Edward J Mann

Member of the Constitutional Club, commemorated on memorial in the club

Western Times 11 August 1922 p5 col2

Edward John Mann
Edward was born in Broadhempston, Devonshire, in 1888 and his birth was registered in Newton Abbot in the 2nd quarter of 1888. The 1901 census shows the family living at Gullaford Farm, Staverton, Landscove, and head of the family is Arthur E. born in Staverton in 1851. His occupation is that of a farmer.
Elizabeth A. is Arthur's wife, born in Coombe Raleigh in 1862. Their children are: Hilda M born in 1891, Arthur born 1892, Annie born 1895 and Edgar William born in 1898, all born in Staverton, and Edward.
The 1911 census records Edward as a patient in Ashburton and Buckfastleigh Cottage Hospital: he is single and employed as a farmer.
Edward's residence was Ashburton when he enlisted in Totnes into the Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line (inc Yeomanry and Imperial Camel Corp.) He served in the 1st Devon Yeomanry with a service number of 1908, and in the Corp of Hussars with a serial number of H/220021. He rose through the ranks to Sergeant.
Edward's medal index card records that he entered the Egyptian Campaign on the 8th September 1915, and the 1st Royal Devon Yeomanry served in Egypt between 1915 and 1917. At the outbreak of the war the regiment was part of the 2nd South Western Mounted Brigade.
EGYPT
On the 30th December 1915 the regiment landed at Alexandria to help defend Egypt. In February 1916 the 2nd South Western Mounted Brigade was absorbed into the 2nd Dismounted Brigade, and seved on the Suez Canal defences and part of the Western Frontier Force. On the 4th Janaury 1917 the regiment was amalgamated with the 1/1st Royal North Devon Yeomanry at Moscar, Egypt, to form the 16th (Royal 1st Devon and Royal North Devon Yeomanry) Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, and Dismounted Brigade, and became the 229th Brigade in the 74th Yeomanry Division.
PALESTINE
With the 74th Division it took part in the invasion of Palestine in 1917 and 1918, and it fought in the 2nd and 3rd Battles of Gaza, including the capture of Beersheba and the Sheria Position. At the end of 1917 it took part in the capture and defence of Jerusalem.
Edward was wounded or taken ill and repatriated back to England, and he died at home on the 24th February 1918. He is remembered at Landscove (St Matthews)
Churchyard.

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for this research


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 Corporal Edwin Richard Mann

The Western Times reported the death of Edwin Mann, who died 18 October 1917, describing him as a younger brother of Mrs T Gill, of East Street, Ashburton. He was 26.

Western Times 23 November 1917 p9 col1

Edwin was born in 1890 in Ashburton, and the 1891 census for Ashburton records the family living in North Street. William H is head of the family and he was born in Ashburton in 1848, his occupation is a general labourer, Elizabeth M is the mother and she also was born in Ashburton in 1851. Three children are also on the census: John, born in Ashburton in 1882, recorded as a scholar, Mary E, born Ashburton in 1884 is also a scholar, whilst Edwin is aged one.

The 1901 Ashburton census shows the family living in East Street, with William Henry the father recorded as a general agricultural labourer and mother Elizabeth tending the house and family. Frederick, another son, who was not recorded on the 1891 census, is employed as a mason, John, recorded as Daniel John is a railway fireman. Edwin, aged 11 and a further son, Stanley William born Ashburton 1894 are scholars.

The 1911 census for Totnes records Edwin as a boarder, living at St John's Terrace, Totnes, and his occupation is a plate layer for the Great Western Railway.

Edwin's service papers are missing apart from his Medal Index Card (MIC); however records show that he enlisted into the Northumberland Fusiliers in Plymouth, late 1914 or early 1915. His service No. was 59038 and he served with the 23rd Battalion (4th Tyneside Scottish).

His MIC shows that he first entered into the war in France on the 7th October 1915.The 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd Battalions were PALS Battalions and they were assigned to the 102nd (Tyneside Scottish) Brigade, 34th Division. The brigade suffered the worst losses of any brigade on the 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

During early 1917 Edwin returned home to England on leave, and married Miss Verris Honey in the first quarter of 1917; the marriage was registered in Newton Abbot.

The battalion was involved in action in the 1st and 2nd battles of Scarpe, and in the actions at Hargincourt; they were also involved in the 3rd battle of Ypres at Broenbeck, and it's more than probable that it was during this action at Ypres on the 18th October 1917 that Edwin was killed in action. He is remembered at the Cement House Cemetery in Belgium and his grave is 1X.D.26. Edwin's medal entitlement for his service was the 1914 -15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

According to the Commonwealth Graves Commission, Edwin's wife at the time of his death was living at High House, Diptford, South Brent. 

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for this research


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Charles Henry Manning

Charles was born in Dean Prior near Buckfastleigh in the 4th quarter of 1892, and his birth was registered in Totnes in the same year. The 1901 census records the family living at Pridhamsleigh in the parish of Staverton, Devon. John Manning was the head of the family and he was born in Brent in Devon in 1865. His occupation was an ordinary agricultural labourer.

John's wife Emily was born in Diptford in 1868, and the parents also had a daughter, Mary. She was born in Dean Prior in 1894.

According to the 1911 census the family were living in Landscove near Ashburton, and Emily was now the head of the family. Her occupation was a char-lady. Charles was employed as a farm labourer, Mary was aged 17 and had no recorded occupation, and since the 1901 census another daughter had been born. She was called Dorothy, and she was born in 1903.

Charles was living in Ashburton when he enlisted into the 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment in Exeter. His service number was 16043, and during his service time he rose to the rank of Lance Corporal. Charles entered France on the 28th July 1915, and according to the History of the Devonshire Regiment the 1st Battalion were involved throughout the Battle of the Somme. Charles was posted as presumed dead on the 25th September 1916 whilst the battalion were operating in tihe Givenchy region.

Charles is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, pier and face 1c, and also on the brass plaque memorial at Staverton Church.

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for this research


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Ernest Charles Manning
Ernest was born in Dean Prior, Devon, in the 3rd quarter of 1891, and his birth was registered in Totnes in the same year. The 1901 census shows the family living at Wash Cottages in Staverton, and head of family is William. He was born in 1864, and is employed as an agricultural labourer.
Mary is Ernest's mother and she was born in 1865 in Dean Prior. The parents have four further children, all daughters: Emma aged 8, Bertha aged 4 and Ada and Eva both 10 months old. According to the 1911 census the family are living at Gullaford Cottages near Ashburton, and head of the family is now Mary. Ernest is aged 19 and employed as a farm labourer; Ada and Eva are both 10 years of age, and both were born in Pridhamsleigh. Three sons have been born since the last census: George born 1902, Herbert born 1904 and Fernley Thomas Luscombe born in 1908. A grandchild, Sydney Caleb Manning, born 1909, is also with the family.
Ernest enlisted into the 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment in Newton Abbot and his service number was 9605. This would indicate that he enlisted about 1912. He entered France on the 22nd August 1914 with the 1st Battalion, and during his time in France he rose to the rank of Corporal. It appears that he was probably serving with the 8th (Service) Battalion when he was killed in action during the 3rd battle of Ypres on the 5th August 1917.
Ernest is remembered at the Arras Memorial and also on the memorial at Staverton; his mother was still living at Landscove when he died.

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for this research


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 Lance Corporal C S Martin*, Devonshire Regiment,  died 20 July 1918. The youngest son of Mr W Martin.

Western Times, 15 August 1918 p3 col3

*Charles S Martin on Ashburton War Memorial

Charles Satterley Martin

Charles was born in Loddiswell in Devon about 1893, with his birth being registered in Kingsbridge in the 1st quarter of 1893.

Unfortunately I cannot trace any census records for Charles for the years 1901 and 1911, and there is no service record either. However, looking at his Medal Index Card (MIC) and his record in 'Soldiers Died in the Great War' a small amount of information is available.

Charles's MIC records that he was entitled to the British War Medal and Victory Medal, also the Territorial Forces War Medal. This means that Charles would have needed to be serving in the Territorial's on the 4th August 1914, or to have completed 4 years service prior to that date and rejoined prior to the 30th September 1914.

What is clear is that his MIC shows his previous service number was 1375 and that he was a private, and that he enlisted into the 5th Battalion Devonshire Regiment (Territorial's) in Ashburton, with a service number of 240207. This means that he was serving during 1914 and transferred or re-enlisted in 1914.

1/5th Battalion Devonshire Regiment commanded by Lt Colonel Hawker was ordered to be on standby for the coming war, and moved to Millbay, Plymouth as part of the Devon and Cornwall Brigade Wessex Division. On the 9th October 1914 the Battalion sailed for India landing at Karachi on the 11th November 1914. They came under the orders of the 3rd Lahore Divisional Area at Multan, and in December 1915 they moved to Lahore, where they stayed until being sent to Egypt. They landed at Suez on the 4th April 1917 and on the 25th June 1917 they transferred to the 232nd Brigade, 75th Division. On the 1st June 1918 the 1/5th Battalion landed at Marseilles and proceeded to the western front, where they joined the 185th Brigade in the 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division. This division was a territorial division, commanded by Major General Walter Braithwaite. After training they were to be involved in the action at Andre Valley (Second Marne) in July 1918. It is almost certain that this would have been the battle in which Charles was killed, on the 20th July 1918. He is remembered on the Soissons Memorial, and also on the Ashburton War Memorial.

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for the above research

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James McDowell

James was born in Ashburton about 1864 and his birth was registered in Newton Abbot in March 1864. The 1871 census shows the family living in Ashburton, and head of family is William born 1831. His wife is called Louisa and she was born in Ashburton in 1834

The parents have three sons: William born 1856, James born 1864 and John born 1871, all in Ashburton. There are also four daughters: Susan born 1859, Louisa born 1861, Sarah May born 1866 and Ann born 1869, all in Ashburton.

James married Mary Ellen Ellery (born in Teignmouth in 1861) in 1885 and the marriage was registered in Newton Abbot in the 2nd quarter of 1885. According to the 1891 census for Ashburton James and Mary were living at Screechers Hill, Great Bridge, Ashburton, and James was employed as a general labourer. The couple had two daughters: Emily B, a scholar, born in Ashburton in 1884, and Annie born 1889, also in Ashburton. 

The 1901 census for Ashburton records the family living at Belmont, Ashburton, and James is employed as a mason's labourer. Mary is at home, Emily, now 13, is a wool spinner, and Annie is aged 11. Since the last census three more children have been born: Harriet born 1892, Mary E born 1899, and John born 1894, all in Ashburton.

James enlisted into the Royal Engineers as a Pioneer with a serial number of 115165. He was about 51 years of age, so almost certainly would have been in the Labour Corp side of the Royal Engineers. He entered France on the 26th August 1915, and at some time when more Labour Battalions were needed he was transferred to the Labour Corp, and his service number was altered to 291846. James would have seen service throughout the war in France and Flanders on the battlefield, and he survived the conflict, being discharged from the army on the 2nd March 1919, and sent home on leave.

Unfortunately James was found drowned in the Mill Leat of the River Yeo (River Ashburn) at the rear of the cottages in Kingsbridge Lane, Ashburton. The verdict on his death was that he had probably fallen over the wall at the top of North Street and struck his head. The Western Times 24th February 1919 reported this event.

In 1884 a James McDowell had attempted to take his own life at 20 years of age in the River Yeo, and had been saved. Could it be that his death in 1919 was the result of his four years of continuous sights of brutal horror and carnage, and that he was suffering from what we now know as post traumatic stress? Had he been driven to suicide? We will never know.

James was 55 when he died, and he is remembered in Ashburton Churchyard extension, where he is buried. His name is also on the Ashburton War Memorial.

James' wife Mary Ellen was living at 12 Great Bridge, Ashburton, when he died.

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for the above research

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Private Richard Milton, Devonshire Regiment, died 7 February 1915, aged 34. The son of James and Mary Milton, of Ashburton; husband of Alethea E. R. Hannaford (formerly Milton), of West St., Ashburton, Devon. 

www.cwgc.org.

Richard was born in Denbury near Newton Abbot in 1876 with his birth being registered in Newton Abbot in the 2nd quarter of 1876. The 1881 census for Torbryan records the family living at Coombe Cottage, Torbryan, with head of family James. He was born in 1826 in Torbryan, and his occupation is an agricultural labourer. Richard's mother, Mary, born 1834 in Ilsington is looking after the family. The parents have one daughter called Susan, and she was born in 1868 in Ilsington. She is a scholar.

Besides Richard there are three other sons: Samuel born 1872 and James born 1875, both born in Woodland and both scholars, and Daniel aged 3, who was born in Torbryan in 1878.

The 1901 census shows Richard aged 25 living in East Street in Newton Abbot, and his occupation is a horseman on a farm. In 1908 Richard married Eletha Alvina Ruth; she was born in Ashburton in 1889.

On the 1911 census for Ashburton Richard and his family are living at Gullaford Cottage near Ashburton. Richard is still a farm labourer, and the parents have two children: a daughter called Eletha born in 1909 in Newton Abbot, and a son called George born in 1910 in Gullaford. In 1911 Richard's mother was living at Glan House, East Street, Ashburton.

Richard enlisted into the 2nd Battalion Devonshire Regiment in Exeter. He was a private with a service number of 3/7533. According to his medal index card he entered France on the 12th December 1914, and two months later on the 7th February 1915 he was killed in action serving with the 2nd Battalion in trenches near Neuve Eglise. This was supposed to have been a quiet time for the battalion; however in the first two months of 1915 38 men were killed, mostly to sniper fire.  

Richard is remembered in the Auber's Ridge British Cemetery, and also on the Ashburton War Memorial.

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for the above research.


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Frederick Francis Moore RN

Painter 1st class Frederick Francis Moore, RN, died 14 December 1918, aged 35. The husband of Elizabeth A. Moore, of Church Walk, West St., Ashburton, Devon.

www.cwgc.org.


Frederick was born in Plymouth, Devon about 1882-1885 depending on which document you read. Parish baptism records show that he was baptised on the 9th October 1882 in St Peter's, Plymouth.

The 1891 census shows the family living at 4, Wolsdon Place, Plymouth, and Albert born 1851 is head of family: his occupation is that of a painter. Bessie J., born 1853 is Frederick's mother, and there is a daughter Betsy A. born 1888.

The 1901 census records Frederick as living at 40, Frankfort Street, Plymouth on his own and as head of house; his occupation is that of a house painter. In 1906 Frederick married Elizabeth Ann Sibley and the marriage was registered in Newton Abbot in the 2nd quarter of 1906.

Frederick enlisted into the Royal Navy on the 13th December 1910, signing for a period of twelve years. According to his service record his birth date is 30th October 1884, his service number was M2593. Frederick served on Vivid 2, a training ship; HMS Bellorophon and HMS Indus prior to the start of World War 1. He was on board HMS Argonaut between the 2nd August 1914 and 13th September 1915–she was a Cruiser in the 9th Cruiser Squadron stationed off Finisterre, and was responsible for the capture of a German merchantmen ship the Graecia on the 10th October 1914.

Frederick's next ship was HMS King Alfred which he boarded in Portsmouth on the 14th September 1915; she was a Drake class cruiser also attached to the 9th Cruiser Squadron Grand Fleet in October 1915. She covered Atlantic convoys in 1917, and scanning through the ship's log books for the period Frederick was on board the ship spent most of her time off the Canaries and Portugal.



 Photograph supplied by Bob Shemeld

HMS Challenger 1918

Fredrick joined HMS Challenger on the 26th November 1917. She was a light cruiser of 5915 tons, and after a spell of service in the Atlantic she spent the remainder of the war in African waters. Whilst the ship was off Africa numerous crew members were affected by disease, and looking at pages from the ship's log books it was an almost daily occurrence for a funeral party to be sent ashore to bury the dead.

It was on the 14th December 1918 that Francis was taken ill, and he was taken to a military hospital in Dar es Salaam where he died of influenza. A funeral party and firing party were landed on the 15th December where they interred Hubert Hill stoker 1st class aged 35 and Frederick Francis Moore, painter 1st class aged 35 in Dar es Salaam Upanga Road Cemetery.

It is at this cemetery that Frederick is remembered, and he is also remembered on the Ashburton Memorial.

Frederick's wife was informed of his death; according to Find My Past she was living at Stone Park House, Ashburton, however Forces War Records state that Frederick's wife was living in Church Walk, West Street, Ashburton.

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for the above research.

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Thomas Henry Mugford.

Thomas Henry was born about 1887 in Bovey Tracey, Devon, and his birth was registered in Newton Abbot in the 1st quarter of 1887. The 1901 census for Chudleigh records Thomas aged 15 working as a farm worker at Trusham, and the 1911 census for Ashburton records him living in North Street with his wife Florence. He married Florence, nee Leaman in 1909, the marriage being registered in Newton Abbot in the 1st quarter of that year.

Thomas enlisted into the 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment in Exeter, and he served as a private with a serial number of 14125. He had previously served in the Devonshire Regiment with a service number of 18037.

Thomas's medal index card records that he did not qualify for the 1915 Star, so must have enlisted and entered a theatre of war after 1915. The 2nd Dorsets landed at Fao, Persian Gulf, for the campaign in Mesopotamia as part of the Indian Expeditionary Force 'D'. On the 29th April 1916 the Battalion was captured at Kut-el-Amara. During the siege at Kut a composite battalion composed of returned, wounded and other details from the 2nd Dorsets was formed at El Orah. They came under the command of the 21st Indian Brigade, 7th Indian Division; it was broken up on the 21st July and the 2nd Dorsets re-established, and they transferred to the 9th Indian Brigade of the 3rd Indian Division in January 1917.

The 2nd Dorsets were involved in the advance to Baghdad and they found themselves moving through the villages and towns, with F Company arrived at Ctesiphon. The 2nd Dorsets marching north arrived at Abu Jisra on March 22nd. The following day they started for Shahraban which was soon occupied; on the 24th March the 9th Brigade including the 2nd Dorsets started their advance across difficult terrain towards their objective. Unfortunately they were spotted and came under sustained fire which slowed their progress.

The following day it became apparent that the Turkish position was too strong to be taken without a greater force. A retreat was ordered, but the withdrawal was beset with heavy fighting and difficult terrain. By the time the 2nd Dorsets had retreated they had sustained 220 casualties out of 500 in action. Of them 22 were killed and over 100 were missing , and it is quite probable that Thomas was a casualty of this day's action, as he died on the 25th March 1917. He is remembered on the Basra Memorial and the Ashburton War Memorial.  Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for the above research.

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Pte John Murch

John was born in Holne in 1895 to parents Thomas H. born 1859 in Ashburton and Mary A. born 1856 in Holne. The 1901 census records the family living in Church Lane, Ashburton, with Thomas, a stonemason, as head of the family. Mary is at home, and the parents have a family of six sons and one daughter.

Harry is the eldest son. Born in Ashburton in 1887, his occupation is an errand boy; Frank born in Holne in 1889 is also recorded as an errand boy. Fred born 1893 and John born 1895 were both born in Holne; Samuel born 1897 and Tom born 1900 were both born in Ashburton. Their only daughter Ivy was born in 1891 in Holne.

The 1911 census for Ashburton shows the family still living in Church Lane. Thomas is still working as a stonemason, Fred is a gardener domestic, John and Samuel are employed as baker's assistants, and Tom aged 11 is at school.

As no service records are available it is uncertain as to when John enlisted into the army. However he did, and he served as a Private in the 1/5th Battalion Devonshire Regiment with a Service Number of 2512. John's Medal Index Card shows he entered the Asiatic theatre of war, probably attached to the Dorset Regiment in Mesopotamia, along with other volunteers from the 1/5th  and 1/6th Battalions. The Dorset Regiment had been through a rough period and needed reinforcements.

The Dorset Regiment along with the attached forces were involved in the Battle of Ctesiphon between the 22nd and 24th November 1915. Ctesiphon was some 25 miles from Baghdad and had to be taken to enable the push by the Division to be able to advance and take Baghdad. Losses were high during the battle, with some Battalions losing up to half their strength. John died on the 22nd November 1915, probably during this battle, and he is remembered on the Basra Memorial, panel 11. His parents would have been entitled to claim John's medals which would have been the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

John is also remembered on the Ashburton Memorial.

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for the above research.

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Private Alfred W W Northway, Training Reserve, died 3 February 1917. In Ashburton churchyard

www.cwgc.org.

Alfred William Windsor Northway
Alfred was born in Barnstaple about 1871 to parents John and Susan. According to the 1871 census the family were living in North Street, Ashburton, and Alfred is 4 months old.
The 1881 census shows the family living at Harford with head of family John. He is an agricultural labourer, and his wife Susan is at home looking after the family. Alfred is 10 years old.
The 1891 census shows that the family have moved to Caton Village near Ashburton; Alfred is now the head of the family at 20 years of age, and he is employed as a farm labourer. Alfred has recently married and his wife is Susanna: she was born in Ilsington in 1868, and has a child called Rosalin. Alfred and Susanna have also had a child called Tom: he was born in Ashburton in 1890.
The 1901 census for Caton Village shows the family still there, and six more children have been born: Samuel aged 9, Alfred 6, James 4, George 3, William aged 1 and a newborn aged 2 weeks.
The 1911 census shows the family living at Great Bridge, Ashburton. Alfred is still a farm labourer, James and George are employed as Bobber carrier card room hall? and William and Richard are at school. Three daughters have been born since the last census: May in 1905, Mabel in 1907 and Gwendoline in 1901, all born in Ashburton.  
Alfred W W enlisted into the 1st Devonshire Regiment as a special Reservist on the 11th September 1914; he had previously served in the 3rd Devons. Alfred entered France on the 20th September 1914 aged 44*, and at some time, probably because of his age, he was transferred to the 44th Battalion Training Reserve who were based at Wareham in Dorset, and his service number was altered to TR/9/20034. In the early days of this battalion they were responsible for the training of new entrants prior to being sent to the frontlines.
Alfred was recorded as dying on the 3rd February 1917 whilst serving in this battalion, and his death was recorded in Weymouth, Dorset. He is buried in St. Andrew's Churchyard in Ashburton, and is also remembered on Ashburton War Memorial.
Note. Alfred's son James (born 1897) was also killed, whilst serving in France, on the 12th February 1918. See separate entry for James, below.

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for the above research.

*Mark Lowrey, the great grandson of Alfred, writes with the following information: 'My great grandfather actually died during training for the front in February 1917. The medal record is for his son who was also called Alfred Northway, and who survived the war. AWW Northway was in training at Wargret** camp in Dorset near Weymouth. This camp was partly tented and made of timber huts for the rest. Alfred contracted pneumonia and was taken to Sidney Hall Hospital in Weymouth. His death certificate says: "Pneumonia 8 days followed by cardiac arrest." So Alfred never made it to the front.'

Many thanks to Mark for the above information
**Worgret?


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Private James Northway*, died 12 February 1918, aged 21. The Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Northway, of "Westlands," West St., Ashburton, Devon.

www.cwgc.org.
* Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
Western Times 19 March 1918 p3 col4 
                                             

James was born in Ashburton in 1897, but there is no evidence of a James son of Mr and Mrs W. W. Northway, as stated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. However, Alfred W W Northway (see previous entry) did have a son James born in 1897, and only one James Northway is shown on http://www.freebmd.org.uk being registered in England and Wales in the 1896-1898 period. See Mark Lowrey's contribution below.


 James enlisted into the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry in Tavistock, Devon, and was attached to the 7th (Service) Battalion. His service number was 28903 and he was a private. James's medal index card does not record when he first entered a theatre of war; however the 7th Battalion did not land in Boulogne until the 25th July 1915, where they remained on the Western Front until 1918.

The 7th Battalion were involved in the following actions:

1916 The battle of Mount Sorrel, the battle of Delville Wood, the battle of Guillemont, the battle of Flers-Courcellete, the battle of Morval and the battle of Le Transloy.

1917 The German retreat to the Hindenburg line, the battle of Langemark, the battle of the Menin Road Ridge, the battle of Polygon Wood and the Cambrai Operations.

1918 The battle of St Quentin, the actions at the Somme Crossings, the battle of Rosieres, the battle of the Selle, the battle of Valenciennes and the battle of Sambre.

It was on the 12th February 1918 that James, aged 21, was killed in action whilst serving with the 7th Battalion.

James is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial and also on Ashburton War Memorial.

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for the above research.

Mark Lowrey confirms that James was the son of Alfred W W Northway, and adds the following: 'His battalion war diary was one of the very few who named Other Ranks, so we know  that he, along with three of his mates, were killed by a trench mortar whilst in an observation post. The day he died was his mum and dad's anniversary.'

Many thanks to Mark for the above information

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Private William Henry Parnell, died 6 October 1916, aged 36. The Son of John and Ann Maria Parnell, of 88, North St., Ashburton, Devon.

www.cwgc.org.

William Henry was born in Ashburton about 1881 and his birth was registered in Newton Abbot in the 4th quarter of 1881. The 1891 census for Ashburton records the family living at Lower Headborough Cottage, Ashburton, and head of family is Ann Maria. She was born in Modbury in 1857, and has no recorded occupation. William Henry is the eldest son at 9 years of age, and he is a scholar. Elizabeth is the only daughter, and she is at school; she was born in Ashburton in 1885.

The 1911 census records the family living in North Street, Ashburton, and head of the family is John. He was born in Buckfastleigh in 1858, and his occupation is recorded as a general labourer. William Henry is also employed as a general labourer.

William enlisted into the 2nd Battalion Devonshire Regiment in Newton Abbot;; he served as a private soldier with a serial number of 20788. William's medal index card does not record when he entered France, but as he did not qualify for the 1915 Star he probably entered France late 1915 or early 1916.

At the time of William's death, when he died of wounds received on the 6th October 1916, the 2nd Battalion was in trenches in the Givenchy sector between the 6th and 14th October 1916. William is remembered in Bethune Town Cemetery and also on the Ashburton War Memorial.

NB. There was another William Parnell born in Ashburton 13th June 1882. He served in the Royal Navy throughout the war, and was demobilised on the 9th June 1921.

Thanks to Bob Shemeld for the above research

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Private John Peacock Ply 10290 RMLI

John Peacock was born in West Street Ashburton on the 8th April 1882, and his birth certificate actually records his birth name as William John Peacock. His father was also called William John Peacock, and he was born in Ashburton in 1851, and at the time of his son John’s birth he was employed as an agricultural labourer.

John's mother was called Mary Ann Peacock, formally Vicary, and she was born in South Molton in 1840, Johns mother was recorded as a housewife at the time of his birth, and she also had two daughters to look after, Sarah the eldest child was born in 1876 and Emma was born in 1878, both appear on the 1881 census return, and according to the 1881 census for Ashburton both girls had been born in the town. However I can find no record of a marriage taking place between William John and Mary. The family are recorded on the 1881 census as living in North Street Ashburton, and Sarah is attending school. John’s father next appears on the 1891 census as a patient in the Devon County Lunatic Asylum in Exminster, and his death certificate records him as dying at the Asylum in 1901.

The 1891 census now shows Mary Ann the mother, as head of the household, However a further two children have been born in the preceding ten years, these are Beatrice in 1885 and George in 1888, both children have Peacock as their surname. The 1891 census still records the family living in North Street, and Sarah and Emma are employed as worsted spinners, probably working in a mill in Ashburton, and John and Beatrice are at school. With no record of the father living with the family between 1881 and 1891 it becomes unclear as to whom the father is, of Beatrice and George. The 1901 census records the Mother still as head of the family, and working as a labourer in a woollen factory, with Sarah and Emma working as wool spinners, and Beatrice at 16 years of age is working as a wool sorter. 

George is thirteen and is employed as an errand boy, the family still live in North Street, however a further child, Hilda born in 1899 has been recorded as a granddaughter on the 1901 census, and she has Peacock as her surname, but Hilda’s birth certificate records her mother as Mary Ann, John Peacock has left home and does not appear on the 1901 census as living in Ashburton. The family continue to live in North Street, and in the 1911 census they are recorded as living in Double Passage North Street. John Peacock left home in 1898 and enlisted in the Royal Marine Light Infantry on the 25th November 1898 in Newton Abbot, according to his service record he lied about his age so that he could enlist, however he was still under age for 361 days of his service. John was 5 foot 6 inches in height with a fresh complexion, dark brown hair and blue eyes; his trade prior to enlistment was a farm labourer.

From November 1898 to December 1898 he was at the recruit depot at Deal in Kent undertaking basic training, he was then transferred to the Portsmouth Division his service number was PO 10041, he carried on with his training including a spell on HMS Duke of Wellington, a training ship. John transferred to the Plymouth Division in May 1901,his service number changed to PLY 10290 and his time in service was spent either ashore or serving on board HM Ships in the Home Fleet. He appears on the 1911 census records as being hospitalised in the Royal Naval Hospital in Stonehouse. He re-enlisted after 13 years’ service on the 8th November 1911 whilst serving on HMS Impregnable, and continued ashore and afloat for a further 30 months, and he was serving on HMS Cornwall when the First World War broke out. Johns war was about to start, as prior to the commencement of the War, HMS Kent, Cornwall, Carnarvon, Glasgow and Bristol were acting as the S.E. Coast of America Squadron and they were ordered to rendezvous off the Falkland Islands where they joined Admiral Sturdee who had arrived from England with HMS Invincible and Inflexible, and he was ready to engage the German ships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, both of these ships were sunk by the battle cruisers.

Three German light cruisers the Nurnberg, Leipzic and Dresden made off from the battle hotly pursued by HMS Carnarvon, Cornwall, Kent and Glasgow. HMS Cornwall and Glasgow sank the Leipzic after she refused to surrender, and HMS Kent sank the Nurnberg, this engagement off the Falkland Islands on the 8th December 1914 was John’s first action, and that day’s action is in the history books as a Battle Honour to the ships and men who took part. Following the Battle of the Falkland Islands HMS Cornwall sailed for the Cape in South Africa where John was transferred to HMS Albion, John sailed straight from South Africa to the Dardanelles campaign on the Albion, where almost immediately the ship was in action bombarding the Ottoman Turkish forts which were guarding the outer entrances to the Dardanelles. HMS Albion became one of the first Allied battleships to enter the Turkish Straights during the Dardanelles Campaign on the 26th February 1915 when they made the initial attacks on the inner forts. HMS Albion then supported the first Allied landings in late February 1915 and early March 1915.

As a blue marine on board HMS Albion, John would have been part of a gun crew either wholly manned by Royal Marine Light Infantry, or with a part complement from the Royal Marine Artillery, these guns would have been used almost continuously during these actions. HMS Albion sustained repeated hits but no serious damaged occurred. She supported the main landings at V Beach at Cape Hellas on the 25th April 1915. On the 28th April she received significant damage from the shore batteries forcing her to retire for repairs. Following repairs she went straight back into action and once again took serious damage off Gaba Tepe, HMS Albion was forced to retire again, and was still firing her guns as she was being towed, Albion sailed to Malta for repairs. In October 1915 HMS Albion arrived at Salonika to assist the French Navy in a blockade of the coasts of Greece and Bulgaria. Albion served on the Salonika station until April 1916; she then became a guard ship at Queenstown in Ireland, and in May sailed for Devonport for a refit.

As I could not find a record of Johns death which was 7 months after him leaving the service, and the War Graves commission recording his death as the 1st May 1917 on his gravestone incorrectly, did not help to trace Johns death certificate, but eventually by widening the search field, I found Johns death certificate.

It was not what I was expecting, I suppose all along I thought he might have died as a result of physical injuries received in combat but unfortunately this was not to be, his death certificate records, John Peacock as dying on the 30th May 1917 in the County Asylum in Exminster, and he died of General Paralysis of the Insane, one can only assume this was as a direct result of the traumas he was caught up in during his time in service of the Country. I was not happy with a few anomalies in the recording of John’s date of death, so I contacted the War graves commission and they were not aware of the discrepancies; however they confirmed that they would change their details on the official register to read John as dying on the 31st May 1917. Also on the web, many sites record John as dying on HMS Cornwallis, there is no evidence of this on his service record, however HMS Cornwallis did serve in the Gallipoli campaign alongside HMS Albion, but Johns service records do not support that he could have transferred to HMS Cornwallis. 

John’s war came to an end on the 18th May 1916 when he returned to the Plymouth Division, and according to his service record he must have been undergoing some stress from his encounters during the Dardanelles campaign, as on the 25th October 1916 he was discharged from service as an invalid. I cannot find any records regarding his discharge, and his service record gives no indication of any hospitalisation. In conclusion George, John’s brother was still living in Ashburton and he received John’s war medals, which included the 1914/15 star, the British War medal and the Victory medal, for his time spent in the Royal Marine Light Infantry. I continue to seek John’s medals, so that they can be displayed in the Towns museum.

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for the above research


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Pte Henry Jeffery Perkins

Henry Jeffery Perkins was born in Stoke Damerel in Plymouth during the last quarter of 1893. His father was Albert H, born in Kent in 1866, and his mother was Elizabeth A, born in Devonport, Devon in 1865. They had been married for twenty years when Henry was born.

The 1911 census records the family living at Court Cottage, Buckland in the Moor, and living at the address with the parents were three sons. Albert J Perkins born 1893 Devonport was employed as an apprentice estate carpenter, Henry J Perkins was employed as a domestic footman, and John T Perkins born 1902 in Yealmpton, Devon was still at school. The parents had one daughter called Hilda M Perkins, who was born in 1906 in Buckland in the Moor. Albert H Perkins (the father) was the estate foreman carpenter.

Henry Jeffery Perkins was living in Ashburton when he enlisted into the 8th (service) Battalion Devonshire Regiment as a private, with the service number 10255. He enlisted at Exeter, either late 1914 or early 1915. The 8th Battalion Devonshire Regiment was raised at Exeter on the 19th August 1914 as part of Kitchener's first new army. They joined the 14th (light) Devision as Divisional Troops.

In May 1915 they left the division after completing training, and on the 26th July they proceeded to France, landing at Le Havre on the 4th August 1915, where they joined the 20th Brigade, 7th Division. The 8th Battalion took part in the battle of Loos, and unfortunately this is where Henry was killed in action on the 25th September 1915.

Henry is commemorated on the Loos memorial, panel 35 to 37.

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for the research above.


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 E C Pitts, Ashburton, c 1916. Engineering dept, GWR,  on the GWR Roll of Honour  in the Ticket Clerk's Office at the Railway Station, Chester, Cheshire

http://www.carlscam.com/azp.htm


Edgar Carew Pitts

Edgar was born in Totnes in Devon and his birth was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1886. The 1891 census records the family living at 2, St John's Cottages, Bridgetown, Berry Pomeroy Manor, and head of the family is Henry Robert. Born in 1859 in Berry Pomeroy, he is employed as a cooper.

Ellen, Edgar's mother, was born in 1860 in Plympton St Mary, and she is at home looking after the children: Edgar, Henry Thomas born 1888 in Totnes and Bessie Elizabeth born 1891 in Bridgetown, Devonshire. The 1901 census shows the family still living in St. John's Cottages, Western Road, Totnes. Henry Robert is still a cooper, Edgar is 15 years old, Henry is 13 and Bessie is 10.

The 1911 census records Edgar as a boarder in the household of Walter Seward, residing at 75, Laira Bridge Road, Plymouth, and he is employed as a plate layer. Edgar married Edith Rowden in 1912 and their marriage was registered in Totnes in the last quarter of 1912.

Edgar enlisted into the 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment in Totnes and his service number was 7483. The 1st Battalion landed at Le Havre on the 21st August 1914 as part of the British Expeditionary Force, and on the 14th September 1914 they joined the 8th Brigade 3rd Division. On the 30th September they joined the 14th Brigade 5th Division.

Edgar was killed in action at Festubert on the 30th October 1914. He is remembered at the Arras Road Cemetery Roclincourt, and also on the Ashburton Memorial. Edgar's wife Edith was still living at Berry Lodge, Berry Pomeroy when she received news of his death. She would have been able to claim Edgar's 1914 star and clasp, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Many thanks to Bob Shemeld for the research above.


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 Sergt John Pomroy*, The Australians, died September 1917, aged 32. The son of Mr John H and Mrs Pomroy.

Western Times 9 October 1917 p6 col2 

*CWGC has Corporal Edward John Pomroy (Ashburton memorial has Edward J Pomroy), Australian Infantry, A I F, died 20 September 1917

www.cwgc.org.

Edward was born about 1882 in Ashburton with his birth being registered in Newton Abbot in the 3rd quarter of 1882. The 1901 census for Ashburton shows the family living in St Lawrence Lane, Ashburton, with head of family John H. He was born in Cornwall in 1854, and his occupation is that of a mason. Edward's mother, Mary G., born Ashburton in 1854 has no recorded occupation, and Edward John is recorded as a mason. There are two daughters: Fanny born 1886, who is an apprentice dressmaker, and Kate born 1889 who is at school. Both girls were born in Ashburton. 

In 1909 Edward John Pomroy sailed for Brisbane, Australia on the Royal Mail ship Ophir. The ship left Plymouth on the 20th March for its 43 day journey, and Edward was unaccompanied. The master of the ship was Mr A J Coad RNR.

A 1913 census for New South Wales electoral roll, Rozelle-Lillyfield polling place shows Edward John Pomroy residing at 88 Ryan Street, with his occupation recorded as a stone mason.

Edward joined the 18th Battalion AIF with a service number of 5387 and he attained the rank of corporal. The 18th Battalion was raised as an AIF Battalion in March 1915, as part of the 5th Brigade of the 2nd Division; the 18th Battalion was formed in Liverpool, New South Wales. Following training the battalion was sent to Gallipoli in August 1915 as part of a wave of reinforcements that arrived after the initial landings. They participated in the costly August offensive during which it was sent to Damakjelik Bair, beginning the battle with about a thousand men. By the end the battalion could only muster 386 men. 

Following that, the battalion was placed in reserve behind the 5th Brigade's position between Walker's Ridge and Quinn's Post, where they played a mainly defensive roll in the campaign until being withdrawn in December 1915.

After returning to Egypt where the AIF was undergoing a period of expansion, the battalion was sent to France, arriving there in March 1916. For the next two and a half years they participated in most of the main battles fought on the Western Front, seeing action at Pozieres, Warlencourt, Menin Road and Poelcapelle. Edward was killed in action on the 20th September 1917, and is remembered on the Menin Gate, and also on Ashburton War Memorial in East Street, Ashburton.