Great War Memorials - Surnames A

Back to War Memorials Page
Back to War
Memorials Page


Click on the name to jump to the relevant entry

ADAMS, George (Revised 11/12/2017)
ADDENBROOKE, Arthur (Updated 05/01/2017)
ALDERTON, Arthur (Revised 03/05/2016)
ALDERTON, Charles John Woodward (Revised 25/01/2012)
ALDRIDGE, William Guy (Updated 08/07/2013)
ALISON, Laughton Hassard (Revised 13/05/2013)
ALLISON, Milton R (New 31/03/2015)
ALLUM, H (New 25/03/2015)
ANDERSON, Ernest Charles (New 31/03/2015)
ANDERSON, Robert William (Revised 08/04/2013)
ANDREWARTHA, William Edward (New 10/01/2012)
ANGELL, JT (New 30/03/2015)
ARMITAGE, Alfred Cecil (New 20/02/2012)
ARTHUR, Frank (New 05/06/2011)
ARTHUR, Frederick (New 05/06/2011)
ASHCROFT, R (New 05/04/2015)
ATKINS, F (New 12/01/2013)
ATTWOOD, James (Albert) (New 11/04/2015)
AXTELL, Thomas Alfred (New 08/09/2018)
AYLING, William (Revised 06/12/2013)
If you are looking for someone whose name starts with a different letter please try:




ADAMS George, Stoker 1st Class. 299199.

Royal Navy. HMS Good Hope.
Killed in Action 1 November 1914, aged 30.

George's inscription on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
George's inscription on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2015

George Adams, the son of James and Sophia Adams, was born at home, 4 Constitution Street, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, at 8am on 20 March 1884.

His 29-year-old father James Adams, a widowed farm servant, had married after banns, under the terms of the Church of Scotland, 25-year-old spinster Sophia Dickie, a domestic servant, on 2 June 1883 in Constitution Street, Peterhead.

James, George's father, had suffered from paralysis for seven months before he died, aged 32, on 14 June 1886 at 9 Kings Street, Peterhead. After his death, George and his mother moved to Coldhouse, Tyrie, Aberdeen.

On 19 May 1888, after banns according to the terms of the Congregational Church, George's widowed mother married 32-year-old bachelor James Cruickshank, a farm labourer, in Calsayseat, Aberdeen. George's half sister Elizabeth Jane F. was born the following year and Agnes in 1890.

When the 1891 Scottish census was taken, George and his mother, stepfather and half sisters were living in Berrymoss, Cruden, Aberdeen. George's mother gave birth to his half sister Robina, later known as Ruby, in 1892 and half brother Alexander in 1896.

When the 1901 Scottish census was taken George's mother and her husband, together with their four children, were living at Stodfold Cottar House, Old Deer, Aberdeen. Also living there was Alexander Yeats, a 9-year-old grandson. It seems that 17-year-old George had left home to work as a 'disty labourer' (distillery labourer) and was lodging with the Charles family at 164 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh, Midlothian.

George joined the Navy on 2 November 1901, stating that he earned his living as a labourer. George's National Archive Navy service papers show that he gave his year of birth as 1881 instead of 1884. He was 5 feet 9½ inches tall, had brown hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. Between 1902 and 1909 he served at the shore establishments, HMS Victory and Excellent, as well as serving aboard the ships HMS Duke of Wellington, HMS Vulcan, HMS Formidable and HMS Seahorse. Throughout this period his character was described as 'Very Good'. He was discharged from the Navy through 'shore purchase' and joined the Navy reserve.

In the 1911 census George is shown as an unmarried Metropolitan constable, boarding with 15 other Metropolitan constables at 73 Edgware Road, London, a dining room establishment which presumably also rented rooms. His noted age is 40, but he was actually aged 27.

George's service record, from the Military Genealogy web site, states that he was married to a Maud E. of 78 Lower Court Road, Epsom. There are two possible marriage recorded between George Adams and Elizabeth M Williams (GRO reference: Mar 1912 Pancras 1b 205 and GRO reference: Dec 1912 Holborn 1b 1492).

George and Maud's daughter, Georgina Sophia Patience, was born on 13 November 1913. Her baptism at St. Barnabas church, Epsom took place on 7 March 1914 whilst her parents George and Maud were living at 59 Hook Road, Epsom and her father George worked as a police constable.

On 13 July 1914 George returned to the Navy and joined the armoured cruiser HMS Good Hope. On 1 November 1914 German war ships sank HMS Good Hope during the Battle of Coronel, which was fought off the coast of central Chile near the city of Coronel. George was amongst those who drowned. He has no grave but the sea, and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval memorial, the Ashley Road memorial, and the St. Barnabas Church Roll of Honour.

HMS Good Hope (1901)
HMS Good Hope (1901)
Image source Wikipedia

The following article appeared in the Epsom Advertiser dated 27 November 1914:
EPSOM CONSTABLE KILLED. - On Monday the Admiralty issued a list of the petty officers, non-commissioned officers and men serving with H.M.S. "Good Hope" at the time of the recent action. Among the names was that of G. Adams, a first-class stoker, who for twelve months was a member of the Epsom Police Force. He was a naval reservist, and was undergoing the usual periodical training when the war broke out. In the absence of evidence to the contrary it is feared that he, amongst the many others, has lost his life.

George's medals
George's 1915 Star British War medal and Victory medal
Note: George's service number, 299119 has been wrongly inscribed as 299199.
Image courtesy of Steve Cruickshank

George's widow Maude Elizabeth and daughter Georgina moved away from Epsom and appeared in the 1947-1965 London Electoral Registers as living in Paddington. The records also show that Maude Elizabeth reverted to her maiden name of Williams; she was aged 77 when she died in 1969. Her daughter did not marry and died aged 85 in 1998.


With thanks to Steve Cruickshank for the Scottish records information.

Back to the index

ADDENBROOKE Arthur, Captain.

14th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Died of Wounds 5 October 1916, aged 34.

Arthur Addenbrooke
Arthur Addenbrooke
Image courtesy of Victoria Collage Jersey © 2013

Arthur Addenbrooke was born in Kiddminster on 30 May 1882 (GRO reference: September 1882 Kidderminster 6c 231) to Edward Homfray and Marianne Addenbrooke (nee Downing). Arthur's parents married on 4 August 1870 in Kingswinford, Warwickshire.

Arthur Addenbrooke And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Henry Edward Born: 28 July 1871 Kidderminster Emigrated to USA in 1890
Francis Andrew Born: 30 Nov 1872 Kidderminster
Died: 15 Dec 1918
Was a sheep farmer
Married Lily A Paine 1918 Brighton
Bertram Born: 28 Oct 1874 Kidderminster
Died: 22 Jan 1929 Kidderminster
Was a doctor of medicine
Married Frances Edith Mayne 1903 Ireland
Eleanor Charlotte Born: 1 July 1876 Kidderminster
Died: 1963 Droitwich
Dorothy Marian Born: 26 Sep 1880 Kidderminster
Died: 16 July 1904 Kidderminster
Buried in St. John The Baptist Churchyard, Kidderminster
Arthur Born: 30 May 1882 Kidderminster
Died: 5 Oct 1916 Kidderminster
Buried in St. John The Baptist Churchyard, Kidderminster
Robert Geoffrey Born: 22 July 1889 Kidderminster
Died: 1957 Birmingham
Was a banker
Married Jeannie Maud Phillips 1919 Cardigan

In 1871 Arthur's 25 year old father, Edward Homfrey and his mother 21 year old Marianne were living in Mill Street, Kidderminster. Edward Homfrey was working as a surgeon and general practitioner. No house number is given, but their property is listed somewhere between number 34 and 41. The house number varies in subsequent census returns but in each return the family is living next door to an industrial building, which suggests the street was renumbered rather than the family had moved.

In 1881 their address is listed as 39 Mill Street, Kidderminster, next to a carpet factory. By this time Arthur's parents, Edward Homfrey and Marianne, had produced five children: Henry aged 9, Francis aged 8, Bertram aged 6, Eleanor aged 4 and baby Dorothy who was six months old. The family employed a nurse, two servants and a cook to help look after them.

In 1891 the family was recorded at 28 Mill Street, but still next door to an industrial building. Edward Homfrey Addenbrooke had retired from general practice. Two more children had been born, Arthur aged 8 and Robert Geoffery aged 1. Edward Homfrey's 42 year old sister Emma Pidcock Addenbrooke was staying with the family as well as Charles Percy Barton aged 10. They still had a children's nurse but only one housemaid living in, and a cook.

The family was living at 34 Mill Street, next to a factory, in 1901. Arthur is recorded as a boarder at Kings School, Myton, which is known today as Warwick school, one of the oldest public schools in the country. He was an able sportsman, and held the Warwick school record for running 100 yards hurdles in 17.6 seconds in 1901. He was in the Warwick School Eleven for cricket (Wisden) and was able to ride. He was also a long standing member of the school cadet corps.

The following year Arthur took up a place at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and scored 34 in the Oxford Freshmen's match in 1902. He was captain of the Corpus Christi Eleven and played for the Authentics.

Arthur took up a position of Master at Victoria College, Jersey for a while before becoming an Assistant Master at Forest House, Epsom College from 1907 to November 1914, when he enlisted.

Arthur had a reasonable degree of military training having spent six years in the Warwick School cadet corps and the Epsom College OTC from 1908. Before joining the 14th (1st Birmingham) Battalion of The Royal Warwickshire Regiment on 20 November 1914, he had been a Lieutenant in the unattached list for the Territorial Force, which he left to take up his temporary commission as Captain in the Warwicks. He passed his medical on 22 November 1914, and was posted to the 14th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, which was in the 13th Brigade, 5th Division. The Battalion landed at Boulogne, France on 21 November 1915.

Arthur fought in the Battle of Guillemont, a phase of the 1916 Battle of the Somme. At noon on 3 September 1916, his Battalion attacked Falfemont Farm, just south of Guillemont. Arthur sustained gunshot wounds to his ankle during the assault. Two platoons of his company had already been victims to machine gun fire in their attempt to cross no man's land. Arthur re-grouped his men and led a rush across the 350 yards of ground despite the machine-gun fire. Only a few got there, but his men took the position. On 3 September 1916, 80 men from the 14th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment lost their lives.

Arthur was wounded in both legs close to the enemy's trench. Despite his wounds he crawled over the parapet and helped to clear the dug-outs, taking out a machine gun with a hand bomb.

On 5 September 1916 he was admitted to No. 2 Stationery hospital at Abbeville. At first his wounds did not give cause for great concern and a telegram to his family stated his condition to be satisfactory. He was shipped back to England and admitted to the 4th London General Hospital at Denmark Hill on 15 September 1916 where his condition deteriorated. A telegram was sent on 5 October:
Capt A Addenbrooke admitted here 15 Sept. Is on danger list. Relatives have been informed.
This was shortly followed by another telegram:
Reference previous wire. Capt A Addenbrooke died this evening. Relatives were present. Wounded. 4th London.
In recognition of his bravery he was 'Mentioned in Despatches' (see page 221 of the London Gazette dated 4 January 1917.

In his will Arthur was recorded as of the Platts, Kidderminster. Probate was granted to the Reverend William Gwynne Keyworth and Herbert Faulkner Lee, school master. Arthur left £2513 6s. 5d.

Arthur is buried in St. John The Baptist Churchyard, Kidderminster, in the same grave as his sister Dorothy, his father Edward Homfray and his mother Marianne. He is also remembered on the memorial outside St. Johns church, and on Kidderminster civic war memorial.

John's headstone in St. John The Baptist Churchyard
John's headstone in St. John The Baptist Churchyard, Kidderminster
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert ©2013

The war memorial in St. John The Baptist Churchyard
The war memorial in St. John The Baptist Churchyard, Kidderminster
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert ©2013

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

As Arthur was unmarried and his father had died on 15 October 1915, his plaque and scroll were sent to his mother at The Platts, Kidderminster. His mother died on 27 April 1937 aged 87.


Much of the information about Arthur's adult life was taken from the Victoria College Jersey's Great War Book of Remembrance

Back to the index

ALDERTON Arthur, Private. 4949.

1/14 Battalion London Regiment (London Scottish).
Killed in Action 1 July 1916, aged 34.

Arthur Alderton
Arthur Alderton
Image courtesy of the London Scots Archive © 2009

Arthur Alderton was born on 10 September 1882 (GRO reference: Dec 1882 Pancras 1b 74) to James Henry and Elizabeth Alderton (nee Lovell). His parents had married on 27 April in Dean, Bedfordshire. Arthur was baptised on 12 May 1883 at St Agatha's church, Shoreditch, whilst living at 31 Church Way, Euston. His father was a grocer.

The 1881 census shows the family living at 31 Church Way, St Pancras. Arthur's 31 year old father James was a grocer, employing three men. Four older siblings had been born, Herbert aged 5, Nelly aged 3, Fanny aged 2 and Kate aged 11 months. Four servants lived with the family, three working as grocer's assistants, and one as a nursemaid.

Arthur Alderton And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Herbert Born: 1876 Census shows birth at Mile End
Fanny Elizabeth
(Daisy in 1901 census)
Born: 12 April 1877 Baptised 18 April 1879 St. Agatha's church, Shoreditch.
Census shows birth at St. Pancras
Nelly Born: 1878 Pancras Census shows birth at Mile End
Kate Born: 1880 Pancras Census shows birth at St Pancras
Arthur Born: 1882 Pancras
Died: 1 July 1916 France
Baptised 12 May 1883 St. Agatha's church, Shoreditch.
Lived 31 Church Way, Euston. Census shows birth at St. Pancras
Alice Born: 1884 Rickmansworth Baptised 29 May 1887, St. Paul's church, Kingston.
Lived 9 Hudsons Road, Kingston.
Florence Edith Born: 1890 Kingston
Died: 1961 Kingston
Baptised 22 February 1891, St. Luke's church, Kingston.
Married surname Lowrie

In the 1891 census the family lived at 7 Canbury Park Road, Kingston. Arthur's father James described himself as a 'Shopman employer'. His mother Elizabeth was 40, and two more siblings had arrived, Alice aged 6 and Florence aged 6 months. There were also 2 lodgers, Elizabeth Fawcett and Minnie Shave, both draper's assistants.

Arthur was educated at Richmond Road School, Kingston. He was a good amateur athlete and had been a member of the 'Malden Harriers'.

By the 1901 census the family lived at 42 Gibbon Road, Kingston. Another sibling is shown as Daisy (possibly another name for Fanny) aged 23, a bookkeeper. Kate was by then a school teacher, and Arthur was a parcels clerk. Drapers assistant Elizabeth Fawcett was still with the family, but now shown as a visitor. Florence Gosling, draper's assistant, was also shown as a visitor.

By the 1901 census the family lived at 42 Gibbon Road, Kingston. Another sibling is shown as Daisy (possibly another name for Fanny) aged 23, a bookkeeper. Kate was by then a school teacher, and Arthur was a parcels clerk. Drapers assistant Elizabeth Fawcett was still with the family, but now shown as a visitor. Florence Gosling, draper's assistant, was also shown as a visitor.

At some point between 1911 and enlisting, Arthur worked as an orderly for the London County Council at Horton Asylum, Epsom.

Arthur signed up as a volunteer into the 14th Battalion London Regiment (London Scottish), at their HQ at 59 Buckingham Gate, Westminster in May 1915, after having paid the annual subscription fee of 1 for the privilege of membership. He was given the number 4949 and assigned to the Regiment's 3rd Battalion for training at its camp in Richmond Park. Although in his early 30's Arthur was in good shape and a good athlete. At the Regimental sports meeting in the autumn of 1915 he very nearly beat a former Olympic champion in a running race.

On 4 December 1915 he was sent to France with a reinforcement draft to join the 1st London Scottish in the Loos sector of the front. In February 1916 they were withdrawn to the Abbeville district some 40 miles to the rear, to rest, refit and train as part of the newly formed 56th London Division, in preparation for the forthcoming Battle of the Somme. During this period Arthur declined promotion as a non-commissioned officer (NCO) as it would have involved leaving the section and the friendships he had made.

Arthur's Battalion was in the 168th Brigade, 56th Division. On 1 July 1916 the 56th Division and the 46th Division attacked the Gommecourt salient at the northernmost end of the Somme battlefront. The attacks were not considered to be part of the main thrust, but as a diversion in order to draw enemy forces away from the main attack further south. The 46th Division attacked north of the salient, and the 56 Division south of the salient. Unfortunately the 46th Division was decimated before managing to make any gains, which allowed the full force of the enemy to be directed onto the 56th Division. Some progress had been made by the 56th Division into enemy trenches, but by 4pm, with little ammunition left and only a handful of tired men left it was deemed necessary to withdraw. Orders were given for a methodical evacuation of the captured trenches. Many of the survivors did not get back until after dark.

Map of Gommecourt.  Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge

Two hundred and thirteen men and 7 officers from the 1/14 Battalion London Regiment were killed on 1 July 1916, including Arthur who is buried in Hebuterne Military Cemetery, plot IV M 48.

Arthur's headstone in the Hebuterne Military Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2009

Arthur is also commemorated on the Kingston-upon-Thames War Memorial and on the London County Council (LCC) War Memorial.

The CWGC states that he was the:
Son of James and Elizabeth Alderton, of 18 Gibbon Road, Kingston, Surrey.
With thanks to Ajax Bardrick for supplying additional information.


Back to the index

ALDERTON Charles John Woodward, Second Lieutenant.

7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders (1/7th (Deeside Highland) Battalion).
Killed in Action 20 November 1917, aged 21.

Charles's headstone in Metz-En-Couture Communal Cemetery Extension
Charles's headstone in Metz-En-Couture Communal Cemetery Extension
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

Charles John Woodward Alderton was born on 1 June 1896 (GRO reference: Jun 1896 Holborn 1b 692) to Charles John and Sarah Eliza Alderton (nee Woodward). Charles was baptised in St James' church Clerkenwell, London on 12 August 1896. His parents married on 7 June 1877, also in St James' church, and had seven daughters and one son, Charles, the last to be born and therefore the baby of the family.

Name Born
Agnes Eliza Sep 1877 quarter Holborn
Lucy Alice Mar 1881 quarter Holborn
Anna Maria Jun 1883 quarter Holborn
May Daisy Sep 1885 quarter Holborn
Sarah Amy Mar 1888 quarter Holborn
Emma Sep 1889 quarter Holborn
Ada Irene Mar 1893 quarter Holborn
Charles John Woodward Born:1 June 1896
Died: 20 November 1917

In the 1881 census before Charles was born the family lived at 33, Baker Street, Clerkenwell, which had been the Woodward family home. Charles' father, also Charles, was a 29 year old saw mill proprietor employing eight men and three boys. His mother, Sarah was aged 26 and had two daughters, Agnes Eliza aged 2 and Lucy Alice aged 25 days, the first of Charles' seven older sisters. The family employed two servants.

By the 1891 census the family had moved to 18, Lloyd Square, Clerkenwell. Charles' father was still earning his living as a saw mill proprietor. Four more daughters had been born to the family, Anna aged 7, May aged 5, Sarah aged 3 and Emma aged 1. The family were still employing two servants.

18 Lloyd Square, Clerkenwell, the family home of Charles Alderton before the family moved to Epsom.
18 Lloyd Square, Clerkenwell, the family home of Charles Alderton before the family moved to Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

In 1901 the family was still living at 18, Lloyd Square, Clerkenwell. Charles was aged 4 and sister number seven, Ada Irene, was eight years old. Charles' father was still employing people to work in his saw mill, but now they had only one servant living in.

1911 saw the family still at 18, Lloyd Square, Clerkenwell. Charles' father had retired and he was described a 'Late Saw Mill Proprietor'. Charles was aged 14 and lived with his parents and six of his sisters, all unmarried. One domestic servant was still in their employ. Charles' mother stated that she had given birth to eight children and that all were still alive.

Charles attended Mercers school in Barnard's Inn, Holborn. He was a keen bell ringer and was a member of the tower of ringers at St James church, Clerkenwell. When he left school he was appointed as a clerk in local government, which was sanctioned by the Local Government board.

Charles' service papers at The National Archives show he enlisted at St John's Wood on 29 April 1915. He was 19 years 10 months old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, and had a chest measurement of 36 inches when fully expanded, with a 2 inch expansion. He had 6/6 vision in both eyes with glasses, but 6/12 without. His physical development was described as fair and he was passed fit to join the 3rd County of London Yeomanry, a territorial unit as a Private, number 1880. His service number was later changed to 915858.

He was appointed Lance Corporal on 1 August 1915, and by 23 November was Acting Corporal. He was transferred as Acting Corporal on 25 February 1916 and promoted officially on 7 March 1916. Charles was then Acting Sergeant until 11 August 1916. Prior to being commissioned he had a further medical on 22 June 1916 at Wilderness Camp, Sevenoaks. This time he was recorded as 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 10 stone, with a 36 inch chest measurement. His application for a commission was approved at Hounslow on 18 December 1916 and stated that he was discharged from D Battery, 291 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (RFA), Seal, Kent. Therefore, at some point must have transferred from the City of London Yeomanry to the RFA.

When he was commissioned Second Lieutenant he expressed a wish to join the 7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders, and was duly assigned to the 1/7th (Deeside Highland) Battalion Gordon Highlanders, a Territorial unit. This battalion was in the 153rd Brigade, 51st (Highland) Division. Charles stated that he was able to ride.

Initially he was based in the UK, and spent some time at North Camp, Ripon. He was admitted to hospital in May 1917 whilst on loan to the 4th Reserve Battalion Gordon Highlanders. A medical board on 9 May found him to be unfit for 'General Service' duties for two months, although he could resume light duties after one month. The reason is not recorded.

He went to France on 19 August 1917 and joined the 183rd Brigade at Etaples on 20 August, before moving up to the front on 20 August. On 25 September he was cross posted to 1/5 Battalion Gordon Highlanders (also in 153rd Brigade). After serving for only three months in France he was mortally wounded on 20 November, the first day of the battle of Cambrai. The battle of Cambrai is famed for being the first battle in which tanks were used in big numbers. He was taken to a Casualty Clearing Station, the 1/3rd Highland Field Ambulance, where he died. Although soldiers were supposed to make a will, his family later confirmed that there was no known will.

Extracts from the official history, 20 November 1917:
The 1/6th Black Watch and 1/5th Gordon Highlanders of the 153rd Brigade followed the tanks of D Battalion. The machines found difficulty in crossing the Hindenburg front trench which, in this sector, was wider and deeper than elsewhere; nevertheless the Germans showed little disposition to resist. Farther on opposition stiffened, for many riflemen and machine-gunners saw that there was opportunity to take cover until the foremost tanks had passed and then to open fire upon the approaching platoons. But the Highlanders fought their way forward with rifle and bomb, obtaining assistance from a tank at some points, and by 9.45 a.m. the first objective had been reached along the whole brigade front although the Gordons had still some work to do in clearing the dug-outs in Grand Ravin. The two battalions had captured over 600 prisoners between them, whilst their combined losses were less than one hundred and twenty.
Ten tanks led the advance of the 153rd Brigade against its second objective, the infantry following about one hundred and fifty yards behind. On the right the 1/7th Gordon Highlanders captured 100 prisoners in the front trench of the Hindenburg support system and obtained touch with the Seaforth of the 152nd Brigade about 10.10a.m. The 1/7th Black Watch on the left had some hard fighting in a switch trench called "Cemetery Alley", which yielded 200 prisoners, before the front trench of the Hindenburg support system was secured about 10.35 a.m. The renewed advance of both battalions was checked by rifle and machine-gun fire from Flesquières and by that of artillery from behind the village; all the leading tanks were knocked out from behind the village, but could not maintain themselves there. They fell back to Flesquières Trench which, with the help of captured machine guns and Lewis guns from derelict tanks, was organised for defence.
The Soldiers Died CD tells us that Charles was the only officer to be killed on 20 November from the 7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders but that 19 Other Ranks were killed.

Charles is buried in Plot II. D. 24., Metz-En-Couture Communal Cemetery Extension.

The Times dated 24 Nov 1917, printed the following:
Killed in action 2nd Lt Charles John Woodward Alderton, Gordon Highlanders, dearly loved and only son of Charles John and Sarah Eliza Alderton aged 21. The best of boys, deeply loved and sadly missed.
The St Martin's Parish church magazine dated January 1927 printed the following:
A most sacred memorial has just been placed beside the War Memorial in the Church. This is the wooden cross of C.J.W. Alderton, who laid down his life on the Field of Honour in 1917. It makes the War Memorial an additionally sacred part of our Church, and we deeply appreciate the desire and feelings of Mrs. Alderton and her daughters who have given the Church so sacred a trust.
Wooden crosses were used initially to mark the graves of the fallen, nailed to which was a name marker stamped on a narrow piece of zinc metal. These wooden crosses were systematically replaced in the 1920s with the familiar CWGC Portland stone grave markers. When the change was made, the next of kin was offered the original wooden cross. Not every next of kin took up the offer, but obviously Mrs Alderton did. She also changed the original zinc marker for a handsome brass plaque. That reads:

In Loving Memory of
Killed 20 November 1917
Greater Love Hath No Man Than This

Charles's cross in St Martin's Church
Charles's cross in St Martin's Church
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Charles is not commemorated on any local memorial, only the wooden cross in St Martin's church, but he is remembered on the War Memorial in St James church, Clerkenwell. This seems to suggest that Mrs Alderton and her daughters moved to Epsom some time after the names on the Ashley Road memorial were unveiled on Sunday 11 November 1923.

Charles's inscription on the St James church war memorial
Detail of Charles's inscription on the St James church war memorial
Charles's inscription on the St James church war memorial with detail
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

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

The CWGC states that Charles was the "Son of Charles John and Sarah Eliza Alderton, living 'Thorndale' 50, South Street, Epsom, Surrey".

Wooden Cross in St Martin's church.

Back to the index

ALDRIDGE William Guy, Private. 28404.

3rd Battalion Essex Regiment.
Drowned 4 May 1917, aged 33.

William Guy Aldridge was born in Ashtead in on 5 November 1883 (GRO reference: Dec 1883 Epsom 2a 22) to Thomas and Julia Aldridge (nee Taylor). His father Thomas was from Longford Middlesex and was aged 25 when he married 17-year-old Julia Taylor, from Ashtead, in 1880 in the Epsom registration district. William was baptised on 2 December 1883 in St Giles church, Ashtead.

William Guy Aldridge And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Thomas Edward Born: 1881 Ashtead
Died: 1964 Surrey
Railway clerk
Florence Matilda Born: 1882 Ashtead  
William Guy Born: 1883 Ashtead
Died: 1917 At sea off the coast of Italy
Married Ethel Stremes 1916 Kingston
Percy Arthur Born: 1885 Ashtead
Died: 1947 Victoria, B.C., Canada
Emigrated to Canada in 1912 and
married Marion Young Chalmers 1916.
Maud Margaret Born: 1887 Ashtead  
Mabel Agnes Born: 1889 Ashtead Married Harold Driver 1916 Epsom
Eva Gertrude Born: 15 July 1890 Ashtead
Died: 1972 Hendon
Married Reginald W Kinch 1918 Epsom
Ethel Rose Born: 26 August 1892 Ashtead
Died: 1976 Sutton
Married Charles E. Holliday 1916 Epsom
Herbert Grantham Born: 1894 Ashtead
Died: 1962 Surrey
1st Reserved Herts. Regiment 268221.
Discharged in 1917 as no longer fit due to epilepsy.
Oliver David Noel Born: 24 December 1896 Ashtead
Died: 1976 South Glamorgan
Jockey and trainer.
Married Florence C Tott 1923 Newmarket.
Leonard Francis Born: 28 August 1899 Epsom
Died: 1989 Surrey
Married Annie Alice Rhoda Measor 1925 Epsom.
Frederick Charles Born: 1902 Epsom Solicitor's managing clerk.

In the 1891 census the family lived in Ashtead Street, Ashtead. William's father Thomas was a 36 year old jockey. His mother Julia was 28 and he had six siblings, Thomas 10, Florence 9, Percy 5, Maud 3, Mabel 1 and Eve Eva 6 months.

By the 1901 census the family lived in Park Cottage, Worple Road, Epsom. William was now working as a hairdresser's assistant. Four more siblings had arrived, Ethel 8, Herbert 6, Oliver 4 and Leonard 1. His brother Frederick was born the following year.

The family was still living there ten years later when the 1911 census was taken. William's father filled out the census form stating that he was an ex- jockey and his wife of 31 years had had 12 surviving children and that none had died. William, aged 27, was working as a hairdresser on his own account (self employed), while his sisters Eva worked as a milliner and Ethel as a bookkeeper for a wine merchant. His 16-year-old brother Herbert was working as a clerk for a builder's materials merchant, and his younger brothers Oliver, Leonard and Frederick were all at school.

William attested in Wimbledon on 14 February 1916 into the Essex Regiment. He was a small man only 5 feet 3½ inches tall, weighing 118 lbs, with a chest measurement of 35 inches and expansion of 3 inches. He lived at 3 Milner Road, Merton Park, and worked as a barber.

He married Ethel Stremes in 1916. I have found no record of children.

On 4 May 1917 William was aboard the troop ship "Transylvania" on his way to Salonika. With no warning the ship was torpedoed by a submarine, and sunk off Cape Vado, Italy, a few miles south of Savona. Over 400 men were drowned including William. His body was recovered and buried in Savona Town cemetery.

RMS Transylvania
Image source Wikipedia

William's stated battalion the 3 Essex was a training battalion that never left England as a complete unit. Presumably William was on his way to another Essex battalion already established in Salonika, and had yet to be officially reallocated to it.

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

The St Martin's Church Roll of Honour states that:
WILLIAM GUY ALDRIDGE, was drowned at sea on the 4th May 1917, on the way to Egypt in the transport "Pennsylvania" (sic).
The CWGC state he was the son of Mrs Aldridge, of Park Cottage, Worple Road, Epsom, and the late Mr T. Aldridge; husband of Ethel Aldridge of 12, Alwyne Road, Wimbledon.

His father Thomas was aged 66 when he died in Durdans in 1920; he was buried on 25 June in grave A650 in Epsom cemetery. William's mother Julia on died 16 December 1954.


Back to the index

ALISON Laughton Hassard, 2nd Lieutenant.

1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment ('B' Company).
Killed in Action 15 May 1915, aged 25.

Laughton Hassard Alison
Laughton Hassard Alison
Image source Harrow school Roll of Honour

Laughton Hassard Alison was born in Glastonbury, Somerset on 19 April 1890 (GRO reference: Jun 1890 Wells 5c 485) to Charles German and Eleanor Theresa Alison (nee Short). His parents married on 10 May 1879 at St Peter's church, Harrogate. They were married by Laughton's uncle, the Rev. Laughton Alison.

Laughton's father had served as a Captain with the '91st foot', retiring on 22 May 1875.

In the 1891 census the family was living at 'Somerset House', Magdalene Street, Glastonbury, Somerset. Laughton's father, aged 45, was the Chief Police Constable of Somerset. His mother was aged 35 and he had four siblings, Hugh aged 8, Roger aged 6, Geoffrey aged 4 and Eleanor aged 3. Also staying with the family was Laughton's cousin Maude Harris. The family employed four servants.

Laughton Hassard Alison And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Ailse Born: 1880 Wigan
Died: 1882 Portsea
Dorothy Mary Born: 1881 Preston
Died: 1882 Portsea
Charles Hugh Born: 5 March 1883 Preston
Died: 1952 South Africa
1st class cricketer for Somerset.
Served in both WW1 & WWII as a Code Decipher.
Became a golf course architect, and co founder of Colt,
Alison & Morrison Ltd. Had his right little finger
and ½ his left little finger amputated.
Roger Vincent Born: 22 January 1885 Glastonbury
Died: 1963
Commander in the Royal Navy. Mentioned in dispatches
"for promptness and gallantry in taking advantage of the
opportunity of attacking the enemy's vessels with the
torpedo on two occasions". Awarded the Coronation Medal.
Companion of the Distinguished Service Order. Left £79,003.
Geoffrey Richard Born: 14 April 1886 Glastonbury
Died: post 1954
Enlisted 1915, A.S.C. Motor Transport, and discharged 1916.
Lived in New Zealand with his wife Delise.
Name their son after Laughton Hassard.
Eleanor Isabella Joan Born: 1887 Glastonbury
Died: 1962
Unmarried. Probate records show her address as
St. Josephs' Convent Crickhowell, Breconshire;
probate of £17,652 was granted to
Elizabeth Alison, spinster and Roger Vincent Alison,
retired captain R. N.
Marjorie Born: 1889 Glastonbury
Died: 1889 Glastonbury
Laughton Hassard Born: 19 April 1890 Glastonbury
Died: 1915 France

The family was living at 'Somerset House' when the 1901 census was taken. Laughton's father was still the Chief Constable of Somerset, and the only sibling living there was 14 year old Geoffrey. Three servants were employed. Laughton was a pupil at Upland House School, a small preparatory school for boys in Epsom, Surrey.

Laughton's education continued at Harrow School where he was a boarder at 'Rendalls House' between 1904 and 1909. The following is quoted from the Harrow School Memorial book:
Monitor 1909. Beddington Prizes for Science. Champion Heavyweight Boxer in 1908. Natural Sciences Scholarship, Pembroke College, Cambridge. Represented Cambridge in the Inter-University Golf Competition. 1st Class Science Tripos.
He was a member of the Officer Training Corps (OTC) at both Harrow and Cambridge.

The 1914 Electoral Register records Laughton living at room number 7, 1st floor (furnished), 42, Stockwell Road; the property of Ingram Houses Ltd.

Laughton attested at Caxton Hall on 4 September 1914 into the Royal Berkshire Regiment and was given service number 11899. He was 6 feet 1 inch tall, weighed 175 lbs, had a fair complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, a mole under his left nipple and a chest measurement of 39 inches with an expansion of 5 inches. His religion was Church of England and he worked as a clerk.

He spent 4 days at Reading, 48 days at Purbrook Camp and 26 days at Portsmouth, then on 21 November 1914, after 78 days Army service, Lance Corporal Laughton Hassard Alison was discharged as an 'Other Rank', and granted a King's commission.

On his commission application form, he stated that: he had gained a B.A. at Cambridge University; his permanent address was The Colony, Burnham, Somerset; his present address was Victoria Barracks, Portsmouth; and he was employed as assistant secretary of Messrs. Eley Bros. Ltd., London, W.C. Eley Bros. Ltd., based in Edmonton, were manufacturers of gun cartridges which produced 209 million .303 cartridges and munitions for aircraft during WW1 (

Laughton served in the 1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment, which was in the 6th Brigade, 2nd Division. He went to France on 2 April 1915 and was killed in his first attack, just 43 days later, during the Battle of Festubert. The Battalion was originally due to attack at 11.30pm on 14 May 1915, but it was postponed for 24 hours, during which time the Battalion sustained over 30 casualties from enemy shellfire.

The depth of German held territory to be taken was about 450 yards, and preparation for the attack continued with British artillery shelling the German front line; which inevitably provoked a German response to shell the British positions.

The battle plan was for 'C' Company to take the first German trench, for which they were to carry 250 bombs (hand grenades). Then 'D' Company was to pass through 'C' Company and push on to take the second German trench. 'B' Company would then also push on to the second German trench and start to consolidate the ground taken by 'D' Company, for which they were to carry 90 shovels and 70 picks. 'A' Company were to go to the first German trench and consolidate the ground won by 'C' Company. They were to carry 90 shovels, 10 picks and 400 sandbags. Two sections and 2 machine guns were to accompany 'B' Company. Ammunition carriers were to follow in rear of 'A' Company and were to carry 'all the periscopes'. The RAMC established a dressing station about half a mile in the rear.

The attack was due to commence at 11.30 pm, but about an hour before, 'B', 'C' and 'D' Companies were to get out over the parapet, very silently, and lie down about 50 yards in front of their trenches, whilst 'A' Company was ordered to keep up sniping fire on the German trenches.

As this was a night attack on a fairly dark night, certain prearranged signals were used; one 'motor lamp' was to be put on the German parapet when the first trench was captured, and when the second German trench was captured, another 'motor lamp' was to be placed on top of the first one.

The first assaulting company managed to cover about 150 yards before the Germans became aware of the attack. They then had to advance over the next 200 yards being fired on by rifle and machine gun fire, but nevertheless they managed to take the first German trench. As ordered, 'D' Company reached the first German trench and went on another 80 yards and captured the second German trench, which, soon after 'B' Company started to consolidate.

By midnight the Battalion had taken all the German trenches allocated to them 'The attack was completely successful, magnificently timed, and magnificently carried out'. But at a terrible cost. The 'Soldiers Died CD' tells us that on May 15 and 16, the Battalion had six officers and 104 other ranks killed. And, of course, many more would have been wounded. Laughton was one of those killed.

A War Office memo reported that Laughton was, 'Wounded 15/16th May, 1915' on list No. 21433 and that he was 'Missing' on list No. 23203, and that as;
No further information has been received, and in view of the lapse of time his death has now been accepted for official purposes to have occurred on or since 15 May, 1915.
Amongst Laughton's service papers are several notes that contain statements from soldiers who were with him around the time he died:
Informant states that Lt. Alison died of wounds May 15th. He and above officer were both wounded and lay in a hole made by a shell, night came on and Lt. Alison begged informant to shoot him, he refused and states that the next morning Lt. Alison was dead. Reference: G.J. Collins, 11911, Greylingwell Hospital, Chichester. July 26th.

Mr Alison was hit in the stomach, I think, a few yards away from the German 1st line at Richebourg L'Avoue. I saw him hit. I was lying in a shell hole near by and heard Lt. Alison groaning, which continued only for a few minutes. About an hour after the attack we had the heaviest shelling I have ever experienced. If he were alive he would have been certainly found since he fell upon ground which remained in our hands. Pte. Jackson, 11831, HQ, No. 16 Gen Hospital. Le Treport, 19th Nov. 1915.

Mr Alison was last seen. I believe, in the attack at Richebourg on 15th or 16th May. I heard he was hit in the hand but I cannot remember who told me. I was not in the same Coy. Cpl. Nelhams, A. Coy., No. 16 Gen. Hospital. Le Treport, 8th July 1915.
The following are quotes from the Harrow School Memorial book:
The Captain of his Company writes:-
'He is a very real loss to the Company and to the Battalion, for officers and men alike loved him ----- He had a very high sense of duty and was always cheerful. His platoon tell me that when the advance was given he went ahead of them at once. You may be certain that he fell in a manner worthy of the very gallant gentleman he was.'
The Colonel commanding the 3rd Battalion wrote to his father:-
'Your son was one of 600 recruits that I myself took out of Reading, all in plain clothes. Before I had got to the station, I had noticed him and selected him in my mind for promotion ---- When he went to the 1st Battalion, I wrote to its Commanding Officer that I thought I has sent him a really good and dependable man, and so he proved to be.

What can I say more, and how can a man die better? He was as fine a figure of a man as I have ever seen.'
Laughton's body was never found and he is commemorated on Panel 30 of the Le Touret memorial to the missing. He is also commemorated on the Harrow school memorial, and in Christ Church, Charnock Richard, Lancashire.

Laughton's Inscription on the Le Touret memorial to the missing
Laughton's Inscription on the Le Touret memorial to the missing
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

The Le Touret memorial to the missing
The Le Touret memorial to the missing
The Le Touret memorial to the missing
The Le Touret memorial to the missing
Images courtesy of Clive Gilbert

He was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal. His plaque and scroll were sent to his father c/o Miss Mann, Queensgate, Derbe Road, Lytham Saint Annes, Lancashire.

Laughton died intestate and it was not until 29 November 1930 that his father was granted probate in the sum of £1,446 15s, 4d. His father died 17 months later on 11 June 1932, leaving £27,501. Laughton's mother died in 1938.


Back to the index

ALLISON Milton R., Private 803125.

4th Battalion Canadian Infantry.
Died 1 November 1918, aged 21.

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

Milton R. Allison was born on 25 April 1897 in McGillivray, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada, the eldest son of William James Allison and Sarah Elizabeth (Lizzie) Tweddle. It is not known what Milton's middle initial 'R' stood for.

Milton's paternal grandfather James had emigrated from England to Canada in 1848 and married Jane Metcalfe on 25 May 1872. They had four children including Milton's father, making Milton a second generation Canadian. Milton's parents appear to have married after his birth, on 4 October 1897; the Middlesex District marriage entry however has been, for some unknown reason, crossed through.

Milton's younger brother William Gordon was born on 18 July 1898; their 24 year old mother died on 30 September 1898 and was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Middlesex, Ontario.

Milton and William appear with their widowed father William on the Canadian 1901 census as living in the town of McGillivray where their father farmed. The family were noted as being Methodists.

On 6 February 1906 Milton's father married widow Mary Elizabeth Harness, the daughter of Malcolm and Martha McPhee who were Roman Catholics. Milton's half sister Gladys Anna was born the following month on 29 March 1906 followed by half siblings Malcolm James on 28 August 1907, Mary on 30 August 1908 and Rachel Flora on 22 March 1910.

Milton's stepmother died on 28 April 1911, and so his 38 year old father appeared again as a widower on the next Canadian census taken on the night of 1 June 1911. Milton, his brother William Gordon and their half siblings Gladys, Malcolm, Mary and Rachel were being looked after by their widowed 64 year old paternal grandmother Jane.

On 11 April 1916, twelve days before his nineteenth birthday, Milton attested at Parkhill, Ontario into the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force. He gave his father William James Allison as his next of kin, his religion as Methodist and their home address as Ailsa Craig, Ontario, a community beside the Ausable River. He stated that he was single, that he had been born in McGillivray Township, Ontario and that he was a farmer. Details from his medical give his height as 5 feet 9 inches, weight as 175 lbs and his chest measurement as 38 inches with a 2 inch expansion. He had a dark complexion, dark brown hair, blue eyes and had one decayed molar.

Milton, in his will dated 5 August 1916, left all his personal estate to his younger brother William Gordon Allison.

Milton embarked from Halifax, Canada on 24 September 1916 and arrived at Liverpool on 30 September and transferred to Witley Camp in Surrey. On 23 May 1917 he went to France to join the 4th Battalion.

Milton was wounded on 22 September 1917 at St. Pierre, France, by a poison gas shell and was evacuated via 1st Canadian Field Ambulance, 22nd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, 56th General Hospital and was finally admitted to Chester War Hospital on 27 September where his wounds were described as 'slight'. However he was said to be suffering with acute conjunctivitis. At the end of 1917 he was still being treated for his injury and was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Monks Horton, Kent where, on 2 February 1918 Milton had his appendix removed.

Milton rejoined his battalion on 6 September 1918 but on 28 September he was admitted to 18 General Hospital suffering with a gunshot wound to his left thigh and the next day he was evacuated to England aboard HS Stad Antwerpen.

On 21 October 1918 Milton was again hospitalised, this time at Whipps Cross War Hospital, Leytonstone, and was transferred to Woodcote Park and then on 30 October to the Manor War Hospital, Epsom where he caught influenza. This developed into bronchitis and pneumonia from which he died on 1 November 1918.

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

Milton's body was interred on 6 November in grave K.94 in Epsom Cemetery and he is remembered behind on the cemetery's CWGC Screen Wall.

Milton is also remembered on his mother's headstone in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Middlesex, Ontario and within the pages of the First World War Book of Remembrance that is displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa, Canada.

His father remained a widower and died in 1946.


Back to the index

ALLUM Herbert (Bertie), Private. 9187 and 477785.

3rd Battalion Dorset Regiment.
Transferred to Eastern Command Labour Centre Labour Corps.

Died 5 March 1919, aged 23.

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

Herbert Allum was born, according to his school records, on 9 February1897. The Soldiers' Effects Records note that Herbert had three brothers - John, William Sidney and Richard Henry Allum.

Using this information research found that Herbert had been registered as Bertie Allum in 1896 in St. Pancras (GRO reference: Mar 1896 Pancras 1b 101). His parents were John and Emily/Emma Allum, both from Oxfordshire. No marriage has been found for them.

NameBorn - DiedNotes
John Edward J.Born: Sep 1889 Pancras 1b 124
Died: 1928 Pancras
Death GRO - year of birth given as 1884
Richard HenryBorn: Jun 1891 Pancras 1b 130
Died: 1965 Redbridge London
1911 - working as a factory hand in a mineral water factory.
Lodging with Haywood family in Pancras
Bertie (Herbert)Born: Mar 1896 Pancras
Died: 5 March 1919 Horton War Hospital
AlbertBorn: Dec 1897 Pancras 1b 104
Died: 9 October 1918 9th General Hospital, Rouen
Also served - Private 6812, 2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers.
Awarded MM: London Gazette 8 August 1918 page 2824.
He is remembered in the Ireland Memorial Records
William SidneyBorn: Mar 1900 Pancras 1b 102 

When the 1891 census was taken Bertie's parents John and Emily were living in 34 Rochester Place in Kentish Town, St Pancras with John Edward aged 1, and a 5 month old unnamed son. Their father worked as a granite layer (road).

By 1901 the family was living in Hawley Crescent in St Pancras. Bertie was aged 5 while his brother John was aged 11, Richard aged 10, Albert aged 3 and Sidney (William) was aged 1. Their father John worked as a floor layer to support his family. His mother was recorded as Emma in this census.

Recorded as Emily, Bertie's mother died soon after the 1901 census was taken.

On 13 September 1906 Bertie was admitted as 'Herbert Allum' in to the Mayford Industrial School Reformatory for Boys in Mayford, Woking. Why his name was changed is unknown. Industrial schools were set up for destitute children who were taught a trade so that they could support themselves rather than turn to a life of crime. The school had room for 180 boys, all of whom either worked on the farm or in the workshops. Admission records show that Herbert was born on 9 February 1897. Also noted was 3rd Class Certificate of Education 1st Batt. Dorset Reg.

Bertie's father John, aged 47, died in 1907.

Herbert, aged 14, was still an inmate in the Mayford Industrial School Herbert when the 1911 census was taken. His birthplace was recorded as 'London Unknown'.

After Herbert died in the Horton War Hospital, Epsom on 5 March 1919, he was buried on 12 March 1919 in grave K653, with three other soldiers, in Epsom Cemetery and is remembered there on the CWGC Screen Wall.

Herbert is also remembered on the Mayford Industrial School WW1 memorial that, following the demolition of the school, is presently in store in the Surrey History Centre and is not on public display.

Herbert was awarded the British War medal and Victory medal.


Back to the index

ANDERSON Ernest Charles, Private. 3873.

1/13th (County of London) Battalion (Kensington).
Died of wounds 9 July 1916, aged 17.

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

Ernest Charles Anderson was born in 1898 in Mayfair, London (GRO reference: Sep 1898 St. Geo. H. Sq. 1a 437). His parents were George William and Elizabeth Amy Anderson (nee Cripps), who had married in the Kensington registration district in 1891.

NameBorn - Died
Lilian MariaBorn: 1891 Clapham
Florence/Florrie WinifredBorn: 1895 Maida Vale
George WilliamBorn: 1896 Paddington
Ernest CharlesBorn: 1898 Mayfair
Died: 9 July 1916 Horton
Gertrude CatherineBorn: 1899 Mayfair
Arthur LennardBorn: 1900 Mayfair
Harold CecilBorn: 1904 Paddington

In 1901 Ernest, his parents and siblings were living in 5 Market Street, Mayfair, where his father ran a butchers' shop. They had one servant to help them. Ernest's mother was recorded as Eliza A. in this census and was aged 33.

When the 1911 census was taken Ernest, his mother and five siblings were living at number 23 Market Street, Mayfair. Ernest's father's whereabouts is not known. Ernest's mother recorded herself as head of the household and was running a dining room from their home with the help of a waitress who lived in. She recorded that she had been married for 22 years and had had seven children who were all living. Ernest's sister Florence was working as a bookkeeper for a butcher while George, Ernest, Gertrude, Arthur and Harold were all at school while Lilian was not at home.

Ernest's service record has not survived but his medal card tells us that he went to France on 2 September 1915. On 1 July 1916 his battalion made a diversionary attack just to the north of the main Battle of the Somme and it is possible that Ernest was wounded in this attack, although we will never know for sure.

Ernest died of wounds in the County of London War Hospital, Epsom on 9 July 1916, was buried on 13 July in grave K101 in Epsom Cemetery and is remembered on the CWGC Screen Wall.

The Epsom Herald dated 14 July 1916 printed the following:
COUNTY OF LONDON WAR HOSPITAL - During the past week there has been one convoy. That was on Thursday, when 160 wounded soldiers arrived. The Herald also reported that Ernest, aged 17, was one of the wounded soldiers and that he had trained at Tadworth.
Ernest's 'Soldiers Effects' entry records his brother Harold Cecil as his sole legatee.

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


Back to the index

ANDERSON Robert William, Private. 41119.

2nd Battalion Essex Regiment.
Killed in Action 15 December 1917, aged 19.

Robert's inscription on the Arras memorial
Robert's inscription on the Arras memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2009

Robert William Anderson was born in 1898 (GRO reference: Sep 1898 Epsom 2a 6) to John Newlands and Emily Wills Anderson (nee Brookson). His parents had married in the March 1881 quarter in the Croydon registration district.

At the time of the 1881 census Robert's parents John, aged 22 and Emily, aged 21 had recently married and were living at 1 Bedford Cottage, Beddington. Robert's father John, born in Scotland, was a carpenter.

Robert William Anderson And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Ann McCulloch Born: 1881 Wallington
Died: 1976 Sutton
Married John Henry Wall 1903
John Henry Born: 26 June 1883 Wallington
Died 19 February 1979
Emigrated to America 1908
Naturalised 1920
George Douglas Born: 1885 Wallington Married Kathleen Evelyn Dobbs 1909
Mary Elizabeth Born: 1887 Wallington Married Francis Marvin 1919
Emily May Born: 1889 Wallington
Died: 1980 Surrey Mid Eastern
Married Frederick H Wiltshire 1912
Jessie Rosa Born: 1894 Wallington
Died: 1972 Surrey Mid Eastern
Married George CE Cooper 1927
Robert William Born: 1898 Wallington
Died: 15 December 1917 France
Edith Wills Born: 1902 Epsom
Died: 1994 Torbay
Two other unknown siblings, died in infancy

By 1891 the family lived at 2 Woodcote Road, Wallington, and five children had arrived, Ann aged 9, John aged 7, Douglas aged 5, Mary aged 3 and Emily aged 1. Robert's father was by then a builder and an employer.

In the 1901 census the family lived in Home Cottage, Belmont Road, Wallington, Surrey. Robert's father was now a clerk of works for London County Council, working on the building of the asylums. Sister Ann was a dressmaker, and brothers John and George were both carpenters. Another sibling had been born Jessie aged 6, and Robert himself was aged 2.

By 1911, the family had moved to 'Strathclyde', College Road, Epsom. Robert's father was still employed as Clerk of Works by the London County Council, now at the Long Grove asylum site and a final daughter had been born, Edith. Robert's parents had been married for 30 years and had had 10 children, eight of whom were still living. Five of these were still living at home - Mary and Emily were employed as telephone operators in Epsom and Jessie as a telephone operator in London. Robert, aged 12, was at school as was Edith.

Robert enlisted in September 1914, which meant that he was only 16 when he volunteered to fight for King and Country, attesting at Wandsworth into the 2/2nd Battalion London Regiment. This Regiment was disbanded in June 1916, and Robert transferred to the 2nd battalion Essex Regiment, which was in 12th Brigade, 4th Division. Robert did not receive the 1914-1915 star, so did not fight abroad until after 1915. This was probably because his age was known, and he was not sent abroad until he was officially old enough to be sent abroad to fight.

On 15 December 1917 the Battalion was in trenches near Arras. At noon they were relieved by the 2nd Duke of Wellington's, with the exception of 2Lt. GW Miller and 24 ORs (Other Ranks). This small party was to take part in a 1pm daylight raid on enemy trenches with the object of taking a prisoner, capturing a machine gun and causing as much damage as possible to the enemy positions. One section of the Battalion war diary states the raid was a success, but another reveals that no enemy were seen. The end of the raid was to be signalled by a succession of 'Gs' being sounded on the bugle. The war diary also tells us that the raiding party, in their zeal to find and capture a German, went too far and were caught by their own protective barrage. Thus the only casualties were caused by what we now call 'friendly fire'. The General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Division, after the raid, sent the following letter to the Battalion CO:

I watched your raid at 1.0pm today through my telescope and I wish to congratulate you and your Battalion on the magnificent effort they made. They did me good to watch them go over. Nothing could have been better than the way they sprang out of the trench together. I am most awfully sorry those poor fellows were killed. I fear it was from our own artillery and fancy I saw it happen. Our artillery were not however to blame, it was due to keenness and magnificent spirit of the men of your Regiment as they pushed on too close to the barrage line. Of course they went too far, but it was a fine sight striving all they could to find a hun somewhere. I shall never forget the sight and congratulate you most heartily on commanding such splendid fellows.

2Lt. G.W. Miller and 4 ORs were killed on 15 December 1917, including Robert William Anderson who is commemorated on bay 7 of the Arras memorial. The CWGC state that he was the son of Mr. J.N. Anderson and Mrs. E.W. Anderson, of 56, Church Road, Epsom. Robert was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

Robert was also commemorated on the Long Grove Hospital Memorial (now lost), under the heading 'HORTON ESTATE CENTRAL STATION AND RAILWAY', so must have worked as a railwayman on the light railway.

Robert's father, John, died at 2, Rosendale Road, Epsom (the home of his son, George Douglas) aged 83 and was buried at Epsom Cemetery in plot M122 on 17 September 1942. Robert's mother, Emily Wills Anderson died at 2, Andrews Close, Epsom and was buried in the same grave on 30 June 1949.


Back to the index

ANDREWARTHA William Edward, Private. 2403.

2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment.
Died of Wounds 16 October 1914, aged 26.

William's headstone in Epsom cemetery
William's headstone in Epsom cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

William Edward Andrewartha was born in 1888 in Whitehaven, Cumberland (GRO reference: Jun 1888 Whitehaven 10b 652) to Samuel and Isabella Andrewartha (nee Bleakney, also spelt Blackeley). William's parents' marriage was registered in the June 1876 quarter in Whitehaven when his father's name was spelt Trewartha.

Name Born - Died Census first appeared
Margaret Born: 1875 Hensingham 1881
Elias Born: 1877 Hensingham 1881
George Born: 1880 Hensingham 1881
Mary Ann Born: 1883 Whitehaven 1891
James Henry Born 1885 Whitehaven 1891
John Born: 1886 Whitehaven
Died: 1899 Newcastle
William Edward Born: 1888 Whitehaven
Died: 16 October 1914
Eleanor Born: 1891 Whitehaven 1891
Martha Born: 1896 Jarrow 1901
Sarah Born: 1897 Hebburn 1901

In the 1881 census, before William was born, the family lived at Hensingham, Cumberland. William's father was a 25 year old coal miner. His mother was aged 24, and three siblings are recorded, Margaret aged 6, Elias aged 4 and George aged 1 (GRO registered as Andrawartha).

In 1891 the family lived at 10, Union Terrace, Whitehaven. William's father was still earning his living as a coal miner, and four more siblings are recorded, Mary Ann aged 7, James aged 6, John aged 4 and Eleanor aged 3 months.

By 1901 the family had moved to 34, Waugh Street, Gateshead. William's father was shown as a 'Coal Miner, Hewer'. Brothers George and James were also coal miners. Two more siblings had arrived, Martha aged 7 and Sarah aged 3.

In 1911 the family lived at 3, Caledonian Street, High Walker-on-Tyne. William and his brother James were both, like their father, coal miners, and William worked as a 'Banksman'. His sister Eleanor worked in the tin industry. William's mother stated that she had been married 36 years and that she had borne nine children and that four had died. However, census returns indicate that the family was blest with ten children.

NOTE: The Banksman worked at the entrance to the mine at the top of the shaft (the bank). He received the coal and transferred it to some form of transport for removal. In later years, the Banksman's primary role was to ensure that activity at the top of the shaft, like getting men in and out of cages, was done safely. As the Windermen normally cannot see what is happening at the Bank, they are dependant on the Banksman to tell them when the cage should descend. The Banksman was also responsible for communication with the pit bottom. Often done with signals transmitted by a bell and rope, later by electrical signals, and later still by telephone and other apparatus. The Banksman therefore played a crucial in pit safety and held a position of some responsibility.

It is not known precisely when William joined the Army but as he went to France soon after the war commenced, he must have served as a regular soldier before August 1914. When war was declared on 4 August, the 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment was stationed in Ireland.

On 14 August the Battalion, with a strength of 26 officers, 51 NCOs and 937 Other Ranks (OR), embarked from Dublin, and on 16 August landed at Le Havre, France and joined the 14th Brigade, 5th Division. The Battalion then travelled by train to Le Cateau via Rouen and Amiens, marched 10 miles to Landrecies, arriving at 8pm on 18 August, and remained there for two days. Over the next few days the Battalion marched about 30 miles, and by 24 August had reached Dour where they fought a defensive action and lost 'a few men'. The Battalion fought in the famous retreat from Mons to Le Cateau, and on 26 August suffered many casualties south of Montay village, having 55 men killed in action. The Battalion continued to retreat, taking almost daily casualties, and reached the river Marne, east of Paris by 3 September.

It is not known when William was wounded but during the Battalion's fighting retreat from the Mons area, starting on 26 August up to the end of September at Sermoise on the Aine (east of Soissons), the Battalion lost 97 ORs, 72 being killed in action and 25 dying of wounds. Then, between 1 October and 31 December the Battalion lost a further 196 men.

We do not know exactly when the wounded William returned to England or where his wounds were first treated but he eventually arrived at the Epsom and Ewell War Hospital. This was a hospital of some 70 beds housed in the newly erected 1914 Luncheon Annex to the Epsom racecourse Grandstand (now demolished), and paid for by the people of Epsom and Ewell. The first ten patients arrived by motor ambulance on Tuesday 13 October, and another 30 on Thursday 15 October. William was one of those admitted on 15 October, suffering with a fractured pelvis and damaged bladder. He died the next day and was buried in plot D220A in Epsom cemetery on Friday 19 October, the first victim of the Great War to be buried in Epsom. Another two soldiers who died at the Grandstand Hospital are also buried in plot D220A. They are Corporal Edmund Buchanan and Private Thomas Simms.

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


Back to the index

ANGELL John Thomas, Rifleman. S/20466.

4th Battalion Rifle Brigade.
Died 24 September 1918, aged 28.

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

John Thomas Angell was born on 20 August 1890 in Hammersmith (GRO reference: Dec 1890 Fulham 1a 162), the son of William and Emma Angell, nee Mather, who had married on 24 February 1884 in St. Matthew's church in West Kensington.

NameBorn - DiedBaptised St. Matthew's church West Kensington
William HenryBorn: 6 August 1884 Hammersmith7 September 1884
JobBorn: 19 October 1885 Hammersmith2 May 1886
Emma ElizabethBorn: 19 June 1887 Hammersmith2 October 1887
Florence MaudBorn: 1889 Hammersmith
Died: 1900 Hammersmith
John ThomasBorn: 20 August 1890 Hammersmith
Died: 24 September 1918 Horton
9 November 1890
Mary EllenBorn: 1892 Hammersmith-
Alice MaudBorn: 11 August 1897 Hammersmith11 September 1898
FrederickBorn: 1900 Hammersmith-
Charles EdwardBorn: 17 October 1901 Hammersmith31 October 1902

John was baptised on 9 November 1890 in St. Matthew's church in West Kensington where the baptism entry shows the family address as 11 Cravens Cottage and that his father was a labourer.

When the 1891 census was taken the family was still at the same address. Listed along with 8 month old John and his parents were his siblings William aged 7, Job aged 6 and Emma aged 4. Also living there were his paternal grandparents Job and Ann Angell. John's father and grandfather's occupations were both noted as 'Railway Labourer Plate'.

John was recorded by his middle name Thomas when the 1901 census was taken. His family, listed as his parents, grandparents and siblings William, Job, Emma, Mary and Alice, were still living at the same address. His grandmother Ann, aged 80, died in 1904 and his grandfather Job was aged 83 when he died in 1908.

By 1911 the family had moved to 65 Masbro Road, West Kensington Park. John's father, a labourer working for the Borough Council, filled in the census form stating that he and his wife of 28 years had had 9 children but 2 had died. He then went on to list 9 children (as in the table above) and noted that John's siblings Emma and Mary were working as daily servants while Alice and Frederick were at school. No occupation was recorded for 21 year old John.

John married Hettie E. Eyres in 1913 in the Fulham registration district. They had no children.

As John's service record did not survive the Blitz all we know of his Army career is that he enlisted in Hammersmith and served overseas after 1915.

After John died from illness in the Horton War Hospital on 24 September 1918, he was buried on 27 September in grave K651 (with three other soldiers) in Epsom Cemetery and is remembered on the CWGC Screen Wall there.

John was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

The CWGC states that he was the:
Son of John William Angel; husband of H. E. Angell, of 13 Berghem Mews, Blythe Road, Hammersmith, London.
His widow Hettie died in Hammersmith in 1960 aged 82.


Back to the index

ARMITAGE Alfred Cecil, 2nd Lieutenant.

1st Battalion The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment).
Accidentally killed 21 July 1915, aged 19.

Alfred's grave in Beuvry Communal Cemetery
Alfred's grave in Beuvry Communal Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

Alfred Cecil Armitage was born on 7 May 1896 in Forest Gate, East London (GRO reference: Jun 1896 W. Ham 4a 176), the third child of Reverend Alfred and Mary Frances Armitage (nee Thompson). Alfred's parents were married in 1890 in Bedfordshire. When Alfred was born the family was living at 207, Romford Road, Forest Gate. Alfred's father, born in Yorkshire in 1865 was educated at Cambridge University and was ordained into the Church of England in 1891. His mother was born in 1867 in London.

Alfred Cecil Armitage And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Emily Born: September Quarter 1892 Forest Gate Emily Frances in 1911 census
Arthur Frank Born: January Quarter 1895 Forest Gate
Died: 1977 Uckfield
Frank A in 1901 census
Alfred Cecil Born: 7 May 1896 Forest Gate
Died: 21 July 1915 France
Cecil A in 1901 census
Mary Helen Born: September Quarter 1897 Forest Gate
Died: 1973 Uckfield

The 1901 census shows the family still living at 207, Romford Road. In addition to the family, a cousin, Marion Armitage and Norman Hagger were visiting. The family employed five servants consisting of two nurses, a parlourmaid, a housemaid and a cook.

By 1911 the family had moved to Worcester Court, The Avenue, Worcester Park. Alfred's parents and his sisters were recorded in the census along with 6 servants. There is no occupation shown for Alfred's father, but he was most probably still a practising clergyman. In 1911 Alfred was in his second year at Rugby school, and at the time of the census was in the school sanatorium at 2, Horton Crescent, Rugby. During his time at the school he was a Private in the Officer Training Corps (OTC).

Alfred left Rugby school in 1913 and spent an academic year at Coleshill Lodge in Amersham. When he enlisted in 1914 he described his position in life as 'Gentleman'. A notice on 18 December 1914 in the London Gazette announced that he was commissioned as a gentleman cadet and as a Second Lieutenant in the 1st Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment). This notice cancelled that of the previous day that had announced that he had been appointed to the Bedfordshire Regiment.

He left England for France on 20 May 1915 and joined his company at 8pm on 28 May near Beuvny. At the beginning of July the battalion was being held in readiness to join 5th Brigade in place of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers who were going to the 3rd Army. They had been billeted in the western part of Beuvny and were kept busy digging entrenchments and improving the defences in the Cuinchy-Givenchy area.

Alfred was accidentally killed on 21 July 1915. The War Diary for 21 July records:
The Battn. Comes under orders of 5th Inf. Bde. From 8 am today. 2 Lieut AC ARMITAGE and one man accidentally killed and 2 Lieut GB GOLDBERG wounded by explosion of BATTLE Hand bomb while practicing. The Battn. moved into BETHUNE at 5.15 pm and billeted in the Tobacco Factory. 2Lt Armitage and Pte PARSONS Buried in BEUVRY cemetery.
Alfred is buried in grave 55 of Beuvry Communal Cemetery.

Note: The Times records his death as on 22 July, which is probably a mistake as the CWGC, his medal card and the details on his file at TNA all record 21 July.

In August 1915 Miss Lillian Davies wrote in anguish seeking particulars and commenting that she had been unable to get any information from anyone and how unsatisfactory it was not to know any details. There is no evidence to suggest that this was deliberate, but due to the difficulty of communicating. Judging by the effects that were returned to his family, 2nd Lt Armitage had been well equipped for his posting to France, and consisted of:
1 valise, 1 blanket, 1 Burberry (raincoat), 1 S.D. coat, 1 S.D breeches, 1 suit of pyjamas, 3 shirts, 15 handkerchiefs, 4 collars, 1 tie, 1 spine protector, 1 revolver case, 1 new jacket drill, 1 pair of new KD breeches, 1 cap S.D. and badge, 1 balaclava, 1 safety razor with blades in case, 1 pair of laces, 1 pair pince-nez, 1 pair of spectacles in a case, 1 pair of laces, 1 comb, 1 tooth brush, 2 cleaning rods, 1 tooth pick case.
His death was announced in the Times on 30 July 1915 page 4:
2nd Lieut Alfred Cecil Armitage 1st Royal West Surrey Regiment who gained his commission last December was accidentally killed in France on July 22 aged 19. He was the younger son of Mr and Mrs Alfred Armitage of The Court, Worcester Park, Surrey.
His death was also announced in the 30 July 1915 edition of the Epsom Advertiser. Administration of his effects was granted to his father, Alfred Armitage JP on 24 September 1915, and was valued at £154 9s 8d.

Alfred was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.


Back to the index

ARTHUR Frank, Private. 4944

2nd Battalion The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
Died of Wounds 3 September 1916, aged 20.

Frank's headstone in Heilly Station cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe
Frank's headstone in Heilly Station cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

Frank Arthur was born in Ewell in 1894. Probably originally named Frank Laine (GRO reference: Mar 1896 Epsom 2a 22). It appears that his mother Ellen Laine (sometimes spelt Lane) married his father Frederick Gardener Arthur in the Epsom registration district in the September quarter of 1899, and (from the 1911 census) produced six children. Frank's brother Frederick also fell in the Great War.

Frederick Born: 1894 Ewell
Died: 24 October 1918 Salonika
Originally Frederick Horley Laine
Frank Born: 1896 Epsom
Died: 3 September 1916 France
Originally Frank Laine
Ernest William Born: 1900 Epsom  
Elsie Mary Born: 1905 Epsom  
Edwin Aubrey Born: 1907 Epsom  
Reginald Born: 1910 Epsom  

In the 1901 census the family lived at 9, Beaconsfield Cottages, Epsom. Frank's father was a 36 year old Harness maker. His mother was aged 32 and he had two siblings, Frederick aged 6 and Ernest aged 8 months.

In 1911 they were at the same address, but Frank's father was recorded as a 52 year old horsekeeper working at an oil store. Frank worked as a house boy whilst elder brother Frederick was a van boy and Ernest was at school. Three more siblings had arrived, Elsie aged 6, Edwin aged 2 and Reginald aged 1. Frederick's mother recorded that all he six children were still living.

Frank attested in Kingston on 1 March 1915 into The Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment, aged 19. He was a short man at 5 feet 2¼ inches tall, weighed 122 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 34 inches with an expansion of 3½ inches. He worked as a gardener and lived at 9, Beaconsfield Cottages.

The 2nd Battalion The Queen's was in the 91st Brigade, 7th Division. On 31 August 1916 the Battalion was ordered to relieve 1st Battalion South Stafford Regiment at 7pm in Delville Wood. The wood could be the subjected of enemy shellfire at any time. By 11pm the battalion was in place in the south east corner of Delville Wood.

Trench Map of Delville Wood
Trench Map of Delville Wood
Click image to enlarge

The following is an extract from the battalion war diary for 1 September 1916:-
5a.m. Two platoons of C Coy made a bombing attack along the East edge of DELVILLE WOOD, under 2/Lt Weare (The Buffs attd. 2nd Queen's). After making ground as far as HOP ALLEY they were held up by the enemy's machine gun & rifle fire - The trench here has been nearly obliterated by artillery fire so that there is no cover or in fact any trench left to bomb up - Enemy's artillery fired on DELVILLE WOOD, DIAGONAL TRENCH & YORK ALLEY from 9.40 a.m. to 8 p.m. at times putting three barrages between our front line & Bn. Hd Qrs - As there were no telephone lines beyond Bn. Hd Qrs the orderlies had some very exciting journeys, there being on or two casualties in consequence during the day - All the Coys did good work burying bodies, cleaning up the ground & forming stores of bombs, S.A.A. & rations at their headquarters. DELVILLE WOOD was held by groups of 6 men: with intervals between these groups, everyone has room to move laterally to avoid hostile shelling and prevents the tendency to overcrowd.
Lessons learnt.
When sharing a trench with the enemy, always make one or more T trenches at right angles &^ near to the bombing post. This gives you more room, enables you to fire rifle grenades & out throw the enemy.

8p.m. B Company under 2 Lt Lloyd relieved D Coy under T/Captain V.C. Harvey at 8p.m. N. Staffords, 24th Division on our left along N. Edge of DELVILLE WOOD, the Divisional boundary between us being N.E. corner of the Wood & is at present occupied by the enemy - Enemy fairly quiet during the night - hostile artillery appears to fire in strong bursts sometimes lasting from half to three hours & then remaining quiet for two or three hours - Our aeroplanes have undoubtedly given the enemy's infantry a curious feeling of insecurity owing to their good work in spotting for our guns; often engaging targets themselves with automatic rifles. Off. 24. O.R. 735.
Capt. C.J. Griffin.
Capt. T.V. Chapman.
2/Lieut. R.M. Burdon.
     "     E.G. Bikll
     "     F.G.C. Weare.
Capt. G.A. Stovold.
K.28. W.74. M.11.
Reinforcements 1 Fr. Hosp.
Frank was most likely wounded on 1 September 1916, and he died from his wounds on 3 September 1916 and is buried in Heilly Station cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe. Heilly was the site of Casualty Clearing Stations and hospitals, and about 6 miles south west of Albert. The cemetery contains the remains of almost 3,000 servicemen.

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

The St Martin' church Roll of Honour states that "FRANK ARTHUR, was wounded at Delville Wood and died on 3rd September 1916. He was buried at Mericourt."

Back to the index

ARTHUR Frederick, Private. 20019.

10th Battalion Hampshire Regiment.
Died 24 October 1918, aged 23.

Frederick's grave plaque in Doiran Military Cemetery, Greece
Frederick's grave plaque in Doiran Military Cemetery, Greece
Image courtesy of Rob Carr © 2011

Frederick Arthur was born in Ewell in 1894. Probably originally named Frederick Horley Laine (GRO reference: Dec 1894 Epsom 2a 17). It appears that his mother Ellen Laine (sometimes spelt Lane) married his father Frederick Gardener Arthur in the Epsom registration district in the September quarter of 1899, and (from the 1911 census) produced six children. Frederick's brother Frank also fell in the Great War.

Frederick Born: 1894 Ewell
Died: 24 October 1918 Salonika
Originally Frederick Horley Laine
Frank Born: 1896 Epsom
Died: 3 September 1916 France
Originally Frank Laine
Ernest William Born: 1900 Epsom  
Elsie Mary Born: 1905 Epsom  
Edwin Aubrey Born: 1907 Epsom  
Reginald Born: 1910 Epsom  

In the 1901 census the family lived at 9, Beaconsfield Cottages, Epsom. Frederick's father was a 36 year old Harness maker. His mother was aged 32 and he had two siblings, Frank aged 5 and Ernest aged 8 months.

In 1911 they were at the same address, but Frederick's father was recorded as a 52 year old horsekeeper working at an oil store. Frederick worked as a van boy whilst his brother Frank was a house boy and Ernest was at school. Three more siblings had arrived, Elsie aged 6, Edwin aged 2 and Reginald aged 1. Frederick's mother recorded that all her six children were still living.

Frederick attested in Epsom on 28 August 1914 into the East Surrey Regiment, aged 19, and his service number with the East Surreys was 646. He was 5 feet 41/8 inches tall, weighed 112 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 34 inches with an expansion of 3½ inches. He had a fair complexion, grey eyes, light brown hair and worked as a chauffer.

Frederick went to France on 27 April 1915, probably with the 2nd Battalion East Surreys, who on 1 December 1915 were sent to Salonica. At some point Frederick was transferred to the 10th Battalion Hampshire regiment. This battalion had suffered many casualties in August 1915 in Gallipoli and went to Salonica on 6 October 1915. The Hampshire regiment was brought up to strength by transferring men in from other regiments.

On 7 December 1915, as a result of an attack by the Bulgarians, some 73 men from the 10th Battalion Hampshire regiment were killed in action. Of the 73 killed, 25 had been transferred in from the East Surrey regiment. It is likely that Frederick was taken prisoner on 7 December 1915. Bulgaria asked for an armistice on 29 September 1918, and presumably Frederick was released soon after.

However, soon after his release Frederick died of malaria on 24 October 1918 and is buried in grave VI. H. 12. Doiran Military Cemetery, Greece. He was awarded the 1915 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal.

Frederick's entry in 'The St Martin' church Roll of Honour' appears after his brother Frank's entry, and states that "His elder brother, FREDERICK ARTHUR, for three years a prisoner of war in Bulgaria, after his release, died of Malaria at Salonica on the 24th October 1918."


Back to the index

ASHCROFT Robert, Private. 2020745.

7th Canadian Infantry Battalion (1st British Columbia).
Died on 23 February 1919, aged 26.

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

Robert Ashcroft was born on 20 August 1892 in Adlington, Lancashire, England. However he was registered at birth as Robert Burgess (GRO reference: Sept 1892 Chorley 8e 545).

It would seem probable that Robert's father was Robert Burgess from Chorley, who was living and working in 1891 as boat mate to 22 year old 'Captain' Thomas Ashcroft. Robert Burgess was aged 38 and unmarried at the time. Also aboard the canal boat moored in Whittle le Woods, Lancashire, was Thomas Ashcroft's 26 year old wife Jane. Without sending for Robert Burgess junior's birth certificate, it is unknown who his mother was and nothing more is known about Robert Burgess senior.

Thomas and Jane Ashcroft appear in the 1901 census as living at Arley Banks Cottages, Red Rock Haigh near Wigan. Living with them was their 8 year old adopted son Robert Burgess, who was recorded as being born in Adlington, Lancashire. Robert's adoptive father Thomas was recorded as being aged 35 and was still working as a canal boatman, while Jane was recorded as being aged 37.

In 1911, still living at the same address, Thomas, aged 45, filled in the form stating that he and Jane 'aged 53', had been married for 28 years but had not had any children. He listed 18 year old Robert Burgess as his adopted son, who was working as a finisher in the local cotton dye works. Robert's place of birth this time was recorded as Aberdeen, Blackrod, Lancashire. His adoptive father Thomas was also working in the dye works as a labourer.

Travelling as Robert Ashcroft aboard the ship Virginian, Robert arrived alone in Canada on 6 May 1912 declaring that although he had been working as a Bleacher, he was willing to work as anything. According to the 1921 Canadian census, his adoptive parents emigrated to New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada in 1911 when in fact, they both arrived on 27 July 1912 also aboard the ship Virginian.

Robert found work as a fisherman while living with Thomas and Jane Ashcroft at 113 Glover Avenue, New Westminster, British Columbia.

Under the Military Service Act 1917, Robert was drafted into the Canadian Infantry and on 20 November 1917 he attended a medical in Vancouver, Canada. He was accepted into the 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, on 10 January 1918 as Robert Ashcroft. He was classed as A2 and described as being 25 years 3 months old, 5 foot 8 inches tall with a fully extended chest measuring 36 inches. He had a dark complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair. He also had "three scars over his left scapula scar over dorsum right thumb".

The 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion, made up from recruits from British Columbia in September 1914, on arriving in France from England on 10 February 1915, became part of the 1st Canadian Division, 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade and served in France and Flanders until the Armistice.

Robert's service papers tell us that he embarked from Halifax, Canada on 27 February 1918, aboard SS Metagama and disembarked at Glasgow on 11 March. He then went to the Canadian Camp at Seaford, Sussex, where he made a will in favour of his adoptive father, Thomas Ashcroft.

Starting in July 1918 Robert's adoptive mother, living at 113 Glover Street, New Westminster, B.C., was paid a separation allowance. By 14 July Robert was in the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp at Aubin-St-Vaast, France and on 10 August he joined his unit on at the front. Note: The 7th Battalion war diary states that 40 other ranks joined the battalion from the reinforcement camp on 8 August.

The attacks that commenced on 8 August, later becoming known as the 'Final 100 Days', led to the end of the war against Germany.

It is likely that Robert saw service during the following battles:

Battle of Amiens8-11 August 1918
Actions round Damery15-17 August 1918
Battle of the Scarpe26-30 August 1918
Battle of Drocourt-Quéant2-3 September 1918
Battle of the Canal Du Nord27 September - 1 October 1918
Battle of Cambrai8-9 October 1918

On 3 November 1918 Robert was admitted to the 2nd Canadian Field Ambulance suffering with constipation. By 5 November he was admitted to the 42nd Casualty Clearing Station with paratyphoid, and then on 10 November he was aboard the 26th Ambulance Train with influenza. On 11 November he was admitted to the 20th General Hospital, Camiers and on 27 November he was evacuated to Seaford aboard SS St. Denis. Finally on 29 November he was admitted to Horton War Hospital where he died on 23 February 1919, one of the millions to die from the influenza pandemic, nicknamed the Spanish 'flu, that swept the world from January 1918 to December 1920, predominantly killing previously healthy young adults.

Robert was buried in Epsom Cemetery in grave K229 on 28 February 1919 and is remembered on the CWGC screen wall behind the Cross of Sacrifice in the same cemetery. We are not aware of any other memorial to him in Canada.

During 1921-22 a Canadian silver memorial cross was sent to his adoptive mother whilst his plaque, scroll, British War medal and Victory medal were sent to his adoptive father.

His adoptive mother Jane Ashcroft, aged 70, died on 19 April 1933. His adoptive father, Thomas Ashcroft, remained living at their last known address, 113 Glover Avenue, New Westminster, until his death on 8 February 1937.


Back to the index


Despite checking all known sources of information, it has proved impossible to establish why the name 'ATKINS F.' should appear on the Epsom War Memorial in Ashley Road, and on the St. Barnabas Roll of Honour.

If you can shed any light on why the name has been include we would be delighted to hear from you via our Webmaster.

Back to the index

ATTWOOD James (Albert), Private 7621.

Royal Scots Fusiliers.
Died 11 September 1916, aged 37.

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

James Attwood was born in 1878 in Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire but we believe was registered at birth as Albert Attwood (GRO reference: Mar 1878 Preston 8e 677). Albert Attwood's parents were William and Eliza Attwood (nee Robbins), who had married in 1857 in the registration district (RD)of Shipston on Stour, Worcestershire.

NameBorn - DiedNotes
AdelaideBorn: 1860 Cradley, Worcestershire
Died: 1861 Cradley, Worcestershire
Cradley came under the RD of Stourbridge
ElizabethBorn: 1861 Cradley, Worcestershire-
GeorgeBorn: 1863 Cradley, WorcestershireBaptised 20 April 1863 Cradley, Worcestershire
ElizaBorn: 1865 Cradley, Worcestershire
Died: 1930 Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire
Baptised 14 September 1868 Cradley, Worcestershire.
Married Robert Pilkington
JosephBorn: 1868 Cradley, Worcestershire
Died: 20 September 1868 Cradley, Worcestershire
Baptised 14 September 1868 Cradley, Worcestershire
LeahBorn: 1869 Cradley, Worcestershire
Died: 1875 Ulverston, Cumbria/Lancashire RD
Baptised 2 May 1870 Cradley, Worcestershire.
Family appear to have moved soon after to Rowley Regis, Staffordshire
MaryBorn: 1874 Ulverston, Cumbria/Lancashire R.D.-
ThomasBorn: 1876 Ulverston, Cumbria/Lancashire RDUlverston came under the RD of Barrow-in-Furness in 1876
James /AlbertBorn: 1878 Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire
Died: 11 September 1916 Epsom, Surrey
John WilliamBorn: 1880 Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire-

In 1871, before Albert was born, his family were living in Kings Street in Rowley Regis, Staffordshire where his father worked as a labourer. Rowley Regis came under the RD of Dudley and there are several Attwood births and deaths registered after this census that may have related to other older siblings of Albert's.

When the 1881 census was taken on the night of 3 April, William and Eliza were living at 13 Parry Street, Barrow-in-Furness with their children Elizabeth aged 19, George aged 18, Eliza aged 16, Mary aged 6, Thomas aged 4, Albert (James) aged 2 and 1 year old John William. Their father worked as a labourer in the local iron works.

Albert and his siblings Mary, Thomas, and John William were living with their parents at 11 Hood Street, Barrow-in-Furness, when the 1891was taken. His 51 year old father was working as a 'Fireman'.

Albert's mother was aged 56 when she died in the March quarter of 1897; his father quickly remarried in the June quarter of 1897 to Charlotte Cresswell. Only Albert was living with his father and stepmother Charlotte in 28 Coulton Street, Barrow-in-Furness, when the 1901 census was taken. His 62 year old father was still working as a labourer at the ironworks while Albert worked as an engine minder. In 1909 Albert's father died.

In 1911 Albert was aged 31 and still single. He was working as a 'Fireman Locomotive' for Barrow Iron Works. He and his brother (John) William, who was working for the same company as a 'Flue Cleaner', were boarding with their widowed sister Eliza Pilkington, nee Attwood, and her five surviving children in 56 Clive Street, Barrow-in-Furness.

He enlisted as James Attwood in Barrow-in-Furness. None of his service records have survived but we know he went to France on 9 July 1915, landing at Boulogne. His unit, the 6/7th Royal Scots Fusiliers, was in the 45th Brigade 15th (Scottish) Division. The battalion fought in the Battle of the Somme and it is very likely that James received his wounds in this battle.

After Albert/James died from his wounds on 11 September 1916 in Horton War Hospital, he was buried on 14 September in grave K646 in Epsom Cemetery and remembered on the CWGC Screen Wall.

His sister Eliza Pilkington was his sole legatee.

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


Back to the index

AXTELL Thomas Alfred, Private. G/22126.

16th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment (Sussex Yeomanry).
Killed in Action 3 September 1918, aged 20.

Thomas' Headstone in Peronne Cemetery Communal Extension
Thomas' Headstone in Peronne Cemetery Communal Extension
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2018

Thomas Alfred Axtell was born in Camberwell in 1898 (GRO Reference: Jun 1898 Camberwell 1d 974), the only son of Thomas and Elizabeth Maud Mary Axtell (nee Harrison). Thomas' parents had married on 6 June 1897 in All Saints Church, North Peckham. When Thomas was baptised on 24 July 1898, in the same church, their address was recorded as 17 Castlemaine Road and Thomas' father's occupation as carman.

Two years later, when the 1901 census was taken, the family was recorded as living at 13 Castlemaine Road, Peckham. They were still living there when Thomas' sister Maud Ethel was born on 10 May 1903; she was baptised on 7 June in St. George's Church, Camberwell.

By 1911 the family had moved to 21 Castlemaine Road, Peckham. Thomas' 38 year old father was still working as a 'Carman', for a mineral water manufacturer. Thomas' mother, aged 33, stated that she had been married for 13 years and that both her children were still living. Thomas was aged 12 and his sister Maude Ethel was aged 7.

Thomas's service record has not survived but we know that he served with the 16th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment (Sussex Yeomanry), which was in the 230th Brigade, 74th (Yeomanry) Division.

The series of battles that finally ended the war and became known as the 'Last 100 days Offensive', commenced on 8 August 1918 and ended with the armistice of 11 November 1918. At 2.45 a.m. on 2 September 1918 Thomas' battalion moved from their base in Hem Wood and reached their assembly trenches by 5.25 a.m. At 7.45 a.m. the battalion moved forward to seize and hold the line at Aizecourt. At 8.30 a.m. the battalion was ordered to cross the Canal du Nord, which it did whilst being shelled, and reached Brunn Trench, south east of Haute Allaines. The next day, 3 September, the battalion held the trench but were shelled.

Thomas was killed in action on 3 September 1918 and was buried in grave V.E.3 in Peronne Cemetery Communal Extension. Nineteen men from the 16th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment were killed in action or died of wounds during the first week of September 1918.

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

The Soldier's Effects records show that Thomas had nominated his mother Elizabeth as his sole legatee.

Thomas' sister Maud married on 10 August 1930 and moved to Banstead, Surrey, with her husband George Clarence Rodwell. By 1931 Thomas' parents were living at 'Whitehaven', Eastwick Road, Great Bookham, Surrey.

Thomas' father was aged 68 when he died on 15 November 1940. He was buried grave M611 in Epsom Cemetery, which had been purchased by his wife Elizabeth, of 'Whitehaven', Eastwick Road, Great Bookham, Surrey, on 21 December 1940. Elizabeth died on 10 December 1968 aged 91 and was buried in the same grave. Thomas Alfred, their only son is remembered on their headstone.

Thomas'Parents' Grave in Epsom Cemetery<
Thomas' parents' grave: M611 in Epsom Cemetery.
Thomas is remembered on their gravestone.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert ©2018

Thomas' sister Maud died, aged 92, in 1996.


Back to the index

AYLING William, Private. 1967.

32nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers.
Killed in Action 22 September 1917, aged 26.

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

William Ayling was born in 1891 (GRO reference Jun 1891 Epsom 2a 24) to Joseph George and Emily Ann Ayling (nee King). He was baptised Willie at St Mary's Ewell on 6 June 1891. The GRO reference and the 1891 census both show his name as Willie, not William, but he is William in the 1901 census. He was one of eleven children.

Name Born - Died Notes
Emily Mabel Born: 1882 Ewell Baptised St Mary's Ewell 7 November 1882
Joseph Charlie Born: 1883 Ewell Baptised St Mary's Ewell 4 November 1883
Harry Born: 1 May 1885 Ewell Baptised St Mary's Ewell 2 August 1885
Bertie Born: 14 September 1887 Ewell Baptised St Mary's Ewell 15 January 1888
Mary Jane Born: 1888 Ewell
Died: 1889 aged 12 months
Baptised St Mary's Ewell 7 April 1889
Buried St Mary's 19 September 1889
Edith Born: 1890 Ewell Baptised St Mary's Ewell 21 May 1890
Willie (William) Born: 1891 Ewell
Died: 28 September 1917 France
Baptised St Mary's Ewell 7 June 1891
Ethel Mary Born: 1892 Ewell Baptised St Mary's Ewell 18 September 1892
Edward George Born: 1893 Ewell Baptised St Mary's Ewell 15 October 1893
Percy Born: 1896 Ewell Baptised St Mary's Ewell 20 January 1896
Robert Born: 1898 Ewell Baptised St Mary's Ewell 28 June 1898

On census night, 5 April 1891 the family lived in Kingston Road, Ewell. Willie (William) was 3 months old. His father, 30 year old Joseph George Ayling, was a boot maker. His mother Emily Ann was aged 30. Willie had 5 siblings, Mabel A (Free BMD records her as Emily Mabel; St Mary's baptisms as Emily Mable) aged 8, Joseph C aged 7, Mary aged 5, Bertie aged 3 and Edith aged 1, all having been born in Ewell. There was also a boarder staying with them, 33 year old Henry King, a whitesmith, probably Emily Ann's brother. Their census entry is the next entry after Garbrand Hall.

William attended Ewell Boys School.

William's mother, Emily Ann Ayling died in 1898 aged 37, possibly as a result childbirth. She was buried in St. Mary's churchyard on 2 July 1898, four days after her son Robert's christening.

By the 1901 census William's father Joseph is shown as a 40 year old widowed shoemaker, no longer the head of the family but living as a boarder with John Mapley at number 10, Kingston Terrace. William aged 9 is also shown as a boarder. I take him to be Joseph's son Willie, having decided to become William. William's siblings are boarders at various other addresses. Presumably this was necessary after the death of their mother Emily Ann.

William's father Joseph married widow Ada Jane Emily Line on 8 March 1911 in St Pancras. The newly weds were living at 2, West Street, Ewell when the 1911 census was taken. William aged 19, a boot maker like his father, was still living at home, as were his siblings Joseph Charles aged 27, a bricklayer; Harry aged 25, a traveller for a coal merchant; Percy, aged 15, working as a clerk for the railway. Boarding with the family was James William Haines, a butcher.

William enlisted at Horsham, and at that time lived in south-west London. He served in the 32nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers (RF), which was in the 124 Brigade, 41 Division.

At the time of William's death the Battalion was fighting in the Third Battle of Ypres, often called the Battle of Passchendaele. On the night of 19/20 September 1917 the 32 RF assembled in Shrewsbury Forest on a small road running north from just west of LOWER STAR POST, its right being immediately behind LOWER STAR POST and its left on the road 250 yards north of that point (see map). Assembly was completed 1 hour before zero (5.40am) with two casualties.

Extract from a Passchendale Battle map dated 30 June 1917.  Click on map for a larger version, and use your browser BACK button
Extract from a Passchendale Battle map dated 30 June 1917.
Click on map for a larger version, and use your browser BACK button

The Battalion war diary available to purchase from the National Archives (WO/95/2644) gives a quite detailed account of the attack between 20 to 23 September. The following is a brief résumé:
There was no obstacle to the advance for the first 200 yards, but then machine gun fire opened up from the trench 'JAVA DRIVE' and from shell holes, causing severe casualties amongst the 10 Queens and the Battalion (32 RF). The attack was held up in the centre and the majority of officers became casualties.

The hold up lost the Brigade the benefit of the barrage, but despite this there was no serious opposition between the RED & BLUE LINES though enemy Machine Gun fire and sniping was heavy and accurate.

By 9am the BLUE LINE had been captured but units had become very disorganised, with about 50% of the Battalion becoming casualties. Due to Machine Gun fire no further advance was possible, the Battalion now being unfit for any further effort beyond holding the ground gained.

A portion of the Left Company finally dug themselves in on the opposing slope about 200 yards beyond the BASSEVILLE BEEK, on the extreme left of the Brigade sector. Thereafter, heavy Machine Gun fire prevented further movement. There was also accurate sniping. By 4pm the enemy were massing for a counter attack.

The Brigade was reinforced by the 123 Brigade, and the attack was continued. Several dugouts were captured and cleared, but after about 300 yards the advance was held up by Machine Gun fire. The BLUE LINE became the ultimate line of the ground captured in the operations, and was held by mixed elements of the two Brigades. The Battalion was relieved on the nights of 22/23 and 23/24.
On 22 September 1917, 41 men from the 32 Royal Fusiliers lost their lives including William who was killed in action. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Panel 28 to 30 & 162 to 162A & 163A.

The Epsom Advertiser/Observer of 14 December 1917 noted that an acknowledgment of a letter of sympathy sent out by the council, had been received from Mr. Ayling.

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


Passchendaele - Soldiers of an Australian 4th Division field artillery brigade on a duckboard track passing through Chateau Wood, near Hooge in the Ypres salient, 29 October 1917.
This image was taken one month after and close to the place where William died. It shows soldiers of an Australian 4th Division field artillery brigade on a duckboard track passing through Chateau Wood on 29 October 1917.
Image source Wikipedia

Back to the index

Please Note: We believe that the information on this page is accurate however users should satisfy themselves that the information is correct before incurring any expense or undertaking any journeys. This is particularly important when purchasing certificates from other bodies, for example the General Register Office. You might like to use the following links to Freebmd and Find My Past (Links open in a new window).