The War Memorial on the outside wall of the Memorial Stores, Limpsfield Village.
The Memorial at St Andrews Church, Limpsfield Chart, Oxted, Surrey
Adams, James Scovell
Died of wounds on the 8th of August 1918 aged 19.
Son of James Scovell Adams and Mrs Nora Adams of Rockfield Limpsfield
He was killed in the opening day of the Amiens offensive which finally broke the stalemate on the Western Front after four years. The 7th Queens, part of 18th Division, were detailed with the capture of ground north of the Bray-Corbie Road to protect the flank of Fourth Army. They were due to be supported by six tanks which failed to make the rendezvous at the appointed time. By 3.40am the battalion was in position, one wave in front and three behind Burke trench, and almost at once a heavy barrage of enemy artillery fell upon them causing several casualties. For some time the position regarding the progress of the assault was unclear and runners were sent forward to report but most became casualties themselves. At 7am Lt Col C Bushell VC, DSO, officer commanding the battalion, went forward himself with his runner and collected all available men who he led forward from Croydon Trench and assaulted the enemy lines, capturing Cloncurry trench before being mortally wounded by a sniper. Col Ransome of the Buffs was placed in command and discovered that Cloncurry trench was held by about 100 men of “D” Company who he promptly reinforced with “C” Company under Captain Simmonds. He decided that the objectives could still be taken and he ordered Captain Snell to affect this. Snell urged the men in Cloncurry Trench to follow him and led them down the trench. Despite enemy resistance the trench was eventually cleared and consolidated, the Queens being relieved at 5pm when a Brigade of 12th Division passed through them to capture the ridge and continue the advance which would lead in November to the armistice.
The Queens casualties were 4 officers and 24 other ranks killed, 6 officers and 140 other ranks wounded, 68 men were gassed and 7 were suffering from shell shock- a total of 275 all ranks. Lt J.S. Adams was listed amongst the wounded but died later that day.
He is buried at Pernois British Cemetery, Halloy-Les-Pernois Section III Row E Grave 3
Died of wounds on the 23rd of October 1915 aged 21
He was born in Limpsfield on the 31st of October 1893 the son of Albert (a bricklayer’s labourer) and Alice Ashton. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
He emigrated to Canada and joined the army on the 23rd of November 1914 at Kingston Ontario, giving his occupation as a labourer. According to his attestation papers he was 6ft and � inch tall with light brown hair and was in good health.
On the 21st of October 1915 the battalion came out of the line having been relieved by the 20th Battalion. They proceeded to Brigade reserve at “Ridgewood”. Whilst in reserve the battalion was expected to furnish working parties. On the 23rd of October such a working party consisting of 490 men was furnished for the cutting of new trenches. Enemy shelling became heavy during that evening and the battalion war diary describes the working party being “surprised”, it is assumed that this was by a German Raiding party. Two men were killed and two wounded one of whom died later . Henry Ashton was hit in the back by shrapnel and died later the same day.
He is buried in Ridge Wood Military Cemetery Plot I Row O Grave 9.
Bailey, Clive Maxwell
He died on the 3rd of August 1917 Age 23
The son of Reginald (a solicitor) and Grace Bailey of Barton Hatch Cottage Limpsfield
On the outbreak of war he enlisted at Epsom in the 19th (Service) Battalion (2nd Public Schools) Royal Fusiliers as a private PS/33 It is likely that he served in France in the infantry before undergoing officer training being gazetted as a Temporary Lieutenant on the 20th of March 1917 and transferring to the R.F.C. He was killed in a training accident in a B.E .2e, registration No.4434 and is buried at St. Peter’s Churchyard, Limpsfield.
Baker , William Frampton
Killed in action on the 3rd of October 1918 aged 21
Son of Clifford George and Sarah Baker of 3, Hurst Cottages Limpsfield, he enlisted at Chatham. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield.
(Submarine of the same type as L10)
On the morning of the 3rd of October 1918 HMS Submarine L10 under the command of Lieutenant Commander A.E.Whitehouse, was north of Terschelling and stalking a German convoy in the North Sea which had been attacked by British Destroyers the previous evening. That afternoon, a number of German naval vessels were in the area searching for survivors and L10 signalled that she was going to attack the German Squadron which consisted of the German destroyers S34 and S34 as well as two motor torpedo boats which were on route to Germany from Zeebrugge. The S34 hit a mine before the L10 had a chance to attack and the S33 pulled alongside to rescue survivors. L10 used the opportunity to attack S33 with torpedoes and she was badly damaged. Initially the crew thought that they too may have hit a mine but they then saw L10’s conning tower come clear of the water and subjected the submarine to accurate and persistent shelling until she sank with the loss of the entire crew of 39 of which William Baker was one. The L10 was built by Denny was launched in on the 24th of January 1918 and was the only “L” class submarine to be lost during the war; the wreck has never been located. The S33 subsequently sank.
He is commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial to the missing Panel 28
Killed in action 9th of August 1915 at Gallipoli
He lived in Limpsfield, was educated at the National School, Limpsfield and enlisted in Croydon
For details of his death see also Private Webster
He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial to the missing at Gallipoli panels 30 and 31
Baggley, William Baldwin
Killed in action 3rd of May 1917 aged 25
Born on the 25th of August 1889, the son of Henry and Esther Baldwin of Crockham Hill, Kent. He was the husband of Maude C. Baldwin of Maidstone Kent.
He enlisted as a volunteer into the 184th Battalion at Winnipeg on the 29th of February 1916 giving his address as 851 Madison Street, St James where he lived with his wife. He was employed as a teamster and stood 5ft 10ins in height with brown hair and grey eyes.
On the 3rd of May 1917 the 31st Battalion at Bois Bernard and were detailed to attack a position known as “New German Trench” with A and D Companies in the vanguard and with B Company in support. As the troops assembled for the attack they came under artillery and machine gun fire which delayed their attack when combined with the difficulties of forming up in the dark. By the time they went over the top the supporting British barrage had passed over the German front line trench and the Germans quickly manned it. When the attackers got to the German line, a distance of 600 yards, they were under fire from both flanks and found the concertina barbed wire in front of “New Trench” largely uncut although some men did manage to get into the German trench. These men were soon forced out back into No Mans Land where they took cover in shell holes. During the late afternoon two parties under Lt G.S. Robertson and Lt A.E. Metcalfe succeeded in re-entering New German Trench and each with a party of bombers, managed to capture a machine gun along with 9 prisoners and consolidate the German position. A German counter attack later in the day was driven off by rifle fire. Casualties for the 31st Battalion were 4 officers and 27 other ranks killed with 7 officers and 104 other ranks wounded and 57 other ranks posted as missing. William Baldwin was among the missing, his body was not recovered and he is commemorated by the Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais.
Died of wounds on the 20th of July 1916 aged 39
He was born in Limpsfield the son of George and Eliza Beard of 7 Lodge Lane Westerham. He was educated at Hosey School, Westerham and was a member of the local volunteer battalion. On leaving school he worked as a drayman at the Westerham Brewery. He enlisted in February 1915 at Maidstone in Kent and after training he was posted to the 1st Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment landing in France on May 1st 1915
The battalion arrived on the Somme front on the 14th of July; some two weeks after the offensive had begun on July the 1st 1916. They moved into the front line trenches between Bazentin-le Grand and Longueval on the 19th and it would seem that he received his wounds that day in a bombardment as the battalion were not involved in a major engagement at the time they did take part in the assault on High Wood on the 22nd.
Born in Limpsfield, enlisted in Tonbridge.
He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing on the Somme Pier 11C
Brown, Charles Arthur
Killed in action 11th October 1917 aged 20.
He was born and lived in Limpsfield, was educated at the National School, Limpsfield, and enlisted at Guildford. He was the son of Charles and Agnes Brown of Argus Hill Lodge, Rotherfield, Sussex.
On the 4th of October 1917 the 7th Queens were at St.Jan-ter-Biezen when they heard of the success of the latest in a series of battles, collectively known as the Third Battle of Ypres. This was the Battle of Poelcapplle; part of the Passchendale ridge where 4,446 enemy prisoners had been captured along with 6 guns and all objectives had been taken.
On the 9th they moved to “Dirty Bucket” Camp where, the next day, they received orders to move forward following the “failure of 32nd Brigade”. They were ordered to relieve that Brigade and “carry out the assault allotted to it”.
The Division was under General Maxse, who at a briefing of his officers, said “I have arranged a very nice battle for you, gentlemen, with lots of Huns to kill”.
The conditions in the front line were appalling; it had rained all day on the 11th and to get through the mud was almost impossible, many men sticking fast in the mud and being unable to reach the assembly area. The attack went in on the 12th and perhaps, unsurprisingly failed, with heavy casualties to the Brigade as a whole. Private Brown had been killed before the attack even began, most likely being a victim of the relentless shellfire or simply drowned in the sea of mud that was Passchendale, his body was never recovered. He was one of 137 casualties, of all ranks suffered by the battalion in a three day period.
He is commemorated at Tyne Cot on the memorial to the missing Panels 14 and 17 162 to 162A.
Burchell, Owen Stanley
Killed in action on the 26th of March 1918 aged 29.
Born in Horsham, he lived in Limpsfield and enlisted at Woolwich.
Formerly 059763 Royal Army Service Corps
He was the son of Mrs G Burchell of Buthers Farm Saffron Walden and the husband of Millie Burchell of 5 Pains Hill Limpsfield
He is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial to the missing Panels 52 to 54.
Cather, Geoffrey St George Shillington VC
Killed in action on the 2nd of July 1916 aged 25.
Born on the 11th of October 1890 at Christchurch Road Streatham Hill, the son of Mr R.G.Cather of Limpsfield and Mrs Margaret Matilda Cather of 26 Priory Road West Hampstead. He was sent to Hazelwood School Limpsfield in September 1900 and after three years went on to Rugby School where he was invalided home for a while with a bout of scarlet fever. He had to leave Rugby in 1908 when in the upper fifth following the death of his father. He joined the firm of Joseph Tetley and Co in the City of London where his father had been a partner. He was posted by them to Canada in 1912 returning to London in May 1914.
When war broke out he enlisted in the 19th (2nd Public Schools Battalion) Royal Fusiliers but as his parents both originated in Northern Ireland, he was commissioned into the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers in May 1915 proceeding to France in October 1915. He became assistant adjutant in November and adjutant the following month.
On the 1st of July 1916 the 9th Royal Irish (part of the 36th Ulster Division) were detailed to attack the German lines on the opening day of the “Big Push” on the Somme.
They were to attack the lines south east of Beaumont Hamel and the village of Beaucourt. The first wave of the 9th left the trenches at
On the evening of the 1st Cather went out into No Mans Land to help with bringing in the wounded. There was heavy German artillery and machine gun fire as he carried out this work but by midnight he had carried in three men. The next morning, at 8am, he went out again into No Mans Land to assist the men who were still trapped between the lines. He was killed by machine gun fire at 10.30am.
His citation in the London Gazette of the 9th of September 1916 reads:-
“For most conspicuous bravery. From 7pm til midnight he searched No Mans Land and brought in three wounded men. Next morning at 8am he continued his search, brought in another wounded man and gave water to others, arranging for their rescue later. Finally, at 10.30am, he took water to another man and was proceeding further when he was himself killed. All this was carried out in full view of the enemy, and under direct machine gun fire and intermittent artillery fire. He set a splendid example of courage and self sacrifice”
His Colonel wrote “He heard a man calling out and went over the parapet in broad daylight, gave him water, called to see if there was anyone else within hail, saw a hand waving feebly, went on and was shot through the head by a machine gun and killed instantaneously.”
His widowed mother received the V.C. from the King at Buckingham Palace on the 31st of March 1917.
His body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Theipval Memorial Pier and Face 15A
Clinch, Thomas John
Killed in action 8th of June 1917
He was born in Sevenoaks and lived in Limpsfield, the son of Thomas and Winifred Clinch of Blackman’s Cottages, Fairchilds, Whyteleafe, Surrey. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield and he enlisted in Guildford in the second week of December 1915.
On the 7th of June 1917 the British launched a massive attack on the Messines Ridge near Ypres, which overlooked much of the British defences in the area. It was the opening day of what would finish months later in the struggle for the Passchendale Ridge. It began with the detonation of nineteen deep mines which literally blew the German defenders off the ridge. At the time of the detonation (3 .10am) the 8th Battalion the Buffs were in assembly positions near Dickebusch having spent the night in two great dug outs, one of which held 400 men. Following the explosions there followed an enormous barrage as hundreds of artillery pieces joined the cacophony. They were in support later near St Eloi and at 11.30am they moved forward to occupy the line already taken up by the 41st Division. At 3pm an attack was launched during which the battalion reached its objective (know as the Green Line) with few casualties. The whole of the following two days the battalion held this position and “being shelled and suffering a few casualties, mostly men of “A” Company which with “C” was in the front line. One of the victims of the shellfire was Private Clinch.
He is commemorated Panels 12-14 Menin Gate Ypres.
Killed in action 26th September 1915 aged 21.
He was born and lived in Limpsfield being educated at the National School, Limpsfield.. He was the son of Mr W.H. Collins and (stepmother) Mrs May Mary Collins of The Chart, Limpsfield. He enlisted in Redhill
The 8th Battalion was sent to France on the 31st of August landing at midnight at Boulogne. From there they made their way to the front where the Battle of Loos was about to begin. They arrived at Vermelles on the afternoon of the 25th (the day the battle had begun and they were directed to prepare for an attack on the ground south of Hulluch Village.
The battalion history states:- “No written orders were given, and no zero hour was mentioned, and no objective pointed out, while dusk had now fallen, and the troops knew nothing of the country, the position of the enemy, or the whereabouts of our own forces.”
At 11pm on the 25th the battalion came under shell fire but experienced no casualties and at 2am on the 26th they reached the old German communication trenches which had been captured earlier and from which their attack was to be made.
From here at 10.30am verbal orders were received that the attack would start at 11.15am the objective being far from clear. At the appointed time the battalion moved forward in extended order. At once they came under heavy shrapnel and machine gun fire, the latter growing heavier as they crossed the Lens- La Bassee Road and appearing to come from Hulluch which was supposed to be in British hands.
On reaching the German front line they encountered a thick belt of uncut German barbed wire and the line lay down while attempts were made to cut through it. Whilst they lay there machine gun fire swept back and forth from both flanks at close range. The task of cutting the wire under such circumstances proved impossible and the entire Brigade fell back to its starting point.
The 8th Battalion lost a total of 12 officers including their C.O. Lt Col F.H.Fairclough who was killed and 409 other ranks.
Private Collins’ body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial panels 13 to 15
Died of wounds 18th of October 1915
Born and lived in Limpsfield enlisted in Croydon. Husband of Mrs A. Cook, North Cottage Limpsfield. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
Private Cook was almost certainly wounded in the same attack as Private Collins but survived long enough to be brought back to England where he died of his wounds and was buried at St Peter’s Limpsfield (his wife is buried with him)
Corke , John
Died of wounds on the 14th of May 1918.
He was born and lived in Limpsfield and enlisted at Oxted. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
In early May 1918 the battalion were in positions at Ram-Allah on the Nablus Road six miles from Jerusalem. During this period the Turks mounted an attack on the 2/4th Queens and their position on Ide Hill. The Queens were forced out but reoccupied the trenches in a counter attack later the same day. It seems likely that John Corke was wounded around this time and died of his wounds in Jerusalem and he is buried in Jerusalem War Cemetery Row V Grave 41
Cowlard , Robert Fredrick
Died of wounds 19th of May18 aged 36
Formerly Private 54313 of the 34th Battalion Royal Fusiliers and formerly 70336 Middlesex Regiment
Born in Tandridge, he enlisted in Guildford. He was the son of John and Jane Cowlard of Limpsfield and the husband of Alice Rosa Cowlard of 16 Capell Hamlet, Chorley Wood Hertfordshire. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield.
He is buried at St Sever Cemetery Extension Rouen, Q II Row H Grave 6
Killed in action 5th of October 1917.
Born and lived in Limpsfield enlisted in Guildford. Formerly G/ 18962 of the Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment).
He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
The 86th Company Machine Gun Corps were part of 86th Brigade of the 29th Division and were part of the Battle of Brooseinde.
Commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial Panel 154 to 159 and 163A.
Died of influenza on the 25th of October 1918 aged 18.
He was the y oungest son of Amos and Louisa Crittell of Champion’s Cottages the Chart Limpsfield. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
HMS Pembroke was a training establishment.
He is buried at St Peter’s Church Limpsfield.
Crittell, Henry George
Killed in action Monday 19th of November 1917 aged 22.
Son of Mark and Amy Crittell of Pains Hill Limpsfield Surrey . He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
He was killed while the battalion were holding the front line in either Eagle or Candle Trench in the Langemark area of the Ypres salient on battalion’s first day of a two week stint in the front line.
Commemorated Arras memorial Bay 6.
Crittell, William John Manuel
Killed in action 1st of July 1916 aged 21.
He enlisted at Redhill and was born and lived in Limpsfield. He was the son of Mark and Amy Crittell of Pains Hill Limpsfield He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
The 1st of July 1916 was the first day of what became the Battle of the Somme. This was to be the decisive “push” to break through the German lines once and for all. The British attacked a 17 mile front, with many of the battalions involved being those raised by Kitchener in 1914 of which the 7th Battalion the Queens was one.
The 7th Queens objective that day was a trench line about 200 yards north of the Montauban-Mametz Road. At 7.30am, along with tens of thousands of their fellows, they rose from their trenches and began to walk towards the German lines. There was expected to be limited opposition given that the Germans had faced a seven day bombardment of their lines which was expected to have extinguished all the defenders. The Germans, however, had been in very deep dugouts and many of them and their machine guns had survived the barrage.
One group of the Queens under L. D.R. Heaton crossed the German front line, but were stopped by “an unchecked hail of machine gun fire” from the German third line. They organised a bombing party which cleared the German line and they captured 163 prisoners. Another group, under Lt H.J.Tortiss captured the trench “Blind Alley” in similar fashion, capturing a further 12 Germans. In Montauban itself the battalion were held up by three enemy machine guns which Lt Tortiss and a dozen men rushed, bayoneting the defenders and took the post.
By nightfall the Queens were dug in to their new position and received the following from their Divisional commander General Maxse “Well done, it’s what I expected. Now hold on to what you have gained so splendidly”. Despite their appalling casualties, they were one of the few successful units on that dreadful first day.
In all the 7th Battalion suffered 7 officers and 174 men killed and 9 officers and 284 other ranks wounded with a further 58 men missing, in all 532 casualties, part of nearly 60,000 for the British Army that day.
Like thousands of others his body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial Pier and face 5D and 6D.
Doney, William John M.M.
Killed in action 26th October 1917
Born St Pennick Cornwall , he enlisted Harrow Road and lived Edenbridge. He was the son of Frederick William Doney of Tenchley’s Farm Limpsfield. His serial number indicates that he joined up in late 1915
The 2/3rd Londons were part of 173 Brigade, 58th (2/1 London) Div. The brigade attacked from Poelcappelle, along the Westrrosebekke road, towards high ground round Whitechapel and Papa Farm, towards a final line about 700 yards distant. The 2/2nd London and 2/3rd London made the attack in the first instant. The battalion history says:
"Once again the assembly was beset with extraordinary difficulties. The conditions of the ground underfoot were appalling, and were to be a factor of delay both before the battle and during the battle itself. ....As it was, the troops were to push through the slush and water-logged craters 'according to plan.'
The assembly on the night of the 25/26th of October took no less than nine hours, and the 2/2nd didn't receive the barrage table, zero hour or situation maps until 8.30 p.m. on the night before the attack.
The acting OC of the 2/2nd, Major Miller, wrote: “The 2/2nds are ready to kill as many Boche as possible, and we are all happy to think of the possibility of doing a bit of slaughter."
At 3am, heavy rain broke (and lasted for 24 hours), and heavy enemy shelling killed or wounded many in the attacking companies.
At 5.30 the attack jumped off (or, as the history says "waded off").
"To obviate conspicuousness, the men had been ordered to rub their steel helmets with mud, a task that demanded no special measures and was the simplest the battalion had to discharge that day."
The barrage ("very, very weak") moved at 100 yards in eight minutes - impossible to keep up with in the appalling conditions.
The 57th Div, on the left flank, failed; a German counter-attack on the 2/3rd (on the left of the 58th Div front) resulted in them being forced back; the CO of the 2/3rd (Colonel Beresford) was mortally wounded, and they lost much of the ground they had gained.
The 2/3rd Londons lost roughly 70 men killed on the 26th including their Commanding Officer Lt Colonel Percy Beresford of Westerham.
Their strength on moving into the line on 24th October was 15 officers and 616 other ranks. On being relieved on the 26th they were down to 4 officers and 224 other ranks.
Corporal Doney’s body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, Panel 148 to 150
Dykes, Alfred Baverstock
Killed in action 14th of April 1917 aged 38.
Born in London SW. Enlisted Faversham and lived in East Grinstead. Husband of Rhoda Dykes of North Cottage Limpsfield.
On the 14th of April 1917 the 24th Royal Fusiliers were involved in the Battle of Arras. At 3pm they were ordered to advance until they made contact with the enemy (who had fallen back) and dig in. They managed to get to within 500-600 yards of the Arleaux en Gohelle- Oppy line where they dug a new front line and support posts, unsupported on either flank, under heavy machine gun fire and an intense artillery barrage. They were relieved during the night. Alfred Dykes was among the dead and his body not being found he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial Bay 3
Fowles, Frederick James
Died in France on the 4th of April 1917.
Born in Limpsfield he enlisted in Basingstoke.
He is buried at Euston Road Cemetery, Colincamps Plot 3 Row H Grave 9.
Killed in action on the 14th of July 1916 aged 26.
Born in Limpsfield, he lived in Oxted enlisted in Guildford He was the son of Hayward and Caroline Heath of Staffhurst Wood, Limpsfield and was baptised on the 23rd of February 1890.
Early on the 14th of July the battalion moved by companies and dug in at the head of Mametz Wood and Flat Iron Copse on the Somme. They did not go into action until late afternoon when at 5.35pm they were given orders to advance and attack High Wood, one of the strongest German positions on the front. Their artillery barrage started at 6.15pm and they deployed at 6.45pm but there was a delay in their moving off so it was 7pm when the advance finally began. Their specific task was to capture Switch Trench to the north west of High Wood. As their advance began they were met with a heavy amount of machine gun fire from enemy troops positioned in shell holes. They were ordered to push on and attempt to outflank the machine guns. Several prisoners were taken and many of the enemy were killed with the assistance of cavalry and an aeroplane which supported them with strafing fire. At 7.45pm they took their objective and dug in. By the 16th the battalion had lost 1 officer and 47 other ranks killed and 10 officers and 211 other ranks wounded with 47 other men missing.
The son of Hayward and Caroline Heath he is buried in Caterpillar Cemetery Longueval Plot X111 Row H Grave 3.
Gearing , George Norman
Killed in action 15th July 1916 aged 20.
He was born in Tatsfield, enlisted in Guildford and lived Limpsfield. He was the son of Mrs Isabel Horsley of Margaretting, Ingatestone, Essex and was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
On the evening of the 14th of July 1st Queens received orders to join a general assault on a wide front and 100th Brigade (of which the Queens were part) were allotted the task of capturing the village of Martinpuich and High Wood on the Flers Ridge. They moved up to the front line on the night of the 14th being in position by 10pm. A and B companies were ordered to dig in while C and D were in reserve. The area was very open and they were under enemy observation at a mile range with no covered approaches to the enemy positions. At 5am they received orders to attack the enemy trench known as the German Switch the orders were vague and the company commanders had very little information other than that they were to advance in a northerly direction on a 500 yard front. They were in position at 8am and at 8.30am the British bombardment of the German trenches began with the first wave going “over the top” at 8.55am. The distance to the German trench was some 900 yards.
While the companies were getting into position the enemy opened up with heavy artillery, rifle and machine gun fire and the British artillery were weak in their response. As soon as the first wave emerged from cover they came under intense fire but they pushed on as did the second wave which followed despite the hurricane of fire. When within 200 yards of the German position they were held up by trip wires which the Germans had placed there during the night. The Queens were held up and the situation soon disintegrated into a slaughter. At 9.25am a message came back from the A Company Commander Captain Foster that they were within 100 yards of the enemy line but the wire in front of the trenches was uncut, he asked for a renewed bombardment to cover their advance. The artillery responded with an ill aimed strike which fell so short that several rounds fell behind the Queens!
They hung on until 12.30pm when, as no reinforcements had arrived they were forced to withdraw to where they had started from. When they got back they were heavily shelled all afternoon and evening. Casualties were 5 officers and 28 other ranks killed, 11 officers and 207 other ranks wounded and 58 men missing.
To quote Brigadier General Baird officer commanding “It was evident by 5pm that the whole attack had been a costly failure”
George Gearing was one of those who died, his body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Theipval Memorial to the missing Pier and Face 5D and 6D
Harris, Theodore Trevor
Died of wounds on the 4th of October 1916 aged 20.
Born in Limpsfield, the son of Theodore and Helen Harris of Three Ways Limpsfield
He was originally with the 2/7th Middlesex and when they were disbanded on the 13th of June 1916; he transferred to the 1/7th. On the 1st of October at the Battle of Le Transloy, the battalion advanced at 3.15pm to establish a series of advance posts 700 yards forward of the front line. 2nd Lt Harris was wounded in this advance and died 3 days later
He is buried at Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte Plot 1 Row M grave 17
Head, George Frederick
Died of wounds on the 26th of September 1915 aged 20
He was born in Limpsfield on the 17th of December 1894 the eldest son of George (a decorator) and Annie Head (nee Miles daughter of Walter Miles) of Vine Cottage Limpsfield. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield and in leaving school he was employed as a Draper’s Assistant at Sir Frederick Cook’s in St Paul’s Churchyard in London, living nearby. He volunteered in Chelsea on the 11th of August 1914 and went to France on the 9th of March 1915.
On the 25th of September 1915 the 18th London’s were part of 47th Division’s attack on the German lines at Loos. The 18th Battalion’s objective was the German second line which ran between the Loos-Bethune Road to Loos Cemetery. They began the attack by kicking a football in front of them. No Mans land was crossed without much difficulty but casualties began being suffered at the German front line but in spite of this the battalion pressed on to the second line. Here they met a thick belt of barbed wire but the trenches behind had few defenders and by 9am their objectives were taken. The battalion had suffered losses of 9 officers and 235 other ranks. George Head was wounded during the early part of the attack and died of his wounds the next day.
His officer (to whom he was acting servant) wrote; “He was a splendid little fellow. Absolutely without fear and the cheeriest man in the company. He was at my side as we left the front line trench for the attack on Loos, and he fell very early in the charge.”
He is buried at Noeux-Les-Mines Communal Cemetery Plot I Row B Grave 2.
Hoare, Wilfred Gurney,
Killed in action on the 10th of March 1915 aged 39.
He was the son of Mrs Robert Hoare of Court Hayes, Limpsfield and was the b rother of Basil Hoare later of Sutton Veny Wiltshire
He was attached to the 2nd Wiltshires arriving to join them on the 5th of December 1914
The 10th of March 1915 was the opening day of the Battle of Neuve Chappelle, the first attempt of 1915 by the allies to break the deadlock of trench warfare.
At 2.30am the battalion paraded near Nu Monde Crossroads under Captain Gillson and marched to Cameron Lane at 5.30am they occupied the trenches there in the rear of the
2nd Gordon Highlanders. At 7.30am the British artillery commenced a bombardment which lasted about half an hour. All morning wounded streamed past the men and they were ordered to advance at 1.30pm which
they did with 25 yard intervals between the companies arriving at the second support trenches, to the rear of Neuve Chappelle at
Hoare, Alan Brodie
Killed in action 26th of October 1917 aged 35.
He was born in Caterham in 1882 the youngest son of the late Edward Brodie-Hoare MP a banker b1842 and Mrs Brodie-Hoare b 1844 of Tenchley’s Limpsfield He was one of six children and was educated at Hazelwood School, Limpsfield and Harrow from 1896 to 1901 where he was a border. He then went to Pembroke College Cambridge
He worked for the Bleachers’ Association at Firwood near Bolton
He was appointed as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1/5th Battalion the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on the 19th of October 1914, his older brother Maurice born, in 1879, was also appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1/5th on the 7th of December 1914. In 1916 he married Audrey Lois Collier and they lived at 64 Napier Court, Hurlingham, London
He went to France in February 1917 and was wounded. During the Battle of Messines his battalion was in support of the right flank of Ploegsteerte Wood.
He was killed in action leading his company into an attack at Polecappelle
He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial Panels 102 to 104.
Howard, Oliver Charles
Died in England 21st of June 1915 aged 24
Born in Titsey enlisted in London and lived in Titsey.
Son of Alfred and Sarah Howard of South Green, Titsey
The 3rd Battalion was a reserve battalion which never served overseas but was used for training and to supply replacements. His service number indicates that he had only been in the regiment a few days and died during training. He is buried at Dover (St James) Cemetery P.L.10.
Died of Wounds 23rd of May 1918 aged 23
Born Oxted enlisted at Tonbridge and lived in Edenbridge
The son of Mr and Mrs Humpfrey of Partridge Farm, Staffhurst Wood, Limpsfield, Surrey
He is buried at Bolougne Eastern Cemetery Plot IX Row A Grave 79
Humpfrey, Robert Heath
Killed in action 3rd of May 1917 aged 38
He was born in Oxted the son of William Humpfrey, and lived in Limpsfield. Formerly 33157 Suffolk Regiment having enlisted in Oxted. He worked for 19 years as a gardener for Mr Horace Barry at The Gardens, Home Place, Oxted; he was also a member of the Oxted Brass Band
He married 20 year old Caroline Elizabeth (nee Gravely) on the 11th of July 1903 at St Mary’s Church Oxted and they had four children, Rosina Charlotte, born on the 6th of May 1904, Ellen Caroline born on the 12th of February 1908, Gladys May born on the 4th of November 1912 and Alice Lily born on the 30th of May 1915
On the 3rd of May 1917 the 2nd Battalion were detailed to attack the heavily defended Chemical Works at Rouex. The attack moved off at 3.45am supported by a heavy barrage with “A” Company on the left and “C” Company on the right. The battalion war diary says they were met by “desolating machine gun fire which mowed them down in scores“. By 5am it was decided that the attack had failed. 14 officers and 207 other ranks had become casualties most of whom were listed as missing. One of the missing was Private Robert Humpfrey, whose body was never recovered, is commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the missing Bay 7.
Killed in action on the 31st of March 1918 aged 38
Born in Limpsfield, lived at Holland, Oxted Surrey, enlisted at Redhill. He was the husband of Ida E.M.Illman of 5 South View, Holland, Oxted
He is commemorated on Panel 94 of the Pozieres Memorial to the missing
Died of influenza on the 25th of October 1918 aged 18.
Son of Mrs Charlotte Jarrett of Mill Cottages, Limpsfield. He was educated at the National School Limpsfield.
HMS Pembroke was a naval training establishment
Buried St Peter’s, Limpsfield Churchyard (buried with his parents, his father predeceased him).
Keen , William Allan
Died of Wounds 6th of September 1918 aged 29.
Born in Limpsfield the son of William Brock Keen a chartered accountant and Florence Keen of “Mayfield” Highgate London, who were both living in Limpsfield at the turn of the century.
He was Private K/C/2184 in the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps and volunteered for war service on the 26th of November 1914 being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on the 14th of March 1915 being posted to the Middlesex Regiment. On the 1st of January 1916 he became Transport Officer of the 1/7th Middlesex and was graded Lt 2nd Class. On the 25th of February 1917 he became a staff officer at the Administrational Service Department at the General Headquarters in Amiens. He was promoted full lieutenant on the 8th of May 1917 and as temporary Captain on the 13th of March 1917 when he was transferred to the West Somerset Yeomanry and then to the Somerset Light Infantry.
On the 2nd of September 1918 the 12th Somersets were detailed to attack between the villages of Haut Allaines (on the right) and Moislains (on the left) with the objective of reaching the River Tortille and the Canal du Nord. B Company commanded by Captain Keen was to be in close support to A and C Companies who were in the vanguard of the attack.
The companies assembled at 12.30am in their battle lines for an advance at 5.30am. During the night the Germans had moved machine gun posts into no-mans land in front of their trenches which would leave them unaffected by the British artillery barrage targeted on the German front line. At 5.30am the British artillery opened fire on the German front line and the men began to advance and immediately came under heavy fire from the German machine guns causing heavy casualties. By the time the Somersets had destroyed these nests they found that the artillery barrage had moved so far ahead of them that it was of little use in their support. On the right they captured 70 prisoners who were handed over to the Australian unit and by 8am they had taken their first objective being the east bank of the Canal du Nord.
Orders were then received to push on a further 500 yards which they did creating a bulge in the German lines which the Germans immediately counter attacked and despite losing a large number of men to the Somerset machine guns they forced the West country men back to their first objective. Twice the Somersets forced their way into the second objective and on both occasions they were thrown back. The Germans then subjected the survivors to artillery, shrapnel and gas attacks in their new positions but the positions were held.
Captain Keen was wounded during the attack and died four days later
He is buried at Heilly Station Cemetery Mericourt-L’Abbe Plot VII Row B Grave 118
Keen, Arthur Clive
Killed in action 10th of May 1917 aged 26
Born in Highgate the son of William Brock Keen a chartered accountant and Florence Keen of “Mayfield” Highgate London, who were both living in Limpsfield at the turn of the century.
He was a pre war member of “A” (Highgate) Company of the battalion and as a 2nd Lieutenant had been in a colour party when the King presented colours to 12 Territorial regiments of Dragoons and 96 Territorial infantry battalions on June the 19th 1908. On July the 24th 1908 he was part of a Guard of Honour for the Prince of Wales at the prize giving of the National Rifle Association at Bisley.
At the outbreak of war he remained in the UK to raise a second battalion acting as adjutant at the depot at Hornsey. He later transferred to the 16th Battalion the Middlesex Regiment. On the 8th of May 1917 he visited the 1/7th battalion at Tilloy-le-Mofflaines and the C.O. put in a request to transfer him back to his old battalion but he was killed two days later on the working party of the 16th Battalion near Monchy-le Preux.
He is buried at Feuchy Chapel British Cemetery, Wancourt Plot II Row D Grave 11
Ledger, William Charles
Killed in action on the 27th of May 1918 aged 25.
He was born in Ashford Kent he enlisted in Tonbridge and lived in Westerham, Kent
He was the son of Mr and Mrs Ledger of Moor House Westerham and was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
On the 27th of May 1918 the 2nd Middlesex were in the battle zone in front of Ville au Bois in support of the 2nd battalion the Yorkshire regiment. Captured German prisoners had warned of an attack on their positions and at 1am on the morning of the 27th there was a terrific roar, an officer who was present gave the flowing description:-
“ Within a second a thousand guns roared out their iron hurricane. The night was rent with sheets of flame. The earth shuddered under the avalanche of missiles leapt skyward in dust and tumult. Even above the din screamed the fierce crescendo of approaching shells, ear splitting crashes as they burst … All the time the dull thud, thud, thud of detonations and drum fire. Inferno raged and whirled round the Bois-de-Butte (23rd Brigade Headquarters). The dugouts rocked…timbers started…Men rushed for shelter, seizing kits, weapons, gas masks. Message pads as they dived for safety. It was a decent into hell.”
After three hours of continuous bombardment at between 4 and 5am, the German infantry advanced to the attack. They broke through on either flank and attacked the support areas of a neighbouring division. It is not known exactly known what happened to the 2nd Middlesex, but the commander of B Company reported that all was well at 4am and by 4.45am he reported that he was being overwhelmed by the enemy, there was only one officer and 21 men who survived from this company, effectively the battalion had ceased to exist. Private Ledger was among the dead and he is buried at Sissonne British Cemetery Row C Grave 10
Leveson-Gower, Ronald Charles Gresham
Died of wounds on the 1st of August 1917 aged 21.
Born at Titsey Place, Limpsfield on the 23rd of May 1896, the second son of Granville Charles Gresham MA JP DL and Evelyn Mildred (nee Brassey) Leveson-Gower daughter of Henry Arthur Brassey MP JP DL of Preston Hall, Aylesford, Kent.
Educated at Hazelwood School, Limpsfield and then Eton from1909 to 1914, where he won the Junior Rosebury History Prize in 1910.
Formerly a Lieutenant in the Royal Sussex Regiment from 1914 to 1916 then to the Special Reserves of the Coldstream Guards from 1916 to 1917.
On the 31st of July 1917 the 2nd Battalion were part taking part in the opening day of what would later become known as the Battle of Passchendale.
They advanced, crossing the Yser Canal, passing through the 2nd and 3rd Guards brigades and then moved on to secure the crossings of the stream known as Steenbeck. They attacked at 5.20am, advancing in two waves, 150 yards apart. There was very little hostile shell fire while they were west of the canal which they reached with only three casualties. At the canal the barrage intensified but was predicable enough for the commanders to get their troops forward in the gaps in the fire and by 6.20am the whole battalion got across the canal without a casualty. At the German trenches east of the Pilkem Road the fire became a lot heavier and casualties began to mount as they crossed the trench on to the next line machine gun fire became intense and Lt Leveson-Gower was hit and mortally wounded, he died the next day and is buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery Row J Grave 1.
Leveson-Gower, William George Gresham
Killed in action 9th of October 1918 aged 35.
He was born in Rio De Janeiro on the 12th of March 1883 the eldest son of Arthur Francis Gresham Leveson Gower and Caroline Frederica (nee Foljambe), of Hadleigh House Windsor.
He was educated at Summer Fields Preparatory School near Oxford starting in 1894 and at Eton from 1896 to 1901 where he a King’s Scholar and in College House and became Captain of School in 1901. On leaving Eton he won a scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford where he became an MA 1st Class, Mods 1903, 2nd Class Lit Hum in 1905. In 1908 he became a clerk in the House of Lords and was called to the bar at the Inner temple in 1911.
He joined the Inns of Court OTC as a private in the mounted infantry on the 12th of January 1907 being promoted to Sergeant on the 1st of January 1910 and was promoted 2nd Lieutenant on the 11th of October 1911 and full Lieutenant on the 21st of May 1914
He was a Captain GSO3 with Eastern Command from 1915 to 1916 and GSO3 with 67th Division form 1916 to 1917 transferring to the Coldstream Guards later that year. He joined the 1st Battalion on the 30th of September 1918.
On the morning of the 9th of October at 5.20am the battalion found themselves on the extreme left of the Guards Brigade line near Cambrai. Lieutenant Leveson-Gower was in charge of No.3 Company, despite the fact that he’d only been with the battalion for a week, it may be because of this, that his company was held in reserve. In the darkness, in intense cold, and under a British barrage, the leading companies worked their way forward to within 400 yards of their first objective, the La Targette-Cambrai Road and at zero plus ten minutes they had taken it without opposition; during this time they took a few casualties from British shells which were falling short but they pushed on to the railway where they captured a few dugouts in the embankments and took a number of prisoners who were mostly wounded. They crossed the Cambrai- Le Cateau Road and brought machine gun fire to bear on some retreating limbers from a German artillery unit. They dug in on the other side of the road and it was at this time that Lt Leveson-Gower was killed by a German shell.
The Guards history says:-
“ The death of Lieutenant Leveson-Gower is typical of so very many other similar cases that occurred in this cruel war, where a youth just budding into manhood entered the army, went through his training, and then arrived at the front to be cut off as soon as he got there. In the present instant this young officer joined his battalion full of hope and enthusiasm on the 30th of September, and within 10 short days he fell in his first encounter with the enemy”
In his last letter home written on the 7th of October Leveson-Gower wrote “It really is a fact that I am commanding a company in the Coldstream Guards, an ambition beyond my wildest dreams.”
In his will of the 29th of September a codicil was found leaving “remembrances” to 20 children.
He is buried at Awoingt British Cemetery Section III Row H Grave 1
Lock, Herbert (Bertie), Leonard
Killed in action on the 26th of September 1915 aged 17.
Born and lived in Limpsfield, enlisted in Redhill he was the son of William and Alice Lock of Ridlands Lane Limpsfield and was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
For details of the action he was killed in see Private Collins
Commemorated on the Loos memorial Panels 13 to 15.
Lock, William Alexander
Killed in action on the 1st of September 1915.
Born and lived in Limpsfield , he was educated at the National School, Limpsfield and enlisted at Hythe in Kent.
The 6th Battalion arrived in France on the 6th of June 1915. They spent most of July, August and September in billets in Le Bizet or in the trenches at Le Touquet learning the trade of trench warfare from their more experienced colleagues. Private Lock was killed during this period most probably by shellfire or by a sniper. He is buried at Tancrez Farm Cemetery Row B Grave 20.
Lubbock, Alexander Neville
Killed in action 28th of April 1918 aged 34.
Son of Sir Neville Lubbock KCMG and Lady Lubbock (daughter of Sir John F Herschel Bt ) of “Ridlands” Limpsfield Surrey. Born at St Paul’s Cray Kent he served in the Somaliland expedition of 1908-10.
He was a passenger on the SS “Oronsa” en route to join the “Donegal”. The ship had come from Talcaguano via New York on its way to Liverpool carrying a general cargo when it was attacked by a torpedo fired by U91. She sank in the St George’s Channel 12 miles west of Bardsey Island. Two other men died in the attack.
He is commemorated on the Portsmouth memorial to the missing.
Luff, Walter John
Died of wounds on the 18th of May 1916 aged 20.
He was born the son of Richard and Kate Luff of Limpsfield and was baptised on the 22nd of September 1896 at St Peter’s Church Limpsfield
He lived at Stonehall Cottage in Hurst Green and was a gardener
Sergeant Albert N White wrote to his parents following his death
“ You will no doubt be surprised to hear from one who is a perfect stranger to you, but I feel it is my duty to write and tell you that your son, Private Luff, has died of wounds received in action. He was wounded this evening (May 18th) and died shortly afterwards. He suffered no pain but died a noble and true soldier. We all regret his death he was a very fine fellow, beloved and respected by all who knew him. Please accept my heartfelt condolence. If there is anything I can do for you I shall be only too pleased to do so. May God be with you in your great sorrow.”
He is buried at Carnoy Military Cemetery Row L Grave 19
Lush , Wilfred
Died on the 31st of January 1916
He was born and lived in Limpsfield and enlisted in Lingfield. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
At the start of the war the battalion (territorials) were sent to India to relieve the 1st Iniskilling Fusiliers who were proceeding to the Western Front. In all some 55,000 territorial soldiers served in India to allow first line regular battalions to fight in France.
In mid 1915, 50 men of the battalion under Lieutenant Jefferies were sent to Mesopotamia and attached to the 2nd Battalion the Norfolk Regiment.
In December 1915 the Turks laid siege to the city of Kut (Iraq) where General Townshend and his garrison were trapped until their eventual surrender on the 29th of April 1916. During the siege, conditions for the defenders were atrocious and many of the troops succumbed to a variety of diseases, Wilfred Lush was one of these men
He is buried in Kut War Cemetery, Iraq. Row O Grave 6.
Martin, Henry Lloyd
Killed in action on the 28th of September 1916 aged 36.
Born in 1880 he was the only son of James Martin of Hunton, Limpsfield. He was educated at Hazelwood School and later he attended Tonbridge school from 1893-1895. In 1895 he joined the Stock Exchange with Messrs. Martin and Hilder later joining A. Brampton and Co where he became a partner, he also joined the Artists Rifles at this time.
He was scoutmaster of the Lingfield and Dormansland Troop and was District Scoutmaster of the East Surrey Association
He was commissioned as a Temp Lieutenant in the 7th Battalion the Queens on the 23rd of September 1914 and was made a temporary Captain on the 13th of March 1915.
From the 26th of July 1915 to his death he served in France with the Battalion both as Intelligence officer and commander of B Company.
On the 25th of May 1916 he was slightly wounded by an accidental explosion of bombs behind the lines and he was slightly wounded in the battle for Trones Wood on the 13th of July 1916
On the 28th of September Captain Martin was in command of B Company when they were detailed to attack the notorious Schwaben Redoubt on the Somme, where he was killed by a shell and died instantly.
His Colonel wrote “Henry was a very fine character and one of the soundest officers that a C.O. was ever blessed with. He was wonderfully cool and gallant under fire, and I always knew that anything I asked him to do would be done in the best way possible and that he would never fail me, however tight the corner.”
The Chief Scout, Lieutenant General Sir R. Baden-Powell wrote: “To the scouts his memory and the message which he left for them will be a real inspiration.
Another wrote: “He found nothing too much to do for the boys, though he never spoilt them. It was just typical of him that, when on leave, he spent a whole day in seeing boys and parents. He was so absolutely sincere and with such high ideals that his life told on these boys in a wonderful way”
He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing Pier 5D and 6D.
Nash, Alfred George
Killed in action on the 19th of September 1918 aged 29.
Born in Limpsfield, enlisted in Coventry and lived in Derby the son of Alfred and M.S.Nash of 55 Longford Street Derby.
Formerly 43017 Royal Hampshire Regiment
During the final advances of the war the 8th Royal Berkshires were given the objective of taking the village of Lempire and clearing it of Germans. At 8.30am they reached the assembly area and at 11.00am a creeping barrage opened from the British Guns in support. The 18th Division history relates:-
“They had marched forward under cover of the contours of the ground, only to find themselves pushing a wedge into the Germans with their flanks exposed. Two posts on their right were as yet untaken, and a raking fire from these points tore their right flank to pieces. But on their left they were screened by a high bank north of Lempire, and the company on that side went straight up the road, got through in a brisk and dashing manner, and caused the Germans to retire hurriedly.”
Facing them was a Lieutenant Shroder who gave a personal account.
“The enemy following up the barrage emerged from the ruined houses in the village and got into our companies trenches after working his way up a sunken road. Two of our machine guns which were defending the road were destroyed by enemy artillery. Since our company was in danger of being cut off we fought our way back to the communication trench and reached our defensive position.”
His body was never recovered and he is commemorated on Panel 7 of the
Died 22nd December 1916 in Salonika, probably of malaria.
Husband of Jane Nicholls of Pebble Hill Limpsfield, he lived in Limpsfield and enlisted in Edenbridge
Although he is listed as being with the 22nd Reserve Park this unit became the 12th Auxiliary Horse Transport Company (208th Company) Army Service Corps, part of the 26th Division, before proceeding to Salonika .It was the responsibility of a Reserve Park to hold and maintain sufficient supplies to keep an infantry division in rations for two days. To achieve this each park was equipped with 59 General Service wagons, 2 forage carts, 1 light Maltese cart and a water cart. To pull these 359 draught and riding horses were allotted to each park. Such horses were requisitioned from all parts of Southern England and most of them were “shires” or Clydesdales.
On the 13th of July 1916 the 22nd Reserve Park received orders to mobilize for Salonika and on the 17th of July they entrained for Avonmouth, setting sail for Devonport on the 18th on the SS Celtic King and the SS Alwyn Castle. Over the tow days of the 22nd and 23rd they embarked on the SS Nitonian, SS Caledonia and SS Elele. They arrived in Salonika on the 6th of August.
In October they deployed:-
1 and 2 Section to Lembet, No.3 Section to Kalamaria and No.4 Section to Dudular
The army’s death rate from malaria in Salonika was some five times that caused by enemy action.
He is buried at Salonika (Lembet Road) Cemetery Grave747
Osmaston, Robert Shirley MC
Killed in action 25th September 1916 aged 22
Formerly 3rd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment.
He was born on the 17th of November 1894 the son of Francis Plumtree Beresford Osmaston and Eleanor Margaret (nee Field) of Stoneshill, Limpsfield.
He was educated at Earleywood Preparatory School, Ascot and was at Winchester College from 1909 to 1913 where he was in Kingsgate House, where he gained the gold medal for gymnastics in 1912, and was an excellent boxer. He had a short course in agriculture but this was interrupted by the outbreak of war when he enlisted in the Public Schools Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers as a Private (19/729).
Gazetted as temporary 2nd Lieutenant on the 18th of May 1915 into the 3rd Battalion the Royal Sussex regiment this rank was confirmed on the 20th of December 1915. He left for the front on the 1st of December 1915. Early in 1916 he was a Lewis Gun instructor and was attached to Brigade Headquarters.
On the 16th of May 1916 whilst attached as Adjutant to the 2nd Battalion he was awarded the Military Cross “For conspicuous gallantry, after making close reconnaissance of the enemy position, he led a raid and got into a sap behind an enemy post. After 2 of the enemy had been bayoneted, skilfully withdrew without a casualty, he and three men covering the withdrawal”
In July 1916 he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and on the 25th of September 1916 he was observer in FE2b 4857, piloted by 2nd Lt J.C.Griffiths (who was wounded but survived the attack) which was forced to land at Millencourt having been attacked by a Roland over Bertincourt. 2nd Lieutenant Osmaston was killed in this attack The Roland was itself shot down by 2nd Lt K.L .Gopsill in an FE2b 6964 also of 23 squadron moments later.
He is buried at Beauval Communal Cemetery Row A Grave 18.
Pelham-Burn, Arthur Sidney
Killed in action near Estaire in the forward area around Neuve Chappelle 2nd of May 1915 aged 19
Son of the Reverend William Pelham-Burn, Archdeacon of Norfolk and Mrs Margaret Alice Pelham Burn (nee Rate) of Sandy, Limpsfield. He was educated at Lancing College from 1910 to 1914 where he was in Seconds House. He had hoped to take holy orders, having matriculated for New College Oxford (1915 entry).
He sailed with the 6th Battalion, landing in Le Havre on the 10th of November 1914.
By Christmas day the Battalion was in the trenches at Fromelles where the trenches were only 60 yards apart. During the Christmas truce both sides emerged from their trenches to bury more than 100 bodies from both sides. Pelham-Burn wrote the following in a letter to a former school friend from Lancing.
The mass burial was “awful, too awful to describe, so I won’t attempt it.”
A service of prayer was arranged and amongst them was a reading of the 23rd Psalm.
“They were read first in English by our Padre and then by a German boy who was studying for the ministry. The Germans formed up on one side, the English on the other, the officers standing in front, every head bared. Yes I think it was a sight one will never see again.”
On the 13th of March during the 6th Gordon’s advance at the Battle of Neuve Chappelle, his commanding officer, Lt Col C. McLean, while attempting to establish contact with the 2nd Gordons on his right, fell mortally wounded. Having fallen, Lt Pelham-Burn rushed forward to his assistance and gave him morphia tablets. The Colonel thanked him and sent him back saying “And now, my boy, about your duty. Your place is with your company.”
Colonel McLean is buried at Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery near Estaires.
General Rawlinson said of the 6th Gordons “They dashed forward with the utmost gallantry and showed the way to several regular battalions.”
He was the brother of Maurice listed below.
He was mentioned in despatches and is buried in Estaires Military Cemetery II Row A Grave1
Pelham-Burn, Maurice Edward
Killed in action 9th of April 1917. Age 23
He was born on 5th of July 1893 the son of the Reverend William Pelham-Burn Archdeacon of Norfolk and Mrs Margaret Alice Pelham-Burn (nee Rate) of Sandy Limpsfield; they had married in 1891 in Kensington. He was educated at Repton School from September 1906 to April 1911. He was gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion the Black Watch in August 1914 and was promoted to Lieutenant in May 1915.
He served in France from May to August of 1915 when he was wounded and from the 14th of January 1917 until his death in April. He was the brother of Arthur listed above
He is buried at Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez Row Q Grave 23.
Roche, Richard du Rupe
Killed in action 8th of January 1915 aged 34.
Elder son of Captain Richard Roche RN and Maria Jane Roche, husband of Ethel Roche of Culver Cottage, Fletcher Road, Horsell Woking.
He was a well known shot at Bisley and competed internationally as was his brother in law Sergeant G.E.Fulton who also served in the battalion . He had served with the battalion in the South African War.
He went overseas on the 12th of November 1914 as part of a major reinforcement of the regular army by the Territorial Army following the losses which had been inflicted on them at Ypres. On the 24th of November they entered the trenches for the first time taking over a six hundred yards section on the line between La Houssoie and the Boulogne-Lille Road north west of Wez Macquart.
On the 30th of November Corporal Roche went on a night patrol in No Mans Land with Lieutenant J.B. Baber. They found themselves surrounded by three different enemy patrols that appeared to have agreed to rendezvous at a certain spot. The first two passed the ditch where they were crouching with out spotting them but the third party consisting of three men headed straight towards the two men. Roche opened fire killing one of them and rushed the remaining two causing them to drop their weapons and surrender. They belonged to the 179th Regiment. On returning with the prisoners they were fired upon by an overzealous British machine gun but without mishap. For this action he was mentioned in despatches.
On the 8th of January 1915, the battalion was in the line at Houplines and Corporal Roche left the trench as it was beginning to get light to get some water for his gun. He was not missed until it was fully light and was seen lying 120 yards away behind the trench in the open and in full view of the Germans in the line opposite. It was considered almost certain death to try to reach him. Nevertheless Rifleman R.H.A Tibbs and Rifleman Pouchot of Number 2 Company grabbed a stretcher and crossed the ground under fire to try to reach him. They found him dead, Tibbs being killed by enemy fire as he knelt next to him. Pouchot, seeing that both men were dead managed to return to his lines and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his bravery, the first gallantry medal the battalion was awarded during the war.
Corporal Roche is buried at Houplines Communal Cemetery Extension Plot III Row 3 Grave 19.
Died of wounds 26th of June 1917 aged 20.
Born and lived in Edenbridge, Kent, enlisted in Guildford. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield.
The son of James (an agricultural labourer) and Eliza Seal of Shingle Cottage Edenbridge
He is buried in Lijssenthoek Military cemetery Plot XV Row D Grave 3A.
Died of wounds on the 24th of January 1917
He was born and lived in Edenbridge, Kent and he enlisted in Guildford.
He was the son of James and Eliza Seal of Shingle Cottage Edenbridge and was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
On the 18th and 19th of January the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade were holding front ;line trenches at Sanctuary Wood in the Ypres salient. The war diary records that the men were involved in repairing trenches assisted by a company of Royal Engineers. They were relieved on the 20th and were then involved in carrying supplies up to the front lines. During this period they suffered 3 men killed and 13 wounded, one of which was James Seal who succumbed to his wounds and is buried at Hem Farm Military Cemetery, Hem-Monacu Plot I row E Grave 3.
Shore, William Henry
Died in the UK on the 3rd of June 1915. Aged 23
He was born in Sundridge, Kent on the 18th of May 1892, lived in Limpsfield and enlisted in Croydon. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
He was the son of Harry (a plumber) and Dora Shore of Rose Cottage, Limpsfield
His was a Territorial Army unit based in Croydon and they mobilised on the outbreak of war departing to Canterbury on the 12th of August 1914 where they remained until their departure for Gallipoli in September 1915. While they were still in Canterbury, he was killed in a motor accident.
His death was registered in Blean in East Kent and he is buried in the churchyard at St Peter’s, Limpsfield.
Smith, Edward John
Killed in action 25th of September 1915 aged 36.
He was born in Oxted, lived in Limpsfield and enlisted in Guildford and was the son of Thomas A Smith, and the husband of Rosina Hardy (formerly Smith) of 2 Cave Cottages Godstone Surrey. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
The 2nd Queens were in support of other battalions of their Brigade in the assault to the right of the German position known as Fosse 8 on the opening day of the Battle of Loos. When they moved forward, “C” company found that the first two German lines had been taken by the leading units, the other companies, however, were met with stiff resistance, but carried and consolidated these positions, after which they were directed to Cite St Elie where they established themselves in the German trenches 150 yards north of the village, entering it at around 2pm. These men were later forced out of the village and forced to fall back to the new line. It was during this engagement that Edward Smith was killed, his body not being recovered he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial panels 13 to 15
Smith, Henry (Harry)
Died on the 4th of June 1916 aged 34.
He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
He was based at the Royal Flying Corps, Recruits Depot and was the son of Mrs Julia Smith of Burford, Brant, Ontario Canada.
He is buried in St. Peter’s Churchyard Limpsfield.
Smith, Thomas John
Killed in action 3rd of July 1916.
He was born and lived in Limpsfield and enlisted in Redhill. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
At 3.15am on the morning of the 3rd of July the 6th Queens climbed out of their trenches and led the assault of 36th Brigade on the German positions at Ovilliers, a village which had resisted British attempts to take it two days earlier on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme. Men from B Company, in the first wave, got to the enemy front line but the majority of the officers and men were killed or wounded by rifle and machine gun fire. Men from C Company also in the first wave were stopped by the German wire which remained uncut and they too were decimated by machine gun fire. Seeing the near complete failure of the first two companies the attack of D Company was stopped. At 4.30pm they were sent forward and were cut to pieces by machine gun fire killing or wounding all their officers. Total casualties for the battalion were 2 officers and 23 other ranks killed, 8 officers and 154 other ranks wounded and 117 other ranks were posted as missing.
His body was never found and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial Pier and faces 5D and 6D.
Snelling, Edward Thomas
Died of wounds 10th of April 1917
He was born in Limpsfield the son of James and Alice Snelling of Grubb Street Limpsfield. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield and he enlisted at Redhill as Private 46478 in the 6th Battalion the Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment), later transferring to the Royal Field Artillery.
He is buried at Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun Row H Grave 10.
Stringer, Arthur Stephen
Died on the 31st of December 1915 aged 24
He was born in Limpsfield on the 27th of June 1891 the son of William and Annie Stringer (nee Tamplin, the daughter of Charles Tamplin) of High Street Limpsfield.
He worked as a groom and lived in Limpsfield He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
He enlisted in Croydon on the 14th of October 1914 and left for India on about the 20th of October and after some time there he volunteered for service in the Persian Gulf where he was attached to the 2nd Norfolk regiment. While he was there he was taken ill in December 1915 and died on 31st December 1915 of pneumonia in Mesopotamia (Iraq).
A comrade wrote of him -
“He was one of the best of men, and has always proved himself one; but thank God, the way he died is the most honourable and glorious death- the death of a soldier doing his duty”
For details see those of Private Lush.
Buried Kut War Cemetery, Iraq, Row K Grave 12.
Stringer, Harry William
Killed in action 24th of October 1918 aged 23
He enlisted in Croydon lived in Limpsfield and was the son of William and Annie Stringer of High Street Limpsfield. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
Only days away from the end of the war the 7th Battalion were part of the pursuit of a retreating German army. They were marched to Le Cateau on the 23rd of October in preparation for an attack the next day. Other units were set four objectives for the attack with the 7th Queens detailed to take the fifth one. By 8.25am on the 24th of October the Queens had gained a foothold in the western outskirts of the village of Robersart. German machine guns, sited in the windows of the buildings caused many casualties and held the advance up until 6pm , when, supported by other units the Queens advanced as far as the village church. Harry Stringer was one on those who fell but his body was never recovered and he is commemorated Vis-En-Artois Memorial Panel 3.
Wadmore , Frank
Killed in action on the 28th of March 1918.
He was born in Mitcham in 1889 the son of Frank and Rose Wadmore; he enlisted at Croydon and lived in Limpsfield.
On the 21st of March 1918 the Germans launched massive attacks against the British lines resulting in a wholesale retirement across much of the old Somme battlefields of 1916. By the 27th of March the 6th Battalion the Queens were holding the village of Hamel, at 2.15pm that day preceded by a heavy artillery bombardment, the Germans launched a strong attack against the village. They succeeded in driving the Queens out. The Queens formed a line 250 yards south of a road junction to the south of the village; here they made a series of strong points, during the night. During the 28th the Germans massed in front as if to attack but instead subjected the Queens to a massive artillery barrage during which Sergeant Wadmore was killed
His body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial Panel 14 and 15.
Killed on the 20th of September 1917 aged 19.
Born in Limpsfield he lived in Edenbridge and enlisted in Redhill. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
On the 20th of September 1917 the 1/9th Royal Scots were at the vanguard of an attack on Germen trenches in the village of Poelcappelle as part of the offensive generally known as the third Battle of Ypres or Passchendale. The attack was launched at 5.40am in appalling conditions. The field was a morass of interconnecting, flooded shell holes and the mud clung to their every step. The objective was Pheasant Trench and “advancing with great skill and gallantry they moved from shell hole to shell hole in twos and threes, pouring rifle grenades and rifle fire into the German defenders.” They carried the German position on the right of the attack and occupied it. On the left of the attack, however, the attackers of “B” company were met with heavy fire and forced to retire to their own positions. There they were rallied by their officers and together with men of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, carried the day and completed the occupation of the enemy position. It is during this action that Arthur Webb lost his life, his body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial Panel 11 to 14 and 162
Killed in action 7th March 1916 aged 23
Born Limpsfield, enlisted Redhill, lived Moorhouse, Westerham, Kent
He was the son of the and Annie late Peter of Moorhouse Westerham Kent
During the period when George was killed, the 6th Queens were holding the line in the area of the old Loos battlefield, between the Quarries and the Hohenzollern Redoubt. This was a period of intense mining and counter-mining by both sides and in March of 1916 the British exploded a number of mines in attempt to destroy the German galleries below the British trenches. The explosions were followed by British troops rushing forward to fight for possession of the craters. It is not known how Private Webb died but he is buried at Vermelles British Military Cemetery Plot II Row H Grave 1
Killed in action 9th of August 1915 in Gallipoli, aged 21.
Born and enlisted in Croydon, lived in Limpsfield the son of John and Mary Webster. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield
The Battalion, 900 strong, entrained for Devonport on July the 16th 1915 embarking in the SS Ulysses for an “unknown destination”. Having dropped 150 men, for reinforcement purposes, under Captain Twining at Port Said they headed for the beaches of Gallipoli. Since the landings of the 25th of April 1915 the advance had stalled and plans were laid to relieve the operation by making fresh landings at Suvla to the north of ANZAC Cove.
The Commander in Chief issued this statement:-
“As to you, soldiers of the new formations, you are privileged indeed to have the chance vouchsafed you of playing a decisive part in events which may herald the birth of a new and happier world. You stand for the great cause of freedom. In the hour of trial remember this, and the faith that is in you will bring you victoriously through”.
The 11th Division landed at Suvla before dawn on August 7th but did not play a part in the growing battle until ordered forward on the 9th of August. They set off before dawn along with the 1/4th Royal Sussex to a spot to the west of Chocolate Hill where they were ordered to entrench. Shortly afterwards the Queens were ordered to join 31st Brigade on Hill 53 and set off in artillery formation across the southern side of the Salt Lake, coming under shell fire and incurring several casualties. On arrival at Hill 53 they were attached to 33rd Brigade and were ordered round to the northern slope of the hill to consolidate a position and support the hard pressed troops in their front. This was achieved by 9am.
The 2/4th Queens stormed and gained the top of Hill 53 where they came under heavy fire and for a time were forced to retire; but advancing again the crest was recaptured, until the position had to be abandoned due to the scrub catching fire. The Battalion had lost 8 officers and 250 other ranks killed wounded and missing, many of the wounded burning to death in the scrub fire.
Private Webster’s body was never recovered and he is commemorated Helles Memorial panel 30 and 31
Whitmore, Roger Searle MC
Killed in action on the 20th of November 1917 aged 23.
He was the s on of Herbert Searle Whitmore and Annette Whitmore (nee Watkins, daughter of William Watkins of Groombridge Kent) of The Red House, Tenchley’s Park, Limpsfield.
He was born on the 25th of May 1894 and was educated at Hazelwood School Limpsfield and at Marlborough.
He joined the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry in 1912 and was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant the same year
At the outbreak of was he was with the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion at Shrewsbury and left for France from Pembroke Dock Chatham joining the 1st Battalion on the 3rd of December 1914.
He was admitted to the 18th Field Ambulance on the 31st of January 1915 (reasons not known).
On the 8th of August 1915 he was given temporary command of “A” Company and was wounded with them in an attack on Hooge Crater the following day (A&B Companies made the assault).He was invalided home.
He rejoined the Battalion on the 16th of May 1916 and was posted to “D” Company. He was given temporary command of “D” Company on the 13th of July 1916
From the 19th to the 24th of July 1916 he reported sick and spent time at the Field Ambulance again.
He was promoted to Captain in the field and put in command of “D” Company on the 28th of October 1916 and was sent home on leave for the period 14th of November to the 25th of November 1916.
On the 15th of February 1917 Germans of the 165th Infantry Regiment tried to raid “D” Company in the Hohenzollern sector of the Loos front. The attack did not make the British lines. A patrol was sent out later which recovered one of the German dead.
From the 22nd of February 1917 to the 4th of March 1917 he was back at the Field Hospital returning there again four days later.
He rejoined from the base on the 4th of May and resumed command of “D” Company
For the period 22nd of June to the 29th 1917 he was sent on a Lewis Gun course at Le Touquet.
On the 7th of July 1917 the Germans launched another major raid on “D” Company’s positions starting with a fifteen minute intense bombardment of their positions. The company suffered heavy casualties and six of them were awarded medals for gallantry, among them Captain Whitmore.
His citation for the Military Cross appeared in the London Gazette of the 17th of September 1917 and read as follows:-
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during a hostile raid on our trenches. Throughout an intense bombardment by every description of projectile. He kept his line manned and successfully repulsed the enemy. He showed admirable skill and energy in organising the defence, and later in re-establishing the line when it had been practically flattened by the violence of the barrage.”
He was killed at the head of “D” company in an attack on a spur near Ribecourt on the 20th of November and is buried at Ribecourt British Cemetery Row B Grave12.
Winter-Evans, Alfred DSO, DCM
Killed in action 12th of October 1917 aged 35
Born in Natal South Africa the son of Colonel Robert Winter Evans and Mrs Evans of Kingsdowne Durban, Natal. He was educated at St. Georges School, Harpenden and Columbia University in the United States taking his EM degree in 1906.
In 1910 he married Edith Louise the eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs A L Foster of Limpsfield, they had two children.
He served in the South African War where he was recommended for the Victoria Cross but won the Distinguished Conduct Medal and a commission.
From 1909 to 1915 he was General Manager of Consolidated Gold Fields of New Zealand Ltd at Reefton, the second largest goldfield in the country. In 1912 he led the company during a bitterly fought strike which lasted 6 months, the collapse of which enabled him to introduce reforms to the industry which increased production substantially. His reforms are credited with ensuring the survival of the Reefton fields through the depression of the 1930s.
In May 1916 he went to France where he was twice mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatches of the 9th of April 1917 and those of the 7th of November 1917
He received the Distinguished Service Order which was gazetted on the 14th of August 1917. His citation read:-
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During an attack and subsequent consolidation of the captured position he showed the greatest coolness and energy inspiring all ranks by his magnificent personal example and never sparing himself to make the operation of his battalion the success which it was. His work at all times has been of the same high standard”.
A British attack on the ninth on Bellevue Spur and part of the main Passchendaele ridge gained a little ground at prohibitive cost. Heavy swathes of barbed wire still girdled the hillside, however, and belated and meager heavy artillery made no impression on them, or on the many pillboxes beyond. New Zealand gunners slaved to breaking point to get only a few guns and howitzers forward, but stable platforms and accurate fire were unattainable. The 2nd and 3rd Brigades – the latter weary from heavy work in the salient – nevertheless renewed the attack early on the twelfth.
There was little to encourage the men as they waited overnight in a morass under steady rain. Shelled in their assembly area, some were shelled again by their own guns when the thin barrage opened at 5.25 a.m., and then they led off into a deluge of small-arms fire, speckled with geyser-like eruptions as shells exploded in the mud. Worst of all was the wire, covered with deadly fire, its few gaps deliberate deathtraps. Some men tried to crawl under it, some threw themselves at it and two men got right through and were killed in the act of hurling grenades at the loopholes of the nearest pillbox. The left gained 500 yards of slippery slope, the centre 200 heartbreaking yards, the right nothing until the 80-odd occupants of two blockhouses and a trench used up all their ammunition. Then they were captured, blockhouses and all, by two brave and skilful men, sole survivors of two Otago platoons.
The following is a description of his death from the New Zealand Rifle Brigade’s official history.
“The 3rd Battalion mourned the death of their commander, who had been struck down early on the morning of the 12th.
At Passchendaele as soon as it appeared that the check was more than temporary, he had gone forward to endeavor by direct personal efforts to get his troops forward, but moving from shell-hole to shell-hole amongst the scattered groups, he drew upon himself the inevitable burst of machine gun fire, under which, fearlessly persisting, he at last fell mortally wounded.”
His body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing NZ Apse Panel 7
Wood, George Ernest
Died of wounds on the 15th of November 1917 aged 29.
Born and lived in Limpsfield and enlisted at Croydon. He was the husband of Charlotte Wood of Champion Cottages Limpsfield Chart. He was educated at the National School, Limpsfield.
He is buried at Mendingham Cemetery Section II Row G Grave 23.
Woodroffe, Neville Leslie
Killed in action on the 6th of November 1914 aged 21.
He was the son of Allen and Beatrice Woodroffe of 21 Cornwall Gardens London SW.
Educated at Eton until 1911 where he was in Mr Brinton’s House and later at Trinity College, Cambridge. He joined the Irish Guards on probation in February 1913 as 2nd Lieutenant and was confirmed in his rank some months later being gazetted Lieutenant after his death to date from the 2nd of November 1914. He was mentioned in despatches by Sir John French on the 14th of January 1915
Lt. Woodroffe was shot and killed in the advance with reinforcements of the 1st Life Guards and some of his own men to retake a lost position at Klein-Zillebeke near Ypres. Two days earlier he was in command of No.1 Company when, not receiving the order to retire when attacked, they held their trench until dark and was “certainly instrumental in checking the advance of the enemy”.
He is commemorated on the Menin Gate Ypres Panel 11
Those born or residing in Limpsfield not recorded on the memorial
Killed in action on the 28th of April 1917.
He was born in Limpsfield in 1875 and later moved to Copthall Cottage in Westerham and attended Hosey School. He enlisted in Westerham joining the Royal West Kent Regiment as Private 8901 but was later transferred to the Middlesex Regiment.
His battalion were detailed to capture the German positions at Oppy Village. They attacked at 4.30am and approached the village through the wood. They took the German front line trench on the western outskirts of the village but were later driven out and were forced back to their starting positions. Only 42 of the attackers answered roll call that night.
His body was not found and he is commemorated on Bay 7 of the Arras memorial to the missing
Died of wounds on the 3rd of August 1916 aged 32
He was born in Limpsfield, enlisted in Hove and lived in Hurstpierpoint. He was the son of George and Rhoda Webb of North Cottage Limpsfield.
On this day the battalion moved up and took over the front line at Waterlot Farm on the Somme. At
Furzedown Auxiliary Hospital Limpsfield
Furzedown was a convalescence hospital containing 22 beds for other ranks.
THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN RESEARCHED BY JOHN C. HAMBLIN, LIMPSFIELD. HE HOPES THAT IT WILL BE OF INTEREST TO LOCAL RESIDENTS AND OF ASSISTANCE TO GENEALOGISTS. A PDF WILL BE AVAILABLE HERE SOON.