Herbert Packer was born in December 1889, the youngest of nine children to Joseph and Ann Packer. Joseph was a railway carrier (or porter) and the family lived in Cheddar, Somerset.
The 1911 census found Herbert on his travels; he was working as a grocer’s assistant, and boarding with a family in Abergavenny, South Wales. He was obviously keen to develop his skills, and soon moved to Barnstaple in Devon to work for the Lipton’s grocery there.
In the autumn of 1914, Herbert married Lydia Snell, a dressmaker from Wales and the young couple lived together in the Devon town where he worked. He was very active in the community; he was a teacher at the local Wesleyan Sunday School, and active in the church choir having, according to a local newspaper, “a capital voice”.
Herbert enlisted in the spring of 1916, and had the honour of joining the Coldstream Guards. He did his training in London, and was due back to Barnstaple on leave before starting his active service when he was taken ill. Admitted to the London Hospital with pneumonia, within a couple of weeks he had succumbed to the condition. Guardsman Packer died on 3rd December 1916, aged just 26 years old.
Herbert Packer lies at rest in St Andrew’s Churchyard in his home town of Cheddar in Somerset.