Mevagissey War Memorial

 
World War 1

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BARBER Reginald Vernon

 

Seaman 3340A, S.S VARSOVA, Royal Naval Reserve died from ‘disease’ on 12th January 1916 age 24 at the 15th General Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt. Cause of death was ‘Enteric Fever’ (Typhoid Fever).

 

Seaman BARBER is Remembered with Honour and buried at Chatby Military Cemetery, Alexandria, Egypt Plot A Grave 95.

Personnel Inscription ‘A VOICE WE LOVED IS STILL THY WILL BE DONE.’

Son of the late James and Laura BARBER. Born at Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

During 1915 until his death, Seaman BARBER served on S.S VARSOVA which, at the time, was an overflow base hospital at Basra and then as an ambulance transport service to Gallipoli. Reginald was born on the 27th January 1891 in Mevagissey to James Barber DUNN and Laura HUNKIN. His parents both died in 1896. The Cornishman newspaper for Thursday 23rd July 1896, under Deaths, has James BARBER 52 and records his death at East-Cliff, Mevagissey. The census for 1901 shows Reginald, aged 10 living at ‘Cliff’ (East Cliff), together with his siblings, Laura Jane 26, Wilfred 25, Harold 23, Frederick 21, Emily 18 and Albert 16. The census for 1911 show’s him aged 20, as a boarder in the Sailors Rest, Torquay and attached to HMS CARNARVON.

 

Reginald signed up for the Royal Navy Reserve on 6th February 1911. Up until the 3rd July 1914 he is listed as working on the following fishing boats, Pretty Polly FY 337, Alfred FY 246?, Prima Donna FY 84 and FY 62 name illegible on service record.

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BARRON John George

 

Private 18368, 1st Bn., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Killed in action during the Battle of The Somme – Attacks on High Wood on the 23rd July 1916

 

Private BARRON is Remembered with Honour on the THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France Pier and Face 6B. Attack North of Longueval.

The 1st Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry war diary for the 23rd July 1916 reads –

 FIRING LINE “A, B and D companies assaulted the strong points at 3.40 am D, company was repulsed with heavy loss, Captain Gent, Lieutenants Ellery and Ellis were wounded and Lieutenants Liversidge and Willis were missing and believed, killed. B. Company reached their objective but as the enemy came round their flank, they were compelled to retire with heavy loss due to machine gunfire. A Company also reached their objective but was compelled to retire owing to machine gun fire from rear and the fact that their flanks were also in the air. The Battalion was relieved by the 1st Devons and returned to trenches in HAPPY VALLEY”

 

John was born in 1895 in Mevagissey the son of Charles and Amelia BARRON. The census for 1901 shows him as a 5 year old living in Chapel Street, Mevagissey with his father aged 28, mother aged 25, siblings Charles aged 7 and Gordon aged 2.

In the 1911 census the family are living in Jetty Street, Mevagissey, Charles senior is a 37 year old Fisherman, Amelia is aged 35, John is a 16 year old Fisherman. Also living at the property are his siblings, Gordon aged 13, William aged 10, Arthur aged 8, Annie aged 6, Gilbert aged 3 and Alec aged 1.

An article from the Lost Gardens of Heligan shows John as a Heligan Labourer until July 1914.

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BARRON Roy Oliver

 

Private 13196, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. He served from 7th September 1914 to 7th June 1916, when he was honourably discharged having been wounded through the lung in France. He was issued with the *Silver War Badge and certificate on 6th November 1916, badge number 52635. He died on the 3rd April 1918 age 21.

 

Private BARRON is Remembered with Honour and buried in Mevagissey Cemetery.

 

An article in the Cornish Guardian said “The funeral took place on Sunday last (7th April 1918), when there were several mourners, and a very large number of the inhabitants attended the funeral. The Rev. T. Morgan (vicar) officiated. Much sympathy is felt for the parents.” The same article states that Roy was one of the first men to volunteer from Mevagissey. 

 

He was born in Mevagissey in 1897, the census of 1901 shows him as a 4 year old living in Meadow Street, Mevagissey with his grandparents, James MILLS a 50 year old fisherman and Mary Anne MILLS age 54. Also living at the property were Alfred William MILLS a 21 year old fisherman, Eliza Jane MILLS age 19 and Percy MILLS age 16.

The 1911 census shows him as a 15 year old Labourer at a Net Factory and still living in Meadow Street with his grandparents.

 

*The Silver War Badge was issued in the United Kingdom to service personnel who had been honourably discharged due to wounds or sickness during World War I. The badge, sometimes known as the Discharge Badge, Wound Badge or Service Rendered Badge, was first issued in September 1916, along with an official certificate of entitlement.

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BEHENNAH Alfred Dunn

 

Rifleman 390117, 9th Bn London Regiment (Queen Victoria Rifles). Killed in action at Bullecourt, France on the 8th July 1917 age 20.

 

Rifleman BEHENNAH is Remembered with Honour and buried in Hermies Hill British Cemetery, Hermies,

Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France Plot 4, Row B, Grave 18.

 

Personnel inscription ‘GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS’

Son of James and Elizabeth BEHENNAH, of “Havrincourt,” Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

Alfred was born on the 1st April 1897 in Mevagissey to James BEHENNAH and Elizabeth DUNN. The 1901 census shows him age 4, living in Fore Street, Mevagissey, with his parents James 43 a Fisherman, Elizabeth 37, siblings Margaret 12, Alfreda 10 and Minnie 6. In 1911 he’s living in Polkirt Street, Mevagissey with his parents James 53 still listed as a Fisherman, Elizabeth 47 and sibling Minnie 16. Alfred is 14 and his occupation is a Telegraph Boy.

 

At the age of 16 Alfred joined the firm of Messrs Pawson and Leaf, Carters Lane, London. Early in 1914 he became a member of 2/9th Battalion (Queen Victoria’s Rifles) The London Regiment Territorial Force. On the out break of war, he volunteered for foreign service, but remained in England for some time. During this period he underwent a special course of training for signalling.

 

Alfred served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from January 1917, where he was placed in charge of a signal section. He was killed in action at Bullecourt, France on 8th July 1917.

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BURT Arthur

 

Private 13201, 7th Bn Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Killed in action during the Battle of Flers – Courcelette, which was part of the Battle of the Somme, on 16th September 1916 age 28.

 

Private BURT is Remembered with Honour on the THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France.

He is now buried at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Guards’ Cemetery, Lesboeufs, France.

 

Personnel inscription ‘A DAY OF DUTY DONE A DAY OF REST BEGUN’.

Son of William and Amelia BURT, of 8 Tregoney Street, Mevagissey, Cornwall

The 7th (Service) Battalion The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry were formed in Bodmin, September 1914 under the command of 61st Brigade in 20th (Light) Division. They were deployed to the Western Front, landing in Boulogne on the 25th July 1915.

The 7th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry were dug in at WATERLOT FARM, East of GINCHY when at 1.30am on 16th September 1916, the 61st Brigade were notified that they would move forward attached to the 3rd Guards Brigade, to assist them with the attack on LESBOEUFS. The order of attack would be 7thD.C.L.I. on the right supported by 7th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 7th Somerset Light Infantry on left supported by 12th King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

 

At about 4.30am the Battalion arrived at their jump off point and proceeded to dig in. The weather had cleared, light was good, as a result the enemy saw them and opened fire with heavy, accurate minenwerfer (mortars) and machine gun fire. This caused serious losses, including several commanders injured or killed. The firing continued unceasingly until zero hour.

 

The Battalion moved forward to attack under extremely heavy machine gun fire from both flanks. They got to within 70yrds of the enemy trenches, where they held their position while the battalion’s disposition was altered to plug gaps created by casualties. They again moved forward, capturing their first objective and taking 100 prisoners, these prisoners were immediately sent back. The prisoner then came under fire from their own machine guns and at least a third became casualties.

 

An attack on their second objective, Catain Macmillan, had to be delayed as the Battalion had no support to its left, other than an isolated company of the Somerset Light Infantry. A request was successfully made for the 7th K.O.Y.L.I. to support the right flank. At about 10.30am, the isolated company of SOM.L.I. were driven back along Sunken Road, resulting in the left flank being left open. Due to this, the enemy delivered a repeated and strong bombing attack that was eventually beaten off after about two hours. The 7th D.C.L.I. were reinforced by two bombing sections from 7th K.O.Y.L.I. and some bombers from the KINGS, their own having been wiped out by Minenwerfer fire before the advance. The enemy continued with deadly sniper fire, killing the commander of ‘A’ company, Mr CHILWELL and there were losses in other ranks.

 

Enemy bombardment continued intermittently and at dusk a platoon of K.O.Y.L.I., plus a bombing section and a Lewis gun dug themselves in on a line running back from the 7th D.C.L.I. left flank parallel to Sunken Road. Apart from digging in and a reconnaissance of the enemy no further attacks were made that day. 

 

CERTIFICATE FOR GALLANT CONDUCT.

 The 7th Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry War Diary entry for 24th September 1916, shows that Private BURT was awarded a Certificate, signed by Major General W.D. SMITH, for gallant conduct during the operation at GUILLEMONT on the 3rd September 1916. The entry also shows – ‘No 11320 Pte Burt. A. “C” Coy (since killed)’.

His service number has been written wrongly and should be 13201.

 

An entry in the diary for 11th October 1916 also reads –

 

“Certificate of gallant conduct awarded and signed by 

Maj Gen W.D. Smith were presented to following N.C.O’s and men

No 15636 Sgt F.R. WELLS

“10965 “  M. MACK

“11320" Pte A. BURT

 

A further entry on 22nd October 1916 shows that a divine service parade for all ranks was held. Honours and rewards were awarded to officers and other Ranks of the Battalion while in the SOMME area. The list again shows Pte A BURT as a recipient of a Certificate of Gallant Conduct. It’s unclear if the October entries relate to the same Certificate awarded in September.

 

He was born in Mevagissey in 1887 the son of William Coffin BURT and Amelia SMITH. The census of 1891 show’s Arthur aged 3 living with his parents and sibling’s George 24, Amelia 15, James 13, Peter 10, Walter 8, Annie 6, in Chapel Street Mevagissey. 

The census of 1901 shows Arthur aged 14 still living with his parents and siblings James 21, Annie 16, Marina 9, in Tregoney Street, Mevagissey. In 1911, Arthur, aged 23 is still living with his parents in Tregoney Hill, Mevagissey. He is single and described as a ‘Jobbing Gardener’. Arthur enlisted in the army as soon as war broke out in September 1914, aged 27. He signed up at the Keep in Bodmin, which had been the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry headquarters since the 1880’s. Arthur joined 7th Battalion and was soon sent to France after his training. He was praised for his gallant and brave conduct during the attack on Guillemont on 31st August 1916 and was recommended for a Military Medal.

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CARNE John

 

Private 24492, 7th (Service) Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Died on 2nd September 1918 from wounds received on the battlefield at Lievin, Northern France.

 

Private CARNE is Remembered with Honour and buried in Mevagissey Cemetery, Plot A, Grave 263.

 

Son of John and Elizabeth CARNE, of 10, Church Lane, Mevagissey.

 

The 7th Bn DCLI War Diaries show that Pte CARNE was wounded on the battlefield at FLAVY LE MELDEUX, The Oise Department, Northern France between 23rd March and 2nd April 1918. This is the same time and location that Pte William DUNN, also of 7th Battalion DCLI, is listed as missing. Pte CARNE received treatment for his wounds and returned to the front line. 

 

The War Diary for July 1918 shows that Pte CARNE was seriously injured, along with six other men on the 23rd July 1918. The entry in the War Diary for the 22nd July reads-

 

Location LIEVIN “Day passed quietly except for our Artillery action.

A successful raid was carried out at 11.30 pm by Nos 5 + 14

Platoons under 2Lts Howe & Wedge, 1 wounded prisoner + 1 machine

Gun being captured, several casualties inflicted on the enemy

Raiding party suffered 7 casualties all wounded(see attached

Appendix A) – weather fair”.

The entry for 23rd July doesn’t show any casualties so its most likely Pte CARNE was one of the raiding party injured on the 22nd.

 

Due to the serious nature of his wounds, Pte CARNE returned to Britain and on the 2nd September 1918 died from his wounds.

 

John was born in 1891 at Mevagissey to John Dunn CARNE and Elizabeth Jane HAYDON. The census for 1901 has John living in Meadow Street, Mevagissey with his father 38, who is employed as a Basket Maker, mother 36, siblings Lily 16 and Ethel 15. Also living at the premises is his 76 years old grandfather on his mothers side, James THOMAS.

 

The census for 1911 has John, aged 20, employed as a Basket Maker living in Church Lane, Mevagissey with his father 48 and still a Basket Maker, mother 46, sibling Lily 26 and grandfather James THOMAS 87.

 

He enlisted for 7th (Service) Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry which was formed in Bodmin, September 1914 under the command of 61st Brigade in 20th (Light) Division. They were deployed to the Western Front, landing in Boulogne on 25th July 1915, where they remained until the end of the war in 1918.

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CHURCHILL Arthur Lindsay Maury

 

Captain, Royal Army Medical Corps, seconded to 2nd/18th Bn London Regiment (London Irish Rifles). Died of pneumonia on the 24th June 1917 aged 52, at No26 Stationary Hospital, Ismailia, Egypt.

Captain CHURCHILL is Remembered with Honour and buried in the Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt, Row A. Grave 

63.

Personnel inscription ‘ THANKS BE TO GOD WHO GIVETH US THE VICTORY’.

Son of John Flemming CHURCHILL ( Some time Director of Public Works, Ceylon), and of Mrs. CHURCHILL, of Oxford; husband of Kate CHURCHILL, of The Gwineas, Mevagissey, Cornwall.

Captain Ernest MAY wrote the story of the 2/18th London Regiment (2nd Battalion), London Irish Rifles during the First World War, this is an extract from what he wrote -

“We landed at Alexandria and entrained for Ismalia where we were settled in at Moscar Camp on 13th June 1917. Coming from the harsh conditions of Macedonia, in Egypt, we found condition of such comfort as could perhaps not be equalled anywhere else where our army was engaged. Moscar, itself, was a permanent camp of tents with ample accommodation for everyone and water to be had by merely turning on a trap. Melons and fruit in abundance and in great variety and ideal swimming in Lake Timsah only a short distance away.

We were completely re-equipped from the skin out and found numbers of local lads fighting for the honour of doing our washing. This was luxury indeed and we wallowed in it for nearly three weeks. But even here and in these conditions, which to us approached perfection, we lost two of our number: Capt Churchill, the Medical Officer and Rifleman Miller. These are remembered too as the only occasions in the life of the Battalion when we were able to put on a formal military funeral for each of them.

Capt Churchill died within a few days of our arrival and the cause was thought to be sudden change to the great heat of Moscar”.

Captain CHURCHILL was born in 1865 in Sri Lanka to John Flemming CHURCHILL and Jane Lindsay DEAS. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Surrey. In 1909 he married Kate Louisa COUSINS in Mevagissey. In the UK & Ireland Medical Directories for 1915, he is shown to be living at The Gwineas, Mevagissey, Cornwall.

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CLOKE Walter

 

Shipwright 2nd Class service number M/15640, Royal Navy H.M.S Defence. Killed in action at the Battle of Jutland aboard H.M.S Defence on the 31st May 1916.

 

Shipwright 2nd Class CLOKE is Commemorated and Remembered with Honour, on the Plymouth Naval Memorial 17.

 

Son of William CLOKE, of Cliff Street, Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

The Sinking of H.M.S Defence during the Battle of Jutland

 The Battle of Jutland was fought between the 31st May and 1st June 1916 in the North Sea and was the largest naval battle of the First World War, involving 250 ships and around 100,000 men. The Royal Navy lost fourteen ships, one of which was H.M.S Defence and 6,000 sailors. Germany lost eleven ships and 2,500 sailors.

 H.M.S Defence was an armoured cruiser, Minotaur-class launched in 1907 and commissioned in 1909. By the time of the Battle of Jutland and at only nine years old, she was considered obsolete, due to the rapid development of her replacement, the battle cruiser. Armoured cruisers however, were being used by the Grand Fleet in a screening role, of which H.M.S Defence was the flagship of the First Cruiser Squadron. 

 

During the battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916, HMS Defence and HMS Warrior spotted the German II Scouting Group and opened fire. The shells fell short and the two ships turned to port in pursuit, cutting in front of HMS Lion, which was forced to turn away to avoid a collision. Shortly afterwards they spotted the disabled German light cruiser SMS Wiesbaden and closed to engage. When the two ships reached a range of 5,500 yards from Wiesbaden they were spotted by German battlecruiser SMS Derfflinger and four battleships which were less than 8,000 yards away. The German ships fired and HMS Defence was hit by two salvoes from the German ships that caused the aft 9.2-inch magazine to explode. The resulting fire spread via the ammunition passages to the adjacent 7.5-inch magazines which detonated in turn. The ship exploded with the loss of all men on board.

 

Walter was born on 19th December 1893 in Mevagissey to William Beer CLOKE and Ellen VARCOE. The 1901 census has 7 year old Walter living in Cliffe Street, Mevagissey with his father 49, mother 46, siblings William 19, Nellie 17, Peter 14 and Leonard 12.  

 

The census of 1911 has Walter as an apprentice Shipwright and still living in Cliffe Street, Mevagissey with his father 61 employed in Shipping, mother 56, siblings William 29 employed in Shipping, Peter 24 employed in Fishing, Leonard 22 employed in the Sardine Factory and Nellie 27 employed as a Dressmaker.

 

Walter’s Seaman’s Service started on 29th September 1915 at training base Vivid II, Devonport. On 24th November 1915 he joined H.M.S Defence where he remained until his death at the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916.

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DONNITHORNE Henry Thomas (Harry)

 

Corporal 17404, 10th Bn Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (Pioneers). Killed in action near Le Sars, France during the German Spring Offensive on 25th March 1918 aged 20.

Corporal DONNITHORNE is Remembered with Honour and buried at Cambrai East Military Cemetery, France Plot VII. Row B. Grave 53.

 

Personnel Inscription ‘THY PURPOSE LORD WE CANNOT SEE BUT ALL IS WELL THAT’S DONE WITH THEE’.

 

Son of William and Eliza DONNITHORNE, of Church Park, Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

The 10th (Service) Battalion., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (Cornwall Pioneers) were formed at Truro on 29th March 1915. They moved to Penzance, then on the 24th August 1915 they were adopted by the War Office and in October 1915 moved to Hayle. On 20th June 1916 they landed at Le Havre and were attached to the 2nd Division as Pioneers. They were in action during the Battles of the Somme and operations in Ancre. In 1917 they were in action during the German retreat to the Hindenburgh Line. Between 16th July and 7thNovember 1917 they were temporarily attached to the 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division and took part in operations in Flanders and The Battle of Poelcapelle before returning to 2nd Division. In 1918 they fought on the Somme, in Battles of the Hindenburge Line and The Battle of the Selle. 

The following information is from the 10th D.C.L.I. war diary from late on 24th and all of 25th March 1918.

On 24th March 1918, orders were sent for the 10th D.C.L.I. to be attached to the 99th Infantry Brigade under the command of Lt. Col WINTER, D.S.O. They were ordered to the Reserve Line.

At 4.00am on 25th March 1918, 10th D.C.L.I. were ordered to ‘Stand To’, it appeared that troops on the left of the 99th Inf Bde had withdrawn leaving a gap. At 6.30am the 99th moved forward and the order of the front line was to be, 63rd Division on the right, next 10th D.C.L.I., 19th Division. (1/4 Shropshire), “Y”, “Z” and 3 platoons of “X” Companies all got to their positions. The fourth Platoon of “X” company met with a large force of the enemy in SUNKEN ROAD, with threequarters of the Platoon killed or injured, they managed to wipe out the enemy. Due to this attack, a further gap appeared in the frontline that was filled by using every signaller, officer’s servants, two Sgt Instructors and half the runners.

The enemy received reinforcement, so the King’s Royal Rifle Corps moved forward to cover the high ground and cover the general retirement. The enemy advanced to within 300yrds and a decision was made to retire leaving a rear guard of 10th D.C.L.I. in LE SARS, under the command of 2nd Lieutenant A.A.R. OXFORD. They did extremely well, allowing the main body to take up their new positions unhindered. The 10th D.C.L.I.  were unable to hold their position for long as they came under heavy machine gun fire from the high ground and 19th Division retired before the 10th were ready.

Losses during the day were put down to insufficient experience of N.C.O’s and men of what to do. On one occasion a signal was given and the N.C.O’s didn’t know how to act on the it. It was also mentioned that there was a lack of training given to Pioneer Battalions called up for Infantry work.

The 10th D.C.L.I, 1st K.R.R.C. and small part of Royal Berks, tired, thirst, hungry and out of small arms ammunition were relieved by 5th and 6th Infantry Brigades. It was great credit to the trained Infantry men of 1st K.R.R.C. who gave considerable morale and physical support to 10th D.C.L.I, who, only naturally, lacked the necessary experience. 

 

Harry was born in 1897 at Mevagissey to William Wills DONNITHORNE and Eliza Thomas GROSE. In 1901 3 year old Harry was living in Church Park, Mevagissey with his father who is 40, mother is 36 and his siblings William 14, Elizabeth 13, Mildred 10, Kathleen 8, Doris 5.

In 1911, aged 13, Harry is still living in Church Park with his parent. His father is a 51 years old Tinplate Worker at the Sardine Factory, mother is 46 and siblings Kathleen 18, Doris 15 and Iris 5. 

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DUNN William

 

Private 22627, 7th (Service) Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Killed in action at the Battle of St Quentin, France on 22nd March 1918 Age 25.

 

Private DUNN is Commemorated and Remembered with Honour on the Pozieres Memorial, France. Panel 45.

 

Son of James Henry DUNN, of 1, West Wharf, Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

The 7th Battalion D.C.L.I. were formed in Bodmin, September 1914 under the command of 61stBrigade in 20th (Light) Division. They were deployed to the Western Front, landing in Boulogne on 25th July 1915, where they remained until the end of the war in 1918

 

The Battle of St Quentin was fought between 21st and 23rd March 1918 when the German army launched Operation MICHAEL, the main offensive of the German Spring Offensive. During the Battle 20th (Light) Division were part of the Fifth Army under the command of General GOUGH.

 

On 22nd March 1918, the day Private DUNN was killed, 7th D.C.L.I were ordered to withdraw from their current location in the area of Flavy Le Meldeux and move back to OLLEZY in billets. They dug in around the village of OLLEZY as the enemy had broken through and were nearing the CANAL DE LA SOMME. Together with 12th Kings and Somerset Light Infantry of their Brigade, 7th D.C.L.I. were able to hold the enemy up for several hours. 

In the war diary for the 7th D.C.L.I. they list all the casualties in block, as being wounded, missing or killed in action from 22nd March to 2nd April 1918, no individual days are shown. Private DUNN is showing as missing between those dates.            

William was born in 1893 at Mevagissey to James Henry DUNN and Elizabeth MILLS. In 1901, 7year old William was living at Church Street, Mevagissey with his parents James, a 38 year old Fisherman, his mother who is 28 and siblings Eleanor 9, Elizabeth 6 months.

In 1911, 17 year old William was working in a net factory and living in The Meadow, Mevagissey with his parents and siblings. His father is a 47 year old Fisherman, his mother is 39, siblings Eleanor 19, Elizabeth 9, James Henry 4. 

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DYER Charles

 

Seaman Service Number 3428C, H.M.S. Pembroke, Royal Navy Reserved. Killed or died as a result of an accident on 24th May 1918 Age 35.

 

Seaman DYER is Remembered with Honour and buried in Mevagissey Cemetery Plot B. Grave 338.

 

Son of Charles and Ellen DYER, of Mevagissey, Husband of Annie E DYER, of 11, Meadow Street, Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

Seaman DYER had been receiving treatment for severe Rheumatism at the Royal Mineral Water Hospital, Bath. On 24th May 1918 he left that location and was presumed to have met his death on that date. His body was found in a wood at Bathampton on 18th August 1918.

 

Charles was born on 7th May 1883 in Mevagissey to Charles and Ellen Jane DYER (nee BLAMEY). In 1891, as a 7 year old he is living with his parents and sister, Mary age 3, in Cliffe Street, Mevagissey. Also living with the family was his mother’s brother, William BLAMEY. 

 

In 1901, Charles is shown on two census forms, both show him as a 17 year old gardener at Heligan. He is living in Heligan Mill with his parents, sister and brother Willie aged 8 and also William BLAMEY. The second census for 1901 show’s him living in Heligan with Land Steward, John MARTYN, Elizabeth Grace MARTYN, John’s wife and several domestic staff.

 

On 1st April 1904, having completed training on H.M.S APPOLL, Charles was enrolled into the Royal Naval Reserve, service number B1859. His service record show’s that he worked on several fishing boats, including Reaper FY 123, Annie Jane FY 160 and underwent further training on H.M.S. MARS in 1911.

 

On 22nd October 1905, Charles married Annie Elizabeth OLIVER in the Parish Church, Mevagissey. In 1913 he underwent further training on H.M.S. DONEGAL. In April 1914 he was re-enrolled in the Royal Naval Reserve, service number 3428C. Between August 1914 and January 1915, Charles served on H.M.S. CHARYBDIS, then H.M.S VIVID an accounting/training establishment in Devonport, Plymouth. In March 1915 he joined ‘Spey Bay’, a hired steam drifter Admiralty Number 2015, that was utilised as a net vessel, minesweeper.

 

Charles was attached to several other boats until his final posting on 16th February 1918, to H.M.S PEMBROKE, the Royal Navy barracks at Chatham. He remained there until he was admitted to Bath Royal Mineral Water Hospital on 22nd April 1918.

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FOARD William Coombe

 

Chief Petty Officer Victualling, Service Number 344183(Dev.), H.M.S. Colossus, Royal Navy. Died 8th August 1919, age 37, at Didworthy Sanatorium, Devonshire.

 

Chief Petty Officer Victualling FOARD is Remembered with Honour and buried in Mevagissey cemetery Plot B. Grave 311.

 

Son of Jabez FOARD and the late Amelia (Nee COOMBE) FOARD; husband of the late Mary Ann (Nee HUNKIN) FOARD.

 

William enrolled with the Royal Navy on 30th April 1901 for an initial period of 12 years as a Ships Steward Apprentice. At the time his occupation was a Clerk Bookkeeper and he was described as 5’ 3, with brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. On 3rd May 1904 he was passed for Ships Steward and on 1st November 1907 was promoted to Ships Steward.

 

Prior to the outbreak of World War One, William trained at H.M.S VIVID, the navel training establishment at Devonport and was attached to several different ships. On 1stJuly 1915 until 28th July 1919, William served aboard H.M.S. COLOSSUS as Chief Petty Officer Victualling.

 

During this period, H.M.S. COLOSSUS took part in the Battle of Jutland, between 31st May and 1st June 1916. During the battle she engaged with several enemy ships including SMS WIESBADEN, SMS G42 and SMS DERFFLINGER. H.M.S. COLOSSUS was herself struck by two shells, fired by the battlecruiser SMS SEYDLITZ, however, neither shell caused significant damage.

 

On 12th June 1916 H.M.S. COLOSSUS was transferred to the 4th Battle Squadron, from then onwards she patrolled the North Sea. William was promoted to Chief Petty Officer Victualling on 28th February 1918, his service record show’s this up until 28th July 1919 where he is then shown as ‘Invalided’.

 

William died on 8th August 1919 at Didworthy Sanatorium, Devonshire. At the time, Didworthy Sanatorium was being used for the treatment of ‘Consumptives’, people with a wasting disease, especially pulmonary tuberculosis, but was also known as ‘Plymouth Chest Hospital’.  His home address was shown as 11, St Hilary Terrace, Plymouth.

 

William was born on 28th August 1881 in Mevagissey to James Jabez FOARD and Amelia Jane COOMBE. William’s mother, Amelia, died on the 6th May 1890. The census for 1891 show’s 9 year old William living in River Street, Mevagissey, with his 37 year old father who is employed as a Fish Hawker and siblings Mary E 5, Samuel 3, Jabez 1. Also living at the premises is Mary A Nancollas the aunt of Jabez senior.

 

In 1901, William is living with his father in Church Street and employed as a Commercial Clerk. His father is a 47 year old Fish Hawker, siblings Mary 15, Samuel 13, Jabez 11 and Aunt, Mary A Nancollas is 77 were also living at the premises. 

 

In 1907, William married Mary Anne HUNKIN. The census for 1911 show’s William 29, living at 62 Craven Ave, Salisbury Street, Plymouth, with his wife Mary who is 28, daughter Wilhelma 2 and his sister in law, Janie J HUNKIN who is a 16 year old Telegraphist at the Post Office.

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FRAZIER Raymond

 

Private Service Number 18097, 7th Battalion., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Injured in Armentieres France on the night 24th/25th August 1915. He died on 24th July 1919. *Issued with a silver war badge on 22nd November 1916, badge number 68930. 

 

Private FRAZIER is Remembered with Honour and buried in Mevagissey Cemetery.

 

On 25th January 1915, in Bodmin and at the age of 21, Raymond enlisted for the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. At the time he was living in London House, Fore Street, Mevagissey and his occupation was an Electrical Labourer, his mother Hetty was his next of kin.

 

During Private FRAZIERS service, 7th Battalion D.C.L.I. were attached to the 27th Division, 81st Brigade in Armentières, France. On the night of 24th/25th August 1915, whilst conducting engineering work behind the trenches, Private FRAZIER was hit by an explosive bullet just below his left knee. The Battalion were sustaining nightly loses amongst its working parties from unaimed firing. His left leg was amputated at the thigh two days later.

 

Between the 9th May and 3rd June 1916 Raymond was admitted to Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton for treatment and to receive an artificial leg. He was discharged as unfit for service on 17th June 1916.

 

Raymond was born in 1894 at Mevagissey to Benjamin and Harriet FRAZIER. The census for 1901 show’s 7 year old Raymond living with his parents and siblings in Fore Street, Mevagissey. His father is 42 and a Joiner, mother is 41, siblings Harriet Stintiford 14, Beatrice 19, Henry 9, James 5, Ada 2, Isabel 1.

 

In 1911 the family are still living in Fore Street, Raymond is employed as an Apprentice Electrician. His father is a 51 year old joiner, mother is 50, Emma (Beatrice) 29, James 15, Ada 14, Isabel 13, Stanley 5, Alfred 3.

 

In 1918, Raymond married Ethelwyns VINICOMBE in Mevagissey.  

 

*The Silver War Badge was issued in the United Kingdom to service personnel who had been honourably discharged due to wounds or sickness during World War I. The badge, sometimes known as the Discharge Badge, Wound Badge or Service Rendered Badge, was first issued in September 1916, along with an official certificate of entitlement.

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HOCKING Charles

 

Private 34924, 1st Labour Company, Hampshire Regiment, transferred to (New service number 106405) 178th Company, Labour Corps. Died 14th January 1918 age 36 from illness.

 

Private HOCKING is remembered with Honour and buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium Plot XV. Row H. Grave 23.

 

Personnel Inscription ‘GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS HE GAVE HIS LIFE FOR HIS COUNTRY’.

 

Son of Maria HOCKING, of Tregony Hill, Mevagissey, Cornwall, and the late Joseph HOCKING.

 

On 10th December 1915, at the age of 34, Charles enlisted with 1st Labour Company, Hampshire Regiment. His employment at the time was as a Market Gardener. On his service record, Annie HOCKING was described as his ‘Unofficial wife’ and living at 2 Portland Place, Devonport

 

On 6th March 1917 Private HOCKING left for France, its unclear as to where he was then deployed and at what point he became ill, however, Private HOCKING died at the No 4 Casualty Clearing Station, Belgium on 14th January 1918, as a result of Nephritis (Inflammation of the kidneys).

 

The Casualty Clearing Station was part of the casualty evacuation chain, further back from the front line than the Aid Posts and Field Ambulances. It was manned by troops of the Royal Army Medical Corps, with attached Royal Engineers and men of the Army Service Corps. The job of the CCS was to treat a man sufficiently for his return to duty or, in most cases, to enable him to be evacuated to a Base Hospital. It was not a place for a long-term stay. CCS's were generally located on or near railway lines, to facilitate movement of casualties from the battlefield and on to the hospitals. Although they were quite large, CCS's moved quite frequently, especially in the wake of the great German attacks in the spring of 1918 and the victorious Allied advance in the summer and autumn of that year. Many CCS moved into Belgium and Germany with the army of occupation in 1919 too. The locations of wartime CCSs can often be identified today from the cluster of military cemeteries that surrounded them.

 

Westvleteren was outside the front held by Commonwealth forces in Belgium during the First World War, but in July 1917, in readiness for the forthcoming offensive, groups of casualty clearing stations were placed at three positions called by the troops Mendinghem (to Mend) at Proven, Dozinghem (to Doze) at Westvleteren and Bandaghem (to Bandage) at Haringe. Charles was treated at Dozinghem.

 

Charles was born in 1882 at Mevagissey, son of Joseph and Maria HOCKING. In 1891, 9 year old Charles is living in Polkirt Street with his parents and siblings. His father is a 43 year old Gardener, his mother is 44 and siblings Joseph 17 a Gardener, Emily 16, John 13, William 11, Mary 5, Samuel 3, Frederick 2.

 

In 1901, the family have moved to Tregoney Street, Charles is a 19 year old Market Gardener, his father is 52 and still a Market Gardener, his mother is 54, siblings John a 23 year old Market Gardener, Nellie (Mary?) 15, Thomas (Samuel?) 13, Fred 11.

 

In 1911 the family are still living in the now named Tregoney Hill, single Charles is 29 and still a gardener, his father is 62 and still a Market Gardener, his mother is 64 and brother Fred 21 and a Gardener.

 

The England & Wales Probate Calendar for 1918 show’s Charles was living in Tregoney Hill and his effects were left to his mother.

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HUNKIN Frederick

 

Corporal 240619, 1st/5th Battalion., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Killed in Action, during the German Spring Offensive, on 31st March 1918 Age 29.

 

Corporal HUNKIN is remembered with honour on the Pozieres Memorial, Pozieres, France. Panel 45.

 

Son of Eliza HUNKIN, of 20, The Cliff, Mevagissey, Cornwall, and the late James HUNKIN.

 

1/5th Battalion., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry were made up part of Devon and Cornwall Brigade in Wessex Division. The battalion remained in Britain until 1916 moving to the Western Front 22nd May 1916 until 1918.

 

On 21st March 1918 the German Spring Offensive commenced, this was a series of attacks on the Allies, one of which was called Operation Michael. This was a German attempt to break through the Allied lines and to seize the Channel Ports which supplies the British Expeditionary Force. It started at St Quentin, the Somme, France.

 

During Operation Michael on 28th March 1918, 1/5th Battalion., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry were positioned at the village of MARCELCAVE when it came under a heavy shell bombardment and as a result, the village had to be evacuated. The 1/5th D.C.L.I. took up a position about 2000 yrds south of the village on higher ground, their previous position had now become the front line. The following day from 3pm, 1/5th D.C.L.I. were again on the receiving end of heavy shell fire, but no attack followed.

 

On 30th March 1918 at about 7.30 am, the enemy attacked and the Battalion were ordered to withdraw to a location 300 yrds in front of HANGARD WOOD. From this position, 1/5th D.C.L.I. and another Battalion were able to counter attack and retook the high ground. They were unable to move any further forward due to heavy machine gun fire from the enemy. However, this became so severe, that they were again forced to withdraw to HANGARD WOOD where they dug in. On 31st March the Battalion was eventually relieved by Australian soldiers and marched back to their billets in GENTELLES.

 

During the period between the 21st and 31st March 1918, the following casualties were sustained by 1/5th D.C.L.I. 4 officers and 30 Ordinary Ratings killed, 11 officers and  139 Ordinary Ratings wounded, 30 Ordinary Ratings missing, one of which was Corporal HUNKIN.

 

Frederick was born in 1889 in Mevagissey to James HUNKIN and Eliza FURSE. The census for 1891 show’s 2 year old Frederick living in Cliff Street with his father, who is a 30 year old Fisherman, his mother who is 30 and sister Kathleen who is 9 months old.

 

In 1901 Frederick is 12 and still living with his parents in Cliff Street. His father is 40 and still a Fisherman, his mother is 38 and siblings Kathleen 10, Frank 6, Leslie 2. Also living at the premises is Mary Kate FURSE, 39, sister of Eliza and described as ‘living by own means’.

 

In 1911, Frederick is a 22 year old Assistant Teacher (Elementary) for the County Council. His father is 50 and a Drift Fisherman, his mother is 49, siblings Kathleen, 20, is an Assistant Teacher (Elementary), Frank is 16 and an Apprentice to Shipwright, and Leslie 12.

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HUNKIN Samson

 

 Private 17111, 6th (Service) Battalion., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Killed in action at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, the Somme, France on 16thSeptember 1916 aged 24.

 

Private HUNKIN is remembered with Honour and buried at the A.I.F. Burial Ground, Flers, Somme, France. Plot III. Row A. Grave 21.

 

Personnel inscription ‘THE LORD’S WILL BE DONE’.

 

Son of William and Uletta HUNKIN, of Church Street, Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

The 6th (Service) Bn., D.C.L.I. was formed in August 1914 at Bodmin as part of the First New Army and join the 43rd Brigade of the 14th Division They trained at Aldershot and moved to Witley, returning to Aldershot in February 1915. On the 22nd May 1915, they were mobilised proceeding to France landing at Boulogne. They engaged in various actions on the Western front including the Battle of Flers-Courcelette between the 15th and 22nd September 1916.

 

The Battle of Flers-Courcelette was fought during the Battle of the Somme. On 16th September 1916, the 6th D.C.L.I. were in a trench known as ‘Gap Trench’ on the outskirts of the village of GUEUDECOURT that was being held by German soldiers. Orders were received that the Battalion was to commence an attack and at 9.25 am the Battalion advanced over open space towards BULLS ROAD. It appeared that the village of GUEUDECOURT was weakly defended except for the occasional sniper fire. Heavy machine gun fire was coming from both flanks of the village causing a few casualties to 6th D.C.L.I.  but 6th Somerset Light Infantry and 10th Durham Light Infantry, suffered many casualties.

 

The advance was continued, but due to the amount of casualties in the 6th Som L.I. and 10th D.L.I, it was decided to send the 6th D.C.L.I. forward in waves with 100 yrds between them. Each wave suffered major casualties from the heavy machine gun fire, but they were able to reach the advance position. The heavy machine gun fire continued and the Battalion was forced to remain where they were.

 

During the afternoon, enemy aircraft became very active, flying unusually low. Enemy artillery fire was very heavy and with the continued machine gun fire casualties were very high. Every Company Commander had either been killed or wounded and only two Officers remained in the firing line. 

 

Casualties for the day were 15 Officers out of 20 and 294 Other Ranks out of 550 killed or wounded. Also killed this day in the same battle was Private Arthur BURT, 7thBattalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.

 

Samson was born on 26th November 1891 in Mevagissey to William HUNKIN and Uletta COLINS. In 1901 he is 9 and living in Church Street, Mevagissey with his parents William a 47 year old Masons Labourer, Uletta 38 and siblings Mary Jane 10, William Henry 3, Bessie 2.

 

At the time of his death, the family are still living in Church Street.

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HUNKIN Samuel

 

Seaman 3238/A. H.M.S. Challenger., Royal Naval Reserve. Died from disease whilst serving with the Cameroon River Expedition on 12th October 1914 aged 22. Smn HUNKIN was buried at 6.30am on 13th October 1914.

 

Seaman HUNKIN is remembered with Honour and is buried in the Duala Protestant Cemetery, Duala, Cameroon, West Africa Grave 1.

 

Personnel Inscription ‘THE MASTER OF ALL GOOD WORKMEN HAS CALLED HIM TO WORK ANEW’.

 

According to the Ships log for H.M.S. Challenger, the 9th October 1914 was the beginning of a tropical disease (maybe dysentery) on board which ended when H.M.S. Challenger arrived at Simonstown in March 1916.

 

Samuel was born on 28th May 1892 in Mevagissey to Edwin and Florence HUNKIN of Cliffe Street, Mevagissey.

 

In 1901 at the age of 8 he was living in Tregoney Street, Mevagissey with his parents and siblings Gellert 6, Millie 4, Florence 2, Charlotte 4 months.

 

His service record shows Samuel signed up with the Royal Naval reserve on 20th January 1911. He was in training from 15th February to 31st May 1911 at Devonport Depot and H.M.S CARNARVON. The census for 1911 show’s him aged 18 on H.M.S CARNARVON, at anchor in Torbay. He is described as a ’Provisional seaman Royal Navy Reserve’. On H.M.S CARNARVON at the time from Mevagissey were, John HUNKIN 20, George HOCKING 19 listed as Provisional Seamen, also Percy BEHANNAH 19, William FURZE 18, William E HUNKIN 18 and Charles E BARROW all listed as Provisional Seamen Royal Navy Reserve. He is confirmed in rating from 1st June 1911.

 

From 29 June 1911 Samuel is shown as fishing on boat ‘Mildred FY 145’ until 2nd August 1914. He underwent further training on H.M.S SUFFOLK between 26th February and 25th March 1913.

 

He joined H.M.S CHALLENGER on 2nd August 1914 until his subsequent death on 12th October 1914. 

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KELLY James

 

Seaman 2630C, H.M.S. Moldavia., Royal Naval Reserve. Died on 27th September 1920 Age 41.

 

Seaman KELLY is Remembered with Honour and is buried in Mevagissey Cemetery Plot A. 

Grave 265.

 

Personnel Inscription ‘AT REST EVER FONDLY REMEMBERED BY HIS LOVING WIFE AND CHILDREN’.

Son of Samuel and Elizabeth KELLY, of Mevagissey,; husband of Margaret Campbell KELLY, of “Esperanga”, Gorran.

 

James initially enrolled with the Royal Naval Reserve on 1st July 1902 and given service number B 777. He was described as 5’ 5”, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and living in Church Street, Mevagissey. He was re-enrolled on 30th July 1902 and given service number 2630 C.

 

During his time with the Royal Navy Reserve, Seaman KELLY served aboard R.M.S. AQUITANIA between 2nd August and 1st September 1914, H.M.S. TEUTONIC 11thSeptember 1914 to 20th January 1916. H.M.S. TEUTONIC was an armed Merchant Cruiser, part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron Northern Patrol, North Russia and North Atlantic convoys.

 

From 30th January 1916 Seaman KELLY was transferred to H.M.S. MOLDAVIA. He was awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal on 5th August 1917. On 12thSeptember 1917 he became sick whilst on shore, it wasn’t until the 15th December that he returned to H.M.S. MOLDAVIA, but was again sick from 20th December and returned to shore. From 21st December 1917 he was transferred to Naval Shore Establishment H.M.S. VICTORY and on 7th March 1918 he was discharged as ‘Invalided’. He was issued with the *Silver War Badge. Private KELLY died as a result of the illness on 27th September 1920. The type of illness he suffered from has not been established.

 

James was born in 1879 at Mevagissey to Samuel KELLY and Elizabeth Ann OLIVER. In 1881, aged 2, James is living in Cliffe Street, Mevagissey with his parents Samuel a 37 year old Seaman, Elizabeth 37 and siblings Samuel 11, Elizabeth Ann 9, Robert 7.

 

In 1879, he is still living in Cliffe Street with his parents, Father is a 47 year old Fisherman, mother is 48 and siblings Tessie Ann 18, Robert 17 a Labourer, Matilda 8. 

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MARSHALL George

 

Deck Hand 15867DA, H.M. Trawler Charles Astie., Royal Naval Reserve. Killed in action aboard H.M. Trawler Charles Astie on 26th June 1917 age 25.

 

Deck Hand MARSHALL is Commemorated and Remembered with Honour on the Plymouth Naval Memorial 24.

 

Son of George and Eliza MARSHALL, of West Wharf, Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

George enrolled for the Royal Navy Reserve on 1st May 1917 in Fowey and commenced training at H.M.S. VIVID, the Royal Navy Training Barracks at Devonport. He was described as 5’ 4” tall, dark complexion, grey eyes, a chest measurement of 35” and he had a scar on his right foot. His service record show’s him living in Polkirt Street, Mevagissey. He concluded his training on 24th May 1917 and on 5th June 1917 was posted to H.M.T. CHARLES ASTIE. His posting was to last just three weeks.

 

On 26th June 1917, British navy trawler H.M.T. CHARLES ASTIE was sunk by a mine from the German submarine U-79, northeast of Fanad Point, Lough Swilly, Ireland while escorting the steamer HARTLAND from Tory Island to Inishowen. All 17 crew died.

 

H.M.T. CHARLES ASTIE, Admiralty number 3578, was a steam driven Mersey Class Trawler, built in 1917 by Cochrane & Sons Shipbuilders, Selby. It was armed with one 12 pound gun.

 

George was born in Mevagissey on 14th June 1891, to George and Eliza MARSHALL. The census for 1901 show’s him as a 9 year old living in West Wharf with his father, a 38 year old Fisherman, mother also 38 and siblings Lily 16, Emily 12, Robert 3, twins William James and Harriot May 10 months.

 

In 1911 the family are still in West Wharf, George is a 19 year old fisherman, father is a 48 year old Fisherman, his mother is 49, siblings Emily 22, Robert 15, twins Willie 10 and Harriot 10, Ernest 7. 

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MARTINDALE Alfred Horace

 

Second Lieutenant, 1st Bn., Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action at the Battle of Loos, France on 4th October 1915 age 28.

 

Second Lieutenant MARTINDALE is Commemorated and Remembered with Honour on the Loos Memorial at Dud Corner Cemetery, Loos-en-Gohelle, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France Panel 97 and 98.

 

Son of the Rev. Alfred MARTINDALE and Elizabeth MARTINDALE, of Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

The Battle of Loos took place from 25th September to the 8th October 1915 in France on the Western Front. It was the biggest British attack of 1915 and the first time the British used poison gas. 

 

At 4.45am on 4th October 1915 the 1st Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and 2nd East Yorkshires attacked the Hohenzollern Redoubt, which was a strongpoint of the German 6th Army. The Battalion War Diary for the 4th October read :-

 

A & D Coys ordered to attack HOHENZOLLERN REDOUBT

4.45am – A & D attacked and were met with very heavy machine gun and rifle fire. There was no artillery bombardment. The distance to the German line was about 200 yards and the men got half way across. By then they were practically wiped out.

2/Lt A.H. Martindale 1st KOYLI killed

2/Lt C.L. Pearson 1st KOYLI wounded

2/Lt F.W. Graham 4th DLI, attached 1st KOYLI missing

2/Lt P.J.C. Simpson 3rd KOYLI, attached 1st KOYLI missing

Other Ranks – killed 10, wounded 65, missing 101

There is no doubt that most of the missing were killed. A few wounded were got in during the night 4th/5th.

There is no after action report in the 1st KOYLI diary but the summary given by Lt-Colonel Blake, 2nd East Yorkshires whose men attacked alongside the 1st KOYLI is damning, attributing the failure of the attack to the following causes:

(i) No Artillery bombardment

(ii) Complete lack of element of surprise. The Germans were well prepared, and had not been in the slightest shaken by the desultory shelling that had taken place throughout the day.

(iii) The Germans had been digging in during the day previous, and had thoroughly improved their trenches.

(iv) The relief the day before did not finish until 7pm. Company officers had only very indistinct idea of the trenches they were occupying, and none at all of the positions they were to attack.

 

Alfred was born on 21st August 1887 in Harrold, Bedfordshire to The Reverend Alfred MARTINDALE and Elizabeth LAMMIE.

 

The census for 1891 show’s 3 year old Alfred living with his parents and siblings in Skinners Lane, Harrold, Bedfordshire. His father is a 34 year old Congregational Minister, his mother is 34, siblings Henry 5, Winnifred 2 and Donald 10 months. Also living with them is Edith M PERKINS a ‘Servant Domestic’.

 

The census for 1911 show’s 23 year old Alfred as a Bank Clerk at a London Bank. He was living at 81 Southwater Road, St Leonard on Sea, Sussex as a boarder, the head of the household was Frederick MACKRILL a 55 year old Coach Builder.

 

In 1914 Alfred enlisted with the Royal Sussex Regiment as Private 5/2175 MARTINDALE, before transferring to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the same year, as Temporary Second Lieutenant.  In 1915 he was made substantive Second Lieutenant. The England & Wales Probate Calendar for 1916 states that Alfred was living at The Manse, Mevagissey, Cornwall.

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MATTA Frank

 

Private 207265, 10th Battalion., Worcestershire Regiment. Killed in action during the Third Battle of Aisne, France on 28th May 1918 age 27.

 

Private MATTA is Remembered with Honour and buried at Chambrecy British Cemetery, Marne, France in a collective grave with Pte 57426 R.B. BUTCHER, Pte 51324 W. STAGG and an Unknown British Soldier. All four were from the 10th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment and killed on 28th May 1918. Plot VII. Row B. Graves 1-4 (Coll).

 

Personnel Inscription ‘LOVINGLY REMEMBERED’.

 

Son of Stephen and Minnie MATTA, of Haye Farm, Pentewan, Cornwall; husband of Hester Marion GOLLY (formely MATTA), of Church Street, Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

The 10th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment were part of the 57th Brigade which formed part of the 19th (Western) Division. The Division served on the Western Front from 1915 and took part in many significant battles.

 

The Third Battle of Aisne was fought between 27th May and 6th June 1918. A small and tired British force, was sent to the Chemin des Dames Ridge in exchange for French divisions that went north. They were struck and virtually destroyed as part of another German offensive, Operation Bluecher.

French casualties were heavy with 98,000 losses, while British casualties numbered 29,000.

 

Frank was born in 1892 at Haye, Pentewan to Stephen and Mary Harriet (Minnie) MATTA. The 1901 census shows 8 year old Frank living at Haye Farm, Pentewan with his parents, Stephen a 47 year old Farmer and Gardener, Mary 45 and siblings Mary Cordelia 19, Mildred 15, Reginald 13, Ada 11, Violet 5, Richard 2, Harriet 2.

 

In 1911, 18 year old Frank is still living with his parents at Haye Farm, Pentewan, he’s employed as an Estate Helper and Wood Man. His father, Stephen 57 is a Farmer Market Gardener, his mother, Mary 55 and siblings Cordelia 29 an Assistant, Reginald 23 a Gamekeeper, Violet 15 an Assistant, Richard 12, Harriet 12.

 

On 17th August 1913, Frank married Hester Marion THOMAS in Mevagissey. On 22nd April 1914 his son, Frank Owen MATTA was born.

 

In 1914 Frank enlisted with the Devonshire Regiment at Charlestown becoming Private 2138 MATTA. At some point later in 1914 he transferred to the 10th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment as Private 207265.

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MOORE Alfred

 

Private 240840, 1st/5th Battalion., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Died of wounds, during the German Spring Offensive, on 31st March 1918 age 25.

 

Private MOORE is Remembered with Honour and buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France Block P, Plot IX, Row E, Grave 9B.

 

Personnel Inscription ‘GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE’.

 

Son of Peter and Emma MOORE, of Mevagissey, Cornwall; husband of Elizabeth May LAWSON (formely MOORE), of Rock Cottage, London Apprentice, St Austell, Cornwall.

 

1st/5th Battalion., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry were made up part of Devon and Cornwall Brigade in Wessex Division. The battalion remained in Britain until 1916 moving to the Western Front 22nd May 1916 until 1918.

 

On 21st March 1918 the German Spring Offensive commenced, this was a series of attacks on the Allies, one of which was called Operation Michael. This was a German attempt to break through the Allied lines and to seize the Channel Ports which supplies the British Expeditionary Force. It started at St Quentin, the Somme, France.

 

During Operation Michael on 28th March 1918, 1st/5th Battalion., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry were positioned at the village of MARCELCAVE when it came under a heavy shell bombardment and as a result, the village had to be evacuated. The 1st/5th D.C.L.I. took up a position about 2000 yrds south of the village on higher ground, their previous position had now become the front line. The following day from 3pm, 1/5th D.C.L.I. were again on the receiving end of heavy shell fire, but no attack followed.

 

On 30th March 1918 at about 7.30 am, the enemy attacked and the Battalion were ordered to withdraw to a location 300 yrds in front of HANGARD WOOD. From this position, 1st/5th D.C.L.I. and another Battalion were able to counter attack and retook the high ground. They were unable to move any further forward due to heavy machine gun fire from the enemy. However, this became so severe, that they were again forced to withdraw to HANGARD WOOD where they dug in. On 31st March the Battalion was eventually relieved by Australian soldiers and marched back to their billets in GENTELLES.

 

During the period between the 21st and 31st March 1918, the following casualties were sustained by 1/5th D.C.L.I. 4 officers and 30 Ordinary Ratings killed, 11 officers and 139 Ordinary Ratings wounded, 30 Ordinary Ratings missing.Also in the same battle was Private Frederick HUNKIN 1st/5th Battalion D.C.L.I. who was recorded as missing.

 

George was born in 1893 at Mevagissey to Peter and Emma Jane MOORE. In 1901, George, aged 7, is living in Church Terrace, Mevagissey with his parents and siblings. His father is described as a Letter Carrier (Postman) and is 35, his mother is 32, siblings Beatrice Polly 5, James Reginald 4, William Morley 3, Hilda 2, Alice 3 months.

 

In 1911, the family are living in Vicarage Hill. George is a 17 year old Labourer Bricklayer, his father, 45 and a Postman, mother is 42, siblings Beatrice 16 a Housemaid, Reginald 15 a Butchers Assistant, Morley 13, Hilda 12, Alice 11, Eva 10, Winnifred 8, Dorothy 6, Peter 3. 

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PEARCE Frank

Gunner 116870, 181st Siege Battery., Royal Garrison Artillery. Died from illness on 9th December 1917 age 20.

 

Gunner PEARCE is Remembered with Honour and buried in Mevagissey cemetery , grave B. 34.

 

Son of Joseph PEARCE, of Cliff Street, Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

Frank enlisted for Short Service on 24th November 1915 and became Gunner 116870 PEARCE on 1st September 1916. He was posted to No 3 Depot Royal Garrison Artillery, Hilsea, Portsmouth. On 5th January 1917 he was posted to B Siege Depot, R.G.A. at Bexhill, East Sussex. Gunner PEARCE service record show’s that he was posted to the British Expeditionary Force on 19th March 1917, but there are no further detail. At some point he contracted Meningitis and on 9thDecember 1917 he died at the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) Hospital, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire. (Town Hall Red Cross Hospital).

 

Frank was born in 1897 at Mevagissey, to Joseph PEARCE and Margaret (Bersey) CHENOWETH. In 1901, Frank aged 3 was living with his parents in Cliff Street, Mevagissey, his father was a 35 year old Fisherman, his mother was 39 and siblings Margaret 11, William 9, Frederick 5.

 

In 1911, the family are still living in Cliff Street, his father is 46 and a Fisherman, his mother is 48, siblings Margaret 21 is a Net Maker, William 19 is also a Net Maker, Fred 15 is a Fisherman. Frank is 13 and still at school.

 

On his service record at the time he enlisted on 24th November 1915, Frank is shown to be living at 38, Cambridge Street, Plymouth.

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ROBINS William Henry

Corporal SS/13876, 18th Labour Company., Army Service Corps. Killed in Action aboard Hired Military Transport (H.M.T). Royal Edward six miles off the Greek island of Kandeloussa, on 13th August 1915 age 58.

 

Corporal ROBINS is Remembered with Honour at the Helles Memorial, Turkey Panel 200 to 201 or 233 to 236 and 331.

 

Husband of Harriet Alma ROBINS, of Central House, Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

On the 28th July 1915, H.M.T. Royal Edwards, a steam powered passenger ship belonging to the Canadian Northern Steamship Company and requisitioned by the British Government as a troopship, set off from Avonmouth for Alexandria. On board were 1,367 officers and men, the majority were reinforcements for the British 29th Infantry Division in Gallipoli. 

 

On 10th August, Royal Edward arrived in Alexandria, then set sail for Moudros on the island of Lemnos, a staging post for the Dardanelles. 

 

On the morning of 13th August, Royal Edward passed the British hospital ship Soudan, that was heading in the opposite direction and escorted by two destroyers. Observing the movement of both ships was Oberleutnant zur See, Heino von HEIMBURG in the German submarine UB-14, situated just off the coast of the Greek island of Kandeloussa. He allowed Soudan to pass and from a mile away, fired a single torpedo at the unprotected Royal Edward hitting it’s stern and sinking Royal Edward within six minutes.

 

Royal Edwards was able to send an SOS before losing power, Soudan arrived on the scene having completed a 180 degree turn and rescued 440 men. Two French destroyers and some trawlers rescued a further 221. Up to 100 Cornishmen in the 18th Labour Company, Army Service Corps were onboard, 60 perished including Cpl ROBINS.

 

William was born about 1857 in Kingstown, Co Cork, Ireland. On 28th July 1890 he married Harriet Alma RETALLACK at the Parish Church, Mevagissey. 

 

In 1892 the couple emigrated to America, William filed for naturalization on 26th January 1892. On 28th July 1895 William’s first daughter, Edith Alma ROBINS was born, followed by his second, Lilian Frances ROBINS on 11th September 1899. Both daughters were born in Trenton, Mercer, New Jersey, USA.

 

In 1900 the family were living at Trenton Ward 1, Mercer, New Jersey, USA, but by 1901 they had returned to England and were living in Mevagissey. William and Harriet are 43, Edith is 5 and Lillian is 1.

 

In 1911 the family are living in Central House, Fore Street, Mevagissey, William is a 52 year old Draper, Harriet is 52, Edith is 15 and Lillian is 11.

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THOMAS James Leonard

Seaman and Communicators J60153 Royal Navy. Died on 6th November 1919.

 

Seaman THOMAS is Remembered with Honour and buried in Mevagissey Cemetery.

 

James enlisted with the Royal Navy on 10th October 1916 at Devonport, service number J60153. He was described as 5’7” tall, auburn hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. His occupation at the time was a Market Gardener.

 

Between 10th October 1916 and 17thJuly 1917 he completed his initial training at H.M.S. VIVID I, which was shore training establishment for Seamanship, Signalling and Telegraph School in Devonport. He was then posted to H.M.S. DUKE of EDINBURGH on 18th July 1917 where he remained until 3rd August 1918. During this period, H.M.S. DUKE of EDINBURGH was used on Atlantic convoys.

 

Seaman THOMAS’ service record is difficult to read, but it appears he was at H.M.S. HECLA II between 9th August 1918 and 17th June 1919. H.M.S. HECLA II was a patrol base at Buncrana, Ireland between 1917 and December 1918 before moving back to Chatham. In the picture, Seaman THOMAS has H.M.S. ALBION on his cap, there’s no record of him having served on her however, H.M.S. ALBION was transferred to Ireland in 1916 until she was sold in December 1919.  

 

He was posted to H.M.S. VIVID I on 28th June until his death. The cause of his death can’t be found, but it was while on active service.

 

James was born on 8th May 1892 at Redruth, Cornwall to Thomas Frost and Ellan Minnie THOMAS. In 1901, 8 year old James was living with his grandfather, Eliza, in Back Lane, Redruth. Also living at the premises was his mother and an Arthur PENPROSE 3.

 

In 1911, James was living at St Georges Square, Mevagissey with his parents. He’s 16 years old and employed as a Fish Hawker.

 

On the 4th October 1914, James married Florence DUNGEY in Mevagissey.

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TOWNER Andrew Herbert

Seaman 4087B, Royal Naval Reserve. Killed in Action onboard H.M.S. Goliath in Morto Bay off Cape Helles, Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey on 13thMay 1915 age 29.

 

Seaman TOWNER is Commemorated and Remembered with Honour on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 8.

 

Allied troops landed on the Gallipoli peninsula on 25th April 1915. To protect their position, each night, two battleships escorted by five destroyers would give fire support to the French at the ravine of Kereves Dere. 

 

On the night of 12th-13th May Kapitanleutnant Rudolp Firle, a German officer serving with the Ottoman navy, was given permission to take the destroyer Muavenet-I Milliye, captained by Senior Lieutenant Ayasofyali Ahmed Saffed, to attack them.

 

On the night there was no moon, it was dark and foggy, this helped the Muavenet avoid the British destroyers. At 1.15am, Muavenet was spotted by H.M.S. Goliath, the crew challenged the destroyer with the Otterman’s making some sort of reply. Goliath repeated the challenge and before she was ordered to fire, Muavenet rushed forward and fired three torpedoes. Hits abreast of the fore turret and foremost funnel caused Goliath to list badly to port before the third torpedo struck her close to the after turret. She turned turtle before most of the crew could escape and sank within a few minutes. Of the 750 men on board, only 180 survived.

 

Andrew was born on 11th April 1886 in Redfern, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia to Gerorge TOWNER and Sophia Jane ROBINSON. At some point he has moved to England.

 

He married Mary Jane HUNKIN on 28th June 1908 in Mevagissey. His first child, Ethel Jane TOWNER was born on 5th April 1909 and his second child, Herbert Leslie TOWNER in 1911. Both children were born in Mevagissey.

 

On the census for 1911, the family were living in Church Street, Mevagissey, Andrew is 23 and a Mariner, Mary Anne is 20, Ethel Jane 2, Herbert Leslie is 2 months old. Also living with them is his sister in law, Flossie HUNKIN age 12, visiting are Winnie and Tenna VIVIAN 13 and 11 respectively.

 

On 15th April 1912 his son Herbert died in Mevagissey and on 17th April 1914 his daughter, Ruby Clocena TOWNER was born in Bristol.

 

On the date of his death, the family are shown to be living at 395, Fishponds Road, Eastville, Bristol.

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VERCOE Thomas

Private 42217, 16th Battalion., Royal Scots. Killed in Action Langemarck, West Flanders, Belgium on 9th October 1917 age 40.

 

Private VERCOE is Remembered with Honour and buried at Cement House Cemetery, West Flanders, Belgium Plot IV, Row A, Grave 22.

 

Personnel Inscription ‘UNTIL THE DAY BREAKS AND SHADOWS FLEE AWAY’.

 

Son of John and Eliza VERCOE, of “Sunnyside,” Portmellon, Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

The 16th Btn., Royal Scots war diary for the 9th October 1917 stated:-

 

SARAGOSSA FARM, 9th , 7.30am  “A & B Coys (Company) paraded and proceeded to LANGEMARCK and worked under CRE 17th Div repairing the road  LANGEMARCK - POELCAPELL. The work was done under heavy shell fire and under very bad weather conditions as it rained continuously. 

1pm C & D Coys paraded marched up to LANGEMARCK and relieved A & B Coys who reached camp at 5pm. C & D Coys returned at midnight.

The following casualties occurred during the days work

Killed O.R. 6    Missing O.R. 7    Wounded   2/Lt J. WOOD.    19 O.R.”

 

Private VERCOE was no doubt one of the 6 killed repairing the LANGEMARCK to POELCAPELL road. 

 

Thomas VERCOE was born on 1st June 1877 in Portmellon to John Henry VERCOE and Eliza DYER.

 

The 1881 census has 4 year old Thomas living with his family in Portmellon. His father John is a 29 year old Farm Labourer, mother Eliza is 30 and siblings John 8, Charles 7, Mary 5, George 2.

 

The 1891 census has 13 year old Thomas as an agricultural Labourer, still living with his family in Portmellon. His father is a 39 year old Agricultural Labourer, his mother is 40 and siblings Mary 15, George 12, Catherine 9, Eliza 7, Florence 6, William 4, Ethel 2.

 

Thomas had a brief stint with the Royal Navy from 19th October 1896 to 29th March 1898, service number 355227. His occupation at the time was a Labourer.

 

The census for 1901 show’s Thomas living in The Villa, Portmellon as a boarder. His occupation is a General Gardner. The head of the household is a Mr Charles LANGDON.

 

The census for 1911 shows 33 year old Thomas, living in Yorkshire with his sister, Mary and brother in law John CLINTON. He is employed as a Contractors Caster at Bradford Waterworks. 

 

On 25th May 1916, Thomas enrolled for the Army in Pontefract, he was employed as a Blacksmiths Stricker and his address was given as 18, Ida Crescent, Stourton, Wakefield. He initially joined the Highland Light Infantry, service number 241848 before transferring to the 16th Battalion, Royal Scots, service number 42217. He served with the British Expeditionary Force from 4th July 1917 until his death on 9th October 1917.

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SAMUEL Warren

 Private 13200, 1st Battalion., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Killed in action at the Battle of Broodseinde, Ypres on 4th October 1917 age 23.

 

Private WARREN is Commemorated and Remembered with Honour at the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Arrondissement ieper, West Flanders, Belgium Panel 80 to 82.

 

The Battle of Broodseinde was part of the Third Battle of Ypres, a major offensive in Flanders which became known as Passchendaele. During late September 1917, Allied forces had made successful advances at the Menin Road and Polygon Wood. An attack was planned to capture German positions on the Broodseinde Ridge and the ruined villages of Zonnebeke, Gravenstafel and Poelcappelle.

 

On 4th October 1917, in the morning darkness, a massive artillery bombardment took place. This caught the German soldiers in the open as they prepared an attack of their own. Many were killed or wounded while others were forced back. 12 British, Australian and New Zealand divisions attacked at 6am behind an advancing wall of shell fire.

 

Australian and New Zealand units were at the centre of the allied advance and successfully took all of their objectives. These included the ruins of Zonnebeke and much of the Broodseinde Ridge. It was during this advance that the 3rd Australian Division captured the ground where the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial now stand, and where Private WARREN is remembered.

 

Nine Victoria Crosses were awarded following the 4th October fighting. British Empire casualties amounted to some 20,000 wounded, missing and dead. German losses are believed to be some 35,000 wounded, missing and dead, including 5,000 taken prisoner.

 

When he was killed, Private WARREN was in ‘B’ Company, they were part of the left assaulting company during the attack, in the vicinity of POLDERHOEK CHATEAU.

 

Samuel was born in 1894 at Mevagissey to Matthew and Susan WARREN. The census for 1901 show’s Samuel 7 living in Meadow Street, Mevagissey with his parents and siblings. His father, Matthew is a 40 year old Fisherman, mother Susan is 38 and siblings Matthew Henry is a 15 year old Apprentice Basket maker, Charlotte Anne a 14 year old Domestic, Beatrice is 13, Mildred is 11, Nellie is 9, Willie is 8, Sarah is 6, Clara is 4, Matilda is 2.  

 

The census for 1911 shows the family living in Church Street, Mevagissey. His father is 49 and a Fisherman still, mother is 48, Henry 25 and atill a Basket Maker, William 18 a General Labourer, Samuel 17 a General Labourer, Clara is 14, Matilda is 11, Mabel is 7, Alfred is 3.

 

In August 1914, the 1st Battalion., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry were part of 14th Brigade in 5th Division and based in Ireland at the Curragh. On 15th August 1914 they landed in Le Havre and on 12th January 1916 transferred to 95th Brigade in the same Division.

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WILLIAMS Alfred

Private SS/14086. Royal Army Service Corps. It is believed that Private WILLIAMS died in 1917 as a result of illness, however this currently hasn’t been verified. 

 

Private WILLIAMS is Remembered with Honour and buried in Mevagissey Cemetery.

 

Private WILLIAMS enlisted for short service (For the duration of the war) on 7th July 1915 in London at the age of 44. Between 31st July 1915 and 25th January 1916 he served with the British Expeditionary Force in the Mediterranean and took part in the Suvla Bay landings during the battle of Gallipoli. While at Suvla Bay in November 1915, he had Pneumonia and Dysentery together.

 

Alfred was medically discharged 22nd April 1916. The medical report, dated 14th March 1916 said “He stated he went to Suvla Bay and in Nov 1915 he had Pneumonia and Dysentry together. He had an attack of Pleurisy 10 years ago and has often suffered from Bronchitis since. He complains of cough and dyspnea and weakness in his legs. The Dysentery is quite cured ”.

 

A further report from the medical board on 13th June 1917 showed ‘total incapacity’ and on the 28th June 1917 a recommendation was made that Alfred should be admitted to the Military Hospital, Falmouth. He was admitted on 4th September 1917 and discharged on 29th October 1917, where the hospital report recorded ‘incapacity 100%’.

 

Alfred was born in about 1871 at Mevagissey to John and Elizabeth WILLIAMS. The census of 1871 show’s him age 6 months, living on Polkirt Street, Mevagissey with his family. His father is 41, mother is 38 and siblings Martha 11, John 9, Elizabeth 7, Thomas 4.

 

The census for 1881 show’s 10 year old Alfred and family still living on Polkirt Street. His father is a 52 year old General Labourer, mother is 49 and siblings John a 20 year old General Labourer, Thomas 13, William 3.

 

Alfred married Matilda Davies MOORE on 28th February 1897 in St Austell and on 22nd February 1901 their son, Alfred Edward WILLIAMS, was born in Mevagissey. The census for 1901 show’s Alfred as a 30 year old Gardener, living in Elm Terrace, Mevagissey with his wife, Matilda age 27 and 1 month old son, Alfred Edward. 

 

On 15th September 1903 his son Cecil was born in Mevagissey.

 

The census for 1911 shows the family still living in Elm Terrace. Alfred is a 40 year old Gardener (Domestic), Matilda is 37, Alfred Edward 10 and Cecil 7.  

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