Turvey’s Memorial to The Great War
The Great War (later referred to as World War 1) began for Britain on 4th August 1914. Like a lot of wars before and since everyone thought it would be “over by Christmas”. Young men from all walks of life volunteered to join the forces; those from Turvey were no exception.
The conflict continued for more than 4 years and ended on the famous date of 11th November 1918 at 11am; a time and date commemorated each year with services of remembrance and the Poppy Appeal.
The War Memorial
As soon as the war had ended a Turvey War Memorial Committee was established, under the Chairmanship of Charles King, to raise funds for the creation of a memorial to honour those from the village who had lost their lives in the conflict. By June 1919 the Committee had awarded the contract for the design and erection of a Memorial of unpolished Cornish granite to Messrs Underwood & Son of Baker Street, London for the sum of £400. Permission had also been obtained for the memorial to be placed in an area of the village known as “The Cross”. The money was raised from public donations and door-to-door collections.
On the afternoon of Saturday 27th December 1919 the memorial was unveiled by the Squire, Mr Henry L. Longuet Higgins before a crowd in the region of 500 people. Revd. J H Price, the Congregational Minister read the names of the men identified on the memorial, followed by Revd. F Fulford who read the dedication. Revd. Price then read the lesson and the Revd. Guy Beech the Collects.
We Will Remember Them
The inscription on the cross reads
Their name liveth for evermore. This cross is erected to the honour and undying memory of the men of this parish who laid down their lives for their King & Country in the Great Wars.
So often the names and lives of people on war memorials are lost in time. Hopefully the following will provide an insight into the young men of Turvey who were lost to their families and the village in the two world wars.
World War I
Backhouse, John William
Captain, 1st Btn., Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Killed in action (KIA) 10.2.1916, age 29. Born in Barnard Castle, Co. Durham. Son of Henry Backhouse and Georgina Stanton of Bournemouth. The 1911 census shows John as a single man living in rooms at the Three Cranes and was employed as a land agent. Buried at Hebuterne Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
Trooper, 30836 City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders). KIA 28.11.1917 in Palestine. Born in Sevenoaks, Kent and son of Thomas Bashford, a carpenter. Enlisted in Bedford aged 21. Commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel.
Bond, Arthur Edward
Fusilier, G/33388 2nd Btn., Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regt). KIA on9.10.1917 in Belgium, aged 32. Son of Edward and Sarah Bond of Carlton Road, Turvey and husband of Effie Bond of May Road, Turvey. Commemorated onTyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Flanders, Belgium.
Lance Corporal, 627 4th Btn., Australian Regiment; KIA 6.8.1915 during the assault on Lone Pine Hill, aged 24. Born in 1891, the son of John and CharlotteClifton of Rose Cottage, Mill Lane, Turvey. Percy emigrated to Australia between 1911 and 1914 and arrived in Sydney. He volunteered for service in 1914 at Cudgewa, Victoria. Commemorated at Lone Pine Cemetery, ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli, Turkey.
Private, 2nd/4th Lowland Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps. Died 23.10.1918 in Palestine. Born in Turvey, son of Charles Cotton, an agricultural labourer and Maria Panter of Lavendon. The family lived on the High Street in Turvey. His mother died in 1905, Reginald moved to stay with Isaac and Ruth Collins in Bridge Street. Buried in Gaza War Cemetery, Israel.
Essery, Albert Edward
Sergeant, 15307 8th Btn., Leicestershire Regiment. KIA 1.10.1917 at Black Watch Corner during the3rd battle of Ypres. Born in Turvey in 1881, the son of John Essery of Devon, a railway labourer, and Mary Ann Collins of Turvey. The family home in Turvey was 1 Mill Lane. Albert worked as a valet at Egerton Lodge in Leicestershire and enlisted at Melton Mowbray. Awarded Military Medal in February 1916. Commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Flanders, Belgium. Great Uncle of Turvey resident Dave Hilson.
Gunner 67629 56th Battery, Royal Artillery. KIA 14.9.1914 in France. Born in Isleham, Cambridgeshire, enlisted at Bedford. Connection with Turvey is unknown. Commemorated on La Ferte-ous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.
Private, 203098 4th Btn., Bedfordshire Regiment. Died of wounds 18.7.1917 in France, aged 32. Son of Samuel and Mary Ann Hilson of Picts Hill Farm, who had 14 children of whom 12 survived. Samuel was a farm labourer and the 1911 census shows Frederick and his brother Ernest also to be farm labourers. Buriedin Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Great Uncle of Turvey resident Dave Hilson.
Hopkins, Lionel Raymond
Private, 1400 1st/10th Btn., Middlesex Regiment. Died at Naina Tal, India on 29.4.1916, aged 21. Born in Turvey, son of George and Maud Hopkins of Burnham Road, St Albans. Buried in Kala Khan Cemetery, Naina Tal, India.
King, Frederick George
Private, 18754 2nd Btn., Bedfordshire Regiment. KIA 14.5.1916 in France. Born in and resident of Turvey, Buried in Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery, Somme, France.
King, Oliver Charles
Lance Corporal, 15035 7th Btn., Northamptonshire Regiment. KIA 25.9.1915 in France. Born in Thurleigh. Commemorated on Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.
Private, 20647 1st Btn., Northamptonshire Regiment. KIA 17.8.1916 in France. Born in Turvey. Commemorated on the Bazentin-le-Petit Communal Memorial Extension, Somme, France.
Longuet-Higgins, Kenneth Aislabie
Lieutenant, Royal Marinem Light Infantry. Died of wounds on hospital ship Devanha on 2.5.1915 off the coast of Gallipoli, aged 18. Son of Henry and Gertrude Longuet Higgins of Turvey Abbey. Buried at sea off Rhodes and commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent.
Private, 18830 8th Btn., Bedfordshire Regiment. KIA 19.4.1916 in Flanders, aged 19. Born Emberton, son of Mrs W. Lovell of Turvey Lodge Cottage, Turvey. Uncle of Turvey residents Janet Cockings and Jean Lawson; Great Uncle of Keith Cockings. Commemorated on Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium.
Munby, Ernest John
Lieutenant, 1st East Anglian Field Company, Royal Engineers KIA 31.1.1915, aged 38.Son of Rev G. Munby of Turvey Rectory and husband of Emily Munby. Buried at Le Touret Military Cemetery, Richebourg L’Avoue, Pas de Calais, France.
Oldrey, Gerald Vivian
Lieutenant, South Nottinghamshire Hussars. Died on 19.2.1919, aged 34 in Cairo, Egypt. Son of Robert and Hannah Oldrey of Laws House, Turvey. Buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
Oldrey, Robert John Blatchford
Captain, 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards. KIA on 29.10.1914 aged 31 at battle of Neuve Chapelle. Son of Robert and Hannah Oldrey of Laws House, brother of Gerald. Buried in Canadian Cemetery No. 2 at Neuville St. Vaast, Pas de Calais, France.
Private, 18576 8th Btn., Bedfordshire Regiment. KIA 20.4.1916, aged 18. Born in Turvey, son of George Sargent, a shepherd from Turvey and Jemima Orphin. In 1901 the family was living at Cold Brayfield but by 1911 had moved to Church Terrace, Turvey. Buried in Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres, Flanders, Belgium.
Sargent, Percy James
Guardsman, 16452 No. 1 Company, 1st Btn., Grenadier Guards. KIA 26.10.1914 in Flanders, aged 18. Born in Turvey, son of John and Charlotte (nee Cotton) Sargent of Park Lane, Turvey. Commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Flanders, Belgium.
Corporal, 18774 2nd Btn., Bedfordshire Regiment. KIA 11.7.1916 aged 23 at Trones Wood during the battle of the Somme. Born in and resident of Turvey.Son of John, a carter, and Fanny (nee Wooding) Sargent. Sidney worked as a farm labourer following his father’s death. Buried in Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Somme, Belgium. Great Grandfather of Ben Clayton, Turvey resident.
Warren, Harry Ernest
Trooper 30277 1st Bedfordshire Yeomanry. KIA 15.1.1918 in France. Born in Turvey lived in Bristol. Occupation: stonemason. Buried at Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy, Aisne, France.
Guardsman 10700 1st Btn., Grenadier Guards KIA between 10 and 13.3.1915in France, aged 29. Born in Cold Brayfield. Commemorated on Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.
World War II
Turvey’s War Memorial was re-dedicated after World War 2 on 7th November 1948 to include those men who lost their lives during the war. The ceremony was conducted by Air Commodore T.C.R. Higgins, president of the Turvey branch of the Royal British Legion. Their names were inscribed on the west facing panel of the monument. It is currently believed that nobody from Turvey since 1945 has lost their life while serving in the armed forces.
Allen, Christopher Leonard
Lieutenant, Royal Marines died on 29th January 1942 aged 19. Training accident at Chatham Naval Base. Son of Revd Claude and Joyce Allen of Turvey Rectory. Buried in Woodlands Cemetery, Gillingham, Kent. Grave 1435
Finlinson, Michael Graham
Lieutenant, Royal Engineers 303528 Served in 626 Field Squadron. Killed on 24th March 1945, during the Rhine Crossings, aged 20. Son of Malcolm and Violet Finlinson of Carlton. Buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 53.F.16
Manser, Peter Robert Courtenay
Lieutenant Colonel, 41180. Served in 25 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. KIA on 2nd August 1944 while serving in the Normandy campaign aged 35. Son of Robert and Rebecca St. John Manser, husband of Florence Manser of Turvey. Buried in Bayeux War Cemetery, Calvados, France. Grave II.F.14
Truphet, George Jennings
Leading Aircraftsman, 1196674, Served in 5003 Airfield Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Killed on 22nd May 1944 aged 36 during an air raid at RAF Manston in Kent. Husband of Lillie Truphet (nee Wollaston) of Turvey. Buried in Turvey Cemetery, Carlton Road with his wife who died in 1986. Grave 720A.
Wadsworth, Harry Ernest
Gunner 1649827, 153 (M) HAA Regiment, Royal Artillery. Died on 5th January 1944. Buried in Turvey Cemetery, Carlton Road. Grave 47.
Wood, Charles Ainsworth
Squadron Leader, 37030, Served in 258 Squadron, Royal Air Force, based at RAF Martlesham Heath, Suffolk. Failed to return to base following a convoy patrol over the English Channel; missing presumed dead on 30th August 1941. Commemorated on the RAF Runnymede Memorial in Surrey. Panel 29.
KIA = Killed in Action
Btn. Battalion, approx 600 men, normally comprising 4 companies of 120 men plus support troops.
1. Those listed as “died” probably died of wounds or disease.
2. Sometimes men were transferred to other regiments as replacements. Regiments recorded on this list are those the men were serving in when they died.
3. When they are listed as commemorated on a memorial, this means their remains could not be found for burial in a cemetery. This is often referred to as no known grave.
4. The number after each enlisted man’s rank is their army number.
5. The website ‘Roll of Honour‘ contains additional information on some of the names on the Cross.