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.
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/