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Private Frererick Davis 21499 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
The battalion left for Gallipoli in March 1915, and were involved in fighting during that summer, suffering heavy casulaties in the disastrous landing at Suvla Bay. Frederck Davis died on August 6, 1915, but like many men killed then, his body was not found and his parents were still trying to find news of him at the end of the year. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.
Frederick Davis was from a family of labourers, the youngest son of William and Eleanor and had lived in Hailes Street. In 1911 he had married Frances Hart, who remarried after the war.
The Helles Memorial
Private Charles Day 424 6th Battalion Australian Imperial Force.
Charles Day was killed in heavy fighting with the Turks near Steele’s Post above Anzac Cove at Gallipoli. He was described in a Red Cross report as having been shot in the back and the leg, trying to capture a Turkish trench. He was buried in the cemetery at Shrapnel Valley, at Gallipoli.
Charles Day’s father ran the George for many years, before moving into farming. Charles had served with the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars in Winchcombe for several years before emigrating to Victoria where he was farming. He was one of the first in Australia to volunteer perhaps expecting to fight on the front in France or Belgium, before the Battalion was redirected to Gallipoli.
Shrapnel Valley Cemetery Gallipoli
Sergeant Albert George Fry 11153 7th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment Mentioned in Dispatches
George Fry was one of the Winchcombe men who left for Gallipoli via Alexandria in June 1915. After a few early engagements at Gully Ravine and Y Beach, they landed at Suvla Bayon August 6, to fight up to Sari Bair. With other Winchcombe men he died in fierce fighting on August 8. With the failure of the campaign and the withdrawal from Gallipoli at the end of the year, few bodies could be recovered. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial and on a family grave in the cemetery in Winchcombe.
George Fry was born in Publow in Somerset, the fourth child of a gamekeeper. When the family moved to Sudeley Hill, near Winchcombe he worked with his father. He appears to have married before the war – a wife is listed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission living in London after the war.
The Helles Memorial
Farrier Quarter Master Sergeant Arthur Greening 33987 Royal Horse Artillery
Arthur Greening was a professional soldier who had served for some years in India. At the outbreak of war he was sent back to Europe ,arriving I France on November 11, 1914. He fought throughout the war until Deember 1, 1917 he was seriously wounded and left disabled. Discharged from the army on December 24, 1918, he was cared for by his wife in Cheltenham and died in the Minstry of Pensions Hospital in Bath where he died on August 15, 1922. He is buried in Winchcombe Cemetery.
Jabez Greening and his family were badly affected by the agricultural depression and they all left Bull Lane in Winchcombe to find better employment. Arthur joined the army and rose through the ranks, serving in South Africa and India. He married Fanny Kearsey, whom he knew from home, in Bombay in 1911, and they had two daughters.
Corporal Charles Henney 247684 Royal Air Force
Charles Henney was conscripted into the Navy at the end of the war as he turned 18 but transferred into the newly formed Royal Air Force. He was sent to Tregantle Fort in Cornwall and then as fighting broke out in Ireland he was posted there. He worked as a motor mechanic. He died of unknown causes in the Renmore Military Hospital and was buried at Bohemore Cemetery in Galway, Ireland.
Charles Henney was the oldest child of Joseph and Dorcas Henney. Joseph’s father Charles, was an engineer who had come to Winchcombe to work at the paper mill, and the family became very involved over years with the work there. Charles, his brother and two sisters, lived at Postlip Cottages as children.
Private (Alwyn) Robert Holmes 240363 1/5 Battlalion Gloucesteshire Regiment
The battalion had landed in France in March 1915, In 1916 they had taken part in the fighting in several parts of the Somme. The following year they were involved in fighting on the Ypres Salient. At the beginning of August 1917, they were relieving two other units near Langemark, under heavy shelling, the movement attracting the attention of the Germans. Robert Holmes was killed on August 6, when a shell hit his dugout.
Robert is buried at New Irish Farm Cemetery. A concentration cemetery with graves from other cemeteries.
He was one of the large family of (John) Thomas and Kate Holmes. Although they were married in Winchcombe, the Holmes seem to have been based later at Toddington and involved on the estate. Their cottage was very cramped. With seven children in the family. Robert and his older brother Hubert, worked as nurserymen.
New Irish Farm Cemetery Ypres
Private George Jeffries 241627 2/5 Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.
On August 21,1917, the 2/5 battalion were preparing for an attack east of Ypres, when they suffered a gas attack. The next day they launched an unsuccessful attack with other regiments on Pond Farm, suffering heavy casualties. It seems that George Jeffries was killed in this attack, but his body was not found or identified. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
George was the oldest of six children of William Jeffries, who worked at the tannery, and his wife Emma who worked at the paper mill. They lived in Gloucester Street. After the death of their father in 1908, the family moved in with their mother’s parents. George was the main wage-earner then, working as a builder’s labourer. He married in Cheltenham in April 1916.
Tyne Cot Memorial
Shoeing Smith John Beaconsfield Johnson 34056 119 Battery Royal Field Artillery
On August 23, the British Expeditionary Force first met the much larger German forces on the outskirts of Mons. 119th Battery with Norfolks, Cheshires and Lancers faced a large force of the Elouges-Audregnies Road, on August 24, and were shelled with heavy losses, in an action first known as the ‘saving of the guns’.
Johnson was the first local man to be killed in the war, and is commemorated on the Memorial at La Ferte sous Jouarre, on the Marne.
John Johnson was the second of eight children of Annie and Isaac, living mainly around Worcestershire. Several of the children left home quite young, giving their mother as their next of kin. In 1914, she lived at the Close Stanley Pontlarge. John had trained as a blacksmith in his teens, joined the army in1906, and qualified as a shoesmith. Two of his brothers emigrated, one of them, Cecil, was also killed in the war.
The Memorial at La Ferte-sou-Jouarre
Tom King standing 2nd from right in the Winchcombe football team c 1900
Private Tom King 202060 1/5 Battalion (Territorial) Gloucestershire Regiment
The 1/5 Gloucesters were part of the forces on the Ypres Salient planning to push the German forces back and regain the higher ground in the third battle of Ypres – Passchendaele. The offensive which began at the end of July 1917 quickly ran into wet weather, and then into mud. Tom King was killed in action on August 7, as attention was beginning to turn to the German lines at Langemarck.
His body was not found and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate.
Tom King was the younger of the two children of William King, who worked at the paper mill and Jane, who lived in Gloucester Street. Jane died in 1904, Tom seems to have stayed at home, unmarried, after his much older sister Ann, had left. working at the tannery. He was a keen footballer.
The Menin Gate Ypres
Private (James) Frederick Launchbury G/24624 8th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment
The Battalion was taking part in the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) which began at the end of July 1917, to break through the German lines on the high ground around Ypres. Frederick Launchbury was killed in the early days of the fighting He is commemorated on the Menin Gate
Frederick was the younger son of Thomas and Jane, who had moved several times during their marriage, and had lived in Cheltenham before moving to Gloucester Street in Winchcombe. He family had been involved in shop work. And Frederick was working as a dealer as well as a photographer. He had married in Cheltenham in 1915 to Ellen Taylor and had a son, Thomas, in 1916.
The unveiling of the Menin Gate
July 24, 1927
Private Arthur Major 11386 7th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment
The 7th Gloucesters landed at Y Beach at Gallipoli on July 11, withdrew to Mudros and returned to Gallipoli , fighting alongside New Zealand and Australian soldiers towards Sairi Bair and Chanuk Bair. With no time to dig trenches and under heavy fire, the battalion suffered extremely heavy losses with over 300 casualties dead , wounded or missing. Arthur had been with his cousin – a friend who searched for them after the fighting wrote to Arthur’s father said he his cousin had been seen together under fire, but later could not be found. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial at Gallipoli.
Arthur’s mother had died leaving his father, a quarryman, with five young children at home in Gloucester Street. Three older children worked, Arthur, at the paper mill as an apprentice paper maker.
The Helles Memorial
Private (John) Edwin Major. 11199 7th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment
Edwin and his cousin Arthur,joined the 7th Gloucesters and other men from Winchcombe. They left England for Gallipoli in June 1915, and took part in the assault of early August at Suvla Bay over several days. It was disastrously mismanaged and the battalion suffered very heavy casualties. A letter sent later by another soldier described seeing the cousins together with others under fire when Edwin was already probably dead .He died on August 11, 1915, and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.
Edwin Major lived in Gloucester Street, the son of John and Emma Major. Most of the family worked as labourers, but John Major worked as a gardener for a time, perhaps at Sudeley, and that may have been how Edwin came to work there as a hall boy, the only local indoor servant.
Fireman Trimmer P Harry Rogers SS Ciscar Merchant Navy
In August 1941, the Ciscar was part of Convoy -71, sailing from Bristol to Gibraltar.
Twenty three merchant ships, escorted by two destroyers and six corvettes were spotted by a Focke-Wolff FW on August 17 then attacked by U-boats. The Ciscar was torpedoed, on August 19, seen by one of Rogers’ sons on another ship. The convoy was again attacked, with heavy loss of life. Some of the ships took refuge in Lisbon. He is commemorated on the Seamen’s Memorial on Tower Hill, London.
Harry Rogers was a married man from London, who had settled in Winchcombe with his wife and seven young children. His family remained in Winchcombe.
Sgt. Hubert Webber 7891840 Royal Armoured Corps attached to a Sqn 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars
Sgt Webber was leading A Squadron of the Hussars, as the troop officer was already wounded. In advance of a large force. After the D Day landings, Allied Forces were trying to push German forces back and out of Normandy, beyond Bayeux. He was killed in action on August 8, 1944. Sgt Webber is buried in the huge military cemetery at Bayeux, although this is a concentration cemetery, so the exact place of his death is not certain.
Hubert Webber was born in Bristol and sang as a choirboy in a church there, and in All Saints Cheltenham before joining St Peter’s in Winchcombe. His family lived at 8, Cheltenham Road. For a short time he worked at Saxone Shoes, before joining the army, serving in the middle East for three years and then taking part in the D Day landings.
Private William James Fry 62604 16th Battalion Lancashire Regiment
William Fry appears to have been assigned to the Lancashire Regiment when numbers had been seriously depleted at the end of fighting at the Somme, when he turned 18 in 1917. In the last hundred days of the war, and the allies fought to retake ground from the Germans at the Somme, William Fry died in fighting between Albert and Bapaume. but is body was never identified. He is commemorated on the Memorial at Vis-en-artois.
His parents Joseph and Amelia lived in Greet and William went to Gretton School. He left in 1913 to find work, probably in labouring like his father. He wold have been conscripted as soon as he was 18.
Memorial at Vis-en-Artois