Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion


World War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © Transcribed Janet Graves, researched Martin Edwards & Chris Comber 2004
extra information Dave Hatherell and Bexhill Museum

There are two memorials for Little Common, one for the village and the other for the aprish church St Mark's. The names on both memorials are the same.

Photographs Copyright © Janet Graves 2004

Village memorial



1914 – 1918

Church memorial

1914 – 1918


ARNOLD Thomas Archibald Douglas
Private 225107, 4th Battalion (1st Central Ontario Regiment) Canadian Infantry. Born 15 November 1890 Polegate died 12/06/1916. Son of John Creasy and Clara Arnold of 2 The Haven, Sandhurst Lane, Little Common. Husband of Lilian Mary Alice Arnold. An electrician by trade. Previously served in the Light Rifle Brigade. Married Lilian Mary Alice Parker at Merton, Surrey 24 January 1916. No known rave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 18.
BLACKMAN Charles William
Sergeant 8455, 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own). 8th Division. Killed in action on the Somme 4 August 1916. Aged 34. Born in St. Leonards Sussex and enlisted in Hastings. Son of Thomas and Anne Blackman of St. Leonards. Husband of Mrs Harriett Elizabeth Blackman of Sprays Cottages Church Path Ninfield. Buried in VERMELLES BRITISH CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot III. Row L. Grave 9. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Chronicle - Saturday 2 September 1916, page 14:


Our photograph is of Sergeant C. W. Blackman, who, as reported in our last issue, has been killed while serving with the Rifle Brigade. He was the husband of Mrs. Blackman, of Grinses Farm, Little Common, and joined his regiment in August, 1914.

He went through the Mons retreat, being wounded soon after. After remaining in hospital in England for some time he returned eventually to the Front. A letter has now been received from the Rev. J. E. Hamilton, chaplain to the Forces, containing news of his decease. He was killed on August 14th by a fragment of an aerial dart.

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 9 September 1916, page 8:


Sergeant Charles W. Blackman, of the Rifle Brigade, was recently killed by an aerial dart. Called up as a recruit two years ago, he was in the retreat from Mons, and was wounded in the Battle of the Marne. He was the first wounded man to return to Little Common. After a period of home service he was then drafted abroad again. and has been in and out of the trenches since the spring, of 1915.

His Chaplain writes:—“He was a good soldier, and held a high place in the esteem of all who knew him. He was very regular at service, and helped me in many ways. I shall miss him very much, and, indeed, so will all his comrades.”

Before he was called up Sergt. Blackman was was working for Mr. Parks, at Grinses Farm, Little Common.

COVENTRY Leslie Corbett
Captain, South Nottinghamshire Hussars. Drowned at sea on board HT Leasowe Castle which was torpedoed by UB 51 off Alexandria on the way to Marseilles 27 May 1915. Born 15 July 1872 Son of Corbet John and Honora Maria (Sutherland) Coventry of Southwood, Weybridge. Educated at Haileybury College 1886-88. He served in the South African War 1900-1901 with the Imperial Yeomanry. Member of the Cooden Beach Golf Club and the Cooden Beach Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and lived at Red Lynch, Crescent Drive, Cooden Sea Road. Commemorated on the CHATBY MEMORIAL, Alexandria, Egypt.
EVANS Benjamin [John]

Acting Sergeant 5582, 10th Battalion, Princess Louise's (Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) formerly 8609, King's Shropshire Light Infantry. Killed in action 12 October 1916. Born 1888 Camberwell, London, resident London, Middlesex, enlisted Bexhill. Son of John and Emma Evans (Duke) (both deceased). Raised by his mother’s family who ran a grocery business in Cooden Sea Road. He attended St Mark’s School, Little Common. Briefly a Boy in the Royal Field Artillery before serving in the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry in 1907. A porter by trade. Buried in WARLENCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot V. Row G. Grave 12. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill on Sea Observer 5 December 1914

Writing to us from the Concentration Camp at Winchester, Private B. J. Evans, of the 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, nephew of Messrs. Duke, Sea Road, Little Common, says: " I was surprised to see such a long list of Bexhillians serving their country. If other towns could show as many in proportion to the population it would require a few more Kitchener's and French's to organise the billeting, etc." He concludes by wishing them all the best of luck.

Extract from Bexhill Chronicle 22 May 1915


Messrs. Duke Bros., of Little Common, have received the following letter from Private B. J. Evans, who is serving in the 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and who is a nephew of Messrs. Duke. The letter arrived on Wednesday night, and was sent from the stationary hospital at Rouen, on Saturday last:— " I'm feeling a bit better now the gas has cleared out of my head. My knee is going on well, but a bit sore and painful, and I am still in bed. I must be thankful I'm alive, for I was up at the St. Eloi scrap, and again on the left ridge of Hill 60, but this last fight at Ypres was about the limit; they simply blew us out of our trenches, and still our lads wouldn't budge. Then came the gas, and it was at the last moment we gave way, only to get our trench back with the bayonet a few hours later., Although many of my chums have gone, and in fact, my regiment, you can rest assured the Huns didn't have all their own way by the dead, which lay in front of our trench—piles of th€ grey devils. Ypres is in a fearful state—dead people, horses, and cattle lying about the streets, and the Cloth Hall and cathedral blown to atoms. I saw a 17in. shell lying in one street unexploded, and it is quite 5ft. long, and 17ins. thick—an awful looking thing. I lost all my belongings when I got hit. I'd got a German helmet, belt, pipe, and Bible, but it's gone now. They were rather nice souvenirs, but my life was better. " The beggars fire the gas by firing a shell to burst in front of a trench, and the gas is a greenish yellow smoke, and it is awful; it burns one's eyes and mouth, and makes one, gasp for breath and-(censored and blacked out). I have the satisfaction of knowing my rifle did its duty on Sunday last, for to miss at 30 yards is impossible, and I know a few chaps dropped to my bag. In the charge, we shifted to—(censored)—and a few of them managed to get away, but not many. Our boys didn't half stop their capers! It isn't war; it's butchery. " I'm rather anxious about George Freeman, for his regiment was near mine, and I know they, like us, had a decent fight for it. Well, before I close, I must say a word or so about the hospital. It's a lovely, well-ventilated place and the sisters and orderlies are so good and kind to us, but I feel such a nuisance lying about here, and can't get about. I might get to England when I can hobble a bit, but I'm afraid it will be some time before I can stand a long march."

Extract from Bexhill Chronicle 22 May 1915

Pte. B. J. Evans (who is a nephew of Messrs. Duke Bros., of Little Common) has so far- -recovered that he has, with other wounded men, been brought to England, and is now at the 2nd Southern Hospital, South Mead, Bristol. Pte. Evans, who was until recently at the front, was hit in the leg by shrapnel. He has at the hospital had the piece of shell extracted, and is now able to walk.

Extract from Bexhill Chronicle 26 August 1916

The people of Little Common will be pleased to hear that Lance-Corpl. B. J. Evans, of the Argylle and Sutherland Highlanders, and nephew of Messrs. Duke Bros., of Little Common, has been promoted to Lance-Sergeant on the field for deserving conduct.

Extract from Bexhill on Sea Observer 11 November 1916


Sergeant B. J. Evans, Argyll and Suther-land Highlanders was killed on October 12th, while in action. He was a nephew of, and was brought up by Mr. Duke, grocer and provision merchant, Little Common. He had been in the Army for the last ten years.
EVANS Vernon Arthur Martin

Trimmer 606961, H.M.S. Stephen Furness, Mercantile Marine Reserve, Royal Navy. Died 13 December 1917. Age 25. Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Evans, of Dulwich, London; husband of Emily Evans, of 51, Shenley Rd., Camberwell, London. No known grave. Commemorated on PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Devon. Panel 25. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 22 December 1917, page 8:

Mr. and Mrs Evans, of The Maples, Cooden Searoad, have received the sad news that their eldest son, Vernon Evans, aged 25, is beleived to have lost his life on the 13th inst. through the sinking of a ship in a convoy action. The loss of a promising sailor will be regretted.

Note: H.M.S. "Stephen Furness" was built at West Hartlepool in 1910. 1712 gross tonnage. Owned by the Tyne-Tees Shipping Co. Ltd., King Street, Newcastle upon Tyne. Ship No.34 129,753. Type: Auxiliaries - Armed Boarding. Sunk by submarine UB64 in Irish Sea, west of the Isle of Man; six officers and 95 men lost 13rd December 1917.

FREEMAN Albert Henry
Corporal 3313, 9th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade 14th Division Killed in action near Ypres 9 August 1915. Aged 28. Son of Mr and Mrs Freeman of 2 Railway Cottages Cooden Bexhill. Born in Bexhill and enlisted in Hastings. A note of his death appeared in the Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 4 September 1915, page 8. No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 46. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Chronicle - Saturday 4 September 1915, page 5:


We regret to record the death of Corporal Albert H. Freeman (aged 28 years), of the Rifle Brigade. Corporal Freeman was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Levi Freeman, of Railway Cottages, Cooden Down, Little Common, and was in the Army serving at Dagshai, India, eventually going to the front in December last. The deceased soldier about six weeks ago was on leave in London. On Thursday, August 26th, news was received from the War Office by his friends, saying that the Corporal had been killed in action on August 9th, and no further information has yet been received.

FROST Frederick
Gunner 93109, 155th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. Killled in action 8th February 1917 in France & Flanders. Born Buxted, Sussex, enlisted Bexhill. Buried in GUARDS' CEMETERY, LESBOEUFS, Somme, France. Plot XII. Row D. Grave 2. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer 24 February 1917:

Gunner F. Frost, R.G.A. was killed on the 8th February. He was a native of Uckfield, 35 years of age, and had been employed for 16 years by Messrs. Warburton and Sons, of Bexhill. He leaves a wife and two children, who live at 2, Winborne Cottages, Cooden Sea Road. A letter has been received from the Chaplain expressing his sympathy, and stating that it was possible to read the Burial Service over the dead soldier. No other details are is yet to hand. Gunner Frost trained at Cooden, and went to France in November. Deceased's brother, Private Charles Frost, as wounded last 3 July, and is still unable to return to duty. A sad circumstance is that the news was received at the time of the death of his father, the mother thus sustaining a double bereavement. Mr. Frost, sen., was an old and valued employee of Messrs. Warburton at their Uckfield Mills.

GILHAM Frederick Stephen Michael
Sergeant GS/127, 7th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. 12th Division. Wounded in action during "The Battle of the craters" in the Hohenzollern Redoubt and died on the 4 March 1916. Aged 25. Son of Stephen and Ellen Gillham of Peach Cottage Little Common. Born in Little Common and enlisted in Bexhill. Special Reservist. Buried in BETHUNE TOWN CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot VI. Row G. Grave 65. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Harold Desborough

Lieutenant, 16th Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). 33rd. Division. Killed in action on the Somme 1 July 1916. Aged 25. Son of Albert Goodwin, R.W.S., and Alice Goodwin. Baptised 29 September 1890 at Ilfracombe, Ss Philip & James, Devon. In the 1901 census he was aged 10, born Ilfracombe, Devon, boarding at Ellerslie, Fremington, Barnstaple, Devon. In the 1911 census he was aged 20, born Ilfracombe Devon, a Student, son of Albert and Alice Godwin, resident Ellerslie, Little Common, Bexhill, Sussex. Admitted Trinity College, Cambridge, 1908. Buried in HAWTHORN RIDGE CEMETERY NO.1, AUCHONVILLERS, Somme, France. Row A. Grave 88. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea and also Trinity College, Cambridge.

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 5 August 1916, page 4:


Lieutenant H. D. Goodwin, Midx. Regiment, son of Mr. A. Goodwin, E??- is missing. He was first reported "missing believed killed." A communication from the Chaplain says that he was last seen wounded, but the ground where he fell was searched by artillery fire for several ??? after.

HAMMOND Ernest [C]
[E C Hammond on Bexhill-on-Sea Memorial] Private GS/27424, 4th and 9th Battalions, Royal Fusiliers. Joined the Army Reserve December 1915 In the 1891 census he was aged 13, born Little Common, Sussex, a scholar, son of george and Eliza Hmmond, resident Chich Green Farm, Bexhill, Battle, Sussex. In the 1911 census he was listed as 'Hummond,' aged 33, born Bexhill, Sussex,a Farm Labourer, brother of John Hammond, son of Eliza Hammond (a widow), resident Clinch Green Farm, Bexhill, Sussex. See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer 28 October 1916


Private Hammond of the Royal Fusiliers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hammond, of Clinch Green, who was wounded in France some time ago, has just come home from a hospital in Sheffield.

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 3 November 1917, page 8:


Private Ernest Hammond, Royal Fusiliers. son of the late Mr. J. Hammond, Clinch Green Farm, Little Common, has been killed action.


HMS Formidable[Spelt HAWKINGS on Bexhill-on-Sea Memorial and CWGC] Ordinary Seaman SS/4984, H.M.S. Formidable, Royal. Died 1st January 1915. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 10. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Note: HMS "Formidable" sunk by torpedo from German submarine U24 off Portland Bill, in the English Channel, on 1st January 1915. Formidable battleship, 15,000 tons. Launched 17 November 1898, Portsmouth. Heaviest gun, 12 in, 50 tons.

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Chronicle 9 January 1915:

Ordinary Seaman .Bert Hawkings. of The Lodge, Little Folks’ Home, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Hawkings, was on board H.M.S. “Formidable " when she was sunk on New Year's Day. The deceased, who was 22 years of age, entered the Navy in May of last year, and served for some time in Chatham Barracks. His first ship was H.M.S. “Lord Nelson” from which he was transferred to H.M.S. “Formidable. " He had left her for service about the time the war broke out, and had not been home since, the leave obtained just before the war being cancelled . On Wednesday Mr. and Mrs Hawkings. received the formal intimation from the Admiralty stating that the deceased's name did not appear on the list of those who were saved and it is feared that he is "missing." Our readers will join with us in expressing: our sympathy with Mr. and Mrs. Hawkings in the sad loss they have so suddenly sustained.

HMS Formidable

Click on picture for larger view.

HEMMINGS Edward George
[Spelt HEMMING on Bexhill-on-Sea Memorial] Private 36539, 11th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment, 31st. Division. Killed in action at Arras 3 May 1917. Aged 20. Son of Mr and Mrs W. I. Hemming of Colvin Cottages Meads Road Little Common Bexhill. Born in West Ewell Surrey and enlisted in Whitehall. Formerly 11420 A. C. C. No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 4 and 5. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 7 July 1917, page 8 (note forename different):


News has been reoeivevd of the death ii action of Private Ernest Hemming. Army Cyclist Corps. He was a cousin to Mr. J. Crocker, of Little Common, with whom he lived for many years. Private Hemming, was formerly employed at Lloyd’s Bank.

JAMES Edward
Company Sergeant Major SD/3790, 13th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. 39th Division. Died of wounds at home 7 July 1916. Husband of Mrs Jane James of 108, Windsor Road, Bexhill. Born in Sandhurst, Kent and enlisted in Hastings. Veteran of The Sudan and the South African War. Buried in CHICHESTER CEMETERY, Sussex. Grave reference 121. 26 - See also Bexhill-on-Sea
Sergeant L/4737, 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. 1st Division. Killed in action near Klein Zillebeke near Ypres 8 November 1914. Born in Sandhurst, Kent and enlisted in Tunbridge Wells. Regular Soldier. No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, Weswt-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 20. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Chronicle - Saturday 19 December 1914, pager 8:


We regret to state that Sergt. F. James of the Royal Sussex Regiment, the son of Mr. and Mrs. James, of Little Common, was killed in action at Ypres on November 8th. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on the battlefield. Mr. James who is 65 years of age, has four sons in the Army, and they will have between them done 70 years service and eight years fighting. Ten medals have been awarded to members of the family.

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 19 December 1914, pager 7:


Another Bexhill soldier, this time a resident of Little Common, has laid down his life on the battlefield, fighting for his King and country. He is Sergeant Frank James, the 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, and information was received this week by his father, Mr. H. James, market gardener, Little Common, that he had been killed while in action at Ypres on November 8th. The deceased soldier lived with his father at Little Common, and was married, but had no family. His wife is at present in Eversfield Hospital. The late Sergeant James was among the first of the British troops go to the front, and the last time he wrote home was about a month ago. He then told his father that he was well, and mentioned a Tunbridge Wells friend of his, who had been wounded in the attacks of the Germans. The deceased had a brother, Sergeant Edward James, who is attached to the Lincolnshire Regiment, and is expecting to be transferred shortly to the 3rd Battalion of the Southdowns.

MARSDEN Albert Marmaduke
Private G/11909, 7th Battalion, Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). 18th Division. Killed in action at Arras 3 May 1917. Born in Bexhill and enlisted in Tonbridge Kent. Next of kin Welling Kent. Son of Frederick Marmaduke and Julia Sarah Marsden of Whitehill House, Little Common. 1911 census is a gentlemen’s servant Married Alice Gorham 16 January 1915 at Tonbridge. Two children. No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 7. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea
Bombardier 109340, No. 3. Fire Command, Royal Garrison Artillery. Died at home 15 January 1918. Born in Eccles,near Lancaster and enlisted in Kensington. Next of kin residents of Bexhill. Buried in BEXHILL CEMETERY, Sussex. Grave reference B. E. G49. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 19 October 1918, page 8:

We announce with much regret the sudden death of Corporal Emile Daniel Nicholas Mayer, R.G.A., which occurred on Tuesday at Milton Military Hospital, Portsmouth, from heart failure following influenza and pneumonia.

The deceased, who was 35 years of age, was the elder son of Mr. Daniel Mayer. J.P., of Collington Manor, and of the late Mrs. Mayer. He joined up about June, 1916, under the Derby Scheme, and had his training at Cooden. He refrained from taking a commission before going to France, but his health was not good, and he remained in England on coast defence. Latterly he had been gas instructor at Portsmouth. He was weakened by an attack of bronchitis and double pneumonia in March which left him less able to with¬stand his fatal illness.

Corporal Mayer was in business with his father when Mr. Daniel Mayer was the proprietor of Sand P. Erard, and was with him a little while at Chatham House. He then joined the Gramaphone Company, and was in France in business.

The sympathy of friends and residents will not only be felt for the deceased's father, who is in New York, but for his sister, Miss Mayer, and his brother, Captain R. Mayer, R.F.A., who is with the British Army in Palestine. Though he was denied the privilege of going on active service, Corporal Mayer died none the less in the service of his country, in the fighting forces of which both he and his brother voluntarily enlisted in the early stages of the war. During his father's several Mayoralties Mr. Emile Mayer was brought into association with many local people, who were able to esteem him for his social qualities and personal gifts. His death is a sad and heavy blow to a family, which has for many years been prominently associated with Bexhill, whose inhabitants have many reasons to remember its public services with gratitude.

The funeral will take place at three o'clock to-day (Saturday) at Bexhill Cemetery, with military honours. The interment will be in the family mausoleum. A firing party will come from his Company at Portsmouth, and the Canadians will provide the band. The Rev. E. H. Leale (cousin) will conduct the service.

The arrangements are in the hands of Mr. G. Taylor-Sabin. St. Leonards-road.

Photograph Copyright © Dave Hatherell 2023
MORTON James [William]

[Transcribed as J J MORTON] Private 248117, 2nd (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers), London Regiment formerly 6548, 3rd/8th Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). Killed in action 8 August 1918. Aged 42. Born Pernsey Sluice, Sussex, resident and enlisted Farnham, Surrey. Son of the late James William Morton. Buried in HEATH CEMETERY, HARBONNIERES, Somme, France. Plot VI. Row H. Grave 6. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 7 September 1918, page 4:


Many friends in Bexhil as well as at Normans' Bay will sympathise with Councillor J. W. Morton in the sad news that his only surviving son, Private J. W. Morton, London Regiment, was killed on the 8th August.

Details are not yet to hand. Private Morton, who was formerly in the Militia at Eastbourne, had been about four years in France. He was first in the Middlesex Regiment but afterwards was transferred to the London Regiment. He had been twice wounded. On the first occasion he was shot in the right breast and was subsequently sent to England and was in hovital at Leeds and Pontefract, subsequently going to a Y.M.C.A. camp at Tunbridge Wells. He wa -again wounded and was treated at the base.

One brother died in India. Councillor Morton, who has from time to time suffered several bereavements in his family, mourns the loss of a brother, whose death took place almost at the same time as his son was killed. Councillor Morton is himself a veteran of the Royal Horse Artillery, and was in India many years ago.

MOTT Jesse

Lance Corporal G/6229, 8th Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Killed in action 26 September 1915. Born 1891 Bexhill, resident and enlisted Bexhill. . Son of Jesse and Caroline Mott, of Kiln Bank, Little Common, Bexhill on Sea. No known grave. Commemorated at the LOOS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 15 to 19.

Extract from Bexhill on Sea Observer 5 December 1914

Mr. and Mrs. Mott of Kiln Bank, Little Common, have two sons doing their “little bit” – Sapper W. A. Mott, of the Engineers, and Private J. Mott of the 8th Battalion East Kent Buffs (T).
He was a member of the Little Common Bonfire Boys.

Extract from Bexhill Chronicle 6 November 1915


Yesterday was November 5th. but not the " fifth " that one is used to in peace time, with its attendant fireworks and bonfires. Yesterday there was no procession of the well-known popular institution, the Little Common Bonfire Boys. This year many of them are where the " fireworks " are bursting shells, and the " bonfires " devastated houses – “somewhere in France." Those who are at the front include Sergeant Parker. William Hilton, Jesse Mott (who has been reported missing for five or six weeks), and Alfred Cheese.

Extract from Bexhill on Sea Observer 18 November 1916

A memorial service was held at St Mark’s Church Institute, Little Common, on Thursday night for Private Jesse Mott, of the Buffs, who has been missing since September.
RANSOME Alfred George
[Spelt RANSOM on Little Common, listed as Private, Surrey Yeomanry, Calvary] Gunner 30482, 320th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. Died 13 November 1918 Born 1890. Brother of William Ransom, of Laburnham Cottage, Sea Road., Little Common, Bexhill on Sea. Buried in MIKRA BRITISH CEMETERY, KALAMARIA, Greece. Grave 1627. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea
This individual has not been positively identified. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists a Thomas Henry Ransome – Private 905 Army Service Corps, later Driver 464987 Labour Corps. Son of Thomas and Ann Ransome, of Rillington, Malton, Yorks. Aged 31, born 1888, died 12 February 1919. Buried in RILLINGTON (ST. ANDREW) CHURCHYARD EXTENSION, YORKSHIRE A212. No local connection to Bexhill or Little Common has been found. The various local Ransom/Ransome families can only provide a Thomas Ransom of Sidley who did survive the war.
SHONE, MC Geoffrey Beville [Reinhardt]
Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment attached 56 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Died of wounds recived flying a Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 19 October 1917. Aged 23. Born 14 March 1894. Son of Herbert and Editha Grace Shone, of Madeley Cottage, Little Common. Awarded the Military Cross (M.C.). Educated Berkhamsted School. Buried in MONT HUON MILITARY CEMETERY, LE TREPORT, Seine-Maritime, France. Plot V. Row A. Grave 5B.

Extract from Military Cross citation:

For conspicuous gallantry from 25th to 30th September, 1915, when in command of the machine-gun detachment. He worked his detachment forward on the morning of 25th September, and held on in a forward position when other troops had fallen back. He also took charge of the regimental bombers from 26th to 30th September, and displayed the greatest bravery and coolness in using both them and his machine guns. He inflicted heavy loss on the enemy.

Extract from Probate 1918:

Geoffrey Beville Shone of The Bank House Reigate Surrey died 19 October 1917 in France. Administration London 05 January to Herbert Shone bank manager. Effects £76 7s 11d. solicitor. Effects £9383 4s 6d.
Private 13519, 8th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment. 21st Division. Killed in action at Arras 3rd May 1917. Aged 38. Husband of Mrs Agnes Louisa Southgate of 1, Stone Cottage, White Hill, Bexhill. Born in Melton Mowbray and enlisted in Westminster. No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 5. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea
SPRAY Ernest
Private 34988, 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment. Killed in action 24 April 1917 in France and Flanders. Aged 31. Born, resident and enlisted Bexhill-on-Sea. Son of Nelson and Elisabeth Spray, of Collington Lane, Little Common, Bexhill-on-Sea; husband of Mabel Spray, of 20, Sidley St., Sidley, Bexhill-on-Sea. Formerly 31271, Suffolk Regiment. No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 7. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 12 May 1917, page 8:


Mrs. Spray, of Church-hill, Little Common, has received the sad intelligence that her husband, Private Ernest Spray, Essex Regiment, was killed in action in France on April 24th.

He was 31 years of age, and was formerly employed as gardener to Alderman F. Bond, J.P., at Lake Ilouee, Collington-lane.

TAYLOR Gilbert Charles

Private 26289, 5th Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment) formerly 141574, Royal Field Artillery. 13th Division. Killed in action in Mesopotamia 11 January 1917. Born in Wimbledon and enlisted in Hastings. Resident of Bexhill. Buried in AMARA WAR CEMETERY, Iraq. Plot XVIII. Row C. Grave 11. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 3 February 1917,page 8:


The sad intelligence has been received that Private Gilbert C. Taylor, Wiltshire Regiment, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Taylor, Broad Oak-gardens, Bexhill, haa been killed in action in the Persian Gulf. His death took place on the 11th January. Details are not yet to hand. Private Taylor was nearly 22 years age. The family have lived at Bexhill for the past 16 years. A brother is in the Navy.

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 12 January 1918, page 4:


TAYLOR.—in loving memory of our darling boy, Gilbert Charles Taylor, who was killed in action at the Persian Gulf, January 11th, 1917.

UNSTEAD Lennie [Edward]
Private G/69117 and 68655, 'A' Company, 7th Battalion, The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment). Killed in action 26 April 1918. Born 1899 Little Common, resident Little Common, enluisted Hastings, Sussex. Son of Edwin and Kate Unsted of Kewhurst Farm, Bexhill. In 1911 he had been in the local isolation hospital with scarlet fever. Buried in HANGARD COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, France. Plot I. Row C. Grave 27.

Extract from Bexhill Chronicle 6 July 1918:

The name of Pte. L. Unsted (68655), Queen's Royal West Surreys. of Bexhill, which appeared among the wounded in last Saturdays issue, should have been in the list of missing.

Extract from Bexhill on Sea Observer 6 July 1918:

Private L. Unstead, Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment, whose friends live at Little Common, has been missing for some weeks.
VENESS William Sidney
Private 60730, 8th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City Of London Regiment), formerly 14700, Royal West Kent Regiment. 12th Division. Killed in action at Arras 3 May 1917. Born Bodle Street, Sussex, resident Bexhill, and enlisted in Eastbourne. Resident of Bexhill. No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 3. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea
WHALEY Oswald Stanley
Second Lieutenant, 10th Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment. 10th (Irish) Division. Killed in action near Anzac Cove 10 August 1915. Aged 25. Son of The Rev. and Mrs Oswald Whaley of 32 Sutherland Avenue Bexhill. B. A. Christs College Cambridge. No known grave. Commemorated on HELLES MEMORIAL, Turkey (including Gallipoli). Panel 126-135 or 223-226 228-229 & 328. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 18 September 1915, page 10:


Great sympathy is felt with the Rev. Oswald Whaley, of Hurchington, Little Common-road, Bexhill, whose elder son, Second Lieutenant Oswald Stanley Whaley, of the 10th Battalion Hampshire was killed in action at Gakllipoli on August 10th. Second Lieutenant Whaley was 25 years of age.

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Chronicle - Saturday 18 September 1915, page 10:


We greatly regret to have to record the death of Second Lieutenant Oswald S. Whaley, of the 10th Hampshire Regiment, who was killed in Gallipoli on August 10th, aged 25. He was the eldest surviving son of the Rev. Oswald and Mrs. Whaley, of Hurchington, Bexhill, and formerly of Poslingford Vicarage, Suffolk. He was educated at Sedbergh School, Yorkshire, and after taking his B.A. degree at Christ's College, Cambridge, was engaged in tuition work until the outbreak of the war, when he enlisted in the University and Public Schools Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. Subsequently, he received a commission in the 10th Hampshire, and landed in Gallipoli during the first week of August. Sympathy with his father and mother has been widely expressed.

The deceased officer was the nephew of Miss Whaley, of Hurchington.

WHATELEY Stephen [William]
Captain, 1st Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers. Died of wounds 25 October 1918. Born 6 November 1889 in Stoke Damerel, Devon. Son of Colonel William (Royal Artillery) and Jane Kathleen Whateley of Derriheen, Clavering Walk, Cooden. Great nephew of Field Marshall Lord Roberts. Educated at Wellington College. Served at Gallipoli, Salonika, Palestine and France. His mother donated 10s to the Little Common Royal British Legion Club’s hut fund in 1922. Buried in ROISEL COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, Somme, France. Plot II. Row D. Grave 27.

Extract from Bristol Times and Mirror 1 November 1918:

Captain S. W. Whateley

The death occurred from wounds at a casualty clearing station on October 25th of Captain Stephen William Whateley (Royal Munster Fusiliers) only surviving son of the late Col. Whateley (R.A.) and of Mrs Whateley. The deceased officer, who next week would have entered upon his 30th year, came of a family long resident in Cheltenham at Wyddington House.

Extract from Gloucestershire Echo 30 October 1918:

CAPT. S. W. Whateley

The death occurred from wounds at a casualty clearing station on October 25of Capt. Stephen Wiliam Whateley. Royal Munster Fusiliers, only surviving son of the late Col. Whateley. R.A.. and of Mrs. Whateley of Abingdon Court, W. The deceased officer. who next week would have entered upon his 30th year, came of a family long resident in Cheltenham at. Wyddrington House. He entered the Munster Fusiliers in 1909 and was awarded his captaincy in the first November of the war.

Extract from Probate 1919.

Stephen William Whateley of Derryheen Cooden Beach Sussex died 25 October 1918 in France. Probate Lewes 13 Tune to Kennett Champain Bayley solicitor and William Herbert Bagnall esquire. Effects £11845 12s. 5d.
WOOD Herbert Oliver

Gunner 14231, "C" Battery, 92nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Killed in action 2nd June 1916. Born in Bexhill and enlisted in Bexhill. No other CWGC details. No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 5. - See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 1 July 1916, page 6:

Gunner H. O. Wood. R.F.A., of Bexhill, has been killed in action.

Buried/Commemorated locally but not on memorial
Private 13343, Royal Lancaster Regiment. Died 1st January 1915, Age 29.
SWAINSON Andrew Nevill
Lieutenant in Command, H.M.S. Flint. Accident drowned off Pevenesey Sluice. {Date illegible) Age 27.
1939 – 1945
AITCHISON, BA MRCS, LRCP Charles Umperston

Sub Lieutenant HMS Trinidad. Born 18 July 1909 South Kensington. Died 9 May 1948. Son of Dr Charles Umpherston Aitchison and Helen Aitchison, of Hillside, Collington Grove, Bexhill-on-Sea. Husband of Nora Aitchison. Educated at Winchester College and Trinity College, Oxford, from which he went on to the London Hospital Medical College. Married Nora Turnbull in 1937 of Port St Mary, Isle of Man and lived at 12 Hurlingham Mansions, New Kings Road, London SW6. Two children. Buried in Wolvercote Cemetery, Oxford.

Commissioned Surgeon-Lieutenant RNVR in 1941, but was invalided out in March 1942, after Russian convoy work in HMS Trinidad. After suffering a long period of ill-health, he died in the Cotswold Sanatorium in May 1948. He and his brother are commemorated on the war memorial and on the parish war memorial at Little Common, Bexhill-on-Sea.

Probate 1948. Charles Umpherston Aitchison of 4 Northmoor Road Oxford, to Nora Aitchison, widow, Peter Richard Wyndham Leigh, surgeon, and Reginald Francis Archibald, solicitor. Effects £9383 4s 6d.

His elder brother was Sub-Lieutenant Hugh Graham Aitchison who died in an air accident in 1940 (see individual entry below).


Sub-Lieutenant HMS Sparrowhawk [Royal Naval Air Station Hatston]. Born 9 June 1911 South Kensington. Died 1 May 1940. Son of Dr Charles Umpherston Aitchison and Helen Aitchison, of Hillside, Collington Grove, Bexhill-on-Sea. Husband of Beatrice Mary Aitchison of Hillside, Collington Grove. Buried in Wolvercote Cemetery, Oxford. Section J.1. Grave 106.

Hugh entered Du Boulay’s, Winchester College in 1925 and left in 1929, going to Pembroke College, Oxford in 1931 for two years with the intention of joining the Royal Air Force through the University Air Squadron, but was rejected because of faulty eyesight.

Between 1932 and 1934 he travelled in Canada and Iceland. In 1935 he resumed flying, but had a serious accident while giving a flying display at Shoreham Aerodrome on Coronation Day 1936. Undeterred by this accident, he took up aerial photography, and on the outbreak of war joined the Fleet Air Arm. Married Beatrice Mary Parker in 1939 at Barnstaple.

He was killed in de Havilland Hornet Moth P6787 at Golspie, Sutherland, which was being used as a communications aircraft ferrying officers from Hatston to Inverness. He was the sole casualty of the accident. He and his brother are commemorated on the war memorial and on the parish church memorial at Bexhill-on-Sea.

Probate1940. Hugh Graham Aitchison of Hillside, Collington Grove, Bexhill-on-Sea to Beatrice Mary Aitchison, widow. Effects £1564 15s.

His younger brother was Sub-Lieutenant Charles Umpherston Aitchison who died of ill health in 1948 (see individual entry above).

BALL Edward Frank aka Ted

1334656 Sergeant 97 Squadron Royal Air Force. Born 1921 Bexhill. Died 29 March 1943. Son of Walter Ball and Grace Alberta Ball, of Marigolds, Maple Avenue, Bexhill-on-Sea. Buried Escoublac-La-Baule War Cemetery. Plot 2. Row G. Grave 10.

Educated St Barnabas School. Worked as an operator at the Ritz Cinema. In 1939 living with family at 18 Eastwood Road.

Joined the RAF in January 1941 and trained in Canada.

29 March 1943 Lancaster Mk I ED754 OF-A of 97 Squadron took off from Woodhall Spa at 19:57 to attack St. Nazaire. Coned by searchlights and hit by flak. Presumed aircraft fell into sea. Some of crew commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Edward’s body was washed upon the shore at Piriac on 22 April 1944.

Extract from Singaporechris on Facebook:

My Uncle was Edward Frank Ball (Ted) and my brother and I were present at the unveiling of the memorial. A very special day.
These two aircraft were lost on a raid to Saint-Nazaire on 28/29 of March 1943. The Lancaster fell into the sea, the Halifax crashed in Trignac. This being a suburb of Saint-Nazaire. All the crew members of both planes were killed. To translate the two smaller plaques, it reads: '' Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time.'' Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Bottom plaque reads: Tribute to these men who gave their lives to liberate France from the Nazi yoke. Trignac 8 May 2000.
BELL Hugh Bernard

6343 Pilot Officer 264 Squadron Royal Air Force. Born 1921 London. Died 22 January 1943. Son of Alfred Ernest Bell and Marjorie Bell of Deeping, Collington Rise, Bexhill-on-Sea. The family came to live in Collington Rise from Woodford, Essex, in 1935. Educated at Ardingly College, where he won two mathematical prizes and cricket colours, he went up to Queen's College, Cambridge in 1940 where he also won cricket colours. He played cricket for both establishments as well as for the local Parkhurst Cricket Club. He was a left-handed batsman. His ashes are interred at St. Mark’s Churchyard, Bexhill-on-Sea.

22 January 1943 Mosquito NFII DD662 of 264 Squadron took off at 09:10 from Colerne to do a weather test. After 10 minutes the aeroplane appeared to have developed a glycol leak and crashed 100 yards from the Shoe Inn on the Chippenham-Bristol Road, about 1 mile from the aerodrome while attempting a single engine landing.

Probate 1943. Hugh Bernard Bell of Deeping, Collington Rise, Bexhill in Sea to Alfred Ernest Bell retired bank official. Effects £442 16s 7d.

BOASE, MiD Richard Bernard Orlebar aka Dicky

118403 Captain 26th Assault Squadron Royal Engineers. Born 20 Nov 1920 Earls Court died 01/10/1944. Son of Colonel George Orlebar Boase, CBE., and Alice Eleanor Boase, MBE, of 60 Barnhorn Road, Bexhill-on-Sea. Husband of Ruby Margaret Boase, of 294 Cooden Drive, Bexhill-on-Sea. Educated Wellington College. Married Ruby Margaret Smales in 1942 at Oxford. Re-buried from the battlefield 26/07/1945 in 3. A. 10. Calais Canadian War Cemetery, Leubringhen.

Mention in Despatches: War Office, 22 March 1945.

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve that the following be mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in North West Europe …Capt. (temp.) R. B. O. Boase (118403) (killed in action).

Extract from Wellington College

Captain RICHARD BERNARD ORLEBAR BOASE, Royal Engineers, Hopetoun 1934 to 1938, passed into the highest form at Wellington that any new boy can reach. A brilliant scientist and mathematician, he won the 1st Chemistry Prize in 1937 and passed second into Woolwich in November, 1938. He was also a keen photographer at Wellington, where he was secretary of the society and where his own photographs had won him recognition beyond the school and brought him tempting opportunities to make this his profession. But he preferred to follow his father into the Army, where a vivacious manner with an alert and logical mind promised him a brilliant future. He was commissioned in the Royal Engineers in 1940, became an instructor at the first Battle School (Barnard Castle) and trained for mountain warfare in Scotland. He went to Normandy on D-Day and when his Commanding Officer was wounded on the beaches, took over the command of the 26th Assault Squadron, Royal Engineers with the temporary rank of Major, during the crossing of the River Orne. He lost his life in action outside Calais on the 1st October, 1944.
BRYANT Charles [Frank]

1336129 Sergeant 21 Operational Training Unit Royal Air Force. Born 11 September 1922 Normans Bay died 30/03/1942. Son of Percy Bryant and Dorothy Bryant of Meadow View, Normans Bay. Employed as an electrician’s apprentice living in Normans Bay. No known grave. Commemorated on Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 79.

30 March 1942 Wellington IC BB511 was in transit from Gibraltar to Malta. An aircraft of 21 Operational Training Unit, the flight was under the auspices of 1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit. Nothing heard after take-off.

CASH-REED Peter Alexander

77524 Captain 178 Field Regiment Royal Artillery. Born 1919 Buenos Aires Died 29/04/1945. Son of Bellamy Alexander Cash-Reed and Irene Cash-Reed, of The Gorses, Bexhill-on-Sea. Originally buried Meiktila War Cemetery re-buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar. Plot 20. Row G. Grave 1.

Educated Beacon School, Bexhill, and in 1932 Radley College and went through the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in 1938.

Served at Dunkirk prior to becoming an instructor in gunnery in the UK. Posted to India he was torpedoed off the coast of Africa en-route. In April 1945 his unit was fighting in the area east of Meiktila, supplied by road from the Mandalay airhead and by supply drops to the forward troops by US Tenth Air Force.

CLARKE Reginald William Harry

781504 Sergeant 7 Field Regiment Royal Artillery. Born 2 May 1909 Portsmouth. Injured in a road accident at Wilton, Wiltshire, and died in hospital the next day. 3/12/1940. Son of William Thomas Clarke and Bertha Rosina Clarke, of 35 Church Hill Avenue, Bexhill-on-Sea. Cabinet maker by trade. Enlisted in the Royal Artillery in May 1928. Buried west of Church in Bexhill (St. Mark) Churchyard.

Probate 1941. Reginald William Harry Clarke of 35 Church Hill Avenue, Bexhill-on-Sea to William Thomas Clarke, verger [of St Marks Church, Little Common]. Effects £166 2s 6d.

DEEPROSE Percival Frank aka Percy

Lance Corporal 6394196, 5th (Cinque Ports) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. Killed in action 16 June 1940. Aged 35. Born and resident Sussex. In the 1921 census he was aged 16, born Ninfield, Sussex, an Errand Boy for Higher & Cogger, Central Fish Stores, Bexhill, son of Frank and Emily Deeprose, resident Highwoods Lane, Bexhill, Sussex. He was a member of the Bexhill Town Band and belonged to the cricket and football teams of Little Common. He was a Union Member of Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers, Carpenters & Joiners, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, admitted 1926. Married Daisy Dadd in 1931 at Bexhill. Buried in Adegem Canadian War Cemetery, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot I. Row AB. Grave 9.

The 5th Battalion landed at Cherbourg on 08/09 April and moved swiftly towards part of the likely front. They entered Belgium just after the German attack had begun, and on 20 May their first encounter began with the enemy, at Wortegem where they had dug trenches. Two days later they were on the retreat, first to Courtrai and then to Saint André near Lille. From there it was a full treat to Bray Dunes just east of Dunkirk, from which they were evacuated on 27 May.

If the 5th Sussex were only at Percy’s burial place, Wortegem, for 20-22 May (and evacuated at Dunkirk by 4 June), his reported death date of 16 June 1940 is not understood.

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 22 June 1940, page 5:


Lance-Corporal Percival Frank Deeprose, Royal Sussex Regiment, of "Mabran," Sea-road, Little Common, and eldest son of Mr. and Mrs F. Deeprose, of 3, Cumberland-road, Sidley, was killed in action in Belgium in May. His wife received official notification on Thursday morning.

Deeprose. who was aged 35, was a member of the Bexhill Town Band and played for the Little Common Cricket and Football Clubs. There has been no news of his brother, Sapper Charles Stanley Deeprose, R.E., for six weeks. He is aged 20.

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 29 June 1940, page 5:


As already announced. Lance Corporal Percival Frank Deeprose, Royal Sussex Regiment, was killed in action in Belgium alst month.

The sad news was officially communicated to his wife. who lives at "Mabran," Sea-road, Little Common.

He was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Deeprose, of 3, Cumberland-road, Sidley. Corporal Deeprose, who was 35 years age, was a popular member of the Bexhill Town Band, and belonged to the cricket and football clubs at Little Common.

FORD Harry George

Sergeant 1291154, 9 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 20 December 1942. Aged 20. Son of Edward George and Edith Ford, of Little Common, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex. Employed by McCowen’s Music Centre in Western Road. Joined the RAF in 1939. Buried in Oosterhout Protestant Cemetery, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. Grave 93.

Shot down by night fighter pilot Leutnant Erich Richter of 2./NJG 1, flying a Bf 110 F-4 from Gilze-Rijen airfield, 20:29 hours 20 Dec 1942 at Den Hout (Noord Brabant) 3 km NNW of Oosterhout Holland where all are buried in the Protestant Cemetery.

The crew had been posted to 9 Squadron from 1661 Heavy Conversion Unit on 14th November 1942.

They had previously made one trip, to Kloppenburg on 17th December, before being lost on the Duisburg operation.

GILLHAM Roy William Patrick

[Listed as P W R GILLHAM on the memorial] Sergeant 1800716, 635 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 6 July 1944. Aged 21. Son of Ralph Ewart Gillham and Lilian Dorothy Gillham, of Little Common, Sussex. Employed by the Surveyor’s Department, County Hall, Lewes. Trained at 11 Air Gunners School and 10 Operational Training Unit and served with 51 Squadron. No known grave. Commemorated on Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 230.

6 July 1944 Lancaster MH 621 F2-R took off from Downham Market at 23:00 to attack constructional works at Wizernes. Failed to return.

Probate 1945. Roy William Patrick Gillham of Thornleigh Little Common Bexhill-on-Sea to Ralph Ewart Gillham, draper. Effects £441 17s 6d.


200853 Captain D Company 10th Battalion Parachute Regiment. Born 1919 Cuckfield died 20/10/1944. Son of Ebenezer Cecil Howard and Evangeline Howard, of 11 Wealden Way, Bexhill-on-Sea. Husband of Pamela Howard. He is the grandson of Ebenezer Howard, Bexhill’s first mayor. Commemorated on Groesbeek Memorial, Gelderland, Netherlands. Panel 8.

From Peter Howard Life and Letters by Anne Wolrige Gordon

He was a slashing cricketer and scored more direct hits on the body with his own fast bowling and more direct hits on other people's fast bowling with his own bat than almost anybody else I know. I can picture him hot and happy running in the sunshine or with a cool, serious gaze studying some book, then bursting into roars of laughter, hurling it from him and springing half-way across the room with a single galvanic bound.

These brothers were so alike, and yet so different. John was fair and blue-eyed; Peter dark and brown-eyed. They admired each other greatly but envied one another often. Peter envied John's closeness to his parents.

It was natural, for John was still a child when Peter was already a man. John envied Peter's fame on the rugger field; his easy success. These feelings were deep and unexpressed. The Howards did not easily show each other affection or its opposite. Instead, they walked for days in the hills, by rushing torrents and peaceful lochs. They fished and swam — and enjoyed being together…

… a private in the artillery, commando raids on the Channel Isles and Lofoten, a commission to the Royal Sussex Regiment, wounded at Alamein, now a captain in the Airborne Division on his way to Arnhem.

'It will take more than a Nazi to get me,' he said last time I saw him. John never came back from Arnhem. Most of his company were killed…

…He was last seen by a British scout two miles outside our perimeter, hiding by himself in a ditch and sniping at the enemy. The scout asked him whether he would not return to the perimeter. 'I'm doing very well where I am, thank you,' answered John. So, the scout gave him a few biscuits and a hunk of cheese and left him alone in his ditch with the enemy all around him…

…John set his political hopes for the future on Labour. And he told me why. He used to say to me something like this: 'At least I know what the Labour Party stand for. They stand for a square deal for you and me, with food, a house and a job for all who will do it. They stand for everybody having an equal chance and for more even distribution of the wealth of the world — not cigars at the Ritz and starvation at the Rhondda, not duck at the Berkeley and dole at Barrow. Whether they'll be able to give it to us, I don't know.'

Then I remember he once said rather wistfully as he puffed at a pipe several sizes too large for him, There was a wonderful spirit out in the desert with the Eighth Army, you know. You felt a real comradeship in arms. That's the spirit we want when the war is over — but I suppose it is impossible in peace time.

From information supplied by William Heijbroek…

John Howard's objective from the start of operations was to capture Schaarsbergen, but like other members of D Coy 10th Parachute Battalion, he had become lost and disorientated during the withdrawal. Dutch family archives record that on Tuesday morning 19th September 1944, John Howard arrived at my grandfather's mansion 'de Valkenburg', situated on the east corner of van Borsselenweg and Utrechtseweg, along with various officers with maps seeking directions from the owner, my grandfather Marinus Heijbroek. Howard left with the officers later that morning. The following day, Wednesday 20th, John Howard was reported fighting in the garden of 'de Valkenburg' near a coach house. The record doesn't say what unit he was with but there were composite battalions fighting in that area at that time. Howard rested during a lull in the fighting, in the cellar of 'de Valkenburg' on Wednesday night. On Thursday at 12 pm the 'de Valkenburg' was in German hands and John Howard and two fellow medical orderlies James McLean and R. Pitcher from the Royal Army Medical Corps became trapped, as Germans occupied the house. Billeted Germans remained in the house until after the general withdrawal of airborne forces on 25-26th September. The three Englishmen in the cellar survived the danger of capture until Tuesday morning, October 3rd, when the Germans left 'de Valkenburg'. Howard then planned a joint escape aided by the owner's younger brother Daniel (Daan) Heijbroek. The three would go south under cover of darkness, swim across the Rhine and link up eventually with the Allied forces South of Arnhem. During the escape across the Rhine, only one of the two medical orderlies, Private R. Pitcher, survived. Howard was lost presumed drowned. Thus John Howard, having fought his battle, held out bravely and with dignity until October 21st.

KEMP, DSC Neil McIntyre

Lieutenant, 815 Squadron, H.M.S. Illustrious, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy. Killed in the aircraft carrier H.M.S. Illustrious which was damaged during an enemy air raid when escorting a convoy east of Sicily 10 January 1941. Aged 30. Born 14 July 1910. Son of Sir Norman Wright Kemp, Kt., and Lady Kemp; husband of Diana Kemp (nee Moyle), of Stalbridge, Dorsetshire, married Diana Moyle in 1938 at Stalbridge. R.U.S.I. Educated at Ancaster House whilst his parents were in India. Graduated from Dartmouth College in 1924. Served in home waters and the East Indies. Qualified as a pilot in 1932 and served on the aircraft carriers Courageous, Furious, Glorious and Illustrious. Royal United Service Institution Gold Medallist in the annual essayist competition, 1931 and 1937. Admiralty Silver Medal for Naval History, 1933. Awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (D.S.C.). In the 1939 Register he was born 14 July 1910. a Lieutenant in Royal Navy not assigned a ship, married to Diana Kemp, resident Church Hill House Barton, Stalbridge, Sturminster R.D., Dorset. He survived the torpedoing of HMS Courageous in 1939. No known grave. Commemorated on Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Hampshire. Bay 1, Panel 6. See also Bexhill-on-Sea

Serving with 815 Squadron Fleet Air Arm he took part in the raid on Taranto, attacking the Italian battleship Littorio. The hit from his aeroplane on the starboard side had blown out a 49 by 32ft hole inside the anti-torpedo bulge alongside No.1 6in turret. It penetrated both the hull and the inner torpedo bulkhead, producing extensive flooding. Returning to the carrier Kemp, piloting L4K, rolled forward too quickly when his arrester hook was released, and his Swordfish crashed into the back of the aircraft in front of him.

10 January 1941 on arrival south of Malta HMS Illustrious took passage with Force A to meet a military convoy on passage from Gibraltar to Alexandria (Operation EXCESS). Under sustained air attack 60 miles west of Malta by Ju87 dive bombers the vessel sustained major damage from direct hits causing many casualties.

Extract from England & Wales Government Probate Death Index 1941:

KEMP Neil McIntyre of Church Hill House Stalbridge Sturminster Newton Dorsetshire died 10 January 1941 on war service Probate Llandudno 28 April to Diana Kemp widow.
Effects £933 10s. 4d.

Extract from Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 20 February 1932, page 6:

Congratulations to Sub.-Lieut. Neil M. T. Kemp, R.N., son of Sir Norman and Lady Kemp, Dixgate, Cooden, on winnig the R.N.S.T. gold medal Essay competition for 1931, and the first Trench Gascoigne prize (30 guineas). This is the first occasion since the competition was started in 1874 that it has been won by an officer of sub-lieutenant rank, The list of winners includes such well-known naval gold medallists as Noel, Colomb, Fremantle, Sturdee and Domvile, all of whom attained flag rank.

McCAULEY Frank Alfred Conway

R/65534 Flight Sergeant 22 Operational Training Unit Royal Canadian Air Force. Born 22/02/1920 Victoria, British Columbia died 16/09/1942. Son of Timothy Alfred Macauley, and Margaret Conway Macauley, of Hillborough House, Little Common Road, Bexhill-on-Sea. Buried in Bexhill Cemetery, Sussex. Division C. Section E. Row A. Grave 1.

His father was a well-connected industrialist. The family coming to the UK in the 1930s and living in Grosvenor Square. The family bought a second property, Hillborough House in Little Common Road which was across the road from St Mark’s Church.

Frank attended school at Downside Abbey School a leading Roman Catholic boarding school.

He went into RAF at 19 serving with 615 Squadron a territorial unit. Frank’s role within the unit is not known. He returned to Canada in February 1940 and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force.

He underwent further training in Scotland and then on to 16 operations with 75 (New Zealand) Squadron flying Wellington bombers. Frank’s operational career continued with 419 (Canadian) Squadron. He was rested after a tour of duty and posted to 22 Operational Training Unit at Wellesbourne Mountford. This was a feeder unit for Canadians at the end of their training prior to going on to operational flying.

16 September 1942 Wellington Ic X9671 took off at 15:20 from Stratford aerodrome for an air test prior to a planned attack on Essen.

The Wellington bomber broke up in the air, the tail unit and port wing coming adrift killing all seven on board.

His funeral service was at St Mary Magdalen’s Church in Sea Road. The service conducted by Wing Commander McCarthy, Vicar-General of the RCAF.

MEATYARD Robert Lawrence

C/LD/X 5345 Able Seaman SS Whitford Point. Born 25 June 1914 Twickenham. Died 20 October 1940. Son of Robert Edward Meatyard and Florence Meatyard. Employed as a Local Government clerk living in Epsom. Commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent. Panel 40, Column 2.

Robert served as a DEMS gunner(Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships).

At 01:48 hours on 20 October 1940 the Whitford Point was in convoy HX-79, Baltimore – Halifax, with a cargo of 7840 tons of steel and was hit by one torpedo from U-47 and sank 90 miles southwest of Rockall, 56° 38'N, 16° 00'W. The master, 33 crew members and two gunners were lost. Three crew members were picked up by HMS Sturdy and landed at Londonderry.

Probate 1941. Robert Lawrence Meatyard of 1 The Byeway, Little Common. to Robert Edward Meatyard retired London County Council official. Effects £94 8s 11d.

MITTEN Denis Richard

Driver T/14483692, Royal Army Service Corps. Died 28 June 1945. Aged 18. Son of Frederick William and Edith Mitten, of Little Common, Bexhill-on-Sea. He was as a dyer with the London Valet Service. Joined the Army at the beginning of 1945. Buried in Bexhill Cemetery, Sussex. Division B. Section C. Row D. Grave 10.

Died as a result of injuries received in an accident at Ryde, Isle of Wight. Denis was one of three soldiers who had taken out a truck without permission. The vehicle collided with a tree killing Denis.

Funeral service was at St Mark’s Church, Little Common and then burial at Bexhill Cemetery.

NICHOLS, GC Arthur Frederick Crane

62269 Brigadier Coldstream Guards attached Special Operations Executive. Born 6 February 1911 Hampstead. Died 11 February 1944. Son of Joseph Crane Nicholls, and of Josephine Crane Nicholls (nee Campbell) of Inchgarth, Collington Grove, Bexhill-on-Sea. Husband of Dorothy Ann Violet Nicholls (nee Schuster), of Swinbrook, Oxfordshire. As student he travelled to Lisbon in 1924 and 1931. He attended Shardlow Hall, Marlborough College and later studied law at Pembroke College, Cambridge. After graduating in 1933, he worked as a stockbroker. He was commissioned into the 86th (East Anglian) (Hertfordshire Yeomanry) Field Brigade, Royal Artillery, Territorial Army as a second lieutenant in August 1933 and was promoted lieutenant on 3 August 1936 and transferred to the Coldstream Guards (Supplementary Reserve) in May 1937. He married Dorothy Ann Violet Schuster at the Royal Military Chapel, Wellington Barracks, on his first leave from France. One child. Awarded the george Cross (G.C.). Buried Tirana Park Memorial Cemetery, Greece. Previously, until 1994, recorded on the Kipling Memorial, Phaleron War Cemetery, Greece.

Mobilised in 1939, Nicholls went to France with the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards and later posted to the Headquarters of the First Division as an Intelligence Officer to make the best use of his command of French and German.

In March 1942 he joined the Special Operations Executive (SOE). In October 1943, by now a temporary Lieutenant-Colonel, he parachuted into Albania to serve as Staff Officer to Brigadier Edmund Frank "Trotsky" Davies with the task of inciting resistance to the German occupation and tying down enemy forces.

George Cross citation.

The following details are given in the London Gazette of 1st March 1946:

Awarded the George Cross for most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner. Brigadier Nicholls parachuted into Albania in October 1943 as General Staff Officer to the Allied Military Mission which organised resistance activities. The Mission was attacked and broken up by the Germans in December and from then on Brigadier Nicholls lived as a fugitive in the open mountains in freezing weather. He continued leading the remnants of the Mission but was suffering from frostbite so severely that he ordered an inexperienced man to amputate both his legs without anaesthetic. He was pulled over the mountains lying upon his greatcoat by two members of his party. He was determined to reach a British Mission to make his report upon which the course of the war in Albania would depend. He succeeded in this but had gone beyond the limits of endurance and died from gangrene and heart failure.

Following the end of the war in Europe, an Army Graves Registration Unit entered Albania with the task of concentrating the remains of Commonwealth Servicemen, lost in the struggle to secure Albania’s freedom, into a site chosen in the capital, Tirana. However, due to the political situation in the country, this task could not be completed, though 52 sets of remains were recovered in the short time available. Eventually, in 1955, after repeated requests to enter the country were refused, the Commission took the decision to commemorate the 38 identified casualties on special memorials erected in Phaleron War Cemetery in Greece.

This situation remained thus until 1994, when a change in the political situation in Albania allowed a Commission representative access for the first time. He discovered that the original individual burials had been moved by the Communist authorities to an unmarked collective grave located under a path near the university buildings in Tirana.

At the beginning of 1995, the 38 special memorials were removed from Phaleron and re-erected as close as possible to the site of the mass grave, in an area designated the Tirana Park Memorial Cemetery.

In 1998, following a study of the Graves Registration unit files, it was possible for the Commission's records staff to confirm the identities of a further seven casualties previously buried in Tirana War Cemetery as unknowns.

Probate 1944. Arthur Frederick Crane Nicholls of 13 Oakwood Court, London W14, to Anne Nicholls, widow. Effects £1588 15s 9d.

NORRIS Alick Clem

Sergeant (Air Gunner) 1589308, 619 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Bomber Command). Flying out of Strubby, Lincolnshire, in an Avro Lancaster III, serial number LM742, on night operations to Gravenhorst his aircraft suffered a night fighter attack from beneath and crashed at Oldenzaal, four of the crew survived, 6 November 1944. Aged 20. Native of Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex. Son of Joshua and Winifred Norris, of Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex. Buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot 16. Row F. Grave 3. See also Bexhill-on-Sea

6 November 1944 Lancaster III LM742 PG-S of 619 squadron took off 16:29 from Stubby. 0ne of 16 aircraft to attack the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal and Mittellandkanal systems near Gravenhorst, Germany.

The aircraft was shot down by the crew of Hauptmann Modrow & Feldwebel Schneider of 1./NJG 1, who had taken off from Münster-Handorf at 19:07 in Heinkel He 219 A-2 G9+HH. Crashed at Oldenzaal 4 of the crew survived and were captured. Another was murdered.

90391 Wing Commander 630 Squadron Royal Air Force. Born 1911 Wolverhampton. Died 29 January 1944. Son of Thomas Dudley Rollinson and Florence Ethel Rollinson. Husband of Jean Margaret Rollinson of Debdale Collington Lane, Bexhill-on-Sea. Educated at Wolverhampton Grammar School. Married Jean Margaret Campbell in 1943 at Barrow upon Soar. One child. Served pre-war in 614 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force. Carried out 30 operational sorties from Malta with 38 Squadron. Originally buried Hennickendorf re-buried 14 May 1947 Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Plot 7. Row C. Collective Grave3-6.

29 January 1944 Lancaster III JB666 LE-O of 630 Squadron took off 00:23 from East Kirkby to attack Berlin.

JB666 was apparently intercepted very shortly after Wing Commander Rollinson’s crew released their bomb load and turned eastwards on the planned route away from the target area. The Lancaster was shot down 20 km east of Berlin crashing into the woods north of Alt-Buchhorst (6 km east of Erkner).

Probate 1945. John Dudley Rollinson DFC of 10 Hill Close, Purley to Jean Margaret Rollinson, widow. Effects £701 11s 8d.


This individual appears on the Little Common war memorial and also in the May 1945 Bexhill Observer list of dead. He cannot be traced on any another record. However, a family memorial in the 1946 Bexhill Observer gives his loss whilst serving on H.M.S. Charybdis. A check of the crew list shows him to actually be Henry Frederick John VENESS (which see). He was the son of Dorothy Margaret Veness who later married Arthur Sellwood.

VENESS Henry Frederick John (AKA Harry SELLWOOD)

PLY/X 2886 Private Royal Marines HMS Charybdis. Born 1922 Lewisham died 23/10/1943. Son of Dorothy Sellwood, of 4 Coastguard Cottages, Normans Bay, later wife of Arthur Sellwood. Buried St. Brieuc Western Communal Cemetery Plot H. Row C. Grave 16.

HMS Charybdis was engaged in an offensive sweep off the French coast between Ushant (Ouessant) and the Channel Islands on the night of Saturday, 23 October 1943. However, the Force had been tracked with great accuracy by German radar and the torpedo boats knew exactly where it was. Visibility was poor and the vessels ran into an enemy light force (T-27 and T-23 of the German 4th TB Flotilla) which managed to avoid fire and to discharge a salvo of torpedoes with disastrous effect. The Charybdis was struck on port side by a torpedo, followed at an interval of about five minutes by another. She turned over to port and sank by the stern. Thirty officers, including Captain Voelcker and 432 ratings were killed. Four officers and 103 ratings were saved.
WOOD Robert Anthony

Private 17 Port and Maritime Regiment Royal Logistics Corps. Born 24 June 1982. Son of Graham and Alison Wood. Partner of Rebecca. Died 14/02/2011 at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. He was one of five soldiers whose bodies were flown into RAF Lyneham and driven through Wootton Bassett as part of a repatriation ceremony that month. His service was held at All Saints Church, Bexhill-on-Sea, followed by a private cremation. At the request of his family, his name was added to the memorial in a ceremony on Sunday 18 March 2012.

The Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex carried out the unveiling and a parade, comprising 20 standards from Royal British Legion branches, local ex-service associations and youth organisations and around 150 people, marched from the Club in Meads Avenue to the War Memorial.

From: The Ministry of Defence

16 February 2011
Private Robert Wood was born on 24 June 1982. He joined the RLC as a Driver Port Operator on 26 July 2001 and on completion of his training was posted to 17 Port and Maritime Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, his military home in Marchwood, Hampshire. From the very outset his presence and work ethic was clear for all to see.
Private Wood’s fortitude and cheerful ‘Wilco’ approach epitomises the very essence of what it takes to be an Army Stevedore. A proud and professional Port Operator, he would always be there to lend a hand, team work being an essential element to loading or discharging shipping. A very recent and proud father, he constantly thought of his new family and gained strength from the thought of returning to them.
Private Wood was part of the Theatre Logistic Group’s Transport Troop, a vital link in the logistic support to operations, when he was caught by a fire that took hold within his workplace, tragically claiming his life.
A hugely popular figure, Private Robert Wood - ‘Woody’ to his friends - will leave a void behind him that will be difficult to fill. The loss that will be felt by those in the Theatre Logistic Group and 17 Port and Maritime Regiment will pale to that of his proud parents and Rebecca, the mother of his beloved son, Noah. Private Wood was a caring and thoughtful man with a strong heart who will be sorely missed and forever remembered by all who knew him.

The family of Private Wood have made the following statement:

Rob was an adored and adoring son, partner, and father to his baby son. We are so immensely proud of him and he will live in our hearts forever.

Lieutenant Colonel ST Hutchings, Commanding Officer Theatre Logistic Group, said:

Private Wood was part of a little-known, but highly specialist, trade within the Army. As a proud and professional Port Operator he had a key role in supporting operations worldwide. He was one of our up and coming Stevedores. Experienced and committed, he had recently been selected for promotion. Volunteering for operations, again, he was keen to do his bit and demonstrate his wider skills.
He had that innate ability to make friends easily, hugely popular and fiercely proud of being a Port Operator, he was making a difference on a daily basis. My regiment has lost a unique and special person, but our loss is nothing compared to that of his parents and partner, Rebecca, who are in our thoughts right now.

Major Steve Cornell, Officer Commanding General Support Squadron, said:

Private Wood was a strong character with a sense of humour that shone through in the toughest of times. Immensely proud of his new son, Private Wood was also proud of his service in the Corps.
An integral part of the Squadron and excellent at his trade, he made a positive impact at whatever he turned his hand to. He will be sorely missed.

Lieutenant Tim Fitzgerald, Troop Commander Transport Troop, said:

Private Wood was the sort of soldier who made my life easy. A highly dependable and kind-hearted man, the other privates looked up to and respected him. Only with us a short time, no amount of time is long enough to know a man like him. Our thoughts go out to his parents, girlfriend, Bex, and son, Noah, for whom he was an excellent son, partner and father.

Staff Sergeant Mike Temple, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCO) Transport Troop, said:

Woody was one of the key members of the small but committed RTCH section within Transport Troop. He was also a Port Operator by trade and he will be sorely missed within the close-knit Port Op world. No matter what you threw at him, he would always keep his chin up and crack on. Our thoughts go out to his family.

Lance Corporal Taff Williams said:

Although I had only known Woody for a short time, he will never be forgotten. He hit it off well with everyone he met and was easily likable. He was a proud soldier but he was even prouder of his newborn son, Noah. He will be missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting and working with him. Rest well.

Lance Corporal Raj Singh said:

I have known Woody or ‘Big Chin’ for three years. I can confidently say he was a pleasure to work with and know. He was dedicated to his job and his new family. Apart from his professionalism at work he always loved to be amongst his workmates and was a good friend and guide.
I will keep with me the many funny stories of him doing crazy stuff. He will be remembered forever as a family orientated and proud father, and as a good friend.
Buried or Commemorated locally but not on memorial
Sub-Lieutenant, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Killed in action at sea 27th July 1940. Aged 29.

Individual Panels within St Mark's Church

C.M.G., D.S.O.
1923 – 1947


Gravestone within the churchyard


24TH MAY 1931 AGED 60






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