Werrington.

Werrington Church c.1900.
St. Martins Church, Werrington c.1900.

Werrington is a civil parish and former manor now in Cornwall, England, formerly before 1974 boundary changes, within the county of Devon. It is situated 1 mile to the west of the River Tamar, the traditional boundary between Devon and Cornwall, and 2 miles north of Launceston.

The churches of Werrington and St Giles, had the status of chapelries in the Middle Ages; the impropriators of the churches of North Petherwin (Tavistock Abbey) and St Stephen’s by Launceston (Launceston Priory). A settlement of the dispute was made in 1500 in favour of the priory which undertook the cost of a resident chaplain to serve both Werrington and St Giles. The original site of the parish church of St Martin was in Werrington Park but it was re-built much to the disgust of parishioners, in 1742 on a new site in the Gothic style; the tower is from the old church. The front in the earliest Gothic Revival style suggests that the architect could have been William Kent. There are two fonts: one is plain and Norman and the other contemporary with the rebuilding. There is a peal of eight bells.

Werrington School was built and owned by the Duke of Northumberland and originally opened on October 2nd 1848 for boys only. They paid a penny to sixpence a week for their education. In the first year there were thirty four pupils on the register.   By 1873 the building had been enlarged and two schools were operating, one for boys and one for girls.   The cost of running the schools was met by subscriptions from the local landowners and occupiers. By 1876 the two schools had merged and became a board school.

Werrington School c.1900.
Werrington School c.1900.

Werrington House (below) or more importantly the occupiers played a major part in the history of Launceston and its surrounding area.

werrington-house-werrington-launceston    werrington-park-photo-courtesy-of-gary-lashbrook

A summary of the descent of the manor of Werrington was as follows:

Crown
Before the Norman Conquest of 1066, the manor of Werrington, in the hundred of Black Torrington,was a possession of Gytha of Wessex (died 1098 or 1107), the mother of King Harold (d.1066). In the Domesday Book of 1086 it is recorded as Ulvredintone. Tavistock Abbey
In about 1066-8 she gave it to Tavistock Abbey, which held it until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Russell
At the Dissolution of the Monasteries Werrington was granted in 1540, together with most of the other possessions of Tavistock Abbey, by King Henry VIII to John Russell, 1st Baron Russell (1485-1555)(later 1st Earl of Bedford). Russell sold the manor to Edward Woodward and Henry and Bartholomew Lucas.

Drake
It was acquired in 1620 by Sir Francis Drake, 1st Baronet (1588-1637), of Buckland Monachorum in Devon, nephew of the famous Admiral Sir Francis Drake (d.1596). In 1631 he obtained a royal licence to empark lands in Werrington and St. Stephen by Launceston and later rebuilt the manor house. In 1649 Sir Francis Drake, 2nd Baronet (1617-1662) purchased the nearby manor of Launceston and the borough of Newport in the parish of St. Stephen, and moved his main residence to Buckland Monachorum, whereupon he sold Werrington to Sir William Morice.

Morice.
The estate was sold in 1651to Sir William Morice (1602-1676), Secretary of State to King Charles II, who also purchased from the Drake family the manor of Launceston. The present mansion, today known as Werrington Park was built by one of his descendants in the 1730’s, possibly to the design of William Kent, which involved the demolition and re-siting of the parish church of St Martin which as previously stated, caused much upset amongst the parishioners. In fact legend has it that a curse was placed upon the Morice family.

Percy
The manor with 11,000 acres was purchased in 1775 by Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland (1714–1786), who further embellished the interior. He also purchased all the outlying tenements in Newport and much property in the borough of Launceston.

Various 1864-1882
Between 1864 and 1882 Werrington passed through a succession of brief ownerships. In 1864 Werrington was purchased by Alexander Hey Campbell, a Manchester merchant, MP for Launceston from 1865 to 1868. In 1868 he sold it to William Wentworth Fitzwilliam Dick, of County Wicklow, Ireland, who sold it in 1871 to Col. James Henry Deakin I (1823–1880), a Manchester merchant, briefly Member of Parliament for Launceston, who was succeeded in that seat by his son James Henry Deakin II (1851–1881). During this period much of the peripheral lands and properties of the estate were sold off.

Williams
The estate was acquired in 1882 by John Charles Williams (1861-1939) of Caerhays Castle, who renovated the house, including a re-modelling of the East Range. The family still hold the guardianship of the Manor and its estate to this day.

Werrington Gallery.


A Recruitment Parade at Yeolmbridge in 1916.
A Recruitment Parade at Yeolmbridge in 1916.
Those from Werrington that served their country during World War One.
Ernest Ayres
Ernest was born in 1893 to Joseph and Mary Ayres at Yeolmbridge. His Father was a Quarryman. He served with the 3rd Devon Battery.
William John Ayres
William was the elder brother to Ernest being born in 1886 at Trewithick, St. Stephens. He attended Werrington school at Ladycross. I have no information on his Regiment or when he enlisted but he was serving as a Private and was wounded in August of 1916.
 
Charles Allen
Charles was born on the 28th of September 1893 to Samuel and Mary Allen at Bridgetown, Werrington. His Father was a Ordinary Agricultural Labourer. On leaving school Charles went to work for Mr. William Rowland at Bridgetown Farm, Werrington as a Cattleman. Charles joined the Royal Navy (Service No. M10733) on the 9th of December 1914. He spent much of his service in and out of Hospital with illness but survived the War.
John Thomas Baker
John was born in 1896 to William and Ann Baker at Ladycross, Werrington. His father worked ona farm as a horseman. n leaving school, John went to work for Bessie Burt at Radford Farm, Werrington.
John served as a Private with the 7/8th Division of the U.S.A. Expeditionary Force and was killed on October 20th, 1918 in France.
F Baker
There is no information available except that he served with the 1st Devon Yeomanry.
F Batten
There is no information available except that he joined the Royal Navy serving aboard ‘HMS Stannch’.
Claude Baskerville
Claude was born in 1887 to William and Emma Jane Baskerville at Bullapit, Werrington. His Father was a Gamekeeper. Claude was living in the Camborne area with his wife, Margretta (nee Parnell) and two children and working as a Carpenter when he enlisted with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry as a Private (Regimental No. 26267) in June 1916. He embarked for France in October of 1916 and was involved in many battles. He was killed in action on the 12th of February 1917. His body was never identified.
Fred William Baskerville
Fred was Claude’s elder brother being born in 1894 to William and Emma Jane Baskerville at Tetcott. His Father was a Gamekeeper. On leaving school Fred worked as a Under Gamekeeper. Fred enlisted with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (Regimental No. 4299/201223) as a Private.
John Benoy
John was born in 1892 to George and Bessie Benoy at Yeolmbridge. His Father was a Miller’s Carter. I cannot find any details of his military records.
Percy Milford Benoy
Percy was born on the 28th of February 1894 to Issac and Emma Benoy at Bridgetown, Werrington. His Father was an Ordinary Agricultural Labourer but by 1911 worked as a Roadman. Percy on leaving school took up his apprenticeship in Drapery. He enlisted with the Devonshire Regiment (Regimental No. 266766) as a Private. Surviving the war he married Ethel Fry at Barnstaple in 1928. He died in 1977 at Barnstaple.
William George Benoy
William was born in 1889 to George and Bessies Benoy at Yeolmbridge. His father was a Millers Labourer. On leaving school, William went to work on the Werrington Estate as an Estate Labourer. He was a Private with the 1/5th Regiment of the Essex. He was killed on September 18th, 1918 whilst serving in Palestine.
Amos Brown
Amos was born in 1889 to William and Mary Ann Brown at Yeolmbridge. His Father was a Labourer on the Werrington Estate. Amos worked as a Agricultural Labourer. There is no information on his military service, but there is an Amos Brown that died in 1916.
Samuel Brown
Samuel was born in 1870 to George and Eliza Brown at Down Hayse, Werrington. His Father had been an Agricultural Labourer but was listed in the 1881 census as being an Afflicted Pauper with Eliza working as a Charwoman. Samuel joined the Royal Navy as a Stoker sometime in the 1880’s. He left the Royal Navy in 1911 but was recalled at the onset of the war and served for 16 months in the West Indies. He returned to Devonport in September of 1916. He was taken unwell in May of 1917 and died at the Royal Naval Hospital on the 26th of May 1917. He was buried with full naval honours at Plymouth on the 29th of May 1917.
Thomas Brown
Thomas was the brother of Samuel above and was born in 1875. He also joined the Royal Navy serving aboard ‘HMS Blake’.
C Davey
There is no information available except that he served with the 1st Devon Yeomanry.
Alfred Duke
Alfred was born in 1891 to Benjamin and Ellen Duke at Calvanna, Yeolmbridge. His Father was a Under Gamekeeper. On leaving school he worked for Mr. James Walters at Peppers Hill Farm, Yeolmbridge. There is no information on his military record except that he was part of Kitchener’s Army.
William Earle
William was born in 1888 to John and Matilda (nee  Barriball) Earle at Druxton Cottage, Werrington. His father was a Farm Labourer. He served with the 8th Canadian Rifles and was killed on May 20th, 1915 in France.
J Edwards
There is no information available except that he served with the Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry.
Walter Henry Finnamore
Walter was born in 1905 to Walter and Martha Jane Finnemore at Launceston. He enlisted with the Royal Artillery (Regimental No. 776663).
William Hammond Furze
William was born in 1892 to Thomas and Ellen Furze at Bullapit, Werrington. His Father was a General Farm Labourer. On leaving school he worked as a General Farm Labourer and in 1911 he was living at Copthorne, North Petherwin with his wife Mary Grace. He served with the 1st Devon Yeomanry.
H Gotto
There is no information available other than he enlisted as a Lieutenant with the 1st Devonshire Regiment gaining promotion to Captain by 1916. In August of 1916 he was slightly wounded. He was possibly related to the Coode family of Polapit Tamar.
F Harris
Either Francis born 1887 at Clawton to Frederick and Ann Harris or Fred born 1893 at Ashwater to James and Mary Harris.

Charles John Hilson

Charlie Hilson.
Charlie Hilson.

Charles was born November 10th, 1887 to Thomas and Ellen Hilson at the West Lodge, Werrington. His father, having been born in Little Staughton, Bedfordshire, was the gamekeeper for the Williams family at Werrington Park. By 1911 Charles was working as a head gamekeeper (possibly for General Arthur Sandbach) and boarding at lodgings in Pontdeilade, Llanfechain. Montgmomeryshire, Wales. He volunteered in 1914 and joined the Royal Artillery (Service No. 966499), fought through the whole war,was mentioned in despatches and received a citation from the King for actions above and beyond the call of duty,signed by Churchill, he actually went alone into no mans land and carried back a wounded officer, he was discharged (sickness 392 (xvia)) at the end with the rank of Acting Battery Quarter Master Sergeant. After the war, Charles took up a post as head gamekeeper in Lancashire and only moved back to Cornwall on his father’s death in 1929. He took over the running of the family farm at Trossell Farm, North Petherwin before selling up and retiring in 1946. During the second world war, Charles had been a member of the North Petherwin Homeguard. Charles died in 1975 at Launceston.

Alfred Cooper Horrell

Alfred was born 1896 to Alfred and Blanche Eliza Ransom at Warbstow. On leaving school Alfred served his apprenticeship as a General Printer. At the outset of the war he enlisted as a Private in the 2/4th Battalion of the D.C.L.I. (Service No. 4935). He died whilst serving in India on October 26th, 1916. He is remembered on the Kirkee 1914-1918 Memorial in Mumbai (Bombay) Maharashtra, India, Plot: Face 5.

Harry Samuel Jessup
Harry was born in 1895 to Henry and Alice Jessup at Bradden, Towcester, Northants. His Father was a Coachman. On leaving school he came to Cornwall to work for Mr. Richard Carlyon Coode of Polapit Tamar House, as a 2nd Footman. He enlisted at London with the Grenadier Guards as a GDSN (Regimental No. 16340) serving with the 2nd Battalion. He was killed in action on the 25th of September 1916. His body was never identified but his name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial .

John Henry Jasper
John was born in 1895 to William and Elizabeth Jasper at Eggebeare Cottage, Werrington. His Father was an Agricultural Labourer. On leaving school John went to work for Mr. William Bluett at Bridgetown, Werrington as a Farm Waggoner. The only record I can find towards his military record places him first with the Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry (Regimental No. 200778) as a Sergeant then he received a transfer to the Machine Gun Corps (Regimental No. 114168) also as a Sergeant. He was wounded in 1917 but survived the war and lived until 1977 when he passed away at Launceston.
F Kent
It is believe this to be Frederick Thomas Kent who served with the Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry as a Sergeant. (Regimental No’s. 4334, 201251).
Jack Dunn Lillecrapp
Jack was born on the 18th of October 1894 to John Burt and Ellen Vercoe Lillecrapp at Netherbridge farm, Werrington. His Father was a Farmer. He was educated first at Werrington School then Horwell boys Grammar School then finally at the Wesleyan Secondary School at Truro. He emigrated to Canada in the spring of 1913 and worked as a Rancher but with the outbreak of the War he enlisted with the Canadian Mounted Rifles 9th Division (Regimental No. 114836). Jack contracted Meningitis and was placed in Aldershot Hospital. He died on the the 11th of January 1916 just a week after his Father passed away. He was buried at SS Martins and Giles Church, Werrington. He is commemorated on the Central Methodist and Truro School rolls of honour.
W Pawlin
Possibly the William who was born in 1889 to Henry and Cherry Pawlin at North Tregeare, Tresmeer. His Father was a Farmer. He was with the Royal Marine Artillery.
James Pearce
James was born in 1890 at Dawlish. He is shown to be living in both the 1891 and 1901 census at Yeolmbridge with his Widowed Grandmother Mary Ann Shapton and her daughter Amelia Shapton. He served with the Devonshire Regiment 2nd Battalion but later transferred to the Worcester Regiment serving as a 2nd Lieutenant. He died of heatstroke whilst serving in India on July 4th, 1919. He left a widow, Frances Pearce of Stoke Damerel.
T Richards
This could possibly be Tom Allan Richards who was born in 1891 to William and Annie Richards (nee Cudlipp) at Launceston. His Father was a Tailor. He enlisted with the Royal Engineers as a Sapper (Regimental No. 19675).
Sampson
No information available.
H Sandercock
No information available.
Harry Saunders
Harry was born in 1884 at Broadwoodwidger. He is listed as living at Yeolmbridge with his wife Maud Mary in the 1911 census and was working as a General Estate Labourer. He served with the 1st Devonshire Yeomanry.
Harold Smith
Harold was born one of eleven children in 1891 to Walter and Charity Smith at Wharf Cottage, Crossgate, Werrington. His Father had been a Wharfinger but by 1911 was a Farmer. I have not been able to find any information on his military record.
Percy Edwin Smith
Percy was the elder brother of Harold being born in 1889. On leaving school he worked for his Father on the farm. I have no information on his Regiment or when he joined, but he was a Private being wounded in August 1916.
Percival H Soper
Percival was born in 1888 to Thomas and Mary Soper at Yeolmbridge. His Father was a Farm Manager. He enlisted with the Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry as a Private (Regimental No. 3934) serving with the 5th Battalion.
Frederick Stanbury
Frederick was born in 1886 at Thornbury, Holsworthy to William and Mary Stanbury. His Father was a Farmer at Ham Mill, Werrington. Fred worked on his Father’s farm before enlisting with the Devonshire Regiment (Regimental No. 2785) serving with the 1st Battalion.
Harold Stoneman
Harold was born in 1897 to Henry and Mary Stoneman at Ham Mill, Werrington. His Father was a Cattleman. Harold enlisted with the Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry on the 4th of May 1915 as a Private (Regimental No. 2696) serving with the 4th Battalion. He was wounded whilst in battle in 1916 and was discharged as being (paragraph 392 of the Kings regulations (xvi)) no longer physically fit for service on the 26th of January 1917. He died in 1967 at Plymouth.
Frederick James Tilley
Frederick was born in 1888 to Charles and Margaret Tilley at Turnpike road, Ludgvan, Penzance. His Father was a Farmer. He was working for his cousin John Mann at Cullacott Leat, Werrington in 1911 as a Waggoner on the farm. He enlisted with the Devon Yeomanry (Regimental No. 1975) on the 18th of March 1911 serving with the Territorial Force and attended all the training camps for the next four years. He was immediately called up on the announcement of war. During 1917 he was transferred to the Royal Engineers (Regimental No. 233475) as a Driver. He saw service at Gallipoli with the Devons and France with the 74th Division Signal Corps of the Royal Engineers. He was de-mobbed on the 25th of January 1919.
Frederick John E Titball
Frederick was born in 1873 to John and Mary Titball at Pinslow, St. Giles on the Heath. His Father was an Agricultural Labourer. He was working for Mr. John Harris at East Panson Farm, St. Giles on the Heath as a Farm Servant. He married Mary Ann Gilbert at Bideford in 1891.
He enlisted with the Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry as a Private (Regimental No’s. 14510/ 240103). He survived the war and passed away in 1956.
William Harold Toms
Harold as he was called was born in 1893 to William and Annabella Toms at Yeolmbridge Post Office. His Father was the local Postman. On leaving school Harold went to work as a Clerk at Tavistock Post Office. He enlisted in 1912 with the Territorial Force of the Royal Filed Artillery as a Corporal (Regimental No. 1150) serving with 1/3rd Devon Battalion. He was immediately called up at the outbreak of war. In May of 1918 he was transferred as a Sergeant to the Royal Field Artillery Unit / Battalion 63rd RN Divisional Ammunition Column (Regimental No. 865582).
He was demobbed on the 16th of July 1919.
George Tucker
George Tucker
George Tucker
George was born in 1897 to Thomas and Caroline Tucker at East Druxton Farm, Werrington. His Father was a Farmer. On leaving school he worked on his Father’s farm at Pinslow, St. Giles. He enlisted with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry as a private (Regimental No. 285191) serving with the 1/1st Bucks Battalion. He was killed in action at Flanders on the 3rd of October 1917.
Charles Percival Vanstone
Charles was born in 1897 to Benjamin and Mary Vanstone at the School House, Lady cross, Werrington. His Father was the local School Master. He enlisted in 1914 with the Royal Engineers (Regimental No. 28800) serving with the 171st Field Company. He survived the war and led a long life passing away in 1979 at the age of 82.
Wilfred John Vanstone
Wilfred was Charles’s (above) elder brother born on the 16th of December 1888 at Plymouth. He joined the Royal Navy (Service No. 232533) in 1914 as a leading seaman and was serving aboard the ‘HM Trawler Bombardier’ when he died on the 27th of March 1919 in the North Sea. It is presumed that his death was due to an accident as four other sailors perished that same day all listed as having drowned.
W Warne
No information available except that he served with the 1st Devon Yeomanry.
D Wenham
No information available except that he served with the R.G.A. In India.
Alfred Martyn Williams
Alfred was born on the 14th of May 1897 to John Charles and Mary C Williams at Caerhayes Castle, St. Austell. His father was the Squire of Werrington estate. He joined the Royal Navy as a Midshipman and at the Wars beginning was serving aboard the ‘HMS Euryalus’. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his gallantry during the landings in the Dardanelles.
Charles Williams
Charles was born 1887 o John Charles and Mary C Williams at Werrington House. His father was the Squire of Werrington estate. Charles was destined for the world of politics and was the unionist candidate for the Truro-Helston division before the war interupted his career. He served as a Lieutenant Commander with the Royal Navy during the war. He served at Antwerp with the Royal Naval Division before seeing service in the Dardanelles where he was invalided home with dysentery.
John Francis Williams
John Francis Williams
John Francis Williams

John was born in 1892 to John Charles and Mary C Williams at Caerhayes Castle, St. Austell. His father was the Squire of Werrington estate. He joined the Royal Navy in 1904 as a Cadet, he gained promotion to Midshipman in 1909 and to a Lieutenant in January 1913.
In February 193 he was appointed to the ‘HMS Lord Nelson’ before being transferred to ‘HMS Russell’. When he was a Sub-Lieutenant of the St. George flotilla, he was awarded the silver medal of the Royal Humane Society on the 15th of July 1912, for gallantry in rescuing a stoker who fell overboard from a launch in the Stour, off Parkstone, on the night of the 28th of May 1912. He was killed when serving aboard ‘HMS Russell’ which hit a mine in the Mediterranean on the 27th of April 1916.

Robert Williams
Robert was born in 1888 to John Charles and Mary C Williams at Werrington House. His father was the Squire of Werrington estate. His education was geared for a career in the army and after he left Cambridge he went straight to Sandhurst with the intention of qualifying for a commission in the Grenadier Guards. Owing to bad health, however, he gave up his studies and did not sit his final examination, it being then considered that he would not pass the medical test for entrance in the army. On leaving Sandhurst Robert commenced to study politics and after a time decided to follow his elder brother Charles into the political world and before he had been adopted as Conservative candidate for the Cleveland division of Yorkshire. When war broke out Robert offered his own services and his motor car for duty at the front, and in a civil capacity he did valuable work in conveying wounded soldiers to hospital and taking staff officers about. When he had worn one car out he returned home, and then went across to the front with another, which also wore out. On returning the second time Robert sought a commission with the Grenadier Guards and on April the 3rd 1915 he was gazetted to the regiment. He served with the 3rd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards as a Second Lieutenant and was killed whilst in charge of a maxim gun section in October 1915 whilst fighting on the western Front.
J Wills
No Information available except that he served with the Royal navy aboard ‘HMS Hope’.
T Wills
No information available except that he served with the Royal Navy aboard ‘HMS Martin’.
This is not an exhaustive list and I do know that over 52 men served their country throughout the war but I have managed to trace 49 of the men that did serve with eight paying the ultimate price.