Cann and Shaftesbury from Melbury Hill

Harry Percival Holly

Surname: Holly
Other names: Harry Percival
Other people in this story:
Mark Holly
Harriett Holly née Smith
Clara Holly née Beedles
Herbert John Holly
Ernest Walter Holly
Locations in this story:
Melbury Abbas, Shaftesbury, Dorset
France & Flanders
Chippenham, Wiltshire
Pembridge, Weobley, Herefordshire

Story:
Harry Percival Holly was born on 1st September 1891 in Melbury Abbas, Shaftesbury, Dorset and baptised there on 13th December 1891, the son of Mark Holly and Harriett Holly (née Smith).   He lived his early life in and around Melbury Abbas.  He enlisted on 30th October 1915 and joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner (Service No. 57735).  He served for some of the time in France with the 25th Fire Command and whilst there sustained a service injury to his right hand which eventually led to the amputation of his index finger.  This event led to him being in hospital for nearly three months.   He married Clara Beedles on 26th June 1917 in Chippenham, Wiltshire, and they went on to have two children.  He was eventually demobilized on 1st March 1919 and awarded the Victory and British War medals.  By the 1939 Register he was living at Stockmoor, Pembridge, Weobley, Herefordshire, and was described as a Munitions Worker.  He died on 3rd April 1983 in the Hereford Registration District.  

Harry's brothers also served in the war: Herbert John (b.1892) with the Dorsetshire Regiment, the Devonshire Regiment and the Hampshire Regiment; Ernest Walter (b.1895) died on 27th December 1918 while serving with the Royal Army Service Corps in Greece.

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Ernest Walter Holly
Herbert John Holly

Frederick James Gray

Surname: Gray
Other names: Frederick James
Other people in this story:
William Gray
Jane Gray
Elizabeth Anne Gray née Haskett
Locations in this story:
Semley, Wiltshire
Buscot House, Farringdon, Berkshire
Mitford Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire
The Rhine, Germany
France
St. Osmond's Church, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Story:
Frederick James Gray was born in Semley, Wiltshire, on 19th July 1888 and baptised there on 16th September 188, the son of William and Jane Gray.  His early life is recorded in the Semley Workhouse until the 1911 Census when he is shown as working as a Gardener at Buscot House, Farringdon, Berkshire.  By 1913 he had moved to Salisbury, Wiltshire, and married Elizabeth Anne Haskett on 29th July 1913 at St. Osmond's Church, Salisbury.  They appear to have had only one child.   Frederick enlisted on 6th December 1915 but was not embodied until 29th May 1916 when he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner (Service No. 91304).  He served with various units in France including the 185th Siege Battery and ended his service at the Rhine Army Control Camp, Germany.  He was finally demobilized on 4th October 1919 and awarded the Victory and British War medals.  By the 1939 Register he was living at 26 Mitford Street, Salisbury, and described as a Restaurant Proprietor.  He died in Salisbury on 6 Oct 1944.

Frederick's brother Ernest William also served in the war and was sadly killed in 1917 while serving with the Dorsetshire Regiment in France.

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Ernest William Gray
Bimport, Shaftesbury 5

Harold Cecil Weldon

Surname: Weldon
Other names: Harold Cecil
Other people in this story:
William Weldon
Frances Mary Weldon née Cass
Frederick Weldon
Locations in this story:
Shaftesbury, Dorset
France & Flanders
Enmore Green, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Holy Trinity Church, Shaftesbury
Bimport, Shaftesbury
Alcester House, Shaftesbury

Story:
Harold Cecil Weldon was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 9th February 1884 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 9th March 1884, the son of William Weldon and Frances Mary Weldon (née Cass).  The family lived in and around the Bimport area for many years.  Harold enlisted on 11th December 1915 and joined the Coldstream Guards as a Private (Service No. 20489).  He was transferred at a later date to the Royal Garrison Artillery (Service No. 225765).  He served in France and was eventually discharged as being physically unfit for further duty on 3rd June 1919.  He was awarded a short-term pension due to his disability.  He was also awarded the Victory and British War medals.   By 1922 he was working as a Hawker and living in Brickhill (now Church Hill), Enmore Green, Shaftesbury.  By the 1939 Register he was shown as 'Cecil' Weldon and residing in Alcester House, Shaftesbury and described as a General Labourer.  He remained single according to the Register.  He died in Shaftesbury in 1948 and was buried in St. James Churchyard on 6th September 1948. 

Harold Cecil's brother Frederick (b.1877) also served in the war, with the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Royal Army Service Corps.

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Frederick Weldon
The National Archives
St. James' Church

Charles Edward Ranger

Surname: Ranger
Other names: Charles Edward
Other people in this story:
Charles Ranger
Sarah Anne Ranger née Elliott
Emma Jane Ranger née Hillier
Laura Frances Ranger née Charles
Locations in this story:
Shaftesbury, Dorset
Pontnewydd, Monmouthshire
India
Gibralter
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Bermuda
France & Flanders
St. James, Shaftesbury

Story:
Charles Edward Ranger was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, in 1870 and baptised at St. James Church on 27th May 1870, the son of Charles Ranger and Sarah Anne Ranger (née Elliott).  He lived his early life in St. James, Shaftesbury.    He enlisted on 21st March 1889 and joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner (Service No. 4219).  He saw service in India, Gibralter, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and Bermuda until his discharge after 18 years service on 12th July 1907.   During this time he had married Emma Jane Hillier on 25th December, 1892.  It is thought they had one child. 

By 1911 Charles had moved to Pontnewydd, Monmouthshire where he had employment as a Collier Coal Hewer.  His wife died in the same year and he went on to marry Laura Frances Charles in Pontnewydd on 6th October 1916.  They had four children - one of whom died in early infancy.   Charles was mobilized on 17th October 1914 and returned to the Royal Garrison Artillery (Service No. 71904).  He served a short time in France but spent most of the war in the UK.  He was transferred to the 16th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment as a Private on 27th April 1918 (Service No. 62273).  He had been diagnosed with Rheumatism in 1915 and this was a constant source of concern.  He was discharged on 19th March 1919 and awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as the 1914/15 Star.  He later applied for the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal but this was refused after an official inquiry.  He died before 1939 where his wife is shown on the Register as a widow but the exact date or place are unknown.

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Bertram James Pike

Surname: Pike
Other names: Bertram James
Other people in this story:
James Pike
Julia Agnes Christina Pike née Bastable
Lucy Maria Pike née White
Violet Pike née Coombs
Locations in this story:
Stour Provost, Dorset
Stour Row, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Shaftesbury, Dorset
France & Flanders
Italy
Holy Trinity Church, Shaftesbury
St. James Street, Shaftesbury
Bimport, Shaftesbury

Story:
Bertram James Pike was born at Stour Provost, Dorset, on 18th January 1883 and baptised at Stour Row Church, Dorset, on 29th January 1883, the son of James Pike and Julia Agnes Christina Pike (née Bastable).   He lived his early life in and around the Stour Row, Shaftesbury, area.  He became a wheelwright like his father and married Lucy Maria White at Holy Trinity Church, Shaftesbury, on 17th February 1908.  They went on to have one child.  

Bertram enlisted on 10th December 1915 and was placed on reserve until mobilized on 30th April 1917 when he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner Wheelwright (Service No. 158683).  He served in both France and Italy, the latter period with the 438th Siege Battery, and was discharged on 28th March 1919 having been awarded the Victory and British War medals.  He went on to live at Higher Duncliffe, Stour Provost, until the 1939 Register shows him residing at 8 St James Street, Shaftesbury, and working as a Builder.  His wife died in 1943 and he subsequently re-married Violet Coombs in 1951 in Shaftesbury.   He died on 11th January 1954 whilst living at 25 Bimport, Shaftesbury.

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PN411

Frederick Charles Hillier

Surname: Hillier
Other names: Frederick Charles
Other people in this story:
William Thomas Hillier
Mary Hillier née Sharp
Bessie Rachel Hillier née Fletcher
Locations in this story:
Corner Lane, Motcombe, Dorset
North End, Motcombe, Dorset
St. Mary's Church, Motcombe
Gillingham, Dorset

Story:
Frederick Charles Hillier was born in Motcombe, Dorset, on 30th August 1886, the son of William Thomas Hillier and Mary Hillier (née Sharp).  The family lived in Corner Lane, Motcombe, Dorset.  Frederick, a baker, married Bessie Rachel Fletcher in Motcombe on 20th June 1915 at Gillingham Parish Church, Gillingham, Dorset.   They went on to have four children.  He enlisted on 24th June 1916 but was not mobilized until 2nd May 1918 when he joined the 'Y' Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner (Service No 213365).  He served in the UK only until his demobilization on 28th February 1919. No medal record can be found. By the 1939 Register he was living at 76 North End, Motcombe, Dorset, (adjacent to North End Farm) and was working as a Cowman.  He died on 8 Apr 1975 and was interred in St. Mary's Churchyard, Motcombe.

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The Well, Farnham

Douglas Eric Bowra

Surname: Bowra
Other names: Douglas Eric
Other people in this story:
William Charles Bowra
Margaret Eliza Bowra née Ingram
Claude Victor Bowra
Locations in this story:
Coombe, Donhead St. Andrew, Wiltshire
Tucker House, Longfield Colony, Surrey
Dormansland, Surrey
France & Flanders
Farnham, Dorset

Story:
Douglas Eric Bowra was born at Coombe, Donhead St. Andrew, Wiltshire, on 9th April 1896, the son of William Charles Bowra and Margaret Eliza Bowra (née Ingram). Shortly after his birth the family moved to Farnham, Dorset. Douglas enlisted on 20th October 1914 with the 185th and later the 18th Siege Battalions of the Royal Garrison Artillery, eventually becoming a Bombardier (Service No. 47473). He served in France and Flanders where, on 29th October 1915, he received shrapnel wounds. He went on final leave to his, by then, parents home at Tucker House, Longfield Colony, Surrey. On 27th January 1919 he became ill and on 12th February 1919 died of influenza and pneumonia due to the effect of war service (per the citation). The Army noted his demobilization officially on 1st March 1919. He was awarded the Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals and laid to rest with a Commonwealth War Graves headstone at Dormansland (St. John) Churchyard in Surrey. The CWGC citation also notes that his brother, Claude Victor Bowra, was also killed during the conflict.

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Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Cann Church, Shaftesbury

Percy Thomas Alford

Surname: Alford
Other names: Percy Thomas
Other people in this story:
James Alford
Hannah Alford née Pike
Mary Ann Alford née Perrett
Locations in this story:
Boyne Cottage, Cann, Shaftesbury, Dorset
East Down, Blandford, Dorset
Bozley Hill, Cann, Shaftesbury, Dorset

Story:
Percy Thomas Alford was born in Cann, Shaftesbury, Dorset in 1887, the son of James Alford and Hannah Alford (née Pike). By 1911 he was living at Boyne Cottage, Cann, Shaftesbury. He married Mary Ann Perrett at Cann on 23rd December 1913 and lived at East Down, Blandford, Dorset, working as a gardener. They had one child in 1914 who regrettably passed away in 1918. Percy enlisted with the Royal Garrison Artillery on 10th December 1915 as a Gunner (Service No. 126723) but only served in the UK throughout his time in the army. He contracted tuberculosis at some time towards the end of the war and was eventually declared unfit for further service and discharged on 6th December 1919. He was awarded the Victory and British medals. By then he was living at Bozley Hill, Cann, Shaftesbury, where he died on 31st March 1925 and later buried in St. Rumbold's Churchyard, Cann, on 4th April 1925.

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Melbury Abbas and Zig Zag Hill

Richard Charles Mullins

Surname: Mullins
Other names: Richard Charles
Other people in this story:
Charles R. Mullins
Elizabeth Mullins née Lucas
Elsie Mullins née Greenwood
Locations in this story:
Cann Common, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Ludwell, Wiltshire
Grove Farm, Melbury Abbas, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Westminster Memorial Hospital, Shaftesbury, Dorset

Story:
Richard Charles Mullins was born on 1st May 1895 at Cann, Shaftesbury, Dorset and baptised there on 2nd June 1895, the son of Charles R. Mullins and Elizabeth Mullins (née Lucas). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Cann Common, Shaftesbury. He joined the Dorset (Queen's Own) Yeomanry as a Private (Service No. 560) but later transferred to the Royal Garrison Artillery (Territorial Force) as a Gunner (Service No.334552). Following his discharge he was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He married Elsie Greenwood at Ludwell, Wiltshire, on 3rd April 1920 and they went on to have two children. The 1939 Register shows the family living at Grove Farm, Melbury Abbas, Dorset, where Richard was described as a Dairy Farmer. He died at Westminster Memorial Hospital, Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 8th September 1973 and was later interred at Melbury Abbas alongside his wife who had predeceased him in 1966.

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Melbury Abbas Church

Sidney Whitmarsh

Surname: Whitmarsh
Other names: Sidney
Other people in this story:
Ambrose John Whitmarsh
Maria Whitmarsh
Kate Whitmarsh née Lane
Charles Whitmarsh
Locations in this story:
White Pit Lane, Melbury Abbas, Dorset
France
Frederick Street, Aldershot, Hampshire
Burton Street, Marnull, Dorset

Story:
Sidney Whitmarsh was born at Melbury Abbas, Dorset in 1871, the son of Ambrose John Whitmarsh and Maria Whitmarsh (nee Lane). The family lived for a time at White Pit Lane, Melbury Abbas. He had enlisted with the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1897.  He married Kate Lane at Melbury Abbas on 11th July 1898. He had been discharged from the army and according to the 1911 Census, when they were living at Burton Street, Marnull, Dorset, there was at least one child of the marriage. He re-enlisted as a Private with the Dorsetshire Regiment on 17th August 1914 (Service No. 7373). He was transferred as a Gunner to the Royal Garrison Artillery on 1st January 1915 (Service No. 6720) and served with them in France. On 5th May 1917, having returned to the UK, he was transferred to the Labour Corps as a Private (Service No. 435341) and joined the 644th Agricultural Company. He was demobilized on 31st March 1920 and awarded the Victory and British War medals. He was obviously in some financial difficulty in 1923, when living at 1 Frederick Street, Aldershot, Hampshire, as he was trying to obtain copies of his military record in order to prove his need to the authorities. He died in Aldershot in 1936.   His brother, Charles Whitmarsh, also served but was discharged on 2 Apr 1918 being physically unfit due to gun shot wounds and died in 1920. Source: Based on previous research by Ken Baxter.

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Charles Whitmarsh