Frank only spoke of the war when Nellie his wife was not present as she wasn't very keen to here about the war.
Chris (son-in-law)
I came across this website whilst searching for something completely different! I joined Uckfield Baptist church in 1995 and remember Frank’s preaching. He and Nellie were selfless people who loved to chat about other people rather than themselves. They both loved Jesus so much and lived out their faith in all they said and did. Once they were no longer able to get to church, it was a joy to visit them on a Sunday to take them the recording of the service!
Hello Barbara - I just found the family photo of the Thomas's in 1970 at Casa Nostra:
Richard and I were in the same class for several years at Uckfield Secondary school and I visited the house many times in Grange Rd. I knew Michael too, as he was a captain? in the Boys Brigade.
Also; my sister Lynne Fleet married Timothy Starnes from Palehouse Common (now divorced but good friends).

Hi - Found this old photo album for sale on ebay - Its do do with the Pratt family - thought you might like to know; paste this title into the ebay search bar - Old Black & White Family Photo Album 24 Pgs Full of Photos 1950s Social History
From your site which ties in with the album.....
Uncle Ebenezer (Eb) (1887-1961) farmed at Pellings Place, Framfield for all his married life. He married Edith Starnes and they had 5 children: Lily, Nellie, Dennis, John and Eric. Dennis was somewhat handicapped mentally and eventually went blind. John was employed at a radar station near East Hoathly from quite a young age and remained there all his working life. Eric unfortunately died of leukaemia at the age of 32.
Regards Ian
The photo of the lady with the bicycle was my fathers mother, Kate Pratt, she died
when Dad was only 3 years old so must be about 1924, I think the majority of the
pictures are pre WW II. A group photo taken at Crockstead has many of the Starnes family, Annie Pratt having married Albert Starnes early 1900's
Barbara Timms nee Thomas.
Thomas and Nellie were 2nd cousin's twice removed of my husband's. William and Lucy Cottingham are my husband's 3x Great Grandparents. I have been so pleased to have found this treasure trove. Thank you so very much for sharing.
Would love to print off the Pratt family as got so much info,but i don't seem to be able too. Can you help in that? Met up with cousin who is daughter to Tom Pratt,also cousin from Joseph & Miriam who is their Grandaughter. Great to read more of this wide family tree.
Go to the text that you want to copy and highlight it. right click on the mouse and then press "copy", open a word document and press right click on the mouse on this document press "paste". The highlighted text will be copied onto your document for you to save. Barbara ...Frank Thomas' daughter
I have stumbled on this webpage, too and enjoyed it.
I am the granddaughter of Ernest Burfoot (Leah's son) (Richard Pratt Sr. daughter) In in other words I am the great great granddaughter of Richard Pratt Sr. Thank you and would be sincerely interesting in knowing more.
I just stumbled upon this fascinating family history page today whilst doing some research on my husbands family history. He is directly descended from Wickham Richard Pratt/Nathaniel/Elizabeth Wilmshurst. Have enjoyed reading learning more about the wider family - thank you.
On the day of Frank and Nellie's wedding my mother , a cousin of Frank's was asked by Annie Starnes her aunt to go and keep an eye on the wedding breakfast while the wedding party was at Halland Chapel for the ceremony. I went with her, I was 8 at the time. Our main duty was to make sure the cats did not get at the food. I remember the day well. I remember thinking how beautiful Nellie looked. But I do not agree with Nellie that James Pratt was getting confused at that time. He sometimes prounced words incorrectly ( he had had virtually no schooling) because he had learned them from his exentensive reading but had never heard them used. He became confused much later when he suffered from Parkinsons' disease and after the death of his beloved daughter, Amy. Amy was married to Fred Starnes.James Pratt was my grandfather and I spent a great deal of time with him. I shared his love of learning and we spent many hours together discussing books. We also had music in common and he was delighted when I took up the violon, an instrument that he had enjoyed playing when a boy at Bentley.I congratulate you on all the wotk you have done. It is a great achievement.I am sorry you no longer have the photo of Jane Starnes wedding on you website. I used to love to look at it. The little girl with the curly hair turning round to look at her grandfather, in the family group outside Bentley is my mother. She and her sister Bessie spent much time at Bentley with the grandparents. They would be fetched by pony and trap from Hammonds Green farm and taken round the lanes to Bentley.Warmest regards,Jenny Whitmore (nee Thorpe) We put on the website what Mum and Dad relayed to us.From your comments I can see that you had a close relationship with James Pratt. I do indeed remember him at Chapel when I was very young. Barbara.I haven't removed any photos but did have a problem with Outlook and html sometime back, maybe this was the reason. Chris
Hello, I found your very informative page by accident. My mother's father was Harold Cornford (* 1922 in Uckfield) s/o D O Cornford and Hannah Thomas. There might be a link between our families.
I've got some old photographs of my Sussex family tree, if you are interested.
Thank you so much for this marvellous tribute to your family, and for sharing it with others. I am a distant relative to the Pratt family through my paternal grandparents, although from the extensive family tree so many connections lead to others in the close knit area around Framfield. Much of my research is of the cold, hard facts of census returns, rather than these memories, which bring everything to life brilliantly, taking people out of shadows into the light.

I came across the site through searching for more information on Bentley Farm, where Richard Pratt farmed latterly, and received a copy of the estate sale details of 1936, when it had been greatly extended from Historic England - a price of £8,000 is written across the top, probably the reserve - maybe you already know.

Thank you again, I will look at all the information in detail when I have printed it out, and add huge chunks to my family tree.
Catherine James, nee Novis

Thank you for your comments, no I don't have any details of the sale of Bentley. From information we have been given Richard gave up the farm in 1930 and moved to Crowborough. We learnt a lot about our family while building the web site. We would be pleased to see the family tree if it is available in due course. Barbara - Richards Great Grand daughter
Dear Barbara,

Isn't is a small world full of co-incidences? My brothers were born 1954 and 1956 and I was born 1963.
They were born in Lewes and I was actually born at Fairview.

I was born at Fairview as was the first of my brothers, this was between 1948 and 1950. I have thought more about the work Eric did at the bungalow and am fairly sure he was involved with the brick extension that Mum and Dad had added at the back of the bungalow. This accommodated my Gran in a bed/sitting room at the end of the corridor and a double bedroom that my sister and I shared nearest to the main part of the bungalow. I hope whoever lives there now will build up as many good memories as I have of living there! Barbara

I am Sandra Isted the daughter of Dennis and Barbara Isted. My eldest brother was Timothy and my other brother is Nicholas.
My mother passed away last year after 54 years at the bungalow. It has now been sold on to a branch of the family so that is nice.
While reading this webpage I did wonder if some of the information between both families had got confused as Eric did a lot of building for my parents too.

I am Barbara, Frank and Nellie's second daughter. I can remember Eric doing work for Mum and Dad too prior to us leaving Halland in the late 50's. I can remember him letting us write our initials in some cement when he was doing some drainage work! My brother David can also remember helping to pass various tools to him feeling very grown up! Eric and Joyce were great friends to my parents and as children we were often playing together. Did Timothy go to East Hoathly school as I am sure I can remember that name. I left in 1959.
Hi Barbara, that’s so cool that you remember visiting Annie at Crockstead! My mum doesn’t have any memory of her Grandma Annie since she died when Mum was a toddler, but Mum’s older brothers always said she was a nice lady. I never got to meet your parents, but from what I’ve read on this website they seem really nice people who were very loved. This website is a wonderful tribute to them.

Thank you Amy, we all miss our Mum and Dad very much but are grateful for all they taught us and gave to us over the years. Indeed I think most people that they knew also felt like this. We couldn't have had better parents.

Very interesting! I especially liked learning about the Pratt family history, as my great grandmother was a Pratt. Frank Thomas was my Grandad's cousin. (Ruth) Annie Starnes nee Pratt was my great grandmother. I got to fill in a lot of gaps on my family tree.

I remember visiting Auntie Annie at Crockstead when I was a child living at Halland. We were always made very welcome. Having lived in Cornwall since 1977 it is many years since I had contact with my distant cousins! Barbara (nee Thomas, Frank's daughter)
Great to read & see photos. My dad is in the front row of the wedding of Archibald & Kate. He was Stanley Pratt & grew up with his brothers & sister in the pump House at Bentley. His Grandad taught him to shoot rabbits in the woods, which are to the right of the grounds [if still there] as not been for a while. His parents were Jessie & Ethel. Your info on Bentley includes so much about Great aunts & uncles & remember visiting them, Joseph & Miriam, my brother was born in their house, Aunt Grace, Peter etc. Since moving down to this area I have met up with cousins I did not know, & about to meet up 2 more for the first time. This has taken me down memory Lane. Thanks. Love to meet anymore Pratt family that's out there.
Enjoyed this very much, I was at East Hoathly School from 1947- 1954. I remember some of the people who have contacted you, who were at the School in my time.
Miss Thorne's was my first Teacher, how kind she was, Mr Axall, Mr Dobson, Mrs Bright and then Mr Harry. Mrs Hall and Mrs Wickson who cooked for us all.
Great School, out of interest my Mother also went there, Emily Rogers, great friend of Nellie French etc. My Mother left in about 1921/22.

I didn't start there until 1953 so didn't have contact with the older children, Dad didn't go there until 1926 and Mum 2 years later in 1928. We did however know Nellie French as young children while living in Halland. Ed

I am the gt gt gt grandson of James Ashby and Sarah nee Avery of Crowborough Beacon Mill and have extensive research on the Ashbys of Sussex back to c.1500.

I have yet to ascertain where James learnt his milling trade. His son Thomas became the miller of Riverhall Mill, Fletchling.

Regards Richard Ashby
Can't remember what dates I put for East Hoathly School but it should have been 1950 till 1956.
I found this wonderful site after looking on Memories of Uckfield. I used to live in Halland for almost 20 years until 1966 when I left to get married & live in Framfield Rd Uckfield. I used to go to Sunday School at Halland Chapel & to East Hoathly School from 1950-1962 when I went to Lewes Grammar School. So I knew your family & although my parents Marjorie & Jack Isted are no longer alive to confirm I am sure they knew your parents. We lived 2 doors away from Halland Farmhouse at Estate Cottage. My mother's great friend Barbara Isted (no relation) has lived at Fair View for many many years & I visited her there last year.It looks almost the same as it does in the photos ! The Goulds who lived a few doors away from Fair View were also family friends.
Ed. I am Barbara, Frank and Nellies second daughter. My husband has created this web site in honour of my parents. I remember many things about Halland having left there in 1958 moving to Framfield Road. I recall playing with the Goulds, having birthday parties in July in the fields opposite Fair View, attending both East Hoathly School and Sunday school at Halland. I remember the name Isted but cannot put faces to the name, too many years have gone by! We are really pleased to know that the site is bringing back good memories for other people too.
What an amazing amount of information on the Pratt Family. Richard Pratt and Hannah Mitchell are my husband's 4x great grandparents. He is descended from their second child Elizabeth b1779 who married John Histed in 1799 at Rotherfield. Thank you.
Thanks for your comments Jill
Hi Barbara

I came across your site and I must say that you have spent a lot of time putting together all this information, it was well worth the time and effort, congratulations.
Keep in touch.

British Columbia, Canada

I found this site almost by accident and spent ages reading everything ........ what an amazing site, wonderful photos, a marvellous tribute. Kate Pratt (1891-1925) was as far down as I knew on this branch of the family, I have just added Archibald Thomas & Frank & find that Frank Thomas (1921-2011) was my 5th cousin twice removed, making your site even more interesting. I also lived in Framfield Road, Uckfield as a child, so many places mentioned are familiar and bring back memories. Thank you.
Hi thanks for this wonderful website, I was at the family reunion at Oak Tree farm at Blackboys last Saturday and I got information on this site. It is so wonderful to see more information of my relatives. I am the Grandson of Thomas and Grace Cottingham who built the farm there. I am now getting to an age when I want to learn more and more about my family tree.
Michael Cottingham

Thanks for your comments, Chris
Thanks for your reply, Barbara - I remember the name from East Hoathly Primary but afraid that's about all! I also remember sitting on Miss Thorns's lap on my first day bawling because my Mum had left me! With reference to a previous post (5) from Claire Reynolds it was my Uncle William & Aunty Lily (nee Pratt) who lived at No 1 High Pastures and I was a regular visitor there as I worked for Uncle Bill in school holidays on his farm. I remember Frank's Dad Uncle Arch as we called him often being out in his garden which merged into Uncle Bill's with no apparent boundary. There is another Cornford/Thomas connection as my Grandmother Hannah's father William Thomas was Arch's father Trayton's brother. If anyone would like more info there is a link on the website.

I also don't remember much about East Hoathly school except that I was the only girl to go on to Lewes Grammar school and as we had only just moved to Uckfield I didn't know anyone from there either!
I was always confused as to who was a real Aunt and who we just called Aunt. There are so many links due to marriage with the Pratt, Starnes, Cottingham and Thomas families I am still working things out.
Very impressive amount of work you've put into the website! I found it by accident when looking for old postcards of Halland for a project I'm doing on the Cottingham family who have owned Oak Tree Farm at Blackboys for 100 years and was delighted to find some photos of William & Kitty which, if you have no objection, I would like to use in the project. I knew Frank many years ago, he officiated at my first wedding to Marion Clapson at Halland Chapel. Mother & I lived before that in Knole Lane, Halland 3 doors from "Aunty Grace" Berry.
Regards and well done

Thanks Trevor, you may remember me from school at East Hoathly, we are the same age, Barbara Thomas that was. My husband Chris has been very busy creating the website initially as a tribute to Dad who died almost 2 years ago and then additionally to Mum who died this last January. Ed
I found your excellent website when I was looking for information on Barham House as I was born there in the converted stables.The picture of the men in the boat one of them is my father William (Bill) Bishop who worked at the house as a gardener,he is also in the other photos of the workers.He used to talk about Arch Thomas as he called him quite often.
Really interesting site. I now farm at Old Marshfoot Farm and Little Marshfoot Farm in Hailsham where you say Joe Pratt farmed a few decades back. As far as I understand it, he lived at Old Marshfoot Farm not Little Marshfoot but he may have run them together as I do. Really glad I found all your fantastic work!
This is a lovely website, well done! I stumbled across it just by putting in the search words "Cottingham Halland" The reason for this is that Alan Cottingham, who died in the mid 1990s, aged circa 68 with a brain tumour, was a lifelong friend of my late father, and myself too. I was so pleased to find you had a photo of him. He loved the country life at Hartfield Farm. I believe he was orphaned and brought up by Will and Lily Jeffries, who I also remember as a kind old couple. They had a Jersey herd until about 40 yrs ago and were devoted Christians. Alan's widow Ruth is still alive but 93 and in a nursing home, she left the farmhouse a couple years ago. Neither the Jeffries or Alan and Ruth had any family of their own. ask for photos to rfofsussex

Reply:- I well remember visiting Aunty Lil, (Mum's half sister) Uncle Will and Alan (Mum's cousin) both when they lived at the original farm house (opposite Halland Forge) and when they lived at Hartfield Farm. As children, when living at Halland, we were always made welcome and Alan was frequently known to tease us about something or other. I last visited Ruth at her nursing home with Mum about a year ago. Barbara (Nellie and Frank's daughter)
So enjoyed the extra pages about Mum Chris - thanks for all your hard work!
Have just found your site thanks for all the information. My Grandfather was Charles Cottingham at Terrible Down Farm Halland and I presume he is in the photo of William and Kitty with their nine children. Can you identify any of the others in the photo. my email is ******* Thanks again for the wonderful site
I am currently researching my brothers house (1 High Pastures, Greywood) and came across your lovely website in my search. I was wondering if you would be able to let me know who was living next door to Archibald Thomas and his wife when they were living at High Pastures. Any information would be much appreciated. Many thanks and congratulations to all involved with this lovely website.
I will ask my mother-in-law and let you know Chris
I have just called my mother-in-law and she has told me quite a lot of info about the Cornfords who lived next door to Archibald. email me and I will put you in touch with the Cornfords. There is an email link near the bottom of the home page Chris
Have spent an emotional but wonderful afternoon reading about my grandad. He was a truly special man who will always be remembered. We miss you so much and will meet again one day.
Well done everybody, a lovely website which I will enjoy looking at and reading for many years. Grandad would be proud and thankful, he is very much missed x
So nice to read and learn more about my lovely Grandad. Now I can picture the boy and the man he was, that made him the man I knew and loved. Rest well Grandad x
Learning so much about my wonderful Grandfather, truly missed. Full of wisdom and good grace. So glad I got to see him one last time a few days before he died. Will see him again in a perfect place. x