Harold Izzard Warner

M/320272, Private, 1019th Motor Transport Company. Royal Army Service Corps.

Died on the 23rd March 1919 aged 27.

Harold was the son of E Warner of Walkern and the husband of E Warner of North Hykeham, Lincolnshire.

The Company, initially 6 Officers and 80 Other Ranks, had been posted to serve in Iraq and left Southampton on the 7th January 1918. The journey took them by train through France and Italy and then by ship, the SS Karoa, to Alexandria, which they reached on the 29th January. The following day they moved to Port Suez where they boarded the SS Karagola bound for Karachi. On arriving in Karachi they joined the SS Aronda to their final destination, Basrah.

In Iraq the company swelled to 6 Officers, 143 British Other Ranks, 75 Indian Other Ranks and 11 Camp Followers. The Company vehicles were 130 Ford vans, 2 ambulances, 20 Talbots and 5 Star Lorries. They served both the military and political services n the area through to 1920.

It is not yet known what happened to Harold Warner. He is buried in the Lodge Hill Cemetery, Birmingham. (B10.9.661F.) 

Medal Entitlement:  British War Medal & Victory Medal

Reginald Jack Warner

15882, Private, 1st Bedfordshire Regiment.

Missing In Action on the 19th June 1915 aged 24.

Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium

Reginald was the son of David & Mary Ann Warner of Church Hill, Benington. Both he and fellow villager, Ernest Mayes, were killed by the same shell as they slept in a trench.

Reginald has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium. (Panel 31/33.)

William Warner

36512, Private, 6th Royal Berkshire Regiment. (Attached to 2/2nd London Regiment).

Missing In Action on the 24th April 1918 aged 30.

The Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.

William was the son of William & Louisa Warner of Rectory Gate, Benington.

The exact circumstances of his death are not yet known.

William has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France. (Panel 56/57.)

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal

Walter Warren

294, Sergeant, 28th Battalion, London Regiment (Artists Rifles).

Killed In Action on the 27th November 1914 aged 37.

Sergeant Walter Warren

Walter was the son of Henry & Clara Warren of Rockleaze, Stevenage. He joined the Volunteer Force on the 23rd January 1900 as a member of the 28th London Regiment. The Territorial and Reserve Forces Act  of 1907 combined the previously civilian-administered Volunteer Force, with the Militia and Yeomanry to become the Territorial Army.  Walter was re-engaged into the Regiment on the 28th April 1908 and attended the Regiments Annual Camps until he was embodied into the Army on the 5th August 1914, the day after the Great War broke out.

He was posted to Belgium on the 26th October had only been serving overseas for a month when he was killed by Shellfire whilst digging trenches by the Brewery Inn in Neuve Eglise, Belgium.

Walter is buried in the Neuve Eglise Cemetery, Belgium. (N.2.)

His headstone is heavily weathered and much of the detail has vanished.

Medal Entitlement: Territorial Efficiency Medal, 1914 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal.

Alfred John Welch

5484, Private, 1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment.

Killed In Action on the 10th September 1916 aged 28.

Alfred was born on the 16th December 1887, the son of Alfred & Annie Welch of Back Lane, Stevenage.

He enlisted in the Hertfordshire Regiment on the 16th August 1915 and, following the completion of his training, was posted to France on the 13th May 1916, where the Battalion was preparing to take part in the Somme offensive. He joined the Battalion for duty on the 10th June and was transferred to "D" Company on the 23rd June.

The Unit War Diary describes the Battalion as being in the area North of the Ancre River, a hard fought area of the Somme battlefields, on the 3rd September 1916 but gives no indication of how Alfred became a casualty. The Battalion suffered two other casualties on this day and it can be reasonably assumed that all three were probably the victims of a shellfire incident.

He is buried in the Knightsbridge Cemetery, Mesnil-Martinsart, France. (C.47.)

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal.

Frederick Welch

4/7372, Private, 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.

Died of Wounds on the 21st April 1915 aged 30.

Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium

Frederick was the son of Emma Welch and the nephew of William & Matilda Welch of Letchmore Road, Stevenage.

He arrived in France on the 3rd December 1914 and was severely wounded in the fighting around Hill 60, which is situated on a ridge overlooking the town of Ypres. The highest point of the hill is composed of excavated earth from the railway cutting that runs through the ridge. It allows an excellent view over the town and was a valuable artillery observation point.

On the 10th April 1915, after a few days rest in Reningheist, the Battalion moved to trenches opposite Hill 60. Here they assisted in preparations for an attack on the hill and these were completed by the 17th April, despite the fact that all necessary materials had to be carried by hand from the ruins of Zillebeke, under the cover of darkness. Much tunnelling had taken place prior to the attack and on the 17th April six British mines were detonated close to the German positions and the assault got underway. Initially, there was some success as the German troops were caught by surprise but this did not last very long. They quickly re-organised themselves and at midnight they made a concerted counter-attack. It was during this attack that Frederick Welch was apparently shot in the head and died of his wounds several days later. It is believed that his grave was lost during the intense shelling in the area and, as a result, he has no known grave.

His name is recorded on the Menin Gate memorial, Belgium. (Panel 31 and 33)

Medal Entitlement: 1914/15 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal.

Fredrick Cyril Westwood

31896, Private, 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.

Died At Sea 30th December 1917 aged 20.

The Chatby Memorial, Egypt

Fred was the son of E & A Westwood of 26 High Street. He was educated at Alleynes school and his father was a local butcher who later employed Fred as a slaughterman.

On 30th December 1917 the German submarine UC-34 torpedoed the troopship Aragon off Alexandria. HMS Attack and the Armed Trawler Points Castle rescued soldiers from the sinking troopship, but HMS Attack either struck a mine or received another torpedo as she pulled men from the water. Ten sailors from HMS Attack died and 600 lives were lost on the Aragon.

Frederick has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Chatby Memorial, Egypt.

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal.

 

Horace Wheatley

G/13508 , Private, 7th Battalion, Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment.

Missing in Action on the 8th November 1916.

Thiepval Memorial, Somme.

Horace was born in St.Albans, Hertfordshire. It is uncertain when he moved to Stevenage but his son, William, was born in the town in 1907. Horace was an Estate Gamekeeper and was working the Kimpton area by 1911, and eventually moved to Godstone, Surrey,where he enlisted in the Army.

The Battalion and had moved into the trenches from Albert on the night of 3rd November 1916, in order to relieve the men of the 10th Essex Regiment. They were situated in Regina & Hessian trench where they remained through the next few days. Life in the trenches at this time was desperately uncomfortable. The cold and wet of the winter months and the continual shelling by German artillery made every day a miserable event. The Battalion provided working parties to work on trench defences but the wet conditions seriously hampered their efforts. On the 6th November the Battalion moved from the frontline trenches to the nearby support trenches. Here they prepared to be relieved by the 7th Royal Kent Regiment and on the 8th November the relief began. This movement of troops became a target for the German artillery who began to shell the area very heavily, resulting in many casualties. It was during this relief that Horace Wheatley was killed.

He has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial. Somme, France. (Pier and Face 5 D and 6 D.)

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal.

Henry James Wilson

110612, Private, 19th Battalion. Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry).

Died on the 16th October 1918 aged 23.

Private Henry James Wilson

Henry was the son of Martha & Henry Wilson of 4 Albert Street and was employed in Stevenage as a Policeman. He joined the Hertfordshire Yeomanry in May 1915 as Private 2425.

He arrived in Egypt on the 16th November 1915 and was later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. Henry died of Enteritis on the 16th October 1918 aged 23. His parents later lived at Bragbury End and thus his name is recorded on both the Stevenage and Aston war memorials and both of these show Henry as serving in the Hertfordshire Yeomanry, which was his original unit.

Henry is buried in the Beirut War Cemetery, Lebanon. (Grave 38.) 

Medal Entitlement: 1915 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal.

Donald Sam Wright

2/Lieutenant, 8th Bedfordshire Regiment, ( Formerly PS/8241 19th Royal Fusiliers ).

Died Of Wounds on the 25th April 1917 aged 21.

Second Lieutenant Donald Samuel Wright

Donald Wright was born on the 25th June 1895 the son of Samuel Eustace Wright, a local mineral drinks manufacturer. He was educated at Caldicott school and later at Bishop Stortford college.

He enlisted in the Army on the 13th July 1915 just a few weeks after his 20th birthday and served as Private 8241 in No.14 Platoon, “D” Company of the 19th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers.  He was posted to France on the 8th  January 1916 and joined his Battalion in the field on the 17th January. He then served on the Western Front for exactly four months and on the 18th May 1916 was posted England to undertake a cadetship at No.6 Officer Cadet Battalion. The Battalion was located at Balliol College, Oxford and he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on the 25th September 1916.

Donald was posted to the Bedfordshire Regiment on the 20th October 1916 and embarked for France on the 10th November. He joined the 8th Battalion on the 27th November 1916 and served with them on the Western Front throughout the winter of 1916/17. On the 16th April 1917 the Battalion moved into Front Line positions at Loos. A few days later, on the 19th, they were involved in bitter fighting in the area and were subjected to heavy artillery barrages and grenade attacks. Donald Wright received serious shell wounds to his right eye, face and chest and was evacuated to No.18 Field Ambulance. Later that day he was moved to No.33 Casualty Clearing station at Bethune, where he remained for six days. The nature of injuries must have been quite serious as he was moved to No.35 General Field Hospital in Calais on the 25th April where he died at 11pm that night.

Donald is buried in the Calais Southern Cemetery, France.

Headstone Inscription: "Greater Love Hath No Man Than This"

Medal Entitlement:  British War Medal & Victory Medal