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British Legion
The Royal British Legion

SOMERSHAM WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour for St. John Church with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © 2000 Cliff Brown
World War 1 - Roll of Honour for the Baptist Chapel with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © 2000 John Prior

additional RFC/RNAS/RAF information David Manning

1914-18

The memorial is a stained glass window above the altar in St John the Baptist Parish Church, Somersham. The window consists of slender early English lancets. The central figure of Christ with warriors of the new dispensation (St George, St Alban and St Martin) on one side and of the old dispensation (King David, Gideon and Joshua) on the other; also archangels Michael and Gabriel. There are 44 names listed for World War 1. The memorial was unveiled by local dignitaries and dedicated by the Bishop of Ely in 1922; the artist was Thomas Figgus Curtis.

There is also a stone pillar in the Black Bull Public House, High Street, Somersham, that has 13 names listed. In the Baptist Chapel there is a brass plaque listing 11 names of men who died in World War 1.

This window is dedicated
to the glory of God
in proud and loving memory
of the men from this parish
who gave their lives
in the Great War
1914-18.
RIP.

ALLEN Edward
possibly 7665, Pte, 1st Northamptonshire Regiment. Died 9-5-15, age 28. Son of Read & Emma Allen, of Parkfield, Doddington; husband of Rose Hannah Allen, of 77 The Avenue, Ramsey. Born Pondersbridge, enlisted Peterborough. Listed Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Also listed on Ramsey Memorial.
BAKER George
234053, Gnr, D Battery, 250th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Died 22-8-18, age 39. Husband of Sarah Baker, of The Bank House, Somersham. Buried Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France. Also listed Somersham Baptist Chapel memorial plaque.
BAKER John Thomas
23493, L/Cpl, 1/4th Loyal North Lancashire. Died 22-10-18, age 28. Son of John Baker, of Somersham; husband of Ellen Louisa Baker, of Hill Rise, Lutterworth Rd, Leicester. Listed Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Also listed Somersham Baptist Chapel memorial plaque. His brother,T Baker,who served with the RFC & RAF, and survived the war.
BARLOW Percy
30217, Pte, 14th (1st Birmingham Pals) Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Died 3-9-16, age 22. Formerly 1683 Hunts Cyclists Btn. Son of Charles & Catherine Barlow. Listed Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Also listed Somersham Baptist Chapel memorial plaque.

BEDFORD George Herbert
276478, Pte, 6th Essex Regiment. Killed in action 27-3-1917, age 27. Formerly 6251 Bedfordshire Regiment. Born Chatteris, enlisted Bedford, resident Somersham. Son of George & Jane Bedford, of Park Hall Rd, Somersham. Listed Jerusalem Memorial, Israel.
BROOKS Edward
13878, Pte, 1st Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 27-4-18, age 34. Husband of Mrs A R S Brooks, of High St, Somersham. Buried Merville Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France.
BROWN Edgar Ernest
235341, Pte, D company 1/5th Northumberland Fusiliers. Died 10-4-18, age 35. Son of Richard Brown, of Flora House, Somersham; husband of Alfreda Brown, of 43 Upton Rd, Torquay, Devon. Buried Morbecque British Cemetery, Nord, France. See also Melbourn and Melbourn All Saints (Cambs).
BURGESS Albert Henry
15172, Pte, 6th Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 15-7-16. Buried Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovillers-la-Boiselle, Somme, France. Also listed Pidley.
CHAPMAN Alfred
371850, Pte, 4th Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 30-10-17, age 29. Son of James & Jane Chapman, of Bluntisham; husband of Ada E Chapman, of Bridge End, Somersham. Listed Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium. Also listed Bluntisham/Earith.
CHAPMAN Edward
23175, Pte, 9th East Surrey Regiment. Killed in action 5-8-17. Born Woodhurst, enlisted Bury St Edmunds, living Somersham. Husband of Mrs C L Jeeps (formerly Chapman), Berrycroft, Willingham, Cambs. Listed Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, Belgium. Also listed Bluntisham/Earith memorial.

DAVENPORT Francis Edward Alexander
2nd Lt, 1st King's Shropshire Light Infantry. Killed in action 21-3-18. Listed Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

DEWEY Walter
Private 17966, 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 16 June 1915. Aged 32. Born Ely, enlisted Bedford, resident Somersham, Huntingdonshire. Son of John Freeman Dewey and Elizabeth Dewey, of Witchford, Ely, Cambs; husband of Annie Dewey, of Church St., Somersham, St. Ives, Hunts. No known grave. Commemorated on LE TOURET MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 10 and 11. See also Witchford Memorial.

Extract from National Roll of the Great War 1914-1918 - Section XII Bedford and Northampton:

DEWEY, W., Private, 2nd Bedfordshire Regiment.
He volunteered in November 1914, and having completed a period of training at Felixstowe, was seven months later drafted to the Western Front. After only eight days' active service he was unfortunately killed in action in the La Bassée sector on June 16th, 1915. He was entitled to the 1914-15 Star, and the General Service and Victory Medals.

"The path of duty was the way to glory."

Church Street, Somersham, Hunts.  
Z1994.
ELLIS Herbert William
G/392, Pte, 4th Middlesex Regiment. Died 19-12-15 at Nottingham Military Hospital, age 41, after being gassed and wounded in a leg at the Battle of Loos; his wounded leg was amputated three weeks before his death. Son of William Ellis, of High St, Somersham; husband of Louisa E Hall (formerly Ellis), of 36B Graham St, City Rd, London. Buried Somersham (St John the Baptist) Churchyard.
FARROW Harry
613020, Pte, 19th London Rgt (St Pancreas). Died 3-12-17, age 35. Son of David & Jane Farrow; husband of E A Farrow, of 55 St Martin's Rd, Dartford, Kent. Native of Somersham. Buried Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
FYSON George Percy
G/18186, Pte, 7th The Buffs (East Kent Rgt). Died 3-5-17. Listed Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

GILLETT Isaac Frederick
201209, Acting L/Cpl, 5th Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 20-7-17, age 22. Son of Isaac & Elizabeth Gillett, of Holmwood Crescent, Somersham. Listed Jerusalem Memorial, Israel. Also listed Somersham Baptist Chapel memorial plaque.
GOWLER Tom
32782, Pte, 66th Company Machine Gun Corps. Died 25-4-17, age 20. Son of Mary Ann Gowler, of King St, Somersham. Buried Karasouli Military Cemetery, Greece. Also listed Somersham Baptist Chapel memorial plaque.
HAMMOND Markham
3/8155, Pte, 1st Bedfordshire Regiment. Died of wounds 9-12-14. Buried Dranouter Churchyard, Heuvelland, Belgium. Also listed Ely.
HINKINS Charles
A/3288, "E" Company, Sergeant, 9th King's Royal Rifle Corps. Died 20-3-16. Listed Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

From Huntingdonshire Heroes of the First World War by John Bell ISBN 0 946965 21 8.

Letter to Mrs Hinkins Charles' wife from Captain M. Maltden of "E" Company.. 9th K.R.R.C.
R .E P.
31.3.16
Dear Mrs Hinkins,I am sorry indeed to be the man who should have to write to you about the sad death of your husband, Sergeant Hinkins.I very much regret to tell you that he was killed yesterday afternoon together with seven of his comrades by a shell.The offer of consolation at such a time can do no good, but it may help you in your trouble to know how much all the officers and men of his company respected and valued him.It must help you to know that his death was instantaneous and that our Padre was able, after dark, to hold a service over his resting-place.He died, as I believe a true English gentleman and soldier, such as he would wish in the defence of those he loved.Believe me, with deepest sympathy,Yours faithfully,M. Maltden.
Captain. 'E' Coy.

HOLDICH George
TR/9/6430, 52nd Bedfordshire Rgt/26th Btn Training Reserve. Died of diphtheria 30-3-17. Buried Dovercourt (All Saints) Churchyard, Essex.
HOLMES Albert
40396, Pte, 1/7th Lancashire Fusiliers. Died 23-10-18, age 38. Son of William & Ann Holmes, of Somersham; husband of Sarah Holmes, of 2 High Rd, Whetstone, London. Buried Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France. Also listed Colne.
KIGHTLY George William
19737, Pte, 10th Hampshire Regiment. Died 7-12-15, age 29. Son of Mr & Mrs J Kightly, of March; husband of the late Charlotte Kightly. Listed Doiran Memorial, Greece. Also listed Chatteris.
LEEDS Ernest
42880, Pte, 16th (Public Schools) Middlesex Regiment. Died of wounds 17-8-17. Born Somersham, enlisted Norwich, lived Gorleston. Buried Bleuet Farm Cemetery, Elverdinghe, Ieper, Belgium.
MAYCOCK Edgar
160563, Pte, 38th Btn Machine Gun Corps. Died 9-11-18, age 25. Son of Sam & Elizabeth Maycock, of 1 Gunthorpe Rd, Peterborough. Native of Ramsey Hollow, Hunts. Buried Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery, Manancourt, Somme, France.
MILLER Alfred Richard Wilfred
15329, Pte, 1st Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 5-515, age 20. Son of Richard & Annie Miller, of Park Hall Rd, Somersham. Listed Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, Belgium.

MITCHELL Benjamin
26205, Pte, 4th Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 23-4-17. Listed Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

MOORE William Addison Hone
2nd Lt, 11th Essex Regiment. Killed in action 5-5-1917, age 21. Son of Dr F Hone Moore & the late Ruth Eleanor Moore (died 28-11-1904), of Elmside, Steyning, Sussex. Buried Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, Pas de Calais, France. There is a private memorial to 2nd Lt Moore in St John the Baptist Church. Moore was a rancher in Canada and enlisted as 79592, 31st Btn Canadian Infantry, which came to the UK in May 1915 and went to France in September 1915. He was commissioned from E Company, 9th (Reserve) Btn Canadian Infantry as 2nd Lt, in the 3/5th Essex on 18-1-16.
NIX Percival Kent
Fleet Surgeon, HMS Bulwark, Royal Navy. Killed in the explosion of HMS BulwarK in Sheerness harbour on 26-11-14, age 45. Younger son of John & Caroline Nix, of Chatteris. Served 18 years in Royal Navy. There is a private memorial to Fleet Surgeon Nix BA, MB, BC, in St John the Baptist Church. Buried Somersham (St John the Baptist) Churchyard. Also listed Chatteris.
NORMAN (Charles) Eric
2422, Air Mechanic 1st Class, Main Wings 13th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Died in a motorcycle accident 9-9-16, age 19. Son of Charles & Dora Ellen Norman, of Somersham. Buried Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France. Also listed Somersham Baptist Chapel memorial plaque.

From Huntingdonshire Heroes of the First World War by John Bell ISBN 0 946965 21 8.

Letter to Mrs Norman Eric's mother from the Douglas Percy Rolfe. R.F.C. B.E,F.
France.
Sept 10th. 1916.

Dear Mrs Norman,
I hope you will forgive me a perfect stranger for writing to you, but I feel I must tell you the sad news of Eric. Last night he was returning from a run with two other chaps when he collided with another motorbike coming in the opposite direction. A car took him to hospital unconscious. It was with very deep grief that I tell you he never gained consciousness but passed quickly away at 10.45pm the same night. Eric and I were pals and I think that only a mother can appreciate what that means. It means that for nearly two years we have shared everything, slept near each other and made our plans for the future together in fact become precious to each other. His death leaves me heartbroken. Only yesterday we were arranging a little celebration of his promotion to first class air mechanic to take place tomorrow night. Tomorrow we were going to be photographed together and then without a word of farewell Eric is gone. He had no scratch on him and I think that death resulted from shock. Major Powell is writing to you I think. He is dreadfully upset as he thought such a lot of poor Eric. Indeed everyone did for his cheery nature and endearing ways and entire lack of malice gave no room for even a single enemy. I wish to God it had never happened or that I could have taken his place. It all seems a hideous nightmare.We all loved Eric, I am afraid this letter is very disjointed but everything seems upside down.
From his sorrowing friend.
Douglas Percy Rolfe.

PEACOCK William Bletso
26087, Pte, 9th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. Died 3-9-16. Listed Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Born Somersham 1890. son of Samuel & Fanny Ann Peacock. Also listed Somersham Baptist Chapel memorial plaque.
ROSE, MM Frederick W
12676, Pte, 9th Suffolk Regiment. Killed in action 26-4-17. Awarded Military Medal as stretcher bearer. Born Somersham Fen. Lived Chapel Lane, Chatteris. Buried St Patrick's Cemetery, Loos, Pas de Calais, France. Also listed Chatteris.
RUFF George Edward
8996, Pte, 2nd Suffolk Regiment. Killed in action 7-4-15. Buried Suffolk Cemetery, Heuvelland, Belgium.
RUFF John
17521, Pte, 8th Royal Fusiliers. Died 2-3-16. Listed Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.
ROWELL Frederick Charles
15161, Pte, 1st Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 6-5-15, age 23. Son of Mr T & Mrs L Rowell, of Garden Cottage, High St, Somersham. Listed Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, Belgium.

SARGEANT Herbert
267488, Cpl, 1st Bucks Btn, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Died of wounds 29-10-18, age 25. Born and living in Somersham, enlisted St Ives. Formerly 545, Bedfordshire Regiment. Buried Cavalletto British Cemetery, Italy.
SKEGGS Alexander Lorrance
16328, Pte, 2nd Northamptonshire Regiment. Died 10-3-17, age 40. Buried Somersham (St John the Baptist) Churchyard, Somersham.
THOMPSON Joseph
15340, Pte, 6th Bedfordshire Regiment. Died of wounds 25-1-16. Son of Emma Jane Thompson, of Drove House, Park Hall Rd, Somersham. Buried Doullens Communal Cemetery Extension No 1, Somme, France. Also listed Somersham Baptist Chapel memorial plaque. From Huntingdonshire Heroes of the First World War by John Bell ISBN 0 946965 21 8.

Five letters to Mrs Thompson Joseph's mother from the Nursing Sister and Hospital Chaplain. No 153/0
Field Hospital
6th. Beds.
20th. January 1916.

Dear Mrs. Thompson,
Your son Joseph Thompson was brought into our station badly wounded in the abdomen and legs yesterday afternoon. The doctor had to operate at once and although he is dangerously ill he has had a wonderfully good night and we can hope and pray that he will be spared to you. With much sympathy for you. Nursing Sister. 21st. January 1916. Dear Mrs. Thompson, Your son is doing well, holding his own, and maintaining his strength. He will probably go the base soon and will write to you. Yours,
Hospital Chaplain.

23rd. January 1916.
Dear Mrs. Thompson,
Your son is doing well and holding his own. He sends his love and every kind remembrance to his friends.
Yours,
Hospital Chaplain.

25th. January 1916.
Dear Mrs. Thompson,
I am very sorry to say that your son has had a very serious relapse and is in the greatest danger. He has had every care and attention and was going on well until this noon, when very alarming symptoms occurred and developed so rapidly that an immediate operation of his leg was performed. In his weak state I fear that he cannot survive the shock and you must prepare for the worst. I am more sorry than I can say. We are all most disappointed after the good progress he was making. Yours truly, Hospital Chaplain 9th. February 1916. Dear Mrs. Thompson, I must regret to have to inform you that your son Joseph passed away last night after the operation. I saw him just before. He sent his love to you whenever t spoke to him. He was buried this afternoon (Wednesday) at 3 o'clock in the beautifully situated cemetery at Doullabs. There was a full escort officer and 24 men and every honour was shown him. The body was put in a coffin covered with the Union Jack and buried with full Church service. A cross with inscription was put at his head and after the war the Government intend to erect a permanent memorial over all these graves. I am so truly sorry for you in your great grief. May God bless and comfort you. Tell your Vicar what has happened. Yours sincerely, Frank Stone C.F.
(Hospital Chaplain)

THROSSEL Frederick
Private 34177, 5th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. Discharged 5-8-19, unit, influenza, pneumonia and paraplegia. He married 25-10-09, two daughters. Aged 35. Grocer's manager at Midsomer Norton, Somerset. Served India for 19 months. Born Hemingford Grey. Examined 25-11-15, age 31. Joined 3rd Wilts 25-11-15. Attested 29-11-15, posted 3rd btn 15-6-17, India 21-7-17, to UK 15-1-19. In 1901 census he was 17, grocer's assistant, born 1884, son of Samuel and Francis. Born Hemingford Grey. In 1911 census he is living in Midsomer Norton, age 27 with wife Winifred aged 25.
TURNER Fred
43143, L/Cpl, 110th Coy Machine Gun Corps. Died 3-10-17, age 24. Son of Mr R & Mrs S Turner, of Vicarage Lane, Somersham. Listed Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium.
WHEATON Frederick
18839, Pte, 7th Suffolk Regiment. Killed in action 15-3-17. Buried Faubourg D'Amiens Cemetery, Arras, Pas de Calais, France.
WOOTTEN Alfred
6995, Pte, 2nd Coldstream Guards. Army Reservist. Died 1-10-14 at No 4 Clearing Hospital, Braisne, of wounds received at Troyon 29-9-14. Age 29. Son of late Richard Wootten, of Somersham, & Mrs Rebecca Wootten.; husband of Florence Wootten, of Woodfields, Stansted, Essex. Special memorial B9 at Braine Communal Cemetery, Aisne, France.

From Andy Pay's research into the Marquis de Ruvigny' s Roll of Honour the following: Volume 1 , Part 1, page 385

WOOTTEN, Alfred, Private, 6995, 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards. Son of the late Richard Wootten, of Somersham, by his wife, Rebecca dau of James Ruff, of Somersham. Born Somersham , co Hunts, 14-7-1885, educated there. Enlisted at Lincoln 23-10-1906, and after serving seven years with the colours, was transferred to the Army reserve,23-10-1913, with "Exemplary" character. On mobilisation he rejoined on 6-8-1914, went to France with the Expeditionary Force, 9-8-1914 and died in number 4 Clearing Station st Braisne, 1-10-1914 from wounds received in action at Troyon 29-9-1914, during the battle of the Aisne. Brig - Gen H.W. Stubbs, Coldstream Guards, wrote " No more faithful, true, and gallant soldier gave his life for his country. He did his duty as a guardsman and lived and died a Coldstreamer". He married at Stansted, Essex, 10-4-1909, Florence (3, Gray st, Manchester Sq, W) dau of William Perry of Stansted, and had two children, Alfred Frank b 29-11-1911 and Florence Pamela b 4-3-1910.

The church also contains a Roll of Honour listing all the men who served in the Great War. It lists names only with no other details.

1939-45

The World War Two memorial stands at The Cross, Somersham.

IN GRATEFUL MEMORY
OF THE MEN OF THIS PARISH
WHO PAID THE
SUPREME SACRIFICE
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 Colne.
BARSON Leslie Joshua
Pte, 2nd btn Huntingdonshire Home Guard. Drowned at Hemingford Grey 28-6-42, age 33. Son of Jonathan & Florence Barson, of 11 Council Houses, West End, Somersham; husband of Lily Mary Barson, of Somersham. Buried Somersham (St John the Baptist) Churchyard. See also E O Moore, Bluntisham & Earith.
BEHAGG Reginald H
1066117 Sgt, 56 Medium Rgt, Royal Artillery. Died 27-5-40, age 33. Buried Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Poperinghe, Belgium.
BELL Alfred
No further information currently available.
BUTLER Willie

T/155539, Dvr, Royal Army Service Corps. Died 26-3-42. Son of Mr & Mrs G A Butler, of Somersham. Buried El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.

DEW Douglas Wilfred

7963426, Tpr, 2nd Fife & Forfar Yeomanry, Royal Armoured Corps. Died 6-8-44, age 20. Son of William & Fiona Dew, of Somersham. Listed Bayeux Memorial, Calvados, France.

LOWE Douglas Kitchener
5886075, Pte, 5th Northamptonshire Regiment. Died 21-5-40, age 20. Son of Mr & Mrs R E Lowe, of Somersham. Buried Coxyde Military Cemetery, Koksijde, Belgium.
SEAMARK Frederick C
5933830, Pte, 1st Cambridgeshire Regiment. Died of beri-beri 31-8-43, as Prisoner of War at Tamakan, Thailand, age 31. Buried Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand.

SMITH Stanley
C/SKX 1531, Stoker 1st Class, HMS Liverpool, Royal Navy. Killed in action 14-6-42, age 19, during Operation Harpoon. While escorting a Malta convoy, the cruiser was hit by a torpedo from an Italian bomber; 15 men in an engine room were killed. Son of George & Lilla May Smith, of 10 West End, Somersham. Listed Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent.
THOMAS Robert W
No further information currently available.
THOMAS Sidney A
No further information currently available.
WEST John
P/KX 87203, HMS Drake, Royal Navy. Died 23-4-41, age 25. Son of George & Mary Jane Drake, of Somersham. Buried Plymouth (Weston Mill) Cemetery, Devon.
WHITFIELD Dennis Eric
5831247, Pte, 2nd Cambridgeshire Regiment. Died at sea 21-9-44, Prisoner of War, age 24. Son of Mr & Mrs J C Whitfield, of Somersham. Listed Singapore Memorial, Singapore.

At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
we will remember them

 

Also buried in St John the Baptist churchyard.

ROLINSON Walter Edgar
Dvr, T/285588, 422 General Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps. Died 20-3-42, age 36. Son of George & Bertha Wilson Rolinson; husband of Kathleen Annie Rolinson, of Hull.

SOMERSHAM BAPTIST CHAPEL MEMORIAL

The plaque on a wooden frame commemorates the men who were associated with the chapel.

BAKER John
See Somersham.
BAKER George
See Somersham.
BARLOW Percy
See Somersham.
BROWN Arthur
See Colne.
GILLETT Isaac
See Somersham.
GOWLER Tom
See Somersham.
HEWISON Jack
2nd Lt, 9th Royal Scots. died 19-4-17, age 21. Son of the Rev John R Hewison, Westray, Orkney. Buried St Nicholas British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. The Rev Hewison was a former pastor at Somersham Baptist Chapel.
NORMAN Eric
See Somersham.
PRIOR Benjamin
See Colne.
PEACOCK William
See Somersham.
THOMPSON Joseph
See Somersham.

Last updated 12 July, 2014

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