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Corscombe Roll of Honour

Compiled by Bryan M Harvey

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

Contents

Introduction
Private Archibald Herbert Davis
Corporal Reginald Loveless Holloway
Private Arthur Genge
Private Christopher Downton
Sergeant Thomas George Wareham
Private Leonard Davis
Private Arthur Ivan Sartin
Acknowledgements

Introduction

Corscombe is a small village in the county of Dorset located to the north of the A356 Dorchester to Crewkerne road, 6.5km north of Beaminster and 14.5km south of Yeovil. It is ribbon village developed from several small holdings along two roads Sleights and Court Hill, and High Street, hence it does not have a defined village centre or green. The Sleights and Court Hill road runs north to south and High Street runs west from a T-junction with the Sleights and Court Hill road. The main village buildings, the Church of St Mary, Village Hall and Fox Inn are spread over approximately 1km along the Sleights and Court Hill road with the Village Hall just north of the T-junction with the High Street, The Church about 500m south of the Village Hall and the Fox Inn 500m north.

The area around Corscombe is dominated by farming and therefore the inhabitants would have worked on farms or smallholdings and the majority were employed as Agricultural Labourers and Servants and would have probably have only been employed on a yearly basis by farmers. Both female and male agricultural labourers and servants would gather once a year usually on the 14-October (Old Michaelmas Day) in market towns to bargain and hopefully secure employment for the coming year and is indicated by the changes in place of residence and the location of birth of their children. These yearly gatherings were known as Pack, Mop or Hiring Fairs.

This absence of a define village centre probably lead to the decision not to commemorate the men of the village killed in the World War 1 with a normal War Memorial. Memorials do exist, but they are hidden away – a stone niche plaque is located on the inside of the east wall of the Church of St Mary, (Figure 1) and a painted board hung in the Village Hall (Figure 2) commemorates the men from the parish of Corscombe killed whilst serving their country in World War 1. The village hall memorial is unusual in that it records all the men from the parish who served in World War 1. There is a separate memorial for casualties of World War 2, a brass plaque, below the World War 1 memorial in the church, and a separate board in the Village Hall.

Since World War 1 Corscombe, like all villages has changed, families who lived in the village for many years have moved away and few with any link to those brave men who gave their lives remain. This document has been compiled to keep their memory alive.

Five of those killed were part of the British Expeditionary force which was deployed to Flanders in the first year of the war and, although well trained in many respects, were unprepared for the onslaught they faced. Collectively, they fully deserve a great deal of honour for their part in the first months of the war and were responsible for assisting the French to hold back the German army while new recruits could be trained and equipped.

The British infantry soldier’s life in France and Flanders divided between periods spent in and out of the front line. In the line he faced mud, dirt, discomfort, occasional shelling and the ever-present threat of being sniped if he stuck his head above the trench parapet. Supplying food to the front-line cost lives among those who transported it and its quality left much to be desired. Hot meals were often cold by the time they reached the troops, whose diet passed into folk legend: tins of Maconochie (a stew of dubious meat), hard biscuits and tinned jam – often plum and apple. Cigarettes provided some comfort while the rum ration offered an occasional shot of taste and warmth. The desolate trench landscape around them had been devastated by war. The only undamaged view was above: blue or cloudy skies and, at night, the familiar stars.

Long periods of relative inaction were broken by patrolling, trench raids and each new offensive.

Although the bulk (and the most successful part) of the British effort was spent in France and Flanders, other campaigns were fought against the Germans in Africa, the Austrians in Italy and the Turks in Mesopotamia (now Iraq), Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine. By September 1918 the Turks were beaten; they surrendered a month later.

Those who lost their lives, in chronological order:

NAMEREGIMENTDATE OF DEATH
Private Archibald Herbert Davis – 95591st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment29-May-1915
Corporal Reginald Loveless Holloway – 73101Dorset (Queens Own) Yeomanry, Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line21-Aug-1915
Private Arthur Genge – 7310128th Canadian Regiment (Saskatchewan Regt.)29-Apr-1916
Private Christopher Downton – 320117th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry14- Feb-1917
Sergeant Thomas George Wareham – 1598357th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery30-Nov-1917
Private Leonard Davis – 19914 and 146746th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment23-Mar-1918
Private Arthur Ivan Sartin – 318041st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry23-Aug-1918

Private Archibald Herbert Davis

Service Number 9559

1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment

Born 1893

Died 29-May 1915

Archibald Herbert Davis was born in 1892 in the hamlet of Closworth, Dorset and baptised Archie at the Church of All Saints Closworth on 05-November 1893. He was recorded as Archie in all civil records and the name Archibald Herbert appears only on his military and associated records.

Archie was the ninth of thirteen children, nine boys and four girls, born to Frederick Davis and his wife Elizabeth Sartin who were married on 08-September 1878 at the Church of St Juthware and St Mary, Halstock, Dorset.

His siblings were Wyndham born in 1879, Clifford born 1881, Reginald John born 1882, Maud Mary born 1884, Bessie born 1886, James born 1888, Elsie born 1890, Fred born 1892, Helena born 1895, Leonard born 1897, Nelson born 1899, Oscar born 1900.

Archie’s father Frederick was born in 1857 in Corscombe, Dorset and baptised on 24-August 1857 at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe. Frederick lived with his parents John Wareham and his wife Edith Meech at Lovelands, Corscombe at the time of the 1861 Census and in Corscombe at the time of the 1871 Census.

Elizabeth Sartin was born in Corscombe in 1855 and baptised at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe on 28-October 1855 the daughter of James Sartin and his wife Mary Taylor Edwards. They were recorded as living in Corscombe at the time of the 1861 and 1871 Censuses but were recorded as living in Halstock at the time of her wedding, on 08-September 1878 at the Church of St Juthware and St Mary, Halstock, to Frederick.

Frederick was employed as a Carpenter and lived with Elizabeth and their children in Corscombe at the time of the 1881 and 1891 Censuses. By the 1901 Census they had moved to Halstock Leigh and in 1903 Elizabeth died aged 48 years.

Frederick continued working and in 1911 Census he is still following the trade of a Carpenter but is recorded as visiting the Trask family at Norton sub Hamdon, Somerset. Frederick died in 1927 aged 70 years.

Pedigree Chart for Archie Davis

Wyndham was born in Corscombe in 1879 and lived with his parents in Halstock in the 1881 Census. In the 1891 Census he is living with his Grandparents John and Edith Davis in Corscombe. Between 1891 and 1900 Wyndham met and married Mabel Ada Hawkins on 29-September 1900 at the Church of St Peter, Brixton, by which time Wyndham is working as a Tram Conductor. Although having been born in Camden Town, Middlesex, in the 1891 Census Mable was working as a Nurse Maid and Servant to the Rector of the Church of St John, Melcombe Regis, Weymouth, Dorset and it is thought they met whilst Mabel was working in Dorset and they both moved to Brixton. At the time of the 1901 Census Wyndham and Mable are living in Lambeth, Surrey where they have three sons, Arthur Wyndham born 1904, William Clifford born 1906, and Reginald James born 1908. They lived in Wandsworth, Surrey, at the time of the 1911 Census. Both Wyndham and Mable died in Balham, Surrey, Mabel died in 1937 aged 62 years, and Wyndham on 07-November 1939 aged 60 years.

Clifford was born on 02-February 1881 in Corscombe and baptised on 24-April 1881 at the Church of St Juthware and Mary, Halstock. Clifford is recorded as living with his parents in the 1881 and 1891 Census. Between the 1891 and 1901 Census Clifford moved to London as in the 1901 Census he is working as a Butler and boarding with Harriett Stone in Hanover Square, Knightsbridge, Middlesex. Whilst living in London he met and married Ida Susette Lewis, the daughter of Charles A Lewis and his wife Susannah, in 1910 in Wandsworth, Surrey and in the 1911 Census they are living in Wandsworth and Clifford is employed as a Tram Driver. No record of any children has been found. Both Clifford and Ida lived in Wandsworth until their deaths Ida in 1961 aged 72 years, and Clifford in 1964 aged 83 years.

Reginald John was born in 1882 in Corscombe and lived with his parents until sometime between 1891 and 1901 when he moved to London and was employed as a Footman. He met and married Susan Grace Houghton, the daughter of Henry Edwin Houghton and his wife Susan Temperance Haynes, on 19-April 1904 at the Church of St James, Norland, Kensington, Middlesex. Reginald and Susan Grace had one child a son Reginald born in 1908 in Hammersmith, Middlesex. Reginald died on 17-April 1908 in the Hammersmith Parish Infirmary aged 26 years, of heart failure when suffering from lobar pneumonia. Susan Grace remarried on 13-August 1921 to Guy James Gosling at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Paddington and lived in Paddington until her death on 02-March 1946 aged 60 years.

Maud Mary was born in 1884 in Corscombe and lived with her parents until she married George Parsons Hann on 26-December 1910 at the Church of St Thomas, Telford Park, Streatham, Surrey. George was born on the 14-February 1873 in Haydon and baptised on 20-April 1873 at the Church of St Catharine, Haydon, Dorset. He enlisted in the Royal Marines Light Infantry on 15-July 1895 and was promoted during his career to Staff Sergeant Major and on the 01-Januuary 1920 he was promoted to Lieutenant. George served throughout World War I and was awarded the Victory and British War Medals together with the Meritorious Service Medal. After their marriage, Maud and George lived in East Stonehouse, Devon where they had two children Elsie Mary born 1912 and Frederick George born 1915 before moving to Yeovil, Somerset. Both Maud and George settled in Yeovil. Maud died in 1936 aged 52 years and George on 10-Sepember 1948 aged 75 years.

Bessie was born on 15-March 1886 in Corscombe and was recorded living with her parents on the dates of the 1891 and 1901 Census. In the 1911 Census, when her father was visiting the Trask family at Norton sub Hamdon, Somerset, Bessie, following her mother’s death in 1903, is recorded as looking after Fred, Archie, Helena, Leonard, Nelson and Oscar. In 1916 Bessie married Harry Pitman, the son of Henry Farr Pitman and his wife Lydia Newman, in Yeovil and they have four sons; Charles John born 1917, Walter James born 1918, William Henry born 1920, Victor Albert born 1923. Both Bessie and Harry lived in Yeovil and both died there, Bessie in 1951 aged 65 years, and Harry on 16-March 1959 aged 79 years.

James was born on 21-July 1888 and was recorded living with his parents on the dates of 1891 and 1901 Censuses. In the 1911 Census, he is lodging with the Pearce family in Halstock, Dorset employed as an Agricultural Labourer. On 31-August 1914 he attested into the 3rd Dragoon Guards at Yeovil and joined 4th Reserve Regiment Cavalry on 06-September 1914 based at the Riding School Assaye Barracks, Tidworth Wiltshire. It was at the Riding School that James sustained a leg injury whilst on duty which was diagnosed as Periostitis of the left tibia on 29-December 1914. Medical examinations on 28-February 1915 and again on 28-March 1915 found his injury had not responded to treatment and on the 01-February 1917 James was transferred as Army Reserve Class W (soldiers whose services are deemed to be more valuable to the country in civil rather than military employment). He was assigned for employment at the HM Munitions Factory at Avonmouth which was used to manufacture mustard gas and to charge and fill artillery shells. On 03-April 1917James transferred to Army Reserve Class P (whose services are deemed to be temporarily of more value to the country in civil life rather than in the Army’ – and who were not lower than medical grade C iii and as a result of having served in the Army would, if discharged, be eligible for a pension on the grounds of disability or length of service) and was finally discharge as medically unfit for war service on 26-July 1917. Whilst working at Avonmouth James married Lilian Maud Neate, the daughter of Thomas Perry Neate and his wife Sarah Jane Douse, at Devizes Registry Office on 22-February 1917 and they lived in Devizes before settling in Yeovil. James and Lilian had two children; Reginald Kenneth born in Devizes 1919 and Rhona May born in 1925. James, and Lilian both died in Yeovil James in 1966 aged 78 years and Lilian in 1973 aged 82 years.

Elsie was born on 07-November 1890 in Corscombe and was recorded living with her parents on the dates of the 1891 and 1901 Census. In the date 1911 Census Elsie is employed as a Cook and living in the household of Ptolemy Augustus Colmen a Physician Surgeon in Yeovil. Elsie married Frederick Charles Miller, the son of Richard Miller and his wife Mary Francis Purchase, on the 20-August 1912 at the Church of St John, Yeovil. They had three daughters Susan M born 1940, Geraldine born 1942, and Deborah C born 1953. Elsie and Frederick settled in Yeovil were they both died, Frederick in1962 aged 75 years, and Elsie in 1976 aged 86 years.

Fred was born on the 13-November 1891 in Barwick, Somerset and lived with his parents on the date of the 1901 Census, and his sister Bessie, on the date of the 1911 Census. On 09-June 1914 Fred enlisted into the Dorset Regiment, joined them on 11-June 1914 and was posted to the 3rd Battalion Dorset Regiment on 08-August 1914. On 14-September 1914 Fred was admitted to the Sidney Hall Military Hospital, Weymouth, Dorset, with the following stated on his Medical History Sheet – “noisy, excitable, has to be forcibly restrained, refuses to take food, strikes out at his attendants, incoherent in his speech, threatened to throw himself out of a window and commit suicide. Refused to stay in bed and take any medicine.” The reason for this behaviour was not known but was not caused by military service as between joining in August 1914 and his admission to hospital in September 1914 he would have only been undergoing initial training. Although Fred did respond to treatment he remained depressed and on 10-November 1914 was discharge from the Dorset Regiment as not physically fit for war service. Records of Fred could not be traced after his discharge.

Helena was born in 1895 in Barwick, Somerset, baptised at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Barwick on 25-August 1895, and was recorded living with her parents on the date of the 1901 Census, and her sister Bessie on the date of the 1911 Census. Helena was disabled from birth, did not marry, and died in 1932 aged 37 years, probably in Corscombe.

Leonard was born in 1897 in Corscombe, baptised at the Church of St Juthware and St Mary, Halstock on 29-October 1900 and was recorded living with his parents on the date of the 1901 Census and his sister Bessie on the date of the 1911 Census. He joined the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry and landed in France on 06-May-1915. He was subsequently transferred to the Dorset Regiment initially the 1st Battalion and then the 5th Battalion before being killed in action at Amiens on 23-March 1918 aged 21 years.

Nelson was born in 1899 in Halstock, baptised at the Church of St Juthware and St Mary, Halstock on 29-October 1900 and was recorded living with his parents on the date of the 1901 Census and his sister Bessie on the date of the 1911 Census. Nelson married Ellen Pascoe, the daughter of William Henry Pascoe and his wife Annie Elizabeth Saunders, in Weymouth in 1923. Nelson and Ellen settled in the Weymouth area where they both died, Nelson in Chickerill on 07-December 1952 aged 53 years and Ellen died in 1959 in Weymouth aged 61 years.

Oscar was born in 1900 in Halstock, baptised at the Church of St Juthware and St Mary, Halstock on 29-October 1900 and was recorded living with his parents on the date of the 1901 Census and his sister Bessie on the date of the 1911 Census. No other record has been found for Oscar and he died in Bridport in 1941 aged 41 years.

Although the date that Archibald Herbert Davis (9559) joined the 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment has not been ascertained, he was posthumously awarded the 1914 Star which was awarded to those who had served in France or Belgium between 5th August 1914 to midnight on 22nd November 1914 inclusive.

The 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment were stationed in Belfast on the 04-August 1914 and were deployed to the Western Front as part of 15th Brigade in the 5th Infantry Division of II Corps which was part of the original British Expeditionary Force and landed at Le Havre on 16-August 1914. In December 1915, the 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment transferred to 97th Brigade in the 32nd Division and to the 14th Brigade in the same Division on 07-January 1916.

In Belgium, the Battalion saw action at Mons on 23-August 1914 and then formed part of the rearguard during the long British retreat. On the move for 16 consecutive days, they marched 220 miles. On 04-September 1914 the Dorsetshire Regiment reached the town of Gagny south of the River Marne and the retreat ended as the Allies managed to halt the German advance. Two days later they turned to the offensive.

A month into the advance, 12-October 1914 the Battalion was holding part of the front line near Pont Fixe, a bridge over the La Bassee Canal and came under heavy German counter-attack. Their heroic fighting at Pont Fixe cost the 1st Dorsetshire Regiment some 150 killed, 122 wounded and over 150 missing.

After spending the winter months of 1914-15 near Wulverghem in the Ypres salient, April 1915 found them south at Hill 60. Here, on 01-May,1915 a German attack with chlorine gas caused heavy casualties, including 150 men killed but again the unflinching courage of the Battalion ensured that the line was not breached.

In the attack on 07-April 1915, the British lost only seven casualties. On 01-May, the 1st Dorsetshire Regiment lost over 90 men to gas poisoning; 207 were brought to dressing stations where 46 men died immediately, and another twelve men died later; the battalion had only 72 survivors. Of 2,413 British casualties admitted to hospital 227 men died. In total 15th Brigade lost 1,586 casualties from 01-May to 07 May 1915, out of the 5th Division total of 3,100 losses.

In what became the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans used gas on three more occasions; on 24-April against the 1st Canadian Division, on 02-May near Mouse Trap Farm and on 05-May against the British at Hill 60. The British Official History stated that at Hill 60, 90 men died from gas poisoning in the trenches, or before they could be got to a dressing station” of the 207 brought to the nearest dressing stations, 46 died almost immediately and 12 after long suffering.

It is highly probable that Archibald Herbert Davis was one of these twelve. Suffering from the effects of chlorine gas he was evacuated back to the England and was admitted to the Summerdown Camp Military Convalescent Hospital, Sussex also known as the Eastbourne Military Hospital. On the 29-May 1915 he died from the effects of Poison Gas at the age of 22 years, and was buried at Eastbourne (Ocklynge) Cemetery, Grave Number Z. 789.

Archibald was posthumously awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal and the Allies Victory Medal.

1914 Star, British War Medal and the Allies Victory Medal
1914 Star, British War Medal and the Allies Victory Medal
Commemoration Private Davis

Corporal Reginald Loveless Holloway

Service Number 73101

Dorset (Queens Own) Yeomanry

Born 1890

Died 21-August 1915

Reginald Holloway was born in 1890 in Corscombe, Dorset, the first of three children, two boys and one girl, born to Richard Holloway and his wife Jane Loveless who were married on 03-April 1887 at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe, Dorset.

Christopher’s siblings were; Beatrice Annie born 1892 and Ernest Edmund born 1895.

Reginald’s father, Richard was born in Melbury Bubb, Dorset in 1860 and baptised on 07-January 1860 at the Church of the Virgin Mary, Melbury Bubb, Dorset. Reginald was living with his parents Richard Holloway and his wife Jane Loveless in Melbury Bubb at the time of 1861 Census but is recorded as living with his uncle Joseph Holloway in Yetminster, Dorset in the 1871 Census and is back living with his parents in Benville, Dorset in the 1881 Census.

Richard+ met Jane Loveless the daughter Henry Loveless and his wife Jemima Jeanes, and they married on 03-April 1887 at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe. Jane was born in Rampisham, Dorset in 1862 and was baptised on 18-April 1862 at the Church of St Michael and Angels, Rampisham, Dorset and lived with her parents at Uphall, Rampisham, until her marriage. Richard and Jane lived in Benville most of their lives and are recorded there at the time of the 1891, 1901 and 1911 Census. Richard retired from farming and, with Jane, moved to Bath, Somerset, where his brother William Joseph was a Butcher. Richard and Jane both died whilst living in Bath, Richard on 06-August 1934 aged 74 years and Jane in 1935 aged 73 years.

Pedigree Chart Reginald Holloway

Beatrice Annie was born on 16-February 1892 in Corscombe and was recorded living with her parents in Benville at the time of the 1901 and 1911 Census. Beatrice met and married Edgar Dunning, the son of Robert Barter Dunning, and his wife Martha Bartlett, on 01-December 1918 at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe. Dorset and they had four children; Olive Beatrice born 07-September 1919, Martha Ruth born 24-March 1921, Rachel M born 14-May 1925 and Robert Holloway born 22-July 1926. Beatrice and Edgar initially lived in Beaminster where all their children were born but moved in Milbourne, Wiltshire and both died there, Beatrice on 11-January 1963 aged 72 years and Edgar on 25-March 1963 aged 74 years.

Ernest Edmund was born 1895 in Corscombe and lived there with his parents until his death in 1911 aged 16 years.

The date Reginald enrolled in the Army on 22-April 1915, and joined the Dorset (Queens Own) Yeomanry, Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line. The 1st Line regiment of the Dorset (Queens Own) Yeomanry was mobilized in August 1914 and attached to the 1st Southwestern Mounted Brigade. In September 1914, it was transferred to the 2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade which was part of the 2nd Mounted Division.

In anticipation of service abroad, for which most of the men had volunteered, the regiment was vaccinated at the beginning of February 1915 and within 14 days, an epidemic of measles had broken out.

On 06-April1915 orders were received to embark for Egypt to help guard the Suez Canal. On the following day, 26 officers, 507 other ranks, 498 horses, 56 mules along with machine-guns and vehicles, left Fakenham and arrived at Avonmouth to embark on the HMT’s Karoa and Commodore, which set sail on the 09-April and both had arrived at Alexandria by 21-April 1915. It is recorded that during the voyage, 30 horses were lost. Reginald joined the Regiment at this time following his training.

After 4 months in Cairo, engaged on exercises and instruction on all aspects of warfare, official warning was received to prepare for service overseas as a dismounted unit. On 13-August two squadrons set sail for the Gallipoli Peninsula where they served as dismounted troops and were involved in the Battle of Gallipoli, the Battle of Sari Bair and the Battle of Scimitar Hill. The remaining squadron remained behind in Egypt to look after the horses.

There in blistering heat and appalling conditions, often short of both rations and water and tormented by flies, they engaged over the next few months, a well-fortified and determined enemy.

Control of the Dardanelles, a stretch of water separating the Gallipoli Peninsula from mainland Turkey, was vital and in February-1915 a combined British and French fleet had attacked the outer forts of the Dardanelles and a bombardment was kept up until mid-April, by which time it was evident that ships alone were insufficient to overcome the shore batteries. On 25-April, a landing was made on the southern end of the Peninsula but, despite extreme gallantry of all concerned, no effective headway was made and by the end of July, it was evident that additional troops would be needed to avoid a stalemate of the situation.

The Gallipoli Campaign had raged on two fronts, Anzac and Helles, for three months since the invasion of 25-April-1915. With the Anzac landing a tense stalemate, the Allies had attempted to carry the offensive on the Helles battlefield at enormous cost for little gain. In August, the British command proposed a new operation to reinvigorate the campaign by capturing the Sari Bair ridge, the high ground that dominated the middle of the peninsula above the Anzac landing.

The Battle of Sari Bair, also known as the August Offensive, was the final attempt made by the British in August-1915 to seize control of the Gallipoli peninsula from the Ottoman Empire by linking up with the Australian and New Zealand Army forces at Anzac Cove.

The main operation started on 06-August 1915 with a fresh landing 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Anzac at Suvla Bay in conjunction with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps mounting an attack north into the rugged country alongside the Sari Bair range with the aim of capturing the high ground and linking with the Suvla landing. At Helles, the British and French were now to remain largely on the defensive.

The Landing at Suyla Bay by IX Corp comprising of the British 10th (Irish) and 11th Divisions, to capture Scimitar Ridge made little headway. Scimitar Hill had been captured then abandoned on 08-August; attempts to retake the hill on 09 and 10-August, were thwarted by the Ottomans. The gunfire was so intense it set the undergrowth ablaze and many of the wounded were incinerated where they lay.

As the fighting developed, the landing was reinforced by the arrival of the British 53rd Division on 09-August, followed by the 54th Division on 10-August. The 53rd Division was mauled in another attack on Scimitar Hill on 10-August.

One further attack was planned to try to link the Suvla landing to Anzac. This required the capture of a group of hills; Scimitar Hill and the ‘W’ Hills from Suvla and Hill 60 from the new Anzac sector. The attacks were to commence on 21-August. 29th Division was stationed at Sulva and the 2nd Mounted Division which include the Dorset Yeomanry, were to be moved to Suvla as additional reinforcements.

On 17-August, the Dorset Yeomanry arrived in Lemnos harbour, from where the men were transported by barge to Suvla Bay, where they landed, quickly finding shelter from the constant firing from the well-entrenched Turkish forces on the surrounding hills.

The 29th Division was move from Helles to Sulva to attack Scimitar Hill while the 11th Division was to take the W Hills on the south of the Anafarta Spur. The 2nd Mounted Division was in reserve near Lala Baba on the far side of the Salt Lake.

The final British attempt to resuscitate the offensive came on 21 August with attacks at Scimitar Hill and Hill 60. This attack was the largest mounted by the Allies at Gallipoli. Scimitar Hill was captured briefly but the attackers were driven off or killed by the defensive fire from the Ottomans higher up the spur. Not for the first time in this campaign the undergrowth ignited, burning many of the wounded. The 2nd Mounted Division were called to join the attack and advanced, marching in extended formation, straight across the Salt Lake, under fire the whole way. For a second time the hill was captured, briefly, before being lost for the final time. The attack of the 11th Division towards the W Hills was held up by strong Ottoman defences.

It was during operations on 21 August 1915 that Reginald Holloway was killed. He does not have a grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial therefore it is thought his body was never found or identified.

Reginald was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-18 and Allied Victory Medal.

1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-18 and Allied Victory Medal

Private Arthur Genge

Service Number 73101

28th Battalion Canadian Infantry

Born 13-October 1892

Died 29-April 1916

Private Arthur Genge

Arthur Genge was born on 13-October 1892 in the hamlet of Upcerne Dorset, the fourth and youngest child of Dan Genge and his wife Sarah Dawe. Arthur had two elder brothers Tom born in 1885, and John, born in 1888, and a sister Emily born in 1891. John was baptised at Up Cerne Church on 06-June 1891 just before his death age 3.

Pedigree Chart for Arthur Genge

Arthur’s father Dan was born in 1856 and baptised on 01-August 1857 at the Church of St John the Baptist, Hawkchurch, Dorset and lived with his parents George and his wife Elizabeth Groves Gale in Hawkchurch and at the time of the 1861 Census they lived at Hawkmoor Farm, Hawkchurch. Dan’s father died in 1866 aged 53 years and at the time of the 1871 Census Elizabeth had moved the family to Cowdea Farm, Marshwood, Dorset. The 1871 Census records Dan as a pupil at the Oak House School, Axbridge, Devon. At the time of the 1881 Census Elizabeth had moved the family to Stake Farm, East Chelborough, Dorset, where Dan is working as a Dairyman. Whilst living in East Chelborough, Dan met Sarah Dawe, and they were married at the Church of St Andrew, West Chelborough on 19-November 1884. Elizabeth died in East Chelborough on 12-December 1890 aged 73.

Sarah Dawe was born in West Chelborough, Dorset, in 1865 and was recorded living with her parents Christopher Grundry and his wife Annie Meech at Manor Farm, West Chelborough, in the 1871 and 1881 Census. Christopher was a Farmer and he and Anne lived in West Chelborough all their married lives, Christopher died there on 24-October 1906 aged 81 years and was buried at St Andrew, West Chelborough on 30-October 1906. Anne died in West Chelborough on 28-October 1914 aged 85 years and was also buried at the St Andrew, West Chelborough on 31-October 1914.

After their wedding, Dan and Sarah initially lived in West Chelborough but in 1888 they had moved to Stoke Abbott, Dorset where Dan was working as a Dairyman and living at Coombe Dairy House. By 1891 Dan’s job as Dairyman had resulted in them moving to Upcerne, Dorset, where they lived on Stickland Lane. Between 1891 and 1900 the family moved back to West Chelborough and lived on Manor Farm. On 17-February 1896 at the age of 3 years 3 months, Arthur enrolled at the Ilchester Church of England School, leaving on 01-June 1899 at the age of 6 years 8 months.

In 1900 Dan died aged 44 years and was buried at the Church of St Andrew, West Chelborough on 12-June 1900. Dan’s death resulted in the family splitting up, his mother Sarah, together with Emily went to live with her mother and father, Christopher Dawe and Annie Meech at Manor Farm, West Chelborough, and Arthur, together with his brother Tom, go to live with their cousins Arthur Rossiter and Elizabeth A G Elliott in Church Street, Halstock, Dorset and this where they are living at the time of the 1901 Census.

Arthur Rossiter was a Carpenter and Wheelwright and trained Tom in these trades and at the time of the 1911 Census Tom was living in Richmond, Surrey, as a Boarder with the Hollyer family and was employed as a Wheelwright with a Coachbuilding firm. Tom married Zulmer Maria van Renterghem and they have at least one child. Tom died in 1966 aged 81 years in Canterbury, Kent and Zulmer died in 1974 in Surrey aged 82 years.

The 1911 Census records Sarah as living with her mother Annie and sister, Emily at West Chelborough, meanwhile Emily, her daughter, is employed as a Domestic Help by a Farmer in Brympton, Yeovil, Somerset. In about 1914 Sarah moved to the Mill House, Corscombe and then in about 1916 Sarah moved to Merryland Cottage, Corscombe. Sarah died on 06-November 1957 aged 92.

After 1911 Emily moved to London where she met and married William Alfred Keiff, the son of William Frederick Keiff and his wife Emma Horlock, on 06-June 1924 st the Church of St Martine, West Acton, Middlesex. Emily and William had one child, a daughter Betty Maud born on 27-August 1928 in Kensington, Middlesex. Emily and William both died in in Edmonton Middlesex, William in 1978 aged 81 years and Emily in 1979 aged 88 years.

There is no record of Arthur in the 1911 Census but on 23-April 1912 at the age of 21 years Arthur emigrated to Canada from Southampton as a steerage passenger on board the SS Ultonia.

SS Ultonia
SS Ultonia

He arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 06-May 1914 with $C50.00 in his pocket. His destination was the township of Burford, Ontario, 100km southwest of Toronto, where he was employed as a Farm Labourer.

Arthur did not remain in Burford for long, moving to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where on 28-October 1914 he was attested into the 28th Battalion (Northwest), also known as the Saskatchewan Regiment, of the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, stating his occupation was a Fireman.

The 28th Battalion was formally authorized on 07-November 1914 and embarked on the SS Northland which left Montreal for Britain on 29-May 1915 and arrived in Britain Shortly afterwards. The Battalion completed training at Shorncliffe and crossed to France on 18-September 1915, as part of the 6th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division in which it remained until the end of the war.

SS Zealand
SS Zealand but renamed SS Northland in 1914

After arriving at Boulogne, the Battalion boarded a train to St. Omer and on to Cassel and were billeted at the Battalion Headquarters, Drouleux Farm, Saint Sylvestre, Cappel. After three days, the Battalion marched via Caёstre, Flёtre, Méteren, Bailleul, Le Leuthe to the reserve camp at De Groute Farm where they bivouac behind the woods known as “Plugstreet” (Ploegsteert) for a couple of days.

On the 29-September 1915, the 28th Battalion was ordered into the trenches near Keppel and suffered their first losses within a month. The Battalion carried on with trench routine; rotating in and out of the line, for the rest of the winter. They worked to improve field works, dressing stations and actively patrol “No Man’s Land”.

In the spring of 1916 operations centred on the area around the village of Saint Elooi. The Germans built an extensive system of defensive tunnels and were actively mining against the British trenches at the intermediate levels. In March 1915, they fired mines under the elevated area known as The Mound just south-east of St Eloi and in the ensuing fighting (the Action of St Eloi, 14-March and 15-March 1915), in which units of the British 27th Division participated, the British infantry suffered some 500 casualties. A month later, on 14-April 1915, the Germans fired another mine producing a crater over 20m (66ft) in diameter. Counter-mining by the tunneling companies of the Royal Engineers began at St Eloi in spring 1915 and by the autumn of 1915 they had managed to sink shafts at depths of 7 meters and 13 meters to take advantage of the geology which was ideal for tunneling at these depths and gave the British an advantage over their German counterparts. Between 27-March and 16-April 1916, the British detonated six charges. However, the accompanying British infantry operation was a failure. The problem lay in the Allied inability to hold crater positions after they had been captured.

As part of the 2nd Canadian Division, the 28th Battalion was involved in this operation. During the period 04-April and 09-April the entire Canadian front line came under continuous bombardment, destroying trenches and sand bag parapets.

The 6th Brigade suffered 617 casualties of which the 28th Battalion suffered 95 casualties; 1 Officer and 8 Ordinary Ranks killed, 2 officers and 72 Ordinary Ranks wounded and 12 Ordinary Ranks missing. The Battalion was relieved and moved to Dikkbus and on the 19-April, they were again ordered into the trenches and came under an intense attack by the Germans for over 7 hours suffering more casualties; 3 Ordinary Ranks killed, and 10 Ordinary Ranks wounded.

It is not known when Arthur was wounded but it is highly likely it was during these two attacks when he suffered the gunshot wound to the buttock which penetrated the abdomen. He would have been taken to the Regimental First Aid or Dressing Post sited in a reserve trench where he would have been given basic first aid treatment and then by Field Ambulance to Casualty Clearing Station 17. This was situated south west of Poperinghe at this time, in an area known as Remy Sidings very close to the area occupied by the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery which is the second largest Commonwealth War Cemetery in Belgium.

Arthur died from his wounds at 7:45 am on 29-April 1916 aged 23 years and was buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in grave reference VI. B. 31a.

Canadian Record of the death of Arthur Genge
Canadian Record of the death of Arthur Genge

Arthur was posthumously awarded the Allies Victory Medal and the Canadian Memorial Cross.

Allies Victory Medal and Canadian Memorial Cross
Allies Victory Medal and Canadian Memorial Cross
7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry

Private Christopher Downton

Service Number 32011

7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry

Born 23 Oct 1884

Died 14-February 1917

Christopher Downton was born 1884 in Mappowder, Dorset, the seventh of ten children, six boys and four girls born to Herbert Edwin Downton and his wife Ellen Downton who were married on 02-June 1868 at the Church of the Holy Rood, Buckland Newton, Dorset. 

His siblings were; Augustine Edwin born 1868, Christopher John born 1870, Matilda Jane born 1874, Lily Jane 1876, Archibald born 1880, Arthur John born 1882, Alfred Ernest born 1886, Bertha Elsie born 1889 and Margaret May born 1893. 

Christopher’s father, Herbert Edwin was born in Glanvilles Wooton, Dorset in 1844 and he was baptised on 22-October 1844 at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Glanvilles Wooton. He lived with his parents James Downton and his wife Jane Frampton, until his marriage to Ellen Downton in 1868 and was an Agricultural Labourer. Jane died in 1879 aged of 58 years and was buried at the Church of St James, Hermitage, Dorset on 17-February 1879. James remarried Eliza Churchouse on 20-November 1879 at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Godmanstone, Dorset. Eliza died in 1890 at the age 65 years and was buried at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Godmanstone on 08-December 1890. James an Agricultural Labourer died in 1902 in the Cerne Union Workhouse, Cerne Abbas, Dorset aged 82 years and was buried at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Godmanstone on 07 October 1902. 

Christopher’s mother, Ellen Downton was born in Glanvilles Wooton, Dorset in 1849 and was baptised on 31-March 1849 at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Glanvilles Wooton. Ellen lived with her parents William Downton and his wife Elizabeth Kiddle in Glanvilles Wooton until her marriage to Herbert Edwin Downton in 1868. William an Agricultural Labourer died in 1888 aged 77 years and was buried at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Wooton Granvilles on 26-March 1888. Elizabeth died in 1915 aged 92 years and was buried at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Wooton Granvilles on 19-March 1915.

Pedigree Chart for Christopher Downton

As an Agricultural Labour Herbert Edwin and Ellen moved regularly to find work possibly being offered employment at the Hiring Fairs. At the time of the 1871 Census they were living in Hermitage, Dorset and recorded as living in Mappowder when the 1881 Census was taken. At the time of the 1891, 1901 and 1911 Census they had moved to Corscombe. In 1917, they moved to West Chelborough, Dorset. Herbert died at West Chelborourgh, in 1918 aged 74 and was buried at the Church of St Andrew, West Chelborough on 29-July 1918. Ellen died at West Chelborourgh, Dorset in 1934 aged 86 and was buried at the Church of St Andrew, West Chelborough on 18-October 1934. 

Augustine Edwin was born in 1868 at Buckland Newton, Dorset, and baptised at the Church of St Andrew, Leigh, Dorset on 21-March 1869. Augustine was recorded living with his parents in 1871 and 1881 Census. Augustine worked as an Agricultural Labourer and married Fanny Paul, the daughter of William Paul and his wife Susan Elliott, on the 03-April 1892 at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe. No record of Augustine Edwin or Fanny has been found after their wedding in 1892. 

Christopher John was born in 1870 at Hermitage, Dorset and was baptised at the Church of St Mary, Hermitage on 20-November 1870. Christopher John lived with his parents until his death in 1874 at the age of 4 years and he was buried at the Church of St Mary, Hermitage on 17-July 1874. 

Matilda Jane was born in 1874 at Hermitage Dorset and was baptised at the Church of St Mary, Hermitage on 14-February 1875. At the time of the 1881 Census Matilda was living with her parents and in the 1891 Census she was employed as a Domestic Servant with John Marsh, a Farmer and his family in Thorne, Somerset. Matilda met Charles William Crabb, the son of George Crabb and his wife Emily Jane Perry and they were married on 13-March 1898 at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe. William was a Carter, and after their marriage they were recorded living in Corscombe in 1901 Census. At the time of the 1911 Census William and Matilda had moved to Gurney Slade, Somerset. Following the outbreak of World War 1William enlisted with Devonshire Regiment and during his service war transferred to the Labour Corps. William and Matilda lived in Gurney Slade throughout their lives and both died there, Matilda in 1932 aged 52 years and William on 22-December 1947 aged 72 years. 

Lily Jane was born in 1876 in Glanvilles Wooton and baptised on 25-December 1876 at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Glanvilles Wooton. Lily was recorded as living with her parents in the 1881, 1891 and 1901 Census. Also, visiting the family at the time of the 1901 Census was Edward Cork, a soldier, born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent in 1871 and the son of Charles Thomas Cork and his wife Elizabeth Woresfold. On 06-May 1901 Lily and Edward were married at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe and moved to Dover Kent where in 1902 their daughter Malita May was born. They then move to India possibly due to the posting of Edwards regiment where they had two more daughters, Bertha Beatrice born 1903, and Helen born 1908 and four sons; Edward born 1907, William Charles Herbert born 1910, Frederick Worsfeld born 1913 and Sidney Harold born 1915. Edward and Lily remained in India throughout their lives and died there, Lily in Bombay on 13-June 1929 aged 53 years and Edward in Karachi on 05-March 1946 aged 75 years. 

Archibald was born in 1880 in Mappowder, Dorset and was recorded living with his parents in the 1881 and 1891 Census and married Elizabeth Ellen Dawe the daughter of William Dawe and his wife Louisa Marsh, on 25-March 1903 at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe, and they had five children, two boys and three girls. They were Margaret Ellen born 1904, Percy George born 1906, Florence May born 1909, Agnes Lily born 1910 and Archibald Richard Charles born 1913. Archibald worked as a Carter and at the outbreak of World War 1 Archibald joined the 5th Wiltshire Regiment and was posted to Mesopotamia. He was killed on 09-April 1916 and is commemorated on the Basra Memorial Panel 30 and 64. Elizabeth remarried James Maggs in 1917 and had three further children Arthur born 1918, Florence M born 1922, and 

Gwendoline Pearl born 1925. Elizabeth died in 1977 in Camberwell, Surrey aged 92 years. James died in 1940 aged 77 years in Beaminster, Dorset and was buried in the Church of St Mary, Beaminster on 02-Jul 1940. 

Arthur John was born on 14-October 1881 in Mappowder, Dorset and was recorded living with his parents in the 1891, 1901 and 1911 Census in Corscombe. Arthur worked as a Carter, and married Elsie Maud Bartlett, the daughter of Henry George Bartlett and his wife Emily Alice Baker, at the Church of St Andrew, West Chelborough, Dorset on 29-January 1921. Arthur and Elsie two children; Margaret Elsie J born on 07-January 1922 in Beaminster and Violet E J born on 28-August 1933 in Blandford, Dorset. and lived in Tinitinhull, Somerset, before moving to Hilfield, Dorset, where they both died and were buried in the Church of St Nicholas, Hilfield, Arthur in 1951 aged 69 years, and Elsie in 1961 aged 61 years. 

Alfred Ernest was born 0n 13-September 1886 in Mappowder, Dorset and was recorded living with his parents in the 1891, 1901 and 1911 Census in Corscombe. Alfred worked as an Agricultural Labourer and in 1919 married Elizabeth Downton (nee Hawkins), his brother Christopher’s widow, in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Alfred and Elizabeth had six children, three boys and three girls in addition to Christopher and Elizabeth’s three children. They were Molly born 02-March 1920, Alfred born 18-April 1922, Betty born 30-May 1924, Isobel born 19-June 1926, Ernest born 12-September 1934, and Norman born 27-March 1941 As an Agricultural Labourer Alfred and Elizabeth moved regularly around North Dorset and South Somerset as Alfred found work and were living in Wincanton, Somerset at the time of their deaths Alfred in 1962 aged 78 years and Elizabeth in 1972 age 77 years. 

Bertha Elsie was born in 1889 in Piddlehinton, Dorset and baptised at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Piddlehinton on 21-July 1889. Bertha was recorded living with his parents in the 1891 and 1901 Census in Corscombe, and met and married William James Smale, the son of Isaac Smale and his wife Sarah Ann Bale, on 16-April 1906 at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe, Dorset. They had six children, two girls and four boys; Florence Emily May born 1906, Albert John, born 1908, Alma Annie Matilda born 1909, Ernest William born 1911, Wilfred born 1913 and William Arthur Reginald born 1914 and they went to live in Holnest, Dorset. On 17-May 1915 William attested at Dorchester and on 18-May joined the Dorset Regiment. William (14476) was assigned to the 3rd Battalion Dorset Regiment on 20-May but was discharged on 17-July 1915 because he suffered from epileptic fits. At an unknown date, William (16467) re-enlisted and joined 5th Battalion Dorset Regiment. The 5th Battalion Dorset Regiment was formed at Dorchester in August 1914 and was initially attached as Army Troops to 11th (Northern) Division. On 08-January 1915 the battalion was transferred to 34th Brigade in same Division and sailed to Gallipoli, from Liverpool, on 03-July 1915, going via Mudros to land at Suvla Bay on 06-August 1915. The Battalion was evacuated from Gallipoli on 16-December 1915 and went to Egypt via Mudros before being moved to France, arriving in Marseilles 09-July 1916. In September 1915, the 11th Division was assigned to the Reserve Army at the Battles of Flers-Courcelette and Thiepval, and then to the Fifth Army for the operations on Acre (11-January to 13-February 1917). The British operations at the end of the Battle of the Ancre in November 1916, had captured German positions on Beaumont Hamel spur and the village of Beaucourt, before the weather stopped operations. In the early hours of 10 January 1917, a battalion of the 7th Division attacked “The Triangle” and the trenches either side, including Muck Trench about 1,000 yards (910 m) east of Beaumont Hamel. The attack began after an 18-hour bombardment and a standing barrage on the objective. Due to the state of the ground, the infantry advanced in three parties, which carried duckboards and had 20 minutes to cross 200–300 yards (180–270 m) of no man’s land. The objectives were consolidated, and a German counter-attack was broken up by British artillery fire; a prisoner later said that a second one was cancelled; the 7th Division captured 142 prisoners, for a loss of 65 casualties. The success covered the right flank of the 7th Division for the main attack 

next day, 11-January 1917, against Munich Trench, from The Triangle to the Beaumont Hamel–Serre road and a smaller attack by the 11th Division, against German defences east of Muck Trench. The 11th Division operation failed, when an unknown German dug-out was overrun in the fog. German troops emerged and attacked the British troops from behind, at the same time German counter-attacks from further east began, which pushed the British back to their start line. It is probable that during this attack William was shot and died. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Memorial Reference Pier and Face 7B. Bertha died in 1917 aged 33 years. 

Margaret May was born in 1893 in Corscombe and was living with her parents in Corscombe at the time of the 1901 Census. Between the Census and 1910 Margaret moved to Chewton Magna, Somerset possibly to take up a position as a Servant and it was here that Margaret died in 1910 aged 18 years and was buried on 04-March 1910 at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Chewton Magna, Somerset. 

Christopher was born in 23-October 1884 in Mappowder, Dorset was recorded living with his parents in the 1891 and 1901 in Corscombe. In the 1911 Census he is employed as a Carter at Church Farm Batcombe, Dorset and living there with William Dredge and his wife. On 06-June 1913 Christopher married Elizabeth Hawkins, a daughter of Esau Hawkins and his wife Mary Jane Green at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe. Elizabeth was born on 26-September 1895 in Corscombe and was living with her parents at the time of the 1891 Census. In the 1911 Census, at the age of 15 Elizabeth is working as a General Domestic Servant and living with the Bishop family in Stoke-sub-Ham, Somerset. 

Christopher and Elizabeth had three children, two girls and one boy; Evelyn Gertrude born 1913, Christopher John born 1915 and Frances born 1916 

Evelyn Gertrude was born on 19-May 1913 and her birth was registered in Beaminster, Dorset. Evelyn married Alexander Joseph Sweet in Wincanton, Somerset in 1936 and they had two children a boy and a girl; Brent born 1941 and Gillian R born in 1943. Brent was born on 10-November 1941 in Yeovil, Somerset and married Lilian A Carter in 1975 in Swadlincote, Derbyshire and he died on 26-June 2010 in Yeovil. Gillian was born in 1943 in Yeovil, Somerset and married David V A Partridge in 1965 in Yeovil, Somerset. Alexander died in 1887 in Yeovil aged 82 and Evelyne died on 10-June 2000 in Yeovil aged 87. 

Christopher John was born on 26-May 1915 and his birth was registered in Beaminster, Dorset and in 1939 married Mary Amy Elizabeth Baggs in Yeovil. Christopher and Mary had seven children three boys and four girls; Marjorie Carol, born 1939, John A born 1941, Pamela E born 1944, Brenda M born 1947, Sylvia J born 1949, Geoffrey C born 1951 and Stephen born 1957. Christopher John died on 25-November 1995 in 1995 in West Coker, Somerset aged 80 and Mary on 17-August 2004 in West Coker, Somerset aged 80 and both were buried in the Church of St Martin of Tours, West Coker 

Frances was born on 17-July 1916 and her birth was registered in Beaminster, Dorset. Frances married Hubert John Wiscombe in 1935 in Wincanton, Somerset. They had one son born in 1941 in Wincanton. Hubert died in 1974 in Wincanton aged 72 and Frances on 20-January 2005 aged 88. 

Christopher joined the 14th Labour Battalion Devonshire Regiment in August 1916 and his Service Number was 36635. He transferred on 7th January 1917 to 7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry and his Service Number was changed to 32011. 

7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry, a Service Battalion, was formed at Taunton on 13-September 1914 as part of the Second New Army and then moved to Woking as part of 61st Brigade of the 20th Division. The Division landed at Boulogne on 24-July 1915 and moved to the Saint-Omer area.

Following the ground gained in 1916 Somme Offensive the British endeavoured to gain localised tactical advantage on heights above the valley of the River Ancre. Between January and March 1917 these activities are known as the operations on Ancre and between the 10-February and 13-February were called the capture of Ten Tree Alley, which is between Serre and Beaucourt, about 1,000 metres from Serre. This action was undertaken by V Corp and 32nd Division of the Fifth Army. 

As a Service Battalion to the Fifth Army the 7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry provided combat service support to a brigade group and its elements and, to fight in a defensive role as well as provide the vital logistical support to sustain the operations of the other units within the brigade group. It is probable that during this assault on 10-February that Christopher was shot and wounded which was ironic as on the 10-February the 7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry was relieved on the battlefield and returned to Carnoy. He died from his wounds on 14-February 1915 aged 32 and was buried at the Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Hauts-de-France, France; Grave Reference E48; Panel Number III B 48. 

Christopher was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Allies Victory Medal. 

Christopher’s Medals and Memorial Plaque
Christopher’s Medals and Memorial Plaque
Private C Downton 32011 
7th battalion Somerset Light Infantry 15 Platoon 

Dear wife, 
Just a few lines to you in answer to your letter and hoping this will find you all well as the same leaves me at present hope you are the same but we have got a job to keep hot and tell your father not to come out here before the weather is hotter I can’t hardly stick it I don’t know if he can but all the same I would like to change with him and come back with you dear I shall want a week to have a sleep when I come back as it is not much sleep out here the damn lice bites us we can’t sleep we are lousy with the damn things and the more we kill the worse we gets so you must think what it is like I don’t want to stay out here no longer than I can help so Dear I expect we shall be gone back in the trenches before I get another letter from you we don’t get them up there before we come out again and I hope they will have a damn good fight and then it will be finished quicker but it is funny work when the shells and bullets are spinning round our head Dear I can’t tell you very much about it out here as all the letters are read before they go from here so I must tell you more about it when we meet again I hope please God that will be soon Dear you don’t say if you got any fire or not so I don’t think there is much more news only to tell you I got the letter paper safe and one letter since dear you must wait a little bit for another letter if we are gone in the line as we can’t post up there I will let you know so I must now close with fond love from your ever loving husband CD to my darling wife and children Cheer up love. Good luck to you. 
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 

The text of Christopher’s Last Letter Home

After his death, his widow Elizabeth, married Christopher’s brother Alfred Ernest in 1919 in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. They had two children, a boy and a girl; Molly born 1920, Alfred born in 1922, Margaret Ellen born 1923, Betty born 1924, Isobel born 1926, Ernest E born 1934 and Normal R born 1941. Alfred worked in the agricultural industry through out his working life in various villages in Somerset and Dorset eventually settling in Wincanton, Somerset where they died. Alfred in 1964 aged 78 and Elizabeth in 1972 aged 72. 

Molly was born on 02-March 1920 and her birth was registered in Beaminster. Molly met and married Albert W Button in 1937 in Sturminster Newton. Molly died in Yeovil in 1995. 

Alfred Ernest was born on 18-April 1922 and his birth was registered in Beaminster, Dorset. Alfred died in 1997 in the registration district of Sedgemoor, Somerset. 

Betty was born on 30-May 1924 and her birth was registered in Beaminster. Molly met and married Joseph W A Harrison in Sturminster Newton in 1941. Betty and Joseph had two sons, Robert A born in 1941 and Anthony R born in 1946. Betty died in Lancashire in 2006. 

Isobel was born on 19-Jun 1926 and her birth was registered in Sherborne, Dorset. Isobel met and married John Hind in Sturminster Newton in 1950. No further records could be found of them after the date of their marriage 

Ernest E was born on 12-September 1934 and his birth was registered in Chard, Somerset. No further records have been found of him after his birth. 

Norman R was born on 27-March 1941 and his birth was registered in Yeovil. Norman met and married Valerie J Vellacott in Yeovil in 1987. No further records could be found of them after the date of their marriage.

57th Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery

Sergeant Thomas George Wareham

Service Number 15983

57th Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery

Born 1883

Died 30-November 1917

Thomas George Wareham was born in 1893 in Corscombe, Dorset, the fourth child of nine children, four boys and five girls, born to William Wareham and his wife Eliza Bartlett who were married on 23-May 1876 at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe. 

Thomas’s siblings were; Charles born 1877, Prudence Emily born 1880, William James born 1882, Wilhelmina Harriett born 1884, Gilbert Elias born 1886, Helen born 1888, Rosa Annie born 1890 and Kathleen Polly born 1894. 

Thomas’s Father William was born in 1851 in Corscombe and baptised on 03-January 1851 at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe. He was recorded living with his parents Elias Wareham and his wife Elizabeth Cornick, in Corscombe at the time of 1851, 1861 and 1871 Census and working as an Agricultural Labourer. 

Thomas’s mother Eliza was born in 1849 and baptised on 09-October 1849 at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe. Eliza is recorded as living with her parents, James Bartlett Edwards and his wife Martha Hawkins, in Corscombe in the 1851, 1861 and 1871 Census. 

After their wedding, William and Eliza lived in Corscombe although between 1871 and 1881 they moved and worked in Devon and Cornwall. At the time of the 1881 Census William is recorded as boarding with the George Stephen a Plate Layer and his family in St Teath, Cornwall and Eliza had moved back to Corscombe. Eliza died in Corscombe, Eliza in 1910 aged 61 years and William married Amelia Wareham in 1924 aged 73 years. 

Pedigree Chart for Thomas Wareham

Charles was born in 1877 in Newton St Cyres, Devon and was recorded living with his mother in Corscombe in the 1881 Census, living with both his parents and working as an Agricultural Labourer in the 1891 Census. At the time of the 1901 Census Charles has moved to Greenwich, Kent and is working as a Bricklayer. In 1904, he met and married Violet Eudora Cross in Greenwich. Violet who had been born on Portland, Dorset in 1875, was a Staff Nurse employed at the Holborn Union Infirmary, Islington, Middlesex. Violet’s father Edwin Cross 

worked as Prison Warder at the Verne, Portland and must have encouraged Charles to also become a Prison Warder because in the 1911 Census, Charles is employed as Prison Warder living in Winson Green, Birmingham with Violet and their daughters, Violet Eudora aged 5 and Kathleen Grace aged 3. His job as a Prison Warder results in the family moving around the country and this is reflected in his daughters being born in Kent and Middlesex and Charles and Violet finally living in London where they both died, Charles in Kensington in 1951 aged 74 years and Violet in Paddington in 1954 aged 79 years. 

Prudence Emily was born on 03-March 1879 in Corscombe, was recorded living with her parents in the 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 Census. Prudence met and in 1917 married Frederick Foyle and they continued to live in Corscombe and are recorded on the Electoral Registers in 1918, 1919, 1921 although Frederick is missing from the 1921 register Frederick and on the 1919 Absent Voters List as he was in the Army. 

Few records of Frederick Foyle have been identified but he joined the 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment (Duke of Edinburgh’s) as Drummer (8038) before the outbreak of World War 1 and embarked for France on 14-August 1914. Upon mobilization and the declaration of war, the 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment deployed to France as part of the 3rd Division’s 7th Brigade, landing in France at Rouen on 14-August 1914, as part of the British Expeditionary Force. They soon saw action in the Battle of Mons and the rear-guard action at Solesmes, The Battle of Le Cateau, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, The Battles of La Bassee and Messines and the First Battle of Ypres by which time the battalion had lost 26 officers and over 1,000 other ranks. They then saw action at The Battle of Neuve Chappelle as part in the Winter Operations of 1914-15. It was during the Battle of Neuve Chappelle on 22-March 1915 that Frederick deserted but luckily, he was not shot. What action was taken against him is not known as it is not recorded that he re-joined his regiment voluntary. He may have returned to his unit been tried and imprisoned or he may have gone into hiding until the war was over. It is recorded that the award of his campaign medals he should have been entitled to, the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Allies Victory Medal, was not authorised. 

After the war, Prudence and Frederick initially lived in Corscombe where they had a daughter Olive born in Corscombe on 26-February 1920, but a second daughter born in 1922 died just after birth. Prudence, Frederick and Olive were living in Chicksgrove, Tisbury, Wiltshire in 1939 where they may have died together in 1945, Prudence aged 65 years and Frederick aged 55 years. 

William James was born in 1882 in Corscombe and was recorded living with his parents in the 1891 and 1901 Census. In 1901, he was working as a Stockman looking after the cattle on a farm. Between 1901 and 1907 he moved to Greenwich where on 03-August 1907 he married Ada Matilda Jerman, at Christ Church, Greenwich. Ada was the daughter of William Jarman, a Waterman, and his wife Alice Worley. In the 1911 Census William is working as an Engineer at an Oil Wharf and he and Ada have a daughter Winifred Ada born in 1910. Although William and Ada lived in London most of their lives at some stage they move back to Dorset and lived in Child Okeford where William died in 1947 aged 65 years and was buried at the Church of St Nicholas, Child Okeford on 08-May 1947. Ada moved back to West Ham and died there in 1961 aged 79 years. 

Wilhelmina Harriett was born in Corscombe, Dorset in 1884 and was recorded living with her parents in the 1891, 1901 and 1911 Census. Soon after the 1911 Census Wilhelmina emigrated to Canada where she married Frederick Meredith O’Higgins, the son of Charles Hyckiah O’Higgins and his wife Amanda Thompson, in Toronto, Ontario on 24-December 1912. Wilhelmina died in York, a suburb of Toronto on 29-November 1943 aged 59 years. No records of Frederick Michael O’Higgins have been found.

Gilbert Elias was born on 27-July 1886 in Corscombe, Dorset, and was living with his parents at the time of the 1891 Census. In the 1901 Census Gilbert is working as a Page Boy and Servant and living in at the Cups Hotel, Lyme Regis. On 26-September 1907 Gilbert departed from Liverpool to Quebec and emigrated to Canada joining his sister in Toronto where on 02-September 1916 he attested into the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force which after sailing to England in December 1916, the battalion was absorbed into the Canadian Railway Construction Corps and became the 3rd Battalion Canadian Railway Troops. After the end of World War 1 and Gilbert’s demobilization he returned to live in Corscombe before returning to Canada arriving in Quebec on 20-March 1924. He returned to England within weeks, probably following his father’s death but returned to Canada again on 01-May 1924 Gilbert aboard the SS Melita bound for Quebec and Montreal. 

Helen was born in 1888 in Corscombe and was recorded living with her parents in the 1891 and 1901 Census. Helen met and married Joseph Henry Harris, on the 26-December 1907 at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe. Records relating to Joseph have not been found but he was from Plympton, Devon and may have been in the Navy. After their wedding, Helen and Joseph lived in Dartmouth where their first child William Henry Bartlett was born in 1908. The 1911 Census records Helen back in Corscombe with William, living with her parents. No record has been found for Joseph in the 1911 Census. In 1912 Helen were living in Devonport, Devon and gave birth to a daughter Eileen Helen and in 1921 a second daughter Josephine M. 

William married Thelma Gladys Barron in 1936 in Devonport, Devon and Thelma gave birth to two sons; Roger William Bartlett born in 1939 and Nigel H born in 1946. 

Eileen Helen married Ernest Godfrey Bennett in 1936 in Northampton, Northamptonshire. Ernest and Eileen lived in Northampton and Eileen gave birth to a daughter Susan in 1942 and a son Adrian in 1945. It is thought the Joseph died in Plymouth in 1939 aged about 63 years as in 1941 Helen is recorded as a widow. 

Josephine did not marry but tragedy struck in 1941 when Josephine was living or visiting her mother in St Budeaux, Saltash, Plymouth. On 28-April 1941 Luftwaffe undertook a bombing raid on Plymouth and Duffyn Cottage, where Helen was living with her daughter Josephine, and sister Kathleen Polly, was hit killing all three. Their bodies were found on 29-April 1941. Helen was aged 53 years and Josephine was aged 19 years and Kathleen aged 47 years. 

Rosa Annie was born in 1890 in Corscombe and was recorded living with her parents in the 1891 and 1901 Census. The 1911 Census records Rosa a Domestic House Maid visiting Alfred Norman and his family in Uplyme, Devon. Soon after the 1911 Census Rosa emigrates to Canada probably initially to live with her sister Wilhelmina, as on 10-October 1911 Rosa married Charles Arthur Lomer the son of Charles William Lomer and his wife Elizabeth Cullimorein York, Toronto. Charles and Rosa had a son Charles William Gilbert born on 17-August 1917, after Charles had attested for the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force and joined 124th (Governor General’s Body Guard) Battalion. He was killed on 29-March 1917 during the preparations for the Battle of Vimy Ridge and was buried at Ecoivres Military Cemetery, near the village of Mont-Saint-Elios, north west of Arras. Rosa remarried Arthur Brookes on 28-May 1921 at York, Ontario, Canada. Both Rosa and Arthur died in Toronto, Ontario but the dates are not known. 

Kathleen Polly was born in 1894 in Corscombe and was recorded living with her parents in the 1901 and 1911 Census and did not marry. On 28-April 1941 Kathleen was living or visiting her sister Helen in St Budeaux, Saltash, Plymouth, probably following the death of Helen’s husband when she was killed along with her sister Helen and niece Josephine in bombing raid on Plymouth. Her body was found on 29-April 1941, Kathleen was aged 47 years. 

Thomas was born in Corscombe in 1883 and was recorded living with his parents in the 1891. In 1901 Census he was still living with her parents but was working as a Carter. Soon after 

1901 Thomas enrolled in the Army and joined the Royal Garrison Artillery and is recorded in the 1911 Census as a Corporal with an occupation as a Blacksmith in 57th Siege Battery stationed at the Verne Barracks, Portland, Dorset attached to the 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry. Records of the Royal Garrison Artillery are difficult to find particularly identifying the Army, Corps, or Division to which the relevant Battery was assigned. 

The Royal Regiment of Artillery at the time of the Great War comprised three elements: Royal Horse Artillery, Royal Field Artillery and Royal Garrison Artillery. The Royal Garrison Artillery was developed from fortress-based artillery located on British coasts, in Thomas’s case the Artillery located on Portland. 

From 1914 when the army possessed very little heavy artillery it grew into a major component of the British forces. It was armed with heavy, large caliber guns and howitzers that were positioned some way behind the front line and had immense destructive power, hence Siege Batteries were not associated with a Corps or Division but tended to be moved between different heavy artillery groups and armies where they were most needed. Records indicate that Thomas embarked to France 09-December 1914 but the 57th Siege Battery did not go overseas until 02-March 1916; therefore, it can be assumed that he had previously served with at least one other unit and in November 1917 he was posted back to 57th Siege Battery now 50th (South African) Heavy Artillery Group preparing with other artillery batteries for what became known as the Cambrai operations. The total artillery force was more than 1000 guns. 

This action was unique in that numerous developments since 1915 matured at Cambrai, such as coordinated combined artillery, infantry, tank, and close air support. Infiltration tactics were used and predicted artillery fire with sound ranging was employed, without alerting the enemy with ranging shots, or a lengthy preliminary bombardment. 

The operation took place between 20-November 1917 and 30-December 1917. The British attack surprised the Germans, and initially the British made deep advances into the German defences along the Hindenburg Line. The 59th Siege Battery was positioned with 12th Division which was assigned to III Corps, at their Group Headquarters at Heudecourt, south west of Gouzeaucourt. 

The German’s counter attacked at 07:00 on 30-November almost immediately, the majority of III Corps divisions were soon heavily engaged. The German infantry advance, including machine gun fire from aircraft, in the south was unexpectedly swift breaking through the British lines and leading to the evacuation of Group Headquarters at Gouzeaucourt, and the artillery positions. Soon the guns of all the batteries fell into enemy hands but not until the gunners had removed the breech blocks, rendering them unusable. The Group Headquarters was established at Fins and the personnel of all batteries assembled there. It was during this attack that Thomas was critically wounded and died from his wounds later that day. He was buried at the nearby New British Fins Cemetery, Fins, Somme-Picardy, France Grave Reference II. E. 11. 

Thomas was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Allies Victory Medal.

1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Allies Victory Medal
1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Allies Victory Medal
6th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment

Private Leonard Davis

Service Number 19914 and 14674

6th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment

Born 1893

Died 23-March 1918

Archibald Herbert Davis was born in 1892 in the hamlet of Closworth, Dorset and baptised Archie at the Church of All Saints, Closworth on 05-November 1893. He was recorded as Archie in all civil records and the name Archibald Herbert appears only on his military and associated records. 

Archie was the ninth of thirteen children, nine boys and four girls, born to Frederick Davis and his wife Elizabeth Sartin who were married on 08-September 1878 at the Church of St Juthware and St Mary, Halstock, Dorset. 

His siblings were Wyndham born in 1879, Clifford born 1881, Reginald John born 1882, Maud Mary born 1884, Bessie born 1886, James born 1888, Elsie born 1890, Fred born 1892, Helena born 1895, Leonard born 1897, Nelson born 1899, Oscar born 1900. 

Archie’s father Frederick was born in 1857 in Corscombe, Dorset and baptised on 24-August 1857 at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe. Frederick lived with his parents John Wareham and his wife Edith Meech at Lovelands, Corscombe at the time of the 1861 Census and in Corscombe at the time of the 1871 Census. 

Elizabeth Sartin was born in Corscombe in 1855 and baptised at the Church of St Mary, Corscombe on 28-October 1855 the daughter of James Sartin and his wife Mary Taylor Edwards. They were recorded as living in Corscombe at the time of the 1861 and 1871 Censuses but were recorded as living in Halstock at the time of her wedding, on 08-September 1878 at the Church of St Juthware and St Mary, Halstock, to Frederick. 

Frederick was employed as a Carpenter and lived with Elizabeth and their children in Corscombe at the time of the 1881 and 1891 Censuses. By the 1901 Census they had moved to Halstock Leigh and in 1903 Elizabeth died aged 48 years. 

Frederick continued working and in the 1911 Census he is still following the trade of a Carpenter but is recorded as visiting the Trask family at Norton sub Hamdon, Somerset. Frederick died in 1927 aged 70 years.

Pedigree Chart for Leonard Davis

Wyndham was born in Corscombe in 1879 and lived with his parents in Halstock in the 1881 Census. In the 1891 Census he is living with his Grandparents John and Edith Davis in Corscombe. Between 1891 and 1900 Wyndham met and married Mabel Ada Hawkins on 29-September 1900 at the Church of St Peter, Brixton, by which time Wyndham is working as a Tram Conductor. Although having been born in Camden Town, Middlesex, in the 1891 Census Mable was working as a Nurse Maid and Servant to the Rector of the Church of St John, Melcombe Regis, Weymouth, Dorset and it is thought they met whilst Mabel was working in Dorset and they both moved to Brixton. At the time of the 1901 Census Wyndham and Mable are living in Lambeth, Surrey where they have three sons, Arthur Wyndham born 1904, William Clifford born 1906, and Reginald James born 1908. They lived in Wandsworth, Surrey, at the time of the 1911 Census. Both Wyndham and Mable died in Balham, Surrey, Mabel died in 1937 aged 62 years, and Wyndham on 07-November 1939 aged 60 years. 

Clifford was born on 02-February 1881 in Corscombe and baptised on 24-April 1881 at the Church of St Juthware and Mary, Halstock. Clifford is recorded as living with his parents in the 1881 and 1891 Census. Between the 1891 and 1901 Census Clifford moved to London as in the 1901 Census he is working as a Butler and boarding with Harriett Stone in Hanover Square, Knightsbridge, Middlesex. Whilst living in London he met and married Ida Susette Lewis, the daughter of Charles A Lewis and his wife Susannah, in 1910 in Wandsworth, Surrey and in the 1911 Census they are living in Wandsworth and Clifford is employed as a Tram Driver. No record of any children has been found. Both Clifford and Ida lived in Wandsworth until their deaths Ida in 1961 aged 72 years, and Clifford in 1964 aged 83 years. 

Reginald John was born in 1882 in Corscombe and lived with his parents until sometime between 1891 and 1901 when he moved to London and was employed as a Footman. He met and married Susan Grace Houghton, the daughter of Henry Edwin Houghton and his wife Susan Temperance Haynes, on 19-April 1904 at the Church of St James, Norland, Kensington, Middlesex. Reginald and Susan Grace had one child a son Reginald born in 1908 in Hammersmith, Middlesex. Reginald died on 17-April 1908 in the Hammersmith Parish Infirmary aged 26 years, of heart failure when suffering from lobar pneumonia. Susan Grace remarried on 13-August 1921 to Guy James Gosling at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Paddington and lived in Paddington until her death on 02-March 1946 aged 60 years. 

Maud Mary was born in 1884 in Corscombe and lived with her parents until she married George Parsons Hann on 26-December 1910 at the Church of St Thomas, Telford Park, Streatham, Surrey. George was born on the 14-February 1873 in Haydon and baptised on 20-April 1873 at the Church of St Catharine, Haydon, Dorset. He enlisted in the Royal Marines Light Infantry on 15-July 1895 and was promoted during his career to Staff Sergeant Major and on the 01-Januuary 1920 he was promoted to Lieutenant. George served throughout World War I and was awarded the Victory and British War Medals together with the Meritorious Service Medal. After their marriage, Maud and George lived in East Stonehouse, Devon where they had two children Elsie Mary born 1912 and Frederick George born 1915 before moving to Yeovil, Somerset. Both Maud and George settled in Yeovil. Maud died in 1936 aged 52 years and George on 10-Sepember 1948 aged 75 years 

Bessie was born on 15-March 1886 in Corscombe and was recorded living with her parents on the dates of the 1891 and 1901 Census. In the 1911 Census, when her father was visiting the Trask family at Norton sub Hamdon, Somerset, Bessie, following her mother’s death in 1903, is recorded as looking after Fred, Archie, Helena, Leonard, Nelson and Oscar. In 1916 Bessie married Harry Pitman, the son of Henry Farr Pitman and his wife Lydia Newman, in Yeovil and they have four sons; Charles John born 1917, Walter James born 1918, William Henry born 1920, Victor Albert born 1923. Both Bessie and Harry lived in Yeovil and both died there, Bessie in 1951 aged 65 years, and Harry on 16-March 1959 aged 79 years.

James was born on 21-July 1888 and was recorded living with his parents on the dates of 1891 and 1901 Censuses. In the 1911 Census, he is lodging with the Pearce family in Halstock, Dorset employed as an Agricultural Labourer. On 31-August 1914 he attested into the 3rd Dragoon Guards at Yeovil and joined 4th Reserve Regiment Cavalry on 06-September 1914 based at the Riding School Assaye Barracks, Tidworth Wiltshire. It was at the Riding School that James sustained a leg injury whilst on duty which was diagnosed as Periostitis of the left tibia on 29-December 1914. Medical examinations on 28-February 1915 and again on 28-March 1915 found his injury had not responded to treatment and on the 01-February 1917 James was transferred as Army Reserve Class W (soldiers whose services are deemed to be more valuable to the country in civil rather than military employment). He was assigned for employment at the HM Munitions Factory at Avonmouth which was used to manufacture mustard gas and to charge and fill artillery shells. On 03-April 1917James transferred to Army Reserve Class P (whose services are deemed to be temporarily of more value to the country in civil life rather than in the Army’ – and who were not lower than medical grade C iii and as a result of having served in the Army would, if discharged, be eligible for a pension on the grounds of disability or length of service) and was finally discharge as medically unfit for war service on 26-July 1917.Whilst working at Avonmouth James married Lilian Maud Neate, the daughter of Thomas Perry Neate and his wife Sarah Jane Douse, at Devizes Registry Office on 22-February 1917 and they lived in Devizes before settling in Yeovil. James and Lilian had two children; Reginald Kenneth born in Devizes 1919 and Rhona May born in 1925. James, and Lilian both died in Yeovil James in 1966 aged 78 years and Lilian in 1973 aged 82 years. 

Elsie was born on 07-November 1890 in Corscombe and was recorded living with her parents on the dates of the 1891 and 1901 Census. In the date 1911 Census Elsie is employed as a Cook and living in the household of Ptolemy Augustus Colmen a Physician Surgeon in Yeovil. Elsie married Frederick Charles Miller, the son of Richard Miller and his wife Mary Francis Purchase, on the 20-August 1912 at the Church of St John, Yeovil. They had three daughters Susan M born 1940, Geraldine born 1942, and Deborah C born 1953. Elsie and Frederick settled in Yeovil were they both died, Frederick in1962 aged 75 years, and Elsie in 1976 aged 86 years. 

Fred was born on the 13-November 1891 in Barwick, Somerset and lived with his parents on the date of the 1901 Census, and his sister Bessie, on the date of the 1911 Census. On 09-June 1914 Fred enlisted into the Dorset Regiment, joined them on 11-June 1914 and was posted to the 3rd Battalion Dorset Regiment on 08-August 1914. On 14-September 1914 Fred was admitted to the Sidney Hall Military Hospital, Weymouth, Dorset, with the following stated on his Medical History Sheet – “noisy, excitable, has to be forcibly restrained, refuses to take food, strikes out at his attendants, incoherent in his speech, threatened to throw himself out of a window and commit suicide. Refused to stay in bed and take any medicine.” The reason for this behaviour was not known but was not caused by military service as between joining in August 1914 and his admission to hospital in September 1914 he would have only been undergoing initial training. Although Fred did respond to treatment he remained depressed and on 10-November 1914 was discharge from the Dorset Regiment as not physically fit for war service. Records of Fred could not be traced after his discharge. 

Archie was born in 1892 in Closworth and was baptised Archie at the Church of All Saints, Closworth on 05-November 1893, although his military records record his name as Archibald Harold. He joined the 1st Battalion of the Dorset Regiment before the outbreak of World War I and landed in France on 16-August 1914. He took part in the major battles during late 1914 and early 1915 and suffered the effects of chlorine gas poisoning during the 2nd Battle of Ypres during late May 1915. He was evacuated back to the England and was admitted to the Summerdown Camp Military Convalescent Hospital, Eastbourne, Sussex, also known as the 

Eastbourne Military Hospital. On the 29-May 1915 he died from the effects of Poison Gas at the aged 22 years and was buried at Eastbourne (Ocklynge) Cemetery, Eastbourne. 

Helena was born in 1895 in Barwick, Somerset, baptised at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Barwick on 25-August 1895, and was recorded living with her parents on the date of the 1901 Census, and her sister Bessie on the date of the 1911 Census. Helena was disabled from birth, did not marry, and died in 1932 aged 37 years, probably in Corscombe. 

Nelson was born in 1899 in Halstock, baptised at the Church of St Juthware and St Mary, Halstock on 29-October 1900 and was recorded living with his parents on the date of the 1901 Census and his sister Bessie on the date of the 1911 Census. Nelson married Ellen Pascoe, the daughter of William Henry Pascoe and his wife Annie Elizabeth Saunders, in Weymouth in 1923. Nelson and Ellen settled in the Weymouth area where they both died, Nelson in Chickerill on 07-December 1952 aged 53 years and Ellen died in 1959 in Weymouth aged 61 years. 

Oscar was born in 1900 in Halstock, baptised at the Church of St Juthware and St Mary, Halstock on 29-October 1900 and was recorded living with his parents on the date of the 1901 Census and his sister Bessie on the date of the 1911 Census. No other record has been found for Oscar and he died in Bridport in 1941 aged 41 years. 

Leonard enlisted with 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry in 1914. The 1st Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry was stationed at the Curragh on the 04-August 1914 and were mobilised to the Western Front as part of 14th Brigade of the 5th Division. On 15-August 1914. They landed at La Havre as part of the British Expeditionary Force and took part in the major battles on the western front during World War 1. 

In May 1915 the 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry were engaged in the Second Battle of Ypres as part of the 5th Division and on 23-May 1915, as preparations were being made for the engagement which became known as The Battle of Bellewaarde, Leonard was admitted to No 8 Casualty Clearing Station, probably from 13th Field Ambulance Unit, which was assigned to the 5th Division, with a bullet wound to the chest. No 8 Casualty Clearing Station was located approximately 10 miles southwest of Ypres and here he was treated before being sent back to England to recover possibly by the Base Hospital at Le Havre. It is possible that during his convalesce Leonard requested to be transferred to the 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment once he was fit which may have been influenced by his brother Archie who died in Eastbourne on 29-May 1915 from the effects of a poisoned gas attack while serving with 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment in the action at Hill 60 near Ypres. 

The actual dates when Leonard transferred from the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry to the 1st Dorsetshire Regiment and then to the 6th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment has not been ascertained as his Service Records were lost during the bombing and subsequent fire that engulfed the archive during World War II but from records available he was part of the 6th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment at the beginning of 1918. The 6th Battalion was a service battalion which provides combat service support to a brigade group and its elements. A service battalion can fight in a defensive role as well as provide the vital logistical support to sustain the operations of the other units within the brigade group. 

In the Spring of 1918 the Germans began a major military offensive known as Operation Michael. It was launched from the Hindenburg Line, in vicinity of Saint Quentin on 21-March 1918. The goal was to break through the Allied lines, and advance in a north-westerly direction to seize the Channel ports, which supplied the British forces, and to drive the British Expeditionary Force into the sea. This campaign titled the First Battles of the Somme 1918, by the British, commenced on the 21-March and lasted to 04-July 1918, when the German advance was finally halted due to logistic problems with the stretched German supply lines.

The initial phases of the campaign included the Battle of St Quentin 21-March to 23-March, Actions at the Somme Crossings 24-March to 25-March, Battle of Bapaume 24-March to 25-March, Battle of Rosieres 25-March to 27-March and Battle of Arras 28-March. The Third Army imcluding the 6th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment were engaged in the battles of St Quentin, Bapaume and Arras, and the fighting was intense. The British lines were badly fragmented and highly fluid, as the remnants of the divisions were fighting and moving in small bodies, often composed of men of different units. The Third Army suffered significant losses in the order of 15,000 men killed, many with no known grave. It was during these exchanges on 28-March close to Arras that Leonard was killed aged 21 years. Leonard’s body was either not found or identified and he is commemorated on Bay 6 of the Arras Memorial. 

Leonard was posthumously awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal and the Allies Victory Medal. 

1914 Star, British War Medal and Allies Victory Medal.
1914 Star, British War Medal and Allies Victory Medal.
1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Infantry

Private Arthur Ivan Sartin

Service Number 31804

1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Infantry

Born 1897

Died 23-August 1918

Arthur Ivan Sartin was born 1897 in Corscombe, Dorset, the fifth of nine children four boys and five girls born to James Sartin and his wife Anne Gough who were married 19-July 1886 at the Church of St Osmond, Melbury Osmund, Dorset. 

His siblings were Melinda Laura A born 1888, Florence Ella Fanny born 1890, Freda Olive Gough born 1892, Eva Rubie Gough born 1895, William Alfred born 1899, Henry Gerald born 1902, Gladys Muriel born 1904, and Denzil Albert born 1908. 

Arthur’s father, William James was born in Corscombe in 1861 and lived with his parents James Burt and his wife Elizabeth Burt in Corscombe at the time of the 1871 and 1881 Census and was a Mason like his father. 

Ann Gough was born in Melbury Osmond in 1862 and baptised at the Church of St Osmond, Melbury Osmund on 26-June 1863. Ann was living with her parents William James and his wife Charlotte Hurlstone at the time of the 1871 Census and at the time of the 1871 Census is recorded as being employed as a live in Kitchen Maid at the Three Cloughs in Yeovil, Somerset. 

William is recorded as a Mason in the 1881 and 1891 Census and as a Bricklayer in the 1901 and 1911 Census. Both William and Ann died in Corcombe, Ann in 1911 aged 49 years and William in 1946 aged 75 years. 

Pedigree Chart for ArthurIvan Sartin

Melinda Laura A was in born in Corscombe on 16-May 1887 and was living with her parents at the time of the 1891 Census and recorded living with the Conway family in Benville, employed as a Domestic Servant in the 1901 Census. Melinda met Ernest Robert Lane, the son of Robert Lane and his wife Charlotte Anne Vowell, a Carter, and they were married in Bristol in 1908 and in the 1911 Census they are living with their three children, Reginald Ernest born 1908, Henry Ernest born 1910 and Ann Violet born 1912, in Yeovil. They lived the rest

of their lives in Yeovil where they both died, Melinda in 1939 aged 51 years, and Ernest in 1938 aged 50 years. 

Florence Ella Fanny was born in Corscombe on 21-December 1889 and lived at home with her parents until her marriage. Florence married Joseph Penny Sandy, a Dairyman, son of Edward Sandy and his wife Christiana Ruth Phelps, on 07-August 1911 at the Church of St Mary, West Fordington, Dorchester. They had four daughters Ella Joyce born 1912, Margaret Muriel born 1914, Pearl Christine born 1915, and Joan born 1917. Florence and Joseph both died in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Florence died on 10 April 1960 aged 70 years and Joseph in 1974 aged 86 years. 

Freda Olive Gough was born in Corscombe on 18-March 1893 and was living at home with her parents at the time of the 1901 Census. The 1911 Census records Freda as living at the Girls School, Hendford Hill, Yeovil, where she was employed as a Cook. Freda met and married Edward George Bishop, son of Edward G Bishop and his wife Mary Ann Hayward, an Outfitting Shop Assistant, in Yeovil in 1915. Edward died on 28-February 1919 at the age of 31. On 05-June 1919 Freda married Richard Arthur Walley, son of John Owen Walley and his wife Alice May Weate, an RAF Flight Cadet at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, West Fordington, Dorchester. They moved to Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, where Richard worked as a Wholesale Fruit Merchant. They both died in Wolverhampton, Richard on 29-January 1965 aged 75 years and Freda in 1993 aged 101 years. 

Eva Rubie Gough born in Corscombe in 1895, was living at home with her parents at the time of the 1901 Census. The 1911 Census records Eva living with Walter William Francis, a Farmer and his family, in Tolpuddle, Dorset working as a Dairy Helper. No record of Eva has been found after the 1911 Census. 

William Alfred born in Corscombe in 1899, was living at home with his parents at the time of the 1901 Census but died in 1910 in Corscombe aged 11 years. 

Henry Gerald born in Corscombe in 1902, was living at home with his parents at the time of the 1911 Census. Henry met and married Alice Amelia Tosspell the daughter ofWalter Herbert Tosspell and his wife Alice Daveney in 1923 in Wandsworth, Middlesex. They had four children Geraldine P born 1923, Joyce Barbara born 1925, Pamela Jean born in 1927 and John Trevor born in 1934. Henry and Alice lived in the Isleworth, Middlesex, area, Gerald died in Lambeth in 1973 aged 71 years and Alice died in Hounslow in 1979 aged 79 years. 

Gladys Muriel born in Corscombe in 1904 and was recorded living at home with her parents at the time of the 1911 Census. Gladys met and married Walter William Batten the son of William Batten and his wife Alice Lloyd, in Christchurch, Dorset, in 1924 and they had three children Stuart Walter born 1926, Muriel born 1928, and Joan born 1929. Walter joined the Royal Navy at the outbreak of World War 2 and joined the crew of the aircraft carrier HMS GLORIOUS where he served as a Stoker. Walter was lost at sea on 09-June 1942 aged 36 years when HMS GLORIOUS was sunk by the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau which was a controversial and dramatic action in the sea off Norway. Gladys died in East Devon in 2002 aged 98 years. 

Denzil Albert born in Corscombe on 23-August 1908 was living at home with his parents at the time of the 1911 Census. He met and married Francis Lydia Osmond Mann, the daughter of Frederick John Mann and his wife Hannah (Hettie) Zillwood, in Wolverhampton in 1949 and they had one son Richard D, born 1950. Denzil and Francis lived in Wolverhampton all their lives and both died there, Francis in 1995 aged 88 years and Denzil in 1998 aged 90 years. 

The date Arthur Ivan Sartin joined the 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry has not been ascertained but was deployed to France after 31-December 1915 as he was not awarded the 1914-15 Star. At the outbreak of the First World War the 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry was stationed at the Curragh in Ireland and were part of 14th Brigade in 5th 

Infantry Division. The 1st Battalion deployed straight from Britain to the Western Front in August 1914 and landed at Le Havre on 15-August 1914, as part of the original British Expeditionary Force, and spent all but six months of the conflict on the Western Front. 5th Infantry Division including 14th Brigade was transferred to the Third Army when it was formed in France on 13-July 1915, and on 12-January 1916, the 1st Battalion was transferred to 95th Brigade and remained in 5th Infantry Division of the Third Army. In November 1917, the Division was deployed to Italy and served on the Italian Front where they strengthened Italian resistance after the disaster of the Battle of Caporetto and were positioned along the River Piaye. In April 1918, the Battalion returned to France after only six months, and were positioned in Frevent 32km (20 miles) west of Arras. On returning to France in April 1918, the1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry were held in reserve until August when they took up positions east of Arras for the start of the second phase of the 100 Days Offensive which was the last major campaign of the First World War. On 08-August 1918, the Hundred Days’ Offensive commenced on the Western Front with the first engagement of this campaign known as the Battle of Amiens (08-August to 12-August). This was an attack by the Canadian and Australian Corps and pushed the German lines back 8 km (5 miles). The advance petered out after four days after the Germans began to regroup and shore up their defences. 

The commander of the British Expeditionary Force, Field Marshall Douglas Haig, recognised that it was time to put pressure elsewhere on the German front lines and, decided to use the Third Army. Haig decided that the Bapaume sector, with the town of Bapaume at its center, was to be the new focus of operations. This second phase is known as the Second Battles of the Somme 1918 and had two major confrontations; Battle of Albert (21-August to 23-August) and Battle of Bapaume (31-August to 03-September).The initial attacks associated with the Battle of Albert developed into an advance, which pushed the German 2nd Army back along an 80 km (50-mile) front line and opened the advance, with the main attack being launched by the Third Army along with support from the Fourth Army. The Second Battle of Bapaume, from 25-August to 03-September, was a continuation of this battle. On 23-August, the 18th (Eastern) Division took Albert, with the British and Americans advancing on Arras. It was on the 23-August, the last day of the Battle of Albert, that Arthur Ivan Sartin was killed. Arthur’s body was either not found or identified and he is commemorated on Panel 6 of the Vis-en-Artois Memorial at the Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, Pas-de-Calais, France. 

Arthur was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Allies Victory Medal 

British War Medal and Allies Victory Medal
British War Medal and Allies Victory Medal

Acknowledgements

Looking back 100 years is fraught with danger even with the records now made available by family history and archives online hence I am grateful for the help given to me by the following: 

  • Paul Hawkins for confirmation of the research into the Hawkins family 
  • Tim Louth for the confirmation of the research of the immediate family of Private Christopher Downton, and permission to include copies of his final letter home, medals and gravestone. 
  • Ted Wareham for the confirmation of the research of the immediate family of Sergeant Thomas George Wareham and the circumstances when he was killed. 
  • Ann Barker for the confirmation of the research of the immediate family of Private Arthur Genge. 
  • Janice Pryke for copying many documents. 
  • Jane Mills and her fellow researchers at Dorset Regimental Museum. 
  • Members of the Corscombe Local History Group. 

In addition, the following references and archives were accessed: 

  • Ancestry Family History Website 
  • Dorset Regimental Museum 
  • Library and Archives of Canada Website 
  • National Archives 
  • The Long, Long Trail Website 
  • Wikipedia Website
About Corscombe

Corscombe is a small village in West Dorset of some five thousand acres that has a population of around 450 people and according to the last census in 2011 a total of 207 houses.

Corscombe village sits on very high ground (830 feet above sea level) and a mile from Toller Down which is one of the highest hills in Dorset.

It is designated as area of outstanding natural beauty.

Corscombe Village Hall, Corscombe, Dorchester,
DT2 0NU, Dorset, England

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