SEPTEMBER

Private John Lafford 2096 2/5 Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment

The 2/5 Gloucesters were a territorial division, and were not initially sent to France after training. They left for France in the spring of 1916, and took part in the disatrous battle at Fromelles in July, suffering heavy casualties. John Lafford was killed after the main fighting there, on September 9, and buried at La Gorgue du Hem, a concentration cemetery then behind Allied lines.

 

John Lafford was the son of Agnes Lafford and was brought up his unlce William, a carter near Fairford. He had come to work in Winchcombe and joined up with other local men.

Pont du Hem Cemetery, La Gorgue

Private Harry Doughty 203107 2/4 Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment

This Battalion was a territorial unit, which was sent to serve in France as part of the South Midland Division. They took part in the third battle of Ypres, (Paschendaele) in terrible weather in the early stages of the fighting around Westhoek. Harry Doughty was wounded in the fighting and died on September 1, 1917. He was treated, and then buried, at the Casualty Clearing Station at Ljissenhoek. 

 

Harry was the oldest of seven children of John Doughty, a carpenter from Stanton. Harry worked as a labourer. He was married with a young son and was living in Gretton when he left for the war.

Harry Doughty's grave at

Ljissenhoekone of the largest

cemeteries.

Private Charles Gardner 57635 57th Battalion Machine Gun Corps 

Charles Gardner joined the army after two years training as an accountant, and was selected for training for the Machine Gun Corps, which was founded in October 1915. Charles Gardner took part in three days of fighting to gain control of the Canal du Nord near Cambrai. He was killed by a shell on September 30, 1918. His CO wrote to his parents that his body had been recovered, and is now buried in Anneux Cemetery.

 

Charles Gardner's father was the town sanitary inspector, and also surveyor during the war. The family lived at Oaklands in the Gretton Road. One of five children, Charles went to Cheltenham Grammar School, and joined the army after passing his intermediate accountancy exams. His sister, Sheila, a teacher, died in the 1918 flu epidemic a month after her brother.

Anneux Cemetery,

on the Bapaume-Cambrai road.

Leading Aircraftman Pilot under training. (Maurice) John Pumphrey 90323 

John Pumphrey volunteered at the outbreak of the Second world War and was selected to train as a pilot. He was based at South Cerney and was killed in a flying accident on September 29, 1940, days before his 21st birthday. He was given a military funeral at St. Peter's and was buried in a family grave in the cemetery.

 

John Pumphrey was one of six children, whose family eventuallty kept a fish and chip shop in North Street. He was a long term member of the church choir and had gone to Cheltenham Grammar School, before going on to St Paul's College. He was an early vounteer for service, and pased for flying training.

John Punphrey's funeral with military

honnours, October 3, 1940

(Sidney)Edward Restall Private 16416 12 th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment

Edward was listed at St Peter's as an early volunteer to the 2nd Battalion, which fought in Flanders in 1914-5 A letter from his family said was wounded when a shell hit his dugout, and did not return to the 2nd Battalion, in Greece, and was posted to the 12th, when he was killed during the fighting at the Somme, probably near Guillemont on September 3, 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial.

 

Edward Restall was one of four surviving children of William Restall, and Mary Ann. They lived in Gloucester Street. Before the war, he was the last child at home. He and his father were working as plasterers.

Thiepval memorial

Private Alfred Smith 8/106 Otago Regiment New Zealand Expeditionary Force

Alfred Smith had emigrated to New Zealand and had volunteered to join the one of the Otago regiments joining the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1914. They left for Europe in October 1914, but were diverted to the Middle East where they joined forces with the Australians in fighting at Gallipoli. in April 1915. They took part in various actions, including the attack on Sari Bair during which Alfred Smith was assumed killed in actionon August 6 or 7. He is commemorated on the memorial at Chunuk Bair, Gallipoli.

 

Alfred Smith was born in Winchcombe in 1887. one of five brothers. He had served in the Gloucestershire Territorials before emigrating to New Zealand where he worked as a mental hospital attendant. His parents, Thomas and Sarah, appear to have lived at The Farm with boarders and servants in 1901, his father being described as a road surveyor. 

The Memorial at ChunukBair

Private Job Stephens 25742 14th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment

Job Stephens joined the newly formed 14th Worcesters with his friend from Gretton School, Harry Lane, in 1915, when they were both 18. They arrived in France in June 1916, and were involved in heavy fighting towards the end of the battle of the Somme.

In 1917, the battalion moved to the area around Arras. By September the fighting was less severe, and Job Stephens was probably killed by a sniper or shell fire. He was buried at the Beehive Cemetery at Willerval.

 

Job was the fifth of nine children. His father William was a carter, his young mother, Ellen, the daughter of a shepherd. After William's death in 1906, his oldest brother, at home, Jesse, helped support the family at home. Job left school at 13, and worked a grocer's delivery boy. An older brother, Edgar, was killed in April 1916. 

Beehive Cemetery, Willerval, on the site of a German machine gun post.