RETURNING HEROES OF WORLD WAR I
Thirty three men from West Grimstead went off to fight for King
and Country in the Great War 1914 - 1918 Of these thirty three men five were
Killed In Action and their names are listed on the
WAR MEMORIAL. The WAR MEMORIAL page and
the SERVICEMEN KILLED IN ACTION
page give links for more about these 5 men.
Twenty eight men returned: I have tried to research all
these returning men with some success. I hope that anyone who finds that I
have got the wrong information about these soldiers will let me know.
The CONTACT email can be found on the INDEX Page
|CHARLES BEAUCHAMP -
A Sqd Royal Wilts Yeomanry .
Born in 1891 in East Grimstead the eldest son of parents Reuben and
Francis Beauchamp and baptised in East Grimstead Methodist Chapel.
He was the brother of
Ralph Beauchamp who can be seen on the
. The Beauchamp family were still living in their home village of
East Grimstead in 1901 with Charlie's father earning his living as a
Platelayer working for the L&SWRC. But by 1911 the family had
moved to West Grimstead and were farming at Emmett's Farm.
Charlie joined the Royal Wilts Yeomanry in 1911
and was retained in January 1916. Badly wounded in May 1917
Charlie was sent to recuperate in Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow.
Towards the end of 1917 Charlie, now recovered, became part of the
Royal Flying Corps. By 1918 he was serving with the RAF and in 1920
was finally discharged to return home where he earned his living as
a Wood Dealer. Charlie married and had children and descendants of
the Beauchamp Family are still living in West Grimstead today - 2014.
|GEORGE LEO W BLOUNT -
Royal Engineers. George was not a native of West
Grimstead having been born in 1870 in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. His parents
were Clavell William Simpson Blount and Elizabeth Ann Blount. His
father had been a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and his mother had
been born in the West Indies. George was sent to be educated at
Christ's Hospital School in London and in 1901 can be seen living, a
single man, in Plymouth with the occupation of Architect and
Surveyor. In 1911 he had married and had a little daughter and was
living in Radnor Cottage, West Grimstead. There are no
surviving service records for George Blount but the
Honour show him as being in the Royal Engineers and the 1915 and
1918 Register of Electors show him as (a) N M (this means
absent, in the Navy or Military). Directories of Salisbury 1920 and
1927 show George Blount in New Street, Salisbury, back working as an
Architect and Surveyor. George Blount died in 1932 in
Winterbourne Dauntsey, Wiltshire.
|ALBERT DAVID BROWN -
2nd Battalion Dorset Regiment. The eldest of two
brothers who went to serve their country in WW1, Albert was born in
Salisbury in 1899 to parents Walter Brown, born near Porton and Amy Kate Mussell.
West Grimstead was Amy's home village and the couple had married,
where Amy had been baptised, in St John's Church in 1898.
Although their eldest child, Albert, was born in Salisbury the
family came to West Grimstead the following year. There are no
surviving service records for Albert Brown but the Rolls of Honour
shows him as being part of the Dorsetshire Regiment.
ERNEST WALTER BROWN -
N.Somerset Yeomanry. The second of the
Brown brothers was born in 1900 and baptised in St John's Church,
West Grimstead. Ernest became a Dairyman before enlisting aged
18 with the North Somerset Yeomanry in March 1818. Surviving service
records for Ernest show that subsequently he enlisted in the Royal
Tank Corp and in April 1919 he was a Private in the 11th
Hussars and later in the 13th Hussars. He was in Egypt from
July 1919 to October 1920 and was finally discharged from the
Army in March 1921.
|WILLIAM G BUNDY -
3rd Devonshire Regiment. Born 1893 the son of Eli
& Edith Bundy, he seems to have been an only child. He was also the
cousin of Harry Bundy
who can be seen on the
. William was privately baptised at St John's Church on 15th
August 1893. The Bundy family, originally from Downton, were
Brick makers and lived and worked in Windwhistle Lane, West Grimstead
at the place that is now known as Broadmead Farm. We do have
some information about William Bundy's war service and he joined the
Army in November 1916. What happened between that date and March
1918 is unknown to me but in March 1918 he became part of the R.F.C
(the air arm of the Royal Navy) as a Mechanic and Batman and finally
Private 2 in the RAF. Transferred to RAF Reserve in March 1919.
|WILLIAM GEORGE COLEMAN -
Army Service Corps
. William was born in 1886 in Clarendon of parents John Frank
(Francis) and Elizabeth Coleman. In 1911 William George (Gus)
Coleman was still single and had left home and was employed in
Bournemouth as a Chauffeur. His Mother had died in 1886 and his Father having remarried was now
living in West Grimstead as a Market Gardener.
There are no surviving service records for William Coleman but I
have found his name in a register of the Red Cross which shows him
in the Motor Dept. as an Overseas Volunteer Chauffeur with a
certificate number of 15584 and a passport number of 179116.
He is still classed as absent in the military on the 1918
Register of Electors
|ARTHUR CHARLES COLEMAN -
3rd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. Born in 1891 his
Father being John Frank (Francis) and his Mother Emma, Arthur, was a
stepbrother to William G Coleman. In 1911 he was still living
and working at home. Again there are no surviving service
records for Arthur but he also is classed as absent in the
military on the 1918 Register of Electors.
|RICHARD HERBERT COOMBS -
Royal Garrison Artillery/12th Hampshire Regiment. Born 1897 in Lockerley, Hampshire of parents Henry and Martha Coombs, also the
brother of Walter Henry Coombs seen on the
War Memorial in West Grimstead. The family moved to Bowerchalk
and there Richard and Walter's mother died,early in 1903, with their
father remarrying a lady called Ann Thick the same year. The family
later moved to Britford before moving to West Grimstead as can
be seen in the Service Records of Richard Coombs, which are quite
extensive. Richard joined the 12th Hampshire Regiment in
Dorchester on 24th February 1915. In September of that year he
embarked at Southampton to Marseilles. 13th November 1915 he
embarked in Marseilles and landed in Salonika on 26th November 1915.
By 1917 Richard seems to have been suffering a bad case of Scabies
and was transferred to hospital but was soon passed as fit for
France. In March 1918 he was suffering from Malaria and again put
into hospital but by November 1918 he was transferred to the 6th
Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Eventually in February 1919
Richard Herbert Coombs was dispersed in Fovant. He was transferred to
Army Reserve on 27th March 1919.
|SIDNEY COX -
4th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. Born in 1898 in West
Grimstead Sidney was baptised in St John's Church and his parents
were Daniel and Alice Cox. Daniel Cox was a Carter and Waggoner.
Daniel's home area was Lockerley but in 1901 the family were living in
West Grimstead. In 1911 they were back in Lockerley and in 1918 they were back in West
Grimstead. There are no surviving service records for Sidney
Cox and I know very little more of his movements during the war or
ARCHIE WILLIAM CURTIS -
Royal Navy Archie has his own page so you can click
on his name to find out more
|FRANK EARLEY - Motor Transport Service/Army Service Corps. Born in West
Grimstead to parents Charles Earley and Martha Rose, Frank Earley
was baptised in St John's Church in May 1884. When Frank was 15 he
lived in Endless Street, Salisbury working as a Groom in the
household of a Surgeon, Mr Harcourt Coates. By 1911 Frank had
widened his horizons and was living in Chatham, Kent working as a
Chauffeur. He returned to his family home in West Grimstead in 1912
to marry Nellie Light, daughter of George Light, Brick maker.
Frank joined the Army Service Corp on 18th February 1915 at Grove
Park, London, his wife Nellie was left in West Grimstead with two
small boys. Quickly moving through the ranks to Sergeant
he became part of the Expeditionary Force in France and was there
from June 1915 to the middle of November 1915. For this he was
presented with the 1914-1915 Star Medal. It is hard to
track his movements between November 1915 and January 1918
when he was promoted to Staff Sergeant. Dispersed in Fovant,
Wiltshire in May 1919
|BERTRAM LOUIS ENGLAND -
London Scottish Regiment. Bertram Louis England and Sidney Frank
England were brothers. Both were born in West Grimstead and baptised
in the Methodist Chapel. Bertram was born in October 1899, his
parents being Sidney William England, (Cowman) & Charlotte Annie
Tucker. Bertram Louis England would only have been 14 when the war
started and apart from his name on the
Rolls of Honour I know
nothing more about his time during WW1. His name is not on the
1918 Register of Electors as present or absent in the military
as he still would not have been old enough to vote. Bertram
married Lillian Sharp in 1926.
|SIDNEY FRANK ENGLAND -
Devonshire Regiment/Tank Corps, The older brother of Bertram
Louis England, Sidney Frank England was born of parents Sidney
William England and Charlotte Annie Tucker in October 1898.
As with Bertram there are no surviving service records. He too was
very young at the start of the Great War and my knowledge of his
regiment comes via the
Honour, although there is a surviving medal card for Pte
Sidney F England 304705
|WILLIAM JOHN ENGLAND -
3rd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. Born in 1892 William John England,
the son of George England and Martha White, was an older cousin of
the two England brothers above. The family seem to have lived
in Whaddon but is probably on the Rolls of Honour in West Grimstead
because of a strong family connection to the village and possibly
came back here after the war.
|JOHN FRANCIS ENRIGHT - Royal Garrison Artillery. Born 1897 in Bradford on Avon, his parents
were Patrick Enright and Emily Louisa Matthews. In 1911 Patrick
Enright was living with his family in Charlton All Saints and was a
police Constable. it looks as though he may well have served in the
Royal Munster Fusiliers. John Francis
Enright was the first born of this family but he had numerous
brothers and sisters as the years passed by, one of whom was William
Joseph Matthews Enright (below). The Enright family had moved
to West Grimstead by 1915 and can be seen on both the 1915 and 1918
Registers of Electors. There are no surviving service records
for John Francis Enright but details on the Rolls of Honour give us
his regiment. He can be seen as an absent in the military on
1918 R of Electors.
|WILLIAM JOSEPH MATTHEWS ENRIGHT - Worcester Regiment/Signal Dept/Wireless Operator. This man is not on
either of the West Grimstead Rolls of Honour and I only became aware
of his existence when researching his brother John Francis Enright
(above). William was two years younger than his brother being
born in North Wraxall, near Chippenham in 1900. Despite three
brothers aged 13, 11 and 8 living at home in 1911, William Joseph
Matthews Enright, aged 12 and a younger brother Stephen aged
9, appears to have been sent to a catholic school near Hereford. Was
this because they were naughtier or brighter than their siblings? We
are not to know, but there are service records for William and he
was clever enough to end up at GCHQ as a Wireless Operator in 1918.
March 1917 sees William, now a Drapers Assistant in Willenhall, West
Midlands, joining up at Worcester. Initially put in Reserve he
was mobilised and trained as a wireless operator in the
Signals Regiment. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in December 1918
and ended the war in GCHQ volunteering until November 1919. I
don't know if he ever returned to West Grimstead but he is put as an
absent in the military on the 1918 R of Electors.
William Joseph Matthews Enright died in Seisdon, a rural village in
Staffordshire, in 1969.
|MARMADUKE W JOHN GILBERT - 9th Middlesex Regiment. Marmaduke Willie John Gilbert was born in
1883 in Woodford, Wiltshire. Known mainly as John, his parents were
John and Annie Gilbert. His father was a Carter and the family
seemed to move from Wilton area to West Grimstead around 1899.
1901 sees the family in West Grimstead and Marmaduke W John was
lodging there in 1911 working as a jobbing gardener. The parents,
having moved to East Grimstead for a while, returned in time to be
listed on the 1915 Register of Electors. There are no
surviving service records for Marmaduke Gilbert but I have found his
medal card. He married Annie Maria Mussell in early summer 1912.
AUSTIN STEWART HOPKINS -
Service Corps, Austin was born 1890 in West Grimstead. his
parents, Edmund Hopkins and Elizabeth Rogers had him baptised in St
John's Church. The cottage where the family lived, is today, called
Crossways and Edmund earned his living as a village grocer.
Austin's mother died in 1896 and is buried in the West
Grimstead churchyard but his father quickly remarried Sarah
Andrews. The family continued to live in West Grimstead and can be
seen on the WG 1911 census and 1915 Register of Electors, but must
have moved into Salisbury later that year, by which time Austin
Stewart Hopkins was working as a Motor Mechanic (Driver). He
joined up at Grove Park, London on 9th November 1915 giving his home
address as 22, Bedwin Street, Salisbury. Austin married Dorothia
Gladys Andrews in St Edmunds Church, Salisbury on 5th July 1916 and
then appeared to be living at 36, Waterloo Road, Salisbury. At
Larkhill in January 1917, Austin Stewart Hopkins was then sent to
France on 24th January 1917 and served there until 4th November
1918, being awarded his 1st G C badge on 9th November 1917.
After a second spell in France from 20th November 1918 until
1st August 1919 serving in 8th Div. M.T.Coy. M.T. R.A.S.C.,
Austin was finally dispersed from No 1 Dispersal Unit, Woolwich
later in August 1919 but, put On Reserve to rejoin at Bulford in the
case of emergency. There is no mention of Austin Hopkins or his
father on the 1918 Register of Electors for West Grimstead, nor
later Kelly's Directories, but
someone in West Grimstead remembered to put his name on the
EDWARD/EDWIN JOHN LANE -
1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. Although both West Grimstead
Rolls of Honour have listed the name as Edward he was actually
registered as EDWIN JOHN LANE, but as I was told by a family
member and a West Grimstead resident who knew him, always known as
Ted. Born in Redlynch in 1895, his parents were George and Annie
Lane. I don't think any member of the Lane family came to West
Grimstead until after WW1 had ended. Edwin was wounded at the
beginning of July 1916, the Battle of the Somme and was sent home
and admitted to St Thomas's Hospital in London. Edwin married
Dorothy Annie Brittan and there son, John Ronald Newall Lane,
was born on 3rd November 1923.
|ARTHUR LIGHT -
Royal Wilts Yeomanry. Despite being several years younger that his
brother Fred Light,
Arthur joined the Army on 1st October 1915 which was a couple of
months before Fred. Arthur Light was born in Morgans
Vale in 1897 of parents George and Sarah Light. George was foreman
of the Downton Brickworks and later became manager of the West
Grimstead Brickworks. The family moved here sometime between
1901 and 1911. On the 1911 census Arthur is shown as being employed as a Groom,
which would become central to his later army service. Maybe he
looked after the horses at the Brickyard, as no doubt, at that time,
the finished bricks would have been transport by horse and cart.
After joining the army Arthur was vaccinated at Tidworth and at the end of 1915 had a short
stay in hospital with Inflamed Lymphatic glands of L. Axilla.
Transferred from the Wiltshire regiment to The Derbyshire Yeomanry
some point, Arthur later would be absorbed into 4th Reserve Cavalry
Regiment in 1917 and subsequently Corps of Dragoons,
|WILLIAM JAMES SHEPPARD -
Royal Garrison Artillery. William James Sheppard joined the
Hampshire Regiment when he was 19 and a half in March 1912, which
would put his was birth in the summer of 1890. There are brief service
records for this man and at the time of enlistment his address is Enford, Wiltshire and his occupation Bus Conductor. The
Hampshire Regiment rejected William James as he had Bad teeth, so
six months later on 9th September 1912 now aged 20 and 2 months, with
bad teeth removed, his occupation now a Carter, William James Sheppard
enlisted at Christchurch,
The Royal Garrison Artillery. If you were a child in
the 1950's and came from a Methodist family you would still remember
Jim Sheppard as a Sunday School teacher at the Chapel.
|DAVID THOMAS -
7th Battalion Devonshire Regiment.
David and Frank Thomas were brothers with David being the eldest
and he was
born in 1887. Parents were George (Gamekeeper) Thomas and Martha Mussell who had 16 children, only 12 surviving by 1911. Although
some earlier children were baptised in St John's Church, David was
baptised in West Grimstead Chapel. David was still at home in 1911
and occupied as a Cowman on Farm. David Thomas was taken
prisoner at Ypres on 26th October 1917 and was held at Unverwundet,
Also seen on the
1918 Register of
Electors as (a) N/M
|FRANK THOMAS -
Royal Wilts Yeomanry. Apart from the information given for his
brother, above, all I know is that in 1911 Frank's occupation was
that of Bakers Assistant. There are no service records but he
is on the 1918 Register
of Electors as (a) N/M
HARRY LEWIS TUBB - Royal Wilts Yeomanry. Edgar Tubb was born 1894 in West Grimstead and
his parents were Lewis William Tubb and Mary Ann Read. Edgar
first joined the Wiltshire Yeomanry at the beginning of the war and
was then transferred to the Wiltshire Regiment. I am lucky to have
copies of some photographs and letters of Edgar given to me by a
relative. One letter written to his Father dated May 1918 is headed
Camp de Friedrichsfeld showing the POW camp he was held in at that
time. Unfortunately I am unable to find any further
information regarding his interment there. Edgar was
certainly back in England by the beginning of 1919 and he married a
distant cousin, Mildred May Tubb on 8th February 1919 and the couple
returned to West Grimstead to help his Father run the farm at
|ALFRED JAMES TUBB - Dorsetshire Regiment. Alfred, the younger brother of Edgar
(above) joined the Dorset Regiment. There is a medal index
card for Alfred but no other service records. However the medal card
does show him as a Corporal. Alfred also returned to the farm
after the war ended and in 1930 married Ada Chrissie Herrington.
Coming from a Methodist family both Edgar and Alfred Tubb were
baptised in the Chapel in West Grimstead.
|ERNEST TUCKER -
3rd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment.
Ernest was born in Whaddon, Near Salisbury in the year 1888, the
youngest of a large family. By 1911, age 23, his Father having died
and his siblings having left home, Ernest is living in West
Grimstead, working as a Carter (with Ag horses) looking after his
widowed Mother. Later that year he married Beatrice Ellen Gartery in
St John's Church, WG and in August 1912 their baby daughter was born
and baptised in the WG Chapel. Ernest's Mother died in 1913.
There are no service records surviving but his name is on both Rolls
of Honour and also the 1918 Register of Electors as (a) N/M
|ARTHUR JAMES VINCENT -
Royal Garrison Artillery.
Born in 1883 in Ford, Wiltshire, his parents were William &Lydia and
he married Alice Mary Francis in 1904. The couple, living in
Standlynch, had several children before the start of WW1 and
Arthur James was working as a Corn Storeman. He enlisted
for the Royal Garrison Artillery at Devizes on 24th May 1916 aged 34
years. He seems to have suffered numerous health problems but
was posted several times between July 1916 and May 1917. In November
1917 he had a compulsory transfer to the Labour Corps, Agricultural
Coy. His wife, Alice Mary was living in West
Grimstead by 1918 and she is shown on the Register of Electors of
West Grimstead with Arthur James shown as (a) N/M. In April
1919 Arthur James Vincent was transferred to the Reserve and
dispersed at Nottingham.
|WALTER JOHN WHITE -
Royal Garrison Artillery.
Born the son of Phoebe White in 1891, Walter John enlisted as a
Regular on 11th February 1914 in Dorchester. As he won the
1914-15 Star medal he must have been with the Expeditionary Force at
the start of World War 1. Wounded in October 1918, John, as I
believe he was known, returned home to marry Dora Ingram in the
Autumn of 1919. Despite being on the two West Grimstead
Rolls of Honour he is not listed on the 1918 Register of Electors
for West Grimstead, so temporarily or permanently they lived
elsewhere at that time.
BACK TO TOP