While researching the stories of the soldiers listed on Datchet’s WWI memorial on the village green, we discovered more than 30 other soldiers who are not commemorated. This is not a definitive list, there will most likely be others we have yet to discover as more records become available. Eleven of these men fit the actual criteria used for including names on the memorial. Their names will be added in 2018, for the centenary commemorations of the armistice. (Click here to read more about the criteria used to decide whether or not to commemorate a soldier on the memorial.)
A red asterisk indicates a soldier whose name will be added to the memorial.
*Joseph Robert Albon, 1887-1914
Rifleman, Royal Irish Rifles
Remenham Villa, 6 Queens Road
Joseph, a navvy’s son, was born in London. In 1901, age 14, he was working as an office boy but by 1911 he had joined the Army as Rifleman 7880 in the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles. At some point after his father’s death in 1906, his mother, Sophia, took a live-in job as a housekeeper for Doctor Norman Glegg in Queens Road. Datchet is listed as his home in Joseph’s army records (SDGW).
Joseph’s battalion arrived in France on 13 August 1914, soon after the war broke out. Just over two months later, on 25 October 1914, he was killed in action at Neuve Chapelle. He is remembered, along with 13,416 other men who have no known grave, at Le Touret Memorial in France.
He is perhaps not listed on Datchet’s Memorial because he had not spent much time in the village, although other men who hadn’t really lived here are listed. Or perhaps his mother was no longer working for Dr Glegg in the village, when names were being collected for the memorial? His home was Datchet when he enlisted which, according to the original criteria, would qualify him for inclusion on the memorial.
Stephen Henry Argar, 1897-1915
Driver, Royal Field Artillery
Billeted in Datchet
Stephen, from Folkestone, was a driver in the 2nd Home Counties Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery which was billeted in the village for a while. In May 1915, during the last few days that the troops were here, Stephen went out with two other soldiers in a skiff on the Thames at Datchet. Their boat struck something in the river and tilted at a dangerous angle. One man jumped overboard and swam ashore but the other two were thrown into the water. Stephen clung to the rudder but was swept away and sank. Three women rowed over to help, and two men dived in but couldn’t find him. Eventually his body was found and, after an inquest, he was buried here with full military honours.
Stephen’s was probably the first military funeral the village had seen in a generation. His coffin was placed on the gun carriage he used to drive and his brigade, lined up along Horton Road, fell in behind the funeral procession.
Stephen is not listed on the memorial as he had no other connection with Datchet. He was in Datchet temporarily while his Brigade was billeted here. His headstone in Datchet’s cemetery was funded by the War Graves Commission.
Noel Armitage, 1881-1918
Lieutenant, Household Cavalry
2 The Avenue
Noel was among the Datchet men in the Roll of Honour printed in the Windsor & Eton Express, January 1915. He was born in Altrincham, and was a partner in a cotton-manufacturing business. He married Alice Marion Cox in 1907 and they lived in Cheshire with their children. He enlisted in 1914 as a Private in the Cheshire Yeomanry and later became a Lieutenant in the Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line, Scottish Horse Battalion. He was killed in action on 25 April 1918 and was buried at Morbecque British Cemetery, France.
Noel’s mother-in-law, Mrs Catherine Cox, lived in Datchet. In 1911 the census records Mrs Cox in The Avenue with her son and her granddaughter, Elizabeth Armitage. Her husband, Henry Cox, was recorded in Louth, Lincolnshire. He was listed as a church clerk and head of the household. Their daughter, Alice Marion Armitage, was staying with him.
Mrs Cox may have put Noel’s name forward for inclusion in the local paper, alongside that of her son, Oswald Cox. Mrs Cox was closely involved with the war effort and had rented out her home to house some of the Belgian refugees in the village. Noel has no other connection with Datchet, as far as we are aware, and his parents and wife didn’t live here: we assume this is why he is not listed on Datchet’s Memorial.
*Edward Albert Ashton, 1894-1915
Private, London Regiment
Welley, Datchet Common
Edward was born in Wexham and had four younger brothers. His family clearly fell on hard times. In the 1911 census, his father, a gardener, was homeless, and living in the open air at Dorney. Edward and one of his brothers were living at Tyndale House, a home for working boys in Chelsea. Edward had a job as a porter for a picture cleaner. Sometime after 1911, his parents moved to Welley.
When Edward enlisted in the 1/7th London Regiment, he was living in Westminster. He was killed in action at Loos on 25 September 1915. He has no known grave and is remembered with more than 20,000 others at Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records that Edward was the son of Edward and Alice Ashton of Welley, Datchet Common. As Datchet was his family home, Edward should be a candidate for inclusion on the memorial.
*Percival John Barrott, 1888-1914
Stoker 1st Class, Royal Navy
Meadow View, Welley
Percival was born in Horton. In early 1911, he was living with his mother, Johanna, and brother, Brian, at Welley, Datchet. He had three other brothers, James, Albert and Jack. All five men fought in WWI.
Percy married in May 1911, moved to Maida Vale in London and started a family. He joined the Royal Navy as Stoker 1st Class SS/103275 aboard HMS Aboukir. He was killed in action on 22 September 1914 when his ship was hit by a torpedo from a German U-Boat in the North Sea. He is remembered at Chatham Naval Memorial.
Percy’s brothers all survived but only one of them, Jack, who had also joined the Navy before WWI, is remembered on Datchet’s War Roll. Percy isn’t remembered on Datchet’s War Roll or Memorial perhaps because he had married and left the area but there are other men, who had done the same and who are remembered on the memorial because their families still lived in the village. His mother and brother, Brian, remained here throughout their lives. For this reason, we consider Percival to be a candidate for inclusion on Datchet’s War Memorial.
Gilbert Arthur Bigg (Scott), 1897-1917
Private, Royal Field Artillery
Gilbert Scott was born in Croydon. He enlisted, as Gilbert Bigg, in Datchet in March 1915 and was declared fit by the local doctor, Norman Glegg. (Bigg was the name of his mother’s partner.)
It wasn’t until December 1915, when Gilbert was in Croydon War Hospital, that it was discovered he had deserted from the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment in February and had fraudulently joined the Royal Field Artillery in Datchet a month later. He was let off the charge on condition he paid for the equipment and clothing he’d received from the Queen’s Regiment.
On 14 August 1917, he was shot in the wrist and died later the same day. He was buried at Adinkerke British Cemetery in Belgium, and is listed in the Croydon Roll of Honour.
Gilbert must have been in Datchet for about a month. What was his connection with Datchet? Why was he here? There was another Croydon man in Datchet at the time, Hamilton Lisney, who was managing a grocery shop. The Lisneys lived close to the Biggs/Scotts in Croydon. This could just be a coincidence, or perhaps the men knew each other?
Philip L. Kington Blair-Oliphant, 1867-1918
Lieutenant Colonel, Royal Irish Rifles
Datchet Lodge, corner of Windsor Road & High Street
Philip Laurence Kington Blair-Oliphant came from a minor Scottish aristocratic family. They moved to Datchet around 1861 and Philip and his four sisters were born here.
In the 1891 census, Philip, by then Lieutenant Colonel, 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade, was head of the household at Datchet Lodge, living with three unmarried sisters, and a complement of maids and servants. He remained in the village until the late 1890s. He married in 1901 and had at least four children.
He fought in WWI with the 11th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and received the DSO. He died of his wounds in April 1918, age 50, and was buried at St Sever Cemetery, Rouen.
Philip’s family had lived in Datchet from around 1861. He was born here and lived in Datchet for about 30 years. Although he was living here when he joined the army, he was not here at the outbreak of war and no longer had family in the village. This explains why he is not remembered on the War Memorial.
*William James Bowery, 1875-1918
Driver, Army Services Corps
William was born into a large family in Datchet. He appears to have been brought up by his grandparents at Chaloner Row (a row of tiny, overcrowded tenements behind Astracot on Horton Road). He joined the military in 1894 and served in the Boer War. Hardly a year went by without him being punished for committing some sort of misdemeanour, from refusing to get out of bed to breaking out of barracks.
Back home in Datchet, he was charged more than once with drunkenness and assault. He stayed with his sister sometimes (at Wilton Cottages, Green Lane) but seems to have had no real home of his own. At one point he was arrested for ‘lodging in the open air without any visible means of subsistence’.
William was recalled in 1914 and became a Driver in the Army Service Corps, serving in France, Egypt, Dardanelles and Salonika. He became seriously ill in April 1918 and was invalided home. He died in hospital in Chelsea and was buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey. He isn’t listed on Datchet’s Memorial. This may possibly be because his sister had moved to Old Windsor and wasn’t aware that a Memorial was going to be erected. He is considered to be a candidate for inclusion on the memorial because his home was in Datchet when he enlisted.
Jehu John (James) Boxall, 1882-1917
Scots Guards (1899-1911)
Buried in Datchet Cemetery
John/James was born in West Chiltington, West Sussex. He was a groom before he joined the Scots Guards in 1899. His military records indicate that he was discharged later that year “having been convicted by civil power of an offence committed before enlistment”. He appears to have returned to the army and served during the Boer War. He was awarded the Queen’s Medal with clasps. He married Margaret Corns in Larkhall, in 1903 and left the Army in 1911.
John and his older brother, Fred, are buried in the same grave in Datchet cemetery. Fred fell ill and died in hospital in the UK. He was given a full military funeral in Datchet and a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) headstone. The local newspaper reported that his mother and brothers, Ernest, William and Percy, came from Sussex for the funeral.
According to Datchet Parish Magazine, in an article headed ‘Died of Wounds’, ‘James’ died at Eton Wick and was buried in his brother’s grave in Datchet on 17 August 1917 without a headstone or inscription. The article adds, intriguingly, that the funeral was ‘kindly taken by one of the Slough clergy who came over for the purpose, at considerable personal inconvenience‘.
John’s burial record in Datchet Cemetery, below, indicates that he “died on HMS”, presumably His Majesty’s Service. So far, we have been unable to find any military records relating to his service in WWI.
John had been living at Castle View Villas, Eton Wick; this was also the address Fred gave when he enlisted in 1915. Neither man appears to have had a strong connection with Datchet. Fred’s wife moved to Green Lane after Fred joined up which explains why Fred is remembered on Datchet’s War Memorial. (There were other Boxalls in Green Lane who may have been distantly related.)
If he died of wounds sustained during the war, why doesn’t John have a CWGC headstone in the cemetery when his brother does? When and where was he wounded? Which regiment was he serving with? The only military records we’ve found so far are the Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Soldier Service Records which refer to his earlier, pre-WWI service in the Scots Guards.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has suggested that either John did not die in military service, or died after being discharged of an injury or illness unrelated to military service in WWI, or his death met the qualifying criteria for inclusion in the CWGC’s records as a war casualty but his details were not passed to the CWGC by the Service Authorities at the time.
This gives the cause of death as a cerebral tumour that Jehu John Boxall had had for about 18 months. It seems he also suffered convulsions for five hours and was in a coma for two hours. His brother, Alfred Ernest Boxall was present at his death. There is nothing that confirms he died of wounds received in WWI, although his family may well have believed that the brain tumour was a result of his military service. Although Jehu John meets some of the family criteria for inclusion on the memorial, we have found no evidence of his service in WWI.
Alexander Stuart Brown, 1891-1915
Private, Royal Fusiliers
Double Cottages, Home Park
Alexander’s death is recorded on Datchet’s War Roll with a † symbol, so he was known to the War Memorial Committee, but he is not remembered on the Memorial.
Alexander was born in Windsor in 1891. His family worked at the Royal Gardens (referred to as Royal Gardens, Datchet, in his records). In 1901 they were living at Double Cottages, on the Windsor Castle side of the river, opposite Datchet High Street.
Alexander enlisted before WWI. He had been serving in India but was sent to the Front in December 1914, with the 3rd Battalion Royal Fusiliers. His name was printed with those of other Datchet men in the War Roll in the Windsor & Eton Express in January 1915. Soon after, he was reported missing in action but it wasn’t until several months later that it was confirmed he had been killed just a few weeks after he’d arrived at the Front.
Even though his family lived so close to Datchet and may have been known in the village, Alexander is not listed on Datchet’s War Memorial. This is possibly because, strictly speaking, his family lived in Windsor. He is remembered, however, on the memorial on Windsor High Street.
*Fred Colbourne, 1890-1918
Private, Machine Gun Corps
6 New Road
Fred was born in Datchet and grew up here. He was a choir boy at St Mary’s and joined the Church Lads’ Brigade. As an adult, he was well-known as the clerk in the L&SW Railway parcel office in Windsor where he worked for 14 years. He married in 1915 and moved to Boveney where he had a son. His mother, a widow, had also been born in Datchet. She worked as a laundress. In 1925 she was living at 3 Elizabeth Place, Ditton Road.
Fred asked to be released from his work (railway workers were usually exempt from service) and in mid-October 1918 he joined the Machine Gun Corps. Very shortly after enlisting, probably during his training, he caught flu and died in the camp hospital at Rugeley on 1 November 1918, just days before the end of the war. He was buried at Eton Wick and is remembered on the Memorial Gates, Eton.
Fred’s death was reported in Datchet’s Parish Magazine at the same time as George Slade’s. Both men were not living in the Parish when they joined up but were ‘closely connected with us’, it said. George wasn’t born in Datchet, as Fred was, but he had lived here and his family worked at Leigh House. George, like Fred, had married and left the village. George is remembered on Datchet’s War Memorial but Fred isn’t.
As Fred was born here, had lived here, and had family here, he should be considered for inclusion on the war memorial. He had married and moved away but so had others who are remembered on the memorial. There are also others who died of flu rather than being killed in action.
Bombadier, Royal Field Artillery
Who was Henry Davis? His name is listed on Datchet’s War Roll, with a † symbol to indicate that he died, but he is not remembered on the Memorial. This suggests that a decision was made not to list him, for whatever reason.
Henry enlisted as a Bombadier in the Royal Field Artillery, according to the War Roll printed in the Windsor & Eton Express in January 1915 but we haven’t yet been able to find a record of his death.
He was one of three Datchet Davises – Charles, George and Henry – who are listed on Datchet’s own War Roll. Charles and George were brothers who lived on Southlea Road, sons of John Davis. His other sons were William and John, not Henry.
We’ve found Henry Davises living in the area but without another clue, we can’t connect them to Datchet. If you have any information you could share with us, please do let us know.
Frederick Richard G. Dray 1897-1917
Private, Machine Gun Corps
Green Lane and Horton Road
Fred was a butcher’s son, born in Datchet. His family lived in Green Lane but by 1911 they had moved to Woodland Villas on Horton Road. Fred went to school here then joined the GWK car company in Holmlea Road. He moved with GWK to its Cordwallis works in Maidenhead around 1914. When he joined up in 1915, he was living with his family in Maidenhead.
Fred joined the Royal Berkshire Yeomanry and later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry). He was killed in action in Palestine in November 1917 and buried at Jerusalem War Cemetery. The Windsor & Eton Express reported Fred’s death in its Datchet news: “He was the second son of Mr and Mrs Dray who for many years resided here. The deceased was of a bright and happy disposition and had good abilities. …/… Of Mr Dray’s other boys, two are in the Army and his daughter is at an Aeroplane Works.”
Fred was born here, went to school and worked here. It is thought that he is not remembered on the War Memorial as he was not living in the village when he enlisted and his family had moved away.
*Harry George Finch, 1882-1918
Private, East Kent Regiment
13 Talbots Cottages, Holmlea Road
Harry was born and grew up in Datchet. His father, a gardener and later a carman, died in 1905 but his mother, a laundress, remained at Talbots Cottages until at least 1920 if not until her death in 1931. After school, Harry worked in the grocery trade. He started as a grocer’s porter in Staines, and by 1911 he was managing a grocer’s shop in Maidstone, Kent. He married Ellen Cooker in 1911.
Harry later moved to Rochester where he enlisted in the 6th (The Buffs) East Kent Regiment. He was killed in action in April 1918, age 36. He was originally buried in Hennecourt Wood Cemetery then moved to Ribemont Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme. His death was reported in the Windsor & Eton Express, linked to Datchet Common.
Although Harry was born in Datchet, went to school and had family here, he had later married and moved away. This perhaps explains why he is not listed on the War Memorial. There are other Datchet men though, such as George Slade, Ernest Clifford and William Wilkins, who did the same but who are listed on the Memorial because they still had family here. Perhaps Harry should be remembered too?
Edward Frederick John T. Gregory, 1888-1916
Private, Royal Berkshire Regiment
Goodwin Cottages, Slough Road
Edward was a cowman’s son born in Datchet. His family moved around a lot. In 1891, they were in Upton-cum-Chalvey but, by 1901, when Edward was 12, they were back in Datchet, at 1 Goodwin Cottages. By 1911 Edward had joined the military and was in India with the Royal Berkshire Regiment, and his family had moved again to Slough.
In WWI, Edward saw action with the 2nd Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales, Royal Berkshire Regiment. He died of his wounds in July 1916 and is remembered at Thiepval Memorial. His mother’s last known address was in Caversham.
Although Edward was born in Datchet and had lived here for a few years, and was in Datchet when he enlisted, his family had moved away before the war broke out. This explains why he was not remembered on the memorial.
Arthur Percy Hancock, 1885-1914
Lance Corporal, Royal Berkshire Regiment
Talbots Cottages, Holmlea Road
Arthur was born in Datchet, as were his parents and grandparents, and he lived at Talbots Cottages. He doesn’t appear to have lived here very long. Between 1886-1891 his family moved to Slough, although his grandparents remained in Datchet. In 1901 Arthur had a job as an assistant at a furniture dealer’s.
By 1911, Arthur and his brother Walter had joined the army. They served in India and Egypt. Another brother, Alfred, had fought in South Africa. All three were born in Datchet.
When Arthur left the military, he worked as a porter for the Great Western Railway Company in Slough. He joined up again in WWI. He enlisted in Maidenhead and, at the time, was living in Slough. He became a Lance Corporal in the 1st Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales, Royal Berkshire Regiment. He was killed in action on 25 October 1914. He is remembered at Ypres, Menin Gate and on the memorial at St Mary’s Slough.
Arthur is not remembered on Datchet’s war memorial because, although he was born in the village, he didn’t live here long and he had no close family (wife, parents) living here.
Seymour Frederick Auckland Albert Hurt, 1879-1914
The Priory, The Green
Seymour and his three brothers were listed in the Datchet War Roll in the Windsor & Eton Express in January 1915, by which time Seymour had already lost his life. He had joined the military in 1899 after leaving Harrow, and went to the Front in September 1914 as a Captain with the Royal Fusiliers. He was killed during the First Battle of Ypres in October 1914. He is described in De Ruvigny’s as: “a keen sportsman, devoting himself to polo, pig-sticking and big game shooting while in India where he served the greater part of his time”.
Seymour’s mother, Mrs Alice Hurt, nee Delmé-Radcliffe, came to the village after 1905 and left before 1915. During that time, Seymour was already in the military and may have visited her here but the family seat was in Derbyshire. Alice was a committee member of the Datchet Nurse Fund in 1911 and may have been well known locally.
Although Seymour was linked to Datchet in the local paper in 1915, he is not remembered on the Memorial or the War Roll. This is probably because he wasn’t born here, hadn’t gone to school here, and no longer had family here.
Alfred Raymond Jenkins, 1895-1916
Guardsman, Grenadier Guards
Can you help us find out more about Alfred Jenkins?
He was listed on Datchet’s War Roll in the local paper in January 1915 so he must have had some link with the village. As yet we don’t know what that is. Alfred was born in Pirton, Herts. Before the war, he worked on the railway in Hitchin. He fought with the 2nd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards and died in September 1916. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and on memorials in Pirton and Hitchin. Alfred was single so he wasn’t connected to the village through marriage. Perhaps his work with the railway brought him here?
There is an Albert Jenkins on Datchet’s War Roll but he hasn’t been found either. He’s not Alfred’s brother but he may have been related, or was he mistakenly recorded as Albert instead of Alfred?
Although Alfred was listed among Datchet’s soldiers in 1915, perhaps he was not commemorated on the Memorial because he had no close family here to remember him.
Edgar Kynnersley Jenkins, 1891-1916
Captain, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
Edgar was born in Paddington, London, one of three children. His father, Edward, a solicitor born in India, died in 1898. His mother then married Edward Jeudwine and in 1901 the family was living in Staines and Edgar was attending Northaw Place, a residential prep school in Hatfield. In 1902 his thirteen-year-old sister, Ivy, died.
From around 1907, Edgar’s family home was The Cedars where his mother and step-father remained until sometime between 1911 and 1916. Edgar was in Datchet with his family for the 1911 census and recorded as a 2nd Lieutenant so it seems probable that he joined the Army straight after school. According to Wisden, he was a well-known regimental cricketer. By the time WWI broke out, he was married and living in Hampshire.
Although Edgar was living in Datchet when he joined the army, he had married and moved away by 1914. He doesn’t appear to have had any family in the village when the memorial was erected. He is remembered alongside his father and sister on a plaque at St Andrew’s Church, Wroxeter. The inscription reads: In ever devoted memory of … Edward Kynnersley Jenkins, 19th Hussars and 2nd Duke of Cornwall’s L.I., born 18th March 1891, died of wounds 23rd September 1916 on the Salonica Front. Edgar is buried at Struma Military Cemetery. He is also remembered at Pyrford, Woking.
John (Jack) Edward Keighley, 1896-1916
Rifleman, London Regiment
Datchet address unknown
Jack was born in Bradford but, according to military records (SDGW), he was living in Datchet when he enlisted. He is also listed among the Datchet men in the Windsor & Eton Express Roll of Honour published on 12 June 1915.
He was a Rifleman in the 1/5th London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade). He went missing in action and his death was presumed on or around 1 July 1916. He is remembered at Thiepval Memorial, Somme.
Although Jack’s military records and the Windsor & Eton Express list him as a Datchet resident, his name does not appear on Datchet’s own War Roll or on the Memorial. He is not listed on the 1911 census in Datchet or in local directories. We have not yet been able to find his connection with the village. If you are able to help, please get in touch.
Guy Ernest Lascelles, 1898-1918
Lieutenant, Rifle Brigade
Remenham Villa and Inniscrone, Queens Road
Guy and his sister were both born in Datchet. Their family lived in Queens Road from around 1897 to 1903, first at Remenham Villa and then at Inniscrone House. By 1911 the family had moved to Cranbourne.
Guy went to Scaitcliffe School (now Bishopgate) then Eton, from where he was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in November 1917 and sent to France in January with the Rifle Brigade. He died on 24 March 1918 at Pargny, Somme, and is believed to be buried at Pargny British Cemetery.
His father, Ernest, who worked at the Stock Exchange, also served and was mentioned in despatches. He attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel of the 10th Service Battalion Rifle Brigade, and was Commandant of the Command Depot, Heaton Park, Manchester. He was appointed Officer, Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in 1919.
Neither man is remembered on Datchet’s War Roll. Guy is not listed on the War Memorial as he and his family had left the village before the war.
*Hamilton Pevor Lisney, 1889-1915
Lance Corporal, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Address not known
Hamilton came from Croydon but was living and working in Datchet before the war. He was the manager of one of the village’s grocery shops so was probably well known here. He enlisted a few weeks after war was declared but he is not remembered on Datchet’s War Roll, or on the WWI Memorial. We discovered his connection with Datchet from the Croydon Roll of Honour.
Hamilton became Lance Corporal, 16730, of the 5th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (OBLI). He went to France in May 1915 and was killed later that year, age 27, on 25 September 1915. He is remembered at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. His brother George was also killed in action.
Hamilton is probably not remembered on Datchet’s memorial because he had no family living here. He does, however, fulfil the original criteria set by the War Memorial Committee, that a man should be living in the village when he enlisted.
*William Powis Love, 1898-1918
Private, Royal Fusiliers
Railway Cottages, High Street
William’s parents, Robert and Fanny Love, arrived in Datchet around 1895. Robert worked on the railway here and they lived at Railway Cottages. After Fanny died in 1900, Robert remarried. He died in 1911 and was buried alongside Fanny in Datchet Cemetery.
Three of their sons, Thomas, Joseph and William, fought in WWI. (Thomas was mentioned in dispatches.) William, the youngest of the three, was born in the village and would have gone to school here. He must have signed up as soon as he was old enough. His military records (SDGW) indicate that he was resident in Peckham Rye when he enlisted in Maidstone. In May 1916, he was fighting with The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment. He later transferred to the Royal Fusiliers. He was killed on the Somme in August 1918 and was buried at Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery.
William is remembered in an inscription on his parents’ grave in Datchet cemetery, which was probably commissioned by his brother Thomas. Datchet was his home village, where he was born, went to school and spent most of his short life, which makes him a candidate for inclusion on the memorial.
*Joseph Powis Love, 1892-1919
Staff Sergeant, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Railway Cottages, High Street
Joseph was born in Battersea. He moved to Datchet, with his parents and older brother Thomas, around 1895. His father worked on the railway and they lived at Railway Cottages. Another brother, William, was born in the village in 1898, and both Joseph and William would have gone to school here. All three boys served in WWI; only Thomas survived.
Joseph joined the 1st Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, the same battalion as his brother Thomas who was later held as a prisoner of war. Joseph served in India, was attached to His Excellency The Governor of Bombay’s bands, and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant. He died in November 1919 in Malta on his way home from India for six months’ leave. He was buried in a military grave on the island.
At the end of the war, the British Army had nearly four million soldiers to demobilise so it was impossible for them all to go home at once though most had returned home by the end of 1919. There were also peacetime obligations to fulfil so soldiers of the regular army remained until their period of service was complete. The fact that Joseph was coming home on leave suggests that he had joined the regular army before the war.
Although brothers Joseph and William grew up in the village and went to school here, neither is remembered on the War Roll or Memorial. This was possibly because their parents had died and their brother Thomas was not in the village to put their names forward. (Thomas was listed on Datchet’s 1918 Absent Voters List. He didn’t return home until December 1919 and then was living in Clapham with his wife and three children.) There is, however, an inscription in their memory on their parents’ grave in Datchet cemetery, see photograph above, which was probably commissioned by Thomas. The inscription dedicated to Joseph says that he died ‘on active service’.
Joseph died after peace was declared but there is at least one other Datchet soldier, Ronald Stanley, who died of flu on active service in 1919 after the end of the war and who is remembered on Datchet’s war memorial. Joseph is also listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.
Charles Richard Menday, 1885-1918
Private, Army Services Corps
Charles came to our attention because his military records indicate that he was born in Datchet. He lived here for the first six years of his life. His father was a railway plate layer. Around 1891, the family moved to Mortlake.
Charles married in 1907 and had two children. The 1911 census shows him as a yeast merchant’s salesman, still living in Mortlake. By 1917, when he enlisted, he was a bus driver at Palmers Green.
Charles enlisted at Wood Green and joined the Military Transport section of the Army Services Corps. He was killed by enemy aircraft on 3 September 1918 and buried at Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France. Soon after his death, his young daughter, Elizabeth, died from flu, pneumonia and heart failure.
Charles lived only for a short time in the village, and had no close family here, which explains why he is not remembered on Datchet’s War Memorial. He is commemorated on the WWI Memorial at Palmers Green Bus Garage. And, for a reason as yet undiscovered, his name is listed on the War Memorial of St Mary’s Wexham. Did he perhaps drive the bus to Slough?
Thomas Herbert Miller, 1891-1916
Private, Canadian Infantry
Talbots Cottages, Holmlea Road
Thomas and his brother were born in Bermondsey but his two elder sisters were born in Datchet and his mother’s family lived here. After his mother’s death in 1897, they moved to Horsemoor Green. In 1903, their father married a widow with four children, some of whom were born in Datchet, and they had at least three more children.
Possibly due to the crowded household, Thomas moved to Datchet. He was living with his uncle, Walter Stewart, at Talbot’s Cottages in 1911, and working as a gardener. At some point he emigrated to Canada where he worked as a trackman. His brother and sisters emigrated to Australia.
In June 1915, Thomas joined the 26th Battalion Canadian Infantry (New Brunswick Regiment), listing his next of kin as his sister in Sydney. He was killed in action in March 1916 and is remembered at La Laiterie cemetery, Belgium. His death was reported in the Windsor & Eton Express which noted that he was ‘formerly of Datchet’.
Horace Leonard Mount, 1892-1916
Private, Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps
Branxholme, 39 Montagu Road
Horace was born in Datchet and would have gone to school here before his family moved to Sutton, Surrey, around 1899. In 1911, Horace was still living at home in Sutton and working as a shop assistant in the seed trade.
He had a much older brother, Henry, born in Battersea in 1874, who was married with a family and was living in Wooburn Green when war broke out. Henry was killed in action at Givenchy on 1 July 1915. A week later, Horace arrived in France. He had enlisted with the 45th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps. Horace was gassed and died in August 1916.
Horace’s father, Henry Mount, a builder and carpenter, was the brother of Edward Mount whose step-son, Albert Ball, is remembered on Datchet’s War Memorial. This suggests that his family were aware that names were being collected for Datchet’s War Roll but that Horace didn’t meet the criteria for inclusion because his family had moved away. (Horace’s sister kept this photograph of her much-loved brother at the top of her stairs for the rest of her life.)
Charles Christopher Pannell 1899-1917
Private, London Regiment
Charles’ military records indicate that he was resident in Datchet when he enlisted in Slough but we have no evidence of him in the village and don’t know where he was living or working. He was born in West Dean, the son of William Christopher and Mary Alice Pannell. In the 1901 census, age 2, he was living in the Guildford area. In 1911, he was in Lavant, Chichester. His father was a porter and his elder brother was a carpenter’s apprentice. Perhaps Charles had taken up an apprenticeship in the village? He is commemorated at Cambrai Memorial, Louveral, and remembered on the memorial in East Lavant.
Herbert Provins, 1890-1915
Private, Hampshire Regiment
Norfolk Villa and Rothsay, Montagu Road
Three Provins boys, Herbert, Alexander and Arthur, were all born in Datchet and all served in WWI. Only Alexander survived. The boys lived in Montagu Road with their mother, a lodging-house keeper, and their grandmother. Their father was a butler who had worked at Leigh House, Datchet, but by 1901 was working in Rogate, Sussex.
The boys’ mother died in late 1902, age 45. It’s not known what happened to the boys then, or when they left the village. Their father remarried in 1910 and in 1911 he was living with his new wife in Woking, Surrey, running The Dorothy Dining Rooms there. Arthur, 13, was living with them. Alexander, 18, was in Arundel, Sussex, working as an ironmonger’s apprentice. And Herbert, 21, had a job as an ironmonger’s shop assistant in Darwen, Lancashire.
When Herbert enlisted in Winchester, he gave his address as Woking. He joined the 1st Battalion Hampshire Regiment. He was killed in action on 13 May 1915 and is remembered at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, and on the Woking Town Memorial.
It is assumed that Herbert is not remembered in Datchet because his family had moved away several years before the war.
Arthur Edward Provins, 1897-1916
Able Seaman, Royal Navy
Norfolk Villa and Rothsay, Montagu Road
Arthur and his older brothers, Herbert and Alexander, were all born in Datchet. They lived in Montagu Road with their mother and grandmother who ran a lodging house. Their father was a butler who had worked at Leigh House, Datchet, but by 1901 was working in Rogate, Sussex.
At some point after their mother’s death in 1902, the boys left the village. Their father remarried in 1910 and in 1911 he was living in Woking, Surrey, running The Dorothy Dining Rooms with his new wife. Arthur was living with them but his two older brothers had left home.
Arthur joined the Navy in 1912. From September 1913, he was serving on board HMS Queen Mary. There were two other Datchet men on board (George Aldred and John Bettles) and the ship’s commander was the vicar’s nephew, Robert Harman Llewellyn. They all died on 31 May 1916 at Jutland when their ship was hit and their magazines exploded, resulting in the loss of more than 1200 men. Arthur is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, on the Woking Town Memorial, and memorials at Christ Church, Coign Baptist Church and Maybury School, Woking.
It is assumed that Arthur is not remembered in Datchet because his family had moved away several years before the war.
The Honourable Keith Anthony Stewart, 1894-1915
Lieutenant, Royal Highlanders
Datchet address unknown
Keith was born here. He was the son of Randolph Henry Stewart, 11th Earl of Galloway (from 1901). The family seat was Galloway House, Garlieston, Scotland, and they had a house in London. So how did Keith come to be born in Datchet? His father appears from time to time in the local press: attending society events; as the executor of Lady Otho Fitzgerald of Oakley Court; he had a boat on the Thames; and was one of the army officers who set up Temple Golf Course in Hurley in 1909. He clearly had connections in the area but we have not yet found a direct connection with Datchet. It is thought that Keith might possibly have been born in the maternity home at what is now 59 Montagu Road
Keith was educated at Warren Hill in Eastbourne, then Harrow and Sandhurst. He was gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant in his father’s old regiment, the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), on 12 August 1914, and was promoted to Lieutenant in November. He was killed in action at Aubers Ridge during the Battle of Festubert on 9 May 1915. He was buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France, and is remembered on four memorials in Scotland including one erected by his parents.
*Arthur Stewart, 1888-1917
Private, Pioneer Battalon, Australian Imperial Force
Elder Tree Cottage, High Street
Scottish-born Arthur had emigrated to Australia and was living in Queensland, working as a ‘motorman’ (the driver of a train or tram). He enlisted in June 1916 with the Australian Imperial Force, and sailed back to the UK, arriving in Plymouth on 10 January 1917. Just a few months later, on 29 April, he married Annie Jones from Datchet.
Annie’s family had lived in Datchet from at least 1896. Her father, James Gentle Jones, a domestic coachman, had died in early 1909 and her mother took in boarders at their home on the High Street. Her brother Albert also served in WWI.
Arthur and Annie had only been married a few months when Arthur, 29, was killed in action, in October 1917, by a high-explosive shell. In his records, his wife’s address was given as Elder Tree Cottage.
Arthur is remembered at Logie Coldstone, Aberdeenshire, but is not remembered here in his wife’s village. This was perhaps because he didn’t spend much time Datchet, but there are other men remembered on Datchet’s memorial, such as Walter Sanford and William Johnson, whose only connection with the village was that their wives moved here to live with family during WWI. For these reasons, Arthur is considered to be a candidate for inclusion on the memorial.
William Talbot, 1870-1918
Private, Labour Corps
William was born in Datchet. He was only a toddler when his mother, Sarah (nee Drew), died in 1872, age 43. In 1874, his father, James, married Mary Ann Carrod who had been living at Horsemoor Green. (Born in 1820, Mary Ann was the widow of Samuel Carrod. Early research suggest that Samuel and his first wife Charlotte, were the great grandparents of the Carrods who appear on Datchet’s Memorial, Albert Carrod and Henry Carrod.)
William went to school here and started his working life here. His father died in 1885, age 65. In the 1891 census, William was living and working at Southlea Farm. He had changed career by the time he married Alice Forsyth in Clerkenwell in 1895, and had become a waterside labourer. The couple moved to Islington and by 1911 he and Alice had eight children. William was supporting the family by working as a carman delivering coal.
William enlisted in the Royal Army Services Corps and was then transferred to the 783rd Area Employment Company Labour Corps. These Labour Corps units were deployed for salvage work often within range of the enemy guns. In 1918 on the Western Front, the men were also sometimes used as emergency infantry. William was killed in action on 19 May 1918. He was buried at Blargies Communal Cemetery Extension in France.
Although William was born in Datchet and spent the first 20-25 years of his life here, he left the village a long time before the war. He may still have had siblings here but his parents and step-mother had died and his wife and family were living in London. This may explain why he isn’t remembered on Datchet’s Memorial.
*Artemus Ward, 1882-1918
Sergeant, Royal Munster Fusiliers
King’s Cottage, 11 Penn Road
Artemus was born in Isleworth. His family moved to Datchet sometime before 1893 and the 1901 census records the family in Penn Road. After working for a while as a market gardener, Artemus joined the Royal Munster Fusiliers in Ireland in 1903 and later transferred to the Royal West Surreys (RWS) as a Sergeant Tailor. He was married in Fulham in 1908 and by 1916 had six children; their different birthplaces provide an indication of where he was serving in the UK.
During WWI, Artemus served with various RWS battalions. When Artemus died he was serving as a Sergeant with B Company, 8th Battalion The Queen’s Royal West Surreys. He died after peace had been declared, on 30 December 1918, of influenza or meningitis. He was buried in France, in Tournai Communal Cemetery, with the epitaph “He died that we may live” chosen by his wife, Edith, who was living at 61 Peascod Street, Windsor. (Some of Artemus’s badly-damaged military records can be found on the Ancestry website, including a letter from Edith querying the whereabouts of his silver watch and chain which should have been returned to her after his death.)
Artemus is perhaps not remembered on Datchet’s War Memorial because he had married and left the village but he still had family here. Nor is he remembered in Windsor where his wife lived. His brothers Richard and Sidney both served in WWI and were both taken prisoners of war. Sidney survived but Richard Gough Ward died of flu in November 1918 just before peace was declared. Richard is remembered on Datchet’s Memorial.
In February 1919, their father, Charles, wrote to the military from his home at 1 Ditton Road. This letter, below right, was badly damaged but has been transcribed here as far as possible:
Gentlemen, I wrote the war office 20 days ago and no [reply] I wrote again this morning saying my son Lance Corporal Sid Ward got home from Germany on Jan 4th 1919, my question to him was [where is] Dick? What, haven’t they told you, he is dead. That is my son, Richard Gough Ward, 10094, died at Lauenburg a …. [Com]mando under Parchim [prisoner of war camp] – of influenza on Nov 5 1919 … 5 days illness. They did not let Sid 10095 know of his brother’s death for over two weeks. He too was ill for 7 weeks but is getting stronger with us. I should have written to the war office sooner but my returned son had to break the news to me. Three days after his return … my eldest son, Sgt Artemus Ward, master tailor, also of … Queens, died in 51 Clearing Station of flu. I leave it to you Sir to let me know if any … effects are in store and when his allowance … Yours respectfully, Charles Samuel Ward, Father.
Artemus Ward is considered to be a candidate for inclusion on the War Memorial. He had lived in Datchet and had family here. His brother Richard was remembered on the memorial. His brother Sidney was buried in Datchet Cemetery. Artemus still has family in the village who would like to see him remembered here.