Great War Memorials - Surnames L

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LACEY, Frank (Revised 07/07/2014)
LACEY, William (Revised 12/06/2011)
LACROIX, Amie (New 02/01/2017)
LAMBERT, Frederick Charles (New 22/07/2011)
LANCASTER, E.H. (New 20/01/2013)
LANDER, A.C. (New 20/01/2013)
LARBY, Charles Ernest (Revised 15/02/2014)
LAUGHTON, Hubert Henry Schomberg (New 11/09/2016)
LAURIE, John (New 10/08/2017)
LAW, John Gordon (New 08/07/2013)
LAWRENCE, Nelson (Revised 28/01/2015)
LAWS (AKA MEDCALF), George Frederick (New 23/06/2016)
LAYTON Roland Churchill (New 18/12/2011)
LE BLANC, Edmond (New 04/11/2017)
LEDGER, Robert John (Revised 02/02/2015)
LEE, Edwin William (Updated 10/03/2015)
LEIGH, Benjamin Hilton (New 08/09/2016)
LEONARD, George (New 20/01/2017)
LEPPARD, Frederick Henry (New 23/01/2018)
LIBBY, Grace (Revised 24/01/2017)
LILLEY, Charles F (New 28/06/2010)
LILLEY, C.F (New 04/07/2010)
LIMBY, Arthur Albert (New 15/09/2016)
LITTLE, Thomas (New 04/11/2017)
LITTLEDALE, Willoughby John (Updated 29/05/2013)
LIVING, Philip Edward (New 16/08/2016)
LIVINGSTONE, Harry (a.k.a. MCILMURRAY, Hugh) (Revised 01/09/2013)
LONG, Frederick Charles (Revised 31/05/2018)
LONGHURST, Cecil Frank (Updated 22/03/2017)
LOWES, William Andrew (New 10/01/2013)
LUXFORD, Arthur E (Revised 10/12/2012)
LYLE, Alfred (New 31/08/2016)
If you are looking for someone whose name starts with a different letter please try:




LACEY Frank, Private. 8336.

9th Battalion East Surrey Regiment.
Killed in action 25 January 1917, aged 23.

Frank's headstone in the Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe
Frank's headstone in the Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014

Frank Lacey was born, according to the 1901 census, in 1894 in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight, the son of Eli Frank and Elizabeth Lacey (nee Ansell). I have been unable to find a GRO birth reference for him.

Frank's parents had married on the Isle of Wight in 1888 and his oldest brother Bertie George was born there the following year. By 1891 his father, known by his second name Frank, was working as a dairyman on 'Sheat Farm' in Gatcombe, Hampshire. Frank's second brother Charles was born on the Isle of Wight in 1892.

Frank's youngest brother James was born in 1897 in Hound, Hampshire and when the 1901 census was taken Frank and his brothers, Bertie aged 12, Charlie aged 8 and James aged 4, had moved with their parents to Rabson Farm, Winterbourne Bassett, Wiltshire, where his father was working as an agricultural labourer.

Aged 17, Frank was work as a gardener's assistant by 1911, and only he and his brother James were living with their parents in 'The Lodge', Woodcote Grove, situated on the Carshalton/Coulsdon borders in Surrey. His 48 year old father filled in the census form stating that he and his 51 year old wife had been married for 23 years and that all four of their children were still living, and that he was working as a gamekeeper. Frank's brother Bertie was living and working with his grandfather Charles Lacey on his farm 'The Dairy', Foreland Road, Bembridge, Isle of Wight. Brother Charlie was also working as a gamekeeper and boarding with the Ranson family at Bucks Head, Mannings Heath, Horsham, Surrey.

Frank's service papers have survived the 1940 blitz, and his 'Short Service' Attestation form, B 2505, states that he was aged 21 years 7 months, when he attested in Brixham, Devon on 4 March 1915, into the East Surrey Regiment. However, other surviving forms state that he had enlisted on 8 September 1914 in Kingston. How this anomaly came about is a mystery.

He was 5 feet 7 inches tall, had a chest measurement of 34½ inches with an expansion of 2 inches and he had a scar on his right elbow. His mother Elizabeth, of 'The Lodge', Woodcote Grove, Coulsdon, was named as his next of kin, but his mother's address was later changed to 125, Horton Hill, Epsom.

Frank's 'Military History Sheet' shows that he served at Home and in France, as follows:

Location From To Duration
Home 8 September 1914 24 August 1915 0 years 351 days
B.E.F. 25 August 1915 1 June 1916 0 years 282 days
Home 2 June 1916 9 December 1916 0 years 191 days
B.E.F. 10 December 1916 25 January 1917 0 years  47 days
Total     2 years 141 days

Frank served initially with the 11th (reserve) Battalion East Surrey regiment and was later transferred to the 9th Battalion, which was in the 72nd Brigade, 24th Division. The War Diary tells us that on 22 August 1915 the Battalion was warned that it would soon be moving overseas, and on 23-24 August the Battalion was practicing trench warfare on Chobham Common. Frank's medal card states that he went to France on 25 August, but his service record states he embarked on 24 August, however the War Diary shows that the Battalion sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne on 31 August. Confusion was probably due to his transfer from the 11th to the 9th Battalion.

On 20 March 1916 Frank was admitted to the 55th Field Ambulance (FA) suffering with a sprained ankle and returned to duty on 24 March. On 28 April he received a slight gunshot wound to his face and was treated by the 55th FA before being transferred to the 18th D.R.S. On 27 May he was diagnosed as suffering with eczema, and on 2 June he was transferred to England aboard the 'West Amsterdam'.

While in England, Frank was admitted to the Welsh Metropolitan War Hospital in Whitchurch near Cardiff with eczema and discharged on 22 August 1916. Then on 22 September he was admitted to Borough Fever Hospital suffering from Scarlatina (Scarlet Fever). He seems to have been transferred on 27 October into the Military Hospital in Dover and discharged on 31 October, cleared of infection.

On 20 December 1916 he rejoined the Battalion, and was killed in action on 25 January 1917. The Battalion was manning trenches at Hulluch, France and on 25 January carried out a trench raid, the aim of which was 1) To obtain identifications; 2) To inflict losses on the enemy; 3) To secure a sample of German ration bread. The raiding party consisted of 3 officers and 50 other ranks, plus 6 Sappers from the Royal Engineers. Under cover of smoke bombs, the raid commenced at 12.4 p.m. and was concluded at 12.15 p.m. and the party withdrew.

As a result of the raid the War Diary records that at least 9 of the enemy were killed in the trench, approximately 12 were killed or wounded in the dugouts and that 3 prisoners were taken, a Lance Corporal and 2 Privates. In addition a sample of German ration bread was secured, as well as a gas helmet. British casualties were 2 killed and 1 killed and missing; 4 wounded (1 seriously and 3 slightly).

Frank was one of those killed and is buried in grave I.L.28. Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe.

Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe
Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014

After Frank's death his personal effects were listed as:
2 Discs
Pht Case
Relig Bk
1 Silver Watch 70079
Card Case
2 N Bks
2 Knives
1 French Bk
Linen Bag
The War Office requested details of Frank's living relatives and their addresses so that these possessions and Frank's medal and scroll could be sent to them. His father Frank replied on 11 August 1919 giving his and his wife's address as 125, Horton Hill, Epsom. Living there with them were Frank's brothers Charlie and James. Brother Bertie George was living along the road at number 66 and was a carrier for the London and South Western Railway. The vicar of St. Barnabas church, Temple Road, Epsom, had witnessed this information.

Frank's mother Elizabeth received her son's 1914-15 Star on 2 July 1920, his British War medal on 19 December 1920 and his Victory medal on 19 October 1921.

Frank's father, based in Court Farm, Upper Court Road, Epsom, had been running 'F. Lacey & Sons, Haulage Contractors' since 1924. He died, aged 69, in the Cottage Hospital, Epsom on 12 October 1931 and was buried on 17 October in grave K365 in Epsom Cemetery. Frank's mother Elizabeth was aged 89 when she died on 23 April 1949 in 38, Pound Lane, Epsom; she was buried on 2 May in her late husband's grave.

Frank is remembered on his parents' grave but not on the Ashley Road memorial, nor on the St Barnabas church Roll of Honour. As the family were living in Epsom at the time names were being collected for commemoration, I suspect that, for whatever reason, his family declined to put his name forward.

Frank's inscription on his parents' grave in Epsom Cemetery, Montauban
Frank's inscription on his parents' grave in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013


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LACEY William, Private. 1814.

7th Battalion East Surrey Regiment.
Died of Wounds 3 Oct 1916, aged 30.

William's headstone in Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Montauban
William's headstone in Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Montauban
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

William Simeon Lacey was born in 1886 to William Simeon Hoare (later Lacey) and Mary Ann Harris (later Lacey), and was registered as William Simeon Hoare (GRO reference: Sep 1886 Guildford 2a 64). William's parents did not marry until 26 January 1895. His father was the illegitimate son of Simeon Lacey and Phoebe Hoare and had been registered as William Simeon Hoare.

In the 1881 census, before William was born, his mother Mary Ann Harris, was an unmarried 18 year old domestic servant who was living with her parents, James and Caroline Harris, along with her three siblings and her three month old son Alfred Harris, in Molesey Street, West Molsey (Moulsey on the census form), Kingston-upon-Thames.

When exactly William's father decided to change his name from Hoare to his father's name of Lacey is not known, but in the 1891 census he is recorded as William Lacey, a 31 year old general labourer, living at 46, Riddlesdown Road, Croydon, Surrey, with his 29 year old "wife" Mary Ann Lacey (Harris) and their children, Alfred (Harris) aged 9, William himself aged 4, and Gertrude aged 2 months. The census states that William's father had been born in Godalming and Mary Ann Lacey (Harris) in Woking. It also states that Alfred Lacey (Harris) had been born in Kingston (c.1882), while Gertrude Lacey was born in 1891 in Croydon. There is no GRO birth reference for Gertrude Lacey being born then but there is one for a Gertrude Hoare.

After having several children together, William's parents, William Simeon (Hoare) Lacey and Mary Ann Harris married on 26 January 1895 in the Croydon Registry Office.

In 1901 census, the Lacey family was living at 3, Red, White and Blue Cottages, Hook Road, Epsom, Surrey, which came under the ecclesiastical parish of Christ Church. William's father was then aged 42 and was working as a bricklayer's labourer to support 40-year-old Mary Ann and their family. Their 20-year-old son Alfred worked as a bricklayer's labourer, as did 15-year-old William himself. All their places of birth have been recorded as being in Guildford Surrey.

The census also records three younger brothers. William's brother Nathan was born in 1893 in Banstead Surrey. There is only one GRO birth reference for a Nathan Lacey in this year and it states that Nathan's birth was registered in Croydon. William's next brother Herbert was born in 1897 in Banstead. This would seem to be correct, as an Epsom GRO birth reference that matches has been found. William's fourth brother was only recorded as 2-week-old "Baby" on the census but was later named James.

With the exception of William and his brother James, the rest of the family seemed to have moved away from the Epsom area by the time the 1911 census was taken. William's 52-year-old father was working as a farm labourer, and had moved to 5, Widley Cottages, Cosham Hampshire with his wife Mary Ann, who was aged 50. William's father stated that he had been born in Guildford and Mary Ann in Chobham and that they had been married for 28 years. This would give them a fictional marriage date of 1883 instead of the real one of 1895. Mary Ann stated that she had had 11 children, 6 of whom were still living. The names of these 5 deceased children are unknown.

Wlliam's 19-year-old brother Nathan was a stoker in the Navy at sea, while his 20-year-old sister Gertrude was working as a housemaid in St Michaels Hall (a school), Lansdowne, Hove Sussex. Gertrude's place of birth was given as Croydon. Brother Herbert was aged 15 and working as a houseboy in House Boys Brigade, 31 & 32, Elizabeth Street, Pimlico, SW where he was described as being an inmate who had been born in Banstead. The youngest brother, 9-year-old James, was an inmate in the Kensington & Chelsea Workhouse School in Ewell. Brother Alfred's whereabouts has not been found.

When the 1911 census was taken 25-year-old William was boarding with the Cook family at 4 Common View Cottage Epsom Common. He was recorded as being born in 1888 in Guildford, that he was single and was working as a general labourer for the London County Asylum. He does not appear in the 'RECORD OF WAR SERVICE London County Council Staff 1914-1918' book, so presumably left the asylum before the war.

William attested at Epsom on 5 September 1914 into the East Surrey Regiment. He stated that he had been born in Epsom, that his age was 28 years and 2 months, and that he worked as a labourer. He was 5 feet 6¾ inches tall, weighed 136 lbs and had a chest measurement of 35½ inches with an expansion of 2½ inches. He had a dark complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair.

William sailed for France on 1 June 1915 arriving at Boulogne the next day. He fought with the 7th Battalion East Surrey Regiment, which was in the 37th Brigade, 12th Division. On 1 October 1916 the Battalion moved into front line trenches at Guedecourt, via Longueval, Delville Wood and the Ginchy - Guedecourt Road. The war diary dated 2 October 1916 recorded that the enemy kept up an incessant barrage on the front and rear of Guedecourt village, and although most went over the front line trench, Battalion HQ got more than its fair share of shells. The Battalion was relieved on 3 October 1916. Four men from the Battalion lost their lives that day including William who died of wounds, probably from shellfire.

William is buried in Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Montauban.

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


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LACROIX Aime (Amie), Private. 416153.

22nd Battalion Canadian Infantry.
Died 31 December 1916, aged 25.

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

Aime Lacroix, the son of Edouard and Marie Adelphine Lacroix (nee Boisvert) was born on 25 May 1891 in La Guque Co, Champlain, Canada. His parents had married in 1881 in Ste-Flore, Quebec.

The recording of the 1891 Canadian census began on 6 April 1891, just before Aime was born. The record shows Aime's French father as being aged 39, his mother as being aged 29 and his siblings as being Dona(t) aged 9, Helene aged 7, Alexandre aged 6, Edouard aged 4 and Telesphore aged 2. Aime was baptised that year in St Jacques-des-Piles, Quebec.

The 1901 Canadian census records confusing information about Aime's family. Aime's father was recorded as still being 39 years old and being born on 15 September 1861. His mother however was recorded as being Delphine Lacroix born on 26 July 1882, making her 18 years old. Aime himself was recorded as being 12 years old but being born on 26 May 1888, while his nine siblings were recorded as Donat aged 17, Helene aged 16, Alexandre aged 15, Edouard aged 14, Telesphore aged 13, George aged 11, Alda aged 8, Ephrem aged 6 and Alfred aged 2. It would seem that their birthdays were somewhat muddled up.

On 4 October 1915 Aime attested into the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force and was given the service number 416153. Answering the questions in French, Aime gave his birthday as 25 May 1891 and his occupation as labourer. He named his brother Donat as his next of kin. (That he also assigned his pay to his brother; his medals, plaque and scroll were all sent to his brother, and no Silver Memorial Cross was issued, all seem to indicate that his parents had died before he attested). He also stated that he was unmarried and signed the document with a X.

At his medical he was described as being 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighed 160 lbs, and had a fully expanded chest measurement of 40½ inches. He had a light complexion with fair hair and blue eyes. His religion was noted as being Roman Catholic.

Aime arrived in England on 28 October 1915 aboard SS Saxonia and was billeted at Shorncliffe camp before he went to France on 15 April 1916 to serve with the 22nd Battalion. the following is an extract from the 22nd Battalion War Diary:
15/9/16. At 10.30 a.m. left for trenches 1000 yards S.E. of POZIERES. At 5.00 p.m. order received that Battalion is to advance through 27th Battalion take COURCELETTE and occupy line North and East of village. At 6.15 p.m. assault launched. Objective gained at 7.00 p.m. Seven counter-attacks beaten off during the night, mainly against Quarry and Cemetery.

16/9/16. Holding the line. Four more counter-attacks repulsed during the day. Further advance made east of Quarry.

17/9/16. Holding the line. Two more counter-attacks by enemy repulsed.

18/9/16. Relieved at 7.00 a.m. by 4th Battalion (1st Brigade). Marched back to reserve trenches between LA BOISSELLE and CONTALMAISON. Rest. Total casualties during tour 312.
On 18 September 1916 Aime received a gunshot wound to his head and was evacuated to England. He was admitted to Horton War Hospital in Epsom, Surrey on 22 September, where he died on 31 December 1916. He was buried in grave K709 in Epsom Cemetery on 5 January 1917 and is commemorated there on the Screen Wall. A cross was erected on his grave (since removed) and his brother Donat was notified of this on 19 February 1917.

Canadian Memorial at Courcelette
Canadian Memorial at Courcelette.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2017

Aime's British War medal, Victory medal, Plaque and scroll were all sent to his brother Donat in March 1923.


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LAMBERT Frederick Charles, Sergeant. 6321.

1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (DCLI).
Killed in Action 23 July 1916, aged 34.

Frederick's inscription on the Thiepval memorial to the missing
Frederick's inscription on the Thiepval memorial to the missing
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

Frederick Charles Lambert was born in 1882, probably to unmarried 24 year old Alice Lambert, and registered as a male (GRO reference: Dec 1882 Bosmere 4a 685).

Frederick's mother married Frank Rimington in 1886 (GRO reference: Mar 1886 Holborn 1b 795), and together they produced another seven children.

The 1891 census records eight year old grandson Frederick Lambert living with his 59 year old widower grandfather, John Lambert in the village of Somersham in Suffolk.

In the 1901 census Frederick (Fred) is recorded as a 19 year old private soldier in the infantry stationed at North Raglan Barracks, Devonport. Unfortunately no mention is made of the unit he was serving with. As the second Boer War did not end until May 1902, it is possible that he saw service in South Africa.

Frederick married Maud Lydia Beven in 1911 (GRO reference: Mar 1911 Epsom 2a 19), and they had one child, Freda Alice Shirley Lambert registered in the June quarter of 1912.

In 1911 Frederick and his wife Maud were boarding with George Fletcher at 111, Lower Court Road, Epsom. Frederick was employed as an attendant at the Long Grove asylum. In this census Frederick is shown as having been born in Bodmin, Cornwall.

The Soldiers Died CD states that Frederick was born in Somersham, Suffolk, and that he enlisted in London into the DCLI. The 1st Battalion DCLI was in the 95th Brigade, 5th Division.

On 23 July 1916, as part of the attack on Delville Wood, the 1st DCLI were to deal with strong points in the orchards north of the village of Longueval and west of Delville Wood. They attacked from the trench called Pont Street, duly captured a strong point but were beaten back by a German counter attack. On 23 July the Battalion lost 195 men killed in action, but total British losses in France and Flanders that day were 1,885 men killed.

Frederick has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial to the missing.

The St Martin's church Roll of Honour states that;
FREDERICK CHARLES LAMBERT, was reported missing and was officially presumed to have been killed in action in France on 23rd July 1916.
Frederick is also mentioned in the LCC staff Record of War Service book which states that he had been in France for six months and that he was missing, presumed dead, near Delville Wood on 23 July.

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

The CWGC states that he was the 'Son of Mrs. Alice Rimington, of Common Lane, Thundersley, Essex; husband of Maud Lydia Lambert of 58, Sumner Road, Croydon, London'.


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Despite checking all known sources of information, it has proved impossible to establish why the name 'LANCASTER E.H.' should appear on the Epsom War Memorial in Ashley Road.

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

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Despite checking all known sources of information, it has proved impossible to establish why the name 'LANDER A.C.' should appear on the Epsom War Memorial in Ashley Road.

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

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LARBY Charles Ernest, Able Seaman. J/17309.

H.M. Submarine D.3.
Drowned 12 March 1918, aged 22.

Closeup of Able Seaman Larby's inscription at The Chatham Naval MemorialThe Chatham Naval Memorial
Closeup of Able Seaman Larby's inscription at The Chatham Naval Memorial and a view of the Memorial itself.
Copyright images courtesy of Clive Gilbert

Charles Ernest Larby was born in the village of Ewell on 2 April 1895 (GRO reference: Jun 1895 Epsom 2a 21) to Charles Thomas and Fanny Larby (nee Heath). His parents had married on 1 August 1892 in St. Anne's church in Limehouse, London. Charles was baptised in St. Mary's church Ewell on 5 May 1895.

In the 1901 census the family were living at 'Gibralter' in West Street Ewell. Charles's father was 37 year old gardener from Ewell, his mother Fanny was 36 years old, and came from Dursley, Gloucestershire. Charles had two sisters, Winifred aged 7 and Kathleen aged 3. Also living with them was Charles's 69 year old paternal grandmother Jane Larby and Pete Palmer, a boarder.

On 1 May 1902 Charles, having previously attended Ewell Infants School, started at Ewell Boys School in West Street (now converted to flats) and is commemorated on the school war memorial, which can be seen in the museum at Bourne Hall. He left the school on 7 April 1909 to work with a bicycle repairer.

The 1911 census shows that Charles had changed jobs and was working as an errand boy for a Stationer. Only he and his 13 year old sister (Frances) Kathleen were living with their parents at 1, New Cottages, West Street, Ewell. His sister Winifred was working as a housemaid for the Buxton family at 'Springfield' Howell Hill, Ewell. His father filled in the form stating that he and his wife had been married for 18 years and during that time they had had three children. Charles' brother Frederick Sidney was born later that year on 4 December 1911.

Charles was a member of the Ewell Old Boys' Association, and a list of members for the year 1913-1914, gives his address as 'Mess 33, H.M.S. Queen, c/o G.P.O., London'.

Charles service record shows that he joined the Navy on 1 May 1912, aged 17. Prior to joining the Navy he had been working as a garden boy. He was 5 feet 3½ inches tall, had a chest measurement of 32½ inches, dark brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion.

The following information was supplied by the Royal Navy Submarine Museum:
Charles served on various vessels and land establishments before joining the Submarine Service on 6 January 1916. After completing a course at HMS Dolphin (the submarine depot Gosport Hampshire) he joined the submarine HMS C2 attached to the depot ship HMS Thames on 3 February 1916. He returned to HMS Dolphin, after a period in hospital in Chatham on 13 October 1916. He joined the submarine HMS D3 (6290 tons, launched 17 October 1910) attached to the depot ship HMS Vulcan on 1 November 1916. D3 was transferred to HMS Platypus depot ship in April 1917 and then to the depot HMS Dolphin in December 1917.
HMS/m D3 taken at Rathmullen c1917 Courtesy of The Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport
HMS/m D3 taken at Rathmullen c1917.
Image courtesy of The Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport

Submarine D3 left Gosport on 7 March 1918 for an anti-submarine patrol in the English Channel. Little is known of her patrol movements but it is believed that a submarine spotted by a Royal Naval Air Service airship on the 11 was D3. On the 12 March the French airship AT-0 was patrolling when at 1420 a vessel was spotted to her north east. The airship drew close for recognition purposes and according to her commander, the submarine fired rockets at her. Four 52-kilo bombs were dropped by the airship. The submarine disappeared but several minutes later men were seen in the water. Attempts were made by the airship to rescue the men but it proved too difficult. The airship withdrew to seek help but all the men had drowned by the time it arrived. It is clear that D3 was the victim of a serious identification error on the part of the French airship, with identification rockets being mistaken for aggressive gunfire.
Able Seaman Charles Ernest Larby is commemorated in the "Submarine Book of Remembrance" kept in Fort Blockhouse Submarine Memorial Chapel (formerly HMS Dolphin) He is also commemorated on the museum's Area of Remembrance, a wall of names of all submariners lost on active service.
Charles' service papers state that he "Lost his life on duty on 15 March 1918". The CWGC also have his date of death as 15 March 1918, yet the boat was sunk with the loss of all hands on 12 March 1918. Perhaps it took 3 days for the authorities to accept that all hands had been lost.

Charles is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Panel 28. The CWGC states he was the 'Son of Charles & Fanny Larby, of 26 Neale Terrace, Hook Road, Epsom.'

Charles' unmarried sister Frances Kathleen was aged 32 when she died in 1930; she was buried on 21 March in grave K453 in Epsom Cemetery. When Charles' mother died in 1934 and his father in 1939 they were buried in their daughter's grave.

Charles is remembered on his parents' grave, which gives his date of death as 12 March 1918.

Charles' inscription on his parent's grave
Charles' inscription on his parent's grave
Charles' inscription on his parent's grave
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert ©2014

We are very grateful to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum (opens in a new window) who supplied this information. The museum is well worth a visit.


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LAUGHTON Hubert Henry Schomberg, Lieutenant.

2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.
Died 25 November 1918, aged 21.

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

Hubert Henry Schomberg Laughton was born on 24 August 1897 (GRO reference: Sep 1897 Kingston 2a 339) at 5 Pepys Road, Wimbledon to John Knox and Maria Josepha Laughton (nee de Alberti).

Hubert's father married his first wife Isabella Carr in 1866. They had two sons and three daughters. She died in Greenwich in 1884 aged 48. Hubert's father married his second wife, Maria Josephena de Alberti of Spain, in 1886 in the Kensington registration district. They had three sons and two daughters.

Hubert's father was a Naval historian and had written over 900 biographies of Naval personalities.

NameBorn - DiedNotes
Elspeth MargaretBorn: 1869 Portsea
Died: 1956 Middlesex
Mary LouisaBorn: 1871 Portsea 
Leonard George CarrBorn: 1872 Portsea
Died: 1955 Dover
Married Mabel Grey 1900
Dorothy AnnBorn: 1874 Greenwich
Died: 1964
Arthur Edward SeymourBorn: 1875 Greenwich
Died: 1913 Mexico
Francis EugeneBorn: 1887 HammersmithAlso served with the Cameron Highlanders. Awarded the Military Cross
Elvira Sybil MarieBorn: 1888 Hammersmith
Died: 1959 Westminster
One of the first officers of the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRENS). Married Ernest Matthews
Grace Ellen EffinghamBorn: 1890 Hammersmith
Died: 1975
Married Harry Graham Bell
Jeffrey KerrBorn: 1892 Chipping Barnet
Died: 1925
Also served Royal Navy. Married Margaret Fry in 1920
Hubert Henry SchombergBorn: 24 August 1897 Wimbledon
Died: 25 November 1918

In the 1901 census the family was living at 9 Pepys Road, Wimbledon. Hubert's father was a 70 year old 'Retired Naval Instructor: Professor of modern history King's College London'. His mother was aged 38. His siblings were Elvira aged 12, Grace aged 11 and Jeffrey aged 6. Hubert was aged 3.

In 1907 Hubert's father was knighted by King Edward VII.

Hubert was educated at Wimbledon College then at King's College School, Wimbledon, and finally at King's College, London, where he excelled in science.

Still living at Pepys Road in 1911, Hubert's 80 year old father continued to be a 'Professor of History' at King's College, London'.

Hubert's father died on 14 September 1915 aged 85 and was buried at sea in the Thames Estuary from the decks of HMS Conqueror. Probate of his effects, valued at £471 14s 8d, was granted to Hubert's mother.

Hubert was a member of King's College London's Officer Training Corps (OTC), and a few days before his 18th birthday he applied for a temporary commission in the Regular Army, for the duration of the war, and was duly accepted on 20 August 1915.

On 21 November 1916, 2nd Lieutenant Hubert Laughton arrived at Etaples, France and on 27 November he joined the 167th Company Machine Gun Corps, part of the 56th Division. Hubert was promoted to Lieutenant on 1 April 1917, and on 21 May he became an instructor at the Divisional Depot. This did not last for long as on 3 July 1917 he joined the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, in the 100th Brigade, 33rd Division.
Hubert is mentioned on page 446 of the Worcestershire Regimental history:
On October 6th, the "Battle Reserve" of the Battalion rejoined to replace, in some measure, the casualties. That reinforcement included five officers:-- Capt. C.C. Tough, M.C., Lts. Croydon-Fowler, Williams, Laughton and Dudley.
On 26 October at 1am, Hubert's battalion was ordered to attack, from the south, the heavily defended village of Englefontaine. The following is an extract from the Worcestershire Regimental history:
    At 1.0 a.m. on October 26th the new attack was launched. All three Brigades of the 33rd Division attacked. On the left the 19th Brigade led by the 1st Queen's attacked the western side of the village; on the right the 98th Brigade attacked it from the east; and in the centre the 2nd Worcestershire and the Glasgow Highlanders of the 100th Brigade attacked the village from the south.
    The enemy were strongly posted on the outskirts of the ruined village with machine-guns skilfully disposed to sweep the open ground. In spite of the crashing barrage the German machine-gunners opened fire as soon as the advancing platoons appeared out of the darkness. One machine-gun was shooting straight down the Landrecies road; but 2nd Lieutenant B. Kelly charged the machine-gun at the head of a small party, plunged in among the machine-gunners, killed two with the bayonet and captured the rest (awarded the M.C.). Further along the line Sergeant H. Yates boldly attacked a second machine-gun, killed the machine-gunners and cleared the way (awarded the D.C.M.). Nevertheless there were many casualties; and both the officers of one company were hit. Sergeant F. Field took command of the company and led his men forward into the village.
    The British attack had been launched at the every hour at which the German troops in Englefontaine were being relieved; and the inevitable confusion among the enemy greatly helped the attackers. The German battalions which had stood the strain of the previous three days of battle were demoralised. The attackers fought their way into the wrecked village and for a time a wild struggle raged around the ruins of the houses.     In the darkness individual German leaders reorganised their men and made fierce counter-attacks. One such counter-attack struck against the company commanded by Sergeant F. Field (awarded the D.C.M.). The sergeant and his men opened rapid fire and the enemy fell back. Another counter-attack surged round both front and rear of an isolated Worcestershire platoon led by Sergeant J. Darwood (awarded the D.C.M.); but the platoon held firm, shooting down all the enemy in their rear and then charging the enemy in front with the bayonet. The German infantry gave way, and the Worcestershire platoons fought their way forward through the village.
    The Chaplain of the Battalion, the Reverend E. Victor Tanner M.C., had gone forward alone into that wild fight, following the advancing companies. In the pitch darkness, lit only by the momentary blaze of flares and bursting shells, he stumbled into a group of soldiers sheltering in a door-way; and found them to be Germans. At sight of his British uniform they shrank back into the house. Risking his life, the padre followed them into the building; which was crowded with men of the enemy, taking shelter from the fight. He promised them that their lives should be spared; and the brave Chaplain walked back to Battalion Headquarters followed by twenty-two prisoners, their hands raised in surrender.
    Before dawn the German resistance was broken; and in the first light (October 26th) the last enemy in the village gave themselves up. By sunrise Englefontaine was entirely in our hands, with more than five hundred prisoners and many machine-guns.
    Entrenchment was quickly begun; for a counter-attack was expected. But no counter-attack developed. The troops of the 33rd Division held the ground they had gained until nightfall; then the welsh troops of the 38th Division came up in relief. Once again the 2nd Royal Welch Fusiliers relieved the 2nd Worcestershire. After dark on October 26th the Battalion marched back to billets at Forest. The casualties in that hazardous fight proved unexpectedly light; less than forty in all; and the Battalion was warmly congratulated. (Casualties, 2nd Worcestershire October 22nd-26th. Killed one officer, 2/Lt A. E. Bullock and 4 men. Wounded one officer, 2/Lt Laughton and 33 other ranks.
On 29 October 1918 Hubert's mother received a telegram stating that Hubert had been admitted to No.20 General Hospital, Camiers, suffering with 'slight gun shot wound left thigh'. He was evacuated back to England and admitted to the Manor War Hospital, Epsom, where, on 25 November 1918, he died from influenza and septic pneumonia. He was buried on 29 November in grave K98 in Epsom Cemetery and is commemorated there on the Screen Wall. He is also remembered on the Wimbledon College memorial and on the University of London Officers Training Corps Roll of Service.

In 1919 letters of administration were granted to Hubert's mother in the sum of £134. His mother was his next-of-kin and lived at 11 Stanton Road, Wimbledon, S.W.19. she died on 13 January 1946 leaving just over £351.

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


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LAURIE John, Private. 10/1138.

7th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment.
Died of Paralysis, 13 June1918 aged 32.

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

The Soldiers Died CD tells us that John Laurie was born in Kiermill, Dumfries and that he enlisted in Hull. His GRO death record in 1918 gives his age as 32; he would therefore have been born around 1886.

I have been unable to find any likely census records for John.

John's medal card tells us that he was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal, and that his first overseas service commenced on 22 December 1915 in Egypt. The 10th (Service) Battalion (1st Hull), East Yorkshire Regiment landed in Port Said, Egypt on 30 December 1915, and moved to France in March 1916. It therefore seems likely that John initially served with the 10th Battalion and later transferred to the 7th Battalion.

John died of 'Paralysis' in Horton War Hospital on 13 June 1918 and was buried on 17 June in grave K650 in Epsom Cemetery, where he is commemorated on the Screen Wall. He shares the grave with three other soldiers.

The Soldiers Effects record shows that war gratuities were paid to John's father James and his sisters Mary Shaw, Christine and Annie Sinclair.


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LAW John Gordon, 2nd Lieutenant.

1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment.
Killed in action 20 October 1918, aged 28.

John's headstone in the Bethencourt Communal Cemetery
John's headstone in the Bethencourt Communal Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

John Gordon Law was born on 17 March 1890 in the parish of Kew Gardens, Surrey (GRO reference: Jun 1890 Richmond 2a 363), the son of John and Edith Florence Law (nee Cocking). John was baptised on 3 May 1890 in St John's church, Kew Road, Richmond. His 26 year old father was working as a banker's clerk, in the Joint Stock Bank in Charterhouse Street, when he married 25 year old Edith Florence Cocking on 2 April 1878, in the parish church St. Clements Danes near the Strand, London. Their home in 1881 was in 7, Richmond Terrace, Lambeth.

When their daughter Estelle Gladys was born in 1886 they had moved to Richmond, Surrey where John Gordon himself was born in 1890. On both the 1891 and 1901 censuses, the family was recorded as living at 11, The Avenue, Richmond, Surrey.

On Christmas day 1905 John Gordon's 76 year old grandfather John Law, a former bank manager, died in 'The Rhallt', Burgh Heath Road, Epsom, Surrey. He was buried on 29 December in grave A264 in Epsom cemetery. In February 1906, probate of his effects valued at £12,694 6s. 5d. was given to his son John Law, bank cashier.

By 1911 John Gordon and his family had moved to 5, Drayton Court, South Kensington S.W. John Gordon was now aged 21 and working as an articled clerk to a chartered accountant. His father filled out the census form stating that he and his wife of 33 years had had three children, one of whom had died. After recording his unmarried son John Gordon, he added the details of his unmarried 24 year old daughter Estelle. Estelle married John Edward Sharpe on 22 June 1916.

Prior to John's education at Epsom College, his elementary education was also private. Whilst at Epsom College he joined the OTC on 1 January 1905, as a Private until he left the school in midsummer 1907. In February 1909 he joined the Territorial Army unit the London Rifle Brigade (LRB) as Rifleman 8581 but resigned in February 1914 for business reasons.

On 24 February 1915 John married Edna Jenny Thompson in the Registrar's Office, Earls Court Road. Edna, born in 1896, was his next-of-kin and they lived at 9a, Lyric Road, Barnes, SW13. Their son Trevor John Beresford Law was born on 5 October 1915 in Mortlake. Trevor died in 1994 in Nottingham. The birth of their daughter Pamela Stella Law was registered in the September 1918 quarter in the St George Hanover Square registration district.

John attested on 6 December 1915 at Mortlake, was placed on the Army Reserve, but was not mobilised until 24 July 1916, when he joined the 2/5th Battalion London Regiment, for the duration of the war, as Rifleman 303157. He remained in England until 2 December 1916, and on 3 December embarked for France from Southampton, arriving at No.7 Infantry Base Depot, Havre on 4 December. Then on 24 December he was attached to No.1 Entrenching Battalion, and on 18 March 1917 he was posted to 2/5 Battalion London Regiment (2nd Battalion of the LRB), in the 174th (2/2nd London) Brigade, 58th (2/1st London) Division.

John's battalion was facing the Germans' fortified trench system, the Hindenburg line, near Bullecourt when on 1 June 1917 he received a shrapnel wound to his right hand. He was admitted to the 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Station on 2 June and transferred to the 60th Field Ambulance on the same day. On 6 June he was transferred to the 9th General hospital at Rouen, and on 12 June sent to 2nd Convalescent Depot in Rouen. Finally on 19 June he was sent to the 11th Convalescent Depot at Buchy and on 25 August he was discharged and joined No.7 Infantry Base Depot at Havre.

On 20 September 1917 John applied for 'Admission to an Officer Cadet Unit with a view to Appointment to a Temporary Commission in the Regular army for the period of the War'. At the time of the application he gave his address as '14 Camp, 7 I.B.D. B.E.F. France', and his occupation in civil life as an accountant and auditor. John was 5 feet 101/2 inches tall, weighed 10 stone 12lbs, had a chest measurement of between 36 and 39 inches and 6/6 perfect vision in both eyes.

John's military career as a Private soldier was about to end as on 29 September he returned to England to become a commissioned officer. On 7 December 1917 he was admitted to No.19 Officer Cadet Battalion at Pirbright, and on 25 May 1918 he was appointed Second Lieutenant in the East Surrey Regiment. His standard of education was noted as 'good', his military knowledge as 'very fair', his power of command and leadership as 'very fair', but he had no special qualifications, and 'average abilities'. John returned to France on 29 May 1918 with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant attached to the 1st Battalion East surrey Regiment, 95th Brigade, 5th Division.

On 18 October the Battalion paraded at 09-30 hours and practiced their part in the forthcoming attack in the Battle of the Selle, on ground west of Bethencourt. The following day at 1100 hours the Battalion attended a church parade, then at 2030 hours they marched to assembly trenches 150 yards east of the River Selle, to await zero hour, 0200 hours, 20 October. The following is an extract from the 1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment War Diary for 20 October:
At 02.00 hours the 13th Inf. Brigade advanced under cover of a creeping barrage and captured the BLUE objective. At 'Z' plus 34 the 95th Inf. Brigade passed through the 13th Inf. Brigade and captured the GREEN DOTTED and GREEN objectives. This was successfully accomplished by 'B' and 'C' Companies with slight casualties touch being maintained on either flank. During the pause of 3 hours on the GREEN objective 'A' and 'D' Coys. were ordered to be ready to pass through 'B' and 'C' Companies at 'Z' plus 300 and capture the BROWN line. They passed through at the appointed time but strong enemy Machine Gun posts were encountered at sunken road in E.21.b. and d. and E.22.c. The flanks being in the air they withdrew to sunken road West of GREEN line in good order. Enemy shelling was rather heavy at this juncture.
At 16.00 hours under a creeping barrage all four Companies advanced together with troops on RIGHT and LEFT and captured BROWN line and posts 200 yards East of it and dug in.
The night was very quiet.
Captures -
About 50 prisoners. 20 Machine Guns and 2 Anti-tank guns.
Casualties -
Killed - Lieut. H. HAWES, 2/Lieut. R. DAVY, 2/Lieut. J.G. LAW. Other Ranks 25.
Wounded - Captain W.E. CROUCH, M.C. 2/Lieut. W.G. SUTTON. Other Ranks 71.
Missing - Other Ranks 1.
John Gordon Law was killed in the attack on 20 October 1918, and his body was buried in Plot C. 6. in the Bethencourt Communal Cemetery, Departement du Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France.

On 3 November 1918 John's effects were sent to his widow, consisting of, 1 prismatic compass, 4 metal stars, 1 metal identity disc wrist, 1 whistle, 1 cigarette case, 3 handkerchiefs, 1 red disc, 1 coin and 1 mascot. However not all his belongings were sent to her and she wrote to the War Office, from her new address, 92, Oakley Street, Chelsea, S.W. on 3 February 1919 stating that she had received her husband's kit but that several items had been overlooked. She listed revolver, boots, fountain pen, trench coat and various small but quite valuable things, watch (gold) etc, ring signet. She received a reply dated 9 May 1919 that stated, It is regretted that no trace of the missing articles can be found and it would appear that owing to the conditions prevailing at the time of the causality none of the effects such as are carried on the person were recovered.

Probate of John Gordon's effects, valued at £384 16s. 10d., was given on 8 May 1919 to Arthur Charles Hayward, chartered accountant. John Gordon's address was given as 9a, Lyric Road, Barnes, Surrey.

John Gordon was awarded the Victory medal and the British War medal, and they were sent to Mrs. Gordon Law, c/o Mrs Law of 5, Drayton Court, South Kensington, London S.W. From this it would seem that John Gordon was better known as Gordon by his wife and mother.

John Gordon's widow, Edna Jenny Beresford Law of 5, Coleherne Road, Kensington, died on 13 December 1933, aged 37, on her way to 28, Marloes Road, Kensington. Limited administration of her effects, worth £156 18s. 5d., was given to her mother and sister Ileene.

John's mother Edith Florence Law was aged 81 when she died in 3, Wilbraham Place, Kensington; she was buried on 26 September 1935 in the same grave space in Epsom cemetery, A254, as her late father-in-law. John Gordon's father was aged 82 when he died in 1, Oakley Street, S.W.3. and was also buried in the same grave space as his late father and wife on 28 February 1936.

John Gordon Law is remembered on their headstone in Epsom cemetery. He is also remembered on the Epsom College chapel memorial and on the memorial in Carr House, Epsom College.

John is also mentioned on his parents headstone in Epsom cemetery
John is also mentioned on his parents headstone in Epsom cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013


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LAWRENCE Nelson, Private. 1336.

1st Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers).
Died of Wounds 10 October 1916, aged 23.

Nelson's headstone in the Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte
Nelson's headstone in the Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2009

Nelson Lawrence was born in Wandsworth in 1893 (GRO reference: Mar 1893 Wandsworth 1d 793) to John Charles and Anne Lawrence (nee Critchfield).

The 1881 census shows that Nelson's father John, a 35 year old gardener, living in North Street, Wandsworth, was married to his first wife Maria, and that they had two sons, John aged 5 and Thomas aged 7 months. These two boys would later become Nelson's half brothers. Maria died aged 40 in 1887, and on 3 August 1889 Nelson's 41 year old father John married 30 year old spinster Anne Critchfield in St. Peter's church in Battersea.

The 1891 census shows the family living at 125 North Street, Wandsworth and that another boy, Charles Gordon aged 11 months, had been added to the family.

By 1901 the family lived at 16 Ram Square, father John was a house painter, and another boy, Hubert Wesley aged 4 had been born.

Only Nelson and his brother Hubert were living with their parents at 12 Ram Square when the 1911 census was taken. Nelson, aged 18, was working as a porter for a stationer.

At some point after the 1911 census was taken Nelson worked at the Long Grove Asylum but his role there is unknown.

Nelson joined the 1st Battalion London Regiment in May 1912, a volunteer in the Territorial Force. Nelson's medal card shows that he went to France on 11 March 1915. The Battalion landed at Le Havre and joined the 25th Brigade, 8th Division, but on 8 February 1916 was transferred to 167th Brigade, 56th (London) Division. NOTE: The LCC Record of War Service book states that he was in Malta for five months and then France for one year and seven months.

In October 1916 the Battalion fought in the battle of the Transloy Ridges, one of the actions that made up the Battle of the Somme. At 1-45pm on 7 October 1916 they clambered out of their trenches to attack Spectrum Trench which was to the north of Les Boeufs and west of Le Transloy. The attack was held up by machine gun fire and failed to take most of Spectrum Trench. Only on the left where was there any success, where Spectrum Trench joined Rainbow Trench. The attack continued the next day. Over the two days the Battalion lost 79 other ranks killed in action, and 5 more died of wounds over the next two days.

Nelson died of wounds and is buried in Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, which contains 1,395 graves. The 2/2 London Casualty Clearing Station was stationed here from September 1916 until April 1917.

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

The CWGC states that Nelson was the:
Son of John and Anne Lawrence, of 12, Ram Square, Wandsworth, London.
Nelson is commemorated on the Ashley Road memorial and on the, now lost, Long Grove Asylum memorial. His name is wrongly spelt Laurence in the LCC Record of War Service book.


With thanks to Ajax Bardrick for supplying additional information.

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MEDCALF George Frederick, Corporal. 7698.

Served as LAWS George Frederick.
6th Battalion Royal Fusiliers.
Died 16 November 1918.

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

George Frederick Medcalf was born in Chelsea in 1881 (GRO reference: Sep 1881 Chelsea 1a 361) to Isaac Alfred and Annie Margaret Medcalf (nee Cox). His parents had married on 12 December 1878 in St. Mary's Church, West Brompton, Middlesex.

In the 1881 census, before George was born, the family lived at 11 Milner Street, Chelsea. George's father was a 30 year-old jeweller, his mother was aged 20 and his older brother Alfred J was aged 9 months. Also living there was 13 year-old Minnie Web, a nursemaid.

NameBorn - DiedNotes
Alfred JamesBorn: 1880: St. James, WestminsterMarried Ivy Oliver 1912
George FrederickBorn: 1881 Chelsea
Died: 16 November 1918 Epsom
May Annie LouiseBorn: 1883 Westminster 
Edith MargaretBorn: 1886 WimbledonBaptised 27 June 1886 Wimbledon
Richard WalterBorn: 1891 Westminster 

By 1891 the family had moved to 19 Green Street, Strand, London. George's father was then described as a Tobacconist. George aged 9 and his brother Alfred aged 10 were both Scholars.

On 7 December 1899, in London, George attested into the Regular Army, signing on for 7 years with the colours and 5 years in the reserve, serving with the Royal Fusiliers. His attestation paper was completed using the name 'Laws' but was later altered to show the alias 'Medcalf'. Why he decided to use the alias 'Laws' instead of 'Medcalf' is unknown. He gave his age as 18 years and 5 months and stated that he had been born in the parish of St. James, London, Middlesex.

In the 1901 census the family was living at 20 Rylett Crescent, Hammersmith. George's father was a 50 year-old jewellers shop manager. His brother Alfred was a 'Jewellery Assistant Wholesale'. No occupations were recorded for sister Sarah aged 15 nor for brother Richard aged 9. George's 67 year-old widowed grandmother, Louisa Cox was also living there. I can find no 1901 census record for George who was serving in the army at the time.

The 1911 census records the family still at 20 Rylett Crescent, Shepherd's Bush. George's father was still earning his living in the jewellery trade. His brother Alfred was an 'Entertainments Manager'; sister May was a 'Clerk at Wholesale Jewellers'; brother Richard was a 'Clerk at Shipping Office and George himself was a 'Clerk at Philanthropic Institution'. His widowed grandmother was still living with the family.

Being a reservist George, at the age of 33, was recalled to the army and mobilised on 5 August 1914. On 11 September 1914 he was appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal and 10 September 1915 he was again promoted to full Corporal. However he did not embark to join the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers in Gallipoli, until 23 September 1915, arriving with them on 4 December. Presumably between recall on 5 August 1914 and embarkation on 23 September 1915, he was engaged in training new recruits into the ways of the army.

George married Agnes Summers on 31 January 1915 in St. Luke's Church, Victoria Docks, West Ham. They were living at 27 Rivett Street, Tidal Basin, E. Their two witnesses were R.W. Medcalf and D. Summers. They had a son George Edward born, in West Ham, on 11 December 1915.

George's time in Gallipoli was to be very short as the battalion was evacuated during 7 - 8 January 1916, to Egypt. On an unknown date George suffered gunshot wounds to his 'fingers and foot' and on 7 January 1916 he was admitted to hospital in Zagazig, Egypt, with a septic right hand, returning to his unit at Mustapha on 23 February 1916. On 25 February he embarked from Egypt, arriving at Marseilles, France on 2 April.

On 5 May 1916 he was transferred to the 8th Battalion and on 25 May to the 22nd Battalion. On 1 July 1916 he was admitted to the 100th Field Ambulance suffering with 'N.Y.D. (Not Yet Diagnosed) Mental'. He was admitted to No. 7 General Hospital in St. Omer on 4 July and then evacuated back to England. He was a patient in the 9th London General Hospital from 7 July until 5 October 1916 and was diagnosed with G.P.I. (General Paralysis of the Insane) and Shell Shock.

Having served for 16 years and 358 days he was discharged from the army on 29 November 1916 because he was no longer physically fit. It was recorded that his age was 35 years and 4 months, that he was 5 feet 5 inches tall, had grey eyes, reddish brown hair and that he was a clerk by trade. His military character was described as exemplarily and his conduct had been excellent.

His address on discharge was to be 27 Rivett Street, Tidal Basin, Victoria Dock, E, but in a few days time on 9 December 1916 he was admitted to Long Grove asylum.

George died on 16 November 1918 caused by 'GPI and Shell Shock'. He was buried in grave K652 Epsom Cemetery on 22 November and is commemorated on the Screen Wall there. He shares his grave with three other soldiers.

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


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LAYTON Roland Churchill, Captain.

Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers).
Killed in action 30 April 1918, aged 39.

Roland Churchill Layton
Roland Churchill Layton
Image Source:

Roland Churchill Layton was born on 16 January 1879 (GRO reference: Mar 1879 Easthampstead 2c 449) at Cranbourne, Windsor Forest, Berkshire, the son of the Reverend William Edward and his second wife, Christina Isabella Layton (nee Hall). Roland's parents had married in the March 1871 quarter in the Tunbridge registration district.

In the 1881 census the family was living at St James' Villa, Cranbourne, Berkshire where Roland's 37 year old father was curate of St Peter's church. His mother Christina was aged 39, and his sister, Ethel was aged 9. Rebecca Beeching aged 38 was visiting them, and they employed 3 servants.

In the 1891 census 12 year old Roland was a pupil at Tonbridge Castle preparatory school in Kent, where he is incorrectly listed as Richard C Layton. He joined Park House, Tonbridge School in May 1893 but left the following Christmas, and was later at Felsted school. Roland's parents, his sister Ethel and a servant, Mary A Roberts were living at 49, Lime Hill Road, Tunbridge Wells.

Roland's father was the first Vicar of St Mary's church, Cuddington, Surrey, consecrated in 1895, and in the 1901 census Reverend Layton aged 57, Christina aged 59 and Ethel aged 29 were living in Cuddington Vicarage along with Augustus S Churchill, a visitor, and 3 servants. Roland is not listed. In 1899 he had gone up to Brasenose College, Oxford, but he did not take his degree choosing instead to volunteer for service in the South African campaign (second Boer war) in 10th Squadron Sherwood Rangers in 3rd Imperial Yeomanry Regiment. On 22 March 1901 he obtained a commission as 2nd Lieutenant. He was awarded the Queen's medal and 4 clasps. His regiment was disbanded on the conclusion of the war and he was granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant.

He resigned his commission in 1903 and entered the Colonial Civil Service. He was Assistant and then Deputy District Commissioner in Southern Nigeria until 1912. He returned to UK from Lagos on 29 December on the ship Henry Woerman. His occupation was shown as barrister and West Africa recorded as his last permanent place of residence.

Roland married Catherine Goff Cooke, daughter of the late Edward Andrew George Cameron Cooke of Wyke Regis, in Croydon on 21 May 1909.

In the 1911 census Roland's parents were living in Worthing. They declared that they had been married for 40 years and that they had had five children, but that only one was still living. Ethel's death is recorded in the March 1906 quarter in the Epsom registration district.

On declaration of war Roland volunteered for service with the Territorial Force on 5 September 1914 and was appointed temporary lieutenant in the Nottingham Sherwood Rangers on 7 Sept 1914. At this time gave his address as 1 Ladbroke Gardens, Notting Hill Gate.

He was promoted to temporary Captain 22 Aug 1915. There was an error in the London Gazette 2 Nov 1914 when it was announced that he was to be appointed a major.

He embarked at Devonport on 30 August 1915 and disembarked at Salonica on 12 September 1915. He joined the 3 Company Yeoman Regiment on 9 October. He served in Macedonia taking part in the first march to Lake Doiran, commanded the first cavalry patrol to enter Serbia and was the last man to leave the country on their retreat. For these services the French awarded him the Croix de chevalier of the Legion of Honour and Croix de Guerre.

In June 1916 he suffered a recurrence of the malaria he first contracted in Nigeria and was admitted to 30 Field Ambulance, Salonica on 23 June 1916. He rejoined his unit on 2 July 1916 but returned to the field hospital on 15 December, and was admitted to 21 Stationary Hospital Salonica on 25 December suffering from debility. He was transferred to the hospital ship Lanfranc 30 December 1916 and shipped back to the Hamrun hospital, Malta on 5 January 1917. A medical board noted that he had lost much weight over the past months and was very thin. He was described as weak, dull and irritable with a poor appetite. He was considered to be unfit for any duty, largely due to the strain and fatigue of active service. The board decided to invalid him back to Britain on 2 February 1917 on hospital ship Panama.

He had another Medical Board on 16 March 1917 where it was noted that he was 5ft 10½ inches tall and had gained 6lbs in weight since his last board. He had had two attacks of malaria and was far from robust. His admission to hospital was recommended as he was unlikely to be fit for general service for three months. He could take on light duties after six weeks. A further board at Tunbridge Wells on 30 April 1917 found him to be suffering from debility and piles, the latter not attributable to his war service. He was granted a period of leave before rejoining his regiment in Egypt. He embarked at Southampton on 24 June 1917, arriving the next day at Le Havre. From here he travelled to Marseilles on 29 June to rejoin his regiment in Egypt. He disembarked at Alexandria on 6 July 1917.

He was promoted to full captaincy on 20 July 1917.

The Imperial War Museum has a film of the French General Bailloud presenting the Knights' Cross Legion of honour to Capt Layton and other British troops in Egypt on 1 August 1917. After patrol work guarding the canal he was sent in September with his Regiment to Palestine and had taken part in the capture of Beersheba on 31 October.

On 27 November 1917 he was admitted to the Brigade field ambulance suffering from debility. From there he was transferred to the 19 General Hospital in Alexandria (4 December) and then to 1 Comd Hospital. On 9 Jan 1918 he had recovered sufficiently to rejoin his Regiment in the field.

He assisted in an attack on the other side of Jordan. The operation pushed into enemy country past Es Salt, which was very difficult ground for cavalry and they had to withdraw. Captain Layton, described as one of the prominent leaders, was killed on 30 April 1918 in Palestine. The Australian Mounted division reported his death in a wire number AB266 dated 1 May 1918.

A brother officer wrote:
He was sent forward to take a small commanding hill. He went forward with the first attack...As soon as he got to the top of the hill, in front of his men as he always was, he was shot through the head and killed instantly. The Regiment is the poorer by one of its most capable officers.
His Colonel's letter contained the following:
It was whilst he was leading his squadron most gallantly on foot that he was killed. It was largely due to his gallantry and energy that the regiment got on so well and his loss is very severely felt by all of us. Though I have only been four months with the regiment, his loss is a great personal grief to me, especially as he had been appointed second in command of the regiment and I was very much looking forward to working with him.
He has no known grave and is commemorated panel 2 of the Jerusalem memorial to the missing. He is also commemorated at St Mary's, Cuddington on a plaque inside the church and on the Worthing War memorial.

The plaque in St Mary's, Cuddington to Roland
The plaque in St Mary's, Cuddington to Roland
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2007

A Memorial Window to the Notts Sherwood Rangers was dedicated in East Retford Parish Church on 21 May, 1921. The inscription reads:
Remember ye with Thanksgiving and with all Honour before god and man the Officers and men of the Notts Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry who gave their lives for King and Country in the Great War, 1914-19, to whose memory this window is dedicated.
The Times obituary referred to him as the only son of Rev W E Layton, late vicar of Cuddington and Mrs Layton, Newbold House, (Tennyson Road) Worthing.

He had made a will on 16 August 1909. At the time his address was given as 59 London Road, St Albans. He left £265 13s 5d. Proved July 1918.

His widow died in a nursing home in Croydon on 29 April 1919, possibly of influenza. His father asked the War Office if he might be entitled to have his son's medals in her stead.

In addition to the French gallantry awards and the Queen's medal with 4 clasps for the second Boer War previously mentioned, Roland also received the 1914-1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.


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LE BLANC, Edmond Henry, Private. 817416.

26th Battalion Canadian Infantry.
Died 25 October 1918 aged 22.

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

Edmond Henry Le Blanc was born on 17 December 1895 in Cogan, Kent County, New Brunswick, Canada, the son of Honore and Obeline Dupius Le Blanc, of White's Settlement, Kent, County, New Brunswick, Canada. The family was French in origin.

In the 1901 Canadian census the family was living in New Brunswick, Kent, Dundas. Edmond's parents were recorded as 42 year old Arian Leblanc, a farmer and 37 year old Obeline Leblanc. Edmond had three siblings, Margaret aged 9, Godfrey aged 3 and Nepolian aged 9 months.

Edmond attested at Sussex, New Brunswick on 17 November 1915. He was 5 feet 8¾ inches tall and had a chest measurement of 36 inches with an expansion of 3 inches. He had a dark complexion, blue eyes, black hair, worked as a farm labourer and was a Roman Catholic.

Edmond embarked from Halifax, Canada with the 140th Battalion on 23 September 1916 aboard SS Corsican and arrived at Liverpool on 6 October 1916, and was transferred to the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Depot at Caesar's Camp, Folkestone.

On 12 February 1917 Edmond wrote a will leaving everything he owned to his mother.

After being transferred through various reserve battalions at Seaford, Bramshott and Shoreham he was sent to France on 12 May 1917 and joined the 26th Battalion on 12 June 1917.

Between 15 to 25 August 1917 the Canadian Corps attacked Hill 70, just north of Lens, France. The attack was intended to divert German troops away from the main Battle of Third Ypres (Passchendaele) raging further north. On 15 August 1917 Edmond received a gunshot wound to his left knee and passed through No. 6 Canadian Field Ambulance, No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station, 21st Ambulance Train and No.2 Stationary Hospital, Abbeville, finally rejoining his unit on 17 November 1917.

Edmond was soon to be punished for a dereliction of duty, his service papers read as follows:
Sentenced to 14 days F.P No. 1 for neglect of duty 28 December 1917. ie. While on sentry duty guarding goods in Y.M.C.A. marquee, the property of the 26th Battalion: failed to prevent a barrel of beer from being stolen.
Between 23 February and 9 March 1918 he was fortunate enough to be granted leave to the UK.

Edmond received a gunshot wound to his right side and right kidney on 8 August 1918 and was admitted to the 5th Casualty Clearing Station the next day. He was transferred to the 3rd Australian General Hospital, Abbeville, on 24 August and was declared to be dangerously ill. Evacuated to England, on 31 August he was admitted to the Military Hospital, Endell Street, Covent Garden. On 3 October he was admitted to Woodcote Park Canadian Hospital and the next day he was transferred to the Manor War Hospital, Epsom. On 9 October, still seriously ill from the gunshot wound to his side, he contracted pleurisy and pneumonia, from which he died at 3.45pm on 25 October. Edmond was buried in grave K92 on 31 October in Epsom Cemetery, where he is commemorated on the Screen Wall.

Edmond's British War medal, Victory medal, Plaque and Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother in the early 1920s.


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LEDGER Robert John, 2nd Lieutenant.

7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment.
Died of wounds 11 March 1917, aged 26.

Robert's headstone in Avesnes-le-Comte Communal Cemetery
Robert's headstone in Avesnes-le-Comte Communal Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

Robert John Ledger was born in Epsom on 10 November 1890 (GRO Reference: Dec 1890 Epsom 2a 19) the son of Frederic William and Julia Ann Ledger (nee Morriss). His parents had married on 1 September 1885 in Banstead, Surrey.

Name Born - Died Notes
Godfrey Horton Born: 1889 Epsom Baptised 10 April 1889 St. Martin's church, Epsom.
Served; Captain RFA.
Married Marian D. Meredith 12 February 1919
(sister of Eric Dunfee Meredith)
Robert John Born: 10 November 1890 Epsom
Died: 11 March 1917 France
Baptised 12 December 1890 Christ Church, Epsom
Margaret Frances Born: 14 May 1893 Epsom Baptised 25 June 1893 Christ Church, Epsom
Grace Eliza Born: 30 October 1894 Baptised 23 December 1894 Christ Church, Epsom.
Married Arthur L. Hope 22 September 1917

In the 1891 census the family was living at 5 Laburnum Road, Epsom. Although Robert's 34 year old father Frederic was an architect, no occupation for him was recorded. His mother was aged 30 and his older brother, Godfrey Horton was aged 2. The family employed a domestic servant.

On 15 February 1893, Robert's father applied to be admitted to the Freedom of the City of London, stating that he was an architect who occupied the premises 3 Lombard Court in the City of London. By 1894 the family had moved to Ashton House, Worple Road, Epsom, which they rented from a Miss Low.

Robert's father Frederic was recorded as an Architect and Surveyor and an employer in the 1901 census and the family employed two servants.

Robert was educated at Kings College Wimbledon.

Robert's father died on 2 September 1906, aged 50, in Dorking Cottage Hospital and was buried in grave A567 in Epsom Cemetery on 6 September.

Aged 20, Robert was working as an Insurance Clerk when the 1911 census was taken. He was living with his widowed mother and siblings Godfrey aged 22, Margaret aged 17 and Grace aged 15 in Grove Road, Epsom.

When war broke out Robert was training with Commercial Union Assurance Company to be an actuary and attested in London on 29 August 1914 into the 10th (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers with Service Number 1043. He gave his age as 23 and occupation as Actuary and stated that he was a Territorial Army soldier with the Artists Rifles. He was 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighed 157 lbs, had a chest measurement of 35½ inches with an expansion of 4½ inches, a fresh complexion, brown eyes, brown hair and perfect 6/6 vision in both eyes. His religion was C of E and his mother was his next-of-kin.

He was appointed Lance Corporal (unpaid) on 11 September 1914 and Lance Corporal (paid) on 19 October. Robert was admitted to Bulford Military Hospital between 7 July and 4 August 1915 suffering with gonorrhoea. He went to France on 14 August 1915, was promoted Corporal (paid) on 3 February 1916 and became a Sergeant-Bomber instructor at the Brigade Grenade School on 10 May 1916. Having attended Cadet School starting 21 June 1916, Robert was discharged from the 10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers on 1 August 1916 and on 8 August 1916 he was commissioned Temporary 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) and posted to the 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment.

On 9 March 1917 Robert, as Brigade Bombing Officer, was instructing two other officers in the firing of Mills Rifle Grenades, when a premature explosion wounded all three officers. The three officers were evacuated to the 37th Casualty Clearing Station but Robert had received severe chest wounds and died two days later. An inquiry report attached blame to Robert for the accident.

The following appeared in the Epsom Advertiser dated 16 March 1917:
SECOND LIEUTENANT R.J. LEDGER, Royal Sussex Regiment, who died on March 11th as the result of a bomb accident, was the son of the late Mr. F.W. Ledger and Mrs. Ledger of Grove Lodge, Epsom. He enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers at the beginning of the war. He went to the front as a lance-corporal with his battalion in August 1915, and later was promoted to sergeant-bomber. In February 1916 he was recommended for a commission, and early this year was appointed a brigade bombing officer. Lieutenant Ledger was educated at King's College School, Wimbledon Common, and when war broke out was with the Commercial Union Assurance Company training for actuarial work.
The following obituary appeared on page 266 in the 1917 Journal of the Institute of Actuaries Volume L:
ROBERT JOHN LEDGER, Student of the Institute, 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Sussex Regiment.
Died on service 11 March 1917.
The St. Martin's church Roll of Honour states that:
ROBERT JOHN LEDGER, died on 11th March 1917 from wounds received while acting as Brigade Bombing Officer at practice at Avesnes le Comte.
Robert's effects were returned to the UK on 18 March 1917 and consisted of:

1. Nickle mirror.1. Silver Cigarette Case
    Letters and photos.1. Leather Pocket Photo Case.
1. Small Leather Case contg:1. Fountain Pen and tube of ink tablets.
    Photo and letter.1. Gold Ring in case.
2. Wrist Watches (one broken) guards and straps.2. Badges of Rank.
1. Tin box contg:-10. Regimental Buttons.
1. Pair of Nail scissors1. Wrist Identity Disc.
2. Collar Badges.1. Gold Safety Pin.
1. Green Identity Disc.1. Whistle and strap.
2. Pocket Knives.3. Cheque Books (1. Barclay and Co)
1. Collar Stud.1. Officer's Advance Book.
1. Cheque Book. (Counterfoils)1. Wooden "Jumping Jack".
2. Pass Books. 
1. Postal Package (Unopened) 
1. Nail File.  

Letters of administration were granted to his mother Julia Ann Ledger, of Grove Lodge, Grove Road, on 27 April 1917 in the sum of £740 12s 4d. Strangely there is another record of letters of administration being granted to his brother, architect, Godfrey Horton Ledger, on 30 June 1919 in the sum of £18 11s 3p.

Robert's mother Julia died on 11 October 1918, aged 58, and was buried on 15 October in her late husband's grave in Epsom Cemetery.

His brother Godfrey applied for Robert's 1915 Star, British War medal and Victory medal on 17 September 1921, whilst living at 32 Napier Court SW6.

Robert is buried in Avesnes-le-Comte Communal Cemetery, France. The CWGC states that he was the: Son of Frederic William and Julia Ann Leger, of Epsom, Surrey.

Robert is commemorated on Epsom's Ashley Road memorial, St. Martin's church memorial an on his parents' grave in Epsom cemetery.

Robert's inscription on his parents' grave in Epsom cemetery
Robert's inscription on his parents' grave in Epsom cemetery
Robert's inscription on his parents' grave in Epsom cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2015


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LEE Edwin William, Private. 254751.

3rd Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers).
Killed in Action 9 August 1918, aged 18.

Edwin's inscription on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial (Pas de Calais)
Edwin's inscription on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial (Pas de Calais)
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Edwin William Lee was born on 28 December 1899 (GRO reference: March 1900 Chertsey 2a 62) to Edwin and Florence Jane Lee (nee Uwins/Andrews). They had five children, all of whom were born in Windlesham, near Bagshot, and all survived childhood

The birth of Edwin's mother, Florence Jane Uwins was registered in the June 1872 quarter in the registration district of Billericay, Essex; the birth of her mother, Lucy Uwins, being registered in the December 1839 quarter in the registration district of East Grinstead. However, aged 8, Florence and her 41-year-old unmarried mother from Lingfield, appeared with the surname Andrews in the 1881 census as living at 2 Margaret Cottages, Epsom Common. Therefore between 1872 and 1881 Lucy Uwins changed her surname from Uwins to Andrews but appears not to have married.

Edwin's parents were married in Christ Church, Epsom, on 18 April 1897. Their marriage entry shows that 23-year-old Edwin, a baker, lived in Windlesham and that 25-year-old Florence lived on Epsom Common. Edwin's deceased father William was recorded as a 'nurseryman' and Florence's father as 'Mark Andrews, tailor, deceased'. However, no record of marriage between Lucy Uwins and Mark Andrews has been found. After they were married Edwin's parents returned to Windlesham.

NameBorn - DiedNotes
Florence MaryBorn: 1898 Windlesham, SurreyMarried James Mansfield 1917 Christ Church, Epsom
Edwin WilliamBorn: 28 December 1899 Windlesham, Surrey
Died: 9 August 1918 France
LucyBorn: 1900 Windlesham, Surrey 
George SamuelBorn: 15 April 1904 Windlesham, Surrey
Died: 1970
ThomasBorn: 1906 Windlesham, SurreyMarried Mabel Violet Gardiner 22 December 1928 All Saints church Kingston

By the time of the 1901 census Edwin and his family were living at Thatched Cottage, Windlesham, next door to Edwin's great grandparents Charles and Emma Lee. Edwin's father was employed as a general labourer and his mother Florence was looking after the three very young siblings Florence May, aged 3, Edwin William, aged 1 and Lucy aged 4 months.

The family moved back to Epsom sometime between the birth of Thomas in 1907 and the 1911 census.

In the 1911 census, they were recorded as living at 3 Coronation Cottages, Woodland Road, Epsom Common and Edwin's parents were both laundry workers. Edwin's father filled out the form stating that he and his wife had been married for 14 years and that they had five children, all of whom had survived childhood. Florence May, aged 13, had no occupation and was not at school so, given that her mother was working, she may have been looking after the home. Edwin William aged 11, Lucy aged 10, George Samuel aged 6 and Thomas aged 4, were all scholars.

Edwin William Lee was a footman before he enlisted on 20 February 1918, at Chelsea as a Private in the 3rd (City of London) Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). The Battalion was part of the 173rd Brigade, 58th (London) Division. Edwin joined the battalion on 27 July and was killed in action two weeks later on 9 August 1918, aged 18, at Morlancourt, whilst fighting in the Battle of Amiens.

He has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 10 of the Vis-en-Artois Memorial (Pas de Calais), along with almost 10,000 others who died in the last three months of the War, as part of the Advance to Victory in Picardy and Artois.

Edwin appears in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, part 5, which tells us that his father served in the ASC and that the family lived at 23 Woodlands Road, Epsom.

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

Edwin's father died in his home, 23 Woodlands Road, Epsom in 1934 aged 60. He was buried in grave K492 in Epsom Cemetery on 7 March. Edwin's mother Florence died in 1959.

Edwin's inscription on his parents grave
Edwin's inscription on his parents grave.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2015


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LEIGH Benjamin Hilton, Captain.

Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC).
Died 9 October 1918 aged 51.

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

Benjamin Hilton Leigh was born around 1868 in Piura, Peru, the eldest son of Irish born Henry Hilton Leigh. Benjamin had at least four, but possibly six or seven, siblings. Some researchers have recorded Benjamin's brothers as George Edward/Jorge born c1871, Federico/Frederick Augustus born c1873, Carlos Cesar born c1873 and Guillermo/William. Other online researcher's findings are conflicting and with no official records found, it is uncertain who actually was their mother.

Other researchers record that there were no children from Henry Hilton Leigh's first marriage to Carmen Cortés del Castillo. After her death they have recorded that Benjamin's father married his sister-in-law, Mercedes Jesús Cortés del Castillo. Some say this was in 1864, others though, have claimed that Henry and Mercedes did not marry until 1886, and some researchers have then recorded that Mercedes died in 1886.

What is known is that Benjamin and three of his brothers were sent from Peru to be boarders at the Catholic Prior Park College in Bath, Somerset, England. When the 1881 UK census was taken, the Leigh brothers were recorded at the college as Benjamin H. aged 12, John A. aged 11, William A. aged 11 and George G. aged 9.

By 1891 Benjamin was a 23 year old medical student at the School of Medicine at Owen's College, and was boarding at 254 Oxford Street, Manchester. In 1896 he qualified in Edinburgh as a doctor with triple qualifications.

Benjamin was 31 years old when he married 22 year old spinster Florrie Dyson, the daughter of George Varley Dyson, on 14 March 1900 in St. Stephen Church, Chorlton upon Medlock, Lancashire.

The 1901 census records that Benjamin was a 'Physician and Surgeon, working on his own account'. He and his wife Florrie were living at 'Rosebank' Park Road, Southend. They employed one domestic servant, 23 year old Sarah Ward and had a visitor staying with them, 30 year old solicitor Arthur Wintle. Their daughter, Carmen Cortez Leigh, was born 29 August 1903. The question here is, was she named after Benjamin's mother or his aunt?

Benjamin was not at home with his wife and daughter at 65 London Road, Southend when the 1911 census was taken. Visiting that night were Harry Woodcote Hall, a surgeon, and Ethel Goddard. The family employed two domestic servants.

It is possible that Benjamin was in Peru with his father at this time. According to his probate record, Benjamin's father died in Peru on 27 June 1912 leaving administration of his will to Benjamin. However other researchers have him dying in 1910. On 25 April 1912, after staying with his brother William in Peru, Benjamin arrived in New York aboard S.S. Zacapa. His final destination was recorded as Southend-on-Sea to be with his wife and child. It is possible that he then lodged his father's death, but with the wrong year, before being granted administration of his father's will valued at £34,822 14s 1d.

Benjamin was aged around 47 when he joined the RAMC as a Lieutenant, his name appearing in the London Gazette dated 1 April 1915. The RAMC website states that he went overseas in August 1915 and first served in Malta. However, his medal card records that he went overseas to Salonika on 2 July 1917, and that he was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal. He was not awarded the 1914-1915 Star, which indicates that he served overseas after 1915.

He was invalided back to the UK in April 1918 and admitted to Manor War Hospital in Epsom, where he died on 9 October. (A family tree online records that he died from a tropical disease). He was buried on 12 October in grave K99 in Epsom Cemetery and he is commemorated there on the Screen Wall.

Benjamin's probate record shows that his home address at the time of his death was 11 Montpelier Row, Blackheath, Kent. However, the Absent Voters List of the London Electoral Registers recorded him as living at number 10 Montpelier Row. Probate of his effects, valued at £8,410 14s 6d, was granted on 4 December to John Alfred Leigh (brother), Cawood Dyson and Thornton Charles Lamb.


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LEONARD George, Private. 24080.

2nd Garrison Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment.
Died 18 January 1917, aged 42.

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

The UK Army Soldier's Effects Register records George Leonard as alias George Alfred Bollans, son of Susan, and that he had a brother named Charles.

George Leonard, alias George Alfred Bollans, the son of Charles Reuben and Susan Bollans (nee Armes), was born on 11 August 1875 in St Pancras, London (GRO reference: Sep 1875 Pancras 1b 112). His parents had married in St. James' Church, Westminster on 13 September 1868. Information from the 1911 census records that they had nine children. At the time of the baptism of their first child Susan Alice in 1868, Charles was working as a butcher.

George and his sisters, Eliza Martha born 23 March 1873 and Frances born 30 July 1880, were living with their parents at 27 Robert Street when they were all baptised on 20 August 1880 in St. James' Church, Hampstead. Their father was by then working as a railway porter.

When the 1881 census was taken, George and his sisters were living with their parents at 2 St. Ervans Road, Kensington.

George's brothers, Henry John born on 20 June 1882 and Charles born on 12 December 1886, were both baptised on 27 July 1887 in Christ Church, Notting Hill, while the family lived at 77 Acklan Road. Only George and Charles were recorded as still living with their parents when the 1891 census was taken.

On 6 November 1899, whilst stationed in Chelsea, George Alfred Bollans deserted from the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards. His service number was recorded as 9570.

George's whereabouts when the 1901 census was taken has not been found but his parents and brother Charles were still living in Kensington. His father died in 1909.

When the 1911 census was taken, George Alfred Bollans was working as a 'Collier Surface Labourer' and appeared as boarding, as a single 37 year old (birth year c1874), with 39 year old widow Hannah Ellen Leonard and her three children Richard Tom aged 21, William Henry aged 17 and Sidney aged 15. They were living at 127 New Buildings, Grimethorp, Barnsley, Yorkshire. His widowed mother Susan and brother Charles were living in Mayborn House, Telford Road, North Kensington where Charles worked as a Carman for the Great Western Railway. His mother stated that only three of her nine children were still living.

George Leonard enlisted in Hemsworth, Yorkshire into the East Yorkshire Regiment and was given the service number 24080. The Soldiers Died CD tells us that he formerly served in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry with service number 12/757.

George died in Horton War Hospital on 18 January 1917 and was buried in grave K647 in Epsom Cemetery on 24 January, and is commemorated on the Screen Wall as 'George Leonard'. His age at death was recorded by the GRO as 50 but he was actually 42.

No medal records have been found for George so we presume that he did not go overseas with the Army.

George's mother was aged 85 when she died in 1926.


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LEPPARD Frederick Henry, Corporal. 152833.

1st Canadian Mounted Rifles.
Died from Influenza 30 October 1918, aged 26.

Frederick's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Frederick's inscription on the CWGC memorial Epsom.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2018

Frederick Henry Leppard was born on 18 October 1892 in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada, the son of William Henry and Annie Elizabeth Leppard (nee Bradigan). His father was of Dutch descent and his mother of German descent. The family were Methodists.

The 1901 Canadian census records 9 year old Frederick living in Portage la Prairie with his parents and three younger siblings, Charles Reginald aged 8, Lyla Lauretta aged 5 and Wallace Egerton aged 2. His father worked as a 'teamster'.

The family was living at 114 Charlton Avenue, Portage la Prairie when the 1916 Canadian census was taken. Frederick and his brothers were all recorded as being soldiers whilst their sister worked as a bookkeeper.

Frederick attested on 25 February 1916 at Brandon, Manitoba and joined the 79th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force. He named his father as his next-of-kin and stated his occupation as 'cashier'. Frederick was 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighed 145 lbs, had a chest measurement of 40 inches with an expansion of 3 inches, a dark complexion, grey eyes, dark brown hair and he had a scar on his left foot.

Frederick embarked from Halifax, Canada on 24 April 1916 aboard SS Lapland and arrived in England on 5 May. On 29 June he went to France and was transferred to the 1st Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles.

On 16 October 1916 he received gunshot wounds to his right arm and chest and on18 October he was admitted to Castle Red Cross Hospital, Dublin. On 17 January 1917 he was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Woodcote Park, Epsom and was discharged on 28 February.

Frederick remained in England, spent some time at Bramshott and from around May he was taken on the strength of the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Epsom, with the rank of A/Corporal. Frederick caught influenza, was transferred to the Manor War Hospital, Epsom.

On 29 October 1918 he was declared to be seriously ill and died the next day. He was buried on 4 November in grave K93 in Epsom Cemetery where he is commemorated on the Screen Wall.

Frederick's British War medal, Victory medal, Plaque and Scroll were sent to his parents in the early 1920s. His mother also received a Canadian Memorial Cross.


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LIBBY Grace, Head Land Girl.

Woman's Land Army.
Died 8 November 1918, aged 25.

Grace's inscription on the Horton War Hospital memorial in Horton Chapel.
Grace's inscription on the Horton War Hospital memorial in Horton Chapel.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2017

It would seem that 'our' Grace was actually Annie Grace Libbey (GRO reference: Wells Mar 1892 5c 475), the daughter of George and Ellen Libbey, (nee White), who had married on 17 March 1881.

Annie Grace was baptised on 3 April 1892 in St. John the Baptist Church in Glastonbury, Somerset. The family was living in Old Wells Road and her father worked as a carter.

In the 1901 census Annie Grace was recorded as being 8 years old and was living at Wells Road, Glastonbury with her parents George and Ellen, along with her brothers William John Kenyon aged 13 and George aged 7. Her 15 year old sister Jessie was staying with their maternal grandmother Eliza White and her 13 year old sister Emily Jane was staying with their Uncle Richard and Aunt Ann Hales.

When the 1911 census Annie Grace was visiting her married sister Jessie Pocock and working somewhere unknown as a domestic servant.

Annie Grace's mother Ellen died in 1917 and was buried on 29 July in Holy Trinity, Kingswood, Gloucestershire. Whether Annie Grace joined the Women's Land Army (which had been created in March 1917) before or after this is unknown, but it seems she started using her middle name of Grace around this time. She was one of many young girls who "did their bit" by becoming a Land Girl and started working at the Horton War Hospital in Epsom, Surrey. Click this link to read more about The Women's Land Army.

Aged 25, Annie Grace died on 8 November 1918 from influenza pneumonia, as did thousands of others during the pandemic that swept the world at the end of WW1.

The following is from page 107 of Lieutenant Colonel's book 'THE STORY OF THE HORTON (CO. OF LONDON) WAR HOSPITAL EPSOM':
Death and Funeral of Head Land Girl. - Their happy lives received a rude shock when Miss Libby, the head girl, died on 8th November 1918, a victim to influenzal pneumonia. The funeral a few days later was one of the most pathetic ceremonies I ever attended. The usual funeral hearse was dispensed with, and the remains were taken to the cemetery on a farm cart loaded with floral emblems, the bereaved land girls and other mourners following in procession.
Annie Grace's body was returned home and her burial took place in Holy Trinity, Kingswood, Gloucestershire (possibly in her mother's grave) on 14 November 1918.

Her father, of 48 Wells Road, Glastonbury, died in 1929.


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LILLEY Charles Felix, Private. 6623.

2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment.
Died 29 September 1918, aged 41.

Charles Lilley circa. 1915
Charles Lilley circa 1915
Image courtesy of Mark Lilley © 2010

Charles Felix Lilley was born in 10, Blackfriars Street, St. Alphage, Canterbury, Kent on 7 May 1877 (GRO reference: Sep 1877 Canterbury 2a 720), to Thomas and Sarah Lilley, (nee Putwain). His parents had married in the Blean district in the March quarter, 1865.

In the 1871 census, before Charles was born the family lived at 27, Sydenham Street, Whitstable, Kent. Charles' father was a 27 year old mariner from Herne Bay. His mother, from Whitstable was aged 24, and his older siblings were Ann aged 4, Letitia aged 3 and William aged 1, all from Whitstable. Also living with them was Charles' 22 year old uncle Frederick Putwain.

The 1881 census has a record of Sarah Tilly from Whitstable, Kent a 31 year old widow who worked as a milliner and dressmaker, living at 16, Hibernia Street, Ramsgate, Kent with her three sons, William aged 12, Charles F aged 10 and Lionel aged 2. I suspect that Sarah Tilly is actually Sarah Lilley. The details of her three sons seem correct except the age of Charles, shown as 10, but should be only 4. No record of a Charles F Tilly or Charles F Lilley born 1871 has been found. Nor has a record of death been found for Charles's father Thomas, who being a mariner, possibly died at sea. Charles's two older sisters, aged 13 and 15, were both working as servants in Ramsgate. They both married in 1887.

There is a record of the death of Sarah Lilley, aged 43 in the Canterbury registration district in the June 1890 quarter. I believe this to be Charles's mother.

In the 1891 census Charles aged 13 and his 11 year old brother Lionel were boarding with James Whitcombe and his family at 15, Lansdown Road, St Mary Bredin, Kent. Charlie, as he was recorded, was working as a grocer's errand boy. Brother William was a Trooper in the 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars.

Charles enlisted in the Army in late 1894 and joined E Company of the 1st Alexandra Princess of Wales Own Yorkshire Regiment (The Green Howards) on 4th January 1895, and served with them for 7 years and 10 months before transferring to the Army Reserve on 15 October 1902. Whilst with The Green Howards he served for the complete Boer War, and for 5 of his 7 years served under the command of Captain Gerard Christian, as an Officer's Groom.

Charles does not appear in the 1901 census, as he was in South Africa fighting the Boers. However, on census night 31 March 1901, his brother Lionel appears as a 22 year old stoker aboard HMS Pembroke. Lionel was also destined to die in the war on 4 June 1915 in Gallipoli. He was serving as a Stoker 1st Class in the Hood Battalion of the Royal Naval Division (RND). The men who served in the RND were Royal Navy reservists, who on the outbreak of war were recalled, but they were not needed to crew ships as sufficient men were already serving. They therefore fought in the RND as infantry, similar to the Royal Marines. Lionel has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles memorial to the missing, in Turkey.

On 29 November 1904 the first banns were read at St Mark Parish Church, Victoria Park London, stating that 26 year old bachelor Charles Felix Lilley and 19 year old spinster Eliza Emily Sleath (born 8 February 1885) intended to marry. The wedding took place on Christmas Eve 1904. Charles' deceased father Thomas Lilley was recorded as having been a sailor. Charles occupation was recorded as a 'Fitter'. Both the bride and the groom gave their addresses as being 2, Daintrey Street. (GRO: reference Dec 1904 Poplar 1c 990).

Charles Lionel 12 January 1905, Battersea 27 April 1932
Lillian Emily Ellen 17 September 1906, Battersea 12 September 1997
Louisa Eliza 20 November 1907, Wimbledon 20 May 1990
Violet Ann 28 February 1909, Epsom 28 February 1996
Albert Thomas 14 September 1910, Epsom 2 June 1993
Doris Elizabeth 12 January 1912, Epsom  
William Felix March Quarter 1915 Epsom 8 February 1918

First born son, Charles Lionel was baptised on 19 March 1905 in St Mary of Eton church in Hackney Wick, Hackney, and Charles himself is described as an 'Engineer'.

Some 19 months later daughter Lilian Emily Ellen was baptised on 7 October 1906 in Saint Mary's church, Battersea London. The family were by then living at 147, Trentham Street, Southfields London and Charles described himself as a publican. It is believed that the pub was in Battersea.

The birth of Eliza in Wimbledon Surrey is recorded in the 1911 census, she was aged 3 on census night. The only birth record found is for a Louisa Eliza Lilley in the December quarter 1907 in the Kingston registration district, which covers Wimbledon.

Eliza and the children
Eliza and the children circa 1920 - click to enlarge
Image courtesy of Mark Lilley © 2010

The exact date that the Lilley family move to Epsom, Surrey is unknown but their daughter Violet Ann was born in February 1909 in Epsom and the following year their son Albert Thomas Lilley was born on 14 September 1910. Albert Thomas married Alice Ethyl Leverington in 1929 in Epsom. They had known each other since they were children, when they had both lived in Bramble Walk.

No baptism records have been found for any of the children born in Epsom. Felix William died on 8 February 1918, aged 3 and was buried on 14 February 1918, in plot B230 of Epsom cemetery. He is recorded as William Felix, rather than Felix William, and died at 35, Leslie Cottages, The Common, Epsom.

In the 1911 census the family lived at Woodcote End Cottages, Epsom. Charles aged 34 was working as a farm labourer. Family sources believe that the farm he worked on belonged to Lord Rosebery. His wife Eliza aged 26, stated that she had been married for seven years, and that she had given birth to five children, all still living: Charles aged 6, Lilian aged 5, Eliza aged 3, Violet aged 2 and 6 month old Albert. They also had a young racing lad, Dick O'Neal, boarding with them.

The Surrey Recruitment Register tells us that Charles re-enlisted into the Army at Kingston on 21 February 1912, aged 34 years and 9 months, joining the East Surrey Regiment. He was 5 feet 4¾ inches tall, weighed 132lb, and had a chest measurement of 37 inches with an expansion of 2½ inches. He had a fresh complexion, brown eyes, fair hair, and had a tattooed arm. According to Charles' medal card he went to France on 23 December 1914.

A rose sent by Charles to his wife Eliza
A rose sent by Charles to his wife Eliza
Image courtesy of Mark Lilley © 2010

Charles was a witness at a Court Martial trial for desertion. At Houtkerque, Belgium on 19 June 1915, Private, No. 4753, William John Turpie of the 2nd Batallion East Surrey Regiment was tried for desertion. The court heard that on 10 April 1915, at Vlamertinghe, his company paraded prior to going to the trenches. His company Sergeant told the court that Turpie was at the parade, but that he did not see him again until 18 June 1915. Two soldiers from Turpie's Battalion, Private No. 9312, F. Chandler and Private No. 6623, Pte. C. Lilley told the court that they had seen Turpie fall out when their company had halted at Zonnebeke, en route to the trenches. Turpie was duly executed at 5.05 a.m. on 1st July 1915. A full account can be read at Julien Putkowski's web site (site no longer working).

Later that year on 1 December 1915 the 2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment was sent to Salonika, Greece, to fight the Bulgarians.

Charles died on 29 September 1918, of heart failure caused by influenza, and is buried in plot V.G.32. Doiran Military cemetery. On this day an armistice between the Allies and the Bulgarians came into effect.

Charles headstone in Doiran Military Cemetery, Greece
Charles headstone in Doiran Military Cemetery, Greece
Image courtesy of Rob Carr © 2010

Fourteen men from the 2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment are shown to have died in September 1918, not killed in action or died of wounds, just simply died. On this front far more men died from malaria and dysentery than from enemy action, and in 1918 the severe influenza epidemic took yet more lives. The East Surrey war diary entry for 30 September 1918 reads as follows:
Salvage parties and reconnaissance of roads, tracks, etc. Hostilities with Bulgarian Army ceased at 12.00 hours. 2/Lieut. B.L. PRENTICE to hospital. Lieut. A.H. LAYARD rejoined from leave U.K.. Lieut. B. SCURFIELD died in hospital. Health during September was good as regards Malaria and dysentery, both diseases being very much diminished as compared with previous two months. An epidemic of "influenza" complicated chiefly by lung trouble accounted for general increase in sick rate during the last fortnight. Considering the time of the year, temperature and other abnormal conditions, the health of the men was good.

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

His widow Eliza Emily Lilley died aged 52, at 26, Wolverton Ave, Kingston and was buried in the Ashley Road Cemetry Epsom on 5 July 1937.

The name "Lilley CF" appears twice on the Ashley Road memorial, and the name "Charles F Lilley" appears on the Christ Church memorial. Only one "CF Lilley" has been identified in available military records. Is it possible that the name CF Lilley was inscribed twice on the Ashley Road memorial, by mistake?

With thanks to Mark Lilley from Australia, great grandson of Charles Felix Lilley, for information and pictures.


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Died N/K, aged N/K

The name LILLEY CF appears twice on the Ashley Road Memorial, and for one of them it has proved possible to find out quite a lot of information. But nothing very much for another LILLEY CF.

There is a birth record for a Charles Frederick Lilley (GRO reference: June 1879 Rochford 4a 318) which would mean he was about 35 years old when the war started.

He appears in the 1881 census living at Southend, Essex with his parents James and Caroline, four siblings and a lodger.

In the 1891 census he was living with his 48 year old widowed mother, two older siblings, three cousins and two boarders, still at Southend, Essex.

By 1901, aged 21 Charles was still living with his mother Caroline in Southend. Caroline had remarried John Cotgrove in the December quarter of 1894 (mistranscribed Lilly). Only Caroline and Charles were living at the address, and Charles was described as a 'Waterman seas', so was probably a merchant seaman.

In 1911 Charles was a 'Yatch Man' living in Essex. He was described as married but he was not living with his wife, he was living as a boarder in the home of 62 year old John Gunton and his family.

No other information has been found on any other CF Lilley (or Lilly or Lily).

Is it possible that there was only one CF Lilley killed in the Great War, and that by mistake his name was repeated twice on the memorial?

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LIMBY Arthur Albert, Private. G/22052.

21st Battalion Middlesex Regiment (Later 5th Battalion).
Died of Wounds 20 December 1916, aged 26.

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

Arthur Albert Limby was born on 25 September 1890 in Hornsey, Middlesex (GRO reference: Dec 1890 Edmonton 3a 247), the son of William James and Alice Mary (nee Randall). His parents had married on 18 April 1875 in St. Mary's Church, Islington.

The family was living at 6 Mathias Road at the time when Arthur's older brothers, William Henry Gover (born 1875) and James Howe (born 1877) were both baptised on 9 September 1877 in St Jude Church, Midmay Grove, Islington. Their sister Alice Mary was born in 1879. James was aged two when he died in 1880.

The family was still living at 6 Mathias Road when the 1881 census was taken.

On 13 July 1890 Arthur's older siblings, Alice Mary, Thomas Ernest (born 1884) and Florence (born 1886), were baptised in St Matthias Church, Stoke Newington.

In the 1891 census the family was still living at 112 Matthias Road, Hornsey. Arthur's father was a 40 year old boot maker. His mother was aged 38. His brother William, aged 15, was a 'Green Grocers Assistant', whilst siblings Alice aged 11, George aged 9 and Thomas aged 6 were all 'Scholars'. Sister Florence was aged 4 and Arthur was aged just 6 months.

The 1901 census records the family living at 14 Richmond Road, Tottenham.

When Arthur's 59 year old father died on 26 April 1910, his address was recorded as 32 Albert Road, South Tottenham. Administration of his effects valued at £50 10s, was granted to his widow Alice Mary.

In 1911 the family was still living at 32 Albert Park Road, South Tottenham. Arthur's 58 year old widowed mother was the head of the family. She recorded that she had been married for 35 years, had had 10 children and that 8 were still living. Twenty year old Arthur and his 18 year old brother Albert were both 'Wood Sawyers', whilst sister Grace, aged 15, was a 'Waterproof Garment Maker'.

Arthur's service record has not survived but the 'Medal and Award Rolls' for the Middlesex Regiment tell us that he was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal whilst serving with the 21st Battalion Middlesex Regiment. The battalion was in the 121st Brigade, 40th Division. The 40th Division was for a time partially manned by small men, known as bantams. The 21st Middlesex sailed for France, from Southampton, at 6.30p.m. on 5 June 1916 aboard either SS Caesarea or SS Rossetti.

Throughout the remainder of 1916 the battalion did not take part in any major attacks. Their duties consisted of 'holding the line', routine maintenance of trenches, labouring in the removal of spoil taken from the many tunnels being dug under enemy lines and a trench raid. Throughout July to October they were In the Loos/Maroc/Brebis sector and during November and December they were in training well to the west of the Somme area in villages such as Candas, Humbercourt Bonneville, Pernois and Ergnies. Despite not being directly involved in attacking the enemy theirs was still dangerous work; men lost their lives through shelling, sniping and accidents. During the period June to December 1916 the 'Soldiers Died CD' tells us that 53 men from the battalion lost their lives, either killed in action or died of wounds.

We will never know when or how Arthur was wounded but he died from his wounds in Horton War Hospital, Epsom on 20 December 1916 and was buried in Epsom Cemetery in grave K645 on 27 December. He shares the grave with eight other soldiers and is commemorated on the Screen Wall.


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LITTLE Thomas, Drummer. L/11498.

4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers.
Died of Sickness 2 September 1917, aged 29.

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

The CWGC records Thomas' age at death as 29 and his GRO death entry also records his age as 29 (GRO reference: Sep 1917 (29) Epsom 2a 67). Despite this I believe that his true age when he died was 38. The Soldiers Died CD records that he was born in Bethnal Green, enlisted in Stratford and lived in Hackney. The GRO birth record for Thomas Little, (Mar 1879 Shoreditch 1c 142) seems to be the most likely birth record. Thomas' Soldiers Effects record tells us that his parents were James and Eliza.

A baptism was recorded on 19 January 1879 for a Thomas Little, with the same named parents, James and Eliza, born on 31 December 1878. Thomas' father married Eliza Hooker on 23 January 1877 in St. Thomas' Church, Bethnal Green. At the time of Thomas' baptism, his father was working as a boot finisher and lived at 74 Weymouth Terrace, Bethnal Green.

In 1881 the family was living at 32 Baxendale Street, Bethnal Green. His father was aged 22 and had been born in Newcastle on Tyne. His mother was aged 21 and had been born in Middlesex.

I have been unable to find census entries for 1891 and 1901.

The 1911 census records Thomas as a 24 year old Private soldier serving with the 3rd Battalion Royal Fusiliers. His true age, however, would have been 32.

As Thomas was a soldier in the regular army in 1911, at the start of the war in 1914 he would either have been still a serving soldier or more likely quickly called up as a reservist. His medal card tells us that he went overseas on 7 October 1914 but unfortunately it does not tell us which theatre he first served in.

Thomas died of 'sickness' on 2 September 1917 in Horton War Hospital and was buried on 5 September in grave K647 in Epsom Cemetery where he is commemorated on the Screen Wall. He shares the grave with eight other soldiers.

The CWGC states that he:
Died of sickness 2 September 1917. Age 29. Son of Mr. and Mrs. E Little, of 229 Rue au Bois, Woluwee St. Pierre, Stockel Lez Brussels, Belgium.

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LITTLEDALE, Willoughby John, Captain.

'A' Company, 2nd Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
Killed in Action 23 March 1918, aged 24.

Willoughby John Littledale
Willoughby John Littledale
Image courtesy of Craven's part in the Great War

Willoughby John (Jack) Littledale was born on 19 February 1896 (GRO reference: Mar 1896 Kensington 1a 166), the son of Willoughby Aston and Violet Littledale (elder daughter of Sir John Hardy Thursby, Baronet, of Ormerod House, Burnley, Lancashire). His parents had married on 19 February 1889 in St Marks church, Highcliffe, Winchester, Hampshire. Willoughby John was baptised on 26 March 1896 in St. Peter's church, Cranley Gardens, Kensington. The family was living just off of the Old Brompton Road at 23, Rosary Gardens, Kensington.

Willoughby John's father, Willoughby Aston Littledale, M.A., F.S.A., was a very successful solicitor as well as editor and chairman of the Harleian Society whose official objects were, and still are, "the transcribing, printing and publishing of the heraldic visitations of counties, parish registers or any manuscripts relating to genealogy, family history and heraldry". ( The year after Willoughby John's birth, his father became a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. (

His father's arms were Argent, a lion passant Gules, on a chief Azure three cross crosslets Argent. The crest was A demi-lion Gules gorged with a collar gemel Argent, and holding a cross crosslet Argent, and the motto Fac et spera ('act and hope'). He bore the arms impaled with those of Thursby, Argent, a chevron between three lions rampant Sable.

Willoughby John's older sister Eleanor Violet was born on 21 February 1890.

By 1901 the family had moved across the Old Brompton Road to 26, Cranley Gardens; this was an impressive four storey, plus a basement and attic, terrace house. The family employed a cook, a parlour maid, a housemaid and a kitchen maid to run it, as well as a nurse and nursery maid to look after five-year-old Willoughby John and his 11-year-old sister Eleanor.

By 1911 Willoughby John's family had moved to 21, The Boltons, South Kensington, an elegant semi-detached house. Built in the 1850s, The Boltons is a street that comes off of the Old Brompton Road and divides into two crescents before joining as one street again; in the centre of the 'eye' is a beautiful private communal garden. In 1969, number 20 and adjoining 21 were given grade II listings ( and, in 2012, the website Mouseprice claimed that number 20 was sold for an amazing £54,959,000.

Willoughby John's father filled in the 1911 census form stating that he was now aged 53, Violet, his wife of 22 years, was aged 44 and his daughter was aged 21; Willoughby John, aged 15, was not at home that night and although his whereabouts has not been found, he may have been boarding at Eton. His father employed a cook, a parlour maid, a ladies maid, a housemaid and an under housemaid to run his beautiful, exclusive home in one of the best parts of London.

The 1911 telephone directory also lists Willoughby John's father's business address as 7, King's Bench as well as a P.O. Epsom number for Burnham Cottage. There were two properties named 'Burnham Cottage' in Epsom; one was in Woodcote Side, the other in Epsom Common. Whichever one it was, it must have been considered as the family's country retreat, and Epsom as their final resting place.

Willoughby John was educated at Copthorne School in Crawley, West Sussex and Eton. He was accepted for entrance at Trinity College, Oxford. The outbreak of war prevented him from attending Trinity College, instead he went to Sandhurst Military College, receiving his commission in December 1914. He went to France in May 1915 and was wounded by shellfire near the end of the Battle of the Somme on 13 November 1916.

Willoughby appears in several editions of the London Gazette:
  • 18 April 1916; 2nd Lieutenant to be Lieutenant 2 March 1916.
  • 02 August 1916; Promotion to Lieutenant is antedated to 1 March 1916.
  • 02 November 1916; to be acting Capt. whilst commanding a company. 28 Aug. 1916.
  • 20 December 1916; relinquishes the acting rank of Capt. 13th Nov 1916.
On 21 March 1918 the Germans launched their all out attack on the Somme, 'The Kaiserschlacht', which they hoped would win the war before the Americans arrived in force. On the third day of the attack, 23 March, Willoughby John was killed by machine gun fire. The following is an extract from the war diary dated 23 March 1918:
The Regiment moved by companies, to occupy, according to orders, and completed the digging of the forward loop, round Bertincourt, of the Green line. Companies were in order CABD from right to left, the right of the Regiment being on the apex of the loop, near the Bertincourt-Hermiers Road; a battalion of the 63rd (RN) Division was to have its left on this point facing at right angles away from the Regiment eastwards, but they (1st or 2nd Battalions of R.M.L.I.) did not get into position until 2.53 pm (with 5 minutes to spare only!). Following is extract from message RC 87 timed 11.45 am to Brigade HQ;
'am now in same dugout with Colonel Goschen RFA late Headquarters 17 Division aaa my line is partly dug on the front of two companies only aaa we are digging platoon posts across remainder of front through about P one central aaa no 24th Regiment as yet reported but can see right of 2/HLI aaa we very urgently need SAA of which evidently no local resources'
Order of Regiments of the Brigade was to be, from right to left, Our Regiment, 24th Royal Fusiliers 2/HLI. Brigade HQ had moved during the morning to Barastre.

The digging of the line was continued with maximum speed. Very great assistance was rendered by the O.C. the Pioneer Battalion of the 17th Division in the matter of the provision of tools, and the Regiment was able to equip itself and to assist the 24th Royal Fusiliers in the matter of picks and shovels, to an appreciable extent. Orders came during the morning to the effect that owing to withdrawal, by order, of troops forward of us, we might expect to become front line any time after 3pm, which event occurred punctually to time. The Germans followed up with astonishing rapidity and in very large masses. Message received from companies, especially the right Company (C) which was in a very critical position, all go to show how very close the enemy were able to come, under cover of sunken roads and the railway cutting, A hostile machine gun, placed so as to enfilade our trench caused very considerable trouble, and the death of Capt Littledale and 8 men.

Towards evening it became obvious that owing to the situation on the flanks a withdrawal would have to be carried out, and that unless this was done under cover of darkness very little chance would remain of getting the Regiment out without loss.

About 1am messages were received, verbal, by the Transport officer, from the Brigadier General, and by wire, identical, to the effect that 'Reinforcements were expected' going on to say that the Brigade would put up the best all round fight, using every available man, and that there was to be no withdrawal. Orders were issued accordingly.
However, a withdrawal order came at about 8am the next day, 24 March.

Soon after Willoughby John's death, his father received a letter from the Officer Commanding his Battalion, stating that a Chaplain had buried Willoughby John at Gueudceourt.

Willoughby John is buried in Grave VIII.C.17. Bancourt British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France. This is not his original burial place. After the war many bodies were exhumed from smaller cemeteries and scattered graves, and reburied at Bancourt. He might originally have been buried by the Germans.

Willoughby's headstone in the Bancourt British cemetery
Willoughby's headstone in the Bancourt British cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

The 'Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard' reported the following on 12 April 1918:
Captain Willoughby John Littledale, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, who was killed in action on 23rd March, was the only son of Mr. Willoughby Aston Littledale, whose family formerly resided at Bolton-by-Bowland, and of Mrs. Littledale, elder daughter of the late Sir John Hardy Thursby, Bart., of Ormerod House, Burnley.
Captain W. J. Littledale was born in 1896 and educated at Copthorne School and Eton (Mr. S. S. R. Byrne's) and was accepted for entrance at Trinity College, Oxford, but on the outbreak of the war proceeded instead to Sandhurst, receiving his commission in December 1914. He went to France in May 1915, and was wounded in November 1916. He afterwards rejoined his regiment and was killed, as stated above, on 23rd March when commanding his Company in the front line.
Also in that edition they printed
LITTLEDALE - Killed in action on the 23rd March, 1918, Captain Willoughby John (Jack) Littledale, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, dearly loved and only son of Willoughby Aston and Violet Littledale, 21 The Bolton, S.W., aged 22 years.
Administration of Willoughby John's Will was granted to his father the following year on 23 April 1919, his effects were worth £1482 11s.10d.

On 26 December 1918 Willoughby John's father applied for his son's 1915 Star, Victory medal and British War medal to be sent to his London home 21, The Boltons.

Willoughby John's 30-year-old sister Eleanor married Doctor Humphrey Rivers Pollock on 24 April 1920.

In December 1921 the Imperial; War Graves Commission wrote to the War Office stating that it held '2 Identity Discs' for Willoughby John, and needed authority to dispose of them, and the address of the next of kin.

After Willoughby John's father died on 28 November 1930 in Kensington, his ashes were interred in grave A276 in Epsom Cemetery. Willoughby John's mother, with happiness and pride, also remembered their son Willoughby John on her husband's headstone. She died three years later, on 12 June 1933, in Richmond and was buried in the same grave. Considering his parent's lifestyle it is surprising to find that Littledale senior's effects were only valued at just over £2,604 and Violet's at just under £2,990.

Willoughby's inscription on his parents grave.
Willoughby's inscription on his parents grave.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013


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LIVING Philip Edward, Private. 4138.

24th Battalion Australian Infantry.
Died 15 August 1916, aged 22.

Philip Edward Living
Philip Edward Living
Image courtesy of Australian War Memorial

Phillip Edward Living, the son of John and Annie Living, nee Samles/Samels, was born in 1893 in Maryborough, Victoria, Australia. Phillip possibly had eight siblings: Joseph, Henry, Dossy Elizabeth, Percy, Isaac, Clara, Jas and John William.

Phillip enlisted into the Australian Imperial Force on 2 October 1915 in Melbourne, Victoria. He gave his occupation as a grocer, religion as Church of England and his mother, Annie Living of Hope Street, Maryborough, as his next of kin. He was described as being 22 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 10 stone 6 pounds with a chest measurement of 35½ inches with 2 inch expansion. His complexion was medium, he had grey coloured eyes and brown hair. Also noted was that he had two vaccination marks on his left arm and a scar on his left shin. However, some of his records were marked incorrectly as being that of "Edward Percy Living".

The following is taken from Phillip's 'Army Form B. 103. Casualty Form - Active Service':

DateFrom whom receivedRecord of transfers, casualties etcPlace and date
09/05/16H.M.T. "Scotian"Proceeded to join B.E.F. Alexandria 09/05/16
 DittoDisembarkedMarseilles 18/05/16
21/06/1626th General HospitalAdmitted AppendicitisEtaples 20/06/16
30/06/16Embarked on H.S. "Newhaven" at Boulogne for EnglandDittoEtaples 30/06/16
15/07/16A.I.F HQDangerously illLondon
16/08/16War HospitalDiedEpsom 15/08/16
DittoDittoDied 15/08/16
(1) Appendicitis
(2) Gangrene of Coecuim

On 28 July 1916 Phillip's mother Annie wrote asking for an update on the condition of her son; she received a reply stating he was improving but Phillip died on 15 August.

After Phillip's death in the County of London War Hospital, his body was buried on 18 August 1916 in grave K645 in Epsom Cemetery.

Phillip's widowed mother Annie was granted a pension of two pounds a fortnight from 26 October 1916.

By 29 November 1916, his effects consisting of an Identity Disc, 13 Coins, 9 Stamps, 2 Keys, Belt, Housewife, Holdall, Razor, Comb, Shaving Brush, False Teeth, Mirror, 2 Books, Letters, Postcards, 2 Handkerchiefs, 4 Badges, Bag, 2 Knives and 2 Francs, were returned to his mother Annie. In 1918 a further package containing Pr. Brushes & Comb in case, Mittens, Scarf, Bible, Testament, 2 Military Books, Handkerchief, and a Tin Opener were also returned.

On 19 April 1920 a letter was sent to Phillip's mother informing her that Phillip's remains were to be exhumed "with every measure of care and reverence in the present of a Chaplain" and re-interred in grave K82.

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

On 20 July 1921 a letter was sent to Phillip's mother asking for a reply to a previous letter regarding a headstone for him in Epsom Cemetery. On 10 August 1921 a letter sent to Annie, advised her that an incised symbol of the Star of David was an emblem for the Jewish faith and in view of Phillip's religion, a cross might be preferable. Annie agreed by letter on 15 August 1921.

On 9 December 1921 Phillip's Memorial Scroll was delivered to his mother. This was followed on 22 February 1923 with his Victory medal and on 23 June 1922 his Memorial Plaque. His British War medal was dispatched on 13 October 1924.

On 7 May 1925 a letter was sent to Phillip's mother regarding the intention of the unveiling and dedication of the Great War Cross erected by the Imperial War Graves Commission in Epsom, Surrey, England on Sunday 17 May 1925. A letter containing a booklet describing the ceremony held was sent to the family on 7 August 1925. It informed them also that a copy of the Epsom 'Herald' was being forwarded to them under a separate cover.


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LIVINGSTONE Harry (Alias MCILMURRAY Hugh), Sergeant. 5580.

2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment.
Killed in Action 25 September 1915, aged 35.

Harry's inscription on the Loos memorial to the missing.
Harry's inscription on the Loos memorial to the missing.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Hugh McILMURRAY was born in 1880 in Newry, County Down, Ireland. However, it appears that when he joined the Army he used the alias 'Harry Livingstone'.

On 27 October 1899, aged 19 years and 2 months, Harry Livingstone attested in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, to serve 3 years with the colours, followed by 9 years with the reserve, joining the Leicestershire Regiment with the service number 5580. He was living at Wallsend, Northumberland. His surviving 'burnt' service papers show that he was 5 feet 6½ inches tall, weighed 130lbs, had a chest measurement of 34 inches with an expansion of 2 inches, and that he was of good physical development, and fit to serve in the Army. He was of fair complexion with dark blue eyes, brown hair, was of the Roman Catholic faith, and worked as a labourer. It was noted that he had numerous scars on both hips. Harry gave his next of kin as his aunt, Mrs Magee, Railway Street, Antrim. Did he name his aunt because, when he attested, both his parents were dead?

Significant events in Harry's military career gleaned from his 'burnt' service papers:
27 October 1899 - 6 February 1900 - Home.
7 February 1900 - 23 September 1900 - Egypt.
24 September 1900 - 6 November 1902 - South Africa.
7 November 1902 - 6 November 1906 - India.
10 November 1906 - 26 October 1911 - Home.

16 September 1902 - Promoted Corporal.
28 August 1903 - Awarded 2nd Class Certificate of Education.
1 October 1902 - Service extended to 7 years with the colours.
2 April 1904 - Permitted to extend service to 8 years with the colours.
13 June 1904 - Permitted to cancel extension of service to 8 years with the colours.
20 March 1905 - Passed class for promotion to Sergeant.
26 April 1905 - Promoted Unpaid Lance Sergeant.
26 September 1905 - Permitted to extend service to complete 12 years with the colours.
3 November 1905 - Appointed paid Lance Sergeant.
5 February 1906 - Passed class for Mounted Infantry. Noted 'Intelligent'.
29 March 1906 - Awaiting trial by DCM.
6 April 1906 - Convicted. Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline. Drunkenness. Reduced to the ranks, Private.
7 April 1907 - Entry too damaged to read,
19 September 1908 - Posted to Depot.
26 October 1911 - Discharged. Termination of first period of engagement.
16 April 1912 - Re-attested. Private.
21 December 1914 - Appointed paid Lance Corporal.
4 January 1915 - Promoted Corporal.
4 January 1915 - To France.
14 March 1915 - Appointed acting Sergeant.
22 April 1915 - Appointed Lance Sergeant, paid.
20 June 1915 - Promoted Sergeant.
18 July 1915 - Admitted to hospital with acute ???? (illegible).
19 July 1915 - Rejoined Battalion.
25 September 1915 - Killed in Action, Loos.
For his service in the 'Boer War' (11 October 1899 - 31 May 1902), Harry was awarded the:
Queen's South Africa medal with two clasps, 'Orange Free State' and 'Transvaal'. King's South Africa medal with two clasps, 'South Africa 1901' and 'South Africa 1902'. No records have been found for Hugh/Harry in any of the England and Wales 1881, 1891 or 1901 census returns.
Harry used his real name Hugh McIlmurray when he married Jessie May Midmore, the daughter of Henry (deceased) and Selina Midmore, on 19 February 1910 in the Registry Office in Blaby, Leicestershire.

Jessie's father Henry Midmore died in 1901 and his widowed mother Selina married John Henry Sayers in 1904. Jessie's sister Annie (Fanny) had given birth to her illegitimate son Frederick in 1909 and had had him baptised on 3 June 1910 in Christ Church, Epsom while living at 6, Stamford Place, Epsom. This was where on September 1910, Harry and Jessie's son Hugh died 22 hours after his birth.

It would seem that Jessie was aware of her husband's other identity, as they have recorded their son as Hugh Livingstone for both his GRO birth and death entries. On the 27 September 1910, their son was buried in grave F248 in Epsom cemetery under the name of Hugh Livingstone, son of Harry Livingstone.

In the 1911 census Harry was an 'officers servant' in the Barracks in Saffron Lane, Glen Parva, Leicester, whilst his wife Jessie Livingston was living in two rooms at 28, Healy Street, South Wigston, Leicestershire. She stated that she had been born in Beckenham, Kent in 1886, had been married a year and had had one child that had died.

Harry's 'burnt' service record tells us that he and Jessie later had two children, George born 3 August 1912 in Govan, Lanark, and Margaret born 16 March 1914 in Glasgow.

On 4 April 1915 their daughter Margaret was baptised in Christ Church, Epsom. However the church records show her parents as Hugh, a soldier, and Jessie May Livingstone of 45, Stamford Road, Epsom, the home of Jessie's now married sister Annie. (Annie had married Robert Holmes, a labourer, in 1913 in Epsom and on 9 January 1914 gave birth to their daughter. They had her baptised Jessie Louisa on 15 February 1914 in Christ Church, Epsom while living at 45, Stamford Place, Epsom. On 12 September 1915 they had their son Robert John baptised in the same church. Robert senior's occupation was then recorded as a soldier).

On 25 September 1915 (the first day of the Battle of Loos) the 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment were part of the Gharwal Brigade in the 7th Meerut Division of the Indian Army. This Division was ordered to attack as a diversion to the north of the main attack further south. The Battle of Loos saw the British use poison gas for the first time, with some 5,500 gas cylinders, most weighing 120lbs, and some weighing 160lbs. (The Germans were the first to use poison gas, on 22 April 1915 at the commencement of the 2nd Battle of Ypres). 161 cylinders were allocated to the Indian Corps front, less than half that it was estimated to be needed to be effective, and even some of these were destroyed by enemy fire.

On this part of the front the wind direction was changeable and some gas cylinders had to be turned off because the wind changed direction and blew the gas back over the British lines. A smoke screen was also used with the gas, and where the wind was favourable, the smoke mixed with the gas made it very difficult for anyone to see what was going on. The 2nd Leicesters found the barbed wire uncut and desperately tried to find a way round it. Although the Germans could not see through the smoke, their rifle and machine gun fire could not fail to hit some of the attackers. At dusk men fought their way back to their own lines as best they could, giving up all ground won.

They had achieved their objective though, of diverting away enemy resources from the main attack further south, but for this 195 men of the 2nd Leicesters were killed, including Harry, who is commemorated on the Loos Memorial to the missing.

The link with Epsom came on 13 October 1915 with a letter authorising a separation allowance of 11/8 (11 shillings and 8 pence = 57p), and an allotment of pay to Harry's wife, Jessie Livingstone, 45, Stamford Place, Epsom.

On the 17 April 1916 the War Office issued a letter stating that the widow of Harry Livingstone, alias Hugh McIlmurray was to be awarded a weekly pension of 19/6 (19 shillings and 6 pence = 97p) for herself and two children. This confirmed that Harry was living, for whatever reason, under an assumed name.

A further letter dated 29 June 1916, was sent by the War Office, requesting that any of Harry's personal belongings be sent to Mrs Jessie M Livingstone, 45 Stamford Place, Epsom, Surrey.

Another letter dated 2 March 1920 from the War Office requested:
that any articles of personal property now in your possession or subsequently received by you belonging to the late 2/5580, Sgt. Harry Livingstone, alias Hugh McIlmurray, 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regt. Should be despatched to Mrs. Jessie M. McIlmurray, 11a Bruce, Road Mitcham, Surrey.
On 6 January 1920 the officer in charge of records at Lichfield sent the following letter to Mrs J.M. McIlmurray, at 11a, Bruce Road, Mitcham, Surrey:
      With reference to your letter of the 4th inst. Regarding the Memorial Scroll enclosed herewith, - issued in respect of your husband, No.5580 Sergt. H. Livingstone, of the Leicestershire Regt. - I regret that the inscription cannot be altered, as the name inscribed is in accordance with the soldier's signature on enlistment, and that under which he served in the Army, which service it commemorates.
      The same applies to any medals to be issued in respect of your husband.
Harry Livingstone's wife Jessie acknowledged receipt of her husband's 1914-1915 Star on 10 February 1921, and then for his British War and Victory medals on 25 May 1921. On both receipts she signed as J.M McIlmurray, not as J.M. Livingstone.


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LONG Frederick Charles, Private. G/17920.

7th Battalion East Kent Regiment (The Buffs).
Died whilst a prisoner of war 30 May 1918, aged 34.

Private Frederick Charles LONG's inscription at Annois Communal Cemetery
Frederick's headstone in the Annois Communal Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2018

Frederick Charles Long was born in 1884 in New Charlton, Kent (GRO reference: Mar 1884 Woolwich 1d 1223 to George and Ellen Long (nee Spershott). His parents had married in 1875 in the St. Olave registration district.

In the 1891 census the family lived at 22 Lower Woolwich Road. Frederick's father was a carpenter, and he had a sister, Ellen aged 16, and two brothers Edward aged 9 and Harry aged 2. His older sister Elizabeth, who had been born in 1880, was not recorded.

In the 1901 census 17 year-old Frederick was working as a Grocer's assistant. He was living at 88 Peckham Road, Camberwell as a servant to Robert F. Moiles, a grocer's manager. Frederick's family were still living at 22 Lower Woolwich Road. His mother Ellen died in 1907 and his father appeared in the 1911 census as a widower living on his own at 12 Kingsman Street, Woolwich.

Frederick, aged 27, was unmarried when the 1911 census was taken and he was still working as a Grocer's assistant but boarding at 18 Lea Pale Road, Guildford with the Durnford family.

Frederick married Agnes Matilda Woodgate in the March 1914 quarter in the Cranbrook registration district. There are two 'Long' births registered where the mother's name is Woodgate. They are George F registered in the March 1915 quarter, in the Epsom registration district and Charles E in the March 1916 quarter, in the Lambeth registration district.

The Surrey Recruitment Register shows him attesting on 28 August 1916 at Kingston, aged 32. He was a groom and lived at 'Astbury' Kingston Road, Ewell. He was in the 7th Battalion East Kent (Buffs) Regiment.

Between 21 March and 5 April 1918 the Germans launched their desperate last bid to win the war, the 'Kaiserschlact' before the Americans arrive in overwhelming force. The 7th Buffs were right in the front line of this attack and were pushed back to Villers Bretonneaux.

In May and June 1918, a German field hospital for prisoners of war was at Flavy-le-Martel, and soldiers from the United Kingdom who died in the hospital were buried in Annois Communal Cemetery. It seems likely the Frederick Charles Long was wounded and taken prisoner some time between 21 March and 5 April, and died whilst a prisoner of war. It is a matter of speculation as to the precise cause, wounds possibly, or disease, flu killed many millions worldwide in 1918. Food was extremely scarce at this stage of the war, especially for the Germans, and no doubt a prisoner's natural defences against disease would have been very low. On the 30 May 1918 one other soldier from the 7th East Kents died, Private Augustus Littlewood age 40, and is also buried at Annois Communal Cemetery.

The Historical Records of the Buffs 1914-1919 by RSH Moody reports that the casualties of the 7th Battalion during the first week of April were Officers: killed, 1; wounded, 5. Other ranks: killed, 3; wounded, 34; missing, 13.

Frederick died on 30 May 1918 and is buried at Annois Communal Cemetery.

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

The Soldiers Effects records show that widow Agnes M received two war gratuity amounts, £11 7s 9d on 13 February 1919 and £8 on 6 November 1919.

Agnes did not remarry. She died on 13 Match 1962 whilst living at 78 Richmond Park Road, Kingston. Probate was granted to Frederick Ernest Woodgate in the sum of £4,435 19s 6d.


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LONGHURST Cecil Frank, Private. 65579.

24th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment).
Died of wounds, 23 January 1918, aged 20.

Cecil Longhurst c.1915
Cecil Longhurst c.1915
Image courtesy of Erica Westbrook © 2010

Cecil Frank Longhurst was born on 12 May 1897 (GRO reference June 1897 Epsom 2a 27), the seventh son and youngest child of Harry and Margaret Longhurst (nee Beadell).

Cecil's father Harry had been born in Shere in 1859 and was registered as Henry. He was the son of Edmund and Caroline Longhurst and was brought up in Sutton, near Shere, moving to Epsom as a young man. In the 1881 census, he appeared in the household of Dr William Daniel of Woodcote End House as one of two attendants on 'an insane patient'; who this was is unknown, although it would not appear to be one of Dr Daniel's immediate family. He died in 1937 at the age of 77 in Surrey Mid Eastern District (which included Epsom).

Cecil's mother, Margaret, was born in 1854 in Westcott, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Beadell/Beadle/ Beedle, although she also gave her place of birth on some census returns as 'Bletchingley' and 'Redhill'. She probably came to live in Epsom in the late 1860s; in 1871, she was a domestic servant to Isaac Greatbatch, the Clerk of the County Court, at his home in East Street Epsom and in 1881 was housemaid to auctioneer and estate agent, Edward Butcher, in Downs Road. She died in Epsom District in 1933 aged 78.

Harry married Margaret Beadell in St Martins of Tours church Epsom Surrey on 12 August 1882 and they had nine children.

Name Born-Died Baptised Living at when baptised Father's occupation
Harry Edward James 27/09/1882 -1969 Edmonton Alberta Canada 19/11/1882 Christ Church 3 Providence Row, Epsom Footman
Edwin Henry 1884 - 04/05/1884 St Martins Epsom Indoor servant
Ernest Thomas 1885 - 1905 Epsom Surrey 09/08/1885 St Martins Epsom Indoor servant
Albert Victor 1887 - 1934 Montreal Canada 13/03/1887 St Martins College Rd., Epsom Indoor servant
Lovel Leonard 1888 - 1912 Epsom Surrey 30/12/1888 St Martins Epsom Servant
Alma Caroline Grace 1889 - 1972 Henley On Thames UK 20/04/1890 St Martins Epsom Indoor servant
Beatrice Margaret 1891 - 1972 Montreal Canada 05/06/1892 St Martins Epsom Indoor servant
Reginald Frederick 15/05/1893 -1944 Montreal Canada 16/07/1893 Christ Church College Rd, Epsom Butler
Cecil Frank 12/05/1897 - 23/01/1918 France 04/07/1897 St Martins College Rd, Epsom Insurance agent

The Longhurst Family
The Longhurst Family - Harry and Margaret Beadell Longhurst,
their two daughters, Grace Longhurst (l) and Beatrice Longhurst Westbrook (r).
The identity of the sons is uncertain.
Image courtesy of Erica Westbrook © 2010

The 1891 census shows 'Henry James Longhurst' living at the Royal Medical Benevolent College in Epsom as the butler. This is the only record so far found stating that his middle name was James. Margaret and their young family were living in College Road - Harry was aged 8, Edwin aged 7, Albert aged 4, Lovel aged 2 and Alice (sic) [Alma] aged 1. Their other son, Ernest Thomas aged 6, was boarding with a family in Croydon.

By 1901, the family was living at Alma Cottage, 53, Miles Road, Epsom. Harry senior was earning a living as an insurance agent. Edwin, now aged 17 was a baker, Ernest at 16 was a labourer, Albert aged 14 was an errand lad. Gracie [Alma] aged 10, Beatrice Margaret aged 9 and Reginald Frederick aged 6 were all at school, with only four-year-old Cecil still being at home. The household also had a boarder - 21-year-old, Oxford-born labourer, Herbert Mills. Their son Harry was working as a groom in Hursley, Hampshire.

In 1905 their third son, Ernest Thomas, died aged 20, and was buried in Ashley Road cemetery, grave number A572, on 12 August.

On 6 October 1906 their second eldest son Edwin married Emily Rayner in Christ Church. That same year Harry junior emigrated to Canada and appeared on their 1911 census as living in Alberta with his wife Alice and son Harry.

On the England 1911 census, the Longhurst family was living on West Hill Epsom. Lovel was employed as a grocery assistant, Frederick was a house lad and Cecil was at school. Harry had now become the Verger at Christ Church. Sadly, the following year saw the death of their fifth son, Lovel, at the age of 23 from possibly tuberculosis. He was buried in Ashley Road cemetery, in the same grave as his brother Ernest, on 27 April 1912.

Cecil's brother Reginald was working as a footman, like his father, when he left Epsom to work in Montreal Canada, arriving there on 28 April 1912. He joined the army in 1915 but returned safely home to Montreal in 1920 and resumed his previous job as a footman. By 1924 he was promoted to a butler, and is known to have travelled back to see his father in 1934.

Aged 15, Cecil set sail aboard Corinthian on his own, and landed in Montreal Quebec Canada on 28 September 1912, presumably to join his brother Reginald. He gave his occupation as a gardener but stated that he intended to work on the railways.

Cecil attested at Montreal on 22 February 1915, stating that he had been born on 12 May 1893; in reality, he was only 17, not 21. He gave his occupation as 'car painter' and stated that his parents lived at The Bungalow, West Hill Epsom. He was 5 feet 7 inches, had a clear complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. His religion was Church of England.

Cecil Frank Longhurst joined the Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment) as Private 65579 and died of wounds on 23 January 1918 at the age of 20. The following is an extract from the battalion war diary dated 21 January 1918:
About noon enemy shelled vicinity of Battalion H.Q. and succeeded in dropping two 4.1s in QUARRY. No damage being done. Patrols during night - discovered enemy party working in his line which they dispersed. Quiet during night. Casualties two Other Ranks wounded.
The Canadian archives tell us that he died as the result of an accident. Boxes of bombs (hand grenades) were being put away at the Brigade bomb stores, when one of them exploded. Cecil was wounded seriously in the head and other parts of the body. He died later at No. 57 Casualty Clearing Station. The cause of the explosion was unknown, and no blame was attached to anyone. He is buried in plot III. A. 11 in the British Cemetery at Anzin-St Aubin, near Arras (Pas de Calais).

Cecil's headstone in the British Cemetery at Anzin-St Aubin, near Arras
Cecil's headstone in the British Cemetery at Anzin-St Aubin, near Arras
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010
The CWGC informs us that his parents lived at 36 Albert Road, Epsom and gives Cecil's nationality as Canadian. Cecil's sister Beatrice emigrated to Quebec Canada in 1920 and eventually married Charles E J Westbrook. Her sister Alma visited her siblings in Canada in 1927 but returned home to England and never married.

Cecil's mother Margaret died aged 78 and was buried on 28 April 1933 in the same grave as her two sons Ernest and Lovell, A572, in the Ashley Road cemetery. Cecil is also remembered on the grave A572 site.

Cecil's inscription on his parents headstone
Cecil's inscription on his parents headstone
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Harry, Cecil's father, died aged 77 in 1937 and was buried in grave number A810 in the same graveyard.



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LOWES William Andrew, Sergeant. 9139.

'C' Battery, 73rd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.
Killed in Action 25 August 1916, aged 22.

William's headstone in the Flat Iron Copse Cemetery, Mametz
William's headstone in the Flat Iron Copse Cemetery, Mametz
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

William Andrew Lowes was born in Woolwich on 8 March 1894 (GRO reference: Jun 1894 Woolwich 1d 1173) to Ezra Edward and Rose Elizabeth Lowes (nee Smith). His parents married on 6 December 1886 at St Peter's church, Greenwich. William was baptised on 21 March 1894 at St Johns church, Woolwich, whilst living at 12, Willmount Street, Woolwich.

In the 1891 census, before William was born, the family lived at 12, Willmount Street, Woolwich. His father, aged 25, was a 'Steam engine maker. Turner'. His mother was aged 27 and he had two siblings, Edward H (registered as Edward Birt) aged 1 and Alfred F (registered as Alfred Frederick C) aged eight months.

William Andrew Lowes And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Edward Birt Born: 1889 Bexley Heath Later known as Hubert or Albert
Alfred Frederick C Born: 1890 Woolwich
Died: 1893 Woolwich
Death registered as Alfred William F Lowes
Alice Mabel Born: 18 May 1892 Woolwich Baptised 1 June 1892, St Johns church, Woolwich
William Andrew Born: 8 March 1894 Woolwich
Died: 1916 France
Baptised 21 Mar 1894, St Johns church, Woolwich
Charles Robert Born: 1897 Woolwich Baptised 18 Feb 1897, St Johns church, Woolwich. Married Emily Gladys Parmenter Makepeace on 16 August 1919

In 1901 the family lived at 118, Crescent Road, Plumstead, Kent. William was aged seven, and a sibling, Albert aged 12, is recorded; this I believe to be Edward Birt (GRO reference: Jun 1889 Dartford 2a 468). Sister Alice aged nine and brother Charles aged four are also recorded.

The 1911 census records the family still living at 118, Crescent Road, Plumstead, Kent. William's father was still earning his living working with iron, describing himself as an 'Engineer's Iron Turner' working for the Royal Arsenal. William, aged 17 was working as a 'Milk Carrier', sister Alice Mabel, aged 18 was a 'Magnet Coil Winder', brother Hubert (Edward Birt), aged 21 was a 'Tailors Porter' and Charles Robert, aged 14 was a 'Shop Assistant' at the Co-op. William's mother stated that she had given birth to seven children and that four were still alive.

On 7 May 1913 William's younger brother Charles, aged 16 years 6 months, enlisted in to 8th London (Howitzer) Battalion, Royal Field Artillery Regiment, and given the service number of 1142. He gave his parents as his next of kin and the family address as 2, Conduit Road, Plumstead, Kent. He was discharged on 1 June 1917.

At some point between the 1911 census and joining the army in 1914, William worked for the London County Council, as an Attendant at Long Grove Asylum.

William, aged 20 years and 4 months, attested in Kingston on 2 September 1914, into the Royal Field Artillery. He was 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighed 161 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 37 inches with an expansion of 3 inches. He had a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.

William was killed in action on 25 August 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, at Bazentin-Le-Petit, probably as a result of shellfire, and is buried in grave X.H.3. Flat Iron Copse Cemetery, Mametz.

Probate records state that:
LOWES William Andrew of 2 Conduit-road Plumstead Kent sergeant R.F.A. died 25 August 1916 in France on active service. Administration London 29 March [1917]to Ezra Edward Lowes engineer. Effects £132 8s.
William was awarded the 1915 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal.


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LUXFORD Arthur Ernest, Private. 20229.

7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment.
Died of Wounds 6 May 1917, aged 35.

Arthur's headstone in Etaples Military Cemetery
Arthur's headstone in Etaples Military Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Arthur Ernest Luxford was born in 1882 in Horsham, Sussex (GRO reference: Mar 1882 Horsham 2b 349) to Enos and Elizabeth Luxford (nee Francis). Arthur's parents were married in Horsham in 1866 and they had five known children:

Name Born - Died Married
George Born: 1867 Horsham;
Died: 1880 Horsham, aged 13
Henry Albert Born: 1870 Rusper
Died: 1959 Ploughley, Oxen, aged 89
Lilian Maria Mitchell 1896 Horsham
Ada Florence Born: 1872 Rusper/Horsham;
Died: 1943 Epping, aged 70
Harry Charles Price 1900 Horsham
Frederick Amos (Fred) Born: 1877 Horsham;
Died: 1957 Horsham, aged 79
Eliza Harriett Jupp 1898 Horsham
Arthur Ernest Born: 1882 Horsham;
Died: 6 May 1917 France, aged 35

Before Arthur was born, the family was living in 1871 in Friday Street, Rusper and had two small sons, George and Henry. Arthur's father Enos was an innkeeper and licensed Victualler; however, by 1881, he was a cellar man and they were living at 4, London Road, Horsham.

In 1891, the family was living 33, Park Street, Horsham. Enos was aged 47 and still working as a cellar man, while Elizabeth, who was 46, looked after their three children; Ada aged 19 who was a mantle maker, Fred who was 13 and was an errand boy, and Arthur himself who was 9 and a scholar. All the members of the family were recorded as being born in Horsham.

The 1901 census showed Enos and Elizabeth still at 33, Park Street; Elizabeth died in 1905 aged 60. After Elizabeth's death, Enos went to live with his daughter, Ada Florence, in Ongar, Essex where he appeared on the 1911 census and was described as a boarder. However, when he died in 1919 aged 75, he was once again living in Horsham.

There does not seem to be any trace of Arthur in the 1901 census. However, a Private, No. 369, A.E. Luxford served in the Boer war with the Militia Medical Staff Corps, so this might have been 'our' Arthur.

In 1911, when he was aged 29 and single, he was boarding with the Lipscomb family in Horsham and was employed as a general labourer. Some time between 1911 and the outbreak of war, Arthur seems to have moved to Epsom by himself as no link with the town has been found prior to his enlistment. It is not known exactly when, but Arthur was engaged to be married to Alice Brooker.

Arthur attested in Epsom on 14 December 1915, into the 25th (Reserve) Battalion Middlesex Regiment. His stated age was 34 years and 5 months. He was 5 feet 6½ inches tall, weighed 147 lbs and had a chest measurement of 39 inches with an expansion of 4 inches. He worked as a labourer, and lived at 53, Lower Court Road, Epsom.

Arthur later transferred to the 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, which was in the 36th Brigade, 12th Division. On 3 May 1917, Arthur's battalion fought in the third battle of the Scarp, a phase of the battle of Arras. The villages of Roeux and Pelves, about 4 miles east of Arras, was to be attacked and captured by the Division. The German front had been bombarded by artillery for the previous two days, which included gas sent over by Livens projectors (a type of mortar capable of firing large drums of gas or inflammable material). Arthur's battalion reached its objective and managed to repel enemy counter attacks, but suffered casualties from shelling and machine gun fire. On 3 May 1917 the 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment had 41 men killed in action, and over the next three days a further eleven died of wounds.

Arthur died of his wounds on 6 May, most likely received when attacking on 3 May. He is buried in plot XVIII. K. 11A. in Etaples Military Cemetery. The area around the town of Etaples had good railway links, and was the centre of huge activity for British and Commonwealth forces. It was far enough away from the front line to be free from attack, except from the air. It had many reinforcement camps, hospitals and convalescent camps and at its peak some 100,000 troops were accommodated among the sand dunes and hospitals. Etaples Military Cemetery has 10,771 burials from the Great War, and another 119 British burials from the Second World War.

Etaples Military Cemetery 1
Etaples Military Cemetery 2
Etaples Military Cemetery
Images courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Arthur was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal. His medal card states that he was a Corporal, but the CWGC says he was a Private, and that he was the 'Brother of F.A. Luxford of 14, Park Street, Horsham, Sussex'.


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LYLE Alfred, Private. SS/18180.

Royal Army Service Corps.
Died 4 January 1920, aged 44.

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

Alfred Lyle was born in 1875 in Hackney, Middlesex, England (GRO reference: Sep 1876 Hackney 1b 491). His parents were Henry Bowden and Frances Selina Lyle (nee Bluett) who had married on 30 May 1866 in St. Mary's parish church, Stratford Bow, Tower Hamlets. His father was a surgeon and from 1865 was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.

NameBorn - DiedNotes
LilianBorn: 1867 Hackney
Died: 1953 Kent
1911 visiting the Ellenberger family in Guernsey
Francis ThomasBorn: 1868 Hackney
Died: 1928 Surrey
Merchant Navy.
Married Emma Mary Hoare 1894
AdelineBorn: 1869 Hackney
Died: 1951 Eastbourne
Unmarried. 1911 Probationer nurse at Clapton Nursing Home, North Hackney
Alice MaudBorn: 1870 Hackney
Died: 1871 Hackney
EdithBorn: 1875 Hackney
Died: 1923 Lambeth
Married Joseph W. Dobie 1902
AlfredBorn: 1876 Hackney
Died: 4 January 1920 Epsom
SydneyBorn: 1878 Hackney
Died: 1940 Putney
Married Florence Rogers
Jessie SelinaBorn: 1881 Hackney
Died: 1909 Zurich
Married Frank T. Woodley 1901

When the 1881 census was taken Alfred and his family were living at 123 Graham Road, Hackney. Also living there that night was Elizabeth Green, a nurse. His sister Lilian was staying on census night with their widowed maternal grandfather Francis Godden Bluett who was the owner of loan offices.

Alfred's father was aged 43 when he died on 16 February 1887. The family continued to live at 123 Graham Road and when the 1891 census was taken Alfred's grandfather Francis was shown as head of the household. Alfred was not there on census night but his sister Lilian aged 24 and his 45 year old mother were recorded as having no occupation while Adeline aged 22 was working as a milliner, Edith aged 17 was a pupil teacher and Sydney and Jessie were at school. When Alfred's grandfather died on 20 October 1893, probate of his effects valued at just over £8,547, was granted to Alfred's mother.

When the 1901 census was taken only Alfred's sister Lilian, a school teacher, was living with their mother at 295 Wandsworth Road, Lambeth.

A letter from Alfred, that was saved in his war records, shows that Alfred had been serving in Africa in the Natal Mounted Infantry, which was disbanded in 1902. He then joined the Veterans Reserve.

Alfred had been working as a labourer and living at 58 South Street, Bedminster, Bristol before he attested on 6 October 1915. He was described as being 40 years old, 5 feet 1 inches tall with a 33 inch chest and an expansion of 2 inches. He gave his uncle Major Daniels of 'Porters Head', Clifton, Bristol, as his next of kin and his religion as Church of England.

Alfred's medal card tells us that on 24 October 1915 he was sent to Egypt.

On 5 April 1916 Alfred was discharged as no longer being fit for war service due to chronic rheumatism. His character was reported as 'Good'. He was awarded Silver War Badge No. 80481.

On 11 April 1918 Alfred signed his last will and testament leaving everything to his mother Frances Selina Lyle, of 111 Fawe Park Road, Putney; however, if she was deceased, he left everything to Adeline Lyle.

After Alfred died from General Paralysis of the Insane (GPI) in Long Grove Mental Hospital on 4 January 1920, his body was buried on 9 January 1920 in grave K753 in Epsom Cemetery, where he is commemorated on the Screen Wall.

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

His mother died in 1937.


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