The Men from Hyde – Charles Frank Dearlove

The parents of Charles Frank Dearlove were Charles James and Sarah Dearlove who had married in Winchester in 1882. Sarah was a widow who had married William Triphook in 1874 but lost both her husband and 4 year old son in 1880. She had a daughter from this first marriage, also called Sarah.

Sarah’s second husband Charles James Dearlove was born in Whitechapel, the son of a dock labourer, and he worked as a carman.  Charles and Sarah lived in London and Kent.  Charles Frank was born in 1887 in Shorncliffe, Kent.

In the 1891 census, Charles Frank is aged 4 and living in Bethnal Green with his father Charles (41, carman), mother Sarah (38, tailoress), step-sister Sarah (17, boot finisher) and siblings Annie Eliza (10, born Winchester) and Emily (2, born Whitechapel).

Charles’s father died in 1897 in Whitechapel, aged 46. His mother Sarah moved back to Winchester with her children. In the 1901 census she is living at 32 Eastgate Street, aged 48, and working as a dressmaker and tailoress.  Her daughters Sarah (27) and Annie Eliza (18) are both working at a laundry. Charles Frank is 14 and working as an errand boy. The youngest, Emily, is aged 12. Sarah’s nephew, a groom born in Ireland, is staying with them.

In 1902, Charles’ step-sister Sarah Louisa Triphook married William James Payton in Winchester.  In 1905 Charles’ sister Annie Eliza married Walter Ward, also in Winchester.

In the 1911 census, their mother Sarah is visiting family in Mansfield with her daughter Annie who is 28 and now has three children. They are visiting Annie’s sister-in-law, Fanny Rose (nee Ward).

In the same census, Charles is aged 24, working as a milkman and still living at 32, Eastgate Street with his step-sister Sarah Louisa Payton (28, laundress) and her husband William Payton (44, stableman).

In 1914, Charles Frank Dearlove married Ethel Louisa Wild in Winchester.  Ethel had been born in Winchester in 1889 to Herbert and Ann Elizabeth Wild. Herbert was a railway plate layer and brought his family up at 21, Victoria Road, Hyde.  In the 1911 census, Ethel’s mother states that she has had 13 children, 5 of whom have died. In the same census, Ethel, aged 22, is working as a servant for a retired naval man at ‘Cedar Gwent’ in Winchester.

Charles Frank and Ethel Louise had two children: Leonard (born 1915) and Doris (born 1917). We can assume from this that Charles did not enlist until around the end of 1916.

Charles joined the 8th (Service) Battalion Somerset Light Infantry (also known as Prince Albert’s Regiment) and received the regimental number 27875.  His records state that at the time of his enlistment his mother Sarah was living at 32, Eastgate Street and his wife and children at 8, Swan Lane. There is some difficulty searching for information on his army life as he is recorded as both Charles Frank and Frank Charles Dearlove.

The 8th Battalion was in the 37th Division of the Third Army and took part in several battles on the Western Front. The Second Battles of the Somme took place from 21st August until 3rd September 1918 when the British Third and Fourth Armies began offensive operations on the same ground over which the 1916 Battle of the Somme was fought. They made successful advances.

Charles would have taken part in the Battle of Albert between 21st-23rd August 1918.  He was Killed in Action on 25th August, though we do not have his service records to explain the circumstances. He was 30 years old.

Charles is buried at the British Cemetery at Grevillers (10 miles south of Arras, 30 miles north east of Amiens). In March 1917 the village of Grevillers was occupied by Commonwealth troops who began the cemetery and used it until March 1918, when Grevillers was lost to the Germans.  On 24th August (the day before Charles died), the New Zealand Division recaptured Grevillers and in September Casualty Clearing Stations came to the village and used the cemetery again. After the Armistice, 200 graves were brought in from nearby battlefields, possibly including that of Charles Frank Dearlove.

Charles’s daughter Doris married Arthur Stannard in 1935 and had a son, Brian C L Stannard, born in 1936.

Charles’ son Leonard married Edwina Gillett in Winchester in 1938; they do not appear to have had children.

Charles’ mother Sarah cannot be found after 1911.

Charles’ widow Ethel appears to have died in Havering, Sussex, in 1971, aged 82.

The Men from Hyde – Sydney Hubert Seeviour

(written as ‘Sidney’ on the memorial)

Sydney Hubert Seeviour was born in 1888 in Holdenhurst, near Bournemouth. His parents Joseph and Eliza Bessie (nee Bruffett or similar) had married locally in 1879.

The parents cannot be traced in the 1881 census.  In the 1891 census, Sydney is aged 2 and living at 3, West Cliff Grove in Holdenhurst with his parents and siblings.  Joseph is aged 34 and a ‘cab proprietor’; Eliza is 32.  Sydney’s siblings are George C (10), Maud (9), and Berkley J (5).  They have a domestic servant and a lodger.

In the 1901 census the family is living at 29, St Michael’s Road, Bournemouth. Joseph (44) is still running his own cab business.  George and Maud have left home.  Berkley (15) is a harness maker; Sydney is aged 12 and still at school.  They have a domestic servant.

Sydney had been a student at Winchester Diocesan Training College from 1908-10, and on leaving college took up a job as assistant master at Hyde School.

Ten years on in the 1911, census Joseph (54) is running his cab business and Eliza (52) is assisting him.  They are at the same address and have a domestic servant.

Meanwhile, Sydney is lodging at 25, Hatherley Road, Winchester, with Charlie Wheeler, carpenter, and his wife.  Sydney is aged 22 and a schoolmaster at an elementary school, which would have been Hyde School. There are two more boarders at the address.

On 13th March 1914, Sydney was appointed Headmaster of Hyde School.  He was also Choirmaster at St Bartholomew Church, and sang in the choir at the Cathedral.  Gifted with a splendid voice, he often sung in public concerts in the city.  As a schoolmaster he was beloved by his pupils.

On 3rd June 1916, Sydney enlisted as a private in the 2/4th Battalion Hampshire Regiment (regimental no 202556).  His army records have not survived, but the 2/4th Battalion was in Karachi (now in Pakistan) in 1916, moving to Egypt on 29th April 1917 where the Division was engaged in various actions in Palestine.  In May 1918, Sydney’s Battalion moved to France, arriving at Marseilles on 1st July 1918.  The Battalion joined the 186th Brigade of the 62nd Division and engaged in various actions on the Western Front.

Sydney’s Battalion took part in the Second Battle of Bapaume (part of the Second Battles of the Somme) from 31st August-3rd September 1918, but presumably during preliminary attacks Private Sydney Seeviour was seriously wounded in both arms and legs and died in hospital on 28th August 1918; he was 30 years old.  Sydney was serving in ‘C’ Company of the 2/4th at the time of his death, and the Regimental Journal indicates that he had been recommended for a commission in the weeks before he was killed.  He is buried in the British Cemetery at Ligny-Sur-Canche (20 miles east of Arras).  On his headstone is the inscription “Mother, cease thy weeping, we are only parted for a little while”.

Sydney was awarded the Military Medal, awarded for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire or for individual or associated acts of bravery.  Details are not known, but he may have earned the award at the time of his death.  This Gallantry Medal was established in 1916 for personnel of the British Army and Commonwealth countries who were below commissioned rank; it was the other ranks’ equivalent to the Military Cross (awarded to Commissioned Officers).  The London Gazette lists him on 10th December 1918 (Supplement 31061, page 14660):

Military Cross

Hampshire Regiment

202556 Pte. Seevior, S. (Bournemouth)

2/4th Bn. (T.F.)

Sydney was a member of the National Union of Teachers and is listed in their War Record of fallen teachers and Medal List of those awarded gallantry medals. He is described as at “St Bartholomew’s Church School”.

At the time of his death, Sydney’s parents were living at 123, Ensbury Park Road, Bournemouth.

Very sadly, Sydney was engaged to be married to a Miss Coventry of Elm Road, Winchester.  The only Coventry family in Winchester in the 1911 census was living at 17, Elm Road.  The head of the family was Edward Jones Coventry, a ‘Journeyman Tailor’.  Of his unmarried daughters, only Emma May (21) and Annie Bertha (18), both milliners, are probable candidates as Sydney’s financée. In 1920, two years after Sydney’s death, Emma married Charles Roberts.  Annie never married, dying in 1969 in Winchester at the age of 76.

The Men from Hyde – Frederick Harold Verrall

(wrongly named as Harold Frederick Verrall)

Frederick Harold Verrall was born in 1892 in Winchester.  Unfortunately, the memorial at St Bartholomew Church names the fallen soldier as Harold Frederick Verrall, who was a completely different man!

To understand this, we have to look at two different but related Verrall families.

Frederick’s grandfather Charles VERRALL married Elizabeth Towell in Portsea in 1857.  They had 4 children including William (born 1865) and Frederick (born 1872) who both went on to marry two Osmond sisters.

Frederick’s other grandfather George OSMOND married Elizabeth Bishop in 1856 in Poole, Dorset.  They had 5 children including Emily (born 1862) and Hetty (born 1866).

In the 1881 census, Emily Osmond, aged 19, is visiting relatives in Hyde Street, Winchester. She married William Verrall in 1888 in Winchester.  In the next census in 1891, William and Emily are living in Hyde Street, a few doors away from Emily’s relations. They now have a 2 year old girl, Hetty, named after Emily’s sister. Emily’s mother Elizabeth Osmond is also with them.

In the 1901 census, the family is living at 33, Egbert Road with 4 children: Hetty (12), William (7), Florence (5), and Egbert (3). Their son Frederick Harold (9) is a patient at the Royal County Hospital in Romsey Road; his illness is not specified.  William Verrall Snr is working as a bricklayer. In the 1911 census, William and Emily are now living at 27, Egbert Road with their daughters Hetty and Florence.  It is not known where their son William is at the time of the census; Egbert is visiting his cousin living two doors away.

Returning to Emily’s sister, Hetty:

In the 1891 census, Hetty Osmond, aged 24, is working as a servant for Mrs Warner of Northlands, Worthy Road.  That same year, Hetty married George Woodnutt Ford in Winchester, but George died 4 years later, aged 29. They had no children.

Hetty Ford nee Osmond then married Frederick Verrall (her brother-in-law) in 1898 in the South Stoneham registration district (Eastleigh area).  In an earlier census, Frederick had been a ‘Punch & Judy Showman’ in Camberwell!

In the 1901 census, Frederick and Hetty are living at 29, Egbert Road (Hetty’s sister Emily is at No. 33).  Frederick is 29 and working as a bricklayer; Hetty is 34.  Her widowed mother, Elizabeth Osmond, is staying with them. The following year, their only child, Harold Frederick, was born. In the 1911 census, the family is still living at 29, Egbert Road.  Harold Frederick is now 8 years old, and his cousin Egbert has come over from No. 27 to visit.

The confusion arises as Harold Frederick Verrall, born 1902, is NOT the fallen soldier as previously believed, but his cousin born in 1892.

The military records for Frederick Harold all name him Harold Frederick, except – fortunately – for his service record.

Frederick’s service record shows that he had been an apprentice tailor for 5 years, and his apprenticeship ended on 31st December 1910.  Five days later, on 5th January 1911, he enlisted in Southampton with the Dorsetshire Regiment on a ‘short service’ i.e. for 7 years. He was 19 years old.  Frederick was already serving part-time with the 4th Hampshire Regiment when he enlisted.

His service record gives the following description:

Height 5ft 9¾”   

Weight 145 lbs [10st 5lbs]

Chest girth when fully expanded: 37½”

Eyes: grey    

Hair: Brown

Religion: Methodist

Tattoo left upper arm – female hand with bouquet; large mole right breast

Two months later, in the 1911 census, Frederick can be found as a private in the Dorsetshire Regiment.  In his service record he is recorded as serving at “home” i.e. in the UK, from 5th January 1911 until 1st July 1912.

He was appointed (unpaid) as Lance Corporal on 28th June 1911, but some time later he reverted to being a Private – “at his own request”.  He was discharged on 1st July 1912 “at his own request, on payment of £18 under Art. 1038(i) Pay Warrant”.  The reason is not given.

In 1917, Frederick Harold married Agnes Emma Farthing in Winchester.  The following year their daughter Betty M Verrall was born in Winchester.

At some point, Frederick rejoined the Dorsetshire Regiment and served as a Sergeant with the 6th Battalion with the service number 40595.  In 1915 the battalion was mobilised for war, landing at Boulogne.  During that year it held front lines in the southern area of Ypres salient. In 1916 it fought at the Battles of Albert and Delville Wood.  In 1917, the battalion was present at the First and Second Battles of the Scarpe, the capture of Roeux, and the First and Second Battles of Passchendaele.  In 1918, the battalion fought at The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Amiens, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Havrincourt, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of Cambrai, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle, and The Battle of the Sambre.  The Battle of the Sambre took place on 4th November 1918. Frederick was Killed in Action that day; he was 27 years old.  His body was never found.

Frederick is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial in France (7 miles south-east of Arras).  The Memorial bears the names of over 9,000 men who fell in the period from 8th August 1918 to the date of the Armistice and who have no known grave.  They belonged to the forces of Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa.

Frederick’s widow, Agnes, married William Newman in 1920 in Suffolk (where she had been born).  Frederick’s service record states that his widow, now remarried, is living at 2, Maypole Villas, Grange Road, Eastleigh.

Frederick’s brothers also served in the First World War: William enlisted in the Warwick Yeomanry in 1915 and served in France; Egbert enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner in 1914 and was gassed in France.  Both brothers survived.

Frederick’s only child, Betty, married Harold Thompson in 1940 in Winchester and had a son, Andrew F Thompson, who was born in Winchester in 1953. Andrew married Janet Miglaw in 1977 in the Southampton registration district.

Frederick’s widow died in 1966 in the Southampton registration district, aged 79.

The Men from Hyde – Frank Samuel Lewington

Frank Samuel Lewington was born in 1890 in Winchester. His parents were James John and Alice Lewington (nee Stubbs) who had married in Winchester in 1883.

Frank’s father James was born in 1860, also in Winchester, one of 8 children who lived in the Middle Brooks ‘Tenement’ and Colebrook Street.

In the 1891 census, James is living with Alice and their children George Henry (7), William C (4) and Frank S (8 months) at 72 Lower Brook Street. James is a rural postman.

In the 1901 census, 10 year old Frank Samuel is staying with his uncle and aunt, John and Elizabeth Heath, in Beckenham, Kent.  Meanwhile his parents are living at 77, Canon Street with two children Wilson C (14, errand boy; should be William) and John James (4), and Alice’s mother Ann Stubbs, aged 84.

In the 1911 census, James (51) is still working as a rural postman.  He gives his place of birth as ‘St Peter’s, Cheesehill’ (now called Chesil Street).  Alice is 50 years old.  Their youngest child John James (14) is with them, also two young boarders aged 9 and 10, and an elderly lodger, ‘deaf and dumb from birth’.  The family is now living at 14, North Walls. Where is Frank? He is registered in the census as a visitor at the home of Ernest and Amelia Rendle in St Denys, Southampton.  He is aged 21 and works as a dyer and cleaner.  His brother William Charles is a servant, aged 24, working as an ‘ostler and boots’ servant at the Crown Hotel in Alton.  In the same census, a relative, perhaps an uncle, Wilson Charles Lewington, is a Post Office pensioner at the age of 41, and lives with his wife of 10 years and three children at 15, Nuns Road; this will later provide the Hyde connection.

It is not known when Frank enlisted.  He gives his home address as 14 North Walls, the address of his parents in the 1911 census. He joined the 9th (service) Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment with the service number 17218, first as a Corporal and then as a 2nd Lieutenant.  The Battalion was formed at Norwich in 1914 and mobilised for war in August 1915.  The Battalion landed at Boulogne and was engaged in various actions on the Western Front.

The First Battles of the Somme were fought from 21st March – 5th April 1918. After transferring very large forces from the now-collapsed Eastern Front, the German Army committed to a series of large-scale offensives and inflicted large losses on the Allies.  British battle positions were penetrated at various points, especially near St Quentin.  The Battle of St Quentin lasted from 21st –23rd March 1918.  Frank was Killed in Action on the first day of the battle. He was 28 years old.

He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial which commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7th August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and who have no known grave.

Frank’s parents are noted as living in Paynes Lane, Broughton, Stockbridge, at the time of his death.  His father James died in 1930 in Stockbridge, aged 70. His mother Alice lived to the age of 95, dying in Bournemouth in 1955.

The Men from Hyde – Samuel Perrin Jeffery

The parents of Samuel Perrin Jeffery were George and Elizabeth (nee Attwood) who married in Winchester in 1868.  Samuel was born in 1877, the sixth of seven children.  George was a bricklayer, born in Winchester.

Samuel’s mother died in 1880 at the age of 37.  A year later his father George can be found in the 1881 census, living at 46, Lower Brook Street, a widower looking after six children between the ages of 2 and 11.

Three years later in 1884, George married Mary Garnett on the Isle of Wight. The couple can be found in the 1891 census, still at 46, Lower Brook Street, with Frederick (15, a porter), Samuel (14, errand boy), and Leonard (12). George is 48, still working as a bricklayer, and his wife Mary is 44.

By the 1901 census, Samuel has left home.  He is now aged 24, living at 2, Tower Street and working as a house painter.  His father and stepmother are still at 46, Lower Brook Street.

In the 1911 census, Samuel is living at 2, North Walls, boarding with William Carter, also a house painter.  Samuel is 35.  At 46, Lower Brook Street, Samuel’s father George is 69 and calls himself an invalid; Mary is 64 and states that she has been married for 22 years and had no children.

Samuel’s father George Jeffery died at the end of 1914 at the age of 72.

It is not clear when Samuel enlisted as a Sapper in the 77th Field Company of the Royal Engineers.  He was given the regimental number 154608.  He is not listed in the Winchester War Register, nor are there any surviving army records for him.

Royal Engineers recruits were required to be at least 5 feet 4 inches tall. They initially enlisted for six years with the colours and a further six years with the reserve or four years and eight years.  Unlike most corps and regiments, in which the upper age limit was 25, men could enlist in the Royal Engineers up to 30 years of age.  They trained at the Royal Engineers Depot in Chatham or the RE Mounted Depot at Aldershot.

In 1915, in response to German mining of British trenches, the corps formed its own tunnelling companies. Manned by experienced coal miners from across the country, they operated with great success until 1917, when after the fixed positions broke, they built deep dugouts such as the Vampire dugout to protect troops from heavy shelling.

From October 1916, the Royal Engineers worked underground, constructing tunnels for the troops in preparation for the Battle of Arras in 1917.  Beneath Arras itself there is a vast network of caverns called the boves, consisting of underground quarries and sewage tunnels.  The engineers came up with a plan to add new tunnels to this network so that troops could arrive at the battlefield in secrecy and in safety.  The size of the excavation was immense.  In one sector alone, four Tunnel Companies of 500 men each worked around the clock in 18-hour shifts for two months.

The Royal Engineers fought at the Battles of Ypres at the end of 1917.  Samuel Jeffery was injured and died of his wounds on 8th January 1918, but the circumstances surrounding his death are not known.  He was 41 years old.

Samuel is buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery at Le Treport, about 25 km north of Dieppe.  The inscription on his headstone reads “So dearly loved so deeply mourned”.

The Men from Hyde – Arthur Evelyn Alexander

Arthur Evelyn Alexander was born in 1888 in Winchester, the youngest child of John and Harriet Alexander.  John and Harriet Mary Parker had married in Winchester in 1873.

In the 1881 census, Arthur’s father John (aged 27, a coachman from Wield, 5 miles north of Alresford) and Harriet (aged 35, born in Easton) are living at 10, King Alfred Place with their children John (6), Albert Edward (4), William Henry (2) and George Thomas (3 months).

In the 1891 census, the family is living at 2, Staple Garden[s]. John Snr is a groom, and Albert, 14, has also become a groom. John Jnr has left home. Since the last census there are 3 more children: Annie Olive (8), Frank Martyn (5), and Arthur Evelyn (3).  All children were born in Winchester.

In the 1901 census, John Snr (48) is a groom at a hotel and Harriet is 55.  Of their 7 children, only Annie (18, dressmaker), Frank (15, Solicitor’s clerk) and Arthur (13) are still at home. Albert was by now married and working as a caretaker at a Southampton auctioneer’s. George had become a police constable at Alton police station.

Arthur’s father John Alexander died in 1910 aged 57.

In the 1911 census, Arthur’s widowed mother Harriet is now 65 and still living at 2, Staple Gardens.  She states that she has been married for 37 years and had 7 children, all of whom are still alive.  Annie (28, dressmaker), Frank (25, Law clerk) and Arthur (23, grocer’s assistant) are living with her.

Arthur married Harriette Ada Waterman in 1914.  Harriette was born near Fordingbridge, and in the 1911 census, aged 29, had been working as a parlour maid for Miss Alice Bowker at St Waleric in Park Road, Winchester.

In May 1916, two years after his marriage, Arthur enlisted in the Royal Berkshire Regiment but was later moved to the 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment where he became a Lance Corporal. His regimental number was 26115.

Since 1914 the 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment had been stationed at Poona in India, moving to Mesopotamia (Iraq). On 29th April 1916, shortly before Arthur enlisted, the battalion (350 men) was captured at Kut-el-Amara. During the siege at Kut-el-Amara a new battalion, composed of returned wounded and others from the 2nd Dorsets and 2nd Norfolks, was formed (nicknamed the “Norsets”), under the command of the 21st Indian Brigade, 7th Indian Division.  This battalion was broken up in July 1916 and the 2nd Dorsets re-established.  It transferred to 9th Indian Brigade, 3rd Indian Division in January 1917 and moved to Egypt, landing at Suez in April 1918 with Arthur Alexander.

Arthur died in hospital in England on 5th July 1918, aged 31. His grave registration document states that he died of phythsis (tuberculosis) and it seems he was sent back to England to be nursed. It is not known which hospital he was in but it could have been Netley Military Hospital near Southampton where many soldiers were treated on arrival in Britain. Arthur is buried at Winchester (West Hill) Old Cemetery. The cemetery contains 114 First World War graves, scattered throughout the cemetery.

His widow Harriette was living at 44, Nuns Road at the time.  It seems Arthur and Harriette did not have children.

Arthur’s mother Harriet can be found in the 1939 Register living in Winchester with her son Frank Martyn Alexander and his wife Kate (nee Moreton) whom he had married in 1912.

Arthur’s widow Harriette died in Winchester in 1961 aged 81.

The Men from Hyde – Herbert James Samuel Long

Herbert Long was born in 1887 in Lymington, the son of George Long and Elizabeth (nee Doe) who had married in 1873.

In the 1881 census, George and Elizabeth (both aged 27) are living in Bridge Road, Lymington, with four children aged between 1 and 6.  George is a grocer’s carman.

In the 1891 census, the family can be found living in Stanley Road, Lymington. George, now 37, is still a carman for a grocer.  He has several more children ranging from 1 year to 14 years old; Herbert is 4.  In total, George and Elizabeth had 11 children.

The family is still living in Stanley Road in the 1901 census, and George is still working as a grocer’s carman.  Frederick (Frank) is now 19 and working as a baker; Herbert is 15 and also working as a baker. There are two more siblings: Arthur (13), and Harold (7).

In 1904, at the age of 18, Herbert enlisted with the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner with the regimental number 20108.  His brother Harold joined the Royal Navy in 1908 at the age of 15.

It appears that their mother Elizabeth died in 1906 aged 54, which may have been the reason why Harold enlisted so young.

In the 1911 census, Herbert is aged 25 and a Gunner in S Company of the Royal Garrison Artillery.  In the same census, his younger brother Harold, now 18, is working aboard HMS Duke of Edinburgh in Gibraltar.

Herbert married Annie May Mills in Portsmouth in 1915.  He was 28 years old; Annie was 19.  By the end of the year they had had a son, also named Herbert James Samuel Long, who was born in Bristol.

Herbert served in France with the 13th Siege Battery, landing in France in June 1915.  The Heavy Batteries of the RGA were equipped with heavy guns, sending large calibre high explosive shells in fairly flat trajectory fire.  The usual armaments were 60 pounder guns.  As British artillery tactics developed, the Heavy Batteries were most often employed in destroying or neutralising the enemy artillery, as well as putting destructive fire down on strongpoints, dumps, store, roads and railways behind enemy lines.

A Heavy Battery of the RGA tows its 60-pounder guns along the roads of Northern France.

The First Battles of the Somme took place between 21st March and 5th April 1918.  During this time Herbert was wounded and died of his wounds on 27th March 1918 at the Canadian Stationary Hospital.  He was 31 years old and had become Acting Bombardier.  Herbert is buried at the Doullens Communal Cemetery, about 30 km north of Amiens on the road to Arras.

Herbert’s widow Annie was by then living at The Prospect Cottage, Nursling, Southampton, though the address listed in the Winchester War Register for Herbert and his brother Harold is 4, Victoria Road, Winchester.

Herbert’s younger brother, Harold, served in the Falkland Islands, Dardanelles and the Grand Fleet aboard HMS Duke of Edinburgh, Inflexible and Blenheim. He survived the war.

In 1923, Annie May Long married Herbert’s younger brother Arthur Leonard Long in Southampton, a few months after the birth of their child, Mabel, who was born in Stockbridge.

In the 1939 Register Annie’s son Herbert (aged 24) is living at the same address in Romsey/Stockbridge as his half-sister Mabel (aged about 16).  Arthur Long lives at a different address in the same area, but it is not clear where Annie is.

Annie died in the Romsey area aged 76 in 1942.  Her daughter Mabel died unmarried in 1955 in Romsey aged 63.  Annie’s son, Herbert, married Dora Kershaw in Bournemouth in 1972; they were both aged around 57.  Annie’s second husband Arthur died aged 86 in 1973.

The Men from Hyde – John Barrow Dunmill

John Barrow Dunmill was born in Maidstone on 17th May 1885, the only surviving son of Alfred Thomas Dunmill, a banker’s clerk, and Mary Elizabeth (nee Copping) who had married at Marylebone in August 1884.

In the next 5 years, Mary Elizabeth had another 3 children: Maud Mary (1886), Irene Cornwallis (1889), and Alfred Julian, who died shortly after birth in 1890.

John Barrow Dunmill and his parents cannot be found in the 1891 census but his father Alfred Thomas appears in the electoral registers for Sevenoaks in 1892 and in 1896-99 for Tonbridge.  The only member of the family found in 1891 is Maud Mary who is staying with her grandfather, John Copping (60), a police inspector of weights and measures in Huntingdonshire.

The archives of Watford Grammar School contain an application on behalf of John Barrow Dunmill on 25th April 1899, when John was almost 14 years old. The address given is 4, Loates Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire, and his father is A T Dunmill, Bank official.

In the 1901 census, the family is still at 4, Loates Lane, Watford.  Alfred is 42 and a banker’s clerk; his wife Mary is 44. Their three children are John B (15), Maud M (14), and Irene C (12), all born in Maidstone. They have a live-in servant.

In the 1911 census, the family is living at 96, Breakspears Road, Brockley (Deptford/Greenwich).  Alfred is 52 and now a bank manager.  Mary Elizabeth is 55 and states that she has been married for 26 years and has had 4 children, one of whom has died. With them are John (25, now a bank clerk), Maud (24), and Irene (22).

The following year, John Barrow Dunmill married Maggie Roberts at Paddington.  The next year, his sister Irene married Edward Curry in Luton.

John enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1917 in Winchester; the address of his next of kin, his wife Maggie, is ‘St Clement’s’, Hyde Street.  John enlisted as a gunner with the service number 163556.

John then served in France as a Bombardier with the 110th Siege Battery of the RGA.  The Heavy Batteries of the RGA were equipped with heavy guns, sending large calibre high explosive shells in fairly flat trajectory fire. The usual armaments were 60 pounder guns.  As British artillery tactics developed, the Heavy Batteries were most often employed in destroying or neutralising the enemy artillery, as well as putting destructive fire down on strongpoints, dumps, store, roads and railways behind enemy lines.


A Heavy Battery of the RGA tows its 60-pounder guns along the roads of Northern France.

According to the Winchester War Register, John was Killed in Action on 2nd February 1918.  The circumstances of his death are not known as there are no surviving army records, but it was shortly before The First Battles of the Somme.  He was 32 years old.

John was buried at Tincourt New British Cemetery, between Cambrai and Saint-Quentin, on the Somme.  The inscription on his headstone reads: ‘Loving and Beloved Alike in Life and Death’.

At that time, Tincourt was a centre for Casualty Clearing Stations. The cemetery was used until September 1919.  After the Armistice it was used for the reburial of soldiers found on the battlefield, or those buried in small French or German cemeteries.  There are now nearly 2,000 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site.

John’s father, Alfred Thomas, lived to the age of 75, dying in Luton in 1933. His mother Mary Elizabeth died in 1940 in Surrey, aged 84.

His wife Maggie remained in Winchester and can be found here in the 1939 Register.  She died in 1972 at the age of 91.  She had no children.

The Men from Hyde – John Henry Rowlands

John Henry Rowlands was born at the end of 1880 in Aldershot.  His parents, Samuel Wilson Rowlands and Mary Ann Bright, married in the June qtr of 1880 in Winchester.

Unfortunately, the family cannot be traced in the 1881 census.  A second son, William Charles, was born in 1886.  Samuel died in 1889 at the age of only 32.

Two years later, Mary Ann married Edward Edwin Savage in Winchester in the March qtr of 1891.  The 1891 census took place soon after and they can be found living at 2, Spring Gardens, Durngate.  Edward is a painter’s labourer and Mary Ann a laundress; both are 34 and born in Winchester.  A few houses along live Mary Ann’s parents, William and Eliza Bright, at 9, Spring Gardens. Their grandson, William Rowlands (5), is with them.  John Henry, aged 10, is a patient at the County Hospital in Winchester.  Soon after, in the June qtr of that year, Edith May Savage was born.

In the 1901 census, Edward and Mary Savage, both 44, are living at 20, Union Street, Winchester, with John Henry (20, bread baker), William Rowlands (15, draper’s porter), and their daughter Edith (9).  Edward is a house painter and Mary a charwoman.

Unfortunately, Mary Ann died in 1909 at the age of 51.

In the 1911 census, John Henry is boarding with his step-father Edward Savage (54, house painter) at 2, Greyfriars Terrace, Lower Brook Street, Winchester.  John is working as a house painter for a builder.  His brother, William Charles (25, storeman for a brewery), is also living there.  Edward Savage states that he is a widower and has had two children, only one of whom is still alive: Edith May, aged 19, who acts as his housekeeper.

On 16th November 1911, John Henry Rowlands married Annie Louisa Jessie Hoskins in Milton, Gillingham, Dorset.  Annie was born 25th March 1887 so was 7 years younger than John. They lived at 5, Hyde Close, Winchester, and had two children: Cyril John (b 3rd September 1912), and Constance Annie Mary (b 7th April 1916), both born in Winchester.

In December 1915, at the age of 35, John enlisted with the Royal Berkshire Regiment as a private but a year later on 6th December 1916, was transferred to the 1st/5th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment with the service number 47962.  He trained in the UK until July 1917 and was then sent to Egypt on 19th July 1917.  Cairo was headquarters to the United Kingdom garrison in Egypt and, along with Alexandria, it became the main hospital centre for Gallipoli in 1915, dealing with the sick and wounded from operations in Egypt and Palestine.  John was wounded once (details unknown).

From October-November 1917, John would have been involved in The Third Battle of Gaza, The Capture of Junction Station, and The Battle of Nabi Samweil.  In 1918, the Devonshires took part in The Battle of Tell’Asur and The Battle of Berukin.

In March 1918, John Henry was promoted to Lance Corporal, but he became ill with appendicitis and died on 25th June 1918.  He was 37 years old. John is buried at Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, situated about 5km south east of the centre of Cairo.

In August 1918, John’s widow Annie signed the Declaration ‘by the Widow of a Soldier in support of her to Pension for herself and for her children’. The army record gives more details:

Annie Louisa Jessie Rowlands – married 16 Nov 1911 at Milton

Gillingham Dorset to John Henry Rowlands, 47962 L Cpl 1.5 Devons,

who died at 31 General Hospital Cairo on 25 June 1918 aged 37 years.


Cyril John  b 3 Sept 1912

Constance Annie Mary  b 7 April 1916

Both of 5 Hyde Close, Winch

Date of birth of widow: 25 March 1887

Witnessed by magistrate on 3 August 1918

Recommended by Major Atkinson, Exeter, and a person at 26 Jewry St, Winchester

John’s younger brother, William Charles Rowlands, enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment in June 1917 as a Private. The Winchester War Register states that he served with the Worcester Regiment and Hampshire Cyclists.  William served in France and was gassed in 1918, but he survived the war.  His address in his army record is 21, North Walls.

John’s widow Annie remained in Winchester.  She and her son Cyril (27) can be found in the 1939 Register still living at 5, Hyde Close.  That same year her daughter Constance married Francis N Heapey in Winchester.


The Men from Hyde – Percy George Perry

Percy George Perry was born in Winchester, the son of Albin George Perry, a gas lamp lighter. Albin had been born and bred in Winchester, the son of a fellmonger (a dealer in hides or skins, particularly sheepskins).

Albin married Emily Harfield in 1885 in Winchester and they went on to have three children: Ethel Selina (b 1886), Percy George (b 1888) and Arthur Albin (b 1890). In the 1891 census the young family is living at 54 Wharf Hill.

In the 1901 census Percy George (13) and Arthur Albin (11) are staying with their aunt and uncle, Lucy and Alfred Perry, at 45 Cheesehill Street (now called Chesil Street). This may have been due to their mother Emily being ill as she died shortly afterwards.

Three years later in 1904 Percy’s father Albin married Bertha Ward in Winchester, and they went on to have their own children. In the 1911 census Albin and Bertha are living at 39 St Catherine’s Road, Highcliffe, with their children Hilda Dorothy Evleny (6), Edward Arthur Albin (5), Daisy Gertrude Gladys (3) and John Thomas William (1). Albin is a retired policeman, now working as a grocery storeman.

In the same census Albin’s youngest children from his first marriage are working as domestic servants: Francis (18) is working for a landowner in Winchfield (between Hook and Fleet); Alice (14) is working for a family at 21 Romsey Road.

By 1911 Percy George Perry had enlisted in the 12th King’s Lancers and at the time of the census was based at Potchefstroom, 50 miles south west of Johannesburg, South Africa. It seems he left the army and re-enlisted in August 1914 when he was given the regimental number GS/69524. Percy became a Trooper in the 7th Battalion (Extra Reserve) Royal Fusiliers (London Regiment), formerly 139 12th Lancers & 897 Army Veterinary Corps.

In August 1914 the battalion was stationed at Finsbury, London, then moved to Falmouth in Cornwall. In July 1916 the soldiers were mobilized for war and landed at Le Havre, remaining on the Western Front for the remainder of the war.

At the start of 1917 Percy married Harriet Marsh at South Stoneham (outskirts of Southampton). Percy’s army record gives the address of his wife as 14 Canada Road, Woolston (south of Southampton, nr Netley).

A short time later Percy’s father Albin died in Winchester, aged 53.

During 1918 Percy’s regiment was involved in The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Albert, the Second Battles of the Somme, The Battle of Drocourt-Queant, the Second Battles of Arras, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of Cambrai, and the Final Advance in Picardy.

Percy was Killed in Action on 9th May 1918. The circumstances of his death are not known; there was no particular battle fought at the time. He was 30 years old. Percy is buried in the Mesnil Communal Cemetery, about 6 km north of Albert. Mesnil was close to the Allied front line from March to August 1918.

Percy’s older brothers served in the war too. [Arthur] Albin enlisted in November 1914 as a sapper in the Royal Engineers and served in Mesopotamia [Iraq] and India; Frank [Francis] enlisted in September 1914 as a private in the Royal Air Force and served in France. Both brothers survived. All three brothers are listed in the Winchester War Register as living at 21 Victoria Road.

Percy’s widow Harriet cannot be traced. There appear to have been no children.