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Lest We Forget
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The Royal British Legion


The Chesterton Chapel/Arbury Church War Memorial

World War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © 2000 Geoff Hopkins
Reproduced with permission from Arbury Church from a booklet


Some time ago Geoff Hopkins handed me a large brown envelope and said, "Les, this is something for the Arbury News. It's the information about the names on our church's war memorial plaque". As I read through the contents I began to realise and appreciate the tremendous amount of time and effort Geoff must have put in to glean all the details. I understand Geoff began compiling details over a year ago. I felt all Geoff's work would be better presented in a separate booklet.

Although only a microcosm of the losses sustained in the two World Wars, the information given makes one pause and reflect on the waste and futility of war. As Boys' Brigade Captain I have had the privilege of reading the names from the plaque at Remembrance Day Services, and they were to me only names; this document brings home that these were men with families - real people, with real lives so sadly cut short. As Geoff says, we should know something of the members of our fellowship who gave their tomorrow for our today. "Lest we forget..."

Thanks, Geoff, for all your hard work in compiling this information.

Les Bowyer

Church War Memorial

As the Church minutes for the years 1911 - 1922 have been missing for some years we have no idea of the thoughts of members for a suitable memorial, or who made it, or at what cost.

The eldest Mr. Hibbitt of the stonemasons in Victoria Road is sure that his firm made the memorial and that the two names from the Second World War were put on by them. Our Church minutes show a members' meeting on 14th December 1949 discussing a memorial for the two members who had died and a deacons' meeting on 14th February 1950 where it was decided to add the two names to the bottom of the existing memorial.

We have a photo of a Chapel event held at Chesterton between the Wars. This shows the south end of the Chapel having a raised stage with the pulpit in the middle and the organ on the right-hand side. Between the pulpit and the organ can be seen the memorial above head height.

On moving to Arbury, the memorial was fixed above the panelling on what we now call the stage in the main hall.

When the new church was built the memorial was again taken down, and after much discussion it was fixed in its present position.

Herewith are the names as they appear on the memorial with a little of their, in many cases, short lives. I feel we should not only remember them, but should also know something of the members of our fellowship who gave their tomorrow for our today.

Geoff Hopkins

First World War 1914-1918

Arthur Walter
Arthur was horn in 1897, the son of Alfred William and Sophia; they lived for some time at Thriplow Heath. I can find nothing to connect the family with the Chapel at Chesterton, or of Arthur's early life. He enlisted at Cambridge into the Suffolk Regiment and as private No. 3884 was a member of the 4th Battalion. On August the Battalion was at Fricourt Wood on the Somme battlefield. 25 August 1916 found them in trenches around Bazentin-le-Grand, and on 29 August they were defending Orchard and Wood Lane trenches. During the 30th the enemy made several bombing attacks on these trenches, and it was during this day that Arthur was killed, aged 19.

No records exist if Arthur ever had a grave. If he did, it was later lost or destroyed. His name is now on the Thiepval Memorial, face 2, panel 1c, together with 73,000 others with no known graves. 1108 were from the Suffolk Regiment During August 1916 the 4th Battalion lost 3 officers and 61 other ranks, 99 were wounded and 44 were reported missing. At least seven other Carter families were living in Chesterton at that time.

Charles Cecil
Charles (known as Chas) was born in 1896, the son of William Henry and Maria, who at that time were living at 134 York Street. At the beginning of the war Charles was working for Dales Brewery and later enlisted at Cambridge into the Devonshire Regiment. As private No.9872 he was a member of the 1st Battalion. From 19th July 1916 the Battalion was in reserve positions south west of Longueval, later moving into support trenches in Delville Wood. After much heavy fighting the Battalion was relieved on the 29th.

Charles was killed in action on the 27th July aged 20. Again he has no known grave; his name appears on the Thiepval Memorial, pier 1c, together with the names of 498 other members of the Devonshire Regiment. The total number of allies killed on the Somme front during July/August 1916 was 15,104. A report of Charles' death and his photo appear in the Cambridge Independent Press of 20th October 1916 and also reports in the Cambridge Chronicle of 16th August and the Cambridge Daily News of 8th August 1916. See also Cambridge Guildhall and Cambridge St Matthew's

Thomas Daniel Richard
Thomas was born in 1899, the younger brother of Charles and son of William Henry and Maria. Since 1916 Mrs. Carter had moved from 134 York Street to number 91, she was then on her own. After working for the Cambridge Daily News, Thomas went to Bury and enlisted into the 4th Battalion. Bedfordshire Regiment as private No.41833. One week after arriving in France the Battalion was in action, during the main advance the Battalion was cut off; the Col. and many men were killed. Thomas was posted as missing believed killed in action on the 27th March 1918, aged 19. As he has no known grave his name appears on the Arras Memorial, France, bay 5.

A report on Thomas' death appears in the Cambridge Daily news on Monday 6th May 1918 and in the Cambridge Independent Press on Friday 10th May. The father William was in the Suffolk Regiment and had been in France since January 1916, and the eldest son, Sapper A. Carter, Royal Engineers, since 1914; both survived the war. See also Cambridge Guildhall and Cambridge St Matthew's

George Langley
George was born in 1889, the son of George and Hannah of Old Chesterton. By 1915 the father had died and George's foster father was Harry Edward Hall of 12 Springfield Road. After leaving St. Luke's School, George worked for some time with his foster father as a bootmaker, then in 1907 he went to Bury to enlist into the East Lancs. Regiment Here he was the Regimental shoemaker, serving in India, Africa and Ireland. As Cpl. No. 9544 George went to France with the 1st Battalion. In July 1916 he was home having been wounded in the back and arm. In August 1917 his half brother W. J. Hall wrote home that George had been killed by a shell whilst leading a bombing party on 3 1st July 1917. Whether there was a grave, or indeed if George's body survived the shell explosion, is not known. However, George is commemorated now as one of the thousands under the heading "A Soldier of the Great War, known to God". He has no known grave; his name is on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.

A report and photo appear in the Cambridge Chronicle and Cambridge Daily News on 22nd August 1917. After looking through some 60 volumes of the War dead, I only noticed one other Eusden: he was E. Eusden, 6th Battalion. Cameron Highlanders, who died 28th July 1918, aged 19, of 92 Union Lane. See also Chesterton, Cambridge St Lukes and Cambridge Guildhall.

Arthur Sidney
Private 326755, 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment]. Killed in action 24 October 1917. Aged 25. Enlisted Cambridge. Son of Mr. W. J. Gilbert, of 62, Union Lane, Chesterton, Cambridge. Formerly 4443, Cambridgeshire Regiment. No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 4.

Arthur was born on 28th September 1892, son of William John and Ada, nee Allen, who married in 1890 and lived at that time in York Street. They had two other children, George Allen in 1894 and Alice May in 1897. Spaldings Directory lists the family as living also at 29 Cam Road, later moving to River Lane and in 1908 at 62 Union Lane. For some years Arthur worked in the grocery dept. at the Burleigh Street branch of the Co-op. On 26th May 1915 he became engaged to Agnes Cutting. Then on 11th November 1915 he enlisted with his brother into the Cambridgeshire Regiment, Arthur as private no.4443. Arthur and George went to France in December 1916 and whilst there both were transferred to the 4th Battalion. Suffolk Regiment, Arthur as private No.326755. From the 23rd to 26th October the Battalion was holding front line trenches in the Passchendaele area. A letter from his C.O. and another from his Company Lt. tells how Arthur was killed by a grenade whilst repairing the trench, George was working nearby. This was on the 24th October; that same night he was buried behind the lines by the Commanding Officer or the Battalion. Chaplain, George was able to attend the short funeral.

Although the report says that Arthur was buried, as he now has no known grave, his name is on the Arras Memorial, bay 4. A photo and report appears in the Cambridge Daily News on 7th November 1917, Cambridge Independent Press on 9th November and the Cambridge Chronicle on the 14th November 1917.

George Gilbert was made a chapel member in 1914; he survived the war, returned home and married his late brother's fiancée. They and their three daughters lived in Arbury Road. The family were all loyal members of Arbury; George was a life deacon for many years and died in 1964. The youngest daughter, Ivy, was a Sunday School teacher for many years; she was made a Church member in 1944. Tragically she died young and is now commemorated by the clock in the present church. (See also Chesterton)

William James
William was born in 1896 to Harry Edward and Emily, though another report gives the date of birth as 1899. The Chesterton Directory lists H. E. Hall as a bootmaker living at 8 Springfield Road, but in 1920 they had moved to 12 Springfield Road. He attended St. Luke's School and was also a Sergeant in the 4th (St. Andrews) Company of the Boys' Brigade. After first working for a Mr. Finch, plumber, of Chesterton Road, William then worked for the Cambridge University Press. He left the Boys Brigade at 15 and joined the Cambridgeshire Territorial Regiment. The Regiment was mobilised on August 4th 1914; William was with them as private no. 1452. At some time during the war he served also with the Royal Garrison Artillery, but it was as a Corporal No.325 186 in the 8th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment that he was killed in action on 13th August 1917, aged 21.

How or where he met his death I have been unable to find out; he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate, panel 21. The Cambridge Daily News has a report of his death on August 27th 1917 and the Cambridge Independent Press has a photo of him and his half-brother Cpl. G. L. Eusden. There is also an interesting letter from Sgt. Brooks, his platoon sergeant. The Cambridge Chronicle has a report and photo on October 3rd 1917. (See also Cambridge St Lukes and Cambridge Guildhall)

Harry was born at Ditton in 1880 to Page and Elizabeth Hart. They moved around, as Spaldings Directory has them living at Lanseer Lodge in 1913, but addresses of 46 De Freville Avenue, 17 Union Lane and Fen Ditton are listed in other sources. His early life is unknown; it is known that he enlisted in Carlisle, but why there is again a mystery. At some time during the war he was private No.27358 in the Northampton Regiment, but it was as a private No.40253 in the 1st Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers that he was killed in action on 30th March 1918, aged 38. His grave is now in the Heath Cemetery, Harbonnieres, plot 8, row F, grave 12. This is 11/2 miles south of Amiens on the road to Vermand and St. Quentin. This cemetery was made after the war from 22 smaller and scattered cemeteries. No indication is given as to which of these held Harry's original grave, so we have no idea in which area he died. Heath Cemetery holds I 835 graves, of which 360 are unknown. Most fell between March and August 1918. (See also Chesterton)
Claude Oliver
Private 42371, 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment [C O on memorial]. Killed in action 1 October 1918. Born Chesterton, enlisted Cambridge. Formerly TR/9/72484, Training Reserve. Commemorated on VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 4.

Claude was born in Bury St. Edmunds on 20th October 1899 and he was baptised at St. Andrews, Chesterton, on 28th October. His parents were David and Cornelia Hall who, at some time, lived in Scotland Road. His previous experience as a member of the Territorials, No. TR/9/72484, would have helped when he enlisted as private No.42371 in the 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment. The following is an extract from the war diary of the 2nd Battalion Suffolk Regiment: "At 11am on October 31st verbal orders were received that the Battalion would attack and capture the village of Rumilly the following day. Zero hour was set for 06.00 on November 1st. During the day most objectives were obtained at a loss of 31 dead (including Claude Howe), 94 wounded and 49 missing believed killed". Later the Battalion received 5 replacements. Claude also has no known grave; his name is on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France, panel 4.

See also Chesterton and Cambridge Guildhall
Sidney George
Born in 1899, Sidney was the son of Charles and Emily, both members of the Chesterton Chapel. They lived at 31 George Street, Chesterton. After enlisting at Cambridge, Sidney was private No.41487 in the 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. The Regiment had been in France and Flanders since the early part of the war, so Sidney would have been sent to bring the Battalion up to strength. We have no record of when he went to France, although there is some thought that he gave a false age on enlistment. At the end of 1917 the Bedfordshires were back in the Ypres area and we can only assume that it was during this period that Stanley was wounded. His wounds were treated at the main clearing hospital and Corps. H.Q. at Bailleul which is on the French/Belgian border. He died of wounds on 23rd January 1918, aged 19. Sidney's grave is the Bailleul Communal Cemetery ext., plot 3, row E, grave 1. The cemetery contains 3411 Commonwealth, German and Chinese labour corps. graves.

A report of Sidney's death as a result of wounds appears in the official list of casualties in the Cambridge Daily News of Saturday 23rd February 1918.

See also Cambridge Guildhall and Cambridge St Lukes

Harold William aka Harry
Harold was born in Cambridge on 16th September 1897 and was later baptised at St. Andew's, Chesterton. His parents were James William and Jeanette, who live at 16 Union Lane and later at Fairview, 225 Milton Road. He worked for the University Physiological Laboratory and also found time to enlist at Bury into the Suffolk Yeomanry as trooper No.2421. With either the 2nd or 6th Battalion Suffolk Regiment he went to France in August 1916 as private No.43622. The battalion was soon in the Passchendaele area, known for the terrible conditions due to the mud. Here the shell holes filled with water, later merging into impassable lakes over which the general staff nevertheless expected heavily laden men to advance. (More soldiers were drowned on land in the First World War than Merchant Navy sailors were drowned at sea in the Second!) It was during such an advance that Harold fell or took cover in a mud-filled shell hole and was unable to get out. He was captured and made prisoner on 13th November 1916. The prisoners and indeed the Germans were very short of food and Harold sent letters home asking for food to be sent to him. Of course his parents sent as much as possible, but Harold never received it and died of starvation on 25th July 1917. His grave is in Germany at the Cologne Southern Cemetery, plot 10, row B, grave 7.

A report appears in the Cambridge Daily News on 6th September 1917; a photo and report is in the Cambridge Chronicle on 12th September and the Independent Press on 12th October 1917. (See also Cambridge Holy Sepulchre, Chesterton and Cambridge Guildhall)

Frank Edward Steadman
Private 49240, 7th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 24 April 1918. Aged 19. Born Cambridge, enlisted Bury St Edmunds, resident Chesterton. Son of John and Louisa Murrell, of 23, Scotland Rd., Chesterton, Cambridge. Buried in CRUCIFIX CORNER CEMETERY, VILLERS-BRETONNEUX, Somme, France. Plot I. Row C. Grave 6.

Frank was born in 1899, the eldest son of John and Louie, who lived at 47 Water Street and later at 23 Scotland Road. The father, John, first appears in the Chapel minutes of May 1885 as "creating a disturbance in Chapel with George Sparrow". He must have improved as he was made a member in October 1889! Frank worked for Jesus College as a cook, then enlisted at Bury in 1917 as private No.49240 in the 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. He joined the Regiment in France in March 1918, but on 24th April was first reported missing, then confirmed killed in action on that date; he was aged 19. Near the village of Villeres Bretonneux on the Somme is a small cemetery of 656 graves called Crucifix Corner. Frank is buried in plot 1, row C, grave 6. An extract from Sir Douglas Haig's dispatch of 20th July 1918 reads "On 24th April the 4th and 5th Australian Divisions and the 8th and 1 8th Divisions carried out an enterprise of great daring and recaptured the village of Villers". He did not say at what cost.

A report of Frank's death appears in the Cambridge Daily News of Saturday 12th October with a message of sympathy from the King and Queen. There was also a report in the Cambridge Chronicle of Wednesday 16th October 1918. (See also Chesterton and Cambridge Guildhall)

Private 325139, 1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment. Killed in action 6 September 1917. Aged 23.Born Chesterton, enlisted Cambridge. Son of Albert Edward and Elizabeth Mutimer, of 68, Union Lane, Chesterton, Cambridge. Formerly 1346, Cambridgeshire Regiment. Employed W Eaden Lilley & Co Ltd. Buried in VOORMEZEELE ENCLOSURES No.1 and No. 2, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot I. Row H. Grave 42.

Sidney was born in 1894, again to Albert and Elizabeth at Union Lane. Like his brother he was in the Cambridgeshire Territorials as private No.1346. During the war he enlisted at Cambridge into the 1st Battalion Cambridgeshires as private No. 325139. An extract from the history/record of the Cambridgeshires 1915-1919 says "From August to September the Regiment was in the front line east of hill 60; here they suffered many casualties. The Regiment received fresh drafts from home and many patched-up old soldiers. They then led the attack on 26th September 1917". Sidney was killed inaction on 6th September 1917. He is buried in Voormezeele enclosure Nos. 1 & 2, Belgium, plot 1 row H, grave 42. The cemetery is two miles south of Ypres on the road between Messines and Kemmel. It contains 586 graves.

Of the 1000 officers and men of the Cambridgeshire Regiment who left Southampton for France in February 1915, only one officer and a handful of men landed back on the same quay in May 1919.

See also Chesterton and Cambridge Guildhall

Walter was born on 22nd November 1891 the eldest son of Albert Edward and Elizabeth. He was baptised at St. Andrew's, Chesterton on 2nd January 1892. At that time the family lived at 68 Union Lane. After leaving St. Luke's School he worked for Eaden Lilley's and joined the Cambridgeshire Territorials as private no.968. At the start of the war he enlisted at Cambridge into the Cambridgeshire Regiment No.325064, and he was a Sergeant in the 1st Battalion, going to France on 25th June 1916. He was home on leave from 3rd to 16th January 1917 and again of 11th April 1917 when he married Ruth Eveline. At this time his father Albert was the County Bailiff and lived at 'Shirehall', Castle Hill. Ruth joined them there. The New Year of 1918 found the Cambridgeshires out of the line and back on the Ypres salient, being housed in old canal dugouts near St. Jean. They had only one spell in the front line near Poecappelle, and on 21st January marched back to Houtekerque. Then they left the salient for the last time after being on duty there since 1916. On 16th January Walter was wounded and went to the hospital and clearing station at Rouen. Walter and Ruth's only daughter was born on 7th February 1918, and Walter died of his wounds on 12th April 1918. In his will he left 23.14.Sd. He is buried in St. Sever Cemetery Ext., Rouen, France, block P, plot 7, row K, grave 12b. The cemetery contains 3058 graves.

Walter is listed on the W. Eaden Lilley and Co. "In Memoriam" in the Cambridge Chronicle on 20th November 1918. (See also Chesterton, Cambridge Holy Sepulchre and Cambridge Guildhall)

Stanley Ewart
Private 24008, 7th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment. Died 28 April 1917. Aged 21. Born Sawston, Cambs. Son of Frederick and Mary Parsons, of Long Reach, Old Chesterton, Cambs. Joined Great Eastern Railway June 1913, Porter, King's Lynn. Enlisted February 1916 in King's Lynn, Norfolk. Buried in DURY CRUCIFIX CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot VI. Row B. Grave 34. See also Liverpool Street Station, London, Chesterton, Cambridge Guildhall and Sawston.
Joseph William
Private, 1st/1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 27 September 1917. Born Newmarket, enlisted Cambridge, resident Old Chesterton. Formerly 39358, Northamptonshire Regiment. No known grave. Commemorated on TYNE COT MEMORIAL, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Joseph was born in Newmarket, but I have been unable to find out either when, or who his parents were. At some time he and his wife, a Mrs. P. Purvey, lived at 2 Pye Terrace, and he worked for Chivers in the sawmills. He enlisted in June 1916 and as private No.39358 in the Northants Regiment went to France on 20th August 1917. He also served in the Bedfordshire Regiment, and just before his death was transferred into the 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment. On 28th September 1917 he was. Killed in action by a shell whilst acting as a stretcher-bearer. As his body was never found or recovered his name is now recorded on the Tyne Cot Memorial on the Ypres salient. The Hertfordshire Regiment is on panels 141-3 with 342 names. I don't know which of the two has Joseph's name. The memorial has on it 35,000 names with no known graves.

See also Chesterton and Cambridge Guildhall
Frederick William

Private 57272, 1st Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. Killed in action 11 October 1918. Husband of M. Rayner, of 16, Thrifts Walk, Cambridge. Born West Bergholt, enlisted Bury St Edmunds, resident Cambridge. Formerly 22299, 3rd Battalion, East Kent Regiment. Buried in ST. AUBERT BRITISH CEMETERY, Nord, France. Plot IV. Row C. Grave 22.

He was born in West Bergholt and at some time lived at 16 Thrifts Walk. Also he married a Mrs. M. Rayner and they had two children. After enlisting at Bury in May 1917 as private No.22299 in the East Kent Regiment, he was later transferred to the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers as private No. 57272. In July 1917 he went to France and was home again on leave in February 1918. The Cambridge Daily News of 5th November 1918 and the Cambridge Chronicle both report "he was killed by a sniper whilst pointing out some Germans on 8th October 1918". His grave is in the St. Aubert British Cemetery, plot 4, row C, grave 22. The Cemetery is between Valenciennes and Cambrai, and it contains 434 graves.

(See also Chesterton and Cambridge Guildhall)

Second World War 1939-1945

Robert Ernest

We have a minute reporting and regretting his death at the Church Meeting held on 3rd October 1944. The Cambridge Daily News of Wednesday 11th February 1942 has a report and photo of the wedding, and on Friday 29th September 1944 a report of his death. All the national newspapers carried reports of the fighting on the Gothic Line at this time.


Stan was born on 4th October 1920; his mother died when he was young and an uncle living in Victoria Road brought him up. After attending St. Luke's School be was first a cook at Jesus College, and later worked on the railway. During this period he joined the Cambridgeshire Territorial Regiment in 1937. He won the Arbury Fete Knobbly Knees Competition in 1938! In September 1939 he was called up into the services as private No.5932888 Royal Army Catering Corps. On 16th August 1940 he married at Arbury a fellow church member, Miss Sylvia Greene, now known to us all as Mrs. Sylvia Calvert. The best man was Robert Deaney and his future wife was one of the bridesmaids. Four days after the wedding he returned to his Regiment. A very short time later he was home on a week's embarkation leave, then he sailed for the Far East in September 1940. After the surrender of Singapore, Stan was a prisoner of war in Thailand and, apart from three pre-printed cards, nothing more was heard from him. He died in Thailand on 4th July 1943, aged 23. The Battalion Chaplain, Rev. Noel Duckworth, was with him when he died. Stan's grave is in the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. The Cambridgeshire Regiment Roll of Honour kept in Ely Cathedral and the Suffolk Regiment Museum at Bury list Stan as a member of the Regiment who died in the Far East on 29th December 1943. (See also Chesterton)

Last updated 7 July, 2014

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