We commemorate them on Remembrance Day (Veterans Day in the USA), 11 November that was Armistice Day in 1918 and marks the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning – the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”, but, other than the names on the memorials, what do we know about the people about whom John Maxwell Edmonds (1875 – 1958) said:
When you go home, tell them of us and say
For their tomorrow, we gave our today
- Who were they?
- What happened to them?
- What about their families?
were all the sort of questions that I felt needed some kind of answer to honour them somewhat more fully.
So I decided to do some research and try to put faces to the names and find out as much about them as I could. I used the data at Ancestry including their census data and military records. Also Forces War Records, Commonwealth War Graves Commission and The British Newspaper Archive.
There are 56 people mentioned on the war memorial cross for WWI and 36, all duplicates, on the Combe Down school memorial board. The Cruickshank brothers (who are not on the war memorial cross) and the men of the parish who fell in the First World War are also commemorated in a stained glass window at Holy Trinity church. There are 16 people mentioned on the war memorial cross for WWII. I have been able to find some information on 64 of those 74 people.
Whilst it is almost invidious to mention individuals I will mention those that have already appeared in Prior to Now:
- John St Clair Cotterell the son of Thomas Sturge and Edith Maria Cotterill (née Holmes) who was responsible for building Lodge Style on Shaft Road.
- Charles John Odinel Daubeny the son of Capt Charles William Daubeney DSO and Edith Henrietta Daubeney (née Gore) of The Brow.
- Frederick Arthur Patch was the cousin of of Henry John “Harry” Patch (17 June 1898 – 25 July 2009) – “The Last Fighting Tommy” and Robert William Patch was his nephew.
- Alfred Terence Leatham Richardson was the son of a vicar of Combe Down, Rev Alfred and Emma Richardson (née Leatham) of The Old Vicarage.
- Michael George Wood was the son of Cyril and Kathleen Mary Wood (née Crisp) of 5 Isabella Place.
Hopefully. I will have answered some of those questions about Combe Down war memorials and casualties.