Being the 100th commemoration of World War One this year, I felt it would be fitting to research the 83 names on the War Memorial and attempt to give more of a narrative on their lives and how and where they served their country during that horrific time. Some of the men appear on other War Memorials within the area mainly due to the fact that they were born there. I have also added the men that appear on the respective Church rolls of honour although some do not appear to have any direct link with Launceston, but maybe their parents had moved into the area which no presently available records would show.
Ironically, the task has not been helped due to the blitz of the Second World War in which much of the records attaining to the First World War were either damaged or destroyed. However, I have managed to glean what I can from what remains and also by looking back on census forms and old newspapers. I cannot guarantee that the transcriptions are wholly accurate due to the brief details that I have worked with, but it is an honest attempt at giving the Fallen a lasting tribute.
The research is not complete as there is one name that I have been unable to find any information on whatsoever and if there is anyone who can help fill in the gaps, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The name that as yet I have no information on is:
T BENNETTS (Thomas from South Petherwin? Or possibly the Sergt-Major wounded in the face reported in April 1918).
I hope this proves to of interest to the reader and more importantly, a respectful homage to the brave Men and Women who gave their lives. I would also like to thank Claudine Malaquin, Dennis Middleton, Jim Edwards, Martin Kelland, Grant Lethbridge Morris and Michael Willis for their invaluable help in compiling this narrative plus the resources that are freely available at Launceston Library.
Roger Pyke, 28th October 2014
Those not listed on the War Memorial
William Henry ADAMS
William was born in 1886 at 14 Hillpark Cottages, Launceston to Richard and Jane Adams. He had two Sisters and a Brother. In the 1911 census he is living at Woodbine Cottage, Launceston with his wife Ellen (nee Hill) having married on the19th of September 1910. Like his Father, William worked as a Mason. In 1915 he joined the Royal Engineers Pioneer 335th Road Construction Company (Regimental No 240305) as a reservist and was mobilized on the16th of February 1917. At the time of his enlistment he was living at 3 Hendra Cottages, Launceston. He received multiple gunshot wounds on the 23rd of April 1917 which ended his war as he was discharged on the 15th of January 1918 as being no longer fit for military service. These wounds were so severe that he died just six days before the armistice on the 5th of November 1918 and he was buried at Launceston Cemetery. He left behind three children Sydney, Freda and William.
Stanley was born in 1891 the youngest of 5 Children to Richard and Mary Jane Bartlett at Langore, St. Stephens, near Launceston. His Father worked as a general Labourer but died just after Stanley was born. The family had moved to Bridge Cottage, Newport by1901. By the time of the 1911 census, Stanley was the only child living at home with his Mother who now worked as Laundress. Stanley was listed as a Wood Sawyer, however on the 23rd of April 1911 he arrives in St John, New Brunswick, Canada. In the 1911 census of Canada he is listed as a boarder, living in Lynn Creek, British Columbia, Canada. He is single and his occupation is teamster. He was conscripted on the 12th of June 1918 with the Canadian Engineers (Regimental No. 2024216) as a Sapper. He was listed as Height 5ft 8 3/4 inches, Complexion – Fair, Eyes – Grey, Hair – Reddish. No distinctive marks. He died of TB on the 23rd of October 1918 and was buried at Prince Rupert (Fairview) Cemetery, British Columbia, Canada, plot B.T. 1.43. P.1. His next of Kin was his sister, Laura Causley address St Thomas, Launceston, the Mother of Launceston’s renowned Poet, Charles Stanley Causley, who wrote a poem called ‘Uncle Stanley in memory of Stanley.
Dudley Charles BENNETT
Dudley was born 1897 to Daniel and Gertrude Bennett at Lowestoft, Suffolk. His Father was a Baptist Minister which brought the family to Launceston sometime between 1902 and 1911 taking up residence at Melrose, St. Thomas Road. On leaving school Dudley, became a Chemists Assistant.
Dudley enlisted with the Royal Army Medical Corps (Regimental No. 74133) in 1915 at Bodmin but was transferred to the London Regiment on the 15th of May 1916 (Regimental No 702247) serving in the 23rd Battalion. He saw service in France for 6 months in 1916 before embarking to Salonika in December 1916 until June of 1917 whereby he his Battalion were transferred to Egypt on the 15th of June 1917.
He was killed in action in the Egyptian theatre on the 7th of November 1917. He is buried at the Jerusalem Memorial, Yerushalayim. Israel.
The only T. Bennetts I can find is a Thomas Bennett born at South Petherwin in 1886 to William and June Bennett. William was a Stone Quarry Foreman. By 1911 Thomas is working as a Printing Compositor in London living with his Uncle, Charles Thomas Hawke Bennett at 6 Allerton Road, Stoke Newington. He may have served with the Royal Navy but I have as yet not found anything on his military service.He died on the 2nd of July 1919 and is buried in the Launceston Cemetery. There is a Sergeant-Major Bennetts serving with the D.CL.I. Who was wounded in the face in April 1918 but there are no other details.
Charles was born in 1887 at Newmoor, Polson Bridge, Launceston to William and Mary Bickle.
His Father worked as a Dairyman. By the 1911 census he was married to Alice (nee Davey) and living in Westgate Street with his one year old son William and listed as being a farmer. They eventually set up home at 3, Holborn Terrace, Launceston.
He joined the DCLI 6th Battalion as a Private (Regimental No. 33619). He died of his wounds sustained in battle probably at ‘Passchendaele’ at Etaples, France on 11th of September 1917. Etaples was a large area containing over 11 Hospitals which was some distance from any danger from the enemy.
He is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery XXV. P. 3. . Alice passed away in 1964 still living in Launceston.
George Thomas BRENDON
Born to George and Mary Brendon in 1887 in High Street, Launceston. His Father was a watchmaker/jeweller. On leaving school George followed into his Fathers business. He joined the R.A.S.C (Regimental NO. 016368) but transferred to the Lincolnshire regiment being part of the 8th Battalion (Regimental no.41720). George was KIA on the 31st of July 1917 the first day of the 3rd Battle of Ypres, better known as ‘Passchendaele’. His name is commemorated at Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
Albert John BRENT
Albert was born 1874 to Peter and Mary Ann Brent at St. Thomas Hamlet, Launceston. His Father was a Farmer and General Labourer. Albert started his working life as a Brick makers Apprentice but in 1894 joined the D.C.L.I 3rd Battalion (Regimental No 2311). But on the 30th of March 1895 he was found to have been serving with the Royal Navy and was discharged. By the 1901 census he is shown as serving with the Royal Navy aboard the Cruiser HMS ‘Undaunted’ as a stoker. Ten years later he is still single and serving aboard HMS Carnarvon. As yet I have not found any details to his war record.
John was born in 1886 to William and Sarah (nee Harvey) Bridgeman at Launceston. His Father was a Stone Mason and the family (John was the eldest of 3 Children Louise, William and Irene) lived at Northernhaye Place, Tower Street, Launceston. By 1911 John was working as a General Labourer. He enlisted at Exeter with the Devonshire Regiment (Regimental No. 16299) finally reaching the Rank of Lance Corporal. He arrived in France on 11 October 1915, and died of his wounds at the 25th General Hospital at Hardelot on 18 January 1917, aged 31. At the time of his death he was listed as living at Christow, Devon.
He is buried in the Neufchatel-Hardelot (Neufchatel) Churchyard, Neufchatel-Hardelot, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: 18. He was awarded the Victory Medal, and the British War Medal.
Fred Harvey Longman BRIGHTON
Fred was born in 1890 at 4 Devon View, Launceston to Truman and Agnes Brighton. The youngest of eight sons, six of whom served in the war with only two surviving. Truman Brighton was an auctioneer but died on the 17th April 1900 leaving the sum of £368 19s 8d to Agnes. Fred moved to London with his Brother Richard and they both worked for Cooks, 16 Stamford Street, Southwark as a wholesale Manchester warehouseman.
Fred joined the 10th Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) as Lance Corporal Regimental No. Sth/920 and was killed in action on the 23rd April 1917. Taken from the Battalion’s war diary:
21 April 1917 – Battalion moved via Athies to trenches. Two Companies in front line approx between points H II.b.68 and H 5 b.4.5. One company in support approx between points H II, a. 88 and H 5a.88, in position at 11.30pm. Several patrols sent out to reconoitre and try to connect with other brigades. [At this point the Battalion was situated behind Cuba Trench close to Chili Trench.] Battalion occupied Cuba Trench about 9.30am 23 April 1917.
He is buried at Chili Trench Cemetery, Gavrelle.
Another of Truman and Agnes Brighton’s Sons, Richard was born in 1884 at Werrington which was in the county of Devon at the time. He first started working as a Draper but on moving to London worked for Cooks, 16 Stamford Street, Southwark as a wholesale Manchester warehouseman along with his Brother Fred. By the outbreak of War, Richard had married Annie Victoria Brighton, and was living at 4, Brockenhurst Rd., Addiscombe, Croydon. He first joined the East Kent Regiment (Regimental No. 5453) but transferred to the Cheshire Regiment 11th Battalion (Regimental No. 243050) He was killed in action on the 20th April 1918. His body was never recovered.
The 20th April was described in the Battalion War Diary as being quiet and the men were in camp on the road between Mont-des-Cats and Godersvelde. It is, of course, possible that in the chaos of the preceding days, many men had been attached to another unit and were killed in further fighting.
Another Son of Truman senior and Agnes Brighton to perish, Truman was born in 1878 at a Cottage in Newport, Launceston. By the 1911 census he was living at 109 Haviland Road, Boscombe, Bournemouth and working as a Builders Merchant assistant which he was still occupied in at the time of his enlistment in 1915. He was living with his wife Elizabeth (Nee Harris, whom he married in 1911) at 29 Wheaton Road, Bournemouth at that time they had two Daughters, Nora and Kathleen. He joined the Royal Garrison Artillery (Regimental No107816) on the 10th December 1915. He served with the 336 Siege Battery, receiving two separate postings with the B.E.F in France. On the 29th June 1918 he was gassed and was invalided back to England on the 17th of August 1918. On the 4th of February 1919 he was officially demobbed but never recovered from his injuries and died in March 1920 at Christchurch, Hampshire.
Thomas Stanley BRIGHTON
Thomas, the fourth son of the late Truman and Agnes Brighton to fall, was born in 1881 at St. Stephens, Launceston. At the age of 20 he was working as a Printers apprentice still living with his widowed Mother, but a further 10 years on he had moved to 53 Mill Hill Rd, Norwich and his occupation was listed as a compositor. It is from here that he joined the Norfolk Regiment 1/4th Battalion (Regimental No 200634). He was killed in action on the 19th April 1917 during the 2nd battle of Gaza in Palestine. He is buried at Jerusalem Memorial Jerusalem, Yerushalayim (Jerusalem District), Israel, Plot: Panels 12 to 15.
At the outbreak of the First World War, Palestine (now Israel) was part of the Turkish Empire and it was not entered by Allied forces until December 1916. The advance to Jerusalem took a further year, but from 1914 to December 1917, about 250 Commonwealth prisoners of war were buried in the German and Anglo-German cemeteries of the city.
Thomas Albert BROWN Thomas was born in April 1899 to William and Mary Ann Brown at Launceston.
On enlisting at Launceston with the Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment) (Regimental No. 38738), he went on to serve with 2/4th Battalion as a Private. He was reported as missing on May the 11th 1918, but is listed as having died in France on the 14th of November 1918, just 3 days after the armistice. He is buried at the Niederzwehren Cemetery, Germany.
Charles Henry Russell BUCHAN
Charles was born at Stoke Damerell in 1891 to William and Helen Buchan. His Father was a Steam Engine Fitter. On leaving school he became a Carpenter’s apprentice whilst still living with his parents at Devonport, Plymouth in 1911. He married Beatrice Trethewey at Tavistock in 1912 so it’s quite likely that they moved into the Launceston area to live.
He enlisted with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry 1/4th Battalion at Launceston, which is his only recorded connection with the town. (Regimental No 4545). He was killed in action in Mesopotamia on the 27th October 1915. He is buried at Amara War Cemetery, Al `Amarah, Maysan, Iraq Plot: I. A. 4.
Douglas Ophia Edward Gordon CAVEY
Douglas was born in 1890 at Race Hill, Launceston to William and Emma Cavey. His Father was the Caretaker at the Launceston Telephone Co. in 1911. In 1912 he married Gertrude Rice. He was working for Doctor’s Thompson, Gibson and Budd as a Dispenser prior to enlisting in the Royal Army Medical Corps (Regimental No 8224) in August 1914 at Devonport. He was acting sergeant when he was struck by shrapnel from a nearby shell burst whilst helping to clear battlefield causalities in France on the 30th August 1917. He died of his wounds the same day.
Frank Bate CLARKE
Frank was born in 1896 the only child of Florence Rosina Clarke who was a Dressmaker working from Madford Lane, Launceston. By the age of 14, Frank was working as a Stationers Errand Boy living at home with his Mother and Grandmother at Southgate Place, Launceston. At the outbreak of war he was working for Treleavens outfitters in Southgate Street.
He was a Lance Corporal with the DCLI 1/4th Battalion (Regimental No 201337) and left England for India in October of 1914 serving there for 14 months beofre being transferred to Aden. He was the transferred to Egypt in February 1917 and its whilst serving in Egypt that he contracted and died of Malaria on the 3rd April 1917. He is buried at the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, El-Qantarah el-Sharqiyya,
Al Isma’iliyah, Egypt, Plot: C. 48.
Lewis was born in 1896 to Thomas and Nellie Cole at Stoke Climsland, Near Callington. His Father was a House Painter and by the 1901 census had moved his family to Bush Park, Launceston. Lewis was artistic in nature and has a long association with the Launceston science and art school. In 1911 the family is living at 5 Garcia Terrace Launceston and Lewis having left school was working as an Architect’s Clerk with Messrs Wise and Wise in Launceston. Having served his time with Wise and Wise he moved to Wales to take up a position as an Architect.He enlisted as a Private with the Glamorganshire Yeomanry in Cardiff (Regimental No. 3051) but later transferred to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers 9th Battalion (Regimental No 75300). He was killed in action after a piece of shell struck him after it had exploded near his dugout the 18th of April 1918 in France.
Cecil was born in 1883 at Kensey Cottages, Launceston to Thomas and Ann Coombe. His Father was a Millwright. By 1901 the family had moved to Carlton House, Newport, Launceston and Cecil was working as a Gardener. In January 1911 he married Ivy Lane and they moved to Abbotsfield Cottage Lodge, Courtfield Rd, Mutley, Plymouth, where Cecil continued his trade as a Gardener. Cecil at first joined the Devon Regiment (Regimental No 315697) but was transferred to the Princess Charlotte Of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment) as a Private 220226. He was killed in action in Belgium on the 31st July 1917.
His body was never identified and his name is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial , Ypres (Ieper), West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium.
Ernest was born in 1865 to Frederick and Amelia Couch at Southgate Street, Launceston. He was one of 7 Children. He followed into his Father’s Tailor business taking over when his Father passed away before the 1901 census. In 1911 he is found living on his own in Madford Lane, Launceston and still working as a Tailor.
Ernest served with the Royal Defense Corps as a Private (Regimental No. 8409) having enlisted on the 28th of September 1914. Due to illness, he was discharged from service on the 24th of September 1918 (392. xvi King’s Regulation Sick). He died on the 10th August 1919. He is buried at Launceston Cemetery. He was the Husband of L. B. Couch, Woodview, Plymouth Road, Buckfastleigh, Devon.
Archie was born in 1892 in Launceston to Charles and Mary Jane (nee Gilbert) Cudlipp. His Father was a Wheelwright and worked from Northgate Street. Archie took up General Labouring as a living. He joined the Devonshire Regiment 10th (Service) Battalion as a Private (Regimental No 20819), enlisting at Newton Abbott. He was killed in action whilst fighting in the Balkans on the 10th February 1917. His final resting place is unknown but he is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial, Doirani, Regional unit of Kilkis, Central Macedonia, Greece. His Father also served during the war with the Royal Defence Corps. (Regimental No. 11278) 252nd Protection Company. Archie’s Uncle was the William Cudlipp who ran the London Inn in Church street and who with his wife Emma had 22 children.
Charles was born in 1892 at North Street, St. Stephens, Launceston to John and Caroline Davey. John Davey was a Coal Barker. In the 1911 census Charles is still living with his parents and working as a Domestic Groom. He joined the Devonshire Regiment 8th Battalion as a Private (Regimental No 45674). He was injured whilst fighting in France and died of his wounds on the 10th April 1917.
Frank was born in 1894 at Hanalls Cottage, Wennington, Essex to Samuel and Mary Doidge. By the 1911 census he is living and working for his Uncle, John Tinney as a Stone Mason in Launceston. He married Mary Fanny Doidge before he enlisted with the 1st Devonshire Regiment as a Private (Regimental No 30656). He died on the 23rd of April 1917.
Stanley was born in 1897 to Richard and Elizabeth Doidge at 40, St. Thomas Road, Launceston. His Father was a Newsagent a trade that Stanley followed into. He joined the Royal Army MedicalCorps on the 8th November 1915 as a Private (No 80912). He served as an ambulance driver in France from the 26th July 1916 till his death of pneumonia on the 28th October 1918 and is buried at the Duisans British Cemetery, Duisans, Departementdu Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot VIII. B. 43.
Ernest was born in 1892 to Charles and Esther Eveleigh at Western Villas, Launceston. His Father was a Wholesale Stationer. He had 6 siblings. He was educated at Dunheved College and was a member of the Castle Street Church being a Sunday School Teacher for many years. On leaving school he joined his Fathers business as an assistant before taking up a position working in the City of London in 1914. It was on his way home for two week’s leave, in 1915, that he came upon a recruitment centre and realising that many men were already fighting, decided to enlist there and then with the 1st London Regiment as a Private (Regimental No. 4587). He was instantly killed whilst on sentry duty in his companies trench by a shell that exploded near him on the evening of the 16th of July 1916.
James was born in 1877 to William and Emma Fitze at 16 Duke Street, St. Stephens, Launceston. He had 3 elder Brothers and two elder Sisters. His Father was an agricultural worker. In the 1901 census he is working as a Boots Domestic at the Farley’s Hotel, Plymouth but before 1902 he had already joined up with the Royal Army Medical Corps (Regimental No 15804) serving in South Africa during the Boer War. On one occasion he was taken prisoner. He spent a total of 5 years in South Africa. In the 1911 census he is shown as a cook being stationed at the Military Hospital, Fulford Road, York working in the isolation block.
By the time war had broken out, he had been promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He was serving at the 5th casualty clearing station on the 4th September 1914 when killed. He is buried at the Saint Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, Departement de la Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France, Plot: S. 1V. L. 6.
Lawrence was born in 1888 to John and Jeanie Geake at St. Stephens, Launceston. His Father was a Mineral Water Manufacturer. He attended Shebbear College. He became a Gardener and in the 1911 census is shown as a visitor to Mr. Frederick Lintern, Little Rexon, Broadwood along with his wife Jessie and new born son Edward.
He joined the 8th Battalion Devonshire regiment in 1914 as a Private (Regimental No 10200) enlisting at Plymouth.
Like so many in the 8th (including two other Lanson Lads) he perished on the Loos Battlefield on the 25th September 1915.
William John GIMBLETT
William was born in 1892 to William and Mary Gimblett at St. Stephens, Launceston. His Father was an Agricultural Worker but died in 1894. In 1911 he was working at High Hall Farm, Laneast for Mr. Whitford as a Carter.
He first joined the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry as Private 15599, but later transferred to the Somerset Light Infantry 8th Battalion as Private 15177.
He died (His left arm had been badly shattered and had been amputated) of his wounds sustained in battle on the 6th July 1916 and is buried at the Le Treport Military Cemetery , Le Treport, Departement de la Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France, Plot: Plot 2. Row O. Grave 2A.
Walter was born on the 2nd of September 1889 at Dilton Marsh, Westbury, Wiltshire to John and Evelina Gray one of eleven children. His Father was a general Labourer. Walter enlisted with the Royal Marine Light Infantry (Service No. PLY/14099) originally on the 7th of September 1907 and was discharged by purchase in March of 1914 when he joined the Cornwall Constabulary (PC211) and was stationed at Launceston. He and his wife Islet lived at Hill Park, Launceston. He enrolled with the Royal Navy fleet reserve and as such his Police career was cut very short with the outbreak of war in August 1914. In the war he was serving with the 188th Brigade Trench Mortar Battery as a Lance Corporal. He was killed by an accidental explosion on the 4th of August 1916 near Arras, France. His name is commemorated on the Arras memorial as well as the Stratton, Bodmin and Cornwall Constabulary memorials. He is buried at an isolated Grave about 1 1/2 Miles East of Aix Noulette and 3 1/4 Miles West of Lens.
Benjamin was born in 1885 to Benjamin and Sarah Hardy in Hampshire. His Father was the Headmaster for Dunheved College from 1896 to 1929. Benjamin married Elizabeth and lived at no 6, Bolan Street, Bridge Road, Battersea, London, at the time of his death in 1918. He enlisted at Woolwich with the East Kent Regiment (Regimental No 4621) but later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) (Regimental No. 14643) serving with the 18th Battalion. He died of his wounds on the 25th of April 1918. He is buried at the St. Acheul French National Cemetery, Amiens.
George Henry HILL
George was born in 1884 to Henry and Sarah Hill in Northgate Street, Launceston. His Father was a Chimney Sweep. George moved with his Mother to Harveys Lane, Launceston and was working as a Groucer/Storeman in 1901. George had married Mabel Woolridge in 1907 and by 1911 was living at Duntshill, Lifton, Devon, with their two children Cyril and Ivy. He was employed as a Motor Car Cleaner. At the time of his death the family were living at St. Ann’s Chapel, Callington.
He enlisted at Tavistock with the Devonshire regiment as a Private 25793 and served with the 9th Battalion attached to the 1st Battalion. He was killed in action on the 4th January 1917.
James was born in 1887 to William John and Eliza Jane Hill at Tiverton. The family moved to Launceston residing at 1 Tower Street. On leaving school James worked as a Baker for Thomas Bailey at Tower Street, Launceston before joining the Royal Navy. He was a Cooks mate 2nd Class (Service No. M/14846) on HMS Indefatigable, when she was sunk at the Battle of Jutland on the 31st of May 1916.
John Stuart HILL
John was born in 1895 to John and Selina Hill at Carlow, Ireland. His Father was a Corporal with the 60th Rifles Regiment before retiring back to his birthplace of Launceston (2 Treloar Terrace Tredydan Road) to work at a Steam Laundry. His Mother, Selina was born in Carlow, Ireland.
On leaving school, John took up an apprenticeship at a Hardware Business in Launceston. In May of 1915 he married Fanny Frances Hunt at Alresford, Hampshire.
He originally enlisted with the Duke Of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (Regimental No 27179), but later transferred to the Dorset Regiment (Regimental No. 22342) 1st Battalion. He was killed in action in France on the 14th of June 1918. He is also remembered on the Carlow War Memorial, Ireland.
George was born in 1892 in Wynaad, Malabar, India to William and Caroline Hockin. His planter parents settled in 13 Castle Street, Launceston, Cornwall. He attended Marlborough College and then the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich as a Gentleman Cadet, he was commissioned in the 7th Gurkha Rifles as a Lieutenant. Mentioned in despatches in late July 1915 after being wounded. He was killed in action on the 22nd of November 1915, aged 23, in action at Ctesiphon, Mesopotamia, in a charge on the Turkish trenches. Commemorated on Basra, Iraq, memorial, panels 55 & 67.
Edwin was born in 1892 to Henry and Annie Howe at Royal Marine District Depot, Deal, Kent. The Family first moved to Germansweek and then unto Launceston by 1911 residing at The Passmore Edwards Institute, St. Thomas Hill where Henry was the assistant Librarian and Caretaker whilst also being a Naval Pensioner (He had been a Drum Major with the Royal Marines). Edwin worked as a plumber. He joined the Navy and became a Plumbers Mate M/5729 aboard HMS Indefatigable. He was Killed or died as a direct result of enemy action on the 31st May 1916 at the Battle of Jutland. His body was never recovered and his name is commemorated on a plaque at Plymouth.
Indefatigable was sunk on 31 May 1916 during the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of the war. Part of Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty’s Battlecruiser Fleet, she was hit several times in the first minutes of the “Run to the South”, the opening phase of the battlecruiser action. Shells from the German battlecruiser Von der Tann caused an explosion ripping a hole in her hull, and a second explosion hurled large pieces of the ship 200 feet (60 m) in the air. Only two of the crew of 1,019 survived.
John was born in 1883 to Thomas and Amelia Hutchings at South Sydenham, Devon. His Father was a General Labourer. The family moved to North Petherwin, and in 1891 were living at Daws Cottage, North Petherwin. In 1909 he married Blanche Jane and they set up home at Tregoiffe, Linkinhorne where he worked as a Farm Labourer. The family was living at Hurdon, Launceston at the time of his death.
He first joined the Royal Vetenary Corps (A.V.C. 19884), but was transferred to the Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment) as a Private (Regimental No 33969).
He was instantly killed when a shell exploded near a trench he was guarding on the 1st of January 1918 and is buried at the Mory Abbey Military Cemetery, Mory, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: II. A. 9.
Claude Samuel JONES
Claude was born one of eight children to Charles and Ellen Jones in 1888 at St. Thomas Road, Launceston. His Father was a Licensed Hawker. By 1901the family had moved to Wooda Road, Launceston and Claude was now working as an Errand Boy. He emigrated to Quebec, Canada on the 7th of July 1910, departing aboard the Royal Edward from Bristol. At that time he was listed as a Compositor. He served in the war as a Private in the Canadian Infantry 12th Battalion (Regimental No 7753). He died on the 4th of July 1916 at Shorncliffe of a diabetic coma. He is buried at Launceston Cemetery.
Ernest was born on the 6th of June 1887 to Charles and Ellen Jones at St. Thomas Road, Launceston. On leaving School Ernest worked first as an Errand Boy. He emigrated to Canada in the 1900’s probably along with his Brother Claude (See above). In 1915 he married Ada Mary Longman at Toronto, York, Ontario, Canada. They set up home at 208 George Street, Toronto with Ernest working as a bricklayer.
Like his brother Claude, also served with the Canadian army enlisting in November 1914. On his enlistment form it stated that he had previously served with the D.C.L.I for 5 years. His regimental No was 404867 serving with 44th Battalion. He was killed in action on the 3rd of June 1917 whilst attacking La Coulotte. He is buried at the Villers Station Military Cemetery, Villers-au-bois, France.
Douglas Eckley LANGDON
Douglas was born at Huelva, Spain on the 3rd of April 1884 to William and Eleanor Langdon of Kensey Launceston. He was educated at Ipswich Grammar School and in April 1900 began an apprenticeship at the works of Saxby and Farmer, Chippenham.
In 1903, he entered the service of the Great Western Railway as improver for four years in their locomotive works at Newton Abbot, Devon and passed through the fitting, erecting, machine shops, and drawing office. During the period of his apprenticeship and subsequently, he attended Technical schools at Bath, Chippenham, and Newton Abbot. He was elected a Graduate of this Institution in 1908, and an Associate Member in 1911
In September 1907 he entered the service of the Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway in the drawing office at Junin, Argentina, and in the following February he was sent as assistant shed foreman to Villa Mercedes. Two years later he became assistant to the Divisional Locomotive Superintendent at Justo Dorset until the following January, when he was promoted to take charge of the Company’s running-shed at Beazley. On the outbreak of War in August 1914 he immediately applied for and obtained leave to go home, and on the day following his arrival in London he enlisted in A Company of the Public Schools and Universities Corps then just forming (afterwards 18th Batt. London Royal Fusiliers). He was offered a Commission in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry in May 1915, and in September 1916 he was promoted Acting Captain abroad.
In March of the same year he was sent out at night with a small party to repair the wire in front of their trenches, and was hit below the knee by a rifle bullet.
After being in the Red Cross Hospital at Rouen for eight weeks he returned to his battalion at the front. On the night of the 22nd-23rd April 1917 he took his Company into action and was killed instantly while clearing the enemy out of some ruined houses. In this action all the officers of the Company were killed or wounded. He was thirty-three years of age. He is buried at the Sucrerie Cemetery, Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: I. A. 18.
Frederick George T LETHBRIDGE
Frederick Lethbridge was born in 1880 in Plymouth to William and Rosetta Lethbridge. His Father was a mineral Water Manufacturer. In the 1911 census he is living with his Wife Emma and one year old Son William (who went on to serve with the Royal Navy in WW2) at 1 Northern Haye Court, Launceston, and is employed as a Mason’s Labourer. What is not clear is that he joined the Royal Ordnance Corps in 1902 so it’s assumed that he served the regulated 3 years and was recalled from the reserve list on the outbreak of war. He was 5’3” tall.
He eventually rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant (Regimental No 01429) serving with the 13th special Company. He died on the 14th of June 1919 whilst serving in Afghanistan. He is buried at the Bannu Cemetery, Pakistan and is also commemorated on the Delhi war memorial.
William or Mervyn as he was known, was born on the 5th of May 1898 to Thomas Johnes Llewellyn and Ann Elizabeth Llewellyn in Westgate Street, Launceston. His Father, a Welshman, was a Solicitor and had moved to Launceston to become the Magistrates Clerk but by 1914 was the Mayor and Chairman of the Launceston Rural District Council. Mervyn attended Upcott House preparatory school, Okehampton, Devon and the from May 1913 to December 1916 he attended Sherborne School (School House); scholar; 6th form; Prefect; Head of School House; 2nd XV rugby football team.
After leaving Sherborne in 1917 he went to Sandhurst. He joined the South Wales Borderers 1st Battalion as a 2nd Lieutenant in December 1917, joining the 3rd Battalion and going to the 1st Battalion in France in April 1918. Slightly wounded in June 1918, but as his regiment was short of officers he remained at duty. On the 17th of August 1918 at Cambrai, he along with a Sergeant and Lance Corporal set of on a dangerous scouting mission in an attempt to gather intelligence enemy. It was in darkness that they set off, but unfortunately they were seen. Both Mervyn and the Sergeant were killed, with the Lance Corporal being taken prisoner.
Mervyn’s obituary appeared in ‘The Shirburnian’, February 1919:
‘2nd Lieut. William Mervyn Johnes Llewellin, South Wales Borderers (a 1913-16), who was reported missing in August, was killed instantaneously on August 17th, by a German bomb while on patrol with two soldiers. One of the two was killed also, and the other taken prisoner: the latter has now returned home and reported the facts. Mervyn Llewellin came to the School House in May 1913, having been delayed for two terms by serious illness. His school life was a splendid struggle against ill health and a remarkable victory. He would never admit to the slightest feeling of illness until he was absolutely compelled to do so, and insisted on doing everything in work and play that the healthiest boy could do whenever possible. Before he left he reached the Upper VIth, was head of the School House, and in the 2nd XV. On leaving school he went to Sandhurst in January, 1917, and was gazetted to the South Wales Borderers in December of that year, joining the 3rd Battalion and going to the 1st Battalion in France in April, 1918. He was slightly wounded in June, but, as the regiment was short of officers, he remained at duty.’
He is buried at the Saint Mary’s Advanced Dressing Station Cemetery, Haisnes, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: XI. F. 20. The same Cemetery as Rudyard Kipling’s Son John Kipling is buried.
Herbert John LUKE
Herbert was born on the 18th April 1888 to John and Johanna Luke at Lane End Cottage, Washaway, Bodmin. His Father was a Navy Pensioner and Rural Postman. By the 1911 census, Herbert was a Police Constable with the Cornwall County Constabulary working at Camborne. It’s probable that between 1912 and 1914 he received a transfer to the Launceston area, although there is no documentation to prove that. He enlisted with the Military Police Corps in June 1915 as a Private (No 1522). He served with the Military Foot Police being attached to XV Corps HQ in France and Flanders. He married Gertrude Mary Phare at Launceston in 1916 whilst on leave, and they set up home at Tresmeer. He died on the 13th April 1918 at No. 23 Casualty Clearing Station of his wounds sustained in battle two days previous. He is buried at the Lapugnoy Military Cemetery, Lapugnoy, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: IX. B. 14A. He is also commemorated on the Cornwall Constabulary memorial.
Robert William Digory MADDEVER
Robert was born in 1893 to William and Margaret Maddever at 15 Duke Street, St. Stephens, Launceston. His Father was a General Carter (Timber Haulier). His Father died in 1911. He was educated at Horwell Boys Grammar School and Camelford Grammar School and went on to become a school teacher. According to reports he was a keen athlete being associated with Launceston Football, Cricket, Tennis and Bowling clubs. He first volunteered for active service with the Cornwall territorials on the 24th April 1915 and gained rapid promotion being made Quartermaster Sergeant on the 16th December 1915.He obtained a commission and was made 2nd Lieutenant of the Somersetshire Light Infantry on the 20th of July 1917 with whom he fought with in France and Flanders from the 10th September 1917. He died near Ypres on the 22nd of October 1917 of wounds he received in action the same day. He is buried Tyne Cot and is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Memorial , Zonnebeke, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium. He left a widow in Margaret.
Samuel John MARKS
Samuel was born in 1897 to John and Mary Marks at St.Stephens, Launceston. His Father was a Wood Ranger (Woodman). They moved to Hurdon Down in 1901 where the family settled. By 1911 Samuel was joined by 4 Brothers and 1 Sister.
He enlisted with Devonshire’s at first (3rd Devon Bte 4th Wessex Bde) at Tavistock in 1914 but had transferred to the Royal Field Artillery by 1916 as a Driver (Regimental No 1300). He died of his wounds on the 24th August 1916 at Salonika, Greece.
William Earle MARTIN
William was born in 1880 at Wishworthy, Lawhitton, Launceston to Elizabeth Martin. There is no information prior to the 1901 census so there are no details on his Father except that he had died prior to 1901. William worked on the family farm at Wishworthy from leaving school. He first joined the Suffolk Regiment (Regimental No 28956) enlisting at Exeter, but transferred to The Royal Engineers Pioneer Corps (Regimental No 358567) He died of his wounds sustained in action on the 1st of May 1918.
Harry was born in 1878 to Joseph and Selina Maunder of Race Hill, Launceston. ‘Happy Joe’ was a Groucer Porter in 1891 but soon went into Rope Manufacturing starting what is now Maunder and Sons at Scarne, Launceston. Harry first enlisted at Plymouth with the Devon R.G.A (Regimental No 1549) but transferred to the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner with the 117th siege Battalion (Regimental No 138350). He was badly wounded in in the left leg on Christmas Day 1916, by a hand grenade thrown into his dugout and he was operated on to remove a piece of shell, however he died of his wounds on the 7th February 1917. He is buried at the Saint Sever Cemetery extension, Rouen, Departement de la Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France, Plot: O. V. B. 7.
Another Son of Joseph and Selina Maunder, of Laurel Cottage, Race Hill, Launceston, who perished in the war. William was born in 1892 at Laurel Cottage, Launceston and by this time, Joseph had made the step into Rope manufacturing. William followed into his Father’s Rope Making business. William enlisted with the DCLI as a Private (Regimental No 24457) serving with the 1st Battalion. He was badly wounded in the back during action on the 2nd of August 1916 and although he was evacuated to Rouen Hospital, William succumbed to his wounds a couple of days later.
He is buried at the St. Sever cemetery, Rouen, the Second Part M to Z.
Charles was born in 1883 to Edwin and Grace Medland at Boscastle, Cornwall. His Father was a Mason. They moved to live at Chapple, Launceston before 1890. Charles followed his Father’s trade and worked as a Mason. Around 1910 Charles married Mary Emma ‘Emmie’ and they had two children Joseph and Charlie. They set up home also at Chapple. Charles enlisted with the DCLI as a Private (Regimental No. 540) and saw action during the Boer War in South Africa continuing his service there after peace was resumed. He was transferred to the Devonshire Regiment (Regimental No. 315796) serving with the 15th Battalion (Territorial). He rose to the rank of Sergeant. He was injured in battle and was evacuated to England although his injuries were critical. His Wife and Mother were advised to immediately travel if they wished to see him before he died, making it just before he passed away at Herne Bay on the 25th of May 1917. He was buried at Launceston Cemetery after a full military service.
Richard was born in 1893 to Edwin and Grace Medland at St. Thomas, Launceston. His Brother Charles also perished in the war (above). His Father was a Wall Mason/ Builder. Richard became a Carpenter on leaving school. He emigrated to Canada on the 22nd of April 1913, arriving at Maine aboard the ‘Megantic’ from Liverpool. On the of 2nd January 1915 he enlists with First Canadian Mounted Rifles (Saskatchewan Regiment) Private No 108375 in Vegreville, Minburn, Alberta, Canada. Like so many in his Battalion, Richard was killed on the 5th of June 1916 during the Battle of Mont Sorrel. He is remembered on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial.
The Battle of Mont Sorrel (Battle of Mount Sorrel, Battle of Hill 62) was a localized conflict of World War I between three divisions of the British Second Army and three divisions of the German Fourth Army in the Ypres Salient, near Ypres, Belgium, from 2 June 1916 to 14 June 1916. In an effort to pull British resources from the observed build-up in the Somme, the XIII (Royal Württemberg) Corps and the 117th Infantry Division attacked an arc of high ground positions defended by the Canadian Corps. The German forces initially captured the heights at Mount Sorrel and Tor Top before entrenching on the far slope of the ridge. Following a number attacks and counterattacks, two divisions of the Canadian Corps, supported by the 20th Light Division and Second Army siege and howitzer battery groups, recaptured the majority of their former positions
John was born in 1878 to Thomas and Mary Morton in Launceston. His Father was a Farm worker but he died before 1891. On leaving school, John became a Cowboy. But by 1901 he was working as a Florist.
He emigrated to Canada but returned with the 31st Calgary Battalion. He was killed when a shell hit his dug out in June 1916. He left a Widow who was living at Ilfracombe at the time of his death.
Bertram Churchward MURTON
Bertram was born in 1897 to S. Churchward and Grace Murton at Werrington, Devon. His Father was a Gardener on the Werrington Park Estate, but by 1915 had moved to Church Street, Launceston. He attended Dunheved College.
He enlisted at Launceston with the DCLI 6th Battalion as a Private (Regimental No 26763). He died on the16th of September 1916 after a battle at Geudecourt. His name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Thiepval, Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France, Plot: Pier and Face 6 B.
John was born in 1871 to James and Sarah Northmore at St. Stephens, Launceston. His Father was a Labourer. He joined the Royal Navy straight from school and rose to Chief Petty Officer 139490 (R.F.R.Dev A.3229). He married Ida Bailey in 1905 and they set up home at St. Stephens, Launceston. He joined the Nelson Battalion Royal Naval Division (5th Battalion) and was killed in action on the 3rd of May 1915 fighting at Gallipoli, Turkey
The 63rd (Royal Naval) Division was a United Kingdom infantry division which served during the First World War. It was originally formed as the Royal Naval Division at the outbreak of the war, from Royal Navy and Royal Marine reservists and volunteers who were not needed for service at sea, and fought at Antwerp and at Gallipoli. In 1916, following heavy losses among the original naval volunteers, it was transferred to the British Army as the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division, re-using the number from a disbanded Territorial Force division. As an Army unit, it fought on the Western Front for the remainder of the war.
His name is commemorated at the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Canakkale, Turkey, Plot: Chief Petty Officer, Royal Navy. Age: 44.
John Stanley ORCHARD
John was born on the 11th of December 1886 at The Week Inn, Week St Mary, Cornwall to Thomas and Mary Orchard. His Mother died in 1900 probably in child birth. His Father having remarried to Jane Walkey in 1904, moved the family to run the Launceston Arms Hotel, Exeter Street, Launceston.
Wireman 2nd Class M/13340 John Stanley Orchard was killed in action on 31 May 1916, when his ship the battle cruiser Queen Mary blew up and sank at Jutland. He was 19 years of age, had no known grave and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
HMS Queen Mary participated in the largest fleet action of the war, the Battle of Jutland in mid-1916. She was hit twice by the German battlecruiser Derfflinger during the early part of the battle and her magazines exploded shortly afterwards, sinking the ship. Her wreck was discovered in 1991 and rests in pieces, some of which are upside down, on the floor of the North Sea. Queen Mary is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 as it is the grave of 1,266 officers and men.
William was born in 1892 at Langore, Launceston to William and Mary Owen. His Father was a Quarry Labourer. On leaving School, William became an Apprentice Painter. With his wife Bessie he set up home in Tower Street, Launceston. He joined the DCLI as a Private (Regimental No 260014/33664) serving with the 1st/5th Battalion. He died at home of injuries sustained in battle on the 12th of August 1917. He is buried at Launceston Cemetery.
George Frederick OXENHAM
George was born around 1884 to Frederick and Emily Oxenham at Heavitree, Exeter. His Father, being born at Tetcott, was a Coachman/Groom.
He enlisted with the Devon shire Regiment at Teignmouth, Devon as a Private (Regimental No. 2955) in 1915 serving first in Asia before transferring to the 16th (Royal 1st Devon Yeomanry and Royal North Devon Hussars) Battalion(Regimental No 345310). He was killed on the 2nd of September 1918. His body was never identified but his name is commemorated at the Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: Final resting place unknown. Name listed on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Panel 4.
Thomas Henry PELLATT
Thomas was born in 1880 to Lewis and Rosina Pellatt at Stoke Damerell, Devon. His Father was a mariner born in Kent. Thomas married in 1907 to Jane Worden of South Petherwin. By the time of the war he was Artificer Engineer with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Exmouth (Service No 270310). He died of heart failure on the 5th January 1916.
Charles was born in 1876 to Henry and Alice Phelps at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. His Father was a Railway Signalman. At the age of 14 he went and worked as a General Labourer for a retired Baker Mr. Huxham and his wife at Chaceley. He married Mary Jane Buckley and they had 7 Children. He joined the DCLI at around 1893 serving in many countries including South Africa where three of his Children were born. On leaving the DCLI he and his family moved to St. Thomas Road, Launceston where he became the commissionaire at the Launceston Picture Theatre. On the outbreak of War, he was re-enlisted with the DCLI (Regimental No. 5981) as Company Sergeant Major.
He was killed by shell fire on the 31st July 1915. His name in commemorated at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ypres (Ieper), West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium, Panel 20.
FALLEN IN THE FIGHT (Extract from the Cornish and Devon Times)
Sympathy will be extended to Mrs. Phelps, St Thomas, Launceston, in the sad news which has reached her that her husband, Company-Sergt-Major Phelps, 6th DCLI* was killed in action near Hooge on 30 July. The sad intelligence comes after a long period of suspense and anxiety for Sergt Phelps over several months, though at one time it was reported, sadly without foundation – that he was wounded and in hospital.
The news now comes through the inquiry department of the Red Cross who write that they have received a report, dated 9th November, from Corpl Hilliard, 11569, now on leave in France, who states that Sergt Phelps was killed by shell fire in Sanctuary Wood, near Hooge. It was, Corpl Hilliard says, impossible to remove him at the time as there was so many lying about, but later they were able to bury the dead.
Company-Sergt-Major Phelps was of course well known to many of our readers having been for a considerable time the popular commissionaire at the Launceston Picture Theatre. Previously, he had been in the Army, serving in the South African and other campaigns and rejoining soon after the outbreak of the present war to one of the newly-formed DCLI battalions. A smart soldier, and a man of the friendliest disposition, his death in the service of his King and country is keenly regretted by his many acquaintances.
Edwin was born in 1892 to George and Elizabeth Philp at Marshgate, Boscastle. His Father was an Agricultural Labourer. By 1911 he was working for his Uncle John Tinney (Frank Doidge another of the fallen previously mentioned also worked here) a Monumental Mason of Church Street, Launceston as a Stone Mason. He joined the DCLI as a Private (Regimental No. 19854) Serving with the 2nd Battalion in 1915.The 2nd Battalion were part of the 82nd Brigade that fought Near Kosturino, north of Lake Doiran, Salonika. He was killed in action in the Balkans on the 8th December 1916. His body was never found but he is commemorated at the Doiran Memorial , Doirani, Regional unit of Kilkis Central Macedonia, Greece, Plot: Final resting place unknown. Name listed on the Doiran Memorial.
Herbert, or Bertie as he was known, was born in 1883 to Charles and Sarah Poole at Lee, Kent. His Father was a Gardener.On leaving School, Herbert became a Photographers Assistant in Sevenoaks, Kent. He moved to Launceston around 1906 and ran a Photographic Business whilst lodging with a Mrs. Hoskin at St. Thomas Hill.
He enlisted at Launceston and joined the D.C.L.I in October 1914 but was later transferred to the Norfolk Regiment (Regimental No. 30063). He served with the 2nd Battalion as a Lance Sergeant. He was killed in action in Mesopotamia on the 24th February 1917. His name is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Al Basrah, Iraq, Plot: Panel 10.
Harold was born in 1896 to John and Elizabeth Raymond at 16 Hill Park Cottage, Launceston. His Father was a Bill Poster. By 1911 Harold had become a Tailors Apprentice. He joined the DCLI 1ST/5TH Battalion as a Private (Regimental No.240637). He was instantly killed in France on the 23rd of August 1917 when a shell fell close by to his companies position and a fragment pierced his head. He was buried where he fell, but was later reinterred at the Wieltje Farm Cemetery, Ypres, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium. Plot: B. 10.
Percy was born in 1882 to Richard and Elizabeth Sandercock at Wooda Lane, Launceston. His Father was a Royal Navy Pensioner having served with the Royal Marines who had seen action during the Zulu wars but in 1891 was working as a Porter. Percy attended the Launceston National school and the Wesleyan Sunday School. By the 1911 census, Percy was living in Salcombe and working as a Bus Driver. He married a Miss Wills in June 1916 at Kingsbridge. He enlisted at Newton Abbot with the Devonshire Regiment 9th Battalion as a Private (Regimental No. 21146). He was killed in action on the 2nd of April 1917 in France. He is buried at the H. A. C. Cemetery, Ecoust-St. Mein, Ecoust-Saint-Mein, Departement du Pas-de-Calais,Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: IV. K. 5.
William John SAVAGE
William was born in 1894 at Langore, St. Stephens, Launceston. His Father was William Savage who came from Wells, Somerset but there is no information on his Mother. By the 1911 census he was living at Church Street, Launceston working for Mr. Nathaniel Reed as a Grocer’s Assistant.
He originally enlisted with the DCLI (Regimental No.1928) at Launceston but sometime later was transferred across to the Worcestershire Regiment 3rd Battalion as a Private (Regimental No. 202657). He was killed in action at Flanders on the 10th of April 1918. His body was never recovered but his name is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium, Plot: Panel 5.
Jack Richard SHARP
Jack was born in 1895 to Charles Orchard and Louisa Sharpe at Islington, London. His Father was a Journalist and in 1904 was the Editor for the Cornish and Devon Post in Launceston. Jack had attended Dunheved College (now Launceston College) by 1911 the family had moved to Plymouth.
On leaving school, Jack began work in the National Provincial Bank at the Brixham branch where he was still working as a Bank Clerk when he enlisted at Paignton in 1914.
He was Acting Bombardier (No. 748) of the 2nd Devon Battery, the 4th battalion, the Wessex Brigade; attached to the 15th Division Signal Company. He died on the 15th of August 1916 in a drowning accident whilst on a steamer travelling up the Euphrates River.
Richard Stanley SILLIFANT
Richard was born in 1900 to Richard and Hannah Sillifant at Lana Cottage Tetcott, Nr.Launceston. His Father was a Stone Mason. Richard served with the Lancashire Fusiliers 1/5 Battalion (T.F.) as a Private (Regimental No. 53196) He Died of his wounds sustained in action at Flanders on the 23rd of October 1918. At the time of his death his Parents were living at 30 Tower St., Launceston, Cornwall. He is buried at the Awoingt British Cemetery, Awoingt, Departement du Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: I. C. 1.
John Balhatchet SLEE
John was born in 1890 to William and Elizabeth Slee at Church Street, Launceston. Elizabeth died in 1894. His Father worked at the Launceston Savings Bank and was also Collector of taxes. By 1911 William had remarried Sophie and was a Bookseller and Stationer with John following into his Father’s business. For several years John was the Hon. Secretary for the Constitutional Club of Launceston and was also a keen member of Launceston’s Operatic Society and St. Thomas Church Choir.
He initially enlisted with the R.F.A (107806) as a Lieutenant but later transferred to the DCLI 7th Battalion. He was slightly injured by a gunshot wound to his cheek but recovered and returned to the front. He was wounded on the 24th of March 1918 more seriously and taken to a field hospital which in turn was heavily shelled and John was killed. His body was never identified but his name is commemorated at the Pozieres Memorial, Pozieres, Departement de la Somme
Picardie, France, Plot: Panel 45.
Samuel was born in 1882 at Coombe Brye Farm, Broadwoodwidger to Samuel and Mary Sleeman. His Father was a Farmer. On leaving school, Samuel worked at home on his Father’s Farm as a Carter. His Mum later moved to Wooda, Launceston. He initially enlisted with the Devonshire Regiment (Regimental No. 7701) in 1904 but later transferred to Somerset Light Infantry as a Corporal (Regimental No. 8064) serving with the 8th Battalion ‘C’ company. In 1916 at Hackney, London he married Gertrude Stayton but they never had any Children.
He was killed in action just after the Somerset’s had been involved in the 2nd Battle of the Scarpe on the 28th of April 1917. He is buried at the Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery, Arras, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: Bay 4.
Claude was born in 1885 to George and Mary Snell at Bathpool, North Hill, Launceston. His Father was in the Royal Navy at the time of his birth, serving on the HMS “Implacable”. By 1901 George being a Naval Pensioner was working as a Rural Postman and Claude had become an Apprentice Millwright. George died in 1908.By 1911 he had joined the Royal Engineers Corps as an Electrician, (Regimental No. 14693) enlisting at Devonport, Plymouth. He rose to the position of Lance Corporal. It was whilst being attached to ‘H’ company of the Bombay Defence Light section (having served there since May 1915) that he lost his life at Sea on the Troop Ship Leasone Castle en route for Marseilles, when it was torpedoed by UB 51 (Ernst Krafft) to the West of Alexandria and sunk on the 25th of May 1918 with the loss of 83 men. He is buried at the Chatby Memorial, Alexandria, Al Iskandariyah, Egypt. His Mother Mary, had moved to 9, Higher Cleverfield, St. Stephens, Launceston, and it’s probably due to this move that Claude appears on both the North Hill and Launceston Memorials as his Brother, George below.
George was the brother of Claude (above) being born in 1891 at Bathpool, North Hill, Launceston to George and Mary Snell. By the He joined the Royal Navy in 1909 on a 12 year service period and in the 1911 census he is shown as being an Able Bodied Seaman with at Devonport, Plymouth. He transferred to the RNAS in early 1917 and in April of that year George was posted to RNAS Howden which was an airship station near York. The station covered the east coast ports to protect its shipping from U-boat attacks. On the first of April 1918 the RNAS was merged with the RAF just a month after George had been transferred to East Fortune a station near Edinburgh. This station had an airship base at Chathill, Northumberland and this was to be Georges final posting and he was now officially shown as a Corporal (314912) in the RAF working as an aircraft rigger. He died on the 18th of November 1918 after contracting influenza and double pneumonia at Wold House auxiliary Red Cross Hospital, near Diffield . He is buried at Nafferton All Saints New Churchyard, Driffield, Yorkshire.
George Neal SPRY
George was born in 1894 to Daniel and Ann Spry at Boyton, Launceston. Boyton was in the county of Devon at this time. His Father was a Farmer and Butcher and the family was living at London House, Stowford in the 1901 census. By 1911 the family had moved to Market Street, Launceston and operated as Butchers which by this time George had joined. George married Elizabeth Medland (sister of Charles and Richard Medland) in 1915 at Launceston and in 1916 they had a Daughter Joyce. He appealed to the local tribunal to have his service enlistment cancelled but George’s final tribunal appeal is turned down. He enlisted with the Royal Engineer Corps at Launceston at the rank of DVR (Regimental No. 141221). He died when on board the “Transylvania” in the Mediterranean near Savona, Italy on the 4th of May 1917.
On May 3 1917, the Transylvania sailed from Marseille to Alexandria with a full complement of troops, escorted by the Japanese destroyers Matsu and Sakaki. At 10 am on May 4 the Transylvania was struck in the port engine room by a torpedo fired by the German U-boat U-63 under the command of Otto Schultze. At the time the ship was about 2.5 miles (2.2 nmi; 4.0 km) south of Cape Vado near Savona, in the Gulf of Genoa. The Matsu came alongside the Transylvania and began to take on board troops while the Sakaki circled to force the submarine to remain submerged. Twenty minutes later a second torpedo was seen coming straight for the Matsu, which saved herself by going astern at full speed. The torpedo hit the Transylvania instead, which sank immediately. Ten crew members, 29 army officers and 373 soldiers lost their lives. Many bodies of victims were recovered at Savona and buried two days later, in a special plot in the town cemetery. Others are buried elsewhere in Italy, France, Monaco and Spain. Savona Town Cemetery contains 85 Commonwealth burials from the First World War, all but two of them casualties from the Transylvania. Within the cemetery is the Savona Memorial which commemorates a further 275 casualties who died when the Transylvania sank, but whose graves are unknown.
Herbert Edward STARR
Herbert was born in 1887 to Edward and Elizabeth Starr at Croydon, Surrey who had one further son, Harold. His Father worked as a Domestic Gardener. On leaving school Herbert worked as a Stores boy for a Dental Instrument Maker. By 1911 he was working as a Carpenter. In September of 1914 Herbert along with his Wife were voted in as the Workhouse Master and Matron at Launceston. They had been living in Shaftesbury. In 1917 the board of Guardians tried to claim an exemption on Herbert being called up but this was turned down by the Tribunal.
He first enlisted at Launceston with the Worcestershire Regiment (Regimental No. 37390) but transferred to the Somerset Light Infantry (Regimental No 35244) making the rank of Lance Corporal with the 1st Garrison Battalion in Jan 1917 formed at Plymouth. He died in India on the 12th of September 1919 and was buried the following day at Poona, Near Bombay.
Charles or Charlie as he was known was born in 1887 to William and Elizabeth Steed at Landlake Mill, South Petherwin. His Father was a General Labourer but later became the live in Caretaker at Dunheved College. By 1911 he had married Mabel Grabham and was working as a Colliery Surface Labourer in Wales, living at 27 Hendrefadog Street, Tylorstown, Glamorgan. The couple had two children
He joined the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery as a Driver enlisting at Porth, Glamorgan (Regimental No. 230743). By 1918 the Family had moved to Taunton. He was killed by a stray shell whilst taking ammunition to the lines at Flanders on the 27th of September 1918. His body was picked up by American soldiers and buried behind the lines.
William was born in 1883 to Henry and Margaret Symons in Launceston. His Father was a Solicitors Clerk. By the 1901 census he was living in Lambeth, London working as a Civil Service Clerk. He served with the Royal Army Medical Corps (Regimental No 1862). Henry was a martyr to duty with his commanding officer stating that Henry was a bright example of devotion to duty. He would regularly go into the front trenches to aid and rescue the wounded without much thought to his own safety. It was this devotion to duty that ultimately cost him his life on the 5th of May 1916 when a shell burst near him seriously wounding him at Ersatz Valley. He was removed to Coupigny for surgery but died that same evening. He was interred at Quatre Vents military cemetery in France.
Harold Shipley TAYLOR
Harold was born on the 24th of June 1876 to William and Edith Taylor at Kenley, Surrey. His Father is listed in the 1901 census as a Mining Engineer. Harold emigrated to Canada with his Brother Hubert between 1902 and 1911 and was listed as a Stationary Engineer when he enlisted at Windermere, British Columbia on the 25th of January 1916 with the 2nd Canadian Regiment (Regimental No 687273 British Columbia Regiment 47th Battalion). Harold was killed in action (Battle of Hill 70) at Lens, France on the 22nd of August 1917. His name is commemorated at St Thomas Church and at the Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. His Parents were living in Illogan, Cornwall in 1911 so I would assume that they had moved to Launceston by the end of the war, which would be reason for his addition to the Memorial.
Sydney William THOMAS
Sydney was born in 1898 at Starr Cottage, Coombe Martin to William and Ellen Thomas. His Father was a General Agricultural Labourer. He married Dorothy and set up home at 3 Clarence Terrace, Launceston.
Before joining up he worked for Shuker and Reed. He initially enlisted in 1916 with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (Regimental No. 30107) as a Private but was transferred to the 1st Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment (Regimental No. 220042). He was killed in action at Flanders on the 7th of June 1917.His body was never identified but his name is commemorated at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial , Ypres, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium.
Harriet Dorothy Margaret THOMPSON
Harriet was born in 1893 to Dr. William ‘Willie’ Fookes and Harriet Thompson at Launceston. Her Father was the local GP for Launceston, living at Penquite, Launceston. Harriet followed her Father into the Medical Practice and became a Nurse. With the onset of war she joined the Volunteer Aid Detachment and helped look after injured Soldiers. She unfortunately contracted TB from one on the soldiers she had been nursing and as the illness worsened, she returned home to Launceston to be looked after by her Father. She died in the September of 1918.
The Cornwall & Devon Post, dated 27 July, 1918, carried the sad news: “Death. Thompson, on July 22nd, at Penquite, Launceston, Harriet, Dorothy Margaret, only daughter of Dr and Mrs Thompson.”
In the same edition: “Miss Thompson’s Death. Great sympathy with the Mayor and Mayoress. The residents of the borough of Launceston have extended very real sympathy to the mayor and mayoress in the death of their only daughter, at the early age of 26 years. At the outbreak of war Miss Thompson enrolled as a helper in the Launceston V.A.D. Hospital, and while engaged as a nurse in a Brighton hospital some months since, she had a serious breakdown in health. Nurse Thompson came home to die. She had thus virtually given her life for her country. Her remains were laid to rest in St Stephen churchyard on Wednesday afternoon. The funeral was one of the largest witnessed of recent years. The coffin, covered with the Union Jack, was placed on a bier and wheeled to the church by a St John Ambulance squad. Seven carriages followed the bier. The procession was a long one. The attendance was so enormous that there was not room in the church for all.”
There followed a long list of mourners- family, servants, Councillors, etc. The bearers were members of the St John Ambulance and British Red Cross Society, and former orderlies at the VAD Hospital, comprising – Messrs: JR Quick, SC Mutton, LP Symons, AS Keat, WH Philp and WT Mills; with Mr. CS Atkins in charge. Rifleman G Wicks, Croix de Guerre, blew ‘Last Post’ .
Claude was born on the 17th of September 1893 to George and Edith Tucker at St. Austell. His Father, a Lezant man, worked for Pearl Assurance. (His brother Leslie, below, also perished in the war).
He served as a Leading Telegraphist (J.3757) aboard HMS Defense which was sunk on the 31st of May 1916 during the Battle of Jutland when two salvoes from German Ships detonated her rear magazine. The fire from the explosion spread to the ship’s secondary magazines, which exploded in turn. There were no survivors. His name is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Plymouth, Devon, Plot: 13
Leslie Henry Harvey TUCKER
Leslie was born in 1898 to George and Edith Tucker at St. Austell. His Father was an Agent for Pearl Life Assurance. By 1911 George had passed away and Edith had moved the family to 3 Bellevue, Westgate Street, Launceston. Leslie enlisted as a Driver with the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery Regiment (Regimental No. 238687). He died of his wounds on the 10th October 1917. He is buried at the Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium, Plot: VI. E. 7.
Edgar was born in 1893 to Charles and Emma Vosper at Banham, Launceston. His Father was a farmer and Butcher which was a trade that Edgar took up on leaving school. He joined the Royal 1st Devon Yeomanry (Hussars) as a Private (Regimental No. 2486). He died of dysentery in Egypt on the 2nd of November 1915. He is buried at the Alexandria (Chatby) Military Cemetery, Alexandria
Al Iskandariyah, Egypt, Plot: B. 133.
Darrell was born in 1895 to Francis and Ellen Vowler at Kotagalle, Ceylon. His Father was listed as a Tea Planter which in reality meant that he owned Tea plantations in Ceylon. The family home was Edymead House, Launceston. Attended Oaklands Court preparatory school, St Peter’s, Thanet, Kent and Sherborne School (School House) January 1910-December 1912; He then attended Sandhurst where he received his commission for the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) as a Major serving with the Machine Gun Corps during the war. He was severely wounded whilst serving with the Canadians who were attacking Vimy Ridge and was evacuated to a hospital in England. He died on the 28th of February 1919 at Hazeley Down, Winchester after contracting influenza which led pneumonia. He was acting Lieutenant Colonel. He is buried at the Launceston Cemetery.
Darrell’s Brother, John was born in 1897 at Kotagalle, Ceylon. He attended Oaklands Court preparatory school, St Peter’s, Thanet, Kent and Sherborne School (School House) September 1911-December 1914; 6th form. He then entered Sandhurst in January 1915, and obtained his commission in the Leinster Regiment in June 1915. For WW1, Lieutenant in the Prince of Wale’s Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians), 3rd Bn. (Reserve), attached to the Machine Gun Corps. Served in France. In April 1916 he was accidentally wounded in the head while cleaning a revolver, and was sent home. On his recovery he joined the Machine Gun Corps and was stationed for some time at Grantham, proceeding to France again at the beginning of May 1917. Early in July 1917 he was sent to hospital at Rouen suffering from debility. Then his old wound began to trouble him again and he was sent home to England in an extremely dangerous condition. He died in Netley Hospital on 19 July 1917 as the result of the bursting of an abscess on the brain. He is buried at Netley Church.
Gustavis or Lambert as he was better known,was born in 1889 at Penzance to Alfred and Rosina Webber one of eleven children. His Father was a Cornwall Constabulary Inspector and moved around the county, finally ending up in Launceston by 1911 as a Superintendent, by which time Gustavis had left home and was working as an Ironmongery Shop Assistant. In July of 1913 he married Kate Osborne at the Wesleyan Church at St. Austell and they set up home at Trewoon, St. Austell having one Daughter Eileen.
He enlisted at Plymouth in April 1916 joining the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Lance Bombardier of the 61st Siege Battery (Regimental No 73528). He fought in many battles and was gassed in March 1918 but survived that only to be killed in action on the 29th of April 1918 and is buried at the Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery, Hazebrouck, Departement du Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: III. B. 16. He is also commemorated on the St. Mewan War memorial.
Horace was born at Landlake Farm in November 27th 1895 to William and Florence Westlake (Nee Harris who died in 1899).His Father was a farmer who remarried Anna Westlake in 1900. William’s health declined over the coming decade and he died in 1911. The family had moved to Treniffle, Lawhitton but on William’s death they moved to Western Road Launceston with Horace taking up employment with Mr. Bickle at Linnick Farm, South Petherwin, before taking up work at Falmouth. Horace joined the Devonshire Regiment in 1914 as a Lance Corporal. His Younger brother, Cecil, served with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry and was captured by the Germans but survived the war. Horace (Private 14662) served with the 8th Battalion. He was killed in action at the Battle of Loos on the 25th September 1915 aged just 19. The Devonshire Regiment were in action at the Battle of Loos and many, like Horace, including Lawrence Geake, lost their lives on the very first day of the offensive where the British used gas for the first time. Horace’s body was never found and is likely to be one of the many at Loos Cemetery ‘ known only to God’. However a bible found on the Loos Battlefield by Private Pattison Walton of the 2nd Battalion Border Regiment, is actually Horace’s. (Inside he wrote ‘’Found on the Battle Field on Sept 26 by Pte P Walton, 2nd Batt Border Reg. This bible belonged to one of the Devons who charged with us. Found on the field after the attack of Loos and Hulluch on Sept 26/9/15.” ). Mr. Walton presented the bible some 50 years ago to a lady in Surrey who has spent many years researching who the bible belonged to. It’s been confirmed that it is in fact Horace’s, given by the Wesleyan Sunday school in 1906.
Arthur Henry WHITFORD
Arthur (Boysie) was born in 1898 to Arthur and Jane Whitford at Race Hill, Launceston. His Father was a Tinplate Marker working for himself. By 1911 Arthur had 3 Sisters and 3 Brothers and the family were still living at the same address in Race Hill, Launceston.
Arthur enlisted with the DCLI rising to the Rank of Lance Corporal (Regimental No. 240210) serving with the 1st Battalion. He was killed in action at Flanders on the 4th of October 1917. His body was never recovered but his name is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke,West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium.
Frederick William WICKS
Frederick was born on the 26th October 1898 to Frederick and Annie Wicks (ne Tighe) at Raglan Barracks, St Aubyn, Devonport, Plymouth. His Father was a Bookbinder and Printer and originally came from Truro. His Mother Annie was from Dublin, Ireland. In 1911 they were residing in premises in Castle Street, Launceston with all 11 of Frederick juniors siblings. At the outbreak of War Frederick enlisted with the DCLI (the same Regiment that his Father had previously served with in 1890’s) as a Drummer (Regimental No. 1707) serving with the 5th Battalion. He died at 1st Northern General Hospital on the 6th of June 1915 at the age of just 16 and is buried at Launceston Cemetery.
This concludes those that fell that are included upon the War Memorial, but there were other brave men not mentioned from Launceston, that also perished during the war and I have listed a few below.
Thomas Norman Howard JOHNSON
Thomas was born in 1893 to Thomas and Ellen Johnson (nee Howard) at Rainhill, Lancashire. His Father, who came from Ireland, was a Clergyman, and in 1901 the Family were living at St. Catherines Hill, Launceston. The Family had arrived in Launceston in 1897 as Thomas Senior took up the position of Vicar for St. Thomas, a role that he played for 13 years. In the 1911 census Thomas junior is shown staying at the Scotts Waverley Hotel, Southport presumably visiting relations. In the June of 1913, by which time the family had moved to Weston Super Mare, Somerset, he enlisted with the Grenadier Guards but was then was discharged on 25th August 1913 with payment of £10. At the outbreak of war he enlisted with the Devonshire Regiment (Regimental No. 33633) serving with the 9th Battalion. He was killed in action at Yppres on the 7th of October 1917. His body was never recovered but his name is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium.
Reinfred was born in 1893 to Reinfred and Mary Atkins at Launceston. His Father was a Mason who died in July 1904 after falling 15 feet from a roof. By 1911, the family had moved to Plymouth and were residing at 39 Ashford Road with Reinfred working as a Baker. At the onset of war, Reinfred joined the Devonshire Regiment as a Private (Regimental No 10309) serving with the 8th (Service) Battalion. Like two others from Launceston, Reinfred was killed in action at the ‘Battle of Loos’. His body was never recovered. But his name is honoured on the Loos Memorial.
Eric was born on the 28th of August 1895 at St. Agnes to Thomas and Annie Bennetts. His Father was a Clergyman and was the Vicar of Lewannick (Where Eric spent most of his childhood) up to 1914 when the family moved to Cape Town, South Africa. He attended Hazeldon Preparatory School, Tavistock, Devon before going to Sherborne School (The Green) from September 1909 to July 1913, he was a scholar in the 6th form. He won the Digby Maths prize in1913. He completed his studies at a college in Cape Town. He originally was a Lance-Corporal in the Cape Town Highlanders, South African Defence Force (Signalling Instructor) but in the spring of 1916 he returned to England to join the Royal Flying Corp (R36035) and became a Flight Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Navy Air Service. He was reported missing in September 1917 after his plane, a Sopwith Camel F1 biplane, collided with another British Sopwith, piloted by Philip Johnston, behind enemy lines and was confirmed as having died in February 1918.He is buried at the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, epartement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: XV. R. 22.
On the 26th of February 1918 a service of commemoration was held at Lewannick Church with the tributes being paid: Floral tribute – “In loving memory of dear Eric from Commander & Mrs Watts Russel. From all at Pen Tamar.”Floral tribute – “In proud & loving memory of Eric & those who fell in the Great War from this Parish. Mrs & Miss Bennetts of Lifton.”Floral tribute – “In proud & loving memory of Eric Augustine Bennetts & all those who from this Parish fell in the Great War, from Rev. & Mrs W.T. Bennetts.
At the time of his death, his Sister, Evelyn Maud Bennetts, was living at Roydon Road, Launceston, the address he used as a place of residence. For this reason he is mentioned on the St. Stephens Church roll of honour.
George was born in 1884 at Launceston. He enlisted with the 2/8th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers (Regimental No. 307298). He was killed on the 11th of November 1917 at Cambrai. He appears on the St. Thomas ‘Roll of Honour’.
Edward was born in 1889 to William and Ann Budge at St. Thomas Hamlet, Launceston. His Father was a Butcher. It seems that the family had split by 1911 as William was an inmate at Launceston Workhouse and Ann was in service. Before 1911 Edward had enlisted at Bedford with the Bedfordshire Regiment (Regimental No. 9202). He died of his wounds on the 18th of March 1915. He is buried at the Le Touquet-Paris Plage Communal Cemetery, Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: I. B. 14.
Arthur was born in 1895 to William and Hannah Ellicott (Both born in Launceston) at Cardiff. His Father was a Commercial Traveler and the family lived a various areas around Britain, finally moving to Kingston upon Thames, Surrey by 1911. On leaving school Arthur became an Apprentice Watchmaker.
He enlisted at the onset of war on the 21st of August 1914 with the East Surrey Regiment 7th Battalion (Regimental No 598). He is listed as being of pale complexion, with brown hair and grey eyes. He had distinctive marks of moles and a scar. His chest size was 33 inches and weight of 133 pounds. In 1915 he contracted malaria and passed away at home on the 28th of September 1915.
William John Kent
William was born in 1885 to William and Emmeline Kent at Torquay. His father was a Police constable with the Devon county constabulary. His parents came to live at Truscott by 1914 with his father now serving with the Cornwall constabulary. William joined the the Royal Field Artillery in 1905. He was given a commission in 1914 on the field of battle for conspicuous bravery. Now a 2nd Lieutenant and after a few days leave at Christmas 1915 where he married Bertha Ellacott at North Petherwin church, he returned to France. On the 11th of March his battery were ordered up to take part in the battle of Neuve Chappelle. On the morning of the 12th, a shell burst close to him, killing William and another soldier, and wounding eight others of his battery. He was buried on the spot he fell. William appears on the St. Stephens ‘Roll of Honour’. His brother Frederick Thomas Kent also served during the war also being awarded a commission.
Benjamin was born in 1886 to Joseph and Rosannah Mayor at St. Lukes, Lancashire. His father was a Cotton Overlooker. In 1911 Benjamin was working as a Grocery Warehouseman still living with his parents in Blackburn. He enlisted at Blackburn with the Royal Fusiliers serving with the 10th Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifles (Regimental No. R/1714). He was killed at Ypres on the 28th of February 1916. He was interred at the La Belle Alliance Cemetery, West Vlaanderen Belgium. He appears on the St. Thomas ‘Roll of Honour’.
Alfred Leslie Quintrell
Alfred was born in 1893 to Alfred and Annie Quintrell at Kensington, London. Both his Parents were Cornish with his Father being employed as a Wheelwright/ Coach Builder. The family returned to live at St. Columb by the 1911 census with Alfred working as an Electrician. It was this line of work that brought Alfred to Launceston to work as the Operator at the Launceston Picture Theatre. He joined the Royal Navy in early 1915 and served upon ‘HMS Black Prince’ as a 2nd Class Wireman (Service No. M13988). He was killed in action on the 31st of May 1916 when the ‘Black Prince’ participating in the Battle of Jutland, was sunk with heavy loss of life. The circumstances under which she sank were mysterious for some years after. As the British had lost contact and did not see the ship destroyed, they were unsure as to whether a submarine or surface ship was responsible for sinking the Black Prince. During the battle, the First Cruiser Squadron was deployed as part of a screening force several miles ahead of the main force of the Grand Fleet, but Black Prince lost contact with the rest of the Squadron as it came into contact with German forces, at about 17:42.
His body was never recovered but his name is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial on Panel 20.
Percy was born in 1899 to William and Sarah (nee Johns) at Sutcombe, Holsworthy, Devon. His Father was a General Labourer. On leaving school he worked for the Printers, Messrs W. S, Cater and Co. in Launceston.
He enlisted at Launceston with the Somerset Light Infantry (Regimental No. 40127) serving with the 8th Battalion. By then the family were living at New Mills, St. Stephens.
He died of his wounds on the 24th of August 1918 and is buried at the Bienvillers Military Cemetery, Bienvillers-au-Bois, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: XIX. F. 5.
Sydney Crymes Rundle
Sydney was born in 1888 to John Kingdom and Hannah (nee Baker) Rundle at North Petherwin. His father was a farmer and Butcher and the family were living at Colhay farm, St. Stephens in 1911. He married Lillian Kate Bloye of Egloskerry in 1915. Sydney enlisted at Launceston with the Devonshire Regiment as a Lance Corporal (Regimental No. 30443) serving with the 2nd Battalion. He was killed in action on the 24th of April 1918. He is listed on the St. Stephens ‘Roll of Honour’.
John Trolove Sharpley
John was born in 1895 at Launceston to Clement and Edith (nee Eggins) Sharpley. His father, hailing from Lincoln, was a Bank accountant and by 1911 was a Bank Manager in Holsworthy. After leaving Dunheved College John worked as a Bank Clerk in Weymouth. He enlisted in August 1916 with the Middlesex Regiment (Regimental No. G/40131) as a private. He joined the 12th Battalion on September 1st, 1916 and was wounded whilst fighting at Thiepval on September 26th, 1916 and died later that day from his wounds. His name is commemorated on the Holsworthy War memorial.
Reginald Garfield Skinner
Reginald was born in 1897 to Thomas and Annie Skinner at Oak Farm, Whitstone, Cornwall. His Father was a Farmer. In 1910 his Mother died. On leaving school, Reginald went to work on his Fathers farm as a Horseman.
He enlisted at Bude on the 15th of December 1915 with the Royal Garrison Artillery (Regimental No.7549) as a Gunner. He died of his wounds on the 26th of April 1917. At the time of his death the family was living at Tresmarrow, Launceston. It is not known where he is buried.
John was born in 1896 to John and Elizabeth Sloman at Tredidon, St. Thomas, Launceston. His Father had a varying career mainly as an Agricultural Labourer but also as a Gardener something that John was helping with as a Garden Domestic with the family living at Woodlands, South Hill in 1911. He had attended both Coads Green Sunday School, and School. The family had also lived at Tregillis, South Petherwin. By the time of his death in 1916 the family had moved to Warra Farm, Yeolmbridge. He enlisted at Cardiff with the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery as a Gunner (Regimental No. 105088). He was killed in Action on the 18th of October 1916 at the Battle of the Somme. His body was never identified but his name is commemorated at the THIEPVAL MEMORIAL and on the North Hill War Memorial.
John (or Jack as he was known) was born on the 10th of March 1883 to John and Annie Towl at Trebursye, Near Tregadillett. His Father was a General Labourer. By the 1901 census, Jack was working for a Mr. Weeks at Sheers Barton, Lawhitton as an Ordinary Farm Labourer. He joined the Royal Navy on the 17th of November 1902 as a Stoker (Service No.301983) and his first ship was HMS Prometheus. He rose to Stoker 1st class by the outbreak of War in 1914 serving upon the light cruiser HMS Cordelia. He saw many naval engagements including the Battle of Jutland.
He was killed on the 22nd of December 1917 when his ship, HMS Valkyrie, hit a mine just of the Dutch coast and sunk. He was buried at St. Thomas Church, Launceston.
William was born in 1890 to Abraham and Maria Watters at Launceston. His Father died when William was still at a young age and his Mother remarried to Fred Osbourne. By 1911 he is working as a Waggoner for a Confectionary Company and living with family at Tower Street, Launceston. He married Caroline Haines in 1916 at Launceston and they had one child. He served with the Worcester Regiment as a Private. He was killed in action on the 28th of April 1918.
The men that follow actually survived the war but later passed away as a result of their war service.
Charles Samuel Causley
Charles was born in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada in 1887 of British parents and worked as a Gardener. He married Laura Bartlett in 1915 and they had one son, the poet Charles Stanley Causley. Charles died in 1924 of a lung condition induced by the conditions under which he served with the Army Service Corps (Service No.T4/2443) in the trenches during the First World War.
Francis George Davey
Francis was born in 1891 to George and Jane A. Davey at Launceston. His father was a postman. He became an assistant teacher working at Horndon on the Hill, Essex by 1911. He passed away after a long illness, contracted in France during the war. The death took place at Aylesford, Kent, in 1924.
Arthur was born in 1890 to Edward and Mary Leamon at Launceston. His father was a bank clerk. Arthur joined the DCLI (Regimental No’s 8954, 542911) sometime before 1911. He died on June 15th, 1925 with heat exhaustion in Lucknow, India and was buried the following day. At the time of his death he was Colour Sergeant Major with the 1st Battalion of the DCLI. It was believed that his death wasn’t helped by his time serving during the First World War.
Thomas Henry Medland
Harry as he was known was born in 1883 to Edwin and Grace Medland at Boscastle. He was the brother of Charles and Richard Medland who both died during the war. In 1906 Harry emigrated to Canada but returned with a Canadian regiment to fight in the war. There is little information available but although he survived the war, he died on his return to Canada due to the effects of the war.
Henry William Hugh Smith
Henry was born in 1882. His death took place last month 1924 at Shaughnessy Military hospital, says the Daily Provence of Vancouver of Mr Henry William Hugh Smith at the age of 42, as a result of his war service. He left a widow (formerly Miss Louise Gale, of Chaple House, Launceston) and 2 children, who lived in Vancouver.
Frederick Edward Vivian
Fred was born in 1897 to Henry and Mary Vivian at Plymouth. On leaving school he worked as a cowboy for Mr. Titus Shute at Trewithick farm, Truscott. He married Mabel Paul in 1918. He enlisted with the DCLI as a private (Regimental No. 23987) and served throughout the war on the Western Front. However he suffered from terrible shell shock which was to blight his health for the rest of his life. He did return to live at Langore with his wife and continued to work as a farm labourer, but his health slowly let him down and he died at home in April 1960.