Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion

PRESTEIGNE WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 & 2 - Detailed information
Compiled and Copyright © Martin Harvey 2005
additional information George Lancett

A red sandstone memorial situated in a small garden in front of John Beddoes Scholl, Presteigne. All four faces of the memorial are inscribed. Two faces with inscription, two with the lists of names of the fallen. The names here have been sorted into alphabetical order for ease of reading. [Note: Most spellings on SDGW CD are as Presteign]
Photographs Copyright © Martin Harvey 2005

In memory of the men of Presteigne and District who fell in the Great War
1914-1918
1939-1945
To our Glorious Dead

1914-1918

ADLINGTON

Edward [John]
Private 46232, Labour Corps formerly 70628, Liverpool Regiment. Died of wounds 11th September 1917. Born and enlisted Presteign.

Note from George Lancett for the Edward John Adlington below:

Edward John Adlington born Presteigne, Radnor 1879 died Belgium 11th September 1918

Edward Adlington was born in 1879 into a large Victorian Presteigne family. Edward has five older siblings; Jane born 1870, Joseph E. born 1871, Ezekiel born 1873,Ellen born 1875 and Thomas born 1876. After Edward’s birth in 1879 a further two sisters followed; Florence born 1882 and Alice K. born 1885, making eight children born to Jane Adlington, Edward’s mother who was born in Knighton in 1840. Edward’s father, Joseph Adlington born Knighton in 1838, was a boot and shoe-maker and dealer. The family are recorded living in Broad Street, Presteigne on the 1881 Census, but by the time of the 1891 Census they had moved to Pear Tree Cottage, Harper Street, Presteigne. The 1901 Census shows that Edward, aged 21 has started work as a domestic gardener and is still living with his, now widowed, father. The family are back in Broad Street, but only Edward’s sisters Jane and Alice are still at home. The 1911 Census finds Edward still single and living in Broad Street with his father . However, when Edward signed a Form of Attestation for Military Service on 28th February 1916, he gives his address as Radnor Buildings, Hereford Street, Presteigne and his occupation is Gardener and Smallholder.

The Brecon & Radnor Express of 16th March 1916 reports that the local Military Service Tribunal considered the case of E.J. Adlington, gardener and smallholder, who had applied for exemption on the grounds that serious hardship would ensue, and of exceptional financial and business obligations. Postponement for a month was allowed. At about this time Edward married Mildred Legge of Kington, Herefordshire.

The Brecon & Radnor Express of 15th February 1917 reports that ’We regret to record the death of an old inhabitant in the person of Mr Joseph Adlington of Radnor Buildings, at the age of 78. The deceased was well known and highly respected in the town, where he had been in business for many years.’

Edward enlisted on 27th February, 1917 so perhaps he had been granted a further exemption to care for his father.

Private Edward John Adlington aged 39 no. 46232 the Kings [Liverpool Regiment] 78th Labour Corps. Previously no. 70618 of the Reserve Battalion, 13th Labour Company was killed in action near Elverdinghe, Ypres, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium in the Third Battle of Ypres, better known as Passchendaele. He is buried in Bleuet Farm Cemetery, Elverdinghe near Ypres. Grave Ref. I.A.8.

Sources: Presteigne War Memorial, Census Records, National Archives, Commonwealth War Grave Commission and Welsh Newspapers Online.

BOOTH

James [Albert] aka Jim

[Listed as Sergeant on memorial] Corporal 7751, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment). Killed in action 12th october 1916. Born and resident Presteign, enlisted Neath. Buried in GUARDS' CEMETERY, LESBOEUFS, Pas de Calais, France. Plot II. Row AA. Grave 6.

Note from George Lancett for the James Albert [Jim] Booth below:

Corporal James Albert [Jim] Booth born Presteigne 1885
Killed in Action Le Tresilon, France 12th October 1916

Jim Booth grew up in the West Wall and Church Street area of Presteigne where, until recent times, the working class families of the town made their homes in two up two down private rental terraced houses.

The 1901 Census records Jim living in West Wall with his parents; Charles Booth a fifty years old Presteigne born Foreman Timber Feller and his mother Eliza, forty-nine born in Brierley Hill, Staffordshire. Jim is recorded as General Labourer aged sixteen, whilst his brothers and sisters; Charles eleven, Thomas eight, Frederick seven, Alice five and Mary three are all recorded as Scholars.

By the time of the 1911 Census Jim is recorded as a boarder at 28, Old Park Terrace, Treforest, Glamorgan. Then, just as young people are forced to move from Presteigne to find work today, there was very little employment in Presteigne and the South Wales Coal Industry offered well-paid jobs and newly-built houses. Jim lodged in Treforest with the Preece family who had recently moved from Presteigne en masse to find work. Head of the household was William Preece a Timber Man born in Presteigne in 1873 and also recorded is Harry Preece, William’s son born in Presteigne in 1894. Both Harry Preece and Jim Booth are recorded as ‘Coal Miner Hewer Below’. Sadly, my research has found that Harry Preece did not survive the war either. He is recorded on the Presteigne War Memorial as ‘Preece, H. Private, Devonshire Regiment.’ he was killed in action on Saturday 1st July 1916 aged just twenty three, his body was never found and his name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

Jim Booth enlisted in Neath, South Wales on 5th August 1914, just a day after Britain entered the war. Jim’s parents now living in Church street, Presteigne received regular letters from Jim and his brother Tom during the war and the Brecon & Radnor Express’s Presteigne correspondent was able to report on Jim’s exploits as a result of the letters and Jim’s visits to Presteigne on home leave.

The Brecon & Radnor Express of 10th December, 1914 reported: Presteign soldier [they never used the final ‘e’] home from the trenches. The first wounded British soldier to return to Presteign from the front arrived on the 30th ult. Private James Booth of the West Riding, Yorkshire Regiment left England for the front on the 25th August, 1914. He appears to have had his full share of the fighting, having been, ‘till he was wounded on 11th November, continuously in the fighting line. The first engagement he took part in was the battle of the Aisne, where he was for about a month. Then he took part in the battle at La Basse , where he remained for about three weeks. In these two battles he was most of the time in the trenches and seems to have experienced a very rough time. From La Basse the regiment was relieved by Indian troops, with the idea that the Yorkshires should enjoy a well-earned rest. But they were at once sent to Ypres, and it was in this battle that, on the 11th November, Booth met with his injury. He received a wound from a fragment of shrapnel, which struck him in his left shoulder. Private Booth expressed his admiration of the artillery fire of the Germans. It is interesting to note that Private Booth was one of our heroes who met the attack of the Prussian Guards. He says that the Prussian Guards came for them in a very determined way, and part of the section where he was fighting was only reinforced just in the nick of time, and were repulsed by a bayonet attack in which he took part. He also expressed his admiration of the arrangements made for feeding the troops at the front, and said they were well supplied with tobacco and cigarettes, which proved to be a very great comfort to them. Private Booth comes of a soldier family, and is one of six brothers who have served their country with the British Army.

The Brecon & Radnor Express of 17th December 1914 read: Presteign soldier honoured by townsmen. On Saturday evening Private James Booth, who recently returned from the front wounded, was entertained to dinner at the Radnorshire Arms, Presteign. There was a large number present; Mr Stanley Morris, Chairman of the Urban District Council, presided and amongst those present were the Rev. HL Kewley, Mr G S Tovey, Mr F L Green, Councillors W Davies, W Bird, H J Sparey, Philip Davies, G W Preece, Messrs A M Thomas, J Mackintosh, W T Williams, J T Price, W Shepherd, A Graham, C Millichamp etc. A full toast list was gone through. The Chairman proposed ‘ the health of Private James Booth’ the toast being received with enthusiasm. Private Booth had been at the front almost since our forces went out there, and had seen some of the worst of the fighting. Nobody but Private Booth himself could say what he had been through in company with other brave fellows at the front, and in him they had a man of whom the whole of Presteign ought to be proud [Applause]. He was sure that by the attendance tonight they showed they were proud of him, and they were glad to see him home again after his grave experiences. The toast was received with cheers and musical honours. Private Booth was cheered on rising to reply, said he very much appreciated the honour they had done him, and although he could not express himself as he should like, he was very grateful to them all for the welcome. He had only done his duty as a soldier, and he was glad to have had the opportunity of doing it [cheers]. Some people in the country districts, especially, did not realise that the war was in progress, and many of the agricultural workmen were fitter than a good many who had enlisted [applause]. They could hardly realise what the men had to go through, and the sights some of the men saw were appalling. The men who returned from the front deserved all the credit they got, and he could assure them that out at the front it was ‘hell upon earth’. he was very grateful to them, and he wished also to express his thanks to Mr J M Sparey for his kindness to him whilst at the front [applause]. Other toasts followed and a number of songs were sung, an enjoyable evening being passed.

The Brecon & Radnor Express of 24th December 1914 reported that on Tuesday night, seven Belgian wounded soldiers arrived at Presteign for treatment at Corton House by the Red Cross Association.

Departure of Private Booth - Private James Booth left Presteign on Monday afternoon, to rejoin his regiment at Halifax. There was a large crowd at the railway station to see him off, and he was cheered enthusiastically as the train moved out.

Presteign men for the front - On Tuesday afternoon, Privates E Culley and W Jordan left Presteign, where they had been staying for a few days after training at Aldershot, and, it is stated, that they are shortly leaving for France.

The Brecon & Radnor Express of 20th May 1915 reports; Lance Corporal Booth has again been wounded [no details].

The Border Counties Cinema is still doing good business which is no doubt due to the excellency of the pictures and low prices charged.

Private Frank Lewis [son of Mr and Mrs William Lewis] and A Morris [a relative of Mr Harry Crowe] were here on furlough last week. Mr Tom Strangward who joined the Royal Garrison Artillery, has been home on leave and Fred Swancott has now joined the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry.

News from the front: Mrs Swancott [Fred’s Mum or wife?] has just received an interesting letter from her brother, Driver A Preece, Royal Field Artillery. Driver Preece went to France at the outbreak of war and has passed through the whole campaign unscathed. His brother, Jack, however was not so fortunate, and was wounded a few days after arrival out there!

The Brecon & Radnor Express of 26th August 1915 reports; Presteign brothers meet on battlefield. Corporal James Booth son of Mr & Mrs C Booth of Church Street, Presteign, in a letter from the front, says: ‘I am very glad to tell you that I have met Tom [his brother] at last. It was quite accidental. I was at the dug-outs near the trenches with a party of my company for rations, and he was there with rations for some of his regiment. He asked some of the fellows with me if they knew of a chap called Jim Booth? As soon as I heard his voice, I knew that it was him. I did not know his face at all, for, he has grown a moustache, but he looks alright, better than I do. He told me that he was close to me very often, but could not get to see me. He was very excited at seeing me, and wants me to transfer to what they call the ‘sappers’. Writing home to Presteign, Private Tom Booth, 1st Devon Mining Section, attached to the Royal Engineers, writes thus of his meeting with his brother, Corporal Jim Booth ‘I had the pleasure of first meeting Jim today, and it was a most happy meeting. I see him twice a day now. I hope this war will soon come to an end. I have been out here six months’.

The final entry in the Brecon & Radnor Express comes on 2nd November, 1916. The report reads; Presteign soldiers killed. News has just reached Presteign that two Presteign men have fallen in active service in France. They are Corporal James Booth of the West Riding Regiment and Private Henry Butcher of the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry. Corporal Booth was on the Army Reserve List when he was called up and has seen a good deal of service. He was in the fighting at Mons and has been twice wounded. Private Butcher was a time expired man who had seen service in the South African war and volunteered for service in this campaign.

I found a copy of Jim Booth’s Informal Will in the National Archives and like many single men he left his belongings to his mother. He is buried in the Guards Cemetery, Lesboeufs, Somme, France. Grave Ref. II AA.6

Sources: Presteigne Cenotaph, National Roll of Honour, Census Records, Brecon & Radnor Express courtesy of Welsh Newspapers Online and the National Archives.

BOUNDS

Osborne A
Private 201460, 1st/4th Battalion, King's (Shropshire Light infantry). Killed in action 26th March 1918. Born Port, Glamorgan, enlisted Prssteign.

BOWEN

P T
Private, Herefordshire Regiment

BRIGGS

Colwyn Frank
Private 235272, 1st/1st Battalion, Herefordshire Regiment. Killed in action 23rd July 1918. Born and enlisted Presteign.

BURSNELL

[Francis] William
{Listed as Kings Shropshire Light Infantry on memorial] Private 10373, 7th Battalion, Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment). Killed in action at gallipoli 8th August 1915. Born Ludlow, Salop, enlisted Lichfield, Staffordshire, resident Presteign.

BUTCHER

H
Private, Kings Shropshire Light infantry

DAVIES

L
Private, Kings Shropshire Light infantry

EVANS

H
Lance Corporal, Herefordshire Regiment

EVANS

William Thomas
Private T.F.204658, 20th Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). Died 30th July 1918. Aged 31. Enlisted Presteign, resident Lyeseven Norton. Son of George and Ann Evans, of Cascob, Presteign, husband of Charlotte Perkins (formerly Evans), of Hollands Lawn, Norton, Radnorshire. Buried in LILLE SOUTHERN CEMETERY, Nord, France. Plot III. Row C. Grave 24. See also Norton.

GEORGE

Thomas Frederick
Private 48823, 10th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers. Killed in action 1st September 1918. Enlisted Leominster, Herefordshire, resident Presteign. Formerly 204664, Middlesex Regiment.

GREEN

Richmond Edward Ormond Lyttleton
Second Lieutenant, 6th (Service Battalion). Kings Shropshire Light infantry. Killed in action 19 February 1916. Buried in ESSEX FARM CEMETERY, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot I. Row C. Grave 5.

Extract from De Ruvigny's Roll Of Honour Vol 3:

GREEN, RICHMOND EDWARD ORMOND LYTTLETON, 2nd Lieut., 6th (Service) Battn. The King's (Shropshire Light Infantry), only s. of Frederick Lyttleton Green, of Broad Street, Presteign, co. Radnor, Solicitor; b. Llanfairwaterdine, co. Salop, 22 Nov. 1895; educ. Shrewsbury and Rossall; was subsequently articled as a Solicitor to Messrs. F. L. Green & Nixon; volunteered for foreign service on the outbreak of war, and was gazetted 2nd Lieut. King's (Shropshire Light Infantry) 14 Sept. 1914; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders, and was killed in action near Ypres 19 Feb. 1916, being shot through the head while out with a working party at night. Buried in Essex Farm Cemetery, near Ypres. His Colonel wrote: "Always cheerful and never happier than when on specially dangerous work in ' No Man's Land.' He was brave beyond words, and the life and soul of his comrades. We were all most proud of him." Unm.

HOLL

E
Private, County of London Regt.

HUGHES

Norman [Menzies]
Private 56569, 14th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers formerly 32960, King's (Shropshire Light infantry). Born St Mary's, Shrewsbury, enlisted Presteign.

JOSEPH

J S
Private, Kings Shropshire Light infantry

LEWIS

D
Private, Kings Shropshire Light infantry

LEWIS

J
Private, Machine Gun Corps

MEREDITH

John Ernest
Private 22381, 6th Battalion, King's (Shropshire Light infantry). Died of wounds in United Kingdom 16th October 1917. Born Tansalisamal, enlsited Presteign, resident Ackill, Presteign.

MILLICHAMP

Alfred Harbridge aka Harby
Company Sergeant Major 6475, 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers. Killed in action at Gallipoli 8th May 1915. Aged 33. Born Presteign, enlisted Brecon. Son of Charles Millichamp, of High St., Presteign, Radnorshire; husband of Ada Maud Millichamp, of River St., Pewsey, Wilts. No known grave. Commemorated on HELLES MEMORIAl, Turkey (including Gallipoli) .

Note from George Lancett for the Alfred Harbridge Millichamp below:

Alfred Harbridge Millichamp 1881-1915

I attended Presteigne Grammar School from 1965 to 1971. My favourite subjects were Geography, English and History. I was lucky to be taught history by Keith Parker who has spent his ‘retirement’ writing many local history books and pamphlets. Years one to three were spent studying British history from the Romans to Nelson and Wellington. The period covered for my ‘o level’ examination was 1919 to 1969, the treaty of Versailles to the U.S.A.’s war with North Vietnam.

I wasn’t particularly interested in WW1, 1914-18. I, mistakenly , believed it was four years of madness when various European nations fought a pointless war in which millions of young men were sent to their deaths by aristocratic Generals who cared little for their men or tactics. I knew from films like Lawrence of Arabia and the African Queen that the war had also been fought in the Middle East and Africa but I had no idea that British troops had been involved in a battle against German soldiers and sailors some five thousand miles from Britain in the port city of Tsingtao, as the Germans knew it and Qingdao as it is now known by the Peoples’ Republic of China!

So it was with a mixture of amazement and disbelief that I read the Brecon & Radnor Express headline of 7th January 1915; PRESTEIGN SOLDIER’S EXPERIENCES IN CHINA. ASSISTS IN THE CAPTURE OF TSINGTAO. The report went on; Mr Charles Millichamp of Presteign has received news of his son, Sergt. Harby Millichamp who was at the siege of Tsingtao. Writing home he says ‘the last few nights we have been digging trenches only 1,450 yards from the Germans, under their very noses and in spite of 8 searchlights. We have been exposed to all sorts of fire, but up to now have had only very few surrendered and no one killed. Well last night we came out under cover of the darkness and occupied the trench in which I am now writing. This morning the official bombardment commenced about 6:30am and at present the din is terrific. The Japs [our allies] dirigibles and aeroplanes are being heavily shelled by the Germans, but up to know [about 10am] are safe. I cannot tell you much of what is happening in front of us and we have to keep well down, lest they should discover us, but huge columns of black smoke are ascending. The Japs are on both flanks with us and the Sikhs [Indians] in the centre. Writing under the date November 1st 1914 Millichamp says: ‘the bombardment was on all night and is still proceeding. We went out last night and partly constructed shrapnel proof head cover four hundred yards nearer the enemy and tonight we go again and finish the work and occupy those trenches’.

Alfred Harbridge Millichamp was born in Presteigne, Radnorshire in 1881. Harby, as he was known by his family was a professional soldier. He enlisted aged 18 in 1899 at the Brecon barracks of the Second Battalion, South Wales Borderers. He had fought in the Boer War in South Africa before returning to Britain, where in 1908 he married Ada Maud Howse a 27 years old Post Office assistant, the daughter of a Grocer and Baker of River Street, Pewsey, Wiltshire. Harby’s son George Charles Millichamp was born on 25th October, 1909 in Chatham, Kent where the South Wales Borderers had barracks. By the time the 1911 Census was held Harby is to be found resident at the 2nd Battalion’s Artillery Barracks in Pretoria, South Africa. Strangely his occupation is recorded as ‘Printer’.

The siege of Tsingtao was a result of the Japanese government decision to remove the German garrison of four thousand men and take over the port and city. 23,ooo Japanese troops backed by 142 artillery guns, balloons and planes attacked on 2nd September 1914. Britain wary of Japanese intentions in the region sent 1500 troops to assist the Japanese [and to keep a watchful eye upon proceedings]. The German garrison, despite being outnumbered by some six to one, held out for over two months before finally surrendering on 7th November 1914 [six days after Harby’s letter was written]. With the port’s capture Harby and the rest of the British force were withdrawn and reallocated elsewhere.

The Brecon & Radnor Express of 17th June 1915 under the headline: SOLDIER’S RECORD tells us that Company Sergt. Harby Millichamp, who was killed in action in the Dardanelle’s [Gallipoli] on Saturday 8th May 1915, had a fine record to his credit. Although, only 34 years of age he had completed 16 years of active service with the colours. He took part in the Boer War and afterwards returned again to South Africa, where he spent five years . Later he was sent to China, returning to England after the fall of Tsingtao. His stay lasted only days before being sent to the Dardanelle’s, where he was killed in action.

Alfred Harbridge Millichamp, Company Sergeant Major No. 6475, 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers has no known grave. His name is recorded on the Helles Memorial, Turkey.

Sourced: Presteigne War Memorial, Brecon & Radnor Express, Census Records, National Archives and Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

MILLICHAMP

F
Private, Canadian Regiment

MILLICHAMP

William George
Corporal 236594, 7th Battalion (King's Shropshire Light Infantry), Herefordshire Regiment (listed as seving at the time of death with theabove battalion). Killed in action 2nd September 1918. Born Presteign, enlisted Hereford, resiodent Islington.

MORGAN

A C
Lance Corporal, Machine Gun Corps

MORGAN

J A
Private, Monmouthshire Regt.

MORRIS

B
Private, Australian Imp. forces

OWENS

I
Private, Herefordshire Regiment

POWELL

C L
Private, Durham Light Infantry

POWELL

J
Private, Lancashire Fusiliers

POWELL

J G
Private, Labour Corps

POWELL

John Thomas
Lance Corporal 27808, 11th Battalion, Border Regiment formerly 4272, Herefordshire Regiment. Killed in action 2nd December 1917. Born and enlisted Presteign.

POWELL

Walter
Private 285271, 10th Battalion, Welsh Regiment formrly 238992, 1st Battalion, Herefordshire Regiment. Died of wounds 31st july 1917. Born Titley, herefordshire, enlisted Presteign.

PREECE

[Charles] Henry
Private 20170, 2nd Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action 1st July 1916. Born presteign, enlisted Pontypridd, resident Treforest, Glamorganshire.

PROBERT

Albert E
Private 552, 17th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Died of wounds 20th June 1918. Enlisted New Radnor, resident Presteigne. Formerly 2819, Montgomeryshire Yeomanry.

PUGH

R
Private, Royal Army Service Corps

REESE

W
Private, Cheshire Regiment

SAUNDERS

Arthur
Private 10385, 5th Battalion, King's (Shropshire Light Infantry). Killed in action 25th September 1915. Born and resident Presteign, enlisted Hereford.
Note from George Lancett for the SMALLMAN brothers below:

Thomas James Smallman 29.07.1895-05.06.1916 & William Smallman 20.05.1892-05.01.1917

When I started researching the names on Presteigne War Memorial I was intrigued by the fact that three of the men were listed under ‘Canadian Regiments’. Two shared the same surname; Smallman, TJ & W.

Back in 1999 ,when I first started, there were not that many places I could look to find out more information, but the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website offered me the chance to find out where the men had died. I found T. J. Smallman Private 81812 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles [Saskatchewan Regt.] who died on Monday, 5th June 1916. Aged 20. Son of James J. and Martha Emma Smallman of Glencairn, Manitoba. Volunteered for service, November 1914. No Presteigne connection there. However, when I clicked on W. Smallman Private 71955 27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry [Manitoba Regt.] who died on Friday 5th January 1917. Aged 24. This time the same parents were listed as for T.J. Smallman but ‘Native of Presteigne, Radnorshire’ was added to confirm they were brothers and had lived in Presteigne.

When I got the chance to look the family up on the 1901 Census I found them at Green End Smithy, Presteigne[ there is still a property called The Old Smithy in Green End]. James John Smallman aged 34, Blacksmith Master, born Foy, Herefordshire, his wife Martha Emma nee Evans aged 33 born Presteigne, Radnorshire and their children; William born 1892, Ethel E. born 1894, Thomas James born 1895 and Edith M born 1897.

The hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One has prompted me to make further enquiries and the Canadian Government have also begun digitising records of the Canadian Over-seas Expeditionary Force. I have been able to consult the Attestation Papers for both men and what excellent documents they are! William presented himself before a Magistrate at Brandon, Manitoba on 28th October 1914. He wad 5ft 6ins tall with brown eyes and hair. He was passed fit by the Medical Officer. He was able to testify that he had previously served with the Herefordshire Territorials in 1909 and 1910 and after taking an Oath to bear true allegiance to King George the Fifth, he was enlisted into the 27th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry.

Thomas James Smallman appeared before a Magistrate in Winnipeg on 29th December, 1914. Thomas was 5ft 9ins with blue eyes and brown hair. Both men gave James Smallman, their father, of Souris, Manitoba as next of kin.

I was interested to know how long the family had been resident in Canada and thanks to my findmypast subscription I was able to find that the family had emigrated aboard the Canadian Pacific Line SS Lake Champlain. Port of Departure is given as Liverpool and Destination Port Saint John NB. Departure Date was 29th March 1911. I also managed to find that outside Souris Legion Building, Manitoba is a War Memorial that has the names of the Smallman brothers engraved on it.

I checked the Brecon & Radnor Express newspaper for any mention of the Smallmans and found an entry in the 15th April 1915 edition that reads; Mr J Smallman formerly a local blacksmith, is with the Canadian contingent. So, Martha Smallman and her daughters Ethel and Edith were left alone in Canada. I found James Smallman’s Attestation Paper dated 13th January 1915. James was 5ft 6ins with brown eyes and slightly grey hair! He was born in 1867 and was 44 years old when the family emigrated in 1911, but he lied on his Enlistment Form, claiming that he was born on 15th July 1870 and that he was still aged 44 in 1915!

James appears to have survived the war, perhaps his skill as a blacksmith kept him back behind the lines?

However, the loss of both of his sons must have been a tremendous blow.

Sources: Presteigne War Memorial, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, 1901 Census, Canadian Government Archives, Welsh Newspapers Online & Passenger Lists Leaving Uk 1890-1960.

SMALLMAN

Thomas James

[Listed as Corporal on memorial] Private 81812, 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion, Canadian Regiment. Died 5 June 1916. Aged 20. Son of James J. and Martha Emma Smallman, of Glencairn, Manitoba. Volunteered for service, November, 1914. No known grave. Commemorfated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, West-Vlaanderen, Nelgium. Panel 30, 32.

SMALLMAN

William
Private 71955, 27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry. Died 5 January 1917. Aged 24. Son of James J. and Martha Emma Smallman, of Glencairn, Manitoba. Enlisted Oct., 1914. Native of Presteigne, Radnorshire. Buried in BOIS-DE-NOULETTE BRITISH CEMETERY, AIX-NOULETTE, Pas de Calais, France. Plot II. Row D. Grave 7.

TAYLOR

Henry
Private 5393, 2nd Battalion, King's (Shropshire Light Infantry). Killed in action 2nd March 1915. Born Titley, Kington, Herefordshire, enlisted Hereford, resident Presteign.

TAYLOR

[John] Thomas
Private 2315, 1st/1st Battalion, Herefordshire Regiment. Died of wounds at Gallipoli 3rd September 1915. Born and resident Presteign, enlisted Hereford.

TURNER

H
Private, Border Regiment

TURNER

W
Gunner. Royal Field Artillery

WATKINS

[George] Heber
Private 24987, 12th Battalion, LAncashire Fusiliers formalery 4301, Herefordshire Regiment. Killed in action in Salonika (Greece) 13th January 1918. Born Discard, enlisted Knighton, resident Presteign.

WEBB

Ernest John
Ernest Webb was born in 1889 in Heyope near Knighton, the third child of William Webb, a carpenter, born Lloyney, near Knighton, Radnorshire and his wife Naomi nee Griffiths, born Stoke St Milborough, Shropshire. The family was still resident I Heyope in 1901, but by the time of the 1911 Census, Ernest and his parents and sister Sarah, born 1886 had moved to the Colony, Stonewall Hill, Norton, Presteigne. Ernest aged twenty-one was now working as a carpenter like his father.

In November 1914 Ernest travelled to Shrewsbury to enlist as a driver in the Army Service Corps. He signed a Short Service Form of Attestation for Military Service. The form tells us that twenty-five years old Ernest was 5ft 4ins tall with light brown hair and blue eyes. His occupation is Carter, a deliverer of goods by wagon or carriage, this would have probably qualified Ernest for his army role and it appears that it was a role he excelled at!

The Brecon & Radnor Express of 13th December 1917 reports; Norton Soldier Killed. The Late Driver Webb. We regret to announce the death of Driver E. J. Webb, son of Mr & Mrs William Webb of the Colony, Norton, Presteigne who was killed in action in France by shell-fire on November 20th 1917. Driver Webb was a well known and highly respected man in the district. He was a keen sportsman and played football for the Presteign St Andrews team for some years. He volunteered for service and enlisted in November 1914 in the Army Service Corps and subsequently became attached as a driver to the Royal Army Medical Corps. Driver Webb was home last January on leave, but has been on continuous service since. It is remarkable that his devotion to duty led him to give way to others on two occasions when he could have had leave and this made him all the more esteemed by his comrades. The parents, with whom much sympathy is expressed, received a letter from His Majesty, the King, expressing his sympathy. Writing to a young lady to which Driver Webb was engaged, a comrade from the front said that Driver Webb was killed instantaneously by shell-fire on 20th November 1917. The short service at his burial was heartrending to all who loved and esteemed him. The deepest sympathy was sent by all his friends, N.C.O.s and officers and men of the unit. They all held Ernest Webb in high esteem.

Driver Ernest John Webb No. T3/028078 Army Service Corps is buried in Hersin Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Grave ref I.A.6. Hersin is a village about 5 kilometres south of Bethune and about 2 kilometres west of the main road from Bethune to Arras.

Sources: Presteigne War Memorial, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Census Records, National Archives and Welsh Newspapers Online.

1939-1945

CROFT

Godfrey Stuart
Trooper 7889720, 5th Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armourer Corps. Died 29 May 1942. Aged 22. Son of Rodolphus Croft, and of Mary Elizabeth Goft, of Presteigne, Radnorshire. His brother, Roger Malcoln, also died on service (see below). No known grave. Commemorated on ALAMEIN MEMORIAL, Egypt. Column 22.

CROFT

R
Major

CROFT

Roger Malcolm
Serjeant 4929130, 1st Wing, The Glider Pilot Regiment, Army Air Corps. Died 18 September 1944. Aged 20. Son of Rodolphus Croft, and of Mary Elizabeth Croft, of Presteigne, Radnorshire. His brother, Godfrey Stuart Croft, also died on service (see above). Buried in ARNHEM OOSTERBEEK WAR CEMETERY, Gelderland, Netherlands. Plot 3. Row A. Grave 16.

JONES

W J
Corporal probably William Wesley JONES, Corporal 4198970, 1st Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. Died 18 MArch 1944. Aged 24. Son of William Thomas Jones and Eliza Anne Jones, of Presteigne, Radnorshire. Buried in TAUKKYAN WAR CEMETERY, Myanmar (Burma). Plot 5. Row J. Grave 18.

JONES

W J
Private

LELLO

R
Private

LEWIS

M
Private

LEWIS

William T
Fusilier 14589030, 6th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. Died 16 August 1944. Aged 19. Son of William and Emily Lewis, of Presteigne, Radnorshire. Buried in LES LOGES-SAULCES CHURCHYARD, Calvados, France. Grave 2.

ONSLOW, MVO, DSC

Richard John Francsi
[Recorded on the memorial as R J S ONSLOW, Captain, RN] Captain HMS Hermes, Royal Navy. Died 9 April 1942. Aged 46. Son of the Revd. Matthew Richard Septimus Onslow, M.A., and Mrs. Onslow; husband of Betty V. J. Onslow, of Tenbury, Worcestershire. No known grave. Commemorated on PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Devon. Panel 62, Column 3.

PRICE

C
Lance Corporal

REES

G
Sergeant

RUMSEY

Thomas [Frederick]
Sergeant 637019, Royal Air Force. Died 14 October 1942. Aged 27. Son of Percy and Anne Rumsey, of Presteigne, Radnorshire. Buried in DELHI WAR CEMETERY, India. Plot 2. Row J. Grave 1.

TAYLOR

W H
Sergeant

THOMPSON

Robert
Captain 247093, Coldstream Guards. Died 5 January 1945. Aged 33. Son of Samuel Harold and Ethel Matilda Thompson; husband of Mary Thompson, of Presteigne, Radnorshire. Q.A.L.A.S. Buried in GEEL WAR CEMETERY, Antwerpen, Belgium. Plot III. Row C. Grave 16.

YATES

J K
Sergeant

Last updated 11 September, 2014

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