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TURNER'S HILL WAR MEMORIAL

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

Turners Hill is a village situated on a crossroads in West Sussex, south of Crawley Down, on the road to Ardingly and Lindfield.

The war memorial consists of the church tower of St Leonard’s Church and was built in 1924. Outside the tower is a memorial plaque which states

‘The tower is a memorial to the men of
Turner’s Hill who gave their lives in the
1914 Great War 1918’

Inside the ground floor of the tower is a stone tablet containing the names of the casualties with the following dedication in red lettering

‘ In grateful memory of the men from Turners Hill
who gave their lives in the Great War 1914-1918’

On the walls either side of the tablet are four original wooden crosses from the then Imperial War Graves Commission complete with their metal inscriptions for four casualties Fieldwick, Slight, Rapley and Whitman. These crosses were later replaced by the current headstones. There is also one war time wooden cross from the original burial for Major Buchanan-Dunlop.

On the wall of the tower facing the nave is a similar plaque with red lettering commemorating the casualties from the Second World War

In the nave are marble tablets to members of the Ravenshaw family and Major Buchanan-Dunlop.

ATKINS

Robert E

Possibly either

Private 31162 1st Bn Northamptonshire Regiment. Died 13th July 1917. Buried Grave IV F 6, Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery

OR

Rifleman S/23067, 8th (Service) Bn Rifle Brigade. Died 16th September 1917. Buries Grave I Y 28, Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerk

AVIS

Charles Herbert

Private G/11120 7th (Service) Bn Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment.

Known by his second name of Herbert as his father was also Charles, he was born about 1882 in Fletching, near Uckfield in East Sussex. He was the son of Charles and Annie Avis. In 1881 the family lived in Sainters Cottage, Fletching. In 1901 Charles was living with his wife and children in Horsted Keynes.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission note that Charles was married and lived with his wife Jessie Beatrice Kate Avis at the Withy Pitts in Turners Hill.

Soldiers Died in the Great War notes he enlisted in Croydon and his parents were living in Church Lane, Horsted Keynes.

He died of wounds on 11th August 1917 and is buried in Grave XVII J 17 A in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.

A letter from the Chaplain reads “I deeply regret to say that your husband, Private C Avis, died here of wounds in the head and legs at 9.50 am on August 11th. He was only with us a day and never really got over the great shock over his wounds.”

BAKER

George

Private 49183 2/10th (County of London) Bn (Hackney) London Regiment. George was born in Turners Hill about 1899. He was the son of Charles John Baker and his wife Emily. Charles was a House Painter from East Grinstead and Emily was from Turners Hill. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records them at 4, Mantlemas Cottages.

He died on 24th August 1918 and his body was not found for burial. He is commemorated on Panel 10 of the Vis en Artois Memorial.

BECK

Arthur

Guardsman 13356 13th Company, Coldstream Guards. Arthur was born in Worth about 1894, the son of John William and Alice Beck. John was a Farm Labourer from Brighton and his wife was from West Hoathly. In 1901 the family was living in West Hoathly. Arthur was a member of the Turners Hill Scout Troop.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes his parents later lived at 119, Latimer Road, Eastbourne.

He died in the United Kingdom on 7th May 1915, while still under training, and is buried in the churchyard at St Leonard’s, Turners Hill. He enlisted at Horsham into the Coldstream Guards.

BILLINGS

Harold Reginald

Driver 136783 71st Field Company, Royal Engineers. Harold was born in West Hoathly about 1896, the son of Thomas William and Clara Billings. Thomas was a bricklayer from West Hoathly which is where the family were living in 1901. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes they later lived at 2, Holly Cottage, Withy Pitts, Turners Hill. This address also appears in the local directory for 1916.

He was killed in action on 28th July 1917 and is buried in Grave XIV G 4 in Amara War Cemetery. His brother Percy (see below) was also killed in the war.

BILLINGS

Percy W

Private G/31443 7th (Service) Bn Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment. Percy was born in West Hoathly about 1900, the son of Thomas William and Clara Billings. Thomas was a bricklayer from West Hoathly which is where the family were living in 1901. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes they later lived at 2, Holly Cottage, Withy Pitts, Turners Hill. This address also appears in the local directory for 1916.

He was killed in action on 4th November 1918, just one week before the war finished and is buried in Grave III B 18 in Montay-Neuvilly Road Cemetery, Montay, France. His brother Harold (see above)was also killed in the war.

Percy enlisted at Wood Green, London and initially served with the Middlesex Regiment, service Number 61306.

BISHOP

Harold

Private G/22653 12th (Service) Bn (2nd South Down) Royal Sussex Regiment. Harold was born in the parish of Worth about 1884, the son of Joseph and Kate Bishop. Harold was the village Grocer and Baker and followed in his father’s footsteps Joseph was from Yapton, near Littlehampton and appears as the grocer at Turners Hill in the 1881 census, together with his first wife, Harriet Hartley. Joseph Bishop died in 1912.

Harold was killed in action on 21st January 1918. His remains were not traced for burial and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Soldiers Died in the Great War noted that he enlisted in Turners Hill.

EASTON

Jack Leslie

Second Lieutenant 227 Siege Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery. Known as Leslie, he was born about 1884 in Hawkhurst, Kent, the second child and eldest son of Joseph and Alma Easton. By 1901 Joseph had moved to Turner’s Hill where he was the local Butcher.

Leslie later married and lived with his wife Mabel Helena at 6, Church Avenue, Westham near Pevensey. He was killed in action on 21st March 1918 and his body was not found for burial. He is commemorated on Panel 10 of the Pozieres Memorial

Leslie is commemorated on the War Memorials at Turners Hill and at Westham.

EDWARDS

Fred

No information currently available

ELLIS

George

Sapper 556568 212th Field Company (Tottenham), Royal Engineers. George was born about 1878 in Selsfield Common, just south of Turners Hill and in the parish of West Hoathly. The 1881 census has him living with his mother, Ann, at the house of her brother in law, William Wheatley in Farnborough, Kent. By 1901 he is a Bricklayer living in West Hoathly. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission list him as the husband of Eleanor Ellis of Ivy Cottage, Turners Hill and Willett’s local directory confirms this, adding he was a bricklayer.

He died on 5th September 1917 and is buried in Grave II C 5 in Birr Cross Roads Cemetery, two miles east of Ypres.

ENTICKNAPP

Frank

Private L/7908 2nd Bn Royal Sussex Regiment Frank was born in West Hoathly about 1884, the son of Frederick and Sarah Enticknapp. The elder Frederick was a General Labourer, born in West Hoathly and the family lived at Selsfield Common, between West Hoathly and Turners Hill.

Frank enlisted at East Grinstead and was probably a regular soldier or reservist being killed so early in the war.

He was killed in action on 10th September 1914 and is buried in Montreuil-Aux-Lions British Cemetery. He was the only fatal Enticknapp casualty in both world wars.

Killed by artillery fire during the retreat to the Aisne.

FIELDWICK

Charlie

Private G/17825 12th (Service) Bn (2nd South Down) Royal Sussex Regiment. Charlie was born in Turners Hill about 1897, the fourth child, of William and Florence Fieldwick. William was a House Decorator and also built their house ‘Little Miswells’.

Charlie was killed in action on 3rd September 1916 and he is buried in Hamel Military Cemetery at Beaumont Hamel on the Somme. He is one of twenty members of the Regiment buried here. Killed during an attack on Mesnil.

Original CWGC wooden cross in church

FILTNESS

Frank

Private G/13455 9th (Service) Bn Royal Sussex Regiment. Frank was born in East Grinstead about 1897, the youngest son of Edward and Ann Filtness. Edward was a stockman in the local directory for 1916 living at Burleigh Arches, Turner’s Hill.

Both parents are buried in St Leonard’s Churchyard, Turners Hill.

He was killed in action on 6th April 1918 and is buried in Grave II D 17 in Bouzincourt Ridge Cemetery, Albert. There were only four Filtness fatalities in the Great War.

FISHER

Harrison Henry

Private G/16531 9th (Service) Bn Royal Sussex Regiment. Harrison was born about 1895 in Frilsham, Berkshire. This is a village on the Berkshire Downs. He was the son of George and Susannah Fisher who were from the nearby village of Yattendon. Harrison was the youngest of five children and in 1901 the family was living in Frilsham where George was an ‘Electrical Engine Driver’.

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

Harrison enlisted into the 9th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment at East Grinstead, initially with the service number 4423.

GIBSON

Sidney Vivers

Private 208192nd Bn Grenadier Guards Sidney was born in Turners Hill about 1889, the son of Thomas Vivers Gibson, a Carpenter from Scotland and his wife Emma.

Willett’s Directory for Turners Hill in 1916 notes Thomas had moved to Rock Cottage, now Central Stores.

After Sidney’s death Thomas and Emma moved to Crawley Down where the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records them at ‘Applecote’.

He died of wounds on 26th September 1916 and is buried in Grave I E 27 in Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte. Sidney is one of 65 members of the Regiment buried here. He was killed during the Battle of Morval, being shot through the chest.

GRAHAM

Sydney Harold

Rifleman 3734 9th (County of London) Bn London Regiment (Queen Victoria’s Rifles) Sydney was born in Salford, Manchester about

1897. He was the son of C T Graham, the landlord of the Punch Bowl Inn on the Ardingly Road. The pub has recently been comprehensively rebuilt in the last few years and is now known as ‘Turners’.

He was captured on the Western Front and Died of Wounds as a Prisoner of War on 6th July 1916 and is buried in Grave IV A 3 in Le Cateau Military Cemetery in France.

HOLMAN

Albert Edward

Private SD/680 11th (Service) Battalion (1st South Down) Royal Sussex Regiment. Albert was born in the parish of Worth about 1893. He was the son of John and Matilda Holman. Willett’s Directory for 1916 confirms John was a Gamekeeper, living at Mount Noddy near Worth Abbey School.

He died on 3rd September 1916 and his body was not found for burial He is commemorated on Pier and Face 7C of the Thiepval Memorial, in the Somme region of France. He is recorded on the War Memorials at Worth and Turners Hill. Albert was killed during an attack on Beaumont Hamel.

HOLMAN

George Edward

Private 12054 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards Edward was born in the parish of Worth and may have been recorded on the 1901 census as George as there is an Edward Holman aged 38 who may have been his father. The War Memorial lists him as George E Holman, the CWGC as Edward George Holman. The 1901 census records Edward as a Bricklayer , with George aged 15.

He was killed in action on 8th October 1915 and his body was not found for burial He is commemorated on Panel 7 and 8 of the Loos Memorial

HOLMAN

William Henry

Trooper 39 Household Battalion. William was born in Turners Hill about 1896. His parents were Henry and Mary Holman. Henry was the landlord of the Red Lion in Lion Lane and was landlord there from 1895 until his death in December 1940 at the age of 85.

William was also the husband of Louise Holman of Parmeria Place, Turners Hill. He was resident in Turners Hill when he enlisted at Horsham into the Royal Horse Guards, service number 2617.

He was killed in action on 11th May 1917 and is buried in Grave C 18 in Roeux British Cemetery

PEARSON

Francis Geoffrey

Staff Sergeant MS/2921 64th Company, 3rd Ammunition Park, Army Service Corps. Died on 6th September 1914, buried in Montreuil Aux Lions British Cemetery. Possibly killed while escaping when P.O.W. The Honourable Francis Geoffrey Pearson, known as Geoffrey was born on 23rd August 1891 in Kensington. He was the youngest of the three sons (and also one daughter) of Sir Weetman Dickinson Pearson, Bt., 1st Viscount Cowdray & his wife Annie who owned Paddockhurst Park, now Worth Abbey School. Also on Worth War Memorial which lists his rank as Major in error, this was the rank his brothers held.

POLLARD

James R

Private G/51063 16th (Service) Bn (Public Schools)The Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment). James was born in

Turners Hill about 1878, the son of James and Mary Pollard. James was a Bricklayer from Balcombe.

He died of wounds on 14th April 1917 and is buried in Grave VI G 45 in Faubourg D’Amiens Cemetery, Arras. James is one of 33 members of the Regiment buried here.

RAPLEY

William Godfrey

Second Lieutenant 1st Bn The Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment).

Born in Crawley Down about 1894, son of Edwin and Leonora Dorse Rapley. Father a Domestic Gardener, later a Grocer.

He was seriously wounded on the battlefield & died on 25th September 1917 and was buried in St Julien Dressing Station Cemetery. Also on the Turner’s Hill War Memorial.

RICE

Charles Joseph

Private G/21004 6th (Service) Bn The Buffs(East Kent Regiment). Charles was born in Four Elms, Kent about 1898. He was the son of George and Alice Rice. George was from Holmwood, just south of Dorking.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists him living with his wife at Fen Place, Turners Hill.

From 1902 to his death in 1919 this was the home of William Middleton Campbell, Governor of the Bank of England.

He was killed in action on 9th August 1917 and his remains were not found for burial. He is commemorated on Bay 2 of the Arras Memorial.

ROBUS

Thomas John

Sapper 57279 106th Field Company, Royal Engineers. Thomas was casualty with seemingly little to do with the village. He was born in Lydd, Kent in February 1881 and was the son of William and Elizabeth Robus. William and Elizabeth’s eldest son was Frederick and the local directory for 1916 lists a Frederick Robus as a Carpenter in Lion Lane, Turner’s Hill. Soldiers Died in the Great War notes that Thomas gave his place of residence as Maidstone (his parents lived at 12, Bower Lane Maidstone), but enlisted at Haywards Heath. So perhaps Thomas was staying with his brother when he joined up.

He was killed in action on 5th April 1917 and is buried in Grave II C 13 in St Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery. He is one of only two casualties of this name to be killed in the First World War.

SCUTT

Leonard

Private SD/5270 13th (Service) Bn (3rd South Down) Royal Sussex Regiment. Leonard was born in Cowfold, south of Horsham, about 1895. He was the only son of Leonard and Alice Scutt. Willett’s Directory for 1916 lists the elder Leonard living in East St, Turner’s Hill as a Gardener. Leonard died soon after and his wife remarried. As Mrs Page the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records her living at Broomlye Farmhouse, Newick near Sheffield Park in East Sussex.

He was killed in action on 21st October 1916 and his remains were not found for burial. He is commemorated on Pier and Face 7C of the Thiepval Memorial.

Killed by shelling at Schwaben Redoubt.

SIMMONDS

William Edward

Private 11619 1st Bn Coldstream Guards William was born in Worth about 1890. He was the son of William and Emily Simmonds.

By 1901William was living with his wife Emily and their family in West Hoathly where he was a Quarryman, possibly at Selsfield Common. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record them living at 1, Thornhill Cottages.

He was killed in action on 29th September 1915 and his remains were not found for burial. He is commemorated on Panel 7 and 8 of the Loos Memorial.

SLIGHT

Alfred James

Private 12053 1st Bn Coldstream Guards. Alfred was born in Ore, near Hastings, about 1891. He was the son of Alfred George and Ann Slight. The elder Alfred was a Police Officer. By 1901 he was stationed at Worth with his wife and family. Alfred is listed in the local directory for 1916 as a Labourer, living at Ivy Cottages.

He was killed in action on 25th January 1915 and is buried in Grave II C 15, Woburn Abbey Cemetery, Cuinchy. He is one of only 6 members of the Regiment to be buried here.

The original wooden Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission cross that stood at the head of his grave rests in the church at Turners Hill.

STYLES

John

Private 41364 32nd (Service) Bn (East Ham) Royal Fusiliers. John was born in Balcombe in July 1880. He was the eldest son of George and Fanny Styles. George was a Carpenter from West Hoathly. By 1901 the family had moved to Worth where George was still working as a Carpenter. John does not appear in the 1901 census and may have been serving in the army.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission note the George and Fanny were living at 95 ‘High St’, Turners Hill but as this does not exist, it was possibly North St.

The CGWC also notes that John’s wife Beatrice Elizabeth lived at 5, Red House, North Lane in West Hoathly.

John was killed in action on 22nd September 1917 and is buried in Grave VIII H 17 in Oosttaverne Wood Cemetery.

He is commemorated on the War Memorials at Turners Hill and West Hoathly.

TANNER

Fred

Private 20409 3rd Bn Grenadier Guards. Fred was born in West Hoathly about 1890. He was the son of William and Eliza Tanner. William was from West Hoathly and the family was living at Turners Hill in 1881 when he was a Gardener and in 1901 when he was a bricklayer. The local directory for 1916 records him as a Bricklayer living at Withypits, Turners Hill. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission also record William and Eliza living here.

He was killed in action on 27th September 1915 and his remains were not found for burial. He is commemorated on Panel 5 to 7 of the Loos Memorial

WARD

George Noble

Private 5760 2nd Bn Royal Munster Fusiliers. George was born in West Hoathly about 1896. He was the son of Thomas and Emily Ward. In 1901 they are living in West Hoathly when Thomas is a Groom. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission only list Emily, living at 2, Chapel Row, West Hoathly, Thomas may have died. George was a member of the Turners Hill Scout Troop.

He was killed in action on 10th November 1917 and his remains were not found for burial. He is commemorated on the Panel 143 to 144 of the Tyne Cot Memorial.

He was killed during an attack on Void Farm.

WHITMAN

Ernest Richard

Gunner 156319 99th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. Ernest was born in Worth about 1878. He was the son of Noah and Agnes Whitman. Noah was a carpenter and decorator as well as being the first verger at St Leonard’s church since 1895 when the church was consecrated as well as being the sexton. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes he was married to Grace, formerly Grace Page, who was living at 2, East St, Turners Hill, next to her parents in law.

He died of wounds on 1st July 1918 and is buried in Aire Communal Cemetery, France. His original wooden Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission cross has been brought home from France and resides in St Leonard’s church. He died after being badly gassed. Also commeorated on the Crawley Down Memorial.

WIGHTWICK

Herbert Maurice

Private 13691 5th Bn Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment). Herbert was born in Hastings on 27th August 1885. In 1901 he was living with his mother, Emily, in Tonbridge where he was at school. However Herbert later emigrated to Canada and his attestation papers for the Canadian army in September 1914 note his next of kin was Joseph Easton of Turners Hill, Joseph was the local butcher. The attestation also notes he was single and a clerk; was 5’ 9” tall with brown hair and blue eyes. He died on May 5th 1915 and is buried in Grave VI C 2 in Duhallow A D S (Advanced Dressing Station) Cemetery.

THE FOLLOWING ARE NOT LISTED ON THE WAR MEMORIAL BUT HAVE LOCAL CONNECTIONS

DUNLOP

Colin Napier Buchanan

Major ‘F’ Battery Royal Horse Artillery. Colin was the brother of the Vicar at St Leonard’s during the Great War. He was born in Aldershot, Hampshire in 1877. He was the third child and second son of Henry Donald Buchanan-Dunlop and his wife Sabina. Henry was a Captain (later Lieutenant Colonel) in the Royal Artillery. There were two other sons, Archibald and Henry who served as army officers.

Colin joined the Royal Artillery and served in South Africa during the Boer War. He was promoted to Lieutenant in September 1899 and to Captain on 27th February 1902 while recovering from Enteric Fever and given a brevet promotion to Major the next day ‘in recognition of his services’ as reported in the London Gazette of May 1902. In 1912 he attended Staff College and the following March was seconded for service with the Egyptian army. His promotion to Major was announced in November 1913. Colin served with the Royal Field Artillery in France during the early part of the Great War. In June 1915 Colin was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

He was killed by a German shell that exploded in his billet on 14th October 1915 and is buried in Grave I G 12 in Vermelles British Cemetery. The cross from his original burial is in St Leonard’s Church.

RAVENSHAW

Hurdis Lalande

The Ravenshaw family were prominent in the Bengal Civil Service and Indian Army with connections to the East India Company. The family lived in Turner’s Hill for over 60 years.

Hurdis was born at Richmond on 16th June 1869 and went to school at Tonbridge. He was commissioned into the 3rd Bn Bedfordshire Regt in 1887, transferring to the East Yorkshire Regt in December 1888 as a 2nd Lieut, promoted to Lieut in December the next year. In August 1890 he exchanged Regiments with & transferred to the Devonshire Regt He served on the North West Frontier of India in the Chitral, Malakand and Tirah campaigns between 1895 and 1898, being promoted Captain in March 1897. The regt. served in South Africa during the Boer War & took part in the Battle of Elandslaaagte in 1899 and then the Siege of Ladysmith. He was mentioned five times in despatches during the war. He was promoted to Brevet Major and relinquished the position of Adjutant in December 1902. In May 1903 he was appointed Adjutant of the then Royal Military College. Four years later his promotion to Major was confirmed and he was seconded to the Macedonian Gendarmerie in Greece. In March 1910 he became a Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General in the Straits Settlements in Malaya until January 1912. On his return he served in the UK in the Coast Defences at Portsmouth in Southern Command in a similar capacity until March 1914.

In July 1914 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel commanding the 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers. The following May was appointed a Companion of St Michael and St George. On 19th May 1915 when he was promoted to temporary Brigadier General.

The following January he was promoted to Brevet Colonel. He was then promoted to Temporary Major General and was commander of the 27th Division in Salonika from 23rd September 1916. However Brigadier General Weir became acting divisional commander from 30th September. This was the first day of the offensive to capture the Karajakois area and it appears Hurdis was captured. He is listed among the officers who were prisoners of war at Clausthal Camp near Hanover in Germany. This was a camp mainly for officers and was in a converted hotel. He was also mentioned in despatches twice in the war.

In 1919 he was appointed to the Staff as a Temporary Brigadier General attached to Headquarter Units, but died the next year on 9th June at the early age of 51 under most unusual circumstances as an acting Major General while General Officer commanding in South Africa when he died of a heart attack while on a Lion hunt. He is buried in South Africa and there is a memorial to him in St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town.

Last updated 11 May, 2006

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