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British Legion
The Royal British Legion

STRETHAM WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 and 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © 2000 Dave Edwards & Cliff Brown
additional information from Patrick Gariepy

The memorial is in St James churchyard in the High Street, Stretham. The memorial takes the form of a Celtic cross of Ketton stone mounted on a plinth on a four-stepped base. There are 24 names for World War 1 and 11 for World War 2. The memorial cost £100 and was unveiled by Lieutenant-Colonel F J M Stratton on 2nd July 1922. Details appeared in the Cambridgeshire Times 7th July 1922 with a fore runner in the Cambridge Independent Press 18th November 1921. There is also a War Memorial in the village cemetery listing the same names.

From an old postcard

To the glory of God
and in grateful memory
of the men of Stretham
who fell in the
Great War 1914 – 1918.

Extract from Cambridgeshire Times 7th July 1922:

Memorial Dedication – Stretham

Simple in design but none the less imposing a Celtic cross in Ketton stone erected in the churchyard at Stretham overlooking the main road through the village was formally unveiled and dedicated on Sunday afternoon to perpetuate the memory of the 24 heroes of the village who gave their life during the War.

There was a large and representative concourse of villagers assembled to pay homage to our honoured dead. A grey clouded sky deepened the impressiveness of the scene but as the service procedure to bright sun occasionally broke through as if to cheer the saddened hearts of those who mourned..

The Memorial was erected at a cost of £100 and the fund was patronised by no fewer than 200 subscribers.

The service was conducted by the Rev Stitt and the singing was accompanied by the Ely City Military Band.

Colonel Stratton said those in Stretham knew better than he how bitterly the blow was felt as one by one the men had passed on. They had gone in order that Stretham might hold her head high with her neighbours. Stretham has done her share in the great fight. England is a fair land worth dying for but it is far more worth living for.

The melancholy notes of the Last Post rang forth and when the echo had died away Bishop Price formally dedicated the Memorial. The Rev J. Parnell, Baptist minister at Stretham described the memorial as the People's Memorial. Prayers were offered by Mr H. Acred, Methodist lay preacher and the National Anthem bought the proceedings to a close

Extract from s Cambridgeshire newspaper 23rd November 1951:

The torrential rain which fell in the early afternoon on Sunday caused a decision to be made to postpone the proposed dedication of the War Memorial plaque. But as it was impossible to let everyone know, quite a few assembled at the cemetery at the advertised time. It happened at this time the weather cleared and a short service was conducted by the Rector, Rev H.E. Cowgill.

After a short address by the Rector the plaque, bearing the names of the men who gave their lives in the 1939-45 war, was unveiled by the Chairman of the Parish Council, Mr S. Smith. The names engraved on the granite plaque are W. Bidwell, R.G. Clarke, A. Driver, D. Gibbs. J. Howe, J. Jarman, A. Murfitt, K. Neville, T. Pearson, A. Thompson and E. Wesley. After the unveiling the hymn ‘Abide with Me’ was sung and the Last Post and Reveille were sounded by a member of the Wicken Band.

BAXTER

Albert V

Lance Sergeant 16315, 11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, killed in action on 26/8/1917, buried: Hargicourt British Cemetery, Aisne, France. Plot I. Row C. Grave 34. Born Stretham, enlisted Ely. Son of Mr. J. Baxter, of Top St., Stretham, Cambs.

BAXTER

Frank [Coulson]

Corporal 15483, 8th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, killed in action on 19/7/1916, age 27, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on THiepval memorial, Somme, France. Pier and Face 1 C and 2 A. Born Stretham, enlisted Ely. Son of James and Hannah Baxter, of Top St., Stretham, Ely, Cambs.

BEASLEY

Percy William

Private 26579, 14th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, killed in action on 17/8/1917, aged 25, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Pier and Face 1 C and 2 A. Born and resident Stretham, enlisted Ely. Formerly 26952, Suffolk Regiment.

BULLMAN

Benjamin aka Ben

[Also spelt BULMAN] Private, 2nd Battalion Suffolk Regiment, died on 16/8/1916, age 25, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on THiepval memorial, Somme, France. Pier and Face 1 C and 2 A. Brother of Mr. Charles Bullman of Stretham.

CLARK

Abel

Private 3/6916, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died of wounds on 28/3/1915 age 19, buried: Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Plot III. Row D. Grave 67. Born and resident Stretha, enlisted Ely. Son of Abel and Mary Ann Clark, of Wilburton Rd., Stretham, Ely.

CONSTABLE

William Henry

Private 26319, 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, killed in action on 18/8/1916, age 30, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on THiepval memorial, Somme, France. Pier and Face 1 C and 2 A. Born Stretham, enlisted Bury St Edmunds. Son of Mr & Mrs H. Constable of Stretham.

DIMMOCK

Bertram aka Bert

Private 253665, 3rd Battalion attached 1st/4th Battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), killed in action on 28/3/1918, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 9. Born Stretham, enlisted Stratford, resident Dalston.

HAZEL

Heber

Private G/12314, 1st Battalion The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Reg.), killed in action on 13/4/1918, age 23, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on Ploegsteert Memorial, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium. Panel 1 and 2. Born Stretham, enlisted Newmarket, resident Isle of Ely. Son of Harry and Bertha Hazel, of Tilehouse Farm, Stretham, Ely, Cambs.

HITCH

George William

Private 326000, 1st/1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment, killed in action on 14/10/1916, buried: Mill Road Cemetery, Thiepval, Somme, France. Plot XVII. Row F. Grave 7. Enlisted Ely. Formerly 2883, Cambridgeshire Regiment.

HOWE

Herbert

Lance Corporal G/5862, 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, who was killed in action on 9th September 1916. Born Stretham, enlisted Ely. Buried: Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France. Plot IX. Row D. Grave 14. Born Stretham. Boer War veteran, served with RAMC.

LANGFORD

Benjamin aka Ben

Lance Corporal 9921, 2nd Battalion. Bedfordshire Regiment, killed in action on 31/10/1914, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 31 and 33. Born and resident Stretham, enlisted Bedford.

LOWE

Joseph William

Private 30702, 9th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, died of pneumonia on 9/1/1917, age 24, buried: Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Plot XXI Row A Grave 9A. Born Stretham, enlisted Ely. Son of Daniel and Ada Ann Lowe; husband of E. M. Lowe, of Cage Lane, Stretham, nr. Ely, Cambs.

MURFITT

Walter

Sergeant 11272, 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts. and Derby Reg.), killed in action on 5/10/1915 age 27, buried: Potijze Burial Ground Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Born and resident Stretham, enlisted Derby. Son of Joseph and Amelia Murfitt, of Pump Lane, Stretham, Isle of Ely, Cambs.

ROUTLEDGE

Ernest [Gordon]

Private G/14267, 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, was killed in action on 30th November 1917, age 19, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, Nord, France. Panel 7. Born Stretham, enlisted Newmarket. Son of Alfred R. and Emily J. Routledge, of The Manse, Stretham, Cambs.

SENNITT Archibald Frederick aka Archie

Private, No 2. Company, 2nd Battalion Canadian Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment), died on 17/6/1915 age 32, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Son of Frederic Oliver and Hannah Sennitt, of Red Lion St., Stretham, Ely, Cambs, England. Born September 26, 1884, in London, the son of Hannah Sennitt of Red Line Street, Stretham, Cambs. He was unmarried and in civil life was employed as a carpenter. On the outbreak of war he was a member of the 101st Regiment, Canadian Militia. On September 23, 1914, he enlisted in the C.E.F. in At the time of his enlistment he was described as being 5’ 7½” tall with fair complexion, brown hair and brown eyes. National Archives of Caada Accession Reference: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 8778 - 35

STITT

Innes D’Auvergne Stewart

Second Lieutenant, 1/16th London Regiment (Queen’s Westminster Rifles), killed in action on 28/3/1918 age 19, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 10. Son of Rev. Samuel Stewart Stitt and Mary his wife, Rector of Stretham. There is a family memorial to Lt. Stitt within the church. His poem "The Last Leave" can also be read in the church.

TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF
INNES D'AUVERGNE STEWART STITT.
2ND LIEUT 1/16TH LONDON REGT. (QUEEN'S WESTMINSTER RIFLES.)
DEARLY LOVED SON OF REVD. S. STEWART STITT, M.A.
RECTOR OF THIS PARISH AND MARY HIS WIFE.
REPORTED MISSING IN THE GREAT WAR AT TOWY POST, NEAR ARRAS, FRANCE
MARCH 28TH 1918 AGED 19 YEARS
"THINK NOT THAT WE MADE FINE SACRIFICE, HEROIC WITH SACRIFICIAL SIGHS:
BUT MOVED TO AN END APPOINTED MEET, AND THE INCOMPLETE THAT WE MADE COMPLETE
INNIS STITT

Extract from a Cambridgeshire newspaper of the time:

STRETHAM LIEUTENANT MISSING.

In our last issue we reported that Sec.-Lieut. Innes d'Auvergne Stewart Stitt, son of the Rev. S. Stewart Stitt, Rector of Stretham, was reported missing. The Captain of the company to which he was attached, who is now lying wounded in a London hospital, writes : "B Company were holding a front line post called Toyew Post. Innes was there with the me for the three very trying days and still more trying nights, which preceded the attack. When the barrage started at 3 o'clock on the 28th I withdrew all my remaining men who were not absolutely indispensable at their posts to two deep dug-outs and sent the officers down there too. When the attack canto at 7 a.m. everyone fought heroically. Innes was splendid; he stuck to me all the way through. When we had used all our bombs and nearly all our ammunition we went back to Naval Trench, about a thousand yards back. Innes was quite all right when I last saw him, unwounded and fairly fresh, but I had to leave them when I got back to Naval Trench, as I knew I couldn't afford to lose much more blood, and my revolver had been shot out of my hand." Another officer, referring to the Captain and Lieut. Stitt, writes: "I have discovered that he was wounded towards the end, but not seriously. Nobody who saw him wounded has survived, but his batman, since killed, told one of the few surviving N.C.O.'s of his platoon that he had seen Innes wounded, but not badly. So we are all hoping before long we shall have news of him from Germany."

SWAN

Herbert Law

[Rifleman on SDGW] Sergeant 44675, 19th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, died on 2/12/1917, age 35, buried: Grevillers British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Plot XI. Row A. Grave 12. Born and resident Stretham, enlisted Fulham, London SW. Son of Thomas and Rachel Swan. Born at Stretham, Ely, Cambs. Formerly 3531, London Regiment.

TAYLOR

Edward John

Private 22208, 7th Battalion. Suffolk Regiment, killed in action on 9/8/1916, age 22, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Pier and Face 1 C and 2 A. Born Stretham, enlisted Cambridge. Son of John and Susan Taylor, of Brooks Lane, Stretham, Isle of Ely.

VALE

Edward [Charles]

Private, 22006 Depot, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Died at Knightshayes V.A.D. Hospital, near Tiverton, Devon, of wounds received in France, 9/10/1917, age 27. Formerly G/3650 Royal Fusiliers. Buried Chevithorne (St Thomas) Churchyard, Devon. Son of William and Ellen Vale. Brother of Mrs H Crow, Red Hill Cottage, Cambridge road, Stretham, Ely.

NOTE: Knightshayes is now a National Trust property.

WESLEY

Albert George

Private 22584, 7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, killed in action on 8/8/1916 age 20, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Pier and Face 1 C and 2 A. Born Streham, enlisted Cambridge. Son of Albert and Rosa Wesley, of Stretham Ferry, Stretham, Ely, Cambs.

WESLEY

Horace

Private 20831, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, died of wounds on 24/8/1917, age 29, buried: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot XVIII. Row D. Grave 16A. Born and enlisted Stretham. Son of George and Jane Wesley, of Green End, Stretham, Ely, Cambs. Formerly 34990, Suffolk Regiment.

WHEELER

Jack Douglas

Second Lieutenant, 5th Battalion (Territorial), Suffolk Regiment, killed in action on 31/7/1917, age 28, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 21. Son of Alfred G. and Harriet Eliza Wheeler, of Stretham, Ely, Cambs.

WHEELER

Russell Mervyn

Lieutenant, 9th Battalion attached 1st/7th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, killed in action on 30/11/1916 age 35, buried: Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue, Nord, France. Plot II. Row C. Grave 17. Son of Alfred G. and Harriet Eliza Wheeler, of Stretham, Ely, Cambs. BA & MA Cambridge. Teacher at Cambridge and Harrow.

WINTER

John Phillip

[Philip John on SDGW and P.J. on CWGC] Private 18136, "C" Company, 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment, killed in action on 8/5/1915, age 27. Commemorated on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 21. Born Stretham, enlisted Ely. Son of John and Mary Ann Winter; husband of Dora F. Winter, of Barton Bendish, King's Lynn.

1939 - 1945
BIDWELL

Matthew William

Private 5884188, 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment, died on 24/5/1940, age 22, buried: Cretinier Cemetery, Wattrelos, Nord, France. Grave 16. Son of Matthew William and Emma Bidwell, of Ely, Cambridgeshire.

CLARK

Richard Geoffrey

[Also spelt CLARKE] Leading Aircraftman 1234258, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, died on 15/5/1945, age 23, buried: Padua War Cemetery, Italy. Plot III. Row G. Grave 2. Son of Geoffrey Best Clark and Dorothy Elizabeth Clark; husband of Olive Maud Clark, of Stretham, Cambridgeshire.

DRIVER

Albert

Private, 5831194, 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, who died on Monday 23 August 1943, age 27. Born 6 January 1916. Born and resident Cambridgeshire. In 1939 Register he was an Assistant in Grocer and General Stores, High Street, Ely R.D., Cambridgeshire. A Fireman for R.D.C. Buried in Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Myanmar (Burma). Plot B6. Row E. Grave 19.

Extract from England & Wales Government Probate Death Index 1947:

DRIVER Albert of Reed-street Stretham Cambridgeshire died 23 August 1943 on war service Administration (with Will) Peterborough 1 April to Eliza Driver (wife of Richard Driver).
Effects £235 17s. 2d.

GIBBS

Douglas [Albert]

Private 5933753, HQ Company, 2nd Btn. The Cambridgeshire Regiment, Suffolk Regiment, missing in action on 15/2/1942, age 20, buried: No known grave. Commemorated on Singapore Memorial, Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore. Column 58. Son of Albert J. and Elsie Gibbs, of Stretham, Cambridgeshire.

HOWE

John

Probably: Corporal 5933506, John Henry Howe, 2nd Battalion, The Cambridgeshire Regiment, Suffolk Regiment, died on 24/1/1942 age 21, buried: Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore. Plot 18 Row D Joint grave 5-6. Son of William Henry and Kate Howe; husband of Joan Mary Howe, of Ely, Cambridgeshire.

JARMAN

[Robert] John

Bombardier 1531760, 212 Battery, 70 H.A.A. Regt., Royal Artillery, who died on Monday 18 December 1944, age 26. Buried in Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India. Plot 1. Row K. Grave 9. Son of Mr. and Mrs. R. Jarman, of Stretham, Cambridgeshire.

MURFITT

[George] Andrew

Driver T/225559, Royal Army Service Corps., died on 26/10/1941, age 33, buried: Beirut War Cemetery, Lebanese Republic. Plot I. Row C. Grave 3. Son of George and Edith Murfitt, of Stretham, Cambridgeshire; husband of Hazel Murfitt, of Stretham.

NEVILLE

Kenneth [Harry Glover]

Gunner 966073, 64 (The Queen’s Own Royal Glasgow Yeomanry) Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery, died on 10/4/1942, age 24, buried: Stretham Cemetery, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom. Grave C. 196. Son of Algernon and Mabel Neville, of Stretham.

PEARSON

Tom

Private 5933719, 2nd Battalion, The Cambridgeshire Regiment, Suffolk Regiment, died on 27/9/1943 age 21. Prisoner of War. Son of Mr Tom and Mrs May Pearson, Cambridge St., Stretham. Brother of Michael. Buried: Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Myanmar. Plot B6. Row L. Grave 1.

THOMPSON

Alec [George]

Private 5827755, 1st Battalion The Cambridgeshire Regiment, Suffolk Regiment, Missing in action on 13/2/1942 age 23. Buried: No known grave. Commemorated on Singapore Memorial, Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore. Column 60. Son of Mrs. A. E. Thompson, of Stretham, Cambridgeshire.

WESLEY

[John] Edward [Creek]

Private 5830912, John Edward Creek Wesley, 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, died on 21/9/1944 age 25. Buried: No known grave. Commemorated on Singapore Memorial, Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore. Column 60. Son of Mrs M Wesley, Reed St., Stretham.

Last updated 24 November, 2020

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