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WW1

 WW1 send off This is a picture of the first batch of volunteers who went of fight in World War One (WW1). This picture was taken in Tucker Street  station and they show the confident and relaxed group of civilians who expected to be ‘home by christmas’. The pictures were of the ‘send off’ and the ‘return’ published in the Wells Journal in 1994 and the originals were supplied by Richard St John.Some of this additional information is taken from the book ‘In the Company of Heroes’ by William Blanning.
WW1 Return This more sombre group is the soldiers who returned. It is more difficult to research the people who survived WW1 than the casualties because most of the army records were destroyed during WW2 when Somerset House in London was bombed. Fred Payne survived as did George Gane who is usually mentioned in connection with his role in running a shop after WW1.Some information is available from the Commonwealth  Graves Commission (CWGC) database.
A plaque in the church lists all of the people who served in WW1 but there are anomalies and there are many people with links to Chewton Mendip who are not listed on the war memorial or the plaque.
WW1 Memorial dedication This is a post card showing th dedication of the War Memorial in Chewton Mendip churchard. This copy was supplied by Ken Church.The list of people who were killed in WW1 and were connected to Chewton Mendip is not the same as the people commemorated on the war memorial.
Harry Battle was a private (3959) in 1st/4th Somerset Light Infantry. He was killed in 1916 and is buried in Basra, Iraq. His family lived in Chew Hill
Arthur L Brown of the 7th Bn, Somerset  Light Infantry, number 26897, was the son of Albert Lional Brown of Sages Farm an he attended Chewton Mendip school in 1897. He was killed  on 19th September 1917 aged 26 and is buried at Mendingham Military cemetary. 
Philip Clavey of the Somerset Light Infantry and the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) was killed on 26/9/1917 aged 20 and is commemorated on Loos Memorial. His father’s name was Alan and they were living in The Folly when he attended Chewton Mendip school in 1905.
William Curtis came from Chewton Mendip but had moved to London. He lost two of his sons as a result of World War One. John Oscar Thomas Curtis (b. 1894) joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corp. He was reported missing in May 1918 and it was initially thought that he was a prisoner of war. However it was later discovered that this was an error and that he had died in Belgium on 10th August 1917.
Harold Curtis (b. 1896) also joined the King’s Royal Rifles. After suffering from trench foot and being wounded in September 1916, he was discharged in February 1918 suffering from  ‘dementia praecox’, a condition that would eventually be re-labelled as schizophrenia. William died on 5th April 1919 at Laybury  Mental Hospital, Woodford Bridge, Essex.
Pte Isaac Henry Dando of the 7th Service Battalion of The Gloucestershire Regiment was killed aged 32 in the failed attempt to relief the siege of Kut in Mesopotamia (Iraq). He had lived in Coles Lane, Chewton  Mendip but his family were listed as living in Ston Easton during WW1 so he is commemorated on the war in that village
Mary Flower of Gourney Court is listed on the plaque inside the church and was described as nurse. It is known that Gourney Court was used as a hospital in WW1.  She was Hannah Mary Flower who lived in Woodside in Lower Street, she died in 1915.
Joseph flynn Joseph Flynn is also shown in the page about the post office  He was a private in the Gloucestershire regiment and fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. He was later stuck in the mud under enemy fire for a day and night which resulted in Trench foot. He was subsequently killed in 1917 in one of the forgotten actions that consumed so many lives. His younger brother, Thomas, had already died as a prisoner of the Turks. Joseph is commemorated on the Chilcompton/Downside war memorial.
Harry Ford is listed as Henry, son of George and Rosina Ford, of Chewton Hill. He was the elder brother of Charlie Ford and the uncle of Jeff Ford, he was known as ‘Boots’.  Pte Henry Ford of 1st/6th Bn Gloucestershire Regiment number 3968. He was killed 19th May 1916 aged just 18 and is buried or commemorated at Sucrerie Military cemetery,Colincamps.
Frederick C Gillard was the son of Alfred and Elizabeth Gillard, of East End. The school records show he came from Wookey Hole and was living at Honeywell with his brother William (who also served) and sister Florence when they all attended Chewton Mendip school in 1904. He was in the Royal Warwickshire regiment, number 36382 . He  died in 1918, aged just 18, and is commemorated on Vis-En-Artois memorial.
Albert (Bert) Victor Goodwin was in the Grenadier Guards 2nd bn, number 22599. He  died 15th September 1916 and is buried or commemorated at Serre road cemetery No.2.
Thomas Goodwin.  The CWGC database lists 29/11/1915 as the date of death for Pte Goodwin (14929) of 3bn Grenadier Guards who is commemorated on the  Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial. The two Godwins were brothers.
James Percy Hewitt (known as Percy) worked for the Earl Waldegrave as a weigh clerk at the colliery offices in Radstock. He achieved quick promotion and was nominated for a commission. He was assigned to the 8th Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry in September 1917 but he was killed in the December of that year aged 22.
 Major John McMutrie MC Royal Engineers was killed preparing for  the battle of third Ypres (Passchendaele) in 1917. He had won his Military Cross the year before in the battle of the Somme. His brother Hugh can be seen in the cricket 11 of 1904, he lived in what was then called Navestock. Their father, James McMutrie was the Waldegrave estate manager.
Charles William Masters is commemorated on his parents gravestone in the churchyard but not on the Chewton Mendip memorial. He was born in Rodney Stoke which is recorded as one of the ‘Thankful Villages’ villages.
 R Alfred Middle was the husband of M. S. J. Middle, of 1, Victoria Rd., Blandford, Dorset. He was a private Army Service Corps No. 1 Coy. 31st Div. Train, number T4/159960. He is buried in Les Baraques military cemetery, Sangatte. He died on 6th November 1918 just five days before the end of WW1. He may have been Reginald who was the son of John Middle who was living in The Folly when he attended Chewton Mendip school in 1892.
Charles Payne was the son of another Charles Payne who was bought up in Chewton Mendip. He was killed in the Battle of the Somme (1916) aged 19.
Maurice Speed in Civilan Clothes A picture of Maurice Speed is used as the feature image for the Military topic. The picture on the left shows Maurice Speed in civilian clothes. he was  Driver 620219 Royal Horse Artillery Somerset Battery.  He die of illness as the war ended and is buried in Gaza war cemetery.Maurice Speed in uniform
 J Harry Uphill was the son of  Mrs. E. Uphill, he was in the Royal Field Artillery, number 1087. He died  23rd September 1916 and is buried in Dartmoor cemetery, Becordel-Becourt. He was Jessie Henry Uphill was the sons of Jessie and Ellen (nee Pearce) Upphil  of Edge Hill (Nedge). He attended Chewton Mendip school from 1902 to 1910.
Reg Watts was a miner from Farrington Gurney who volunteered, perhaps to be with his friend Fred Maggs also of Farrington Gurney who conscripted in early 1918. Reg was posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery but died of illness during training. They were involved in a poaching incident on Chewton Mendip plain before they joined the Army.
 Valintine Burnet Wilkinson.  He is listed on the Chewton Mendip war memorial but no other records of the Wilkinson family in Chewton Mendip have yet been found. He was the husband of Florence Victoria Wilkinson, of Beckford Cottage, Combe Down, Bath.  Her maiden name was Moody and there was a family of Moody’s living in Chewton Mendip at the time but no Florence has yet been identified. The 1911 census shows Valentine was a gardener which may have bought him to work in Chewton Mendip, possibly at Chewton Priory. He was  a Gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery, number 170065. He died on 4th September 1919 and is buried in Monkton Combe (St Michael) Churchyard Extension rf 9.4.
2nd Lt  Mervyn Young was only 18 when he was killed in 1915. He was the grandson of a former Vicar of Chewton Mendip and is commemorated in Chewton Mendip. He had been at the front for 3 weeks with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers when he was killed near Ypres. He was probably one of he first British victims of gas.
One Comment
  1. Liz Pond permalink

    Hello, I have just come across your website I have a lot of ancestors that come from Chewton and have been researching them for some years. My paternal grandmother was an Uphill.

    I can give you some further information about “J Harry Uphill”.

    His given name was Jesse Henry W Uphill

    The following is from the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 database…

    WW1
    Name: Jesse Henry Uphill
    Birth Place: Wells, Som.
    Death Date: 23 Sep 1916
    Death Location: France & Flanders
    Enlistment Location: Bristol
    Rank: Corporal
    Regiment: Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery
    Number: 1087
    Type of Casualty: Died of wounds
    Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

    He was the son of Jesse and Ellen (nee Pearce) Uphill

    Born Chewton Mendip 1898
    Residing Edge Hill in 1901.
    In the 1911 census named just Henry Uphill, residing “Edge Hill, Nedge”

    Hope that’s of some use to you.

    Liz Pond.

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