Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion


GREAT OAKLEY WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © John Mayhew, Researched Martin Edwards 2006

This Memorial stands in the center of the village and is made from portnald stone. It takes the form of of a base surmounted by an obelisk, the lower half of which is encased by a set of four columns. Flower holders stand at the foot of each side. The inscription is in relief on two sides. The whole monument stands on a paved area which is bordered by 10 cast posts. There are wreaths in relief on the sides. The names held are listed with surname, rank, Regiment, forename, decorations. There are 24 names for World War 1 and 11 for World War 2. The original memorial was unveiled and dedicated by local dignitaries and clergymen on 30th January 1920, the architect was Mr Vincent Brown. Irionically the memorial was erected on the spot where the first recruiting meeting was held in 1914.

Photograph (above) Copyright © John Mayhew 2006
(above) From an old postcard 1920's

LEST WE FORGET

TO THE MEN OF GREAT OAKLEY
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR
THEIR COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WAR
1914-1918

BARKER Frederick [William]

[Listed as Sergeant on the memorial] Corporal 8730, 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment. Killed in action 20th June 1916. Aged 30. Born Great Oakley, enlisted Harwich. Son of Walter and Amelia Barker, of Great Oakley, Harwich; husband of Mary Barker, of "Sunnyside," Potland, Beaumont, Essex. Buried in MAROC BRITISH CEMETERY, GRENAY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot I. Row G. Grave 1.

BURROWS, DSM Allan

Able Seaman 219730, H.M.S. Oumana, Royal Navy Died 18th March 1916. Awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (D.S.M.) for services during the advance on Kut-el-Amara 27th and 28th September 1915. Buried in KUT WAR CEMETERY, Iraq. Plot/Row/Section F. Grave 3.

COLEMAN James

Private 276077, 1st/6th Battalion, Essex Regiment. Died in Palestine 30th December 1917. Born Captel St Mary, Suffolk, enlsited Colchester, resident Great Oakley. Buried in RAMLEH WAR CEMETERY, Israel. Plot/Row/Section G. Grave 46.

COOK Alfred

Seaman, HMS Formidable. Have not managed to locate this man on the CWGC, no further information currently available.

COOK Cecil

Private 3/2342, 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment. Killed in action 14th April 1917. Born and resident Great Oakley, enlisted Harwich. No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 7.

GARNHAM Ernest

Sapper and Shoeing Smith 13076, 12th Field Company, Royal Engineers. Died of wounds 12th August 1915. Boren and enlisted Ipswich, Suffolk. Husband of R. Garnham, of Queen St., Great Oakley, Harwich. Buried in ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot IV. Row A. Grave 2.

GOOCH Bertie [Allen]

Private G/423812, 1st Battalion, Duke of CAmbridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). Killed in action 23rd April 1917. Aged 20. Born and resident Great Oakley, enlisted Warley. Son of James and Elizabeth Gooch, of Barn Houses, Gt. Oakley, Essex. Buried in HENINEL-CROISILLES ROAD CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot II. Row C. Grave 33.

HAMILL William [Weatherburn]

[Listed as HAMIL on CWGC] Private 10660, 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment. Died of wounds 23rd April 1917. Born Stevenstone, Ayrshire, enlisted Harwich, resident Great Oakley. Son of Mrs. J. Hamil, of Springhouse, Corringham Hope, Essex. Buried in DUISANS BRITISH CEMETERY, ETRUN, Pas de Calais, France. Plot IV. Row A. Grave 21.

HYNARD Charles

Private 9561, 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment. Died of wounds at sea 8th May 1915. Born Levenheath, Suffolk, enlisted Harwich, resident Great Oakley. No known grave. Commemorated on HELLES MEMORIAL, Turkey. Panel 144 to 150 or 229 to 233.

KEEBLE Frank Cooper

Private G/15898, 6th Battalion, Queen's OWn (Royal West Kent Regiment). Killed in action 7th October 1916. Aged 36. Born Great Oakley, enlisted Colchester. Son of Thomas Cooper-Keeble, of Stone's Green, Great Oakley, Harwich, Essex. No known grave. Commemorated on THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 11 C.

KING Ezra [Carrol]

Leading Telegraphist J/1600, H.M.S. Turbulent, Royal Navy. Lost when his ship went down 1st June 1916. Aged 24. Son of Sarah King, of Willesden, London; husband of Grace Mary King, of Stones Green, Great Oakley, Harwich, Essex. No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 17.

Note: HMS TURBULENT was sunk 1st June 1916 in the North Sea by German naval forces during the Battle of Jutland. She was serving with 10th DF, Harwich Force as part of Battlecruiser Fleet. She was completed on the 12th May and less than 3 weeks later went down. Hit by gunfire from the dreadnought "Westfalen", and other battleships, and then possibly finished off by a torpedo from German destroyer "V.71". There were 96 men killed, and 90 men lost.

MANN Bert

Private 1632, Essex Yeomanry. Killed in action 14th May 1915. Enlsited Colchester, resident Great Oakley. No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 5.

MILLS John aka Jack

Private 7317, 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment. Died of wounds 12th January 1915. BornLeyton, enlisted Warley, resident Greak Oakley. Buried in STRAND MILITARY CEMETERY, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium. Plot X. Row L. Grave 3.

OFFORD Charles

Able Seaman J/20199/CH, H.M.S. Conquest, Royal Navy. Died 29th March 1916. Aged 19. Buried east of the church in ALL SAINTS CHURCHYARD, GREAT OAKLEY, Essex.

OFFORD Frederick Percy

Gunner 102408, 234th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. Killed in action 10th July 1917. Born and resident Great Oakley, enlisted Warley. Buried in VLAMERTINGHE NEW MILITARY CEMETERY, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot IV. Row G. Grave 10.

OFFORD Frederick

Private 43793, 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment. Killed in action 27th May 1918. Aged 18. Born Bow, Middlesex, enlisted Harwich. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Offord, of 27, Gale St., Devons Rd., Bow, London. No known grave. Commemorated on SOISSONS MEMORIAL, Aisne, France.

ORVIS, DCM, MSM Henry

Sergeant 18825, 29th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Killed in action between 14th and 15th May 1918. Aged 29. Born and resident Stones Green, enlisted Warley. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Orvis, of Stones Green, Great Oakley, Harwich, Essex. Fomerly 8364, Essex Regiment. Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (D.C.M.). and the Meritorious Service Medal (M.S.M.). No known grave. Commemorated on PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium. Panel 11.

POLLEY Frederick

Private, Essex Regiment there is no Frederick POLLEY listed for the Essex Regiment but this is probably Amos POLLEY, Private 40098, 9th Battalion, Essex Regiment. Died of wounds 28th September 1918. Aged 40. Born Tolleshunt, Essex, enlisted Colchester, resident Great Oakley. Son of David and Mary Polley, of Tolleshunt D'Arcy. Three times wounded in France. Born at Tolleshunt Knights. Buried in ALL SAINTS CHURCHYARD, TOLLESHUNT KNIGHTS, Essex.

RIVETT Frederick

Private 41182, 9th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment. Killed in action 21st March 1918. Born Great Oakley, enlisted Harwich. No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 3.

ROWLAND, MM Arthur [John]

Company Serjeant Major 5414, 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment. Died of wounds 21st October 1916. Born Upper Dovercourt, Harwich, resident Great Oakley. Awarded the Military Medal (M.M.). Buried in BERNAFAY WOOD BRITISH CEMETERY, MONTAUBAN, Somme, France. Plot/Row/Section D. Grave 30.

SIMONS Alfred

Private G/43077, 4th Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). Killed in action 23rd April 1917. Born Wesley, Essex, enlisted Colchester, resident Great Oakley. Previously G/10576, Queen's Own (Royal West Surrey Regiment). No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 7.

SMEE John

[Listed as Lance Corporal on memorial] Private 3/3029, "D" Company, 10th Battalion, Essex Regiment. Died of wounds in United Kingdom 20th August 1916. Aged 19. Born Custom House, Essex, enlsited and resident Harwich. Commemorated on the Screen Wall in ALL SOULS' CEMETERY, KENSAL GREEN, London. Reference 213. 5. 10.

WRYCRAFT Benjamin aka Ben

Private 40254, 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment. Killed in action 23rd October 1916. Born and resident Great Oakley, enlisted Colchester. No knoiwn grave. Commemorated on THIEPVAL MEMORIAL. Somme, France. Pier and Face 10 D.

YOUNGMAN Frank [Christopher]

Lance Corporal G/60248, 4th Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). Died of wounds 25th AUgust 1918. Aged 19. Born Hadleigh, Suffolk, enlisted Colchester, resident Great Oakley. Son of Frederick Henry and Gertrude Elizabeth Kate Youngman, of Sparrow's Farm, Great Oakley, Harwich, Essex. Buried in BAGNEUX BRITISH CEMETERY, GEZAINCOURT, Somme, France. Plot VI. Row C. Grave 2.

AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN
AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL
REMEMBER THEM

TO THE MEMORY OF THE MEN OF
THIS PARISH WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES
FOR KING AND COUNTRY IN THE
SECOND WORLD WAR 1939-1945

ATKINSON John

Flight Sergeant, Royal Air Force. Son of the headmaster of the village school. Cannot positively identify from the CWGC records.

BONSEY George

Flying Officer 138647, 143 Squadron, Royal Air Force. Died 25th August 1943. Aged 32. Son of the Rector, the Rev. Richard Yerborough Bonsey and Gertrude Mary Bonsey; husband of Betty Joan Bonsey. No known grave. Commemorated on RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey. Panel 123.

BRADBROOK Robert [George]

Sapper 2161822, Royal Engineers. Died 10th December 1944. Aged 31. Husband of Ivy Lillian Bradbrook, of Harwich, Essex. No known grave. Commemorated on ATHENS MEMORIAL, Greece. Face 4.

BYFORD Horace [Walter Sydney]

Gunner 950073, 3 Super-Heavy Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. Died 12th June 1945. Aged 26. Son of Horace George and Phylis Byford; husband of Rose Louise Byford, of Harwich, Essex. Buried in REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot 61. Row B. Grave 11.

CLARKE Eric [Wilfred]

Lance Corporal 6024619, 5th Battalion, Essex Regiment. Died 2nd November 1943. Aged 29. Son of the local butcher, Ambrose James Clarke and Edith Elizabeth Clarke, of Great Oakley, Essex. Commemorated on family gravestone in ALL SAINTS CHURCHYARD, GREAT OAKLEY, Essex. Buried in SANGRO RIVER WAR CEMETERY, Italy. Plot XVII. Row B. Grave 13.

COLE Edward [Frank]

Aircraftman 1st Class 1175158, 211 Sqaudron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 19th January 1944. Buried in LABUAN WAR CEMETERY, Malaysia. Plot U. Row B. Grave 14.

EASTAUGH Stanley [Francis]

Flight Sergeant 534856, Royal Air Force. Died 19th November 1945. Son of one of the two village grocers. Buried in ST. JOHN CHURCHYARD EXTENSION, LLANGOLLEN, Denbighshire. Section B. Extension. Row 3. Grave 19.

EDWARDS Patrick [Charles]

Lieutenant 232602, 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade. Died 17th August 1943. Aged 20. Son of Lt.-Col. Patrick Edwards, D.S.O., and Catherine Margaret Edwards, of South Kensington, London. Buried in ALEXANDRIA (HADRA) WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt. Plot 5. Row D. Grave 1.

HARVEY Eric [Owen]

Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 114349, H.M.S. Hood, Royal Navy. Lost when his ship was sunk by the German Destroyer Bismark 24th May 1941. Aged 17. Son of Percy and Phillis Harvey, of Stone's Green, Essex. No known grave. Commemorated on PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Hampshire. Panel 56, Column 1.

HOLBROOK James [Charles]

Sergeant (Flight Engineer) 1300859, 166 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 26th February 1944. Aged 23. Son of Thomas Henry Holbrook, and of Florence Ann Holbrook, of Great Oakley, Essex. Buried in RANRUPT MIXED NATIONAL CEMETERY, Bas-Rhin, France. Grave 8. He was reported killed in action flying in Lancaster I, serial ME639, Code AS-A, from 166 Squadron that took off from RAF Kirmington at 18:30 on the evening of 25th February 1944 on Ops to Augsburg; the plane crashed near Colroy-la-Roche (Bas-Rhin).

Note: 166 Squadron had been reformed in November 1936, as a heavy-bomber squadron equipped with Handley Page Heyford aircraft. It became part of an air observers' school in June 1938, than a Group pool squadron about May 1939 and by the outbreak of the Second World War was flying Whitleys. Soon after the outbreak of war it became a No. 6 Group training squadron. It remained as such until April 1940, and then merged with No. 97 Squadron and SHQ Abingdon to form No. 10 OTU.

No. 166 was re-formed in January 1943, at Kirmington, Lincolnshire again as a bomber squadron. It remained based at Kirmington throughout the remainder of the war and, flying Wellingtons and Lancasters, participated in many major raids, and also played an active part in Gardening (minelaying). The squadron won at least two DSOs, two CGMs, 117 DFCs and 108 DFMs in the Second World War and was disbanded on the 1st September 1946.

LITTLEWOOD Arthur

Lance Corporal, Royal Engineers probably Arthur Henry LITTLEWOOD, Sapper 1887892, 1002 Docks Operating Company, Royal Engineers. Died 31st March 1943. Buried in SUEZ WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt. Plot 2. Row F. Grave 12.

OFFORD Charles [Stanley]

Sergeant (Air Gunner) 1877334, 166 Sqadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 12th October 1944. Aged 19. Son of Stanley William and Ethel May Offord, of Great Oakley. Buried in ALL SAINTS CHURCHYARD, GREAT OAKLEY, Essex. Grave 152.

For details of 166 Squadron see above.

PATMORE Douglas [Archibald]

Driver 2330232, III Indian Corps Signals, Royal Corps of Signals. Died 21st September 1944. Aged 25. Son of Archibald Patmore, and of Audrey Florence Patmore, of Great Oakley, Essex. Commemorated on family gravestone in ALL SAINTS CHURCHYARD, GREAT OAKLEY, Essex. Commemorated on SINGAPORE MEMORIAL, Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore. Column 46.

WRYCRAFT Derek [A]

[Spelt Derrick on CWGC] Stoker 2nd Class P/KX113003, H.M.S. Cameron, Royal Navy. Died when German Luftwaffe bombers attacked Portsmouth 5th December 1940. Aged 24. Son of Arthur H. Wrycraft and Annie M. Wrycraft, of Great Oakley. Buried in ALL SAINTS CHURCHYARD, GREAT OAKLEY, Essex.

Note: HMS Cameron was a Town Class Destroyer, pennant: I 05, built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. (Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) She was laid down on 13th November 1918, launched 8th May 1919 and commissioned 9th September 1940. She started life as the USS Welles and was renamed HMS Cameron being placed in commission on 9th September 1940 by Lieutenant Commander P. G. Merriman, R.N. She was delayed in sailing from Halifax for Britain shen she suffered problems with a generator. Having finally got underway, the destroyer made port at Plymouth on 13th November 1940 then relocating to Portsmouth three days later. She was placed in dockyard hands to receive her first major overhaul since coming under the White Ensign. During this refit on 5th December 1940, German Luftwaffe bombers attacked Portsmouth while she lay defenseless in drydock no. 8. A high explosive bomb severely damaged the ship, capsizing her. She was deemed unsuitable for return to active sea service and was eventually refloated on 23rd February 1941 and allocated for use as a hulk.

Last updated 29 August, 2009

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