Soldiers & sailors from Amersham (WW1)
Here, after a huge research effort by Dave Morris and other volunteers from the museum, looking on-line, at local newspaper archives and a whole range of other sources, we tell the brief stories of some of those men and women.
If you are related to any of them and can add to their stories, or to any of the hundreds of people we haven’t yet been able to cover, please do use the “Contact Us” button above to let us know.
Arthur Claude and Robert Churchill BAILEY
Arthur (born 1896) and Robert (born 1897) were the sons of Arthur Bailey, a cabinet maker and joiner, and Annie Elizabeth. The family lived in what is now 80, High Street Amersham, which doubled as Arthur Snr’s shop. Arthur served as a private in the 21st Division of the Army Service Corps (Motorised Transport Division). Robert was a Trooper in the Royal Horse Guards, later becoming a Lance Corporal in the 5th Guards Machine Gun regiment. The brothers both survived the war, and the family continued to own the shop.
George E. and Thomas BANNING
George Banning was born in Norwoods Yard in Amersham in 1896. He was the son of Emma and Thomas Banning, and both he and his father were brewer’s draymen. George served as a private in the Royal Field Artillery. George received both Victory and British War medals. Tom served as a private in the Army Service Corps regiment, and received a 15 Star medal.
Alfred and Bert BENNING
Alfred and Bert were brothers living in Norwoods Yard. Alfred (born 1888) worked as a brick carter. He left his wife and daughter to be a driver in Army Remount Corps, and was wounded in August 1915. Bert (born 1896) worked as a bootmaker. He was a sergeant in the first Buck’s Battalion Oxford, and the Bucks Light Infantry and died on the 16th August 1917.
Alfred, Benjamin, Harry and Thomas BIGNALL
Alfred (born 1895), Benjamin (born 1897), Henry (known as Harry born 1890) and Thomas (born 1891) were the sons of Harry, a general labourer and Mary Ann (née Knight). There was another half brother, the son of Mary Ann’s, William, who may be the W. Bignall who served in the Royal Horse Artillery.
The boys were born and lived in Bena Vista, Boot and Slipper Road, Amersham Common. Bena Vista was a row of small terraced houses on Rickmansworth Road which were later demolished to make room for the car park. In 1911, Alfred was a gentleman’s servant and Benjamin was a stable lad. Prior to his war service, Thomas, who worked as a carman, had married Alice Hammond and lived in Chesham. Harry had moved to Staffordshire to work as a farm labourer.
Alfred joined up in 1915, initially served with the Hampshire Regiment, and later as a Lance Corporal in 116th Labour Corps. It was reported in the Bucks Examiner in September 1915 that he wrote a letter of thanks to Mrs Hazelgrove, headmistress of Amersham Common School, for comforts sent to the troops.
Harry had joined the North Staffordshire Regiment in 1908 and went to France in 1914 with the Expeditionary Force. He was wounded in the arm later the same year; he was posted back home, but discharged as no longer fit for service in 1915. Benjamin was a Private in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, later transferring to the Labour Corps.
Thomas joined the 5th Fusiliers in 1914 as a Driver, being qualified from his previous employment to drive a pair horse vehicle. In 1916, he transferred to the Army Service Corps and was injured in August of the same year, twisting his foot whilst patrolling the horse lines at night. The boys all survived the war; Alf died in 1969, Ben in 1956, Harry in 1922, Tom in 1965.
Thanks to Lynne Sheppard, the great-niece of the four brothers, some corrections have been made to the text above and the photos below have been added.
Bertram Alfred and Roydon Henry BIZZELL
Bertram (born 1893) and Roydon (born 1894), lived at their father’s shop (now “The Grocer” at 91, High St). Bert was educated at Amersham Grammar School and left to join the Mercantile Marine at the age of 15 and finally served with the Drake Battalion as an Able Seaman; surviving a shot through the chest at Gallipoli. Roydon served as a Sub Lieutenant aboard HMS Hyacinth, a light cruiser operating around the coasts of Africa.
The Diary of Surgeon Williamson, Drake Bn. Friday 10th September 1915 records:- “Was called last night about 11 o’clock to see two casualties. One was [Lieutenant] Bligh, who was shot through the head. He was quite unconscious but breathing quietly and I sent him down as quick as possible. The other was a man shot through the chest [Able Seaman B.A. Bizzell, London Z/1222]. Directly I went to feel his pulse I noticed how cold he was, so I got my stethoscope and listened to his heart and found it had stopped beating, and he was dead. A chum of his had come down with him and he asked me if I thought the shot had gone through the heart. I said I would have a look at the wound and was stooping down to get a pair of scissors to rip up his tunic when I could have sworn I heard him give a sigh. I listened to his heart again very carefully for two to three minutes and put a mirror to his mouth and nose and made quite certain then that he really was dead. But for a time it gave me an awful shock! Bligh and his men had been out putting up wire entanglements in front of our firing line and having finished that job without accident they went out again to collect some rifles which were lying about when the Turks opened fire and got Bligh and the other man. King got a message about lunch time today to say Bligh had died at the Casualty Clearing Station.”
Bert is buried at Redoubt Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey. Roydon served as a Sub Lieutenant aboard HMS Hyacinth, a light cruiser operating around the coasts of Africa. He eventually emigrated to South Africa and died there in 1976.
Albert, Arthur, Edward, Francis and Henry Thomas BOLTON
Albert was born in 1886, Arthur in 1884, Edward in 1879, Francis in 1877 and Henry in 1889, the sons of Thomas, a brewer’s labourer, and Ruth. The family lived in Amersham Common, close to the Red Lion public house.
Edward started working in his teens as a railway labourer, one of the men responsible for bringing the line to Amersham. By 1911, Albert and Henry were both lodging with John Scott in Chestnut Lane; Albert worked as a carpenter and Henry as a nurseryman. Albert started his war service in 1916 with the Royal Navy and in 1917 became an Air Mechanic in the RAF; he survived the war and in the 1918 Electoral Roll was registered at a house named Wolford in Lexham Gardens. He died in 1957.
Arthur served as a Private in the Bedfordshire Regiment; he also survived and in 1918 was living in Chestnut Lane. Edward enlisted in High Wycombe in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, however he was killed in France in 1917. Francis had moved to London, where he enlisted with the Bedfordshire Regiment. He was killed in the Somme in 1916. Henry served with the East Surrey Regiment, enlisting in Harrow. He had married and his wife was living in Chesham at the time of his death in France on the first day of 1917.
George Priest, Sidney Thomas and Winifred Mary Emily BRAZIL
See the page about the Brazil family for more information and photos.
The children of Amersham butcher George Herbert and Annie (nee Priest), George was born in 1895, Sidney in 1897 and Winifred “Win” in 1894. The family’s shop and home in Amersham was adjacent to the Elephant & Castle pub, where Sidney was still living in 1911, but Win had moved to London to work as a sales apprentice there.
George emigrated to Canada, having already served in the Bucks Territorials, where he worked as a butcher. He joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1915. After the war, George returned to North America, but was back in England in 1926, when he married Ethel Margaret Purser. He continued to work in the family meat business and died in 1960.
Sidney began working as an engineer but in 1914, he joined the Army Service Corps as a driver, with the rank of Private. He served in France and Salonica, returning home before discharge in 1919. He returned to Amersham, where he married Doris Ethel Watts in 1924 and died in 1965.
In 1915, Win was appointed by the British Red Cross as a VAD nurse and sent to Newcastle-on-Tyne where she was nursing wounded British soldiers who had returned to England. In May 1917 she was sent on a troop ship to Greece, but the ship was torpedoed and sank. Win was saved and returned home over-land. She was discharged at the end of 1918 and trained as a Norland Nurse. She took up a post in British Honduras (now Belize), returned home in 1947 and died in 1983.
Arthur Edward and Henry Cecil CLARKE
Arthur, born 1886, and Henry, born 11 July 1888, were the sons of Henry G Clarke, grocer and auctioneer, and his wife Ellen, of High Street, Amersham. After Henry’s death, the family moved to a house named Beechlands. Arthur served in the 6th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, although no more is known. Henry had emigrated to Canada prior to the war, to work as a surveyor, but in common with many recent migrants to the country, joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Archibald Boyd, Herbert Frederick and William Eckford CORNABE
Archibald, born in Kent in 1886, Herbert, born in China in 1874, and William, born 1883, were the sons of William Alexander, a Chinese merchant, and his wife Isabella (née Farmer).
Archibald joined the Royal Navy in 1901; he started his service as Midshipman and was promoted to Lieutenant shortly before the start of the war. He served on numerous ships throughout his career, rose to Lieutenant Commander, and remained in the navy until 1926.
Herbert’s service was as a Lieutenant in the Montgomery Yeomanry, having joined initially in 1899 in London, fighting in the Boer War. He was wounded and returned to his job as a stockbroker in London, but re-joined the Yeomanry during the First World War, rising to the rank of Captain. After the war, he was a member of the Amersham Royal British Legion and the football club.
William was also in the Royal Navy, having joined in 1897. He had also attained the rank of Lieutenant prior to the war, and was promoted to Commander in 1916. He, too, remained in the Navy until placed on the Retired List in 1929 with the rank of Captain.
After the war, the brothers lived together, with their other siblings, in the High Street, Amersham, both parents having died. Archibald and Herbert both died in 1931, 4 months apart. William died in 1949, after having returned to naval service during the Second World War.
Stanley Robert and William George COX
Stanley and William were the sons of brewer’s labourer Robert and his wife Matilda. Stanley was born in 1894 and William in 1891, both in Amersham. By 1911 Stanley was working as a printer’s apprentice and William was working with his father in the brewery, both living in the family home at 12, Broadway.
Stanley moved to Walworth and joined the London Regiment at a recruiting stand in St Paul’s churchyard. He served as a Corporal, and was killed in the Somme in 1916, where he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
William joined the Kings Royal Rifles at the recruitment drive in Amersham, serving as a Rifleman, but was killed in Belgium in 1917 where he is buried in the Pond Farm cemetery.
William Edward DARLINGTON
William (born 1888) was the son of prolific Amersham builder George Darlington and his wife Clara. William worked in the family business as a clerk and the family lived at Lynwood in the High Street. William initially served as a Private in the Buckinghamshire Yeomanry and later as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers and was awarded the Military Cross in 1917.
Alfred Herbert, David Arthur, Frederick Wallace, Henry and John DARVELL
Alfred (b 1889) David (b 1892), Frederick (b 1887) Harry (b 1882) and John (b 1877) were the sons of John, a carpenter, and Ellen (née Boughton). The family originally lived in Waterside in Chesham but by 1911 were resident at Rose Villa, New Road, Chesham Bois. Alfred, David and Frederick were both creating turned wood objects, and Harry and John both worked as house painters.
Alfred’s service was in the RAF, joining in 1916 and working as an aircraft rigger. Harry was a Private in the Royal Marines, John a Sapper in the Royal Engineers and David joined the Army Service Corps in 1915, serving in France and later Salonika, where he remained until after the end of the war. Frederick served in the Army Service Corps in France. Alfred had married Katherine Amy Tebby before the start of the war, and afterwards remained in Amersham; he died in the hospital in 1959.
Albert William DARVILL
Albert (born 1893) was the son of William Frederick, a farm labourer, and his wife Emily. Although only 18, Albert was working as a Chauffeur in 1911. The family lived in the High Street, Amersham. In 1915, Albert joined the Army Service Corps, serving in France and later transferring as a private to the 1/5th Gloucesters.
Edwin James DARVILL
Edwin, the son of Frederick, was born in 1895. The family lived at Chapel House, High Street, later moving to Lower Mill on the London Road. Edwin volunteered for the Army Service Corps in Watford in 1914 whilst working as a carman for Wilkins Coal and Coke Merchant of Amersham. He survived the war and was discharged from service in 1919, although he had been admitted to hospital 3 times with malaria and once with trench fever.
William John DEAN
William was born in 1897, the son of William, a gardener, and Rose Ellen. The family lived at The Rectory Cottage, Amersham, and William worked as a house and garden boy. William served as a Driver in 21st Division 94th Brigade of Royal Field Artillery
Albert John, Fred, George Harry and Henry George DOVER
Albert John (born 1879) a widower served as a Private in the 26th Middlesex and died on 27th February 1917. Fred, (born 1885) became a Driver with 11 Div. MMO Clm RFA, only to die on the 5th June 1917. George Harry (born 1887) served in the Royal Naval AS on HMS President II. Henry George (born 1886) served in the Tank Corps and there is a P. Dover on the War memorial.
Charles William and George Albert DUMBARTON
Charles was born in 1886 and his brother George in 1889, the sons of James, a labourer, and Martha Elizabeth (nee Carter). The family lived in Norwoods Yard.
Charles married his cousin Lilian Dumbarton in 1909, and in 1911 was working as a farm labourer, living with his wife and children at Woodrow. During the war, he served as a Private in the Middlesex Regiment. George had military experience prior to the war, having served with the Gloucestershire Regiment for 4 years, and he volunteered for further service in 1914 as a Private in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, serving in France, but was discharged as no longer fit in 1915.
After the war, Charles returned to live in Piggots Orchard and worked as a labourer; he died in 1953. George had married Alice Dwane in 1912, and after his service, also worked as a labourer; he lived in London Road and died in 1954.
Frederick, John Thomas and William Charles DUMBARTON
Frederick (born in 1897), John (born in 1890) and William (born in 1889) were the sons of Charles William, who worked variously as a gardener, a builder’s labourer and a mill worker and Emily (née Free). They were first cousins of Charles and George, and before the war William married Agnes Barker and had a daughter in 1915.
Frederick volunteered for the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in 1915, having been working as a gardener. He was posted to Karachi and transferred to the Military Police in Baghdad. After the war, Frederick transferred to the army reserve, moving back to Amersham where he married Norah Fountain and died in 1981.
John joined the Gloucestershire Regiment in 1908; he was in barracks in Portsmouth as a Private in 1911, transferring later to the Machine Gun Corps. He married Amersham girl Olive Louise Dover after the war. The couple lived in Weller Close, Amersham and John died in 1948. William served in the 66th Auxiliary Patrol Company of the Army Service Corps. He enlisted in January 1917 and was killed by shrapnel in July 1917.
Owen and Frederick William Victor EDGINGTON
Owen was a harness maker and saddler, working for Langston’s the saddlers, at 22 Broadway in Amersham. Owen enlisted in October 1914 and served in the Army Cyclist Corps and the Machine Gun Corps. He was transferred to the Special Reserve at the end of the war and was fined 3 weeks’ pay for using obscene language to a NCO and not complying with orders, He was discharged in March 1919 with gastritis and pneumonia, returned to his former trade and to own the business.
His son Frederick was born in 1897 in Amersham. He served as a gunner in the 15th Battalion of the Royal Field Artillery. He returned to Amersham, taking over Langston’s after the death of his father, and running the business as a grocer and café.
Humphrey and Mary ENGLAND
Humphrey was born in Winchester in 1867, son of surgeon Dr William England. He married Mary Douglas Stephenson, who hailed from Scotland, and moved to Bois Lane in 1910, following his father into the medical profession. Humphrey was commissioned with the rank of Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1916, serving in France and after the armistice on the hospital ships conveying wounded Turkish POWs. Mary had trained as a nurse in London, and had gone to South Africa during the Boer War. She aided her husband as his practice nurse, and when he joined up, she volunteered for the VAD. Under this banner, she managed the local Works Depot, which managed the distribution of medical supplies to local hospitals.
After the war, the couple returned to their practice, eventually retiring to Devon, where Humphrey died in 1960 and Mary in 1959.
Gilbert was born in 1899 living in Amersham in 1911 where his father Herbert was a cycle maker. After leaving school, he became apprenticed to a motor mechanic. Gilbert initially joined the Royal Navy in January 1918, but using his engineering skills, was soon transferred to the RAF where he was an air mechanic. He remained in the Air Force Reserve for a year after the war.
Jesse was born in 1883 in Lee Common to Joseph, an agricultural labourer and Ann. By 1911 he was living with his family near the Hen & Chickens, Botley, and working as a bricklayer’s labourer. In 1912, he married Clara Kempster, a domestic servant from Tring.
During the war he was a Rifleman in the 1st Rifle Brigade and was wounded in 1918. After the war, he returned home, living at Karree Mill, Bois Moor Road. He died in 1957 in Amersham Hospital.
Thomas William FOUNTAIN
Thomas was born in July 1874 at Bledlow Ridge. In October 1897 he had married Lily Gibbons and by 1911 had moved with his wife and children to Sycamore Road (next door to the Dial House) and worked as slaughterman butcher.
Although aged 47, Thomas joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in June 1918 and served in Blackpool until after the war had ended. On discharge, his address was given as 1, Sunnyside. Thomas died in Hampstead shortly after the Second World War.
Wilfred George GARRETT-PEGGE
Wilfred was born in 1880 and by 1911 was living with his parents, John William and Elizabeth Knowles (nee Andrews) at Chesham Bois Manor; Wilfred was working as a barrister in Inner Temple and also serving as a local magistrate. He became a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Service Corps and died in 1977; his ashes were interred at St Leonard’s, Chesham Bois.
Arthur was born in 1878. In 1891 the family was living at 78 Union Street where his father William was a blacksmith. By 1911 Arthur had his own family and was living at Claydon Cottage, Station Road where he worked as a postman. He enlisted as a Private in the Royal Marines with HMS Chatham. He returned to Amersham after the war and died here in 1960.
Cecil, Leonard and Sidney GIBBS
Sidney was born in Amersham in 1890. His brother Leonard was born in 1893 and Cecil in 1896. They lived in The Forge in the High Street, Amersham, where their father William was a blacksmith. Leonard and Sidney working as assistants to their father, and Cecil worked as a hairdresser.
Sidney served in a Cycle Regiment and Cecil in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Leonard was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers and was killed in October 1916 in France, where he is buried in Hebuterne Military Cemetery. After the war, Sidney returned to the family business.
Harry (Henry) and James GILBERT
Harry (born 1891) and brother James (born 1897) lived in a cottage opposite Bury Farm. (In 1901 census they were living in Bury End with their widowed father, James, a brewery drayman and five siblings. Harry’s mother had died the previous year and James died in 1909 falling off his dray at Sly Corner, The Lee). Lizzie, the eldest girl then looked after the two boys and their two sisters – and in 1913 Harry opened a butcher’s shop opposite the Saracen’s Head with James assisting.
In August 1914 the boys both signed up at the recruitment stand in Market Place; Harry as a Private in the Motorised Transport Division of the Army Service Corps and James (falsifying his age), following his love of horses, joined the Royal Horse Artillery and served in France and Salonika. (We believe that his sister wrote to his commanding officer asking for him to be sent home, as he was too young to serve – but because he was already in Salonika he was allowed to remain, as he would be old enough by the time he had made the journey back.) At the end of the war, James returned from Greece overland and remained in service to assist with disinfecting the horses that had returned from France.
Frank and George Alfred GOMM
George was born in 1876 in Latimer and his brother Frank was born in 1879, son of Robert an omnibus driver and proprietor, living at 97 High Street, Amersham (and subsequently at Apsley House. By 1901 they had moved to 124 High Street, a trimming factory, where Robert had his own coal merchant’s business with the boys working for him.
Frank was a wheel-wright in the brewery (living at 19 London Road with his wife, Rosetta Free, and 4 children) before joining the Army Service Corps (Motor Transport) as a private, working in the same trade in the heavy repair shop. He was described as an “excellent worker skilled and speedy”. He served with the Expeditionary Force in France in 1915 and, surviving the war, transferred to the Army Reserve in 1919. George lived in Whielden Street and worked as a bricklayer’s labourer serving as a private in the 11th Middlesex Regiment.
Frederick Ephraim John GOMM
Frederick was born in 1899 in Amersham. The family lived at 16, Barn Meadow, moving to 15, London Road and his father Frederick was a brewer’s drayman. Before joining the army, Frederick worked as a gas fitter. He enlisted in June 1917 in Aylesbury as a private in the Labour Corps of the Hampshire Regiment and served in France. He was medically discharged in 1919. He returned to Amersham, marrying Elsie Chapman in 1935 and died in 1978.
William James GOMM
William was born in Chesham Bois in 1896, the son of William Gomm, a carpenter and builder. In 1911 the family was living at Ivy Cottage in Bois Moor Road. He enlisted as a Private in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in September 1914 but was discharged in March 1916 due to sickness. He died in 1952 in Oxford.
George William GRACE
George was born in Amersham in 1889, son of Samuel, an agricultural labourer at Woodrow. In 1911 George was living at Kennel Farm, Amersham and working as a farm labourer. He married Annie Hayes and had a daughter Mabel Kathleen in 1916. He volunteered for service in 1915 as a Private in 3rd Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Light Infantry and in October 1918 transferred to the 2nd Worcestershire Regiment. He was a shepherd when he enlisted and in 1946 was working as a farm labourer.
Henry, Alfred, George Thomas, Thomas, William and Daniel GRACE
There were five Grace brothers (all farm labourers) who served in the war; Henry (born 1884), Thomas (born 1896, William (born 1899), Alfred (born 1898) and Daniel (born 1896). They lived in Washington Row, Bury End where father Thomas was a general labourer, and ex-soldier, having served in Afghanistan and Egypt.
Henry joined the army before the war and was based in India. In the war he served as a sergeant in the 2nd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and was awarded the DCM for conspicuous bravery. He died in the Persian Gulf in 1916 and is buried in the Kuf War Cemetery. Alfred served in the 4th Essex Regiment as a Private and was wounded in 1916. George Thomas initially served in the Bedfordshire regiment, later transferring to the Notts & Derbys. Thomas served in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. William and Daniel both served as Bombardiers in the Royal Garrison Artillery.
Albert William HADDON
Albert was born in 1889 on Portsea Island, Hampshire. His father, Albert Henry, was a chemist in Alverstoke, Hampshire. By 1901 the family had moved to 131 High Street, Amersham and his father is a dispensing chemist. In 1911 Albert was working in Mortlake as a chemist’s assistant. He enlisted in 1916 and became a Corporal in the Royal Engineers. During his service he became a qualified photographer and came back to Amersham to set up as a Chemist and Optician in the High Street. He became a Freeman of the City of London of the Company of Spectacle makers on 22nd January 1924, and died in 1927 in Amersham from cancer.
Albert and Arthur HAZELL
Arthur (born 1885) and his brother Albert, known as Bert, (born in 1897) lived at Woodrow and were farm labourers. In 1911, Arthur was a gardener and Albert a cowman. Arthur joined the 16th Lancashire Fusiliers as a private. Bert served with the 2nd Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, after enlisting in High Wycombe. He was killed in action in France in July 1916 and has no known grave. He is commemorated on the memorial in St Mary’s Church.
Alfred William, John, Roland and Zackary HAZELL
Alfred was born in 1895 in Amersham , Roland in 1885 in Penn, John in Amersham in 1889 and Zackary in 1899. They lived in the Gamekeepers Cottage in Cow Pastures, Amersham where their father John was a gamekeeper. By 1911 John Jnr was living in Sussex and was working as a groom and subsequently became a motor car driver. Roland married Lily Gomm in 1906 in Amersham, before moving to Derbyshire to work as a collier.
Alfred joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in 1915 and served in France where he was wounded in 1916. He returned from the war, and worked as a painter, living in Cow Pastures, Amersham. John joined the Army Service Corps, Motor Transport Division with the rank of Sergeant. The Bucks Examiner reports in 1918 that he won the Military Medal. Roland joined the Sherwood Foresters but was killed in action on 29 April 1915 in Belgium after only a month of service and is buried in the Strand Military Cemetery in Hainault, Belgium.
Zachary was a baker and enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery in May 1916. He served in Salonika, Egypt, Beirut, Somalia and Haifa as a Gunner and then a Driver and was attached to the Military Police, being discharged in 1920. He married Florence Wilkins in 1926 and they had a son and a daughter. He died in 1976 in Amersham.
Sidney Frederick Charles HAZELL
Sidney (born 1896) was an apprentice chairmaker, living at Woodrow where his father Walter was a cowman. He served in the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Light Infantry and after the war was in the Territorial Army for 4 years.
Dr. Henry John HENDERSON Lt. MC Lt. RAMC
Dr. Henry John Henderson Lt (born 1884) enlisted 2.5.17 married Annie Ramsey Henderson in 1911. He had a surgery at the Red House, but during the war his family lived with his father Brigadier General David Henderson of the General Staff at Elmodesham House, before moving to Alwyns a few doors away. Dr. Henderson served as a Lt. MC RAMC. In December 1917, Dr Henderson was gassed but the local paper was happy to report after Christmas that he was making a good recovery. . He was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery in establishing a first-aid post 300 years from enemy lines and treating wounded in the open.
Henry Robert and William George HOARE
Henry (born 1894 and known as Harry and also as Joe) and William (born 1886) were the sons of grocer Alfred Parker Hoare and his wife Jane (nee Williams). Although the family were living in Willesden in 1911, Jane was an Amersham girl and the family were back living at Town Farm in Amersham after the war.
Harry began his service in 1915 as a Corporal in the London Regiment, and rose to the rank of Captain in the Middlesex Regiment. William was a Lieutenant in the Honourable Artillery Company in the Territorial Forces, but was killed in 1915 at La Hooge, Belgium and is commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial in Ypres. Harry died in 1987.
Leonard Cockburn Dundas IRVINE
Leonard was born in 1886 in Cheshire, the son of African Merchant James and his wife Catherine. He joined the Royal Navy Voluntary Reserve and became a Surgeon Commander eventually retiring in 1940. After the war, he had a practice in Harley Street and lived in Copperkins Lane. He married Margarita Prescott and had a son and daughter. His son, Pilot Officer James Melville Dundas Irvine died in the Second World War. Leonard retired to Hove, Sussex and died in 1968.
Alec Archibald KEEN
He served with the London Electrical Engineers, who were responsible for operating search lights and other anti-aircraft defences around the Thames estuary. After the war, he continued in the electrical business, opening a shop in Sycamore Road. He died in Sussex in 1989.
Herbert George KEEN
Herbert was born in Amersham in 1885. In 1901 the family was living in Union Street in a grocer’s shop kept by his mother Elizabeth. His father Frederick was a bricklayer, brother Charles was a painter and Herbert was a boilerman in the brewery. In 1908, Herbert married Mabel King, and in 1911, was working as a bricklayer and had a son Leslie.
In 1917, he joined the Royal Flying Corps in as a 2nd Class Air Mechanic, serving in France until 1919 and rising to 1st Class Air Mechanic, leaving the RAF in 1920. After the war, Herbert remained in Amersham, working as a builder, based in the High Street. He died in 1984.
Sidney Harry KEEN
Sidney was born in 1879 in Penn. His father Charles was a chairmaker and Sidney followed him in to that trade. In 1881 the family was in Bishop Auckland but by 1901 his mother Mary had remarried to William Coker and they had moved to 70 Whielden Lane, Amersham. In 1906, Sidney married Eva Wingrove and by 1911, they had moved to Coleshill with their two daughters, where Sidney worked as a chair maker.
He enlisted as a Private in the 23rd Middlesex Regiment and died of wounds in France in October 1917. He is commemorated in Winchmore Hill.
Sydney George KEEN
Sydney was born in Chesham Bois in 1898, the son of builder and undertaker William George and his wife Clara. The family were living in Chesham in 1911. He enlisted in Aylesbury in the 3rd Grenadier Guards, becoming a Lance Corporal. He died of wounds in April 1918 in France. He is commemorated in Chesham.
John Harold and Lawrence KENNARD
John , born in 1883, and Laurence, born 1889, were the sons of John Moir, an architect, and Blanche Dessemer Bithiah (née Blow) from Sydney, Australia. John married Bessie Rosina Snewing in 1909 in Lambeth and trained as an architect. Laurence was still living at home in 1911, and worked as a building surveyor.
As a Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, John Kennard served in Egypt from June 1916. After the war, he returned to his home at Rosemarie, Chiltern Avenue, continuing to work as an architect, designing many buildings in Amersham and London, and also the War Memorial in Chesham Bois. He died in Amersham-on-the-Hill in 1926.
Laurence served as a Captain in the Royal Engineers in France from May 1915 and was also a member of the British Red Cross Society and Order of St John of Jerusalem, a body empowered to raise detachments under the War Office VAD scheme. He had married Edith Lemming shortly before going to war, and in 1925 re-married Gertrude Hilditch, having returned to live in London. He died in Norfolk in 1976.
John, William Thomas and Albert Percival KITCHENER
William and Charlotte Kitchener (née Dumbarton) lived in Norwoods Yard with their three daughters and three sons. John (born 1897) served as a Gunner in Royal Garrison Artillery, William Thomas (born 1890) was a private in the 2nd Glos. and Albert Percival (born 1893) left his job as a contractor’s labourer to serve as a Private in 9th Glos. All the brothers survived the war; Albert died in 1986, and William in 1968, having remained living locally.
William Henry, Albert George, Arthur Ernest and Percy Edwin LANE
Henry worked as a bricklayer’s labourer and he and his wife Charlotte lived at The Alley in Amersham, with their four sons, two daughters and baby son. William Henry born (1889) was a Pte. 2nd. Gar Btn. Northumberland Fusiliers. Albert George (born 1891) had worked as a bricklayer’s labourer but went to be a Rfn. 13th Kings Royal Rifles Corps, and died on 6.8.16.
Arthur joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry as a Private, enlisting in Aylesbury in 1917 and after embarking for France, transferred to the Labour Corps in Rouen. He returned home, transferring to the Army Reserve in 1919. Percy served at the Royal Marines Depot in Deal, with the rank of Private. He survived the war and died in Amersham in 1958. William joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, transferring to the Northumberland Fusiliers also as a Private. He lived in Whielden Street after returning from the war and died in 1963.
Charles William and George Percy LANE
Charles, born in 1885, and George, born in 1898, were the sons of single mother Ellen, a field worker on a farm. In 1911, George was in the Amersham Union Workhouse with his mother and two sisters whilst he attended school. Prior to his war service, Charles worked as a water inspector with the District Council and lived at 61 High Street, having also previously spent time in the workhouse.
In 1916 at Tynemouth, Charles joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner and died from wounds a month before the end of the war. George was a Private in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, enlisting at Huntingdon. He was killed in 1917 in France.
Frederick William LANGRISH
Frederick was born in June 1897 in Ash, Surrey to Frank and Annie Elizabeth (nee Houghton) and had three siblings. In 1911 he was an apprentice living at The Gas Works, Amersham where his father worked as a foreman.
He enlisted with the West Surrey Regiment and attained the rank of Sergeant. Just after the end of the war, Frederick married Margherita Stevenson and served with the Metropolitan Police. He died in 1972 in Rochford, Essex.
Alfred James and William LEE
Alfred was born in Amersham in 1896 and his brother William in 1902. In 1911 they were living in Norwoods Yard with his parents Henry, a contract labourer, and Edith. Alfred, known as Jim, was a Private in 2nd Battalion Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry and died on 30 July 1916 in the Battle of Delville Wood, part of the Battle of the Somme. (Click here to see his photo and his medals.) William enlisted in Chesham as a Private in the 1st Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry. He died on 1 August 1917 in Mesopotamia (present day Iraq).
Ernest Alister LEE
Ernest was born in Marylebone in 1893, the son of Ernest Louis, the secretary to an Australian merchant, and Agnes Mary, the family moving to Rickmansworth by 1911 and later to a house called Craiglee in Holloway Lane, Chesham Bois.
Ernest served in the Royal Garrison Artillery, enlisting in the rank of 2nd Lieutenant and rising to Major by the end of hostilities. He remained in military service, and went to America in 1920 with his sister, moving on to Canada where he married Barbara Lemon, then to India (where his son was born) and, having risen to the rank of Brigadier, also served in the 2nd World War. He was killed in Egypt in 1942.
Henry Boswell LEE
Henry, born in 1865 in Rockferry, Cheshire was the son of Henry Boswell Lee, a draper from Ireland. He attended Harrow School, and married American-born Louise Farrington. In 1911 the family lived at Maplefield, Cokes Lane, Amersham Common, by which time he had retired from his job as an electrical engineer
He enlisted at Aylesbury in 1914 at Aylesbury in the Bucks National Reserve, having had some previous military service in the Middlesex Regiment. He was appointed a Lance Corporal, posted in 1915 and discharged as no longer medically fit for military service on 9 August 1916. He died on 25 March 1950 in Aylesbury.
His son, also Henry Boswell, was born 30 October 1891 in Richmond Surrey; in 1911 he was living with his parents and attending college.
He joined the Inns of Court Officers’ Training Corps and became a Corporal in the Royal Engineers in 1915, later promoted to as 2nd Lieutenant. In 1916 Henry joined the Royal Flying Corps with the rank of 2nd Class Air Mechanic, in the trade of Coppersmith. He died in February 1985 in Honiton, Devon.
William Tressider LEE
William was the son of elementary schoolmaster William, and his wife Jane Elizabeth, née Tarbuck, who came from Amersham. During WWI he was a Private in the Machine Gun Corps, returning from service to live in Whielden Street.
Abram Arthur LYLE
Abram was born to Abram and Jessie in Greenock, Renfrewshire in 1879 and at that time he had two sisters Mary and Jane. His father was a sugar refiner and shipowner, one half of the famous Tate & Lyle sugar refining company.
In June 1904 Abram married Elsie Rowlands Crowdy, and had a son, Ian Duff, in 1907. In 1911 the family was staying at the Royal Bath Hotel, Bournemouth where Arthur Conon Doyle was also staying. At this time Abram gave his occupation as ‘Director of Sugar Refinery’. His home was at Beel House, White Lion Road.
He joined the war effort in 1915 as a Captain in the London Regiment, serving in France, and was shot and wounded on 9th May; his former chauffeur, Private Henry West, who had remained with his former employer at war, was killed. Abram returned to service and rose to the rank of Colonel. Abram died on the 9th February 1931 in Somerset.
Trevor was born in 1879 at Yoxall Lodge, Yoxall, Staffordshire, to John, a gardener, and Louisa. Trevor worked as a Gamekeeper; by 1911 he had moved to Locks Park, Derby, subsequently moving to Woodrow and working for the Tyrwhitt-Drakes.
He was not allowed to sign up for service until he was conscripted on 1st December 1916 into the Bedfordshire Regiment, by which time he had been ordered to shoot the estate dogs. He served in Italy and later married, having a daughter, Winifred Louise, who was a pupil at Hyde Heath School in 1926. Trevor died in December 1967.
Reginald John and Stanley George MASON
Reg (born 1895) and Stanley (1897), in The Eagle public house in the High Street, run by their father, Thomas, and after his death, by their mother Elizabeth. Reg was a solicitor’s clerk. Before joining the Reserve Company of the London Regiment in 1914 as a rifleman. In 1917 he was promoted to sergeant and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1918 and the Military Medal in 1919. Stanley also served in the London Regiment, as a corporal. He was wounded twice, but survived the war and went on to run Mason’s Printers in Woodside Road. Stanley died in 1960 and Reg in March 1981.
Arthur Henry MATTHEWS
Arthur was born at Amersham Common in 1896 to Frederick, a builder’s labourer, and Mary Jane and had two sisters, Rosa and Ethel. In 1901 the family lived in The Alley, Old Amersham. By 1911 they had moved to 15 Bois Moor Road, Chesham, and Arthur worked as a boot repairer, and later as a sawyer.
Arthur enlisted at High Wycombe on the 12th May 1915, joined the Machine Gun Corps and became a Lance Corporal. He was captured on the 22nd March 1918 and became a prisoner of war. He did not return to the U.K. until 26th December 1918.
Charles David MATTHEWS
Charles was born in 1885 in Amersham to Mary Ann and Arthur, a boot finisher. By 1911 Charles had joined the same trade and was living at 6 Manor Cottages, Bois Lane, Chesham Bois. He enlisted on the 10th October 1915 in Amersham and joined the Labour Corps as a Private. After the war he lived at 5 Stanley Parade, Bois Park and died in 1966.
Francis James MATTHEWS
Francis, known as Frank, was born in Amersham on the 9th January 1891 to Elizabeth and Thomas, a house painter, and lived in White Lion Road. In 1911 he was working as a clerk with J. Lyons & Co. and later as a storekeeper. He enlisted on 29th March 1917 in the Royal Navy, later transferring to the RAF.
Frank was born in 1882 in Chesham Bois, the son of William, a gardener. By 1911, the family were living at 2, Railway Cottages, Bois Moor Road, at which time Frank was working as a general labourer.
He volunteered for service in 1915, as a Private in the Royal Fusiliers, later joining the Royal Defence Corps. He survived the war, and died in 1953, having remained in the Amersham area.
Alfred Thomas D, Henry George Cox and James Dennis Cox MATTHEWS
Alfred, born in 1893, Henry, born 1895 and James born in 1884, were the sons of James, an artist, and his wife Sarah. In 1911, the family were living at Leighton House in Chesham Bois; Alfred was learning the wood turning trade and James Jnr was working as a house builder.
Alfred was a member of the Church Lads Brigade and in 1916, at Grove Park, joined the Motor Transport division of the Army Service Corps. He was employed as a driver, with the rank of Private. He died in Aylesbury in 1979.
Henry became a builder, but in 1915 he enlisted in the Royal Sussex Regiment. He served in India for the duration of the war and was discharged in 1919. In 1925, he married Elsie Florence Brazil, the sister of George, Sidney & Win Brazil. He moved to Dundridge Manor, still owned by the family, and died in Beaconsfield in 1957.
James married Mabel Annie Collins in 1914 and they lived at Laurel Park, Chesham Bois. He joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry at Amersham, transferring to the Tank Corps with the rank of Corporal, but he was killed in 1918.
Ronald William and Stewart Arthur MATTHEWS
Ronald and Stewart were both born in Gerrard’s Cross in 1896 and 1899 respectively and lived with their mother, Kate, and father, Arthur, at the Post Office there, where their father was both the postmaster and a tailor. The family later transferred to Amersham Post Office, where they were registered in the 1918 Electoral Roll.
Ronald was a Lance Corporal in the 11th Sanitation Section of the Royal Army Medical Corps and served in France from 1915 until the end of the war. In 1927 he married Dorothy Gertrude Haddon, the sister of Albert Haddon in Amersham with whom he had two children. Ronald died in Surrey on the 23rd June 1980. Stewart was a Private in the Lancaster Fusiliers. He died in Reading in 1991.
Andrew and John Duncan MEAD
John was born in 1890 in Berkhamsted and Andrew was born on the 7th August 1892 in Chesham. In 1901 they were living in Broad Street, Chesham, with their parents Abel, who was a builder, and Jane together with their five siblings. By 1911, Jane had died and the rest of the family were living at 9 Eskdale Avenue, Chesham.
John became a carpenter and married Edith Rosa. He joined the RAF as a 1st Class Air Mechanic. In the 1918 Absent Voters List, his address was given as Barclays Bank, Amersham. John died in Fulham Military Hospital on the 14th February 1919. Andrew was a student at Culham College in Oxfordshire when he enlisted in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry as a Private. However, he was discharged in September 1914 as medically unfit.
James Emmens MEAD
James was born in Amersham in 1880 and lived at the Grocer’s Shop in the Broadway with his parents James and Lydia. He married Edith in 1907 and they had a son John but continued to live at the Grocer’s Shop. James enlisted in Aylesbury and joined the Gloucestershire Regiment and then the 6th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment as a Private. He died on the 11th October 1918.
Sidney was born in Iver Heath on the 23rd June 1895 to Caroline and John, a gardener, and had one sister, Ivy. He became a groom and in 1911 was living in Uxbridge. Sidney joined the Army Service Corps and became a Corporal. In 1918 he married Elizabeth Minnie Hunt and went to live in Willesden. He died in Amersham in September 1970 at which time he was living at 1 Pineapple Road.
Alfred Edward John OLNEY
Alfred (born 1875) married Lily Batson in 1902, and by 1911 was living in The Alley, Amersham and working as a Brewery Labourer. The couple had 4 children. Alfred volunteered for war service, as a reservist Private with the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry. He served in France, was wounded in 1915, and returned to his job at the Brewery. He was officially discharged from service at the start of 1916, and awarded the Silver War Badge, which was worn by men in civilian life to prove that they had served. He was awarded the “Pip, Squeak and Wilfred” set of medals and died in Amersham in 1924.
Ernest William OLNEY
Ernest was born on 11th April 1882, in the Lodge of Beel House, Amersham. He was the son of Charles, a domestic gardener, and Elizabeth, and first cousin to Alfred. In 1911, he was working as a gardener, and living in the Bothy in the Stable Yard of Beel House. He married Alice Maud Mitchell in 1916.
Ernest signed up for service in Aylesbury, as a Private initially in the Somerset Light Infantry, but later transferring to the Royal West Kent Regiment. He was killed in 1917 and buried in The Somme.
Oliver Joseph OLNEY
Oliver was born about 1888 in Amersham Common, the son of Joseph, a farm labourer, and Elizabeth (née Parslow). Oliver started his working life as a labourer, and by 1911 was working in a brewery as a labourer. At this time he was living in Green Lane, Amersham Common with his widowed father.
Oliver served as a Gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery; he survived the war, returning to the family home, and married Annie K Horne in 1925. He died in Amersham in 1954.
Sidney John and Emanuel OLNEY
Sidney was born on 12th April 1886 in Ickleford, Herts., the son of farm labourer Samuel and Thirza. He was already a serving soldier prior to the war; in 1911 he was in the Maida Barracks in Aldershot. In 1912, he married Edith (née Hearn) in Amersham, and lived at Manor Cottages, Chesham Bois.
Sidney rose to the rank of Lance Corporal in the Bedfordshire Regiment and killed in January 1915. He is buried in France , and is commemorated on the war memorial at St Leonards, Chesham Bois. His younger brother Emmanuel also served in the Bedfordshire Regiment, and was killed in 1914.
Hugh Cyril and Thomas Winfield ORTON
Hugh (born 1894) and Thomas (born 1879) lived at West Crescent (now Severn House) next door to The White House on the High Street. They were the sons of former solicitor’s clerk Robert Orton and Martha Hannah (née Winfield). Hugh worked as an Insurance Clerk and joined up in 1915; he fought at Ypres, and became 2nd Lieutenant in Sherwood Foresters (Nottingham Regiment) later promoted to Lieutenant in the Derbyshire Regiment. He was injured but returned to the front again. Thomas was a professional cricketer and served in the Royal Navy as a stoker, joining in 1916 and remaining until demobilisation in 1919.
Arthur William Moreton, Ernest Arthur, Frank, Frederick John, Herbert & Jack C PEARSON
The six sons of William, a boot riveter, and Mary; Arthur (b 1899) Ernest (b 1883), Frank (b 1889), Frederick (b 1887), Herbert (b 1895) & Jack (b 1896). By 1911, the family were living in Bois Moor Road, with Frank working as a woodware labourer, Frederick as a plasterer, Herbert & Jack both as brushware labourers with Arthur still attending school. Jack and Arthur were both members of the Chesham Bois scouts.
Arthur joined the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry as a Private, and later the Wiltshire Regiment. He was listed as missing in the Bucks Examiner in May 1918, but survived the war and went on the marry Winifred Mayger in 1921, continuing to live in Amersham and he died in Chalfont St Peter in 1963.
Ernest married Lydia Thompson in 1906 and the couple had four children. He was conscripted in 1916, giving his occupation as “bricklayer”, signing up in Aylesbury to the Devonshire Regiment, transferring in 1917 to the Royal Engineers, serving his time attached to Royal Naval depots at Chatham and Boscombe and effectively continuing his trade as a bricklayer. Although Ernest survived the war, he died in 1925.
Frank joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers with the rank of Private. Frank married Ada Mary Olney in 1922 and died in Amersham in 1968. Frederick became a Private in the Royal Berkshire Regiment. Frederick married Minnie Alice Pearson in 1907 and died in 1985.
Herbert joined the army as a Driver for the Royal Field Artillery. In 1921, he married Florence Francis, and died in 1941, having continued to live in the Amersham area. Jack signed up in Watford as a Sapper in the Field Corps of the Royal Engineers, but died as the result of an accident in 1916 and is commemorated on the Chesham Bois Memorial.
Clement Norman & Henry John PEARSON
Clement was born 15th Sept 1893 and Henry in 1897, both in Rickmansworth, the sons of Henry, a gamekeeper, and Eliza. By 1901, the family had moved to Little Missenden, and by 1911 were living at Brays Green, where Henry was working as a jobbing gardener and the boys just listed as “workers”.
Clement initially signed on in 1915 as a Private in the Buckinghamshire Yeomanry, the local volunteer regiment, later transferring to the Hampshire Regiment. He married Mary Hayes in 1921, and died in Amersham in 1970. Henry joined the Royal Field Artillery and died in Harrow in 1963.
Guy Cameron PEARSON
Guy was born at Wellington College in Berkshire in 1891, the son of assistant schoolmaster John Yardley Pearson, and his wife Mary Jane Lumsden. In 1911, he was a student, still living at the college.
Guy joined the Royal Fusiliers in 1915 with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He served in Egypt, rising to the rank of Captain. Although he appears to have had no previous association with the area, his address by 1918 was Greenways, Chiltern Rd., Chesham Bois. He married Elsie Maud Harvey in 1918, and died in 1951 in Jordans.
John was the son of Clement, born in 1896. Prior to the war, he worked as a farm labourer. John volunteered as a Gunner for the Royal Field Artillery in 1915 at Watford, served in France and was wounded in 1918, losing two toes on his right foot. He was discharged from service and awarded a pension.
Maurice was born in Amersham in 1882, the son of George and Maria. He lived in Washington Row in 1901 and Bury End in 1911, where he worked as a coal carter. He joined the army in High Wycombe, serving as a Private with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He married Mary Goodman in 1915, but was killed in the same year in France, where he is buried. He is commemorated at Chesham.
Eleanora Blanshard, Francis Seaton, Roger Busick and Thomas Blanshard PEMBERTON
Eleanora and her brothers were the children of Busick Edmonds (a solicitor) and Harriet Eleanora Pemberton. The siblings were all born in London, Thomas in 1884, Eleanora in 1885, Roger in 1888 and Francis in 1896. There was another brother, Christopher, born in 1892, but he did not serve. The family had moved to Cokes Green in Cokes Lane by 1911, their home later becoming part of Harewood Downs Golf Course.
Thomas went to school at Eton, later emigrating to Canada, where in 1916 he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He returned to Canada after the war, marrying Ethel Margaret Pitts in 1919, but later came back to England, dying in 1954 in Worthing.
Eleanora joined the British Red Cross as a member of a Voluntary Aid Detachment in the City of London. She was sent to Boulogne in 1914, setting up rest stations for wounded troops coming back from the front, before they returned to England. She spent 3 years in France, then returned to London to help train new recruits. “Pemby” resigned from the service in 1919, and died in September 1994 at the great age of 109.
Francis was also schooled at Eton, and later joined the 13th Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, which recruited in Amersham, as a Lieutenant serving in the Intelligence Corps. He married Jeanne in 1940, and died in London in 1958.
Roger became a Captain in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry; he married Lilian Drabble in 1922, and died in 1962 in Suffolk.
See also a longer article here.
Frederick William Harrison PLUMMER
Frederick was born 24th Oct 1875 in Regent’s Park, London, son of Frederick George, a greengrocer, and Elizabeth (née Amos). Frederick Jnr married Lily Elizabeth Borrett in 1900, and worked as a piano tuner; following his marriage, he lived in Littlehampton, Sussex.
Frederick served as a Private with the Hampshire Regiment, and later the Labour Corps. Although he had no previous association with the town, his mother was living in the High Street, Amersham, when she died in 1917, and Frederick was registered in Whielden St in the 1918 Electoral Roll. Frederick’s brother Harry notably continued in their father’s trade, setting up shop in Amersham -on-the-Hill in the early years of the town. Frederick died in 1949 in High Wycombe.
Elizabeth Sudworth Stansfield PORTER
Elizabeth was born in Warrington, Lancs in 1866. Her father died when she was a child and she was brought up by her mother and grandparents. In 1909 moved to Chesham Bois, living at Meadowlead in Bois Lane.
During the First World War, with the scoutmaster away at the front, she co-ordinated the contribution to the war effort and earned the Troop’s’ everlasting gratitude by writing regularly to every scout on active service. Miss Porter organised that half the weekly troop subscriptions of both scouts and cubs were to be used to send out parcels to scouts fighting at the front. After the war, she organised the local subscription to fund the Memorial and was honoured to represent the Troop at the dedication service of 11 November 1920. She also organised the Troop’s own bronze memorial located within the Pioneer Hall in 1921. Elizabeth died in 1940.
William Edward PUSEY
William was born in Hillingdon, Middx on 4th Sept 1891, the son of Edward, a gardener, and Mary Ann “Annie” (née Mason). He spent his early life in Hillingdon, and worked as railway porter.
William signed up to join the Royal Marines in 1914, seeing out his service as a Private. He went to sea as part of the Royal Marine division in 1915, serving in the Dardenelles for a year, in France, and after a period of sickness, returning to serve at Chatham shortly before the end of the war. On discharge, his address was given as The Chilterns, Amersham. William died in Ealing in 1973.
William’s family lived in Market Place, Amersham. He served as a Private in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and the South Bucks Free Press listed him being taken as a prisoner of war in early 1918.
Frederick William RANCE
Frederick, known as Fred, was born in 1887 in Chesham, the son of a bricklayer, James and his wife Mary (née Linington). Before the war, the family lived in Latimer, and Fred worked as a hay binder’s assistant. He married Susan Bird in 1909 and moved to Bois Moor Road.
He became a Private in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, serving in Salonika. Although he survived the fighting, he died in 1919, a month after being awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, as a result of his injuries. He is commemorated on the Chesham Bois Memorial and is buried in Chesham.
Robert Albert RANCE
Robert was born in Chesham on 26th June 1888, the son of bricklayer Alfred and his wife Alatheia (née Taylor). The family initially lived in Chesham; by 1911 Robert was living in Coulsdon in Surrey working as a bricklayer but returned to Chesham to marry Louisa Faith Rowsell late in 1911.
He volunteered for the Motorised Transport division of the Army Service Corps at Osterley Park in 1915, when he was living in New Road, Amersham Common. He was sent to France, where he remained for the rest of the war, being demobilised in 1919. Robert died in High Wycombe in 1980.
Albert John & Henry James REDDING
Amersham-born brothers Albert & Henry were sons of bricklayer John and his wife Sarah. Albert was born in 1871 with Henry following 9 years later. The family lived in the High Street, with Albert moving to Bury End, where he worked as a chair maker, following his marriage to Sarah Jane Woods in 1891. Henry married Sarah Humphrey in 1907 and in 1911 was a postman.
The Bucks Examiner in May 1915 contains a letter from Albert stating he is serving with the Royal Naval Division, but service papers dated a few days later show him joining the Middlesex Regiment. He served in the Labour Corps with the rank of Corporal; his age was given as 39 when he joined, but other evidence points to him actually being 45, which was above the age to volunteer!
Henry joined the Royal Engineers as a Sapper. In 1918, his registered address was 60, High St. Both brothers survived the war, Albert dying in 1954 and Henry in 1957, having both returned to live in the Amersham area.
John, James and George William REDDING
These brothers were the sons of Albert John (above). John, (born 1892) was a carter for the Gas company; he joined the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry in Amersham and was sent to Salonika, where he was killed in 1916. James (born 1895), was a gardener and served in the Rifle Brigade. George (born 1899) was a Private in the Motorised Transport Division of the Army Service Corps. Although George and James survived the war, George continued to serve and was killed by an IRA bomb in Ireland in 1921.
Thomas James REID
Thomas was born in about 1893 in Chalfont St Giles, the son of gamekeeper Charles. In 1901, he was in the Amersham Union Workhouse with his sister and baby brother.
Thomas joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in Oxford late in 1914, when he was working as a labourer, and gave his address as Gore Hill, Amersham. He was attached to the Royal Munster Fusiliers in 1915, but later the same year got frost-bite and was discharged as unfit for service. Thomas went on to marry Winifred Margaret Taylor in 1917, giving his address as The Oval, Finch Lane. His fate is not known.
Horace John & Reginald Alfred REVEL
Horace and Reginald were brothers, the sons of Alfred and Sarah (née Olney) of Norwoods Yard. Alfred worked for the brewery as a labourer and dray driver. In 1911, Horace, who was born 30th Nov 1894, was living in Green Lane, Amersham Common, with his maternal grandfather, Joseph and uncle Oliver, and working as a “cow chap”.
Reginald was the younger brother by 4 years, and was still living at home, 16, London Road, in 1911. Horace served in the Army Service Corps, initially in Egypt, as Acting Corporal in the Base Horse Transport Division, and Reginald as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers.
At the end of the war, the brothers were both living in the family home, and both went on to marry girls called Florence; Horace, Florence Fribbins in 1919 and Reginald, Florence May Hayes in 1926. Horace died in Redbridge in 1974 and Reginald in Aylesbury Hospital in 1949.
William James REVEL
William was born in about 1897, the son of William, a Brewer’s Labourer, and Sarah (née Price), also of Norwoods Yard. He was first cousin to Horace and Reginald (above). William, also a labourer at the brewery, was a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery. He survived, and married Mercy Badby in 1919 and died in 1984 in Aylesbury.
Albert Edward SHRIMPTON
Albert was born in 1901 in Amersham to Frederick Alfred, a carman, and his wife Alice Emma (née Sears) and was living in 1911 in Bury End with his family. According to the Roll of Honour in Amersham Methodist Chapel, Albert served in the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry, however no other information on his service has been found. Albert died in 1958 in Amersham.
Arthur George, Edward, Ernest and Alfred SHRIMPTON
In 1911 the family were living in the High Street in one of the Turpin’s Row cottages when Arthur (born 1888) and Edward (born 1896) were both working as gardeners, Ernest (born 1891) as a farm labourer, with Alfred (born 1897) still at school. Arthur initially served with the Bucks Volunteers and was called up on 24 June 1916 when he enlisted in Aylesbury as a Private in the 5th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment where he became a qualified Lewis Gunner. He later transferred to the Labour Corps of the Worcestershire Regiment and was demobilised in 1919. Edward initially signed on as a private in the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, and later transferred to the West Yorkshire Regiment. Ernest served in the Royal Field Artillery from 1915 as a driver, later transferring to the Royal Engineers. Alfred served as a Pioneer also in the Royal Engineers and was apparently gassed.
George James SLADE
George was born in 1889 in High Wycombe, the son of George, a coal carter, and Ellen. In 1901 the family were living in Rickmansworth, moving to Whielden Street in 1911, although George was not at home at the time.
George enlisted in Chesham in 1915 as a Private with the Remount Dept of the Army Service Corps. He served in both Egypt and Salonika and during this time suffered from chronic malaria and was also injured in a riding accident whilst in Egypt. In 1918, George married Florence Coleman in Southampton. George transferred to the Reserves in April 1919, remaining in Southampton, where he worked as a ‘motor driver’.
Horace was born in 1893 in Amersham. His parents were Frederick, a jobbing carter and Ann (née Batson). In 1911 the family were living in Chestnut Lane with Horace working as a farm labourer. On 23rd August, 1914, Horace enlisted with the Royal Field Artillery as a Driver and survived the war, returning to the family home.
He married Mercy Walden in Uxbridge in 1920 and died in Amersham Hospital in 1959, having recently lived in Orchard Lane.
William Edward Frederick John SLADE
William was born in Amersham in 1891. It is possible that he was the brother of Horace. He served as a Bombardier with the Royal Garrison Artillery; after the war he lived in Chestnut Lane, and subsequently Orchard Lane until his death in 1962.
William John SLADE
William was born in 1889 in Winchmore Hill to Ellen and James, an agricultural labourer. By 1911 William was already a soldier, having enlisted in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry as a Private, and serving in India.
William died on the 22nd November 1915 in the Persian Gulf and was buried at Al Basra, Iraq, where he is remembered on the Basra Memorial.
Herbert Frederick TOOVEY
Herbert Toovey (born 1898) to Sarah and Frederick Samson, a Cabinet Maker and Furniture Dealer. Herbert followed his father into the same trade at 66 (now 49) High Street, Amersham. Herbert joined the Royal Flying Corps on 21st August 1916 as an Air Mechanic 2nd Class in the role of Rigger and was promoted to Corporal Mechanic in 1918. After the war, he transferred into the Air Force reserve and died in London in 1928.
Herbert William (Jack) and Edward Thomas TYRWHITT-DRAKE
Herbert (born 1885) and Edward (born 1887), were the sons of William Wykeham Tyrwhitt-Drake, who inherited the Shardeloes estate in 1900. Herbert, known as Jack, was educated at Eton and Uppingham; he was a successful amateur jump jockey and also a keen hunter. When War was declared, Jack went with his racing companions to the War Office to offer their services. They were directed to the Hounslow Barracks and it was there that Jack enlisted as a trooper in Queen Alexandra’s 19th Hussars. He did not wish to miss the fighting by the extended training of an officer to which his social position and education entitled him and so he chose to be a private. He arrived in France on 26 January 1915 and contracted pneumonia before he reached the Front. He was taken to the General Hospital in Boulogne. A telegram was sent to his parents to tell them their son was seriously ill. His mother travelled to the hospital (the father was too ill to travel) but by the time she arrived, Jack had died on 11 March 1915. He was buried in Wimereaux Communal Cemetery. Edward served throughout the war, as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Berkshire Yeomanry and subsequently as a Lieutenant in the 21st Lancers. He survived the war and inherited the Shardeloes estate in 1919. It was he who sold off houses and inns in Amersham in a great auction in 1928.
Thomas (born 1893) was the son of Guy Percival, a land agent, and his wife Mary Anne Emily and was a cousin of Herbert and Edward. In World War I he served as lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry where he was repeatedly decorated, winning a Military Cross and DSO in 1917, and bars to his MC in 1918 and 1919. In 1924 he was injured in a hunting accident in Iraq and was confined to a wheelchair. He inherited Shardeloes in 1933, and lived there until 1939 when it became a war-time maternity hospital, moving to Little Shardeloes where he died in 1956.
Frederick was born in 1880 in Bidwell, Beds. He married Alice Parsons in 1901 in Amersham, but after 6 years had moved to Hemel Hempstead and subsequently Luton. Prior to his war service, he was working as a shepherd and labourer.
He volunteered in 1915 at Luton as a Private with the Machine Gun Corps. He survived the war but a month before he was posted home, his wife had died having returned to live in Chestnut Lane.
Bernard George WELLER
Bernard was born in Amersham in 1881, the eldest son of Frederic , a clergyman and schoolmaster, and Emily Charlotte (née Isaacson). The family soon moved to Somerset to allow his father to take up a new position.
Bernard joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry to serve in the Boer War, remaining in the service in peacetime. In 1911, he was at the Marines Barracks in Stonehouse, Devon holding the rank of Lieutenant. He rose to the rank of Major, serving at Gallipoli, where he won the DSC.
Following the death of his Lieutenant-Colonel, he assumed command of the landing and re-embarkation during the raid on Zeebrugge and Ostend 22-23 April, 1918 and was awarded the CB in recognition of his distinguished service in training personnel and the preparation of material for the Royal Marines’ storming party. He was also awarded the Croix de Guerre.
After the war, he requested to be placed on the Navy’s Retired List in 1922. He married Lilian Margaret Fitzsimons in Dublin in 1927, and died in Somerset in 1941.
Frederick was born in 1897 in Penn Street, near Amersham to Thomas, a wood turner, and Sarah Ann (née Hazel). The family still lived there in 1911, with Frederick attending school.
Frederick enlisted at Willesden initially with the Middlesex Regiment and then served with the London Regiment as a Rifleman. He died on the 15th September 1917 and is commemorated on the Penn Street war memorial.
William was born in about 1900 in Chesham to Alfred, a butcher, and Sarah Ann “Annie” (née Nash). In 1911 they were living at 60 Church Street, Chesham and subsequently at 184 Waterside, Chesham.
William served with the London Regiment as a Rifleman and was killed on the 11th October 1918 in France. He is buried at the British Cemetery at St Aubert.
Alexander Napier, Cecil William Napier and John James Napier WOODCOCK
Alexander, born 27 January 1889, Cecil born 1891 and John born 17 March 1894 were the sons of William and Elizabeth. In 1901 the family were living in Willesden having moved from Hampstead and later moved to Amersham, where the youngest brother attended Dr Challoner’s School and where the father established a draper’s shop in Sycamore Road. By the census of 1911 the family were shown living in Sycamore Road and Alexander was assisting his father in a fancy goods business.
In World War I Alexander served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 17th Royal Fusiliers. He survived the war, married Ethel Mary Kings in London in 1926 and died on 5 April 1952 in Cheddar, Somerset. Cecil was also a 2nd Lieutenant, in 10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, City of London Regiment. He died on 14 September 1918 and is commemorated on the Chesham Bois War Memorial.
John enlisted at White City on 7 November 1914 as a Private in the 12th Reserve Battalion, City of London Rangers but was medically discharged after less than 5 months service as a result of chronic appendicitis. He later joined the Machine Gun Corps and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. After the war, John married Amersham-born Ruby Sibley, granddaughter of George Ward the photographer, in London. John died in Amersham in 1949. Their son Tony was a great benefactor of Amersham Museum.
Albert Henry WRIGHT
Albert (born 1887), a domestic groom, lived with his widowed mother and siblings at The Alley. Albert served as a driver in the 798th Company of the Army Service Corps and survived the war.
Alfred and William WRIGHT
Alfred was born 1885 in Winchmore Hill to William, a general labourer, and Kate. In 1901 the family was still living in Winchmore Hill with Alfred working as a general farm labourer. William, born in 1892, was living two doors away with his uncle John Aldridge and widowed grandmother, Sarah Wright. In 1909 Alfred married Primrose Daisy Lacey and by 1911, the couple had an address in Tyler’s Green and a son. Alfred described himself as a general labourer.
In World War 1 he enlisted at Aylesbury as a Private in the Royal Worcestershire Regiment. His wife died in 1916 and he died of wounds on 20 April 1917, leaving their young sons as orphans.
William joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, however there were at least four men of the same name in the regiment so it is difficult to identify the correct one.
Edward Frank Macer WRIGHT
Edward (born 1890) in Dulwich, read History at London University, then taught at Dr Challoner’s in Amersham, completing his probationary year in September 1915. He enlisted with the 4th Northumberland Fusiliers on 1 November 1915 and was sent to France in October 1916. He received full pay from Dr Challoner’s, minus his army pay, throughout. Edward served as 2nd Lieutenant and died in April 1917, killed by a shell whilst carrying a load for a fatigued soldier. He is buried at Faubourg d’Amiens Cemetery, Arras.
George was born in 1882 in Amersham to George, a cattle man, and Mary Ann. The family moved around Amersham, living at Quarrendon Farm, Allen’s Barn (near the Rectory) and latterly on the High Street.
In the war, George served as a Private in the Labour Corps of the Royal Army Service Corps, remaining in service until 1920, afterwards returning to Whielden Street to work as a labourer.
Harry was born in 1890 in Chesham. His parents were Charles, a boot finisher, and Emily. The family moved to Rickmansworth, where his father ran successively the ‘The Rose and Crown’ and ‘The Feathers’ Public Houses. By 1911, Harry was a motor mechanic. In World War I Harry, used his experience to serve as a Driver in the Army Service Corps.
William George WRIGHT
William (born 1891) son of William a maltster’s miller and his mother Mary in a cottage near Bury Farm; he worked as a carpenter and joiner. He married Violet Alice (née Gilbert) who lived in the Broadway. In 1915, William enlisted in the Army Service Corps Motor Transport Division with the rank of Private and within a month he was promoted to Sergeant. He was demobilised in 1919 and returned to live at 17, London Road.
Robert Ernest YATES
Robert (born 1875) to Jane and Robert, and had six siblings. Robert became a schoolmaster and moving to Amersham to take up a post at the Amersham Grammar School. In 1908 Robert became Headmaster of Dr. Challoners Grammar School where, apart from a break to serve in the Great War, he remained until 1935. Robert was a 2nd Lieutenant with the Inns of Court OTC Royal Garrison Artillery.
Robert married Mary Pearce Brown in 1905, with whom he had three children Mary, Susan and Robert. The family were living at the school in 1911. He was a 2nd Lieutenant with the Inns of Court OTC Royal Garrison Artillery. Robert died in London in 1973.