Frank Pelham

Family story contributed by Henry Pelham

Frank Pelham was born 19 April 1897 in Leigh, near Reigate in Surrey, to Henry and Mary Pelham (née Chantler), and was one of eight surviving children, three boys and five girls. Frank, like his father and brothers, was employed on the land as an Agriculture Labourer.

Frank enlisted and followed his elder brother Harry by joining the Royal Garrison Artillery at Woolwich, in early 1916. His army number was 81220 and with the rank of Gunner. He firstly, he was in the 149th Siege Battery with his training completed at Bexhill in Sussex. He was sent to France on 2 December 1916 where he joined the 223rd Siege Battery, with which he stayed until 1919.

Frank’s war records have not survived, most likely because of the heavy bombing of London in the Second World War; these are now known as the ‘Burnt Records’.  The Siege Batteries did not keep war diaries themselves due to the part they played in battles, being constantly on the move wherever heavy bombardment was needed, and hopefully not to get located and targeted by opposing German Artillery.  The war diaries were kept by the Battalions to whom the Siege Batteries were allotted and this is from them we are able to follow Frank’s unit’s movements.

The 223rd Siege Battery, together armed with four 6 inch 26 cwt Howitzers, went to the Western front in France on 2 December 1916, and joined the 19th Heavy Artillery Group the Fifth Army on 7 December 1916. They were taking part in operations on Ancre, Miraumont, Thilloys, Rettemoy Graben, the Hindenburg Line, and Bapaume and the first attack on Bullecourt. He was transferred on 13 April 1917 to 46th Heavy Artillery Group to counter the German attack on Lagnicourt.

On 20 June 1917, Frank was transferred to the 70th Heavy Artillery Group of the First Army, who were joined by the 360th Siege Battery. The combined unit was taking part at the Souchez River, and the capture of Avion and Oppy Wood. On 24 October 1917 he was transferred to the fourth Heavy Artillery Group, with whom he saw action at the Battle of the Ancre in 1918.

Frank was demobilised in 1919, and returned to working on the land. He married Emily Emma Morley in 1937, living in Burstow and Smallfield for the rest of his life. Frank and Emily had one son Henry Frank, born 25 March 1942. Frank died in 1974, aged 77.

Harry Pelham

Family story contributed by Henry Pelham

Harry Pelham was born 31 October 1887 in Leigh, near Reigate, to Henry and Mary Pelham (neé Chantler).  Harry was the second child and eldest boy, of eight surviving children (three boys and five girls).

On leaving Leigh Village School, Harry joined his father working on the land of a local estate (Mynthurst) as an Agricultural Labourer.  Harry later went to work at Netherne Asylum, near Coulsdon, as an Asylum Attendant.  It is from here that he enlisted on 15 November 1915.  He joined the Royal Garrison Artillery at Woolwich; his army number was 68578 with the rank of Gunner.

He was sent for training the next day (16 November 1915) and, following training, was mobilised on 29 February 1916, joining the 123rd Siege Battery in France, with which he remained until 18 June 1917.  The Siege Batteries did not keep war diaries themselves due to the part they played in battles, being constantly on the move wherever heavy bombardment was needed, and hopefully not to get located and targeted by opposing German Artillery.

The war diaries were kept by the Battalions to whom the Siege Batteries were allotted and it is from them it is possible to follow Harry’s unit.  The 123rd Siege Battery went to France armed with four 6 inch 26cwt Howitzers and on 18 July 1916 joined the third Army.  On 23 July he became part of the 47 Heavy Artillery Group, and was involved in defending Vimy Ridge against German attack and the battles of the Somme through 1916, and in 1917 the retreat of German Forces back to the Hindenburg line and the many battles of Arras and capture of surrounding areas.

Following the capture and defence of Roeux (13 – 16 May 1917) and action following the Hindenburg line (20 May – 16 June 1917). Harry Pelham was transferred to the Royal Artillery workshops in Boulogne on 18 June 1917, and became a ‘Gunner/Fitter’ and was involved with the maintenance and repair of Fire Power Equipment operated by the Royal Garrison Artillery.

Harry Pelham remained in Boulogne until 13 May 1919 when he was transferred to Beauval; he stayed there until 27 May 1919, when he was transferred back to England and released from the army.

Harry returned to working on the land with his father. In 1920 he married Louisa Elderfield and had two daughters, Marjorie and Evelyn. Harry continue to work on the estate and was given the task of starting and running a turkey farm by his employers. Unfortunately, Harry died in 1929, aged 43, and is buried in Leigh churchyard, Surrey.

This information has been gathered over a long period of time, and it must be mentioned that the family does not know when he had home leave; but, he must have done so, as pictures exist of him in uniform and were taken in Reigate, near his home in Leigh.

A Family’s Grief

Contributed by Brian Gudgeon

In Sidlow, near Reigate, and there is a grave stone featuring a very moving epitaph of a family’s loss during the Great War. Not only did they lose a young son but also two more who died fighting in France.

Can you imagine the pain of losing three sons in the space of 11 months? The last two within four weeks of each other. What must they have gone through? As if that wasn’t enough, the 1911 census says they had five children and two had already died, meaning that by the end of the war the parents had lost all of their children.

The gravestone reads: The sons of John and Louisa Huggett – Thomas Noah Huggett who died May 6, 1917 in his 12th year. Also of Harry Huggett killed in action somewhere in France, June 14, 1916, aged 20 years. Also of John Huggett killed in action somewhere in France, April 9, 1917, aged 27 years.

Research of the miniature records reveals that Harry was a private in the 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards, and is buried at the White House Cemetery, St Jean-Les-Ypres.  He was the husband of Louisa Huggett of Dovers Green, Reigate.

John was a Private in the 8th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), and is buried in Faubourg D’Amiens Cemetery, Arras.

Their father, John, was 45 years old in 1911, and was a blacksmith, living at Dovers Green, Reigate. He was born in East Grinstead in 1866 and married Louisa Blunden, five years his senior, in 1886. Despite their horrific family losses, they survived; John died in 1947 at the age of 82, and Louisa in 1948 aged 87. The two other children that died have not been identified as there are no other names in the 1891 and 1901 censuses. The missing two must have been born and died between the marriage in 1886 and the 1891 census or between 1891 and 1901, and/or between 1901 and 1911.

Private Joseph Timothy Morley

Information contributed by Henry and Jean Pelham (courtesy of Brian Gudgeon)

Joseph was born in 1891, the eldest son and second (out of seven) child of Joseph and Harriet Louisa Morley.  The family lived in Hollis Row, Earlswood, before moving to The Bungalow, Mason’s Bridge Road Earlswood.  His father had built the bungalow in the early 1900s, was a Chimney Sweep in the early 1900s, and was a chimney sweep by trade.

Joseph had enlisted in the latter part of 1915 and sent to France early in 1916.  He was wounded and sent to England to recover in Red Cross hospital, at Sittingbourne. It was from here he sent a letter to his sister Jessie saying that zeppelins were over Sheerness! He said he was peeling potatoes and getting about generally, though his legs ached, and wouldn’t mind staying there for the duration!

He rejoined the 7th Battalion, the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment on 2 August 1916 and returned to France the following day. He was posted missing, presumed killed in action, on 28 September 1916, just six weeks from when he returned to France.

The Regiment to War diaries reveal that, on 27 September, the battalion was attached to the 53rd Infantry Brigade for operations:

orders were received and issued for the attack on Schwaben Redoubt and all preparations for same made.

28 September-battalion attacked at 1pm, gaining and holding southern side.

29 September-battalion holding ground gained with continuous fighting at close quarters. At night, battalion was relieved by eighth Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, and proceeded to North Bluff, near Authuille.  Casualties to fighting of 28 and 29 September one officer killed and 10 wounded; other ranks killed 44, missing believed killed one, wounded 251, wounded and missing one, missing 87. Total 384. His body was never found and his name is on the Thiepval Memorial.

 

Naylass James Vivash

Family story contributed by Wendy Capstick (Great Granddaughter)

Naylass was born on 31 July 1884 in Sunbury-on-Thames, to Charles Albert Vivash (an Engineer) and Jane Stocker Vivash (née Meads). He was baptised in St Mary’s church on 5 October 1884.

Charles and Jane had seven children, five of them survived (1911 census) and Naylass was their third surviving child. His siblings are: Charles Albert (b 1878), Edith Jane (b 1879 ), Elsie (b 1892) and Ernest William (b 1894).

On 13 January 1906 Naylass married Beatrice Turner (her christened name was Emma) in St Mary’s church, aged 21 and 20 respectively. They had 4 children: William Charles James (b 1906), Elsie Rose (b 1909), Nellie Jane (b 1911) and Albert Naylass (b 1914).

Naylas had several jobs during his life. In the 1901 census, Naylass was working as a coachman. In 1906, when he got married, he was a ferryman. In the 1911 census, he was an under gardener. After war broke out he joined the Fire Service in February 1915, to do his bit for the war effort.

When the age limit for enlistment rose from 35 to 38 in May 1915, Naylass and his older brother Charles enlisted in the army. Naylass was originally attached to the RGA but then transferred to the Field Force and later (June 1917) to the Tank Force.  In July 1918 Naylass became a tank driver and was awarded the Military Medal on his first outing. It is reported in the Tank Corps Book of Honour.  A month later, on 8 August 1918, on the first day of the Great Push (the 100 days that led to the end of the war), Naylass was killed by a piece of shrapnel hitting him in the head while in his tank. He is buried in Heath Cemetary, Harbonnieres, France.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone. Courtesy of Wendy Capstick.

He is commemorated on several war memorials:

Sunbury-on-Thames War Memorial
St Mary’s church WW1 memorial
National Fire Brigades Association Roll of Honour 1914 – 1918.

 

Read about Surrey’s firemen during the First World War: https://www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk/story/surrey-firemen-killed-in-action-during-the-great-war/

Epsom Grandstand War Hospital

Research and text by Nigel Fryatt

History of the Grandstand Hospital

At the meeting of the Grand Stand Association in Ely Place in London on 2nd December 1913, the committee passed a motion to accept the tender submitted by Messrs Copley Brothers of Epsom (Gibraltar House, High Street) to undertake the erection of the new Luncheon Annex at the back of Epsom Racecourse Grandstand, for the cost of £13,943. It was the lowest bid that the committee received[1]. The committee was chaired by H. M. Dorling. The contract was signed the following day. The Annex was completed in April 1914, to cater for the spring race meeting and the Derby in the first week of June 1914. On completion of the building, the Times Newspaper reported on 16th April that:

The building is about 180 feet long by 32 deep, and is fireproof throughout, with concrete reinforced floors on the armoured tubular flooring system. Water is obtained from a well below the building 360 feet deep, and there is an underground fire tank holding 36,000 gallons. There is electric lighting and hot-water heating throughout.[2]

The building runs parallel to the back of the Grand Stand and is connected via a bridge. It is designed by Charles Williams in a Renaissance style, in brick and cement. It is a four story construction which included public and private luncheon rooms, along with rooms for stewards, ambulance and doctors.

Appealing to the people of Epsom

As war was declared in August of 1914, the doctors of Epsom and Ewell convened a special meeting at the Public Hall in Epsom on Monday 10th August, to discuss a proposal for a hospital on the Downs for the returning wounded soldiers. There was a huge gathering and the hall was full, with hundreds of people unable to gain admission standing outside the venue. The meeting was chaired by Mr A. W. Aston, J.P[3]. He put the proposal to the meeting that the newly built Grand Stand Luncheon Annex should be converted into a hospital to cater for the returning wounded soldiers. Dr E. C. Daniel explained to the crowd that the idea originated with Dr Thornley, who had attended a meeting in London, which culminated in the formation of the Surrey Emergency Committee. Its purpose was to ensure that the efforts throughout the country did not overlap. Having set this up, the doctors looked around Epsom for a suitable premises to house the hospital. They approached Mr N. M. Dorling, chair of The Grand Stand Association, who readily offered the use of the (Epsom) Grand Stand for six months, which they gratefully accepted.

The problem now was equipping the building, and the purpose of the meeting at the Public Hall in Epsom was to raise funds for this. The Annex already housed 80 beds.  Dr Bailey Peacock had offered to reside there as Medical Officer. They also had an offer of a Matron to attend the hospital, who could possibly have been Miss Blainey, currently residing as Matron of the Epsom Nursing Home. In addition they would require six or seven nurses and several voluntary helpers. Other doctors offered to provide lectures and training. The adoption of the scheme outlined by Dr Daniel was then proposed by the Rev. E.W. Northey and seconded by Mr. E. B. Jay.[4] The motion was carried.

The War Office accepted the proposal that the Grandstand Annex be converted into a temporary military hospital. The patients will be transferred from the battlefield to a London hospital (affiliated to the Royal Herbert Hospital in Woolwich) then to Epsom, stated the Epsom Advertiser on 18th September. It opened as a hospital on 21st September 1914 and received its first patients on 12th October 1914.

The hospital Annex was divided up into wards: Derby on the first floor, Oak and City on second floor, and Metropolitan on the third floor. There was also an Isolation Ward and a Day Room for treatment. The ground floor consisted of kitchens and storerooms. The nursing staff were housed in other racecourse buildings. With 65 beds in total[5], The Grand Stand Hospital had been designated as Class A Hospital, meaning it only accepted bedridden patients.

The Epsom Advertiser stated in its 19th October 1914 edition: Few buildings probably lend themselves better for adaptation as a hospital than the grand stand, and from a medical point of view, the rooms – the wards as they are now described – leave little to be desired. They have been admirably furnished, and everything is clean and tidy[6].

Heroes of Mons

At 4pm on 21st October 1914, five hours after King George V had reviewed the troops on the Downs, a large vehicle bearing a red cross on either side drew up to the Grandstand. It contained 4 patients who were shepherded to the wards by the Volunteer Aid Detachment (VAD). A second ambulance drew up with a further six wounded soldiers. All the troops had leg and thigh injuries. Most of the men had received their wounds fighting at the battle of Mons.

The ten soldiers who first arrived in the ambulances were: Private A. Read, aged 28 of 1st [Battalion] Royal Scots [(The Royal Regiment)}; Driver F Densham, aged 23, Royal Field Artillery; Private R. Richardson, aged 20, 1st [Battalion, the Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)]; Corporal H. Brown, aged 30, 1st [Battalion,] Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry; Private G Harris, aged 28, 1st [Battalion, Royal] Lincolnshire [Regiment]; Private E Buckley, aged 36, 1st [Battalion, the] Middlesex [Regiment]; Private F Mulry, aged 19, 1st [Battalion, Royal Hampshire Regiment]; Private G Russell, aged 26, 1st [Battalion, the Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)]; ; Private W Simpson, aged 24, 1st [Battalion,] Coldstream Guards; Lance Corporal F Galliford, aged 29, 2nd [Battalion, Leinster Regiment].

It is interesting to note that Private R Richardson and Private G Russell are both credited to the 1st Royal East Kent Regiment in the Patients Admission Register (SCH3434/20/4) but this conflicts with the information published in the Epsom Advertiser of 16th October 1914 which states that these two privates were in 1st Royal West Kent regiment which fought at Mons. Was this a genuine mistake by the newspapers or some deliberate misinformation? The answer may never be known.

The newspaper went on to state that the hospital had been efficiently staffed, and Dr Bailey Peacock, a well-known Epsom resident, had been appointed Resident Medical Officer, and had all the qualifications for this responsible post; while the Matron was Miss Blainey of the Epsom Nursing home. There was also a staff of four fully trained sisters and four male orderlies, a London surgeon (Mr Edward Owen), assistant surgeon (Mr Andrew Macalister), fully qualified chemist (Mr Frost), honorary bacteriologist (Dr B Ridge) and medical visiting staff comprising Doctors Alexander, Braidwood, Coltart, Daniel, Ferguson, Ormerod, Ruyner, Reichardt, Fawnley and Williamson (Medical Officer of Health for Epsom district). The hospital was equipped with an X-Ray apparatus of which Mr J Ede had charge. There were also a number of voluntary nurses ready to give their services if called upon: while Mr A. Vardon was acting secretary to the Resident Medical Officer. The secretaries of the fund connected with the hospital were Mr Collyer Jones and Mr A.E Williams.[7]

The Hospital register though, is a chilling reminder of war. On page one, it recalls the deaths on 16th October 1914 of William Andrewartha, followed by Thomas Simms on 17th October; both men were privates in the Manchester Regiment. On page two it records the death of Edmond Buchanan of North Irish Horse on 23rd October 1914. No further deaths are reported in the register which must be a credit to the hospital staff.

Nursing staff outside Grandstand Hospital. Copyright Bourne Hall.

The Epsom Advertiser reports on 6th November 1914 that good progress was being made by the wounded soldiers and that several of the patients were now convalescent, some being able to walk out onto the Downs. Practically all the men were now out of danger. On the 20th November 1914, the Advertiser, reported that several of the soldiers had now been discharged and that there were currently 55 patients at the hospital, six of which were sent to Mrs Coleman’s Convalescence Home at Burgh Heath. Recitals and shows were arranged at the hospital. In November, Miss Gilander’s Concert Party from Purley performed, and the Tattenham Corner Fusiliers (2nd Battalion of the City of London Royal Fusiliers) visited the Grandstand War Hospital and entertained the wounded soldiers, those contributing to an enjoyable programme arranged by Colour Sergeant Whitehead. Gavin (clarinet solos), Colour Sergeant. Whitehead (comedian), Corporal Besley (songs). Lance-Corporal Tombs (songs), Private Party (mimic), Private Fox (songs), Privates Clapp and Goacher in a turn entitled “The Brothers Nuisance.” The stage manager was Sergeant Rose, and Colour Sergeant Anderson occupied the chair[8]. Mr George Furniss and Miss Vera Stredwick also gave a recital. These entertainments were much enjoyed and greatly appreciated by the soldiers, and were a good morale booster.

In late November, boots – especially size 6, 7 and 8 – were requested from the hospital. Other appeals were made for new-laid eggs. The people of Epsom and surrounding districts had been generous in supplying the boots along with additional clothing for the men. Other less appropriate gifts were received, such as pheasants from the King and game from Lord Rosebery. Queen Mary offered the hospital tobacco and cigarettes for Christmas. As the festivities approached the hospital committee asked for evergreens, flags, and British and Belgian ribbon for the Yule tide decorations.

On Christmas Day 1914, the Belgian soldiers sent a letter to the Matrons, Sisters and Nurses, Gentlemen Directors, Secretary and Doctors of the Epsom and Ewell War Hospital, in which they expressed their gratitude and thanks for their care:

Epsom Downs, December 25, 1914
 
Ladies, Gentlemen,
 
We undersigned Belgian soldiers in treatment at the Epsom & Ewell War Hospital take the respectful liberty to express to you our profound appreciation of the tender and devoted care that you have given us.

While our poor Fatherland is the scene of the most terrible tragedy that the world has ever contemplated and that we have been separated in the most brutal way from all those who are dear to us, we have found a new home where the cordiality that you show us relieves the pain that we feel in thinking about our country, which now suffers in the claws of the invader.
 
We shall as soldiers pay the debt of gratitude to which we have submitted. As soon as we are cured thanks to your care, we shall resume our arms to liberate our country, and assure the safety of the admirable Kingdom which grants us hospitality. The fact that we were fighting side by side with the heroes of the Britannic Empire will increase our strength a hundredfold.
 
We wish you all a Happy Christmas and hope that next year brings the realization of your dearest wishes and nothing less: the victory of the Allies. [9].

By mid-January the flow of wounded soldiers had increased to between 50 and 60 patients. Some of the Belgian soldiers had returned to the front line to fight again. The Downs at this time were covered in a foot of snow. In February the hospital expanded its role and started treating a number of soldiers from the Tattenham Corner Camp in the absence of a medical officer at the camp.

In January 1915 speculation was starting to grow about the longevity of the hospital. The Epsom Advertiser reported on 12th February 1916, that it is now an open secret in the town that there is some doubt as to the continuance of this valuable institution and not unnaturally one is anxious to know what is going to happen, especially those inhabitants who subscribe regularly towards its maintenance[10]. The paper goes on to say: Such being the state of affairs one is forced to inquire what has become of the patriotic spirit which prompted the Grand Stand Association six months ago to make the generous offer of the new building on the Downs for use as a War Hospital so that the scheme of the Epsom & Ewell doctors, who were promptly supported by the local public, could be carried into effect.

Other tensions were bubbling away in the background regarding the availability of the Grandstand during the spring race meeting. The lease for The Grandstand Hospital was due to end on 6th March 1915. In parliament, Mr Davidson Dalziel[11], Member of Parliament for Lambeth Brixton, enquired “whether certain buildings forming part of the outbuildings of the Epsom grand stand, and belonging to the Grand Stand Association, have for some months been used as a hospital for wounded soldiers; whether the officials of the Grand Stand Association have now given notice that, owing to the commencement of the spring racing season, the hospital must be closed and the numerous wounded patients removed elsewhere; and whether, in view of the convenient and healthy situation of this hospital, the Government intend to take any steps to secure a continued tenancy?”

Mr Harold Tennant [12], MP for Berwickshire replied: “The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The arrangements were made by the Epsom War Hospital Committee, and I understand that the agreement entered into provided that the building should be vacated before the spring meeting. It is the case that the hospital is well situated, and it has done very good work. I am informed that the patients there can now be moved without danger to their health.”

Mr Davidson Dalziel replied: “Is the right honourable Gentleman aware that at the present time there are in that hospital forty-two wounded soldiers, some of them dangerously wounded, and that they would be removed from there to accommodate the spring meeting only with considerable risk?”

Mr Harold Tennant replied: “I am obliged to the honourable Gentleman for the information. I may say at once that it is not in accordance with the information which has reached me, but I will have investigations made.”

A flurry of letters followed to the Editor of the Times on the subject. Lord Portland felt that it should remain a hospital. Captain Greer, Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, writing in the Times on 26th February 1915, commented that: Lord Villiers, therefore, on behalf of the Stewards, interviewed Mr. Dorling (Chairman of The Grandstand Association) on Tuesday last previous to the meeting between the Grand Stand Association and the Hospital Committee and, having reminded him of the above facts, explained that the Stewards were most strongly of the opinion that, in any arrangement that were made at the meeting, the comfort and well-being of the wounded soldiers should be the first and only consideration. He received from Mr Dorling an assurance that he fully shared these views and that it was with the full intention of giving effect to them that he was about to meet the Hospital Committee[13].

H. M. Dorling followed up with a letter to the Editor of the Times, “It had become necessary to have a proper agreement drawn up between the association and the hospital committee, and it was mutually agreed that the committee should on March 25 vacate one floor of the building and another (the basement) on April 10, resuming possession on April 24 of the entire building … Meanwhile I beg to say that if it should be found that any discomfort or inconvenience to wounded soldiers should result from the agreement being carried out we certainly should not allow it to occur[14].” The Jockey Club suspended the Spring Meeting and the Derby.

In parallel with the arguments in the Times, the Grandstand Hospital’s Day Room was converted into a ward allowing up to 88 patients to be treated at one time. Alongside this, a decision was taken in February 1915 that Horton Asylum would become a war hospital, and during March and April of that year over 2,000 patients were transferred to the hospital.

In May 1915 Colonel Simpson, assistant director of the medical supplies for the district, visited the Grandstand Hospital and was very happy with what he saw.  All beds are occupied (88) and it is expected that the hospital will remain full for some time as the War Office regard it as a most healthy spot, reported The Epsom Advertiser.

In July 1915 the hospital was starting to receive patients from the Dardanelles[15] campaign. ANZAC[16] (Mediterranean Forces as the Patients Register states) troops started to arrive. This was increased by a further 15 ANZAC troops in the following month.

The presence of Horton Hospital accommodating over 2,500 patients spelt the end for the Epsom Grandstand Hospital. The Grandstand committee were concerned about funding and staff levels with the opening of the new facilities down the road. Horton continued as a military hospital until October 1919, when it was converted back to an asylum. Between April 1915 and October 1919, over 40,000 troops had passed through the hospital.

The Epsom Advertiser announced on 28th January 1916 that the Grandstand Hospital was to close. It went on to say: “after doing splendid service for the past 15 months, is to be closed at the end of February, owing to the fact that the medical staff are short-handed, two of them on foreign services, and the remainder being employed in other war work”. The Times Newspaper reported on 10th January that a sum of £250 had been voted to the Red Cross Society of the Grandstand hospital. The hospital closed on 29th February 1916; during its time, 672 patients had passed through its doors. Of these 599 were British, 36 were ANZAC, of which 17 were New Zealand troops and 19 Australian soldiers, 30 were Belgians, 6 Canadians, and 1 was French.

Coding for soldiers in the Epsom Grandstand Hospital Admission Book(SHC 6292/22/13)

The building was converted back to a luncheon annex, and was finally demolished in 2007 to make way for the current Duchess of Cornwall Stand.

[1] SHC Document 3434/9/6 Grand Stand Association Minutes Book 1907-1919. pg314
[2] The Times 16th April 1914:p11
[3] Mr A.W. Aston JP. Local dignitary in Epsom, also worked with Horton Hospital & President of Surrey Agricultural Society.
[4] Epsom Advertiser  18th August 1914:p8
[5] Epsom Advertiser 16th October 1914: p8
[6] Epsom Advertiser 19th October 1914:p8
[7] Epsom Advertiser 16th October 1914:pg8
[8] Epsom Advertiser 20th November 1914 pg 8
[9] Translation of document Z/358 SHC
[10] Epsom Advertiser 12th February 1916 p 8
[11] Davidson Alexander Dalziel, 1st Barron Dalzeil of Wooler (1852-1928) was a Conservative MP between 1910 and 1927. He was also a British Newspaper owner. He is buried in Highgate Cemetery.
[12] Harold John Tennant PC (Privy Council) (1865-1935) Scottish Liberal politician.
[13] The Times Fri 26th Feb 1915 pg5 Issue 40788
[14] The Times Fri 5th March 1915 Page 10 Issue 40794
[15] Dardanelles was a disastrous campaign against the Ottoman Empire in the Dardanelles straights
[16] ANZAC –Australia and New Zealand Army Corps

Fred Day

Family story contributed by Brian Gudgeon

Fred Day was born on 10 May 1894, to Alfred John Day and Alice Louisa Day (nee Gaunt), in Nunhead (which is now part of the London Borough of Southwark).  Before the outbreak of war, he worked as a Motor Mechanic’s Assistant, whilst living with his family at 116 Birchanger Road, South Norwood (according to the 1911 Census).

Fred Day’s Royal Navy record, 1917. Courtesy of Brian Gudgeon

In 1915, Fred married Lilian H. White, in Croydon.  His wartime service, unlike his brothers, was spent with the Royal Navy, service number F26490. His first service date was 12 Mar 1917 on HMS President II and his last service date 31 Mar 1918, aboard the same ship. This was not a fighting ship, but the London Accounting Base for numerous naval ships and establishments that were not self-accounting. It is possible he was at the Crystal Palace, which was taken over by the Royal Navy in early September 1914 to be the Royal Naval Division Depot. More importantly, it was the initial training establishment for all the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve recruits and also for officers destined for the Royal Navy Division.

In 1939, Fred and Lilian lived at 75 Keston Road, Croydon; Fred worked as a Fitter Engineer Heavy Worker.  He died in 1953, aged 59, when the couple lived at 90 Harcourt Road, Thornton Heath, leaving Lilian £543 13s. 11d.

Read about his brothers in the First World War:

Arthur Day: https://www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk/story/arthur-day/ 

Alfred Day: https://www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk/story/alfred-wilton-day/

Herbert Day: https://www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk/story/herbert-day/

Sydney Day: https://www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk/story/sydney-frederick-day/

Walter Day: https://www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk/story/walter-daniel-day/

William Day: https://www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk/story/william-day/

Frank Woodger

Family story contributed by Brian Gudgeon

Frank Woodger was born on 24 March 1887, to Thomas Woodger and Emma Woodger (nee Sink), in Ockham.  He was baptised on 26 June that same year, at St Mary’s Church, Byfleet.  By the time of the 1901 Census, the family had moved to 2 Sidney Cottage, Poplar Drive, New Malden, with Frank working as a Page Boy.  In 1910, he married Annie Burningham in late 1901, at Croydon Registry Office.  The couple lived at 26 Warren Road, Croydon, while Frank worked as a Nurseryman.

Frank Woodger WW1 Medal Index Card. Courtesy of Brian Gudegon

In the First World War, Frank served in the 3rd Battalion, London Regiment and the Labour Corps.  He enlisted on 27 March 1916, and was eventually discharged on 23 September 1919, as a result of injuries sustained during his service; he had a pronounced limp as a result of his injuries.

Frank and Mary Woodger (nee Hodge), 1952

At the time of the 1939 Register, Frank and Annie were living at 45 Windmill Road, Croydon, with Frank employed as a Gardener. Sadly, Annie died not long after the recording of this document, in 1943.  Frank remarried a year later: he and Mary Amelia Hodge (Millie) had both suffered the loss of their first spouse (Millie’s first husband, Alfred, had died in 1933).  It was a brief marriage, as Frank died in 1953.

Read the story of Mary Hodge’s first husband, Alfred Day: https://www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk/story/alfred-wilton-day/

Alfred Charles Hodge

Family story contributed by Brian Gudgeon

Alfred Charles Hodge was born in early 1879, to Charles Robert Hodge and Louisa Sophia Hodge (nee Pike), in Croydon.  The 1901 Census records that he worked as a Cycle Fitter, and still lived with his parents.  At the age of 24, he married Ellen Muggeridge, in spring 1903; the couple lived at 70 Princess Road, with Alfred working as a Fitter.  He had become a Milk Carrier by 1911, when the couple lived at Flat 5, 85a Elsinore Road, Forest Hill.

In the First World War, Alfred served as a Private with the Royal Army Service Corps (service number M/303082 – [the M denoting that he was involved with Mechanical Transport])

He died in the autumn of 1925, aged 47.

Read about his brother, Ernest Francis Hodge: https://www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk/story/ernest-francis-hodge/

Read the story of his brother-in-law, Alfred Day (husband of sister Mary Amelia Hodge): https://www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk/story/alfred-wilton-day/

Ernest Francis Hodge

Family story contributed by Brian Gudgeon

Ernest Francis Hodge was born on 24 November 1880, to Ernest Francis Hodge and Louisa Sophia Hodge (nee Pike), in Croydon.   Prior to the outbreak of the First World War, Ernest worked as a Signal Lad for the London, Brighton & South Coast railway company, starting on 18 April 1905 at Anerley station (now in the London Borough of Bromley).  Over the next three years, he was transferred to Norwood Junction and Crystal Palace (where he worked as a Telegraph Clerk).  According to the UK Railway Employment Records 1833-1956, Ernest was dismissed on 11 February 1909 for cloak room ticket irregularities.

In the 1908-1933 Surrey Recruitment Registers, Ernest had moved on to be a Milk Carrier (living with his parents at 15 Ingatestone Road, South Norwood) before enlisting with the 4th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, at Kingston on Thames.  He was described as being 5ft 4inches, weighing 115lb, with grey eyes and light brown hair.

Ernest’s First World War Service record states that he served as a Driver for the Royal Army Service Corps (service number T/289678).  He was then promoted to T/Sergeant.  [Soldiers with a ‘T’ prefixed to their number usually served in Horse Transport].  In 1915, Ernest married Florence White; the witnesses were Alfred Charles Hodge (brother), Charles Robert Hodge (father) and Mary Amelia Hodge (sister).  The couple lived at 57 Elmers Road, Woodside, Croydon.

At the time of the 1939 Register, Ernest was working as a Milk Salesman and living at 12 Hawthorne Avenue, Croydon.
He died in 1977.

Read the story of his brother, Alfred Charles Hodge: https://www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk/story/alfred-charles-hodge/

Read the story of his brother-in-law, Alfred Day (husband of Mary Amelia Hodge): https://www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk/story/alfred-wilton-day/