Roll of Honour

The list below is arranged in alphabetical order of the village or town of the tower to which the ringer belonged.

ALDINGTON, ST MARTIN
William Stephen Winchester
Private, 6th Battalion, The Buffs
Killed in Action in Belgium 23rd April 1915
Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial

APPLEDORE, SS PETER & PAUL
Douglas Claude Allen Johnson
Private, 6th Battalion, The Buffs
Killed in Action in France 13th October 1915
Loos Memorial

BEARSTED, HOLY CROSS
George Taylor
Sapper, 13th (Western) Divisional Signal Company, Royal Engineers
Died in Gallipoli 29th August 1915
Helles Memorial

Frederick Wilkinson
Lance Corporal, 11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action in France 22nd March 1918
Arras Memorial

BECKENHAM, ST GEORGE
John Bawden Lovell
Gunner, 119th Heavy Battery, Royal Field Artillery
Killed in Action in Belgium 21st August 1917
Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery

BIDDENDEN, ALL SAINTS
George Hugh Honess
Private, 189th Company, Machine Gun Corps
Killed in Action in Belgium 4th November 1917
Tyne Cot Memorial

BORDEN, SS PETER & PAUL
George Daniel Mills
Lance Corporal, 6th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment
Killed in Action in France 3rd May 1917
Arras Memorial

Frederick John Staines
Lance Corporal, 36th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers
Died of wounds in Belgium 14th October 1917
Bard Cottage Cemetery

BOUGHTON-UNDER-BLEAN, SS PETER & PAUL
Clarence W Smith
Private, 7th Battalion, The Buffs
Died 3rd May 1917
Arras Memorial

BRABOURNE, ST MARY
George Skeer, MM, Croix de Guerre (Belgium)
Sergeant, 222nd Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Died of wounds in France 21st March 1918
Pozieres Memorial

BROMLEY, SS PETER & PAUL
Eric George Filtness
Bombardier, 390th Battery, Royal Field Artillery
Killed in Action in Palestine 13th July 1918
Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel

Alfred Henry James
Private, 1st Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment
Died of wounds in France 9th April 1917
Arras Memorial

BROOKLAND, ST AUGUSTINE
Frederick Sims
Private, 23rd Battalion (Tyneside Scottish), Northumberland Fusiliers
Killed in Action in France 21st March 1918
Arras Memorial

CANTERBURY, ST ALPHEGE & THE CATHEDRAL
Archibald Francis Hodgskin
Lieutenant, Royal Air Force
Killed in Action over Greece 6th September 1918
Doiran Memorial

CANTERBURY, ST STEPHEN
George Batchelor MM
Sergeant, 8th Battalion, The Buffs
Killed in Action in France on 18th August 1916
Thiepval Memorial

Samuel Luther Batchelor
Corporal, 73rd Company, Machine Gun Corps
Died of Wounds in France on 17th April 1917
Arras Memorial

CHARING, SS PETER & PAUL
Charles John Colbreay
Private, 1st Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers
Died at Gallipoli on 21st August 1915
Helles Memorial

John Settatree
Air Mechanic, Royal Air Force
Died on 26th January 1919
Charing Churchyard

CHIDDINGSTONE, ST MARY THE VIRGIN
George Albert Cooper
Sapper, Royal Engineers
Died on 14th September 1916
Edenbridge Cemetery

Ernest Harry Huntley
Private, 4th Battalion, Grenadier Guards
Killed in Action in Belgium 13th April 1918
Ploegsteert Memorial

Sydney Huntley
Sapper, 490th Field Company, Royal Engineers
Died of wounds in France 25th March 1918
Pozieres Memorial

Reginald John Medhurst
Private, 11th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force
Died of wounds in France 21st March 1917
St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen

William Whitelaw
Lance Corporal, 11th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
Killed in Action in France 3rd April 1918
Pozieres Memorial

CHISLEHURST, ST NICHOLAS
John Henry Mitcham
Lance Corporal, 2nd/7th Battalion, The London Regiment
Died of accidental injuries in France 7th April 1917
Mailly Wood Cemetery

COBHAM, ST MARY MAGDELENE
William Wakeley Pye
2nd Lieutenant, 6th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment
Killed in Action in France 14th October 1915
Loos Memorial

COWDEN, ST MARY MAGDELENE
Harold Edward Ladd
Air Mechanic, Royal Flying Corps
Killed when ‘HMS Aragon’ was torpedoed off Alexandria on 30th December 1917
Chatby Memorial, Egypt

CRAYFORD, ST PAULINUS
William Thomas Audsley
Gunner, 50th Battery, Royal Field Artillery
Died of wounds in France on 9th February 1917
Aveluy Communal Cemetery

William Eames
(This name is recorded on a certificate in Crayford belfry but to date it has not been possible to trace him definitely.)

DEPTFORD, ST JOHN EVANGELIST
Herbert Edward White
Lance Corporal, Military Police
Died on 11th October 1918
Deptford (Brockley) Cemetery

DOVER, ST MARY (for more information about Dover click here)
Walter Corteen
Private, 7th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment
Died of wounds in France on 31st March 1918
Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery Extension

Archibald Percy Randolph Gibbs
Lance Corporal, 1st Battalion, Kings Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment
Killed in Action in France on 26th August 1914
La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial

Arthur Harold Roberts
Private, No. 1 Reserve MT Depot, Army Service Corps
Died in England on 5th May 1916
Dover (St Mary’s) New Cemetery

George Saunders
Air Mechanic, Royal Naval Air Service
Died of pneumonia in England on 12th April 1916
Dover (St Mary’s) New Cemetery

EAST FARLEIGH, ST MARY
John Brook
Private, 2nd Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment
Died of pneumonia in England 22nd April 1919
East Farleigh Churchyard

Tom Cox
Private, 8th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment
Killed in Action in France on 21st March 1918
Pozieres Memorial

ERITH, CHRIST CHURCH
William Barton Young
Private, 1st/14th (London Scottish) Battalion, The London Regiment
Died of wounds in France on 10th April 1917
Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery

EYNSFORD, ST MARTIN
Alfred Gates
Private, D Company, 8th Battalion, The Royal West Kent Regiment
Killed in Action in Belgium on 18th June 1917
Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial

FOLKESTONE, SS MARY & EANSWYTH
Charles Edward Munday
Private, 11th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment
Killed in Action in Belgium on 27th May 1917
Dickebusch New Military Cemetery Extension

GOODNESTONE, HOLY CROSS
Robert Thomas Hopkins
Private, 6th Battalion, The Buffs
Killed in Action in France on 5th March 1916
Loos Memorial

GRAVESEND, ST GEORGE
Charles Edward Constant
Able Seaman, Merchant Navy
Killed when SS ‘Marquette’ was torpedoed south of Salonica on 23rd October 1915
Tower Hill Memorial, London

Walter James Crowhurst
Lance Corporal, 10th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment
Killed in Action in Belgium on 8th August 1917
Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial

HARTLIP, ST MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS
Fred William Rayfield
Private, 31st Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (Alberta Regiment)
Died in France on 11th October 1918
British Extension of Queant Communal Cemetery

HAWKHURST, ST LAWRENCE
Frank Chapman
Private, Central Workshops, The Tank Corps
Died in France on 2nd November 1918
St Pol British Cemetery

HAYES, ST MARY THE VIRGIN
Arthur Edmund Cassam
Private, 1st Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment
Killed in Action in France
Thiepval Memorial

Herbert William Williams
AB, Royal Naval Reserve
Killed when HMS ‘Vanguard’ blew up in Scapa Flow on 9th July 1917
Royal Naval Memorial, Chatham

HERNHILL, ST MICHAEL
Edgar S Coachworth
Private, 7th Battalion, Royal West Kents
Died of wounds, 15th October 1917
Etaples Military Cemetery

HIGH HALDEN, ST MARY THE VIRGIN
Henry Frank Hawkins
Private, 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died at Southampton on 16th April, 1917
High Halden Churchyard

HORSMONDEN, ST MARGARET
Edwin J Lambert
Private, 9th Battalion, The East Surrey Regiment
Died while a Prisoner of War at Morhange on 22nd October 1918
Special Memorial, Saaralbe Military Cemetery, France

HYTHE, ST LEONARD
Eric Raymond Thomas
Lance Corporal, 6th Battalion, The Buffs
Died in France on 1st July 1918
Harponville Communal Cemetery Extension

LAMBERHURST, ST MARY
Richard H Russell
Private, ‘C’ Supply Coy. (Aldershot), Royal Army Service Corps
Died in England on 22nd February 1920
Lamberhurst Churchyard

LEE, ST MARGARET
Bryan Osmond Dewes
2nd Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment
Killed in France on 30th July 1915
Rue-de-Bacquerot (13th) London Graveyard, Laventie

LEEDS, ST NICHOLAS
Ralph Henty
Driver, Royal Field Artillery
Died in India on 30th October 1918
Kirklee 1914-1918 Memorial, Poona

Edwin Frank Latter
Private, 680th Agricultural Company, Labour Corps
Died in England on 26th February 1919
Leeds Churchyard

LEWISHAM, ST MARY
Merrick Raymond Warnett
Lance Corporal, 20th Battalion, The London Regiment
Killed in Action in France on 14th May 1918
Contay British Cemetery

LINTON, ST NICHOLAS
George William Broad
Machine Gunner, 37th Company, Machine Gun Corps
Killed in Action in France on 27th July 1917
Monchy British Cemetery

Charles Henry Sone
Private, 2nd/1st Home Counties Field Ambulance RAMC
Died at Margate on 7th June 1916
Linton Churchyard

LYMINGE, SS MARY & EADBURGA
Ernest Fisher
Private, C Company, 12th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Killed in Action in France on 8th April 1917
Arras Memorial

MAIDSTONE, ALL SAINTS
Leonard J Startup
Corporal, 1st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers
Killed in Action in France on 3rd May 1917
Arras Memorial

MAIDSTONE, ST MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS
Frederick J Busbridge
Driver, 295th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
Died of wounds in Belgium on 10th October 1917
Dozinghem Military Cemetery

Walter Richard Busbridge
Private, 7th Battalion, The Buffs
Killed in Action in France on 18th November 1918
Stump Road Cemetery, Somme

James Walter Capeling
Private, 7th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
Died of wounds in France on 28th March 1918
Ribemont Communal Cemetery Extension

Percy Hassock, DCM
Corporal, 1st/6th Battalion, The London Regiment
Killed in Action on 15th September 1916
Thiepval Memorial

MARDEN, SS MICHAEL & ALL SAINTS
David Charles Hodgkin
Private, 4th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment
Killed in Action in France on 27th May 1918
Vendresse British Cemetery, France

MARGATE, ST JOHN THE BAPTIST
Henry George Staplehurst
Gunner, D Battery, 50th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
Killed in Action in France on 22nd August 1918
La Kreule Military Cemetery

MILTON NEXT GRAVESEND, SS PETER & PAUL
Arthur G Marshall
Private, 23rd Battalion, Middlesex Regiment
Killed in Action in France on 15th September 1916
Thiepval Memorial

OSPRINGE, SS PETER & PAUL
William George Coveney
Munitions Worker, Cotton Powder Company, Faversham
Killed by an accident at work on 10th May 1916
Ospringe Churchyard

QUEENBOROUGH, HOLY TRINITY
Richard Sutton Staines
Munitions Worker, Aeroplane Works
Died on 4th November 1918
Halfway Cemetery, Sheppey

ROLVENDEN, ST MARY THE VIRGIN
Louis Arthur Hayesmore
Private, 7th Battalion, The Buffs
Killed in Action in France on 18th November 1916
Thiepval Memorial

Frederick William Richards
Private, 7th Battalion, The Buffs
Killed in Action in France on 23rd March 1918
Pozieres Memorial

SEAL CHART, ST LAURENCE
Alfred Hope
Private, 10th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment
Died on 18th August 1916
Seal Chart Churchyard

SHIPBOURNE, ST GILES
Edward Henry May
Private, 50th Mobile Workshops, Army Ordnance Corps
Died in Mesopotamia on 25th August 1917
Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Iraq

SPELDHURST, ST MARY THE VIRGIN
Archibald Alfred Thorpe
Private, Army Veterinary Corps
Died on 7th July 1916
Speldhurst Cemetery

John Thorpe
Private, 9th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment
Killed in Action in Italy on 11th December 1917
Giavera British Cemetery

ST LAURENCE IN THANET
Percy W J Petley
Senior Reserve Attendant, Royal Naval Air Service
Died at Chatham on 23rd October 1918
St Laurence Churchyard

STONE IN OXNEY, ST MARY
Charles Ephraim Daw
Private, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment
Died of wounds in France on 31st August 1918
Bagneux British Cemetery

Harry Pellett
Private, 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
Killed in Action in France on 29th September 1914
Vendresse British Cemetery

George Underdown
Private, 5th Battalion, The Buffs
Killed in Action in Mesopotamia on 24th January 1917
Basra Memorial, Iraq

Wilfred Stephen Wenham
Trooper, Royal East Kent Yeomanry
Died on 11th February 1915
Canterbury Cemetery

TENTERDEN, ST MILDRED
Frederick J Gilbert
Private, 14th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Died of wounds in France on 7th June 1917
Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension

Charles Cecil Tribe
Able Seaman, Drake Battalion, Royal Naval Division
Killed in Action in France on 28th May 1918
Mesnil Communal Cemetery

TUNBRIDGE WELLS, ST PETER
Edward James Crocker
Corporal, 10th Battalion, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
Killed in Action in Belgium on 7th November, 1918
Anzeghem Communal Cemetery

WESTERHAM, ST MARY
Sidney Arthur Wright
Sergeant, 2nd Battalion, The Scots Guards
Died in France on 1st March 1917
Grove Town Cemetery, Somme

WICKHAMBREUX, ST ANDREW
Albert Johnson
Private, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment
Died on 1st September 1920
Wickhambreux Churchyard

NON-RESIDENT MEMBERS
William Douglass James
Lieutenant, Royal Garrison Artillery
Killed in Action in France on 25th September 1915
Chocques Military Cemetery

Bertram Prewett
Private, 5th Battalion, The London Regiment
Killed in Action in France on 31st August 1918
Sailly-Saillesel Military Cemetery

More about Dover

We are grateful to Mike Godfrey who has kindly sent in details of other Dover ringers who served in the forces and were fortunate enough to return home. We will probably never know what these men endured, but it seemed fiitting to remember them here for services rendered

Frederick W Elliott  (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) – prisoner of war eight months in Germany

George A Godfrey – Royal Engineers Searchlights and Telephone services

Cyril Hardiman (RAMC) – gassed in France

Frederick A Kennet (APC) – on the clerical staff

Charles R Millway – served on the Clerical Staff of the Royal Army Service Corps in Dover

Herbert J Saunders (Royal Engineers) – doing duty at Dover and Richborough

Alfred C Saywell ( RGA) – wounded at St Quentin

Herbert Saywell – served in the Dover Volunteers carrying out various duties in the town

Richard H Stevens (Kent Cyclists) – afterwards serving on munitions

Charles Turner (The Buffs) – wounded at Battle of Arras April 9th 1917; afterwards served with the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force

Horace Whitehead (RGA) – served in England and France.

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This account of a peal at Dover makes poignant reading, too. Edith Cavell was the daughter of a Norfolk parson and became governess to a family in Brussels, a position she held for some years. In 1895 her father became seriously ill and she returned to England to look after him. This experience convinced her that her vocation in life was not really as a governess, and she trained as a nurse, later becoming matron of the nursing school at the Berkendael Institute back in Brussels. She was apparently completely humourless, aloof and generally unapproachable, but she was scrupulously fair. She doesn’t sound the sort to have risked her life on a daily basis for a year sheltering Allied troops and helping to get them back to their own countries, but this she did. Even after the Germans had occupied Belgium and turned the Institute into a Red Cross hospital she kept up her work. Eventually German suspicions became so great that they arrested Edith and after a short trial she was sentenced to death by firing squad on 12 October 1915. She was just under two months short of her 50th birthday. She was buried near Brussels but in May 1919 her body was exhumed and brought back to England. King George V attended her memorial service in Westminster Abbey, and she was finally laid to rest in Norwich Cathedral some five miles from her birthplace at Swardeston

roh_dover_peal

Charles Colbreay

Kevin Moon from Charing has come up with another ringer who should be on the Roll of Honour [writes Hazel Basford, who goes on to say] I visited Charing recently to go through their Parish Magazines for WW1 for references to the VAD Hospitals there. Kevin is another WW1 addict and he was browsing through them. He did not mention it at the time, so perhaps he saw it later but I had a letter from him this morning saying he had found a reference to a memorial service held in 1916 and “a muffled peal of bells rung by his old comrades in the Belfry”. The service was for a Charles Colbreay who had died in Gallipoli in 1915. I checked the Annual Reports and found the 1912 Report includes one C Colbreay at Charing.

It really is amazing that the record is still being brought up-to-date after all these years. Don’t assume that, just because the Roll was first compiled over 80 years ago, it is necessarily complete. If there is any possibility that there is a name from your tower which possibly ought to be on the list, do please contact Hazel, and she will make every effort to sort out the facts.

George Mills

Just heard from Hazel Basford:

I posted a note about the Roll of Honour on the Kent Family History mailing list when someone suggested posting information about war memorials at this Remembrance time. As a result the granddaughter of George Mills of Borden has got in touch with me. She knew nothing about his ringing although she attended Borden church as a youngster.

Tom Cox

Since the above was written Hazel has had another email, this time from Derek Morey, who writes as follows:

Dear Hazel,
I can’t tell how pleased I was to find the web site for KCACR. I was searching through web sites for the Royal West Kent Regiment and other Kent sites, when I came upon the Roll of Honour. I was delighted and proud when I found that my grandfather Tom Cox was on that roll. After logging onto the main KCACR website I read the details about the memorial bells in Canterbury Cathedral, and the memorial book that has also been presented to the Cathedral.

My mother knew that her father had been in the choir at East Farleigh, but not that he was a bell ringer. She still has his confirmation card from East Farleigh church. Tom Cox never saw his daughter as he was on active service when she was born. My mum who was born in Maidstone has visited the church in the past few years. My wife and I, and our two children have visited the Pozieres memorial where we took some photographs of the plaque with my grandfather’s name. We have also been several times to the small cemetery at Vadencourt. I have found some information regarding the location of the regiment prior to the battle of 21 March 1918 and it appears it was based in the Vadencourt area. As there is a unknown soldier of the Royal West Kent buried there we look on it as a possible resting place for Tom Cox.

My mother only has one small faded photograph of her father. I wonder if you found a photograph of him when you compiled the book? She thinks that he was actually born in the village. I wonder also if we would be allowed to see the memorial book if we visited Canterbury Cathedral? I have lots more questions but I will leave them for another time, also if you need any information, I will help you if I can.

This sort of news makes the jobs of webmaster and archivist all seem worthwhile. Do please keep on sending in your reminiscences.

The Hayesmore Brothers

In November 2002 Hazel writes to say “I have been sent a poem about the Hayesmore brothers of Rolvenden, written by Peter Cox, husband of their great niece. It was published in the Kentish Express, 10 October edition but Mrs Cox kindly sent it to me as she knew I would not have seen the paper here in Broadstairs. The poem reads as follows:

Three Hayesmore Boys

In the Great War when the Nation called
And things were looking bad,
Three Rolvenden brothers wanted to act
As many others had.
The East Kent Regiment were recruiting
At Tenterden town hall,
And all three joined the famous Buffs
In answer to the call.

Marching, drilling and digging
And shooting practice too,
In year hardened soldiers
But not hardened enough it’s true.
No you can’t be prepared enough lads
Nor can anyone tell.
For what lay ahead was so dreadful
You’ll be marching into Hell.

And now the boys were on the Somme
Deafened by the guns,
Waiting to hear the feared command,
“Over the top! Walk – don’t run!”
Hubert was killed almost at once
On the battle’s first day,
Whilst brother Fred was wounded,
Dying next day where he lay.

Louis died some months later
On the battle’s very last day.
He joined hundreds of thousands others
To win a few miles, so they say.
Hubert is buried at Mametz, on the Somme
The other two were never found.
They’re remembered on the Rolvenden Memorial,
And also on foreign ground. — The Somme.

Peter Cox

Fred William Rayfield

 fredrayfield Fred William Rayfield was born on 25 March 1889, the only son of George and Jane Rayfield of Thatch Cottage, Hartlip. Educated at Hartlip School from February 1893 to April 1902, he played an active role in village life and was both a bellringer and a member of the church choir. Upon leaving school, he was employed for some years by Herbert Hales of Paradise Farm, but chose to emigrate to the United States in 1912. According to his obituary in the East Kent Gazette, Fred “did very well there, remaining in the States for four years, and then going over the border to Canada”. In January 1918 he was drafted into 1st Depot Battalion, Alberta Regiment, and his attestation form states that he was single and living in Didsbury, Alberta, and goes on to describe him as being 5ft 8½in in height, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and auburn hair. Fred was soon posted to 31st Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (Alberta Regiment) and, after a period of preliminary training, landed at Liverpool in March 1918. His training continued, and Fred took the opportunity to visit his parents in Hartlip, eventually sailing to France on 7 August 1918. For some two months, Fred served with his battalion on the Western Front until he was killed in action on 11 October 1918, exactly one month before the end of the war. His parents received the following letter from the Canadian Record Office:

“Sir, – It is my painful duty to inform you that report has this day [17 October 1918] been received notifying the death of Private Fred William Rayfield, 3205564, 31st Battalion, which occurred at No. 9, Canadian Field Ambulance, on the 11th October 1918, and I am to express to you the sympathy and regret of the Militia Council at your loss. The cause of death was died of wounds (shrapnel wound, chest penetrating).”

Fred’s obituary subsequently appeared in the East Kent Gazette on 2 November 1918, and he was described as “a young man of very genial temperament and much liked. He had exceptional strength, and was of fine physique.” He lies buried in the British Extension of Queant Communal Cemetery, and is also commemorated on his mother’s grave in the village churchyard at Hartlip.

 William Barton Young

 wbyoungmemorial  wbyoungdetail

New information from Hazel, May 2013:

Yesterday I went to a day course at the British Library. We had the opportunity to go to their stores, which was quite exciting. On the way, in one of the non-public areas, we passed a First World War war memorial and I noticed that it commemorated British Librarians and that places were listed alongside the names.

I immediately thought of the Erith ringer, William Barton Young, and sure enough his name was included. Attached (above) are a couple of photographs which I hurridly took on my phone for the record.

When we were in France last summer, Hedley and I visited his grave for the first time and, as usual, played the tape of the Canterbury bells and left a Remembrance Cross.