John Price Alcock Fletcher Rev. John Price Alcock Fletcher (1847 - 1916)

John Price Alcock Fletcher who died 7 December 1916 aged 70 years was Rector for 33 years. He was born at Bromsgrove in 1847 the son of an apothecary, his parents were Thomas Swindell Fletcher born Chesterfield and Obedience Alcock.

He was educated at Bromsgrove School and Caius College, Cambridge. After obtaining his M.A. degree he was given the position of Curate at Hoddesden Parish in Hertfordshire.

In 1869 in Portsea Hampshire, Rev. Fletcher marries Mary Ann Darker Banks of Nottingham. Whilst living in London the pair work alongside each other for the London Mission, for many years.

By 1881 the family have three children and are living at 1 Palestine Place in Bethnal Green next door to a Hebrew school. He is listed as a Clergyman without the care of Souls. He had a position as the Secretary to the London Mission.

In 1883 he was given the living at Burbage by Baroness Lucas. The couple suffer the loss of their fourth child at the age of only five weeks. Within the grave is a White Marble casket stone with lead letters, mainly unreadable (but from Burial Register records number 1108– John Fletcher age five weeks son of Rev. JPA Fletcher buried 25 March 1884). It’s interesting to note that the very next entry in the register is the burial of George Archer on 5 April 1884.

He had an unusual hobby for a Rector as he was remembered for giving riding lessons to many local families and it was said he could turn and control a carriage and two horses with one hand!

By the time they moved to Burbage in 1883 his wife was suffering from an affliction of the spine, which eventually rendered it difficult to walk. They probably moved to Burbage for the better air and quality of life. Mary Ann was ‘held in high esteem by the villagers and bore her affliction with great fortitude’. The Fletchers were well known for being kind and generous often giving a temporary home to the destitute and refugees.

Rev. Fletcher at Moat House

Marian (or Mary Ann in register) Darker Fletcher, died 8 March 1897 aged 54. The day after Mary Ann’s death a Marie de Bodenwyll Trenk age 31 from Czechoslovakia died at the Rectory. She had lived at the Rectory for three weeks when rapid consumption set in and death quickly followed. She was buried the day after Mrs Fletcher on 12 March (Burial entry 1536). It was recalled by group member the late Betty Mayne, that she was buried adjacent to the Fletcher plot and for many years a wooden cross with her name marked the grave.

A year after Mary Ann’s death Rev. Fletcher married a widow from Leamington, Edith Mary Millington Barker They married on 27 April 1899. The marriage appears to be a popular choice as the Parishioners presented the couple with an engraved silver tray. Edith and John had two children. By early 1900 their son Phillip Millington was born followed by George Walter in 1901.

The two boys were sent away to their father’s old school Bromsgrove from the age of seven. On a half term visit home in October 1915 George suddenly became ill and quickly died of Meningitis on 14 October 1915 age 14 years.

Towards the end of his life, during the first two years of WW1 Rev. Fletcher presided over the funerals of casualties. By the time he conducted the funeral of John Henry Asbury he was a dying man. Rev. Fletcher’s son, William, an army doctor had treated Asbury at Nettley Hospital, Southampton.George & Phillip Fletcher

Before the end of the Great War, Rev. Fletcher dies on 7 December 1916, aged 70 years. His widow dies on 21 February 1951, aged 91 years. Both are interred in Burbage Churchyard in the family grave.

Phillip Millington Fletcher the eldest son of Edith and the Rev. Fletcher is the only member not buried here. After service as a pilot in WW1 and Japanese prisoner in WW2 he worked for most of his life abroad managing plantations and is buried in Malvern, Jamaica. He died aged 59 in September 1959.Fletcher family grave