Reginald Carter

266935, Private, "D" Company, 1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment.

Died 28th November 1918 aged 23.

Reginald was born on the 21st December 1895, the son of George & Caroline Carter of the High Street, Walkern.

He was taken prisoner on the 31st July 1917, when the Hertfordshire Regiment suffered devastating losses at St. Julien on the opening day of the Third Battle of Ypres, more commonly known as the Battle of Passchendaele.    He was held in the Niederzwehren camp where conditions were almost intolerable. Many prisoners were only given very rudimentary treatment for any wounds or infections that had received. Additionally, food was very meagre and many men died of malnutrition.

His brother, Arthur, died in France on the 29th May 1918.

Reginald is buried in the Niederzwehren Cemetery, Germany. (4.M.7.)

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal

Albert Lewis Catlin

18957, Lance Corporal, 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment

Killed in Action on the 5th September 1916 aged 32

The grave of Lance Corporal Albert Lewis Catlin in the Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, France.

Albert was the son of Susan Catlin of High Street, Graveley and the husband of Mary Catlin of 47 Alleyns Road, Stevenage.

He arrived in France with his Battalion on the 13th May 1915, and was killed during the Somme offensive following an attack on Falfemont Farm, a German fortified strong-point to the South-east of an area known as Wedge Wood. The Battalion successfully captured the farm in the early hours of the 5th September 1916. However, there was no part of the farm left standing and, as result no real shelter for the assaulting battalions, who had to spend the night in the open. Early in the morning the Germans shelled the area and the battalion suffered many casualties, among which is believed to have been Albert Catlin.

He is buried in the Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, France. (27.D.1.)

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

David Chalkley

8433, Lance Corporal, 1st Battalion. Bedfordshire Regiment.

Missing In Action on the 4th September 1916 aged 34.

Thiepval Memorial, Somme.

David was born in Aston. He arrived in France with his Battalion on the 16th August 1914 and served almost continuously on the Western Front.

During the morning of 4th September 1916, British artillery persistently shelled the line his Battalion were holding, and in spite of several reports, matters remained the same. Finally, two of the forward trenches had to be evacuated as the men were all being buried. In doing so, the enemy opened up with machine guns on them and there were several casualties. Quite apart from its moral effect some 30 men were killed or wounded by our own guns, one of whom was Lance Corporal David Chalkley.

He has no know grave and his name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.(Pier and Face 2 C )

Medal Entitlement: 1914 Star & Clasp, British War Medal & Victory Medal

William Noah Chalkley

241933, Private, 2nd/5th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment

Died on the 11th April 1918 aged 42

Private William Noah Chalkley

William was the son of William & Eliza Chalkley of Letchmore Green, Stevenage. He married Jane Aldridge in the parish church at Graveley, Hertfordshire, on the 24th September 1898 and the couple lived in Walkern Road, Stevenage, where they had their first child, Cecil. William listed his occupation at that time as a Domestic Coachman but by 1911 he had become a publican, occupying a premises in Silver Street, Stanstead, Essex. By this time the couple had an additional three children, Clarice Maud, Lesley John and Alfred Percy. The family later moved back to Stevenage where they lived at 42 Alleyns Road.

William was called up for service in the Army on the 12th July 1916 at the age of 40, initially applying to join the Army Service Corps, but was posted to the 2nd/5th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, part of the Territorial Army. The Battalion only served in the UK and William did not serve overseas. Whilst in the performance of his duties at Chelmsford, Essex, in May 1917 he caught a serious cold and a cough. The cough persisted and he was admitted to hospital at Christmas 1917 where was diagnosed with Tuberculosis. William was examined at No.1 Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge, on the 2nd February 1918 and was recommended for a discharge. The Army attempted to place him in a sanatorium but William refused and requested to be sent home, which was now at 56 Stanmore Road, Stevenage, so that he could be nursed by his wife. He was discharged from the Army on the 27th February 1918 and his wife looked after him for six weeks but eventually he succumbed to his illness and died.

He is buried at St.Nicholas churchyard, Stevenage.

Headstone Inscription: "And With The Morn Those Angel Faces Smile Which I Have Loved Long Since And Lost Awhile"

As William had not served overseas he was not entitled to any of the Great War campaign medals.

Arthur Chamberlain

134873, Sapper, “Z” Special Company, Royal Engineers

Killed in Action on the 3rd April 1917 aged 25

Sapper Arthur Chamberlain

Arthur was the son of Eli & Julia Chamberlain of 125 High Street, Stevenage. Before joining the Army he worked in his father’s Plumbing & Gas fitting business which may be the reason why he was selected to serve in a special unit of the Royal Engineers.

He was serving in “Z” company of the Royal Engineers which was a unit specialising in the use of Gas & Flame Projectors. On the 3rd April 1917 the company were proceeding along the Lille Road near Arras when they were heavily shelled by German artillery, killing Arthur Chamberlain and his Sergeant, Reginald Richard Ford MM, and seriously wounding their officer, Lieutenant Clement Stuart Hogg, who died three days later from his injuries at a Casualty Clearing Station near Aubigny.

The casualties were;

Lieutenant Clement Stuart HOGG aged 25 of Clapham, London.

He had previously served with the Royal Fusiliers and received his Commission on the 4th February 1917. Clement Hogg is buried in the Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

19883 Sergeant Reginald Richard FORD M.M. aged 29 of Cullompton, Devon.

He had served in the Army since 1910 and had been wounded on several occasions. Reginald Ford has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Arras Memorial (Bay 1.)

Arthur Chamberlain is buried in the St.Nicholas British Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France. (Grave Reference: I.A.1.). His grave number indicates that he was the first soldier to be buried in this cemetery, which lays behind a housing estate on the outskirts of Arras.

Headstone Inscription: "Until The Day Break And The Shadows Flee Away"

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal

William Chamberlain

21056, Private, 2nd Battalion, Border Regiment

Killed in Action on the 1st July 1916 aged 27

The grave of Private William Chamberlain at Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, France.

William was the son of Sarah Chamberlain of 6 Bowling Green, Stevenage. He enlisted in the Army on the 23rd May 1910 joining the Bedfordshire Regiment, with the Regimental Number 9619. He served continuously with the battalion until the outbreak of the Great War, and was posted to France on the 6th October 1914.

On the 3rd November 1914, when the Battalion was situated at Inverness Copse near Gheluvelt, Belgium, William was wounded when their trenches were shelled by German artillery. A few days later on the 9th November 1915 he was transferred to the ranks of the 2nd Border Regiment.

William and a another Stevenage man, Harold Holdron were  to be killed in the most renowned battle of all, the first day of The Battle of the Somme, where the British army suffered devastating casualties. He fell when his battalion was involved in the assault on Mametz. The attack began at 07.27am with the Battalion being given the task of capturing a series of German trenches named; Danube Trench, Apple Alley, Shrine Alley and Hidden Lane.

The troops met with heavy machine gun fire from the village of Mametz as well as from Fricourt which was to their left. Eventually, they managed to achieve all their objectives but had suffered 343 casualties, including William Chamberlain.

He is buried in the Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, France. (9.I.4.)

Medal Entitlement: 1914 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal

Ernest Chambers

105816, Shoeing Smith, No. 2 Section, Guards Division Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery

Died on the 20th November 1918 aged 32

Shoeing Smith Ernest Chambers

Ernest was born on the 25th February 1886, the son of John & Elizabeth Chambers of Symonds Green, Stevenage. Before joining the Army he had been employed by T.G & H.E.Worboys, Timber Merchants in Stevenage.

He served as a Blacksmith with the Royal Artillery and was posted to France on the 13th December 1915. Whilst on leave in September 1918 he married his sweetheart, Kathleen Stutley. Two months later he died in hospital of bronchial Pneumonia, probably as a result of contracting influenza. His brother, Seymour, was killed in action on the 24th June 1917.

Ernest is buried in the Le Quesnoy Communal Cemetery Extension, France. (Grave Reference:1.C.10.)

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

Seymour Augustus Chambers

28315, Private, “D” Company. 7th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment

Killed In Action on the 24th June 1917 aged 26

The grave of Private Seymour Augustus Chambers at Dickebusch Military Cemetery Extension, Ypres, Belgium.

Private Seymour Augustus Chambers

Seymour was the son of John & Elizabeth Chambers of Symonds Green. He married Annie Gray at the Parish Church, Walkern, Hertfordshire, on

the 24th April 1915 and the couple lived at 4 Nottingham Road, Stevenage. His brother, Ernest, died of Pneumonia on the 20th November 1918, probably as a result of contracting influenza.

He attested for Army service on the 10th December 1915 at the age of 24 years and 8 months and was called up on the 30th September 1916. He arrived at Calais on the 26th January 1917 as part of the 7th Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment, and was posted to the Regimental Training Battalion on the same day, returning to his parent Battalion on the 2nd March 1917. On the 15th June 1917 the Battalion relieved the 12th Royal Fusiliers in a front line sector close to Hill 60 near Ypres. Action in this area of the Western Front was constant and troops, on both sides, suffered continued daily shelling as well as numerous trench raids.

On the 24th June the Battalion were in the process of being relieved in order that they could obtain some respite from these arduous conditions. The relief was heavily shelled and were also subjected to a number of British gas shells, which had fallen short of their target. Although this period at the front had cost the Battalion 30 lives, only Seymour was killed during the relief stage.

He is buried in the Dickebusch Military Cemetery Extension, Ypres, Belgium. (Grave Reference: II.A.43.)

Headstone Inscription: "Never Forgotten"

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal

John Charlton

86232 Lance Corporal No.4 Company. Royal Army Medical Corps.

Died on the 28th February 1919 aged 28.

John Charlton was born in Chillingham, Northumberland in 1892. He moved with his mother, Mary Jane Charlton, and his brother, George Penrose Charlton, to St.Stephens Cottage, Aston, where their mother was a local school mistress. Before joining the Army John was employed as collector by the Pearl insurance Company although his trade was as a Journalist. He married Nellie Davidge on the 17th April 1915 and on the 21st July 1916 their son, Harold John was born. The family lived at 72 Ickelford Road, Hitchin.

John was attested for service in the Army on the 15th June 1916 and was mobilised on the 6th November of the same year. He was not a healthy man as his medical examination revealed. He was of very slight build, had poor eyesight, deformed toes on his left foot, a goitre on his upper dentures and his overall physical condition was described as poor. John was given the medical catergory BII and attached to No.4 Company, Royal Army Medical Corps based at Netley. On the 29th April 1917 John was posted to France where he served in the No.58 General Hospital at St.Omer as a Sanitary Orderly.

John died from Septic Pneumonia whilst at home on leave on the 28th February 1919 and is buried in the St.Mary Churchyard, Aston.

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal.