Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2605 L/Cpl John Dicks, 9th Essex Regt

2605 Corporal John Dicks of the 9th Essex Regiment was a patient at Hickwells in 1915 and possibly into 1916. His entry in Nurse Oliver’s album reads:

2605 Cpl J Dicks
9th Essex Reg.
C Coy
France 1914 1915
also 1st Batt Royal West Kents South Africa, 1899 to 1902

He shares this page with another Essex Regiment soldier, 16880 Private Joseph French of the 3rd Essex Regiment, and a group photo of convalescent soldiers.

John Dicks was probably not a career soldier. I searched for him in Boer War medal rolls and came up with 2287 John Dicks who served with the 3rd (Militia) Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment during the Second Anglo-Boer War. He did not serve in South Africa but appears on the roll of men who saw service in Gibraltar, Malta and Egypt.

John Dicks's number falls within the sequence allocated to the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, Essex Regiment one and therefore he must have been posted to the 9th Battalion, presumably to make up numbers, prior to its departure fro France at the end of May 1915. He was wounded in action in October 1915 and mentioned by name in The Essex Chronicle on 19th November 1915.

On Friday December 3rd he was mentioned in two articles published in The Sussex Daily News and The Sussex Express:

Friday December 3rd 1915 - Page 8 [Sussex Daily News]

The soldiers at Hickwells Relief Hospital at Chailey were ‘at home’ to their friends on Wednesday afternoon and by way of amusing them gave two excellent entertainments - one at 2:30 and the other at 4:30. The bugle called the performers together and when the screens were withdrawn a nice little group of waxworks was disclosed, Bombardier Ryan shewing off their ‘beauties’ in his usual amusing way. Corporal Nash (as St George) and Private Allen sang the ‘Tin Gee Gee’, Private Wise and Sergeant Calvert making two fascinating ‘Little Dolly Girls’. Rifleman Collins, still on crutches, made a splendid broken doll. Lance-Corporal Smith was a Japanese Lady, and, later on, although only having the use of one arm, cleverly ‘vamped’ some accompaniments. While dresses were being changed, Private Hume and Private MacBride sang and danced, and then to the tune of ‘Here We Are Again’, Hickwells’ Pierrot troupe appeared and gave a spirited entertainment. Driver Bradley and Private Allen made excellent ‘Corner Men’ and Bombardier Ryan was capital as the ‘Master of Ceremonies’. The troupe included, besides those already mentioned, Sergeant Calvert, Sergeant Sheppard, Corporal Nash, Lance-Corporal Smith, Privates Wise and Holleran, Driver Cleary and Corporal Dicks, many of whom sang and recited. Two of the nurses helped at the piano

December 3rd 1915 - Page 12 - Chailey [Sussex Express]

On Wednesday afternoon an enjoyable entertainment was given by some of the wounded soldiers in residence at the above hospital. It opened with a display of wax works exhibited by Mrs Jarley (otherwise Bombardier Ryan) whose antics and jokes caused great laughter. The costumes of all were varied and humorous. This was followed by a number of interesting items performed by Bombardier Ryan, Private McBride, Sergeant Nash, Private Allan, Driver Bradley, Corporal Dicks and Gunner Hume. The parody on “The Village Blacksmith” by Driver Bradley and Private Allan and the song “Macnamara’s Band” by Bombardier Ryan, were specially worthy of notice. Another performance was given later in the day.

John Dicks obviously recovered sufficiently to be transferred to the Middlesex Regiment. The number G/92639 dates to May or June 1917. He served with the 1/9th Battalion and latterly the 3rd Battalion before being demobilised.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

164345 Gunner Arthur Horscraft, RGA

Gunner Arthur Horscraft, RGA, is first mentioned in Chailey Parish Magazine in December 1917.  The following month he is noted as serving with A[nti] A[ircraft] A[rtillery].  His final entry, still serving with AAA is in December 1918. 

Arthur Horscraft was born in Fletching on 21st September 1888.  By the time the 1901 census was taken he was living at Mill Field, Newick with his family.  The household comprised Thomas Horscraft (a 47 year old baker working from home), his wife Caroline (nee Johnson, aged 38) and three children: Percy Basil Horscaft (aged 14), Arthur Horscraft (aged 12) and Lily Dorothy Horscraft (aged 10).  Both the boys worked for their father. 

Arthur had six older sisters who are not noted at the Newick address on the 1901 census return.  In age order they were: Florence Fanny Horscraft (born 1877 in Newick), Charlotte Constance Horscraft (born 1878 in Newick), Alice Caroline Horscraft (born 1880 in Newick), Rose Horscraft (born 1881 in Burgess Hill, Sussex), Mabel Horscraft (born 1882 in Burgess Hill) and Ida Horscraft (born 1885 in Farnham, Surrey). 

On 6th November 1915, Arthur married Edith Winifred Packham (born 23rd October 1894) and in May 1917, their first child was born at their home in Meeching Road, Denton, Newhaven, East Sussex 

According to notes kept by Arthur’s old headmaster, John Oldaker of Newick school, Arthur enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery on 2nd June 1917.  His brother Percy had enlisted in the Royal Navy on 21st June 1916 and was serving aboard HMS Torrent.  

Later, Arthur sent John Oldaker a photograph of himself which had been taken on 26th July 1917 (above). On the back of it he wrote: 

Taken at Shoeburyness, Essex
No 164345 Gunr A Horscraft
Stoke Battery
Nr Plymouth

Dear Mr Oldaker 

I thought I would take this opportunity of sending you one of my photos and I was in London a few Sundays ago and met Percy there.  He told me had given you one of himself and also told me you were collecting all of the old school boys.  I’m glad to say I’m getting on alright and having good health, I hope all of your family are quite well, also Mrs Oldaker and yourself. We are now at Devonport but we shall not be here for long.  Have been at Derby also and Shoeburyness and Abbey Wood, Kent and now at Devonport.  Kind regards to all of your family, I remain 

Yours sincerely, A Horscraft 

Surviving postcards of Arthur in military uniform (his RGA shoulder title clearly visible in one photo), reveal that he was certainly wearing khaki by 26th July 1917.  On 16th November 1917 he was stationed at Invergordon, Rosshire but by 12th January 1918 he was back with his family.  Chailey Parish Magazine, usually so prompt with its announcements of local men who joined the colours, does not appear to have picked up on the fact that Arthur had joined up for at least five months.  By this stage though, he was not a local man anymore.  Living in Newhaven, the news must have filtered back late. 

The National Archives does not hold any medal cards for a Royal Garrison Artilleryman named Arthur Horscraft but there is a card for an Arthur Horscroft which gives the service number Arthur notes above. 

Arthur survived the war and returned home to Denton, Newhaven where he and Edith had six more children including triplets born in 1929.  He died in Denton on 8th March 1971.  Edith died eight years later in 1979. 
My thanks to Simon Stevens for the information from John Oldaker's album; also to Sue Hankins and Pauline Wicks for assisting me with information about their great uncle Arthur.  The photograph above was taken at Invergordon in November 1917 and is reproduced with Pauline Wicks’ permission

229851 Leading Seaman George Wood, HMS Sandhurst

George Wood was born on 16th August 1886 and appears on the 1901 census as a 14 year old agricultural labourer living in Chailey village with his family.  The family as recorded on the census comprised Edward Wood (head, aged 45 and working as an agricultural labourer) and his four sons: Edward (15, agricultural labourer), George, Charles (aged 11) and Harry (aged seven).  Whilst Edward Wood senior had been born in nearby Fletching, all four children were born in Chailey.  There is no indication of the children’s mother on the 1901 census although their father is recorded as being married.  The 1891 census however, notes the family living at Westlands Cottage, North Common and there, Edward, George and Charles appear again (Charles noted as having the middle initial, J) with both parents: Edward Wood aged 30 and his wife, Mary Wood (also born in Fletching) aged 29. 

George Wood enlisted in the Royal Navy on 22nd February 1904 aged 17.  It was noted that he was five feet, five inches tall, had brown hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion.  A small scar was noted on the right of his forehead.  He gave his occupation as Labourer.  On enlistment, George Wood was given the number 229851 and posted to the training ship HMS Northampton . Due to his age, he was given the rating of Boy, 2nd Class. 

Over the next ten years, George Wood served on the following ships.  His reckonable service began on 16th August 1904 (when he turned 18) and he signed up for 12 years: 

HMS Calliope (15th July 1904 – 11th October 1904)
HMS Suffolk (13th October 1904 – 9th April 1906)
HMS Hecla (7th June 1906 – 27th April 1908)
HMS Canopus (28th April 1908 – 7th December 1908)
HMS Renown (21st August 1910 – 10thJanuary 1911)
HMS Neptune (11th January 1911 – 27th January 1913)
HMS Ariadne (7th May 1913 – 17th May 1913)
HMS Duncan (24th May 1913 – 18th October 1913) 

As well as serving on the ships noted above, George Wood also spent time at the Royal Naval Gunnery School – HMS Excellent - on four occasions (8th December 1909 – 20th August 1910, 28th January – 6th May 1913, 18th – 23rd May 1913 and finally 19th October 1913 – 24th January 1914).  He qualified as a Seaman Gunner on 16th October 1910 and re-qualified on 18th December 1913. 

On 25th January 1914, George Wood transferred again, this time to HMS Venerable and it was while serving aboard Venerable that war was declared.  Wood remained with her until 27th December 1916 when he returned to Portsmouth, remaining there until 14th March 1917. 

He then served aboard the following ships: 

HMS Greyhound (15th March 1917 – 18th September 1917)
HMS Woolwich (17th April 1918 – 30th June 1918)
HMS Columbine (1st July 1918 – 31st March 1919)
HMS Sandhurst (1st April 1919 – 7th May 1919) 

Throughout his time with the Royal Navy, George Wood’s character is noted as Very Good, with his ability ranging from satisfactory to superior.  He was awarded his first Good Conduct badge on 22nd March 1907, his second on 20th August 1912 and his third on 19th August 1917.  He was deprived of one badge on 2nd August 1918 but awarded another shortly afterwards on 31st January 1919. 

George Wood finished his service with the Royal Naval rating of Leading Seaman; a rating he had been promoted to on 3rd June 1913. George’s brothers Charles Wood and Harry Wood also served their King and Country during the First World War.

Private H Wilson, Army Service Corps

Little is known about this man; only what was published in Chailey’s parish magazine. 

In February 1916 Pte H Wilson of the Army Service Corps is reported to be in England.  In June 1916 he is reported in France.  In February 1917 he is reported as being invalided and this information - Wilson, Pte H, ASC.  Invalided – is then repeated up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. 

There is not enough information to identify who this man is in terms of a medal index card and similar difficulties when trying to find him on census returns.  There is nobody with the surname Wilson listed on the 1901 census for Chailey.

Captain John Cecil Glossop Pownall, Royal Field Artillery

John Cecil Glossop Pownall was born in Kensington, London in 1891, his birth registered there in June that year.  He was the oldest son of Henry Harrison and Blanch Pownall and he appears on the 1901 census, living with his parents and siblings at Ades, Chailey.  Today, Ades still stands but has been divided into a number of individual flats.  At the time John was living there though, it was a sizeable estate comprising the main house, Hickwells house on the opposite side of Cinder Hill and acres of rolling Sussex countryside.   

Henry Harrison Pownall had bought the estate in 1899 after its previous owner, James Croft Ingram had been declared bankrupt as the result of some unwise investments by his business partner.  Henry practiced the law and in 1901 he was a successful 47 year old barrister living at Ades with his wife Blanch (aged 46) and their children Kathleen (12), John (10), Percy (8) and Lionel (5).  Henry had been born in Bloomsbury, London, his wife in Richmond, Surrey.  With the exception of Lionel who was born in Reigate, Surrey, all the other children had been born in Kensington, London. 

Henry also employed a sizeable contingent of domestics.  Appearing on the 1901 census are Katherine Murdock (governess, aged 42), Margaret Towan (cook, aged 27), Emma Daniels (house maid, aged 42), Jane Popple (house maid, aged 22), Laura Turner (house maid, aged 24), Constance Hobden (kitchen maid, aged 21), Agnes Hobden (Maid, aged 15), Eva Kempton (trade unknown, aged 46), Frederick Game (butler, aged 34), Jane Game (his wife, aged 30), Evelyn Game (daughter of Frederick and Jane, age 6), George Wheeler (footman, aged 23), James Izzard (groom, aged 22) and Albert Leeson, (groom, aged 21). 

In Chailey Through The Centuries, by Edwin Matthias (1996), W G Tharby (born in 1896) recalls that his father worked as a coachman for Mr Pownall.  He recalls Ades in some detail: 

It was like a self contained village with a large park, lake, home farm, coverts and large gardens.  In the stables my father had grooms to do most of the work while in the house, there was a large staff consisting of butler, housekeeper, footman, head parlourmaid, parlourmaids, housemaids, cook, kitchen and scullery maids.

In the servants hall the butler and housekeeper ruled with great dignity and everyone sat in order of rank for meals.  A head gardener and about a dozen under-gardeners looked after the extensive gardens and the glass houses while a bailiff ran the home farm.  There was also a game-keeper.  Father had a rent-free cottage with a well for water and oil lamps and candles.  In addition he received free milk, coal, vegetables, uniform and working suits, plus £2 a week.  When he drove the landau which had a crest on the highly polished door panels, he looked very smart in his blue uniform and top hat.  He wore a cockade on one side of his topper.  The groom who sat beside him with folded arms was similarly attired.  He had to jump down smartly to open the carriage door and let down the step when required.  On Sunday mornings, when old enough, I accompanied father to the stables.  He would see the horses were properly groomed and bedded with clean straw.  Everything had to be spotlessly clean.  The horses were better housed than some human beings at that time.  After his inspection we returned home to collect mother for church. 

At Christmas a large tree was installed in the billiards room.  It was brightly decorated and a large pile of presents stood nearby.  Every employee on the estate, also wives and children, were there to receive a present.  The butler handed them to Mr Pownall for the men and to his wife for the wives and children.  On November 5th each year, a miniature Crystal Palace illumination was laid on, even a framework to carry set pieces.  All employees and families assembled in the billiards room which had several large windows overlooking the park.  Here the display was staged and after the set pieces a large bonfire was lit and the rockets went up to an accompaniment of oos and ahs. 

When harvest was completed on the home farm a real Sussex Harvest Home was provided and a good roast beef and beer was enjoyed, followed by a sing-song which was an all male affair. 

John Pownall’s medal index card tells us that he arrived in France on 24th June 1916.  Chailey Parish Magazine notes him for the first time in October 1916 noting him as Captain C Pownall of the Royal Field Artillery (which presumably indicates that he was referred to as Cecil rather than John).  In December, the parish magazine records him as CG Pownall.   

On 14th June 1917 on page 5860 of the Supplement to The London Gazette, Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery, the following information is noted: “The undermentioned to be Lts.  1st June 1916, except where otherwise stated: 2nd Lt (Temp Capt) J C G Pownall and to retain temp rank of Capt.” 

Captain Pownall appears to have served throughout the war and his name appears in the parish magazine up to and including July 1919.  Precious little is known of his service however and to date I have not been able to find his service record at The National Archives. 

John Pownall’s younger brother, Lionel Henry Yorke Pownall, also served his King and Country during the First World War and was killed in action in May 1915.  The boys’ sister, Kathleen Etheldred Pownall was an active member of Sussex 54 VAD.

85523 Driver William Pomfrey, 5th DAC, Royal Field Artillery

William Pomfrey was born on 25th February 1893 in Chailey.  He enlisted in The Royal Field Artillery at Guildford on 22nd August 1914, giving his trade or calling as Cowman and his next of kin as his mother, C Jones of Reanor Cottages, Stolingbury St Mary’s, Dorking, Surrey. 

William’s description on enlistment records that he was five feet, three inches tall, weighed 126 pounds, had a ruddy complexion, brown eyes, dark hair and… six moles on his back.  He was given the number 85523, the rank of driver and posted to Number 4 Depot at Woolwich.  On 19th October 1914 he was posted to the 18th Divisional Artillery and then, on the 2nd November that year, to the 18th Divisional Ammunition Column (DAC). 

From his surviving service record it would appear that William did not settle easily into army routine.  On 19th November 1914 he was absent from the Defaulters’ Parade at 6.30am and confined to barracks for seven days.  On 9th January 1915 he was charged with overstaying his leave from 12 noon on 7th January to 9am on the 9th and deprived of two days’ pay.  On 18thJanuary he was charged with being absent from the stables from 4.30pm on the 17th until 7am on the 18thand denied another day’s pay.  Inattention on parade on 5th February cost him another two days confined to barracks and on 22nd February he was charged with being absent without leave from 6.45am on 13th February until 9.30pm on the 22nd.  He forfeited ten days’ pay but otherwise does not appear to have been punished. 

William Pomfrey’s records note that he was posted to RFA 5c Reserve Brigade on 14thFebruary which may or may not have been behind his decision to go absent without leave.  He resumed duties with the Reserve Brigade on 23rd February and managed to stay out of trouble for the next four and a half months before again going absent without leave from 10.30pm on 5th July until 6pm on the 6th July.  For this he forfeited four days’ pay AA and two days’ pay RW. 

Between 27th July and 13th December 1915, William was in France, Chailey Parish Magazine noting in October 1915, Pomfrey, Dvr W, DAC, France. 

Between 14th December 1915 and 17th July 1917, William was back on home soil and being posted to the RFA 5b Reserve Brigade (28th February 1916) and then 20th Reserve Battery (9th January 1917).  On 18th July 1917 he embarked again for France and was posted to the 19th DAC 10/88 Brigade.  His tenure with them did not last long.  By 30th October 1917 he was back home and back with a reserve brigade of artillery. 

On 10th November William Pomfrey got married at West Ham and on 15th December he was mustered, his rank now being Gunner.  On 21st December 1917 he was caught gambling in Woolwich Barracks by Sergeant Bell and confined to barracks for three days.  On 28th January, a daughter, Cecilia Grace Pomfrey was born at Catford. 

William Pomfrey was posted back to France for the last time on 26th August 1918.  This time his rank was Signaller and he was posted to the 5th DAC.  He remained with the 5th Division until demobilization on 1st March 1919.  His Protection Certificate, issued on 1st February 1919, gives his home address as 4 Penberth Road, Catford SE. 

Further documents in his file at Kew indicate that William may have spent time at No 2 General Hospital, Havre and that on another occasion his aunt, Miss Pomfrey of 30 Lansdowne Road, Hove, Sussex, was enquiring about his whereabouts.  His Military History Sheet records that William passed out in signalling. 

In total, twelve misdemeanours, mostly for going absent without leave, are noted on William Pomfrey’s service record although the most severe punishment he ever received was being confined to barracks or losing pay.  As early as November 1916, Chailey Parish Magazine notes that William has been invalided although this is not borne out by his service record.

M2/105174 Private James Pointing, MT Army Service Corps

The James Pointing noted by Chailey Parish Magazine in September 1915 as serving his King and Country was one of four brothers who served during the First World War. 

He was born at Lewes around May 1894 and by the time the 1901 census was taken, was living at Tomsetts, Chailey with his family.  That family comprised James Pointing (senior) aged 44 and working as a postman, his 40 year old wife Alice (working as a laundress from home) and their four children: William Pointing (aged 13), Alice Pointing (aged nine), James Pointing (aged six) and George Pointing (aged four).  A fourth son, 14 year old Frank Pointing, was boarding at Teague Green, Chailey. 

In October 1915, the parish magazine notes that Trooper J Pointing is (like his brother George), serving with the 2nd Sussex Yeomanry in England.  By January 1917 however, he is reported to be a private with the 10th Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment and in December 1917, a private with a motorised section of the Army Service Corps.  This latter information is then repeated up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. 

James Pointing married Florence Matilda Bennett (1903-1970) about August 1927.  He died on 17th October 1962 in Acton, west London. 

James Pointing’s three brothers Frank, George and William all served during the First World War.  His sister, Alice Pointing, is the same Alice Pointing noted as serving with Sussex 54 VAD.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

6020 Flight Sergeant Frank Pointing, RAF

The Frank Pointing noted by Chailey Parish Magazine in July 1915 as serving his King and Country was one of four brothers who served during the First World War. 

He was born at Lewes on 27th February 1887 and by the time the 1901 census was taken, was boarding at Teague Green, Chailey.  The rest of his family was living at Tomsetts, Chailey and comprised James Pointing aged 44 and working as a postman, his 40 year old wife Alice (working as a laundress from home) and their four children: William Pointing (aged 13), Alice Pointing (aged nine), James Pointing (aged six) and George Pointing (aged four).   

In July 1915, the parish magazine notes that Frank Pointing is serving his King and Country in October 1915 that he is a private and 2nd Air Mechanic with the Royal Flying Corps in England.  In April 1916, the parish magazine reports that he is in France and in November that year that he has been promoted to corporal.  Six months later, in May 1917, the parish magazine notes that his rank is now sergeant and this is further updated in March 1918 to note that he is Flight Sergeant F Pointing.  This information is then repeated up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919.
Frank's surviving record in AIR 79 shows that he served overseas between the 16th January 1916 and the 16th May 1916. It also records that he was married in Egham on the 21st December 1912. His wife was Elizabeth Annie Priscilla White (1886-1983). 
Frank's three brothers James Pointing, George Pointing and William Pointing all served during the First World War.  Their sister, Alice Pointing, is the same Alice Pointing who served with Sussex 54 VAD.
Frank Pointing died on 11th May 1971 in Hounslow, West London. 

Lewis J Penn

Lewis J Penn appears in a special list of attested men published in Chailey’s Parish Magazine in January, March and April 1916. I know nothing else about this man.

22754 Corporal John Peckham, Royal Field Artillery

In March 1915, Chailey Parish Magazine notes that John Peckham is serving his King and Country.  In October that year it adds: Peckham, Gunner J, RFA and the following month includes the additional information that he is in France.  In December 1915 it notes that he is a corporal and his name then appears in every subsequent issue up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. 

John Peckham is possibly the same six year old John Peckham recorded on the 1901 census and living at Mayfield, Sussex with his family.  The family comprised Richard Peckham (a 39 year old Mayfield-born cattle dealer), his 38 year old wife Eliza (born in Ticehurst) and their seven children: Richard William Peckham (aged 17), Charles Henry Peckham (aged 15), Edward Peckham (aged 12), George [Alfred] Peckham (aged nine), John [Ernest] Peckham, Albert Peckham (aged three) and Emily Peckham (aged nine months).  

He is probably 22754 Saddler (and latterly, Corporal) John E Peckham whose medal index card can be found at The National Archives in London, and I list him as such, above.

23610 Private Frank Peacock, 3rd Grenadier Guards

Chailey Parish Magazine first notes Frank Peacock in October 1915 listing him as, Peacock, Pte F, Grenadier Guards, England.  In December, it notes that he is in France.  Then, in February 1916, in its roll of honour section, it notes: Pte F Peacock, Grenadier Guards, killed in action, Dec 20th 1915. 

The Commonwealth War Graves’ Commission’s Debt of Honour register commemorates 23610 Private Frank Peacock of the 3rd Grenadier Guards who died on the date recorded in Chailey’s parish magazine.  It gives the additional information that he was 23 years old and the son of George and Margaret Peacock. 

The 1901 census notes him living at what looks like, Chafed Land, Chailey village.  The household comprised Janus C Smith (head, married, aged 36, working as a gardener), his wife Mary Ann Smith (aged 53) and three children: William C Smith (aged 21, also working as a gardener), Kate L Smith (aged 16) and Edith B Smith (aged 13).  Frank, aged eight, and born in Charlton, Kent, is noted as a nephew.  The household is completed by Cecil E Matthews, aged five and recorded as a grandson. 

Soldiers Died in the Great War records his place of birth as Cholton [sic] and the fact that he enlisted at Brighton.  No place of residence is given. The register of soldiers' effects records Mary A Smith as his aunt and sole legatee. She was sent a total of £7, 19 shillings and sixpence; a combination of money owing to Frank at the time of his death, and a war gratuity of £3.

Frank Peacock is buried in the Royal Irish Rifles graveyard at Laventie, grave reference VI. B. 6. My thanks to Colin Roberts for taking the photo.

Rifleman W Pateman, 24th Rifle Brigade & 1/5th RW Kent Regt

Chailey Parish Magazine first mentions Walter Pateman in August 1916 noting, Pateman, Rif W, C/Co Rifle Brigade, India.  In October 1916 it reports that he is serving with the 24th Rifle Brigade in India and in January 1917 that he is with the 1/5th Royal West Kent Regiment.  His name appears for the final time in the parish magazine in December 1917 as: Pateman, Rif W, C/Co, 1/5 R W Kent. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Corporal Harry Jeffreys, British Red Cross Society

Chailey Parish Magazine first notes Harry Jeffreys in April 1917 as a corporal with the British Red Cross Society, recording also that he has been twice mentioned in despatches and has been awarded the Croix de Guerre with star.  This information is repeated up to and including the final published roll call in the magazine in July 1919. 

Reg Philpott remembers that after the war, Harry Jeffreys used to umpire the local cricket team and had a daughter names Ruth. 
Harry Jeffreys was in fact John Harold Jeffreys who was born in 1883 and who died in July 1943. An obituary was published in The Sussex Agricultural Express (above) of 23rd July 1943.

Harry E Jackson

Chailey Parish Magazine lists a Harry E Jackson in its January 1916 list of specially attested men, this man also appearing in the March and April 1916 lists.  There is no further mention of this man in the parish magazine and it has been difficult to identify him so far on census returns. 

There is a Harry Edgar Jackson whose birth is recorded in the June 1879 quarter at Horsham and a Harry Edgar Jackson (presumably the same man) whose marriage to either Mary Adelaide Mason or Louisa K Schneckenburger is recorded in the March 1907 quarter at Steyning, Sussex.  A Harry E Jackson appears on the 1901 census of England & Wales working as a 22 year old servant in Shipley, Sussex but whether this is Harry Edgar Jackson and whether any of these names are the same man mentioned in Chailey’s parish magazine is currently unknown.

Gunner J Izzard, Royal Horse Artillery

Gunner J Izzard, RHA is first referred to in Chailey Parish Magazine’s June 1917 issue.  This is the only information that the magazine yields about this man although it is repeated in every subsequent issue up to and including July 1919. 

The magazine could have mis-spelt this man’s surname and he may have been an Isard rather than Izzard. 

Chailey resident Reg Philpott remembers a Joe and Mary Izzard (or Isard) who used to work for Faulkner, the tailor on Chailey Green but I could find no Joe or Joseph Izzard listed on census returns and was also unsuccessful in finding a medal index card with an Izzard (or Isard) Royal Horse Artillery match. 

The 1901 census does note a five year old Joseph Henry Isard (born 18th August 1895), living at Newick Green, however.  The household comprised: Stephen Isard (head, married, aged 38, working as a fellmonger), his wife Ellen Matilda Isard (nee Selsby, aged 43) and their five children: Amy Victoria Isard (aged 13), Marion Elizabeth Isard (aged 12), Addelaide [Sic] Isard (aged ten), Percy John Isard (aged seven) and finally, Joseph.  Ellen had been born in Keymer; her husband and their five children were all born in Newick. 

The National Archives reveals a medal index card for a G/3000 Private Joseph H Isard of The Royal Sussex Regiment but the absence of any reference to an artillery formation makes me sceptical that this is the same man referred to in the parish magazine. 

There was however, one certain loss that this branch of the Isard family felt.  Twenty-three year old SD/2940 Private Percy John Isard of the 13th The Royal Sussex Regiment was killed in action on the Rue De Bois on 30th June 1916.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes that he was the son of Mr & Mrs Isard of ‘The Firs’ Newick. Soldiers Died in The Great War confirms that he was born in Newick and enlisted in Lewes. He is buried at Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery; grave reference: F 924.  He is also commemorated on a bronze plaque in St Mary's Church, Newick and in a memorial book held there.

G/8195 Private Percy Raymond Ireland, 10th Royal Sussex Regt

Percy Raymond Ireland was born at Handcross, Sussex about 1st April 1880, the oldest of six children.  He appears on the 1881 census as a one year old living with his parents Raymond Ireland (aged 29) and Emma Amelia W Ireland (nee Blackwell, aged 25) at Handcross.  Raymond Ireland is noted as a grocer and draper’s assistant. 

I could find no trace of Raymond or Emma on the 1891 census but their son appears living in a grocer’s and draper’s shop run by his aunt in Handcross.  She is listed as Ann Ireland (aged 50) and living with her (apart from eleven year old Percy who is noted as a scholar) were her children : Harry H (aged 26, a grocer’s assistant), Florence A (aged 20, a housekeeper), Kate E Ireland (aged 18, a dress maker) and Bertha (aged 13, a scholar).  There were also two live-in grocer’s assistants:  William E Potter (aged 22) and Owen Wheatley (aged 20). 

It seems certain that by the time the 1901 census was taken, both Percy’s parents had died. Raymond Ireland died of pneumonia on 26th May 1899 at Great Bookham and on the 1901 census, his sister Ethel (born in 1886 and living in Nuneaton, Warwickshre) is recorded as an orphan.  By this time, Percy had moved again, this time to Eden Villa in the Parish of Laughton, East Sussex where he is noted as a 21 year old servant to Charles Hyland, a 45 year old grocer and draper. 

Percy married Karen Neale at Fletching, Sussex on 11th March 1907 and the couple had two children: Percy James, born on 31st May 1908 and William, born on 7th November 1910.  By the time the First World War started, Percy was working as a grocer and on his short service attestation form which he completed at Eastbourne for the Royal Susex Regiment on10th Novermber 1915, he declared that he was 35 years and 222 days old and living at South View, North Common, Chailey.  He was five feet seven and a half inches tall. 

He was given the number G/8195 and posted to the 10th Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment (15th November 1915).  He remained with this battalion until 3rd June 1916 when he was posted to the 8th Battalion. 

Percy sailed for France exactly two months later on 3rd August 1916 and he hadn’t been there long before he was wounded in action.  On 23rd September 1916, he received a gunshot wound to his scalp (the fact that he had been wounded, noted in the November 1916 issue of Chailey’s parish magazine).  It does not appear that this wound necessitated any treatment in England as Percy’s surviving service record details indicate that he was in France between 3rd August 1916 and 16th April 1918. 

On 17th April 1918 however, he was admitted to Bradford War Hospital (although whether this was as the result of a wound or sickness is unclear).  He was granted leave on 22nd June 1918 until 2nd July 1918; his battalion now given as the 7th Royal Sussex Regiment and his address as Clock House, Fletching. 

On 7thOctober 1918 a daughter, Freda Mary Ireland, was born at Uckfield (which would indicate either that Percy had visited England prior to April 1918 or that his wife had visited him in France). 

On 18th October that year he was confined to barracks for three days for having a dirty rifle on parade and one week later, received a further five days confined to barracks for having a dirty belt on the Commanding Officer’s Inspection Parade. 

On 22ndMay 1919, Percy was posted to the Royal Sussex Regiment depot and demobbed on 12th January 1920.  He was designated as medical category B2 and indicated on his protection certificate that he was still living at Clock House, Fletching. 

Percy’s brothers and sisters were: Mabel A Ireland (born 1882 at Slaugham), Newton Ireland (born 1884 at Epsom), Ethel Ireland (born 1886), Harry Ernest Ireland (born 1887 at Great Bookham) and Herbert Traiton Ireland (born 1889 at Epsom).
My thanks to Mick Ireland and Debby Jarrett for providing me with additional information about their relative, Percy Ireland, and his family.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cecil Ernest Ireland

The 1901 census of England and Wales notes Cecil Ireland’s father, 36 year old Ernest Ireland, running the post office at Junction Road, Keymer, Sussex.  At the time, the family comprised Ernest Ireland and his wife Elizabeth Ireland (aged 37), their three children: Winifred Ireland (aged 13), Claude [Foord] Ireland (aged eight) and Cecil [Ernest] (aged five), and two assistants: Frank Cotton (aged 22) and Ernest Scott (aged 17).  Cecil and Claude had both been born at Burgess Hill.

Chailey resident, Reg Philpott remembers that the family used to have a post office and that Cecil Ireland later married “a Bristow” and possibly had a tailor’s business, but next to nothing is known about his war service.  Chailey Parish Magazine records in October and November 1914 that Cecil Ireland is serving his King and Country but that is the only mention that he receives. 

It is possible that Cecil enlisted at the outbreak of the war but was discharged soon after and never served abroad.  Certainly, I have been unable to locate a medal index card for this man at the National Archives.Cecil's brother Claude Foord Ireland, served in the First World War and was killed in action on 12th October 1917.

241360 Private John Walter Kenward, 1/5th Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regt)

John Walter Kenward was born at Chailey in 1894, his birth registered at Lewes in the December quarter of that year.  He appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales as a six year old living at Bevendean Cottage with his parents George Kenward (a 29 year old domestic gardener born at Chailey and Adelade Kenward (aged 28, born at Wivelsfield).
Chailey Parish Magazine first notes John Kenward serving his King and Country in March 1915.  In October 1915 it notes Kenward, Private J, East Surrey, England and in December updates this information with, Kenward, Pte J, MG, 3rd East Surrey, England.  In April 1916 the parish magazine reports that he is in India (still with the 3rd East Surrey Regiment although this is obviously incorrect) and in May 1916 that he is attached to the 1/5th Queen’s in India. 

In June 1916 the parish magazine notes that Private Kenward has been invalided but he nevertheless continues to appear in the parish magazine.  By November 1916 he is reported to be in Mesopotamia and his name then appears continuously in the parish magazine up to and including July 1919 when the final roll call was published. 

The 1/5th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) was a territorial battalion formed at Guildford on 4th August 1914.  On 29th October 1914 it sailed for India with the Home Counties Division to which it had been allocated in August. It landed at Bombay on2nd December 1914 where the Home Counties Division was broken up.  On 7th December 1915 it arrived at Basra in the 34th Indian Brigade and remained in Mesopotamia for the remainder of the war. 

John's father, George Kenward, also served his King and Country during the First World War.

284813 Private George Kenward, Royal Air Force

Chailey Parish Magazine mentions G Kenward only briefly.  He appears for the first time in October 1918 as Pte G Kenward of the RAF and this information is then repeated monthly up to and including the final published roll in July 1919. 

G Kenward is George Kenward, born on the 15th July 1871. His surviving record in AIR 79 indicates that he joined the RAF on the 15th August 1918 for the duration of the war. He was a married man, a gardener by trade, who had also previously seen service with the 6th Volunteer Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment (this, pre-1908). His papers record his wife, Adelaide Isabella Selina Kenward, as his next of kin, and his address as Balmeath Cottages, South Common, Chailey. The couple also had two adopted daughters, Elsie Adelaide (born 11th September 1903) and Lilian Frances (born 3rd may 1905).
George did not serve overseas and was discharged on the 30th April 1920.

Gunner George Arthur Kemp, Royal Garrison Artillery

George Arthur Kemp was born around 1881 in Hamsey, Sussex.  He appears on the 1901 census of England & Wales, living at Horns Lodge public house with his father, sisters and maternal grandfather.  The household members, as noted on the census, are: George Kemp (head, a 57 year old widower working as a beer house keeper), Esther (daughter, aged 21, working as a housekeeper), George Arthur (son, aged 19, working as a gardener), Florence Alice (daughter, aged 13) and Ethel Margaret (daughter, aged 12).  Also staying at Horns Lodge was 81 year old widower Arthur Crendon, George senior’s father-in-law. 

Chailey Parish Magazine first notes Gunner G A Kemp, serving with the Royal Garrison Artillery in England in October 1916.  The following month it notes that he is serving with RGA (Heavy). 

Nothing further is currently known of George Arthur Kemp or his military service except that he survived the war, and was still being included in Chailey’s parish roll of men serving up to and including July 1919.

136676 Driver William Norman Jenner, Royal Engineers

William Norman Jenner was born at Newick on 25th March, 1893. He and his sister, Susan (born 3rd April, 1891) were the two children of Norman Jenner's second marriage to Ellen Maria Braysher, who was born at Chailey in 1861. At the time of their marriage Ellen Maria was living at Oxbottom which lies to the south of Newick and roughly mid-way between Hickwells and Beechland House 

William’s father Norman, ran a butchers shop on The Green, Newick, having moved there from Brighton with his first wife, Sarah Anne (nee Penny), sometime between 1881 and 1891. The shop was next door to the present butcher's, in what is now a pharmacy. Sarah died on 10th April 1889 and William married Ellen Braysher the following year, their marriage registered at Lewes district in the June quarter of 1890. 

Ellen Maria died at Oxbottom on 26th February 1896 aged 35 and Norman died at Newick Cottage Hospital on 14th October the same year.  He was 51 years old.  The orphaned William (aged three) and Susan (aged five) were taken in by their grandmother, Susan Braysher, and lived with her and Ellen's sister and brother-in-law, Frances and George Constable at Oxbottom in a small two-bedroomed cottage. 

William Jenner appears first in Chailey Parish Magazine in January 1916 in a list of specially attested men (as Jenner, William N) and in a line entry which states: Jenner, Sapper W, RE, England.  He had enlisted at Brighton with the Royal Engineers on 1st November 1915 and was given the service number 136676 and the rank of driver.

On 27th April 1916 he arrived in France as part of 446 Field Company, Royal Engineers.  The following month, Chailey Parish Magazine noted, Jenner, Sapper W, RE, France.   

Nothing is known of his service over the next two years but on 28th September 1918 he was injured when the mess cart he was driving overturned between Nurlu and Moislaines (approximately 12 miles west of Albert on The Somme).  William was thrown into a shell hole and injured seriously enough to be admitted to hospital the following day.  He remained there for the next six weeks, finally being discharged two days after the Armistice was signed.   

On 26th November 1918 William joined 447 Field Company via “REBD” (which possibly stands for Royal Engineers Base Depot) and seems to have remained with this company until discharged at Chatham in April 1919 (he had returned to England the previous month on account of long service).  His discharge papers note his address as Allington Road Newick. 

The following year, on 27th October 1920, William married Mary Anne Turner at Nutley.  The couple had met when they were both ‘in service’ at The Hall, Nutley.  His occupation was then given as electrician and his address as Eltham.
William Jenner subsequently worked as a clerical officer for Woolwich Borough Council and died at Plumstead on 18th August 1971 at the age of 78.

My thanks to Chris Jenner for providing some of the information that appears on this page, also for the photograph of William and Mary. Thanks too, to Simon Stevens for the poetrait of William which was sent to his headmaster, John Oldacre, at Newick School.