Robert Deakin, seated 3rd, left, in his last year at school
Lieutenant Robert Hartley Deakin 10th, JATS Indian Army, flying with 45 Squadron RFC
Robert was based at St Marie Cappel near Cassel on the French/Belgian border. He and his observer, Reginald Hayes, were flying a Sopwith 11/4 Strutter, and had been credited with one kill on July 17, before being shot down. Their bodies were not recovered and they are commemorated on the Flying Services Memorial in the Faubourg d’Amians Cemetery at Arras.
The Deakin family came from Wigan, but built up a very successful business at the jam factory in Toddington. Robert was a successful athlete and scholar at Cheltenham Grammar school, before winning an Open Natural Sciences Exhibition to Jesus College Oxford. He left for Sandhurst, was posted to the distinguished !0th JATS in the Indian Army, and volunteered for the RFC and pilot training in 1917.
Two of his brothers won the Military Cross
Sapper Arthur Giles 138612 118th Railway Coy, Royal Engineers
Railway companies built miles of track to ensure supplies of essential supplies to the front line. Calais was a new military supply base in 1915 Arthur Giles was killed there with four other men in an accident on July 21, 1916. The five men were buried with military honours in Calais Southern Cemetery.
Arthur Giles was married with a daughter. He lived in Greet and was a platelayer on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.
Private Thomas Minchin 23287 1/4Batallion Gloucestesrshire Regiment
The battalion was involved in heavy fighting around Orvillers during the Battle of the Somme, and came under attack from bombing and artillery during the night of July 23.
Herbert Minchin died on July 24, 1916 in a Casualty Clearing Station at Puchvillers and was buried in the Cemetery at Puchvillers
Thomas was the youngest of the five surviving children, born in 1886. The Minchin family
lived at Ireley Cotttages for some years. Thomas’ father, worked as a carter, and Thomas worked as a labourer, possibly at the pottery.
Private Amos Palmer 15180 2nd Battalion Gloucestsershire Regiment.
Amos Palmer's record suggests that he arrived at the regular battalion in May 1915,
during the heavy fighting of the Second Battle of Ypres. Amos' parents heard he was
missing in May 1915, when there are two possible dates of death but his official date
of death is July 5. He almost certainly died before this but in the confusion of the fighting
his fate is uncertain. He is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial.
Amos was the only son of William and Annie, who also had a daughter, William was a carter on a farm, and the family moved for work several times, but in 1911 they lived at Hailes Cottages. Amos also worked on a farm.
Pilot Officer Dundley Slatter 44597 141 Squadron RAF
141 Squadron, equipped with relatively untried Boulton Defiants, moved to Biggin Hill in July 1940, to patrol over the Channel after the fall of France.Defiants had a single cramped gun turret facing backwards behind the cockpit. If the plane was hit, the gunner, like Dudey Slatter, stood little chance of baling out. In their early patrol on July 19, there were serious losses, especially among the gunners. Dudley Slatter's pilot survived. He is commemorated on the Runnymede memorial.
Dudley's grandfather had been a Winchcombe Bailiff, and other family members for many years ran the school in Hailes Street.
Able Seaman George Tustin R/584 Hood Battalion RN Division RNVR
Royal Navy Divisions became part of the army in 1916. After fighting at the Somme in 1916, they were moved to the Arras area, where they fought during the spring and summer of 1917. George Tustin was killed in later fighting in the area, probably near Bailleul-Sire-Berthoult, and re-buried at Orchard Dump Cemetery after the war.
George was born in 1886 ,one of the nine children of John Tustin a labourer, who lived in Gloucester Street. After their parents died the unmarried children lived together – George and a brother worked on the fruit farm. He married Annie Barrett in 1911. One of his sons, Sidney, became a very well-known potter.
Private Albert Whittingham 13404 8th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment
Albert was one of the earlierst volunteers, He arrived in France on July 15, 1915. His regiment was in action at La Boisselle on the Somme on July 3, when he was killed attached to a grande company. The leader of the action won the VC. Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
.His family had come from Cheltenham and were living at the at the Unicorn opposite the church. He was a trainee blacksmith before joining up. His older brother Frederick, had been a boy soldier, and was killed in the earliest fighting of the war.