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FAVERSHAM, GREAT EXPLOSION 2nd APRIL 1916 MEMORIAL

World War 1 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © Martin Edwards 2004
additional information Kim Robinson & Lesley (www.hastingleigh.com)

Further reading The Great Explosion at Faversham, 2 April, 1916 By Arthur Percival, M.B.E., B.A., F.S.A. published by the Faversham Society

In times of war it is not just those who were called into action who suffer. This incident highlights the perils of those at home in their effort to aid those at the front.

On Sunday 2nd April 1916 a fire broke out in some empty sacks at the Gun Powder Works (Gunpowder Mill - Explosives Loading Company) at Uplees Marshes, near Faversham. An attempt was made to put out the fire to no avail and the factory manager ordered an evacuation of the site. Too late, at 2.20pm an explosion occurred when 200 tons of TNT blew up while the evacuation was in progress. The explosion was so large that windows across the Thames estuary, in Southend, were shattered and the tremor was felt in Norwich. The crater made by the explosion was 40 yards across and 20 feet deep. The death toll was 109 men and boys were killed, including the whole of the Works Fire Brigade. As they tried to control the blaze so many firemen died in subsequent smaller explosions on the site.

The many bodies that were recovered were found in the surrounding marshes and dykes; seven were recorded as missing, most probably disintegrated by the explosion.

A mass grave was created for many of the dead in Faversham Borough Cemetery at Ladydene, on the Whitstable road. It was made in 1898, and belongs to the Corporation; and it contains 31 War Graves. Five men of the 4th Buffs were killed in the explosion. The memorial was dedicated by The Lord Bishop of Croydon on 27th September 1917.

Quote "By this explosion, the most disastrous in the history of my Department, no less than 106 persons were killed on the spot or died later from their injuries and 97 were injured. Of those killed 20 were employees of the Cotton Powder Company and 4 belonged to the military guard."

The site as it is today can be viewed from photographs by David Hughes and Neil Clark

A further memorial lists those who died and were buried elsewhere.


Photographs above, and below, Copyright © David Hughes and Neil Clark 2004


Extract from The Worker's Union Record, page 8:

 

Those buried in the Gunpowder Mill Burial Plot

ANDERSON Henry
Born 1891 Oare, Kent. In 1911 he is called Harry, and is living with his parents Frank Anderson and Susanna Elizabeth Quarrinton [m.1888] and sister Mary at the vicarage at Oare with Rev.Alfred Dyson, his mother being the Vicar's housekeeper. His father and Harry are both cotton porters. Administration of his estate was granted to his father Frank Anderson of the vicarage Oare in 1916. His father was an explosives worker at that time.
APPLETON William [James Charles]
Born 1873 Thanet RD, Kent. In 1911 William is a compositor living in Wimbledon with his wife Maria Ann Bushell [m.1895] and surviving daughter Lilian Mary Appleton. They had lost two children previously. His last address was 47 Avenue Road, East Cliff Ramsgate and administration of his estate was granted to Mary Annie Appleton.
ASHBY A
No further information currently
BAKER Edward
Born 1898.
BARTLETT John E
Born 1869. [Compensation caliom lists him as E J BARTLETT] Relatives received £300 compensation.
BEACH Henry G
Born 1898. Aged 18.
BEALE John W
Born 1897.
BEANEY Walter John
Born 1886 Sheldwich, Kent. In 1911 he was a brickfield labourer living in Sittingbourne with his edler half brother Alfred Harris and their mother Ann Beaney. His deceased father was William Beaney married 1883 Faversham RD to Ann Harris.
BEER F J
No further information currently
BEESLEY Arthur W
Born 1881. Relatives received £300 compensation.
BLEACKLEY Thomas H
Born 1877.
BUSHELL Henry
Born 1893 Thanet RD,Kent
BUTLER Matthew
Born 1860 Newchurch Kent. In 1911 he was a jobbing gardener,lodging in Ashford with Mrs Boughton at 12 Harding Road. He was the son of Thomas William Butler and Charlotte Mortley. His last address was 95 St Mary's Road, Faversham, and administration of his estate was granted to Charlotte Butler his spinster sister.
CATLOW William
Private T/20242, 4th Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Age 48. Born Bootle, Lancashire, enlisted Folkestone, Kent, resident Chriton, Kent. Son of George and Harriet Adams; husband of Kate Jane Adams. Born at Skelmersdale, Lancs. CATLOW is a pseudonym that he enlisted under his real name was ADAMS.
CHADWICK William E
Born 1881. Relatives received £300 compensation.
CHAMBERS Thomas
Born 1864.
CHANDLER Alfred Henry
Born 1893 Thanet RD,Kent. Last address was 7 King's Road, Faversham, administration of his estate was granted to Ethel Geering (wife of Alfred Thomas Geering.)
CHANTLER W
No further information currently
CHIDWICK A G
No further information currently. Probably A D CHADWICK, Relatives received £300 compensation.
CLARKE Thomas A
Born 1892.
CLEMENTS Sidney Smith
Born 1875 Keston, Kent. In 1911 he was a watchmaker/shopkeeper, living with his wife Florence Emma Aiston [m.1899 Maidstone], and three children Irene, George and Viola in Maidstone, Kent. His last address was 1 Melville Road, Maidstone and administration of his estate was granted to Florence Emma Clements his widow and George William Clements engineer.
CLUBB S H
[Compensation claim list this person as H. S. Chubb] Relatives received £300 compensation.
COE Frank
Born 1895.
COLE Albert E
Born 1887.
COLLINS J
No further information currently
CORNWELL George
Born 1870 Milton RD, Kent. In 1911 he was living in Sittingbourne Kent, as a grocer and provisoner, living with his wife Phoebe Hannah Robinson [m.1897 Horncastle] and four children, his brother William Cornwell [whom his widow Phoebe married in 1922]and a niece. His last address was Swanscombe Villas, Bapchild, Kent and administration of his estate was granted to his widow Phoebe Hannah Cornwell.
COURT Ernest
Private T/20213, 2nd/4th Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Born 1867 Minster, Thanet, Kent, enlisted Faversham, Kent, resident Ospringe, Faversham, Kent. Husband of Catherine Court, of Ospringe, Faversham. His death certificate is registered with the name as Edward Court.
COX Sidney H
Born 1883.
CRAWFORD James
Born 1867.
DAVY Ernest George
Born 1884. Faversham RD. [Listed as E G DAVEY on compensation claim] Relatives received £300 compensation.
DAWKINS Edwin James
Born 1883. Blean RD, Kent. In the 1911 census he was aged 29, married to Minnie Emma (nee Hadlow) Dawkins, with one sone, General Provision Stores, born Whitstable, Kent, resident 92 Snargate Street, Dover, Kent.
DOWSETT Albert
[Spelt DROWSETT on CWGC] Private T/20216, 4th Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Age 48. Born Halstead, Essex, enlisted Dartford, Kent, resident Greenhithe, Kent. Husband of Anna Drowsett, of 40, Castle St., Greenhithe. In 1911 he was a labourer in a cement works in Greenhithe, Kent, living with his wife Anna Davis [m.1897], and 3 children Wilfred, Dorothy and Margaret, and father in law William Davis. Married Minnie Emma Hadlow in Dover 11 March 1906, aged 23.
DRAY Henry Thomas aka Harry
Born 1860 East Grinsted RD, Sussex. In 1911 he was living in Brewery Cottages, Hastings with wife Margaret [m. 1881 Hastings to Martha Bedford] and daugher Edith. His last address was 15 Union Street Faversham and administration of his estate was granted to his daughter Edith Elizabeth Dray.
DRISCOLL Augustus D
Born 1867 Bishopsgate, London. In 1911, he was a personal weighing machine attendent in Margate. He was unmarried.
FAIRCLOTH W
No further information currently
FARTHING E J
[Listed as J FARTHING on compensation claim] Relatives received £300 compensation.
FEDARB Albert Leslie
Born 1898 Margate. In 1911 he is a scholar living with his cousin in Dover. Son of James Thomas Fedarb and Eliza Henrietta Knapman [m.1892] he was one of their 10 children.
FREESTONE Anthony Lindley
Born 1864 Metfield Suffolk. In 1911 he was living in Ipswich with his wife Margaret Louise Read [m.1906 Plomesgate] and children Anthony aged 3 and Margery aged 2. Employed as a foreman of works for the West African Crown Colonies Railway Construction Company.
GARLAND Charles Timothy
Born 1893 Canterbury, Kent. In 1911 he was a nurseryman's labourer in Canterbury, living with his father Richard and stepmother Alice Elizabeth. His deceased mother was Eliza Annie Stupple.
GILBERT Frederick William
Born Selling in Kent 18 January 1871 and christened in the parish of Selling on 7 May 1871. he worked as a bricklaye; married Mary Andrews on the 15 August 1899. They had 6 children, Amy Mary (1900), Clara (1902), Dorothy Annie (1903), an unnamed son still born 1906, Daisy Ethel (1908) who died aged 1 month old and Fredrick George (1910). He emigrated alone to Australia on MV Moravan and arrived in Fremantle New South Wales in October 1911. He was employed in the gold mining industry until his return to the UK circa 1913. On his return a further child was born James on the 25 September 1916 a full five months after the death of his father in the powder mill explosion. His wife Mary was unable to cope with the loss of her husband, and the pressures of providing for a young and growing family, and was hospitalised for long periods of time. James who was less than a year old and was cared for by his three sisters aged 15, 14 and 13.
GOATHAM Archibald (Ben) William
Born 1885 Milton Regis, Kent. In 1911 he was a paper mill labourer living with his wife Jessie nee Young [m.1909] and daughter Eveline Doris Goatham in Sittingbourne, Kent. He was the son of Emma and Edward Goatham.
GODDEN Walter James
Born 1877. Milton RD, Kent. In the 1911 census he was married to Louisa, with two children, aged 33, a General Labourer, born Rainham, Kent, resident 39 St Georges Road Broadstairs, St Peter Intra, Kent. Relatives received £300 compensation.
GOODWIN Arthur
Resident of Thrift Cottage, Boughton Monchelsea, Kent, administration of his estate was granted in 1916 to Frederick Charles Goodwin farm bailiff. In 1923 administration re-granted to Dorothy Veitch (wife of James Veitch) after cessate.
GOORD Leonard Frederick

Born 16 October 1879 in Milton, Sittingbourne, Kent, son of Henry and Helen (nee Clinch), his father was a Miller. Birth registered in the October to December Quarter 1879 in the MIlton Registration District, Kent. Christened in Bobbing, Kent on 16 November 1879. He married Mabel Bryant in the March to April Quarter 1904 in the Milton Registration District, Kent. In the 1911 census he was aged 31, born Bobbing, Kent, a Farmer, married to Mabel, with two children Donald Alfred Sasby, and Jack Frank Hedley Richard, all resident at 2 Aspley Villas, London Road, Milton Regis. His wife Mabel (nee Bryant) emigrated to New Zealand with their four children following his death.

Extract from Probate Calendars of England & Wales 1858-1959:

GOORD Leonard Frederick of 2 Aspley-villas London-road Milton Regis Kent died 2 April 1916 at Uplees Faversham Without Kent Administration London 29 April to Mabel Goord widow, Effects £25 10s.

HALL George
Born 1877.
HARDING John
Private T/20210, 4th Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Enlisted Sittingbourne, Kent, resident Milton Regis, Kent.
HOARE John aka Jack
Born 1856. Ammunition Worker. Cotton Powder Company next door to Explosive Loading Company Limited, near Oare, Faversham, Kent. Died 2nd April 1916. Buried in the Gunpower Mill Burial Plot, Faversham, Kent.
HOLBOURN Sydney William
Born Dover 30th August 1877. In 1911 he was a bricklayer, unmarried and living with his parents Edward Holbourn and Harriet Jane nee Fowle [m.1866 Dover]. He had 8 siblings.
JARMAN J R
Relatives received £300 compensation.
JARRETT Frederick Thomas
Born 1898 Milton RD, Kent
JARVIS Harry G
Born 1886 East Ashford RD, Kent. Ammunition Worker. Explosive Loading Company Limited, near Oare, Faversham, Kent. Died 2nd April 1916. Buried in the Gunpower Mill Burial Plot, Faversham, Kent. Listed on the Chilham War Memorial.
JARVIS William Edward
Private T/20169, 4th Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Born and enlisted Dartford, resident Crayford, Kent. Born 1875 Crayford, Kent. In 1911, he was a house painter living in Crayford with his wife Maud Annie nee Kitchener [m.1903 Dartford RD] and two children Ivy and Edward.
KERRISON Cecil Walter
Born 1883 East Studdle, Kent. In 1911 he was gardener living in Challock with his wife Agnes Mary Scott [m. 1907 Wye, Kent ] two step daughters and their two sons Cecil Walter Jnr.and Francis George. She had previously been married to Walter Bloomfield in 1900 in Wye and widowed. Three more children followed: Ernest, Molly and Bertha Kerrison, and his widow had a daughter Emma born in early 1917.
KITTLE George
Born 1892 Wayland RD, Norfolk.
LANE Thomas
Killed in the Great Explosion at Faversham. Employed by the explosives loading company. Buried in the Mass Grave, Faversham
LEGG Ernest

Killed in the Faversham Munition Explosion 2nd April 1916. Aged 31 years. Husband of Nellie Legg who died 31st July 1950, aged 74. Relatives received £300 compensation. Buried in St. John the Baptist churchyard, Eythorne, Kent.

Photograph Copyright © Joyce Banks 2007

LINGER George
Born 1854 in Islington, London. In the 1911 census he was a plasterer living at 66 Rhodes Street, Barnsbury, Lower Holloway, London N, with his second wife Alice Linger (nee Clements); the had 5 children and there were a further 5 children from his first marriage to Jane Linger (nee Ley).
LLOYD L M
No further information currently
LLOYD Sidney
Born 1890. Relatives received £300 compensation.
LYONS Bernard Augustus
Ammunition Worker. Explosive Loading Company Limited, near Oare, Faversham, Kent. Died 2nd April 1916. Born 1888 Boughton, Kent. In 1911 he and his brother Reginald were in service as domestic gardeners in The Square, Chilham, living with the Myers family. Their parents were Frederick William Lyons of Dunkirk, and Jane Olivia Foreman [m. 1880 Dunkirk]. Buried in the Gunpower Mill Burial Plot, Faversham, Kent. Listed on the Chilham War Memorial. Relatives received £300 compensation.
MALEY William Stephen
Born 1881 Blean RD, Kent.
MANSER [Harry] F
No further information currently
MILLS William
Born 1957.
MORRIS J W
No further information currently
MORRIS W T
Relatives received £300 compensation.
PALOWKAR Rickman Monney Moore
Born 1885 Tottenham as Palowkas. In 1911 he was an engineering draughtsman in Islington. Son of Laura Fanny Palowkar who was widowed by 1911. He married Beatrice R Baker in 1913 Islington. Their daughter Dorothy K Palowkar was born in 1915 in Faversham, and a son Rickman was born postumously in 1916 in Hampshire.
PENNING E R
No further information currently
PERRYMAN Albert J
Born 1889. Relatives received £300 compensation.
PHILLIPS A
No further information currently
PHILPOTT A J
No further information currently
PILCHER Harry
Born 1888 in Badlesmere, Kent. Died aged 28, married man with a daughter of 2. In 1911 he was a farm labourer living at Forge Lane, Badlesmere. He marrie Rose Deayton in 1914, Daughter Lily Rose Pilcher wasbornthe same year. Relatives received £300 compensation.
POWELL George [John]
Born about 1884 Harty, Kent. His last address was 15 Abbey Street Faversham, administration granted to William Powell licensed victualler. In 1911 he was a cordite labourer in a gun cotton works in Faversham. William and Margaret Powell (?nee Margaret Elizabeth Clasper )were the licensees of the Kings Head Pub, at 14 Abbey Street, Faversham.
RANDALL Thomas William
Born 1877 Yalding, Kent. His last address was Burnley Belmont Road, Westgate-on-sea, died at Lees Court Hospital, administration granted to Nellie Elizabeth Randall widow nee Winnan [m.1909 Lewisham]. Thomas was a barman in a pub in the 1911 census.
READER Robert Daniel P
Born 1884 Thanet RD.
RICHARDS Norman George
Born 1874 Thanet RD. His last address was 43 Kings Street, Margate,administration granted to Rose Ada Susan Richards his widow. Nee Rose Ada Susan Emptage [m.1910 Thanet RD] Relatives received £300 compensation.
ROBUS C F
No further information currently
SADDINGTON [C] J
Relatives received £300 compensation.
SCROGIE William [Augustus]
Born 1862 Walworth, Surrey. In 1911, he was a furniture salesmanliving at 5 Church Road, Ramgate. Married to Alice Jane Heath for 22 years and no children. Relatives received £300 compensation.
SELMES William Charles
Born 1896 St Helens, East Sussex as Charles Wm. Selmes. In 1911 he was a greengrocer's errand boy, living with his parents James Thomas Selmes and Louisa Carrie Jenkins [m.1895 Hastings RD]
SKINNER Harry
Relatives received £300 compensation.
SOUTHAM [A] George
Born 1881. Relatives received £300 compensation.
SPILLETT John
His last address was Gebles Cottages Boughton near Faversham, administration granted to Margaret Spillett widow.
STACEY T
No further information currently
STICKELS Charles James [S}
Born 1898 Faversham. In 1911 he and his 6 siblings were living with their widowed mother Ellen, her husband had been Harry Stickels of Faversham, and Charles was a part time scholar and part time Baker's Apprentice. His entire family were born in Faversham.
STICKENS W J
No further information currently
STOCK R [W]
Relatives received £300 compensation.
SUTTON John
Resident of High Brooms, Kent.
TAYLOR Cornelius William
Born 1891 Teynham, Kent. In 1911 he was a brickmaker, living with his parents at 15 Conyer, Teynham. William Taylor and Adelaide Amelia Sills [m. 1870 Chatham ]Cornelius was one of 16 siblings.
TAYLOR Frederick G
Born 1898
TAYLOR H B
No further information currently
TERRY Harry
Relatives received £300 compensation.
TURNER W
No further information currently
VINCENT Sidney Churchill
Born 1887 Epsom, RD Surrey. His last address was 101 St Mary's Road, Faversham, administration granted to Samuel Joseph James Vincent farmer.
WADE Philip George
Born 1895 Faversham. In 1911 he lived at 90 Abbey Street, Faversham, the son of Philip James Wade and Johanna Sidders (Annie) [m. 1887 Faversham], with 8 siblings
WALKER Henry C
Born 1869.
WALLER Walter T
Born 1866 Stepney RD as Walter I Waller on birth certificate registration list.
WARREN E J
No further information currently
WARREN G J
No further information currently
WEBB Charles A
Born 1869.
WELLARD Monti Alfred
Born 1873 Boughton Blean, Kent. In 1911 he was a bricklayer of 18 Plantation Road, Faversham, married to Amelia Stevens[m.1900 Faversham] and a father of four: Irene, Alfred, Edward and Martha.
WELLFARE Walter James
Born 1874 Eastbourne, Sussex. In 1911 he was a commissioning agent, of 57 Avondale Road, Eastbourne, married to Sarah Carter [m.1899 Eastbourne] with no children of the marriage.
WEST Edward
Born 1860.
WILES Frank
Boern about 1871.
WILLIAMS J
No further information currently
WOOD Herbert
Born 1890.
WOOD W H A
No further information currently
WRIGHT Leopold Sydnet
Born 1887 Great Bentley, Essex. In 1911 he was an Iron Foundary Clerk, living with his uncle in Ipswich. He was the son of George Wright and Harriet Ophelia Garrod [m.1884 Ipswich]
WYLES Frederick [George]
Born 1890 Faversham, Kent. The eldest son of George Wyles and Elizabeth Mortley Sole [m. 1887 Faversham] of 26 Plantation Road, Faversham. He had six siblings and his eldest sister Elsie was a cartridge maker at the gunpowder factory in the 1911 census, while Frederick was a labourer at that time. Relatives received £300 compensation.
ALSO
TO THE FOLLOWING WHO LOST THEIR LIVES ON THE SAME OCCASION AND ARE BURIED
ELSEWHERE AT THE REQUEST OF RELATIVES AND FRIENDS

ACROGIE

W

No further information currently

ANDERSON

H

No further information currently

BARTLETT

J C

No further information currently

BLEACKLEY

T N

No further information currently

BUSHELL

H

No further information currently

CHADWICK

W E

No further information currently

CLARKE

T A

No further information currently

COE

F

No further information currently

COLE

A G

No further information currently

CORNWELL

G

No further information currently

DAWKINS

C J

No further information currently

DEANEY

W

No further information currently

DRISCOLL

A

No further information currently

ELDARD?

A L

No further information currently

GODDEN

W J

No further information currently

JARVIS

H G

No further information currently

KERRISON

C W

No further information currently

KITTLE

C

No further information currently

LEGG

E

No further information currently

MALEY

W S

No further information currently

MILLS

W

No further information currently

PERRYMAN

A J

No further information currently

PILCHER

H

No further information currently

POWELL

G

No further information currently

RANDALL

T W

No further information currently

RICHARDS

N G

No further information currently

SOUTHAM

G

No further information currently

SUTTON

J

No further information currently

TAYLOR

C M

No further information currently

TAYLOR

G

No further information currently

TAYLOR

H B

No further information currently

VINCENT

S G

No further information currently

WEBB

G A

No further information currently

WRIGHT

L S

No further information currently

WYLES

F

No further information currently

Last updated 29 July, 2016

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