Western Front

The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the 1914-18 conflict, and centred on the stretch of fortified Allied and German trenches from the North Sea to the French frontier with Switzerland.

For a comprehensive list of battles along this line click here.

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The Joseph Brothers

Story of the Joseph brothers of Dormansland, who all died in the war.

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The Coomber Brothers

The Coomber brothers of Dormansland, who all fought in the Great War.

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Brothers in Arms

Seven friends from Dormandsland who all enlisted together.

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George Penfold

A Redhill man who fought in the Great War.

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Arthur Pelham

A Sidlow man who died in the Great War.

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Frank Pelham

A man from Leigh who fought in the Great War.

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Harry Pelham

A Leigh man who fought in the Great War.

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A Family’s Grief

The tragic story of a Reigate family's wartime loss.

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Walter Daniel Day

Story of a Croydon man who fought in the First World War

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Pioneer Walter Norman Welton

This story is the result of an investigation of documents held by Surrey History Centre. The file...

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The Mount family of Hatchford

Captain Francis Mount died early in the war. his family continued to contribute to the war effort on...

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Life of Stanley Skelton

This is a short biography of my twice great-grandfather, Stanley Skelton, who served with the East...

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Sydney Charles Stark

Story of a Godstone man who survived the war, but lost his brother

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Robert James Stark

Tragic tale of a Godstone man who died at the Somme

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Private Albert Edward Tickner

On 25 November 1913, Albert, joined the East Surrey Regiment’s Territorial Force for a period of...

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Private Harold Alfred Pook

On 8 June 1917 the Surrey Herald carried a plea from a desperate father, Mr J D Pook, seeking...

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Corporal Harry Parsons

Harry Parsons, a professional soldier, died during the second Battle of Ypres.

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Private Edward Cyril Friston

This story is the result of an investigation of documents held by Surrey History Centre. The file...

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Serjeant Ernest John Harland

This story is the result of an investigation of documents held by Surrey History Centre. The file...

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Private Robert Henry London

This story is the result of an investigation of documents held by Surrey History Centre. The file...

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Private Arthur Barnfield

This story is the result of an investigation of documents held by Surrey History Centre. The file...

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Lance-Corporal Francis Allum

This story is the result of an investigation of documents held by Surrey History Centre. The file...

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Second Lieutenant Haydn Eric William Rayner

Junior British Officers survived, on average, six weeks in the bloodiest periods on the Western...

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Private Richard Pelham Collins

Richard was one of the earliest Weybridge volunteers as he entered the theatre of war on the...

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Private Thomas Cutler

A Company and part of B Squadron of King Edward’s Horse had the unenviable task of holding the...

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Private Gilbert Charles Dickens

Gilbert enlisted, in London, on 9 August 1914. In 1918 he survived gunshot wounds to both legs and...

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Lieutenant Leonard Heath Cantle

Leonard was acting as an observer, carrying out reconnaissance duties as part of the Battle of...

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Corporal John Owen Eley

As for so many others, John’s civilian life was abruptly interrupted by the outbreak of war; he...

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Private James Cakebread

James Cakebread was an early volunteer, enlisting two days short of his 19th birthday which fell on...

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Lance Corporal Herbert William Carpenter

Before the war Herbert was a school master at St. James’ School (Baker Street), Weybridge, a...

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Private Harry Leslie Caulder

Harry Leslie Caulder was a pupil of St James’ School (Baker Street), Weybridge, a Boy Scout (1st...

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Private Francis William Foster

Francis was one of three brothers to serve in the Great War. Two died in the last months of the war.

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Lance Corporal Ernest James Foster

Ernest was one of three brothers to serve in the Great War. Two died in the last months of the war.

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Sapper Arthur Chalcraft

The 68th Field Company was involved in the Battle of Thiepval Ridge between 26-28 September. The...

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Lieutenant William Ronald Frost MC

Ronald’s final battle was the Third Battle of Ypres (‘Passchendaele’) which lasted from 31...

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Private Matthew Frost

Matthew enlisted in Weybridge; he stood almost 5 feet 10 inches tall, had a fresh complexion, brown...

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Private Charles Edwin Fox

Charles was involved in the Arras Offensive.This made huge progress but the inability to follow up...

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Private Arthur Edgar Freer

Arthur went to school in Webridge and was a watchmaker’s apprentice before the war.

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Private William Bullimore

William Bullimore was born in France and died in France during a retreat from an assault on the...

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Private Thomas James Burgess

Thomas was born in Australia, lived in New Zealand, married in England and died in France.

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Rifleman Awdrey Hamilton Harcourt Burrage

Awdrey was part of a colourful and lively family. His father was a journalist and author known as...

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Private William John Bagley

William John Bagley’s life was defined by service: domestic service and military service. He...

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Private Robert William Borrett

Sadly, Robert was killed as the Allies prepared to make what would be their ultimate push against...

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Private Percy Boorer

Percy was reported missing during the Battle of Ancre. His wife wrote many letters of inquiry to no...

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Company Serjeant Major John Percy Batey

John had a promising professional career as a chemist before the war. During the war his skills were...

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Lance Corporal Arthur Richard Bartlett

In March 1918 Arthur Bartlett and his comrades were caught up in the onslaught that was the German...

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Captain Arthur Plater Nasmith

On leaving school Arthur followed in his father’s footsteps becoming first a stockbroker’s clerk...

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Lance Corporal Thomas William Buckler

Thomas was involved in the defence of Inverness Copse, part of the Third Battle of Ypres.

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Private Leslie Charles Arthur Bromhall

Before the war Leslie was an errand boy and then a gardener. He was among the first to volunteer for...

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Second Lieutenant Harold Vernon Brown

Harold was one of 394 East Surrey Regiment casualties, of which 13 were officers, sustained during...

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Rifleman Horace Brian Brooker

Brian, an accomplished sportsman who played football for England in 1909, enlisted on 21st August...

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Lieutenant Francis William Ashton Buckell

One of the oldest men commemorated on the Weybridge memorial, Francis was a successful architect...

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Gunner Arthur Selby Brown

Arthur died in the third Battle of Ypres, known as Passchendaele, which has become synonymous with...

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The Williams Brothers

Three Woking Brothers who served in the Great War, and were all killed

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John Doran Macdonald

One of the six officers working for the organisation that eventually became the Commonwealth War...

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Thomas Hendra

Story of Thomas Hendra (1889-1972) Private Soldier from Cornwall who became a photographer in...

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Private Frank Noel Wills

When he enlisted on 30 August 1914, Frank Noel Wills stated that he was 20 years old: he was only...

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Acting Captain Herbert Bernard Mollman

Born in Davos, Switzerland, Herbert was the son of parents of German birth but died fighting for...

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William McGildowny, D.S.O.

Retired soldier, William McGildowny rejoined as a reservist in 1915. He received a D.S.O at the...

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Charles Elliott, gardener.

Charles was born in Witley and became a gardener. In 1916 he joined the Queen's, went to France in...

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Captain Arnold Stearns Nesbitt

The Times newspaper of 30 May 1914 carried a report of the first class cricket match between...

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Second Lieutenant Stanley Adams

Stanley’s first military experience was in the Army Pays Corps which he joined soon after the...

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Private Robin Woodward

Robin enlisted in Weybridge on 1 September 1914 and was posted to the 1st Battalion of the Hampshire...

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Private Horace Baldwin

Horace was among over 7,000 British and Australian casualties killed, wounded or missing at the...

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Captain Gerald Aylmer Lloyd

Gerald was a career soldier, trained at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, he was gazetted 2nd...

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Lieutenant Francis Charles Aylmer Lloyd

Francis was rejected by the Medical Board for admission to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in...

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Private Henry Izzard

Henry was with the Dorsetshire Regiment in October 1918 and fell near Le Cateau a month before the...

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Second Lieutenant Gilbert (Jack) Whittet

Gilbert was an accomplished rower at Radley College and signed up soon after the outbreak of the...

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Trooper Philip James Tilley

When he joined the army Philip was just four months away from completing his apprenticeship as a...

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William Maggs, Military Medal

William was a cowman before the war. He was wounded three times, the final wound proved to be...

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Sapper Harry Wickham

The day after the Germans launched their Spring Offensive on 21 March 1918, Harry and his comrades...

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Private Harry Wells

Harry was involved at the start of the Second Battle of Ypres and faced a new threat, chlorine gas....

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Captain Claude William Treherne

Claude’s family were steeped in military and medical service. He was fatally wounded on the first...

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Flight Sub-Lieutenant Howard Willis

Howard graduated as a Flight Sub-Lieutenant and spent time at Cranwell and Manston before arriving...

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Second Lieutenant Basil Vokes

Basil arrived in Weybridge in 1908 to take up a post as an assistant teacher at St James’ School....

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Arthur Jesson, cricket captain

Arthur Jesson was born in Market Harborough, joined the Post Office and moved to Witley. He became...

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Lance Corporal Arthur Edwin Williams

When the Germans launched their Spring Offensive on 21 March; the battalion was in the front line...

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Sergeant Walter John Stedman

Walter John Stedman served for two years and five months on the Western Front, longer than many of...

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Private John William Spring

Prior to his military service John was a steward at St George’s Hill Golf Club in Weybridge.

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Private Herbert Sparrow

Herbert arrived in Boulogne on 2 June 1915 and was involved in the Battle of Loos and lost his life...

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Private Frederick George Stovold

Frederick was one of the 9,000 men who died between 8 August and the Armistice in the advance...

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Second Lieutenant Ernest Guy Maclean Sturt

Guy studied engineering at King's College, London before joining the Public Schools Battalion of the...

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Bombardier Ernest Stokes

Ernest was part of the anti-aircraft sections which were formed to defend against the new threat of...

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Private William Allen Shepherd

News of his death reached home on Easter Day; a letter to his widow commemted that: ‘Both officers...

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Lieutenant Sydney Noel Simmons

Noel was an architectural student who went on to pursue a career as a painter and designer before...

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Lieutenant Robert Ronald Rowe

Robert served first with the Army Service Corps (ASC) as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary...

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Private Harry Ruffle

Before the war Harry was the manager of Joseph Frisby Ltd., a Boots and Shoes Store in Baker Street,...

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Lance Corporal Noah Smithers

Noah started his police career in 1905. He enlisted in 1915 and while the Military Police worked...

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Second Lieutenant John Veere Smith

John was involved in the defence of Hill 60 and the following Second Battle of Ypres. After a short...

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Private Frederick Smith

Frederick enlisted in Kingston, arrived at Boulogne on 2 June 1915 and fought on the Western Front...

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Captain James Donald Gerhardt Sanders

James Donald Gerhardt Sanders was the recipient of the final Aviator’s Certificate issued by...

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Captain Herbert Frank Brownlow Ryley

Born in India, Herbert was a career soldier just like his father. He died in the First Battle of...

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Ernest Smith, killed at Loos

Ernest joined the Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment in 1899 for 12 years, following which he...

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Percy George Dennis

This explains Percy Dennis' link to Windlesham and his service with the Northumberland Fusiliers.

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Private Charles Joseph Randall

Charles was killed on August 22nd, 1918 when the Allies launched a major offensive against the...

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Sergeant Ronald Richard Rice

A veteran of the Boer War, Ronald saw action with the East Surrey Regiment in the Battle of the...

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Second Lieutenant Arthur Victor Pratt

During the Third Battle of Ypres Arthur was singled out for particular praise, having shown...

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Private Walter Patrick Letford

Walter’s experience of the First World War was brief. He enlisted on 30 August 1914 at Aldershot...

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Second Lieutenant Robert William Spencam Meakins

Robert was involved in the re-taking of High Wood but died just 26 days after arriving in France.

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Private Henry Guy Lucas

Henry worked as a gardener on the Brooklands estate owned by Sir Hugh and Lady Ethel Locke King,...

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Private William Parsons

Originally from Sussex by 1911 the family were in Weybridge. William died near Ecurie, 3 miles north...

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Rifleman William James Pavey

During the Battle of the Somme, six divisions advanced on 7 October, there were heavy British...

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Private Henry Thomas Mills

Henry was a casualty during the early days of the First Battle of Ypres.

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Private Edward Charles Nash

From a long established Weybridge family, Edward was a casualty of the Third Battle of Scarpe.

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Pte Leonard Blunden Lucas

Leonard served for more than four years and died just over three weeks before the end of the war.

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Lieutenant Colonel Harold Lewis

"He combined all the elements of a gentleman with the instincts of a soldier. He died as he would...

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Lance Corporal Frederick Lemon

Frederick, a gardener and family man, served his country and when his wife died in 1920 his four...

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Private Frederick William Matthews

Frederick's war was short, on 23 August 1915 he was having trench warfare training on Chobham Common...

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Lance Corporal Cecil Paul Lucas

Cecil was a casulty of The Battle of Ephey which saw the British Line advance by two miles and 9,000...

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Private John James Hiley

John experienced five key phases of the war: the Arras Offensive, April - May 1917; the Third Battle...

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Lance Corporal Harold John Charles Hann

Known as John he was one of the earliest volunteers from Weybridge; enlisting in the town on 7...

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Lance Corporal Henry Anthony Herbert

Henry's is the earliest death commemorated on the Weybridge Memorial

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Second Lieutenant Edgar Brooks Harrison

From July 1916 the 1/7th were detailed to carry out burial duties in Thiepval Wood and when not in...

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Second Lieutenant Vavasour Mervyn Holdsworth

At 6.30am on 20 December Vavasour was killed as he went out to get papers off a dead man. He was...

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Second Lieutenant Maurice Kemp-Welch

Immediately after the outbreak of war Maurice and a colleague created a process for coating canvas...

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Private Joseph “Joe” Frank Hopkins

Joe became a soldier in 1913, intending to serve for 12 years, but before his death less than two...

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Major Harold Acworth Leggett

A Mathematics graduate of Pembroke College, Cambridge, Harold was an assistant master at Nottingham...

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Captain Guy Francis Headlam Keenlyside

A graduate from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, Guy was involved in the great retreat from...

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Captain Cecil Alexander Headlam Keenlyside

Aged 19, he was in London in February 1901 as one of the soldiers who were part of Queen...

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Lance Corporal Sydney George Gillingham

Sydney emigrated to Canada in 1913 with hopes of becoming a poultry farmer but his plans were...

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Lance Corporal John Joshua Green

John, a career soldier, died when the German Army launched a large-scale offensive against the...

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Lt-Col Edward Stephen Gibbons, DSO

He could have done anything he liked with his battalion for they would have instantly responded to...

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Sgt David Bryce Gillespie

A fruit farmer in British Columbia, Canada, who fought and died on the Western Front.

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Private George Edward Gentry

George was part of an enormous general Allied attack along a battlefront of 33 miles; the third...

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Sydney's War

Narrative of Sydney Edward Nash's war role. Sydney was a resident of Ash Vale, Surrey and is...

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Lt Alan Ferguson

Alan died during the Third Battle of Albert following a reconnaissance mission. Described as among...

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Major-General E Feetham, CB CMG

Edward Feetham was one of the most senior British officers to be killed in the First World War.

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Arthur William White M.M.

A chauffeur in Windlesham in the pre-war years, Arthur William White died aged 28 towards the end of...

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Windlesham Man's DCM

Ernest George Ley was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal following the second battle for Ypres....

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Photographing the Fallen

Corporal Ivan Bawtree was a war graves photographer on the Western Front, from 1915-1919, attached...

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Ralph Quintus Scott

Shropshire born man who fought with the East Surrey Regiment, attached to the Royal Fusiliers

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John Edwin Edwards

Thames Ditton professional golfer who is commemorated in Ypres

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Thomas Hawkins

Nutfield man who fought in the war

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Edward Friston

Employee of Surrey County Council killed during the war

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Arthur Albert Messer (1863-1934)

Lt-Col. Arthur Albert Messer CBE DSO FRIBA is buried in Plot 29 of Brookwood Cemetery. He trained as...

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THE OLDEST TOMMY TO DIE IN WW1?

Henry Webber is thought to be possibly the oldest serving man to die in WW1, he was an ex Surrey...

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Tommy Atkins

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William Neighbour Wakefield

Butcher's Boy from Woking, killed in action on 12 April 1918 at Messines, Belgium. No known grave. ...

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William Gordon Pender

A summary of a Great Bookham man who served with the Royal Flying Corps

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Alfred John Dumper

Young man from Surbiton killed at the Battle of Loos

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Edgar Brooks - Killed at the Somme

Edgar joined the army in 1915 and was killed during one of the Somme Battles. Like many, he has no...

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Major Ralph Smith

A brief story about the life of Major Ralph Smith

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Francis Sermon

Send man who served with the Royal Veterinary Corps

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The Ripley Pals

Seven men from Ripley who enlisted in the Rifle Brigade. None survived the war.

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Gunner Frederick James Cornell

Gunner Cornell trained with the first batch of tanks. He was wounded but survived the war and owned...

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Stoke D'Abernon - 1915

News about Stoke D'Abernon and Oxshott during the first full year of the conflict, taken from the...

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Edward Steer

West Byfleet man who wrote a war diary

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Henry Chatfield

Excerpt from the 'Surrey Comet' on this Surbiton man

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Albert Treadaway

Excerpt from the 'Surrey Comet' about this East Molesey man

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Harry Beavis

Excerpt from the 'Surrey Comet' about this Surbiton man

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Milford - 1915

News about Milford and the war's impact upon the community, taken from the 1915 Parish magazine of...

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KEEPING A LONELY VIGIL

Reginald Moyse suffered from the results of being buried alive, which sent him to the asylum.

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Maurice Thairs

Croydon man who served under two names

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Otho James Braddon

Australian man whose family moved to Norbury. He served as a Rifleman during the war.

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William Wall Brown

Addiscombe man who fought with the London Irish Rifles

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William James Ord

Former Selhurst Grammar School pupil whose family waited two years to hear of his death

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Albert Edward Cox

Croydon Man who fought with the Royal Irish Rifles

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Benjamin Haizelden

Former pupil of Selhurst Grammar School who died in 1918

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Charles Alcock

Private in the 8th Battalion, East Surreys, who kicked a football across No Man's Land at the Battle...

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Arthur Leonard Marsh

Some postcards I have which were sent by Arthur Leonard Marsh to his sister Ettie Jane in 1914

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Ernest Ralph Cave Moy

Kingston boy who won the Military Medal, and was gassed in 1918.