WORLD WAR I

Here's some "male privilege" for the millennials

This page contains references to Rowhedge men who served in World War I. It is far from complete and additions are always welcome. Ted Sparrow has made a marvellous job of researching and collecting information (WWI and WWII) on those men and women of Fingringhoe, East Donyland, Abberton and Langenhoe whose names should not be forgotten. I am unsure whether his work on East Donyland is online.

1914

When war was declared in 1914 the America’s Cup  challenger Shamrock IV and her escort s.y. Erin were well on their way to New York for the races. The crew list for Shamrock IV states that the following local men were to leave the yachts at Bermuda and to join the first available ship home.

 

 

“Called for Active Service, Royal Naval Reserve, Bermuda, Aug.13, 1914”

 

Robert Fisk 37, Acacia Cottage Rowhedge, AB

A.E. South 40, born Tollesbury, of West Mersea, AB

Bertie R. Pearman 32, Albion Street Rowhedge, AB

Henry Moulton 29, Church Street Rowhedge, AB

Lemon Cranfield (a son of Capt. Richard John Cranfield) of Rowhedge was a crew member of the yacht ISABELLE ALEXANDRA and involved in the following -

 

 

CHELMSFORD CHRONICLE - Friday 14 August 1914 - “BRIGHTLINGSEA SKIPPERS SAFE. Capt. E. Sycamore, of Brightlingsea, arrived home on Tuesday from Denmark, where he has been staying with the British Consul, after having been detained in Germany. He states that he had some rough experiences in Germany, being twice imprisoned. He left his crew in Denmark; they were expected to follow on. Captain Sycamore arrived with nothing beyond the clothes he was wearing, all his other luggage having been taken from him while in Germany. Capt. Sycamore brought a reassuring message with regard to Captain James Taylor, of Brightlingsea, who, with his wife, is imprisoned at Hamburg.”

 

 

DUNDEE EVENING TELEGRAPH - Wednesday 12 August 1914 - “MINE-LAYER DISGUISED. Captain Edward Sycamore who has just arrived by the Danish packet boat at Parkston Quay, Harwich, described how he saw the mine-layer Konigin Luise before she started on her fateful voyage. She had been racing the yacht Isabella Alexandra in the Christiania Fjord for her German owners, and was towed into the Elbe by a German torpedo boat.

There were three liners in the harbour, the Koningin Duise and two others of similar build. They were surrounded by fisher boats, and the fishermen were daubing great splashes of paint upon them, turning the white hulls and the yellow funnels, masts, and boats into a dead black. At the end one could not have told them at a short distance from the Hook of Holland or Flushing steamers.”

THE ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD – Saturday 15 August 1914 - “CAPTAIN SYCAMORE RELATES HIS EXPERIENCES – In an interview with a representative of “The East Anglian Daily Times” Captain Sycamore, the famous yachtsman, of Brightlingsea, gave an interesting account of his escape from Germany.

Since April 11 Captain Sycamore had been racing at various meetings in the Baltic, the Elbe, and at Kiel, the 15-metre boat Isabelle Alexandra, owned by Herr Aaron Edmund Luttrop, a well-known ship owner and shipping agent at Hamburg. The Isabelle Alexandra was in Christiana Fiord for the European week – a gathering of yachtsmen of all nations – and three weeks ago she left Horten harbour in order to take part in the racing at Cowes. When well out to sea, however, she encountered heavy seas and a gale from the W.N.W., and was taken in tow by a German torpedo-boat, which at the same time towed the German Emperor’s yacht Meteor. Both the Meteor and Isabelle Alexandra made heavy weather, and shipped a lot of water, until the Meteor signalled the torpedo-boat to take her into harbour. They at first made for the Weser, but changed their course and entered Borkum, at the mouth of the Ems, where they lay in the river for three days. On Monday night (July 27) the Meteor received a wire from Berlin ordering her to proceed to Cowes – (“I don’t believe the German Emperor himself expected war with England”, remarked Captain Sycamore in parenthesis) – but the head winds still continued, and even increased in violence, and they had to remain in port. On the following Wednesday Captain Sycamore received an order to return to the Elbe. His vessel was at that time moored alongside the Meteor, and he was the guest of the Meteor’s captain.

YACHT BOARDED AND ARRESTED AT CUXHAVEN - On July 30 he left Ems, and on arriving at Cuxhaven wired to his owner, but received no reply – he found afterwards that the wires had been cut. About mid-day on the following Saturday a launch containing several German naval officers came alongside Isabelle Alexandra and asked if there was any German on board. “I said ‘No’,” continued Capt. Sycamore, and they asked: “Then why are you flying the German flag?” I think that was an excuse, and that they wanted us because we had seen some of their ships painted from white to black for mine-laying.

LOCKED UP AT GLEASTEAD - Anyway, the officer in command took all my papers, and ordered five German sailors on board with loaded rifles; about 7 o’clock in the evening they towed us to Gleastead – a little harbour in the Elbe – and left us in charge of the police. We were told that we should be all right there, but about 1.30 am. we were ordered to the Police Station, where they searched us and locked us up. On the Sunday they put us in separate cells, but about 8 pm. we were told that a telegram ordering our release had been received. I told the officer in command that we had been very badly treated, but he only answered, “Krieg, Krieg” (“War, War”). I returned to the boat that night, and on the Monday I went to see the owner, and arranged to get out of the country as quick as possible.

TAKEN ON BOARD GRIMSBY STEAMER - We then boarded the Grimsby steamer City of Bradford. About every four hours we were told that she was going to sail, but she did not move, and a lot of people on her were in a pitiable state – they had not a cent, and the British Consul had cleared out.

TAKES TRAIN TO COPENHAGEN - I went to see the American Consul – a good man he was – and he said he guessed I had better get out of the country as quick as I could, adding that he thought there was a train that night from Altona to Copenhagen. Eventually my men and I got on a train, and having had our luggage searched at Altona, we thought we were all right for the frontier, but at Neuminster they ordered all Englishmen out of the train. We were then searched and locked up in a big room. As we were searched each was asked his occupation, and when one man replied that he was a photographer there was a bother directly. We were guarded by soldiers for 32 hours at Neuminster, by about eight o’clock on the Friday morning the officer told us we could proceed. At my request he gave us a pass, but it had not an official stamp, and we got detained for another six hours on that account.

ARRIVAL IN DENMARK – GERMANY’S PARTING THREAT - At Flensburg they gave us the official stamp, and we got through to Vandrop, which is the first station in Denmark – and I can tell you we were all glad of it and shook hands with ourselves. At Rensburg they made us walk over the bridge above the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal – for fear we should destroy it with bombs, suppose! A detective who sat next to me in the train said “Are you Englander?” but I shook my head and said “Nein, nein – Amerikain” – and he said it was all right then. At Neuminster we were told that if ever we set foot in Germany again we should be shot.

DANISH ENTHUSIASM FOR ENGLAND - We left Esbjerg in the Danish steamer Bernstorff, and thousands of people cheered for England as we came away, I never saw anything like it – except when I raced for the America Cup.

MINELAYERS IN DISGUISE - Captain Sycamore added that when in Germany he and his crew saw several mine-layers being painted to resemble the boats running from Harwich to the Hook of Holland and from Queenborough to Flushing. He did not believe the German Fleet would come out of harbour unless their country won a big battle.”

THE ESSEX COUNTY CHRONICLE - Friday 9 October 1914 - “D.C. MEDAL FOR ESSEX CYCLIST - Mr. Eric Goodheart (sic), son of Mr. J.S. Goodheart, of East Donyland, who enlisted as a motor cyclist dispatch rider on the outbreak of the war, has been recommended by General French for the distinguished conduct medal for gallantry in the field.”

 

THE (ESSEX) NEWSMAN - Saturday 28 November 1914 - “DISTINGUISHED DISPATCH RIDER AT COLCHESTER - Sergeant J.S. Goodhart, R.E., the Colchester motor-cyclist, who was one of the first recruits to Kitchener’s Army, and who in a few weeks won at the front the medal for Distinguished Conduct and a similar decoration from General Joffre, is on a short furlough, and staying with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.S. Goodhart , at Heath house, East Donyland. A fragment of the shell which killed Captain Trench, by the side of whom he was standing, smashed the sergeant’s revolver.”

WILLIE EDWARD COOK - 

Seaman - Royal Naval Reserve H.M.S. Cressy. Service No: 3171C

Date of Death: 22/09/1914 aged 30.

Brother of Thomas William Cook, see later.

Son of Harry M.  & Charlotte Cook, of Mount Pleasant, Rowhedge, Colchester; husband of B. G. Cook, of C. W. E. Cottage, Regent St., Rowhedge, Colchester, Essex.

THE (ESSEX) NEWSMAN - Saturday 12 December 1914 - “DISPATCH RIDER’S ILLNESS - At the Lexden and Winstree Rural Council on Wednesday Dr. Cook mentioned that at East Donyland Dispatch Rider Eric Goodhart, aged 21, had been notified as suffering from enteric fever. He had been invalided home from the front, but there was no idea then that he had enteric fever. He was very ill, and a specialist from London was attending him. Mr. Eric Goodhart is the son of Mr. J.S. Goodhart of Heath house, East Donyland, and was presented by General French with the medal for distinguished conduct in the field. He also received the French Médaille Militaire.”

 

THE ESSEX COUNTY CHRONICLE - Friday 30 October 1914 - “BRAVE COLCHESTER DISPATCH RIDER - Corpl. E.J. Goodhart, who has been awarded the medal for Distinguished Conduct in the Field, is specially referred to in the “London Gazette” as having received that medal “for conveying messages under very dangerous circumstances by day and night, and never failing to deliver these messages. Corpl. Goodhart is the son of Mr. J.S. Goodhart, of Heath House, East Donyland.”

 

THE ESSEX COUNTY CHRONICLE - Friday 18 December 1914 - “DISPATCH RIDER’S SAD END - Much sympathy is felt with Mr. and Mrs. J.S. Goodhart, of Heath House, East Donyland, in the death of their son Eric, who as a motor dispatch rider achieved so much that he was commended by Sir John French. He was afterwards awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the French Médaille Militaire. He was recently invalided home, where after some days enteric fever developed, and ended fatally. The late Sergt. Goodhart was only 21 years of age, and was born in the Falkland Islands, where his father owns considerable property. After studying at Haileybury and Heidelberg, he entered Caius College, Cambridge, and on the outbreak of war enlisted in the Royal Engineers, embarking on August 14 for France. He was placed in charge of a motor cycle section, and was quickly promoted to the rank of Sergeant. During the retreat from Mons he was for five nights without rest, and while in the act of “timing-up” his motor cycle he fell asleep and rolled into a ditch, where he was left undisturbed by the advancing Germans, who concluded that he was dead. He managed to re-join the British Army by a devious route along by-roads.

The funeral took place on Tuesday, with military honours, at the Old Cemetery, East Donyland. The coffin was borne on a gun-carriage, and was draped with the Union Jack, on which, amid a profusion of wreaths, the cap, revolver, and medal ribbons of the gallant young soldier were placed. The band and firing party were sent by the 10th Royal Fusiliers (Lord Roberts’ Regiment), and following the mourners came the 1st Donyland Troop of Boy Scouts (of which Mr. J.S. Goodhart is Scoutmaster), the Garrison Boy Scouts, members of the “Grosvenor” and “Albion” Lodges, R.A.O.B., and of the Donyland Quoit Club. The service was conducted by the Rev. J.M. Easterling, rector of East Donyland, and the three volleys fired over the grave were followed by the “Last Post.”

The chief mourners were: Lieut. J.S. Goodhart (Intelligence Department National Reserve) and Mrs. Goodhart, father and mother; Mrs. George Goodhart and Mrs. Fergusson, aunts; Lieut. Neil Fergusson (Scots Guards), cousin; Mr. E. Goodhart, jun., and Mr. Joseph Goodhart, cousins; Dr, Kevern, and Nurse Smart.

The bearers were all members of the Royal Engineers.... and several sergeants of the Royal Engineers were among the following party, and the 20th Hussars were likewise represented. Capt. N.A.C. de H. Tufnell and Capt. Browne, D.A.A.G., attended on behalf of the Headquarter Staff. Others present were Dr. Philip Laver, Messrs. Frank Cant, E.A. Blaxill, Driscoll (West Mersea), W. Ham, and Williamson.

A wreath of laurel sent by the deceased’s mother was buried with the coffin. Other floral tributes were sent by: Mrs. Russell H. Buckworth, aunt; Aunt Nelly and Uncle Frank; Col. and Mrs. E. R.Reid and family; Capt. and Mrs. Hugh C. Stockwell; Dr. G.T. Kevern; Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Draycott (West Mersea); Mr. Walter Oxton; Mr. and Mrs. Wade and family; Mr. and Mrs. Dunn and family (Cambridge); Mr. Sydney T. Walford; Mrs. F. Stanley Daniell; Miss. Olive Cant; Mr. Reginald Richards; the West Mersea Sailing Club; the Albion Lodge, R.A.O.B.; the Prov. Grand Lodge of Essex, R.A.O.B,; members of the Royal Engineers’ N.C.O. Mess; Napier Lines, Colchester; the Sergeants’ Mess, 80th Field Co. R.E.; the Army Motor Section Signal Depot, Aldershot; and “An old servant.”

1915

THE ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 20 March 1915 - Contains photos of Percy Stiff and James Mills of East Donyland, Royal Naval Reservists, who were interned at Groeningen. At the start of the war both men were crew members of Sir Edward Walter Greene’s steam yacht Agatha.

 

Eric Goodhart DCM

Percy Stiff, 2nd cook, and James Mills, AB, on s.y. Agatha in 1914

THE (ESSEX) NEWMAN -  Saturday 10 April 1915 - “HALSTEAD FALABA VICTIM - In the official list of the missing from the liner Falaba, which was recently torpedoed by a German submarine off the Bristol Channel, appears the name of Mr. J.A. Houston, of Halstead. Mr. Houston, who had been connected with the Navy for many years, had recently retired on a pension. He was going out to Lagos on the West Coast of Africa, to undertake work on behalf of the Admiralty. Formerly he carried on business as a yacht builder at Rowhedge.”

 

THE ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 22 May 1915 - Photo of rifleman Wm. Fairs of Rowhedge who died of his wounds. This image is from the poor quality microfilm copy of the original newspaper.

BENJAMIN JAMES HARRIS

Rank: Shipwright. H. M. Dockyard : Sheerness (H.M.S. Princess Irene).

Date of Death: 27-05-1915

Benjamin was the brother-in-law of Herbert Cousins (see later). When the family shipyard at Rowhedge was destroyed by fire he moved with his family to work in the Sheerness Royal Naval Dockyard.

At about 11.14 on the morning of 27th May 1915, at Sheerness, the minelayer HMS Princess Irene which was about 3 miles WSW from the town centre was, without warning,  blown to pieces. In addition to the 222 officers and men on board, there was also an additional 160 or so men made up of Petty Officers, sailors and dockyard workers from Chatham and Sheerness. They had been aboard her to complete various tasks before she was due to lay the 500 mines she was carrying. The cause of the disaster was thought to have been due to a faulty primer (pistol) although evidence at the Official Enquiry showed that the work of priming the lethal mines was being carried out a) in a hurry and b) by untrained personnel. One dockyard worker survived but few bodies were recovered.

THE ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 31 July 1915 - “ROWHEDGE - KILLED AT THE FRONT - Rowhedge suffers another loss at the war in the death of Wm. Allen, who is reported killed on July 11. Deceased was a native of Rowhedge, but prior to the war was living in New York and joined the Canadian Contingent. His widowed mother resides at Paget Cottages, Rowhedge.”

WILLIAM BENJAMIN ALLEN - 

Lance Corporal, Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment.) C Coy. 

13th Battalion. 3rd Brigade 1st Canadian Division. Service No: 24452

Date of Death: 11-07-1915 aged 27.

Son of William and Sarah Allen, of Paget Cottages, Albion Rd., Rowhedge, Essex. . Date of birth 25/04/1888 . His father was the mate on the America's Cup challenger Valkyrie II in 1893.

THE ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Friday 6 November 1915 - “ROWHEDGE GUARD’S GALLANTRY - Private Adolphus Wade, 2nd Scots Guards, a native of Rowhedge, has received the D.C.M. for great gallantry at Festubert on May 9. It was necessary to place a mortar in an opening on which the Germans were pouring their shells. One poor fellow who attempted to put the gun into position had his head smashed. Wade then volunteered, succeeded in placing the gun, and worked it for several hours. He escaped all injury. On another occasion he saved a lieutenant’s life by bayoneting a Prussian Guardsman. A moment later the officer in return saved Wade’s life by shooting another Prussian. His parents live at Canning Town, and the Mayor of West Ham (Councillor H. Dyer, J.P.), on behalf of the residents, has just presented Prvt. Wade with a radium wristlet watch and purse of money, with illuminated address. Wade is 6ft. 2in. Prior to enlisting he was employed at Rowhedge Ironworks. When a lad he rescued three children from the river Colne.”

 

THE ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 20 November 1915 - “ROWHEDGE - SOLDIER WOUNDED AND MISSING - Corporal Nunn, 23rd Company, Royal Engineers. Corporal Nunn, who has been reported wounded and missing since September 25, is the only son of Mrs. Nunn , Kimberley Cottage, Rowhedge. Any news of him would be greatly received.”

 

THE ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 18 December 1915 - “ROWHEDGE - ROWHEDGE LAD KILLED IN ACTION - After many weeks of suspense the parents of Lance-Corporal C. James, of 4, Albion Street, Rowhedge, have received the sad news of his death. Lance-Corpl. James was an apprentice at the Rowhedge Ironworks Co. Ltd., and enlisted with several other lads in the 11th Essex in September 1914. He had been in France about three months when he took part in the battle of Loos on Sept. 25 and 26 and was reported wounded and missing, and though diligent inquiries were made, no trace of him could be found until last week, when it was discovered that he had been killed in action and buried with some other comrades. He was 20 years of age and much sympathy is felt with Mr. and Mrs. Philip James, his parents. Corpl. Wm. Nunn, R.E., of Rowhedge, has also been missing since the battle of Loos.

ALSO - “Mr. and Mrs. P. James and family wish to thank their many friends for letters and tokens of kind sympathy in their sad bereavement. 4, Albion Street, Rowhedge, December 14, 1915.”

 

Charlie James - Rowhedge Ironworks shipwright 1911

1916

William Charles Harvey Nunn DCM

Royal Engineers 23rd Company. Service No: 13059

Killed in Action : 25/09/1915. Age: 30

THE ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - 8 January 1916 :- "Mrs Nunn has received a letter from an officer announcing the death of Corporal Nunn, R. E., who was sent out when the war started and had been twice slightly wounded. He fell in the battle of Loos and was reported wounded and missing and no trace of him could be found until last week when his resting place was discovered. The letter states:- I hope it may be a relief to know that we have at last found your gallant son's resting place. He is buried with Lance Corporal Hunter, of the same company, in a soldier's grave just behind our old front line. He must have been brought back from where he was wounded across the British Line soon afterwards as a Lieutenant could find no trace of him on searching the ground where they lay that same afternoon. It is impossible to find out by whom he was buried but his name, rank, and company were written in indelible pencil on a rough cross at the head of the grave. We are now making crosses for both theses heroes - the only tribute we can offer. He was as you know a splendid soldier - one of the very best". 

 

THE ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD – 22 April 1916. “SPECIAL CONSTABLES – The special constable force for Rowhedge has been strengthened, the number now serving being about 25, and on Tuesday evening the following took the oath:- Messrs. O.W. Godfrey, F. Howe, F. Collison, T. Southgate, A. Stiff, A. Ladbrook, Marshall, W. Wakeland, H. Richer, Geo. Heath, J.F. Watsham, A. Everett, Edwards, Ford, T. Fale. Mr. Gooch, J.P., afterwards addressed the force and read out the proposed new regulations, also thanking the men for coming forward in such a number.

D.C.M. For A Fallen Hero – Mrs. E.R.C. Nunn, Kimberley Cottages, Rowhedge, has received information that the distinguished conduct medal has been awarded to her son, the late Corpl. W. Nunn, R.E., who was sent out when the war started, was twice wounded and fell in the Battle of Loos.”

ERNEST MILLS SPRINGETT

Able Seaman. Mercantile Marine : S.S. Sea Serpent, of London

Date of Death: 23/03/1916 aged 41.

Son of John and Mary Ann Springett; husband of Rose Sarah Springett (nee Clarke), of Erycina Cottage, Rowhedge, Colchester, Essex.

THE ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD – 1 April 1916. “ROWHEDGE – ROWHEDGE SAILORS ON SUNKEN STEAMER. The sinking of the steamer Sea Serpent, by striking a mine off Folkestone on Thursday, March 23, caused much anxiety and sorrow in Rowhedge, as there were on board three Rowhedge men, namely Mr. Arthur Barnard, Mr. Wm. Barnard, and Mr. Ernest Springett. The two former were among the four who were saved, but there is now practically no hope for Mr. E. Springett, and much sympathy is felt in the village for the widow and daughter and parents.”

“Mrs. Ernest Springett and daughter Rosie Thank all kind friends for their kind sympathy shown to them in their sad loss and heavy bereavement. Erycina Cottage, Rowhedge, March 30th 1916.”

GEORGE FREDERICK SMITH

Private: Essex Regiment 10th Battalion. 53 Brigade 18th (Eastern ) Division. Service No: 43352

Date of Death: 26/09/1916 aged 24.

The Essex Chronicle of  5 January 1917 reported him as missing.  Subsequently he was reported killed in action on this date.

Grave/Memorial Reference: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL - Pier and Face 10 D.

Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Smith, of 20, Recreation Rd., Colchester; husband of Florrie Eleanor Roberts (formerly Smith), of "Chota Kamra," Barrow Hill, West Mersea, Essex.

CHARLES CLIFFORD HOWARD

Driver in the Royal Horse Artillery "G" Battery. 4th Brigade. Service No: 56811

Age: 28     Date of Death: 23/10/1916, aged 28

DANIEL ABBOTT GREEN

Second Lieutenant, The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 3rd Battalion. attached. 1st Battalion. Second Division

Killed in Action 13-11-1916 aged 21.

The Green family lived at Fingringhoe Hall but had farmed land in East Donyland for many years, eventually moving to Donyland Hall. Son of Daniel Abbott Green and Anna Maria Green, of East Donyland Hall, Colchester.

Daniel Abbott Green's brother Geoffrey was also killed in WWI.

George Frederick Smith

Charles Henry William Simons

Charles Henry William SIMONS,

Birth Place: Rowhedge, Essex

Death Date: 21 August 1916

Enlistment Location: Rowhedge, Colchester

Rank: Private

Regiment: The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)  

Battalion: 8th Battalion 

Number: G/15276 

Type of Casualty: Killed in action 

Age: 27

Parents: Charles and Mary Ann Simons, Merrythought, Regent Street, Rowhedge

Comments: Formerly 12915, Essex Regt.

Memorial: Thiepval Memorial - Pier and Face 5D and 6D

Charles Henry William SIMONS 1889 - 1916

 

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Location: The Thiepval Memorial will be found on the D73, off the main Bapaume to Albert road (D929). Each year a major ceremony is held at the memorial on 1 July. 

Historical Information: On 1 July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1 July. Attacks north and east continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Somme finally ended on 18 November with the onset of winter. In the spring of 1917, the German forces fell back to their newly prepared defences, the Hindenburg Line, and there were no further significant engagements in the Somme sector until the Germans mounted their major offensive in March 1918. The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive and a small cemetery containing equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at the foot of the memorial. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 31 July 1932. The dead of other Commonwealth countries who died on the Somme and have no known graves are commemorated on national memorials elsewhere. 

No. of Identified Casualties: 72091.

 

Charles and his brother Sidney were in the same regiment. Sid survived the war though he was shot in the left thigh.

 

Sidney Simons was Captain's Steward on both Admiral Sir David Beatty's steam yacht Sheelah and s.y. Sapphire which belonged to Lord Furness. He was also valet to Lord Furness, had twice been round the world and on many occasions waited on royalty. At the outbreak of the Second World War he worked at Wivenhoe Shipyard where he was employed until his death.

1917

HORACE JOHN CRANMER - Rowhedge Ironworks shipwright 1911. Accidentally killed  on 7th February 1917, aged 36.

SYDNEY J. CARTER

Died January 1917 and buried 31st January at Southampton. Died of a lung infection.

He was the second son of  Capt. John Carter, skipper of King Edward's  yacht  Britannia from 1893-1910.

 

WILLIAM TURNER HEATH - 

Chief Petty Officer Royal Navy H.M.S. Eagle.

Date of Death: 20-01-1917, aged 48 years.

THE ESSEX COUNTY TELEGRAPH - 27 January 1917 states that he was killed accidentally during the course of his duties as a gunnery instructor at Liverpool and buried at East Donyland.

Son of William Heath, mariner, boat builder, coal merchant & licensed victualler of East Donyland & Wivenhoe. His mother was Susannah Ann (nee Turner).

 

ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD – 17 February 1917. “ROWHEDGE – DEATH OF MR. HORACE CRANMER – We regret to announce the death by accident, on Wednesday, February 7, of Horace, second son of George Cranmer, of Rowhedge. The deceased who was 36 years of age, was greatly respected by all with whom he came in contact. The news of his death was received with keen regret by officers and men, among whom he had worked for several years, on H.M. Hospital Ship China. Mr. Cranmer and family wish to thank their numerous friends for their sympathy in their sad bereavement.”

THE ESSEX COUNTY CHRONICLE - Friday 9 March 1917 - “ESSEX ROLL OF HONOUR - Pt. Walter Charles Pooley, husband of Mrs. Constance Pooley, of Albion Street, Rowhedge, was killed in action, aged 25. He was formerly a trooper in the Essex Yeomanry, and transferred to the Essex regt.”

THE ESSEX COUNTY CHRONICLE - Friday 27 April 1917 - “ESSEX CASUALTIES - Beds. Rgt. Woods, W. , East Donyland.

 

THE ESSEX COUNTY CHRONICLE - Friday 4 May 1917 - “PERSONAL WAR NOTES - Lt. F.D. Barker, a native of Rowhedge, formerly an assistant master at the Colchester Royal Grammar School, has been seriously wounded.”

EDWARD PIKE - 

Private, Northamptonshire Regiment 1st Battalion.2nd Brigade, 1st Division.

Killed in Action: 10-07-1917

Service No: 27758

Son of Henry Edgar and Mary Ann Pike, of Chapel St., Rowhedge, Essex

HERBERT THOMAS WISBEY

Petty Officer Stoker, Royal Naval Reserve : H.M.S. Newmarket. Service No: 2016T.

 She was an auxiliary minesweeper that went missing in the Eastern Mediterranean, last reported on 16th July 1917.

Date of Death: 17/07/1917 aged 41.

He was the son of Samuel and Adelaide Wisbey; husband of Ellen Wisbey, of C.W.E. Cottage, Regent St., Rowhedge, Colchester.

"CHELMSFORD CHRONICLE – Friday 17 August 1917. “Stoker Herbert Wisbey, of Regent Street, Rowhedge, is reported lost on a patrol boat, sunk in the North Sea. He leaves a widow and family.”

BENJAMIN JOHN WAKELAND

Private, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 8th Battalion (Service No: 43770). Formerly with the 3/19th London Regiment ( Service Number 5213)

Killed in Action  16-08-1917 battle of Langemarck, aged 32.

Grave/Memorial Reference: TYNE COT MEMORIAL: Panel 70 to 72

Eldest son of Benjamin John and Annie Elizabeth Wakeland, of High St., Rowhedge, Colchester, Essex.

THE ESSEX COUNTY CHRONICLE - Friday 17 August 1917 - “ESSEX CASUALTIES - WOUNDED - Scowen, Cpl. P.J., Rowhedge.

PERSONAL WAR NOTES column - Cpl. Percy Scowen, suffering from gas poisoning, is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Scowen, of Regent Street, Rowhedge.”

PERCY GEORGE COUSINSLeading Seaman. Royal Naval Reserve: S.S. Earl of Elgin. Service No: 5391B.

 Date of Death: 07-12-1917 aged 30.

On the  7th December 1917, while 10 miles W ½ S from Caernarvon Bay, the Earl of Elgin (defensively armed) was torpedoed without warning and sunk by a submarine with the loss of 18 lives.

Son of Elizabeth Cousins and husband of Laura Kate Cousins, of Florence Cottages, Regent St., Rowhedge, Colchester.

1918

THE ESSEX COUNTY CHRONICLE - Friday 1 November 1918 - “ESSEX CASUALTIES - KILLED - Queens Rgt. Patterson J., Rowhedge.”

Service Records - Ancestry.com

 

 

Southgate, Ernest of High St, Rowhedge

 

Barnard, Robert Edward born Rowhedge

King, John b.Rowhedge

Nunn, William b.Rowhedge

Springett, Wallace b.Rowhedge

Walford, Oscar b.Rowhedge

Ward, John David b. Rowhedge

 

Havens, Robert Havens born East Donyland

King, Frederick   b. East Donyland

Sebborn, Daniel  b. East Donyland

JOHN FELIX KING - Rowhedge Ironworks shipwright 1911. On father's gravestone at East Donyland - "John F. King his son, died POW August 22nd 1918 aged 26 buried Glageon Cemetery France."

Son of Mr. and Mrs. John  B. King, of 2, Harrington Cottages, Rowhedge, Colchester.

REGINALD HARRY BOND-MUNFORDSecond Lieutenant Regiment: Royal Air Force.

Date of Death: 26-09-1918 aged 19.

He was killed when his B.E.2e crashed with another machine in mid-air while engaged in a mock dogfight.

 

ALFRED JAMES WAKELAND

Son of Alfred  & Agatha Wakeland, of Vine Cottage, Rowhedge Street, Rowhedge, Colchester; husband of Henrietta Hannah Wakeland, of Regent St., Rowhedge, Colchester, Essex

Seaman, Royal Naval Reserve : S.S. Larchgrove. Service No: 3355B

Date of Death: 27-10-1918 aged 33.

The U.S.S. Hawaiian sailed for Europe  on  the 11 October 1918. On 26 October, only one day out of Gibraltar, she rammed the British steamer Larchgrove amidships, sinking her almost immediately.

HERBERT GOLDING COUSINS - Brother of Percy George Cousins. 

The Essex County Standard - 30 November 1918 - "We regret to record the sad news, received by his young wife, that her husband, Regt.- Sergeant  Major Herbert G. Cousins, aged 35 years, died in hospital at Le Cateau, France. on October 25th after having been severely wounded by gun shot in the chest and forearms. Deceased, who had been four months in France, was at camp when war broke out, and had been 18 years in the Territorials. Previous to his leaving for France, over 7,000 trained men had passed through his hands. He was a first class marksman and the holder of numerous shooting prizes, including six silver cups, 19 medals, and six rifle spoons, being a member of both the Colchester and Wivenhoe Rifle Ranges. He was also one of the picked men from the 5th Essex for shooting at Bisley, where he won several money prizes. the following is an extract from a letter received by his wife from his Major.

John Felix King                                       Herbert Cousins                       Herbert or Percy Cousins

ERNEST ALFRED SOUTHGATE

Private - Bedfordshire Regiment 4th Battalion.  Service No: 269471

Died of Wounds: 02-09-1918 in France, aged 30.

Son of James, master mariner,  and Emma Southgate of High Street, Rowhedge.

ERNEST GEORGE CLARKE

Second Lieutenant Royal Air Force

Date of Death: 27-11-1918 aged 27.

son of George and Anna Clarke, of High St., Rowhedge.

THOMAS WILLIAM COOK -

Seaman, Royal Naval Reserve S.S. Gitano. Service No: 3740A

Date of Death: 20-12-1918 aged 28.

Son of Thomas and Charlotte Cook, of Rowhedge, Colchester; husband of Lily Maud Cook, of 51, Spring Rd., Brightlingsea, Colchester.

PERCY SPRINGETT - 

Assistant Steward - Mercantile Marine Reserve H.M. Yacht Rosabelle.

Date of Death: 25-02-1919 aged 32, Portland Hospital.

Date of Death: 25/02/1919

Son of Thomas and Emma Springett of Rowhedge. Husband of Elizabeth Springett, of 22, Florence Place, Tolcarne, Newlyn.

 

Royal Naval Ratings’ Service Records 1853-1923 - National Archives

 

           

ADM 188/571/5947 ALLEN, Wallace Thomas b. Rowhedge 14 October 1874. Royal Naval Air Service. Official Number: F5947. Date: 1915. (Actually born 1875)

 

ADM 188/578/9076 CRAMFIELD (sic), William Cardinal b. Rowhedge 17 September 1877. Royal Naval Air Service. Official Number: F 9076. Date: 1915

 

ADM 188/776/64707 MARTIN, James b. Rowhedge 6 July 1882. Official Number: J64707. Date: 1916

 

ADM 188/548/360641 SCARFF, Jabez b. Rowhedge 24 September 1866. Official Number: 360641. Date: 1902

 

ADM 188/484/298931 WADE, Arthur William b. Rowhedge 20 June 1883. Official Number: 298931. Date: 1901

British Army WWI Pension Records

 

DANN, Charles

DOWNING, Jack

EVANS, George. Spouse - Ada

GREDLEY, Alice Louisa. Spouse - Joseph GURR

GURR, Joseph. Spouse - Alice Louisa GREDLEY

SPRINGETT, Turner William

TURFF, William John Leea (sic)

Wallace Thomas Allen

Index of First World War Mercantile Marine Medals and The British War Medal - The National Archives

 

Names without a "BT" number are from Ancestry.com - "WWI Campaign Medals Awarded to Merchant Seamen"

 

ALDRIDGE, Ipey John b. Rowhedge 1866

BT 351/1/2324 ALLEN, Percy Ernest b. Row 1901

BARNARD, Benjamin Harvey b. Row 1879

BT 351/1/7200 BARNARD, Harry b. Row 1890

BT 351/1/7201 BARNARD, Henry Daniel b. Row 1878

BT 351/1/7216 BARNARD, William Daniel b. Row 1881

BT 351/1/16393 BROWN, John b. Row 1877

BT 351/1/17911 BURCH, Harold Lock b.Row 1891

CARDER, Albert Harvey b. Row 1862

BT 351/1/21058 CARDER, James Murrell b. Row 1856

CARTER, George Thomas b. Row 1893

BT 351/1/21940 CARTER, James b. Row 1888

BT 351/1/21946 CARTER, Jesse b. Row 1893

BT 351/1/21965 CARTER, John Richard b. Row 1877

COOK, Didymus b. Row 1868

BT 351/1/27924 COOK, Henry John b. Row 1893

BT 351/1/28052 COOK, William Henry b. Row 1889

BT 351/1/30292 CRANFIELD, Alexander b. Row 1890

BT 351/1/30295 CRANFIELD, Charles William b. Row 1874

BT 351/1/30296 CRANFIELD, Harold Victor b. Row 1887

BT 351/1/30298 CRANFIELD, Lemon b. Row 1885

BT 351/1/30300 CRANFIELD, William Cardinal b. Row 1877

BT 351/1/30694 CRICKMORE, Horace b. Row 1879

BT 351/1/30695 CRICKMORE, Thomas b. Row 1870

BT 351/1/30698 CRICKMORE, William Allen b. Row 1885

BT 351/1/31466 CUDMORE, George Henry b. Row 1876

BT 351/1/31467 CUDMORE, Jonathan Daniel b. Row 1873

BT 351/1/41674 ENNEW, Thomas Herbert b. Row 1881

BT 351/1/41675 ENNEW, William Thomas Daniel b. Row 1875

FAIRES, Victor b. Row 1882

GLOZIER, George Oliver b. Row 1869

BT 351/1/51949 GOLDACRE, Charles b. Row 1878

BT 351/1/61241 HEMPSTEAD, Walter George b. Row 1891

BT 351/1/63006 HILLYARD, Henry William b. Row 1873

BT 351/1/67588 HURST, Thomas William b. Row 1879

BT 351/1/69547 JAMES, Ralph Henry b. Row 1895

BT 351/1/69965 JAY, Arthur John b. Row 1879

BT 351/1/77113 KING, John b. Row 1866

BT 351/1/80329 LAY, Oscar b. Row 1870

BT 351/1/88773 MARTIN, Frederick, b. Row 1888

MARTIN, George Walter b. Row 1884

BT 351/1/88843 MARTIN, Henry W. b. Row 1874

BT 351/1/101235 MOULTON, Frederick b. Row 1886

BT 351/1/101237 MOULTON, John b. Row 1853

BT 351/1/101238 MOULTON, Mark b. Row 1861

BT 351/1/108224 OWERS, William James b. Row 1892

BT 351/1/110568 PEARMAN, George Samuel b. Row 1875

BT 351/1/110602 PEARSON, Adolphus Felix b. Row 1895

BT 351/1/114243 POWELL, Ernest Clifford b. Row 1881

BT 351/1/117041 RAYNER, Richard John b. Row 1885

BT 351/1/122167 ROPER, Edward John b. Row 1869

BT 351/1/128831 SIMONS, Arthur b. Row 1866

BT 351/1/128836 SIMONS, Henry b. Row 1873

BT 351/1/128844 SIMONS, Robert b. Row 1870

BT 351/1/133214 SPRINGETT, Ernest Mills b. Row 1874

BT 351/1/133217 SPRINGETT, John b. Row 1869

BT 351/1/133218 SPRINGETT, Louis Samuel b. Row 1877

BT 351/1/133219 SPRINGETT, Oscar Samuel b. Row 1870

BT 351/1/138282 TAYLOR, James b. Row 1887

BT 351/1/138569 TAYLOR, William b. Row 1891

BT 351/1/142721 TURFF, David b. Row 1860

BT 351/1/142722 TURFF, James Watson b. Row 1878

BT 351/1/142723 TURFF, Norman Sydney b. Row 1892

BT 351/1/144794 WADE, Cardinal William b. Row 1890

BT 351/1/144831 WADE, Samuel b. Row 1856

BT 351/1/144850 WADLEY, Langham Charles b. Row 1881

BT 351/1/144851 WADLEY, William George b. Row 1872

BT 351/1/146818 WARREN, James b. Row 1900

BT 351/1/147246 WATSON, Alfred b. Row1859

BT 351/1/150715 WILKIN, Albert Ernest Henry b. Row 1877

BT 351/1/153961 WISBEY, Joseph Henry b. Row 1865

BT 351/1/153962 WISBEY, Lewis Harry b. Row 1877

A few from the above list

               Ipey Aldridge                         Harry Barnard                 Henry Daniel Barnard             

   John "Jack" Carter         Alexander Cranfield             Frederick Moulton

      Charles William Cranfield              Harold Victor Cranfield        William Cardinal Cranfield   

      Richard John Rayner                 Edward Roper                 Arthur Edward Simons 

Adolphus Pearson                    Henry Simons

Henry "Harry" Lloyd

 

Harry was married to Alice Robinson, the youngest daughter of Abraham Robinson of Cabbage Hall farm and later Donyland Hall. They lived in France where Harry was employed by a racehorse trainer. During WWI Harry served in the Army Veterinary Corps and then as a driver with the Royal Field Artillery.

Harry and Alice Lloyd with their three sons; John (seated), Alec (in infant's kilt), and Frank (right). John later farmed Glebe Farm, also known as Parsonage Farm. 

 

ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD – Saturday 5 December 1914 - EAST DONYLAND – “PRINCESS MARY’S FUND – The collections at East Donyland Church on Sunday, Nov. 29, in aid of Princess Mary’s Fund for Christmas presents for our soldiers and sailors, realised £4.11.5. To this was added the sum of 9s 5d, collected by John Lloyd, a young refugee from Chantilly.”

On November 12th 1922 Harry was invited to carry the Union flag at the inauguration of the War Memorial in Chantilly, France. He can be seen in the following photo along with the French ex-servicemen and colours. Hats, it seems, were not removed for the occasion.

Stephen Cranfield

 

During WWI Stephen was working as a shipwright, a reserved occupation, and was enrolled as a Special Constable.