First World War Biographies: A-C
William Alfred Adcock
11824 / 29742, Lance Corporal, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, later 1st Battalion, Prince Albert’s (Somerset Light Infantry)
1876, St Pancras or Yarmouth – 14th April 1918
Panel 3, Ploegsteert Memorial
He was the son of George Adcock (1842, Norfolk) and Elizabeth Boreham (1841, Poplar). William’s birth was registered in the St Pancras district, but his entry in the Soldiers Died in the Great War database states he was born in Yarmouth. This seems to disagree with all the census entries relating to the William Adcock living in St Pancras from 1881 to 1911 and might arise from a confusion with his father’s Norfolk birthplace.
In 1881 William was living with his parents and five siblings at 25 Upper James Street, St Pancras. George was then a porter at Collard and Collard. The family was at 81 James Street by 1891, with both parents, William and now four siblings. William was now working as an errand boy and George as a Pianoforte Porter. In 1881 and 1891 the household also included Thomas John Boreham (1870, St Pancras), son of one of Elizabeth’s brothers.
William married Ellen Caroline Williamson (1879, Bloomsbury) in the St Pancras district late in 1900 and in the 1901 census was living at 18 Winscombe Street, with no children. Their daughter Edith Celia Adcock (10th June 1903, St Pancras) was baptised at St Michael’s on 1 March 1905, with her parents’ address given as 71 James Street and William’s occupation as French polisher (also his occupation in the 1901 and 1911 censuses). William, his wife, Edith and their two other children were living at 14 Winscombe Street in 1911.
He did not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving, though a J Adcock did. His entry in the Soldiers Died in the Great War database states he enlisted in St Pancras.
15367, Private, 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
4th August 1892-1893, St Pancras district – 7th July 1916, Western Front, killed in action, aged 26
Mash Valley Memorial 7 in Ovillers Military Cemetery
He was the son of the coal carman Benjamin Andrews (1852, Clerkenwell or St Pancras) – his birthplace is given as St Pancras in the 1911 census and his birth registration but Clerkenwell in the 1881 and 1901 censuses. Benjamin married Ruth Fisher (1853, Notting Hill or Kensington – 1909, St Pancras) late in 1875 in the St Pancras district. Their first married home seems to have been in St Pancras, where their eldest children were born – Benjamin Francis (late 1876, St Pancras) and Thomas Charles (early 1879, St Pancras). They then moved to Islington between 1879 and the birth of their next child, Albert Edward (August 1880, Islington). The 1881 census records them at 26 Blundell Street, Islington, with their three sons Benjamin, Thomas and Albert (aged 8 months).
They had three more children in Islington – William R (1886, Islington) and Frederick James (mid 1888, Islington) and Leonard Henry (mid 1890, born Islington, registered St Pancras – 1895, St Pancras). In the 1891 census they are living at 34 Clayton Street, Islington with Benjamin (now working as a railway servant), Thomas, Albert, William, Frederick and Leonard, but by Sidney’s birth in 1892 they had moved back to St Pancras – he was baptised on 22 August 1892, with his parents living at 22 Ossulton Street. Another son, Arthur, was born in St Pancras in 1896.
In 1901 Sidney is aged 8 and living with his parents, William, Frederick and Arthur at 1 Johnson Street, St Pancras. Not having given an occupation before then, in the 1901 census Ruth is an Ironer and William a street sweeper. His mother Ruth died in 1909. In 1911 Sidney is living at 46 Johnson Street, Somers Town, with his elder brother Albert Edward (1882, Islington) and their widowed father. Their father is the head of the household but states “No Occupation”, so the two sons were probably supporting him through their wages – both Sidney and Albert are working as porters (Albert for a railway company and Sidney for a tailor). Sidney did not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving.
Sidney’s ages in both censuses gives an approximate birth year of 1893, but this does not seem to match any birth registrations. His age at death would give 1890, but this too does not match any registrations. He enlisted in London whilst resident in Camden Town. Sidney’s father (then resident at 17 James Street, Camden) was still alive at the time of Sidney’s death.
The 1911 census states Benjamin and Ruth had had a total of 7 children born alive by 1911 (the actual total seems to be 8), of whom 3 had died by 1911. A ‘Daily Mail’ report of 7th September 1916 on the ‘shrines’ to serving and dead servicemen of the parish states that “Four brothers (the Andrews) have gone [to the front] from” James Street, so it seems all three of Sidney’s surviving brothers also served.
The other three brothers to have served in World War One may have included Benjamin Francis. He had enlisted for six years in the militia on 5th September 1896, giving his age as 17 years 9 months, his address as 49 Johnson Street (just down from his parents’ 1901 address), his marital status as single and his present or former master as Mr Porter of St Pancras Road. He was 5 foot 4 3/8 inches, with grey eyes, brown hair and several tattoos (a flag and dots on his left forearm, “ILAP dot” on his left hand and ring finger) and scars on his upper lip, groin and back. He was present for 49 days’ drill and reported in 1897, 1898 and 1899. He married Rose Curtis (1882, Marylebone) in the St Pancras district in late 1899.
Benjamin Francis was embodied on 4th May 1900 for the Boer War, but deserted on 9th July the same year. In 1901 he was living with his wife and their only daughter Rosa Elisabeth (mid 1900, St Pancras) at 63 Stibbington Street, St Pancras. By 1901 he had become a coal carman like his father, though this may have been for a railway company judging by evidence from 1911 and 1913. In the 1911 census he is working as a horsekeeper for a railway company and living at 46 Johnson Street, Somers Town with Rosa and three more children – Violet Lilian (mid 1901, St Pancras), May Dorothy (1905, St Pancras) and William Robert (late 1907, Islington). He had had 5 children born alive by 1911, of whom only one had died. The eldest three children are attending Aldenham Street School. His wife was not living with him on census night. In 1913 Benjamin registered as a railway worker with the King’s Cross branch of the National Union of Railwaymen, with his occupation as horsekeeper. A Private Benjamin Andrews (GS/35954, Royal Fusiliers) and a Sergeant Benjamin Andrews (1339, 8280, Royal Fusiliers and Labour Corps) appear in the medal cards index, but there is no way of definitively linking either of these to Benjamin Francis.
A Frederick James Andrews of the right age (but with his birthplace as St Pancras not Islington) appears in the 1911 census serving with the 6th Dragoon Guards at Cavalry Lines at Tempe in Orange Free State, South Africa. This might be Benjamin senior’s son.
Albert (‘Bertie’) George William Annison
1208, Lance Sergeant / Acting Sergeant,
A Company, 1st/19th (County of London) Battalion (St Pancras), London Regiment
20th March 1894, Camden Town – 25th September 1915, killed in action, aged 21, on the opening day of the Battle of Loos
Panel 130-135, Loos Memorial
His parents George Henry Annison (born in 1862 in London) and Amy Alice Kite (born 1874, Regent Street, London) married in the St Pancras district in late 1893. By 1901 George was a ‘Railway Carman’. Albert was christened on 17th June 1894 in Camden Town, probably at St Michael’s, with his parents’ address given as 7 Albert Mews. In 1901 Albert was living with them at 28 Wellington Street, along with his younger siblings Vera Edith Florence (1896, St Pancras), Dudley Claud Alfred (1898, Camden Town) and George Leslie Claud (8 August 1900, Regents Park or St Pancras). Two more siblings, Alice Lilian Louise Annison (known as Lily; 7th March 1903, Camden Town) and May Isabel Grace Annison (10 November 1905, St Pancras) were born before George Annison died in late 1907. On 3rd December 1910 Amy Annison remarried at St Michael’s to Joseph Woodard Davis (born 1878, Camden Town), a builder’s labourer. The couple had two further children, Stanley Bert Woodard (31 October 1913, St Pancras) and Ronald Victor William Davis (14th September 1915, Kentish Town). Dudley died in the St Pancras district on 27th April 1916, giving his occupation as boot repairer and George Leslie Claude survived the war, dying in Islington on 26th February 1973.
In 1911 Albert was working as a messenger for the London and North Western Railway and living with his mother, step-father and sister Lily at 24 Kentish Town Road, Camden Town. His mother and stepfather were then using Woodard rather than Davis as their surname. Albert’s place of enlistment is recorded as Camden Town – he was probably still living with his mother and step-father when he enlisted, as his residence at that time is recorded as Kentish Town. Joseph’s service record states his step-children were George, Lily and May Annison (the other had presumably married or died or were old enough to no longer count as his dependents).
Albert’s service record is lost, but his step-father’s survives. Joseph enlisted in 1st Reserve Battalion, Royal Engineers on 15th July 1915, aged 37 years and 3 months. He stated his trade as electrician, though also stated he had served ten years in the navy followed by some time in the ‘Submarine Miners’. He was given the service number 108385 – his medical rating was only B3. Joseph took a Proficiency Certificate as an Electrician, effective from 15th July 1915. On 11th November 1915 he was made an Lance Corporal, on 24th November a Second Corporal and on 17th December a Corporal. On 18th December 1915 he embarked for the Western Front for the first time, entitling him to the 1914-15 Star.
Joseph’s final promotion (to Sergeant) only came in 12th March 1916 – he was then with 156th Field Company, Royal Engineers. He served on the Western Front at a General Base Depot and with 122nd and 155th Field Companies, Royal Engineers as well as at Thetford and Chatham in 1917 and 1918. On 22nd January he was admitted to hospital with rheumatism and on 26th June 1916 he received a slight gunshot wound to the “lower extremities right” and a slight wound to the foot.
From 27th September to 12th October 1917 Joseph was in hospital being treated for venereal disease. On 16th January 1918 he was back in hospital, initially in France and later in Britain, where on 20th July that year he was transferred to 5th Reserve Battalion, Royal Engineers. He was demobbed on 9th February 1919 with a £6 6 shillings weekly pension.
Albert did not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving. An RIP for him appeared in the November 1915 parish magazine. The CWGC records Albert’s mother’s name as Mrs Davis, living at 140 Kentish Town Road – this is also the address given in Joseph’s service papers. He died on the same day as Alfred Slade and the day before Robert Spriggs, both also from 19th Battalion and both also featured on the memorial. The July 1933 parish magazine records the Vicar of St Michael’s officiating at the marriage of Miss Grace Annison and Mr Harold Izzard in Hornsey Parish Church – this may have been Bert’s younger sister May Isabel Grace Annison or another relation.
1814 / 225487 / 613669, Corporal,
19th (County of London) Battalion (St Pancras), London Regiment, later 1st (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers), London Regiment (attached 2nd/2nd Battalion, London Regiment)
late 1889, Somers Town – 21st March 1918, killed in action, Western Front, aged 28
Panels 85-86, Pozieres Memorial
In 1901 he was living with his parents and five siblings at 62 Carlton Street, Kentish Town. He was the son of Charles Ansell (1844, Peroliad, Bedfordshire) and Sophia Butcher (1854, Kentish Town), who had married in 1884 in the St Pancras district. In 1901 George’s father was working as a railway goods carman. In the 1911 census George is boarding at 107 Park Street, Camden Town and working as a shunter at a railway goods depot. He was living in Camden Town when he enlisted there. His parents were living at 87 Patishull Road, Kentish Town in 1911, with four of their surviving six children (of the 7 children born alive to them before 1911, only one had died).
George appeared on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving, along with a T and an F Ansell. He first arrived on the Western Front on 10th March 1915 and was awarded the 1914-15 Star. His parents’ address at the time of his death is recorded as 48 Arlington Road, Camden Town. An RIP for a George Ansell (possibly his father) appeared in the March 1919 parish magazine.
(Edward) James Apling
2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
1889, St Pancras – 13th April 1918, killed in action, Western Front, aged 28
Panel 3, Ploegsteert Memorial
He was the son of Samuel James (born 1867, Hackney) and Maud Mary Apling (born 1867, Chatham, Kent). His name is given on the war memorial as James, so he possibly did not use his first name in everyday life, though he always used it in censuses. He was living with them on Archer Street, St Pancras as their only child at the time of the 1891 census, at which time his father was working as a tailor’s porter. In the 1901 census he was still living with them, now at 12 Hamilton Street, St Pancras – he had been joined by his siblings Lily Ethel (1894, London), Jessie Maud (12th July 1898, London) and Henry John (1901, London). His father was still working as a porter. Jessie was baptised at St Michael’s on 16th October 1898, with her father’s occupation given as ‘porter’ and address as 98 Bayham Street.
In the 1911 census he was living at 10 Stanmore Place, Camden Town. That year both he and his father both gave their occupations as an ‘Outfitter’s Assistant’. All three younger siblings were still also living with their parents at that date. He may have appeared on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving as J Apling. James enlisted in London, giving his place of residence at the time as Camden Town. His CWGC record gives his parents’ address as 10 Stanmore Place, meaning they had not moved since 1911. George Edward Apling was confirmed on 14th November 1930 at St Michael’s.
Albert Edward Armer
1264 / 11071, Private,
3rd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), later 2nd Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment
Late 1895, Camden Town – 23rd March 1915, died of wounds, St Mark’s College, Chelsea
Row 1, Special Memorial, St Pancras Cemetery
He was the son of John Francis (born 1854, Highgate) and Sarah (born 1873, nee Styles, Devizes, Wiltshire), who had married in the St Pancras district early in 1892. The 1911 census shows they had had eight children born alive by then, but two of them had died – one of them was another son, John Eli, who was born in 1892 but died aged only 1. In 1901 Albert was living with his parents and his elder brother William Frederick R (born 1893, Camden Town) and his younger sister Lilian Agnes (born late in 1898 in Camden Town) at 151 Arlington Road. In 1911 all of them had moved to 4 Pleasant Passage, Camden Town. In both censuses his father was working as a House Painter – in 1911 William was working as a piano maker and Albert as an errand boy. By 1911, his parents had had eight children born alive, of which two had died and six were still living. A Rosina and a Charles Francis Armer was baptised at St Michael’s on 23 April 1906.
His service record shows that on 30th April 1912 he enlisted in 3rd Battalion, City of London Regiment at 21 Edward Street, NW. He was aged 17 years and 1 month. He was then working as a porter at H Dixon and Son, 112 Albany Street, NW and still living in the parental home. He was 5 foot 3 and fair, weighing 114 pounds and with light brown hair. He went on Annual Training at Swanage from 28th July to 11th August that year and on 18th November he transferred to the Special Reserve, giving his profession as a fitter’s mate. On 30th November he began recruits’ training, which lasted until 19th March 1913. From 4th July to 3rd August 1913 he attended a musketry course.
George appeared on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving. Part of his record states his regiment on enlistment was the Leicestershire Regiment, though this probably refers to his final enlistment in 1914, when he was mobilised on 5th August, the day after war was declared. About then he was living in Camden Town. On 9th November he was posted to 2nd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment, part of the British Expeditionary Force. He as then returned to the regimental depot on 8th January 1915. On 11th January 1915 he was admitted to the Queen Alexandra Military Hospital at Grosvenor Road, London SW with tubercular pleurisy. He stayed there until 17th January, before being transferred to the No 2 London General Hospital on 17th February. On 23rd March 1915 he died “of wounds received in action”. An RIP for him appeared in the May 1915 parish magazine.
The October 1916 parish magazine reports his father helping to manufacture ‘war shrine’ memorials at Pleasant Passage, Underhill St, Stanmore Place, Chapel Yard and Pleasant Row – the war shrines were a popular movement in the parish. A possible relation, Dorothy La Bassa Armer, was confirmed at St Michael’s on 14th November 1930.
Charles William Ash
12th (County of London) Battalion (The Rangers), London Regiment
1880, Marylebone – 23rd August 1918, killed in action, Western Front, aged 37
Panel 10, Vis-en-Artois Memorial
His parents were Charles Ash (1851, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, Hampshire) and Elizabeth Harrison (1855, Sudbury, Suffolk), who had married in Holborn in mid 1878. In 1881, he and they were living at 5 Stafford Street in Marylebone, with his elder sister Selina (1879, Marylebone) – Charles senior was then working as a joiner. Charles junior, Selina and their parents had moved to North Street in Marylebone by 1891, along with three more siblings, all born in Marylebone – George (1883), Arthur (1886) and Alice (1888). They seem to have moved to the St Pancras district by the birth of another sibling, Florence, there in 1895.
In 1901 he, his parents and his siblings George, Arthur, Alice and Florence were at 45 Compton Street, St Pancras – his father was now a newsagent whilst he himself was an upholsterer’s apprentice. In 1911, all seven of them were now at 3 Camden Road, Camden Town, with Arthur (working as a carpenter), Alice (working as a ‘home assistant’) and Florence (1895, St Pancras; working as a dressmaker’s assistant), along with the old age pensioner Hannah Linsell (1837, Great Sampford, Essex). Charles senior’s occupation was newsagent and tobacconist, but he was also listed as an invalid, with his wife assisting in the business and working at home. Charles junior was a French polisher.
He did not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving. The ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War’ database states he enlisted in London whilst resident in Camden Town. His father died in 1917 – his mother did not remarry and was resident at 8 Glenfield Terrace, Ealing at the time of her son’s death.
21st (County of London) Battalion (1st Surrey Rifles), London Regiment
1881, St Pancras – 16th August 1918, killed in action, Western Front
Grave III.H.22., Dive Copse British Cemetery, Sailly-le-Sec
He was the son of James (1842, Baldock, Hertfordshire) and Elizabeth (1845, The Chapel or Clerkenwell, Middlesex). James was single, working as a carman and living with his mother Hannah Gains [sic] on Stafford Row, Camden Town in 1861. He and Elizabeth possibly married in 1863 in the St Pancras district (which would make her maiden name Eaglestone) and had definitely married by 1871, when they were living at 59 King’s Road, St Pancras (which then contained a total of 14 people). He was working as a paper hanger and with them were their three children James (1864, St Pancras), Joseph (1869, St Pancras) and Anna (1870, St Pancras). The family cannot yet be found in the 1891 census – a James and Elizabeth of the right ages and with a daughter Elizabeth of the right age and birthplace are living at 7 Union Terrace, St Pancras, but they both give their birthplaces as St Pancras.
Richard and Elizabeth were baptised in the Christ Church, St Pancras parish on 9th January 1883, with his parents’ address given as 65 Little Albany Street and his father as a labourer. In 1901 Richard was living with his parents at 4 Wilstead Court, St Pancras, alongside his elder sister Elizabeth (1879, St Pancras) and his younger sister Mary (1887, St Pancras). Like his father, he was working as a general labourer. He and the rest of the family have not yet been found in the 1911 census. He did not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving, though an A Ball did. He enlisted in Whitehall but was then resident in Camden Town. His RIP appeared in the October 1918 parish magazine.
Joseph James Beaver
4843 / 32105, Private,
3rd and later 6th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment
7 November 1893, Shoreditch or Hoxton – 28th April 1917, killed in action, Western Front, aged 24
Bay 5, Arras Memorial
He was the son of James William Reuben Beaver (August 1865, Bethnal Green), who served in 4th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment prior to 1884 and joined 1st Battalion (one of the regiment’s two regular battalions) at Hounslow on 30th September 1884. He gave his age as 19 years 1 month and his occupation as confectioner. He was 5 foot 6 2/10 inches and his service record states he had “Fish, ship and cross flags, tattooed on right fore arm [and] GB, AS and bracelet tattooed on left fore arm [and] wreath on chest”. On 11th February 1885 he was given a 4th Class Certificate of Education and on 30th September 1886 he received good conduct pay.
James married Elizabeth Maria Burton (1871, Bethnal Green) at Holy Trinity Church in Bethnal Green on 5th April 1891 and of the nine children born alive to them by 1911, three had died. One of those nine children was Joseph James, who was christened at St John’s, Hoxton on 24th November 1893, with his parents’ address then given as 11 Pimlico Walk. Joseph James was living with them, five siblings and a visiting servant in 1901 at 31 Turners Place, Shoreditch. In 1901 Joseph’s father gave his occupation as ‘Soldier’ – he had been transferred to the 1st Class Army Reserve on 12th December 1889 but was only finally discharged on 27th September 1896.
In 1911 Joseph’s parents are living at 43 James Street, Camden Town (the address also given for them on Joseph’s CWGC record) with seven of their children – his father was now working as a horsekeeper for a carriers. Joseph is not living with his parents in the 1911 census and cannot yet be found in that source – he might have joined up between 1901 and 1911, though soldiers should show on the 1911 census. Joseph appeared on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving. He enlisted in Luton, where he was living at the time of enlistment.
A Joseph George Robert Beaver was born on 7th June 1927 and baptised on 19th June that year, son of James William (painter) and Emma Elizabeth of 14 St Leonard’s Square NW.
Frederick Arthur Berridge
4200, Lance Corporal, A Squadron, 2nd City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders), later 703344, 1st / 23rd Battalion, London Regiment
1882, Battersea – 7th June 1917, killed in action, Western Front
Panels 52 to 54, Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres
In 1901 and 1911 he was living at 11 Althorp Road, Battersea – in 1901 with his parents Thomas J Berridge (1840, Pimlico) and Harriet Jane Redding (1840, Pimlico or Chelsea) and in 1911 with his widowed mother. His father was a bank clerk and had married his mother in Wandsworth district in 1878. In both years Frederick was a clerk in the Natal Government Office. On 8 December 1915 he enlisted in the Rough Riders at Putney (with his height recorded as 5 foot 11.5 inches) and he sailed from Southampton to Le Havre on 22/23rd September 1916. On 13th October 1916 he transferred into the 23rd Battalion of the London Regiment.
His medals were sent to his only living or surviving brother Hubert Stanley Berridge, 57 Ravenslea Road and later 47 Ellerton Road, Wandsworth – Hubert had four sisters. His personal effects were also returned to Hubert – these were letters, a wrist watch and a cigarette case.
16th (Service) Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own)
1872, St Pancras district – 3rd September 1916, killed in action, attacking German positions around Beaumont-Hamel on the Somme
Pier and Face 16B and 16C, Thiepval Memorial
3582 / 7515, Private,
Middlesex Regiment, later 11th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
25th September 1892, St Pancras district – 1st July 1916, killed in action, Western Front, in an attack on the Pommier Redoubt on the Somme
Pier and Face 8C, 9A and 16A, Thiepval Memorial
Benjamin was one of at least nine children of Eugene or Edward Eugene Bewley (1827, Croydon, Surrey – 1895, St Pancras) and his wife Hannah or Sophia Hannah Dance (1831, Chesham, Buckinghamshire – 1892, St Pancras), who had married in the City of London in 1853. They moved to the St Pancras district and had seven children by 1871, when they were living at 4 Monte Video Place in Kentish Town. The family had moved to 8 Stanmore Place in Camden Town by 1881, now with nine children. Eugene initially worked as a china dealer (1871 census) or a general dealer (1881 census), but by 1891 was a florist. In 1891 Benjamin’s parents were living with two of their children at 10 Pleasant Row in Camden Town, with Benjamin working as a polisher.
Benjamin married on 11th October 1891 to Emily Sarah Burdekin (1872, St Giles’s – 1923, St Pancras), a carriage painter’s daughter at St James’s, Hampstead Road (between Warren Street and Mornington Crescent). Their first married home was 11 Little Exmouth Street, Camden Town. Frederick was their first child, born on 25th September 1892 and baptised on 17th October 1892. In 1901 Benjamin, Emily and Frederick were living at 108 Arlington Road., with two further children, Lilian (1897-1901) and Albert (1899). Benjamin initially followed his father as a general dealer (1901 census and enlistment papers), later becoming a self-employed firewood dealer (1911 census). Emily later had four more children – Robert (1902), Joseph (1904), John (1907) and Louise (1909). By 1911 Benjamin and Emily were living with all six of their surviving children at 11 Pleasant Row in Camden Town, next door to Benjamin’s parents’ 1901 address. Frederick was now working as a van boy at a jam factory and they had also been joined by Emily’s widowed father Henry Burdekin (1845, St Pancras – 1912, St Pancras), still a painter but now at a motor works.
Frederick enlisted in St Pancras at an unknown date. He held two service numbers, implying he may have joined up just after the outbreak of war into a battalion of the Middlesex Regiment which was soon afterwards converted into 11th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. Frederick was awarded the 1914-15 Star, having landed in France with 11th Battalion Royal Fusiliers on 26th July 1915. This may imply he joined the battalion on their formation in September 1914 or just afterwards. Neither Benjamin nor Frederick appeared on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving in the forces, though this may be an error or omission rather than meaning he only joined up after March 1915.
Although he was already 42 years old (the maximum age for army recruits was 40) and a father of six, still living in Camden Town, Benjamin decided to join up. He enlisted for the duration of the war on 29th May 1915 in the St Pancras recruiting office, in a battalion which had been raised in St Pancras on 2nd April that year. In his enlistment papers he gave his residence as 11 Pleasant Place, Row or Road, Camden Town, knocked four years off his age and failed to mention his 22 year old son Frederick. It shows he was 5 foot 2.5 inches tall, with a 37.5 inch chest and a weight of 137 pounds. He had a tattoo on his left forearm of a “dancer etc” and on his right forearm of “Good Luck” . He was posted to a unit the following day.
A form in the papers giving his relations was certified on 2nd May 1919 by his widow and by Thomas Henry Kett, one of the curates at St Michael’s at the time (then boarding at 120 Albert Street and recorded in the 1911 census as boarding at 69 Albert Street). It states that both his parents were by then dead. It records his father’s name as Bengomine Bewley (presumably a misspelling of Eugene) but states his mother’s name was “Not known”. It also states his brothers’ names as Arthur and William and his sisters as Emma, Minnie and Anna. At the time of his death he also had a living 74-year-old aunt on his mother’s side, Sarah Shepperd.
On 7th March 1916 Benjamin embarked at Southampton, landing in France the following day. He was attached to a Royal Engineers tunnelling company from 17 to 21 April 1916. On 11th August he was docked 7 days’ pay for “falling out on the march without permission”. From 27th to 29th August he was placed on permanent attachment to 174 Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers. He returned to duty on 30th August. He was recorded as wounded and missing on 3rd September 1916 – the accurate date of this death is unknown, but that date was accepted by the War Office as his date of death for their purposes. That date was also the death date of another man on the memorial, John Thomas Culver, serving with the same battalion. Benjamin’s son had been killed only three months earlier, in another phase of the Battle of the Somme – neither of their bodies were ever found. On 28th May 1917, Benjamin’s widow and children were awarded a pension of 28 shillings and 9 pence a week – she lived on to 1923.
George Boddy – may be identifiable with
Lance Corporal Arthur Joseph Boddy
14167, 4th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment
1894, St Pancras – 1st September 1914, in the retreat from Mons
Grave IV. A. 13, Mons (Bergen) Communal Cemetery
Enlisted Mill Hill
TWO SERVICE RECORDS FINDABLE FOR THIS NAME
He was a member of the Church Lads’ Brigade. He did not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving, yet an RIP for a George Boddy appeared in the April 1915 parish magazine. The latter magazine also mentioned him in the regular column ‘Brigade Notes’, which stated he had died in the retreat from Mons, but that news had only just reached the magazine of his death.
Herbert William Bower
8909, Lance Sergeant
1/4th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment
1888, Camden Town – 4th April 1918, died of wounds, Western Front
Grave III.F.35, Menin Road South Military Cemetery
He was the son of William J (1856, St Pancras, working as a bootmaker in 1891 and 1901) and Hedwig (nee Zakaurcill or Lakaurcill, born in Germany, 1859), who had married in the St Pancras district in 1879. In 1891 he was living with his parents at 104 Arlington Road, along with his elder sisters Adeline Clara (1879) and Hermina Rosa (1881), both born in St Pancras. Also living with them were a widower lodger William Moulton (1830, St Pancras), who gave his profession as ‘Army Pensioner’, and William J’s seamstress aunt Alwina Hoffman (1835, Switzerland). Ten years later the family had moved to 102 Arlington Road, without the aunt and lodger but with two more siblings, Richard Polishon (1892) and Constance Alice (1895), both born in St Pancras.
In 1911 Herbert’s parents had moved to 274 Hornsey Road, Holloway, with his father now a ‘Bootmaker and Repairer’, running his own business. The 1911 census stated they had had five children born alive, all of whom were still living. However only two of them were still living with them at that time, Hermina and Constance, with the latter working as a ‘Relief Stamper’ at a ‘Die Sinking and Metal Works’. This may mean than Herbert had already joined the army by this point, though his service record does not seem to have survived and soldiers usually appear on the 1911 census. He appeared on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving. He is recorded as enlisting in London whilst resident in Camden Town. His RIP appeared in the May 1918 parish magazine. His brother Richard Polishon married Charlotte Anne and their son Arthur William (2nd November 1916) was baptised at St Michael’s on 22nd November 1916, with his parents living at 63 Camden Road and his father serving as a Gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery. Richard and Herbert’s mother died in 1935.
His death was marked in the RIP column of the parish magazine in February 1916.
Henry James Camfield
20881 / 351082, Private
Royal Scots and 16th Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
1st March 1872, St Pancras – 3rd April 1918, Edmonton district
This name seems to relate to a Henry James Camfield whose service record survives. That Henry first enlisted on 28th May 1890 at Hounslow, serving 12 years and 7 months with 1st Battalion Royal Scots prior to his 1915 enlistment – that would mean his first demob was in December 1902. A medical examination on 11th July 1917 at Sandwich Bay stated that his arteriosclerosis and malaria had originated in an “accident in civil life from which a full recovery was made and … [he was] passed fit to the army”. The accident is undated, but may have occurred prior to his first enlistment in 1890. Henry was also entitled to the Queen’s South African Medal and King’s South African Medal, meaning he had served through the Boer War. His total service on demob in 1917 had included 6 years in India, 2 years and 9 months in South Africa and 1 year 3 months in Malta, probably all from his first period in the army.
He and Florence May Nicholls (née Wythe; 1881, Framlingham, Suffolk) began living together as husband and wife in 1906, according to a reply by the Chief Constable of Camden Town to an enquiry on 30th March 1918 from the Infantry Record Office in Perth as to the parentage of Camfield’s four children. They stated in the 1911 census that they had been married for four years, but their marriage actually only occurred on 4th March 1915 in the St Pancras district. She was the eldest child of a bricklayer and was living with her parents on College Road in Framlingham in 1881 and 1891 – she had married the labourer George Nicholls early in 1900 in their home town of Framlingham. George and Florence cannot yet be found in the 1901 census and so it is unclear what became of George.
In 1911 Henry was living at 187 Arlington Road with Florence May and their two children Florence May (26 May 1908, St Pancras) and Henry James (14th January 1910, Islington or St Pancras). In 1911 Henry was working as a ‘Carman’ for a ‘Creamery’. Two more children were born to them, Emma Elizabeth (22nd March 1912) and Arthur George (28th June 1914). He did not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving. A child called Thomas Benjamin Camfield was baptised at St Michael’s on 26 May 1916 – this may have been another son or the child of a relation. The birth of another “Thomas B Camfield” was registered in the St Pancras district in mid 1918, with a maiden name matching Florence’s.
Henry re-enlisted at Glencorse on 3rd or 9th March 1915. He gave his address as 148 Arlington Road. He was 5 ft 9 with blue eyes and dark brown hair and stated he had tattoos of “Crucifix and Female Figure on Cheek [and] various designs on chest and both arms and back and legs”. He gave his religion as Roman Catholic, so if he ever did cross over to Anglicanism he had not yet done so. He was posted to the regiment’s 3rd Battalion on 16th March 1915 then to 1st Battalion on 19th May 1915, given elsewhere as also the date of his arrival in France. He was then transferred again to the regiment’s No 8 Entrenching Battalion on 6th August 1915 and again to 2nd Battalion on 27th September.
Henry was buried alive in a dugout in Scutry Wood, Ypres in September 1915 and injured his back. Though he was not hospitalised, he “was put on light jobs on Lines of Communication”. His debility was admitted on 23rd November 1916 and on 27th November 1916 he was invalided home to the regimental depot with malaria and debility” and was kept on light duties for the rest of his service. He briefly left the regiment between 30th December 1916 and 5th January 1917, when he moved to the Depot of Scottish Command. He then returned to 1st Battalion Royal Scots, before a final transfer to 16th Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on 1st March 1917.
A medical examination on 11th July 1917 at Sandwich Bay found his “arteriosclerosis [was] well marked” and that “there [was] no deformity of spine” and his “spleen [was] not palpable”, though Camfield complained “of severe pain on any exertion”. The examination recommended his discharge as “physically unfit” and on 9th August 1917 this occurred, with his character given as “very good”. His pension record on discharge states that “During his period of service he bore a very good character. A sober and reliable man, he is recommended for suitable employment.” On 15th August 1917 his pension was increased to 27 shillings and 6 pence, plus 15 shillings until 30th April 1918. On his final discharge, it was stated he had served with the colours for 7 years and 10 months, then in the Army Reserve for a year and a half, then again with the colours “LE” for 2 years and 10 months and with the colours “ackg” for 2 years and 5 months, all totalling 14 years and 7 months.
He died in Edmonton district in 1918. His widow’s address is given as 21 Wellington Street, Camden Town – she might have moved soon after his death. On 10th April 1918 his widow and four children were given a weekly pension of 2 shillings 8 and 8 pence a week, rising to 33 shillings and 9 pence from 1st May that year.
13th Battalion, Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own)
1887, St Pancras district – 23rd April 1917, Western Front, killed in action
1st Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
1894 or 1895, Kentish Town or St Pancras – 21st December 1914, Western Front
Grave G5, Bailleul Communal Cemetery (Nord)
Edward was living in Camden Town when he enlisted in the St Pancras district. William was also living in Camden Town, though his place of enlistment is given as ‘London’.
Edward died in France but has no known grave and so is commemorated in the CWGC’s main register at its head office in Maidenhead, Berkshire. They give his age at death as 28, but it was registered in 1887 and he shows up as such in the 1891 census at 3 Fortress Grove, St Pancras, with his parents Edward (1866, St Pancras or Clerkenwell – 1910, St Pancras) and Charlotte (1867, Clerkenwell or St Pancras), his younger sister Charlotte (1889, St Pancras) and his father’s niece Florence Carnell (1880, St Pancras). His father was working as a timber and firewood dealer in 1891 and a wood chopper in 1901. Edward was still living with his parents in 1901 as their eldest child and by then he was working as a shop boy. Five of his brothers and sisters were at the same address, including William. Neither of the brothers have been found in the 1911 census. William appeared on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving (with RIP next to his name), but E Carnell did not appear.
A John Edward Carnell, aged 22, carman married Ada Pauline East at St Michael’s on 4th October 1919, with his address as 10 Dewsbury Terrace and his father as Edward Carnell, deceased and her address as 22 Kentish Town Road and her father as Arthur James East, deceased. Jules Frederick East and Charlotte Carnell (illiterate – she signed with her mark) were the witnesses. This may have been a relation to the Carnells on the war memorial.
Walter John Carroll
4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
7th March 1877, St Pancras district – 31st March 1915, killed in action, Western Front, aged 40 or 38
Panels 6 and 8, Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres
He was baptised in the St Pancras district on 26th March 1877, with his parents’ names given as Peter and Emma (1846, Lyndhurst, Hampshire), their address as 49 Euston Street and Peter’s profession as an organ pipe maker. By 1891 his mother was a widow, living with Walter only at 62 Hawley Road, St Pancras and giving her occupation as “General Stores”.
In 1902 he married Ellen Hawkins (1873, Williton, Somerset) in the St Pancras district. In 1911 he was living at 25 Prince of Wales Crescent, St Pancras and working as a house painter. They had had four children born alive by 1911, though one of them had died. All three surviving children had been born in St Pancras and were living with them in 1911 – Flora Ellen (1903), Margaret Alice (1907) and Alice May (1911). The 1915 electoral register shows Walter at 287 High Street, Camden Town. He appeared on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving as W Carroll, along with an A Carroll. The Soldiers Died in the Great War database also states Walter was living in Camden Town when he enlisted in Shepherd’s Bush. An RIP for him appeared in the May 1915 parish magazine.
Robert Charles Casey
10139, Private, 6th Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
1888, St Pancras – 1st July 1916, killed in action, Western Front
Pier and Face 11D, Thiepval Memorial
He was the son of John Casey (1861, Islington) and Sarah Waterfall (1862, Islington), who had married in early 1881 in Islington. They moved from Islington to St Pancras between the birth of their first child Alfred (1881, Islington) and their second child Frank or Francis (1884 or 1885, St Pancras). John was recorded an ostler and groom in 1891 and a groom in 1901. In 1891 Robert was living with his parents and four siblings at 37 Clarendon Street, St Pancras (one of six households living at that address, totalling 26 people). In 1901 he was living at 97 Aldenham Street, St Pancras, with his parents and six siblings.
Robert married Charlotte Harriett Gowing (1888, St Giles, Bloomsbury) in April, May or June 1910 in the St Pancras district. In 1911 he and his wife were living at 6a Clarendon Place Clarendon Square, St Pancras, with him working as a ‘Motor Bus Conductor’ for the London General Omnibus Company Limited. They had no children. He did not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving. Robert enlisted in Islington, though his place of residence at that time is only given as London.
G/6141 / 682508, Private,
8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, later 22nd (County of London) Battalion (The Queen’s), London Regiment
1897, Paddington – 16th February 1918, Western Front, killed in action, aged 22
Grave II. B. 7/8, Ribecourt British Cemetery
He was the son of Samuel Chaney (1865, St Pancras – 1945, Pancras) and Mary Ann or Mary Knight (1866, Marylebone) – they had married in 1884 in the St Pancras district. Samuel was a French polisher (1891 and 1901) or piano polisher at a piano works (1911). Their first home was in the St Pancras district, as that was where two of their earliest children were born, Samuel (1885, St Pancras) and Mary (1890, St Pancras). Their second known home was at 75 North Street, Marylebone, where another son, Oscar (1893, Marylebone), was born. Of the eleven children born alive to them by 1911, six had died.
Frank’s birth was registered in the Pancras district, though the 1901 and 1911 censuses states his birthplace as Paddington. In the 1901 census he was living with them at 123 Cambridge Road, Willesden, with his name recorded as Francis. He was also living with his three elder siblings Samuel, Mary and Oscar. In 1911 Frank (still giving his name as Francis) was living with his parents, Samuel, Oscar, and two new siblings, Dorothea Ivy (1905, Willesden) and Horace Vernon (1908, Willesden). Francis/Frank was now working as a van boy at a dyers.
Francis/Frank appeared on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving, along with a T Chaney. Francis/Frank enlisted in St Pancras, though he was living in Paddington at the time. His parents were living at 285 Great College Street, Camden Town at the time of his death. An RIP for him appears in the May 1915 parish magazine.
Percival (Percy) John Childs (possibly born Healey),
2150, Drummer, 1/3rd (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers), London Regiment
20 January 1898, Marylebone – 23rd September 1916, died of wounds, Western Front, aged 18
Grave I.H.35, Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte
His parents were John (1851, Stock, Essex) and Harriet (1858, Downham, Essex) – of the 7 children born alive to them by 1911, only 1 had died. In 1911 they stated they had been married 30 years, giving an approximate marriage year of 1881, but the only registration for that year matching those names is from Reigate, Surrey. John was single on 3rd April 1881 (census night), boarding at 9 Stanmore Place, St Pancras with Samuel (1831, Essex) and Mary Smith (1836, Essex) – like Samuel, John was then a carman and another of the four boarders there (John Drake, 1840, Stock, Essex) had the same birthplace as John. John and Harriet were living at 5 Pleasant Passage, Camden Town in 1891, 1901 and 1911 and in all three censuses John is working as a furniture remover.
In 1891 John and Harriet were living with their children Alice Beatrice (late 1884, Camden Town), Edith Mary (early 1887, Camden Town) and Daisy Charlotte (late 1889, Camden Town) and a lodger. In 1901 they were living with their children Alice (now working as an upholstress), John Erswell (mid 1892, London), Ivy Martha (late 1894, London) and Herbert Marshall (1899, London). Also resident with them in 1901 were an unmarried boarder living on her own means called Alice Maria Erswell (1836, St Pancras – 1904, St Pancras) and Helena S Taylor (1877, Cripplegate, Middlesex – visitor – mental nurse). Alice Maria had been in domestic service in Hampstead in the 1871 and 1881 censuses and – as Erswell was the middle name of one of John and Harriet’s children – she was probably a relation from Harriet’s family. Whether Helena’s presence is related to Percival being ill is unknown, but it seems possible.
Percy is living with John and Harriet in 1901 (giving his name as Percival John), but stated as a “Nursechild” (meaning a child cared for long-term outside its parental home) rather than as the head of household’s son and with the surname Healy. This probably means he was John and Harriet’s adoptive child, since no birth registration of the right date can be found for a Percival or Percy Childs and he had taken their surname by the time of the 1911 census. On 20th January 1898 a Percival John Healey was baptised at St Marylebone, child of a Winifred Healey and an unknown male Healey and born at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital. (On 13th January the same year, born in the same place, and baptised in the same church, a William Victor Fordham was baptised, son of a Louisa Fordham.) However, Percival John Healey / Childs does not seem to be the man on the war memorial since his death was registered in St Pancras in June 1974 for a Percival John Healey born on 20th January 1898.
The baptismal records for St Michael’s feature two daughters of Albert and Alice Adelphine Healy of 20 Wellington Street – Ellen Margaret (15th March 1916, St Pancras) was baptised at St Michael’s on 23rd October 1916 and Alice Sarah (6th February 1918). For Ellen, Albert’s profession is given as porter, but for Alice as “Soldier”. These Healys may be related to ours. Also an unmarried older Percival James Healy is still alive at 49 Foley Street, Marylebone in 1901 – he may be a relation of the younger Percival or even his birth father. However, a baptismal record from St Marylebone’s survives for Percival, giving his parents’ surnames both as Healey, which suggests he was not illegitimate.
In 1911 John and Harriet were still at the same address with their children Percival (recorded in 1911 as Percy), Edith (now working as a Millinery Assistant), John (now working as a railway engine cleaner), Ivy (now working as a dressmaker’s apprentice) and Herbert (at school). This would make Percy or Percival only 18 when he died – the minimum age for service in the army was 17. He did not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving. He was living in Camden Town when he enlisted at Edward Street. A George Childs was recorded as RIP in the October 1916 parish magazine and Percy himself was recorded as RIP the following month.
William Thomas Cooper
1888 – 3rd March 1919, from heart trouble aggravated by war service
115757, Private, 1st Company, Royal Army Medical Corps
He had rheumatic fever for 11 months in 1913 and had heart trouble from then onwards. He married Minnie Wright at the St Marylebone Register Office on 15th September 1914. They had two children, William George (20th January 1916, St Marylebone) and Rose Beatrice (8th April 1917, St Marylebone). Rose was baptised at St Michael’s on 9th May 1917, with her father’s profession as “Private, RAMC”.
William’s army service record survives, stating he was 5 foot 8, weighing 9 stones 5 lbs 7 oz, with grey eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion. He was “Deemed to have enlisted” for General Service for the duration of the war on 24th June 1916 on Whitehall. On 30th April 1917 he was called up and posted to the Royal Army Medical Corps. On 1st May 1917 he was transferred from General Service to ‘N’ Company RAMC, then to No 1 Company with 5th Rate Corps Pay 4d on 1st September 1917.
He spent his whole war on “Home Service”. He was discharged in Woking on 25th March 1918 as “Permanently unfit” and “No longer physically fit for War Service”, suffering “Aortic Regurgitation” with “characteristic murmur and pulse of this disease”. This was decided “Not [to have been] caused but aggravated by ordinary military service during present war”, aged 29 years and 9 months. His trade on discharge was given as cellarman and his intended place of residence as 149 Arlington Road, also given as his wife’s address during the war and their address on Rose’s baptism entry. His character reference stated his military character was “Good” and he was “Honest, sober and industrious”. He had completed 1 year and 275 days’ service.
Alfred James Corbett
200446, Private, A Company, 1st Battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)
1896, St Pancras – 17th April 1917, lost at sea, aged 21
Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton
He was the son of the bricklayer John Corbett (1859, St Pancras) and Mary Ann Fordham (1856, St Pancras; possibly nee Sutton or Bucksey) – they married in St Pancras district in early 1894. Mary Ann Fordham was the (possibly widowed) mother of Arthur Fordham, who also appears on the memorial – Arthur and his siblings Alice (1888, St Pancras) and George (early 1889, St Pancras) were all living with their mother and stepfather in 1901 and recorded under his surname. By 1911 Arthur had married and moved out, but Alice (now working as a syphon filler at a mineral water works) and George (now working as a railway engine stoker) were still living with them in 1911, as was Arthur’s son Arthur (1904, St Pancras – possibly 1964, St Pancras).
John and Mary Ann also had three children of their own – Louisa (1895, St Pancras), Alfred and Emily (1899, St Pancras). In 1901 and 1911 Alfred was living with his parents at 19 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town (also given as their address at the time of Alfred’s death by the CWGC), with one sibling in 1901 and two siblings and two step-siblings in 1911. In 1911 Alfred was working as a factory errand boy. He appeared on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving and is commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial, which marks those killed when their troop transports were sunk, mainly in the waters around the UK.
(Bertie) Alfred Corby
9680, Corporal or Acting Corporal, 1st and later 2nd Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
1893, St Pancras – 14th March 1915, aged 21
Panel 20, Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres
He was the son of Alfred Corby (1864, Wicken, Essex – 1910, St Pancras) and his wife Ellen (1873, Essex). Alfred had joined the army at Devonport on 8th November 1882 aged 19 years and 10 months. He was then a 5 foot 4 inch fair haired labourer with a scar on his forehead. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, serving in Devonport, Cork and on the 1884-1885 Nile Expedition and earning two campaign medals (the Egyptian Medal with the Nile 1884-85 clasp and the Khedive’s Bronze Star). On 10th May 1888 he was transferred to the Army Reserve and finally fully demobbed on 7th November 1894. He gives his next of kin as his mother not his wife, so he probably married between 1888 and 1891.
In 1901 Bertie Alfred was living with his parents and three siblings at 35 Hartland Road, St Pancras, with his father now working as a coal porter. Between then and the 1911 census Bertie joined up, since in the latter he is a Private with 1st Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (his father’s old regiment), stationed at Gravesend in Kent. His record in the Soldiers Died in the Great War database states he enlisted in Bodmin, Cornwall but was living in Newport, Essex at the time, possibly with family judging by his parents’ birthplaces. Strangely, he does not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving.
He was a member of the Church Lads’ Brigade. The April 1915 parish magazine included an RIP for him and also mentioned him in the regular column ‘Brigade Notes’, stating he was in the DCLI and that he had died in the retreat from Mons but that news had only just reached the magazine. It seems his parents both predeceased him, since the CWGC records his next of kin as Mrs B L Ellis, 21 Modbury Street, Kentish Town – this is probably the married name of his eldest sister Beatrice Lily (1891, St Pancras), who was living with a widowed aunt Martha Peacefull (1862, Clavering, Essex) at 6 Orchard Place, Kentish Town in the 1911 census, before marrying later in 1911 in the St Pancras district to George Charles Ellis (1886, Camden Town), a house painter’s labourer.
Walter Charles Cowley
32168 / 4889, Private,
14th (or 64th Provisional) Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
August 1874, Islington – 10th August 1916, on home service, aged 42
Grave 25.210, Norwich Cemetery, Norfolk
It has not been possible to trace his parents. He first enlisted into the Royal Garrison Artillery for 7 years with the colours and 5 years with the reserve aged 24 years and 6 months on 10th February 1900. He was 5 foot 6 5/8 inches tall, with fair hair, blue eyes and a scar on his chest. On 15th September 1900 he arrived in Hong Kong, moving to Singapore on 25th January 1902, Gibraltar on 25th November 1902 and Sierra Leone on 25th January 1905. He arrived back in the UK on 28th February 1906. On 15th March 1901 he passed a course in General Gunlaying and on 28th March 1904 passed his course to become a ‘First Class Gunner’.
On 25th November 1906 he married Harriet Maria Brown (1884, St Pancras) at St Martin’s, Kentish Town – previous to his marriage he had given his next of kin as an aunt, Mrs Kay, in Redhill, Yorkshire, implying his parents had died. On 11th December 1906 he forfeited a good conduct badge and on 14th January 1907 he forfeited another and was jailed for 8 days for being AWOL for 8 days from 5th to 12th January. On 16th February 1907 he transferred to the reserve early and his home service was reckoned until 2nd February 1912. From their children’s birth years, he and his wife seem to have moved from St Pancras to Islington between 1909 and 1911.
In the 1911 census he is living with his wife and their children Edith (1909, St Pancras) and Walter (1911, Islington) at 5 Witley Road, Islington. He is now working as a railway guard for the traffic department of the LEWB. He did not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving. On 23rd July 1916 his children Charles Walter (born 3rd May 1913) and Dorothy Edith (born 13th May 1915) were baptised at St Michael’s, with their father’s occupation given as ‘Private Suffolk Regiment’ and his address as 69 James Street.
Walter enlisted for World War One in the St Pancras district sometime between March 1915 (he does not appear in the parish magazine’s list that month of those already serving) and 23rd July 1916, when a baptismal record gives his occupation as ‘Private Suffolk Regiment’. After his death his wife remarried to Charles Baines in Islington in early 1920 and moved with him to 9 Kinloch Street, Hornsey Rd., Holloway.
Charles Edward Cozens
110th Training Reserve Battalion, later 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
December 1895, at a children’s hospital in the St Pancras district – 16th August 1917, killed in action, Western Front
Panel 138 to 140 and 162 to 162A and 163A, Tyne Cot Memorial
He was the son of Charles Cozens (1862, Cambridgeshire) and Martha Mary Tomkins (1864, St Pancras). Martha was a widow who in 1891 had been working as a cabinet upholstress and living with her daughter Florence Edith (1886, St Pancras) at 58 Bayham Street, St Pancras. She and Charles senior married in the St Pancras district in 1895 and from their children’s birth years, they seem to have moved from St Pancras to Hornsey between 1895 and 1900. Charles Edward was christened at St George the Martyr on 7th September 1897, with his parents’ address given as 56 Great College Street and his father’s occupation as a cabinet maker.
In 1901 Charles junior was living with his parents and two sisters at 52 Hampden Road, Hornsey. His father was working as a cabinet maker in both 1901 and 1911. In 1911 the family was at 2 Prebend Place, Camden Town, with the same three children (two others had been born alive but later died between 1894 and 1911). Martha’s daughter Florence was now also boarding with them.
In 1911 Charles junior was a metal worker. He did not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving. On 20 November 1916 he married the medical instrument maker Hilda Faith Clowes (23rd March 1894, Clerkenwell) at St Michael’s, giving occupation as “Surgical Instrument Maker” and his address as 9 Elms[?] Road. She was the daughter of Arthur Frederick Clowes, a bookbinder and was then living at 133 Landes[?] Street.
He enlisted in the St Pancras district and was living in Camden Town at the time, either still in the parental home or in his married home if he enlisted after his marriage as seems likely. His widow remarried in 1919 (in St Pancras district to George Brannon, born in 1885 in Clerkenwell, with whom she had three children) and lived on until early 1970 (dying in Havering, Greater London).
He does not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving.
(John) Thomas Culver
C Company, 16th (Service) Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own)
early 1887, Fulham – 3rd September 1916, killed in action, Western Front
Grave V. E. 34., Ancre British Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel
He was the son of the horsekeeper John Culver (1857, Sunbury, Middlesex) and Mary Annie Eagle (1861, Sunbury, Middlesex), who married in Camberwell district in 1886. He and his parents were living with his mother’s parents at Walham Mews in Fulham in 1891. Mary Annie died in 1892 and his maternal grandfather Edward Eagle (1836, Sunbury, Middlesex; cab proprietor) died in late 1900. Edward’s widow took over the business and John Thomas and his widowed father were living with her and her granddaughter Annie Eagle (1878, Fulham; domestic servant) at 1 Walham Yard, Fulham in 1901 and 1911. John Thomas was not working in 1901 but was a grocer’s carman in 1911. On 25th December 1913 he married Susan Templeman in Camberwell district and they had one child, Doris Nellie (18th December 1914, St Pancras).
He does not appear on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving. His service record survives, which states he enlisted for the duration of the war on 22nd June 1915 aged 28 years 6 months in the St Pancras district. He was then working as a carman and living at 6 Eglon Mews, Regents Park, though the Soldiers Died in the Great War database states he was living in Kentish Town at the time of his enlistment – this may be a confusion with his wife’s address, which is given on the service record as 32 Arlington Road, Camden Town. He was only 5 foot 2 inches, with a birthmark on the back of his right shoulder, a small mole on his left lip and an overlapping toe on his right foot.
He made his will in his paybook on 6th March 1916, two days before first arriving on the Western Front. He left his wife as his sole legatee but stating that she had moved to an unknown address so she should be contacted via his father J Culver (then and in 1919 living at 1 Walham Yard, Eustace Road, Walham Green, Fulham). In 1919 John Thomas’s cousins Annie and Alice were unmarried and living with his father.
From 17th to 21st April 1916 he served with a tunnelling company, gaining a shilling a day extra for it. He was reported missing on 8th September 1916 (the same day as another man on the memorial, Benjamin Bewley, also with the same battalion and who also spent time in tunnelling companies), but his death in action was only confirmed on 2nd July 1917. On 13th September 1917 his effects were sent to his widow at 6 Dewbury Terrace, Camden Town. In July, August or September 1918 she remarried to William Shine – when Culver’s medals were despatched to her in 1921 she was at 40 Marsden Street, Malden Road, Kentish Town with him and her daughter Doris.