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Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion


World War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © Transcribed Janet Graves - 2004
Researched Brian Powell - 2007

Ewhurst Parish War Memorial covering the villages of Ewhurst Green, Staplecross and Cripps’ Corner. Because of the 3 villages involved there are two memorials. The Ewhurst War Memorial was unveiled by May Russell (daughter of casualty Alfred Russell) on February 4th 1921 in the parish churchyard of St. James’ with the Archdeacon of Hastings in attendance. The Staplecross Memorial was raised by “The Comrades” and unveiled by Lt-Col. Corrie DSO with Bishop Gregory in attendance.

The Ewhurst Green memorials is now sited at Staplecross. The following account of the unveiling and dedication of the War Memorial at Staplecross is taken from One Hundred Years of Ewhurst Parish News. 1892 – 1990.

'The War Memorial at Staplecross, put up at the entrance of Forge Lane by “The Comrades” in the form of a Lion Couchant, was dedicated by Bishop Gregory on Whit Sunday and unveiled by Lt. Col. Corrie, D.S.O. A stone tablet has since been added to the 1914 – 18 War memorial with the names of those who fell inscribed in raised letters.'

Above: From an old postcard
Top right and left and right below - photographs
Copyright © Janet Graves 2004

Below - photograph
Copyright © Brian Powell 2007


1914 - 1918


Sergeant, G121, B Coy, 7th Royal Sussex Regiment. Killed in action 25th July 1917. Battle of Arras. Born Bexhill 7-7-1890. Next of kin Miss M.D. Adams 18 Bradford St, Old Town, Eastbourne. Killed in enemy raid on Long Trench, body lost. Listed on Arras Memorial, Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery.


Stephen Thomas
Lance-Corporal, SD/887, A Coy, 13th Royal Sussex Regiment (3rd Southdown). Killed in action 22nd March 1918. Born 14-12-1892. Initially in 12th Battalion but this Battalion almost totally wiped-out at Richebourg June 30th 1916, then disbanded with survivors joining 11th and 13th Battalions. Son of Alfred a fruiterer and keeper of the Ewhurst pub then called The Castle. Lived at Snagshall, Ewhurst. Married Alice Caff 24-11-1917 at St James’ Ewhurst. Buried by the Germans at Ste. Emilie Valley Cemetery at Villers-Faucon, Grave ref: IG2.


Edwin 'Teddy'
Private 43570 22nd Battalion The Manchester Regiment. Killed in action 28th March 1917. Initially G/8962 Royal Sussex Regiment but transferred in March 1917 to the Manchester’s. Lived at The Old Brewery in Staplecross. Buried at Croisilles British Cemetery, Grave ref: IV-C24.


Percy John
[Known as John CURTIS] Private G/20990, 7th Battalion The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Killed in action 23rd March 1918. Born Canterbury, son of Samuel & Jane Curtis of Homeleigh, Appledore Rd, Tenterden. Listed on the Pozieres Memorial


Petty Officer 1st Class, 175529 HMS Excellent. Son of Richard Christmas & Ellen Dennis of Forge lane, Staplecross. HMS Excellent is not a ship but a shore-based gunnery school at Whale Island in Portsmouth. John died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis on January 4th 1919 and is buried at St. James’ in Ewhurst.


Private 21769, 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards. Died of wounds 2nd April 1918 in France & Flanders. Aged 19. Born Westfield, Sussex, enlisted Hastings, resident Ewhurst. Eldest son of Jesse David and Frances Agnes Eldridge of Dagg Lane, Ewhurst, Sussex; brother of Bertram below. Buried in Doullens Communal Cemetery Extension No. 1, Somme, France. Plot VI. Row F. Grave 45.


Bertram 'Bert'
[Listed as Benjamin on memorial in St. Mark’s Church in Staplecross] Private 5037, 16th (Sussex Yeomanry) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. Killed in action 2nd September 1918 with the B.E.F. Aged 22. Born Westfield, Sussex, enlisted Hastings into the 13th battalion (3rd Southdown) but transferred to 16th upon that battalion’s return from Mesopotamia. Second son on of Jesse David and Frances Agnes Eldridge, of Dagg Lane, Ewhurst; brother of Arthur above. Buried close to where he fell near the village of Haute Allaines in France but after the Armistice he was moved a few miles south into the consolidation cemetery of Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France. Plot III. Row E. Grave 29.


George aka Jack
[Known as Jack] Private SR/1499 2nd Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment. An ‘Old ontemptible’ having been born in 1874 Jack was a former soldier who arrived in France in August 1914 at the outbreak of war as a reservist. He Died of Wounds on 17th July 1916 at The City of London Military Hospital on Clifden Rd in Clapton and was buried at St. James’ Ewhurst. His death certificate lists his cause of death as “Shock following amputation of left leg for disorganisation of knee joint following gun-shot wound”


Ernest John
[Known as John] Lance-Corporal 5617, 1/9th The London Regiment (Queen Victoria’s Rifles). Second son of John & Rhoda Ford of Soak Farm in Silchester near Reading. Born in Mortimer West in Hampshire he married Ethel Jane Hubbard on October 28th 1911 at St. James’ Ewhurst. Working at Prawles Farm as a labourer, John was father to Charles (born 1912) and George Frederick (born 1914). Enlisted at St. George’s in London. Wounded at Bouleaux Wood on the Somme battlefield and Died of Wounds at 21st CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) at Corbie on September 10th 1916. Buried at La Neuville British Cemetery, grave ref: II C57.


Private SD/2277, 12th Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment (2nd Southdown). Killed in action 20th September 1916. Born Ewhurst, enlisted Hastings.Eldest son of Mr & Mrs Alfred Foster of Snagshall in Ewhurst. Killed in the Battle of the Redan Ridge on the Somme. Buried in Sucrerie Military Cemetery at Colincamps, grave ref: I I43


Private SD/930, 11th Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment (1st Southdown). Born at Dyke’s Farm at Udiam in 1896 William lived at Prawles Cottages in Ewhurst where his father was foreman at Prawles Farm. Joined 1st Ewhurst (Wolf Patrol) Boy Scouts’ on June 21st 1913 aged 17 run by Lord Baden-Powell. Taken prisoner of war on September 3rd 1916 at the Battle of the Ancre on the Somme. Died in captivity 1st October 1916 and buried by the Germans in a mass grave at Caudry Old Communal Cemetery in France along with 139 others.


Arthur Widderington
Lieutenant 1st Battalion The King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. Killed in action 25th October 1914. Born 31-1-1886 as only son of the Rev & Mrs Robert Morrison Herdman, vicar of Holy Trinity in North Shields. Brought up at Sunny Holme, Crescent Parade, Ripon, Yorks but lived at Ewhurst Place. Commission into KSLI on 18th September 1909 and served in Ireland. Arrived in France Sept 10th 1914. Killed at Le Quense Farm at Bois Grenier near Armentieres in France with B Company, 1st KSLI. Believed to be buried at Ration Farm Military Cemetery but listed on the Ploegsteert Memorial to the missing. Upon his death (a) one of his fields was left to the children of Ewhurst as playing fields and is still used as such in the 21st Century (b) his house was leased to Lord Baden-Powell until his estate was settled in 1917.


John 'Jack'
Lance-Corporal SD/1059, 11th Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment (1st Southdown). Son of Stephen & Ellen Hutchison of Staplecross, born in Bexhill, lived at Gate Farm in Staplecross. Wounded at Elzenwalle Brasserie and taken to the dressing station at Poperinge where he Died of Wounds on 26th April 1918. Buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetary in Belgium, grave ref: XXVII H9.o further information currently


Frank 'Frankie'
Yeoman of Signals (Petty Officer) 208969 Royal Navy. Killed in action 31st May 1916 on board battle cruiser HMS Defence. Born 23-10-1883 in Ewhurst, son of Henry & Sabina Jeffrey. Lived at Poplars Cottage at Rock Hill between Staplecross and Ewhurst before moving to No 6 Rosefields in Staplecross. After attending the Wesleyan School Frankie became apprentice to Mr Grisbrook the builder who used what is now “The Old Forge” as his workshop. Killed along with 849 others when HMS Defence was sunk during the Battle of Jutland.


James [William]
Private G2535, A Company, 8th Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment (Sussex Pioneers). Killed in action 25th February 1917. Son of Mr & Mrs J. Keeley of Spark’s Cottages, Northiam Rd, Staplecross. Born in Heathfield and attended Staplecross School. Killed by a shell whilst constructing new trenches in no-mans-land. Buried in Aveluy Military Cemetery, grave ref: M23.


Luther aka Lewis
[Listed as Lewis on the memorial in St. Mark’s Church] Sergeant L/9061, B Company 8th Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment (Sussex Pioneers). Killed in action 20th November 1916. Aged 30. Son of William & Eliza martin of Old Shoreham in Ewhurst. Born and bred in Ewhurst Luther was another pioneer killed in no-mans-land on the Somme battlefield. His company was tasked with digging a communications trench between Regina Trench and Desire Trench both of which were former German trenches. Killed along with 4 others by shellfire just as winter forced a halt to operations on the Somme Luther’s body lay out in no-mans-land for a number of months. He was finally recovered in the spring of 1917 and buried in Stump Road Cemetery within 100 yards of where he was found. At the time the burials were made in a former German trench and Luther shares a headstone with another fallen comrade, grave ref: A24.


Trooper L/9158 9th Queens Royal Lancers. Died 15th March 1919. Aged 28. Son of Mr & Mrs J Price of ‘Stodder’ Cottage Beckley, he was the brother of the Staplecross boot maker, Oliver Price. He is remembered as a very big and strong man. Joined 9th Lancers (2nd Cavalry Bde, 1st Cavalry Division) and served on the Western Front from Dec 1915, Somme 1916, Cambrai, St Quentin, Amiens and Albert where the cavalry fought dismounted or on horseback to exploit through the infantry. 9th Lancers with 2nd Cavalry Bde arrived in Cologne after the war ended to secure the bridges over the Rhine as part of the Army of Occupation. Charles Price contracted bronchial pneumonia in early 1919 and died on 15 Mar 1919 in 64 Casualty Clearing Station Cologne. Buried at Cologne Southern Cemetery Plot 111 Row D, Grave 2.


Private 4549, XII Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales Own). Died of wounds: 16th November 1917. Son of Horrace & Eliza Russell of Rose Cottage who had 10 children in all. Lived at 4 Forge Lane in Staplecross and worked at Hollow Wall Farm. Enlisted on 5th November 1898 into the Corps of Lancers aged 18. Served in the Boer War from January 10th 1901 before serving in India. After 10 years he retired from the army but remained on the reserve list. On 19th February 1908 he married Florence Mary Eldridge and had two children (Georgie and May). Alfred was called-up at the outbreak of war in 1914 but was medically discharged on 27th December 1915 as no longer being fit for service. Alfred died at the 4th London General Hospital at Denmark Hill, Brixton on 16th November 1917 almost two years after being discharged. Cause of death was “Myelitus (Specific)” the closest translation being nervous disease (possibly shell shock). Buried in the churchyard of St. James’ Ewhurst and his daughter May Russell unveiled the war memorial on 4th February 1921.


[Also known as Bert or Bertie] Private 72769 2nd Battalion (Sherwood Foresters) Nottingham & Derbyshire Regiment. Killed in action 19th September 1918. Son of Mr & Mrs Herbert Russell of Spark’s Farm, Northiam Road, Staplecross. Born and brought up in Ewhurst Bert enlisted in Eastbourne as T4/216475 Army Service Corps, Motor Transport Division as a driver. In November 1917 he was transferred into the infantry joining the Sherwood Foresters. Killed in the defence of the village of Holnon and buried in Trefcon British Cemetery, grave ref: D3


Frederick 'Fred'
Private 682546 1st/22nd Battalion (The Queens’s) The London Regiment. Killed in action 22nd August 1918. Oldest son of the blacksmith Albert & Annie Simmons of The Forge, Staplecross and one of 12 children. Joined 1/19th Battalion The London Regiment, but transferred to 1/22nd in the summer of 1918. Buried Noyelles-sur-L’Escaut Communal Cemetery Extension just on the outskirts of Cambrai. Grave ref: 1B5.


[William] George
Private SD/1471 12th Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment (2nd Southdown). Killed in action 3rd September 1916. Born in Bexhill brother of Alfred Stone of Morgay Staplecross. Killed at the Battle of Ancre and buried in Hamel Military Cemetery, grave ref: I.E33.


Charles [Clarence]
Sergeant 1803398 Royal Air Force. Killed in action 12th June 1944. Eldest son of Clarence & Patience (Patsy) Barnes. Brother of Percy and Douglas. Born 22nd September 1924 on the green at Ninfield. Joined-up in 1942 aged 18 and went on to serve with 101 Squadron at Ludford Magna as an Air Gunner from September 1943. Shot down in Lancaster MK1 serial LL751 SR-F “F for Freddy” on a raid on railway targets at Evreux. Buried along with the rest of his crew in Evreux Communal Cemetery, grave refs: Row B, Collective graves 31-37.


Charles [Ernest John]
LAC Leading Aircraftman 933810 Royal Air Force. Died: 21st February 1942. Son of Charles Quare & Ethel Maud Blyth of Petts Wood, Orpington, landlords of the Ewhurst pub during the war (then known as The Castle). Born 15th June 1916 Charles joined 5 S&TC (Supply and Transport Command) Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He died of Septicaemia whilst serving in Tobruk and is buried in the El Alamein War Cemetery in Egypt, grave ref: XII B14.


Victor Frederick William
LAC Leading Aircraftman 1st Class, 1238260 Royal Air Force. Died: 20th October 1943. Son of Victor James & Alice Maude Forward. Born 12th March 1923 in Crowborough. One of 5 children they lived at Prawles Farm, Ewhurst during the war. LAC AC1 Forward served in 178 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve as a Flight Mechanic (Airframes) on Liberator bombers. He drowned in the Mediterranean Sea at Appollonia whilst swimming and was buried in the Benghazi War Cemetery in Libya, grave ref: 3E33.


Robert Bertram
(Temp). Captain 138973, 1st Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery. Killed in action 2nd June 1942. Born 15th December 1918 in Kandy, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). 3rd son of Bertram George & Kathleen deGlanville Lived at Morgay, Junction Road, Cripps’ Corner he enlisted in 1939 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on 3rd September 1939 the day war was declared. Married Joan Mary Davidson on 27th August 1940 as was posted to the Middle East in September 1940. Promoted in early 1942 to the rank of Temporary Captain and Troop Commander of ‘B’ Battery. Killed in action against German and Italian tanks near Bir Harmat at grid reference 380420 but his body was never recovered. Listed on the El Alamein Memorial to the missing along with 11,874 others.


Charles 'Charlie' [Douglas]
Private 6398584, B Company, 5th Battalion The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey Regiment). Killed in action 27th March 1943. One of 7 children of George & Agnes Masters. Born at Leaford Cottages in Whatlington, attended school and was a choir boy at Whatlington before the family moved to Laurel Bank at Cripps’ Corner in the 1930’s. Worked at Thomas’s the builders of Sedlescombe before enlisting into B Company, 5th Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment (Cinque Ports Battalion). Shot in the neck during the evacuation from Dunkirk in May 1940. Transferred to the West Surrey Regiment upon return to service and sent to North Africa. Killed in action near Wadi Negueb and buried by his comrades where he fell. His grave was subsequently lost and Charles is commemorated on the Medjez-el-Bab Memorial in Tunisia.


Leonard 'Len' [William]
Corporal 14248613, 328 Workshops Company, Royal Engineers. Died: 8th July 1945. Brother of Charles Masters. Born 3rd March 1922 at Leaford Cottages in Whatlington. Worked for The Forestry Commission and at Lordine Court Farm prior to enlisting into the Royal Engineers. Married Nora Betty Fifield on 31st January 1943 and lived at No2, New Council Houses, Northiam Road, Staplecross. Sent out to Burma in 1943 and died of Shrub Typhus at 10 IMFTU on July 8th 1945. Buried at Mandalay Military Cemetery (now known as Taukkyan War Cemetery in Rangoon). Grave ref: 17F10


Basil Oliver
Flight-Lieutenant 115353 Royal Air Force. Killed in action 21st February 1944. Born 3rd March 1921 in Nicosia, Cyprus. Only son of Basil Cecil & Olive Petrides. Lived at Boyces in Staplecross, married Anne Merriel Stallebrass from East Dean on 19th November 1943. Enlisted in the RAF was a WOP/AG (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) and briefly posted to 50 Squadron before joining 156 Squadron The Pathfinders based at RAF Warboys. Awarded the DFM (Distinguished Flying Medal) for outstanding ability on operational missions over Europe in 1941 which was reported in the London Gazette on 10th February 1942. Lancaster III serial ND345, GT-C “C for Charlie” blew-up over Mannheim when attacked by night-fighters on return from a mission over Stuttgart. Pilot blown clear of the aircraft and survived as a POW, the rest of the crew perished as the aircraft blew apart. Buried at the Rheinberg War Cemetery at Krefeld, grave ref: 8C5.


William [Lewis] 'Lew'
Sergeant 1330193 Royal Air Force. Killed in action 31st July 1943. One of eight children of Mr & Mrs Charles Reed, all lived at No 3 Reeves Cottages at Sidegates on the Northiam Road in Staplecross. Prior to the war Lewis worked at Boyces for Captain & Mrs Petrides along with his brother Dick. When war was declared Lewis was too young to enlist so he joined the Ewhurst LDV (Land Defence Volunteers – the predecessor of the Home Guard) where he learnt Morse Code. As soon as he was old enough he enlisted into the RAF in March 1941 and trained as a WOP/AG but due to his ability was made an instructor. Desperate to fly he finally got his wish and was posted to 408 ‘Goose’ Squadron RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) based at RAF Leeming in Yorkshire. His very first mission was on the night of 30th/31st July 1943 when he joined the crew of a Halifax II Bomber serial JD365 EQ-J ‘J for Jonney’ and lifted off from RAF Leeming at 2212hrs bound for Remscheid near Dortmund. They never made it being shot down on route with the loss of the entire crew. He is buried at the Rheinberg War Cemetery in Krefeld, grave ref: 4G7 not far from his last civilian employers only son.


Douglas [Shipton]
[Known as Wilkes] Lieutenant, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Killed: 25th March 1941. Born in 1891 he was an expert yachtsman and esteemed entomologist and worked for the Dept of Agriculture in Cyprus, the British Museum and the Natural History Museum in London where he was the leading expert on moths. On the outbreak of war he offered his services to the Royal Navy and on 20th February 1941 he was posted to HMS Nile, a shore-based establishment at Ras-el-Tin Point in Alexandria, Egypt. To get there he boarded the cargo liner HMS Britannia at Liverpool Docks on March 12th which was to sail down the west coast of Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope, up the east coast of Africa and eventually up the Red Sea to reach Cairo. They made it as far as Sierra Leone on the west coast of Africa when they ran into the German commerce raider ‘Thor’ 720 miles off the coast of Freetown. It took Thor just 10 minuets to sink HMS Britannia by shellfire sending the 8000 tons of general cargo to the bottom along with 122 of the 203 crew and 127 of the 281 passangers. Douglas Wilkinson is commerorated on The Chatham Naval Memorial in Chatham Royal Naval Dockyard in Kent, panel 50 column 1.

Last updated 24 November, 2017

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