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Buckden's Postman, late 1890s - early 1900s


This is George Arthur Smith b. 1896 d. 1918 aged just 49.  He lived his whole life in Buckden. Pictured here in his postman’s uniform.  The census in 1981, 1901 and 1911 show his occupation as ‘rural postman’.  The 4 stripes on the chest of his jacket signify that he had 20+ years service at the time of the picture.  The stripes were introduced in 1872 and one was awarded for every 5 years of service.  Looks to me that he was a very proud man who took pride in his work and uniform.

George was always know as Arthur and was one of 9 children.  As a child he lived with his family in the ‘Hamlet of Hardwick, Buckden’ where all 9 of the siblings were born.  

He married Florence Story in 1896and their family home was on the High Street in the north of the village of Buckden.  George and Florence had 2 children, Elsie b. 1903 and Percy Smith b. 1905.  Their house was demolished as part of the A1 improvement scheme.  It stood somewhere near to where the subway under the A1 is now.

Many thanks to David Gent for these photos and information; George and Florence were his wife’s great grandparents


This wedding took place in the parish church at Buckden on 17th July 1926. The happy couple are Buckden girl, Elsie May Smith b.1903 and Offord boy, Stanley Frederick Chamberlain b.1894.

Once married, the couple lived in Offord. Having fought in and survived WW1, Stanley died in a road accident in 1940. Elsie later married Percy ‘Pim’ Phillips, and when widowed a 2nd time in 1986 she moved back up to Buckden where she lived in the village until she died in 1991.

The man on the far right is Fred Smith, he was the postman's brother. He was quite a character in the village.  Please see below for more information on him.  

The postman's wife, the brides mother, Florence Smith, nee Storey b.1873,  is seated in the middle of the group of three on the right.

Postman George: Activities


The man on the far right of the wedding photo is young Fred Smith, the younger brother of George Arthur Smith, the bridegroom's father.



Angie Bruce remembers Fred Smith, who lived in the Hardwick lane/High Street area.  Fred was a very active contributor to village life in the 1950s/60s.  A keen gardener, he regularly contributed and won entries at the village fete.  

Fred died in the mid 1960s  in an accident crossing the A1, which had just been upgraded to dual carriageway.  He refused to use the recently opened northern subway, built 1963/4.  He would have ben in his late 80s by then.

Postman George: Activities
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