[The 1914–18 War]

The 1914-18 War – Lest we forget

War Cemeteries

The major British war cemeteries of Tyne Co in Belgium and Thiepval in France where some of our men are remembered.

[Tyne Cot]
Tyne Cot

More details of some of our war dead

Captain Vivian Hastings Clay

The younger brother of Doctor Clay was killed in the Battle of the Somme on 18th October 1916, on his 24th birthday. His name appears on the Thiepval Memorial and there is a memorial to him in St George’ church. (Our WW I expert, Sue Cox, has written about the engagement where he died – click here for more details )

[Clay memorial]

Private Ronald Edwin Ewence

Ronald Ewence, son of William and Elizabeth (nee Oborn) Ewence of Fovant. Private in 5th Bn., Wiltshire Regiment, died on 7th May 1917. Aged 20. Buried in Baghdad, Iraq.

[Judy & Liz]
Judy Snowdon and Liz Harden at work
[The  inscription revealed]
The inscription revealed

He is also remembered by an inscription on what is almost certainly the headstone of his parent’s grave in Fovant churchyard. The middle section of this headstone, a stepped cross, became unstable and was removed, but the lower part, which contained the almost illegible inscription to Ronald, remained. By a time honoured method we managed to decipher the inscription. It reads:

“To the dear memory of our beloved son Ronald Edwin Ewence who died of wound received in action in Mesopotamia on May 7th 1917. Aged 20”

Cook’s Mate Bertie William Goodfellow

“Bertie Goodfellow was to die with Lord Kitchener. His father was the Baptist colporteur, travelling the villages in his donkey cart distributing religious literature for Spurgeon, the great revivalist from the London Metropolitan Tabernacle. Bertie was a quiet lad, the elder of two sons, he served on the armoured cruiser Hampshire in the modest capacity of cook’s mate. In early June 1916 while conveying Lord Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War, on an official mission to Russia, the ship struck a German mine off the west coast of the Orkneys. There was a strong gale and fifteen minutes later the Hampshire went down with very few survivors.”

extract from ‘Collett’s Farthing Papers’ by Rex Sawyer

Able Seaman Henry Frederick Hardiman

Henry Frederick Hardiman was killed at Passchendaele on 28th October 1917 aged about 19. Although listed as ‘Army’ in Fovant church he was serving as an Able Seaman with the Royal Naval Division. Commemorated at Tyne Cot and on his parent’s grave in Fovant churchyard.

[Fred Hardiman]
Fred Hardiman
[The Hardiman grave]
The Hardiman grave

Private George Lever

George Lever (RMLI), aged 40, lost at sea when HMS Tipperary was sunk at the battle of Jutland, 31st May 1916. His body was washed ashore and is buried in the Military Cemetery at Fredrikstad, Norway.

[George Lever]

Private Frank Simper

Frank Simper, son of Mrs. Ann Simper, of Ivy Cottage, Fovant. Private in the 5th Bn., Wiltshire Regiment, who died of exposure during the Gallipoli Campaign on 29th November 1915, aged thirty four. Buried in Turkey.

[Frank Simper]
Frank Simper
[A letter]
Part of a letter from Frank’s padre

By August 10, the 5th Battalion … were astride vital high ground when both units were overwhelmed by a violent Turkish counter-attack of divisional strength led personally by Mustapha Kemal; the commanding officer was killed and half the battalion was lost. The shattered 5th were moved to Suvla Bay where the remnants were in trenches before Scimitar Hill when the great freak storm of snow and floods struck the Peninsula in November.

Lieutenant Christopher Lancelot Usher

[Christopher Usher] [Rev Usher and family] Whilst not recorded on the village war memorial, a window and a panel in St George’s church commemorate one family’s double loss spanning WWI and WWII. The inscriptions read:

“In loving memory of Christopher Lancelot Usher Lieutenant in the Wiltshire Regiment who died of Wounds at Damery France on St Georges Day 1918, Aged 20.”

“To the Glory of God and in memory of the Rev Robert Usher MA Rector of this Parish 1910 to 1942 . and of his wife Alice amd his youngest son Major W G Usher killed in Italy in in December 1944 whilst serving with the 8th Army.”

5 December 2008

Content last updated
4 December 2008

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