Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Three Cornford Brothers Go to War

The title of this post is taken from a privately published history of the same name which was recently sent to me by Stan Cornford. Stan's father Tom Cornford and his uncles Trayton Cornford and John Henry Cornford all served during the First World War.

Trayton and Tom both appear to have joined the Lancers at Roeheath, Chailey in September 1914, both men subsequently transferring to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Trayton was killed near Serre on the Somme in November 1916 but Tom later transferred to the 1/10th Manchesters, winning the Military Medal in 1918. Tragically, he died in 1933 when his son was only three years old. He is buried in St Peter's churchyard, Chailey.

John Henry Cornford, the third brother, was a pre-war regular artilleryman who served time in India and appears to have served right through the Great War only to die in England in 1920. He is buried at Deepcut in Surrey. So three brothers, three premature deaths, and all are now commemorated on the Chailey 1914-1918 website.

My grateful thanks to Stan for some fascinating correspondence and Cornford family information. Incidentally, none of the brothers was mentioned in Reverend Jellicoe's monthly roll call of local serving men. Although Tom had been born at Chailey and his brothers at Plumpton, the family had probably moved out of the area a good while before the First World War began.

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