Harold Anson Gunner (1891–1916)

1126 Corporal Harold Anson Gunner,
Royal Field Artillery (A Battery, 282nd Brigade).
Killed in Action in France, 7 October 1916,
Buried at the Guards’ Cemetery, Lesboeufs.
Chorister at St Andrew’s Church.

Following on from James Douglas Cockburn, we have the story behind another man who was also killed in the vicinity of Ginchy, barely a month after the death of James in that very area.

Matching the name H.A.GUNNER to the correct war casualty was not straightforward.  Four H. Gunners were killed in the Great War.  None of them had the easily recognisable connection with the parish of Ham that a local historian expects to find—residence, birth or even employment in the parish at some point during his or her lifetime.

One of these men was 2/Lieut. Harold Gunner, also known as Percy, and serving in the Australian Infantry Force, though described as a “native of England“. This man had been employed as a Page Boy in his youth and was the son of  Ellison Gunner and Caroline Noble.  Had he been a page boy at Ham House or one of the other grand houses?  Was his mother connected with the Noble family of Selby House?  The answer to both those questions was, No.  This Harold had emigrated to Australia with his mother and his sister, Matilda, and had an enviable service record, intact and detailed, in contrast with the majority of British servicemen’s records which were lost or damaged in 1940.

There was also a Corporal Harold Anson Gunner, in the Royal Field Artillery, and described as a “native of Huntingdon”.  He was a Civil Servant in the 1911 Census, and had by then been living for some time in Wandsworth at 291 Earlsfield Road, in the household of David and Elizabeth Taylor.  (Harold was still listed at that address on the Electoral when he left for France in 1915.)  He was the son of John Matthias Gunner, a Schoolmaster and his wife, Elizabeth Ann (“Bessie”) Northway.  Could his father have been appointed to a school in Ham or Petersham?  Further research indicated that no, he wasn’t.

I fairly soon ruled out the other two, Gunner Harry Gunner of the Royal Garrison Artillery, and Lance Corporal Herbert Gunner of the Sherwood Forresters.  There was also an Eliza Gunner, working as a Cook at Petersham House, whom I was also able to eliminate as a relative of any of the four H. Gunners on the CWGC database.

All the above may seem a little irrelevant to Harold himself, but I have come across elsewhere mistakes over the identities of some of the Gunners, and I hope this will be useful and of interest to more distant relatives of ‘our’ Harold who currently who may be researching this family.

St Andrew’s Choristers
Eventually a list, Men in the Parish Serving with the Colours, was located in a box labelled St Andrew’s Church, and held by Richmond Libraries’ Local Studies Collection.  This list revealed that Harold Gunner had been a member of the Church Choir.  Five other members of the St Andrew’s Choir were also on that list: John Elder (later a churchwarden at St Andrew’s, whose wife, Anna Paula Schmidt, whom he had married in 1914, was German); H.G. Hall; John Motton; Ernest Owen and R. Price.

Harold’s story
Harold Anson Gunner was born at The School House at Great Stukeley, in Huntingdonshire, in the third quarter of 1891.  His parents John Matthias and Bessie had married in 1883 in St Mark’s Chapel of Ease in Battersea and, by the time of John’s birth, had a daughter, Elizabeth.

Anson was the middle name of several sons in this and earlier generations of the Gunner family and may indeed, if interpreted as the first half of a “double-barrel” have bumped  Harold’s name to the head of the list, by alphabetical order, of names on the South Petherwin War Memorial.

Harold’s maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Honey Gaud, was the daughter of John Gaud, Innkeeper of The Queen’s Head, an ancient pub in West Street, Tavistock, while his maternal grandfather was Samuel Northway, a watchmaker.

His maternal grandfather, David Gunner, had been a Tailor working near Golden Square in Westminster, who became a Scripture Reader when he reached his fifties.  Scripture Readers worked among the illiterate, the poor and the destitute, reading Bible passages and religious tracts to them. Their work in this field in Poplar may have inspired their children to become teachers at a time when the passing of the 1870 Elementary Education Act recognised the need for a few years of basic education to be compulsory for all children.

The 1881 Census has Sarah, widowed and at 167 East India Road, Poplar, as a Scripture Reader, perhaps having only taken this up after her husband’s death the previous year.  David had died the year before, but three of their children were still living in the family home—one was a governess, and two were teachers. There was a fourth teacher visiting the household, while under the same roof were a lodger and her niece, both teachers.

The births of Harold and his three siblings, all within 8 years of each other, were registered in Blything, Hendon, Aylesbury and Huntingdon—each one in a different county—depending on where their father happened to be teaching at the time. The second of them, Ralph Anson Gunner, died before his first birthday.

South Petherwin War Memorial
Used under the terms of a Creative Commons licence.

Eventually their father’s promotion took the family to South Petherwin, in Cornwall where John Matthias ended his career as a Head Teacher and where he and his wife remained for the rest of their lives.  Perhaps the move to Cornwall had been in the pipeline for some time since Bessie had been born at Gunnislake in Cornwall, giving the couple all the more reason to settle down there with their three surviving children. In later life, their son Percy’s affection for South Petherwin was reflected in the name of his house, Petherwyn, in Shere Avenue, Epsom.

Almost certainly this Schoolmaster’s children received a sound basic education under the watchful eye of their father, and this must have been of some benefit to Harold when he sought employment.  His first job, as a Boy Clerk in the Civil Service, required him to move to London where, as we have found, he lodged with the Taylors.  Thanks to those at the Board of Trade currently researching their memorial, we now know that Harold went on to reach the grade of Abstractor, working in the Seamen’s Registry.

Harold enlisted in the Territorial Force in February 1913, expressing a preference for the Royal Field Artillery. He served first as a Gunner—there must have been the odd double-take when a call went out for Gunner Gunner—and then as a Bombardier before his promotion to the rank of Corporal which he held at the time of his death.

At some point, Harold’s elder brother, Percy Cyril—also a clerk in the Civil Service, but with the Charity Commission—joined him at 291 Earlsfield Road. It may well be that this was simply to  establish residence in the parish as it is the address Percy gave when he married Marie Emily Glover, by licence, in St Andrew’s Earlsfield, just nine days after the outbreak of war.  Harold was a witness, as was Marie’s sister, Maud.

Perhaps the haste suggested by a marriage by licence was propelled by the onset of war and the prospect of separation. Percy Cyril had enlisted in the Territorial Force in 1911—so even earlier than Harold—also having chosen to serve the Royal Field Artillery. Indeed, the brothers arrived in France on the same day, 5 October 1915, though in different units and the coincidence of this in their records led to my looking more closely at Percy’s military records.  His rise in the Territorial Force was rapid—following his enlistment, Percy was promoted at every annual T.F. camp and had reached the rank of Sergeant by March 1914.  Percy soon became his brigade’s Quartermaster Sergeant—perhaps his training as a civil servant helped to make him the very model of a modern quartermaster.

A gunner’s life in the RFA is the topic of a Google Site which focuses on the 175th Brigade. Anyone with a gunner in the family will find this informative and interesting.  We know that the initial training of a recruit took three months for an infantryman—but it was said that it took twelve months to train a gunner to the necessary standard.  Unfortunately, they did not always have the luxury of that length of training.  Being a gunner was skilled work, demanding and dangerous because the guns were a key target for the enemy. Because the guns were heavy, it was difficult to move a gun out of range at short notice.

The War Diary for 282 Brigade for October 1916.

Harold’s service in a theatre of war during 1915 entitled him to receive the full suite of three medals.  He was killed in action on 7 October 1916  a year and two days after his arrival in the Western Theatre of War.  It is said he was killed when an enemy shell landed near his gun position. Unfortunately the War Diary for 282 Brigade for the entire month of October has been lost, as I discovered when I viewed the unit’s War Diary at The National Archives.

Harold’s grave is in the Guards’ Cemetery at Lesboeufs, in France.  He is also commemorated on the Ham Parish War Memorial, on the Board of Trade’s War Memorial in London, and on the South Petherwin War Memorial in Cornwall.

Sources
The Board of Trade War Memorial is now at 55 Whitehall/3 Whitehall Place London SW1A 2AW.  Those commemorated on that memorial have not been forgotten by those who are now at the Department of Trade.

Google Sites, 175 Brigade Royal Field Artillery, ‘A gunner’s life’, https://sites.google.com/site/175brigaderfa/a-gunner-s-life, accessed 29.7/2018.  This is not the brigade to which Harold Anson Gunner was attached, but the general description of the life of a gunner applies to other Brigades and Batteries in the Royal Field Artillery.

Photograph of the South Petherwin War Memorial is used under the terms of the Creative Commons Licence.
https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/81273/Oorlogsmonument-South-Petherwin.htm

The National Archives, WO 95/2941/1, War Diary of 282 Brigade Royal Field Artillery, 1/10/1915–31/12/1916.  Note: the diary for the entire month of October 1916 is missing.

Genealogical Research conducted by Margaret Frood.

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Percival Joseph Wooldridge (1889–1927)

14164 Lance Corporal Percival Joseph (“Percy”) Wooldridge,
2/The Royal Fusiliers.
Discharged 6 October 1917 as a result of injuries incurred on active service.
Died 14 December 1927 as a result of his war injuries.
Buried in St Andrew’s Churchyard, Grave Reference Y 68.

Percy’s Discharge Document
© The Family of Percy Wooldridge

Percy Wooldridge (1889–1927) appears with his brother, Alfred, on a document drawn up by the parish in 1915, listing the ‘Inhabitants’ of the Parish of Ham, who were serving in His Majesty’s Forces.

This is his story.

Percy was a Nurseryman by trade and, given the healthy environment of Ham at the turn of the century, he could have expected, like many others working the pleasant environment in a bend of the Thames, to live to a ripe old age.  The war killed that prospect. Instead, he died in 1927, aged 38, his life cut short by his war experiences, leaving a widow, Amy, and seven surviving children.

Percy was the son of Charles Wooldridge and Charlotte Newman, who had been married in St Andrew’s Church on 5 October 1868.  Charles was born in Guildford and Charlotte in Beaconsfield, so it is likely that at least one of them obtained work in Ham where their paths seem to have crossed. Charles Wooldridge made his mark in the register, while his bride, Charlotte signed her name—this in itself a poignant reminder of how few children received formal education prior to the Education Act of 1870, which preceded the Education Act of 1880, that would at last make universal education compulsory between the ages of five and ten.   All nine of their children were born in Ham.  Percy, the second youngest, was born on 12 July 1889 at the family home on the Petersham Road— 21 years after his parents’ marriage. He continued to live with his parents until his marriage.

On 9 April 1909, he married Amy Sarah Ann Gregory, the daughter of Frederick James Gregory, and his wife Amy Smart.  Four days later their first child, Frederick, was born at her parents’ home, 2 Burridge’s Cottages in Richmond.  By 1911 the couple and their toddler son were living with Percy’s parents at 1 Evelyn Terrace (now 46 Ham Street); Amy returned to her parents’ home in Richmond for the birth of their second child, a daughter.  Within five months they were in a home of their own, initially at 2 York Cottages but  by the time of Percy’s enlistment, at 3 Wiggins’ Cottages where the family remained for many years.  But with two adults and seven children, they did, eventually, outgrow its four small rooms and the family was later to move to 48 Lock Road.

Percy’s military service began on 17 March 1915 when he enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers at Hounslow. Although a father with a wife and three young children, and himself only 25, he chose to sign up voluntarily nine months before conscription was introduced. Up until the time Percy enlisted, only four men with links to the parish had been killed. The first man from Ham to die was a Royal Marine, Albert Edward Thurley, who died at sea when HMS Aboukir sank, and who had lived at the Ham Common end of Ham Street. He was four years older than Percy, and may have known him. The remaining three were relatives of the Tollemache family, all with far more tenuous connections with the parish.    This suggests Percy’s decision to enlist could either have been a response to reports of the heavy loss of life of soldiers in the Regular Army during the early months of the war, or under the influence of what is now known to have been exaggerated and sometimes fake news of German ‘atrocities’ or simply by a pressing desire to ‘do his bit’—or all of these.

We know from the records that survived that Percy was 5ft 7¼in, that he had blue eyes, light brown hair and vaccination scars on his left arm.  His pension records also include the following list of his children as of October 1917, based on information provided by Percy and which would have had to be supported by appropriate documentation:

Frederick Alfred James born 13 April 1909 in Richmond.
Percival Joseph born 15 December 1912 in Ham.
Albert Ernest born 1 June 1914 in Ham.
Ethel born 5 May 1916 in Kingston.

Their daughter Amy Gertrude, who died in infancy, is not listed on the pension record.  She was born in Richmond on 6 October 1911, and her burial was recorded just five months later at St Andrew’s on 9 March 1912.  At the time, her parents and older brother were living at 2 York Cottages, Ham Common.

Percy’s Medal Roll Index Card notes the Theatre of War in which he served as 2B (Balkans)—this code refers to Gallipoli—and states that he landed there on 15 December 1915, joining members of his battalion who had been there since the previous April, engaged in the Battles for Krithia and the notorious Achi Baba Heights.  Gallipoli was a harsh experience for soldiers to endure, the conditions desperate, and a long way from home, with the tide of battle often against them.  Three weeks after Percy joined his battalion, they were all  evacuated to Egypt, from where they were eventually sent to France, in preparation for The Somme where they were involved in the Battle of Albert and the Battle of the Transloy Ridges.  In 1917, Percy’s battalion was involved in eight major battles, including the Battle of Cambrai.

That Percy was a competent, reliable soldier, trusted to lead his men effectively, is indicated by his promotion to the rank of Lance Corporal on 10 April 1917. Just six months later, on 6 October 1917—the anniversary of the birth of Amy, the daughter they lost—Percy was honourably discharged under King’s Regulations Paragraph 392 (xiv)—as “no longer physically fit for war service”.

This decision would have been taken because he had either developed a chronic illness, or acquired an injury which would prevent his being an ‘efficient’ soldier.  We know that Percy received at least one serious injury during his time in the army, because it is noted in his service record as G.S.W. Leg (i.e. a Gun Shot Wound to the leg) but as the entry is undated, and not all the pages of his records have survived, we cannot be sure whether this was the injury that led to his discharge.  Given the unhygienic conditions, the mud, the contaminated debris and lack of antibiotics and the high risk of infection, many did not survive. Percy may have been in hospital for a long period—perhaps four to five months.

In September 1916, George V introduced the Silver War Badge to be awarded to those who were honourably discharged from active service because of the severity of their wounds or chronic illness.  At a time when young men who were not in uniform were often harassed by members of the public, this badge proved to potential critics that the man concerned had fulfilled his duty to his country with honour.  When he was out and about and wearing his badge, no one would present Percy with the dreaded white feather.

After Percy’s return home, three more children would be added to the family—Gladys, Lilian and George in 1918, 1921 and 1925 respectively.

Percy’s Medals and his Funeral Card © The Family of Percy Wooldridge

When medals were distributed after the war, Percy’s service since 1915 entitled him to be awarded the full suite—the 1915 Star, as well as the British and Victory medals, known by their recipients as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred, respectively.  Percy’s Silver War Badge is displayed above his Funeral Card.

Percy died on 14 December 1927, and is buried in what one of his granddaughters remembers as ‘a rather lowly grave’ marked by a simple wooden cross.  The burial register records the location in St Andrew’s Churchyard as Y 68.  Despite his death being a result of his injuries on active service, he had no CWGC headstone. This is because he died after 31 August 1921, which was the cut-off date for having a Commonwealth War Grave.  I like to think that, had he had any choice, Percy would have preferred the extra time with his family to a headstone and a grave tended in perpetuity.

Percy was a Nurseryman, but we think his grave is now unmarked.  If anyone has any thoughts about how we could do better by our Nurseryman’s grave, please feel free to post your suggestions via the Comment Box for this post.

The Aftermath
Percy’s widow, Amy, was left to bring up her children, ranging in age from 18 to 2.  All but the eldest two, Frederick and Percy Junior, and the youngest, George, were still of school-going age.  It is likely that her older sons provided financial support to their mother and siblings, for as long as there was a need. Perhaps Percy’s father and his siblings also provided support of some kind to Amy and her children.

Percy’s mother died in February 1914, six months before war was declared.  She is buried in plot O 67 at St Andrew’s Church.  Percy’s father, Charles, died in March 1928, aged 87, and just a few months after his son,  He, too, is buried in St Andrew’s Churchyard, but in plot N 66.  I imagine Row O 67 and N 66 are fairly close together but at some distance from Percy’s grave (Y 68).

‘Afterthoughts’
Alfred Wooldridge, Percy’s younger brother, is also on the list, Inhabitants of the Parish of Ham serving in H.M. Forces in 1915. He was the youngest child of Charles and Charlotte Wooldridge and served in the Army Service Corps.  Alfred’s name was registered at birth as Alfred Vincent Wooldridge but he seems to have adopted other versions during his lifetime. In official records I have found him as Arthur (sic) Vincent Wooldridge and Alfred Vincent Newman Wooldridge.  There could well be variations that I have not yet come across! The entry for his burial in St Andrew’s Burials register, records his name as Alfred Newman Wooldridge.  Newman was his mother’s maiden name.

At the time of the birth of Percy’s wife, Amy Sarah Ann, her name was registered as Sarah Ann Gregory, after her paternal grandmother. She was later known as Amy, apparently after her mother, Amy Smart. This name came into use after the registration of her birth and her baptism, and before her second birthday.  Whether the alteration was ever formalised, I cannot say.

The burial of Charlotte Wooldridge, née Newman, did not show up on a search of Surrey Burials, because her name was transcribed by Ancestry as Charles Wordriffs. I may have managed, by flagging up the record, to avoid future Wooldridge researchers having the same problem. My advice to family historians is that, when an Official Death Registration supplies the quarter within which a death was registered, but you cannot find the burial via Ancestry, Find My Past or whichever provider has digitised that particular county’s burial registers, that you browse the online images for that quarter in the relevant parish yourself, page by page.

Percy’s regimental number was 14164.  There’s a very slightly spooky Wooldridge coincidence, though I am no doubt being overly spooked!  The only P. Wooldridge to die as a result of enemy action in WW2 was 141164 Flying Officer Peter Meredith Wooldridge, 56 Squadron, Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve, who died on 3 November 1943, aged 21.  He is one of over 20 000 airmen commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Further information/Sources
Photographs used with kind permission of the copyright holders, The Family of Percy Wooldridge.
Richmond Local Studies Library and Archive, ‘Church Road, Ham’ folder, Inhabitants of [the] Parish of Ham, Surrey, serving in H.M. Forces, 1915.

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James Douglas Cockburn (1895–1916)

3185 Private James Douglas Cockburn (1895–1916)
“A” Company, 1/14 County of London Regiment,
(also known as 1/The London Scottish ).
Killed in Action, 8 September 1916,
Interred at Flatiron Copse, Mametz.

The Memorial Plaque for the London Scottish in the Scottish National War Museum.

Was James Douglas Cockburn being true to his rather distant Scottish roots in enlisting in the 14th Battalion of the County of London Regiment, a Battalion which has been celebrated ever since as The London Scottish?  James’s great great-grandfather, Andrew Cockburn (1760–1833), reputedly a native of Edinburgh, migrated south, probably in the early 1780s. In 1794, following the death of his first wife, Margaret Clark, Andrew married Susannah Keziah Knights, the widow of Samuel Newson.

Their son, James Robison Cockburn (1798–1856), a Silversmith, was James’s great-grandfather.  James Robison and his wife, Ruth Sarah White, moved to King Street in Richmond in the 1820s, from where he conducted his business as a watchmaker, jeweller and pawnbroker until his death.  Given that skilled tradesmen often took over premises vacated by a predecessor following the same trade, it is possible that these were the premises at 20 King Street—at the start of Paved Court, where Alianti is today.  These premises were occupied by Walter Joel, Watchmaker and Jeweller and the father of Harold Joel, after his move to Richmond from Eton.

26–28 George Street

Their son, John Cockburn (1831–1891) continued in his father’s profession as a jeweller at 28 George Street. The move to Richmond had clearly not broken the Cockburns’ link with the parish of St John, Hackney, because it was there, in 1861, that John married Anne Hoare, the daughter of John Hoare, “Gentleman”.  Their married life started out at Two Old Palace Place but by the time of the birth, of their third child and eldest son, James, on 24 June 1865, John and Anne were based at the George Street address.  The young James would later become the father of James Douglas Cockburn.

In time the business expanded.  John and Anne took on 2 Old Palace Place as their family’s home, with the business continuing at George Street.  Old Palace Place stands on part of the site of the Convent of the Observant Friars.  By the time of John’s death in 1891, this house, known as Abbotsford when they first lived in it, had become Abbotsdene.

Oak House & Old Palace Place, Richmond Green

 

On 20 August 1893, James and Fanny Louisa Brown were married in the Church of St John the Baptist in Hampton Wick.  Their  son, James Douglas Cockburn, was born on 22 April 1895 at their home, ‘Briony’ in Hampton Wick, followed on 17 January 1899 by a second son, John Stuart Cockburn. By the time of their younger son’s birth, the family was living at 205 Park Road, in Ham, then part of Kingston.

Briony, Latchmere Road

They were later to move to another ‘Briony’ in Latchmere Road—this house has been identified as 20 Latchmere Road, close to the home of William Samuel Hudson Palmer, Dalkeith, now numbered 37.  We do not yet know which school James attended.  His name is not on the Tiffin Boys’ First World War Memorial, nor that of Epsom College, nor the Hampton Grammar School, which William Palmer, his near neighbour, attended.  Perhaps sharp-eyed readers will spot his name on another school’s war memorial or on the Imperial War Museum’s War Memorial Register and let us know.

James was awarded three medals for his service during this conflict.  One of them, the 1915 Star, indicates that he enlisted fairly early on in the war, though not during its first five months (i.e. in 1914).  Following training, James arrived in France on 7 October 1915 and was killed in action thirteen months later.

At the time of James’s death, his battalion was near Leuze Wood, from which the Fourth Army had made successive attempts to re-take the village of Ginchy, then in German hands.  These attacks had all been defeated by German counter-attacks.  On the evening of the 6th, the Germans had launched a bombing attack which the London Scottish believed was in support of a counter-attack on the French to their right.  The casualties that day amounted to two officers wounded, [and] 64 other ranks killed, wounded or missing.

At dawn on 7 September, “A Company held a strong point behind the left of C Company…There appeared to be none of our troops on the left of our front line.  During the day, B Company advanced a platoon to dig a trench on the S[outh] border of BOULEAUX WOOD.  Good opportunities of inflicting casualties on the enemy occurred, & were taken advantage of. Sgt Smith of B Company shot 8, & 3 prisoners were taken.  Intermittent shelling took place all day.  In the evening, the London Scottish were relieved by the Queen Victoria’s Rifles, & moved into Brigade Reserve near MALTZ-HORN Farm.

James’s death is likely to have been caused by action on the previous day, 7 September, or in the very early hours of 8 September, since the battalion’s diary for 8 September, the day James was killed, simply reads: B[attalion]n in B[riga]de  at MALTZ HORN FARM.

Records state that James was killed in action.  On the Medal Roll, he is KinA 8.9.16. and in the 80 volumes which provide a List of Soldiers Died in the Great War, he is also recorded as Killed in Action.  As A Company was stood to in its trench for most, if not all, of this action, James may have been a victim of the ‘intermittent shelling’ mentioned on the 6th or 7th.

The page on which James Cockburn is remembered.

James is commemorated in a Memorial Book for the London Scottish Regiment at the Scottish National War Museum.  As a native of Richmond, he is also commemorated on the Richmond War Memorial.  As early as 1917, his parents had left Latchmere Road for 24 Mount Ararat Road, Richmond.

 

The Aftermath

The Red Cross Hospital in Richmond during the Great War © Richmond Local Studies Library and Archive

James’s grandmother, Anne continued to live at Abbotsdene until 1915, when she agreed to vacate the house so that it could be connected to 1 Old Palace Place, which was being used by the Red Cross as an auxiliary hospital.Anne Cockburn moved next door to Oak House, which had, until 1915, been the Headquarters of the YMCA in Richmond.  She died there on 10 February 1918.

James died in 1921, five years after the death of his elder son.  The family business continued to be listed at what is now 26 & 28 George Street until about 1929, when it seems his brother John closed down the business and retired.

John Stuart Cockburn, James’s younger brother, signed up on 15 January 1917 with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) as an Airman (3rd Class)  two days before his 18th birthday. His service, however, dated from April 1917. He gave as his address 24 Mount Ararat Road, Richmond.  However, in August of  1917, John was transferred to the 2/28th London Regiment (The Artists’ Rifles) the very same regiment which the RFC had advised the Cockburns’ near neighbour, William Palmer to join “to gain further training” before applying to join the RFC.

A chartered accountant and auditor, John Stuart Cockburn never married, but he did return to Ham, and was living at The Vicarage, Ham Common when his mother, Fanny, died there in 1933.  John was the first Scoutmaster of the Ham Scout Troop and continued to reside at the Vicarage into the 1960s when Ernest Barton Beard, retired after 30 years as the Vicar of St Andrew’s.  Ernest Beard died in 1966, and John Cockburn in 1972.

Like John, Ernest Beard had lost an older brother, David, during the Great War and their long friendship is likely to have begun after the war, when Ernest was appointed Curate in the parish of Richmond in 1922.

John was the first Scoutmaster of  The Ham Troop, which was formed because of the success of the Choir Camps organised by St Andrew’s.  This explains why many of the ‘founding’ Scouts were members of the St Andrew’s Choir. The Scouts’ early meetings were held at the Ham Institute, but the Troop later made use of the Vicarage grounds with the Court of Honour meetings held in the Vicarage sitting room, followed by tea and cakes provided by the Vicar’s housekeeper.  The icing on the cake was the chance, sometimes, to play billiards after the meeting.

Sources and Places of Interest
Ham Scouts, ‘The first 50 years’, http://www.hamscouts.org.uk/history/50THANIV.html, accessed 2/7/2018.
The Regimental Roll of Honour and War Record of the Artists’ Rifles, 1/28th. 2/28th. 3/28th Battalions, London, 1922,  https://archive.org/stream/regimentalrollof00highiala#page/n5/mode/2up, accessed 2/7/2018.
The National Archives, PROB 11/2243/528, ‘Will of James Robison Cockburn, Pawnbroker of Richmond, Surrey’, 31 December 1856.
The National Archives, WO 95/2956/1, War’ Diary of 1/14 Battalion London (London Scottish), 1/1/1916–31/5/1919.
Richmond Local Studies Library and Archive, Local History Notes, Richmond Green Properties, King Street to Friar’s Lane’, p.9.
Richmond Local Studies Library and Archive, Photograph of Red Cross Hospital, Richmond, c. 1915.
The Scottish National War Museum, in Edinburgh Castle
The Memorial to Scots serving in Scottish Regiments raised outside Scotland is in the area of the Museum designated as ‘M’.  You do not have to buy a ticket to visit Edinburgh Castle if you only wish to visit the Scottish National War Memorial.  Without a ticket, you may not visit any other part of the Castle, and that includes the various regimental museums.  As the Scottish National War Memorial is at the highest point of the castle, you will get some amazing views as you make your way up through the castle grounds to the very top of the rock.  I doubt anyone would stop you from taking a photograph of the vistas on the way.

Incidentally, you can visit the castle without an entry charge if you are a member of Historic Scotland or English Heritage, or are prepared to pay the entry fee.  It is well worth the visit but allow plenty of time as there is so much to see.

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Cecil Herbert Julius (1896–1916)

Lieutenant Cecil Herbert [Woodifield] Julius,
3 Bn  East Lancashire Regiment (attached 6 Bn East Lancashire Regiment.)
Missing in action, 9 April 1916, Mesopotamia (Iraq),
Commemorated on theBasra Memorial.

Three storeys high and five windows wide, Langham House has stood proudly on the south side of Ham Common since the 18th century. In both World Wars, telegrams were delivered to its residents, bringing them news of the loss of their sons on active service.   So prominent a building makes it impossible to forget, when passing, the families affected by that loss.

Cecil’s father, Arthur Onslow Julius, a London solicitor, was the youngest son of a prominent surgeon, Frederick Gilder Julius, M.D.  Born at The Wardrobe, part of the Old Palace, and his family home in Richmond, the names of Arthur’s sponsors at his baptism—The Earl of Onslow, Mr Christopher, and Dowager Duchess of Shaftesbury—give some idea of the circles in which Frederick Julius mingled and also how Arthur acquired his middle name.  Arthur’s grandfather, George Charles Julius, M.D., had been surgeon to George IV and William IV and had received substantial gifts from both monarchs, including a magnificent pair of candlesticks which had apparently at one point been in the custody of his grandson, Arthur, perhaps even during the time he was living at Langham House.

Arthur Onslow Julius married Elizabeth Woodifield, known as Bessie, a Civil Engineer’s daughter, on 8 August 1888 in Kensington. (From a Chinese point of view, that could, with its string of five eights, be the most fortuitous date in the entire 19th century. One wonders whether it was a deliberate choice.) Elizabeth gave birth to their first child, Arthur Dudley, on 18 September 1889, in Richmond.  Their second child, Cecil Herbert Woodifield, was born seven years later, on 26 October 1896 at Langham House, in Ham.

Langham House
© Matthew Rees

Apart from his birth registration and baptismal record, the first official document in which Cecil appears, records him at Langham House, aged 4, in the 1901 Census in the care of three female servants, the cook.  Both parents were away overnight, staying at The Residency in York’s Minster Yard as guests of the Bishop of Hull, Richard Lefevre Blunt, his wife and daughters.  Cecil’s elder brother was in Folkestone on the day that the census was taken.  He was one of the boarders recorded at The Grange,  a public school for boys in Shornecliffe Road.  Both Arthur and Cecil went on to Charterhouse, in Godalming, for the final years of their schooling.

In March 1915 Cecil applied for a Commission as an officer, expressing a preference for the Devons, over the East Lancs and The Royal Sussexs. He was assigned to his second preference, joining the 3rd Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment. At the time of his death he was, however, attached to the 6th Battalion.

Cecil joined the unit at Port Said on 29 January 1916. Two weeks later, he embarked on the H.T. Corsican, bound for the port of Basra, where the troops disembarked on 7 March. They then had an arduous journey upriver to reach their eventual objective, the relief of Major-General Sir Charles Townshend’s forces at Al-Kut (Kut-el-Amara) a city on the left bank of the Tigris River, where they had been besieged by forces under Khalil Pasha.

The previous year, Townshend’s forces had failed in their attempt to capture Baghdad, and in their retreat, handicapped by a large convoy of their sick and wounded, they had been forced to halt and make a stand at Kut.  For three months desperate attempts had been made to break the siege, with large numbers of troops being diverted from other theatres of war to Mesopotamia (Iraq). The 13th Division had been one of the last of the expected reinforcements to arrive. The soldiers can have had no doubt what challenges awaited them, and that against an enemy that had hitherto been superior.

On 21 March the battalion was moved with the rest of the 38th Infantry Brigade to Wadi Camp and five days later the Commanding Officer, the Adjutant and he Company Commanders reconnoitred the Turks’ position  in preparation for the attack.

On 5 April the attack began, and within two hours the East Lancs had achieved their objective of taking the second line of Turkish trenches. The Battalion advanced rapidly, capturing the third line of trenches with few casualties on their side, as the Turks had withdrawn to their defences at Falahiya. That evening the Battalion captured the Turks’ position at Falahiya, with some losses. Then followed a rest of 24 hours for the Battalion, while they were relieved by an Indian army unit. Then the Battalion began to move forward in order to take part in an attack on Sannaiyat scheduled for 9 April.

Alas, what subsequently became clear, was that the Turks had only intended to hold their position at Falahiya, in order to buy time to strengthen their position at Sannaiyat. Unknown to the British and their allies, the Turks were well aware of the impending attack.

The night of 8/9 April was bitterly cold. As their objective was only 600m distant, and any available cover was minimal, the 6th East Lancs were forced to keep low as they awaited zero hour (04:20). Whaley-Kelly records that “during the long wait, everyone became numb with cold”. At zero hour, he records that the ground was covered quickly and easily for the first 500m, but that in the last 100m oblique flares, fired by the Turks, caused some confusion. This was followed by heavy machine gun and rifle fire, “followed by a storm of well-directed shells”.

Small parties of men did manage to reach and invade the Turkish trenches but the Turks rallied, regaining their front line “although the gallant survivors of the invading platoons held their own until their bombs gave out”. There was much confusion when dawn broke, and under heavy fire all—except for a few companies that were able to dig in—fell back to their starting line.

Whaley-Kelly summed up the failed attack thus: [It] was not due to lack of courage on the part of the troops engaged, but their ranks now contained a large percentage of inexperienced soldiers, and owing to the casualties in the previous assaults, all units were lacking in trained officers and junior leaders”.

When the units took stock, Cecil was found to be among those missing.  He was just 19.  He was last seen, by survivors, near the Turkish trenches, so perhaps he was one of those using up all their remaining bombs.

The Aftermath
One of the most painful aspects of a son’s being ‘missing in action’ was that his parents had to endure a long wait before learning whether they should give up hope that their son had survived.  It was 18 months before the Army Council wrote to Cecil’s father that, “in view of the lapse of time” during which no further reports had reached them, and that enquiries which had been “made in Turkey through the usual diplomatic channels” had been fruitless, The Army Council thought it “necessary to consider whether they must not now conclude that he [was] dead”.

Two weeks later, Cecil’s father replied, explaining that the delay was due to the letter having had to be forwarded to him.  It emerged that he had also been busy in the months since his son was reported missing, in making “enquiries from men who were also engaged in the attack on 9th April 1916”.  He continued, “I have had to bring myself to the conclusion that he is dead.”

It was not until May 1918, just over two years later after Cecil’s death, that the General HQ at Basra, forwarded to the War Office a list of the two officers in the 6th Battalion who had been missing since 9 April 1916. They were C. H. Julius and another Second Lieutenant, H.M. Brown.

Cecil’s parents seem to have derived some comfort from the date of their son’s death. The memorial to him in St Andrew’s Church points out that he died on Passion Sunday (the fifth Sunday in Lent).

The Memorial to Cecil Julius in St Andrew’s Church

Cecil is also commemorated on the War Memorial at University College, Oxford.  This suggests that he had matriculated at University College before enlisting, and had subsequently interrupted his studies there for the duration of the war.  It is difficult to see how he could have fitted in any time at University College, between leaving Charterhouse and joining the Army.

The loss of his brother, and the uncertainty as to his fate, also deeply affected Arthur, his older brother. His service records reveal that he had been articled to his father as a clerk, but in less than a month of war breaking out, he had joined the Charterhouse Rifle Corps, being swiftly promoted to Corporal, and Commissioned in January of 1915, attached to the 18/Royal Fusiliers.  In November of that year, while he was serving with 11/The Essexs. a shrapnel bullet caused a serious head wound including excessive blood loss.  He was hospitalised for over a month as “unfit for duty”, subsequently attending several Medical Boards in January and again in March to assess his progress.  At the Medical Board before which he appeared in May of that year, the comment was made that he was “doing well until heard his brother reported missing in Mesopotamia”. Each Medical Board assessed him as still unfit for duty. In July he requested permission to rejoin his unit, which was refused and refused again in October.  In November he was recommended as a Railway Transport Officer, once he was deemed fit for duty.  That same month, he was granted an annuity because of the severity of his head wound.

In 1915, before his  posting abroad, Arthur had married Marie Louise Mourilyan and the following year, their first child, a daughter, was born.  In 1917, shortly before the exchange of letters between the Army Council and Cecil’s father, Marie gave birth to a son, whom they named Arthur Cecil Steuart.    Electoral rolls and other documents reveal that in later life he went under the name Cecil Steuart. He was almost certainly named after his uncle.

In following up the three children of Arthur Dudley and his wife, I was sorry to discover that on 4 December 1944, 237969 Captain A.C.S. Julius, R.A.C., B.A. (Oxon) serving in the 107th (5th Bn The King’s Own Royal Regiment) Lancaster Regiment had been killed in action near Limburg, in the Netherlands.  He is buried in the Mook War Cemetery, near Nijmegen.  His father and mother died in 1958 and 1967 respectively, while his two sisters, Helen and Rosemary, survived into the first decade of the 20th century.  Neither Cecil Steuart nor his sisters married, so there are now no known living descendants of Arthur Onslow Julius and Bessie Woodifield.

Tying up Loose Ends
The officer who died on the same day as Cecil, was Harold Montagu Brown, aged 28, and nine years older than Cecil.  A chartered accountant from Bromley, he had been educated at Uppingham, and at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge.

I think Arthur Cecil Steuart Julius was always intended to be known as Cecil Steuart with the first name of Arthur being a nod to his father and grandfather.  I do not know why the Woodifield in Cecil’s names was dropped.

The other serviceman with links to Langham House was Lieutenant David Game RNVR (1914–1943), the son of Air Vice-Marshal Sir Philip Game (later the Metropolitan Police Commissioner). Lieut. Game died of polio while serving on HMS Nile in the Mediterranean.  He is buried in the Bari War Cemetery in Italy.

The King’s Candlesticks
It was two days ago, as I prepared to upload my post on Cecil, that I came across a remarkable and interesting web site with much information about the Juliuses and the many families connected with them.  This research is the work of Edward Fenn and many other generous contributors, who are listed on the website’s Contributors’ Page.  The research notes are exemplary and the extracts from family documents thrilling.  I am sure it will delight those of you who are local and family historians with an interest in Richmond’s past and of course.also anyone with connections to the Julius family.  And for those readers interested in seeing a photo of Cecil, there is one on the site.  However, it is subject to copyright, so I am, at least at present, not able to use it.
http://www.thekingscandlesticks.com/

Sources
Imperial War Museum, War Memorial Register, ‘Julius, C.H.’, https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/name/167456, accessed 24/6/2018.
Julius Jottings, April 1900, No.2,
http://www.thekingscandlesticks.com/webs/pedigrees/59.html, accessed 25/6/2018.
The National Archives, WO 339/33584, ‘Officers’ Service Papers: 2/Lieut. Arthur Dudley Julius, The Essex Regiment’.
The National Archives, WO 339/45926,  ‘Officers’ Service Papers: Lieut. Cecil Herbert Julius, The East Lancashire Regiment’.
Photograph: Langham House, taken by Matthew Rees and used here with his permission.  For more of the old houses of Ham, see http://hamphotos.blogspot.com/.
Whalley-Kelly, H., Ich Dien—The Prince of Wales’s Volunteers, http://nlwmemorial.tripod.com/nlwmemorial/pages/pagesmisc/sannaiyatwkelly.htm, accessed 30/10/2014.

Research tip:  The burial of Arthur Onslow Julius is recorded in St Andrew’s Register of Burials on 2 May 1929. He is buried in a vault grave.  Ancestry has managed to transcribe his name as Arthur Ondlors Jerkins. I knew he had been buried there but the search results did not include him. Needing to locate the grave in response to questions from others, I needed to find the burial entry, I searched Surrey Baptisms for Arthur, place Ham, Surrey and year 1929. It worked. Less is more.

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Arthur George Brixton (1884–1917)

24146 Private Arthur George Brixton,
1st Garrison Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment

formerly 3/4665 East Surrey Regiment.
Died at Chakrata, 5 August 1917,
Buried in Chakrata Cemetery,
Commemorated on the Madras 1914–1918 War Memorial, Chennai.

The hills around Chakrata
© ETH Bildarchiv

Arthur George Brixton’s birth in Winchfield, Hampshire was registered in the first quarter of 1884 in Hartley Wintney.  When enlisting aged 30, he was one of a handful of older family men who enlisted voluntarily, before conscription came into effect. Arthur died at Chakrata in northern India in 1917, about 7000km (over 4000 miles) from Ham and home.  Arthur left a widow, Florence, and two young children, Rosina Ada and Arthur William.

Arthur was the youngest child of Edward Brixton, a farm labourer, and his wife Mary Ann Bailey.  He lived for much of his childhood in Elvetham, in Hartley Wintney, first in a cottage which overlooked the Cricket Green, and later in the delightfully named Eighteenpenny Row.

Arthur’s brother, Thomas, a domestic gardener, had moved to Richmond in search of work, where he met and married Emma Roberts in 1897.  It’s not clear at what point Arthur joined Thomas and Emma in their home at 8 Shakespeare Terrace on Lower Mortlake Road, but he is recorded there in the 1901 census, having found work as a builder’s labourer, still a practical choice for sturdy immigrants in any era.  Perhaps this line of work did not appeal to Arthur for long,  as, by the time of his marriage to Florence Evans, in St Margaret’s in 1907, he, too, was again working as a gardener.

Following the birth of their children, Rosina Ada (1908–2009) and Arthur William (1909–1971) in St Margaret’s, Arthur and Florence established their family home across the Thames, living first at 3 Vine Cottages, Petersham, before moving to 3 Oak Cottages in Ham, where Arthur had found work as a gardener at the nearby Nursery.

Arthur’s parents were born in Hartley Wintney, in Hampshire, so there did not at first seem to be a clear reason as to why he joined the 1st Garrison Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment.  Initially, he enlisted in the East Surrey Regiment, whose headquarters were in Kingston,and which was the ‘local’ regiment for the men of Ham. Its records are among the ‘burnt’ records, and while damaged to some extent, often at least some pages of a service record will have survived.  Unfortunately, the records of Arthur’s service in the East Surreys would have been transferred to the Bedfordshire Regiment, whose records seem not to have survived. The Bedfordshire Regiment raised its first garrison battalion in December 1915, and this battalion served in India from February 1916, where it remained until it was disbanded in 1920.  At the time of Arthur’s death, the battalion was at Chakrata.

These ‘Garrison’ Battalions comprised men who were too old, too young or too unfit to participate in battles, but who were still competent to fire a weapon and to perform the duties of defending a garrison.

Since Arthur, aged 30, was neither too old, nor too young, it is likely that he did not have the level of fitness necessary for a fighting soldier or for a digger of trenches and tunnels, taxing work for which gardeners, such as he, were otherwise well prepared.  We cannot tell at what point he transferred from the East Surreys to the Bedfordshires since there is no record of his time with the East Surreys on his Medal Roll card.  Nor can we be sure of the cause of his death.  Military records note that Arthur ‘died’—this is the wording used for a death from illness.

His burial in the Chakrata Cemetery (in India’s Utterakhand province) indicates that the battalion was stationed at the cantonment of Chakrata, an isolated Hill Station popular with the British forces, since its altitude of 2100m (7000 ft) meant that soldiers and their families were spared having to endure the intense summer heat of the lowlands. The cantonment is situated on two strategically significant hills, Chakrata and Kailana, which are linked by a lower ‘rump’ of land.

FibiWiki provides a description of the journey to Chakrata made by the First Battalion of the Black Watch, though about 16 years later than Arthur would have taken it.  In Arthur’s time  the journey would have been at least as arduous as that made by the Black Watch.

A train from Meerut took the men from the Black Watch as far as Dehra Dun, from where buses took them as far as Kalsi, where there was a rest camp, where the men could have been plagued by the “bat-like mosquitoes” for which Kalsi was famous. The rest of the journey was on foot and spread over two days, with the men setting off from the rest camp in the cool of the evening, bound for the next rest camp at Saiah.  This camp, alongside an ice cold stream (from the Pindari glacier), would have been a refreshing place to halt and rest.  The following day brought them to the “infamous Short Cut”, up the hill to Kailana.  The last climb to Kailana was along an extremely steep and narrow track, which may well have shortened the ultimate stretch of the  journey, but must have been arduous for men fit only for service in a garrison battalion.  I like to think that in Arthur’s time, the men might  have been refreshed on arrival with beer from the Cart Road Brewery, a favourite choice on the postcards sent to those back home.

The regiment garrisoning the Chakrata Hill Station was quartered on two hills. There was a Garrison Church outside which photos of the platoons were taken—one such photo, taken in 1917, when Arthur was there, can be accessed via the Images list, below. The station’s facilities at one point included a military hospital of 175 beds.  As well as the hospital in Chakratra, the army had long had a Convalescent Depot (or Rest Camp) in Kailana, on a hill a short distance from Chakratra, where there were also small detachments of regiments and of batteries.

The risk of contracting Enteric Fever was relatively high, and an epidemiological study of this fever, published in 1906, included details of the spread of an outbreak at Chakratra. If I were a betting blogger, I would say that this was his likely cause of death.  However, as Arthur had been deemed unfit for battle, we cannot be sure that he did not suffer from a medical condition which eventually led to his death.

Unfortunately, Chakrata Cemetery is one of the civil and cantonment cemeteries which the authorities felt would be impossible (or unsafe?) to maintain after India gained independence in 1947.  Steps were taken therefore to erect a Memorial in Madras (now known as Chennai) for those whose graves are in cemeteries which were expected not, in future, to be accessible. Arthur is one of the men commemorated on the Madras Memorial.

Sources
FibiWiki (Families in British India Society’s Wiki), ‘Chakrata’, https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Chakrata, accessed 4/6/2018.
Imperial Gazetteer of India, ‘Chakrata’, Vol.10, p.125, 1909.
Roberts, E., Enteric fever in India and in other tropical and sub-tropical regions : a study in epidemiology and military hygiene, Calcutta, 1906.

Images
ETH Image Archive, ‘Kailana: Siha Rest Camp (before 1928)’, https://www.e-pics.ethz.ch/index/ETHBIB.Bildarchiv/ETHBIB.Bildarchiv_Fel_043209-RE_171833.html accessed 1/6/2018.  Public domain.
Garrison Church, Chakrata 1917, https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/license/463959657, accessed 7/6/2018.
British troops outside the Garrison Church, Chakrata, 1917, https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-british-troops-outside-the-garrison-church-chakrata-1917-17635908.html, accessed 7/6/2018.

Tip for family historians researching BRIXTON
Anyone reading this who is researching the surname Brixton, should be aware that, during the 19th century, the surname was often spelt as Brickstone, Breakstone and occasionally as Braxton.  I have also seen Brixton incorrectly transcribed as Buxton.

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WW1: Men and women who served and survived

Here’s my second call for help over this long weekend and again you are important in this quest if your family has lived in Ham for several generations, but also if you have lived in Ham for most of your life and were born before, say, 1960.

I have a copy of the list of men in Ham Parish “serving with the colours” which was found by a volunteer from the Friends of Ham Library. This list was drawn up in 1915, relatively early in the war and before Conscription was introduced.

Was a woman in your family involved in the war effort? Our War Memorial does not name any women, but there may have been women from this community who served, for example, as nurses, munitions workers or working on farms or in factories, running soup kitchens—knitting for the Forces might even count!

I think that it’s a pity that the only list of servicemen that has survived seems never to have been updated.  Given how damaged many returning servicemen were, physically and mentally, they should also be accorded the respect of our appreciation and recognition.

Unfortunately, I have been inconsistent and haphazard in adding names to this list because I’ve only noted down people who ‘turn up’ randomly, in the course of other research. This information has almost always come from a report in the local newspapers, or in the parish newsletter, and usually describes the experiences of a man home on leave or recovering from a ‘Blighty’ wound.

At a Remembrance Day commemoration, a local primary schoolgirl told me about a family member of hers who had served in the war and was a native of Ham. (Hats off to the girl who remembered the details of someone who can’t have been closer than a great-great grandfather.  Hats off also to her parents and grandparents for passing on that bit of family history to her!)

So do, please, contact me if you would like to add a name (or more than one) to an expanded and updated list which will augment what we know from the 1915 list. We’re looking for survivors of the war, who were natives of Ham or who were living or lodging in Ham when war broke out, or when he or she became involved in the war effort.

And if you can think of someone who might know something useful on this mini-project, but who wouldn’t in the normal run of things, be reading this blog, please let them know about this project.

Thanks for reading!

In case you’ve missed it, here’s the link to the first call for help this weekend.

 

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The quest for photographs continues

Over this long weekend I will be sending out two calls for help from those of you whose families have lived in Ham for several generations.

This is the first call.

We’ve reached the last few laps in the project to discover the stories behind all the names on the Parish War Memorial relating to deaths on active service during the ‘Great War’ of 1914–1918.   Perhaps some readers will be able to add something to those stories.

If your family’s roots in Ham go back beyond your generation, would you mind skimming through the two lists below and getting in touch if your surname appears on it, and you think that you are, or could be, related to one of the people listed on the memorial,

The list identifies most of the surnames on the WW1 face of the Parish War Memorial but it does not include those whose connection with the parish was tenuous and brief, and who had no previous or ongoing connections with Ham, or with  Petersham or with Kingston.   All the men’s stories will, of course, receive the same attention and care from their researcher.

You will notice a few surnames in bold.  They’re in bold because they are not on the war memorial—they are surnames of close relatives of some of the men on the war memorial. They are all surnames of families which have lived in Ham for several generations, and where I either know, or suspect, there may be second or third cousins of the men living in or near Ham today. These relatives may be descended from the men’s cousins or from their half-siblings.

Buckner is in bold, for example, because the Buckners had a half-sibling on the War Memorial for WW1.  The Buckners will of course know that they have a relative on the WW2 face, but perhaps not know about the WW1 connection.

I’m hoping that for some readers, a faded photograph of a man in uniform in an album or in a box of old photographs, may start to make sense.  It is seldom that contacts with relatives result in a photo, and this may be because after the war, the War Office asked relatives to send in a photo of the deceased serviceman, and some families sent the only photo they had.

You may have inherited a collection of photographs which include a photo of a man in uniform. Perhaps you possess, or know the whereabouts of, a group photo of your grandparents or great-grandparents with their children, but you do not know who all the children are.

In my attempts to trace relatives and to share the stories of the men, I have had to reconstitute the immediate families of every person listed on the WW1 face.  So, if you have such a photograph, I might be able to work out for you, from apparent ages, fashion etc, when it was taken and which child in it could possibly be the soldier, sailor or airman who died while on active service.

The surnames of particular relevance to this call
Reminder:  Names in bold are not on the war memorial but are still of interest.

Adams, Benson, Brixton, Brooker, Buckle, Buckner, Chambers, Chapman, Clarke, Cockburn, Darnell, Davies, Deverell, Edwards, Field, Fisher, Fricker, Frost, Guile, Hanbury-Tracy, Hawkes, Julius, Knowles, Lane, Marshall, Newis, Noble, Palmer, Randall, Reynolds, Sanders, Saunders, Sharpe, Smith, Tantony, Thurley, Tollemache, Townsend, Upton, Upton, Warner, Wells, West, Whiting.

Thanks for reading!

In case you’ve missed it, here’s the link to the second call for help.

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