Commemorating the men on the
Braintree & Bocking Great War M
who served during the
Great War of 1914 - 1919.

The Memorial was unveiled during November 1926 by Major General H. Ruggles-Brise 
and dedicated  by the Bishop of Colchester.

Read all names featured on the four panels of the memorial
care of Trevor Wright's photographs. 

 A sister site to the Braintree & Bocking WW2 Memorial remembering those who perished 
during the second war 1939-1945 Also the Black Notley War Memorial featuring local men also.
See also St Mary's, Bocking Great War Memorial.
Remembrance 2019

MP James Cleverley pays respects.
As do the schools
Not forgetting this lass who, in spite of physical Injury continues to sell poppies to her young clients

The names on the Memorial

  Ambrose W.G. Serjeant William George Ambrose 250075.'C' Coy. 1/5th Bn Essex Regiment. 161Bde. 54th (East Anglian) Division. Died: 02 November 1917. Age 21. Born 1897. Son of George William and Emma Ambrose, of 44 Woodfield Road, Braintree, Essex. GAZA WAR CEMETERY. Father, from Black Notley, an Iron Casement maker, his mother came from Bocking. William had two sisters, Editha M and Winifred, and a brother Charles.  Charles was one of twins, his brother dying in his first year.  Life for children was tough in the years before the NHS.  His father also served as a Sergeant in the 2/5th Essex Regiment.

After defeating Turkish attacks on the Suez Canal the British Army under General Murray forced its way along the Sinai coast until it reached Gaza.  Murray almost succeeded in his first attempt to take the city but his commanders were not aware the defenders were ready to surrender, fearful of Turkish attacks on the far stretched force withdrew in 'the fog of war.'  The second attempt, rushed by those in London, failed disastrously and London responded by replacing Murray with General Sir Edmund Allenby.  Lloyd George's  anxiety for a victory while the Western Front suffered stalemate enabled Allenby to demand more resources.  Allenby was instructed to take Jerusalem by Christmas for morale purposes! 

A wide attack covering the ground from Gaza to Beersheba began early on the morning of October the twenty seventh 1917 when the Cavalry led the attack on Beersheba. Early on the morning of the seventh XXI Corps, including the 1/5th Essex, attacked the Turkish trench system from their base along the shore of the Mediterranean.  Fighting began at 3.00 in the morning with the 1/5th attacking from the beach against the formidable 'Rafa Redoubt' and 'Zowaid Trench.'  The shell fire, mist, smoke and dust from the beach all caused considerable confusion and the wrong target was attacked at one point in the confusion. Two Platoons of ‘C’ Company under Captain Frank Bacon attacked Zowaid Trench, two others remained in reserve under Lieut Colvin. Somewhere during this attack, fighting against stiff opposition, twenty one year old Serjeant William George Ambrose fell. He was lucky enough for his body to be identified and later buried in the Gaza War Cemetery. This cemetery is still well maintained in spite of many difficulties.  William Ambrose' first job was as an office boy when he was 14 years but clearly possessed a sense of adventure volunteering for the Territorial Army at Braintree's Drill Hall in Victoria Street as an eager fifteen year old.  His natural soldierly disposition saw him becoming a sergeant when 18. With the 5th Essex he had already served throughout at Gallipoli where the battalion suffered heavily before being evacuated to Egypt in December 1915.  A.W. Gosling also fell at this battle.

Maurice George Amey
(@James Preston)

Amey M.G. Bombardier Maurice George Amey 697219. “D” Bty. 275th Bde. Royal Field Artillery. 55th (West Lancs) Div. Died 30th November 1917 Age 35. Born Bocking. Son of Mr & Mrs Martin Amey of Bocking. Husband of Marjorie Amey (nee Brooks), The Haven, St James Road, Sutton. CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERAL.  Born Bocking March 1882.

His father a skilled carpenter actually worked at the mill as a Crape Crimper as did his sister Kate. Another sister, Agnes was employed as a clerk in the office.  Maurice George himself however followed his brothers Arthur, William and Arthur into retail.  As a 19 year old he worked for Harvey's shop in Maldon as a drapers assistant and was working for Brands in Ipswich as a drapery salesman when he volunteered to join the Royal Field Artillery.  Maurice married Marjorie also working at Brands at the beginning of November 1917 before returning to action.  The Cambrai offensive had been a major success however as the snow made the roads difficult and the tired army halted the Germans began to plan their counter offensive. The local commanders warned of the enemy build up and requested artillery assistance to prevent counter this but this was refused.  Under cover of mist and a slowly building bombardment the attack overwhelmed the defences.  The attack began at 7:30 in the morning and by 9 a.m. had progressed three miles overwhelming the gun lines in the rear.  The 275th Brigade went down fighting at that time.

Amos A. Sergeant Albert Amos 9222. 1st Bat. Essex Regiment. 88th Bde. 29th Division. Died 14th April 1917 age 27. Born Braintree, father ran the 'Orange Tree' in Market Place. Began war at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915 as a private. Surviving this his regiment transferred to the Western Front. After war his widowed mother, Mrs Harriet Amos, moved to 'Dawn-Kloof' Hall Road, Heybridge. Arras Memorial.

Monchy-le-Preux. During the attack on the 14th the battalion lost three quarters of their number killed wounded or missing.

Amos W.G. Private William George Amos. 269512. 'B' Coy. 1st Bat. Hertfordshire Regiment. 118th Bde, 39th Div. Died 31st July 1917 age 24. Track X Cemetery. Ypres. Son of Charles William & Louisa Amos, 13 Coronation Avenue, Braintree.  Born Kelvedon, son of horseman on farm. Family at Inworth in 1901, sisters Louisa & Alice plus younger brother Leonard. William George was named after his uncle who lived at 9, Woodlands, Hay Lane, Braintree.  W.G.Amos was left off the memorial and after many years campaigning his name was added to the south side of the memorial. 

Battle of Pilkem. St Julian.  31-7-17 [The Battles of Ypres 1917 - the Battle of Pilkem]. About 3.50am the Bn moved forward in 4 lines behind the 116th & 117th Inf. Bdes. east of the river STEENBEEK. Up till this time the casualties had been very slight indeed but as the Bn advanced from the STEENBEEK toward the LANGEMARCK line (the Bn objective) casualties grew heavier from sniper and machine gun fire. However the Bn continued advancing. About half way to the objective some of No.3 Coy came upon a German strong point which they gallantly charged, capturing or killing most of the garrison and sending the remainder back as prisoners. On reaching the enemy wire this was found to be practically undamaged (expect in one place) & very thick. 2/Lieut Marchington [Eric William MARCHINGTON, MC] & a handful of men of No.3 Coy got through the only gap and got into the enemy trench & killed a lot of Germans. The remainder of the Bn, being unable to get through the wire and suffering severe casualties from enfilade MG fire & the Germans making a strong counter attack from our left flank about this time, had to fall back having suffered exceptionally heavy casualties. The remnants of the battalion subsequently dug themselves in in line with the 1st Cambs Regt. on the west side of the STEENBEEK. 

Estimated casualties to the other ranks were 29 killed, 5 missing believed killed, 132 missing, 68 wounded & missing, 223 wounded & 2 died of wounds, making a total of 459 casualties to other ranks. Died of wounds; Officers 2, OR's 6. Missing; Officers 9, OR's 120. Wounded; Officers 8, OR's 180.  Battalion war diary 31st July 1917.

(Two men named Andrews H fell during the war. Which one was named on the memorial? Both are posted here)

Horace Clive Andrews (@ Roger Hasler)

Andrews Horace Clive, G/68253. Private Royal Fusiliers posted to 2nd/4th Bn. London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). 173rd Brigade, (58th Div).(XVIII Corps). Date of Death: 26th October 1917. Born 1899 in London, Mile End, father Horace mother Harriet. Father a builders carman.  Lived Danbury 1911 with two brothers and two sisters, mother moved to Braintree early 1918.  Entered war 14th September 1915. Killed during advance either by bullet or shrapnel while with two others.  Lance Corporal checked him and then continued forwards.  The three wounded men remained  in water filled shell holes.  Mud knee deep and walking difficult. Body recovered September 1919 and buried in CEMENT HOUSE CEMETERY. Grave Reference X. A. 45.


In rain and boggy conditions the 2/4th offered support to the two battalions attacking north east of Poelkapelle where they came under heavy machine gun fire.  At 'Spider Crossroads,' the Germans counterattacked pushing the exhausted British back to their start line.

Andrews H. Corporal Harry Andrews 95434 5th Battalion Tank Corps. Died 25th May 1918 Age 30. Son of John C. Andrews & Ruth Emma.Andrews, 78 Coggeshall Road, Braintree, Essex.COLOGNE SOUTHERN CEMETERY. Harry Andrews died of wounds while a prisoner of war in Lamberg, Germany. The German ‘Push’ caught out the defenders and they failed to make better use of the tanks. Many ran out of fuel, many were abandoned after failure to cross the River Somme, the crews destroyed the tanks and operated as Lewis Gunners from then on. Several cemeteries were brought together after the war and formed into four main ones.

"A devoted son and brother. Deeply mourned."                                                                                             

"Harry was the Andrews second son. Once of Marconi he was sent to Nigeria for the company. He left to serve his country, three brothers also volunteered." (Essex Chronicle Nov 22 1918.) Harry's mother operated as a Ladies Tailor from 78-80 Coggeshall Road in 1926 Kelly's Directory 26).

CWGC Menin Gate Memorial

Archer E.C. Driver Edward Charles Archer L/4883. 'C' Battery. 153rd Brigade Royal Field Artillery.  Died 12th August 1917. Age 33. Born Surbiton, son of Thomas & Lucy Archer, of Bocking, Essex. Husband of Rose Ellen Archer, of Staines Road, Sunbury, Middx. Butchers assistant by profession. YPRES (MENIN GATE)MEMORIAL.                                                                                                       

Battle of LangemarkAttached to the 36th (Ulster) Division the 153rd Brigade suffered under Staff mismanagement. The Division was put into the line for 16 days before the start of the battle, in bad weather, and suffered under heavy bombardment losing around 2000 men before the battle and similar numbers during the fight. The supporting artillery would have been targeted along with the infantry at this time.  Born Bocking, the son of a butcher, educated at the Old High School, Braintree.  Himself a butcher and married Rose.  Braintree Congregational Church Memorial.

Atkins G. Private George Atkins 10063. 2nd Battalion. Essex Regiment. 12th Brigade, 4th Division. Died: 13th May 1915. Age 18. Farm Labourer. Son of Mr & Mrs G. Atkins, of Church Street, Bocking. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL                                                                                                

Atkins died at Frezenberg during 2nd Ypres, where the 2nd Essex participated in the successful defence. Several attacks and counter attacks involved fierce fighting at the point of a bayonet in wet weather and shallow water filled trenches . Born in Braintree, son of Bricklayers labourer. "George was five days in France when a shell burst injured his foot. Home to Church Street and walking with a limp "Hopes to be out at the front again with the Pompadours." (Essex Chronicle. 18th Sep 1914).   

Bacon W.G. Private William George Bacon. 114703. 38th Coy. Machine Gun Corps (inf). 38th Division. Died, 24th Aug 1918. Age 20. Son of Eli John & Lydia Ellen Bacon, 146 High Street, (Demolished) Born London, Surrey.  OVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY. 38th MGB formed 2nd Mar 1918. British advance of Bapaume.  Parents ran grocers shop at No 146.  Lydia still there in 1926. (Kellys Dir '26)

"He is not dead but sleeping."
"For the love of him we weep."
"Thy will be done." 'Mrs Lydia Bacon.'

Bailey A.S.  Private Arthur Samuel Bailey 338852nd Bat. Essex Regiment.12th Brigade, 4th Division. Died 3rd May 1917. Age 34. Son of Mr & Mrs Charles Bailey, 75 High St Braintree.  Canadian Cemetery No 2. Neuville-st Vaast.  Arras.  Born Braintree, son of Charles Bailey who ran grocers shop at 75 High Street, corner Sandpit Lane. Shop there in 1901, took in No. 73 by 1926, and also No 54 Manor Street belonged to them.  The family then lived in 'Beeleigh' London Road.  (Kelly's 1926) On Braintree Baptist Church Memorial.

 "Christ died for us."

Baines G.E. Corporal George Edmund Baines SD/2143. “D” Coy (?) 12th Battalion. Royal Sussex Regiment. 116th Bde. 39th Division. Died 2nd July 1916. Age 23. Son of Rev & Mrs J 
Baines, Baden Villas, Fordingbridge, Salisbury. Teacher at Manor Street School Braintree. BOULOGNE EASTERN CEMETERY. Born Wansted, enlisted London. His father was a Congregationalist Minister, family living Fawley, Hamps in 1901. Formerly with 'Public Schools Battalion.'

"There is a link death cannot sever sweet remembrance lasts forever."                          

At Richebourg, in 1916, the 11th, 12th and 13th (Southdown’s) Battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiment formed the 116th Southdown’s Brigade of the 39th Division in Kitchener's New Army. On 30 June 1916 they took part in the 'Battle of the Boar's Head,' Richebourg L'AvoueAfter a bombardment of the German trenches the 12th and 13th Battalions went over the top (most for the first time) under heavy fire attacking the enemy trenches, bombing and bayoneting their way in. The 11th Battalion supplied carrying parties. They succeeded in taking the German front line trench, holding it for some four hours, and even briefly took the second line trench for about half an hour, beating off repeated counter attacks, and only withdrew from the shortage of ammunition and mounting casualties. Over a period of less than five hours the three Southdown’s Battalions of The Royal Sussex lost 17 officers and 349 men killed, including 12 sets of brothers, three from one family. A further 1000 men were wounded or taken prisoner. In the regiment history this is known as The Day Sussex Died.  The following day the 'Battle of the Somme,' began and approx 20,000 died on the first day. The Royal Sussex attack at Richbourg was just a diversion, not even considered a separate action in the history of the war, and remains largely unmentioned in any of the official histories. There is a brilliant account of this in Edmund Blunden's memoir "Undertones of War" (he was an a 2nd Lieutenant in 11th Battalion). Royal Sussex Reg Wikipedia  

Baker A.A. L/Cpl Arthur Albert Baker 1796. (?) 1/5th Essex regiment. 161 Brigade. 54th (East Anglian) Division. Died of wounds on hospital ship and buried at sea 18th Aug 1915. Age 35. Born Ipswich. Husband: of Ethel M. Thurkettle (formerly Baker), of 73 St Helens Street, Ipswich, left a small daughter and son. HELLES MEMORIAL. Kiretch Tepe Sirt area. Arthur's father ran a grocers next door to Post Office in Stisted. On Bocking Congregational Church Memorial

Bearman A.S. Private Augustus Stanley Bearman 72352. 15th Bn. Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Reg) 105th Brigade 35th Div. Died 27th February 1918. Age 32. Son of Harry & Ellen Bearman of Braintree. Husband of Clara Bearman, 70, Boundaries rod, Balham, London. (Demolished) One son. NO MAN'S COT CEMETERY. "Killed by shell." (Essex Chronicle 22. Mar. 1918) Born Bocking, One of original choristers of St Peter's Church. Father Harry ran Bakers shop in Market Place. The Battalion war diary for this month has been lost. 

"His life for his country his soul to his God."

Bearman F. Private Fred Bearman 12488. 'C' Coy. 9th Bn. Essex regiment. 35th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 3rd July 1916. Age 22. Son of Mr & Mrs R.H. Bearman, of Bocking Church Street, Bocking. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL.  Born Bocking, silk bleacher to trade at 17, son of a shoemaker.     

Ovillers. Ordered to continue the attack on Ovillers, 35th and 37th Brigades went in at 3.15am on 2 July (just before this, Divisional HQ received information that a British attack on their left, by X Corps against Thiepval, was cancelled). Unlike the troops of 8th Division who had to cross a wide no man's land in the bright morning sun, the 12th Division attack, at night, adopted sensible tactics of advancing across no man's land while the artillery bombarded the enemy and rushed the last few yards when it lifted. The first wave of the attack met with mixed success: for example the 9th Essex came under heavy shellfire before it had reached even the British front line; it was difficult to keep direction in the deep shell holes; yet the 5th Berkshire and 7th Suffolk crossed, finding the enemy wire was well cut, and took at least two lines of German trenches before becoming bogged in intense bombing fights in the trenches. 6th Queen's were held up by wire and machine gun fire from Mash Valley. Heavy fire from the Leipzig salient - where X Corps would have been attacking - halted supporting units in no man's land, and the attack failed to achieve its objective.

Bearman H. Private HARRY BEARMAN 19137. 11th Bn., Essex Regiment. 18th Brigade, 6th DivisionDied age 38 on 24 May 1916. Labourer at Dye House.  Son of Emily Bearman, of Poplar Row, Bocking Church St., Braintree, Essex. (Not known) ESSEX FARM CEMETERY   Essex Farm was the CCS where John McCrae wrote 'In Flanders Fields.'   The Cemetery lies north west of Ypres. Born Bocking, father an Overlooker at silk mill. 

"Gone but not forgotten. From his loving mother."

Brother Albert also served.

Bearman R. Private Walter Reginald 39958. East Surrey Reg. Posted to 1st/21st London Regiment 1st Surrey Rifles, 140 Bde, 47th (2nd London) Division. Died 1st Sept 1918. Age 19 Vis-en-Artois Memorial. Born Bocking, Silk dyer to trade, two sisters, Elsie & Florence and a brother Frederick. No 4, The Gables, Church Street, Bocking. Father also called Walter, W.R. called Reggie hence 'R' on memorial.

Effects and War Gratuity to brother £8.
The Battalion attacked St Pierre Vaast Wood travelling almost a mile to do so. Casualties were heavy, including 20 killed in action and several counter attacks were resisted.

Bellis A.R. Alfred Richard Bellis. 7827. 2nd Essex Regiment. 12th. Bde. 4th Div.  Died Oct 31st 1914. Killed Armentieres. Wife Oliva Rosa Warren (wed 1st Feb 1913 St Michaels) PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL. Born Woolwich, aged 16 was 'Lampman' in East Ham. Worked as 'fitter' at Crittall's.

Benham F.J. Rifleman Frederick James Benham 41282. 10th Batt. Royal Irish Rifles. (formerly 31899 Essex Reg) Died 6th Aug 1917, age 34. Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. Killed by German shell. Father William a butcher in Bradford Street (Benham & Sons). (Kelly's 14 & 26.). F.J was unmarried.

Beresford.F. Private Frank Beresford. 43515. 10th Batt. Essex Regiment. 53rd Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division. Died 11th August 1917. Brandhoek New Military Cemetery, Ypres.  Died of wounds. Born Bethnal Green, son of a silk weaver and worked at Warners. in 1911 had been a 'casement fitter.'Lived manor Street 1901. Died 11th August 1917.  

The 18th Division had captured Glencorse Wood but became isolated and suffered casualties when the Germans counter attacked strongly. (Warners)  Baptist Church Memorial

Bibby J.E.G. Private John Edward George Bibbey 3/2465. 9th Batt. Essex Regiment. 35th Bde. 12th (Eastern Division). Died 10th Aug 1916. Thiepval Memorial.  Lived 13 Coggeshall Road in 1911. Labourer at Iron works.  Born Braintree, son of a bricklayers labourer.  Battalion fought south of Serre. The spelling 'Bibbey is used on 1901 census, 'Bibby' in 1911. 'Bibbey' on army Medal Record Card. 

Blake C.S. L/Corp Charles Blake 12335. 'C' Coy. 9th Battalion Essex Regiment. 35th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 13th April 1916. Age 28. Son of Samuel & Sarah Blake, 30 Station Road, Braintree. BETHUNE TOWN CEMETERY. Casement Fitter at iron works. Died of wounds. Born Bocking. Eldest son of a 'silk turner on.' Two brothers & two sisters. 

"At peace with God."

Brother Edward follows below. 

Blake E.T. Private Edward Thomas Blake 12432. 9th Bn Essex Regiment. 35th Brigade. 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 19th Oct 1915. Born Braintree 1892. LOOS MEMORIAL. Second son, younger brother of Charles above.                                                                                                      

Battle of Loos 3 October 1915. Close fighting is renewed in the Hohenzollern Redoubt, and all but Big Willie Trench is lost to the enemy. 12th (Eastern) Division relieves 1st and 2nd Guards Brigades in area of the Chalk Pit. They are put to work on completing preparations of new trenches, roads and positions in preparation for the assault. Heavy enemy shelling causes many casualties among the working parties. Major-General Wing, O.C. 12th Division, is among those killed. The renewal of the offensive is delayed until 6th October, to enable preparatory attacks on Fosse 8 and Hill 70 to take place. Following the days loss of the trenches of Hohenzollern Redoubt, this area takes priority. The 12th and Guards Divisions are ordered to capture the Quarries and the Fosse 8 / Hohenzollern respectively, on 9th October. Fighting continued well into October. The Long, long Trail  


Bonner F.W. Private Fred William Bonner 37135.Machine Gun Corps (inf). Formerly 20131, East Surrey RegtDied 12th Feb 1917. Age 20. Died of wounds. Son of Frederick William & Mary Bonner, 98 Cressing Road, Braintree. (Now ‘Trottersfield.’) A carpenter and a joiner. Father a carpenter. BRAINTREE & BOCKING CEMETERY.  Wounded Ypres. "Peace, Perfect peace." (Born London?Private Bonner was injured near Ypres on December 23rd 1916 and died of blood poisoning on 12th February 1917 in Huddersfield War Hospital. The date of injury would indicate that Fred had only just arrived in Belgium when he was unfortunately injured. Brother also died.

                                                                                             @Ray Cook

Border R.H. Corporal Richard Henry Border. PW/2048. 19th Bn. Middlesex (Duke of Cambridge's Own. 2nd Public Works) Regiment. 41st Division. Died 26th March 1918. Age 26. Enlisted Chelmsford 26th April 1915.  Lived 7, Sunnyside, Braintree, worked as Navvy. Son of the late Mark & Mary Ann Border. ARRAS MEMORIAL. Born Battersea, in 1901 family lived East Ham.         

19th (Service) Battalion (2nd Public Works Pioneers) Formed London in April 1915 by Lt-Col.John Ward MP. Attached to 41st Division as Pioneer Battalion 2 May 1916.  Stationed on the Western Front in March 1918 to oppose Ludendorff's 'Push.' The Pioneers then had to be deployed as Infantrymen during the chaos that followed a major German breakthrough at St Quentin. The 19th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment took over a defensive position at Beugnatre during the night of 23rd March 1918 and was attacked at about 6pm on 24th March. Despite causing serious enemy casualties, the Pioneers were forced to withdraw to Biefvillers. Great War Forum  

Two Boyton's

Boyton H. Corporal Boyton Horace 3/1691. 9th Bn Essex Regiment. 35th Brigade. 12th (Eastern) Division.  Died 17th July 1917. Age 22. Born Braintree in 1895. ARRAS MEMORIAL. Mother E.M. Boyton, 8 Sandpit Road, Braintree. Also on brothers gravestone in Braintree London Road Cemetery. Born 1st June 1895 in Boars Head Yard. In 1901 he lived in Notley Road with five sisters. Worked for Crittall's and enlisted four days after outbreak of war. Entered France on the 23rd November 1914.

Bright H. Private Henry Bright. 80362. Essex Yeomanry. 8th Cavalry Bde. 3rd Cavalry Division. Died 11 April 1917. Age 22. Entered war 9th April 1915. Son of Henry & Anne Elizabeth Bright, 62, Chapel Hill, Braintree. (Not known) ARRAS MEMORIAL. Worked Iron Foundry, casting. Born Halstead where father ran farm. Yeomanry supplied their own horse and equipment. 

Battle of the Scarpe, the 8th Cavalry Brigade attacked and suffered heavily losing 23 dead plus wounded and horses lost at Monchy-le-Preux

Braintree Congregational Church Memorial.

Brown C.A. Corporal Clarence Arthur Brown 14780. 6th Bn. Queens Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). 37th Brigade. 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 12th May 1918. Age 21. Son of William & Emily Brown, of 16, Station Road, Braintree. MAILLY WOOD CEMETERY, MAILLY-MAILLET.  May saw a great deal of heavy fighting here, north of Albert, during the last great German Spring Offensive of 1918.  Born Braintree. Son of Assurance Agent, one of ten children. On Braintree Congregational Church Memorial Father died 1906 leaving Emily with ten children.  Clarence was lodging at 7 School View, Chelmsford in 1915 when he enlisted aged 19 at Warley.

 "Until we meet again."

Brunning.P. Private Percy Brunning 45856. 12th South Wales Borderers. Died 25th Nov 1917. Born Braintree. CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL. Born Braintree, fourth son of a postman. In 1901 family included three sisters and lived in Drury Lane. (Rebuilt) The 12th attacked the southern edge of Bourlon Wood on the 23rd suffering heavy casualties.  It is possible Percy was wounded here, dying at the Casualty Clearing Station.  Parents William and Mary Anne Brunning, 32 Victoria Street, Braintree in 1911. Three brothers and three sisters.

Burlong S.F. Serjeant Sidney Frank Burlong 12300. 9th Bn. Essex Regiment. 35th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 23 Mar 1916. Age 25. Son of Aaron & Rhoda Burlong, 4 Church Street, Bocking.(unknown.) VERMELLES BRITISH CEMETERY. Loos area. Born Aldershot, father a soldier in the 1st Batt. Queens, Royal West Surrey Regiment. Employed at Crittall's. In 1901 family at 28 Rayne Road, 1911 Sidney a Silk Dyer, 126 South Street, Braintree.

"Now the labourer's task is over."

"From all his loving friends." 

His brother Percy received the DCM and the MM.

Butcher. E. L/Corporal Edward Butcher 12501. 9th Bn. Essex Regiment. 35th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 20th Oct 1915. Age 25. Son of Mrs Elizabeth Butcher, Church Street, Bocking. LOOS MEMORIAL. Born Gosfield, when father worked at Liston Hall. Silk dyer, son of horseman on farm in 1901 onwards. In 1901 when family lived at Church Street Edward had three sisters and one brother. Parents had 9 children of which two had died.

Battle of Loos  Fighting among the 'Quarries' on the 19th in which L/Cpl Butcher is commended for his courage and 'resource.' His trench heavily shelled next day.   

Butcher. F. Driver Frederick Butcher 55727.28th Bty. 124th Bde. Royal Field Artillery. 37th Division. Died 9th Oct 1917. Age 25. Born Braintree. Son of Joseph Butcher, 18 Orchard Street, Moulsham, Essex. Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le-Treport. Born Braintree. Enlisted 1908. Eldest son of farm labourer. In 1901 he had brothers George & Leonard, & two sisters, Kate & Rosie. Worked horse pre-war at Straits Mill Farm, Bocking. "He was winner of regimental cup for best team of horses" Ernest Butcher, cousin, 7 Oakley House, Black Notley. Cup awarded for driving the gun team he had at Mons through three years of war without accident. Hit by shell and died of wounds. See brother George below.

Butcher G. Private George Butcher 10096. 1st Bn. Essex Regiment. 88th Brigade, 29th Division. Died 6th Aug 1915. Age 22. Son of Mrs Ellen Sophia Butcher (Born 1862 NEE Pluck), Sandpit Road, Braintree. (Demolished) HELLES.MEMORIAL. Born Stisted, son of farm labourer Joseph Butcher, Older brother Fred, younger Leonard, sisters Kate & Rose. Lived Rayne Road in 1901. 1911 farm labourer at Great Easton. See brother Frederick above.                                              

Suvla  ....on the evening of 6th August 1915 during diversionary attacks on the Ottoman trenches at the top of Suvla Bay. The attacks were intended to cover the beginning of an August Offensive as reinforcements were landed at Suvla bay. The attacks resulted in heavy losses for the Essex Reg, 241 men killed on 6th Aug 1915. Felstead Remembers                                                                                                    

Possible death during attack on Turkish lines between Krithia Nullah & Gully Ravine. Turkish artillery replied to bombardment, hitting British trenches. Attack reached but could not hold Turkish line. Repelled by strong counter attacks leaving around 2000 casualties. 

Butcher M.J. Private Major Josiah Butcher 32145. 10th Bn Essex Regiment. 53rd Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division. Died 15th May 1918. Age 38. Husband of Rose Ellen Butcher (nee Saward), Woolpack lane, Bocking, Essex. DERNANCOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION.  Father Pattern & Claymaker(?)1891. Eldest son Major J, one brother and one sister, mother deceased. Major Joseph worked at Cocoa fibre factory as matting weaver 1911. Born Bocking, son of a silk steamer. Married at St Peter's 1907, two children, Gwen & Douglas. 

Bocking Congregational Church Memorial. 

Butler H. Harry Butler 12176. 9th Essex Regiment, 35th Brigade. 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 3rd July 1916. Born Duck End, Stebbing, born 1899, living there 1901. Father Frederick an agricultural worker.  Two older brother Alfred & Jesse Sisters Susan, Clara & Kate. Thiepval Memorial.  Aged 16 or 17.

Ovillers. Ordered to continue the attack on Ovillers, 35th and 37th Brigades went in at 3.15am on 2 July (just before this, Divisional HQ received information that a British attack on their left, by X Corps against Thiepval, was cancelled). Unlike the troops of 8th Division who had to cross a wide no man's land in the bright morning sun, the 12th Division attack, at night, adopted sensible tactics of advancing across no man's land while the artillery bombarded the enemy and rushed the last few yards when it lifted. The first wave of the attack met with mixed success: for example the 9th Essex came under heavy shellfire before it had reached even the British front line; it was difficult to keep direction in the deep shell holes; yet the 5th Berkshire and 7th Suffolk crossed, finding the enemy wire was well cut, and took at least two lines of German trenches before becoming bogged in intense bombing fights in the trenches. 6th Queen's were held up by wire and machine gun fire from Mash Valley. Heavy fire from the Leipzig salient - where X Corps would have been attacking - halted supporting units in no man's land, and the attack failed to achieve its objective. 

Butler S.A. L/Corporal Sebastian Alfred Butler 295156. 2/4th London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) Died 26th Oct 1917. Tyne Cot Memorial. Born Castleham, Berkshire 1875, son of Alfred, a bootmaker. Worked St Pancras in 1901, lived Camden Road London 2nd Sept 1905 when he married Maud Elizabeth Rayner of Bocking at St Mary's Church, Bocking.  Living 49 Pen St, Boston, Lincs in 1911 with wife and two young sons, working as Hair Worker Wig Maker. Died aged 42.  Originally 17th Battalion London Regiment. 

Attack in rain, mud up to soldiers knees, series of shell holes, heavy enemy fire and counter attack. The 2/4th on support suffered heavy casualties, most bodies not recovered.

Candler C. Private Charles Candler 32044. 9th Bn. Essex Regiment. 35th Brigade. 12th(Eastern)Div.Transf. to (442114) 214th. Div. Emp. Coy. Labour Corps. 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 7th Nov 1918. Age 39. Son of Sarah & the late George Candler, of Cut Hedge, Shalford, Essex. Husband of Elizabeth Annie Candler, of High Garrett, Essex. ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY. Born Shalford, married 29th Aug 1903, moved to High Garrett where he worked as Crape finisher. Died from Bronchial Pneumonia (Essex Chron 6th Dec 18) Died from Gas.

"Nobly he lived, nobly he died."

Carlo E.V. Private Ernest Victor Carlo, 228125. 1st London Reg (Royal Fusiliers) 23rd April 1917. Arras Memorial. Born Colchester 1889, father a bricklayer,family lived Golden Hill 1891,1901 they lived Albion Grove.  Married Florence Kate Byford 23rd June 1912 at St Peter's Bocking. Occupation Butcher. Formerly Cambridge Regiment. 

Cartwright J.N. Rifleman John Noel Cartwright 3513. 16th London Regiment. (Queens Westminster Rifles)169th Bgde. 56th (London) Div. Died Age 20 on 27th August 1916. Son of John & Edith Alice Cartwright, 78 Wimborne Road, Southend on Sea. MAROEUIL BRITISH CEMETERY. Born Braintree, son of bank cashier, attended Old High School, Braintree. Maroeuil lies north west of Arras and the area was occupied by London Territorial Battalions between July to December 1916. Many from the Brigade died at this time and lie together here. 

"I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish."

Clark E.A. Private Ernest Arthur Clark 52481, 4th Battalion, London Regiment, Royal Fusiliers. 9th Brigade, 3rd Division. Died 9th April 1917. Tilloy British Cemetery, Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines, ARRAS.  Born Braintree 1887. 1891 father ran coffee house in Great Square, 1901 father was waiter in West Derby, Lancashire. 


Clark. J.C. James Charles Clark K/43186. Stoker 1st Class. Royal Navy Reserve HMS “Newcastle” Died 14th February 1919 Age 21. Son of Mr James Josiah & Mrs Rachel Clark, Terrace Yard, Rayne Road, Bocking. (Demolished) BRAINTREE & BOCKING (BOCKING) CEMETERY. “HMS Newcastle  ” spent war in Far East and South America. Based Rio de Janeiro 1919.  Born Bocking, son of house painter, at 132 Rayne Road in 1901 with younger brother Harold. CLARK, James C, Stoker 1c, K 43186, Pembroke, 14 February 1919, illness. Naval History  "Thy will be done." Appears to have served aboard HMS 'Newcastle' and been transferred to HMS 'Pembroke.'

  • HMS Pembroke was the name given to a shore barracks at Chatham. It was commissioned in 1878, moved ashore in 1903 and was paid off in 1983. The buildings, designed by Sir Henry Pilkington.
  • HMS Nymphe was HMS Pembroke from 1917 until 1920.

Cole H. Harry G. Cole 33404, Air Mechanic 2nd Class. 12th Balloon Coy HQ. Royal Flying Corps. Died 10th April 1917 age 41Husband of Ellen Emma Cole, 7 Clydesdale Road, Romford. Mont Huen Military Cemetery, Le-Treport. Father George, a Brushmaker, lived Bocking. (Essex Chron 20th Ap 17). In 1901 Harry was school teacher in Ilford. Wife Ellen daughter of George Hunnable, 'Ambleside' South Street, Braintree. Died from result of accident.

"One of God's best, so dearly loved, so sadly missed."

Arras Memorial

Compton A. Private Arol William 43538. ‘A’Coy 9th Essex Regiment. 35th Brigade. 12th (Eastern) Div. Died 29th April 1917. Age 24. La Bassee. (Warners) Son of: Rose A. Compton, 29 Single Street, Mile End, London, and the late Richard Compton. Born Braintree, father deceased by 1901,brothers George and Albert and sister Lily when family lived 219 Manor Road. By 1911 lived 62 East Street with mother Rose and brother Albert.  ARRAS MEMORIAL.

The Battle of Arleux
After a ten day rest the Division re-entered the Arras battlefield, 37th Brigade going into the forward positions between the north east of Monchy and the River Scarpe. On 28 April, formations north of 12th Division undertook an operation to capture Roeux. 35th Brigade took part and attacked Rifle and Bayonet Trench but owing to heavy enemy shellfire and machine guns firing from Roeux - which was not captured - fell back to its start point.


Cooper.A. Private Arthur Cooper 312777. 11th Essex Regiment. 18th Bde. 6th Division. Aged 29. Died 25th March 1917. Born Bocking. BETHUNE TOWN CEMETERY. North West of Loos.  Arthur eldest son of Joseph Cooper, once painter at Iron works, later jobbing gardener, and brother of Bert, George and Harry who follow below. Arthur died of wounds, previously employed by Crittall's. A Maltster in 1911. Six sons and three daughters in family, four sons died in action. 

Loos. On the 1st March the Division took over a 11,000 yards' front extending north from the Double Crassier at Loos, with sectors Loos-14 bis-Hulluch-Hohenzollern, all three brigades being in line and a brigade of the 21st Division also which came under the command of G.O.C., 6th Division. March and the first portion of April were notable for raids and counter-raids, and for considerable artillery and trench-mortar activity, which gave place to more or less continuous fighting consequent on the withdrawal of the enemy opposite the right of the Division after the successful attack by the Canadians at Vimy. 

Cooper.B. Private Bertie Charles Cooper 26996. 9th Bn. Essex Regiment. 35TH Bgde. 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 9th April 1917. Age 22. Youngest son of Joseph Cooper, 57 South Street, Braintree. ARRAS MEMORIAL. Five sons serving. (Essex Chron. 11th May 19) Mother died early in his life,Father lived until 1931.

First Battle of the Scarpe. (9th – 14th April 1917) On the 9th the 12th Division attacked Observation Ridge, north of the Arras – Cambrai Road, the intention being to continue on towards Feuchy. 

Cooper.G. Rifleman George Cooper 41213. 10th Battalion. Royal Irish Rifles. 107th Brigade. 36th (Ulster) Division. Died 5th August 1917. Age 24. Son of Joseph Cooper, 57 South Street, Braintree. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL. Battle of Langemark.  Matt maker at Matt factory along with Harry, 1911. 

(3rd Ypres, Passchendaele) This battle began on the 16th of August; however the troops were put in to the line 16 days early by incompetent Staff belonging to Gough’s Fifth Army. Two thousand casualties were caused by enemy action during this time, two thousand more when battle began. The rain was a constant companion during this period.

Cooper H. Harry Harry Cooper. 6707. 1/9th London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles). Harry was the first of the Cooper boys to fall on 2nd October 1916. Died aged 26, born Braintree 1890.  In 1911 lived at South Street with father and three brothers, worked with brother George at the Matt Factory as a Matt maker.  Five sons enlisted, four were killed in action, the survivor served time in India. Father died 1934. Thiepval Memorial  

Cooper.C.P. Lieutenant Clarence Percy Cooper. 1st/4th Bn. Essex Regiment. 161st Bde. 54th (East Anglian) Division. Died 2nd April 1917. Age 20. Son of Samuel & Susan O.M. Cooper, ‘Rosehill House,’ Braintree. KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL. 'Gazetted' Temp 2nd Lieutenant, 26th Mar 1915.  Enlisted Royal Engineers 2nd Sept 1914 discharged 26th March 1915. Second billeting with Royal Engineers 2nd September 1915. Died of wounds. Draughtsman at Crittall's. Old High School  Braintree. 

1st Battle of Gaza 25th March. Battalion advanced 4000 yards over flat plain to attack Turkish defences. Heavy fire when under 2000 yards to go many fell but the troops pushed on and took the position.  Severe casualties with limited medical support. Numerous dead and wounded transported back by camel or donkey.  

W. Cornell

Cornell Walter Harry.  Private Walter Harry Cornell 18606, 9th Essex Regiment35TH Bgde. 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 22nd July 1916, Age 22. Son of Mrs A. Cornell, c/o Mrs Quilter, Tollgate Cottage, Coggeshall Road, Braintree. Died of wounds in Guildford. Lies buried in Braintree & Bocking Cemetery. Born Braintree 1894, son of a gardener who died in 1905. In 1901 family lived in Martin's Yard, with Arthur an elder brother.

"Peace Perfect Peace."  

Cornell. W.S. Corporal William Sherwood Cornell 703521, 12th Bty, 24th Bde, Royal Field Artillery.  Died 20 August 1915, Age 20. Died wounds. Son of William & Elmira Cornell, 75, Rayne Road, Braintree. ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY. Born Woolwich, 1911 worked as Baker, later worked Crittall's. Father an army pensioner. 

"Pas'd beyond all grief and pain,death for thee is truest gain."

Thought to have earned a D.C.M. but no record found.

Ernest Jack Crickmore
Crickmore.E. ERNEST JACK CRICKMORE 48887 Airman 2nd ClassRecruits Training Centre, Royal Flying Corps. Aylesbury. Died age 20 on 14 November 1916, son of Robert Samuel and Kate Ellen Crickmore, of "Kennards," The Avenue, Braintree. Mechanic. BRAINTREE AND BOCKING (BRAINTREE) CEMETERY.  Died of pneumonia in Aylesbury.  Father Robert Samuel Crickmore of Braintree, died 11th Dec 1924. Born Braintree shortly after family moved from Witham. Father ran saddle maker shop in High Street next to Joscelynes, which was later taken over by them.  Parents had two sons die in infancy but two girls survived into old age one of whom, Hilda Marian Crickmore, resided at Kennards at least until 1979.  

Dawson H.H. Private HERBERT HARRY DAWSON 31099. 2nd Bn. Essex Regt. 12th Brigade, 4th Division, who died age 35 on 07 July 1917. Anez-le-Duisons. Husband of Sarah Elizabeth Dawson, of 2,Mill Cottages, Rose Hill, Braintree, Essex. DUISANS BRITISH CEMETERY, ETRUN. Born Great Saling, son of a horseman on farm. In 1901 he had two brothers & one sister. Married Miss Fitch at Blackmore End 30th June 1906. 1911 lived Spread Eagle lane, Bocking and worked as a Maltster.  Before war employed as bricklayer by George Hunnable.

Day.S.W. Sapper Sydney William Day 134308. 219th Field Coy. Royal Engineers. Died 13th July 1917 age 29. Son of William & Maria Day, 146 Upper Bridge Road, Chelmsford. Coxyde Military Cemetery. Born Braintree, son of general labourer, four sons and three daughters, father died 1909.  Sydney worked as oilman's message boy 1901 and by 1911 was a toolmaker at cycle and motor parts maker.  Lived 33 East Street 1911. (demolished)

"'Twas just one step from the battlefield to the joys of eternal life."

Also on Chelmsford Civic Centre Memorial plaque.

Dennis G. No trace found.

Edward Digby

Digby E. EDWARD DIGBY. Air Mech 2nd Class. F/23716, R.N. Depot (Crystal Palace), Royal Naval Air Service,  who died age 21 on 24 December 1916.  Son of Edward and Isabella Digby, of 77, South St., Braintree. (Demolished)  Father died before war, mother ran fishmongers.  BRAINTREE AND BOCKING (BRAINTREE) CEMETERY. Died of disease. Date of Birth 10 June 1895. HMS Victory VI – Crystal Palace depot for RNR & RN Divs 1914-19. Born Braintree, worked at Crittall's. Sisters Maude & Florence, brothers Cyril & Victor. (77 South Street, was once the 'Carpenters Arms')

Digby I.L. Private Ivor Llewellyn Digby. G.21677. 12th Bn East Surrey Regiment. 122nd Bgd. 41st Division. Died 26th October 1918. HEESTERT MILITARY CEMETERY. Born Braintree 1896, son of a Mat Maker, worked as Iron casement fitter at Crittall's. Brother Walter & sisters Emily & Lily were amongst 13 children. The family lived at 18 East Street. Mother Emily worked on Munitions during WW1.                              

On the 22nd October the battalion attempted to cross the Kortrijk-Bossuit canal, three out of four companies succeeding.  At that time there was a short tunnel in the hills there, now removed, from the southern end of which severe German fire hindered the attack.  By the 26th, the day Digby is recorded as dying, they prepared to attack Avelghem.  Digby lies buried in Heestert, indicating he crossed the canal.  Could he have been wounded there, more probable that he was injured as they advanced towards Avelghem.  (Initials J.L.on memorial)

Duckworth J.S. Private James Sutcliffe Duckworth 6594, 2nd Bat. Scots Guards. 3rd Guards Brigade, Guards Division.  Died 25th September 1916. Landed in France 27th June 1915. Thiepval Memorial. Born Bradford 1880, son of William, a plumber. A Bocking lodger in 1911 while a machine hand.  Fettler in Braintree 1912 when he married Blanche Edith Tyrell at St Michaels. On the left of Lesboeufs in support. His number was issued between 1906/7. (6461 joined on 14th March 1906 - 6675 joined on 3rd January 1907) Could he have enlisted and rejoined as a reservist? 

Dyer E. Rifleman ERNEST DYER 5/3506. 2nd Battalion., King's Royal Rifle Corps. 2nd Brigade.   1st Division. Died age 44 on 28 April 1915  Nephew of Mrs. F. Chinnery, of "Mazes", South St., Braintree, Essex. (Demolished) LE TOURET MEMORIAL. Employed Crittall's. No later census returns.

Easter A. Private ALEXANDER EASTER 7189, 2nd Bn. Essex Regiment. 12th Brigade. 4th Division. Died age 29 on 2nd May 1915. Son of Alfred and Hannah Easter, of 38, Beaconsfield Rd., Canning Town, London; (Blitzed) husband of Kate Easter, of 15, South St., Braintree, Essex. (Demolished) YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL.  2nd Ypres.  Born White Notley, son of carpenter, sister Penelope and brother Charles. Family in West Ham 1901 and 15 year old Alex was general labourer. A chauffeur when he wed Braintree girl Kate Dennington, September 1911. Landed in France 14th September 1914. 

Died during the heavy trench fighting featuring rain soaked trenches and constant attack and counter attack.  This was the beginning of the second major German assault at Ypres.  His regiment number indicates a 1902 enlistment.  Alexander must have been a reservist in 1914.

Cpl Frank Edwards
Edwards F. Corporal Frank Edwards 19782 (Driver).‘A’ Battery 98th Brigade. Royal Field Artillery. Died 28th Feb 1917. Age 40. Saddler. BRAINTREE & BOCKING (BRAINTREE) CEMETERY. Only son?

Head wound at Mons, hospitalised in England. Served in France, Mesopotamia & Salonica. Caught Malaria and suffered Neuritis, sent on hospital ship 'Braemar Castle' which was torpedoed in the Mediterranean.  Three hours in sea in life belt, picked up by minesweeper, landed at Malta. Hospitalised in Manchester and Llandridod Wells.  Broken in health he returned home to Braintree Feb 24th and died four days later." (Essex Chron 2nd Mar 17). In fact the Braemar Castle hit a mine in the Agean, and was towed to Malta and repaired at La Spezia.  Note the propaganda of saying she was a hospital ship torpedoed! (Served from 19th Aug 1914. Medals. 1914 Star & Bar, British War and Victory. Sold by Spink approx £100-120.)

Edwards R.E. Private RONALD EDGAR EDWARDS. 34412, 2nd Bn., Essex Regiment. 12th Bgde. 4th Div Signaller Died age 22 on 03 May 1917 Son of Thomas and Laura Edwards, of 43, Mount Rd., Braintree, Essex. ARRAS MEMORIAL. Born Braintree 1894, son of a brush maker,living Mount Road 1901. One brother two sisters.

Worked Goods Office Braintree Railway Station, Great Eastern Railways, single man.(Essex Chron 1st June 17). Third Battle of the Scarpe, 3 - 4 May 1917

Edwards W.H.
Private William Henry 60358. 11th Batt. Royal Fusiliers. 54th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division
. Died 10th August 1917 Wife Elsie Beatrice (nee Cooper) Edwards. Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. A groom at the White Hart before enlisting, married at Black Notley Church 3rd Oct 1912 then aged 23, had two daughters. Heavy fighting at Glencorse Wood.

Fitch.V.W. Private Victor William Fitch 19256. 9th Coy. Machine Gun Corps (Inf). 3rd Division. Died 6th November 1916. Age 18. Son of William & Annie Fitch, 71 Cressing Road, Braintree. (Now Beaumont Place) EUSTON ROAD CEMETERY, COLINCAMPS. Somme. Born Braintree, son of a General Carman. Lived 227 Manor Street in 1901. 47 Railway Street in 1911. One sister Maud. Crittall's employee.

"Ever remembered, by Mother, Father, Sister."

Freeman A. Private ARTHUR BERTRAM FREEMAN 7878, 2nd Bn., Essex Regiment. 12th Brigade, 4th Division. Died age 28 on 30th October 1914. Son of Abraham and Louisa Freeman, of Leyton, London. Husband of Alice Maud Freeman, of 61, South St., Braintree. RATION FARM MILITARY CEMETERY, LA CHAPELLE-DARMENTIERES. Crittall's employee, at 15 Cricket ground boy. Reservist who died in fierce fighting along with many comrades.

"Bravely you passed,
 the great surrender made,
 in the light,
 that nevermore shall fade."

Private Thomas French

French T. Private Thomas FRENCH 4032, 1st/5th Bn. Essex Regiment. 54th (East Anglian) Division. Died on 30 March 1916. Age 35. Bridge End Place, Church Street Bocking. (1911). Son of Issac & Sarah French. BRAINTREE AND BOCKING (BOCKING) CEMETERY. (Private Grave) Born Bocking, second son of a Road Man, four brothers & two sisters. Father had been an agricultural labourer and horseman. Mechanics Labourer by trade. Died of disease, perhaps while based at Cambridge?

'Bridge End Place' building was at one time the Bocking Workhouse.

Fryatt S.J. Lance Serjeant Sydney J FRYATT. 250481.1/5th Bn. Essex Regiment. 161st Bde. 54th (East Anglian) Div. Died age 24 on 5th October 1917 Son of James and Elizabeth Fryatt, of 170, Mersea Cottage, East St., Braintree, Essex. (Demolished. Entrance to St Mary’s Road.) GAZA WAR CEMETERY. Born Braintree, son of a Coal Carman. In 1901 lived Chapel Hill and had two elder sisters, Alice & Annie, in 1911 a brushmaker. Employed by Crittall's. Killed in action during routine trench warfare just before the Third Battle of Gaza.

Braintree Baptist Church Memorial

Fuller.F.H. Rifleman FREDERICK HAROLD FULLER. S/28579, "A" Coy. 7th Bn., Rifle Brigade. (The Prince Consorts Own) 41st Brigade. 14th(Light) Division. XV Corps. (Formerly R/24061, K.R.R.C.) Died age 19 on 15th October 1917. Son of Frederick James and Annie Fuller, of "Alwyne," Coggeshall Rd. Braintree. TYNE COT MEMORIAL. First Battle of Passchendaele 12th Oct 1917.  Born Braintree.                                                   

"...sad news that his only surviving son, Frederick Harold, had been killed by the concussion of a shell. Rifleman Fuller was 19 and had served in France for 10 months. He was a clerk with Messrs Cunnington solicitors. He sang in the church choir." (Essex Chron 26th Oct 1917)  Born Braintree, 1897.Father supervisor at boot factory (Fuller's Boot Factory, Fairfield Rd?). In 1901 the family lived Woodfield Road. Pupil Old High School.

The parents donated a cross to St Michaels Church to commemorate their son killed in the war.  


HMS 'Queen Mary'

Fuller W.G. William George Fuller, Artificer Engineer, Royal Navy. HMS "Queen Mary" Died 31st May 1916. Ship lost at Battle of Jutland. Portsmouth Naval Memorial. Son of Charles and Frances Fuller, Charles a coal merchant living in Rayne Road, Braintree, in 1891. 1901 lodging at 4, Kent Street, Portsmouth working as artificer (arsenal) and 1911 census records engine room artificer of this name living as a single man at 3 Leonard Road, Landfort, Portsmouth. Battle of Jutland

'FULLER, William G, Artificer Engineer, Queen Mary, 31 May 1916, Jutland, ship lost.' Naval History    HMS Queen Mary

Game. J. Private Jasper L.E. Game 42768. 2nd Batt. Worcestershire Regiment. ex 9th Essex. Died 5th December 1917. Tyne Cot Memorial. Born Glemsford
1892. Parents Walter & Mary Game. 1901 father was gas stoker at Walton le Soken, by 1911 father worked as silk weaver and family lived Station Road. During that year Jasper worked as a 'driller' at the Iron Works.

"Jasper was born Glemsford, Suffolk, and had sisters. He had served for over three years when he was killed by a shell at Passchendaele." (In Memorium Essex Chron 29 Nov 1918)

Godfrey W. Driver Walter GODFREY 622532. 15th Brigade.Royal Horse Artillery. 29th Division (artillery). Died on 07 October 1918. Age 38. Husband of Mrs. Elizabeth Godfrey, of "Belmont", Woodfield Rd., Braintree, Essex. DADIZEELE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY. East of Ypres, North of Menen. Two children Kenneth Walter and Cedric Sydney. Widow at ‘North View,’ Bardfield End Green, 22nd Nov 1938. Silk weaver at Warners, official of Braintree Congregational Church. Ex-Essex Yeomanry. Silk weaver. Father & brother William also silk weavers. Brother Sydney a carpenter, also a sister Elizabeth. Married 1904.

Walter was one of several 2/1st Essex Yeomanry men who volunteered for the RHA. A major German push, one of the last of the war was attempted north of Menen. Walter Godfrey’s battery was amongst those sent to resist this attack. The attack failed and Walter was among those who died somewhere along the Menen road.

Braintree Congregational Church Memor
ial and Essex Yeomanry Plaque in Chelmsford Cathedral.

Godman W. No trace found.

Leading Stoker. H.M.S. "Invincible."Royal Navy. Died age 29 on 31 May 1916. Son of Henry Ralph & Elizabeth Goodchild, of 72, Manor St, Braintree, Essex. ('Keepers Cottage.' which exists). Native of Gorleston-on-Sea.  Only son but had five sisters! PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL. 1901 the family lived in Barking father a labourer. 1911 Henry lived at Sailors home Portsmouth.

HMS “Invincible” was hit during the Battle of Jutland, the flash from the explosion was enabled to reach the ammunition store which exploded, tearing the ship in half. Only six survivors were picked up. “At 6.32 Admiral Beatty reached his station ahead of the battle fleet. Ahead of him again was Admiral Hood with his three battle cruisers, leading the fleet, and leading it in a manner worthy of the honoured name he bore. Upon him was concentrated the fire of three or four of Admiral Hipper's five ships. Under pressure of the oncoming British Dreadnoughts they had turned again to the southward. For the past ten minutes the action between them and the " Invincibles " had been growing hot upon similar courses, and Admiral Hood with Captain A. L. Cay, his flag-captain, at his side was directing it from the bridge. Having the advantage of the light he was giving more than he received. The range was down below 9,000 yards, but it was the greatest that visibility would permit, and he was doing too well to alter. " Several shells," says Commander von Hase of the Derfflinger," pierced our ship with a terrific force and exploded with a tremendous roar which shook every seam and rivet. The captain had again frequently to steer the ship out of the line to get clear of the hail of fire." So heavy was the punishment he was inflicting that Admiral Hood hailed Commander Dannreuther, his gunnery officer, in the control top, and called to him, " Your firing is very good. Keep at it as quickly as you can. Every shot is telling." They were the last words he is known to have spoken. Just then the mist was riven and from the Derfflinger her tormentor was suddenly silhouetted against a light patch of sky. Then as another salvo from the Invincible straddled her she began rapid salvoes in reply, in which probably the Konig joined with as many. One after another they went home on the Invincible. Flames shot up from the gallant flagship, and there came again the awful spectacle of a fiery burst, followed by a huge column of dark smoke which, mottled with blackened debris, swelled up hundreds of feet in the air, and the mother of all battle cruisers had gone to join the other two that were no more. As her two consorts swerved round her seething death-bed they could see she was rent in two; her stem and stern rose apart high out of the troubled waters as though she had touched the bottom, and near by a group of half a dozen men were clinging to a life raft, cheering the ships as they raced by to continue the fight.1So in the highest exultation of battle—doing all a man could do for victory—the intrepid Admiral met his end, gilding in his death with new lustre the immortal name of Hood............” Extract from the Official History; " Naval Operations" by Sir Julian S. Corbett North East Medals

HMS "INVINCIBLE" after the explosion

Gosling A.W. Private Arthur William Gosling 252755. 1st/5th Bn Essex Regiment, 161Bde. 54th (East Anglian) Division. Died 2nd November 1917. Age 20. Parents Albert James & Louisa Gosling, 16 Panfield Lane, Bocking Essex. JERUSALEM MEMORIAL. Born 1897. Enlisted Warley. Died of wounds. Previously a painter with Gobbold & Millbank. (Essex Chron 14th Dec 17) 1911 father a milkman living at Stone Cottage Panfield lane. 1901 lived Rayne Road.

3rd Gaza. A wide attack covering the ground from Gaza to Beersheba began early on the morning of October the twenty seventh 1917 when the Cavalry led the attack on Beersheba. Early on the morning of the seventh XXI Corps, including the 1/5th Essex, attacked the Turkish trench system from their base along the shore of the Mediterranean. Fighting began at 3.00 in the morning with the 1/5th attacking from the beach against the formidable 'Rafa Redoubt' and 'Zowaid Trench.' The shell fire, mist, smoke and dust from the beach all caused considerable confusion resulting in the wrong target being attacked. Two Platoons of ‘C’ Company under Captain Frank Bacon attacked Zowaid Trench, two others remained in reserve under Lieut Colvin. Somewhere during this attack, fighting against stiff opposition, Arthur Gosling fell. His body was never recovered. Ambrose, the first name on the memorial also fell at this fight.

Gower B.E. Bernard Edward GOWER. 119509. Air Mechanic 2nd Class. Royal Air Force.  Died age 19 on 27th February 1919. Son of E. A. Gower, of Glencairn, Manor St, Braintree. BRAINTREE AND BOCKING (BRAINTREE) CEMETERY. Died of Pneumonia, Salisbury. Joined RFC Jan 19th 1918.  Air Mechanic 2nd Class. (Air Mech 3, promoted Mar 14th 1918.)   Born Wickham Market, Suffolk. Father Edward A. Gower an engineers clerk living 32 Mount Road.  RAF Archive.

RFC & RNAS formed into RAF 1st April 1918.

Green C.G. Private CYRIL GEORGE GREEN 41034. 7th Bn, Northamptonshire Regiment. 73rd Bde, 24th Division. Died age 19 on 9th October 1918. Son of Charles and May Ann Green, of Hatchetts Farm, Coggeshall Rd, Braintree, Essex. CAGNONCLES COMMUNAL CEMETERY. Conscripted 1918. Bedfordshire Regiment as Private 51532,then Northhants 41034. War Grave Born Braintree 1899, son of a farm horseman. The family contained seven boys and eight girls!

Braintree Baptist Memorial.

Parents had 15 children, 13 living in 1911. Cyril sent letters to his sister Elizabeth when on troop train by the simple and not unusual tactic for soldiers at the time of throwing them out the window! This avoided the censor and they were delivered. Five older brothers also enlisted, Arthur had enlisted well before the Great War began, David was in the Royal Artillery helping to shoot down the first Zeppelin brought down over London during 1916. A third brother, Edward is thought to have served in North Africa, probably Egypt while the service of Alf and Jonathan (Jack) have not been recorded. George's cousin Fred Metcalf survived life as a POW in the same camp as one Maurice Chevalier. Another cousin Frank Payne served in Gallipoli where he was severely wounded and returned to serve at Dovercourt via Malta.

Battle of Cambrai. 8-9 Oct 1918, including the capture of Villers Outreaux and Cambrai. 11 men buried in cemetery by Middlesex. Most likely all Northants were one company, plus one Middx.

Green H.G. Private Horace George Green 43554. 9th Bn. Essex Regt. 35th Bde. 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 9th July 1917. Braintree. MONCHY BRITISH CEMETERY, MONCHY-LE-PREUX. A grocer, born Bocking, lived Bradford Street Bocking all his life. Aged 44 when killed. (Initials H.S. on CWGC) His twin brother was a POW in Germany.

In writing to the family his officer mentioned he had recently recommended Green for a 'Military Medal.'

Monchy-le-Preux stood on high ground and serious fighting followed the assault. Lt-Col. F.V. Thompson (O/C 9th Essex) on the 18th July 1917: "...I have now lost 8 officers and probably 200 O.R., including my best N.C.Os. I would suggest that the adventure might now cease...".
The battalion diary for the 9th states:- Quiet on the whole but for hostile T.M's which were very active. (Trench Mortars) Great War Forum


Grimshaw G. Second Lieut. George H. Grimshaw. Royal Air Force. Died 8th July 1918. Age 24. Died. Son of George and Annie Grimshaw, of 25, Arbourhay St, Macclesfield. MACCLESFIELD CEMETERY. Born Macclesfield, son of a silk manufacturer.(Warners) Died 8th July 1918. Worked at Warner's when war broke out. Grimshaw joined the RAMC and served as a sergeant entering France on 23rd November 1915, commissioned in the South Lancs Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant 17th Oct 1917. His transfer to the RAF as second Lieutenant effected, 20th July 1918. Killed while flying at Montrose.

Montrose was the original RFC airbase.

Harrington A.C. Private ARTHUR CHARLES HARRINGTON 40075. 2nd Bn. Essex Regiment. 12th Brigade, 4th Division. Died age 25. 23rd October 1916. Husband of Florence May Harrington, of 119, Bradford St., Bocking, Braintree, Essex. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL. Born Halstead 1891, son of farm horseman. Living Bures Hamlet in 1901 alongside two brothers, Fred & Walter.

The Battle of Le Transloy, 1 - 18 October 1916 including the capture of Eaucourt l'Abbaye, Le Sars and the attacks on Butte de Warlencourt.

Harrington, Edward Reuben. Private EDWARD REUBEN HARRINGTON. 84215. 25th Bn., Machine Gun Corps (Inf.) Died age 19 on 9th July 1917. Son of Reuben and Agnes Harrington, of 110, Bradford St., Bocking, Essex. PERTH CEMETERY (CHINA WALL), Ypres, Belgium. Enlisted landed France 22nd April 1917. Killed by shell. Father carpenter, Edward a mechanic at Hoffman's, Chelmsford. Born Bexley, Kent, 1898. Father a carpenter from Bocking. Living Church St in 1911 with 3 sisters & one brother.

Effects & War Gratuity to father £5-18/-

"Greater love hath no man than this."

Harrington E.V. Sapper Edward Victor Harrington 218699. 19th Light Railway Train Crew Co. Royal Engineers. Died 28th March 1918. Age 22. Son of William & Mary Anne Harrington, 25 Notley Road, Braintree. BARLIN COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, France. (Loos) Born Braintree 1897. Resident at 25, Violet Hill Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk. Father a blacksmith, four sons and three daughters. Deemed to have enlisted 2nd March 1916. Enlisted in Railway Operating Division, Royal Engineers, at Bury St Edmunds on 2nd January 1917, aged 20, while employed as railway clerk for the Great Eastern Railway. Entered France 16th February 1917.

"Thy will be done."

Braintree Congregational church plaque

28th March 1918 was the beginning of General Ludendorff's 'Spring offensive. Edward Harrington died alongside 12 other sappers on a light railway probably from the bombardment at the beginning of this attack. It is likely they were not aware of danger until under sudden fire.

Harrington W.G. Driver Walter G. Harrington 73297. 3rd Reserve Bty. Labour Corps. Royal Field Artillery. Died 25th November 1918 Age 27. Husband of F.T. Harrington, 10 Hamilton Street, Newcastle upon Tyne. Newcastle upon Tyne (St John's Westgate & Elswick) Cemetery. Attended Old High School Braintree. Originally 2/5th Essex Regiment. Called 'William' on some official documents. Little other information to be found.

"In loving memory of my dear husband."


Hart F. Serjeant Frederick HART 250223, 1st/5th Bn. Essex Regiment.161st Bde. 54th (East Anglian) Division. Died age 38 on 26th March 1917 Husband of H. M. Hart, of Gauden Cottage, Church Lane, Bocking, Braintree, Essex. GAZA WAR CEMETERYBorn Barmouth, Gwynd. Enlisted Braintree, left four children.

"In loving memory."

First Battle of Gaza.  The 1/5th with the 1/4th on their right attacked the Green hill.  Advancing 4000 yards over open ground derisory gunfire at first then at 2000 yards machine gun and artillery fire hit them.  Very many casualties, inadequate medical support, yet the position was taken and held until failure elsewhere forced withdrawal.
1/5th War Diary.  26/3 At 06:00 Battalion proceeded to Sheikh Nebhan as part of general reserve. 09:00 moved nearer enemy positions. 13:00 Moved with 4/Essex to attack south part of Gaza defences in support of 160 Brigade; between Green Hill and Brown Hill. 24:00 Battalion suffered heavy casualties and retired at midnight under Brigade orders.
27/3 13:00 Battalion advanced towards Gaza and dug in on line running east-west about 800 yards from enemy position. 22:00 Retired to In Seirat. 28-30/3 Battalion resting and re-equipping.
Casualties 6 officers & 56 men killed or died of wounds, 9 officers & 220 men wounded, 3 officers and 11 men wounded and missing and 36 men missing  

Hart S.F. Private STANLEY FRANK HART 19404, 1st Bn., Essex Regiment. 88th Brigade in 29th Division. Died age 28 on 28th November 1916. Son of Charles Hart, of "Fernleigh," Rayne Rd., Bocking, Braintree, Essex. BERLIN SOUTH-WESTERN CEMETERY. Brandenberg, Germany. P.O.W. Died of wounds. Wounded and captured in Carnnoy region? Born Braintree, son of Tailor's Cutter, family moved according to fathers work. 1901 family lived Bishops Stortford. Mother, Ellen, from Bocking. Assistant Grocer.

"I gave my life for my God, King and Country."

Southend-on-Sea WW1 Memorial in Prittlewell Priory

Harvey A. Private Arthur Harvey 14122. 11th Bn. Essex Regiment. 18th Bde. 6th Division. Died 16th March 1916. Age 26. Son of James & Eliza Harvey of Braintree. Resided Bocking. POTIJZE BURIAL GROUND CEMETERY Ypres. Bricklayers labourer as was his father. A brother Sydney & sisters Gerty & Rose. Lived north side of Coggeshall Road, four houses from Geo L. Smoothy. Mother had ten children four of whom died by 1911.

Miss R.Harvey, I, Jubilee Cottage, Coggeshall Road, Braintree.

Harvey B.D. Private Benjamin David Harvey 49503. 11th Batt. Suffolk Regiment. Died 12th March 1919. Age 20. Son of Benjamin & Annie Harvey, 20 Channelsea Road, Burford Road, Stratford, London. Les Baraques Military Cemetery, Sangatte. Benjamin's father came from Braintree, married Annie Cotter in West Ham, June 1898, Ben arrived Sept 1899. Died 1919 along with many others, flu perhaps?

"Rest in Peace."

Hickman F. Rifleman FRANCIS HICKMAN 6727. 1st/9th Bn., London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles) 169th Bde 56th (London) Division. ex-3474 Essex Regiment. Died age 21 on 9th October 1916. Son of Mrs. Emily Hickman, of Bocking Church St., Braintree, Essex. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL. Francis was born Bocking the son of a silk crimper. In 1901 he had sisters Kate, Edith & Minnie. According to number possibly joined August 1916? In 1911 still lived Church Street, Bocking. Gardener.

Somme. “The next phase of operations was on the Le Transloy Ridge, near Les Boeufs in October. By the close of operations conditions were truly awful;" “… constant rain turned the mass of hastily dug trenches for which we were fighting into channels of deep mud. The country roads, broken by constant shell craters… rapidly became impassable, making the supply of food, stores and ammunition a serious problem." 56th Division

Hicks M.F. Private Maurice Frank HICKS 49783, 1st Bn., Norfolk Regiment. transf. to (631873) 116th Coy., Labour Corps. Died age 22 on 27th October 1918 Son of Mrs Mary Hicks, of 7, Coronation Avenue, Braintree, Essex. LES BARAQUES MILITARY CEMETERY, SANGATTE. Died of influenza 27th October 1918. Born Braintree, son of a Boot Maker, living Black Notley 1911. "Till we meet again."

116 coy was a POW coy according to CWGC Grave registration report. Transfer to Labour Coy usual amongst men no longer fit for front line.  According to CWGC Hicks was with the Norfolks, according to UK Soldiers he had been with the Cambridge Regiment. He was 11 on 1911 Census but 22 when died?  It is possible he lied about his age when enlisting.

Hodson E.A. Private Earnest Albert Hodson 48408. 2nd Batt. Rifle Brigade, (The Prince Consorts Own). Posted to 1/28th Bn. London Regiment (Artists Rifles). Ex-Essex regiment 28725. Signaller? Died 27th September 1918. Lived Braintree. VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL. Born Braintree,one of 14 children, three dead by 1911, a silk weaver like his father and one brother all worked at Warners. Lived at 57 Victoria Street in 1911.

This Memorial bears the names of over 9,000 men who fell in the period from 8 August 1918 to the date of the Armistice in the Advance to Victory in Picardy and Artois, between the Somme and Loos, and who have no known grave.

Holt H.A. Lance Serjeant Harold Ainsworth Holt. 1683. DCM. MM. 6th Field Amb Royal Army Medical Corps. 13th March 1917 Age 28. Son of Arthur and Hannah Holt, of Skerton, Lancaster; husband of Winifred May Pawson (formerly Holt), of 39, William Cook Rd., Ward End, Birmingham. DERNANCOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION. Died of wounds. 1911 Draughtsman at railway carriage works, Birmingham, his father Blacksmith at same works. Entered the war 20th August 1914.

H.A.Holt enlisted in 1908 and served three years before joining the reserve. Married Winifred May Barton 1914 in Birmingham. Called up 1914 and awarded the Military Medal June 2nd 1916 for his work as a dispatch rider. Received the Distinguished Conduct Medal 27th July 1916 for "Conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in collecting wounded under very heavy shell fire. His bravery and good work cannot be overestimated." In March 1917 he was hit at the regimental aid post while getting his men under cover from enemy shellfire. Operation failed to save him as he died next day. Was to be offered a commission at next opening. British Gazette

"Late of Braintree, died of wounds received on March 9th, was a draughtsman at Messr's Lake & Elliott, and was a member of the Braintree Cricket Club. He joined up as a reservist just after he was married. For some years he was a teacher in Braintree Church Sunday School. He possessed the Military Medal for gallant services in the field." (Essex Chron 30th March 1917)

Howard S. Private Sidney Howard 12486. 9th Bn. Essex Regiment. 35th Bde. 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 19th October 1915 Age 18. Son of Herbert James & Frances Maria Howard, 99 South Street, Braintree. LOOS MEMORIAL. In 1901 the family lived in Woodfield Road & Sidney had four brothers & three sisters. His father worked as foreman in Press Room of Boot Factory 1901 and as a Boot maker dealer 1911, Sidney also worked at this employment. Lived 32 Fambridge Road, Maldon 1911. Enlistment age was 19, Sidney died when 18! Typical of so many young men who volunteered for the Kitchener Battalions. Landed in France 30th May 1915.

Battle of Loos. The Division moved towards the Loos front. It arrived on 29 September and relieved outgoing units in the Gun Trench - Hulluch Quarries sector on the night of 30 September - 1 October. The Division commenced consolidating the position, under heavy artillery fire. The Officer Commanding, Major-General Frederick Wing CB, was killed in action on 2 October 1915. His ADC, Lieutenant Christopher Tower DSO, was killed by the same shell. On 8 October, the Division repelled a heavy German infantry attack. Five days later the Division took part in a large scale action to renew the offensive, now called the "Action of the Hohenzollern Redoubt." The Division succeeded in capturing Gun Trench and the south western face of the Hulluch Quarries. During this period at Loos, 117 officers and 3237 men were killed or wounded. The Long, Long Trail 12th Div.

Humphryes J.A. John Alexander Humphryes. Stoker 1st Class. RN. K/9178. ‘HMS HEBE.’ Died 18th January 1917. Age 25. BRAINTREE & BOCKING (BRAINTREE) CEMETERY. John Alexander Humphreys, born Walworth, London, 5th Aug 1891. Son of John & Harriet Humphryes, 22 Woodfield Road, Braintree. In 1891 the family lived at 11 South Street and father John was a 'Bass Dresser.' John died from appendicitis and septicaemia on 18th January 1917 apparently in Edinburgh while stationed aboard HMS "Hebe." 

Braintree Baptist Church Memorial.   

"In silence we remember him."

‘HMS HEBE,’ ‘Alarm’ Class Torpedo Gunboat, Became a depot ship for submarines in 1910 (guns retained). Record on Naval History reads "HUMPHRYES, John A, Stoker 1c, K 9178 (Ch), HMS Dolphin, 18 January 1917, illness." Dolphin was the submarine school & depot ship for 2nd Flotilla based at Gosport.                  'Humphryes' is the correct spelling.

Hunnable C. Private Charles Haddon Hunnable 442689. 29th Batt. Canadian Infantry. Died 14th September 1916. Age 22. Son of Walter & Emily Hunnable, Penticton, British Columbia, Canada. Puchevillers British Cemetery. Born Braintree. Died of wounds. The family lived in Romford in 1901 and emigrated to Canada. Family returned to Mount Road Braintree and Claude built the houses with Canadian names in Clare Road, Maple, Penticton etc. Braintree Baptist Church Memorial. Regiment in trenches in front of Poziers at this date.

Johnson R.D. Major Richard Digby Johnson. 3rd Bn. Attd 2nd Bn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Who died 24th May 1915. Age 38. Born York 1876. Younger son of the late Mr Edward Mayson Johnson & Mrs Emma Jane Johnson, 28 St Mary’s, York; husband of Claudine Trower Johnson, Camoys, Braintree. Served in the South Africa campaign. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL. Mentioned in despatches. York roll of honour. Commemorated in the Kings Book. Educated York and a Freeman of the City. While in Braintree Honorary Secretary of Braintree Golf Club. Married 21st Sept 1904, two children. Wounded 25th April 1915 home for ten days sick leave then back to Ypres front on the 10th May. Killed in Action on 24th May.

Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge: 24 and 25 May 1915. The Germans held this ridge giving clear view of British lines. Therefore a serious attempt was made to take this ridge. Severe fighting and out of around 668 men the Dubliners took about 647 casualties. Numbers to be checked. Both Major Johnson and his Lt-Colonel. His uniform is at the National Army Museum.

“…Major Johnson was attached to Naas Depot for some years. Reported wounded in Kildare Observer of 8 May 1915. Died age 38 on 24/05/1915. Mentioned in Despatches. Major R. Digby Johnson, whose death was learned of in Naas with the greatest regret, was for a considerable period attached to the R.D.F. Depot in this town, where he was highly popular.”
Dublin Fusiliers


Joscelyne E.C. Private EDWARD CLIFFORD JOSCELYNE 47607. 16th Labour Coy., The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment). Died 24th March 1917 Age 38. HAZEBROUCK COMMUNAL CEMETERY.  Born Braintree 1879. Married Suzanne 1909 in Tavistock, in 1911 had one child, Norman Clifford and lived at 9, Woodfield Road, Braintree.  He managed the furniture warehouse.  Rejected originally as unfit for service when conscripted, later called up and passed as fit for service in 1917, sent to France in a bitter winter where he died within a month from Flu. A Pacifist by choice. 

"Of Braintree, Essex."

Edward, youngest son of Henry, was married to Suzanne Granville Rickard and left two sons, Norman Clifford & Gordon Rickard. "Edward, drafted into the army, died from Influenza in France after 26 days service." (Essex Chron 30th Mar.17.) Braintree Congregational Church Memorial. 

His relative Clement Percy Joscelyne of Bishops Stortford returned from Argentina to enlist and died of wounds on 10th Oct.1917

Joslin A. Private ALFRED JOSLIN 238045. 1st/4th Bn. Suffolk Regiment. 98th Brigade. 33rd Division.  Died age 22. 16th January 1918Son of Charles Belle Joslin and Emily Joslin, of 11, Church St., Braintree; husband of Edith Kate Joslin, of 32, Martin's Yard, Braintree, Essex. (Demolished) Born Cressing 1895,TYNE COT CEMETERY.  Signed attestation paper to join 5th Essex Regiment 10621, 14th Aug 1914 while living in Cressing and working as labourer. Married Edith K. Richardson at St Michael's on 20th Nov 1917, and left one son, killed in action two months later.  

Tyne Cot Cemetery

Juniper Frederick. J. Private Frederick J. Juniper 7920. Prince of Wales Volunteers.  2nd Batt. Lancashire Regiment. 7th Bde, 3rd Division.  Died 24th October 1914. Le Touret Memorial. Born Bocking 1882, father a butcher.  Had four sisters and three brothers according to 1901 census, and was a Hand in a preserving Factory while father a farm labourer. Bocking Congregational Church Memorial.  Not on 1911 census, possibly already in army? Regiment landed in France with 3rd Division on 14th August 1914 and fought at Mons, the retreat, Marne etc.  Recorded as 'Presumed Dead 24th Oct 14,' possibly near Armentiers.

Kellick Thomas. Shoeing Smith Corporal Thomas Kellick 759098th Div. Ammunition Col., Royal Field Artillery. Died age 22 on 31 July 1917. Brother of Julia Holmes, of Rose Cottages, Coggeshall Rd.Braintree.    BRANDHOEK NEW MILITARY CEMETERY. 31st July 17 first day of the Battle of Pilkem Ridge, the beginning of the battle called Passchendaele. First use of this cemetery also. Brought up as adopted son in Bradwell, by 1911 a blacksmith's apprentice. 

"Far from those he loved so well
  but in a hero's grave he lies."

Holy Trinity Bradwell-juxta-Coggeshall

Key H. F. Rifleman Harold Frank Key. S/27456. 13th Batt. The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consorts Own). 111th Brigade, 37th Division. Died 12th September 1918. Vis-en-Artois Memorial. Born 1896 in Bocking. Enlisted February 1916, aged 20.  Resident 'Kings Corner,' Bocking 1901, father Albert then a crepe crimper.  In 1911 at same address with sister Hilda and mechanic brothers Fred & Edward, mother Annie a widow. Harold himself was a clerk at silk manufacturers where his brothers & sister worked.  Served 204 days in France, wounded in leg, G.S.W.  Later killed in action September 1918.                               

"News has been received that Rifleman Harold Frank Key, youngest son of the late Albert W. Key and of Mrs Key, Kings Corner, Bocking, was killed in action, in France, on September 12th." (Essex Chron 11th Oct 1918)

King R.W. Private Reginald William KING 16133. 10th Bn. Essex Regiment. 53rd Brigade. 18th (Eastern) Div. Died 31st December 1915. BECOURT MILITARY CEMETERY, BECORDEL-BECOURT. Born St Giles, London. On 1901 census he lived with aunt & uncle, a Miller, living in a house next to the 'Dial Inn,' (Now called Dyal House). Landed in France 25th July 1915.

"Reginald W. 10th Essex, aged 18, killed in action 1st Jan 1916. From Mr & Mrs Jackson, Bradford Street, Bocking." (In Memorium, Essex Chron 3rd Jan 19) Somme. A part of Kitchener's K2 Army they were sent to France on 26th July 1915 as part of the 18th Division with who they remained throughout the War gaining a fearsome reputation as a fighting unit within a famous fighting Division. Christmas 1915 was spent in the Line at La Boiselle on the Somme - a 'quiet' sector where they could learn their trade. Learn it they did. On a visit to the Front Line Maj Gen F.J.Maxse spoke to some of the men here and gave his theories of warfare "If every man in the BEF shot four Huns we could all go home". One Pte Halsey piped up "I've shot seven - can I go home now?" Maxse's reply was not noted but Halsey was appointed L/Cpl. A bit of cheek from the Battalions best sniper!

Lanham A.J. Private Alfred James LANHAM (8105) 329346. 1st/1st Bn., Cambridgeshire Regiment. 118th Bde, 39th Division. ex-Essex Regiment 4552. Died 5th May 1917. VLAMERTINGHE MILITARY CEMETERY, Ypres. Born Braintree 1892. Father general labourer, lived Dove House Yard 1901, 105 South Street 1911. Shared house with other family and several boarders. Buried behind the lines, possibly died of wounds. Cousin of Percy Claude Lanham below.

Lanham P.C. Driver PERCY CLAUDE LANHAM T4/142723. 334th Horse Transport Coy., Army Service Corps. 4th Army. Died age 21 on 19th May 1918. Son of Charles and Emma Lanham, of 29, Notley Rd, Braintree,Essex. LONGUENESSE (ST. OMER) SOUVENIR CEMETERY. Born Braintree 28th September 1896 eldest son of a foreman builder. At the time of the 1901 census the family lived 30 Park Lane, Hornchurch. Father a foreman bricklayer. Brother Leonard born and died 1901, brother Harold and sister Ethel. Parents from Felsted. 1911 saw Percy lodge with his uncle and aunt, the Hunnables, at Ambleside, 159 South Street while learning carpentry. The rest of the family lived in Notley Road. Percy's sister and parents passed on by 1923. Percy himself died of wounds.

"Thy will be done.'

A third Lanham lived in the area, he had been a sergeant during the war and had suffered a serious disablement.  No more info.

Last. H.J. Private HENRY JAMES LAST. 10875. 1st Bn. Essex Regiment. 88th Bde. 29th Division. Died age 19, 6th August 1915. Son of Mr.and Mrs. G.S.Last, of 15 Martin's Yard, Braintree, Essex. (Demolished)  HELLES MEMORIAL. Entered Balkans (Gallipoli) 20th July 1915. Presumed dead 6th Aug 1915 at Suvla Bay when 241 1st Essex men fell. Henry (Harry) was the son of a house painter. In 1901 he had brothers Albert & Edward plus sister Ellen. During 1911, 16 year old Henry worked as a mat maker. 

Gallipoli....on the evening of 6th August 1915 during diversionary attacks on the Ottaman trenches at the top of Suvla Bay. The attacks were intended to cover the beginning of an August offensive when more troops, including the 54th Division, were to be landed at Suvla bay. The attacks resulted in heavy losses for the Essex Regiment with 241 men killed on 6th August 1915. Felsted Remembers Possible death during attack on Turkish lines between Krithia Nullah & Gully Ravine. Turkish artillery replied to Allied bombardment, hitting British trenches. Attack reached but could not hold Turkish line. Repelled by strong counter attacks leaving around 2000 casualties. Death may also have occurred at any time via stray shells or bullets.
Gallipoli Association

Last W.H. Private Herbert William Last 12064. 9th Bn Essex Regiment. 35th Bde. 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 18th December 1915. Age 21. Son of Ellen Adkins (formerly Last), 27 Martin’s Yard, Braintree, and the late James Last.  Entered France 30th May 1915, died of wounds 18th Dec 1915.  BETHUNE TOWN CEMETERY. Loos. William born Jun 1891, so would be 24. Possibly fighting around Loos.

"In loving memory of my youngest son, Mother."

Laver B. Private Bertie Laver F/2914. 17th Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own). Attd. Royal Engineers. Died 19th December 1916. Born Alton, Hants. Lived Braintree. Father of three children, Bert, Gladys & Stanley. Lived at 4 Sandpit Road. ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY. Wounded by gas possibly near Hummbercamps while with a work party on the 12th and died of wounds in an Etaples Hospital on 19th Dec.

Lawrence E. Private Ernest Lawrence. 19406. 11th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. 4th May 1917. Bocking. ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY. Born Bocking, son of labourer. Pre-war worked in Silk Factory. Note 1911 Census for Stebbing shows Ernest Lawrence, age 18, occupation, Hand, Mat Factory                        

Felsted Remembers

Died of wounds.

Able Seaman. R/4416. 8th (Anson) Bn. R.N. 188th Bde. 63th Div., Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Died age 20, 25th December 1917. Son of Mr.and Mrs.H Layzell, of Braintree, Essex. FIFTEEN RAVINE BRITISH CEMETERY, VILLERS-PLOUICH. Alfred John was placed on the army reserve in December 1915. In June 1917 he entered the ranks and was drafted for the B.E.F in October that year. He joined the Anson Bn on 21st November 1917 and was killed in action on Christmas Day 1917. 

"He gave his all. Rest in peace." (From H.H.T.Bibby, 96 Coggeshall Rd, Braintree.)

"Mrs F Layzell, Coggeshall Road, Braintree, has been informed that her son Alfred Layzell, RDD, was shot by a sniper on Christmas Day. He was 20 years of age and formerly worked as a fitter at Messr's Crittall's Steel Furniture Works, Braintree." (Essex Chron 25th Jan 18) Not on Crittall's Roll of Honour.

Braintree Baptist Church Memorial.

Lockwood, Robert Private. 32152 10th Bn. Hampshire Regiment 82nd Brigade in 27th Division. Monday, September 2, 1918 Age 37. KARASOULI MILITARY CEMETERY.  Son of Thomas and Susannah Lockwood, husband of Edith Lydia Lockwood, of 43, New Street, Braintree, Essex. Native of Shimpling, Scole, Norfolk.

Died of wounds.

Effects £8/3/2d. War Gratuity £9/10/- and 1/2d. Paid to Edith L.

(Not on Memorial)

Lufkin F.J. Private Francis John Lufkin 2344. 3rd/1st East Anglian Field Ambulance. RAMC. Died 13th August 1915 age 20.Aegean Sea. Son of Mr F.C. & Mrs A.M. Lufkin, 14 East Street,Braintree. (Demolished). Helles Memorial. Born Braintree, son of a house painter. In 1901 family lived at 173 Manor Street, next door bar one to the 'Digby's. Clerk at Courtauld's, Halstead, taught at Braintree Congregational Church Sunday School. Francis John had only entered the war on the 11th of August and the Royal Edward was sunk on the 13th.

"The RMS Royal Edward was sunk along with 2500 mostly RAMC men heading for Gallipoli by U-14 shortly after a lifeboat drill had been carried out. Most were below decks resorting their equipment and this may have increased the loss of life. The ship sank in six minutes."
Gallipoli Assoc

Malyn R. Serjeant REGINALD MALYN 3841. 1st Bn. Honourable Artillery Company. 190 Bde. 63rd (Royal Naval) Division. Died age 21 on 18th April 1917. Son of Thomas and Margaret Mary Malyn, of Bleak House, Braintree, Essex. ARRAS MEMORIAL. Father, Thomas, Headmaster at Braintree Church School, New Street. Attended Old High School & Colchester Grammar for two years. Excelled at games won 'Victor Ludorum' Cup in 1913. Joined Barclay's Bank Colchester. Elder brother David served with ASC in Egypt. (Essex Chron 17th Sep 15) After one year in the field Reginald was promoted to lance corporal on 26th October 1916. By the 4th of January he was a full sergeant.

Marshall A. Not found. Thought to be brother of Harry (below) but not proven.

Marshall H. Lance Corporal Harry Marshall 12610. 'D' Coy. 9th Essex Regiment.35th Bde 12th (Easter) Division. Died 13th July 1915. Born Wethersfield. Calvaire (Essex) Military Cemetery.  Entered war 30th May 1915. Brother George Killed Gallipoli, see above. 1901 and 1911 lived High Garret Road, Bocking.

Killed by rifle bullet while repairing entanglements. Plogestreert (Battalion Diary)

"News received of the death of L/pl Harry Marshall 24, son of George Marshall of Bradford Street. He was recruited at Braintree last September and joined the 9th Essex. (A letter from Cpl Yates 'D' Coy) Harry was killed while out repairing the barbed wire." (Essex Chron 23rd July 1915)


Mayn F.A. Lance Corporal FREDERICK ARTHUR MAYN. 12168. 9th Bn., Essex Regiment. 35th Bde. 12th (Eastern) Division.
Died age 17 on 17th October 1915, Hulluch. Son of Albert Edward Ager Mayn and Louisa Mayn, of 17, New St., Braintree, Essex. LOOS MEMORIAL. One of ten children his father was a baker in 1911 living at 24 New Street. Went to France with the 9th 30th May 1915.

Father Albert Edward had the Bakers Shop at 17 New Street. (Kelly's '26) Possibly killed during, "Action of the Hohenzollern Redoubt."  The Division succeeded in capturing Gun Trench and the south western face of the Hulluch Quarries.
12th Eastern Division. LLT

Mayn L.G.A. Private Leslie George Alfred MAYN 78182. 9th Bn., Royal Fusiliers 36th Bde. 12th (Eastern) Division.
Died on 22nd August 1918 MEAULTE MILITARY CEMETERY. Born Braintree 1899, son of George Jackson & Rosanna Mayn, father a painter & glazier. In 1901 he had two sisters & the family were living in Wilson's Terrace. In 1911 he lived with his parents and four sisters possibly at 19, Mount Road.

"Their glory shall not be blotted out." (Mrs R Mayn 19 Mount Rd.)

“…the 12th Division were a bit further west on 22-8-1918 - they were pushing forward across the Albert-Meaulte-Bray Road just south of Meaulte. The 9th Royal Fusiliers in fact gained 2,500 yards that day (the extent of their advance being the Meaulte-Bray road) - an almost unprecedented advance for the war.... The battalion advance ceased only when another British battalion took over the advance…”

McLean A. Gunner Archie McLean 45271. 19th Bty. Royal Field Artillery. Died 20th Feb 1915. Neuve Chapelle. Le Touret Military Cemetery, Richebourg-l'Avoue. Born Wolverhampton, Aged about 26. In 1901 family lived in Chapel Hill. Father, John, was foreman at Boot Factory and at age 13 Archie was an errand boy. It appears Archie was killed during the preparations for the first 'Big Push' by the British at Neuve Chapelle. Awarded British War and Victory medals but no record of 1915 Star being awarded.

Mead A.E. Private Edward Arthur MEAD 19102.1st Bn. Essex Regiment, 112th Bde, 37th Division. Died 8th October 1918. NAVES COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION. Entered war 26th September 1915. 1st Battalion served in most major battles. Edward saw action in Gallipoli before the regiment transferred to the Western Front. Born Finchingfield, father worked horses on farm. Finchingfield 1911 census. In all he had seven sisters and two brothers.

"Mr & Mrs Walter Mead, Coggeshall Road, Braintree, have received official information that their eldest son Pte.E.A. Mead, 1st Essex Regt, was killed in action on 6th October." (Essex Chron 1st Nov 18) 

Private Joseph Mixter 34694 Grave @Liz Shea.

Mixter J. Private Joseph Mixter 34694. 11th Bn. Essex Regiment. 18th Brigade. 6th Division. Died 22 April 1917 aged 22. LOOS MEMORIAL. Born Braintree 1895. Joseph was the son off Joseph & Julia Carter (nee Cornell). This was Josephs second wife, the first Emma,dying in 1877. His father was a Rope maker who had twelve children, all but one surviving in 1911. Joseph was a matt maker in 1911 while living with family in Sunnyside, previously they had lived in Martin's Yard. Brothers Kenneth and Percy also served in the Essex Regiment with Percy being wounded and awarded a Silver War Badge and discharged.

Loos After the success of the attack on Vimy Ridge the Germans at Loos began to pull back a short distance. British forces followed up taking trenches so quickly after evacuation some candles were still burning. Soon the enemy decided to hold Hill 70 and resistance stiffened. On the 22nd the 11th Essex & 14th DLI attacked. The 14th successfully, the 11th failed losing heavily 61 men being lost. Great War Forum

Moore A. Private Arthur Moore 12155, 9th Battalion Essex Regiment. 35th Bde. 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 3rd July 1916, age: 20. Son of Thomas and Emma Moore. Born Bocking 1891. Thiepval Memorial, Somme. Gardener by trade as father, lived Bocking Church Street with sister Ethel and brothers Charles and Thomas.

9th Battalion based south of Serre suffering many casualties.

Moore C.F. Private MOORE, CHARLES FREDERICK, 7713. 3rd Battalion. Middlesex Regt. 85th Brigade in 28th Division. Died 30th May 1915 aged 18. Son of David Yarham Moore, of 56, Cressing Rd. Braintree, Essex. Born Chelmsford 1896. Father a police officer. BAILLEUL COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, NORD. Died of wounds, most likely received at St Jean during the second battle of Ypres.  Early in army, lied about his age perhaps?

"Gone but not forgotten."

Mott F.A.G. Private Fred Alfred George Mott 30647. 11th Bn. Essex Regiment. 18th Brigade. 6th Division. Died 22nd March 1918. Lived Bocking. VAULX HILL CEMETERY. Born Mile End 1898, christened St Mary's, Bocking 30th June 1898. Eldest of nine children. Father a Cocoa Mat maker.  Heavy fighting against overwhelming odds. 

"Their glory shall not be blotted out."                                                   

With only three battalions in a brigade, there was no option but to assign one battalion in each brigade to the defence of the outpost zones, and keep two battalions in depth in the battle zone. With battalions at just over half-strength, and with the undulating nature of the ground, the defence resolved itself everywhere into a succession of posts with a very limited field of fire. A good corps line called the Vaux-Morchies Line had been dug. The 18th Infantry Brigade held on till 7 p.m. when, in trying to withdraw, it suffered heavy casualties. The last company was not overwhelmed till 8.30 p.m. The 18th and 71st infantry Brigades, therefore, maintained their hold on the ground Lagnicourt and the Morchies Valley ail day, though the enemy had penetrated far in rear on both flanks. When darkness fell the remnants of the Division were back in the corps line.” “A SHORT HISTORY OF THE SIXTH DIVISIONMAJOR-GEN. T. O. MARDEN via Internet Archive Project Gutenberg 

Mynard J. W. Private Joseph William Mynard G/87737. 1st/9th Bn. Middlesex Regiment. 53rd Bde. 18th Indian Division. Died 25th October 1918. age 23. Son of Joseph & Hephzibah Myanard, Woodlands Cottage, Rayne Road, Braintree. BAGHDAD (NORTH GATE) WAR CEMETERY. Died from pneumonia. Turkey Armistice 1st Oct 1918. Born Maldon. In 1901 family lived 23 Cromwell Lane, Maldon Joseph had two elder sisters, Emily & Hephzibah & two younger brothers Ernest & Arthur. 1911 still at Cromwell Lane assisting father.

 "He was one of the very best."

Nash. A.E.  Alfred Ernest Nash Private 2nd Class. 287110. 13th Balloon Coy. Royal Air Force. 5 Balloon Wing.  Died 24th October 1918 Age 43.  Husband of Jessie Florence Nash, 128 South Street , Braintree. Native of Braintree. ST SEVER CEMETERY EXTENTION, ROUEN. Died of wounds. Seven men wounded on 6th October 1918, could this be the incident?  Rouen a famous hospital base. Born Braintree, son of Maltsters Man. A Bricklayer, married at St Michael's 1907, age 29. Left a wife and at least one child, Cyril. "Gone but not forgotten."

No13 Balloon Company comprised Nos 3 and 29 Kite Balloon Sections. As part of No 5 Balloon Wing it was in the RAF's 5th BrigadeArmy's XI Corps  Great War Forum   

Newman E. L/Corporal Ernest Newman G/29708, 16th Battalion. Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment.  Born Sudbury and resident Braintree. Died 19th August 1917, age 35. Tyne Cot Memorial. The 1911 census has a 29 year old “Earnest” Newman, born Sudbury and currently a boarder at Bradford Street, Bocking. He was single and working as a Miller.  Requires Confirmation!

Newman W.J. William John Newman, 4794.  2/7th Essex Regiment. Enlisted Braintree. Died 26th April 1916 in England, buried Tiptree United Reformed Chapel. W. Newman on Tiptree Memorial. Born Tollshunt Knights and lived Tiptree. William Newman only on Census. 1901 father horseman on farm, one older sister. 1911 labourer on farm, boarder with Chapmans. 2/7th Essex were a Home Defence unit.

It would appear this man died from either disease or accident.


North H.B. Private Harry Barrington North 1627. 1st/5th Bn. Essex Regiment. Attchd 2/4th Royal Berks. Died 11th June 1916. Age 18. RUE-DU-BACQUEROT (13th LONDON) GRAVEYARD, LAVENTIE. Born Braintree, son of an engineer at Iron Works. In 1901 had a sister Queenie. 1911 family lived 115 Rayne Road Bocking, Harry an iron fitter at Crittall's. Laventie south east of Armentieres.

Oliver P.F.  Percy Frederick Oliver M/7341. Armourer.  HMS “Hogue” Royal Navy. Died 22nd September 1914, age 26. Son of Frederick A. & Bertha Mary Oliver, 52, Albert Road, Braintree (Demolished) CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL. Born Bocking, father a Milkman. 1911 Percy was a lathe worker, probably at Crittall's. Brothers Bert, Stanley and sister Edith.

HMS “Hogue” was on patrol in the North Sea alongside HMS “Aboukir” and HMS “Cressy.” Failing to zig-zag as required under the mistaken belief no U-Boats were in the area, all three were sunk by German U-9 commanded by Otto Weddigen. Over 1400 men lost their lives in less than two hours.

               HMS Hogue  

Ollett A.O. Second Lieutenant Alfred OSCAR OLLETT. 13th Bn. Essex Regiment. 6th Bde. 2nd Division. (West Ham Pals) Died age 21 on 27th April 1916. Son of Oscar Joseph and Laura Louisa Ollett, of High Garrett, Bocking, Braintree, Essex. BULLY-GRENAY COMMUNAL CEMETERY, FRENCH EXTENSION. Killed by sniper, first officer of the 13th battalion to be killed. 'West Ham Pals' 13th Battalion Essex Regiment Born Bocking 1894, Brewery Clerk. Father Brewer manager and Alfred Brewers clerk. Father owned Post Office & Grocers at High Garrett. Parents left a memorial in St Mary's Church. 1901 three sisters Ida, Alice & Olive. 1911 brother Edward has joined family.

"Faithful son, beloved by all. Great is your reward in heaven."

Overall P.W. Private PERCY WALTER OVERALL 27341. 12th Bn. Essex Regiment (Reserve Battalion based Harwich). Died age 25 on 8th April 1916. Husband of Edith Overall, of 68, Manor St. Braintree, Essex. DOVERCOURT (ALL SAINTS) CHURCHYARD. Born Black Notley 1
890 son of a groom at 'Oaklands' Black Notley. Brother John, sisters Hilda & Flora. Father a coachman and groom, Percy became chauffeur at Oaklands. Married 1914 had one son Arthur Percy, who was awarded the DFM but killed in action 1941.

Died of illness.

Palmer H.A. Private HERBERT ARTHUR PALMER 14112. 2nd Bn. Essex Regiment. 12th Brigade, 4th Division. Died age 24. 9th August 1917. Son of Arthur George and Sarah Ann Palmer, of Ley Villa, (126?) Cressing Rd., Braintree, Essex. ARRAS MEMORIAL. Born Braintree, son of Pattern maker. Worked as shearing machine attendant, Crittall's. Entered war 30th August 1915, presumed dead 9th August 1917.

Arras "Thu., Aug 9, 1917 FRONT LINE, FRANCE 180 men of the Battln plus 30 men of the 2nd Duke of Wellingtons took part in a raid on the enemy's front line in conjunction with a large raid made by the 12th Division on our right. The object of the raid was, to capture or kill as many of the enemy as possible. and to obtain identifications. The objectives were two portions of the German front line. Zero hour was 7-45 pm, at Zero - 4 minutes the raiding party crawled out on to the ridge in front of our line, at Zero hour they advanced towards the enemys lines under a creeping barrage which was not very intense. The party soon came under very heavy machine gun fire and in some places the enemy came out of his trenches to meet them and formed a bomb barrage, what remained of the raiding party then had to retire." Courtesy of Michael's transcription of the war diary. The Burrows history records 83 casualties in this raid. Great War Forum

Parker R.T. Corporal Robert T. PARKER T/206608. 2nd/4th Bn. The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) 101st Bde. 34th Division. Died on 29th July 1918. Son of Mr. R. W. Parker, of 6, King's Corner, Bocking, Braintree, Essex.(Unknown) RAPERIE BRITISH CEMETERY, VILLEMONTOIRE. Born Bocking, son of an Iron Turner. In 1901 he was eldest of four children, the others being Nina, Eva & George. Entered war with the 'Queens' on 17th July 1915 in the Balkans (Gallipoli).

Parmenter R.T. Lance Corporal Reginald Thomas Parmenter, 22818. Signal Depot (Fenny Stratford), Royal Engineers. Died 27th May 1916 age 22. Son of Thomas & Roseamond Ellen Parmenter, Church Street, Bocking. City of London Cemetery, Manor Park. Born Bocking 1894.  Son of a Crape Dryer. Worked as mechanic in Silk Factory. Two younger sisters, Ivy & Alice, older sister Constance.

Died of illness.

Parsley T. Private Thomas PARSLEY 12728. 2nd Bn., Essex Regiment. 12th Brigade, 4th Division. Died on 23rd October 1916. Son of George and Rose Parsley, Bridge End Place, Church Street, Bocking. CATERPILLAR VALLEY CEMETERY, LONGUEVAL. 4th Division's final Somme Battle of 1916, Battle of Le Transloy.  Born Panfield, Mat maker, son of Engine Driver. In 1901 when living in Church Street, Bocking, he had one brother & five sisters. Entered war 27th July 1915, presumed dead 23rd Oct 1916. Re-interred October 1920. 

Rivenhall War memorial.

Perry F.D. Lance Corporal Frank Davey Perry 2164. 3rd Bn 1st Inf Bgde. Australian Infantry AIF. Died between 7th & 12th August 1915. age 21 Son of James & Rosa Perry, Highfields, Bocking. Believed to be buried in LONE PINE CEMETERY,ANZAC. Born Braintree, resided Richmond, New South Wales, Australia, assistant chemist in England and Fettler in NSW.  1901 Father a farmer, one sister two brothers. 1911 one more brother and sister added to family.                                                                                                     

"Corporal Frank Perry, son of James Perry of Highfields Stile Farm, Bocking, has been wounded in the thigh, by shrapnel, whilst in the Dardinelles (sic). Cpl Perry is serving with the 3rd Battalion of the Australian Expeditionary Force.  He was formerly a pupil at the Braintree High School and had been in Australia several years when the war broke out."  (Essex Chron 25th June 15) "Frank died in August and was the first of the 'old boys' to fall. Before going to Australia was employed in the chemists department of Courtauld's Silk Mill."  (Essex Chron 3rd Sept 1917 (?1915?))  Lone Pine "For three days, from the evening of 6 August until the night of 9 August 1915, the Turkish trenches at Lone Pine were the scene of some of the most desperate fighting at Gallipoli.  When it was all over 2000 Australians and 6000 Turks had been killed or wounded.    Gallipoli and the Anzacs There is a Private Memorial   in St Mary's Church, Bocking to Frank Perry.

Pickering F.W. Second Lieutenant Frank W. Pickering, 287th Siege Bty. Royal garrison Artillery. Died 20th September 1917. Pojitze Chateau Lawn Cemetery. Frank, the only son of a teacher, was born in Hull, December 1891. In 1901 they lived Sculcoates, Yorkshire and at that time Frank had younger sister, Winifred. Prior to war worked as chemist at Crittall's Manufacturing Co, and was a patrol leader with the Braintree Boy Scouts.

Died of wounds.

Pilgrem J.G. John George Pilgrem Petty Officer Carpenter's CrewM/8585, Royal Navy, HMS "Princess Irene" Died 27th May 1915. Portsmouth Naval Memorial. 1911 lived 17 Albert Road Braintree, father a carpenter, John George also followed this line of work. Parents Frank George and Esther Pilgrem, two brothers also.

HMS "Princess Irene" was requisitioned by the Navy for use as an auxiliary Minelayer.  In May 1915 she was moored of Kent while loading mines for deployment.  At 11:14 in the morning the ship exploded throwing shrapnel up to twenty miles away.  Smoke rose 300 feet or more into the air and many were killed and injured by flying debris.  The ships crew of 273, plus 76 dockyard workers were killed.  An inquest discovered mines were being primed hurriedly by inexperienced men. She remains a hazard for shipping today. ('Pilgrim' on Memorial) Petty Officer?

Playle C. Private CHARLES PLAYLE 312463. 9th Bn., Essex Regiment, 35th Bde (12th Eastern) Division. Died age 19 on 19th October 1915. Son of Charles and Jane Playle, of Chapel Hill, Braintree, Essex. SAILLY-LABOURSE COMMUNAL CEMETERY. Born Braintree 1897, the fourth of five sons of Charles, a Horse Keeper on Farm.  Lived Chapel Hill near the 'Oak Tavern.'  1911 four brothers and two sisters.

"Gone but not forgotten."                                                                                                    

The Battle of Loos.  The Division moved towards the Loos front. It arrived on 29 September and relieved outgoing units in the Gun Trench - Hulluch Quarries sector on the night of 30 September - 1 October. The Division commenced consolidating the position, under heavy artillery fire. The Officer Commanding, Major-General Frederick Wing CB, was killed in action on 2 October 1915. His ADC, Lieutenant Christopher Tower DSO, was killed by the same shell. On 8 October, the Division repelled a heavy German infantry attack. Five days later the Division took part in a large scale action to renew the offensive, now called the "Action of the Hohenzollern Redoubt". The Division succeeded in capturing Gun Trench and the south western face of the Hulluch Quarries. During this period at Loos, 117 officers and 3237 men were killed or wounded.

Playle C.C.
Private CECIL CLAUDE PLAYLE 32496, 13th Batt. Essex Reg, (West Ham Pals) 6th Bde. 2nd Division. Died on 28th April 1917, age 26. Born Bocking, lived Halstead. Son of Frederick and Sarah Playle, 7 Alice Cottage, Church Street, Bocking. ARRAS MEMORIAL. Born Dec 1892 Braintree, 1901 still living Church Street. Father a Silk Dyer, Mother & two sisters. Arras.  

Gone but not forgotten."

“….but April 1917 was the fighting at Oppy Wood, alongside the 17th Middlesex, during the battle of Arras. Specifically at 4:40 a.m. 28th April, when the 13th Essex were seriously smashed up, with over 245 killed and every officer wounded or killed.” 'West Ham Pals' 13th Essex Regiment  

Preeston P.S. Second Lieutenant PHILIP SOUTHWELL PREESTON. 1st Bty., Royal Field Artillery. Died age 34 on 28th March 1918. (Born 1883). Son of Percival Southwell Preeston & Caroline Maria Hartley Preeston. Born Braintree, Essex. CAYEUX MILITARY CEMETERY, Somme.   

Educated at Felsted School, Essex, January 1895 to December 1900 and became an articled clerk with Cunnington, Son and Orfeur, solicitors in Braintree. Qualified as a solicitor in 1906 and remained with the practice, living in 'The Clock House' in Braintree from 1913, the governors of Felsted School assisted him in getting a mortgage.  Commissioned 7th July 16 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Artillery and his duties involved assisting the Doctor touring liberated trenches identifying bodies.  All to often this meant attaching 'loose' limbs to bodies, a difficult and trying experience.  He was wounded in the arm by conventional shrapnel, returned home to convalesce returning once more in January 1918.  This time he served with a fighting unit.  During the German Spring Offensive the Battery suffered much from machine gun fire crossing the bridge at 'St Christ and Brie' over the Somme river.   He died on 28th March 1918 from wounds sustained the previous day.  No children. Deputy Coroner D.N. Essex. (Brother of R.S.Preeston below) 

Gunner Ralph Septimius Preeston

Preeston R.S. Gunner R.S. PREESTON 6890. "B" Bty., Royal Horse Artillery. Died on 29th March 1916 BRAINTREE AND BOCKING (BRAINTREE) CEMETERY. 

Educated at Felsted School, Essex, from May 1896 to September 1904 when he won a History Scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge. Ralph took up a business role in Malaya, then part of the British Empire, and had returned to Britain on home leave when war broke out. He enlisted in the Honourable Artillery Company who were sent to Egypt in April 1915.  Like many others of his class he did not seek a commission at the time and enlisted a s Gunner.  During one of the frequent sandstorms the men fitted protection to the horses before they took cover themselves.  Many men became ill because of the septic nature of the sand and Ralph Preeston was sent home with a severe chest infection.  No antibiotics then and sadly Gunner Preeston died in St Pancras Hospital on the 29th of March 1916.  He lies today in Braintree's London Road Cemetery.(Brother of P.S.Preeston) (Also served and survived a brother, Lt-Col Noel Percival Richard Preeston. DSO. R.F.A.1880-1937.)

Rankin F.H. Lance Corporal Frank Herbert Rankin 8916. 2nd Bn. Essex Regiment. 12th Bde. 4th Division. Died 26th August 1914. Age 25. Son of Herbert Harcort Rankin, Bocking Church Street, Bocking. ESNES COMMUNAL CEMETERY. Regular soldier. Germans buried 112 Essex and South Lancs men after the battle. Rankin identified by portion of his pay book. Entered war 12th August 1914. Born Bocking, March 1889, son of a Silk Worker. In 1901 there were five children, four sons and one daughter, by 1911 two children had died.

Retreat from Mons On the retreat from Mons the 2nd Battalion walked via Coudry and Lingy, which they passed through in single file owing to the German artillery fire, arriving at Esnes. Just north of the town the battalion stood its ground against overwhelming forces towards the left of the line. For long hours the fight continued until sheer pressure of numbers forced a withdrawal. The 2nd Essex suffered many casualties among them Frank Herbert Rankin died. He was buried along with four comrades. Smith-Dorrien's decision to turn II Corps around from retreat and to stand against the German advance at Le Cateau paid off handsomely. Heavy casualties were inflicted on the Germans and another delay imposed on their Schlieffen timetable. To the east, I Corps was able to move further away from the advance parties of the Germans. The Long Long Trail

Note below spelling on Ratcliff/ Ratcliffe Both with and without 'E' on end, found on documents. 

Ratcliff G. Private George Edward Ratcliff 13224. 11th Bn. Essex Regiment. 18th Bde. 6th Division. Died 13th November 1915. Son of Frederick and Elizabeth Ratcliffe. POTIJZE BURIAL GROUND CEMETERY. Ypres. Born Bocking 1891. Iron fitter, second son of a Maltster, eleven children in all, one dead by 1911. Brothers Sydney and William Ratcliffe also perished, see below.

Entered war 30th August 1915, killed in action 13th November 1915. Working & carrying parties in heavy rain for several days, many casualties.

Ratcliff R.L. Private Robert Leslie Ratcliff 10445. 2nd Bn. Essex Regiment. 12th Bde. 4th Division. Died 1st July 1916. THIEVPAL MEMORIAL. Born Bocking 1897. In 1901 lived with Grandmother four doors from other Ratcliff's. Was he related?

The 4th Division attacked to the south of Serre on the 1st of July, between that village and Beaumont Hamel, and did manage to reach a strongpoint known as the Quadrilateral, although they could not hold it and had to retire just before mid-day on the 2nd of July. The line near Serre was more or less unchanged here even at the end of the Somme battles in November 1916, and on the 13th of November the 3rd Division also attacked here again without success.
World War One battlefields

Robert Leslie Ratcliff – note SDGW and CWGC show him as Ratcliff without the E. It’s his Medal Index card that shows him as R L Ratcliffe.  On the 1911 census the 14 year old Robert, born “Essex” and working as a Yarn Winder in the Cocoa Fibre industry, is recorded at Panfield Lane, Bocking. This is the household of his widowed grandmother, Martha Ratcliff, then aged 70 and also born “Essex”. Also in the household is her 29 year old son Ashton, a single man from “Essex” who was working as a Railway Plate Layer. On the 1901 census the same three make up a household at the same address. Following  the trail through Ashton on the 1891 census, Mary is still the head of the household, giving her birthplace as Chelmsford and her occupation as Charwoman. They are living at Panfield Lane. Ashton gives his birthplace as Panfield. Other children of Martha in the household are Alice, (aged 19 and a Silk Weaver from Bocking) and George, (aged 16 and a Butchers Boy from Panfield). Finally, following the trail through Alice to the 1881 census we find the family at Shalford Road, Panfield. Head of the household is father Francis, a General Dealer from Panfield, (Martha describes herself as a Dealers Wife). As well as Alice and George, there are two older boys in the household – Alfred, (aged 17 and an agricultural labourer from Bocking) and the 15 year old Frederick. This is the Frederick who married Elizabeth and became the father of George Edward, Sidney and William, (and possibly Robert Leslie as well – tbc, but if not then at the very least he is a cousin). 

Ratcliff S. Private Sidney Ratcliff 9055 (10289). 2nd Bn. Essex Regiment. 12th Bde. 4th Division. Died 16th April 1915 Born Bocking 1892. Son of Frederick and Elizabeth Ratcliffe. CALVAIRE (ESSEX) MILITARY CEMETERY.  Iron Labourer.  Entered war 24th March 1915, killed in action 16th April 1915. Brothers George and William also died, see above & below.

Confusion regarding army number.

"Sidney, the third son, killed by a grenade while sleeping in a trench." (Essex Chron 30th. Apr. 15)

Ratcliffe W. Private William Arthur Ratcliff 71821. (formerly 10646 Essex Reg.) 18th Bn. Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). 18th (Eastern) Division. Died 8th November 1918, three days before the armistic
e. Son of Frederick & Elizabeth Ratcliffe. BUSIGNY COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION. Born Bocking 1894. Mill labourer. The fourth son, brother of George and William, see above.

Rawlings, Thomas. Private Thomas Rawlings, 5781. 1st/23rd Battalion. (County of London) London Regiment. 142nd Brigade in 47th (2nd London) Division in 47th (2nd London) Div. Died 15th September 1916. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL. Son of Elizabeth Rawlings, Coggeshall Road, Braintree.  Brothers Harry & Bertie in Coggeshall Road, sister Jessie living at Shalford.

Ray E.J. Sergeant Ernest John Ray 453765, 58th Bat. Canadian Inf.  Died 17th Sept 1916. Born Braintree 13th Jan 1878.  Wife,Lillie Ray,115 Wheeler Ave, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Vimy Memorial. Possibly died under heavy barrage while digging jumping off trench. Ironworker.  Aged 37 on enlistment, 31st August 1915. Had served 7 years previously in Leicester Regiment. Father died while young, mother with four children, Walter, Ellen, William & Ernest, married George Hardy, labourer. Not on 1901 census, moved to Canada? Mother at 149 Marks Road Romford in 1920. 58th War Diaries.

Rayner E.P. Egbert Percy Rayner 347517. 210th Siege Bty. 98 Brigade Royal Garrison Artillery. Died 24th August 1918. age 22. Born Bocking 1895. Son of Edward & Sarah Alice Rayner, Hill Villas, Church Lane, Bocking. WARVILLERS CHURCHYARD EXTENSION. Somme. Egbert, a clerk, was youngest of eleven children. Father Edward was a Crape Crimper and most of the family worked in the mills or ironworks.

"Sorrow vanquished, Labour ended, Jordan past."

The 210th entered the war on the 10th November 1916, as Egbert was originally in the TF could he have been there at this time? He was on the Somme fighting alongside the Canadians of 42 and 44 Infantry.

Rayner F. Frank Rayner J/26354. Boy 1st Class. Royal Navy. HMS 'Hawke.' Died 15th October 1914 Age 17. Son of William Rayner, 11 Munster Residences, Fulham, London. Plymouth Naval Memorial. Born Fulham 1897, son of a Postmanformerly of Bocking.  1911 lived at Mablethorpe Road Fulham.  Seven children in family of which four had died by 1911.                                                                                       

The German submarine 'U-9'  scouting the North Sea came upon 'HMS Hawke'  alongside 'HMS Theseus.' 'U-9' fired one torpedo at 'Theseus' which missed the target ship but carried on and hit 'Hawke.' The magazine exploded and the ship sank within a few minutes taking 523 crew with her.  Only 70 men survived.

Rayner S.F. Private Sidney Frederick Rayner 26253. 1st/4th Bn, Essex Regiment. 161st Bde. 54th (East Anglian) Division. 22nd September 1919. Age 28. Son of Frederick & Sarah Rayner, Bridge End, Church St, Bocking. KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY. Sydney, a gardener, was born Bocking in 1891, father a groom in 1901 a drayman in 1911. There were also siblings Constance an embroiderer at the silk factory and Herbert two years younger also a gardener. 

Possibly died from disease.

"In loving memory of our dear son."       

Kantara In the early part of the First World War, Kantara was an important point in the defence of Suez against Turkish attacks and marked the starting point of the new railway east towards Sinai and Palestine, begun in January 1916. Kantara developed into a major base and hospital centre and the cemetery was begun in February 1916 for burials from the various hospitals, continuing in use until late 1920. CWGC Kantara Cemetery 

Kantara Cemetery

Reditt E. Shoeing Smith E. Redit 98676. Ammunition Column, 79th Brigade, 17th (Northern) Division. Royal Field Artillery. Died 30th October 1918. Age 30. Son of John & Jane Redit, The Forge, Great Ashfield, Suffolk. Husband of Amelia Mary Redit, ‘Langemarck,’ Rayne Road, Braintree. Marriage to Amelia M. Last registered at Bury St Edmunds 1911. ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY. (Note 'Redit' correct spelling.). Born Badwell Ash, West Suffolk. 1911 based in Gosfield while working as general farrier on his own account. Father also a blacksmith.

Died from Pneumonia.

Rix A.C. Private Arthur Charles RIX 225291. 1st Bn. London Regt. (Royal Fusiliers) 167th Bgde, (56th Division) Died on 31st July 1917. Born Braintree 1885, lived Stepney. Reburied in Hooge 2nd May 1919 after being identified by his disc. HOOGE CRATER CEMETERY. Ypres. 1891 father Charles a Baker, mother Anna living New Street. Elder sister Winifred one year older. In 1901 underwent training at Naval Institute, Woolwich aged 15. Unemployed merchant seaman in 1911 boarding in Duff Street, poplar. From 17th June 1917 he was with the 'West ham Pals' the 13th Essex, transferred to 1st London on 9th July and killed in action on 31st July 1917.

Roberts W.R.S. Captain Walter Rowland Southall Roberts. M.B.,Ch.B.,M.R.C.S.,L.R.C.P., D.P.H. Royal Army Medical Corps. 88th (1/3rd East Anglian) Field Ambulance, T.F.
Died 16th August 1915. Age 33. Son of James & Caroline Roberts; husband of Laura Anne Roberts, 3 Redlands, Tiverton, Devon. Believed to be buried in HILL 10 CEMETERY, Gallipoli. Born Derbyshire 1882, son of hotel proprietor.

"Until the day breaks and shadows flee away."

Practice in Braintree, North Essex TB officer. MO at Black Notley Hospital. Left Widow and two children. Memorial County Hall Chelmsford. Killed in trenches by shrapnel alongside RAMC sergeant while aiding wounded of 162 brigade.

Rodgers H.G. Private Herbert George Rogers 30297. “B” Coy. 1st Bn. Essex Regiment. 88th Bde. 29th Division. Died 20th November 1917. Age 19. Son of William & Louisa Frances Rogers, 85 Manor Street, Braintree. (Demolished). CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERAL. Born Bury St Edmunds. Father labourer in Foundry. In 1901 lived at 76 Cannon Street, Bury St Edmunds, with three elder brothers and two sisters.

Cambrai. The battalion Diary for this day found here on the Hellfire Corner site. The casualties of the day were 3 officers and 21 men; killed, 2 officers and 107 men wounded; Missing, 1 officer, 31 men.

Rudd G. Private George Edward Rudd 3/2905. 2nd Bn Essex Regiment.12th Bde. 4th Div.
(12th Brigade - Brigadier General. F.G. Anley.)  Died 2nd May 1915. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL. 2nd Ypres.  Born Braintree, son of a Mat maker from Sandpit Road. (Demolished) 1911 was a door fitters mate at iron works. Older brother Frederick follows. Number implies George joined the 3rd reserve Battalion at outbreak of war and went into 2nd Battalion who were serving at home in 1914.
Rudd F.E. Private Frederick Ernest Rudd 8783. 2nd Kings Own (Royal Lancaster Reg). 83 Bde. 28th Division. 14th May 1915. Age 29. Son John Rudd, Sandpit Road, Braintree. (Demolished) ST SEVER CEMETERY, ROUEN. Wounded Ypres. Rouen was a vast hospital site. Born Braintree, older brother of George Edward above. Only 12 days separated their deaths! Entered France 15th Jan 1915. 1891 parents John & Margaret lived 25 Church street, he a Mat maker, she a silk weaver. 1911 Frederick is in India with the 1st Kings Own.

"Loved by all, rest in peace."

Rushbrook S.H. Second Lieutenant SYDNEY HERBERT RUSHBROOK. 1st. Norfolk Regiment attd. Army Cyclist Corps. Died age 22 on 6th July 1915. Son of Henry James and Katherine Annie Rushbrook, of 74, Cressing Rd., Braintree, Essex. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL. Born Bury St Edmunds, son of stoker in Gas Works. In 1901 family lived at 1. Sewerage Cottages, Walton. Sisters then, Florence, Evelyn & Nellie.  Entered war 16th August 1914 implying he was a regular soldier, a Lance Sergeant,in Norfolk Regiment.                                                                                                              

The Norfolk Regiment, Company Quartermaster-Serjeant Sydney Herbert Rushbrook, from Army Cyclist Corps, and to be seconded for duty with Army Cyclist Corps. Dated 22nd May, 1915.” THE LONDON GAZETTE, 22 JUNE, 1915.  

Sampson A.F. Lance Corporal Archibald Frank Sampson 12159. 11th Bn. Essex Reg. attd. Prisoner of War Coy. Died 14th April 1918. Age 27. Son of Thomas & Elizabeth Lavinia Sampson, Thelma House, Rayne Road, Braintree. SOIGNIES (ZINNIK) COMMUNAL CEMETERY north east of Mons. Born Ruislip, Middx, in Dec 1896 so was 21 when he died, not 27. Son of Fruit Farmer and the fifth child of the family while living in Bocking in 1901. Died of wounds, dying as POW of Germans.

"Love abideth."

Soignies was General von Kluck's headquarters for the Battle of Mons on 24 August 1914

Sargent A.J. Alfred James Sargent 32922. 45th or 49th Company, 15th battalion, Machine Gun Corps, (Infantry). Died 18th April 1918. Born Braintree 1890, family lived 77 Manor Street, Braintree. Tyne Cot Memorial When 22 and working as a painter attested for the 8th (Cyclists) Battalion 1915. Six months Later he attested for the Machine Gun Company.

Died during the German Spring Offensive.

Sargent H.W. Private HERBERT WALTER SARGENT G-24038. 7th Bn. The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 55th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division. 5th Army (Gough). Died age 37 on 30th September 1917. Son of Walter and Caroline Sargent, of 148, High Street,(Demolished) Braintree; husband of Mrs. Lily Rosina Sargent (nee Handley), of 66, Coggeshall Road, Braintree.(Blitzed 1941) NINE ELMS BRITISH CEMETERY. Third Ypres. Born Braintree. Children Ronald (10) & Leslie (8). Herbert's Mother-In-Law, Susannah Williams, a 68 year old widow from Bocking .

"Never forgotten by those he loved. from his loving wife and children."

Savill H.J. Captain Herbert John Savill. HMS “Hampshire.” Royal Navy. Died 5th June 1916. Age 46. Son of Lt. Col. S.G. Savill, ‘Boleyns, Bocking. PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL. On Purbrook Memorial. Born 20 May, 1870.

 Captain Herbert John Savill

"Herbert John, the third son of Samuel G. Savill, was born at Ivy Chimneys, Witham in 1870. He joined the Navy in 1885 and rose to become Captain of the armoured cruiser HMS Hampshire. The ship struck a mine laid by U-75 and rolled over to starboard in rough seas a mile and a half off the Orkney Isles on 5th June 1916. Only twelve crew members survived most lifeboats crashing against the side of the ship which sank within a quarter of an hour.  In addition to the 655 crew lost, Lord Kitchener and seven of his staff also perished. Herbert had married Miss Savill, a cousin, who had died in July 1915. They had no children." 

“….she (HMS Hampshire) was directed to carry Lord Kitchener fom Scapa Flow on a diplomatic mission to Russia via the port of Arkhangelsk. Due to the gale force conditions, it was decided that Hampshire would sail through the Pentland Firth, then turn north along the western coast of the Orkney Islands. This course would provide a lee from the strong winds, allowing escorting destroyers to keep pace with her. Hampshire departed Scapa Flow at 16:45 and about an hour later rendezvoused with her two escorts, the Acasta class destroyers HMS Unity & Victor. As the ships turned to the northwest the gale increased and shifted direction so that the ships were facing it head on. This caused the destroyers to fall behind Hampshire. As it was considered unlikely that enemy submarines would be active in such conditions, Captain Savill of the Hampshire ordered Unity and Victor to return to Scapa Flow. Sailing alone in heavy seas,Hampshire was approximately 1.5 mi (2.4km) off mainland of Orkney between Brough of Birsay and Marwick Head at 19:40 when an explosion occurred and she heeled to starboard. The detonation had holed the cruiser between bows and bridge, and the lifeboats were smashed against the side of the ship by the heavy seas when they were lowered. About 15 minutes after the explosion,Hampshire sank by the bows. Of the over 600 personnel aboard, only 12 men on two Carley floats managed to reach the shore; Kitchener and his staff were lost. It is believed that Hampshire struck one of several mines laid by the German mine laying submarine U-75 on 28 May 1916, just before the Battle of Jutland, in an effort to block one of Scapa Flow's exits.

HMS "Hampshire" 

Saward W. Private WALTER SAWARD 12489. 9th Bn., Essex Regiment. 35th Bde (12th Eastern) Division. Died age 21 on 13 October 1915 Son of Henry and Emma Saward, of Bocking Church St., Braintree, Essex. LOOS MEMORIAL Born Bocking, Dyer to trade, son of Factory Night Watchman. Living Church St in 1901 with three brothers, Harry, Jack & Arthur. 1911 worked as silk dyer at mill.  Entered war 30th May 1915 Presumed dead 13th October 1915.

Loos. 13th Oct 1915. 37th and 35th Brigades of 12th (Eastern) Division attacked between Gun Trench and the Quarries. Although 7/East Surreys of 37th Brigade reached Gun Trench without too much trouble, on their left the 6/Buffs were shattered by fire from a previously unseen (and therefore not shelled) trench. This battalion lost over 400 men in a few minutes, barely advancing 100 yards before halting. 35th Brigade, led by 7/Norfolk and 7/Suffolk, found the smoke screen very thin, which allowed the enemy to fire across their advance from the direction of the Slag Alley as well as frontally. Although they gained a foothold in the Quarries, they could not press on but did consolidate the position. Loos, The Long Long Trail 

Seabrook F.Mc. 
Lance Corporal FRANCIS MCKOWEN SEABROOK 1080. 1/1st.Essex Yeomanry. 3rd Cavalry Division. 8th Cavalry Brigade. Died age 29 on 13th May 1915. Son of R.C.and E.A. Seabrook, of Marks, Braintree. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL. 2nd Battle of Ypres. Francis was the sixth child of a family of ten. The first seven were born in Tolleshunt Darcy before coming to farm at 'Marks Farm' about 1889. In 1891 the household had a governess and servant. His last letter home had been written the day before he died.  On the 23rd May of that year a memorial service was held on his behalf.  The congregation sand Hymn 595 on their knees, followed by 'Abide with me,' and 'God save the King.'  At the end of the morning service the 'Death March' from 'Saul,' had been played. Essex Yeomanry Casualties.

13/5/15 Retired from digging the GHQ line of trenches E of Potijze strength of Regiment in trenches 302 all ranks including 17 officers. Very heavily shelled from dawn to 6am. Part of 7th Brigade holding advanced trenches shelled out during morning 8thBrigade ordered to make a counter attack and retake them. Started 2.15pm. 10th Hussars on left EY centre Blues on right. EY and 10th doubled all the way to enemy trenches about 1000 yards distant. Germans retired before Brigade reached trenches. Regiment could not get into touch with Blues on right. Germans bombarded retaken trench until dark. 10th and EY less B Sqn retired to line of dugouts in front of GHQ line about 6pm thence to GHQ lines after dark. Capt R Brise and Lt Thompson with about 10 men held advanced position by ruined houses lying in shell holes till after dark. They kept back the German infantry the whole afternoon retiring after dark to rejoin rest of Regiment. Regiment held GHQ trenches during night in conjunction with company of Durham Light Infantry. Remainder of A echelon went up from Le Croquet to join Lieut Wedd's command.
14/5/15 Occupied GHQ trenches until relieved at 9pm by 2nd Cav Div to A Huts S of Vlamertinghe arriving about11.30pm.
Casualties May13th/14th
Killed Wounded Wounded & Missing Missing
Officers 4 -5 - 1 
Men 29- 95- 15 -11  Battalion War Diary

8th Bde: Brigadier General C B Bulkeley-Johnson: Royal Horse Guards, 10/Hussars, Essex Yeomanry. Potijze was the scene of an advance on May the 13th 1915, by the Essex Yeomanry and the 10th Hussars. In 'The Battle Book of Ypres,' Beatrix Brice records how Major Andrew Roddick, of the Essex Yeomanry, led the advance with "his pipe between his teeth, his stick in his hand". The attackers took the German trenches and held on until evening, but then had to retreat. Major Roddick was killed, and another casualty was Serjeant Lionel Deakin, reported to be shot as he stood firing, and due to the numbers in the trench his body stiffened in death in the position of still firing at the enemy. Both men have no known grave; both are commemorated therefore on the Menin Gate. World War One Battlefields

Essex Yeomanry plaque, Chelmsford Cathedral and St. Nicholas Church Tolleshunt Darcy.

Self. W.R. Private William Self 3/2525. 1st Bn. Essex Regiment. 88th Bde. 29th Division. Died 2nd May 1915. Lived Braintree. HELLES MEMORIAL. Parents William & Selina, Gosfield.  Born Gosfield 1877.  Father a Blacksmith who took the family to Wethersfield and then Bocking. Two sisters Emily & Ada and brother Edgar. Mother Selina died March 1901. At that time William was General labourer age 24.  Not on 1911 census probably in army.  1st Battalion in India in 1914, William was a regular at that time.

2 May 1915 – 07.30 p.m. Went up to reserve trench and took over from Hants Regiment.

Sharpe J. Sergeant James Sharpe 3/2774. 10th Bn. Essex Regiment. 53rd Bde. 18th (Eastern) Division. Died 9th February 1917. Born Acton, lived Bocking. VARENNES MILITARY CEMETERY. James the son of a Blacksmith, born in Acton, 1889. Living Ealing 1891 where his parents worked in Laundry and brother George was born. When his mother died the family moved to Braintree and his father Arthur's sister Florrie became Housekeeper.  1911 James worked as a fitter at Crittall's. James married Daisy Ethel Marslen in Braintree Registry Office in 1903.  Mrs W.E. Sharpe, 2 Bethel Cottages, Coggeshall Road, Braintree.                     

10th Bn. attacks on ‘Folly Trench,’ near ‘Irles,’ on the Somme, on 7th Feb 17.                                           

"Sgt J. Sharp, Essex Regt, who's home is in Braintree, died of wounds. he was formerly employed at Manor Works and before the war he was sent out to America with another man for special work in connection with the Crittal Manf.Co. He was a well known half back for the Manor Works football club. he enlisted three weeks after the war started, and was about to take a commission, when he was badly wounded in the trenches by shrapnel and his right arm was amputated. He died of injuries to the chest and abdomen. he leaves a wife and one young child." (Essex Chron 16th Mar 17)

                                                  Arthur Shead Irene "Molly" Franks-Hullinger

Shead A. Private ARTHUR SHEAD 250877, 1/5th Bn., Essex Regiment. 161st Bde. 54th (East Anglian) Division. Died age 33 on 26th March 1917. Son of John and Julia Shead, of The Causeway, Finchingfield, husband of Edith Alice Shead, of 13, Nellie's Cottages, Church St., Bocking, Essex. JERUSALEM MEMORIAL. Born Finchingfield, son of a groom/gardener. Arthur worked on farm until becoming a Silk Dyer and married a Bocking girl, Edith Alice Hunnable, 22nd Feb 1908. Declared 'Missing presumed dead,' 26th March 1917 after the first battle of Gaza.  

Attack took place over 4000 yards of open ground towards Turkish positions. Many casualties but troops continued and took the high ground.  Insufficient Medical support for the large number of casualties who's cries affected the men who had taken the hills.  

Batt. Diary. SEIRAT, PALESTINE (ISRAEL). 4th and 5th Reg attacked Green Hill together under heavy machine gun fire.  Heavy casualties yet took objective.     26 March 1917, 06:00 a.m. Battalion proceeded to SHEIK NEBHAN as part of general reserve. 09.00 a.m. Battalion moved nearer the enemy positions. 01.00 p.m. Battalion moved with the 4th Essex to attack on S part of the GAZA defences in support of 160 Bde (Between Green Hill and brown Hill). Battalion suffered heavy casualties and at midnight retired by order of Bde.

Finchingfield War Memorial and St. Johns Church Plaque

Shelley T.R. Private Thomas Shelley 26238. 3rd Bn. Grenadier Guards. 2nd Guards Brigade. Guards Division. Died 19th September 1917. TYNE COT MEMORIAL. Battle of Menen Road began 20th September 17. Born Thurston, Suffolk. 1891 widowed mother lived with her mother in Church Street. In 1901 remarried mother lived 23 Upper Railway Street with sister and Step-Father, Benjamin Quilter, and at 13 was an apprentice grocer. 1911 Thomas remained grocer while sister married and lived with family, mother again widowed, family living in Coggeshall Road, Bocking.

Thomas was well built and 6'3"tall and joined the Guards April 1916. Distinguished himself in trenches showing great courage and skill in rescuing and treating the wounded, after which he was made a regular stretcher bearer. He was killed by a shell." (Essex Weekly News. 5th.Oct.17)

Sibley F. Private Frederick Sibley 46615. 11th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment. (Midland Pioneers) Attd. 6th Division as Pioneers. Formerly 213958, Royal Engineers. Died 15th October 1917. Braintree. MENIN ROAD SOUTH MILITARY CEMETERY. Ypres. Born Braintree and in 1901 lived in Chapel Hill with widowed mother, four brothers and two sisters. 1911 family lived Terrace Yard and Fred worked as wash house man. Married Gladys Radley in 1913 and worked at Hope Laundry, Rayne Road. 11th battalion
If battalion worked at Dickesbusch why is Frederick buried far away at Menin Road?

11th batt war diary. 15 October 1917. Dickesbusch.
Work continued as before.
B,C and D Coys moved into skeleton houses in YPRES and started constructing them into billets.
A draft of 4 Officers and 12 OR joined the Battalion.
2 men were killed in action and 5 were wounded.
1 man was sent to England for commission.
2 men were admitted into Field Ambulance sick.
3 men proceeded on 10 days leave.

Sibley S. Possible Sydney, younger brother of above. A Sydney Sibley 'substituted' 1917.

Wireless Operator S.S. "Gitano" (Hull), Mercantile Marine. Died age 18 on 23rd December 1918. Son of Emma Gage (formerly Simms), of Alma House, Rayne Rd., Braintree, Essex, and the late Herbert Robert Simms. Born in Kilburn, London. TOWER HILL MEMORIAL. His father, a Butcher, died when he was one year old, mother, who came from Wethersfield, returned to area. Re-married William Gage from Braintree.

After the Armistice trade resumed and it is possible the SS “Gitano” was en-route for the Baltic. She never arrived and is thought to have hit a mine, possibly after passing Flamborough head.

Smith F.L. Rifleman Frank Leonard Smith 23/910, 2nd Bn. 3rd New Zealand Rifle Bgde. Died 30th March 1918 aged 29. EUSTON ROAD CEMETERY, COLINCAMPS. Son of Brian and Alice Smith, of Braintree, Essex. Born Messing 1889.  Father a farmer in 1889 and a coffee house owner in Braintree 1901. No 1911 census found, possibly in New Zealand by then.  He was based in Christchurch when he enlisted 29th May 1915 giving his elder brother at 'Bracondale' Coggeshall Rd, Braintree as next of kin.  Were his parents dead by then? The troopship set sail on 28th March 1915. Frank was single.  

On the night of the 14/15th July 1916 he sustained a wound in right knee while carrying message from a raid near Gill Salient.  Back in action a month later.  March 1918 was Ludendorff's Spring Offensive.

Smith M.H. Private Maurice Henry Smith 16095. 1st Bn. Essex Regt. 88th Bde. 29th Division. Died 6th August 1915. Son of the late C.& Ann Smith. (Born Sudbury.) Husband of Charlotte Smith, 23, Council Houses, Cressing Road. Braintree. HELLES MEMORIAL. Maurice was born Ballingdon, Sudbury, the son of a Maltster. Married Charlotte Wilkes Dec 1897 while employed in Brickyard where he had been in 1891, aged 14. Entered Gallipoli 17th July 1915. A regular soldier.

“At Helles the attack of the 6th was directed against 1,200 yards of the Turkish front opposite our own right and right centre, and was to be carried out by the 88th Brigade of the 29th Division. Two small Turkish trenches enfilading the main advance had, if possible, to be captured simultaneously, an affair which was entrusted to the 42nd Division. After bombardment the infantry assaulted at 3.50 p.m. On the left large sections of the enemy's line were carried, but on our centre and right the Turks were encountered in masses, and the attack, pluckily and perseveringly as it was pressed, never had any real success. The 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment, in particular forced their way into the crowded enemy trench opposite them, despite the most determined resistance, but, once in, were subjected to the heaviest musketry fire from both flanks, as well as in reverse, and were shattered by showers of bombs.” Gen. Sir Ian Hamilton. Report, Long Long Trail

Smith R.W. Private Robert William Smith 12487. 9th Essex Regt. 35th Bde. 12th (Eastern) Div. Died 27th March 1918. Bocking. POZIERES MEMORIAL. Born Bocking 1900, son of a cowman on farm. Lived Panfield Road near Deanery 1901, at Choats Farm, Bocking 1911. Proper name Robert Welham Smith, amended to William during the war? Entered war 30th May 1915.

North West of Albert. On the morning of 24 March the Division arrived in the area of Senlis, Warloy and Bouzincourt. An tiring and confusing day was to follow. That afternoon, 36 and 37 Brigades moved forward to the line Montauban-Bazentin le Grand, on the old 1916 Somme battlefield. But events were moving fast as the enemy's offensive pressed forward. 35th Brigade after much marching took up a position covering Albert. 37 Brigade, in the area of Ovillers, covered the withdrawal of 47th (London) Division and then itself withdrew to Aveluy and by 4.30am on 26 March 36 Brigade had also taken up a position west of the Ancre. There were no prepared trenches or wire defences and natural lines, such as the railway embankment north of Albert, were taken up to await the expected German attack. There was no touch with other Divisions to the right but contact was made with 2nd Division on the left. 12th Div LLT Battalion on left of 9th attacked, help sent and 132 casualties suffered.

Smoothy A.F. Sergeant Thomas Smoothy 7723. 2nd Bn. Essex Regiment. 12th Brigade, 4th Division. Died 19th May 1919 Age 36. Husband of Elizabeth Smoothy, 292 Coggeshall Road, Braintree. BRAINTREE & BOCKING (BRAINTREE) CEMETERY. Should be A.T. not F? Born Bocking. Born between 1885-1887 depending on documents read. A regular soldier with the regiment in 1911, a lance corporal, serving in India. 1901 worked as a domestic 'house boy,' while father was a general labourer, family living in Coggeshall Road, Bocking.

Died in Colchester hospital from appendicitis. His widow lost their only child aged 3, in 1920.
The 4th Division was demobilised in Belgium in early 1919 having served in all major battles during the war.
Brother George Leonard also died. See below.

Smoothy G.L. Private GEORGE LEONARD SMOOTHY 21732. "D" Coy. 2nd Bn., Essex Regiment. 12th Brigade, 4th Division. Died age 19 on 1st July 1916. Son of Mr.and Mrs. George Smoothy, of 59, Chapel Hill, Braintree, Essex. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL. Born Bocking. In 1901 the family lived on the Bocking side of Coggeshall Road and George was one of ten children, all of whom were alive in 1911 by which time the family were living in Chapel Hill. Enlisted 1914 in 12th (reserve) battalion a training battalion of the Essex Regiment.

Considered unfit by reason of faulty vision yet managed to be in 2nd Batt by 1st July.

Presumed dead. 2nd Essex stationed at Bertrancourt at start of battle, between Serre & Beaumont Hamel on the 1st July. Heavy machine gun and artillery fire as the Brigade attempted to cross no mans and.  At the end of the day around 22 officers and 400 men were casualties.
Elder brother Thomas (above) also died.

Smoothy S.
Private Sidney Maurice Smoothy 10260. 2nd Bn Essex Regiment. 12th Brigade, 4th Division. 2nd May 1915. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL. Born Bocking. Entered war on the 6th March 1915. Killed in action during Second Ypres, La Brique. By 1901 his mother, Minnie, had re-married to Alfred Cable, a widower living in Church Street. He had three daughters, Rosa, Ada & Ethel and also a son, Bertie. Not on 1911 census, possibly a regular soldier.

Battalion War Diary entry: YPRES, BELGIUM
2 May 1915, 05.00 p.m. Enemy attack with gas - a thick wall of gas some 60 or 70 feet high of a greenish yellow colour was seen all along the front of the trenches held by the 12th Bde. The gas appeared to be thickest in front of the trenches held by the Lancs. Fus. On the right and by XXXX this Bn, on the left. Our trench was held by B and D Companies and one platoon from A Company. This garrison was driven from the trenches in spite of having respirators, with the exception of Capt. Pechell and 12 N.C.O.s and men of B Company, this party stuck it out until the trenches were reoccupied. The names of the N.C.O.s and men who stayed with Capt. Perhell are - C.S.M. Tipler (Killed) - C.Q.M.S. Turl, St. Coomers, Sgt Barker, Pte. Brown, Maynard, Howes, Read, Curts, Finch, Pte. Sonetten (A Coy), Pte. Briggs. When B and D Companies retired 2 Lt. Irwin, who was in charge of the right support consisting of 2 platoons A Company and were some 400 yds. Back. Rushed his men in the face of heavy shrapnel fire, through the gas and reoccupied the right end of the trench. C Company under Lt. Atkinson moved up from the reserve some 1500 yards back and in spite of a heavy shrapnel fire and machine gun fire reoccupied the left and centre of the front trenches. Both the French and our own artillery kept magnificent covering fire on the enemy’s trenches and absolutely prevented him from leaving them. After the trenches had been reoccupied the enemy twice left his trench opposite our right but was driven back each time. A hostile aeroplane also came over flying low and was brought down by the Battalion, but unfortunately fell just in his own lines. One company 1st 2nd Monmouthshire Regt. Was sent up to occupy right support trench as the Battalion had not enough men to do so. A large number of men were missing, these had been gassed and were admitted to hospital.
Casualties. Officers: 4 Wounded, 1 Gassed, 2 Missing, Other Ranks: 23 Killed, 67 Wounded, 175 Missing.

Spalding S.G. Private SIDNEY GEORGE SPALDING 32159. 1st Bn., Essex Regiment. 88th Bde. 29th Div. Died age 33, 14th April 1917. Son of John and Adelaide Spalding, of 37, Railway St, Braintree. (Demolished) Husband of Mary Jane Spalding,(nee Allen,married 1905, three children.) of 128, Baytree Cottage, Coggeshall Rd., Braintree, Essex. ARRAS MEMORIAL. Braintree Silk Mill worker. Lived 40 Upper Railway Street before marriage.Sidney's mother Adelaide, was sister to the father of Joseph Mixter named above. This reveals the close mixture of the town's population, one death affected many people.

An early morning attack on Infantry Hill, Monchy le Preux the centre of Arras defence, postponed from the day before, resulted in heavy casualties.

Steward M. Private Mark Steward 7848, 2nd Batt. Essex Regiment. Died 17th December 1914. Calvaire (Essex) Military Cemetery. Comines-Warneton, Hainault. Born Braintree 1886, Mark was one of several sons of School Caretaker. Elder brother Herbert had seen action during the Boer War and he and Mark joined the 2nd Essex when war broke out. Oldest brother Ebeneezer also survived the war, Herbert dying from war effects injuries in 1923 Ebeneezer living through a second war. Mark was a Silk Dyer when he married Florence Emily Swallow, on 2nd July 1910.  

"Mrs F.E. Steward, Bradford Street, Bocking"

Stock A.W. Private ARTHUR WILLIAM STOCK 14203. 11th Bn., Essex Regiment. 71st Bde. 6th Division. Died on 26 September 1915. Brother of Mr.E.Stock, of Sandpit Rd. Braintree, Essex.(rebuilt) LOOS MEMORIAL. Born Finchingfield 1890, son of agricultural labourer. In 1901 the family, less father, were living in Martin's Yard, Braintree. His mother now using her maiden name, Suckling, worked as an Ironer in laundry. She died 1913. In 1911 the family lived in Sandpit Road, all three brothers Ernest, Arthur and Frederick in employment, the mother no longer working but using the name Stock. Entered war 30th August 1915 presumed dead 26th September 1915.

Loos: Reserves: The various orders to deploy battalions piecemeal, together with the defence against counterattacks, has reduced what was intended to be an attack by 24 battalions to just 6. The four battalions of 72nd Brigade advanced over open ground, starting some 1000 yards West of the La Bassee road, and were in such good order that they had the effect of reinvigorating 63rd Brigade on their right. However, once again men of this Brigade lost direction and moved towards the summit of Hill 70, taking them across direct fire from Chalet Wood and Bois Hugo, both places they should have been approaching frontally. The advance of 72nd Brigade, composed now of 8/Royal West Kents and 9/East Surreys, together with half of 2/Welch, came under severe enfilade and frontal fire which included point-blank artillery. These units also reported British shellfire falling among them. 8/Buffs, 8/Queen's, 11/Essex and 9/Suffolks were all pushed into this murderous area. (The first three named all lost their Commanding Officers, killed in action here). Only a thin line reached the virtually undamaged German wire by about 1.00pm. All attempts to cut the wire failed with heavy casualties, and the remaining men took cover in long grass. At a shouted order to retire, men withdrew - many being hit by machine-gun fire as they did so. Those who did not retire were killed or captured. Loos, Long Long Trail

Sutton A. Sapper Aleck Sutton 155608. 459th Field Coy. Royal Engineers. 2/2nd (West Riding) 6th Division. Died 21st May 1918. Age 30. Son of Harry Sutton of Bocking, Essex. Husband of Anne Maud Sutton, 427 Poleshill Road, Coventry, Warwicks. Died of appendicitis. Skilled carpenter joiner. Living in Coventry when he enlisted, signed on at Chatham. ESQUELBECQ MILITARY CEMETERY. Born Bocking, father Henry an iron fitter in 1891, an Electric Light Fitter by 1901, and Aleck aged 15 was Carpenter's Labourer,1901 census the family living in Church Street six doors from the Bearmans. 1911 boarded in Coventry with Henry & Emma Bearman from Bocking. 

"Death divides but memory clings."

Thorogood E. Private Ernest Thorogood 123673. 61st Bn. Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) 61st Division. Formerly 203512, Essex Regt. Killed in action 21st March 1918. Born Braintree, lived Witham. POZIERES MEMORIAL.

He was the eldest son and joined the army at the outbreak of war but was sent home on account of his extreme youth. Resumed work at Crittall's ironworks until he became of military age, when he returned to the army." (Essex Chron 10th.May.18)

Tilbrook A.V. Corporal Herbert Victor Tilbrook 23205. 2nd Bn Essex Regiment. 12th Brigade, 4th Division. Died 3rd May 1917. Born Bocking 1895, lived Bradwell. ARRAS MEMORIAL. Son of Bricklayer's Labourer. (A.V. on memorial) It appears Herbert's father Edward (born 1867) died in 1902 and his mother Cecilia (wed 1895, nee Sibley) sometime before 1911. This left Herbert and Edward with Frederick Amos as uncle the sole legitimate heir. Edward enlisted also but died of disease in 1919. Brother Edward below.

Third Battle of the Scarpe, 3 - 4 May 1917. After securing the area around Arleux at the end of April, the British determined to launch another attack east from Monchy to try to break through the Boiry Riegel and reach the Wotanstellung, a major German defensive fortification. This was scheduled to coincide with the Australian attack at Bullecourt in order to present the Germans with a two–pronged assault. British commanders hoped that success in this venture would force the Germans to retreat further to the east. With this objective in mind, the British launched another attack near the Scarpe on 3 May. However, neither prong was able to make any significant advances and the attack was called off the following day after incurring heavy casualties. Although this battle was a failure, the British learned important lessons about the need for close liaison between tanks, infantry, and artillery, which they would later apply in the Battle of Cambrai (1917). Arras

Tilbrook E.G. Edward George Tilbrook, 9th Battalion Essex Regiment. Lived Fairfield Road, Braintree. Born 1890's died 17th December 1919. Enlisted in 9th Battalion Essex Regiment 30th August 1914.

Discharged as medically unfit 13th October 1914. Attested again in July 1915 for home service only, giving Charles Tilbrook (uncle) of 103 manor Street as next of kin. Transferred to 2nd Suffolk Regiment (HS) May 1916 and then to 2nd Garrison Bedford Regiment during December 1916. During February 1917 the regiment moved to Karachi where Edward once again developed the Tubercular disease of the lung that had attacked him before the war and once more in 1915. By October 1917 he was declared unfit for further service. He returned home during March 1918 being awarded a disablement pension (27/6d) when discharged in April of that year. He died aged 26 17th December 1919. Brother Herbert Victor above.

Townrow G.C. Rifleman Gerald Claud Townrow 652842. 2nd/21st London Regiment (First Surrey Rifles). Died 14th February 1918. Jerusalem Memorial. Fifth son of Charles, an Outfitter, the family lived next door to the Constitutional House.

"Pte Gerald C. Townrow, aged 25, London Reg, fifth son of the late Charles Townrow, Outfitter, Braintree, was killed in the operations before Jericho, Palestine on Feb 14th. He had previously fought in France and Salonika and had escaped injury. Pte G.C/Townrow who joined the army in August 1914 was single. He has two brothers serving in the forces." (Essex Chron 8th Mar 18)

Townsend E.S. Private Ernest Sydney Townsend 67769. Posted to 2nd/4th Bn. London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). 173rd Bde. 58th (2/1st London) Div. Died 26 October 1917. Born White Notley, lived Braintree. TYNE COT MEMORIAL. The Third Battle of Passchendaele. Born White Notley, moved to Braintree where his father, now a widower, was horseman on farm. Attended Old High School.

Braintree Congregational Church Memorial.

Turpin F. Private Frank Turpin 10118 (?) 1st Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment. 91st Bde.
7th Division. Died 22nd October 1917. Rayne. ST SEVER CEMETERY EXTENSION, ROUEN. Born Felsted. 1901 the family lived next to the silk mill. Father & Eldest brother were Blacksmiths, and Frank an Iron Fitter. Mother died 1909.

During the First World War, Commonwealth camps and hospitals were stationed on the southern outskirts of Rouen. A base supply depot and the 3rd Echelon of General Headquarters were also established in the city. Almost all of the hospitals at Rouen remained there for practically the whole of the war. They included eight general, five stationary, one British Red Cross and one labour hospital, and No. 2 Convalescent Depot.

@The Western Front Association Essex Branch
Usher R.C. Lance Corporal RAYMOND CHARLES USHER 12490. 10th Bn, Essex Regiment. 53rd Bde. 18th (Eastern) Division. Died age 21 on 1st November 1916. Son of Mrs. Maria Usher, of Church St., Bocking, Braintree, Essex. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL. Ancre Valley. Born Bocking, worked as a 'finisher,' his father, a machine cleaner, died in 1899 when Raymond was four. Mother worked at Crape Factory (Courtaulds) and had three other children, Harold, Violet & Cecil.

Thought to have died while defending 'Regina Trench.'
"Mrs Usher of Church Street, Bocking, informed that her second son L/Cpl Raymond Charles, aged 22, missing since November 1916, presumed killed on that date. Joined Essex Regt Sept 1914." (Essex Ch 21st.Sep.17)

Wakefield J. Private James Wakefield 3/2377. 1st Bn. Essex Regiment. 88th Bde. 29th Division. Died 15th May 1915. CAIRO WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY. Wounds from Cape Helles most likely, possibly disease. Born Cressing 1881, son of Agricultural Labourer who died when James Henry was six. 1901 worked as general labourer in East Ham, living with married sister Edith Taylor.

Walker H.W. Lance Corporal HAROLD WILLIAM WALKER 34799. 11th Bn., Essex Regiment. 71st Bde. 6th Div. Died age 19 on 22nd April 1917.Son of Arthur and Emily Walker,of 64, Victoria St, Braintree, Essex. LOOS MEMORIAL. Long stretch in trenches, withdrawn but forced back to hold line. Attack made with tired men at first successful. Forced back under heavy counter attack. A count found twenty four men out of ninety returned.

"Mr & Mrs Arthur Walker, 23 Victoria Street,.........that their second son L/Cpl H.W. Walker, Essex Regt, missing since 22nd April is now presumed dead on that day. Arthur was treasurer to the Braintree Discharged Soldiers Association." (Essex Ch. 1st Feb.18)

Warren F.E. Lance Corporal FRANK ERNEST WARREN 80185. 1/1st Essex Yeomanry. 8th Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division. Died age 22 on 11th April 1917. Husband of Minnie Maria Hook (formerly Warren), 56, East St., Braintree, Essex. (Demolished) ARRAS MEMORIAL. Married Maria Leach at St Michaels, 20th Nov 1913.

"Joined the Yeomanry two months before the war, was 22 and employed at Crittall's Works.  Killed by a shell. Leaves a widow & one child." (Essex Ch.22nd Mar.18)                                                                            
Monchy-le-Preux On 11th April 1917, during the advance from Arras, the 8th Cavalry Brigade was ordered to advance mounted over open country to occupy high ground east and north east of Monchy-le-Preux, a key position between the Scarpe and the Sensee. During an advance by bounds by the Essex Yeomanry, followed by the 10th Hussars, the leading two troops of C Squadron were mown down on crossing a ridge and the two regiments occupied Monchy and dug in. The two regiments, commanded by Lt Col Whitmore, held Monchy against determined German attacks for 18 hours until relieved by infantry. The Essex Yeomanry suffered 135 casualties and almost all the horses were killed. Many awards were made, in particular Lance Corporal H Mugford, late of the Essex Yeomanry, won the Victoria Cross for keeping his machine gun in action with both legs broken and other wounds. Essex Yeomanry.

Essex Yeomanry Plaque, Chelmsford Cathedral.

Wass F. Sergeant Frank Wass 1747. 1/5th Essex Regiment. 161st Bde. 54th (East Anglian) Division. Died 18th August 1915. Son of Henry Wass, Stone Cottages, Greenstead Green, Halstead. HELLES MEMORIAL. Suvla Bay. Died of wounds on Hospital ship. Buried at sea. Born Halstead 1879. Father, an Agricultural Labourer, lost his wife in 1885 and moved to Greenstead Green. Frank enlisted in Essex Regt and served in Boer War. Upon return lived Bocking and worked at Crittall's. Attested 29th August 1914.

The Battalion landed on 'A' beach Suvla Bay on the 10th August 1915 and a few days later advanced under heavy fire to lane close to enemy line. Many casualties during advance, many more in difficult situation in lane, cover minimal, enemy within yards on occasion. Sergeant Wass wounded here, died on hospital ship and buried at sea.

Watson H. Private Herbert Watson 26534. 7th Bn. Norfolk Regiment. 35th Bde. 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 28th April 1917. Born Bocking 1894. ARRAS MEMORIAL. Son of a Poultry Dealer, the seventh child of eight on the 1901 census. Called up 21st Aug 1916, arrived Boulogne 11th Dec 1916. Joined 7th Battalion 31st Dec 1916. Reported missing 28th April 1917. Wife Emma Watson.

The Battle of Arleux. After a ten day rest the Division re-entered the Arras battlefield, 37th Brigade going into the forward positions between the north east of Monchy and the River Scarpe. On 28 April, formations north of 12th Division undertook an operation to capture Roeux. 35th Brigade took part and attacked Rifle and Bayonet Trench but owing to heavy enemy shellfire and machine guns firing from Roeux, which was not captured, fell back to its start point.
12th div Long Long Trail 

Watson H.H. Private HERBERT HARRY WATSON 55796. 51st Coy., Machine Gun Corps (Inf). 51st Bde. 17th Division. Died age 27 on 14th July 1917. Son of Samuel and Catherine Watson, of 25, New St., Braintree, Essex. SUNKEN ROAD CEMETERY, FAMPOUX. Arras. Married Edith Maud Mayne, 20th Dec 13. Born Bethnal Green, silk weaver. (Warners) Widow received £5 nine shillings and four pence pay and war gratuity.

"12/13. In Warner's Cricket Club and sang in St Peters choir. Herbert, son of a Silk Weaver, was himself a Silk Weaver at Warner's Mill and was the first silk weaver to fall although several others have been wounded or taken prisoner. He was well known in Braintree Football and cricketing circles. He captained the St Michaels FC when they won the North Essex League Cup 19er's Choir." (Essex Ch 27th July17)

Watson J. Private WATSON, JOHN 43629. 9th Bn. Essex Regiment. 35th Bde 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 11th July 1917 aged 22. Son of the late William G. Watson, of 4, Drury Lane, Braintree, Essex. ARRAS MEMORIAL. Father a brickies labourer by 1911 John a labourer at iron works, elder brother William grocers shop lad. Mother Esther had six children, by 1911 four were dead. Drury Lane somewhat run down area now rebuilt.

Monchy le Preux Between 17 May and 19 October 1917, the Division held positions east of Monchy le Preux, mounting several raids and small scale attacks and beating off some made against them, notably in the area of Hook Trench - Pick Avenue - Tites Copse. Much manual work took place, for the position held in May was of shell holes and disconnected parts of trenches, with few dugouts and no communications. When out of the line, units took part in training at Beaurains, where a scale model of the area occupied had been built for the purposes of instruction.
12th div Long Long Trail

Watson, J. Private James Watson 42871. 1st/8th Batt. Manchester Regiment. Died 30th August 1918. Son of William & Caroline Watson, 3 Martin's Yard, Braintree. Manchester Cemetery, Riencourt-les-Bapaume, Somme. Parents had 14 children 3 of whom were dead by 1911. Father a poultry dealer in 1901 a brickies labourer by 1911 and in that year James was employed by Crittall's as a machinist. Family lived three doors from A.W.Stock.

Braintree Congregational Church Memorial.

Attack on Reincourt-les- Bapaume on evening of 29th. Heavy casualties from machine gun plus gas and high explosive shelling
. Diary

Webb J.A. Company Serjeant Major JAMES ALFRED WEBB 12295. 9th Bn. Essex Regiment. 35th Bde 12th (Eastern) Division. Died age 23 on 11th July 1917. Son of Daniel William and Harriet Webb, of Haverhill, Suffolk. Husband of Daisy Webb, of "La Boiselle," Rayne Rd., Braintree, Essex. FAUBOURG D'AMIENS CEMETERY, ARRAS. Born Haverhill 1893, Suffolk, his father a Woollen Warehouseman, other family members also employed there 1911. Eight children in family, three deceased by 1911. Married Daisy late 1915 in Suffolk. Arrived France 30th May 1915, died of wounds 11th July 1917 while acting CSM.

Monchy le Preux Between 17 May and 19 October 1917, the Division held positions east of Monchy le Preux, mounting several raids and small scale attacks and beating off some made against them, notably in the area of Hook Trench - Pick Avenue - Tites Copse. Much manual work took place, for the position held in May was of shell holes and disconnected parts of trenches, with few dugouts and no communications. When out of the line, units took part in training at Beaurains, where a scale model of the area occupied had been built for the purposes of instruction.
12th div Long Long Trail

Wells H.V. Private HENRY VICTOR WELLS 12148. 9th Bn. Essex Regt. 35th Bde 12th (Eastern) Division. Died on 20th November 1917. Born Colchester? CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL, France. Landed in France 30th May 1915, acting Sergeant at death on 20th November 1917.. Married Beatrice in 1915

The special role of 12th Division in the attack of 20 November 1917 was to capture its first objective and then form a defensive flank to the south east, keeping in touch with 55th (West Lancashire) Division which was not attacking. Advancing from Gonnelieu, the Division moved forward through Sonnet and Pam Pam Farms, Bonavis and Lateau Wood, and dug in a defensive flank to allow the cavalry to pass unrestricted, as ordered. 12th Div Long Long Trail

"Private H.V.Wells, Essex Regt, of Church Lane, Bocking, killed on November 20th by the bursting of a shell. He died at Cambrai. he was 28 and leaves a widow." (Essex Ch 23rd Dec 17) "He had been in the army since the beginning of the war and abroad for over two years. Formerly employed as a Furniture Porter. His parents, brothers and sister lived in Blackwater End. (Essex Weekly News 21st Dec 17) and (In Memoriam, Essex Ch 22nd Nov 18)

Wenden C.B. 2nd Lieutenant Charles Blade Wenden. 104th Siege Bty. Royal Garrison Artillery. 2nd Army. Died 31st July 1917. Age 28. Armentieres. Husband of Jessie May Wenden, Grove Terrace, Witham. BELGIAN BATTERY CORNER CEMETERY. Born Braintree, lived Great Square 1891 next to Bell Inn, father a Butcher. 1901 attending private school in Witham. 1911 Builders managing clerk boarding with the Hart family at 138 South Street Braintree.  Living Witham at time of death.  Entered war 16th July 1917 Seven men killed at same time indicating direct hit on gun or premature explosion which occurred with such guns.  Widow moved to Manningtree.  

"Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori" 

Battery: Two 12 inch railway howitzers. Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery  Also on Witham Memorial. In 1911 Wenden lodged with Arthur & Edith Hart, South Street, Braintree.  For most of 1916/17 the guns, that were nicknamed ‘Iron Duke’ and ‘Mary Bull,’ (and later Maud and Sheila), operated on the Ypres Tactical loop. A purpose built track that alleviated the problem of hostile retaliatory fire by quickly and easily allowing the guns too move in/out of range; and the track curvature facilitated a wide angle of targeture. Flooding is mentioned as a major problem, the constant movement helped reduce the track sinking in the waterlogged Flanders ground under the weight of its 60 tons. It was not just the gun railway carriages, but included an entourage of 7 ammunition trucks carrying 750 lb shells. On one occasion 3 of these trucks were hit by shellfire A recent forum thread on Railway guns included a Railway 12 in How photo and a painting.  Ororkep  Great War Forum  

104 SB, formed at Plymouth, went out to the Western Front on 30 June 1916 joining 2nd Army Heavy Artillery coming into action at Neuvre Englise. Later with 11 HAG 9/7/16 and 88 HAG 2/4/17, the battery suffered heavy casualties during 3rd Ypres through shelling and a premature. In Aug 1916 its 2 x Mk 1 12 in Hows on railway mts had a compliment of 106, inclusive of 6 Officers, 1 Warrant Off, and 6 Serjeants. The CO was a Mjr Brierley. A diary survives from entry to Jan 1918 at WO95/323. These particular 12 Hows proved to be rather unreliable with several prematures occurring resulting in casualties and the guns totally replaced on occasions. OrorKep  Great War Forum

King Edward School Chelmsford

Wendon W. Private William Wendon 8161. 1st Bn. Essex Regiment. 88th Bde. 29th Division. Died 6th June 1915. Age 34. Son of Charles Wendon, Braintree. Helles Memorial Gallipoli. Third Battle of Krithia. Born Braintree 1881, his father a Bricklayers Labourer in 1891 and his mother, who had four children, William, Maud, Beatrice & Annie, Annie dying before 1911. According to the 1891 census, Maud a silk winder and Annie a Silk twister.  In 1911 they lived in Buckwoods Cottages Black Notley, though Charles is not on the census.  Maud sole legitimate heir received his effects and war gratuity totalling £9-19s-7d. Presumed dead 6th June 1915.

Wiffen E. Corporal EDGAR WIFFEN. R/3000. 9th Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps. 42nd Brigade. 14th (Light) Division. Died age 21 on 1st August 1915. Son of the late William Walter and Martha Wiffen, of 7, Notley Rd. Braintree, Essex. OSTTAVERNE WOOD CEMETERY. Fighting from the 30th-31st July on the Menin Road near Zoave Wood. ‘Liquid fire’ used by the Germans for first time. Enlisted 28th August 1914 at Winchester. Lance Corporal 26th November 1915, promoted Corporal on the 9th February 1915. Paperwork claims kKilled in action 30th July 1915 while the official documents claim 1st August as death date. Home service until joining B.E.F. 9th May 1915. Living 35 Chesham Place, Westminster, Middlesex. "Of Braintree, Essex. Soon to faithful warriors comes their rest." Mr W.W. Wiffen, 473, Higher Brunshaw, Burnley, Lancashire.

"Edgar, the youngest son of the late W.W. Wiffen, Verger of Braintree Parish Church, was killed in action. The deceased, who was a native of Braintree, joined the army in September before the war he had served an apprenticeship to the late Mr J.D.Downing, Chemist, Braintree." (Essex Ch. 13th Aug 15)

Wiffen F.H. Private FREDERICK HARRY WIFFEN 31812. 10th Bn. Essex Regiment. 53rd Bde. 18th (Eastern) Division. Died age 33 on 28th February 1917. Born Panfield 1884. Was a Colour Dyer for 17 years at Coulthards, Ltd., Bocking. BOULOGNE EASTERN CEMETERY. Possibly wounded during Actions of Miraumont, 17–18 February Married Emily Ellen Smith in 1906, one child Frederick S.W. in 1911.

"Rest in the Lord." Mrs E. Wiffen, Bridge End, Church St, Bocking.

"Frederick, the son of a Head Horse-Keeper, was born Finchingfield but by 1891 the family lived at Panfield Green where his brothers & sisters were born. Was a Colour Dyer at Courtaulds for 17 years. Left a wife & family." "In loving memory of my dear husband and daddy....died in France...." (In Memoriam, Essex Ch.7th Mar18.)
Married Emily Ellen Smith, March 1906.

Wilken H. Private Herbert Wilken 12202, 9th Batt. Essex Regiment. 35th Bde 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 19th October 1915, age 23. Son of James and Charlotte Wilken, 153, Bradford Street, Bocking. Brother Percy also fell. LOOS MEMORIAL. Born Bocking, December 1892.  A Maltster, second son of a Horseman on farm. In 1901 the family of six lived in Lower Bradford Street. 1911 Herbert worked as Maltster. Entered war 30th May 1915. Brother Percy also fell, see below. (Wilkins H. on Memorial) (Father appears to have died after war?) VERMELLES QUARRIES, Arras.

Wilkin P. Private Percy J. Wilkin 20111, 8th Batt, East Surrey Regiment. 55th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division.  Died 7th August 1916Son of James and Charlotte Wilken, 153, Bradford Street, Bocking.  BREWERY ORCHARD CEMETERY, BOIS-GRENIER Armentieres, France. Farm labourer. Younger brother of Herbert above. Armentieres. Eleven comrades died during this encounter. The 8th East Surreys had dribbled footballs while going 'over the top' on the 1st July 1916 at the Somme.

Effects & war gratuity £5-12-9d.

Williams.de Kewer. Lance Corporal de Kewer Williams 12535. 9th Bn. Essex Regiment. 35th Bde 12th (Eastern) Division. Died 12th August 1916. Age 21. Son of Charles & Lily Elizabeth P. Williams, Bradford Street, Bocking. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme. Pozieres possibly. Born Bocking 1895, father Cocoa Fibre Mat Maker and 1901 census gives him living with grandparents next door.  Elder brothers Percy, Frank & Ashley, plus younger sister Violet.  Entered France 30th May 1915 killed in action 12th August 1916.

Effects & War Gratuity to father £12-16-6d.

Willis J.J. Private James Joseph WILLIS 251105. 1st/5th Bn., Essex Regiment. 54th (East Anglian) Division. Previously 3873 Essex Regiment. Died age 19 on 2nd November 1917. Son of Amelia Chinnery (formerly Willis), of 15, Malting Lane, Bradford St., Bocking, and the late Joseph Willis. JERUSALEM MEMORIAL. Braintree baptist Church Memorial. Born Islington, London 19th March 1899.

Effects & War gratuity paid to mother £16-17-4d

"Eldest son of Mrs Chinnery (Formerly Willis) died of wounds to head and exhaustion. He joined the army at the age of 16, leaving employment with C.Bailey, Grocer." (Essex Ch.15th Feb.18)
Lloyd George's anxiety for a victory while the Western Front suffered stalemate enabled Allenby to demand resources refused to General Murray previously. Allenby however had to take Jerusalem by Christmas! A wide attack covering the ground from Gaza to Beersheba began early on the morning of October the twenty seventh 1917 when the Cavalry led the attack on Beersheba. Early on the morning of the seventh XXI Corps, including the 1/5th Essex, attacked the Turkish trench system from their base along the shore of the Mediterranean. Fighting began at 3.00 hours in the morning with the 1/5th attacking from the beach against the formidable 'Rafa Redoubt' and 'Zowaid Trench.' The shell fire, the mist, smoke and dust from the beach all caused consideable confusion and the wrong target was attacked at one point in the confusion. Somewhere during this attack, fighting against stiff opposition, 19 year old Private James Joseph WILLIS fell. His body was never recovered. With the 5th he had already served at Gallipoli where the battalion suffered heavily before being evacuated to Egypt in December 1915.

Wise W.W. Lance Corporal WILLIAM WALTER WISE. G/42790. 16th Bn., Middlesex Regiment. (Public Schools) XIV Corps. 86th Bde. 29th Division. ex 8th East Surrey Regiment. Died age 18 on 19th August 1917. Son of Walter and Laura Wise, of Green Lane, Bocking, Essex. (Unknown) TYNE COT MEMORIAL. Enlisted Warley. Born Southwark 1899, son of Tramway Motor Man. In 1901 family lived in 37 South Place (demolished). 1911 lived Balham with younger brothers Alfred, Frederick & Edward.

Effects & War Gratuity to father £7-18-4d

Wright G. Rifleman George Wright S/26675 2nd Batt. Rifle Brigade. 25th Brigade, 8th Division. Died 22nd November 1916. age 34. Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Wright, of Plaistow, London; husband of Ada Ann Wright, of Bocking Church Street, Braintree, Essex.  ST. PIERRE CEMETERY, AMIENS. Somme. 1882 Born West Ham.  Married Ada Ann Self of Church Street, Bocking in 1910. 1911 lived 20a Khartoum Road, Plaistow.

"Till the day dawn and the shadows flee"

Effects & Gratuities to widow £5-13-8d

Young W.A. Private William Arthur YOUNG 3952. 3rd/5th Bn., Essex Regiment. Reserve battalion. Died age 18 on 5th June 1916. Son of Arthur and Caroline Lily Young, of 12, Hay Lane, Cressing Rd., Braintree. BRAINTREE AND BOCKING (BRAINTREE) CEMETERY. Born Cressing 1898, son of a horseman on Fells Farm.  1911 the family, now with 6 children, were at North End, Felsted where William worked as farm labourer.  The 3/5th Essex were a Home based Reserve battalion. Young died from neuritis at Military Hospital Ayelsbury. Effects & War gratuity to father £7-7-8d 

"Rest in Peace."

5th of June 1916 was the day HMS 'Hampshire' sank while carrying Lord Kitchener to Russia

The information presented here has come from several places, notably the efforts of R. Ricketts of the Brain Valley Archaeology Society, Peter Clark, Frank Toogood, and myself. We are happy to amend any mistakes and always keen to add any new information concerning those who served, whether they are mentioned on the Memorial or whether they survived and returned to their homes.

Several men are buried in the Braintree & Bocking Cemeteries 

but are not on the memorial.



Private Service No: 5817
Date of Death: 18/12/1916. 
Regiment/Service: Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 2nd/6th Bn. 195th (2/1st Scottish Rifles) Brigade
Grave Reference 21. 29. 

2/6th Battalion Formed at Hamilton in September 1914 as a home service ("second line") unit. 
January 1915 : attached to 195th Brigade in 65th Division. Moved to Cambusbarron by August 1915. 
November 1915 : with 2/7th Bn, formed 18th Battalion. January 1916 : absorbed the 2/7th Bn. Moved to Billericay in March 1916 and on to Terling in Essex by July 1916. Billeted in Braintree.Great War Forum

George Henry Boyton

BOYTON, George Henry

Rank: Boy  Service No: 335212  Date of Death: 31/03/1921  Age: 18

Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force  Grave Reference 5768.


Additional Information: Son of Mrs. Eleanor Mary Boyton, (Born 1869, Messing) of 8, Sandpit Rd, Braintree (Rebuilt)  Born 1903, Father George Henry Boyton (born 1867, died 18 Ap. 1927) Quiet Zone Enlisted sometime between Aug 1919 and Jan 1921.

ivate Ernest Plumb 022619. Army Ordnance Corps No.6 Sect (Chatham) Died 10th Nov 1918.   Age 34. BRAINTREE & BOCKING (BOCKING) CEMETERY.

No info, died of flu perhaps? An Ernest Plumb born Felstead. Not on their Roll of Honour.

Gunner Andrew Smith

SMITH, A. Gunner 2609.  211th Lowland Battery, Royal Field Artillery.  Died 11th May 1916. Braintree & Bocking (Braintree) Cementery.

Accidentally killed at Maldon 11th May 1916.  

Effects £1-16-10d & War gratuity £3 paid to father Andrew.  Mrs C. Smith c/o Jas. Manson, 1 Tarvit Street, Edinburgh

Others buried or lost elsewhere include:-

Private Herbert George Wright 1656. 1/1st Essex Yeomanry. 8th Cavalry Bde. 3rd Cavalry Division. Died 14th May 1915. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL. Lived Great Leighs.

9th May saw new German attacks further south on 27th Division astride the Menin road; intense German bombardments accompanied violent assaults which were repeatedly held and, over the next three days, no significant breakthrough was made. A final crisis occurred on 13 May, a day of ceaseless rain and shelling, with a German break-in on 7th Cavalry Brigade’s quagmire of a front and enemy bombardments causing temporary evacuations of 4th Division’s line; counter-attacks and skilful use of support troops restored the situation – though at heavy cost in lives. Six days of intense fighting yielded German gains of around 1,000 yards of front between Hooge and Mouse Trap Farm but at such high cost in casualties that offensive operations were halted. The 7th Cavalry Brigade's desperate situation on 13 May was much aided by a counter-attack carried out in the afternoon by 8th Cavalry Brigade supported by part of 9th Cavalry Brigade and assisted by the remnants of the Leicestershire Yeomanry. It proved impossible to re-occupy the original 'trench' line and a newly established 'shell-hole line' was occupied, a thousand yards to rear. No further advance was attempted by the Germans that day.   CWGC.Frezenberg Ridge  Private Herbert George Wright  Great Leighs Memorial

Lance Corporal Francis James Wright. 252721. 11th Essex Regiment, Formally 4528, 4th Battalion, The London RegimentDied 12/10/1918, Age: 24. Busigny Communal Cemetery Extension, France
Born Bocking.  Son of: Frank and Emily Wright, of 1 Sunny Side, Rayne Road, Bocking. Grocers shop Assistant
Medals: 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal Date of entry into Theatre of War: 27/10/1915
        (Wright, G. Private, on memorial in St Mary’s, Bocking)


Rank: Private Service No: 27819 Date  of Death:10/07/1917
Northamptonshire Regiment 1st Bn. 

Additional Information:

Husband of Alice Mary Young, of Merks Hill Farm, Great Dunmow, Essex.

Felsted Remembers 

Not on Memorial

Rallings T. Private Ernest Walter Rallings 13538. “D” Coy. 10th Bn. Essex Regiment. Died 2nd Jan 1916. Age 23. Son of Walter & Mary Rallings, The Hyde, Great Saling, Essex. MEAULTE MILITARY CEMETERY. La Boiselle, Somme. A 'quiet sector' at the time. Died of wounds. Entered war 25th July 1915. Born Great Saling 1892, father a gardener, at census had sisters Edith, Alice & Bessie.

"Jesus has called him to his perfect peace."