ALAN TUCKER

Langford Budville, Somerset
Roll of Honour 1914-1918


Langford Budville Roll of Honour


Langford Budville Church. The Roll of Honour is
attached to a pillar near the back of the church.

INTRODUCTION

Seventy names are listed on the Roll of Honour and a further thirteen were found that could have been included. It is not clear upon what basis someone compiled the roll and wrote it up in copperplate handwriting. Fifty-seven of the overall total can be proved to have Langford Budville links either at the time of the war, before the war or were born in the village. Of the remaining twenty-six no information can be found for thirteen of those listed. The year of birth of 64 can be identified. There are known occupations before service for 36.

The 'big houses' of the area are well represented although it is not always possible to distinguish owners from tenants. The Worthington family had purchased Bindon House in 1898 and was the home of Lieutenant Nigel Kennedy Worthington in 1901. Major Thomas Reynolds lived there in 1914 and the house and estate were bought by Captain James Hamilton Leigh in 1915. Wellisford manor was associated with the Winwood brothers in the 1880s and with Captain David Howard Evans in 1914 and then Captain Anthony Knight sometime afterwards. Croxhall, opposite the church, was a new house built just before the war and was the home of Colonel Loscombe in 1911, Lieutenant Esmonde-White towards the end of the war and the Brimblecombe family afterwards. In addition Major Paton was at Chipley Park by the end of the war. The existence of these dwellings also accounts for servicemen whose occupations had been footmen (2), gardeners (3), a groom or a greenkeeper at the golf course near Bindon. Farmers, usually their sons, and their workers are well represented as well as the lure of factory employment in the woollen factories at Tonedale in nearby Wellington or at Westford.



The names listed on the roll reflect the three services - army, navy and air force - but also include three nurses. They include men who saw active service, others who joined late in the war and did not leave England and those whose contribution was behind the lines or at home. Seven men died in the war and one afterwards and are listed on the separate memorial plaque in the church. However, a further five deaths can be identified - three during the war and two afterwards. Frederick Thorne was the first to lose his life as a result of malaria at Basra on Boxing Day 1914.

For the army twelve officers are represented and, with other men, were drawn from the pre-war regulars who became the Old Contemptibles, Territorials, Kitchener volunteers and conscripts. Some men were career soldiers who had joined the army before 1914 or had also joined the navy; some had served as Territorials before 1914. There were infantry privates and NCOs, gunners, drivers and sappers. There was a recruiting officer and a trainer. There was one Canadian and an Australian.

Unsurprisingly seventeen men had joined the Somerset Light Infantry in a wide range of battalions. A variety of other regiments are represented on the list. Nine served in the artillery and the newly formed Tank Corps and Machine Gun Corps provided three men. Seven had become cavalrymen or served with the Yeomanry. Eight men had joined the Royal Navy or the Royal Marine Light Infantry.

Three nurses were listed, one of whom faced having to deal with the terrible wounds of war in France. Four men were medal winners - two won a Military Medal and two a Military Cross. Some men served on the Western Front in France and Belgium but other places also feature- India, Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine, Salonika and Mesopotamia. For one man the war ended before Great War service so his war was in Northern Russia on the 'White' side of the Russian civil war.

Some families were able to make a greater contribution than others such as the six Thresher brothers, four Crowcombe brothers, two Ewens sisters and one brother, and eight pairs of brothers - Clements, Hayes, Jones, Keates, Pike, Tarr, Winwood, Chipling and Toogood.

Forty-four men and one of the nurses saw active service abroad in a variety of theatres of war. Fourteen only served at home, including one nurse, but for a variety of reasons - their type of service e.g ASC, late mobilisation, too young when called up and still in training, the recruiter and the trainer. Four served in India, one in Gilbraltar and one in the Army of Occupation after the war. There is insufficient information for 16 men and one of the nurses. Three of the men were very early arrivals at the front - John Keates and Frederick Westcott both arrived in France on August 21 1914 with the regulars of the 1/Somerset Light Infantry. Around the same time Nigel Kennedy Worthington, an officer in the 3/Dragoon Guards, did the same.

Abbreviations and Symbols used

† indicates a wartime death

The first line indicates the information given on the original roll.

MIC - Medal Index Card, National Archives

SN - Service Number

VM - Victory medal

BM - British medal

If only these medals are noted the recipient did not see action until some date after January 1 1916

c - circa

C = Census Return

WWN - Wellington Weekly News

T - Times

SR - service record

KD - Kelly's Directory

CWGC - Commonwealth War Graves Commission

SDGW - Soldiers Died Great War CD

For ease of reference details of the men from the Roll of Honour have been broken into:-

SURNAMES A - J

      

SURNAMES K - Y

       

NEW NAMES

   

 

   

 

AYRES S.L. Queens, Royal West Surrey Regiment.

Private, the Queens Regiment. SN - T-5125 and T - 241667. MIC. VM BM. 1918 and 1919 Absent Voters List - Private 1/5 Royal West Surrey Regiment.

Army numbers suggest service in a Territorial battalion; all Territorials were re-numbered in 1917. The medals suggest service after January 1 1916.

Sidney Lawrence Ayres was born c1896 at Hillingdon, Middlesex, to Herbert, a gardener (c 1901 and 1911), born East Hillingdon c1869, and Emily, born Harefield, Middlesex, c1871.

They were married c1896. His sister, Mildred Emily, was born in 1901. In that year the family were living in one of the Sunningdale Cottages at Hillingdon. By 1911 they were at Pynes Gardens, Pynes, Devon. The gardens were part of 37 acres of parkland around a large William and Mary Mansion at Upton Pyne, near Exeter. Fifteen year old Sidney was working at a junior clerk in a brewery in the vicinity.

On the Absent Voters List his home is given as 'Bindon'. In 1919 and 1923 Herbert Ayres, was listed in K.D as head gardener to James Hamilton Leigh at Bindon House.

BRADDICK H.C. MM Somerset LI

Private Hubert Charles Braddick, 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. SN - 21691. MIC. VM BM. He was killed in action on September 3 1916, aged 27. He is commemorated on Panel 21 of the Menin Gate at Ypres, Belgium. He was killed as a member of 1st Battalion but was not a pre-war regular.

Hubert Braddick was born c1890 at Langford Budville and was the son of William Vickery Braddick (died 1930), born c1860 at Thorne St Margaret, and his wife Fanny, born c1851 at Salisbury. They were married c1878. His father was a clerk in a woollen factory in 1901 (C), probably Fox's at Tonedale, and had the same occupation in 1911 (C). Hubert was also a clerk in 1911. At both dates the family was living at Langford Budville. There were four brothers and sisters - William, born c1879 at Langford, Edith Annie, born c1885, born at either Langford or Holywell Lake, Ada, born 1892 at Langford and Flora Evelyn, born c1904 at Langford. William was working in a woollen factory in 1901 and Edith Annie was an unmarried school teacher in 1911.

Also in the 1911 household was Harold Griffin, aged 10, born Langford Budville, grandson of William Vickery Braddick. He is also listed on the Roll of Honour. Hubert enlisted at Wellington and was awarded the Military Medal during his wartime service.

In the WWN on April 26 1916 and August 9 1916 Hubert is listed on the Langford Budville Roll as being in the 9th Somersets. On Sept 13 1916 the WWN reported that he had been wounded with the extent of the wound not known. The report also stated that he had been transferred to the Wiltshire Regiment although this was not shown on his medal card. A later WWN report on October 25 1916 noted his Military Medal and that his parents had recently been told that he was wounded and missing. He was a former employee at the Tone factory which he left to join the army.


Hubert Braddick inscription on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium

On May 10 1916 the WWN reported events concerning his brother in a Langford Budville divorce case where a decree nisi was granted in the Divorce Court by Mr Justice Shearman to Mr William Stephen Braddick , a factory operative of Langford Budville, for dissolution of his marriage to Mrs Florence Braddick on account of her misconduct with a man named Thomas Hutchings (now a corporal in the army) who was cited as co-respondent. The action was not defended. They had been married at Nynehead church in 1903 and the couple had lived in Wellington for several years. One child had been born. Of late they moved to Langford and had led a happy married life till September 1913 when co-respondent came to the house as a lodger. On March 15th the co-respondent told him he was joining the army. Soon after that Mrs Braddick confessed misconduct with Hutchings and said the child she was about to have was not her husband's. The co-respondent wrote that I loved her dearly (he was a blacksmith by occupation). Mr Thomas Gollop (Mr Braddick's brother in law), who gave evidence that he knew the co-respondent who was sent abroad last summer. He sent a letter to Hutchings - who would do anything for Mrs Braddick. Mr Braddick was given custody of the child of the marriage.

On the day of his death the 1st Bn war diary 'Fine Day. Slight increase in shelling. Our casualties - one killed and two wounded. Hostile aeroplanes active'.

BRADDICK W.J. Worcester Regt

Private 2/8 Worcestershire Regiment. MIC. VM BM. Appears not to be related to Hubert Braddick. SN - 57856. Absent Voters List 1919.

Walter John Braddick was born 1899 at Langford Budville and in 1901 was at Gundenham with his father, John, a farm stockman, born c1874 at Milverton, and mother, Sarah, born Minehead in c1877. In that year Walter had two sisters - Dorothy, born c1898 at Milverton and Beatrice, born the same year at Langford.

Walter attested at Taunton on April 21 1917 at the age of 18 years 3 months. An attestation form was one filled in by an individual upon enlistment in the army. His occupation was given as a farm labourer and later as a farm carter with John Braddick of Gundenham as his next of kin. The form gives a physical description - 5 feet 7 inches and a chest measurement of 36 ½ inches. He was placed in medical category A1 - the highest. He was then placed on the army reserve and called up on December 5 1917 and posted to the Training Reserve. He was medically examined again at Taunton - he weighed 128 lbs and had flat feet. His religion was given as Church of England.

On April 9 1918 he was posted to the 52nd Graduated Battalion of the Devon Training Reserve. On May 2 1918 he was posted to a Base depot in France. Walter Braddick was then transferred to the 2/8 Worcestershire Regiment, a Territorial battalion, on May 6 1918. By May 1 1918 he had been in the army for 148 days. He then spent 284 days in France which included the final months of the war and the period of peace until February 9 1919 when he returned to England. After 29 days at home he was discharged on March 31 1919. (SR)

Private Braddick's unit was part of 182 Brigade in 61st (2nd South Midland) Division. The Division had been badly hit by the German spring offensive in March and April 1918 and was rebuilt in time to play a part in the final defeat of the German Army in actions in October 1918 at Bois L'Eveque, Pommereuil, Bousies Forest and Vendegies-sur-Ecaillon. The Division then crossed the River Selle and in the first week of November the River Sambre as part of the 'Battle of Valenciennes'. The Division was not in action when the guns fell silent. Braddick's home was given as Gundenham on the 1919 Absent Voters List.

BREWER H.J. Wiltshire Regt

Brother of Gilbert Henry Brewer

Harold J Brewer was born c1900 at Langford Budville and was living in the village with his family in 1901. His father was William Henry Brewer, then 30, dyer in woollen factory, born Langford Budville, and his mother was Elizabeth, 27, born Langford Budville. His brother was Gilbert Henry Brewer, 4, born Runnington.

Harold probably did not see active service as there is no medal card for him.

BREWER GILBERT RFA

Gunner. Brother of Harold J Brewer. MIC. SN - 1772. VM. BM. 1915 Star. Silver War Badge List Ra/2897

Gilbert Henry Brewer was born c1897 at Runnington and was living in Langford Budville village in 1901. His father was William Henry Brewer, aged 30, who was a dyer in a woollen factory, born Langford Budville, and his mother was Elizabeth, 27, born Langford Budville. He had a brother Harold J, born c1900 at Langford.

Gilbert attested on November 9 1914 when 19 years old and was examined at Taunton. He was a weaver. Physically he was 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall and 137 lbs. His chest measurement was 38 inches. He had blue eyes and brown hair and a fresh complexion. He had a scar on his left middle finger and another on his left forearm. His religion was Church of England. His parents were listed as well as brothers and sisters - Harold, Wilfred, Cyril and Gladys; the family were still at Langford Budville.

He officially joined a day later and was immediately posted to a Reserve Battery as a gunner. He was to spend 299 days at home at different depots, attached to 98 Brigade and 320 Brigade Royal Field Artillery, until leaving for France on September 4 1915.

He had a leave opportunity in 1916 after being wounded at the front because on Saturday December 23 1916 he took part in what the WWN called an 'exceedingly pretty wedding' at Wellington church when he married Miss 'Nellie' (Ellen Emily) Bittle, only daughter of Mrs Bittle of Wellington. His sister Gladys Brewer was a bridesmaid and Nellie was given away by Thomas Brewer, his uncle. Harold his brother, was best man.

This leave became permanent because he was discharged from the army with a Silver Wound Badge and left France on November 9 1916 after one year and 67 days.

On the WWN Roll of Honour for Langford Budville on September 1 1915 and August 9 1916 he was listed as Gunner Brewer of A Battery, 101 Brigade, RFA. This attachment was probably during the period of training. It is not clear which battery he served with in France.

BREWER TOM. Army Service Corps

Driver. No MIC. SN - 296107 and later 44655

In 1901 Tom Brewer was living in an adjoining house to Gilbert and Harold Brewer in Langford village. He was then aged 12 and born at Langford Budville. His parents were William, 56, a farmer, born Milverton, and Martha, 57, born Langford Budville. Tom was living with five sisters - Edith, 20, woollen piece maker, Annie, 18, woollen puttee cutter, Beatrice, 16, Mabel, 14, woollen bobbin winder, and Minnie, 10. All Langford Budville born.

He attested on November 29 1915 when he was 26 years and 10 months old. His occupation was given as a weaver and he was then living at Foxdown, Wellington. Physically he was 5 feet 3 inches and a chest measurement of 32 ½ inches. He weighed 105 lbs. His physical development was described as very poor so he was unsuitable for front line service. On the following day he joined the Army Reserve and on January 17 1917 joined the Army Service Corps at Woolwich as a driver.

In 1909 he had married Amy Brewer at Wellington and three children had followed:- Edric Thomas born September 5 1909, Evelyn, born May 7 1911 and Adeline, born November 18 1913. All the children were born at Wellington.

On February 12 1917 he was in No 735 Company, ASC having been transferred from No 2 Depot, Chatham. At the end of that month he was marked B1 in terms of fitness - fit for service in garrison or provisional units. On September 19 1918 he was briefly at No 449 Agricultural Company at Taunton. Three days later Tom joined the 3/Dorsets at Wyke Regis,near Weymouth, where the battalion supported the Portland garrison. In July 1919 he qualified as a 2nd class shot with a score of 80. On September 10 1919 he was demobilised. (SR)

The contribution of men like Tom Brewer can best be summarised by the phrase and title of a recent book 'No Labour, no Battle'.

BRIMBLECOMBE J.W. RAF

No MIC.

Brimblecombe has been very difficult to track down. In KD in 1923 there was a William Brimblecombe at Croxhall, Langford Budville.

He may have been the John Brimblecombe on the 1911 census, aged 11, born at Kensington, London, and living at Eastbrook, Burlescombe Somerset, with his parents William, 58, a pensioner/workhouse master, born Plymouth, and Ellen, 51, married 33 years, born South Molton, Devon, John's siblings were Nellie, 30, single, born Plymouth, and Lionel, single, 30, also born Plymouth. There were two servants - Louisa Cocklin, 36, single, cook, born Shepperton, Middlesex, and Ethel Hitchcock, 16, housemaid, born Culmstock, Devon. If this is the man named on the roll his age by the end of the war might explain the lack of documentation about him - he may only have been in RAF training. The use of the term 'RAF' is indicative as the initials superceded RFC - Royal Flying Corps'on April 1 1918.

A Miss Brimblecombe, possibly his sister, was an accompanist at the victory celebrations in 1918.

BURNELL FRANK

No MIC.

He is impossible to locate because there is no suggestion of service on the Roll. He may have been 12 year old Frank living at Glastonbury in 1901.

CHIPLING SGT S.J 2/4 Hants

Serjeant Sydney James Chipling. No MIC. SN - 02679. Died September 18 1919. Buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany. Possibly the cousin of William John Chipling

Sydney James Chipling was born in 1900 and was the son of James and Ellen Chipling, Crossway Cottage, Langford Budville. His father, born c1879 at Kittisford, was a farm carter and his mother was born at Milverton in c1878. They were married in 1899. Sydney was living there in 1901 and 1911 and his parents were still there when he died. By 1911 Sydney had three sisters - Edith Alice, 9, Ellen, 6, and Ethel May, 8 months, all born at Langford Budville

As there is no medal record and given his year of birth he did not see active service by the end of the war. His Hampshire battalion were part of the Allied post-war occupation force in Germany and he died there. They were at Recht, south of Malmedy, in mid-December 1918 and on Christmas Day arrived at their destination of Mechernich, a mining town west of the Rhine bridge at Remagen and 55 km from Cologne. They were there until February 23 1919 when the unit moved to Wermelskirchen, south-east of Wuppertal and east of Rhine at Leverkusen.

CLEMENTS H.J 9th SLI

Private Henry C Clements. MIC. VM. BM. SN - 21688. Silver war badge - List C/341/2. Brother of John C Clements. 1918 Absent Voters List.

Henry Charles (second initial is a mistake on the original Roll) Clements was born c1891 at Halse and in  1901 was living with his parents at Keepers Cottage, Langford Budville. His parents were Henry, farm stockman, born c1852 at Bishops Lydeard and Elizabeth, born c1868 at Rackenford, Devon. Henry had at least three siblings, all brothers - John, born 1893 at Fitzhead, Robert born c1895 also at Fitzhead and James, born c1899 at Langford Budville.

Private Clements joined the SLI on December 1 1915 and was discharged on April 6 1918 which corresponds to a report in the WWN on April 10 1918 when it reported from Langford Budville that invalid soldier Harry Clements, son of Mrs Clements of Chorwell, was on six months sick leave after receiving shrapnel wounds in France. His Silver War Badge gave 'sick' as the reason for discharge. In 1918 his home was given as 'Cholwell's Cottage'.

Between the wars the same two former servicemen always laid the wreath at the annual village Armistice remembrance ceremonies. Private H Clements was one of them, including as late as 1945.

CLEMENTS J.C RMLI

Private John Carter Clements, Royal Marine Light Infantry. SN - 3158. Royal Marine Medal Roll. BM. Brother of Henry Clements. 1918 Absent Voters List.

John Carter Clements, was ironically born on November 11 1893 at Fitzhead, and lived at Keepers Cottage, Langford Budville in1901 with his parents Henry Clements,born c1852 at Bishops Lydeard, farm stockman and Elizabeth, born c1868 at Rackenford, Devon. He had three brothers - Henry,born Halse c 1891, Robert, born c1895 at Fitzhead, and James, born c1899 at Langford Budville.

John enlisted at Exeter on October 4 1917 in the Plymouth Division of the RMLI aged 23 years 10 months. His occupation was given as spinning overlooker. He stood at 5 feet 7 inches and had a fresh complexion with blue eyes and brown hair. He became a private in B company at the Recruit depot. Deal. He was demobilised from there on March 5 1919 (SR). It is unlikely that he saw active service. He is listed on the 1918 Absent Voters List as, like his brother, a resident of Cholwell's Cottages and a private in the Royal Marines.

CORNISH S.J. RFA

Royal Field Artillery

This man might be Driver Samuel Cornish, SN- 1953 (TF) and 971486 (TF) and 135283.

Henry and Fanny Cornish were living at Butts Cottage, Langford Budville in 1911 but no link can be established to S.J.Cornish. Henry was born c1889 at Wellington and was then a dye house labourer. She was born c1888 and was also born at Wellington, They were married in 1909.

COLES JAMES 2/4 SLI. 1918 Absent Voters List - Private, 3/Bedfordshire Regiment, 206288.

It is difficult to establish the background of this soldier.

On August 9 1916 1916 the WWN listed a James Coles as 3/5 Somersets under the heading Runnington Roll of Honour.

An MIC exists for James Coles, Private, SLI, 4069, then Bedfordshire Regiment, 206288. British medal only.

The 2/4 Territorial battalion landed in India on December 12 1914. From August 1915 they moved to the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal returning to India in January 1916. In September 1917 they moved to Egypt and then in January 1918 to France. Three garrison battalions of the Bedfords served in India.

The 1918 Absent Voters List shows him as a resident of 'Village' and in the 3/Bedfords. The 3/Bedfords could be either the training reserve battalion which remained at home throughout the war or the 3/Garrison Battalion which went to India then Burma in the middle of the war.

CROWCOMBE H Duke of Cornwall LI

Private Henry Crowcombe. MIC. VM. BM. Silver War Badge 6/831. SN - 21698 (SLI) and 31675 (DCLI) Brother of Samuel, Frederick and William Crowcombe.

Henry Crowcombe was born c1890 at Langford Budville. The Crowcombe family lived at Butts Cottages, Langford Budville, in 1901. His parents were James, born c1866 at Langford, a serge worker and factory hand in 1901 and Emily, born c1864 at Bristol. Henry had at least five siblings - William, born c1889 at Wellington, a wool carrier/factory hand in 1901; Lily, born c1892, Samuel born 1895, Frederick, born c1899, and James, born 1901, all born at Langford Budville.

The Roll of Honour for Langford Budville in the WWN of August 9 1916 gives his regiment as 9th Somersets which correlates with his MIC which shows two regiments - SLI and DCLI. He saw active service after January 1 1916 according to his medal entitlement but actually enlisted on December 1 1915. He was discharged from the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry on February 13 1917 as a result of wounds as he was not longer physically fit for war service.

CROWCOMBE S RN

Ordinary Seaman Samuel Crowcombe, Royal Navy. Brother of Henry, Frederick and William Crowcombe. Absent Voters List 1918 - Naval Gunner, SS Comet, 55015.

Samuel Crowcombe was born on June 28 1895 at Langford Budville. The Crowcombe family lived at Butts Cottages, Langford Budville, in 1901. His parents were James, born c1866 at Langford, a serge worker and factory hand in 1901 and Emily, born c1864 at Bristol. Samuel had at least five siblings - William, born c1889 at Wellington, a wool carrier/factory hand in 1901; Henry, born c1890, Lily, born c1892, Samuel born c1896, Frederick, born c1899, and James, born 1901, all born at Langford Budville.

When Samuel joined the Navy on July 3 1916 his occupation was a weaver. He was 5 feet 8 ½ inches tall with a chest measurement of 36 ½ inches. He had brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion.

From July 3 to September 14 1916 he was attached to Vivid I, a shore establishment at Devonport and then, from September 15 1916 to January 31 1917, to HMS President III when he was demobilised. This ship was a screw loop which acted as the home of the London Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.On February 1 1917 Samuel enrolled in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (SR). The Absent Voters List in 1918 gave his home as 'Heathfield'.

CROWCOMBE F Hampshire Regt

Private Frederick Crowcombe. Dorset Regiment SN - 29594 and Hampshire Regiment - 28516. MIC. VM. BM. Silver War Badge C/1168/1. Absent Voters List 1918 - Private, 15/Hampshire Regiment. Brother of Henry, Samuel and William Crowcombe.

Frederick Crowcombe was born c1899 at Langford Budville. The Crowcombe family lived at Butts Cottages, Langford Budville, in 1901. His parents were James, born c1866 at Langford, a serge worker and factory hand in 1901 and Emily, born c1864 at Bristol. Frederick had at least five siblings - William, born c1889 at Wellington, a wool carrier/factory hand in 1901; Henry, born c1890, Lily, born c1892, Samuel born June 28 1895, and James, born 1901, all born at Langford Budville.

His MIC shows that he was initially in the Dorset Regiment before transfer to the Hampshire Regiment. His Victory and British medals show that he saw active service at some time after January 1 1916 until discharge through wounds which entitled him to a Silver War Badge. His entry on the Silver Wound Badge Roll shows that he enlisted on April 24 1917 and was discharged on March 22 1919 because of wounds he was no longer physically fit for service. The 15/Hampshires were a service battalion otherwise known as the 2nd Portsmouth Battalion. They were part of 122 Brigade, 41st Division and were involved in 3rd Ypres in 1917, Italy November 1917 to March 1917 and then the Battle of the Hundred Days in 1918. According to the 1918 Absent Voters List his home was at 'Heathfield'.

CROWCOMBE W.J RGA

Gunner William Crowcombe, Royal Garrison Artillery. MIC. VM. BM. SN - 182997

William Crowocmbe was born c1889 at Wellington. In 1901 he was already out to work as a wool carrier/factory hand, probably at Fox's of Tonedale, and living with his parents at Butts Cottages, Langford Budville. His parents were James, born c1866 at Langford, a serge worker and factory hand in 1901 and Emily, born c1864 at Bristol. William had at least five siblings - Henry, born c1890, Lily, born c1892, Samuel born June 28 1895, Frederick, born c1899, and James, born 1901, all born at Langford Budville.

His medal award shows that he saw service at some time after January 1 1916.

DAY A.E. MGC

Private, Machine Gun Corps. VM. BM.

The Medal Index Cards suggest that he is either Albert E Day, 123687 or Arthur E Day, 132338. Both were awarded the same medals and both would have seen service at some time after January 1 1916. The Machine Gun Corps was created on October 14 1915.

It has not been possible to find his link to the village.

DOLLINGS P RFA

Royal Field Artillery

It has not been possible to find any information on this man.

EVANS CAPTAIN H.D Queen's Bays

Captain David Howard Evans. The Queen's Bays were the 2nd Dragoon Guards, part of the cavalry.

MIC. VM. BM. OBE

David Howard Evans was born in London on February 25 1880. He attended Harrow School and was then gazetted as a Second Lieutenant in the 6th Militia Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers in October 1898. He joined for duty the 2nd Battalion at Aldershot on October 9 1899. He was commissioned into the regular army on March 17 1900 and was posted into the 4th Battalion. In February 1901 he was sent to South Africa as part of the 20th Mounted Infantry becoming a full Lieutenant on July 17 that year. He took part in operations in the Transvaal, Orange River Colony and Cape Colony. In August 1901 he was "invalided from Pretoria …suffering from debility, the result of malarial fever and blood poisoning". From September 7 he was hospitalised for a month. He was sent home to recover. After the war he was posted to the 3rd Battalion Royal Fusiliers and served at Khartoum in the Sudan and Bermuda. On March 26 1904 he was transferred to the 2nd Dragoon Guards and served in South Africa until 1907. In 1906 he was promoted to captain and also passed a musketry course.

He then returned to England in 1908 to the Cavalry School at Netheravon and rejoined the regiment on its return to England. In July 1909 he was appointed adjutant until he resigned his commission in June 1910 as a result of an injury caused to an operation wound while on manoevres. On June 9 1909 he married Violet Isabella Grant at Mickleham church in Surrey. His army documents show that he could use the French, German and Arabic languages. He was 5 feet 10 ½ inches tall.

In 1911 he was living at Woolley Leys, Ellington, Huntingdon and was described as 'retired soldier'. In his household were four servants - Malcolm Watson, butler, 30, retired soldier, born Saffron Walden; Teresa Cowler, 29, cook, born Hertfordshire; Emily Harris,22, housemaid, born Falaton, Devon; George Parsell, 22, groom, born Stapleford, Herts. Ellington was a small village,just over five miles from Huntingdon. On July 9 1911 he was commissioned into the Special Reserve of the 2nd Dragoon Guards and completed the required annual training until an appointment as District Remount Officer, No 5 District, Eastern Command.

In the 1914 Kelly's Directory he was living at Wellisford Manor.


Wellisford area c1900

On August 5 1914 he rejoined his regiment and was appointed adjutant to the 2nd Reserve Regiment of Cavalry which lasted until July 1916. On October 30 1916 he was ordered to report to the HQ of Cavalry Corps as a learner in provost duties. As a result he was appointed Assistant Provost Marshall to the 40th Division in France in January 1917. From that post he held a similar one at the Taranto base in Italy from June 1917. He was still there in May 1919 but then took up the same job at home. A document in his file regarding his Taranto service noted that he "has built up a Provost system with care and skill at that Base". Italian was now added to his language skills. There is a tantalising gap in his Italian service record for nearly six weeks starting May 6 1918 when he was 'employed by the War Office on urgent private affairs'. He was described in 1919 as a 'good competent officer - good at his job'.

Two MIC cards exist for Captain Evans indicating he had returned to the 2nd Dragoon Guards with one mentioning 'command and staff' and 'mentioned in despatches'. One card suggests that he became a major. He entered the theatre of war in France on October 30 1916. His regiment had been in France since September 1914 and were to form part of 1st Cavalry Brigade in the 1st Cavalry Division.

In the WWN on August 9 1916 he is listed on the Langford Budville Roll of Honour as 'Captain and Adjutant Queens Bays (2nd Reserve)'. A letter in his officer's file dated August 1 1919 shows that by that time he had been awarded the OBE. Another document states his occupation in civil life as 'remount service'.

In 1921 he was still in the army, after some time on the reserve, as he served as a Major with the HQ, 1st Cavalry Brigade, 'in the emergency from 9th April 1921 to 24th April 1921'. The emergency was probably the miners' strikes of that year. At that time his home address was 'Cranmore House', Aldershot. In 1930 his name was removed from the 'regular army reserve of officers'.

ESMONDE-WHITE Lieutenant F.B Recruiting Officer

Another man who is difficult to track down. He had been a Lieutenant member of the Utrecht Mounted Police during the Boer War. Utrecht is a district of the Transvaal. The Langford Budville Roll of Honour in the WWN on December 20 1916 states that he was a 'South African Mounted Rifleman'. In the same edition he appeared as one of two military representatives on the Wellington Rural District Tribunal when it met at Milverton on December 15. Such tribunals heard appeals against military conscription.

The 1919 Kelly's Directory lists a James Bowen Esmonde-White at Croxhall, Langford Budville so he might have lived there as well.

There is no surviving officer file for this man at the National Archives.

EWENS NURSE ALICE M

Nurse Alice Mary Ewens, VAD. Sister of Kate Ewens and Henry Ewens. Absent Voters List 1918 - VAD, Somerset 22 at XI Stationary Hospital, BEF, France.

Alice Mary Ewens was born c1887 at Wellington and in 1901 was living at Fursdons Farm, Langford Budville, with her parents, William Henry Ewens, born c1855 Langford Budville, farmer, and Kate, born c1861 at Wiveliscombe. Also in the household were her sisters Kate, born c1892 at Wellington and Florence Emmeline, born c1901 at Langford Budville and her brother Henry L, born c1893 at Langford. Also in the household were Francis Yeandle, her cousin, born c1894 at West Buckland and Ernest Lutley, her mother's brother, born c1867 at Wiveliscombe, a farm bailiff.


Bidwell Farm, Thorverton, Devon

Ten years later she was living at Bidwell Farm, Thorverton, near Tiverton, Devon and seven miles north of Exeter. She was working on the farm and assisting in the dairy for her uncle, Frederick Yeandle, the farmer, born c1862 at Runnington, and her aunt, Frances Edith, born c1865 at Wiveliscombe. The couple had been married for 19 years.

Alice's brother, Henry, was also there and helped with the cattle. There was also two Yeandle sons - Francis Frederick, born c1894 at West Buckland, and Edward Lutley,born c1898 at West Buckland, a scholar. Ernest Edward Lutley was the brother in law of Frederick Yeandle, single,born c1869 at Wivelscombe. The three last named helped on the farm.

There was also one female fifteen year old general servant, born at Thorverton. It is interesting to note that in 1868 one the two lords of the manor was noted as 'representatives of the late G.S Fursdon'.

There is also a Fursdon Mill in the parish.

William Henry Ewens still farmed at Fursdons until at least 1923. (KD).

Miss Alice Mary Ewens was a Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) nurse who enrolled in August 1914 in the 110th Somerset Detachment and was discharged on February 28 1919. She saw considerable service. From January 27 1915 to March 1915 she was at St Alderelm's Home at Frome, Somerset alongside occasional work for the Wellington Workhouse Infirmary. St 'Aldhelm' is a more accurate spelling and before war use had been the Sunnyside Home for (poor) Boys founded in 1887.

From October 13 1915 to September 6 1916 she served at the Military Hospital, Warminster, Wiltshire. This was probably Beckford Lodge which had become an auxiliary hospital. From September 6 1916 to October 1916 Alice was attached to HMHS Aquitania. This ship was a Cunard Line ocean liner which had become a hospital ship after also being used as a troop ship and was first used as a hospital ship at Gallipoli in 1915. In that capacity the ship could handle 4200 wounded. In 1916 the ship underwent a refit and returned to duty in the same role. Towards the end of the war the Aquitania was used to bring American troops to Europe.


The Aquitania at Liverpool in May 1914

From October 8 to November 23 1916 she was at the Beaufort War Hospital in Bristol which had been originally established in 1861 as the Bristol County and City Asylum at Fishponds. Stanley Spencer, the artist, had been an RAMC orderly there in 1915.


Beaufort War Hospital. Fishponds, Bristol

For a longer period from July 18 1917 to March 28 1918 Alice was at No 42 Stationery Hospital at Amiens, France and did camp orderly duties at No 47 General Hospital, Le Treport, France. Her final period of service was at No 1 Stationery Hospital, Rouen, France, from April 5 1918 to February 25 1919. Alice's service in France would have brought her into the direct and constant contact with the brutal consequences of war. The Absent Voters List records her home as still at Fursdons and cites another hospital - No XI Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, which was Canadian.`

EWENS NURSE KATE E

Nurse Kate Elizabeth Ewens. Sister of Alice and Henry Ewens.

Kate Elizabeth Ewens, born c1892 at Wellington, was living at Fursdons Farm, Langford Budville in 1901 with her parents William Henry Ewens, born c1855 Langford Budville, farmer, and Kate, born c1861 at Wiveliscombe. Also in the household were her sisters Alice, born c1887 at Wellington and Florence, born c1901 at Langford Budville and her brother Henry L, born c1893 at Langford. Also in the household were Francis Yeandle, her cousin, born c1894 at West Buckland and Ernest Lutley, her mother's brother, born c1867 at Wiveliscombe, a farm bailiff.

Ten years later she was still at home at Fursdons and described as a 'farmer's daughter/help'. Apart from her parents Florence Emmeline was still there but there were now new sisters, Mildred, born c1902 and Olivia Gertrude, born c1904, both at Langford Budville. Another sister not mentioned on the 1901 census but now at home was Edith Kathleen, born c1890 at Wellington, a governess and farmer's daughter.


Staff at the No 3 Hospital, Exeter, in 1917.
Kate might be on this photograph.

Kate Ewens enrolled in the Somerset Detachment of the Red Cross in March 1917 and was still serving on May 2 1919. She served as a cook for a year and then served as a nurse at No.3 Hospital, Heavitree, Exeter. This was one of five military hospitals in Exeter.


Nurses and wounded soldiers
at the No 3 Hospital at Exeter


EWENS CPL H.L West Somerset Yeomanry

Corporal Henry Lutley Ewens. Brother of Kate and Alice Ewens. SN - 519
Henry Lutley Ewens was born c1893 at Langford Budville and in 1901 was living at Fursdons Farm, Langford Budville with his parents William Henry Ewens,born c1855 Langford Budville, farmer, and Kate, born c1861 at Wiveliscombe. Also in the household were his sisters Alice, born c1887 at Wellington, Kate born c1892 at Wellington and Florence, born c1901 at Langford Budville. Also in the household were Francis Yeandle, his cousin, born c1894 at West Buckland and Ernest Lutley, his mother's brother, born c1867 at Wiveliscombe, a farm bailiff.

Ten years later he was living at Bidwell Farm, Thorverton, near Tiverton, Devon and seven miles north of Exeter. He was working on the farm and helping with the cattle for his uncle, Frederick Yeandle, the farmer, born c1862 at Runnington, and his aunt, Frances Edith, born c1865 at Wiveliscombe. The couple had been married for 19 years. Henry's sister, Alice, was also there and worked on the farm by assisting in the dairy. There was also two Yeandle sons - Francis Frederick, born c1894 at West Buckland, and Edward Lutley,born c1898 at West Buckland, a scholar. Ernest Edward Lutley was the brother in law of Frederick Yeandle, single,born c1869 at Wivelscombe. The three last named helped on the farm. There was also one female fifteen year old general servant, born at Thorverton. It is interesting to note that in 1868 one the two lords of the manor was noted as 'representatives of the late G.S Fursdon'. There is also a Fursdon Mill in the parish.

Henry Ewens attested at Wellington on May 4 1910 when just over 17 years old in order to join the West Somerset Yeomanry.

The Yeomanry were the mounted arm of the Territorial Force of part-time soldiers founded in 1908. He was living at home and had been in the cadet corps at the County School, Wellington. At that time he was 5 feet 7 inches with a chest measurement of 35 ½ inches. His physical development was described as satisfactory.

His service record shows that he took part in the required annual training camps as follows….

May 19 to June 2 1910

May 24 to June 7 1911 at Westdown Camp, Salisbury Plain

May 15 to May 29 1912 at Woodbury Common, near Woodbury, East Devon

May 13 to May 27 1913 at Hamilton Camp near Stonehenge

May 14 to May 25 1914 at Doverhay Camp, Porlock, Somerset

Henry Ewens agrees to overseas service

Before the final pre-war camp and on April 11 Henry signed on for an additional one year service. His sister Alice was a witness to the form which he signed.

With war having broken out Henry was embodied on August 5 1914 and had gained a proficiency 2nd class on the same date. On August 14 1914 he was appointed to Lance Corporal.

On August 12/13 1914 the four squadrons of the West Somerset Yeomanry moved to Winchester as part of 1/2nd South Western Mounted Brigade. Before the end of the month they had moved to Ardleigh, four miles north of Colchester. All Territorials had joined the army for home defence only but early in the war were given the option to volunteer for overseas service. Henry Ewens did so on September 4 1914.

Training later took place in the field behind Tendring Union workhouse for sixteen weeks ending in July 4 1915.


1880s map - Tendring workhouse, Essex

Essex was not a happy place for Henry Ewens. Between October 27 and November 6 1914 he was hospitalised at Wivenhoe for eleven days with 'influenza'. A further fourteen day period in the same hospital followed between February 5 and 18 1915.

On February 2 1915 a medical report had been made after he reported bronchitis and influenza. A medical board two days later recommended further treatment i.e. the hospital stay although on February 29 he was found fit for duty. However, a further hospital stay was necessary between March 23 and March 29 when he was detained until April 7 in an isolation ward at Wivenhoe as a German measles contact. Another medical report at Wivenhoe on March 29 showed that he was still suffering and stated that the origin of the problem had been at Little Bentley, situated eight miles from Colchester, in October 1914 starting with an influenza cold resulting in treatment at a Field Ambulance. One section of his regiment was given sick leave. He returned on January 27 1915 but went sick again with influenza shortly afterwards and was suspected of tubercule of the lung and kept under observation with his sputum repeatedly examined but no TB was present. He was put on light duty for three weeks.

His former occupation was given on the March 29 form as 'farmer'. His weight was recorded as 163 lbs. The examination also stated that 'the physical signs of pulmonary tuberculosis are present' although there was the opinion that the original problem was due to an 'epidemic of influenza in the Regiment at the time'. Again he was returned 'fit for duty' on March 30 and again on April 28.

Henry's regiment stayed in the Essex area until September 1915 when they were given the option to volunteer for Gallipoli as dismounted troops. They left Liverpool for Suvla Bay on September 23. It is clear that Henry did not go with them and conditions there would have put his health at serious risk. Neither did he join them in Egypt in January 1916 or later in Palestine.

On October 30 Henry Ewens became a corporal and was formally discharged on April 10 1916 after six years service (Army Pension records, Ancestry).

GILLARD CYRIL RN

Ordinary Seaman, Royal Navy

Cyril Edwin Gillard was born at Torquay on June 15 1898. In 1901 he was living with his parents at Shiphay, near Torquay, with his parents Edwin, born c1871 at Paignton, a gardener, and Edith, born c1874 at St Marychurch. His older sister, Ivy Dorcas, had been born in 1897.

In 1911 he was at school but the family had since moved to 14, Dorchester Terrace, Bideford, Devon. His father was still a gardener. Edwin's wife was now given as Ellen, born 1871 at Ottery St Mary. This was probably his second wife. There was now another sister - Dorothy Hetta, born 1892 at St Marychurch.

When Cyril Gillard joined up as a boy seaman at Victory I on July 15 1915 his occupation was given as footman. He was only 5 feet 1 inch in height with a 32 ½ inch chest. He had blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion. On June 15 1916 he became an ordinary seaman third class presumably after his 18th birthday. On August 17 1917 he joined HMS Hibernia until September 21 of the same year. HMS Hibernia was one of eight King Edward VII class battleships - pre HMS Dreadnought, the revolutionary battleship launched in 1906, and made obsolete by the new dreadnoughts. Such ships were used in the first part of the war in the Grand Fleet to sail in front of dreadnoughts to protect them from sea mines. Hibernia returned home in 1916 and was refitted and then transferred to the Nore command until October 1917.

On September 22 1917 Cyril Gillard joined HMS Colossus, a dreadnought class battleship built in 1910 and which acted in 1914 as the flagship of the 1st Battle Squadron. The ship later took part in the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Cyril joined after a 1917 refit and was with the ship until 1919. At the end of the war the ship became a training ship.

He served with Victory III from April 1 1920 to April 20 1920, Portsmouth shore base and then HMS Courageous from April 21 1920 to 31 March 1921. Courageous was a light battle cruiser launched in 1916. It is not clear exactly when he left the navy (SR).

Cyril's links with Langford Budville are not known but his pre-navy occupation as a footman and his father's as a gardener might suggest some association with one of the larger houses in the neighbourhood.

GREENSLADE EDWARD RE

Royal Engineers. 1918 and 1919 Absent Voters List - Sapper, 275 Railway Company, Royal Engineers (1918 - 175196; 1919 - WR/256728)

Edward Greenslade was born at Taunton c1893 but his parents are not known. In 1901 he was living with his grandfather, Henry Hayes, at Milverton Heathfield. Henry Hayes, born c1858 at Stogumber was an agricultural labourer, married to Mary, born c1846 at Rowberrow. Henry's son Walter Hayes, born c1885 at Stgumber, a farm stockman, was also living in the household.

Ten years later he was still living with his grandfather Hayes, now a woodman on an estate, probably the Sanford estate, and the latter's wife Mary, married 22 years, at Heathfield, Langford Budville. The Hayes' were married in 1889. Mary nee Bartlett was Henry's second wife; his first wife, Jane, had died in 1886.

We know little about his war service except the brief details on the Absent Voters Lists. 275 Railway Company was raised at Longmoor in Hampshire and embarked for France in August 1916. On the Absent Voters Lists Edward was living at Keeper's Cottage, Langford Budville.

GRIFFIN H.J. Royal Warwicks

Private Harold Griffin. MIC. VM. BM. Nephew of Hubert Braddick. SN - 42511

In 1911 Harry Griffin, born c1901 at Langford Budville, was living with his grandfather, William Vickery Braddick, born c1860 at Thorne St Margaret. The latter's wife was Fanny Elizabeth Braddick, born c1861 at Salisbury, and they had been married for 33 years. Their own three children - Annie, born c1885 at Langford Budville, single and a school teacher; Hubert C, born c1889 at Langford, a clerk; Flora Evelyn, born c1904 at Langford.

His medal award shows that he saw active service some time after January 1 1916. He may have served as an under-age soldier.

HAMILTON-LEIGH CAPTAIN J Queens Own Cameronian Highlanders

Captain James Hamilton Leigh died in 1944 and fortunately a death and funeral report appeared in the Somerset County Gaztte on February 2 of that year:

DEATH OF COL. HAMILTON LEIGH

FORMERLY OF BINDON

NATURALIST AND SPORTSMAN

FUNERAL AT BAGBOROUGH

Colonel James Hamilton Leigh, who died at Shenley, Bagborough, on Sunday, was born on December 31st, 1867, and was the only son of late Mr James Leigh J.P. of the Manor House, Brinnington, Cheshire.

On leaving Repton, although Colonel Hamilton Leigh's own wishes were to enter the Army, his father thought it wiser that he should go into the old family business of T and J Leigh, cotton spinners of Stockport, Cheshire. Soon after his father's death he became chairman and continued in that office until his own death.

MILITARY CAREER

He was able in some degree to satisfy his love for a military career by obtaining a commission in the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, 4th Battalion, T.A., and in the last war applied his great knowledge of musketry in the training of recruits in machine-gun and rifle shooting. After the war he was offered and accepted the rank of honorary colonel of the Royal Corps of Signals, 51st Highland Division.

Previously he bought the estate of Bindon, Langford Budville, where he had a small stud of Arab horses, which were a great joy and interest to him. In 1934 he sold the estate and came to live in Bagborough.

BIG GAME HUNTER

From his boyhood upwards, Colonel Hamilton-Leigh was a great lover of sport and natural history, being a Fellow of the Linnaean and Zoological Societies. But stalking in his beloved Highlands of Scotland was perhaps his chief delight. He also paid many visits to Austria and Hungary, stalking chamois and the big Carpathian red deer. In later years he and his wife had three big game and butterfly collecting expeditions to the Southern Sudan and Kenya.

FAMOUS RIFLE SHOT

Rifle shooting was always one of his chief interests. He was a constant attendant at the Bisley meetings, competing with success in the sporting rifle events. He was a generous benefactor of the National Rifle Association, the Hamilton Leigh Challenge Cup having been given by him, and another T.A event being named after him. He was a vice-president of the NRA.

The ex-Serviceman's welfare was always very near to Colonel Hamilton Leigh's heart and, whilst he could he gave generously to Earl Haig' Fund. He was a life governor of St.Dunstan's and the Royal School for Officers' Daughters at Bath.

He is survived by his wife and his son by his first marriage.

MILITARY FUNERAL

ASHES SCATTERED ON MOUNTAIN

The funeral took place at St.Pancras Church, Bagborough, on Wednesday morning, the officiating clergy being Bishop Cooper and the Rev.S.J.Swainson (vicar of Langford Budville). Cremation followed at Arno's Vale, Bristol.

At Colonel Hamilton Leigh Hamilton's wish his ashes will be scattered on the top of his favourite mountain, in his old Deer Forest of Strontian, Argyllshire.

The funeral was a military one, the coffin being covered by the Union Jack and at Col.Leigh's wish a single sprig of spruce, the Tyrolese symbol of the homecoming of the hunter, was laid on top of it.

The coffin was borne from the church gate into the church by six members of the Bagborough section of the Home Guard, in which Colonel Hamilton served as a sergeant until a year before his death. Mr Tipper, of Bishop's Lydeard, was at the organ. The hynms chosen were'Fight the good fight', 'Hark, hark my soul' and 'Lord of our life and God of our salvation'.

FAMILY AND OTHER MOURNERS

The principal mourners were Mrs Hamilton Leigh (widow) and Lieut.Col. H.H Leigh OBE (son). Others present included Mr R.Hill (the family solicitor), Messrs J.Ford and Dixon (directors of T.and J.Leigh), officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the Home Guard, Mr and Mrs Bowyer, Sister Kite, Mrs Arbuthnot, Major Spence, Miss Batchelor, Mr.Esdaile, Mrs Wimbush, Miss Nesta Boles, Mr Malcolm Crawford, Mr Ernest Kay, Mrs Harold Worrall, Mrs Goode, Mrs Shaw, Mrs Towse, Mr J.House, Mr S.Smith, Mrs G.Board, Mrs E.Simons, Mr Smalldon, Miss Doreen Sealy, and Sergeant Mapstone (representing the Somerset Constabulary).

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs Hatcher and Sons Ltd of High Street, Taunton.

In 1901 he was the head of his household at St Paul's parish, Brinnington Mount, Brinnington, Cheshire, and described as a 'cotton manufacturer' born at Stockport. He was living with his wife Mabel Constance, who he had married in 1891, born c1868 at London and his son Geoffrey H, born c1892 at Stockport. Edith A Jennings, single,aged 31, London born, was a visitor. There were three servants - a cook, a parlourmaid and a housemaid.

By 1911 he had moved to Matchams Park, Ringwood, Hampshire and was described as 'living on private means'. There were two visitors at the time of the census - Jean William Campbell Brown, single, born c1867 at Fort William, Inverness, living on private means, and Margaret Campbell Brown, single, also born c1867 in Argyll. There were four servants - Gertrude Annie Ivy Taylor, single, born c1884 in London, housemaid; Annie Pickering, single, born 1893 in London, also an housemaid; Margaret Baxter, single, born c1891 at Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, kitchenmaid; and Karl Heppler, single, born in Germany, a footman.

There was also a London house where his wife, Mabel Constance Leigh, was head of household in 1911. She was described as living on 'private means' at 25, Coleherne Court, Earls Court, London (Kensington). Also in the house was her sister, Edith Agnes Jennings, single,born c1870 at Richmond, Surrey, and two servants - Maggie Jones, single, born c1886 at Llanllygni, North Wales, a cook, and Maria Quemby, single, born c1867 at London, a housemaid.

In the same year their son, Geoffrey Hamilton Leigh, was a boarder, aged 19, and army student, born Stockport, at 69, High Street, St Peter, Oxford. The head of the household was Walter Edward Andrews, 54, a china and glass dealer, born Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire with his wife, Mary, married 34 years, aged 60, born Walworth Road, London and son, Horace Charles, 27, single, organist, born Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

At some point either before the war or during the war James Hamilton Leigh gained a commission in the 4th Battalion, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, a territorial unit. During the war he probably served in either the 2/4th or 3/4th battalion as the 1/4th served at the front. As the Gazette report indicates "in the last war (he) applied his great knowledge of musketry in the training of recruits in machine gun and rifle shooting". After the war he became an honorary Colonel in the Royal Corps of Signals, then part of the 51st Highland Division. There is no clue as to the origin of his deep-seated Scottish Highlands interest.

In 1915 Captain James Hamilton Leigh purchased the Bindon estate to establish his connection with the village. In 1935 he sold the estate in several lots. A history of Bindon House suggests that post-war his investments lost their value and he eventually retired to a small cottage in Bagborough in the mid-1930s.


Bindon House, Langford Budville, now a hotel

It is not clear what happened to the 'Colonel's' first wife, Mabel, and perhaps they had separated by1911 as the census of that year might suggest. On December 1 1925 the Times reported on a forthcoming marriage " to take place quickly at Lincoln during December between Colonel J Hamilton Leigh of Bindon House, Wellington, Somerset, Hon. Col. Royal Corps of Signals, Highland Division, TA, only son of late James Leigh, JP for county of Chester of Brinnington, Stockport and Muriel, elder daughter of late Mr Henry Geary Dyer, MD, of Ringwood and Mrs Dyer of Highwood, Ringwood.

The Times on June 29 1934 gave preliminary notice of the sale by auction, by order of Col J Hamilton Leigh, of Bindon House Estate, Langford Budville, near Wellington, Somerset. 'with a fine suite of reception rooms, nine principal bedrooms, servants rooms and four bathrooms having all modern conveniences installed'. The estate also included a cottage and 10 acres; Bindon Farm - farmhouse, buildings, cottage and c96 acres; an attractive small residence or pleasure farm and stabling, garages and c17 acres; The Lodge, modern residence and garden; two cottages and one bungalow; and orcharding, pasture and arable. Total 139 acres.  At the Castle Hotel, Taunton. July 28 1934.


He had aleady put his family armour and weapons up for sale.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 17TH

ARMOUR AND WEAPONS

Comprising fine Scottish Broadswords and Pistols:
Highland Targe and Bagpipes from the Battle of Culloden:
a very rare Lochaber Axe: Firearms, Powder Flasks,
Swords and Rapiers. Defensive armour etc: the
property of Colonel J.Hamilton Leigh, Bindon House,
Langford Budville, Taunton. Also Oriental and
Native Weapons: a Sporting Gun by Caron of Paris etc:
comprising the property of the late General Sir
Robert Walpole KCB and the late George
Oakley Fisher Esq. Illustrated catalogues (three plates), 1s

Times - June 19 1934. The sale was at Sothebys,
New Bond Street, London

There was perhaps a lack of interest in the purchase because on July 12 1934 the estate was now for sale as a whole or in nine plots. The sale was reported on August 10 1935.

The WWN also reported his death on Wednesday February 2 1944 as 'late of Bindon House at Shenley Cottage, Bagborough on Sunday last'. A later newspaper report indicated that he left £63,500 net in his will. This meant £1.64 million in 2010 terms.

HARRIS CPL W SLI

3/4th Somerset Light Infantry. No MIC. Absent Voters List 1919.

Like others finding details about W Harris proved elusive. One clue might be KD in 1902 when a Thomas Harris was a gardener to H.H Worthington Esq, of Bindon. He was serving in August 1916 because the WWN Langford Budville Roll of Honour that month lists him in the 3/4th Territorial battalion.

On the 1901 census Thomas Harris was the head gardener at Bindon, born c1860 at Monmouth and living at Langford Budville with his wife Rhoda, also born c1860 at Chepstow. The four children were - Susannah, born c1887 at Wilmslow, Cheshire; Constance, born c1891born the same place; Tom, born c1894 at Sale, Cheshire; and Mary, born c1897 at Feniton, Devon.

No MIC has been found for him and the third line Territorial battalion did not see overseas service but were based at home at different times at Hursley Park, Winchester, Bournemouth, Sutton Veny, Larkhill and Oswestry. On the 1919 Absent Voters List his home was given as Butts Cottage; unfortunately no regiment was given.

HAWKINS F Labour Corps.

Absent Voters List 1918 (189195) - Private 304th Labour Company.

Also an enigmatic figure. He may have been related to Ruth Anne Hawkins who was a single woman living at Langford Budville in 1901 and 1911. She was born c1875 at Devizes and lived with Joseph Winter, her step-father, born c1818 at Bishops Lydeard - in 1901 a farm carrier and in 1911 an old age pensioner. Ruth was a burler in a woollen factory. On the Absent Voters List his home was given as Sandy Lane Cottage, Runnington.

HAYES SAPPER J RE

Sapper James Hayes, 258 Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers, SN - 158449 and Labour Corps, SN - 432199. MIC. VM. BM. Brother of Thomas Hayes. Uncle of Edward Greenslade.

James Hayes was born at Stogumber, Somerset, on December 6 1882, the son of Henry and Jane Hayes. Henry, 1858-1923, was an agricultural labourer at that time, also born Stogumber. Jane, 1853-1886, was also born there. James was one of seven children.

In 1891 James was living at Preston Bowyer with his father and new stepmother,Mary, his mother having died in 1886.

In 1901 James Hayes was at Langley Marsh and was a live in farm yardman in the household of Frederick Arscott, farmer and butcher, born c1845. Also there were Frederick's sister, Mary, and brother, Thomas. There was one female servant. At some time after 1901 and before 1905 James worked in pits on the South Wales Coalfield with his brothers, Thomas and Albert, before returning to Somerset.

On November 13 1909 he married Mary Ann Greedy (1883-1955) at Wiveliscombe. She had taken over as the servant at the butcher's. At that time he was the greenkeeper on the newly established golf course at Langford Heathfield. After his marriage they lived at the Hare and Hounds pub situated at the main gates of the drive to Bindon House. On the 1911 census, however, he was living at Bindon Lodge with his wife and first child, Vera, born at Langford in 1910. He was still a 'caretaker on golf links'. Eight more children were to follow - Irene,1911, Ernest, 1913, Albert, 1915, Ruth, 1919, Grace, 1920, Joseph, 1921, Eunice, 1923, and Christine, 1925.

James Hayes probably joined the army in 1916 as a result of registration for the Derby scheme as a married man. His later medal entitlement of a Victory and a War medal shows that he saw active service at some date after January 1 1916. By June 14 1916 he was listed in the Wellington Weekly News under the 'Langford Budville Roll of Honour'. He was a sapper in a Tunnelling Company of the Royal Engineers and direct recruitment into this unit was doubtless due to his earlier experience of mining in South Wales. Another published list on March 21 1917 confirms the earlier details.

Research based on his RE service number, 158449, suggests he joined the 258th Tunnelling Company. It is likely that Sapper Hayes was one of 61 officers, NCOs and men who left Rouen, where the Company was formed on April 14 1916, for the front on May 1. This conclusion is reached because other members were soon drafted in from infantry battalions. On May 18 the Company took over mine work at Hill 70 and the Chalk Pit, near Loos, north of Lens, France, where they remained until November. During that time Sapper Hayes would have been involved in any of the normal work of a tunnelling company which included…..

Digging shafts and galleries

Ensuring pumping of air underground

Moving ammonal explosive to blow up German tunnels with camouflets close to their own.

Working at listening posts for German counter-mining activity.

Clearing up German damage to their own mining

Repair of damaged inclines

During this period the Company blew eight separate charges and the Germans countered with eleven. The British ones varied in intensity but one used as much as 6000 lbs of ammonal. A constant hazard in this sector was gas from mine work which may account for Sapper Hayes returning home in 1917 and then being transferred to the Labour Corps. Family information suggests that he suffered from the effects of gas for the rest of his life.


Sapper Jimmy Hayes,
258 Tunnelling Company, RE


Sapper Hayes and probably men of 258 Tunnelling Company

In November 1916 258 Company was moved to the Somme and arrived at Albert on November 11. The major battle of that year was almost over. The four sections were now attached to different Australian Divisions and were based at advanced camps in the area around Bazentin-Le-Grand, Longueval, Delville Wood and Waterlot Farm with HQ at Albert. They carried out a variety of tasks - dugout construction using timber, props and steel girders, making tunnels under a road, deepening a well and working on a divisional HQ dugout at Bazentin House. They were behind the lines but still occasionally faced shell-fire. In the week ending February 8 the Company dug 27000 cubic feet.

In late February 1917 the Germans moved back to the Hindenburg Line and the Company pushed forward behind the new Allied front line, initially north of Bapaume, the base for the new HQ. Some of the work at this time included repairs to wells and dugouts and removal of explosive.

By mid-April the forward sections were around Vaulx, Beugny, Delsaux Farm, Vraucourt and Noreuil, north-east of Bapaume. They were still working with Australians, particularly 2nd Division, but also the 11th British Division including making deep dugouts along the divisional fronts.

In early May half the Company assisted with preparations for the Bullecourt attack as part of the Battle of Arras. Part of the Company also tunnelled a defensive system of galleries in part of the captured Hindenburg Line at Hermies, which broke into the catacombs of the church there. By mid-May the sections were working in the Lagnicourt, Morchies, Beaumetz and Hermies area. In late May the connection with the Australians ended. One section moved up to Havrincourt Wood on July 9.

At some point in spring/summer 1917 Sapper Hayes left the Company and returned home, possibly suffering from gas exposure at Hill 70. There is a postcard handed down from that time that shows the half-timbered Rous Lench Court at Rous Lench, Worcestershire. This is north of Evesham. It has a caption 'Rous Lench 80' and a cross over a window in an upper floor. A handwritten message on the back but unsigned says "This is my bedroom where I've put the cross isn't it lovely". The Reverend William Kyle Westwood Chafy died at Chafecote in Rous Lench on July 16 1916, aged 75. He was the major landowner and squire and also rector until 1903. The Evesham Journal of November 4 1916 gave details of the Reverend's will - to the value of £5948 pounds (about quarter of a million today). The main beneficiary was his eldest son - Hugh Edmund Chafy born 1876 and married to Henrietta in 1903. Hugh's 1916 address was Braynes, Wiveliscombe, Somerset. This house is now divided into two - East and West Braynes - and is very close to St Andrew's Church. This address is too much of a coincidence. Jimmy Hayes or his wife could easily have come across Hugh Chafy via their work. Hugh could have been a golfer at Langford Heathfield and Jimmy and his wife had both worked at Wiveliscombe in the past. It is possible that Jimmy returned from 258/Tunnelling Coy but suffering in some way was sent to Rous Lench Court for some kind of privately sponsored convalescence as there is no evidence that the Court was associated with the Red Cross or the VAD.


Rous Lench Court from a wartime photograph.

Between October 1917 and January 1918 Jimmy Hayes joined the Labour Corps as suggested by his new service number - 432199.

There is a photograph which shows him doing timber work on Langford Common supposedly in 1917 with his wife, Mary Ann, and their children Vera, Irene, Ernest and Albert.

Left - Victory Medal and right, British War Medal of James Hayes

After the war James Hayes returned to Langford Budville and five more children were born. He died at Higher Ritherdons on February 24 1931, aged only 48, possibly as a result of exposure to gas at Hill 70. At that time he was described as a 'gardener'.

HAYES TOM Northumberland Fusiliers

Private Thomas Hayes, 1st and 2nd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. SN - 949. Brother of James Hayes. Uncle of Edward Greenslade. MIC. VM. BM. 1914/15 Star. Silver War Badge, 1915.

Thomas Hayes was born in Stogumber in 1886, the son of Henry and Jane Hayes. Henry, 1858-1923, was an agricultural labourer at that time, also born Stogumber. Jane, 1853-1886, was also born there. Thomas was one of seven children.

In 1891 he was living with his brother, Albert, born c1883 at Stogumber, at Crowcombe in the household of his grandfather, George Hayes, born c1836 at Lydeard St Lawrence, a farm servant, and his grandmother, Jane, born c1834 at Stogumber, also a farm servant. They had two daughters of their own in the house - Sarah, 24, born Lydeard St Lawrence and Ellen, 17, born Crowcombe, both domestic servants. This arrangement for Thomas might have been as a consequence of his father's second marriage in 1889.

Ten years later he was still at Crowcombe with his grandparents but now without his brother and their daughters. A male and a female boarder made up the rest of the household.


Albert and Thomas Hayes, brothers. Note the injured right hand of Thomas on the left as a result of his war wound.

It is not clear when Thomas Hayes came to live in the Langford area but was at Chipley Saw Mills when his son was born in April 1918. On February 22 1905, aged 19, he had joined the Northumberland Fusiliers. Six years later he was a private in the 1st Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers which was then based at WestRidge barracks, Rawlpindi, then in British India, and a base for the Northwest Frontier. At the end of the war his medal card (service number 949) shows an entitlement to the 1914/1915 Star and an entry into the theatre of war as January 16 1915. This date suggests that he was now in the 2nd Battalion of the same regiment who had returned to England from India in December 1914 and were rushed to France in 84 Brigade, 28th Division, in the New Year 1915. He is likely to have seen action at Second Ypres (April 1915) before his war ended after only a few months. He became entitled to a Silver War Badge when he was discharged from the army on July 15 1915 as a gunshot wound to his right hand had rendered him 'permanently physically unfit'. By wearing it a man not in uniform could show that he had 'done his bit'. A photograph of Thomas when an old man appears to show that he was missing fingers from his right hand.


The Silver War Badge

After leaving the army he became a porter at the Wellington Union workhouse where his wife, Alice, was a cook.


Location of Wellington workhouse, 1904

At some point Thomas Hayes had taken part charge of the Chipley Saw Mills as part of the Nynehead estate of the Sanford family. In August 1920 a tragic accident occurred when his son,only 16 months old, was drowned there. The son, 'Billy', had been born on April 8 1918. The other son mentioned died of convulsions when 18 months old. Two other children survived - Arthur William and Louise, better known as 'Louie'.

HINE ARTHUR Worcester Regt

Private Arthur Hine, 10/Worcesters. MIC. SN - 34744. VM. BM. Killed in action on July 7 1917 and is commemorated on Panel 34 of the Menin Gate,Ypres, Belgium.


Plaque on the Menin Gate commemorating the fallen of the
Ypres
Salient with no known graves

In 1901 Arthur H Hine, born c1881 at Wellington, was living with his uncle Henry Wide, born c1862 at Burlescombe, a railway plate layer, at Brislington, near Keynsham and his aunt, Sarah, born c1869 at Runnington. Arthur was a fireman on the railway. Also in the household were the three Wide children - Florence, born c1892 at Wellington, Mabel born c1893 at Bristol and Walter born c1895 at Wellington.

By 1911 he was married to Mabel, born c1884 at Wellington, and living at 35, Gas Street, Wellington. Arthur was now a gardener. The marriage took place c1909. Also in the household was Mabel's grandfather, James Trickery, aged 81, an old age pensioner also born in Wellington.

He enlisted at Wellington some time after January 1 1916 and the CWGC named his parents as Rebecca and the late John Hine. When he died Arthur's wife was living at 35, Bovet St, Wellington. The 10/Worcesters, a New Army battalion, had been in France since July 1915. He probably died during the routine of trench warfare in the lull between the Battle of Messines June 1917 and the opening of the 3rd Battle of Ypres, July 31 1917 - the 10/Worcesters were involved in both.

The WWN on August 15 1917 carried a poorly produced photograph of the fallen soldier.

JACK JAMES SLI

Private, Somerset Light Infantry. MIC. SN - 241800. VM. BM.

Apart from a MIC no further information on James Jack can be found.

JONES CPL E.R Army Service Corps

Wheeler Ernest Richard Jones, 232 Company, Army Service Corps. 1918 Absent Voters list, Taunton constituency - wheelwright, 7612, No 1 Company, 40th Division Train, ASC. Brother of Frederick Jones

Ernest Jones was born at Kittisford c1892 and in 1901 was living at Charles Cottage, Kittisford with his parents, George Jones, born c1856 at Stapleton, Gloucestershire, a farm carter, and Alice Maria Jones, born c1858 at Angersleigh, Somerset. Ernest had five brothers and sisters - William John, born c1880 at Stapleton, Gloucestershire, agricultural labourer; Gilbert, born c1884 at Kittisford, a farm carter; Frederick, born c1887 at Kittisford, a gardener; Olive born c1889 at Kittisford; and Ivy Blanche,born c1896 at Kittisford. Stapleton was a north-east suburb of Bristol. Angersleigh was in the Blackdown Hills, four miles southwest of Taunton.

In 1911 Ernest was living with his married older brother, Gilbert, at Woods Cottage, Langford Budville. Ernest was now described as an 'estate carpenter'. His brother was a farm waggoner and his brother's wife Annie was born c1885 at Langford Budville. Their son, Raymond, was just one month old at the time of the census.

It cannot be ascertained whether Ernest saw overseas service as there are too many men named Ernest Jones who served in the ASC. He was in the ASC by August 9 1916 as he features in the WWN listing of the Langford Budville Roll of Honour. His job as a 'wheeler' was a logical extension of his occupation of 1911.

On May 15 1935 the WWN noted that "Mr Ernest Jones of Langford Budville made the memorial seat of moulded concrete which has been erected to commemorate the Silver Jubilee".

JONES DRIVER F.A. RFA

Driver Frederick Archibald Jones, Royal Field Artillery. MIC. SN - 132686. VM.BM. Absent Voters List 1918 - Driver 80 Brigade S.A.S, RFA. Brother of Ernest Jones.

Frederick Jones was born c1887 at Kittisford and in 1901 was living at Charles Cottage, Kittisford with his parents George Jones, born c1856 at Stapleton, Gloucestershire, a farm carter, and Alice Maria Jones, born c1858 at Angersleigh, Somerset. Frederick had five brothers and sisters - William John, born c1880 at Stapleton, Gloucestershire, agricultural labourer; Gilbert, born c1884 at Kittisford, a farm carter; Olive born c1889 at Kittisford; Ernest bornc1892 at Kittisford; and Ivy Blanche, born c1896 at Kittisford. Stapleton was a north-east suburb of Bristol. In 1911 George's birthplace was given as Fishponds. Angersleigh was in the Blackdown Hills, four miles southwest of Taunton. Frederick was a gardener in 1901.

Ten years later Frederick Jones had become a 'green keeper on golf links' and was living with his parents at Poleshill. His brother William John, still a farm labourer, and sister Ivy Blanche were still living with the family.

Frederick was examined for the army at Wellington on November 23 1915 when he was 29 years 1 month old. He had been employed as a gardener. He was 5 feet 5 ½ inches in height with a chest measurement of nearly 38 inches. He weighed 130 lbs and his physical development was described as 'very good'. His next of kin was his father, George, still at Poleshill. His address was given in army records as 'Woolwich', Langford Budville.

He appears to have joined the RFA on February 29 1916 at the 2/2 Wessex RFA Depot and went to an Artillery Training School. On April 1 1916 he was posted as a driver to the 2/4 South Midland Field Artillery (Howitzer) Brigade.

In June 1916 he received a reprimand for overstaying his leave without permission from 11 p.m. on June 14 to 7.30 p.m. on June 15, a total of nearly 21 hours. Bombardier Hodgson was a witness to his indiscretion.

On October 19 1916 Driver Jones was posted to Salonika to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. Details of his service in Salonika are not clear but presumably he still worked with horses as a driver pulling either the howitzers or ammunition wagons or both. There is a reference in his partly burnt file to 'pack transport'. This was an active front against the Bulgarian Army around Lake Doiran. At some stage Frederick Jones contracted malaria and found himself in the 4th London General Hospital. Malaria eventually caused his discharge on April 3 1919 with a 20% disablement. He received a conditional pension as a consequence of eight shillings a week which began on October 22 1919 and was to be reviewed after 42 weeks (SR).

In 1918 the Absent Voters List gave his residence as somewhere in the 'Village'.

KEATES EDWARD SLI

Private Edward Keates, 12th (West Somerset Yeomanry) Somerset Light Infantry. MIC. SN - 20789. VM. BM. Killed in action on September 2 1918. Buried in Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, France. Absent Voters List 1918 - Private, 12/SLI. Brother of John W Keates.

Edward Keates was born c1894 at Langford Budville and in 1901 was living at Stroudhayes, Langford Budville, with his parents, Edwin, born c1846 at Fivehead, a farm carter, and Julia Anna, born c1849 at North Curry. Edward had two brothers and three step-brothers - Amos Keates, born c1883 at Curry Mallet, a footman; John Keates, born c1884 at Curry Mallet, a farm carter. The step-brothers were - William Burgess, born c1883, a mason; Frank Burgess, born c1886, a wool picker; and Harry Burgess, born c1887; all at born Thornfalcon. On his CWGC entry Edward's parents were still living at 'Stitchay Cottage', Langford Budville.

To complicate matters further the WWN referred to 'Stitchley Cottage' in his death notice on October 23 1918.

Edward enlisted at Wellington at some date after January 1 1916.

His battalion had originally been the West Somerset Yeomanry. On January 4 1917 they became the 12th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry at Ismailia, Egypt, as part of 229 Brigade, 74th (Yeomanry) Division. On April 30 1918 they embarked at Alexandria and arrived at Marseilles on May 7. They then took part in training for Western Front conditions and in mid-July went into the front line at Merville. As part of the 'Hundred Days' final offensive of the war Bapaume was captured on August 29 and Peronne on September 1. Edward Keates was probably killed in operations around Peronne on September 2.

KEATES J.W SLI

Private, then Lance Corporal, John W Keates, 1/Somerset Light Infantry. MIC. SN - 8058. VM. BM. 1914 Star. Brother of Edward Keates.

John Keates was born c1884 at Curry Mallet, Somerset, and in 1901, was a farm carter living at Stroudhayes, Langford Budville, with his parents, Edwin, born c1846 at Fivehead, a farm carter, and Julia Anna, born c1849 at North Curry. John had two brothers and three step-brothers - Amos Keates, born c1883 at Curry Mallet, a footman; Edward Keates, born c1894 at Langford Budville. The step-brothers were - William Burgess, born c1883, a mason; Frank Burgess, born c1886, a wool picker; and Harry Burgess, born c1887; all at born Thornfalcon. On his his brother's CWGC entry in 1918 John's parents were still living at 'Stitchay Cottage', Langford Budville. To complicate matters further the WWN referred to 'Stitchley Cottage' in Edward's death notice on October 23 1918.

In 1911 John Keates was recorded as a visitor and soldier living at Chorleys, a farm, at Whitefield, near Langley Marsh, Somerset. The head of the household was Charles Baker, born c1864 at Culmstock, Devon, a farm carter. Baker was living with his wife of 19 years, Louisa, also born Culmstock c1874, two sons and two daughters. The three youngest children had been born at Burlescombe. There was also a female lodger aged 23.

It is unfortunate that we have little information on John's army career. His MIC states that he entered the theatre of war on August 21 1914 as part of 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. This confirms that he was a pre-war regular soldier. It is not clear where the battalion was stationed before the war but it was likely to have been at home as the 2nd Battalion was in India in 1914. In 1911 the 1st Battalion was sent to South Wales during the major miner's strike of that year.


Somerset Light Infantry trenches in
Ploegsteert Wood December 1914

John's battalion was part of the original British Expeditionary Force sent to France at the start of the First World War to fight alongside the French Army to try to stop the German advance towards Paris. He was an 'Old Contemptible'. They landed at Le Havre on August 22 and were part of 11th Brigade of 4th Division which fought early actions at Le Cateau, the Marne and the Aisne. At Christmas 1914 they were in trenches at Ploegsteert Wood and took part in the famous truce. The battalion remained on the Western Front throughout the war and took part in 2nd Ypres, 1915, the Somme, Arras and Third Ypres, 1917 and the Battle of the Hundred Days, 1918.

For more context on John Keates service in 1914 read 'Good Old Somersets. An 'Old Contemptible Battalion in 1914' by Brian Gillard (2004).


Somerset Light Infantry banner,
St George's Church, Ypres

KNIGHT CAPTAIN ANTHONY MVO, 1/5 Norfolk Regt.

MIC - VM, BM, 1915 Star. MIC shows his rank as Major.

Captain Anthony Knight was at Wellisford Manor in 1923 according to KD. He was born on August 31 1887 at Castle Rising, Norfolk, just over four miles north east of Kings Lynn. His father, Fernley, a farmer, was also born there in 1855; his mother was Mabel, also Norfolk born at Quarles, near Holkham. They were married in 1883. In 1891 the family was living at 'The Lodge', Castle Rising; there were two older siblings, Fernley junior, 6, and Muriel, 5. They were prosperous as there were three servants in the household. In 1901 Anthony was away at school at the time of the census - at a boys boarding school called Cloford House at Kirkley, Suffolk. He was one of 36 boys. He joined the army at the age of about 19 and served for just over 11 years. From June 30 1906 to March 21 1908 he was a Second Lieutenant in the 3rd Volunteer Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment based at East Dereham. The battalion had served in South Africa from 1900-1902. Such volunteer battalions were merged into the new Territorial Force in 1908.

In 1907 he passed 'school' at Chelsea Barracks and in 1908 he passed out at the School of Musketry at Hythe. He then switched to the 1/5th Battalion (Territorial) and from October 2 1908 was promoted to Lieutenant. In 1912 he was attached to the 1st Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment for two short spells as part of 1st Guards Brigade; firstly for field training at Aldershot for six weeks in February and March and then for army manoevres in East Anglia for over two weeks in September. He continued to serve and on November 11 1914 became a Captain.

From July 1913 to August 12 1915 he was an Instructor of Musketry for his battalion. When war broke out he also took on the role of assistant adjutant which ended on April 20 1915. In July 1915 he went overseas with his battalion to Gallipoli and was wounded in operations at Suvla Bay in August 1915. He had a gunshot wound in his left foot. He was back in England on September 5 and by December 1915 he was sufficiently fit for light duties and became an instructor at the Young Officers' School at Felixstowe which lasted until February 1916. He was then attached to the headquarters staff of the Harwich garrison until June 1916 as Assistant Intelligence officer and Assistant Provost Marshall.

He became adjutant of the 3/4th Reserve Battalion of the regiment for two months from June 26 1916 at Halton Camp, Tring. His service record shows that in October that year he was in Egypt possibly as an acting major and also passed a staff course there. He had embarked on the H.T Aragon from Devonport on October 8 1916 reaching Alexandria twelve days later. He then joined his battalion in Egypt. He was there some time and on September 27 1917 left Alexandria for three weeks leave in the UK. Earlier that month he began to suffer boils scattered on his chest, arms and leg as a result of climatic conditions. His first medical board was at the Britannia Barracks, Norwich, on November 21 1917. He then came before another medical board at Norwich on January 23 1918 which noted that the boils had healed and that he was now fit for general service and should rejoin his reserve unit at Crowborough. His home address at this time was given as West Newton, Sandringham, Norfolk. He is also recorded there on the 1911 census when his occupation had been given as a farmer.

A document in his officer's file dated March 20 1918 states that "Captain Knight is in occupation of a farm at West Newton, 1321 acres in extent - 500 acres are arable land and carries a good head of cattle etc. Since he joined the army Captain Knight's father has managed the farm but….is not able to do so". He was granted leave for six months from January 23 1918 which was then extended to September 15 because of the harvest.

However, his medical condition had not disappeared. He appeared before another board at Wandsworth on September 24 1918 the record of which appears to show that he had been in the 3rd London General Hospital and had suffered from the boils for six months. He was admitted to hospital from 'special agricultural leave'. He became tired very easily. The board recommended home service only as his father was seriously ill. Knight's degree of disablement was stated as 50%. In May 1919 he was listed as a member of the Territorial Force Reserve. His father died on October 2 1923 at Melchbourne, Bedfordshire although his home was still at Castle Rising. Anthony was a joint beneficiary of his father's will proved at £308000 by 2010 values and was described as an estate agent at that time.

He had been awarded the MVO - Member of the Royal Victorian Order started in 1896 and given for distinguished service to the sovereign. One can only speculate whether there was any connection to the Sandringham estate.

PARNELL G.H. MM Wiltshire Regt

Private George Henry Parnell, 6/Wiltshire Regiment. Military Medal. MIC. SN - 35827. VM. BM. Absent Voters List 1919 - Private 3/Wiltshire Regiment.

George Henry Parnell was born in 1900 at Langford Budville and in 1901 was living at Middle Chipley Farm with his parents, George Lidstone Parnell, farmer, born c1863 at Langford Budville and Maria Parnell, born c1865 at Fitzhead. Mary Webber was a visitor, born c1871 at Tiverton, Devon and Julia Stoate was a domestic servant, born c1881 at Milverton.

His father is listed as a farmer there in KDs between 1902 and 1923.; in 1914 he was also an assistant overseer of the poor. On July 1 that year he loaned a field for a Gospel Hall Sunday School treat.

The WWN of September 25 1918 reported the award of a Military Medal in France to Private Parnell but also stated that he was 'now in hospital at Warwick recovering from wounds'. He had been a bank clerk at Weston-super-Mare before he joined the 6/Wilts, a service battalion. which, according to his medals award, was some time after January 1 1916. The MM award appeared in the London Gazette on September 13 that year. It is likely that he saw action at Messines and Third Ypres, 1917 and the German offensive of spring 1918 with the battalion in 58 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. As a consequence of the latter events the battalion was reduced to cadre strength and its troops were sent to the 2/Wilts. George's home was given as Middle Chipley on the 1919 Absent Voters List.


Middle Chipley Farm - home of the Parnells

His father farmed at Middle Chipley until he moved to Sampford Peverill where he died on February 25 1944, aged 81. George Henry was listed as the first mourner followed by his two sisters.

Example of a Medal Index Card - George Henry Parnell

Military Medal for Pte Parnell, London Gazette, September 13 1918

PARSONS DRIVER H.J RE

Driver Parsons, Royal Engineers

There little information about this man. In KD for 1914 there was a James Parsons, farmer, at Langford Budville.

PATON MAJOR Donald Robertson, Manchester Regt

Duncan Robertson Paton was born at Liverpool on July 8 1872 according to the Army List of 1916 although the 1911 census would suggest 1877. A record of service dated 1905 in his officer's file states that he was born at Edinburgh. It also noted that he was 6 feet in height.

In 1881 Duncan was living with his parents at 3, Hartington Road, Toxteth Park, Liverpool. They were George Paton, born c1834 in Scotland, a sailmaker, and Catherine, born c1837, also in Scotland. There were four other children - Catherine, born c1860, George born c1862, a sailmaker, Roderick, born c1872, at school and William born c1873; all born at Liverpool.

George Paton appears to have prospered as a sailmaker because in 1891 he was a 'managing sailmaker' at the same address although, oddly, both his own and his supposed wife's place of birth are given as Liverpool. Mistakes appear to have been made with their ages at that time. Also odd is the crossing out of Catherine's status as wife and the word 'sister' inserted. Roderick is now George's brother instead of son which also does not make sense. He was now an apprentice cotton broker. William and Duncan are still with the family although wrongly described as brothers of George. William was an apprentice engineer and Duncan R an apprentice clerk. The increased prosperity also resulted in the employment of one general servant, Martha Griffiths.

On December 1 1902 Donald Paton married Susie Mary Flint at Folkestone although they went to live at 'Oakwood' in Eccles Old Road, Manchester. His wife was born in 1870. A daughter, Joy, was born in December 1903.

Paton was first commissioned into the Manchester Regiment from the militia as a second Lieutenant on September 9 1893 and retired on May 5 1912 as a major. In 1895 he gained an officer's certificate in musketry and in 1903 an instructor's certificate in signalling. In 1905 it was noted that he could speak French and German.He became a full lieutenant on May 17 1896 and a captain on July 26 1899.

It is clear that he was stationed in India in 1894 because his officer's file shows a medical report at Dinapore dated February 16 1896 indicating that he was suffering from severe colic which gave severe pains lasting several minutes. He had arrived at Dinapore on January 1 1894 and had also previously spent four periods in hospital with 'ague' and 'rheumatism'. He was 'weak, anaemic and debilitated' in 1896 and was recommended for a change of climate in England for six months.

On November 4 1902 he became a captain and by 1907 was also adjutant of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion which was abolished the following year to become the 9th Battalion of the new Territorial Force. He had served as assistant adjutant in 1898-9. On the eve of the war in June 1914 he was on retired pay (Army List). He could not be found on the 1901 census which suggests that he was taking part in the Boer War where the six Volunteer battalions of the Manchester Regiment fought with the 1st and 2nd regular units. His officer's file confirms that he was in South Africa from 1899-1902. He took part in operations in Natal, Elandslaagte and Bergaudal; he was wounded by a bullet in the right thigh at Elauslaagte, near Ladysmith, on October 21 1899 in a successful operation against Boer commandos. British operations were conducted by Major-General French assisted by his chief staff officer, Major Douglas Haig. He was hospitalised until December 1899. For a year from June 1 1901 he acted as Assistant Provost Marshall in Colonel Parkes column. The 1907 Army List seems to suggest that he was first appointed a captain on July 26 1899 which might have been as a regular and therefore served in South Africa in that capacity and that his appointment as a captain in 1902 was to the 2nd Volunteer Battalion.

On January 11 1912 he was a major and still involved with medical boards because of 'dilatation of the heart' dating from when he was taken ill whilst on army manoevres on Salisbury Plain in 1908. This was triggered by dragging a gun up a hill at Beacon Hill. This condition continued until March 1911 when he was invalided out of the army. He was then transferred to the half pay list in 1912.

It is not clear how he contributed to the Great War as there is no Medal card. However, his service file at the National Archives consists of about 116 pages which is helpful. He returned to service from August 1914 to November 1916 although it is not totally clear what he did. In October 1914 he broke down again but came back in February 1915. His ill health finally ended his army career in 1916. According to a memo dated August 27 1915 he gave up the temporary rank of Lieutenant Colonel 'on ceasing to command a depot' of the Manchester Regiment. A medical board on October 4 1916 described him as a major 'Corps staff' and only fit for home service or light duties. He was not fit because of strain and overwork whilst Assistant Inspector of Recruiting, Southern Command. When Major Paton appeared before an army medical pensions board at Taunton on October 11 1920 his general condition was described as 'thin and worn looking'. His disablement was set at 30%.

What was his link to Langford Budville? The first clue comes from the WWN on August 7 1918 when an entertainment in the grounds of Chipley Park was mentioned in aid of the Somerset POW fund and the Blue Cross fund for horses (founded 1897 as Our Dumb Friends League). It was the home of Major Paton who probably leased the house from the Sanford family. This event was arranged by Miss Luxton, the Vicar's sister, and there were performers from Langford Budville village including songs and a pageant. Miss Gladys Brewer came as 'Rosemary'.

The same newspaper on October 5 1921 revealed that Major Paton was President of the Langford Working Men's Club at its annual general meeting. On January 31 1923 it was reported that he had had a hunting accident. In the WWN on October 1 1924 Major Paton's departure from  the district was reported.

He continued to receive retired pay which fluctuated between £213 and £240 per annum between 1922 and 1931. In August 1933 his address was Wootton House, Butleigh, Glastonbury. He was medically examined in September that year and still had his heart condition. The report stated "Leads a very restricted life and avoids making excessive physical efforts. The only exercise he can take is easy walking. Originally strain on manoevres, aggravated by service during the late war".

His widow, Mrs G.M Paton, was still living there in 1947 when she reported the death of her husband to the authorities - December 28 1946. She applied for a widow's pension but was turned down because her gross income was £2230 per annum (£58000 by 2010 values).

PERRY GUNNER H RFA

Gunner Harry Perry, Royal Field Artillery. MIC. VM. BM. SN - 132903 and 944527. Absent Voters List 1918 - D Battery, 147th Artillery Brigade, RFA.

Harry Perry was born c1888 at Langford Budville and in 1901 was living with his parents in Langford village. His father, Jonathan C Perry, born c1857 at Langford Budville was a dyer in a woollen factory and his mother, Sarah, born c1852 was born at Holywell Lake. Harry had already left school and was a domestic servant. He had four brothers and sisters in 1901 - Robert, born c1879, a miller in a woollen factory; Walter, born 1881,a dyer in a woollen factory; Mary born c1891 and Ella, born c1893; all born Langford Budville. His father was also the caretaker of the Working Men's Reading Room in 1914 (KD).

Harry attested on November 29 1915 and was placed on the Army Reserve. He first joined for duty on March 8 1916 at Winchester where he joined No 7 (TF) Artillery Training School of 2/2nd Wessex, RFA. He was then 28 years and 7 months in age. He had been a packer before joining probably at Fox's of Tonedale. He was 5 feet 7 ½ inches in height with a chest measurement of 36 ½ inches. His medical category was A. His father was his next of kin.

On April 1 1916 he was posted as a gunner to 2/4th South Midland Field Artillery Brigade. On September 9 1916 he was posted to 538 (Howitzer) Battery RFA at Winchester. He embarked at Le Havre on March 4 1917 and was soon posted on March 17 to D Battery, 332 Brigade in the field, part of 3/4th South Midland (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA. It was probably at this time that he acquired a new service number - 944527 (TF). It has been difficult to track his service in his the new Brigade because it became a brigade attached to an Army formation, the largest possible above divisions and corps.

On January 1 1918 he was posted in France to D Battery, 147 Brigade, RFA when 332 (H) Brigade was transferred across. He was demobilised in January 1919. There is a hint in his service papers that he might have gone to Cologne after the armistice. His home was given as Butts Cottage in the 1918 Absent Voters List.

PHELPS A.G. Queen's Bays

The Queens Bays were the 2nd Dragoon Guards. Private. MIC. VM. BM. Silver War Badge. SN - GS/20030 and D/16179

Arthur Gilbert Phelps was born c1874 at Malmesbury, Wiltshire and in 1881 was living with his parents at Lower High Street, Malmesbury. His father, Thomas, born c1843, was a coachman for a household and his mother, Dinah had been born c1845, also at Malmesbury. There were four brothers and sisters - Maurice, born c1867, a groom; Alice born c1869, at school; Henry born c1871, at school; Lucy, born c1878; all born at Malmesbury.

In 1891 they were still in the High Street, Malmesbury. His father was now described as a groom, an occupation which the young Arthur had also taken up. Lucy was now a servant. Three new siblings had been born - Joseph, c1882 at school; Susan, c1886 at school; and Emily born c1889; all at Malmesbury.

It is surprising that Arthur cannot be found on either the 1901 or 1911 census so possible clues to a link with Langford Budville are not available. His occupation as a groom may provide some kind of link.

Arthur Phelps enlisted on November 23 1914 into the 2nd Dragoon Guards and was discharged on October 22 1918 as no longer physically fit for war service at the age of 45. He saw active service but it must have been after January 1 1916 as he was not awarded the 1914 Star or the 1914/1915 Star. It is possible given his background that he worked with the horses of the Dragoons. His MIC and SWB give his rank as private whereas a 'front line' Dragoon was likely to have been described as a 'trooper'. His unit was part of the 1st Cavalry Division which saw service at the opening of the Battle of Arras, April 1917, Cambrai in November/December that year, the the German spring offensive of March 1918 and the Battles of the 100 Days at the end of the war.

PIKE SGT E SLI

Serjeant Ernest Pike, 5/Somerset Light Infantry. MIC. SN - 240868. Absent Voters List 1918 and 1919 - Lance-Corporal, 1/5 SLI. Brother of William Pike

Ernest was born c1896 at Langford Budville and in 1901 was living with his parents at Stones Cottage, Langford Budville. His parents were Samuel Pike (1849-1930), born at Uffculme, Devon, then a farm carter, and Annie nee Hutchings (1852-1931) born Hemyock, Devon. They were married in 1874. In 1901 six of their ten children were living at home, including Ernest. The others were - Thomas, born c1881, a serge washer in a factory; William, born December 2 1883, a serge packer in a factory; Lucy Ann, born 1886; Benjamin born 1889; and Sidney born 1892; all born at Langford Budville. Those living elsewhere were - Mary Jane, born c1874, Samuel born c1876, John known as Jack, born c1877 Dorothy, date unknown and Albert born c1882; all born at Langford Budville.

In 1911 only Ernest and his sister Lucy Ann were living with their parents at Stones Cottage. Lucy Anne was a woollen weaver and Ernest a racker in woollen manufacture.

Ernest Pike served in the 1/5th Somerset Light Infantry, a territorial battalion. He is listed as serving on the Wellington Roll of Honour in the Wellington Weekly News on October 21 1914 and may have been a pre-war Territorial - on the Wellington Roll because he worked there. By that date it had been agreed to release regular soldiers in India and the Indian Army for service on the Western Front and that they would be replaced by Territorial battalions. Private Pike would have sailed for India as part of the Wessex Division arriving at Bombay on November 9 1914. He is also listed on similar lists on January 1 1916 and March 21 1917. In May 1917 his division, now the 43rd Wessex Division, left India for Palestine. He was still abroad with the battalion at the end of 1918, when the war had ended, because he is listed on the Absent Voters List for Taunton constituency as Lance Corporal Ernest Pike of Stones Cottage, Langford Budville. His medal index card has the rank of Acting Corporal with a service number of 240868. On the Langford Roll of Honour in St Peter's church his rank was given as Serjeant. Later in life he lived at Holywell Lake near the pub and, after working at Tonedale, had a country paper round which took in Ashbrittle, Stawley, Bathealton, Sampford Moor and Sampford Arundel. He died c1953 and was buried at Thorne St Margaret. His wife, Lucy, died when she fell down the stairs at their Holywell Lake home in November 1945.

According to the WWN of July 12 1944 he was a Sergeant in the Home Guard as he helped to bear the coffin of Albert Kerslake, also a member, who had died.

PIKE SEAMAN W RN

Ordinary Seaman William Pike, Royal Navy. Brother of Ernest Pike.

William was born on December 2 1883 at Langford Budville and in 1901 was living with his parents at Stones Cottage, Langford Budville. His parents were Samuel Pike (1849-1930), born at Uffculme, Devon, then a farm carter, and Annie nee Hutchings (1852-1931) born Hemyock, Devon. They were married in 1874. William was a serge packer in a factory, probably Fox's. In 1901 six of their ten children were living at home, including Ernest. The others were - Thomas, born c1881, a serge washer in a factory; Lucy Ann, born 1886; Benjamin born 1889; and Sidney born 1892; Ernest born c1896; all born at Langford Budville. Those living elsewhere were - Mary Jane, born c1874, Samuel born c1876, John known as Jack, born c1877 Dorothy, date unknown and Albert born c1882; all born at Langford Budville.

By 1911 he was living at New Cottage, Langford Budville and had married Lizzie Palfrey, born c1883 at Kingston, near Taunton. Their first son, Frank, was five months old at the time of the census. William was a shrinker employed in woollen manufacture. Later there would be more children - Ernest, Connie, Leslie and Denis.

On January 3 1917 the Wellington Weekly News reported on the Wellington Urban District Tribunal with regard to Fox's employees. William Pike of Langford Budville was one of 140 men who made a personal application and became one of 119 allowed exemption from military service under the conscription rules.

"William Pike then came forward. 32 years of age. Cloth blower in Class A. Handed in a medical certificate referring to wife by Dr Spettigue - had attended Mrs Pike since July 1909 and there were no years when there was no treatment - treatment often for prolonged periods. Condition - at any time a convulsive attack. Therefore unfit to be alone or with children only. Required someone to be within call at all times. Question by the chairman - four children. Lieutenant White said he was young - 'the kind of man who was badly wanted'. Children - 6,4,3, 1 yr. She could not do anything for the little children during the night. Very deaf - if in same room could not hear them. Wife could get about in the daytime but had to go very quietly. Had wished to send his wife away but could not get anyone to act as a help. Had aged father and mother who lived far away. Given 6 months exemption"

On September 19 1917 there was another newspaper report. William Pike, factory operative of Langford Budville, aged 33, married, passed for general service - made a personal claim. He had four children aged 6,5,4,2. His wife was very deaf and in a delicate state of health. A doctor's certificate stated - she could not be left alone at night. He is away at work all day. No-one else to look after her. 3m exemption granted. And finally on May 22 1918 it was reported that he received a two month final exemption.


William and Lizzie Pike. The children were
- left to right -
Connie, Leslie with Ern in front of him and Frank

With his exemption from service ended by July 20 1918 William Pike became an ordinary seaman based at HMS Vivid I, a shore base at Devonport. His occupation was given at that time as woollen cloth blower. He was nearly 5 feet seven inches with a chest size of 39. He had brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion He remained there until December 2 1918, by which time the war had ended. A day later he was still an ordinary seaman now based at HMS London, a battleship launched in 1899. The ship had been at the Dardanelles in 1915 and in April 1918 was converted as a mine-laying ship. In January 1919 London became a depot ship at Devonport. William Pike was demobilised on February 6 1919.

REYNOLDS MAJOR T.G Inniskilling Fusiliers

Thomas Godwin Campbell Reynolds was born at Battersea, Surrey,on June 18 1863. In 1871 he was living with his parents at Fairlawn Villas, Merton Surrey. His father was Michael Thomas, born c1840 in Ireland and his mother, Catherine Hester, had been born c1841 at Cheltenham. On this census his second forename is wrongly given as 'Gordon'. Also in the household were two brothers - Harry, born c1865; and Robert, born c1868; both in Surrey. His mother's sister, Elizabeth May Williams, was also with them - born c1839 in Gloucestershire. There was one female servant aged 20 which suggests a middle class status; no occupations were given.

In 1881 the family were living at Oakley Cottage, Westhall Road, Camberwell, Surrey. Michael worked as an Assistant Chief Examiner, Accounts Legacy Duty Office at Somerset House. Thomas was now a boy clerk in the 'Education Office'. The place of birth of one of his brothers differs - for Robert it now stated Scotland; he was at school. For Harry it was more specific and stated Battersea; he was a solicitor's general clerk. There was now another brother, John, born c1873, at Harefield, Middlesex; he was at school. The household was completed by two female servants, both aged 21. In 1891 Thomas' father was now a retired civil servant and his place of birth more specific - Londonderry which probably explains his son's choice of regiment. His brother, John's place of birth was now different and said Edinburgh. He was now a student engineer. The smaller family of three was looked after by one servant.

According to the October 1916 Army List Reynolds was first commissioned into the Inniskilling Fusiliers on May 14 1884. On October 29 1900 he became a major. He retired on May 21 1904.

These dates of twenty years of army service probably explain why he cannot be located on either the 1891 or 1901 census. Both of the two battalions of the Regiment served in the Boer War; if he was in the 1st Battalion he would have seen service either side of this conflict in Ireland. The 2nd Battalion were in India and Burma from 1888 until 1899 and then in Egypt after 1902. In addition he cannot be located on the 1911 census.

The 1914 KD lists Thomas Godwin Campbell Reynolds of Bindon. On August 9 1916 the WWN wrongly lists him under the Langford Budville Roll as 'Inniskilling Dragoons' but we do not know whether this was on the basis of current or previous service.

In October 1918 the Army List states that he was a Temporary Lieutenant Colonel and on the list of non-effective officers on retired pay. A crossed swords symbol suggests that he had seen active service but it is not clear when. Unfortunately no documents survive amongst the officer papers at the National Archives.

ROSSITER H.G Army Ordnance Corps

Possibly Private Henry Rossiter, AOC. SN - 016778. MIC. VM. BM. Absent Voters List 1918 and 1919 - Private Henry James Rossiter, 25 Section, AOC.

Rossiter has been difficult to track down. There was a James and Mary Ann Rossiter living at Keepers Cottage, Langford Budville, in 1911 but he was too old at 64 years of age. This James was born in Langford Budville and was a farm labourer.

In the same year Henry James Rossiter, born c1876 at Runnington, was living at Malt House, Runnington. He was single and a dyer. He was the brother in law of Ernest Dyte, the head of the household. This is mostly likely to be the right man and a mistake was made with his middle initial on the Roll of Honour.

His MIC shows that he saw service in a theatre of war. On the Absent Voters List his home was given as Keepers Cottage.

SALWAY NURSE C.V. Anglo-French Red Cross

Nurse Catherine Victoria Salway was in the 110th Somerset Detachment of the Red Cross.

Catherine served as a clerk from April 28 1915 to June 25 1916. It is likely that her Red Cross record is incomplete and she was probably a nurse afterwards.

There were different Salway families in Langford Budville but a C.V Salway cannot be traced. In KD from 1910-23 Francis Salway was a shopkeeper. In KD in 1923 Fred Salway was the clerk of the cemetery and assistant overseer of the poor.

In 1901 at Shattocks Cottage Samuel Salway lived with his son, Fred and daughter Mary, all born at Dunkeswell. Samuel was born c1847. Samuel Salway died on January 5 1929 having lived in the same house in the parish for c50 years. He had worked on the Nynehead Court estate for nearly 40 years as a carpenter and left a widow, two sons and a daughter (WWN).

STEPHENS J.A. Army Service Corps

Private John Adolphus Stephens. SN - S/4/217711 (ASC) and Labour Corps. SN - 464090

Absent Voters List 1918 and 1919 - 61st Field Butchery, ASC.

John Adolphus Stephens was born at Langford Budville c1890 and in 1901 was living at the Post Office, which was then situated between the Martlett Inn and the Vicarage. His parents were John Stephens, a carpenter, born c1843 at Milverton and Mary, born 1851 at Wiveliscombe. Also in the household was George Salter, a fourteen year old servant born at Runnington. John Stephens is shown as a shopkeeper and sub postmaster (PO) in KDs from 1902 to 1923.

Adolphus attested on November 25 1915 at the age of 25 years and 11 months. He was then living at 16, North Street, Wellington and was employed as a butcher. His father was given as his next of kin at the Post Office, Langford Budville. He weighed 198 lbs and had a 44 inch chest and his physical development was described as 'good'. It was noted that he had a slight hernia. His religion was given as Church of England. He was called into the ASC on August 10 1916.

On October 12 1916 Adolphus joined K Supply Company Field Butchery, Army Service Corps, at Aldershot. He was skilled at slaughtering. His previous experience also meant that on December 16 1916 he was taken on to the strength of 61st Field Butchery at an ASC Depot at Hornsea Station, West Hull, Yorkshire.

On November 3 1917 Stephens was posted to No 409 Agricultural Coy of the ASC at Derby. At some point the ASC became the Labour Corps and he was given the new service number of 464090 and joined the 532 H/S Employment Company at Augustus Street, Grimsby. On January 30 1918 he was based with Mr Craddock, Lound Hall, Tuxford, Nottinghamshire and around this time also appears to have worked with a Mr Charles at No 5, West Drayton, near Retford in the same county. On February 27 1918 he was further posted to 411 Agricultural Company, Labour Corps. He had worked with this unit before because his regimental conduct sheet shows that he was admonished on December 27 1917 and forfeited three days pay for overstaying his home leave from December 4 1917 to about 10.45 p.m. on December 6. This took place at Birmingham and the witness was an Assistant Provost Marshall from there.

Before this particular posting he must have returned home because on February 23 1918 he married Edith Mabel Twyford at Wellington Congregational Chapel. On March 11 he signed an authorisation for Mabel to be paid an allowance from his army pay to be channelled through Mr J Twyford at Mantle Street, Wellington. In August 1918 he was posted to No 472 Agricultural Company operating around Derby.

There appears to be a gap in his service record as he turns up again on June 2 1919 with L Supply Company, Royal Army Service Corps. On July 21 1919 he was with 472 Agricultural Company, Labour Corps and posted to Northern Command Labour Centre, North Camp. Ripon. Four days later he was transferred to 'A' Supply Company at Aldershot and then on August 8 1919 to 'A' Supply Company at Salisbury and then to the Dispersal Camp at Fovant where he left the army in September 1919. His many moves were a reflection on the kind of work he was doing for the ASC or the Labour Corps. The Absent Voters List gives his home as the New Inn.

STONE, ALBERT HENRY, Devonshire Regiment
Corporal Albert Henry Stone, 13/Devonshire Regiment, SN - 44564, 12/Royal Berkshire Regiment, SN - 38596 and Labour Corps, SN - 97090. MIC. VM. BM. Absent Voters List - 162, Labour Company.

Albert Henry Stone was born c1887 at Langford Budville and in 1901 was living at the 'Smith's Shop' there with his parents, Albert, born c1851 at Langford, farmer and blacksmith, and Elizabeth, born c1851 at Aylesbeare, Devon. His older sister, Elizabeth, born c1875, was also Langford born. According to KD his father was a blacksmith at Langford from 1902 to 1923.

Albert attested at Wellington on June 9 1915 and was then described as a farmer and non-agricultural haulier who lived at 'The Forge', Langford Budville. He was 5 feet 7 inches in height and weighed 138 lbs. His chest measurement was 35 ½ inches. His religion was Church of England. It is not clear exactly when he was mobilised and there is a hint that he may have left for France on December 15 1915. However, on November 9 1916 he was definitely sent to the 13th Devonshire Regiment at Egg Buckland Camp, Plymouth.

On December 14 1916 he joined the 12/Royal Berkshire Regiment which then became 162 Labour Company and disembarked at Le Havre two days later. In June/July 1918 Albert spent two weeks in hospital although the location is not known. On October 20 1918 he was definitely in England as he joined 626 Agricultural Company, Labour Corps, based at Taunton. He was still there in June 1919 but on July 2 he was sent to the 30th Labour Company at Cologne, Germany, as a member of the Allied post-war occupation force. As men from Cavalry regiments were demobilised it appears that their horses and equipment were kept in Cologne in case reinforcements had to be sent to Germany. 30 and 130 Labour Companies were used to look after these horses and equipment. Albert Stone was demobilised himself in November 1919. His home was given on the Absent Voters List as 'Babbs'.

On February 11 1931 the WWN reported the diamond wedding anniversary of his parents who were aged over 80 and for fifty years kept the village smithy. Albert senior had succeeded his grandfather, William Cross and then had four children and eight grandchildren.

Smithy at Langford Budville in 2010

†TARR TOM

Private West Somerset Yeomanry and then Signaller 8/Somerset Light Infantry. MIC. SN - WSY, 1162; SLI, 27678. VM. BM. 1915 Star. Brother of Henry Tarr. Killed in action July 31 1917. Commemorated on Panel 21, Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium.

Tom Tarr was born c1895 at Raddington, six miles west of Wiveliscombe, and in 1901 was living at Notwell Farm, Raddington. His parents were Tom Tarr, born c 1860 at Milverton, farmer, and Thirza, born c1863 at Melland, Devon. There were five siblings - Elizabeth Jane, born c1892; Henry William , born on August 3 1893; Thirza, born c1897; Charles Hector, born c1899; Hettie, two months old; all born at Raddington. Henry Tarr, the father of the head of the household, born c1825, widowed and a retired farmer, born at Upton, Somerset, was also living there. There were three servants - George Commins, born c1872 at Huish Champflower, farm carter; Frank Commins, born c1884 at Huish Champflower, agricultural labourer; Bessie Hawkes, born c1886 at Luxborough, Somerset, a general domestic servant.

Tom enlisted at Taunton and was living in Wellington when he joined the WSY on September 19 1914. His parents were now living at Leigh Farm, Langford Budville. His MIC states that the first theatre of war he entered was the 'Balkans' on September 23 1915. He was heading for Gallipoli with his battalion. He would have trained in Essex around Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea.

Tom's ship left Liverpool for Mudros Bay on HMT Olympic, a White Star liner, and then on another ship, the Osmanieh, to Suvla Bay. The WSY landed on October 9 1915 with 477 other ranks and 25 officers. They were there for 10 weeks until they were evacuated, after ten days on the beach, on December 8 1915 for Imbros with only 10 officers and 148 other ranks. They had seen service in the front line trenches around Oxford Street and later, from White House to Green Hill, and survived dysentery and the blizzard of late November.

Tom's newspaper death notice states that he was invalided home on January 27 1916 suffering from enteric fever, a disease related to typhoid. His unit were in Alexandria, Egypt by this time, where he was probably hospitalised. It also said that, after he recovered and was granted a period of leave, he was transferred to the 8/Somerset Light Infantry and crossed to France on November 27 1916 as part of 63 Brigade, 37th Division.

Tom's new unit was involved in very hard fighting during the early phases of the Battle of Arras - the opening, the 1st Battle of the Scarpe, from April 9-14, including the fierce attacks which took Monchy-le-Preux on April 11. They took part in the 2nd Battle of the Scarpe aimed at Vis-en-Artois on April 23-24 and the Battle of Arleux towards Gavrelle, east of Arras, on April 28-29.

On June 1 1917 63rd Brigade left the Arras area and arrived in the Scherpenberg area of Flanders, a hill north-west of Kemmelberg on June 25. They rotated in trenches around Joye Farm, Rose Wood and Lumm Farm, near Wytschaete. They arrived back in the front line on the night of July 29. Their orders were to join in the second phase in their sector of the first day of the major attack around Ypres on July 31 - this was to be the Battle of 3rd Ypres often inaccurately named Passchendaele. Zero hour for this phase was 7.50 a.m. On the night of July 30 the 8/SLI occupied the 'Shell Hole Line' between Grass Farm and the Wambeek stream. Before zero a heavy German barrage caused casualties in the Somersets' trenches. Tarr's battalion went forward to clear Beek Wood and Beek Farm although casualties were heavy from German shells, machine-guns and snipers. Tom Tarr was one of 58 men of his battalion killed that day.

On August 15 1917 the WWN printed a detailed death notice that Signaller Tom Tarr had been killed in action. A week later the newspaper carried more detail and a photograph….
LANGFORD BUDVILLE

Mr and Mrs Tarr of Leigh Farm, have been informed by the War Office that their second son, Signaller Tom Tarr, of the Somerset Light Infantry, was killed in action in France on the 31st ult. Deceased, who was 22 years of age, was at the time of the outbreak of War working with his father, and in the early days of the struggle volunteered for service, joining the West Somerset Yeomanry on the 19th September 1914. After remaining a time in England, he went with his Regiment to the Dardanelles and was invalided home from there on the 27th January 1916, suffering from enteric fever. On his recovery he was transferred to the Somerset Light Infantry and crossed to France on the 27th November last. From letters which Mr and Mrs Tarr have received from companions in the same section it would appear that their son was engaged in the important and dangerous work of a runner in the advanced trenches and, at the time he met his death, was looking over the parapet when a shell burst in front of him, injuring him in the temple and neck from which he died almost immediately. The officer who was with him at the time was killed outright. These communications speak very highly of Signaller Tarr's devotion to duty and leaves no doubt that the popularity he enjoyed at home he carried with him in the trenches. Every sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Tarr in the loss they have sustained by the death of so brave a son.


Wellington Weekly News
August 22nd., 1917

TARR H MGC

Private Henry Tarr, Machine Gun Corps. No MIC. SN - 180216. Brother of Tom Tarr.

Henry William Tarr was born on August 3 1893 at Raddington, six miles west of Wiveliscombe, and in 1901 was living at Notwell Farm, Raddington. His parents were Tom Tarr, born c 1860 at Milverton, farmer, and Thirza, born c1863 at Melland, Devon. There were five siblings - Elizabeth Jane, born c1892; Henry William , born c1894; Tom Tarr, born c1895; Thirza, born c1897; Charles Hector, born c1899; Hettie, two months old; all born at Raddington. Henry Tarr, the father of the head of the household, born c1825, widowed and a retired farmer, born at Upton, Somerset, was also living there. There were three servants - George Commins, born c1872 at Huish Champflower, farm carter; Frank Commins, born c1884 at Huish Champflower, agricultural labourer; Bessie Hawkes, born c1886 at Luxborough, Somerset, a general domestic servant.

Henry attested on February 14 1916, when he was described as a shepherd and farmer of Leigh Farm, Langford Budville but does not appear to have been mobilized until June 17 1918 when his civilian occupation was given as farm hand. His late mobilisation may be related to having an important wartime occupation. He was then recorded as 5 feet 7 ½ inches, 157 lbs, chest measurement of 38 ½ inches. He had blue eyes and a fresh complexion. His fitness was ranked at that time as Aii i.e. fit for service home and abroad. On October 13 he was sent to the Machine Gun Corps and posted to G/MGC Training Battalion at Rugeley, near Cannock Chase, Staffordshire. Consequently with the end of the war a month later Henry did not see active service. He was demobilised on January 23 1919.

THRESHER ALBERT 3/SLI

One of six Thresher brothers who served. Private Albert Thresher, 3/Somerset Light Infantry. MIC. VM. BM. SN - 25512, Silver War Badge - List C/491/2. Absent Voters List 1918 and 1919 - Private 8/SLI.

The entry below is based on the 1901 census and applies to all five brothers.

Samuel and Emily Thresher were living at one of the two 'Hall's'cottages at Fitzhead, Somerset in 1901. Samuel was born in c1855 at Elworthy, Somerset and was a farm carter. His wife Emily was born c1857 at Brompton Ralph, Somerset.

There were six sons…

Thomas, born c1887, farm carter, ,born Wiveliscombe

John, born 1889, agricultural labourer, born Wiveliscombe

George, born c1892 at Fitzhead

Henry,born c1894 at Fitzhead

Albert, born c1896 at Fitzhead

Francis R, born c1900 at Fitzhead

By 1911 the Thresher family had moved to Langford Budville although the eldest sons, Thomas and John, were no longer in the family household. The census reveals that the parents' marriage was c1876. George was now a farm carter. Harry was an under-gardener. Albert still only 15 was a piercer in a woollen factory. 'Frank' was still school and there was now another brother, Alfred, born at Fitzhead c1905. Also in the household was Samuel's grand-daughter, Ethel born c1902 at Wellington.

According to the WWN of January 27 1915 four of the five brothers were already in the army. Albert did not see active service until after January 1 1916 and at some stage was not fit enough to remain in the army hence the award of a Silver War Badge. The Roll describes his battalion as the 3rd; this was training unit based at Devonport until November 1917 and then at Londonderry and Belfast. Although Albert's MIC does not help us he must have transferred to a different battalion in order to be awarded the two standard war medals for active service. This appears to have been the 8th Battalion of the same regiment. This battalion was involved in the 1917 Battles of Arras and 3rd Ypres.

Albert's Silver War Badge shows that Private Albert Thresher enlisted on November 30 1915 and was discharged on June 27 1918 because wounds made him no longer physically fit for war service. The Absent Voters List gives his home as 'Cloads Cottage'.


Albert Thresher's entry in the Silver War Badge Roll

On March 6 1929 the WWN reported the death of Mrs S Thresher of Langford Budville on February 15. She had spent over 21 years in the parish and was aged 71. All six sons had been in the war - two killed, two died owing to war experiences and severely wounded and now a cripple. George and John were the sons who had died.

THRESHER HARRY 2/5 SLI

One of six Thresher brothers who served. Private Harry Thresher, 2/5 Somerset Light Infantry. MIC. BM. SN - 3018 and 241275.  Absent Voters List 1918 and 1919 - Private, D Company, 5/SLI.

For family details see Albert Thresher.

Harry's medal entitlement suggest that he went to India with his second line Territorial battalion landing on December 12 1914. His two service numbers were a result of the Territorial renumbering of 1917. When his 2nd Wessex Division landed in India they were broken up and the 2/5 became divisional troops to the Burma Division of the Indian Army. In January 1916 they joined part of the Rangoon Brigade of this Division. His name on the Absent Voters List suggests that he was still in India at the end of the war. His home was given as 'Cloads Cottage'.

†THRESHER CPL GEORGE 3/5 SLI

One of six Thresher brothers who served. Corporal George Thresher, 3/5 Somerset Light Infantry. MIC. VM. SN - 3386. Died on September 2 1916. Commemorated on the Dehli 1914-1918 War Memorial, India.  

For family details see Albert Thresher
Although the Roll of Honour states that George's unit was a third line Territorial battalion he served in the 1/5 Battalion in India. In the autumn of 1914 it had been agreed to release regular soldiers in India and the Indian Army for service on the Western Front and that they would be replaced by Territorial battalions. Private Thresher might have sailed for India as part of the Wessex Division arriving at Bombay on November 9 1914.

By his death on September 2 1916 he was a Lance Corporal. The CWGC states that he was the son of Samuel and Emily Thresher of Langford Budville. He had previously married Florence May Thresher of Hele, Bishops Hull. The WWN on September 13 1916 gave him the rank of Corporal and stated that he had died of ptomaine poisoning - a kind of food poisoning. He left a widow and one child who were now resident at Bradford on Tone. Florence's address on CWGC records was based on post-war information. The newspaper noted that a few weeks before his death his brother had been killed in the Devon Regiment. He was now described as one of six brothers who had joined the forces. A later issue on October 11 1916 noted that his wife had received the dreaded telegram.


The Delhi War Memorial at India Gate

THRESHER FRANK RN

Royal Navy. One of six Thresher brothers who served.

For family details see Albert Thresher

Frank or Francis was the youngest of the six brothers and did not see active service when he joined the Navy. The only clue to his wartime service is that he is listed on the Langford Roll in the WWN of August 9 1916 as being of HMS Impregnable suggesting that he had joined as a boy seaman - this was not a ship as such but a training establishment at Devonport.

†THRESHER JOHN 2/Devon Regt

Private John Thresher, 2/Devonshire Regiment. One of six Thresher brothers who served. MIC. VM. BM. 1914 Star. SN - 8688. Died of wounds. Buried at Devizes Road Cemetery, Salisbury, July 13 1916.

For family details see Albert Thresher

In 1911 John Thresher had already joined the army and become a regular soldier because the census shows him as a private in the 2nd Devonshire Regiment based at St George's Barracks, Malta. The 1901 census stated that he was born at Wiveliscombe; in 1911.  Taunton was given as the place of birth. He had originally joined the army at Taunton.

His MIC shows that John entered a theatre of war in France on November 6 1914 making him one of the 'Old Contemptibles'. When the war broke out the 2nd Battalion were based at Cairo, Egypt. They were back in England on October 1 and were attached to 23 Brigadede in the newly created 8th Division made up of regular troops from various parts of the Empire. On November 6 they landed at Le Havre. John possibly saw action at Neuve Chapelle and Aubers Ridge (1915), Bois Grenier (September 1915) and was probably seriously wounded on the Somme in July 1916.

After his death the WWN reported as follows, on August 9th., 1916…

LANGFORD BUDVILLE

Private John Thresher, of the 2nd Devons, whose death we recently reported, was twice wounded in action. He, having died at the Salisbury Infirmary, his funeral took place in that city at the Devizes Road Cemetery. A firing party was supplied through the courtesy of the officer commanding the 8th City of London Battalion (Post Office Rifles) and the bearers were supplied by Major Watts of the Canadian Baggage Depot at Saisbury. At the conclusion of the graveside service, which was conducted by Rev. W.O.Procter, three volleys were fired over the grave and the 'Last Post' was sounded.

We do not know when and where he was 'twice wounded in action' and how long recovery from wounds took.

On the disastrous July 1 1916 the battalion took part in an attack on Ovillers at the heart of the Somme attack. At 0728 hours, just before the barrage lifted from the enemy front line, 2/Devons, in the centre of their brigade, left New Trench. A and B Company advanced towards Ovillers and, even at this early stage, 'they were subjected to fire from rifles and machine guns'. C and D Companies followed in two waves at fifty-yard intervals. The leading assault waves were lying down little more than one hundred yards from the enemy wire when the British mortars lifted from the German trenches. At Zero Hour, the Devon's companies, amidst the dust of the bombardment, got up and went forward in waves. The Wurttembergers of 180 Regiment were waiting. A and B Companies were caught in interlocking and overlapping arcs of machine gun fire from Ovillers, and from La Boisselle to their right. According to the Devon's after action report, Lieutenant Colonel Sunderland could see very little of the action.

'At first and for some little time owing to mist and dust caused by our shell fire, it was difficult to realise what had happened … The lines appeared at first sight to be intact… Colonel Sunderland could make out rows of his men lying down. He demanded 'Why aren't they advancing?' The Adjutant, peering through his binoculars turned to the CO and replied 'They're all hit, sir!'.

The survivors bunched as they advanced through the few gaps in the enemy wire and the original wave formation soon ceased to exist, and the remains of companies became mixed together, making a mass of men, among which German fire played havoc.

The Devon's report recorded that 'only a very few reached the German lines alive. Some got into the German trenches, where they put up a determined fight against enormous odds and were soon killed'. The toehold that the Devons had gained could not be reinforced as the curtain of fire put down by the German artillery in the middle of No Man's Land had halted the waves of C and D Companies. They were driven to ground by German machine gun fire. By this time the attacking infantry had lost the barrage, which went on as planned. Consequently, only a few of C and D Companies along with A Company 2/West Yorks reached the German line.

Despite acts of heroism, determination, by 0900 hours, the attack of the 8th Division had failed along the length of its front. As late as 14.30 hours, there were observers' reports that 'bomb fighting' was going on in the German lines. However, for those remaining out in no man's land it was fortunate that the shell holes, which had earlier hindered the movement of advancing men, now provided cover from enemy fire.

Wounded men succumbed to their wounds, who if properly treated, would have survived. Many lay in agony until, eventually the British barrage, was brought back to the enemy front line. Under its cover many men regained their frontline and more returned under the cover of darkness.

2/Devons eventually assembled about three hundred officers and men. Eleven officers and 221 men were killed or missing and 194 men were wounded, in all 431 casualties out of a strength of approximately eight hundred men in action. (Source - Keep Military Museum, Dorchester)

It is likely that John Thresher was one of the men wounded in this attack.

THRESHER TOM Kings Own Yorkshire LI

Private Tom Thresher, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. One of six Thresher brothers who served. MIC. VM. BM. 1915 Star. Originally Somerset LI, SN - 16838, then KOYLI, SN - 64072. Absent Voters List 1918 - Private, 199 Labour Company, Labour Corps (11905).

For family details see Albert Thresher

The Langford Roll in the WWN on August 9 1916 states that he was a Somerset Light Infantry soldier. His MIC states that the theatre of war first served in was France on June 22 1915. There is insufficient unit detail to locate the actions in which he might have been involved. On the 1918 Absent Voters List his home was given as 'Cloads Cottage' and that he was then in the Labour Corps.

TOOGOOD GEORGE West Somerset Yeomanry

Brother of Harry Toogood. Private West Somerset Yeomanry, SN - 1605, which then became the 12/Somerset Light Infantry, SN - 295361. MIC. VM. BM. Silver War Badge List C/1064/2. Absent Voters List 1918 - Private 12/SLI.


Beer Farm - home of the Toogood brothers

George was born c1889 at Feniton, Devon and in 1901 was living with his parents at Beer Farm, Langford Budville. His father, William Richard, was born c1847, also at Feniton and was a farmer, and his mother, Elizabeth was born c1851, also Feniton. They were married c1879. The other eight children were all Feniton born…

Edith M, c1881

William Horsford, c1885

Alice, c1883

Bessie, c1883

Frank, c1887

Katherine, c1891

Harry, c1893

May, c1895

In 1911 George was still at Beer Farm where he worked as the 'farmer's son'. All the children were helping to run the farm, except May, now age 16, who was still at school. Bessie was identified as doing 'dairy work'. Edith was no longer in the family home. George's father is listed as the farmer at Beer Farm in KDs in 1902, 1910 and 1914. In 1919 and 1923 his wife is listed so William had probably died. On October 25 1916 the WWN reported that Frank Toogood of Beer Farm had appeared before the Wellington Rural Tribunal pleading exemption as a shepherd.

George's Silver War Badge shows that he enlisted on May 1 1915 and was discharged on January 31 1919 as no longer physically fit for war service. He probably trained with the WSY in Essex but it was too soon to join them in Gallipoli; otherwise he would have received a 1915 Star. He may well have joined them in Egypt at Alexandria, Cairo, Qara Station and the Kharga Oasis. Then in the Sinai between January 1916 and April 1917 before serving in the attacks which pushed back the Turks in Palestine from April 1917 to April 1918. They were involved in a reserve role in the 2nd Battle of Gaza in April 1917. On January 4 1917 his unit of WSY became the 12/SLI infantry in the 74 Yeomanry Division. Between December 1917 and April 1918 they were involved in the operations which led to the capture of Jerusalem.

On April 29 the 12/SLI left Alexandria on HMT Leasowe bound for Marseilles where they arrived on May 7. They were now in 94 Brigade, 31st Division and needed to be trained for Western Front warfare. On July 23 1918 they went into the line in the Robecq sector for the first time on their own. They were involved in the Canal du Nord during the Battle of the Hundred Days and ended the war pressing into German held Lille.

In KD in 1927 George Toogood was listed as a farmer at Harpford farm just down the valley from Beer Farm.

†TOOGOOD L CPL H West Somerset Yeomanry

Lance Corporal Harry Toogood, West Somerset Yeomanry, SN - 1210, which became 12/Somerset Light Infantry, SN - 295240. MIC. VM. BM. 1915 Star. Absent Voters List 1918 - Private 12/SLI. Brother of George Toogood.

For family details see George Toogood.

In 1911 Harry Toogood was a farmer's son working at Beer Farm.

Harry joined his brother in the West Somerset Yeomanry having enlisted earlier as his 1915 Star suggests. He may even have been a pre-war part-time trooper. His MIC shows that the first theatre of war he entered on September 23 1915 was the Balkans which meant Gallipoli. This was the date when the battalion left Liverpool for the Mediterranean on the HMT Olympic, a White Star liner. They had volunteered to serve as dismounted troops. Previously Harry would have been based in Essex around Colchester, Tendring, Frinton on Sea and Clacton on Sea.

HMT Olympic, sister ship of the Titanic,
launched 1910 ,in her Great War troopship camouflage colours.
7000 troops could be  carried
.

From Mudros Bay another ship, the Osmanieh, took the four squadrons of the WSY to Suvla Bay. The WSY landed on October 9 1915 with 477 other ranks and 25 officers. There were there for 10 weeks until they were evacuated, after ten days on the beach, on December 8 1915 for Imbros with only 10 officers and 148 other ranks. They had seen service in the front line trenches around Oxford Street and later, from White House to Green Hill, and survived dysentery and the blizzard of late November.

From Imbros the unit disembarked at Alexandria on December 31 1915. They were there for two months before going to Cairo and then training at Sidi Bishr. On April 21 1916 they were sent to the Qara Station and on June 15 they arrived at Kharga Oasis in the desert - a 100 mile long depression in the Libyan desert. In August 1916. the unit reported to the Kharga Station railhead after fighting against the Senussi in Upper Egypt. On December 2 1916 they entrained to Moascar Camp, Ismailia. The days of the 1st/1st WSY were now numbered. In early January 1917 they now became 12/SLI as infantry in 74th Yeomanry Division.

On January 7 1917 the 'battalion' moved to El Ferden on the Suez Canal until February when they went to Kantara Station for Palestine operations. They were at At El Arish on March 21 1917. Five days later the 1st Battle of Gaza took place although they did not take part. They now kept moving forward through Sinai. For the 2nd Battle of Gaza on April 17 1917 74 Division were in general reserve. On July 2 1917 the unit ended a long spell in the Abbas sector and by October 1917 they were at Beersheba.

In late November 1917 the 12/SLI bivouacked outside Gaza.

From December 1917 to April 1918 they were involved in the operations which captured Jerusalem. It was now decided to send the 74 Division to France and on April 29 they left Alexandria on HMT Leasowe. On May 7 1918 the whole division arrived at Marseilles. They now needed to be trained for Western Front conditions until July 23 when they went into the line in the Robecq sector for the first time on their own. During the Battle of the 100 days they were involved at the Canal du Nord and by the time of the armistice were around Lille.

A note on Harry's MIC shows that he died on March 25 1919 although surprisingly no record can be found in the CWGC database or SDGW.

VICKERY CHIEF PETTY OFFICER RN

Chief Petty Officer Charles Vickery, Royal Navy.

In the inter-war period Warrant Officer Vickery was always one of two men who laid a wreath at the Langford Budville remembrance ceremony, including as late as 1944 and 1945.

The 1918 Absent Voters List notes a Stoker Charles Vickery was living in the 'Village' with a service number of 49956. His ship was given as HMS Motor Lighter K70.

†WINWOOD CAPTAIN R MC RFA

Captain Thomas Ralph Okenden Windwood, B Battery, 99 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Brother of Captain John Montague Winwood. Died of wounds on April 28 1917 and buried at Karasouli Military Cemetery, Greece. Military Cross. MIC. 1915 Star. Military Cross.

Karasouli Military Cemetery, Greece.
He was originally buried at Gugunci Military Cemetery.

Thomas Winwood was born at Wellisford Manor on May 19 1885. In 1901 he was one of 68 boarder pupils at Clifton College, Bristol. He also attended Winchester. His father, Thomas Henry Ricketts Winwood J.P, born c1853 at Littleport, near Ely, Cambridgeshire, was in the same year recorded as living at Boscombe, near Bournemouth. His wife Mabel Louisa (maiden name Okenden) was born in Cardiganshire c1857. There were also two daughters - Gladys Mabel, born at Langford Budville c1884 and Christine Mary, born at Langford Budville c1888. These dates show that the family was living at Langford Budville between at least 1884 and 1888. There was also a maid and a cook.

In the Times on February 26 1909 Christine was described as the 'only surviving daughter' of T.H.R Winwood of Moreton House, Dorset and Wellisford Manor, Somerset, when she married Arthur Asteley from Hereford at St Nicholas, Moreton on February 23. The ceremony was performed by Reverend Luxton, Vicar of Langford Budville assisted by the local rector.

The 1881 census gives a different place of birth for Thomas senior namely Tyglyn Aeron, Cardiganshire. At that time he was a Lieutenant in the Cardigan Militia and a J.P. and a visitor and cousin of Henry H.Winwood, a clergyman 'without cure of souls' born c1831 at Henbury, Gloucestershire. The clergyman's home was at 11, Cavendish Crescent, Walcot,partly in Bath, Somerset. Also in this household was the clergyman's wife, Anne, born c1832 at Drayton, Norfolk and their four daughters and one son. The son was William Q Winwood, aged 7 and born at Bath, who later had a military career. The final members of the household included Anna Rudolph, a governess from Dresden, Germany, a cook, a parlour maid, a housemaid, a schoolroom maid and a kitchenmaid.

Thomas revealed in his application for a commission in 1914 that he had attended Winchester College (1898-1900) and Clifton College (1901-2) and at both had been a member of the Officer Training Corps.

On June 10 1911 the Times reported the marriage on June 8 at St Mary's church, Bradford Peverell, of Thomas R.O Winwood and Mabel Katharine, the second daughter of H.B Middleton Esq J.P of Bradford Peverell, Dorchester. Once again the Reverend Luxton officiated with the assistance of the local vicar. Thomas senior was now described as of High Littleton, Somerset. High Littleton was eight miles south-west of Bath. Two sons soon followed - Thomas Claude Middleton born March 24 1912 and Nevil Ralph born October 15 1913.

On August 26 1914 the WWN reported that Wellesford Manor was for sale, the estate of Mr H.R.Winwood of Langford Budville. It consisted of 944 acres including 70 acres of coverts. There was the Old Manor House and trout fishing on the River Tone. On September 18 1918 the same newspaper announced the sale of 940 acres in eight lots in the parishes of Langford Budville, Thorne St Margaret, Milverton and Kittisford. Only one lot was already sold. KD in 1914 noted that Thomas senior was 'a chief landowner of Langford Budville'.

When the war broke out Thomas Winwood was living in Canada - at Millarville, Alberta, which was in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. He returned to England the same year to live at Bradford Peverell, Dorchester, but just before taking up an army commission was publicly examined as a bankrupt at Carey Street, London on November 10. This information was originally published in the London Gazette on September 29 1914. From his service record it seems that the War Office was never aware of bankruptcy status.

Thomas was gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant in the RFA on November 20 1914. In his application for a temporary commission on November 18 he gave as his permanent address - Rothesay House, Dorchester. In answer to the question on the form about whether he was able to ride Thomas wrote that "Yes. Have had 11 years on ranches in Argentina and Canada and have hunted at various times in England. Have a full knowledge of horses both riding and driving". The witness to his 'good moral character' was the Reverend Luxton of Langford Budville who stated that he had known him from 1892 to 1904.

The artillery brigade in which Thomas Winwood served was attached to 22nd Division, a New Army Division, which moved to France in August 1915 for only a month before being transferred to Salonika via Marseilles for the rest of the war. He arrived at Le Havre with 99 Brigade on September 4 1915 from Southampton. In France the division concentrated at Flesselles, eight miles north of Amiens. In England the Division, including the artillery, had trained around Eastbourne, Sussex. The MIC of Thomas Winwood indicates that he entered the theatre of war in France in August 1915 which entitled him to the 1915 Star. His service record contradicts this date. On November 19 1915 Thomas left Marseilles for Salonika arriving on November 30. On February 25 1916 he was promoted to become a temporary Lieutenant.

The 22nd Division which included 99 Brigade artillery helped to hold the Salonika front against the Bulgarian army; Bulgaria was Germany's ally. Between August 10 and 18 1916 they took part in the Battle of Horseshoe Hill and on September 13 and 14 were involved in the Battle of Machukovo. On October 28 1916 he became an acting Captain whilst commanding his battery. On Christmas Day 1916 he was transferred to be second in command of a battery of guns and retained the same rank.

Thomas served with a fellow officer called Edmund Herring (1892-1982) who later became a Lieutenant General and an Australian army officer in the Second World War and Lieutenant Governor of Victoria and a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria. An internet account of Herring at Salonika also mentions Thomas Winwood and the first Battle of Doiran.

"…in the Battle of Doiran in April 1917 Herring served as an artillery officer in B Battery, 99 Brigade, directing artillery fire in support of the 22 Division attack from a front line observation post on Pip Ridge. There was a furious artillery duel. Twenty minutes after Captain Thomas Winwood took Herring's place as forward observer, the observation post took a direct hit from an enemy shell, killing Winwood. Herring succeeded Winwood as battery captain and became an acting captain from 2nd Lieutenant in April 1917".

Herring gained the MC and before the end of the war he commanded the Brigade.


22nd Division Memorial, Doiran, Macedonia

When he died Thomas Winwood was described by CWGC as the son of Thomas Henry Ricketts and Mabel Louisa Winwood and husband of Mabel Katharine Winwood of Oaktree Cottage, Mortimer, Berkshire. His widow was 31 years of age. The Times on May 14 1917 reported the death of Winwood and noted that he was the son of T.H.R and Mrs Winwood of Wellisford Manor, Wellington and Syward Lodge, Dorchester.

Copy of the telegram conveying the news to Thomas Winwood's wife that he had died in Salonika

In the 1915 KD for Dorchester Thomas senior was listed at Rothesay House, South Walks Road. In September 1921 his son's widow was living at Grove House, Bradford Peverell, Dorchester. At that time she wrote to the War Office for help in retrieving his personal effects from Canada but was refused. His service file survives in the National Archives at WO339/14669. It also reveals that he died without leaving a will and his 'wealth' of just over £200 was granted to his wife. However, various correspondance in his file describes him as 'the bankrupt'. A letter from the Official Receiver on February 13 1918 states that just over £193 was due in respect of arrears of pay. A document from the Board of Trade on May 6 1918 states that as they have "sufficient funds in hand for payment of the debts in full with interest' they are not proceeding with the bankruptcy claim.

Thomas Winwood's Military Cross is gazetted after his death.
It was awarded for gallant and distinguished conduct
in the field between December 1 1916 and his death

†WINWOOD CAPTAIN JOHN MONTAGUE

Captain John Montague Winwood, 1st Garrison Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Brother of Captain Thomas Ralph Ockenden Winwood.

John Montague Winwood was born at Wellington in April 1886. In 1901 he was one of 99 boarders at Bradfield College, Bradfield, Berkshire. His place of birth should probably have read Wellisford Manor as his parents, Thomas Henry Ricketts and Mabel Winwood, were living there at the time. John was admitted to Bradfield in May 1900 and left in July 1904.

The Army List of January 1907 shows that he was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion of the Dorset Regiment on January 10 1906. This was probably a reserve battalion of the regular army. His officer's file at the National Archives - WO339/8504 - reveals that he was commissioned into this battalion on January 10 1906 and resigned on May 6 1914.

On March 12 1914 the Times reported the forthcoming marriage of John Montague Winwood, the younger son of T.H.R Winwood and Mrs Winwood, of Rothesay House, Dorchester and Wellisford, Somerset, and Aileen Hervey Duke, younger daughter of E. Barnaby Duke and Mrs Duke of Maen, Dorchester, which was to take place in London on Tuesday April 14 1914. On October 25 1915 the Times reported that a daughter was born at 'West End', Martinstown, Dorchester on October 21. John's rank was given as captain.

John Winwood was re-appointed to a commission in the 3/Dorsets on October 31 1914 and relinquished the post on May 29 1917.

A further clue to John's wartime service is given on the Langford Budville roll of honour listing in the WWN on August 9 1916 where he is described as captain and adjutant of the 1st Garrison Battalion of the Devon Regiment. This battalion was formed for home service only at Wyke Regis in June 1916 and moved to Weymouth in August 1916 and on to Portland in November 1916. It was disbanded in January 1917. John Winwood was probably attached to the Devons from the Dorsets and saw overseas service with the former in Egypt. The 1st Garrison Battalion of the Devons had been formed in August 1915 and went to Egypt on September 271915. On June 19 1916 John Winwood left Alexandria on the H.S Delta for Southampton where he arrived ten days later. The reason for his return was 'gastritis' which rendered him unfit for service. He soon went on six weeks leave after appearing before a medical board on July 3. On August 24 he was declared fit for home service only and appears to have reported to the 3/Dorsets at Wyke Regis. John Winwood appeared before another medical board on January 18 1917 at Dorchester. At that time he was living at Park House, Martinstown, near Dorchester, and was not serving.

A letter in his file from the Military Hospital, Dorchester, stated that he was "suffering from chronic duo-denal ulcer. He has yet to undergo an operation". On May 2 1917 John appeared before another medical board where he was declared 'permanently unfit for any service' and would have to leave the army for the second time with the honorary rank of captain.

After the war John Winwood became an estate agent. The Times on March 18 1922 reported the death of Captain John Montague Winwood a week earlier. He had died at Arosa, Switzerland. He was the husband of Aileen Winwood and the only surviving son of Thomas Henry Ricketts Winwood of Syward Lodge, Dorchester. Arosa was then an Alpine health resort at 1800 metres in a mountainous area in Eastern Switzerland. It is near Davos. Had John Winwood gone there for his health?


The Winwood brothers plaque in Langford Budville Church

On June 4 1925 the Times reported the death of John's father, Thomas Henry Ricketts Winwood, of Syward Lodge, Dorchester, who died on January 25 1825, aged 72. He left a net value estate of £91.565 (£2.7m in modern value). He left £500 each to the Diocesan Board of Finance for Bath and Wells and St David's, South Wales. On three future occasions the Times listed Chancery court cases of Winwood v Winwood with regard to the estate - 1927, 1934 and 1938.

WESTCOTT F.W SLI

Lance Corporal Frederick Westcott of the 1/Somerset Light Infantry, SN - 5986 and Company Sergeant Major, Machine Gun Corps, SN - 9872. MIC. VM. BM. 1914 Star. Silver War Badge List C/1678.

Frederick Westcott was born c1882. and became a regular soldier when he enlisted on March 13 1901. He was finally discharged on November 11 1919 as no longer physically fit for active service.


Jellalabad Barracks, Mount Street, Taunton.
Built for the SLI in 1881
Frederick can be located on the 1901 census as he was 'living in barracks' at the Taunton Depot of the 13th Regiment as a private in the Somerset Light Infantry. He was then 18 and was born at Lydeard St Lawrence, Somerset. The Taunton Depot meant the Jellalabad Barracks and the reference to the 13th Regiment refers to the former name of the SLI - the 13th Regiment of Foot.

Frederick Westcott cannot be found on any other census but given his approximate year of birth it is highly likely that his family were the only Westcotts and were living at 'Courseley', Lydeard St Lawrence in 1881. This household consisted of William Westcott, born c1841, an agricultural labourer, and his wife, Sarah Ann, born c1845 at nearby Crowcombe. There were three children all born at Lydeard St Lawrence - Frank born c1874, at school; Sam born c1876,also at school; and Joanna Jane, born c1880. Another sibling was probably Mary, a 13 year old servant in the Manning household there.

The same family were at Lydeard Road, Weston, Lydeard St Lawrence in 1891. Frank was no longer at home and Sam was now working as an agricultural labourer. Joanna was still at school and there were now three younger siblings all born at Lydeard St Lawrence; Elizabeth, born c1882, Tom, born c1884; and Jim born c1886.

According to his MIC Frederick Westcott entered a theatre of war on August 21 1914, This was the date that the 1/Battalion left Southampton for Le Havre as part of 11th Brigade, 4th Division. They had previously been based at Colchester. In 1911 the battalion had been sent to South Wales to keep order during the miners' strike. His MIC also states that he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps on February 16 1916. The Corps was then in its infancy but was soon equipped with Vickers machine guns as the firepower of the British Army increased. Before his transfer it is likely that Frederick saw action in the 1/SLI at Le Cateau, the Marne and the Aisne (1914 and 2nd Ypres (1915).

There is one mystery attached to Frederick Westcott. A Private Frederick Westcott of Dunns Farm is listed on both the 1918 and 1919 Absent Voters Lists under Langford Budville and as a private in the 2/5 SLI with a service number of 202908. The details of the first Frederick, however, fits the available evidence.

WOOD ERNEST Devon Regt

Private Devonshire Regiment. MIC - Either Private Ernest Wood, 33147, VM, BM. Or Private Ernest Wood, 52738. Both VM, BM. Then Labour Corps, 100056.

Ernest Wood remains something of a mystery as unfortunately there are two men of the same name who have a Devonshire Regiment medal index card. If an Ernest Wood on the 1901 census is the right one the details below apply.

An Ernest Wood, born c1890 at Kittisford, was living at Meadlands, Stawley, in 1901 with his parents, Samuel, born c1855 at Hemyock, Devon, a carter, and Sarah, born c1857 at Greenham.

Ernest had four siblings, all born at Greenham - Edith born c1893; Phoebe born c1895; Bessie born c1897; and Minnie born c1900.

In 1911 the family were in the same home. Ernest was now a farm labourer. His father now had the same occupation. Samuel had married Sarah Jane c1886. Four of Ernest's siblings were living with their parents - Bessie and Minne were now at school. Edith and Phoebe had left home but two older brothers were now back with the family - Charles, born c1887 at Kittisford and John, born c1888 at Kittisford, a farm herdsman.

On August 22 1977 Robert Hayes interviewed Dan Hayman who had worked at Chipley Saw Mills with Thomas Hayes. One day Tom Hayes was working on Langford Common with among other people, Ern Wood. Harry Broom used to supply them with cider and one afternoon after they had drunk some cider they were clearing out brambles and bracken when Tom Hayes accidentally cut Ern on the arm. Ern Wood was off work for some time so he tried to claim some compensation from the British Legion. The Legion turned down the application and refused to give him any financial aid. Ern Wood was very annoyed about this and decided to report the incident to Major Sanford whereupon Tom Hayes receive a 'dressing down' from the Major.

WOODROFFE H Royal Marine LI

Private Harold Thomas Woodroffe, 6/Royal Marine Light Infantry. Number - PO/2584/S. Royal Marine Medal Roll. VM. BM.

Harold Thomas Woodroffe was born at Fulham, London on September 26 1899 and in 1901 was living with his parents at 45, Barclay Road, Fulham. His father was Arthur J Woodroffe, born c1874 in Gloucestershire, a cabinet maker, and his mother was Kate, born c1874 in London.

In 1911 the family was living at 128, Farley Road, Catford, London SE which was in the Lewisham district. There is some confusion between the 1911 and the 1901 census returns. His father is named as Alfred Thomas rather than Arthur J and his place of birth was given as Frocester, Gloucestershire. This was a village four miles southwest of Stroud. His wife, Kate Maria, was now given a place of birth as Swindon.They were married c1898. Harold now had two siblings - Helen, born c1907 in Ireland, and Morton, born c1909 at Clonmel, county Tipperary, Ireland.

Harold enlisted in the RMLI at Exeter on October 29 1917 i.e not long after his 18th birthday. His occupation was given as a footman which might suggest that he was employed at one of Langford Budville's large houses. He was 5 feet 11 inches in height with hazel eyes, dark brown hair and a fresh complexion. By June 14 1918 his father had probably died as his next of kin was cited as Kate, his mother, then at 62, Spring Bank Road, Hither Green, Lewisham, SE13.

He was based at the Royal Marine depot at Deal, Kent as a private in 'B' company until May 11 1918. On April 30 1918 he qualified as a Maxim machine gunner 1st Class. Earlier that month he passed a swimming test at Deal.

In May 1918 Harold was probably briefly with 'C' Company. Portsmouth Division, RMLI. He then joined 'special services' which meant serving with G force in Northern Russia attached to HMS Fox.


HMS Fox, a cruiser of Astraea class,
Launched 1893

British marines had begun landing in Northern Russia in March 1918 in what soon became support of White Russians in their civil war against the Bolsheviks. By August 1, when Archangel fell, it was to an Allied force, including Americans and the French.

The British 6th Battalion, Royal Marines Light Infantry, was scratched together from a company of the Royal Marine Artillery and companies from each of the three naval port depots. Very few of their officers had seen any land fighting. Their original mission had been to deploy to Flensburg to supervise a vote to decide whether Schleswig-Holstein should be German or Danish. Many of the Marines were under 19 years old; it would have been unusual to employ them overseas. Others were ex-prisoners of war who had only recently returned from Germany and had had no leave.

At short notice, the 6th Battalion was shipped to Murmansk, Russia, on the Arctic Ocean, to assist in the withdrawal of British forces. Still not expecting to do any fighting, the battalion was ordered forward under army command to hold certain outposts. The 6th Battalion was one of fourteen from the Empire.

On August 28 1918 the 6th RMLI was ordered to seize the village of Koikori from the Bolsheviks as part of a wider offensive into East Karelia to secure the British withdrawal to Murmansk. The attack on the village was disorganized and resulted in three men killed and 18 wounded, including the battalion commander who had ineffectually led the attack himself.

A week later, B and C companies, led this time by an army major, made a second attempt to take Koikori, while D company was involved in an attack on the village of Ussuna. The British were again repulsed at Koikori; the army officer was killed and both the company officers wounded. D company was also beaten off by Bolshevik forces around Ussuna, with the death of the battalion adjutant by sniper fire.

The next morning, faced with the prospect of another attack on the village, one company refused to obey orders, and withdrew themselves to a nearby friendly village. Ninety-three men from the battalion were court-martialled; 13 were sentenced to death and others received substantial sentences of hard labour. In December 1919, the Government, under pressure from several MPs, revoked the sentence of death and considerably reduced the sentence of all the men.

Within four months the Allied gains had shrunk and a steady withdrawal began until the endgame in September 1919. Harold Woodroffe was not in Russia at the end as he was demobilised on August 23 1919, having spent just over seven weeks at Portsmouth. He had been granted a war gratuity of £10 (SR).

YENDELL WM J RE

Gunner William John Yendell, Royal Garrison Artillery, SN - 109857, then Pioneer, Royal Engineers, SN - 252693. MIC. VM. BM. Absent Voters List 1918 - R.E Signals Section, 86th Brigade.

William John Yendell was born c1886 at Langford Budville and in 1901 was living with his family at Wellisford Farm. He was a farmer's son and his father was William Yendell, born c1852 at North Molton, Devon, a farmer. He was married to Ellen, born c1856 at Norcombe Chambers, Devon. William John had four siblings - all born at Langford Budville….

Albert Henry born c1888

Olive M born c1890

Ellen M born c1892

Frederick A born c1898

There was also a domestic servant - Elizabeth Davey born c1880 at Wellington.

KD shows William senior at the same farm until at least 1919.

William attested for the Royal Garrison Artillery at Wellington on December 12 1915 when his occupation was given as 'shepherd and farm bailiff'. He was six feet tall with a 39 inch chest and weighed 168 lbs. His physical development was described as 'very good'. His religious affiliation was Baptist.

He was placed on the Army Reserve and mobilised on July 27 1916 at Taunton. He was posted to No 3 Depot, RGA, as a gunner. On August 12 the same year he was at Bell Island. The location of this place is unknown. On February 9 1917 William was posted to A Depot, Siege Artillery. By the end of the month he had passed first class in signalling and telephony. On April 18 1917 he was posted to 112 Brigade Siege Artillery at Bordon Camp, north of Portsmouth. On May 8 he joined 98 HAG (Heavy Artillery Group), RGA, at Catterick Bridge.

On June 3 1917 William was transferred as a Pioneer to the Royal Engineers and attached to RGA Corps signal school. The reason for his transfer was given as 'benefit of service'. On May 16 1917 he had disembarked abroad, probably France. His 'Military History Sheet' describes him as BEF then home on May 27 1918. The reason why he came home was medical as he spent 61 days in the 2nd Southern General Hospital, Bristol, from May 28 to July 27 1918 suffering from P.U.O - pyrexia of unknown origin, a common front line illness characterised by a high fever.

It seems that later that year William was attached to L Company, Labour Corps, as a pioneer although on October 3 1918 he was transferred to the RE Signals Depot at Bedford. He was demobilised on March 17 1919. The Absent Voters List for 1918 gives his home as Wellisford.

YEO W H Tank Corps

Private William Henry Yeo, Tank Corps. MIC. VM. BM. SN - 69438. 1918 and 1919 Absent Voters List - 10 section, C company, 6th Battalion, Tank Corps.

William Yeo in 1901 was probably one of the nine children of John Yeo, agricultural labourer, whose family was living at Wallridge, Croford, between Wiveliscombe and Milverton. If so he was born c1889 at Bampton, Devon, the same place where his father was born in 1862. His mother, Susan, was born c1867 at Uplowman, Devon. The eight possible siblings were….

John born c1888 at Bampton, an agricultural labourer

Ernest Thomas born c1891 at Bampton

Samuel born c1893 at Skilgate, Somerset

James born c1894 at Bampton

Amy born c1896 at Morebath, Devon

Elsie born c1897 at Morebath

Alice born c1899 at Wiveliscombe

Lily, 8 weeks old at the time of the census born at Wiveliscombe

In 1911 William Henry Yeo was a single man and weaver at a woollen factory living at Butts Cottage, Langford Budville. The place of birth correlates although the year of birth given in 1911 was c1893. William was living with his brother-in-law Jim Burston born c1873 at Milverton, a farm labourer. He had been married for eight years to Elizabeth Mary Burston born c1881 at Bampton. Their sons were William Bertram Burston born c1904 at Langford Budville and Percival James Burston c1909 at Langford Budville.

This is definitely the Tank Corps soldier. The Absent Voters List show him as a resident of 'Village'.

YOUNG JOHN

Absent Voters List 1918 and 1919 - Stoker, HMS Apollo. SN - K/26806

There is a lack of information about John Young apart from the Absent Voters Lists which record his home as Keepers Cottage, Langford Budville. He might have been the 15 year old Milverton born gardener living with his family at South Street, Wiveliscombe in 1911. If so his father was not recorded as he was probably away from home; his mother could have been Sarah born at Crowcombe, Somerset. There were three sisters and a brother.

NEW NAMES

John Young was the final name of the 70 listed on the Langford Budville Roll of Honour. A further thirteen men have been identified who could have been included.

Found by reference in the WWN…

Lieutenant Nigel Kennedy Worthington

Lieutenant Reginald Carlton Cross

By use of SDGW CD…

Private William John Chipling

Private Frederick Thorne (and army service record, National Archives)

British Army Pension Records National Archives…

Private Harold James Chipling

Named on the Langford Roll of Honour in the WWN on August 9 1916…

Private Walter Davey

Colonel Arthur Russell Loscombe

F.C Mace

Gunner George Edward Searle

Corporal A Williams

Lieutenant Kirkpatrick

Named on the Absent Voters List for Taunton constituency

Corporal Ronald Mackenzie Dewar

Private Walter John Palmer

LIEUTENANT NIGEL KENNEDY WORTHINGTON

Captain 3/Dragoon Guards. MIC. BM. VM. 1914 Star

Nigel Kennedy Worthington was born at Eccles, Lancashire on June 22 1885 and in 1901 was living at Bindon House with his parents, Henry Hugo Worthington J.P, born in 1857 at Manchester and Amelia Maud, born c1855, also at Manchester (his parents had married in 1883). Nigel had two brothers - James Henry, born c1885 at Eccles and Rollo, born c1890 at Salford, Lancashire. The household also included Kathleen Knight, described as a 'companion' born c1874 at Laceby, Lincolnshire.

Henry Hugo Worthington was later to become the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire in 1917-18. He had attended Clifton College and Oriel College, Oxford. His father had been James Worthington of Sale Hall, Cheshire (Who Was Who 1916-1928).

According to the Bindon House Hotel web site the Worthingtons acquired the house in 1898. They were a wealthy Buckinghamshire family who used the house as a country retreat. Amelia Worthington is said to have carved the lectern in Langford Budville church. She was the daughter of Matthew Kennedy of Low Nook, Ambleside.

On the Army List of January 1907 Nigel was listed as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th Battalion, Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He gained this rank on April 11 1906.

On the Army List of April 1911 he was listed as a 2nd Lieutenant, 3/Dragoon Guards having been appointed from the militia on December 11 1907 - this suggests that his Scottish unit was a militia one. He had become a full Lieutenant on January 26 1910.

Nigel cannot be found on the 1911 census although his parents were then living at Wycombe Court, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. His father was described as a 'manufacturer of card clothing'. There were eight servants in the household - lady's maid, cook, two parlourmaids, three housemaids and a kitchenmaid.


Wycombe Court

Nigel's MIC shows that he served as a Lieutenant and later Captain in the 3/Dragoon Guards, a cavalry regiment. He received the 1914 Star and arrived on the continent between August 19-21 1914. These dates suggest that Lieutenant Worthington was serving with the only Cavalry Division in August 1914 when they were sent to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force. The 3rd Dragoon Guards had been recalled from Cairo in August 1914 and joined the 6th Cavalry Brigade of 3rd Cavalry Division on November 4 1914. They had arrived in Liverpool on October 18 and landed in France on October 18. These dates suggest that Nigel had probably retired from service before 1914 and had then been recalled and may have been attached to another unit until his former regiment arrived.

The WWN of June 30 1915 reported that Lieutenant Worthington, formerly of Bindon, had been awarded the Military Cross for an action near Ypres.

Worthington may have served throughout the war although the cavalry played a restricted role as breakthroughs never seemed to happen. His unit may have played a part in the final phase of Battle of 1st Ypres in November 1914 but were involved at 2nd Ypres at Frezenburg Ridge on May 11-13 1915 and at Loos in France in September 1915. In April 1917 the 3rd Cavalry Division saw some action at opening of the Battle of Arras. In 1918 the Division was present when the Germans launched their spring offensive . They also played a more important role in the Battle of the 100 Days which ended the war, including Amiens, Cambrai and the Selle.

In 1919 Henry and Amelia Worthington moved to Grantlands, Uffculme, Devon, where Henry was still resident when he died in a London hotel on March 23 1924. The death notice in the WWN of March 26 1924 recorded that he was a former owner of Bindon where he lived until c14-15 years previously although he 'owned it for a while after he left'. Amelia remained at Uffculme until 1939.

†CROSS REGINALD CARLTON LIEUTENANT, DORSET YEOMANRY

Private Reginald Carlton Cross, Lord Strathcona's Horse, SN 2885. Lieutenant, 2/1st Dorset Yeomanry. MIC. VM. BM. 1915 Star. Killed in action near Arras on June 7 1918 whilst attached to the 2/4th South Lancashire Regiment (TF). Buried in Couin New British Cemetery, 15 km east of Doullens.

Reginald Carlton Cross was born at Crooke Hall, Chorley, Lancashire on November 11 1891. He was the second son of Carlton and Emily Cross (nee Briscoe), born c1862. His father was a cotton manufacturer. Reginald was educated at Stone House School, Broadstairs, Malvern College and Clare College, Cambridge which he left in 1911. At Malvern he had been a member of the OTC. In 1912 he went to British Columbia, Canada, and settled at Vaseau Lake, Okanagan Falls as a fruit farmer.

In 1901 Carlton Cross and Emily, 39 were living at Bath, Somerset in a building called the Grand Pump Hotel shared by Francis C, Earl, born c1842 in London, Irish representative of the King and William Clark, born c1841 at Paisley, Scotland, living on own means and his wife born c1856 in Toronto, Canada. Also there was Agnes Waters, widow, born c1834 at Toronto, Canada. Also Annie Dinas?, born c1852 at Midlothian,Scotland, living on her own means, and her daughter, Ethel, born c1886 in Forfarshire. Arthur Edward, was a Manchester born visitor, aged 50, living on own means and Charles Fletcher was a married visitor, aged 57, a landowner living on own means, born at Liverpool.  Reginald was presumably at school at this time.


Grand Pump Room Hotel, Bath, 1911

On the 1881 census Carlton Cross was a visitor and student at Newcourt, Newent, Gloucestershire, in the house of Andrew Knowles, born c1845 at Walton, Lancashire, a magistrate and retired coal proprietor, and his wife, Catherine, born c1855 at the same place. There was a son, James Knowles, born at Eccles, Lancashire. There was one other visitor, Annie Brooke, born c1831 in Shropshire, a clergyman's widow. There were ten servants - a footman, a coachman, a groom and seven domestic servants. Carlton Cross was born into a dynasty of cotton manufacturers in Bolton, Lancashire. His father was John Kynaston Cross who married Emily Carlton in 1858. John became the Liberal MP for Bolton from 1874-1885 and served as Under-Secretary of State for India between 1883-5; he committed suicide in March 1887. Carlton, the eldest son, became a director of Horrocks, the family weaving concern, which was more profitable than the spinning side. For many years he lived at Crooke Hall, Whittle-le-Woods near Chorley. He left Lancashire in 1905 and moved to Wyke Hall, Gillingham, Dorset. It was probably at this time that he also took on Wellisford Manor. In addition to Reginald there were two other children - Major John Kynaston Carlton Cross (1889-1966), who served in the Lancashire Fusiliers between 1909 and 1926; and the Reverend Wilfred Randal Carlton Cross (1893-1930), at one time curate of Great Yarmouth.

In 1911 Reginald was an 'army student' but living at Wyke Hall, Gillingham, Dorset with his parents. His father was described as a company director, born c1860 at Bolton, Lancashire and Emily, his mother, born c1862 at Bushbury, Staffordshire. They were married c1887. There were four visitors…

Ernest W Greg, sewing cotton manufacturer, born Styal, Cheshire c1862

His wife, Marian Greg, born Fernclough Bottom, Lancashire c1863

Margaret Hyde Greg, single,their daughter, born Higher Crinscar, Lancashire c1892

Selina Mary Vernon, single, born Brewood, Staffordshire c1871

There were also seven servants and one visitor to a servant…

Elizabeth Adelaide Cox, cook

Mary Elizabeth Limbert, lady's maid

(also a visitor Margaret Limbert, lodgings house keeper)

Ellen Barber, housemaid

Amy Golb, kitchemaid

Alice Irene Dunning, housemaid

George William Hallect?, butler

Amos Porter, chauffeur

The Greg visitors were relatives. Marion (1862-1931) was Carlton Cross's sister. Her husband's great grandfather was Samuel Greg who started up the Quarry Bank Mill at Styal in 1784. Ernest and Marion Greg lived at Norcliffe Hall, Styal, Cheshire. Their daughter, Margaret, studied painting in Paris and was a VAD nurse in the First World War. After the war she became a doctor and surgeon.

In October 1914 Reginald returned to England from Canada. He enlisted in the recently mobilised Lord Strathcona's Horse as a trooper at Salisbury Plain on October 28 and went to France with the regiment on May 4 1915. This was a Canadian mounted unit which had been formed at the time of the Boer War and had served there. Reginald was with the BEF in France and Flanders between May and November 1915, sometimes serving dismounted as infantry, when he returned to England and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the 2/1st Queens Own Dorset Yeomanry. The Yeomanry were the mounted arm of the Territorial Force formed in 1908 and were organised on a county basis. The 2/1st Dorset Yeomanry went to France in July 1916 and spent five months as a cyclist unit. In November 1916 they acquired horses and were mounted again; however, in September 1917 they reverted to the use of cycles. At some point he became brigade scouting officer.

When he joined the Dorset Yeomanry he completed a questionnaire for candidates who wished to be appointed to a commission in the Territorial Force. He was 5 feet 10 inches in height.

On June 1 1917 Reginald was promoted to full Lieutenant and in October that year was attached to the 2/4th South Lancashire Regiment (172 Brigade in 57th Division), returning to France on November 2 and went to join them at the front. He may have been a replacement officer as the unit had been involved in the final phase of 3rd Ypres in late October and early November 1917. They had arrived in France on February 16 1917. Reginald was killed in action near Arras on June 7 1918. His parents were still living at Wyke Hall, rebuilt at that time.

"Lieutenant Reginald Carlton Cross, Yeomanry, attached South Lancashire Regiment, who was killed in action on the 7th inst., aged 26, was the second son of Mr and Mrs Carlton Cross, of Wyke Hall, Gillingham, Dorset, who formerly resided at Wellisford Manor. He was educated at Stone House School, Broadstairs, at Malvern College, where he was second in the school football team, and at Clare College, Cambridge. On the declaration of war he returned from British Columbia and enlisted in Lord Strathcona's Horse and went to France with the regiment in May 1915. He obtained a commission in the Dorset Yeomanry in November 1915 and became scouting officer to the brigade. He was attached to the South Lancashire Regiment in October 1917 and left for the front immediately".

Wellington Weekly News June 19 1918

Couin New British Cemetery between Doullens and Arras

An officer wrote to his family 'Your son was one of the very best sportsmen I have met and we all miss his cheery personality sadly. You will be proud to know that he met his fate in a most gallant manner and that he died in the act of saving his wounded men. His death was instantaneous, a bullet through the temple in the very act of dragging a badly wounded man into safety. He knew the risk he was running and he died a very gallant gentleman. He actually performed one of the bravest acts in this battalion's history and only cruel bad luck spoilt a glorious enterprise. His men are quite heart-broken and one badly wounded man, whom your son carried into safety, said, while being dressed in the First Aid Post, 'I know I am going to die. I am glad I went with him and now I shall go with him'. He died soon after. It is impossible to give you full details of his death but you will be glad to know that he met his end full of honour". Another officer wrote 'It is satisfactory to know that he lost his life so gallantly but he is one who cannot easily be replaced as he was a really brave man, always keen and happy to take on a dangerous enterprise. It is a regret to me that he should have lost his life before gaining his Military Cross, which he would have been certain to get shortly'.

(De Ruvigny)

His parents decided that their son should be commemorated in the church of St Mary the Virgin, Gillingham. Firstly ,the Chapel of the Good Shepherd was given by Mr and Mrs Carlton Cross in memory of their son who was killed in France during World War I while carrying in some of the wounded men from his regiment. W. D. Caroe, the architect who designed the chapel, went on to create many other fine works, including the east end of the Lady Chapel in Sherborne Abbey.

Secondly a plaque was mounted on the wall with the following inscription…

To the glory of God this Chapel is

Given by Carlton and Emily Cross

Of Wyke Hall in this Parish in Proud

And Unfading Memory of their

Dearly Beloved Son

REGINALD CARLTON CROSS

2/1ST Dorset Yeomanry Attached

To the 2/4 South Lancashire Regt

Who fought in the Great War and

Was killed in France on 7 June 1918

On reconnaisance duty whilst

Carrying in his wounded men

Aged 26 years

Laid to rest in the British Cemetery

At Couin near Arras, France

God died for all men He for our Country

Grant unto him O Lord they

Mercy and Everlasting Peace

Gillingham, Dorset, Roll of Honour 1914-1918 - Reginald Cross entry


Grave marker of Lieutenant Cross, St Mary the Virgin,
Gillingham, Dorset

Reginald Cross died without leaving a will. His estate was valued at £7579-4s-7d. This is £161000 at 2010 values.

†CHIPLING WILLIAM JOHN 6/SLI

Private William John Chipling, 6/Somerset Light Infantry. MIC. VM. BM. 1915 Star. SN - 16925.

Killed in action on September 25 1915. Commemorated on Panel 21 of the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium. Brother of Harold James Chipling. Possibly the cousin of Sydney James Chipling

William John Chipling was born in 1898 at Langford Budville and in 1901 was living with his parents at Bindon Cottage. His father, William J, born at Kittisford c1877 was employed as a farm carter and his mother was Lettie, born c1874 also at Langford.

At that time there was also a sister, Olive, born c1900 at Runnington. As Sydney James Chipling's father was also born at Kittisford c1879 it is likely that the two soldiers were cousins.

On the 1911 census William John Chipling was a bobbin carrier and at school part-time born c1899, living at Rackfield, Westford, with parents, William Jack, carter at a woollen factory, and Lillie. They had been married since 1896. This is definitely Harold's family because several details of ages of ages and places of birth correlate with the 1901 census. In 1911 Harold had six siblings…

Harold John Chipling, born c1897 at Langford, a bobbin carrier

Olive Ethel, born c1900 at Runnington, at school

Ivy May, born c1904 at Thorne St Margaret, at school

Richard Stanley, born c1906 at Thorne St Margaret, at school

Francis Clifford, born c1908 at Thorne St Margaret

Margery Mabel, born c1910 at Westford

Living at Westford it is highly likely that William worked at the nearby Elworthy factory rather than Fox's at Tonedale.


Messrs. Elworthy's textile factory at Westford

William joined the army at Taunton and SDGW states that he was living in Wellington at that time. His MIC shows that he entered a theatre of war in France on July 14 1915. This was after the 6/Somersets had been in France for over two months. They were part of 43 Infantry Brigade, 14 (Light) Division. William may have joined them in time to go into front line trenches east of Ypres on July 18.

In early August the battalion was in the front line at Railway Wood and faced heavy shell fire. For two weeks from August 16 they were at a rest camp behind the lines. During the first week of September they were back in the front line. From September 15 to 20 the unit was in the GHQ Line south of the Menin Road followed by three days behind the lines. Orders were then received for a 14 Division attack aimed at the capture of Bellewaarde Farm On September 25. The 6/SLI were attached to 42 Brigade for the operation. Three companies were to be in reserve at the GHQ Line and 'A' company was to occupy front line trenches and redoubts. This was a subsidiary action in support of a major offensive at Loos further south in France.

At 3.50 a.m on September 25 an intense bombardment of the German line from Railway Wood to Sanctuary Wood opened. Three battalions then attacked. Three hours later the 'reserve' companies of the SLI were ordered forward in broad daylight to the Railway Wood front line as the Germans were counter-attacking. They arrived at 9.45 a.m. and found the trenches had been obliterated. The Somersets held on all day 'in the face of a terrible bombardment'. Three officers and eleven men had been killed and one officer and 38 men had been wounded. One man was missing. Private William Chipling was one of those killed.


The 14th (Light) Division memorial at Hill 60, Ypres Salient.
The 6/SLI are listed under 43rd Infantry Brigade

At the time of his death in September 1915 his father was living at Rockwell Green. He was recorded as 18 years of age but was probably an under-age recruit and only 17. His birth was registered between October and December 1898.

†THORNE FREDERICK 2/Dorsets

Private Frederick Thorne, 2/Dorsets. MIC. VM. BM. 1915 Star. SN - 8869. Died December 26 1914 at Basra, Mesopotamia. Buried in Basra War Cemetery.

Frederick Thorne was born at Langford Budville c1892 and in 1901 was living with his family at Tone Hill, Wellington. His parents were John Walter Thorne, born c1861 at Langford, a factory hand, and Emma, born c1860 at Wellington. There were six siblings…

Lena,born c1883 at Langford, woollen weaver

Levi, born c1888 at Langford, factory hand

John,born c1890 at Langford

Albert born c1895 at Langford.

Harriet, born c1898 at Wellington

Lily, born c1900 at Wellington.

So  the family were living at Langford Budville at least between 1883 and 1895.

In 1911 Frederick was not in the family home at 27, Tone Hill, Wellington. His father was described as a cloth miller and had married his mother, now a wool spinner, c1882. Levi was now a wool spinner. Albert, Harriet and Lily were all still at home. John Walter's grandson, Cyril Walter Stuckey, born c1907, was also part of the household. The reason why it has proved impossible to find Frederick on the 1911 census is that he had joined the army the year before.

Frederick attested into the Dorset Regiment at Taunton on March 15 1910 and was then an 18 year old mill hand living at Langford Budville. He was already serving as a Territorial soldier as a member of th 5th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. He was 5 feet 4 inches in height and weighed 111 lbs with a 34 ½ inch chest. He had grey eyes, brown hair, a mole on the right side of his back and a large scar on his forearm and a scar on the front of his left wrist. He had a fresh complexion. His religion was Church of England.


The Keep, Dorchester. Part of the 1879 depot of the Dorset Regiment. Now the museum for the Devon and Dorset Regiments.

By June 13 1910 Frederick was at the regimental depot at Dorchester for a period of home service - the beginning of his twelve years of service. On December 9 and 18 1912 he received anti-typhoid inoculations at Deepcut Barracks before going with the 2nd Battalion to India where he served for one year and 329 days; until then he had served with E Company, 1st Battalion. In September 1913 his pay was sixpence a day. He was in India with the 2/Dorsets until November 5 1914. In 1913 he was found to be suffering from a hernia and was excused any duty lifting baggage etc. for 42 days.

His MIC shows that the first theatre of war he entered was at Hedjaz on November 6 1914. This was part of Frederick's 51 days of service in Lower Mesopotamia. In August 1914 the 2/Dorsets were in Poona, India as part of 16th Indian Brigade in Poona Division. On November 6 1914 they landed in Fao, Persian Gulf, for the campaign in Mesopotamia against the Turks as part of Indian Expeditionary Force 'D'.

On October 16 1914 the convoy containing Indian Expeditionary Force 'D' moved from Bombay and sailed straight to the head of the Gulf without stopping, and anchored off Bahrein.

The orders given to Brigadier-General W. S. Delamain on November 5 - commanding Indian Expeditionary Force 'D' - were to protect the oil refineries, tanks and pipeline at Abadan and cover the landing of reinforcements if these should be required. Only if hostilities with Turkey were to become fact should he try to occupy Basra too, and to do this the rest of the 6th (Poona) Division of the Indian Army would arrive. News came through that Turkey had attacked Russia on the Black Sea coast, and war was declared on that day.

Between November 5 and 21 Basra was captured. 600 British troops including some Royal Marines were landed near the old fort at Fao, which they captured. The rest of the Force sailed on to a place where they could safely disembark, at Sanniyeh. On November 12 the remainder of the Poona Division landed and a reconnaissance in force inflicted further losses on the Turks near Saihan. Early on November 19 the 16th and 18th Brigades attacked the Turkish fortress at Zain in a heavy rainstorm which slowed the advance to a walk. After an accurate bombardment the fort fell, leaving over 1000 Turkish casualties; the rest of the enemy fled. Cavalry were unable to pursue due to the heavy mud. British casualties in the advance of 2000 yards of open ground were 353. The Turks tried hurriedly to block the river by towing a string of ships across and sinking them. However, a cable broke and left a gap wide enough for one vessel at a time to pass. On November 20 General Sir Arthur Barrett, commanding the 6th (Poona) Division, received news from a local Arab sheikh that the Turks had withdrawn and abandoned Basra. Two battalions embarked immediately and sailed to Basra. After their retreat from Basra, the Turks took up a position where they could make a stand against a further British advance, particularly at Qurna.

Basra is a city on the River Euphrates, inland from where the river flows into the head of the Persian Gulf. In 1914 it had a population of 60000. On November 21 two battalions entered Basra. The British officially took possession of the city on 23 November. In this action the British secured oil supplies in the Middle East: this had immense strategic implications, as this oil field supplied most of the Royal Navy's fuel.

Qurna was captured between December 3 and 19 1914 and its garrison surrendered. It lies at the confluence of the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates, where they join to become the Shatt-al-Arab 40 miles above Basra (Long Long Trail).

On Christmas Day 1914 Frederick was hospitalised in No 3/A British General Hospital at Basra very jaundiced and also with paralytic symptoms - he had contracted malaria. He died the following day (SR). He had served for 4 years and 238 days of the original twelve.

Service Record…

Details of his medals were later sent to his father at 27, Tone Hill, Wellington and witnessed by H.Beamont, foreman, Fox Bros and Co Ltd.

HAROLD JAMES CHIPLING, SLI

Private Somerset Light Infantry. Brother of William John Chipling. Possibly the cousin of Sydney James Chipling. SN - 9739

Harold James Chipling was born at Langford Budville c1897 but some reason was not in the family home at Bindon Cottage at the time of the 1901 census. His father, William J, born at Kittisford c1877, was employed as a farm carter and his mother was Lettie, born c1874 also at Langford. There was also a brother, William John, born c1899 at Langford and a sister, Olive, born c1900 at Runnington. As Sydney James Chipling's father was also born at Kittisford c1879 it is likely that the two soldiers were cousins.

On the 1911 census Harold Chipling was a bobbin carrier living at Rackfield, Westford with parents, William Jack, carter at a woollen factory, and Lillie. They had been married since 1896. This is definitely Harold's family because several details of ages of ages and places of birth correlate with the 1901 census although there is a variation with his mother's surname. In 1911 Harold had six siblings…

William John, born c1899 at Langford, at school part time and a bobbin carrier

Olive Ethel, born c1900 at Runnington, at school

Ivy May, born c1904 at Thorne St Margaret, at school

Richard Stanley, born c1906 at Thorne St Margaret, at school

Francis Clifford, born c1908 at Thorne St Margaret

Margery Mabel, born c1910 at Westford

Harold attested for the Somerset Light Infantry before war broke out on May 1 1914 whilst still living at Westford where he was employed as a mill hand, probably at the Elworthy factory there. He was 18 years and 320 days old and was then living at Langford Budville. His mother was no longer alive. This suggests that he joined as a regular as he was already an SLI Territorial based at Tone, Wellington - 'in which I am still serving'. It would not be unusual for a factory to have its own Territorial unit. On August 8 1914 he was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion based at Taunton although it is not clear whether he went to Devonport with them in August 1914.. At this time he was 5 feet 8 ½ inches in height, weighed 136 lbs and with a chest measurement of 36 ½. He had hazel eyes, brown hair and a fresh complexion. He had a scar over the centre of the thyroid cartilage. His physical development was fair. His religion was Church of England.

Harold only served for 140 days and was discharged on October 17 1914 as not fit i.e. not likely to become an efficient soldier. The reason was probably tuberculosis. His records show that he had had an operation in London two years previously.

W. DAVEY, 5TH SOMERSETS

Private Walter Davey, 5/Somerset Light Infantry. MIC. BM. SN - 4527 and 241877

The medal index card found is of the right man because the Langford Budville roll in the WWN of August 9 1916 stated that he was 5/SLI which was a Territorial Battalion. Two service numbers shows the Territorial renumbering which took place in 1917. The award of only the British Medal is consistent with the 5/SLI who only saw war service in India. In addition his brother's home address in the CWGC database fits.

Walter Davey was born c1893 at Kittisford. In 1901 he was living with his family at Cothay Bridge, Bathealton. His father was William, born c1868 at Kittisford, a farm carter, and his mother was Bessie, born c1869 at Combe Florey. Walter had four siblings at that time all born at Kittisford…

William, 9, born c1892

Francis J Davey, born c1895

Charles H, born c1897

Francis, born c1900

In addition there was a 26 year farm labourer/cattle in the household born at Curry Mallett, Somerset.

In 1911 the family were still at Cothay Bridge. His father was now a farm horseman. His parents were married c1891. Walter was now employed as a gardener. James who was probably Francis J Davey was now a farm labourer. Henry who was probably Charles H Davey was also a gardener. Frank or Francis was at school. There was now a new brother, Harold born c1904.


The Cothay Bridge area in 1900. The bridge itself was a canal bridge.
The area lies west of Thorne St Margaret

In the autumn of 1914 it had been agreed to release regular soldiers in India and the Indian Army for service on the Western Front and that they would be replaced by Territorial battalions. Private Davey would probably have sailed for India as part of the Wessex Division arriving at Bombay on November 9 1914. In May 1917 his division, now the 43rd Wessex Division, left India for Palestine. He may not have been abroad with the battalion at the end of 1918, when the war had ended.

We do not know where Walter was when news arrived that his brother, Francis John, had been killed in action with only one week of the war remaining. He was described as the son of Mr and Mrs William Davey of Cothay Bridge, Greenham. Francis was a private in the 1st Battalion of the Dorset Regiment (service number - 42893) and he was buried in Ors British Cemetery, France. SDGW states that he enlisted at Taunton and was then resident at Kittisford. Ors is on the Sambre-Oise Canal and it was here on the same day that Wilfred Owen was killed leading his men across the canal. Owen is buried in the village cemetery extension. Another brother, Charles Henry, is listed on the Kittisford Absent Voters List for 1918 with a home at Cothay Bridge; he was a private in the 1/Coldstream Guards (21259). There may have been another brother - a Ernest James Davey is listed on the 1919 Absent Voters List at Cothay Bridge; he was also 1/Coldstream (19169) and was at Wimbledon Camp, London, at that time,

The probable explanation for Walter being listed on the Langford Budville Roll in the WWN of August 9 1916 and his brother never mentioned in any other issue is that Walter might have worked in Langford village.

COLONEL A.R. LOSCOMBE, 9TH SOUTH STAFFS, CHESHIRES AND WEST INDIES REGIMENT.

MIC. BM.

Arthur Russell Loscombe was born at Goodworth Clatford, Hampshire, south of Andover, in 1856 (baptized September 21 1856) and in 1911 was living at Langford Budville with his wife, Annie Draydon Loscombe, born c1868 at Bodmin, Cornwall. They were married in 1888. Arthur was a retired army colonel. Their Hampshire born daughter, Marjorie Kate Russell Losocmbe, aged 19, was also part of the household. In addition there were two female servants - a cook and a housemaid.

In 1861 four year old Arthur was living at Goodworth Clatford with his father, Francis R Loscombe, who farmed a large acreage employing 16 men and 4 boys and his first wife, Sarah born c1818 at Axminster, Devon. They had married in 1842. In 1871 Arthur's parents were still there. Francis had been born at Andover in c1816 and was a farmer of 450 acres employing 16 men and 5 boys. Three children were still at home, all born at Goodworth Clatford…

Catherine, born c1843, unmarried

Henry William, born 1852, a student (died April 28 1874)

Sarah H, born 1859, a scholar

Charlotte Pickering was an unmarried visitor born c1814 in London. She was Sarah's sister. There were two female servants.

Arthur can be found on the 1871 census as pupil at the Endowed Free Grammar School, Wimborne Minster, Dorset. There were seven boarders and seven pupils including Arthur.

In 1881 Francis Russell Loscombe was still farming at Goodworth Clatford. He was now farming 530 acres with 13 men and 4 boys but was also now a land agent. His wife Sarah had been buried on December 5 1873 so in 1881 we find his second wife was Mary, born c1841. There were two children - Catherine and Charlotte, born at Great Clatford c1845, both daughters of Sarah. Frank H Loscombe born c1877 at Great Clatford was a product of the second marriage. There was a cook and a housemaid.

Francis Russell Loscombe was buried at Goodworth Clatford on June 22 1887 and was then of Heath House, Andover, and described as a 'gentleman'. By that date Arthur Russell Loscombe had joined the army. His army career can be traced via the London Gazette and the Naval and Military Intelligence column of the Times. In September 3 1883 included him in a list of officers who reported at Aldershot for the purpose of going through a course of garrison instruction. He was described as a Lieutenant in the 1st West India Regiment.

On June 4 1887 the same source published the fact that Lieutenant Loscombe was to be adjutant of the same regiment.

On April 16 1888, still the adjutant, he was promoted to captain.

That year he married Annie Draydon, daughter of George Draydon Wendon. On April 17 1892 their daughter, Marjorie Kate Russell Loscombe, was baptised privately. The parents were probably living at Andover at this time. Arthur held the same rank on June 9 1894. On November 17 1900 Arthur Russell Loscombe was promoted to the rank of Major. On August 26 1903 Lieutenant Colonel A.R Loscombe was given command of a battalion of the West India Regiment.

On February 2 1906 Lieutenant Colonel and Brevet Colonel Arthur Russell Loscombe of the West India Regiment went on to retired pay. It is not clear exactly when Arthur's army career took him to the West Indies but there is no doubt some of this time was spent at Up Park Camp, Jamaica. He cannot be found on the 1891 or 1901 census returns so was probably abroad in those years.

When the war began Arthur was about 58 years old and must have thought that his army career was well behind him. However, he soon became a 'dugout' - a retired officer brought back to active service. From September 24 1914 to June 23 1915 he commanded the 9th South Staffordshire Regiment, a service battalion of Kitchener volunteers which had been formed that month (K3).

The battalion moved to Aldershot and in December 1914 went into Talavera Barracks. They became attached as Army Troops to 23rd Division as a Pioneer battalion in April 1915. In March 1915 the unit had moved to Shorncliffe, Kent and went on in May to Oxney Park at Bordon, Hampshire. Typical of the time Arthur Russell Loscombe was probably regarded as too old to take a battalion to the front so left before they arrived in France on August 24 1915.

On August 5 1915 Loscombe was appointed to command the 1st Garrison Battalion of the Cheshire Regt. They served in Gibraltar from September 1915 and as he was commanding them at the time he would have received the British War Medal for that service but not the Victory Medal. His Medal Index card states that he was 'ineligible for award of Victory Medal'.

It is not clear what happened to Colonel Loscombe after this service.

However, on January 10 1919 The Edinburgh Gazette listed under men to be commanders of the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire for valuable services rendered in connection with the war was Brevet Colonel Arthur Russell Loscombe, late West India Regiment. We then lose track of him until the Times of July 31 1933 which announced the marriage on July 27 of Edward Angus Roberts of Westcott, Aylesbury to Marjorie Kate Russell Savill, only daughter of the late Colonel and Mrs Arthur Russell Loscombe.

MACE F, 'C' company 10TH DEVONS

There is an MIC which might be this man listed on the Langford Roll in the WWN on August 9 1916 - Francis F Mace, Private, 10/Devon Regiment. Service Number - 13720. Victory and British medals and the 1915 Star. Entered the theatre of war, France, on September 22 1915. This was the date when the 10/Devons landed at Bouogne for brief service in France before moving with 79 Brigade, 26 Division, to Salonika in November 1915.

SEARLE G.E. GUNNER, RFA

Gunner George Edward Searle, Royal Field Artillery. MIC. SN - 1328. VM. BM. 1915 Star

It is highly likely that this is George Edward Searle, born c1894 at West Buckland living at Blackmores, West Buckland with his parents Alfred, an agricultural labourer, born c1865 at Tipton St John, Devon and Sarah Jane, born c1866 at Clayhidon, Devon. There were four siblings all born at West Buckland…

Alfred Herbert born c1890

Lillie, born c1892

Sarah Louisa , born c1896

Emma, born c1899

In 1911 the family were living in the same place. Alfred was now a road contractor and had married his wife c1890. Their approximate birth years were different - Alfred 1862 and Sarah 1863. George Edward was now a farm labourer. His older brother, Alfred Herbery, had the same job. Sarah Louisa was now a domestic servant and Emm was still at school. Lillie had left home.

George Searle entered the theatre of war in France on July 8 1915 but there is insufficient information to know which artillery brigade he served with or where.

CORPORAL A WILLIAMS, CANADIAN CONTINGENT

A search of Canadian First World War records did not shed any light on this man.

LIEUTENANT KIRKPATRICK, 2ND DEVONS

The lack of an initial makes Lieutenant Kirkpatrick difficult to track down. There is an MIC for a Lieutenant J.D Kirkpatrick, 5th Devon Regt with no medals listed.

This same man probably features on the 1891 census as John D Kirkpatrick, born c1874, then a reporter and journalist, born at Taunton. He was the stepson of Elea Kirkpatrick, widow, born c1833 at Sandford Orcas, then in Somerset. He was living at Taunton St James. His brother James, born c1869 at Taunton, a chemist. There was one young female domestic servant born at Curry Mallett, Somerset.

CORPORAL RONALD MACKENZIE DEWAR.

MIC - VM, BM, 1915 Star. Absent Voters List 1918 and 1919 - 7th Cameron Highlanders. SN - 16838.

In 1901 Ronald, aged 8 and at school, was living with his family at 7, Clerk Street, Brechin in Forfarshire, Scotland. His parents were David, born c1859 and Hannah, born c1863. He had six siblings. His father worked as a'domestic coachman'.

Ronald first joined up on January 12 1915 at Guildford, Surrey. His fitness was given as A1. His permanent address was given as Whatcombe, Dorset. He may have initially joined the 8th Battalion of the Camerons.

His MIC shows that he entered a theatre of war, namely France, on October 3 1915, three months after his battalion. It also mistakenly names him as Robert M Dewar. The Absent Voters List give his residence as Bindon House which is of interest as Captain James Hamilton Leigh, also a Cameronian Highlander, had bought it in 1915. He is likely to have seen action on the Somme in 1916, Arras in 1917 and the Battle of the Hundred Days in 1918. A document in his service file dated February 16 1918 gives his address as 33,Union Street, Brechin when he appears to be a 'Corporal Piper' at 7, Garrison, RMD HQ, BEF, France. He was demobilised on March 31 1920 having spent four years and 22 days in the army. In January 1920 his address appears to have been Whatcombe which was at Winterbourne Whitechurch, near Blandford, Dorset. On that date he was probably in the 6/Camerons. He communicated with the authorities in 1925 as he wanted copies of his discharge papers in order to apply for a visa/passport to go to the USA as an 'intending immigrant'.

PRIVATE WALTER JOHN PALMER.

Absent Voters List - 39th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, France. SN - 4596.

Walter Palmer's attestation form dated September 6 1916 can be found on the Australian National Archives web site. This shows that he was born at Langford Budville and enlisted into the 39th Battalion on September 11 1916. He was then 20 years 9 months old and a single man. His address was given as Preston Reservoir, Victoria. This is now a suburb of Melbourne. He is also listed on the nominal roll of the Battalion which gives further details - he was employed as a farm hand by a Mr Vincent and his religion was stated as Church of England. He enlisted at Melbourne. The First World War Embarkation Roll shows that he left Australia on December 16 1916 on the HMAT Medic as part of a reinforcement party. 39th Battalion was in 10th Brigade, 3rd Australian Division. The battalion was raised at Ballarat, Victoria. Walter Palmer joined the Division in France after its formation in 1916 and arrival in England in July 1916. It is likely that he saw service at Messines and 3rd Ypres in 1917 and at Hamel in July 1918 and in the Battle of the Hundred Days which followed. In the battle for the Passchendaele Ridge on October 4 1917 the battalion lost 210 men killed and a large number wounded.


Attestation paper of
Private Walter Palmer, AIF (Australian National Archives)

There is some mystery about Walter's family background. On the attestation form and the nominal roll his next of kin is given as Lucy Vickering of Langford Budville, who is listed as his guardian. On the 1911 Census we find Walter aged 15 as a gardener born at Langford Budville and described as the son of Lucy Palmer, 38, single, a woollen worker, also born at Langford. They were living at Langford. Also in the household was Edith Palmer, 30, also born at Langford, Lucy's sister and Samuel, 11, still at school, also Langford born. It would seem that Walter was Lucy's son born outside of marriage but between 1911 and 1916 she married a man named Withering. Walter's attestation form states that his father was deceased and Lucy is named as his guardian with mother crossed out. In 1881 Lucy was an eight year old scholar at Langford Budville. Her father John was a carpenter and sawyer. Ten years later she was a housemaid in a hotel in Wilder Road, Ilfracombe, Devon. There were 26 well off guests at the time of the census. Lucy was one of 28 servants. In 1901 Lucy was living with her widowed mother at Cload's Cottage, Langford Budville and worked as a burler in a woollen factory.

POSTSCRIPT

   


Brass Plaque in Langford Budville church,
commemorating those who died.

   

To end on a personal note. I am related to four of those listed. Tunneller James Hayes was my grandfather and Thomas, his brother, my great uncle. Ernest and William Pike were both brothers of my grandmother, Lucy Ann Pike.

Alan Tucker
June 2010

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Langford Budville Church - original roll
Wellington Weekly News (microfilm copy, Somerset Studies Library)
Kelly's Directories of Somerset, Somerset Studies Library
National Archives via Ancestry - British Army Service and Pension records, Naval service records, Medal Index Cards and census records
Ann Swabey, researcher, for help with the National Archives - officers' records and Silver War Badges…
Knight - WO374/40058
Cross - WO374/16860
Paton - WO374/52583
Evans - WO374/23003
Thomas Winwood - WO339/14669
John Winwood - WO339/8504
Heather Ayshford, researcher, for help with Absent Voters Lists
Long Long Trail - Great War internet site
Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site
Soldiers Died in the Great War CD-ROM
Digital Times via Solihull Library
British Red Cross Museum records (Emily Oldfield)
War Diary, 258 Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers (National Archives)
London Gazette
De Ruvigny
Absent Voters Lists, 1918 and 1919, Somerset Record Office
The Somerset Light Infantry 1914-1919. The History of the Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's) 1914-1919. Everard Wyrall. Methuen., 1927
Members of the Great War Forum
Australian National Archives
Canadian National Archives

Copyright Alan Tucker, June, 2010

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