Sunday, February 22, 2015

200583 Corporal Frederick James Smith, 4th Suffolk Regt


Frederick James Smith was born in 1884, his birth registered at Lewes in the December quarter of that year. 

He appears on the 1891 census of England and Wales living at Hanly Farm, Cooksbridge Road, Barcombe, with his family.  The household comprised James Smith (head, married, aged 32, working as a groom), his wife Margaret Emma Smith (nee Diplock), also aged 32 and their five sons: Arthur Vere Smith (aged eight), Frederick (aged six), Spencer M Smith (aged four), Henry William Smith (aged two) and Edward George Smith (aged five months).  James was from Newick, his wife from Lindfield.  Arthur had been born in Newick, Frederick in Hamsey and the other four boys in Barcombe. 

Next door to them lived William Diplock and his family.  William was almost certainly directly related to Margaret; either an older brother or her father.
 
By the time the 1901 census was taken, the family had grown and had also moved house to Colonel’s Bank, Newick.  The household now comprised: James Smith (42, by now working as an agricultural labourer), his wife Margaret Emily [sic] Smith and their nine children: Arthur Vere Smith (aged 18, working as an agricultural labourer), Frederick (aged 16, working as a gardener), Spencer Maryon Smith (aged 14, working as a gardener), Henry William Smith (aged 12), Edward George Smith (aged ten), Leonard Diplock Smith (aged eight), Cissie Eva Smith (the only daughter, aged seven), Sydney Septimus Smith (aged 5) and Cyril Frank Smith (aged two).  The four younger children had all been born in Newick. 

Frederick does not get a mention in Chailey’s parish magazine but The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Debt of Honour Register notes that he was 32 years old and was the son of James and Margaret Emma Smith of Yew Tree Cottage, Colonels Bank, Chailey, Lewes, Sussex. 

200583 Corporal F J Smith was killed in action at the Battle of Arras on 17th April 1917 whilst serving with the 4th Suffolk Regiment.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on bay four of the Arras memorial in France. 

Both Frederick and George attended the village school at Newick and the photo that appears on this page is the one which Frederick sent his old headmaster, John Oldaker.  My thanks to Simon Stevens of Newick for sharing this with me.

241023 Private William Snelling, 5th Royal Sussex Regt

William Snelling was born in Reigate, around 1889. He appears on the 1901 census as an eleven year old boy living with his parents, brothers and sister at South Street, Chailey. In 1901 the family comprised: Arthur E Snelling (head of the family, a butcher, born in Battersea, aged 32), Minnie Snelling, (Arthur’s wife aged 34), William (son, aged 11), Richard Ernest Snelling (son, aged nine), Arthur Harry Snelling (son, aged eight) and May Snelling (daughter, aged 11 months). With the exception of May who was born in Chailey, the three boys had been born in Reigate so it seems reasonable to assume that at some time after Arthur’s birth around 1892 and before May’s birth (probably in May 1900), the family had moved from Reigate to Chailey.

William is first mentioned by Chailey Parish Magazine in January 1916 when it is noted that he is serving with the 5th Royal Sussex Pioneers in England. By May, it is noted that he is in France. Apart from details regarding his location, this information is then repeated monthly up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. William has two army numbers noted, both against the rank of sergeant with the Royal Fusiliers: 3520 and 241023.

 The 1/5th (Cinque Ports) Royal Sussex Regiment was a territorial battalion which went to France in early 1915 and was attached to the 2nd Brigade in the 1st Division. On 20th August 1915 it transferred to the 48th Division and remained there until the end of the war, latterly moving with the division to Italy.

 William’s first number would have been his original territorial number. His second, six digit number, was issued in early 1917 when the territorials were re-numbered and his number falls correctly within the sequence allocated to the 1/5th Royal Sussex. William’s brothers Arthur and Richard also served during the First World War, Arthur dying of wounds in August 1918.

Gunner William C Smith, 2/2nd Durham, Royal Garrison Artillery

The W C Smith first noted by Chailey Parish Magazine in October 1916 as a gunner with the 2/2 Durham Royal Garrison Artillery in England is possibly William C Smith who appears on the 1901 census 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 (aged 21, also working as a gardener), Kate L Smith (aged 16) and Edith B Smith (aged 13).  Frank Peacock, aged eight, and born in Charlton, Kent, is noted as a nephew and the household is completed by Cecil E Matthews, aged five and recorded as a grandson.

Gunner Smith appears monthly in the parish magazine, up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. 

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in February 1917, the 2/2nd Durham RGA was allocated the block of numbers 337001 – 340000.  Logically therefore, William Smith should have a number falling within this sequence although I have yet to identify a number for this man.

Private G Smith, 10th Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Chailey Parish Magazine notes in February 1916 that Private G Smith is serving with the 4th East Surrey Regiment.  In May 1918 it notes that he is with the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars and in August 1918 that he is serving with the 10th Royal Warwickshire Regiment.  This information is then repeated monthly up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. 

Nothing further is known about this man an indeed, the information noted above, may refer to more than one individual with the name G Smith.

Private F Smith, Royal Engineers

Although Private Smith gets quite a few mentions in Chailey’s Parish Magazine, I have been unable to positively identify him or tie him to the parish. 

Between January and April 1916 his name appears in a special list of attested men where he is simply listed as Smith, F.  In June 1916 he is noted as serving with the 15th Royal Fusiliers in England but by October 1916 has been posted to the 9th battalion and is in France. 

In December 1917 he is noted as Pte F Smith, Royal Engineers (attached Headquarters) and this information is then repeated monthly up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919.  Nothing further is known of this man.

38946 Private Charles Smith, 13th Bedfordshire Regt

Chailey Parish Magazine notes in October 1915 that Private C Smith is serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment in England.  In December 1915 it notes that he is serving with the 3rd Battalion but by June 1916 he is noted as being with the 7th battalion in France.  In April 1917, the parish magazine notes that he has been wounded and by January 1918 he is reported as being with the 13th Bedfordshire Regiment.  This information is then repeated monthly up to and including the final published roll in July 1919. 

The 13th Bedfordshire Regiment (along with the 12th battalion) was a Transport Workers’ battalion.  It was formed in March 1917 at Croydon and remained there, sending working parties to ports as required.

Driver C Smith, Royal Field Artillery

In April 1918, Chailey Parish Magazine Smith, Dvr C, RFA.  This information is then repeated up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919.  Nothing further is known about this man.

A Smith, 4th Leicestershire Regiment

Chailey Parish Magazine notes in February 1918 that Private A Smith is serving with the 4th Leicestershire Regiment.  In May 1918 it notes that he is serving with the 2nd battalion and this information is then repeated up to and including the final published roll in July 1919. 

Chailey Parish Magazine notes eight men with the surname Smith and it is possible that A Smith is related to some or all of the other seven men.  At this point in time however, it has not been possible to positively identify him.  The only obvious possibility on the 1901 census is Archibald Smith who was five years old and living at Station Cottage Number One, Chailey village when the census was taken.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

K29857 Stoker Albert Frederick Washer, HMS Active



Albert Frederick Washer (known as Fred), was born at Lewes on 20th August 1896, his birth recorded at Lewes in the December quarter of that year.

He appears on the 1901 census as a four year old living with his family in three rooms at Burnt House, North Common, Chailey.  The household comprised Alfred Washer (head, aged 33 and working as a general agricultural labourer), Eliza Washer (his wife, aged 31), and their four children: Alfred Washer (aged ten), Edith Mary Washer (aged eight), Arthur Thomas Washer (aged seven) and Albert Frederick (aged four).

He enlisted in the Royal Navy at Portsmouth on 13th December 1915 for the duration of hostilities. His place of birth is recorded on his surviving Naval papers as Lewes and his occupation as farm labourer.  He was five feet, six and a quarter inches tall, had fair hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion.  It was noted that he had a scar on the joint of his left thumb.  He joined HMS Victory II on the 13th December and was given the number K29857 and the rating of stoker 2nd class. 

Chailey Parish Magazine noted in January 1916 that he had attested and then, the following month, that he was a stoker, reporting him as Washer, Stoker F, RN. He served throughout the war aboard HMS Active, joining the ship on 3rd April 1916 and only leaving it when demobilised on 11th February 1919.  He was promoted to stoker 1st class on 18th April 1916 and during his time with the Royal Navy was mostly rated as very good, in terms of character and satisfactory in terms of ability. 

Fred Washer married Daisy Hills (1896-1984) and the couple settled in Danehill, Sussex.  His older brother Arthur also served during the First World War and the two men were cousins of George Trayton Washer.  Fred Washer died in 1975.

12961 1st Air Mechanic Corporal William Stephen White, Royal Flying Corps


Chailey Parish Magazine mentions Corporal W White, Royal Field Artillery, England, in its August 1916 edition.  The following month this is corrected to note that he is serving not with the RFA but with the RFC – Royal Flying Corps.
In January 1917 it notes that Corporal White has been invalided but in April 1918 the word “invalided” is removed and the information White, Corpl W, RFC appears.  This is then repeated up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919.
William's papers survive in AIR 79 at the National Archives and tell us that he enlisted on 2nd November 1915 as a 2nd Air Mechanic and that he was appointed 1st Air Mechanic the following March. He did not serve overseas and was deemed to have been discharged on 20th April 1920, having been transferred to the RAF Reserve on 12th February 1919. He was a mechanic by trade and living at South Street, Chailey. His next of kin is recorded as his father - W White.

William appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales as a 23 year old Chailey-born blacksmith living at South Street, Chailey.  Also at that address are his 26 year old sister Beatrice White, his 27 year old brother Reuben White (a boat maker) and his widowed 57 year old father William White (running his own boat making business).

Pioneer George Wheeler, Royal Engineers

Chailey Parish Magazine notes in March 1918 that Pioneer G Wheeler is serving with the Royal Engineers and this information is repeated up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. 

He is possibly the same George Wheeler who appears on the 1901 census of England & Wales in the mid or Lewes Division of Sussex.  In fact there are two men noted as George Wheeler: the head of the household, aged 35, born in Chailey and working as a general labourer and his ten year old son, born in Lewes.  The family was completed by Jane Wheeler (aged 33), George senior’s wife and they lived at 7, Back Cottages in the civil parish of St John’s, Lewes.
 
There is also a 23 year old Chailey-born George Wheeler noted on the 1901 census working as a footman at Ades.

Captain Ralph Manwaring West, 3rd Mounted Brigade

Ralph Mainwaring West was the son of Charles Herbert and Ada Elizabeth West.  He appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales as a seven year old living at 2 York Villas, Brighton.  The Household comprised Charles H West (aged 39 and noted as “assessor and Collector Hall Tax”), his wife Ada West (aged 36) and their three children: Ralph, Alan Herbert Manwaring West (aged three) and Brenda Manwaring West (aged eight months).  All three children and Ada West had been born in Brighton; Charles was born in Henfield. 

Also registered on the census return were two servants: Kate Divall (aged 24, from Ringmer, working as a domestic servant) and Ella M Godding (aged 15, from Brighton, working as a domestic nurse).
 
Chailey Parish Magazine notes as early as October 1914 that Ralph West is serving his King and Country and in October 1915 adds that he is a lieutenant with the Sussex Yeomanry.  By April 1916 his rank is noted as captain and in November 1916 he is recorded as serving with the 3rd Mounted Brigade. 

On 9th August 1917 the Supplement to The London Gazette (page 8115) noted under “territorial Force.  Yeomanry” that: 2nd Lt (temp Lt) R M West to be Lt with precedence as from 1st June 1916, and remain seconded.  10th August 1917. On March 1st 1918 on page 2622 of the Supplement to The London Gazette, again under “Territorial Force.  Yeomanry” it read: Lt R M West to be Capt and to remain seconded.  27th December 1917. Finally on 5th May 1919 (page 5642), The London Gazette reported that “Capt R M West is restored to the establishment.  5th Apr 1919”. 

I was unable to locate Ralph West’s service record at The National Archives in London.  His brother Alan was killed in a bomb accident in Mesopotamia in January 1918.

Lieutenant Alan Herbert Manwaring West, 36th Sikhs

Alan Herbert Manwaring West was the son of Charles Herbert and Ada Elizabeth West (nee Manwaring).  He appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales as a three year old living at 2 York Villas, Brighton.  The Household comprised Charles H West (aged 39 and noted as “assessor and Collector Hall Tax”), his wife Ada West (aged 36) and their three children: Ralph M West (aged seven), Alan (aged three) and Brenda M West (aged eight months).  All three children and Ada West had been born in Brighton; Charles was born in Henfield. 

Also registered on the census return were two servants: Kate Divall (aged 24, from Ringmer, working as a domestic servant) and Ella M Godding (aged 15, from Brighton, working as a domestic nurse). 

Alan was born in 1897, his birth registered at Brighton in the June quarter of that year.  Chailey Parish Magazine first notes him in June 1915 as a cadet serving in India.  In May 1916 it notes that he is serving with the 36th Sikhs and the following month notes that his rank is that of second lieutenant.  By December 1917 he had been promoted and Chailey Parish Magazine duly recorded that month that his rank was now lieutenant. 

The following month however, on 7th January 1918, he was killed in a bomb explosion accident in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq).  He is buried in Amara War Cemetery, grave reference XIV.C.3.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Debt of Honour Register notes that he was the “son of Charles Herbert and Ada Elizabeth West, of Patterdale, Newick, Sussex. Born at Brighton.” 

Ralph M West also served his King and Country during the First World War and survived.

69438 Private Edward Wells, 9th Royal Fusiliers

Edward Wells gets no mention at all in Chailey’s Parish Magazine.  According to Soldiers Died in The Great War, however, he was born in Croydon, resident in Chailey and enlisted at Brighton.  He was killed in action on 5th April 1918 whilst serving with the 9th (City of London) Royal Fusiliers.  His rank was that of private and his number, 69438.  He had previously served with the 99th Training Battalion where he had been given the number TR/10/41302. 

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes that he is commemorated on panels 19 to 21 of the Pozieres memorial in France.  It also notes that he was the brother of Mrs Daisy Lockwood of 18 Thesiger Road, Penge, London. 

From this latter information it is possible to identify him on the 1901 census.  At the time it was taken he was living in Croydon, Surrey, with his family.  The household comprised: Charles E Wells (head, aged 42, working as a house painter), Emily Wells (wife, aged 40), Violet Wells (aged 17), Daisy Wells (aged 15), Edward (aged 13), Bertie Wells (aged 11), Frederick Wells (aged seven), Dolly Wells (aged 5) and David Wells (aged four).  Charles was born in Brighton, his wife in Eastbourne but all of the children had been born in Croydon.

John Weller

John Weller appears on the 1891 census of England & Wales as a one year old living at South Street, Chailey with his family.  The family comprised John Weller, a Road Man aged 36, his wife Elizabeth Ann Weller aged 33 and their three children: George Weller (aged five and noted as a scholar), John and James Charles Weller (aged one).  The boys’ father had been born in Fletching but their mother and all three boys were born in Chailey. 

By the time the 1901 census was taken, the family was still living at South Street with John Weller senior now noted as a labourer on a farm and George and John working as carters’ mates on a farm.  There are also two additional members of the household noted: Ellen Weller (aged eight) and Charles Buckwell aged 20 (working as a carter on a farm).  Charles’ relationship to the head of the household is noted as “boarder” but he was in fact Elizabeth Weller’s son and therefore a half-brother to the four Weller children.  

Chailey Parish Magazine has only one entry for John Weller and that is in January 1916 where he appears in a special list of attested men.  

John’s two brothers George Weller and James Charles Weller also served their King and Country during the First World War.  His half brother Charles Buckwell also served and was killed in action on 11th July 1917.

Lance Corporal James Charles Weller, 7th Royal Sussex Regt

James Charles Weller appears on the 1891 census of England & Wales as a one year old living at South Street, Chailey with his family.  The family comprised John Weller, a Road Man aged 36, his wife Elizabeth Ann Weller aged 33 and their three children: George Weller (aged five and noted as a scholar), John Weller (aged three) and James.  The boys’ father had been born in Fletching but their mother and all three boys were born in Chailey. 

By the time the 1901 census was taken, the family was still living at South Street with John Weller senior now noted as a labourer on a farm and George and John working as carters’ mates on a farm.  There are also two additional members of the household noted: Ellen Weller (aged eight) and Charles Buckwell aged 20 (working as a carter on a farm).  Charles’ relationship to the head of the household is noted as “boarder” but he was in fact Elizabeth Weller’s son and therefore a half-brother to the four Weller children.  

Chailey Parish Magazine notes in October 1914 that James Weller is serving his King & Country, updating this information in October 1915 to note that he is a private with the 7th Royal Sussex Regiment.  In January 1917 it notes that his rank is lance-corporal and this information is then repeated up to and including the final published roll in July 1919. 

James’ two brothers George Weller and John Weller also served their King and Country during the First World War.  His half brother Charles Buckwell also served and was killed in action on 11th July 1917.

Driver George Weller, Royal Field Artillery

George Weller appears on the 1891 census of England & Wales as a five year old living at South Street, Chailey with his family.  The family comprised John Weller, a Road Man aged 36, his wife Elizabeth Ann Weller aged 33 and their three children: George (noted as a scholar), John Weller (aged three) and James Charles Weller (aged one).  The boys’ father had been born in Fletching but their mother and all three boys were born in Chailey. 

By the time the 1901 census was taken, the family was still living at South Street with John Weller senior now noted as a labourer on a farm and George and John working as carters’ mates on a farm.  There are also two additional members of the household noted: Ellen Weller (aged eight) and Charles Buckwell aged 20 (working as a carter on a farm).  Charles’ relationship to the head of the household is noted as “boarder” but he was in fact Elizabeth Weller’s son and therefore a half-brother to the four Weller children.  

Chailey Parish Magazine notes in November 1914 that George Weller is serving his King & Country but then there is no further reference to him until June 1917 when it is noted that a G Weller is serving with the Royal Field Artillery.  In January 1918, the parish magazine amends his rank to ‘driver’ and this information is then repeated up to and including the final published roll in July 1919.

George’s two brothers James Charles Weller and John Weller also served their King and Country during the First World War.  His half brother Charles Buckwell also served and was killed in action on 11th July 1917.

J43156 Able Seaman George Frederick Weller, HMS Queen Elizabeth

George Frederick Weller was born at Chailey on 5th December 1899.  He was the son of Henry William Beard and Nellie Beard (nee Weller) who at the time the 1901 census was taken were living at Harmers Cottages, Newick.  Henry is recorded as a Chailey born 22 year old agricultural labourer.  Nellie, also 22, is noted as being from Tunbridge Wells in Kent.  George is noted as their one year old infant. 

He joined the Royal Navy at Chatham on 19th August 1915 aged 15.  He was five feet, four and a quarter inches tall, had brown hair and eyes and  fresh complexion fresh.  A small brown mole was noted on his right loin and on the left side of his neck.  He gave his occupation as “cow boy” but this was later crossed out. 

He was given the number J43156, the rating of boy 2nd Class and sent to HMS Impregnable.  He remained at this station 26th February 1916 when, by now boy 1st Class, he transferred to HMS Queen Elizabeth.  His reckonable service starts from 5th December 1917, his 18th birthday, and he signed on for 12 years’ service from this date.  His rating up until 5th July 1918 was ordinary seaman and from 6th July 1918, able seaman.  He spent his entire adult war service aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth but continued in the Royal Navy until 1929.  He was awarded his first good conduct badge on 4th December 1920 and his second one on 5th December 1925.  His character, throughout his Navy service, was rated as very good and his ability as satisfactory for the most part and superior between 1922 and 1924.

Arthur Weller

Chailey Parish Magazine lists Arthur Weller only once and that is in a special list of attested men published in January 1916.  This is possibly the same Arthur Weller who appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales as a 13 year old living at Lindfield, Sussex with his family.  The family comprised Alfred Weller, head (aged 51, working as a gardener), Lucy Weller (wife, aged 38), Arthur, Frederick Weller (aged 11), Alice Weller (aged nine) and Blanche Weller (aged seven).   

Alfred had been born in Fletching, his wife in Wivelsfield.  Arthur and Frederick were born in Newick, Alice in Chailey and Blanche in Lindfield. Nothing else is known about this man.

Alfred Weller

Chailey Parish Magazine notes Alfred Weller only once and that is in November 1914 where it records that he is serving his King and Country. Nothing further is known of this man.

George Walker

George Walker appears in a special list of attested men published in the January, March and April 1916 editions of The Chailey Parish Magazine.  No further information about this man is currently available.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

A A C Eldridge, Royal Fusiliers


Corporal Eldridge was a patient at Beechland House in 1916.  His entry in Nurse Oliver’s comprises a pen illustration of two pigs, underneath which he has written (in beautiful handwriting): 

The principal inhabitants of Newick. 

A A C Eldridge Cpl
Royal Fusiliers
Beechlands 1916 

At the time of writing, this man has confounded me for thirty years. There is too little information contained in his album entry and too many Eldridge possibilities on census returns, the civil registration birth indices and medal index cards to provide a positive match for this man. For that matter, I'm not even sure his name is Eldridge. I'd welcome further thought on this man.

Private Lewis Walder, 11th Loyal North Lancashire Regt

L Walder is almost certainly Lewis Walder born at Hove, Sussex in 1890 and appearing on the 1891 census as living at Coleys, North Common, Chailey with his family.  The family comprised Lewis Walder, a farmer aged 37, his wife Emily, aged 30 and their five sons: Allen Walder (aged eight), Harry Walder (aged seven), Jesse Walder (aged five), George Walder (aged three) and Lewis Walder (aged one). 

Ten years later, the 1901 census shows the family living at Warren Villa, Chailey.  Lewis Walder senior is now noted as a farmer employer.  Allen (18)  is noted as “farmer’s son” while Harry (aged 16) and Jesse (aged 15) are working as domestic gardeners.  Other members of the family are the children’s mother (Emily Walder), George (13) and Lewis (11) plus three more children born since the 1891 census was taken: James Walder (aged ten), William Walder (aged eight) and finally, a daughter: Ada E Walder (aged two).  Ada Emily Walder would die later that year and, much later, her parents would be buried in her grave.  

Chailey Parish Magazine first notes Lewis Walder in June 1916 noting: Walder, Private L, Royal N Lancs, England.  This information is updated the following month to note that he is serving with the 11th Battalion.  L Walder is then mentioned in every subsequent issue up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919.

I have been unable to find any Walder with North Lancs connections on the National Archives’ on-line medal information card index.  Only one Lewis Walder appears and that is A/382156 Private Lewis Walder of The Army Service Corps. 

Chailey resident Reg Philpott remembers that the Walder family used to live at Lane End Farm, Chailey and this is confirmed by Kelly’s 1915 directory for Sussex which notes: “Chailey- Walder Lewis, farmer, Lane End farm”. 

Four men with the surname Walder and with connections to Chailey served their King and Country during the First World War.  J Walder could be Jesse or John Walder and could be Lewis Walder’s brother.  William Walder could also be a brother.  The final Walder, Ebenezer Walder was the only son of Isaac Walder (of Lindfield, Sussex) and Emily Walder. 

Lewis Walder senior, his wife Emily, their infant daughter Ada and her brothers Allen, Jesse, George, James and William are all buried in St Mary’s churchyard, North Chailey.

Pioneer J Walder, Royal Engineers

Chailey Parish Magazine notes that a J Walder was serving with the Royal Engineers from January 1918 until the end of the war. 

This could be Jesse Walder (born 1886 in Hove) or James Walder (born 1891 in Chailey); both of them brothers of Lewis Walder and the sons of Lewis and Emily Walder, latterly of Lane End Farm, Chailey.  Or it could be John Walder, the son of George and Harriet Walder (nee Heasman) of South Street.

Chailey Parish Magazine simply mentions Walder, Pioneer J, R E in its January 1918 issue and then repeats this information up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. 

106651 Corporal Shoeing-smith Ebenezer Walder, RFA

Ebenezer Walder was born in Chailey around 19th January 1896.  He is noted as a four year old on the 1901 census of England and Wales and is living with his family at Heath View, North Common, Chailey.  The family comprised Isaac Walder (head, married, aged 28 and running his own business as a gardener and pork butcher), his wife Emily (aged 31) and Ebenezer. 

Ebenezer attested (Short Service Form B2505) with the Royal Artillery on 17th September 1905 and was posted to Woolwich.  He gave his age as 19 years and 241 days, his trade as wheelwright and his home address as Glendale, Buxted, Sussex.  He was given the army service number 106651. 

In October 1915, Chailey Parish Magazine notes him for the first time as Driver E Walder, RFA, England.  On 9th November he was posted to 1B Reserve Brigade and, according to his records, appointed shoeing-smith on 18th February 1916.  Chailey’s parish magazine however, had already been reporting that fact since December 1915. 

On 13th March 1916 he was posted to 4A Reserve Brigade and six days later posted to Base Depot prior to proceeding overseas.  On 25th March, in France, he was posted to ‘D’ 163rd Brigade RFA from No 2 GB depot. 

Chailey Parish Magazine reported in May 1916 that Ebenezer was in France and that same month he was admitted to 107 Field Ambulance (on the 29th) and then to the 2/2nd Field Ambulance the following day.  On 2nd June he was admitted to Number 4 Stationary Hospital but was discharged to duty six days later. 

On 8th September 1916 he was posted first to ‘C’ 158th Brigade, RFA and then immediately to ‘D’ 159th Brigade RFA.  The next entry on his service record is for 29th August 1917 where it is noted that he has been promoted to corporal shoeing smith. 

He was granted leave to England on 23rd September 1917, returning to France on 4th October.  On 1st January 1918 he was attached to No 13 Veterinary Hospital but rejoined his unit two days later. 

He was admitted to hospital again on 24th May 1918, this time with PUO – Pyrexia of Unknown Origin and then to hospital 9 (Lakeside) General Hospital three days later.  On 22nd June he was admitted to Base Depot and hospital.

He appears to have recovered sufficiently however by 5th July 1918 and reported to D Battery.  Three weeks later he was posted to C Battery (27th July) and appears to have remained with them for the rest of the war.  He was granted leave to England again (via Calais) on 25th November and returned to France two weeks later on 9th December.  He was demobbed on 6th April 1919 and gave his home address as Heath View, Chailey. He received his British War and Victory medals in November 1920 and October 1921 respectively. 

Ebenezer Walder is not directly related to the other Chailey Walder brothers who served during the First World War.

Driver E Tester, Indian Cavalry

Little is known about this man and no convincing connection to Chailey has been established to date. He is possibly Alfred Edward Tester, born at Ringmer in 1890 and whose birth was registered at Lewes the same year but there are no convincing matches for a man of that name serving with the Indian Cavalry. He may also be related to George Tester who, aged 49 on the 1911 census, was working as a railway plate-layer and living at Railway Cottages, Sheffield Park.

In December 1915, Chailey Parish Magazine notes: Tester, Driver E 2nd Div Indian Cavalry, France.  His name appears for the last time – still with the Indian Cavalry – in December 1917. 

Private George Taylor, 2nd Manchester Regt

The George Taylor mentioned in Chailey Parish Magazine in October 1914 as serving his King and Country may be the same 18 year old George Taylor who appears on the 1901 census living at South Street, Chailey and working as a blacksmith’s apprentice.

In October 1915 the parish magazine notes that he is serving with the 2nd Manchester Regiment in France and he appears to have remained with this battalion (according to the magazine) up to and including July 1919 when the final roll call of Chailey-connected serving men was published. 

He may or may not be related to Charles W Taylor who also served during the First World War.

Corporal Charles W Taylor, AVC

Chailey Parish Magazine notes in January 1918 that Corporal C W Taylor is serving with the Army Veterinary Corps.  This information (omitting his second initial) is then repeated monthly up to and including July 1919. 

He is possibly Charles W Taylor who appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales as a 23 year old agricultural labourer born at Ringmer and boarding at the house of Ambrose Gorringe at Littleworth, Barcombe.  This man may also be related to George Taylor who also features in the parish magazine.

R/986 Sergeant Harry Tapp, AVC

Harry Tapp was born around 1884 in Chailey.  He appears on the 1901 census as the second oldest child in a nine-strong household.  The family was living at South Common, Chailey and was headed by Joseph Tapp (a 48 year old thatcher from Barcombe) and his wife, Fanny Tapp aged 43, also born in Barcombe.  The family’s six children are noted as James Tapp (aged 18, an agricultural labourer), Harry (aged 16, working as an agricultural labourer), Fanny Tapp (aged 14), William Tapp (aged 11), Archie Tapp (aged seven), Aubery Tapp (aged four) and Ashley Tapp (six months).  A 28 year old James Tapp (Chailey born, boarding at Bridge Cottage and working as an agricultural labourer) is also noted on census. 

There were also two other children from the marriage.  The 1891 census for Chailey notes a May Tapp (aged 12) and a Kate Tapp (aged 10), both born in Chailey and living with the family on South Common.   By the time the 1901 census was taken, May was working as a cook in the household of James E Odgers of 145 Woodstock Road, Oxford while Kate, (recorded as Kate Taff on the census), was working as a housemaid at ‘The Elms’, the house of Walter Mews in Portslade-by-Sea. 

In October 1914, Chailey Parish Magazine notes that Harry Tapp is serving his King and Country.  In October 1915, it is stated that Sergeant H Tapp is serving with the Army Veterinary Corps, Royal Field Artillery in France.  In December 1917 that information is further updated to note that he is attached to Headquarters. 

Harry appears to have served throughout the war, his final entry appearing in Chailey Parish Magazine in July 1919 as: Tapp, Sergt H, AVC, RFA (att H-Qr).  The National Archives gives his rank as Sergeant and Acting Sergeant, his regiment as Army Veterinary Corps and his regimental number as R/986.

Harry’s brothers Ashley, Archie and Aubrey, and his cousins John and Frank Ford also served their King and Country during the First World War.

SS11770 Leading Stoker Aubrey Lorenzo Russell Tapp, HMS Marmeluke

Aubrey Lorenzo Russell Tapp was born on at Chailey on 19th February 1897.  He appears on the 1901 census as the second youngest member of a nine-strong household.  The family was living at South Common, Chailey and was headed by Joseph Tapp (a 48 year old thatcher from Barcombe) and his wife, Fanny Tapp aged 43, also born in Barcombe.  The family’s six children are noted as James Tapp (aged 18, an agricultural labourer), Harry Tapp (aged 16, an agricultural labourer), Fanny Tapp (aged 14), William Tapp (aged 11), Archie Tapp (aged seven), Aubrey (aged four) and Ashley Tapp (six months).  A 28 year old James Tapp (Chailey born, boarding at Bridge Cottage and working as an agricultural labourer) is also noted on the 1901 census. 

There were also two other children from the marriage.  The 1891 census for Chailey notes a May Tapp (aged 12) and a Kate Tapp (aged 10), both born in Chailey and living with the family on South Common.   By the time the 1901 census was taken, May was working as a cook in the household of James E Odgers of 145 Woodstock Road, Oxford while Kate, (recorded as Kate Taff on the census), was working as a housemaid at ‘The Elms’, the house of Walter Mews in Portslade-by-Sea. 

Aubrey Tapp enlisted with the Royal Navy on 27th January 1916 for five years with the colours and seven on the Reserve.  It was noted that he was five feet, eight and a quarter inches tall, had dark brown hair, brown eyes and a fresh complexion.  He had a small brown birthmark on the back of his neck and a small scar on the top of his right cheek near the outside of his eye.  He gave his occupation as Dynamo Attendant.  He was given the number SS117470 and commenced his service with the Royal Navy by going straight to HMS Victory II (Portsmouth Naval Barracks) on 27th January 1916 with the rating stoker 2nd Class.  On 16th July he transferred to HMS Mameluke and remained with this ship for the remainder of the war.   

HMS Mameluke was a Moon (M) Class Destroyer launched on 14th August 1915.  It was sold for scrapping in September 1921.   
 
Aubrey Tapp was promoted to stoker 1st class on 1st December 1916 and awarded a good conduct badge on 26th January 1919.  He was demobbed on 31st January 1920, joining the Royal Fleet Reserve.  Throughout his service his character was noted as very good and his ability as satisfactory. 

Chailey Parish Magazine mentions Stoker A Tapp in its April 1916 issue noting that he is serving on HMS Diadem.  There is no mention of this in Aubrey Tapp’s service record and Ashley Tapp had yet to join the senior service.  Archie Tapp was already serving on HMS Euryalus.  In January 1917, the parish magazine notes that he is serving aboard HMS Mameluke and this information is repeated up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. 

Aubrey’s brothers Archie, Ashley and Harry, and his cousins John and Frank Ford also served their King and Country during the First World War.

K54708 Stoker 2nd Class Ashley Robert Tapp, HMS Pembroke

Ashley Robert Tapp was born on 21st September 1900.  His service record states his place of birth as Lewes although the 1901 census states Chailey.  He appears on the census as the youngest member of a nine-strong household.  The family was living at South Common, Chailey and was headed by Joseph Tapp (a 48 year old thatcher from Barcombe) and his wife, Fanny Tapp aged 43, also born in Barcombe.  The family’s six children are noted as James Tapp (aged 18, an agricultural labourer), Harry Tapp (aged 16, an agricultural labourer), Fanny Tapp (aged 14), William Tapp (aged 11), Archie Tapp (aged seven), Aubrey Tapp (aged four) and Ashley Tapp (six months).  A 28 year old James Tapp (Chailey born, boarding at Bridge Cottage and working as an agricultural labourer) is also noted on census. 

There were also two other children from the marriage.  The 1891 census for Chailey notes a May Tapp (aged 12) and a Kate Tapp (aged 10), both born in Chailey and living with the family on South Common.   By the time the 1901 census was taken, May was working as a cook in the household of James E Odgers of 145 Woodstock Road, Oxford while Kate, (recorded as Kate Taff on the census), was working as a housemaid at ‘The Elms’, the house of Walter Mews in Portslade-by-Sea. 

Ashley Tapp enlisted with the Royal Navy on 17th October 1918 for the duration of hostilities.  It was noted that he was five feet, five and three quarter inches tall, had dark brown hair, brown eyes and a dark complexion.  He gave his occupation as domestic gardener.  He was given the number K54708 and posted to HMS Pembroke at Chatham Naval Barracks.  His rating was stoker, 2nd class.  He remained there until he was demobbed five months later on 14th February 1919.  Throughout his brief time with the Royal Navy, his character was noted as very good and his ability as satisfactory. 

Ashley’s brothers Archie, Aubrey and Harry, and his cousins John and Frank Ford also served their King and Country during the First World War.

K10617 Stoker Archie Tapp, HMS Dolphin

Archibald Richard Tapp was born in 1885. In October 1914, Chailey Parish Magazine notes that he is serving his King and Country.  In October 1915, further detail is given: Tapp, Stoker A, HMS Euryalus.  By June 1916, Tapp is a Leading Stoker, still aboard HMS Euryalus and this information appears monthly thereafter until the final entry in July 1919. 

HMS Euryalus was one of six Cressy Class cruisers which was launched on 20th May 1901.  Three of the other Cressy Class cruisers – HMS Aboukir, HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue – were all sunk by torpedoes fired from the German U-boat U9 on 22nd September 1914.  HMS Euryalus however, survived the war and was finally sold for scrapping on 1st July 1920. 

Cressy Class cruisers had a displacement of 12,000 tons and were armed with two 9.2 inch guns (one on the bow and one on the stern), twelve 6 inch quick-firers in a central battery and a number of other quick-firers and machine guns.  Top speed was 21 knots.

 

102755 Gunner Peter Symons, Royal Garrison Artillery

Little is known about this man.  Chailey Parish Magazine notes Symons, Gunner P, RFA, France, in October 1915 and then adds the following July that he is in Salonica.  By November 1916 the magazine is reporting that he is back in England and has been invalided.  Apart from his location, this information is then repeated monthly from December 1916 up to December 1917 when RGA is substituted for RFA.  This information then appears monthly up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. 

He is possibly 102755 Gunner Peter Symons and I have recorded him as such in the absence of more compelling evidence suggesting somebody else.

Private F Swift, 52nd Bedfordshire Regt

Chailey Parish Magazine first notes Private F Swift serving with the 52nd Bedfordshire Regiment in June 1918.  This information is repeated up to and including July 1919. 

The 52nd (Graduated) Battalion was formed on 27th October 1917 and was formerly the 26th Training Reserve Battalion from the 10th Suffolk Regiment.  By the time Private Swift joined the battalion it formed part of the 193rd Brigade in the 64th (Highland) Division at Norwich and remained at Norwich as a Home Defence battalion for the duration of the war.

 

GSSR/887 Private Frederick Ernest Sweetman, 3rd Royal Sussex Regt

According to his attestation papers, Frederick Ernest Sweetman was born in August 1879 in Wivelsfield, near Chailey, Sussex. He enlisted for one year with the Royal Sussex Regiment Special Reserve on 1st September 1914 giving his age as 35 years and eight days. His birth however, was registered (in the name of Frederick Ernest Sweatman) at Lewes, Sussex in the March quarter of 1879.  He appears on the 1881 and 1891 censuses living at Wivelsfield but by 1901 he appears to have disappeared and it’s quite possible that he was serving overseas with the Royal Sussex Regiment at the time the 1901 census was taken. 

His attestation papers note that he was working as a cowman and that he had previous military experience having served with the 1st Royal Sussex. He was on the National Reserve at the time of his attestation.  

Frederick was five feet six inches tall, with brown eyes and dark hair.  He attested at Haywards Heath and joined the Regiment the same day.  He was given the number GSSR/887 (General Service Special Reserve). 

Frederick remained in England until 24th May 1915 when he sailed fro France.  He returned to England on 30th August that year but sailed again on 25th November.  His second stint abroad was even shorter than his first however, and he was back in Blighty on Christmas Eve 1915.  He was discharged from the Army on 3rd April 1916 as no longer physically fit for war service.  

Frederick’s service record which still exists in the WO 364 pension series at the National Archives in London, notes that he served abroad with the 2nd Royal Sussex Regiment, a regular battalion; but it gives no indication why he was discharged.  No wounds are noted but on his discharge in 1916 he was awarded a conditional pension of ten shillings a week for six months.  

Frederick had married Sarah Anne Jane Packham on 29th April 1902 at Wivelsfield Church and the couple had had two children: Elsie Adelaide (born 11th September 1903) and Lililian Frances (born 3rd May 1905). By the time he joined the army however, Frederick was a widower and his next of kin is noted as Mrs G Kenward of Balneath Cottage, South Common, Chailey.  Mrs Kenward was Adelina Sweetman, Frederick’s sister who had been a witness at his wedding.  Her husband George is also featured on this website. 

During his time in the army, the Chailey Parish Magazine had kept track of him too. In February 1916, it had noted obliquely: Sweetman, Pte F E, Ry Sup, Eng.  Two months later, it had reported that he was with the 2nd Royal Sussex Regiment in England and in May the same year he was reported as being with the 3rd Royal Sussex; then, by November 1916, still in England but invalided. 

In January 1917 he is noted as being invalided and discharged and his name appears in the magazine for the last time in March 1917 as, Sweetman, Pte F E, 3rd Royal Sussex.  Invalided and discharged. 

Frederick received the silver war badge and certificate on 5h March 1917 and the King’s certificate, number 7566, on 29th July 1920.  His address in 1920 is given as The King’s Head, North Common, Chailey.