Commemorating and remembering the lives of the men and women of Chailey, Sussex during the Great War 1914-1918 and remembering too the sick and wounded soldiers nursed by Sussex 54 VAD. This is their story.
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
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).
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
sister, Alice Pointing, is the same Alice Pointing who served with Sussex
Frank Pointing died on 11th May 1971 in Hounslow, West London.
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
1901 census notes him living at what looks like, ChafedLand,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
working as a 22 year old servant in Shipley,
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, 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
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 CabaretRougeBritishCemetery;
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.
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
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
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 BradfordWarHospital (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.
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
(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.
1901 census of England
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
Magazine first notes John Kenward serving his King and Country in March
1915.In October 1915 it notes Kenward, Private J, East
Surrey, Englandand 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
The W E Jenner first mentioned by Chailey’s
parish magazine in January 1918 is William Ernest Jenner of Chailey.He was born there in January 1884, his birth
registered at Lewes in the March quarter of that year.He appears on the 1891 census of England and Wales as a
seven year old scholar living with his family at South Street, Chailey.The household comprised: Martin Jenner (head,
married, aged 36 and working as a postman), his wife Charlotte (aged 40) and their three children:
William Ernest, Nellie Marion Jenner (aged four) and Charles Jenner (aged one).
Ten years later (with the exception of Nellie
who was working as a nursemaid at 44
Walsingham Road, Aldrington), the family was still
at South Street.Martin Jenner was still working as a postman
and William is noted as a grocer’s assistant.
On 3rd August 1911 he married Winnifred Ellen (maiden name
unknown) and their first child, Olive Nellie, was born on 5th July 1915.On 24th June 1916 he was “deemed to have been enlisted” and
placed on the Army Reserve.A medical
examination at Canterbury
six days later reported
that he had a poor physique, defective teeth, under-standard chest development
and a varicose vein in his right foot.He was five feet, five inches tall, weighed 96 lbs and was considered
fit only for Garrison Service at home.
On 30th January 1917 a second daughter –
Margaret Daisy -was born and in April
he was called up for service.On the 9th
of that month he reported at Dover
stating his address as 9 Gower
Road, Haywards Heath and his trade as Grocer’s
Manager.He was given the army service
number 111031 and posted to Y Company of the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was
given a series of vaccinations the same month but at the end of May was
admitted to a military hospital in Clipstone Camp with tonsillitis.He was discharged from hospital on 31st May
and on 29th September was posted to the RAMC in Blackpool.
On 30th November he left Southampton
en roué to No 77 reinforcements.He
would remain abroad for the next 25 months.On arrival at Havre on 1st December he immediately embarked again, this
time for Rouen,
arriving there the following day and joining “Cyclists Base D”.On 7th December 1917 he was posted to No 39 Stationary
William was granted leave between 6th and 20th December 1918 and
again between 1st and 15th
June 1919.He was appointed
paid acting corporal on 3rd
June 1919 but on 25th October that year, on being posted to No 10
Stationary Hospital, St Orr Remy, reverted to his former rank of private.
On 6th December he was posted to No 7 Casualty Clearing
Station at Vusians and fourteen days later, posted again, this time to No 41
Sanitary Section, RAMC.
He was medically examined on 7th January 1920 at Vuisans
and stated that he was not claiming a disability pension.He then proceeded to England where
he was demobbed at Purfleet on 7th
February 1920 and transferred to Class Z Reserve.His character was described as “very
good”.The address he gave on discharge
was 8 Gowers Road,
Haywards Heath.This could either be a
clerical error or signify a move form one address to the other.
William’s brother Charles Jenner also served
his King and Country during the First World War.
David William Christopher Jenner was born at Framfield, Sussex
on 23rd August 1899.He appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales living at
Black Boys, Framfield with his family.The household comprised David Foster Jenner (head, aged 25, working as
an agricultural labourer), his wife Frances Jenner (aged 21) and their two
children: David, (aged one) and Alec Clemence Herbert Jenner (aged one
month).Alec is recorded as “Alex” on
the census return.
Chailey Parish Magazine first notes him in March 1916, recording him as Jenner, Boy 2nd Class C, RN.Presumably he used the name Christopher, or
Chris, rather than David, so I shall refer to him as this.
He enlisted with the Royal Navy at Portsmouth
for a period of 12 years on 29th
January 1916 but his reckonable service does not begin until his
eighteenth birthday on 23rd
August 1917.He was five
feet, two and a half inches tall, had brown hair, brown eyes and a dark
complexion. It was noted that he had a brown mole on the outer side of his left
Christopher gave his occupation as farm labourer.He was given the number J49195 and sent to
the boys’ training establishment, HMS
Ganges.His rating was Boy 2nd
Class.On 5th July 1916 his rating was upgraded to Boy
1st class and on 6th
September 1916 he transferred from HMS Ganges to HMS Constance.On his eighteenth birthday his rating was
automatically upgraded to ordinary seaman and on 30th November that year he
became Able Seaman Jenner.He remained
with HMS Constance until 26th September 1920 when he
came ashore to Portsmouth
at HMS Victory I.He was given a free discharge on 16th
During his time with the Royal Navy his character was mostly rated as
very good with his ability ranging from satisfactory to superior.He spent 14 days in the cells in 1918
(causing his character reference at the end of that year to be marked as “good”
rather than “very good”) but whatever misdemeanour had caused him to be
sentenced appears not to have affected his award of a good conduct badge on 5th
Constance was one of four Cambrian Class light cruisers which
was ordered under the 1914-15 naval programme.It was launched on 12th
September 1915 and sold for scrapping in January 1936.
Christopher’s brother Alec also served in the Royal Navy during the First
Alec Clemence Herbert Jenner was born at Framfield, Sussex
on 3rd March 1901,
his birth registered in the June quarter of that year at Uckfield.He appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales living at
Black Boys, Framfield with his family.The household comprised David Foster Jenner (head, aged 25, working as
an agricultural labourer), his wife Frances Jenner (aged 21) and their two
children: David William Christopher Jenner (aged one) and Alec (aged one
month).Alec is recorded as “Alex” on
the census return.
He enlisted in the Royal Navy at Portsmouth
on 8th August 1916
aged 15 years and five months.He was
five feet, two inches tall, had light brown hair, brown eyes and a fair
complexion.It was noted that he had a
birthmark on the outside of his left upper arm, a scar on the back of his right
hand and a small scar on the back of his left hand (in the middle).He gave his occupation as farm labourer, was
given the number J57705the rating of
boy 2nd class and sent to the boys’ training establishment, HMS Ganges.
He wasn’t there long however before he was invalided out of the Navy (14th February 1917) and
thus, at the grand old age of fifteen, Alec Jenner’s war duty for his King and
Country effectively ended.
Alec Jenner’s brother Christopher also served in the Royal Navy during
the First World War.
December 1916, Chailey Parish Magazine notes, Jenner, Private C, Queen’s Royal West Surrey but by July 1918 he
has transferred to The Labour Corps and the 390th Labour Company remaining with
them until the end of the war.
Jenner is Charles Jenner who was born at Chailey on the 31st August 1889 and whose birth was
registered at Lewes in the September quarter of that year.He appears on the 1891 census of England and Wales as one year old infant living
with his family at South Street,
Chailey.The household comprised: Martin
Jenner (head, married, aged 36 and working as a postman), his wife Charlotte (aged 40) and
their three children: William Ernest Jenner (a seven year old scholar), Nellie
Marion Jenner (aged four) and Charles.
years later (with the exception of Nellie who was working as a nursemaid at 44 Walsingham Road,
Aldrington), the family was still at South
Street.Martin Jenner was still working as a postman and William is noted as a
step-grandson, Derek Bird, fills in information on the 390th Labour Company:
"The 390th was a Home Service Labour
Company stationed at Hythe,
the group photographs I have were taken in front of the Lewes Workhouse in June
1918 (and by a forebear of a Lewes photographer who still has the original
negatives!) – it is always possible that they were over in Sussex on
training or working. Unfortunately the records for all the Home Service
Companies were destroyed during WW2. As Charles Jenner does not feature
anywhere on the online medal rolls it appears that he only served at home, and
it could be that his service with the Queen’s Royal West Surrey’s was with one
of their 30 Infantry Labour Companies, most of which served overseas (and would
have been entitled to medals), although those not fit would have been
transferred to a Home Service Company. These units were all absorbed into the
Labour Corps when it was formed in 1917.
1916 Charles married Rose Beatrice Smythe in Brighton.
Rose was a member of Sussex 54 VAD and her biography also appears on this
site. Their marriage was registered in Brighton
district in the September quarter of 1916. Two years later a son, Bernard
C Jenner, was born.
Jenner died of consumption (TB) in 1927. Her death was registered in the
district in the September quarter of that year. A few years later,
probably in the early nineteen thirties, Charles Jenner married Harry
Bird’s widow (Harry had died in 1927 and is buried at St Peter's Church,
Chailey). The couple had no children between them but together they
brought up the three children from their previous marriages. Like his
father before him, Charles Jenner worked as a postman. His brother William Jenner also
served during the First World War.
Jenner died in the 1969. Mabel Jenner died in 1972.
Thomas Harry Lee Jellicoe was born in Bangalore, India
around 1861.He does not appear on the
1871 census of England and Wales (presumably because he was still in India) but by 1881 he was in England.He was a cousin of First Earl Jellicoe
(Admiral Jellicoe, Commander in Chief of the British Grand Fleet who would lead
the British Navy at the Battle of Jutland).
He appears on the census return for St Austell, Cornwall where he is noted as a 20 year old
unmarried boarder staying at the home of Thomas J Bennett vicar of
Treverbryn.Jellicoe appears as “Harry”
rather than Thomas Harry Lee and the address is given not as the vicarage or
rectory but rather the “TreverbrynBoardSchool
for boys and girls”.There are however,
no pupils listed apart from Harry; just Reverend Bennett, his wife and son and
By 1882, according to Crockford’s Clerical Directory, Thomas was
at the CanonrySchool,
Truro and by 1884 he was a deacon and occupying
the position of curate at St Wenn, Cornwall.In 1886 he was made a priest while still at
St Wenn.Between 1886 and 1889 he was
curate at Devoran church, Cornwall.Interestingly, he initiated a parish magazine
there in 1888, a vehicle for communication that he would later put to good use
when he moved to Chailey.
In 1889 he moved from Cornwall to Sussex.He is listed in Crockford’s as Asst. Miss.
Dio. Chichester which possibly means Assistant
Missionary Diocesan of Chichester.He
remained in this post until 1894 and at the time the 1891 census was taken he
was in Worth, Sussex and visiting the vicarage there; the home of William
Witham.Sixty seven year old William and
30 year old Thomas (whose name this time is entered in full), are both noted as
“Clerk in Holy Orders”.
Thomas Jellicoe took up the post of Rector of St
Peter’s Church Chailey in 1894.Henry
Matravers had joined as curate one year earlier and would remain in that post
until February 1942.
At some stage, presumably after he arrived in Chailey, Thomas
married Bethia Theodora Boyd, the daughter of Sir
John Boyd of Maxpoffle, Roxburgh, Lord Provost of Edinburgh from 1888 to 1891.Bethia’s brother, Arthur Hamilton Boyd, would later distinguish
himself during the First World War – and receive monthly mentions in the parish
magazine from his brother-in-law.
On 5th February 1899, the couple’s
first child was born – John Basil Lee Jellicoe – and in 1903 they were presented with a second
son – Christopher Theodore Jellicoe.Both boys would
serve their King and Country during the First World War and Christopher would
be highly decorated whilst serving with the Royal Navy during the Second World
I am surmising that Reverend Jellicoe launched
the parish magazine in Chailey.If he
didn’t, he certainly made it his own.Actually, although I refer to the publication as a magazine throughout this website, it was in effect a newsletter; a
few pages stapled together conveying news of births, marriages and deaths as
well as community events and words of comfort or exhortation from the
vicar.It is entirely due to Reverend
Jellicoe’s fastidiousness during the First World War that we have such a
detailed picture of the local war effort.
In August 1914, he began his address in the
magazine on a sombre note:
There are times when we are made to see with appalling reality the
littleness of our personal concerns… the one certain thing is that if Austria
goes beyond a certain point in her attack upon Servia, Russia must and will intervene.That means an invasion of Galicia by Russia, with Roumania most probably
attacking next door.That means Germany compelled, not only by Treaty, but in
self-defence, to take up arms for Austria;
and the first stroke in the defence of Austria
by Germany must of course be
an attack upon France.
At this point England
cannot stand alone.She, too, must come
into the dread conflict.
By the following month, Germany’s march through Belgium had propelled Britain
into war and now the Reverend was supporting Kitchener’s call for more men:
In addition to the Dominion contingents there are two directions in
which the necessary supply can be sought, one is a large reserve of men who are
eager to serve, but are debarred by the age limit of 30 years.The other source is of a different
character.It is the vast herds of young
men who might go, but prefer to loaf at home, attending cricket matches or
going to the cinema – in short the great army of shirkers.It is a national scandal that the selfish
should get off scot free, while all the burden falls on the most public
spirited section of our available manhood; and if the voluntary system can do
no better it will have to be changed.
The following month, October 1914, Jellicoe
published his first “Provisional list of Officers and Men connected with this
Parish now serving their King and Country.”It was a list he would refresh and publish monthly for close to the next
five years.Bethea Jellicoe was also far
from idle.She was in charge of the
knitting fund for soldiers and sailors – keeping a tally of subscriptions with
which to buy wool and managing both the fund’s accounts and the 80 (in November
1914) volunteer knitters who had come forward.
Although Thomas Jellicoe comes across at times as
a typical thundering, “fire and brimstone” type preacher in the Victorian
tradition, he was obviously passionate about his community, his country and in
rising to the challenge to defeat Germany.He was also not without humour.In March 1915 he writes:
In spite of all German warnings, accompanied with the characteristic
roilling of the eyes and wagging of the forefinger threatening “frightfulness”,
nothing more serious happened in Chailey on February 18th than the
visit of the Diocesan Inspector…
The same month he arranged for a copy of the
Parish Magazine to be sent to all Chailey men serving abroad.The letter (published in the magazine) was
signed by T H L Jellicoe (Rector) and H H Matravers (Assistant Priest).They wrote:
… it is just this sympathy that prompts us as your Parish priests, to
tell you something of what is in our own hearts for you and what we have been
trying to do from the first day War was declared… We know that you are ready,
if need be, to give yourself even to the sacrifice of your life, for love of
your Home, your Country and your King.“Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for
his friends”.We know that you have
already sacrificed much and sacrificed it gladly.You have eagerly pressed into the service
which calls you on land and sea.And you
have done it all simply, sincerely, whole-heartedly.That was brave.That was good…
The letter appears to have been addressed as much
to the “shirkers” as to the serving men.
On 11th June 1917, the Reverend and Mrs Jellicoe
were both mentioned in The
Times although the focus was very much on Mrs Jellicoe:
NEWS IN BRIEF
Mr Best, a cab proprietor of Chailey, Sussex, having joined the Army,
Mrs Jellicoe, wife of the Reverend Thomas Harry Lee Jellicoe, rector of
Chailey, and cousin of Admiral Jellicoe, has volunteered to act as driver for
Mrs Best while her husband is away. One of her first “fares” was Mrs Coplestone
[sic], wife of the late Bishop of Calcutta
[and mother of Reginald Trench Copleston].
According to Edwin Mathias in his locally
published, “Chailey Through The Centuries” (1996), Reverend Jellicoe had tried
to become an Army Chaplain in 1917 but was unsuccessful.In January 1918 however, his luck changed and
the February edition of the Parish Magazine, carries an open letter from him to
his “dear friends”:
For a long time I have felt that I ought to be taking part directly in
the activities of these stirring times.The need is more urgent now than ever and we are called upon, as you
will readily agree, to make sacrifices to further the special calls to service
that come to some of us.
I have accepted a Chaplaincy on H M Hospital Ship, “St Margaret of Scotland” stationed in the Mediterranean,
and I am commanded to be in readiness to repair to it on Jan 28th.I am severing myself for the time from much
that is very dear to me…
The Reverend F W Lewis assumed Jellicoe’s Sunday
duties while Henry Matravers was charged to “be at hand to meet the needs of
the parish so far as he can.”There had
also been an offer of assistance from Bishop Copleston form May onwards.The Bishop, whose son Reginald Trench Copleston was numbered on the
monthly roll call of local serving men, had been ministering in Ceylon and India between 1875 and 1913 and it
seems likely that he was an old colleague of either Thomas Jellicoe or his
In March 1918, Henry Matravers writes:
The Rector desires me to say that he was exceedingly touched by the
large number of Communicants at the special celebration of Holy Communion the
week before he left.The thought of his
people’s prayers and good wishes has been of the greatest possible comfort and
encouragements to him in going to his new sphere of work.
I have been unable to locate surviving military
papers for Thomas Jellicoe, however we canget some idea of his work from the communications published in the parish
magazine.In September 1918 he writes:
I am much concerned that I have not had time to write to so many of our
people.The days here never seem long
enough for what has to be done.I am now
not only just chaplain of this ship.There has been new organisation which was necessary, and that involves
my going to other ships and some shore work too at certain times.However I keep most well and tackle
everything I am called upon to do.
In April 1919, the annual Vestry Meeting was held
A letter from the Rector was read to the meeting by Mrs Jellicoe,
expressing surprise that his demobilisation had not yet been effected and
trusting that this would shortly be accomplished.
In June 1919, there was happier news to report:
The evening of Tuesday May 27th was a very happy time for all
of us in Chailey for our Rector, after sixteen months’ service abroad, was home
again.To mark this glad home-coming the
bells of the old Parish church rang out their joyous greeting, while our
picturesque village green was gay with flags in honour of this joyous event.Most of us felt we wished to welcome him in
person and accordingly from the station to the Rectory there were many to cheer
him as he passed.It must have been a
wonderful change for the Rector to look once more over the peaceful meadows
surrounding his home after living for so long amid the mine-infested waters of
the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea,
and as a Parish we offer thanks to Almighty God for his safe return.The record of foreign service he has just
completed in such historic places as Malta, Mudros, Salonica, Sebastopal and
Constantinople during the Great War of 1914-1918 will add another page to the
history of those Rectors of Chailey who have served their King and Country in
the hour of national need.
Apart from his stint as temporary chaplain with
the Royal Navy (the dates noted in Crockford’s as 1917-1919), Thomas Jellicoe
remained at Chailey for 28 years.He
left in 1924 and moved to Ferring,
Sussex where he
was the vicar there until 1926.
In 1932, the date that Crockford’s published this
particular volume, Thomas Jellicoe was living at 16 St James Road, Littlehampton,
The photo at the top of this post shows Thomas Jellicoe outside Chailey Moat (foreground) with servants in the background, and dates to around 1900.