WW1 Kingsbury Episcopi

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This publication contains some background information on each of the men who were killed in the First World War. Their names are recorded on the War Memorials within the Civil Parish of Kingsbury Episcopi and it is this name that appears at the top of each man’s pages of information. There is also information about the men’s families. Four years of research by the
Kingsbury Time Travellers, the local area History Group, have unearthed a wealth of photographs, documents, maps and memories. Through the Kingsbury Time Travellers’ Facebook page, we have been able to link up with people and families connected to these men, and so uncover more material.

WW1 & THE PEOPLE OF

THE PARISH PROJECT

CROSSING PATHS

100 YEARS ON

1918-2018

In memory of

the men from the

Civil Parish

of

Kingsbury Episcopi

who fought in the

First World War

Lest We Forget

Kingsbury Episcopi 1911 Civil Parish Boundary


PHOTOGRAPH OF THE CENTENARY COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE

These plaques were made in 2018 as part of the WW1 and the People of the Parish Project.

Each red pin represents the home of a man who was killed in WW1. See the text for each man

on the following pages to find out who lived where.

2

The green pins represent the homes of the men killed in WW2: William J. Darch, Michael

D.A.Evans, Kenneth N.Hebditch, William E.J.Lintern, Robert H.Lock, Adrian O.Malcolm-King,

Joseph W.Oaten, Albert W.G.Pocock.


INTRODUCTION

This publication contains some background information on each of the men who were killed in

the First World War. Their names are recorded on the War Memorials within the Civil Parish of

Kingsbury Episcopi and it is this name that appears at the top of each man’s pages of information.

There is also information about the men’s families. Four years of research by the

Kingsbury Time Travellers, the local area History Group, have unearthed a wealth of photographs,

documents, maps and memories. Through the Kingsbury Time Travellers’ Facebook

page, we have been able to link up with people and families connected to these men, and so

uncover more material.

The booklet is one element of a larger project – WW1 and the People of the Parish Project. This

had financial support for 2017-2019 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. We also raised money to

enable us to complete all the elements of the project, which included creating Centenary

Commemorative Plaques in six public-access buildings within the Parish.

The Kingsbury Time Travellers website is another element of the project:

www.kingsburytimetravellers.org.uk

The War Memorials record the names of the men who died in the First World War, but there

were many others who served and survived. Some of these names are recorded on the Absent

Voters List for 1918. The names of 98 men from the Parish on this list are in the back pages of

this booklet. There may be others, younger than 19 years when the war ended, whose names

we do not yet know.

In a rural area such as this, many agricultural workers, in reserved occupations, served the country

by producing food and withies (willow) for the war effort. Women played their part by working

both inside and outside the home, in nursing, the Women’s Land Army, or in munitions

factories.

This publication is dedicated to all those of the First World War generation, whether or not we

know their names, whose sacrifices helped to create the world we now enjoy.


GEORGE BONNING

4

Rank, service number

and regiment

Stoker 2nd Class K/38613 Royal Navy

Enlisted 14th December 1916

Home address

No.3 on the Plaque

Thorney Cottages, Thorney Road, K.E.. The 1911 census pinpoints

his home near to Thorney Mill and the old Rising Sun

Inn. Thorney Cottages was confirmed in 2017 by Carol Sills, a

living relative.

Date of death

20 January 1917. Died from pneumonia.

Age of death

29 years

Circumstances of death George had enlisted in the Royal Navy on 14 December 1916.

He was on the shore-training establishment HMS Vivid II,

Devonport. George succumbed to pneumonia and was taken

to the Royal Naval Hospital, Stonehouse, Plymouth where he

died on 20 January 1917.

Where buried

Kingsbury Episcopi Burial Ground (Official War Grave)

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

8 August 1887 at Thorney. GEORGE THOMAS BONNING

1911 - Carter at Withy Factory

Parents

James Bonning 1862 - 1937 withy/willow stripper and Elizabeth

Bonning (nee Dimmick) 1865 - 1910 a kid-glove machinist at

home. They married on 22 August 1882.

Spouse and children

George married Olive Harvey of K.E. in 1909. Olive was a glover

working at home. They had a daughter

Lilian Gwendoline Bonning born 1910.


Awards

George was ready to take part in a theatre of war but died after contracting

pneumonia during training. He therefore was awarded the

British War Medal only. According to his service record his conduct

was ‘very good’.

5

Other information

George was 5’ and ½'' tall with a chest expansion of 39''. He had

black hair, hazel eyes and a fresh complexion.

His daughter - Lilian Gwendoline Bonning - married Edward G

Reed in 1930. Their children:

Alec G Reed b.1932 and Vernon B Reed b.1934.

His parents James and Elizabeth Bonning had 9 children. We have

names for seven of them:

Lilian b.1883 – d ?

Frederick Henry b.1885 – d.1968

George b.1887 – d.1917

Eliza b.1888 – d ?

Harriet Beatrice b.1891 – d.1923

Ellen Louise b.1894 – d.1972

Harry (Henry) b.1897 – d.1926

Harry (Henry) Bonning also served in WW1. He survived the war,

but died in 1926 aged 29 yrs. His photo is shown below.


JOHN COLLINS

6

Rank, service number

and regiment

Private 13964 10th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment

Enlisted Enlisted Taunton 1914

Home address

No.22 on the Plaque

Harris’ Corner, Lower Burrow. Possibly first house on the left,

now called Orchard Corner.

Date of death 29 August 1916

Age of death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

Parents

Spouse and children

39 years

The 10th Battalion Devonshire Regiment was initially sent to

France and Private John Collins embarked there on 22 September

1915 but they were suddenly diverted via Marseilles to

Salonika, Greece. This move had been precipitated in mid -

October 1915 by Bulgaria making an alliance with Germany &

Austria. At the request of Greece, Britain and France therefore

sent troops to Macedonia to counter Bulgarian aggression.

In July and August 1916, after some months of garrison

duties, the 10th Battalion were in the front line repulsing

Bulgarian attacks successfully. By the end of September

1916 nearly a third of the 10th Battalion had been admitted

to hospital suffering from malaria or dysentery with fatal

outcomes. John Collins was such a casualty. He died in No.4

General Hospital Salonika, Greece.

Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetary, Salonika,

Greece.

1877 at High Ham, Langport, Somerset.

ROBERT JOHN COLLINS

Agricultural Labourer

Robert and Mary Collins of Fountain Cottage, High Ham,

Langport, Somerset. Robert was a farm labourer.

John married Bessie Melena (nee Male) at St Martin’s Church

K.E. on 20 September 1911.


Bessie Melena Male was the daughter of George Male, farm labourer,

of Lower Burrow, K.E.

John and Bessie had one child Hilda Irene Collins born 12 October

1912 and baptized at St. Martin’s Church on 8 December 1912.

Bessie Melina Collins (nee Male) as a widow married John Tett, a

farm labourer of Church Street, K.E. in 1920

7

Awards

Silver War Medal, Victory Medal, 1914/1915 Star.

Other information

According to the 1911 census, John was working on a dairy farm in

Lydlinch, Dorset, where he lodged. His designation on the census

was ‘servant’ and his occupation carter.

His home with Bessie at Harris’s Corner, Lower Burrow is shown on

the map. Notice the number of orchards then in existence in Lower

Burrow and Stembridge.


HARRY DOWN

8

Rank, service number

and regiment

Enlisted

Home address

No.2 on the Plaque

Private 201989 1st/4th Battalion (City of Bristol) Gloucester

Regiment

Taunton 1915

2 Duck Cottages, Thorney. He grew up in

2, Rosebank, Owl Street, East Lambrook.

Date of death 23 July 1916

Age of death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

23 years

Harry died at the Battle of The Somme. The 1st/4th Battalion,

Gloucester Regiment were at the heart of the Battle of The

Somme in July 1916. The Battalion was in trenches in Ovillers

La Boiselle and they suffered severe bombardment from German

artillery shells. Harry was a casualty along with 30 others

on 23rd July 1916 and such was the ferocity of the attack that his

body was never recovered.

Harry is commemorated on Pier and Face 5A and 5B of

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, Somme, France. This Memorial

bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men

who died in the Somme sector before March 1918 and who have

no known grave.

1893. HENRY DOWN

Agricultural labourer

Parents

Edwin James Down and Rosina Down (nee Marks) – of Owl

Street, East Lambrook.

Edwin was an agricultural labourer, Rosina was a glover.

Spouse and children Beatrice Rose Down (nee Lock) of Thorney, born April 1890,

married 26 Dec 1915, died 1982.

Beatrice was a machinist in the gloving trade.

Harry and Beatrice went to live at Low Ham, on a small holding.

Beatrice returned to 2 Duck Cottages, Thorney after Harry’s


death and then later moved back to K.E. The photo top right of page 8

shows Beatrice as a young woman, right, outside 2 Duck

Cottages, now re-named 2 Duck House. She never remarried and died

in Yeovil in 1982, aged 92 years.

They had a daughter Phyllis Edna Down, born November 1916, who

Harry never saw as he died in July 1916.

9

Awards

Other information

British War Medal and Victory Medal

Harry was the older brother of John Down who was killed in action

in March 1918.

When living in East Lambrook, Harry and John lived next door to

Joseph Walden. Their sister married Ben Russ. Both Joseph and

Ben were also killed in action.

These are Harry’s siblings on the 1911 census:

Louisa Marks - born 1890 – glove maker

Bessie - born 1891 – glove maker

Harry Down – born 1893, died 1916 - Farm labourer

John - born 1894 – farm labourer

Mark - born 1897 – farm labourer

Edwin James - born 1899 – school

Frederick H -born 1901 – school

Florence Amy - born 1904 – school.

Harry’s daughter had a son, Colin, who gave us photos of the

family for the archive. Colin’s daughter Lynne is shown in the arms

of Beatrice, below, her great-grandmother – Harry’s widow.


JOHN DOWN

10

Rank, service number

and regiment

Sergeant 22454 8th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry

Enlisted Castle Cary, Somerset 1915

Home Address

No.31 on Plaque

2 Rosebank, Owl Street, East Lambrook in the 1901 census.

Date of death 3 March 1918

Age at death

24 years.

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

The 8th Battalion. Somerset Light Infantry were engaged in

responding to the Kaiserschlact or German Spring Offensive in

1918 and were defending the south-east side of the Ypres salient.

Sergeant Down, according to the Battalion Diary, was one of 4

casualties of German gunfire whilst in a front-line trench between

1 March and 5 March 1918. He was initially buried near

to where he was killed in Bass Wood. This and other small burial

plots were moved to the much larger Hooge Crater CWGC

Cemetery after hostilities had ceased.

Hooge Crater Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Cemetery, near Ypres, Belgium

1894. JOHN DOWN

Farm Labourer

Parents

Spouse and children

Awards

Edwin James Down and Rosina Down (nee Marks), married

1889.

John was unmarried

British War Medal and Victory Medal.


11

Other information

According to the 1911 census, Edwin James Down, John’s father, was

a farm labourer, Rosina, his mother, was a glove maker. They had the

following children at home in 1911:

Louisa Marks born 1890 – glove maker

Bessie born 1891 – glove maker

John born 1894, died 1918 – farm labourer

Mark born 1897 – farm labourer

Edwin James born 1899 – school

Frederick H born 1901 – school

Florence Amy born 1904 – school

Harry, John’s older brother, who was not living at home in 1911, was

also killed in the war. Brothers Mark and Edwin James also went to the

war but both survived. Mark was in the Army Veterinary Corps.

The Down family lived next door to Joseph Walden of Willow Cottage.

Bessie Down, their sister, married Ben Russ. Joseph Walden and Ben

Russ were also killed in the war.

An extract from the census is shown on the below.


WILLIAM ELLIOTT

12

Rank, service number

and regiment

Enlisted

Home Address

No.27 on Plaque

Private 50625 14th then 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire

Regiment

Taunton

1 The Cross, West Lambrook confirmed by living relatives.

Date of death 4 September 1918

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

19 years

William was killed in action whilst his Battalion was engaged in

pushing German forces back around Lens, France. The Germans

had successfully overrun the area during the Spring Offensive

earlier in the year. The fighting was desperate and William’s body

was lost in the action.

As his body was never recovered, William is commemorated

on panel 22 to 25 of the Loos Memorial to the Missing, which

commemorates over 20,000 soldiers who were killed in this area

and who have no known grave. Five of his Battalion comrades

are also commemorated on this memorial.

1899. FREDERICK WILLIAM EDWARD ELLIOTT

Occupation Unknown. In 1911 census he was at school as he was just 11

years old.

Parents

Spouse and children

William James Elliott and Annie Jane Elliott (nee Hutchings).

William was born in Watergore and was a shepherd. Annie was

born in Yeabridge and according to the 1911 census, they were

living in Yeabridge.

William was unmarried

Awards

British War Medal and Victory Medal.


13

Other information

Information from a great nephew of F W E Elliott:

F W E Elliott was admitted to hospital on 27/8/1918 with a gun-shot

wound to his left hand and was transferred to another hospital the

same day.

No./designation of ward - WT500 units 5 Casualty Clearing Station.

Index of Admission 181, rank - Pte, Serial no. 26035, Reg no 50625 -

killed in action.

We believe that William went back to the front line after recovering

from his hand injury and was then killed in action a few days later on

4th September 1918.

William James Elliott and Annie Elliott had 4 children:

George Elliott married Edna, they had 2 children Joan & Daniel.

Frederick William Edward Elliott, b.1899, d.1918. His medals are

shown below.

Dorothy Elliott b.1901, d. 1990, married Charles Stuckey, they had one

child Kathleen Gladys Stuckey.

Charles Elliott b.1907, married Doris Stuckey, they had 2 children,

Margaret and Mary.


HERBERT G. FANNING

14

Rank, service number

and regiment

Able Seaman Z/1656 Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

Enlisted 1916

Home Address

No.17 on Plaque

Chestal, Priory Avenue, Taunton, Somerset. This was his address

from 22 June 1916 when he married Rose Fanny Pine. Prior to

this, according to the 1911 census, he was living with his adoptive

parents the Rev. & Mrs. Phillips, The Vicarage, now Kingsbury

House, K.E.

Date of death 10 April 1918

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

Parents

Spouse and children

32 years

Herbert was on the destroyer HMS Magic. It was damaged by an

explosion when it hit a mine at Loch Swilly off Northern Ireland

on 10 April 1918. There were 25 fatalities including Herbert. His

body was not recovered.

Herbert is commemorated on Panel 29 of Plymouth Naval Memorial

to the Missing, Plymouth, Devon.

28th September 1885. HERBERT GEORGE FANNING

Bank Clerk at Stuckey’s Bank, Langport, then Parrs Bank, Taunton.

Herbert was born in Maidenhead Berkshire to Robert John

Fanning and Isabella Fanning (nee McMasters). Robert worked

for HM Treasury as a county court examiner/auditor. Isabella

died in 1890 when Herbert was five years old. Robert was killed

in a boating accident in the Menai Straits in August 1893 when

Herbert was seven years old.

Herbert married Rose Fanny Pine on 22 June 1916 in Taunton. In

1911 Rose was working as a milliner in Taunton and living at 33

North Street. They had no children.

After Herbert’s death, Rose went on to marry a prison chaplain in

Birmingham in 1922.


15

Awards

Other information

British War Medal, Victory Medal.

The 1891 census records Herbert was boarding with his father at 7 The

Parade, Rhyl possibly on holiday as his father was keen on sailing. He

was then 5 or 6 years old.

In 1901, aged 15/16 years, having lost both parents by this date, Herbert

was living at the Royal Masonic Boarding School for Boys in Lordship

Lane, Wood Green, London. Newspaper reports of his father’s death in

1893 mention the masonic connection. This school is still standing, now

Wood Green Crown Court, see photo below.

Herbert came to live in the Vicarage in K.E. after his adoption by the

Reverend and Mrs Phillips.

Herbert was the youngest by 10 years of three brothers.


JOHN FRENCH

16

Rank, service number

and regiment

Private 23/2185 2nd Battalion, Otago Regiment, New Zealand

Expeditionary Force

Enlisted Enlisted in New Zealand on 14 December 1915.

Embarked to France via Suez, Egypt on 1 April 1916.

Home Address

No.23 on Plaque

Lower Burrow, K.E.. This was probably the house opposite

Palmer’s End Drove, plot 474 on Tithe Map, occupied by Henry

French and family and William Elliott and family, then two

cottages.

Date of death 1 October 1916

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

24 years

The Otago Regiment was engaged in the Battle of Transloy,

within the overall context of the Battle of the Somme which ran

from 1 July 1916 to 18 November 1916. There were many casualties

in the Otago Regiment mainly through intense German

machine-gun fire. The bodies of many of those lost were never

recovered due to the ferocity of the fighting.

John’s body was not found in the intense fighting on the battlefield.

He is commemorated on the Caterpillar Valley (New

Zealand) Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, France.

22 March 1891. JOHN FRENCH was known as JACK in the

parish.

Farm labourer on 1911 census; and labourer on his NZ attestation

form.

Parents

Spouse and children

Henry French, general labourer born 1869 and Rhoda French

(nee Elliott) born 1858, kid glove maker. They married 20 July

1882. They had four children: Bessie, William, George and

John.

John was unmarried


17

Awards

Other information

War Medal and Victory Medal.

John went to the USA in March 1910 and worked for some months in

an electrical factory in Schenectady, New York State. By April 2nd 1911

he is back home in KE as a farm labourer, living with his parents. Then

in July 1912 he again leaves home, emigrating to NZ on the SS Athenic

with his brother George and wife Alice (nee Male). George is listed as

his next of kin when John signs up in 1915 to join the New Zealand

Expeditionary Force.

According to his NZ attestation record he was 5’ 10” tall, dark complexion,

brown hair and blue eyes. His chest measurement was 37” with an

expansion to 41”. He weighed 11 st 7 lbs.

The photo below shows:

Henry French (L), Charlotte Elliott and Rhoda French (R) – John’s parents

and his grandmother in the middle (Rhoda’s mother). They were

all living in the house opposite Palmer’s End Drove. Photo from the

archive of Jane Elliman, a descendant of this family.


ELI GILLETT

18

Rank, service number

and regiment

Enlisted

Home Address

No.9 on Plaque

Private 320851 12th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment

Yeovil

Probably Robin Cottage, K.E. His wife’s sister, Kitty Eves (nee

Harvey) ran the post office from Robin Cottage.

Date of death 17 August 1918

Age at death

38 years

Circumstances of death

Where buried

The overall strategy for the Allies in August 1918 was to engage

in a series of limited attacks in quick succession, aimed at liberating

vital railway supply lines. The Germans had suffered heavy

casualties during their ambitious spring offensive in 1918

‘Kaiserschlact’, and its army was suffering from low morale and

exhaustion. Nevertheless, whilst some its commanders believed

the tide had turned in favour of the Allies, Ludendorff the German

Commander-in-Chief refused to accept this. The 12th Battalion,

Norfolk Regiment was engaged around Morebecque and

Hazebrouck northern France, trying to capture German trenches

and Eli was killed, with several from his battalion, by German

stick bombs.

Le Grand Hasard Military Cemetery, Morbecque, Northern

France, Plot 2 Row E Grave 13.

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

Parents

1879. ELI GILLETT

Sadler/harness maker

Albert Gillett and Mary Jane Gillett (nee Talbot). Mary Jane died

in 1890 having had six children. Albert married again in 1898 -

to Mary Ann Mounter. Albert was a farm labourer.


19

Spouse and children Elizabeth Gillett (nee Harvey). Married 24 August 1905.

Elizabeth died aged 94yrs on 25 March 1976 and is buried in K.E. burial

ground.

Children:

Mary born 1906. This was “Molly” Bishop, whose voice can be heard

reciting The Kingsbury Poem on the film about K.E. “Them Bells”. This

film, made in 2004/5, involved many local people in its production.

It can be found on the KTT DVDs - Our Hundred: Films and Photos

from the Parish.

George Harvey born 1907.

Albert born 1909 died 1979. He married Margaret Drusilla Male in

1912. Their son has helped with this project.

Awards

Other information

British War Medal and Victory Medal.

The photo of Eli Gillett above also appears on page 5 of ‘The Way We

Were’ village book as an apprentice boy outside the saddler’s shop

owned by John Coate Bishop. No date is on the photograph. The boy is

approx. 10-14 years old, which would date the photo at the 1890s.

The 1901 census shows Eli working for and living-in with William

Nelson, a sadler, in Eling, Totton, New Forest. Eli’s designation was

“servant”. Possibly he was an apprentice, he was 21/22 years old at this

time.

Eli went to New York in 1907, joining his brother-in- law Herbert

Mounter in Schenectady. Herbert was married to Jemima, older sister to

Eli’s wife, Elizabeth. Eli returned home to K.E. after about a year.

Eli’s widow Elizabeth and her sister Annie commemorated the deaths of

their husbands Eli Gillett and Walter Talbot in a stone tablet in

St.Martin’s church – see photo below.


FRED GRINTER

20

Rank, service number

and regiment

Regimental Sergeant Major 14058 40th Brigade, Royal Garrison

Artillery

Enlisted Sandown, Isle of Wight 1896

Home Address

No.18 on Plaque

Tremara or house next to Tremara, now demolished, Church

Street, K.E. He then moved to 115 Grosvenor Street, Southsea.

Date of death 10 November 1918

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

41 years

On 6 November 1918 Fred was admitted to No. 26 Military Hospital

Etaples, France with Broncho-Pneumonia symptoms. He died

on 10 November of influenza, one of the casualties of the Spanish

Flu epidemic. He was the 34th and last man from K.E. to lose his

life in WW1. He died a day before the end of the war.

LA20, Etaples Military Cemetery, France

1876 FRED GRINTER

Occupation Ostler, then career soldier from 1896

Parents

Spouse

Children

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives the following

information: Son of

William and Hannah Grinter; husband of Florence Eva Grinter, of

115, Grosvenor St, Southsea. Native of K.E. Martock, Somerset.

Florence Eva Tilley (1880-1959) of 115 Grosvenor Street, Southsea,

Hants. Married 27/09/1905.

William John Frederick b.1907 Cupar, Fife. Florence Hilda Louise

b.1909 K.E. Reginald James George b.1911 K.E.

Percy Albert Edward b.1912 K.E.


21

Awards

Other information

Fred was an artillery instructor with the RGA until being posted overseas

to France in April 1916. He was awarded the Silver War Medal

and the Victory Medal. Prior to WW1 he was awarded the Army Long

Service and Good Conduct Medals.

In 1881 Fred was living with his grandparents George and Mary Grinter

in Muchelney. In 1891 he was living with a cousin.

In 1896 he joined the Royal Artillery aged 18 years, having already been

in the Hampshire Militia for a number of months.

Fred’s army record survives:

At 18 he was 5’ 9 ¾’’ tall, fresh complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair.

Weight 141 lbs, chest measurement 34½’’ with expansion to 35 ½’’.

He enlisted in 1896 for 7 years. He then extended his service for 12

years, gaining promotion in 1903. He served in Arabia, Cyprus and

Gibraltar. He was already serving in the army when war was declared in

1914.

Fred was mentioned in dispatches:

London Gazette 11 December 1917 sup 30427, page 13076 -see photo

below. This indicates he showed outstanding courage.


DECIMUS GUMMER

22

Rank, service number

and regiment

Enlisted

Home Address

No.14 on Plaque

Private 20771 Somerset Light Infantry & 19461 5th Battalion,

Dorsetshire Regiment

Yeovil

Lavers Row, K.E. This row of cottages was demolished in the

mid 20th century. In living memory the cottages used to

flood regularly. They once stood on the right-hand side of the

Coombe Lane drove, backing onto the ditch, facing south, with

the gable-end facing onto Thorney Road. The photo above

shows their location. There is now a stable in the approximate

location of the cottages.

Date of death 4 October 1917

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

Parents

22 years

In early October 1917 the 5th Battalion Dorset Regiment sustained

heavy casualties trying to wrest Poelcapelle from enemy

control in the horrific closing phase of the Third Battle of Ypres.

This battle is known as Passchendaele. It was infamous not only

for the scale of casualties but also atrocious, muddy battlefield

conditions.

Decimus’s body was never recovered from the deep mud, along

with many others. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial

to the Missing, Panel 92.

21 June 1896. EDWARD DECIMUS GUMMER

General labourer

William Gummer and Martha Ann Gummer (nee Eves) of K.E.

William was a master carpenter.

Spouse and children Dorcas Rhoda Gummer (nee Tribley). They married in 1917.

No children.

Awards

British War Medal and Victory medal.


23

Other information

Decimus Gummer was the 10th child of William and Martha Gummer.

The name Decimus means “ten” in Latin. The census of 1901, see image

below, records the names of eight of their children. Decimus is shown

as Edward D, 4 years old at the time. Bessie, aged 17 years, is a Glove

Machinist, Albert, 15 years is a Carpenter (Journey Man).

Decimus and Dorcas lived in Lavers Row. After the death of Decimus,

Dorcas remarried in 1938 to Frank Quantock. She died on 10 March

1963.

The map below dates from 1903 and shows the location of the cottages

of Lavers Row, marked in red.


VINCENT HARVEY

24

Rank, service number

and Regiment

Enlisted

Home Address

No.10 on the Plaque

Private 54179 12th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry

10 December 1915, Yeovil

Probably Crate Cottage, K.E. Vincent’s brother lived in Crate

Cottage and family anecdotes point to Crate Cottage as the

home of Vincent as well.

Date of death 15 October 1917

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

26 years

The 12th Battalion was engaged in 1st Battle of Passchendaele,

within the context of the overall 3rd Battle of Ypres, and were

in trenches in Polygon Wood south- east of Ypres. They were

under constant attack from artillery shells and aerial bombardment.

Between 14th and 16th October the Battalion had

99 casualties, of which 25 were deaths - and one of these was

Vincent.

Vincent’s body was never recovered. The terrain around Passchendaele

was saturated from constant rain and churned up

from shelling. Vincent is commemorated on panel 128 to 131

and 162 and 162A on Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing of

Passchendaele, Belgium. The Tyne Cot Memorial commemorates

35,000 officers and men who have no known grave who fell

in battle after 16 August 1917. Those who fell before this date

are commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres

10th January 1891.GEORGE VINCENT HARVEY

Occupation Journeyman Baker on 1911 census. Farm Labourer on 1915

army attestation form.

Parents

Henry and Susan Harvey (nee Talbot), of K.E. Henry was a

carpenter.


25

Spouse and Children Mabel Clark. They married in Huish Episcopi on 7 January 1914.

Mabel was the daughter of Gilbert and Ann Clark (nee Bambury).

Gilbert was a labourer and Mabel was a ‘domestic’ according to the 1911

census.

Mabel & Vincent had two children:-

Thomas Edward Harvey - born 28 March 1914

Ella Christine Harvey - born 4 October 1915

Awards

British War Medal & Victory Medal.

Other information

In 1919 Mabel re-married to Samuel E Cornish. He had served with the

Royal Garrison Artillery but had been invalided out on 23 April 1918

because of burns to face and hands sustained in the line of duty.

Mabel died in 1934 aged 43 and Samuel died in 1968 aged 72.

Vincent’s great-niece was given an official invitation to the Centenary

Commemorations at Paschendaele in 2018. She and her daughter found

Vincent’s name on the Tyne Cot Memorial, see photo below.


WILLIAM KELLETT

26

Rank and regiment

Home Addres

No.25 on the Plaque

2nd Lieutenant 8th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry and 10th

Squadron Royal Flying Corps – Observer.

His last home address, shown on the census of 1911, was Stembridge

Farm, now Stembridge House. William was boarding with

Theophilus and Elizabeth Hunt, retired innkeeper, at Stembridge

Farm.

Date of death 22 January 1917

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

29 years

William’s ‘plane collided with another ‘plane near the airfield at

Chocques, France where the 10th Squadron Royal Flying Corps

was based. William was an Observer. His death was deemed

‘killed in action’. The pilot was called Stanley Woodley, he was

also killed. The number of the plane was BE2gA2744. William

was mentioned in despatches, which indicates he had shown

outstanding courage.

Chocques Military Cemetery, France

December 25th 1887, Leeds. WILLIAM KELLETT

School Teacher for Somerset County Council in 1911 census and

to the time he enlisted with the 8th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry.

He was for some years a teacher at the Kingsbury Episcopi

Council Schools. He embarked for France on 5 October 1916

Parents

Frederick William Kellett 1854-1919 and Hannah Kellett (nee

Midgley) 1855 - 1915 of Leeds, Yorkshire. Frederick was a warehouseman

in 1891, a clerk in 1901.

William’s siblings: Maud Mills b.1876, married 1901 to Cecil

Rayner, Amy b.1878, Kate Ethel b.1881, Laura b.1883, Beatrice

b.1886, William b.1887 d. 1917.


27

Spouse & children

Awards

Other information

William was unmarried

British War Medal, Victory Medal.

William was baptised on 12th March 1891, at St.Agnes and St.Stephen’s

Church, Burmantofts, Leeds, Yorkshire. He was confirmed at All Saints,

Martock on 25th May 1914 and took his first communion at St.Martin’s,

K.E. on 31st May 1914 prior to him enlisting. See photo below, which

shows his confirmation and first communion dates, in a book found in

St.Martin’s vestry in 2018.

William’s homes:

In 1891, 41 Shakespeare St., Leeds.

In 1901 , 15 Tonbridge Place, Leeds.

In 1911 , Stembridge Farm, K.E.

In his will of 1917 his address is given as: 17 Richmond Mount, Headingley,

Leeds, this was his sister Maud’s address.

William was an Observer in the Royal Flying Corps. This was in the earliest

days of what was to become the RAF (Royal Air Force). Men were

initially recruited from the army, to observe and record the location of

enemy trenches. Balloons and then planes were used, which at first were

not armed. There was a high mortality rate as the balloons and planes

were low to the ground in order to see the terrain below, within range of

anti-aircraft artillery on the ground. Later, the planes had guns, and the

observers used cameras to record the terrain.


WILLIAM LOCK

28

Rank, service number

and Regiment

Enlisted

Home Address

No.1 on the Plaque

Driver 58005, 15 Reserve Battery, Royal Field Artillery

1914 Taunton, Somerset

1911 census shows the Lock family at Thorney near to The Rising

Sun. Possibly one of the cottages in the Old Withy Factorywhich

is called Willow Cottage today. William Lock was born at

Bela Vista, New Town, now Little Orchard, which seems to have

been built in 1897 according to legal documents in possession

of the owners. The family may have moved to the Old Withy

Factory, Thorney when one of the cottages became vacant and

his father gained work there. They were certainly in Thorney by

1911.

Date of death 23 January 1915

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

18 years

William enlisted in 1914 and he was attached to a training unit

in the south of England. He died of pneumonia in 5th Southern

General Hospital, Southsea, Hampshire while he was in training.

Portsmouth (Highland Road) Cemetery, Portsmouth, Hants.

1897. WILLIAM LOCK

Farm labourer; carter on his death certificate.

Parents Gilbert Lock and Edith Lock (nee Elliott) married 1893. 1911

census shows that Gilbert was a general labourer in a withy factory.

Spouse and children

Awards

William was unmarried

William did not embark into any theatre of war - possibly because

of his age. As he was still in training when he died he did

not have a medal entitlement.


Other information

Although William was buried in Portsmouth, he is commemorated on a

Lock/Elliott family gravestone in K.E. burial ground.

29

William’s death certificate shows that his mother Edith was present at

his death in the hospital in Southsea. The 1911 census shows William’s

siblings: John born 1895, William born 1897 - died 1915, Ellen born

1906, Percy born 1908.

The photo below shows the cottages in the Old Withy Factory, with a

family outside, sometime at the turn of the 20th century. We don’t

know who they are – could they possibly be some members of the

Lock family?


EDWARD MALE

30

Rank, service number and

regiment

Gunner 174203 265th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery

Enlisted Castle Cary 1915

Home Address

No.26 on the Plaque

Sunshine Cottage, Stembridge. Edward was born at a cottage in

Little Lane, Stembridge, now demolished. See photo at bottom of

next page.

Date of death 6 September 1917

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

Parents

19 years

Edward was a gunner with a siege battery who fired heavy howitzers,

sending large-calibre, high- explosive shells in a high trajectory.

These were used to destroy or neutralize enemy artillery,

strong points, roads and railways behind enemy lines. The 265th

Siege Battery was engaged in the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele)

and was situated in an area called Kruisstraat, south-east

of Ypres. This heavy artillery would be a sitting target for enemy

fire. No battalion record exists for this time but as three other

members of the 265th siege battery were killed on the same day

and were buried in Bedford House Cemetery with Edward, it is

probable that the howitzer took a direct hit from enemy artillery.

Bedford House CWGC Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium

21 March 1898. ALBERT EDWARD MALE

Farm worker

Walter Male and Emma Male (nee Male), married 1891. Walter

was the son of John and Jane Male.

Emma was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Male. Both

families were from Stembridge, distantly related.

Walter was a farm labourer and Emma a glove maker.

Walter and Emma first lived in a cottage in Little Lane, and then

moved to Sunshine Cottage, Stembridge. Hugh Male, a nephew

of Edward who was killed at Passchendaele, remembers visiting

his grandfather Walter in Sunshine Cottage.


31

Spouse and children

Awards

Albert was unmarried

British War Medal and Victory Medal

Other information

According to the 1911 census, Albert Edward had younger brothers

Earl, Edward, Frank and Arthur - and an older brother Theo on the

1901 census.

The map below shows a red dot next to the

cottage in Little Lane where Edward Male was born.

The photo below shows the Male family standing outside the cottage in

Little Lane. Emma is holding the youngest, Arthur. Walter is the tallest

of the three men. Albert Edward Male is the child, far right. Next to him

his brother Earl and far left are younger brothers Edward and Frank.

There is no physical trace of the cottage today.


TOM MOUNTER

32

Rank,service number and

regiment

Home Address

No. 4 on the Plaque

Stoker 2nd Class, K/38646 Royal Navy, HMS Ariadne

Thorney Cottages. Information supplied by Reverend Tom

Stuckey, his grandson.

Date of death 26 July 1917

Age at death

Circumstances of death

27 years

HMS Ariadne was engaged in mine-laying operations off Beachy

Head on the south coast on 26 July 1917. The ship was torpedoed

and sunk by a German U Boat. There was an explosion on

board as the ship was sinking and this killed 38 of the crew and

12 were wounded. Tom Mounter was killed and was brought

home to K.E. for burial.

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

K.E. burial ground (Official War Grave).

25 March 1890 K.E.. TOM MOUNTER

Labourer/Withy Grower

Parents Robert Mounter and Ellen Mounter (nee Glover), married 1886.

Robert was a labourer in withy growing, living in Newtown, K.E.

Spouse and children

Ellen Talbot of KE, married 1911. Ellen was a glove machinist.

Ellen did not marry again after Tom’s death. She died 16 January

1936.

Children:

Frederick R Mounter, born 28 November 1912, married Kathleen

Budge, died 1981 Taunton.

Martha Ellen Mounter - born 5 May 1914, married Howard G

Stuckey in 1934.

Horatio Herbert Mounter - born 5 September 1916, married Iris

Savidge in 1940.


Awards

British War Medal, Victory Medal.

33

Other information

Tom’s Royal Navy record has the following information:

Height 5’ 6 ¼’’, hair – brown, eyes – blue, complexion – fresh. His character

and abilities were recorded as “Very Good”. He had been assigned

to HMS Ariadne on 31 March 1917.

In the 1911 census Tom was living with his parents at Newtown, K.E.

The photos below show, left, Tom’s parents, Robert and Ellen Mounter

and right, Tom and his wife Ellen. Rev.Tom Stuckey, a grandson, records

that Tom Mounter and Ellen lived at Thorney Cottages – he says that

“they used to flood regularly and were not “posh” like they are today.”


GEORGE NEWIS

34

Rank, service number

and regiment

Home Address

No.30 on the Plaque

Lance Corporal 219523, 54th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Crooked Way, Stembridge in 1911 census. From May 1911 he

was living in Ontario, Canada and when married - 73 Cedar

Street, Brockville, Ontario

Date of death 28 October 1916

Age at death

Circumstances of death

25 years

The 54th Battalion Canadian Infantry were engaged in the Battle

of Ancre Heights which was part of the over-arching battle of

the Somme. This lasted from 1 July 1916 to November 1916. The

54th Battalion were in trenches at Courcelette near the town of

Albert. The Battalion diaries show an almost daily toll of soldiers

killed and injured. George suffered serious gunshot wounds on

26 October 1916 and was evacuated behind the lines to one of

the military hospital facilities in Etaples on the French coast near

Le Touquet. Sadly, George’s injuries were so serious that he died

of his wounds in hospital on 28 October 1916 and was buried in

the military cemetery nearby.

Where buried Etaples Military Cemetery, France, where there are nearly 11,000

burials from the nearby military hospital facilities.

Date of birth &

full name

Occupation

Parents

Spouse and children

6 January 1891. GEORGE WOLSEY NEWIS

Farm labourer in Somerset but a Locomotive Fireman for the

Grand Trunk Railway in Canada.

George and Mary Hester (nee Hill), married 1889. George died

in 1912 and Mary Hester in 1916.

Married Jean Kerr on 9 October 1915 in Ontario, she was originally

from Kingston, Glasgow, Scotland. No record of any

children.


Awards

Other information

British War Medal and Victory Medal.

George emigrated to Canada in May 1911 as a labourer.

35

His Canadian army attestation papers show he was 5’ 11” tall, 38” chest,

light brown hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion. His religious denomination

was Presbyterian.

George’s younger brother William Richard Newis also emigrated to

Canada and served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was also a

locomotive fireman with the Grand Trunk Railway, however, he survived

the war.

Another Newis, James, who was probably a second cousin to George W.

Newis, emigrated to Canada in 1903. He farmed at Mervin, Saskatchewan

until he retired to Winnipeg in 1943. He died in 1967.

James Newis’s name appears in error on the War Memorial in St.Martin’s

Church. George Newis’s name is now correctly inscribed on the

Centenary Commemoration Plaque of 2018.

The house in Crooked Way no longer exists. It is shown on a map of

1903, next to the red dot. See photo below. There are fragments of brick,

stone, slate and tiles in the field where it once stood. The photo to the

right of the cap badge shows some of these fragments unearthed on this

site.


FRANCIS J. PERRIN

36

Rank, service number and

regiment

Private 1282, West Somerset Yeomanry/Hussars

Enlisted Taunton 1915

Home Address

No.21 on the Plaque

Lower Burrow Farm, Lower Burrow

Date of death 3 November 1915

Age at death

Circumstances of death

24 years

The West Somerset Hussars were involved with the Gallipoli

Campaign which was generally considered to be a military disaster.

The Allies clearly underestimated the capacity of the Turkish

forces.

The Dardanelles straits were heavily mined and defended by

Turkish coastal forts and gun batteries. The Allies did not advance

more than a few hundred metres from the landing shores

of Cape Helles and Anzac Cove where they were pinned down.

The allies endured suffocating heat and were surrounded by rotting

corpses that drew thick swarms of flies. They lacked water

and thousands died from dysentery as disease spread.

Francis died on 3 November 1915. He was on the Hospital Ship

Kildonan Castle and was buried at sea off the coast of Gallipoli.

It is not clear if he died of wounds or from the dysentery which

affected so many Allied troops.

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

As Francis was buried at sea he has no known grave and is commemorated

on the Helles Memorial. This is an obelisk over 30

metres high on the tip of the Gallipoli peninsula - it can be seen

by ships passing through the Dardanelles.

1891. FRANCIS JOSEPH PERRIN

Farm labourer


Parents

Awards

Spouse and children

Other information

Vile Perrin and Selina (Lily) Perrin (nee Kiddle). Vile was a tenant

farmer in 1911 census

1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Francis was unmarried

Francis had an elder brother Henry and five sisters, Evelyn, Dorothy,

Margery, Violet and Kathleen.

37

In 1891 the Perrin family were at Bere Farm, Aller and in 1901 at High

Ham. By 1911 they had moved to Lower Burrow Farm, Lower Burrow,

K.E.

There is a plaque erected to Francis by his family in the church of St

Martin’s, K.E., see photo below.


NORMAN PIPE

38

Rank, service number and

regiment

Private 1812 and 240373, 2nd/5th Somerset Light Infantry, attached

to 2nd Dorset Regiment.

Taunton 1915

Enlisted

South Petherton

Home Address

No.33 on the Plaque

Owl Street, East Lambrook – possibly house now demolished.

Date of death 29 April 1916

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

21 years

On 29 April 1916 13,000 allied soldiers surrendered and were

taken prisoner after being besieged for 5 months by Turkish and

German forces at the town of Kut-al-Amara, on the Tigris River.

This is in the Basra province of Iraq. The prisoners were marched

to Basra diseased, starving and weak, were beaten en-route and

many didn't survive the march or captivity.

Basra Memorial, Al Basra, Iraq

Feb 5th 1895. Christened in East Lambrook on 22 February

1895. JOHN NORMAN PIPE

Farm worker

Parents

Spouse and children

James Pipe and Ellen Pipe (nee Swain). Married 1894. James was

a farm labourer.

Norman was unmarried

Awards

1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.


Other information

According to the 1911 census Norman was the eldest of 8 children, see

photo below showing part of the census.

Norman, Gladys, Elsie, James, Emily, Fred, Walter & Tilda.

39

The photo of Norman is from a postcard that he sent home to his mother.

The first lines on the back read:

“Just a few words to tell you that I am all right.”

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Norman’s

date of death is 31 December 1916 but this is incorrect. His pension

record and medal rolls contradict this, he died 29th April 1916. As his

body was not found, and so many died either at the siege or en-route to

Basra, there was a lot of confusion about dates of death.

Norman’s name was omitted in error from the War Memorial in St.Martin’s

Church, K.E. This may have been due to the confusion of who died

and who survived the tragic events at Kut. His name is recorded on

the War Memorials in St. James’ Church, East Lambrook and Middle

Lambrook Meeting United Reformed Church. His name is also on the

Centenary Commemorative Plaques, created in 2018 and displayed in

various public-access buildings around the Parish.


THOMAS G. POCOCK

40

Rank and regiment

2nd Lieutenant 4th Battalion, The King’s (Liverpool) Regiment

Home Address

No.12 on the Plaque

The Manor Farm, now Manor House, K.E.

Date of death 3 April 1915

Age at death

Circumstances of death

26 years

The 4th Battalion were on their way to relieve front-line soldiers

in the Battle of Neuve Chappelle 10 - 13 March 1915. On 11

March 1915, the Battalion were billeted at Richebourg St Vaaste,

where they were shelled heavily by the Germans. This resulted in

Thomas receiving serious wounds. He was taken behind the lines

to a hospital at Rouen and died of his wounds on 3 April 1915.

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

Parents

Spouse and children

Officers plot A I 12 St Sever Cemetery, Rouen, France

Sept. 9th 1888 Hong Kong. THOMAS GUY POCOCK

Tutor

Thomas Guy Pocock, a Master Mariner, was killed in Hong

Kong by Chinese pirates on 8 December 1890. His mother was

Susan Pocock (nee England) of K.E.. Her father Henry England

was a farmer of 430 acres in K.E. employing 12 men and 9 boys.

Susan died 6 August 1930.

Thomas was unmarried

Awards

1915 star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.


Other information

Thomas had 3 sisters:

Rachel Traves Pocock 1886 - 1938

Marjorie England Pocock 1887 - 1959

Phyllis Mary Pocock 1890 - 1963

41

The 1901 census shows Susan Pocock and Thomas were living in Sydenham

Hill, Camberwell with Mary Martha, one of Susan’s sisters.

In 1904/5 Thomas was head chorister at New College School, Oxford.

By 1911, he was employed as a tutor, while living at The Court, Chew

Magna. This was the home of his aunt, his mother’s sister, Sara Ann who

was married to Edward Netherton Harward.

The 1911 census shows Susan Pocock was living with her mother Susannah

Kiddle England at The Manor Farm, K.E..

In the autumn of 1911, Thomas went to New College, Oxford University.

The photo above shows him in a cross-country race on Christmas

Day 1912, hands on hips.

He would have completed his degree by the summer of 1914. War broke

out in August of that year, and it seems that he enlisted almost immediately,

for his battalion was in France by March 1915. He was killed in

France in April 1915.

His family gave a stained glass window of St.Martin, a Roman soldier, to

St.Martin’s Church, in Thomas’s memory – see photo below.


ERNEST REED

42

Rank, service number

and regiment

Enlisted

Home Address

No.7 on the Plaque

Private 25752 7th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry

Sherborne, Dorset

Milborne Port, Somerset after 1916 but K.E. in 1911 census. His

family probably lived in one of the cottages in Sunnyside, which

was, in a later generation, still connected to the Reed family. The

map above shows an arrow and a red line ringing the cottages in

the Sunnyside area, some of which no longer exist.

Date of death 2 October 1916

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

32 years.

The 7th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry were engaged in the

Battle of the Somme 1 July to November 1916 and trying to gain

German trenches south-west of Gueudecourt. The battalion

came under heavy machine-gun fire and Ernest was killed in

action. Such was the ferocity of the fighting and the turmoil in

battleground conditions that Ernest’s body was never recovered

Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the

Somme

April 25th 1884 East Lambrook.

ERNEST REED

Mason’s labourer

Parents George Reed 1855 - 1923 and Emily Reed (nee Morris) 1854 -

1922. George was a willow-bed labourer. They were married in

St Martin’s 16th November 1880.

Spouse and children

Awards

Gertrude M Reed (nee Chant), born Milborne Port, married

Wincanton 1908. Daughter- Dorothy, born 1909

British War Medal & Victory Medal.


Other information

43

Ernest’s brother Sidney Reed was killed in action in the same year, on

1st July 1916, three months before Ernest was killed. Their cousin James

Henry Lovell Reed also died in WW1 on 24 August 1917.

James was the brother of Millicent Reed, who ran the glove factory in

K.E.for many years.

Ernest and Sidney also had an older sister Bessie born 1883 and a

younger brother Harry born in 1891.

In the 1881 & 1891 census Ernest’s mother Emily is a leather glove

maker.

Ernest’s paternal grandfather was Thomas Reed b.1830

The photo below shows Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the

Somme, where Ernest’s name is inscribed.


JAMES REED

44

Rank, service number and

regiment

Enlisted

Home Address

No.6 on the Plaque

Private 31995 6th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry

Castle Cary

Riverview House, K.E.

Date of death 24 August 1917

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

19 years

In the overall context of the 3rd Battle of Ypres, the 6th Battalion,

Somerset Light Infantry were tasked with capturing German

trenches south of the Menin Road, to the east of Ypres. The

assault lasted 21 - 24 August and 344 of the Battalion were killed,

wounded or missing due to intense German machine-gun fire

and shelling. James was one of those killed in this assault.

James’s body was never recovered and he is commemorated on

the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, Ypres, Belgium, Panels

41 - 42 & 163A.

1898 K.E. JAMES HENRY LOVELL REED

Gardener

Parents Walter Reed 1865 - 1950 and Mary Jane Reed (nee Lovell) 1870

– 1936. In 1891 Walter was an agricultural labourer, in 1901 a

carter on a farm and 1911 a mason’s labourer. Mary Jane was a

glove maker, see Other Information.

Spouse and children

Awards

James was unmarried

British War Medal and Victory Medal


Other information

45

James’s mother Mary Jane Reed ran a gloving business that operated at

Riverview House, from around 1914. The business became J M Reed

and Co. named after Jessica Millicent Reed, her youngest daughter, who

took over running the business and who was known affectionately as

“Aunt Mill” by her workforce.

The Riverview Glove Factory, built next to Riverview House and run by

Millicent Reed, was first built in 1949 – the Green Hut. A new factory

was built in 1955 and operated until 2005, when it finally closed.

Threadneedle Close is on the site of the old factory. The photo below

shows the factory in operation.

James had the following siblings:

Jane Lovell 1891-1961

Edith Priscilla 1892-1979

Beatrice Lilian 1894-1967

James Henry Lovell 1898 - 1917

Walter John 1901-1957

Edward George 1905-1995

Frederick 1907-1994

Jessica Millicent 1909-1965

James’s paternal grandparents were possibly Joseph Reed 1823-1879 &

Priscilla (nee Priddle) 1836-1895. Confusion has arisen because of two

Walter Reeds in K.E. with birth dates 3 years apart. If James’ paternal

grandparents were indeed Joseph and Priscilla Reed, then James Henry

Lovell Reed was second cousin to Ernest and Sidney Reed, who were

also killed in WW1.


SIDNEY REED

46

Rank, service number &

regiment

Home Address

No.8 on the Plaque

Private 15301 8th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry -

sailed to Le Havre, France on 6 October 1915.

Possibly Sunnyside House in Silver Street, K.E. or one of the

cottages to the west of the house. Documents suggest that the

Reeds owned the plot of land behind Sunnyside in the early 20th

century – and a Reed was living in Sunnyside in the 1940s.

Date of death 1 July 1916

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

29 years

The 8th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry was at the opening

of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916. The Battalion Diaries

show clearly that the Allies’ opening barrage which was to have

knocked out German strongholds, armaments and trenches had

not worked.

The Germans had dug themselves in since 1914 with heavy concrete

bunkers and strongholds that the opening barrage did not

touch. The first soldiers out of the trenches at 7.30 am on 1 July

were met with heavy machine-gun fire. Battalion diaries record

that: ‘officers and men were being hit and falling everywhere

but the advance went steadily on’.

A Brigade Major who witnessed it reported it as ‘magnificent’.

The leading platoon lost 50% of its men going across ‘no man’s

land’ which was subject to heavy enemy artillery fire.

Gordon Dump Cemetery, Ovilliers la Boisselle, Somme, France.

This was a concentration cemetery where, after the armistice,

graves were brought in from all over the surrounding battlefields.

This cemetery has 623 identified burials and 1,053 unidentified

burials where the headstone says : ’Known Only Unto God’.

1887 East Lambrook. SIDNEY GEORGE REED

Occupation In the 1911 census - Butcher’s Labourer


Parents George Reed 1855 - 1923 and Emily Reed (nee Morris) 1854 - 1922.

George was a willow-bed labourer. They were married at St. Martin’s

Church 16th November 1880

47

Awards

Spouse and children

Other information

1914/15 Star, the British War Medal, the Victory Medal.

Sidney was unmarried

Sidney was brother to Ernest Reed who was killed in action on 2 October

1916 and a cousin of Henry James Lovell Reed who died 24 August

1917. They all lived in Kingsbury.

Sidney’s siblings in 1911:

Bessie – aged 28 yrs

Ernest – aged 27 yrs

Sidney – aged 24 yrs

Harry – aged 20 yrs

Following the Armistice, correspondence with the Commonwealth

War Graves Commission was conducted with Bessie Barrett (nee Reed)

Sidney’s older sister who married Fred Barrett in 1920.

The photo below shows Sunnyside in the early 20th century, when J.

Jeanes Ironmonger, Grocer and Draper was still in existence. There were

also cottages running alongside the shop. The shop and cottages burned

down sometime in the 20th century. The photo above, next to the cap

badge, shows the site today. The garage with the house set back to it’s

left, was where the shop J. Jeanes once stood. The house with the railings,

Sunnyside, survived the fire.


BEN RUSS

48

Rank, service number

and regiment

Enlisted

Gunner 206207 D Battery 152nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery

(RFA)

South Petherton

Home Address

No.34 on the Plaque

Born in West Lambrook. When married, lived on Heathen’s Hill,

East Lambrook now re-named Hawthorne Hill. This is the address

given on the Absent Voters List. The house may have been

one of the cottages that has since been knocked down. The photo

above shows these cottages.

Date of death 5 September 1918

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

25 years

The 152nd Brigade RFA were engaged in the Battles of Soissonais,

Ourcq and the capture of Baigneux Ridge. Ben was injured

in this battle and transferred to a Casualty Clearing Station behind

the lines at Esquelbecq where he died of his wounds.

Esquelbecq Military Cemetery, Flanders, France

1893. BEN RUSS

Farm labourer

Parents

Spouse and children

Awards

Walter Russ and Elizabeth Russ (nee Best) married 1884 at South

Petherton. Lived at West Lambrook, possibly in the east end of

Tanyard House. Ben was still living at home in 1911, but married

in 1915 and then moved to Heathen’s Hill.

Married at St Martin’s Church K.E. on 8 November 1915, to

Bessie Down (a glover), sister to Henry and John Down of Rosebank,

Owl Street, East Lambrook.

British War Medal, Victory Medal.


Other information

Witnesses at Ben and Bessie’s wedding were Henry Down and George

Down, Bessie’s brother and father. Henry (Harry Down) was killed on

23rd July 1916. Another brother John was killed on 3rd March 1918.

49

The 1911 census shows the members of the Russ family who were living

in West Lambrook:

Walter aged 46

Elizabeth aged 49

Gertrude aged 24

Edward aged 21

Alice aged 20

Ben aged 18

William aged 16

Mary Best (mother in law) aged 84

Ben’s sisters were glove makers. Ben, his father and brothers were farm

labourers.

The photo below shows Esquelbecq Military Cemetery, Esquelbecq,

France, near to the Belgian frontier, where Ben is buried.

The Russ family was a large family in the Parish. Russ descendants from

New Zealand visited St.Martin’s Church in 2018. They shared family

research of how the Russ family migrated to the Nelson area in the

1840s and prospered, with members of the family eventually becoming

members of the NZ parliament and owners of vineyards and brewing

enterprises.


DOUGLAS SAY

50

Rank, service number

and regimen

Enlisted

Home address

No.28 on the Plaque

Private 394 12th Battalion, Australian Infantry

26 August 1914, Pontville, Tasmania

The Manse now The White House, Mid Lambrook. After he emigrated,

Melville Street, Hobart, Tasmania.

Date of death 25 May 1915

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

24 years

Douglas’s Battalion was involved in action between Allied and

Turkish forces on the Gallipoli peninsula between April 1915

and January 1916. It was where the soldiers of the ANZAC

troops - the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps - first

went into action during the First World War. Douglas was taken

to hospital seriously wounded by gun shot on 1st May and died

of his wounds on 25th May 1915.

Grave M161 Alexandria Chatby Military and War Memorial

Cemetery, Alexandria, Egypt. His name is also inscribed on panel

67 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial,

Camberra.

Aug 17th 1890. DOUGLAS STANLEY SAY

Occupation Grocer’s Assistant. This was on the 1911 census and on his 1914

Australian Army registration form.

Parents

Reverend George Say and Elizabeth Ann Say (nee Welchman).

George was minister of the Middle Lambrook Meeting of the

United Reformed Church from 1885 – 1922.They lived at The

Manse, Mid Lambrook, now The White House.


Spouse and children

Awards

Douglas was unmarried

1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

51

Other information

Douglas used the spelling SAYE in his Australian Army application.

According to this application, he was 5’ 7” tall, weighed 9st 11lbs, chest

expansion of 32” - 35”, dark complexion, blue eyes and black hair. He

had a scar on his upper lip.

Elizabeth Ann Say, his mother, died on 24th December 1910 after a

fall from her horse, when the girth broke. She is interred in K.E. burial

ground.

On 6 April 1911 Douglas and his brother Leonard emigrated to Australia,

sailing from Liverpool to Melbourne on SS Runic White Star Line.

Douglas gained employment in Hobart, Tasmania, occupation grocer’s

assistant.

Leonard his brother was killed at Passchendaele in November 1917.

Siblings included Leonard, Ida Winifred, Evelyn Flora, Wilfred, Ralph.

The photo below was taken at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra,

where Douglas is also remembered. His photograph hangs in the Middle

Lambrook Meeting United Reformed Church.


LEONARD SAY

52

Rank, service numbe

and regiment

Enlisted

Home Address

No.29 on the Plaque

Sergeant 506 1st Brigade, Australian Infantry, 1st Machine Gun

Corps (previously the 3rd Battalion Australian Infantry)

31st August 1914 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Originally The Manse, now The White House, Mid Lambrook.

From 1911 Corryong, Victoria, Australia

Date of death 7 November 1917

Age at death

25 years

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

Parents

Spouse & children

The 1st Machine Gun Corps was engaged in the capture of Passchendaele

Ridge within the 3rd Battle of Ypres. The Battalion

diary for 7 November 1917 states that a machine gun received a

direct hit from an enemy shell and a soldier was killed. Due to

the turmoil on the battlefield and weather conditions Leonard’s

body was never recovered.

Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing of the Salient, Ypres,

Belgium.

Aug 9th 1892. LEONARD SAY

School teacher. The photo of him to the right below, outside a

school with a group of pupils is labelled “Toora” which is in Victoria.

He is also recorded as living in Corryong, Victoria.

Reverend George Say and Elizabeth Ann Say (nee Welchman),

George was minister of the Middle Lambrook Meeting of the

Reformed Church from 1885 – 1922. They lived at The Manse,

Mid Lambrook, now The White House.

Leonard was unmarried


Awards

Other information

1914/15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal and Military Medal.

53

According to Leonard’s Australian Army form, he was 5’ 8 ½ ” tall, chest

expansion of 33” - 36”, fair complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair.

Elizabeth Ann Say, his mother, died 24 December 1910 after a fall from

her horse when the girth broke. She is interred in K.E.burial ground.

On 6 April 1911 Leonard and his brother Douglas emigrated to Australia,

sailing from Liverpool to Melbourne on SS Runic White Star Line.

Siblings included Douglas, Ida Winifred, Evelyn Flora, Wilfred, Ralph.

A detailed military record exists for Leonard. In 1915 he took part in

the Gallipoli campaign, as did his brother Douglas, who was killed.

Leonard was reported missing in May 1915, then was found and went to

hospital with wounds. He recovered and went on to fight at Passchendaele

in 1917. He won a Military Medal for bravery 4/5 October 1917:

‘during the attack on enemy positions east of Ypres Say was with a

section of machine guns. His C in C and other Sgt being casualties

leaving him in charge of the section in the early stage of the attack.

He at once took charge and by good handling got his guns into position

and reported in writing to Coy HQrs. By his personal bravery

and cheerfulness greatly encouraged his men under very trying

circumstances. He remained in charge of the section until relieved

the night of 5th October.’

His military record also shows that he came home on leave to England

between 20 October 1917 and 3 November 1917. He was killed on 7th

November 1917.


HENRY STUCKEY

54

Rank, service number

and regiment

Enlisted

Home AddressNo. 5on

the Plaque

Private 202100 2nd/4th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry

1915 or early 1916, Yeovil

Thorney Road, Newtown, K.E.. Relatives have suggested New

Town House, built in 1908, as his home. New Town House is

now called Meadow Croft.

Date of death 29 July 1918

Age at death

Circumstances of death

25 years

Harry embarked into the theatre of war in 1916. The 2nd/4th

Battalion SLI proceeded to India where they had Garrison duties

on the North West Frontier. Then they moved to Egypt, in

actions against the armies of the Ottoman Empire: specifically

to protect the Suez Canal, as this was a vital transit route for the

allied powers.

In the first part of 1918 the head of German forces, Ludendorff,

had unleashed the Spring Offensive to try to take back terrain

gained by the allies. As a back up to this, the 2nd Battle of the

Marne started in July 1918 in north-east France. The 2/4th Battalion

SLI crossed the Mediterranean to Marseille, France, in July

1918 and proceeded through France to the Soissons area of the

Marne.

Harry was killed in action during this battle. The Germans were

pushed back and this was one of the successes which eventually

led up to Armistice in November 1918.

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

Oulchy-Le-Chateau Churchyard Extension, Aisne, France

1893. HENRY STUCKEY. He was known as HARRY in the

parish.

According to the 1911 census, when he was 17 years old, he was

a general labourer.


Parents

Spouse and children

Awards

Other information

Charles Stuckey and Ellen Stuckey (nee Talbot).

The 1911 census tells us Charles was a general labourer and Ellen was a

glove machinist. C. Stuckey and family were living in New Town, probably

New Town House, built 1908.

Harry was unmarried

British War Medal and Victory Medal.

55

The earlier 1901 census shows father Charles as a willow worker. He and

his family lived in Church Street, K.E. at this time.

Siblings:

Lilian b 1889

Harry b.1893, d. 1918

Mabel b 1895

Beatrice b 1898

Gladys b 1903

Harry Stuckey was the cousin of Walter Talbot of Glencoe in Broad

Street, K.E. opposite the Lock-up. He was also killed in WW1, on 7th

August 1917.

The photo, below, shows Oulchy-le-Chateau Churchyard Extension

where Harry is buried.


WESLEY STUCKEY

56

Rank, service number

and regiment

Lance Corporal 7059 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry

Enlisted 1914 Taunton. Landed in Le Havre, France on 21 August 1914

Home Address

No.24 on the Plaque

Little Thatch, Stembridge

Date of death 1 July 1916

Age at death

Circumstances of death

32 years

Killed by machine-gun fire on the first day of the Battle of the

Somme.

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

As Wesley’s body was never recovered, his name appears on

Pier and Face 2A of the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the

Somme, France.

1884. WESLEY STUCKEY

Farm labourer

Parents Walter Stuckey 1858 - 1928 and Susan Stuckey (nee Male) 1856

-1907. They lived at Little Thatch, Stembridge. Walter was a

farmer. The house is still in existence, shown above right.

Spouse and children Married Bessie Monkton of West Lane, West Lambrook in 1912.

Daughter - Gladys E C Stuckey born 1913. She married

Frederick Scott in 1935.

Awards

1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.


Other information

Wesley joined the Somerset Militia in 1903 for a period of 6 years and

his Attestation Form exists. He was 18 years 6 months old. He was a

farm labourer, 5’ 3” tall, weighed 104lbs and had a chest measurement

of 32” with an expansion to 34”, fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown

hair.

57

Wesley had four brothers and four sisters:

Albert b. 1878, Archibald b. 1879, Fred b. 1883

Wesley b. 1884, d. 1916

Martha b. 1885, Sam b. 1887, Mary b. 1890

Elizabeth b. 1893, Florence b. 1898

The only photograph we have found of Wesley is the one shown below

of the Methodist Men’s Bible Class. Wesley can be seen on the back row,

second from the left. Albert, his older brother, back row 4th from the

left. And Sam his younger brother, front row, 2nd from the left. This

photograph was made available to us from Kingsbury Episcopi Methodist

Church, for which we thank them. It has been invaluable, providing

us with many other named faces of men from this era. The woman in

the photo is Amy Willy, who was one of the teachers of the class.


GILBERT TALBOT

58

Rank, service number

and regiment

Enlisted

Home Address

No. 11 on the Plaque

Sergeant 870, 52nd Battalion, Australian Infantry (AIF)

31 August 1914, Blackboy Hill, Western Australia

Crate Cottage, next door to the Wyndham Arms, K.E. After

emigration, Baandee, Western Australia.

Date of death 4 September 1916

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

Parents

Spouse & children

Awards

26 years

The 52nd Battalion AIF were engaged in action around

Moucquet Farm on the Somme. Gilbert’s Australian Army record

includes an eye witness account. This records that Gilbert

was seriously injured in the stomach on 4 September but due

to the ferocity of the fighting he was subsequently recorded as

missing and then declared killed in action. His body was never

recovered.

He is commemorated on the Villers Bretonneux Memorial,

Somme, France where Australians who fell at the battle of the

Somme with no known grave are commemorated. His name is

also inscribed on panel 156 in the Commemorative Area at the

Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

1889 K.E. GILBERT TALBOT. He was known as BERT to friends

and family.

Farmer as on his army record

Gilbert Talbot and Sarah Ann Talbot (nee Tribley). They married

in 1885 and lived next door to the Wyndham Arms in Crate

Cottage.

Gilbert was unmarried

1914/15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.


Other information

59

According to his Australian service record Gilbert was 5’ 9 ¾ ” tall,

weighed 157lbs, chest measurement 35”-37”, fair complexion, hazel eyes

and light brown hair. He had a scar on his right upper arm.

Gilbert emigrated to Freemantle, Australia on 11 January 1907 on the

ship Orotova, with brother Watson and cousin William Trebley. He was

living initially in Perth and then moved east to Baandee.

Blackboy Hill training camp was the birthplace of Western Australia’s

Anzac forces. The first volunteers arrived at the camp on August

17th 1914. Gilbert Talbot enlisted there on 31 August 1914 – so he was

amongst the first volunteers to enlist there. Over 32,000 men passed

through the camp before heading off for war. A Post Office had opened

at the camp by 29th August, and a more permanent camp with huts and

cook houses was built. The initial training here was mainly limited to

marching, drilling, musketry practice and other basic military tasks. It

was used right up until the end of the war, as the high death tolls on the

battlefields of the Western Front meant that battalions were continually

in need of reinforcements.

The photo below shows a view of Blackboy Hill on ANZAC Day, 25th

April. ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the first major military

action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First

World War.


WALTER TALBOT

60

Rank, service number

and regiment

Enlisted

Home Address

No.16 on the Plaque

Lance Corporal 25812 7th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry

1915 under the Derby scheme. This was a scheme put into place

in the autumn of 1915, encouraging men between the ages of

18-41yrs to join up. Many thousands did so but still not enough

to meet the country’s fighting strength goals and so conscription

was introduced in Jan 1916.

Glencoe House, Broad Street, K.E.

Date of death 7 August 1917

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

Parents

Spouse and children

Awards

37 years

Walter was killed in action at Pilkem Ridge during the battle of

Passchendaele. His battalion came under heavy German shelling.

11 men including Walter were killed, 21 wounded and 2 declared

missing.

Bard Cottage Cemetery, IV.B.9 Ypres, Belgium

26 February 1880. WALTER TALBOT

Gardener in the 1911 census. He later became a postman. He

was also a sexton at St. Martin’s Church, and bell ringer.

Frederick Talbot 1853-1920 and Martha A Talbot (nee Lock)

1854-1894. They married in 1873.

Annie Talbot (nee Harvey) 1879-1931. Annie and Walter married

15th October 1901. Daughter Martha Doris Mowbray Talbot

1903-1965 married John Charles Mead 1904-1964 in 1928.

British War Medal and Victory Medal.


Other information

Walter’s siblings:

Sarah b.1875

Herbert b.1878

Walter b.1880, d. 1917

Kate b.1885,

Harry b. 1886,

Jim b.1890

61

Walter was a Somerset Volunteer before he joined up in 1915. He was

picked for special duties to guard Queen Victoria on a visit to the West

Country.

He was also a bell ringer, one of over 1400 bell ringers from Britain who

were killed in WW1.

In 2018 Kingsbury Episcopi Church Bell Ringers recruited four new

members as part of the Ringing Remembers scheme, which aimed to recruit

1400 new bell ringers across the country to ring for the Centenary

of the Armistice on 11.11.2018. The photo below shows the bell ringers

of 2018, including the four new members. Their names are: David Lane,

Roddy Baille-Grohman, Richard Dowdeswell, Phil Shillito, Graham

Beckinsale, Sheila Frost, Mark Wyatt, Pauline Warren , Nelleke Storey,

Nicola Dowdeswell, Janet Elswood, Nick Frost. They walk in Walter’s

footsteps as they climb to the ringing chamber every Wednesday

evening for bell-ringing practice, on Sundays to ring for services and

when they ring the bells for festivals, weddings and funerals.


HENRY TILLEY

62

Rank, service number

and regiment

Enlisted

Home Address

No.20 on the Plaque

Private 36215 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's Wiltshire

Regiment

Taunton

Myrtle Cottage, Folly Road, K.E. confirmed by Ron Parsons in

2018. Ron Parsons lived in Myrtle Cottage with his parents and

Henry Tilley was his uncle.

Date of death 9 August 1918

Age at death

Circumstances of

death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

18 years

The 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment were engaged in pushing

back the Germans in north-east France at Hinges. The Germans

employed small gas shells and machine-gun fire, which injured

and killed many soldiers including

Henry. He was evacuated back to a Casualty Clearing Station at

Pernes, France but died of his wounds.

Pernes British Cemetery, France III B 3, commenced in 1918 for

the burial of soldiers from Casualty Clearing Stations nearby.

Aug 11th 1899. HENRY JAMES TILLEY

Unknown, as he was a schoolboy in 1911 census.

Parents

Spouse & children

Awards

John Thomas Tilley, killed in action 16 September 1916, was a

farm/withy labourer and Sarah Tilley (nee Marks) a glove machinist.

Henry was unmarried

British War Medal, Victory Medal.


Other information

Henry had two sisters:

Annie Louise Tilley 1900 - 1987 married George England in 1922.

Beatrice Dora Tilley 1911 - 1994 married Stanley William George

Parsons in 1928.

Beatrice Dora Tilley is the mother of Ron Parsons who has provided us

with family information.

63

Photographs of Henry, his Victory Medal, Scroll and Bronze Plaque

came to us through an ebay seller, who had obtained them all at an

auction. We were first contacted via Facebook by a collector of First

World War medals belonging to family groups. He had seen the medals

on ebay and was interested in finding out if they were all from the same

family. There are three Tilleys on our war memorial. We asked the ebay

seller if he would send us photos of his collection, which he very kindly

did. Although the medals are now lost to the family, we have given

copies of the digital photos back to Ron Parsons, his nephew. Without a

Facebook presence, we would never have obtained these photographs.

Henry’s father was John Thomas Tilley, who was also killed in WW1.

James Tilley, killed at the Battle of Jutland, is not closely related.

The photo below shows the Bronze Plaque, known as the Dead Man’s

Penny, belonging to Henry Tilley.


JAMES TILLEY

64

Rank, service number

and Regiment

Home Address

No.15 on the Plaque

Petty Officer Stoker 298831 Royal Navy, HMS Fortune

James grew up in Broad Street K.E.near to the New Inn, now a

house called Withy Cutters. He is likely to have lived in one of

the cottages now demolished, at the entrance to Orchard Close,

next to the Pound.

Date of death 1 June 1916

Age at death

Circumstances of

death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

33 years

James died at the Battle of Jutland. HMS Fortune, a Destroyer,

and HMS Ardent got separated from the rest of the British flotilla.

They began to look for German ships to engage and at about

11.30 pm on 31 May 1916 they started to engage four large German

ships. HMS Arden and HMS Fortune were both sunk in the

ensuing fire-figtht. The last anyone saw of HMS Fortune was the

ship afire but still firing guns as it was sinking. All 87 crew members

on the destroyer were lost at sea, including James Tilley.

James’s body was never recovered from the sea so he is commemorated

on Panel 16 of the Portsmouth Naval Memorial,

Portsmouth.

16 October 1883. JAMES TILLEY

Mason’s Labourer, then sailor in the Royal Navy. He originally

enlisted in 1900 with the Somerset Light Infantry but joined

the Royal Navy in 1901. James was at sea from 1901 as Leading

Stoker on S.S. Minotaur.

Parents John Tilley and Sarah Tilley (nee Harvey), they married 1866.

According to a living relative, in 1871 they lived in a cottage

near to New Inn, now a house called Withy Cutters, in Broad

Street. See photo above, which shows the cottages on the right

of the photo. James was possibly born in the cottage in Broad

Street. His parents lived apart after 1891, his mother doing

launry work at home, according to the 1911 census.


Spouse and children

65

James married Lilian Edith Stone in Tynemouth Northumberland in

early 1915. Their subsequent address was The Cabin, Holwell, Buckland

Ripers, Broadway, Dorset. They had no children. Lillian Edith Tilley

went on to marry Reginald Stevens in Weymouth 1925.

Awards

1914/15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.

Other information

According to James’ Naval Record, every year from 1901 to 1916 his

character was ‘very good’. It records James as being 5’ 11” tall with

brown hair, grey eyes and fresh complexion. While on his first tour of

duty he completed a piece of sewing, shown in the photo below. His

mother and sisters were all glovers, so he may have learned how to sew

at home. The sewing now belongs to his relatives living in Cornwall.

They brought it to be displayed at the Centenary Commemoration in

the Community Centre in 2018.

James’ father John Tilley died in Cotford Asylum, Taunton on 4th

November 1916. His mother Sarah Tilley died in 1919.


JOHN T. TILLEY

66

Rank, service number &

regiment

Enlisted

Home Address

No. 13 on the Plaque

Private 3/7260 6th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry

1915 Taunton. Sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne on 21st May

1915.

Myrtle Cottage K.E. confirmed by Ron Parsons in 2018, who

also lived here. His mother was Beatrice Dora Tilley, daughter of

John Thomas Tilley.

Date of death 16 September 1916

Age at death

Circumstances of death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

39 years

The 6th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry was involved in a ferocious

battle to take Gueudecourt and Flers back from the Germans

in the context of the Battle of the Somme, which ranged

from July 1916 to November 1916. Tanks were used for the first

time by the British in this battle, but the machine-gun fire from

the Germans and lack of success of a British creeping barrage

on German emplacements meant there was a heavy death toll of

soldiers. At the end of the encounter the 6th Battalion Somerset

Light Infantry had 44 killed, 215 wounded and 145 missing. John

Tilley was amongst the missing. There were similar heavy losses

amongst the other 7 battalions.

Due to the ferocity of the battle on the 16 September 1916, John’s

body was never recovered. His name is recorded on Pier and

Face 2A of the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme,

France. Note: John’s name is incorrectly transcribed as TILLY on

the Memorial and in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

papers.

1877 Gibraltar. JOHN THOMAS TILLEY.


Occupation

Withy/farm labourer

67

Parents Thomas Tilley (1839 - 1905) and Elizabeth Tilley (nee Talbot) 1847 -

1922. In 1881 they were living in Dudmoor, K.E. In 1901 Thomas was

recorded as an army pensioner. His father Thomas Tilley was a career

soldier serving overseas. His sisters Louisa and Harriet were born in

Malta and Jamaica respectively.

Spouse and children

Awards

Other information

Sarah Marks 1870-1925 a kid glove machinist. They married 19 June

1899. Children of John T Tilley and Sarah Marks: Henry James Tilley

1899 - 1918 killed in action. Annie Louise Tilley 1900 - 1987 married

George England in 1922. Beatrice Dora Tilley 1911 - 1994 married

Stanley William George Parsons in 1928.

1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.

John Thomas Tilley had two sisters:

Louisa 1871 - 1943. Born in Malta. She married Herbert Norris and

emigrated to New York USA in 1891.

Harriet 1880 - 1930. Born in Jamaica. She married Herbert Male a

shepherd in the 1911 census and they had the following children:

Frederick James Male 1898 - 1965

Edward Percy Male 1899 - 1975

Overt Earl Male 1903 - 1986

Melina Louise Male 1905 - 1988

Hubert Thomas Male 1907 – 1995

The photo below shows part of the scroll of John T. Tilley. The photo

was obtained from ebay. See entry under Henry James Tilley for more

information.


JOSEPH WALDEN

68

Rank, service number

and regiment

Home Address

No.32 on the Plaque

Lance Corporal 214 Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry

(PPLI) East Ontario Regiment

Willow Cottage, Owl Street, East Lambrook

Date of death 25 April 1915

Age at death

Circumstances of

death

Where buried

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

Parents

23 years

PPLI were engaged in the 2nd Battle of Ypres to stave off German

advances through the Ypres Salient and were in trenches in

Polygon Wood. The Battalion Records indicate that the soldiers

suffered daily artillery bombardment, zeppelins dropping bombs

and machine-gun fire. Everyday numbers of wounded and killed

were reported. Joseph suffered wounds and died of them on 25th

April 1915. Due to the ferocity of the fighting, his body was lost

and never recovered.

No known grave. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate

Memorial to the Missing at Ypres, together with 54,000 others

whose bodies were never found between 1914 and August 1917.

This covered the 1st and 2nd battles of Ypres. Those lost after

that date are commemorated at Tyne Cot Passchendaele Memorial

to the Missing.

2 November 1890 as recorded on his Canadian attestation form.

JOSEPH WALDEN

Twine-maker (carpets) in the 1911 census, Policeman in Toronto

from 1912 to October 1914, when he joined the Canadian Overseas

Expeditionary force.

Joseph Walden and Harriett Walden (nee Russell), married in

1870, of Willow Cottage, Owl Street, East Lambrook. Joseph

senior was recorded as freeholder, meaning he owned his cottage.

He was a foreman in a twine factory connected to carpet

making, probably The Parrett Works, Martock.


Spouse and children

Awards

Joseph was unmarried

1914/1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.

69

Other information

Joseph emigrated to Canada in 1912. From the Canadian archives,

there is an attestation paper from October 1914 relating to Joseph

seeking to sign up for the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force. It

shows that he had joined the Toronto Police force. The form also tells us

that Joseph was unmarried, was nearly 6ft 1” tall, had a 40” chest when

expanded, a fair complexion, blue eyes and light-coloured hair. He also

had a Union Jack tattoo on his left arm.

Joseph’s Battalion sailed from Canada to England for training on Salisbury

Plain and Winchester in late 1914. Would he have had the time

to visit his family in East Lambrook? The Regiment sailed to Le Havre

and by January 1915 were just south of Ypres. An officer remarks in the

Battalion Diaries on 7 January 1915:

‘just returned from inspecting trenches – all men are over their

ankles in water and some up to their knees – draining is impossible

until the rain stops as the ground is completely flooded. The enemy

are bombarding us with shrapnel shells’.

Photo below shows a map of Polygon Wood, where Joseph lost his life.


HOWARD WILLY

70

Rank, service number

rank and Regiment

Home Address

No.19 on the Plaque

Private 3/7272 Somerset Light Infantry, Commissioned 2nd

Lieutenant, 2nd Battalion Devonshire Regiment 26 June 1917.

Sailed to Le Havre 23 May 1915.

Dudmoor House, K.E.

Date of death 25 November 1917

Age at death

Circumstances of

death

Where buried

34 years

Fatally injured leading his platoon during the

Passchendaele stage of the 3rd Battle of Ypres, whilst attempting

to capture the Passchendaele Ridge to the north east of Ypres.

Initially buried near to where he fell, but his remains were disturbed

by subsequent fighting and the marsh-like consistency

of the ground and were lost. He is therefore commemorated

on Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing at Passchendaele, on the

Addenda Panel.

Date of birth & full

name

Occupation

1883. JOHN HOWARD COLE WILLY

Draper’s Assistant in the 1901 census, Grazier working for himself

in the 1911 census.

Parents

Arthur White Willy and Elizabeth Emily Willy (nee Cole)

married 1880. The Willy family lived at Dudmoor House, K.E.i

Spouse and children

Married Marie Stephanie Simpson in London, in the summer

of 1917. It is unclear how Marie and Howard met. They had no

children. Howard was killed in November 1917, so they were

only married for a few months before he died at Passchendaele.


Awards

1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.

71

Other information

Howard’s father Arthur Willy died in 1916 in K.E. a year before Howard

himself died. His mother died in 1920. His cousin Amy Willy came to

live in Howard’s old home of Dudmoor House with her husband Albert

Norris.

Amy is shown in the photo of the Methodist Mens Bible Class

(see photo under Wesley Stuckey). This photograph has been a useful

source of images of several people we have been researching. It shows

the Methodist Men’s Bible Class, so we are grateful to Kingsbury Episcopi

Methodist Church for allowing us to copy it for the KTT archive.

A relative of Howard Willy, Frank Willy, has been in contact via Facebook

with information about the Willy family locally. One branch of

the family owned and ran a shop in Silver Street, at one point called

Southways Stores. Documents, photographs and family anecdotes have

in this way been donated. We are always grateful for such additions and

pleased to be able to enlarge the Parish’s historical digital archive.

The photo below shows a card and cross left at the Tyne Cot Memorial,

at the base of the panel where Howard’s name is inscribed. The visit to

Tyne Cot was made in 2017 to commemorate 100 years since

Howard’s death at Passchendaele.


72

ABSENT VOTERS LIST

FOR 1918/1919

There was a General Election in Britain on December 14th 1918. All men over the age of 21 years

had the right to vote - and over the age of 19 years for those who were serving in the armed

forces. The men either registered themselves, or family members registered them if they were

away from home. Many service personnel were still overseas in December 1918, so their names

appeared on the Absent Voters Lists. These lists can tell us the names of men who served in

the armed forces, and who survived the war. For the parish of Kingsbury Episcopi, 101 men are

named on the Absent Voters Lists for 1918 and 1919. These are the men who returned from

fighting in the First World War. Their names are below:

AVERY John FRY Ralph

BARRETT Joseph Howard GRIFFITH William

BASTIAN Arthur Henry GUMMER Charles

BECKEY Edwin Darch HALLETT William

BECKEY Crescent HALLETT Frank

BERNARD Sidney Charles HARVEY Fred

BESGROVE Robert HARVEY Harry

BESGROVE Henry James HARVEY George

BONNING Harry HARVEY Henry James

BRADFORD William Frampton HARVEY Job

BRISTER Sidney HEBDITCH William Henry

BUDGE Walter HODDER Albert Edward

BURROWS Samuel John HOOPER Herbert

CLARK James HOOPER Ernest

CLARK William KNIGHT Bernard

CLARK Job KNIGHT Hubert Kavanagh

COGGAN John Henry James LOCK Albert

COX William LOCK Alfred

DARBY Arnold Maitland LOCK Walter

DOBLE Harry LOCK William John

DOWN Mark LONG Robert

DOWN Clifford LOVELL Guy Cecil

DOWN Edwin James LUTLEY Edward Harold B

DUCK Samuel MALE Frederick John

ELLIS Walter Edgar MALE Charles

ENGLAND Earl Wood MALE Frederick James

FISHER Christopher John MANNING Hubert Augustus

FRENCH William MOUNTER William

MOUNTER George RUSSELL William


73

NORRIS Tom SATHERLEY Wybert Leslie

PIPE Edward STUCKEY Edward

PIPE Percy STUCKEY Sam

PIPE Samuel TALBOT Harry

PIPE James TALBOTT Herbert

PIPE Tom TALBOTT Sidney

PITMAN William TALBOTT Edward

PITTARD George TALBOTT Bert

PORTER Albert TALBOTT Sam

PRIDDLE Charles TALBOTT Jim

PRIDDLE Frederick George TALBOTT Winifred

QUANTOCK Frank TATCHELL Gilbert John

QUANTOCK Charles Percy TILLY Arthur Charles

QUANTOCK Alexander TREBILCOCK Percy

QUANTOCK Arthur TREBLEY Charles

RAMSDEN John Sheard TROTT Henry

REED Henry WATTS Ephraim Albert

RUSS William James WATTS William Washington

RUSS Stephen WATTS Wilson Stanley

Vanderbelt

RUSS Reginald WHITE Walter

Three other men were listed amongst the Absent Voters – Eli Gillett, Norman Pipe and Ben

Russ. However, they had been killed before the end of the war - their names are on the war

memorials. So in total we have the names of 132 men who served in the First World War: 98

were Absent Voters, 34 were killed. It is possible that there were other men, under the age of 19

years, who also served. They were too young to vote so their names are not yet recorded here.

This booklet is still a work in progress – we look forward to adding to it as more photos, documents

and names are given to the archive.

Please be in touch if you have information you are able to share about the First World War

generation from this parish.

Contact: Kingsbury Time Travellers via Facebook

Tel: o1935 822654 Email: kingsburytimetravellers@btinternet.com


MAKING CONNECTIONS

With Living Relatives:

To-date, we have been able to establish connections between the 34 men of the Parish who died in

the First World War and...

Carol Sills, Mary White, Colin Bunston, Bryan Harris, Val Hingley, Adrian Male, Paul Elliott,

Susan Vining & Mum, Daniel Elliott, Raymond French, Dave French, Sylvia Margetts, Belinda

Margetts, Bill Elliott, Michael Harvey, Susan Gillard, Paula Florey, Bob Warren, Betty White,

Brian Lock, Martin White, Shaun White, Debbie Keeble, Lesley Male, Hugh Male, Trevor Wilcox,

Jeanette Wilkie, Tom Stuckey, Rodney Male, Ronald Male, Phillip Male, Heather French,

Ron Heathman, Don Darby, Samantha Perrin, Hazel Manning-Johal, Sandra Male, Gillian

Whitworth, Rosemary Pickup, Susan Davies, Jocelyn White, Wendy White, Grahame Reed,

Andrew Reed, Jonathan Allen, Jean Monkton, Janet Elliott, Doreen Marks, Gordon Howard,

Julian Talbot, Jonathan Talbot, Robert Stuckey, Rachel Meare, David Stuckey, Ursula Male, Brian

Stuckey, Kevin Cox, Elaine Heathman, Heather Lock, Jeanette Talbot, Jenny Tucker. Julia

Cartwright, John Tilley, Paul Elliott, Ron Parsons, Ray Oaten, Angela Male, Alan Heskins, Frank

Willy.

With Groups and Organisations:

To-date, the WW1 & The People of The Parish Project has sought, gained support and made

connections with...

The Parish Council, the Footpath Liaison Officer, K.E. Primary School, St. Martin’s Church,

Garden and Countryside Club, Kingsbury Film Club, K.E. Methodist Church, United Reformed

Church of Middle Lambrook, K.E. Community Centre, East Lambrook Manor Gardens, ADPR

Marketing of New Cross, Teapot Creative of Hambridge, St.James Church East Lambrook, The

Rusty Axe, The Wyndham Arms, The Rose and Crown, Coates English Willow, Storey Studios,

Otto Kampf of Wimborne, The Yeovil Heritage Centre, the University of Hertfordshire Basketry

Project, The Jutland Archive, Brimsmore Gardens, The Passchendaele Museum, Somerset

Remembers, SANHS, The War Memorials Trust, Armed Forces Covenant, RNAS Yeovilton,

Heritage Lottery South West.

Over time more living relatives and connections will appear... our work is always one in progress...

please be in contact if you are connected to these men and families of the Parish. We are

still searching for photos, documents, memories of this generation.

Contact: Kingsbury Time Travellers via Facebook

Tel: o1935 822654 Email: kingsburytimetravellers@btinternet.com


75

REMEMBERING WW1

BY MARTYN ARNOLD

This painting by Martyn Arnold has been used as a symbol of our WW1 Project with the artist’s

consent. We have used the image to represent all the men who served, some whose photographs

or even names we do not have.

In 2017 we set up a sunflower-growing competition in the parish to raise awareness of the WW1

Project. We harvested the seeds, and encouraged young and old to grow sunflowers in 2018 to

mark the Centenary of the end of WW1, with the knowledge that sunflowers are easy to grow,

symbols of vitality and life. These seeds will be in the fabric of our Parish in the years ahead.

They perhaps help to signify the legacy of the First World War generation.


Harriet Walden, mother of Joseph Walden

In the last letter that I had from France

You thanked me for the silver Easter egg

Which I had hidden in the box of apples

You liked to munch beyond all other fruit.

You found the egg the Monday before Easter,

And said, ‘I will praise Easter Monday now -

It was such a lovely morning.’ Then you spoke

Of the coming battle and said, ‘This is the eve.

Goodbye. And may I have a letter soon.’

That Easter Monday was a day for praise,

It was such a lovely morning. In our garden

We sowed our earliest seeds,

and in the orchard

The apple-bud was ripe. It was the eve.

There are three letters that you will not get.

Source: Found in attic of Willow Cottage

East Lambrook

Easter Monday

Eleanor Farjeon, April 9th 1917

Lest We Forget

Archiving the Parish & its

people, past & present

Kingsbury Episcopi

Parish Archiving Group

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