Melbury Abbas and Zig Zag Hill

Charles Whitmarsh

Surname: Whitmarsh
Other names: Charles
Other people in this story:
Ambrose John Whitmarsh
Maria Whitmarsh née Lane
Huldah Amelia Whitmarsh née Hacker
Sidney Whitmarsh
Locations in this story:
Melbury Abbas, Shaftesbury, Dorset
France & Flanders
St. James' Church, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Bath, Somerset
Watchet, Somerset

Story:
Charles Whitmarsh was born in Melbury Abbas, Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 12th April 1877, the son of Ambrose John Whitmarsh and Maria Whitmarsh (née Lane).  He lived his early life in Melbury Abbas.  He had served in the Army from 1896 until his discharge on 13th March 1906.   He married Huldah Amelia Hacker at St. James' Church, Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 23rd October 1906 and moved to Watchet, Somerset.  They went on to have four children.  Charles re-enlisted on 21st December 1914 as a Private with the 1st Battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment (Service Nos. 4320 & 8790).  While serving in France & Flanders he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Service No. 3/16372); soon after he received a gunshot wound which left him physically unfit for further duty.  He was discharged on 2nd April 1918 and eventually awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as the 1915 Star.   He died in Bath, Somerset, on 29th September 1920.  His brother, Sidney Whitmarsh, also served in the conflict and survived, eventually dying in 1936.

Images:

Links to related web content / sources:
Sidney Whitmarsh
The National Archives
Donhead St. Mary Church

Thomas James Lucas

Surname: Lucas
Other names: Thomas James
Other people in this story:
Alfred Lucas
Julia Anne Cox Lucas née Reed
Emma Margaret Alice Lucas née Johnson
Locations in this story:
Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire
Middle East
Bournemouth, Hampshire
Salisbury, Wiltshire
Gallipoli, Turkey

Story:
Thomas James Lucas was born on 18th April 1898 in Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire, and baptised there on 22nd May 1898, the son of Alfred Lucas and Julia Anne Cox Lucas (née Reed).  He lived all his early life in Donhead St. Mary.  He enlisted on 5th September 1914 and joined the Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire) Regiment as a Private (Service No. 12873).  Very quickly thereafter he was transferred to the 6th (Service) Battalion of the Leinster Regiment (Service No. 6/1260) and posted to the Middle East.  He served at Gallipoli, Turkey, and was wounded.  He also suffered from enteritis plus being wounded a second time following which he lost a finger on his left hand.  His disability did not stop him being transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Service No. 73994) and thereafter attached to the Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) until his discharge on 9th March 1919.  He had been awarded a gratuity as a result of the lost finger but no pension.   He was also awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as the 1915 Star.   He married Emma Margaret Alice Johnson in Bournemouth, Hampshire, in 1929 and they went on to have at least one child.  By the 1939 Register he was living at 94 Castlemain Avenue, Bournemouth, Hampshire, working as an Engineer's Labourer.  He died in the Salisbury, Wiltshire, Registration District in 1982.

Images:

Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives

Percy Leonard Hare

Surname: Hare
Other names: Percy Leonard
Other people in this story:
John Hare
Elizabeth Hare née Trowbridge
Rose Hare née King
Locations in this story:
Birdbush, Ludwell, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire
Tisbury, Wiltshire
Mere, Wiltshire
Gallipoli, Turkey
Salonika, Greece

Story:
Percy Leonard Hare (aka Leonard Hare) was born at Ludwell, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire, on 5th September 1893 and baptised there on 31st December 1893, the son of John Hare and Elizabeth Hare (née Trowbridge).  The family lived at Birdbush, Ludwell.  Leonard enlisted on 5th September 1914 and joined the Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire) Regiment as a Private (Service No. 12788).  He was swiftly transferred to the 6th (Reserve) Battalion of the Leinster Regiment (Service No. 6/1252).   He served in Salonika and Gallipoli where, on 5th August 1915, he was wounded and hospitalized.  After convalescence he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Service No. 48519) and joined the 67th Company.  He was finally demobilized on 2nd April 1919 and awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as the 1914/15 Star.  He married Rose King in 1920 at Tisbury, Wiltshire, and they had one child.  By the 1939 Register Leonard was living at Leigh Court, Sans Lane, Tisbury, Wiltshire and described as a Painter (Buildings) as well as acting as an ARP Warden.   His death was registered in the Mere, Wiltshire, Registration District in 1946.

Images:

Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives
Holy Trinity Church, Shaftesbury 1

Montague Smith

Surname: Smith
Other names: Montague
Other people in this story:
Harry Smith
Mary Smith
Eva Annie Smith née Wooders
Locations in this story:
Shaftesbury, Dorset
Streatham, Surrey
Drayton Park, Willesden, Middlesex
Brent, Middlesex
France & Flanders
Holy Trinity Church, Shaftesbury
Mustons Lane, Shaftesbury
South Africa

Story:
Montague Smith was born on 6th July 1889 in Shaftesbury, Dorset, and baptised on 21st November 1889 at Holy Trinity Church, the son of Harry and Mary Smith.  He lived his early life at 7 Mustons Lane, Shaftesbury, one of eleven children in the family.   He enlisted on 15th July 1907 and joined the 9th Lancers of Cavalry of the Line (Service No. 246) and later the 21st Lancers and served in South Africa.  He was discharged to reserves on 14th July 1914 only to be almost immediately embodied on 15th August 1914 as a Shoeing Smith Corporal (Service No. 41347).  He transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) and joined the 2nd Machine Gun Squadron of the Royal Tank Corps on 27th June 1916 and served in France.   He was discharged on 14 Jul 1919 having completed the terms of his engagement.  He was awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as the 1914/15 Star.  He had married Eva Annie Wooders at St. Anselem Church, Streatham, Surrey, on 9th August 1917.  One child is recorded.  The 1939 Register shows him living at 86a Drayton Park, Willesden, Middlesex, working as a Bus Conductor.  He died on 21st November 1966 in the Brent, Middlesex, Registry area.

Images:

Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives

Walter Stewart Genge

Surname: Genge
Other names: Walter Stewart
Other people in this story:
Walter Genge
Mary Genge née Antell
Elsie Genge née Sims
Locations in this story:
Shaftesbury, Dorset
Hawkesdene Lane, Cann, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Waverley Road, Bournemouth, Hampshire
France
Broadstone, Dorset

Story:
Walter Stewart Genge was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 1st September 1889, the son of Walter Genge and Mary Genge (née Antell).  He lived his early life with the family in Hawkesdene Lane, Cann, Shaftesbury.  He had had previous military service with the Dorset Yeomanry which was time expired.  He enlisted on 2nd September 1914 and joined the 9th Battalion of The Hussars Reserve Cavalry later joining the 3rd Battalion as a Private (Service No. 18335).   On the 28th February 1916 he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) and served with the 4th Squadron M.G. (Service No 41749).  He served in France and was eventually demobilized on 10th March 1919 and awarded the Victory and British War medals plus the 1914/15 Star.   He married Elsie Sims on 11th October 1926 at Broadstone, Dorset.  It is not known if there were any children of the marriage.  By the 1939 Register Walter and Elsie were living at 21 Waverley Road, Bournemouth, Hampshire and he was working for the Bournemouth Corporation in the Entertainments Department.    He died in Bournemouth in 1969.

Images:

Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives

William Henry Fletcher

Surname: Fletcher
Other names: William Henry
Other people in this story:
William Fletcher
Charlotte Ann Fletcher née Watts
Sidney Frank Fletcher
Locations in this story:
Higher Coombe, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire
France
Egypt
Salonika, Greece
Willinghdon Road, Wood Green, Middlesex
Haringey, Greater London
Cann, Shaftesbury, Dorset

Story:
William Henry Fletcher was born at Higher Coombe, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire, on 30th October 1894 and baptised at Cann, Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 6th January 1895. He was the son of William Fletcher and Charlotte Ann Fletcher (née Watts) and brother of Sidney Frank (b.1892) who was killed during the Great War. During his childhood William lived with his family at Higher Coombe.

He enlisted on 10th September 1914 with the Somerset Light Infantry (Service No. 14253) but was immediately placed on reserve. He rejoined on 22nd September 1914 and was transferred to the 10th (Service) Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment on 30th September 1914 (Service No. 13507). He embarked for France on 22nd September 1915 and on 31st October 1915 re-embarked for Egypt. He then served in Salonika during which time he transferred to the Machine Gun Corps on 14th August 1917 (Service No. 74545) and was attached to the 79th Company (Tank Corps). He suffered during his time in the Near East with malaria and had various spells in hospital. Nevertheless on the 22nd December 1918 he was promoted to Sergeant. He embarked for England on 11th April 1919 and was eventually demobilized on 25th May 1919. He was awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as the 1914/15 Star.

By the 1939 Register he is shown living at 157 Willingdon Road, Wood Green, Middlesex, working as a hotel valet. He remained single and died in the Haringey, Greater London, Registry District in 1981.

Images:

Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives
Sidney Frank Fletcher
Donhead St. Andrew Church

Henry Jeffery

Surname: Jeffery
Other names: Henry
Other people in this story:
George Jeffery
Ellen Jeffery née Pardy
Dorothy Irene Jeffery née Glass
Locations in this story:
Donhead St. Andrew, Wiltshire
France
Iraq
India
Salisbury, Wiltshire
Newport Street, Swindon, Wiltshire
Higher Berry Court Farm, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire
Shaftesbury Grammar School

Story:
Henry Jeffery was born on 9th June 1896 at Donhead St. Andrew, Wiltshire, the son of George Jeffery and Ellen Jeffery (née Pardy). They lived at Higher Berry Court Farm, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire. Henry was recorded as a Boarder at Shaftesbury Grammar School in the 1911 Census. He left school in the summer of 1911 and on enlistment his occupation was given as 'Ironmonger's Apprentice'. He enlisted with the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry on 5th September 1914, later transferring to the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry Section). He was attached to the 15th Squadron of the Tank Corps and achieved the rank of Acting Sergeant, serving in France, Iraq and India. He was demobilized on 3rd January 1920 and was awarded the Victory and British War medals, the 1914/15 Star and the India General Service Medal (Afghanistan & N.W. Frontier Clasps) 1919. He married Dorothy Irene Glass in Salisbury on 1st September 1925 and they went on to have one child. His last known address was 3 Newport Street, Swindon, Wiltshire, (per the 1939 Register) where he had an Ironmongery business. He died at Swindon in 1968.

Source: Based on previous research by Ken Baxter.
Printed Source: First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces, September 1915

Images:
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School 4
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 10
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 4
  • List of Old Shastonians 1
  • List of Old Shastonians 3

Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives
Melbury Abbas War Memorial

William Mark Henstridge

Surname: Henstridge
Other names: William Mark
Other people in this story:
William George Henstridge
Emily Eliza Henstridge nee Lane
Locations in this story:
Shaftesbury
France & Flanders
Thiepval Memorial, France
Melbury Abbas, Dorset

Story:
William Mark Henstridge was born in Melbury Abbas, Dorset in 1896 and baptised there on 9th August, 1896. He was the son of William George Henstridge, a farm labourer, and Emily Eliza Henstridge (nee Lane). At the time of the 1911 Census he was single, a scholar and living at 7 Melbury Abbas, Dorset. He enlisted in Shaftesbury as a Private in the Dorsetshire Regiment (Service No. 12701) but later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) (new Service No. 73046). He served in France & Flanders and was awarded the Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals. He died on 2nd April 1917 and his name appears on the Thiepval Memorial in France (Pier and Panel 5 C and 12 C). He is remembered on the Melbury Abbas War Memorial.

Images:

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

Reginald James Wilkins

Surname: Wilkins
Other names: Reginald James
Other people in this story:
George Frank Wilkins
Constance Catherine Emma Wilkins nee Smith
Locations in this story:
Farnham, Dorset
France & Flanders
Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France
Blandford

Story:
Reginald James Wilkins was born in 1899 in Farnham, Dorset. He was the son of George Frank Wilkins, a Baker & Grocer, and Constance Catherine Emma Wilkins (nee Smith). At the time of the 1911 Census he was single, a scholar and living in the family home at Farnham, Blandford, Dorset. His mother died on 4th July 1915. He enlisted in Blandford as a Private in the 6th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment (Service No. 42975) and later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Service No. 20588). He served in France & Flanders and was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He died on 22nd October 1918 and his name appears on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial in France (Panel 5). He is remembered on the Farnham War Memorial.

Images:
  • Farnham churchyard

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives
St. John the Baptist Church, Berwick St. John 01

Reginald George Bennett

Surname: Bennett
Other names: Reginald George
Other people in this story:
Thomas Bennett
Annie Bennett née Witt
Bertie Harold Bennett
Thomas William Bennett
Walter Sam Bennett
Frederick Harry Bennett
Locations in this story:
St. John the Baptist Church, Berwick St. John, Wiltshire
Mesopotamia
Amara War Cemetery, Iraq
Ashcombe, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire
Church of St. Peter and Vincula, Tollard Royal
Southampton

Story:
Reginald George Bennett was born in 1897 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, Thomas William and Walter Sam, born in 1889, 1894, 1885, respectively, who all died in the war. At the time of the 1911 Census he was single and living in the family home at Ashcombe, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire. He enlisted in Southampton and joined the 134th Company of the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) (Service No. 33138) and he served in Mesopotamia. At the time of his death he held the rank of Lance Corporal. He was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He died on 24th February 1917 and was buried at Amara War Cemetery in Iraq (grave id. XVII.H.13).

He is remembered on the war memorial inside the church at Berwick St. John. He is also remembered as "R.G. Bennett M.G.C" on the Tollard Royal 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:
  • Berwick St. John War Memorial
  • 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
Thomas William Bennett