War Memorials - Surnames M

Index

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MACE, John Martin
MACFARLAND, George Adams (New 26/04/2011)
MACGREGOR, Colin Alexander
MACK, William Herbert (New 21/12/2010)
MANN, Alfred George (Revised 03/03/2014)
MANN, J.F. (Updated 25/02/2009)
MARSHALL, Bernard Gouldsmith (Updated 24/12/2012)
MARSHALL, Harry Cecil (Revised 20/03/2013)
MARSON, John (New 11/10/2012)
MARTIN, Daisy Emily (Revised 17/11/2010)
MARTIN, Henry Leonard A (Revised 05/09/2012)
MASKELL, Albert (Updated 09/10/2010)
MASKELL, Albert Edward (New 05/10/2010)
MASON, Isaac Newton
MASON, Percy Stanley (New 25/07/2011)
MASSEY, Albert (Revised 03/06/2013)
MATTHEWS, William J (Revised 20/03/2014)
MATTHEWS, W.J. (New 02/01/2011)
MAUVAN, William Ernest (New 01/11/2012)
MAYNARD, W.J. (Updated 24/11/2010)
MCILMURRAY, Hugh see LIVINGSTONE, Harry
MEREDITH, Eric Dunfee, (Updated 24/12/2012)
MIDDLETON, Alfred (Updated 16/01/2010)
MIDGLEY, J (New 02/04/2014)
MILES, Albert (Updated 22/03/2013)
MILES, John Robert (Revised 29/11/2012)
MILNES, Dennis
MOORCROFT, Frederick John (Updated 17/08/2010)
MORLEY, Charles James (Updated 21/03/2014)
MORLEY, Philip (Updated 20/03/2014)
MOTH, Ernest Solomon (Revised 01/10/2010)
MURRAY, Charles William
MUSPRATT, Alfred George (Updated 10/08/2012)
If you are looking for someone whose name starts with a different letter please try:



Content


MACE John Martin, Driver. 174352.

225 Field Company Royal Engineers.
Died 26 January 1919, aged 40.

John Mace's headstone in the Dunkirk town cemetery
John Mace's headstone in the Dunkirk town cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2008

John Martin Mace was born in 1878 (GRO reference: Mar 1878 Dartford 2a 430) to James and Hannah Mace (nee Gray).

In the 1881 census they lived at 27 Lisbon Cottages, Bowater Terrace, Greenwich. John's father was a 'Gardener'. He had a sister Edith Emily 10 and two brothers Charles William age 8 and James Henry age 6.

By 1891 they lived at 29 Lizban street, Greenwich, and there were three more siblings Cornelius Allen 9, Eveline Elizabeth and Kathleen Mary 3.

In 1901 they were at the same address, and John Martin Mace was like his father, a 'Gardener Domestic'.

John married Marion Ince on 4 November 1908 (GRO reference: Dec 1908 Epsom 2a 28) in the Parish church, Ewell. They had three children, William James born 15 May 1910 (GRO reference: Jun 1910 Epsom 2a 35), Marion Constance born 13 April 1914 (GRO reference: Jun 1914 2a 61) and Martin born 11 May 1916 (GRO reference: Jun 1916 2a 58).

John attested at Epsom on 25 November 1915 at the age of 37 years 4 months, and was placed on the Army reserve. He was 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighed 136 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 37 inches with an expansion of 3 inches. A mole on his chest was noted as a distinguishing mark. His sight was very poor with his right eye assessed as 6/9, and his left eye only 6/36. He also required dental treatment. His trade or calling was shown as 'Attendant', and he lived at 21 Heatherside.

He was mobilised on 4 August 1916 and appears to have trained at Thetford. He was granted efficiency pay of 4d per diem on 23 November 1916. Then on 12 March 1917 he transferred from Thetford to the BEF.

John was hospitalised between 23 January and 13 March 1918 following an accident. He suffered a 'fract ascend radius l/t condyle' and 'paresis VT nerve'.

John's unit was the 225 Field Company Royal Engineers, which was attached to the 39th Division. Due to the very heavy losses sustained by the Division during the German Spring offensive of 1918 it was not reconstituted as a fighting unit but became a training formation for American troops arriving in France.

John died on 26th January 1919 from influenza and is buried in Dunkirk town cemetery, plot iv E 11.

Dunkirk, of course, was the scene of the evacuation of the BEF in 1940 during the second world war, but was also a very busy place during the Great War. Part of the BEF landed there in September and October 1914, and throughout the Great War it was a seaplane base, and later an American Naval Air Service base. The town was also a French hospital centre and the 8th Canadian Stationary Hospital was there from November 1918 to April 1919. It was also a centre for ship building and other port activities.

On 11 August 1919 the RE record office at Chatham arranged for John's personal effects to be sent to his widow Marion. In September 1920 his scroll and plaque were dispatched.

Army Form W 5080 dated 1 November 1920 listed the following living relatives;

Wife Marion 21 Heatherside
Children William James 10
Marion Constance 6
Martin 4
Mother Hannah Mace 120 St Johns Park London SE
Brothers Charles William Mace 46 38 Craigeine Park
James Harry Mace 44 79 *****
Cornelius Allen Mace 40 Johannesburg
Sisters Edith Emily Mace 48
Eveline Marn 38 133 Old Dover Road
Kathleen Budd 32 102 St Johns Park London SE

BH EW AS

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MACFARLAND George Adams, Captain

Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC).
Died of Wounds 17 October 1917, aged 44.

George's headstone in East Finchley cemetery
George's headstone in East Finchley cemetery
George's headstone in East Finchley cemetery
Images courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

George Adams Macfarland was born in Ballycastle, Belfast, Northern Ireland on 23 September 1872 to George and Mary Macfarland (nee Mitchell). His parents married in 1870, and were from County Tyrone.

George attended the Royal Academical Institution, Belfast, a grammar school, and later studied medicine in Dublin and Belfast.

In the 1901 census George was a 28 year old medical student living in his parent's home in University Street, Cromac, Antrim. His father was a 60 year old Presbyterian Minister. His mother was aged 57, and his three sisters, Frances Margaret aged 30, Mary aged 26 and Maud aged 24 all worked as teachers.

In 1903 George completed his medical training by gaining the Scottish triple qualification in Edinburgh, Scotland.

George's father had died by the time the 1911census was taken, and his widowed mother Mary was living at Elinwood Avenue, Antrim with her spinster daughters Frances and Mary, who were both recorded as being 'BA teachers'. Aged 38 and still single, George was now an assistant surgeon living and working with Rupert Edward Nix in Chatteris Cambridgeshire.

George Adams MacFarland (L.R.C.P, L.R.C.S Edin.) had become the resident surgeon at the County of London War Hospital Epsom by the early part of WW1. However, due to the shortage of RAMC officers abroad, he was soon commissioned and left the hospital for foreign service on 20 January 1916.

The following is an extract from Lt Colonel Lord's book 'THE STORY OF THE HORTON (CO. OF LONDON) WAR HOSPITAL EPSOM':
     About the end of 1915, there began to be a shortage of R.A.M.C. officers abroad, which gave Dr. G.A. MacFarland at last the opportunity he had so long desired of being commissioned in the R.A.M.C. He left for foreign service on 20th January 1916. His death on 17th October 1917, from wounds received during an air raid abroad was heard, with great regret, for he was a general favourite during both asylum and war hospital days, and highly respected.
The air raid that caused George's wounds was an attack on a Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) near Poperinghe, Belgium, on 20 August 1917. George died almost two months later at the Endsleigh Palace Hospital for officers, Gordon Street, London (http://ezitis.myzen.co.uk/endsleighpalace.html) on 17 October 1917, from septic pneumonia brought on by his wounds.

George is buried in grave I. 14. 136, East Finchley cemetery.

Limited administration in Belfast was granted to John MacFarland Hamill (his cousin), the solicitor attorney for his sister Frances Margaret MacFarland. His effects in England amounted to £2206 17s 6d.

George was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal. His medal card, stamped 8 August 1922, shows the recipient to be his sister F. M. MacFarland, 29D, Holland Park Gardens, W.14.

Georges's medal card
George's medal card.
Image courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk (Link opens in a new window)
Copyright 2011, The Generations Network, Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
Ancestry Logo

The only memorial that George's name appears on is the Horton (County of London) War Hospital Epsom, in the now unused Horton chapel. However, there is an 'Adams G' on the Ashley Road memorial for whom, to date, no records have been found linking him to Epsom. It has been speculated that this might be George Adams MacFarland, entered on the memorial in error as 'Adams G'.

HWH

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MACGREGOR Colin Alexander, Second Lieutenant

9th Battalion Gordon Highlanders
Killed in action 26 September 1915.

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

Commemorated on the Loos Memorial to the Missing.

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MACK William Herbert, Private. 17345.

9th Battalion East Surrey Regiment.
Died 15 December 1916, aged 20.

William's inscription on the CWGC memorial
William's inscription on the CWGC memorial, Epsom
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

William Herbert Mack was born in Brixton on 9 May 1896 (GRO reference: Jun 1896 Lambeth 1d 508) to John and Jane Mack (nee Spikesman). William's mother Jane was born in Ashtead and was the aunt of Thomas Spikesman.

William's father John was a 36-year-old widower when he married Jane Spikesman, a 29-year-old spinster on 21 January 1894 in St James' church Clapham. William's older brother, John Edward, was born in Lambeth in the December quarter of 1894. William was baptised on 25 May 1896 in St Saviours parish church Brixton.

By 1901 the family was living at 33, Brandon Road, Lambeth. Williams's father John, who was born at Borough in London, was aged 43 and was working as a domestic gardener. His wife, Jane, was aged 37 and looked after their two sons, John aged 7 and Willy (William) aged 5.

In the 1911 census the family was living at 13, Martindale Road, Balham. Father, John was employed as a road sweeper for Wandsworth Borough Council. William (shown as William Albert) was a shop assistant. Brother John Edward cannot be found in the census.

William attested in Kingston on 20 January 1916 into the 10th (Reserve) Battalion East Surrey Regiment. His stated age was 19 years and 9 months. He was 5 feet 11¼ inches tall, weighed 114 lbs and had a chest measurement of 32¾ inches with an expansion of 1¾ inches. He worked as a laundryman, and lived at 25, Woodlands Road, Epsom.

At some point William transferred the 9th (Service) Battalion East Surrey Regiment, but served for less than 11 months before he died at the 'Temporary Military Hospital, Woolaston House, Newport, Monmouth, Wales on 15 December 1916. None of his service papers have survived, and his cause of death is unknown, but as he was awarded the British War medal, he must have served overseas at some point in his short military career.

William's body was transported back to Epsom and he was buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission plot in Epsom Cemetery, Ashley Road, in grave K646 on 21 December 1916. William was the ninth and last man to be buried in grave K646. Seven others had died in the Horton War Hospital and one in the Manor war Hospital.

The grave marker for grave 646 in the CWGC Plot in Ashley Road Cemetery
The grave marker for grave 646 in the CWGC Plot in Ashley Road Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

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

William's father John was still working, as a labourer, when he died in 1933, at Middle House (Workhouse), Dorking Road, aged 74. William's mother Jane died in 1943 at 20, Church Street, Epsom, aged 78. Both were buried in Epsom cemetery in grave K681.

EP CC CWGC

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MANN Alfred George, Gunner. L/30122.

"C" Battery, 153 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.
Killed in Action 28 May 1917, aged 22.

Alfred's headstone in  Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery
Alfred's headstone in Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

Alfred George Mann was born in Epsom on 20 March 1895 (GRO reference: Jun 1895 Epsom 2a 20) to William James and Jane Mann (nee Ede), who married on 17 May 1885 (GRO reference: Jun 1885 Epsom 2a 22c). He was baptised on 12 May 1895 in Christ Church, Epsom Common.

ALFRED GEORGE AND HIS SIBLINGS
Name Born Notes
John Frederick Born: 1 May 1886 Epsom
Died: 14 October 1920 gas poisoning (family information). Buried in unmarked grave, D440, in Epsom Cemetery.
Baptised 4 July 1886 Christ Church, Epsom
Married Florence Elizabeth Beams 1905 in Epsom.
Charles James Born: 3 July 1887 Epsom
Died: 1975 Sutton, Surrey
Baptised 11 September 1887 Christ Church, Epsom. Served in 1st Battalion Scots Guards. Married his widowed sister-in-law Florence Elizabeth Mann, nee Beams in 1923 Epsom.
Luke Henry Born: 22 February 1889 Epsom
Died: 1953
Baptised 30 April 1889 Christ Church, Epsom
Served in 1st Railway Supply Detachment ASC.
Married Alice Mary Choney 1917 in Epsom
Sophia Mary Born: 13 July 1890 Epsom
Died: 1990 Canada (from Ancestry family tree)
Baptised 10 October 1890 Christ Church, Epsom.
Married her father's cousin Alfred Noah Mann and emigrated to Saskatchewan, Canada.
Henry (Harry) William Born: 16 February 1892 Epsom
Died: 1972
Baptised 10 April 1892 Christ Church, Epsom.
Attested 2 September 1914, RFA.
Married Lilian F Pavey 1915 in Sussex.
William Thomas Born: 17 September 1892 Epsom
Died: 30 September 1893. Buried in grave C250 Epsom Cemetery.
Baptised 27 September 1893 Christ Church, Epsom.
Alfred George Born: 20 March 1895 Epsom
Died: 28 May 1917 France
Baptised 12 May 1895 Christ Church, Epsom
Elizabeth Jane Born: 11 November 1896 Epsom
Died: 1960 Epsom
Baptised 10 January 1897 Christ Church, Epsom.
Married Arthur James Leverington 1926 in Epsom.
James Thomas Born: 13 January 1899 Epsom
Died: 1947, buried with parents in grave D407 Epsom Cemetery
Baptised 9 April 1899 Christ Church, Epsom.
India GS Medal Wazaristan clasp 8 September 1924
Married Harriet Beatrice Osborne 1929 Epsom
George Edward Born 26 April 1901
Died: 6 May 1901, buried in grave D18 Epsom Cemetery
Baptised 2 May 1901 Christ Church, Epsom.

In the 1901 census most of the family was living at Thornton Cottage, Epsom Common. Alfred's father William was a 40 year old bricklayer's labourer. His mother Jane was 39. Siblings living there were Charles aged 13, Luke aged 12, Sophia aged 10, Harry aged 9, Elizabeth aged 4 and James aged 2. The oldest sibling John Frederick was living with his grandparents at Willow Cottage, Epsom Common.

Alfred's and John's parents and sister Elizabeth c.1914
Alfred's and John's parents and sister Elizabeth c.1914
Image courtesy of Terry Friday © 2008

Sophia Ede nee Simmonds c.1835-c.1910, Alfred's and John's Grandmother
Sophia Ede nee Simmonds c.1835-c.1910
Alfred's and John's Grandmother
Image courtesy of Terry Friday © 2008

In 1911 they were still living at Thornton Cottage, Epsom Common. Alfred's father, now aged 50 was still working as a bricklayer's labourer. Mother Jane stated she had been married for 26 years and that eight of her ten children were still alive. Brother Harry was a motor mechanic, James was at school and Alfred himself was a 16 year old gardener. None of Alfred's other siblings were living at Thornton Cottage.

Alfred attested in Epsom on 7 June 1915 aged 21. He was 5 feet 9½ inches tall, weighed 142lbs and had a chest measurement of 37 inches with an expansion of 4 inches. He was a labourer and lived at 10, Woodlands Road, Epsom.

Alfred went to France on 26 November 1915 and served in 'C' Battery, 153 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, which was part of 36th (Ulster) Division. Although the infantry for the 36th Division came from Ulster, the artillery mainly came from around the London area. On the day that Alfred was killed in action, there were no major battles raging on the Western Front. The Battle of Arras had ended on 17 May 1917 and the Battle of Messines Ridge did not start until 7 June 1917. Despite the fact that no major battles were raging, the firing never stopped. Sniping and shellfire were an everyday matter of fact, and men were killed every day. The artillerymen did not occupy the front line trenches, and did not have to 'go over the top', but they nevertheless had a dangerous job. Artillery batteries would do their utmost to silence enemy artillery, and many artillerymen were killed by shellfire.

The following is an extract from the 153rd Brigade war diary:
DRANOUTRE. 28 May 1917. The shelling recommenced at 12 midnight and ceased at 1am. ST JANS CAPPEL was shelled also. In the evening it re-opened from 10-11 pm and the neighbourhood of CROIX DE POPERINGE was shelled. The position occupied by "C/153" was shelled in the morning - two telephonists being killed.

So it seems that Alfred was a telephonist and was killed by shellfire along with his fellow telephonist Albert Fitzgerald. They are buried side by side in Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery. Alfred in grave H63 and Albert in grave 64.

Alfred's sister Sophia, returned to Epsom at least twice, once in 1914 and again in 1920 but returned each time to her husband and children in Venn, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Alfred's mother Jane was aged 66 when she died at 10 Mill Road, Epsom. She was buried on 11 June 1928 in grave D407 in Epsom Cemetery. Alfred's father William James was aged 85 when he died at 10 Woodlands Road, Epsom. He was buried on 17 February 1947 in his late wife grave. Alfred's brother James Thomas, a gas fitter, died later that same year and was buried in his parent's grave on 20 December.

EP CC SB

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MANN John Frederick, L/Corporal. 80100.

Royal Engineers.
Died of Wounds 14 October 1920, aged 34.

John with his wife and three of his children
Image courtesy of Terry Friday © 2008

John Frederick Mann was born in Epsom on 1 May 1886 (GRO reference: Jun 1886 Epsom 2a 20) to William James and Jane Mann (nee Ede), who married on 17 May 1885.

John had nine siblings:
Charles James born 3 July 1887.
Luke Henry born 22 February 1889. Attested 30 August 1910.
Sophia Mary born 13 July 1890.
Harry William born 16 December 1892.
William Thomas born 17 September 1893, died 30 September 1893.
Alfred George born 20 March 1895. Attested 7 June 1915. Killed in action, France 28 May 1917.
Elizabeth Jane born 11November 1896.
James Thomas born 13 January 1899. India General Service medal, Waziristan 1921-24 clasp.
George Edward born 26 April 1901, died 6 May 1901.
On the night of the 1891 census John was with his grandparents Charles and Sophia Ede at Willow Cottage, Epsom Common. The rest of the family were at Mill Road, Epsom Common. John's father William was a 30 year old builder's labourer. His mother Jane was 29.

Willow Cottage
Willow Cottage (shown in the middle and painted white)
Image courtesy of Terry Friday © 2008

When the 1901 census was taken John was again with his grandparents Charles and Sophia at Willow Cottage, and was a 14 year old general labourer. The rest of the family lived at Thornton Cottage, Epsom Common.

On 16 December 1905 John married Florence Elizabeth Beams. It appears they had five children:
Lilian Mary born 1906, died 1906 aged 0.
John Frederick born 23 Oct 1909, died 10 Oct 1979 aged 69.
William Thomas born 1910, died 1910 aged 0.
William Thomas born 2 May 1913.
Florence Elizabeth Jane born 12 Sept 1914, died 22 November 1917 aged 3.
Epsom cemetery records show that William Thomas Mann, son of John Frederick Mann of 19, Adelphi Road, Epsom, was buried on 2 December 1910 in plot F252(?), Epsom cemetery aged 18 days. There is also an entry for Florence Elizabeth Jane Mann, daughter of John Mann of 92, The Common, Epsom, buried on 22 November 1917 in plot D440 aged 3.

The Surrey Recruitment Register tells us that John attested at Kingston on 15 February 1915 aged 29 years 9 months. He joined the Royal Engineers as a driver. He was 5 feet 10¼ inches tall, weighed 160lbs and had a chest measurement of 38½ inches with an expansion of 4½ inches. He lived at 92, Bracken Path, Epsom and worked as a carman. Today he would be called a driver.

We have found no service or pension record in Ancestry, and no entry in the Soldiers Died CD. Neither does the CWGC web site have an entry for him. However, his medal card shows he was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal, so he must have served overseas at some point in his military career.

Cause of death as shown on John's death certificate
Cause of death as shown on John's death certificate.

John died in Epsom Cottage Hospital on 14 October 1920, almost two years after the war had ended, and was buried in an unmarked plot, D440 in Epsom Cemetery on 19 October 1920. Information from John's family states that he died as a result of gas poisoning during the war. However his death certificate states causes of death as; (1) Rheumatism (chronic), (2) Pneumonia 5 days. Endocarditis chronic, no post mortem was carried out. Thus his official cause of death does not mention gas poisoning. This might explain why he has no CWGC entry and no war pension for his wife and children. No doubt his family had his name added to the war memorial because they believed his end was hastened by the war, and indeed he may well have been exposed to poison gas during his service, but officialdom did not recognise this.

John's unmarked grave in Epsom Cemetery
John's unmarked grave in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2008

On 24 February 1923 his widow Florence married John's brother Charles James Mann. They had two children, Alfred George born 3 September 1923 and Dorothy Jane born 25 November 1924.

EP

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MARSHALL Bernard Gouldsmith, 2nd Lieutenant

Northants Regt.
Killed in Action 5 April 1916, aged 19

Bernard Gouldsmith Marshall
Bernard Gouldsmith Marshall
Image courtesy of Epsom College, photo by Clive Gilbert © 2012

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

Northants Regt. Killed at Loos on 5 April 1916. Buried at Loos, France. Aged 19 years. Son of E.E. Marshall (publisher), Burgh Heath, Surrey. (Listed on the Epsom College Memorial).

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MARSHALL Harry Cecil (AKA Pete), Second Lieutenant.

Royal Flying Corps.
Killed in flying accident 23 December 1917, aged 18.

Harry Marshall
Harry Marshall
Image courtesy of Peter Collins, Sutton Grammar Archavist

Harry Cecil Marshall was born in Epsom on 28 February 1899 (GRO reference: Jun 1899 Epsom 2a 19) to William and Margaret Fanny Marshall (nee Brookes). His parents were married in the December 1879 quarter in the Bromley registration district.

In the 1881 census before Harry was born, the family lived at the stables to the house 'Wood Lawn' in Kingston Vale. Harry's father was a 25 year old gardener. His mother was aged 23 and he had a sister Margaret Helena aged 11 months.

HARRY CECIL AND HIS SIBLINGS
NAME DATE OF BIRTH BAPTISED REG. DISTRICT
Margaret Helena June quarter 1880   Kingston
Charlotte Elsie September quarter 1881   Kingston
William Charles March quarter 1884 9 March 1884 Epsom
Frank Edwin March quarter 1886 28 March 1886 Epsom
Florence Lilian June quarter 1888 29 April 1888 Epsom
Leonard George September quarter 1889 (Died March Quarter 1891) 29 September 1889 Epsom
Edgar Phillip September quarter 1892 18 September 1892 Epsom
Doris Marion June quarter 1895   Epsom
Harry Cecil June quarter 1899   Epsom
All baptisms were at Christ Church

By 1891 the family had moved to Woodcote Road, Epsom, and Cecil's father was working as a gardener.

The same situation in 1901, but brother Charles was working as a postman and brother Frank as a telegraph messenger.

Still at Woodcote Park in 1911 with father still working as a gardener, as was brother Phillip, whilst sister Doris was an apprentice dressmaker.

Harry attended Sutton Grammar School. The following appeared in the school magazine 'The Suttonian':
At school from 1911 to 1914. In April, 1917, he joined the Public Schools Brigade, and volunteered for the Royal Flying Corps. Training at Hastings and Reading, he went with a commission (Nov 3rd) to Netheravon, where on Dec. 23rd he was killed when flying. He was accorded a military funeral at Epsom, where he was buried on December 29th, 1917.
Harry is mentioned in the Edinburgh Gazette dated 8 December 1914, which shows that he had been registered as a Temporary Boy Clerk. He is again mentioned in the Edinburgh Gazette dated 7 July 1916 which shows that from 22 June 1916 he had become an Established Clerk in the Inland Revenue working to 'Surveyors of Taxes'.

Aged 17 years and 8 months, Harry attested on 6 September 1916 at Epsom into the 104th Training reserve Battalion. (Note: The 28th and 29th reserve battalions of the Royal Fusiliers had been formed in Epsom as part of the Public Schools Battalions. On 1 September 1916 these converted into the 104th and 105th Training Reserve Battalions). He was 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighed 126lbs and had a chest measurement of 34 inches with an expansion of 3 inches. His medical grade was A4, which meant that he would be A1 when 19, and therefore old enough to be sent overseas. He worked as a clerk and lived at Woodcote Green, Epsom.

The following two items appeared in the Epsom Advertiser dated 28 December 1917:
FLIGHT FATALITY. - Second-Lieut. "Pete", an Epsom man, made his first and last flight on Sunday in the Salisbury Plain district. He was attempting to turn in making his fourth complete circuit round the aerodrome when he met with an accident and was killed. He is the third Christ Church choir member who has lost his life within a fortnight.
And on 4 January 1918:
FUNERAL OF EPSOM AIRMAN. - The funeral took place on Saturday of Sec. Lieut. Cecil Marshall, son of Mr. and Mrs W. Marshall of Woodcote Green, whose death when making his first flight alone was recorded last week. Military honours were accorded, a firing party, buglers, etc., being supplied by the Eastern Command Labour Centre from Sutton. On the body arriving at the station it was taken to Christ Church, where the first part of the service was conducted by the Rev. H. A. Bowles. Lord Rosebery was amongst those present. The organist played "O Rest in the Lord," and the hymns were "Now the Labourer's Task is O'er" and "On the Resurrection Morn."
Harrys headstone
closeup of Harry's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Harry's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Images courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

The South Wiltshire Coroner held an inquest at Netheravon Military Hospital on 28 Dec 1917 into his death. Capt Kitchener gave evidence that he had been sure that Lt Marshall was quite competent and had sent him up for his first solo flight on Sunday morning. Lieut Moody, stationed at Netheravon, said that at 9.30 he saw the machine nose diving but the spot where it crashed was hidden from him. Following evidence that the rigging and controls were in order, Capt Blockley, RAMC, said that Lt Marshall was dead when he was admitted to the Netheravon Military Hospital and death had probably been instantaneous. A verdict of accidental death was returned.

A letter from Harry Marshall to his sister Doris. - Click image to enlarge
A letter from Harry Marshall to his sister Doris which was written
5 days before he died in a flying accident.
It mentions William Coulson
Click image to enlarge
Image courtesy of Harry's family ©2013

Because he did not serve overseas no medals were awarded to Harry. He is buried in plot D 339 in Epsom cemetery.

He is also remembered on the Sutton Grammar School War Memorial.

EP SGS CC BEC

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MARSON John, Rifleman. B/200764.

1st Battalion Rifle Brigade (RB). (Formerly T4/039571 ASC).
Killed in Action 12 October 1917, aged 28.

John's headstone in Poelcapelle British Cemetery
John's headstone in Poelcapelle British Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

John Marson was born circa 1888 (GRO reference: Dec 1888 Holborn 1b 735) to Edward and Sarah Marson. I have been unable to find a marriage record for his parents.

The most likely 1891 census entry shows the family living at 17, Red Lion Passage, Holborn. John's 27 year old father was a type founder and rubber (?), and his 26 year old mother was a book folder. He had an older brother Albert aged 4.

I have been unable to find any other likely census entries.

John married Alice Phyllis Dean on 5 March 1907 at St Luke's church, Old Street, London. John, a jockey on the marriage certificate, lived at 30, Galway Street, London and Alice lived at 19, Galway Street. His father worked as a glass blower. They had a daughter Florence A, registered in Epsom district in the March 1915 quarter.

John enlisted at Kingston-Upon-Thames on 29 December 1914 into the Army Service Corps (ASC). Giving his age as 26 years and 3 months, he was 5 feet 4½ inches tall and weighed 115lbs. He had a chest measurement of 34½ inches with an expansion of 2½ inches, worked as a stable lad and lived at 13, Curtis Cottages, Burgh Heath Road.

John later transferred to the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade which was in the 11th Brigade 4th Division. On 12 October 1917 the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade fought at Poelcapelle in the battle of third Ypres, and John was killed in action that day. (Note: The 'Soldiers Died' CD incorrectly shows his date of death as 12 October 1914).

John is buried in grave XLIV. D. 1. in Poelcapelle British Cemetery.

He was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal (recorded on the ASC lists).

The St Martin's Church Roll of Honour states that:
JOHN MARSON, was killed in action at Ypres on 12th October 1917. St Martin's church also referred to John as Jack when they were first compiling the proposed list of names to be remembered.
EP SM

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MARTIN Daisy Emily, Staff Nurse

Horton War Hospital.
Died 15 February 1919, aged 29.

Daisy Emily Martin was born in Leigh Kent on 29 November 1889 (GRO reference: Dec 1889 Sevenoaks 2a 670) to John Samuel and Caroline Martin, nee Gasson. Her parents married in Leigh on 11 November 1877.

In 1891 one-year-old Daisy appeared on the census with her father John, a 46-year-old farm labourer, and her 37-year-old mother Caroline living at Priory Cottage Leigh Kent. Her older siblings were John Richard aged 13, Charles Ernest aged 11, Annie Lydia aged 9, Albert Henry aged 7, Caroline Sarah aged 6, Alfred James aged 4 and George Edgar aged 3.

Between this and the next census Daisy's father John died and in the 1901 census Daisy's mother Caroline appears as a widow still living with some of her children at Priory Cottage. They are recorded as Alfred Jms. aged 14, Geo. Edgar aged 13, Daisy Emily aged 11, Arthur Eric aged 9, Elsie Isabella aged 7 and Alice May age 3. There was also a boarder, Frederick Joyce Koots, living with them.

Daisy appears working as a parlour maid for John Cahill and his family in the 1911 census. John Cahill was a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons practicing from his home at 12, Saville Street, Knightsbridge, London. This environment may well have influenced Daisy in her decision to become a nurse, as she later worked as a staff nurse at the Horton War Hospital Epsom. The 1911 census also tells us that Daisy's mother gave birth to 11 children.

Daisy died of influenza in Epsom Surrey on 15 February 1919.

Commemorated on the Horton Hospital Staff Memorial.

With thanks to Daisy's family for her birth and death dates.

HWH

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MARTIN Henry Leonard A, Private. 8952.

20th Hussars.
Killed in Action 14 August 1916, aged 23.

Henry's headstone in Loker Churchyard, Belgium
Henry's headstone in Loker Churchyard, Belgium
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Henry Leonard A Martin was born in 1893 (GRO reference: Sep 1893 Epsom 2a 17) the youngest child of James and Ann Eliza Martin (nee Arrow).

The 1871 census shows Henry's father James as a 43 year old widower living at West Hill, Epsom. He was a race horse trainer and employed three servants. Although shown as a widower, I have been unable to find a likely first marriage record for him.

It is not known when Henry's parents first met but his sister, Florence Olive A. Martin, was born in Dorking in 1873. James was aged 49 and Ann Eliza 26 when they married on 27 January 1877 in Christ Church, Southwark. Details from their marriage certificate shows that James was a race horse trainer and lived at Bordeaux House, South Street, Epsom.

The family were still living at 'Bordeaux House', South Street, Epsom when the 1881 census was taken. Four children are recorded, Florence, James, Herbert and John.

Henry Leonard Martin And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Florence Olive A Born: 1873 Dorking Married Albert Barcock 1896 Woolwich
James George Frederick Born: 1874 Dorking Baptised Christ Church 17 Aug 1878
Herbert John William Born: 1877 Epsom Baptised Christ Church 17 Aug 1878
John Charles Henry Born: 1878 Epsom Baptised Christ Church 17 Aug 1878
Albert Edward Victor Born: 1881 Epsom Baptised Christ Church 06 Aug 1881
Sidney Walter William Born: 4 Jan 1884 Epsom
Died: 1969
Won French Medaille Militaire Aug 1914
Leonard Arrow Born: 1891 Epsom Died: 1891 Epsom Baptised St Martins 21 Dec 1891.
Buried 2 Jan 1892 Epsom Cemetery plot B110A
Henry Leonard Born: 1893 Epsom
Died: 14 Aug 1916 France
 

In 1891 the family lived in College Road, Epsom. Henry's father now aged 62 was still earning his living as a race horse trainer. Florence was still living at the family home, and two more siblings had arrived, Albert and Sidney.

I could not find Henry, his parents or his brother James in the 1901 census, perhaps they were out of the country on census night. Henry's other siblings were traced as follows:
  • Florence lived in Margate with her husband and two children.
  • Herbert had married, worked as a stableman and was living in Newmarket, Suffolk.
  • John and Albert, both still single, also worked as a stablemen in Newmarket.
  • Sidney was an eighteen year old stable lad boarding with thirty other stable lads at King Edward Place, Wanborough, Wiltshire.
Epsom Cemetery Burial transcriptions, show that James Martin of College Road, Epsom, buried a 6 month old son named Leonard Arrow Martin on 2 January 1892 in plot B110A. NOTE: James Martin, race horse trainer, aged 82 of South Street, Epsom was buried in the same plot on 1 September 1911. Ann Eliza Martin, aged 83, widow of Middle House, Epsom was also buried in this plot on 27 June 1934.

In the 1911 census 18 year old Henry was boarding in the Harraton House stables in Exning, Newmarket, where he was one of ten apprentice jockeys of Percy Peek. Peek was a horse trainer for the Earl of Durham. I have been unable to find his mother, but father James aged 82 was a boarder at Alexandra Villa, Church Road, Epsom.

The 'Soldiers Died' CD states that Henry had been born in Epsom, enlisted at Bury St Edmonds, and that he lived at East Molesey.

Henry was a soldier in the Regular Army on the outbreak of war. He left for France with the 20th Hussars 16 August 1914, reaching Le Havre the following day at around 6pm. The 20 Hussars suffered relatively few casualties throughout the war. From 1 August 1916 to 31 December 1916 only three men were killed, Henry being one of them.

The history of the 20th Hussars in the Great War, tells us that at the time Henry was killed, the Battalion were providing working parties for the mining operations that were going on in preparation for the blowing up of the Messines Ridge in June 1917. The underground mining work was carried out by specialist miners in the Royal Engineers, but manual labour, for the work of getting rid of the spoil and the carrying up of mining stores such as pit props, was provided by soldiers from the cavalry or infantry. Henry was shot through the neck, probably by a sniper. The Epsom Advertiser, dated 25 August 1916, reported the following:
ONE OF SIX BROTHERS KILLED. Pte. Henry Leonard Martin, youngest son of the late Mr. James Martin, a racehorse trainer, of Epsom, is reported killed at the Front. The news was received from an officer, who wrote to Pte. Martin's sister, Mrs. Barcock. Deceased was a brother of Driver Sidney Martin, who early in the war was awarded the Medaille Militaire for gallantry. He is one of six brothers who have fought in the war. One is now a prisoner in Germany, and the other four are still on active service. Pte. H.L. Martin, whose end is now recorded, was in the Hussars at the outbreak of war, and took part in the earliest fighting in France, being present at the battle of Mons, the big retreat, and subsequent battles. He was wounded in the leg, and came home for a time, and then went back to the Front. In June this year he was home on leave. It appears that he was shot through the neck, and has been buried seven miles south-west of Ypres. He was 25 years old and unmarried. His brother Jack has been home on leave this week.
Henry was awarded the 1914 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal.

He is buried in Loker Churchyard. Loker is a small village in Belguim about 7 miles south west of Ypres.

EP

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MASKELL Albert, Lance Corporal. 14374.

9th Battalion Devonshire Regiment.
Killed in Action 30 September 1915, aged 30.

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

Albert Maskell was born in 1885 in Ockham, Surrey (GRO reference: Mar 1885 Guildford 2a 69) to Edward and Caroline Maskell (nee Fuller). His parents were married in 1864.

ALBERT AND HIS SIBLINGS
NAME BORN NOTES
Henry Fuller December quarter 1863 Ockham  
Mary Ann Maskell March quarter 1866 Ockham  
Caroline Maskell December quarter 1867 Ockham  
Sarah Maskell March quarter 1870 Ockham  
Annie Maskell March quarter 1874 Ockham  
Edward Maskell December quarter 1875 Ockham  
John Maskell March quarter 1878 Ockham Attested 6 June 1916 West Surreys
William Maskell December quarter 1879 Ockham  
Frederick Maskell September quarter 1881 Ockham Attested 5 June 1916 East Kents
Arthur Thomas Maskell June quarter 1883 Ockham Attested 29 June 1916 RE
Albert Maskell March quarter 1885 Ockham KIA 13 September 1915
George Maskell March quarter 1887 Ockham KIA 1 July 1916
Philip Maskell June quarter 1889 Ockham Attested 20 October 1915 Labour Corps
Albert may have had another sibling I have been unable to identify. In 1911 his mother Caroline stated she had given birth to 14 children, all still living.

In the 1871 census before Albert was born, the family lived at Mays Green, Ockham, where Albert's father Edward was a 25 year old labourer. Mother Caroline was also aged 25. It appears that brother Henry was born before his parents married, and therefore initially took his mother's maiden name, Fuller, but had changed it to Maskell by the 1881 census.

In 1881 they were still living at Mays Green, and father Edward was working as a farm labourer. Two siblings, Henry and Edward were living as boarders with 86 year old Robert Watts.

By 1891 the family had moved to North Road, Hersham. Edward still earned his living as a farm labourer, as did his sons who were old enough to work. Working age daughters were domestic servants.

It appears that Albert's father Edward died aged 52, registered in the March quarter of 1896.

The 1901 census shows Albert living at 35, North Road. Hersham, and working a bricklayer's labourer. The head of the family is shown as 27 year old widow Annie Maskell, with her children aged from 12 to 26, obviously a mistake. I suspect the head should have been shown as widow Caroline aged 59, but somehow she has been left off, and her entry muddled with her daughter Annie's details. Others shown are Edward aged 26, William aged 22, Frederick aged 19, George aged 14 and Philip aged 12. Also shown is 10 year old Percy Maskell, a visitor.

Albert married Florence Drewcalla Simmonds in 1909 (GRO reference: Dec 1909 Epsom 2a 33). They produced three children, Albert in 1911, George in 1914 and Jessie in 1915.

The 1911 census shows Albert and Florence, married for one year, living at 2, Heathcote Road, Epsom. Albert was working as a cabman for E.U.D.C. Another page from the 1911 census has details of 68 year old widowed grandmother Caroline Maskell living in the house of her first born, 48 year old Henry Maskell. Caroline is described a housekeeper, and states that she has given birth to 14 children and that all are still alive.

It appears that Albert's service record did not survive the blitz, and neither can I find a pension record for the support of his wife and three children. However, the Surrey Recruitment register tells us that he attested in Kingston-Upon-Thames on 10 November 1915 into the Devonshire Regiment. He was 29 years and 11 months old, 5 feet 4½ inches tall, weighed 134 lbs and had a chest measurement of 36 inches with an expansion of 4½ inches. He had a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.

Albert went to France on 12 August 1915 with the 9th Battalion Devonshire Regiment which was in the 20th Brigade, 7th Division, and fought in the battle of Loos. The Soldiers Died CD tells us that on 30 September, 109 men from the Battalion lost their lives, including Albert, killed in action. His body was never found and identified, so is therefore commemorated with some 20,000 of his comrades on the Loos Memorial to the missing. NOTE: The war diary states the Battalion went into action on 25 September 1915, the first day of the battle of Loos, and lost heavily on that day, yet the Soldiers Died CD and the CWGC have the date 30 September 1915.

Albert's widow, with three children to raise, married Herkles R. Lake in 1918 in Epsom, (GRO reference: Sep 1918 Epsom 2a 45) and later moved to Colborne, Ontario, Canada. They sailed from Liverpool aboard 'Minnedosa' and arrived at St Johns, New Brunswick on 7 March 1919.

The St Martin's church Roll of Honour states that:
ALBERT MASKELL, was reported missing on 30th Sept. 1915 after the battle of Loos, and officially presumed dead.
Albert was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.

CWGC records show that Albert and his brother George were both killed and that they were the sons of 'Mrs Caroline Maskell, of Downside, Cobham, Surrey.' Only Albert appears on Epsom memorials, presumably arranged by his wife. Cobham's War Memorial in St Andrews Church does not bear either name. Why would their mother not have her sons' names entered on the memorial?

EP SM

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MASKELL Albert Edward, Driver. 7986.

5th "C" Reserve Brigade Royal Field Artillery (RFA).
Died 7 April 1917, aged 41.

Albert's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Albert's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Albert Edward Maskell was born in 1877 in Epsom (GRO reference: Mar 1877 Epsom 2a 18) to John and Margaret Maskell (nee Hopper). I have been unable to find a record of his parent's marriage, but Margaret was born in Malta, so perhaps they married in Malta, or more likely Gibraltar where the Battalion was stationed in 1864?

In 1871 before Albert was born, his 22 year old mother Margaret was the head of the family living at Prospect Cottages, East Street. With her were her two children, Charles aged 5 born in Barbados, and Maria aged 2 born in Bristol. His father John born in Epsom, a 32 year old Sergeant in the 3rd Buffs was serving a 10 year prison sentence in Old Brompton Prison, Gillingham, Kent, for the manslaughter of another soldier, Private Robert Synon. According to newspaper reports, John was stationed at Horfield Barracks, Bristol, and was suffering from sunstroke (probably sustained in India), and he became excitable under the influence of alcohol. With regard to alcohol he had previously 'taken the pledge' but had broken it. One of his duties concerned the post and he had to carry letters to and from the Post Office. On 30 April 1868 one of the letters was charged 2d. The adjutant told him to take it back as the charge was wrong. This excited him greatly and he went on a rampage firing his breach loading rifle five or six times randomly at any soldiers he saw. Most missed but the final shot killed Private Robert Synon, who had also received bayonet wounds.

By 1881 the family was together and living at Woodcote End, Epsom. Albert's father was a general labourer, whilst his mother did some casual work 'spice pickling'? Older brother Charles was a 15 year old greengrocers boy, whilst 12 year old Maria was a scholar.

Three members of the family were still living at Woodcote End in 1891, father John still a general labourer, mother Margaret and 2 year old George. Also with them was Amy Alice Neal, a 9 year old visitor. Albert was not living with them and cannot be found in the 1891 census. Apart from being 10 years older, the census entry in 1901 for the family members was identical to the 1891 census, and again no sign of Albert who was by then probably in the army.

By 1911 Albert was at Ewshot Barracks a regular soldier with the rank of Driver serving in 132 Battery RFA. Albert's parents were living at 2, Mayfield Cottages, Wyeth Road, Epsom. Father John at 72, was a sacristan at St Martin's church. Mother Margaret stated she had been married 47 years and had given birth to five children, four of whom were still living.

Albert's service papers have not survived but we know he was a regular soldier, and his medal card shows that he went to France on 7 November 1914 with the RFA. At some point he contracted a disease on active service and returned to England. Whilst at Parkgate Auxiliary Military Hospital, Cheshire, he died. His body was transported to Epsom cemetery where he was buried on 11 April 1917 in plot A447. Just two months earlier his father John, a verger at St Martin's church, had died and was buried on 8 February 1917 in plot A447, father and son together.

In 1917 the National Probate Calendar published that Albert had left the sum of £49 17s. 2d. to his mother Margaret Angelina Maskell, living at Woodcote End, Epsom.

The St Martin's church Roll of Honour states that:
ALBERT EDWARD MASKELL, after 21 years service in the Army, the latter part of the time in France, died in Park Gates Hospital, Chester, on 8 April 1917 of illness contracted on active service. He was a son of John Maskell, for many years Verger of this Church.
Albert was awarded the 1914 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.

The CWGC states that Albert was the 'Son of Mrs. Margaret Maskell, of 79, Hook Road, Epsom.

EP SM

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MASON Isaac Newton, Private. 533675.

1/5 (Prince of Wales' Own Civil Service Rifles) London Regiment.
Killed in Action 7 October 1916, aged 17

I Mason's inscription
Private Isaac Newton Mason was born at New Malden in 1899. In 1901 he was living at 'Tintara', Kingston Road New Malden, with his parents Thomas and Emily Mason. His father was a clerk in the Civil Service. They later moved to 'Tintara', Heatherside Road, West Ewell. He enlisted in Wimbledon, and joined the 1st/15th Battalion London Regiment (Prince of Wales' Own Civil Service Rifles).

The 1st/15th London Regt was in the 140th Brigade, 47th Division.

On the 7th October the Division was to capture the Bute de Warlencourt, an ancient seventy foot high mound of excavated chalk.

The Bute had been tunnelled by the Germans and was used as an observation post from which machine gun and artillery fire could be directed onto the men attacking. The attack started at 1.45pm, the first objective being Diagonal Trench in front of the Bute, but the attackers were subjected to withering cross fire, and apart from a few posts on the left, very little gain was made. On the 7 October 1916, 105 men from the 1st/15th London Regiment were killed in action or died of wounds.

He is commemorated on The Thiepval Memorial to the missing.
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MASON Percy Stanley, Private. 107426.

2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion.
Killed in Action 28 September 1916, aged 27.

Percy's headstone in the Regina Trench Cemetery, Grandcourt
Percy's headstone in the Regina Trench Cemetery, Grandcourt
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

Percy Stanley Mason was born on 14 December 1889 (GRO reference: March 1889 Epsom 2a 23) the son of Alfred and Annie Mason (nee Denham). Percy's parents married 1880 in the Barnet registration district. His father was a Londoner, born in 1852 at St Martin's in the Fields, and his mother was born in Epsom in 1857.

PERCY STANLEY MASON AND HIS SIBLINGS
Name               Born - Died Notes
Easton Alfred Born: 1880 Epsom
Died: 1945 Surrey Mid East aged 65
Married Maud Cockerill
1927 Epsom District
Bertie Cecil Born: 22 June 1883 Epsom
Died: 1973 Sutton District aged 90
Baptised 23 September 1883
Christ Church Epsom
Percy Stanley Born: 14 December 1889 Epsom
Died: 28 September 1916 France
 

In the 1881 census before Percy was born, the family lived at Pikes Hill, Epsom. Percy's father worked as a clerk, and his brother 'Alfred E' was 7 months old.

In 1891 the family was living at 2, Edith Villa, 46, East Street, Epsom. Percy's father was employed as a railway clerk. Brother Easton was aged 10, Bertie 7 and Percy 2. Joseph Perrin aged 62 was lodging with the family. Percy's father died in 1898 aged 46 and was buried in grave C31 on 4 January.

By 1901 the family lived at 99, East Street, Epsom. Percy's 44 year old widowed mother was living on her own means, whilst brother Easton was an accountant's clerk and brother Bertie an architect's clerk. The family employed 23 year old Elizabeth Baxter as a domestic servant.

In the 1911 census Percy, aged 22 was working as a 'Clerk in Gas secretary's Office' and was one of four boarders living at 42, Highfield Road, Dartford, the home of the widowed Laura Cooper and her daughter Dorothy. Percy's mother, the head of the household, was still living at 99, East Street. Neither of his brothers, aged 30 and 27 were married and were still employed as an accountant's clerk and an architect's clerk. Elizabeth Baxter still worked for the family as a domestic servant, and Joseph Perrin aged 82 was lodging with the family again.

Percy went to Canada in 1912, and aged 25, he attested into the Canadian Army on 8 December 1914 at Victoria, British Columbia, stating that he was a rancher. His personal description shows that he was 5 feet 6½ inches tall, had a chest measurement of 31½ inches with an expansion of 3 inches, a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. He had four vaccination marks on his left arm and a mole on the upper left side of his abdomen. His religion was Church of England, he was single and his next of kin was his mother, Mrs A Mason, Eagle Cottage, Ewell Road, Epsom. (Note: The CWGC records the address as 'Eagle Cottage, 99, Ewell Road, Epsom). He was passed medically fit for the 'Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force' at Willows Camp the same day.

Percy's Battalion, 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles was in the 8th Brigade of the 3rd Division in the Canadian Corps. On 28 September, the day that Percy was reported to have been killed, the Canadian Corps were attacking just north of the village of Courcelette, from Courcelette Trench, but because of heavy machine gun fire from Regina Trench the attack was unsuccessful. Percy's unit was directly involved in this attack, but during the night his unit relieved the attacking forces and took over the line.

Percy is buried in plot IX. G. 27. in Regina Trench Cemetery, Grandcourt.

The St Martin's Church Roll of Honour states that:
PERCY STANLEY MASON, was born in Epsom and went to Canada in 1912. He joined the Canadian Mounted Rifles when war broke out and was killed in action in France on 28th September 1916.
The Canadian 'Virtual War Memorial' has a letter sent to Percy's mother from an unknown woman who was planning to marry Percy. It reads:
     I feel as though my heart would break. He was all the world to me. I have never given a thought to another man and oh how dearly I loved my boy. I cannot realize I will never see his bonny face again and that he will never hold me in his arms again and call me his little sweetheart.
     We have loved each other for a long time now, and in his last letter he said he would be back very soon and claim me for his wife. How happy it made me - and now I can never be his wife.
     I feel as though life is worth nothing to me now. I long to go to him. He wants me - I can hear him calling me in the night when all is quiet. Oh, how it hurts me to think of my darling, my Percy - lying out there, so far from those he loves.
Percy's mother, Annie died in Epsom in 1932 aged 75 and is buried with her husband in grave C31, Epsom cemetery. Percy is also commemorated on this grave.

Percy's inscription on his parents grave
Percy's inscription on his parents grave
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

EP SM PG

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MASSEY Albert, D.C.M., Sergeant. 78806.

'D' Battery, 210 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (RFA).
Died 9 December 1918, aged 38.

Albert's headstone in the Maubeuge (Sous-Le-Bois) Cemetery, France
Albert's headstone in the Maubeuge (Sous-Le-Bois) Cemetery, France
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

Albert Massey was born in 1880 (GRO reference: Mar 1880 West H 4a 136) to Robert and Sarah Emma Massey (nee Hughes). His parents married in the June 1876 quarter in the Shoreditch registration district.

In the 1881 census Albert aged 1, lived at 1, Constance Street, Silvertown, West Ham, the home of his 53 year old widowed grandmother, Jane Hughes. Also living there was Albert's mother, aged 24, recorded as an engineers wife, Albert's three siblings, Philip aged 4, Marian aged 3 and Kate aged 2, and two lodgers. Albert's father Robert, a telegraph instrument maker, was at his mother's house on census night, at 31, Culloden Street, Poplar. He appears to have died at a very young age as the death, aged 29, of a Robert Massey was registered in the December quarter of 1881 in the Lewisham registration district.

By 1891 Albert had moved to 44, Algernon Road, Lewisham, with his widowed mother, a dressmaker, and his siblings Marion and Kate. Albert's brother Philip, aged 14 was working as an engine cleaner whilst boarding with grandmother Jane Hughes, in the home of Gilbert Howard in Faversham, Kent.

In 1901 Albert worked as a brickyard hand, and was living at Oak Villa, Cheam, with his mother and sister Kate. Also living at the address were Gilbert Howard and his 5 year old daughter Olive.

Albert married Emilie Florence Dew, registered in the March 1902 quarter in the Epsom registration district. They produced five children:

ALBERT AND EMILIE MASSEY'S CHILDREN
Name Born - Died
Albert Born: 1902 Ewell
Robert Born: 1904 Ewell Died: 1967
Thomas Born: 1905 Ewell Died: 1905
Philip Born: 1908 Ewell Died: 1970
William Hughes Born: 1911 Epsom

Albert attested in Kingston on 18 January 1915 into the RFA. He was 5 feet 6¼ inches tall, weighed 147 lbs and had a chest measurement of 37½ inches with an expansion of 3½ inches. He stated that he was born in Silvertown, Essex, gave his age as 34 years and 11 months, his occupation as labourer and that he lived at 3, Coronation Cottages, Leith Road, Epsom.

Albert went to France on 14 July 1915 and whilst serving as a Bombardier with 'B' Battery, 81st Brigade RFA he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM). His citation, which appeared in the London Gazette dated 30 March 1916, read as follows: For conspicuous gallantry in repeatedly repairing telephone wires during operations under heavy shell fire. He has twice previously been noted for gallant conduct.

Albert survived the horrors of the fighting in the war, only to die of influenza, almost a month after the Armistice.

The St Martin's Church Roll of Honour states that:
ALBERT MASSEY, died of influenza at a Casualty Clearing Station at Maubeuge on 9th December 1918. He received the Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1916.
Albert is buried in grave D 34, Maubeuge (Sous-Le-Bois) Cemetery, France.

The Maubeuge (Sous-Le-Bois) Cemetery, France
The Maubeuge (Sous-Le-Bois) Cemetery, France
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

In addition to the DCM he was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.

EP SM

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MATTHEWS William James, Gunner. 640827.

"D" Battery. 189th Army Brigade. Royal Field Artillery (RFA).
Killed in Action 27 September 1918, aged 40.

William's headstone in Windmill British Cemetery, Monchy-Le-Preux
William's headstone in Windmill British Cemetery, Monchy-Le-Preux
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

William James Matthews was born in 1879 in Epsom Surrey (GRO reference: Sept 1879 Epsom 2a 17), to James and Caroline Matthews (nee Thomas). His parents had married in 1866 in Epsom Surrey, and had nine children:

WILLIAM JAMES MATTHEWS AND HIS SIBLINGS
Name Born - Died Notes
Frederick George Born: September quarter 1867 Baptised: 8 September 1867 St Martins
Hannah Born: September quarter 1869 Baptised: 12 September 1869 St Martins
Eliza Born: 1871 Died: 1871 Baptised: 4 July 1871 St Martins
Clara Born: September quarter 1872 Baptised: 10 August 1873 St Martins
Married: George Mann, 1897 in Christ Church
Rosa Born: 20 January 1876 Baptised: 13 July 1879 St Martins
William James Born: September quarter 1879
Died: 27 September 1918
Baptised: 13 July 1879 St Martins
Albert Edward Born: 11 May 1882 Baptised: 16 July 1882 Christ Church
Ernest Edgar Born: June quarter 1885 Baptised: 6 March 1885 St Martins
Violet Lilian Born: June quarter 1887 (recorded as Mathews) Baptised: 5 June 1887 St Martins
Married: Joseph Harvey, 1908 in Christ Church, whilst living at 12 Common View Road, Epsom Common

William was baptised with his sister Rosa, in St. Martins, Epsom, on 13 July 1879. The rest of his siblings, with the exception of Albert Edward who had been baptised in Christ Church, were also baptised in St. Martin's, Epsom. An older sister, Eliza had died aged 3 weeks in 1871.

The family were living in Lintons Lane, just off of East Street Epsom, when the 1881 census was taken. William's father, 37-year-old James, worked as a farm labourer to support his 32-year-old wife Caroline and their children Frederick aged 13, Hannah aged 11, Clara aged 8 and 5 year old Rosa as well as 2-year-old William, who has been recorded as Willy in this census.

In 1891 William, aged 12, was living at 40 Victoria Place Epsom with his father James, aged 48, who was working as a labourer and his mother Caroline aged 43 who was working as a laundress. William now had six siblings; Hannah aged 22, Clara aged 19, Rose aged 15, Albert aged 9, Ernest aged 6 and 4-year-old Lillie (Violet Lilian).

On Christmas Eve 1899 William married 20-year-old spinster Elizabeth Lucy Hebbourn in Christ Church Epsom. Their daughter Clara Elizabeth Lucy was born on 30 December 1900.

The 1901 Census for England was taken on the night of 31 March 1901. William and Elizabeth, with their 3-month-old daughter Clara, were boarding with George Mann and his family at 8, Newton Cottage, Epsom. William was now 21 and worked as a general labourer. When Clara was baptised later that year, on 18 August 1901, the family were living in Bristows Cottages, Epsom Common.

In the 1911 census William, a labourer, his wife Elizabeth, a laundry hand, and their 11 year old daughter Clara were living at 47, Lower Court Road, Epsom, the home of William's parents, James and Caroline. William's brother Albert Edward was also living there. William's mother stated that she had given birth to nine children and that eight were still living.

William's son Albert Edward was born on 19 August 1914 and baptised in Christ Church on 18 October 1914. The family was living at 47 Lower Court Road, Epsom on the 15 April 1916, when Albert aged only 19 months was buried in the Ashley Road Cemetery Epsom.

William attested in Epsom on 13 December 1915 into the No. 5 TF Artillery School. He stated that his age was 36 years, he was a labourer and lived at 47, Lower Court Road, Epsom. He was 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighed 124 lbs, and had a chest measurement of 36 inches with an expansion of 3 inches.

William was killed in action on 27 September 1918 and is buried in grave II. G. 15 in Windmill British Cemetery, Monchy-Le-Preux, about 5 miles south east of Arras. The war was only to last another 45 days before the armistice, and at this time Allied forces were constantly attacking and forcing the Germans to retreat. The artillery was generally behind the infantry but was subject to attack by enemy artillery. We will never know how William was killed, but it was most likely from enemy shelling.

The CWGC states that William James Matthews was the: Son of James and Caroline Matthews, of Epsom; husband of Elizabeth Lucy Matthews, of 47 Lower Court Road, Epsom. William's nephew, confusingly also named William James Matthews, is commemorated on the Ashley Road memorial.

On Christmas Day 1923, William's widow Elizabeth, aged 42, married 35-year-old bachelor John Coleman in St. Barnabas church, Epsom.

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

EP SB


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MATTHEWS William James, Gunner. 87077.

Royal Field Artillery (RFA).
Died 11 October 1916, aged 21.

William's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
William's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

William James Matthews was born on 19 October 1895 (GRO reference: December 1895 Epsom 2a 22) to Frederick George and Eleanor Ann Matthews (nee Leverington). Frederick was the eldest brother of William James Matthews (born 1879), who was killed in action on 27 September 1918.

William's parents were married on 1 August 1891 at Christ Church, Epsom. They had five children.

WILLIAM JAMES MATTHEWS AND HIS SIBLINGS
Name Born - Died Baptised
Frederick George Born: 1892 Epsom  
William James Born: 19 October 1895 Epsom
Died: 11 October 1916 Upton, Northamptonshire, aged 21
2 January 1896 Christ Church
Henry James Born: 1898 Epsom  
Edward Born: 17 March 1900 Epsom 15 April 1900 Christ Church
Ernest Cecil Born: 23 September 1903 Epsom
Died: 1904 aged 1 Epsom
6 December 1903 Christ Church

In 1901, William's father Frederick, a general labourer and his mother Eleanor aged 29, were living at Willow Cottage, Epsom Common, with their children Frederick aged 8, William himself aged 5, Henry aged 2, and Edward aged 1. All of them had been born in Epsom.

By 1911, William's 42 year old father Frederick was working as a stoker in the gas works. His mother Eleanor, aged 39 stated that she had been married for 19 years, and that she had given birth to five children, one of whom had died. The four surviving children were all still at home, and William's brother, Frederick was employed as a grocer's errand boy. The family's address was given simply as 'Epsom Common' but as they were living next door to the Guyatt family at Griffiths Cottages as they had been in 1901, it is likely that they were still living at Willow Cottage.

William attested in Epsom on 25 August 1914 into the RFA. He stated that he was aged 19 years and 1 month, and that he worked as a labourer. He was 5 feet 7½ inches tall, weighed 134 lbs and had a chest measurement of 36½ inches with an expansion of 3 inches. He had a sallow complexion, and dark brown eyes and hair.

William's service record has not survived, and as I have been unable to find a medal card for him, I suspect that he served only in the UK. William died in the Northampton War Hospital, Upton, aged 21. His body was returned to Epsom and he was buried in plot A 309, Epsom cemetery.

On 24 January 1940, his niece, Gwendoline Rose Matthews (daughter of brother Harry), a 17 year old domestic servant, who had died at Epsom County Hospital, was buried in the same grave space, as was William's father Frederick George, who died on 5 July 1955 aged 88.

EP CC


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MAUVAN William Ernest. Corporal. T/3356.

2/4th Battalion The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment).
Killed in Action 9 August 1915, aged 30.

William's inscription on the Helles Memorial to the missing.
William's inscription on the Helles Memorial to the missing.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

William Ernest Mauvan was born on 30 December 1884 (GRO reference: Mar 1885 Hereford 6a 501) to William and Louisa Mary Mauvan (nee Jefferis). His parents married in the December quarter of 1879 in the Derby registration district.

In the 1881 census before William was born the family lived in the School House, Withington, near Hereford. William's father was a 28 year old schoolmaster and his mother was a 31 year old school mistress. Sibling Louisa Kate was five months old.

William Ernest Mauvan And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Louisa Kate Born: 1880 Withington
Died: 1882 Withington
 
Alice Elsie Born: 1883 Withington
Died: 1 Jul 1937 Selly Oak Birmingham
Died unmarried
William Ernest Born: 30 Dec 1884 Withington
Died: 9 August 1915 France
 
Charles Gilbert Born: 1886 Withington
Died: 15 Nov 1953 Selly Oak Birmingham
Served in the RAMC
Agnes Jessie Born: 1888 Withington  
Alick Jeffreies (sic) Born: 1889 Withington
Died: 1963 Hereford
Served in the ASC

In 1891 the family was still living at the School House, and William's parents were still teaching. Four more siblings had arrived, Alice aged 7, Charles aged 4, Agnes aged 3 and Alick aged 1. Fourteen year old Lizzie Williams was employed as a 'general domestic servant'.

William's older sister Alice started working for the British Postal service in May 1899. Later that year on 13 November 1899, William started working as a clerk in the goods department, for the Great Western Railway Company, at Cheltenham station for an annual salary of £20. In October 1900 he moved to Hereford station. His salary was increased annually by £10 until he resigned, and was paid up to 5 July 1902.

The 1901 census found the family situation little changed, William's parents living at the same address and still teaching. Having left school, William and his brother Charles were both clerks, William for the railway company, and Charles for the Industrial Aid office.

William appears in 'The London Gazette, June 17, 1902' under the heading 'For Registration as Temporary Boy Copyists (New Class). He also appears in 'The Edinburgh Gazette, June 20, 1902' under the same heading.

William's parents' situation had not changed by the 1911 census, they were still living and teaching at the same place. William's mother stated that she had been married for 32 years and that of her six children, five were still living. Only brother Alick Jefferies (sic) was still living with his parents, and he was working as a 'Hosier's Assistant'. William however, was a 26 year old assistant school teacher, living as a boarder at 12, Sandfield Terrace, Guildford. His sister Agnes was now known by her middle name of Jessie and was boarding in 30, Brougham Road, Horn Lane, Acton, Middlesex while working as a shorthand typist for a military contractor.

William's service record has not survived but he was probably a pre-war territorial soldier, and had enlisted in Guilford. He served in the 2/4th Battalion The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment), which was in the 160th Brigade, 53rd Division. The Battalion left Bedford on 17 July 1915 and travelled to the Gallipoli Peninsular via Devonport, Malta, Alexandria and Port Said, finally arriving at 'C' Beach, Suvla Bay on 9 August, disembarking between the hours of 2.30am to 5.30am. At 6.40am the Battalion received an urgent message to reinforce the 31st Brigade, which was already in action. Advancing across open ground near Salt Lack, it came under fire and received several casualties. The following is an extract from the Battalion war diary:
7.30am to 8am. Arrived at Chocolate Hill and reported to Brigadier Gen. Comdg. 31st Bde.- Ordered by him to join 33rd Bde. to advance round N. spur of hill and thence E to support the Bde. which was hard pressed, at 9am joined 6th Dublin Fusiliers Battn. advanced and occupied old Turkish trench running N and S through 105 H.3.6.9. 3 Companies advanced 600yds. to front on to Hill 70, but were driven back by our own guns in rear.
Advanced to Hill 70 a second time but had to withdraw owing to heavy fire from our guns in rear and the fact that all scrub on hill was ablaze.
12 noon. At this point we had many casualties (8 Officers & about 250 men). The Battn. fell back to Turkish Trench and in absence of orders it was decided to strengthen this position & to hold on.
Forty three men from the Battalion were killed on 9 August and having no known graves are commemorated on the Helles Memorial to the missing.

William's experience at Suvla Bay was probably quite similar to that of Leonard Harold Ratcliff, who also lost his life at Suvla Bay on 9 August 1915.

The Epsom Advertiser dated 17 September 1915 printed the following:
CORPL. W. E. MAUVAN, who has been reported missing at the Dardanelles, belonged to the 5th East Surrey Regiment and lived at the Y.M.C.A., Ashbourne House, Waterloo-road Epsom. Before enlisting Corpl. Mauvan was a teacher at the Hook-road Council Schools, Epsom and shorthand master at the Technical Institute evening continuation classes. He was very popular with his colleagues, and much liked by all with whom he came in contact.
The St Martin's church Roll of Honour states that:
WILFRED E. MAUVAN, took part in the operations at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, was reported missing and was presumed killed on 8th August 1915. He was an Assistant Master at the Church of England Boys School and taught in the Church Sunday School.
William was awarded the 1915 Star, British War medal and the Victory medal.

There are two discrepancies with William's commemoration on Epsom's memorials. The Ashley Road memorial records the name MAUVAN W.C., not MAUVAN W.E., and St Martin's church records him as Wilfred E, not William E. Did he, for some reason whilst working as a school master in Epsom, prefer Wilfred to William or were genuine mistakes made? His family were miles away in Herefordshire, and we can only speculate as to who wanted to add his name to the memorial, perhaps his work colleagues, perhaps church goers.

William also appears on the Guildford war memorial, and most likely is also remembered on a memorial in Herefordshire.

When William's father died at the age of 67 on 18 March 1920, probate of £1,945 2s, was granted to William's unmarried sister Alice Elsie Mauvan. His mother died aged 86 in 1936.

EP SM

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MAYNARD William John, Sergeant. 8278.

1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
Killed in Action 20-26 October 1914, aged 35.

Photograph of William left at the Ashley Road War Memorial
Photograph of William left at the Ashley Road War Memorial
Image courtesy of Hazel Ballan © 2009

William John Maynard was born in 1879 in Lockerley, Hampshire (GRO reference: Sep 1879 Romsey 2c 85) the only son of William James and Mary Anne Maynard (nee Anthony). His father, a schoolteacher, was born in 1834 in Loughton Essex and his mother in 1840 in St Mary's Paddington. They were married in 1864, in the Kensington registration district.

William had eight sisters, Mary Gertrude born 1867, Isabella Ann born 1868, Rachel Harriet born in Guildford 1870 but died in Lockerley in 1871, Maria Ellen 1871, Harriet Rachel born 1873, Margaret Emily born 1875, Charlotte Catherine born 1877 and Ellen Louisa born 1884.

In the 1881 census the family lived in the School House in Butts Green, Lockerley, where William's father was the master of the Endowed school and his mother was the schoolmistress. The two older sisters, Mary and Isabella, were recorded as being born in Ewhurst Surrey, while the rest of the family as being born in the village of Lockerley.

At some point during the next ten years it appears that the family moved to Salisbury, Wiltshire, as that is the birthplace of the youngest sister Ellen Louisa. However, the Lockerley school records show that William's father remained as a master at the school.

In the 1891 census the family are recorded as living in Hucking, Kent, again in the schoolhouse where both parents taught. The older sisters Mary, Isabella, and Maria are not recorded as living there. Margaret Emily has been mis-recorded as 'Mary E' and William John as 'William F'.

William attested into the Grenadier Guards on 21 September 1899. He gave his age as 20 years and 3 months, his trade or calling as a grocer, and that he had served a 4 year apprenticeship with Mr. Dyer at 107, High Street, Winchester. He also stated that he had been rejected by the Household Cavalry for being under height.

He was medically examined at Hounslow on 21 September 1899, when it was noted that he was 5 feet 10½ inches tall, weighed 136 lbs and had a chest measurement of 36 inches expanding to 38 inches. His eyes were blue, hair was brown, and he had a fresh complexion. He had a scar on the left side of his neck, and 2 stains on his right cheek. His religion was Church of England.

William's 'Military History Sheet' shows that between 21 September 1899 and 3 October 1914 (a period of 15 years and 13 days) he did not serve overseas but remained at 'Home'. He joined the expeditionary force on 4 October 1914, and was killed shortly afterwards on 7 November 1914. His parents lived at 43, Hyde Abbey Road, Winchester. Information from William's service papers:

14 December 1899 3rd Class Certificate of education
19 December 1900 2nd Class Certificate of education
13 February 1901 Appointed Lance Corporal
21 September 1901 Granted Good Conduct pay at 1p per day
25 March 1902 1st Class Certificate of education
13 July 1902 Promoted Corporal
13 July 1902 Appointed Lance Sergeant
26 June 1903 Passed classes of instruction for promotion to Corporal
01 April 1904 Granted Service Pay at ?d per day
21 September 1904 Granted Service Pay at 7d per day
06 November 1904 Received pay of appointment to Lance Sergeant
29 December 1905 Extended service to complete 8 years with the colours
10 September 1906 Extended service to complete 12 years with the colours
04 March 1909 Promoted Sergeant
27 October 1913 Passed classes of instruction for promotion to Sergeant
25 April 1907 Passed classes of instruction on Chiropody
March 1908 Received Acting Schoolmaster's Certificate
06 July 1909 Passed Hythe Musketry course
27 July 1910 Re-engaged for the Grenadier Guards at London for such term as shall complete 21 years service
05 July 1915 Widows Pension 19/6 per week
07 November 1914 Killed in action near Ypres Belgium

William and Anne
William and Anne
Image Courtesy of Alec Maynard © 2009

On 6 May 1909, William John Maynard, a bachelor aged 29, married Annie Hartridge in her local church, Christ Church Epsom Surrey (GRO: Jun 1909 Epsom 2a 33). William's occupation was recorded as being a Soldier, ranked as Sergeant, living at Blenheim Barracks Aldershot and his father being William James Maynard, schoolteacher. Annie was recorded as being a '29 year old' spinster living at 33 Horton Hill Terrace, Temple Road Epsom Surrey. However Annie, aged then 16 with a birth year of 1884, appeared in the 1901 census as living with her family in 3 Horton Hill Terrace Temple Road Epsom Surrey. This would make her age at marriage 25. Her father was recorded as being William Francis Hartridge, gardener. The witness to the marriage were E. O'Connor and E.J Hartridge. William and Annie had three children:

William Francis Cecil Maynard
Born: 21 Sept 1910, birth registered at St George Hanover Square.
Married: Elizabeth G Pugh in 1931 in Epsom.
Died: 6 Feb 1967 Epsom.

Frederick Ernest George Maynard
Born: 13 Oct 1911 birth registered at St George Hanover Square.
Frederick was baptised in St Barnabas church in Temple Road, Epsom on 14 January 1912. William was shown as a Sergeant in the Grenadier Guards, living at I.3. Chelsea barracks.
Married: Olive May
Died: Jan 1995 Surrey

Evelyn Cecily Maynard
Born: 1915 Epsom, mother Hartridge.
Died: aged 3 months. She was buried in the Ashley Road Cemetery Epsom, in plot B225, on 26 June 1915. The family lived at 38 Horton Hill Epsom.
In the 1911 census William was a 31 year old, married Grenadier Guards Sergeant in barracks at Caterham. Annie aged 26 and the infant William are also shown as living at Caterham, presumably in married quarters.

The 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards were in the 20th Brigade, 7th Division, which disembarked at Zeebrugge on 7 October 1914, and was destined to suffer many casualties fighting in what came to be known as the First Battle of Ypres, and officially ran from 19 October 1914 to 22 November 1914.

At this phase of the war the opposing armies faced each other in a more or less continuous line from the North Sea to the Swiss border. However, there was not yet a complete line of continuous trenches along the whole front. There were gaps in the trench line which in some places could be as wide as 400 yards. The front was beginning to settle down, but around Ypres the front was still somewhat fluid. The Allies were trying to push east, whilst the Germans were desperate to capture Ypres, which was the last major town in Belgium they had not yet overrun.

Ypres Salient - Click image to enlarge
Ypres Salient
Click image to enlarge

Ypres had greater symbolic importance than military importance. The Germans wanted badly to capture it, but the Allies were equally determined that it should remain in Allied hands. The first battle of Ypres was not just fought between the British and the Germans. Belgian and French Armies also held ground around the Ypres Salient. Each side was hoping for a breakthrough, but stalemate was the result.

On 18 October 1914 the 7th Division was ordered to take Menin, and by the next day had reached Gheluvelt, six miles from Menin but was halted by heavy artillery fire, and then forced to retire to their starting point.

Around this period in the war the ability of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) to fly over enemy trenches and report on troop movements became important because the ever increasing trench lines made it impossible for foot patrols to penetrate for reconnaissance purposes. Also at this period a severe shortage of artillery shells caused some batteries to cease firing as they had run out of ammunition.

The following is taken from the war diary of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards:
Monday 19 October 1914. The Battalion moved to Kruseik with the view of attacking the enemy about Geluwe. When the Battalion deployed, orders were given to us to retire and occupy trenches made by the Scots Guards and much work was put into these trenches in the afternoon. At dark however the 21st Brigade withdrew and the CO obtained leave to draw back his line to some support trenches nearly a kilometre in rear the line then ran from the south slope of the ridge on which Kruseik stands to the cross roads to Menin and Werwick a distance of 1,500 yards. The trenches were originally support trenches and not sited either with the view of field of fire or with the view of forming a link in a defensive position. By day the position was held by 2 companies and at night the 4 companies went out on the ridge. By day 2 companies were in support below the crest in trenches in rear of the left centre which seemed to the CO to be the most dangerous flank.

Tuesday 20 October 1914. The work of entrenching was continued during the morning and at midday the attack on the

That's how the diary ends. However on 30 November 1916 Major G Rash, in response to the War Office, wrote:
The period from 20 October to November 6 1914 was occupied in continuous fighting during which the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was very heavily engaged. It was not possible at that time to keep a diary.
     After the Battalion was withdrawn to METEREN I believe the diary was made up. The information at present in the diary was entered by the then Commanding Officer Lt Col M Eaile DSO and myself as Adjutant sometime after the end of October 1914.
     I could complete the Diary myself up to Nov 6 or thereabouts had I the correct dates and my rough notes which are now in England.
The fighting had been so continuous and desperate that it had not been possible to keep a War Diary. William was reported killed between 20 and 26 October 1914. The 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards lost another 78 men killed during the same period.

William's inscription on the Menin Gate Memorial to the missing
William's inscription on the Menin Gate Memorial to the missing
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

He is commemorated on Panel 57 of the Menin Gate Memorial to the missing.

On 15 November 1919 William's widow Annie, signed to acknowledge that she had received 1914 star and clasp that had been granted to William. But it was not until 7 June 1921 that she signed to acknowledge receipt of his British War medal and Victory medal.

We are very grateful for the additional information supplied by members of William's family.
EP SB

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MEREDITH Eric Dunfee, 2nd Lieutenant.

32nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers.
Killed in Action 7 October 1916, aged 20.

Eric Dunfee Meredith
Eric Dunfee Meredith
Image courtesy of Epsom College, photo by Clive Gilbert © 2012

Eric Dunfee Meredith was born at 'Merstone', Springfield Road, Wimbledon on 9 January 1896 (GRO reference: Mar 1896 Kingston 2a 310) to Howard Walter and Blanche Meredith (nee Dunfee). His parents had married on 2 June 1886 at Union Church, Upper Richmond Road, Putney.

In the 1891 census before Eric was born the family lived at 11, Springfield Road, Wimbledon. His 32 year old father earned his living as a shoe merchant, 'employer'. His mother was aged 24 and his two siblings, Howard Douglas aged 3 and Marian Dorothy aged 1 month (born 25 February 1891) were recorded. The family employed three servants.

The 1901 census saw the family living at 8, St Mary's Grove, Barnes. Eric's father was an employer running a builders' hardware business. His grandmother, Ann Dunfee was living with them and they employed three servants.

By 1911 the family was living at 1, Downs Road, Epsom. Eric's father was still running his builders' hardware business, and his brother Howard Douglas was a commercial traveller in builders' hardware, presumably working for his father, whilst Eric was a scholar. Two of his aunts, Sarah and Lilian Dunfee, were visiting, both being 'of private means'. Three servants were employed.

Eric was educated at King's College School, Wimbledon and at Epsom College between 1906 and 1911.

He attested on 27 January 1915, at Epsom into the 19th (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers, a Battalion of the University and Public Schools Brigade, and was given service number 6122. He stated that he was 19 years old, lived at 1, Downs Avenue, Epsom, was unmarried and earned his living as an apprentice hardware merchant, although on 9 March 1916 he described himself as a clerk. He was 5 feet 8 inches tall and had a chest measurement of 35 inches with an expansion of 3 inches. Eric's vision was not perfect, he suffered slight stigmatism and need glasses for reading. His next-of-kin was his father, Howard Walter Meredith of 1, Downs Avenue, Epsom, although his father also used the address of his builder's merchants business, 68 York Road, Lambeth, S.E.

On 1 February 1915 Eric was inoculated against typhoid, and went to France on 14 November with the 19th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. He returned to the UK on 23 March 1916 to take up a commission, and the next day he was posted to the No1 Officer Cadet Battalion at Denham. On 4 August 1916 he took a temporary commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the 32nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers. The Battalion was in the124th Brigade, 41st Division.

The small village of Ligny-Thilloy, on the Somme, was protected by an outer network of trenches and strong points, and the ground over which the village was to be attacked had been turned to thick mud after heavy rainfall. At 1-45pm on 7 October 1916, the much under strength Battalion was ordered to attack enemy positions, with its first objective being Bayonet Trench. Within an hour it became apparent that the attack had failed, and that the first objective had not been reached. The German positions were held in strength and artillery and machine gun fire had mown down the front companies.

Map of Bayonet Trench - click image to enlarge
Map of Bayonet Trench - click image to enlarge

There seems to be some confusion on the exact date that Eric died. The CWGC records the date as 7 October, whereas the 'Soldiers Died CD' records the date as between 4 - 10 October 1916, as does his surviving service record papers. The 'Soldiers Died CD' tells us that between 4 - 10 October two Officers and 77 Other Ranks from the Battalion died.

Eric has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.

Eric's inscription on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing
Eric's inscription on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

The Epsom Advertiser dated 20 October 1916 printed the following:
Second-Lieutenant Eric Dunfee Meredith, Royal Fusiliers, who was killed on October 7th, in his 21st year, was educated at King's College School and Epsom College. He joined the Public Schools Brigade early in 1915 as a private, and was in the trenches in France for five months last winter. He returned to England as a cadet, and after training was gazetted in July. He returned to the front early in September. He was the younger son of Mr. and Mrs. Howard W. Meredith, of 16, Gwendolen-Avenue, Putney (late of Epsom).
The St Martin's Church Roll of Honour states that:
ERIC DUNFEE MEREDITH, was killed in action in France on the 7th October 1916.
Eric was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal, and they were sent to his father who was living at 105, Kenilworth Court, Putney.

It appears that by the time Epsom's memorials were erected, the family had moved to Putney. So what was the link with Epsom that caused his name to appear on the Ashley Road memorial and the St. Martin's church memorial?

Eric was remembered in 'The Times' dated 7 October 1937, in the 'IN MEMORIAM ON ACTIVE SERVICE' column by the following message:
MEREDITH. - In most loving remembrance of Eric Dunfee Meredith, Sec. Lieut., 32nd Royal Fusiliers, who on Oct. 7, 1916, fell while gallantly leading his platoon, in an attack near Ligny Thilloy (Battle of the Somme).
"Let those who come after see to it that his name is not forgotten."
In addition to being commemorated on the Ashley Road memorial, St Martin's church memorial and the Epsom College memorial, his name also appears on the St Mary's church memorial, Putney.

EP SM COL


Epilogue:

On 12 February 1919, Eric's 27 year old sister Marian Dorothy Meredith married Lieutenant Godfrey Horton Ledger of Grove Lodge Epsom, in St. Johns church Putney. When her husband died on 2 April 1946 his effects were worth £1423 17s. 2d. Marian died aged 81 in 1972.

His brother Howard Douglas Meredith married Eleanor Melina Lorden, daughter of Sir John William Lorden MP, on 6 November 1919 in Holy Trinity church, Wandsworth. When Howard died on 13 January 1955 his effects were worth £12,598 5s. 4d.; when his widow died on 3 June 1960 she left effects worth £125,010 16s. 1d.

Eric's father Howard Walter Meredith of The Waldronhyrst Hotel, South Croydon, Surrey died on 5 May 1944, leaving effects worth £28,765. His mother Blanche Meredith of The Sackville Hotel, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex died on 8 May 1952 leaving effects worth £1924 17s. 11d.

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MIDDLETON Alfred, Private. G/17851.

'D' Company 6th Battalion Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment).
Killed in Action 17 July 1917, aged 27.

Alfred's inscription on the Arras memorial to the missing
Alfred's inscription on the Arras memorial to the missing
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Alfred Middleton was born in 1889 (GRO reference: Sep 1889 Reigate 2a 183) to Joseph and Eliza Middleton (nee Geal). Alfred's parents were married in 1874 in the Edmonton registration district.

In the 1881 census before Alfred was born the family lived at the Stables, Lowfield House, Charlwood, Surrey. Alfred's father was a 28 year old coachman and his mother was a 29 year old coachman's wife. He had 3 siblings, Caroline aged 5, George aged 3 and William aged 1.

I have been unable to find them in the 1891 census, but in 1901 they were living at 2, Ashley Cottage, Epsom. Father Joseph was a coachman, and brothers George and William were both grooms. Three more siblings had arrived, Isabelle aged 17, Walter aged 15 also a groom, and John aged 8.

On 10 January 1911 Alfred married Ethel Louisa Matthews, and by the time the 1911 census was taken they were living as lodgers with Charles Whittle at 46, East Street, Epsom. Alfred was working as a gardener. The family lived at 1 Maidstone Terrace, Wyeth's Road, Epsom. Joseph, now 58 was still working as a coachman, whilst brother Walter was a motor car driver and John was a poultry man.

Alfred and Ethel had three children, George Alfred born 1911, William Joseph born 1913 and Ethel Lilian born 1915.

Alfred attested in Kingston on 16 May 1916 and was placed on the Army reserve. His declared age was 27 and he worked as a gardener. He was 5 feet 7½ inches tall, weighed 130 lbs, had a chest measurement of 36½ inches with an expansion of 3 inches. His physical development was good, although the sight in his right eye was only rated at 6/12. He had scars on both knees, and defective upper molars. His religion was C of E, and he lived at 2, Stones Cottages, Linton's Lane, Epsom.

He was mobilised on 19 June 1916 and posted to the 27th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, a reserve battalion. On 1 September the 27th Royal Fusiliers converted into the 103rd Training Reserve Battalion, and Alfred went with it. Then on 3 October he was posted to the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, and on 6 October he embarked for France.

The 6th Queen's Own were in the 37 Brigade, 12 Division, and on 17 July 1917 they were ordered to take back from the enemy a short section of the front line called 'Long Trench', about a mile east of Monchy Le Preux, near Arras. This action was not part of one of the big major battles, but just a small engagement to wrest a piece of trench from the enemy. This sort of aggressive action was demanded by British Generals, to keep the offensive spirit going at all times. Taking back this small piece of trench cost the lives of 34 men from the 6th Queen's, including Alfred, killed in action.

Alfred has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras memorial to the missing, along with 34,784 of his comrades.

The St. Martin's Church Roll of Honour states that "ALFRED MIDDLETON, was killed in action in France on 17th July 1917"

Alfred was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal. His wife signed a receipt for them on 6 October 1921.

EP SM

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MIDGLEY James, Private. 10/629.

1st Battalion Wellington Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
Killed in Action 16 September 1916, aged 23.

James' inscription on the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery
James' inscription on the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Somme.
Image Courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014

James Midgley was born on 14 February 1893, in Christchurch, New Zealand, the son of James Midgley.

Aged 21, James attested on 18 August 1914 at New Plymouth, New Zealand. He stated that he was a carpenter and had been an apprentice to H. Lewis of Hawera, North Island. He had previous military experience, having served with the 'Marton Volunteer Corps'. James was 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighed 146 lbs, had a chest measurement of 33 inches, expanding to 38 inches, a fair complexion, blue eyes, and auburn hair. He had perfect sight in both eyes but only 'fairly good' teeth, and his religion was Anglican.

James left New Zealand on a transport ship on 15 October 1914 and arrived in Egypt on 4 December 1914. He then embarked at Alexandria, Egypt on 12 June 1915, destination the Dardanelles (Gallipoli). He was wounded on 7 August and transferred to a Casualty Clearing Station at Mudros on the Greek Island of Lemnos. On 25 November James boarded hospital ship HS Aqutania bound for the 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, arriving there on 5 December 1915. On 10 January 1916 James was admitted to the 'Convt Hosp Epsom' (Woodcote Park).

James Midgley, aged 23, married 25 year old spinster Elizabeth Thom McCrae on 29 February 1916, in St. Barnabas church, Epsom. At the time of their marriage they were living at 83 Horton Hill, Epsom and James' 'Rank or Profession' was recorded as 'Private W.I.B.' (Wellington Infantry Battalion). James' father was noted as being a deceased boot maker. Until his marriage to Elizabeth, James' brother William Midgley, of Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand was James' next of kin.

James' wife was born in 1891 in Tottenham, London, the daughter of James Douglas and Susan McCrae. In 1911 she had been working as a parlour maid for the Read family in Caterham, Surrey, while her parents and siblings Leonard Douglas and Isabel lived at 377 Croydon Road, Caterham. Her father was working as travelling draper at this time but was noted as a boot maker on his daughter's marriage certificate.

On 13 March 1916 James was placed on the strength of the New Zealand Base Depot at 'Grey Towers', Hornchurch, Essex, and on 8 June 1916 he was returned to his battalion.

Tanks were used for the first time in the Battle of Flers - Courcellette (a phase of the Battle of the Somme), that raged between 15 - 22 September 1916.

At 6.30 a.m. on 16 September 1916 James' Battalion took up its position on a line from the N.W. end of Flers to Abbaye Road - Flers Trench - Cross Roads. From the history of the Welington Infantry Regiment:
The enemy counter-attacked with two companies against the Hawke's Bay Company; but was easily repulsed with rifle and machine-gun fire.

No. 1 Machine-gun Company, under Lieutenant Kibble- white, and the tank, which was moving into position to help the advance of the troops on the Battalion's right, joined in and played an important part in repulsing the enemy. The 1st Battalion then attacked-the two leading companies moving in four waves with two waves from the Wellington-West Coast Company in support behind each of the leading companies. During the attack, the two waves behind Ruahine Company were withdrawn to supporting trench, while the two waves behind the Hawke's Bay Company joined up with that company. The objective was a certain part of Grove Alley, which turned out to be lightly held by the enemy and was taken without resistance.

Shortly after the trench had been taken our right flank was exposed to an attempted attack from the enemy which prevailed for a short time only, and the position was consolidated.

Lieutenant-Colonel Hart, in reporting on the position after its capture, said: "It is considered the enemy's advance just before our attack was an independent attack by them, and this probably accounts for the heavy barrage our men had to cross.

This made our casualties heavy, and we suffered also from machine-gun fire on both flanks.

The two waves of the Wellington-West Coast Company still in support of the Ruahine Company stopped at the support line, a trench running 250 yards behind the front line but ceasing before it reached Ligny Road.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website shows that 88 men from the Wellington Battalions of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force lost their lives on 16 September 1916, including James, who has no known grave and is commemorated on the New Zealand memorial to the missing at Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Somme.

The Caterpillar Valley Cemetery
The Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Somme.
Image Courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014

James had made a will and left everything he owned to his wife.

On 3 May 1917 a pension of 65 per annum was granted to James' widow Elizabeth.

James' widow Elizabeth married Edwin H. Wright in the December quarter of 1917 in the Northwich registration district. James' service papers note that his medals were to be sent to Mrs. E. Midgley at 83 Horton Hill Terrace, Epsom and dated 13 January 1921. This name and address has been crossed out and replaced by, Mrs. E. Wright (widow), 49 Creswell Road, East Twickenham, London, and dated 26 October 1921. He was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.

His memorial scroll was despatched to his widow on 20 June 1921 and his plaque on 3 February 1922.

James is commemorated on Epsom's Ashley Road memorial and the St Barnabas church Roll of Honour.

EP SB

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MILES Albert, Private. L/6211.

2nd Battalion The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).
Killed in Action 29 September 1915, aged 38.

Albert's inscription on Panel 18 of the Loos Memorial
Albert's inscription on Panel 18 of the Loos Memorial
Image Courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2009

Albert Miles was born in Bishopstone, Wiltshire in 1877 (GRO reference: Sep 1877 Highworth 2a 12) to James and Elizabeth Miles (nee Gorton). Albert's parents had married in the September 1875 quarter in the Highworth registration district.

In the 1881 census the family lived at West End, Bishopstone, Wiltshire. Albert's father James was a 30 year old agricultural labourer, his mother Elizabeth was 29. He had three siblings, Beatrice aged 5, Mary aged 1 and a male born on 3 April 1881, who would later be named John. Also with the family was Albert's 14 year old aunt, Ellen Gorton (Garton on the census form).

Albert Miles And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Beatrice Born: 1875 Bishopstone  
Albert Born: 1877 Bishopstone
Died: 29 September 1915 France
 
Mary Born: 1879 Bishopstone  
John Born: 1881 Bishopstone  
Edith Born: 1883 Bishopstone  
William Born: 1885 Bishopstone Served in the 1st Wiltshires
Rose Born: 1887 Bishopstone  
Percy Born: 1890 Bishopstone  

In 1891 they were living in the same place and Albert's father was still working on the farm. There were four more siblings for Albert, Edith aged 8, William aged 5, Rose aged 3 and Percy aged 10 months. Also living with them was Albert's 19 year old step brother, John Gorton.

Albert's surviving 'burnt' service papers record that he attested in London on 22 January 1900, aged 22 years and seven months and had earned his living as a waiter. He had previously served with the 3rd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment but had left by 'purchase'. He was 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighed 135lbs, had a chest measurement of 33½ inches with an expansion of 2 inches, a fresh complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. He religion was Church of England. Albert's early military career was quite varied:

Home 22 January 1900 7 June 1900
South Africa 08 June 1900 19 May 1901
Home 20 May 1901 23 October 1901
India 24 October 1901 10 December 1901
Burma 11 December 1901 09 February 1903
India 10 February 1903 13 October 1903
Aden 14 October 1903 08 January 1904
Home 09 January 1904 21 January 1907

Albert does not appear in the 1901 census as he was away fighting in the Second Boer War in South Africa. But his parents were still living in Bishopstone and his father James was working with cattle on the farm.

In 1907, after eight years exemplary service having committed no offences, Albert transferred to the Army reserve.

Albert married May Powell on 22 February 1908 in Leatherhead's parish church. They had two children, Emily Barbara born 29 July 1910 in Banstead and Norman Albert Stephen born 7 September 1912 in Epsom.

The 1911 census records 33 year old Albert, his wife, 33 year old May and daughter, 8 months old Emily, living at 24, Oatland Road, Burgh Heath. Albert was working as a postman for the G.P.O. Albert's parents and siblings John and Percy were living at 4, Brook Cottage, Twyford, Wantage, Berks.

On 8 March 1912, at the age of 34, he joined the Army again, at Kingston, signing on for four years. It was recorded that he had a deformity of the left foot, due to a previous accident.

The Soldiers Died CD states that Albert enlisted in London but that he lived in Epsom. His medal card tells us that he won the 1914 star and clasp, and that he went to France on 7 September 1914. He was therefore at the age of 37, one of the original BEF, an 'Old Contemptible'. As an Army reservist he would have been called up immediately on the outbreak of war. About a third of the original BEF were reservists.

Soon after Albert's recall, his wife May who was living at 115, The Common, Epsom, was granted a weekly separation allowance of 17s. 6d. (87½ pence) and an allotment of pay of 5s. 10d (29 pence).

Albert's service record tells us that on 18 October 1914 he received a shrapnel wound to his thigh and that he left France on 30 October, presumably to recover in the UK. He returned to France on 2 May 1915.

The 2nd Buffs were in the 85th Brigade, 28th Division, and on the 28 September 1915 at 9-30am were to assault the Dump of Fosse 8, after a fifteen minute artillery bombardment. A small action in the battle of Loos. They had difficulty in reaching the starting point for two reasons. First the trenches were congested with the dead, and with wounded troops waiting to be relieved. Secondly, part of the proposed start point was still in enemy hands. Whilst forming up, several casualties were sustained from shellfire. When the attack did commence it was greeted with the fire from at least eleven machine guns, firing from the miners' cottages and Slag Alley. Cheering men from B and C Companies gained the edge of the Dump and clambered up the 30 foot high crumbling slopes to gain the summit. The Dump was then plastered with shells of all descriptions from our own guns as well as enemy guns, and the attack was broken.

Hohenzollern Redoubt and Dump - Click image to enlarge
Hohenzollern Redoubt and Dump
Click image to enlarge

After crossing the large expanse of the Dump summit, an attempt was made to reach the enemy at the foot, but it was hopeless and those who had made the attempt were shot or grenaded. The survivors reformed and returned to the original trenches leaving over a hundred men killed or wounded on the Dump.

The guns now stopped firing and bomb fighting commenced. Barricades had to be built to keep the enemy in check. Slag Alley was held by the enemy but A Company drove them back and accounted for about fifty. At this time German hand grenades were far superior to British hand grenades, the very good Mills bomb was yet to be perfected. British grenades had to be lit with a match or lighted cigarette, so were susceptible to damp conditions.

On the 28 September 1915, 135 men from the 2nd Buffs were killed including Albert, who is commemorated on Panel 18 of the Loos Memorial.

From 29 May 1916, Albert's wife May was granted a weekly pension of 21s (£1-5p) for herself and two children.

On 28 June 1919 Albert's Great War medals were sent to his wife May at 115, Church Side, The Common, Epsom. On 18 October 1919 May sailed with only her son from Southampton to Philadelphia aboard the SS Mauritania. On 23 August 1920 Albert's memorial scroll was sent to her C/O Mr. E. Powell, 312 Holly Street, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

For his Boer War service Albert was awarded the South Africa medal, with Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal clasps, and for his service in the Great War he was awarded the 1914 star, British War medal and the Victory medal.

EP CC ESO

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MILES John Robert, Private. 538.

7th Battalion East Surrey Regiment.
Killed in Action 21 December 1915, aged 24.

John's headstone in Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue
John's headstone in Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

John Robert Miles was born in Kent in 1891 (GRO reference: Mar 1891 Malling 2a 608) to John Robert and Minnie Marie Miles (nee Pointer).

In the 1891 census the family lived at West Malling, Kent. John Robert was 2 months old, and his father, also named John Robert was a 26 year old farm waggoner. His mother Minnie was also 26, and he had a brother Alfred aged 3.

In 1901 they lived in Offham Lane, Malling, Kent. John Robert senior was now described as a farm manager, but was still a worker. John had two more siblings, Lilly aged 6 and George aged 3. George would also serve in the war.

Three more children were born to the Miles family, Edward Cecil born 1901, Leonard born 1904 and Ivy Minnie born 1908. John did not marry.

The 1911 census shows the family still living in West Malling, Kent. John's father was working as a farm bailiff and John himself was a domestic gardener. His mother stated that she had given birth to 8 children and that 7 were still living.

John was one of the first to volunteer, attesting in Epsom on 28 August 1914. His age was stated as 23 years and 8 months. He was 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighed 135 lbs, had a chest measurement of 35 inches with an expansion of 2 inches, a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. His physical development was described as good, and he had perfect vision. He gave his occupation as gardener, and although I can find no evidence, I suspect that this was his link to Epsom, working as a gardener in one of the many big houses in Epsom at that time.

Although badly burnt, John's service papers survived the blitz. He spent his first 9 months in the Army training, and was shipped to France on 1 June 1915, his Battalion being part of 37th Brigade, 12th Division. He would have seen action in the later stages of the battle of Loos, which he apparently came through unscathed, only to be hospitalised on 20 November 1915 with influenza. After spending some time in the 5th General hospital at Rouen he was discharged to duty and rejoined his Battalion on 18 December 1915. John was to live only three more days, being killed in action on 21 December. The Battalion was holding the line near Festubert in what was deemed to be a quiet area. The East Surrey History for December 1915, states:
The month had been a very quite one and casualties slight: 4 other ranks killed and six wounded.
John was one of the four killed, probably by shellfire or sniping. In due course his belongings, medals, plaque and scroll were sent to his father at Fatherwell Cottages, West Malling, Kent.

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

The Epsom Advertiser dated 7 January 1916 printed the following:
PTE. J.R. MILES.- KILLED. The sad intelligence has been received this week that Pte. J.R. Miles, of the 7th Service Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, has been killed in action. Before enlisting this gallant soldier was a gardener and resided at 10, Treadwell-road.
John is buried in plot V A 8, Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue. This however, was not his first grave, after the war when the battlefields were restored, his body was exhumed and reburied at Pont-Du-Hem.

EP EB

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MILNES Dennis, Able Seaman. London Z/1720.

Hawke Battalion Royal Naval Division, Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve.
Killed in Action 8 May 1917 aged 20.

Able Seaman Dennis Milnes's inscription on the Arras Memorial
Able Seaman Dennis Milnes's inscription on the Arras Memorial.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2007

Bernard Dennis C Milnes was born at Portsmouth on 8 April 1897 (GRO reference: Jun 1897 Portsea 2b 491) to Alfred and Hannah Milnes (nee Bowman).
In the 1901 census the family lived at 94, St Stephens Road, East Ham. Dennis's father Alfred was a 49 year old steam engine maker. I could not find his mother in the 1901 census. From the 1890 and 1901 censuses he had 5 brothers and 3 sisters.

Dennis was not a member of the Ewell school boys association in 1913, but an L Milnes of 'Tregenna' Heatherside, was, possible his brother Leslie (born 1890).

Dennis' service history tells us he enlisted on 11 May 1915, and was on a draft for MEF on 9 September 1915, joining Hawke Battalion Royal Naval Division. The service history also tells us a little about his medical history. He was away from the battalion suffering at one time from indigestion and another time from impetigo.

Alfred's next of kin was his father, and his home address was Tregenna, Heatherside Road, Ewell. Before the war Dennis had been a clerk.

Hawke battalion was in the 189 brigade 63 (Royal Naval) division. The division fought in the Battle of Arras (9 April to 15 May 1917). Their phase of the battle was the Battle of Arleux (28/29 April).

Dennis died on 8 May 1917 and is commemorated on the Arras memorial Bay 1.

The June 1917 edition of the Ewell Parish magazine reported with deep sorrow the loss of another of the All Saints choir boys, Dennis Milnes.

BH EW ES AS

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MOORCROFT Frederick John, Airman 1st Class 13076.

42nd Squadron, Royal Flying Corps.
Died 3 August 1917, aged 20.

Fredrick Moorcroft
Fredrick Moorcroft
Image courtesy of the Moorcroft family © 2009

Frederick John Moorcroft was born in 1896, (GRO reference: Dec 1896 Epsom 2a 21) the son of Richard Knight and Agnes Lydia Moorcroft (nee Lee). Richard Knight Moorcroft and Agnes Lydia Lee, were married in 1874 in the St Olave registration district.

At the time of the 1881 census, before Frederick was born, the family were living at 113, Falmouth Road, Newington. Frederick's father was a 27 year old coal merchant's clerk. His mother was 25. There were two older sisters Agnes Lydia born in 1878 and Alice Mary born in 1880. Agnes Lydia died in 1931 aged 52, and is buried in plot A246A, Epsom cemetery. Alice Mary died in 1916 aged 36, and is buried in plot A122A, Epsom cemetery.

The Moorcroft Family c.1896
The Moorcroft Family c.1896
Image courtesy of the Moorcroft family © 2009

Between 1885 and 1886 the family moved to Woodbine Cottage, Station Road, Epsom. The 1891 census shows that Frederick had gained five more siblings, Susannah Elizabeth born 1882, Richard Knight born 1884, Lydia Kate born 1886, Maud Lucy born 1889 and George Augustus born 1890. Richard Knight died in 1919 aged 34 and is buried in plot A122A, Epsom cemetery. Maud Lucy died aged 6 in 1895, and is buried in plot A122A, Epsom cemetery. Frederick's father was a 37 year old commercial traveller. Another sibling Mary, was born in 1893, but died aged just 2 in 1896.

No. 6 Mill Road
No. 6 Mill Road
Image courtesy of the Moorcroft family © 2009

In the 1901 census Frederick John, now aged 4, was living with his parents at 'Farmhurst' Mill Road, Epsom, Surrey, in the ecclesiastical parish of St Martin, with his older siblings Agnes aged 22, Alice 20, Susannah 18, Richard 16, Lydia 14 and 10 year old George. His father's occupation was noted again as commercial traveller and his brother Richard as a commercial clerk. (Frederick's father died in 1925 in Epsom Surrey).

The 1911 census shows the family still living at 'Farmhurst', Mill Road, Epsom, and Frederick's father was still working as a coal trade traveller. Brother Richard also worked in the coal trade, whilst George was a miller's assistant, and Frederick himself was a 14 year old schoolboy. Sisters Agnes and Alice were still at home.

A 'Frederick John Moorcroft' appears on the Lloyds war memorial (Opens in a new window) in London but it is unconfirmed that he and 'our' Frederick are one and the same person, but no other 'Frederick John Moorcroft' is shown in free BMD between 1860 and 1900. 'By June 1916, before the introduction of compulsory service, 2,485 men from Lloyd's had undertaken military service. On 2 July 2008, Lloyd's commemorated the members of Lloyd's who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars with the unveiling of a two new War Memorials. The unveiling took place outside the original Lloyd's 1928 frontage on Leadenhall Street at 11am. The War Memorials are a tribute, not only to those brave men who lost their lives, but also to every man and woman who contributed to the protection of Lloyd's, and the surrounding areas, during both wars.'

Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2
Image source Wikipedia (Opens in a new window)

Frederick was an Airman 1st Class with 42 squadron RFC. 42 squadron was formed in February 1916 at Netheravon with crews from 19 squadron and was equipped with BE2D and BE2D planes. In April 1916 it moved to Filton, and on 8 August 1916 was deployed to St Omer. In April 1917 a detachment was sent to Abeele, Belhium, and reequipped with RE8s, which were mainly used for reconnaissance sorties, spotting for the artillery and taking aerial photographs.

Frederick's service record has not survived, but as a first class airman would have presumably been working behind the lines at Abbele airfield, so may have been killed by shelling

Frederick, was killed in action on 3 August 1917 and is buried in the Maple Leaf Cemetery, Romarin, Neuve Eglise, Belgium.

Frederick's headstone in the Maple Leaf  Cemetery
Frederick's headstone in the Maple Leaf Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2008

The Epsom Advertiser dated 17 August 1917 published the following:
AN EPSOM AIRMAN'S DEATH. First Air Mechanic Frederick John Moorcroft. R.F.C., who met his death on active service on August 3rd, aged 21, was the youngest son of Mr. R.K. Moorcroft, Mill-road, Epsom.
He was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

Front of Fredericks's medal card
Front of Fredericks's medal card.
Image courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk (Link opens in a new window)
Copyright 2008, The Generations Network, Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
Ancestry Logo

From the CWGC: Son of Mr. R.K. and Mrs. A.L. Moorcroft, of "Farmhurst", 6, Mill Road, Epsom.

The St Martin's roll of honour states: FREDERICK JOHN MOORCROFT was killed in action in France on 3 August 1917.

EP SM.

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MORLEY Charles James, Private. 9886.

3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.
Killed in Action 16 September 1914, aged 26.

The Morley Family
The Morley Family
Image courtesy of Trev Nicholas ©2012

Charles James Morley was born in Silvertown, London in 1888 (GRO reference: Dec 1888 W. Ham 4a 83) to Henry James and Elizabeth Morley (nee Wade). Charles' parents married on 27 August 1882 in Stanford Le Hope, Essex.

In the 1891 census the family lived at 167, New Barn Street, West Ham, London. Charles' father was a 41 year old general labourer. His mother was aged 30, and he had three siblings, Madelina Elizabeth aged 8, Henry Philip aged 7 and Louisa aged 4.

Charles James Morley And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Madelina Elizabeth Born: 1882 Silvertown  
Henry Philip Born: 1884 Plaistow
Died: 19 September 1914 France
Known as Philip Henry and just Philip
Louisa Born: 1886 East Ham Died: 1945  
Charles James Born: 1888 Plaistow
Died: 16 September 1914 France
 
Grace Edith Born: 1891 Plaistow  
Ada Rosetta Born: 22 October 1896 Isleworth
Died: 27 June 1971
 

In the 1901 census the family lived at 24, Crown Road, Cheam. Charles' father was still earning his living as a general labourer, and two more siblings had been born, Grace Edith aged 9 and Ada Rosetta aged 4.

In 1911 Charles' family lived at 112, Lower Court Road, Epsom. His 60 year old father worked as a stoker at one of Epsom's asylums. His sister Grace Edith aged 19, was working as a laundry maid. Also living with them was Charles' 50 year old uncle John and 4 year old niece Minnie Wade. Charles' 50 year old mother stated that she had been married for 29 years and that she had given birth to six children and that five were still living. Charles was serving with the 4th Battalion Worcester Regiment at Bareilly, India.

In the LCC book recording the war service of Council employees, Charles is recorded as having worked at the Long Grove asylum. Having previously been in the Army, he would have been on the reserve and called up immediately when war broke out.

Charles, Henry and a friend
Charles, Henry and a friend
Image courtesy of Trev Nicholas ©2012

Charles went to France with his battalion on 14 August 1914, sailing from Southampton to Le Havre aboard S.S. Bosnian, reaching his final destination Rouen, on 16 August. The Battalion was in the 7th Brigade, 3rd Division and fought in the retreat from Mons to Le Cateau, the battles of the Marne and the Aisne. Between 16 and 19 September the Battalion faced the enemy at Vailly, just north of the river Aisne and sustained casualties from shelling. Charles was killed in action on 16 September probably by this shellfire. He was the only man from the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment to lose his life that day. However, between 7 and 30 September, 51 men from the Battalion were killed.

Charles has no known grave and is commemorated, with his brother on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.

Charles' inscription on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.
Charles' inscription on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

The La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.
The La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

The panel showing the Morly Brothers names
The panel showing the Morly Brothers names on the
La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

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

EP LGH SB

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MORLEY Philip, Private. 10466.

3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
Killed in Action 19 September 1914, aged 29.

The Morley Family
The Morley Family
Image courtesy of Trev Nicholas ©2012

Henry Philip Morley was born in Plaistow in 1884 (GRO reference: Mar 1884 W. Ham 4a 175) to Henry James and Elizabeth Morley (nee Wade). Philip's parents had married on 27 August 1882 in Stanford Le Hope, Essex. Henry Philip is shown in the 1901 census as Philip H, and on later records as just Philip.

In the 1891 census the family lived at 167, New Barn Street, West Ham, London. Philip's father was a 41 year old general labourer. His mother was aged 30, and he had three siblings, Madelina Elizabeth aged 8, Louisa aged 4, and Charles James aged 2.

Henry Philip Morley And His Siblings
Name Born - Died Notes
Madelina Elizabeth Born: 1882 Silvertown  
Henry Philip Born: 1884 Plaistow
Died: 19 September 1914 France
Known as Philip Henry and just Philip
Louisa Born: 1886 East Ham Died: 1945  
Charles James Born: 1888 Plaistow
Died: 16 September 1914 France
 
Grace Edith Born: 1891 Plaistow  
Ada Rosetta Born: 22 October 1896 Isleworth
Died: 27 June 1971
 

In the 1901 census the family lived at 24, Crown Road, Cheam. Philip's father was still earning his living as a general labourer, and two more siblings had been born, Grace Edith aged 9 and Ada Rosetta aged 4.

In 1911 Philip's family lived at 112, Lower Court Road, Epsom. His 60 year old father worked as a stoker at one of Epsom's asylums. His sister Grace Edith aged 19, was working as a laundry maid. Also living with them was Philip's 50 year old uncle John and 4 year old niece Minnie Wade. Philip's 50 year old mother stated that she had been married for 29 years and that she had given birth to six children and that five were still living.

In 1911 Philip was a Private in the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment at Straff Barracks, Western Heights, Dover.

Henry Philip Morley married Minnie May Sturgess in St. Barnabas church, Epsom on 25 December 1912. Henry's worked as a stoker, and lived at 112 Lower Court Road, Epsom whilst Minnie's address was 21 Chuter's Cottages, Epsom. Minnie's brother George Henry William Sturgess also died in the war.

Their son, Philip Leonard Morley was born in the September quarter of 1913, but he died aged 2 days and was buried in Epsom cemetery on 26 August 1913 in plot F292. At the time of his death the family was living at 26 Church Road, Epsom. In the June quarter of 1915 the birth of Philip H Morley was recorded.

Philip went to France with his battalion on 14 August 1914, sailing from Southampton to Le Havre aboard SS Bosnian, reaching his final destination Rouen, on 16 August. The Battalion was in the 7th Brigade, 3rd Division and fought in the retreat from Mons to Le Cateau, the battles of the Marne and the Aisne. Between 16 and 19 September the Battalion faced the enemy at Vailly, just north of the river Aisne and sustained casualties from shelling. Philip was killed in action on 19 September probably by this shellfire. Sixteen other men from the Battalion lost their lives that day. To have gone to France so early in the war Philip must have been a regular soldier or a reservist recalled to the colours, but as his service papers have not survived we cannot be sure.

Philip has no known grave and is commemorated, with his brother on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.

Philip's inscription on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.
Philip's inscription on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

Another view of the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.
Another view of the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

Detail from the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.
Detail from the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial to the missing.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2012

Philip has an entry in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour:
MORLEY, P., Private, No. 10466, 3rd Battn. The Worcestershire Regt.; served with the Expeditionary Force in France; killed in action 3 (sic) October 1914.
Philip was awarded the 1914 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.

On 10 March 1919 Philip's widow Minnie married soldier Oscar Taylor in St. Martin of Tours Church, Epsom. Minnie was living at 21 Chuter's Cottages, whilst Oscar was living at Woodcote Camp, Epsom.

EP SB


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MOTH Ernest Solomon, Rifleman. 2658.

3rd Battalion Rifle Brigade.
Died of wounds 25 Oct 1914, aged 24.

Ernest's headsone in the Boulogne East cemetery
Ernest's headsone in the Boulogne East cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2008

Ernest Solomon Moth was born on 22 February 1890 (GRO reference: Jun 1890 Camberwell 1d 71) to Charles and Elizabeth Esther Moth, (nee Garrood). His parents had married in 1884.

ERNEST SOLOMON MOTH AND HIS SIBLINGS
NAME BORN NOTES
Mabel Laura December quarter 1884 Camberwell Died March quarter 1885
Charles William December quarter 1885 Camberwell  
Elizabeth Caroline December quarter 1887 Camberwell  
Ernest Solomon June quarter 1890 Camberwell Died 25 October 1914
Laura Sarah March quarter 1892 Havant  
John Christopher September quarter 1893 Havant  
Leonard Francis June December quarter 1895 Havant  
Nelson Ronald September quarter 1900 Havant  
Ivy Mary December quarter 1902 Havant Died December quarter 1902
Victor Dudley December quarter 1904 Havant Died June quarter 1905
Gordon Frederick September quarter 1906 Havant Died September quarter 1906
Norman Henry September quarter 1908 Havant  

In 1891 Charles and Elizabeth were living in Warblington Row, Warblington Hampshire. Charles was a 27 year old parchment maker. His wife, Elizabeth, was 26 and they had three children: Charles William aged 5, Elizabeth Caroline aged 3 and Ernest Solomon aged 1.

By 1901 census the family had moved to Main Road, Bedhampton, Havant Hampshire. Charles, 37, was still a parchment maker, Elizabeth was 36, Charles junior, aged 15, was an apprentice parchment maker. Four more siblings had arrived Laura Sarah aged 9, John Christopher aged 7, Leonard Francis aged 6 and Nelson Ronald aged 7 months . Judging from the registration districts of the children, the family moved from Camberwell to Hampshire sometime between 1890 and 1892. William Fryatt, 18, Charles's nephew was also living with the family and was bricklayer's labourer.

In 1911 they lived at 12, Brockhampton Lane, Havant. Charles was still making parchment, whilst John and Leonard were both shop boys. Four more siblings had been born but three had died before their first birthday, but brother Norman Henry born in 1908 had survived. Solomon's mother Elizabeth stated she had given birth to 12 children and that 8 were still living.

Ernest first enlisted on 3 February 1908, at the age of 17 years and 11 months, at 19, Commercial Road, Portsmouth, into the 3rd Battalion Rifle Brigade. The officer who recruited him, Captain Faith, recommended him with the statement "Smart and likely recruit. I have seen his birth certificate. 18 years of age on Feb 22nd 1908". Ernest was 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighed 103lbs, and had a chest measurement of 34 inches with an expansion of 3 inches. He had a fresh complexion, brown hair, brown eyes, a mole on his right cheek, a small scar on his left elbow, and his religion was Church of England.

Although he had signed on for seven years, by mutual agreement Ernest served just over five years before transferring to the reserve, on 7 March 1913. His five years were relatively uneventful. He gained a good conduct badge on 6 February 1910, but forfeited it on 15 July 1910, and received 10 days confined to barracks. His offence was twofold, i. "Neglect of duty when on sentry. (Not responding to the N.C.O. at 4am). ii. Found in an officers tent at 5am. His good conduct badge was reinstated on 15 July 1911. In February 1911 he was inoculated against typhoid.

The papers detailing his transfer to the reserve state that his conduct was very good, he was steady and sober, and was to be a labourer in civil life. It was noted that his certificate of education was 3rd class, and that he was a marksman. He was serving at Tipperary, Ireland at the time, and gave his intended address as 15, Church Lane, Ealing. He had grown a bit and was now 5 feet 9 inches tall. Mention is made on the papers to the Superintendent, Horton Asylum, Epsom, and as he appears on the staff 'Roll of Honour 1914-1919 Horton Mental Hospital Epsom' memorial he must have worked there albeit for only a short time.

It was only 17 months from Ernest's return to civil life to the outbreak of war, and he was recalled to the colours very quickly, serving again in his old Battalion, the 3rd Rifle Brigade, which on the outbreak of war was placed in the 17th Brigade, 6th Division. The 3rd Rifle Brigade had been quartered in Ireland but was ordered, with the rest of the 17th Division to concentrate near Cambridge. By early September the Division was fully equipped and trained, and on the 10 September 1914, it landed at St Nazaire and proceeded to the Western Front, where it became embroiled in the 'Race to the Sea'. The process whereby each army tried to outflank the other, dug trenches, and formed the 400 or so mile long Western Front. By the 11 October 1914 the Division was in the area around Bailleul and Armentières. Between 13 October and 22 October the 3rd Rifle Brigade lost 78 men, 67 killed in action and 11 dieing of wounds. The majority of these have no known graves, and are commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial to the missing. Most of the men commemorated at Ploegsteert were killed in the course of the day-to-day trench warfare which characterised this part of the line, sniping, shelling or in small scale set engagements.

On 19 October 1914 Ernest Solomon Moth received a shrapnel wound to his scalp. He was evacuated by the 17 Field Ambulance to No. 7 Stationery Hospital, Boulogne, France. He did not recover and died of his wounds on 25 October 1914 and is buried in Boulogne East cemetery plot III A 8. The CWGC records his parents as living at 3 Negus Cottages, Mitcham Junction, Surrey.

Ernest's effects (not listed) were duly passed to his father Charles Moth at 3, Negus Cottages. Later between 1919 and 1921 his scroll, memorial plaque, 1914 star with clasp, British War medal and Victory medal were sent to his next of kin.

EP HWH

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MURRAY, Charles William, 2nd Lieutenant.

KRRC 9
Killed in Action 25 September 1915, aged 19.

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

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MUSPRATT Alfred George, Private. 85138.

Royal Army Medical Corps.
Died 9 May 1919, aged 21

Private Alfred Muspratt's headstome in St Mary's Churchyard, Ewell
Private Alfred Muspratt's headstome in St Mary's Churchyard, Ewell
Image courtesy of Hazel Ballan © 2012

Alfred George Muspratt was born in 1898 (GRO reference: Mar 1898 Westhampnett 2b 361) to Charles and Flora Muspratt (nee Humphrey).

In the 1901 census the family lived Fitznell Cottages. Alfred's father was a 43 year old domestic gardener. His mother Flora was 36, and he had five siblings William aged 13, Flora aged 11, Frederick aged 9, Mary aged 7 and Dora aged 5.

Alfred died on 9th May 1919 and is buried in St Mary's Churchyard, Ewell, SE part of old ground. In addition to being buried in the churchyard he is also commemorated on the memorial a few yards away.

Fighting in the Great War had ceased on all fronts at 11am on the 11 November 1918 (except against the Bolshevik Russians), although technically the war with Germany did not end until 28th June 1919. Alfred may have died of wounds, but quite possibly he was a victim of the great flu epidemic that killed many millions worldwide around that time.

SM (Buried St Mary's).

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