The Fish brothers of Small Dole

George Fish, father of eight, at Waldron Cottage in Small Dole Street
George Fish, father of eight, at Waldron Cottage in Small Dole Street

Frederick Fish, Dick Fish and Driver Arthur Fish, Royal Field Artillery

In the 1900s there were many families with the surnames Fish and Welstead in Small Dole.

Frederick Fish at Small Dole School, c1900

Frederick Fish at Small Dole School, c1900

These three brothers were the sons of George and Caroline Fish.

Frederick Fish was born on February 2, 1888.

The 1901 showed him to be 13 and working as a carter.

In 1907 he married Annie Emery and by the time of the 1911 census, they were living at New Hall Cottage with two young children.

Dick Fish, 1934

Dick Fish, 1934

Fred’s service record has not been found but a letter in 1918 mentioned that he was a prisoner-of war in Germany.

Frederick survived the war, and continued to live in Small Dole.

He and his wife died in 1969 and their memorial inscription in Upper Beeding cemetery extension reads: “In loving memory of Annie Fish, died February 17, 1969, aged 80 years. Also her husband, Frederick Fish, died November 30, 1969, aged 81 years.”

John Richard Fish (known as Richard or Dick) was born in 1882 and on the 1901 census was shown as an agricultural labourer, aged 18, with six younger siblings.

In 1909 he married Emily Maud Wellstead in Steyning District and the 1911 census found them living at Violet Cottage, Small Dole, with Emily’s father and a baby girl named Genevieve Rachel Joan.

They went on to have four more children.

The only record we have of Richard’s military service is a letter of July 1917 saying: “Dick Fish is home for five days leave, he makes a fine soldier.”

Richard survived the war and can be seen in a photograph that was taken in March 1934 of members of Small Dole Working Men’s Club.

Richard died in 1935, aged 53, and his memorial Inscription in Upper Beeding cemetery extension reads: “In loving memory of John Richard Fish. Called home August 28, 1935, aged 53 years. Come unto me and rest, goodnight beloved, but in some fairer clime, bid us good morning. Also of Emily Maud, his wife, died June 25, 1964, aged 85 years. Reunited.”

Arthur Fish was born on March 12. 1895.

The 1911 census recorded him in Small Dole Street aged 16, a milker, with his father George, brother James and sister Edith.

On May 10, 1915, he enlisted in the Royal Sussex Regiment, giving his civilian occupation as labourer.

He served in France and was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Arthur survived the war but died, aged only 33, in 1928.

His memorial inscription in Upper Beeding cemetery extension reads: “In loving memory of Arthur Fish, died September 5, 1928, aged 33. A sudden chance at God’s command he fell, he had no chance to bid his friends farewell, affliction came without warning given, and bid him haste to meet his God in heaven.”