St. James, Shaftesbury

Percy Gray

Surname: Gray
Other names: Percy
Other people in this story:
Benjamin Gray
Susan Pearce Gray née Smith
Hughina Livingstone Gray née Asher
Victor Percy Gray
Locations in this story:
Motcombe, Dorset
St. James, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Portland, Dorset
Brambridge, Hampshire
France
Winchester, Hampshire
Southampton, Hampshire
Malta
Bermuda
South Africa

Story:
Percy Gray was born on 5th May 1884 at Motcombe, Dorset, and baptised there on 15th June 1884, the son of Benjamin Gray and Susan Pearce Gray (née Smith). The 1901 Census shows him living with the family at 53 St. James, Shaftesbury, Dorset, but by 1911 he had moved to 11 Moorfield Road, Portland, Dorset. During those intervening years he had served the Hampshire Regiment from 3rd January 1903 until 2 Jan 1911 when he had been tranferred to the Reserves.  During this early phase he had served in Malta, Bermuda and South Africa gaining at least four good conduct badges.   On the outbreak of WW1 he was embodied on 5th August 1914 and joined the 1st Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment as an Acting Corporal (Service No. 6722). He received gunshot wounds to the chest whilst serving in France and he was discharged on 2nd January 1916, having been deemed unfit for further service.  He was awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as the 1914/15 Star. During 1916 he married Hughina Livingstone Asher in the Southampton, Hampshire, Registration District. There were two children of the marriage. By the time of the 1939 Register he was living at Woodcroft Cottages, Brambridge, Winchester, Hampshire, and was working as a Private Chauffeur.   His death was registered in the Winchester, Hampshire, Registry in 1949.  His brother, Victor Pearce Gray, also served and survived the conflict. Source: Based on previous research by Ken Baxter.

Images:

Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives
Semley War Memorial 1

Horace William Brown

Surname: Brown
Other names: Horace William
Other people in this story:
Edward Brown
Elizabeth Brown née Goddard
Locations in this story:
Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire
France & Flanders
Cologne Southern Military Cemetery, Germany
Bow Marsh Cottage, Semley, Wiltshire
St. Leonard's Church, Semley
Hendon, Middlesex
Winchester, Hampshire
Petersfield, Hampshire
Tisbury, Wiltshire

Story:
Horace William Brown was born Hendon, Middlesex in 1893 but the birth was registered in Tisbury, Wiltshire. Both his parents were from Donhead St. Mary: Edward Brown, a cowman on a farm, and Elizabeth Brown (née Goddard). By the time of the 1911 Census the family had moved to Semley. Horace was single, working as a cowman on a farm and living at Bow Marsh Cottage, Semley, Wiltshire.

He enlisted in Winchester as a Private and joined the 1st Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment (Service No. 18167), giving his residence at the time as Petersfield, Hampshire. He also served with the 14th and 2nd Battalions. He served in France & Flanders and was with the 2nd Battalion when he was taken prisoner. He died on 16th November 1918 whilst in captivity and was buried at Cologne Southern Military Cemetery in Germany (grave id. XVII.A.4). The cemetery was used not only for original burials but also for men who died in prison camps elsewhere and were re-interred after the Armistice. He was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He is remembered on the War Memorial in St. Leonard's Churchyard, Semley, and the Semley Baptist Chapel plaque, now in the Church.

Images:
  • Semley Baptist Chapel Plaque
  • Semley War Memorial 03
  • Semley War Memorial 3
  • Semley War Memorial 01

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives
Names on Ludwell War Memorial 3

Alfred Fanner

Surname: Fanner
Other names: Alfred
Other people in this story:
James Fanner
Louisa Fanner née Ingram
Frederick Fanner
Locations in this story:
Ludwell, Wiltshire
Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire
France & Flanders
Charlton, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire
Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, Pas de Calais, France
Southampton

Story:
Alfred Fanner was born in 1891 in Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire, and baptised there on 28th October, 1891. He was the son of James Alfred Fanner and Louisa Fanner (née Ingram). At the time of the 1911 Census he was single and working as a cowman on a farm and living with his brother Frederick, in Charlton, Wiltshire. He enlisted in Southampton as a Private in the 1st Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment (Service No. 10944). He served in France & Flanders and was awarded the Victory, British War and 15 Star medals. He died on 17th June 1918 and was buried at the Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, Pas de Calais, France (grave id. 1.A.23). His home address at the time of death was Hill View, 28 Charlton, Donhead St. Mary and he is remembered on the war memorial at Ludwell.      

Images:
  • Ludwell War Memorial

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives
Berwick St. John War Memorial

Bertie Harold (Harry) Bennett

Surname: Bennett
Other names: Bertie Harold (Harry)
Other people in this story:
Thomas Bennett
Annie Bennett née Witt
Reginald George Bennett
Thomas William Bennett
Walter Sam Bennett
Mabel Mary Bennett née Gray
Locations in this story:
Five Ways, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire
Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium
Ashcombe, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire
St. John the Baptist Church, Berwick St. John, Wiltshire
Flanders
Church of St. Peter and Vincula, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire
Andover, Hampshire

Story:
Bertie Harold (Harry) Bennett was born in 1884 in Donhead St. Mary. He was the son of Thomas Bennett, a Game Keeper, and Annie Bennett (née Witt). His siblings included Reginald George, Thomas William and Walter Sam, born in 1897, 1894, 1885, respectively, who all died in the war. In 1891 the family were living at Philps Cottage, Five Ways, Donhead St. Mary. In 1910 Harry married Mabel Mary Gray. They had two children, both boys. At the time of the 1911 Census, he was working as a Game Keeper and living at Ashcombe, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire.

Harry enlisted in Andover, Hampshire, as a Private in the 14th (Service) Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment (Service No. 32568). He served in France & Flanders and was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He was killed in action in Flanders on 26th Sep 1917 and his name appears on the Tyne Cot Memorial (Panel 88 to 90 and 162).

He is remembered as "Harry" on the memorial plaque inside the church at Berwick St. John. The name "B.H. Bennett" is also marked in Tollard Royal, on the War Memorial and on the Roll of Honour inside the Church of St. Peter and Vincula. On both he is recorded as "Missing" on 6th September 1917, and official records show that he died on 26th September. Of the five Bennett brothers only one survived the war. Frederick Harry (b.1889) served in the Somerset Light Infantry and the Devonshire Regiment during the war. He had a successful career as a gamekeeper and died in 1968.

Images:
  • St. John the Baptist Church, Berwick St. John 01
  • Berwick St John War Memorial 03
  • Tollard Royal War Memorial

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives
Frederick Harry Bennett
Walter Sam Bennett
Reginald George Bennett
Thomas William Bennett
Berwick St John War Memorial 02

Thomas William Bennett

Surname: Bennett
Other names: Thomas William
Other people in this story:
Thomas Bennett
Annie Bennett née Witt
Bertie Harold Bennett
Reginald George Bennett
Walter Sam Bennett
Frederick Harry Bennett
Locations in this story:
St. John the Baptist Church, Berwick St. John, Wiltshire
France & Flanders
Vlamertiinghe Military Cemetery, Belgium
Ashcombe, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire
Church of St. Peter and Vincula, Tollard Royal
Southampton
Five Ways, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire

Story:
Thomas William Bennett was born in 1894 in Berwick St. John, Wiltshire. He was the son of Thomas Bennett, a Game Keeper, and Annie Bennett (née Witt). His siblings included Bertie Harold, Reginald George and Walter Sam, born in 1889, 1897, 1885, respectively, who all died in the war. In 1891 the family was living at Philps Cottage, Five Ways, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire. At the time of the 1911 Census Thomas was single, working as a Farm Labourer and living in the family home at Ashcombe, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire. He enlisted in Southampton as a Private 2nd Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment (Service No. 29510). He served in France & Flanders and was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He was killed in action in Flanders on 10th September 1916 and was buried at Vlamertiinghe Military Cemetery in Belgium (grave id. IV.D.12).

He is remembered on war memorial inside the church at Berwick St. John. He is also remembered in Tollard Royal as "T.W. Bennett" on the War Memorial and on the Roll of Honour inside the Church of St. Peter and Vincula in the village. Of the five Bennett brothers only one survived the war. Frederick Harry (b.1889) served in the Somerset Light Infantry and the Devonshire Regiment during the war. He had a successful career as a gamekeeper and died in 1968.

Images:
  • St. John the Baptist Church, Berwick St. John 01
  • Berwick St John War Memorial 03
  • Tollard Royal War Memorial

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives
Frederick Harry Bennett
Walter Sam Bennett
Bertie Harold Bennett
Reginald George Bennett
St. James' War Memorial

Edwin Arthur Meaden

Surname: Meaden
Other names: Edwin Arthur
Other people in this story:
Albert Meaden
Martha Meaden née Rose
Bertie Meaden
Frederick John Meaden
Walter Frank Meaden
Locations in this story:
Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset
France & Flanders
Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Ypres, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
St. James' Church, Shaftesbury
Shaftesbury Grammar School, Shaftesbury, Dorset

Story:
Edwin Arthur Meaden was born in 1899 in Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset. He was the son of Albert Meaden, a farmer, and Martha Meaden (née Rose). He attended Shaftesbury Grammar School from 1909 to 1913. His address in the 1911 Census was 97 St. James, Shaftesbury, Dorset.  After leaving school he became a farmer.  He enlisted in Dorchester as a Private in the 15th (Service) Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment (Service No. 28759) and served in France & Flanders. He was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He died on 3rd Oct 1918, having been badly wounded the previous day. He was buried at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Ypres, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium (grave id. IV.E.1). He is remembered on the St. James' War Memorial, on the Roll of Honour in St. James' Church, Shaftesbury. His name also appears on the Shaftesbury Grammar School memorial in Shaftesbury School.

A "First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces" was produced by Shaftesbury Grammar School in September 1915. It shows the regiment in which Arthur served and the date and term in which he left school. His name was also included on a hand written list of Shaftesbury Grammar School old boys serving during the war. An asterix can be seen next to Arthur's name, indicating that he had died. The board is now at Gold Hill Museum.

His brothers, Bertie Meaden,  Frederick John Meaden and Walter Frank Meaden also served in the conflict and survived. All their names appear on a Roll of Honour published in St. James' Church Parish Magazine in November 1918.

Printed Sources:
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, March 1919
First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces, September 1915

Images:
  • Names on St. James' War Memorial 2
  • St. James' Roll of Honour
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School War Memorial
  • List of Old Shastonians 1
  • List of Old Shastonians 3
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 1
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 5

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

Sidney William Alner

Surname: Alner
Other names: Sidney William
Other people in this story:
Sidney William Alner
Mary Ellen Alner née Franklin
Harry Walter Alner
Frederick Sidney Alner
Locations in this story:
Shaftesbury, Dorset
St. Peter's Church, Shaftesbury
Holy Trinity Church, Shaftesbury
Gold Hill, Shaftesbury
Military Hospital, Farnham, Surrey

Story:
Sidney William Alner was born in 1899 in Shaftesbury. He was the son of Sidney William Alner, a labourer, and Mary Ellen Alner (née Franklin). At the time of the 1911 Census, he was single and living with the family at 14 Gold Hill, Shaftesbury. He enlisted as a Private in the Hampshire Regiment (Service No. 28329) and at the time of death was with the 1st Battalion. He was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He died at the Military Hospital in Farnham, Surrey, on 19th November 1918 and was buried at Holy Trinity Churchyard, Shaftesbury, to the west of the church. He is remembered on the Park Walk War Memorial and on the Holy Trinity Memorial, now in St. Peter's Church, Shaftesbury.

Sidney's brothers Harry Walter (b.1886) and Frederick Sidney (b.1896) also served in the war. Sadly Harry died in France less than a month before Sidney.

Images:
  • Names on Park Walk War Memorial 1
  • Park Walk War Memorial 2
  • Shaftesbury Park Walk War Memorial 03
  • Sidney William Alner headstone
  • 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
Harry Walter Alner
Frederick Sidney Alner