War Memorials - Surnames R

Index

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RADDATZ, Albert (New 13/08/2017)
RAI, Padamdhoj (New 29/03/2015)
RAMSAY, Martin (New 03/09/2017)
RANDALL, A.F (Revised 02/04/2014)
RANDALL, Sydney W (Updated 02/04/2014)
RASEY, Albert Edward (Updated 19/09/2010)
RASEY, Bertie (Revised 03/06/2013)
RASEY, Frederick (Updated 19/09/2010)
RATCLIFF, Leonard Harold (New 18/09/2012)
RATCLIFFE, Harold Frederick (Revised 27/02/2015)
READ, George Alfred (New 04/11/2017)
REEDS, W.B. (New 27/09/2013)
REGAN, Thomas (Updated 13/03/2012)
REYNARD, Henry Corner (Revised 01/02/2015)
RHAWN, Charles Huhn (New 04/11/2017)
RILEY, Edward Adams (New 24/08/2015)
ROBERTS, Samuel Crosbie (New 10/08/2017)
ROBINSON, Fred (Pending further research)
ROBINSON, Henry, (Updated 10/01/2013)
ROBINSON, Thomas (New 04/11/2017)
ROBINSON, William Dawson (Pending further research)
RODDA, J (Updated 07/05/2014)
RONALDSON,Charles Rasleigh (New 23/10/2013)
ROONEY, Laurence Vincent (New 09/10/2016)
ROOTE, William Arthur (Revised 20/12/2014)
ROUNCE, E.R (Updated 03/09/2017)
ROWLAND, Frank (Updated 02/04/2014)
RUSSELL, Frederick Charles (New 13/08/2017)
RUSSELL, Walter (New 29/05/2013)
RUTLEY, H. T (Updated 02/04/2014)
If you are looking for someone whose name starts with a different letter please try:



Content



RADDATZ Albert, Private. G/31190.

1st Infantry Labour Company Middlesex Regiment..
Died 20 February 1920, aged 44.


Albert's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Albert's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2017

Albert Heinrich Raddatz was born in 1878 in Whitechapel (GRO reference: Mar 1878 Whitechapel 1c 377), the son of Frederick and Theresa Raddatz (nee Patzwahl). His parents had married in the June quarter of 1871 in the Whitechapel registration district.

When the 1881 census was taken, Albert was living at 64 Chambers Street, Whitechapel, with his father and older brothers, Hugo aged 9 and Carl aged 7. The census records that his father was a British subject born in Germany and was a widower working as a tailor. Albert's mother appeared as an unmarried patient in the German Hospital in Dalston Lane, Hackney.

In the 1891 census the family was recorded as living at 63 Chambers Street. Albert's 44 year old father, now not recorded as a widower, was still working as a tailor as were Albert's brothers Hugo and Charles. Albert's 40 year old mother worked as a tailoress. Eighteen year old Albert was a scholar.

In 1901 the family was again recorded at 63 Chambers Street. All of the men of the family were working as tailors from their home. Albert's father's age was recorded as 54 whilst his mother's age was shown as 57. Both of Albert's parents were recorded as being German subjects.

Still living at 63 Chambers Street, the 1911 census records both of Albert's parents as being German, and both aged 65. Albert and his brother Charles (Carl) were recorded as British subjects with German parents. Albert's mother stated that she and Frederick had been married for 40 years and that two of their five children had died. His mother died aged 70 in November 1914.

Albert enlisted in Whitehall on 28 June 1916 and was initially assigned to the 29th Battalion Middlesex Regiment. He was 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighed 118 lbs, had a chest measurement of 37½ inches with an expansion of 2½ inches and poor eyesight, scoring 6/18 for his right eye and 6/12 for his left eye. He suffered with acne on his back and chest, had a 'Slightly permanently flexed second finger left hand' and 'Hammer toes'. It was noted on his army 'MEDICAL HISTORY' form that he was the 'Son of enemy aliens'.

The 29th Middlesex was a 'works' battalion that provided labour in the UK and was generally formed of men deemed unfit for front line service; a forerunner of the Labour Corps. The 29th was to became the 5th Battalion Labour Corps, but Albert was transferred to the 30th Battalion and then to the 31st. Both of these battalions were formed from men who were British born but had alien parents and did not serve overseas.

Albert was again transferred, to the 1st Middlesex (Alien) Infantry Labour Company, a battalion comprised of British men with alien parents, formed on 6 March 1917 and sent to France.

During June 1918 Albert showed signs of illness and on 23 June he was admitted to No.11 Casualty Clearing Station. On 14 July he was transferred to No.8 Stationary Hospital with a diagnosis of 'feeblemindedness'. Evacuated to England, he was admitted to 'D' Block Netlety Hospital, Southampton on 18 July and then on 23 July 1918 he was transferred to Dykebar War Hospital, Paisley.

Dykebar War Hospital diagnosed Albert with 'confusional insanity' and on 8 May 1919 discharged him from the Army as being no longer fit for military service. The next day he was admitted to Long Grove Asylum. Albert was issued Silver War Badge No. B206307.

Albert died in Long Grove Asylum on 20 February 1920. He was buried on 26 February in grave K752 in Epsom Cemetery and is commemorated there on the Screen Wall. He shares the grave with four other soldiers. Albert's GRO death record records his age as 40 whereas he was actually aged 44.

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

CWGC



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RAI Padamdhoj, Havildar Major. 509

7th Battalion Gurkha Rifles.
Died 2 August 1919, aged 36.

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

Padamdhoj Rai was a 36 year old Havildar Major (Sergeant Major) in the Indian Army who came to Britain in 1919, as part of a contingent of Indian soldiers, in order to take part in the peace parade and celebrations held on Saturday 19 July 1919. However, because the date for the parade was brought forward none of the Indian contingent were able to take part because they arrived too late. The contingent occupied a special camp provided for them at Hampton Court.

Padamdhoj Rai died of influenza in Horton War Hospital on 2 August 1919. He was one of six men from the Hampton Court camp to die of influenza at the Horton War Hospital.

His name was spelt slightly differently when his death was registered with the General Register Office: PADAMDOGE Rai Sep 1919 (36) Epsom 2a 41.

The Epsom Advertiser dated 8 August 1919 printed the following:
INDIAN'S QUAINT BURIAL. - The strange burial rites of the Indians were performed at Epsom Cemetery on Saturday at the funeral of one of the Gurkhas sent over for Saturday's procession. His death took place at Horton Hospital, whither he was removed from the camp at Hampton Court suffering from influenza, and his body was conveyed in a motor ambulance to the cemetery. Here a party of Indian officers, N.C.O.s and men dug a grave six feet deep and lowered the coffin which was covered with a white sheet. They then dropped coppers on the coffin and filled in the grave.
He is buried in grave K 757 in Epsom Cemetery and is commemorated on the screen wall of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) plot. The CWGC states that he was the:
Son of Subidal Rai, of Thamthum, Ilam, Nepal.
CWGC

Note: Peace celebrations and parades to celebrate the end of the Great War were originally scheduled to take place on Monday 4 August 1919, but the date was changed to Saturday 19 July. The Times newspaper dated Friday 18 July reported that bringing forward the celebration date meant that the 1,500 specially selected British and Indian officers and men who were to represent each unit of the Army in India, would not now be able to attend. They left Bombay by ship on 20 June and would have arrived in time to take part on the original 4 August date but not on 19 July.

Gurkhas of the Indian Army Contingent passing up the Mall
Gurkhas of the Indian Army Contingent passing up the Mall.
Victory March, London 19th July 1919.
Image source of © IWM (Q 14955)

It had been hoped that by diverting the contingent through France it might be possible for them to arrive at their camp at Hampton Court by the evening of 18 July, the eve of celebrations. But an outbreak of influenza aboard the ships meant it inadvisable to debark in France. Sailing via the straits of Gibraltar they were not expected to arrive before 26 July.

Another contingent of 200 officers and men, hastily despatched from Egypt via France, were expected to arrive at the Hampton Court camp during the evening of 18 July, however they did not arrive until 6pm on Peace Day, so missed the parade.

Colonel Lord, commander of the Horton War Hospital, wrote a book about Horton War Hospital in which he tells us that six men from the Indian Camp at Hampton Court succumbed to influenza.

Four of them were buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission plot at Epsom Cemetery, namely Padamdhoj Rai, Durga Din Dichhit, Follower Mohun and Gharty Dharman Singh. The other two were Muslims and were buried in a special Muslim cemetery at Horsel Common, Woking. They were Amir Ali (GRO reference: Ameer Ali Sep 1919 (32) Epsom 2a 50), and Babu (GRO reference: Baboo Male Sep 1919 (30) Epsom 2a 57. In the 1960s, due to vandalism, all the Muslim burials were removed to Brookwood Military Cemetery.

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RAMSAY Martin, Private. 3/5109.

1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders.
Died 11 April 1916, aged 39.


Martin's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Martin's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2017

Martin Ramsay was born around 1877 in Arbroath, Forfarshire, Scotland.

No census records have been found for Martin but the Soldiers Died CD tells us that he enlisted in Aberdeen.

Martin's service record has not survived but medal records tell us that he went overseas on 7 October 1914 with the 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders. The battalion was in the 20th Brigade, 7th Division and landed at Zeebrugge on 7 October 1914. At 37 years of age Martin was most likely a called up reservist. At some point it seems that he was transferred to the 1st battalion.

Martin died of on 14 April 1916 in Horton War Hospital and was buried on 5 September in grave K645 in Epsom Cemetery where he is commemorated on the Screen Wall. He shares the grave with eight other soldiers.

His sister-in-law, Mrs Agnes Walker and brother Martin Walker were recorded as his legatees in the Soldiers' Effects Records.

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

CWGC

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RANDALL Arthur Frederick, Private. 10146.

8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers.
Killed in Action 31 December 1915, aged 23.

Arthur's Special Memorial in Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy.
Arthur's Special Memorial in Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Arthur Frederick Randall was born in 1892 in Wetheringsett, Suffolk (GRO reference: Jun 1892 Hartismere 4a 842) to Frederick William and Mary Ann Larter (nee Battley), who had married in 1880 However, there is something of a mystery surrounding the family name.

It appears that Arthur's grandparents were not married when Arthur's father Frederick was born in the 1860 June quarter but married soon after his birth in the September quarter. His parents however preferred to use his middle name William and he appeared as William Randall in the 1861 and 1871 censuses. When Arthur's father William married Mary Ann Battley he used his full birth name Frederick William Larter. He consequently carried on using his legal surname, Larter, which he passed to all nine of his children.

The family appear in the 1891 census as "Larter" living in Wetheringsett, but by the 1901 census, whilst still living in Wetheringsett, their surname was recorded as "Randall". As their last child was registered in the June 1895 quarter as 'Dorothy Maud Larter', and that by 1901 she and all the family were called Randall, it would appear that they changed their surname sometime between 1895 and 1901.

When Arthur's father William (recorded as Frederick William) and his mother Mary Ann (recorded as Marion) died in 1930 and 1941 respectively, they were both buried in grave F453 in Epsom Cemetery with the surname Randall. However in 1951 when Frederick and Mary Ann's son Alan Randall Randall died, his death was registered with the surname Larter.

ARTHUR FREDERICK LARTER/RANDALL AND HIS SIBLINGS
NAME GRO BIRTH REFERENCE DIED
Annie Maria Larter Mar 1882 Hartismere 4a 684  
Florence Ellen Larter Sep 1883 Hartismere 4a 647  
Alfred William Larter Dec 1884 Hartismere 4a 714 Dec 1884 0 Hartismere 4a 421
Beatrice Mary Larter Dec 1886 Hartismere 4a 726  
Jessie Evaline Larter Sep 1888 Hartismere 4a 719  
Alan Randall Larter Sep 1890 Hartismere 4a 751 Died 1951
Arthur Frederick Larter Jun 1892 Hartismere 4a 842 Killed in action 31 December 1915
Sidney William Larter Sep 1894 Hartismere 4a 774 Killed in action 14 November 1915
Dorothy Maud Larter Jun 1895 Hartismere 4a 839  

In the 1891 census, before Arthur was born, the family lived in Church Street, Wetheringsett-cum-Brockford. Arthur's parents were recorded as William and Maria Larter. Arthur's father was a 30 year old agricultural labourer, his mother was aged 34. Arthur's five older siblings were Annie aged 9, Florence aged 8, Beatrice aged 4, Jessie aged 2 and Allan aged 10 months. Also lodging with them was Arthur's 12 year old uncle Robert Randall.

In the 1901 census they were still living in Wetheringsett-cum-Brockford, but Arthur's parents were by then known as William and Maria Randall and only two of his five older siblings, Jessie and Alan, were living with them. His father William was still working as an agricultural labourer. Arthur had arrived as well as two more siblings, Sidney aged 6 (also to die in the war) and Dorothy aged 4. Also using the surname Randall were his sisters; Annie was working as a servant in Bromley, Kent, and his sister Florence, was a servant in Wetheringsett-cum-Brockford. His sister Beatrice whereabouts is unknown.

By 1911 they were living at 16 Miles Road, Epsom. Arthur's father recorded himself as William Randall and that he was aged 51 and working as a gardener. Arthur's mother now aged 53 was recorded as Marian, and stated she had been married for 32 years and had given birth to 9 children, and 8 were still alive. Brother Alan was a 20 year old grocer's assistant, and Arthur himself was working on a dairy farm, while his younger brother Sidney, aged 16, had no occupation and his sister Dorothy, aged 14, was presumably still at school.

Arthur's service papers have not survived but the Surrey Recruitment Register tells us that he attested on 30 November 1914 at Epsom, joining the Royal Fusiliers. He was 22 years and 7 months old, 5 feet 8¼ inches tall, weighed 156 lbs and had a chest measurement of 37½ inches with an expansion of 4 inches. He worked as a grocer and was born at Welhampitt, Suffolk. (Welhampitt is probably a miss transcription of Wetheringsett).

Arthur left Aldershot early on 31 May 1915 with the 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, on route to France. The Battalion was in the 36th Brigade, 12th Division, and they embarked from Folkestone arriving at Boulogne at 10-30pm. Much of the time the Battalion was holding the line around Houplines and Armentières, and provided working parties for the Royal Engineers, probably assisting in digging trenches and mining activities, removing spoil and bringing up timber to support the tunnels. The Battalion did not attack in the Battle of Loos but were holding the line. Nevertheless between 25 September and 4 November 1915 they lost 38 men killed, mainly by shellfire and rifle grenades.

The Battalion War Diary for the last three days of December 1915 reads as follows:
LE QUESNOY. 29-12-15. Left billets and relieved 7th RB in GIVENCHY TRENCHES, found fresh mine on left of Sap H had been blown by enemy - very little damage done and unoccupied. Relief completed 2pm. Enemy active all along our front with rifle grenades. B Coy on left, A Coy in centre, C Coy on right, D Coy in GUNNERS SIDING. Casualties 1 killed 3 wounded.
GIVENCHY. 30-12-15. At 11AM party of 26 petty officers and two officers of Royal Navy arrived being attached for experience in Trench life. Distributed among Coys. Enemy still active with rifle grenades, paying particular attention to right Coy H.Q. Casualties 2 killed 6 wounded.
GIVENCHY. 31-12-15. At 10A.M. were relieved by 6th Buffs, relief complete about 2P.M. and then marched into billets at TOBACCO FACTORY, BETHUNE. Casualties 1 killed 3 wounded.

Arthur was killed in action on 31 December 1915 and is probably the man referred to in the war diary of that date. On the two previous days mention is made of enemy rifle grenades. Was it this that killed him?

The CWGC show Arthur to be remembered by Special Memorial 9 in Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy. Special Memorials do not mark the exact place of a burial, but indicate that the man is either known or believed to be buried somewhere within the cemetery.

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

The Randall brothers medals with Sidney's bronze plaque in a wooden frame.
The Randall brothers medals with Sidney's bronze plaque in a wooden frame
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

The inscription on Arthur's medal.
The inscription on Arthur's medal.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

With thanks to Bill Owen for allowing the medals to be photographed.

EP SB

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RANDALL Sidney William, Private. 2764.

2/2nd Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers).
Died of Wounds 14 November 1915, aged 21.

Sidney's headstone in Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles
Sidney's headstone in Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles
Images courtesy of Debbie Wilbur ©2011

Sidney William Randall was born in 1894 in Wetheringsett, Suffolk (GRO reference: Sep 1894 Hartismere 4a 774) to Frederick William and Mary Ann Larter (nee Battley), who had married in 1880.

For family history please see the entry for his brother Arthur Frederick, who was also killed in the war.

It seems that little has survived to tell us of Sidney's army life. I have been unable to find service or pension records, nor a war diary for the 2/2 Battalion London Regiment. He is in the 'Soldiers Died' CD and has a medal card, but in both he is shown as Sydney, not Sidney.

His medal card shows that he went to Egypt on 30 August 1915. After Egypt he fought in Gallipoli where his battalion formed part of the 2nd Brigade in the Royal Naval Division. By the time Sidney died of wounds on 14 November 1915 winter had arrived, major offensives had ceased and plans were being considered for a withdrawal. By 9 January 1916 all British troops had been withdrawn with the loss of only two men, and was done with the Turkish troops completely unaware that it was happening.

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

He is buried in Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles and is commemorated by special memorial 81. Special Memorials do not mark the exact place of a burial, but indicate that the man is either known or believed to be buried somewhere within the cemetery.

Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles
Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles
Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles
Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles
Images courtesy of Debbie Wilbur ©2011

The Randall brothers medals with Sidney's bronze plaque in a wooden frame.
The Randell brothers medals with Sidney's bronze plaque in a wooden frame
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

The inscription on Sidney's medal.
The inscription on Sidney's medal.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

With thanks to Bill Owen for allowing the medals to be photographed.

EP SB

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RASEY Albert Edward, Private. G/4958.

2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment.
Died of Wounds 20 June 1918, aged 29.

Albert's headstone in in Pernes British cemetery
Albert's headstone in in Pernes British cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Albert Edward Rasey was born in 1889 (GRO reference: Jun 1889 Epsom 2a 23) to Thomas and Emily Rasey (nee Norman). He was one of three brothers to die in the Great War. For further family information see the entry for Frederick Rasey.

Albert aged 24, married Ellen E Bloomfield in Reigate in 1913. They had two daughters, Margaret who was born in the December quarter 1913 in Reigate and Ellen, who was born in the March quarter 1918 in Epsom.

Albert lived in Croydon when he attested into the 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, a Regular Army Battalion, part of the 2nd Brigade 1st Division. At the time of Albert's death the Battalion were holding the front line in the Hohenzollern Sector having previously been in billets in Noeux-Les-Mines. The following is an extract from the war diary for 12 to 20 June 1918:
12th to 20th. A very peaceful tour during which time it became apparent that the suspected enemy attack would not develop on our front. Owing to one of our cylinder discharges which had taken place the night before we went in, there was a quantity of gas in our front line for a day or two owing to leaky cylinders. These were eventually removed.
There was the usual patrolling activity on our part, but it was hindered by the nature of No Mans Land which was full of huge old mine craters. The enemy fired gas projectors on the Division on our right.
The term 'A very peaceful tour' must have been judged very much on the standards of the day as the Soldiers Died CD tells us that during this period 4 men were killed in action and 2 died of wounds.

Albert died of wounds on 20 June and is buried in Pernes British cemetery. Burials commenced at Pernes in April 1918, started by the 1st and 4th Canadian Casualty Clearing Stations (CCS). Later, the 6th, 22nd and 13th CCS were based here. CCS were part of the medical evacuation chain that eventually took the worst wounded men, with a chance of survival, back to Blighty (England). Albert's wounds were so severe that he was evacuated no further than the CCS at Pernes. We will probably never know how he received his wounds, was it a shell or a sniper, or perhaps our own gas from the leaky cylinders?

Albert received the 1915 star, British War medal and the Victory medal.

EP CC

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RASEY Bertie, Rifleman. A/205384.

8th Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps.
Died of Wounds 29 March 1918, aged 19.

Bertie's headstone in the Guise (La Desolation) French National Cemetery
Bertie's headstone in the Guise (La Desolation) French National Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

Bertie Rasey was born on 26 January 1899 (GRO reference: Mar 1899 Epsom 2a 28) to Thomas and Emily Rasey (nee Norman). Bertie was baptised at Christ Church, Epsom on 6 March 1899. He was one of three brothers to die in the Great War. For further family information see the entry for Frederick Rasey.

Bertie attested at Epsom on 1 January 1917 and initially joined the 22nd Training Battalion KRRC, and given the service No 10/6938. He later transferred to the 8th Battalion KRRC and was given a new service No A/205384. He gave his age as 18 years and 3 months, and was measured at 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighed 106 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 33 inches with an expansion of 3 inches. He was a cowman and lived at 35 Woodlands Road, Epsom. His medical grade was A4. This grading was given to men who would be fit enough to fight overseas once they had reached 19, at that time the minimum legal age to fight overseas.

Bertie died of wounds on 29 March 1918 and is buried in Guise (La Desolation) French National Cemetery, Flavigny-Le-Petit. This part of France was in German occupation until it was liberated by the French Army on 4 November 1918, a few days before the armistice on 11 November.

The Guise (La Desolation) French National Cemetery
The Guise (La Desolation) French National Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

The 8th Battalion KRRC suffered very badly in the German spring offensive that started on 21 March. Known as the Kaiserschlacht or operation Michael, it was the last desperate bid by the Germans to win the war before the Americans arrived in force. Between 21 March and 29 March, 63 men from the 8th KRRC lost their lives and many more were taken prisoner. The Battalion was so badly mauled that it was disbanded in August 1918, the few survivors being sent to other units.

It is impossible to know exactly happened to Bertie but it is likely that he was wounded and taken prisoner but died from his wounds whilst being transported to a prisoner of war camp. At the time Guise (La Desolation) French National Cemetery, Flavigny-Le-Petit was well behind the German lines.

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

EP CC

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RASEY Frederick, Private. 30161.

3rd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment.
Died 8 July 1916, aged 29.

Frederick's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Frederick's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2009

Frederick Rasey was born on 18 February 1887 (GRO reference: Mar 1887 Epsom 2a 20) to Thomas and Emily Rasey (nee Norman). He was baptised on 12 February 1888 in Christ Church, Epsom whilst living at Castle Cottages, Epsom Common. He was one of three brothers to die in the Great War.

Frederick's parents Thomas and Emily were married on 19 August 1883 in Emily's parish church, St Mary's, Ewell, and produced fourteen children:

FREDERICK RASEY AND HIS SIBLINGS
NAME BORN NOTES
Thomas George 9 May 1884 Died 1884. Buried Epsom 19 July 1884
Alfred James September quarter 1885  
Frederick 18 February 1887 Died 8 July 1916
Albert Edward June quarter 1889 Died of wounds 20 June 1918
George June quarter 1891 Shown as William aged 5 weeks in 1891 census
William Charles 19 April 1893 Served in East Surrey Regiment & Labour Corps
Ethel Maud 8 January 1895  
Ernest 28 April 1896 Died 1896. Buried Epsom 4 May 1896
Ellen 16 July 1897 Died 1898. Buried Epsom 21 March 1898
Bertie 26 January 1899 Died of wounds 29 March 1918
Edith 14-Jun-01 Died 1902. Buried Epsom 5 May 1902
James 28-Dec-03  
Edward 21-Jan-05 Died 1905. Buried Epsom 19 August 1905
Edith Lilian March quarter 1906  

In the 1891 census the family lived on The Common, Epsom. Frederick's father Thomas is shown as a 31 year old carter from Wiltshire, and his mother Emily as 28 and coming from Ewell. No birth records for Thomas and Emily have been found.

In the 1901 census the family lived in Woodlands Road, Epsom next to Bristow Cottages. Thomas is shown as a 35 year old bricklayer's labourer, and Emily as only 32. The oldest surviving son, 15 year old Alfred was working as a carter's boy, whilst Frederick was a 14 year old cowboy working with cattle.

The family still lived in Woodlands Road at the time of the 1911 census, but Frederick's father was now working as a carter on a Gentleman's estate and Frederick was a farm labourer. Mother Emily stated she had given birth to 14 children but that 6 had died.

Frederick aged 27, married Florence Bloomfield in Epsom in the March quarter of 1914. They had one son named Frederick HA in the December quarter of 1914.

Frederick attested in Epsom on 2 December 1915 and became Private 30161 in the 3rd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. He gave his age as 29, and was measured at 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighed 117 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 35 inches with an expansion of 2 inches. He was a green grocer and lived at 26 Woodlands Road, Epsom.

The 3rd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment was a training unit based at Felixstowe, for duty with the Harwich Garrison. After only 8 months duty, all in the UK Frederick died in Cliff Military Hospital Felixstowe. He was buried in plot A 437, Epsom Cemetery on 15 July 1916.

As Frederick remained in the UK no medals were awarded.

His widow Florence remarried in 1919 in Epsom to Harry Mist.

EP CC

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RATCLIFF Leonard Harold, Private. 12911.

6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.
Killed in Action 9 August 1915, aged 19.

Leonard's inscription on the Helles Memorial
Leonard's inscription on the Helles Memorial
Image courtesy of Debbie Wilbur ©2011

Leonard Harold Ratcliff was born in Coombe, Surrey in 1896 (GRO reference: Jun 1896 Kingston 2a 365) to Alfred and Louisa Ratcliff (nee Thomas). Leonard's parents had married in the March 1880 quarter in the Epsom registration district.

Leonard Harold Ratcliff And His Siblings
Name Born - Died
Frederick Charles Born: 1880 Sutton
Ethel Louisa Born: 1882 Sutton
Alfred Born: 1886 Kingston
Died: 1886 Kingston
Alice Emily Born: 1887 Teddington
George Harry Born: 1889 Acton
Percy Born: 1891 Acton
Bessie Born: 1894 Norbiton
Leonard Harold Born: 1896 Coombe
Died: 1915 Gallipoli
Arthur Born: 1899 Epsom

In the 1881 census, before Leonard was born, the family lived at Sutton Court High School. Leonard's father was a 28 year old 'jobbing gardener'. His mother was aged 23 and brother Frederick was aged 5 months.

The 1891 census shows the family living at 42, Antrobus Road, Acton, and Leonard's father was still earning his living as a gardener. On census night, his siblings, Ethel, Alice and George, his uncle Frederick, aunt Elizabeth and cousins Emily and Jessica were all living at 42, Antrobus Road. The family also had a boarder, 14 year old Elizabeth Slapps.

By 1901 the family had moved to 3, Beech Road, Epsom. Leonard's father was still a gardener but brother Frederick was an engine cleaner. Siblings Percy, Bessie and Arthur had arrived, and a 57 year old boarder, William Ratcliff lived with the family (probably an uncle).

In 1911 Leonard's parents were still living at 3, Beech Road, Epsom, but only 11 year old Arthur remained in the family home. Leonard's mother stated that she had given birth to nine children and that seven were still living. Leonard is recorded as a 17 year old footman living at 3, Stanhope Place, London, W, working for stockbroker Charles Kerr.

Leonard's service record has not survived but the Soldiers Died CD records that he enlisted in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire. He served in the 6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment which was in the 33rd Brigade, 11th Division. In April 1915 the 33rd Brigade moved into a tented camp at Frensham, Surrey, and continued training until it sailed from Liverpool to Gallipoli on 18 July 1915, landing at Suvla Bay on 7 August.

The 11th Division was ordered to make a dawn attack on 9 August against the Anafarta Ridge, Hill Oglu Tepe and Anafarta, on a frontage of about a mile. The high ground from Scimitar Hill (Hill 70) to the north, and Anafarta to the north was supposedly held by British troops, so their left flank should have been secure. Here, the nature of the ground meant that only a direct frontal attack was possible.

At 2am the Lincolns left their bivouacs at Lala Baba and moved along the southern side of Salt Lake to Chocolate Hill, from where the began their advance. Very soon after the start of their advance they came under rifle fire, and Turkish guns began to shell Chocolate Hill. Contrary to what they had been told, the Turks held Scimitar Hill, occupying all the vantage points.

Map of Suvla Bay
Map of Suvla Bay

The Commanding Officer of the 6th Lincolns, Lt Colonel M.P. Phelps later wrote that he found the line being held, but that it was under close and accurate, although not heavy fire, and of trenches full of dead and wounded. On seven or eight occasions he had to order retreating men from other Battalions to go back to the firing line. He also thought that they were being fired on by British guns, although this is disputed. By now the thick scrub was burning, and at 12.15pm the Battalion was ordered to retire taking with them as many wounded as possible. But sadly there were far too many wounded to be able to get them all away.

The following is an extract from the 'The History of the Lincolnshire Regiment 1914-1918':
No sooner had the Lincolnshire reached their new line than Captain P.H. Hansen, the Adjutant, calling for volunteers to assist him, dashed back through clouds of smoke and a stream of bullets into the burning scrub, which by now gave off a terrific heat. He did this to save wounded men from being burned alive. Six times he went three hundred yards into that inferno and rescued six men from a horrible death. He was awarded the VC. Lance-Corporal AH Breeze and two others who went out with Captain Hansen were awarded the DCM. Many wounded were burned alive; none of the battalion missing were ever seen again.
Leonard was one of 160 men from the Battalion who died that day. Was he one of the wounded who was burnt to death? He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial to the missing.

Main entrance to the memorial.
Main entrance to the memorial.
Image courtesy of Debbie Wilbur ©2011


Inscription to those who have no known graves.
Inscription to those who have no known graves.
Image courtesy of Debbie Wilbur ©2011

The St Martin's church Roll of Honour states that:
LEONARD HAROLD RATCLIFF, was killed in action at Gallipoli on 9th August 1915.
Leonard was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.

Note: More about Victoria Cross winner Percy Howard Hansen can be read on Wikipedia.

EP SM

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RATCLIFFE Harold Frederick, Gunner. 64223.

142nd Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery.
Died 20 October 1918, aged 25.

Harold's headstone in Epsom cemetery
Harold's headstone in Epsom cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2008

Harold Frederick Ratcliffe was born on 13 June 1894 (GRO reference: Sep 1894 Epsom 2a 17), and baptised at Christ Church, Epsom on 22 July 1894. Although he was registered as Harold Frederick, it seems he preferred to use Frederick or Fred. His parents William James and Frances Louisa Ratcliffe (nee Mallows) had married in the same church on 17 October 1881 (GRO reference: Dec 1881 Epsom 2a 19). The entry, however shows Frederick's father William as Ratcliff, without an 'e' on the end.

FREDERICK HAROLD RATCLIFFE AND HIS SIBLINGS
NameBorn - DiedNotes
Frances Louisa AnnieBorn: 18 April 1882 Epsom
Died: 1884
 
Bertha Ellen (Nellie)Born: 27 August 1883 Epsom
Died: 25 October 1918
Married Francis Cornelius Day 14 August 1904, Christ Church Epsom. Widowed 1905
FlorenceBorn: 13 August 1886 Epsom
Died: 1967
Married Albert Victor Turrell 1 August 1921, Christ Church Epsom
William HenryBorn: 13 August 1887 Epsom
Died: 1961
Married Ada Simons 1907. Served, Royal Field Artillery
Charles MallowsBorn: 12 May 1889 Epsom
Died: February 1891
Buried in grave C5 Epsom cemetery, 12 February 1891
JessieBorn: 16 February1893 Epsom
Died: 21 October 1918
 
Harold FrederickBorn: 13 June 1894 Epsom
Died: 20 October 1918 Epsom
 
Gladys MarianBorn: 23 October 1895 EpsomBaptised 19 January 1896 Christ Church, Epsom.
Married Ernest George Stones 31 March 1923, Christ Church
Albert CecilBorn: 7 July 1899 Epsom
Died: 1970
Baptised 3 September 1899 Christ Church, Epsom.
Married Maud Emily Weaver 16 January 1921, St Barnabas church, Epsom
Walter StanleyBorn: 6 June 1902Baptised 13 July 1902 Christ Church, Epsom.
Married Margery Doris Stanley 1924, Windsor registration district.

In the 1891 census, before Harold was born, the family lived in Harriss Cottages, Epsom Common. He had three siblings, Bertha aged 7, Florence aged 4 and William aged 3. Frederick's father was a 30 year old bricklayer's labourer, and his mother was a 30 year old laundress. Harold's widowed maternal grandmother, 59-year-old Frances Mallows, a laundress, and his 20-year-old uncle Frederick Mallows, an agricultural labourer, both lived with them in Harriss Cottage.

The 1901 census shows the family were still living in Harriss Cottages, and Frederick had another 3 siblings, Jessie aged 8, Gladys aged 5 and Albert aged 1. Still living with them in Harriss Cottages was his grandmother Francis, now aged 69, and who was still working as a laundress, and uncle Frederick, a laundryman. The laundry work is shown a as taking place at home. Another brother, Walter Stanley was born on 6 June 1902.

In 1911 the family were still living in Harriss Cottages, at number three. Frederick's parents, aged 50, now both earned their living running a laundry business from home. Frederick worked as a garden boy. His sister Florence was living with their widowed sister Bertha and her daughter Ellen at 2 Maria Cottages, Epsom Common.

Frederick aged 21, attested at Kingston on 1 November 1915, joining the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was tall for those days at 6 feet 1 inch. He weighed 162 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 37½ inches with an expansion of 2½ inches. He was a horse keeper and lived in Bramble walk.

Frederick died of pneumonia on 20 October 1918 in the Horton War Hospital, and is buried in plot A391 of Epsom cemetery. The following appeared in the Epsom Advertiser dated 25 October 1918:-
BROTHER AND SISTER BURIED TOGETHER.- Much sympathy is felt for Mr. and Mrs. W. Ratcliffe, 22, Bramble Walk, Epsom common, who have lost a son and daughter, who were yesterday (Thursday) buried in the same grave at the cemetery. The son, Harold Frederick Ratcliffe, aged 24, was a soldier who came home on 14 days leave on the 11th. He was unwell on arriving, and becoming worse he was removed to the Horton War Hospital, where he died on Friday from pneumonia. At the time of his death one of his sisters, Jessie, aged 25, was lying seriously ill from pneumonia and pleurisy, and she died on Monday.
The grave marker in Epsom cemetery bears three names, Harold Frederick Ratcliffe died 20 October 1918 aged 24, Jessie Ratcliffe aged 25 died 21 October 1918 and Bertha Ellen (Nellie) died 25 October 1918 aged 35. So it appears three siblings died within a few days of each other. According to cemetery records, Harold and Jessie are buried there but Bertha Ellen (Nellie) Day is not.

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

Harolds's Bronze Plaque
Harolds's Bronze Plaque
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Fredericks' mother was aged 75 when she died. She was buried in grave A392 in Epsom Cemetery on 15 March 1935. His father died in 1963.

EP CC

With thanks for information provided by Richard Tyler.

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READ George Alfred, Driver. T4/262974.

Army Service Corps (ASC).
Died 4 December 1918 aged 37.


George's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
George's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2017

George Alfred Read was born in 1883 on 2 July 1881 in Battersea the son of George Alfred and Emily Read (nee Cheek). His parents had married in the March quarter of 1862 in the Hatfield registration district.

His sister Emily was born on 3 October 1882. George and his sister were both baptised on 5 November 1882, in St. Peter's Church, Battersea, Wandsworth. Their address was recorded as 5 John's Cottage, Plough Lane. George's birthday was recorded as 2 July 1881 but he GRO has no record of this date, only of a George Read being born in the March quarter (GRO reference: Mar 1881 Wandsworth 1d 729).

On 26 September 1890, having previously attended All Saints Boys School, George was admitted to Garrett Lane School, Wandsworth where the records show that his birthday was 2 July 1881 and that he lived at 44 Iron Mill Road, Wandsworth.

In the 1891 census George lived with his parents and three siblings at 44 Iron Mill Road, Wandsworth. George's 35 year old father was a general labourer. George was aged nine, his mother was aged 30, sister Emily was aged 8, brother William was aged 3 and brother Leonard was aged 2.

By 1901 the family lived at 10 Lydden Road, Wandsworth. Another four siblings had arrived, James aged 9, Lilian aged 6, Violet aged 4 and May aged 2.

George left Garrett Lane School on 7 December 1884.

George, aged 24, a carman, married Edith Mary Dunford, also aged 24, on 11 June 1905 in St. Andrews Church, Earlsfield. George lived at 60 Bendon Valley and Edith lived at 15 Lydden Grove.

GEORGE AND EDITH READ'S CHILDREN
NameBorn - DiedNotes
Edith AnnieBorn: 17 August 1905 WandsworthNo baptism record found
George LeonardBorn: June 1906
Died: March quarter 1907 Wandsworth
No baptism record found
Emily IvyBorn: Dec 1907
Died: June quarter 1910 Wandsworth
No baptism record found
Violet Lilian MBorn: 9 May 1910No baptism record found
William ABorn: 19 April 1912No baptism record found
Ivy KateBorn: 17 January 1914 Wandsworth
Died: September quarter 1916
No baptism record found

Emily and George were both declared dead in 1911 census. George's pension papers show only Ivy Kate and William.

In the 1911 George and Emily lived at 32 Bendon Valley, Wandsworth. George, still working as a carman, and Edith were both aged 30. Two children are recorded, Edith aged 8 and Violet aged 10 months.

George first attested in Wandsworth on 29 March 1915. He stated his age as 33 years 1 month, his address as 5 Simrose Court, Wandsworth, his occupation as carman and that he had previously served for 2 months with the 13th Hussars when he was a boy. He listed Edith as his wife, and his children as Edith born 17 August 1905, Violet born 9 May 1910, Ivy born 17 January 1914 and William born 19 April 1912. His employer Bishop's and Sons, Furniture Depositors, supplied a reference on 30 March 1915 saying that George had been in their employment as a carman and that he was thoroughly used to horses and had plenty of experience. He was allocated to the Army Service Corps Remount section and was given service number 6695.

George was 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 150 lbs and had a chest measurement of 38¾ inches with an expansion of 2½ inches. However, on 1 April after four days service George was discharged from the army with the note Recruit not finally approved.

George signed a second enrolment paper at Kingston on 13 October 1916. He stated his age as 35 years 2 months and gave the same address in Wandsworth as previously declared. He was married and worked as a carman but when asked if he had ever served previously, ASC is recorded but struck out and 'NO' written in its place. He was assessed as medical category B2, assigned to Horse Transport section of the ASC and given service number T4/262974.

George's service did not last for very long, on 26 May 1917 he was transferred to Napesbury to 3rd London General Hospital with acute mania. It was stated that he was confused and gave rambling accounts of his position in the service, While there, his memory of recent and remote events was deficient but he claimed to drive the Scottish Express between Manchester and Yarmouth. On 18 August 1917 he was discharged from the army as no longer physically fit to serve, and was given Silver War Badge No. 231214 for services rendered. He was admitted to Long Grove asylum on 24 August and died on 4 December 1918, the cause of death being General Paralysis of the Insane.

George was buried on 9 December 1918 in grave K652 in Epsom Cemetery where he is commemorated on the Screen Wall. He shares the grave with three other soldiers.

George did not serve overseas so was not entitled to any medals.

CWGC

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REEDS William Benjamin, Private. (7293) 201663.

2nd/5th Battalion Durham Light Infantry.
Died 12 December 1918, aged 34.

William Benjamin Reeds was born in 1884 in Croydon (GRO reference: Sep 1884 Croydon 2a 214) the only child of Benjamin Thomas Alfred and Annie Reeds (nee Beams). William's parents had married in Croydon in the September quarter of 1884.

William was baptised on 5 October 1884 in St. Mary the Virgin church, Ewell, where his father was recorded as a groom. William's mother Annie (birth registered as Ann), aged 23, died the next year and was buried on 21 March 1885 in St. Mary the Virgin churchyard, Ewell. After his mother's death William was brought up by his grandparents, Benjamin and Jane Reeds.

William's father married Amelia White on 22 September 1889 in All Souls church, Newington, and in 1891 they were living in Putney with their 10-month-old son Walter, a half brother to William. William was living with his paternal grandparents Benjamin and Jane Elizabeth Reeds and his aunts Elizabeth Ada, Amy Louise and Lavinia Maud in West Street, Ewell.

WILLIAM BENJAMIN REEDS AND HIS HALF SIBLINGS
Name Born - Died Notes
William Benjamin Born: 1884 Croydon
Died: 12 December 1918 Italy
Married Maud Lillian Sapsed 1914
Walter Alfred Born: 29 May 1890 Kensington
Died: 1980 Hitchin
Married Florence Burrell 1921
Eleanor Maud Born: 21 Sep 1891 Wandsworth
Died: 1989 Eastbourne
Married George Wade 1928
Elizabeth Alice Born: 15 August 1898 Epsom
Died: 1975 Eastbourne
Married Alfred Erridge 1924
Ada Jane Born: 9 Feb 1900 Epsom
Died: 1988 Eastbourne
Married George Brooker 1941
Lavinia Amelia Born: 3 Jan 1905 Eastbourne
Died: 1989 Bromley
Married Albert Saunders 1929

William attended Ewell Boys School. The school log book notes that on 14 January 1895 Mrs Reeds informed the school that William was not well enough to attend school, and on 16 January the school was informed that William had 'fever'.

In 1901 William aged 16, still living with his grandparents in Mount Pleasant, West Street, was working as an under gardener. Also living there were his aunt Lavinia and 7 year old cousin Amy Reeds. William's father and stepmother were living at Woodcote Green, Epsom, where his father was working as a coachman to support his second wife and children; Walter, Eleanor, Elizabeth and Ada.

By 1911 William was living with his widowed grandfather and uncle Thomas in Mount Pleasant, Ewell, his grandmother having died in early 1911. William's father, stepmother and half siblings were living at 'The Stables', Burlington Place, Eastbourne. William's grandfather died in 1916 in Ewell.

William married Maud Lillian Sapsed in the Watford registration district in the December quarter of 1914. There does not appear to have been any children born to them.

William served in the 2nd/5th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, originally with service number 7293, later changed to 201663, when Territorial Army men were given new numbers. (www.1914-1918.net/renumbering.htm).

As William's service papers did not survive the Blitz we can't be certain about where he served, but we do know where his battalion served. On 15 November 1916 it was sent to Salonika as a Garrison battalion. Then on 1 March 1917 the battalion was transferred to the 228th brigade in the 28th Division and in September 1918 fought in the Battle of Doiran. The war with Bulgaria ended on 30 September and the 228th Brigade was broken up. William died on 12 December 1918 in a military hospital in Taranto, Italy and was buried in grave I. E. 3. Taranto Town Cemetery Extension. Taranto provided a base for Commonwealth troops along the Mediterranean lines of communication. As William died over ten weeks after hostilities ceased it seems most likely that he died as a result of disease, rather than military action, and probably from the influenza that was rife at the time.

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

William is also remembered on the Eastbourne Roll of Honour.

The CWGC states that he was the;
Son of Benjamin T.A. Reeds, of 1, South Cliff Garage, Silverdale Road, Eastbourne: husband of Maud Lillian Reeds, of 1, South Cliff Garage, 1, Silverdale Road, Eastbourne.
His father died in 1926 in Eastbourne.

ES

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REGAN Thomas, Private. R/359234.

Army Service Corps (Remount Depot).
Died from injuries sustained accidentally 9 August 1917, aged 41.

Thomas's headstone in Netley Military Cemetery
Thomas's headstone in Netley Military Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2009

Thomas Regan was born in Ireland on 1 October 1875 to Laurance and Mary Bridget Regan (nee Cartny). The 'Soldiers Died' CD states he was born in Davistown, however a family member states that he was born in Courtnacuddy. The two villages are quite close together. He was 41 when he died but the Commonwealth War Graves Commission give his age as 40.

Thomas had a brother Patrick born in Courtnacuddy, Ireland on 17 March 1878, who died on 18 November 1960 in Wandsworth.

I have been unable to find any definitive entries for Thomas in either the 1881 or 1891 censuses, but in the 1901 census there is an entry for a 16 year old Thomas Regan from Ireland, who was working as a general labourer and living as a lodger with Patrick Higgins at 2 Nestfield Street, Everton, Liverpool.

Thomas married Edith Sellers on 13 September 1907 at St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Shirebrook, Nottingham (GRO reference: Sep 1907 Mansfield 7b 233). He gave his address as The Lewins Coach House, Crockham Hill. Note: The name is spelt Sellars and Sellers in later GRO birth entries for their children.

There are four likely birth entries for their children:
Lawrence (Laurence in the 1911 census) Charles born on 23 February 1909 (GRO reference: Mar 1909 Sevenoaks 2a 806). Died 5 June 1977 in Epsom.
Thomas born 6 September 1910 (GRO reference: Sep 1910 Sevenoaks 2a 811). Died 1941.
Kathleen A(gnes), (Sellars) born 13 March 1912 (GRO reference:Jun 1912 Epsom 2a 52). Died Jan 1987.
Bernard G(eorge), (Sellers) born 8 July 1914 (GRO reference: Sep 1914 Epsom 2a 61).
In the 1911 census the family was living at 'The Bungalow, Crockham Hill, Edenbridge, Kent. Thomas is shown as a 33 year old coachman, married to 35 year old Edith from Newhall, Derbyshire. At the time their two children were, Laurence Charles aged 2 and Thomas aged 7 months. A family member supplied the information that between 1911 and 1915 Thomas was a horse trainer to Richard Rarson Wootton of Treadwell House, Epsom.

The Surrey Recruitment Register CD tells us that Thomas attested on 6 December 1915 in Epsom, giving his age as 40 years. He was 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 126lbs, had a chest measurement of 34 inches with an expansion of 3 inches. His medical grade was B2. (This meant that he was free from any disease, was able to walk 5 miles, and see and hear sufficiently for ordinary purposes, but was not fit for active front line service). He worked as a groom, and lived at Vicarage Cottage, 1, Downside, Epsom.

Thomas was employed in the remount service of the Army Service Corps at Southampton, loading horses onto ships ready for embarkation to battle zones. On 7 August 1917 a horse that he was loading onto a ship, reared up and kicked his head. He was taken to the nearby Netley military hospital but died two days later on 9 August 1917 from a fractured skull, concussion, and compression of the brain. He was buried two days later at Netley Military Cemetery in plot R.C. 905.

Although Thomas served in the Army and did his 'bit' for the war effort, because he did not serve overseas he was not entitled to receive any medals. His next of kin though, would have been entitled to receive his death plaque and scroll.

The Ashley Road War Memorial that now bears the name 'Regan T.', was unveiled on 11 November 1923, but at the unveiling the name was missing. In a council minute dated 14 February 1924 it is noted that Mrs. Regan had written to ask the council if her husband's name could be added to the memorial. The request must have been accepted, as his name appears on the middle panel, albeit out of alphabetical sequence.

EP

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REYNARD Henry Corner, Second Lieutenant.

1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment.
Killed in Action 25 September 1915, aged 30.

Second Lieutenant Reynard's inscription on the Loos Memorial
Second Lieutenant Reynard's inscription on the Loos Memorial
Copyright Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert 2007

Henry Corner Reynard was born in 1885 (GRO reference Sep 1885 Guildford 2a 75) to Joseph Louis Adolphe and Rosaline Reynard (nee Corner). His parents married on 4 September 1869 in St. Johns church Coulsdon, Surrey.

HENRY CORNER REYNARD AND HIS SIBLINGS
NameBorn - DiedNotes
Louis CornerBorn: 1871
Died: 1871
Baptised 23 August 1871 St. Luke's church, Norwood. Buried South Metropolitan Cemetery 14 October 1871
Lavinia CornerBorn: 1872 Norwood
Died: 1965
Baptised 29 December 1872 St. Luke's church, Norwood
Emilie CornerBorn: 1874 Norwood
Died: 1966
Baptised 26 July 1874 St. Luke's church, Norwood
James CornerBorn: 1875 Norwood
Died: 1958
Baptised 31 October 1875 St. Luke's church, Norwood
Annie CornerBorn: 1877 Leeds
Died: 1962
Baptised 2 May 1877 St. Clements church, Leeds
Baron CornerBorn: 6 January 1879 Dundalk, Ireland
Died: 1967
7 September 1918 registered for draft USA
Ernest CornerBorn: 1881 Guildford Baptised 6 November 1881 St. Mary's church, Guildford
MaleBorn: 1882 Guildford
Died: 1882 Guildford
 
Henry CornerBorn: 13 July 1885 Guildford
Died: 25 September 1915 France
Baptised 9 August 1885 Fetcham
Josephine CornerBorn: 1887 Guildford
Died: 1978
Baptised 23 October 1887 St. Mary's church, Guildford
Herbert CornerBorn: 1890 GuildfordBaptised 15 February 1891 Fetcham. Also served; Captain in the RE

In the 1891 census the family lived at 105½ High Street, Guilford, where Henry's father Joseph was a 48 year old 'Cook confectioner', employer. His mother Rosaline, aged 41 was also a cook. Three of Henry's siblings are shown, Annie Corner aged 14, Josephine Corner aged 3 and Herbert Corner born aged 4 months.

Henry's father died, aged 53, on 15 September 1895 in the Guildford registration district and is buried in West Norwood cemetery.

In 1901 Henry was a pupil at Seabrook Lodge boarding School in Hythe. His widowed mother, aged 52, was living on her own means at 68 Croham Road, Croydon, with his sister Lavinia.

On 23 June 1908, at its Dukes Road, Euston, headquarters, Henry attested, for one year, into the 28th (County of London) Battalion (Artist's Rifles), a Territorial unit, and was given service number 368. He stated that he was 22 years and 11 months old, lived at 'Holly Bank' West Ewell and that he had been born in Ewell, near Epsom, although he had actually been born in Guildford. He was not married, worked as an architect for the firm of J. A. Tregelles, 7 Bishopsgate Street, London E.C. and had previously served in the 20th Middlesex (Artists) Rifle Volunteers (from 1 April 1908). Although he initially signed on for one year only, he continued to re-enlist until 1914. He attended annual training camps at Salisbury 1908 and 1909, Munster camp 1910, Dover camp 1911, Aldershot 1912 and Abergavenny(1913).

Note: In 1908 when the Army was reorganised and the Territorial Army was created, the 20th Middlesex (Artists) Rifle Volunteers became the 28th (County of London) Battalion (Artist's Rifles).

In 1911 the family was living at 'Holly Bank', West Ewell. Henry's 62 year old widowed mother, living on 'Private means' was the head of the family. Henry's sisters, 37 year old Emilie and 23 year old Josephine were both unmarried and had no occupation shown. Henry was an architect and brother Herbert was a student of science. Two servants were employed.

Holly Bank
Holly Bank in 2007
Copyright image courtesy of Liz Manterfield

Appointed Lance Corporal on 9 June 1911 and Corporal on 27 May 1913, his Great War service reckoned from 5 August 1914. Soldiers in the Territorial Army were not obliged to serve overseas, but on 23 October 1914 Henry signed, agreeing to serve overseas and embarked from Southampton with the Artists Rifles, sailing to France on 26 October 1914.

On 13 July 1915, at his own request, he reverted to the rank of Private, applied for a commission and was duly commissioned Temporary 2nd Lieutenant on 15 August 1915, into the 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment. On 22 August he joined the battalion in France and served with 'D' Company. The battalion was in the 22nd Brigade 7th Division.

The war diary tells us that Henry's battalion received orders that at 6.30am on 25 September 1915 they were to attack the 'German fortified positions'. At 10pm on the night before the attack, in torrential rain that caused knee-deep mud in places, the battalion moved forward through the village of Vermelles, reaching its starting point at about midnight.
      The line occupied by the Battalion was about 300 yards long and facing nearly due east. The German line we were told off to attack was about 450 yards long and strongly fortified, powerfully strengthened with flank defence, wire in front of exceptionally thick wire and facing strong posts. There were small redoubts manned with numerous machine guns at intervals, and the left flank was enfiladed by a variety of fire from HOHENZOLLERN FORT and FOSSE 8.
     The distance to be traversed by the battalion in the attack before reaching the enemy's lines was approx 500 yards. Behind the enemy's front line were communication trenches and a powerful 2nd line, and behind that on higher ground were the QUARRIES and further on CITÉ ST ELIE.
     At 6.28am the order "Get ready to charge" came down the line and Lieut COOPER, whose eyes had been on his watch, gave the order "Scouts and wire cutters advance". Directly after, the order to the Coys to advance was given, and "C" Coy climbed up the ladders and advanced through the smoke, which was very dense. This smoke I may mention was chiefly caused by "smoke bombs" smoke candles and gas, there was also a thick cold mist and a drizzling rain.
     Lieut COOPER led his men on with the utmost gallantry and was killed on the German wire, had he lived he would have been recommended for the D.S.O. He was a most gallant officer and much loved and respected by all ranks. "A" Company came on splendidly ably led by Captain Henry de TRAFFORD, who behaved with the greatest coolness and daring and would have been recommended for the D.S.O. had he not been killed. He fell on the German wire, and his last words were "Don't mind me. Push ahead". Truly he and Lieut COOPER and other brave officers and N.C.Os and men deserve the undying gratitude and respect of their country and their Regiment. ----------
     "D" Company led by Captain LIMBERY did gallant work under their plucky young commander who, with many others was wounded. CAPT LIMBERY was recommended for the Military Cross. ----------
     The regiment had to cross a fire zone of about 500 yards exposed to very heavy gun, machine gun and rifle fire, and storm a powerful line of trenches protected by broad strong lines of thick barbed wire. There was a strong support line behind the front line on higher ground and behind that the famous "QUARRIES" on still higher ground. The final objective of the 22nd Infantry Brigade was Cité St Elie, behind a very powerfully entrenched and wired position.
     To make a long story short the gallant 1st Battalion SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT rose to their feet at 6.28am on the 25 September 1915, on the order to "advance" being given, they advanced in extended order at about 3 paces interval between men and moved steadily forward against this almost impregnable position. They stormed it, took the 2nd support line and what remained of this magnificent old regiment moved on and with other corps mixed up with them captured the "QUARRIES" and some of them under the C.O. went on up to within about 50 yards of the German position at Cité St Elie. The regiment lost in this attack about the following number of officers N.C.Os and men:-
430 N.C.Os and men were killed or wounded out of 729 who went into action.
Officers 9 killed 8 wounded, one died of wounds, 1 gassed. Total 18 out of 21 who went into action.
Trench Map - Click image to enlarge.
Trench Map - Click image to enlarge.

Henry was killed in action, being one of 16 officers from the 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment to die that day, along with 126 other ranks from the Battalion.

On 2 Oct 1915 his mother was informed that he had been reported missing. A second telegram on 5 October informed her that he had been wounded but he was not missing. She wrote to the War Office stating that she was anxiously waiting news as to what had happened and on 30 October 1915 a telegram was sent confirming her son's death.

The Epsom Advertiser dated 12 November 1915 printed:
EWELL PARISH COUNCIL. Mr Glyn had heard of two other deaths since the last meeting ------ one of Mrs Reynard's sons, Henry had been reported killed. He proposed a letter of sympathy be sent.
There are two letters on Henry's file from witnesses of his possible fate.

1.
6 Aug 1916 "He was my platoon officer XIV. I saw him shot through both knees on the parapet of the German first line trenches. He was unable to move. We went on and he was left behind. We did not retire back and the ground on which we left him is still in our possession. We have never heard of him since." L Cpl Eggington 9304 D. Lewis Gun School, Etaples.
2.
I well remember seeing an officer of our platoon XII killed at Loos. He was a very dark man and I think his name was Reynard. He led his platoon in the charge but was shot in the stomach very soon after we started. I saw him drop. He gave a groan and then stretched right out. I was sure he died immediately. We had to charge on and left him lying there." Pte Heath 8949 Etaples 13 Aug 1916
The Epsom Advertiser dated 14 January 1916 printed:-
EWELL PARISH COUNCIL. ROLL OF HONOUR. Mrs. Reynard and family wrote thanking the Council for its expression of sympathy with them in the loss they had sustained by the death of Lieut H. C. Reynard.
His mother Mrs Rosaline Reynard, a widow of Holly Bank, West Ewell, Epsom his next of kin was granted letters of administration for his estate valued at £298 13s 1d. His military effects were valued at £44 12s 6d.

Henry was awarded the 1914 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal and a plaque and scroll acknowledging his sacrifice were sent to his mother.

His letters of administration state that he was a bachelor without a living father, and that his mother was a widow. His small personal effects were despatched by OC 2nd Grenadier Guards but had not been traced although full enquiries had been made.

He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Panel 103 to 105. The CWGC states he was the:
Son of Rosaline Reynard, of The Cottage, 5 Smitham Downs Road, Purley & the late Joseph Louis Adolphe Reynard.
Henry's mother died, aged 87 on 3 March 1936 and is buried with her husband in West Norwood cemetery.

Henry is commemorated on three local memorials: Bourne Hall, Dog Gate; St. Mary's churchyard and All Saints churchyard. He is also commemorated in Holy Trinity church, Guildford and his parents' gravestone in West Norwood cemetery.

Henry is named on his parents' gravestone
Henry is named on his parents' gravestone
Henry is named on his parents' gravestone
Images courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2015

Henry is also named on the memorial in Holy Trinity Church, Guildford
Henry is also named on the memorial in Holy Trinity Church, Guildford
Image courtesy of Ian Nicholls © 2008

BH EW AS PG

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RHAWN Charles Huhn, Lance Corporal 331199.

Canadian Army Service Corps, Transport Depot.
Died from pneumonia 23 June 1916, aged 24.


Charles' inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Charles' inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2017

Charles Huhn Rhawn was born on 30 October 1890 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A, the youngest child of Horace and Margaret (Maggie) Jarden Rhawn, nee Huhn. His parents had married in 1879. Charles was baptised on 14 June 1891 in Trinity Church, Oxford, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Charles' grandfather, William H. Rhawn was a successful American banker.

When the 1900 United States Federal census was taken Charles was aged 9 and living with his parents and siblings, George William aged 18 and Cecilia Mary aged 13, and his 85 year old maternal grandmother Cecilia Huhn at Philadelphia Ward 24, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father was a bookkeeper for a bank and employed a cook and chambermaid as well as a professional nurse.

Charles' mother Maggie died from breast cancer in 1905 and his father Horace died four years later on 30 August 1909.

Aged 20, Charles was recorded as working as an office clerk and boarding at Portland Ward 2, Multnomah, Oregon when the 1910 United States Federal census was taken but was listed in the 1910-1911 City Directory as being a salesman working for Studebaker Bros. Co. By 1913 he was working in insurance in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Charles moved to Walker House, Toronto, Canada and on 29 February 1916 attested into the Canadian Over Seas Expeditionary Force giving his brother George, of Edge Water Park, New Jersey, U.S.A. as his next of kin. Charles stated that he was aged 25 years 4 months old, a salesman and that his parents were of British birth even though, according to the U.S.A. censuses, they had been born in U.S.A. He was described as being 5 feet 9 inches tall with a 35 inch expanded chest. He had dark brown hair and brown eyes and his complexion was classed as dark. It was noted that he had an appendicitis scar and that his religion was Church of England.

Charles, promoted to Lance Corporal, in the Transport Depot, on 15 April 1916, embarked from Canada on 18 April and disembarked in England on 28 April 1916. Charles was only in England for just over a month before he was admitted to the Canadian Hospital, Moore Barracks, Shorncliffe on 31 May 1916, suffering from influenza.

On 15 June he was transferred to the County of London War Hospital, Epsom and was diagnosed with pleurisy and rheumatism. On 20 June he was declared to be dangerously ill with pneumonia from which he died at 6.30pm on 23 June 1916. He was buried in grave, K701, in Epsom Cemetery on 28 June 1916. Charles' brother George was notified of his death on 8 August, and burial place on 25 August 1916. However the Register then records that George was notified on 2 February 1917 that a cross had been erected on a private grave numbered K710.The cross has been removed.

NOTE: Graves in the CWGC plot were dug deep enough to accept nine bodies. Several Canadian soldiers were initially buried together in a single plot. However the Canadian government wanted each man to be buried in his own single grave, and purchased grave plots to ensure this happened. Hence some Canadians were disinterred and buried in an individual grave. The Australian government did the same for Australian soldiers.

Charles was only eligible for the British War medal, this and his plaque and scroll were sent to his brother George at P.O. Box 9, Beverly N.J. U.S.A.

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RILEY Edward Adams, 3/9331. Private.

1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.
Died of Wounds 17 July 1915, aged 44/45.

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

Edward Adams Riley was born in 1870 in Hounslow, Middlesex (GRO reference: Sep 1870 Brentford 3a 47) to John (Willis) and Eliza Riley. I have been unable to find a definite marriage record for Edward's parents but there is a record for John Riley and Elizabeth Adams registered in the December 1856 quarter, in the Banbury registration district.

In the 1871 census the family lived at (a) 6a Court, Vine Place, Hounslow. Edward's father was a 37 year old 'Millwright', born in Banbury. His mother was aged 38, also born in Banbury, and worked as a dressmaker. Edward, aged 8 months had four sisters, Eliza aged 10, Adelaide aged 8, Margaret aged 6 and Jane aged 4.

Edward was baptised on 10 May 1875 at Holy Trinity Church, Hounslow. His parents are recorded as John Willis (Millwright) and Eliza Riley.

By 1881 the family lived in Isleworth. Edward was aged 10, his sister Jane was aged 13 and his sister, Emily was aged 8. Edward's mother, now a widow, was still earning a living as a dressmaker.

The 1891 census records the family living at 1 Edith Cottages, Teddington. Edward's mother was aged 58, and was still a dressmaker. Only Edward, a 'Shop General Dealer', and his sister Jane were still living with their mother.

Edward's sister Adelaide married in 1896 and when the 1901 census was taken was living with her husband and mother in Folkstone. It would seem that Edward was on active service in the Boer War.

On 1 July 1905 Edward, a labourer, married widow Sarah Ellen Battye (nee Kneeshaw), a charwoman, in St Wilfred Church, Calverley, Yorkshire. At the time of their marriage they were both living at 4 Albert Street, Greenside, Pudsey. It was recorded on the marriage entry that Edward did not know his deceased father's christian name.

When their son Frank Henry was baptised on 8 July 1906 in St. Mary's church Balham, their address was recorded as 4 New Smithy, Holecoobe Brooke, Lancashire and Edward's occupation as a labourer.

Edward's wife was staying with her widowed 70 year old mother Ellen Kneeshaw when the 1911 census was taken. Their son Frank was aged 5 and daughter Margaret was aged 2. Also recorded were her children from her previous marriage, Lilly Battye aged 11 and Arthur Battye aged 6.

Edward's service record has not survived, but his medal card tells us that he went France on 2 February 1915 with the 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. Edward was a reservist, having previously fought in the Boer War.

Probably because Edward was the first man to die in Horton War Hospital, the local newspapers reported his death in some detail. The following are extracts from local newspapers.

Epsom Herald dated 23 July 1915:
MILITARY FUNERAL AT EPSOM.
THE GRIEF OF WOMEN

     The first death at the County of London War Hospital occurred on Saturday. Up to that time there had been about 900 admissions, and the fact that there has so far been only one patient to die is something upon which the staff has reason to congratulate itself. No war hospital, which receives cases straight from the front, cases which include a proportion of very severely wounded, can expect to keep death entirely out of its wards, and from time to time there are likely to be through the streets of Epsom sad processions of the kind that were witnessed on Wednesday afternoon. Pte. W. E. (sic) Riley was the soldier who passed away on Saturday, death being due to cellulitis, a form of poisoning, following an amputation. The deceased was a member of the 1st Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers, and was one of the undistinguished heroes who fight and die for their country without any record being kept of their brave deeds in days when so many men are acting heroically. All the men who die at the hospital will be buried with military honours, and buried in one particular spot at the Epsom Cemetery, unless, in accordance with wishes of relatives, the burial takes place in some other cemetery. A part of the Epsom Cemetery has been set aside by the Urban Council for men who die at the County of London War Hospital or the Convalescent Camp, Woodcote Park. It is hoped that the burials will be few, but in the space reserved for the soldier heroes as many as 500 can, if unfortunately necessary, be laid to rest. Men of different religious denominations will be placed in different graves. In the case of those belonging to the same church it is proposed that the number of interments in each grave shall be ten. A large number this, and the grave in which the body of Pte. Riley was lowered on Wednesday is 22ft. deep, deeper than any other at the cemetery. This soldiers' space is close to and in view of Ashley-road, and at the end of the war there will be a monument erected in the centre calling the attention of the passer-by to the fact that it marks the portion of the cemetery where sleep the men who gave all they could for England. There will also doubtless be something to mark the resting place of those three soldiers who have died at the Epsom and Ewell War Hospital, and are in one grave in another part of the cemetery.
     On Wednesday the funeral party left the County of London War Hospital at two o'clock, passing between lines of members of the hospital staff. At the head of the procession walked a firing party, supplied by the Royal Fusiliers (P.S. Brigade) at the Farm Camp. The men walked with arms reversed. Immediately behind them were buglers, and then came the hospital gun carriage, on which was the coffin, covered with the Union Jack. On the coffin had been placed the deceased's belt and side arms. Behind the gun carriage were two mourning coaches, in which were the relatives, and an open carriage, lent by Mr. W. G. Langlands, in which rode two of the wounded patients at the hospital. A number of Royal Fusiliers from the Farm Camp formed the rear of the procession. A great number of the inhabitants lined the streets as the deceased was borne to the cemetery, where was gathered one of the largest funeral crowds seen at Epsom for a very ling time. The great majority of those present were women, and many of them quite failed to hide their feelings when farewell was taken of the deceased soldier. The final part of the funeral service had been conducted in the Church of England Chapel by the hospital chaplain (the Rev. Hockley), who also read at the graveside, the final sentences of the service. When the firing party had fired three volleys, and the buglers had sounded the "Last Post," a number of women round the grave were no longer able to hide their emotion. Men, in the face of the death of their countryman in this war, may preserve a certain amount of stoicism, but not so easy is it for the women to do this. The distress of the principle mourners - who had come from Wimbledon - was very great, and many looks of sympathy went out to them. When the womenfolk were able to look down on the coffin they covered it with flowers. It was their tangible tribute of sorrow and of gratitude. Though there were no representatives of the hospital staff in the procession, there were a number of workers at the institute among the crowd. Among others present were Messrs. E. Cornfield, F. G. Greenslade, J. M. Oldridge, H. Newham, P. J. Hillyer, H. Davey, A. J. Knight, etc. The floral tributes were from the following: "In loving memory of my dear husband, from his loving wife and children" ; Jennie and George; Addie and Ted; Sister Emily; Corpl. Borras and friends; Mrs. Sharpe and family. The coffin, which was of regulation kind for military funerals, was of polished elm, with black fittings, lined inside with swansdown sheets. The inscription was : "Pte. W. E. (sic) Riley, 9331, 1st Northumberland Fusiliers, died 17 July 1915, aged 45 years." The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. E. Longhurst and Sons.

And from the Epsom Advertiser dated 23 July 1915:
MILITARY FUNERAL AT EPSOM.
AN IMPRESSIVE SCENE.

     On Wednesday large crowds lined the streets of Epsom and thronged the cemetery when a military funeral took place. The dead soldier was Pte. W. E. (sic) Riley, of the Northumberland Fusiliers, and he was the first inmate of the County of London War Hospital to succumb to the injuries he received whilst fighting against the Huns. Riley, who was 45, came from Pickering, Scarborough (sic). He was a Reservist who saw service in the Boer War. He was badly wounded in the left arm and the limb was amputated at the front. He was in a precarious condition when he was brought to Epsom, and he died on Saturday afternoon from septicaemia. He leaves a widow and four children.
     The funeral took place in Epsom Cemetery, in that portion which has been set aside for the men who die in the Horton Hospital and the Woodcote Convalescent Camp. This was the first interment in that part of the ground, which is near Ashley-road. It is proposed to erect a monument on the site eventually.
     The procession left the hospital about two o'clock. The firing party was in front, the men coming from the Royal Fusiliers (Public Schools Brigade) stationed at he Farm Camp. Then followed the buglers after which came the gun carriage with the coffin covered with the Union Jack, and with the dead soldier's belt and side arms laid on top. There were two mourning coaches for the relatives, and then an open carriage, lent by Mr. W. G. Langlands, in which were two wounded soldiers from the hospital. The rear was brought up by more U.P.S. men.
     The service was conducted by the hospital chaplain, the Rev. A. Hockley, and the impressive service was reverently listened to by the large crowd present. Around the graveside were many men from the Woodcote Park Camp, looking conspicuous in their blue uniforms.
     After the committal portions of the service had been intoned the firing party fired three volleys and the "Last Post" was sounded by the buglers. Many of those present were unable to restrain their tears. A number of women threw flowers on the coffin. This was of polished elm with black fittings, lined inside with swansdown. The inscription on the plate was "Pte. W. E. (sic) Riley 9331: 1st Northumberland Fusiliers. Died July 17th 1915. Aged 45.
Edward's widow Sarah married Robert Grayson in the December quarter of 1918 in the Pickering registration district.

The CWGC states that he was the:
Husband of Sarah Ellen Riley, of 42 Hungate, Pickering, Yorks.
Edward was buried in grave K644, the first of 9 men to be buried in this grave.

Edward was awarded the 1915 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal. I could not find him in the Soldiers Died CD.

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ROBERTS Samuel Crosbie, Rifleman. C/8096.

King's Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC).
Died 23 December 1918, aged 39.

Samuel's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Samuel's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2017

Samuel Crosbie Roberts was born on 4 October 1879 (GRO reference: Dec 1879 Fulham 1a 218a), the son of Samuel John and Laura De Villamer Roberts (nee Crosbie).

On 25 May 1870, nine years before Samuel's birth, his 35 year old father had married 19 year old Laura Crosbie in St. John's Church, Notting Hill. The couple returned to Liverpool where Samuel's father had been living and working.

Sometime before his birth, Samuel's parents moved south and were living at 60 Netherwood Road when they had Samuel baptised in St John's Church, Notting Hill, on 21 December 1879. Samuel's father's occupation was recorded as 'assistant secretary in a bank'. His mother Laura was aged 27 when she died in 1880.

When the 1881 census was taken, Samuel's widowed father was recorded as a boarder at 62 Gower Street, St. Giles in the Field, London. Samuel was staying in Paddington with his maternal grandmother Lucy Crosbie and his uncle Adolphe and aunts Lucy and Evelyn.

On 3 July 1882 Samuel's father married Sarah Caroline Phasey in Christ Church, Gypsy Hill. His address was recorded as Camden hill Road, gypsy Hill. The couple had three known children, half siblings to Samuel:
  • Armenta Roberts, born 1883 in Lambeth.
  • Horace De Villamer Roberts, born in 1885 in Upper Norwood, Surrey.
  • Arthur Gongora De Villamer Roberts, born 1886 in Upper Norwood, Surrey.

The family do not appear to be living in Britain when the 1891 census was taken and may have been living in Malta.

On 9 December 1896 Samuel joined the Royal Navy, but after only 39 days, on 16 January 1917, he was discharged to shore in Malta. His navy service record shows him serving on HMS Ramillies, as a 'Dom 3rd Class'. (HMS Ramillies was a battleship launched on 12 September 1916 but not commissioned until 1 September 1917). He stated that he had been born in Upper Norwood on 4 October 1877. He was 5 feet 5½ inches tall, with brown hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion. His occupation was described as 'Commission Agent'.

Samuel's father died in Malta on 29 January 1901.

Samuel's brother Horace appeared in the 1911 census recorded as a Lance Corporal working as a clerk in the Army Service Corps in the Buller Barracks, Area 5, Stanhope Lines, Aldershot.

On 7 January 1916 Samuel attested in Whitehall, London, into the 23rd Battalion KRRC, a reserve and training battalion. He gave his address as 147 Tooley Street, London, S.E., his age as 35 and his 'trade or Calling' as 'Porter'. He stated that he was unmarried and that he had not previously served in any branch His Majesty's Forces, perhaps forgetting his 39 days with the Royal Navy.

He was 5 feet 6½ inches tall, weighed 126 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 35 inches with an expansion of 3 inches. He had a scar on the right side of his chin and tattoos on both arms; a flag on his right forearm and an anchor and cross 1905, on his left forearm. His brother Horace Victor Roberts, living in Southsea, was his next-of-kin.

On 9 July 1916 he went to France and was posted to the 9th Battalion KRRC. On 3 September 1916 his service papers record him as a 'Prisoners of war Escort'.

He was admitted to No. 3 Casualty Clearing Station, on 9 November 1916, diagnosed with nervous exhaustion. Then on 24 November he was admitted to No. 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital suffering with mental symptoms, talking randomly 'without any semblance of mental balance'.

On 16 November he was transferred to No. 26 General Hospital, Etaples, where the following observation about him was made 'Wild simple maniacal state, whole appearance and behaviour suggestive of G.P.I.'

He was returned to England and was admitted to 'D' Block, Netley Military Hospital, Southampton on 19 December 1916 before being transferred to Dykebar War Hospital, Paisley, Scotland on 26 December.

Samuel was discharged from the Army on 16 March 1917 'being No longer fit for War Service'. He was to live with his brother Horace at 1 Talbot Road, Facell Street, Southsea. At an unknown date Samuel was transferred to Long Grove Asylum, Epsom, where he died on 23 December 1918 from GPI (General Paralysis of the Insane). He was buried on 31 December in grave K652 in Epsom Cemetery where he is commemorated on the Screen Wall. He shares the grave with three other soldiers. Note: Although aged 39 when he died, the GRO records his age at death as 37.

Samuel does not appear in the Soldiers Died CD, presumably because at the time of his death he had been discharged from the Army for some 21 months.

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

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ROBINSON Fred, Private. 3354184

15th Reserve Battalion Canadian Infantry
Died 7 November 1918, aged 28.

Pending further research this is what we have discovered about this person

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ROBINSON Henry, Private. G/33929.

8th Battalion East Surrey Regiment.
Died of Wounds (POW) 31 October 1918, aged 27.

Henry's headstone in Heverlee War Cemetery
Henry's headstone in Heverlee War Cemetery
Image Courtesy of Glyn Elston © 2010

Henry Robinson was born in 1891 (GRO reference: Dec 1891 Epsom 2a 23) to James and Georgina Adelaide Robinson (nee Roper). His parents had married in 1888 in the Stockton registration district.

In the 1901 census the family lived at 16, Adelphi Road, Epsom. Henry's father was a 38 year old carpenter working for a builder. His mother was 40, and he had two sisters, Elizabeth aged 12 and Annie May aged 2.

Henry's father was aged 41 when he died in 1903. He was buried in grave C211 on 10 December in Epsom Cemetery.

On 4 March 1904 William's 15 year old sister Elizabeth was baptised in Christ Church, Epsom. Her birth was recorded as being on 8 February 1889 and her parents as James and Georgina Adelaide Robinson.

When the 1911 census was taken Henry was the one who filled it out in his own handwriting, stating that his parents had been married for 23 years and had had three children. This information however, has been lightly crossed out, as his mother, who was recorded as Annie, was a widow by then. Henry also recorded that he was working as a dairyman and poulterer's assistant and that his 12 year old sister Annie was at school. Elizabeth was not listed as living in the family home, 16, Adelphi Road, Epsom that night.

The Surrey recruitment register shows Henry attesting at Kingston on 16 January 1917 into the artillery, with service number G/33929. He later transferred to the East Surrey Regiment. Henry was 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighed 139 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 36 inches with an expansion of 3 inches. He worked as a manager, his medical grade was B1, and he lived at Adelphi Road, Epsom.

The St Martin's church Roll of Honour states that
HENRY ROBINSON, died whilst a prisoner of war and was buried in the cemetery at Gouvy.
Burials at Gouvy were concentrated into Heverlee War Cemetery after the war. Very few records of prisoners of war exist, and none has been found for Henry. It is therefore impossible to know when he was taken prisoner and in what circumstances. Soldiers died CD states he died of wounds, but even this information helps little as he might have succumbed to his wounds within a few days or possibly months of them being inflicted.

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

The CWGC states that Henry was the son of James and Annie Robinson of 16, Adelphi Road, Epsom, and that he is buried in plot XI A 2 Heverlee War Cemetery (http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/55000/HEVERLEE%20WAR%20CEMETERY).

EP SM

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ROBINSON Thomas, Private. 9634.

3rd Battalion Scots Guards.
Died 26 September 1917, aged 39.


Thomas' inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Thomas'inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2017

Thomas Robinson was born in Preston in 1877 (GRO reference: Dec 1877 Preston 8e 574).

I have been unable to find Thomas in the 1881, 1891 and 1911 censuses.

Thomas attested on 3 January 1898 in Preston, Lancashire into the Scots Guards and was given service number 1854. He stated that he had been born in Preston, was aged 20, was not married and worked as a spinner. Thomas was 5 feet 9½ inches tall, weighed 134 lbs and had a chest measurement of 34½ inches expanding to 37 inches. He had a fresh complexion, grey eyes, dark brown hair and Church of England was his religion. His father James, of 42 Tennyson Road, Preston, was his next-of-kin.

Thomas married Ruth Jennings on 11 January 1902 in the Register Office, Hanover Square, London. They had one daughter, Doris Edna, born 28 April 1905.

In 1911, 33 year old Thomas, a 'sweeper' for the council, 27 year old wife Ruth and their 5 year old daughter lived at 48 Lawrence Buildings, Mill Bank Estate, Westminster, London.

Thomas' pension records tell us that he fought in the second Boer War in South Africa between 16 January 1902 and 21 July 1902. He was transferred to the reserve on 22 September 1902 and by 2 January 1910 Thomas had served his 12 years but he signed on for a further 4 years, finally leaving the army on 20 June 1914.

Thomas' service record has not survived but his medal card tells us that he went to France with the Scots Guards on 11 November 1915. He was discharged from the army on 23 May 1917 as no longer fit for military service, and was given Silver War Badge No. 177042, for services rendered. He was admitted to Long Grove asylum on 6 June 1917 and died on 26 September 1917, the cause of death being General Paralysis of the Insane. He was buried on 2 October in grave K649 in Epsom Cemetery where he is remembered on the Screen Wall. He shares the grave with eight other soldiers.

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

His widow Ruth was his sole legatee. She married Valentine John Maybury on 26 January 1918.

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ROBINSON William Dawson, Corporal. 135833

Canadian Machine Gun Corps 4 Div Co
Died 27 January 1919, aged 30.

Pending further research this is what we have discovered about this person

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RODDA James, Lance Corporal. 6788.

6th Battalion King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment).
Killed in Action 9 April 1916, aged 32.

James Rodda was born about 1884 in Haverigg, Cumberland. The birth of a James Rhoda can be found in Free BMD (GRO reference: Jun 1884 Bootle 10b 692). This might be our man, having had his surname recorded incorrectly. The CWGC states that he was the son of William and Emma Rodda of Haverigg, Millom, Cumberland. William Rodda and Emma Blackwell married on 22 December 1875 in Millom, Cumberland. However amongst James' 'burnt' service papers his father is shown as Thomas Jenkins.

James's maternal grandmother was Margaret Blackwell, nee Jenkin. Records indicate that Margaret had been previously married in 1849 to a John Mollard. There is a death record of a John Mollard later that year.

In the 1851 census Margaret appears not only as a pauper but also as the head of the household, married (but with no husband) with three children; John aged 6, David aged 4 and Elizabeth Mollard aged 3. As the eldest son John was born in 1845 it maybe that the children were in fact Margaret's stepchildren. Margaret married Richard Blackwell in 1851 and appears with her stepchildren on the 1861 census along with Emma, James's mother and her siblings. Birth records indicate that Emma may have been baptised Emma Jenkin Blackwell.

Thomas Jenkin, the man that James recorded as his father, may have been a relative from his grandmother's family.

James had three older siblings, Elizabeth Ann who was born in 1877, Margaret who was born in 1878 and William Henry who was born in 1882.

The 1881 census has a 23 year old Emma Rodda as the head of the family, and the rank of profession 'Miners wife' has been struck through. She was born in St Just, Cornwall, but was living in Main Street, Millom, Cumberland. With her were her 2 daughters, Elizabeth Ann aged 4 and Margaret aged 1. I have not found a definite entry for James' father, but there is an entry for a 26 year old William Rodda, ironstone miner, born St Just, Cornwall, living as a boarder at 10, Railway Terrace, Brotton, Yorkshire. He is however shown as unmarried so probably not the right man.

The 1891 census has an 8 year old James Rodda born in Millom, Cumberland, living in the Bootle Union workhouse, as were his three older siblings, Elizabeth Ann aged 14, Margaret aged 13, and William Henry aged 9. I have been unable to find mother Emma or father William.

In the 1901 census James was a 17 year old farm labourer working for William Crondson at 'Greenslade', West Broughton, Lancaster. James's sister Elizabeth was working for the Prest family in "Heathfield", Crescent Road, Cheam, Surrey, sister Margaret was working as a housemaid in Lancashire,` and brother William as an agricultural labourer in their hometown of Millom.

After the 1901 census had been taken it would seem that Margaret and William moved south to the Epsom district to be with their sister.

James's sister Elizabeth Ann Rodda married Frank Randall in the Epsom registration district in1904. Four years later on the 22 July 1908, Margaret married Alfred Gendle, a dairyman, in Christ Church Epsom. Records show her address as 26 Lower Court Rd, Epsom, and that Alfred's father was deceased. Later that year, on 26 December1908, William Henry Rodda married Agnes Rose Paxton in Christ Church Epsom. He gave his address as 1, Paradise Cottage, Church Street, Epsom, and Agnes's as Long Grove Asylum Epsom.

Interestingly both Margaret and William gave as their father as being "William Rodda, a carpenter", and neither of them referred to him as being deceased.

James attested on 24 April 1901 at Lancaster, giving his age as 18 years and 1 month and his occupation as farm labourer. He was 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighed 131 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 35 inches with an expansion of 1½ inches. He had a fresh complexion, blue eyes, dark brown hair, and numerous brown moles over his left groin. His religion was C of E.

James probably liked Army life, but did not always get on well with authority; He was held in the 'Guard Room' from 20 January 1903 to 5 February 1903, awaiting trial by Court Marshal for 'using insubordinate language to his superior officer'. For his crime he was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment with hard labour.

He went to India on 17 September 1903 with the 1st Battalion, and remained there for over 5 years. It seems that his Court Marshal offence did not turn him against the Army because the following year he signed up for another 5 years with the colours, and on 14 November 1905 he was granted an increase of service pay to class 1 at 16p per day. After all his siblings had married, James returned to England on 7 January 1909, and on 8 April he transferred to the reserve.

Aged 27, James was recorded in the 1911 census as being a boarder with the Lisle family at Highfield Road, Westerhope, Northumberland. He was working as a pumper underground in a coal mine.

On 28 March 1913 he rejoined the Army for a further period of 4 years.

On 13 June 1915 he joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF) to fight in Gallipoli, where he sustained a gun shot wound to his neck and left thumb, and was hospitalised in Malta on 13 August 1915. When recovered he rejoined his unit, travelling on H.M.T. 'Franconia', and landing at Alexandria on 19 October 1915. He was later (date obliterated) sent to Busra (a city now in Syria), and was reported missing on 9 April 1916 whilst fighting the Turks. His remains were never recovered and he is commemorated on the Basra memorial to the missing.

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

His sister, Mrs Randall, 6 East Street, Epsom is named on his service papers as his next of kin, the names of his father, Thomas Jenkin, and brother William Henry Rodda having been struck out. Brother William Henry, attested in Epsom on 31 August 1916, and lived at 7 Rosebery Terrace.

EP

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RONALDSON Charles Rasleigh, Lieutenant

16th Battalion Rifle Brigade (RB).
Killed in action 3 September 1916, aged 42.

Charles Rasleigh Ronaldson
Charles Rasleigh Ronaldson
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert ©2012

Charles Rashleigh Ronaldson was born on 9 June 1874 in Sutton at Hone, Kent (GRO reference: Sep 1874 Dartford 2a 391), to Thomas and Jane Marion Ronaldson (nee Dunlop). His parents had married in St John the Evangelist church, Hammersmith on 27 June 1861.

When the 1871 census was taken the family lived at 'Croft House', Farningham, Kent. Charles' father was a 40 year old ship owner, his mother was aged 28, and both had been born in Scotland. Six older siblings are recorded, Frank D aged 8, Ethel J aged 7, Thomas P aged 5, Stuart B aged 4, Violet M aged 3 and an infant son aged under 1 month who would later be named Arthur Russell Temple. The family employed 6 servants.

CHARLES RASHLEIGH RONALDSON AND HIS SIBLINGS
Name Born - Died Notes
Frank Dunlop Born: 5 April 1862 Farningham Kent
Died: 6 December 1937
In 1937 lived at 'Caen Wood' Alexandra Road Epsom
Ethel Jane Born: 1864 Farningham Kent  
Thomas Percy Born: 1865 Farningham Kent
Died: 1947 Hastings Sussex
 
Stuart Beith Born: 1867 Farningham Kent
Died: 9 February 1941 Northamptonshire
Married Mary Elizabeth Gordon 1898
Violet Marion Born: 1868 Farningham Kent
Died: 1955 Eastbourne Sussex
Married John Eagleton 1892
Douglas Born: 1869 Dartford district Kent
Died: 1869 Dartford district Kent
 
Arthur Russell Temple Born 1871 Farningham Kent
Died: 25 November 1912 Surrey
 
Evelyn Annie Born: 1873 Sutton at Hone Kent
Died: 6 May 1943 Kent
Married Charles Glanfield 1910
Charles Rashleigh Born: 9 June 1874 Sutton at Hone Kent
Died: 3 September 1916 France
 
Lilias Ida Born: 1875 Sutton at Hone Kent  
William Simpson Born: 1877 Wimbledon
Died: 16 February 1941 Dartford Kent
 
Isobel Buchanan Born: 1879 Sydenham Kent
Died: 8 January 1960 London
Married Gerrard K Oliver 1924
Hugh Robertson Meyer Born: 15 June 1881 Sydenham Kent
Died: 1971 Easthampstead Berkshire
 

When the 1881 census was taken the family lived at 'The Hollies', Beckenham, Kent. Charles' father was described as a ship owner and broker. Charles aged 3 was at home with his mother and siblings Ethel aged 17, Violet aged 13, Evelyn aged 8, Lilias aged 5, William aged 3 and Isobel aged 1. Also there on census night was his 44 year old aunt Isabelle, 18 year old cousin Harriet and visitor, Louise Trevervy. The family employed five servants.

By the time the 1891 census was taken the family was living at 'The Grange', Footscray Road, Eltham. Charles' father was described as a 'Ship broker agent employer'. Brother Frank was a 29 year old 'Tea merchant grocer employer', brother Thomas was a 25 year old 'Ship broker agent' and brother Arthur was a 20 year old 'Clerk employee'. Sisters Violet aged 23 and Evelyn aged 18 have no occupation recorded. Charles, recorded under his second name Rashleigh was a 16 year old scholar (he attended Sutton Valence School, Kent). Siblings Ida aged 15, Isobel aged 12 and Hugh aged 10 were all described as 'Scholars'. Charles' mother was not in the family home that night.

Charles attested on 8 January 1900, in Leicester, as Private No. 2222 in the Imperial Yeomanry, 4th Battalion, 7th Company and fought in the Boer War, going to South Africa on 7 February 1900. He returned, unwounded, to the UK on 9 June 1901 and was discharged from the Army on 15 June 1901. He was awarded the Queen's South Africa medal with clasps for Wittebergen, Cape Colony, Transvaal, and South Africa 1901.

In 1911 Charles, aged 36 and still unmarried, was employed as a 'General Commission Agent', living at 'Caen Wood' Alexandra Road, Epsom. His brother Frank, a 'Tea Merchant Employer, was the head of the household. Also living there was his brother Hugh, a clerk in the stock exchange. One servant was employed.

On 12 September 1913 Charles, along with his parents and siblings Frank and Isobel, docked in Southampton after travelling first class aboard Goeben from Algiers.

On 8 October 1914 Charles attested at St Paul's churchyard into the Special Reserve and became Private No. 694 in the 23rd Battalion Royal Fusiliers. He stated that he was 41 years old unmarried accountant, lived at 'Caen Wood', Epsom and had previously served in the Leicestershire Yeomanry from 15 June 1901. He was 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 140lbs, and had a chest measurement of 37½ inches with an expansion of 3 inches. He had blue eyes, dark brown hair turning grey, 4 vaccination marks on his left arm, perfect vision in both eyes and his physical development was described as excellent. His religion was Church of England and his next of kin was his father, Thomas Ronaldson living at 'Toorak', Bournemouth.

When applying for a commission on 21 April 1915, Charles stated that he had previously served in South Africa (Boer War) and had been discharged normally. He also stated that he had served as a Private from 8 October 1914, to date, in the 23rd Service Battalion Royal Fusiliers (1st Sportsmens). He gave his permanent address as 'Caen Wood', Epsom and his address for correspondence as Hut 6, 23rd Service Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, Hornchurch.

He was Gazetted temporary 2nd Lieutenant in the 16th Battalion Rifle Brigade on 21 May 1915 and was duly discharged as a Private soldier from the Royal Fusiliers on 1 June 1915.

On 7 March 1916 Charles left Witley Camp, Milford, Surrey, by train bound for Southampton. He sailed on HMT Viper with the 16th RB which was in the 117th Brigade, 39th Division and on 8 March 1916, landed at Le Havre, France.

On 2 September 1916 Charles' battalion moved into position in preparation for an attack the next day on German trenches north of the river Ancre and the village of Hamel. All men were in position by midnight.

The War Diary (WO 95/2586) carried many detailed instructions one of which is as follows:
GENERAL. Magazines should be loaded, but all work to be done with the sword. A shot will release a sword that cannot otherwise be withdrawn.
Noses right under the barrage. Work by time, don't wait for troops on right or left.
Establish connections with Battalions on right and left in the German lines.
Help the Lewis and Machine guns in every way possible.
If the attack is held up the carrying parties must drop their loads, fix swords and assault under command of 2/Lt H.W. Thomas.
The attack was not successful, the Battalion lost direction and although a few men entered the German trenches, by nightfall all men had returned to British lines. The Soldiers Died CD tells us that 176 other ranks and 9 officers were killed in the attack on 3 September.

Charles' service papers show that a cheque book was the only item of his belongings that were returned to his father. He left a will in favour of his siblings, Frank Dunlop Ronaldson C/O Messrs. Parker Garrett and Co., and Isobel Buchanan Ronaldson, St Michael's Rectory, Cornhill E.C. Probate was granted on 26 October 1916 in the sum of £129 6s 11d.

Charles 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 brother Frank applying for them on 9 November 1920, whilst living at 'Thirlmere', Hawthorne Road, Kent.

Charles' inscription on the Thiepval memorial to the missing
Charles' inscription on the Thiepval memorial to the missing
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert ©2013

EGC

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ROONEY Laurance Vincent, Private. 9614.

2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment.
Died of Wounds 30 September 1915, aged 23/24.


Laurance's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Laurance's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2016

Laurance Vincent Rooney was born in St. John's, Sligo, Ireland in 1891 (Ireland Births Index: Dec 1891 2 265), the son of Denis Martin and Ellen Rooney. Note: In the available records, Laurance is variously spelt, Laurence, Lawrence and Lanrence. Laurance's age is recorded as 24 by the CWGC but the GRO death entry shows him as aged 23.

In the 1901 census of Ireland the family lived at 8 Middleton's Row, Sligo. Laurance's 44 year old widowed mother, Ellen was the head of the family. Six brothers are recorded, Thomas aged 21, Silvester aged 18, Walter aged 16, Denis aged 14, John aged 12 and Clement aged 10.

The 1911 census records Laurance as a private soldier serving in India with the 2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment.

On the outbreak of war the 2nd Battalion East Lancashire had been serving in Wijnberg, South Africa and returned to England, via Southampton, on 30 October 1914. The battalion was in the 24th Brigade, 8th Division and on 6 November 1914 it landed in Le Havre, France.

Laurance's service papers have not survived so we will never know when or where he was wounded. however we do know that the 2nd East Lancashire Battalion fought in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle (10-12 May 1915), the Battle of Aubers (9-10 May 1915) and the attack at Bois Grenier (25 September 1915) a subsidiary attack to the Battle of Loos.

Laurance died in Horton War Hospital, Epsom on 30 September 1915 and was buried on 6 October in grave K644 in Epsom Cemetery, where he is commemorated on the Screen Wall. He shares his grave with eight other soldiers.

The 'Soldiers Effects' records show that Laurance's sole legatee was his brother Clement who received £14 6s 11d on 7 January 1916 and £6 on 19 April 1920.

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

The CWGC states that Laurance Vincent Rooney was:
The son of Denis Martin Rooney, of Walkers Row, Sligo.
CWGC

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ROOTE William Arthur, Lance Sergeant. S/6323.

8th Battalion Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment.
Killed in Action 21 March 1918, aged 21.

Lance Sargent William Arthur ROOTE MM inscription

William Arthur Roote was born in Bedfont in 1897 (GRO reference: Dec 1897 Staines 3a 15) to Alfred Joseph and Annie Matilda Roote (nee Woodward). His parents had married in the September quarter of 1891 in the Brentford registration district.

In the 1891 census William's father Alfred J. Roote is shown as an unmarried farmer living in the parish of Harmondsworth, with his nephew George Harry Roote staying with him.

On 19 March 1892 William's twin brothers Alfred Joseph and Edgar Herbert were born. They were baptised on 24 March in Harmondsworth but both soon died after their baptism. The family address was given as Heathrow and their father was a market gardener.

Although the family have not been found in the 1901 census, the family was living in 1899 in The Black Dog Inn, High Street, Bedfont, Hounslow, where William's father was the publican. His father was also noted as living there on the 1901 electoral register.

William's uncle, 37 year old Edgar Roote, who was also born in Hounslow, was living in Kingston Road, near Mill Lane, and was a publican running the Wheatsheaf public house.

William had two brothers, Frederick Joseph born 1895 and Edgar George born 1905. Edgar was baptised on 3 February 1905 in St. John's church, Isleworth. The family were living in 87 Linkfield Road and their father was working as a labourer.

By 1911 William, aged 13, and his siblings Frederick aged 15 and Edgar aged 6, were living with their parents at 2 St. Albans Villas, St. George Road, Hanworth. William's father filled out the census form stating that he and his wife of 19 years had had 5 children but 2 had died. He also added that he was working as a labourer for a market garden and that his son Frederick was working as a labourer in a nursery. They had a boarder, John Potter, living with them.

From William's 'burnt' service papers, William was a pre war territorial soldier with the 8th Battalion Middlesex Regiment. However, on 8 December 1913 he signed on, in London, for 6 years as a regular soldier into the 3rd Battalion The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment), a reserve and training battalion. He gave his age as 18 years and 149 days, but was only 16. He was 5 feet 5¾ inches tall, weighed 109 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 33 inches with an expansion of 4 inches. He was a casual labourer, and his religion was Church of England.

His military career was a varied one. On 6 June 1914, for being absent from rifle inspection and being improperly dressed on parade, he was awarded 3 days CB (Confined to Barracks) by Captain Barton. Then on 10 April 1915, for 'when on active service, absenting himself from 9.30pm to 8.30am (11 hours)', he was ordered to forfeit 1 days pay by Lieutenant Colonel Shaw. At some stage he qualified as a bomber.

From the 3rd (training) battalion William was transferred to the 2nd battalion and went to France on 11 November 1914. On 27 January 1915 he was admitted to No. 14 General Hospital at Wimereux. The next day he was transferred to No. 9 General Hospital, Rouen, suffering with a septic finger. He was then sent back to England and on 31 January 1915 was transferred to the 3rd Battalion. Having recovered he was transferred to the 1st Battalion and returned to France on 12 May 1915.

On 15 July 1916 he was wounded whilst attacking German positions in High Wood, Somme, receiving a gunshot wound to the shoulder. He was transferred to England on 19 July and from 27 July to 7 September 1916 he was convalescent at Woodcote Park, Convalescent Hospital, Epsom. During this time in England he was twice 'absent with out leave', for 8 days and then for 14 days.

Once fit again, he embarked from England on 10 December 1916, and arrived at Etaples on 11 December, joining his Battalion, now the 8th Queens, on 19 December. By 20 February 1917 he had been promoted to L/Cpl unpaid, and then on 7 September 1917 he was promoted to Corporal.

The Supplement to the London Gazette dated 18 October 1917 notifies us that William had been awarded the Military Medal (MM). Unfortunately it makes no mention of the deed that it was awarded for nor the date, and I can find no reference to the award in the 8th Queens War Diary.

During the night of 20/21 March 1918 the 8th Battalion Queens (Royal West Surreys) were holding ground at Le Verguier. The whole countryside was being drenched with gas and shattered by high explosive. 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. On the 21st, as dawn broke and under the cover of a thick mist the German assault began.

On 21 March 1918 forty-eight men from the 8th West Surreys lost their lives including William killed in action. He is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial Panel 14 & 15.

On 21 October 1919 A. Roote wrote to the War Office stating I should be pleased to have a 1914 Star for my late dear son L/Sgt William Arthur Roote No. 6323 8 Bn The Queens Royal West Surreys.

A letter dated 6 December 1919 was sent from the War Office to Mrs Roote at 1, Thornton Villas, Hampton Road, Hanworth, asking her for details of William's living relatives. She completed the relevant form and recorded that in addition to herself, William's father and his brothers, Frederick aged 24 and Edgar aged 14 were William's only living relatives and that they all lived at North Looe Farm, Reigate Road, Ewell.

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

The CWGC states William was the:
Son of Alfred Joseph Roote, of North Looe Farm, Reigate Road, Ewell, Surrey and the late Annie Roote.
William's mother Annie died aged 55 in 1920.

His father Alfred had been living at 5 Croydon Lane, Banstead when he died on 8 February 1947. Probate of his effects valued at just under £787 was given to his sons Frederick Joseph, builders' labourer, and Edgar George, market gardener.

BH EW

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ROUNCE Ernest Robert, Gunner. 36564.

'C' Battery, 76th Brigade Royal Field Artillery (RFA).
Killed in Action 23 August 1917, aged 20.

Ernest's headstone in Hospital Farm cemetery
Ernest's headstone in Hospital Farm cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Ernest Robert Rounce was born on 24 July 1897 (GRO reference: Sep 1897 Kingston 2a 385) to Robert Henry and Georgina Rounce (nee Hudson). His parents had married in 1888 in the Aylsham registration district. Note: Ernest's mother in early official documents is named Georgiana, but later documents is named as Georgina.

Ernest was baptised in Tolworth on 7 November 1897 in St. Matthews Church, Surbiton.

In 1901 the family lived at 'Holmleigh', Douglas Road, Tolworth. Father Robert was a 33 year old police constable in the Metropolitan force. His mother was aged 34, and he had two siblings, Dora Lilian aged 7 and Herbert Wilfred Hudson aged 2. All three children had been born in Tolworth. His mother's sister Dora was staying with them.

Another sibling Albert Leslie, arrived in 1906, registered in the Epsom district, so the family presumably moved to Epsom sometime between 1901 and 1906.

In 1911 the family lived at 57 Miles Road, Epsom, and father Robert was still earning a living working for the Metropolitan police. They had a boarder Charles Irish, a clerk, staying with them. Mother Georgina stated she had given birth to five children and that four were still living.

Little is known about Ernest's Army service as his papers did not survive the blitz, however we do know that he signed up in London and served in the RFA. He received the British War medal and the Victory medal, so would not have served in France until 1916 at the earliest.

Ernest's Medals - Obverse
Ernest's Medals - Reverse
Ernest's Medals - Obverse and Reverse
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

The inscription on Ernest's medals.
The inscription on Ernest's medals.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Ernest was killed on 23 August 1917 at the time of the third battle of Ypres, known as Passchendaele. He was most likely killed by shellfire and is buried in plot E. 16. Hospital Farm cemetery, which is about 4 miles west of Ypres. A nearby farm was used as dressing station hence the name.

Hospital Farm cemetery
Hospital Farm cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Ernest is remembered on the Ashley Road memorial and on his parents' grave.

Ernest's inscription on his parents grave in Ashley Road Cemetery
Ernest's inscription on his parents' grave in Ashley Road Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

EP PG

With thanks to Bill Owen for allowing the medals to be photographed.

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ROWLAND Frank, Serjeant. 45065.

117th Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery.
Killed in Action 17 November 1917, aged 20.

Frank's headstone in the Menin Road South Military Cemetery
Frank's headstone in the Menin Road South Military Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

Frank Rowland was born in Upottery, Honiton, Devon, in 1897 (GRO reference: Mar 1897 Honiton 5b 23) to Edwin and Sarah Rowland (nee Collier). Frank's parents married on 8 April 1896 in Bromham, Wiltshire.

In the 1901 census Frank and his family lived at Loves Farm, Petworth, together with his uncle James's family. Uncle James aged 26, the farm foreman, is recorded as the head of the family, his wife Elizabeth was aged 29, daughter Iris aged four and son Lewis aged one. Frank's 28 year old father was a stockman on the farm, his mother was aged 35 and his younger brother (Walter) James was aged one. Boarding with the family was 25 year old William Coles, a carter on the farm.

Frank's mother Sarah, aged 36, died in the December quarter of 1902 in the Petworth registration district. His father remarried in the March quarter of 1904 in the Taunton registration district to Minnie Webber. Frank's half-brother Archibald was born in 1905 in Horsham, Sussex.

By 1911 the family had moved to Epsom and was living at Long Grove Asylum where Frank's father was described as a 'Pigman', and his mother as a 'Pigman's wife' who worked as an 'Asylum Poultry Woman'. Frank also worked at Long Grove as a 16 year old 'Boy Labourer (Garden)'. Brothers James Walter and Archibald were at school.

Frank attested in Kingston on 28 August 1914 giving his age as 19 years and 7 months, adding a couple to his 17 years. Frank was a big lad at 6 feet and ¼ inches tall and weighed 150lbs. He had a fair complexion, grey eyes, light brown hair, and a chest measurement of 37½ inches with an expansion of 2½ inches. He worked as a labourer.

Frank's service papers have not survived so we know little of his military service, but as he was not awarded a 1914 or 1915 Star medal, he would not have gone to France until 1916 at the earliest. Did he remain in England until he reached the official age of 19 for overseas service? The unit he served in, the 117th Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery went to France in April 1916.

The heavy batteries, as their name implies, had large heavy guns firing large shells. Their main role was in destroying enemy artillery and anything else that might be of use to the enemy, such as storage dumps, railways and strong points etc. But, of course, this made them a prime target for enemy artillery, and it is most likely that Frank was killed in action by enemy shellfire.

Frank is buried in grave I.M.47. Menin Road South Military Cemetery just south of Ypres.

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

The CWGC website states that he was the
Son of Edwin and the late Sarah Rowland, of Upottery, Honiton, Devon.
EP SB

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RUSSELL Frederick Charles, Private. 202098.

4th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders.
Died of Wounds 21 April 1917, aged 34.


Frederick's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Fredericks's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2017

Frederick Charles Russell was born in Shorditch in 1883 (GRO reference: Dec 1883 Shoreditch 1c 43) the son of Edward Frederick and Alice Russell (nee Allen). His parents had married on 24 December 1882 in All Saints Church, Haggerston and raised six children.

The 1891 census records the family living at 23 Livermere Road. Frederick's father, Edward Frederick Russell, was aged 30, and worked as a 'Rate Collector'. His mother Alice was aged 30. Frederick (recorded as Frank C) was aged 7 and his sister Lilian Gertrude was aged 1.

By 1901 the family lived at 15 Jephson Street, East Ham. Frederick's father was now working as a 'Commercial Clerk'. His mother Alice was aged 42. Frederick was recorded as aged 17. His siblings were recorded as Lilian Gertrude aged 12, Beatrice Hilda Ruth aged 8, Violet May aged 6 and brother Robert aged 1.

Frederick's father died in 1904 aged 43.

In 1911 the family lived at 2 North Witham, Mount Pleasant Road, Tottenham. Frederick's mother Alice, a widow aged 52, recorded that she had been married for 28 years and had borne six children, all still living. Frederick, aged 27, was an unmarried 'Clerk Drapery'. Sisters Lilian Gertrude, aged 21, and Violet May, aged 16, both worked as blouse machinists. Brother Robert was aged 11. Also recorded on census night were Frederick's nephew Ernest Russell aged 6 and his great uncle, widower Charles W Allen aged 50.

Frederick, aged 30, married Elizabeth Lucas, aged 25, on 1 August 1914 in St. Philip the Apostle Church, Tottenham. Both were living at 2 North Witham, Mount Pleasant Road. They had two children, Hilda E, birth registered in the December quarter of 1914 and Edward F C, birth registered in the December quarter of 1916, both in the Edmonton registration district.

Frederick's service record has not survived so we know little of his military service. His original service number was 5379, but when the Territorial Army was renumbered in early 1917, his number changed to 202098. He was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal, so therefore saw overseas service after 1915. From 7 January 1916 the 1/4th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders were in the 154th Brigade, 51st Highland Division. The Division fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and the Battle of Arras in 1917.

Frederick died of wounds in Horton War Hospital on 21 April 1917. He was buried in grave K647 on 27 April in Epsom Cemetery where he is commemorated on the Screen Wall. He shares his grave with eight other soldiers.

The CWGC states that he was:
The son of Mrs. Alice Russell, of Bruce Grove, Tottenham, London: husband of Elizabeth Russell, of 10 Eden Road, Elmers End, Beckenham, Kent.

CWGC

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RUSSELL Walter MM, Bombardier. 95482.

'B' Battery, 62nd Brigade Royal Field Artillery.
Died of Wounds 20 May 1918, aged 22.

Walter's headstone in the Acheux British cemetery
Walter's headstone in the Acheux British cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

Walter Russell was born in 1896 in Catesby, Northamptonshire (GRO reference: Jun 1896 Daventry 3b 118) to James and Emily Russell. I have been unable to find a marriage record for Walter's parents.

In the 1881 census, before Walter was born, the family lived at High Street, Oxted. Walter's father was a 26 year old 'Railway Miner', which seems to have caused him to move around the country to wherever the railway companies needed sub-contractors to dig tunnels for railway lines. His mother was aged 24 and he had two siblings, James aged three and Thomas aged one.

Walter Russell And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
James Born: 1878 Sussex Born Surrey in 1891 census
Born Northants in 1901 census
Thomas Born: 1880 Worth, Sussex Born Northampton in 1891 census
Born Sussex in 1901 census
Rose Born: 1883 Sussex  
Emily Born: 1885 Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire Born Gloucestershire in the 1901 census
Arthur Born: 1887 Patchway, Bristol Born Middlesex in the 1901 census
Jenny Born: 1890 Derbyshire, Gloucestershire Jane in the 1901 census.
Probably registered as Jessie
Fred Born: 1894 Derbyshire  
Walter Born: 1896 Catesby, Northamptonshire
Died: 1918 France
 
William Born: 1899 Surrey Registered as Robert William

In 1891 the family lived at Mony Brooks Lane, Totley, Derbyshire. Walter's father was still earning a living labouring on the railways, and four more siblings are recorded, Rose aged eight, Emily aged six, Arthur aged four and Jenny aged one.

On 10 January 1900, whilst working on the railway at Alfreton & Clay Cross, Walter's father had an accident when his leg was bruised by being jammed between two tunnel bars. He suffered another more serious accident on 9 July 1900 when his thigh was broken by being hit by a 'sill stretcher'. This accident probably proved fatal, as his death, at the age of 45, is recorded in the September quarter of 1900 in the Chesterfield registration district.

The 1901 census records Walter's widowed mother as head of the family, living at Tunnel Huts, Alfreston, Derbyshire, and earning a living as a 'Lodging House Keeper'. Two more siblings are recorded, Fred aged seven and William aged two. Brothers James and Arthur are both described as 'Navvys'. Two boarders were also living there, both also described as 'Navvys'.

By 1911 the family had moved to Epsom and were living at 'Dene Cottage', 14, Lower Court Road. Walter's mother now 55, does not record an occupation, but she did record that she had been married 23 years (presumably this would have been 33 years had she not been widowed ten years previously), and had given birth to 12 children and that eight were still living. Walter was a fourteen year old Grocer's Assistant. The family had one boarder, 26 year old Chas F Feltham, 'Photographic Artist', who signed the census form on behalf of Walter's mother.

Walter enlisted at Shorncliffe, Kent into the 62nd Brigade Royal Field Artillery, part of the 12th Division, and went to France with the 12th Division on 31 May 1915.

The 12th Division fought in the major battles of Loos 1915, Somme 1916, Arras 1917, Cambrai 1917, and the 1918 German offensive the Kaiserschlacht (Kaiser's Battle).

Walter died of wounds on 20 May 1918 and is buried in Acheux British Cemetery.

Walter was awarded the Military Medal, but I have been unable to ascertain when, where and how he won the award. He also received the 1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.

EP

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RUTLEY Harold Theodore, Air Mechanic 2nd Class. 56945.

15th Squadron Royal Air Force.
Killed in Action 2 November 1918, aged 20.

Harold's headstone in the Poix du Nord Cemetery
Harold's headstone in the Poix du Nord Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

Harold Theodore Rutley was born on 3 August 1898 (GRO reference: Sep 1898 Epsom 2a 23), the second child to James and Rose Rutley, nee Hooker. Harold's older sister Gladys Rose had been born in 1896. Harold was baptised on 9 October 1898 in St Andrews parish church Enfield.

Harold's paternal grandfather had been the licensed victualler of the Railway Tavern in Epsom and Harold's father had been brought up there. Harold's parents had married in 1894 in Guildford and Harold's older sister Gladys Rose had been born in 1896. Even though Harold was baptised on 9 October 1898 in St Andrews parish church Enfield, the baptismal register records that the family was living in Epsom.

In 1901 the family lived at 41 Middle Lane Epsom with Harold's maternal grandparents, William and Elizabeth Hooker, and his 17 year old aunt Maud Romola Hooker who was a dressmaker. His father James' occupation was that of a house painter. Following later that year was the birth of another son, Horace James.

In the 1911 census the family lived at 44 Lower Court Road Epsom. James was still working as a house painter while his daughter Gladys worked as a dressmaker. Harold was at school.

On 4 February 1917, at the age of 17 years and 4 months, swapping his civilian job as a clerk, Harold joined the Royal Flying Corps with the rank of Air Mechanic 3rd Class. He gave his mother Rose as his next of kin and his address as 89 Hook Road, Epsom. Harold was 5 feet 5¾ inches tall and had a chest measurement of 31½ inches. He was promoted Air Mechanic 3rd class on 1 April 1917 and was proficient as a wireless operator.

The following appeared in the Epsom Advertiser dated 22 November 1918:
KILLED IN FRANCE.-Second Air Mechanic Harold Theodore Rutley, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Rutley, 89, Hook Road, was killed in action in France on the 3rd. Second A.M. Rutley, who was 20 years of age, was a clerk at the Horton War Hospital at the time he joined the Army, and was a member of the choir of St. Barnabas.
The Poix du Nord Cemetery
The Poix du Nord Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

Another view of The Poix du Nord Cemetery
Another view of The Poix du Nord Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

Harold does not appear in the LCC 'Record of War Service'.

On 9 December 1920 Harold's parents and siblings Gladys and Horace sailed 3rd class from Southampton on S.S. Pakeha bound for Lyttelton, New Zealand. Harold's father James continued to work there as a house painter and he and his wife Rose were living in Hamilton, Waikato until at least 1949.

EP SB

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