April

Company Sergeant Major (Frederick) Victor Ballinger 13030 9th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment

Victor Ballinger was a serving soldier with the 8th Battalion on the outbreak of war in 1914 , and served in Frances before moving to Salonika in 1915. There with the 9th Battalion, he fought with French Russian Italian and Serbian forces at Monastir, moving on to Doiran in Greece in April 1917. He was killed there on April 25, 1917 in a heavy artillery barrage, and is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial 

 

Victor Ballinger was one of the nine children of a gardener who lived in Vineyard Street. On leaving the Boys’ School school as a young teenager he had worked as a gardener before joining up, and had also been secretary of the Winchcombe football team.

Sergeant (Owen) Harold (Charles) Dyde wrongly named as Dyde C on the war memorial and as Charles by the Commonwealth War graves Commission)  15240 5th Battalion Berkshire Regiment

The Berkshire Regiment arrived in France in June 1915 and fought throughout the war from Loos to the Somme. In April 1918 they were near Albert at the beginning of the Spring Offensive and were involved in heavy fighting for Aveluy Wood. Harold Dyde was wounded and taken to the hospital at Etaples on the coast where he died on April 11, 1918 and was buried.

 

Although the initial C is on the war memorial, Harold was the third son of Charles Dyde, a farm labourer who moved several times between farms around the area. Charles Dyde had five sons by his first wife, who died in 1903, His second wife Harriet, brought three more children, and there were two of the second marriage. In Winchcombe the family lived in Gretton road and then in North street. In 1912, Harold was working as a wagoner at Alcester where he married Lily Sollis, in 1910. They had a son Allan Thomas in 1913.

Private Arthur Care MM 11206 8th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment

The 8th Battalion arrived in France in the late summer of 1915, involved briefly near Loos. The were involved in many of the stages of the battle of the Somme in 1916, and in 1917 fought around Ypres, including Paschendaele. Arthur Care was wounded in fighting on April 10,1918 near Harlebeke in Belgium, taken prisoner, dying in a German casualty unit, and buried by them on April 11, 1918. He was buried again in Harlebeke New British Cemetery.

 

Arthur Care was one of the six surviving children of Charles Care, a carpenter and Julia Care, who lived in Gloucester Street. Arthur the youngest son, worked as a carpenter, probably with his father on the Sudeley estate. His death was not confirmed to the family until September 1918, when they also heard that he had won the Military Medal for bravery in the field.

Harlebeke New British Cemetery

created after the war for British soldiers

brought in from German cemeteries.

Private William Fry 62604 16th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers

William Fry was probably conscripted when he was 18 at the end of 1917, and sent to the Lancashire Fusiliers. They were engaged in heavy fighting between Albert and Bapaume as the Germans strove to push back towards the Somme at the beginning of the Spring Offensive, when the 16th Lancashires – the 2nd Salford Pals – suffered heavy losses. William Fry was killed in action on April 23, 1918. and is commemorated on the memorial at Vis-en- Artois.

 

William Fry was the son of a Gretton labourer, Joseph Fry and his wife Amelia. He was the oldest of three children, and attended Gretton School before leaving at the age of 14. 

The memorial and cemetery at Vis-en-Artois

Private Fred Goodall 3rd Gloucestershire Regiment – Special Reserve.

Fred Goodall is listed in Winchcombe as volunteering in the early days of the war. He appears to have had a variety of postings, in France and in the Mediterranean having been transferred to the Special reserve. His last posting was home from December 22-March 23, 1918 when he was discharged citing ‘debility’, unspecified ill-health. His service was reckoned to have been 3 years and 355 days. He died in Winchcombe the autumn of 1919, and is not listed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

 

Fred Goodall was the older son of Frank Goodall, a labourer and his wife Mary. The family lived in Hailes Street next to Tudor House. Fred’s three older sisters all went into service, and Fred probably worked as a labourer after school

Private Leonard Greening PLY/1258(S) 2nd R M Battalion RN Division Royal Marine Light Infantry

Early in 1917 the Germans began a strategic withdrawal from the Somme to beyond Arras with various lines of trenches including the Oppy Line which ran south east of Arras. After the beginning of the Battle of Arras on April 9, 1917, further engagement with the Germans was extended along the Oppy Line at Gavrelle where there was fierce fighting to capture the windmill on higher ground in the face machine gun fire and repeated counter attacks. Leonard Greening was killed on April 28, 1917, and is commemorated on the memorial at Arras.

 

Leonard was one of the six children of Thomas Greening, a road labourer, and Edith who worked st the paper mill. They lived in Chandos Street. When he left school Leonard worked as telegraph boy, and when he had to take messages over long distances after dark his father would go with him for support.

The Memorial to the RNLI

at Gavrelle

Second Lieutenant Clifford Hackman 92 Squadron

Clifford Hackman joined the Royal Flying Corps when he was 18 and subject to conscription, He worked as a mechanic and in 1917 volunteered for pilot training. He was commissioned Lieutenant on November 8, 1917. He was based at Tangmere. On April 7, 1918, he was flying two seater Avro 504, No. B986 with an instructor, over Oving, when they were hit by a single seater Sopwith Pup. The two planes crashed and Hackman was declared dead at the site, with the other pilot, on April 7, 1918. He was buried in Winchcombe Cemetery.

 

Clifford Hackman was one of the two sons of Edwin and Mary Hackman, born in Winchcombe. His parents moved to Swindon, where Clifford grew up, but retained close relations with their Winccombe families. On leaving school Clifford worked as clerk at the Swindon GWR Works until called up at 18.

Clifford Hackman’s grave

Private Alfred Humphris 28311 !” Gloucestershire (Service) Battalion Bristol

The 12 Battalion landed in France in November 1915, and later took part in battles on the Somme in 1916. Alfred Humphris is unlikely to have been old enough to have joined the battalion before then. In October 1916, the Battalion moved to Festubet and in March 1917, took part supporting Canadians in the fighting for Vimy Ridge. Alfred Humphris was killed on April 20th 1917, one of seven men who died at Cité des Petits Bois, and is buried in the cemetery at La Chaudière below Vimy Ridge.

 

Alfred Humphris was the second of seven children of James Humphris, a baker and confectioner, and his wife Charlotte, who lived in Gloucester Street. He left school at 13 to work as an errand boy. His older sister Kate. Who had gone to work as kitchen maid in a boarding house of Cheltenham Ladies College, died in 1918.

Lance Corporal Ernest Jones 139636 12 Field Company Royal Engineers

Ernest Jones enlisted with the Gloucesters in Cheltenham in August 1915, and at some stage was re-deployed to the Royal Engineers. In the last year of the war the 12th Company was involved in the defence of Ypres and Ernest Jones was killed on April 21, 1918 with three other men from 12 Coy by a bomb dropped from a German plane. They are buried together in Ramparts Cemetery Ypres.

 

Ernest Jones was one of the sons of Albert and Eliza, originally from Bredons Hardwick. He worked with his father and brother Henry with Collins and Godfrey builders before the war. Henry died of wounds the month after his brother. He married Emma Pumphrey from Winchcombe in 1906, and the couple had two daughters. They lived for a time in Union Cottage in Winchcombe. In 1921, Emma re-married to Alexander Johnston, and lived on the Gretton Road.

Private Andrew Parker 25107 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment 

Andrew Parker volunteered in November 1914, and after training could have been quickly posted to the 4th Worcesters returned from Burma. They fought at Gallipoli in 1915, before being sent to France where they fought on the Somme, and at Arras. In 1918 they moved to the Ypres Salient, fighitng at Messines in April 1918 during the Battle of the Lys, when the Germans were attempting to break through to the higher ground south of Ypres. Andrew Parker was killed on April 17, 1918, and was buried in nearby Mont Noir Cemetery.

 

Andrew Parker was one of the 7th son of Richard and Rosina Parker, who had struggled to earn enough to keep their growing family. In 1914 Andrew married Daisy North in Bromsgrove. She was then just 18, and had been working as a domestic servant since her early teens. They lived in Silk Mill Lane where they had two sons before Andrew’s death.

Alfred Humphris’ grave at La Chaudière Military Cemetery

Ernest Jones’ grave

in Ramparts Cemetery

Andrew Parker’s grave at Mont Noir

Flowers left by a visitor to the museum visiting a family grave at 

Mont Noir and read the Parker’s story

Private Walter Oakey PLY/1256(5) 2nd RM Battalion RN Division Royal Marine Light Infantry

He is commemorated on the second part of the Winchcombe list, begun after 1915.

Early in 1917 the Germans began a strategic withdrawal from the Somme to beyond Arras with various lines of trenches including the Oppy Line which ran south east of Arras. After the beginning of the Battle of Arras on April 9, 1917, further engagement with the Germans was extended along the Oppy Line at Gavrelle led to fierce fighting in which Walter Oakey was killed on April. 28, 1917. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. 

 

Walter Oakey was the son of William Oakey, a stone mason, and bis wife Louisa. They lived at the bottom of Hailes Street, and ultimately had seven children. When he left school Walter worked as an assistant baker.

The Arras Memorial and Cemetery 

Howard Peacey (left) with the RGHin Egypt

Sergeant Howard Peacey 2100 A Squadron Royal Gloucestershire Hussars

The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars had been formed first in the 18th century as a volunteer yeomanry, but became part of the army reserve, volunteering in the First War to serve abroad. In April 1915 they left for the Middle East. Some fought at Gallipoli but in 1916 were sent into the Egyptian desert to guard water supplies for the railway builders. A Squadron was attacked at Katia on April 23 but Turkish forces in a raid from which only one man escaped after a days fighting. Howard Peacey was killed in the attack on April 23, and is commemorated on the memorial in Jerusalem.

 

He was the older son of Frederick Peacey who had moved to Manor Farm in Greet. He intended to farm himself and before the war was helping his father on the farm. In his will he left a kepsake to the girl who probably intended to marry. Frederick himself was very active in town life. Howard had joined the Hussars before the war. His younger brother, Arthur, joined the Royal Flying Corps and after the war lead the committee which planned the war memorial.

The Jerusalem Memorial

Private George Pearce 14377 10th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment

George Pearce appears in the second part of the Winchcombe war list of men who served, and probably joined the Warwickshires in late 1915 or early 1916. They were involved in the fighting near Loos and moved south to take part in fighting on the Somme. George Pearce was probably wounded before the move to the Somme and moved to one of the hospitals in the large Calais complex where he died on April 13, 1916, and was buried in Calais Southern Cemetery. It is likely that he had been in France for only a relatively short time.

 

George Pearce was one of the two sons of William Pearce by his second marriage. William Pearce had been a prison officer and had then become Master of the Cheltenham Workhouse. His first wife Charlotte died in 1898. He retired to Winchcombe on a Poor Law Pension with his second wife Mary, who was nearly forty years younger. George was their second son. The family had a long- serving servant, May Clegg, whose brother, Wincel, was also killed.

George Pearce’ grave at Calais Southern Cemetery

Private Albert Rachael 203659 3rd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment

The 3rd Wiltshires were formed in August 1914 but remained with Home Garrisons first with the Portland Garrison and the with the Thames and Medway Garrison. It does not appear that Albert Rachael served abroad during the war.

 

Albert Rachael was the seventh of the 15 children of Philip and Georgina Rachael, born between 1887 and 1908. Philip Rachael was a carter on farms and the family moved several times. William Rachael ,the brother closest in age to Albert , had had a variety of overseas postings during the was, travelling as far as India. At the beginning of 1919 William was living in Vineyard Street in Winchcombe, when Albert visited and died on February 24, 1919, possibly in the flu epidemic. He is buried in Winchcombe Cemetery.

His name was included recently because he is buried in Winchcombe.

Private Tom Richings 26042 15th Hussars attached as signaller to the 10th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. Tom Richings volunteered in 1914 and was assigned to the 15thHussars who in turn were attached to other units to form a reconnaissance element. The DLI in the 14th Division fought around Ypres in 1915, but moved south to the front line in France. A signaller had to work close to the front line to ensure communications, sometimes laying or tracing faults and repairing wires, often exposed to enemy fire. Tom Richings was killed on April 7, 1916, and buried in the Agny Military Cemetery at Agny.

 

The Richings family originally had worked as potters, but Tom’s father worked as a labourer. He was the second of six children, living first at Footbridge and later Bull Lane. He married Annie Jeffries in December soon after joining the army, and daughter, Joyce, was born in June 1915.

Albert Rachael’s grave, which

also commemorates his brother’

Agny Military Cemetery

Sergeant Edgar Stephens 13631 10th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment 

The 10th Gloucesters landed in France in August 1915 , attached to the 1st Division and fought in the battle of Loos in October that year. Fighting, sometimes heavy, continued intermittently, in the area through the winter, and Edgar Stephens was killed in action on April 20, 1916, and buried in St Patrick’s Cemetery, which had originally been started by Irish units.

 

Edgar Stephens was the second of the six children of William and Ellen Stephens. William was a carter and the family moved from Hailes, where Edgar was born via Didbrook and Gretton where Edgar went to school. He left school at 12 but did not become a labourer on a farm but was first and errand boy and then a porter at Toddington, lodging nearby.

A younger brother, Job, was killed the following year.

Private Edward Townsend 201999 1 /4 Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.

Edward Townsend joined the army with his brother probably after conscription was introduced in 1916. The regiment was engaged in much of the fighting on the Somme in the summer of 1916, pursuing the Germans as they withdrew towards the Hindenburg Line beyond Arras in April 1917. The Gloucesters were involved in fierce fighting from April 12, to take the village of Templeux-le-Guérard. Edward Townsend was killed on April 13, 1917, and was buried in the cemetery at the village.

 

Edward was the younger son of James a carter, and Matilda Townsend. They moved from Sudeley, where Edward worked as groom, to a cottage at the end of Back Lane. In 1917, Matilda lost both her sons and her husband within four months of each other. Matilda moved to Cowl Lane where she lived on until 1935.

Private Thomas Wasley 24454 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment

Tom Wasley probably volunteered in 1915, when he was not quite sixteen. Family members remembered that he did so against his parents wishes and threatened not to see them again if they reported his being under age. He is listed with the 3rd Battalion in Winchcombe, but appears to have been transferred to the 1st. They were actively engaged by the Germans in the Loos sector when Tom Wasley was killed on April 28, 1916, aged 16. He is buried at St Patrick’s Cemetery Loos.

 

Tom Wasley was the oldest of the six children of Charles Wasley, a farm worker, and Ellen. The family lived on the Gretton Road. Their younger son died of diptheria a few months later. 

St Patrick Cemetery Loos-en-Gohelle France

Templeux-le-Guérard Military Cemetery 

St Patrick Cemetery Loos-en-Gohelle France

Winchcombe  Museum, High Street,

Winchcombe, Cheltenham, GL54 5LJ

 

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site updated 10th April 2021