Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion


World War 1 & 2 - Detailed information
Compiled and Copyright © David Greig 2006
Extra information Ray Stokes

The memorial stands in the churchyard of St Mary's Church, Kingston. It is in the form of an octagonal Latin cross on a square plinth and three stepped octagonal base; the memorial is made of granite and the panels of lead. There are 43 names of men who died in the First World War (35 names) and the Second World War (7 names) inscribed on the war memorial. This is intended to provide some basic facts about those men and, where possible, details of their families and their links to our parish. Five are buried in the churchyard and two are commemorated by the lantern to the left of the main gate of the churchyard.

The details in this document have been taken from a number of sources including –

Soldiers Died in the Great War (1914-1918)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
British Army WW1 Medal Rolls
British Army WW1 Service Records
Census returns 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911
Somerset Light Infantry 1914-1918 (Everard Wyrall)
Somerset County Gazette Archives
Roll of Honour (

Additional family information provided by Alan Hughes of the Kingston St Mary Local History Group.

Every effort has been made to check the accuracy of the details given here. However, if you spot any errors or omissions or can add to the information, please contact Ray Stokes tel: 451420 or email

Kingston St Mary Mark Newton 25 November 2015 (WMR-24985)



Geoffrey Francis

Captain, 5th Battalion (Territorial), Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry). Killed in action during attack on Turkish-held Dujaila Redoubt, near Kut, 8 March 1916 in Mesopotamia. Aged 24. Son of Francis Stephen and Mary Elizabeth Arnold, of Crossways, Kingston, Taunton, Somerset. Former member of Kingston Scout troop. His family bought Kingston brewery in the 1880s. His grandfather and then his uncle lived at Marsh House from 1904 until 1947. No known grave. Commemorated on BASRA MEMORIAL, Iraq. Panel 12.

Inscribed on stone gate post to Churchyard

1914 -1919
This lamp is erected by their brother Scouts of the Kingston Troop
BP Boy Scouts


Percival A

Stoker 2nd Class SS/119509 (Dev), HMS Vivid (Royal Naval Barracks at Devonport), Royal Navy. Died 26 February 1919. Aged 18. Youngest of three sons of Henry and Elizabeth Annie Berry (nee Seaward) of Fulford, Kingston. Buried in St. MARY CHURCHYARD, KINGSTON, Somerset.



Private 3/6671, 1st/5th Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry). Died in Egypt 1 November 1917; may have been a victim of the flu pandemic (Spanish flu) that claimed millions of lives between June 1918 and December 1920. Aged 19. Born Bradford, Somerset, enlisted Taunton. Middle of five sons of Elias William and Ann Billing (nee Salter) of the Old Tanyard, Kingston. His father was a farm carter/groom and Charles also worked on a farm starting as a "milk boy". In 1915 his father Elias, despite being 51 years old, volunteered for army service and served in the Somerset Mule Remount Squadron of the Army Service Corps, a unit that obtained and trained mules for the Army, but Elias was discharged in March 1916 as unfit because of a long-standing medical problem (hernia). Buried in ALEXANDRIA (HADRA) WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt. Plot/Row/Section D. Grave 203.



[Listed as Wilfred on memorial] Private 923, "C" Squadron, 1st Battalion, West Somerset Yeomanry (Hussars). Killed in action at Gallipoli 17th October 1915; his death came just eight days after the battalion landed at Suvla Bay. Aged 39. Enlisted Taunton, resident Lewes. Son of George and Marie Blackmore, of Lewes; husband of Annie Lucy Blackmore, of 6, Lancaster St., Lewes, Sussex. He and his wife Annie Lucy Blackmore were both born in Lewes, Sussex. In 1911 they lived at Blagdon Hill, Taunton, and later, possibly, in the Kingston area. He worked as coachman and groom. Buried in HILL 10 CEETERY, Turkey. Plot I. Row G. Grave 20.



Lance Corporal 20406, 6th Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Killed in action 13 June 1915. Aged 29. Born Kingston, Taunton, Somerset, enlisted Taunton. Son of John and Elizabeth Chidgey, of Conies Cottages, Kingston, Taunton. Formerly 10048, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry). Son of widow Elizabeth Chidgey and the late John Chidgey of Church Gate, Kingston. Arthur was ‘an estate labourer’. The Chidgeys, an old established Kingston family, lived in one of the cottages that was demolished to enlarge the churchyard. Buried in LE TOUQUET RAILWAY CROSSING CEMETERY, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium. Special memorial at Row G.

There are now 74 First World War casualties buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 24 of the graves are unidentified but special memorials commemorate three casualties known to be buried among them.



Private 64452, Otago Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Died of wounds 2 September 1918. Aged 42. Son of former hotelier, postmaster and wine merchant Charles E. Clemow and his wife Annie, who retired to Kingston Cottage (now Davestones) around 1905. Sidney emigrated to New Zealand where he became a farmer. He and his wife Daisy Mary Clemow lived at Deep Creek, Auckland. He enlisted and sailed for Europe in 1917. Buried in BANCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot II. Row F. Grave 9.



Private 3/6037, 1st Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry). Died of wounds 12 July 1916. Born Curland, Taunton, enlisted Taunton. Farm labourer Victor Dicks was the second son of Albert and Matilda Dicks of Curland, near Trull. His father, a labourer, died in 1897, aged 35. Matilda then married George Keitch. They lived at the Old Rectory, Curland. Victor Dicks was most probably wounded during the early stages of the Battle of the Somme when 26 officers and 438 others ranks of his battalion were killed, wounded or missing. Buried in STE. MARIE CEMETERY, LE HAVRE, Seine-Maritime, France. Division III. Row A. Grave 3.


Daniel [MacPherson]

Private DM2/181324, 688th Mechannical Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps. Died in the Balkans 6 November 1918. Born in Glasgow in 1887. Son of Jane Dykes. He was chauffeur to the Gault family and moved down from Scotland with them when they rented Tetton House. He married the family’s nanny Margaret Waddell in Kingston Church. They had one son James (Jimmy) Dykes who is buried in Kingston churchyard. Enlisted Taunton, resident Kingston. Buried in SKOPJE BRITISH CEMETERY, Macedonia. Plot/Row/Section F. Grave 12.



Private 12331, 6th Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry). Killed in action 18 August 1916. Born and resident Taunton, enlisted Pontypridd, Glamorgan. Son of William and Eliza Ferris of Stall Barton, Kingston. Edward moved to Pontypridd, Glamorgan, and worked as ‘timber man assistant below ground’ in a colliery. He was married to Elizabeth Annie Crabbe and they had four daughters, who were all under the age of ten when he died. He enlisted in Pontypridd and arrived in France on 21 May 1915. Buried in DELVILLE WOOD CEMETERY, LONGUEVAL, Somme, France. Plot XI. Row M. Grave 1.



Private 1st Class, 361st Infantry Regiment, 91st Infantry Division, U.S. Army. Entered the service from Washington. Died 3 October 1918. Younger of two Furzer brothers killed in the war (see below). Reginald emigrated to USA in 1913 and was a pipe fitter in Seattle. Became US citizen in May 1918 and enlisted in Washington State. Buried in MESUE-ARGONNE AMERICAN CEMETERY, Romagne, France. Plot D. Row 34. Grave 6.


William John

Private A/38011, 8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment). Killed in action 3 June 1916. Aged 36. Born 9 February 1882 at Kingston. Son of Simeon and Rebecca Furzer, of "The Conies," Kingston, Taunton. Occupation Labourer. Previously served 7 years in the Field Artillery. Enlisted and passed fit 18th December 1914 at Port Arthur, Canada. Height 5 feet 5 inches, girth 37 inches, complexion fair, eyes blue, hair fair; relgion Church of England. No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 24 - 26 - 28 - 30. National Archives of Canada Accession Reference: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 3343 - 20



Private 22582, 1st Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry. Killed in action 8 August 1916. Born Cheddon, Somerset, enlisted Coleford, Somerse, resident Taunton. Farm labourer Ernest Gamblin was the second of four sons of farm worker George Gamblin and his wife Mary Ann Gamblin (nee White) of Mill Cross, Kingston. Buried in ESSEX FARm CEMETERY, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot III. Row C. Grave 10.


[Robert] Anderson

Lieutenant, 4th Battalion, Grenadier Guards (Special Reserve). Killed in action 16 September 1916. Son of Mr Leslie Hamilton Gault and his wife Marion (nee Anderson). of Tetton House, Kingston. Of Irish descent, the family lived in Montreal, Canada, where they were wealthy merchants and noted philanthropists. Mr and Mrs Leslie Gault rented Tetton House in 1914. Their son, born in Canada, had just finished at Harrow School when the war broke out. He joined the Grenadier Guards in January 1916 and was promoted Lieutenant six days before his death on the Somme. No known grave. Commemorated on THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 8 D.


William George

Private 27178, 7th Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry). Died 3 November 1918. Born and resident Hayden, Somerset, enlisted Taunton. Formerly 1964, West Somerset Yeomanry. Died just a week before the end of the war. Home address given as Hayden, Somerset. It is possible he died from wounds or in captivity as his battalion was not in action after October 5. Buried in COLOGNE SOUTHERN CEMETERY, Koln(Cologne), Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany. Plot V. Row B. Grave 3.



Sergeant 581, 6th Battalion, Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians). Died at sea 12 August 1915. Aged 35. Born Cheddon, enlisted Taunton. Eldest son of labourer Alfred Hake, and his wife Sarah (nee Hines) of Nailsbourne; husband of Fannie Elizabeth Billett (formerly Hake), of Mill Cross, Kingston, Taunton. Served in the South African War. No known grave. Commemorated on HELLES MEMORIAL, Turkey. Panel 184 and 185.


Charles (aka Charlie)

Sergeant 240174, 1st/5th Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry). Died of wounds in Egypt 24 December 1917. Aged 25. Born Lydeard St Lawrence, Somerset, enlisted Taunton. Son of William and Betsy Hayes, of 50, Portland St., Taunton, Somerset. Like his father Charlie was a mason working on a local estate. During November and early December 1917 his battalion was involved in a series of battles as they advanced towards Jerusalem. Buried in ALEXANDRIA (HADRA) WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt. Plot/Row/Section D. Grave 276.


Gilbert Henry

[CWGC states 22nd Battalion] Private TF/202429, 1st/7th Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). Died of wounds in 3rd Southern Hospital, Oxford, 29 December 1918. Born Ashpriors, enlisted Taunton, resident Kingston. Second of four sons of farmer George Hurford and his wife Elizabeth of Parsonage Farm, Kingston. Before the war Gilbert worked on his father’s farm. Joined Army 9 May 1916. Posted to France 1 December 1916. Wounded in September/October 1918 and transferred back to 3rd Southern Hospital, Oxford, on 2 October 1918. Buried in ST MARY CHURCHYARD, KINGSTON, Somerset.


Frederick Elworthy

Rifleman 2546, No. 1 Company, 16th (County of London) Battalion (Queen's Westminster Rifles), London Regiment. Died of wounds 20th February 1915. Aged 26. Enlisted Westminster, resident Taunton. Son of John and Emily Kidner, of Dodhill House, Taunton. They bought the house and farm in 1894. Frederick’s eldest brother lived there until 1954. His sister was well known in the parish for running the scouts and guides. Educated at Sherborne School and Worcester College, Oxford. Buried in CITE BONJEAN MILITARY CEMETERY, ARMENTIERES, Nord, France. Plot IX. Row B. Grave 77.


Eli William

Private PO/19278, Royal Marine Light Infantry. Killed in action 5 September 1918. Aged 21. Second of three sons of Mark and Rhoda Lowman (nee Pring) of Nailsbourne, Kingston. Went to France in July 1917 but was invalided to the UK (sick) the following April. He went back to France, to join the 1st battalion, on 10 April 1918. Buried in QUEANT ROAD CEMETERY, BUISSY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot VI. Row H. Grave 15.


William H

Private R/387848, 75th Remount Squadron, Royal Army Service Corps. Died 24 May 1919. Aged 43. Husband of Elsie Clara Lye, of Grange Cottage, Kingston, and the father of two sons. He had worked as a coachman before the war. A Remount Squadron consisted of approximately 200 soldiers, who obtained and trained horses for the Army. They were generally older, experienced soldiers. His death six months after the Armistice suggests he may have been another victim of the Spanish Flu pandemic. Buried in ST MARY CHURCHYARD, KINGSTON, Somerset.


John W

[Listed as W J MILES on CWGC] Lance Corporal 1387, 1st/1st Battalion, West Somerset Yeomanry. Died of wounds in Egypt 14 January 1916. Aged 29. Son of farmer and cattle dealer William and Elizabeth Miles (nee Blackmore) of Hill Farm, Kingston. He worked on the farm. Buried in ALEXANDRIA (CHATBY) MILITARY AND WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt. Plot/Row/Section C. Grave 71.


Frank Ernest

Private M2/177723, 406th Mechanical Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps attached 73rd Siege Brigade Ammunition Column, Royal Garrison Artillery. Died of wounds 21 July 1917. Aged 28. Son of police pensioner Edward Charles Palfrey, who was born in Kingston, and his wife Maud. Frank was born in Streatham, London. Presumably his father was serving in the Metropolitan police. Frank married in 1909 and two years later, living at Comeytrowe, Trull, was described as a cab proprietor. At the time of his death his wife Lilly Rose Palfrey (nee May) was living in Bowey’s Lane, Kingston. They had two sons, Clifford and Edward, who was born only months before his father’s death. Buried in LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot XVI. Row C. Grave 16A.



Private 7967, 1st Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Killed in action 19 May 1915. William, a gardener, was the husband of Rose Ring (nee Sealey) of Kingston. They married in 1912. Buried in FIRST D.C.L.I. CEMETERY, THE BLUFF, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot/Row/Section B. Grave 7.



Private 28240. 11th Battalion, Berkshire Regiment. Killed in action during the Battle of the Somme 30 July 1916. Son of farm labourer William and Mary Rowcliffe of Gadds Bottom, Cheddon. No known grave. Commemorated on THIEPVAl MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 11 D.


William [Alfred]

Airman 1st Class (Observer) 14262, 49th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Died 29th November 1917. Aged 20. Eldest son of Alfred Edward Samways, a shepherd on Lord Portman’s estate, and his wife Flora (nee Watts) of 14 Volis, Kingston. William Samways was born in Bishops Lydeard on 3 Nov 1897, educated at Dowlish Wake Elementary School and became an apprentice Electrical Engineer. He joined the Somerset Royal Horse Artillery (T.F.); was called up on mobilization 5 Aug 1914; transferred to the Royal Flying Corps on 9 Nov 1917 and was killed in aerial combat during the fighting near Cambrai. His Commanding Officer wrote expressing his regret at losing so promising a Gunner Observer and so good a soldier who was genuinely popular and whose loss was regretted by officers and men alike. A letter written and signed by six of his comrades stated that they would miss him as a brother, for he always had a smile and a joke for everyone. Buried in CAMBRAI EAST MILITARY CEMETERY, Nord, France. Plot VII. Row A. Grave 47.



Private 16853, 7th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. Died of wounds 19 May 1916 in Belgium. Aged 33. Husband of Annie Saunders of Nailsbourne He was born at Nether Stowey, his wife at Creech. It is likely the couple, with their two young children, only moved to Nailsbourne in 1910. Both gave their occupation as “cowman on farm” in the 1911 census. After a month’s rest in Calais, 7 SLI went back into the front line astride the Ypres-Zonnebeke road on 19 May and immediately came under heavy shell fire that continued through the night. Buried in POTIJZE BURIAL GROUND CEMETERY, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Row A. Grave 12.


Walter Edwin [John]

Private 46688, 11th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment. Died of wounds in King George’s Hospital, London, 15 November 1917. Aged 36. Born Kingston, enlisted Newport, Isle of Wight, resident Niton, Isle of Wight. Son of Albert and Mary Sealey, of Fulford, Kingston, Taunton, Somerset; husband of the late Alice Best (formerly Sealey). Formerly Sapper 159569, Royal Engineers. The Sealey family had lived in Kingston since the early 18th century. Walter, a carpenter and joiner, was the son of Albert and Mary Sealey, of Yarford. In 1911 Walter and his wife Alice Sealey (formerly Best) were also living in Yarford. Alice died in the summer of 1916, at the age of 30. Her death was registered in the Isle of Wight. Walter died in King George’s Hospital, London, from wounds received in France on October 27th. Buried in ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCHYARD, NITON, Isle of Wight.



Guardsman 21304, 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards. Died of wounds 30 June 1916 in Belgium. Aged 22. Born in Calne, Wiltshire, enlisted in Taunton. In 1911 he was a gardener in Wiltshire. No known connection with Kingston but he enlisted in Taunton. Buried in FERME-OLIVIER CEMETERY, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot 1. Row D. Grave 11.



Private PLY/17415, Royal Naval Division, Royal Marine Light Infantry. Died of wounds in King George Hospital. London, 26 November 1916. Aged 18. Third son of William and Mary Sloley of Harrises Cottages, Hillcommon, previously of Vine Cottage, Kingston, Former member of Kingston Scout troop. Enlisted 5 October 1914 aged 17. In August 1916 suffered appendicitis. Rejoined is unit in September 1916. Was badly wounded on 13 November 1916 and invalided to UK on 20 Novembaer 1916. Died in King George Hospital, London, six days later as the result of gun shot wounds to the back, abdomen and spine. Buried in ST MARY CHURCHYARD, KINGSTON, Somerset.

Inscribed on stone gate post to Churchyard

1914 -1919
This lamp is erected by their brother Scouts of the Kingston Troop
BP Boy Scouts


William [Edward James]

[Listed as SULLY on CWGC] Lance Corporal PLY/17696, 2nd Royal Marine Battalion, Royal Navl Division, Royal Marine Light Infantry. Killed in action 26 October 1917. Eldest son of Samuel and Ann Sully of Kingston (Nailsbourne). Born 9 April 1897. Enlisted on 16 November 1914 and was part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force that landed at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, on 21 October 1915. His unit later deployed to the Western Front. Listed as wounded, missing presumed dead during the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). During this battle he was awarded the Military Medal (M.M.) for gallantry in the presence of the enemy (London Gazette 4 February 1918). No known grave. Commemorated on TYNE COT MEMORIAL, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 1 and 162A.


John C

Private 8146, 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. Killed in action 26 August 1914 in France. Born in Crewkerne. Was killed just three weeks after the declaration of war (on Aug 4 1914). The Somersets landed in France on August 23. Three days later they suffered heavy losses as they tried to halt the German advance at Le Cateau, with 19 men killed, 150 wounded and 100 missing. No known grave. Commemorated on LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE MEMORIAL, Seine-et-Marne, France.



[Listed as Guardsman on memorial] Private 8014, 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards. Killed in action 14 September 1914. Aged 24. Born and resident Kingston, enlisted Taunton. Son of Mary Jane Totterdell, of Tetton Gate, Kingston, Taunton, and the late Robert Gadd Totterdell. No known grave. Commemorated on LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE MEMORIAL, Seine-et-Marne, France.


Frederick George

Private 17568, "F" Company, 2nd Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment. Killed in action in Mesopotamia 25 March 1917. Aged 19. Born Kingston, enlisted PooleSon of farm worker James and Annie Tucker of Tainfield Cottage, Nailsbourne. Previously the family had lived in Soap House (on the Kingston to Taunton road). Frederick worked as farm labourer and as a gardener at Tetton House. No known grave. Commemorated on BASRA MEMORIAL, Iraq. Panel 22 and 63.



Gunner 95552, 248th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. Died of wounds 4 October 1917 in Belgium. Aged 37. Husband of Clara Walford (nee Crouch) of Nailsbourne. Son of the late Charles and Hannah Walford of Spaxton. Frank married in 1908 and was a carter on a farm. His death occurred during the Third Battle of Ypres. Buried in LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot XX. Row H. Grave 1A.



Lance Corporal 5604, 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own). Killed in action 9 May 1915. Born Ottersford, Chard, Somerset, enlisted Hounslow, Middlesex, resident Kingston. Possibly the son of Henry and Lucy Woodley. Lived in Kingston. No known grave. Commemorated on PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium. Panel 10.



James Lovelace

Lance Corporal 7946680, 5th Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps. Missing believed killed in action 23 January 1945. Aged 22. Son of John Billett, and of Fanny Elizabeth Billett, of Kingston, Somerset. Buried in MOOK WAR CEMETERY, Limburg, Netherlands. Plot II. Row D. Grave 13.


Marcus William

[Listed as William M and as a Gunner on memorial] Able Seaman D/JX 528900. H.M.S. President III, Royal Navy. Missing believed killed in action 16 August 1944. Son of Sidney and Edith V. Furzer (nee Berry) of Parks Cottages, Parsonage Lane, Kingston, Somerset. Nephew of the Furzer brothers who died in the First World War. Known as Billy. HMS President III was a shore base beside the Thames that trained Royal Navy gunners to serve aboard defensively equipped Merchant ships. He was most likely serving aboard a merchant ship when killed. No known grave. Commemorated on PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Devon. Panel 86, Column 2.


Robert Dalrymple

Lieutenant Colonel 53474, Royal Artillery. Died 14th March 1944. Aged 39. Batchelor of Arts (BA - Cantab). Son of Charles Dalrymple Gairdner and of Beatrice Mary Gairdner (nee Ballock); husband of Anne Savile Gairdner, of Kingston St. Mary. Buried in ST MARY CHURCHYARD, KINGSTON, Somerset, south-west of the church tower and also commemorated by a window in the north aisle of the church. .


Max Frederic

Lieutenant, H.M.S. Cossack, Royal Navy. Died when his ship was torpedoed by U-563 23rd October 1941. Aged 31. The family came from Birkenhead in Cheshire where Max, the eldest child was born, the son of Gilbert J. and Florence A. Isaac. Husband of Stella Elizabeth Isaac (nee Corner), of Kingston. No known grave. Commemorated on PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Hampshire. Panel 45, Column 1.

Note: HMS Cossack was a Tribal Class Destroyer built by Vickers Armstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, U.K.) and Vickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) She was laid down 9th March 1936, launched 8th June 1937 and commissioned 8th June 1938. In October 1941, HMS Cossack (Capt. E.L. Berthon, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) left Gibraltar escorting a slow, UK bound convoy. On the night of the 23rd, she was at the rear of the convoy when a torpedo from U-563 hit forward of the bridge killing Captain Berthon and 158 of his officers and men. A further 29 were injured. Ammunition had exploded; No.1 boiler room was flooding and the survivors abandoned ship using Carley floats. The other escorts picked them up but Cossack did not sink and her fire went out. Part of Cossack's fo'c'sle had been blown away thus making the remainder of the hull more buoyant. Believing that there was a chance that their ship might be saved, the 'Cossacks' reboarded the destroyer. No 1 Boiler Room bulkhead was shored and the other boilers were flashed up. They managed to get the engines running astern but Cossack could not make much speed and it was a long way back to Gibraltar. The crew continued with their struggle to save the Tribal. A tug was in transit from Gibraltar but the weather worsened and the 'Cossacks' were taken off for the night. The once proud destroyer slipped beneath the surface the next day.


Foster Moverley (Peter)

Surgeon Lieutenant, H.M.S. Mahratta, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Died when his ship was torpedoed by U-990 25 February 1944. Aged 28. Son of Sydney Spencer Redgrave McRae and Sophie Moverley McRae. M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. Dr Peter McRae was a Somerset county cricketer and played 25 matches for the county between 1936 and 1939. No known grave. Commemorated on PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Devon. Panel 93, Column 1.

Note: HMS Mahratta was an M-Class Destoyer. At 20.55 hours on 25th February 1944, the HMS Mahratta (G 23) (Lt. Cdr E.A.F. Drought) was hit by a Gnat from U-990 about 280 miles from the North Cape, while escorting the stern sector of convoy JW-57. The destroyer exploded and sank within minutes. Despite of the fact, that the HMS Impulsive (D 11) and HMS Wanderer (D 74) were quickly on the scene to pick up survivors, only 16 survivors could be recovered from the freezing waters. The commander, ten officers and 209 ratings lost their lives.


Albert Thomas

Leading Stoker D/KX 91438, H.M.S. Trinidad, Royal Navy. Died 14 May 1942. Aged 23. Son of George and Anne Nation; husband of Betty Maud Nation, of Plymouth. No known grave. Commemorated on PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Devon. Panel 69, Column 3.

Note: HMS Trinidad (Capt. L.S. Saunders, DSO, RN) was hit by one of her own torpedoes on 29th March 1942, while in battle with the German destroyers Z 24, Z 25 and Z 26, sinking the latter. She received temporary repairs in Murmansk, Russia and sailed for home on 13th May 1942. She was scuttled in the Arctic Ocean north of North Cape after being hit by German Ju-88 bombers on 15 May 1942.


Francis Richard

Sergeant 5670432, 7th Battalion, Parachute Regiment, Army Air Corps. Died 7th June 1944. Aged 31. Son of Francis Henry and Edith Maud Villis; husband of Kathleen Jessie Villis, of Kingston, Somerset. Buried in HERMANVILLE WAR CEMETERY, Calvados, France. Plot 1. Row B. Grave 3.



Gunner 4268877, 1st/1st Maritime Regiment, Royal Artillery. Died 30 July 1942. Aged 26. Son of Benjamin A. and Jane Welch; husband of Beatrice Mary Welch (nee Nation), of Kingston, Somerset. No known grave. Commemorated on PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Hampshire. Panel 72, Column 1.

Last updated 16 March, 2022

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