Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion

COPTHORNE WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © John Harrison 2005

Copthorne is a village in West Sussex approximately mid way between Crawley and East Grinstead. The War Memorial is situated inside the church of St John the Evangelist and consists of a large plain white marble plaque surrounded by a striated red and white marble border. The dedication on upper part of the plain section of the memorial is inlaid in gold and reads:-

‘ In Honoured Memory of those who gave their lives
in the Great War 1914 – 1919.’

Below this the casualties are listed by Regiment, the name of the Regiment is highlighted in gold and that of the casualty in black.

ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY

SECOND LIEUTENANT W DOUGLAS BRADSHAW
BOMBARDIER HERBERT MAYNARD

ROYAL FUSILIERS

PRIVATE HAROLD F ARNOLD
PRIVATE GEORGE BUDGEN
PRIVATE ALBERT G LOCK
PRIVATE GEORGE WORSELL MM

LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS

CAPTAIN JOSEPH W HEDLEY
PRIVATE ALBERT HOLMAN

SHERWOOD FORESTERS

LANCE CORPORAL ARTHUR E PAYNE
PRIVATE AUBREY G HARMER

ROYAL ENGINEERS

MAJOR AUSTIN HANBURY-BROWN DSO MC
SAPPER FRANK STEVENS

ROYAL SUSSEX REGIMENT

SERGEANT WILLIAM R HABGOOD
LANCE CORPORAL FREDERICK R DANCY
LANCE CORPORAL CHARLES H PAYNE
PRIVATE THEODORE B FULLER
PRIVATE ALBERT W F GIBBY
PRIVATE WILLIAM LANGRIDGE
PRIVATE PERCY F LINFIELD
PRIVATE PERCY TARGETT
PRIVATE ROBERT VIGAR

LONDON REGIMENT

LIEUTENANT RICHARD E K BRADSHAW
PRIVATE THOMAS WALTER MAYNARD

QUEENS ROYAL WEST SURREY REGIMENT

LANCE CORPORAL ARTHUR W CARMAN
LANCE CORPORAL GEORGE MAYNARD
PRIVATE SYDNEY W CARMAN
PRIVATE DAVID MAYNARD
PRIVATE DAVID NICHOLSON
PRIVATE JOSEPH SKEETS

EAST KENT REGIMENT

PRIVATE VICTOR FRIEND

HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT

PRIVATE WILLIAM GIBBS

CYCLIST CORPS

PRIVATE ALLEN CONSTABLE

The lych gate to the church was formerly the cover to the well that was on the village green opposite the school. It was originally a memorial to the Reverend Cooper who died in 1896 and was erected the following year by his wife and family. In 1911, as the well had been closed for some years, the cover was moved to become the lych gate. After the Great War the names of those from the village who had served in the armed forces were inscribed on it. This list is contained on six panel, three on each internal side, behind individual glass covers to protect them. There is a further memorial for Old Boys from the school at Copthorne School.

ARNOLD

Harold

Private GS/69549 17th (Service) Bn (Empire) Royal Fusiliers. Harold was born about 1898 in Burstow, son of Thomas Arnold, a General Labourer. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record his parents lived at Bonwick Cottages, Copthorne. He died on 24th March 1918 and his body was not found for burial. He is commemorated on Bay 3 of the Arras Memorial.

BRADSHAW

Richard Edward Knynaston

Lieutenant 1/12th (Country of London) Bn London Regiment (The Rangers). Richard was born in the village of Little Parndon in Essex about 1895. He was the third child and elder of two sons of William Graham and Dora Sophia Bradshaw. By 1905 William had moved to Crawley Down where both Kelly’s Directory and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission state they lived at Down Park which is between the village of Crawley Down and Copthorne. He was also Deputy Chairman and a Director of the London City and Midland Bank.

His brother William Douglas Bradshaw served with the Royal Field Artillery and was killed nearly four months later on 31st October, also on the Somme. Both brothers are included on the War Memorials at Copthorne School and Crawley Down.

Richard was killed on 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. His remains were not found for burial and he is commemorated on Pier and Face 9C of the Thiepval Memorial.

BRADSHAW

William Douglas

Second Lieutenant 88th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. He was born in the village of Little Parndon in Essex about 1896 and was the fourth child and younger of two sons of William Graham and Dora Sophia Bradshaw. By 1905 William had moved to Crawley Down where both Kelly’s Directory and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission state they lived at Down Park which is between the village of Crawley Down and Copthorne. He was also Deputy Chairman and a Director of the London City and Midland Bank.

His brother Richard (above) served with the 1/12th Battalion London Regiment and had been killed almost four months earlier on 1st July. Both brothers are included on the War Memorials at Copthorne School and Crawley Down and he is recorded on both war memorials as Douglas.

He was killed in action on 31st October 1916 and is buried in Grave L 49 in Aveluy Communal Cemetery Extension. Aveluy is a village just north of Albert in France. He is one of forty members of the Royal Field Artillery buried here.

BROWN

Austin Hanbury

Major, 2nd Field Company, Royal Engineers Austin was born in Cairo, Egypt about 1886. He was the son of Sir Robert Hanbury Brown and his wife Marian. Robert was born in Brixton &joined the Royal Engineers in 1870. H was commissioned as a Lieutenant in August 1872 and posted to India, and specialising in water supply. He served in Bengal in 1873 and in the Irrigation Department in Egypt from 1884 until 1903. He took part in the Second Afghan War from 1879-1880 and was mentioned in despatches. He became a Knight of the Order of St Michael & St George in 1902. The family moved to Newlands in Crawley Down after returning from Egypt.

Austin followed his father into the Royal Engineers, commissioned in July 1906 & became a Lieutenant in November 1908. He was subsequently promoted to Captain and, in January 1916, to Major. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he was stationed in Cairo and returned to the UK to be sent to France on November 5th 1914 with the 2nd Field Company and spent all his war service with them.

In January 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross and the Distinguished Service Order in December 1917. He was also mentioned in dispatches four times.

In January 1918 he married Charity Hampton Weekes of the Mansion House, High St., Hurstpierpoint. Two months later Austin was killed, but he and Charity had a daughter. Charity never remarried and died in September 1963. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes she was living at Flat 8, Sussex Square, Brighton, but died at 106, Southwick St, in nearby Southwick.

Austin was killed on 27th March 1918 at Rosieres during the German attacks in the Spring of 1918. His remains were not found for burial and he is commemorated on Bay 1 of the Arras Memorial.

BRUNT

Alfred Arthur

Private 12119 6th (Service) Bn Royal Berkshire Regiment. Alfred was born in the village of Alciston south east of Lewes about 1891. In 1881 William was living with his parents at 8 Somers Street Portsea in Hampshire where his father was an Income Tax Collector. By 1901 the family were living in Willingdon near Eastbourne where William was a Police Constable. Both the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Willett’s Directory for 1916 list William and Maria as living at Effingham Croft, Copthorne.

Soldiers Died in the Great War states Alfred was resident in Crawley when he enlisted in London.

He was killed in action on 3rd May 1917 and his body was not found for burial He is commemorated on Bay 7 of the Arras Memorial.

On 2nd May they moved to old German trenches between Neuville Vitasse and Wancourt in preparation for an attack

The battalion war diary reads

‘4.00 p.m. Moved forward through heavy German barrage to trenches in N30 b & c. Casualties in moving through barrage 15 killed 23 wounded 2 missing. Bn now in close support to 55th Brigade whose attack had failed and had withdrawn to old British front line.

Quiet night.’

BUDGEN

George

Private 5357 11th (Service) Bn Royal Fusiliers He died on 17th October 1917 and his body was not found for burial. He is commemorated on Panel 28 to 30 and 162 to 162A and 163A of the Tyne Cot Memorial

CARMAN

Arthur William

Private L/7174 1st Bn The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment). Arthur was born in Burstow about 1885. He was the son of John Carman who, in 1901 was still living in Burstow. The local directory in 1916 lists him as living at Brook Hill. Arthur had moved to Colchester, but Soldiers Died in the Great War notes he enlisted in Guildford. He may have been a reservist and returned to the colours at the outbreak of war which would explain his early service and death. He died on 22nd October 1914 and his body was not found for burial. He is commemorated on Panel 11-13 and 14 of the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres.

His brother Sydney was killed in June 1916 serving in the same battalion.

CARMAN

Sydney W

Lance Corporal 11160 1st Bn The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment). Sydney was born in Copthorne about 1897. He was the son of John and Amy Carman John was a Farm Labourer from East Grinstead who, in 1901 was still living in Burstow. Burstow. The local directory in 1916 lists him as living at Brook Hill.

He died on 23rd June 1916 and is buried in Grave G 8 in Cambrin Military Cemetery. 21 members of the Regiment are buried here. His brother Arthur (above) was killed in October 1914 serving with the same battalion.

CONSTABLE

Allen

Private 16131 XV Corps Cyclist Bn, Army Cyclist Corps. Allen was born in Fletching, Sussex about 1888, the son of Lucy Bedwell. Lucy was unmarried and lived with her parents, George and Eliza in Fletching. She later married Samuel Constable, an Agricultural Labourer from Godstone. The family later moved to Copthorne, but Allen stayed with his grandparents in Fletching. In Copthorne the Constables lived in Copthorne Bank.

He died on 30th September 1917 and is buried in Grave I D 18 in Zuydcoote Military Cemetery. He is one of only six members of the Army Cyclist Corps buried here.

DANCY

Frederick Richard

Private L/7581 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. Frederick was born in Copthorne about 1883. He was the son of William and Mary Dancy. William was a Bricklayer from Turners Hill where his elder children Alice, William. Charles, Joseph. Laura and Millicent were born and where he was living in 1881. By 1901 he had moved to Copthorne and lived at 3, Newtown. The younger children, Frederick, Beatrice and Mabel were born here. In 1901 Frederick was living at home and was employed as a Farm Cowman.

He died on 9th May 1915 and his body was not found for burial He is commemorated on Panel 20 and 21 of the Le Touret Memorial. The Copthorne Roll of Honour in the Horsham Times lists him as a Lance Corporal.

FRIEND

Victor

Private G/23861 8th (Service) Bn Buffs (East Kent Regiment). He was born in Worth about 1898 and resident in Copthorne Bank when he enlisted. He died on 10th October 1917 and his body was not found for burial He is commemorated on Panel 12 and 14 of the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres. On 10th August 1917 the battalion made an unsuccessful attempt to capture Lower Star Post.

FULLER

Theodore Beresford

Private G/3198 9th (Service) Bn Royal Sussex Regiment. Theodore was born in Burstow, Surrey about 1895. His parents were Thomas Edward and Emily Fuller. Thomas was an Agricultural Labourer from Burstow. In 1901 the census describes him as a Well Diggers Labourer aged 45. With this hard manual labour, Thomas died at an early age before the war. After his death Emily moved to Copthorne where she lived at 4, Builders Inn Cottages.

He died of wounds on 6th August 1916 and is buried in Grave III B 26 in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L’Abbe. The Copthorne Roll of Honour in the Horsham Times in 1915 lists him as a Drummer. The Battalion War Diary notes that Theodore Fuller died as the result of an unfortunate accident.

“4th August 1916 - Happy Valley (Somme)

Two other ranks accidentally wounded by hand grenade while visiting original German lines. One afterwards died (Pte T.B. Fuller).”

GIBBS

William

Private 1849015th (Service) Bn (2nd Portsmouth) Hampshire Regiment. The identification of this casualty has proved a problem. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry gives his parents as Edward and Betsy Gibbs of 4, Brook Hill, Copthorne, but with his surname as Maynard. The Medal Roll also confirms the Maynard surname. However the newspaper report of his death lists him as Gibbs as does the War Memorial. Soldiers Died in the Great War states he was born and resident in Redhill & enlisted in Portsmouth. The 1901 census gives a William Gibbs aged 2, born in Redhill and living in Reigate which appears to confirm the Gibbs surname is correct. The reason for the use of Maynard is unknown.

He died of wounds on 15th October 1916 and is buried in Grave VII F 9A in Etaples Military Cemetery. This was a large training base that also contained many hospitals.

GIBBY

Albert William

Private G/16127 7th (Service) Bn Royal Sussex Regiment. Albert was born in Reigate, Surrey about 1893, the son of Benjamin and Matilda Gibby. Brothers Charles, 6 and John, 4, were born in Worth (possibly Copthorne). Matilda was born in Dorking about 1873, but there is no trace of Benjamin in the 1901 census. However it does show that Matilda ( as a wife, not a widow) was staying with her brother in law, Frank Skilton, a General Retailer, in Dale Cottage in Copthorne with two of her children Albert and John. Frank had married Matilda’s sister, Mary. Charles was with his Grandparents William and Elizabeth Bacon who also lived in Dale Cottage. The 1881 census described William as a “Hawker” and the family were living in a caravan in Copthorne.

It is possible Benjamin Gibby was serving in the army in South Africa in 1901.

Albert was killed in action on 24th September 1918 and is buried in Grave I H 7 in Epehy Wood Farm Cemetery, Epehy.

The news of his death appeared in the Horsham Times on 12th October 1918 ‘Mrs Skilton of Holmwood Cottage has received official notice that her nephew, Prvt Albert Gibby of the Royal Sussex Regiment, was killed in action in France on 24th September. The unfortunate lad was only 23 years of age and from the early age of five months had been brought up by his aunt with whom much sympathy is felt in her sorrow.’

HABGOOD

William Roy

Sergeant SD/2931 11th (Service) Battalion (1st South Down) Royal Sussex Regiment. William was born in Worth about 1891. He was the son of Emily Habgood who was born in Worth. Although 9 children are shown, ranging from 21 to 3 months, on the 1901 Worth census; their father is not present and the family cannot be traced on the 1881 census. Emily is a laundress and of the children, one is a Jobbing Labourer, one a Stockman on a farm, one a Journeyman Baker and one a Domestic Gardener.

He died on 21st October 1916 and his body was not found for burial He is commemorated on Pier and Face 7 C of the Thiepval Memorial, in the Somme region of France. He is also commemorated on the Worth War Memorial. William enlisted in Crawley according to Soldiers Died in the Great War.

The Battalion War Diary for 21st October contains the following entry.

“ 21st October 1916 - Redoubt Sector

The battalion captured the German front Line (Stuff Trench). ‘B’ and ‘C’ Companies assaulted. ‘A’ and ‘D’ Companies reinforced them in the front line. Heavy casualties were inflicted on the enemy and many prisoners taken.”

2 officers killed and 2 wounded.

11 other ranks killed, 186 wounded and 77 missing.”

HEDLEY

Joseph Walton

Captain 2/5th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers Joseph was born in Langho, Lancashire about 1880, the son of Matthew and Jane Hedley. His father was the Vicar of Langho Hospital for Infectious Diseases.

Joseph went to Brasenose College, Oxford and qualified a Batchelor of Arts. He became an Assistant Master at Copthorne School.

He died of wounds on 12th September 1916 and is buried in Grave IV F 6 in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt L’Abbe.

On the 7th September 1916 the battalion moved to trenches between Delville Wood, Trones Wood and Ginchy. Although attached to the 16th (Irish) Division for the assault on Ginchy that took place by this division on 9th September they did not take part until the following day and attacked Hop Alley and Ale Alley. Some troops entered Hop Alley but were forced out by German shelling and machine gun fire at a cost of 350 casualties.

LANGRIDGE

William

Private SD/2956 9th (Service) Bn Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. William, known as Willie, was born in Copthorne about 1892, the son of David Langridge, a Farm labourer. David is not listed in the 1881 census, but by 1901 is living in Copthorne with his family. In Willett’s Directory for 1916 David is listed as a Labourer at Cottage Place. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission give his address as Heath View.

He was killed in action on 11th June 1917 and his body was not found for burial He is commemorated on Panel 20 of the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres.

LINFIELD

Percy Frank

Private G/16044 13th (3rd South Down) Bn Royal Sussex Regiment. Percy was born in Storrington about 1888, the son of John Linfield and his wife Friend. Both parents were also from Storrington and John was a Painter. In 1881 the family was living in Stream Villa, Storrington. The family was still in Storrington in 1901, but John is not included in the UK Census and has probably died.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes he was married and that his wife, Esther Barbara Linfield, lived at White Horse Yard, Storrington. She came from the Brooker family of Copthorne

He was killed in an air raid and is buried in Grave O 8 in Kemmel Chateau Cemetery.

Also included on the East Grinstead and Storrington War Memorials

LOCK

Albert George

Private G/51126 24th (Service) Bn (2nd Sportsman’s) Royal Fusiliers. Albert was born in Copthorne about 1879. He was the son of Henry and Elizabeth Lock. Henry was a Labourer and the family were living in Copthorne in 1881. Willett’s Directory for 1916 gives Albert’s address as Cottage Place and describes him as a Labourer. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission note his wife Clara Jane lived at Heathview, Copthorne.

He died on 30th April 1917 and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Bay 3 of the Arras Memorial.

Albert enlisted in Chichester and initially served with the Middlesex Regiment, Service Number G/27925.

MAYNARD

David

Private L/10819 7th (Service) Bn Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment). David is understood to have been one of the two sons of William and Sarah Maynard that were killed in the war. His elder brother George (see below) was killed just under five months later while serving with the same battalion.

He was born in Copthorne about 1873. In 1881 he is listed as a scholar and in 1901 as a Carrier. Willett’s Directory 1916 records him as a Labourer. The family lived at 26 Copthorne Bank in 1881 and in Spring Gardens in 1916.

He died on 1st July 1916 and his body was not found for burial He is commemorated on Pier and Face 5D and 6D of the Thiepval Memorial. The 7th Bn, following the explosion of two mines under the German positions, attacked at 7.30 am on a front 200 yards wide. The heavy cratering from the bombardment caused some problems but a solitary machine gun in No Man’s land caught the Queens and the Royal West Kents in support delaying their advance in front of the Breslau Trench. After further fierce fighting through Back Trench and Train Alley they reached Montauban Alley by late afternoon at a cost of 532 casualties.

MAYNARD

George

Private 24577 7th (Service) Bn Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment). George is understood to have been one of the two sons of William and Sarah Maynard that were killed in the war. His younger brother David (see above) had been killed just under five months earlier while serving with the same battalion.

He was born in Copthorne about 1873. In 1881 he is listed as a Labourer and in 1901 as a General Labourer. Willett’s Directory 1916 records him as a Labourer. The family lived at 26 Copthorne Bank in 1881 and in Spring Gardens in 1916.

George died of wounds on 24th November 1916 and is buried in Grave VIII D 6 in Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension.

On 18th November the battalion took part in their final assault of the Battle of the Somme and involved them in an attack north east of the remains of the village of Courcelette at a position known as Desire Trench. Snow had been falling and the troops lay in this in No Man’s Land while waiting for the attack to take place at 6.10 am. The attack began in blinding sleet that later turned to rain. The earlier snow had covered what landmarks remained and the Queens together with the 7th Buffs became lost. C and D companies were caught by machine gun fire from the Stump Road and the detachment ordered to attack some dug outs with grenades were virtually wiped out by shell fire.

MAYNARD

Herbert

Bombardier 124619 125th Battery, 29th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Herbert was born in Burstow about 1896. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission note he was the brother in law of Kate Maynard of ‘Ferndale’, Bamridge Lane, Stopsley, Luton, indicating his parents were deceased. He is not included on the Stopsley War Memorial. Soldiers Died in the Great War list him as enlisting in Guildford.

He died of wounds on 31st October 1918 and is buried in Grave S.II.EE.2 in St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen.

MAYNARD

Thomas Walter

Private 228016 1/1st (City of London) Bn The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). Thomas was born in Burstow, just over the county boundary in Surrey. He was the son of James and Ann Maynard. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes James had died and he also does not appear in the 1901 census for Worth. Ann is present, with no occupation provided, living in Burstow.

Soldiers Died in the Great War notes that Thomas was living in Copthorne when he enlisted in Guildford.

He was killed in action on 3rd May 1917 and his body was not found for burial. He is commemorated on Bay 9 of the Arras Memorial.

NICHOLSON

David

Private G/7529 7th (Service) Bn Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment). David was born in Slaugham about 1891. He was the son of William and Eliza Nicholson. William was a Gardener’s Labourer from West Grinstead and in 1881 lived at Finches Cottage in Slaugham Soldiers Died in the Great War notes David was a Copthorne Resident when he enlisted in Horsham, but the Commonwealth War Graves Commission give his parent’s address as 59, Lumley Road, Horley.

He died on 16th March 1917 and is buried in Grave X H 3 in Cologne Southern Cemetery. David was a prisoner of war and died of illness while in captivity.

PAYNE

Arthur Edward

Private 92370 15th (Service) Bn (Nottingham) Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire) Regiment. Arthur was born about 1896 in Hook, Surrey (according to Soldiers Died in the Great War), the son of Arthur and Esther Payne of Haynes Farm, Copthorne. Arthur, the father, is still listed at this address in Willett’s Directory, 1916.

Arthur originally enlisted into the Army Service Corps, Service Number 918217.

He died on 14th July 1918. His body was not found for burial and he is commemorated Panels 99 to 102 and 162 to 162A of the Tyne Cot Memorial. His brother, Charles (see below), was also killed.

PAYNE

Charles

Lance Corporal TF/200168 1/4th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment. Charles was born in Surbiton, Surrey about 1895.

He was the son of Arthur and Esther Payne who are recorded in the Willett’s Directory of Copthorne for 1916 and by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as living at Haynes Farm, Copthorne with Henry as a farmer.

He was killed in action on 26th March 1917 and his body was not found for burial He is commemorated on Panels 26 and 27 of the Jerusalem Memorial.

One letter received after his death reads “ I was by his side at the time and we were two of the fourteen men who had got to within a very short distance of the enemy’s redoubt when he was shot through the head by an enemy sniper.”

His brother, Arthur (see above), was also killed.

SKEETS

Joseph

Private 1527 7th (Service) Bn The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission give his age as 30 and state he is the son of Ellen Skeets and a native of Croydon. However it has not been possible to trace him on the 1901 census.

His wife Dora (later remarried as Mrs Humphrey) was living at 22, Grove Road, Redhill. His connection with Copthorne has not been found.

He died on 1st July 1916 and is buried in Grave II B 16 in Dive Copse British Cemetery, Sailly-Le-Sec. Joseph is one of only five members of the Regiment buried here.

STEVENS

Frank

Sapper 57243 105th Field Company Royal Engineers. Frank was born in Crawley Down about 1890. He was the son of Frank and Martha Ann Stevens. The elder Frank was born in Hindon, Wiltshire about 1864 and in 1881 he was a Farm Labourer living with his parents in West Tisbury, Wiltshire which is where he wife was from. The 1901 census for West Tisbury includes Martha with her son Frank as well as her parents in law Joseph and Mary Stevens. Martha’s husband Frank does not appear on the census. It is possible he was serving in the forces abroad.

Both the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Willett’s local directory for 1915 show Frank and Martha living at Newlands Lodge, Crawley Down. He was working for Sir Hanbury Brown KCMG at Newlands as a Coachman. Sir Hanbury lost his own son, Austin, serving as a Major in the Royal Engineers.

He was killed in action on 20th July 1916 and is buried in Grave I K 34 in Albert Communal Cemetery Extension.

Frank is commemorated on the War Memorial at Crawley Down.

A letter received from his unit states” He was killed yesterday by a shell which came into the billet. His death was instantaneous, so he did not suffer any pain.”

TARGETT

Percival Frank

Private 200610 1/4th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment. Percival was born in Copthorne about 1896. He was the son of Henry and Jessie Targett. Henry was a Domestic Gardener from Weston in Somerset. The 1881 census shows Henry living with his parents in Lads Barton Weston, possibly Weston Town hear Frome, Somerset. In 1901 the family are in Burstow.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission gave their address as 1, Flora Villa, Charlesfield Road in the Horley Row area of the town.

He died of wounds on 7th August 1918 and is buried in Grave Q III M 12 in St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen.

VIGAR

Robert

Private G/12995 13th (Service) Bn (3rd South Down) Royal Sussex Regiment. Robert was born in Copthorne about 1878, probably at Rowfant where he is found on the 1881 census with his parents Edward and Mary Vigar. Edward was from Burstow and his wife from the large Denman family in Copthorne.

Edward was a brickmaker, possibly at Rowfant Brickworks. By 1901 Edward describes himself as a House Builder, living at Kimberley House, Copthorne and this is confirmed by the entry in Willett’s Directory for Copthorne in 1916 listing E Vigar & Sons as builders in Church Lane.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists his parents living in Copthorne and also that he was married. However his mother died in 1917, before Robert was killed.

His wife Rose Marion Vigar lived at ‘Viola’ in Church Lane. His cousin Annie Denman married John Johnson from Colgate. Two of their sons, James and William, were killed in the war and are commemorated on the Worth War Memorial.

Robert was killed in action on 31st July 1917, the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres, known as Passchendaele. He is buried in Grave D 31 in Buffs Road Cemetery.

A letter from the front notes “His death appears to have been a noble one, killed instantaneously by a bursting shell when charging the enemy.”

WORSELL

John

Private GS/62290 2nd Bn Royal Fusiliers John was born about 1880, the son of John and Ellen Worsell. The 1881 census describes the elder John as a ‘Higgler’. This was an old term for a pedlar, usually with a horse and cart. The 1901 census lists Ellen as a widow and a Licensed Victualler at the Abergavenny Arms, Copthorne Common Road, Copthorne. John was a barman and his elder sister, Susanna was a Domestic Help. There were three other children George, Henry and Walter.

The pub has recently been demolished and houses built on the site. Willett’s 1916 lists only Mrs Worsell there, but it does list John Worsell as a Coal Merchant in Borer’s Yard, Copthorne. . He was married to Annie Beatrice Worsell who lived at Pembley Green on Copthorne Common according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

He was killed in action on 5th September 1918. His body was not found for burial and he is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial.

He was awarded the Military Medal in September 1917

Last updated 11 May, 2006

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