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Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion


COLNE WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © 2000 John Prior
RAF/RNAS/RFC information courtesy of David Manning

The Colne war memorial is located on the village green outside St Helen's Church, Colne. It takes the form of a red granite Celtic cross standing on a square, two level, plinth with a two-stepped base. There are 12 names for World War 1 and one for World War 2. It was renovated by the Parish Council in 1996. There is a further memorial within St Helen's Church in the form of a white marble tablet containing 11 of the 12 names; this was unveiled in 1921.

Photograph Copyright © Martyn Smith 2002

Plaque

THIS TABLET
WAS ERECTED TO THE UNFADING MEMORY OF
THE MEN FROM THIS VILLAGE WHO
FOUGHT AND DIED FOR THEIR COUNTRY
IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 - 1918
FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH
R.I.P

Memorial cross

LEST
WE
FORGET
IN HONOUR
OF THE MEN OF COLNE
WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR
1914 - 18

BROWN

Arthur William

Photograph Courtesy & Copyright
© Cliff Brown 2008

15256, Pte, 6th Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 18-2-17, age 23. Eldest son of James & Lizzy Brown, of Colne. Born Little Bradley, Suffolk. Enlisted Huntingdon. Buried St Patrick's Cemetery, Loos, France. Also listed Somersham Baptist Chapel memorial plaque.

BROWN

Henry

19759, Pte, 10th Hampshire Regiment. Killed in action 7-12-15. Formerly 20508 Bedfordshire Regiment. Born Somersham, enlisted Bedford. Listed Doiran Memorial, Greece.

CHARTER

Sidney

30194, Pte, 14th (1st Birmingham Pals) Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Killed in action 27-12-16, age 19. Son of Richard & Fanny Charter, of Colne. Born Colne 11-7-1897, enlisted Huntingdon. Resident Colne. There is a private memorial plaque to Charter inside St Helen's Church, which says he was serving with the 13th Trench Mortar Battery, attached to the 14th Royal Warks. Formerly 1223 Hunts Cyclists Btn. Buried Gorre British & Indian Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

IN EVER LOVING MEMORY OF
RICHARD CHARTER
WHO DIED 28TH JUNE 1909
ALSO OF
SYDNEY
THE BELOVED SON OF THE ABOVE
AND FANNY CHARTER, AGED 19 YEARS
WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION AT GIVENCHY
DURING THE GREAT WAR ON THE 27TH
DECEMBER 1916, WHILST DOING HIS DUTY
IN THE 13TH TRENCH MORTAR BATTERY.
HE WAS ATTACHED TO THE 14TH ROYAL
WARWICKSHIRE REGT. AND PREVIOUSLY
TO THE HUNTS CYCLIST BATTALION.
INTERRED IN GORNE
(sic) CEMETERY, FRANCE
IN THE MIDST OF LIFE WE ARE IN DEATH

FOX

Augustus Cornelius

49059, Pte, 6th Royal Fusiliers. Husband of R Fox, of Colne. Enlisted Huntingdon. Died 18-3-17. Buried Dover (St James's) Cemetery, Kent.

GIBBS

Herbert P

3534, Pte, D coy 4th London Regiment. Killed in action 13-9-15, age 19. Son of Mrs Gibbs, of Colne. Saw action in the Retreat from Mons. Buried St Vaast Post Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

From The National Roll of The Great War 1914-1918, Section XII, Bedford & Northampton.

GIBBS, H.P., Private, 4th London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers).
He volunteered in August 1914, and was at once sent to France, where he fought in the retreat from Mons. He also played a prominent part in the Battle of Marne, but was unhappily killed in action near Loos on September 13th, 1915. He was entitled to the Mons Star, and General Service and Victory Medals.

"A costly sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."

Colne, Hunts.
Z2590/B.

From Huntingdonshire Heroes of the First World War by John Bell ISBN 0 946965 21 8. Letters to Mrs Gibbs Herbert's mother from Captain E. Giles and CQMS Clayden.

"D" Company.
October 1915.

Dear Mrs Gibbs,

I am exceedingly sorry to tell you that your son was killed this morning at 5 a.m. by a German sniper.

He was looking over the parapet when the bullet struck the top sandbag went right through it and entered your son's shoulder.

He died a minute or two afterwards while the stretcher bearers were attending to him.

We have the bullet here but I have not enclosed it as I did not know whether you would care for it or not. If you would we will send it.

Your son always did work well and thoroughly and now it is in performance of his duty that he has given his life.

Yours sincerely,

E. Giles
Captain.

D Company 4th.
London Reg. R.F.
(1st Territorial.
Oct 1915.

Dear Mrs Gibbs,

It is with deep sorrow that I send you the news of your son's death. It will perhaps lessen your sorrow to know he died a soldier doing his duty faithfully to the end.

It was while on sentry duty just before morning he reported some moving objects in front of the parapet and on getting up to make sure was shot; the bullet entering in his shoulder and lodging in his stomach.

He died about 10 minutes afterwards. His last words were of his mother and home.

I have enclosed his Bible and Testament that I thought you would like them.

A parcel arrived just as he was on the stretcher and was given to his chum Private Houghton by his wish.

Please accept the deepest sympathy of his comrades who deplore the loss of one who was always the brightest and free hearted of us all.

From his sincere comrade,
Clayden. (Company Q.M.S.)

P.S. He has been buried with full military honours at a place called St. Vast Post and a cross erected over his grave. A.C.

HOLMES

Albert

40396, Pte, 1/7th Lancashire Fusiliers. Killed in action 23-10-18, age 38. Son of William & Ann Holmes, of Somersham; husband of Sarah Holmes, of 2 High Road, Whetstone, London. Born Somersham, enlisted Huntingdon. Formerly 37182 Bedfordshire Regiment. Buried Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France. Also listed Somersham.

HUCKELL

James W

83576, Pte, 2nd Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Rgt). Killed in action 19-9-18. Born Colne, enlisted Nottingham. Residing St Ives, Hunts. Listed Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

LEACH

Herbert William

T4/232178, Driver, 2nd Cavalry Reserve Park, Army Service Corps. Died 8-11-18, age 26. Son of William Henry & Emily Leach; husband of Annie E Leach, of Crafts Hill Farm, Dry Drayton, Cambs. Buried Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France.

PRIOR

Benjamin J

17093, Cpl, 8th Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 15-9-16, age 29. Son of John & Mary Ann Prior, of Colne. Born Colne, enlisted Huntingdon. Buried Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont, Somme, France. Also listed Somersham Baptist Chapel memorial plaque.

From The National Roll of The Great War 1914-1918, Section XII, Bedford & Northampton.

PRIOR, B., L/Corporal, Bedfordshire Regiment.
He was mobilised at the outbreak of war in August 1914, and was immediately drafted to the Western Front, where he fought in the Retreat from Mons and also took part in the Battles of the Marne, Festubert and Loos and other engagements. He was reported missing, and is believed to have been killed in action on September 13th, 1916. He was entitled to the Mons Star, and General Service and Victory Medals.

"A costly sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."

Colne, Hunts.
Z3880.
ROYSTON

Frederick Farrow

56173, Cpl, 17th Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Died 30-8-18. Born Colne, enlisted Huntingdon. Formerly 15342 Bedfordshire Regiment. Listed Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

From The National Roll of The Great War 1914-1918, Section XII, Bedford & Northampton.

ROYSTON, F.F., Corporal, Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
Volunteering in September 1914, he was drafted to France in the following May, and a few days later was gassed in action at Ypres. Wounded whilt taking part in heavy fighting at Loos in October 1915, he was invalided home, and sent to hospital at Brockenhurst. Upon his recovery he returned to France, and was in action at Arras, Vimy Ridge, Ypres and Cambrai, being wounded at Ypres. He subsequently fought in various sectors during the Retreat and Advance of 1918, and was killed in action on August 26th, 1918. He was entitled to the 1914-15 Star, and General Service and Victory Medals.

"Honour to the immortal dead, who gave their youth that the world might grow old in peace."

Rectory Lane, Somersham, Hunts.
Z4043/A.
SMITH

Walter

30830 Pte, 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Died 1-2-17, age 38. Son of Mrs Caroline Smith, of Colne; husband of the late Mary Smith. Born Abington, Cambs, enlisted Huntingdon. Residing Colne. Buried Ancre British Cemetery, Somme, France.

TOPPER

Harold Bernard

267571, Pte, 1/1st Bucks Btn, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Killed in action 15-8-16, age 21. Son of Jonathan & Martha Topper. Born Colne, enlisted Huntingdon. Residing Colne. Formerly Hunts Cyclists Btn. Listed Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Also listed Bluntisham Baptist Chapel memorial plaque.

* The 1914-18 casualties, excluding Holmes and Smith, are also listed on a plaque inside St Helen's Church.
Not on memorial
BOULTBEE Arthur Elsdale
3rd Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment & Lt. Royal Flying Corps. Born 1897 at Colne. Son of the Rev. Frederick Croxall Boultbee & Henrietta Eleanor Boultbee. of Hargrave Rectory, Northamptonshire Educated at St. John's, Leatherhead & St. Catherine's College, Cambridge; left Cambridge after one term to join Northamptonshire Regiment Transferred to RFC. Trained as pilot and posted to 25 Squadron in France 1st January 17. Killed in action 17th March 1917; flying FE.2b with observer AM 2 F. King (also killed), on photographic escort. attacked by enemy fighters south-east of Oppy; shot down by Ltn. Manfred von Richthofen of Jasta 11 (his 27th of 80 victories). Buried at Canadian Cemetery No. 2, Neuville-St. Vaast, France. See "Under the Guns of the Red Baron" (Franks, Giblin & McCreery; pub. Grub Street, 1995) for full account & photograph of Boultbee.
1939-45
BARLOW

Peter Sidney

1318860, Sgt, 138 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Killed in action 8-1-44, age 22. Son of Mr & Mrs Harry Barlow, of Somersham; husband of Eileen Beatrice, of Somersham. Buried Somersham (St John the Baptist) Churchyard. Also listed Somersham.

Lists of men who served in World War One & World War Two are located in St Helen's church. The latter includes the additional casualty:
FLACK

Arthur James

Boy 1st Class, HMS Curacoa, Royal Navy. Died 27-4-40. Son of Natt & Margaret Flack, of Colne. Buried Kirkwall (St Olaf's) Cemetery, Orkney. Also listed Bluntisham/Earith.

Last updated 13 July, 2008

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