Remembering Worthing’s fallen

Worthing War Memorial
Worthing War Memorial
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The Worthing men who died in September 1915 while serving their country in the First World War.

Captain Francis Molyneux Yorke Nepean

Somerset Light Infantry 7th Battalion

Died September 16, 1915, aged 47

Francis Nepean was born on March 31, 1868, in Westminster, London and baptised in Westminster Abbey on April 27 of that year.

He was the son of Colonel Herbert Augustus Tierney Nepean, of the Indian Army, and his first wife Alice, née Bayley. Francis was educated at Dulwich College and later served with the rank of Lance Corporal in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.

By 1911 he had left the Army and was boarding at 28 The Parks, Minehead, Somerset, and working as an estate agent’s clerk. Francis enlisted with the Somerset Light Infantry 7th Battalion and landed in Boulogne on July 24, 1915.

He was killed in the trenches near Fleurbaix, and is buried in the Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery and remembered on the Heene Church memorial.

His father, who lived at Charlwood, Lansdowne Road, Worthing (now 24 Lansdowne Road), applied for his son’s medals on August 23, 1920.

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TF/243 Company Quartermaster Sergeant Henry Jeremiah Westlake

Royal Sussex Regiment 1/4th Battalion

Died September 16, 1915

Henry was born in Croydon in 1876, the son of Charles and Harriett.

He married Eliza in 1898 at Worthing and they first lived in Gordon Road and later moved to 90 Becket Road.

Henry was great sportsman and played for Worthing Football Club, seven of whose players died in the war. His occupation was a house painter.

At some time before the war Henry had served in the Army and when he signed up for the Territorial service in 1914 he was promoted to Sergeant.

The 1/4th Battalion left Devonport on July 17, 1915, and arrived at Suvla Bay (Gallipoli) on August 8.

Henry caught pneumonia and was transferred to Alexandria Hospital, Egypt, where he died. He is buried in the Alexandria (Chatby) Military Cemetery. He left a widow and three children.

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351 Private Charles William Boniface

Royal Sussex Regiment 2nd Battalion

Died September 25, 1915, aged 37

Charles was born in 1878 at Poling, near Arundel, to Stephen, a farm carter, and Harriett.

The family moved around various places in Surrey and Sussex as Stephen followed his farm work.

By 1891 the family was living at 11 Broadwater Street, Worthing.

In 1901 Charles is listed as an able seaman serving at HMS Victory in Portsmouth. Charles served for ten years in the Royal Navy and was also in the Naval Reserve for five years.

After leaving the Navy he worked as a gardener at Sion Convent, in Crescent Road.

On September 4, 1914, he joined the 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment.

He was killed in action on August 25, 1915.

Amy and their son Frederick, born in 1906, were living at Jubilee Terrace, Penfold Road (now number 31).

Charles has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos memorial.

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S/637 Lance Corporal Tom Childs

Royal Sussex Regiment 2nd Battalion

Died September 25, 1915, aged 26

Tom Childs was born in Woking, Surrey, in 1891 to parents Thomas, a farm labourer, and his wife Kate, née Trussler.

By 1911 Tom had arrived in Worthing and was working as a market gardener.

He was lodging with the McMahon family at 4 Decoy Terrace, Ham Road (now 268 Dominion Road).

In December 1911 Tom married Florence Emily Cooper and they made their home at 67 Howard Street. A son and daughter were born to them in 1912 and 1913.

At the start of the War, Tom enlisted at Brighton with the Royal Sussex Regiment and went to France with the British Expeditionary Force.

On September 25, 1915, his battalion was in action near Loos. At least 14 men from Worthing, including Tom, lost their lives on that day.

Tom Childs has no known grave and is remembered on the War memorial at Loos and on West Tarring War memorial.

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G/3939 Private Edward Chowne

Royal Sussex Regiment 2nd Battalion

Died September 25, 1915

Edward Chowne was born and grew up in Henfield.

His father, Nicholas, known by his unusual second christian name of Spelzar, was a bricklayer by trade, and his mother, Louisa, née Tupper, came from Salvington.

Edward had three brothers, two of which were twins, and one sister. The family lived for many years at Mount Pleasant, in the Nepp Town area of Henfield. On leaving school, Edward found employment as a bricklayer like his father.

In 1911, aged 30, he was still unmarried and living at home with his parents in Henfield.

In 1914 Edward enlisted in Horsham with the Royal Sussex Regiment.

He was in action with his regiment near Loos on September 25, 1915.

Edward was killed in what became known as the battle of Loos and has no known grave.

He is commemorated on the Loos War memorial at Pas de Calais and on Henfield Parish Church War memorial.

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L/10497 Private William John Thomas Coles

Royal Sussex Regiment 2nd Battalion

Died September 25, 1915

William Coles was born in 1897 in Kensington, London.

His parents, George and Catherine, née Congdon, were both born in Devonshire.

George was employed as a dairyman’s assistant and they lived at 22 Shaftsbury Terrace, Kensington.

In 1903 Catherine died aged 44. The following year George Cole married Eva Elizabeth Gush in Kensington and a daughter was born to them in 1908.

Sometime between 1911 and 1914 the Coles family came to live in Worthing. They settled at 60 Cranworth Road where George had a general store.

At the start of the war, William enlisted at Worthing into the Royal Sussex Regiment and went to France.

His battalion was in action near Loos on September 25, 1915, and he was killed along with a great many others in an attack on the German trenches.

He has no known grave and is remembered on the memorial at Loos.

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G/1365 Private James Richard Duffield

Royal Sussex Regiment 2nd Battalion ‘C’ Company

Died September 25, 1915, aged 23

James Duffield was born in West Tarring in 1892 and baptised at West Tarring Church on July 10 of that year.

He was the eldest son of James Duffield, a bricklayer, and his wife Mary.

He had a younger brother and sister and the family lived at Ashleigh, 10 St Dunstan’s Road, West Tarring.

James and his brother, Oscar, attended Elm Grove School. On leaving school, James worked as a gardener.

James joined the Royal Sussex Regiment at Worthing on September 3, 1914.

He was killed in action during the Battle of Loos on September 25, 1915.

James is commemorated on the memorial at Loos, Pas de Calais, France.

He is also remembered on the West Tarring Church war memorial and the memorial at Elm Grove School.

James’ brother Oscar also lost his life in the Great War, in 1917.

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S/2077 Private Aubrey Leslie Dyer

Royal Sussex Regiment 2nd Battalion

Died September 25, 1915

Aubrey Dyer was born in Littlehampton in 1898. In 1901 he was living at 1 Wymond Street, Putney, London, with his mother, Maria Dyer, born Marylebone, and his older brother Adrian, born Putney.

In 1909 Maria Dyer married widower Albert Belchamber, a stoker in the gas works, in East Preston. In the 1911 census, 13-year-old Aubrey, his mother and a younger sister, Esme Dyer, were lodging in Littlehampton at 46 Queen Street. His stepfather, Albert Belchamber, was also living in Littlehampton, with his brother-in-law’s family at 13 River Road.

Aubrey enlisted as a reservist in the Royal Sussex Regiment in Littlehampton.

He fought in the Battle of Loos and was killed on September 25, 1915.

He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial. There is also an E. Dyer remembered on the Littlehampton War memorial which is thought to be Aubrey Dyer.

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3959 Private Eric Tonbridge Havell

Royal Sussex Regiment 9th Battalion

Died September 25, 1915, aged 22

Eric Havell was born on August 25, 1983, at Lewisham, London, the eldest son of Frederick Havell and his wife Louisa. Eric was educated at Sidcup College and Colfe School, London. He later obtained a degree at Durham University and went on to work for London County Council’s education department. After the outbreak of war he enlisted with the Royal Sussex Regiment in October 1914. He served with the British Expeditionary Force in France from August 31, 1915, and was killed in action near the Hohenzollern Redoubt on September 25, 1915, in the Battle of Loos. Eric devoted the income granted to him by the LCC whilst in the Army to the relief of widows and orphans of those in the same service who might fall in action during the war. He is remembered on the Loos Memorial, Broadwater Parish Church Memorial, and in the LCC Record of War Service. His parents were living at 85 Westcourt Road, Worthing, at the time of Eric’s death.

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GS/502 Private Alfred William Hide

Royal Sussex Regiment, 2nd Battalion

Died September 25, 1915, aged 43

Alfred was born 1872 in Ashacre Lane, Worthing, to parents Harry and Ellen.

He married Kate Richardson in 1904 at Southwater and they had one daughter who was born in 1906. Kate was a widow and had three children from her previous marriage who lived with them. Alfred served 16 years in the Royal Sussex Regiment, being discharged in 1912. He signed up on September 8, 1914, as a special reservist and landed in France in October 1914. Early in 1915 he suffered a bout of malaria and was admitted to St. Omer Hospital in France. He recovered and on July 16 again took up his position on the frontline. He was killed at the Battle of Loos with many other men of the 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Loos memorial and the Southwater Church memorial.

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2343 Rifleman Clive Orum Jensen

London Regiment (London Irish Rifles) 1st /18th Battalion

Died September 25, 1915, aged 33

Clive Jensen was born on August 25, 1882, at Lewisham, and was baptised at St Oswald’s, Anselm Road, Hammersmith and Fulham, on February 1, 1885. His father was Danish-born Hans Peter Frederick Jensen, an electrical engineer, and his mother was Mary. In 1901 Clive was working as a clerk at the Stock Exchange and living with the family of schoolmaster Arthur Thomas at 148 Norwood Road, Lambeth.

Two of his sisters were at the Steyne School; Jenny Gertrude as a pupil and Mary Margrethe as a teacher. On June 29, 1912, Clive married Lilian Alice Rowe at Lambeth.

After the outbreak of war he enlisted at Chelsea into the London Irish Rifles. On September 25 he was killed while fighting in the Battle of Loos. He is commemorated on the Loos memorial and on Broadwater Parish War memorial.

His mother moved to Worthing sometime after 1911, to Red Cottage, Sompting Avenue (demolished), before her death in 1920.

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G/3780 Private John Frederick Jervis

Royal Sussex Regiment 9th Battalion

Died September 25, 1915, aged 24

John was born in 1891 to his parents John and Flora, and the family lived at 116 Becket Road. He had a brother, Charles, and a sister, Flora.

John joined his father in the stair-making industry but signed up in September 1914.

He joined the 9th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment and after training on the downs during the winter of 1914 they were billeted at Woking, in Surrey. The Battalion landed in Boulogne on August 31, 1915, and within a few weeks were thrown into battle on September 25, suffering heavy casualties at the Battle of Loos. The Battalion lost 19 officers and 362 ordinary ranks during the battle, John being one of them. The 9th Battalion was part of the 24th Division which fought near the village of Verguier and today one of the roads in the village is named after it.

John has no known grave but is remembered on the Loos memorial and the memorial at Sussex Road School.

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G/3190 Private Robert Henry Mustchin

Royal Sussex Regiment 9th Battalion

Died September 25, 1915, aged 25

Robert was born in Sompting in 1890, one of nine children to George and Caroline.

The 1901 census shows the family living at Hill Barn Cottages, Lyons Farm.

George was a gamekeeper and Robert a scholar, aged 11.

In 1911 the family was living at 24 Warren Cottages, Durrington (now demolished).

Robert, aged 21, was working as a labourer in a market garden.

At the outbreak of war Robert enlisted at Brighton, joining the 9th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, and after training locally on the South Downs, landed in France in August 1915.

Soon after landing they were involved in heavy fighting at the Battle of Loos.

Robert was killed on September 25, 1915, as were many other men in his battalion.

Robert has no known grave but is remembered on the Loos memorial.

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G/1376 Private William Rufus Roberts

Royal Sussex Regiment 2nd Battalion

Died September 25, 1915, aged 24

William Roberts was born in West Tarring in 1891, to William Rufus Roberts, a market gardener, and his wife Jane, née Leggatt.

William was the eldest child in a family of six.

At the time of William’s birth the family home was at 11 St Dunstan’s Road, West Tarring.

During his childhood the family moved to Chichester and then to Fishbourne.

In 1902 William’s mother Jane died leaving six children, including a one-year-old baby.

His father married Mary Joyce Standing in 1915 and the family moved to 73 Cranworth Road, Worthing.

At the onset of war, William enlisted at Worthing with the Royal Sussex Regiment on September 4, 1914, and went to France with the British Expeditionary Force.

He was killed in action on September 25, 1915, during the Battle of Loos.

He is buried in Dud Corner Cemetery at Loos.

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G/1254 Reginald Arthur Tee

Royal Sussex Regiment 2nd Battalion

Died September 25, 1915

Reginald Tee was born in Worthing in 1894, the youngest child of five born to Albert Tee, a grocer, and his wife Mabel Emma, née Hobbs.

Their early home was at 8 Alexandra Terrace, Lyndhurst Road, Worthing, where Mabel’s widowed mother, Julia Hobbs, lived with them. Reginald was a pupil at St George’s School, also in Lyndhurst Road. Later they moved to Pavilion Stores, Pavilion Road.

On leaving school, Reginald found work as an apprentice engineer with Worthing Motor Bus Company.

Reginald enlisted at Worthing in the Royal Sussex Regiment and went to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force in August 1914. On September 25, 1915, he was in action at the Battle of Loos and was reported missing, and later confirmed to have died. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, the West Tarring Church War memorial and the St George’s School memorial, now in the Sidney Walter Centre.

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G/3325 Private Edward George West

Royal Sussex Regiment 9th Battalion

Died September 28, 1915

Edward was baptised at St Mary’s Church, Broadwater, on August 9, 1885.

He was one of four children born to Edward, a bricklayer, and Sarah Blanche West. The family lived at 34 Orme Road.

After leaving school, Edward’s first job was as a baker’s errand boy, but at the outbreak of the war he enlisted at Worthing, joining the Royal Sussex Regiment.

The 9th Battalion was formed as part of Lord Kitchener’s army of volunteers.

Training was chaotic as there were few officers, uniforms were not provided until March 1915, and they were not issued with rifles until July 1915.

Edward landed in France in August 1915 and soon saw action, fighting in the Battle of Loos.

Edward was killed in this action and has no known grave but is remembered on the Loos memorial and the Christ Church memorial.

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TF/3222 Private Herbert Henry Richardson

Royal Sussex Regiment 4th Battalion

Died September 26, 1915, aged 24

Herbert Richardson was born in 1891 in Portslade, the fifth child of eight children born to Arthur Richardson and his wife Emma, née Peters. Arthur worked as a market gardener and the family home was at 53 Old Shoreham Road, Portslade.

In 1905 Arthur Richardson died and by 1911 Emma and six of her children, including Herbert, had moved to 4 Brougham Terrace, Brougham Road, Worthing.

The whole family found work in a laundry, most likely the Lavender Laundry in nearby Ham Road. Herbert’s job was that of a collar machinist.

At the start of the war Herbert enlisted with the Royal Sussex Regiment Territorial Force at Horsham.

He was sent to Gallipoli with his battalion and died of wounds received in the landings at Suvla Bay.

Herbert is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, and also on the War memorial at St Paul’s Church, Worthing.

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1670 Private Arthur Alfred J Guiel

Royal Sussex Regiment 1st/4th Battalion

Died September 29, 1915, aged 18

Arthur Guiel was born in Worthing in 1897, to Arthur, a plasterer by trade, and Emily Hannah, née Bricknell.

He was the fourth child of seven children and for many years the family lived at 23 Clifton Road, Worthing (now demolished).

All the children must have attended St Andrew’s School, situated on the opposite side of Clifton Road.

At the start of the war, Arthur enlisted into the Royal Sussex Regiment in Worthing.

He was sent with his battalion to Egypt and September 29, 1915, he died of enteric fever in the military hospital in Alexandria.

He is buried in the Chatby Cemetery at Alexandria and remembered on Holy Trinity School memorial.

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S/9061 Corporal George Lewis Cowell

Gordon Highlanders 1st Battalion

Died September 29, 1915

George was born in 1883 at Walthamstow.

The family moved to Worthing, residing at Cleveland Terrace, Brighton Road (now 125 Brighton Road), and George attended Richmond Road School

Census records show that he was an out of work travelling salesman specialising in leather goods in 1911.

He wrote on the census form: “I advise the government to adopt a sane and reasonable tariff of protection from undue competition from foreign countries.”

Soon after he emigrated to the USA, but when war broke out he set sail for England on the ‘Lapland’ and arrived at Liverpool on January 29, 1915.

The following day he signed for the Gordon Highlanders and went by train to Aberdeen where he had his medical and signed his attestation papers on January 31.

He joined the 1st Battalion and, on March 2, was made a Lance Corporal.

The battalion set sail from Southampton to France on May 12 but after a few weeks George suffered from rheumatic fever and returned to Aberdeen hospital for treatment.

On his recovery he rejoined the 1st Battalion and on August 30 was promoted to Corporal.

Soon after this the battalion was involved in heavy fighting and George was shot in the head and taken prisoner.

He was taken to Germany for treatment but died soon afterwards.

His father was described on the 1911 census as a dairy farmer, and two of George’s brothers are described as dairymen.

George is buried in the Halluin Communal Cemetery and ia also remembered on the Richmond Road School memorial, now in the Sidney Walter Centre, and on his parents’ grave in Broadwater Cemetery.

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17322 Corporal Alfred Lewis Cook

Royal Scots Fusiliers 2nd Battalion

Died September 30, 1915

Alfred was born in 1895 at Worthing, one of four children born to parents Alfred and Emily.

The family lived at 35 Ashdown Road, Worthing.

Alfred Sr. was a plumber, a trade which Alfred Jr. followed after leaving Sussex Road School.

Alfred joined the 2nd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers in March 1915 and was soon on his way to the Western Front.

On September 30, 1915, at the Battle of Loos, Alfred was killed in action, having served only six months in the Army.

He had risen to the rank of Corporal in just a few months’ service.

Just before his death he had written to his parents as he was waiting to ‘go over the top’: “The order came to fix bayonets and I can tell you my knees went together like a cartload of bricks. I lost my head altogether and did not know what I was doing. I heard the word charge and over the parapets we went like madmen. I have never been frightened before, but that put the topper on it.”

Alfred has no known grave but is commemorated on the Loos memorial as well as the memorial outside St Paul’s Church, Chapel Road, and the memorial to the former pupils of Sussex Road School, now in the Sidney Walter Centre in Sussex Road.

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