ALL ABOUT
TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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ARTHUR JOSEPH PARKER-A SOUTHBOROUGH PLUMBER AND BUILDER

Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date: December 17,2016

Arthur Joseph Parker was born 1882 in Southborough, one of at least five children born to William Parker, a cricket ball maker, born 1842 in Tunbridge Wells, and Susan Parler, born 1841 at Burks, Little Missenden,Buckinghamshire.

The 1891 census, taken at 49 Taylor Street in Southborough gave William Parker as a cricket ball maker employing others. With him was his wife Susan and their children (1) Emily S, age 22,dressmaker (2) Edith,age 15, dressmaker (3) Harry,age 15 (twin),cricket ball makers assistant (4) Floria,age 11 (5) Arthur Joseph,age 7. All of the children were born in Southborough.

Southborough was noted for many years in its history as a place where many residents were involved in cricket ball making. Details of this activity were reported on in my article ‘The History of Cricket Ball Making in Southborough’ dated April 14,2013. In part the ‘Overview of that article stated “Southborough became world famous for crick ball making. In the middle of the 19th century it was a centre for ‘Quiltwinders’ who made the cricket balls. The first recorded makers were Philip Wickham and Joseph Smith of Modest Corner. What began as a cottage industry grew quickly until the making of cricket balls and brickmaking became the two largest employers in the area. As the industry grew others entered the trade with perhaps Thomas Twort and John Martin being the best known, having begun business  in about 1853. Other makers during the 19th century in Southborough were George Avery,Henry Parker,John Sales Holden,Leonard Woodhams.A number of partnerships were formed and sons joined their fathers in the business creating such firms as Thomas Twort and Sons; John Martin and Son;Parker & Mercer;Wichham & Son; and Cook & Wickham”.

The 1901 census, taken at 44 Holden Road in Southborough gave William Parker as a “cricket ball maker on own account at home”. With him was his wife Susan; his daughter Flora, a “dressmaker on own account at home”, and Arthur Joseph Parker an “apprentice painter and decorator”.

On September 4, 1905 Arthur Joseph Parker married Dorothy  Anna Martin in Tunbridge Wells and with her had just one child, a daughter Dorothy Irene Parker who was born May 1,1906 in Southborough, and later became the wife of a Mr Poile.

Soon after the marriage Arthur opened his plumbers shop at 146 London Road (photo above). The photograph of his shop shows that in addition to being a plumber he was a Sanitary Engineer and a gas hot water fitter.

His shop at 146 London Road is listed under the heading of plumbers in the directories of 1913,1918 and 1922. By 1930 he had given up these premises. Directories of 1930,1934 and 1938 gave Arthur Joseph parker, under the heading of building trades, at Doric Avenue,which was his private residence, and with his works on Bedford Road in Southborough.

The 1911 census, taken at 146 London Road gave Arthur Joseph Parker as a “builder etc at home”. With him was his wife Dorothy A Parker, who had been born in Tunbridge Wells in 1882. Also in the home was his daughter Dorothy Irene Parker. The census also recorded that the family was living in premises of 5 rooms; that they had been married in 1905 and that the couple had just the one child.

Joseph had served in WW 1. His military records show that he was “deemed to have enlisted” June 24,1916 with the rank of private. He was attested and called up for service on January 25,1917 and was a Sapper (No. 231968) with the Royal Engineers. He was placed in the Royal Engineers because he had the skilled trade of “plumber” as noted in his records. He also noted that his wife was Dorothy Anna Parker, nee Martin, and that he had a daughter Dorothy Irene Parker, all of whom in 1917 were residing at the shop  at 146 London Road. He served with the 2nd Res Btn of the Royal Engineers and was dischared as “no longer physically fit for service” on May 18,1918.

During the time he was away in the war one of his assistants ran the business for him, but took it over after his military service had ended.

Arthur Joseph Parker became quite successful and expanded his business , becoming a noted builder of homes in Southborough. The Kent & Sussex Courier of January 12,2015 had an interesting article that referred to him under the heading of “Memories are sturred in visit to childhood home”, a story about Cory Roberts who grew up in Southborough in one of the homes on Doric Avenue that had been built by Arthur Joseph Parker. A photo of Cory Roberts when he was age 10 is shown opposite and below are two other photos from the article, namely a photo of his home on Doric Avenue and a view of Southborough during the time he lived there in the 1940’s. Cory Roberts commented on how his 4 bedroom semi- detached home looked at the time of his visit and how it had changed and stated that his parents Erasmus and Glady Roberts had taken up residence there in 1936. He said in part “ The house was roomy, all electric and had the luxury of a separate bathroom and a hot water heater. The home was much brighter, airier and lighter than I remembered it”…” New modern houses like those in Doric Avenue and neighbouring West Hill and Breedon Avenue were built by Robert’s  next door neighbour, Arthur Parker”.

Arthur’s wife Dorothy Anna Parker had died in Southborough in 1948. Her probate record gave Dorothy Anna Parker of 2 Doric Avenue, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, the wife of Arthur Joseph Parker, died September 26,1948 at Summer Court Nursing Home, Park Road, Southborough. The executors of her estate was her husband and her married daughter Dorothy Irene Poile, the wife of Geoffrey Vincett Poile. She left an estate valued at 3,308 pounds. She was buried in the Southborough Cemetery.

Probate records for Arthur Joseph Parker gave him of ‘Dawnhurst’ 2 Doric Avenue, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, when he died March 5,1960. The executors of his 26,476 pound estate was his married daughter Dorothy Irene Poile and Harold John Snell, solicitor. Arthur was buried in the Southborough Cemetery on March 9,1960.

 

PEMBURY WAR MEMORIAL TRANSCRIPTIONS

Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date; August 15,2016

Researched and compiled by Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada based on original research and transcriptions by Richard Snow of Pembury, Kent.

The War Memorial in Hastings Road ,Pembury.Kent, was unveiled and dedicated on Sunday 25 September 1921 by Rev. H. Sinclair Brooke, MA (Vicar of Pembury 1898-1918). It is located on Pembury Road outside St Peters Upper Church. Shown opposite is a postcard view of the war memorial by Tunbridge Wells photographer and postcard printer/publisher Harold H. Camburn.

The site was given by the Marquis Camden, and the Portland StoneMemorial stands 16 feet high, and cost £365 19/4d., which apparently took quite a long time to raise. It was designed by well-known local Architects Ashley S. Kilby and the work was executed by Messrs. Burslem and Sons of Tunbridge Wells. The Service (programme in Pembury Library) included the Last Post and Reveille and the National Anthem at the end of the Service. The Roll of Honour was read by Mr C.R. Bosanquet.

Upon the war memorial was initially installed a bronze plaque on which the names of 49 men were recorded who lost their lives in WW 1. After WW II a second plaque was installed below it recording the names of the fallen in that war. As was the case with most, if not all war memorials ,there were some errors in the names as engraved.These errors have not been corrected on the war memorial plaques. The transcriptions below provide the names as engraved and the correct information.

There  are also three plaques in the St Peter’s Church on Hastings Road. One is a large plaque with several names. Second plaque is small and gives only Mathew Charles Dixon. A third has only Lt. L. Woodgate.There is also a plaque with nine names for WW 1 at the Pembury Free Chapel.There is also a war memorial exclusively for those lost in the Boer War.

 

 

 

WORLD WAR 1 TRANSCRIPTIONS

[1] EDWARD ARNOLD……………. ARNOLD, Edward – Sapper 541121, 497th (Kent) Field Company, Royal Engineers. Served in the Dardanelles and Egypt.Wounded in action on 2 March 1917, and had his left leg amputated. Died 9 March, aged 23. Born in Tunbridge Wells, enlisted Gillingham. Born in Tunbridge Wells 1894 and lived in Pembury. He is buried in Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Somme, France. Grave 111.C.40. He is also listed on the war memorial plaque in St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[2] STEPHEN BALDOCK…………. BALDOCK, Stephen Thomas – Private G5058, 2nd Battalion Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). Served with the British Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders. Severely wounded in May 1915 and invalided home. On recovery went to Mesopotamia in February 1916 and was killed in action there. Died 28 October 1918, aged 28 and unmarried. Born Lamberhurst 1891, enlisted Tonbridge. Lived Little Bayhall Farm, Pembury, where he was employed as a milkman by David Smith. 2nd Son of Charles Henry Baldock of 4 Woodland Villas, Pembury and formerly Great Bayhall. He is buried in Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery in Iraq. Grave XV111, F1/29. (Also on Lamberhurst War Memorial). He is also recorded on the war memorial plaque in St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[3] GEORGE BARDEN………… BARDEN, George – 471982 Sapper 363 Forestry Company, Royal Engineers. Died of wounds 17 April 1918, age 32. Born Godstone, Surrey, enlisted Tunbridge Wells. Formerly a Timber feller. Son of Edward and Jane Barden of Pembury. Brother of Edward of Knights Place Lodge, Pembury. Buried Choques Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Grave 111.C.14. Had two other brothers serving in France. He was formerly Private, 5198 of the Durhan Light Infantry. He is also recorded on the war memorial plaque in St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[4] GEORGE BATCHELLER………… BATCHELLER, George – (possibly) 115212 Gunner 225th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. Died 28 March 1917, aged 33. Born Pembury, son of Robert and Julia Batcheller of Maidstone. Husband of Minnie Highley of 28 High Street,Chatham,Kent . Enlisted Tonbridge, lived Maidstone. Buried Faubourg D’Amiens Cemetery, Arras, Pas de Calais, France. Grave 11.L.28.  He is also recorded on the war memorial plaque in St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[5] ARTHUR CHATFIELD………… CHATFIELD, Arthur Warden – G/13452 Corporal, 7th Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Went to France in December 1916. Died 6 November 1918, age 28. Son of Alfred Chatfield of The Chippings, Lower Green,Pembury, and of the late Mary Jane Chatfield,nee Suter.Remembered on Panel 3 of the Vis-en- Artois Memorial Pas de Calais, France, which commemorates 9,000 men who have no known grave between the Somme and Loos. Born Waldron, Sussex. Enlisted Lower Green, Pembury aged 18. Lived at The Chippings, Lower Green Road, Pembury. Member of the Baptist Church, Pembury. Address at death was Lower Lodge, Blackhurst Lane, Pembury. Had a brother, Percy C. Chatfield..  He is also recorded on the war memorial plaque in St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.He is also commemorated on his late mothers’ headstone in the Pembury Non-conformist burial ground Grave Ref. S.282.D “In Loving Memory of our dear mother Mary Jane Chatfied who died January 29th 1911. At Rest. Also of our dear brother Arthur Warden who was reported missing 23rd March 1918”. At the time of the 1901 census, the Chatfield family resided at 1, Sharps Cottages, Lamberhurst, Tonbridge, Kent. Head of the house was 48 year old Maresfield, Sussex native Alfred Chatfield, who was employed as an Agricultural Labourer. Arthur formerly served as Private, 421, 2/1st Kent Cyclist Battalion, he enlisted for 4 years in the Territorial Force on Friday 7 May 1909, at which time he stated that he was 18 years and 8 months old, and was an unemployed Chauffer residing at The Chippings, Lower Green, Pembury, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. The day after enlisting in the Territorial Force, Arthur was attested at Tonbridge, Kent for service in the Kent Cyclist Battalion. On Wednesday 8 November 1916 Arthur was appointed to a Lance Corporal in the 2/1st Kent Cyclist Battalion. He embarked and arrived in France on Saturday 16 December 1916, and was initially posted to the 1st Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). On Friday 9 February 1917 Arthur was at Etaples, Pas de Calais when he was transferred to the 7th (Service) Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) and given the regimental number G/13452. Between Wednesday 21 March 1917 and Thursday 3 May 1917, Arthur served as an Acting Corporal having trained and qualified as a Machine Gunner, and on the latter date he was then promoted to the rank of Corporal. On Wednesday 9 January 1918 Arthur was granted 14 days leave to the United Kingdom. Resulting from the action fought by the 7th (Service) Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) on Saturday 23 March 1918, it being the third day of the 1918 German Spring Offensive, at least 27 other ranks serving in Arthur’s battalion died, in addition to the fatalities several others were wounded and/or captured and were initially posted as Missing In Action, included amongst those who had been taken prisoner was Arthur. Unfortunately it is unclear exactly when it was that Arthur died whilst he was a prisoner of war of the Germans, and as such his date of death as entered above is the same as that which is shown on his Commonwealth War Graves Commission commemoration details and is an estimated date of death. On Wednesday 7 January 1920, due to the lack of any form of supporting documentation appertaining to Arthur’s exact date of death the Army Council made the decision that for official purposes, it was to be assumed that Arthur had died whilst he was a prisoner of war between Tuesday 6 August 1918 and Wednesday 6 November 1918. Notification of the decision by the Army Council was sent to Arthur’s sister Miss Eva Mary Chatfield (1886 – 1973) of The Chippings, Lower Green, Pembury, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent on Saturday 10 January 1920. Other correspondence regarding Arthur was sent to Thomas Startup who was an Engine Driver and Albert Palmer who was an Insurance Agent, c/o Messer’s Elvy, Robb & Berry (Solicitors) of 49, Mount Pleasant, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. In November 1920 Arthur’s medals were sent to his brother Percy Cyril Chatfield of “Lower Lodge,” Blackhurst Lane, Pembury, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, after he had signed a form of guarantee to hand them over to anybody having a prior claim to them. Like his late brother Arthur Chatfield, Southborough, Kent native Percy Cyril Chatfield (1893-1953) had also initially served in the Kent Cyclist Battalion and was later transferred to The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) during the Great War.A photo of him is shown opposite.

[6] MURRAY L. CHRISTIE (D.S.O.)………..His name is given incorrectly and should have been MURRAY I. CHRISTIE. He is also recorded as follows on the Tonbridge War Memorial………Murray Inglis Christie D.S.O. was born at Sydenham in 1889, the son of George and Edith Christie. The family moved to Tonbridge in the early 1900s, where George Christie was a wine merchant. In August 1914 Murray initiated and organised “A” Company 1st Mid Kent Volunteer Fencibles, of which he was the platoon commander. He then enlisted in the Honourable Artillery Company and subsequently obtained a commission in the Royal Fusiliers. He won his D.S.O. on 20th September 1917 for leading his men with great bravery to take their objective whilst under heavy enemy fire. On February 18th 1918 he married Kathleen Dunham at Tonbridge, and whilst on that same leave collected his D.S.O. at Buckingham Palace. Whilst serving as Captain, “A” Company 32nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers, he took part in the fierce fighting of the German Spring Offensive and was mortally wounded on the 24th March 1918. He is buried at Bienvillers Military Cemetery. A photograph of him is shown opposite (‘Murray I Christie’).Transcription from Pembury researchers gave the following. CHRISTIE, Murray Inglis – Captain “A” Company 32nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. Served in France, Flanders and Italy. Awarded the D.S.O. in 1917 for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, and then Commanded “A” Company from December 1917. Died of wounds in Ayette, France 24 March 1918, aged 29. Plaques in the Old Church and the Upper Church erected by his family. 2nd Son of George and Edith Christie of Castle Hill, Tonbridge. Husband of Kathleen Christie of Abbotsbury, Dorset. Buried Bienvillers Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, Grave I A.4. He is also recorded on the large war memorial plaque in St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[7] HARRY CLARKE………… CLARKE, Harry – (possibly) G6492 Private, 2nd Battalion, Queens Own RoyalWest Kent Regiment. Died 17 April 1916, age 32. Husband of Sarah Clarke, 136 Silverdale Road, Tunbridge Wells. On Basra Memorial Panel 29. OR- CLARK, Harry – The Courier Newspaper reports Pte. Harry Clark of Church Road, Pembury being taken prisoner in March 1918. He served in the London Regiment. He enlisted in October 1914 and went to France in September 1916 age 21.  He is also recorded on the war memorial plaque in St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[8] JAMES A. DOUST…………. DOUST, James Arthur- G/24908 Private,4th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment. Born Paddock Wood, enlisted Maidstone, lived in Pembury. Son of James and Mary A. Doust of Pippins Farm, Pembury. (Father was Farm Bailiff until around 1930). Died 12 October 1917, age 29. Unknown grave, so remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, zoonebeke, Belgium (Panel 113) which commemorates around 35,000 Officers and men whose graves are unknown. He is also recorded on the war memorial plaque in St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[9] ARTHUR G. ELLIS.....Ellis,Arthur George-40124 Provate, 8th (service)Battalion, The Leicestershire Regiment. Born Pembury  , son of William and Sarah Ellis, who in 1901 lived at “Curblows”, Church Road. Arthur was a painter, and married Kate Ellis of Stanmore, Pembury. (Woodsgate Corner). Enlisted Tunbridge Wells. Died 3 May 1917, age 32. Remembered on Arras Memorial Bay 5, Pas de Calais, France. He is also recorded on the war memorial plaque in St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[10] ALBERT FIELD…….. FIELD, Albert Fakes- M2/052937 Private, 621 Mechanical Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps. Born Marylebone, London. Son of Stephen Field and Maria Field. Husband of Annie Elizabeth Field (nee Green) of High Street, Pembury.Lived in Pembury, enlisted London. Member of the Pembury District National Deposit Friendly Society. An A.F. Fakes is listed in 1901 as a Hairdresser in the High Street. Died 18 October 1917 at St Mark’s VAD Hospital,Tunbridge Wells. Buried Tunbridge Wells Cemetery Grave C.12.311. He is also recorded on the war memorial plaque in St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[11] CHARLES FRY………. FRY, Charles- G/5538 Private, 1st Battalion, Queens Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). Born in Tunbridge Wells January 4,1871. Son of Stephen and Catherine Fry. Stephen was employed at a local Brewery and lived at 15 Slate Row, now part of Henwood Green Road near the corner shop. He enlisted in Tonbridge. At 43 he was some 13 years over the upper age specified by the Army. He died on 18 April 1915, during a counter-attack on Hill 60 in the Ypres salient. He is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium Panels 46. He is also remembered on the Tunbridge Wells War Memorial and on the St Peter’s Upper Church plaque. He left a widow and nine children.

[12] WILLIAM FRY.....Fry, William-4673 Lance Sergeant, 8th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. Third son of James and Eliza Fry of "Avondale", Romford Road, Pembury. He was born in Tunbridge Wells, enlisted in Chelsea and lived in the Village. He was a member of the Pembury District Nqational Deposit Friendly Society. He was wounded July 1916 in the leg by shrapnel during the Great Advance and taken to hospital at Norwich. He was killed instantly by a shell on 25 September 1917 aged 29. He is buried in Monchy British Cemetery, Monchy-le- Preux, Pas de Calais, France Grave Ref. I.M.27. He had two other brothers in the Army and one who was discharged as medically unfit. His Captain described William as “A splendid soldier and a very fine man”. He is also recorded on the St Peter’s Upper Church plaque.

 [13] JOHN GALPIN………. GALPIN, Alfred John- 43216 Corporal, 10th (Service)Battalion, The Essex Regiment. He was born in Bradpole, Dorset, enlisted in Shepherds Bush, and lived in the Village. He was the husband of Jennie Florence Wood,nee Higgins,of Newman’s Farm, Paddock Wood. He died on 18 October 1916 and is buried at Nunhead (All Saints) Cemetery London Grave Ref: Screen Wall 89. 32488. He is also recorded on the St Peter’s Upper Church plaque.

[14] SIDNEY GILES.....GILES, Sidney- K/1042 Leading Stoker, Royal Navy. Baptist Church Member. Died 22 September 1914 on HMS Hogue. His name is on the Chatham Naval Memorial Panel 4. At the time of the 1901 census, the Giles family resided at Grenestode Villas, Lower Green, Pembury, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Head of the house was 45 year old Charles Giles, who was a Carpenter and employer. Early in the Great War, the Royal Navy maintained a patrol of old Cressy class armoured cruisers which was called ‘Cruiser Force C,’ in an area of the North Sea known as the Broad Fourteens. On Thursday 16 July 1914 the German submarine U-9 had become the first submarine in history to reload torpedoes whilst still submerged, and on Tuesday 22 September 1914, the same submarine under the command of 32 year old Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen who had commanded the U-9 since Saturday 1 August 1914, sighted H.M.S.Cressy, H.M.S.Aboukir and H.M.S.Hogue all steaming North-North-East at 10 knots without zigzagging, although the patrols were supposed to maintain a speed of 12 to13 knots and zigzag, the old cruisers were unable to maintain that speed, and the zigzagging order was widely ignored mainly due to the fact that there had been no enemy submarines sighted in that area of the North Sea at that stage of the war. Otto Weddigen and his crew later the same day put into practice under wartime conditions what they had perfected in peacetime, and were able to reload torpedoes beneath the waves. Otto Weddigen maneuvered the U-9 to attack the three cruisers, and at approximately 0625 hours fired a single torpedo at H.M.S.Aboukir which stuck her on her port side. H.M.S.Aboukir rapidly suffered heavy flooding and despite counter flooding developed a 20 degree list and lost engine power. It was soon clear that she was a lost cause and Captain Drummond ordered her to be abandoned although only one boat had survived the attack, as the result of which most crew had to jump into the sea. At first Captain Drummond thought that H.M.S.Aboukir had been mined and signaled the other two cruisers to close and assist with the rescue of his crew, but he soon realised that it was a torpedo attack and ordered the other cruisers away, but too late. As H.M.S.Aboukir rolled over and sank only half an hour after being attacked, Otto Weddigen fired two torpedoes at H.M.S. Hogue that hit her amidships and rapidly flooded her engine room. Captain Nicholson of H.M.S. Hogue had stopped his ship to lower boats to rescue the crew of H.M.S.Aboukir, thinking that as he was the other side of H.M.S.Aboukir from the enemy submarine he would be safe. Unfortunately the U-9 had managed to maneuver around H.M.S.Aboukir and attacked H.M.S.Hogue from a range of about only 300 yards, and it only took H.M.S.Hogue ten minutes to sink as the U-9 headed for H.M.S.Cressy, which was commanded by Captain Johnson. H.M.S.Cressy had also stopped to lower boats but she quickly got underway on sighting a submarine periscope. At about 0720hours Otto Weddigen fired two torpedoes, one of which just missed, but the other hit H.M.S.Cressy on her starboard side. The damage to H.M.S.Cressy was not fatal but the U-9 then turned round and fired her last torpedo as a coup de grace, which hit H.M.S.Cressy sinking her within a quarter of an hour. Survivors of the disaster were picked up by several nearby merchant ships including the Dutch vessels Flora and Titan, and the British trawlers JGC and Corainder, before the Harwich force of light cruisers and destroyers arrived. Flora returned to Holland with 286 rescued crew who were quickly returned to Britain, even though the neutral Dutch should have interned them. In all 837 men were rescued but 1459 died, many of whom were reservists or cadets. On Thursday 18 March 1915 the German U-boat U-29 was rammed and sunk by the 20,730 ton battleship H.M.S. Dreadnought in the Pentland Firth, Scotland, and all 32 submariners onboard perished, including Otto Weddigen who had been in command of the U-boat since Tuesday 16 February 1915. He is also recorded on the St Peter’s Upper Church plaque.

[15] JOHN GRAINGER...GRAINGER, John Noel- 1979 Sapper, 1st/3rd Kent Field Company, Royal Engineers. Son of Walter and Emma Grainger,nee Saxby, of 2 Brickfield Cottages, Pembury. His father owned a Steam Wagon. He enlisted in Gillingham. He died on 28 October 1915, age 19. He is remembered on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli,Turkey Panel 24 and also on the plaque inside St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury. He was listed amongst the members of the 1st/3rd Kent Field Company, Royal Engineers who perished on H.M.S. Hythe when H.M.S. Sarnia collided with the ship. He is also recorded on the St Peter’s Upper Church plaque.

[16] CHARLES HICKS………. HICKS, Charles- 6973 Lance Corporal, 1st Battalion,The  Hampshire Regiment. Born in Burwash,Sussex (His name also appears on their War Memorial). Enlisted in Winchester,Hampshire, he  lived in the Village,Pembury. He died on 13 May 1915 and is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium Panel 35.  He was the son of John T. Hicks and Salina Hicks. He is also recorded on the St Peter’s Upper Church plaque.

[17] LESLIE KEMP………… KEMP, Leslie William James- C/1196 Rifleman, 16th Battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps. Only son of William and Elizabeth C. Kemp of 2 “Hill View”, Pembury. He was an old King Charles’ School boy and a member of the Pembury Company of the Church Lads Brigade of which he was Sergeant. Enlisted in Tunbridge Wells. Went to France in November 1915. He was wounded in January 1916 and sent down to the Base before returning to his Battalion. Killed in action on 21 July 1916, age 20. His name appears on Pier and Face 13A and 13B, Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. He is also recorded on the St Peter’s Upper Church plaque.

[18] SAMUEL KEMP………. KEMP, Samuel J.- G/81139 Private 2nd/4th Battalion. The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment). Fifth son of Mr and Mrs Henry William Kemp of Lower Green, Pembury. He died of pneumonia in Hospital in Alexandria on 2 December 1918 aged 30 and is buried in Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. Brother of Thomas Edward below. He is also recorded on the St Peter’s Upper Church plaque.

[19] THOMAS KEMP………. KEMP, Thomas Edward- 19461 Private, 12th(10th) Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment. Brother of Samuel J above and Fourth Son of Henry William Kemp  and Dorcas Kemp of Lower Green. They had six serving sons and a son-in-law. Lived at 5 Church Road, Pembury. Member of the Pembury District, National Friendly Deposit Society. He was a Blacksmith. Died 3 May 1917 age 34 and is remembered on Bay 4, The Arras Memorial. He had been reported missing in May 1917 but this was not confirmed until December. He is also recorded on the St Peter’s Upper Church plaque.

[20] CHARLES LAWRENCE.... Lawrence, Charles Edward-SS/110970 Stoker, 1st Classw Royal Navy on H.M.S. Hawke. Son of Frederick and Mary Lawrence of Mill Cottage, Pembury. Died 15 October 1914,aged 21. Remembered on Chatham Naval Memorial (Panel 5) which commemorates those with no known grave, most of whom died at sea. His name is on the wooden memorial plaque at the Baptist Church. He is also recorded on the St Peter’s Upper Church plaque. At the time of the 1901 census, the Lawrence family resided at Spring Grove Mill, Pembury, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Head of the house was 41 year old Pembury, Kent, native Frederick Lawrence, who was employed as a Domestic Gardener. By the time that the 1911 census was conducted, the family had moved to live at Mill Cottage, Pembury. Charles’ father was still the head of the house, but had changed his job and was employed as an Assistant Grocer. The then 17 year old Charles was also recorded by the census enumerator as being employed as an Assistant Grocer. Without a doubt the loss of H.M.S. Hawke on which Charles was serving at the time of his death, has been the easiest of all the ships lost to ascertain ‘facts’ by the transcriber for inclusion on this or any other website. One of the sixty survivors of sinking of H.M.S. Hawke was peacetime Postman, Joseph Edward Cooke of Parracombe, Barnstaple, Devon, his grandson, Kenneth Cooke who like his grandfather is a former member of the Royal Navy, has been a long time friend of the transcriber, and helped in the past to explain nautical phrases, and provide Royal Navy information. About thirty years ago Ken furnished the transcriber with data appertaining to the loss of H.M.S. Hawke, including a copy of a newspaper interview that his grandfather gave after his return to Parracombe. The newspaper cutting is incredibly consistent with that of data accessed from books and the internet. Commanded by 40 year old Captain Hugh P.E.T. Williams, who was a recipient of a Royal Humane Society Medal. H.M.S. Hawke was an old armoured cruiser operating as part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron assigned to the Northern Patrol. She had originally been launched at Chatham, Kent, in 1891 and was one of the oldest ships still in service with the Royal Navy. At the time of her loss H.M.S. Hawke was being used as a training ship and had many young naval cadets on board. She had been re-commissioned in February 1913 with a nucleus crew, and had come up to her full complement at the commencement of the Great War. On 15 October 1914, sailing in company with H.M.S. Theseus, when the ships were approximately 60 miles off the coast of Aberdeen, H.M.S. Hawke turned to intercept a neutral Norwegian collier, shortly after which both ships were attacked by the faster German submarine U-9, which was commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen who had been tracking them for some time. When he commenced his attack, Otto Weddigen fired his first torpedo at H.M.S. Theseus, but fortunately it missed her. Quickly turning his attention to H.M.S. Hawke, Otto Weddigen then fired a torpedo which struck her amidships near the magazine. The initial detonation which shook the ship violently was followed by a second terrific explosion, which resulted in a large number of the crew of H.M.S. Hawke being killed. From when she was hit the ship sank within about five minutes, and as such it was only possible to launch one of the ships cutters, which was the mail dory that had been lowered before the torpedo explosion. Captain Williams, 26 officers and approximately 500 ratings were lost with the sinking of H.M.S. Hawke, but 4 officers and 60 men survived. Although only designed to carry 29 people, the sole ships cutter which had got away eventually contained 49 sailors, who were picked up about five hours later by a Norwegian steamer, all of whom were later transferred to a trawler and safely landed at Aberdeen. In addition to those who survived in the ships cutter, another 15 of the crew clinging to a raft were picked up by a passing ship, and landed at Grimsby. Joseph Cooke commented that after he had plunged into the icy waters of a heavy sea, he had swam for about three quarters of a mile before being picked up by the cutter, and whilst swimming he had passed the life raft at which time it had about 150 clinging to it, and that he was later informed that only 15 of their number had survived. Joseph also made mention that shortly after firing the torpedo which sunk H.M.S. Hawke, the German submarine briefly surfaced to see the effects of its discharge, disappearing again beneath the waters immediately. H.M.S. Theseus was under strict Admiralty orders not to attempt to pick up survivors, as on Tuesday 22 September 1914 there had been the disaster involving H.M.S.Cressy, H.M.S.Aboukir and H.M.S.Hogue which were all sunk by Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen with the U-9. The following is a brief account of the events of Wednesday 14 October 1914, by a crewman of the U-9, relevant to the sinking of H.M.S. Hawke. “I gazed at the little picture of the upper ocean. The distant three cruisers were some wide space apart, but were converging, and were steering for a point and that point was apparently in the vicinity where we lay. No wonder the Commander thought they must want a torpedo. We imagined they were bent on joining forces and steaming together, but it presently became apparent that they intended to exchange signals, drop a cutter in the water, and deliver mail or orders, and then go their respective ways. We steered at full speed for the point toward which they were heading, our periscope showing only for a few moments at a time. The Cruisers, big armoured fellows, came zigzagging. We picked one, which afterward turned out to be H.M.S. Hawke, and maneuvered for a shot. It was tricky work. She nearly ran us down. We had to dive deeper  and let her pass over us; else we would have been rammed. Now we were in a position for a stern shot at an angle, but she turned. It was a fatal turning, for it gave us an opportunity to swing around for a clear bow shot at 400 metres. We dived beyond periscope depth, ran underwater for a short distance, and then came up for a look through our tall, mast-like eye. The Hawke had already disappeared. She sank in eight minutes. Only one boat was in the water. It was the mail dory that had been lowered before the torpedo explosion. At the rudder the boat officer hoisted a distress signal on the boat's staff. That little dory with half a dozen men aboard was all that was left of the proud warship. He is also remembered on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[21] CHARLES LEONARD……….. LEONARD, Charles Edward - 141151 Driver, 38th Field Company, Royal Engineers. Son of Charles Leonard of North Holly, East Farleigh, and of the late Charlotte Leonard, nee Smith.. Born Bethersden.Ashford, Kent. Enlisted Tunbridge Wells, resided in Pembury. Died 1 October 1918 in Salonika, Greece, aged 26, and is buried in Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria, Greece Grave Ref 465. Several of the casualties in this cemetery were victims of the worldwide influenza pandemic of 1918-19 and Leonard may have been one of them. His name also appears on the Bethersden and East Farleigh war memorials. He is also remembered on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury. At the time of the 1901 census, the Leonard family resided at Court Lodge Cottage, Great Chart, Ashford, Kent. Head of the house was 32 year old Pluckley, Ashford, Kent native Charles Leonard, who was employed as an Agricultural Labourer. The British cemetery at Mikra was opened in April 1917, remaining in use until 1920. The cemetery was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from a number of burial grounds in the area. Charles’s death certificate or other supporting documentation has not been sighted by the transcriber of these brief commemorations, but several of the casualties who are at rest in the above cemetery were victims of the world-wide Influenza pandemic of 1918-1919, and Charles might have been a victim of it.

[22] DOUGLAS R. MacDOUGALL…MACDOUGALL, Douglas Ritchie - 3609 Private, 1/5th (Territorial) Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders. Son of James and Frances Macdougall of “Curblows”, Pembury. Native of Clapham, London. He lived in Pembury but enlisted in London at the start of the war and went to France. Died 13 November 1916 at the Battle of the Ancre, aged 26. Buried in Mailly Wood Cemetery, Mailly-Maillet, Somme, France Grave Ref I.G.19. His name appears on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[23] ALBERT A Mc’QUEEN …….In error should be ALBERT A. McQUEEN……… McQUEEN, Albert Allan (appears on War Memorial as Mc’Queen) - 7634 Private, 11th Battalion, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). Son of Mrs A. McQueen of Pembury. Married to Agatha M. McQueen of St. Leonardson- Sea. He was born in Pembury, but lived in St. Leonards. Enlisted in Tunbridge Wells, as private 946, in the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Yeomanry (Territorial Force) in February 1914 before transferring to the Royal West Kents. Died 8 June 1917, aged 22. Buried in Brandhoek Military Cemetery, Vlamertinghe, Belgium. His name also appears on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

 [24] RONALD E. MARTIN……. MARTIN, Ronald Edward - 235892 Gunner, X 36th Trench Mortar Battalion, Royal Field Artillery. Son of George Martin of Pembury (A Carrier). Married to E.M. Martin, 17 Artillery Terrace, Guildford, Surrey. He formerly worked in the outfitting department of Messrs Reeks in Hastings. Enlisted June 1917at Guildford,Surrey and sent to France in April 1918. Died 26 September 1918. Whilst working with the rest of the Battery in the line he was hit on the head by a shell splinter, dying instantly. Buried in Canada Farm Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium. His name appears on the wooden plaque at Pembury Baptist Church. Mention should be made of the fact that depending on what data source and/or records are checked, results in Gunner Martin being shown with his first Christian name being EDWARD whilst on others it is shown as RONALD. At the time of the 1901 census, the relevant Martin family appears to have been residing at Hill View, Pembury, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Head of the house was 57 year old Pembury native George Martin, who was an own account Corn Carrier. For several years including at the time of Edward/Ronald’s death, his father George Martin traded in Pembury as a Carrier trading as G. Martin & Son, Carriers. The census entry above shows the then 8 year old with the Christian name RONALD, and his mother Helena as being a 53 year old native of Wadhurst, Sussex. Edward enlisted in the army ‘For the Duration of the War’ in June 1917, and was posted to France in April 1918. During an exchange of fire by artillery units, Edward was struck on the head by a piece of shrapnel and was killed.

[25] WILLIAM MARTIN……….. MARTIN, William - G/13518 Private, Royal Sussex Regiment. Husband of C.M. Martin of Romford Farm Cottage, Pembury. Born in the Village, he was employed by Batchellor’s Stone Court Brickworks, Pembury as a tile maker. He enlisted in Maidstone in July 1915 and went to France in December. He lived in Stanley Road, late of Mays Farm Cottages, Pembury. After being on active service for seven months he received no less than 14 wounds and his left leg was blown off above the knee. He spent 16 months in hospital and was transferred to Rusthall V.A.D. He died from wounds on 13 October 1918, aged 33, and is buried in Tunbridge Wells Cemetery (grave ref: C.1.558). He was a member of the Tunbridge Wells Equitable Society and left a widow and three children aged10, 8 and 3. His name appears on the plaque in the St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[26] HARRY MERCER………. MERCER, Harry - 5190 Private, 20th Hussars. Born in the Village,Pembury, son of Henry William and Susannah Mercer of 6 Church Road. He enlisted in Canterbury as a Reservist, served 7 years with the Colours, 2 years of which he was an officer’s servant. His brother was in the Royal Navy. Died 30 October 1914 just four days after his 27th birthday. He is remembered on Panel 5 of the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium.

[27]WALTER MORPHETT…….. MORPHETT, Walter - G/5006 Corporal, 2nd Battalion (92nd Foot), Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). Eldest son of Walter Morphett of Stone Court Farm, Pembury. Born in Pembury, going to the Village School, and enlisted in Tonbridge on 16 December 1914. He served with the Expeditionary Force in France from 14 April 1915 and was wounded by shrapnel under his shoulder and gassed at Hill 60 and invalided home where he spent time in hospital in Cheshire. He proceeded to Mesopotamia in December 1915. He died of malaria on 22 October 1918, aged 19, and was buried in Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery in Iraq. He is remembered on the wooden plaque at the Baptist Church.

[28] CHARLES NURDEN…NURDEN, Charles - G/12031 Private, 7th(Service) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. Son of Stephen and Eliza Nurden of Canterbury Road, he was born in Chipping Norton, Glos. Husband of Maud M. Nurden of 6 Park View, Pembury. He was a gardener to Lady Adair for 11 years and was an ardent member of the Volunteer Training Corps. He enlisted in Tunbridge Wells in June 1916, proceeding to France in August. He was killed by a shell during the advance on Arras and was killed instantly on 9 April 1917, aged 39. He was buried in the field by the Regimental Chaplain. He was described as “a good and popular soldier, much missed”. He is remembered on Bay 6 of the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. His name is recorded on the plaque in St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[29] JOSEPH PANKHURST……… PANKHURST, Joseph Henry - L/7384 Private 2nd Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment. Born in the Village and enlisted in Tunbridge Wells. Died on 23 December 1914 and is remembered on Panel 21 of Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. At the time of the 1911 census, 25 year old Joseph resided at Brickfield Cottages, Lower Green, Pembury, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Head of the house Josephs’ uncle, 64 year old Penshurst, Kent native Edmund Offen who was employed as a Farm Labourer. Joseph was recorded by the census enumerator as being a member of the Army Reserve, Royal Sussex Regiment.

[30] CHARLES PENN………. PENN, Charles Victor - 24007 Private, 2nd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. Son of Mr and Mrs W. Penn of Rose Cottages, Lower Green, Pembury. He died on 30 September 1917, aged 25, and is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension (Nord), France, grave Ref III.E.137.. He also appears on the wooden plaque at the Baptist Church. Charles birth was registered in the Tonbridge, Kent Registration District during the first quarter of 1893. Having died of wounds, Charles has the sad distinction of being the sole other rank death suffered by the 2nd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment on Sunday 30 September 1917.

[31] FREDERICK PIPER………… PIPER, Frederick – G/40446 Private, 2nd Battalion, Middlesex Regiment. Son of Henry and Esther Piper of Hastings Road, Pembury. Husband of Annie Piper of 33 Canterbury Road. Enlisted in Maidstone in June 1917. He was employed on Mr Cooper’s Farm in Pembury. He was killed by a shell on 27 May 1918, aged 36, and appears on the Soissons Memorial, Aisne, France. He is also recorded on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[32] ALBERT PRALL………. PRALL, Albert William G702 Private, 1/20th Battalion, London Regiment. Youngest son of Mr and Mrs G. Prall of Friars Lodge, Matfield and Lower Green, Pembury. Born in Paddock Wood but lived in the Village and enlisted at Tonbridge, initially as Pte. 3601 Royal West Kents before transferring to the 1/20th (County of London)Btn,London Regiment (Blackheath and Woolwich). He was the son of George Prall and Louisa Prall, nee Wells, of Friars Lodge, Matfield,Paddock Wood, Kent. He was a Member of the Pembury District National Deposit Friendly Society. Sent to the Western Front on 9 March 1916 and was almost certainly involved in the third phase of the Somme battles beginning on 15 September in which British tanks were used for the first time. His regiment was in action around the infamous Mametz Wood and at High Wood near Bazentin and later involved in the assault on Eaucourt L’Abbaye and was almost certainly killed in one of the four waves of troops who attacked Eaucourt and were in the Fleurs support line. His body was never found but he is remembered on the Thiepval memorial Pier and Face 9D 9C 13C and 12C.  He was aged just 19. His name also appears on the Matfield War Memorial and on the plaque at St Peters Upper Church,Pembury.

[33] WILLIAM A. PARKES……PARKES, William Alexander - WR/25991 Lance Corporal, 340th Railway Construction Company, Royal Engineers. Born in Brenchley the son of William Dunster Parkes and late Mary Ann Parkes,nee Snashall, of Mount Pleasant, Brenchley, Paddock Wood,Kent. Husband of Kathleen Ellen Parkes of Hawkwell Cottages, Pembury. He enlisted in Maidstone. Died of pneumonia and influenza in an English port on his way home from France on 13 October 1918, aged 27. Buried in All Saints, Brenchley Churchyard next to his brother Thomas Dunster Parkes who also died in the war. The family lost 3 sons in the war, the third was Reginald Parkes who died in October 1917 and was buried in France. William Alexander’s son was William Arthur Parkes who was killed in World War Two and is also on Pembury War Memorial. William Alexander is also remembered on Brenchley War Memorial and on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[34] ALBERT PENTICOST……..In error should be ALBERT PENTECOST. PENTECOST, Albert John (on war memorial as Penticost) G12357 Private, 7th(Service) Battalion, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). Born in Pembury and enlisted in Maidstone. The family lived at 10, Slate Row, Henwood Green. He was the son of Mrs Frances Pentecost, nee Cheesman of 309 Bexhill Road, St Leonards-on-Sea,Sussex and the late Charles Pentecost. There were 4 boys and 4 girls in the family, all born in the Village. The boys were Alfred, Thomas, Albert and Frank Edward, who died young. The girls were Charlotte, Edith, Emily and Florence. Albert died on 13 July 1916 and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France, Pier and Face 11C.His name also appears on the Leigh Memorial as his mother was living at Leigh when he died and his sister Florence lived there. His name is also listed on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury. At the time of the 1901 census, the Pentecost family resided at Slate Row, Lower Green, Pembury, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Head of the house was 53 year old Frant, Sussex native Charles Pentecost, who was employed as an Agricultural Labourer. When the 1911 census was conducted the Pentecost family was recorded by the census enumerator as living at Hastings Road, Pembury, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Charles Pentecost was still the head of the house, but was an Own Account Market Gardener. The then 17 year old Albert was recorded as being employed as an Under Gardener in the employ of the Reverend Haynes. His brother Thomas is given below.
[35] THOMAS PENTICOST…..In error should be THOMAS PENTECOST. PENTECOST, Thomas (on war memorial as Penticost) 1609 Lance Corporal, 9th Battalion, Australian Contingent, Australian Infantry. Brother of Albert above. 2nd Son of Frances Pentecost,nee Cheesman,  of 309 Bexhill Road, St. Leonards-on-Sea and the late Charles Pentecost of Pembury. They are buried in the old cemetery behind the school. Thomas worked on the railway and worked his passage to Australia in 1908 landing at Brisbane. He was very popular in Pembury and his departure was much regretted. At the start of the war he went to Egypt. He was promoted to Lance Corporal shortly before the fighting in which he lost his life. In a letter home in 1915 he stated that he was quite prepared to die for his King and Country. Thomas died 29 May 1915 or 23 June 1915 in the Dardanelles, aged 27. Buried in Shell Green Cemetery, Gallipoli,Turkey Grave Ref I.E. 23. He is also commemoirated on the Australian National War Memorial Panel 57.. His name is also on the wooden plaque at the Baptist Church and on the plaque of St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury. On the 1901 census entry shown at his brothers brief commemoration above, the then 13 year old Thomas was employed as a Grocers Assistant, but prior to emigrating to Australia in 1910 he had been employed by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway Company. Thomas enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on Monday 14 December 1914. When he enlisted Thomas stated that he was a Baptist, 25 years and 3 months old, and that he was employed as a Locomotive Fireman, residing at Stafford Road, Kedron, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, and at which time he named his father Charles Pentecost residing at Hastings Road, Pembury, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent as his next of kin. On Monday 8 February 1915, Thomas was attested at Enoggera Barracks, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, to serve in the 3rd Reinforcements of the 9th Battalion, Australian Infantry, A.I.F. The barracks where Thomas had attested in 1915 is still in use by the Australian army, and is now also known as ‘Gallipoli Barracks’ in honour of the members of the ANZAC forces who died at Gallipoli during the Great War, one of whom was Thomas who was killed in action at Gaba Tepe. On Saturday 13 February 1915, Thomas sailed from the port of Brisbane onboard the 5807 ton Australian troopship H.M.A.T. Seang Choon (A49), which had been requisitioned for naval use.

[36] PERCY RATCLIFFE………. RATCLIFFE, Percy William – G11807 Private, 8th (Service)Battalion, Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment. Son of John Ratcliffe  and Susannah Ratchiffe of High Street, Pembury. He was a Member of the Pembury District, National Deposit Friendly Society, and a member of the 1912 Pembury Football Team. He enlisted in Tunbridge Wells in January 1916 and went out to France on 19 May, where he died, aged 20, on 14 July 1916. He is buried at Ration Farm (La Plus Douve) Annexe Cemetery in Belgium Grave Ref III.A.4. His name is also given on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[37] SYDNEY A. RATCLIFFE……In error should be SYDNEY ALFRED RATCLIFFE. RATCLIFFE, Sydney Alfred 122293 Private, 2nd Class, R.A.F. Armament School. Born in June 1891, 2nd youngest of 9 children, all born in the Village. Son of Henry and Philly Ratcliffe (née Raynes) of Lower Green, Pembury. Henry was a plumber. Husband of Mary Campbell Ratcliffe from Dunbartonshire. Sydney is spelt Sidney on his grave and on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records. He was a member of the Pembury District, National Deposit Friendly Society. He was a member of the Pembury Football Club in 1912. He died on 28 August 1918, aged 27, and is buried in the old churchyard behind the school between the path and the east boundary. His name is also given on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[38] JOHN RAYNES……RAYNES, John Reginald G4674 Private, 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment. Born in the Pembury ;enlisted in Tonbridge; lived in Tunbridge Wells.He was the son of the late John Raynes and Emily Raynes, nee Kneller of Pembury and the brother of Harry Raynes of Ivy Lodge Farm, Frant Forest,Tunbridge Wells.  He was employed at Hubbles Farm. He died on 10 April 1917. He had been a Prisoner of War since 22 July and died in Germany. He is buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery,Germany Grave Ref VIII.B.2. John was posted to France for service with the British Expeditionary Corps on 23 April 1915, at which time he was serving as a Lance Corporal in the Queens (Own Royal West Kent Regiment). John’s late mother died in 1905, and his late father died in 1915. After his father died, the next of kin of John (junior) was recorded as being his brother Harry Raynes of Ivy Lodge Farm, Frant Forest, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, who was informed of John’s death which had occurred whilst he was being held as prisoner of war in Germany. More than 1,000 Allied prisoners of war and dozens of German servicemen were buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery during the Great War. His name also given on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[39] ARTHUR ROBERTS……… ROBERTS, Arthur Frank – SS/ 9640 Ordinary Seaman, Royal Navy serving on H.M.S. Pembroke. Youngest son of James Arthur and Ann Roberts,nee Reynolds,  of Grovehurst Lodge, Pembury. He died on 4 November 1918, aged 18, in Gillingham Royal Naval Hospital from pneumonia following influenza. He had been in the navy just 8 weeks. He is buried in Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery Grave Ref. Naval 5.242. His brother is listed below. Arthur is also listed on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[40] HARRY ROBERTS....Roberts, Harry - 205010 Private, 2nd Btn, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infanctry. Son of James and Ann Roberts ,nee Reynolds, of Grovehurst Lodge, Pembury. He joined the army on 3 March 1917 and died of wounds on 14 July 1917 aged 28. He left a widow and a child aged three. He is buried in Adinkerke Churchyard Extension in Belgium Grave Ref. 828. He is also listed on the plaque at St Peter's Upper Church, Pembury.

[41] JAMES SIVYER………..
SIVYER, James – 9095 Private, 6th Battalion The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Born Pembury in 1884,youngest son of George and Mary Ann Sivyer,nee Sheatfield. Lived in ‘Brickhurst’, Hastings Road, next to Dundale Cottage. He was a gardener and post boy aged 16 in the 1901 census and had four brothers and two sisters. His brother, Richard, was a blacksmith in the village, and another brother, Alfred, worked at ‘Shandon’, Pembury Road as a groom. His father, George, and the older boys were all farm labourers. James enlisted in Canterbury in 1909. He had several spells in hospital during the war. He suffered a very serious shoulder wound at one stage. He died on 14th October 1915 and is buried in Lillers Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France Grave Ref IV.C.37. Records show that his family had moved away when the medals were being issued after his death and it appears that his family did not receive his medals.He is also listed on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church,Pembury.

[42] D. GORDON SMITH……….. SMITH, D Gordon – Listed in names of Pembury Men as Sergeant with the Royal Flying Corps.  He was Chief Motor Mechanic 1455 with the 104th Squadron RAF who died May 25,1918. He was born at Wadhurst,Sussex and resided in Pembury, Kent. He was the son of David and Sarah Smith. Commemorated at the Chambieres French National Cemetery, Metz, Moselle, France on the Labry Communal Cemetery German Extension Memorial 7. David is also commemorated on the headstone of his parents grave at Wadhurst, Sussex, but as having been killed in action in April 1918 as opposed to the following month as is shown on his Commonwealth War Graves Commission commemoration details. There are now nearly 100, Great War and over 30, Second World War casualties commemorated at the Chambieres French National Cemetery. Special Memorials are erected to six British soldiers from the Great War, plus Memorial 7 which is in remembrance of David. The seven British casualties were buried in Jarny and Labry Communal German Extension, but whose graves could not be found. His name is also given on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church in Pembury.

[43] JOHN STEDMAN……….In error should be JOHN STEADMAN…… STEADMAN, John Henry – Although listed as Stedman on the War Memorial he is listed on Commonwealth War Graves Commission as Steadman. Also in Census returns. Appears as Stedman in the Tunbridge Wells Advertiser. -46713 Private, 13th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). Son of John Henry and Hannah Steadman of East Grinstead, and then 8, Goods Station Road, Tunbridge Wells, and 1 Rose Cottages, Ashurst Wood, East Grinstead,Sussex. He was born in 1891 in East Grinstead. Former East Grinstead schoolboy. He was one of 10 children - 7 boys and 3 girls. Husband of Alice May Stedman  of Peter’s Cottages, Pembury.They married in 1913 and had one child. Enlisted 28th June 1915 in Maidstone, he was previously employed by Mr Toop, Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells. He was a butcher. Died, aged 26 on 4th September 1918. Described by a comrade as a “good, cheerful and brave soldier, and was well liked by everyone.” He is remembered on Panel 3 of the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Pas de Calais, France Panel 3. His name is also given on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church in Pembury.

[44] STEPHEN STEVENS......STEVENS, Stephen Ward – 300078 Private, 1/7th Battalion (Territorial Force) Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Born Burham, Rochester, he enlisted in Tunbridge Wells and lived in Pembury. He was a Member of the Pembury District National Deposit Friendly Society. He was formerly Private 12102, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). He was employed as a butcher by Mr Charles Crouch of Pembury for over 10 years. He was a member of the Pembury Football and Cricket Clubs. He joined up in February 1916 and had been in France about 3 months. He was killed instantly by a sniper on 22nd August 1917. He was unmarried. He was aged 26 and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium. His name also appears on the Burham, Rochester War Memorial.

[45] HORACE J. STROUD  (M.M.)….. STROUD, Horace James – S/6995 Private 2nd Battalion The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment). He was born in Cookham, Kent the son of James and Ellen Stroud of Manor House Lodge, Pembury. Horace was a Member of the Pembury District National Deposit Friendly Society. He enlisted in Tonbridge, being one of the first recruits to leave Pembury at the start of the war. He went to France in June 1915. For more than a year he had been the Orderly at the HQ of his Brigade. He gained the Military Medal for conveying a message under especially difficult circumstances in the Spring of 1916. He was reported missing since 14th May, but it was later confirmed that he died on that day aged 21. He is remembered on the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France Bay 2and on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.  He was formerly private 9208 Queens Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) in which regiment he was serving when awarded the Military Medal.

[46] ALFRED THOMPSETT……….. THOMPSETT, Alfred – unconfirmed but he could be L/10259 Private Alfred Edwin Thompsett of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. He was the son of Edward Thompsett of Mount Pleasant, Wadhurst. He died aged 21 on 9th May 1915 and is remembered on the Le Touret Memorial. His name is also given on the plaque at St Peter's Upper Church, Pembury.

[47] VICTOR VALENTINE………. VALENTINE, Victor – 11803 Corporal, 6th Battalion Thee Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). He was born in Pembury and his parents (Amos and Eliza Valenine )lived at Grantham Bank, Romford Road, Pembury. He was employed at Pembury Waterworks. He had two brothers also serving in the army. He joined up in January 1916 and had served in France for 1 year 9 months. He was wounded in the arm by shrapnel and admitted to the Canadian Hospital in Boulogne on 12th June 1916 aged 21. He died from wounds received in action on 10th August 1918. He is buried in Montigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France Grave Ref A. 13. His name is also given on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[48] FRANK VATER………… VATER, Frank Henry – G4675 Private 1st Battalion. Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). He was born in Pembury, son of Eli and Emily Vater of 1, Council Cottages, Pembury. He lived in Lower Green Road. He enlisted in Tonbridge in November 1914. He was sent to the Front on 21st April 1915 and after a few days in Flanders received a fatal wound on 6th May 1915,age 18. He was a smart soldier, well known in Pembury. He is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium Panel 47. His name is also given on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[49] HARRY YOUNG……… YOUNG, Harry Jabez – G/2173 Private, 7th (Service) Battalion, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). He was born in Pembury, son of Albert and Ellen Young of 32 Newton Road, Tunbridge Wells. He was employed by Messrs. Strange and Son, and was in the Pembury Football Team in 1912. He enlisted in Tunbridge Wells and joined up in September 1914, going to the Front in July 1915. He was reported missing since 13th July, which was the day he died, aged 21. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France, Pier & Face 11C. . His name is also given on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

WORLD WAR II TRANSCRIPTIONS

After the war a second plaque was made on which the names of 18 men were recorded. The plaque was installed below that of the plaque for WW 1.

[1] VINCENT ASHFORD………… ASHFORD, Vincent William Godbeer S/202223 Private, Royal Army Service Corps. Son of Ernest and Ada Ashford of Cockfosters, Barnet, Herts. Husband of Joan Margaret Ashford. Died Aged 28 on 15th June 1940 and is buried in Grave 802 in the old churchyard by Pembury School. He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[2] RICHARD BASSETT-BURR…….. BASSETT-BURR, Richard C/JX 160461 Ordinary Seaman Royal Navy. Son of Mr and Mrs W. Bassett-Burr, 10 Elmhurst Avenue, Pembury. His father was a road-sweeper. Richard was known as “Dick Bassett”. He died on H.M.S. Hermes, Aircraft Carrier which was sunk by the Japanese Air Fleet south-east of Ceylon on 9th April 1942. He was aged only 18, and is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial Panel 57. He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[3] HERBERT FRANK BROWN……. BROWN, Herbert Frank 824284 Gunner, 2 Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery. Son of Frederick George and Rosalie Mary Ann Brown of Church Road, Pembury. Frederick worked at Pembury Waterworks. In 1940 Rosalie is shown as living at 4 Camden Avenue, Pembury. Herbert’s sister Rosie taught at Pembury School. He died on 29th May 1940 aged 26 and is buried at St. Riquier British Cemetery Grave Ref AA.17. He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[4] JACK GEORGE CAVIE…CAVIE, Jack George 1330185 Sergeant (wireless operator), 10 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Son of George and Lilian Eliza Cavie of Hubbles Farm, Pembury. He was born in Tunbridge Wells and educated at Pembury School. He worked with his father on the farm. He was one of the first members to join the Tunbridge Wells A.T.C. Squadron and was very popular with his wide circle of friends. He joined the R.A.F. in 1941,He was killed aged 20 on 27th September 1943. They never found out what happened to him, and he was originally reported missing. He is buried at the Reichswald Forest War CemeteryGermany Grave Ref 14.C.1. He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[5] JOSEPH CLIFTON…….. CLIFTON, Joseph Edward 2664651 Guardsman 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards. Went to Pembury School, and had one sister Joyce. Lived in Elmhurst Avenue, Pembury. Son of Edward Frank and Florence Annie Clifton of 43 Elmhurst Avenue. They worked at Pembury Brickyard. Joseph was a roundsman for J. Sainsbury Ltd at 62 Mount Pleasant Tunbridge Wells. He died sometime between 16th and 17th March 1943 aged 21. He is remembered on the Medjez-el-Bab Memorial,Phaleron War Cemetery, Greece (Face 8). He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[6] ROBERT PHILIP COLE……… COLE, Robert Philip believed to be T/70456 Driver, Royal Army Service Corps attached to the Royal Artillery. He died on 26th April 1941 and is remembered on the Athens Memorial, Greece. He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter's Upper Church, Pembury.

[7] EDWARD FORBES CROSSLEY…..In error should be EDMUND FORBES CROSSLEY.....CROSSLEY, Edward Forbes, was actually Edmund. 174670 Pilot Officer, 57 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was the son of Edmund Thomas and Georgina Forbes Crossley. He was born in April 1910 in Chorlton, Lancs. Husband of Doris Edith Crossley of Fairfields, Pembury. Doris was born “Whiting” of Old Place, Henwood Green Road, Pembury. Edward had ginger hair and a moustache and worked in the Public Assistance Department, Kent County Council. They lived at Fairfield, Lower Green Road, Pembury, and had a son called David. He had lived in Pembury about six years. He was a volunteer Warden in the Civil Defence Service. He joined the R.A.F. as a Navigator in 1942. He died 19th April 1944 aged 34, leaving one daughter. He was a Navigator on a Lancaster Bomber, and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial (Panel 210). He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[8] PETER FENN……. FENN, Peter 918518 Sergeant, 38 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Son of Sydney James and Nellie Winifred Fenn. He was an old Skinners School boy, and then worked in the Town Clerks Department in Tunbridge Wells for several years. He lived at “Ravilious”, Lower Green Road, Pembury with his parents. He was a Sergeant-Observer in the RAF and had been with this branch of the service 18 months. He was killed in action on 20th November 1941 aged 22 and is remembered on the Alamein Memorial,El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt (column 243). He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[9] GEORGE HIDE………… HIDE, George Henry- 6396186 Lance Corporal, 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. Son of George and Elizabeth Emily Hide. Wife of Lilian Louisa May Hide of Pembury. They lived in Canterbury Road. He died, aged 17 between 29th May 1940 and 25th July 1940. He is buried in Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery,Netherlands(grave ref. 12.C.10. He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter's Upper Church, Pembury.  

[10] ARTHUR GEORGE MEPHAM……….. MEPHAM, Arthur George- 6300402 Sapper, 554 Field Company, Royal Engineers. Youngest son of Benjamin and Clare Minnie Mepham of 29 Gladstone Road. His wife was Margaret Ann Mepham of Whitehill, Crowborough, and they had one son, Terry. They lived at 9 Downingbury Place, Pembury. He was employed by Messrs. Dewhurst, Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells. Arthur George was nicknamed “Nobby.” He had been two and a half years in the army. He died aged 21 on 30th October 1944 and is buried in Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery,Netherlands (Grave Ref 7.B.16). His name also appears on the Tunbridge Wells War Memorial. He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[11] FRANCIS MURPHY..MURPHY, Francis H – C/JX 154885 Able Seaman, Royal Navy. Nickname “Spud”. Son of Frank and Lily Martha Murphy of Alpine Place (off Maidstone Rd.), Pembury. He has three sisters who live in Pembury. He was killed in a n explosion on board H.M. S. Juno on 30t h April 194 1 aged 19. Eight were killed in the explosion. He is buried in Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt( Grave Ref P.6).He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[12] WILLIAM PARKS………..In error should be WILLIAM PARKES… PARKES, William Arthur (On War Memorial as Parks). – 1171836 Leading Aircraftman Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Son of William Alexander and Kathleen Ellen Parkes of Tunbridge Wells. His father William Alexander appears on the WW1 names on the War Memorial. He died on 11th October 1944 aged 28 and is remembered on the Singapore Memorial( column 493). He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter's Upper Church, Pembury.

[13] PHILIP PEART…….. PEART, Hector Philip – Sub-Lieutenant (A), Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve 792 Squadron Fleet Air Arm. Only child of Hector Herbert and Hilda Mary Peart who are buried in the same grave as their son in the old churchyard by the School. He lived in 26 Bellfield Road, Pembury in the first house below the Post Office. Son Hector took a keen and lively interest in the Tunbridge Wells Air Training Corps and when he was old enough he volunteered for the Fleet Air Arm. He was a member of staff of Lloyds bank, He was an enthusiastic member of the Pembury Air Raid Precaution Service in 1940 before joining up and obtained his First Aid Certificate. After training in Canada, he returned here and became a fighter pilot. He was based at H.M.S. Vulture, a Fleet Air Arm airfield and possible Combat School near St. Merryn, Cornwall. He had only just become engaged to Miss Catherine Bradbury of Manchester. He died on 2nd December 1944 in an air crash and is buried in the old churchyard behind Pembury School (grave 962). His funeral service at the Upper Church was conducted by Rev. H.O. Edwards. He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter's Upper Church, Pembury.

[14] JOHN PHILBEAM…….In error should be JOHN PILBEAM.. PILBEAM, Frederick John (on War Memorial as John Philbeam) – 6400480 Private 5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. Son of George and Florence Pilbeam. The family lived in Jarvis Brook before moving to Dundle Farm, Pembury. His wife was Doris Eileen Pilbeam of Tunbridge Wells. They  had a son, Rodney and a daughter, Shirley. He was known as “Fred” and was believed to be on his way to Dunkirk when he was killed on 16th June 1940 aged 28. He is buried in Esquelmes War Cemetery, Belgium. He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[15] BRIAN PILGRIM……. PILGRIM, Brian Gordon - 1388935 Sergeant (Air Gunner) Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Only son of Mervyn and Lily Pilgrim of Pembury. He was employed at Tonbridge E.C.D. Works and prior to joining the R.A.F. aged 17 was a keen member of the Pembury Mobile First-Aid Party. He lived in a flat over the old garage in Hastings Road, Pembury. He used to climb up the fir tree in the grounds of the Priory, knock a nail in it and climb down! His father worked for a local butcher. The 1940 Kellys Directory shows a Mrs M. Pilgrim living at 2 Harriet Villas, Hastings Road. He died, aged 19 on 8th April 1943 and he was buried in Cottesmore (St. Nicholas) Churchyard Extension, Rutland (grave ref. Compartment 16 Grave 31) with full military honours on 13th AprilHe is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter's Upper Church, Pembury.

[16] THOMAS READER…….. READER, Thomas Charles – 6353124 Private, 6th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment. Son of Thomas and Nellie Reader of 15 Canterbury Road, Pembury (now Number 30 as numbers changed). He was a builder, and his father was a Waterworks labourer. When Thomas (son) came home on leave he brought tins of corned beef.He died aged 35 on 5th January 1944 probably at the Battle of Peccia River, Italy and is buried in Cassino War Cemetery( grave ref. VII.F.5).He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter’s Upper Church, Pembury.

[17] CLIFFORD GEORGE TAPP……… TAPP, Clifford George- 5507306 Private, Hampshire Regiment. Nickname “Jumbo”. Son of Arthur Percy and Mary Tapp of Hastings Road, Pembury. They had a grocers shop on the corner of Hastings Road and Canterbury Road and lived above the shop. Clifford worked in the shop before enlisting. He was Hon. Sec. of the Wednesday Football Club. His wife was Annie C.R. Tapp of Pembury. He had only been married 12 months when he died on 17th November 1940 aged 24. He is buried in Plot A Grave 7 of Tunbridge Wells Cemetery.He is commemorated on the plaque at St Peter's Upper Church, Pembury. 

[18] THOMAS GEORGE COOK……… COOK, Thomas George – 6341209 Lance-Corporal, 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment.Son of William Henry Cook and Kate Emily Selden. He was a Pembury Cub and went to Pembury School.He lived at 6, Council Cottages, Pembury (now 24 Henwood Green Road). His wife was Ivy Irene Cook of Ogbourne St George, Wilts. He died, aged 28, on 27th April 1943 and is buried in Massicault War Cemetery,Africa.

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