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FORDHAM WAR MEMORIAL

The War Memorial was erected as a result of subscriptions amounting to £81 10s 9d with doantions ranging from £5 down to 6d. The Clock Tower War Memorial fund was boosted by £12 1s 4d from the Ladies' Committee of the 1914 Flower Show and a collection at the unveiling ceremony of £3 19s 6d. It was unveiled on 25th October 1919.

'It was decided to erect a small Clock Tower as a memorial in honour of the sixteen Fordham soldiers who have made the great sacrifice on active service, in the European War 1914 - 1919.

These men fought bravely and died nobly in the cause of right against might to protect their country and our homes, and it is our duty to perpetuate the memory of such a sacrifice, by handing down their honoured names to future generations on a permanent memorial.'

The following is a more detailed record of the individuals shown on the memorial with information taken from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site (a link to which is given below), and from other sources.

An article in the Colchester Evening Gazette in March 2004 elicited more information from relatives and friends of the families.

In Memory of

ARTHUR WILLIAM BALLS

Private

10449

"B" Coy. 2nd Bn., Essex Regiment

who died on

Monday 23 October 1916 . Age 19 .

Additional Information: Son of Mrs. Mary Ann Balls, of Fordham Heath, Colchester.

Cemetery: BEACON CEMETERY, SAILLY-LAURETTE, Somme, France

This part of the Somme did not see fighting until 26-27 March 1918, when the Third Army withdrew to a line between Albert and Sailly-le-Sec ahead of the German advance. This line was held until 4 July, when it was advanced nearly to Sailly-Laurette, and on 8 August, the first day of the Battle of Amiens, Sailly-Laurette and the road to Morlancourt were disengaged. The cemetery (named from a brick beacon on the summit of the ridge a little south-east of the village) was made by the 18th Division Burial Officer on 15 August when the 12th (Eastern), 18th and 58th (London) Divisions attacked from the Ancre to the Somme and the Australian Corps beyond the Somme. At the Armistice, the original burials numbered 109, chiefly from the 12th Division, but it was then greatly increased when graves were brought in from the surrounding battlefields and small burial grounds. Beacon Cemetery now contains 772 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 258 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to four casualties known or believed to be buried among them. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Arthur is shown on the 1901 census, aged 9 years and attending school. He was born in Fordham and lived at Bridges Valley, Fordham with his widowed mother Jane Pettit, a tailoress, aged 57. A Mrs Balls donated 3 shillings to the War Memorial fund in 1919.

 

Hello, I have found some information while looking into our family tree. We have several Firmin families in Fordham, and a few links into the Balls name. On the memorial page we learned of Arthur William Balls, who seems to connect with a family in the 1901 census. His age fits and his mother is Mary Ann Balls.

Thomas C. Balls, b 1860, ag. lab.

Mary A., b. 1862, tailoress

Laura, b. 1881, domestic servant

Mary A., b. 1885, domestic servant

Kate P., b. 1889

Alice R., b. 1891

Arthur W., b.1897

Mabel E., b. 1899

All were born in Fordham, and were living at Fordham Heath in 1901. Thomas Charles Balls married Mary Ann Firmin, registered in Lexden 1879. The father, Thomas Charles Balls, died in 1903, age 43. Maybe something there will be of interest! Lynn Coburn - October 2005 coburn@porchlight.ca

 

In Memory of

FREDERICK CYRIL BROYD

Private

204982

2nd Bn., Northamptonshire Regiment

who died on

Wednesday 24 April 1918 .

Cemetery: POZIERES MEMORIAL, Somme, France

The POZIERES MEMORIAL relates to the period of crisis in March and April 1918 when the Allied Fifth Army was driven back by overwhelming numbers across the former Somme battlefields, and the months that followed before the Advance to Victory, which began on 8 August 1918. The Memorial commemorates over 14,000 casualties of the United Kingdom and 300 of the South African Forces who have no known grave and who died on the Somme from 21 March to 7 August 1918. The Corps and Regiments most largely represented are The Rifle Brigade with over 600 names, The Durham Light Infantry with approximately 600 names, the Machine Gun Corps with over 500, The Manchester Regiment with approximately 500 and The Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery with over 400 names. The memorial encloses POZIERES BRITISH CEMETERY, Plot II of which contains original burials of 1916, 1917 and 1918, carried out by fighting units and field ambulances. The remaining plots were made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields immediately surrounding the cemetery, the majority of them of soldiers who died in the Autumn of 1916 during the latter stages of the Battle of the Somme, but a few represent the fighting in August 1918. There are now 2,755 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 1,375 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 23 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. The cemetery and memorial were designed by W H Cowlishaw.

We have been unable to trace Frederick's connection with Fordham. He does not appear on the 1901 census for Fordham. Mr C Beard and Mr F Broyd are shown together as subscribing 15 shillings to the memorial. Mr and Mrs John Broyd donated 12 shillings and Mr and Mrs W Broyd donated 4 shillings. We understand that a Broyd family lived in a cottage on the Halstead Road, opposite Penlan Hall Lane.

Date: 23/06/2004

From: Cathy@edgefamily.freeserve.co.uk

I found it very sad that you could not connect Frederick Broyd with Fordham. For your information he was the younger brother of Rosina Stewart nee Broyd who worked at the big Hall as a servant, perhaps he lived with her. He was born in Wakes Colne and was 3 in 1901. I wonder if he joined the Northamptonshire Regiment as Rosina and Robert Stewart moved to there; perhaps he went with them. I have a few cards he sent home to his sister from the front. Rosina was my husband's maternal grandmother and died in 1977.

Mr and Mrs John Broyd are his parents. Charles Beard may be his uncle (he married an Edith Broyd, she's buried at Fordham). There are still people in the area related to this family. I have only just begun looking for them all.

The Stewarts are buried in Fordham too. The baby of the family, Rosina was 14 years older than Fred, killed at 19 years old.

Cathy Edge

ARTHUR HEPBURN BULL

Regiment, Corps etc.: Royal Garrison Artillery

Birthplace: Allahabad, India

Enlisted: Colchester

Residence: Fordham, Essex

Rank: GUNNER

Number: 54537

Date died: 15 December 1915

Theatre of war: Malta

Soldiers Died in the Great War database © Naval and Military Press Ltd 2006.

With grateful thanks to Stewart Norman for sending this information to us.

A Mr Bryan Bull donated 5 pounds to the War Memorial fund in 1919.

In Memory of

PERCY WILLIAM CANT

Private

202883

4th Bn., Essex Regiment

who died on

Friday 18 May 1917 . Age 26 .

Additional Information: Son of George Henry Cant, of 5, Western View Villas, Church Rd., Fordham, Colchester, Essex.

Cemetery: ORANGE TRENCH CEMETERY, MONCHY-LE-PREUX, Pas de Calais, France

Orange Hill and Orange Trench were features of the country south of the river Scarpe, through which Commonwealth forces fought their way in April 1917, during the Battle of Arras, and again in August 1918. Orange Trench Cemetery was made after the fighting of 9-11 April 1917, when the 12th, 15th and 37th Divisions carried Monchy-le-Preux and the country between it and the Scarpe; the graves are all of April and May 1917. Orange Trench Cemetery contains 118 burials and commemorations of the First World War. Exactly half of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to six casualties known, or believed, to be buried here among them. The cemetery was designed by W H Cowlishaw.

Percy is shown on the 1901 census, aged 13 years and employed as a stockman? milker, possibly also at agricultural college. He was born in Fordham and lived in Plummers Road, Fordham with his widower father George H Cant, a coachman/groom, aged 43. A Mr and Miss Cant donated 2 shillings and 6 pence and a Mr and Mrs G Cant donated 2 shillings to the War Memorial fund in 1919. Percy is remembered at the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion Chapel Memorial in Fordham.

In Memory of

ROBERT EDWARD CAWDRON

Private

51067

17th Bn., Royal Fusiliers

who died on

Monday 28 October 1918 . Age 29 .

Additional Information: Son of James Cawdron; husband of Harriet Cawdron, of Fordham, Colchester. Native of Brighton.

Cemetery: BERLIN SOUTH-WESTERN CEMETERY, Berlin, Brandenburg, Germany

In 1922-23 it was decided that the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died all over Germany should be brought together into four permanent cemeteries. Berlin South-Western was one of those chosen and in 1924-25, graves were brought into the cemetery from more than 140 burial grounds in eastern Germany. There are now 1,176 First World War servicemen buried or commemorated in the Commonwealth plot at Berlin South-Western Cemetery. The total includes special memorials to a number of casualties buried in other cemeteries in Germany whose graves could not be found. The following cemeteries are among those from which graves were brought to Berlin South-Western Cemetery: ALTDAMM PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, Pomerania. 51 burials of 1915-1918. BUDEROSE PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, Brandenburg. 20 burials of 1918. CROSSEN PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, Brandenburg. 68 burials of 1918. DOBERITZ PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, Brandenburg. 38 burials of 1914-1918. HASENHEIDE GARRISON CEMETERY, Brandenburg. 64 burials.. HEILSBERG PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, East Prussia. 12 burials of 1917-1918. 39 burials remain at Heilsberg. KLEIN WITTENBERG OLD CEMETERY, Saxony. 25 service and eight civilian burials of 1915; NEW (or PRISONERS OF WAR) CEMETERY, 74 service and three civilian burials of 1915, 1917 and 1918; WITTENBERG OLD SMALL CEMETERY, two burials of 1914 and 1915. LAMSDORF PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, Silesia. 83 burials of 1917-1919. MAGDEBURG MILITARY CEMETERY, Saxony. 25 burials of 1915-1918. MERSEBURG TOWN CEMETERY, Saxony. 12 burials of 1914-1917, and the PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, 33 burials of 1917-1918. OPPELN TOWN CEMETERY, Upper Silesia. 11 burials of 1921. 30 post war burials remain at Oppeln. SCHNEIDEMUHL PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, West Prussia. 67 burials of 1915-1918. 18 burials remain at Schneidemuhl. STARGARD PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY,Pomerania. 41 burials of 1917-1918. STENDAL PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, Saxony. 1413 burials of 1917-1918. ZERBST (HEIDETOR) CEMETERY, Anhalt. Two burials of 1914-1915, and the PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, 45 burials of 1917-1918.

Robert is shown on the 1901 census, aged 10 years presumably attending school. He was born in Brighton, Sussex and lived at 209 Bramford Road, Ipswich with his parents, James and Alice Cawdron, father a commission agent, aged 45. A Mrs Cawdron donated a pound to the War Memorial fund in 1919.

 

EDWARD HENRY CRISP

Private

Regiment: Royal Fusiliers

Unit Text: 7th Bn.

Age: 32

Date of Death: 13/11/1916

Service No: 3632

Additional information: Son of the late William and Emmeline Crisp, of Halstead, Essex.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: III. C. 56.

Cemetery: ANCRE BRITISH CEMETERY, BEAUMONT-HAMEL

The village of Beaumont-Hamel was attacked on 1 July 1916 by the 29th Division, with the 4th on its left and the 36th (Ulster) on its right, but without success. On 3 September a further attack was delivered between Hamel and Beaumont-Hamel and on 13 and 14 November, the 51st (Highland), 63rd (Royal Naval), 39th and 19th (Western) Divisions finally succeeded in capturing Beaumont-Hamel, Beaucourt-sur-Ancre and St. Pierre-Divion. Following the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in the spring of 1917, V Corps cleared this battlefield and created a number of cemeteries, of which Ancre British Cemetery (then called Ancre River No 1 British Cemetery, V Corps Cemetery No. 26) was one. The original burials were almost all of the 63rd and 36th Divisions, but after the Armistice the cemetery was greatly enlarged when many more graves from the same battlefields and from smaller burial grounds in the area were brought into it. The majority of those buried in the cemetery died on 1 July, 3 September or 13 November 1916. There are now 2,540 Commonwealth casualties of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 1,335 of the graves are unidentified, but special memorials commemorate 43 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. There are also special memorials to 16 casualties know to have been buried in other cemeteries, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Edward Henry Crisp was born in Halstead and enlisted in Epsom. His residence was in Colchester. A Mr and Mrs Crisp donated 10 shillings to the War Memorial fund in 1919.

S DAVEY

Rank: Private

Regiment: Essex Regiment

Unit Text: 11th Bn.

Age: 19

Date of Death: 15/10/1916

Service No: 40282

Additional information: Son of Edward J. and E. M. Davey, of 80, Manor Rd., Dovercourt, Harwich.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Cemetery: BANCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY

Bancourt was occupied by Commonwealth forces in March 1917. It was lost a year later during the German offensive in the spring of 1918 but recaptured by the New Zealand Division (in particular, the 2nd Auckland Battalion) on 30 August 1918. The cemetery was begun by the New Zealand Division in September 1918; the original cemetery is now Plot I, Rows A and B. The remainder of the cemetery was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields east and south of Bancourt and from certain Allied and German cemeteries. The great majority of these graves dated from the winter of 1916-1917, the retreat of March 1918, or the advance of August-September 1918. Bancourt British Cemetery now contains 2,480 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 1,462 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 43 casualties known or believed to be buried among them, and to one soldier buried in Bapaume Reservoir German Cemetery, whose grave could not be found on concentration. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Presumed to be the correct identity as no Fordham link found. A Mrs Davy of Dovercourt donated a pound and a Mr W Davey donated a shilling to the War Memorial fund in 1919.

On consulting the 1901 census, we found that Edward J Davey, Age: 32, a Police Constable, Birth Year: abt 1869, Spouse's Name: Elizabeth M Davey, Where born: Euston, Suffolk, England, Civil parish: Chadwell St Mary, Tilbury. Their son Stanley Davey was then aged 3 years and was born in Tilbury. What was Stanley's connection with Fordham that merited his name being on the Fordham War Memorial?

FREDERICK BENJAMIN FRANCIS

Rank: Private

Regiment: Royal Scots

Unit Text: 12th Bn.

Age: 21

Date of Death: 20/10/1918

Service No: 353210

Additional information: Son of Benjamin and Mary S. Francis, of Cheshunts Cottage, Church St., Boxted, Essex. Born at Bradfield, Manningtree.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Szczypiorno P.O.W. Cem. Mem. 5.

Cemetery: POZNAN OLD GARRISON CEMETERY

After the First World War, the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died in Poland as prisoners of war were gathered together in this cemetery. There are now 174 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. One of the burials is unidentified. Special memorials commemorate one casualty known to have been buried in Czersk Prisoners of War Cemetery, 29 known to have been buried at Szczypiorno Prisoners of War Cemetery and 18 known to have been buried at Pila (formerly Schneidemuhl) Prisoners of War Cemetery, all of whose graves could not be identified. The majority of the 283 Second World War burials in the cemetery are those of airmen, many of whom died in bombing operations on Stettin (now Szeczin). Also buried here are those involved in the mass escape from Stalag Luft 3, Sagan, in March 1944, and others who died while prisoners of war during the German occupation, at Stalag 8C, Kunaukr Sprottau, Stalag 21D at Poznan, Offlag 21B and Stalag 21B, both at Schubin. There are also 19 war graves of other nationalities in the cemetery, most of them Polish. The cemetery also contains the POZNAN MEMORIAL commemorating five RNAS armoured car ratings who died near Brezazany in July 1917 and whose graves were never located.

This Fordham Hero was confirmed by Mrs Joan Woodruff of Colchester, the daughter of Stanley and Minnie (nee Francis) Pettican. Fred was Minnie's younger brother and he was one of the last to die in the war, some 3 weeks before the armistice. He was a prisoner of war at the time of his death. The link with Fordham appears to be that Fred's mother Mary (nee Mallen?) worked for Dr Worts in Fordham and Fred's brother Keith was at Fordham School.

REGINALD CLEMENT FRANCIS, DCM

Rank: Private

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment

Unit Text: 2nd Bn.

Age: 22

Date of Death: 16/12/1914

Service No: 7992

Awards: DCM

Additional information: Son of Benjamin and Mary S. Francis, of Hall Cottage, East Donyland, Rowhedge, Colchester, Essex.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 21

Cemetery: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

The Menin Gate is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. Broadly speaking, the Salient stretched from Langemarck in the north to the northern edge in Ploegsteert Wood in the south, but it varied in area and shape throughout the war. The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914, when a small British Expeditionary Force succeeded in securing the town before the onset of winter, pushing the German forces back to the Passchendaele Ridge. The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres. This was the first time gas had been used by either side and the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening of the line of defence. There was little more significant activity on this front until 1917, when in the Third Battle of Ypres an offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south. The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success, but the main assault north-eastward, which began at the end of July, quickly became a dogged struggle against determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather. The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele. The German offensive of March 1918 met with some initial success, but was eventually checked and repulsed in a combined effort by the Allies in September. The battles of the Ypres Salient claimed many lives on both sides and it quickly became clear that the commemoration of members of the Commonwealth forces with no known grave would have to be divided between several different sites. The site of the Menin Gate was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields. It commemorates those of all Commonwealth nations (except New Zealand) who died in the Salient, in the case of United Kingdom casualties before 16 August 1917. Those United Kingdom and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war. Other New Zealand casualties are commemorated on memorials at Buttes New British Cemetery and Messines Ridge British Cemetery. The YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL now bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. The memorial, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield with sculpture by Sir William Reid-Dick, was unveiled by Lord Plumer in July 1927. No. of Identified Casualties: 54332

Reg was the older brother of Fred and Minnie (see above). He is also inscribed on the Sudbury war memorial, probably due to the family living for a time in Clare.

CHARLES WILLIAM HORNE

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment: Essex Regiment

Unit Text: 11th Bn.

Birthplace: Fordham, Essex

Enlisted: Colchester

Residence: Fordham Heath

Date of Death: 25/09/1916

Service No: 10448

How died: Killed in action

Theatre of war: France & Flanders

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 10 D

Cemetery: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

On 1 July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1 July. Attacks north and east continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Somme finally ended on 18 November with the onset of winter. In the spring of 1917, the German forces fell back to their newly prepared defences, the Hindenburg Line, and there were no further significant engagements in the Somme sector until the Germans mounted their major offensive in March 1918. The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive and a small cemetery containing equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at the foot of the memorial. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 31 July 1932. The dead of other Commonwealth countries who died on the Somme and have no known graves are commemorated on national memorials elsewhere.

A Combination of CWGC and Soldiers Died in the Great War database © Naval and Military Press Ltd 2006.

With grateful thanks to Stewart Norman for sending some of this information to us.

Two records found. Some doubt over exact identity although only one was born in Fordham - so assumed correct as shown.

Charles is shown in the 1901 census, aged 3 years, the son of William and Emily Horne. He was born in Fordham and was living in Fordham Heath. A Mr Horne donated 10 shillings to the War Memorial fund in 1919.

CHARLES WILLIAM PARTRIDGE

Rank: Private

Regiment: Essex Regiment

Unit Text: 1st/5th Bn.

Age: 26

Date of Death: 26/03/1917

Service No: 250654

Additional information: Son of Joseph and Sarah Partridge, of Great Hollands, Clacton-on-Sea.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: XXII. F. 6.

Cemetery: GAZA WAR CEMETERY

Gaza was bombarded by French warships in April 1915. At the end of March 1917, it was attacked and surrounded by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the First Battle of Gaza, but the attack was broken off when Turkish reinforcements appeared. The Second Battle of Gaza, 17-19 April, left the Turks in possession and the Third Battle of Gaza, begun on 27 October, ended with the capture of the ruined and deserted city on 7 November. Casualty clearing stations arrived later that month and general and stationary hospitals in 1918. Some of the earliest burials were made by the troops that captured the city. About two-thirds of the total were brought into the cemetery from the battlefields after the Armistice. The remainder were made by medical units during the occupation. During the Second World War, Gaza was an Australian hospital base, and the AIF Headquarters were posted there. Among the military hospitals in Gaza were 2/1st Australian General Hospital, 2/6th Australian General Hospital, 8th Australian Special Hospital, and from July 1943 until May 1945, 91 British General Hospital. There was a Royal Air Force aerodrome at Gaza, which was considerably developed from 1941 onwards. Gaza War Cemetery contains 3,217 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 781 of them unidentified. Second World War burials number 210. There are also 30 post war burials and 234 war graves of other nationalities. No. of Identified Casualties: 2724

Presumed to be the correct identity as no Fordham link found. There is a Charles and a Christopher shown in the 1901 census. Otherwise we have no information. A Mr H A Partridge donated 10 shillings, a Mr and Mrs P Partridge donated 10 shillings and a Mrs Partridge of Colchester donated one shilling donated to the War Memorial fund in 1919.

H CHARLES PETTITT

Regiment, Corps etc.: Essex Regiment

Battalion etc.: 9th Battalion.

Birthplace: Fordham, Essex

Enlisted: Colchester

Residence: Fordham

Rank: PRIVATE

Number: 24198

Date died: 08 October 1917

How died: Killed in action

Theatre of war: France & Flanders

Soldiers Died in the Great War database © Naval and Military Press Ltd 2006.

With grateful thanks to Stewart Norman for sending this information to us.

A Miss Elsie Pettitt donated 5 shillings and a Mrs Pettitt donated one shilling to the War Memorial fund in 1919.

THOMAS EDWARD POTKIN

Rank: Private

Regiment: Northumberland Fusiliers

Unit Text: 9th (Northumberland Hussars) Bn.

Date of Death: 10/04/1918

Service No: 204600

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 2

Cemetery: PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL

The PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL commemorates more than 11,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in this sector during the First World War and have no known grave. The memorial serves the area from the line Caestre-Dranoutre-Warneton to the north, to Haverskerque-Estaires-Fournes to the south, including the towns of Hazebrouck, Merville, Bailleul and Armentieres, the Forest of Nieppe, and Ploegsteert Wood. The original intention had been to erect the memorial in Lille. Those commemorated by the memorial did not die in major offensives, such as those which took place around Ypres to the north, or Loos to the south. Most were killed in the course of the day-to-day trench warfare which characterised this part of the line, or in small scale set engagements, usually carried out in support of the major attacks taking place elsewhere. BERKS CEMETERY EXTENSION, in which the memorial stands, was begun in June 1916 and used continuously until September 1917. At the Armistice, the extension comprised Plot I only, but Plots II and III were added in 1930 when graves were brought in from Rosenberg Chateau Military Cemetery and Extension, about 1 kilometre to the north-west, when it was established that these sites could not be acquired in perpetuity. Rosenberg Chateau Military Cemetery was used by fighting units from November 1914 to August 1916. The extension was begun in May 1916 and used until March 1918. Together, the Rosenberg Chateau cemetery and extension were sometimes referred to as 'Red Lodge'. Berks Cemetery Extension now contains 876 First World War burials. HYDE PARK CORNER (ROYAL BERKS) CEMETERY is separated from Berks Cemetery Extension by a road. It was begun in April 1915 by the 1st/4th Royal Berkshire Regiment and was used at intervals until November 1917. Hyde Park Corner was a road junction to the north of Ploegsteert Wood. Hill 63 was to the north-west and nearby were the 'Catacombs', deep shelters capable of holding two battalions, which were used from November 1916 onwards. The cemetery contains 83 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and four German war graves The cemetery, cemetery extension and memorial were designed by H Chalton Bradshaw, with sculpture by Gilbert Ledward. No. of Identified Casualties: 11368

This is the only reference on the war grave index. It is not necessarily the correct reference. There is a Thomas Potkin shown on the 1901 census, aged 4, born in Copford and living with his parents Thomas and Sarah Potkin. No Potkin is recorded as having made a donation to the War Memorial fund in 1919.

In Memory of

ALFRED H PUDNEY, MM

Private

40485

2nd Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment

who died on

Wednesday 18 September? 1918 . Age 21 .

Additional Information: Son of Mr. A. Pudney, of Fordham, Colchester,

Cemetery: STE. EMILIE VALLEY CEMETERY, VILLERS-FAUCON Somme, France

Villers-Faucon was captured by the 5th Cavalry Division on 27 March 1917, lost on 22 March 1918, and retaken by the III Corps on 7 September 1918. On the site of this cemetery at the Armistice, there were three large graves of Commonwealth soldiers buried by the Germans, which now form part of Plot I. The remainder of the cemetery is composed almost entirely of graves brought in from an older cemetery of the same name or from the battlefields. A large proportion of these concentrated graves were those of soldiers of the 16th (Irish) Division who died in March 1918. Ste. Emilie Valley Cemetery contains 513 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. 222 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 21 casualties believed to be buried among them. There are also ten German burials in the cemetery. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. No. of Identified Casualties: 292

Alfred is shown in the 1901 census at the age of 4 years, attending school, born in London. He was living at an address described as near the Post Office, with his grandmother, Mary Ann Pudney, aged 66, who was born in Great Tey and various other members of the family. He enlisted in Colchesterand is remembered at the the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion Chapel Memorial in Fordham. A Mr donated shillings to the War Memorial fund in 1919. A Mr A Pudney donated 5 shillings, a Mr H Pudney donated 5 shillings, a Mr Walter Pudney and a Miss Pudney each donated 2 shillings and 6 pence, a Mr and Mrs G Pudney donated 2 shillings, a Mr Gerald Pudney donated one shilling and 6 pence and a Miss L Pudney donated one shilling to the War Memorial fund in 1919.

 

ALBERT S RAYNER

Rank: Private

Regiment: Royal Fusiliers

Unit Text: 2nd Bn.

Date of Death: 09/10/1917

Service No: G/66132

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 28 to 30 and 162 to 162A and 163A

Cemetery: TYNE COT MEMORIAL

The Tyne Cot Memorial is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. Broadly speaking, the Salient stretched from Langemarck in the north to the northern edge in Ploegsteert Wood in the south, but it varied in area and shape throughout the war. The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914, when a small British Expeditionary Force succeeded in securing the town before the onset of winter, pushing the German forces back to the Passchendaele Ridge. The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres. This was the first time gas had been used by either side and the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening of the line of defence. There was little more significant activity on this front until 1917, when in the Third Battle of Ypres an offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south. The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success, but the main assault north-eastward, which began at the end of July, quickly became a dogged struggle against determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather. The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele. The German offensive of March 1918 met with some initial success, but was eventually checked and repulsed in a combined effort by the Allies in September. The battles of the Ypres Salient claimed many lives on both sides and it quickly became clear that the commemoration of members of the Commonwealth forces with no known grave would have to be divided between several different sites. The site of the Menin Gate was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields. It commemorates those of all Commonwealth nations except New Zealand who died in the Salient, in the case of United Kingdom casualties before 16 August 1917. Those United Kingdom and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war. Other New Zealand casualties are commemorated on memorials at Buttes New British Cemetery and Messines Ridge British Cemetery. The TYNE COT MEMORIAL now bears the names of almost 35,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. The memorial, designed by Sir Herbert Baker with sculpture by Joseph Armitage and F V Blundstone, was unveiled by Sir Gilbert Dyett in July 1927. The memorial forms the north-eastern boundary of TYNE COT CEMETERY, which was established around a captured German blockhouse or pill-box used as an advanced dressing station. The original battlefield cemetery of 343 graves was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when remains were brought in from the battlefields of Passchendaele and Langemarck, and from a few small burial grounds. It is now the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world in terms of burials. At the suggestion of King George V, who visited the cemetery in 1922, the Cross of Sacrifice was placed on the original large pill-box. There are three other pill-boxes in the cemetery. There are now 11,952 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in Tyne Cot Cemetery. 8,365 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to more than 80 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials commemorate 20 casualties whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker. No. of Identified Casualties: 34870

Albert Rayner was born in Aldham, enlisted in Colchester and resided in Fordham. He was formerly 27509, 3rd Norfolk Regiment. There are several Rayners who donated money to the War Memorial fund in 1919. These were a Mr Stanley Rayner 5s, a Mrs Rayner 2s 6d, a Mr B Rayner 2s 6d and Harold Rayner 6d (presumably a child). Mrs Olive Rayner (nee Hudson) of Walton on the Naze, a family historian and wife of Percy Rayner, was able to give a little information about the Rayner family of Fordham. Percy believes that there is an error, in that A S Rayner should have been Albert and Stanley Rayner, both whom died. Stan was a prisoner of war. Their father came from Fressingfield and later moved to Aldham, providing a likely Fordham connection.

JOHN THOMAS RAYNER

Rank: Private

Regiment: Essex Regiment

Unit Text: 2nd Bn.

Date of Death: 23/10/1916

Service No: 24999

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: V. H. 1.

Cemetery: CATERPILLAR VALLEY CEMETERY, LONGUEVAL

Caterpillar Valley was the name given by the army to the long valley which rises eastwards, past "Caterpillar Wood", to the high ground at Guillemont. The ground was captured, after very fierce fighting, in the latter part of July 1916. It was lost in the German advance of March 1918 and recovered by the 38th (Welsh) Division on 28 August 1918, when a little cemetery was made (now Plot 1 of this cemetery) containing 25 graves of the 38th Division and the 6th Dragoon Guards. After the Armistice, this cemetery was hugely increased when the graves of more than 5,500 officers and men were brought in from other small cemeteries, and the battlefields of the Somme. The great majority of these soldiers died in the autumn of 1916 and almost all the rest in August or September 1918. CATERPILLAR VALLEY CEMETERY now contains 5,569 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 3,796 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 32 casualties known or believed to be buried among them, and to three buried in McCormick's Post Cemetery whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. On the east side of the cemetery is the CATERPILLAR VALLEY (NEW ZEALAND) MEMORIAL, commemorating more than 1,200 officers and men of the New Zealand Division who died in the Battles of the Somme in 1916, and whose graves are not known. This is one of seven memorials in France and Belgium to those New Zealand soldiers who died on the Western Front and whose graves are not known. The memorials are all in cemeteries chosen as appropriate to the fighting in which the men died. Both cemetery and memorial were designed by Sir Herbert Baker. No. of Identified Casualties: 1773

J T Rayner is remembered at the the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion Chapel Memorial in Fordham. He was born in Fordham, he lived in Fordham and enlisted in Colchester. He was killed in action 23/10/1916. It is believed to refer to John Thomas Rayner, also known as Jack. His father was of the same name.

CHARLES SIDNEY TAYLOR

Rank: Private

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment

Unit Text: 2nd Bn.

Age: 26

Date of Death: 23/10/1918

Service No: 40060

Additional information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Taylor, of High Park Corner, Wormingford, Colchester, Essex. Native of Fordham, Colchester.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. E. 25.

Cemetery: ROMERIES COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION

Part of the II Corps retired through this area during the Retreat from Mons in August 1914, and in October 1918, Commonwealth forces returned during the Advance to Victory. Briastre was captured on 10 October 1918, Belle Vue Farm on 20 October, Romeries itself and Beaudignies on 23 October and Englefontaine on 26 October. The Battle of the Sambre, the last great action of the war, carried the front forward into Belgium and ended with the Armistice. Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension is one of the burial grounds of those who died between these dates. The original extension is Plot I, made by the 3rd and New Zealand Divisions, and containing 128 graves. The remaining plots were made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from small cemeteries and isolated positions on the battlefield, including (in Plot X) a few graves of 25 August 1914. There are now 832 burials and commemorations of the First World War in the extension. 129 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 15 casualties believed to be buried among them. The extension was designed by Charles Holden. No. of Identified Casualties: 703

Charles Sidney Taylor was born in Fordham. He enlisted at Warley. A Mr Walter Taylor and a Mr D Taylor each donated 5 shillings and a Miss Ann Taylor donated 6 pence to the War Memorial fund in 1919.

ERNEST JAMES WRIGHT

Rank: Private

Regiment: Essex Regiment

Unit Text: 10th Bn.

Date of Death: 26/09/1916

Service No: 16555

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 10 D

Cemetery: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Ernest James Wright was born in Fordham and lived in Colchester. He enlisted in Colchester. He is remembered at the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion Chapel Memorial in Fordham. A Mr Alfred Wright donated 2 shillings and 6 pence, a Mr Charlie Wright , a Mr G Wright , a Mrs G Wright and a Mr and Mrs G Wright (jun), a Mr G Wright and a Mrs Alfred Wright each donated 2 shillings to the War Memorial fund in 1919.

1939 to 1945

JAMES BUGG

Up until July 2006, James Bugg was a mystery to us. We knew nothing about him. Joan Keogh wrote to us with this information.

He was killed on 24th April 1943 at Djebal, Kournine and his name features on the memorial at Massicault war cemetery, Tunisia. He achieved the rank of Sgt Major in the 16th Lancers and was the first soldier in the Lancers to be awarded the DSM for gallantry on the field of battle. He served with the 9th Lancers (2 yrs) and 16th Lancers (7 yrs). He served in India for two and half years and toured America and Canada in 1941. He won his certificates at Fort Knox, Kentucky as D and M instructor of America's latest type of heavy tank at the time. He also passed out at Bovington Army College of Engineering as D & M instructor. Previously he was PT instructor at Colchester and Tidworth. His regimental number was 317628.

The reason little is known about him is that in April 1940 he assumed the surname of Graham in lieu of Bugg. This notification appeared in the London Gazette of 5th April 1940. He was a son of Harry Bugg and Maud Norfold and was born in Aldham on 6th March 1915.

DOUGLAS EDWARD CUDMORE

Rank: Private

Regiment: East Lancashire Regiment

Unit Text: 1st Bn.

Age: 20

Date of Death: 05/03/1945

Service No: 14392163

Additional information: Son of George and Florence Cudmore, of Fordham, Essex.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: 50. F. 17.

Cemetery: REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery was created after the Second World War when burials were brought in from all over western Germany and is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the country. Some of those members of the land forces buried there died in the advance through Reichswald Forest in February 1945. Others died crossing the Rhine, among them members of the airborne forces whose bodies were brought from Hamminkeln, where landings were made by the 6th Airborne Division from bases in England. Some of the airmen buried in the cemetery lost their lives in supporting the advance into Germany, but most died earlier in the war in the intensive air attacks over Germany. Their graves were brought in from cemeteries and isolated sites in the surrounding area. There are now 7,579 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 162 of the burials are unidentified. There are also 79 war graves of other nationalities, most of them Polish.

In Memory of

JOHN ARTHUR TREBY

Sergeant

1867730

Flt. Engr.

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

who died on

Thursday 1 June 1944 . Age 19 .

Additional Information: Son of John R. Treby and Ingeborg H. Treby.

Cemetery: MONTROSE (SLEEPYHILLOCK) CEMETERYAngus, United Kingdom

The cemetery contains service plots of both wars here (the majority of which are 1939-1945). Most of these graves are of airmen and there is a special RAF plot in the south-eastern part of the cemetery, near the lodge. South of the north gate is an all services plot. There are now nearly 40, 1914-1918 and nearly 100, 1939-1945 War casualties commemorated in this site.

Marlene Boyle remembers that the Treby family lived at Hemps Green.

In Memory of

JOHN ALBERT HEWITT

Private

1034752

Pioneer Corps

who died on

Saturday 27 January 1945 . Age 51 .

Cemetery: POZNAN OLD GARRISON CEMETERY Poland

We were pleased to hear from Sandy Haffenden in March 2004 that this inscription referred to her grandfather. He was taken prisoner of war after being captured at Dunkirk, and was shot by the Russians when they overran the camp towards the end of the war. John Albert's wife Rose is buried in Fordham churchyard and their son, Donald Albert Hewitt, lives in Great Horkesley.

please also visit

The South-East Essex War Memorials & Monumental Inscriptions Project,

 

 and the

COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION

 If you can offer any further information about these Fordham Heroes, please let us know.

 

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