Bleke Street, Shaftesbury

Maurice William Sidney Harris

Surname: Harris
Other names: Maurice William Sidney
Other people in this story:
William James Harris
Kathleen Emily Harris née Howe
Mary Harris
Locations in this story:
Shaftesbury, Dorset
Sherborne School, Sherborne, Dorset
France & Flanders
Salisbury, Wiltshire

Story:
Maurice William Sidney Harris was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 16th October 1897 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 17th November 1897, the son of William James Harris, MD, a local Doctor, and Kathleen Emily Harris (née Howe).  In 1901 the family was living at 37 Bell Street; by 1911 they had moved to "Avishayes" in Bleke Street. He attended Sherborne School, Sherborne, Dorset, from June 1910 to December 1914. 

He enlisted with the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment with the rank of Lieutenant.  He served in France and Flanders where, in May 1918, it was announced he had been awarded the Military Cross.  Following his discharge he was further awarded the Victory and British War medals.  He returned to the family home at "Avishayes", but he died in Salisbury, Wiltshire, on 27th July 1922 at the early age of 24.  A brass plaque in his memory was placed in the Sherborne School Chapel.

Maurice's sister Mary also served in the war, firstly with the Voluntary Aid Detachment and later as a driver with the RAF.

Images:

Links to related web content / sources:
Mary Harris
The National Archives
Enmore Green, The Knapp

William John Fry

Surname: Fry
Other names: William John
Other people in this story:
Samuel Fry
Ellen Fry née Rabbets
Elizabeth Jane Fry née Stevens
Locations in this story:
Shaftesbury, Dorset
Enmore Green, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Blandford St. Mary, Dorset
Egypt
Palestine

Story:
William John Fry was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 13th November 1890, the son of Samuel Fry and Ellen Fry (née Rabbets). He lived his early childhood years in Enmore Green, Shaftesbury, until, by 1901, the family had moved to Blandford St. Mary, Dorset.  He married Elizabeth Jane Stevens at Blandford St. Mary on 15th May 1914.   He enlisted and joined the 2nd/10th Battalion of the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment as a Private (Service No. G/51482).  He served in Egypt and Palestine where he was killed in action on 21st December 1917.  He was buried at the Jerusalem War Cemetery, Palestine (Israel), (Grave Ref: S.91) and is remembered on the war memorial at Blandford St. Mary.  He was awarded the Victory and British War medals.

Images:

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

John Langhorn Coombs

Surname: Coombs
Other names: John Langhorn
Other people in this story:
John Langhorn Coombs (senior)
Amelia Coombs née Clarke
Reginald James Coombs
Annie Amelia Coombs née Hart
Leonard Coombs
Locations in this story:
Berwick St. John, Wiltshire
Tollard Farm, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire
France & Flanders
Salisbury, Wiltshire
Birmingham, Warwickshire

Story:
John Langhorn Coombs (same names as his father) was born on 12th May 1894 at Berwick St. John, Wiltshire, the son of John Langhorn Coombs and Amelia Coombs (née Clarke).   He spent all his civilian life in and around Berwick St. John and Tollard Royal, Wiltshire.  He enlisted on 4th February 1915 and joined the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment rising to the rank of Lance Corporal (Service No. 1558).  He served in France and Flanders and was awarded the Military Medal in accordance with the Special Army Order dated 14th August 1917. He also received the King's Certificate No. 10642 dated 7th September 1917.  He was discharged on 11th January 1919 and further awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as the 1915 Star. 

His brother, Reginald James (b.1895) had also served and been wounded in the conflict, dying in 1926.  John went on to marry his Reginald's widow, Annie Amelia Hart (Coombs), in Birmingham, Warwickshire, in 1928 and they had two children. Another brother, Leonard (b.1899) also served in the war, with The Hussars and the Tank Corps.

By the 1939 Register John was living at Tollard Farm, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, and described as a Dairy and Corn Farmer as well as a Special Constable.  His death is recorded at the Salisbury, Wiltshire, District Registry in 1967.

Images:

Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives
Leonard Coombs
Reginald James Coombs

Nathaniel Sidney Stacey

Surname: Stacey
Other names: Nathaniel Sidney
Other people in this story:
Samuel Stacey
Caroline Stacey
Margery Stacey née Coleman
Locations in this story:
Shorts Green, Motcombe, Dorset
Ilfracombe, Devon
Germany

Story:
Nathaniel Sidney Stacey was born in Motcombe, Dorset, on 27th May 1887, the son of Samuel and Caroline Stacey.  He lived his early life in Shorts Green, Motcombe, Dorset.   He enlisted on 11th December 1915 and was mobilized on 18th May 1916, joining the 35th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (Service No. 151426).   Shortly after he transferred on 1st July 1916 to 29th TW Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment (Service No. 31881).  He was transferred yet again to the Labour Corps ('F' Company) and became part of the army of occupation in Germany at the end of the war. He had been promoted to Corporal and was eventually discharged on 22nd September 1920.  There is no information about any medals being awarded. He had married Margery Coleman in Ilfracombe, Devon, on 1st February 1916 and they went on to have one child.  By the 1939 Register he was living at 2 Merridan Terrace, Ilfracombe, Devon working as a Jobbing Gardener.  There is no current information on his date of death.

Images:

Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives
1914 Shaftesbury Grammar School Football Team

Roland Goetze Innocent

Surname: Innocent
Other names: Roland Goetze
Other people in this story:
Bentley Frank Innocent
Fanny Innocent
Locations in this story:
Sherborne House, Lechlade, Gloucestershire
Burford House, Sherborne Street East, Lechlade
Auckland Road East, Southsea, Portsmouth
Shaftesbury Grammar School, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Sailley-Saillisel British Cemetery, Somme, France

Story:
Roland Goetze Innocent was born in 1899 in Lechlade, Gloucestershire. He was the son of Bentley Frank Innocent, an auctioneer and valuer, and Fanny Innocent. In 1901 the family were living at Burford House, Sherborne Street East in Lechlade. By the time of the 1911 Census they had moved to Sherborne House in Lechlade and Roland was a boarder at 27 Auckland Road East, Southsea, Portsmouth. Roland attended Shaftesbury Grammar School from January 1912 to April 1916. While there he was a member of the 1914 football team and the 1915 cricket team. He also took part in the Dorset Inter-School Sports, winning the Hurdles in 1915 and Throwing the Cricket Ball in 1916.

On leaving school he worked in his father’s office in Cirencester. When he was of military age he joined a Cadet Flying School but after two months was transferred, for medical reasons, to an infantry regiment. He served as a Private in the Middlesex Regiment and the London Regiment (Service No. G/96705) and was posted to France in August 1918. He died on 1st September 1918 and was buried in the Sailley-Saillisel British Cemetery, Somme, France (grave id. II.J.6). He was awarded the Victory and British War medals and is remembered on the Shaftesbury Grammar School memorial in Shaftesbury School.

Throughout the war a hand-written list was compiled of Shaftesbury Grammar School old boys serving in the armed forces. An asterix can be seen next to Roland’s name, indicating that he had died. The board is now at Gold Hill Museum. 

Printed Sources: 

Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, March 1919

Images:
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School War Memorial
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 3
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 1

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives
Shastonian
Names on Fontmell Magna War Memorial 4

Bertie John Bradley

Surname: Bradley
Other names: Bertie John
Other people in this story:
Albert Bradley
Fanny Elizabeth. Bradley née Sharpe
Locations in this story:
Kit Hill, Near Guy's Marsh, Shaftesbury
France
Calais Southern Cemetery, Nord Pas de Calais, France
Lurmer Street, Fontmell Magna, Dorset
St. James's Church, Shaftesbury
Kensal Rise, London
Shepherds Bush, Middlesex
British General Hospital, Calais, France

Story:
Bertie John Bradley was born in 1895 at Kit Hill, Near Guy's Marsh, Shaftesbury and baptised at St. James's Church, Shaftesbury on 19th May, 1895.. He was the son of Albert Bradley, a horseman on a farm, and Fanny Elizabeth Bradley (née Sharpe). At the time of the 1911 Census he was single, working as a Milk Carrier and living at 21 Lurmer Street, Fontmell Magna. Between then and his enlistment, he had moved to Kensal Rise, London, where he was employed as a milk carrier. He enlisted at Shepherds Bush, Middlesex, on the 6th July, 1915, as a Private in the 17th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment (Service No. F/561). He served in France and was awarded the Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals. He was wounded in action on 30th January, 1916, and died of his wounds at the British General Hospital, Calais, France, on 27th February, 1916. He was buried at Calais Southern Cemetery, Nord Pas de Calais, France (grave id. Plot B. Row 3. Grave 17). At the time of his death his parents were living at 21 Lurmer Street and he is remembered on the Fontmell Magna War Memorial, Shaftesbury.

Further reading: "Fontmell Magna and the First World War", compiled by Chris Bellers, Fontmell Magna Village Archive Society, 2014.

Images:
  • Names on Fontmell Magna War Memorial 2
  • Fontmell Magna War Memorial 4
  • Fontmell Magna War Memorial 3

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