Courtesy of the RH7 History Group, as part of their First World War exhibitions from 2014-2018
Written by Janet Bateson and Sue Quelch
Albert and George Warriner were the sons of Emily and Charles Warriner of Old Town, Lingfield.
Sergeant Albert Warriner a married man living at Blindley Heath, enlisted in the 9th Battalion, the Royal Sussex Regiment on 12 September 1914. He died of wounds at Baileul on 17 June 1916. He was 35. The local paper reported that he had been gassed and severely wounded by shrapnel. It appears that he was greatly respected by his men and his local community.
George Warriner lived at home with his widowed mother in Old Town. He served in the Royal Navy as a Stoker 1st Class on HMS Lancaster. This ship was part of the 4th Cruiser Squadron initially protecting convoys in the West Indies before she was sent to join up with the Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow, in 1915. Just before the Battle of Jutland, the Lancaster was transferred to the Pacific Ocean in April 1916, patrolling North and South America and the Falklands until 1919. It would appear that the ship was badly hit by the Spanish ‘Flu epidemic in December 1918, when up to 300 men on board fell ill out of a ship’s complement of 680. As well as the usual medals awarded to servicemen who served in the war, George was also issued with the Silver War Medal which was issued to men discharged due to sickness or injuries sustained in the conflict. It is quite possible that George was on of the men affected by the influenza outbreak, although [there is] no record of this. Unlike his older brother, George survived the war, returning to Lingfield in 1919.