Ogburn, Henry. Died 30th Jul 1916

Henry Ogburn was born in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire in about 1875. His parents were Thomas and Sarah (nee Morse) Ogbourne (The surname had various spellings.) Thomas was an agricultural labourer who died in 1877 at the age of 26. In the 1881 census Sarah, together with Henry (aged 6) and his sister and three brothers, was in Cricklade and Wootton Bassett Workhouse in Purton.

In 1891 Henry was still in the area, a farm labourer in Compton Bassett. Sarah, however, was living in Boughton on Dunsmore. The previous year she had married Alfred Coats, another farm labourer from Wiltshire. Henry also moved to the Rugby area, where he married Esther Malin on 26 Mar 1898 at Bilton Church. He was aged 23 and a labourer in New Bilton.

By 1901 Henry and Esther were living at 1 Jefferey’s Court in North Street, Rugby with their two year old daughter, Lilian. Henry was a bricklayer’s labourer. Ten years later he had the same occupation and another daughter, Esther May. The family lived at 40 Chapel Street, Rugby.

Henry enlisted with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in October 1915, Private No. 14967.

His brother James Edward had enlisted the previous month. He was discharged on 4th August 1916 as “no longer physically fit”, he had a scar on his abdomen – a burn in childhood, which meant he was unable to march.

Another brother Charles Robert served with the 3rd Bn. Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, Private 19833. He seems not to have gone abroad and died on 26th April 1916. He is buried at Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery at Portsmouth. He is not listed on the Rugby Memorial Gates.

Henry was lost on the Somme, probably during the Battle of Delville Wood on 30th July 1916 and remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

In 1919, his widow married James W Jenison, brother in law to Charles Robert Ogburn.



Dunkley, Harry. Died 30th Jul 1916

Harry was born in Newbold upon Avon in 1887 (There are several Harry Dunkleys born in the Rugby area around the time, but this entry agrees with his age in the census)

His parents were William and (Mary Elizabeth) Dunkley who in the 1911 census had been married for 35 years with 12 children born alive one subsequently died. Harry was the 5th child . He was aged 24 and a painter, living with his parents. Harry’s father, William was born in Thurlaston They were living at 167 Abbey Street, but later that year they moved to 15 Chester Street.

The Medal Roll for Harry Dunkley 16711 Royal Warwickshire shows he was awarded Victory and British War medals. This suggests that he did not join until late in 1915 as there are no 14 or 15 Stars.

Soldiers who died in the Great War lists Harry Dunkley, born Newbold and died 30th July 1916. He served in France and Flanders and had the rank of Private in the 14th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, number 16711. He was killed in Action in the Western European theatre.

On 9 Sept 1916, the Rugby Advertiser published the following article:

“A Fighting Family” Fewer families have a better war record than that of Mr and Mrs Dunkley of 15 Chester Street, Rugby. There are five sons in the army including two have been reported missing for sometime past. William Albert, the eldest is in the Kings Royal Rifles, and he has a son serving with him in Salonica. Walter Ernest has served his time with the Royal Warwicks and has just rejoined the army from regiment. Harry, who joined the Royal Warwicks has been missing since July 30th and Percy John of the Lancashire Fusiliers has been missing since July 25th. The fifth son Arthur Rowland is serving with the Labour Battallion. A sixth member of the same family (Alfred Thos Dunkley) has been discharged from the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry on medical grounds and is now employed in a Controlled factory. Mrs Dunkley has two brothers serving in France and two of her nephews are in the army.”

He was buried near Longueval, one of only two bodies identified out of ten “British Soldiers” and later relocated to in Catterpillar Cemetery, Longueval.

He died five days after his younger brother, Percy John Dunkley.



29th Jul 1916. Some After Effects of the Great Offensive


An artillery officer who is in the great offensive writes to a friend in Rugby :- “ For days before the attack we were firing continuously, and on the actual day we got rid of a prodigious amount of ammunition. Fortunately[?], there was a bit of a lull after the attack, and we got some well-needed rest. So tired was one of my Sergeants that a rat gnawed at his face as he was lying in his dug-out. In a sleepy way he brushed it on one side, but it only returned, and finally he slept on, to find his face a mass of blood in the morning.

“ As for my Subalterns, they did nothing but eat and sleep for many days.

“ The Battery did very well, especially —who was complimented on the “ gallantry and initiative ” which he displayed.

“ It was rather sad to see our wounded come back, but they all seemed very cheery, and generally were hugging a German helmet, cap, pistol, or something as a souvenir. We escaped very fortunately in the casualty line, only having one N.C.O and two horses wounded, but on the day of the attack the Bosches fired gas shells at us, which made us all very sick and faint. On the whole, however, our worst enemy is the rain. There have been some extraordinary heavy showers, which have flooded our gun-pits and dug-outs at times. We are experts at mud shovelling, but it takes a lot of work and ingenuity to keep our homes from washing down. Getting out of bed in the morning is a work of fine art. We sleep in bunks in two rows, and the puzzle is, how to get into your boots without stepping on the floor, which, has or three inches of mud. It’s Wonderful how clever one gets at standing on one leg. The trenches are of course, very often waist deep in water, and it is often a choice between staying in and getting wet through, or jumping, out and risking a bullet. All the same we manage to keep merry and bright.”


AT CONTALMAISON.—Pte T Webb, writing to a friend says : “ Just to let you know I and the Wolston boys are still in the pink after a few days with the Germans. No doubt you have been having good news of the ‘boys’ this last few days. I shall never forget it. Talk about the Loos and Neave Chapelle battles, this was the worst I have ever been in. It was on July 8th when we had orders to get ready and stand-to. For five hours our artillery, with all sorts of shells, bombarded the village of Contalmaison, till there was hardly a wall or house left standing. The time came, and over we went with fixed bayonets and bombs. We had about 250 yards to go. We got there, and what a game we had chasing the Germans in and out of cellars and dug-outs. After holding on to the village a little time we had to retire owing to shells and machine gun fire from the Germans, but a little later on we made again for the village, and secured it this time. It was a sight to see the Germans lying about. We made 60 prisoners, and they seemed glad to be taken. One of them, who could speak rather good English, said they had just come from Verdun for a rest, and then the English started on them. One chap had the chance to get back to his lines, but refused to do so. They were rather tall, but only old men and boys, 16 or 50. We were up to our knees in mud and water, but they could not shift the Worcester sauce, which was a bit too strong for them. We hung on until we got relieved by another division the next night. We have pushed them back a few miles this time. It was a treat to look round their dug-outs. One I went down was about 40ft under the ground, fitted up with several compartments. It was more like an hotel, with spring beds, tables, and everything for use. On the walls were all sorts of photos and picture postcards from relatives and friends from Germany. The kitchen took our eye most ; it was fitted up with cooking stoves, boilers for making soup, and pots of all sorts. I think they were there, as they thought, for the duration of the War ; but we caught them napping, and use their hotel for ourselves now. We are having a quiet rest, and hope to be with them again very soon.”


Mr Evan Percy Biddles, of Clifton, who has been in Paraguay, South America, for four years, his given up a good post there, and has returned home to serve his country.

Second-Lieut S A Miller-Hallett, South Wales Borderers, killed on July 11th, was in the Rugby School Cricket XI in 1908 and 1909. He was the second son of Mr A Miller-Hallett, of Chelsfield, whose XI provided very good club cricket in Kent some years ago.

Lieut A H Hales, Wiltshire Regiment, killed on July 5th, was a versatile athlete. Educated at Rugby and Corpus, Oxford, he gained his rowing Blue, and was at No. 3 in the Varsity crews of 1904 and 1905. As a Rugby footballer he was in his School XV in 1900, and afterwards played for the Harlequins and Monkstown. He was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in March, 1915.

Tuesday was the last day for unattested men who had not received calling up papers to report under the Military Service Act, but, probably owing to the thorough manner in which the calling-up process has been gone through locally, only one man reported at Rugby Drill Hall.

Mr Harry Hoare, so well known a few years ago in connection with the Rugby, Football, Cricket, and Hockey Clubs, now holds the rank of Major in the Army Service Corps, and Acts as Senior Supply Officer to the 38th Welsh Division.


Sergt James Somers, of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, formerly billeted with Mrs Burns, Corbett Street, Rugby, who gained the Victoria Cross in the Dardenelles, was wounded for the third time in the great advance, and is at present in hospital at Newcastle.


The following Rugby men, belonging to the Rifle Brigade, have been reported wounded :—Rifleman J F Earl (5556), Rifleman J Hughes (235), Rifleman F P Liddington (751), Acting-Corpl A Packer (1283), Rifleman H Fulham (8), and Rifleman T C Smith (2426).

Corpl P Hammond, of E Co, R.W.R, son of Mr W D Hammond, 1 Kimberley Road, was wounded in the face on June 19th, but has now recovered and returned to the firing line.

Mr and Mrs W Aland, of 30 Arnold Street, received news on Sunday that their son, Pte Roy Aland, of the Warwicks, had been severely wounded by gun shot, the head, shoulders, back, and both arms and both legs being involved. The parents went over to France to see their son without delay. Pte Aland was employed as a foreman at Rugby when he enlisted, and has spent sixteen months in the trenches.

William Ewart Davenport, only son of Mr and Mrs A Davenport, of Harborough Magna, was killed in action on July 19th. Deceased was 18 years of age, and previous to the war was employed by the L & N.-W Railway as a cleaner. In a letter to the bereaved parents, his officer says : “ An officer and three telegraphists, including your son, were engaged on telephone work. The shelling was so severe that they took shelter in a dug-out. Immediately a shell dropped on this dug-out, killing all the occupants. The bodies were recovered and buried in a cemetery back of the lines.” The officer adds : — “ He was always cheerful, kind, obliging, and willing to do anything to help and further his work. Your son was a hard-working telephonist, who took a keen interest in his work, and was not afraid to go into the danger zone if it was necessary in the course of his duty.”

Flags were flying half-mast at the L & N.-W Stations and at sub-stations to Rugby, early in the week, as the result of the news that two of the late employes—C W Standish, of the Northamptonshire Regiment, and C A Jeeves, of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry—had been killed in the general advance in France. Standish was a cleaner, whose home is at Peterborough. He had a leg amputated in France, and was brought to a hospital in England, where gangrene set in, and he died. Jeeves came from Bedford. This makes six men connected with the Rugby Engine Shed who have been killed, and, in addition, nineteen have been wounded.

Mrs Ward, of 170 Lawford Road, New Bilton, received on the 7th inst. an official communication that her son, Pte Thomas Walter Ward, who has been reported missing since August 6, 1915, is now regarded as dead. Pte Ward, who enlisted in the Oxford and Bucks Regiment in September, 1914, was home on sick leave in June of last year, and, re-joining his regiment, was shortly afterwards transferred to the Hampshire Regiment, and left England for the Dardanelles. Pte Ward was a prominent member of the New Bilton Rugby Football and Cricket Clubs, and was very popular with all who knew him. Previous to the War he worked at Willans & Robinson’s. Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Ward in their great loss. They have a younger son, Lance-Corpl Sidney Ward, serving in France.

Lieut J Greenwood, of the Northampton Regiment, the well-known Rugby and Newbold footballer, is in hospital at Birmingham suffering, from wounds. Lieut Greenwood, who before the War was a teacher at Eastlands School, took part in the fighting at Fricourt during the first stage of the advance, and was wounded by a sniper in a tree on July 12th. His collar-bone is badly fractured, and he is also suffering severely from shock ; but his many friends will be pleased to hear that he is now making good progress.


On Thursday Mr. Tom Blades, of Brownsover, received the sad news that his son, Corpl Albert Moisey Blades, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, has died of wounds received during the recent fighting in France. Deceased, who was 21 years of age, enlisted early in the war.


Acting Sergt C F Miller, R.E, and Pte Pearson, Siege Co, R.E, two employes of the B.T.H, have been killed in the recent advance. Sergt Miller, who was an Irishman, was formerly in the Test, and Pte Pearson was employed in the Generator Dept.


Corpl Doyle, whose death was reported last week, lost his life under the following circumstances :—After the attack on the German trenches volunteers were called for to bring in the wounded. Corpl Doyle was one of the first to volunteer. He brought in one wounded soldier safely, and was bringing in another when he was shot dead. His Commanding Officer (Capt Lucas) says : “ His conduct was beyond all praise. A better or braver soldier never lived.”


The death took place, as the result of founds received in the great offensive on July 9th, of Rifleman John Lambourne, Rifle Brigade, son of Mr Wm Lambourne, of Clifton. Rifleman Lambourne, who was only 17 years of age, joined the Army when he was 16, and had been in France since last December. He was formerly employed at the B.T.H Works.


PTE J HUGHES, of the K.R.R, has arrived in Birmingham suffering from wounds. Of two companies of his regiment, in one of which he was fighting, there were only seven men left. He it the eldest son of Mr and Mrs J Hughes, Daventry Road, Dunchurch.—Pte R Elkington, Mill Street, who has been in many engagements, is home for a few days before going to Egypt.—Lieut J W Barnwell, R.W.R, Daventry Road, is suffering from wounds in France. Mr Barnwell has gone to see him.— Pte Carter, of the Territorials has also been injured, and is in London.


ROLL OF HONOUR.—The parishioners of Brinklow extend their deepest sympathy to Mr and Mrs T Kenney and family in their grief at the loss of their son, Roland Kenney, who has been killed in action during our great offensive. Roland joined the Territorials just prior to the War, and like many others, volunteered for service abroad, where he has been for over twelve months. He was of a particularly lively nature, and was always a prominent figure in all the outdoor sports the village. He undoubtedly made a good soldier, and was accordingly promoted to the rank of sergeant.


MONTAGU PEARSON KILLED.—On Monday morning the news was officially confirmed of the death of Lance-Corpl Montagu Pearson (South Staffs Regiment), eldest son of Mr and Mrs W J Pearson. He was killed while fighting in France on the 1st inst. Previous to the War he had been employed at the B.T-H Works at Rugby, and enlisted from there on August 17, 1914. He took part in the operations in Gallipoli, where he was wounded on August 9, 1915. Last January he paid a short visit home. He was 23 years old. Lance-Corpl Pearson was of fine athletic build and a keen lover of sport. For several years he had done good service for the local Football Club, of which he latterly held the position of captain. He will be greatly missed by many.

THE ROLL OF HONOUR.—On Sunday the Vicar (Rev W E Ellis) made feeling reference to the three deaths which have, within the past three weeks, occurred in the ranks of our local soldiers—Rowland Evetts, Montagu Pearson, and Sutton Russell. The loss of the latter he particularly instanced as one which touched himself very keenly. From the time when a very little lad he attended the Church Schools he found Joseph Sutton Russell a very regular attendant there, and also as a member of the Church Choir. From the time of his confirmation he had always been a devout and regular communicant. The sermon was followed by the singing of Dr Neale’s hymn, “ They whose course on earth is o’er.”


KILLED IN ACTION.—News was received on Friday last week of the death in action of Pte Arthur Adams, of the Manchester “ Pals ” Regiment. Deceased, who was highly respected in Southam, was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs H Adams, of Oxford Street, was of a bright and cheery disposition. Before the War Pte Adams was a grocer in Manchester. He leaves a widow, for whom much sympathy is felt.


DAVENPORT.—On July 19th (killed in action), William Ewart, R.F.A, only son of Mr and Mrs. A. Davenport, Post Office, Harborough Magna. Aged 18 years.
“ He sleeps not in his native land.
But neath some foreign skies ;
And far from those that loved him best.
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From his loving mother, father, and sisters Jess and Della.

LENTON.—In loving memory of William Henry (Will), dearly beloved son of the late Mr. and Mrs. T. Lenton, Wood Street, who died from wounds in France, July 19,1916, aged 36 years.
“ Lord, ere I join the deadly strife,
And battles terrors dare ;
Fain would I render heart and life
To Thine Almighty care.
And when grim death in smoke wreaths robed,
Comes thundering o’er the scene,
What fear can reach a soldier’s heart
Whose trust in Thee has been.”

MANNING.—On July 11, 1916, died of wounds in France, Thomas Manning, Northants Regiment, of Braunston, beloved husband of Georgina Manning, of Leamington Spa.

SEENEY.—Killed in action in France, July 2, 1916, Signaller W. Seeney, R.W.R.,of Bourton, aged 18.
“ We loved him—oh! no tongue can tell
How much we loved him and how well ;
His fresh young life could not be saved,
And now he sleeps in a soldiers grave.”
—Deeply mourned by his loving MOTHER, SISTERS and BROTHERS.


TOMLINSON.—In loving Memory of William Tomlinson, K.R.R.’s, killed in action at Hooge, July 30,1915.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call,
His life he gave for one and all.
But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow :
None but aching hearts can know.”
-From his loving father, mother, sisters, and brothers.

PRESTON.—In loving Memory of Rifleman Jack Preston, 7th K.R.R., killed in action, July 30, 1915.
“ Somewhere in France there is a nameless grave,
Where sleeps our loved one amid the brave.
One of the rank and file, he heard the call,
And for the land he loved he gave his all.”
—Father, mother, and sisters.

REDFEARN.—In loving Memory of Rifleman Joseph Charles (Tim) Redfearn, 7th K.R.R., died of wounds, July 21, 1915.
“ Had he asked us, well we know
We should cry, ‘ O spare this blow.’
Yes, with streaming tears should pray,
‘ Lord, we love him ; let him stay.’”
—His wife and daughters, High Street, Thame.

SMITH.—In loving memory of Herbert, the dearly loved son of Frederick Smith. Killed in action in Flanders, July 30, 1915.—“ We loved you well ; God loved you best.”—FATHER, SISTER and BROTHERS.



To the Editor of the Advertiser.

SIR,—I was talking to a wounded boy of the Hampshire Regiment on the platform of Rugby Station the other day. I asked him what his wounds were ? He replied : “ My right arm is shattered, three fingers off left hand,” and he also had a large gash across one cheek. He had been at Loos, Hulluck, and Ypres ; and, as he termed it, had had the biggest part of a shell. He added : “ I am no more use, sir; but I am glad I went.” A little thing like this, I think, helps to show the spirit of our men and the stuff they are made of.—I am, yours faithfully,

July 26, 1916.

EGGS FOR WOUNDED SOLDIERS.—At Rugby Railway Mission a collection of eggs was made on Sunday afternoon, and no fewer than 250 were received, including 64 from the men working in the Locomotive Department at Rugby Station, to whom a special appeal had been made. Mr J J Thompson gave the address at the service, which was well attended, and the eggs, having been received by Mr Frank Ward, were placed in a large nest, made of hay and decorated with the national colours by Mrs Beard. The eggs were afterwards distributed between the three local Red Cross Hospitals.


The usual monthly meeting of the Executive Committee of the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund was held on Wednesday.

The Hon Secretary (Mr J R Barker) reported that to date the subscriptions amounted to £545 13s 10d, and the expenditure on food parcels &c, was £432 11s 5d, leaving a balance in hand of £113 2s 5d, sufficient for six weeks’ parcels. During the week subscriptions amounted to £18 17s 4d, including the sum of £8 3s collected at the V.T.C Sports on Saturday last. This was the first week for some time that the receipts exceeded the expenditure.

All outstanding accounts were passed for payment, and as this would be the last meeting of the financial year, the Secretary was instructed to prepare the accounts for audit, so that a balance-sheet could be issued early next month.

This week’s parcels contained ¼-lb tea, jar of marmalade, one large tin salmon, one large tin fruit, one tin of cafe au lait, one tin potted meat, one tin condensed milk, tin cocoa, tablet of soap, ¼-lb sugar.

RAILWAY CONCESSION TO MUNITION WORKERS.—For the convenience of munition workers who have to go from Rugby to Coventry in the early morning the L & N-W Railway have arranged to run a train from Rugby at 5.5 a.m, and arrive at Coventry at 5.20 a.m. It will commence on Monday, July 31st, and be continued for a fortnight to see whether the number of passengers justifies permanent running of the train.

Pearman, Arthur William. Died 29th Jul 1916

Arthur William Pearman was the son of Arthur Pearman, b.c.1858 in Ashby, Suffolk, and Eliza, née Day, Pearman, laundress and seamstress b.c.1871 in Aldeby, Norfolk. In 1901 Arthur [senior] was a ‘Woodman’, but he died in 1904, leaving Eliza widowed.

Arthur was born in late 1892 at Ashby, Suffolk; his birth was registered in Q4, 1892 at Mutford, Suffolk.

 In 1911, Arthur was 18 and still living with his family at The Doles, Ashby, Nr Lowestoft. He was an ‘Accountant Clerk’.   His elder sister and a younger brother and sister were also at home in 1911.

It seems that Arthur moved to Rugby where he took a job in the British Thompson Houston [BTH] accounting department. He enlisted in Rugby[1] as a Private, No.2991 in the 2nd/7th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

On 28 August 1914, the Warwickshire Brigade, received the official request for the Territorials to volunteer for service overseas. For many it would be a difficult decision, many of the men were skilled working-class with young families, a direct result of the drive to get companies to support the Territorial Force, often their work pay exceeded the army rate of pay. Those men who felt unable to consent, were subsequently posted to the reserve second line unit of their battalions which were being formed at home, the 2/5th, 2/6th, 2/7th and 2/8th Warwicks.[2]

2/7th Battalion was formed in Coventry in October 1914 as a second line battalion. In February 1915 it became part of 2nd Warwickshire Brigade, 2nd South Midland Division in the Northampton area.[3]   It went to the Chelmsford area in March 1915. The formation became 182nd Brigade, 61st (South Midland) Division in August 1915 and went to Salisbury Plain in March 1916. Then together with the 2/5th, 2/6th, and 2/8th Battalions it landed in France on 21 May 1916 for service on the Western Front,[4] where the formation became the 143rd Brigade of the 48th Division and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including, during 1916, the Attack at Fromelles.

Arthur W Pearman’s Medal Card does not give the date on which he went to France, but it was probably with the battalion on 21 May 1916, which agrees with there being no record of him being awarded the 1914-1915 Star.

The 48th Division sailed for France in March 1915. The outstanding features in their war experiences are their long and memorable services in the Battle of the Somme in 1916, … The Division was present as part of the VIII Corps at the Somme on 1st July, when the battle commenced, but fortunately for them they were in support that day and had an opportunity of learning from the misfortunes of the divisions in the front rank at that part of the line. The fighting 1-13 July is now designated the ‘Battle of Albert, 1916.’ About 15 July the Division was transferred to the III Corps. On 16 July the 143rd Brigade made a very fine advance in the ‘Battle of Bazentin Ridge’, and the capture of Ovillers was completed, the Division securing ground to the north and east of the village. During the ensuing fortnight the Division had constant and very heavy fighting. Pozieres was the next objective. The Australians attacked from the south on 23 July and the 48th on their left from the south-west. Both attacks were pushed home with splendid resolution and by the 29 July the 48th had secured its objectives north of the village.   On 27 July the 145th Brigade did exceptionally well. After a short rest the Division was, about l0 August, again in the line, pushing towards the ridge. A strong counter-attack was driven back on the 17 July and on the 18 July the 143rd Brigade captured a big stretch of trenches and 600 prisoners. The fighting from 23 July – 3 September is now designated the ‘Battle of Pozieres Ridge’. There were few tougher struggles in the whole course of the war.

The actual date when Arthur was wounded is not known, but it was possibly in one of these actions in the Pozieres Ridge area. However, the 7th Warwicks in 143rd Brigade were also involved in an attack on La Boiselle, having been temporarily attached to 25th Division.

At 4am on the 14th, the 7th R. Warwicks went into battle. … Half the battalion and two machine guns were to creep into No Man’s Land at 4am and consolidate, to be reinforced by the remainder at 7am. … but it already being light, 6 these troops were discovered, fired on and forced to withdraw. … at 7am, the second wave moved over the top to an already alerted enemy. The leading three platoons suffered forty-seven casualties out of one hundred and twenty before leaving the parapet. … Casualties totalled one hundred and eighteen …[5]

Arthur would have been evacuated through the aid-post and hospital system, and was taken back to England and to the Keighley War Hospital, where he died from his wounds, aged 23, on 29 July 1916. As he died in a UK hospital, his death was registered in the UK system in Q3, 1916, Keighley, Yorkshire West Riding, 9a, 203.

Arthur W Pearman was buried in the hospital’s plot at Morton Cemetery, Keighley, and he is now remembered on a Special Memorial.

There are 22 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-1918 war commemorated here on panels adjoining a Special Memorial in the form of a life size Portland Stone statue of a First World War Soldier upon a decorated podium.

In some cases, such as this, the individual burial plots in the hospital’s plot, were not sufficiently or permanently recorded, and when the CWGC came to mark the graves, there would not have been sufficient identifying evidence available, to warrant the disturbance of exhumation, unlike battlefield concentration where soldiers were generally buried in their uniform. Thus a screen wall or Special Memorial was erected.  

Individuals are commemorated in this way when their loss has been officially declared by their relevant service but there is no known burial for the individual, or in circumstances where graves cannot be individually marked, or where the grave site has become inaccessible and unmaintainable.

He is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates.

Arthur W Pearman was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.




– – – – – –


This article on Arthur W Pearman was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, July 2016.

[1]       UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, at http://www.Ancestry.co.uk..

[2]         http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/battalion.php?pid=7347

[3]         https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/units/316/royal-warwickshire-regiment/

[4]         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Warwickshire_Regiment#New_Armies

[5]       Caddick-Adams, Peter, By God They Can Fight!, A History of 143rd Infantry Brigade, 1908 to 1995, 1995.

Harrison, Alfred Abram. Died 29th Jul 1916

Alfred Abram Harrison was born in Northend/Burton Dassett, near Leamington Spa, in about 1871. He was the son of Thomas and Hannah Harrison of Northend, Leamington.

By 1891, when he was 20, he had moved to Crewe where he was in lodgings with the Moseley family at 56 Gresty Road, and working as a ‘railway porter’.   It was there that he met his future wife, Elizabeth Ann Moseley, who was then the eldest daughter of the family, aged 18.

Alfred Harrison’s Service Records exist, indeed two sets of Records exist, as he had two separate periods of military service.

There was a formal request for him to be enlisted in the ‘RE Railway Reserve’ on 22 February 1894 and he joined up on 17 August 1894, at Chester, as a Sapper No.28186, when he was 23 years and 6 months old. He was then a railway ‘fireman’, a Wesleyan, and joined the ‘2nd CRVRE’. He transferred to the Reserve the next day. He was apparently on ‘Home Service’ from 17 August 1894 to 13 March 1901.   However, it also seems that he was recalled to Army Service under Special Army Order of 20 December 1899 and then re-enlisted on 26 December 1899. The service dates may have been entered incorrectly as it suggests that he served in South Africa only from 14 March 1901 until 23 August 1901.   However, it seems that he took part in the South Africa 1899 campaign, and was awarded the Queen’s South Africa 1899 – 1902 medal and clasps for Cape Colony, Orange Free State, and South Africa 1901. He was discharged at Chatham on 21 September 1901. His next of kin was then his mother, Hannah.

In about early 1902, very soon after his return from South Africa, he married Elizabeth Ann Moseley in the Nantwich registration area. She had been born in about 1873 in Crewe, Cheshire and perhaps they had been engaged since he met when lodging at her mother’s home in the early 1890s.   They moved to Rugby and lived at 45 Claremont Road, Rugby, where in 1911 he was enumerated with his wife, and was working as an ‘Agent Oil Trade’, indeed, he was the local agent for the Anglo-American Oil Company. They had been married nine years but had had no children.

Having been in the army, Alfred signed up again on the outbreak of WWI and his ‘Army Reserve, Special Reservists, One Year’s Service’ (or the duration!) attestation papers in Rugby on 14 September 1914, showed that he had lived ‘out of his father’s house for three years continuously’, and had served in the ‘RE (Railway Reserve) time exp.’.   He re-enlisted as a Sapper, No.51892 in the 87th Field Company, Royal Engineers. He was 5foot 8½ inches tall; weighed 156lbs, with grey eyes, brown hair, and now declared that he was Church of England.

87th Field Company, The Royal Engineers joined 12th (Eastern) Division in January 1915 as the Engineers were in training at Hounslow and final training was undertaken near Aldershot from 20 February 1915. They proceeded to France between 29 May and 1 June 1915, landing at Boulogne, they concentrated near St Omer and by 6 June were in the Meteren-Steenwerck area with Divisional HQ being established at Nieppe. They underwent instruction from the more experienced 48th (South Midland) Division and took over a section of the front line at Ploegsteert Wood on 23 June 1915.[1]

Alfred Abraham Harrison’s Medal Card states that he went to France on 30 August 1915, so would have probably been serving as an engineer during the Battle of Loos.

They were in action in The Battle of Loos from 30 September, taking over the sector from Gun Trench to Hulluch Quarries consolidating the position, under heavy artillery fire. On the 8th they repelled a heavy German infantry attack and on the 13th took part in the Action of the Hohenzollern Redoubt, capturing Gun Trench and the south western face of the Hulluch Quarries. During this period at Loos, 117 officers and 3237 men of the Division were killed or wounded. By the 21st they moved to Fouquieres-les-Bethune for a short rest then returned to the front line at the Hohenzollern Redoubt until 15 November, when they went into reserve at Lillers. On 9 December, 9th Royal Fusiliers assisted in a round-up of spies and other suspicious characters in the streets of Bethune. On the 10th the Division took over the front line north of La Bassee canal at Givenchy. On 19 January they began a period of training in Open Warfare at Busnes, then moved back into the front line at Loos on 12 February 1916.[2]

Alfred’s records show that he was admitted to hospital on 29 April 1916 and discharged on 2 May 1916; he was then readmitted to 25 General Hospital on 9 May 1916 and discharged on 20 June 1916, although there was no indication on his record as whether he had been wounded or had been ill. However, his obituary[3] noted that, ‘… he had been at the front for twelve months. Some time ago he was slightly wounded, and on leaving hospital was transferred to another company, in which he had served only 15 days when he met his death’.

In June they moved to Flesselles and carried out a training exercise. They moved to Baizieux on the 30th June and went into the reserve at Hencourt and Millencourt by mid morning on the 1st of July. They relieved the 8th Division at Ovillers-la-Boisselle that night and attacked at 3.15 the following morning with mixed success. On the 7th they attacked again and despite suffering heavy casualties in the area of Mash Valley, they succeeded in capturing and holding the first and second lines close to Ovillers. They were withdrawn to Contay on the 9th July

His record confirms that on 14 July 1916, he joined ‘another company’, ?‘103 Co?’, which was it seems in the same area, Ovillers – la Boiselle. He was probably retained in the area because of his local knowledge. However, just two weeks later on 29 July 1916, he was ‘Killed in Action’, and his record stated that he was

Buried close behind British Front Line North of Ovillers – la Boiselle, Sheet 57D – X2G 2663.

It seems that his body was then lost as he is listed by the CWGC, as one of those killed or missing, on 29 July 1916 and whose body was not found or identified. He is remembered on Pier and Face 8A and 8D of the Thiepval Memorial.

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 1 August 1932.

Alfred Abraham Harrison was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was also awarded the 1915 Star. Alfred is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates.

His widow and sole legatee, Elizabeth A, received £11-10-1d on 2 October 1916, and £8-10-0d on 13 September 1919. Administration (with will), was granted at London to his widow on 14 November 1917 in the sum of £173-2-8d.




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This article on Alfred Abraham Harrison was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, July 2016.

[1]         http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/royalengineers87fldcoy-gw.php

[2]         http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/royalengineers87fldcoy-gw.php

[3]       Rugby Advertiser, 26 August 1916

Bromwich, John George. Died 29th Jul 1916

John George Bromwich was born in late 1887, in New Bilton, Rugby, Warwickshire. His father, Charles Dunkley Bromwich, a gas fitter, was born in about 1862 in Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire, but by 1881 was a widower lodging together with his son, John, with the Burdett family at 9 Victoria Street, New Bilton. His wife, John’s mother, had died in late 1890, when John was three years old. In 1901, they were still lodging with the Burdetts, but now at 21 Victoria Street, quite possibly the same house, renumbered in the Post Office’s street reordering. He was 13 and his elder brother, Frederick was working as a plumber, presumably with his gas fitter father.

John married to Eva Emily Walker of 17 Union Street, Rugby, when he was 21 and she was 18, on 8 November 1908. Their son, Wilfred George Bromwich, was born on 27 January 1910.

In 1911, John was aged 23 and living with his wife and son at 11 Union Street, Rugby. He was a ‘turncock’ for the Urban Council. In the 1911 census, Eva appears twice: at her married home as Eva Bromwich; and at her parents’ home, 21 Union Street, as Eva Walker!   Whilst she had been 18 when she married in late 1908, she was now apparently aged 19 in early 1911!

John joined the 16th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment as a Private, No.14531. He joined up in August 1915 as noted in the Rugby Advertiser of 28 August 1915.

As with the 14th and 15th Battalions, the 16th (Service)(3rd Birmingham) Battalion was raised in September 1914 by the Lord Mayor and a local committee, from men volunteering in Birmingham. These units were additionally entitled 1st, 2nd and 3rd City of Birmingham Battalions, and were known as The Birmingham Pals.

The 16th Battalion went to Malvern in March 1915; then to Wensleydale; and after training, on 26 June 1915 they came under command of 95th Brigade, 32nd Division, and went to Codford, Salisbury Plain on August 1915.

John’s Medal Card provides little information except his regiment, rank and number and his entitlement to the Victory and British War Medals.

The Brigade, and it is assumed John Bromwich, landed at Boulogne on 21 November 1915, and on 26 [or 28] December 1915, transferred to 15th Brigade, 5th Division. On 14 January 1916 they transferred to 13th Brigade[1] still with 5th Division. In March 1916, 5th Division took over a section of front line between St Laurent Blangy, just east of Arras and the southern edge of Vimy Ridge, just north. In July 1916 they moved some 50 miles south to reinforce the Somme and were in action in the ‘Subsidiary attacks’ at High Wood, some four miles east of Albert, from 20-25 July 1916.[2]

The limited information available can be used to deduce something of John’s final days. The dates and locations suggest that he was wounded during the Battle for High Wood between 20 and 25 July. He was obviously badly wounded, but was stable enough to be evacuated, probably by hospital train, to a base hospital at Rouen, some 100 miles behind the front line.

During the First World War, Commonwealth camps and hospitals were stationed on the southern outskirts of Rouen. A base supply depot and the 3rd Echelon of General Headquarters were also established in the city. Almost all of the hospitals at Rouen remained there for practically the whole of the war. They included eight general, five stationary, one British Red Cross, one labour hospital, and No.2 Convalescent Depot. The great majority of the dead from these hospitals were taken to the city cemetery of St. Sever.[3]

He ‘died of wounds’ on 29 July 1916 and was buried in Grave Reference: B. 37. 7. at the St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen. This was in the original cemetery, by September 1916, some time after John’s death, it was necessary to begin an extension. St. Sever Cemetery now contains 3,082 Commonwealth burials of the First World War; the Extension contains a further 8,348 Commonwealth burials.

John George Bromwich does not appear to be closely related to Frederick Bromwich who is also commemorated on the War Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby.




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This article on John George Bromwich was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, May 2015.

[1]       There seems to be some inconsistency in the various accounts, between the 15th and 13th Brigade;

[2]       16th Batt. RWR info: http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com; http://battlefields1418.50megs.com/regiment012.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_battle_for_the_Battle_of_the_Somme.

[3]       http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/16900/ST.%20SEVER%20CEMETERY,%20ROUEN.

Allso, Percival Allen. Died 27th Jul 1916

Percival Allen was born September Qtr 1894 in Stratford London. The son of  Ernest Alfred Allso and Emily Jane Allen who married December Qtr 1886 in Bethnal Green London.

Percy Allen Allso

Percy Allen Allso

Percival was one of 6 surviving children, by 1911 the family were living at 7 Bridge Street Rugby, Percival was now age 17 years of age and working as a solicitor’s clerk.

Lance Corporal Percival Allen Allso. No. 252   served in 16th Bn Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was granted 3 Medals; Victory Medal, British Medal & 15 Star for action in Flanders France. Stated as “Killed in Action” on 27th July 1916 aged 22 years of age. Burial place, Department de la Somme, Picardie , France.

He is remembered on Thievpal Memoral & Rugby Memorial Gates.