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Fairford's War Memorial: World War One

Place your cursor over the War Memorial image below for more infrmation, click a name for further details.

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Further information on any Fairford residents killed in service would be gratefully received. Please visit our contact page to get in touch.

Benfield, John Albert

Private (9395)
1st Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Died 18 April 1916, age 21

Benfield, John Albert
Private (9395)
1st Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Died 18 April 1916, age 21
Private Benfield was the son of Joseph and Emma Benfield of Milton Street, Fairford and formerly of Mount Pleasant. John was born in Marston Meysey and enlisted in Cirencester. As part of the 17th Infantry Brigade, John's battalion was garrisoned in the fort at Kut al Amara in Mesopotamia, now modern-day Iraq. A large Turkish army besieged Kut in December 1915 and all attempts to relieve the garrison failed. Conditions within the fort became steadily worse and a total of 1,025 soldiers died in action and a further 721 from disease or malnutrition. The garrisoned finally surrendered when its supplies ran out on 29 April 1916 and 12,000 British and Indian soldiers were captured, of whom about one third died in captivity. Private Benfield died of disease and is buried in Kut War Cemetery in Iraq which has suffered in recent years during the conflict in Iraq. John's three brothers were also serving with the Forces at the time of his death.
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Bennett, William

Private (26535)
10th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 19 August 1916, age 30

Bennett, William
Private (26535)
10th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 19 August 1916, age 30
Private Bennett, the son of Joseph and Jane Bennett originally from Cheltenham, was born in Fairford in 1886 and in the 1911 Census he is listed as a farm labourer living in Milton End. He was living in Coronation Street with his wife Rose when he enlisted in Cirencester. He was killed during the Battle of the Somme and has no known grave but is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. William's son William Wilfred was baptised at Fairford on 4 February 1916 but he died in infancy in August 1917 with his mother's address then given as Dynevor Terrace.
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Brind, J. Edward

Private (1533)
"A" Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Died 19 November 1914, age 25

Brind, J, Edward
Private (1533)
"A" Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Died 19 November 1914, age 25
The first of Fairford's fallen to die in action during the Great War was John Brind, the son of blacksmith Charles Brind and his wife Emma who lived in Milton Street, Fairford. Sometime after 1901 John made his way to the West Midlands where in 1912 he married Emma Sturman in Coventry. They lived at 216 Lockhurst Lane in the town where John worked on the railway.
At the outbreak of war in August 1914 John was a Private in 'A' Company of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. This regiment landed at Zeebrugge on 6th October 1914 and became one of the first British units to entrench at Ypres as part of the 7th Division.
Just a few weeks after arriving at the Front Line Private Brind was wounded in the neck by a piece of shrapnel. He was being taken back to a hospital behind the lines when he was wounded again, this time in the legs, by an artillery shell that landed close by.
John survived long enough to be evacuated back to England and was taken to the Northern General Hospital in Leeds, Yorkshire where he died on 19th November with his wife at his bedside. He was buried in Leeds (Lawns Wood) Cemetery.
Curiously, the information in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's register for John Brind states that he was the son of Mr and Mrs John Brind of Swindon, which is an error. However, John's Medal Rolls Index Card (Service no.1533) is correct in stating that Mrs Charles Brind, his mother, applied for his medals in 1925.
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Chandler, Frederick

Lance Sergeant (73877)
"A" Company, 28th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan) Regiment
Died 6 June 1916, age 24

Chandler, Frederick
Lance Sergeant (73877)
"A" Company, 28th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan) Regiment
Died 6 June 1916, age 24
Lance Sergeant Chandler was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Chandler of 7 Park Street, Fairford. On the night of 5/6 June 1916 the 28th Battalion, Canadian Infantry moved into trenches at Hooge, just to the east of Ypres, in preparation for an attack on Mount Sorrel. At 12 noon on the 6th German artillery began firing at the British and Canadian positions and the 28th Battalion's front-line trenches were particularly badly hit. Three hours later the Germans set off four huge mines under the Canadian's position and then advanced and took the trenches. It was reported that Lance Sergeant Chandler was "blown up in a trench" which implies that he was probably a victim of one of the mines. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. His name is also recorded on the headstone of his parents in the churchyard of St Mary's Church, Fairford. Frederick had emigrated to Canada before the war, which explains why he was serving with a Canadian infantry battalion. The family was originally from Hodson near Swindon and Joseph was a groom.
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Clargo, Joseph Daniel

Private (9559)
1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment
Died 13 March 1915, age 35

Clargo, Joseph Daniel
Private (9559)
1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment
Died 13 March 1915, age 35
Private Clargo was born at Colerne, Witshire and enlisted at Fairford in 1914. He was killed during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle which opened with a massive artillery barrage on 10 March. The 1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment advanced further than any other British unit, but after three days of fierce fighting the assault was halted, the Battalion having lost 370 of its 896 officers and men. Before the war Joseph Clargo had been in the 1st Battalion, Manchester Regiment for over eight years and had served in India and later in South Africa during the Boer War. He had been awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal with bars for the defence of Ladysmith (3 November 1899-28 February 1900) and the Battle of Belfast (26-27 August 1900), he was also awarded the King's South Africa Medal. He left the Army at the end of the Boer War but joined the Reserve and was drafted into the Worcestershire Regiment in 1914. Private Clargo has no known grave but is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial near Bethune, France. In the 1911 Census Joseph was living with his widowed mother Harriet at 5 Dynevor Terrace and was at that time a mason's labourer. Joseph's father James was a farm labourer who died in 1892; the family lived at Thornhill in 1888.
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Comley, Redvers Thomas

Ordinary Seaman (SS/9781)
HMS Vivid, Royal Navy
Died 13 October 1918, age 18

Comley, Redvers Thomas
Ordinary Seaman (SS/9781)
HMS Vivid, Royal Navy
Died 13 October 1918, age 18
Ordinary Seaman Comley was the son of Thomas William and Elizabeth Comley. Thomas was a slater and plasterer and was living at 1 Dynevor Place in 1911. Redvers died of pneumonia at the Royal Naval Hospital at Plymouth after a short illness. He was probably a victim of the influenza pandemic which started in late 1918 and killed thousands in Britain and millions worldwide. HMS Vivid was the name of the Royal Naval Barracks at Devonport, Plymouth which housed up to 5,000 men and which was renamed HMS Drake in 1934. In September 1918 Redvers Comley had attempted to join the Royal Air Force but was rejected for flying training. He then traveled to Bristol and joined the Royal Navy on 3 October. The body of Ordinary Seaman Comley was returned to Fairford by train and the funeral was conducted at St Mary's Church, Fairford by The Reverend J Lane Hopkin on 18 October. Redvers Comley is buried St Mary's Churchyard along with his parents, who died within two weeks of each other in 1937.
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Curtis, James

Driver (108089)
187th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery Died 23 September 1917

Curtis, James
Driver (108089), 187th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery Died 23 September 1917
The identification of the J Curtis listed on the war memorial cannot be positively identified at this time but it is possible that he was the James Curtis who was killed on 23 September while serving with the Royal Field Artillery. He was the son of William and Ann Curtis who were married at Fairford in 1884, William then being from Lechlade and Ann being the former Ann Sparrow of Thornhill. James is listed as a groom living with his family in Milton End in the 1901 Census. Driver Curtis is buried in the huge Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Belgium which was situated close to a large military hospital west of Ypres.
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Dean, Edgar Frederick

Private (30600)
1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment
Died 1 August 1916, age 19

Dean, Edgar Frederick
Private (30600)
1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment
Died 1 August 1916, age 19
Private Dean was the second son of Edward and Henrietta Dean of Milton Street, Fairford. Edward was a groom and ostler of Milton Street and by 1921 was a coal haulier. The 1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment had suffered severe casualties during the opening phase of the Somme offensive and was withdrawn from the line in mid-July to rest and rebuild its strength. It then moved to the Bethune sector and on 30 July took over trenches at Cuinchy near La Bassee. Private Dean was wounded, probably by artillery fire, the day after the Battalion took up its new position and died on 1 August. Edgar Dean was buried in what was then a front line soldier's cemetery and is now the Cambrin Churchyard Extension, France. A vivid account of the fighting around Cuinchy is given by the poet and author Robert Graves in his autobiography Goodbye to All That. Edgar had been a grocer's assistant in Fairford before enlisting in May 1916 and had only been in France for a fortnight before was killed. On 7 May 1899, when he was two years old, Edgar and his older brother Arthur were baptised by Kenfig Morgan in the Baptist Church in Fairford.
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Fox, Albert Henry

Air Mechanic 2nd Class (49873)
Royal Flying Corps
Died 23 August 1918, age 31

Fox, Albert Henry
Mechanic 2nd Class (49873)
Royal Flying Corps
Died 23 August 1918, age 31
Air Mechanic Fox was the son of Arthur and Ellen Fox of London Street, Fairford and is buried in Fairford (St Mary) Churchyard in the same plot as his sister, Elizabeth Ellen Fox, who for 30 years taught at Farmor's School. Arthur Fox senior was a painter and decorator and he and his wife Ellen are buried in the Garden Section of the churchyard.
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Gardner, George

Lance Corporal (24648)
8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment
Died 10 July 1916

Gardner, George
Lance Corporal (24648)
8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment
Died 10 July 1916
George Gardner was born in Fairford the son of Samuel 'Shep' Gardner, a well known shepherd. The family name is usually written as Gardiner in most records including the baptism register which records George's baptism in Fairford on 6 August 1886. George is listed as a teamster on a farm in Fairford in the 1901 Census but by 1911 he had moved to Pontypridd, Glamorgan and was working as a coal miner. He enlisted in the Welsh Regiment at Pontypridd. The 8th Battalion arrived in Mesopotamia from Egypt in March 1916 after having been through the horrors of the Gallipoli campaign. As part of the 13th Infantry Division, the Battalion took part in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the besieged garrison at Kut al Amara. Lance Corporal Gardner died of fever and is buried in the Amara War Cemetery in Iraq.
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Gardner, W.

Gardner, W.
No information known at present.
The identification of the W Gardner listed on the war memorial cannot be positively identified at this time.
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Giles, Edward George

Private (31393)
3rd Reserve Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 20 May 1917, age 18

Giles, Edward George
Private (31393)
3rd Reserve Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 20 May 1917, age 18
'Teddy' Giles was born in Fairford in 1898 and was the son of William and Rachel Giles of 1 Vines Row, Fairford. He enlisted in the Gloucestershire Regiment at Bristol as soon as he turned 18 and appears to have been posted to Bromley in Kent, probably for home defence duties. However, according to a report in the Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Standard "…he soon contracted pneumonia and other kindred complaints". His parents received a telegram on 19 May and immediately travelled to Bromley to be at Teddy's bedside. He passed away peacefully the following day. Private Giles was brought home and was buried in St Mary's Churchyard and among the many floral tributes was a wreath inscribed "With deep sympathy from neighbours and friends in Dynevor Terrace".
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Goodman, Arthur John

Private (8920)
77th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps
Died 8 October 1918, age 25

Goodman, Arthur John
Private (8920)
77th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps
Died 8 October 1918, age 25
Private Goodman was the son of Arthur and Margaret Goodman of West End Gardens, Fairford. In 1911 Census the family is recorded as living in Vines Row and Arthur junior was listed as a carter, presumably for one of the local farms. He had seen considerable service with the Royal Army Medical Corps before his death in France. He had tended the sick and wounded on board hospital ships and was on the HMHS Asturias, a converted passenger liner, when it survived an attack by a U-boat in the English Channel on 1 February 1915. Private Goodman made several voyages to the Dardenelles and to France on the Asturias and other hospital ships. He was then transferred to the 77th Field Ambulance for service in France. His unit was based at an advanced dressing station, close to the front line, about 12 miles south east of Cambrai. A letter from his commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel H Luson, to his parents was quoted at length in the Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Standard:
"You will probably by now have received official information respecting the death of your son, Pte Goodman, RAMC, 77th Field Ambulance, and no doubt would like to know the exact circumstances of his death. He had gone out from the advanced dressing station to an adjacent yard in order to obtain some material which was wanted, when a hostile aeroplane came over the dressing station and proceeded to drop bombs. Your son and Lance Corporal Embleton took refuge in a small kennel for protection. The bomb fell inside the yard and only a few yards from the kennel and a piece of it struck your son in the back, wounding him in such a severe manner that he died before he could be got to the dressing station. He was buried with full military honours on the 15th of October by the Rev Major Jenkins, Chaplain to the Forces, in a British military cemetery about 35 miles east of Amiens… I deeply mourn his loss as he was one of the best nursing orderlies I had in the ambulance and he will be greatly missed."
The cemetery referred to is Serain Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
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Groves, Philip

Private (PO/17844)
HMS Queen Mary, Royal Marine Light Infantry
Died 31 May 1916, age 18

Groves, Philip
Private (PO/17844)
HMS Queen Mary, Royal Marine Light Infantry
Died 31 May 1916, age 18
Private Groves was the fifth son of John E A and Ann M Groves of "The Cotswold Arms", High Street, Burford, a native of Farhill, Fairford although born at Stow-on-the-Wold. He was killed in the Battle of Jutland, one of the most important sea battles in British naval history and a battle in which both sides claimed victory, although the German Grand Fleet rarely ventured out in force after this great battle.
HMS Queen Mary was a 27,000-ton battle cruiser that had previously taken part in actions at Heligoland Bight and Dogger Bank. During the Battle of Jutland the Queen Mary was hit by shells from the German warships Seydlitz and Derrflinger and blew up with the loss of all but 9 of her 1,275 crewmen. The catastrophic explosions that destroyed the battle cruisers Queen Mary and Indefatigable caused Admiral Beatty to utter his famous remark: "There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!" Each of the larger Royal Navy ships carried a complement of Royal Marines who enforced discipline on board ship and could also be used for shore raiding parties. Like all his shipmates, Private Groves has no known grave but is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. His mother Annie was recorded as living in Mount Pleasant, Fairford at the time of Philip's death. Philip's three First World War war medals were recently offered for sale on the internet.
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Harris, C.

Harris, C.
No information known at present.
The identification of the C Harris listed on the war memorial cannot be positively identified at this time.
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Hart, Edward

Private (1592)
1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 8 October 1915, age 28

Hart, Edward
Private (1592)
No information known at present.
Private Edward Hart was the son of William Hart, originally of Poulton but who lived in Cirencester for much of his life. William's wife was Emily, the daughter of Daniel and Mary Newport of Fairford. In the 1901 Census William is recorded as a stone quarryman living at 3 Barton Lane in Cirencester with the 14-year old Edward then an errand boy. By 1911 Edward was living with his uncle, Harry Newport, in East End, Fairford working as a farm labourer. Private Hart was killed on 8 October 1915 and his name is commemorated on the Loos Memorial as his body was never identified.
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Hope, Raymond George

Gunner (73402)
26th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Died 14 October 1918, age 24

Hope, Raymond George
Gunner (73402)
26th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Died 14 October 1918, age 24
Gunner Hope was one of five children of George and Mary Ann Hope of East End, Fairford. Raymond emigrated to South Africa but returned to Britain to enlist at Fairford with the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars when war broke out. After training at Patcham Camp on the Sussex Downs the Hussars saw active service overseas. Raymond Hope later transferred to the Royal Garrison Artillery and served with the 198th Heavy Battery before being killed in action while serving with the 26th Battery near Ypres. He is buried in Aeroplane Cemetery near Zonnebeke, a few miles outside Ypres, Belgium, and is also mentioned on the headstone of his parents grave in Fairford churchyard..
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Kestell-Cornish, Robert Vaughan

Captain, MC and Bar
Dorsetshire Regiment, attached to the Staff, Divisional HQ
Died 17 June 1918, age 22

Kestell-Cornish, Robert Vaughan
Captain, MC and Bar
Dorsetshire Regiment, attached to the Staff, Divisional HQ
Died 17 June 1918, age 22
Captain Kestell-Cornish was the son of Vaughan Kestell Kestell-Cornish and Mrs Lucy Kestell-Cornish (nee Keble), resident of Keble House, Fairford. Robert Kestell-Cornish was born at Bisley in Gloucestershire and educated at Sherborne School. Had not the war intervened he would have followed in his father's and grandfather's (Rev Thomas Keble) footsteps and entered Keble College Oxford in October 1914. Robert was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment on 15 August 1914 and later transferred to the 1st Battalion. He served with distinction in the Dorsetshire Regiment and on 1 May 1915 won the Military Cross during a spirited defence of Hill 60 near Zwarteleen when he defended a trench with just four men after most of his company had been gassed or wounded. Robert received his MC at Buckingham Palace on 15 January 1916. The Dorsets suffered nearly 300 casualties during this attack. He was shot through the left shoulder in 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme but quickly recovered. He won a bar to his MC in November 1916 for his leadership of a working party while under heavy enemy fire. Also in November 1916 he was appointed adjutant to his battalion but in September 1917 he was transferred to staff duties. He was mentioned in dispatches three times and wounded twice. He was badly wounded on 18 March, probably by artillery fire, and was evacuated to a British military hospital at Wimereux where, despite the amputation of a leg, he died on 17 June 1918. He is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France. Robert's father had a distinguished career in the diplomatic service and was HM Consul at Brest, France during the War and had previously served in Zanzibar, Newfoundland and Uruguay. Robert's grandfather was the Bishop of Madagascar. As well as living at Keble House with Mary Keble, widow of Rev Thomas Keble, the Kestell-Cornish family also lived in Warren House in Fairford where Robert's youngest sister was born in 1910.
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Major, Sidney Robert

Private (PO/1709(S))
2nd Royal Marine Battalion, Royal Naval Division, Royal Marine Light Infantry
Died 25 April 1917, age 27

Major, Sidney Robert
Private (PO/1709(S))
2nd Royal Marine Battalion, Royal Naval Division, Royal Marine Light Infantry
Died 25 April 1917, age 27
Private Major was the youngest son of Sarah Major and the late Robert Major of High Street, Fairford. Before the war Sidney Major learnt his trade as a baker at Mr Frederick Plank's bakery in the Fairford High Street but had then moved to Aynho near Banbury. Although a member of the Royal Marines, during the First World War he served as an infantry soldier in France. The Royal Naval Division (later designated the 63rd Division) was formed in August 1914 when it was found that, following mobilization of the reserves, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines had more than enough personnel to man their warships. The surplus men were formed into infantry and artillery brigades to serve alongside British Army units on the battlefield. The Royal Marines formed two infantry battalions and the 2nd Battalion was formed from men formerly based at Portsmouth and Plymouth. In April 1917 the Royal Naval Division took part in an offensive on the Arras front and occupied trenches known as the Oppy Line close to the village of Gavrelle, which was the Division's objective. The village was captured on the morning of the 23rd and held despite seven counter-attacks by German troops. The 2nd Royal Marine Battalion, held in reserve on the 23rd, occupied trenches close to Gavrelle on the night of the 24th but then came under heavy and persistent artillery fire for several days afterwards. It was during this period that Private Major was killed after serving two months on the Western Front. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France.
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May, Victor Charles

Lance Corporal (18128)
11th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment
Died 8 September 1916

May, Victor Charles
Lance Corporal (18128)
11th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment
Died 8 September 1916
Lance Corporal May was born in Fairford and enlisted in Cirencester. The son of Charles May, a river keeper, and his wife Rose, the family lived in London Street in 1911 when Victor was a baker's assistant. He was the only soldier from Fairford to be killed in the Salonika theatre in Greece. Although regarded almost as a sideshow to the events in France and Flanders, the campaign in Salonika during the First World War was just as bitter and as costly to the combatants. In 1915 British and French forces joined the Serbian Army in attempting to repulse an invasion of Macedonia by Bulgarian, German and Austrian armies. Much of the fighting was concentrated in the area around Lake Doiran, some 30 miles north of Salonika. The 11th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment arrived in Salonika on 24 November 1915 and it soon became apparent that in addition to the opposing armies, the climate, terrain and endemic disease were just as much the enemy. Early in September 1916 the 11th Battalion was holding a recently captured feature known as "Horseshoe Hill" which overlooked the village of Doldzeli, about two miles south west of Doiran. According to the regimental history of the Worcestershire Regiment, the Bulgarians caused several casualties in the first week of September when they bombarded the hill in an effort to retake their lost ground. It is likely that Victor May was killed during this bombardment. Lance Corporal May has no known grave but is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial, Greece.
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Morse, Ernest G

Sergeant (3783), DCM
3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards
Died 11 May 1916, age 36

Morse, Ernest G
Sergeant (3783), DCM
3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards
Died 11 May 1916, age 36
Sergeant Morse was born in Fairford, and was the son of Charles and Mary Morse of Little Faringdon Crossing, Lechlade, and the husband of Edith Ellen Morse (nee Cox) of 1 Melville Terrace, West Street, Farnham, Surrey whom he married in April 1911. His father Charles was a plate layer for the Great Western Railway for many years. Ernest joined the Coldstream Guards and is listed at the Guards' Depot at Chelsea Barracks in the 1901 Census. By the 1911 Census Ernest he was recorded as a Sergeant in the 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, living with his parents and siblings at 26 Mount Pleasant in Fairford. However, he was living in Farnham when he re-enlisted in Cirencester to join his old regiment. The 3rd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards formed part of the 1st Guards Brigade in the Ypres Salient from 17 March to 20 May 1916 and during that time sustained very light casualties with just 15 men killed. As Sergeant Morse is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery on the French coast near Le Touquet, he was probably wounded and evacuated to one of the large British military hospitals where he then died. Sergeant Morse was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in January 1916 for his service with the Coldstream Guards the citation of which reads "For consistent good work with the battalion transport throughout the campaign, bringing it up to most dangerous places, sometimes night after night. He is untiring in his energy and care of his horses".
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Russell, Harry

Private (50212)
1st Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Died 17 October 1918, age 20

Russell, Harry
Private (50212)
1st Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Died 17 October 1918, age 20
Private Russell was born at Clanfield near Bampton, Oxfordshire, the son of William and Amy Russell of London Street, Fairford. In 1911 William was a cowman on a farm and the then 13-year old Harry was a domestic gardener. The 1st Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry had been serving in Salonika for much of the war and only returned to the front line in France in September 1918 after a period of rest and replenishment. On 1 October the Battalion marched to Epehy to take part in the assault on the Hindenburg Line in the Le Cateau sector. The Hindenburg Line consisted of three strongly defended trench systems that run along much of the Western Front. On the night of the 16th the Battalion moved from its billets in Maretz and took up position near St Souplet for an attack on German positions on the Wassigny-Le Cateau Road near the banks of the River Selle. The river was successfully crossed under fire using portable bridges and four companies of men advanced toward a railway line under heavy fire from German machine guns and grenades. The Battalion reached its objective but had to fight hard to hang on to it in the face of a German counter-attack. During the 17th the Battalion lost three officers and 14 men killed, one of whom was Private Harry Russell. He is buried close to the site of the battle at Highland Cemetery, Le Cateau, France.
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Scriven, Frank

Private (202048)
2nd/4th (City of Bristol) Battalion (Territorial), Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 27 August 1917, age 27

Scriven, Frank
Private (202048)
2nd/4th (City of Bristol) Battalion (Territorial), Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 27 August 1917, age 27
Frank Scriven, the son of Percy and Ruth Scriven of Milton End, was born in Fairford in 1891. Frank was listed as a builder's labourer in the 1911 Census and was living with his family at 1 Dynevor Terrace but enlisted in Bristol and was probably living there at the time. The 2nd/4th Battalion was one of three so-called 'Pals' Battalions of the Gloucestershire Regiment that served with the 61st Division in France and Flanders from May 1916 to the end of the war. Private Scriven has no known grave but is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. His name is also recorded on his mother's headstone in the New Ground of St Mary's Church, Fairford. In some records the name is written as Scrivens.
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Seacole, Charles

Private (23318)
1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment
Died 18 May 1917, age 30

Seacole, Charles
Private (23318)
1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment
Died 18 May 1917, age 30
Charles Seacole was born at Black Bourton, Oxfordshire and was residing at Wincanton when he enlisted at Winchester, although his parents, James and Jane, lived in Mill Lane in Fairford for a few years where James was a shepherd. Private Seacole was wounded and died in a British military hospital. During April and May 1917 the 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment was fighting in the Fresnoy/Arleux area, between Lens and Arras, as part of the 5th Infantry Division. It is possible that Charles Seacole was wounded during this fighting and evacuated back to a hospital at Barlin near Bruay, as he is buried in Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension.
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Shurmer, Cyril Walter

Private (32248)
8th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment
Died 7 June 1917

Shurmer, Cyril Walter
Private (32248)
8th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment
Died 7 June 1917
Cyril Shurmer was born in Fairford but was living in Bristol when he enlisted at Cirencester. Cyril was the son of baker and confectioner Harry Shurmer and his wife Sarah of London Street, Fairford. Cyril was killed on the first day of the Battle of Messines, a major attack by British forces to capture the Messines Ridge which overlooks Ypres from the south east. The attack was commenced by the detonation of 19 huge mines that had been dug under the German trenches by the Royal Engineers over the past several months. The 8th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment set off from Crescent Trench on the 7th and attacked the German's Black Line of trenches but lost several men when taking a German strongpoint at Lumm Farm. The Battalion achieved its objectives and the casualties were relatively light but Cyril Shurmer was among the 40 men of the 8th Battalion who fell during the taking of the Messines Ridge. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.
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Stevens, Richard John

Gunner (113755)
"B" Battery, 56th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
Died 11 August 1918, age 35

Stevens, Richard John
Gunner (113755)
"B" Battery, 56th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
Died 11 August 1918, age 35
Gunner Stevens was born in Fairford and enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery at Reading. He was the son of Thomas and the late Leah Stevens of Fairford. He is buried in Roclincourt Valley Cemetery just outside Arras, France. He is also commemorated at the base of the cross on the grave of his mother, who had died in 1882, and is buried in St Mary's Churchyard, Fairford.
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Syphas, William

Acting Bombardier (21519)
56th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Died 24 July 1917, age 32

Syphas, William
Acting Bombardier (21519)
56th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Died 24 July 1917, age 32
Acting Bombardier Syphas was the son of Daniel and Edith Jane Syphas of East End, Fairford. William Syphas was born in Aldsworth, Glos and was living in Stratton when he enlisted in at Devizes. In July 1917 his battery was supporting II Corps in the Dickebusch area a few miles south of Ypres. On the 16th British artillery consisting of 752 heavy and medium howitzers commenced a preparatory bombardment of German positions prior to the Third Battle of Ypres that was due to start at the end of the month. It is probable that William Syphas was killed during one of the frequent artillery duels that took place between British and German artillery in this sector during this period. He is buried in Dickebusch New Military Cemetery Extension which lies about two miles to the south west of Ypres, Belgium. In the 1911 Census William is recorded as a police constable at Pontardawe, Glamorganshire.
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Tagg, Walter Joseph

Private (2156)
Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
Died 4 October 1914, age 52

Tagg, Walter Joseph
Private (2156)
Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
Died 4 October 1914, age 52
Private Joe Tagg was the only son of the late John and Emma Tagg and was born at Carshalton, Surrey. He was the groom for Mr Albert J Palmer of Fairford Park from at least 1901. He was the first Fairford solider to die during the war and is buried in Fairford (St Mary) Churchyard. He is not listed in the Gloucestershire volume of the "Soldiers Died" series and it is possible that he had been discharged from the Army before he died.
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Varney, George John

Private (23589)
1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 20 June 1916, age 32

Varney, George John
Private (23589)
1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 20 June 1916, age 32
Private George Varney, known as 'Chick', was born in Fairford, the son of John and Ann Varney of Park Street. In 1911 he was living with his mother Ann Varney at 15 Park Street. His father John was a carpenter who had died in 1887. For the first half of 1916 the 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment held the front line around Loos and Maroc, just north of Lens. During June the Battalion alternated between manning trenches near Calonne and resting in reserve at Bully Grenay. Although there were no major assaults in this area during the period, there was the constant danger of artillery bombardment and the history of the 1st Battalion mentions that several casualties were caused by German trench mortars at this time. Private Varney was one of 41 men of the 1st Battalion who were killed in this sector between 14 February and 4 July. He is buried in Loos British Cemetery, France.
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Wade, Frederick William

Lieutenant
Royal Engineers
Died 28 November 1917, age 30

Wade, Frederick William
Lieutenant
Royal Engineers
Died 28 November 1917, age 30
Lieutenant Wade was born in Cheltenham and was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs John Wade, whose address in 1917 is given as 26 Ashcroft Road, Cirencester. John Wade had moved to Fairford when serving with the Gloucester Constabulary and later became a registrar of births, marriages and deaths and was also Fairford's relieving officer. The family lived in Hughenden House in London Street. In March 1901 Frederick joined the Great Western Railway and worked at first in the telegraphic department in Oxford. Later appointments with the GWR include positions at Rogerstone, Monmouth, Stourbridge, Reading and Paddington. In 1909 he was appointed traffic superintendent of the Nigerian Railway under the Colonial Office. In September 1914 he received an appointment as Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers and accompanied an Anglo-French force to the German territory of Cameroon as railway traffic superintendent. Lieutenant Wade commanded a troop of men from the Nigerian Railway and took over railway stations at Doula and Bonaberi. The few railway lines in existence In Cameroon were vital for the movement of troops and supplies during the campaign and needed constant repair and maintenance. For his good work Frederick Wade received a mention in dispatches by Lieutenant General Sir Charles Dobell, the commander of the Cameroon Expeditionary Force. In August 1915, during one of his periodic visits to Britain, Wade married Miss Frances Adelaide Rachel Wargent whose father was a member of the Royal Household at Windsor Castle. Following the end of the campaign in Cameroon in early 1916 Frederick Wade returned to his railway work in Nigeria. In November 1917 he embarked on the SS Apapa, a 7,832-ton Elder Dempster passenger liner, to return home to Britain for a spell of leave. The vessel was sailing for Liverpool and had almost reached port safely when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat, the U-96, and sank just three miles off Lynas Point, Anglesey. Wade's actions during the event are recorded by a fellow passenger, Mr C Carnegie Brown, who survived to write a long, detailed letter to Wade's mother, telling her of her son's gallant actions. When the torpedo struck Mr Brown went along to the cabin of a missionary, a Mr Babcock, and his family as the missionary had been unwell and was unable to assist his wife and children. There Mr Brown found Frederick Wade assisting Mrs Babcock and two small children and a baby. Frederick led the family to their lifeboat and made sure they were safely on board before heading for his own assigned lifeboat on the other side of the ship. Soon afterwards a second torpedo struck the Apapa, which began to list badly and Wade's lifeboat could not be launched. Happily, the entire Babcock family survived the ordeal and Mr Brown credits their survival to the selfless actions of Frederick Wade. A total of 38 passengers and 39 crewmen died in the incident.
A memorial plaque was set up in the vestry of St Mary's Church, Fairford to commemorate the life of Frederick William Wade. Curiously, Wade is not recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission nor is he listed in the book 'Officers Died in the Great War'. This might indicate that Wade's commission in the Royal Engineers was an honorary commission that existed only during the period of service with the Cameroon Expeditionary Force.
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Wall, Richard

Sergeant (2931)
7th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 1 April 1917, age 38

Wall, Richard
Sergeant (2931)
7th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 1 April 1917, age 38
Sergeant Wall was born in Fairford, the eldest son of Richard and Elizabeth Wall, and the husband of Rosetta E Wall of 3 Hastings Road, Corsham, Wiltshire. Richard Wall was a career soldier and had served in India and South Africa and was present at the siege of Ladysmith in 1899/1900 during the Boer War when serving with the 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment. Having left the Army some time before the outbreak of the First World War, Richard Wall was one of the gardeners at Fairford Park but immediately re-enlisted in the Gloucestershire Regiment at Cirencester and became an Instructor of Signalling with the 7th Battalion which eventually found itself in Mesopotamia. During the last week of March 1917, the 7th Battalion was involved in actions against the Turkish Army near Duqma on the banks of the River Tigris, about 35 miles north of Baghdad. It is likely that Richard Wall died of wounds received during this action. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Iraq.
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Winstone, Charles

Private (203904)
8th (Service) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 18 April 1918

Winstone, Charles
Private (203904)
8th (Service) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 18 April 1918
Charles Winstone enlisted in the Gloucestershire Regiment in Cirencester. In April 1918, the 8th Battalion was serving near Ypres with the 57th Brigade of the 19th Infantry Division. The British positions around Ypres were under constant attack as part of the massive and initially very successful German Spring Offensive that commenced on 21 March. On 18 April the 8th Battalion successfully defended its position at Mount Kemmel from a determined German attack intended to capture the high ground but Charles was one of the many British casualties. Private Winstone has no known grave but is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial at Passchendaele, Belgium. Charles was the son of Albert and Annie Winstone of Mount Pleasant.
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Winstone, Raymond

Petty Officer Stoker (297951)
HMS Victory II, Royal Navy
Died 1 March 1919, age 41

Winstone, Raymond
Petty Officer Stoker (297951)
HMS Victory II, Royal Navy
Died 1 March 1919, age 41
Petty Officer Stoker Winstone was the husband of Alice J Winstone of 23 Addison Road, Fawcett Road, Southsea, Hants. He was the son of William and Kate Winstone of Milton End and in 1901 Raymond was a groom in Victoria Street, Swindon. HMS Victory II was the name given to the Royal Naval Barracks at Portsmouth, renamed HMS Nelson in 1974. Raymond Winstone is buried in Portsmouth (Kingston) Cemetery, Hants having died of disease, probably during the influenza epidemic.
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Witchell, Edwin Thomas

Private (30447)
2nd/5th (Territorial) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 2 October 1918, age 31

Witchell, Edwin Thomas
Private (30447)
2nd/5th (Territorial) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 2 October 1918, age 31
Private Witchell was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs T Witchell of Horcott Lane, Fairford, and the husband of Emily Witchell of Cirencester Road, Fairford. He was born in Fairford and enlisted in a territorial battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment in Cirencester early in 1916. The 2nd/5th was one of three Gloucestershire battalions that served with the 61st (South Midland) Division during the war. The Division had fought in the German Spring Offensive during March and April 1918 and on 2 October took part in an attack between Arleux and Oppy, north of Arras. Before the war Edwin Witchell was employed as a carpenter by Messr Yells Brothers of Fairford. He had also been one of Fairford Football Club's most prominent players. Edwin's father Thomas from Coln St Aldwyn was also a carpenter. Edwin died of wounds in a field hospital and is buried in St Venant Communal Cemetery, north of Bethune, France.
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