Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion

MELKSHAM WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © Dave Jones, Researched Martin Edwards 2006
much extra information Martyn Gibson and Philippa Greggan

The War Memorial is situated in Canon Square, close to the Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels, which is located down a short driveway to the left of the Memorial. The Memorial is four sided surmounted by a cross. It is divided into two layers, the lower layer has the names of the Great War fallen, the upper those of the Second World War.

In both cases the inscriptions bronze panels at the front of the Memorial. In the case of the Great War, the names are listed on bronze panels, three on each of the remaining three sides. There is a smaller supplementary panel at the bottom of the centre rear panel. In the case of the Second World War the two sides each have two bronze panels and the rear, one, with a smaller additional panel below it.

The names from the Great War do not follow any recognizable pattern, but those from the Second World War are listed alphabetically, anticlockwise from the front of the Memorial. In this transcription, the names are listed, in each case, in anticlockwise order starting from the front with a space between each panel.

There are 105 names listed for World War 1 and 46 for World War 2.

The memorial was degined by Lawrence A Turner FSA, and built by Messrs. H Davis & Son if Melksham. The memorial was dedicated by the Archdeacon of Wiltshire, and unveiled by Field MArshall Lord Methuen, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GCB, CB, CMG, on 23rd August 1919.

Melksham War Memorial is listed at Grade II building. The four enamelled St George and Union Jack flags fixed to the front, facing, plinth plaques are later replacements. Also, a stone planter which stands on the third step was placed there by the Melksham Branch of the British Legion at an unknown date.

Within St Michael and All Angels Church is wooden triptych with a trisngular pediment, a piainted inscription on the inside, centre panels with a painted scroll above the names and a small gold cross at the base. The same names listed on the external memorial are listed on this triptych.

Photograph © Dave Jones 2006

IN MEMORY OF
OUR MEN WHO
GAVE THEIR LIVES
IN THE GREAT WAR OF
1914 - 1919

ALFORD

John Henry

Able Seaman R/1293, Nelson Battalion, Royal Naval Division, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Died of wounds in 12th General Hospital, Rouen, France, 22nd November 1917; admitted to No. 12 General Hospital, Rouen, with gun shot wounds to buttocks 30th October 1917 which progressively became more serious. Born 9th July 1886 in Whitely Wiltshire. Husband of Sarah Alford, of Purlpitt Whitley, Melksham. With Army Reserve 11th December 1915, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve for Royal Naval Division 25th April 1917. Religious denomination Church of England. Buried in ST. SEVER CEMETERY EXTENSION, ROUEN, Seine-Maritime, France. Section P. Plot III. Row P. Grave 10B. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser

Nelson Battalion had moved into the line for 24 hours and about twenty men were killed in Action or Died of Wounds during this short period. The RND were operating in an area of swamp on the left of the ridge running towards Passchendaele.

Pte J Alford was one of the men formerly employed at the Avon Rubber Works, Melksham, whose lives have been given in the service of their country in France. He was attached to the Royal Naval Division and was seriously wounded by a gun shot of October 29th. He was well known in Melksham where he was a prominent figure on the football field and was much respected by the many who knew him. He was a son of Mr Thomas Alford, resided at West Hill, Whitley and was about 30 years of age.

Much sympathy is felt for his family and friends, particularly the widow, who is left with a young child. Mrs Alford (nee Miss Hawkins, of Bowerhill) in addition to her husband has lost three brothers in the war and has three brothers now serving. About 40 of the men previously working for the Avon Rubber Company have sacrificed their lives since the outbreak of hostilities.

Mrs J Alford & Mr and Mrs T Alford & Family wish to return their heartfelt thanks to the many friends who have shown sympathy with them in the sad bereavement they have sustained through the death on active service of Private J Alford.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser - Saturday 1 December 1917, page 4:

Private John Alford, who was about 30 years of age, and lived at Whitley, had been employed by the works for some years, and was well known. He joined the Army in the early part of the present year and served with the Wilts Regt. in France, where he was wounded a few days ago, and died shortly after. He leaves a widow and a child.

 

AMSBURY

Daniel Pearce James

Private 27601, 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards. Died 1st December 1917. Aged 30. Son of Robert Pearce James Amsbury and Harriet Elizabeth Amsbury, of Pleasant Rd., Staple Hill, Bristol; husband of Hebe Frances Amsbury, of Victoria Cottage, Semington Rd., Melksham, Wiltshire. Buried in BAILLEUL ROAD EAST CEMETERY, ST. LAURENT-BLANGY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot IV. Row G. Grave 27.

ANNAL

John Gerald

Private 2718, 1st/4th Battalion, Somerset Light Inafntry. Died as a Prisoner of War at Mosul 15th June 1916. No known gravce. Commemorated on BASRA MEMORIAL, Iraq. Panel 12. Also Commemorated on the plaque in the United Reform Church and on his parents headstone in Melksham Cemetery.

ARTHURS

Frank Stanley

Private 8433, 2nd Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. Killed in action 21st August 1915. Son of Alice Naomi Arthur’s, of 66, Longridge Rd., Earl's Court, London, and the late Percy Edmund Arthurs. Buried in DESPLANQUE FARM CEMETERY, LA CHAPELLE-D'ARMENTIERES, Nord, France. Row C. Grave 14.

ATLAY

John Keith

Lance Sergeant 11047, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh’s (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 15th April 1915. Age 24. Son of Thomas Ware Atlay and Nancie Atlay, of Hilmarton, Calne, Wiltshire. Buried in RUE-DU-BOIS MILITARY CEMETERY, FLEURBAIX, Pas de Calais, France. Plot II. Row D. Grave 18.

Extract from Wiltshire Regiment 2nd Battalion, War Diary, Thursday 15th April 1915:

A trench mortar fell in 'A' Company’s trench about 8pm, killing 2 and wounding 4. This trench was only 100yds from enemy's trench at this point.

BARNES

Charles R

Private 8032, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 10th March 1915. Aged 24. Born Potterne, enlisted and resident Melksham. Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Barnes, of 3, Selfe Cottages, Beanacre Rd., Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on LE TOURET MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 33 and 34.

Extract from War Diary Wednesday 10th March 1915

Battalion paraded at 2.30am near NU MONDE crossroads under Capt Gillson & marched to CAMERON LANE (accompanied by machine guns) The Battalion arrived at the first position of assembly (CAMERON LANE) at 5.30am and occupied the trenches there in rear of 2/Gordons. At 7.30am the artillery bombardment commenced and lasted for 1/2 an hour.

All the morning the British wounded streamed past and it was not till about 1pm that the Battalion received the order to advance.

The advance from the end of CAMERON LANE was carried out by companies in lines of section at 25 yards interval. Order of Coys 'D', 'C', 'A' & ‘B’. About 2.30pm on arrival at second support trenches in rear of NEUVE CHAPPELLE the Coys reformed fast then 'D', 'C' Coys pushed forward to old British trench. All this time the Battalion was under shell fire but not very heavy. Up to this time the Battalion had been in Brigade reserve but now they were given the task of clearing the German trenches on the left of the 2/ Yorks attacked on MIN DU PIETRE & thence connecting with the old British line. For this purpose 'D' & 'C' Coys were pushed forward to the captured German trench about the road junction 250x S of THE MOTED GRANGE.

Here a great delay took place and Capt Gillson went forward to see what the matter was. He was wounded in the leg almost at once so Capt Makin assumed command.

As definite orders had been received that the Brigade was only to advance at the command of the Brigade Commander there was a long delay. The reason for this delay was not known.

When at last the order to advance was given 'C' Coy advanced between the British and German trenches in column of platoon supported by 'D' Coy in the same formation. A bombing party worked along the actual trench. At first all went well and about 108 (including an officer) prisoners surrendered. These were marched off under a party of 'D' Coy. In the meantime 'A' &'B' Coys had arrived & formed up behind the leading companies.

When the leading company reached a wide wet ditch about 50 yards NE of THE MOTED GRANGE a hot rifle fire was opened from the German trench. Still progress was made for another 100 yards of German trench was captured. It was about this time that Capt Hoare & Lt Spencer was killed. No further progress could be made that day as the left company of the 2/ Yorks was still further in rear. About dusk Battalion HQ was established close to that of the 2/Yorks in the German trench about 150x SE of THE MOTED GRANGE.

During the night 'A' Coy were brought up & proceeded to dig in, in front of the wet ditch & connecting the German & British trench. 'D' Coy did the same but in the rear of the ditch. 'C' Coy did the same in rear of the ditch. 1 Coy of 2/Gordons assisted 'A' Coy to dig the trench 'B' Coy remained in reserve at the road junction.

BARTON

Frank [Ernest]

Private G/21922, 1st Battalion, Queen's (Royal West Kent Regiment) formerly 23561, East Surrey Regiment.. Killed in action 25th September 1917. Born Melksham, enlisted Ealing, Middlesex, resident Hanwell, Middlesex. No known grave. Commemorated on TYNE COT MEMORIAL, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 14 to 17 and 162 to 162A.

BEAVEN

Henry Sidney

Sergeant 8420, 7th Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 24th April 1917. Aged 33. Born Chippenham, enlisted Devizes, resident Melksham. Son of Henry and Amelia Beaven, of Union St., Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on DOIRAN MEMORIAL, Greece.

Extract below courtesy Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser:

Sergeant Beaven was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs H Beaven of Union Street, Melksham and served for some time in the ranks of the local Volunteer Corps. He later joined the Regular Army and was attached to the Wilts Regiment. At the outbreak of war he was stationed at Gibraltar, and was almost immediately sent to France. He was twice wounded and was for several months treated in a London Hospital. In 1916 he was sent to Salonika with the Wilts. In April 1917 he was posted as missing and a few days ago news was received to the effect that he was killed in action. He has two brothers serving, one in India and one in Egypt.

Extract from the Battalion War Diary detailing the actions of ‘A Coy’ to which Sgt Beaven was attached.

On the night of 24th/25th April the Battalion attacked O1 and O2 trenches, 12th HANTS attacked O3, 10th DEVONS PETIT COURONNE.

A Coy. Objective 21-27 (reference "Sketch of Enemy Trenches" South of DOIRAN 1/5000). 'A' Coy left B2 trenches at 2105. There was then strong T.M. fire and field gun fire on our front line. The company went down the PATTY RAVINE in sections in file and formed up in line in the ravine on the N.W slope. The enemy put up a very heavy T.M barrage in the ravine during the whole of this time, which caused many casualties. The company crawled up the slope in line and having got to the top advanced to the wire. Gaps had been cut but it was impossible to get into the trenches owing to M.G fire on left of O1 and heavy rifle fire all along the line and enemy's bombers. Knife rests had been put up on the parapet behind the main wire and partly blocked the gaps. The Bulgars supports were seen coming down the CT. on left of O1 and the front line was very strongly manned. Our advance was held up and the company was forced to lie down in shell holes in front of the wire. The main party never got through the wire. A few got into the enemy trenches but were not seen again. By this time all the officers had become casualties and Sgt TOWNSEND returned to our lines and reported the situation. He received orders from the company to withdraw and got what was left of them back to our lines, bringing what wounded he could with him. Two Lewis guns were put out of action, one was brought back undamaged.

BIGWOOD

Wilfrid Ewart

Private 114541, "A" Company, 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion. Missing in action presumed killed 5th June 1916. Aged 26. Born 11th June 1889 in London. Son of Lewin John and Emily Maria Bigwood, of "Formosa," The Spa, Melksham, Wiltshire. Farmer by trade. Unmarried. Attested 24th December 1914 at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, aged 25 years 6 months, height 5 feet 5 inches, chest 40 inches, fair complexion, blue eyes, fair hair, religious denomination Methodist. No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 30, 32. National Archives of Canada Accession Reference: Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 726 - 64.

BODMAN

Herbert E

Stoker 1st Class 230994, H.M.S. "Queen Mary," Royal Navy. Died at the Battle of Jutland when his ship was sunk 31 May 1916. Aged 28. Born 10th June 1887 in Trwobridge, Wiltshire. Son of William and Eliza Bodman, of Church St., Melksham, Wiltshire. No known grave. Commemorated on PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Devon. Panel 15.

The Queen Mary was fired upon from a range of 15,800 to 14,500 yards, from two German Ships. She fought for about 5 minutes before she was hit at around 4.26 when a salvo of shells landed on the forward deck. Reports say there was a dazzling flash of red flame and then a huge explosion blew her apart. Two ships attempted to come to her rescue, Tiger and New Zealand. As they arrived the Queen Mary’s propellers could be seen slowing revolving in the air. The ship sank beneath the waves and all that was left was a dark pillar of smoke.

The casualties were 57 officers and 1,209 men killed; 2 officers and 5 men wounded. One officer and one man were subsequently rescued by German destroyers.

BREWER

Harry

Private 5817, 28th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Killed in action 20th September 1917 at Zonebeke Ridge, France. Aged 27. Son of George Brewer of Semington Road, Melksham, Wiltshire. Attended Council School in Melksham and was a Storekeeper in a Wholesale Grocery Stores before leaving England for Australia on 18th July 1913. Younger brother of Herbert James Brewer. Harry is described as being 5ft 5ins tall; weighing 130lbs he had a fresh complexion, brown hair and eyes. After enlisting he embarked for the UK aboard ship number ‘A23’ HMAT Suffolk leaving Freemantle on the 10th October 1916 arriving in Plymouth on 2nd December 1916. After a brief stay in the UK he departed from Folkstone on 21st December 1916 aboard the Princess Clematine arriving in France the next day. No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 7 - 17 - 23 - 25 - 27 - 29 - 31. Listed on the Australian Roll of Honour

BREWER

Herbert James

Private 5563, 28th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Died of wounds 1st June 1918 in France. Attended Council School in Melksham and was employed in the Post office in Melksham before leaving for Australia on 5th September 1910. Older brother of Harry Brewer (above). He is described as being 5ft 6ins tall; weighing 145lbs he had a fresh complexion, brown hair and eyes. After enlisting he embarked for the UK olk leaving Freemantle on the 22nd November 1916 arriving in Plymouth on 21st November 1916. After a brief stay in the UK he departed from Folkstone on 21st December 1916 aboard the Princess Clematine arriving in France the next day. His conduct records show he overstayed a leave period in France for 5 days. He was charged with being A.W.O.L. and was subsequently fined 26 days pay for his troubles. On the 1st June 1918 during an aerial bombardment Herbert was wounded in the abdomen and leg, he died later that day. Buried in QUERRIEU BRITISH CEMETERY, Somme, France. Row B. Grave 27. Listed on the Australian Roll of Honour

BRITTAIN

Albert Edward

Private 200315 (was originally 1733), 1st/4th Battalion (Territorial), Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died of wounds in Mesopotamia 22nd November 1915. Aged 23. Born Bath Easton, Somerset, enlisted and resident Melksham. Son of Albert and Ellen Brittain, of 21, Church Lane, Forest, Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on BASRA MEMORIAL, Iraq. Panel 30 and 64. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial and also on Plaque in the United Reform Church.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser:

Private Brittain was formerly employed at the Avon India Rubber Works and joined the Wilts Regt in the first few weeks of the war. He went to India in the latter part of 1914 and later volunteered for service at the Persian Gulf. His wounds were received whilst he was serving with the Dorset Regiment which composed part of the force that unsuccessfully strove to relieve the garrison at Kut-el-Amara. For many months his relatives had no further information beyond the fact that he was wounded. Much sympathy is felt with the bereaved parents.

BUCKLAND

Henry John

Lance Corporal 18521, 8th Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales's (Royal Berkshire Regiment). Killed in action 27th May 1916. Aged 29. Born Whitley, enlisted Windsor, resident Melksham. Son of Henry John and Sabina Buckland, of New Broughton Rd., Melksham. Buried in LOOS BRITISH CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot XVIII. Row A. Grave 21.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser, Saturday 22 July 1916, page 4:

Lance-Corporal Buckland was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs H.J. Buckland of New Broughton Road, Melksham. He was well known and much respected both in Melksham and Broughton Gifford. In his younger days he was in the employ of Messrs Flooks and Manning where he served his apprenticeship in the drapery business. He was for several years a member of the local Volunteer Corps (since known as the Territorials), and was a proficient shot. Latterly he had held a position in the establishment of Messrs Soundy and Farmer drapers etc of Windsor, and in June 1915 he responded to the call to arms and joined the army. He served in the 8th Royal Berks Regiment. Like so many others he has given his life in defence of his country and of the principles of honour and righteousness, being killed in action on May 27th. He was 29 years of age. The esteem in which he was held both in civil life and in the army is perhaps best evidenced by the following letters from the chaplain of his regiment and from his employer.

“Dear Mr Buckland,
Knowing, as you probably do, that are once more in the firing line, your might not be altogether unprepared for bad news of Lance Corporal Buckland of our battalion (No 18521) but seeing that he has so recently been in hospital, I fear that this new will come to you as a great shock, especially as this time things have been much more serious. On Saturday night the enemy attacked our line, and preceded the attack with a severe bombardment. At the time we had a small party out putting up barbed wire under the direction of an officer. Lance Corporal Buckland was one of them and together with the officers made a gallant stand to keep off the enemy, but I regret to say that while they succeeded in repelling the attack and inflicted loss on the enemy they laid down their own lives in doing it. It was a fine bit of work on the part of these men and all who took part in the fight which was very severe, though confined to a small front. We laid their bodies to rest in a small village just behind the firing line and commended their souls to God’s keeping. May he rest in peace and may God comfort and help you in your bereavement. The personal effects that were found on his body will be forwarded to you in the usual way. I only want to send you a message of sympathy from myself and the men of the battalion. We do indeed feel for you in this your hour of affliction. Believe me to be, yours sincerely, Arthur Longden, Chaplain.”

124, 125 Peascod Street, Windsor.
“Dear Mrs Buckland, It was with a feeling of deep sorrow and sympathy for you that I heard of the death of your son. He had gained the esteem and appreciation of a great many friends here, and I had looked forward to the time when he would return to take up his old position with us. Everyone here had a very high opinion of your son; he was so thoroughly upright and trustworthy. You have my
deepest sympathy in a great loss you have sustained. Yours very truly, C Farmer.”

Extract from Battalion War Diary Saturday 27 May 1916

2:30AM. Just as the Battalion was standing down after the morning "stand to" one of the sentries in the centre of the line noticed something move in our barbed wire in front of the trench. A shot was fired in the direction of the movement when suddenly a German stood up in the wire and put his hands up. He was called to come in which he did heaving a sigh of relief as he fell into our trench. He had no rifle and no equipment except one of the latest gas helmets. He said that he was a Pioneer and that he had deserted because his Officer had struck him. He seemed to be a superior BOSCHE, well fed and clothed. He was sent to Brigade HQ under an escort. At 1st Corps HQ he gave the most copious information, we have never had a record of a deserter telling so much. He said that he was a deserter from the 9th Pioneer Battalion of the 18th Reserve Division, IXth Reserve Corps. He gave the exact positions of many batteries of artillery and of billets used by the Germans. He also said that a general attack is contemplated by the Germans very shortly with the object of capturing the LOOS SALIENT. A joint attack will be made further south. He said that for the main attack on LOOS one Guards Division had been brought from BELGIUM and that gas cylinders have been installed in saps and shafts along front and support trenches.

10:30PM. The enemy after a short but heavy bombardment attempted a raid on our trenches. Unfortunately a wiring party which was out at the time - under 2nd Lt L.A. KLEMANTASKI - was surprised before they had time to get back into our trenches. Supported by the fire and bombs from the men in the trenches this party succeeded in breaking up the attack and inflicting casualties on the enemy. A copy of the official report of the raid is attached.

Our casualties on this night were:-
Killed: - 2nd Lt L.A. KLEMANTASKI. 11 Other Ranks.
Wounded:- 16 Other Ranks.
5 dead Germans were brought in and two more were seen lying outside of our wire. We cannot estimate the German wounded but excluding those who came under the fire of our bombs and machine guns, those inflicted by the artillery barrage which was very heavy must have been serious.

BURBIDGE

Alec or Alex [George]

[Listed as BURBRIDGE on SDGW] Private 24192, ‘D’ Company, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh’s (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 2nd June 1917. Aged 20. Born Salisbury, Wilts, resident Pottern, Wilts, enlisted Devizes, Wilts. Son of Frederick and Lucy Burbidge, of Ewart Croft, Potterne, Devizes, Wilts. Buried in RAMPARTS CEMETERY, LILLE GATE, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Row J. Grave 9.

BURBIDGE

Walter Francis Victor

Rifleman 37235, 1st/8th (City of London) Battalion (Post Office Rifles), London Regiment attached 1st/5th Battalion (London Rifle Brigade), London Regiment. Killed in action 30th November 1917. Aged 21. Born Melksham, enlisted London, resident Devizes. Son of Frank and Hester Burbidge, of Semington Rd., Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL, Nord, France. Panel 11.

CARD

Douglas Henry

Lance Corporal 8138, 1st Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh’s (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 8th May 1916. Aged 28. Born Redlynch, Wilts, resident Nailsea, Som, enlisted Devizes, Wilts. Son of Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Card, of Redlynch, nr. Salisbury, Wilts; husband of Monica Card, of 25, Regent Street, Clifton, Bristol. Buried in ECOIVRES MILITARY CEMETERY, MONT-ST. ELOI, Pas de Calais, France. Plot I. Row J. Grave 21.

Extract from Battalion War Diary

During the night of 7th/8th the enemy lip of the Common Crater was rifle grenaded, by day the Stokes Gun registered on the place where the enemy had been working during the night. Lieut G E Brown was killed by a sniper as he was looking over the parapet. This officer who transferred to the Battn from the ASC in the middle of January 1916 had done very valuable work in the line previously in April when the Battn was engaged on mining fatigues in this sector. He brought up a Lewis rifle in support of the Sherwood Foresters after the explosion of a mine and did most effective work. Later on Easter Monday on the occasion of the Grange Crater he was slightly wounded in the head by a piece of bomb which penetrated his steel helmet. After wrapping a bandage over the wound he continued bombing and did not go down to the dressing station until much later. In spite of his limited experience of trenches he had displayed great coolness and initiative since being in the line.

At 7.57p.m. the enemy sprang a mine between the old and new craters at the top of Birkin CT. The effect was to fill up the valley between the two craters and prevent the enemy from enfilading our posts. A post of two men was buried and their bodies were not recovered. Ptes Drewitt and Woodward of D Coy. The near lip was consolidated and a sap pushed out to the North to connect with the crater which was blown up on the 3rd. In addition to the two men buried here was one killed and one wounded. At 8.13p.m. we sprang a mine NE of the top of Grange CT between the two existing craters. This had the effect of obliterating both craters and forming a crescent shaped crater about 45 yds across and 80 yds in length. It was at least 60 feet deep. After the explosion a Lewis rifle was rushed up and enfilading fire brought to bear upon a German working party which was fixing loopholes in the northern lip. Good execution must have been done as work ceased and was not resumed. A sap was run in continuation of Grange CT to the lip and a side cut was made to command the right flank. A further sap ending in a Y shaped fork was run out to the Southern extremity and two loophole plates place in position. There was no casualty. The casualties for the day were:-

Killed Lieut E E Brown, L/Cpl Card D H and Pte Deering G.
Missing buried by mine debris Pte Drewitt J and Pte Woodward T.
Wounded Ptes Chiddey F, Dixon C F and Ball J E .
Wounded, at duty Sgt Mitten W and L/Cpl Grieson H C.

CLARK

Ernest

Private 13788, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died of wounds 20th August 1915. Born and resident Melksham, enlisted Devizes. Buried in CHOCQUES MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot I. Row D. Grave 68.

Extract from War Diary Friday 20th August 1915 Festubert

All quiet. Nothing of importance to report. 1 man wounded.

CLEVERLY

William John

Air Mchanic 3rd Class 79728, 43rd Squadron, Royal Air Force. Seriously ill with pneumonia, died of influenza 26th November 1918. Aged 38. Son of Henry John and Mary Cleverly; husband of Frances Eleanor Cleverly, of Market Place, Melksham, Wilts, married 1906 in Melksham, Wiltshire. Buried in KORTRIJK (ST. JAN) COMMUNAL CEMETERY, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Row A. Grave 38.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser:

“On Tuesday the 26th Pte William John Cleverly R.A.F. fell victim to pneumonia, and passed away at a military hospital at Courtrai, France. The end seems to have come rather suddenly, a telegram having been first received by the deceased’s friends to say he was seriously ill, followed shortly after by the intimation that the had passed away. Pte Cleverly was 38 years of age, had served about 18 months in the Army, a good deal of his time in France. He was formerly in business at Melksham as a cycle agent and leaves a widow and four children, as well as a mother, for whom much sympathy is felt. The remains were interred with those of many British comrades in France.”

CLIFFORD

Arthur Edwin

Private PLY/1918(S), 1st Royal Marine Battalion, Royal Naval Division, Royal Marine Light Infantry. Killed in action 6th November 1917. Aged 19. Born 6th December 1898. Son of Arthur and Emily Jane Clifford, of 7, South Cottages, Beanacre Road, Melksham, Wilts. Member of the Workers' Union, Melksham Branch. In the 1911 census he was aged 13, born Bristol, Glouestershire, at school, son of Arthur and Emily Clifford, resident Beanacre Road, Melksham, Melksham Without, Wiltshire. Enrolled Royal Marines 3rd June 1916 in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, aged 18 years 6 months, a Driller by trade, placed in Reserve, mobilized 23rd February 1917. No known grave. Commemorated on TYNE COT MEMORIAL, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 1 and 162A.

COLLETT

Frank Stephen

Private PLY/10685, H.M.S. Goliath, Royal Marine Light Infantry. Killed in action 13th May 1915. Born 23rd June 1882 in Melksham [Naval Record] although the 1891 census makes the year 1878. In the 1891 census he was aged 13, born Melksham, Wiltshire, a Gardener's Assistant, son of Stephen and Susan Collett, resident Union Street, Melksham, Wiltshire. Enlisted 27th February 1901. Husband of Alice Collett, of 19, Adelaide Street, Stonehouse, Plymouth; brother of Mrs E. Prothero, of High Street, Pershore. Worcester. No known grave. Commemorated on PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Devon. Panel 7.

At the outbreak of World War One H.M.S. Goliath joined the 8th Battle Squadron of the Channel fleet, then went to Loch Ewe to become a Guard ship also covered the landings of Marines at Ostend and then went to the East Indies in September 1914. In November 1914 she took part in the operation against the Konigsberg in the Rufiji River and in April 915 went to the Dardanelle's, while there she supplied gunfire support at Cape Helles. She was damaged by Turkish Gun fire on the 28th April and 2nd May 1915. On the night of the 13th May she was torpedoed by the Turkish Motor torpedo boat Muavenet and sank quickly with the loss of 570 men.

COLLIER

Albert Edward

Private 10945, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died on service in United Kingdom 30th January 1915. Born Westbury, enlisted and resident Melksham. Buried in BROMPTON CEMETERY, London. Grave N. 172868.

COTTLE

Frederick James

[Spelt COTTELE on SDGW] Driver 135658, 108th Battery, 23rd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Died of wounds 5th April 1918. Aged 28. Born Melksham, enlisted Trowbridge. Eldest son of Frederick and Adelaide Cottle, of Craysmarsh Farm, Seend, Melksham, Wilts. Buried in PICQUIGNY BRITISH CEMETERY, Somme, France. Plot/Row/Section A. Grave 16.

CROOK

Cecil

Private 201990, "C" Company, 1st/4th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. Died 23 February 1917. Aged 19. Son of James and Martha Crook, of Shaw Hill, Melksham, Wilts. No known grave. Commemorated at BASRA MEMORIAL, Iraq. Panel 21 and 63.

CURNICK

George Christopher

Private 18919, 5th Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action in Mesopotamia 9th April 1916. Aged 19. Born Beanacre, enlisted Trowbridge, resident Melksham. Son of Mrs. Bertha Agnes Curnick, of The Common, Broughton Gifford, Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on BASRA MEMORIAL, Iraq. Panel 30 and 64. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser - Saturday 1 December 1917, page 4:

Private George Curnick, of Beanacre, another former employee of the Company, joined the Forces in April last, at the age of 18, and after serving for a few months with the Willa Regt. in France, has been killed in action.

Extract from Battalion War Diary Sunday 9th April 1916

Advanced 4.20a.m. Direction lost on left owing to sniping and small marsh and Turkish starlights coming from disputed direction. Lost our bearings after machine gunfire. Confusion in darkness. Troops dug in about 650yds from enemy. All day and night lines strengthened by men coming in from front. Many wounded crawled in and many were collected. 18077 Pte. J.H. Nelson and 9842 Pte. W.G. Price displayed conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in collecting wounded and evacuating them. They have been recommended for the DCM. Capt Robertson collected Battn. together as far as possible.
Casualties.
Killed:- Lt. Col R.C.B Throckmorton, 2/Lt J.E. Binns, Wounded 2/Lt. V.M.W.W. Vreidenbury, 2/Lt. C.C. Webb.
Missing:- Capt. J.W. Greany DSO, Capt L.W. Murphy, 2/Lt. D.E. Cruikshank afterwards reported wounded, 2/Lt. Gilborne, 2/Lt. H.S. Diggers.
Other ranks:- Killed 21 Wounded 161 Missing 37

DANCEY

Luther William

Rifleman 301709, 1st/5th (City of London) Battalion (London Rifle Brigade), London Regiment. Killed in action 16th August 1917. Aged 36. Resident Bernacre Melksham, Wiltshire, enlisted Trowbridge. Son of Thomas and Lydia Dancey, of Beanacre, Melksham, Wilts. Educated at Dauntsey Agricultural School. No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 52 and 54.

DAY

Ernest Alfred

Rifleman 301846, 5th (City of London) Battalion (London Rifle Brigade), London Regiment. Killed in action 9th October 1916. Aged 18. Born Banbury, enlisted London, resident Melksham. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Day, of 3, Victoria Terrace, Church Walk, Melksham. Buried in CATERPILLAR VALLEY CEMETERY, LONGUEVAL, Somme, France. Plot XVII. Row H. Grave 5. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial.

DEVERALL

Frederick [Blake]

Rifleman (Lance Corporal) R/20702, 9th Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps. Died 26th April 1917. Aged 29. Born and resident Trowbridge, enlisted Melksham. Son of C. Deverall, of Trowbridge; husband of Minnie Deverall, of 11, West St., Trowbridge. Buried in ST. SEVER CEMETERY EXTENSION, ROUEN, Seine-Maritime, France. Section P. Plot I. Row C. Grave 6B.

DICKS

William James

Gunner RMA/10951, H.M.S. "Vanguard," Royal Marine Artillery. Lost with H.M.S. Vanguard 9th July 1917. Aged 29. Born 11th July 1886 in Melksham, Wiltshire. Son of John and Rose Dicks, of Old Broughton Rd., Melksham, Wilts. In the service, as during his younger days to Melksham when in the employ of Messrs Sawtell at the feather factory, he was popular and was liked by all who knew him. Enlisted 24 August 1904 in Britisol, religious denomination Cghurch of England, formerly a Feather Worker. Height 5 feet 43/8 inches, fresh complexion, dark brown hair, dark blue eyesIn the 1911 census he was aged 24, born Melksham, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, serving in the Royal Navy, unmarried, a Gunner aboard H.M.S. London, religious denomination Church of England. He took part in the Battle of Jutland and was a member of the racing cutters crew winning the Grand Fleet trophy in 1915. No known grave. Commemorated on PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Hampshire. Panel 27. Also commemorated on the Old Broughton Road Baptist Church Memorial.

H.M.S. VANGUARD Scapa Flow North Scotland at 11.20 pm on the 9th July a great explosion occurred in the midst of the Grand Fleet. It is thought the explosion was due to spontaneous ignition of her Cordite. From her crew of 823, 804 were killed that night. It was said that all searchlights were switched on immediately but not a thing was to be seen. She took part in the action at the battle of Jutland from beginning to the end and did not suffer any damage or casualties.

DODIMEAD

Albert Edward

Private 3/5802, 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action at Ostellorw, Belgium, 23rd May 1915. Aged 23. Born and resident Melksham, enlisted Bath. Son of Eli and Martha Dodimead, of West End, Melksham. Born in 1892. The family lived in The City by the Red Lion Pub. He enlisted into the 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment at Bath. Albert had 11 brothers and sisters. Samuel, Louisa, Kate & Francis, all emigrated to Canada between 1901 and 1907. Margaret Lilian went to Canada then Australia and Eli John went to Australia. Herbert, Amy, Frank, Agnes, Dorothy, Frederick Thomas & Florence all remained in the UK. Buried in SPOILBANK CEMETERY, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot I. Row C. Grave 5. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial and on the Old Broughton Road Baptist Church Memorial.

ESCOTT

Albert

Private PO/14322, H.M.S. "Queen Mary," Royal Marine Light Infantry. Died at the Battle of Jutland when his ship was sunk 31st May 1916. Born 26th June 1916 in Melksham, Wiltshire. Son of Grace Escott, of Snarlton Lane, Melsham Forest, Wiltshire. No known grave. Commemorated on PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Hampshire. Panel 22.

FERGUSON

James Shaw

[Listed as FURGUSON on memorial] Gunner RMA/1508, H.M.S. "Cyclops II,", Royal Marine Artillery. Accidentally killed 13th November 1915. Aged 24. Born 17th March 1891 in Greenock, Renfrewshire. Wife resident in Church Street, Melksham, Wiltshire. Enlisted 19 January 1917, height 5 feet 5½ inches, chest 37½ inches, dark brown hair, grey eyes, fresh complexion, prior to enlisted Asphltus Labourer. Buried in FLOTTA PARISH CHURCHYARD, Orkney.

FLOWER

Sydney

Private 205143, 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action 21st August 1918. Enlisted Trowbridge, resident Melksham. Son of Mrs. F. Flower, of Snarlton Lane, Melksham. Buried in QUEENS CEMETERY, BUCQUOY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot IV. Row E. Grave 3.

FRANKCOM

Reginald [Claude]

Private M/340069, Royal Army Service Corps attached to Siege Park, Canadian Corps. Killed in action 14 January 1919. Aged 19. Son of William and Myra Rose Frankcom of Cannington Bridgewater, Somerset. In the 1901 census he was aged 1, born Wiltshire, resident with his mother Myra R Frankcom and his grandparents George and Elizabeth Slocombe, resident Sutton Mallett, Bridgwater, Somerset. In the 1911 census he was aged 11, born Syrham, Gloucestershire, at school, son of William and Myra Rose Frankcom, resident Market Place, Melksham, Melksham Within, Wiltshire. Buried in BRUSSELS TOWN CEMETERY, Brussels - Capital Region, Belgium. Plot X. Row 9. Grave 4.

FRY

Albert

Private 1734, 4th Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died at Hullavington 9th October 1917. Aged 23. Enlisted 1st October 1912 in Melksham. Served from 1st October 1912 to 13th June 1916, in India 9th October 1914 to 29 December 1915. Discharged from Wiltshire Regiment 13th June 1916 through Sickness (he went blind - Retinitis Pigmentosa and suffered from Pulmonary Tuberculosis) (Para 392 (xvi) King's Regulation), issued Silver badge 48924 1st February 1917. Son of Richard and Sarah A. Fry, of Hullavington, Wiltshire. Age at discharge 24 years 2 months, height 5 feet 6¼ inches, chest 36 inches, fresh complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, unmarried, Rubber Worker by trade formerly in the employ of Avon Rubber Company, resident 2, Colburg Cottages, Spa Road, Melksham, Wiltshire. Buried in MELKSHAM CHURCH CEMETERY, Wiltshire.

FRY

William Victor

Officer's Steward 2nd Class L/4877, H.M.S. "Russell," Royal Navy. Lost with his ship when it was sunk 27 April 1916. Aged 24. Born 29th October 1892 in Melksham. Baptised 19 February 1893 in Melksham, St Andrew, son of George and Susan Fry, resident Melksham. Son of George and Susan Fry, of King Street, Melksham, Wilts. In the 1901 census he was aged 8, born Melksham, Wiltshire, son of George and Susan Fry, resident King Street, Melksham Within, Melksham, Wiltshire. Prior to enlistment he was a Footman. height 5 feet 6¾, chest 36½ inches, brown hauir, grey eyes, frsh complexion. Buried in MALTA (CAPUCCINI) NAVAL CEMETERY, Malta. Protestant Grave 310.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser:

“Another name has to be added to the now rather long list of Melksham men whose lives have been offered as a sacrifice in the service of their country, and it might also be truly added in the cause of God and of justice. William Victor Fry was a few years ago a lad living in Melksham, known and respected by many, not only of his young associates, but elder people as well. He formerly attended the Melksham National School and the Parish Church. He was likewise an active member of the Church Lads’ Brigade. After leaving school he was for some time in the service of the Hon. Mrs. Lopes at Sandridge Park. From thence he proceeded to Wilton and was for some two or three years in the employ of the Earl of Pembroke. He subsequently joined the Royal Navy, in which he had a promising career for some few years, and was doing well as second class officers’ steward on H.M.S. Russell, when that ill fated vessel struck a mine and went down. Victor Fry was unfortunately one of the drowned. As he was universally liked, the sad news has been received with deep regret and much sympathy is felt with the family in their bereavement. A pathetic circumstance is that since the new has come of his death a letter has been received from him written on Good Friday, in which he writes in a cheerful style saying he is in the best of health. Hi father, Mr George Fry, of King Street, is an old naval man; after nine or ten years’ service he was invalided out through defective sight. His only other son is Percival George Fry, petty officer on H.M. Submarine E43, while his daughters (sisters of the deceased) are married one to a soldier and the other to a sailor, several other relatives being likewise connected with the Services.”

GAISFORD

[William] Frederick

Private 202147, 3rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry. Killed in action 3 May 1917. Aged 32. Born 27 October 1885 in Wiltshire. Son of George and Fanny Gaisford, of 25, Church Rd., Melksham Forest, Melksham, Wiltshire. Machinist by trade. Unmarried. Attested 5th february 1916 at Toronto, Ontario, Canada, aged 30 years 3 months, height 5 feet 5 inches, chest 37 inches, fesh complexion, blue eyes, fair hair, religious denomination Church of England. No known grave. Commemorated on VIMY MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. National Archives of Canada Accessions Reference: Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 3364 - 10

GAY

William

Lance Sergeant 200082, 1st/4th Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died of wounds 13th December 1917 in Egypt. Aged 25. Born, resident and enlisted Melksham. Son of Matilda Sutcliffe, of Ivy Cottage, Shurnhold, Melksham. Buried in ALEXANDRIA (HADRA) WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt. Plot/Row/Section D. Grave 265. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial.

GODWIN

Arthur William Wiltshire

Flight Cadet (Pilot) 18968, 56 Training Depot Station, Royal Air Froce. Killed whilst flying in Sopwith F.1 Camel B5731 when it collapsed in the air in United Kingdom 17th July 1918. Born Beanacre, enlisted Trowbridge, resident Melksham. Native of Melksham, Wiltshire. Formerly Sergeant 18968, 6th (Wiltshire Yeomanry) Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Buried in north end of new part of MELKSHAM CHURCH CEMETERY, Melksham, Wiltshire. See also R.A.F. Museum Story Vault and also R.A.F. Museum Story vault part 2 Also commemorated on the United Reform Church Memorial.

GOLDSBOROUGH

Reginald [Charles]

Private 10941, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 10th March 1915. Born Bristol, enlisted Devizes, resident Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on LE TOURET MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 33 and 34. Also commemorated on the United Reform Church Memorial.

Extract from Battalion War Diary for 10th March 1915

Battalion paraded at 2.30am near NU MONDE crossroads under Capt Gillson & marched to CAMERON LANE ( accompanied by machine guns) The Battalion arrived at the first position of assembly ( CAMERON LANE ) at 5.30am and occupied the trenches there in rear of 2/Gordons. At 7.30am the artillery bombardment commenced and lasted for ½ an hour.

All the morning the British wounded streamed past and it was not till about 1pm that the Battalion received the order to advance.

The advance from the end of CAMERON LANE was carried out by companies in lines of section at 25 yards interval. Order of Coys 'D', 'C', 'A' & 'B' . About 2.30pm on arrival at second support trenches in rear of NEUVE CHAPPELLE the Coys reformed fast then 'D', 'C' Coys pushed forward to old British trench. All this time the Battalion was under shell fire but not very heavy. Up to this time the Battalion had been in Brigade reserve but now they were given the task of clearing the German trenches on the left of the 2/ Yorks attacked on MIN DU PIETRE & thence connecting with the old British line. For this purpose 'D' & 'C' Coys were pushed forward to the captured German trench about the road junction 250x S of THE MOTED GRANGE.

Here a great delay took place and Capt Gillson went forward to see what the matter was. He was wounded in the leg almost at once so Capt Makin assumed command.

As definite orders had been received that the Brigade was only to advance at the command of the Brigade Commander there was a long delay. The reason for this delay was not known.

When at last the order to advance was given 'C' Coy advanced between the British and German trenches in column of platoon supported by 'D' Coy in the same formation. A bombing party worked along the actual trench. At first all went well and about 108 (including an officer) prisoners surrendered. These were marched off under a party of 'D' Coy. In the meantime 'A' &'B' Coys had arrived & formed up behind the leading companies.

When the leading company reached a wide wet ditch about 50 yards NE of THE MOTED GRANGE a hot rifle fire was opened from the German trench. Still progress was made for another 100 yards of German trench was captured. It was about this time that Capt Hoare & Lt Spencer was killed. No further progress could be made that day as the left company of the 2/Yorks was still further in rear. About dusk Battalion HQ was established close to that of the 2/Yorks in the German trench about 150x SE of THE MOTED GRANGE.

During the night 'A' Coy were brought up & proceeded to dig in front of the wet ditch & connecting the German & British trench. 'D' Coy did the same but in the rear of the ditch. 'C' Coy did the same in rear of the ditch. 1 Coy of 2/Gordons assisted 'A' Coy to dig the trench 'B' Coy remained in reserve at the road junction.

GORE

Francis Cephas

Able Seaman J/15630, H.M.S. "Invincible," Royal Navy. Killed at the battle of Jutland 31st May 1916. Aged 22. Born 16th February 1894 in Clutton, Somerset. Son of Alfred and Sarah Gore, of Watson's Court, Melksham, Wilts. In the 1911 census he was aged 17, born Temple Claud, working on farm, son of Alfred and Sarah Gore, resident Semington Road, Melksham, Melksham Without, Wiltshire. Enlisted 16 February 1912 for 12 years, height 5 feet 4½ inches, chest 35½ inches, brown hair, brown eyes, fresh complexion, prior to enlistment he was a Farm Boy. No known grave. Commemorated on PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Hampshire. Panel 13. Also commemorated on the United Reform Church Memorial.

GOULD

Reginald Henry

Private 7046, 15th (County of London) Battalion (Prince of Wales' Own Civil Service Rifles). Killed in action 15th November 1916. Born and enlisted Melksham. Formerly 22252, Somerset Light Infantry. Buried in LARCH WOOD (RAILWAY CUTTING) CEMETERY, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot IV. Row G. Grave 14. Also commemorated on the United Reform Church Memorial.

Extract from the Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser:

The sad news has come to hand this week that he was killed in action in France on November 15th. A letter received on Monday by his friends from Lieut Davenport in command of his company state that Pte Gould had been killed by a shell in the trenches. After a eulogistic reference to his military service the writer expresses his deep sympathy with the family in their bereavement and adds that it might be some little consolation to them that he was killed instantaneously and suffered no pain. In the list in the “Times” however appeared the name of Pte R.H. Gould as wounded. There were two Gould’s mentioned and some doubt was at first entertained as to whether the Lieutenant had sent to the wrong family and a letter of inquiry was forwarded to headquarters. An official communication from Major G.F. Bartlett received on Wednesday put the matter beyond doubt.

Pte Gould was 30 years of age. He was the son of Mr W.H. Gould of Church Walk, Melksham. He was previously employed by Messrs Stratton, Sons & Mead where for some time he had been a trusted and much respected clerk. He was well known in the town and had for many years been associated with the Wesleyan Church. He joined the colours in February last, having at that time been passed for home service only. He was attached to the Somerset Light Infantry but was later transferred to the East Surreys and next to the London Service Rifles. He was regarded as fit for general service and sent to France. Deep sympathy is felt in Melksham for the family who are held in much esteem in their bereavement. A younger brother of the deceased has joined the Colours but is as yet only in training.

GREGORY

Edgar Jesse

Private 3127, 2nd/4th Battalion (Territorial), Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action in Mesopotamia 22nd November 1915. Aged 25. Born Melksham, enlisted Trowbridge, resident Bromham, Wiltshire. Son of Noah and Jane Gregory, of Sandridge Lane, Bromham, Chippenham. No known grave. Commemorated on BASRA MEMORIAL, Iraq. Panel 30 and 64. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial.

Extract from the Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser, Saturday 25 November 1916, page 10:

Private Jesse Gregory was the son of Mr and Mrs Noah Gregory and was 25 years of age. He volunteered in the early part of the war, and was drafted to India with the Wilts. He was among those who readily responded to the call for volunteers for the Persian Gulf and here he heroically laid down his life.

GREGORY

Ernest Albert

Private 156192, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Killed in action 9th October 1918. Aged 22. Enlisted Chippenham, resident Melksham. Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Gregory, of Blackmore, Lower Forest, Melksham; husband of M. L. M. Doughty (formerly Gregory), of Stormore, Dilton Marsh, Westbury, Wilts. Formerly 1640, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Ernest originally signed up with the Wiltshire Yeomanry before transferring over to the Machine Gun Corp where he served with his brother George Enos Gregory. He attended schools at Sandridge and Chittoe and was employed as a farm worker prior to enlistment. No known grave. Commemorated on VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 10.

GREGORY

Frank

Private 10970, 9th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Killed in action 18th November 1915 at Gallipoli. Born in Sandridge, Wiltshire, enlisted Southwark London. In the 1911 census he was aged 24, born Highclere, hampshire, a Private Soldier enlisted for 7 years, son of George and Esther Gregory, resident Beanacre Road, Melksham Without, Wiltshire. Buried in AZMAK CEMETERY, SUVLA, Turkey (including Gallipoli). Plot II. Row D. Grave 16.

HAINES

William Henry

Private 201551, 4th Battalion (Territorial), Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died in United Kingdom 3rd July 1918. Aged 20. Enlisted Trowbridge, resident Melksham Forest. Son of Henry and Mary Jane Haines, of 40, Forest Rd., Melksham. Born at Trowbridge. Buried in south end of new part of MELKSHAM CHURCH CEMETERY, Melksham, Wiltshire. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial.

HALE

Ernest George

Acting Corporal 8286, 1st Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 12th April 1918. Born Potterne, enlisted Devizes, resident Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium. Panel 8.

Extract from Battalion War Diary Friday 12th April 1918

Trenches around N Eglise. The Battn took up a position around NEUVE EGLISE. Hostile artillery very active all day. After dusk the Battn marched to BAILLEUL to support the troops fighting to the E of that town, but the Battn was dispatched to hold a position a CRUCIFIX CORNER between NEUVE EGLISE and the RAVELS BERG.
Casualties: Officers Lieut R N Evens, USA RAMC missing.
ORs 4 killed, 16 wounded, 282 missing.

HARDY

Adolphus [Arthur] Cyril

[Listed as A A C HARDY on CWGC] Corporal 204125, 6th Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 24th January 1918. Aged 22. Born Six Hills, Leicestershire, enlisted Melksham. Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Hardy, of 8, Scotland Rd., Melksham, Wilts. Buried in FIFTEEN RAVINE BRITISH CEMETERY, VILLERS-PLOUICH, Nord, France. Plot VII. Row D. Grave 12. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial and in Whitley Methodist Church.

Extract from Battalion War Diary Thursday 24th January 1918

3 Other ranks wounded and 4 Other ranks killed. Inter Company relief 'D' Coy relieving 'B' Coy and 'C' Coy relieving 'A' Coy.

HARROLD

Charles William Hayward

Private 24166, 1st Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died of wounds 5th September 1916. Aged 27. Born, resident and enlisted Melksham. Only son of Charles and Mary Jane Harrold, of Melksham Forest, Melksham. Buried in ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot X. Row B. Grave 13.

Extract from the Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser, Saturday 16 September 1916, page 4:

Private C.W. Harrold, as stated in our issue for last week was wounded in France (24th Aug 1916) after only a few weeks military service, his injuries proving fatal a short time afterwards. Thus one more useful and promising life has been cut off, and the sad news was received with deep and general regret in the town and neighbourhood. We reproduce some of the details given last week. Mr Harrold was until the spring of the present year living with his father at the Forest, assisting him in his business as a baker and grocer, and also cultivating a piece of land. He had no wish to join the colours, and believing there was good reason on business grounds for exemption an appeal was made to the local tribunal with the result that a six month exemption was granted. The Military authorities however, appealed to the Country Tribunal against this decision and it was reversed. Mr Harrold having to go at once. He left his business in April and was attached to the Wilts Regiment. On July 1st after less than three months training he was despatched with others to France. About a fortnight ago he was seriously wounded and letters showed his condition to be critical. His father this week proceeded to London en route for France with the object of visiting him. A telegram was however received stating the he had passed away and the father returned home. The turn for the worse must have been very sudden as it was only on Tuesday that a letter partly written by him was received alluding in the hospital. This was written on Sunday.

Private Harrold was 27 years of age and was an only son. He was widely known and was much respected by all who knew him. He attended the Primitive Methodist Chapel. General and very sincere sympathy is felt for his parents and the family, also for Miss Dorothy Cannings daughter of Mr James Cannings of Malthouse Farm to whom the deceased was engaged and would soon have been married. Miss Cannings has received a large number of letters of condolence.

The following will be read with interest:-
No 22 General Hospital
Sept 6th 1916.

Dear Mr and Mrs Harrold,
It is the saddest of all news that I have to convey to you about your son Pte Harrold Wilts Regt who was admitted a few days ago to No 22 General Hospital. He died in hospital at midnight Monday night in spite of all the efforts that were made to save his life. I saw him twice on Monday. The first time he was asleep and the second time we had a little conversation and prayed together at the bed. He was very ill then but we all hoped that that he would recover but to our sorrow he passed away that night, deeply lamented by all who knew him. Your son has made the great sacrifice and I know that your hearts are torn and bleeding but I pray the God of all peace to comfort and console you in these hours of sorrow and distress. These are sad days, days of severe trial but we have faith that God is watching over us and guiding us slowly but surely to a great destiny. Be of good cheer your son has but gone before you and though dead he yet liveth. May God bless you, keep you and comfort you and give you strength to say “Thy will be done”. Please accept my deepest sympathy. I can imagine what a great loss it must be to you from my short friendship with your son. He was admitted by all, he suffered uncomplainingly and died full of the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. Everything that was humanly possible was done for him but God took him to Himself and He knows best.
With kindest regards and deepest sympathy.
Yours very sincerely
D.J. Jones
Chaplain to the Forces

Extract from War Diary Thursday 24th August 1916 Leipzig Redoubt

The following operation orders were received in the early morning "The Battn with the 3rd Worcester Regt on our right will join and consolidate the line R.31.C.40.65, 58-76,97.31.D.0.7., 26,35,64 & 65 - 30" Two Coys off the LN Lancs Regt were placed at the disposal of this Battn. These two Coys were used mostly for carrying ammunition etc up to the front line throughout the operation. An intense artillery bombardment was put on the line R.31.C.40.65 - R.31.D.80.25. And the enemy's defences in an area N off this line at 4.10p.m. The 7th & 75th Bde Stokes mortars bombarded the area R.31.C.40.65, 88,67, 66 40 - 55 and also point 76. At 9.10p.m. In this Battn the attack was carried out by A Coy on left, B Coy in the centre and D Coy on the right. C Coy was in support. A B & D Coys assaulted at 4.10p.m. At 4.12p.m. the artillery barrage lifted Northwards and cleared the line R.31.D.65.30, 64, 35, 26, 17, R.31.C.97.76.58. 40.65 at 4.15p.m. Progress on the extreme left was slow but on the right the position was gained and consolidated immediately. Casualties were heavy, amounting to about 320. Six officers were lost, 2nd Lieut Butler being killed. The enemy shelled out trenches heavily for the rest of the day and night. The CO Lieut Col SS Ogilvie was hit by a bomb on the leg. The wound, however, was slight and he carried on.

HATHERALL

William

Private M/224948, attached "L" Signal Battalion, Royal Army Service Corps. Died on service at No. 11 Stationary Hospital, Rouen, France, from influenza and pneumonia 9th November 1918. Born, resident and enlisted Melksham. Husband of Lilian Edwina Hatherall (nee Beck), of 35 Scotland Road, Melksham, married 25 October 1903 in Camberwell, London, three children. Attested 8th December 1915 at Melksham, aged 38 years 9 months, Motor Driver by trade, married, heoght 5 feet 6½ inches, weight 138lbs, chest 36½ inches. Buried in ST. SEVER CEMETERY EXTENSION, ROUEN, Seine-Maritime, France. Section S. Plot III. Row FF. Grave 16.

HAWKINS

Alfred

Private 8651, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died of wounds 2nd April 1917. Born Whaddon, Wiltshire, enlisted Devizes, resident Melksham.Buried in WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot VI. Row G. Grave 9.

Extract from Battalion War Diary Monday 2nd April 1917

21st Brigade attacked HENIN with 21st Division on the right. The 2nd Yorkshire Regt, assisted by two companies of the 19th Manchester Regt got in to the village, but met with strong resistance. They established and consolidated three posts, but were unable to clean the village for some time. About 9.0am "B" company 2nd Wiltshire Regt, were ordered up in support and came under orders of Col EDWARDS, commanding 2nd Yorkshire Regt. Towards nightfall the village was cleared of the enemy, and the position consolidated. During the night the 90th Brigade relieved the garrison of the village, and "B" company 2nd Wiltshire Regt, returned to their original position in the reserve line, having suffered only one casualty. Draft of 25 Or taken on strength but remained at Corps reinforcement Camp.

HAWKINS

Cornelius

Private 3/9874, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh’s (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action on 24th October 1914. Born and resident Wroughton, Wiltshire, enlisted Swindon. No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 53.

Extract from War Diary Saturday 24th October 1914 Beselare Belgium

About 5.30am ( just before daybreak ) the enemy attacked in a very superior force but were driven back with heavy loss. They attacked again, and after about 2 hours of almost continuous fighting in which the enemy lost hundreds in killed and wounded, they broke through the lines having previously contrived to come around on our left through trenches that had been vacated with the exception of about 30 NCOs and men mostly from trenches on right the remainder of Battalion were either killed or captured, a large number being captured. Cpl Alderton who had escaped from trench on left of BECELARE road together with Privates Dunn, Holister and Jones being apparently last to leave the trenches, gathered stragglers together and formed a rear guard to Brigade ambulances by opening out in skirmishing order. On arrival at 7th Divisional HQ he was met by Cpl Bull, and in the evening the APM took party numbering 26 back to Brigade HQ where they met Cpl Richens and 50 men which included about 12 Lance Corporals. The majority of these men had been driven from their trenches by artillery fire the previous evening. The Quarter master hearing that Lieut Macnamara was wounded visited him at the field hospital and afterwards about 4pm collected the 50 men above mentioned taking them to Brigade HQ and was informed that no news of Battalion had been received since early morning.

NOTE : special mention should be made of the gallant worth of Capt Comyn, the medical officer and stretcher bearers who for the last three days and nights were continuously handling wounded or burying dead.

HAWKINS

Herbert [John]

Sapper 508233, 505th Field Company, Royal Engineers. Died of wounds 9th May 1917. Born Melksham, enlisted Castle Cary, Somerset. Formerly 3223, Somerset Light Infantry. Buried in ERQUINGHEM-LYS CHURCHYARD EXTENSION, Nord, France. Plot II. Row B. Grave 9.

HAYWARD

Edwin George

Private 46799, 17th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers. Formerly 20697, Royal Army Veterinary Corps. Killed in action 7 July 1918. Aged 25. Birth registered in the July to September Quarter 1892. Born Sandy Lane, Wiltshire, resident Bromham, Wiltshire, enlisted Devizes, Wiltshire. Son of Edwin George and Elizabeth Hayward, of Manor Farm, Castle Combe, Chippenham, Wiltshire. In the 1911 census he was aged 18, born Pewsham, Chippenham, a Farmer's son working on farm, son of Edwin george and Elizabeth Hayward, resident Sandridge Farm, Bramham, Chippenham, Melksham Without, Wiltshire. In the 1901 census he was aged 8, born Wiltshire, son of Edwin G and Elizabeth hayward, resident Pitters Farm, Derrles Road, Pewsham, Chippenham, Wiltshire. Buried in LINDENHOEK CHALET MILITARY CEMETERY, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot II. Row A. Grave 5. Also commemorated on the Bromham Cemetery Memorial, Wiltshire.

HELLINGS

Sydney Hugh

[Listed as H S HELLINGS on memorial] Private 71209, 2nd Battalion Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action 31st May 1918. Born Barnstable, enlisted Trowbridge, resident Melksham. In the 1901 census he was aged 2, born Barnstaple, Devon, son of Henry and Mary H Hellings, resident 6, Hardaway Head, Barnstaple, Devon. In the 1911 census he was aged 11, born Barnstaple, Devon, at school, son of Henry and Mary helen Hellings, resident Kings Street, Melksham, Melksham Within, Wiltshire. No known grave. Commemorated on SOISSONS MEMORIAL, Aisne, France. Also commemorated on the United Reform Church Memorial.

HILL

[Arthur] Henry

Trooper 292, 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment. Killed in action 7th August 1915 at Gallipoli. Aged 22. Born 9th January 1893 in Clutton, Somerset. Emigrated to Australia 1913. Passenger sailing from Liverpool to Freemantle, Western Australia, left Liverpool 20th May 1913 aboard "Belgic" of the White Star Line. Resident Bungulla, Western Australia. Son of Asher and Rose Kate Hill, resident Lowbourne, Melksham, Wiltshire. In the 1901 census he was aged 8, born Clutton, Somerset, son of Asher and Rose K Hill, resident Station Road, Clutton, Somerset. In the 1911 census he was aged 18, born Clutton, Somerset, a Smith, resident with his grandfather, Joseph Jones, at Lowbourne, Melksham, Melksham Within, Wiltshire. No known grave. Commemorated on LONE PINE MEMORIAL, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey. Panel 10. Also commemorated on the plaque in the United Reform Church Melksham. Australian Roll of Honour Circular

HILLIER

George

Private 202086, 2nd/4th Battalion (Territorial), Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died in India 11th April 1917. Born Horton, enlisted and resident Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on KIRKEE 1914-1918 MEMORIAL, India. Face 7.

Note: The KIRKEE MEMORIAL commemorates more than 1,800 servicemen who died in India during the First World War, who are buried in civil and cantonment cemeteries in India and Pakistan where their graves can no longer be properly maintained.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser, Saturday 29 September 1917, page 4:

“Pte George Hillier joined the Wiltshire Regiment on the 11th April 1915 and later on went to India, where he arrived with his regiment on March 5th 1916. Information from the War Office was received by his friends as long ago as April Last that he had died of blood poisoning at Ahmednagar, India, but no details were given and the relatives have in the meantime anxiously waited in the hope of learning more particulars, which up to present have not come to hand.

Pte Hillier, who lived at No 9 Union Street, Melksham, and was for some years employed at the Avon India Rubber Works, was well known. He had nearly reached the age limit being over 41 when he left Melksham. Much sympathy is felt with his relatives and friends. We are asked to say that if anyone can supply any details as to the circumstances of his death his sister and brother will be very grateful."

HISCOX

Arthur George

Private 1636, 2nd/4th Battalion (Territorial), Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died in Mesopotamia 30th July 1916. Born Trowbridge, enlisted Chippenham, resident Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on BASRA MEMORIAL, Iraq. Panel 30 and 64.

HITCHINGS

Albert [Edward]

[Listed as HITCHENS on memorial] Private 22866, 21st Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Killed in action 23rd April 1917. Born and resident Melksham, enlisted Weymouth. Son of William Hitchings, of Coburg Square, Spa Road, Melksham. Formerly 10896, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Attested 8th December 1914 originally attested 1st September 1914, aged 24 years 2 months, a Labourer by tarde, born Melksham, height 5 feet 3 inches, chest 34 inches. No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 10. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial and on the United Reform Church Memorial.

JONES

Clifford [Llewllyn]

Private 8741, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 24th October 1914. Aged 22. Born Corsham, enlisted Trowbridge, resident Melksham. Son of George Jones, of 35, Bank St., Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 53.

Extract from Battalion War Diary Saturday 24th October 1914

About 5.30am ( just before daybreak ) the enemy attacked in a very superior force but were driven back with heavy loss. They attacked again, and after about 2 hours of almost continuous fighting in which the enemy lost hundreds in killed and wounded, they broke through the lines having previously contrived to come around on our left through trenches that had been vacated with the exception of about 30 NCOs and men mostly from trenches on right the remainder of Battalion were either killed or captured, a large number being captured. Cpl Alderton who had escaped from trench on left of BECELARE road together with Privates Dunn Holister and Jones being apparently last to leave the trenches, gathered stragglers together and formed a rear guard to Brigade ambulances by opening out in skirmishing order. On arrival at 7th Divisional HQ he was met by Cpl Bull, and in the evening the APM took party numbering 26 back to Brigade HQ where they met Cpl Richens and 50 men which included about 12 Lance Corporals. The majority of these men had been driven from their trenches by artillery fire the previous evening. The Quarter master hearing that Lieut Macnamara was wounded visited him at the field hospital and afterwards about 4pm collected the 50 men above mentioned taking them to Brigade HQ and was informed that no news of Battalion had been received since early morning.

NOTE : special mention should be made of the gallant worth of Capt Comyn, the medical officer and stretcher bearers who for the last three days and nights were continuously handling wounded or burying dead.

JONES

Henry [Thomas]

Private 5160, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 24th October 1914. Born Buckland, Berkshire, enlisted Deizes, resident Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 53.

KNEE

Stanley George

Private 1736 [SDGW] or 200317 [CWGC], 1st/4th Battalion (Territorial), Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment) attached 2nd Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment. Died in Mesopotamia 18th August 1916. Born, resident and enlisted Melksham. Buried in BAGHDAD (NORTH GATE) WAR CEMETERY, Iraq. Plot XXI. Row D. Grave 47. Also commemorated on a brass plaque on the choir stalls in St Michaels.

The plaque can be found at the west end of the choir stalls and takes the form of a plaque with a double indented line:

TO THE MEMORY OF
PTE STANLEY KNEE
4th WILTS REGIMENT
DIED A PRISONER OF WAR AT
BAGSHE (TURKEY) 18th AUG. 1916
AGED 23
A CHORISTER OF THIS CHURCH.

The 4th Territorial Battalion was under canvas on Salisbury Plain, in August 1914 when war broke out. The battalion was mobilised immediately and embarked for India in September under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Lord Radnor. The battalion mobilised as part of the Wessex Territorial Division, its role being to relieve the Regular battalions in India. The title 1/4th Battalion was assumed as distinct from the 2/4th or 3/4th battalions which were raised subsequently. The 1/4th proceeded to Kenilworth Castle, Delhi as guard to the Viceroy and remained there until April 1917.

Stanley George Knee (Stan) was born 20th April 1892 and was only 24 years old when he died as a Prisoner of War on the 18th August 1916. The tragic news about his death did not reach his parents, Mr and Mrs Alfred Knee of Union Street, Melksham until April 1917. Stan was formerly employed by Mr F Venton in the cycle trade and was for some years a member of the parish church choir. The vicar alluded to his death in his sermon on Sunday 22nd April 1917 and his death was notified on page 1 of the Wiltshire Gazette that week on Thursday 26th April 1917 under the headline “Died a Prisoner”. The paper gave tribute to Stanley, saying of him:-

“Remarkable quiet and modest in his general character, Private Stanley Knee had a big heart and his death is deeply regretted by everyone who knew him”.

Whilst Stan was stationed in India he wrote home saying:

“June 15th 1915”
“Dear ma,

Just a line to let you know I am still alive and keeping well. I received your letter yesterday but not the paper, this is the second week I have not had it so I expect they have got lost somewhere. So please to hear Dad is getting on alright now I hope the change will do him good. You might tell Uncle Bert when you are writing to them next time that one of the men by the name of Butler who work under him at the shop is here with us. He is one of our own men only he was in one of the other company’s so I only got to know him when we were on our way out here. We are still in the same place as we were last time I wrote to you. I received Gerts letter and PC last week also a letter and photo from Charlie which I think is a very good one and I am sure he looks more use to a horse than on the first photo he sent me. I had a letter from Billy Phillips last week, they are all having a very good time up in the hills by all accounts, he and Alf wish to be remembered to all at home. Sorry to hear Bert Lane has been wounded I hope it is not very bade and hope he will soon get over it. How are Uncle George’s boys getting on out there? – do you ever get any new of them now I should like to know if you do. I don’t thing I have any more to say now. Just remember me to all the people and my love to all at home. Hope you are all keeping well.

Your Loving Son

Stan”

During Stan’s time in India Lieutenant T.N. Arkell lead a draft of the Wiltshire’s to serve with the 2nd Dorset’s in the Persian Gulf. It was with this Regiment that Stan was to serve with until General Townshend surrenderd his army at Kut to the Turkish Army and Stan was taken as a Prisoner of War. In Mesopotamia, at the southern extremities of the Ottoman Empire, 25,000 British and Indian troops were besieged by 80,000 Turks in Kut. The siege began on the 5th December the defenders held out for 147 days, waiting in vain for reinforcements to reach them from Basra. The relief force itself was under constant attack as it tried to reach Kut; in a battle at Sheib Sa’ad more than 4.000 of the relieving force were killed or wounded. In Mesopotamia the British were fighting a steady and harsh battle against the Turks, seeking to reach the besieged garrison at Kut, almost unnoticed amid the more accessible war news of the Western Front. The relief force, which Kut was so desperately awaiting, was fighting its way northward, encountering continual Turkish resistance, masterminded by the 72 year old German, Field Marshall von der Goltz. At the battle of Wadi on 5th January 1916, more than 200 British and Indian troops were killed and over 1,400 wounded. Casualties were even higher at the battle of Hana eight days later, where 2,600 of the attackers were either killed or wounded. The battle of Hana was being fought in the hope of relieving the men besieged at Kut. In Kut itself, in contrast to the terrible heat of Summer, sleet and any icy wind worsened the plight and morale of the troops, and the many wounded for whom no medical treatment was immediately available. Lying in ankle deep pools amidst a sea of mud, the men suffered terribly. In any history of sufferings endured by the British Army, the collective misery of that night 21st January 1916 is probably without parallel since the Crimea.

On 7th March 1916 the British attempted once more to break through to the besieged soldiers in Kut. The relief force had steadily worked its way forward to a point where it could see the Minarets in the besieged city. However the attack that took place at Dujaila a mere two miles from Kut, failed; 3,500 of the attackers were killed or wounded and the General commanding the relief force,

General Aylmer, was sacked. The relief force fell back and the siege of Kut continued relentlessly.

On the 29th April 1916 the British and Indian forces surrenderd. This victory for the Turks was as great as the one three months previous when the allies evacuated the Gallipoli peninsula. Upon surrender Townshends army was lead into captivity, a total of 9,000 troops. Of these 2,500 of the badly wounded were allowed their freedom in return for a similar number of Turkish prisoners.

On 30th April the march into captivity began towards Anatolia. The prisoners were very badly treated during the forced march and were subject to beatings for falling down or falling behind, many had had their boots stolen and were forced to march barefoot. Food and fresh water were not supplied to the prisoners and many died on the march. On their arrival in Baghdad on the 18th May a shocked American consul, Mr Brissell paid money to the Turks to send to have the worst 500 soldiers sent to a hospital in Basra. Of the 2,500 British soldiers captured at Kut over 1,750 died whilst on the march or due to the appalling conditions they endured at the prisoner of war camps.

Private Stanley George Knee was one those men who endured these atrocious conditions for the final months of his short life. He finally died from enteritis. Stan’s body now rests in the Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery.

LINTHORN

Bertram Charles

Private 5774, 12th (West Somerset Yeomanry) Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. Killed in action 4th May 1917. No known grave. Commemorated on SAVONA MEMORIAL, Italy.

The SS Transylvania was a passenger liner of the Cunard subsidiary Anchor Line. She was torpedoed and sunk on May 4th 1917 by the German U-boat U-63 while carrying Allied troops to Egypt and sank with a loss of 412 lives. She was completed in 1914 just prior to the outbreak of World War 1 and she was taken over for service as a troopship upon completion. She was designated by the Navy to carry 200 officers and 2,860 men, besides crew, when she was commissioned in May 1915. She was carrying nearly this number when she left Marseilles for Alexandria on May 3rd, 1917, with an escort of two Japanese destroyers, the Matsu and the Sakaki. At 10 a.m. on the 4th the Transylvania was struck in the port engine room by a torpedo from a submarine. At the time the ship was on a zig zag course at a speed of 14 knots, being two and a half miles S. of Cape Vado, Gulf of Genoa. She at once headed for the land two miles distant, while the Matsu came alongside to take off the troops, the Sakaki meanwhile steaming around to keep the submarine submerged. Twenty minutes later a torpedo was seen coming straight for the destroyer alongside, which saved herself by going astern at full speed.

The torpedo then struck the Transylvania and she sank very quickly, less than an hour having elapsed since she was first hit. Lt. Brennell, one other officer and ten men of the crew, 29 military officers and 373 other ranks were killed.Many bodies of victims were recovered at Savona, and buried two days later, in a special plot in the town cemetery. Others are buried elsewhere in Italy, France, Monaco and Spain. Savona Town Cemetery contains 85 Commonwealth burials from the First World War, all but two of them casualties from the Transylvania. Within the cemetery is the Savona Memorial which commemorates a further 275 casualties who died when the Transylvania sank, but whose graves are unknown.

LOCHHEAD

Andrew

Private 2857, 1st/4th Battalion (Territorial), Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment) attached Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Died in Mesopotamia 6th July 1916. Born Glasgow, enlisted West Down, Devon, resident Melksham. Son of Andrew Lochhead, of Baxwood Cottage, Forest, Melksham, Wilts. Buried in AMARA WAR CEMETERY, Iraq. Plot IX. Row J. Grave 15.

Another victim of the war, one, who although not killed with a German or Turkish bullet, has sacrificed his young and promising life in the service of his country, is Pte Andrew Lochhead of the 2/4th Wilts Regiment, who was serving in Mesopotamia.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser, Saturday 22 July 1916, page 4:

Pte Lochhead, who was 25 years of age, was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Andrew Lochhead of Boxwood Cottage, Forest, Melksham. By trade he was a printer and served his apprenticeship under the late Mr A.W. Jolliffe at Melksham, afterwards working for Mr Woodward of Devizes and subsequently being in situations at Cheltenham and at Guernsey. In his earlier days he was a member of the Melksham Shooting Club and became a crack shot, winning a number of prizes in competitions. Following in the steps of his father, he remained true to temperance principles, and while at Cheltenham joined a lodge of Good Templars. Wherever he went he won and retained the esteem and respect of all he came into contact with. After the war had broken out he returned to Melksham and joined the Wilts Regiment and went with others to India some 18 months since. He subsequently volunteered for active service with the Mesopotomia expedition. He was attached to the 1st Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry and did his full share until he became a victim of the fell disease which has proved fatal in many cases. About three weeks ago his parents received official notification from the war office that he was in hospital under treatment for enteric fever. On Tuesday news was received that he died in hospital at Basra on July 6th. Mr and Mrs Lochhead and family will receive the deep and sincere sympathy of all who know them in their sad bereavement, the second they have experienced under similar circumstances, their eldest son, John, having died of enteric while serving in the Boer War. Their only other son is Cpl George Lochhead of the Royal Engineers, now a motor cycle despatch rider in France. We join with their Melksham and other friends in the hope that he will return safely from his responsible and perilous duties.

LODER

William Victor

Second Lieutenant, 4th Battalion (Territorial), Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed by artillery barrage 10th May 1918. Aged 28. Baptised 8th February 1888 in Melksham, son of James and Sarah Eliza Loder, of Melksham. Son of James and Bessie Loder, of 47, Roundpond, Melksham, Wilts. In the 1891 census he was aged 2, born Melksham, Wiltshire, son of James and Sarah E Loder, resident Woodrew Road, Melksham, Wiltshire. In the 1911 census he was aged 22, born Melksham, Wiltshire, a Draughtsman, boarding at 28, Ansdell Road, Peckham S.E., Camberwell, London & Surrey. Buried in RAMLEH WAR CEMETERY, Israel and Palestine (including Gaza). Section N. Grave 23.

Extract from Battalion War Diary Friday 10th May 1918

1320 to 1400. The enemy put heavy barrage on to the forward slope of HILL 1191 and the WADI LEHHAM, including our bivouac area, inflicting a number of casualties by timed HE.
Our casualties were 1 Officer 2/Lt W V Loder Killed, 2 Officers Capt J G Lockhart and Lt B K B Hall wounded.
OR 6 killed and 9 wounded.
Three OR wounded but remained on duty.

MALE

Roy Douglas

Private 20441, 1st/4th Battalion (Territorial), Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action in Egypt 13th November 1917. Aged 25. Born Limpley Stoke, enlisted and resident Melksham. Son of Ronald and Alice Male, of Shurnhold, Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on JERUSALEM MEMORIAL, Israel. Panel 44. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser - Saturday 1 December 1917, page 4:

MELKSHAM.
DESCENDANTS OF CRIMEAN VETERANS.
Five Soldier Brothers: Two Killed.

Official intimation has been received of the death in action on November 13th in Palestine of Private Roy Male, Wilts Regiment. Son of Mr and Mrs. Male, of Shurnhold. The deceased joined the Territorials in 1913 and went to India in October 1914. He was the fourth son, and one of five brothers serving in the war.

Previous to joining up he was in the employ of the Avon Rubber Co., he was also a member of “Spa” L.O.G.T. This the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Male to be killed in action, his brother Walter, also of the Wilts Territorials, being killed at Bagdad (sic), in March of this year.

Two brothers are still serving in the Royal Navy and one in the Royal Marine Light Infantry. The father is an old Volunteer and both grandfathers were Crimean veterans, one of them still living.

At the weekly meeting of the “Spa” Lodge on Tuesday evening a vote of sympathy and condolence was passed with the family of Bro. Male.

News has also been received of the death action two other employees of the Avon Robber Company.

Private John Alford, who was about 30 years of age, and lived at Whitley, had been employed by the works for some years, and was well known. He joined the Army in the early part of the present year and served with the Wilts Regt. in France, where he was wounded a few days ago, and died shortly after. He leaves a widow and a child.

Private George Curnick, of Beanacre, another former employee of the Company, joined the Forces in April last, at the age of 18, and after serving for a few months with the Willa Regt. in France, has been killed in action.

Much sympathy is felt with the bereaved families.

MALE

Walter Lewin

Private 202009, 1st/4th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. Killed by bomb in Mesopotamia 31st March 1917. Member of the The Workers' Union, Melksham Branch. Buried in BAGHDAD (NORTH GATE) WAR CEMETERY, Iraq. Plot X. Row H. Grave 1. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser

“Pte Walter Male who death occurred in Mesopotamia was only 21 years of age and single. He was a son of Mr Ronald Male of Shurnold and prior to the war was employed at the Avon India Rubber Works. Like thousands of others on the outbreak of hostilities he showed his patriotism by joining the Army, entering the Wiltshire regiment at Trowbridge in September 1914. Subsequently he proceeded to India and afterwards volunteered for service in the Persian Gulf. Recently he had been attached to the Hampshire Regiment. A letter received by his parents on Wednesday from the Commanding Officer states that he was killed by the accidental explosion of a shell in Mesopotamia on March 31st. Pte Walter Male showed himself a true scion of a good military and naval stock. His father, although never in the regular service, was for a number of years in the old Volunteer Force, and both his grandfathers were in the service for many years on his fathers side in the Royal Navy and on his mother’s in the Royal Marine Artillery. He leaves three brothers in the Service, on in the Royal marine Artillery, who has done duty at Delhi and Malta, one in the Royal Field Auxillary Forces, and one a stoker in the Royal Navy.”

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser - Saturday 30 March 1918, page 4:

In and tender memory of Private Walter Lewin Male, 1/4 Hants Regiment, sixth and dearly loved son of Ronald and Alice Hale, of Sburnbold. Melksham. who was killed at Baghdad, on March 31,1917, aged 21.

God's Anger touched him, and be slept.

Ever remembered his sorrowing Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters. In ever loving memory of our dear brother.

MANNING

Geoffrey Hayward

Lance Corporal 200816 (was 2454), 2nd/4th Battalion (Territorial), Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action in Mesopotamia 6th April 1916. Aged 24. Born Melksham, Wiltshire, resident Bristol, enlisted Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Son of Arthur and Mary Manning, of High St., Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on BASRA MEMORIAL, Iraq. Panel 30 and 64. Also commemorated on a plaque on the east aisle wall of St Michael and All Angels.

The plaque takes the form of white tiles with mosaic style border with an inscription in black lettering and a cross at the top, centre, of the memorial and badge of the Wiltshire Regiment at the bottom, centre.

TO THE LOVED MEMORY
OF GEOFFREY
HAYWARD MANNING
WHO GAVE HIS LIFE FOR
HIS COUNTRY IN
MESOPOTAMIA
6 APRIL 1916 AGED 24
THEY SHALL GROW NOT OLD AS
WE THAT ARE LEFT GROW OLD,
AGE SHALL NOT WEARY THEM
NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN
AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE
SUN AND IN THE MORNING
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

MASLEN

Ernest William

Private 26200, 5th Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died of wounds in Mesopotamia 1st April 1917. Aged 22. Born Melksham, enlisted Trowbridge, resident Chippenham. Son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Maslen, of Coburg Square, Spa Rd., Melksham; husband of Mrs. Rose Sparrow (formerly Maslen), of 43, Factory Lane, Chippenham. No known grave. Commemorated on BASRA MEMORIAL, Iraq. Panel 30 and 64.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser

“Private Ernest William Maslen was the youngest son of Mr Charles Maslen of Coburg Square, and was until last year the local manager for Eastmans Ltd. He was called up for service in June 1916 and joined the Wiltshire Regiment and in November was sent out to the Persian Gulf. So far as could be learned from the little news received of him he seemed to be getting on all right and his parents and young wife were anxiously looking forward to the time when having doen his share towards the victory which is so eagerly anticipated he would return to take up his peaceful duties. These hopes, however, received a rude shock on Wednesday when a letter from the Commanding Officer informed Mrs Laslen that her husband died in Mesopotamia on April 1st from wounds received in action. Pte Maslen was within a day of his 22nd birthday, and his little boy at the time he joined the forces, was only a few weeks old.”

MERRETT

Arthur Stanley

Private 44197, 10th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. Died of wounds 27th April 1918. Born Broughton Gifford, enlisted Devizes, resident Melksham. Buried in LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot XXVIII. Row C. Grave 7A.

MILNER

Alfred Harry

Driver 18345, 15th Division Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery. Died 6th July 1917. Aged 24. Son of William and Elizabeth Georgina Milner, of Coburg Lodge, Spa Rd., Melksham, Wilts. Buried in BRANDHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot I. Row L. Grave 48. Also commemorated on the United Reform Church Memorial.

MISSEN, MM

Ernest [William]

Private 10894, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 9th April 1917. Aged 24. Born and resident Melksham, enlisted Devizes. Son of Frank and Ellen Missen, of "Longleigh", Spa Rd., Melksham. Awarded the Military Medal (M.M.). No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 7.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser

Pte Ernest Missen was the son of Mr and Mrs Frank Missen of Longleigh, Spa Road, Melksham, and in civil life gained the respect of all with whom he was brought into contact. When the war broke out he joined the Wiltshire Regiment and the qualities which gained him the esteem of his associates in civil life speedily gained for him the respect of officers and comrades as a true and brave soldier. When he lived at Melksham he was connected with the Wesleyan Church and was formerly a scholar in the Sunday school. For several years he was in the employ of Messrs T Scott and Son as a Painter and decorator. Since entering the army he had spent over two years in France. He was once wounded but recovered and again entered the fighting line. He had gained the Military medal for distinguished conduct. The news of his death and the regard in which he was held by his comrades was conveyed to his relatives in the following letter to his mother dated France 16th April:

Dear Mrs Missen: It is with very great regret that I am writing to inform you of the death of your son no 10894 Pte E Missen. He was killed in action on the 9th April 1917, during an attack on an enemy position. He was killed by a shell and his death must have been absolutely painless. I can hardly express in words the sorrow I feel at his loss as he was a splendid soldier and always did his duty thoroughly and without fear. I wish to offer you my most heartfelt sympathy in your great loss. He will be greatly missed by the officers N.C.O’s and men of this company, by all of whom he loved and respected.

Yours very sincerely.
WILLIAM B WOOD 2nd Lieut.
A brother to the deceased solider is serving in Salonika.

MISSEN

Frederick

Private 26659, 11th Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales's (Royal Berkshire Regiment). Died on service 19th February 1917. Aged 39. Born and enlisted Melksham. Husband of Ruth Bodman (formerly Missen), of The Common, Broughton Gifford, Melksham. Buried in DERNANCOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, Somme, France. Plot V. Row C. Grave 32. Also commemorated on Old Broughton Road Baptist Church Memorial

OGLE

Harry [Charles]

Rifleman R/38072, 7th Battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps. Died of wounds 21st March 1918. His parents lived in Canon Square and were involved in the church choir. No known grave. Commemorated on the POZIERES MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Panels 61 to 64.

PARK

Sydney Alfred

Private 24520, 6th (Wiltshire Yeomanry) Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died 28th September 1918. Aged 21. Born and resident Melksham, enlisted Trowbridge. Son of George and Sarah Park, of 30, Scotland Rd., Melksham. Buried in COLOGNE SOUTHERN CEMETERY, Koln (Cologne), Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany. Plot XIII. Row B. Grave 8. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial

Extract from Battalion War Diary

Narrative of OPERATIONS, 6TH Battn. Wiltshire Regt. at ST. ELOI, 29.9.18

At 2.30a.m 28th September, the battalion assembled in OLD FRENCH TRENCH VOORMEZEELE area disposed as follows for attack on German positions at St. Eloi.
FRONT LINE
'A' Coy. On left with 20th Battalion. Middlesex Regt. on their left.
'C' Coy on right with 14th Battalion. A & S.H. on right.
Along the line of the OLD FRENCH TRENCH. 02.a.40.60 to 0.32.d.00.85.
'B' Coy in support
'D' Coy in Reserve in VOORMEZEELE SWITCH TRENCH from road at 0.31.d.30.30. To 31.d.80.90.
Battalion Headquarters at 0.1.b.1.5
BARRAGE
At 2,30a.m a heavy barrage was opened along the front of the BELGIAN ARMY. At 5.25a.m. Barrage opened on the Battalion front, and the Battalion moved forward to the attack reaching their first objective at 6.20a.m., where a pause was made while the ground in front of and at final objective was searched by the barrage while Infantry were consolidating.
At. 7.21a.m the advance was resumed and the Battalion reached their final objective the line 0.2.d.45.00. EIKHOF FARM.
During the whole of these operations the battalion was under Artillery and Heavy Machine Gun fire and had numerous strong points to assault which they carried with determination killing and capturing 200 of the enemy, 2 guns, 15 machine guns, and 4 trench mortars and losing 1 Officer 7 Other Ranks killed and 45 Other Ranks wounded and missing.
This line was held till the evening of 29th September when the Battalion was withdrawn on 34th Division taking up positions along DAMSTRASSE.
G.F.E.. Rapson Lieut.Col.
Comdg 6/Wilts Regt.
30.9.18

PAYNE

Francis Edgar

Lance Corporal 203134, 6th Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 11th October 1917. Aged 23. Born Chilmark, enlisted and resident Melksham. Son of David James and Sarah Jane Payne, of 64, Church Lane, Forest, Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on TYNE COT MEMORIAL, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Blegium. Panel 119 to 120. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser

Lance Corporal Francis Edgar Payne was killed in France by a shell on Wednesday October 10th. He was 23 years of age and belonged to Melksham being a son of Mr and Mrs D.J. Payne who have charge of the Conservative Club. He was formerly employed at the Avon Rubber Works. For some time before the war he was in the Wiltshire Yeomanry. He was afterward attached to the Wiltshire Regiment and served in France. At the end of his Five years term he came home in July last on leave rejoining and returning to France in the following month. The news of his death which was received with great regret by his many friends Melksham came to his parents and family through a comrade. A brother of the deceased is now serving with the North Staffordshire regiment in India.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser - Saturday 27 October 1917, page 7:

HIS LIFE FOR HIS COUNTRY.

The long record those belonging to Melksham whose lives have been laid down in the defence of the country in the present war has received still another addition, the hero being Lance-Corpl. Francis Edgar Payne, aged 23, Wiltshire Regiment, who was killed in France by a shell Wednesday, October 10th.

Lance-Corpl. Payne, who was well known, was a son of Hr. D. J. Payne, caretaker the Conservative Club, and before the war was employed at the Avon Rubber Works. He served five yeare in the Wiltshire Yeomanry, and was for two years in France. In July, of the present year, he came home on leave, returning to France on August 10th, just two months before his end.

On Wednesday a memorial service was held at the Parish Church. The Vicar (Rev. Canon Wyld) officiated, and delivered a suitable address. During the service the deceased’s favourite hymn, "On the resurrection morn,” was sung. Among the relatives and friends present were Mr. and Mrs. D. J. Payne (father and mother). Mrs. Carter and Miss Payne (sisters), Mr. Carter (brother-in-law). Miss Giles (deceased's fiance), and Mrs. Giles (Birmingham), Miss Hobbs (North Bradley), Mrs. H. Collett, Corpl. and Mrs. R. Collett.

One brother of the deceased is serving with the North Staffordshire Regiment in India, and another is in the Metropolitan Police Force but was unable to be present at the service.

Mr. and Mrs. Payne and family have received many expressions of sympathy, among them being letters from Bishop of Salisbury, Mrs. and Miss Warren, tbe Committee of the Church,

MR. & MRS. D. J. PAYNE & Family, wish to return their heatfelt thanks to the many friends who have shown sympathy with them in the the loss of their son Lance-Corporal F. E. Payne, killed in action in France.

Bank Street, Melksham,

PEARCE

Robert Henry

Private PLY/2031(S), 1st Royal Marine Battalion, 63rd Royal Naval Division, Royal Marine Light Infantry. Killed in action 26th October 1917. Member of The Workers' Union, Melksham Branch. No known grave. Commemorated on TYNE COT MEMORIAL, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 1 and 162A.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser

Private R.H. Pearce Royal Marine Light Infantry who was killed in action in France on October 26th Last at the age of 32, he was the dearly loved eldest son of Mr and Mrs H Pearce of Broughton Road, Melksham, and the favourite brother of Mrs G.W. Lewis of 4, Orchard Place, Weston Super Mare. He is deeply mourned by his eldest sister (Sis), his mother-in-law, and nephews Leonard and Reggie.

A letter was received from an officer says Pte Pearce was a thoroughly good soldier and would be much missed by his officers and comrades.

Mrs Lewis to whom the news of his death came as a terrible blow, had not seen her brother for over four years and did not know he was in the Army till in August last a resident of Melksham on a trip to Weston-super-Mare, accidentally met her and told her he was in France. Efforts were made to secure his address and when after some little delay this had been ascertain Mrs Lewis despatched a parcel to him, but two days later he was killed and it consequently never reached him.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser - Saturday 25 October 1919, page 3:

In everlasting memory of our dearest son Private R. H. Pearce. R.M.L.I., who fell in action at Ypres, Oct. 26th, 1917, aged 32.

... ...

Sadly missed, and never will be forgotten by his loving Mother and father.
Broughton Road, Melksham, Wilts.

In everlasting memory of Private R.H. Pearce, R.M.L.I., who fell in action at Ypres, Oct. 26th, 1917, aged 32.

... ...

Ever remembered by his sorrowing Sisters, Emma, Winnie, and Lily, and his Brother Ernie, serving in India.
Broughton Road, Melksham, Wilts.

In ever loving memory my dear brother. Private H. Pearce. R.M.L L, who fell in action Ypres, Oct. 26th. 1917, aged 32.

... ...

Sadly missed and ever remembered by his loving Sister Lizzie and Brother in law and Niece, Emma.
Broughton Road, Melksham. Wilts.

In ever loving memory of Private R. H. Pearce R.M.L.I., who was killed in action at Ypre, Oct. 26th. 1917, aged 32.

... ...

F'ondly remembered by his Brother, Sister-in-law and Nieces, and Brother-in-law, Wally.
Beanacre. Melkssham.

In ever loving memorv of my dearest brother, Robert Henry Pearce, of the 1st R.M.L.I., who was killed in action in Belgium, Oct. 26th. 1917, aged 32.

... ...

From his affectionate Sister Sis. Brother-in-law, and Nephews, Leonard, Reggie, and dear little Bobby.
Weston-super-Mare.

PHILLIPS

[Sidney] George

Rifleman 7657 (SDGW) or 2657 (CWGC), 1st/9th (County of London) Battalion (Queen Victoria's Rifles), London Regiment. Killed in action 14th September 1916. Aged 19. Born at Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Enlisted and resident Melksham. Son of Henry and Bertha Phillips, of Avon Cottage, 45, Bath Rd., Melksham. Formerly 5713, 8th Battalion 9Post Office Rifles), London Regiment. No known grave. Commemorated on THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 9 C. Also commemorated on a Brass plaque in the choir stalls at St Michaels Church.

TO THE MEMORY OF
RIFLEMAN GEORGE PHILLIPS
POST OFFICE RIFLES
KILLED IN ACTION FRANCE
SEPT 14TH 1916 AGED 19
A CHORISTER OF THIS CHURCH.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser

One more young and promising Melksham life has been laid down in the great fight for the cause of humanity and justice. The news was received with much regret, the deceased George Phillips of the Post Office Rifles, being well known and extremely popular. He was a son of Mr Harry Phillips, Bath Road and was only 19 years of age. He enlisted in Melksham and was sent to France at the beginning of July. An official intimation was received this week from the War Office that he was killed in action on the 14th September.

The sad news was also conveyed in a sympathetic letter received from a friend in the same corps which spoke in eulogised terms of the deceased and expressed the regret of him comrades at his death as well has their sympathy with the family in their bereavement.

Before joining the Army Phillips was a postman having been in the postal service for some years, commencing a telegraph boy and his genial and obliging nature towards all with whom he came in contact made him a general favourite.

He was also a valued member of the Parish Church choir, in his younger days as a boy treble singer and later as tenor. He possessed an excellent voice which he well knew how to use. He was formerly a scholar the National school and for a time belonged to the Church Lads Brigade.

As a mark of respect to his memory a memorial service was held at the Parish Church on Tuesday afternoon, there being a large attendance of friends and sympathisers. The Vicar (Rev Canon Wyld) conducted, the Rev H.J. Webb and the choir being also present. Portions of the burial service were read, special reference to the circumstances being made in the prayers and the hymns selected were “Through all the changing scenes of Life” “Nearer my God to thee” and “Now the labourer’s task is over”. Miss Wyld presided at the organ and at the close rendered Beethoven’s Funeral March. Two brothers of the deceased are serving with the forces. Viz John Phillips with the Royal Engineers in Egypt and William with the Wilts in India.

PROSSER

Frank [Cecil]

Lance Corpoal 27798, 8th Battalion, Prince Albert's (SOmerset Light Inafntry). Killed in action 14th July 1917. Born and enlisted Trowbirdge, resident Melksham. Formerly 24212, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 21.

REYNOLDS

Herbert Nelson

Private 23661, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 18th October 1916. Born Trowbridge, enlisted and resident Melksham. Buried in WARLENCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot II. Row D. Grave 14. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial and the Old Broughton Road Baptist Church Memorial

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser

For many months past his parents and friends have been anxiously awaiting further news respecting Private Herbert Nelson Reynolds.

Private Reynolds was the only son of Mr and Mrs H Reynolds of Scotland Road, Melksham. He was formerly employed at the Avon India Rubber Works. He was called up in the early part of 1916 and sent to France in June of that year with the
Wiltshire regiment. He had been reported as missing since October 18th last and official information has now been received that he was killed but no details are given of the circumstances or even as to the date of his death.

Private Reynolds parents formerly resided in Trowbridge and several relatives are still living in the town.

Extract from War Diary Wednesday 18th October 1916

The artillery shelled heavily the enemy positions until 2.40am when the bombardment was intense. Previous to this hour C & D coys were formed up in waves, each company having two platoons in the first wave and two in the second wave. Both of these were in advance of the front line . A coy formed the third wave, lying behind the parados of our front line, and B coy were ready to move up from support line. At 3.40am the 21st Brigade attacked, the 2nd Wilts on the left, the 18th Kings L'pools in the centre and the 2nd Yorks on the right, with the 19th Manchester’s in support. Very little information forthcoming. Apparently C & D coys reached their objectives but failed to take them. 2/LT EW WARE wounded and missing, 2/LT SG HINE wounded; LT FN VERRAN and 2/LT DI LYALL missing, all of D company. 2/LT EB GARNETT missing, 2/LT IC TRENCH, VW VENABLES, AEL CRAVEN wounded, all of C coy. A coy advanced but were held up by wire and were eventually driven back. 2/LTS HT Newton and HL REEVES wounded. B coy advanced but lost direction and part of the coy under Capt VH CLAY crossed the SUNKEN ROAD and got into the first German lines. They bombed up a communication trench , but were driven back before a block could be made.

They again bombed up the trench but were again driven back on account with shortage in bombs. On being reinforced by the Cameron’s of the 26th Brigade 9th Division this trench was captured and a block made. The first line trench captured in conjunction with the 9th Division, of which we held a part, and was consolidated. Capt VH CLAY was killed during the consolidation, and 2/Lt JH THOMPSON was killed during the advance. 2/Lt EA CARRINGTON volunteered to seek information as regards the position of our companies some while after the attack started. He did not return and parties sent in search afterwards found no trace of him. 2/LT RL SCULLY who acted as liaison officer was buried by a shell and consequently had to be sent down suffering from the shock. Information did not arrive and it was understood that the attack had failed on the whole of the 21st Brigade front but that the 9th Division had gained all their objectives.

Our estimated casualty report read: 14 officers 350 other ranks. The remainder of the Battalion held the old British front line from the SUNKEN ROAD to the junction of TURKLANE and FRONTLINE. The trenches were by this time in an appalling state owing to the bad weather. The 19th Manchester Regt took over the front line from TURKLANE to the right.

RICHARDS

Frederick

Private 203143, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died of wounds 2nd April 1918. Born, resident and enlisted Melksham. Buried in ST. SOUPLET BRITISH CEMETERY, Nord, France. Plot I. Row G. Grave 35.

Extract from War Diary for Tuesday 2nd April 1918

Quiet day. Lieut S COLLIER rejoined from X Corps Signalling School and a few men from leave. Classes of instruction were formed for Lewis Gunners and Signallers. Casualties during the recent action (commencing on 21/3/18) were:- Officers Killed. Capt WB GARDNER, MC. Wounded. Lieut CL USHER, 2/Lieuts K D'O HUSBAND EH CAPP and WGE WILTSHIRE. Missing - Lieut Col AVP MARTIN, Capts AO CLAYTON, LC MAKEHAM and HH MARTYN, Lieuts TW GLYNN and RMP BEAVEN, 2/Lieuts JFF McQUEEN, RH EDWARDS, EW APPS, AR MOORE, P KING-SMITH, WR GOSLING, SS MILLER, EL HALL, CD BAKER, BM IVISON and HJ HULBERT. Other ranks. Killed 4 Wounded 9 missing 597.

RICKETTS

Albert Charles

Private 55040, 13th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. Killed in action 27th August 1918. Born Yeovil, Somerset, enlisted Devizes, resident Melksham. Brother of William S. Ricketts, of 17, Mudford Rd., Yeovil, Somerset. No known grave. Commemorated on VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 7. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial and on the United Reform Church Memorial.

RICKETTS

Charles Stanley

[Listed as Stanley Charles on memorial and SDGW] Gunner B2/164012, Royal Artillery. Died in United Kingdom 5th October 1916. Aged 34. Born Yeovil, Somerset, enlisted Melksham. Husband of Margaret A. Ricketts, of 19, West End. Melksham, Wilts. Buried in MILTON CEMETERY, PORTSMOUTH, Hampshire. Plot I. Row &. Grave 58. Photograph of grave available on Portsmouth War Memorial web site.

ROGERS

E

Sapper WR/178698, Royal Engineers. Died 10th March 1919. Aged 53. Husband of Emily Rogers, of 45, Dunch Rd., Melksham. Buried in SHAW (CHRIST CHURCH) CHURCHYARD, MELKSHAM WITHOUT, Wiltshire. Grave A.

SAWYER

Frederick John

Lance Corporal 2301, 2nd/4th Battalion (Territorial), Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action in Mesopotamia 22nd November 1915. Born and resident Melksham, enlisted Durrington. No known grave. Commemorated on BASRA MEMORIAl, Iraq. Panel 30 and 64. Also commemorated on the United Reform Church memorial

The following is a transcript of a letter sent to the father of Pte Sawyer:

Poona, India,
7th February 1915.

Sir,
I expect you will be surprised to hear from me but as Quartermaster-Sergt of his Company and a friend of your son I thought I would write a few lines to say how deeply we deplore his loss. Personally I feel it as much as if I had lost a brother. I knew him well at Marlborough and since we have served together our friendship has grown and I have had no deeper shock throughout the war than when I heard of his death, and so it was throughout our Company - to a man. They liked him and respected him. He had led an absolutely clean life since he had joined us, and no man had heard a foul word pass his lips. As a soldier he was one of the best, if not the best, L/Corporals in our Regiment. Keen and intelligent and a good athlete, he excelled in all he undertook, and he would have undoubtedly been promoted long ere this had he not so gallantly volunteered to serve his Country in the Gulf. I hardly like to tell you of the way he met his death, but I feel that I must, for it was one of the most heroic acts in that dreadful engagement. A Col-Sergt had been badly wounded, and Fred was bandaging his wound with his field bandages. As he was dong so a bullet struck him in the left forearm, almost severing the arm but still he kept on with his act of mercy, another bullet struck him in the thigh, but utterly disregarding his wounds he tried to complete the task but another bullet struck him in the stomach and he dropped. His comrades covered him and a Sergt of ours with overcoats and endeavoured to find an ambulance; in the confusion it was hours before it reached them and when it arrived they had both gone to their rest. So died a true hero. I hope God, in his mercy, will give you strength to bear up under your trouble. From what I know of Fred, there was no way in which he would sooner have died than in defence of his country.

By army regulations his kit was sold at Poona early in last week, and realised Rs 55-4-0 = in English money £3-19-0. This has been transferred to your son's account in the Oxford and Bucks L.I. Regiment and it will eventually reach you. I am enclosing Fred's letter and a pocket testament which we took from his kit. If you can spare time I should be glad of a line to say that they reached you.

My Company Sergt-Major and I join in tendering you our deepest sympathy in your great loss.

I beg to remain, Sir,
Yours sincerely,
A.R. Wyatt. Coy. 2.M.S.
'C' Company,
2/4th Wiltshire Regiment.

[Transcript courtesy and copyright © Mr Richard Staniforth]

SCARLETT

Walter

Corporal 1131, 2nd Battalion, Leinster Regiment formerly 13254, Wiltshire Regiment. Killed in action 7th May 1916. Aged 35. Born Collingbourne Wilts, enlisted Devizes. Husband of Florence Mary Scarlett, of Beanacre, Melksham, Wilts. Buried in RATION FARM (LA PLUS DOUVE) ANNEXE, Hainaut, Belgium. Plot II. Row C. Grave 7.

2nd Leinster's were part of the 73rd Brigade. In April 1916 they were in the line in front of Messines which was quiet. On 29/30 April there was a gas attack by the Germans followed by a German assault. Purpose of the raid was to destroy a mine shaft being prepared by North Staffordshire's of 72nd Bde. 2nd Leinster’s suffered 55 casualties of which 19 were gassed and less than half a dozen killed. This was a new type of gas and some men died who had been affected and took exercise within 24 hours of the attack.

SHADWELL

Frederick William

Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class M/10909, H.M.S. "Glatton," Royal Navy. Killed when his ship's midships 6-inch magazine had a low-order explosion that ignited the cordite stored there and the ship had to be sunk as it was close to an ammunition ship 16 September 1918; 60 men were killed outright and 124 were injured of whom 19 later died of their burns. Aged 26. Born 28th November 1892 in Melksham. Son of Frederick and Harriet Shadwell, of Church Walk, Melksham, Wilts. Buried in GILLINGHAM (WOODLANDS) CEMETERY, Kent. Naval Section 15. Grave 604-806.

Frederick William Shadwell was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs F.G. Shadwell of Church Walk Melksham. He was 26 years of age and had served in the Royal Navy for almost four years. Formerly he was in the employ of Messrs Spencer and Co, engineers and was one of the first to volunteer for naval service after the outbreak of war. He was well known and very popular in Melksham having for some time been a regular player in the Town Football Club. He served for some years as a member of the Church Lads Brigade and was also in the Parish Church Choir. Much sympathy is felt for his parents whose younger son is also in the navy. Another brother was accidentally drowned whilst bathing some years ago in Melksham.

Shortly after arriving at Dover, having taken on ammunition elsewhere, there was an accidental explosion in the 6" magazine that soon threatened to spread to the 9.2" magazines - if this had happened the resulting explosion would have devastated much of the port area. Crews were sent onboard to aid the existing crew in trying to contain the blaze and, when this proved impossible, to open the sea cocks to flood the magazines. Unfortunately this wasn't totally successful and Vice Admiral Roger Keyes gave the order to have HMS Glatton torpedoed to avert the imminent catastrophe. There wasn't time to remove many of the sailors who were still struggling valiantly at their task, and they perished when Glatton was sunk. The wreck remained in Dover Harbour until the 1920's, when it was salvaged and the bodies finally recovered - they were transported to Chatham for identification and then interred in Woodlands Cemetery, Gillingham.

SHARPE

Harry

[Spelt SHARP on SDGW & CWGC] Acting 2nd Corporal 28855, 25th Army Troops Company, Royal Engineers. Died 11th November 1917. Aged 27. Born and resident melksham, enlisted Bath. Son of Emily Sharp, of Lemington Rd., Melksham. Buried in ANZIN-ST. AUBIN BRITISH CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot III. Row A. Grave 1. Also commemorated on the United Reform Church Memorial

SHEPPARD

Albert

Corporal 10926, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 15th February 1916. Born and resident Melksham, enlisted Devizes. Buried in CARNOY MILITARY CEMETERY, Somme, France. Plot/Row/Section T. Grave 9. Also commemorated on the United Reform Church Memorial

Extract from Battalion War Diary Tuesday 15th February:

The day was very quiet. The weather was very bad.

SHEPPARD

R George

[Listed as George on SDGW & CWGC and R G on memorial] Private 33206, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died of wounds 14th April 1917. Born and resident Melksham, enlisted Warminster. Buried in WARLENCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot VII. Row F. Grave 6. Also commemorated on the United Reform Church Memorial

Extract from Battalion War Diary Saturday 14th April 1917

Companies under their own arrangements, refitting and cleaning up generally.2/Lieut KING-SMITH and 27 other ranks rejoined from Heavy Artillery Group working party at FERMONT. 2/Lieut EL HALL rejoined the Battalion from BERNEVILLE. The "Van Johns" gave a concert to the Battalion in the Village.

SKUSE

Fred

Private 58015, 9th Infantry Labour Company, Dewvonshire Regiment. Died 30th March 1917. Aged 34. Born Beamore, enlisted Melksham. Son of Cornelius and Elizabeth Skuse; husband of Emily Alice Skuse, of Lower Stanton Farm, Stanton St. Quinton, Chippenham. Native of Beanacre, Melksham. Buried in ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot XXII. Row D. Grave 13A.

SNOOK

Reginald Charles

Sergeant 63794, 24th Battery, Royal Field Artillery. Killed in action 16th July 1915. Aged 24. Born Devizes, enlisted Melksham. Son of Frederick and Kate Snook, of Shurnhold, Melksham, Wilts. Buried in POTIJZE BURIAL GROUND CEMETERY, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot/Row/Section AI. Grave 8. Also commemorated in Shaw Church and Old Broughton Road Baptist Church.

SPENCER

William [Frederick]

Sapper 28854, 57th Field Company, Royal Engineers. Killed in action 24th March 1917. Born Melksham, enlisted Bath, resident Bristol. Buried in ST. VAAST POST MILITARY CEMETERY, RICHEBOURG-L'AVOUE, Pas de Calais, France. Plot IV. Row E. Grave 7. Also commemorated on the United Reform Church Memorial

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser - Saturday 31 March 1917, page 4:

THE PRICE FREEDOM
Another Melksham Man
Killed in Action

The death of another well known and highly esteemed Melksham resident has occurred on the battlefield in France, the deceased being Sapper William Spencer, R.E. The sad news was received by the family on Wednesday morning by a letter dated 24th March .
“It is with the deepest regret that I write to inform you that your son was killed in action this morning at about 9 a.m.. Military regulations prevent me from giving you minute details of this tragic occurrence but I think I may be permitted to say that it was caused by shell fire and death was practically instantaneous. Your son had been on detachment and had only returned to the company about a fortnight, so that although I have been with the company for six months I knew little of him. I know however from my sergeant and the men of the section that he was an industrious and painstaking sapper and was highly esteemed by all who knew him. I have arranged for a Nonconformist chaplain to perform the last rites tomorrow (Sunday); he will be buried in a British Cemetery. I will write again and inform you of the proceedings. In conclusion I wish to convey to you and yours my heartfelt sympathy and I trust you will be given strength to bear this sudden blow.


Sincerely yours
EDWARD FINCHAM
Lieut R.E.

“Sapper Spencer who was 27 years of age was the youngest son of the late Mr Frederick Spencer of Union Street and before the war was a moulder in the employ of Messrs Spencer & Co engineers. He was popular with all classes being much esteemed both by the firm and his fellow workers. As a boy he appeared to be rather under than over the average in stature and stamina, but to use a common phrase he “had a good head on his shoulders” and made the best of his opportunities for physical culture etc. As a result he developed a fine athletic frame and showed prowess in various manly games, one of his chief acquirements being the art of wrestling. It was not long before he entered the Army that he gave on exhibition at the Picture Hall where he successfully wrestled with champions from Bristol and elsewhere, to the delight of a crowded audience.

Just after the breaking out of hostilities Mr Spencer volunteered his services for the Army joining the Royal Engineers and for two years he was in France. During the greater part of the time he was engaged in touch work in connection with the erection of fencing for the British troops, destroying that of the Germans etc. Although frequently in great danger he met with no injury beyond a very slight wound – practically a bruise on one of his shoulders. He was afterwards given a rest, i.e. was set to work on less arduous and dangerous business. Recently, however, as intimated in the officer’s letter, he returned to his company.

We are sure his many friends will share the regret expressed by the officer at his decease, and sympathise with the family in their bereavement. Deceased has a brother, Sapper H. Spencer also in the R.E. in France and one employed in a munitions factory in England.”

SYDEE

Frederick Percy

Private 320417, Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry. Died 20th June 1918. Buried in south end of new part of MELKSHAM CHURCH CEMETERY, Melksham, Wiltshire. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial and Old Broughton Road Baptist Church Memorial.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser

Private Sydee passed away at the Cambridge Military Hospital Aldershot he was the fourth son of Mr W.S. Sydee of Beanacre Road Melksham. He was 25 years of age and was previously employed at the Avon Rubber Works. In September 1914 he joined the R.W.Y. and subsequently saw service in France for over a year, being attached to the 3rd Reserve Regiment of Hussars. While there he contracted pleurisy and in August 1917 was sent back to England, but although he made temporary improvement he was able to return home he never recovered. The body was conveyed to Melksham where the funeral was conducted with full military honours. Pte Sydee comes of a well known and highly respected family. Two brothers are now serving with the colours, one in India with the Wilts and one in the Canadian Flying Corps.

TAYLOR

Herbert

Private 70622, 144th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Killed in action 16th August 1917. Born and enlisted Devizes, resident Melksham. Son of William and Sarah Taylor, of Woodbine Cottage, Redstocks, Melksham. Formerly 5193, Worcestershire Regiment. Attested 10th May 1916 at Devizes, aged 19 years 3 months, Carter by trade, unmarried, height 5 feet 7½ inches, weight 127lbs, chest 34½ inches. Assigned 5193, Worcestershire Regiment, posted Machine Gun Corps 29th November 1916. In France from 18th September 1916 until his death. No known grave. Commemorated on TYNE COT MEMORIAL, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 154 to 159 and 163A.

TRIMMING

Andrew

Acting Leading Seaman SS/1618, S.S. "Kohinor," Royal Navy. Killed when his ship was torpedoed by Submarine U.38 approx 150 miles from Alexandria 25th May 1917. Born 15 December 1887 in Franham, Surrey. Husband of Nellie Trimming, of Martinslade, Seend, Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated at PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Hampshire. Panel 24.

TRUEMAN

William

Private 32116, 7th Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry). Killed in action 30th November 1917. Born Seend, enlisted Trowbridge, resident Melksham. Formerly 3543, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). No known grave. Commemorated on CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL, Nord, France. Panel 4 and 5.

VINCENT

Raymond George

Lieutenant 132064, 73rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry. Died of wounds at 6 Casuaty Clearing Station 29th March 1917. Aged 30. Born 3rd November 1886 in London. Husband of Violet Vincent, of Prospect House, Trowbridge, Wiltshire. A Clerk by trade. Attested 5th August 1915 in Montreal. Height 5 feet 8¾ inches, weight 162¼ lbs, chest 37¾-41inches, fair complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair, religious denomination Church of England. Sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, aboard R.M.S. Adriatic 31st March 1916, arrived Liverpool 9th April 1916. Disembarked Havre 13th August 1916. Served in France from 10th April 1916. Buried in Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension. Plot I. Row J. Grave 51. National Archives of Canada Reference: Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 9956 - 51

WALKER

William Henry

Corporal 1171, Worcestershire Regiment. Died 3rd October 1918. Aged 27. his Son of Henry and Sarah Jane Walker; husband of Amelia Frances Ricketts (formerly Walker), of 6, Leaze Road, The Forest, Melksham. He was born in Lacock in 1891. He enlisted in the Worcestershire Regiment on 28th June 1908. He was discharged on 28th July 1918 as unfit for action. He had seen active service in Egypt and France. He married Amelia Frances Ricketts (formerly Walker), of 6, Leaze Road, The Forest, Melksham in 1916 and they had one daughter Millicent Mary Walker born in 1916. Sadly after his discharge he was not a well man and was taken into Devizes Wiltshire County Asylum on 2nd October 1918. He died the very next day on 3rd October 1918, aged 27, of an abscess on his kidneys. Buried in south end of new part of MELKSHAM CHURCH CEMETERY, Melksham, Wiltshire.

WHITING

Percy Louis

[P C WHITING on memorial] Private 48289, 3rd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died 24th November 1918. Aged 24. Husband of E. M. M. Whiting, of 4, Canon Square, Melksham. Buried in south end of new part of MELKSHAM CHURCH CEMETERY, Melksham, Wiltshire.

Extract from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser

“Pte Percy Louis Whiting, 3rd Wiltshire Regiment, died from septic pneumonia at Elsford Military Hospital, on Sunday November 24th at the early age of 24. He joined the Army on August 1st last, being previously in business as a hairdresser at Mersen near Colchester. He recently fell victim to the common complaint and did not recover. He leaves a widow (daughter of Mr and Mrs G Marks of Canon Square, Melksham) and one chilled, about six months old.

The body was brought to Melksham where the interment took place on Friday. The service was held in the Congregational Church, the Rev W.J. Farr officiating. Full military honours were accorded, a firing party of 10 being provided by the local Volunteer Corps, and the “Last Post” was sounded by an Australian soldier. Among those present were a number of men from the Red Cross Hospitals.

WILLIAMS

Charles Frederick

Private 10966, 1st Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died of wounds 22nd June 1915. Aged 17. Born and resident Melksham, enlisted Devizes. Son of Frederick Charles and Mary Ann Williams, of 5, Market Place, Melksham. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 53. Also commemorated on the Avon Employees Memorial

Extract from Battalion War Diary Tuesday 22nd June 1915

Fine and hot. A Coy took up position in HOOGE trenches. 2 platoon in C1 and C trench from tunnel to ISLAND POST. B Coy in trenches N of ZOUVE Wood

to support A Coy. Bombardment took place 7.30 - 8p.m. At 8p.m. No 1 & 3 platoons attacked but were held up by Machine gun fire. The two officers leading attack were shot and the men returned to our fire trenches. The action was broken off. The German parapets appeared to be little damaged. Casualties. 2nd Lieut A N Mclean killed. 2nd Lieuts A C W Broadhurst and N L Carrington wounded. Other ranks, 24. About midnight the Battn was relieved and returned to billets near VLAMERTINGE.

WOOTTEN

William aka Bill

Private 75968, 29th Battalion, Canadian Infantry. Discharged from service 31 January 1918 being no longer physically fit for further service, died 9 July 1919. Aged 41. Born 11 December 1877 in Bardford-on-Avon. Son of Mrs. Turtle of 21, Scotland Rd., Melksham, Wiltshire; husband of R. Wootten, of 307, Cedar St., New Westminster, British Columbia. Labourer by trade. Attested 6th November 1915 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, aged 37 years, married, height 5 feet 6 inches. chest 34½ inches, fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair, religious denomination Church of England, previously served in 3rd Battalion, South Wales Borders for 3½ years. Saied from Montreal aboard S.S. "Missanabe" 20 Mat 1915. Admitted to Moore Barracks Hospital, Ramsagte with Myalgia 14th March 1916, discharged 22 March 1916. Buried in VANCOUVER (MOUNTAIN VIEW) CEMETERY, British Columbia, Canada. Plot 45. Row 9. Grave 6. National Archives of Canada Accession Reference: Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 10578 - 22

WORSDELL

David Frederick

Lance Sergeant, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh’s (Wiltshire Regiment). Killed in action 25th September 1915. Born and enlisted Ludgershall, Wiltshire, resident Box, Wiltshire. Baptised 1 August 1886 in Ludgershall, son of David and Sarah Worsdell, resident Ludgershall, Wiltshire. In the 1891 census he was aged 4, born Ludgershall, Wiltshire, a scholar, son of David and Sarah Worsdell, resident Rydes Ground, High Street, Ludgershall, Pewsey, Wiltshire. In the 1901 census he was aged 14, born Ludgershall, Wiltshire, a General Labourer, son of David and Sarah Worsdell, resident Ryder Ground, Ludgershall, Pewsey, Wiltshire. Reservist. Originally attested 15th December 1903 at Tidworth House,Andover, aged 17 years 5 months, a Labourer, height 5 feet 2½ inches, weight 109 lbs, chest 31-33 inches, fresh complexion, grey eyes, brown hair, religious denomination Church of England. No known grave. ommemorated on LOOS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 102.

Extract from Battalion War Diary Saturday 25th September 1915

Battn moved at 12.30am marched via LA BOURSE and SAILLY, arriving at a reserve line of trenches SE of NOYELLES at point L12 o 6.6 at about 3am. Bombardment becomes intense. At about 6am the attack was launched. Battn ordered to advance through VERMELLES up communication trench (CHAPEL ALLEY) to occupy front line at point G11 o 9.8. Capt King wounded. 2/Lt FH Friend assumed command of 'A' Coy. Following the advance of the 20th Brigade the Battalion occupies the front and support German lines. Lt Col BH Leatham DSO then gave orders for the Battn to advance in open order in direction of CITE ST ELIE keeping to the north of HULLUCH ROAD, our right flank connecting with the 2nd Bedfordshire’s left. The Battn advanced in the following order, 'B' Coy on the left Capt WM GEDDES in command, 'A' Coy on right 2/Lt FH Friend in command, two platoons of each comp leading, two platoons immediately behind, 'C' Coy in support, 'D' Coy in reserve, Major RMP Gillson in command of 'C' Coy, Capt EC Mudge in command of 'D' Coy, the whole were led by Major CG Forsyth, and experiencing extremely heavy rifle and machine gun fire from the front came to a line held very weakly by a mixture of 8th Devon & 2nd Borders. The trench contained 4 German field guns and ammunition. Our losses were heavy and included the following Officers casualties Capt GMU Wilson, 2/Lts CFB Hodgins JH Clarke WHG Durrant killed. Major RMP Gillson, 2nd Lt FH Friend wounded the latter seriously.

At dusk the Battn was relieved by the 9/Devonshire Regt and took up a new front at BRESLAU AVENUE our right resting on the latter Regiment.

WYLD

George Richard

Captain 3rd Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment attached 1st Battalion, Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars. Killed in action at Givenchy 24th December 1914. Aged 37. Only son of Edwin George Wyld, Vicar of Melksham, Wilts, and of Mary Caroline Wyld, eldest daughter of Sir Hungerford Pollen, 3rd Baronet. Born Woodborough, Wilts 8th July 1879. Educated Marlborough and on leaving there entered the Stock Exchange. Saw active service in the South African Campaign 1899 – 1902 with the 13th Middlesex V.R.C (now the Queen’s Westminster’s). He was awarded Queens South Africa Medal with four clasps. He was appointed a Hon Lieutenant on 1st July 1901. When the Great War broke out he was on the Reserve of Officers and immediately volunteered for foreign service. He was attached to the Kings Royal Rifle Corp on 19th Aug 1914 and was gazetted as a Captain in the 3rd Wiltshire Regiment on 7th Oct 1914. On the 1st December 1914 he was attached to the 1st Battalion Berkshire Regiment from the 2nd Battalion. He was with the 7th Division and was Killed in Action at Givenchy on 24th Dec 1914. The Chaplain wrote “He was most popular with his brother officers of the Berkshire Regiment and was considered very efficient in his duty, and it was whilst bravely doing his duty in a trench at Givenchy that he was mortally wounded by a bullet”. Buried in BROWN'S ROAD MILITARY CEMETERY, FESTUBERT, Pas de Calais, France. Plot V. Row A. Grave 6. Also commemorated on a plaque in St Michael and All Angels Church, Melksham

The plaque takes the form of a marble tile mosaic in blue, white and gold with an incised inscription:

DAY BY DAY
WE MAGNIFY THEE
EDWIN GEORGE WYLD
VICAR 1919 AND WIFE MARY CAROLINE 1911
AND GEORGE RICHARD THEIR SON
KILLED IN ACTION AT
GIVENCHY FRANCE
24TH DECEMBER 1914
MAKE THEM
TO BE REMEMBERED
WITH THY SAINTS
IN GLORY
EVERLASTING

Extract from Bond of Sacrifice: Officers Died in the Great War 1914-1915, Volume 1 Aug-Dec 1914, page 455:

CAPTAIN GEORGE RICHARD WYLD, 3rd BATTN. THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH'S (WILTSHIRE REGIMENT), son of Canon Wyld, Vicar of Melksham, Wiltshire, was born at Woodborough, in that county.

He was educated at Marlborough College, and joining the 13th Middlesex V.R.C., as 2nd Lieutenant in December, 1898, was promoted Lieutenant in July, 1900. He served in the South African War, 1899-1902, for which he received the Queen's medal with four clasps.

He subsequently joined the Reserve of Officers, and in October, 1914, was appointed as Captain to the 3rd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment, but was attached to the 1st Battalion Berkshire Regiment for service in the Great War. He was killed by a sniper in the trenches near Givenchy on the 24th December, 1914.

Extract from England & Wales Government Probate Death Index 1915:

WYLD George Richard of Melksham Wiltshire captain in Wiltshire regiment died 25 December 1914 in France Administration Salisbury 15 February to the reverend Edwin George Wyld clerk. Effects £88 6s. 7d.

Extract from Battalion War Diary Thursday 24th December 1914

A hard frost last night. A very quiet day. Captain Wyld killed near support trenches from stray bullet after midnight.

Extract from Battalion War Diary Friday 25th December 1914

In morning Commanding Officer went round trenches and distributed Kings and Queens Xmas card, which was much appreciated. Sapped into a German communications trench. GOC 2nd Division sent congratulatory message on work done by the battalion. C&D Coys relieved A&B in trenches. Buried Capt Wyld in garden of house near Pont FIXE.

IN MEMORY OF
OUR MEN WHO
GAVE THEIR LIVES
IN THE WORLD WAR OF
1939 - 1945

AKERMAN

Robert

Bombardier 14377955, Royal Artillery. Died 6th September 1946. Aged 32. Husband of Eunice Akerman, of Melksham. Buried in MELKSHAM CEMETERY, Melksham. Grave D.57.

ASHMAN

Ronald Edward

Lieutenant 308042, 10 Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery. Died 27th September 1944. Aged 28. Son of Albert Edward and Jessie Ashman, of Melksham; husband of Enid F. N. Ashman, of Melksham. Buried in CALAIS CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY, LEUBRINGHEN, Pas de Calais, France. Plot 3. Row B. Grave 12.

BARNETT

F

No further information currently available

BARTON

Douglas

Corporal 5570931, 5th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment. Killed in action 10th July 1944. Aged 26. Son of Victor William and Elsie Evelyn Barton, of Melksham. Buried in ST. MANVIEU WAR CEMETERY, CHEUX, Calvados, France. Plot VIII. Row B. Grave 8.

Extrct from Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser - Saturday 13 July 1946, page 3:

Barton. —ln loving memory Corpl. D. Barton, Wiltshire Regiment, killed action July 10th, 1944. Sadly missed by his Dad and Mum and Brothers. Jim, Gord and Bern (9, Short Street, Melksham).

BASTIN

J

probably Jack BASTIN, Able Seaman D/JX 156771, H.M.S. Gloucester, Royal Navy. Died 22nd May 1941. Aged 18. No known grave. Commemorated on PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Devon. Panel 46, Column 2.

BIRD

Herbert Maurice

Aircraftman 1st Class 1187049, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 7th Septeber 1945. Aged 32. Son of Alfred and Ada R. S. Bird, of Bradford-on-Avon; husband of Constance L. Bird, of Melksham. Buried in MELKSHAM CEMETERY, Melksham. Grave D.15. Also commemorated on Avon Employees Memorial

BOSWORTH

H

No further information currently available

BROWN

Arthur [Henry]

Trooper 556885, "B" Squadron, The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry. Died 18 March 1943.Aged 25. Son of John William Frank and Alice Maud Brown, of Melksham, Wiltshire; husband of Doreen Brown, of Melksham. Buried in BARI WAR CEMETERY, Italy. Plot XV. Row C. Grave 36.

BURTON

John Henry

Flying Officer (Air Bomber) 163716, 356 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 28th October 1944. Aged 21. Son of Charles Burton, and of Annie Rhoda May Burton, of Melksham, Wiltshire. Buried in RANCHI WAR CEMETERY, India. Plot 9. Row N. Grave 5.

CLARK

Cyril [Henry Walter]

Marine EX/5607, Royal Marines. Died 1 June 1941. Aged 24. Son of Walter Henry and Mabel Clark, of Melksham, Wiltshire; husband of Kathleen Joyce Clark, of Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Devon. Panel 59, Column 2.

CROSSEY

Herbert Stanley

Lance Corporal 5673854, 2nd Battalion, Somerset Light Inafntry. Died 7th July 1944. Aged 26. Son of Edward Stanley Crossey and Elsie Crossey; foster-son of Margaret Hughes, of Trowbridge. Buried in AREZZO WAR CEMETERY, Italy. Plot I. Row E. Joint grave 14-15.

CUNDICK

Ernest George [Edward]

Lance Corporal 1654368, 2nd Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders. Died 10th January 1945. Aged 32. Son of George Edward and Hellen Cundick; husband of O. Cundick, of Melksham. Buried in HEVERLEE WAR CEMETERY, Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium. Plot 12. Row F. Grave 1.

DICKS

Fred

Private 10561147, Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Died 20th February 1942. Aged 40. Son of John and Rose Dicks, of Melksham; husband of Nora Irene Kate Dicks, of Melksham. Buried in south-west part of MELKSHAM CHURCH CEMETERY, Melksham, Wiltshire.

DIMOND

Francis John

Sergeant (Air Gunner) 1850638, 35 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 4th December 1943. Aged 19. Son of Robert and Gladys Dimond, of Melksham. Buried in BERGEN-OP-ZOOM WAR CEMETERY, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. Plot 31. Row A. Grave 1.

DOOLEY

Vincent

Sergeant 977328, 90 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 29th January 1944. Aged 32. Son of Henry and Minnie Dooley; husband of Rosemary Dooley, of Woking, Surrey. No known grave. Commemorated on RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey. Panel 228.

ESCOTT

Kenneth John

[Listed as John Kenneth ESCOTT on memorial] Private 5570453, 1st Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died 23rd April 1943. Aged 23. Son of Edward James Escott and Daisy Jane Escott, of Melksham, Wiltshire. Buried in JOHANNESBURG (WEST PARK) CEMETERY, Gauteng, South Africa. Military Section. Grave 33. Also commemorated on Avon Employees Memorial

GALE

Leslie Arthur

Warrant Sergeant 5573138, Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Killed by a hidden device in a German shell 5 August 1945 in Belgium. Aged 28. Born 11 April 1917. An ammunition examiner and bomb disposal. Born and resident Wiltshire. Son of Arthur Daniell Gale and Lilian Gale; husband of Mavis Gale, of Ilfracombe, Devon. In the 1939 Register he was a Clerk (Engineering Comapny) resident with his parents at 50 Barnwell Road, Melksham U.D., Wiltshire. Buried in SCHOONSELHOF CEMETERY, Antwerpen, Belgium. Plot IV. Row C. Grave 17.

GALE

Peter Frederick

Ordinary Telegraphist D/JX 610222, H.M.S. "Albatross," Royal Navy. Died 11th August 1944. Son of Frederick and Emily Pamela Gale, of Melksham, Wiltshire. No known grave. Commemorated on PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Devon. Panel 88, Column 3. Also commemorated on Avon Employees Memorial

GEE

R B F

No further information currently available

GILL

Leslie Frank

Pilot Officer (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) 53946, 156 Squadron, Royal Air Force. Died 2nd January 1944. Aged 23. Son of Ernest Frank and Mary Ethel Gill, of Melksham, Wiltshire; husband of B. D. Gill, of Melksham. Buried in BERLIN 1939-1945 WAR CEMETERY, Berlin, Germany. Plot 5. Row L. Collective grave 27-29.

HARROLD

Kenneth [Ivan]

Ordinary Seaman D/JX417624, H.M.S. "Charybdis," Royal Navy. Died 23rd October 1943. Aged 18. Son of Leonard and Mabel Harrold, of Melksham, Wiltshire. Buried in ST. HELIER WAR CEMETERY, HOWARD-DAVIS PARK, JERSEY, Channel Islands. Grave 42.

HARROLD

Ivan Roland

Private 6026833, 1st Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. Died 8th April 1942. Aged 26. Son of Arthur James Harrold and Agness Ann Harrold, of Melksham, Wiltshire; husband of Phyllis Nora Harrold, of Melksham. Buried in IMTARFA MILITARY CEMETERY, Malta. Plot 4. Row 1A. Collective grave 17.

HISCOCK

Wilfred leonard

Sergeant 920537, 82 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 12th July 1941. Aged 21. Son of Frank Brown Hiscock and Annie Maud Hiscock, of Melksham, Wiltshire. No known grave. Commemorated on RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey. Panel 45.

JEPSON

Arnold

Gunner 11051480, 56 Battery, 69 Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery. Died 25th April 1943. Buried in south-west part of MELKSHAM CHURCH CEMETERY, Melksham, Wiltshire.

JONES

Thomas Jesse

[Listed as Jesse Thomas Jones on CWGC] Stoker 1st Class D/K 19415, H.M.S. Osprey, Royal Navy. Died 10th October 1940. Aged 47. Son of George and Sarah Annie Jones; husband of Margery Ellen Jones, of Melksham. Buried in south-west part of MELKSHAM CHURCH CEMETERY, Melksham, Wiltshire.

LEWINGTON

[Clarence] Ralph [Benjamin]

Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) 1587162, 10 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 17th June 1944. Aged 20. Son of Benjamin Job and Melinda Lewington, of Melksham. Buried in south-west part of MELKSHAM CHURCH CEMETERY, Melksham, Wiltshire.

MERCHANT

Claude [Victor]

Gunner 1764835, 164 Heavy A.A. Regiment, Royal Artillery. Died 10th January 1945. Aged 25. Husband of Kathleen Susan Merchant, of Melksham. Buried in south-west part of MELKSHAM CHURCH CEMETERY, Melksham, Wiltshire.

NASH

E C

No further information currently available

NOYES

F J

No further information currently available

PARK

Ronald James

Trooper, Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry. Died 27th June 1946. Aged 28. Born 1918 in Melksham. Buried in MELKSHAM CEMETERY, Wiltshire. Also commemorated on Avon Employees Memorial

PITT

D R

No further information currently available

RITCHENS

S H

No further information currently available

ROCKLIFF

Frank William Raymond

Private 5577028, 5th Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died 26th July 1944. Aged 21. Son of Graham and Winifred Rockliff, of Melksham, Wiltshire. Buried in RYES WAR CEMETERY, BAZENVILLE, Calvados, France. Plot IV. Row C. Grave 2.

RUSHMORE

R

No further information currently available

SAULL

R H

No further information currently available

SELMAN

Frederick [Edwin George]

Private 4618408, 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, Army Air Corps. Died 29th March 1943. Aged 23. Son of Herbert George and Florence Beatrice Selman, of Melksham, Wiltshire. Buried in BEJA WAR CEMETERY, Tunisia. Plot 2. Row H. Grave 12.

SHAW

A

No further information currently available

SMITH

Warren [Alexander]

Leading Aircraftman (Cadet) 581766, Royal Air Force. Died 12 December 1939. Aged 18. Son of Alan Montague Smith and Constance Elsie Smith, of Melksham, Wiltshire. CReamted and commemorated at BRISTOL (ARNOS VALE) CREMATORIUM, Gloucestershire. Panel 3.

STAFFORD

D

No further information currently available

TOWNSHEND

Charles David

Trooper 408745, 4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters), Royal Armoured Corps. Died 11th June 1944. Aged 26. Son of Albert and Bessie Townshend, of Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on BAYEUX MEMORIAL, Calvados, France. Panel 10, Column 1.

VENTON

Maxwell

Flight Sergeant (Pilot) 1587088, 467 (R.A.A.F.) Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 4th March 1945. Aged 21. Son of Frederick John and Phyllis Eveline Venton, of Edington, Wiltshire. Buried in REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot 18. Row C. Grave 13.

WAITE

L H

No further information currently available

WALTERS

F

No further information currently available

WILLIAMS

Robert [Ernest George]

Sergeant (Wireless Operator) 915498, 22 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 16th July 1941. Aged 21. Son of Ernest Samuel and Mabel Emily Williams, of Melksham. Buried in south-west part of MELKSHAM CHURCH CEMETERY, Melksham, Wiltshire.

WORTH

Harold [William]

Leading Seaman P/JX 208167, H.M.S. "Neptune," Royal Navy. Died 19th December 1941. Aged 27. Son of Thomas William and Hllda Worth, of Melksham, Wiltshire; husband of Helen Margaret Worth, of Melksham. No known grave. Commemorated on PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Hampshire. Panel 47, Column 1.

YOUNG

Stuart Frederick

Private 5570143, 5th Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment). Died 29th June 1944. Aged 23. Son of Frederick and Florence Young, Husband of Gladys M Young of Hammersmith, London. Buried in BAYEUX WAR CEMETERY, Bayeux, Basse-Normandie Region, France. Plot III. Row G. Grave 14.

MEMORIALS WITHIN ST MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS CHURCH
LOPES Henry L

Captain, 2nd Battalion, Highland Light Infantry. Died of fever 10th December 1882 while in service in the Egypt and the Sudan (1882-1899) Campaign. Born 16th March 1852. Son of Ralph Ludlow and Elizabeth Lopes, of Sandridge Park.

THIS WINDOW IS ERECTED TO THE GLORY OF GOD: IN MEMORY OF HENRY LUDLOW LOPES: CAPTAIN 2ND BATTALION HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY; THE BELOVED SON OF RALPH LUDLOW AND ELIZABETH LOPES OF SANDRIDGE PARK BORN 16TH MARCH 1852 DIED 10TH DECEMBER 1882: OF FEVER CONTRACTED IN THE SERVICE OF HIS COUNTRY DURING THE EGYPTIAN CAMPAIGN

The memorial takes the form of a four-light stained glass window with inscription at the base of the lights with a dedicatory inscription on a brass plaque placed below the window; within the main lights are biblical scenes with angels above and dog roses at the sides. The window inscription reads:

SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN
TO COMEUNTO ME
YOUNG MAN I SAY
UNTO THEE ARISE
HE SHALL GO
TO HIM BUT
HE SHALL NOT
RETURN TO ME

MOULE J

Major-General, late Begal Army. Died 4th April 1867. Aged 73..

The memorial stone takes the form of a white marble inscription tablet mounted onto a black stone base with the inscription in black lettering and a cross in relief on the inscription tablet

THY WILL BE DONE

SACRED
TO THE MEMORY OF
ANNA SOPHIA
THE BELOVED WIFE OF
M.GENERAL JOHN MOULE
WHO DIED
AT FEROZEPORE
IN INDIA 4TH APRIL 1856

ALSO OF
MAJOR GENERAL JOHN MOULE
LATE OF THE
BENGAL ARMY
WHO DIED 4TH APRIL 1867
AGED 73 YEARS

HE GIVETH HIS BELOVED SLEEP

STEWART Henry Ross

Lieutenant, 18th Regiment, Bengal Native Infantry. Murdered by mutineers 6th June 1857 while endeavouring to escape from Bareilly after the mutiny 31st May 1857. Aged 26. Born 28th March 1831 at Fort William, Calcutta, Bengal, baptised 25 May 1831.

The memorial takes the form of a white marble inscription tablet mounted onto a black stone base with the inscription in black lettering and a cross in relief on the inscription tablet

THY WILL BE DONE

SACRED
TO THE MEMORY OF
LIEUTENANT
HENRY ROSS STEWART,
18TH REGT BNI
WHO LOST HIS LIFE
WHILST ENDEAVOURING
TO ESCAPE FROM BAREILLY
AFTER THE MUTINY
OF MAY 31ST 1857
AGED 26 YEARS

THE NOBLE ARMY OF MARTYRS PRAISE THEE

Last updated 5 November, 2020

Friends of the War Memorials
War Memorials Trust
Main page
Commonweath War Graves Commission
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Copyright © Roll-of-Honour.com 2002- | GDPR Cookies
Email: webmaster@roll-of-honour.com