Fenny Stratford In The Great War

Subtitle

 

These pages commemorate the men of Fenny Stratford who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War, whether or not they are remembered on the War Memorial in Queensway. There are sixty nine names carved upon the memorial, however, my research has shown that there were others who lived in the area at that time or who had been born in the area and had moved away who are not remembered on it. All of them will be included, those on the memorial will have (WM) after their name.

 

E. A. Ashton. (WM)

Adrian Baber.

Rifleman B/1905, 7 Battalion, Rifle Brigade. (The Prince Consorts Own).
Born: Fenny Stratford. Residence: 54 
Lawrence Ave, Manor Park, London.
Died of Meningitis on Friday, 7 January, 1916, aged twenty nine.
Buried at Wimereux Communal Cemetery, Pas De Calais.
He left a wife, Elizabeth and a son, Adrian Arthur. 
He was entitled to the 1914-15 Star and the British War & Victory Medals.

Bertie Edward Baldwin. (WM)

Rifleman S/2205, 12 Battalion, Rifle Brigade. (The Prince Consorts Own).
Born and Lived: Fenny Stratford. Enlisted: London.
KIA on Thursday 29 June 1916 at Vlamertinghe, near Ypres, aged twenty two.
Buried at Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery.
Bertie was born in 1893, at Fenny Stratford, the second child, (of three known), of  Arthur & Ada Baldwin, of 3 Denmark Street.
Death announced in the North Bucks Times of 18 July 1916.
 
He first entered a War Theatre on 21 July, 1915, (France) and was entitled to the 1914-15 Star and the British War & Victory Medals.

Sources: North Bucks Times. CWGC. 1901 Census.

 

Frederick Charles Baldwin. (WM)

2 Lt. 2 Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.
Born: Bletchley.
Died of Wounds on Saturday, 11 May, 1918, aged twenty six.
Buried at Esquilbegq, France.
Frederick was born in 1892 the fourth child, (of five known), of Robert & Emma Baldwin, of 42 Albert Street.
His death was announced in the North Bucks Times of 21 May 1918.
He first entered a War Theatre on 21 September, 1915, (France) and was entitled to the 1914-15 Star and the British War & Victory Medals.
Formerly: 13375 Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.

Sources: North Bucks Times. CWGC. 1891 & 1901 Census.

Frank Humphrey Barden. (WM)

Lance Corporal 20413, 6 Battalion, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.
Born and Lived: Bletchley. Enlisted: Liverpool.
He volunteered in May 1915 and was posted to France the following year where he was Killed in Action on Wednesday, 19 July 1916, during the Battle of the Somme after only one month on Active service.
Buried at Rue Petillion Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix, Pas De Calais.
Entitled to the British War & Victory Medals.

S. Barden. (WM)

Wilfred Barden. (WM)

Private 266241, 2/1 Bucks Battalion, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.Residence: Napier Street. Enlisted: Aylesbury.
Killed in Action on Sunday, 31 March 1918.
Remembered on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme.

His death was announced in the North Bucks Times of 7 May 1918.
Entitled to the British War & Victory Medals.
Formerly: 3464 Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.

Edward Charles Battams. (WM)

Corporal 3316, 2/1 Bucks Battalion, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.
Residence: Tavistock Street. Volunteered: Aylesbury.
He volunteered in February 1915 and was posted to France in May of the following year, where He was Killed in Action on Wednesday, 19 July 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, he was twenty years old.
Remembered on the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais.
Parents: Edward & Elizabeth Battams, 29 Tavistock Street.
His death was announced in the North Bucks Times of 1 & 8 August 1916.
Entitled to the British War & Victory Medals.

George Morris Benbow. (WM)

Private 5566, 1/14 Battalion, (County of London) London Regiment. (London Scottish)Residence: 5 Regent Street. Volunteered: London.
Killed in Action on Saturday, 1 July, 1916, aged twenty.
Remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Parents, William & Elizabeth Benbow, 5 Regent Street.
His death was announced in the North Bucks Times of 25 July 1916.
Entitled to the British War & Victory Medals.

Archibald Thomas Betts. (WM)

Private 22516, 8 Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.
Born & resided: Fenny Stratford.
Died of wounds on Saturday, 30 September, 1916, aged nineteen.
Buried at Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Somme.
Parents: James & Selina Betts.
Entitled to the British War & Victory Medals.

Horace William Biggs. (WM)

Private 3469, 1/1 Bucks Battalion, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.
Residence: Fenny Stratford. Enlisted: Aylesbury.
Died of Wounds on Tuesday, 25 July, 1916.
Buried at Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas De Calais.
His death was announced in the North Bucks Times of 8 August, 1916.
He first entered a War Theatre (France) on 1 November, 1915, and was entitled to the 1914-15 Star and the British War & Victory Medals.

Lawrence Albert Bird

Able Seaman London Z/4350, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.
Died 13 March 1918, aged twenty three.
Buried at Fenny Stratford.
Parents: Thomas & Elizabeth Bird, 5 George Street.
(See 'In From The Cold' for further details)

Sidney W. Brewer. (WM)

Private T/1807, 1/5 Battalion, East Kent Regiment. (The Buffs)
Born: Newport Pagnell. Residence: Fenny Stratford. Enlisted: Ashford, Kent.
Died on Saturday, 26 August 1916. (Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force)
Buried at Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.
Father: William Brewer, 53 Bletchley Road.
His death was announced in the North Bucks Times of 12 September, 1916.
He first entered a War Theatre on 9 December, 1915, (Asiatic), and was entitled to the 1914-15 Star and the British War & Victory Medals.

George Frederick Bridge.

Private 31051, 1 Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment.
Died on Saturday, 2 August, 1919.

J. Bridge. (WM)

Harold Frederick Brooks. (WM)

Sergeant S/2199, 12 Battalion, Rifle Brigade. (Prince Consorts Own)
Born & Resided: Fenny Stratford. Enlisted: London.
Killed in Action on Saturday, 22 September, 1917, aged twenty five.
Remembered on the Memorial to the Missing at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele, Belgium.
Brother: Mr. W. D. Brooks, 170 St. James Park Road, Northampton.
His death was announced in the North Bucks Times of 23 October, 1917.
He first entered a War Theatre on 21 July, 1915, (France), and was entitled to the 1914-15 Star and the British War & Victory Medals.
(The CWGC , Soldiers Died in the Great War and newspaper reports, all spell his surname, Brookes)

William Eli Butcher.

Driver 106402, 76 Bde. Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery.
Born: Fenny Stratford. Residence: Winslow. Enlisted: Bletchley.
Died on Monday, 28 October, 1918, aged forty.
Buried in the Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport, Seine-Maritime, France.
Wife: Lucy Butcher, Adstock, Nr. Winsow, Buckinghamshire. (There were also three sons aged between twelve and sixteen).
He first entered a War theatre on 19 October, 1915, and was entitled to the 1914-15 Star and the British War & Victory Medals.
Sources: SDGW. GWGC. 1911 Census. Ancestry.

Dr. Gurney White Buxton. (WM)

Captain, 1/2 South Midland Mounted Brigade, Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corp.
Died of Dysentry, on Thursday, 9 September, 1915, aged forty six.
Remembered on the Helles Memorial, Turkey.
Parents: Samual & Jane Buxton.

Born C1869, in Camberwell, Surrey, he underwent medical training at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, the UK Medical Register (UKMR) of 1895 states that his date of registration was 14 December 1891. He started in practise at Fenny Stratford in 1893, the 1895 UKMR gives his address as Ivy Dene, Fenny Stratford, (although the 1901 Census indicates that this was in fact in Simpson), and by 1915 he had moved to Bracknell House, in Aylesbury Street. He had held a commission as Lieutenant and later Captain in the 2 Sth. Midland Brigade, Mounted Ambulance, Territorial Royal Army Medical Corp, for a number of years and it was with this unit that he landed in the Dardanelles in June 1915. His last letter received in Fenny Stratford was dated just nine days days before his death and in it he gave some indication of life in the Dardanelles:
'We are now living in holes in the ground and sleep on the hard ground in dirt and there is dirt all around, and we are all dirty. Water is very scarce and only just sufficient for our bottles. We are not comfortable and sleep in our clothesand boots, the nights being cold. We are, it is needless to say in the Dardanelles, and really seeing active service. We see numbers of wounded soldiers and shells and bullets falling everywhere. Our stretcher bearers are splendid and brave, one has been killed and others wounded, but none of the officers. Guns and rifles are going all day and night: things are terrible, and I shall be glad when it is all over. I could write a lot more, but it would all be so sad'.

His medal entitlement, 1914-1515 Star, British War and Victory Medals, was claimed by his elder sister, Alice White Buxton.

Source: UK Medical Register. North Bucks Times. 1881 & 1901 Census.

William Caldwell.

Corporal 222164, 207 Employment Company, Attached 4 Division Train, Labour Corps.
Born: Liverpool. Residence: Fenny Stratford. Enlisted: Oxford.
Died (Pneumonia) on Friday, 22 March, 1918, aged forty seven.
Buried in Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, Pas de Calais, France. 
Wife: Elizabeth Caldwell, 84 Duncombe Street. (There were also seven children aged under fifteen).
He first entered a War theatre (France) on 2 June, 1915, and was entitled to the 1914-15 star and the British War & Victory Medals.
Previously: 9158 Ox & Bucks Light Infantry & 16333 Hampshire Regiment.
He also served in the Boer War with the 2 Cheshire Regiment and was entitled to the 1901 & 1902 Medals plus Clasps for Johannesburg, Cape Colony & Orange Free State.

Douglas Gordon Chadwick.

Lt. 2/1 Bucks Battalion, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.
Born 1 October, 1896, at Richmond House, Bletchley Road, Fenny Stratford.
Died of Wounds on Thursday, 20 July, 1916.
Buried at Merville Communal Cemetery, Nord, France.
Douglas was the eldest child (of two known) of Major John and Mrs. Nellie Chadwick.
He is remembered on the War Memorial at St. Marys Church, Bletchley, which was designed by his Father.
Source: North Bucks Times. CWGC. 1901 Census. Ancestry.

Albert Charter. (WM)

Private 20639, 2 Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.
Born & Resided: Fenny Stratford.
Killed in Action on Saturday, 21 September, 1918.
Remembered on the Vis en Artois Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.
Entitled to the British War & Victory Medals.

May Emma Constable

Munitions Worker, George Kent Ltd, Luton.
Died 7 March, 1918.
Buried at Fenny Stratford.
Parents: Thomas & Lily Constable, Aylesbury Street.

There are a number of graves from the Great War in Fenny Stratford cemetery, many of which are proudly marked by the traditional Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone. When, as a small boy in the early to mid 1960’s, I was taken on the weekly trip to put flowers on my Grannies grave, the headstones all looked pretty much the same to me, the fact that some had a CWGC headstone didn't make them stand out. But there was one grave that stood out, the one with the bomb on it, not a real bomb you understand, but one made of stone. 

I could not understand this, why would a grave in Fenny Stratford have a pretend bomb on it, my mum, who lived all her life in Fenny Stratford, knew the answer. The grave, she explained, was that of a young girl who had been killed during the Great War. This girl, like many others, did her bit for the war effort by working in factories making the shells that our soldiers used out at the front, there had been an accident at the factory and she had died. The people of Fenny Stratford and Bletchley, in memory of one who was born and bred in the area and while far from the front, was a victim of the war, none the less, had the stone shell placed on her grave as a reminder for all time of the sacrifice that she had made. Over the following years I returned to the grave many times to look at that shell, but it wasn’t until much later, when my interest in the great war grew that I thought about carrying out more research on the lady buried there.

 

At the time of the 1901 census, five year old May Emma Constable and the rest of her family, father, Thomas, (33, a printer, born Tunbridge, Kent) mother, Lily, (32, born Fenny Stratford), and two siblings, Frederick, (10), and Ernest (7), were living in Victoria Road, Fenny Stratford. The three children had been born in Fenny Stratford.

 

While it is likely that May attended the Bletchley Road school, I was unable to trace any records relating to the school in the County achieves and so really her story then leaps to 1 March 1918. By now May was working in a munitions factory, George Kent Ltd, in Luton. On this day there was an explosion at the factory, as a result of which May received burns; from here she was taken to Bute Hospital in Luton where she passed away on 7 March from Toxaemia, (blood poisoning).  I have also visited the library at Luton and gone through the local papers of the time without any success.

 

Jim Strawbridge from Devon is trying to put together a book in memory of all those killed while working in the manufacturing of munitions during the Great War. However, he has found his efforts hampered because as he says,

 

The newspapers at the time were encouraged not to report munitions explosions or deaths through TNT poisoning as it would affect the morale of the civilian population and so reports in newspapers are virtually non existent”

 

The North Bucks Times of 19 March 1918 reported Mays funeral as follows;

 

‘The funeral of a Fenny Stratford girl who died from injuries accidentally received took place on Tuesday afternoon at Fenny Stratford cemetery, and called forth the deep and general sympathy of residents in the town, this being amply testified by the very large numbers present along the route from the house to the cemetery, and at the grave side. The deceased was May, the young daughter of Mr. Thos. and Mrs. Constable, Aylesbury Street. The funeral was of a semi-military nature character, the coffin being conveyed from her home to the place of interment on a gun carriage, supplied by the Royal Engineer Depot, Staple Hall, drawn by four horses, and accompanied by a bearer party of Royal Engineers, sent by Lieut. Col. P. Bold, DSO, R.E. commanding the depot. The coffin was draped with the Union Jack and covered by a large number of wreaths sent by members of the family and sympathisers. Leading the cortege to the cemetery was a contingent of the deceased’s fellow girl workers at the factory, numbering some sixty to seventy, who had come to pay a last tribute of affection and respect to their late comrade, all of them wearing their factory uniform’. 

(May's parents names were actually Stephen Thomas & Isabella Lily Constable) 

Herbert Cook. (WM)

Private 66235, 11 Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps.
Born: Fenny Stratford.
Killed in Action on friday, 11 May, 1917.
Buried at Crump Trench British Cemetery, Fampoux, Pas de Calais, France.
News of his death was reported in the North Bucks Times of 29 May 1917, and a letter from a colleague was printed in the edition of 19 June 1917.
He first entered a War Theatre on 18 November, 1915, and was entitled to the 1914-15 Star and the British War & Victory Medals. 

John Cox. (WM)

Private 2585,2/1 Bucks Battalion, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.
Residence: Fenny Stratford. Enlisted: Bletchley.
Died of Wounds on Tuesday, 25 July, 1916, aged eighteen.
Buried at Merville Communal Cemetery, France. 
Entitled to the British War & Victory Medals.

Horace Edward Crane. (WM)

A/C QMS 50807, 'C' Company, 1 Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Born & Resided: Fenny Stratford. Enlisted: Oxford (Bletchley).
Killed in Action on Friday, 30 August, 1918, aged twenty eight.
Buried at Vis en Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, Pas de Calais, France.
Horace was born in 1890, at Fenny Stratford, one of at least eight children of Charles and Susannah Crane, in 1901 the family was living at 53 Bletchley Road. He married Beatrice Violet Cooper in 1917, her address just after the war was 28 Duncombe Street.
Formerly: 13387, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.
Entitled to the British War & Victory Medals.

Sources: North Bucks Times. CWGC. 1891 & 1901 Census.

Edmund Percy Cranwell. (WM)

Private 5170, 1/14 (County of London) Battalion (London Scotish), London Regiment.
Born & Resided: Fenny Stratford. Volunteered: September, 1915, London. 
Posted to France , January, 1916, and fought in the Albert Sector.
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 7 June, 1916, at Arras,  aged nineteen.
Buried at Hebuterne Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
Edmund was born in 1896, at Fenny Stratford, the third child of William & Elizabeth Cranwell, of 11 Brooklands Road.
Entitled to the British War & Victory Medals.

Sources: North Bucks Times. CWGC. 1901 Census.

Harold Walter Cutler. (WM)

Rifleman S/2200, 12 Battalion, Rifle Brigade. (The Prince Consorts Own)
Born: Fenny Stratford. Residence: Bletchley. Enlisted: London.
Killed in action on Saturday, 25 September, 1915, aged twenty two.
Remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Comina-Warneton, Hainault, Belgium.
Parents: Joseph & Annie Cutler, 'Annis Croft' Buckingham Road.
He first entered a War Theatre on 21 July, 1915, (France) and was entitled to the 1914-15 Star and the British War & Victory Medals.

Frederick John Daniel. (WM)

Lance Corporal 650913, 21 Battalion, (1 Surrey Rifles) London Regiment.
Died on Saturday, 30 March, 1918, aged twenty seven.
Buried in the Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery, Syria.
Parents: William & Emily Daniel, 16 Oxford Street.
His death was announced in the North Bucks Times of 23 April, 1918.
He was entitled to the British War & Victory Medals.

George Edward Day. (WM)

Private 42625, 1 Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment.
Born & Resided: Fenny Stratford. Enlisted: Bletchley.
Killed in action on Sunday, 22 October, 1916, aged nineteen.
Remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Parents: George & Louisa Day, 16 High Street.
His death was announced in the North Bucks Times of 14 & 22 November, 1916.
Formerly: 22877, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.
Entitled to the British War & Victory Medals.

Albert Edward Doyle. (WM)

Private G/7633, 1 Battalion (Queens Own) Royal West Kent Regiment.
Born: Tring, Herts. Residence: Fenny Stratford. Enlisted: Tunbridge Wells, Kent (Bletchley).
Killed in Action on Thursday, 4 October, 1917.
Remembered on the Memorial to the Missing at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele, Belgium.
The North Bucks Times of 6 November, 1917, reported that there was no news of him, and his death was reported the following week, 13 November, 1917.
Formerly: 981 West Kent Yeomanry.
Entitled to the British War & Victory Medals.

Nelson Victor Edge
 

Private 2175, 1 East Surrey Regiment.
Born: Fenny Stratford.
Died of Wounds, Monday, 19 April, 1915, aged seventeen.
Remembered on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium. 
Parents: Charles & Susan Edge. (1901 Census living at Aylesbury Street)
He first entered a War Theatre on 23 February, 1915, (France), and was entitled to the 1914-15 Star and the British War and Victory Medals. 

Sources: SDGW. CWGC. 1901 Census. Ancestry.  

Ernest Hubert Fennemore. (WM)

Private 33457, 6 Battalion, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.
Died on Thursday, 16 August, 1917, aged nineteen.
Remembered on the Memorial to the Missing at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele, Belgium.
Parents: Mr. & Mrs. E Fennemore, 21 Victoria Road.
His death was announced in the North Bucks Times of 4 september, 1917.
Formerly: 6563 Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.
Entitled to the British War & Victory Medals.
 

Alfred Foolkes 

Private G/17137, 10 Royal West Kent Regiment (Queens Own)
Died on Thursday, 7 June, 1917, aged thirty nine.
Born: Fenny Stratford.
Remembered on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium.
Parents Thomas & Elizabeth Foolkes. (1901 Census shows Alfred living with his widowed Mother at Aylesbury Street).
Wife: Emily Foolkes, 204 Hitchin Road, Luton.
Entitled to the British War & victory Medals.

Sources: SDGW. CWGC. 1901 Census. Ancestry. 

Arthur French. (WM)

Sgt. 201365, 1/4 Battalion, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.
Died on Thursday, 19 April, 1917, aged twenty.
Remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Parents: William & Jane French, Tudor House, Western Road.
Formerly: 4141 Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.
He first entered a War Theatre on 28 June, 1915, (France), and was entitled to the 1914-15 Star and the British War & Victory Medals.