War Memorials - Surnames B

Index

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BAILEY, Francis John (Updated 09/12/2013)
BAILEY, Thomas (Revised 01/12/2014)
BAILEY, William Henry (Updated 09/12/2013)
BAKER, George Edward (Revised 06/11/2010)
BALDWIN, John Henry (New 30/07/2014)
BALL, Arthur (New 16/03/2015)
BALL, Frank Milton (New 03/04/2015)
BALLARD, Ernest (New 13/04/2015)
BALLINGER, Charles (Revised 10/12/2013)
BARKWITH, Anthony George (New 16/04/2015)
BARNARD, John (Updated 12/12/2013)
BARNES, William (New 16/04/2015)
BARNETT, William J (Updated 16/12/2013)
BARRETTE, Phileas Joseph (New 10/04/2015)
BARRON, William Talbot (Revised 07/10/2015)
BARTON, Edward Chantler (Updated 09/09/2013)
BATES, John Thomas George (Updated 18/05/2014)
BEAMS, Albert Henry (Updated 17/12/2013)
BEATON, H (Updated 05/07/2017)
BEATTIE, Samuel (New 14/05/2015)
BEBBINGTON, Harry (New 26/04/2015)
BEEDELL, H. (Updated 29/11/2010)
BELL, Annie Mary (Updated 21/05/2011)
BELL, Walter (Updated 18/12/2013)
BENGER, Frank John (Updated 20/12/2013)
BENGER, William Joseph (Updated 20/12/2013)
BENNETT, Arthur Ernest (Updated 01/03/2014)
BIRNIE, Gerald (Updated 11/12/2014)
BISHOP, William Harold (New 14/05/2015)
BLACKMAN, Albert Edward (Updated 23/12/2013)
BLANCHETT, Percy Thomas (Updated 30/12/2013)
BLYTHE, James McWilliam (New 01/06/2015)
BLEW, William Walker Humphreyson (New 18/05/2015)
BODEN, William (New 08/02/2016)
BOLDUC, Ernest (New 25/03/2015)
BONE, Percival Walter (Updated 30/12/2013)
BONNELL, Leonard (New 03/06/2015)
BOTTING, Ernest Edward (Updated 30/12/2013)
BOURGET, Amedeé (New 04/06/2015)
BOWELS, Arthur Thomas (New 31/03/2015)
BOWLER John Henry (Revised 04/11/2017)
BOWLES, Reginald Julian Albany  (Unpated 18/02/2015)
BOWMAN, Edward Talbot  (Revised 05/01/2014)
BREEDEN, George Oliver James (Revised 06/12/2013)
BRITTEN, Lachlan (New 26/05/2012)
BRITTON, Joseph (New 13/08/2015)
BROOK, Frederick Charles (Revised 31/12/2010)
BROUGHTON, Albert William (Revised 10/01/2014)
BROWN, Alfred Llewellyn (Revised 22/03/2013)
BROWN, Edwin Stanley (Updated 29/05/2013)
BROWN, John William (New 09/06/2015)
BRUNS, Frederick Barton (Revised 10/06/2015)
BRUNTON, Frederick John (New 07/07/2011)
BUCHANAN, Edmond Yates (Revised 30/12/2016)
BUCHANAN, Oscar Leslie (New 12/08/2015)
BUCKLE, Archie Stewart (Revised 23/09/2010)
BUDD, Ernest (Revised 17/12/2012)
BUDD, George Henry Warner (Revised 03/09/2013)
BURCHELL, T (New 14/01/2013)
BURFITT, Thomas Henry (Updated 16/09/2013)
BUTCHER, Hugh Ernest (Updated 13/01/2014)
BUTCHER, John Phillip Henry (New 10/12/2012)
BUTLAND, Robert (Updated 15/01/2014)
If you are looking for someone whose name starts with a different letter please try:

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Content


BAILEY Francis John, Private. G/21240.

2nd Battalion Royal Susex Regiment.
Killed in Action 22 November 1917, aged 30.

Francis's inscription on the Tyne Cot Memorial
Francis's inscription on the Tyne Cot Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Francis John Bailey was born on 29 August 1887 (GRO reference: Dec 1887 Epsom 2a 18) to Francis John and Sarah Bailey (nee Nicholls). His parents married in the December quarter of 1876 in the Aylesbury registration district.

I have not been able to find census records for Francis in the 1891 and 1901 censuses, but he does appear in the 1911 census. I believe that this is because soon after his birth was registered, it was decided to use the name John Owen Percy (for other family details see the entry for his brother William Henry Bailey).

FRANCIS JOHN BAILEY AND HIS SIBLINGS
Name Born - Died Notes
George Frederick Born: 1878 Leatherhead Baptised Christ Church 14 July 1878
William Henry Born: 1879 Epsom
Died: 10 October 1916 France
Baptised St Martins 16 October 1881
Evelyn Ann Elizabeth Born: 1882 Epsom
Died: 1933 Epsom
Baptised Christ Church 10 September 1882
Married Alfred Mills 1904 Epsom
Muriel Sarah Hope Born: 1884 Epsom Baptised St Martins 4 January 1885
Francis John (John Owen Percy)* Born: 1888 Epsom
Died: 22 November 1917 France
Baptised St Martins 25 March 1888

*Based on census, registration and baptism records it seems likely that 'John Owen Percy' was first registered as 'Francis John', the same names as his father. For some reason, soon after Francis John was registered, the name John Owen Percy was used. No birth record can be found for John Owen Percy but there is an Epsom birth record for Francis John. No census records (until 1911) can be found for Francis John, whereas census records for John Owen Percy can be found up to 1901 but not for 1911.

On 28 June 1909 Francis, aged 22, began employment with the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway as a railway porter in Mitcham Station. His weekly wage was 16 shillings.

Francis married Christina Daisy Sawyer on 29 October 1910, at St. Andrews church Cobham.

In the 1911 census, Francis gave their address as 3, Stanley Villas, Beddington Corner, Mitcham, Surrey. They had been married less than a year and had no children.

On the 12 May 1911 he was transferred to Victoria Station and his weekly wage rose to 18 shillings. On 20 June 1913, when he was made an assistant guard, his wages rose to £1 but on 7 October, Francis went back to being a porter. The Railway Employment Records note that Francis resigned in August 1915.

Their daughter Gwen Megan Daisy was born on 1 September 1916.

The Surrey Recruitment Register tells us that he attested in Kingston on 23 February 1917. He was 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 140 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 35 inches with an expansion of 2 inches. His medical grade was A2. His occupation was as a 'motor man', and he lived at 103, Ecclesbourne Road, Thornton Heath.

Francis served in the 2nd battalion Royal Sussex Regiment which was in the 2nd Brigade 1st Division.

De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour part 3 tells us he was the son of Francis John Bailey, of 102, East Street, Epsom, by his wife Sarah. He was educated at 'Boys' School', Epsom, and that he worked as a Tram Driver, employed by Croydon Corporation. He served with the B.E.F. in France and Flanders from 21 May 1917 and was killed in action on 22 November by a shell while going into trenches at Poelcappelle. He was buried south-east of Poelcappelle. His commanding officer wrote: 'We all miss so fine a soldier, as he was always so cheerful under the most trying conditions.' His brother William Henry Bailey is also in de Ruvigny's Roll of Honour.

The book 'CROYDON and THE GREAT WAR' has an entry for 'Bailey, F.G., Pte., R.Suss. Regt. Empl. By Croydon Corp. Tramways. Fell, '17.' Probably our Francis John, the initial 'G' being an error.

Francis was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Five men from the 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment were killed on 22 November 1917, including Francis who is commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial on a Panel between 86 to 88.

The St. Martin's church Roll of Honour states that:
FRANCIS JOHN BAILEY, was killed in action in France on 22nd November 1917.
and
His brother WILLIAM HENRY BAILEY, was also killed in action at Gueudecourt in France on the 10th October 1916. Both were in the Church Lads Brigade and WILLIAM, when a boy was in the choir of St Johns Church.
Francis' father Francis, aged 76, died at his home 102, East Street, Epsom in 1927 and was buried on 8 February in grave D347 in Epsom Cemetery. Francis' mother Sarah, aged 86, died at 128, East Street, Epsom in 1944 and was buried in her late husband's grave on 9 February. His sister Evelyn Mills died in 1933 aged 50 and is also buried in grave D347.

The CWGC states that he was the Son of Francis and Sarah Bailey; husband of Christina Daisy Bailey, of The Island, Downside, Cobham, Surrey. Francis is also remembered on the St. Michaels church, Downside, Roll of Honour.

EP SM

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BAILEY Thomas, Sergeant. 11578.

12th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regt.
Killed in Action 25 April 1918, aged 41.

Thomas' headstone in the Merville Communal Cemetery Extension
Thomas' headstone in the Merville Communal Cemetery Extension
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

Thomas Bailey was born in 1877 in Bromley Kent (GRO Reference: Jun 1877 Bromley 2a 345) the son of Thomas Hutton and Caroline Bailey (nee Thornton). Thomas' parents married in the March quarter of 1875 in the Banbury registration district.

Thomas' older sister Anne Hutton Bailey was born on 20 July 1875 and baptised in Bushey, Hertfordshire on 12 September 1875.

In 1881, aged 4, Thomas, for unknown reasons, was living with a Henry and Alice Curtis as a boarder at 5 Providence Street, Millbrook, Hampshire. His parents and sister Annie were living at 2 Lower Belmont Terrace, South Stoneham, Hampshire and his father was working as a ship's steward.

No census records have been found for Thomas in 1891 or 1901. However, in 1891 his 38 year old widowed mother was working as a cook in Camberwell, London. In 1901 she was still working as a cook but at 141 Gloucester Terrace, London. In 1901 his sister Annie was a patient at St. Mary's hospital, Paddington and her occupation was recorded as 'domestic servant'. On 8 February 1903 Annie (aged 28 but stating 26), married 44 year old decorator Thomas William in St. Andrew's church, West Kensington. Her father was noted as deceased Thomas Bailey, coachman.

On 3 August 1908 Thomas married Edith Mary Wayling in the St. Saviour church, Croydon. His father was recorded as Thomas Hutton Bailey, deceased, coachman. Thomas' occupation and address was given as Mental Attendant, The Colony, Ewell, Surrey (St. Ebbas).

By 1911 Thomas and his wife were living in 7, Rosebery Terrace, Heatherside Road, West Ewell, Surrey. Thomas was still working as mental assistant for the London County Council (LCC) at the Ewell Colony.

Thomas enlisted in Croydon into the 12th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, which was in the 95th Brigade, 5th Division. Thomas' service papers have not survived and we do not know when he enlisted but the LCC RECORD OF WAR SERVICE CD tells us that he was in France for only 3 months before he was killed on 25 April 1918, and would therefore have arrived around the end of January. As the Official History states that the 5th division arrived back in France from Italy in early April, presumably Thomas served with another battalion before being allocated to the 12th.

Thomas and 22 of his comrades from the 12th Battalion Gloucestershire Regimentwere killed during the German offensive called the Battle of the Lys (Georgette). This was the second of the five German offensives launched by the Germans in 1918, in their desperate bid to win the war before the Americans arrived in large numbers.

Thomas is buried in plot I.E.2. in Merville Communal Cemetery Extension. This was not his first place of burial, his body was moved after the war when many were concentrated into larger cemeteries from scattered outlying graves.

The Merville Communal Cemetery Extension
The Merville Communal Cemetery Extension
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

Thomas was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

EP

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BAILEY William Henry, Lance Corporal. 592.

C Company 7th Battalion East Surrey Regiment.
Killed in Action 10 October 1916, aged 37.

William Bailey's inscription on the Thiepval Memorial
William Bailey's inscription on the Thiepval Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert ©2008

William Henry Bailey was born on 25 September 1879 (GRO reference: Dec 1879 Epsom 2a 1) to Francis John and Sarah Bailey (nee Nicholls). His parents married in the December quarter of 1876 in the Aylesbury registration district.

In the 1881 census the family lived at in Lintons Lane, East Street, Epsom. William's father was a 29 year old cordwainer, a modern equivalent would be a shoemaker. His mother was aged 23 and he had an older brother George Frederick aged 2.

WILLIAM HENRY BAILEY AND HIS SIBLINGS
Name Born - Died Notes
George Frederick Born: 1878 Leatherhead Baptised Christ Church 14 July 1878
William Henry Born: 1879 Epsom
Died: 10 October 1916 France
Baptised St Martins 16 October 1881
Evelyn Ann Elizabeth Born: 1882 Epsom
Died: 1933 Epsom
Baptised Christ Church 10 September 1882
Married Alfred Mills 1904 Epsom
Muriel Sarah Hope Born: 1884 Epsom Baptised St Martins 4 January 1885
Francis John (John Owen Percy) Born: 1888 Epsom
Died: 22 November 1917 France
Baptised St Martins 25 March 1888

By the 1891 census they had moved to 41, East Street, and William had three more siblings, Evelyn Ann Elizabeth aged 10, Muriel Sarah aged 6 and John Owen P (Francis John) aged 3.

In the 1901 census the family lived at 102, East Street, Epsom. William's father was now a 50 year old cordwainer, working on his own account from home, and mother Sarah was aged 44. John O.P. (John Francis) is shown aged 13. William was aged 21 and working as a gardener, as was his brother George.

The family was still living at 102, East Street when the 1911 census was taken. William's father, aged 59, was still earning his living as a cordwainer. His mother, aged 53, recorded that she had been married for 34 years and that all her five children were still living. William, a 31 year old bachelor earned his living as a jobbing gardener.

William attested in Epsom on 29 August 1914 into the East Surrey Regiment and was given service number 592. He was 5 feet 5½ inches tall, weighed 146 lbs and had a chest measurement of 36½ inches with an expansion of 2½ inches. He was fit, had a fresh complexion, hazel eyes, good vision, dark brown hair, was employed as a caddie and his religion was Church of England.

William was in hospital in Aldershot from 19 April to 7 May 1915, suffering with ulcerated tonsils. He commenced Lance Corporal pay on 20 August 1915 and left for France on 1 June 1915, landing at Boulogne.

The 7th Battalion East Surrey Regiment was in the 37th Brigade, 12th Division and for 9 October 1916 the War Diary records that:
In the evening of the Bn. relieved the 6th Bn Queen's in the front line: we were again lucky with the relief but shortly afterwards 2Lieut. J.A.B. Paul, M.C., was killed by a shell. The centre Coy, C Coy, appeared to get almost all the shelling A Coy and D Coy on the LEFT and RIGHT respectively getting off very lightly.
The Soldiers Died CD tells us that in addition to 2nd Lieutenant J.A.B. Paul, 9 other ranks, including William Henry Bailey, were killed in action. Although not engaged in an attack, the 7th East Surrey's were just 'holding the line', and were no doubt killed by shell fire.

De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour part 3 tells us he was the second son of Francis John Bailey, of 102, East Street, Epsom, by his wife Sarah. He had been educated at National Schools, Epsom, and worked as a gardener. He served with the B.E.F. in France and Flanders from 1 June 1915, and was killed in action on 10 October 1916 at Gueudecourt. He was buried at a point east of Courcelette and north-east of Albert. His commanding officer wrote: 'His death was a great loss to the platoon, as he was a very useful man and very popular with his comrades.' His brother Francis John Bailey is also in de Ruvigny's Roll of Honour.

He has no known grave and is commemorated on panel 6C of the Thiepval Memorial to the missing.

The St. Martin's church Roll of Honour states that:
FRANCIS JOHN BAILEY, was killed in action in France on 22nd November 1917.
and
His brother WILLIAM HENRY BAILEY, was also killed in action at Gueudecourt in France on the 10th October 1916. Both were in the Church Lads Brigade and WILLIAM, when a boy was in the choir of St Johns Church.
His plaque and scroll were sent to his father at 102, East Street. In 1919 his three surviving siblings were George F. Bailey aged 41, of West Hill, Evelyn A.E. Mills aged 37, of 98, East Street and Muriel S.H. Bailey aged 34, of 102, East Street, Epsom.

William was awarded the 1915 Star, British War Medal and the Victory medal.

The CWGC states that he was the Son of Francis and Sarah Bailey, of 102, East Street, Epsom.

Francis' father Francis, aged 76, died at his home 102, East Street, Epsom in 1927 and was buried on 8 February in grave D347 in Epsom Cemetery. Francis' mother Sarah, aged 86, died at 128, East Street, Epsom in 1944 and was buried in her late husband's grave on 9 February. His sister Evelyn Mills died in 1933 aged 50 and is also buried in grave D347.

EP SM

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BAKER George Edward, Stoker 1st Class. K/18664

HMS Black Prince
Killed in Action 31 May 1916, aged 21

Stoker BAKER's inscription at Portsmouth Naval Memorial
Portsmouth Naval Memorial
George's inscription at Portsmouth Naval Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

George Edward Baker was born on 20 September 1893 in Godalming (GRO reference: Dec 1893 Guildford 2a 90) to George Edward and Sarah Ann Baker (nee Simmonds). Note: His navy service sheet incorrectly shows his year of birth as 1894.

In 1891 before George Edward was born, the family lived at Mead Row, Cattershall Hatch, Godalming. His father, confusingly also George Edward, was a 27 year old labourer in a paper mill. His mother Sarah was also 27 and he had two older sisters, Mary Ann E aged 7 and Bertha Catherine aged 1 month.

George was educated at Singlegate, Mitcham, an Elementary Public school (Public being the opposite of what we now assume). He then attended Rutlish School from 13 September 1906 to 27 July 1909, and his tuition fees were granted by the school governors as a Merton Free Scholarship. He is recorded as going on to "Some industrial occupation (J. Sainsbury & Co 11-15 Stamford St.)"

George's mother Sarah died, at the young age of 44, in the June quarter of 1898, in the Epsom registration district. His father married Emily Ward in the June 1901 quarter in the Croydon registration district, which included Merton.

The 1901 census records George's father, George Edward Baker (senior) as a 37 year old widower living at 7, High Street, Merton, and working in the paper making industry, as was his 17 year old daughter Lily (probably Mary Ann, but known to the family as Lily). George's sister Bertha was now aged 10, and brother Frederick aged 1 had arrived. Frederick arrived after the death of Sarah, so could only have been a half brother, but see 1911 census information below.

The 1911 census shows the family still living at 7, High Street, Merton. George senior aged 48 still worked at the paper mill as a size maker. His wife of 9 years Emily Baker (nee Ward) was aged 45, and stated that she had 2 children from the marriage and both were still living. William Ward aged 20, and working for a greengrocer is shown as a step son. He was the illegitimate son of Emily Ward born long before she married George Baker. William Ward was also destined to die in the Great War, see his web entry. George aged 17 was labouring as a tile maker. Three other children are recorded, Frederick aged 11, Emily aged 8 and Percy aged 7. As Emily stated she had had 2 children from her 1901 marriage, presumably they were Emily born 1903 and Percy born 1904. Was Frederick also Emily's son, but born before she married George Baker senior? Or did Frederick have a different mother?

The 1913 and 1915 electoral rolls, show George Edward Baker senior living at North Looe, Epsom, Surrey.

George Edward Baker enlisted into the RN on 8 April 1913 for 12 years. He was 5 feet 3 inches tall, had a chest measurement of 33½ inches, brown hair, grey eyes, with a fair complexion and a large scar on the left side of his face. Before joining the Navy he had been an outdoor porter. In the Navy he was a 'Stoker 1st Class' in the RN serving in HMS "Black Prince" during the Battle of Jutland. Black Prince was an armoured Cruiser, of some 13,500 tons, launched 8th November 1904.

Postcard of HMS Black Prince
Postcard of HMS Black Prince
Image courtesy of Lindy Lovegrove www.the-weatherings.co.uk

Jutland was fought on 31 May to 1 June 1916, when some 250 ships from the British and Germans fleets clashed violently. The German fleet lost 62,000 tons of shipping when 11 of their ships were sunk and 2,551 men were killed. Whereas the British fleet lost 111,000 tons of shipping when 14 ships were sunk and 6,097 men were killed.

On the night of 31 May - 1 June 1916 George was killed in action when HMS 'Black Prince' was struck by many shells sinking within four minutes. There were no survivors. George is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

The CWGC states he was the 'Son of George Edward and Emily Baker 3, North Looe, Epsom'. Emily was his step mother. It appears that George and Emily both lost a son and a step son in the war.

George is also commemorated on the Rutlish School War, Memorial, Merton.

Thanks to Peter Moulin for supplying additional information.
BH EW

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BALDWIN John Henry, Private. 231043.

2nd Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) attached
12th Battalion London Regiment (The Rangers)

Died (POW) 28 February 1917, aged 24.

John Henry Baldwin
John Henry Baldwin
Image courtesy of Lewis Wood, author of 'These Men of Banstead'

John Henry Baldwin was born in 1893 in Banstead, Surrey (GRO reference: Mar 1893 Epsom 2a 6), the son of Henry (Harry) and Anna Bella Baldwin (nee Robertson). His parents were married in 1889 in the Epsom registration district. His father was born in Croydon, Surrey and his mother in Auldearn, Scotland.

In the 1891 census, before John was born, his parents and older siblings Ellen Janet aged 2, who was born in Albert Road, Epsom, and 5 month old Catherine Jane, were living in Bentley Lodge, Banstead, Surrey. His father was working as a domestic servant.

John was baptised in All Saints church, Banstead, on 26 March 1893 where his father Harry's occupation was recorded as a cowman. His mother though was recorded as 'Hannah'.

On 29 December 1897 John's 32 year old father was admitted to the Epsom Workhouse after cutting his throat. He was discharged on warrant on 3 August 1898 but was returned from hospital on 21 October 1898. At his own request he was discharged on 2 December 1899 but was readmitted a week later on 9 December. The Workhouse records state that he was not discharged. He died aged 56 in 1921.

Only John's mother and sisters Ellen, aged 11, and Mary Robertson, aged 3, were living at 3 Devonshire Cottages, Banstead, the night that the 1901 census was taken. His mother was recorded as head of the household, married and working from home as a laundress. John was aged 8 and an inmate of the Homes for Homeless Little Boys in Horton Kirby, Kent, as his father was still an inmate of the Epsom Workhouse.

(From Kelly's Directory of Kent, 1903:
The Farningham Home for 300 Little Boys, was erected from 1864-78, at a cost of £23,000, for boys under the age of 10, who are either homeless or in danger of falling into crime: the schools are regularly inspected by the Government as Public Elementary schools: the Home is divided into eleven families of 30 boys, at the head of each being a Christian man and his wife; boys remain till the age of 14½, but all over 11 are in Standard IV. attending school and work alternately: attached to the Home is a spacious cricket field and an ' Old Boys' Lodge, ' so that those boys who are out in situations may occasionally visit their old Home: boys are received at the Home either free by election, or on payment of 7s. a week; Samuel John Stallworthy, superintendent; W. Robson esq. sec.; London offices, 70 Temple chambers, Temple avenue E C.)

In 1911 John, aged 18, was working as a gardener. He and his mother and sister Mary, aged 13, were living at 3 Devonshire Cottages, Banstead. His mother was aged 49 and stated that she was working from home as a laundress, had been married for 21 years and that one of her five children had died before 1911. John's father was still in the Epsom Workhouse where records show he had been a cowman on a farm.

John's service papers have not survived but his medal card tells us that he went to Egypt on 30 August 1915. His Battalion, the 2/2 London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) was in the 2nd Brigade Royal Naval Division and landed at Cape Helles, Gallipoli on 13 October 1915. The Battalion was evacuated from Gallipoli in January 1916, to Egypt and joined the 53rd (Welsh) Division. In April 1916 the Battalion moved to France and was disbanded in June 1916. Presumably it was at this time that John was attached to the 12th Battalion London Regiment (The Rangers), in time to fight in the Battle of the Somme.

The Rangers were in the 168th Brigade, 56th (1/1 London Division) and on 1 July 1916 fought in a diversionary attack at Gommecourt, just north of the main Somme attacks. The Banstead All Saints church parochial magazine reported that he was wounded in the Battle of the Somme in July 1916 and taken prisoner by the Germans. The magazine also reported that a letter had been received from an Australian POW informing them that John, despite a German doctor doing all he could, had died of disease at Langensalza POW Camp. He was buried in the nearby Langensalza POW Cemetery No. 2, Turinga, Germany.

After the war it was decided that the soldiers that were buried in some 190 burial grounds in Germany should be re-interred into four permanent cemeteries. Consequently John's body was moved to grave VI. G. 11. in Niederzwehren Cemetery, Kassel, Hessen, Germany.

John was awarded the 1915 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal.

John was a member of the Wellington Branch of the Ancient Order of Foresters and was commemorated on their, now lost, memorial. He is also commemorated on the on the Banstead War Memorial.

AOF


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BALL Arthur, Second Lieutenant.

Royal Flying Corps (RFC).
Killed in flying accident 17 March 1918, aged 25.

Arthur's inscription on his Parents Grave
Arthur's inscription on his Parents Grave.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2015

Arthur Ball was born on 19 January 1893 in Stretford, Lancashire (GRO reference: Mar 1893 Barton I. 8c 739) to Frederick William and Annie Ball (nee Kirkpatrick). Arthur's parents had married in the December quarter of 1890 in the registration district of Stockport.

In the 1891 census Arthur's parents were living at 3 Randolph Street, Manchester. His father was a 26 year old journalist and author, and his mother was aged 20. Also living there was Arthur's aunt Harriet Ball. The family employed one domestic servant.

Arthur was baptised on 26 March 1893 in St. Matthew's church, Stretford, Manchester.

The death of Arthur's 23 year old mother was recorded in the March 1894 quarter, in the Barton Upon Irwell, Lancashire registration district.

The 1901 census records Arthur, aged 8, living in Manor Road, East Molesey, Surrey, with his 27 year old uncle Herbert Ball, whilst his widowed father, still working as a journalist and author was a boarder, living at 41 Station Street, Nottingham. By 1906 the Surrey Electoral Registers listed Arthur's father as living in Kent Road, East Molesey.

Arthur was educated at Hampton Grammar School and St. Saviours College, Ardingly, Sussex.

In the 1911 census, 18 year old Arthur was an invoice clerk working for a sugar merchant, and lived with his widowed father in 1 Hableany Villas, Kent Road, East Molesey. His father employed as his housekeeper widow Lilia Clifford who had been born in Banstead, Surrey in 1856.

Arthur's father married his housekeeper, Lilia Hadwinn Clifford, nee Burns, in 1913 in the East Preston, Sussex registration district.

Arthur, aged 21 years and 8 months, attested in Manchester into the 20th Battalion Royal Fusiliers on 4 September 1914, as a private soldier, with service number 4446, to serve for the duration of the war. The 20th Royal Fusiliers was one of the 'University and Public Schools' battalions. Half the battalion was billeted in Epsom, the other half in Leatherhead, until the new camp at the Woodcote Park RAC Club was ready.

Arthur went to France on 14 November 1915 and served 8 months with the battalion bombers and 5 months with the Lewis gun section. He was twice wounded. His first wound, received on 20 July 1916, was a 'Gunshot wound to his left upper arm' and his second wound was a 'Gunshot wound to his left shoulder' received on 5 November 1916. He was treated at the 4th Northern General Hospital, Lincoln. On 29 December 1916 he transferred to the 6th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, a reserve and training battalion.

On 15 January 1917 he applied for a temporary commission, giving his permanent address as Bayardo, Church Walk, Worthing, Sussex. His address at the time was 13 Platoon, 4th Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, Duke of York School, Dover. Arthur stated that like his father he was a journalist. He was 5 feet 5½ inches tall, weighed 152lbs, had a chest measurement of 34½ inches maximum, 33 minimum and had perfect 6/6 vision in both eyes.

He was accepted for admission to No.1 Officer Cadet Battalion and joined it at Newton Ferrers on 5 May 1917 and was appointed temporary Second Lieutenant in the RFC (see London Gazette dated 25 September 1917).

Arthur flew with No. 77 Squadron, a training and home defence unit, based at Penston Aerodrome near Edinburgh. On 17 March 1918 whilst flying a BE2e aeroplane Arthur got into a flat spin at 400 feet and was killed in the resulting crash.

Arthur's belongings, listed below, were sent to his father on 21 March 1918:-

1 Wolseley Valise, containing:-
1 Blanket.2 Pillows.2 pr. Pyjamas
1 Mirror3 Notebooks.2 pr. Putties.
2 pr. Boots.1 Sam-Browne Belt.2 Shirts.
2 pr. Pants (Under)1 Set Football Clothes.½ doz. Collars.
1 Tie.3 pr. Socks.9 Handkerchiefs.
1 Trench Coat.1 R.F.C. Cap.1 Wash Hand Basin.
1 Camp Bed.1 Canvas 
1 Canvas Bucket, containing:-
3 Clothes Brushes.1 Hair Brush.1 Comb.
1 Holdall, with Shaving Kit.1 Bottle Hair Oil.1 Boot Cleaning Kit.
1 Razor Strop1 Bottle Ink. 
From Hospital:-
1 pr. Breeches.1 Tunic R.F.C.1 Cardigan Jacket
1 Shirt1 pr Pants (Under)1 pr Braces
1 pr. Socks.  
1 Leather Suit Case containing:-
2 Tunics1 pr. Slacks.1 pr. Gloves.
1 Box Cigarettes1 Pocket Wallet.1 Wristlet Watch.
1 Cigarette Case.1 Matchbox Case.1 Tiepin.
1 Comb.1 F.S. Pocketbook.1 Coat Hanger.
1 Cheque Book, Letters etc.  

Three officers signed a statement that no money was found amongst Arthur's kit.

He was buried in Edinburgh (Seafield) Cemetery and is commemorated on the Screen Wall, B621.

Having died intestate, letters of administration were granted to his father in the sum of £688 6s 11d.

Arthur was awarded the 1915 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal.

Arthur's father died on 8 December 1920, aged 56, at 110 Hook Road, Epsom and was buried in grave A636 in Epsom Cemetery on 11 December; Arthur is commemorated on his father's gravestone. His stepmother Lillia died in 1931, aged 74, in the Cottage Hospital, Epsom and on 23 December 1931 was buried with her husband in grave A636.

PG

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BALL Frank Milton, Private. 401680.

33rd Battalion Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment).
Died 21 March 1917, aged 19.

Frank's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Frank's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

Frank Milton Ball was born on 2 October 1897 in Kingslake, Ontario, Canada, the son of John Milton and Mary Alfretta (Hattie, Ett) Ball (nee Stratton) who had married in Bayham Township on 11 April 1883 and had eight known children.

FRANK MILTON BALL AND HIS SIBLINGS
NameBorn - DiedNotes
Grace AnnBorn: 1884-
Thomas H.Born: 13 October 1886-
Philo JohnBorn: 13 June 1889
Died: 1958
-
Earl LeroyBorn: 1 December 1892-
Vernon HowardBorn: 9 June 1895Also served during WW1
Frank MiltonBorn: 2 October 1897
Died: 21 March 1917
-
Margery MaryBorn: 19 August 1899-
LyleBorn: 1902-

When the Canadian 1901 census was taken, Frank, his brothers Thomas H., Philo John, Earl Leroy and Vernon Howard and younger sister Margery Mary were living with their parents in Houghton, Norfolk South, Ontario where his father farmed. Their eldest sister Grace Ann was not recorded. The following year Frank's brother Lyle was born.

While working on the Port Burwell Harbour, Frank's father was fatally crushed by one of the stones. After his father's death, Frank's mother married John Franklin Garland on 16 May 1907 in Simcoe and appeared on the 1911 census without any of her children. Frank was aged 13 and living with his maternal grandparents Thomas and Anna Stratton at Bayham, Elgin East, Ontario.

On 3 September 1915 Frank attested at St. Thomas, Ontario into the Canadian Over Seas Expeditionary Force stating that he had been born on 2 October 1896, not 1897, and that he was living at Simcoe near Lake Erie in Ontario where he worked as a labourer. He gave his mother, Mrs. Mary Garland, as his next of kin. He was measured at 5 feet 6 inches tall with a chest measurement of 35½ inches with a 2 inch expansion. He had a fair complexion, light brown hair, grey eyes and was a Methodist.

Initially assigned to the 70th Battalion, on 28 October he was transferred to the 33rd Battalion, a reserve battalion that provided reinforcements for other battalions. Frank arrived in England on 23 March 1916 and on 7 May he went to France and was transferred to the 58th Battalion.

On 8 November 1916 he was admitted to the 42nd Casualty Clearing Station suffering with 'PUO' (Pyrexia of Unknown Origin), and on 5 November he was transferred to the 9th Canadian Field Ambulance. Then on 16 November he was admitted to the 7th Canadian General Hospital at Etaples and by 25 November he had been returned to Shoreham, England. On 19 January 1917 he was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Woodcote Park and then on 2 February he was transferred to Horton War Hospital and pronounced dangerously ill.

Frank died of 'T.B. Pulmonary Haemorrhage' in the Horton War Hospital, Epsom, on 21 March 1917 and was buried in Epsom Cemetery in grave K707 on 26 March 1917.

That day, after his funeral, Staff Sister R. M. Jackson wrote the following to his family. (Reproduced with the permission of 'Elgin County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society'):
Co. of London War Hospital, Epsom, Surrey March 26, 1917

Dear Madam,
It is with great regret that I write to you of the death of your laddie, Frank M. Ball. He passed away on the 21st of March at noon. He has suffered much, and I felt so sorry that you and all his dear ones were unable to be near him.

He was constantly asking if the mail was in, and two letters came after he was unable to understand what was in them. One was put in among his belongings and I re-addressed to the sender's address. He was very patient always and liked to help himself as much as possible. He never gave us a bit of trouble in any way, poor laddie. You will be comforted to know that the Wesleyan minister, Rev. F. E. England was with him on the night before he died, and said his mind and soul were prepared for his change from this life to that which lies beyond.

He was buried today in the regimental cemetery, with military honours. The Canadian boys from the convalescent camp formed a firing party at the graveside. The Canadian boys in the hospital sent a beautiful floral emblem in the form of a maple leaf and the Imperial boys, and nursing staff of the ward sent a beautiful wreath of white flowers, violets, ivy and maple leaves. A Canadian sergeant in ward 14 had arranged to take photos of the flowers and burial, and we hope to send you copies of them. One Canadian says that if he reaches Canada in safety, will come and see you and tell you all he can.

The letters, a well worn soft leather testament, and other belongings, have been handed in to the authorities and will hope to reach you in due course.

My heart goes with you in deep sympathy. My own dear brother of about the same age, was killed in France, and another is out there still.

May God comfort you and enable you to cast your burden on the Lord, for he careth for you.

Yours in sincere sympathy,
R. M. Jackson, Staff Nurse, Ward 14
Frank is also remembered on page 194 of the Canadian Book of Remembrance, which is on display in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower, Ottawa, Canada.

On 11 April 1917 his mother, Mrs Mary Garland of Simcoe, Ontario, Canada, was advised that a cross had been erected on his grave. There are no crosses now at the CWGC plot, each grave is marked by a small, horizontal, numbered stone.

During 1921 - 22 Frank's mother received her son's plaque, scroll, memorial cross, British War medal and Victory medal.

CWGC

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BALLARD Ernest, Private. 462715.

Eastern Command Labour Centre.
Formerly 23281, Royal Sussex Regiment.

Died 25 May 1918, aged 23.

Ernest's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Ernest's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

The Soldiers Died CD tells us that Ernest was born in South Ealing, Middlesex, enlisted in Hounslow, Middlesex and lived in Isleworth, Middlesex. His death as registered with the GRO, records his age as 19, indicating that he was born in 1899. No birth record can be found for him in 1899, but we believe the following man to be the Ernest Ballard as remembered on the Epsom CWGC Screen Wall.

Ernest Henry Ballard, born in 1895 (GRO reference: Sep 1895 Brentford 3a 61), was baptised in St. Mary's church in Ealing, on 10 October 1895. His unmarried mother Kathleen Mary Ballard gave their address as 12 Coningsby Road, Ealing. A note in the baptismal register stated that he was received into the church on 8 December 1895.

On 13 March 1898 Ernest's mother married Edward Rooke in the same church. Three years later when the 1901 census was taken, 5 year old Ernest was recorded with his stepfather's surname Rooke and was living with his mother who was recorded as Mary, and stepfather at 35 Williams Road, Ealing with his half sisters Dorothea Margaret aged 2 and Lilian Ada Charlotte aged 6 months. On 19 March 1904 his half brother Edward William Richard was born and two years later his mother died.

When the 1911 census was taken Ernest's widowed stepfather was boarding in Ealing with the Cane family with his daughter Dorothy (Dorothea) and son Edward. Ernest's half sister Lilian was recorded as an adopted niece living with William and Charlotte Rooke. However the whereabouts of Ernest Ballard/Rooke is unknown.

Ernest's first battalion, the 4th Royal Sussex, was a reserve battalion that was formed on 8 April 1916. Therefore Ernest's service commenced after 8 April 1916. He later transferred to the Labour Corps with service number 462715, and a best estimate of when he transferred would be about January 1918.

His 'Soldiers Effects' record shows that Ernest served in the Eastern Command Labour Centre, the HQ of Eastern Command and most likely worked there as a clerk. His 'Soldiers Effects' record also shows that the sum due was 'unissued'.

No medal entitlement records can be found, indicating that he only served in the UK.

After Ernest died in Horton War Hospital on 25 May 1918, he was buried in grave K650 in Epsom Cemetery on 29 May and is remembered there on the CWGC Screen Wall. The GRO entry for his death gives his age as 19.

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BALLINGER Charles, Private. 5276.

13th Battalion London Regiment (Kensingtons).
Died 23 May 1916, aged 41.

Private Charles Ballinger's headstone in St Mary's church yard.
Private Charles Ballinger's headstone in St Mary's church yard.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2008

Charles Ballinger was born in 1875 in Claines, Worcestershire (GRO reference Jun 1875 Droitwich 6c 367) to William and Ester Ballinger.

In 1881 the family lived at Keepers Cottage, Whitelands Farm, Malmesbury, where Charles' father was a 36 year old gamekeeper. His mother Ester was 34, and Charles had five siblings Thomas aged 15, William aged 13, Emily aged 10, George aged 5 and Ralph aged 1.

By the 1891 census Charles was living at Grossmoor cottages, Victoria Road, Epsom with his brother Thomas. Both Charles and Thomas were general labourers. Sister Emily was also living there, and was working as a domestic nurse.

In the 1891 census Charles' parents were living at 3, Exbridge, Brushford, Somerset. Three more siblings were recorded, Louis aged 8, Gertrude aged 6 and Rose H. aged 2.

By 1901 Charles was living as a boarder with George Channell at 2 Adelphi Road, Epsom, and was still working as a general labourer.

Charles was aged 37 and still single when the 1911 census was taken. He was boarding at 4, Leith Road, East Street Epsom, Surrey with the Smith family and working as a road labourer for the Epsom Urban Council.

The 1911 census records Charles' parents living at Itchen Abbas, Alresford, Hampshire. They had been married for 45 years and of their 11 children, 8 were still living.

Charles married Laura A Sycamore in the March quarter of 1916 in the registration district of Epsom.

Charles originally served in the East Surrey Regiment as Private No. 38, but on 12 April 1916 he transferred to the 13th Battalion London Regiment (The Kensingtons), as Private No. 5276. He was posted to their 3rd Battalion at Hazeley Down near Winchester for training.

None of Charles service papers have survived, and no medal entitlement has been found Charles initially served in the East Surrey Regiment as Private No. 38, and on 12 April 1916 was transferred to the 13th Battalion London Regiment. He would no doubt have gone to France with the Battalion to fight in the Somme battle, but he did not see service overseas as he died of pneumonia on 23 May 1916 at Winchester. Not having served overseas, he would not have received any medals.

Although he is commemorated on both the Ashley Road and St Martin's church memorials, he is buried in St Mary's churchyard, Ewell. His widow Laura Adams Ballinger of 4, Fairview Road, Ewell, died four years later on 5 June 1920.

The St. Martin's Church Roll of Honour states that:
CHARLES BALLINGER, died of pnenmonia (sic) at Winchester on the 23rd May 1916.
The name G. Ballenger appears on the Epsom Brotherhood memorial. Although a different initial and with an 'e' instead of an 'i' in Ballenger, I believe this to be the same man.

With thanks to Ajax Bardrick for supplying additional information.

EP SM EB

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BARKWITH Anthony George, Lance Corporal. 12531.

2nd Battalion Middlesex Regiment.
Died of Wounds10 July 1916, aged 26.

Anthony's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Anthony's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

Anthony George Barkwith was born in 1890 in Bromley, Middlesex (GRO reference: Mar 1890 Poplar 1c 663), the son of Anthony George and Charlotte Elizabeth Barkwith (nee Dye) who had married on 26 January 1890 in St. Gabriel's church, Chrisp Street, Bromley-by-Bow, Middlesex.

Anthony's older half brother Cooper Dye was baptised on 12 December 1886 at St Gabriel, Chrisp Street. He was recorded, possibly for the sake of appearances, as being the "son of Cooper Dye, a dock labourer", and Charlotte Elizabeth Dye of 48 Broomfield Street. Also baptised on the same day and living at the same address was his cousin Amos William, son of William, a horse keeper, and Sarah Ann Rivers (nee Dye).

ANTHONY GEORGE BARKWITH AND HIS HALF SIBLING
NameBorn - DiedNotes
Cooper Dye/BarkwithBorn: 1886 Bromley
Died: 1936 Essex
Attended Alton Street School in 1888. Father's name still recorded as Cooper Dye.
Married Florence Wheatfill, 12 April 1908, Hackney.
1911 - living at 68 Walker Street, Limehouse with their daughter Belgie (sic) Beatrice.
ANTHONY GEORGE BARKWITH AND HIS FULL SIBLINGS
NameBorn - DiedNotes
Anthony GeorgeBorn: 1890 Bromley
Died: 10 July 1916 Epsom
-
Ethel/Emma EmilyBorn: 1891 Bromley
Died: 1892 Bromley
-
Sydney CharlesBorn: 1894 Bromley
Died: 1894 Bromley
-
Florence LouiseBorn: 11 February 1896 BromleyAttended Alton Street School in 1899 and St. Bride's and Bridewell Precinct School in 1903
HarryBorn: 1899 Bromley
Died: 1899 Bromley
-
Richard JamesBorn: 1902 Bromley
Died: 1904 Bromley
-

Anthony and his parents were living at the same address with his maternal grandparents Cooper and Sarah Ann Dye when the 1891 census was taken. His 5 year old half brother Cooper Dye was recorded as being the grandson of Cooper Dye, who was a butcher, while his father worked as a labourer in a shipyard. Also living there was Anthony's 18 year old aunt Emily Dye.

Only Anthony's immediate family was still living at the same address when the 1901 census was taken. Anthony's father and 15 year old Cooper were both working as bricklayers' labourers. Anthony was aged 13 and his sister Florence was aged 5.

Having been working as a general labourer and serving as Private 5929 since 23 September 1908 in the 5th Battalion Middlesex Regiment Special Reserve, Anthony, aged 18 years 7 months, attested in Mill Hill on 14 April 1909 into the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment as Private 12531. During his medical the next day he was described as being of good physical development being 5 feet 5¼ inches tall and weighing 117lbs, and that his chest when expanded measured 35 inches, with an expansion of 3½ inches. He was also described as having a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair and that he had a 'transverse scar of burn 2½ inches by ½ inch across his left shin' and 6 vaccination marks on his left arm. His religion was Church of England.

On 3 September 1909 Anthony arrived with the 2nd Middlesex Regiment in Guernsey, the largest of the Channel Islands. Following a very severe accident that resulted in having fractured ribs, he was admitted into the military hospital in Alderney on 15 June 1910 suffering from "great shock, injury of pleura & lung right side". The accident had happened while Anthony was off duty and on 29 June 1910 a Court of Inquiry was held where Anthony stated that:
At Alderney on the 15th June 1910, I tried to feed some pigeons, at Chateau L'Etoe where I am quartered, and for this purpose I had to climb up a ladder to get to the roof.
I placed a ladder against the building and close with corner. Having fed the pigeons I started down to come down again, when I caught my foot, and fell outwards from the top of the building to the bottom of the moat. I remember nothing more until I became conscious in the hospital. I was sober at the time and not on military duty.
His evidence was collaborated by Private R. Marshall who was with him at the time of the accident. Having climbed down from the roof via some piping, Private Marshall raised the alarm before dropping into the moat to rescue Anthony. Along with some others, he helped carry Anthony to hospital. The court decided that as Anthony had not got permission to feed the pigeons or to climb the ladder that the accident was his fault alone and not in any way the fault of the military. Anthony was later discharged from hospital on 30 July 1910.

While in Alderney, Anthony took an examination in preparation for service in India. Information from his military record shows that he arrived at Allahabad, India on 1 October 1910 with the 1st Battalion. A week later on 7 October, he was admitted to hospital suffering from "34 [temperature] Pyrexia [fever], cause uncertain". He was discharged ten days later. Consequently Anthony was not in the U.K. when the 1911 census was taken but was recorded as being a Private with the 1st Middlesex Regiment in India.

His parents and sister Florence Louise were living in 53 Ellesmere Street, Bromley. His father did not fill out the 1911 census form himself but stated that he and his wife had been married for 23 years and that four of their seven children had died. Anthony's mother died aged 48 soon after this census was taken and his father died the following year aged 50. No further definite records have been found for Florence.

When Anthony arrived in Dinapore (now called Danapur), India, ill heath from malaria, had him admitted to hospital in Kailana, India on 30 June 1911. He was discharged on 7 July 1911. On 24 February 1912 he was awarded his 3rd class Education Certificate.

Anthony was serving in Malta by 24 December 1913 where he stayed until being sent home on 25 September 1914. Having been described as "honest, sober and hard working" while on duty, Anthony was sent on 4 November 1914 with the British Expeditionary Force, landing at Le Havre, France. His service record shows the following:
15.01.15 - Frost Bite. Admitted Base Hospital, Wimereux
19.01.15 - Transferred to England by hospital ship from St. Omer
26.05.15 - Promoted Lance Corporal
28.05.15 - Embarked B.E.F.
23.07.15 - Joined Battalion
21.09.15 - Scabies Admitted 26th Field Ambulance
22.09.15 - Discharged to duty
30.09.15 - Trained Bomber
04.03.16 - Shell Shock. admitted 26th Field Ambulance
05.03.16 - To Divisional Rest Station
16.03.16 - Rejoined Battn. from Hospital
01.07.16 - Wounded in action
               GSW abdomen, R arm, L thigh.
07.07.16 - Transferred to England. S.S. Stad Antwerpen
Anthony's battalion, the 2nd Middlesex, fought on 1 July, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, and at 7.30am climbed out of their trenches and attacked the German lines between Ovillers-La-Boisselle and La Boisselle. The men attacked in four successive waves, each about 50 yards apart. The following is an extract from their War Diary:
As soon as our leading wave left our trenches to assault it was caught by heavy machine gun fire and suffered heavy losses. As soon as the succeeding waves came under this fire they stumbled forward and before anyone reached the German front line the original formation had ceased to exist. About 200 of all ranks succeeded in breaching the German lines - passing over the front line they entered the 2nd line of trenches, but after a short fight, during which about half became casualties, they were forced to retire to the German front line. Here, under the leadership of Major H.B.W. Saville, Capt & Adj. R.J. Young, 2/Lieuts P.M. Elliott, W.S. Patz and H.C. Hunt, the survivors proceeded to consolidate. By 9.15am the handful of unwounded men, numbering perhaps a dozen, were forced to retire to shell holes outside the enemy front line, where the majority remained until darkness enabled them to regain our lines.

Of the 23 officers who took part in the assault only 2/Lieut H.C. Hunt regained our lines unwounded.
Of the 650 N.C.Os. and men who took part in the assault a bare 50 answered their names in the early hours of July 2.
Trench Map - Click Image to enlarge
Trench Map - Click Image to enlarge
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2015

The Soldiers Died CD tells us that 257 men were killed in action that day and a further seven died of wounds before 12 July.

After serving for 7 years and 98 days, Anthony died from the wounds to his abdomen, right arm and left thigh in the County of London War Hospital in Epsom at 6.10pm on 10 July 1916. He was buried on 13 July in grave K645 in the CWGC plot in Epsom Cemetery and is remembered there on the Screen Wall.

As both of Anthony's parents were dead, his brother Cooper Barkwith received Anthony's effects, plaque, scroll and medals. Cooper lived at 10 Cardigan Road, Bow, London.

Anthony was awarded the 1914 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.

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BARNARD John, Private. G/633.

8th Battalion Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment (RWS)).
Died of Wounds 2 September 1916, aged 26.

John's headstone in the Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
John's headstone in the Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

John Barnard was born on 27 October 1890 in Walworth, Southwark (GRO: reference Dec 1890 St. Saviour 1d 165) to Henry James and Emma Barnard (nee Marchant). John's parents had married on 21 September 1872 in their hometown of Ramsbury, Wiltshire.

In the 1881 census, before John was born, the family lived at 26, Larcom Street, Newington. John's father was a 27 year old coal porter. His mother was aged 28 and he had three siblings Fanny, Martha and Henry.

John Barnard And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Fanny Louisa Born: 1872 Ramsbury Married William Watts 1890
Martha Ann Born: 1875 Ramsbury Married Richard Dickerson 5 September 1896
Henry Born: 1878 Ramsbury  
Thomas Born: 1884 Walworth  
George Born: 1886 Peckham  
John Born: 27 October 1890 Walworth
Died: 2 September 1916 France
 

In the 1891 census the family lived at 24, Pasley Road, Newington. John's father was working as a carman and two more siblings had arrived Thomas and George. His older sisters had left the family home. Fanny Loiusa had married William Watts and was living in Newington, and Martha Ann was a domestic servant back in Ramsbury.

John was baptised in St. Agnes church, Southwark on 11 May 1892. At that time his father was described as a coal porter, living at 60, Royal Terrace, Southwark.

Andrews Newspaper Index Cards tell us that John's father, Henry James Barnard, aged 42, died on 16 May 1895. He was a navvy and had lived at 1, Fearon Street, Greenwich.

John's sister Martha married Richard Dickerson, a labourer, on 5 September 1896 at St John the Devine church, Kennington. Her father was recorded as just James Barnard, and was not shown as deceased.

The death of John's mother, aged 46 is recorded in the March 1900 quarter, leaving John an orphan at the age of nine.

In the 1901 census John's sibling George was living with their sister Martha and her husband Richard Dickerson, whilst John was an 'inmate' at the 'South Metropolitan District School' in Banstead Road, Sutton, Surrey. A school for pauper children as an alternative to the workhouse, see www.workhouses.org.uk/SouthMetSD/. John would have been 10 years old, but he is recorded as only 9, and with no known place of birth. Probably the school guessed his age.

By 1911 John was living with his sister and brother-in-law Martha and Richard Dickerson at 'Gym' Cottage, Christ's Hospital Estate, West Horsham, Sussex. He is recorded as a farm labourer, born in Walworth and as 19 years old, although he was in fact 20.

On 1 July 1912 John, aged 21, started working in Epsom Station as a porter for London, Brighton and South Coast Railway; his wages were 17 shillings a week. Three weeks later, on 21 July, he was transferred to Sutton station. The Railway Employment Records do not note when John left.

John attested on 4 September 1914 into The Queen's RWS, giving his age as 23 years and 10 months. He was 5 feet 5¼ inches tall, weighed 146 lbs and had a chest measurement of 37½ inches with an expansion of 3 inches. He had a dark complexion, hazel eyes, brown hair and worked as a porter. John went to France with the 8th RWS (72nd Brigade, 24th Division) on 31 August 1915, sailing from Folkestone to Boulogne.

The 8th Queens RWS war diary tells us that on 30 August 1916 the Battalion marched from reserve camp to take over a reserve trench at Delville Wood, the take over being completed by 7pm. The next day the Battalion was bombarded with gas shells and suffered about 18 casualties, with one officer killed. On 1 September the Battalion took over the front line trench from the 8th Battalion RWS and suffered about 16 casualties in doing so. Heavy bombardment continued throughout the next day.

John died of wounds on 2 September 1916 and is buried in plot II.D.8. Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension. Field Ambulances and Casualty Clearing stations were based at Dernancourt and John most likely died whilst being treated by one of the medical units based there.
Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
The Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

John was awarded the 1915 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal. He is commemorated on Epsom's Ashley Road memorial and on the Epsom Brotherhood memorial.

EP EB

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BARNES William, Private. 190096.

1st Battalion Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario).
Died 23 January 1919, aged 24.

William Barnes
William Barnes
Photo courtesy of James L. McCallum

William Barnes was born on 24 August 1895 in Norwood, Surrey. William's parents are unknown and he was taken in by Dr. Barnardo Homes in England.

The 1901 census records a William Barnes, aged 8, birthplace unknown, an inmate at Lambeth New Schools (workhouse) Elder Road, West Norwood, Lambeth.

From the Dr. Barnardo Home, aged 11, he travelled with 254 other children under the age of 15 aboard the Dominion, and arrived in Quebec, Canada on 11 August 1906. Their final destination was recorded as being Toronto. William's whereabouts when the Canadian 1911 census was taken is unknown.

Aged 20 years 7 months, William was farming for Wesley Brooks in Kingsmill, Ontario before he enlisted on 11 March 1916 in St. Thomas, Ontario. William, who was assigned to the 91st Battalion, gave his religion as Methodist and that he was born in Norwood, England on 24 August 1895.

His medical records show that he was 5 feet 6½ inches tall, weighed 135 lbs and had a chest measurement of 36 inches with a 2 inch expansion. He had a fair complexion, grey eyes and light hair. He gave his friend Harry Hollands, who was working for John Brooks in Springfield, Ontario, as his next of kin. Harry Hollands also received an allotment of William's pay, a separation allowance, and was the beneficiary of his will. Also mentioned in William's military papers were Mary Holland and Mrs. James L. Heards of 22 Locust Street, St. Thomas, Ontario.

William embarked from Halifax, Canada, aboard SS Olympic, on 29 June 1916, and arrived at Liverpool on 6 July. He was transferred to the 1st Battalion and sent to France on 27 August. The 1st Battalion was attacking enemy positions near Bourlon Wood when William received a gunshot wound to his right knee around 27 September 1918.

He was evacuated to the Western Ontario Regimental Depot in Witley, England and admitted to West Suffolk General Hospital, Bury St. Edmonds on 4 October 1918. On 8 October he was sent to the Canadian convalescent camp at Woodcote Park where on 20 December 1918 he was considered healthy enough to have a furlough in St. Pauls Crays, Kent. On 16 January 1919 he was transferred to the Manor War Hospital after he contracted the deadly influenza virus that swept the world causing the deaths of millions.

He died at the Manor War Hospital, Epsom, on 23 January 1919 and was buried in Epsom Cemetery in grave K87 on 28 January 1919.

His friend and registered next-of-kin Harry Hollands in Springfield, Ontario, was notified of his death by cablegram and the Aylmer Express published the details of his passing on 30 January 1919.

William is remembered in Epsom Cemetery on the CWGC Screen Wall and also in Aylmer, Canada.

William's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
William's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

William was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal. These were, according to William's military records, sent at first to William's brother Thomas Barnes who had been living at the Red Triangle Club within the Aylmer Hotel at 610 Cordova Street, Vancouver, where the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) had been set up across from the Canadian Pacific Railway station. This address had been crossed out and Dunville P.O., Ontario written instead; this was in Haldimand County. It would seem that William's scroll, plaque and medals were returned unclaimed.

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BARNETT William John, Private. 53166.

11th Battalion Manchester Regiment.
Killed in Action 4 February 1918, aged 27.

William's headstone in the Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe
William's headstone in the Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

William John Barnett was born in 1891 (GRO reference: Mar 1891 St Olave 1d 259) to William Andrew and Louisa Mary Barnett (nee Laverack). His parents married on 10 June 1889 in Bermondsey.

At the time of the 1891 census William was just 3 months old, and the family lived at 7, Balaclava Road, Bermondsey. William's father was a 21 year old leather dresser. His mother was 23.

By 1901 the family lived at 773, Old Kent Road, and William's father was now described as a foreman skin dresser. A sister had arrived, Daisy aged 8. Also living with them was William's 11 year old cousin Mabel Laverack.

William and his sister Daisy Louisa were baptised in St. Mary Magdalene church, Bermondsey, on 8 May 1898. The family address was recorded as 'Aldney Cottage', Lamb Alley, Bermondsey and their father's occupation as a skindresser.

In the 1911 census the family lived in Carlton Cottage, Hampton Road, Worcester Park. William's father was still in the skin dressing industry and is described a s a "Pureman" sheepskin dresser. William aged 20 also worked in the skin dressing trade as a machine hand, and sister Daisy was still living with them. William's grandfather John Henry Laverack, a 70 year old widower was also living with them. William's mother Louisa, stated that she had borne 3 children but one had died.

I have been unable to find any service, or pension records in Ancestry for William.

Soldiers died CD shows that he enlisted in London and that he originally served in the Army Service Corps (No. M2/114503) before transferring to the Manchester Regiment, and this is confirmed by his medal card. The CD also states that his residence was at Epsom Common.

William first went to France on 3 October 1915, with the ASC, and later transferred to the 11th Battalion Manchester Regiment which was in the 34th Brigade 11th Division. The year 1918 was to see the deaths of more British men than in any other year of the war. However, January and February 1918 were relatively quiet months on the Western Front, with no major battles raging, only the deadly daily menace of shells, snipers, and trench raids. The next major struggle was to commence on 21 March when the Germans launched their massive attack (the Kaiserschlact), in a last desperate bid to win the war before the Americans arrived in force.

To give an idea of the scale of fatalities, the following statistics have been taken from the Soldiers died CD, and are daily totals of other ranks killed in action on the Western front during the first 3 months of 1918. January, daily average killed 40. February, daily average killed 31. March 1 to 20, daily average killed 577. March 21 to 31 daily average killed 2,005. These figures do not include those who died of wounds.

William John Barnett was killed in action on 4 February 1918, probably by shellfire, and is buried in plot III B 19, Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France.

William was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.

On 2 October 1918 William's sister Daisy married, Scottish born Canadian soldier, James Forsyth in Epsom. Their son, William's nephew, William James Barnett Forsyth, was born on 13 July 1919 and was baptised in Christ Church on 13 August 1919, whilst living at 'The Cottage', Bracken Path, Epsom Common. In 1920 William's parents, sister Daisy and nephew William emigrated to Winnipeg, Canada the home of James Forsyth.

EP CC
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BARRETTE Phileas Joseph, Private. 527039.

Canadian Army Medical Corps.
Died 29 January 1919, aged 42.

Phileas' inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Phileas' inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

Phileas Joseph Barrette was born on 22 October 1876 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

On 27 April 1909 Phileas married Mathilda Vermette in St-Jean-Baptiste, Montreal.

Giving his age as 42 years 8 months, his address as 56 Papineau Square, Montreal, his next-of-kin as his wife Mathilda, his religion as Roman Catholic and his occupation as a 'Shell Inspector', Phileas enlisted into the Canadian Over Seas Expeditionary Force on 8 June 1917.

He was described as being 5 feet 5 inches tall, having a dark complexion, black hair, grey coloured eyes and a chest measurement of 37½ inches, with an expansion of 5½ inches. Despite being previously rejected because of poor eyesight, Phileas was accepted as a B2 category soldier for the A.M.C. Training Depot and given the service number 527039 in the Canadian Army Medical Corps.

On 7 July 1917 Phileas wrote his will, leaving everything to his wife Mathilda, who was living at 56 Papinneau Avenue, Montreal.

Phileas left Canada on 10 August 1917 and on arrival in England on 23 August he was 'Taken on Strength' of the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) at Westenhanger, Kent, as an orderly. On 18 October he underwent a medical board, at St. Martin's Plains camp and was graded B1. He had poor eyesight having injured his left eye as a small child.

On 15 November he was posted to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Monks Horton, Kent and then on 18 December he was 'Taken on Strength' of No. 10 Canadian General Hospital, Brighton.

Phileas suffered from chronic bronchitis and throughout 1918 he had several periods as a patient himself. Having reported sick with bronchitis on 23 October 1918, on 15 November he was recommended for six days leave. Still suffering with bronchitis, he was admitted to hospital on 6 January 1919 and on 24 January he was diagnosed with influenza and died on 29 January, aged 42, in The Manor War Hospital, Epsom, Surrey from influenza and heart failure. He was buried on 3 February 1919 in grave K85 in Epsom Cemetery and is remembered on the CWGC Screen Wall.

Phileas' widow received his British War medal, Victory medal and Memorial Cross.

The CWGC states that he was the:
Husband of Mathilda Methot (formerly Barrette), of 2606 Drolet Street, Montreal.
CWGC

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BARRON William Talbot, Private. 674

6th Battalion Australian Infantry.
Died of wounds 10 August 1915, age 51

William's inscription on his parents grave
William's inscription on his parents grave
Photo courtesy of Clive Gilbert ©2015

William Talbot Barron was born in Walworth in 1864 (GRO Reference: Jun 1864 Newington 1d 233), the son of Charles Harry Barron and his wife Lydia Hart who had married in 1859 in Stepney. William's father Charles however, does not appear as living with his wife and family on either the 1861 or 1871 censuses.

The family had moved to Ewell in Surrey by 1870, where William's younger sister Elizabeth Emma, known as Lizzie, was born. As the family were dissenters, there are no Barron baptism records to be found in the parish records of St. Mary the Virgin church in Ewell village. When the 1871 census was taken, William's mother Lydia was recorded as being the head of the family and working as a linen draper living and trading from West Street in Ewell. 7 year-old William was recorded as Willie and his siblings as Charles aged 11, Lydia aged 9 and 1 year-old Lizzie. Also visiting the family was William's maternal grandfather, John Hart.

WILLIAM TALBOT BARRON AND HIS SIBLINGS
NameBorn - DiedNotes
Charles HarryBorn: 1860 Mile End
Died: 15 August 1912 Croydon registration district
Rank of Captain on father's gravestone
Lydia JaneBorn: 1862 WalworthMarried Edmund Walter Chapman 1886 Epsom registration district
William TalbotBorn: 1864 Walworth
Died: 10 August 1915 Gallipol
i
 
Elizabeth EmmaBorn: 1869 Ewell
Died: 31 October 1943 Paddington registration district
Commemorated on father's gravestone
John WallaceBorn: 1875 Ewell 
Florence AdaBorn: 1879 EwellMarried in the June quarter of 1909 in the Croydon registration district
One other unknown sibling, died before 1911

William's father Charles was living with his family when the 1881 census was taken and was trading as a draper in Green Man Street, Ewell. Although William's older brother Charles had become a Second Mate sailor the previous year, he was at home when this census was taken. Sister Lydia was working as an assistant draper for her parents, while sister Lizzie was at school as was their younger 5 year-old brother Wallace. The baby of the family was Florence aged 2. William had followed in his parents' profession and was living and working as a draper's assistant in Reigate Surrey.

William's 59 year-old father Charles died on 19 March 1897 and was buried on 25 March in St Mary the Virgin's graveyard in Ewell, Surrey.

However the last 'sighting' of William himself in England, was on 18 March 1885 when he helped to put out the fire at the house of arsonist Mrs Emma Frith.

William's movements following this event are uncertain, as he does not seem to appear again in the UK census. However we do know that by 1906 he was serving in the Natal Carbineers Regiment of the Natal Militia Forces in South Africa. The British Colony of Natal had become self-governing in 1893 and had encouraged British settlers. When exactly William joined the Natal Carbineers is unknown but this was an infantry regiment of the South African Army who were mobilized again in 1899 for active service during the second Boer War. [See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natal_Carbineers] The Natal Carbineers were later involved in the Natal or Bhambatha Uprising/Rebellion, which was also known as The 1906 Protest or the War of the Heads, or the Poll Tax War, which was basically a Zulu revolt against British rule and taxation. [For further information about the rebellion see http://samilitaryhistory.org ] William was discharged from the Natal Carbineers in 1906 after the end of this rebellion.

At some time thereafter he went to Australia and settled in the state of Victoria. Like many loyalist men of the time, when war was declared in 1914, 50-year-old bachelor William lied about his age in order to join up. So, when he attested into the Australian Infantry Force (A.I.F.) on 15 August 1914, he claimed to be 37 and a half. How he got away with this was, perhaps, due to his physical appearance as he was described as having black hair and blue eyes with a fresh complexion. He was measured as being just less than 5 foot 6 inches tall and weighing 10 stone with a 34½-inch chest. Also noted was a 2-inch scar on the ball of his right thumb and one on his scalp, possibly the results from his former combats in South Africa. He gave his mother Lydia as his next of kin, his occupation that of a Mercer (a merchant that deals in textiles) and his religion as 'Dissenter'.

Embarking on HMAT A20 "Hororata" from Melbourne, Victoria on 19 October 1914, the 6th Battalion was bound for Turkey, to take part in what was to become known as the Gallipoli Campaign. Between 6 and 10 August 1915, the Battle of Lone Pine took place between the AIF and Turkish forces in an attempt to draw the Turkish away from the main battles of Sari Bair, Chunuk Bair and Hill 971, which became known as the August Offensive.

Wikipedia reports that the following happened on the day that William was injured:
"Throughout 7 August, the fighting devolved into a series of hand grenade duals. To keep up the supply, Australians put about 50 soldiers to work at Anzac Cove manufacturing makeshift grenades out of empty jam tins: over 1,000 were sent up to the 1st Infantry Brigade late on 7 August. The fighting continued throughout the night of 7/8 August as the 47th Regiment, launched a determined counterattack;"
For the full story see https://en.wikipedia.org

William died in the 1st Casualty Clearing Station on 10 August 1915 from the shrapnel wounds to his body that he had received on 7 August during the fighting. He was buried the same day at the Beach cemetery, at the southern point of Anzac Cove (Grave reference 11.1.4) and commemorated on the Australian War Memorial (Panel 45) at Campbell, Canberra.

Beach Cemetery, Anzac Cove.
Beach Cemetery, Anzac Cove.
Photo by louisemakesstuff via Flickr
Used under the following Creative Common Licence

On the 16 December 1915, the Base Records Office in Melbourne wrote to William's mother telling her of the known circumstances of her son's death. From her home in 24, Weighton Road, Anerley, London, Lydia wrote back on 9 February 1916 asking for an even more detailed account of where he was wounded, whether he lingered, if he had a funeral and his burial place. She also wanted to know when his personal effects would be sent to her. The office replied on 23 March stating that they had told her all that they knew of his death and that any of his personal effects, if found, would be returned via the High Commissioner for Australia in London. Accordingly a brown paper parcel containing 2 notebooks, a gold ring, purse, a magnifying glass, a photo, a pencil and a pince-nez and case were eventually returned to William's mother.

Also sent to her in 1920, as well as the usual Memorial Plaque and Scroll, was a brochure entitled "Where the Australians Rest - a description of many of the cemeteries overseas in which Australians, including those whose names can never now be known, are buried" which was published under the direction of the Australian Minister for Defence, Senator Pearce, and forwarded on behalf of the Minister to the next of kin of every member of the AIF who died on active service and was buried overseas.

William was awarded the 1914-5 Star medal, the British War Medal and the Victory medal.

Four years later, on 19 January 1924, William's mother died in her home 24, Weighton Road, Anerley, (Kent). Probate of her effects worth just over £4398 was granted to her spinster daughter Elizabeth Emma Barron and her solicitor, Jacob Tyler. She is commemorated on her husband's gravestone in St. Mary's churchyard.

PG

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BARTON Edward Chantler, Private. PW/369.

16th Battalion (Public Schools) (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Middlesex Regiment.
Died of wounds 7 July 1916, aged 23.

Edward Chantler Barton
Edward Chantler Barton
Image source Epsom College © 2013

Edward Chantler Barton was born on 18 March 1893 (GRO reference: Jun 1893 Epsom 2a 18) to Arthur Chantler and Florence Barton. Edward was baptised at St Martin's church, Epsom on 25 April 1893, whilst living at 'The Laurels', St Martin's Road, Epsom. I have been unable to find a marriage record for Edward's parents.

The 1881 census records the family living at 159, Slack Lane, Barton-Upon-Irwell, Lancashire. Edward's father was a 21 year old oil merchant's clerk. His mother was aged 19, and an older sibling is recorded, Patrick, aged 7 weeks. Also living with the family was Edward's uncle, 23 year old Edward William Barton, a bank clerk. The family employed 15 year old Hannah Walker as a general servant.

By 1891 the family had moved to 'The Laurels', St. Martin's Lane, Epsom. Edward's father was then described as an oil manufacturer's agent. Three more siblings are recorded, George aged 10, Maud aged 8 and Constance aged 6. Elizabeth Gammon, aged 27 was employed as a general servant.

The family was not living together when the 1901 census was taken. Edward aged 8, was living at 'Southcliffe', Lowcliffe Battery Road, Sandown, Isle of Wight. Edward's eighteen year old sister Maud is shown as the head of the family, 'living on father's means'. Also living there was sister Phyllis aged 5, and 23 year old Alice Goldsmith, a domestic nurse. Meanwhile, Edward's parents, his brother George (a stockbroker's clerk), and his sister Constance, were living at 43, Holland Road, Kensington.

Edward was a pupil at Upland House School, Epsom, a preparatory school for boys aged between 8 and 14, so would have attended at some time between 1901 and 1907. Edward later went on to study at Epsom College as a Day Boy or Home Boarder in Wilson House from 2 January 1908 until April 1911.

The 1911 census records Edward living at 'Prestbury', Links Road, Epsom. His father aged 51 was described a director of an oil manufacturers. His mother aged 49 recorded that she had been married for 31 years and had 7 children, 5 of whom were still living. Edward and his sister Phyllis were both recorded as students. The family employed 18 year old Lucy Burnett as a general domestic servant.

After leaving school he took an apprenticeship, on 22 May 1911, with the Great Western Railway and became a draughtsman in the locomotive and carriage department, until he enlisted at St James, London on 7 September 1914.

Edward served in the 16th (Public schools) Battalion, Middlesex Regiment which had been formed on 1 September 1914 in London, later moving first to Kempton Park racecourse then to Warlingham, then to Clipstone Camp, and finally to Perham Down before being sent to France. Edward and the battalion landed at Boulogne on 17 November 1915 and on 25 April 1916 became part of the 86th Brigade in 29th Division.

The 1916 Battle of the Somme commenced on 1 July, the attack being ordered to commence at 0730 hours. The 86th Brigade was ordered to attack the village Beaumont Hamel and was to be helped by the explosion of a large mine under a German strongpoint called the Hawthorn Redoubt. The explosion was captured on film, and often features on television programmes about the Great War. The mine was one of 17 detonated on 1 July, all timed to explode at 0728 hours except the Hawthorn mine, which the Corps commander insisted on being blown at 0720 hours. This was a mistake as it gave the Germans time to reach the crater first and take hurried defensive positions.

The 16th Middlesex did not attack with the first wave, they were in support and attacked later. But when they did attack they found uncut barbed wire and were shot at by machine guns. Apart from around 120 men in the crater, no other men from the 86th Brigade reached the German front line.

The Soldiers Died CD tells us that 7 officers and 155 other ranks from the 16th Middlesex died on 1 July 1916 and that a further 4 officers and 19 other ranks died of their wounds later in July.

One of those wounded was Edward who was evacuated back to a base hospital at Abbeville but died from his wounds on 7 July. His death was announced in the 15 July edition of the Times:
BARTON. -- Died of wounds (received in action July 1st) at the hospital, Abbeville, France. July 7th. Private Edward Chantler Barton. Middlesex Regiment, younger son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Barton, late of Epsom, aged 23 years.
Edward is buried in grave IV F 17, in Abbeville Communal Cemetery.

Edward's headstone in the Abbeville Communal Cemetery
Edward's headstone in the Abbeville Communal Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

Abbeville Communal Cemetery
Abbeville Communal Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

He was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.

UHS COL

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BATES John Thomas George, Sub-Lieutenant

H.M.S. Northolt, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
and
2nd Lieutenant.10th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment.

Died 17 November 1918, aged 37.

John's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
John's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014

John Thomas George Bates was born on 1 October 1881 in Hampstead Middlesex (GRO reference: Dec 1881 Hampstead 1a 663) the son of Joseph (Job) and Mary Bates. His father was aged 21 when he married 26 year-old spinster Mary Draper on 10 June 1878 in St. Mary's church Willesden.

John's older sister Fanny Elizabeth Mary was born in 1880 and the 1881 census records the family living off the Edgware Road at 7 Oakland Terrace. John's father was working as a brewer's assistant.

Seven years after John's birth, on 5 November 1888, his younger brother, Frederick William Henry was born and the following year, on 18 December 1889, his sister Mary Draper Bates was born. It appears that his 39-year-old mother Mary possibly died in childbirth or shortly afterwards.

John was aged eight and a half when he was baptised on 11 May 1890, along with his cousin Daisy Mary Bates, in St. Cuthbert's church in Hampstead, Middlesex. He was living with his family at 161 Loveridge Road at the time and his father was noted as being a publican.

When the 1891 census was taken the family were still living at the same address. Also living there were John's father's unmarried siblings Mary, who help run the home, and Henry, who was employed by his brother as an assistant beer seller.

Aged 38, John's widowed father married 24-year-old Mary Jane Atkins on 22 September 1896 in St. Dionis Church, Parsons Green, Hammersmith. He gave his address as the 'Rising Sun', Harlsden Road, Willesden and his occupation as wine and spirit merchant. John's half sibling, Ada Gladys, was born the following year on 5 August. Less than a year later, on 25 June 1898, her sister Daisy Muriel Bell Bates was born.

John served as Private No. 1138 with the City of London Imperial Volunteers during the Boer War (1899-1902) and was awarded the Queen's South Africa (QSA) Medal with clasps for Paardeberg, Dreifontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Wittebergen and Cape Colony.

Only John's father, stepmother, siblings Fanny, Frederick and Mary, and half siblings Ada and Daisy were still living in the 'Rising Sun' public house in 1901. Also staying there were his cousins Daisy and May Bates and some of his stepmother's relations.

By 1911 John's family had moved to 'The Wellington Hotel' which had been built in 1906 next to the Post Office in Epsom High Street. John's father filled out the census form stating that he and his wife had been married for 14 years and had had 2 children, Ada and Daisy. However he gave his wife's name as Hattie, not Mary Jane. I have been unable to find John in the 1911 census.

Wellington Hotel
Wellington Hotel
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Another soldier, William Arthur Foulger, had worked for John's father as a barman in the Wellington Hotel before enlisting.

On 25 May 1915 John applied for a temporary commission in any unit of the Regular Army, for the duration of the war. He gave his date of birth as 1 October 1882 (birth actually registered in the December quarter of 1881). He stated that he was married and that he lived at 35 Frederick Road, Aston, Birmingham. He was at present serving with Birmingham City Rifle Volunteers, as company commander and his previous military service was recorded as follows:
Queen's Westminster Rifle Volunteers, 6 years. Active Service South African Mounted Infantry City of London (Rough Riders) Yeomanry Company, 4 years (rank) Acting Sergeant Legion of Frontiersmen, 2 years.
John was Gazetted temporary 2nd Lieutenant, 8 July 1915.

On 9 October 1915 John, a 2nd Lieutenant in the 10th South Lancashire Regiment, was cycling from camp at Press Heath, Whitchurch, Salop, to the rifle range at Fens Moss, a distance of about 8 miles, when he fell from his bicycle and badly dislocated his left shoulder.

On 21 October 1915 John wrote from 140 Hurlingham Road, to the War office, stating that he was an out patient at No.2 General Hospital, Chelsea, that he had to attend a medical board on 30 October and that he awaited further commands from the War Office.

A Medical Board met on 26 October 1915 at the 2nd London General Hospital to examine and report on John's dislocated shoulder and found that he would be unfit for General service for six weeks.

On 27 November 1915 he attended a medical board at the 2nd London General Hospital regarding his accident.

Another Medical Board met on 6 December 1915 at Caxton Hall and found that he would be unfit for General service for a further three months.

At yet another Medical Board held on 2 February 1916 at Caxton Hall it was found that: There is still weakness of the left arm with stiffness of the shoulder joint voluntary power returning. Deltoid muscle coming up again. Treatment by electricity and massage must be continued.

On 24 February 1916 John wrote to the War Office asking if he was entitled to any compensation for his injury, received whilst on duty. Having had no reply to his claim for compensation, he wrote again on 13 March 1916 asking if a decision had been made. Then on 24 March he wrote, 'respectfully requesting', that if there was any doubt that his injury was not caused whilst on duty, that his case be brought before a Board of Enquiry. John was probably disappointed to receive a letter dated 12 April 1916 telling him that he was not entitled to any compensation.

A Medical Board, held on 3 March 1916 at Caxton Hall, found that:
His shoulder has improved appreciably but movement is still limited and Deltoid is very small. Treatment to be continued.
Another Medical Board, held on 28 March 1916 at Caxton Hall, found that:
he continues to improve and is now fit for light duty at home.
The Medical Board held on 5 April 1916 found that his injury, was severe but not permanent, and had been caused by circumstances beyond his control whilst on duty and would keep him from military duty for six months from the date of injury (9 October 1915). On 24 April 1916 John was ordered to return to his unit as he was by then fit enough for light duties at home.

A final Medical Board, held on 9 May 1916 at Press Heath, Salop, found that John had appeared to have recovered from the dislocation of his left shoulder and that he was fit to return to General service.

John's Army medal card states that he went to France on 30 October 1916 with the 10th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment. However, I believe this to be incorrect, because his service record papers quote 30 October as the date he embarked wounded at Boulogne, to return to the UK, so he must have gone to France before 30 October.

John, attached to the 7th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment (56th Brigade, 19th Division), was wounded on 25 October 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, when a shell blew in the parapet of his trench, severely bruising his spine and severely injuring his right knee. He embarked, from Boulogne on 30 October, aboard H.M.S. St. Andrew, landing at Dover on 1 November.

John would attend many more Medical Boards, but now for wounds received due to enemy action. The first was held at Caxton Hall in early 1917. The undated Army Form A45 (PROCEEDINGS OF A MEDICAL BOARD) states that the date of commencement of leave granted for the present disability is 1 January 1917. The Board decided that he would be unfit for General Service for 12 weeks, and found that
this officer is suffering from injury detailed on form A.45A attached (see below). There is a history of old knee injury (RT) at football with locking and swelling on marching and an injury twist fall in the trenches on 25/10/1916 at the time of the shell explosion X ray shows a large spur on the lower articular surface of the patella and some irregular boney formation above the internal cardyle of the femur. There is wasting of the deltoid and arm muscles Lt. Side the result of dislocation Shoulder in Oct 1915. It is proposed to operate on the knee and remove the spur.
The handwritten form A.45A., is very difficult to decipher, but states that his injuries were serious and permanent. Transcription follows:
The Board find that he was struck in back when a shell blew in parapet of trench. He was bruised and had incontinence of urine afterwards. The right knee was also severely injured, and a large spur was shown by and saw no locus articulas surface of patella and some irregular boney formations. Also the internal angle of condylarthrosis --- operation has since removed the spur.
At present there is hypolordosis thesia of back with pain in lower part of spine --- there was some slight concussion of spine in first instance which accounts partly for this condition, but it is considered that it is chiefly functional.
There is no swelling of the joint or any sign of arthritic disability but he states that he cannot walk on it and has to use crutches this it is considered is chiefly functional.
From Guy's hospital, on 17 January 1917, John wrote to the War Office asking if he was entitled to any wound gratuity. He wrote again on 15 February acknowledging receipt of a letter telling him that he was not entitled to a wound gratuity. He then wrote:-
I beg respectfully to point out that I have been incapacitated and am a inmate of this hospital since landing in England on Oct 30th, and also have just recently undergone an operation, so am at a loss to understand why I'm not entitled to a gratuity. If you would give my case further attention I should be grateful.
On 27 February 1917 a Medical Board examined John and declared that his disability was Injury to back and shell shock. The Board also found that:
He is improving but requires further treatment. Requiring indoor treatment in an Officer's Hospital. Guys Hospital E. He was likely to be unfit for 4 months.
On 20 March 1917 the Commanding Officer (CO) of the 3rd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment wrote to the War Office informing it that Lt. J.T.G. Bates, who had been granted leave until 11 February, had not rejoined the unit, and sought further instructions.

On 27 April 1917 a Medical board examined John at Furness General Hospital and declared that his disability was 'Bruise of Spine'. The Board also found that John 'still has some stiffness of left knee, requires orthopaedic treatment'.

On 18 May 1917 a Medical Board examined John and declared that his disability was 'Bruise of Spine'.

The Board also found that:
Since Oct 27th 1916 he has been in hospital with practically no benefits. He walks with the greatest difficulty. The right knee is carried stiffly but at an obline (?) angle. He complains of his back. He is quite unlikely to be of further use in the Army. He should be allowed to resign his commission. My recollection is quite clear that there were no signs of disease or injury to his spine on 8/5/17. The spinal column was normal on examination. The complaint was entirely subjective and should be quite well in six months.
John relinquished his commission from 22 June 1917, due to ill health caused by active service, and was granted the honorary rank of 2nd Lieutenant. (Supplement to the London Gazette, 21 June 1917).

John applied for, and received 'Silver War Badge' (SWB) No. 149828, for Services Rendered. The badge was issued to men who had served, but because of their military service were no longer fit enough to serve, through wounds or disease. He appears on the SWB list dated 17 August 1917.

On 6 September 1917 John completed Form O. E. B. 3., which was an 'APPLICATION under the Naval and Military War Pensions Act, 1915, for Civil Employment of Officers who during the present War have been invalied out of the service, and for whom their former occupation is no longer available'.

John filled in the form giving his name as Jack Thomas Bates, his age as 37 and stated that he was married with one child and lived at 140 Hurlingham Road, Fulham, S.W.6. He had 17 years previous military service as a 2nd Lt. in the 7th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment. His disablement consisted of 'Concussion of spine', 'Damaged left shoulder' and 'Damaged right knee'. He 'Cannot walk without sticks' and 'Cannot stand for long or walk far'.

When asked about his 'Educational qualifications', he simply wrote 'Public schoolboy'.

He listed his occupations prior to the War as follows:
1913-1914 Salary £6 per week. Manager of Music Hall Aston Birmingham. Employer S.O. Newsome esq Hippodrome Coventry.
1904-1912. Stage Manager. Geo Edwarde's No.1 Tour Coys Daly's Theatre Offices. Lisle St Leicester Square. Salary £8 per week.
This seems at odds with his statement that he had '17 years previous military service as a 2/Lt in the 7th Battalion South Lancs Regiment'.

His reasons for not returning to his previous employment, were that the post had not been kept open and that he was unable to get about sufficiently well enough at present. When asked the nature of employment he considered himself best suited for he said that at which he had previously been employed, once he was well enough. He wanted a salary of £7 per week, to work in London and he would not go to India. He wrote that he had a good commercial education and experience, he had a fair knowledge of motors and had been used to control and organisation.

The War Office completed the form by stating that he had been appointed temporary 2nd Lt. in the 10th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment on 8 July 1915, had been transferred to the 7th Battalion and had relinquished his commission on 21 June 1917.

On 19 November 1917 a Medical Board examined John at Fulham Military Hospital and declared that his disability was 'Shell shock'. The Board found that John has loss of power in both legs with great wasting of right leg and thigh. Complains of various nervous symptoms viz:- pain in back insomnia loss of memory want of concentration. The board assesses the degree of disablement as seriously impaired, but will greatly improve and (sic) the duration of one year. John's degree of impairment was assessed at 60%, and the Board recommended that he needed treatment in a 'nerve institution' and that he be re-examined in 6 months.

On 6 January 1918 a 'Wound Pension' of £50 was granted to John in respect of the period 25 October 1917 to 24 October 1918. Then on 8 November 1918 the War Office wrote to John asking him to attend a Board of Medical Officers on 16 November to decide on his claim for further 'Wound Pension'. But John died on 17 November in the 1st Northern General Hospital in Newcastle. His Royal Navy service record tells us that he died from pneumonia following influenza, one of thousands to do so in the pandemic that swept the world at this time. John's body was returned to Epsom and buried on 23 November 1918 in grave A336, Epsom Cemetery, the same grave space as his stepmother who had been buried on 26 October 1918 in Epsom Cemetery after dying in The Cottage Hospital, Epsom.

Despite receiving a Silver War Badge and being invalied out of the Army on 22 June 1917, John joined the Royal Navy on 26 August 1918 as a temporary Sub-Lieutenant. On 1 September 1918 he attended a course of instruction on mine sweeping aboard HMS Pekin. On 4 November 1918 he attended a mine sweeping course at the Naval school at Portsmouth and on 15 November he was assigned to the minesweeper HMS Northolt. But John died of pneumonia following influenza, two days later in the 1st Northern General hospital.

A War Office memo dated 27 November 1918 states that John's last known address was 'Newlyn', Ivy Park Road, Sandygate, Sheffield.

John's funeral expenses, £14 8s 0d, were paid by his father Joseph, of the Wellington Hotel, Epsom, to A. S. Waglan, West Street, Epsom.

The Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve officers' medal roll shows that John was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal. They were issued to his father, Joseph Bates. His 'Army' medal card shows the same medals awarded.

On 22 April 1919 the War Office wrote to John's father Joseph at the Wellington Hotel, Epsom asking him if he had paid John's funeral expenses himself and if John was married. John's father replied that he had paid the funeral expenses and that John's wife had divorced him in November 1917, made absolute in May 1918. His only remaining relatives were his father aged 60, his sisters Fanny aged 39 and Mary aged 29, and his brother Sergeant Frederick Bates aged 30.

John's father was later buried with his late wife and son on 22 February 1927 after dying in Bedford House, Chase Road, Epsom.

BEC

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BEAMS Albert Henry, Lance Corporal. 2705

1/2 London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers).
Killed in Action 1 July 1916, aged 24.

Lance Corporal Beams's inscription on the Thiepval Memorial
Lance Corporal Beams's inscription on the Thiepval Memorial.
Image courtesy of Clive Giilbert © 2008

Albert Henry Beams was born in 1892 (GRO reference: Mar 1892 Epsom 2a 18) to Thomas and Elizabeth Mary Beams (nee Hull).

In the 1901 census the family were living at 19, Adelphi Road, Epsom (Albert is shown as Bertie). Albert's father Thomas was a 44 year old general carman. His mother Elizabeth was 42, and he had 6 siblings, Jessie aged 15, George aged 8, Frederick aged 6, William aged 5, Kate aged 3 and Edward aged 1. Two more siblings arrived, Lily Mary later that year and Jack Richard in 1903.

Albert's father Thomas died in 1907 in The Union Infirmary, Epsom; he was buried on 10 September in grave B15 in Epsom Cemetery.

The family were still living at number 19 Aldephi Road when the 1911 census was taken. Albert was aged 19 and working as a Grocer's Porter while his widowed mother worked at home as a dressmaker. His brother George worked as a road labourer, while brothers Frederick and William were errand boys. Kate, Lily and Jack were scholars while brother Edward was staying with their uncle Frederick Hull.

Brother George attested on 28 August 1914, but was discharged on 18 September 1914 as not likely to become an efficient soldier. Brother Frederick attested on 31 August 1914, and was discharged on 19 September 1914, also being judged as not likely to become an efficient soldier. However the Surrey Recruitment register shows that he attested again on 21 February 1916, and was accepted into the Royal Fusiliers, but was shown to suffer with a slight hammer toe. Brother Jack Richard also attested, but after the war had ended on 2 September 1919.

In September 1914 George walked into the headquarters of the 2nd London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), at Tufton Street, Westminster, a Territorial Army unit, and volunteered his services as Private, No. 2705. He had been standing right behind another local man, George Whiskerd, who had just enlisted as Private No. 2704. Just a bit further along were two more local men, Thomas Burfitt, Private No. 2757, and John Donhue, Private No. 2823. It appears that quite few Epsom and Ewell men enlisted into the London Regiment at Westminster. George was initially assigned to the 2nd London Regiment's 2nd Battalion, the 2/2 London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) for training, which was carried out at Tattenham Corner on Epsom Downs. Could this have been the reason the Battalion was so popular amongst Epsom and Ewell men?

The 2/2 London's moved around quite a bit, being sent to Malta, then to Egypt, on to Gallipoli, back to Egypt, and then to Marseilles, France at the end of April 1916. They were then trundled by train, the length of France to Rouen, which provided a large base area for the British, with training grounds, hospitals, stores depots and the like. Whilst at Rouen the military authorities decided that the Battalion should be disbanded, and the men used to bolster three existing units of the 56th Division. One draft was sent to 1/16 London Regiment (Queen's Westminster Rifles), a second draft was sent to 1/12 London Regiment (The Rangers), and a third draft to 1/2 London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). Albert went with the third draft and thereby split from his chum George Whiskerd, who he had signed up with. They were however, destined to take part in the same attack and to die on the same day.

At the northernmost extent of the Somme battlefield the German trenches formed a salient into British lines around Gommecourt Park. The attack on the Gommecourt salient was not considered part of the main Somme thrust, it was supposed to act as a diversion, drawing off German resources that might otherwise have been used further south. The 46 Division attacked the salient from the north, whilst the 56 Division attacked from the south. The 56 division commenced its attack at 7.30am, but Albert's battalion was held in reserve until 2pm, when 2 companies were sent in as reinforcements. They were cut down by machine gun fire.

169 men from the 1/2 Royal Fusiliers were killed on 1 July 1916.

The St Martin's church roll of honour states that "ALBERT HENRY BEAMS, was killed in action on the first July 1916 at the Battle of the Somme and was buried in front of Gommecourt Wood".

Albert has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial pier 16B.

The CWGC states that Albert was the "Son of Elizabeth Mary Beams of 19, Adelphi Road, Epsom, Surrey, and the late Thomas Beams".

Albert was awarded the 1915 star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.

Albert's mother Elizabeth Mary died in 1941 at 71, Miles Rd, Epsom and was buried in grave K328 on 3 February in Epsom Cemetery.

With thanks to Ajax Bardrick for supplying additional information.

EP SM

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BEATON, Harry, Private. G/9068.

2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment.
Killed in action 15 July 1916, aged 29.

Harry Beaton
Harry Beaton
Image source: De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour Vol 3.

Harry Beaton was born on 30 October 1887 in Headley, Surrey, (GRO reference: 1887 Dec Epsom 2a 24) the son of and Alfred and Mary Ann Beaton (nee Hall/Ellis).

HARRY BEATON AND HIS SIBLINGS
Name Born Notes
Alice Lucy Born: 1877 Epsom
Died: 3 September 1961 Littlehampton
Baptised 12 October 1877 Christ Church Epsom.
Ada Born: 1879 Epsom
Died: 1879
Baptised 29 June 1879 Christ Church Epsom.
Buried 24 September 1879 in grave C66 Epsom Cemetery.
Elizabeth Born: 1881 Epsom Baptised 29 September 1881 Christ Church Epsom. Married George F. Frost in 1911.
William George
(GRO: George William)
Born: 1880 Epsom
Died: 1881
Baptised 26 September 1880 Christ Church Epsom. Buried 7 January 1881 in grave C157 Epsom Cemetery.
Harry Born: 1887 Headley, Surrey
Died: 15 July 1916 France
 
Bertie Alfred Born: 14 April 1891 Hayes, Middlesex
Died: 1973 Worthing, Sussex
Baptised 5 April 1891 in Hayes, Middlesex.
Served in Royal Fusiliers and Labour Corps. Survived a gunshot wound to the head on 1 October 1915 and a Bullet Wound right shoulder on 4 May 1916.
Married Rosalie Mary Snewin in 1923.
Caroline Mary Born: 21 February 1893 Headley, Surrey.
Died: 1914 Portsmouth.
Baptised 9 April 1893 St. Mary the Virgin, Headley.
Ernest Born: 18 October 1895 Headley Heath, Surrey.
Died: 1981 Worthing.
Baptised 17 November 1895 St. Mary the Virgin, Headley.
Married Annie Smith in 1924 in Bagshot.
Frank Born: 20 February 1900 Walton on the Hill, Surrey.
Died: 1982 Worthing.
Baptised 1 April 1900 St. Mary the Virgin, Headley. Served in Royal Artillery as Gunner 10808. In 1915 he gave his YOB as 1896 and discharged as under age after 168 days of fighting in France!
Married Elizabeth Rosina Lane in 1920 in Kent.

Harry's father was aged 29 when he married 21-year-old spinster Mary Ann Ellis on 22 September 1876 in Christ Church on Epsom Common. Harry's grandmother Lucy Elizabeth Ellis, declaring to be a spinster, was married to William Hurrell (Coldham), an illiterate widower and rat catcher, at the same time as his parents. Each couple witnessed the other couple's marriage.

Harry's great grandfather was correctly recorded on his grandmother's 1876 marriage entry as James Ellis, a carpenter. Harry's mother Mary Ann would appear to have been illegitimate, as the appropriate space on her marriage entry remained unfilled.

However, when she was born in 1856 in Epsom, Harry's mother was registered as Mary Ann Hall, the daughter of carpenter Joseph Hall and Lucy Elizabeth (Ellis) Hall, but no GRO marriage record has been found for them. Mary Ann and her five siblings, Margaret, James William, Harriett, Ellen and William, were all baptised with the surname Hall in St. Martin of Tours church, Epsom.

In 1861 only Mary Ann Hall and her sister Harriett Hall were living with their parents on Epsom Common but seven years later, on 21 September 1868, her father Joseph Hall, stating he was a bachelor, married widow Martha Garford in St. Martin of Tours church.

Harry's grandmother Lucy appears three years later on the 1871 census as the 'wife' of rat catcher William Coldham (Hurrell), along with her children Ellen and William who were now recorded with their mother's surname of Ellis. As already mentioned, Lucy then married William, using his surname Hurrell, in 1876.

When the 1881 census was taken, William and Lucy were back to using the surname Coldham. William, Lucy and Lucy's 19 year old son William Coldham (Hall/Ellis) and 9 month old granddaughter May Ellis, the illegitimate daughter of Ellen Hall/Ellis, were boarding with Harry's parents and older sister Alice, aged 3, in 2 Stones Cottages, The Common, Epsom.

Why William and Lucy had been using both Coldham and Hurrell surnames since 1871 is unknown but after Harry was baptised in St. Mary the Virgin church in Headley on 4 December 1887, the couple seemed to use only Hurrell as the rector Lawrence John Chamberlain recorded Harry's sponsors as Thomas Lee, Lucy E. Hurrell (his grandmother) and Alfred Beaton.

Harry and his family were living in Park Lane, Hayes, Middlesex when the 1891 census was taken. His father was working as an agricultural labourer to support his wife and four children, Elizabeth aged 9, Thomas aged 6, Harry aged 3 and one month old Bertie Alfred, as well as Harry's cousin 10 year old Mary (May) Ellis. May Ellis' mother Ellen and Harry's 13-year-old sister Alice were working together as domestic servants in Streatham. Harry's grandmother Lucy Elizabeth Hurrell was now supposedly a widow and was living on Epsom Common with her son William (Hall/Ellis), his wife Ellen and their children Ethel and Edith Ellis. No GRO death entry for a William Hurrell/Coldham has been found.

The 1901 census records Harry and his family as living at Edes Barn, Walton on the Hill, Surrey. His father was working as a carter on a farm and his brother Thomas as an under carter, while his mother and sister Alice were working from home as laundresses. His grandmother Lucy Elizabeth Hurrell was living with her daughter Ellen Ellis and granddaughter May Ellis at 6 Woodland Cottage, Epsom Common. Harry's grandmother Lucy Elizabeth Hurrell was aged 72 when she died in Oakleigh Terrace Road, Hook Road, Epsom in 1904. She was buried in grave C235 in Epsom Cemetery on 8 March.

In 1911 Harry was recorded as living with his family in Hurst Cottages (Edes Barn Cottages), Walton on the Hill, Surrey. His father Alfred filled out the census form stating that he and Mary Ann had been married for 34 years and that 2 of their 8 children had died. His ninth child, Bertie Alfred, was not included for some reason and was working as a gardener in The (New) Bothey, Headley Park. Harry's father was working as a Waggoner on a farm while his mother and his sisters, Alice and Caroline, worked from home as laundresses. Harry himself was working as a gardener and his brother Ernest was a garden boy. It was also noted by Harry's father that his sister Alice had been totally deaf since she was 14.

By 1915 the family was living at 3 Cornfield Cottages, Toddington, Littlehampton and later at 22 Gloucester Place, Littlehampton.

When Harry attested on 1 December 1915 in Littlehampton and joined the Army reserve, he was 5 feet 5¾ inches tall, weighed 134 lbs, had a chest measurement of 35 inches with an expansion of 2 inches and had perfect sight in both eyes. Harry stated his religion as Church of England and his next-of-kin as his mother, Mary Ann Beaton of 22 Gloucester Place, Littlehampton. He was mobilised on 19 February 1916 in Chichester and joined the 3rd Battalion, a depot and training battalion.

Harry was posted to the 2nd Battalion in France on 21 June 1916. According to his 'burnt' service papers he was posted for duty with the 22nd Battalion Manchester Regiment on 8 July 1916 and after only 25 days in France Harry was killed in action, fighting in the Battle of the Somme.

Harry's has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial to the missing. He was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal. His mother acknowledged receipt of his commemorative scroll on 12 May 1920 and of his Victory medal on 6 November 1921.

Harry Beaton's inscription on the Thiepval Memorial
Harry Beaton's inscription on the Thiepval Memorial.
Image courtesy of Clive Giilbert © 2017

Harry was a member of the Wellington Branch of the Ancient Order of Foresters and was commemorated on their, now lost, memorial. He is also commemorated on the Littlehampton War Memorial.

AOF

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BEATTIE Samuel, Private. 143.

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment).
Died 5 February 1919, aged 44.

Samuel's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Samuel's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

Samuel Beattie was born on 26 October 1874 in Chatham, Kent (GRO reference Dec 1874 Medway 2a 486). His surname was recorded as Beatie.

We have not been able to find Samuel in any census or when he went to Canada. There is however a census record for a Samuel Beattie born in 1878 Chatham, Kent living with his grandparents and siblings but not a sister named Maggie/Margaret at the time. Whether this is 'our' Samuel is uncertain.

Aged 39 years and 9 months old, Samuel was unmarried and had been working as a labourer before he attested in Ottawa on 24 August 1914 and became Private 143 in the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

Samuel gave his married sister Mrs. Connolly, of 6 Pinkerton Lane, Renfrew, Scotland, as his next-of-kin and beneficiary of his will. Confusingly, his sister's surname has also been recorded in other documents as Mrs. Conroy of the same address. However, in his second will, Samuel left all his property and effects to his sister Mrs Maggie Connelly (sic) of 15 Orvill Street, Grimsby, England.

Samuel was 5 feet 9½ inches tall, weighed 164 lbs and had a chest measurement of 42 inches with an expansion of 3 inches. He had a dark complexion, grey eyes, dark brown hair, and was a Roman Catholic. He had tattooed, on his right arm, a female, a cross and a crest, and stated that he had for 13 years been in the 2nd Battalion Middlesex Regiment.

The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry was the first Canadian infantry unit to enter WW1, arriving in France on 21 December 1914. Samuel's military record shows the following:

DateNotesPlace
20 December 1914Embarked Southampton
08 February 1915Admitted 13 Gen Hosp (Rheumatism and Frost Bite ) Boulogne
10 February 1915Transferred H.S. Valdivia-
11 February 1915Royal Victoria Hospital (Trench Foot/Frostbite)
Medical records recount that:
" Pte. Beattie was in the trenches at Ypres - close to. The trenches were knee deep in water and mud. After being there for 48 hours his feet became very cold and numbed. On being relieved from that he could only get out with great difficulty, his feet & legs 'giving way'. He travelled for about 1 mile & afterwards got into a wagon in which he was taken to his billet. Next morning he reported himself sick. His feet were blue, swollen, cold and painful. He was sent down to Base Hospital, Boulogne."
It was also noted that, following tests in the hospital, Samuel was a carrier of cerebral-spinal meningitis (spotted fever) and had been isolated.
Welsh Hospital, Netley
30 March 1915Discharged from hospitalNetley
05 April 1915On sick furlough to 12/4/15.
Taken on strength & posted to No. I Co.
Shorncliffe
22 April 1915With Unit at ShorncliffeShorncliffe
18 May 1915Drunk & creating a disturbance after lights out. 3 days No.2 F.P. forfeits 5 days pay.Shorncliffe
31 July 1915Transferred to P.P.C.L.I. nominal roll of men in FranceShorncliffe
20 November 1915Awarded 10 days F.P. No.2 & forfeits 2 days pay by R.W. for absent from parade-
11 December 1915Awarded 14 days F.P. No.2 & fined $5 27/11/16 for absent from hospital parade and drunk in town 22/11/15-
25 February 1916Sentenced to 14 days F.P. No.1 for
1) Neglecting to answer when challenged by another sentry.
2) Using obscene language to the sentry.
In the Field
25 April 1916Admitted No.10 Canadian Field Ambulance.-
28 April 1916Discharge to duty-
01 May 1916Admitted Divisional Rest Station Chronic bronchitis
Ceases to be attached to A.P.M.
Hazebrouck
23 August 19163 Can Division on return to unitField
03 September 1916Transferred to C.C.A.C.Folkestone
23 September 19164th London General Hospital. Shell shock.
(It was noted on 15 September that Samuel also had contusions to his back and was suffering from shell shock and bronchitis)
Denmark Hill S.E.
25 September 1916Taken on strengthFolkestone
25 September 1916Having been on active service for 21 months he was admitted to hospital suffering with shell shock. He had been buried, was unconscious, had amnesia for several hours, a slight tremor, insomnia, dreams and headaches11th London General Hospital
12 October 1916Reported to C.C.A.C. from Denmark Hill S.E. Shell shock-
16 October 1916Admitted to C.C.H. (Canadian Convalescent Camp). Epsom (Woodcote Park)
30 October 1916On ????? C.C.H. Epsom (12 weeks TBD) (Temporary Base Duties).
"Qu Com" from C.C.A.C. 12 weeks B.O.
A medical board found that Samuel was suffering from contusion of back, shell shock and chronic bronchitis, but was fit for TBD
Epsom
26 December 1916Granted permission to marry without reference to the public.Epsom

After being given 'permission to marry without reference to the public' on 26 December 1916, Samuel married widow Lillian Emma Drake, nee Collins, on 30 December 1916 in the Wandsworth registration district.

Lilian had married her first husband Alfred Herbert Drake the previous year on 15 November 1915 at St. Peters church Battersea. On the same day, following their marriage, Alfred enlisted in Battersea into the 10th Battalion Royal West Surrey Regiment. According to her first husband's military record, she had been living at 12 Stamford Road, Epsom Common, Epsom, Surrey when he was killed in action sometime between 15/17 September 1916. By the time she received his British War medal and Victory medal she was married to Samuel.

On 1 February 1917, after being instructed by Samuel, his wife started to receive monthly $20.00 of his army pay. Her address at this time was recorded as being 24 Wickersley Road, Queens End, Battersea, S.W. It would seem that Lillian was either lodging or boarding in the Epsom area as Samuel's military records have her addresses as
  • 3 Castle Cottages, The Common, Epsom
  • 'Mulberry Cottage', Epsom Road, Ewell
  • 12 Stamford Road, Epsom Common, Epsom, Surrey.
On 19 May 1917 Samuel was readmitted(?) to the Woodcote Canadian Convalescent Camp in Epsom. He was granted 6-days leave between 1-9 August 1918, with free warrant/transportation.

Samuel's medical notes show that although the C.C.H. doctors had diagnosed a badly ulcerated throat and bronchitis, they suspected that he was suffering from T.B. Samuel was admitted on 30 December 1918 to Ward C in the Manor War Hospital in Epsom where on 15 January 1919 advanced T.B. was confirmed. Samuel died on 5 February 1919 at 12.50pm from T.B of the lungs, throat and mouth. It would seem that his wife Lillian was living at 6 East Street, Epsom at this time and later moved to Clapham Common.

Samuel was buried on 10 February 1919 in grave K225 in the CWGC plot in Epsom Cemetery. He is remembered there on the Screen Wall.

In the Summary of the War Diary, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, 1914-1910, page 16, the following was recorded:
The last eighteen names are those of N.C.O.'s and men of the Regiment who, at the time of their death on service, had been struck off the strength of P.P.C.L.I. in the field but had not been transferred to another service unit.
One of the 18 men mentioned was Private S. Beattie.

Samuel's 27 year old widow quickly remarried for the third time on 8 November 1919 and it was noted that Samuel's medals, plaque and scroll should be sent to Mrs. Lillian Wilkinson at 'Hillcrest', Eaton Road, Sutton, Surrey.

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BEBBINGTON Harry, Private. 5986.

'C' Company, 14th Battalion Australian Infantry.
Died of Wounds 16 February 1917, aged 34.

Harry's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Harry's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

Harry Bebbington was born in 1882 in Dukinfield, Cheshire, England (GRO registration: Dec 1882 Ashton 8d 503), the son of Thomas and Annie Bebbington. Harry was baptised on 5 November 1882 in St. Cross church, Clayton, Cheshire. His family address was recorded as 19 Kings Street, Duckingfield (sic) and his father Thomas' occupation was noted as a butcher. Harry had one older sister and eight younger siblings.

HARRY BEBBINGTON AND HIS SIBLINGS
NameBorn - DiedNotes
Nelly RoyleBorn: 1881 Dukinfield, CheshireRecorded as Mary in 1881 census.
Baptised 17 April 1881 St. Cross church, Clayton.
Married James Henry Bull 1910
HarryBorn: 1882 Dukinfield, Cheshire
Died: 16 February 1917 Epsom
Baptised 5 November 1882 St. Cross church, Clayton
LucyBorn: 1884 Marple, CheshireBaptised 27 September 1884 St. Cross church, Clayton
JohnBorn: 1886 Marple, CheshireBaptised 13 June 1886 St. Cross church, Clayton
HerbertBorn: 1888 Audlem, Cheshire
KIA: 25 September 1915 Ypres France
Baptised 6 May 1888 St. Cross church, Clayton.
Served in Shropshire Light Infantry, Regimental Number11461.
Remembered on Ypres' Menin Gate Memorial
JosephBorn: 1889 Audlem, CheshireBaptised 6 October 1889 Audlem, Chester
SydneyBorn: 1891 Wybunbury, CheshireBaptised 1 November 1891 Audlem, Chester
Alice ThorntonBorn: 1892 Nantwich, Cheshirend
Died: No GRO death record found
Baptised 30 October 1892 Nantwich, Cheshire
William ThorntonBorn: 1893 Nantwich, CheshireBaptised 16 September 1894 Nantwich, Cheshire
Charles EdwinBorn: 1897 Acton, Cheshire
Died: 1906
No baptism found.

In the 1881 census before Harry was born, his father was working as a butcher. When Harry's sister Lucy was baptised in 1884 and his brother John in 1886, his father was working as a licensed victualler.

Harry's family had moved to Audlem by 1888 where his father found work as a draper. The family returned to Clayton to have Harry's brother Herbert baptised.

When the 1891 census was taken, Harry and his family were living in Broad Lane, Stapeley Cheshire. His father was recorded as being an Agent.

Ten years on when the 1901 census was taken Harry and his nine siblings were living in Acton village where his father was working as a non-domestic gardener to support his large family. Harry was aged 18 and having served a five year cabinetmaker's apprenticeship was working as such while his sister Nelly worked as a dressmaker.

In 1908 Harry married Mary Ellen Bower in the Bucklow registration district and by 1911 couple were living in Laburnum Cottage, Nursery Lane, Wilmslow. They were both aged 28 and had no children. Mary was recorded as Nellie in the 1911 census. Harry's parents were living at 10 Laburnum Avenue, Crewe Road, Willaston, Nantwich. His father was working as a bread van man. Living with them were Harry's siblings Lucy, John, Herbert, Sydney and William. His parents recorded that they had been married for 31 years and that two of their ten children had died.

The following year, on 20 July, Harry and Mary embarked as 3rd class passengers on the S.S. Gothic from the Port of London to Sydney, Australia. The couple settled in Geelong, Victoria, where Harry continued with his cabinet making.

Harry's brother Herbert was killed in action in Ypres on 25 September 1915.

Having been declined previously because of bad teeth, Harry was aged 33 years 7 months when he attested in Geelong on 23 March 1916 into the 14th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.), part of the 19th batch of reinforcements for the battalion. Harry agreed that not less than three-fifths of his pay would be allotted to his wife Mary Ellen who lived in their home 38 Bourke Crescent, East Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

Harry was recorded as being 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 10 stone with a chest measurement of 37 inches. He was described as having a dark complexion, blue eyes with black hair and it was noted that he had two vaccination marks on his left arm and a small birthmark on 'RI-side'. His religion was Church of England.

On 14 April 1916, suffering from a septic toe, Harry spent 7 days in the Clearing Hospital in Geelong.

Harry and his battalion embarked at Melbourne aboard H.M.A.T. A28 Miltiades on 1 August 1916, and disembarked at Plymouth, England on 25 September 1916. On 4 December 1916, aboard SS Princess Victoria, Harry travelled to Folkestone and then on to Etaples, France, joining the 14th Battalion on 26 December.

On 5 February 1917, the day Harry was wounded no 'official' major battles were being fought, but fighting on the Western Front never ceased. Harry's battalion was not only holding trenches near Gueudecourt, where the 1916 Battle of the Somme had ended, but were actively carrying out trench raids, keeping up 'the offensive spirit'. Shelling was an ever present danger, but when raids were taking place shelling increased, and it was this shelling that caused Harry's dreadful injuries to his head and neck. He was initially treated by the 12th Field Ambulance and on 7 February he admitted to the 13th Stationary Hospital in Boulogne. On 15 February he was evacuated to England aboard the S.S. Dennis and taken to the County of London War Hospital in Epsom, Surrey. Harry died 12 hours after admission at 3.20 p.m. on 16 February 1917 from:
  1. Gun shot wound to the head and
  2. Hernia Cerebri (his brain protruding through his skull).
Harry's wife was notified of his wounds in a note dated 17 February, but by then Harry had died.

Messrs Longhurst & Sons, Undertakers, from East Street, Epsom, arranged Harry's funeral and supplied his coffin, made from polished English elm and had black fittings. They buried Harry with full military honours on 22 February in grave K736 in the CWGC burial plot in Epsom Cemetery.

On 12 May 1917 Harry's widow wrote from her home in East Geelong, Victoria, requesting a report of her late husband's death. A reply was sent on 5 June 1917 giving details of his death and of the military funeral that had been officiated by Reverend Davis Jones C. F. A photograph of Harry's grave was transmitted to his wife on 15 March 1918.

Harry's personal belongings were transported from France to Australia aboard HMAS Themistocles. On 9 August 1917 Harry's wife signed a receipt acknowledging that she had received his belongings. They consisted of:
Cotton Bag, 4 coins, Battalion Colors, Postcards, Letters, New Testament, Religious Book, 2 Knives, Wallet, 2 Pipes, Fountain Pen, Leather Belt, 6 Badges, Pieces of Shrapnel, 2 Identity Discs, Wristlet Watch & Strap (Glass Broken), Tobacco Pouch, Letter Wallet, Letters, Cash 6d..
Mary received Harry's memorial plaque and the King's message that was sent to all the next-of-kin of soldiers who had died during the war. Harry was also awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal.

On 7 May 1925 a letter was sent to Harry's widow regarding the unveiling and dedication on Sunday 17 May of the Great War Cross that had been erected by the Imperial War Graves Commission in Epsom, Surrey, England. A letter containing a booklet describing the ceremony held was sent to Mary on 5 August 1925. It informed her also that a copy of the Epsom Herald newspaper, which had covered the ceremony, was being forwarded to her under a separate cover.

Harry Bebbington is remembered in Epsom on the CWGC Screen Wall in Epsom Cemetery. He is also remembered along with his brother, 2nd Lt. Herbert Bebbington, K.S.L.I., in Nantwich, Cheshire. Harry's name can also be found on panel 71 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Camberra Australia.

Harry's widow Mary did not remarry and from the Australian Electoral Rolls appears to have become a furrier. She died in 1957 in Cambrian Hill, Victoria, Australia, aged 74.

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BEEDELL HARRY, Private. 410020.

38th Ottawa Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Killed in Action 18 November 1916, aged 37.

Harry's headstone in Regina Trench Cemetery, France
Harry's headstone in Regina Trench Cemetery, France
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Henry (Harry) Beedell was born 2 October 1879 (GRO reference: Dec 1879 Wellington, Som. 5c 310) in Holcombe Rogus Devon, England, to William and Mary Anne Beedell (nee Parkhouse). (This registration district spanned the boundaries of the counties of Devon and Somerset).

Harry's father William was born in 1848 in Devon, England, and died in 1940 in Hull, Quebec, Canada. His mother Mary was born in 1854, also in Devon, England, and died in 1934 in Hull, Quebec, Canada. They married on 19 March 1873 and they had 9 children:
Bessie 1874-c1969. Married William Higgins.
William 1875-1891. Died in Epsom, Surrey.
Anne 1878-1955. Married George May in 1903, Epsom, Surrey. Died in Russell, Ontario Canada.
Henry (Harry) 1879-1916 (killed in action, France).
Lucy 1881-1968. Married Francis Bell in 1905, Epsom, Surrey. Died in Brockham, Surrey.
Albert 1882-1941. Married Anne Moss in 1926 in Hull, Quebec. Died in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Edward 1883-1957. Married 1908.
Alice 1887-1973. Married James Hedger in 1912 in Epsom, Surrey. Died Hull, Quebec, Canada.
Edith 1892-1952. Married William Beedell in 1924, died Hull, Quebec, Canada.
In the England 1881 census Harry was living with his family at Poundhill Holcombe Rogus, Devon England two doors away from the Prince of Wales inn. His father William, aged 32, was working as a baker to support his wife Mary, aged 26, and their children Bessie 6, Willie 5, Annie 3, Henry (Harry) 1, and 2 week old Lucy. All of the children had been born in Holcombe Rogus.

By the time the next census was taken in 1891 William and Mary had moved their family to West Ewell, Surrey and were living in Downs View Cottages. However, their son Willie had died in the January of that year aged 15, before this census was taken, and daughter Annie was not listed as living with them at this address. Harry's father William was now working as a labourer. Harry aged 11, was living with his siblings Bessie 16, Lucy 10 plus three new ones, Albert aged 8, Edward aged 7 and Alice aged 3. Like their older siblings, they too had all been born in Holcombe Rogus which means the family probably moved to Ewell between 1888 and 1891. Harry must have attended the Ewell Boys school, West Street as his name appears on the Old Boys War Memorial as 'Pte. H Beedell Roy. Ottawa Regt.'

In the 1901 census the family appears in reduced numbers again, and living at 4, Beech Road, Epsom, Surrey. Harry's father William, now aged 50, was working as a general labourer, his mother Mary was aged 45. Sister Lucy aged 20, was working at home as a dressmaker, brother Albert aged 18, was working as a bricklayer, and brother Edward, aged 17, was working as a railway clerk. The youngest sibling Eddie (Edith), aged 8, had arrived having been born in Ewell, Surrey in 1893. Two boarders were also living with the family. Harry, now aged 21, was not living with them and has not been found yet on this census. Perhaps he had already moved to Canada?

Records show that in April 1907 William Beedell aged 55 and his son Albert aged 24 set sail from Liverpool on SS Majestic to New York. Both gave their occupations as gardeners from Epsom. They had $30 each and were heading for Orwell Astabula, Ohio, where a cousin Llewelyn Jones lived. William was described as being 5 feet 4 inches tall and Albert as 5 feet 7 inches. Whether this visit was to decide if the family should emigrate to Canada is not known but William, Mary and four of Harry's siblings and he, went to live in Canada at some point although no emigration papers or ship's passages have been found.

On 24 February 1915 Harry Beedell aged 35 years and 4 months attested into the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada as Private 410020. He stated that he had no current or previous military service. He gave his date and place of birth as 2 October 1879, Exeter, Devon, England, and his next of kin, as he was unmarried, as his mother Mrs Mary Beedell who lived at Mountain Road, Hull, Quebec. He gave his occupation as a farmer. He was 5 feet 3 inches tall, with a fully expanded chest measurement of 34 inches, had a swarthy complexion, hazel coloured eyes, dark brown hair and a ½ inch scar 1 inch above his right eye. His religion was Church of England and he was considered fit for service.

Harry joined the 38th Ottawa Battalion, and served with it during its period of garrison duty in Bermuda.

Harry sailed with the 38th battalion from Southampton to Le Havre on 13 August 1916, and arrived at Poperinghe, Belgium, on 17 August, remaining in Belgium until they marched south to the Somme battlefield on 23 September. On 9 October they went into bivouacs on the west slopes of Tara Hill, and from then until 16 November were occupied with working parties and periods of holding the front line. On 17 November they took over a section of front line trench from the 11th Battalion of the Dublin Fusiliers and prepared themselves to attack the next day at 6.10am.

This attack would be the last attack of the 1916 Somme battles, and by coincidence would be the first time the 38the Ottawa Battalion had "gone over the top" into battle. The first snow of winter had fallen during the night, and the attack was launched in whirling sleet that later changed to rain. Visibility was very poor. They were to attack Desire Trench and Desire Support Trench east of Grandcourt, which they did and captured them both. Patrols had even entered Grandcourt Trench but were recalled next morning. The battalion had taken some 620 prisoners, but at the cost of about 500 of their own men killed or wounded.

Harry, right at the end of the 1916 Somme battle was killed in action during the attack.

The CWGC that Harry was the "Son of William and Mary Beedell, of Mountain Rd., Hull, P.Q., Canada. Born in England", and that he is buried in grave II. D. 1 in Regina Trench Cemetery, France. His name is also recorded in the Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance (Opens in a new window).

ES

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BELL Annie Mary, Probationer Nurse

Horton War Hospital.
Died 14 April 1916, aged 33.

Annie Mary Bell was born in 1882 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland (GRO reference: Oct 1882 Newcastle upon Tyne Vol 10b Page 63).

It is not known when Annie became a nurse but she was working as a probationer nurse in the Horton War Hospital in Epsom when she died, aged 33 (GRO reference: Jun 1916 Epsom Vol 2a Page 54). Her body was buried in the Ashley Road cemetery on 14 April 1916 in grave number A464. This plot had been purchased the day before by William Bell of Monkseaton, Whitley Bay, Northumberland. Whether or not this was her father is uncertain but the 1911 census does show a William, a printer's compositor, and a Mary Jane Bell living with their daughters Annie aged 28 and Alice aged 20 at 61, Dinsdale Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, which is near Monkseaton, Whitley Bay, Northumberland. If this is the correct family then Annie was working as a school teacher at the time. The previous census shows that there was also a son named Earnest (sic).

Annie's death was mentioned in The Story of Horton War Hospital Epsom, which was written by Lt Col JR Lord in 1920:

Page 75: -
"Deaths of Sister Harrower and Nurse Bell. ---Considerable distress was caused to both patients and staff by the death of Principal Sister A. Harrower, on 6 March 1916, and of probationer nurse A.M. Bell on 14 April 1916. They were both buried in Epsom Cemetery with many expressions of grief and regret. Fortunately we were spared more of these sorrowful experiences until the armistice, Sister Mary FitzHenry succeeded as Senior Principal sister while on 14 April 1916 it became necessary to appoint sister M.L. Baines to be Junior Principal Sister."
Page 137 tells us that Annie died from enteric fever (typhoid).

On the 16 April 1916 the Epsom Advertiser reported Annie Bell's death and stated that she had came from Newcastle.

HWH

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BELL Walter, Corporal. 9334

1st Battalion South Wales Borderers (SWB).
Killed in Action 30 October 1914, aged 27.

Walter's inscription on the Menin Gate memorial
Walter's inscription on the Menin Gate memorial.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2008

Walter Bell was born in Westminster in 1887 (GRO reference: Sep 1887 St Geo Han Sq 1a 462) to Hewartson and Frances Bell (nee Henbest). His parents had married on 27 November 1875 in St Luke's church in Chelsea.

In the 1881 census before Walter was born the family lived at 54 Park Walk, Chelsea. Walter's father was a 30 year old harness maker. His mother was also 30, and he had two siblings William Hewertson Leslie aged 4 and Frederick aged 1. On 25 April 1881 Walter's sister Elizabeth was born.

By the 1891 census the family had moved to 39, Thorne Road, Vauxhall. Walter's father was working as a 'porter in the stationery office'. There is no mention of Frederick, but a sister, Alice Coates aged 1 had arrived on 1 January 1890.

The family had moved again by the 1901 census and were living at 93, Larkhall Lane, Lambeth. Walter, now 13 was employed at home as an 'indoor assistant' to his brother William who ran an off license and grocers from their home. Walter's father Hewartson was aged 54 when he died on 22 April 1906. His brother Walter married in 1910 and ran a confectioners business with his wife Emma.

Only Walter's 61 year old mother and sister Alice were living together when the 1911 census was taken. His widowed mother still noted that she had been married for 30 years and that 4 of her 7 children had died. Walter was aged 23 and a Private in the 2nd Battalion SWB stationed in Fort Napier, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, where he stated his previous occupation was a grocer's assistant. Walter's brother William also served but in the 134 Labour Corps. He survived the war and died in 1937.

We do not know when Walter left the Army to become a reservist, but we do know that before the war he was a worker at Horton Asylum, and as an Army reservist he would have been recalled to the colours as soon as war was declared. He re-enlisted in London and joined the 1st Battalion of his old Regiment, the SWB.

The 1st Battalion SWB was in 3rd Brigade 1st Division and saw action during the first battle of Ypres (19 October 1914 to 22 November 1914). The battle lines had formed a large salient around the ancient market town of Ypres and the troops were digging in, forming the trenches that were such a major feature of the Western Front. The Germans were intent on capturing Ypres, and during the first battle of Ypres very nearly broke through the British lines.

The 1st SWB war diary for October 1 to October 26 is a very neatly typed, almost chatty narrative, which on the 27 October changes to scribbled pencil entries that cease on the 29 October. On the 27 October the battalion were near Zandvoorde, and a quote from the diary reads "There being so many troops here and in the vicinity it has been extremely difficult to discover the exact situation. ------ A certain amount of shelling continues and some sniping".

The entry for 28 October reads "Please send on receipt of this order your machine gun section to report to HQrs 1st Brigade at the X roads just south of the V in VELZHOEK AHA please acknowledge".

Then the 29 October entry "Arrived at X roads at GHELUVELT and saw Scots Guards. Am now pushing on with my Batt. And 1 Coy Welch Regt with own right on GHELUVELT - GELUWE road. 1st Queens are on the right of this road but until it is certain that our right is secured and that someone is advancing on our right it will be difficult to carry on the attack. We are attacking rather North East & our right will gradually leave the road".

Walter and one other man from 1st SWB were killed in action on 30 October 1914, probably by shellfire or sniping.

On the 31st the Germans captured Gheluvelt, and threatened to break though the British lines. The village was taken back later in the day by the 2nd Worcestershires and the 1st SWB, during which the 1st SWB lost 78 men killed in action.

Walter was awarded the 1914 Star and clasp, the British War medal and the Victory medal. He has no known grave and is commemorated on panel 22 of the Menin Gate memorial to the missing. Walter is also commemorated on the Ashley Road memorial and the Horton Asylum memorial in the now disused Horton chapel.

EP HWH

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BENGER Frank John, Lance Sergeant. 14286.

6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment.
Killed in Action 12 April 1917, aged 23.

Frank's inscription on the Arras Memorial
Frank's inscription on the Arras Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Frank John Benger was born on 31 August 1893 (GRO reference Dec 1893 Devizes 5a 97) to Joseph William and Eleanor Dangerfield Benger (nee Phillips). His parents had married in the September quarter of 1893 in the Devizes, Wiltshire, registration district.

In the 1901 census the family lived at 54, Northgate Street, Devizes, Wiltshire. Frank's father was a 29 year old 'General Dealer', working on his own account. His mother was aged 31, and he had two brothers William Joseph aged 6, (also to die in the war) and Alfred Walter aged 10 months.

It is not known exactly when the family moved to Epsom but both Frank and his brother William were admitted to Ewell Boys School on 2 November 1903, having previously attended Crown Road School, Sutton. Horton Asylum opened in 1903 where their father Joseph was an asylum attendant. Frank left school on 20 September 1907 to become an errand boy.

The 1911 census records the family living at 30, North View Villas, Kingston Road, Ewell. Frank's father was working as a 1st class Asylum Assistant for the London County Council. Frank aged 17, was working as a gardener and his brother William aged 16, as a butcher whilst 10 year old Alfred was at school. Also staying with them was Frank's cousin Gertrude May Short.

North View Villas in 2006
North View Villas in 2006
Copyright image courtesy of Clive Gilbert 2006

Frank's mother Eleanor died, aged 44, in 1914 and on 10 July 1915 his father married Susan Janet Ellis in Dorking.

Frank's service papers have not survived but according to the Soldiers Died CD he enlisted in the 6th Bedfordshires at Watford. This regiment was in the 112th Brigade, 37th Division, and fought in the battle of Arras (9 April 1917 to 15 May 1917).

The 37th Division was ordered to attack and take Monchy-Le-Preux. The 6th Bedfordshires captured La Folie Ferme and the village of La Bergere which were just to the right of Monchy-Le-Preux. The Soldiers Died CD states that 48 men from the 6th Bedfordshires died on 12 April 1917, including Frank, who has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial Bay 5.

The Arras Memorial
The Arras Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

It is interesting to note that the Arras battles were amongst the fiercest during the Great War. Although a shorter battle than the Somme, 39 days compared to 142, the daily casualty rate was about 38% higher.

Epsom Advertiser dated 18th May 1917:
ROLL OF HONOUR: Mr Benger had had a son killed in action.
CWGC states he was the 'Son of Joseph William Benger, of 30 North View Villas, Kingston Road, Ewell, Epsom'.

Frank's father Joseph William Benger also served in the Great War having attested at Whitehall on 25 October 1917, aged 46. He became a hospital orderly in the RAMC as Private No. 126959, and by 9 December 1917 he was appointed acting Sergeant without pay at the Manor Hospital, Epsom. He was to retain his civil emoluments, as he was already working at the hospital in a civilian capacity before joining the army. He was 5 feet 6¼ inches tall, and had a chest measurement of 42 inches with an expansion of 4 inches, and was classified as B2. He was discharged from the Army on 5 April 1919.

Frank was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

Frank's father was living at 155, Kingston Road, Ewell when he died on 18 April 1936.

BH EW ES

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BENGER William Joseph MM, Sergeant. 88288.

20th Squadron Royal Flying Corps (RFC).
Died of Wounds 17 October 1917, aged 22.

William's inscription on the Arras Flying Services Memorial
William's inscription on the Arras Flying Services Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

William Joseph Benger was born in Devizes on 21 November 1894 (GRO reference Mar 1895 Devizes 5a 105) to Joseph William and Eleanor Dangerfield Benger (nee Phillips). His parents had married in the September quarter of 1893 in the Devizes, Wiltshire, registration district.

In the 1901 census the family lived at 54, Northgate Street, Devizes, Wiltshire. Williams's father was a 29 year old 'General Dealer', working on his own account. His mother was aged 31, and he had two brothers Frank John aged 7, (also to die in the war) and Alfred Walter aged 10 months.

It is not known exactly when the family moved to Epsom but both William and his brother Frank were admitted to Ewell Boys School on 2 November 1903, having previously attended Crown Road School, Sutton. Horton Asylum opened in 1903 where their father Joseph was an asylum attendant. William left school on 3 April 1909 to become an errand boy.

The 1911 census records the family living at 30, North View Villas, Kingston Road, Ewell. William's father was working as a 1st class Asylum Assistant for the London County Council. William aged 16, was working as a butcher and his brother Frank aged 17, as a gardener, whilst 10 year old Alfred was at school. Also staying with them was William's cousin Gertrude May Short.

North View Villas in 2006
North View Villas in 2006
Copyright image courtesy of Clive Gilbert 2006

William initially served in the King's Royal Rifle Corps and later transferred to the RFC, 20th Squadron. He was the observer in a Bristol Fighter aeroplane, No. A7271 piloted by Lt AGV Taylor, which was shot down over Poelcapelle, Belgium, at 09.30 hrs. on 17 October 1917 by Theodor Quandt of Jasta 36. William and his pilot Arthur Taylor were both taken prisoners of war but died of their wounds shortly afterwards. Previously William had scored five victories.

William's award of the Military Medal was announced in the Supplement to the London Gazette dated 17 December 1917. The following citation comes from website The Aerodrome
This NCO has served as an aerial gunner since 13.05.1917 and has done consistently good work in aerial gunnery, photography and reconnaissance. He has had numerous combats and has shown good marksmanship and coolness in action. On 25.09.1917 he shot down an out of control Albatross Scout near Becelaere. On 29.07.1917 near Moorslede he shot down in flames an Albatross Scout. On 03.10.1917 one Albatross Scout was driven down out of control near Wervicq. On 11.10.1917 near Moorslede he drove an Albatross Scout out of control.
William has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Flying Services Memorial.

The Arras Flying Memorial
The Arras Flying Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Epsom Advertiser 16th November 1917:
ROLL OF HONOUR: Mr Benger, who had already lost one son, had now learnt of another son whose machine, while flying, was seen to come down in flames.
CWGC states he was the Son of Joseph William Benger, of 30, North View Villas, Kingston Road, Ewell, Epsom.

William's father Joseph William Benger also served in the Great War having attested at Whitehall on 25 October 1917, aged 46. He became a hospital orderly in the RAMC as Private No. 126959, and by 9 December 1917 he was appointed acting Sergeant without pay at the Manor Hospital, Epsom. He was to retain his civil emoluments, as he was already working at the hospital in a civilian capacity before joining the army. He was 5 feet 6¼ inches tall, and had a chest measurement of 42 inches with an expansion of 4 inches, and was classified as B2. He was discharged from the Army on 5 April 1919.

William was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

William's father was living at 155, Kingston Road, Ewell when he died on 18 April 1936.

BH EW ES

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BENNETT Arthur Ernest, Lance Corporal. 22667.

12th Battalion East Surrey Regiment.
Killed in Action 5 August 1917, aged 36.

Arthur's inscription on the Menin Gate
Arthur's inscription on the Menin Gate
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2009

Arthur Ernest Bennett was born at Great Rollright in Oxfordshire in 1881 (GRO reference: Jun 1881 Chipping Norton 3a 823) to Henry and Sarah Bennett (nee Kirby). His parents had married in the March quarter of 1881 in the Chipping Norton registration district.

Arthur's mother Sarah died in 1882 aged 22. His father married Mary Ann French in 1883 and his half sister Louisa Mary, was born in 1884.

In the 1891 census the family was living at 'Hastings House' in the village of Churchill, Oxfordshire. Arthur's father Henry was a 33 year old groom; his step mother, Mary was aged 32. Arthur aged 6 and his half sister Louisa were both at school.

Another half sister, Gladys Ruth, was born in 1895.

In the 1901 census Arthur was aged 19 and working as a waiter at Epsom College. His family was still in Churchill in Oxfordshire.

Arthur married Eva Ethel Faro in 1904 in the Guildford registration district.

The couple had at least five children, all of whom were baptised in St. Barnabas church in Temple Road Epsom:
  • Arthur Henry James born 7 May 1905, baptised 30 July 1905. The family were living at Vinesgate, Lower Court Road, Epsom and Arthur was working as an Asylum Attendant.
  • Eva Louise born 23 September, baptised 9 December 1906. The family's address was given this time as 37, Lower Court Road, Epsom.
  • Edith Gladys born 3 December 1907, baptised 28 February 1908.
The couple were living at 76, Lower Court Road, Epsom, Surrey when the 1911 census was taken. Arthur was working as an asylum attendant for the London County Council. Their children were listed as Arthur Henry James aged 5, Eva Louise aged 4 and Edith Gladys aged 3. Two more sisters were born after the census was taken.
  • Margaret Evelyn born 10 September 1912, baptised 13 October 1912. Dorothy Ethel born 29 March 1915, baptised 27 May 1917. Arthur was by then a soldier.
Arthur enlisted into the East Surrey Regiment 3rd Battalion on 19 November 1915 at Epsom. He was a stocky man at 5ft 4ins tall, weighing 140lbs, with a 38ins chest and 4ins expansion. Before he joined the army, Arthur worked as an attendant at Horton Asylum. At that time he was living at 76, Lower Court Road, Epsom.

The 3rd Battalion was a garrison unit based at Dover throughout the war. It was also a training and draft finding unit. At some point Arthur must have transferred to the 12th Battalion, which was in the 122nd Brigade, 41st Division. The Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele, officially started on the 31st July 1917, zero hour being 3.50am. The 122 Brigade advanced against Hollebeke, but the 12th East Surreys were held in support. They nevertheless took part by continuously sending forward carrying parties to the assaulting battalions. However, at 7pm B Company successfully attacked a strong point that was holding out in Hollebeke. During the evening heavy rain started to fall and continued for three days and nights, producing the quagmire associated with Passchendaele.

On 1st August the rest of the Battalion moved up and occupied the line established by B Company. German artillery was active on the first three days of August, but quieter on the fourth.

Very early on the 5th August, after a heavy barrage lasting two hours, the enemy attacked the advanced line of posts held by B and D Companies, in a thick mist, which prevented the S.O.S. sent up from being seen, and the posts were captured before reinforcements could be sent up to their assistance. Major R. Pennell, K.R.R.C. (in temporary command), turned out the Headquarters Company and advanced with it to restore the line. A Company of the Hampshire Regiment was picked up in the Support Line and the advance was continued to within 200 yards of Hollebeke, where it was stopped by machine gun fire and snipers. A few Germans had been encountered and made prisoners, but no information as to the strength or position of the enemy could be obtained from them. Major Pennell's party was now in touch on the left with another Hampshire Company, and he was able to send forward a fighting patrol into Hollebeke, which reported the village to be clear of the enemy. The whole line was then pushed forward, and posts were established slightly forward of the line held prior to the German attack.

Arthur died of wounds 5 August and is commemorated on panel 34 of the Menin Gate at Ypres. At the time of his death his father was still alive and living at Lower Thorpe, Mandeville, Banbury, Oxfordshire. His widow was at 76, Lower Court Road, Epsom; she did not remarry and died in 1954.

Arthur was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

EP HWH SB

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BIRNIE Gerald, Lieutenant.

46th Battery, 39th Brigade Royal Field Artillery.
Died of Wounds 4 November 1918, aged 19

Gerald Birnie
Gerald Birnie
Image courtesy of Cheltenham College

Gerald Birnie was born on 3 December 1898 at Lucknow, India, the third and youngest son of Henry and Edith Maude Birnie (nee Ferrell). His parents had married on 11 July 1888 in Mussoorie, Bengal, India. His father was aged 32 and his mother was aged 17.

Gerald cannot be found in the 1901 census, so presumably his family was still in India.

Gerald attended Woodside School, Weybridge run by Miss Slade before going to Cheltenham College in March 1909. He was one of the first pupils to move into the new Junior School buildings. His admission form gave his father's address as 'Hill Croft', Beckenham Lane, Bromley, Kent. The 1911 census records him as a 12 year-old pupil at Lake House Junior School, Thirlestone Road, Cheltenham.

In 1911 his 55 year-old father, a merchant, his 40 year-old mother and his 21 year-old brother Henry George, a shipping clerk, all lived at 'Elmhurst', Carshalton. Twenty year-old Celia Kidd was visiting, and the family employed two servants. His mother had given birth to four children and three were still living.

In January 1913 he moved to Hazelwell, one of the College boarding houses in the senior part of the College. He had been a Lance Corporal in the OTC, and left the College at Easter 1916 to enter the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich.

On 2 March 1916, at the age of 17, Gerald attended a Medical Board at the 2 S General Hospital Bristol. He was 5 feet 5 inches tall, had a 32 inch chest with a 4 inch expansion, weighed 118lbs, and was passed fit with normal vision including colour vision, good hearing and teeth. He served in the 46th Battery, 39th Brigade Royal Field Artillery. His promotion to Lieutenant was announced in the London Gazette dated 16 September 1918.

Gerald was gassed and received a gunshot wound in his right arm in an action near Cambrai on 27 October 1918. Complications arose and gangrene developed. His condition was so serious that his family was advised that a visit was not possible. He died on 4 November 1918 and was buried in St. Server cemetery extension in Rouen. The grave was initially marked with a wooden cross.

Gerald's headstone in St Server cemetery extension Rouen.
Gerald's headstone in St Server cemetery extension Rouen
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

His effects included 1 stud, 1 cigarette case, a box of cigarettes, a cheque book and an Advance book counterfoils, a spark plug, 1 tie pin, 1 whistle, 1 key on a ring, 1 tobacco purse, 1 pipe, 1 wrist watch with strap, 1 case of strong soap, 1 knife and a spanner, a button hook, a tinder lighter, a piece of shrapnel, a ribbon from a cross, photos, papers and cards. His father was named as next of kin, who at one time had been living at 'Morning Quest', Walton on Thames, Surrey. At the time of Gerald's death his parents were living at 'Brackendene', Weybridge.

Gerald's brothers Henry George and Reginald Birnie were both in the Army serving in France and Mesopotamia respectively.

Gerald was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal issued on 1 February 1922, which were sent to his father at 'Woodcorner', Pyrford, Surrey.

Gerald's inscription on his parents headstone.
Gerald's inscription on his parents headstone
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2009

Gerald is remembered on his parent's grave in Epsom cemetery, but not on any of the Borough's memorials. He is however, remembered on the Oatlands Village, Weybridge, memorial.

Oatlands MemorialDetail from Oatlands Memorial
Oatlands Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

Gerald's inscription on the Plaque in Cheltenham College
Gerald's inscription on the Plaque in Cheltenham College
Image courtesy of Cheltenham College

PG

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BISHOP William Harrold, Lance Corporal. 3473.

54th Battalion Australian Infantry.
Died of Wounds 28 July 1916, aged 24.

William's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
William's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

William Harrold Bishop was born in 1892 in the parish of Leichhardt near Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and the eldest of 7 children of Edwin and Constance Maud Bishop.

Having been working as a railway porter, William, aged 23 years 2 months, enlisted on 13 August 1915 at Cootamundra, New South Wales into the Australian Infantry Force (A.I.F.). At his medical he was described as being 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 140lbs with a 36 inch chest. He had a medium complexion and brown eyes and dark hair. It was also noted that he had a scar on each leg below his knees and that he was a Methodist.

William's military service papers record the following:

DateNotesPlace
14 February 1916Allotted and proceeded to join 54th BattalionZeitoun Egypt
16 February 1916Joined 54th Battalion.
A/Sgt - Reverts to rank and pay of a Private.
Tel-el-Kebir
19 June 1916Embarked H.T. Caledonian to join B.E.F.Alexandria
29 June 1916Disembarked H.T. CaledonianMarseilles, France
20 July 1916Wounded in ActionFrance
Undated but reported on 21 July 1916Appointed Lance Corporal Field
21 July 1916Admitted 13th General Hospital G.S.W. Right knee.Boulogne
22 July 1916Embarked for England per H.S. St DenisBoulogne
23 July 1916Admitted to County of London War Hospital. Gun shot wound to right knee and gas infection.Epsom, Surrey, England
25 July 1916Dangerously ill G.S.W. knee-
28 July 1916Died at War Hospital from wounds received in action.Epsom, Surrey, England

After being admitted to the County of London War Hospital in Epsom on 23 July, William underwent an operation to clean out the wound in his right knee. Although he seemed to rally over the next 2-3 days, the toxins continued to spread up his thigh causing the doctors to reopen the wound. This operation was to no avail and William died at 8.45a.m. on 28 July 1916. Cause of his death was recorded as
  1. Gun Shot wound right thigh.
  2. Malignant oedema.
A telegram with news of William being only dangerously ill was sent to his parents the same day.

His body was buried in grave K83 in the CWGC plot in Epsom Cemetery on 1 August. Following the news of their son's death, William's mother requested more details of William's final hours and burial; these were eventually sent to his father Edwin on 13 January 1917.

Before William died, he requested that his prayer book be returned to his parents and a note stating this was left on his County of London War Hospital medical records. The 'Testament' prayer book was sent via Thomas Cook and Sons and was acknowledged as received by William's father on 19 May 1917.

Although a photograph of William's grave was transmitted to his family on 15 March 1918, another one was sent on 9 April 1920.

A letter was sent on 4 July 1921 to Edwin Bishop of "Strathurst", via Fairy Hill, Casino, N.S.W. requesting an answer to a previously sent letter asking about a permanent headstone for William's grave that was being proposed in Epsom Cemetery. It is not known if there was a reply.

On 6 May 1925 a letter was sent to William's father, who was by then living at O'Neill Street, Guildford, N.S.W., regarding the intention of the unveiling and dedication of the Great War Cross erected by the Imperial War Graves Commission in Epsom Cemetery on Sunday 17 May 1925. A letter containing a booklet describing the ceremony held was sent to the family on 5 August 1925. It informed them also that a copy of the Epsom 'Herald' newspaper was being forwarded to them under a separate cover.

William's 1914-1915 Star medal, British War medal, Victory medal, Memorial scroll, Memorial plaque and the pamphlet "Where the Australians Rest" were all sent to his father.

William is also commemorated on panel 158 on the Australian War Memorial, Canberra (on this memorial Harrold is spelt Harold), and on the Casino War Memorial.

CWGC

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BLACKMAN Albert Edward, Corporal. S/9616.

9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers.
Killed in Action 23 July 1916, aged 18.

Albert's inscription on the Thiepval memorial to the missing.<br>Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013
Albert's inscription on the Thiepval memorial to the missing.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

Albert Edward Blackman was born in 1897 (GRO reference: Jun 1897 Croydon 2a 260) to Thomas George and Annie Parker Blackman (nee Fuller). Albert's parents were married in 1885 in the Epsom registration district, and had 14 children.

ALBERT EDWARD BLACKMAN AND HIS SIBLINGS
Name Born - Died Notes
Thomas George Born: 1887 Croydon
Died: 1972
Also served, 122905 Army Service Corps
Married Norah A. Backhurst 1909 Croydon
Annie Lucy Born: 1888 Croydon
Died: 1967
Married William Froome 1919 St. Martins, Epsom
William Reginald Born: 1890 Croydon
Died: 1934
Married Charlotte A. Still 1916 Hampshire.
Victor Frederick Born: 3 December 1891 Croydon
Died: 1960
Also served, 044587 ASC Baker Supply.
Married Elsie Margaret Essam 1920 Ashtead
Mabel Louisa Born: 1893 Croydon Shown as Daisy in the 1911 census
Harry Edwin Born: 1895 Croydon
Died: 1956
Married Cecilia F. Chapman 1918 Sevenoaks
Albert Edward Born: 1897 Croydon
Died: 23 July 1916
 
Percy Howard Born: 20 October 1899 Plaistow, Essex
Died: 1941
Married Dorothy G. Tidy 1920 St. Martins, Epsom
Florence Born: 1902 Plaistow, Essex
Died: 1970
Married Cyril J. Auger 1928 Epsom
Dorothy Ruby Beatrice Born: 1904 Wimbledon, Surrey
Died: 1990
 
Elsie Lilian Born: 1905 Epsom, Surrey
Died: 1995
Married Albert R. C. Neale 1929 Byfleet
Stanley John Born: 1907 Epsom, Surrey
Died: 1974
Married Daisy Beadle 1930 Epsom
Charles Harold Born: 1908 Epsom, Surrey
Died: 1963
Married Hilda V. Smith 1928 Epsom
Agnes Grace Born: 1910 Epsom, Surrey Married John W. R. Whittington 1934 St. Martins, Epsom

In the 1891 census, before Albert was born, the family lived at 27, Borough Hill, Croydon, Surrey. Albert's father Thomas was a 35 year old police constable. His mother was also 35. Albert had three siblings, Thomas George aged 3, Annie aged 2 and William Reginald aged 7 months.

In the 1901 census the family were was living at 25, Second Ave, West Ham, Essex. Albert had another 4 siblings, Victor aged 9, Mabel aged 7, Harry aged 5 and Percy aged 1. Albert's father Thomas had been promoted to a police sergeant, and his oldest brother Thomas, aged 15, was working as a 'Tea Importer' (grocer).

Albert's father filled in the 1911 census form stating that he and his wife of 25 years had had 14 children, all still living, and that eleven of them were living with them at 'Gilwerton', Wyeth Road, Epsom. Albert's older brother Victor was working as a baker and Harry as a grocer's assistant. Albert, aged 13, was at school along with his younger siblings Percy, Florence, Dorothy and Elsie while his mother and older sister Daisy (Mabel Louisa) looked after John, Harold and Agnes at home.

31 Wyeth Road, Epsom
31 Wyeth Road, Epsom
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2008

Two of Albert's brothers also served in the war but survived. Thomas George was a baker in the Army Service corps (ASC), and was discharged through sickness on 27 March 1917. Victor Frederick, for whom much of his service record survives, also served in the ASC as a baker in the 19th Field bakery, serving in France and Egypt.

Albert served in the 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, which was in the 36 Brigade 12 Division. He was killed in action on 23 July 1916 and is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial to the missing. Unfortunately the war diary (WO 95/1857) downloaded from the National Archives, has the pages for 15 July to 31 July missing. But on the 7 July the Battalion attacked the German trenches at Ovillers and had 154 men killed, and on the 23 July, the day Albert died 21 other men from the Battalion were also killed.

The CWGC state that he was the son of Thomas and Annie Blackman of 31, Wyeth Road, Epsom.

Albert was awarded the Victory medal and the British war medal.

The St Martins Roll of Honour states that:
ALBERT EDWARD BLACKMAN was killed in action in France on the 23 July 1916.
Albert's father Thomas died, aged 75, in 1942 at 31, Wyeths Road, Epsom. He was buried on 24 December in grave O 290 in Epsom Cemetery. His widow Annie died aged 79 at the same address in 1945 and was buried in her late husband's grave on 17 January. Albert is commemorated on their headstone.

Albert's inscription on his parents' grave
Albert's inscription on his parents' grave
Albert's inscription on his parents' grave
Images courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

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BLANCHETT Percy Thomas, Private. R/14426.

13th Kings Royal Rifle Corps
Killed in Action 18 November 1916, aged 23.

Percy's inscription on the Thiepval Memorial
Percy's inscription on the Thiepval Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

Percy Thomas Blanchett was born at Liss near Petersfield, Hampshire on 3 June 1893. (GRO Reference June 1893 Petersfield 2c 149), the son of Percy Blanchett and his wife Annie.

Percy's father was born in Ewell and had married Annie Money on 23 February 1887 in St. Mary's church Ewell. Their marriage record shows that Percy was a grocer and that they were both living in Ewell village at the time of their marriage. By the time the 1891 census was taken, Percy's parents had moved back to his mother's hometown of Liss in Hampshire where Percy's father was working as a grocer's assistant. Percy's sister Alice Annie was born here shortly after the 1891census was taken and Percy himself in 1893.

Percy's sister Kate was born on 31 October 1894 and twin sisters Dora and Dorothy on 18 October 1896. On 22 September 1897, Percy's three younger sisters were baptised in St. Peter and St. Paul's church in Godalming. Their address was given as Church Street, Godalming and their father's occupation then as a butcher. Percy's 37-year-old mother Annie and one of his twin sisters died in the June quarter of 1898. However it would seem that the death of Dorothy was incorrectly registered as 'Dora' as Percy's father continued to call his surviving twin daughter Dora.

Percy was admitted to Ewell Boys' School on 16 May 1900 and left on 3 July 1901 when the family moved from Ewell.

When the 1901 census was taken, Percy's widowed father appears as a miller and was lodging in Beddington, Surrey with James Tuck who was a butcher. Percy and his sister Alice were living with their paternal grandparents, Thomas and Ann, in West Street, Ewell. Their sister Dora was living with the Tomsett family further along the street, and was described as a nurse child despite being four years old. Their 6 year old sister Kate, whose birth had been recorded as being in Ewell Surrey, was living as the adopted daughter of John and Hannah Nelder, a gardener, in Heavitree, Exeter.

When the 1911 census was taken 17-year-old Percy was working as a green grocer's errand boy. He and his sisters Alice and Dora were living, along with their father Percy, with their now widowed grandfather in West Street, Ewell. It was 19-year-old Alice who filled in the census form, noting that her grandfather was a retired gardener who had been married for 59 years and that four of his eight children had died and that her father, a butcher, had been married for 24 years and that one of his five children had died. The enumerator however, crossed this information out as both her grandfather and father were widowed. Alice put herself down as a housekeeper, which was also crossed through.

On 22 December 1914, Percy enlisted into the 5 (Reserve) Battalion East Surrey Regiment in Wimbledon as Private 3002. He was discharged 25 days later on 15 January 1915 as being medically unfit for service.

Six months later Percy was examined again by the medical board at Epsom on 9 July 1915, which reported that he had a fair physical development. He was 5ft 3ins tall with a 33½ inch chest and a vaccination mark on his right arm. He had full vision. On 23 July 1915 he was admitted into hospital in Winchester. with a slight attack of 'Influ muc mina Larynx', which was treated with 'something of potash'. Whatever it was, Percy recovered and returned to duty after 7 days.

The Epsom Advertiser published many lists of the names of men who had signed up for military service. The lists were headed 'ROLL OF HONOUR'. Percy's name appeared on the list dated 18th June 1915.

On 23 March 1916 he embarked on SS Onward and on 7 April joined 37th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples before going on to join the 13th Battalion KRRC.

On Saturday the 18 November 1916 the 13th KRRC were in the 111th Brigade, 37th Division. The first snow of the winter fell on this extremely cold, penultimate day of the First Battle of the Somme. The same ground was to be fought over again during the Second Battle of the Somme in 1918.

North of Beaucourt sur Ancre, the 32nd Division was to launch an attack at 6.10am. The 13th KRRC had posts in Muck Trench ready to support the 32nd Division once they had captured Frankfort Trench. At zero hour the 13th KRRC sent out patrols that met some opposition in Railway Trench.

On the 18 November 1916, 4 men from the 13th Battalion KRRC were killed in action or died of wounds, including Percy.

The War Office wrote to his father asking for the names of Percy's surviving family as Percy had been awarded the King's scroll, plaque, the British War medal and the Victory medal. His father replied that he was living at that time at St. Normans, Cheam Road, Ewell, Surrey. Percy's sister Alice had married Samuel Warman on 1 June 1916 in St. Mary's Ewell and was living at Beatty Cottage, West Street, Ewell, and sister Dora was living at High Street, Epsom while sister Kate was still living in Heavitree, Exeter.

Percy is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial Pier & Face 13A & 13B.

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BLEW William Walker Humphreyson, Lance Corporal. 3589.

9th Battalion London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles).
Died of Wounds 12 September 1916, aged 33.

William's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
William's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

William Walker Humphreyson Blew was born in 1883 in Warwickshire (GRO reference: Sept 1883 Aston 6d 400), the only child of William Charles Arlington and Martha Blew (nee Thomas). His parents had married on 1 March 1883 in St Mary's church, Newington, Surrey. At the time of his parent's marriage, his father had been working as a journalist. He was however also an author who wrote about steeple-chasing, coaches and horses.

When the 1891 census was taken, William and his mother were staying in the Feathers Hotel in Ledbury's High Street, Hertfordshire. His father, now a barrister-in-law, was not with them but was staying with his widowed clergyman father, in St. Martin in the Fields.

In 1901 William and his parents were staying at 147 Widmore Road, Bromley, Kent with J. Brooker Ridley, a medical practitioner. William was recorded as a cadet at Sandhurst and his father as a journalist and author. William's father died in Croydon on 30 June 1904.

On 29 October 1905 William married Florence Martha Harper in St Luke's church, Chelsea. They were both aged 22. William stated that his father had been a barrister before his death.

When the 1911 census was taken William and Florence were living in 73 Gordon Mansions, Gower Street, London W. C. William filled in the form stating that he and his wife had been married for five years and had not had any children. He also noted that he worked as a manager in a stockjobber's office and that he employed a general domestic servant.

William's service papers have not survived but his medal card tells us that he went to France on 22 January 1915 and served with the 9th Battalion London Regiment, which was in the 169th Brigade 56th Division. The 9th Battalion London Regiment fought in the Battle of the Somme and between 1 July and 12 September 1916, lost 297 other ranks and 13 officers killed in action or died of wounds.

William died in Horton County of London War Hospital on 12 September 1916 and was buried on 15 September in grave K646 in the CWGC plot in Epsom Cemetery. He shares the grave with 8 other soldiers.

Probate of William's effects valued at £'3,205 1s 3d was given to his widow Florence Martha on 18 September 1917. His last addresses were given as 139 Cannon Street, London and 6 Gordon Mansions, Frances Street, Middlesex.

William was awarded the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

The CWGC states that he was the:
Son of William Arlington Blew and Mrs. M. Blew; husband of Florence M. Blew, of 7, De Vere Cottages, De Vere Gardens, Kensington, London.
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BLYTHE James McWilliam, Private. 15231.

Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians).
Died 27 September 1917, aged 22.

James' inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
James' inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

James McWilliam Blythe was born of Irish descent on 29 June 1895 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. His parents were John William and Margaret Jane Blythe.

The 1901 Canadian census, taken on 31 March, recorded James' family as living in the village of Dauphin in Marquette, Manitoba, along with following details:

NameBirthday and Birth PlaceNotes
Father: John William10 December 1850 IrelandEmigrated 1870. Mechanic.
Mother: Margaret Jane16 June 1857 OntarioIrish descent
Sibling: Edna M.17 August 1887 ManitobaAged 14
Sibling: William A.02 March 1888 ManitobaAged 13
Sibling: Catherine E.29 January 1890 ManitobaAged 11
Sibling: Louisa 09 January 1892 ManitobaAged 9
Self: James M.29 June 1895 ManitobaAged 5

When the 1911 census was taken, James' 50 year old father was working as a locomotive fireman to support his 49 year old wife Margaret and children Edna aged 23, Katherine (sic) aged 21, Laura aged 19 and James aged 14. James' brother William had become a soldier and moved to Texas, U.S.A.

James was a surveyor's assistant (also described as a farmer in other papers) before he enlisted into Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) at Camp Valcartier, Québec on 23 September 1914 where he increased his age to 21 years 2 months and altered his birthday to 29 June 1893. He was described at his medical as being 6 feet tall, weighing 165 lbs, with a chest measurement of 36 inches with 4 inches expansion, dark complexion, grey eyes and light coloured hair. He gave his religion as Presbyterian. It was noted that he had vaccination marks on both arms, and that he was a smoker.

When the 1916 Canadian census was taken in Manitoba, James' name was recorded after his family entry; it stated that he was aged 20 and serving overseas. His siblings Edna May aged 29, William Alex aged 27 and Catherine Elizabeth aged 25 were living with their parents at 1311 Victoria Street, North Battleford, Saskatchewan.

James embarked from Southampton on 8 June 1915 and joined his unit in France on 9 June. The next significant entry in his service papers occurred on 19 February 1917 when it was recorded that James was seriously ill with pleurisy, and had been admitted to the 2nd General Hospital, Le Treport, France. On 9 March he was transferred to the Royal Infirmary, Paisley, Scotland, and on 29 April he was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Camp at Woodcote Park in Epsom, Surrey and on 5 May he was admitted to the Manor (County of London) War Hospital, Epsom.

James did not recover and died at 6.10 p.m. on 27 September 1917 from tubercular peritonitis. After his death James' body was buried on 2 October in grave K741 in the CWGC plot in Epsom Cemetery and he is remembered on the Screen Wall there. He is also remembered on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and the Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial.

James was awarded the 1915 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal. His medals, plaque and scroll were sent to his father at North Battleford, Saskatchewan whilst his mother received a Canadian Silver Memorial Cross.

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BODEN William, Private. 202682.

3/5 Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers.
Died of Wounds 13 August 1917, aged 36.

William's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
William's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

William Boden was born in 1880 in Salford (GRO reference: Dec 1880 Salford 8d 89) to William and Eliza Jane Boden (nee Burns). William's parents married in the December 1879 quarter in the Chorlton registration district.

In the 1881 census the family lived at 16 Burgess Street, Salford. William was aged 6 months, his 27 year old father worked as a 'Cashier' and his mother was aged 29.

By 1891 the family lived at 42 Claremont Road, Salford. William's father worked as a 'Traveller'. A sibling, Frederick aged 8 was recorded.

In 1901, 10 years later, the family was at the same address. William's father worked as an 'Ironsman for cotton rice dyers'.

The death of William's mother, aged 53, was recorded in the December 1905 quarter in the Salford registration district.

Another 10 years on, the family was still at 42 Claremont Road. William's father, now a widower, was working as a 'Dyers Traveller'. William was working as a 'Clerk' at an ironworks. His 28 year old brother Fred was also working as a 'Clerk' at an electrical engineers. Also living there was Fred's wife Charlotte and their son, 2 year old Harry.

William, whose service record has not survived, served in the 3/5 Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers which was in the 197th Brigade, 66th Division. The battalion went to France in March 1917 and from April was holding trenches in the La Bassee sector, until 28 June when the battalion was moved to coastal defence in the Nieuwpoort sector.

Unusually the battalion War Diary lists the names of Other Ranks killed or wounded. William does not appear on the casualty returns for April, May, June or August and rather annoyingly the War Diary for July 1917 omits a casualty return!

William died of wounds on 13 August 1917 in Horton War Hospital and was buried on 15 August in grave K647 and is commemorated on the screen wall. He shares the grave with eight other soldiers.

William was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission states that he was the:
Son of William and Eliza Jane Boden, of 42 Claremont Road Irlams-o'-th-Height, Salford, Manchester.

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BOLDUC Ernest. Private 660433.

Base Depot, Canadian Forestry Corps.
Died 25 April 1918, aged 23.

Ernest's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Ernest's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

Ernest Bolduc was born on 19 December 1895 in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada.

Aged 21, Ernest enlisted on 8 March 1916 into the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force where he was attached to the 163rd Battalion with service number 660433. He gave his home address as 1623 Chabot, Montreal, Quebec and even though he stated that he was married, he gave his father Leon Bolduc as his next-of-kin.

Ernest was 5 feet 2 inches tall; weighed 122 lbs; had a fresh complexion; blue eyes; a fully expanded chest measurement of 35½ inches, with an expansion of 3½ inches; a mole on his right bicep and a large right testicle. He was a cordonnier or shoemaker by trade and his religion was Roman Catholic.

Ernest's wife Cecile received a monthly separation allowance commencing April 1916, and also received an assignment of Ernest's pay commencing June 1916. Ernest's first posting was to Bermuda, where on 6 October 1916 he was examined and found fit for active service. On 11 November 1916 he embarked on SS Metagama from Bermuda, for England, arriving on 6 December 1916. On 7 January 1917, at Shoreham, he was transferred to the 10th Canadian Reserve Battalion; then on 5 February 1917 was he transferred to the Forestry Corps and served in London, Egham and Sunningdale.

Ernest's wife Cecile Paquet was granted a separation allowance commencing 31 October 1917.

Between 11 December 1917 and 23 January 1918 Ernest was a patient at Cherryhinton Military Hospital, Cambridge suffering with gonorrhoea and syphilis. Then on 4 March 1918 he was admitted to Woodcote Park Convalescent Hospital suffering from bronchitis and suspected tuberculosis. On 6 March, with a temperature of 100.6°, he was transferred to the Manor County of London War Hospital where he died from pneumonia on 25 April 1918. He was buried in Epsom Cemetery in grave K703 and remembered on the CWGC Screen Wall.

Even though Leon Bolduc was recorded as his father on his attestation papers, the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and the CWGC have recorded that Ernest was the son of Dann Ernest Cecile Bolduc, of 418 Delorimier Avenue, Montreal. They also state that Ernest was single and not married. His death certificate with a small picture of him can also be seen via the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Ernest was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal. His wife received his plaque and scroll, and his wife and mother were both given a Canadian Memorial Cross.

On 26 July 1920 Ernest's widow received a war gratuity of $110 Canadian dollars.

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BONE Percival Walter, Private. 81458.

2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers.
Died 1 August 1918, aged 33.

Percival's headstone in the Heath Cemetery, Harbonnieres
Percival's headstone in the Heath Cemetery, Harbonnieres
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2009

Percival Walter Bone was born in Dulwich in 1885 (GRO reference: Jun 1885 Camberwell 1d 779) to Frederick and Emma Bone (nee Edenborough).). His parents had married in 1880 in the Kingston upon Thames registration district.

In the 1881 census before Percival was born his parents lived at 77 Lorrimore Road, Newington. Father Frederick was a 36 year old warehouseman, and mother Emma was 33.

Percival's brother Frederick Agar was born on 15 June 1881 and baptised in St. Paul's church, Lorrimore Square, Southwark, on 25 September. Their father Frederick died in 1886 aged 41.

In 1891, Percival aged 5 was living with his widowed mother at 2, Hawly Villas, Kent Road, East Molesey. Emma employed a domestic servant Annie Jacks. Living next door were his aunts Eliza and Katherine Edenborough. His brother Frederick was a pupil at the Commercial Traveller's School, for the orphans of commercial travellers, in Hatch End, Pinner, Middlesex.

Percival, aged 15, and his 19 year old brother Frederick were still living in Kent Road with their mother when the 1901 census was taken. They were both apprentices and their aunts were still living next door. Frederick emigrated to Toronto, Canada, married and served in the Canadian Over Seas Expeditionary Force during WW1.

Percival was aged 25 and still single when the 1911 census was taken. He appears as living along with many other employees at Dawson and Leaf's Ltd. at 14-26, Carter Lane, London EC, where he worked as a warehouseman clerk.

There is a marriage recorded in the Dorking registration district in the June 1917 quarter between a Percival W Bone and Elsie S A Wright.

Percival enlisted in Holborn and served initially in the 12th Battalion Middlesex Regiment. The Battalion was sent to France and landed at Le Havre, on 26 July 1915. The 12th Middlesex were disbanded on 13 February 1918, so Percival must have transferred to the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers, which was in the 86 Brigade 29 Division.

The St Martins Church roll of honour states that he died whilst a prisoner of war at Gustrow, July-August 1918. Gustrow is a town deep in Germany south of Rostock, and did have a prisoner of war camp during the war. However, the CWGC tell us that Percival is buried in grave VIII. I. 9., Heath Cemetery, Harbonnieres, France, which is on the Amiens to St Quentin road, the N29, approximately 13 kilometres from Villers-Bretonneux, and hundreds of miles from Gustrow. The CWGC web site informs us that many graves were concentrated in to Heath Cemetery from smaller burial places nearby, but makes no mention of Gustrow. I wonder if St Martins is incorrect? Very few records of prisoners of war survive, so I suspect we shall never know.

Percival was awarded the 1915 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal.

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BONNELL Laird, Private. 110044.

5th Canadian Mounted Rifles.
Died of Wounds 11 May 1916, aged 20.

Laird's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Laird's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

Laird Bonnell was born on 9 September 1895 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His parents were William and Cornelia (Cora) Schyler Bonnell (nee Anderson). N.B. Laird's death was recorded by the U.K. GRO as Leonard Bonnell.

When the 1911 Canadian census was taken 14 year old Laird was recorded with his 37 year old parents and siblings - Violet Elizabeth aged 16, Arvart aged 10, Gertie Ethel aged 7, William aged 5, Margarita aged 4, Ales (Alexander) aged 3 and 9 month old Marianne (Marion Grace) - as living at 232 Canrsol, Hochelaga, Quebec. His father's occupation was recorded as Cabinet (maker).

Laird had been working as a clerk before he attested into the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force on 8 February 1915 giving his age as 19 years 7 months old. At his medical he was described as being 5 feet 4 inches tall with a chest measurement of 31 inches, with a 4 inch expansion. He had a dark complexion and brown eyes and hair. It was also noted that he had a scar on his right kneecap and that his religion was Presbyterian. On 28 September 1915 Laird wrote his will, leaving all his effects to his mother who was living at 508 Chausse Street, Montreal.

Laird's service record tells us that he landed in France on 24 October 1915, and that on 25 February 1916 he was sentenced to 5 days Field Punishment No.1, for neglect of duty while in charge of horse.

On 23 April 1916 he was admitted to the 9th Canadian Field Ambulance suffering from a gunshot wound to his head. The next day he was admitted to No.10 Casualty Clearing Station, then on 29 April he was admitted to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne and on 3 May he was evacuated to England aboard HS Aberdonian. He was admitted to the County of London (Horton) War Hospital in Epsom, Surrey on the same day and died there at 10.45 p.m. on 11 May 1916. Laird's body was buried on 18 May in grave K232 in the CWGC plot in Epsom Cemetery. He is remembered on the Screen Wall there.

The CWGC recorded his mother as Mrs. Cora Bonnell of 508 Chausse Street, Montreal, Canada.

Laird was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal. His mother received a silver Canadian Memorial Cross.

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BOTTING Ernest Edward, Private. 24152.

1st Garrison Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment.
Died of Sunstroke 30 June 1916, aged 34.

Ernest's headstone in Delhi War Cemetery
Ernest's headstone in Delhi War Cemetery
Image courtesy of Bill Vincent

Ernest Edward Botting was born in 1882 (GRO reference: Jun 1882 Westbourne 2b 435) to William and Kate Elizabeth Botting (nee Boxall).

In the 1881 census, before Ernest was born, the family lived in West Dean, Sussex. Ernest's father was a 27 year old general labourer. His mother was 21, and he had a sister Lydia Mary aged 5 months. His one-year-old brother William was staying next door with his maternal grandparents, Edward and Sophia Boxall.

In the early part of 1883 Ernest's 23 year old mother Kate Elizabeth died.

In 1887, aged 36, Ernest's father married 47 year old widow Lydia Pennicott.

In the 1891 census Ernest was living with his grandparents Edward and Sophia Boxall at 85, Warren, West Dean. Grandfather Edward was a 65 year old general labourer. Ernest's father, stepmother, brother William and sister Lydia were living at number 82.

In 1901 Ernest was living in one of the Warren cottages with his uncle and aunt, Edwin and Charlotte Boxall. Edwin and Ernest, now 18 were both garden labourers. His father was working as a Forrester and lived with Ernest's stepmother along the road.

Aged 25, Ernest married 24-year-old Hannah Matilda Sharp on 10 April 1908 in her local church St. Giles in Ashtead. Ernest's father was noted as William, a woodcutter.

Ernest and Hannah's daughter Dorothy Edith was born in 1909 in Epsom. When the 1911 census was taken the family was living at 31, Adelphi Road, Epsom and Ernest was working as a domestic gardener. Boarding with them was Thomas Harris, a milk carrier. Ernest's father William and stepmother Lydia were living at 81, The Warren, West Dean, Chichester, Sussex.

The following year Ernest and Hannah's second daughter Barbara was born in Epsom.

Ernest attested in Kingston on 30 October 1915 into the 11th Battalion East Surrey Regiment, which was a reserve battalion, finding and training drafts for other battalions. Ernest was 34 years old, 5 feet 6½ inches tall, weighed 144lbs, and had a chest measurement of 37½ inches with an expansion of 4½ inches. He was described as a gardener and he lived at 31, Adelphi Road, Epsom.

Ernest transferred to the 1st Garrison Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, which was in the Delhi Brigade. The St Martins church Roll of Honour states that:
ERNEST EDWARD BOTTING, died of sunstroke at Delhi on the 30th June 1916.
He is buried in grave 8.A.8. Delhi War Cemetery.

Delhi War Cemetery
Delhi War Cemetery
Delhi War Cemetery
Images courtesy of Bill Vincent

Ernest was awarded the British War medal.

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BOURGET Amedeé, Private. 1057426.

22nd Battalion Canadian Infantry.
Died 5 November 1918, aged 21.

Amedeé's inscription on the CWGC Memorial, Epsom
Amedeé's inscription on the CWGC Memorial, Epsom
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

Amedeé Bourget was born of French descent on 11 February 1896 in Quebec, Canada, the son of Joseph and Flora Bourget (nee Julien). His parents had married in 1894 in St. Sauveur church, Quebec City.

When the 1911 Canadian census was taken, 14 year old Amedeé and siblings - Romeo aged 11, Carmela aged 9, Juliette aged 8, Maurice aged 7, Armand aged 4 and Germaine aged 2 - were living with their parents at 10 Volliquire, Montreal. His father was a Cordwainer.

On 23 April 1917 in Montreal, Amedeé attested into the 245th Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force. He gave his age as 21 years 2 months, his as address as 177 Beaudry Street, Montreal, his religion as Roman Catholic and his occupation as a shoemaker. At his medical it was noted that he was 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighed 111 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 34½ inches with a 3½ inch expansion. He had a dark complexion with brown eyes and dark hair.

Amedeé embarked at Halifax, Canada on 3 May 1917, aboard the SS Justica, arriving at Liverpool on 14 May, and the next day he was transferred to the 23rd Reserve Battalion at Shoreham.

On 26 August 1917 he made a will, leaving all his belongings to his father, and on 6 September he was transferred to the 22nd Battalion. Embarking from Southampton, he arrived in France on 7 September. He was wounded on 16 September and admitted to the 51st General Hospital, Etaples, France, but was soon discharged to duty on 19 October.

Amedeé was wounded again on 8 June 1918. At this time his battalion was holding trenches at Neuville-Vitasse, near Arras. On the evening of 8 June the Germans launched a trench raid which was preceded by an intense bombardment. It was probably this bombardment that caused Amedeé's shrapnel wounds.

On 12 June Amedeé was evacuated to England aboard SS Gloucester and admitted to Sutton Veny Military Hospital in Wiltshire on 13 June 1918 suffering from gunshot wounds to his left leg, classified as 'severe shrapnel'. He also had smaller gunshot wounds on both arms and his left middle finger. On 22 July he was transferred to The Duchess of Somerset Hospital, Maiden Bradley, Bath, where he spent 50 days. It was noted that all his wounds had healed but that he limped slightly. He was returned to Sutton Veny on 11 September where he spent 9 days before being transferred to Woodcote Park Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Epsom on 18 October. Suffering with influenza and pneumonia he was transferred to the Manor War Hospital on 27 October, where he died at 2.40 a.m. on 5 November 1918. Although his cause of death was influenza and pneumonia, no doubt he was weakened by his wounds received in battle.

He was buried on the 9 November in grave K95 in the CWGC plot in Epsom Cemetery and is remembered on the Screen Wall there.

Amedeé's British War medal, Victory medal, plaque and scroll were sent to his father. His mother received his Silver Memorial Cross.

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BOWELS, Arthur Thomas, Private. 229519.

1st Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers).
Formerly East Surrey, No. 3145 and 26 Battalion Royal Fusiliers, No. 201126.

Died of wounds 14 July 1918, aged 26.

Arthur's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Arthur's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

Arthur Thomas Bowels was born on 24 April 1892 in Croydon (GRO reference: Jun 1892 Croydon 2a 252), the eldest child of Albert Austen and Ellen Margaret Bowels (nee Brown), formerly Parker.

Arthur's father had joined the Metropolitan Police on 10 March 1890, and had the warrant number 75375. In 1891 he was stationed at the police station at 13 North End, Croydon. When later that year he married widow Ellen Margaret Parker in Croydon he became stepfather to her seven children.

ARTHUR THOMAS BOWELS AND HIS HALF SIBLINGS
NameBorn - DiedNotes
William ParkerBorn: 1879 Kent-
Ellen/Nellie ParkerBorn: 1880 Kent-
Henry/Harry John ParkerBorn: 1881 Croydon-
Bessie ParkerBorn: 1885 Croydon-
Phoebe Elizabeth ParkerBorn: 1887 Croydon-
Frederick Stephen ParkerBorn: 1888 Croydon
Died: 26 January 1915
Killed in action. Buried Royal Irish Rifles graveyard, Laventie, France
Walter ParkerBorn: 1890 Croydon-
ARTHUR THOMAS BOWELS AND HIS SIBLINGS
NameBorn - DiedNotes
Arthur ThomasBorn: 24 April 1892 Croydon
Died: 14 July 1918 Epsom
-
Sarah Elizabeth MargaretBorn: 20 December 1893 WhyteleafeMarried Ernest Clayton 20 November 1915 Merton
Catherine JaneBorn: 18 September 1895 WarlinghamMarried James King Brown 23 December 1923 Croydon
Albert EdwinBorn: 20 October 1897 Warlingham-
Charles WilliamBorn: 1899 Warlingham
Died: 1905 Epsom Reg. Dist.
-

On 18 September 1898 Arthur was baptised along with his three younger siblings at All Saints church in Warlingham, Surrey. The family address was, according to William Parker's military records, Jarvis Cottage, Warlingham.

The 1901 census shows the family living in 'Fairview', Godstone Road, just along the road from Kenley Police Station. His father was aged 31 and his mother was 43. Only half siblings Henry, Phoebe, Frederick and Walter Parker were actually living with Arthur and his younger siblings.

By 1911 the family was living at 9 Century Road, Mitcham, Surrey. Arthur's father was working as an acting police sergeant in W Division while Arthur was a general labourer. Both his younger sisters were working for a tobacco manufacturer. His half brother Walter was an assistant fishmonger. His youngest brother Albert was still at school. His father noted that he and his wife had been married for 19 years and that one of their five children had died.

Arthur's father left the police force on 21 June 1915. Four months later on 23 October 1915, Arthur, aged 23, married 30 year old spinster Charlotte Colton at All Saints church Wimbledon. The marriage entry shows that he was a Private in the 2/5 East Surreys and living at 52 Lime Hill Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. They did not appear to have any children.

Arthur's service record has not survived but his medal entitlement records tell us that he first served in the 1/5 Battalion East Surrey Regiment with service number 3145, until Territorial Army renumbering in 1917 when his number changed to 201126. On 26 September 1917 he transferred to the 26th Battalion Royal Fusiliers with service number 229519, and on 1 April 1918 he transferred to the 1st Battalion London Regiment.

His mother died in 1917.

On 14 July 1918 Arthur died from his wounds in the Horton War Hospital, Epsom and was buried on 17 July in grave K650, with three other soldiers, in Epsom Cemetery and is remembered there on the CWGC Screen Wall.

Arthur was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

The CWGC states that he was the:
Husband of C. Bowels, of 33 Ridley Road, Wimbledon, London.
Arthur's widow Charlotte married William Frank Collett on 22 May 1920 in St. Mary's church Merton.

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BOWLER John Henry, Rifleman 534416.

1/15th (County of London) Battalion, (Prince of Wales Own Civil Service Rifles).
Killed in Action 30 October 1917, aged 32.

John's inscription on the Tyne Cot memorial to the missing.
John's inscription on the Tyne Cot memorial to the missing.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

John Henry Bowler only appears as such on the Cuddington St. Mary's church war memorial. His birth, baptism, marriage, death references, census returns and military records all record him as Henry John Bowler.

John Henry Bowler was born in 1885 in Battersea, London (GRO reference: Jun 1885 Wandsworth 1d 626), to George and Georgina Anne Bowler (nee Robinson). His parents had married on 5 June 1881 in St. Saviour's church Chelsea. John Henry's father was a labourer and signed the marriage certificate with an 'X' but his mother signed her name in full.

John Henry Bowler And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
William George Born: 1882 Chelsea Died: 1954  
Robert Walter Born: 1883 Battersea Died: 1938 Baptised 20 June 1889 St Stephen's church, Battersea
John Henry Born: 1885 Battersea Died: 30 October 1917 Belgium Baptised as Henry John 20 June 1889 St Stephen's church, Battersea
Ellen Born: 1888 Battersea  
Arthur Born: 1891 Battersea  
Mary Alice Born: 1892 Battersea  

The family was living at 82, Home Road, Battersea at the time John Henry and Robert Walter were baptised, and were still there when the 1891 census was taken. His sister Ellen was recorded as 'Helen' on this census. Also living with the family was John Henry's 68 year-old maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Robinson. Later that same year, John Henry's brother Arthur was born and his sister Mary Alice in 1892.

4, Gosling Yard, Battersea was the home for John Henry, his mother and siblings in 1901. His mother was taking in washing while Henry worked as a dentist's boy, William as a carpenter's apprentice and Robert as a mason's apprentice. Ellen, Arthur and Alice (Mary) were at school. Still living with the family was John Henry's maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Robinson. John Henry's father was not at home that night but was a pauper patient at the London County Lunatic Asylum in Ilford, Essex. His occupation was described as a Builder's labourer.

On 15 August 1909 the first of three Banns were read in St. Mark's church, Battersea Rise, announcing the intended marriage of Henry John Bowler to Minnie Harriett Moon, who had been born in Godalming, Surrey. The couple later married on 2 September 1909 in her parents' parish of Bramley, Guildford. However Minnie has been registered by the GRO as Harriett Minnie MOORE.

Their daughter Winifred Mary was born on 4 June 1910 in Battersea and was baptised three weeks later on 26 June in St Peter's Church.

When the 1911 census was taken, John Henry's mother and his siblings are recorded as living at 33, Newcomen Road, Battersea. His mother was the head of the family, William was a carpenter, Robert was a mason, Ellen was a pattern worker, Arthur was a printer's machine minder and Alice was a dressmaker's assistant.

John Henry and his family were living at 7, Brussels Road, New Wandsworth. John Henry noted his wife as Harriett Minnie and describe himself as a dental mechanic in the dentistry trade. Their daughter Marjorie Helen was born in 1915 and baptised on 13 June in St Stephen's Church in Battersea. The family were living at 33 Rosenau Crescent at the time.

John Henry, aged 30, attested in Epsom on 10 December 1916, a Private in the 1/15th (County of London) Battalion (Prince of Wales Own Civil Service Rifles), a Territorial battalion. He was 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighed 140lbs and had a chest measurement of 37 inches with an expansion of 4 inches. He was a dentist, medically grade A and lived at Vernon Cottage, London Road, Ewell.

We don't know when John Henry went to France but at some point he was posted to the 2/6 Battalion London Regiment, which was in the 174th Brigade, 58th Division. The Battalion fought in the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele. The following is an extract from the War Diary, WO 95/3005, available for download from The National Archive:
29 October 1917. Bn holding line E. of POELCAPELLE from 400 yards E. of TRACAS FARM to HELLESHOUSE. Lieut. Col. BENSON returned and resumed command of Bn at 7pm. B Coy detailed to attack NOBLES FARM on morning 30th suffered severely during 29th. A Coy. therefore detailed in their place at 10pm, copy orders attached. Casualties 8 OR killed, 18 OR wounded, 1 wounded at duty, 2 missing.

30 October 1917. At zero, 5.30am the 2/8th Bn LONDON REGT attacked MORAY HOUSE, HINTON FARM, PAPA FARM and CAMERON HOUSE, and A Coy of this Bn, less one platoon, under Captain ANDERSON M.C. and 2/Lt FOULDS attacked NOBLES FARM & Mebuses (German pill boxes) S.E. of it. Our attack was completely successful and all objectives were taken, consolidated and held in spite of very bad going & the difficulty of moving through the mud. The 8th Bn on our right were unable to reach their objectives owing to the state of the ground. The appended maps (Appendix 6 & 7) show (a) dispositions of Bn at zero and (b) dispositions after attack. The Bn (& the 2/8th Bn) relieved by 2/5th Bn. Relief complete 10pm. Bn marched to KEMPTON PARK & proceeded thence by bus to SEIGE CAMP.

Casualties 2Lt FOULDS killed & 2Lt SPINK missing. 19 O/Ranks killed. 48 O/R wounded, 13 O/R missing, wounded on duty 47 O/Ranks.
Note: 2/Lt Maurice Frank Foulds, aged 20, and 2/Lt Dennis Boucher Spink, aged 19, are both commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial to the missing.

Trench Map of the Battle of Passchendaele - Click Image to enlarge
Trench Map of the Battle of Passchendaele - Click Image to enlarge
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

John Henry has no known grave and is also commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial to the missing.

Tyne Cot memorial to the missing
Tyne Cot memorial to the missing
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

John Henry's wife and children were living in 'Vernon Cottage', London Road, Ewell, Surrey when their daughter Beatrice Jean was born on 8 March 1917. She was baptised on 28 March in St. Mary the Virgin church, Ewell, Surrey. As Henry was killed on 30 September 1917 while on active service in France, it is doubtful that he ever met his daughter Beatrice.

Administration (with Will) of his effects, that was valued at £486 0s. 6d.,was granted to his widow who was living in their home 'Vernon Cottage', London Road, Ewell, Surrey.

John Henry was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

SMC

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BOWLES Reginald Albany, Lieutenant.

2nd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers (RWF).
Died of Wounds 20 July 1916, aged 23.

R.J.A. Bowles, 10 May 1912 The David Knights-Whittome collection © 2015.
R.J.A. Bowles, 10 May 1912
Image taken from the David Knights-Whittome collection,
courtesy of Sutton Archives © 2015. https://pastonglass.wordpress.com/

Reginald Albany Bowles was born in Burnley on 31 May 1891 the son of the Reverend Henry Albany and Louisa Alethea Bowles (nee Yonge). Reginald's parents were married in the Winchester registration district, probably at Otterbourne, where his mother was born in 1863. They came from the upper classes - Reginald's grandmother on his father's side was a daughter of the second Earl of Onslow, and his grandfather on his mother's side was a local landowner and magistrate. A great aunt was the celebrated Victorian writer Charlotte M Yonge.

Reginald's father was a curate at St Matthew the Apostle church, Burnley from 1890 to 1892, and in 1892 he became the Vicar of Otterbourne, Hampshire. The 1901 census shows the family living in Otterbourne Vicarage. At that time there were five children, Reginald being the only son. The family employed four servants.

In 1911 the family was living at The Hollies, Church Street, Epsom, and Reginald's father was Associate Priest at Christ church, with particular responsibility for St. Barnabas which did not become a free-standing parish until 1917. (By 1912, his father had succeeded Canon Archer as Vicar of Christ Church and moved to the Vicarage). Reginald, a student, and his five surviving siblings were all living there, as were the four servants employed by the family.

REGINALD JULIAN ALBANY BOWLES AND HIS SIBLINGS
NAME BORN : DIED NOTES
Cicely Gertrude Burnley 1890 Married Harry F Saunders 1915 Epsom
Reginald Julian Albany 31 May 1891 : 20 July 1916  
Margaret Ernestine Otterbourne 1894 Married Henry F Bond Epsom 1918
Marjorie Joan Georgina Otterbourne 1896 Married George S Rands Petersfield
Phyllis Alan (sic) Otterbourne 1901 Married Edward A Barnard Petersfield
Eileen Helen Otterbourne 1904 Married Leslie J Maidment Petersfield
The 1911 census shows that another sibling had died, name and dates unknown

Reginald was educated at Haileybury, where he had been a member of the OTC, and at Clare College, Cambridge. In 1910 he served for five months as a Second Lieutenant with the Hampshire Regiment. In 1912 he resigned his commission to work in Argentina as a Traffic Inspector with the Western Railway, Quiroga, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. He returned to England with the intention of serving with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. In 1914 a large number of employees of the Argentinean Railways returned to fight in the British Armed forces and at least 158 of them were killed or died as a result of the conflict. Many joined Welsh Regiments because of their connections with the Welsh community in Patagonia. This is perhaps why Reginald joined the RWF.

Reginald, who had not married, was 5 feet 11½ inches tall, and able to ride a horse. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant on 27 February 1915 into the 1/4th Battalion RWF, and went to France in July 1915. Initially he was officer in charge of a detachment working with the light railway, conveying stores and equipment from Philosophe to the front line. This was a job he did not relish and he later transferred to the 2nd Battalion RWF, and became president of the mess committee.

The 2nd RWF was in the 19th Brigade, 33 Division, and on the 20 July 1916 the Division was ordered to capture High Wood. The 2nd RWF were initially held in reserve but were called upon later in the day. Although they were heavily shelled whilst coming forward they attacked in the early afternoon and after hard fighting reached the northern end of the wood where they started to reorganise and consolidate. However, losses had been heavy and the men were so exhausted that a request for relief was made. At dusk before the relief was carried out, a German bombardment with gas and high-explosive shells compelled a withdrawal to the southern half of the wood. The relief proved slow and difficult in the darkness but was accomplished by the next morning.

Reginald was severely wounded during the attack receiving gunshot wounds to his neck and back. He was evacuated to 21st Casualty Clearing Station at Neuville sur Corbie, but later died of his wounds, and is buried in plot I.D.5. La Neuville British Cemetery, Corbie. During the attack the battalion also lost 52 other ranks killed or died of wounds.

Reginald's Headstone in La Neuville British Cemetery, Corbie
Reginald's Headstone in La Neuville British Cemetery, Corbie
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Reginald's effects were returned to his next of kin and consisted of pipe, tobacco pouch, shaving mirror, cheque book, pocket letter writing case, electric torch, knife fork and spoon set, flash, scissors, prismatic compass, whistle, five dice, nine buttons, four stars, letters and two silk purses. He died intestate, leaving £54-1s-11d.

The Epsom Advertiser dated 28 July 1916 wrote the following:
CLERGYMAN'S SON KILLED. - Lieut. Reginald Julian Albany Bowles, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who fell on July 20, was the only son of the Rev. and Mrs. H.A. Bowles, of Christ Church, Epsom. He was educated at Twyford (Hants) School, Haileybury, and Clare College, Cambridge. In 1912 he went to the Argentine, and was engaged in the Buenos Aires Western Railway. On the outbreak of war he offered his services and on returning home obtained a commission in the Special Reserve of Officers. He went to the front in August last and took part in the battle of Loos. He shared in the gallant and successful counter attack on the enemy after they had mined and raided the British trenches at Givenchy, and was slightly wounded in a recent raid.
The following week the Epsom Advertiser dated 4 August 1916 wrote the following:
A MEMORIAL SERVICE for Lieut. Reginald J.A. Bowles of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who was killed in action on July 20th, was conducted at Christ Church on Monday morning by the Rev. H.A. Bowles (Priest in charge of St Barnabas). Lieut. Bowles was the only son of the Vicar (the Rev. H.A. Bowles). There was a large gathering at the service, which terminated with Chopin's Funeral March, played by Mr. G.E. Good (organist) and the sounding of the "Last Post" by a bugler from Woodcote Park Convalescent Camp.
Reginald's medal card
Reginald's medal card.
Image courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk (Link opens in a new window)
Ancestry Logo

Reginald was awarded the 1914 - 1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal, and is also commemorated on several other memorials outside the Borough including:
  • The Burnley war memorial
  • Haileybury School
  • Argentine Railways Roll of Honour
  • Roll of the Sons And Daughters of the Anglican Church Clergy Throughout the World And of the Naval And Military Chaplains of the Same Who Gave Their Lives in the Great War, 1914-1918
The Epsom Advertiser dated 10 October 1919 wrote the following:
HONOURING THE DEAD. - In honour of the memory of the Rev. H. A. Bowles' only son who was killed in the war, the Vicar of Christ Church, Epsom, entertained the ex-soldier members of the Epsom Common Club to dinner on Saturday. A pleasant evening was spent, the dinner being followed by a concert to which other members of the club were invited.
EP CC SB

Thanks to K. Spencer and Alison of Burnley Reference Library and Roger Morgan for their help with this research.

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BOWMAN Edward Talbot, Company Sergeant Major. 200009.

1/5th Battalion East Surrey Regiment.
Died 24 February 1918, aged 33.

Edward Talbot Bowman was born on 29 October 1884 in Battersea, London (GRO reference Dec 1884 Wandsworth 1d 705). His parents, Thomas Bowman and Melecina Jane Talbot from Tipperary in Ireland, were married in 1883. Edward was baptised on 22 April 1885 in St. Mark's church, Battersea Rise, Wandsworth where the record shows that the family was living at 59, Leathwaite Road, Battersea.

The family was living in Leatherhead, Surrey by 1887 when his brother Thomas Abraham was born. His sister Melecina Jane was born there in 1889.

The 1891 census shows them living in Leatherhead High Street. Edward's father Thomas Bowman, from Tipperary in Ireland, was a 'Bookeeper, Stationers Retail'. Edward's aunt, Susan Talbot, a 30 year old from Dublin was living with them, but was supporting herself on her own means. Emily Stemp, a 'General servant. Domestic' also lived with them.

The 1901 census shows them still living in Leatherhead High Street, this time adding 'South Side'. Edward's father Thomas was working as a 'Wholesale Stationers Assistant'. His mother Melecina was shown as a 'Stationer' on her own account working from home. Edward himself was now 16 years old and also working as a stationers assistant. His brother Thomas aged 13 was an office boy. Melecina Jane junior was still at school, and there were two more brothers, Henry Copley age 9 and William George aged 5.

Aunt Susan was still with them, but was now recorded as a housekeeper. Also, living with them was Edward's grandfather Abraham Talbot, a 74 year old photographer from Ireland.

Edward and his family moved to 'Bankside Cottages', Kingston Road, Ewell where, on 3 April 1903, Edward's brothers, Henry and William, having previously attending the Ashtead National School, were enrolled into Ewell Boys School. Edward is commemorated on the Ewell Old Boys' War Memorial (displayed in Bourne Hall Museum). As he was 19 in 1903 and therefore too old to have been a pupil, he was possibly a teacher at the school.

Edward and his family were still living in Kingston Road, Ewell when the 1911 census was taken. His father filled the form in stating that he was a retired wholesale and retail stationer. He and his wife of 27 years had had five children, all of whom were still living at home. Edward was now working as a wholesale stationer while his brother Thomas was a clerk to a pencil manufacturer. His sister Melecina was working as an editorial assistant, brother Henry as a clerk and brother William was an apprentice to Dorset the ironmongers.

Soldiers Died CD states enlisted at Leatherhead into the 1/5th East Surrey Regt. Not found in Surrey Recruitment Registers nor did I find any record of his marriage.

From the East Surrey History:
   "On December 19 1917 the 1/5th Battalion, under the command of Lieut Colonel G. A. M. Roe, left Muttra with a strength of 27 officers and 1001 other ranks, and on 21st embarked at Bombay in HM Transport Egra. Christmas Day was spent in the Persian Gulf, and on the 27th the battalion disembarked at Busrah.
   On the 7th January, 1918 the Battalion entrained for Amara, where it remained till the end of the month. The first days of February were spent on board the river steamer P21 and two flats lashed alongside of her, en route for Baghdad. On reaching that city the Battalion joined the 55th Infantry Brigade of the 18th Indian Division, the other units of the Brigade being the 10th Jats, 94th (Russell's) Infantry, the 116th Mahrattas and the 239th Machine Gun Company."
Bearing this in mind and that Edward Talbot Bowman died on 24 February 1918, and was buried at sea, it is quite probable that he died of disease aboard a hospital ship. He is commemorated on the Chatby Memorial, Alexandria, Egypt.

Epsom Advertiser dated 15 Mar 1918:
Ewell Parish Council; resolved to send a letter of sympathy to Mr Bowman whose son had served in India during the war, had died whilst on his way home.
Edward was awarded the British War medal.

Another Ewell man in the 1st/5th died during this period, William Elson.

BH EW ES

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BREEDEN George Oliver James, Private. F/3347.

4th Battalion Middlesex Regiment.
Killed in Action 17 November 1916, aged 31.

George Breeden's inscription on the Thiepval memorial.
George Breeden's inscription on the Thiepval memorial.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2008

George Oliver James Breeden was born in 1885 (GRO reference: Mar 1885 Epsom 2a 27) to Oliver and Elizabeth Breeden (nee Lane). His parents had married in St Martin of Tours church, Epsom on 20 May 1883. George was baptised by the Rev. John Samuel on 3 May 1885 in St Martin of Tours church.

In the 1891 census the family lived at 16 East Street, Epsom, near the now demolished Red Lion Inn. George's father Oliver was a 31 year old baker. His mother was also 31. He had four brothers Alfred Arthur aged 7, Albert William aged 5, Walter aged 2 and Oliver aged 9 months.

By the 1901 census the family lived at 25 Miles Road. George's father was still a baker, whilst brother Alfred was a plumber's mate, Albert was a house boy and George himself was a grocer's boy. Four more siblings are shown, Walter 12, Oliver 9, Ellen Lillian 8 and Violet 3. Boarding with the family was 36 year old Albert Tunnell, also a baker.

Still living at number 25, George and his father were working as gardeners by the time the 1911 census was taken. His father filled in the census form stating that he and his wife of 27 years had had 7 children, who were all still living, but only four of which were at home that night. Brother Albert was working as a house painter, brother Oliver was working as a butcher and sister Violet was aged 13. His sister Ellen appears to have been known as Nellie by the family but has had her name crossed through on the census.

George married Eva Jessie Heinz on 13 April 1914 in St. Barnabas church, Temple Road, Epsom. Their son Norman Albert Breeden, born on 29 June 1915, was baptised on 12 September in St. Barnabas church; he died in 1993.

George was aged 30 when he attested on 8 December 1915 at Epsom into the 27 (reserve) Battalion Middlesex regiment and was immediately placed on the reserve, not being called upon to serve until June 1916. He was 5 feet 3 3/4 inches tall, weighed 112 lbs, had a chest measurement of 35 inches with an expansion of 3½ inches. He worked as a gardener and he lived at 17, Neil Terrace, Epsom. His religion was Church of England. His physical development was described as fair, his vision as perfect 6/6 in both eyes, but it was noted that he needed dental treatment.

George was sent to France on 12 October 1916 with 4th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, and only managed to survive for 37 days before he was reported wounded and missing, later changed to killed in action. His unit was holding trenches east of Beaumont-Hamel when he and eight others from the battalion were killed on 17 November 1916. Originally Beaumont-Hamel had been an objective of the first day of the Somme battle on 1 July 1916, but it did not fall until 13 November, some four and half months later.

George's widow was awarded a weekly pension for herself and one child of 18s 9d, (about £55 in 2013) from 6 August 1917. She was then living at 25, Miles Road, Epsom.

George Oliver James Breeden is commemorated on pier 12D of the Thiepval memorial. He is also commemorated on St. Martin's church memorial, St. Barnabas Roll of Honour and on his parents' grave.

George Breeden's inscription on his parents grave in Epsom Cemetery.
George Breeden's inscription on his parents grave in Epsom Cemetery.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

George was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

The St. Martin's church Roll of Honour states that:
GEORGE OLIVER JAMES BREEDEN, was killed in action at Beaumont-Hammel on 17th November 1916.
His widow married ex-serviceman Richard David Orton on 27 November 1918 in St. Mary's church Balham, and died in 1957.

George's father was buried on 8 November 1929 and his mother on 25 July 1941, in grave F66 in Epsom Cemetery. George is remembered on his parents' grave.

EP SM PG SB

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BRITTEN Lachlan, Private. L2125.

28th Battalion Australian Imperial Force (AIF)
Died of wounds 13 June 1916, Aged 22.

Lachlan's inscription on the CWGC Memorial, Epsom
Lachlan's inscription on the CWGC Memorial, Epsom
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

Lachlan Britten was a second generation Australian who was born in 1894 at Mirboo, Victoria, Australia and was the son of William and Annie Britten (nee Ross). Lachlan's paternal great grandfather William, aged 24, had originally emigrated with his great grandmother Sarah and grandfather Joseph from Calne, Wiltshire, England in April 1850 They sailed on the 'British Empire', arriving at Port Adelaide, South Australia on 14 August 1850. The family settled in Port MacDonnell, the most southern port of South Australia (located halfway between Adelaide and Melbourne) where great grandfather William ran a successful drapery business.

Lachlan's parents had married on 31 October 1899 in Victoria, Australia.

Annie, Lachlan's older sister, was born 1889 and his older brother William Henry in 1891. His younger siblings were Hugh Arnold born 1897, Robert Ernest born 1899, Mary Ellen born 1902 and Roy James born 1906.

Having reached the age of 21 in 1916, Lachlan appeared just once on the Australian electoral roll. He was recorded as a timber worker living at Wuraming, Forrest in the Swan Valley area of Perth Western Australia (WA). His parents were living nearby at Dwellingup, where his father worked as a teamster.

Like many other young men in Australia, Lachlan and his older brother William Henry Britten responded to the call of coming and fighting for 'King & Country' when Britain declared on Germany in 1914.

23-year-old William Henry and 21 year 5 month old Lachlan were both single men when they both enlisted into the Australian Imperial Force, 28th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement on 23 July 1915 as Privates 2124 and 2125 respectively.

Lachlan was described as being 5 feet 9¼ inches tall, weighing 158 lbs, chest measurement of 36 inches with 2 inches expansion, of dark complexion with grey eyes and fair/brown hair. It was noted that he had a scar over his right eye and had vaccination marks on his left arm. His family were Presbyterians.

The 28th Battalion embarked from Fremantle, WA, on board HMAT Hororata on 1 October 1915. Records show that Lachlan was admitted to hospital suffering from tonsillitis in January 1916 when the battalion was in Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt. On the 16 March 1916 the battalion was given orders to prepare to join the BEF in France. They disembarked in Marseilles France on 21 March 1916.

On 5 June 1916 Lachlan was severely wounded with multiple gun shot wounds to his chest, leg and ankle, probably caused by shell fire. The first major battle his Battalion fought in commenced on 28 July at Pozières, prior to which they were 'holding the line'. He was admitted to a hospital in Boulogne and four days later was transferred to HS 'St Dennis' before embarking on HS 'St George' for England the next day. As soon as he had landed he was taken to the County of London War Hospital (Horton) in Epsom Surrey where he was admitted. Lachlan was only aged 22 when he died three days later on 13 June 1916 of malignant oedema or gangrene of his wounds.

Some of Lachlan Service Papers - Click image to enlarge
Some of Lachlan Service Papers - Click image to enlarge
Some of Lachlan Service Papers - Click image to enlarge
Some of Lachlan Service Papers. Click image to enlarge
Image courtesy of Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia) © 2012.

Lachlan was buried on 16 June 1916 in Epsom Cemetery in grave K82 (official notification gave number as 645). On that same day a telegram was received by his father, telling them of his admittance to the County of London Hospital, but not of his death or burial.

Telegram informing his father that Lachlan was in hospital - Click image to enlarge
Telegram informing his father that Lachlan was in hospital. Click image to enlarge
Image courtesy of Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia) © 2012.

The next day, 17 June, his father William, in Pindalup WA, sent a telegram to the barracks in Melbourne Australia asking them 'to wire him full details and progress'.

Telegram requesting infromation on  Lachlan's progress - Click image to enlarge
Telegram requesting infromation on Lachlan's progress. Click image to enlarge
Image courtesy of Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia) © 2012.

On 26 June 1916, unknown to the grieving Britten family in WA, their other son William Henry Britten was being admitted to the Chatham Military hospital with 'Synovitis knee, mild'. Synovitis is a condition that occurs when the liner and lubrication of the knee joint becomes inflicted with inflammation. This medical condition can be caused by rheumatoid arthritis as well as injury or trauma.

This injury resulted in William being returned to WA on 12 November 1916 and being discharged from the AIF on 15 March 1917 with a 10/- (50p) weekly pension for him and his newly wed wife Johanna Irene.

A message was sent on 18 August 1916 from Matron Thorburn of the County of London War Hospital, saying that 'He (Lachlan) was visited twice on the day of his death by the Presbyterian minister Mr Ferguson and seemed quite happy, he was conscious up to the last few minutes, and left no messages'.

A package containing 1 Testament, 1 packet of letters, 1 key, 1 identity disc, 7 postcards, photos, and 1 leather wallet containing 2 francs and 70 cents was returned to Lachlan's father on 12 January 1917. A shaving brush was also sent later.

The form accompanying Lachlan's effects  - Click image to enlarge
The form accompanying Lachlan's effects. Click image to enlarge
Image courtesy of Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia) © 2012.

A photograph of Lachlan's grave was transmitted to his father on 15 March 1918. Whether this was received is unknown but on 9 April 1920 another photo of Lachlan's grave, in duplicate, was again transmitted.

In 1921 the family received a second letter (the first one having remained unanswered) from the AIF Victoria Barracks Defence Department concerning their deceased son's details, which were to be put on a permanent headstone in Epsom cemetery.

The letter regarding Lachlan's headstone in Epsom Cemetery - Click image to enlarge
The letter regarding Lachlan's headstone in Epsom Cemetery. Click image to enlarge
Image courtesy of Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia) © 2012.

Whether they answered this letter is unknown.

On 16 August 1922 the family received the memorial plaque and the King's message that was sent to all the next-of-kin of soldiers who had died during the war. Lachlan was also awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory medals.

The receipt for the meorial plaque - Click image to enlarge
The receipt for the meorial plaque. Click image to enlarge
Image courtesy of Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia) © 2012.

On 7 May 1925 the following letter was sent to Lachlan's father regarding the intention of the unveiling and dedication of the Great War Cross erected by the Imperial War Graves Commission in Epsom Surrey England on Sunday 17 May 1925:

The letter regarding the unveiling - Click image to enlarge
The letter regarding the unveiling. Click image to enlarge
Image courtesy of Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia) © 2012.

A letter containing a booklet describing the ceremony held was sent to the family on 5 August 1925. It informed them also that a copy of the Epsom 'Herald' was being forwarded to them under a separate cover.

The letter regarding the ceremony - Click image to enlarge
The letter regarding the ceremony. Click image to enlarge
Image courtesy of Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia) © 2012.

Lachlan Britten is also remembered on panel 112 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Camberra Australia. www.awm.gov.au

His name also appears on the 'Kings Park War Memorial' in Perth, WA.

Our intrepid reseacher, Hazel Ballan, pointing to Lachlan's inscription on the The Kings Park War Memorial in Perth
Our intrepid reseacher, Hazel Ballan, pointing to Lachlan's inscription on the The Kings Park War Memorial in Perth
Image courtesy of Hazel Ballan © 2012

The Kings Park War Memorial in Perth
The Kings Park War Memorial in Perth
Image courtesy of Hazel Ballan © 2012

CWGC

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BRITTON Joseph, Guardsman. 1021

5th Reserve Battalion Guards Machine Gun Regiment
Died 24 July 1917, aged 67.

Joseph Britton
Joseph Britton.
Image courtesy of Photo courtesy of Natalie McBride © 2015

Joseph Britton was born on 20 September 1850 in St. Pancras, Chichester, West Sussex (GRO reference: Sept 1850 Chichester 7 342), the son of Henry and Mary Ann Britton (nee Loader), who had married on 5 August 1838 in Chichester.

JOSEPH BRITTON AND HIS KNOWN SIBLINGS
NameBornNotes
Mary1840 Chichester, Sussex 
Caroline1842 Chichester, SussexMarried William Wallace Smith 1864. Died 1896 York, Ontario, Canada
George1846 Chichester, SussexMarried Cecile Mary Hurle 1863. Emigrated to U.S.A.
James1848 Chichester, SussexMarried Sarah Bristow 1882.
Joseph1850 Chichester, SussexDied 24 July 1917
Rosina1857 Chichester, SussexMarried Fredrick J St. Clair Hards 1875 Toronto, Canada

Joseph was 6 months old when the 1851 census was taken. He was living with his parents and older siblings Mary aged 11, Caroline aged 9, George aged 5 and James aged 3, in St. Pancreas Street, Chichester. His 56 year old father was a marine pensioner and his mother was aged 36.

Still living in the same street ten years later, the 1861 census recorded that Joseph's father was working as a fish hawker to supplement his pension and to provide for 10 year old Joseph and his siblings, George aged 15, who was working as a shop boy for a shoemaker, James aged 12 and Rosina aged 3. His mother was recorded as being 45 and his father as 64. Also lodging with them was 90 year old James Parker who was a chair maker.

Joseph's father Henry was aged 75 when he died in 1870. His mother Mary Ann appears in the next three censuses living alone before dying in 1893 in the Westhampnett Union, Sussex.

Joseph's name does not appear on the U.K. 1871 census but on 30 July 1877 he married Emily Weeks in the parish church in Exton, Hampshire. They had at least ten children.

JOSEPH AND EMILY'S CHILDREN
NameBorn - DiedNotes
Joseph1879 Droxford, HampshireMarried Minnie Louise Clark/e 1907
Jessie HelenaBorn: 24 February 1881 Natal, South Africa. (From Ancestry Family Tree)
Died: 1970.
Married Ernest W. Parsons 1901.
Kate AmeliaBorn: 13 September 1882 Bisley, Surrey.
Died: 1967.
Baptised (with brother Herbert) 5 December 1886 St. John the Baptist church Bisley.
Father's occupation Musician.
Mother recorded as Naaioma [Naomi]. Mother of Stanley Britton.
Married William Rumble 1907.
Herbert Henry JamesBorn: 13 November 1883 Bisley, Surrey.Baptised (with sister Kate) 5 December 1886 St. John the Baptist church Bisley.
Father's occupation Musician. Mother recorded as Naaioma [Naomi].
Married Elizabeth Lowis 1910.
Dorothy NaomiBorn: 24 March 1888 Bisley, Surrey. (From Ancestry Family Tree)Married Charles L. Woods 1908.
Henry Louis/Henry James Born: 1890 Holborn, London.
Died: 1897.
Buried: 16 May 1897 Barking, Essex.
Baptised (with brother William) as Henry James on 7 November 1896 St. Luke's church Shepherds Bush. Address 27 Hayden Park Flats.
Father's occupation Labourer.
RichardBorn: 10 November 1892 Notting Hill, London. (From Ancestry Family Tree)Married Minnie Louise Clarke 1906 Romford, Essex.
William WallaceBorn: 1894 Acton, Middlesex.Baptised (with brother Henry) on 7 November 1896 St. Luke's church Shepherds Bush.
Address 27 Hayden Park Flats.
Father's occupation Labourer.
Emily IvyBorn: 1897 Barking, Essex. 
UnknownDied before 1911. 

Joseph and Emily's first child Joseph was born in 1879 in Droxford Hampshire. The family was in Natal, South Africa when their daughter Jessie was born in 1881.

For unknown reasons, it appears that Joseph and Emily may have been using different Christian names when the 1891 census was taken. Josiah and Hannah Britton were living in Liberty of Saffron Hill and Holborn in London where Josiah was the headmaster of the Central Shoeblack Society, and Hannah was the matron. Information recorded on the census shows that Josiah, like Joseph, had been born in Chichester around 1851 and that Hannah had been born in Hampshire in 1850 (Emily had been born c1854 in East Meon, Hampshire). Josiah and Hannah's children were listed as:
  • Joseph born 1879 Hampshire.
  • Jessie E born 1881, place unrecorded.
  • Kate A. born 1883 Woking, Surrey.
  • Herbert H. J. born 1884 Woking, Surrey.
  • Dorothy H. born 1888 Woking, Surrey.
  • Henry L. born 1890 Holborn, Middlesex.
Woking is about three and a half miles from the village Bisley.

By 1897 Joseph and his family had moved to Barking, Essex. The 1901 census records that Joseph and his wife Emily were living at 102 Market Street, East Ham, Essex. Joseph was aged 50 and working as a general labourer to support his 47 year old wife and children. His daughters, Jessie aged 20 and Kate aged 18, were both working as laundresses and his son Herbert, aged 17, was a general labourer. His younger children were listed as Dorothy aged 13, Richard aged 8, William aged 7 and Emily aged 3. Also listed was Joseph's 2 year old grandson Stanley Britton. The 1911 census later revealed that Stanley was Kate's son.

The whereabouts of Joseph in 1911 is unknown but his wife Emily was living with their married son Herbert at 118 North Street, Barking, Essex when the census was taken. She was however recorded as 56 years old (born c1857) Emma Britton. It was noted that she had been born in East Meon, Hampshire and had been married for 33 years during which time 2 of her 10 children had died.

Joseph's wife Emily was aged at 59 when she died on 23 October 1912 in Essex giving her a birth year of 1853.

Joseph's children were recorded on his War Gratuity Record as Joseph, Jessie Parsons, Kate Rumble, Herbert, Dorothy Wood, Richard, William W. and Ivy.

The Soldiers Died CD tells us that Joseph enlisted in Warley, Brentwood, Essex and that he had formerly served with service number 5630 in the Irish Guards.

Joseph, aged 67, died on 24 July 1917, in the Manor War Hospital, and was buried on 28 July in grave K647, shared with eight fellow servicemen, in the CWCG plot in Epsom Cemetery and is remembered on the Screen Wall there.

Joseph's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Joseph's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

CWCG

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BROOK Frederick Charles, Private. 40872

8th Royal Dublin Fusiliers
Killed in Action 16 August 1917, aged 36

Frederick's inscription on the Tyne Cot Memorial
Frederick's inscription on the Tyne Cot Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Frederick Charles Brook was born in 1881 (GRO reference: Dec 1881 Lewes 2b 182) to John and Mary Ann Brook (nee Streeter). His parents married in the Lewes registration district in 1863.

In the 1891 census the family were living at Rushey Green, Sussex. Frederick's father John was a 50 year old labourer working in a chalk pit. His mother was a 45 year old dressmaker, and he had four brothers, William Thomas aged 20, a grocer's assistant, Harry James aged 17, a bricklayer's Labourer, John George aged 14, a grocer's ******, and Edley Ernest aged 5, a scholar.

The 1901 census shows the family still living in Rushey Green, Ringmer, Sussex. Frederick's father was still earning his living labouring in a chalk pit, whilst brother Henry James was a bricklayer, and Frederick himself was a gardener, as was Edley.

By 1911 Frederick had moved to Ewell, where he worked as a gardener, and lived in The Cottage, Old House, Ewell. His parents, and brothers Henry and Edley were still living in Rushey Green. Interestingly, his father, then 70, was still working in a chalk pit, as a 'delver'.

Frederick married Edith Pemble in 1911. References for two children have been found. Olive Edith Brook was born on 23 Apr 1914 and John Frederick Brook was born 25 August 1915. They were both baptised in St Mary's church Ewell.

The Surrey recruitment register shows that Frederick attested in Epsom on 22 November 1915 and was originally number 3693 in the 24th Battalion Middlesex regiment, a reserve and training battalion. He was a 34 year old labourer, 5 feet 8½ inches tall, weighing 126 lbs. His chest measurement was 35 inches with an expansion of 4 inches, and he was born at Ringmer, but lived at 4, Ewell Terrace.

Ewell Terrace in 2007
Ewell Terrace in 2007
Copyright image courtesy of Clive Gilbert 2007

He transferred to the 8th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers, who were in the 48th Brigade 16th Division. The Division fought in the battle of Langemarck, 16 to 18 August 1917, part of the overall 3rd battle of Ypres, often called the battle of Passchendaele. On the 16 August 1917, seven men from the 8th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers were killed in action, including Frederick. The huge scale of the slaughter during the Great War is illustrated by the 'Soldiers Died CD'. It tells us that 227 officers and 3,497 other ranks died on 16 August 1917.

The Epsom Advertiser dated 14 September 1917, published the following: Under the headings
EWELL PARISH COUNCIL. KILLED IN ACTION.
----and the husband of Mrs Brook, West Street. It was decided to send a letter of sympathy to the families.
Frederick was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal. He is commemorated on the Manor Hospital war memorial and is remembered in the LCC staff Record of War Service book.

After the war, his widow Edith Brook lived at 2, Tudor Cottages, West Street, Ewell.

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing. Frederick is also commemorated on the Ringmer village memorial.

BH EW MH


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BROUGHTON Albert William, Private. G/3589.

1st Battalion The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment).
Killed in Action 25 September 1915, aged 37.

Albert's inscription on the Loos Memorial
Albert's inscription on the Loos Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert ©2008

Albert William Broughton was born in 1878 (GRO reference: Jun 1878 Epsom 2a 21) to George and Jane Broughton (nee Jenkinson). His parents had married on 3 November 1867 in Holy Trinity church, Clapham. Albert was baptised on 14 July 1878 in St. Martins of Tours church, Epsom where records show that his father was a bricklayer.

At the time of the 1871 census Albert William was yet to be born. (It seems that in later years he preferred to use only William). The family lived at Lintons Lane Epsom. His father was a 26 year old bricklayer. His mother was aged 23, and his two siblings were Sarah aged 2, and George aged 2 months. George died in 1872 aged 2.

In the 1881 census the family were still living in Lintons Lane. Three more children had been born, Jane aged 7, Albert himself aged 3 and Jonas aged 1 month.

In the 1891 census the family lived at 6, Lintons Lane. Father George, now aged 46 was still a bricklayer. Now Albert is shown as William and a sister Ethel aged 5 had arrived.

Aged 21, William married Edith Anne Wells on 9 August 1897 in All Saints church, Banstead. Their daughter Ivy Gladys was born in 1899 in Belmont, Surrey and their son George was born just before the 1901 census was taken.

In the 1901 census William and Edith lived at 18, Dunkeld Road, Upper Norwood and they had two children, Ivy aged 2 and George aged 1 month. William like his father was a bricklayer. Their son Joseph James was born at the end of 1901 and son Harry Frank in 1904.

William, who was still working as a bricklayer for a builder, was a patient at the Westminster Hospital in Broad Sanctuary, Westminster when the 1911 census was taken. Although crossed out, the census shows that William had been married for 12 years and that one of his five children had died. His wife Edith and children Ivy aged 12, George aged 10, Joseph aged 9 and Frank aged 7 were living at 39, George Road, New Malden. His wife however stated on her census form that she and William had been married for 15 years, not 12, and that she had had only four children who were all still living.

William served in the 1st Battalion Queens (Royal West Surreys), which was in the 5th Brigade, 2nd Division and went to France on 11 March 1915. The battle of Loos started on 25 September 1915, officially ended on 8 October 1915, and cost the lives of some 16,000 British soldiers. The 2nd Division was to attack either side of the La Bassée Canal. The attack to the north of the La Bassée Canal was not considered part of the main attack, but as a diversion to draw German resources away from the main thrust further south. William and 2nd Queens were to take part in this diversionary attack.

Gas was to be used for the first time by the British at Loos, and some 150 tons of chlorine gas in 5,500 cylinders was brought up to the front line ready for discharge. It had been calculated that the gas should be discharged continuously for 40 minutes. This was because German gas masks were reckoned to be effective for only 30 minutes. There were insufficient cylinders to provide 40 minutes along the whole front, so the discharge was intermittent and augmented by smoke. For the gas to reach the German trenches a wind from any point from south west to north west, at a speed of about 8 miles per hour was necessary. The wind along the 5 to 6 mile front varied. In some parts it was just right, in others there was no wind and in yet other places the wind changed direction affecting the British attackers.

On William's area of attack, north of the La Bassée Canal, only 10 minutes of gas was allocated instead of the recommended 40 minutes. However, despite some of the 1st Queens being affected by their own gas before going 'over the top', they managed to get into the German front line and take some prisoners. Despite this early success, by the end of the day the 2nd Division was back at its starting position. Even by the end of the battle on 8 October the ground attacked by the 2nd Division was still in German hands.

The 1st Battalion Queens lost 109 men killed on 25 September 1915 including Albert William Broughton. He is commemorated on Panel 14 of the Loos Memorial.

The St Martin's roll of honour states that:
"ALBERT WILLIAM BROUGHTON, was reported wounded and missing and presumed died of wounds in France on the 25th September 1915".
William was awarded the 1914 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal.

EP SM

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BROWN Alfred Llewellyn, Sergeant. MS/3481.

Army Service Corps (ASC).
Died 6 November 1918, aged 26.

Alfred's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Detail from Alfred's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Alfred's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Images courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

Alfred Llewellyn Brown was born on 30 December 1892 (GRO reference: December 1892 Barnet 3a 238) at Finchley in Middlesex, the son of Charles Richard and Margaret Brown (nee Lewis).

Alfred's father, Charles Richard Brown had been born in Reading, Berkshire in 1863, and on 6 May 1888 was married to Margaret Lewis in a parish church in the registration district of Barnet Middlesex. Margaret was born in 1865 in Carmarthen and was known as Maggie.

Alfred Llewellyn Brown And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Charles Philip Born: 15 May 1889 Finchley
Died: 1959 Surrey Mid Eastern
Married Elizabeth Rogers 1915 Epsom
George Lewis Born: 12 July 1890 Finchley
Died: 8 March 1958 Surrey Mid Eastern
Married Olive (named widow in 1958 probate record)
Alfred Llewellyn Born: 30 December 1892 Finchley
Died: 6 November 1918 Norwich
Married Sybil Ellen Burleigh 21 October 1917 Epsom
May Margaret Born: 6 May 1894 Finchley
Died: 1947 Repton
Married Private Sydney H Trower 1913 Chertsey

Before Alfred's father's marriage, in the census for 1881, Charles was employed as a Seeds man's assistant in Reading but, by 1891, he was employed as a 'Lunatic Attendant'. He and his wife were living at 2, Bawtry Road, Friern Barnet, Middlesex with their two sons, Charles Philip aged 1 and George Lewis aged 9 months.

By 1901, the family had moved to Epsom and were living at the Manor Asylum where Alfred's father Charles was employed as Head Male Officer/Head Attendant. Alfred was a choirboy for both Christ Church and St. Barnabas.

In the 1911 census, Alfred's father Charles described himself as working as an 'Asylum Inspector' employed by the County Council, that the family were still living on-site at Horton and that he and Margaret had been married for 23 years. All four of their children were now employed, Charles as an engineer for a motor cycle dealer, George as an asylum clerk, Alfred as a plumber for an ironmonger's and Margaret as a dressmaker. In the description of Alfred's funeral, it is stated that he had worked for Dorset & Co; this was an ironmonger's shop near where the Post Office now is (2013) in Epsom High Street.

On 5 September 1914 Alfred, aged 21, attested in London, as a motor mechanic, into the Motor Transport section of the ASC, stating his 'Trade or Calling' as a motor lorry driver.

At his medical in London, he was described as being aged exactly 21. He was 5 feet 9¾ inches tall, weighed 158lbs, had a chest measurement of 37½ inches with a 4 inch expansion and had perfect 6/6 vision in both eyes. He had a sallow complexion with a scar on his left cheek and blue eyes and brown hair. His physical development was described as very good, and he had two vaccination marks from infancy.

Alfred's 'Military History Sheet' shows that he went to France on 21 September 1914 and did not return until 28 October 1918. However, Alfred did return home, presumably on leave, to marry 22-year-old Sybil Ellen Burleigh in the Epsom Registry Office on 21 October 1917; they had no children. Sybil had been born in Norwich and was the daughter of Henry Thomas Burleigh, hall porter at Thorpe Asylum near Norwich.

Before his marriage Alfred gave parents as his next of kin, living at Inspector's House, Horton Asylum, Epsom, but after marriage his wife became next of kin, living at 1, Norfolk Terrace, Thorpe, Norfolk.

Alfred was promoted Corporal on 11 February 1916, and to Acting Sergeant on 28 August 1916. But, he was demoted to Corporal on 28 October 1916 for:
     1. Using a Government vehicle for an unofficial purpose.
     2. Being out of bounds, 14 miles from the lines without a pass.

He was finally promoted to Sergeant on 25 May 1918.

On 14 September 1917, Alfred's 53-year-old father attested into the Royal Army Medical Corps and was given the acting rank of Sergeant Major and posted for duty at the Horton War Hospital, Epsom. He was discharged on 6 November 1919.

In the last days of the war, Alfred was granted leave and returned to England where he became a victim of the 'flu pandemic which swept Europe. He was admitted on 27 October 1918 to the Norfolk War Hospital, Thorpe, Norfolk. His illness developed into pneumonia and he died at 3am on 6 November. His body was brought back to Epsom and, following a military funeral, was buried at Epsom Cemetery (plot A339) on Thursday 14 November 1918, just three days after the Armistice.

Probate was granted to his widow with his effects being valued at £299 6s. 9d. Sybil was granted a pension of 16/3 a week as from 12 May 1919 and received Alfred's Memorial Scroll and Kings Letter on 12 July 1920. Alfred was also awarded with the 1914 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal.

Click to enlarge this newspaper article and photo for AL Brown
Click on image to enlarge

Sybil remained living at 1, Norfolk Terrace, Thorpe, Norwich after Alfred's death and re-married there in 1922 to John H Kahler. On 21 June 1922 she filled in a form listing her late first husband's living relatives and their addresses; she gave herself as 'Sybil Ellen Brown, now S. E. Kahler of Blofield, Norwich', his parents as 'Charles and Margaret Brown of Horton Mental Asylum Epsom', his brothers as 'Charles Brown of Waterloo Road, Epsom' and 'George Brown of Horton Mental Asylum Epsom' and his sister as 'May Trower, address unknown'.

Sybil died in Norwich in 1979 at the age of 83.

Alfred's father, Charles Richard, died on 4 August 1933 aged 70 and is buried alongside his son; he was described at the time of his death as 'retired, late of Ewell Court Farm Estate'. His mother, Margaret, died on 19 August 1938 aged 74, a widow of 331 Kingston Road, Ewell; she was buried in the same plot as her husband and son at Epsom Cemetery.

EP CC SB BEC

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Brown, Edwin Stanley, Lance Corporal. T/207787.

10th Battalion, Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regient).
Formerly 1672 and 45152, Surrey Yeomanry.

Killed in action 14 October 1918, aged 28.

Edwin's headstone in the Dadizeele New British Cemetery, Moorslede, Belgium
Edwin's headstone in the Dadizeele New British Cemetery, Moorslede, Belgium
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

Edwin Stanley Brown was born in Sutton, Surrey in 1890 (GRO reference: Mar 1890 Epsom 2a 11), the son of Edwin Thomas and Louisa Brown. His bachelor father had married widow Louisa Williams, nee Apted, in the parish church of St. Leonard Shoreditch in Hackney on 30 March 1889. His mother Louisa had been born in Epsom in 1858, and was the daughter of fishmonger William Apted, who was trading in Epsom High Street in 1861. Louisa married Charles Percy Williams in 1883 but he died in 1885; their daughter Winifred was born the following year in 1886.

Edwin's father was a working, like his father before him, as a boot manufacturer but none of the family has been found in the 1891 census. When Edwin's grandfather, Henry Paterson Brown, died in 1895, Edwin's father was described in Henry's probate records as being a commercial traveller so maybe the family were moving around, or possibly even abroad.

Edwin's family were all listed on the 1901 census by just their initials and surname. His half sibling Winifred was recorded as W. Brown here. They were living at 55, High Street, Sutton where Edwin senior was trading as a boot retailer.

By 1911 the family were still living and working from 55, High Street, Sutton. Edwin's father filled in the census form stating that he and his wife of 22 years had had 2 children, both surviving, and that he was an employer and dealer in boot making. He listed his children as his 25 year old step daughter Winifred Williams, who worked as his assistant, his son 21 year old Edwin Stanley, who was working as a clerk in a Gas Office and his younger son 19 year old Albert Henry, who worked as a clerk in a hotel. Albert Henry also served, attesting into the Honourable Artillery Company on 1 February 1917.

Edwin's father was 58 when he died at their home in Sutton. He was buried in Epsom cemetery in grave D477 on 16 November 1914.

Edwin Stanley enlisted in Redhill, served with the Surrey Yeomanry, a territorial unit, and was given the service number 1672. However, in 1917 all the Territorial units were renumbered, and Edwin's number was duly changed to 45152. Then, in September 1917, 'C' Squadron of the 1/1 Surrey Yeomanry was disbanded and absorbed into the 10th Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment), and Edwin's number was changed yet again to T/207787.

On 19 March 1915 Edwin went to Alexandra, Egypt with the Surrey Yeomanry, under the orders of the 29th Division, with the prospect of fighting in Gallipoli. But instead, in June, the Yeomen went to the Island of Imbros and served as GHQ troops. In February 1916 they returned to Egypt, and then in March were sent to the Western Front via Marseilles, serving with the Cavalry Regiment. Then in September 1917 they were transferred to the infantry and served with the 10th Queen's, 124th Brigade, 41st Division.

The following is an extract from the Battalion War Diary for October 1918:
13th. Battalion marched out to take part in the MENIN Battle. Entrained at REME SIDING
     (27/L 23 b 1.9) detrained at CLAPHAM JUNCTION (28/J 13 d)
14th. Battalion marched to Assembly Area and prepared to attack Zero hour 0530.
15th. Objectives were gained and the Battn were relieved by 2/4th Queens. Billeted for the
     night in the vicinity of JOHNSTON FARM 28 K 36).
Edwin and seven of his comrades lost their lives on 14 October 1918. Edwin was buried in Dadizeele New British Cemetery, Moorslede, Belgium in Plot: V. F. 29.

The Dadizeele New British Cemetery, Moorslede, Belgium
The Dadizeele New British Cemetery, Moorslede, Belgium
The Dadizeele New British Cemetery, Moorslede, Belgium
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

He was awarded the 1915 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal.

Edwin is not commemorated on any of Epsom and Ewell WW1 memorials but is remembered on his father's headstone in Epsom cemetery, and on the Sutton War Memorial.

Edwin's inscription on his father's grave
Edwin's inscription on his father's grave
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

Edwin's inscription on the Sutton War Memorial
Edwin's inscription on the Sutton War Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

PG

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BROWN John William, Private. 22919.

2nd Battalion Norfolk Regiment.
Died 23 September 1922, aged 28.

John's inscription on the CWGC Memorial, Epsom
John's inscription on the CWGC Memorial, Epsom
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

John William Brown was born on 19 June 1894 in North Tuddenham, Norfolk (GRO reference: Sept 1894 Mitford 4b 250), the only son of William and Emma Brown. John's parents had married c1884 and he had six sisters.

JOHN WILLIAM BROWN AND HIS SIBLINGS
NameBorn
Alice EmmaBorn: 1886 Barnham Broom, Norfolk
Caroline AnnBorn: 1888 Barnham Broom, Norfolk
Catherine RoseBorn: 1890 Barnham Broom, Norfolk
Gertrude MayBorn: 1892 Barnham Broom, Norfolk
John William Born: 19 June 1894 North Tuddenham Norfolk
Emma MaudBorn: 1896 North Tuddenham, Norfolk
Mabel LouisaBorn: 1901 North Tuddenham, Norfolk

John was baptised on 30 September 1894 in North Tuddenham, Norfolk.

When the 1901 census was taken John, aged 6, and his siblings Alice Emma aged 15, Caroline Ann aged 13, Catherine Rose aged 11, Gertrude May aged 9, Emma Maud aged 4 and 12 day old Mabel Louisa were living with their parents in Stephens Green, North Tuddenham. John's father was working as a yardman on a farm.

Ten years later John and his parents and younger siblings Emma and Mabel were living in Main Road, North Tuddenham. John's father was working as a cowman on a farm. John himself was a 'general farm worker' while his sister Emma was seeking domestic service. His father recorded that he and his wife had been married for 28 years and that all of their 7 children were still living.

John enlisted on 11 December 1915 and served with the 2nd Battalion Norfolk Regiment. For the entire duration of the war the 2nd Norfolks fought in Mesopotamia (Iraq). John was wounded and because of his wounds was honourably discharged from the Army on 9 March 1918 and was given Silver War Badge Number 354694.

After the war John became a trainee at the Queen Mary Convalescent Centre, Woodcote Park, Epsom. As a result of a road accident John died in Dr. Copes' surgery in Ewell on 23 September 1922. The following is an extract from the Epsom Advertiser dated 29 September 1922:

DANGEROUS LANE.
FOOTBALL TRAGEDY AT EWELL.
FRACTURED COLLAR BONE AND BROKEN RIBS.


   Tragedy overtook a football team and several supporters from the Queen Mary Convalescent Centre, Woodcote Park, Epsom, on the way to a match at Wallington on Saturday afternoon.
   They were in a motor lorry passing through Monger's-lane, Ewell, when it drew to the near side to allow another vehicle to pass. As it drew out again the back of it struck a projecting buttress of a wall by the side of the road, and two of the occupants were struck in the back.
   One of the men was John William Brown (29). whose, home is at North Tuddonham, East Dereham, Norfolk, and he died shortly after from internal injuries.

The inquest was held at the Spring Hotel, Ewell, on Tuesday afternoon, when Mr. Gilbert White, District Coroner, sat with a jury.
   Col. Martin Row represented the Convalescent Centre, where Brown was a trainee, and identified the body. He left the camp on Saturday with the football team, which was to play a league match at Wallington.
   James Charles Crowther, motor driver, attached to the centre for the past two and a half years, said he was engaged to drive the football team and supporters from the camp to Wallington. He knew the route well, and had been through Monger's-lane with the same lorry scores of times. On this occasion he was going along the lane at about eight miles an hour when he met a small car at the narrowest part of the lane. He drew in to avoid it, and as he pulled out again the back of the lorry struck the wall. He pulled out quickly to avoid a danger sign on the left hand side of the road. There was a doorway and it was one of the projecting buttresses of this which caught the lorry. Brown was sitting at the rear end of the lorry holding on to an iron post. Witness felt a slight jar and stopped immediately. When it was found there were personal injuries witness went with the lorry for a doctor. There was room for the car to pass the lorry with a few inches to spare, and it was as he turned out that the lorry scraped the wall.

WHEEL IN THE GUTTER


   Frank Lloyd, trainee at the centre, who was sitting with the driver, gave similar evidence. The small car had passed when the lorry drew out, and the back of the latter struck the buttress of the wall on the side of the road through the wheel sinking into a depression on the near side; that caused the back of the lorry to sway more towards the wall and scrape the buttress. Brown was caught between the wall and one of the iron stays supporting the covering of the lorry.
   Arthur Gilbert Kingsley, another trainee and secretary of the football team, said he had charge of the party, and corroborated the previous evidence. After the accident the lorry was cleared of all the men with the exception of Brown and Mills, who were taken in the lorry to a local surgery.
   Charles Read, one of the team's supporters, said he was sitting next to Mills, who was now in hospital, with Brown at the end. The lorry had a canopy supported by iron stays. Witness felt the lorry drawn in to the left and then out again after a car had passed. He felt the side of the lorry brush up against the wall after the hind wheel had skidded in the gutter. Mills fell into the centre of the lorry and Brown hung over the side between the iron stay and the wall, crushed up against the buttress.
   The Coroner-Did you notice the buttress?
   Witness replied "No," and added that they were all sitting on the sides of the lorry. He helped to pull. Brown in through the torn covering and the lorry was stopped.

CONSCIOUS UNTIL 'DEATH.


   Dr. Rayner, Ewell, who attended both men immediately after the accident, said Brown was obviously suffering from serious internal injuries and died about a quarter of an hour later. The cause of death was fracture of the right clavicle and fracture of seven ribs on the right side counting from the top. The injuries involved a bad rupture of the lung, which caused haemorrhage. Brown was conscious but in great pain.
   P.-s. Greenfield, Coroner's Officer, who had taken measurements, said the width of the road was 15-ft. 6-in. and the lorry 7-ft. 6-in. over all. There were two buttresses, one on each side of the wall, which projected four or five inches. The gutter was rather low, and probably caused the top of the lorry to sway over against the wall.
   The Coroner commented upon the danger at Monger's-lane. The authorities, he thought, were quite aware of it, as that was not the first fatal accident there.

   The jury returned a verdict of " Accidental death" and blamed no one. They expressed sympathy and desired to call the attention of the authorities to the dangerous lane.

   Col. Martin Row also expressed sympathy, and said he had received permission from the Ministry to pay for the expenses of the funeral, although they had nothing to do with the man's war disability.
   Ernest Mills, a trainee, who was sitting beside Brown, was also injured though not seriously, and has practically recovered.

THE FUNERAL,


of Brown took place yesterday (Thursday) at Epsom Cemetery.

   Over 400 men from the camp attended, and after the coffin, which was covered with a Union Jack, had been lowered a bugler sounded the " Last Post."



John was buried in grave K752 in the CWGC plot in Epsom Cemetery on 28 September and he is remembered on the Screen Wall there. He shares the grave with four other soldiers.

The CWGC plot in Epsom Cemetery was dedicated on 17 May 1925 and a commemorative booklet was produced, in which John's name is recorded. It seems that at some point after the dedication, a decision was made that no soldier who died after 31 August 1921, would be commemorated by the Commission. Thus, despite being buried in the Commission plot, named on the Screen Wall and appearing in the original dedication booklet, John is not recognised by the modern Commission and will not be found in their website.

John was awarded the British War medal and Victory medal.

CWGC

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BRUNS Frederick Barton, Private. 2009126.

Canadian Army Medical Corps
Died 25 June 1919, aged 31.

Frederick's inscription on the CWGC Memorial, Epsom
Frederick's inscription on the CWGC Memorial, Epsom
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

Frederick Barton Bruns was born of German descent on 20 February 1888 in Iowa, U.S.A., the son of John and Helena Bruns (nee Ormen). His parents had married on 22 December 1881 in Sterling, Whiteside, Illinois, U.S.A. after emigrating from Germany that same year. Frederick's older sister Bertha was born in 1882 and Margaret in 1885. Frederick's younger sister Anna was born in October 1891 and sister Louise in August 1896.

Only Frederick and his younger sisters were living with their parents in Butler, Calhoun, Iowa when the U.S.A. 1900 census was taken. The census notes that their father was working as a day labourer, having emigrated from Germany to the U.S.A. in 1882. Later censuses record that it was in 1881.

On 5 April 1903, Frederick was confirmed into the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in Pomeroy, Iowa.

When the U.S. 1910 Federal Sates census was taken Frederick, aged 22, was living in a hotel in Gettysburg Ward 1, Potter, South Dakota and was working as a furnace engineer.

Like the whole of the adult American male population, Frederick was required to fill in an U.S. World War 1 National Registration Card. This he did on 5 June 1917 in Sully, South Dakota, noting that his address was Gettysburg and that he was now working in Agar as a self-employed farmer. He stated that he was unmarried and had been born in Pocahontas, Iowa, on 20 February 1888.

At some point during the next year Frederick moved to Canada.

On 25 May 1918 in Toronto, Canada, Frederick attested into the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force and was attached to the 75th Draft Engineers. He gave his address as Agar South Dakota, U.S.A. and his occupation as a teamster. He also declared that he was born on 20 February 1888 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, was unmarried and that his father, John Bruns, was his next-of-kin of the same address.

At his medical he was described as being 5 feet 8½ inches tall, weighing 143½ lbs, with a 38 inch chest with 4 inches expansion. He had a medium complexion, blue eyes and fair coloured hair. It was noted that he had a "Series warts near navel in a line two inches long. Mole left arm near armpit two same back near waist". His religion was recorded as Presbyterian.

On 11 June 1918 he wrote his will, leaving all that he owned to his mother Helena as well as part of his pay.

Having embarked from Montreal on 27 June 1918 aboard H.M.T. Valacia, Frederick arrived in Seaford, England on 15 July 1918. Here between 12 August and 26 August 1918 he passed training tests in Drill, Musketry, Bombing, Bayonet Training and Anti-Gas.

On 9 September 1918 he was admitted to the Canadian Hospital in Etchinghill, Lyminge suffering from gonorrhea. During this time he was subject to pay stoppages of 60 cents a day. After 118 days treatment, he was discharged on 4 January 1919 but only weeks later, on 7 February, he was admitted to hospital in Hastings with influenza. Fortunately he recovered and was sent on 21 February to the Princess Patricia Canadian Red Cross Hospital in Bexhill to convalesce before returning to duty on 11 March 1919.

Frederick transferred from the Canadian engineers to the Canadian Army Medical Corps on 15 May 1919, so he was presumably working at the Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Woodcote Park, Epsom, when his fatal accident occurred.

From the Epsom Advertiser dated 4 July 1919.

SOLDIER'S TERRIBLE FALL
SIXTY FEET DOWN A PIT

Mysterious Wound : Doctors Differ

Mystery surrounds the tragedy death at Woodcote Park Convalescent Camp, Epsom, last week when as reported in the "Advertiser" the terribly injured body of a Canadian soldier was found at the bottom of a chalk pit between 60 ft. and 70 ft. deep. At the inquest, conducted by Mr. Gilbert White, at Leatherhead on Saturday, doctors differed regarding a wound on deceased's nose and the jury returned an open verdict.

Corpl. Joseph Arthur Lallende, CAMC, stationed at Woodcote Convalescent Camp, identified the body as that of Pte. Frederick Burton Bruns who was about 25 years of age and who had been at the camp for about two months. On Wednesday they left camp together and at Ashtead Station they parted, deceased going to Wimbledon and witness to Sutton.

Mabel May, 125 Gladstone-road, Wimbledon, stated that she met deceased for the first time at 9.10 p.m. on Wednesday and stayed with him for about an hour. Outside her house they parted, deceased telling her that he was going back to camp by the 10.55 p.m. train. He was quite sober.

Pte. Frank Durrance, Canadian University Corps, Woodcote Park Camp, said that on Wednesday of last week he was on duty at No. 2 gate at the camp. Between 12.35 a.m. and 1 a.m., after a civil policeman with whom he had been talking left him, he heard three distinct shouts from the direction of the quarry. The first shout was loud, but the others grew fainter. As it rained shortly afterwards, he went into his sentry box. It was there he saw a soldier coming through the hedge from the path which led to the quarry. Witness challenged him and he replied that he was a "friend from the Hospital" coming across to witness and saying, "My friend has jumped the fence and I think he has fallen into the quarry. I think he may be killed."

Witness told him to go to the guard room if he wanted any aid, but he said, "If I report to the guard room I am out of hospital without permission and I shall be punished for it." Witness therefore let him into the camp and called out the guard who found the body in the quarry.

SHORT CUT TO WOODCOTE CAMP

By the foreman of the jury (Mr. A. Allen) - He distinctly heard three shouts and not moans.

By Supt. Coleman, representing the Surrey County Constabulary - There was nothing in the shouts to suggest to him that there was a man in distress.

Lieut. F. Cawthorne, officer in charge of the guard at Woodcote Camp on Wednesday evening, stated that he was notified by the corporal in charge of No. 2 guard that cries had been heard as if someone needed help. He sent two men with a lantern to search and with another man he went towards the quarry. They searched round the top of the quarry and afterwards went to the bottom, where they found the body. It was outstretched, with legs crossed, and the heart had ceased to beat. The depth of the pit was about 60 ft. There were no signs of a struggle on the top. Captain Manford Robert Carr, CAMC who was called to the quarry immediately the discovery was made, said there were severe injuries to the head, and death must have been instantaneous.

Pte. Kersey with Col. Guest, Commandant of the camp, and Major Bird, Adjutant, went to the bottom of the pit where there was a pool of blood, a piece of scalp and a quantity of brain. Half-way down the cliff two lumps of chalk had been recently knocked away. On the edge of the cliff in line with the spot where the body was found there were two heel marks. Several palings of the fence were broken away, but anybody who wanted to get to the edge of the cliff would have to get under the middle strut. Witness's opinion was that deceased knocked his head half-way down the side of the cliff as he fell. Near the pit was a short cut to the camp from Ashtead but he would not like to use it in the dark, although he knew it well. Had deceased got through the fence a little higher up he would have skirted the pit and it might be fairly said that he missed his way.

Pte Rose deposed to finding £5 in Treasury notes, silver and bronze coins, a permanent pass and letter from deceased's brother in the United States on the body.

Dr. L. Potts, Leatherhead, who in company with Lieut.-Col. McDermott, Medical Officer at the camp, made the post-mortem, said the skull was smashed to pulp. The jaw bone, chest bone and collar bone were fractured, as also was the fourth rib on the right side, while the liver was ruptured. The heart and lungs were perfectly normal and there was no disease about the man. There was also an incised wound from the tip of the nose running upwards to the near side of the left eyebrow. It was a very clean cut between 2.5 inches and 3 in. in length. He thought all the injuries with the exception of this wound could be accounted for by the fall. In his opinion the wound could not have been caused by the fall but must have been caused by some sharp instrument such as a knife, dagger or bayonet.

Lieut.-Col. Hugh McDermott, CAMC did not agree that this wound was caused by any instrument, his view being that the crushing in of the side of the skull tore away the side of the nose and the bone above.

By Supt. Coleman - He did not think any instrument had been used at the bottom of the pit and if one had been used at the top, one would have expected to find a good deal of blood about.

The jury retired and after a time the foreman returned and asked if the inquest was adjourned the authorities could produce the corporal of the guard and the soldier who came through the hedge.

Lieut.-Col. McDermott replied in the affirmative with regard to the corporal but said they did not know the other.

Frederick was buried on 1 June 1919 in grave K234 in the CWGC plot in Epsom Cemetery. He is remembered there on the Screen Wall.

Frederick was only eligible for the British War medal, which was sent to his mother at Agar P.O. South Dakota U.S.A., as was his Silver Memorial Cross. His plaque and scroll were sent to his father at the same address.

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BRUNTON Frederick John, Ordinary Telegraphist. London/Z/8089.

H.M. Trawler "Thomas Cornwall". Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR).
Drowned 29 October 1918, aged 18.

Fredrick's inscription on the Chatham Naval memorial
Fredrick's inscription on the Chatham Naval memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

Frederick John Brunton was born in Ewell on 4 April 1900 to James Edward and Martha Brunton Nee (Randall). His parents married in the March quarter of 1891 in the Epsom registration district.

In the 1901 census the family lived in Ewell High Street. Frederick's father aged 30, ran a stationery shop from his home. His mother was aged 31 and had been born in Noththampton. Frederick aged 11 months, had four siblings, Grace aged 9, Annie aged 7, James aged 6 and Violet aged 4. Living with them was 19 year old Florence Killick, a shop assistant, presumably working in the stationery shop.

On 8 April 1907 Frederick became a pupil at Ewell Boys school, West Street, Ewell, but left on 15 May 1908 when it seems the family left the area to move to Dulwich. Frederick's brother Robert also attended the school from 21 May 1900 to 2 September 1904, when he left to attend an Epsom school.

The 1911 census shows the family living at 150, Peckham Rye, East Dulwich. Frederick's father was earning his living as a ticket printer, working for himself. Two more siblings had arrived, Evelyn aged 9 and Kathleen Randall aged 6. Frederick's mother stated that she had been married for 20 years and had given birth to seven children, all if whom were alive.

FREDERICK JOHN BRUNTON AND HIS SIBLINGS
Name Born - Died Notes
Emma Grace Born: 1892 Ewell School teacher in 1911
Annie Ellen Born: 1893 Ewell  
Robert James Born: 1895 Ewell Apprentice printer in 1911
Violet May Born: 1897 Ewell  
Frederick John Born: 4 April 1900 Ewell
Died: 29 October 1918
Drowned off Flamborough Head
Eveline Born: 1902 Ewell  
Kathleen Randall Born: 1904 Ewell  

Frederick joined the navy on 11 October 1917, aged 17. He was 5 feet7½ tall, had a chest measurement of 36 inches, light hair, grey eyes, a fresh complexion and 2 scars on his neck. His occupation is stated as shorthand typist.

On 29 October 1918 the armed trawler 'HMT Thomas Cornwall' was in collision with an unidentified vessel, off Flamborough Head, Yorkshire. The ship sank with the loss of 20 lives, including Frederick. His body was never recovered, and he is commemorated on the Chatham Naval memorial.

EW

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BUCHANAN Edmond Yates, Corporal. 686.

'A' Squadron North Irish Horse.
Died 23 October 1914, aged 24.

Edmond Yates Buchanan
Edmond Yates Buchanan
Image courtesy of Janice Buchanan, Edmund's Great niece © 2012

Edmond Yates Buchanan was born in January 1890 in Rathdonnell, County Donegal, Ireland to David and Catherine Buchanan (nee Wilkin). His parents married on 6 July 1871 in the Trenta Presbyterian Church, Rathdonnell, Kilmacrennan Parish, County Donnegal.

EDMOND YATES BUCHANAN AND HIS SIBLINGS: ALL BORN IN RATHDONNELL
Name Born - Died
Annie Mary Born: 20 June 1872
Died: 1947
Robert Born: 4 July 1873
Died: 1949
Jane Matilda Born: 23 November 1874
William Ramsay Born: 16 November 1876
Died: 1954
Isabella Osborne Born: 30 March 1878
Mary Elizabeth Born: 19 January 1880
James Born: 10 January 1882
Died: 1902 South Africa; Boer War
David John Born: 17 May 1883
Died: 1963
Catherine Emily Born: 9 January 1886
Samuel Henry Born: 1 June 1887
Died: 1958
Florence Agnes Born: 10 February 1889
Died: 1964
Edmond Yates Born: January 1890
Died: 23 October 1914, Epsom War Hospital
George Roulston Born: 27 August 1891
Died: 1971
Leslie Stewart Born: 26 March 1894
Died: 1980
Adalene May Born: 11 May 1897
Died: 1977

The 1901 census records that the family were 'Residents of a house 1 in Rathdonnell (Edenacarnan, Donegal)'. All the family were Presbyterian, born in Donegal and could read and write. Edmond's father was a 67 year old farmer. His mother 'Cassie' was aged 45. Edmond aged 9 and six of his siblings are recorded, Bessie aged 19 'a farmer's daughter', Samuel aged 14, Florence aged 12, George aged 9, Leslie aged 7 and Adalene aged 4. All the siblings, except Bessie, were scholars. Lizzie Riddle, a 40 year old boarder and John Baxter, a 22 year old male servant, were staying with the family.

The 1911 census records that the family were 'Residents of a house 3 in Rathdonnell (Edenacarnan, Donegal)'. Only three family members are recorded, all three were Presbyterian, born in Donegal and could read and write. Edmond's father now aged 74 was still working as a farmer. Edmond aged 19, a 'farmers son' and his 14 year old sister Adalene were the other two family members recorded.

Edmond served with the North Irish Horse, which was part of the Special Reserve. The Special Reserve had some similarities with the Territorial Army. They initially had six months full time training, followed by 3 to 4 weeks training every year, but they could be mobilised at any time for overseas service. Edmond enlisted in Letterkenny, Ireland, date unknown but certainly before the war started. He landed in Le Havre, France with 'A' Squadron North Irish Horse on 19 August 1914, only 15 days after the declaration of war. The squadron's task in France was to guard GHQ (General Headquarters).

Edmond was not in France for very long. Research carried out by Roy Berry on Epsom's war hospitals showed that he was admitted to the Epsom Grandstand war hospital on 15 October 1914, and that he died from tuberculosis on 23 October 1914.

He is buried in plot D220A Epsom cemetery with two other soldiers who also died in the Grandstand hospital, Private William Edward Andrewartha and Private Thomas Simms.

Edmond's headstone in Epsom cemetery
Edmond's headstone in Epsom cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

The following is a transcription of an article that appeared in the Epsom Advertiser dated 30 October 1914:
THE LAST POST
ANOTHER BRAVE SOLDIER BURIED AT EPSOM
        No sooner had the performance of the last sad rites of the burial of the late Rev. E.W. Northey at the Epsom Cemetery on Saturday been concluded and the crowd had begun to disperse than the slow funeral march of soldiers was heard in the distance. People who had assembled in the cemetery to pay their tribute of respect to Epsom's venerable resident waited and witnessed the internment of the third gallant British warrior whose death has taken place in the Epsom and Ewell War Hospital on the Downs. Corpl. Edmund Buchanan was the deceased's name, and he was attached to the Irish Horse Regiment. He was only 24 years of age. He was among the thirty wounded soldiers who arrived at the Grand Stand Hospital straight from the battlefield a fortnight ago and his condition was such that no hope of his recovery could be entertained. Although unwounded he was in a terrible state of exhaustion and unable to take food. He lingered on until Friday morning, a little more than a week after his admission, and then succumbed to tuberculosis of the lungs and laryngitis. In the meantime it was ascertained that his home was in Ireland and his relatives were communicated with, but although they were at the hospital on Friday they did not attend the funeral.

        The honours accorded the burial of this hero was the same as those for his two comrades who now lie buried with him in the grave especially set apart in a reserved portion of the cemetery for those soldiers and sailors who die at Epsom's War Hospital. He had fought as Private Sims and Andrewartha had fought and given his life for King and country in the great crusade against pernicious German militarism. For that sacrifice - the greatest of all sacrifices that a man can make - he was given the highest military honour when all that remained mortal of him was "committed to the ground ....... in sure and certain hope of resurrection to eternal life ...... " The same firing party, fourteen in number, from the 2nd City of London Royal Fusiliers (stationed at Tattenham Corner) that honoured the two Manchester soldiers who were laid to rest last week headed the mournful procession from the Downs to the burial ground, and once more the patients in the hospital came to the windows to see the passage of the third of their number taken to his last resting place.

        Immediately behind the firing party, who marched with their arms reversed, was the hearse containing the coffin, which was covered with the Union Jack and a few flowers, and there followed a carriage in which the Matron at the hospital (Miss Blaney), assistant Matron (Miss Rumpy), and the housekeeper (Miss de Wesselow). Walking beside the hearse were the six bearers -- three on each side -- and a contingent of the 2nd City of London Royal Fusiliers, with Second-Lieutenant Hunter in charge, followed the mourning coach. Next came other representatives of the hospital staff, including Drs. Daniel, Thornley and Ferguson, Messrs. A.E. Williams and Collyer Jones (joint hon, secretaries), and Mr. A.W. Vardon (representing Dr. B. Peacock, the resident medical officer). The Fusiliers lined the pathway to the Presbyterian Chapel, in which the body was taken, and afterwards formed up by the graveside, Bugler Wilson standing in front of the firing party. There were also a number of other people around the graveside, and all heads were reverently bowed -- and those of the male spectators uncovered -- as the coffin was interred. The officiating minister was the Rev. Llewellyn Parsons (the newly appointed minister of the Epsom Congregational Church), and after he had recited the committal passages and offered a special prayer for him who had died in a noble cause, three volleys with blank cartridges were fired over the grave, Bugler Wilson the sounded the "Last Post."
Edmond (recorded as Edward on his medal card) was awarded the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory medal.

Edmond's medal card
Edmond's medal card.
Image courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk (Link opens in a new window)
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BEC

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BUCHANAN Oscar Leslie, Private. 657062.

1st Battalion Canadian Infantry
Died 29 November 1917, aged 31.

Oscar's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Oscar's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

Oscar Leslie Buchanan was born of Irish descent on 12 August 1886 in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada, the son of John and Maria Buchanan (nee Cameron).

When the 1891 Canadian census was taken Oscar, aged 5, and his 8 year old brother John were living with their parents in Gravenhurst where their father worked as a lumber labourer. The family religion was recorded as Methodists.

The 1901 Canadian census records Oscar's birthday as 12 August 1886 and his brother's as 23 February 1883. Both his father and brother were working in a sawmill. Also living with them in Himsworth (North-South), Muskoka & Parry Sound, Ontario was their 17 year old cousin Maud Fuller.

Oscar attested into the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force on 29 December 1915 and was attached to the 162nd O.S. Battalion. He gave his year of birth as 1888, his occupation as a labourer and stated that he had served 6 years in the 23rd Regiment. At his medical his apparent age was recorded as 27 years 4 months (he was 29 years 4 months). He was measured as 5 feet 7½ inches tall with a 35 inch chest with 5 inches expansion and weighed 158lbs. His complexion was recorded as fair, his eyes as blue and his hair as brown. It was also noted that he had a small mole on his left side near his waist in posterior axillary line. His religion was Presbyterian and he worked as a labourer. Oscar's next-of-kin was his father to whom he favoured in his will.

Oscar embarked from Halifax, Canada on 1 November 1916 aboard SS Caronia, arriving at Liverpool on 11 November, where he was promoted Sergeant. On 5 December he transferred to the 35th Battalion at West Sandling Camp near Folkestone but and on 2 January 1917 he reverted to the rank of Private at his own request. On 4 January he was transferred to the 4th Reserve Battalion. By March he had arrived in France and was taken on the strength of the 1st Infantry Battalion. On 4 July 1917 he went to hospital sick and by 29 July he was at the regimental depot Bramshott, England diagnosed with laryngitis. On 28 August 1917 a test for syphilis proved positive.

Oscar was admitted to the Manor (County of London) War Hospital on 28 November and died from hyperaemia of the brain and congestion of the lungs the next day. He was buried on 4 December in grave K241 in the CWGC plot in Epsom Cemetery. Details of his grave were sent to his father John Buchanan in Callander, Ontario on 29 January 1918.

Oscar was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

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BUCKLE Archie Stewart Brigadier-General, CRA.

Royal Horse & Royal Field Artillery.
Died 18 August 1916 aged 47.

Brigadier-General Archie Buckle
Brigadier-General Archie Buckle
Image source: Illustrated London News

Archie Stewart Buckle was born in Poonah near Bombay, India in November 1868, the son of Captain Archibald Lewis Buckle RE and his wife Louisa (nee Rose).

In 1881 Archie, aged 12, and his mother aged 39 were lodging in Wells Road, Great Malvern with Charles Teague, a 37 year old carpenter.

Archie was educated at Clifton College, and then went to the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. He was commissioned in the Royal Artillery on 17 February 1888. He was in England for the 1891 census, when the young Lieutenant was staying with Rev Edward Northey and his family at Woodcote House in Epsom. Archie would marry Edward's daughter, Mildred Louisa, the following year (GRO reference: Sep 1892 Epsom 2a 20). They had a son Archibald Courtenay C Buckle (GRO reference: Jan 1909 St George H. Sq. 1a 419).

He served in the Nile Expedition in 1898 being at the battle of Khartoum and Omdurman for which he was given the Queen's Medal and the Khedives Medal. In Sept 1898 he was gazetted Captain and went to Aden as an Instructor of gunnery.

He was on the staff throughout the South African war during which he was twice mentioned in despatches and received the brevet rank of major, the Queen's medal with three clasps and the King's medal with two clasps. The tour of duty included six months as Superintendent of the dynamite factory in Johannesburg in 1901 where he acquired experience and expertise in the handling and issuing of explosives. He also served as Assistant Superintendent of Experiments at the School of Gunnery and Officer in Charge of Danger Buildings at the Royal Gun Factory. His wife remained with her father and family at Woodcote House for the 1901 census.

Early in 1903 Archie went to India as Captain of the Royal Field Artillery returning to England in 1904 to attend Staff College. He graduated at the end of in 1905 having been promoted to major. In 1906 he returned to India as Major of Battery. He returned home in Jan 1909 before becoming GSO2 in South Africa from June 1909 until June 1913. He returned to India again in 1913 to command a battery of RFA.

He brought the battery to the Western Front in Oct 1914 and was promoted to Lt Col soon afterwards. He was wounded in the face in October 1914 and invalided home. When he recovered he was appointed General Staff Officer 1 (GSO1) of a New Army Division ie one of Kitchener's civilian Army Divisions. At the time supplies of everything were short. Broom handles for rifle drill training, makeshift uniforms etc. Training was also difficult because experienced soldiers were needed to fight, but we had to train new men as well. Some months later he was made a Colonel. Buckle deployed to France with 19th Division in July 1915 and helped plan its costly and abortive baptism of fire on 25 September in the action at Piètre, part of the battle of Loos. 19th Division was employed three times on the Somme in July 1916, each time as a holding division.

On 9 August Buckle was promoted Brigadier-General and posted to 17th (Northern) Division as its CRA to replace Brigadier-General R G Ouseley, who had been wounded on 21 July. Buckle arrived in the middle of the battle of Delville Wood. A week after his appointment he was suddenly taken ill and died two days later of meningitis. He left a widow and son.

Archie's medal card
Archie's medal card.
Image courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk (Link opens in a new window)
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The following appeared in the Epsom Advertiser dated 1 September 1916:

    The death is announced of Brigadier-General Archie Stewart Buckle, who it will be remembered married a daughter of the late Rev. E.W. Northey, of Woodcote House, Epsom. He died on August 18th of cerebro-spinal meningitis, with which he was suddenly taken ill during an action while he was commanding the artillery of his division.
    Brigadier-General Buckle, who was the son of the late Captain Archibald Lewis Buckle, R.E., was born in November 1868, was educated at Clifton College, and passed out of Woolwich into the artillery in February 1889. In June, 1898, he took part with his battery in the Sudan Expedition, and was present at the battle of Omdurman, for which he obtained the Queen's and Khedive's medals.
    He served all through the South African War, and was twice mentioned in despatches, receiving the Queen's medal with three clasps and the King's medal with two clasps. Early in 1908 he went to India as captain of a battery of R.F.A., and the next year he returned to England to Staff College, where he graduated at the end of 1905, having become Major in 1904.
    In January, 1906 he went to India as a Major of battery which he brought home to England in January, 1909, and from June, 1909 to June, 1913 he was General Staff Officer, first grade, to the General Commanding in South Africa. Returning to India to command a battery of R.G.A., he took the battery to the front in October, 1914.
    He was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel and later was invalided home with a face injury. When fit for duty he was made Chief of Staff with a division of the New Army with which he went to France in June, 1915. Some months later he was made Colonel of a Brigade R.F.A., and just a few weeks before he was seized with his fatal malady he was given command of the artillery of the division, and was promoted to be Brigadier-General.

Archie's headstone in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe
Archie's headstone in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Archie Stewart Buckle is buried in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe, plot II F 23.

Archie's inscription on the All Saints Church Banstead
Archie's inscription on the All Saints Church Banstead
Image courtesy of Lewis Wood © 2008

He is also remembered on the War Memorials at Byfleet, Banstead, All Saints Church Banstead, Ashley Road and Christ Church Epsom.

Archie's inscription on the Byfleet memorial
Archie's inscription on the Byfleet memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

EP CC
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BUDD Ernest, Rifleman. 6723

21st Battalion London Regiment (First Surrey Rifles).
Killed in Action 8 October 1916, aged 21.

Earnest's headstone in the Warlencourt British Cemetery
Earnest's headstone in the Warlencourt British Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2009

Ernest Budd was born in Bethnal Green in 1895 to Flora Elizabeth Mary Whittington and Ernest Alfred Budd. (Flora appears in later records as Florence). Ernest was originally registered as Ernest Budd Whittington (GRO reference: Dec 1895 Bethnal Green 1c 187) as his parents were not married at the time. At the time of Ernest's birth his father was only 17 years old whilst his mother was 24 years old. Ernest's parents later married in St Martin's church, Epsom on 29 October 1898 when his father had reached the age of 20.

In the 1901 census the family lived at 2, The Cottages, College Road, Epsom. Ernest's father was a 22 year old railway platelayer, his mother was aged 29, and he had a younger brother, Alfred John aged one year.

By the 1911 census the family lived at 30, Middle Lane, Epsom. Ernest's mother stated that she had been married for 15 years and that she had given birth to four children, all still alive. Ernest was a 15 year old errand boy working for a builder's merchant, whilst his father was described as a General labourer. Two more siblings had arrived, James Thomas aged eight and Percy Morris aged 6 months. Living with the family was 26 year old Lawrence Wickham, a general labourer in a brickworks.

At the time Ernest was killed he was in the 21st Battalion London regiment which was in the 142nd Brigade, 47th (London) Division. He had previously served as No 2708 in the East Surrey Regiment. On 8 October 1916 the Battalion was holding trenches to the east of Le Sars and south of the Butte de Warlencourt, and on 9 October it was due to be relieved by the 9th Division. Before the hand over it was decided to try to improve the position on their left flank. At 9pm, after a 1 minute intense bombardment, the Battalion made an attempt to seize Diagonal trench (also known as Snag trench). They managed to advance to within 200 yards of their objective without a casualty, but then suddenly machine guns opened fire on them with devastating effect. The Germans must have been warned by the short bombardment that an attack was about to take place. Diagonal trench was not taken, the only success being a few strong points established some 100 yards short of the objective.

Diagonal Trench Attack - Click image to enlarge
Diagonal Trench Attack - Click image to enlarge

On 8 October 1916 the Battalion lost 70 men, including Ernest, killed in action. He is buried in plot V.P.9 in the Warlencourt British Cemetery.

Ernest's uncle Harry Whittington was also a victim of the Great War, killed in the battle of Loos on 26 September 1915.

Ernest was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal. His medal card shows that he had another service number with the London's, 653207.
The St Martin's church Roll of Honour states that "ERNEST BUDD was killed in action in France on the 8th October 1916".

EP SM

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BUDD George Henry Warner, Private. 27279.

6th Battalion Prince Albert's Somerset Light Infantry (PASLI).
Killed in Action 22 August 1917, aged 41.

Private Budd's inscription on the West Byfleet Memorial
Private Budd's inscription on the West Byfleet Memorial
Copyright image courtesy of Clive Gilbert 2006

George Henry Warner Budd was born in 1876 (GRO reference Sep 1876 Epsom 2a 15) to George Warner and Eliza Budd (nee Risbridger). His parents were married on 2 October 1875 in Dorking, Surrey. George was baptised at St. Mary's Church, Ewell on 6 August 1876.

In the 1881 census the family lived in Meadow Walk, Ewell. George's father was a 28 year old general labourer. His mother was aged 25 and he had a younger sister May Eliza Mary aged 3.

George attended Ewell Boys School, West Street, Ewell.

The 1891 census records them living at the Eight Bells Inn, Kingston Road, Ewell. George's father was recorded as a 'Beerhouse Keeper and General Labourer', whilst George himself was a 'House Boy'.

By the 1901 census George was working as a domestic gardener, and was a boarder living in the house of Arthur Dobbs, a 25 year old Greengrocer, at 127 Disraeli Road, Wandsworth.

George married Sarah Jane Edwards in 1903 on 14 February 1903 in St. Mary's Church, Ewell. George was working as a gardener and gave his address as Mill Lane, Ewell and Sarah gave her address as West Street, Ewell.

They were living in Ingram Cottages, Station Approach, Byfleet when the 1911 census was taken. George stated that he and Sarah had been married for eight years during which time they had not had any children.

The Surrey Recruitment registers show him enlisting at Weybridge on 13 November 1915 into the 11th Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment. By then he was 38, his height was 5 feet 3 inches, and he weighed 114 lbs. His chest measurement was 32 inches, with an expansion of 2 inches. He was still a gardener and lived at 6 Conway cottages, Station Road, West Byfleet.

He was originally number 22513 in the East Surrey Regiment but at some stage was transferred to the 6th Battalion PASLI, which was in the 43rd Brigade, 14th Division. The East Surrey History of the 11th Battalion states that in April 1915 it ceased to be a 'Service' Battalion and became a 'Reserve' Battalion, its task being to supply drafts for the East Surrey battalions overseas. However, on 1st September 1916 it ceased to exist as a battalion of the East Surrey Regiment, amalgamated with the 9th Battalion 'Queens' and became the 21st Training Reserve Battalion. Presumably he was drafted from this Training Reserve Battalion to the 6th PASLI. During the later stages of the war men were sent to whichever unit needed men the most, with scant regard to their county of birth, residence or allegiance. The battalions that were originally 'Pals' battalions were then populated with men from all over the UK.

The 43rd Brigade had been ordered to capture ground that ran from 'Herenthage Chateau' to the 'Southern end of Glencourse Wood'. For several days the weather had been fine and warm, so the ground was in better condition than for previous attacks. Zero hour was 7am on 22 August, and the 6th PASLI 'went over the top' at 7.05am. By 8.01am Inverness Copse had been reached and a strongpoint west of Fitzclarence Farm had been taken, as had Herenthage Chateau. Some 130 German prisoners had been sent back. By 08.30am a message had been sent to Battalion HQ stating that Companies 1, 2 and 4 had been severely depleted.

By 1pm the Germans had launched a counter attack, but they were checked by machine gun, Lewis gun and artillery fire. During the night of 22 August the exhausted 6th PASLI was relieved by the K.O.Y.L.I. On the 22 August 1917, 60 men from the 6 PASLI were killed, including George.

The following appeared in the Epsom Advertiser dated 14 September 1917:
EWELL PARISH COUNCIL. The son of Mr and Mrs F. Budd had been killed in action. It was decided to send a letter of sympathy.
George is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Panel 41 to 42 & 263A. The CWGC shows his widow Sarah Jane Budd living at 3 The Old Schools, Ewell.

George's inscription on the Tyne Cot Memorial
George's inscription on the Tyne Cot Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

He is also commemorated on St. Mary's churchyard memorial, Ewell; the Dog Gate memorial, Bourne Hall; Ewell Boys School memorial and on the St. John the Baptist churchyard memorial, West Byfleet, Surrey. It is likely that his parents had his name put on the Ewell memorials, and his wife had his name put on the West Byfleet memorial.

George was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

George's widow Sarah did not remarry and continued living in Ewell. She died at 74 High Street, Ewell on 7 June 1944, aged 66, leaving her estate in the hands of her unmarried sister Emma.

BH EW ES West Byfleet

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BURCHELL, T



Despite checking all known sources of information, it has proved impossible to establish why the name 'BURCHELL T.' should appear on the Epsom War Memorial in Ashley Road, and on the St. Barnabas Roll of Honour.

If you can shed any light on why the name has been include we would be delighted to hear from you via our Webmaster.

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BURFITT Thomas Henry, Corporal. 2757

1/2 London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers).
Killed in Action 1 July 1916, aged 19.

Thomas Burfitt
Thomas Burfitt
Image courtesy of Ajax Bardrick

Thomas Henry Burfitt was born in 1897 (GRO reference: Mar 1897 Epsom 2a 19) to Henry William (GRO reference: Mar 1864 Epsom 2a 13) and Edith Charlotte Burfitt (nee Kislingbury). Thomas' parents married on 12 November 1984 in St Martin's church, Epsom.

In the 1901 census the family lived at 81 East Street, Epsom. Thomas' father Henry was a 37 year old butcher working on his own account from home. His mother, Edith (shown as Emma in the census) was 37. Thomas had two sisters, Alice Elizabeth aged 5, and Edith May (also shown as Emma) aged 3 months. Edith May died later in the year. Living with them was Thomas's aunt Ellen Daisy Kislingbury aged 15.

THOMAS HENRY BURFITT AND HIS SIBLINGS
Name Born - Died Notes
Alice Elizabeth Born: 14 September 1895 Epsom Baptised 13 October 1895 St Martins.
Lived Grove Road.
Married Bernard Edward Sharp 1925
Henry Thomas Born: 1897 Epsom
Died: 1 July 1916 France
Baptised 4 April 1897 St Martins
Robert Redvers Born: 5 January 1900 Epsom
Died: 1900 Epsom
Baptised 11 Mar 1900 St Martins.
Buried Epsom cemetery 17 September 1900 grave D167A
Edith May Born: 1901 Epsom
Died: 1901 Epsom
Buried Epsom cemetery 30 September 1901 grave D167A
Edgar Charles Born: 1904 Epsom
Died: 1970 Surrey
 
Winifred Mary Born: 1908 Epsom
Died: 1910 Epsom
Buried Epsom cemetery 31 January 1910 grave D167A
Marion Charlotte Born: 1912 Epsom
Died: 2002 Surrey
Married 1929 Herbert Frederick Orchard in Bromley

In the 1911 census the family were still living at 81, East Street and Thomas' father, assisted by his mother, was still working as a butcher, working on his own account from home. Thomas's mother recorded that she had been married for 16 years, had given birth to six children and that three were still living, Alice aged 15, Thomas aged 14 and Edgar aged 7.

Thomas, aged 17, volunteered his services in September 1914 to the 2nd London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), a Territorial Army unit. He joined at the Regiment's headquarters in Tufton Street, Westminster, signing on as Private No. 2757, and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion (2/2 London Regiment Royal Fusiliers) for training. Incidentally, he signed on 50 men behind George Whiskerd from Ewell, who was also destined to die in the war.

The 2/2 London's were moved around quite a bit, being sent to Malta, then to Egypt, on to Gallipoli, back to Egypt, and then to Marseilles, France at the end of April 1916. They were then trundled by train, the length of France to Rouen, which provided a large base area for the British, with training grounds, hospitals, stores depots and the like. Whilst they were billeted at Rouen the military authorities decided that the Battalion should be disbanded, and the men used to bolster three existing units of the 56th Division. One draft was sent to 1/16 London Regiment (Queen's Westminster Rifles), a second draft was sent to 1/2 London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) (the first Battalion of the Corps they volunteered to serve in), and a third draft to 1/12 London Regiment (The Rangers). Thomas was transferred to No. 1 Platoon "A" Company, 1/12 London Regiment (The Rangers). This was same unit that George Whiskered had been transferred to. Fate decreed that Thomas Burfitt and George Whiskered would join up on the same day, be transferred to the same Platoon, and die together on 1 July 1916.

The 1/12th Battalion London Regiment T.F. (The Rangers) was in the 168 Brigade in the 56 Division. On 1 July, with the 46 Division, the 56 Division was to attack the Gommecourt salient, on the Somme battlefield. For further information on the attack please see the entry for George Whiskerd.

Thomas' parents received a telegram from the War Office around 23 July 1916, notifying them that he had been wounded on 1 July. His parents had tried to get information on what had happened to him through the Red Cross. As a result of Red Cross enquires they received two letters. Rifleman E Southey No. 2793, from Sutton, recovering from a bullet wound to his leg, wrote from hospital in Clapton:
I am writing to you regarding your dear son Tom, with whom I, as a member of Tommy's section, was intimately acquainted. I was with Tommy since we left England in 1914 and I am quite sure that one couldn't wish for a better chum, and he was well liked by all of us who knew him. It was with great regret that I saw that he was missing and I have been anxiously waiting news of him also.
He was leading us when we made the assault on 1 July on the German line, which we took, however I was wounded during this and came back across No Man's Land to our lines so I can't say how he fared after that, but he was alright when I left him. I can only say that he may have been taken prisoner of war, but it is impossible to say for certain. It is one comfort to know that if your dear son has been killed he died leading his Section as a hero.
In August 1916 his parents received a letter from Corporal J Fawcett No. 7256, saying that he had last seen Tommy when he was apparently back within the Hebuterne trenches trying to make his way to the relative safety of the village looking for a dressing station to get treatment for a gunshot wound to his arm. However, the Hebuterne Trenches were suffering a very heavy bombardment.

The Epsom Advertiser dated 18 August 1916 carried the following:
MISSING. - Corpl. T.H. Burfitt, of the 2nd London Regiment, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Burfitt, of East-street, took part in the engagement on July 1st, and nothing has been heard from him since. At first he was officially returned as wounded, but inquiries could not elicit his whereabouts. Now the anxiety of his friends has been increased by an official intimation, dated August 7th, that he is "missing."
In April 1917 the War Office sent a letter to his parents saying that due to the passage of time since the action Thomas Burfitt must now be considered as having been killed in action on 1 July 1916.

The St Martin's church roll of honour states that "Thomas Henry Burfitt was reported wounded and missing and presumed died of wounds in France 1st July 1916".

He was a member of the Epsom Brotherhood.

He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial pier 16B.

Corporal Burfitt's inscription on the Thiepval Memorial
Corporal Burfitt's inscription on the Thiepval Memorial.
Image courtesy of Clive Giilbert © 2008

Thomas' medal card states he was in the 2 London Regiment and that he was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Thomas' mother died in Epsom Cottage hospital in 1938 and was buried in grave D167A in Epsom cemetery on 16 June. Thomas is also remembered on his mother's gravestone. His father died at 83, East Street in 1945 and was buried in grave D155A on 5 February.

Thomas' inscription on his mother's grave
Thomas' inscription on his mother's grave
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013


With thanks to Shirley Trundle and Ajax Bardrick for supplying additional information.

EP SM PG

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BUTCHER Hugh Ernest, Rifleman. R/40308.

7th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC).
Killed in Action 21 March 1918, aged 38.

Rifleman Butcher's inscription on the Pozières Memorial
Rifleman Butcher's inscription on the Pozières Memorial
Copyright image courtesy of Clive Gilbert 2007

Hugh Ernest Butcher was born on 22 August 1879 (GRO reference Sep 1879 Edmonton 3a 287) to Charles Frederick and Eliza Butcher (Nee Hunt). His parents had married on 27 August 1878 in St. Andrew's church in Enfield. Hugh was baptised on 19 October 1879 in the same church.

In the 1881 census the family lived at 2, Mira Place, Raleigh Road, Enfield. Hugh's father was a 28 year old 'Grocers Assistant' and his was mother a 33 year old schoolmistress.

In 1891 they still lived in Raleigh Road, but Hugh's father was now a 'Grocers Superintendent', and he had a sister Winifred 2. Also staying with the family was Hugh's cousins, Frank Butcher and Ada Cutler.

In 1901 Hugh, now 21, was living as a boarder at Malt Mill Lane, Hanslope, and was a 'Clerk in Rail Works'.

Hugh, aged 31, was still single and boarding with sisters Emily and Esther Gale at 61, Rupert Street, Bradford, Yorkshire when the 1911 census was taken. His occupation was noted as an 'Evangelist'.

His parents were living at 'Ruardean', 15, Oakdale Road, West Ewell, Epsom, Surrey. His father Charles, aged 57, was working for a Borough Council as a 'Superintendent General Stores'. His mother, aged 63, was recorded as Eliza Elizabeth, despite her birth being registered as just Eliza. They stated they had been married for 33 years and had only two children.

There is a marriage recorded between Hugh Ernest Butcher and Edith Frances Emma Wearn. There were no children born to them and Edith died in 1977.

In the Soldiers Died CD Hugh enlisted at Bradford into the 7th KRRC., and lived at Southsea, and died of wounds on 21st March 1918. At this time the 7th KRRC were in the 43rd Brigade, 14th Division. On 21 March they were in support trenches at Benay, just south of St Quentin. The long expected all out German offensive, 'The Kaiser's Battle', the last desperate gamble to win before the Americans arrived in force, was about to begin. As dawn broke and under the cover of a thick mist the German assault began. By the end of the day the KRRC had been forced back to Jussy, and had lost 69 men including Hugh.

At first it was reported home that Hugh was missing, and at its June 1918 meeting the Ewell Parish Council decided to send a letter to Mr. C.F. Butcher, 15, Oakdale Road, expressing sympathy that his son was missing.

15 Oakdale Road in 2007
15 Oakdale Road in 2007
Copyright image courtesy of Clive Gilbert 2007

Hugh has no known grave and is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial, Panel 61 to 64.

He was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

BH EW AS

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BUTCHER John Philip Henry, 2nd Lieutenant.

18th Battalion London Regiment (London Irish Rifles).
Killed in Action 22 May 1916, aged 21.

John Philip Henry Butcher
John Philip Henry Butcher

John Philip Henry Butcher was born at Balham on 3 June 1894 (GRO reference: Jun 1894 Wandsworth 1d 758) to Henry Albert and Clara Butcher (nee Gosling). John's parents had married in the March 1885 quarter in the Fulham registration district.

In the 1891 census, before John was born, the family lived at 20, Farringdon Road, London. John's father, aged 39, was employed as a dairy manager. His mother was aged 37 and he had two older siblings, Evelyn aged 5 and Richard aged 10 months. The family employed two servants.

John Philip Henry Butcher And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Evelyn Maria Born: 1885 Camden Town
Died: 1897 Ampthill, Beds
 
Richard Charles Born: 1890 London
Died: 1970 Harrow, Middx
 
Kathleen Lilla Born: 1892 Putney
Died: 1979 Brighton
Married George Fuller, 1916 Epsom
John Philip Henry Born: 3 June 1894 Balham
Died: 22 May 1916 France
 

The 1901 census shows the family living at 1, Falkland Grove, Dorking. John's father was described as a milk dairyman, employer. The family had two servants.

By 1911 the family had moved to 'The Homestead', St Martins Avenue, Epsom. John's father was now a farmer, employer. The family were still employing two servants. John was student at Epsom College.

He attested at the Duke of York's Headquarters, Chelsea, SW, on 2 September 1914, as Private No. 2545 into the 18th Battalion London Regiment, a Territorial unit, having never previously served in any of the armed forces. He was 5 feet 11 inches tall, had a chest measurement of 33½ inches with an expansion of 3½ inches, had good vision and good physical development. He served as a Private for 326 days from 2 September 1914 to 24 June 1915, and after applying for a commission on 8 June 1915 was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant on 24 June 1915, and went to France on 2 January 1916.

John's battalion was in the 141st Brigade, 47th Division. In May 1916, just a few weeks before the start of the battle of the Somme, the 47th Division was holding the line in the Vimy sector near the village of Souchez. Here the Germans held the high ground and could fire easily at the British positions, and could move around their rear areas without being seen, protected by the ridge. In an attempt to gain the initiative, both sides tunnelled under each other's defences in order to place high explosives to destroy trenches and dug-outs.

Vimy Trench Map - Click image to enlarge
Vimy Trench Map - Click image to enlarge

Probably because the British were winning the tunnelling war, the Germans launched an attack on 21 May 1916 in order to capture the entrances to the British tunnels. The German offensive began with a massive artillery bombardment, on a narrow but deep front, lasting several hours. The German infantry then attacked, taking the British front line trench and many prisoners. A British counter attack on 23 May was unsuccessful due to enemy artillery and machine gun fire. The decision was made to leave things as they stood here, in order to concentrate effort on the forthcoming Somme battle.

On 22 May 1916, 21 other ranks and two officers were killed in action, including John who has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras memorial to the missing.

John's inscription on the Arras memorial to the missing
John's inscription on the Arras memorial to the missing
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

The Epsom Advertiser dated 2 June 1916 printed the following:
KILLED IN ACTION. - The sad intelligence has been received during the week by Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Butcher, of The Homestead, St Martins-avenue, that their son had been killed in action in France. Lieut. J.P.H. Butcher , of the London Irish Regiment, who was only 21 years of age, had been in France since January, and quite recently was home on a short leave.
The St Martin's church Roll of Honour states that:
JOHN PHILIP HENRY BUTCHER, was killed in action at Vimy Ridge near Arras on 21st or 22nd May 1916.
John was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

EP SM COL

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BUTLAND Robert, Bombardier. 101543.

239th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA).
Died of Wounds 26 September 1918, aged 31.

Robert's inscription on the Looe War Memorial
Robert's inscription on the Looe War Memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2009

Robert Butland was born in Polperro, Cornwall in 1886 (GRO reference: Sep 1886 Liskeard 5c 55) to William Shears and Mercy Butland (nee Diamond). His parents had married in 1874 in Devon.

ROBERT BUTLAND AND HIS KNOWN SIBLINGS
Name Born - Died Notes
William Born: 10 November 1875 Rosses Point, Ireland  
Thomas Sydney Born: 23 December 1878 Axmouth, Devon Emigrated in 1902 to Texas
Mary Anna Born: 1881 Polperro, Cornwall  
Emily Born: 1882 Polperro, Cornwall  
Robert Born: 1886 Polperro, Cornwall
Died: 26 September 1918 France
 
Gilbert Born: 9 October 1887 Polperro, Cornwall
Died: 1972 Plymouth district
Served in the R.N. S.P.O. No. K 4924.
Awarded Star, Victory and British War Medals
Eva Ellen Shears Born: 1892 West Looe, Cornwall Born deaf and dumb
John Born: 13 September 1893 West Looe, Cornwall Served in the R.N. No. J4444
Elizabeth Born: 1896 West Looe, Cornwall  
Two more siblings were born but did not reach maturity

In the 1881 census the family lived in Talland Street, Polperro. Robert's father was a 37 year old coast guard. His mother was also 37.

In 1891 the family were shown as living at the market in West Looe, where Robert's father was an Inneeper.

By 1901 Robert was living away from home, working as a 15 year old carter on Tencreek Farm. (Note: Tencreek Farm nowadays appears to be a holiday park run by Hoseasons).

Robert's 50 year old mother Mercy died in 1904, in Cornwall.

In 1911 Robert was a 24 year old asylum attendant, employed by the London County Council, and resident at the asylum. His father, a 67 year old naval pensioner, living at West Looe Hill, Cornwall, filled in the census form stating that he had been married to his late wife for 30 years and that during that time they had had 11 children but 2 had died.

Robert married Annie Elizabeth Manton on 10 October 1912 in the Wesleyan Chapel, Epsom. They lived at 37, Horton Hill, Epsom. Their daughter Winifred May was born in September 1913 and died at home a month later. She was buried in grave F298 in Epsom Cemetery on 18 October 1913. On 29 June 1916 their son Leslie Robert was born; he died in 1986 in Poole, Dorset.

Robert attested at Epsom on 16 November 1915, giving his age as 28 years and 6 months. He was 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 166lbs, had a chest measurement of 39 inches with an expansion of 3 inches, and had dots tattooed on his right forearm. He had perfect vision, was married, worked as an asylum attendant, and lived at 37 Horton Hill.

Robert served with the 239th Siege Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery. Siege Batteries equipped with the bigger guns for firing large shells. The 239th Siege Battery was armed with 6 inch Howitzers. The Batteries were typically between 200 to 500 yards behind the front line and sought to destroy enemy artillery and anything else that might be of use to the enemy. This made them a target for enemy shelling, and no doubt it was an enemy heavy artillery shell that caused Robert's death.

Some events in Robert's military career:
16 November 1915, attested at Epsom, and placed on Army reserve.
11 July 1916, mobilised at Kingston.
25 November 1916, embarked from Southampton.
26 November 1916, disembarked at Le Havre.
21 April 1917, confirmed in rank of acting bombardier.
24 June 1917, to hospital sick.
02 July 1917, invalided to England with Trench Fever.
03 July 1917, admitted to Queens Canadian Military Hospital, Beachborough Park, Folkestone.
25 July 1917, transferred to Shorncliffe Military hospital.
30 July 1917, transferred to Summerdown Convalescent Camp, Eastbourne.
18 October 1917, returned to France.
15 May 1918, admitted to hospital with concussion.
01 July 1918, war pay increased to 2d per day.
26 September 1918, died from shell wound to abdomen, at the 4th Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, Duisans, France.
Robert is buried in plot VII. A. 20 at Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun.

Robert's Headstone in Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun
Robert's Headstone in Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

On 6 March 1919 Annie Butland, Robert's widow, signed to acknowledge receipt of Robert's effects, which included, letters, photos, cards, wallet, note book, pouch, match cover, 2 pencils, 2 blue chevrons, silver locket, belt attachments, 2 handkerchiefs, torch, Valet safety razor (complete), mirror, 3 pipes, 2 serviette rings, greeting card, 2 eye shades, eye bath, watch & chain, purse, 2 discs, brass disc, belt.

Robert was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

EP MC LGH Looe war memorial.

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