Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion

SILSOE - War Memorial

World War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © 2000 Lynda Smith

The Memorial outside the church was of stone that was rapidly becoming unreadable The War Memorial is in the process of being re-carved and cleaned and is nearly finished; now all is legible in addition there is, within the church, a beautifully inscribed board with a further list of men.

Photographs Copyright © Lynda Smith 2004

Inscription on the Memorial Board inside church

TO THE GLORY OF GOD
IN MEMORY OF THE
MEN OF SILSOE
WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR
1914 – 1918

IN HEARTS AND
MEMORY ENSHRINED
WITH GOD THEY
LIVE FOR EVER

    1914-1918
AMBRIDGE

Ernest John

Acting Corporal 516394, Labour Corps. Born and resident Silsoe, enlisted Ampthill. Killed in action 13th September 1918 in France and Flanders. Formerly 17217 Royal Garrison Artillery. Buried in Hersin Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France. Grave III.E.12

BANGS

Leonard

possibly Leonard Edward BANGS, Rifleman 3963, 9th (County of London) Battalion, (Queen Victoria's Rifles), London Regiment. Enlisted London, resident Tottenham. Died of wounds 5th July 1915 in France & Flanders. Age 21. Son of William H. and Susan Bangs, of 9, Waltheof Avenue, Lordship Lane, Tottenham, London. Buried in Etretat Churchyard, Seine-Maritime, France. Grave II. D. 21. [This is the only L BANGS on the CWGC and SDGW so it would seem hilghly likely this is him].

CORNWELL

Jack

John George CORNWELL. Private 6930 11th Bn Royal Fusiliers. Died Thurs 29 June 1916 aged 22. The son of William John & L Cornwell of Silsoe. Commemmorated Dive Copse British Cemetery, Somme. Ref. II.A.21. See also Hitchin War Memorial and Hitchin Grammar School WW1 Memorial

CLAYSON

John William

possibly Private 26072 'C' Coy. 7th Bn. Royal Berkshire Reg. Formerly 1st/5th Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Tuesday 24 April 1917 aged 22. Born Wellingborough, Northants, enlisted Reading and resident Ampthill. Son of John & Julia Clayson of The Gardens, Dashwood, Gravesend, Kent. Also served at Gallipoli. Commemorated Dorian Memorial, Greece.

DUNHAM

Ernest William

Private 150366 16th Bn Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regt). Died Mon 4 Sept 1916 aged 22. son of James & Sophia Dunham of 19 High Street, Sils(c)oe, Beds. Commemmorated Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais.

FAHEY

Albert

possibly Private 12470, 7th Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Born South Lambeth, London, enlisted St Pancras, London, resident Whitehall, London. Killed in action 31st March 1916 in France & Flanders. Commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 20. [This is the only A FAHEY on the CWGC and SDGW so it would seem hilghly likely this is him].

FENNEMORE

Herbert Henry

[On CWGC & Soldiers Died CD recorded as Herbert Henry FENNEMORE] Private 33387. 1st Btn. Hampshire Regiment. Killed in action Saturday 31st August 1918 aged 41. Born Silsoe, enlisted Christchurch, Hampshire. Son of Francis Eliza Fennemore of Silsoe. Husband of May Fennemore, 109 Bargates, Christchurch, Hants. Commemorated Eterpigney British Cemetery, Pas de Calais. Ref. B.15.

 

 

 

Also commemorated on his parents grave:

In
Loving Memory
Of
FRANCIS FENNEMORE
Who died July 7th 1904
Aged 64 years
So He Giveth His Beloved Sleep

Also His Beloved Wife
ELIZA FENNEMORE
Who died February 1st 1911
Aged 72 years
“Peace Perfect Peace”

Also their beloved son
HERBERT
Killed in action in France August 31st 1918.
“Until the day breaks”.

GUDGION

William Henry

Private M2/181153. 906th M.T. Coy. Army Service Corps. Died at sea Friday 4th May 1917 aged 39. Born, enlisted and resident Burgh Heath, Surrey. Son of William Gudgion of Rose Cottage, Silsoe. Hunband of Charlotte Harding (formerly Gudgion) of Fair View, Abbots Road, Cheam, Surrey. Commemorated on Savona Memorial, Italy.

Information from Les Gudgion, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.

Born 13th May 1878. 33 Richard Street, Islington, London.

On 3rd May 1917, the Transylvania, a troopship, sailed from Marseille to Alexandria with a full complement, escorted by the Japanese destroyers Matsu and Sakaki. On 4th May The Transylvania was torpedoed, close to Cape Vado in the Gulf of Genova, by German Submarine U-63. The Matsu came alongside the Transylvania and began to offload the troops whilst the Sakaki circled to force the submarine to remain submerged. After a second torpedo hit, the Transylvania sank immediately. In total 414 men lost their lives.

The bodies recovered at Savano (just north of Cape Vado), were buried two days later, from the hospital of San Paulo, 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

Auberon Thomas

Captain 22nd Sq. Royal Flying Corps & Hampshire Yeomanry (Carabiniers). Died Friday 3rd November 1916 aged 40. 8th Baron Lucas & 11th Baron Dingwall. Son late Hon. Auberon Edward Molyneux Herbert. Commemorated H.A.C. Cemetery, Ecoust-St.-Mein, Pas de Calais. Ref. VIII.C.17

From the Balliol College War Memorial Book, Volume 1 -

Auberon Thomas Herbert, Lord Lucas and Dingwall

AUBERON HERBERT was born in May 1876, the only son of the Honourable Auberon Herbert by his marriage with the sister of the last Earl Cowper. He was educated at Bedford Grammar School, and, after some time in the house of Mr. A. L Smith, entered Balliol in October 1895 He had never rowed at school, but he was a fine natural athlete, and found a place in his last two years in the University boat, as well as in the famous Balliol Eight of 1899, which contained five Blues. He had very little of the ordinary sportsman about him; his tastes were rather those of the gipsy, and he had an astonishing knowledge of birds and beasts and every wild thing. Far better than the ritual of games he loved his private adventures in the byways of the countryside. He did not do much in the schools, taking a Third Class in Modern History, but his most intimate friends were scholars like Cuthbert Medd and Raymond Asquith, and he developed a great love of poetry and music. For politics at that time he cared not at all. With his petulant mouth and great wondering eyes he had the air of one who was amused and a little puzzled by life.

At the outbreak of war in 1899 he was off at once to South Africa, taking the first chance he got, which was that of Times correspondent. There he was abundantly happy. He was not specially interested in military affairs, but he loved the spacious land and the adventurous life. When I think what dull things I was doing last year,' he wrote to a friend, 'I am staggered by the luck which has brought me here.' Presently, advancing too far forward in an action, he got a rifle bullet in his foot. The wound was mismanaged, and when he came back to England his leg had to be amputated below the knee. To most men of his type such a loss might well have been crippling. To him it simply did not matter at all. He rode and played tennis and stalked just as before. He must have had bad hours, but he refused to be depressed even for a moment by a small thing like the loss of a leg.

Presently, under Raymond Asquith's guidance, he, who had been at Oxford a member of the Canning Club, became a Liberal candidate for Parliament. His uncle died in the summer of 1905, and he succeeded to the baronies of Lucas and Dingwall, and became the owner of several great houses. He was neither oppressed by, nor unappreciative of, his new possessions, but he always preferred his home at Picket Post in the New Forest. Then there befell him the most fantastic fate. When the Liberal Government came into power, as one of the few Liberal peers, he was marked down for preferment. He became Mr. Haldane's private secretary in 1908 and later Under-Secretary for War, and in 1911, for a short time, Undersecretary for the Colonies. He was never a good speaker, but his honesty and natural courtesy pleased even his opponents.

In 1911 he went as Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture, where he was a real success, for he was a true countryman, knowing at first hand what most politicians are only told. In 1914 he entered the Cabinet as President of the Board of Agriculture, and held the post till the formation of the Coalition in May 1915. It was an odd destiny for a gipsy- to be a Cabinet Minister in spite of himself at thirty-eight.

When he left the Cabinet he found what he had always been seeking. Though he was many years over age, he managed to join the Royal Flying Corps, where his wonderful eye and nerve stood him in good stead. Soon he became a most competent pilot. He was for a short time in Egypt, and was back in England in the spring of 1916, engaged in instructing recruits. He was offered the command of a squadron, but refused till he had gained experience on the Western front. He went out to France in October of that year, and in a flight in stormy weather over the German lines was reported missing. Early in December news came from the German side that he was dead. When our troops advanced to victory in the autumn of 1918 they found his grave.

There can have been few careers with such abundant fulfilment. He had his full share of success, and when that palled on him he could always fall back upon the things that do not pall-the kindly earth and the kindly air. He had found the secret of happy living, in which the fires of youth never burn low, and the ardour and adventure of life are never dimmed. As his epitaph we may well add to Maurice Baring's beautiful elegy Stevenson's prose "In the hot fit of life, a-tiptoe on the highest point of being, he passes at a bound on to the other side. The noise of the mallet and chisel is scarcely quenched, the trumpets have hardly done blowing, when, trailing with him clouds of glory, the happy-starred, full-blooded spirit shoots into the spiritual land."

IN MEMORIAM. A. H.

O liberal heart fast-rooted to the soil,
O lover of ancient freedom and proud toil,
Friend of the gipsies and all wandering song,
The forest's nursling and the favoured child
Of woodlands wild-
O brother to the birds and all things free,
Captain of liberty!
Deep in your heart the restless seed was sown
The vagrant spirit fretted in your feet
We wondered could you tarry long,
And brook for long the cramping street,
Or would you one day sail for shores unknown
And shake from you the dust of towns, and spurn
The crowded market place - and not return.
You found a sterner guide;
You heard the guns. Then, to their distant fire,
Your dreams were laid aside
And on that day, you cast your heart's desire
Upon a burning pyre;
You gave your service to the exalted need,
Until at last from bondage freed,
At liberty to serve as you loved best,
You chose the noblest way. God did the rest.

MAURICE BARING.

JONES, DSO

Lumley [Owen Williames]

Brigadier General Commanding 13th Brigade 5th Division Essex Regiment. Died on 14th September 1918. Aged 41. Son of Richard Edward and Catharine Jones, of Cefn Bryntalch, Abermule, Montgomeryshire. Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (France), Officer of the Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus (Italy). Buried: Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt, Somme, France. Ref. V.F.24.

LAIRD

Frederick Harry

Corporal 8976. Ist Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment. Died Thursday 10th December 1914 aged 28. Son of Fred & Sophia Laird of 88 Bover Street, Bedford. Husband of Julia Laird of High Street, Silsoe. Commemorated Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 31 & 33

MANN

Cyril Thomas

Private 31136 Bedfordshire Yeomanry. Died Saturday 30 March 1918 aged 21. Born and resident Flitton, enlisted Bedford. Son of Mrs Lizzie Mann, of Wardhedges, Flitton. Comm Poziers Memorial, Somme. Panel 7.

MARTIN

Eustace Charles

Private G/28123. 16th Battalion Middlesex Regiment. Killed in action in France & Flanders on 1st December 1917. Born Gravenhurst. Lived Ampthill. Enlisted Bedford. Commemorated: Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, Nord, France. Panel 9.

PRATT

Charles Henry

Driver 528134, 1st Mounted Division, Signal company, Corps Royal Engineers. Resident Silsoe, enlisted Bedford. Died 14th October 1918 in Egypt.

UPTON

Walter [Edward][Chase]

Corporal 24817, 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers. Born Silsoe, enlisted Chester. Age 26. Son of Mrs Emille Upton of 18 Upper Northgate Street, Chester. Killed in action 1st July 1916 in France & Flanders. Formerly 46564, Royal Army Medical Corps. Buried in Y Ravine Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel, Somme, France. Grave C.49

    1939-1945
BROWN

Donald Arthur

Flying Officer 133716. 90 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died Thursday 18 November 1943 aged 24. Son of Frank William & Annie Margaret Brown of Silsoe. Comm: Runneymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 123

SHIRLEY

R C

No further information currently.

SQUIRES

A H

No further information currently.

Buried/commemorated in churchyard but not on memorial
BOTTOMS

William George Herbert

Driver T/7960178. Royal Army Service Corps. Died on 29th September 1945. Aged 38. Son of Herbert and Mary Jane Bottoms; husband of Elsie Winifred Bottoms, of Flitwick, Bedfordshire. Commemorated: Brookwood Memorial, Surrey. Panel 16. Column 2.

CRAIG

John Donald

Flight Lieutenant 128700. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died on 23rd April 1946. Aged 39. Son of James Archibald and Ursula Marie Craig, of Eversholt. Buried: Silsoe (St. James) Churchyard. N.E. corner, near north boundary.

CUNNINGHAM

John James

Private 339. 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders. Died of wounds on 2nd February 1915. Born Barony, Lanarkshire. Enlisted Glasgow. Buried: Silsoe (St. James) Churchyard. Ref. 1.

DALTON

John

Private 7299. 1st Battalion Prince Albert’s Somerset Light Infantry. Died on 7th December 1914. Aged 32. Born St Joseph’s, Swansea. Lived Swansea. Enlisted Neath. Husband of Druscilla Campbell (formerly Dalton), of 5, Skinner St., Swansea. Buried: Silsoe (St. James) Churchyard. Ref. 5.

DENNIS

Hubert Charles

Private 11430394. Pioneer Corps. Died on 13th June 1946. Aged 40. Son of John Thomas Dennis and Hephzibah Dennis, of Silsoe; husband of Doris Dennis, of Silsoe. Buried: Silsoe (St. James) Churchyard. S.E. corner.

DORMAN

George Edward

Private 4026, 3rd Battalion, Australian Infantry, A.I.F. Enlisted Paddington, New South Wales. Died on 14th July 1916. Buried: Silsoe (St. James) Churchyard. Ref. 4.

FOSTER

Loftus Frank

Lance Corporal 10680. 2nd Battalion The King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Died on 9th May 1915. Aged 22. Born Barham, Canterbury. Enlisted Dover. Son of Mrs. Sarah J. Lawrence, of 8, Queen St., Dover. Buried: Silsoe (St. James) Churchyard. Ref. 2.

HAND

Edward

Gunner 17448. Royal Field Artillery. Died on 14th July 1919. Born and enlisted Bristol. Buried: Silsoe (St. James) Churchyard. Ref. 3.

HAYES Philip Radford

Private 5956293, 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment. Died as a POW at sea 14th October 1944. Aged 31. Husband of Anne Mable Hayes (nee Wiffin), of Shillington, Bedfordshire. Commemorated on SINGAPORE MEMORIAL, Karnji War Cemetery, Singapore. Column 63. (See also Shillington Village)

There is a tablet on a Wiffin memorial which reads:

In
memory of
my dear husband
Philip Radford Hayes
who died prisoner of war
in Japan 14th Oct. 1941
aged 31 years / In God's keeping

[Details kindly supplied by Roger Bradshaw]

PETTY

G. C.

Private T4/236740. Army Service Corps. Died on 15th March 1918. Buried: Silsoe (St. James) Churchyard. Ref. 6. (Not on CD)

Also buried in the churchyard
ORFORD, MC. DCM.

Edgar Francis

To the Beloved Memory
Of
Edgar Francis Orford
M.C. D.C.M.
Captain & Adjutant
10th (Service Battalion)
South Wales Borderers
(1st Gwent)
Who died 17th March 1936
Aged 57 years
“Life’s work well done”.

13 June 2004

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