James Stokes

Surname: Stokes
Other names: James
Other people in this story:
Stephen Nehemiah Stokes
Eliza Stokes
Irene Violet Stokes née Foyle
Locations in this story:
East Orchard, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Shaftesbury, Dorset
Egypt
Salisbury, Wiltshire
Greens Farm, Shaftesbury

Story:
James Stokes was born at East Orchard, Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 5th July 1897, the son of Stephen Nehemiah and Eliza Stokes.  He lived most of his life in the vicinity.  He enlisted and joined the Dorset (Queen's Own) Yeomanry (Service No. 1416) later transferring to the Corps of Hussars (Service No. 230680).  He served in Egypt and promoted to Lance Corporal.   He was eventually discharged on 22nd March 1919 and awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as the 1915 Star.  He married Irene Violet Foyle in Shaftesbury, Dorset, in 1929 and they went on to have at least two children.  By the 1939 Register he is shown living at Greens Farm, Shaftesbury, and described as a Dairy Farmer and Rabbit Trapper.  His death is registered at Salisbury, Wiltshire, in 1981.

Images:

Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives
Parsons Pool 2019

Arthur Balch

Surname: Balch
Other names: Arthur
Other people in this story:
William Balch
Mary Balch née Highman
Nellie Balch née Lodge
General Sir John French
Locations in this story:
Shaftesbury, Dorset
France & Flanders
India
Walpole Street, Weymouth, Dorset

Story:
Arthur Balch was born in 1880 in Shaftesbury, Dorset and baptised there on 18th July 1880.  He was the son of William Balch and Mary Balch (née Highman). In 1891 the family was living in Parsons Pool in Shaftesbury. He re-enlisted in 1914 having served as a regular soldier with the 16th Hussars from 18th Jan 1898 to 1905 and for a short period between 1909 and 1910.  He was a Private with the Corps of Hussars (Service No. 47765).  He served in both France & Flanders and India. Whilst serving in France we became the batman to General Sir John French who was the Commander of the British Expeditionary Force until early 1915 when Sir John was relieved of his duties. 

Following the cessation of the war Arthur was eventually demobilized on 19th Nov 1919. He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals, the 1914/15 Star and the India Afghan NWF Medal 1919. He had previously married Nellie Lodge on 1st Jan 1907 and they went on to have five children. The 1939 Register shows the family living at 4 Walpole Street, Weymouth, Dorset, where Arthur was working as a Bus Inspector on Southern Buses. He eventually died on 27th Sep 1960 in Weymouth.

Sources:
Based on original research carried out by Ken Baxter for the exhibition "Shaftesbury and the Great War" at Gold Hill Museum in 2014.    

Images:
  • PN131
  • Parsons Pool

Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives
Cann War Memorial 01

Trevor Sharpe

Surname: Sharpe
Other names: Trevor
Other people in this story:
Walter Sharpe
Julia Elizabeth Sharpe née Rowland
Laura Blanche Sharpe née Foot
Hilda May Sharpe
Walter Sharpe
Mildred B. Sharpe
Locations in this story:
Marnull
Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire
Chatby Memorial, Alexandria, Egypt
Pigeon House Farm, Marnhull, Dorset
Butts Knapp, Cann, Shaftesbury
Shaftesbury, Dorset
St. Mary's Church, Sherborne, Dorset

Story:
Trevor Sharpe was born in 1885 in Marnhull and baptised there on 12th April 1885. He was the son of Walter Sharpe, a farmer, and Julia Elizabeth Sharpe (née Rowland). On 6th February, 1906 he married Laura Blanche Foot. They had three children: Hilda May (b.1907), Walter (b. 1912) and Mildred B. (b. 1917). At the time of the 1911 Census he was working as a gardener and living at Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire. Later Electoral Rolls show the family had moved to Butts Knapp, Shaftesbury, by 1918.

Trevor enlisted in Shaftesbury in the Corps of Hussars (Service No. 1543) but later transferred to the Dorset (Queens Own) Yeomanry (Service No. 230785) and at the time of his death held the rank of Corporal. He served in Egypt and was awarded the Victory and British War medals. On 13th October 1918 he died of pneumonia on board the hospital ship HMHS Assaye and was buried at sea. His name appears on the Chatby Memorial, Alexandria and on the memorial to the Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry in St. Mary's Church, Sherborne. He is remembered on the Cann War Memorial, Shaftesbury on which the spelling of his surname is "Sharp", although the correct name is "Sharpe".  

Images:
  • Names on Cann War Memorial
  • Unveiling of Cann War Memorial

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives
Park Walk War Memorial 4

Henry Meatyard Hatcher

Surname: Hatcher
Other names: Henry Meatyard
Other people in this story:
Albert Hatcher
Selina Hatcher nee Jenkins
Locations in this story:
Compton Abbas
Egypt
Deir El Belah War Cemetery, Palestine
Green Farm, Cherry Orchard, Cann, Shaftesbury
St. Peter's Church, Shaftesbury
Holy Trinity Church, Shaftesbury
New York, USA
Southampton
Kortright, Delaware, USA
Sherborne, Dorset

Story:
Henry Meatyard Hatcher was born in 1892 in Compton Abbas. He was the son of Albert Hatcher, a farm foreman, and Selina Hatcher (nee Jenkins). Henry travelled to and arrived in New York, via Southampton, 1st April, 1910. He appeared on the United States Census of 1910 living at Kortright, Delaware, USA, working as a hired man. At the time of the 1911 Census, his parents were living at Green Farm, Cherry Orchard, Cann, Shaftesbury. He must have returned to the UK at some time in order to enlist in Sherborne, Dorset and join the 1st/1st Battalion of the Dorset (Queen's Own) Yeomanry (Service No. 866) later transferring to the Corps of Hussars (New Service No. 230239). At the time of his death he held the rank of Lance Corporal. He was awarded the Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals. He died of wounds on the Egyptian border of Palestine (near Gaza) on 25th November 1917 and was buried at Deir El Belah War Cemetery, Palestine (grave id. B.160). He is remembered on the Park Walk War Memorial and on the Holy Trinity Memorial, now in St. Peter's Church, Shaftesbury.

Images:
  • Park Walk War Memorial 1
  • Names on Park Walk War Memorial 1
  • Holy Trinity Memorial in St. Peter's Church 3
  • Holy Trinity Memorial in St. Peter's Church 2
  • Holy Trinity Memorial in St. Peter's Church 1

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives