Sunday, January 13, 2008

69th and 84th Garo Labour Companies

This is most definitely off-topic as far as Chailey is concerned, but in a shining example of shameless self-promotion (aimed as much at search engines as humans), I am flagging up another WW1 website which I have just launched.

The 69th and 84th Garo Labour Companies website is a small Freewebs site which commemorates the men of these two north east Indian labour corps companies during the First World War. A memorial in Tura, (then in the state of Assam, now in Meghalaya), commemorates the 55 labourers who did not return.

As far as Chailey is concerned, I hope to be able to correct the record of another of Chailey's men very soon. I have been in touch with a relative and all being well will be updating the relevant page during the coming week.

Monday, January 07, 2008

William Horace Simmons

William Horace Simmons was another old Chailey soldier overlooked by the Reverend Jellicoe in his monthly roll call of serving parishioners. He originally attested with the 21st Hussars in 1893 and his early service record makes fascinating reading.

Despite brushes with authority, William saw a good deal of service abroad. He was in the “East Indies” (India) between 8th March 1894 and 23rd October 1896 and then went straight to Egypt until 11th November 1899. He was home in England briefly between November 1899 and February 1900 but then sailed for South Africa on 13th March that year to fight the Boers. He returned home on 15th July 1900 (presumably as a result of sickness or wounds) and was discharged in 1901. He was entitled to the Queen’s South Africa Medal.

He enlisted for a second time on 22nd October 1914, this time signing up with the Military Mounted Police at Aldershot and served with this regiment until his discharge from the army on 15th August 1917.

I am surmising that the reason for William’s omission in Chailey Parish Magazine was due to him having moved out of the immediate area many years before. I am happy to remember him at last on the Chailey website.

Fletching British Legion - women's section

Thanks to Geoff Isted in Sussex I've been able to add tiny snippets to two more records. James Brazier and Percy Ireland both served their King and Country during WW1. James was killed in action in March 1918 whilst serving with the Royal Garrison Artillery but Percy survived (albeit with a head wound) and returned to his wife and children in Fletching.

In 1926, James's sister and Percy's wife both joined the women's branch of Fletching British Legion (the Royal had not been added at this point in time), and I am grateful to Geoff for digging out this additional information.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Victor George Ashford - a brief war

Victor George Ashford was born about 1900 in Newick. He appears on the 1901 census as the youngest child of James Thomas Ashford (a fishmonger) and his wife Jane. Three other children are also noted.

Victor's service record more rightly belongs on a Newick commemoration site as he lived at Colonels Bank, Newick. However, his service record notes Colonels Bank as being in Chailey and so I am more than happy to add his name to the Chailey parish roll call.